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

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123 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: 123 |  Reviews: 84
Photo of gutbuster
1.75/5  rDev -49.7%

Photo of mrfrancis
1.75/5  rDev -49.7%

Photo of threedaggers
2/5  rDev -42.5%

Photo of RBorsato
2.17/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Tasted On-Tap 04/07/05 at the Bluegrass Brewing Co. Pub at the Cincinnati Airport.

Copper (golden-amber) color with a low off-white head which was strange considering the very active carbonation. Not so nice buttery Diacetyl aroma and flavor dominate over an overly sweet malt base. Light-medium bodied but leans light due to carbonation.

This batch had to be bad considering the hoppiness others describe -- there were no hops evident in this sample. I could only finish half of my glass which doesn't happen often. :-(

Per BBC website: 1996 GABF - Bronze - Altbier

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Photo of jdhilt
2.33/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours with a one-fingered off-white head that fades quickly and leaves traces of lace. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Cloudy amber color. Nose is slightly hoppy. Starts hoppy, finishes with strong hoppiness, what else with an amber. Not my style. $1.25 for a 12oz bottle from Liquor Barn Lexington, KY.

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Photo of seeswo
2.5/5  rDev -28.2%

Photo of BeerBelcher
2.53/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I choose to interpret this beer's award of a medal at the 1996 GABF as a sign of the improving quality of American brewing, and not as a sign of meaninglessness for these awards. In short, I didn't find this beer to be all that commendable.

Aroma was a sort of brass colored tan with minimal head. Aroma was virtually non-existent. Flavor was thin, and the predominant characteristic was an ash-tray like flavor. Mouthfeel was thin.

I wouldn't recommend this, and in fact I resent the Microbrew of the Month people a bit for sending it to me.

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Photo of IPAcraig
2.69/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

While watching LSU vs. MS State...

I poured this beer into my Yazoo Hefeweizen pint glass which has a picture of the Yazoo brew with a GABF gold medal haging around the WEizen glass. Sadly the beer I am having now will not garner such honors.

Best Before Date: DEC 2007

After a vigourous pour there was barely a 1/2 finger head showing. It didnt last long at all. The beers pours a murky rusty amber. No lacing.

The aroma was faint but not off putting. It had hints of malt sweetness.

The taste was ok. Sweet munich malt present that is nice. It finishes with a weird earthy lingering bitterness that doesnt seem quite appropriate.

Despite virtually no carbonation, it has a very light mouthfeel. It is very crisp, bordering on "lagerish". This does not help the flaor of the beer at all.

I dont want to have this beer again. It is not overly offputting, but it is still hard to finish. It doesnt seem to be a very well constructed beer; not much flavor and slightly muddled.

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Photo of coasterfreak75
2.7/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was at first impressed with the copper color and the creamy head. But the head quickly sank and the aroma was correct. My first taste told me the whole story, it is not a great example of the style. There was no bite at the beginning, but it did however have a clean finish.

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Photo of Gavage
2.79/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: hazy orange in color with a 1/4" head that disappears quickly. No lacing developed.

Smell: no aroma detected even with my nose almost hitting the liquid surface.

Taste: mild grainy malt profile, caramel candy, hints of fruit sweetness and a mild bitterness made up a bland altbier. This was very low in alcohol at 4.2% ABV.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. Very brief caramel aftertaste. Medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: if you want a true altbier, you'll need to look elsewhere. This is a light version of one which some may enjoy. Very easy to drink but little flavor makes it dull.

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Photo of beakerboy
2.79/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer poured a dark bronze with only a half finger of head. The aroma had something wrong with it that I could not put my finger on. Kind of a "corn water" smell, like when boiling corn-on-the-cob. The aroma was not present in the flavor however. The flavor was mainly malty, with a little caramel. Not much hops. Mouthfeel was good. It's a silky, creamy mouthfeel with medium carbonation. All in all it was a disapointment.

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Photo of Cresant
2.8/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured this amber colored into a IPA glass, received a small ring of foam.

Smelled sweet, mild. Very little aroma evident.

Taste was light and a little peppery to balance the sweetness.

Texture was a bit watery, thin, with low carbonation.

Easy drinking and pretty refreshing.

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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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Photo of tmitch75
2.93/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at the Brewery's tap house in Theater Square in Louisville.

Reddish color with minimal head. Very faint bready smell, not much there at all.

Taste is pretty mediocre, a slight sweetness up front with almost no hops.

Mouthfeel was decent, medium-bodied, with good carbonation.

A passable beer with no single glaring problem. It just looks, smells, and tastes mediocre. It is an easy drinker.

Tasted 3/3/08.

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Photo of Bunnyhop
2.93/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A clear, medium reddish golden German Style Amber Ale with a moderately creamy, off-white, lacy head. The smell was hard for me to place, but, it reminded me of bananas. The taste was a full rounded malt with a slight citrus bitter finish. It was firm and round in my mouth. Overall, I found this to be a bit on the bitter side for me, but I would say fairly "drinkable" for most.

(source: Beers Across America)

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Photo of dmfrench
2.97/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thin and slightly adjuncty Alt.

A: Deep clear gold body with a small, fleeting white head

S: Feint adjuncty pils type malt, very feint earthy hopping. Slight spice and cream.

T: Light slightly creamy dry pils type malt with a bit more butter and a lighter dusty hopping.

M. One foot firmly planted on the watery side.

O: Pretty boring, though this style's not exactly a stunner to begin with.

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Photo of gunclubchris
3/5  rDev -13.8%

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 Chaney
3.1/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this on tap over at BBC.

A: Brown/gold, with a mild 1/8 finger head that retained nicely. Fairly clear in consistency.

S: Mild puff of bread and caramel, but even then, I really had to search for it.

T: Bready, with very bleached out sweetness (which admittedly is not uncommon for this style), but with an extremely watery finish.

M: Once again, thin and watery, with no lacing whatsoever,

O: I'm glad I tried it, but I didn't really dig this one.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.1/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted at the Barrelhouse Brewing Company Microbrew Fest on November 9. I am not too familiar with Altbiers but this was okay. The other Bluegrass beers I have tried were noticeably better though. Dark amber color with a thin head. Light-bodied malt flavor with a hoppy and slightly nutty finish.

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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 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 BigDaddyWil
3.15/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of kmpitz2.
Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a very clear amber color, with some orange highlights. Maybe a half inch thick head, that fades quickly. No lacing left behind. Very weak aromas, of some dark malts, dark dried fruits, with some hints of molasses and a smokey aroma to it. Some flavors of dark malts, fruits and finishes clean. A little watery mouthfeel, but very light. Quite refreshing. Very easy to drink, I just wish this beer had a stronger taste.

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Photo of ndekke39
3.18/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a mixed six-pack of BBC beers from my brother for Christmas. The Altbier says it's best by April 2007. Pours a slightly hazy golden color, with a very small white head. Little to no retention on it. Smells like a classic Pilsner... bread, simple grains, touch of hops, wood, a little musty. Tastes very crisp, with a nice malty aftertaste. A touch of hoppy bitterness. A little chemically in the middle. Overall, could be a little stronger. Mouthfeel has some nice fizz on the front of the tongue, a tad watery in the back. Overall, a very easy beer to drink, nice example of the style.

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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

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Altbier from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Beer rating: 3.48 out of 5 with 123 ratings