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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

1,579 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1579
Reviews: 478
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)
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Ratings: 1,579 | Reviews: 478 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Lemke10
Lemke10

Wisconsin

4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I tried this on-tap at Conway and O’Rielly’s in Janesville, WI in mid 2012. Pours a golden amber color with a strong bourbon scent. Strong crisp taste of bourbon that is silky smooth that is barrel aged to perfection. I thought this was a lot better than what the ratings reflect.

Serving type: on-tap

08-02-2012 20:10:29 | More by Lemke10
Photo of sardonicone
sardonicone

Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sent into a beer mug.

Appearance: Light amber, 2 finger head that left nice lacing and a bubble ring around the glass.

Smell: Vanilla bean and scotch. Not overpowering, in fact it's a very mellowing scent.

Taste: Fantastic imho. Vanilla, scotch, almost nutty, something roasted, can't quite make out what, but I love it. Bitter on the back end.

Mouth: Medium, slightly over carbonated, the liquor burns on your tongue while you leave it there, burns on the back end and has a familiar warming sensation all the way down.

This has quickly become a favorite of mine, and is a routine member of my rotation.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2012 03:30:15 | More by sardonicone
Photo of mutt
mutt

Florida

4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

being a fan of bourban in the winter months, i had to give this one a try. very nice beer. drank from a snifter, it was suggested and i had no clean pints, so what the hey, i use the snifter. great amber color, sweeter than i anticipated, but not to much. nice bourban aftertaste lingers. if you like bourban and you're reading this, you obviously like beer, so try this one

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2006 14:05:01 | More by mutt
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 StuyBeerGuy
StuyBeerGuy

New York

4.34/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This beer has a light copper color body with a lively white head and good retention and lacing. Makes one want to drink it.

Smell - Smell and strong. The bourbon flavors that stand out are a minimal and intriguing bite with caramel smells.

Mouthfeel - Smooth. Also, this is one of the few weak-points of the beer. I wish it was longer in the mouth. It is smooth and bubbly besides a small issue.

Taste - Delicious, all of the smoky flavors of a bourbon with sweet flavors. Goes well with the decor of a irish pub.

I'd suggest this beer to a friend.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2013 05:54:36 | More by StuyBeerGuy
Photo of kmpitz2
kmpitz2

Tennessee

4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a great beer experience for me. Poured from the tap into a snifter. The head was good sized, about 0.75 inches, but fell before finishing the glass to almost nothing. Beer was a nice dark amber color; it let light through, but with resistance. It didn't smell as strong as I had expected from something out of a bourbon barrel. Smelled slightly sweet with the bourbon coming though. The taste was nice; heavily influenced by the bourbon barrel, with flavors of caramel and oak, with a slight sweetness that I can't place. I didn't have time to see how it progressed as it warmed, though it was served chilled, and not cold. Mouthfeel was a bit lighter than I would like, but since it's the stock ale as a base, I'm not surprised. The lacing was absolutely beautiful after finishing the glass. It was not overly heavy, but coated the entire snifter from the top down. I will not pass this one up when I find it offered again. Worth trying if you come across it.

Edit: I went back and revisited this one to see what I come up with after reviewing for a while. The bourbon flavors play very heavily in this one iving it great vanilla, almost coconut tones. I think this is a much better beer than I gave it credit for before.

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2004 18:11:37 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of OneDropSoup
OneDropSoup

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A staple at Vintage Estate's tap room, I was happy to see it turn up in my local bottle shop.

Poured into a snifter: Nice copper, honey color. Clear, with just the thinnest collar of head. Plenty of tiny, fast bubbles. Not the greatest composition, but I love that color.

Smells of light, sweet caramel with a woody bourbon ring. A little buttery, like butterscotch or buttered rum. The only drawback is that the alcohol smell is a tad sharp. Sweetness turns to toasty sugar, like creme brulee.

Taste is, again, lightly sweet & caramel, like cream soda, with a "round" bourbon character that's present but not too strong. Mild fruity finish & slight dryness in aftertaste.

Medium-bodied, creamy mouthfeel. A little viscous in "afterfeel."

I really enjoy this: very smooth & easy-drinking for a barrel-aged ale. I like the fact that you get the barrel flavor without it being super-heavy. Maybe it's the positive associations with VE, but this warms my heart a little. I can see how it might be too sweet for some, but that doesn't bother me. Time & place.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2010 12:51:47 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of BrewCrew2010
BrewCrew2010

Mississippi

4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A clear golden amber body with orange highlights and a creamy (although it makes a fizzy sound in the glass) mostly lasting head.

