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

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

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 rlparker3
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11-Jan-2009 Home

Pours black with no significant head. The aroma is dominated by vanilla. The flavor, also, is dominated by vanilla and roasted malts... it finishes with hops and bourbon (perhaps the strong suit). Despite it's complexity this is an easy drinker... I will seek this beer again in the future.

One caveat, the flavor improved as it warmed... the fridge may be too chilly for it.

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Photo of pablot71
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer pours from 12 oz. bottle, had very little head. Swirling the glass gave oily, coffee colored lace appearance on sides of glass.

Tantalizing smell is reminiscent of oak barrels, sweet bourbon, and burnt barley.

Hints of coffee and chocolate can be tasted during drinking, with a sweet, roasted, malty finish. No obvious bitterness detected.

Mouthfeel is average. Slightly thin feel, could definitely have thicker, creamier feel. Carbonation is high and takes away from the flavor and feel of the brew.

Drinkability is average. Would improve with better mouthfeel. Overall, not too shabby of a brew. Good for fall and winter evenings under a clear, cool sky and in front of a cracking fire.

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Photo of Ladybugger
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with undertones and a thin tan head that quickly dissipates to lace. Aroma is of coffee and roasted malts with a hint of bourbon and oak. Flavor is unmistakable bourbon, followed with some malty sweetness and coffee. Bitterness lingers. Mouthfeel is thin for a stout and there is little coating, but the carbonation really carries the flavors. This is a flavorful stout which could be consumed en masse at drinker's peril.

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Photo of allrizz
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
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 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 bluesoul
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Give this thing plenty of warming time or you're missing out.

A - Poured into pint glass. Pours pitch black with a two-finger tan head that's slow to fade. Of concern is there's a TON of sediment in the beer, very slow to settle. Here's hoping it won't kill ya.

S - Boozy accord, a very good whiskey note alongside some hoppy bitterness that comes to the forefront when swirled. Coffee notes are present, overall the smell is quite creamy. Very strong aroma honestly.

T - Tastes like...well, tastes like a stout. Has a woody taste presumably imparted by the barrel-aging. Quite a bit of complexity to the brew thanks to the bourbon flavor. Not something I'm going to reach for very often but I do respect it for what it is.

M - Lingering hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Has a burn in the back of the mouth that could be the bourbon aging or could just be the high ABV. Carbonation is a bit high. Body is a bit weak for a stout.

D/O - Goes down smooth and the bourbon is a nice touch. I'm finding that I'm a bit on the outs with stouts so I'm trying to be objective here. Given the high ABV a session of these would likely take you out of commission for a while.

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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 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 mightyjoemoon
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

the jefferson reserve bourbon barrel stout is a damn good ale. its as dark a stout as you're likely to find, has great head retention, hides its high abv admirably in a combination of lively carbonation and smokey malts, and features a combination of bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate flavors. the bourbon here is much less agressive than founders backwoods bastard but theres a nice oaky smoothness. this super beer is definitely in the top tier. i don't know how hard it is to find outside of the midwest but if you can find a four pack pick it up.

also: its even smoother and creamier on tap at the bluegrass brewing companies pub in louisville. they even offer a few other bourbon barrel aged brews including a delicious porter.

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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 huguey
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 Oz. Bottle, poured into Rare Vos glass.

This seemingly is a completely different brew. Saltyness prevails, there is no smokiness, no bourbon flavor, no coffee, a little maltiness. I'd recommend having this on tap. If you can find the bottle, you are close enough to find it on tap at a BBC store.

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Photo of muddyriverduck
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
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 Swamper
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottled Nov 07.
Immense head upon pour. Think it took me 3 or 4 very slow pours to empty the 12oz into the Luettich Balloon. Off white head with a bit of pigmentation settled over about a 5 minute period and left a bit of lacing above pour.
Taste was a bit bitey from carbonation at first, vanilla came across on the sweet side. Upon warming a bit I couldn't get over the resemblance to what a flat Coke Classic would taste like if it went flat and was recarbonated and left warm. Not bad just couldn't get beyond that.
Mouthfeel was pleasant, left slight booze aftertaste.
Not sure I'd drink more than 1 of these in a single sitting.

