Altbier | Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

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124 Ratings

Brewed by:
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Kentucky, United States

Style: German Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.19%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Altbier, literally translated as “Old Style” beer, is a classic German ale. BBC Altbier is brewed with additions of Munich, wheat, caramel, and chocolate malts creating a delicate, but flavorful malt profile. This delicious amber colored session beer is balanced with additions of tradtional spicy German hops creating a light and floral bouquet to compliment its complex malt profile.

28.6 IBU

Added by SheepNutz on 07-30-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 124 |  Reviews: 85
Reviews by mrfrancis:
Photo of mrfrancis
1.75/5  rDev -49.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.98/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice amber orange with a creamy 1" head that slowly falls to reveal some intricate lacing on the way down. Nose has a mix of caramel, dark fruit and spiciness. Some raisins lurk in the background along with the hops. Nice.

Nutty caramel fruity maltiness as I begin to imbibe. There's a mellow spicy, herbal hoppiness that accentuates the flavor of the beer quite nicely. Robust and creamy on the way down with just a slight twang of bitterness....good brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth profile that goes down easy. A drinkable beer by my standards and one I could see as being a good crossover for the macro drinkers. A solid altbier from a great Kentucky brewery!

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Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh 12 oz bottle pours a clear, bronze body topped by two fingers of creamy offwhite head. Retention is fair, and some patchy chains of lace are left on the glass as it quickly empties. Aroma begins with spicy hops, as caramel and toffee notes quickly emerge. The nose is finished by a fruity note of dried apricots. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a silky and tingly carbonation level that is ideal. Taste is quite good, with mild black peppery hops, toffee maltiness, and a hint of ripe pears. Slightly drying noble hops appear toward the finish. Easy drinking, well balanced, and a decent American effort at a somewhat obscure German style. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.73/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kmpitz2 for this overdue offering...
Pours a dark amber color with a full finger of tan head...a generous layer sticks around for the duration and some decent lacing remains.
Roasted malts in the nose with a buttery, carmelized hops jumping out at me at this point.
The taste is very refreshing...the hops are apparent, but a solid malt profile keeps them in check. The butter characteristic does not show up in the flavor...finishes with a subtle sweetness that makes this very drinkable.
Mouthfeel is fantastic, the carbonation is perfect and goes down real smooth.

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Photo of far333
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper colored with a light beige head that sinks quickly. Aroma is of sweet malt and honey, a bit bready. Flavor is light and clean, with round malts and butterscotch, some honey and a tingly citrus finish. Smooth mouthfeel. No other flavors come through in the finish or aftertaste, except a bit more of malt and a light splash of hops.

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Photo of drunkensailor
3.3/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

My first alt. it was golden amber color with a whitish caramel head, quickly dissipating. Aroma is unusual, almost like over ripe fruit, but can't determine what kind.?.?. Some light but lasting carbonation. Slight hoppiness, but not overwhelming. Once again the fruit taste was noticable, but still unfamiliar. Leaves mouth feeling bubbly and sudsy. No major flavors stand out, just hints. Easy to drink, would drink it again, but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a copper amber tone with a nice size creamy textured cream head, the lacing coats the sides in speckled streaks. Aroma: Toasted malts some vienna possibly but not as sweet there's a slight woody tone with toasted nuts there to back it up, not bad. Taste: A very strange mix that I can't say it's sweet or bitter a bit mute overall a wave of biscuit malt with a bready characteristic that finishes with toasted malts. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied very crisp and smooth nothing cloying. Drinkability: I am not very familiar with the altbier style, but this one just doesn't do anything amazing for me it's alright but I haven't fallen in love yet.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Retroman40
3.7/5  rDev +6.3%

Consumed on tap at the brewery/restaurant.

Hazy amber/brownish color with a tan head that gives way to decent lacing. Both the smell and tastes are a good combination of malt and floral hops. Very refreshing. The finish is neither dry nor sweet. The mouthfeel is good as is the carbonation level. Overall this is a great beer to have with hot wings (which I did) and with the lower ABV it is an excellent session beer.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, one of a handful of BBC beers hauled by kmpitz2 to Madison fo rme

appearance: a copper/amber pour with a small bubbly white head and little lacing

smell: sweet and spicy malts, a certain nutty nature, grassy, some spicy hops too

taste: mostly malts, definite spicy nature, toasted malts, mildy grass and bitter hops in the background. pretty standard altbier

mouthfeel: thin bodied, mostly malty with slight hop bitterness, spicy and dry finishing

drinkability: pretty drinkable

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Photo of freewill35
4/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of kenito799
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, purchased from the fridge by the entrance to BBC on S. 4th St, Louisville. Best by date: March 2008; drank October 2007.

Really loved this on tap, and brought home a bottle to compare. The lack of freshness was striking and really took this beer down a notch. While the adherence to the dry, toasty altbier style was excellent, there was less crispness, less life, the taste was a touch stale. Certainly well within the best by date, BBC does better by this style with a fresh pour. There is also the issue of the fluorescently lit fridge, despite the brown bottle, which may have prematurely aged this sample. See my other reviews of BBC beers...this bottle was the least flawed so far.

