Old Kentucky Bastard
Nickel Brook Brewing Co.

Old Kentucky BastardOld Kentucky Bastard
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #205
Ranked #3,663
4.13 | pDev: 11.14%
Nickel Brook Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada
Old Kentucky BastardOld Kentucky Bastard
Notes: Our Bolshevik Bastard kicked up a notch. We age Bolshevik in Kentucky bourbon barrels for over a year. The rich chocolate, coffee and dark fruit flavours from our imperial stout are married together with the vanilla, oak and warming alcohol from bourbon barrels.

Together as one, the result is an incredible blend of aroma and taste.

Drink today, or cellar for years as it matures.
Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 197 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of janubio
janubio from Spain

3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle at Las Buenas Pulgas, served in a snifter glass. Black color, beige color, small head with short retention, tiny lacing. Aroma of coffee, caramel, bourbon, vanilla, dried fruits. Medium to full body, creamy texture, good carbonation. Sweet and boozy finish. Taste follows the aroma, with more prune presence. Really good.

Jun 30, 2020
Photo of Mysticmage
Mysticmage from Canada

4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thick motor oil delight. Rich gunpowder grey viscosity greets yer nose and yer mouth. Potent wild taste and finish will curl yer nosehairs. Enjoy and rejoice,

Apr 12, 2020
Photo of InspectorHound
InspectorHound from Canada

4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pours black with 3 finger foamy crème head.
Smell: Chocolate, Bourbon, Vanilla,
Taste: Chocolate pudding, and German chocolate cake at the front end. I picked up hints of toffee and vanilla, with a warm finish of bourbon.
Feel: Others have nailed it, smooth and silky and a little bit oily.

This beer (now called Kentucky Bastard as of 2019) earns an B. It probably deserves an A- for all it's qualities, but the price is dear at $11 for a 500 ml bottle from the LCBO. For that price I expect fireworks. This beer doesn't delivery on that hence the B.

Mar 08, 2020
Photo of Thumbman

5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best Ontario beer? Quite possibly. Pours ink-black with a creamy tan head. Bourbon on the nose, with a bit of chocolate. Thick mouthfeel, but surprisingly smooth for its abv with a subtle dry finish. Bourbon dominates the taste, but there are also hints of milk chocolate and vanilla. Easily my favourite treat when I'm willing to spend a little extra at the LCBO.

Jan 01, 2020
Photo of CHickman
CHickman from New York

4.39/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2017 bottle, this was aged to perfection. Pours as black as ink with a small foamy tan colored head that faded slowly and left good spotty lacing. Smelled of dark chocolate, toffee, bourbon, faint vanilla, cocoa powder, burnt coffee grinds, caramel, oaky notes, molasses and more chocolate. The aging basically eliminated the booze from the aroma and left all the malty chocolate sweetness, in the best way possible.

Tastes like it smells with chocolate, bourbon, cocoa powder, vanilla, burnt coffee grinds, brown sugar, toffee, oaky notes, toasted grains, smoked wood or charred wood, dark fruit, a dash of piney accents, and then more chocolate malt sweetness. Nice and complex, the bourbon barrel flavors brought everything I hoped for without being overly sweet tasting. Overall a great barrel aged RIS which hid the ABV and went down easier than expected. Thanks thanks to my brother Dan for picking up this bottle to share at Christmas dinner.

Dec 27, 2019
Photo of octortus
octortus from Canada

4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught Pour. ABV 14.5%.
Overall: This was the 2016 version. It was very enjoyable and I would have it again.

Review: 92

Dec 08, 2019
Photo of LampertLand
LampertLand from Canada

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nickel Brook Brewing 'Old Kentucky Bastard' @ 11.9% , 2017 vintage served from a red waxed 500 ml bottle
A-pour is black from bottle to glass with a small tan head leaving a minimal lace ring along the tulip
S-BA Kentucky bourbon
T-kinda smooth BA Kentucky bourbon , dry swallow
MF-warming , mild carbonation , full bodied
Ov-good beer , should be listed as Imperial Stout , not Russian
prost LampertLand

Sep 07, 2019
Photo of mschrei
mschrei from Illinois

4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2017 vintage. Pours dark with creamy tan lacing. A king of fruity and woody smell that reminds me of an infected barrel aged. Taste is malty, strong vanilla, slight chocolate, and a mild barrel presence. Excellent mouth feel. Medium body, nothing oily about it, mildly mouth watering, and deceptive alcohol presence (a shade under 12%, unlike the 14 plus as listed here). Warms well, pairs excellently with a cigar. Great beer, glad I took a chance on it.

May 25, 2019
Photo of TooManyGlasses
TooManyGlasses from Canada

4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2017 Vintage - 11.9% ABV. Pours a thick motor oil black with half finger of creamy brown head which dissipates fairly shortly.
Aroma slightly boozy molasses, dark chocolate, bourbon, coffee notes.
Taste is sweet chocolate, dark fruit, dates, with the bourbon notes but not overly boozy.
Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with bitter sweet finish. Really tasty - excellent.

