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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

1,579 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1579
Reviews: 478
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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Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this beer at the midwest brew fest. The beer poured a copperish color with a minimial head. Smells like whiskey rather than beer. Taste like a combination of bourbon and beer which I find unique. Went down smooth as beer and with a hint of whiskey. Overall a good beer for those who like bourbon.

Serving type: on-tap

08-28-2012 00:12:59 | More by WoodBrew
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 sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic. Thanks to BeerFMAndy for this one!

(A)- Pours a clear orange amber color that produced a thin film of white foam.

(S)- A sweet oaky vanilla and caramel/toffee/brown sugar sweetness. Tons of bourbon sweetness in this.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. Very sweet caramel/butterscotch character with a dry oaky vanilla. Some corn meal in the far background, but the bourbon definitely takes center stage.

(M)- A decent carbonation level. A very sugary sweet richness with obvious bourbon notes. A bit syrup-like in feel. Rather boozy too for the ABV.

(D)- An interesting take on the style. Very obvious with the bourbon barrel aging that totally takes over what the beer is and becomes the main focus of the beer itself. Decent, but way too sweet to have more.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 01:48:53 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

So I saw this sitting on the shelves at Marty's and figured it was worth a shot. Last night we were hanging around with a buddy and both of our wives. We were trying some beers and this one finally hit the table. The women absolutely loved it. My buddy's wife calls it her "Coconut beer"

She is correct that the beer smells a even taste quite a bit like coconut. Reminded her of sun tan lotion which she meant as a compliment.

A light amber/copper color that is very bright. A decent light beige head shows some retention. Not much in the way of lacing.

In addition to the description above the aroma also had a lot of vanilla and straight bourbon notes. The oak was very present.

I really wasn't expecting much and I'm not sure why, but this was pretty damn good. The flavors were lead by bourbon and the entire gang from the aroma came for the ride. Coconut, vanilla, oak... Really nice flavor. All the bourbon with none of the booziness. I have to admit they fooled me on the abv. After drinking for a bit I was asked what the abv was and I said I didn't know, but it didn't seem high and I guesses 5ish... At 8.1 this hides the abv extremely well. Frankly scary well.

The body is the one area where I think this has room for improvement. It seemed just a hair too thin for all the other components. Just a touch more body and this could get very interesting.

I was shocked we all like this so much and the ladies want to know when I can get more.

Looks like this will be in my beer fridge again. Definitely worth picking up.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2011 13:31:36 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It seems like the beers with lighter Bourbon barrel influence get less love on this website, from the first few sips I think this is a good use of barrels.

A- Golden-orange ale into my DFH snifter. A small white head forms and dies out quickly leaving a small cloud on the beer and a ring around the edges. Some legs but no lace.

S- I mostly get fruit and a moderate amount of Bourbon influence in the aroma. The fruit is dark like cherries and raisins. Also some oak and vanilla.

T- Very interesting. Diluted Bourbon works out well, giving off some great flavors (oak, whiskey, vanilla, toast) without totally dominating the base beer. It seems like the base beer contains some yeast spice, bread, caramel, toasted nuts, citrus and floral hops, raisin and general fruit.

MF- Highly carbonated, lighter-end body (for barrel aged) with a somewhat creamy and silky feel. Ends with a bit of warmth on the back of the palate and throat.

I think this deserves more than a B. The wood and whiskey flavors come through nicely and do not take over the whole flavor, a nice base still remains after aging. Interesting and a beer that I had a lot to write about, which is always a nice thing.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2011 01:57:30 | More by cbutova
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

2.7/5  rDev -26.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2013 18:52:57 | More by harrymel
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well I ve had this bottle for a bit and thanx to kmpitz2 for the sample. I am pouring a room temp bottle into a pint glass.
The beer pours a clear amber color with fizzy off white head foaming up about 1 cm and fading rapidly to a thin edge layer.
The aroma is bourbon and bourbon. I get some wooden notes and a bit of vanilla and caramel as well. Some warm alcohol as well. Overall pretty appealing. First sip reveals a relatively lite body and very fine carbonation that gently rolls across my palate. The flavor is bourbon right up front. I get some oak and vanilla notes and the beer finishes with a little warming kick, or maybe that is just my typical reaction to drinking bourbon. This beer is very bourbony and if dont like bourbon as a liquor you wont like this beer. Think slightly thinner, mildly carbonated bourbon and there's your drink.
It is quite nice, and I enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2006 02:59:30 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of atsprings
atsprings

