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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale - Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,582 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1582
Reviews: 479
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 17.98%


Brewed by:
Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. visit their website
Kentucky, United States

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  8.19% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Award winning Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is a unique sipping beer with the distinctive nose of a well-crafted bourbon. Our Kentucky Ale is aged for up to 6 weeks in freshly decanted bourbon barrels from some of Kentucky’s finest distilleries. Subtle yet familiar flavors of vanilla and oak are imparted to this special ale as it rests in the charred barrels. Pleasantly smooth and robust, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale may also be served as an aperitif or after dinner drink.

(Beer added by: SheepNutz on 07-13-2004)
View: Beers (14) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,582 | Reviews: 479 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of shivtim
shivtim

Georgia

2.78/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Have to agree with aforbes10 that this wasn't that great of a beer. Maybe we just got a bad six-pack? I got it from Kentucky and transported it to Indiana myself, so I know it was somewhat fresh.
Poured out clear yellow/orange with no head whatsoever. nose was old bourbon and cork, with cornmeal. taste was watery bourbon and vanilla, like bourbon on the rocks with the ice all melted. Not disagreeable, but not great. Slight medicine qualities. Mouthfeel was pretty average. Overall it's just a so-so beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2008 16:56:37 | More by shivtim
Photo of aforbes10
aforbes10

Iowa

1.93/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle purchased by shivtim on his drive through Kentucky. We assumed this was one of those MBC "front breweries" but apparantly its not. Pours an uninteresting amber with a slight, wispy head. Smells like grain alcohol, shitty bourbon. Tastes like watered down bourbon, vanilla flavoring and not much else. pretty bland and watery. Medium to thin bodied. Eh.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2008 18:36:26 | More by aforbes10
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours a deep golden color. A finger of feathery white foam hangs around for a minute but is losing the battle quickly.

Aroma - a vapor of bourbonesque aroma starts out of the glass on the pour. Upon settling, much of that fades and while there is still some oaky smell remaining, it is mixed with a mild diacetyl, vanilla, and coconut as it warms.

Taste - a brief underpinning of grain, quickly met by the sweet, mashy flavor of bourbon. The wood, vanilla, whiskey, it's all there. The balance is uncanny for a barrel beer. Solid flavors but they don't overrun their boundaries. A mild alcohol warmth but not hot at all. A great way to experience the barrel without doing a number on the palate. Not much beer flavor to this but I'm just so very impressed with the balanced flavor of oak and bourbon. Being somewhat diluted to 7% allows the nuances of the flavors to emerge and stand or fall on their own merits. This beer stands.

Mouthfeel - medium to slightly light, crisply carbonated. Feels like a 5% session beer. I wish it were bigger.

Drinkability - the most sessionable bourbon beer so far. A great intro to the style too.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2008 03:41:06 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74

Ohio

4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, Kentucky Ale aged in bourbon barrels. Served in a chalice, the beer pours a clear amber/orange color with no head at all. Not much lacing either. It smells like oak, bourbon, vanilla and caramel. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some toasted/smoked malt and even a bit of coconut in there too. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, with average carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and easy to drink. Alcohol surprisingly isn't very noticable at all. Overall I think this is a pretty good beer, I liked it a lot. A pretty decent choice, I think.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2008 02:39:38 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of stewart124
stewart124

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light amber color with a thick white head. Carbonation sounds and looks to be high.

Deep smells of bourbon for sure. Sweet hints of grape and caramel malts. Slight floral notes.

Toasted bready notes in the flavor blend very well with this beer. Nice malty flavor overall. Toffee and vanilla are hidden in this beer. Big complexity that I would not have guess. Body seems medium to big.

Aftertaste is thick with more vanilla, oak, and a slight smoked chewy feeling. Alcohol is hidden fairly well but I'm sure I'd have to limit my intake of these.

A

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2008 02:49:26 | More by stewart124
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
MuenchenerKindl

Germany

4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a snifter, the liquid is clear copper with light carbonation, the Head is small white and leaves little lace.

The smell is great, lots of a very nice bourbon, vanilla and caramel seem to dominate.

The taste is equally as good but a bit different. Toasted coconut seems to be the taste the bourbon brings not vanilla so much. Really a nice brew to sip. Lightly toasted caramel and some vanilla notes do come out but nothing like the coconut.

The mouthfeel is light body and light carbonation nothing to great here, but not a reason to put it down either.

