Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout | Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

very good
326 Reviews
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Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel StoutJefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout

Brewed by:
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Kentucky, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mcallister on 04-07-2006

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Reviews: 326 | Ratings: 438
Photo of ElijahCraig69
5/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On the rare occasions i buy beer, i buy craft. When I'm not drinking bourbon from the state of kentucky, i drink stouts from kentucky. Very good flavor. not good at picking up flavors. I just know i love this. I buy craft mainly to support microbreweries. Macrobreweries make low quality beers and charge an arm and a leg for them sometimes. Microbreweries make good quality beer for a similar price. The appearance is nice and dark. the smell is amazing, and the taste is also amazing. Mouthfeel is very complex but can't describe it. I had cigars while i was drinking this one. might be why i couldnt pick out any flavors.

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Photo of Atricapilla
4.84/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Do not drink this beer cold! It masks the flavour and aroma. Just below room temperature is appropiate.

I had this in both bottle and draught; draught was significantly better. It is a chocolate color with a smaller head than most stouts. It had a wonderful bourbon and vanilla aroma. The taste is a great smokey boubon backed by a medium roasted malt flavor. There are also light hints of vanilla. A great beer.

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Photo of BeachBumC
4.83/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers since Bluegrass Brewing came out with it some 2-3 years ago.

A: Pours thick with a nice, creamy 2 inch head and thick lacing.

S: Chocolate and bourbon with a mild roast scent.

T: Creamy, chocolate stout with a sweetness that is appetizing from the bourbon barrel aging. It's high alcohol but doesn't taste like it. The sweetness from the bourbon complements the stout very nicely.

M: Medium body, not too thick. Surprising for a stout of this nature but it still stays on the tongue with a nice aftertaste.

D: Outstanding beer with a fabulous flavor! On my favorites list and one that I regularly keep in stock.

In other words... go get ya some!

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Photo of BigRedBeerDude
4.82/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer appears very black when poured into an imperial pint glass with very sparse head. The smell is a mixture of smoke, coffee, chocolate, with very subtle velvety undertones of bourbon. The taste jumps out with a very nice full stout flavor with just the right amount of bourbon hues. When drinking this beer the first drink always makes my eyes widen and then I look at the glass in admiration. The mouthfeel is good with moderate carbonation. Drinkability for this specimen is fabulous. This beer is great for sipping and relishing. Simply fantastic. This is my top bourbon barrel aged stout that I've tried.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.8/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

If a beer can be called 'beautiful', then this one qualifies.
Louisville's impeccable craft brewers have concocted this fine stout,
then aged it in oaken bourbon barrels, so you get a smooth, lush, and
complex taste with the vibe of a fine wine. This is a top-shelf beer
that has few peers. It may be a mite expensive, but this is one beer
you simply must try.

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Photo of drseamus
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This particular beer was bottled in April 2006 and consumed in Feb 2007. This looks like the typical stout...jet black with a finger thick mocha stout. The head doesn't hang around long though. The aroma is all bourbon; nice and sweet smelling. I really like this beer. It has a slightly sweet caramel flavor, but still has a good roasted taste that dominates. There is a good bourbon flavor in the background that seems to tie everything together somehow. This is a great beer and I couldn't be happier that my roommate just moved down to Louisville. Now he can ship it to me.

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Photo of twaddlac
4.74/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A- Very dark brown and not transparent at all. Very carbonated, thick, creamy head with a nice lace covering the entire top of the beer.

S- Very malty with notes of chocolate and leather. Smells like someone add a few shots of Jack Daniel's... very intriguing!!

T- Strong Jack taste again but nothing overpowering. Complimented nicely by the heavy chocolate malts. This is exceptional!!

M- Very carbonated, medium bodied, but smooth.

D- Could be a little thicker, I think that it would add to the taste, but this is a really really good beer!! I would drink this every day if I had the opportunity.

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Photo of LuthersMug
4.74/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one at the Blue 5 Restaurant in Roanoke, Va.

A - Nice dark color, with a tiny head, not much lacing.