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper with almost no head. Aroma is a nice blend of burnt caramel, Bourbon, oak and some vanilla. The taste is a great blend of Bourbon, caramel and vanilla. The slight oak flavor adds a nice touch. This is a great beer for someone who also likes Bourbon, good taste of both worlds. The beer is light bodied with good warming undertoned alcohol. This is a very enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2007 02:23:20 | More by atsprings
Photo of OtherShoe2
OtherShoe2

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium orange with a slight off-white head. No lace. Good clarity, some bubbles.

Good cherry-wood and whiskey aroma mingling with toasted malt. Some wood and sweet vanilla notes. Nice balanced nose.

Some wood, some harsh bitterness and bitter(ed) malt, but some nice vanilla, a touch of caramel, and then it dries out a bit. Nice complexities. Fruit is hard to find, but the woody edge, a little alcohol, and malt all work well.

Medium bodied. Surprised this didn't have much more in this area, but it really helps with the drinkability. I liked this one. A little different for the style, but enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2011 22:39:18 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"The Lord may whiskey so I drank it" - Three Day Threshold

Crystal clear deep amber with a fluffy white tight lager-like head. Not much lace other than a few early Spring speckles but a fair collar of retention. My bottle looks nothing like that lovely vessel in the picture.

Smells a little like bourbon but more like a butt-load of vanilla extract.

Taste is a meek bourbon over a slightly fruity ale. Mildly toasty whole wheat bread. I hear tell this is an Irish red and English pale hybrid - I'll buy that.

Has hints and elements of bourbon but I was hoping for something more along the lines of a hefty bourbon wallop.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2011 00:48:44 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

2.8/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This review is going to be brief, as there is very little I can add to the testament of BA 'radioscooter' in the review below this one. It does smell like a Budweiser with a half-drop of Bourbon in it, and it does taste like a Bud Light with a half-drop of Whiskey, to boot. It also looks fairly pedestrian, which is apt, I guess. Wimpy mouthfeel.

I differ from him in that, a) I had not had the beer at anytime prior, so, b) I did not have a fond recollection of it, and, c) I was more irked than BA 'radioscooter' over the absolute banality of the brew.

My bottle was uber-special too. It was 'Brewed Exclusively for the 2011 World Equestrian Games'.

To be honest, the label looked dangerously close to copyright infringement of 'Killian's Red'. Not that I give a damn about such things...

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2011 06:22:10 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of mcallister
mcallister

Ohio

3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Nothing special about the looks of this beer. A simple orangish, copper with a small white head and some erratic lacing.

Nose is nice. Coconut, vanilla, bourbon, some nuttiness and other woodsy notes. Hints of flowery hop and sweet malts.

Not a bad beer but not one I would drink more than one of. Again dominated by coconut and vanilla, with a bourbon finish. A bit creamy in the mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. Overall a beer worth trying once.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2006 23:39:30 | More by mcallister
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

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

12 oz. bottle into a Gulden Draak goblet.

Pours a bright golden-orange hue that's both clear and well-carbonated. A torrent of bubbles rises up from the etched glass bottom to help fuel a fleeting, eggshell-creme head that dissipates to a ring of bubbles. The aroma is more muted than I had hoped, with a slight hint of vanilla oak, bourbon, crystal malts, and floral hops.

The flavor easily makes up for what the aroma lacks, with a smooth, oaked vanilla kick and a hint of spicy bourbon heat. The hops are slight, while the malts are husky and lightly breaded. Body is on the thinner side of things considering the style, but the carbonation level and smoothness certainly make this a drinkable beer. Although the steep price limits the purchasing potential for this brew ($11/4-pack), its still a tasty treat from the center of bourbon country, USA.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2008 05:14:24 | More by wagenvolks
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
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

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

Bottle approximately a year old.

A: Pours a mostly clear medium amber with some floaties. Good sized fizzy white head. Fades at a reasonable pace and leaves almost no lacing.

