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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.
BA SCORE
82
good

558 Reviews
THE BROS
85
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 558
Hads: 2,548
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 16.21%
Wants: 144
Gots: 696 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 558 | Hads: 2,548
Photo of jzeilinger
2.51/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a medium copper gold color with a one finger deep soapy, white head and medium carbonation.

A - Sweet toffee/caramel malt with bourbon and a hint of light vanilla.

T - Very one dimensional with lots of bourbon mixed in with sweet malt finishing with a sweet bourbon and light vanilla oak finish.

M - Thin medium body.

O - I'd pass on this one next time unfortunately. (382 characters)

Photo of Beejay
2.53/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A; A pale yellow amber.. Low level of white head.

S: Whiskey, bitter like coffee, smells like driving by a distillery, or waking up in a frat house after an all night Jim Beam bender..

T: Sweet at first with a hint of whiskey, The flavors progress to a little more bitter. and it finished with a toasted malt taste.. A very strange brew indeed..

M: Slightly oily, and the flavor takes your mouth on a roller coaster..

D: One off... Don't think I will buy this one again, which is sad.. as whiskey ( And preferably Whisky) is my other drink of choice..

Don't buy a sixer, get a single for a change of pace. (611 characters)

Photo of Cresant
2.53/5  rDev -30.5%
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. (790 characters)

Photo of hoptualBrew
2.55/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle pours a transluscent light copper color. Little off white cream head dies down quick. No lacing, but pretty descent alcohol legs. I was expecting a thicker, fuller beer - but lets see what we have here...

Nose is some sweet malts & seemingly watered down bourbon. Very bourbon dominant here.

A sweet kick up front & bourbon all over the palate. Its not overwhelmingly strong, but its just not good - very one dimensional. In the back end I get a kick of corn, yes - corn, semi sweet & not so tasty. There is a little boozy burn at the back too.

Too thin (4/10) for my taste . In my opinion, this brew needs more complexity (no corn taste please) & a bigger body.

Overall, I really did not enjoy this one. If you like bourbon, you will probably like this beer. But I dont - I prefer beers with a hint of bourbon, not a smack of it to the mouth. I will be giving out the rest of the 4pack unfortunately. (917 characters)

Photo of MrDanno96
2.55/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Pours a deep golden color with hints of red. A thin white head encircles the edges of the glass with some spotty lacing.

S: Strong aroma of bourbon and that's pretty much it. Notes of vanilla come through along with the strong booziness of bourbon.

T/M: Meh. All you can really taste is bourbon. This typically would not be a problem, but it really just tastes like really watered down bourbon - no real beer character at all except for its medium, slightly carbonated body.

D: I did not really enjoy this to be honest. I don't think this is a good base beer to age in bourbon barrels - pale ale and bourbon don't really mix. It just tastes like someone took a session beer and poured several shots of bourbon into it. (727 characters)

Photo of willic
2.55/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I know, my opinion does not follow the norm, but this beer is not my favorite. I like it, I will drink it again, but what's the hype about? Sometimes it is overly carbonated, with wild flowery flavors... I can only assume live yeast is still active eating the residual sugars. I have found this in a couple of bottles. I think I like those bottles the best with their saison characteristics. Everyone has to try one of these, just to be able to talk about it! (459 characters)

Photo of SWMeyer4141
2.57/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance-Light copper with a 1/2 finger off white head that immediate dissapears.

Smell-Definitely get Bourbon..lots of booze, sweet malts, vanilla. Kind of what I was expecting.

Taste-First taste wasn't so bad, Lots of bourbon and vanilla. Then it kind of just went downhill. Just tastes watery, almost like a Bourbon and Coke thats been sitting out for a while and all the ice has melted. Not very good.

Mouthfeel-Boozy. Very light in the body and a medium amount of carbonation.

