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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.

567 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 567
Hads: 2,582
Avg: 3.63
pDev: 39.67%
Wants: 145
Gots: 722 | FT: 9
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: 567 | Hads: 2,582
Photo of chezztone
2.08/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.25

Awful. A weak-flavored (although high-alcohol) light beer with strong bourbon overtones -- maybe they just made a light beer and then poured in the bourbon?

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Photo of Bunman3
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Could be the best beer deal ever - I picked up a growler of this for $4.99 at Wine and Beyond in Sherwood Park. This ale poured nicely with a reasonable amount of head that disappeared fairly quickly (not surprising for a draft growler that has been sitting for a couple of days.) The bourbon flavour is just enough to give this ale a very unique and pleasant taste. It has a decent amount of kick and goes down very nicely. The combination of great taste and killer deal make this a highlight reel brew.

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Photo of gopens44
2.33/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Golden with a fairly decent head but virtually no lacing from the mostly white foam. Nose was mostly bourbon, not much else peeking through. Tasted pretty nice for a short moment as the hints of vanilla, oak and caramel came across for just the tiniest instant before they dropped out, leaving only a thin remnant of tannins.

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Photo of WunderLlama
3.06/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a snifter

Clear copper color with steady stream of bubbles. White one finger foam settles to flotsam and jetsam rafts of bubbles. Some lacings

Faint bourbon aroma

Faint bourbon taste , oak and vanilla

Had this on draft at a restaurant. It was excellent. Ordered a second glass. Still excellent. Saw it on the shelf of the local packie and had to try it. Wow! What a 180 . Nowhere near as enjoyable in the bottle as it was on draft. I will not buy this in bottles again, only draft. Never had such a drastic disparity in taste between bottle and draft.

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Photo of vickersspitfire
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

A thick off-white head is the first thing you see as your pour, its foamy and extremely thick, which allows it to form a nice thick lacing around the glass. This is a ice medium amber colored ale with some good carbonation as you pour. The carbonation slowly dies down and so does the head, eventually forming a nice thin layer of bubbles completely covering the top of the ale.

Fruits and malts hit your nose first, mild citrus fruits, apples, mild esters all mixed in with grassy and floral note come together to make a nice aroma for this beer.

The malts and citrus fruit zest are the first flavors you taste, followed by a medium alcohol taste. As it warms up, caramel, butter and a bready flavor come through. It really warms up your mouth.

This is a medium to full bodied ale with plenty of carbonation as you drink it. It really coats you mouth well and leaves that nice warming effect as you breath in.

This is quick a nice find and a really great tasting ale, The aromas and flavors really do this beer justice, don't pass it up.

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Photo of simplejj81
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

I wish this would have been aged more than 6 weeks. Too sweet and not enough heat to meet my expectations for this beer. Its good, but I was hoping for more.

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Photo of orangemoustache
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Pours an even transparent amber. A soft slightly off-white cap lingers for a few moments before retreating to a thin cover that remains. Sloppy patches of lacing cling to the sides of the mug. Big smells from the oak barrel, slightly floral with lots of vanilla coming through. This is gentle on the tongue with a light creamy touch when swished around. The alcohol is masked well, but shows on the finish. Vanilla and bread crust malts up front. Bourbon is slightly muted by a lightly bitter hop presence. Again sweet notes of alcohol and oak hang on the pallet until the next sip. This seems to be very drinkable at first. The ABV seems to be the only hindrance as the flavors are never overwhelming or unappreciated. Solid Bourbon Ale.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.39/5  rDev -6.6%

Pours a medium brown with an off white head. The smell is very heavy on both wood and bourbon to the point where I can't smell anything else. The taste is similar with a little bit of malt coming in the beginning and being taken over by the bourbon flavors. It was very tasty, although one-dimensional.

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Photo of Avool1960
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I had recently discovered bourbon barrel aged brews at the Yards brewery in Philadelphia Pa. Seems to be made just for me. This Kentucky brew is a wonderful tasting beer. The ale is light and flavorful with the the bourbon and oak flavors coming thru to please. It is smooth, and has no bad after taste. It's like a cocktail for real men! Try it.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.31/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Picked this up a few weeks back in Totowa, having never had anything from Alltech's before. I like this style of beer but as so many others alluded to on here, this was weak in the mouthfeel and fell way short of its potential. Even the alcohol was too weak, leading me to believe that this could have been a Brown Ale instead of an English Strong Ale. It went down well but on a cool night like this, I was hoping for a bit more warmth and body.

The pour to this was decent, with a clear appearance, bright copper hue, and sizable head. There was enough lacing to be seen as well and nice amount of carbonation from the get-go. Not a strong aroma as there was some bourbon, oak, and molasses in the nose and faint amounts of those in the taste as well. Was this too malty? Sure. Was this too weak? Unfortunately. Was this like an after-dinner cordial and not a beer that I would expect from the Bluegrass State? Absolutely. Almost reminded me of Frangelico or 43 as there was some walnut or hazelnut that came out of nowhere and went away just as fast. Not a lot of warmth of stickiness like I had hoped.

There was alcohol here but not in the taste and only when I polished this off could I fell it subtly kick in. While not a complete letdown, this beer had so much potential to it but proverbially fell flat. Not as complex as a true Bourbon Barrel Beer, this is what I'd give someone who never had anything of this sort before. Too light for a style that can get as heavy as can be - worth a go once for for those who can't get a hold of anything from Innis and Gunn.

