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 allrizz
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I would have never thought that this was an Imperial Stout, it was a bit thin for a Stout.

The aroma: roasted malt; woody; light coffee.

The taste: light bourbon flavor; roasted malt; hint of brown sugar.

I liked this beer very much and would drink it again and again.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the bottle a deep, opaque coffee sable with an average tan head. Rich, smoky, chocolaty, coffee-ish aroma has just a touch of sweetness and is very appetizing. Rich flavor is rather sweet and slightly bitter, and has woody, fruity and coffee components with a hint of unsweetened chocolate. Texture is fairly smooth and nicely fizzy with a firm but not fierce bourbon bite.

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Photo of jcurtis55
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, I really liked this one. Got little head which affected the appearance rating and may have subdued the aroma a bit. But flavor and mouthfeel are great. It was good right from the refridgerator and continued to taste great as it warmed a bit. And this is form a person who does not really care for bourbon.

This might not be for you if you are looking for a distinct bourbon flavor. I thought I got just a bit of bourbon in the smell, but it certainly took a back seat to the usual roasty chocolate stout flavor. Quite drinkable. In fact I would think of this as more of a normal stout instead of an Imperial stout.

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Photo of nickss
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black color with a milk chocolate-esque frothy head.

The aroma consists of chocolate overtones... certainly more chocolate than bourbon. In fact, the bourbon is barely perceptable. That being said, the deep rich chocolate smells delicious.

Fantastic.. big chocolate and malt notes with a tight hop bitterness. As the brew warms, a delicious bourbon essence begins to seep through.

Perfect consistency and thickness... I would like the carbonation levels to be a bit lower, but this is pretty damn nice.

Amazingly drinkable for a brew of this might... fantastic.

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Photo of asabreed
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. glass into a Thomas Hardy snifter, which I'm hoping serves this brew well.

Appearance: Black as expected, with no light getting through this sucker. A nice mocha-colored head dissipates fairly quickly but still lets some lines of lacing hang around.

Smell: A smooth and sweet toasted marshmallow, light but vanilla and oak-y bourbon, slight mocha and coffee, and berries,

Taste: Slightly, and somehow rich, burnt coffee, creamy mocha, chocolate powder, and toasted marshmallow, backed by some vanilla and bourbon flavors, oak and woodiness, and dark berries. Pretty wonderful stuff. Finishes slightly bittersweet with the coffee, marshmallow and bourbon dominating in such good ways.

Mouthfeel: How can this seem lighter-bodied for its seeming richness and alcohol? Well, it does unless I'm crazy. Rich enough but also light and extremely easy to drink--is it the bourbon doing this, making it lighter in the body? I can't really answer that.

Drinkability: Devastatingly delicious stuff, which I've consumed way too fast. Expensive as hell in bottles (around $4 for each), but I wouldn't mind buying a 4-pack for a treat every now and then, especially since winter's coming. I love barrel aging and have been a fan of the experiment for a while now, and this one certainly doesn't disappoint.

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Photo of ybnorml
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark brown/black beer with mahogony highlights. Has a nice foamy light brown head. The aroma of bourbon jumps out of the glass into your nose before you can bring it up to your face. Bringing with ith lovely notes of oak and vanilla with it and a hint of licorice in the background. The flavors turn your mouth into a jungle gym. First sweet malt on the tip of your tongue then the vanilla and oak characters in the middle and then a deep roasted malt bitterness on the back of your tongue. Every mouthful creates this wild dance of flavors all over your mouth.

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Photo of ThaBobfather
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque dark brown with some medium/thick tan/brown head.
Smell has notes of bourbon, brown sugar, malt, and slight grain.
Taste has a flow of flavors from bourbon barrel wood to some sugar malts, followed by an almost beer bread taste.
Finish is clean and the flavor stays a bit, but its not as long lasting as I expect with a wood aged stout.
Drinks great and smooth at 8.5% with nearly zero bite.

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Photo of kindacold
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it at a place called "The Mellow Mushroom" in Charlottesville, VA. They had a bunch of beers on tap, some good, some not worth mentioning. I saw this one on the list and decided to give it a try. I'm happy that I did.

It came to me in a pint glass. It was dark in the place, but from what I could see, it had a good color. The head was small, but remained for the entirety.

It smelled very sweet, even borderline floral.