S: No joking around when it's said this is a bourbon barrel ale. Strong aroma of bourbon along with sweet vanilla & subtle malts.

T: This one taste just as good as it smells. Upfront bourbon flavor followed with caramel malts and sweet vanilla. A very warming finish.

M: A smooth and creamy beer with a medium body and high carbonation.

D: One of my favorite beers for the summer, but I drank 3 of these tonight just relaxing around the house. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 00:25:25 | More by BrewCrew2010
Photo of Broman
Broman

Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Copper red tint under a minuscule head that disappears almost immediately to nothing. Fairly transparent but inviting.

Smell- Mostly sweet bourbon on the nose. Other less obvious undertones are noted. Aggressive smell lets you know what this beer is about. Not overpowering but up front and inviting. Combined with the visual a very inviting beer.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation sting is the first note. Light body on the palet. The carbonation sting gives way to a distinct alcohol flavor.

Taste- Up front are malts and bourbon. There is a sweet hint as if brown sugar. The high alcohol content is apparent in the aftertaste. Overall not exceptionally complex but a very tasty beer.

Overall- Great beer. Definate try. I wouldn't advise consuming many due to the alcohol content. Not a beer for a new beer drinker, but one that could sway some to the light of good beer choices.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2013 05:05:00 | More by Broman
Photo of SSEngelbrecht
SSEngelbrecht

Louisiana

4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at HopJack's in Pensacola, FL.

A: Huge light tan head, beautiful orange - red color.

S: The oak and citrus are prominent.

T: The barrel is the first taste to hit the palate. Red fruit and light citrus are also present. More subtleties emerge as the beer warms.

M: The beer is light and crisp.

O: This was a well balanced beer, but not overly complex. This is a great example of the style, and I really enjoyed it.

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2013 00:20:13 | More by SSEngelbrecht
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well I ve had this bottle for a bit and thanx to kmpitz2 for the sample. I am pouring a room temp bottle into a pint glass.
The beer pours a clear amber color with fizzy off white head foaming up about 1 cm and fading rapidly to a thin edge layer.
The aroma is bourbon and bourbon. I get some wooden notes and a bit of vanilla and caramel as well. Some warm alcohol as well. Overall pretty appealing. First sip reveals a relatively lite body and very fine carbonation that gently rolls across my palate. The flavor is bourbon right up front. I get some oak and vanilla notes and the beer finishes with a little warming kick, or maybe that is just my typical reaction to drinking bourbon. This beer is very bourbony and if dont like bourbon as a liquor you wont like this beer. Think slightly thinner, mildly carbonated bourbon and there's your drink.
It is quite nice, and I enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2006 02:59:30 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of mobyfann
mobyfann

Ohio

4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Paid $9.99 for a growler from The Party Source...

Pours a clear amber colored base with a medium white head, great retention and minimal lacing. The aroma is very subtle in Elijah Craig bourbon and sweet caramel malts.

The taste is all about the smoothness when looking at a beer this strong, it reminds me of a Yuengling lager, made with enough quality ingredients to be noticeable but not pretentious; yet deliver as a true winner (despite the usual overpowering of heavier beers). Low carbonation and good head retention make this one of the smoothest beers east of the Mississippi.

Final Thought: An absolute stunner of a session beer, best in class for style!

Serving type: growler

02-01-2010 00:56:45 | More by mobyfann
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: medium carbonation, minimal head, orange-brown in color, hazy

Smell: toasted malt and light oak

Taste: big time oak and bourbon, a pleasant taste of vanilla, meadow, and sweet toasted malt

Mouthfeel: sweet with big time oaking, moderate carbonation and medium-light body

Overall: I really like this. The problem I have with a lot of oak beers is that they are one dimensional oak and/or alcohol bombs. While this one has both, there is a sweetness and complexity that I do not often find with the style. The oak, vanilla, and bourbon all get a chance to shine and blend wonderfully. I wish I picked up a six of this. Really great beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2011 15:43:58 | More by tigg924
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this several times now, all on tap. Hard to find. Snifter glass used. This pours an amber color with a small head that doesn't stick around too long, but leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet, malty, and has a nice, mellow bourbon aroma. Interesting. The flavor is sweet and malty, but has a strong bourbon and oak character. Nice body and mouthfeel. An awesome improvement to the standard KY Ale. Best barrel aged beer I've had.

