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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

43 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 43
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 14.81%
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: 43 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
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4/5  rDev -1.2%

KAF, Aug 06, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

bcp5296d, Jun 20, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Mantooth, Sep 11, 2013
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4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

mikeincharleston, May 19, 2013
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4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

JCam9981, May 13, 2013
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4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

robwestcott, May 01, 2013
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4/5  rDev -1.2%

RedneckBeerz, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of bobertkuekn
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

bobertkuekn, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of cosmicevan
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Jon for busting out this rarity at an impromtu tasting on 8/10.
2007 vintage

a - nice murky orange with a thin off-white vanilla head. some streaky lacing, but not much activity. the color is quite nice.

s - really nice. caramel. toffee. some vanilla oak with bourbon. very smooth smelling.

t - a bit of heat, but seems to have held up really nicely. lots of toffee.

m - a bit of a bite for a beer of this vintage, but relatively smooth for a bourbon barrel barleywine.

o - overall, a reallyl nice treat. still has some heat, but the toffee and the wood is excellent.

cosmicevan, Aug 17, 2012
Photo of n2185
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage

A: pours a slightly hazy copper with a finger of off-white head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: lots of caramel and vanilla up front. Oak and bourbon notes follow. Smells great and smooth.

T: similar to the aroma, tons and tons of caramel, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Super smooth finish with slight yeast and sweet bread notes.

M: thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer is smooth and thick without being cloyingly sweet.

O: a really good beer. Not terribly complex, but delicious and smells great while being super smooth.

n2185, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.93/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

rich brownish color with hints of ruby around the edges. A slight bit of light coming through revealed some haze and a touch of sediment. A towering head of almost three inches glazed over the top of the glass and hung around for what seemed like forever before it finally settled down into a nice one finger layer of impenetrable foam. Rich side glass presentation as well just capped off the entire thing just wonderfully. One of the best looking, if not the best looking Barley wine I have ever seen.

The aroma was a heavy hitter right from the start. Tons of bourbon just wreaking havoc, had to let it calm down, revealing some nice hints of woody and earthy tones. Hints of vanilla and of all things chocolate starting to come through now. Very complex and nice, this was shaping up to be a winner already. The flavor was just drop down beautiful. Loads of rich bourbon and wood flavors coming through in the most wonderful of arrangements. Caramel and molasses seamless blended with touches of chocolate and dark fruits. Really just a whole another level of barley wine.

mikesgroove, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of EasyReader
5/5  rDev +23.5%

EasyReader, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
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 brentk56
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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 joepais
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to uncleJedi for this treat.

I split the bottle with a few friends into snifters. I was greeted with a nice two finger off white head sitting on top of an amber body brew. There was a slight oxidized aroma coming thru in the nose I chalk it up to age even though the bottle was waxed. (so drink them if you got them) you still are getting a nice bourbon vanilla note from the barrel and of coarse you great sweet caramel from the malts. The flavor is the same as the nose only in reverse. You first get the sweetness followed up with a good vanilla bourbon note. The mouth feel is thick and syrupy so it translates into a great sipping drink. Overall I enjoyed this brew and would love to revisit it again.

joepais, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of prototypic
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
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 rpstevens
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
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
Photo of chaz410
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
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 maximum12
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
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 Bung
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap. Orange/amber pour with a creamish head. Quite a bit of vanilla and oak araomas, some sweet malt, raisin molasses. Mouthfeel is quite sticky, but not real thick. A sipper for sure. Loads of malt, caramel and vanilla barrel in the flavors. If you want a west coast barleywine, you will not like this. Luckliy I did not, so I found this to be excellent. An under-rated Enlgish barleywine. Slight char finish. This is the first item bottled by OHB, so I bought a couple as well.

Bung, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of largadeer
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
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 ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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 steve8robin
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
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 Metalmonk
2.4/5  rDev -40.7%
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 sitarist
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
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
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Bardstown Brand Ale Aged In Bourbon Barrels from Olde Hickory Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.