Overall-I like Bourbon, but I don't really get this beer. The aroma was nice, but it was just watered down whiskey with carbonation. I'm going to give my other bottle to someone else, I just can't appreciate this beer. (706 characters)

Photo of jimmah120
2.6/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

growler served in a brandy snifter

brownish ale color, with a small filmy brown cap. smell is warm with alcohol, also charred brown sugar and bourbon. flat feel to the beer, like a thinned-out aunt jemima. taste is mostly generic bourbon and oak, alcohol is evident. no hops to speak of, ends up disappointing in most aspects.

all-around poor beer (349 characters)

Photo of Lukafer
2.61/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance is a thin, clear gold with no head. Smells are bourbon, that's all. Tastes like Jim Beam, vanilla and some cinnamon at the very end, not that good. I love bourbon beers, but this beer did not have the malty backbone to balance out the booze. To me, it really tasted like drinking a beer version of Jim Beam. The mouthfeel is thin as hell. Damn, I really wanted to like this beer, but I don't. I'd like to try it in a bottle just to see if maybe I had a bad pour from a bad keg. (488 characters)

Photo of Stigs
2.63/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, got this as an extra from a trade with BA user BEERchitecht. poured into a SA perfect pint glass.

A - got about a finger worth of slightly off-white foam which fell to a thin layer + ring rather quickly. the beer is a crystal clear, solid gold color with slight amber accents, with active visible carbonation.

S - lots of grain, rice and corn...weird bourbon twinge...like the sour mash without the bourbon. turns slightly fruity then finishes with somewhat harsh rubbing alcohol.

T - odd...this one tastes like a beer for a hot second, light and grainy before transforming rather ungracefully into a watered down and slightly sweetened bourbon. this actually just took me back quite a few years when i frequently drank (cheap) bourbon and ginger ale in college, this tastes like a strongly poured one that was left to melt and sweat until the next day, taking on an odd and somewhat stale taste (yes i didnt let any booze go to waste then). some sweetness in the finish, vanilla and an aftertaste somewhat like cream soda.

M - quite syrupy and coats the mouth, thicker body than expected. carbonation kind of gets lost fighting through the thickness.

D - dont know what to say about this one, it is truly unique - not like any beer i am familiar with. as a bourbon fan, im actually a bit put off by the in-your-face booze taste. bourbon can be a great accenting or secondary taste in a beer when done gracefully, this is not. (1,446 characters)

Photo of brewski09
2.65/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Wow, talk about a strongly flavored beer...

A - This was a little bit darker of a beer with a good head to it. It looked great and the head stuck around for me throughout the drink.

S - I really liked the bourbon barrel smell, but it was a bit strong. Still, I give it high marks here because it smelled wonderful to me as I like liquors too.

T - This is where I had an issue. The bourbon flavor dominated and didn't let any of the maltyness show though for the beer. There was no hop character to speak of and I didn't really get significant bitterness either. Sadly, his was just unbalanced.

M - Very silky, smooth, and thick on the way down. I wanted to love this beer for so many reasons.

D - This was not drinkable to me due to the bourbon imbalance. Other people really loved the beer, but I just couldn't get over the imbalance. Sorry. (847 characters)

Photo of SFLpunk
2.65/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Purchased at Liquors 44, Northampton, MA. 12oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Neck dated Oct, 13 2011, 13:48, 44-286. Trying this at the behest of a former client...here goes:

Pours a orange amber with very thin white head. Nose is a mix of orange peel, cinnamon, vanilla extra and toffee/caramel. But non of the items are very distinct.

Palate is very sharp with alcohol burn. Thin caramel extract, butterscotch schnapps (very boozy), butterscotch and fusel/alcohols all over the place.