Serving type: on-tap

10-21-2004 13:20:20 | More by clvand0
Photo of ElGordo
ElGordo

Oregon

4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a hotel tumbler, since that's all I've got. Body is a deep golden amber color with a flourish of a creamy white head that quickly vanishes. Good carbonation keeps on coming. Aroma of bourbon, brown sugar, bourbon, a light nutty character, and more bourbon. Palate is light sweet malt at first, with the bourbon emerging mid-palate and building to a nice, warm finish. After a few sips acclimate you to the strong whisky character, notes of caramel, almond, vanilla, and some mild fruity hops come through the booze to make for an interestingly complex beer. Body is a little thin, yet also mildly sticky, as I've come to expect from American strong ales. Good for sipping, and thorougly enjoyable. It's got me thinking I need to mix my whisky and beer more often.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2006 04:24:50 | More by ElGordo
Photo of biggred1
biggred1

Indiana

4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear copper with a slight white head, very fine lacing.

S- Pretty potent smell,big oaked wood and whiskey aroma, some sweet faint vanilla in the background.

T- Nice vanilla bean, coconut and caramel up front with a decent warm alcoholic woody finish.

M- Smooth and creamy, coats the tongue.

D-Nice stuff in moderation. One of the better examples of the bourbon beer in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2008 23:35:55 | More by biggred1
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Drunkmonk for this brew.
Poured a light gold with a small white head. Nose smells sweet, vanilla and slight bourbon.
Tastes of oak, vanilla, bourbon, honey and butterscotch. Mouthfeel has some syrup, oak, honey, butterscotch with light bourbon. Drinkability is very good, not overly boozy. This beer blends lots of flavors together very well and a treat to drink!

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2010 04:24:35 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of MbpBugeye
MbpBugeye

Ohio

4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this a while ago when I visited Lexington for a weekend. At the time I knew very little about beer and I thought bourbon barrel aging was something totally unheard of. I liked the beer then, lets see how it is now that I know more about beer.

A- Smallish head rises and fades super fast. This beer is way lighter than I thought it was going to be (I had it right from the bottle before). Its a super clear amber red beer.

S- STRAIGHT bourbon. Really not much else. Its still good as hell smelling though. Its basically toned down bourbon. Very very vanilla-y. There is also a lot of nuttiness.

T- Pure vanilla, oak, nuts and bourbon. This is quite good. This is so close to the taste of a scotch that its insane. Just way way less boozy and more drinkable.

M- Low carbonation which is typical for a barreled beer. It makes it creamy and smooth. It finishes surprisingly clean, only a tad bit oily and vanilla-y

D- Good stuff. Its better than I remember. I will have to procure more of this good ale from a small time brewery.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2010 02:52:18 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of brureview
brureview

Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Doherty's in Pawtucket, RI. The served beer had a light honey color and poured a 1/2 finger head.

Carbonation bubbles streamed upwards from the bottom of the glass.

The beer smells like bourbon, and tastes like bourbon with vanilla overtones.

This is a special treat, and it doesn't taste like beer- it tastes like whiskey. A bit overwhelming, but worth drinking.

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2012 01:32:33 | More by brureview
Photo of CardiacNP
CardiacNP

Louisiana

4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A nice draft pour from Fox & Hound in Ohio served in a nice matching snifter.

Poured a clear golden amber color with a small dense white head. There Was excellent lacing throughout the beer.

The aroma of bourbon was there along with a light sweet scent follow by woody oak hints.

Taste was very smooth slightly sweet with a wonderful bourbon aftertaste. Slight caramel and oak flavors present. Very very small hop characters noted.

Mouth feel was smooth , and a bit viscous. Very light carbonation. Little alcohol finishes but surprisingly light for a 8.2%ABV

Over all a very enjoy able ale. If you like bourbon also you would be please to try this beer. I know I will again.

Serving type: on-tap

04-24-2013 01:55:11 | More by CardiacNP
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beatiful pour from the growler into the chosen chalice, a lush, milky white head, very slowly settling, over a uniquely colored brew, a hue somewhere between tangerine and tea.

Aroma carries hints of cherries, oak and maple, followed by harder traces of whiskey, sweetness and harsher alcoholic whiffs...although I find that this nose opens up, widens in scope and character over time...who can says what I'll smell further into the glass.

One the tongue, almost 100% pure bourbon. I like that, bourbon would be my liquor of choice, if I went near the hard stuff. Plumb and rich, abundant whiskey flavor. Makes sense, seeing as how they used a pale ale as a base, that the bourbon character would dominate. Damnably delicious!

Medium bodied, smooth mouthfeel, soft, woody/cherry-ish finish...quite mellow, actually. And defiantly drinkable, ....though every now and then, I remember the strength and put on the brakes...perhaps this growler will serve as a tasty nightcap over the next few days?

