Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series)
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series)Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series)
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American Stout
3.36 | pDev: 20.24%
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Kentucky, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series)Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series)
Reviews: 178 | Ratings: 469 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of 98green
3.55/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Not sure I'm on the right beer, but I'm reviewing the standard BBA stout. On tap at Main Street location and I think on nitro. Dark black and opaque. Smell is oak and toffee. Taste brings more Carmel and that bourbon twang. Feel is very thin, and carb is nonexistent. My 2nd low carbed beer here. Is that intentional or bad process? Overall a decent BBA stout, but it won't put any whales out of business

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Photo of gopens44
2.97/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This one is best described and left at as "thin, watery, underwhelming and as such, slightly useless given it's style." Now then, explained further, even though the nose comes close to carrying some depth of character in this, the wateri-ness overwhelms any bourbon, vanilla or coffee you'd expect in this type of beer. Almost as if it were watered down purposely.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.61/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at AW Shucks Bar and Grill in Norfolk, VA.

This one pours a dark-ish brown, nearly black, with a small foamy head, and not a lot of lacing.

Smells like light bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate, with very little roastiness.

This is fairly tasty, but a little bit thin, unfortunately. There's a slight amount of bourbon, with some caramel, vanilla, and chocolate. It's pretty sweet with a lower level of roastiness.

This is medium bodied, a little thin, with a lower level of carbonation.

Not bad, not great.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is jet black, with a fluffy, dense, light, clingy, off-white head. Aromas of chocolate, roasted notes, a heavy dose of char, burnt popcorn, and not much else. Flavors are rich and roasted forward, with a blast of bittersweet chocolate, tangy caramel, char, wood spice, subtle vanilla, and dark molasses. Very rich and sweet, but the barrel char really takes over the palate. The body is surprisingly light and effervesced from the carbonation, making this one kind of disappear on the palate. The aftertaste is more of the roasted chocolate and cream blend, straight through to the soft, smooth, light finish, with a richly sweet linger. Meh.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.87/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I have to say that this exceeded my expectations. I didn't know what to expect, but I had a taste for the style. I had a KBS recently, but since I couldn't get any more, I went for a similar brew.

I transported this by car for a couple hours and then barely got it cold. It sort of shot a spurt of CO2 and when I poured it there was a huge, foamy head. The head was pretty thick, but the bubbles were a bit big. The aroma that went with all that fizz is pretty good. It's malty with a little bourbon smell.

The taste is a nice roasty stout with good balance. Just enough hops to know there is some there, and the bourbon flavor is subdued, but definitely present. The aftertaste is slightly boozy. Overall, the mouthfeel is very fizzy, but this may be my fault.

This is not nearly as complex or thick a sipper as better examples of the style, but it was definitely worth a try. Although it is nearly as boozy as the true imperial examples, it does not have that fullness.

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Photo of MDHopster
3.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Apparently I enjoyed this one more than most, so be it. On tap poured in a tulip glass. Temperature was around 50 - 55 degrees I'd estimate which may be why I enjoyed it more. Too often barrel aged beers and stouts are served too cold and the aroma and flavors don't really present as well. Nice strong coffee and chocolate undertones.

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Photo of Floydster
3.25/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 ounce bottle

Appearance is deep dark brown, an inch of tan head, some retention and lacing

Smell is dark chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, light oak, and espresso

Taste is roasted malt and coffee first, then fades into a bit of vanilla, some oaky flavors come through later on but does not change all that much as it warms

Mouthfeel is full bodied, medium carbonation, not too roasty and too sweet

Overall it was a little underwhelming, decent option for its low price tag for a bourbon barrel aged beer, seems like a lot of them are ten times more expensive these days, but the more expensive ones are indeed better, so getting what you pay for

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Photo of ONUMello
3.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, bottled in 6/14 poured into a pint glass
A: Dark black with a two-finger head that slowly settles to the one-finger level
S: Pleasant cocoa, dark malt, vanilla and bourbon notes
T: Largely matches the nose, mostly cocoa and vanilla, but a touch dilute/bitter
M: Thin-bodied, a bit hot, a touch bitter. Not what I expeted
O: Despite the poor mouthfeel, this beer looks and smells great and is tasty enough. Just for kicks I added a small pour of bourbon to the second half of the glass and it made it quite nice

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Photo of Russell_L
4.91/5  rDev +46.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bourbon Barrel Stout is a great tasting beer. I prefer the beer taste from the tap instead of bottled. When you open the bottle you smell bourbon. You can taste the bourbon, but it is not overwhelming. You should try this beer

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.12/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Ford’s Fish Shack in South Riding and served in a small snifter. The beer is a dark brown that’s nearly opaque, but shows some cola highlights when held to the lamp. Minimal head once it got to the table which settled to a sheen. Clearly a barrel aged beer from the aroma which is deep with vanilla and oak. There are roasted malt, molasses, and char notes as well. Taste is not exciting and leads off watery. It is moderately sweet with vanilla, molasses, and a dusting of cocoa. It is also moderately bitter on the finish with espresso, oak, char, and roasted malt flavors. A weak medium body, thin texture, moderate carbonation, and a sweet woody finish.

