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: 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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 123 |  Reviews: 84
Photo of Domingo
3.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Man...did someone say "roasted"?
I've only had 2 beers from BBC, but this one and the Porter both have a nearly overpowering roasty character.
It's a pretty standard copper to brown color with a moderate sized head.
Smells grainy and a little malty.
The taste however just tastes like roasted grain, nuts, and a little coffee. In the finish I can finally pick up some graham cracker-like malt flavor, but it's faint. Faint hops in the finish, too. Stylistically, this doesn't come across as an Alt or really even much of an American amber either.
Mouthfeel's appropriate, although it's a little thicker than I expected.
I'm just not sure about this one. Too much roasted character ends up muting the other flavors.
Not bad or undrinkable, not something I'd seek out again.

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Photo of bsm80x
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Good clarity to the amber and red colored brew, 1/4" white head and impressive lace job.

Noble like hops in here, more than average. Has a spice rye like feel to it. Caramel. Toffee.

Not bad actually, if you like your beer a tad malty, but not heavy, old school.

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Photo of JPlo
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Photo of tmoneyba
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured clear brown color with an average fizzy off-white head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Moderate roasted malt and tart citrus aroma. Medium body with a sticky texture and soft carbonation. Medium bittersweet flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration. My expectations where met.

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Photo of ZachRusk
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Photo of clvand0
3.27/5  rDev -6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper/amber color with a decent head that dies away quickly. Some honey (?) and sweet malts in the aroma. Taste has an interesting fruity-hopiness to it with a sweet malty backing. This is a pretty well made Altbier. Finishes dry and clean and leaves a sweet taste.

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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 argock
3.3/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass

A: Hazy light brown with short fizzy head which wihers away to a thin rim of bubbles. Scant lacing.

S: Faint sweet malts with even fainter hops

T: A bit light but tasty enough with sweet pale and caramel malts followed up with a mild but appropriate earthy and floral hops contribution.

M: A bit thin and watery with barely any aftertaste.

D: Easy enough to drink but a little disappointing -- I really like this style, but it is not readily available.

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Photo of cameraman
3.32/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A medium copper color, with a quater inch white head, that slowly dissolves away. The scent of malt strikes the nose at first, followed by a light grassy fragrance, then a citrusy lemon scent at the end. The taste is strong and malty, with growing mild bitterness coming in halfway. There is a metallic taste at the end, but only lingers there for a short amount of time. The feel is a little chewy at the front, it then blend to a very consistant medium bodied feel. There is a tingle from carbonation, but nothing to put one off. This beer could be very good session beer selection, very solid in flavor and aroma. When I am at the BBC brewpub, this is a good go to beer.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.32/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the newly re-labeled "BBC Amber Ale" bottle. Bottled May/June 2008.

A - Coppery in color with almost no head. Thin layer of off-white foam on the top. Light lacing.

S - A rather aromatic brew of a caramel maltiness, citrusy hop, and a little spice.

T - Very very malty and sweet. A strong caramel maltiness up front with just a hint of hop bitterness. A little funk in it as well.

M/D - Medium bodied but a little flat. A decent beer, but nothing great.

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

Pours a translucent copper color with a nice off-white head. Decent lacing and retention. Smells of caramel, pine and a creamy coffee. Upon tasting, nothing much stood out. It has some soapy malt taste, some non-descript flavors in the middle, and a mild bitter finish. I can't place much of anything. It's not bad, really, but it's nothing real remarkable. It's fine in the mouth, too - maybe a little watery. Goes down easily, for the most part, but nothing is drawing me back to it. So, two thumbs in the middle!

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.39/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle compliments of kmpitz2

Pours a hazy orange amber with a small white head that vanishes. Small specks of lacing on the glass.

Malty and fruity aroma with just a slight touch of smokiness.

A crisp malty flavor with some light fruitiness. I taset a hint of the smokiness that I smelled as it finishes rather clean and dry.

Body is thin, low carbonation.

Drinkable with a nice taste, but the thin body is a little too annoying to make me desire another.

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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 mjc410
3.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a weizen glass! at the Cincinnati airport. The beer put up a two-finger light tan head that fell slowly to surface lace. The body had a translucent golden-amber appearance. The nose was spicy, with herbal hops and slightly sweet toasted caramel malt. The taste was toasted, a bit metallic, but not estery - this beer was very lager-like, and reminded me of Brooklyn's O-Fest. It had a sweet finish, and little bitterness. The mouth was medium, and there was a lot of tingly carbonation. An easy beer, with nice body.

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Photo of Spidey13
3.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

BBC Altbier pours a very slightly hazy light brown with a fluffy off-white head that leaves just a touch of lacing while drinking. There is a good amount of grassy hops on the nose, with some underlying caramel, sulfur, and soap.

The taste is very light, starting with a bit ofsweetness up front. A pop of bitterness in the middle is followed by a balanced sweet/bitter light aftertaste. The mouthfeel is a bit watery with a low amount of carbonation.

Though not a beer that will blow your mind, the light and balanced flavors make this a nice session beer.

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.42/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copper color with a a white foam head and active but small bubbles of prickle. Some wheat in the nose that blends with the malts in the way that hops usually does. This is an interesting way of creating balance. Malty flavor with a smooth attack and clean finish. Simple, but fair beer. This beer reminds me more of German food than German beer.

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Photo of kinger
3.42/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Solid amber ale brewed in the old style. Pours a good looking light amber color with an ample head. Decent aroma of sweet malts countered by a bit of dry rye. Smooth and easy, very drinkable. Good flavors of sweet and toasted malts with a faint noble hop bitterness. A nice ale that could get you through the night.

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Photo of Dithyramb
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this one in the cellar and lost my notes from whence it came—think I got hooked up by clvlndO. I’m pretty sure that this was shipped to me as part of a past gone by BIF.

Pours a slightly hazy copper. A creamy head provided nice lacing after an okay retention.
Toasted nutty malts aromas
A biscuity, almost chalky, malt is the main flavor. The toasted characteristics from the aroma were there after it warmed up a bit. Some very light herbal hops and a touch of diacetyl are in there too.
Medium, but smooth, creamy, and easy drinking. This is one that would be good for a session or two.
Wouldn’t keep away from it, but wouldn’t go searching. My first alt in recent memory, I think I may try a few more of the style this weekend.

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Photo of hopdog
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Bottle was notched BB D 07.

Poured a medium amber color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of roast, chocolate, earthy, and toasted caramel. Tastes of caramel, light chocolate in the background, and some citrus.

Notes from 02/19/08.

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