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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

1,581 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1581
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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,581 | Reviews: 479 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of RoamingGnome
RoamingGnome

Wisconsin

2.91/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonick pint glass. Served chilled...

A) Bright amber in color. It's shiny... There was basically no head. Might as well been a glass of juice.

S) An aroma of sweet malt, vanilla, and bourbon. The aroma was not a complete turn off, but something about it came across as a bit artificial. I guess I could have let it warm up a little.

T) I taste the bourbon, and it's not to harsh or hot, but it sure wasn't enjoyable either. There's some sweetness to this too. Aftertaste was okay. I got the feeling that letting this warm up would not improve the situation.

M) The mouthfeel is thin and sad.

O) I can appreciate the attempt with this ale, and I can understand how others may enjoy it. But.... This was not for me. I could have likely found the same amount of pleasure in cracking open a macro and giving it a splash of my old man's Jameson.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2014 01:22:06 | More by RoamingGnome
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on March 9, 2014.

The pour is highly attractive with its medium amber, bronze color. The head builds up quickly but just as quickly fades. Great clarity.

I was expecting more booze on the nose. Certainly I get a great dose of caramel malts and sweetness but little in the way of bourbon. It seems like a sweeter pale ale.

Medium body.

The taste is a more promising with its sweet malty notes and vague bourbon notes. But nothing extraordinary. Just a generally sweet beer but don't think you're getting a good dose of bourbon or other liquor when you have it. Maybe it is meant to be subtle.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 20:23:04 | More by puboflyons
Photo of Amalak
Amalak

New York

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A. It has a clear, copper color with a small white head and limited lacing. There are bubbles surrounding the glass that pop up to the top from time to time.

S. There is certainly a bourbon scent there. Heavy alcohol.

T/M. It has a refreshing kick to it. A slight bourbon taste, heavy malt and grape taste. Full bodied with a long finish. A very mild bitter kick.

O. It's got a nice, smooth taste, but the flavor isn't as bold as I might have been hoping for.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2014 19:28:57 | More by Amalak
Photo of RickS95
RickS95

Indiana

3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The pour is an attractive show. It appears to be a rich looking beer, but your eyes are immediately distracted by the cascading of the forming head. The color is actually a somewhat clear amber orange. It's not that rich looking at all. The head is a snow white collection of symmetrical bubbles that retains fairly well. Medium spotting of lace.

It's quite nice for an English ale with a combination of caramelly malts and subtle dark fruits. No hop presence and nothing noticeable as far as alcohol is concerned.

The fruits are no longer evident in the taste. The malt is there, but I can't pick up the caramel. Also, hops are now present in the swallow. Kind of standard issue English hops and malts. The taste is not bad at all, but somewhat disappointing given the smell. Not sure what the grain bill is for this, but it's full of graininess.

Very grainy mouthfeel. The graininess sticks with you. There's a pinch of sweet to start off, but the classic English variety hops soon take over. It's never overly bitter, just very present. There's a bit of bourbony taste and feel as the beer gets close to the swallow. Medium bodied. There's not much in the way of carbonation, but there's something that scrapes the palate clean after each sip.

It's a pretty good beer for the type. The flavors aren't assertive and they're kind of mundane in that they don't blow you away. Still, it's an easy beer to drink (despite the grainy feel) and has a nice ABV level. You could certainly do worse.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2014 03:49:28 | More by RickS95
Photo of Retroman40
Retroman40

Kentucky

3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a snifter (as recommended by the brewer).

A - Poured out a very clear light copper color with a small but good head.

S - Definite bourbon tones along with malt and grains.

T - Malt with hints of vanilla and oak.

M - Good carbonation, but perhaps just a little thin.

O - I like this one because the bourbon flavors seem to work with the beer, not fight it. It's not like simply pouring some bourbon into a beer as the flavors seem well intertwined with each other. If you go for this type of beer this is definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 10:53:56 | More by Retroman40
Photo of NoHorsePiss
NoHorsePiss

Florida

4.81/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was only the 3rd beer that I found that I liked the taste of enough to not need to wash down every sip with another non-beer drink. That aside, I actually like this beer and would drink it daily if it was around and I didn't have to go anywhere.

I like stouts and sort of like porters. I don't like a barley taste, and this had none of that.

