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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

1,576 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1576
Reviews: 477
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
Ratings: 1,576 | Reviews: 477 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mobyfann
mobyfann

Ohio

4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Paid $9.99 for a growler from The Party Source...

Pours a clear amber colored base with a medium white head, great retention and minimal lacing. The aroma is very subtle in Elijah Craig bourbon and sweet caramel malts.

The taste is all about the smoothness when looking at a beer this strong, it reminds me of a Yuengling lager, made with enough quality ingredients to be noticeable but not pretentious; yet deliver as a true winner (despite the usual overpowering of heavier beers). Low carbonation and good head retention make this one of the smoothest beers east of the Mississippi.

Final Thought: An absolute stunner of a session beer, best in class for style!

Serving type: growler

02-01-2010 00:56:45 | More by mobyfann
Photo of jampics2
jampics2

Ohio

3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the B-Spot.

A pint glass arrives with a caramel colored liquid with small residual head.

Smells of bourbon, sweet caramel malt, mild hops, vanilla. Nice aroma from an unassuming beer.

Taste is bourbon, vanilla, coconut. Smooth but nothing is really jumping. This does NOT taste like a beer with a shot dumped into it, but it also doesn't show enough of the intricate flavors that bourbon barrel aging can impart IMO.

Mouthfeel is weak - undercarbed and watery.

Drinkability is better than average, although it is certainly not a multi-dimensional beer. One and done for me.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2009 16:27:23 | More by jampics2
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this on draft on the recommendation of Brian Yaeger, author of "Red, White, and Brew." Brian was nice enough to give me another 12oz bottle of this that I brought to a tasting to share.

A - This beer is a nice clear amber color with a small off-white head and nice lacing.

S - Aroma is bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and oak. Smells very nice.

T - Slightly sweet caramel malt, bourbon, vanilla, oak, buttery notes, and a little alcohol. Very well balanced. It's nice to see a bourbon barrel aged beer done well other than the massive imperial stouts and such.

M - Body is medium and palate is smooth with medium-low carbonation.

D - This is an underrated beer, and drinkable for the ABV.

Serving type: on-tap

09-30-2009 20:14:22 | More by nickd717
Photo of ElGeordie
ElGeordie

Virginia

2.85/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On a recent visit to Lexington I tried a pint of this at the hotel bar. Visually it was a lot lighter than I expected: light abmber with a half inch of dense white head. The noese was quite fruity too.
I wasn't sure what to expect on the first sip, and after a pint of kKntucky ale the first taste was a shock to the system. The bourbon flavour was overpowering, the hops were nowhere to be found -the sweetness of the bourbon just eliminated any bitterness that the hops may have imparted, almost like drinking a boilermaker. I'm pretty sure I pulled a face ! I did persevere with it and after a few more sips my palatte adjusted to the bourbon sledgehammer and I began to discern some familiar beer flavours. I'm glad I tried it but it wasn't one of my favourites.

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2009 18:07:41 | More by ElGeordie
Photo of BeerBelcher
BeerBelcher

Ohio

2.9/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I'd previously had the Kentucky Ale, but when I ordered this at the Brews Cafe in Granville, I was expecting something dark....usually bourbon-barrel aging usually equals RIS, not an amber ale! Surprising, and different, but not the greatest outcome. THis beer had a ton of bourbon character without a ton of booziness, which is admirable, but somehow it seemed overly sweet to me and not all that drinkable.

Color is a clear and (for a barrel aged beer) surprisingly brilliant amber color with a fine head coating. Aroma is fruity, a touch boozy and very bourbon-y. Flavor was (thankfully) less boozy, but very bourbon-y and also quite sweet, perhaps too much so. A bit too sweet for my tastes, pretty astringent, and not much else to appeal to me besides some bourbon character. Just OK. Mouthfeel is dry and warming.

This beer was just sort of OK...not terrific. I had this on-tap at the Brews Cafe in Granville.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2009 22:12:54 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of projectflam86
projectflam86

Ohio

3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Light brown color with thin head that dissipates quickly leaving some mild lace.

S- Whoa! This smells like straight bourbon! A deeper sniff revealed some light vanilla and oak scents.

T- Tastes like bourbon with the slightest malt and vanilla sweetness. A bit hot from the alcohol but not much else really going on.

M- Smoother than I anticipated, but bitter ester alcohol in the finish.

D- Not a bad brew but the flavor profile was a bit one demensional.

Serving type: on-tap

03-17-2009 21:09:50 | More by projectflam86
Photo of hathaway78
hathaway78

Ohio

3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a hard brew to rate.... As a point of reference, imagine leaving a jim beam and coke out all night fulll of ice.... Now this beer is not quite the same, but that's a good starting point. An ice melted bourbon and coke.

