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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.

572 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 572
Hads: 2,617
Avg: 3.62
pDev: 39.78%
Wants: 147
Gots: 754 | 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: 572 | Hads: 2,617
Photo of oberon
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Maybe the first Kentucky beer I have had,I poured into an oversized wine glass to get the full aroma aspects of this beer,it poured clear deep golden with a very thin head,good clarity just not much head to it.Man that stuff smells like Wild Turkey,full oak and vanilla/caramel notes with a bit of biscuit malt,no hop presence that I could find.Light mouthfeel but not sharp,just a little thinner than expected I guess.Flavors are oaky and vanilla tinged with that caramel and and biscuit showing through as well,again no hop presence noticrable in my mind.Something a little different,it tastes just as much as a bourbon as a strong ale,but I liked it for a change of pace.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber in color with some yellow and golden highlights. Scant fizzy head but that's to be expected given the style. It kind of looks like bourbon.
Smells of bourbon with hints of oak burning in a woodstove. The aroma is not as strong as I expected.
Bourbon flavored. Suprise! There's also hints of vanilla and maybe coconut. Again for a barrel aged beer it's kind of mild. It's still complex and tasty though. This beer's almost suductive in it's flavor profile.
Lighter in body than most of the style but this doesn't detract from the overall experience of drinking the beer.
Nice beer that I'm glad I've had the oppurtunity to try, thanks to Grafton.

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Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Harrigan’s Tavern, Dayton, OH

A: The beer is crystal clear light amber in color. It poured with a thin head on the surface that left some lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderate to strong aromas of bourbon in the nose; the smell intensifies as the beer warms up.
T: Similar to the smell, the bourbon barrel aging really stands out in the taste, imparting flavors of bourbon and vanilla along with hints of oak. The vanilla becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The bourbon is nicely incorporated into this beer and doesn’t really add alcohol heat. I enjoyed this because the bourbon is very evident but not overpowering.

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Photo of gobrewins
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a glass.

A: Light brownish copper in color, decidedly translucent, pours with a light, not foamy head that does not last for too long and does not re-form well after sips are taken.

S: Smells like a bottle of Jack Daniels, only not as strong of course, due to the much reduced alcohol percentage in comparison

T: Strong bourbon flavor makes this ale seem to have the character of a darker ale, though it is not. A much greater malt presence than hop presence, and not a lot of other flavors are there to overpower the bourbon.

M:The bourbon flavor creates a small burn through each sip, with the sugary malts present on the tongue.

Overall, I'm very happy with this beer. The bourbon is the strongest flavor, perhaps overpowering the other flavors of the ale. And yet, what does one really expect when they're picking up something called "bourbon barrel ale"? Adding that to the fact that bourbon is one of the few liquors I enjoy drinking, and you end up with a beer I strongly approve of. Great taste, definitely would get again.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this in a BIF, along with a matching snifter. My only glass specific to a single beer, so I've gotta use it. Tasted 2 September 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours a very clear, pale golden-orange. Half-finger of whitish head, not much lacing. OK.

Smells like whiskey. Really, that's all I get from it. But that's what it's supposed to smell like, so I'm fairly impressed. Not much beer character at all.

Tastes like watered-down whiskey. I get some grainy flavors up-front, but it's a whole lot like a shot of whiskey with water. Interesting. There's no sharpness at all, no alcohol bite, no burn. It's like they pulled just the flavor out, and somehow made the beer taste like that.

Mouthfeel is fine. Watery, with medium-low carbonation.

The thing that amazes me about this beer is how they seem to have pulled all the flavor, the essence, or bourbon out, without the alcohol or the sharp edges. Probably the mellowest bourbon-forward beer I've ever had. Unusual, and quite tasty.

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Photo of yankeej13
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this beer as a present from a friend who went driving up north and on his way back down south saw this and thought of me so I thank him for that!

Apperance- A nice light red color with a nice little rim of foam. Lots of carbonation, nearly clung to the glass making it hard to tell the color of the beer lol.

Smell- I have never had a bourbon ale before so I was not sure what or what not I was supposed to smell but this you can clearly tell, it had bourbon in it...duh.

Taste- It was pretty well balanced. It did not have an overpowering bourbon taste As quick as you taste the bourbon its gone a second later.

Mouthfeel- Nice light and very crisp. Leaves a small hint of bourbon behind with leaves your mouth with a good flavor.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer considering I would have never tried this if my friend did not bring it to me so for that I say...Cheers!