Wow. Very nice. Way to go, Lexington!
And thanks to my buddy, kmpitz, for the growler!

(Edit, after reading other reviews: vanilla, and coconut...yeah...why didn't I catch that earlier?)

Serving type: growler

11-03-2005 03:03:57 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very large thanks goes out to kmpitz2 for hauling a growler from the source to Madison last weekend for me!

appearance: pours a light amber shade, tea-like appearance, a light white head accompanies

smell: alcohol, potent bourbon, vanilla, oak...Tis a good thing I am a fan of bourbon

taste: well this is trule is a bourbon ale....The bourbon explodes on the tongue and leaves a strong alcohol aftertaste...underneath that is sweet vanilla, oak, quite sugary sweet, nice sweet caramel malts in the background

mouthfeel: pretty light bodied, smooth though

drinkability: good thing im splitting this thing

Serving type: growler

11-09-2005 03:51:36 | More by dirtylou
Photo of LuckySevens82
LuckySevens82

Florida

4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz unlabeled bottle courtesy of ppoitras.
Pours a deep copper color with no head, lacing or apperent carbonation.
Smell is a little boozy. Definitely bourbon in the aroma. Some buttery toffee and caramel, along with mild hops.
Taste is buttery, caramel, slightly bitter hops with a slight alcohol kick. Although, there seems to be more bourbon flavor than alcohol heat. It's extremely smooth going down.
Mouthfeel is a tad limp with the lack of carbonation and all, but still not terrible. The more you drink of this the better it gets, which is always nice.
Overall, a very good beer, with a very good flavor, I would like to have had a bit better appearance but hey, what are you going to do.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2005 03:08:05 | More by LuckySevens82
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks out over the rain-filled skies of Minnesota to BEERchitect for sending this nice little extra in a recent trade. Feels like a good way to wrap up an evening of poker with the boys (& old men, who are sometime far more amusing & interesting than the boys).

I'm certain this is the lightest bourbon barrel aged brew I've ever had, looks very much like a pale ale, yellow with red highlights. Smell is subtle malts, bourbon, with a stronger whiff of wood.

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale makes me think brewers should be sticking more than RIS & barleywines in barrels. The wood, as much as the bourbon, is on top of this sandwich, leaving a dry, vanilla, bourbon, slightly sweet malt taste sticking around. The lighter malts really play off the bourbon nicely, leaving a more true bourbon experience without the scorching heat of true bourbon. Very interesting. Slides down very nicely. This is one of the few brews of the style that I can see going down quickly, & easily, for a few hours at a time.

Excellent beer & a great twist on barrel aging. Let's try this whole paler beer in a barrel thing, it's working here!

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 05:09:32 | More by maximum12
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a tough one to get. It was originally only on tap available in growlers only, but this winter they decided to add it to a gift pack with bottles. Thanks a bunch to Noslenwerd for going out of his way to get me this one. Unfortunately the glass that came in the sampler pack broke in the trip here, but at least the beer made it. I'm excited to try it, despite the B rating.

A: A very light fluffy head forms and disperses just as fast. It's a very clear pale golden color with a little orange.

N: Nose is actually pretty sweet, with a very bourbon barrel characteristic. It reminds me of when I went to a couple distilleries in KY and the basic aroma you get from nosing the actual barrels when they are opened, minus the crazy bourbon aroma. It's a little creamy and fruity, but mostly just a great bourbon aroma. Not much on the way of beer yet.

T: Taste actually starts with a slight malty flavor, but mostly is again bourbon. Tastes like a nice light and smooth bourbon with much less alcohol. It has some clear woody esthers as well, and an obvious oak taste. More of that fresh from the barrel bourbon flavor. It also has a little fruitiness, and some more sweet almost honey like flavors. It still hides the 8%abv well though. The bourbon and woody flavors come out even more as it warms. I recommend letting it warm a bit. With all the flavors, and bourbon especially, it's still really smooth.

M: Semi thin, more than I expected, and very little carbonation.

F: Finishes a little sweet still, and even has a touch of creaminess. It has some woody esthers that linger, as well as some oak. Not much lingering on the bourbon flavor. A little bitterness starts to come through, but more from the esthers than hops. It doesn't last long before your mouth is clean and ready for more.

Being a big bourbon fan, the fresh bourbon and oak flavors of this really impress. The beer side is a little flat and the lack of carbonation in a light ale is a little hard to get by. But how much great bourbon flavor this has, and even seems to have a little of the sweet bourbon mash and woody esthers, I really enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2010 21:56:58 | More by jlindros
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,579 ratings.