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

Not Rated.
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

2,488 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,488
Reviews: 612
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 18.48%
Wants: 137
Gots: 651 | FT: 8
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:
Beer added by: SheepNutz on 07-13-2004

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,488 | Reviews: 612
Photo of ONUMello
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Orange-amber color with a one-finger head that thinned quickly
S: Fairly nondescript overall, though malt and the toasted bourbon aromas do come through.
T: Sweet, with tons of vanilla and bourbon. Malty; hardly anything hoppy comes across.
M: Medium-bodied, smooth and a bit sticky from the sweetness.
O: Tasty for sure, though I'd prefer a little less sweetness and a little more complexity.

Photo of busterwhite
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a golden color with a one finger head. A little bit of lacing on the glass.

Nose is straight vanilla.

Tastes is sweet, sweet vanilla and bourbon. No real hop flavor.

Light on carbonation but nice and creamy.

Overall its a little sweet for me. A definite sipper full of vanilla and bourbon.

Photo of KELPAK
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A real nice beer to sit back and sip on amongst friends or watching a game. Has a real likeness to drinking a tumbler of bourbon which can be a great thing for some people but for me it was a little much.

Taste is on the sweet side but it is an enjoyable beer for the bourbon barrell enthusiest which there are a great deal of in my area.

Photo of Bierlerner
4.19/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bottle and into a KBBA snifter

A- pours a very crisp, clear golden caramel color. A bright white head of 1 finger bubbles up fast and then almost as fast clears away. From appearance it looks a bit thin. When drinking, little splotches of lacing are left behind.

S- nice and light bourbon aroma. Faint hints of oak. Butter.

T- At first sip, it tasted of a watered down bourbon. But once warmed and sipped more, it blossomed into much more balance. Bourbon, oak, a hint of lemon peel. And a very pleasant creamy caramel and butterscotch through out as well. Not very complex, but very pleasant and very well balanced.

M- my one complaint, the mouthfeel is a bit thin. Could use some more body and perhaps more carbonation.

O- overall a fantastic after dinner nightcap, which is why I'm looking past the light body. Would stock in reserve lol

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a small brandy snifter. Color is clear, light amber gold. In fact, it looks like lightly carbonated bourbon. The nose offers up some muted alcohol aroma mixed with some citrus. In other words, it smells like a screwdriver.

Flavor is somewhat hop-forward. It's light and fizzy and there is a faint taste of bourbon that just doesn't complement the beer flavor at all. Mouthfeel is average.

Overall, this was disappointing. I wouldn't say that this is a poorly-made beer, just that it was poorly thought out. Bourbon-barrel aging just cries out for a beer that is rich and malty, not a light ale that is crisp and hoppy. I don't want a beer that tastes like bourbon, I want a beer whose flavors are complemented by the bourbon notes (see Founders Backwoods Bastard or BBC Bourbon Barrel Big Brown). This was not what I was looking for.

Photo of jsgpu90
4.51/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me start with the fact that I am not a bourbon drinker. However, when I first had this beer, I was hooked, I admit I was hammered and remember saying this beer tasted like "cookie dough". That being saidm there is a great flavor profile with this beer. It is not the best beer in the workd but if you like the hint of bourbon or "cookie dough" this is a damn good beer.

Photo of oline73
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm going to try to do better at guessing what I'm drinking than I did with the first bottle. Beer#2. A blinded 12oz. bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy reddish amber with a small layer of off white head. The head fades to a ring around the edge of the glass and doesn't leave much lacing. 3

Smell: This is getting interesting. I'm hit with a slightly fruity sourness right away. There is some sweet malt as well. I feel like I'm picking up some pineapple and maybe some red wine. 3

Taste: The sourness from the smell definitely shows up here as well. I'm picking up some red wine notes here too. The flavor is slightly buttery with some butterscotch in the finish. Along with the sourness, there is a slight bitterness that magnifies the wine like flavor in the finish. 3.5

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with smooth and tingly carbonation. The finish is quite dry. 4

Overall: This was an interesting beer. I would guess that it was wine barrel aged. Not real sure on the style, something with some wild yeast? 3.5

Photo of Hoptometrist
3.24/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap into a snifter for the Winking Lizard's Glass of the Month

A- Poured a clear light amber color with very creamy head that left tons of chunky lace

S- Smells like bourbon and booze. Pretty powerful aroma

T- This tastes like drinking bourbon. Not picking up on much else, light vanilla notes. Strong alcohol presence.

