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

very good
438 Ratings
no score
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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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 438 |  Reviews: 326
Photo of SacoDeToro
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep black with almost no head.

The aroma of the beer was heavy with roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, and oak.

The flavor of the beer had an assertive maltiness with strong smoky flavors. A slight lactic tang was present as well. The hops were there to balance things out, but were not overly aggressive. There were notes of oak and vanilla, but I didn't really taste the bourbon like I have on other similar stouts, such as Goose Island, and Older Viscosity.

The mouthfeel was a little thin and could've benefited from some more dextrins and creaminess. The carbonation seemed fine.

Overall, this was a very drinkable beer because it was on the light side of American double stouts. It was hard to believe that it's 8.5%.

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Photo of IPAcraig
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip from a 120z bottle.

Pours black with a light minuscule bubbly head. No lacing.

Smells of roasted bourbon. Period.

This has great flavor, the bourbon really shines through and really pairs well with the typical roasted flavor of stouts. Though this is pretty light for such a big stout. Despite that I still love the whiskey flavor

Thin, thin, thin. Despite the low carbonation, this beer is severely lacking in body.

I love bourbon and stouts. There is room for improvement in this beer, but it is very drinkable and has great flavor.

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Photo of jnn4v
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Black. Not really translucent, except around the edges. Not much head at all. What did exist was a tan color.

S: Very good scent. Nice toasted oak notes, vanilla and caramel. Molasses, coffee and chocolate syrup are all underneath as well.

T: Not much of a flavor at all compared to the scent. Some stale coffee, cocoa powder, and toasted oak, but none are particularly strong. Not a very "stout" stout.

M: Much thinner mouthfeel than I was expecting for a stout. Feels more like a pale ale to me.

D: The very good scent and the well-masked ABV help. I suppose having a weak, yet not offensive scent could actually be a good thing if you're sessioning this.

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Photo of orcasteve
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured into a pint glass, poured a thin black with a redish tint to it, this had head even befor i got it out of the bottle, and it took me ten minits to get this one into my glass. the smell is coffiee and bitter chocklate, the taste in the begining is coffiee and strong bitter hops, the middle is burnt malt, bitter choclate and burbon, the end finishes smooth and leaves no lingering aftertaste. this is an ok beer but its not the best example of this stile

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Photo of haddon
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A- pours almost black in the glass with a nice two finger mocha head

S- love the smells! sweet chocolate with nuts & coffee undertones. the roasted malt smell is there from the beginning

T- the most dominant flavor has to be the roasted malts with a mocha cofffee taste. also, a toffee note mixed in as well

M- real smooth flowing over the tongue. the carbonation is a little lighter than expected but it was a good balance. little thin and light

D- the 8.5% abv is well hidden. not much of a sipper. enjoyed trying it but probably won't earn a spot in my cellar.

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Photo of goatgoat
3.41/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled on Oct '08.

Pours a dark black. A huge frothy mounding coffee head sticks around forever, well almost. It does fall to a foam cap as it warms. No lace, but other than that a very nice looking beer.
Aroma is dark fruits, citric spicy note, very faint oak. As it warms, chocolate comes out as well.
The taste is upfront chocolate sweetness, moving to an assertive bitterness. The bourbon is lightly present throughout the taste, playing on the roof of my mouth.
Moderate body is almost silky but the carbonation prickles just a little too much. Not as hefty as I expect.

I'm not a big fan of bourbon or bourbon-barrel aging, but this pulls it off very well. Though bourbon fans may think it's understated. Overall it's pretty light for an Imperial Stout.

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Photo of SirSketch
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
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 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 smanders
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from the tap at Union Jacks in Winchester, VA.

Appearance - Coffee black with an off-white head.

Smell - roasted malt with coffee and cocoa. Could even smell some booze. Although served too cold the complexity of this beer was still evident.

Taste - Big malts immediately followed by the sweetness of the bourbon.

Mouthfeel - heavier without having to chew it.

Drinkability - I had a pint of Jefferson's instead of dessert. The warming of the alcohol should help you fall asleep after a good meal.

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Photo of mjaggers
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of cproioi
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Beautiful black color with a one finger head that faded quickly but left good lacing.

S: The roasted malt was very prominent but there was also hints of bourbon.

