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

Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel StoutJefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout
Liked This Beer
3.81 w/ 438 ratings
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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 438 |  Reviews: 326
Photo of muddyriverduck
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Village Idiot in Maumee, Oh. The Werks were on stage and a ratty dog was walking around behing the bar. This was a rare find in the beer wastelands of NW Ohio. Yep, it was going to be a good night.

The brew poured black with a nice offwhite head. It looked like a stout. Check.

It smelled like coffee, bourbon and caramel, with a faint muskiness to it. On second thought, that muskiness might have been the dog. Smells like a stout. Check.

Ah, the taste. This is afterall, what we drink for, and this did not dissapoint me. Coffee and chocolates presided enmasse, with a slight achohol aftertaste. It was thinner than I expected from a stout, but alas, it tasted like a stout. Check.

Do I sound like a lush when I say that even though it is around 8.5%, I find it very drinkable, and dare I say, sessionable? The thinner mouthfell may account for this, or maybe it's because I put down about 7 of 'em in an hour and a half. Either way, drinkable, check.

I wonder how many of these that dog drank?

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Photo of notafood
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler at the Main and Clay taproom ($5 Tuesdays!).
Poured into a tulip, very dark (black) with a thin, quickly dissolved tan head.

Ahhh, bourbon, chocolate and malt. A touch of coffee and maybe a hint of oatmeal. I know it's just me, but it has a smell I associate with the taproom. Nostalgia.

A mediocre imperial stout. Well-balanced, but just not enough diversity, it tastes like coffee and chocolate. None of that namesake bourbon barrel seems to show up in the flavor profile. Very pedestrian.

Surprisingly thin for and Imperial Stout. Coats the mouth nicely without being sticky. Good, bitter finish.

Like most breweries in Louisville, this is nothing to really write home about. It makes a great session beer (Browning's ESB, Cumberland Brews' Red) but the 8.5% ABV kind of puts the brakes on drinking too much. Goes down good and smooth, perfectly acceptable (and affordable) alternative to your Stone's, Founder's, and Rogue's.

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Photo of drxandy
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Went to Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH and made a stop at Bayshore beverage, surprised their selection was so small, but still could find something i can't find in my area.. so why not give it a shot

12oz to flare pint, pours a deep opaque black with hints of brown, creamy head fades to lacing

smells of roasty chocolate malts, coffee, heavy bourbony oak/vanilla - smells good

taste is roasty chocolate coffe, lighter weight than i expected by head / pour, sweet with a slight bitterness, bourbon stands out quite well, woody vanilla caramel, good flavors, not bad

mouthfeel is thin and of a lighter weight than i would like, all things concidered - loads of flavor, nice and drinkable, not bad!

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Photo of letsgopens
3.07/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Another bourbon aged stout, this fella pours a very deep brown but not quite opaque color with some thin ruby highlights. The decently thick grayish mocha head fades to a somewhat thin ring of lace.

Super roasty with lots of roasty malt and earthy cocoa. Dark, only slightly milky, chocolate. Pungent with a note of black coffee and mild licorice. Nice char in there too with a hint of sweet molasses and burnt raisin. A whiff ok oakiness but not much in the way of bourbon character. Still nice though.

Much sweeter than I was expecting judging from the nose. Actually dimmer than I was expecting too. Milk chocolate and mild char. A bit of oaky, creamy char, and licorice. Kind of lack-luster for a bourbon barrel aged stout.

Creamy and thicker with a somewhat fluffy feel rather then syrupy which is what I was expecting. Soft carbonation and a rather dead finish on the tongue. Decent but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from Wasatch so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a thin light brown head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts, some hops and a touch of alcohol.

T: The taste starts off with strong flavors of chocolate and bourbon up front and background flavors of vanilla and coffee. There's a mild but complimentary hops presence that brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a good stout with some strength that you can drink a few of or just sip on for a while.

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Photo of SirSketch
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I order this with some lamb at an Irish restaurant, not expecting much, and I was really impressed by this beer! Aroma is heavy dark maltiness, rich chocolate and butterscotch. Very bold and luring. Small ring of light brown head and almost completely opaque.

Taste much like the smell: chocolate, butterscotch and slight coffee. Some bitterness leaves a slightly dry aftertaste, but still very sweet overall. It was actually foamy in mouthfeel, which I enjoyed and an easy drink. Not just a run-of-the-mill stout.

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Photo of Cresant
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a becker glass. Bottled April 08. The body was rich black brown and the head was very tall. Foam was the color of a chocolate malt.

Smell was gritty chocolate. Vanilla notes. As it warmed the bourbon bloomed. However, it did not smell boozy.

Taste was coffee. Sweet roasty flavors. Smooth and clean. Cola. Light bourbon flavor without the hotness.

Mouthfeel was thinner than I would have expected. Medium/mild carbonation.

