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Bardstown Brand Ale Aged In Bourbon Barrels - Olde Hickory Brewery

Not Rated.
Bardstown Brand Ale Aged In Bourbon BarrelsBardstown Brand Ale Aged In Bourbon Barrels

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

44 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 44
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 14.89%
Wants: 19
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: wcudwight on 03-18-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
1.4/5  rDev -65.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Reviewed on 7/26/08. Bottle shared by goldtwins. Pours brown with no head. Aroma of bourbony vegetables. Flavor of squash, sweet potato, and heavy bourbon. Thick, syrupy, and ick. Drainpour. Nasty.
Aroma: 3/10
Appearance: 3/5
Flavor: 3/10
Palate: 1/5
Overall: 4/20
(1.4/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 22, 2008
Photo of Metalmonk
2.4/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

2007 vintage. Maybe the only vintage? Only one I've seen anyway.

Pours a fairly weak head; bubbles are on the big side and scatter to a crown quickly. Color has the burnt candy-apple red color of many barleywines.

Immediately there is very strong bourbon presence in the aroma. With that comes some wood, but with all that alcoholic whisky-ness, it seems the natural barleywine characteristics have been snuffed out. Maple syrup and vanilla are barely detected through the fog. Still, it's a bourbon barrel-aged big beer, so it can be expected.

Flavor is more of the same, but unfortunately a bit more one-dimensional. Just about any real barleywine characteristic is suffocated under bourbon and wood, wood and bourbon. Some vanilla sneaks in, as does a decent flash of caramel. A bit astringent/green/grassy in the finish. But it's pretty much unbalanced in favor of the bourbon and the barrel.

Good feel here. A mild stickiness, but mostly round and smooth and without the kind of thickness one might expect of a beer like this. Decent carbonation, neither too intrusive nor too laid back.

Okay, it's a bourbon barrel-aged beer, it's going to have some of those characteristics. I get that. But this one hides the barleywine too much, to the point where I'd much rather have tasted the barleywine itself. Bourbon barrel-aging isn't necessarily a ticket to greatness, and this beer proves that. Hard to get down...couldn't even finish.

Metalmonk, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

spycow, Oct 26, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of yourefragile at last night's barrel-aged barleywine tasting. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours a nice dark copper color with a thin light tan head that falls into a thin cap, eventually dispersing into a nice collar.

Nose carries quite a bit of caramel to pair with the strong bourbon character. A bit of oak and toffee there as well, adding a bit of complexity. Flavor is a bit muted, though the bourbon comes through fairly well. Light booze underneath good bourbon. A touch of oak and toffee plus a good dosing of caramel.

Medium body with low carbonation. Smooth, bourbon-filled finish.

Glad to try this, though not one of the best of the night. Worth trying, but probably not something to really seek out.

Thorpe429, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of kwjd
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle says 2007 vintage. Pours an amber brown with small tan head. Bourbon is quite upfront in the smell, with faint hints of hops. Some of the bitterness is still there, but lots of bourbon. Has a little bit of a boozy taste which hurts the drinkability, but it is still smooth.

kwjd, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of pwoods
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Kels for splitting the bottle.

22oz. brown bomber poured into a snifter.

A: Deep amber pour, nearly on the copper side. Moderate head on the pour with some retention. Some lacing.

S: Lots of good bourbon aroma with nice barrel notes. Not a huge, dank barrel aroma but assertive and fitting. Rich malts, light sweetness, and maybe some vanilla.

T/M: Big bourbon flavor... a bit too much. Pretty hot, almost like it's fresh. The barrel is still tasty and in control. Hops are mostly gone but a bit of aged hops stuck around. Rich malts. Body is medium full, maybe a bit sticky, with mild carbonation.

D: The massive bourbon definitely lowers the drinkability quite a bit.

pwoods, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of cbros
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type- 22 ounce bomber poured into a snifter glass.

A- Pours a deep amber muted brown color. There is a small one figer dirty white lace that quickly disipates. There is no carbonation activty present or cling after the pour. Overall a decent looking beer.

S- I am getting strong alcohol notes, I am also getting a sweet malty smell as well. I am not really getting any bourbon notes which I expected because of the aging in bourbon barrels. Honestly not very impressed with the smell of this beer.

T- As with the smell I am not getting any sense of a bourbon influence I am tasting a run of the mill barleywine with a sweet malty presence that finishes with a bit of an alcohol bite.