I tasted something sweet and savory, almost chocolate in nature. It was nicely fizzy and goes exceptionally well with Pringles Sour Cream and Chives, with a side of LOTR or The Hobbit.

I'm very happy my local ABC carries it and will be very disappointed if I ever go there and it's not an option.

If you're not a big beer drinker because you haven't found one you like, I recommend trying this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2014 18:04:54 | More by NoHorsePiss
Photo of TheBullsHorn
TheBullsHorn

Florida

3.14/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This beer has all of the typical characteristics of an English Strong Ale without any depth at all. It's fairly true to the style with a strong malty backbone,booziness, and light English hops. It fails to deliver any depth and and is fairly one note especially for a beer aged in bourbon barrels.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 05:57:01 | More by TheBullsHorn
Photo of Cylinsier
Cylinsier

Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz

Pours clear brownish golden. Off-white lacing for a head.

Smells of brown sugar, biscuit, toffee, and bourbon.

Tastes of biscuit malt, brown sugar, and whiskey. Hint of maple.

Medium body with tingly carbonation on the tongue. Hint of warmth.

Pretty good ale with a nice bourbon flavor and feel. Goes down easy and is something I will probably look for again.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2014 23:20:51 | More by Cylinsier
Photo of Richardbeerlover
Richardbeerlover

Texas

3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice one and a half inch head and a nice amber color. No lacing on the glass. Has a sweet bourbon smell that reminds me of guess what bourbon. Initial sip is first bourbon and then you get the beer feel. Tastes like guess what bourbon. I ended up sipping this like a neat bourbon. That's how bourbon like this thing tastes. A little bit of carbonation. If you like bourbon you will like this beer. They seem to hit the bourbon flavor straight on. But as a beer there's not much IMO. Not a whole lot of flavor or heartiness.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2014 02:37:54 | More by Richardbeerlover
Photo of skyout
skyout

Massachusetts

3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Clear amber color with very little head.

Smell - Strong smell of bourbon and caramel. Excellent notes that aren't found in too many other beers of the same style.

Mouthfeel - Extremely smooth feel however not overly bubble. It leaves one wishing for a little more carbonation.

Taste - This is one of the most important and unfortunately one of its weakest characteristics. The taste does not linger and leaves one desiring a little more. However there are very nice hints of the bourbon at the end.

Overall, I gave this beer a 3.00 because while the appearance and smell are fantastic, however the mouthfeel and short finish leave both ale and bourbon lovers wanting more.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2014 23:29:07 | More by skyout
Photo of Totentanzer
Totentanzer

Ohio

3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Really shines on-tap. Prominent bourbon aroma, almost sweet to the nose. Little to no head. Served in a snifter. The ale itself is nothing robust or impressive. It is a simple vehicle with wich to deliver the oakiness & leached bourbon essences. Not one I reccomend enjoying all the time, but really nice as an occasional treat Enjoy

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2013 05:03:35 | More by Totentanzer
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 smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

2.99/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

Deep copper and bronze orange body but quite hazy and dull. Head has a creamy yellow and light tan color consistency and makes about two fingers to slowly settle into a soapy collar. Not bad minus the hazy quality, sort of looks like a barleywine.

Light bodied, and some small faint butterscotch like caramel. Senses a bit wet. Slightly sweet but not much oak or barrel aging character it seems. Pleasant at least.

Palate is quite surprising. Extremely light and airy, and very watery. I am talking tap water consistency. Senses of flat root beer like sweetness, and vanilla. Virtually no depth of malt on this at all. Palate isn't off putting, but this is really not lively.

This feels like a dead barleywine mixed with flat root beer. It's not horrid to drink but strangely doesn't remind me of beer let alone a barrel aged one. The only thing I would say is the weak watery body makes it super easy to drink, but my desire to ever want to have this again is virtually nil.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2013 02:03:24 | More by smakawhat
Photo of martyl1000
martyl1000

Wisconsin

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours a reddish amber, with a slight head into a tulip glass. The aroma is nice, bourbon and mild brown ale, with a bit of maple syrup and raisin.

