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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.

574 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 574
Hads: 2,621
Avg: 3.62
pDev: 39.78%
Wants: 147
Gots: 757 | 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.
View: Beers (18) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 574 | Hads: 2,621
Photo of avalon07
2.25/5  rDev -37.8%

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a golden yellow color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy head that lasted a fair amount of time. Pretty good lacing.

S: A mild aroma of bourbon and malt, but little else.

T: Tasted of an overabundance of malt, light fruit and some bourbon. There wasn't nearly enough bourbon to make an impact here, but that seems to be the problem with the flavor. It's too thin and unfocused.

M: A fair amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This beer is kind of a mess all around. It simply wasn't pushed far enough, therefore it was a thin brew.

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Photo of Dwreck
2.25/5  rDev -37.8%

Huge smell of oak which was exciting, but that was about it. Has a bright clear copper color. Mouthfeel was medium high carbonation and the taste was bright but odd. The high carbonation hurt the bourbon flavors. Both beers I have tried from this brewer were disappointing. Looked good, smelled good, fell short.

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Photo of ACD
4.18/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great overall after dinner sipping beer. I have had this on tap at Bison County in Waltham Ma (great Barbeque). And out of the bottle.

In both cases it seems best served in a sniffer type glass and to let sit. It taste better a little on the warm side

A smell of bourbon at the beginning

Mouthfeel is smooth with a bourbon like kick.

Overall and excellent after dinner beer if you are looking for only one or two and to leisurely sip it.

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Photo of KNor
1.81/5  rDev -50%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

What city does the "M" stand for that on the bottle? Ussually a letter in front of the code indicates a differnt manufacturing location.

tasted fruity/ banana not as bourbon like as it was last time i tried it. Did they start diluting this down. wonder what percent of the beer I drank was ever in a barrel

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Photo of Monalenard
1.65/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a mahogany brown with a fizzy macro/corn soda lager head that fades as quickly as possible.
smells like it looks, cheap malt, slight hints of bourbon and oak.
taste follows the nose- bourbon barrel budwiser.
mouthfeel is medium, average carbonation.
overall- bourbon barreled budwiser.

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Photo of cambabeer
2.81/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Yeah... I thought this was going to be better. No head on this one, hazy copper body. Nose is of bourbon and rotten funk, with some vanilla. Taste is malty, not very hoppy, bourbon and metallic. I'm just not feeling this one. Mouthfeel is ok, large carbonation. Overall, this was not decent enough to buy enough, but I'd drink it again if someone handed it to me...

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Photo of PubMariner
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance – Medium amber with a white head that fades to a ring.
Aroma – The aroma is soft and oaky with a definite note of bourbon. Vanilla and toffee show through.
Taste – First taste is toasty with some toffee and vanilla. The oak and bourbon influence come through strong in the middle and carry all the way through.
Finish – Toffee candy with a light bourbon taste. This beer is all bourbon and oak from start to finish.

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Photo of denver10
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with absolutely no head. Aroma is nice and oaky, soft bourbon presence, vanilla, and a tease of some toffee. Aroma is nice but I wish it could have had a touch more depth to allow it to be great; nails the bourbon and barrel influence, lacks enough beer presence. Flavor is toasty and spiceyy with oak, vanilla, toffee, and a soft bourbon presence. A medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this far surpassed my expectations. I always saw this one on tap at the craft bars in Colorado but always passed on it. For whatever reason I assumed it was a dud. Now that I am living in Kentucky and found singles of it on the local shelves, figured I'd give it shot. Certainly glad I did, decent stuff.

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Photo of Gear54
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: minimal amount of foam that faded quickly. It had a dark copper color and slight lacing.

S: vanilla and oak mostly with a slight alcohol note underneath

T: to me this beer lived up to its potential. It was slightly sweet with vanilla and oak flavored. There was little doubt about the bourbon barrel's impact on this brew. Hardly any bitterness

M: light with a lasting bourbon finish

O: This wasn't the beer I was planning on having at the pub but I'm glad it's the one that landed on my coaster! I'll be grabbing some for the beer fridge!