The taste was VERY sweet. It felt a little syrupy in the mouth, but after a couple of swigs one doesn't notice anymore. It starts to go down easy. Bit of an alcohol taste mixed in with the sweetness, but not to the point where it is overpowering.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Faro for this brew.

Pours a deep/clean black color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy/fizzy tan head, no lacing at all though. The nose is slightly sweet, roasty malts, vanilla, toffee, coffee, and caramel. The taste is very nice, sweet, roasted malts, slight vanilla, toffee, nice touch of coffee and caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty ADS, definitely could drink a few of these, highly recommended.

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Photo of monoXcide
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow this is a good beer!

Appearance - Dark! Barely any light comes though. Pours a light brown head with medium retention and excellent sticky lacing that refuses to fade away and puts up a fight before finally dissipating.

Smell - Typical slight burnt smell that comes with a stout along with hints of bourbon.

Taste - Burnt woody taste with hints of bourbon. Its a stout with bourbon that is well balanced and neither one over powers the other and last throughout from start to finish. The 8.5% alcohol is very well hidden but aparent with the slight buzz I get from just one bottle.

Mouthfeel - Good presence and the right amount of carbonization.

Drinkability - Deceptively smooth! Careful with this one. It goes down very easy and is a pleasure to drink. If Im in the mood for a stout that is not too complex then this is what I will reach for.

Will gladly drink again.

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Photo of jeffmonarch
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Really dark brown with a thick dark tan head.

S - Smokey and a hint of bourbon. Really rich.

T - Thinner than I expected. Really smooth and rich. Good smokey flavor with a clean finish.

M - Full bodied with good carbonation.

D - Great beer. This is why I love stouts.

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Photo of lpritchard
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a midnight black with a nice tan head. Slight roast aroma with little to no bourbon smell.

Taste: Roast flavor thats not overpowering, bourbon finish with a sweetness (brown sugar?).

Overall a great beer, not very heavy so I could actually have another without filling full even with a heavy meal.

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Photo of HomeBrewJake
4.29/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Got it on tap at Capital Ale House in Fredericksburg Va. Poured into a small ale glass.

Appearance - Midnight black pour, off white head that dissipates pretty quickly, could've had more head if the bartender poured it correctly. Tiny bit of lacing that sticks around for only a minute or two.

Aroma - Deep chocolate, dark fruitcake, there's some woodiness, and a tiny bit of coffee, hint of dark bread. Very enticing.

Taste - Definitely getting some chocolate and some dark fruit, the woody flavors compliment the Chocolate nicely. Coffee aftertaste is there. Very smooth tasting for a barrel aged Stout with a high abv.

Feel - Very smooth and refreshing. It is probably the easiest drinking stout I've ever had.

Overall - Solid brew. One of my favorites and definitely my new go to stout.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aaww, come on BA'ers, it's not that bad. In fact, I thought it was quite good. Sure, it's light on sweetness and body, but the dry, powdery texture is nice for the drinkability. And, the roastedness shines a bit better under the light sweetness. The aroma, though light and roasted, shows little in the way of bourbon character. Very low vanilla, caramel, coconut, and woodiness. Flaovrs display a nice, subtle bourbon flair. Light in body, almost Porter-ish. Finsihes more akin to a Dry Stout rather than a Double, but I do like the less-harsh, low hopped, easy drinking attributes of this beer. The alcohols are hardly detected--I question the true alcoholic strength of this beer; 11%?

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Photo of dnichols
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured a capped 12 ounce (335 ml) bottle into a tulip.

A: It poured a deep, dark black that let no light through when back lit. It was topped by a one and one half inch milk chocolate colored head composed of small and medium bubbles. The head receded to an even cover over the liquid and supported a modestly dense sticky lacing.

S: It emitted aromas of chocolate, coffee and hints of vanilla, smoked almonds/oak, and sweet bourbon. Much of the aroma was balanced and subtle making it a nice aspect of the experience rather than the smell overwhelming the experience.

T: It began with a nice creamy and sweet darkly roasted malts followed by a distinct and biting espresso coffee profile. There were whips of smoky flavors, as well as sweet vanilla. The bourbon was subdued and complemented the sweet malt flavors rather than dominating. The alcohol was well hidden.

M: It was smooth, creamy, and full bodied. It began sweet, became bitter, and ended warm and clean with only a hint of bitter and sweet aftertaste.