The drinkability is very good I would love to see this in a store. Thanks to NFLMVP for this very cool find, Prosit MK

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2008 07:52:46 | More by MuenchenerKindl
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I could be way off on this, but it seemed to me like Kentucky Ale that had been barrel aged. It poured a golden colored body beneath a short head of creamy white foam. The nose was loaded with bourbon, but I didn't find it really intriguing. It had the sweetish, woody, alcoholic notes, but I'd imagine that you could pull that out of a barrel just by adding water. The flavor was better, and there's a bit of malt base to it (but again, it seemed simply like standard Kentucky Ale). It was well rounded with vanilla and wood though, and there wasn't too much alcohol (as can happen in some cases). Other than that there's not much I can say about this beer. It seems kind of light for a Bourbon barrel beer. I'd like to see more malt behind it, but it was enjoyable. Would I have two in a row? - Never! But it has its merits. I might like to enjoy one with a good book in front of the hearth, or perhaps with a meal that included caramelized onions and yams, or something like that. Or at a backyard barbeque in the summer with some tangy ribs! Worth trying... but not worth buying a six pack.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2007 20:45:02 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of thisisbigrob
thisisbigrob

Kentucky

3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Poured a very clear light amber color. I had to pour forcefully to get a small, fine white head that disappeared quickly leaving a small ring of foam around the glass.

S: Slightly sweet malt smell with a definite sour mash presence. No hop smell at all.

T: Sweet with a blast of bourbon. No hop flavor to be found.

M: Very smooth, almost feels like a lager. Would be great if it were a lager, but I prefer my ales to be a little meatier maltwise.

D: The lager qualities make it go down smooth, and I'm not noticing the alcohol content at all. But I'm quickly growing tired of the whiskey flavor and wouldn't drink two in a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2007 01:39:27 | More by thisisbigrob
Photo of beeragent
beeragent

Texas

4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a glass from a 12oz. bottle. The beer poured a clear medium amber, forming a thin white head which quickly faded. The aroma is strong bourbon along with a hint of malt. The taste is a smooth combination of bourbon, malt, caramel, and a hint of vanilla. Not very complex, but the simplicity works for this brew. Clean smooth mouthfeel. Aside from the slightly higher abv., this is definitely a beer I wouldnt mind having a few of. Overall, I was expecting a bad tasting beer after hearing reviews about it, but I was suprised to find that the beer actually had a good flavor. I will definitely buy this again. Recommended!!

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2007 15:41:35 | More by beeragent
Photo of bobbyc881
bobbyc881

South Carolina

3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Friend of mine brought down a 4-pack of this as a wedding gift to me.

Pours out very clear-- copper in color. Nearly non-existent head. Smells slightly sweet and woody. Slight bourbon notes as well.

Taste is quite bourbon flavored. Sweet start, bourbon down the middle, and a bit alcoholy at the end. Definitely picking up some woody flavors as well. Seems more of a beer delivering a bourbon taste than a beer with bourbon nuances. Perhaps this might benefit from some aging?

Prickly carbonation, and rather thin mouthfeel versus my expectations. Quite smooth, though. I think a more full-bodied beer would carry that bourbon flavor better. Not sure I would drink more than 1 of these at a time -- mostly due to the rather strong bourbon taste, not so much the strength.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2007 21:41:55 | More by bobbyc881
Photo of Vancer
Vancer

Illinois

3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice brew sent by unclejedi for the CEO BIF.

Poured a clear amber brown, with a small tan head that died quickly.Did leave some lace rings as I progressed through the brew. Intriguing aroma of a barleywine type caramel and malt – just some hints of bourbon.

Then the quaff, nice hints of a Maker Mark type bourbon, Then a finish comes with notes of vanilla, which by mid-bottle become a tad too dominate. The vanilla sweetens the brew too much – it just needed a touch, and we got a handful. Still a tasty brew, medium bodied, crisp and dry.

The 7% alcohol is nowhere to be seen. Sip and enjoy this brew (just cut that vanilla in the next batches).

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2007 14:12:04 | More by Vancer
Photo of atsprings
atsprings

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper with almost no head. Aroma is a nice blend of burnt caramel, Bourbon, oak and some vanilla. The taste is a great blend of Bourbon, caramel and vanilla. The slight oak flavor adds a nice touch. This is a great beer for someone who also likes Bourbon, good taste of both worlds. The beer is light bodied with good warming undertoned alcohol. This is a very enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2007 02:23:20 | More by atsprings
Photo of ByTor2112
ByTor2112

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice to see a Triad Ba has tried this recently. Picked mine up in Bardstown back in June when I went to Maker's Mark Distillery!
Poured a golden color-like clover honey. Very thin head that dissipated.
Aroma-Smells like Maker's Mark with vanilla notes and whiff of caramel.
Mouthfeel-sweet like a Bourbon and ginger ale, very little hop bitterness but they are detectable.A froth on the palate elicits the alcohol. Tasty but I would like a bolder malt backbone to go with the very good bourbon flavor. The 7% can be felt not too long after finishing this one. Does not look like much when poured but it has a nice sweet bourbon flavor and it finishes clean. Wish i could have found a big flip-top jug like the one in the picture.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2007 00:28:36 | More by ByTor2112
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear honey color with a modest head that quickly fades to a ringlet and leaves a few shards of lace