S: Smells like bourbon, unsurprisingly. Harsh bourbon. Toffee, caramel, raisins and oak.

T: Initially toffee and caramel and oak. Then lots of vanilla. And I mean a lot. Sweet.

M: Medium bodied and smooth. Pretty standard.

O: An interesting but otherwise uneventful beer. I had this fresh and I remember it being much harsher and pretty much just pure cheap bourbon. Now it's just a flash of bourbon and tons of vanilla. It's honestly not bad but pretty simple and straightforward.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2012 05:05:19 | More by Dope
Photo of bashiba
bashiba

Iowa

2.78/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a nice clear amber color with long running carbonation and a thick and fluffy sticky white head.

Has a light sweet caramel smell along with some mild bourbon vanilla and alcohol notes.

The flavor is very mild with a light toasted grain body and a touch of bourbon notes. Slightly sweet and very low on hops.

The mouthfeel is light, surprisingly thin, and full of carbonation.

Pretty average, not much going on other than mild bourbon aging qualities almost like drinking and extremely watered down glass of whiskey. Barely any beer flavor to speak of.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2010 23:05:48 | More by bashiba
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77

Delaware

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

12oz, 9/11 bottle date
Boulevard tulip

A: Pours out a clear muted orange color. Even though I didn't get a ton of head (only a ring of white), I did get a lot of tiny bubbles steaming from the bottom. Leaves some lacing. Definitely see some alcohol feet.

S: Immediately I get caramel and sweet malt. It's almost BA barleywine like initially. I get some vanilla too. Bourbon is present. The age might have killed some hops off.

T: You don't get a lot of bitterness up front anymore, but there is a touch. Sweet malts: caramel and toffee. It's very barleywine like without the body. Vanilla hints in the mid mouth. Some woodiness. The finish is creamy.

M: It's medium bodied. Creamy almost.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2012 12:58:14 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of HardTarget
HardTarget

Texas

4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Surprisingly light color, clear amber blonde, almost orange tint. Looks a bit like Bourbon, save the thin but full cover of white head that sticks to the side of the glass.

Smell: Boozy, with a worty sweetness.

Taste: Unsurprisingly, a bit of bourbon with my beer. It's not unpleasant, which is to say I don't care for bourbon generally, but occasionally will have one. The bourbon is a firm part of the flavor but melds with the English Strong base and fits rather well. A light smoky aspect but no real strong wood flavors, which is a nice departure from most attempts in barrel aged beers.

Mouthfeel: A bit prickly, seems a touch over carbonated but lots of body keeps it far from fizzy. Lightly slick texture and a slow drying clean finish.

Overall: I didn't expect to like this beer much, and am pleasantly impressed to be very wrong. Rich complementing flavors, heavy body pushing me around at over 8% abv.
I feels sophisticated sipping on this one. Quite refined and enjoyable.
Solid brew!

Thanks to Illudium for the sample!

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2013 23:21:28 | More by HardTarget
Photo of Bierguy5
Bierguy5

Ohio

3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. Pours a very clear light copper/golden color. Thin white foamy head disappears very quickly. Big oak, bourbon and vanilla aroma in the nose. This is far different from other bourbon barrel beers I have had. The flavor of the base beer is very light. Not much malt or hop flavor comes through. What is left seems to be a bit of watery bourbon. Some oaky flavor as well, but this seems really light. Light body, low carbonation. A little warming and boozy. I am not sure if I liked this or not, the nose really had me sold, but I don't know if the base beer worked for me. I like the spirit of trying to barrel age a different style rather than imperial stout, etc. Probably worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2006 18:04:28 | More by Bierguy5
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 far333
far333

Connecticut

3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Brent for sharing this one. Crystal-clear, brand-new-penny copper colored with fine columns of tiny bubbles rising quickly to the top and capping it off with a fine frothy off-white head.

Aroma of caramel and brown sugar maltiness, with a definite vein of bourbon rising up through.

Dry mouthfeel, but rich and full, a mixture of creamy richness and fine bubbly tingles.

