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

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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

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Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 123
Photo of wagenvolks
3.47/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

Pours a clear, amber body with a half inch bone-colored head that's well retained thanks to a decent carbonation level. Aroma is laced with caramel malts, wheat, raisins, and a touch of German hops.

The taste is decent: bran, cereal malts with a pinch of wheat and organic grain. It does a decent job of emulating the German altbier style. Mouthfeel is overcarbonated and packs a lasting bitterness that does little to complement the flavor. Overall, there's not much in the way of excitement for this beer. I'd have to say "Pass" if I ever came across it again.

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Photo of cameraman
3.32/5  rDev -4.9%
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 JamesS
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber color with a bit of head and almost no lacing. Nice scent, a bit malty with a little floral, but not very strong. Nice taste, too, a good malty beer (I got honey overtones, but that may be the smoothness). It is one of the smoothest beers I've ever had. Very good, very tasty. I would drink more, and will hopefully be able to try it in May when I'm in Louisville.

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Photo of kenito799
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
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 mobyfann
3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Paid $6.99 for a 6-pack...

The beer pours out a brown-amber color with a medium sized head that fizzles down after 10-15 minutes. The aroma is a hint of malt and nothing more.

The taste reminds me of a classic bock beer. A little sweet with a mild malt flavor. Medium carbonation is a little annoying to both the taste and on the mouth. However, there is just enough of a head (at least 30 minutes in) to balance out the carbonation with a smooth texture. It is drinkable, not a session unless you like a mild malt and sweetness on the moderate side...

Final Thought: I like it, a solid showing from BBC... I just wish more American brewers experimented and produced the Altbier style, because it is an interesting concoction.

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Photo of IPAcraig
2.69/5  rDev -22.9%
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 Gavage
2.79/5  rDev -20.1%
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 BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the Mellow Mushroom, Lexington KY. The tap offers a smoother, less sweet, mellower flavor and texture with more subtle aromas. This all leads to easy drinking. The caramel and bready / yeasty flavors are all still there, just melded together much better. Textrue is smooth and nearly velvety, while thinning in the end to let the German hops crispen the brew up. Finishes wil a clean, mild hop bitterness and caramel flavor. A very good session beer, and goes real well with the hummus appetizer.Much of what I expect from an Altbier is really ramped up in this one.

7-22-05 Bottle (4,4,4,4.5,4)
Much of what I expect from an Altbier is really ramped up in this one. It looks a brilliantly clear copper and golden and pours an over-carbonated white loose head that faded, but laced well. Smells malty, toasty and caramelly. Alcoholic phenols penetrate the nose. Tastes slightly roasty and malty. Nice frutiness like ripe pears and, to a lesser extent, peaches. Spices float in the background: nutmeg and corriander. American hops add to the spice and to the flavor. Sweet alcohol chases you through the body and into the finish. The finish is clean, crisp, and dry. A bit mouth coating: like butter? This is a bold Alt. What do yo expect from an American Micro? A whimpy beer? Not here!

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Photo of MDekker
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
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 ndekke39
3.18/5  rDev -8.9%
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 mjc410
3.41/5  rDev -2.3%
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 beveritt
3.13/5  rDev -10.3%
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 beakerboy
2.79/5  rDev -20.1%
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 CaskofFlyingDog
4/5  rDev +14.6%
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 russpowell
4.32/5  rDev +23.8%
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 BeerAngel
4.2/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours clear burnt orange/amber color with a modest head that shrinks rapidly down to a long laster thin layer covering the top of this brew like a blanket.

The aroma reveals a hint of roasted malts with a nice earthy grain with just a slight musty smell that is present in a complimentary way.

The taste is a repeat with the roastiness punching through in a more pronounced fashion and sliding into the hints of earthy grass and slight hoppiness nestled in the background.

This is a light bodied beer that is spot on IMHO. It finishes with a very minute dryness in the end of each swallow.

This beer is a very easy drinker and one I wish I could get my hands on down here in the hot state of Texas. This would be my summer beer of choice on scorcher days.

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Photo of Cresant
2.8/5  rDev -19.8%
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 BigDaddyWil
3.15/5  rDev -9.7%
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 tke743
2.81/5  rDev -19.5%
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 MaltyGoodness
3.39/5  rDev -2.9%
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 shbobdb
3.06/5  rDev -12.3%
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 merlin48
4/5  rDev +14.6%
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 ColoradoBobs
3.72/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub, which is a pretty nice place (see beerfly reviews).

The menu includes some pretty exact statistics for all their current beers, and this one was listed at 4.19%, 28.6 IBU.

A: Came with little head, but as I looked around, that's how they draw most of their beers here. Weird. Some lacing, but a nice dark amber color.

S: Crackers with some kind of fruit.

T: Malty, longish decently bitter taste. Not too complex, but not bad.

M: Perhaps a bit thin for a an Alt.

D: Very drinkable.Goes down easy.

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Photo of whartontallboy
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love altbiers and I love Kentucky, my home state, so I'm excited for this one.

Pours out a a slightly hazy deep red-brown coppery color. Thin, meringue head that fades a little more quickly than I would have preferred.

Smell is malty, slightly fruity, with notes of caramel and toffee. Hoppiness is minimal.

Taste is pretty good: apples, peach, and pears are all in there, slight walnut flavor, a hint of raw, toasted grain, and a tiny hop bite on the dry finish. Fruitiness is crisp and clean, mouthfeel is snappy and light.

Overall: Not a superb alt, but a pretty nice one. Worth trying if you want some local Kentucky flavor.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.41/5  rDev -2.3%
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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Altbier from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
3.49 out of 5 based on 123 ratings.
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