Saw a bottle of this at Bestway and figured I would give it a shot. Honestly I am not too impressed with this after having a few bourbon barrel aged beers by other breweries and acquiring a taste for these types of beers. In my opinion this tastes liek a regular barleywine I am not tasting any bourbon influences at all. Even though this beer has not caught my fancy I still would like to try other offerings from Olde Hickory.

cbros, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of CWiggins
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I stop at Olde Hickory Taproom a couple of times a year while traveling from Durham to Knoxville to visit my folks. This past August I was surprised to see bottles of this barleywine for sale at the bar. Even though it was pricey ($18, if I recall correctly), I just couldn't resist purchasing a bottle to sample.

It pours a dark red with a lean, off-white head that faded away rather quickly. Left behind was a ring of dense foam around the perimeter of the liquid. Not much of an aroma is present. I mean, scents characteristic of barleywine are noticeable, but there're very weak. Several deep inhalations are required to get a whiff of the aromas. The flavor is very pleasing and very much in the barleywine tradition: a rich, sweet, malty front gives way to a body of dark, ripe cherry-like fruit with a backing of caramel, while the finish allows for a fading of the fruitiness into a very bitter and smokey aftertaste. Here's where that 10%ABV makes itself known; the distinct warming during the finish and aftertaste provides a pleasing sensation when combined with that bitterness. It's a very satisfying taste; after each ingestion I felt no direct need to take another. Very nice, indeed!

CWiggins, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of Enola
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A nice deep ruby red brew with a small head that dissapears quickly. No lacing. The smell is black cherries, bourbon, big alcohol, molasses. The taste is some hops, heavy bourbon flavors, brown sugar and a shitload of alcohol. The mouthfeel is dominated by this alcohol burn. The drinkability is lowered somewhat by this big burn. The other barleywine released a couple years ago by OHB had this profile too early on but mellowed out into a very smooth and creamy beverage and this one will no doubt do the same. I will revisit this brew from the cellar in a year or so and update the info. The scores are sure to rise as this one matures. A home run by OHB.

Enola, Mar 25, 2008
Photo of sitarist
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage.

Pours a aged penny / copper color...frothy, off white head falls to a ring that leaves some lacing.

I smell walnuts in a bourbon caramel sauce...there is a nice earthy funk...it is not overpowered by the bourbon.

Taste like a 2"X4" soaked in vanilla extract...sweet, and nutty; turns earthy, hot, and astringent.

Full body with little carbonation...it is sticky and hot.

Sit back and sip the night away...a lot of big flavors battling on my taste buds, along with a huge body; make this one to enjoy at a slow pace.

sitarist, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of steve8robin
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this beer in a trade. Thanks again Cmrillo! 22oz bottle, 2007 vintage...

A: Murky ruby red with some brown highlights. 1 inch white head that fades quickly leaving a lace atop the brew. Good.

S: Wow, some nice sweet creamy bourbon notes upfront. Some toffee and caramel in the middle with some port on the backend. Smells a little bit like a barleywine version of Bourbon County. I love bourbon county. Very good.

T: Very heavy bourbon booze upfront with some port in the middle. Some creamy toffee and actually some rye on the backend. Decent.

M: Medium body with a good carbonation. Very good.

D: You definitely have to get past the booze wall to get this one down. Decent.

All in all, whereas this is a good brew, it has been the first from this brewery that has been closer to mediocre than great. Definitely a great try, but if you want something good from this brewery, go for the Imperial Stout or Irish Walker first.

steve8robin, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of prototypic
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kkipple for this one!

Vintage 2007

Bardstown Brand Ale pours a slightly hazy copper color. Backlighting gives it a deep red hue. A very light tan coat of bubbles covers the surface, but rises no further. They disappear quickly, and leave very light, sticky strands of lace behind.

The nose is pretty good, but isn't very diverse. It smells very sweet and full of caramel malt throughout. A moderate amount of bourbon is noted. It smells nice, and complements the sweet caramel notes well. Secondary notes of vanilla and oak are noted. I'm not really getting any fruit - dark, golden, or otherwise. Perhaps it's all buried. Alcohol is noticeable, but isn't overwhelming.

The flavor is good. It's definitely a step up from the nose. There's no questioning the base here - tons of caramel malt. It's very sweet, and even a little brown sugary. I don't know how long this spent in barrels, but it was just the right amount of time. The barrel-aging left a moderate bourbon flavor that's very nice. Oak and vanilla are secondary, but are definitely noted. They add nice depth and character to the mix. There are some fruity notes present. I am getting a little apple, but there's some tangy dark fruit there as well. Maybe a little raisin. Alcohol is definitely there in taste. It's not quite hot, but it's warm. Finishes sweet and tangy with a touch of bourbon.