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: crystal clear; a beautiful bronze; 1 finger egg shell head that receded quickly to a ring around the edge of the glass; little lacing;

S: vanilla, oak. a little boozy;

T: vanilla up front, oak and booze at mid-palate; vanilla really comes through in the finish; very little bitterness;

M; light to medium bodied - lighter than I expected; moderate carbonation;

O: maybe this beer had been built up too much, but I was a little disappointed; this is a nice beer, but not as complex as I would have liked;

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Photo of lochef81
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bba ale pours a handsome deep copper color with very little head but decent film and legs. The aroma is a rich blend of vanilla, oak, leather, and nice warm booze. The flavor is just as rich and delicious. There is alot of bourbon here and alcohol heat. Its actually surprisingly hot given the abv. Mouthfeel is thick n sticky, in the best way. I love this, but I also love bourbon. If you don't then you're gonna hate this. If you do, do yourself a favor and drink this at room temperature.

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Photo of raleigh_blue
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle with no date. Picked up a few months ago in NOLA.

A: Aggressive pour into Iron Abbey snifter leaves a thin head with no lacing. Clear golden amber.

S: Hints of caramel and malts. Not much here. No Bourbon whatsoever.

T: Somewhat pleasing vanilla caramel and malt. Again, like the nose, zero bourbon. Is very hot - does not disguise the abv whatsoever.

M: A little thin but with good carbination .

O: A poor mans BBA ASA. I would not buy it again but its not awful.

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Photo of Zacemy
4.56/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a delicious brew. I am a big fan of bourbon and the taste is excellent. This a beer that you want to take your time and enjoy its rich flavor. I stumbled upon it and will most likely be drinking it again. You do not need to be a big fan of bourbon to enjoy this beers big flavor.

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Photo of RickFromArizona
4.24/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You will either love this beer or hate it with every fiber in your body. It's like cilantro in that aspect. It pours with no head. Normally I'd be wary. Then you smell it. What is this? Then you sip it and it just makes sense. Oak, vanilla...then you end up sculling it. I'm in California now and can't get it and I feel like a crackhead. I love IPAs and almost drink them exclusivley but this was my go to when I needed a break. Now she has been taken from me. Most bourbon barrel beers are stouts that overpower the oak and vanilla with coffee and chocolate. You owe yourself to try this ale. If you hate it, send it to me and I'll take it down for you.

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Photo of TippedMixology
4.84/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I'll start this by saying I'd gladly drink this beer every day for the rest of my life. It brings together everything great about bourbon, the smokiness, vanilla hints, and oak tastes, and combines it effortlessly with a malty, sweet ale, not a dark and brooding porter or stout. This yields the most drinkable attempt of adding bourbon to beer that I've ever tasted.

Appearance - Nothing special, but it does hold a great head, looks great in and out of the bottle, and is reminiscent of bourbon.

Smell - Bourbon and beer--perfect.

Taste - Again, perfectly combines two of the most amazing creations on earth.

Mouthfeel - Crisp, sweet, and sumptuous. No harsh notes of alcohol from the aging in bourbon barrels. Just smooth and wonderful.

- Adam from Tipped Mixology

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Photo of mralphabet
3.81/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Poured a deep copper colors with a good fingers worth of head that settled to a small ring with very little lacing.

S: I'm getting a lot bourbon hints of vanilla, oak and sweet malt.

T: Pretty straight up ale in the background.... But the foreground is full wonderful bourbon, vanilla, oak and sweet malt just like it smells.. Great mix of flavors over top of an ale.... not over the normal stout.

M: Strangely light to mid bodied but so so smooth.

O: Wonderful take on a bourbon barrel idea, well worth looking for..