S - Absolutely wonderful, sweet vanilla and bourbon, hints of espresso and coffee.

T - Again wonderful, sweet bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, and roasted coffee, very well balanced.

M - Smooth and creamy.

O - Would definitely have this one again.

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Photo of rborthwick
4.68/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It pours an opaque black with a tan head that fades fairly quickly. Little lacing is evident. This beer is extremely smooth with a creamy mouthfeel. It smells of sweet malt, chocolate and bourbon. Taste includes chocolate, oak, black licorice and bourbon. The finish is of burnt malt and molasses and is rather tight and abrubt for such a flavorfull beer. This beer is one of my favorites. I am not a big bourbon fan, but this beer is wonderful. It pairs fabulously with a good cigar.

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Photo of eweneek83
4.67/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours thick with a nice, creamy, but thin dark brown head. Dark black,a great stout characteristic.

Smell: Chocolatey and a tiny bit of bourbon with a mild roasty scent.

Taste: Creamy, tastes like a chocolate stout with a sweetness that is appetizing from the bourbon barrel aging. A great chocolate taste. I'm not sure if they meant for that, but man this is tasty! It's high alcohol but doesn't taste like it. The sweetness from the bourbon complements the stout very nicely.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, not too thick. Lightly carbonated. Surprising for a stout of this nature but it still stays on the tongue with a nice aftertaste. Exactly like a cholate milkshake.

Drinkability: Outstanding. A very unique beer with a fabulous flavor! In fact it just 'reserved' itself a place in my fridge beside Newkie Broon, and St. Bernardus while I watch WVU rule this football season, what a great combo.

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Photo of iuhophead87
4.67/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I thought this was going to be one of your average bourbon stouts and opened it after a long day of work. It turned out to be one of the best bourbon stouts I have ever had.

A- Pours very dark black with a nice tan head. If you hold it up to the light you are unable to see though it. However, it does look more of an amberish/brown when not much left in the glass.

S- you can definitely smell the malt and bourbon in this one. There were also slight hints of coffee and vanilla that were almost overpowered by the malts.

T-Wow was this a great beer. The bourbon flavor was great and mixed well with the vanilla, and coffee flavors. The after taste was almost chocolaty which was a bit surprising. A sweet taste was left in your mouth making you want more of this thick, but very drinkable beer.

M- Very creamy with just the right amount of carbonation

D- Very drinkable! Not a typical bourbon beer. The alcohol flavor is almost nonexistent making this beer great for having more than one!

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Photo of peabody
4.63/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer makes me think of a good morning breakfast with eggs bacon and hot coffee.
Pours out with a quarter inch of brownish foam. They dissapate quickly leaving little to no lacing.
Color is superb, very dark and clean looking.
I smell burnt coffee and fruits. No alcohol is present to the nose.
The first taste says Coffee and caramel. Slight hops are present but the sweetness of the burnt aftertaste subdues any bitter flavors present.
I really like this beer and could drink a few at one sitting.

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Photo of geexploitation
4.62/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep, dark black beer with mahogany highlights. Thin head of taupe that dissipates easily. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, lots of vanilla, treacle -- very sweet, and exactly what you'd expect from a bourbon barrel. Thick on the tongue, initially a bit sour. That quickly turns into vanilla and coffee sweetness. The finish is a bit metallic, especially at warmer temperatures. Throughout, this is downright viscous on the tongue, albeit with medium carbonation for the style. Overall, a very good stout and an especially good bourbon barrel-aged stout; many of this type of beer are way to sickly sweet to drink a lot of. This one has enough bourbon edges to give the beer character, while not sacrificing drinkability.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.6/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am sampling this brew at room temp in a snifter. The beer pours a deep dark chocolate brown with no light passing through. A soft fluffy tan head of 2 cm foams up easily. Very tight lattice work shows as the head recedes slowly, leavinga sturdy edge layer
Aroma is rich and roasty, I get some hints of bourbon and vanilla as well. Very malty and fairly sweet.
First sip reveals a silky smooth texture and very fine carbonation that is slightly fizzy. The brew has an average body and rolls nicely across my palate.
Flavor is rich and malty, with chocolate and roasted malt some sweet bourbon and vanilla notes as well. Overall generally sweet. The alcohol is hidden very well and I dont really get any hop profile. The beer is very drinkable and I enjoy it. Will keep my eyes peeled for another.