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Photo of ixodus
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of cincyfan90
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: A strong, sweet nose of bourbon and vanilla

Taste: The bourbon presence is more so in the nose rather than the taste; this beer has sweet caramel notes along with the spice of bourbon and vanilla.

Overall: A pleasant beer that can be paired well with Flan, jalapeno cornbread, and smoked pork.

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Photo of bluegrassbrew
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter with its own logo, this brew looks nice. An interesting red tea like color to it. Small head quickly drops to nothing. Smell is a tad weak. Bourbon dominates with some wood in there as well. Taste is sweet candy and bourbon. No real hop presence detected. Lighter than I would have expected but the mouthfeel is just right. Very drinkable as an after dinner beer.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of gcamparone
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A-Pours a clear golden amber body with a medium 2 finger fizzy white head that reduces fairly quickly to leave spotty lacing.

S- Lots of whiskey, not much beer. Smells like a glass of whiskey on the rocks without the alcohol. Caramel and vanilla. There's a metallic aroma too.

T- A little nicer than the aroma but still very one-dimensional. Sweet caramel, butterscotch, french vanilla. Definitely get whiskey and maybe some bready malt in the aftertaste.

M- Medium body, medium-high carbonation. Pretty drinkable for the abv.

Overall a decent beer. Pros: it's drinkable, pretty flavorful, and definitely has a heavy bourbon character. Cons: One-dimensional and a little too bourbon forward.

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Photo of cyclewag
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Really have to have a taste for the brown liquor store enjoy these new beer plus blends. Being a fan of Innis and Gunn Rum cask aged I thought I'd try this and whiskey and scotch beer blends... Not for me.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 03/27/11 notes. Shared by Thorpe429 at a local DC tasting. Bottle says "Official Beer of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games"...awesome that they chose an 8.19% ABV bourbon barrel aged beer as their official beer.

a - Pours a clear golden color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks nothing like an American strong ale; I was shocked how light in color it was.

s - Smells of heavy bourbon, vanilla, bready malts, light oak. Pretty enjoyable.

t - Tastes of light bourbon, oak, vanilla, bready malts, wheat. Bourbon is up front in the taste, but not as strong as the nose.

m - Light body and moderate carbonation. For a bourbon barrel aged beer that is over 8% ABV, this one was insanely drinkable. I would have had no problem drinking the entire bottle myself.

o - Overall this was an interesting bourbon barrel aged beer that I enjoyed and thought worked well. I don't think it is an American strong ale, but more like a light beer aged in bourbon barrels. None the less something I would like to have again sometime.

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Photo of thebeers
3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Leathery orange-brown color with a half-finger of white head. Wood, chocolate and caramel on the nose. Light-bodied in comparison to most barrel-aged beers, with good carbonation that really makes the caramel flavor pop. There's a definite, but light and easy-drinking, bourbon flavor to it. It's just a fun, quaffable beer.

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Photo of merlin48
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first experience with the bottled version. Pours a clear light amber body that seems a shade lighter than the draft version. Head is small and shortlived and leaves some wispy spots of lace on the snifter. Aroma is bourbon, and lots of it. Vanilla and oak notes are also prominent. Body is light to light medium, almost watery. Low carbonation. Taste has plenty of bourbon, joined by flaked coconut and vanilla. Slight caramel notes are also present and the wood tones are prevalent. Hops aren't noticed but there is a pleasant bourbon bitterness all the way through. A good sipper, but I still prefer this on draft.

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Photo of MattyG85
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep copper orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of off white head which fades into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lace.

Smell: A very whiskey forward and fairly sweet malty aroma. Big barrel presence with hints of bourbon whiskey, wood, oak chips, and vanilla. Toasted malts with hints of sweet caramel, toffee, yeast, grains, and biscuit. Also some sweet hints of molasses and brown sugar. Hop presence is very light. A little scent of booze. Aroma is pretty much bourbon and caramel malt. Decent.

Taste: Like it smells, very barrel forward with with sweet notes of caramel malt. Barrel notes of bourbon whiskey, oak chips, wood, and vanilla upfront. Toasty malts with sweet notes of caramel, toffee, grain, yeast, and biscuit. Some molasses and brown sugar add to the sweetness. Very little in the way of hops. Sweet but smooth and not syrupy. Decent bourbon taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, smooth, and slightly slick. Alcohol presence is pretty smooth for a barrel aged beer.

Overall: A decent barrel aged brew. Good smooth whiskey taste. The base beer could of had some more substance but it went well with the barrel.

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Photo of endincolorado
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an ultra-clear, pale copper with a decent, off-white head that settles quickly. Lacing is adequate.