This beer is a train-wreck. A huge mess of butterscotch and booze. I can only assume that the Bros had a different batch than this one. Feels a lot like a marketing beer approach to barrel-aged beers. I think the AB Winters Cask is better than this. (737 characters)

Photo of goatgoat
2.66/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear gold with just a hint of orange. A white one finger head quickly falls to nothing. No lace.
Aroma is heavily bourbon and oak with a sharp alcohol. As it warms it lets a bit more vanilla through.
Taste opens up a bit. More oak than bourbon and still strong though less overwhelming. I'm still missing the "beer" in this beer. A vanilla alcohol finish, very sweet, with a bit of a burn. Though that may be more a sensory memory association due to the bourbon aroma.
Light body with more carbonation that the appearance lets on.

My first bourbon barrel brew, gotten in a trade. It's a very new experience, interesting, not something I'll seek out again. I've never been a fan of brown liquor, though. (712 characters)

Photo of Pencible
2.66/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This poured a clear dark gold with some off-white head. It smelled strange, like light sulfur and sweet bourbon, with some fresh oak and peaches and sour apple. It tasted much like it smelled, with sulfur and light bourbon and oak, along with some cabbage and vanilla and peach and bready yeast. It was slightly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a sour aftertaste. Overall I'm not sure if this was how this beer is supposed to taste, or if it was skunked. But if this was actually a "good" bottle, then I am really not a fan. (532 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
2.68/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

After a huge hiss, this one proved to be a gusher. The head is massive and fizzy looking, quickly filling my glass with a huge tower that quickly dissipates. Besides the fact that there's decent lacing it looks a lot like soda.

It doesn't smell good. It seems a bit sour, with a touch of bourbon and black malt.

It's not sour, but it isn't good either. There is a little blast of bourbon with just a bit of wood. Next there is a charcoal flavor. The finish has just a bit of bitterness to it, and it manages to leave the overall impression of being sweet without any real sweet flavor. The finish has the slight taste of charcoal, or maybe even cigarettes.

The mouthfeel is pretty bad. Really light and fizzy; it doesn't just look like a soda, it tastes like one also.

I'm not a fan of this one. Not much going on here. It isn't unpleasant tasting, but the smell and feel are off, and it really isn't good either. (917 characters)

Photo of JMBSH
2.69/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Golden in color. Pours about an inch of head that disappears to just a thin coating not quite covering the total surface of the beer.

S - Light bourbon oak scent. Also some vanilla probably from oak. Reminds me of a watered down bourbon that has been sitting on ice a bit.

T - Again a watered down taste to the bourbon (but then again if I wanted massive bourbon - I'd have bourbon). Other flavors like tart fruit and bread come up. Very sweet aftertaste.

M - Very light. I get a thick coating at the back of my tongue like I get when I have had some "alca-pop" like drinks. The sweetness is a bit off for me.

D - The one of the lightest in color bourbon beers I have had. But the bourbon taste seems too watered down which hides the alcohol level of the beer. While I could have a couple more before the true level of the alcohol hits me, I don't think I would want to have another anytime soon. (904 characters)

Photo of SassieCassie
2.7/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Served in a tulip glass darkish/medium amber color, not much head retention. The nose is definitely the distinct smell of bourbon. The taste is quite neat. It tastes like bourbon beer! I was expecting that bitter alcohol taste that hard liquor delivers, but got quite the opposite. It brings out all the great flavors of bourbon: oak,vanilla, burnt caramel, but adds a malt beer flair.

Definitely an interesting brew. It's a great beer to try when you want something different (478 characters)

Photo of Tone
2.7/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, dark gold color. 1/5 inch head of an off-white color. Slight retention and poor lacing. Smells of strong bourbon and slight sweet malt. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong bourbon, slight sweet malt, and slight grain. Overall, the bourbon was over-powering. Not well blended in either aroma or body. (403 characters)

Photo of harrymel
2.73/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

On tap at meadhall

It’s a toasted gold ale with just a ring of soapy white foam. Smells of applesauce, rich peach and booze, some caramelized sugars and a bit of an immature oak. Taste is sweet, vanilla, nougat and more sweetness – really one dimensional. Medium bodied with lighter carb and a surprisingly dry finish. Not really a fan of this one. (353 characters)

Photo of shivtim
2.73/5  rDev -25%
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. (509 characters)

Photo of Tonmeister
2.74/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

bottle poured into tulip shaped glass

Appearance: poured a thick off-white head, but it dissipated very quickly to the point that it has no head and no lacing. It's a light golden color.

