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

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Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel StoutJefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout
Very Good
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 438 |  Reviews: 326
Photo of Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I shared this one w/ evets at a community brew day he hosted recently.
Poured cold into a goblet from the 12oz brown bottle
A - A deep brown almost black in the light w/ an inch of cream colored cap w/ a very fine bead

S - The aroma is of cocoa w/ sweet cream and vanilla from the oaking as it warms

M - Sweet, moderate carbonation and slightly woody toasted w/ a pleasant semi-dry finish w/ oak bourbon aspects lingering on

T - This is a fine stout, however I felt the aroma was better than the taste. The flavors are well blended w/ plenty of toasted and chocolate malt upfront and a sweet bourbon like creaminess w/ vanilla and gentle booze tinges following. The subtlety of bourbon in this stout is its strong point, it really has the flavor of a lighter stout.

D - Very good drinkability for an 8.5% beer this is one you may want to sip since it is deceptive. It has many layers of flavor and I appreciated the chance to try the bottle as well as having this on tap, but prefer the draft version.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Rustico in Alexandria, VA.

Served in a snifter. The beer is nearly black with a thin, beige head that leaves ample lacing on the glass. The aroma is of licorice, roast, alcohol. The flavor is quite sweet, a bit overly so in my opinion, with bourbon and oak notes coming through clearly. The body is too thin for the style, and can't support the myriad of flavors that a bourbon barrel imperial stout offers. Overall, a middle of the road representation of the style.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours an opaque black with not much of a head to speak of. The nose is dark malts, oak, whiskey, toffee, and a surprising kick of alcohol. The taste emphasizes the wood and whiskey, though the malts, toffee, and newcomer vanilla remain, all waltzing together in harmonious flavoring. The body is on the heavy side of medium, leaning toward the lighter side of heavy, with a nicely subtle carbonation and a velvety smooth texture. Overall, despite its chewiness and slight bit of boozy burn, this brew is very tasty and highly drinkable. The Fox would be proud...

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle received in trade, but I don't know who from. I've been trading too much and I forgot who sent this. But thank you for the opportunity!

Pours a dark brown/black. Lets a little light through when held up to it. Meager tan head that disappears quickly. Aroma is some chocolate, some bourbon, some oak, and I pick up a bit of vanilla, faint but its there. Taste is roasty, oakey, sweet and chocolaty. Mouthfeel is thinner than I would expect for a stout. Tasty mix of flavors, but should be a bit thicker. Drinking this feels more like drinking a porter or even a strong brown ale. Tasty, but labeled incorrectly.

Big thanks to DavoleBomb for sending me this in the Secret Santa Bif and allowing me to try this again.
I might have been a bit harsh in my review of this the first time around, I was young forgive me. The nose on this one is great Oak, bourbon, and vanilla without being overpowering on top of chocolate, dark fruits and licorice. I could smell this all day. Taste follows the smell. I was right the first time that the body is quite thin. I adjusted my score up based on this tasting.

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Photo of stakem
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

2009 12oz bottle poured into a tulip, the brew appears black in color with a khaki cap.

The nose is pretty mild but with a hint of oak, roasty chocolate/espresso and vanilla/caramel.

Taste has some nutty character, sweet with milk chocolate and a very clean finish with an aftertaste mildly oaky. As it warms up, the nuance of oak comes forth with caramel and vanilla.

Medium to lighter in body with moderately low carbonation. Decent

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice mix of dirty malts with dark chocolate and oak barrel tones with vanilla and oak. Appears a dark black hue with a nice mocha tan head forming thick and leaving fine lacing down the sides of my glass without a problem. Aromatics offer up the barrel aging effects namingly charred oak, vanilla, and some booze especially some whiskey notes. Creamy dark chocolate in the flavor with all of those oak barrel effects going on that I mentioned above, not the most complex or cohesive effort I've tried but this one is acceptable and damn drinkable. Mouthfeel is medium bodied softly carbonated keep watching for other beers from these guys they were always a hoot in the past. Drinkability is solid no complaints do not return to sender.

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Photo of tdm168
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of rolltide8425
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of VeganUndead
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.11/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a light brown head. Nose is sweet molasses with dark baking chocolate. Flavor is roasted and smoked a bit. Bourbon kicks a slight bit, yes. Smooths out over subsequent sips. Thick malts. Warming aftertaste.as it warms it gets much better, displayin cocoa character and a thick, even, and lasting flavor profile. (it's enough to bump up the score .5) Feel is thick on liquid but appropriately lower on carbonation. An easy to drink stout. I wonder what age would do to this.

Thanks to Grafter for this one on a very generous trade.

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Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a viscous, chocolaty black with a very light dark khaki head that dissipates very quickly. It smells very sweet and reminds me a lot of syrup and molasses. It is also moderately heavy on the bourbon and smells well roasted, in a sugary fashion. The taste is very good. It has a good, roasted malty sweetness to it. The bourbon really isn't apparent at all, or the alcohol. It drinks very, very smoothly and is a little thicker in body. It's very drinkable considering it's bourbon barrel aged and 8.5%. I don't normally like BBC but this one was pretty good.

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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 Gavage
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours black in color with a 2" head. Nice lacing developed on the glass.

Smell: roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, and hints of alcohol are most notable flavors detectable by the nose.

