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 warriorsoul
3.73/5  rDev +6.9%
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 Morris729
3.72/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium bright amber color with a short and foamy light tan head. Nose is toasted malt blended with notes of hay and grassy hops. Taste begins with a light fruitiness and a bit of toffee followed by notes of dry and bready grains. Grassy hops with a mildly spicy bite finish out the tasting. Clean, crisp, and easy-drinking. Thanks to yakko for the sample!

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Photo of Xadoor
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear amber colour into the glass with a slight tan head. Aroma is light but with some faint frutiness (perhaps apricot). Flavour starts with a bread like maltiness and ends with a bit of a pepper dryness. Low carbonation with a good mouthfell. Don't get a chance to drink an Alt very often and it was a nice change.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass at a slightly chilled temperature, this Altbier pours a pretty copper color; clean looking along with a slight thinning surface layer that dissipates quickly but has nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma is of slight caramel along with some roasted malts or coffee tones. Some wheat or yeast and some grains are also noted here. It actually reminded me of teaberry overall (maybe a little spice also to add to that description).

Taking a sip, I notice a very sweet toffee flavor along with some coffee and chocolate on my palete. A rather sweet brew, with a nice slightly bitter finish with some slight hops. Pretty decent.

Medium carbonation with a light refreshing body, no alcohol really noticed here, but nice balance throughout the tasting. thumbs up!

Overall, a very easy brew to drink. Not heavy, but refreshing!

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Photo of drunkensailor
3.3/5  rDev -5.4%
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 LuckySevens82
3.97/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle courtesy of kmpitz2
Pours a reddish orange with a small white head. Retention is kind of lousy, but the collar isn't so bad. A collection of loose bubbles tops this one for the most part.
Smell is pretty fruity (strawberries?, green apples), sweet caramel malts, and what seems to be rye. A slightly grainy aroma that you don't get too often in a beer, but it's still pretty nice. Noble hops round out the aroma.
Taste is sweet up front, followed by fruit (green apples, some grapes, still strawberries?), Caramel and noble hops round this one out. There still seems to be a bit of rye character to this one, which is really kind of nice.
Mouthfeel is good, not slick, carbonation is good.
Overall, a pretty good example of the style. Certainly easy drinking, and pretty darn enjoyable.

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Photo of Dithyramb
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
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 orbitalr0x
3.98/5  rDev +14%
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 RBorsato
2.17/5  rDev -37.8%
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 WesWes
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a sweet and fruity malt scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts. There is a nice hop aroma as well. The taste is good. It has a sweet malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry and bitter. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking altbier. It has excellent flavor and aroma.

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Photo of mntlover
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice looking dark amber with a nice two finger head that falls slowly and leaves some spotty lace.
Aroma is little light but nice big malt with some apricot fruitiness.
Taste is a big burst of carbonation followed by bread like malt with some fruit floating in it. Apricot being the most noticable finishes with some euro hops that are a fruit and herbal mix.
Mouthfeel is nice medium some chalkiness apears but doesn't really hurt anything.
Drinkability is ok not bad beer at all but not something I would buy on a regular basis. Thanks go to merlin48 for this sample.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained via trade with kmpitz2. Thanks for the opportunity... Best before Dec04. Oops.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a big old 1 3/4" of beige head over the clear dark amber brew, with various feathery floaties. Head is heavy and frothy, and the meringue look stays for quite some time, leaving foamy bits of lacing randomly. Aroma is lightly of grains and a tad of nuttiness. Taste is lightly nutty medium malts, with a clean, crisp finish. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, and the drinkability is good as well. Nice stab at an alt, would probably even be better fresher (duh).

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Photo of mentor
3.77/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to merlin48 for delivering this one. 12 oz bottle poured a one finger light cream colored head. Orange/light rust colored and very cloudy (I accidentally poured the sediment into the glass). Smells honey sweet with lighter fruits, such as peaches, some apricot, and maybe grapes. Smells sweet and delicious. Tastes of peaches and apricot with some bitter from hops. I get a bready malt falvor, but that could just be from the sediment I dumped in the glass. A nutty flavor just before swallowing and a strong fruity finish. Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Finishes dry with ample fine carbonation rising off my tastebuds. A decent session beer...but is this really an alt?