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Photo of jeranbrews
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%

A - pretty amber fine bead cloud white head 3.5

S - bourbon! Sweet and tons of bourbon 3

T - whiskey and a tiny bit of beer. Whiskey flavor overpowers beer completely - 2

M - sharp bourbon sting, with the creamy beer mouthfeel. Confusing. 3

O - interesting but more like a beer cocktail than a beer - 3

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Photo of pat61
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%

Bourbon, light caramel and vanilla on the nose.
Pours brilliant orange amber with a thin rocky white foam cap. Light lace.
Starts with caramel malty sweetness followed by bourbon and vanilla and finished with a light touch of hop bitterness.
Medium body and carbonation, smooth.

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Photo of MDHopster
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%

Clear cooper with white head about 3/4 inch. Excellent smell with vanilla oak bourbon nose, pleasantly drinkable with slight alcohol bite. Blends well with steak and sautéed mushrooms and onions.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4/5  rDev +10.2%

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, golden amber/straw color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed wispy clouds that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Boozy, as you can definitely smell the bourbon of the bourbon barrels the beer was aged in, as well as some oak, vanilla, butter, toasted malt, toffee.

Taste: Interesting. Pretty damn good, in fact! Strong malt notes up front, imparting flavors of buttered toast, caramel and toffee-like sweetness. I also get some vanilla and oak, along with the boozy bourbon flavors courtesy of the aging in bourbon barrels.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, and pretty smooth, as there is pretty much no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 8.19%, there is a definite presence of alcohol on the palate, imparting a pleasant warmth in the mouth.

Overall: This is a much better beer than I was expecting. Nice malt notes, nicely balanced with toffee and caramel and the bourbon overtones. Very nice! I’d certainly drink it again.

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Photo of seedyone
2.25/5  rDev -38%

02/27/14 From bottle. Having had the Coffee version from this outfit before, I wasn't expecting much.

I guess I'm spoiled by the likes of Goose Island Bourbon County or Brooklyn Black Ops.

The texture is a bit watery & the coffee flavor tastes forced.

I wouldn't flush it from the bomb shelter stores, but I would question why space was allotted to this particular brew.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.91/5  rDev -19.8%

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color. The head is around a finger high, and white in shade. It doesn't have a particularly soft-looking texture or great retention by any means. No lacing, either. Generally, though, it looks pretty good. (3.5)

Smell: Well, it does bring a bourbon character, that's for sure. However, it's closer to actual bourbon than bourbon barrel (there's a minimal oak note, at best). It also brings butterscotch. A LOT of butterscotch. While the diacetyl and caramel characters blend very well to create such a quality, it also seems overly sweet and sugary. Not bad, but I don't think it will entirely be to my taste, either. (3)

Taste: Actually, it's far more oak laden than I anticipated. Bourbon attacks the palate immediately, though obviously it doesn't have the nuance of a BCBS. The midtaste brings the butterscotch I picked up in the nose, along with some vanilla and banana. Finally, the finish is somewhat prickly and hot for 8.2%. I'll forgive the latter since it's designed to showcase bourbon flavor rather than be a melange of various flavors. Even with all the diacetyl, this really isn't an awful beer once you realign your expectations - though it does seem to become rather metallic after warming up significantly (drink it cooler!) (2.75)

Mouthfeel: The feel is rather sharp, initially. After around half the bottle, though, it transforms from a slightly biting feel to a sweet, buttery one. It seems to feature decent carbonation, but it's a bit hard to discern the fizz from the tannin bite. (3)

Overall: I totally get the appeal of this - think of it as a beginner's bourbon barrel-aged beer. It's 'basicness' is both its greatest plus and its biggest flaw, though. I don't see much reason to revisit this personally. (3)

2.91/5: It has understandable appeal, it's just not my bag, baby

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Photo of Shadar
4/5  rDev +10.2%

While not my favorite style of beer, it's hard to argue about the quality. This stuff is exquisitely smooth and is one of the most amazing mixing beers I've found. Combined with a vanilla porter, for example, you have a very amazing combination.

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Photo of JLSIV
2.95/5  rDev -18.7%

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass, Bright clear copper color with a thin one finger head that dissipated very quickly, some lacing.

Aroma of oak and bourbon was extremely pleasant

Taste was bourbon up front, with an aggressive alcohol flavor for an 8.5 ABV brew. I have had trippels and quads that were more subtle. If you are looking for an old-fashioned boiler maker flavor, then this is for you.

Mouthfeel is thin and a little watered down.

Overall, I think this is a gimmicky attempt to attract the crossover high end spirit crowd. I am glad that I purchased this as a single, it just isn't my thing I guess. Again, some of the positives are the aroma and appearance…it is definitely an eye grabber for the initial aroma and color, I think there are better English Strong Ales out there. I gave it the mark I did based largely on appearance, aroma, and effort. Probably won't be trying again.

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Photo of avalon07
2.25/5  rDev -38%

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 -38%

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 +15.2%
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 -50.1%
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 -54.5%
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 -22.6%
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%
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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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
82 out of 100 based on 567 ratings.