M- Fuller bodied but not syrupy. Pretty high carbonation for what I was expecting. Strong alcohol presence and warming.

O- The bourbon flavors overwhelm this beer. A strong base beer would have helped balance out the bourbon, bourbon aged stouts seem to fare better than this bourbon aged pale ale/irish red. Not bad, but tastes just like bourbon. If you really like bourbon flavors this might be an easier drinking alternative to drinking it straight.

Photo of cdkrenz
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - It pours a crisp orange body with mild carbonation. The head is bubbly like a soda but stark white and lives only long enough to set my glass down before its gone nearly immediately.

S - It has a nice aroma of malt. The brewery claims this is a combination of a couple beer styles, one being an Irish Red. That's evident in the aroma.

T - It certainly has Irish and English traits in the sharpness of the flavor. The bourbon barrel aging seems to have added a nice subtle accent.

M - It has medium to full body which is common for the style but uncommon for and Irish Red or English Pale. Either way the slightly abrasive texture across the tip of my tongue is nice with the finish lasting long enough to savor each pull..

~ I like this beer but I don't think I'll be seeking it out in the future. I would have liked to see the bourbon and oak flavors come through with greater emphasis. Perhaps more time in the barrel could have aided in that request.

Photo of SickGnar
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Warm, bright, just slightly golden light copper. Totally clear with multiple streams of steady bubbles rising to a smallish white head. It falls, but retains a ring and leaves some okay lacing.

S: Bourbon – vanilla, toasted coconut, oak, and a hint of booze. Some toasty pale base grain and malt sweetness behind the bourbon. A hint of caramel increases as it warms. Decent strength for the bourbon aspect, light on the beer, but interesting and pleasant overall.

T: Vanilla & coconut oaky bourbon is about as forward as in the nose, but relatively less pronounced since there is more other stuff going on. Sweetness especially is increased from the nose. Both a low crystal / caramel malt sweetness, and a spicy/boozy/vanilla bourbon alcohol sweetness. Toasty pale base grain is there, but it stays in the background. Also in the background are some softly balancing earthy / herbal hops. The bourbon barrel aspect really lingers on in the finish.

M: Medium body with matched carbonation that is very finely textured & soft feeling. Quite attenuated with only a hint of lingering sugars. Most of texture seems to be from oak tannins. Slowly creeping warmth.

D: Quite interesting & pretty tasty. A bit dangerous as the over 8% abv is very well hidden. I would like to see just a touch more heft to the body and some more robustness to the malts. Still it is very much alright as is and really lets the nuances of the bourbon show through without being the least bit overdone or harsh. I am not one for bourbon, but this brew is pretty nice. It is remarkable in how it does not depend on robust malts or a hefty body to carry the bourbon.

Photo of ixodus
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to auroracrisis for providing this in a trade.

A: Pours golden amber in color with a small white head that dissipates quickly into foam just covering the surface leaving no lacing.

S: Bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, bread, small trace of alcohol.

T: The barrel is on the main stage in this one. Oak, vanilla, and bourbon in the forefront, and bready caramel in the back. Quite smooth and not very hot, easy drinking,

M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation and a little bit of warming from the alcohol. Could have been a little more full.

O: Overall it's definitely the most easy to drink bourbon barrel beer I've ever had. My glass went empty fast. If it were available here I'd definitely pick some up.

Photo of vrbulldog22
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with a little off-white head.
Smell is sweet, bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, some malt.
Taste is vanilla, caramel, bourbon; pretty sweet.
Very smooth, creamy.
Not much 'beer' taste in this one, just enough to keep it from being an all bourbon taste. One of my wive's favorites, I drink it when it's there but I don't go out of my way for it. It's a nice way to get a full bourbon flavor without the burn/ alcohol harshness.