Mar 24, 2019
Photo of q33jeff
q33jeff from New Jersey

4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to snifter. 2017 Vintage.

LOOK: thick black, small head fades pretty quickly. What head forms is a nice medium brown color.
AROMA: strong bourbon, molasses, cocoa; plus the slightest touch of earthy mineral.
TASTE: well balanced, chocolate and charred malt hit first; some figs and plum dance around for a while; then the whiskey seeps in late and lingers on the tongue long after swallowing.
FEEL: flat, but super thick. full bodied. Smooth drinking.

Really nice stuff.

Aug 09, 2018
Photo of HoppingMadMonk
HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

4.36/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Above average body with a thick, oily feel. A bit more carbonation than I'm used to for this style but it works and overall it's an excellent feel. Aroma is roasted malt,roasted espresso beans,black coffee, dark cocoa, alcohol, and sweet bourbon. Taste is a bit sweet but not one flavor dominates which allows every flavor to show up. I found this to be an excellent beer on every level,smooth,balanced, flavorful, and an excellent body

Aug 05, 2018
Photo of Tony210
Tony210 from New Jersey

4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours very very dark, fairly thick, nice mocha head that quickly fades. A gentle swirl of the glass releases ample chocolate with s nice bourbon barrel presence. Loads of barrel and chololate upon first sip. Some brown sugar and light coconut flavors sneak in before a long slightly bitter espresso finish. Thick and fudgy mouthfeel, nice and oily. Overall I love this beer and will buy a few more. Love the 16.9 oz format, dislike the wax cap. Very similar to BCBS.

16.9 oz bottle, 2017 vintage
4.5 rating

Apr 27, 2018
Photo of patre_tim
patre_tim from Thailand

4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a finger of rusty beige head.

Smells of black liquorice and umami, like Dutch salty liquorice. Coffee liqueur, nail polish, alcohol, dark chocolate and pecans. Soy sauce as well as vanilla.

Lightly sweet with black liquorice, chocolate, coffee and cream, tiramisu, kailua, clean linen and alcohol. Soy sauce, vanilla, and only a little hint of bourbon barrels. They come in as a fresh wood. Its both sweet and salty.

Medium oily, foamy and smooth body. Relatively light carbonation.

Got this in Bracebridge, drinking by Muskoka January 17th, 2018. Really well done brew, so I now understand why its so highly sought after.

Jan 18, 2018
Photo of Eddieeight
Eddieeight from Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks deep black
Smells like bourbon mostly. Taste is multidimensional. Lots of bourbon of course, I can taste the wood, molasses, vanilla, cherry, licorice.
Mouthfeel is slippery smooth and silky.
Overall it's a rather overwhelming beer, not for the faint hearted. It's big and bold, deep and brooding. This is darker than midnight and as heavy as oil. This takes a while to finish and I can barely believe it's a full bomber but overall will put hair on your balls so just go for it!

Nov 18, 2017
Photo of Derek
Derek from Canada

4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2016 vintage, nicely cellared by @dabeerbuddha. Thanks for this top 100 Canadian Brew!

Black with a dark tan head that recedes to a thin ring, but shows some leg.

Aroma of bourbon, oak, vanilla, bakers chocolate and a light coffee.

A bit boozy, but it has the flavour and body to back it up. Bourbon and oak up front, black strap molasses, licorice and espresso, with some chocolate sweetness and roasted marshmallow on the finish. For a brew of this strength, it is exquisitely balanced (bittersweet with some alcohol warmth).

I’d be interested to know the gravities, it’s rare that a brew this Strong is so drinkable and balanced.

Nov 03, 2017
Photo of HockeyBrewmeister
HockeyBrewmeister from New York

4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 Batch - 14.5% ABV

L: motor oil black with mocha head (surprisingly active)
S: huge cherry cordial sweetness, chocolate fudge, oak, smooth vanilla, and bourbon
T: rich chocolate, roasted coffee bitterness, cherry cordial, sweet vanilla, and a beautiful bourbon warming on the backend that creeps down into the chest. Real Kentucky bourbon at it's finest.
F: velvety sludge

OVERALL: In my humble opinion, this is as good as BA Stouts get. No reason this shouldn't get the same hype as BCBS, SMS, KBS or any other unicorn brew. Taste is impressively smooth yet not cloyingly sweet. 100% recommended!

I was lucky enough to pickup a bottle on Long Island... but price was steep at $22. Really appreciate the fact that the detailed ingredients are included on the label.

Jun 18, 2017
Photo of Tripel_Threat
Tripel_Threat from Michigan

4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One fantastic BBA stout. Nice big aromas of coffee and cocoa, and boozy bourbon and vanilla. Flavor is ridiculously smooth and rich, chocolate upon coffee, upon vanilla, upon bourbon and oak and char but without the burn. Absolutely no way to tell this one is almost 15%. Beautifully dangerous, and I would put this one up against any other BBA stout out there.