T: First thing that you notice is the roasted malt of the stout the creeping up from behind is the bourbon flavor which adds a lot of sugary sweetness to it.

M: Very thick almost syrup like in texture.

D: One would have an easy time to drink one of these after a meal for dessert easily but more then that? I don't know if I could handle it.

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Photo of Spidey13
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

BBC's Jefferson Reserve Stout pours a very dark brown, almost black, with a very small dark tan head. The nose has lots of roasted notes, coffee, oak, and dark fruit.

The taste has a lot of grainy roasted notes, almost burnt. Hints of coffee and raising. There is a light astringency on the back, along with hints of oak flavor and a bit of vanilla. The mouthfeel is a bit thing, but also a bit creamy. Carbonation is low.

This is a very drinkable bourbon barrel stout, probably because it is a bit on the low side of the ABV range for imperial stouts. Quite tasty.

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Photo of OnThenIn
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: It pours a dark jet black with a half finger of brown head. The head doesn't last forever, but it does leave some nice lacing.

Smell: The beer has a bourbon aroma with notes of roasted malt and a certain sweetness that all comes together for a chocolate and coffee like smell.

Taste: The taste is really smooth to the point of almost tasting a little watered down, with nice roasted notes that are not followed by bitter roasted malt flavor. The beer finishes surprisingly clean and dry with just a hint of residual bitterness. The beer also has a definite bourbon flavor. Their is also a bit of vanilla and coffee.

Mouthfeel: The beer is a little more carbonated than I would expect, and the beer is full bodied, but not huge by any means.

Drinkability: The beer is surprisingly drinkable for a 8.5% bourbon barrel aged. For the pricing, especially considering that this was bourbon barrel aged, I would definitely pick it up again. This is actually my first bourbon barrel and I was hoping the bourbon wouldn't blow me away. In fact, it didn't and I am looking forward to the next bourbon barrel beer.

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Photo of MDekker
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out really black, with a little off-white head. The aroma is very sweet, of things like molasses, brown sugar, and caramel, along with a slight hint of coffee. Not so much of the dark roasted notes that I might have expected. Can't quite detect the alcohol, although there's a bourbon note there too. Upon tasting I notice the bourbon, some fermented fruit, and it leaves a slightly smoky aftertaste, and not much in the way of hops. Overall, it could have more punch to it. I wouldn't have guessed that this was a double stout. In the mouth it's fine, but a little thin if anything. All that said, it went down well, maybe too easily for a stout.and it was enjoyable. There are definitely better stouts out there, but this was alright.

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Photo of iconoklaztor
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice black color with a tan head that seems to stick around for a while! The smell is very boozy and has a oat smell as well.

The taste is a little thin, not very hoppy, but decent. It's notes of bourbon are there but wait to the finish to come about.

I think at 8.5% its super drinkable and very dangerious if quickly consumed! Its a brew that I would like to enjoy more often. A very good go to bourbon stout!


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Photo of ramseye4
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A=Pours a thick oily black color with no head or lacing
S=booze, oak, roasted malt
T=Starts with a heavy dose of roasted malt, with some milky smooth chocolate making an appearance. The bourbon isn't as pronounced as expcected, but it comes out when the beer is swilled around in the mouth, adding a nice touch.
M=medium bodied and highly carbonated
O=A decent bourbon barrel stout, though its no KBS its not a bad poor man's substitute

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Photo of Riccymon
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a deep black color with a quarter inch of brownish head. Head is short-lived, and no lacing remains. The nose on Jefferson's Reserve turns out to be the highlight of the beer, in my opinion. A really appealing woody aroma is easy to smell, and there are chocolate and whiskey notes making it smell even nicer.

After that nice aroma, the flavor in Jefferson's is subdued to the point of being disappointing. All the flavors are there, but they're just not that bold. The whiskey/vanilla flavor is nice, but underwhelming, especially compared to other, similar beers. Body is on the thin side, and it drinks very easily. I definitely don't feel like I'm drinking an 8.5% bourbon-barrel stout. On the whole, this was nice to drink, and I'm glad I bought a four-pack, but it doesn't measure up the way it could.

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Photo of Buschyfor3
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a 16 oz draft at the Legends Bar, Horseshoe Casino in Southern Indiana.