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 1" off-white head. Body is slightly copper colored and slightly hazed. Smells of malt and mildly vanilla. Taste has much more vanilla, caramel, and malt, and it's a touch salty. Medium finish.

I was quite pleased with this because it brings the indulgance of bourbon without the harsh high aclohol burn common in other bourbon barrel aged beers. Nice product.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap and served in a snifter, the beer is a light, clean, golden-chestnut coloring with a thin, off-white head. Aromas are light and sweet, with a vanilla, slight booze, and creamy blend. The beer's flavors are smooth and rich, with a cream overlay of the booze/bourbon characteristics, with a light toffee malt laced throughout. The aftertaste is the creamy sweetness, almost buttercream. Smooth, light finish. Very enticing. Strong flavor profiles, but remains well balanced on the smooth body.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from a friend in Cincinnati. Enjoyed with some Skyline Chili. Tasty combination!

A: Clear dark golden color with barely any head. Light pale tan foam lingers for a bit.

S: A nice blast of bourbon on the nose. Some nice vanilla and hints of brandy soaked apricot and oak.

T: The base beer does just enough here to not take away from all the great bourbon flavor but to also not let this beer become a bourbon bomb. Some lightly bready malts peek from behind the bourbon and go well with the subtle vanilla and charred oak bourbon flavor. Very drinkable for all the bourbon present.

Photo of Hophead717
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a DFH Signature Glass.

A: A perfectly clear golden brown. The shade on this one is absolutely beautiful. Not a lot of head-a 1/4 in of fizzy head fades quickly. A significant amount of lacing though.

S: This is easily the most bourbon I've ever gotten in a nose-perhaps because it's on a brown ale, rather than a big stout, but still. I get some sweet malts too-almost hints of raisin in the sweetness-but the nose is just dominated by a sweet bourbon. It smells awesome, but I'm concerned that it's going to taste a bit too sweet.

T: This is one of the more unique brews I've sampled. Upfront is strong bourbon, which is quite pleasant. You get some notes from the oak too. Underneath the bourbon and noticeable oak flavors, is a somewhat standard ale. It's not too sweet, as I feared, but it's right along the line. Definitely one to sip on. The alcohol is noticeable, but not overpowering. The aftertaste is more oak than anything else. It's a good flavor, but the bourbon isn't of the highest quality, so it's unable to break above a B for me.

M: A bit thin to be sure. Finely carbonated, though.

O: An incredibly unique "bourbon ale." I'm glad I have three more to savor. I'd recommend trying this one if you come across it, but don't trip over yourself to locate it.

Photo of k1001001
4.74/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I used to live in Lexington, and I love drinking this beer. Being that Lexington is in the heart of bourbon country, there couldn't be a more fitting beer for the region (I think the beer is aged in casks from Woodford Reserve and Maker's Mark).

Be careful and don't drink too much! It is 8.2% ABV. Much like bourbon, it is best to sip on.

It has a very sweet taste, much like the bourbons that it takes its flavors from. It makes for a good "dessert" beer. If I had one complaint, I would say that sometimes the bourbon overpowers the beer. You can definitely taste when you have a Woodford batch for sure.

For a bourbon-based ale, this is the best. All of the others are weak imitations in comparison.

I prefer it best in a bottle.

Photo of Dave128
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at pazzos pizza pub in Lexington. Poured into a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel snifter.

A - An average pour from the pitcher yields a finger of slightly off white head that dissipates pretty slowly into a thin disc on top of the beer. Clear dark amber in color, very similar to actual bourbon. Lace rings occur on the pitcher from every pour.

S - sweet caramel and bourbon on the nose. Alcohol is pretty well hidden for an 8 percent beer.

T - incredibly sweet and rich on the caramel malt. Bourbon is definitely on the forefront in the taste. Of the bourbon ales I have tasted, this is definitely the most bourbony. It is woody and delicious. The reason I am giving it a 5 on taste is that it is so unique and I have never had anything quite like it.