Aside from the reference this is a creatively interesting beer. The roasted amber nut taste is definitely present, along with a swift kick of vanilla bean and roasting malt.

The flavors in this beer surround the palate, but personally I cannot get past the melted bourbon and coke reference....

Good beer to try for the extreme novelty, but not a prize winner by any standard....

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2008 22:51:14 | More by hathaway78
Photo of rhinos00
rhinos00

Colorado

3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very surprised to see this on tap at a local bar. Properly served in a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter.

A- Poured a clear red, amber color. Very little to no head presented itself.

S- The bourbon smell hits you smack in the nose. Hidden behind it, is a combination sweet vanilla and carmel notes.

T- Very happy to see that the oak flavor was present. Like the taste, the bourbon was combined sweet vanilla notes.

M- Medium to light bodied with some carbonation. Very smooth.

D- Definitely a sipper. Snifter is more than enough for one sitting.

Overall, a very nice bourbon aged beer. Looking very forward to opening the Old Friends to compare.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2008 04:14:14 | More by rhinos00
Photo of TheBierBand
TheBierBand

Ohio

2.8/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

OK.... so The Bier Band was performing at the Mainstrasse Village Oktoberfest in Covington, KY. We NORMALLY get FREE BIER when we perform.... but not here. Oh Well! So, I figured that I would try this KY Bourbon Barrel Ale (I'd had the KY Ale from them in a bottle and it was pretty good).

It was served in a plastic cup (and a pretty small one at that)... not as big as the cups they served the KY Ale in. It formed about a 1?2" creamy head but it didn't stick around very long. The color of the bier was quite dark... kind of a dark caramel color.

SMELL: Woah!.... right away... a sweet whif of bourbon... then a caramel malt.

TASTE: WOAH!.... this didn't taste bourbon barrel aged.... it tasted as though they took a 12 oz beer and added a shot of bourbon to it! VERY pronounced bourbon flavor... WAY too much... I'm more into subtilty. I was just overwhelmed by the bourbon taste.

Mouthfeel: Flat.... but creamy

Drinkability: Well, in retrospect, I'm glad I only got a 12 oz cup.... I had trouble finishing it. Don't get me wrong.... I normally like a nice robust STRONG ALE... Arrogant Bastard Ale is one of my favorites of all time.... but this just clubbed you over the head with bourbon!

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2008 14:56:11 | More by TheBierBand
Photo of Umbra
Umbra

Maryland

3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on the way out of CVG at the ?& Erma's
Though it had the same great color as the bottle version, the carbonation and head were non-existent. Aroma was muted as well, with only some faint bourbon and vanilla mixing around. Again, I really liked the flavor, though the vanilla seemed to distract from the bourbon at times. Mouthfeel was medium with a sweet finish. Quite drinkable, but only for 2-3.

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2008 15:30:03 | More by Umbra
Photo of Durge
Durge

Connecticut

3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A clear orange tea color with a modest white cover that clings to the sides and leaves very little lace on the snifter glass served at Max & Erma's at Cincinnati Airport, terminal B. The aroma is a decent carmel malt which I guess is basically a product of the proported bourbon with a hint of citrus hop. The bourbon is a bit more clear in the taste, almost candied It's crisp and clean with good, fine carbonation. There is a mild bitterness that gathers at the back of my mouth, bread and biscuit with some malt, a touch of flowery sweetness and some alcohol. I don't think I would want to drink a lot of these, that bourbon and bitter theme wears a little thin on the taste buds, but it is a fair experience, worth the try. I had it with an excellent turkey club sandwich which seemed to only accentuate the bourbon flavor. It also seemed to have a little kick, the ale not the sandwich.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2008 05:42:28 | More by Durge
Photo of Bobdope
Bobdope

Connecticut

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

I drank this on draught at Max and Erma's in the Cincinnati airport, Delta concourse. This beer had a very clear light look, it had a great bourbon smell to it. I went in for on and could not leave without having another. The bartender served this fine drink in a schafer glass.

Serving type: on-tap

05-27-2008 14:59:58 | More by Bobdope
Photo of Generik420
Generik420

Indiana

1.35/5  rDev -63.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I tried this at a street festival in Covington, KY this past weekend and have to say it was pretty horrid. I kind of wonder if they don't leave bourbon in the barrel before they add the beer. If you have ever done a depth charge shot, where you drop a shot of whiskey into a pint of beer and slam it, you know what this tastes like. Another reviewer mentioned it tasted like bourbon on the rocks where the ice has melted.. well let me get a little more specific.. imagine that the ice cubes were originally beer and that is what melted into your glass of bourbon. The problem is the beer itself I don't believe is *big* enough to be aged in a bourbon barrel. This was a fairly light colored beer, amber at best, with a straight whiskey aroma. There just wasn't enough there to work with the bourbon flavors and in the end what you get is a mess.

Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2008 05:30:57 | More by Generik420
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: black with a 1" head that hung around a while. Some mild lacing develops during the session.

Smell: roasted malts and hints of bourbon are pleasant on the nose.

Taste: mild roasted malts, prunes, bourbon tones, vanilla, and a bit of alcohol are wrapped in a soft bitterness. Well balanced beer here.

Mouthfeel: smooth throughout. Heavy in body. Aftertaste lingers a bit on the tongue.

Drinkability: an easy to drink beer as the flavors are not over the top and the alcohol is in check here. You should give this a try especially if it is on draft.

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2007 00:21:59 | More by Gavage
Photo of BlindPig
BlindPig

Pennsylvania

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

A- Thin white head on a orange body with some copper hues.
S- Some sweet malts, light hops, a light bourbon aroma mixed in there as well, some ever so light wood also.
T-Its a light flavor and kind of hard to believe it is 7%. Some bourbon (really light!), hint of wood, kind of malty (the malt reminds me of something they would use in a nut brown but a lot lighter), hints of hops leaving a light to medium bitterness.
M-Medium body with low carbonation.
D- It is alright. I don't think it would be worth getting unless you live right by there and I might go in for a pint every once in awhile.

Serving type: growler

04-11-2007 20:11:57 | More by BlindPig
Photo of BigDaddyWil
BigDaddyWil

Michigan

4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to kmpitz2 for this sample.
Poured from a growler into a snifter glass.

For those of you who live in the Midwest, this beer reminds me Vernor's soda pop, not just in appearance but also in smell. I mean this tastes like bourbon flavored Vernor's pop. Crazy! Pours a clear brilliant golden color, looks like Southern Comfort. A nice half inch thick bright white head forms. No lacing is left behind. Big bourbon aromas, combined with vanilla, wood, and coconut. Very pleasing on the nose. Well balanced flavors of bourbon and beer. Both compliment each other well. Medium to light bodied and a nice smooth mouthfeel. This is way too easy to drink. I'm glad I have a growler of this stuff!! See ya in the emergency room! Thanks again, Kevin!

Serving type: growler

06-14-2006 00:53:16 | More by BigDaddyWil
Photo of Kicksmile67
Kicksmile67

Kentucky

4.75/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Being both a beer and bourbon drinker this is the perfect marriage. Living in the hometown of this brew I can get it most places one would find good beer. The ability to get it on tap while touring the brewery is an experince I extend to anyone in Lexington, its free and its cold!
The appearance of this beer is a reddish gold color with a thin but lively head. The smell should be a perfume. Beautiful sweet bourbon with a mild sent of hops. The taste is amazing. Very bold with an immediate taste of good quality bourbon and a slight but enjoyable beer finish. The mouth feel is rich but not thick and tingles the tougue with the hint of whiskey it embodies. Drinkability is dangerous as this "beer" can take you more like a whiskey and more than a couple can fog the mind of the most avid beer drinker (trust me). If you can get this its a must try, especially those who enjoy a good quality Kentucky bourbon on occasion. Possible derby beer methinks?

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2006 18:19:17 | More by Kicksmile67
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Pazzo's in Lexington, served in a snifter embossed with the beer logo - these guys know their stuff. Gold infused with amber. Relatively low carbonation. I've had several bourbon barrel-aged stouts, but never an ale - an interesting concept. The Kentucky ale used as the base is a lightly flavored beer, so the bourbon had plenty of room to come through. Light bourbon flavor, mostly evident as oaky vanilla. The mouthfeel was a bit light, which did not seem to harmonize with the bourbon flavor, but maybe I'm just too acclimated to the bourbon in a heavy stout.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2005 14:18:06 | More by Brent
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very large thanks goes out to kmpitz2 for hauling a growler from the source to Madison last weekend for me!

appearance: pours a light amber shade, tea-like appearance, a light white head accompanies

smell: alcohol, potent bourbon, vanilla, oak...Tis a good thing I am a fan of bourbon

taste: well this is trule is a bourbon ale....The bourbon explodes on the tongue and leaves a strong alcohol aftertaste...underneath that is sweet vanilla, oak, quite sugary sweet, nice sweet caramel malts in the background

mouthfeel: pretty light bodied, smooth though

drinkability: good thing im splitting this thing

Serving type: growler

11-09-2005 03:51:36 | More by dirtylou
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beatiful pour from the growler into the chosen chalice, a lush, milky white head, very slowly settling, over a uniquely colored brew, a hue somewhere between tangerine and tea.