Taste: strong roasted malts, vanilla and bourbon tones, prunes, and decent bitterness. A bit of cocoa tones are lurking in the background. Some alcohol warming hits later as the glass empties.

Mouthfeel: smooth throughout. Medium-heavy in body. Long aftertaste as the flavor seem to stick to your tongue.

Drinkability: pleasant for a glass or two, but no more than that. Definitely worth giving this on a shot.

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Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick frothy tan/brown head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich black malt scent along with a mild bourban whisky aroma. The taste is good. It has a very smooth, roasted taste with a bit of black malt and bourban flavor in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good drinking stout. It's rich and flavorful with a nice, mild bourban touch.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I go this in a trade, but for the life of me I can't figure out who sent it to me! So, apologies are due to the kind trader who included this brew. Pours black and slightly viscous with a decent head that fades to a ring. Nicely balanced bourbon, toasted grains, and sweet malt with a good deal of creaminess. The bourbon is on the mellow side, but nicely nuanced with caramel, oak, vanilla, and cream. Unfortunately the bourbon is a good deal too subtle for my taste in the flavor and the malt profile doesn't have enough oomph either. Still, its pleasant enough if kinda light. Smooth and somewhat creamy in the mouth, this is easy to drink- maybe a little too easy for the style.

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Photo of Derek
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled October '09.

A: This must have picked up some bugs in the barrel, it's a gusher & took some time to get into the glass. Tons of bubbly head.

S: Oaky, boozy aroma, some dry roasted grain (roasted nut, coffee), brown sugar, sweet caramel, with hints of leather. I like it!

T: It picked up some bourbon and vanilla from the oak, as well as some Brett. It probably would have been better younger, as the Brett has really come forward, a bit like a Belgian stout. Dark caramel, roasted nut, molasses, coffee, hints of licorice, vanilla, sweet bourbon and oak. Balanced bitterness. Good stuff.

M: VERY dry & over-carbonated... not that I really care.

D: It's different, but I'm diggin' it.

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Photo of BillRoth
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Mora2000
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

This is my first rate from the great state of Kentucky.

The beer pours a very dark brown color with a gigantic tan head. It is the kind of head you get from an infected beer, but there are no other signs of infection present.

The aroma is bourbon, oak, chocolate, vanilla and maple. All of the things you expect to smell in a bourbon-barrel aged beer are present.

The flavor is heavy on the bourbon and chocolate with some roasted malt mixed in.

The only complaint that I have is that the mouthfeel is a little too thin for my tastes and the carbonation is a little too high.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a two-finger head on top of a dark brown body with minor head and lacing. A fairly roasted and woody smell (natch) with hints of toasted, even burnt malts but not much else. Very smooth and creamy, almost porter-like, with sweet malts like chocolate and vanilla (sparse hint of cinnamon) coming thorugh along with roasted and toasted malts for a balanced beer (although the sweetness is a little more noticable) and a dry finish (I guess the bourbon peaks on the backbitem, although it is not an alkie burn so the ABV is well-hidden). An easy going beer that I could session w/ or w/o dinner.

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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 JohnGalt1
3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz received in a nice surprise box from Freethyhops... Thanks Riley... poured into my Delirium goblet.

Huge carbonation... 3 finger brown head seems to stick around forever.. good lacing..

Nose begins with tons of dark fruits (too much) and lesser dark malts that seem a bit aggressive.. verging a tad on the acrid side.. no real barrel elements in the aroma.

Flavor seems a bit lacking in the traditional Big Stout department.. not really enough of any of the dark malts.. there is again a bunch of dark fruits that seem too much.. the astringency of the dark malts that are present combine with the dark fruits and lend toward a sorta sour element that is out of place... some woody notes are there.. but get lost until the very end of the swallow... a bit of real "bourbon" shows as it hits room temperature and somehow it helps tie things together, but.. it still is quite a mess.. vanilla is there, but is overpowered by the weird fruitiness.

There is a bunch of stuff going on with this one, but it seems to be all over the map and definitely never comes together .. the mouthfeel is waaaay too carbonated.. lighter than expected body..

I think this could be a good big stout if dialed in .. most of the elements are there... but fruity/sourness needs to be roped in.. a bit bigger body would help.. more dark malts and seriously.. less carbonation will help a bunch.

Thanks Riley!! Let me know if you ever need anything from the great PNW!


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Photo of wrightst
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of Bitterbill
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one pours from 12oz bottle(bottled 10 07) a very dark brown with a 1 finger head of tannish foam that quickly leaves the scene leaving just a ring around the glass and there's almost no lacing.

The smell is delicate to me. I can just detect some faint notes of wood and maybe some vanilla?

The taste has a nice bourbon flavour up front with some vanilla backing it up. After a few more sips, I can taste some dark fruit and toffee. The mouthfeel is fairly light as is the carbonation and it finishes with a bitterish hot cocoa flavour. Hmm...I don't notice the abv at all but I'm sure *that* will catch up to me later. ;^)

Btw, the more I sip, the more I notice a somewhat watery finish..I mean, it really loses a lot of its character there and it wasn't exactly power packed with flavour in the first place.

All in all, I'd say it 's a good tasting brew of the style but, I don't know, it's missing that certain oomph to make it special. At least, to my tastebuds. I'm glad I got to try it but it's turning out to be something that I wouldn't try hard to seek out again. YMMV.

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Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 438 ratings
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