Bourbon Barrel-Aged Kentucky Common | Local Option

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Brewed by:
Local Option
Illinois, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Dark sour ale partially aged on American oak and partially on fresh bourbon barrels, then blended.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 10 | Ratings: 128
Photo of chinchill
3.54/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap the the Republic in Minneapolis.

Dark reddish-brown body; clear with a thin head that soon reduced to a ring.

I had a typical reaction to this wild ale in that the aroma was a bit unappealing in some respects, but the BBL aging certainly improved this. The flavor was good, nicely complex and not too funky, with limited BBL effects A bit tart and lightly fruity, Near full bodied with light carbonation.

O: Exceptionally interesting brew. .

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Happy Gnome
L: Brilliant dark brown under a thin light tan foam collar.
S: Tart and faint chocolate, citrus.
T: lemony tart, acidic, dry, no roast or bitterness, hints of cherry, bourbon, vanilla, oak
F: Medium full body, medium carbonation.
O: A very interesting bourbon barrel aged wild ale that is easy to drink.

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Photo of macher0
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served at Against the Grain Brewery

Poured dark maroon with a fine bubble head that retreats to a rim with some laces. Barely translucent. The nose is heavy on the sour yeast and bready mash. Medium tartness. The taste follows the nose nicely with dark malts and charred oak. Minor notes of plums and figs. The feel is very smooth from a high carbonation and moderate body. This is a super quality dark sour. I highly recommend this ale.

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Photo of dar482
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It comes in a dark mahoghany color.

The aroma is of tart cherries, sweet caramel, mostly oak with hints of bourbon.

The taste is extremely tart. Sour blackberries, raspberries, black cherries. Some acetic vinegar. There's some light caramel malt sweetness. Then onto a wonderful bourbon flavor with a good amount of oak and drying on the finish.

A light body, but lots of complexity with drinkability on this. A stellar barrel aged wild ale.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

While a smattering of American microbreweries are dragging the "Kentucky Common Ale" back from extinction, kicking and screaming- why have no one ever considered using Kentucky's indigenous bourbon barrels for maturation and layering upon their complexities until now?

The dark sour ale pours exactly that- dark. Its deep blackened mahogany color is nearly black, especially as its uncommon clarity shows off a mirror, onyx-like sheen. As a dainty and creamy coffee-like creme simmers to the top of the snifter, it slowly dissolves back within the beer nearly halfway through the session with minimal lace. Stillness is left after that.

Sharp and sweet aromas leap out immediately- tangy cider, tart fruit, dark fruit and wood spices swirl for a highly complex set of aromas that are rarely found in either sour or malty beers. Vinous red wine, savory sherry and a tinge of maple and molasses temper the acidity while weathered oak, curing tobacco, saddle leather and sea air round out the complex scent.

The front of the tongue is greeted by the more sweet and savory pieces and parts of the ale. Over-cooked caramel, maple and thin molasses provide a friendly malt-forward taste, then the ale develops into a savory and salty "sherry" like taste for a hint of terryaki-type taste that weaves into prunes, blackberries, dates, figs and raisins. But then comes the sour! Those stone and pitted fruits develop into sour cherries, crab apples, dried lime peels, sour red grapes and balsamic vinegar to finish. The later taste introduces wood and alcohol flavors that are unmistakably bourbon because of its spicy oak, vanilla and caramel contributions.

Its thin textures are a far cry from the sweeter impressions that lay on the nose and tongue. But yet, there's virtually no weight on the tongue as the ale is effortless, like dry red wine. Partly because of the strong yeast and bacteria attenuation but also because of the lacking carbonation that somehow makes the beer fit. Warm, spicy and acidic, the beer's inherent tannin-rich character is somehow easily overlooked. Trailing wood spice, bourbon heat and acidic fruit leave the beer's finish and aftertaste as much wine-like as of ale.

Where this Kentucky Common Ale seems to employ full-out souring techniques rather than simply a sour mash, the beer certainly crosses over into Belgian roots and aspirations. But it takes this level of sourness and bacteria-derived complexity to contend with the bourbon barrels and without backing down.

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Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Alewife, Long Island City, NY

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a thin brown head consisting of very large bubbles; these died down and eventually completely faded away.
S: Moderate aromas of dark fruit are present in the nose—blackberries seem to stand out in particular—along with hints of bourbon from the barrel aging. The smell of bourbon becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has a light to moderate amount of sourness—like the smell, the bourbon flavors become stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a low amount of carbonation.
O: This is an interesting combination of sour and bourbon flavors. I thought that this beer would have been better if there was more carbonation and the taste was more balanced.

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Photo of vinny21bal
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge fan of Local Option. This is a sour mother! I absolutely love it. You can still taste the Kentucky Common but you pull a lot of the barrel of on the finish. It is a much darker color then the original Common but just as good if not better. I was lucky enough to hold a barrel back so I can try it later and it just taste amazing.

The Sour ale hits you first and the finish is really second to none. I love the little funk you get on it as well. It reminds me more of a Belgian Sour then our clean American sours. Give me some of that Barnyard!

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Photo of rudzud
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Recently stumbled across my notes from The Festival 2012. Lets do this!

A - Poured a very nice mahogany hue with a quarter inch light tan head. Fades to leave a thin thin blanket and some wisps.

S - Aroma of sweet malts, vinous notes, light chocolate, wonderful vanilla notes, and the pleasantries that is bourbon.

T - Taste is delicious too. The funky brett and vinous notes work nicely with the big oak and bourbon that the Angel's Envy imbues. Very, very nice.

M - Mouthfeel is just what I would like for the style, slightly sharp. Goes down easy.

O - A pleasant surprise here. I actually helped them bring in these kegs. The one month this spent in the barrel really made it a super fun beer. Lovely.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at bainbridge barrel house - served in snifter

Pours deep reddish, near-mahogany color with a thin tanned head resting on top. Spotty lacing on the glass.

Combo of sour funk and boozy sweetness in the nose. Oaky with red wine and brett, alongside chocolate, vanilla and bourbon. Unusual mix and match, but works quite well.

Biting sourness up front with acidic, vinegar hints, followed by red wine, grape skin and oak. Boozy warmth with roasted dark malts, chocolate and vanilla infused bourbon. Continuing sourness on the finish with a bite of alcohol.

Fuller medium body, well carbonated, chewy, bubbly and sticky on the tongue. Tons of interesting flavors happening in the glass with this one, which was a fun surprise from a brewery I had never heard of prior to ordering this on tap.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chimay chalice at Local Option.

Enjoyed the normal, humdrum version of this, so I figured a bourbon barrel-aged version would have to be pretty tasty as well, eh? It pours a very dark blood-brown topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises dank dark greens, tart black cherry, light oak, light vinegar, and heavily-mineral-ed water. The taste holds notes of tart black cherry, vinegar, dry red wine, a touch of wood, a lighter touch of bourbon, mild molasses, and a gentle wisp of vanilla. Frankly, if you were to rattle those flavors off to me individually, leaving me to formulate an impression of the combination, I'd probably give you a disgusted look. Yet this stuff is downright delicious, I tell ya! Dunno how it works, and I don't think I'm gonna argue. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sticky finish. Overall, a highly enjoyable and slightly offbeat sour. Good times, indeed.

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Bourbon Barrel-Aged Kentucky Common from Local Option
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 128 ratings