It's quite smooth in the mouth, though with very subdued flavor, a tad bit of vanilla mixed with tame bourbon and wood barrel. But mostly just pedestrian English brown ale, with modest carbonation. Definitely easy drinking, with a totally hidden ABV. It's just not something I'd buy again, given the price and the vast array of better BBA beers out there.

A little sweet, to be sure, but hardly anything else going for it, other than its creamy feel on the pallate.

Other than the aroma, which is quite nice, this comes off as an entirely forgettable BBA beer. It's not bad (or is it?) It's definitely muted in flavor and uninspired in execution. It's as if one took an anonymous English ale (think Boddignton's, or Newcastle Founders) and dipped it briefly in a bourbon barrel.

Sorry to be harsh, but I'm used to serious BBA beers, with a year in the barrel, like Central Waters, or BCBS, or Founders KBS, or Hoppin Frog BA Boris. Somehow Alltech's Lexington feels it is respectable to barrel age for only six weeks, which is what they state on their website.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2013 01:44:18 | More by martyl1000
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This brew is a copper colored, mostly clear brew. The head is white, with some intricate lace. The smell is sweet, with a malt-forward and clean aroma. Some grain. The taste is sweet, and a really notable wood character comes out. Woody, some boozy components from the bourbon, and a bit of complexity. It has the impression of dryness from all of the wood notes. Medium-full and relatively smooth in body. A good brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 02:29:21 | More by Suds
Photo of Hopscat
Hopscat

Maryland

3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber color with little head. Server in a small snifter @ John Barleycorns in Chicago. Nose is definitely bourbon with some vanilla and caramel hints. Smells delicious.
Taste follows with bourbon up front and mild smoked and vanilla- caramel malts in mid-palate and bourbon and alcohol burn asserting itself in the end. Not overwhelming for me . Can understand how some can be put off by the bourbon- but really, it's in the Name !
Overall this is a well made beer for the type . Will seek this out again.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-27-2013 17:51:40 | More by Hopscat
Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
Utica_Brew_Review

New York

3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Amber color with mild to no head and moderate carbonation. Strong bourbon aroma with a hint of smokiness and hop notes. Beer? What beer? Smells like we poured a glass of bourbon. Caramel bourbon flavor without an alcoholic kick. Mostly bourbon flavors and not much in the way of beer. Perhaps a bit too heavy on the bourbon flavor which suffocates the beer flavor? Finishes with a carbonated bite. Good strong bourbon flavor.

If you want bourbon. Drink bourbon.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2013 05:01:22 | More by Utica_Brew_Review
Photo of brewskifan55
brewskifan55

Mississippi

3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Westmalle goblet.

A: Clear, bourbon-y amber with minimal white head that quickly shifts to lots of interspersed bubbles.

S: Smooth Kentucky bourbon, malts and a hint of vanilla. Oak barrel in the periphery.

T: like drinking a jigger of Kentucky bourbon. Sweet, mellow. Caramel and molasses with vanilla and smokey oak. A real sipper. The alcohol slides in for the kill.

M: light to medium with light carbonation. Picking up some soft mellow fizz the longer it sits on the tongue.

O: a nice surprise. Definitely an after dinner sipper, perhaps with a cigar. More like a bourbon than a beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 14:43:32 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

4.45/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Arrives a clear and bright reddish brown. Minimal, nearly non-existent, head, just a faint ring.
Smell is malty with notes of vanilla, coconut, bourbon, smoke/char and an really well received brown sugar sweetness. Very complex and really well balanced.
Taste is exactly the same: sweet, malty, vanilla, light smoke, bourbon, coconut. Again, very complex and very well balanced.
Smooth, fairly rich, and it only gets better as it warms. The ABV hides well but there is a warming aspect that develops as it warms up stopping short of becoming cloying. I highly recommend this one.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2013 02:22:44 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brilliant deep copper brown with a modest cream head.

Bourbon, oak, and amber malt fruitiness comprise the initial aroma. Fairly boozy, with notes of vanilla and floral hops.

Flavor reveals fruity amber malt notes underlying a fairly bready, toasted malt backbone. Oak and bourbon shine through. Subsequent sips reveal dominant vanilla, caramel, and coconut notes.

Body is moderate to full, with moderate carbonation and light alcohol warmth.

Too much vanilla for my liking. The malt backbone is nice, and oak provides good dryness. The fruity notes are somewhat offputting.

