Bourbon Barrel Big Brown | Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

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9 Ratings

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BEERchitect on 04-28-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9 |  Reviews: 6
Reviews by FtownThrowDown:
Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.57/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler fill from Party Town.
Pours a translucent brown in color with a film of froth sitting atop the beer. Smell is subtle bourbon with some oak, along with some brown malts and just a hint of nuttiness. Taste is the perfect balance of bourbon and a very solid nut brown base. This is a magnificent beer. I'm floored. Incredibly smooth and balanced. Way too enjoyable and easy to drink. This is a world class beer from Bluegrass Brewing. I could drink an awful lot of this and never complain a bit. Remarkable complexity and subtleties. Outstanding.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.56/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

In honor of derby weekend, they had this up for grabs at `Friday night flights' at Partytown in Florence. I tried it and simply had to take a growler home with me. I quickly demolished it.

This baby pours a deep, dark, reddish mahogany. The nose is awesome. I smell nuts, cookies, and maple syrup. The taste does not disappoint. Insanely rich and flavorful. The sweetness of the malt is perfectly complemented by the oaky vanilla notes from the bourbon barrels.

I've had other styles of beers that are aged in bourbon barrels, mostly they are `heftier' beers like stouts and porters. This is the first brown ale I've had that has been barrel aged and it suits the style perfectly. If you're lucky enough to come across this beer, you should definitely try it. It's probably not for every palate, but I thought it was off-the-charts good!

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Photo of MaseFace
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of AgentZero
3.44/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - This beer looks a lot like a dark cola with a bit of a beige head. Faded to a bit of a ring.

S - Actually smells quite nice, with brown sugar, heavy bourbon, a little but of nuttyness, vanilla, and wood.

T - Taste is quite diappointing after the nose. Just falls a bit flat, tasting a bit more like watered down bourbon with some sweetener in it.

M - Medium bodied, relatively smooth.

O - Just didn't find this to be a particularly great beer. The nose was amazing, but in most other aspects it was average.

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Photo of JDizzle
3.72/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I got a growler from Party Town in Florence, Ky.(best store ever!)

The appearance is a lighter brown with a lot of carbonation. The head drops down to a light rim within a min.

The smell is strong bourbon and oak. Pretty pleasing.

Taste: BOURBON! and a strong brown ale. I get a little barrel taste, but bourbon is very upfront(which I like)

They had the alcohol at 11.2% at PT, but it didn't seem like that. I feel it's seems very thin for a big brown ale. A little down on this one.

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

Upon stumbling into the brewpub, I knew this was a must try. Bluegrass Brewing does extremely well with the Bluegrass Nut Brown Ale, and suspected that this was that beer aged in a boubon barrel.

The base beer shows a lot of caramelized malts with a sweet bready flavor that has a definate resemblance to the Northern English Brown Ales. The bourbon barrel give a ton of bourbon flavor and strength. The caramel notes are better amplified and takes on butterscotch flavors without overly buttery notes. Vanilla falvor is also leached from the barrel and gives the beer a superior desert-like sweetness. Light chocolate (cocoa nibs) flavor remains modest but compliments the beer very well. Very low hopping rates never interfere with the simple and elegant brown malts and bourbon complexity. Deeply golden with light amber hightlights, this beer retains a nice head whil lacing remarkably as the beer fades. Lighter in color than is usually expected from Browns, this likely comes also from extended barrel aging.

Not for everyone, you have to like intense bourbon flavor to fully appreciate this beer. This beer also reminds me of the Boubon Barrel Ale by Alltech's Lexington Brewing Company, except with a better base beer.

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Photo of tpd975
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to thecheeseman for this one.

A: pours a nice shade of amber with a thin tan head. No real retention or lace.

S: Whoa, I know this one comes from Kentucky, but holy Bourbon Batman! Take your head and stick it in a Bourbon barrel and voila... this beer. Tons of burnt oak, vanilla, and booze. Not a hint of the base beer that hides beneath.

T: HUGE Bourbon flavors. Fresh oak and vanilla dominate here as well. Hints of burnt brown sugar and a touch of the booze without the burn. Tastes alot like Jack and water.

M: Medium in body, very smooth.

D: Good. This is all barrel, but I liked it. It drinks like Bourbon without all the kick. I could actually drink several.

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Photo of tmneyer
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Bourbon Barrel Big Brown from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 9 ratings