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Photo of eweneek83
4.67/5  rDev +22.6%
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 513hooligan
3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i have had other bourbon beers and was quite let down. the bourbon was not so much the center of attention and that was a huge relief. i have to admit i was a little biased going into tasting but this really turned me around. the color was wicked dark. so much so it seemed to absorb all the light in the room. very thick head. lacing stuck around until the beer was gone. the body was a little lighter than i had expected. mouth feel was very enjoyable. hints of coffee, malt, and chocolate. this would be great as a beer used in a dessert or a bread.

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Photo of tedpeer
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

extra in a trade from BrewCzar. Thanks.

12 ounce poured into a chalice.

A - Pours copper, but becomes very dark brown, almost black in the glass. Had a finger tan head that became whispy w/ring around. Very little lacing.

S - Charcoal, bourbon, and roasted.

T - Sweet, coffe and chocolate. Slight alcohol warmth in finish.

M - Thin, dry, lightly carbonated, creamy.

D -

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Photo of alexgash
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle.

Dark, dense, root beer brown. Finger of creamy, tight, dirty sand brown head. Nose is sufficiently roasty, with notes of dark chocolate, licorice, bourbon, coffee, and vanilla. Singed barley and lightly roasted malt up front along with generic coffee bitterness. Bourbon and milk chocolate settle down comfortably mid-palate. Lingering astringency slowly fades as the bourbon turns to dark chocolate and toffee. Hints of vanilla and oak. Not bad, but all of the flavors seem a little muted. Medium-bodied with a slightly overcarbonated feel.

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Photo of roadhouse
2.84/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a very dark brown with a two finger tan head that requires some careful pouring. A shit load of nasty looking particulates floating around. Keeps a nice head on top at least.

Smell is something I can't quite describe. Kind of woody, but verging on plastic or something. Roasted malts are hidden behind this rather foul smell.

Taste is better than the smell, but still has that strange character. Maybe a bit of bourbon flavor?...but I'm probably just being optimistic. Nothing going on here really.

Mouthfeel was alright. It was a bit too light and watery, but very smooth and creamy.

Not good at all really. I barely even get any roasted malt flavors. I'm not sure if I'll be able to put the rest of this one down. Such a ripoff at 11 bucks a four pack.

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Photo of Romulux
3.21/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Just didn't "get" this one. Not sure what they are going for. Looks good, smells ok, taste is uneventful with just a hint of bourbon.Mouthfeel is thin and is drinkable,but why? This is strictly minor leagues of the genre.This couldn't hold Bourbon County or Kentucky Breakfast Stouts jockstrap.I think that if a big macro wanted to attempt this style, this is what we would get.Not bad, but to think of this as a contender in this style,is beyond absurd.

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Photo of BDIMike
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark black body with a very large, frothy tan head.
Smell is of dark malts with a sweetness of chocolate. There is also a cream/milk smell to it, topped off with a bit of a alcohol/bourbon smell as well.
Taste is immediately of strong chocolate malts, with a coffee taste to it also. A bit of the sweet taste of brown sugar and vanilla at the end.
Mouthfeel has a good thickness. Nice smooth milky feel to it.
Drinkability is very nice for an imperial stout. Lots of good chocolate sweet tastes in this beer balanced by the alcohol taste to the finish, giving it a great vanilla finish. The smoothness also helps this beer go down fast, maybe too fast...

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Photo of argock
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap in a 12oz clear short pilsner glass

A: Dark mahogany with thin tan head capping the brew with threads of lace

S: Toasted malt, vanilla, coffee, and chocolate, sweetish bourbon, charcoal dominate the nose

T: Very sippable stout with a lot of sweetness for an Imperial stout. Toasted malt, coffee, and chocolate with a sweet edge are joined by alcoholic vanilla flavors coated with a huge amount of roasted dark and caramel malts. The bourbon accent is there but not overwhelming.

M: Alcohol is detectable but not unpleasant. Easy to drink but a tad thin.

D: An enjoyable bourbon-tinged stout with a lot of sweetness balanced with solid roasted malt.

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Photo of BeachBumC
4.83/5  rDev +26.8%
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 NJpadreFan
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bluegrass- Jefferson's Stout

A- Deep mahogany brown with a huge frothy tan head. Slight lacing 1-2 ring on the glass.
S- Light cream and vanilla dominate with hints of birch and charcoal.
T- Sweet vanilla meets birch/ root beer. Nice notes sweet and smooth charcoal bourbon. Earthy mossy flavors appear in the end.
M- Sweet and creamy smooth. A sugary cream soda like feel.

Overall- Quite tasty and easy to polish off. Alcohol is quite hidden and this would be a good 6er to drink on poker night.