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Photo of BarkingLeopard
4.6/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this from a bottle at a BBC tasting at Beer Run in Charlottesville, Va. The rep was nice, and fun to listen to as he talked about the 8,000 bbl/year, 5-man brewery. On to the beer...

Solid appearance and smell. Nothing spectacular or out of the the ordinary. Taste is where this beer really shines. EXTREMELY well balanced and VERY smooth! This is not a "big beer" that will knock you off your feet with extreme flavor, this is a smooth, well balanced, and well aged stout that drinks well. Exceptionally drinkable for a beer of this ABV; no discernable alcohol for me. Not too thick in the mouth or too crazy on the taste buds, this is just a very well-rounded stout, a hallmark for balanced beer IMHO.

Can't wait to get out to Beer Run again and have this puppy on tap; Josh the co-owner told me that this beer is one of their most popular beers, and one that they "almost always" keep on tap.

In short: not your "typical" or "big" stout, but far better, and damn good beer!

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Photo of tjlake
4.57/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a- beer pours to a straight pint glass with a small cream colored head with very little retention. Color is a nice deep brown with red highlights. Almost no lacing.

s - fabulous! a little roasted with a definite bourbon nose.

t - not complex, but very very honest. doesn't seem to be a pretender to the 'bourbon aged' class. not overly chocolatey, almost a nutty, woody taste. coffee tones maybe just a touch over-done.

m - if this were a porter, we'd have an A++ all around. as it stands, there is less malt and body (way over-carbonated out of the bottle) than a typical imperial (which is the way this is classed). I would consider it a damn fine aged porter, a little too crisp as a stout, and a below average imperial.

d - at 8.5%, very drinkable. doesn't hit you over the head with that overtly 'american-ized' heavy hitter status. A damn fine chilly evening brew that is a bit too expensive in a 4-pack, but aside from price and classification, a solid beer. Classification is my main concern. Do not approach this as another imperial, but a woody, mature, unpretentious aged porter.

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Photo of bgildea
4.57/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark blackish brown color with a nice brown head that faded quickly.

S: Smells amazing with a nice strong bourbon aroma.

T: Fairly light considering the ABV (which was listed as 10.5). But a nice strong taste of bourbon with some lighter notes of chocolate. The flavors work extremely well together, and complement each other very nicely.

M: Decently chewy, but I almost expected it to be thicker.

D: Very, very drinkable due to the great taste. Although be warned, the ABV is pretty high, and the easy taste might make you drink one too many.

Overall: I thought this was an amazing beer. I ordered several when I was out, and if i ever saw this on a menu I wouldn't hesitate to order it again. I would highly recommend this beer to anyone who likes a good stout or is a bourbon drinker.

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Photo of hrking
4.56/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a great brew to have on draft..If you get the chance that is the best way to have this beer..I've got a 1/6 keg in my fridge! This is hands down my favorite draft beer. I've had this in a bottle and it doesn't even come close to the great smoothness and blend of bourbon but not overpowering in the finish..Just enough bourbon to tease the flavor over your palette! This is a great beer indeed highly recommend if you are a fan of this style like I am!

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Photo of PreacherBrewer
4.55/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pitch black with a generous tan head. looks inviting and beggs a first sip.

S - This beer smells so good that it should be made into a candle scent. seriously. With nose notes of sweet roasted barley, fine chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and a hint of bourbon.

T - Big dark chocolate flavor, roasted malt, freshly brewed coffee, nice hint of bourbon, a little vanilla extract.

M - Moderate body. silky smooth. velvet texture. perfect balance of carbonation and syrupy thinkness.