Smell: I can smell the bourbon to the point that it almost burns my nostrils. It Smells like alcohol with a hint of caramel and vanilla notes.

Taste: It has a very strong alcohol flavor on the fore front. The bourbon cuts through, but then towards the middle its pretty sweet. The wood notes come out towards the end. It's a very sweet after taste. The vanilla, caramel and sweet malt really cuts through on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Thin with light carbonation

Overall: This is not my favorite Bourbon Barrel Beverage. Doom, by Founders is the best bourbon barrel I've ever had and this does not compare. This beer is not that balanced in my opinion, the booziness alcoholic flavors dominate on this. I am not a very big fan. I would not buy this again. I just wanted to try it, and now I regret buying it. I had to dump it in the sink. (1,029 characters)

Photo of fscottkey
2.74/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

A: [3.00] Beer is dark caramel color. Out of direct light it appears reddish. It has a scant 1/4 finger head that dissipates quickly leaving a thin white layer. The bottle gives no ABV and no date information. This was from a friend - so I have no idea on the age.

S: [3.25] I am getting some hints of Bourbon and maltiness.

T: [2.50] Mild (almost synthetic) Bourbon flavor. There is a slightly "off" alcohol flavor to the beer.

M: [2.75] No carbonation to speak of. The mouthfeel is a bit watery.

O: [2.50] I am not a huge fan of Bourbon Barrel beers. This is no exception. This one is not very well executed (or this is a bad bottle). It is one dimensional with a rubbing alcohol like bourbon taste. It is not a drain pour - but it is not a beer I would buy (or drink again). (790 characters)

Photo of ATLbeerDog
2.77/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From a 12oz brown bottle - Pours a clear reddish/orange. No carbonation, very light lacing . Smells of strong bourbon. First sip tastes like a glass of scotch on ice that whose ice has completely melted leaving a watery flavor. Other than the bourbon there is not much going on. A big disappointment. (300 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
2.78/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from Party Source. The beer is a clear amber-orange color with a medium off-white head that dissipates steadily. Thin ting of lacing with spots under it. The aroma is pretty much all bourbon, with maybe a hint of malt buried under it. Medium-bodied with a bourbon overkill character of which the smell warned. Touches of woody malt and hops but again the bourbon overwhelms. The finish is oak and bourbon with a lingering whiskey aftertaste. Not for me. (460 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
2.8/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Pours a mild amber color with a very slight amount of haze, slightly off white head fades quickly; very faint amounts of lacing are left along the walls of the glass. The aroma is big heavy bourbon - no faintness, no notes, hints, or nuances - straight up bourbon, through and through. Woody, oak aromas reside somewhat along the outer edges along with a touch of creamy and subtle vanilla. Much like the nose, the mouth senses heavy bourbon upon the first sip as well. If you were to tell me it was a malted-up ale and someone dropped in a shot of Evan Williams, I'd believe it. Very malt forward; lots of sweetness from the malt, toasted, slight caramel flavors, grainy. Hops aren't very noticeable, at least in flavor. A slight harsh, dry bitterness grabs the palate halfway through, but it's hard to detect any hop flavors at all. Slick body, thin, with adequate carbonation.

This is a bourbon beer, through and through. Literally tastes like someone dropped a shot of bourbon or whiskey into a malty ale. If bourbon is your thing, you'll love this. I guess it's okay if you're looking to drink bourbon. But if that's the case... just drink bourbon. (1,154 characters)

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
82 out of 100 based on 558 ratings.