A: Like the bottle, you get that same deep, ruddy brown/near black pour. Off the tap, you get a bit more of a khaki-colored head, but like the bottle the retention is short-lived and quickly becomes just a wispy ring of sandy-beige foam settling on the surface of this stout.

S: Off the tap, the nose doesn't seem to change too much - still getting the oak, vanilla and caramel characters from the bourbon and the barrels themselves. Underlying stout still shows of roasted malt notes, burnt toast, warm coffee, and hints of some dark fruits.

T: The taste department is where I noticed the first difference compared to the most recent bottle I sampled. The oak character seems much more prominent off the tap - earthy wood, chalky charcoal notes, salty and smoky, and this dominates the first couple seconds of each sip. Then the vanilla and caramel sweetness from the bourbon sweep in for a quick flash of balancing sweetness before sinking back in to the onrusing malts. If anything is different on tap, it's that the barrel-aging character is more pronounced over the bottled variety.

M: Off the tap, the beer feels a bit slicker and fuller than I remember from the bottle. Not sure if this was on a nitro-line - I asked the bartender and she did not know the specs for their taplines. Still, this stout had a good body to it and it seems even more refined straight off the tap.

D: Still easy to drink, like before. 16oz glass is no problem. The bourbon aroma and taste is present, but the alcohol content remains hidden in the background.

If anything, the only noticeable differences between the tap and the bottled version is that the barrel-aging seems to be more prominent when served on-tap, and the mouthfeel is a tad fuller due to the direct carb. Otherwise, the essence of this stout doesn't change a whole lot given the method of delivery. Still a surprisingly easy-drinking barrel-aged stout.

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Photo of dickieb
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours as dark as any stout i have seen with 1 1/2 fingers of head that quickly works down to a ring around the glass. The smell is of paper and coffee grounds with hints of bourbon, and some dark malts. The flavor is more subdued then i would expect staring with the roasted malts with some vanilla, and working through to the oak chips and a lingering bourbon finish. Good mouthfeel for a stout, and the drinkability it also rather good. I was expecting something a bit more over the top, seeing as this was not anything to extreme, but rather enjoyable.

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Photo of crashdavisinoh
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of gkatsoris
3.32/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Black. Nice big tan head w/ teeny teeny bubbles that settle in less than 2 minutes.

S: Deep woody smell. Good aroma of the bourbon. Slight scent of alcohol. Also some vanilla. Pretty complex.

T: Bland at first. Where is the bourbon???? ABSOLUTELY NEEDS to sit for a bit before drinking. Lots of wood. The aftertaste is where most of the flavors are: Coco, vanilla, wood, honey, roasted malts and roasted nuts.

M: Flat and thin. Pretty creamy, but also crisp.

D: Wouldn't be something I'd go out of my way for, but wouldn't refuse either.

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Photo of dmfrench
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A creamy, sweet, spicy, small, drinkable American Double.

A: Opaque with brown highlights and a fairly persistent 1.5 finger creamy khaki head.

S: A small hint of bourbon, along with prune, and some acrid hops. Not much in the way of cocoa, coffee, or other burnt odors.

T: Sweet and creamy is my first impression, followed by the pleasing effect lent by the bourbon barrel, which somehow reminds one of bourbon, particularly its spiciness, without really tasting like bourbon. The acidic hops come next, and the burnt malt flavors are far in the background. Te overall effect is rather small for a Double, though the flavors are pleasing enough.

M: Solid yet polite weight and creamines... a bit chalky

D: Extremely easy... more like a milk stout.

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Photo of stoutlover1978
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of generalnotsew
3.44/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice dank, black solid coloring but the head was quite weak and the beer itself looking a bit thin. Smell is mostly a candied sugar with hints of vanilla and the bourbon toned down quite a bit. I actually like it. Not overpowering. Some dark chocolate and not much coffee. Taste is roasty and slightly bitter. Can't taste the bourbon at all. Actually may need to let it set a bit. It is a tad too cold. But so far I think it is better than most people give it. Ok letting it sit hasn't opened much more flavor. The lack of an aftertaste bugs me the most. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. Very middle of the road stout. Not bad but not great.

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Photo of Links41
4/5  rDev +5.5%

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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