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Photo of Ego
2.9/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

don't even recall where I picked this thing up, been sitting in the old cellar for some years

sizzling white head which settles quickly but does not disappear completely, ample carbonation populating this orange hued brew, lacing is decent, not a bad looking brew but not winning any beauty contests either (hey, but we have to get to the talent portion of the competition)

spicy apples ? some booze, slightly skunky, some wet wood/oak, some sweetness lingering in the back... not sure what I think of this one, it is OK I suppose

taste etc...
nice bright biting carbonation, the flavor is of weak whiskey and almost fruity, the booze does do a little kickaroo to the stomach, I think the aging has really filed the teeth down on this one, the whiskey note is fast and not so furious, so before you can say boo your mouth is awash in mediocrity, after a while you get a slight residue of wood in the aftertaste, body wise this is spot on and is probably this beer's best feature

eh. not so great, not terrible

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Photo of HarryPlopper
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is clearly a novelty beer. The whiskey taste definitely jumps out at you and is not subtle. It's more whiskey than beer. This is a decent beer for sipping, but I would never drink more than one at a time. I should note that I am not a huge fan of whiskey.

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Photo of slusk
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: This brew pours a thin white head. It is brilliantly clear with a copper/ orange color.

S: Oak and caramel dominate the nose with a spicy, woody note from the hops filling in the background. There's a bit of mild raisin. This reminds my of smelling an empty bourbon barrel.

T: The taste goes right along with the smell, a nice oaky flavor of the bourbon with the spicy notes of earthy hops in the background. There is a bit of alcohol burn and it tastes of a higher ABV than it actually has. The sweet caramel underpins the flavor profile, but the bourbon and oak is ever present.

M: It has a low/medium body with a lower carbonation that lets the bourbon shine.

O: This is a nice beer. The alcohol bite hits you early but it changes its character as you drink. Over all it's a nice beer that I wouldn't think twice about sipping on a cold winter night.

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

APPEARANCE: The color is somewhere between DIPA-orange and Barleywine mahogany with a quickly dissipating head. Half the surface of the beer ends up covered in an exceptionally thin layer of off-white foam.

SMELL: A little boozy, with vanilla and oak aromas. Not as strong as I would have expected, but pleasant.

TASTE: Caramel provides all of the backbone to this beer, but the bourbon flavors all come through as well. There's a touch of oak, a bit more vanilla and a good dose of boozy heat.

MOUTHFEEL: Lighter in body than any other Bourbon Barrel brew I've ever had, but still at least medium to big. The carbonation is light and there is a slight stickiness.

OVERALL: Solid beer and a nice change of pace from typical Bourbon stouts (although I truly love a Bourbon stout too). This would make an excellent 4th course in a 5-course beer dinner, especially with a nice steak dish.

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Photo of Abra
3.59/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a very clear amber/burnt orange color with a decent head that dissipates quickly.
Aroma is very sweet picking up on the bourbon, vanilla, and caramel.

Taste is dominantly vanilla with the bourbon picking up towards the end leaving a warm finish. Very smooth. However, the taste doesn't linger and there isn't much depth, which I think really would've made it shine.

Overall, the bourbon gives it a very nice taste and aroma, but the mouthfeel is significantly lacking. It would've made all the difference.

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Photo of Act25
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Perfect mahogany, slightly hazed pour into a snifter. Not much head lasting, but plenty of lace. 3.75

S: A little bit of beer stink, malts, sweet, woody, alcohol, no hops. Not much aroma. 3.25

T: Best part of this beer. Clear bourbon back drop, which is filled with malts, caramel, vanilla, wood, cedar shavings, and sweet apple / raisin fruits, and a bit of finishing tingle. 3.75

MF: Too low carbonation, great finish, but would like more weight in a beer of this ABV and with this bourbon profile. I upped this due to extra ordinary, lasting bourbon mouth finish that lasts for an hour +.

O: It's slightly better than their bourbon stout, enjoyable, nice to find at an airport. Definitely a sipper.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
2.91/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of Amalak
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
82 out of 100 based on 574 ratings.