The body is medium. Carbonation is relatively light, and gives it a smooth feel. For a 10% beer, it goes down relatively smooth, but it still feels big. No doubt about that.

Overall, Bardstown Brand Ale is good beer. It's not perfect. Some of the sweetness could be dialed back some. Maybe a little less alcohol. It's good stuff though. It's definitely held up well, and perhaps developed some over the past few years. I never tried it fresh, so I don't know for sure. Good stuff. Thanks a ton, Dan.

prototypic, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of tpd975
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one came from wcudwight as part of the UGLY duckling BIF. He held up the BIF to wait for this ones release. I was all for holding it up for a new "UGLY" beer to be included in the BIF. On top of that I was the lucky receipent of his package. Let's see if it's worth the wait.

A: Pours a radiant color of amber with an average sized fizzy off white head. The head dies to a simple ring and leaves little to no lacing.

S: No doubt it was aged in Bourbon barrels this one is all about the bourbon. Tons of whiskey aroma with a hint of oak and vanilla. A touch of brown sugar sweetness and caramel malt as well. Rather Nice.

T: Well first and foremost there is the Bourbon. Some of Kentucky best Bourbon barrels must have been used. The sweet caramel malt is able to peak thru as is hints of dark brown sugar. A bit of booze burns in the finish and a hint of vanilla bean lingers in the finish.

M: Nice and thick, somewhat sticky. It has a bit of alcohol burn in the finish.

D: Being a barley wine aged in oak it is a sipper. I did not share this one, but probably should have. It's an awful extreme beer to keep to oneself. If your a Bourbon lover seek it out.

Overall: One of the better barreled barleywines I have ever had. The taste is big on the bourbon without being overthetop. Big bold flavors make this a real winner.

It was worth the wait!

Very thick and sweet/sticky finish, with a strong warming alcohol taste. Excellent beer.

tpd975, Apr 28, 2008
Photo of maximum12
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to sholland119 & vickster529 for this bottle, which came, nestled amongst other fine & fabulous bottles, as the result of a BIF. Halved with my wife, who was coincidentally the other half of the BIF team.

Vintage 2007 listed on the bottle. Pour is a quiet, turgid orangish red. Smell is very domesticated, sweet malts, a little toffee & bourbon.

This is both a subtle barleywine, & a sly use of barrel aging. Whoa. Scratch that second half. Upfront are sweet malts that check in toffee, which is ambushed, upstaged, & ultimately obliterated by the barrel. The bourbon actually hangs back for several seconds before presenting itself like a slow-burning jalapeno, & dominates the scene. It does back off a bit at the end, allowing a healthy dose of oak to shine through, & a bit of not-so-welcome oxidation. But that's quibbling.

Drinkability is good & poor. I feel intoxicated after a few sips, but it's a good one, like if I bounce off something I'll enjoy the bruise tomorrow. I didn't mention the heat in the taste, but it's there, in the barrel & the base both.

Unique use of the barrel, resulting in a beer that breaks out of the pack of standards. Very, very good bordering on excellent. Nice work.

maximum12, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of RB's own kp. Pours clear striking amber with thin white head. The aroma is oak, bourbon, vanilla and booze. It starts with a short pulse of sweet malts and ends with nose searing heat. The taste is full and smooth. I get oak mixing with vanilla and then moving toward bourbon notes. There doesn't appear to be much more going on here than that. Certainly this is an example of barrel aging that nearly covers up all the notes from the beer that went in the barrel. Still enjoyable though. I love how smooth it is.

BigMcLargeHuge, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of RedneckBeerz
4/5  rDev -0.7%

RedneckBeerz, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear caramel color with a modest head that fritters away to a ringlet while leaving spotty lace

Smell: Caramel, bourbon and vanilla

Taste: Caramel, up front, with a developing bourbon/vanilla character; despite the age, the hops still appear just before the swallow and linger afterwards; plenty of oxidation due to the age, but this still has a nice blend of flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with subtle carbonation

Overall: Fours years in, this beer has some nice elements, but clearly needs to be consumed now as it is past its prime

brentk56, May 09, 2011
Photo of aerozeppl
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to scifan for this in a trade. 2007 bottle.

A: Hazy orange burnt color. Minimal white head with a touch of lacing. This was a really nice looking beer and my decription fails to capture that.

S: Bourbon up front. Nice balance of malt sweetness and the barrel. Touch of the pure oak with a little bit of vanilla.

T: Bourbon up front again. Great balance. Nice malt backbone. Little bit of molasses in there as well.

M: Little bit sticky. Well carbonated.

