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

123 Ratings
no score
Send samples

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.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 123 |  Reviews: 84
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.

 887 characters

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.

 427 characters

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.

 612 characters

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

 459 characters

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.

 777 characters

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.

 288 characters

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.

 496 characters

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.

 751 characters

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.

 477 characters

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.

 459 characters

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.

 670 characters

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.

 536 characters

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.

 645 characters

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

 506 characters

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.

 592 characters

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!

 363 characters

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.

 325 characters

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!

 850 characters

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.

 453 characters

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.

 804 characters

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.

 749 characters

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!

 683 characters

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

 575 characters

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.

 463 characters

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.

 581 characters

Altbier from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
3.49 out of 5 based on 123 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.