Smell: Caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, oak and coconut; just a hint of bourbon

Taste: Starts out with a buttered brown bread and bourbon-influenced caramel flavor; lots of vanilla and coconut arrive by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a brief flourish of very smooth bourbon and oak that lingers into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A really nice Bourbon treatment here instead of the typical barrel-aging of a big stout; the beer has some nice subtleties

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2007 23:18:31 | More by brentk56
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: black with a 1" head that hung around a while. Some mild lacing develops during the session.

Smell: roasted malts and hints of bourbon are pleasant on the nose.

Taste: mild roasted malts, prunes, bourbon tones, vanilla, and a bit of alcohol are wrapped in a soft bitterness. Well balanced beer here.

Mouthfeel: smooth throughout. Heavy in body. Aftertaste lingers a bit on the tongue.

Drinkability: an easy to drink beer as the flavors are not over the top and the alcohol is in check here. You should give this a try especially if it is on draft.

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2007 00:21:59 | More by Gavage
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first experience with the bottled version. Pours a clear light amber body that seems a shade lighter than the draft version. Head is small and shortlived and leaves some wispy spots of lace on the snifter. Aroma is bourbon, and lots of it. Vanilla and oak notes are also prominent. Body is light to light medium, almost watery. Low carbonation. Taste has plenty of bourbon, joined by flaked coconut and vanilla. Slight caramel notes are also present and the wood tones are prevalent. Hops aren't noticed but there is a pleasant bourbon bitterness all the way through. A good sipper, but I still prefer this on draft.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2007 21:18:04 | More by merlin48
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

After tackling a growler solo in my past review, it's time to slow things down a bit and consume 12oz. at a time, and appreciate.

Bottle pours a high clarity orange tone, with a small cap of white foam. Spotty bits of lace ring the tulip glass.

Oak, vanilla, sweet corn mash, and brown sugar in the nose. Becomes slightly funky as it warms.

A light bourbon taste, yet it touches on all my favorite aspects of this Kentucky-bred specialty. Woody oak, caramel sauce, buttery theater popcorn, a hint of coconut, with creamy vanilla bean in the long finish.

The thin, clean mouthfeel and refreshing nature of this ale deceptively mask it's alcohol content. Lacks body and complexity, but the bourbon flavor is good. Respect this beer, and it won't mess you up. Drinking a growler of this stuff made me feel like I had put down a pint of bourbon...

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2007 02:21:53 | More by emerge077
Photo of johnnycakes
johnnycakes

Kentucky

4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My wife picked me up a 4-pack of this from the local grocery. (I live in Louisville, KY and our grocery stores are good about stocking local brews.)

I was not expecting a much because I am not a fan of Kentucky Ale's standard ale. However I was pleasantly surprised.

It poured with nearly no head.
The color is a beautiful amber-golden.

I've been reading these reviews that say it tastes too much like bourbon and I'm very confused. I was actually shocked at how un-bourbon tasting this ale is. I've had Bluegrass Brewing Co and Browning's each make a bourbon barrel stout that are wonderful and have a distinct bourbon taste. This ale does not.

The bourbon barrel aging of this ale has surprisingly given it a banana/vanilla flavor. Upon my first sip, I immediately thought of banana nut bread.

Overall, I think this is a great ale to be paired with the right food.
(Not exactly sure what that food would be - just think this would be a good ale to accompany a meal rather than to drink on its own)

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2007 19:22:09 | More by johnnycakes
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured with a light, off-tan head with very low retention, quickly reducing to wisps. The color was a beautiful orangish-amber with NE-quality clarity. The nose was redolent with vanilla and wood. The first sip gave me the same vanilla and wood that I noted on the nose, plus coconut and honey on the tongue. Wow! Mouthfeel was full and creamy. The finish had a slight alcohol burn, but that was fine by me. I am usually not a huge liquor drinker, nor do I routinely stray from the hops, but dang!, this was some good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2007 23:46:59 | More by woodychandler
Photo of kirok1999
kirok1999

Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear light gold with a small white head that leaves just a little lacing.
Smells sweet, vanilla and slight bourbon.
Tastes wonderful with mild carbonation. Oak, vanilla, bourbon, honey meld together really well. Not exactly what I expected and I'm glad as this is a great brew. I'm glad to see it's 7% as I plan to drink a few more.
Get some, you won't be disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2007 00:59:52 | More by kirok1999
Photo of Beertracker
Beertracker