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Photo of Misfit138
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Guinness Pint glass

A- Really doesn't get better. Black with a nice creamy two inch tan head

S- mostly roasted malts, some chocolate

T- Chocolate malts is the initial taste, then the bourbon kicks in nicely with some coffee notes as well

M- fairly heavy, with fair carbonation

D- Very good. High alcohol stout that will warm you up. I don't know if you would want too many of these being it is high alcohol, but still tasty. I only had a kentucky bourbon ale one other time which was good as well, but this being a stout is better.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle (Mustard Seed Market in Fairlawn had this in singles). The beer poured a black color with a thick tan foam. The aroma was about right, bourbon and roasted malts, rich and sweet. The taste was decent, lots of bournon highlights but the malts came through kind of diminished. It was really a pretty good flavor but not as rich as the smell. The mouthfeel is easy to rate low, this was just way thinner than you'd expect for the style. I was under the impression that thick beers are generally barrel aged, maybe I'm wrong but this seems true in general based on my experience, The thinness does keep the drinkability up, but still I'd prefer a fuller body.

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Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Fickle Peach in Muncie, IN.

I've had bottles of this before, but this was the first time I saw it on tap. Black body with a thin layer of tan foam.

A sweet aroma with some roastiness.

Bourbon is a big component in this beer, but it doesn't overshadow the stout, which lends itself to being pretty balanced. Some distinct coffee and chocolate notes, not especially bitter or too boozy. The smooth velvety body complimented the flavor well, and there was no sign of harsh alcohol. Very easy to have a pint, or several.

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Photo of gford217
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of BeerTruth and SixPackSunday poured into a snifter.

Pours deep black with a thin short-lived tan head that dissipated quickly leaving a hint of lacing. Aroma is dominated by roasted malts and baker's chocolate with more than a hint of bourbon in the background. Taste had roasted malts and coffee and was slightly bitter before giving way to the chocolate and finishing with the burn of the bourbon in the finish. The mouthfeel was very thin with a little carbonation and good bit of bourbon. This is a decent stout but a little thin for my liking.

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Photo of Seanibus
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

This is an interesting and unusual beer, if not a completely successful stout in its own right.

It pours deep brown, almost black, with light head. The aroma is all bourbon, rich and vanilla-like. The flavor is strong, vanilla and bourbon, with the dark malty stout character hanging in the background. The finish is slight, leaving most of the flavor up front in the mouth. The mouthfeel is the weak spot here. It is rather thin for a stout. I was hoping for something with a stronger finish and a lot more stamina crossing the tongue.

Still, this is an interesting offering and far more drinkable than the title and label description would suggest.

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Photo of biegaman
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to khiasmus.

An opaque, charred chestnut coloured body. A thin cloud of brown overcast the center, while a thick rim barriers the perimeter.

I was hoping the aroma would be as much (or more bourbon) than stout, but it's disappointingly just stout. Standard notes of strong cocoa, weak coffee, and hazelnut simply don't seem as enticing with the absence of the expected oak and bourbon, which only started to show, maybe. very faintly, with much warming.

Any bitterness quickly falls under the sweetness of cocoa. Fortunately, the bourbon comes through wonderfully in the taste. The actual flavour of the bourbon is foremost, along with accompanying vanilla and oak, as well as more subtle tastes of chocolate, cocoa beans, hazelnut, and cappuccino.

What this does have: a delicious flavour profile that combines chocolate malt and bittersweet cocoa with the vanilla and oak. A good dessert beer; something that can be savoured as well as devoured.

What this does not have: the texture of stout, the warmth/complexity of bourbon. It lacks the big, dense, roasty body of the stout. It's more of a porter. There's no alcohol - there's no body. Equally, it's missing the contemplative complexities of bourbon. There's no heat, no stifling character. There's none in the aroma or mouthfeel.

It's only adequate bourbon and fairly adequate stout. These two things just so happen to pair so well that this beer turned out far more than adequate. Jefferson's Reserve has captured their flavours - and they are delicious - but it hasn't captured their essence.

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Photo of Riverwarrior
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

S = Cocoa and fairly strong bourbon notes.

T = Cocoa sweetness with a very subdued bourbon taste. Actually, the bourbon was much stronger in the aroma than the taste. I actually preferred the softer bourbon flavor. The alcohol was hidden well.

MF = Light body, low carbonation, and slightly watered down.

This was not a bad stout at all, but it was a little thin and watery. The strong point was the bourbon flavor not dominating the other flavors.

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Photo of turbine2475
3.37/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks go to Mhewes for the chance to try this beer:

A - Pours completely opaque black, with a large cream head that dissipated quickly to a light ring leaving a spotty lace.

S - Sweet bourbon, burnt wood, some hints of mocha, and dark fruits.

T - Watered down burnt coffee and a subdues bourbon taste that failed to match the nose. Some earthy grains and a touch of currants and vanilla.

M - Not as creamy as I thought it would be, but mildly chewy with a light coating that left a bourbon aftertaste. Low carbonation.

D - Glad I had a chance to try this beer. Not as big as I thought it was going to be, but at the same time the alcohol content is well hidden making this a beer that has the chance to sneak up on you.

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Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Beer rating: 60.5% out of 100 with 438 ratings
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