D: It's full body and richness keep this from being a long session brew. However, it's moderate ABV and well balanced flavors make it a pleasure to drink. It belongs in a stash ready for deployment when the mood is right.

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Photo of IrishBarrister
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%

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

At the 11th Street Taphouse in Virginia Beach.

Oh a nice deep black beer with a little brown head. No thick foam here and no lacing as the head fades fast.

Great roasty malt aroma, some coffee notes and a great vanilla character that brings it all together. The taste is subtly roasty, vanilla and nice hints of bourbon. Just a touch of bitter hops in in the finish, but the lingering of sweet malt and bourbon is what I am ultimately left with. A well made beer with a great balance of flavors.

Big bodied, noticeably viscous in the glass. Low carbonation level is perfect. A great drinkable AIS, I would have had another but for the price tag on this pint.

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

A - this beer pours a dark a dark midnight black, and stays that way even when held to a light, it wells up a 2 finger thick dark tan/light brown cappuccino head

S - ahh, its been too long since my last double stout, i miss this dark creamy rich toffee aroma, this one has it, along with an sharp alcohol kick, and slight hints of vanilla

T - wow, this is really smooth for such a high ABV, smooth creamy vanilla/coffee/toffee flavors dance down my throat, what a blend, finishses with a bitter kick with an alvohol bite, a great stout

M&D - velvety smooth, so very good, a tongue coating sweet smoothness, the only drawback to the drinkability is the higish ABV

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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 bartlettc42
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of UGADawgGuy
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I acquired this tasty beverage from a friend who picked it up for me on his way through Kentucky. Having previously tried a Bourbon Barrel Ale (which I plan to "officially" taste and review in a day or two), I couldn't wait to sample my first barrel-aged stout. And I'm not disappointed with the results.

Appearance -- Deep, dark brown -- almost as close to pitch black as I've seen in a beer (Sam Smith's Imperial Stout seems slightly darker to me, if memory serves). A fairly vigorous pour yields a one-finger, dark khaki head which quickly recedes. Lacing is non-existent, which isn't a problem for me when it comes to this style. Slightly off-putting, though, were the chunks of what I assume was woody sediment floating in the beer. I waited for these to settle before drinking (not that they'd hurt me, I guess).

Smell -- Standard stout aroma, marked by chocolate, toasted malt, and a hint of burnt wood (likely from the charred oak barrels used to condition the brew). I get a healthy waft of butterscotch/caramel, with a faint wisp of vanilla -- I attribute this to the bourbon.

Taste -- If I wasn't expecting bourbon presence, I'd have given this a 4.5 as a stout. I taste mostly the usual stout flavors, led by dark chocolate, toasted malt, and some burnt woodiness. There is SOME bourbon character, which follows the nose precisely: butterscotch/caramel and vanilla are detectable, but not totally in harmony with the stout backbone.

Mouthfeel -- Significantly lighter-bodied than I hoped/anticipated, this one clearly falls on the "thin" side of the stout spectrum. Still, it's certainly no pilsner. A slightly oily finish coats the mouth and throat, and I kind of like it, as this enables the faint bourbon flavors to linger on the palate.

Drinkability -- If this stuff is really 8.50% abv, then it may be the best-hidden 8.50% I've ever experienced. The alcohol is totally undetectable. I'm considering having a second bottle of this stuff just to see if I think it's really that strong a brew. Very easy-drinking, substantial in the stomach, and ultimately satisfying. If only the bourbon flavor was just a little more prominent, this would approach perfection.

Thanks, Bluegrass Brewing Company! Now I just need to find some more bourbon-barrel stouts for comparison!

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Photo of HuntDaddy540
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of erosier
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

L: Pours a deep brown/black color with a tan colored and medium sized/medium bodied head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of deep roasted malts, black, chocolate, and caramelized malts, then a nice bourbon aroma.
T: I really liked the taste of this one, a great stout underneath with chocolate flavors, caramelized malts, and some bitter black malts. Then a really smooth bourbon taste to finish the flavor with a really nice aftertaste.
M: Very smooth, warming, the flavors were balanced really well and masked the high abv. On top of that the bourbon was not too overpowering a flavor, the stout flavors were allowed to come through.
D: Pretty drinkable, the flavors were mixed extremely well.

 717 characters

Photo of calcnerd
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of Raiders757
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

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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