Oklahoma

3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Alltech's Lexington Brewing Co. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is best served at cool, cellar temperatures (40-50°F) and enjoyed from a traditional old-fashioned glass or brandy snifter.This regular offering from LBC pours up surprisingly light with enough carbonation to keeps things lively with a lacy white head that sits atop the dusty orangish-ocher body. The intoxicating aroma is just decadent of rich, warm bourbon notes with woody, vanilla undertones. There's also some light, fruity/citrusy hop accenuated notes with the faintest of oxidative notes which adds to the overall complexity. The flavor starts off rather dissapointing with only a fraction of the richness implied from the nose. The flavor eventually gains momentum with some nice cracker toastiness from the continental malts combined with the hop bitterness and lingering bourbon notes eventually combine to make this a rather enjoyable experience. The finish is dry & minerally with a slightly thin edged alcohol warmth. This medium bodied hand-crafted specialty from Kentucky is true to its origin and shouldn't be missed by beer fans. Try pairing this one with some traditional Burgoo and a few slices of freshly baked sourdough bread. How about a slice of Kentucky Pie or some Bourbon laced bread pudding for dessert. Don't forget to serve it with a sprig of mint. Here's to Old Kentucky!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2007 04:54:21 | More by Beertracker
Photo of BlindPig
BlindPig

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Thin white head on a orange body with some copper hues.
S- Some sweet malts, light hops, a light bourbon aroma mixed in there as well, some ever so light wood also.
T-Its a light flavor and kind of hard to believe it is 7%. Some bourbon (really light!), hint of wood, kind of malty (the malt reminds me of something they would use in a nut brown but a lot lighter), hints of hops leaving a light to medium bitterness.
M-Medium body with low carbonation.
D- It is alright. I don't think it would be worth getting unless you live right by there and I might go in for a pint every once in awhile.

Serving type: growler

04-11-2007 20:11:57 | More by BlindPig
Photo of bluegrassbrew
bluegrassbrew

Georgia

3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter with its own logo, this brew looks nice. An interesting red tea like color to it. Small head quickly drops to nothing. Smell is a tad weak. Bourbon dominates with some wood in there as well. Taste is sweet candy and bourbon. No real hop presence detected. Lighter than I would have expected but the mouthfeel is just right. Very drinkable as an after dinner beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2007 08:44:06 | More by bluegrassbrew
Photo of Cresant
Cresant

Kentucky

2.53/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured this undated 12 oz. brown bottle into a snifter. This beer is now in regular bottles not the specialty bottle pictured. Pour created a minor head which faded to nothing quickly. The body was a very clear honey color, the color of bourbon. I held up a bottle of Maker's Mark next to my snifter, they were the same color.

Smell was bourbon. Sweet alcohol. Bourbon.

Taste was toned down bourbon. There is a hops presence which strives to balance the sweet bourbon/malt flavors. Sweet finish. This tastes like a cocktail, not a beer.

Mouthfeel was smooth with some alcohol zestiness in the swallow. Body seemed to start out full but near the end it thinned out. This is a sipper, but not one I will seek out again. When I want bourbon I will grab my bottle of Woodford Reserve.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2007 16:18:00 | More by Cresant
Photo of becktone
becktone

Ohio

2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is poor. The color is very nice-crystal clear copper. The beer looks dead very little carbonation bubbles floating to the top. This beer's inability to form a head and or lacing and keep what little film it did form is sorely disapointing.

Wow! Strong aroma of burbon, almost overwhelming! I can't say that this is bad, however I am not really a fan of burbon. However, I saw this beer and decided to try it. No hop or malt aromas, just burbon and alcohol. It is a burbon barrel aged brew and it definitely smells like burbon so I guess it achieves what the brewers were going for.

Weirdest beer that I've ever drank. It tastes like burbon, though I've never had it I can assume that it tastes like burbon. I've had scotch though, and it reminds me of that. Lots of flavor, some butterscotch in there. As I Said before I am not a fan of burbon or scotch for that matter, ever since I drank a whole bottle of scotch in one night.

Can't really finish this brew, it tastes too much like scotch/burbon. Sure that's what the brewer was going for but I can't take it. It is light on the palate and almost flat, very low carbonation. Alcohol is obviously apparent. I will not buy this brew again. I can't abide the taste of scotch/burbon. Since I am reviewing this brew with an open mind and trying to judge it by the brewer's interpretation of an American Strong Ale aged in Burbon barrels I'll give it flat 3's across the board...except for appearance, all beer should be able to form and keep a head.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2007 02:25:03 | More by becktone
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,582 ratings.