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Photo of russpowell
4.32/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the airport in Cincinati

Pours caramel/copper with a 1" tan head. Good lacing & average head retention

S: Nice malty nose with hints of hops

T: Nice rich malt flavor followed by caramel notes. Finished with a a nice herbal hop bite & some oakyness

MF: Medium bodied with great balance & good carbonation

Drinks really easy. a good american take on a style that I loved over in Germany. Easily the best of the BBC beer I tried

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Photo of bditty187
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tawny-coppery-amber in hue, slightly hazy but some animation is noticeable racing towards the head, which reached a finger in height. The compact bubbles of the white head hung together well, in other words the retention was very good. A small, tight cap lasted the entire consumption. Impressive. Subsequent lacing was spotty and it didn’t cling well. The nose is pleasantly malty, as expected for the style. There is also an airy, grassiness that is mainly at the front. The malt imparts a touch of toffee and a very weak suggestion of peat and nuts. I realize neither of the latter two are typical for an Altbier. Honestly the bouquet seems more a kin to a Märzen and a Scottish Ale mixed. Whatever, I like it, it is inviting with modest potency. The palate immediately tells me it is German. However it is also very clean like a lager. Odd. The grassy hops with a slightly herbal hint and only modest bitterness say “German.” The hoppiness is good but the malt makes this beer work with its slightly sweet beginning and long toffee flavors in the middle. At the finish the beer dries out substantially. This works. The finish is muddled, just a bit, mainly because it becomes tacky and too sweet. But, overall, the palate is straightforward and tasty, if not overly complex. This is a good, clean, German Ale. Medium in body and modest carbonation helps produce a good mouthfeel. This is plenty drinkable, likeable as well. It is worthy a try. Thanks SheepNutz!

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Photo of beveritt
3.13/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. There is a date stamp on the bottom of the bottle, maybe this beer was brewed/bottled on the 194th day of 2006? Maybe not. Anyway, the label says best by April of 2007.

Appearance: Pours with a one inch, off white, foamy head. This falls to just a thin coat of foam. Leaves rings around the glass as you drink it. The beer itself is amber with just a slight chill haze.

Smell: Slightly sweet, with a hint of sourness. Lots of corn odor.

Taste: Lots of carbonation bite up front, followed by a slight sweetness, than more corn flavor. Very little bitterness, a bit on the finish if you look for it.

Mouthfeel: Lots of carbonation, well above the average. Decent body.

Drinkability: Pretty easy drinking, which translates to not a lot of complex or strong flavors. A good session beer, but nothing outstanding.

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Photo of cwd
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of shbobdb
3.06/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

"Es schmeckt wie es heisst!" is a complaint normally levied against altbiers . . . this particular one is quite immune to that critique because it it nearly devoit of any flavour. A hint of sweet dark malts, but no body to speak of to give these flavours any context. It is a very, very thin amber ale, hardly an Alt.
That said, it smells wonderful. Spice and chocolate dance on my nose. If only the taste were more pronounced, this would be one killer beer.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

3/25/18...lighter colored amber, creamy white foam. Bready malt nose. Thin mouthfeel, light bodied. Some background cherry bitter flavoring sneaks in. Overall very light.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.11/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer had a medium sized ivory head with fine-small bubbles.The body was very murky and there was carbonation observed.The hue was dark orange and the lacing was good.The nose was malty and hoppy.The flavor was bitter and it had an aftertaste to it.The mouthfeel was tingly, smooth, thin and light bodied.

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Photo of fattyre
3.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear medium reddish golden color with a moderate creamy off white head that leaves a good lace on the sides of the glass. There was a slight cookie smell to the beer. The taste was a rounded fruity malt with a tart bitter finish and firm mouthfeel. Overall it seemed a good drinkable beer.

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Photo of kbuzz
3.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of oracle
3.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured a very slightly cloudy amber with 2 inch head the settled pretty quickly to barely there. Left lacing for about half the beer.

Smell was good but faint. Interesting malts with the hops being nicely understated.

This beer is very interesting to drink. Nice malt flavor with carmel dominating, but too much carbonation gets in the way of the flavors.

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Photo of CaskofFlyingDog
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow this is a neat beer.

Appearance: Dark copper body with a creamy kahki head that goes to pee bubbles and mild lacing.

Smell: Creamy, caramelly, unexplainable. It's one of the best smelling beers I've smelt!

Taste: Yep, it's an altbier heh. It's a bit sour, tea-like, and creamy.

Mouthfeel: It's sticky and a tad prickly on the tounge.

Drinkability: Wow it's good. I had some Spaten last night and I must say I think I like this better (ducks). I could definitely drink a shit ton of this and not get tired of it. It seems to be fitting with any occasion too. I was quite surprised by this one.

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Photo of tke743
2.81/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had it in their airport bar.

Appearance: Glass served looked great at a distance but up close lost some charm. Color dead on for the style.

Smell: Aroma was flat, no malt (which would be good in this style), no hop (would be bad for this style), just nothing. I swirled the glass to raise a head, still nothing for the nose.

Taste: Sweet, with a little bread in the background, that is it. No balance.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation almost non-existent (came back on my return flight and tried again and it was a new keg and still nothing) a little body, but without the flavor that it should bring in this style.

Overall: Will not try again. I travel for business and always look for new beers. This is my favorite style and was diapointing.

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Altbier from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Beer rating: 3.48 out of 5 with 124 ratings