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Photo of monoXcide
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
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 HomeBrewJake
4.29/5  rDev +13.2%
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 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 513hooligan
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
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 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 rlg5150
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this from a 12oz bottle into a Pilsner-type glass.

A- Looks really good. Very dark, almost completely black. The head was exceptionally big (more on this later) and settled into a nice creamy foam.

S- Chocolate. That's pretty much all I'm getting from this one. Maybe a little bourbon peeping through but perhaps that's just because I was expecting it. It smells very nice and malty, though.

T- Fairly sweet with almost no bitter. The bourbon doesn't really come in until the aftertaste.

M- Strange, I've had this before but I don't remember it being as carbonated as a Sprite. The head was enormous with a much-less-than-vigorous pour and the mouthfeel was just as you'd expect from seeing it. I think this is a one time thing because it's more carbonated than any BMC light.

D- As drinkable as any 8.50% ABV beer. Taste is good but too many of these will bloat you up and knock you on your ass.

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Photo of therivler1
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown/almost black appearance. Small head that disappeared fairly quickly. No lacing.

Not a very strong smelling beer - but you can tell its a stout.

Taste is pretty good. Nothing special. Though you can't taste that it's 8.5%

Mouthfeel is sort of strange. A little more carbonation that I was expecting. I don't get much of the flavors.

Goes down easy. I could put a few of these back.

All in all, a mediocre stout.

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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 jimmyjgo
2.99/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

APPERANCE 4.0-looked very tasty. had all the attributes of what a bourbon barrel stout should look like. the pour said alot about the beer including a major drawback which i felt took away from the beer and that is the amount of carbonation i could see and later feel/taste.

SMELL 5.0-a very delicious smell came from this beer. you can smell a varitey of smells ranging from oak,chocolate,vanilla,bourbon,cocoa. oh only if this beer tasted as well as it smelled :(

TASTE 2.5- the reason i gave this beer such a low rating on taste was how not tasty it was. as soon as i took my first drink i felt like i just wasted 10.50 on this 4-pack. it was very carbonated and taste like they made a great batch of beer than decieded to make profit by making have the bottle with water. just did not taste like a mans beer.

MOUTHFEEL 2.5- once again i would have to give this another 2.5 rating because even thought i knew i was drinking beer my mouth was telling me what a fizzy interesting soda this is. very fizzy in your mouth. could taste the flavors but could not get past the carbonation.

DRINKABILITY 2.5- overall i would have to say that is a little under average for the drink factor. the 8.5% ABV does sneak up on u though. once again i would have to bring in the fizz and watery taste in this beer.

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Photo of lpritchard
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
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 stouthead
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bought this beer at a local cafe-paid $7.00/12 oz bottle

Nice malty/bourbon/chocolate aroma

Poured a dark mahog. brown with thin creamy head which quickly disappeared

great well balanced flavor but overall tasted somewhat weak for a stout

mouthfeel also slightly thin

nicely drinkable for several bottles-but a bit expensive for the above average quality

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Photo of RVB2345
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured very dark, almost black, and had tons of beige foam even when poured gently into my glass. Smelled like roasted malts and coffee but I couldn't really catch any bourbon in there, and as a Kentuckian, I was a little disappointed with that. As far as the taste, I think the best way to describe it that it's like drinking dark chocolate with some coffee flavor mixed in. Again, I disappointed with the lack of bourbon in the flavor, however, it was a pleasant tasting beer. Mouthfeel was pretty average for a beer like this and it left an aftertaste much like coffee would. The high ABV is well-hidden, but the drinkability is still pretty low because it just has so much flavor. All in all, I liked this beer, but not the best bourbon barrel beer I've had.

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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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