Serving type: on-tap

10-31-2013 21:59:09 | More by barczar
Photo of Axnjxn
Axnjxn

North Carolina

4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a FW tulip

Pours a dark copper, almost reddish color with a slight head. The smell is very big on bourbon notes ... just from the nose you could confuse this with a bourbon barleywine or possibly stout (tho no chocolate flavor here.) Extremely smooth taste with vanilla on the back end but with bourbon up front and lingering. Just as expected and oh so tasty! Caramel and toffee are present as well. Body is medium, just where it should be. Low in carbonation. Real real easy drinking and ABV undectable.

Overall an amazing beer in my eyes. One i could drink a few of without a problem. Im a lover of bourbon so thats definitely a reason why, but why would you even try this beer if you dont like bourbon?

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2013 22:02:23 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of ckollias
ckollias

Maryland

3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed this 12 oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a copper hue with a thin white head that quickly dissipates leaving no trail and semi wispy lace.

S: Sweet malty aroma with a bourbon alcoholic scent.

T: Smooth malty flavor with a sweet profile with hints bourbons that finishes on the sweet side of dry.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation

O: Decent brew – was expecting a little bit more.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2013 01:29:59 | More by ckollias
Photo of bad72amx
bad72amx

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is the most inconsistent beer I have ever tried. I have had it tapped numerous times, often in the same BW3 in Louisville. Sometimes, it is thick, rich, and Oakes with nice complex flavors of malt, candied sugar, very mild hops and some minor bourbony afterburn. If it were always like this, it would be a solid 4.5 overall. When it's like this, with a nearly syrupy mouthfeel, it is a personal favorite. It doesn't sound like it, but the mouthfeel and creamy head make it work.

Here comes the downside, and I have noticed this at different bars that have sometimes poured an excellent brew. Sometimes, it's just okay. Malty and sugary, with almost artificial bourbon aftertaste. No rich oak notes, no caramally candied sugars, just sweet malt. Like raw canned brewing malt was watered down. When it's like this it's almost fizzy, yet it builds and retains almost no head. Also, when it's like this it is more of a muddled dark straw color, instead of the deep golden brown it should be. It's almost like a lager with a dash of grenadine added without stirring. It's pretty, but when I see that I know I'm getting a mediocre beer.

Altech, please read this and revisit your Lexington brewery. It seems to me your quality control is very lacking, and lately I get more bad batches than excellent batches. I understand the need to meet demand, but if it makes a stellar beer okay, you are not doing anyone any favors.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2013 01:27:45 | More by bad72amx
Photo of scotorum
scotorum

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into an Innis & Gunn flute

a: A gorgeous crystal clear amber with a finger thick white head which receded quickly to thin surface foam, some stringy lacing eventually appears. Not much carbonation evident.

s: Bourbon!

t: Bourbon! Dayum! Dry boozy finish.

m: Light to moderate. Lighter than the bourbon flavor wants you to believe. Much more carbonation evident on drinking than is visually evident.

o: Good for what it is. Think I still prefer beer that tastes more like beer, but it is a unique experience to have a beer that tastes like weak bourbon. Maybe this will grow on me though, I loved Innis & Gunn Rum Cask Aged beer from the gitgo and still enjoy it now and then. But unlike Innis & Gunn, I get the impression there is not much substance here beyond the bourbon flavor and aroma. Still, that flavor is seductive, so I'll probably buy more of this.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2013 05:27:20 | More by scotorum
Photo of Omnium
Omnium

Pennsylvania

3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours out a darker gold color, very clear, one finger of head that fades fast, no lacing at all.
S - Very light aroma here, you get some of the bourbon, but its very subdued, a little vanilla bean, toasted caramel, toffee, a slight hint of cinnamon. Where's the bourbon?
T - You get some bourbon mixed with that caramel malt and thats the standard for most of the flavor here, a little spice, very sweet on the end, almost like some dried fruits or a spritzer kinda taste. The end is almost tart like some lemon.
M - Somewhat crisp, not really sweet or boozy despite being bourbon, but there is a slight alcohol burn.
O - Not super, not bad, somewhere in between, but the idea of this ale is greater than what it actually is, which is unfortunate.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2013 00:35:08 | More by Omnium
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,581 ratings.