Conntucky Lightnin' Bourbon Ale | Two Roads Brewing Company

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Conntucky Lightnin' Bourbon AleConntucky Lightnin' Bourbon Ale

Brewed by:
Two Roads Brewing Company
Connecticut, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Connecticut Yankees of Two Roads have CONNjured up this moonshine inspired bourbon-like ale. Using good ol' USA corn grits and aged in real bourbon barrels from a famous Kentucky distillery, this unique CONNcoction includes notes of whiskey, oak and vanilla. It should make your taste buds happier than a pig in "____"

Added by Jason on 05-08-2013

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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 188
Photo of PicoPapa
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle. Pours a murky brown swamp water color with over an inch of thick, frothy head that takes forever and a day to dissipate. Lots of lacing. Smells boozey with some oak, vanilla, grains and butter. The taste is buttery bourbon with some cereal and corn. Slightly sour. Vanilla and oak at the finish. A bit on the sweet side. There is a decent sized alcohol burn, but I kind of expected more. Maybe it's not as boozey as I thought it'd be because the abv is only 8.5%. Mouthfeel is creamy with lots of carbonation. Overall, a bit disappointed with this one. I expected this to be a bigger beer than it turned out to be. It's decent but I won't go out of my way to have it again.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

We crack the cage and cork on a 750 mL bottle with “2” on the label, pouring a brew of tawny orange. It puts up massive two and a half finger head of cream colored foam, showing extreme retention. Thick and three dimensional sheets of lacing are left all around the glass, as the head slowly bubbles away into a cratered film cross the top of the liquid. A chill haze cuts clarity, with microspecks of sediment floating about. Carbonation appears to be active. The aroma gives wax, yellow mustard, bright plastics, fusel booze, big corny grit, and buttery diacetyls off the bat. Mixing in and with warmth are notes of acetone, raw barley and straw, light banana esters, vanilla cake icing, clove spikes, oaky woodiness, and faint bourbon warmth. Our first impression is that the end and aftertaste are quite bittered and boozy, definitely giving the drinker the feel we’re sipping on actual bourbon, but with a much more malty, corny zing. As we sip, the taste begins with strong oaky character, light vanilla smoothness, pale, corny, and metallic adjuncty malts, bittered plastics, dirty earthiness, soy sauce, light wheaty toast, grassy hops, and bittered booze. The middle cools a bit, with brown sugar sweetness, cold banana breadiness, plum sugars, pale toast, chalked yeastiness, coiny metallics, and even adjuncty grittiness. The finishing wash shows a return to the harshness, with strongly fusel booze, black pepper, mustard seed, ginger root fruitiness, earthy bark, massive corny adjuncts, biting metallics, puckering yeast, sweet wine grape qualities, dirty oak, and biting floral grassiness. The aftertaste breathes of cheap bourbon bite, gravel, graphite, stark oakiness, distant grassy and earthy hops, vanilla cleanliness, bittered plastics, powdered corn, metallic adjuncts, brown sugar sweetness, and resiny green grassiness. The body is full, and carbonation is medium, but foams up quite a bit when held around the mouth and swished. The mouth is thus coated, but this dries into grainy, yeasty, and boozy pucker and astringency. Each sip gives nice slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop. The abv is appropriate, and the beer sips decently.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its fantastic look, and strong oaky character through the flavoring. The head is as impenetrable and reminiscent of the best Belgian IPAs out there, marking the best retention we’ve seen in an American strong ale to date. This makes the beer highly desirable and inviting, and contributes nicely to the slurp and the frothy mustache. The nose and flavoring, however, fall off a bit. The nose is basic, with much attention given to the corny adjuncty bolstering of the malts to match the bourbon flavoring imparted by the barrels. The taste follows suite, giving heavy booziness against a background that isn’t sweet or buttery enough to support that kind of kick. This is an interesting ale, but just isn’t as blended, even, and flavorful as you would expect. Drink on the cooler side to calm the bitters and soothe some of that booziness on the way down.

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Photo of davey101
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml C+C bottle into a tulip glass. Bottom of the bottle showed a layer of cloudy sludge and there was a decent amount of floaties.

A - Pours a somewhat hazy amber body with later pours becoming more and more hazy and sediment rich. Huge fluffy white foam that settles into a solid finger of foam. A swirl generates another massive head. Super sticky lacing and retention. It does look nice.

S - Bright cereal grains, faint apples and a bit of corn sweetness followed by a wave of smooth, buttery bourbon. Oak and vanilla really dominate the end of the aroma. This doesn't smell like a particularly big beer though, the bourbon is present but the alcohol is not.

T - Sweet cereal grains and the introduction of some caramel malts followed by the bourbon. Butterscotch, oak, and vanilla. The aftertaste is strong on the toffee but quite light. This probably sounds insane, but its like a non-imperial version of Firestone Walker's Double DBA. Its somewhat rich and sweet but the body is light and highly carbonated. Alcohol adds a touch of heat but its rather tame.

O - I wasn't sure what to expect with this one. The corn grits are definitely noticeable as is the bourbon barrel. This is not a big 'ol barrel aged barleywine or a stout. Instead its a light "strong ale" using an interesting adjunct and stuck into a barrel. Its very tame and approachable and I can honestly see this beer working as an intro to BA craft beers. Its very tasty and pretty different, but don't go into it expecting a behemoth because it saw a barrel.

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Photo of rdilauro
3.39/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The pour was a very light amber with hardly any noticeable head. The aroma was typical of ales that have been aged in whiskey casks. It was a pleasant aroma with the absence of any detectable hops, citrus etc. I could smell that this was going to be a bit malty.

The first taste was nice, big, soft and round. The whiskey overtone was not too pronounced and didn't hit you in the face. That was done, then on the second sip, I had the same impression as when I finished my first one. The finish and aftertaste basically dropped off. There wasnt much left to feel, in fact, it picked up a stranger taste that I have not been able to put my finger on.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the brewery tasting room.

A: Clear chestnut body under a finger of fine off-white froth that settles into a persistent ring and leaves spotty lace. Decent.

S: Corn and whiskey. Raw, burning booziness on top of some sweet cereal notes. A little leafiness and spice. Pretty much as expected, but without the richness and cohesion I was hoping for.

T: Follows the nose precisely: bourbon, corny booze, and not much else. It's simple and rather boring. Nothing but alcohol on the finish. One-dimensional and underwhelming.

M: Medium-bodied and creamy. Excellent.

O: My hopes were high for this one, as the only other bourbon-barrel corn beer I've tried was nothing short of stellar. This, though, simply didn't deliver. The base beer had plenty of corny sweetness, but no depth. The barrel had plenty of boozy intensity, but no positive vanilla/coconut/marshmallow side effects. It also didn't help that the bartender loudly proclaimed that this beer was "far superior" to BCBS...


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Photo of Davepoolesque
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Ruddy brownish in color. Opaque in appearance. Some twang. Vanilla, toffee, caramel, Cherry skin and oak. Prickly carbonation. Weird bitter finish. Bleh!

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Conntucky Lightnin' Bourbon Ale from Two Roads Brewing Company
3.66 out of 5 based on 188 ratings.
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