Bourbon Barrel-Aged Kentucky Common | Local Option

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128 Ratings

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.

Added by TMoney2591 on 07-13-2012

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 128 |  Reviews: 10
Photo of Kurmaraja
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of jschott75
4/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

 438 characters

Photo of bilhelm
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of scottDC
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of ADTaber
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of FrankShirley
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of jacewg
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

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.

 445 characters

Photo of birdsellam
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of alexm1309
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of TheRealPour
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of micropale
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of ShemRahBoo
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of LMH88
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of pjs234
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of pretext
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of grover37
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of nmann08
3.25/5  rDev -20.7%

Photo of ncelauro
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

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.

 2,502 characters

Photo of Swift989
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Skillz
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of slim2043
4/5  rDev -2.4%

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