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Photo of jdhilt
2.33/5  rDev -33.2%
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 alexgash
3.66/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium copper-orange with a cushiony, light-creamy-tan head. Nice.
Smells of sugary toasted bread malt, backed by a hefty spice (gingerish) presence. Tastes of doughy malt up front. Not sweet, but tangy and kinda toasty. Hints of breaded squash(!). Hop bite comes in toward the end. Spicy, bitter--nice. Finish is toasty-bitter with lingering semi-sweet fruit and buttery bread. Medium-bodied. Ample carbonation. Thanks again kmpitz2!

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Photo of clvand0
3.27/5  rDev -6.3%
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 oracle
3.7/5  rDev +6%
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 BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bronzed orange capped by a pastel tangerine head that appears to be somewhat sticky and should leave some nice lace... but doesn't. The only saving grace is that the head lasts for a bit and never drops lower than a thick disk.

The nose is both interesting and complex. It contains quite a few elements that I'm not sure that I can identity accurately. The basics are caramel malt, fruity-floral hops and a subdued spice that I won't even guess at. I'd like the aroma to be a wee bit more aromatic, but it's nice all the same.

The flavor is more generously toasted malty than the nose let on and contains the very same fruity hops and spice. Each mouthful starts out sweet and finishes clean and dry with a more pronounced nutty grain flavor on the back end. Different, interesting and enjoyable.

No complaints about the mouthfeel; it's smooth, creamy and perfectly carbonated. This is my third BBC beer and it's readily apparent that these guys know what they're doing. One big indicator of quality for me is body/mouthfeel and this brewery passes that test with flying colors.

Bluegrass Altbier is my first altbier and I found it to be delicious and some kind of drinkable. Is there any style that Bluegrass Brewing Company doesn't do well? Thanks to SheepNutz for the bottle. Now I wish that we'd done a bigger trade.

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Photo of zerk
3.97/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep copper/light amber, with a thin white head. Aroma is a pleasant mix of caramel, pears, and some light hay notes. Flavor begins somewhat sweet, with light fruit and bready malt notes that give way to a nice balancing herbal bitterness. This is a subtle but very tasty beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. All in all, quite a nice effort!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appealing appearance, lovely bright crimson color, adequately sized, brief off-white head of foam.
Aroma, soft, mild, yet sweet and fruity, hoppy and lively.
Taste: yum, is what I first exclaim, and I sing it again with every sip! Light fruity taste, bits of apricots, peach, etcetera, ultimately drying out in the finish.
Body's about medium, finish is fruity, yet dry and lingers on, but beyond all that it's just delcious, regardless of adhering to this style or that!
i can drink a million of these, just like any you-name-it pale ale!
Yum, i just caught myself saying again, yum, and damn it, I'm just gonna continue to sat that, no matter what. Don't know if this qualifies as an altbier, but damnit, it's a good beer, and that's all I care for, pallies.
Light/medium bodied, medium, fruity finish, excellent taste, supreme drinkability, sam-ooo--ooo-ooth'ah!

Big thanksy-McGee to Sheepnutz for the bottle!

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Photo of bditty187
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
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 Mitchster
4.15/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a clear amber with ruby highlights, forming a rocky light-beige head with excellent retention and nice lacing. Carbonation is very gentle. Aroma is very mild...a hint of tobacco, clean ferment, a bit of red apple, and a suggestion of green hops and husky crystal malt with swirling. Mouthfeel is very mild and very smooth with a medium-light body. The taste is also very mild..starting with an earthy/herbal hoppiness, crisp water, clean ferment, a light amber malt body, hints of astringent tobacco, followed by a subtle and clean fruitiness towards the semi-husken, slightly spicy and earthy wet finish. Suggestion of green hay creeps in towards the middle. Absent off-flavors, remarkably clean and crisp.

VERY easy to drink, this goes down like water but is a wholesome quality altbier. I was pleasantly surprised by this, not expecting much for an American-brewed Altbier. Light and refreshing. Nice.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.15/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a pint glass. It pours a deep amber color with two fingers of head. There is lots of sticky lace left on the glass. The smell is both hoppy and malty, a very good balance. Some caramel aromas come out. The taste is malty and a little bit sweet at first, with bits of toffee. There is a good dose of hops on a nice crisp finish. The mouthfeel is very thick and smooth for the style. The drinkability is fantastic. This is one altbier I could sip on all day.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
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 coasterfreak75
2.7/5  rDev -22.6%
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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Altbier from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
3.49 out of 5 based on 123 ratings.
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