D - Overall this beer is very well rounded. complex enough to keep you interested, but drinkable enough to pound a few. just watch your pace with this one. that 8.5% will sneak up on you!

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Photo of mully
4.52/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

good thick creamy dark tan head fades slowly thick black color hints if brown around the edges. Good carbonation is visibly present.

chocolate, coffee, vanilla just a hint of boubon smells great

Solid stout with a nice bourban layer over the top Roast malts contribute the choclate and cofee from the nose, the bouban gives it the vanilla and the brewer gave it one of the smoothest blends I have enjoyed lately.

Not as heavy as I was expecting, in a good way smooth slick balanced

Very drinkable, I really dig this beer, I should have bought more!! It is really good.

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Photo of 7UCK
4.52/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Pours out a dark bron/tan color

Smell- Caramel, smoked flavor with a hint of coffee and bourbon

Taste- Taste of bourbon and maybe a BBQ flavor and a mild coffee

Mothfull- Very smooth and with minimun carbonation

Drinkablity- great for diner or sipping

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Photo of IIKaRuII
4.52/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottled june of 08'
Took me at least 10 minutes to even get the entire 120z bottle in the pint glass. But it allows it to get a little warmer which i think it tastes better
This is a very dark, and you cannot at all... see through this.
Smell is an amazing bourbon, smells of oak, kind of sweetness. kinda nutty aswell
Taste is a very warming... almost black liquorish presence with a heavy coffee aftertaste. Has a little dark chocolate bitterness to it. this is very heavy and almost makes your stomach explode. But this is one of the best stouts i have ever had the pleasure to try.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
4.51/5  rDev +19%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I went on to this site and read the reviews after having drank the beer, expecting everyone to comment on how overwhelming the bourbon essence was, but that seems to not be the case at all. maybe a difference between the keg and the bottle? i'm not sure.

all I can say from my experience with this beer is that you have to like bourbon to like this beer. it is one of the most potent barrel-aged beers (in terms of adopting the taste of the barrel it is aged in) that I have ever had. luckily, i love bourbon, so i found this to be a fantastic stout.

bours jet black with almost no head. knowing that it was 11%, i was a little bit worried with the appearance - i expected a syrupy alcohol bomb. boy was i wrong.

smell/taste are overwhelmed with bourbon. every part of this beer screams it. i absolutely loved the smokiness, that was quite well balanced with its frothiness and big malt presence. little bit of coffee and chocolate, but they are more aftertastes than anything else.

mouthfeel is very different from what i expected - not syrupy at all. thick, but in a low-density sort of way. very very nice. also was amazingly drinkable given the high alcohol content.

all in all, i loved it. gonna try to find a 6-pack to bring back. would love to see what it does after being aged for a while.

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Photo of drperm
4.48/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

First off, a cursory glance at reviews suggests that the bottled version does not hold up nearly as well as the draught. Here's no exception: I immenseley enjoyed the tap version I had last night.

Ap: Very dark, nearly opaque with flecks of red. Extremely thin tan lace atop.

S: Madagascar vanilla, amaretto, coffee liqueur, dark chocolate.

T: Impossibly smooth: notes of almond, mocha, kahlua, and an oaky, woodsy finish of quality bourbon whisky to balance the sweetness.

P: Totally smooth and efortlessly drinkable. The subtle notes of the finish keep on going long after I set the glass down.

O/D: A noble brew. Very rich but eminently drinkable. Beware, though: the 8.5% will sneak up on you. Highly recommended.

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Photo of PretzelCity
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Grafter for this 12oz bottle. Pours pitch black into my pint glass with a two finger tan head. The nose is very subtle but impressive with hints of oak and both vanilla and chocolate. The taste is similar, it almost reminds me of a beer float. I've had a lot of stouts but nothing quite like this one. Very unique and very good. All of the flavors mix well together with all of them playing subtle rolls. No one flavor is too overwhelming or overpowering. I hope to run into some more down the road.

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Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
3.79 out of 5 based on 438 ratings.
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