Aroma carries hints of cherries, oak and maple, followed by harder traces of whiskey, sweetness and harsher alcoholic whiffs...although I find that this nose opens up, widens in scope and character over time...who can says what I'll smell further into the glass.

One the tongue, almost 100% pure bourbon. I like that, bourbon would be my liquor of choice, if I went near the hard stuff. Plumb and rich, abundant whiskey flavor. Makes sense, seeing as how they used a pale ale as a base, that the bourbon character would dominate. Damnably delicious!

Medium bodied, smooth mouthfeel, soft, woody/cherry-ish finish...quite mellow, actually. And defiantly drinkable, ....though every now and then, I remember the strength and put on the brakes...perhaps this growler will serve as a tasty nightcap over the next few days?

Wow. Very nice. Way to go, Lexington!
And thanks to my buddy, kmpitz, for the growler!

(Edit, after reading other reviews: vanilla, and coconut...yeah...why didn't I catch that earlier?)

Serving type: growler

11-03-2005 03:03:57 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours from the growler a clear golden amber, vibrant with a bubbly head that fades rather quickly to a ring around the glass. Aromas begin with beautiful bourbon, vanilla, sweet caramel, woody tones and light fruit notes. Very nice, enchanting aroma here.

First sip brings a sweet fruity caramel maltiness. Luscious bourbon flavors dance on the palate. A hefty helping of vanilla and woody tannins show up mid palate. Finishes smooth and slightly sweet. Very well balanced overall, the lingering bourbon barrel notes are great here.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. Mellow carbonation works really nice in the overall brew. I could drink a lot of this with no problem. Wonderfully melded flavors and quite refreshing. Goes to show how great barrel aging can be. Many thanks to clvand0 for the opportunity. Word is that this beer is aged in Woodford Reserve barrels as well.

Serving type: growler

10-10-2005 04:23:05 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to clvand0 for the sample ...

A- Mild haze off of a deep golden hue, thin lacing from a light carbonation.

S- WOW!! Big hit of bourbon in the aroma, sweet vanilla, alcoholic and woody.

T- Upfront malt sweetness melds perfectly with the thick layer of bourbon flavor, mild hopping shows a modest but balancing bitterness. Both vanilla and wood are all over the palate with a warming alcohol from the 7.0% abv.

M- A tad too under-carbonated for my liking but it does not really take away from the beer that much. Nice and creamy though.

D- Sipping and sipping only ... I could only see having one glass in a sitting.

Serving type: growler

07-12-2005 19:03:18 | More by Jason
Photo of mntlover
mntlover

Tennessee

4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber color, looks like the same color as Jim Bean Whiskey when compared side by side. Has a small white head that did leave some decent lace behing when I had one at lunch with my BBQ not much lace out of my day old growler but not expected.

Aroma is nice light caramel malt with nice bourbon flavors that mix with some subtle vanilla hints from the wood. Very nice inviting aroma starting to really enjoy bourbon barrel aged beer.

Taste is nice light caramel malt back bone with nice bourbon flavors plus some woody vianilla hints mixed with touch of citrus hops in the finish. This is made with Kentucky Brewings stock ale that is aged in bourbon barrels straight from the distillery. Amazing how much bourbon flavors and even alcohol is added just from aging in the barrels

Mouthfeel is a little light for this very flavorable beer but drinkability is very good worried about drinking this growler but went down nice and smooth no problems at all. Thanks go to kmpitz2 and clvand0 for getting me and merlin48 to go on a tour of this little local brewery, even learned something I didn't know and had a good time hanging out with fellow BA's. This is only on tap around Lexington area if you can find it recommend you try it, very nice. Also tour the brewery very friendly people.

Serving type: growler

05-23-2005 01:15:28 | More by mntlover
Photo of shippos
shippos

New York

4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

courtesy of clvand0

poured froma growler with a dense pure white head sitting on top of a clear brillant light amber body. soft vanillian notes mixed cream and whiskey but without the harsh hot alcohol. mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, as far as the base beer is concerned it's needs some more body. a bit of a subtile malt character. aging this in boubon barrels really brings out the flavors of the barrels without the base beer getting in the way. absolutly fantastic.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2005 15:08:40 | More by shippos
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this several times now, all on tap. Hard to find. Snifter glass used. This pours an amber color with a small head that doesn't stick around too long, but leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet, malty, and has a nice, mellow bourbon aroma. Interesting. The flavor is sweet and malty, but has a strong bourbon and oak character. Nice body and mouthfeel. An awesome improvement to the standard KY Ale. Best barrel aged beer I've had.

Serving type: on-tap

10-21-2004 13:20:20 | More by clvand0
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,576 ratings.