Flavor is not overly complex, very malty, but tending to sweet, nearly cloying for me. No hops to speak of, but lots of bourbon flavor coming through, plus some banana and vanilla. Not very drinkable for me, a bit overwhelming to the taste buds.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2006 00:53:55 | More by far333
Photo of Ryan011235
Ryan011235

Ohio

3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in a 10oz snifter at The Pub Polaris on 11/11/10

Clear; hues of amber & brown. Not much foam, just a collar & some bubbles.

Smells mostly of grains & some caramel. Subtle earthy hops; slightly floral. Warmth brings out vanilla in the nose.

Actually tastes pretty balanced. Not too bitter but it has an ok kick. Between the bourbon & hops it's nippy enough. Caramel, hints of candied malt & vanilla. Notions of wood. Not very sweet - fine by me.

Medium body with average carbonation. Not particularly slick or hot. Kind of tingly on the finish. Bourbon, vanilla & oak linger.

This is nothing I would get excited over but it reasonably solid & an easy sipper.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2010 21:59:59 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of adamette
adamette

Ohio

3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Live review. Picked this up as a single from Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor, Ohio last Wedensday when I stopped in to see Wally for $1.66. He made sure that I knew that Founders Nemesis was available which was really cool. This single was one of his "new" ones. No observed "best by" date. Poured into my Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale pint glass.

A Rather basic looking translucent copper body under a briefly present off white head (it was gone within about a minute, down to a ring around the top of the beer). 3.0

S I love the caramel sweet goodness of a bourbon barrel aged beer and that is the smell that dominates with a nice, soft bourbon notes. It is interesting, inviting. 4.5

T The bourbon taste is there but it is a bit weak, almost becomes a taste of macaroni (if you can imagine for a minute) in a cheap kind of way. I am glad to say that the after taste is a much better bourbon like taste that is good. It strikes me that this is "gateway" bourbon barrel aged beer, the beginning of one's journey through the bourbon barrel aged beers which will end with Allagash Curieux or possibly BA B.O.R.I.S. the Crusher. Anyway, I am a sucker for bourbon barrel aged stuff so it probably gets a little bump in rating because of it. 3.5

M The bourbon softens the feel nicely in my opinion (I have found that with other beers as well) but this is probably more thin than I would have liked. 3.0

D One and done for me (and not just because I bought the single) but because of the 8.19% ABV and its relative bigness. That being said, I enjoyed drinking this one. 4.0

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 06:17:27 | More by adamette
Photo of jera1350
jera1350

Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a tulip a dark gold color with a creamy clean white cap of foam on top.

The aroma lends notes of sour whiskey, cherry and vanilla. After some hard digging, I can pick out some coconut faintly. The nose a little light overall though.

Whiskey notes up front, followed by rather strong vanilla and toasted coconut. A very long and pleasant finish full of the aforementioned flavors. I wish the malt bill was a little bigger on this one, with some added sweetness. Right now, it tastes like a light version of Backwoods Bastard, which is still a fine quality to have.

Very smooth, but the body could use a bit of heft to round it out. Very dry feeling as well.

Rather enjoyed this one. Lives up to all of the bourbon barrel in its name. I just wish it had some more malt to add sweetness and body. It would then be an "A" or higher in my book. Still, this is one tasty beer. Actually kind of nice to have a barrel aged beer under ten percent alcohol for once. I would certainly pick this one up again.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 01:07:42 | More by jera1350
Photo of aasher
aasher

Indiana

2.95/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had to at least try this one since it's been all the rage in Indianapolis for the past couple months. It pours a crystal clear dark gold in color with a one finger off white head that dissipates into a white lacing around the glass. It smells of syrupy artificial bourbon, honey, and vanilla with a touch of alcohol. It's odd and where's the bourbon? This smells fake. It tastes of essentially watered down bourbon with honey and a touch of vanilla. The flavors are too mellow and blase overall. Why are people going crazy about this? The bourbon is so subtle and is really only present in the aftertaste. You would think a bourbon barrel aged ale would be able to give off more bourbon aromas and stronger flavor. Overall this beer is just average all around. It drinks light and is easy to drink but I don't think it's what they were going for and just didn't live up to the abv or attention that this has gotten in the midwest. That said, it does "taste good", being a honey ale in my opinion and is easy to drink. This beer just doesn't rate very well in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2011 03:48:12 | More by aasher
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,579 ratings.