May 21, 2017
Photo of LAp
LAp from Ohio

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid bourbon without being overwhelming or cloying. Handles the abv well. This is a competent, thoroughly enjoyable bourbon barrel imperial stout, but not at all among the best nor justifying of its price tag.

Apr 28, 2017
Photo of wwwagainsttimeca
wwwagainsttimeca from Canada

2.73/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Flavors very much a standard stout with the exception of a warming alcohol. However mouth feel is syrup not pleasant. Not much for head. Expected something more for a 14.5% abv. Wouldn't repeat.

Mar 07, 2017
Photo of 57md
57md from Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown with at least a finger of head. The nose is a delightful mix of bourbon and wood. The primary flavor note is wood with some sweetness from the bourbon on the finish. The roast is unimpressive.

Mar 02, 2017
Photo of jeffreed61
jeffreed61 from Indiana

4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 Release, 10% ABV, 70 IBU poured at about 60 degrees.

Look = Pitch black.

Nose = Chocolate/cherry Bourbon Balls.

Taste = So much boozy goodness. Both bourbon and oak play big. Bourbony, caramel sweet early with just a light bitter kiss at finish.

Feb 24, 2017
Photo of BigIslandfarmer
BigIslandfarmer from Minnesota

4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Dark chocolate in color with some red hues. Three fingers of fluffy, mocha colored head quickly fades to a solid cap. Smell is dominated by the bourbon barrel. Vanilla, caramel, chocolate, stone fruit, oak. Taste follows smell with more of the bitter chocolate coming through. Some cherry as well. Bourbon lingers throughout the sip and is a nice compliment to the other flavors. Alcohol warmth in the chest.
Mouth feel is nice. Smooth, and velvety. Overall, a very well crafted beer. No one flavor dominates, they all compliment each other nicely. It's great now, but some time wouldn't hurt it either.

Feb 11, 2017
Photo of hozersr
hozersr from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I dont usually review beers but I have to state the 2016 version of this beer is 14.5%. I would suggest those of you that had the 10% gives this another shot.

Jan 29, 2017
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum from Canada

3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml, reddish-brown wax sealed bottle - the name here sez it all, really. Oh, 2016 edition, @ 14.5% ABV.

This beer pours a solid black abyss, with the scantest of scant basal 'edges', and three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly brown head, which leaves a bit of awkward Swiss cheese lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of bittersweet hot cocoa, lightly roasted caramel malt, some biscuity toffee, fairly strong Bourbon barrel notes (vanilla and spicy rye whiskey, mostly), musty black licorice, day-old cafe-au-lait, hints of a dark orchard fruitiness unrequited, and some testy and not so charming estery alcohol. The taste is milk chocolate, bready and doughy caramel/toffee malt, some free-range ashiness, sharp Bourbon County essences (vanilla, wood, rye grain, but above all, booze heat), salted anise candies, gritty brown sugar, ethereal black stone fruit, stale coffee grounds, and a bit of generic perfume.

The carbonation is understated in its merely supportive frothiness, the body a decent medium-heavy weight, and sort of smooth, as the guest barrel treatment always has something to say, even here, right? It finishes off-dry, yet not nearly as sweet as this sports fan might have been expecting - wood and alcohol the 'salve', it would appear.

Overall, this is indeed one big and brash version of the style, the Bourbon treatment elevating, and at the same time evening out the sweetness of the base brew. Maybe almost too much, as it feels like some of the heady stout character gets overridden by vanilla, wood, and alcohol alike. At any rate, an appropriate enough offering, for when we are just about to sink into a serious deep-freeze - hello, January.

Jan 03, 2017
Photo of stotch
stotch from Canada

4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a wine glass. Bottle reads 70 I.B.U. and 14.5% alc./vol. This is the 2016 batch. I wish they didn't put the wax on the cap, sure it looks nice but it's a pain to open as a result.

L: Very similar to the original Bolshevik, pours jet black but this time a ring of head stuck around which provided some lacing.

S: The bourbon dominates and overpowers the more subtle flavours from the original. I still get some cocoa though, still smells great.

T: Better than I remember! The first time I had it was last year (2015) and I felt that the bourbon flavour was way overboard. I don't know if my tastes have changed or if the bourbon is better integrated this year. The bourbon brings with it butterscotch, toffee and vanilla flavours that I don't get from the original. The finish has a pleasant sweetness to it and dark chocolate lingers in the back of throat for a long time. Very tasty.

F: Not sure if I'm imagining this but it seems slightly less full-bodied and more carbonated than the original, which is surprising considering the higher ABV. Still amazing though.

O: I slightly prefer the original but as I mentioned I like this a lot more than I did last year. I have a feeling this one is going to become a winter tradition!

Dec 27, 2016
Old Kentucky Bastard from Nickel Brook Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 197 ratings