M - It is a little light bodied for the flavors present and doesn't really seem like that big of a beer, but carbonation is average to low which is spot on for this style.

O - It's not really that drinkable of a beer. Being a whiskey lover, I like it a lot, but it is hard to have a lot of it in one sitting since the flavors are pretty intense and the alcohol content is high. Like it or not, it is definitely a unique experience for anyone that tries it.

Photo of divineaudio
2.92/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

tulip glass

a - pours a transparent golden color with a few streams of carbonation rising up. forms a finger's worth of sudsy, white head that dissipates quick. some leggy lacing.

s - maple syrup, vanilla, slight booziness.

t - starts off a little toasty with faint vanilla notes and moves quickly into bourbon flavor. very faint hop bitterness on the back of the tongue. really tastes like a watered down bourbon, or as if someone poured a shot of bourbon into a bottle of light lager. seems almost cloyingly sweet without much else to back it up.

m - lighter side of medium with a little too much carbonation. has a pretty significant alcohol warming going on.

o - not a bad beer, but not great either. proof positive that barrel aging doesn't make everything better. worth a try i guess, but i'd never buy it again.

Photo of smcolw
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Low level head that leaves little lace. The color is a perfect neutral amber and is crystal clear.

More earthy than anything else. There's a bit of sweetness that reminds me of molasses.

This is a sweet ale. Again, molasses seems to be the strongest flavor. If there is bitterness, it is overwhelmed by the malt sugars. Not complex. Very rich body--low carbonation.

Photo of taigor
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into snifter glass.

A - Poured clear amber color with medium head that quickly dissipated leaving average amount of lacing around the glass.

S - Very strong scent of bourbon with slight scents of malts, vanilla and caramel.

T - Strong bourbon upfront followed by very sweet flavor of malts, honey with hints of vanilla and caramel.

M - Medium bodied with average carbonation.

O - Slightly below average for me. Presence of bourbon is just too overwhelming and it was way too sweet. I would not recommend it.

Photo of rangerred
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap. Served in a snifter.

Appearance is a clear, light brown. There is a thin head that doesn't stick around for long.

Smells overwhelmingly of bourbon with vanilla being the predominant smell.

At first sip there is a strong punch of bourbon. This is followed by vanilla along with some light oakiness. After sipping on the beer for awhile, the bourbon flavors subside and maltiness becomes much more predominant. I can detect very little alcohol flavor.

The mouthfeel is a little light but I don't feel it is off-putting.

Overall I think this is a very good bourbon barrel beer. The body could be thicker but the beer is fairly well balanced and is an excellent sipper.

Photo of BrewIrish98
1.48/5  rDev -59.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This beer is awful. I purchased a 4 pack to include it in a gift for my brother. I decided to sample one of these beers before I included it in the gifts.

Needless to say, I did not include it. Twice I've offered it to friends to get their thoughts with the same results. The only way I can describe this beer is awful. Way too sweet and too astringent from the alcohol.

I enjoy ales, reds, pales, and bourbons ages beers. This taste like a frat kid poured a shot of cheap bourbon into a bottle of subpar beer.

I decided to give it a second chance at a Local BeerFest as the brewery was there. Had the same opinion straight from the tap.

Don't waste your money on this one, Try their KY Light or Kolsh they are a little more forgiving.

Photo of gratefuld
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pale brown with minimal head. Decent enough.

S: Hints of vanilla

T: Soft taste with a pretty heavy vanilla aftertaste. You can taste the bourbon aging. The taste was not nearly as strong though as I anticipated. I really like this one.

M: Low carbonation with a nice soft feel on the palate.

O: I really like this beer. It exceeded my expectations.

Photo of Duff27
3.29/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Little white head that fades quickly. No lacing. Cool alcohol legs at the swirl of the tulip. Clear dark amber color.

Smells like apple juice!

Tastes a little like apple juice as well. Slight bourbon feel. Not much hop prescence.

Medium mouthfeel, good carbonation.

Worth a try if you need a Kentucky tick but otherwise you may want to pass....especially in the age of widely available, better tasting barrel agead beers.

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 2,488 ratings.