Aroma is heavy on vanilla and slight woodiness, reminds me of whiskey and water. Some sweet malt aroma- no hops.

Flavor is also big on vanilla and is pleasantly reminiscent of bourbon, though also slightly of cream soda as well. A lingering sweetness and a slight hop presence can be found in the finish.

Mouthfeel is okay. Could be a little creamier, and less carbonated.

A drinkable beer, and one that might be a stand-by if not for the price tag. I'd heard this was amazing and I was skeptical. It's pretty good, but there are a lot better barrel-aged beers.

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Photo of mcguirmn
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter.

Appearance: pours an orange-amber color. Minimal carbonation.

Smell: obvious Bourbon presence. Other than that, not much there smell-wise. I gave it a 4.5 because I really like Bourbon.

Taste: I scored the taste a little lower because, as other reviewers noted, besides the Bourbon, there isn't much else there taste-wise.

Carbonation: thin. Low carbonation.

Overall: I might be a little biased, given my love of whiskey and bourbon, but I really liked this beer. I first tried it by drinking it straight out of the bottle, and it tasted a bit harsh. But when I tried it out of the kentucky bourbon barrel ale snifter, it was much more enjoyable. This beer has all the taste of bourbon without any of the harshness.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The taste of Bourbon is what really hits you with your first sip, but the sweet and oaky taste of the ale follows after.

The aroma is also a heavy amount of bourbon, but also slightly sweet. It is a very different kind of beer, but I enjoyed it and it is especially good for the winter time.

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Photo of craytonic
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear bright amber with a nice off-white head. Guess they don't make the cool bottle pictured on BA anymore; came in a 12oz-er.

Smell: sweet almost milky creaminess with some faint bourbon

Taste: First sip tastes like whiskey and water (not necessarily a bad thing). After that, it I get tons of brown sugar, caramel and vanilla with a nice smooth bourbon backdrop and a bit of french oak.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly smooth and creamy; a bit light which really just bumps the drinkability up.

Drinkability: Had to make myself not gulp it. This one isn't incredibly complex and is not a "big" beer (despite the unnoticeable 8.19% ABV) but it is tasty and enjoyable. That said, there is always a bit of branch and bourbon element to it.

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Photo of do_ob
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Pours a clear copper with about 1/2 a finger of white foam. Good carbonation. Smells of oak, leather, roasted nuts, and a hint of bourbon. The smell kinda fooled me, honestly. Strong bourbon notes on the taste, along with vanilla, butterscotch, and wheat. A slight hop bitterness makes its presence known about middle ways. Finishes quite smooth given the abv and leaves a charred oaky flavor on the taste buds.

Surprisingly good. Slightly underrated, in my opinion. It's lacking a bit of density in the body, but the flavors are pleasant. This one would go great with some grilled pork or salmon.

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Photo of ferrari29
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer poured from tap into an authentic Lexington Brewing Co. style stemmed-snifter glass

A - Beer was served with a healthy looking solid white head, one finger in size; dark copper colored clear body; well carbonated; beer formed nice rings of lacing around the glass; head was rich and thick

S - Light bourbon scents; roasted malt back-end; some vanilla bean in there, but was mostly covered up by the bourbon notes; butterscotch

T - Dark sugary flavors, like brown sugar and maple syrup; caramel; rich bourbon taste, strong than the initial smell; plenty of vanilla bean taste; butterscotch taste coats the tip of the tongue

M - Beer is effervescent; bourbon-dry aftertaste; good solid body feel

D - Slight scotch taste, but overall very good; makes a nice after dinner beer and goes well with a sugary dessert; should have been served a bit warmer to let the bourbon taste and smell really come out, but I couldn't help myself and decided to drink it ASAP. good stuff, I'd have another for sure

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Photo of Totentanzer
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
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

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Photo of einman
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I really liked this beer. My brothers and I stopped in KY and randomly picked a store near Lafayette on our way back home to MN from a GA drive. I grabbed this and a few other things in my search for local brews I can't get back home. The smell is great and I really like the mild cocoa smoothness in this.
Completely random buy and completely satisfied.

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Photo of RomaniIteDomum
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice orange color with a light head that stays mostly to the glass.

The nose on this is definitely the strong point. Lots of fresh bourbon in the nose with a kiss of hops.

The taste is a bit confused. The bourbon and the beer seem to be competing for palate time. Individually they are good, but if they could get along it would be outstanding.

The feel is light and bubbly. Nothing special.

This is a great nightcap beer and one of a couple of reasons I wished I lived in Kentucky.

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
82 out of 100 based on 572 ratings.