D: I went into this beer with zero expectations and I was really impressed. This was a nice example of how to do a bourbon barrel beer.

aerozeppl, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -0.7%

KAF, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark amberish body with a small, thin ring of white bubbles.

Smell: Ah, sweet-smelling bourbon at the fore. Toasty caramel, some hints of fruits, and then it's back to bourbon! Gee, they ain't screwing around.

Taste: As you'd expect from the nose, it's all at once bourbon in the flavor. Warming, yes, but not grotesquely hot. Toasted caramel maltiness and, again, there's that fruit. Medium sweetness. Tastes of toasted oak and vanilla. A tannic pinch leads you to the increasingly warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A solid bourbony barleywine. Word on the street is that this was their very first bottle release. If so, congrats, as this certainly wasn't a bad way to start things off.

ChainGangGuy, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to Stephen aka stoutfiend27 for throwing this 2007 bottle in as an extra in one of our trades. Poured this into my tulip, split with my girlfriend.

Dark amber liquid falls into the middle of glass, slowly collecting into a garnet body full of beautiful ruby hues in the light. The head that gathers is coarse and light, dissipating to a thin rim of bubbles around the edge of the glass. No lacing forms, though there are decent legs upon a swirl.

Even as I pour it, I can smell the bourbon flowing freely from the mouth of the glass. Syrupy booziness is also evident in front of woody vanilla aromass. The front of the aroma also brings forth some spices, an interesting character for an American barleywine. The taste is similar, with a bit of syrupy barley malt combining with spice, vanilla, and a finish of oakiness. The aftertaste is nutty, almost like and English barleywine. Despite the bourbon-filled aroma, the taste is nicely balanced.

Somewhat thin, but a good syrupy feeling on top of a nicely balanced body. The carbonation is a touch high, but overall, this is pretty decent as far as drinkability goes. I have no big complaints here. I would seek it out again, especially since the bourbon did such a good job enhancing the flavor and not taking it over.

NittanyBeerFan, May 05, 2010
Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful rust color with a small tan head, and below average lacing. Below average carbonation with a sweet very strong smell of bourbon. Tastes of malt, bourbon, wood, and tobacco. Bittersweet with a woody bitter taste. heavy on the pallet, this beer cannot hide the wonderfully large ABV.

ATLbeerDog, May 04, 2008
Photo of chaz410
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Got this bottle from an employee at Olde Hickory Brewing.
Pours a deep amber ruby body with a nice modest off white head.
Smells of a massive combination of strong barley wine and oak. THere's flavors of raisons, plums and caramel on the nose with lots of vanilla and toasted notes from the oak.
The taste is very intense. Bourbon and dark fruit play out initially. There's lots of caramel and toasted notes. Hints of chocolate and toffee ring out.
Not very drinkable due to the high ABV but very smooth considering what it is.

chaz410, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nickd717 shared this fine tick. 2007 vintage.

Sunset amber, lightly hazy and topped by a thin white head. The head quickly settles to a collar.

Nutty, caramelized nose. Plenty of oxidation in the form of sherry and cocoa powder. No heat left, this is mellow but still very aromatic. A little leathery, musty. Pleasant oak barrel character, though there's little in the way of bourbon.

Pretty nice on the tongue. A lot of oxidation, butterscotch, toasted nuts. Oak and sherry, notes of leather. Medium-full body. Heavy tannins, oak and oxidation in the finish. Only moderately sweet. Enjoyable stuff.

largadeer, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of rpstevens
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to brentk56 for this bottle from Secret Santa 2010, 2007 vintage. Poured into a New Belgium goblet. The beer pours a hazy copper-amber color with a ruby center. There is a thin white head that quickly fades to a tight ring around the top of the beer.

The beer smells like toffee, barrel and bourbon, very upfront, concise and clean. There is a nice hoppy background (unexpected surprise from a beer that's more than 3 years old) along with some vanilla and leather.

The flavors follow the smell closely, this is a very mellow barrel aged barleywine, nice and balanced. Sweet butterscotch, toffee and vanilla introduce the flavors followed by the strong barrel presence. The barrel brings along hints of bourbon and wood, with a little residual grassy/earthy hops in the finish.

The beer is nice and smooth, well balanced and the alcohol is still present but has definitely taken a backseat. I would like to have tried this beer fresh for comparison, but it seems to be aging very well. I drank half the bomber, and I would have happily had another glass. Glad I got the opportunity to try this one.

rpstevens, Jan 24, 2011
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Bardstown Brand Ale Aged In Bourbon Barrels from Olde Hickory Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.