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Photo of Mikus
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%

This was very nice and balanced. Bit of bourbon, bit of chocolate. Unfortunately, I sampled it after Extremely Angry Beast. If you like subdued barrel aging, like I normally do, this might just be for you. More of a gentle pinch than a bone - crunching hay maker.

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Photo of dmgeng
3.75/5  rDev +11.6%

Got this from a coworker and he said it was good but could use a bit "more".

A - Black color, akin to a dry stout in color. Pours thin with minimal head and minimal lacing. (Could be batch specific)

S - Significant stout smell with the traditional roasted, chocolate, caramel, and then mixed with some bourbon and vanilla. Smells much better than anticipated but no where near as strong as Bourbon County.

T - Really good flavor very similar to the smell in the same order. The stout flavor really shines and is mixed well with the bourbon. The bourbon is remarkably smooth and full of flavor like vanilla, oak, and just a hint of alcohol to round it out. The best way to describe this is to take a really good bourbon barrel beer like KBS, Bourbon County and just cut it in half with water. The flavors are all there and true but they are just not as strong or as tasty as many other bourbon barrel stouts. Some roasted bitterness but overall balanced.

M - Moderate to light mouth-feel with very light carbonation. Very underwhelmed by the amount of body and lack of any way to help the flavors really stand tall. I feel this is the kind of beer that would happen if Guinness released a "Bourbon Barrel" stout.

Overall, solid flavor and aroma but due to the wateriness and poor drinkability this would never be my first choice. I do enjoy it more than other harsher versions of the style (i.e. dragons milk, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel stout) but I would take a Ten Fidy first every time.

Glass- Snifter

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Photo of JtheHorn
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%

S- a weird tobacco scent mixed with very very light whiskey.

T- the taste is a lot better than the nose. Some light bourbon upfront and a touch of dark chocolate.

M- a lot of carbonation and very thin almost refreshing.

O- a decent entry level BBA stout, nothing special.

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Photo of Gear54
2.38/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

From a bottle into a snifter.

Pitch black with no foam and no lace. Very little carbonation.

Smell is burnt carmel. It's very faint but mostly burnt carmel

Taste is bitter grass and maybe some black licorice.

Overall this it a poor quality stout. Flavors are flat and it leaves the palate needing a good scrubbing.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.35/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle pours a rich black color with a modest cap of tan head. Average retention and lace.

Nose is chocolate, marshmallows, vanilla, wood and char. Smells like a pretty nice barrel aged stout.

Taste is a little light in the loafers so to speak, the malts need some beef. The barrel character is pretty nice, and the roast well integrated. It just seems to lack body and sweetness that would go a long way here, certainly thin is a good descriptor. The aroma was good here, but the taste leaves me wanting [a better beer]. I would be hard pressed to give this one another go.

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Photo of hops202
3.35/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottled November 2013. Poured into snifter

A - black with dark brown edges.

S - hints of bourbon and some roasted malt.

T - rather bland, some chocolate and roast with light vanilla flavor.

M - lots of carb

O - nothing special here. Maybe it would be good if it was the first BA stout ever tasted.

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Photo of Retroman40
3.52/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a brandy snifter

A- Black with a fleeting brown head and minimal lacing.

S- Roasted malts with some bourbon notes.

T- Mild, sweet roast. Vanilla, bourbon and chocolate.

M- Smooth on the tongue with no harsh bourbon taste as some of these BBS's tend to have. Very clean finish. Particularly low carbonation.

O- A decent enough BBS but not particularly complex. Very mild - this might be the BBS to serve your friends that have never had one.

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Photo of BWED
3.25/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a craft pint.

A- Black, dark red highlights. Brown head retains at a quarter inch. Slight lacing.

S- Vanilla, cocoa, roast, slight bourbon.

T- Mild, sweet roast. Vanilla, bourbon and chocolate.

M- Full body. Smooth, and clean. Easy drinker, not like most bourbon barrel beers. Boozy burn isn't there.

O- Decent. Mild in all sense for this style. Light on the flavors and complexity.

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Photo of MarkQ617
3.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had this while waiting entirely too long for my takeout Thai food to be ready. Second offering from these guys. Nice brownish/black color. Relatively mild bourbon flavor, could've used a little more...some slight pecan notes in there as we'll. Faint aromas considering the genre, expected stronger. Not as smooth of a mouthfeel as you'd expect either. Decent, maybe a little underrated on here.

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Photo of jbridge127
2.5/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I was a little disappointed by this. If you want a good Bourbon Stout I'd suggest Alltech's brewing. Their brewery is shared with Town Branch bourbon distillery so the barrels they use are fresh. Literally the barrel empties 5 year old bourbon, and hours later is filled with a batch of beer to age. They have perfected the art of bourbon barrel aging for beer.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a snifter

A: Black/bronze with oak highlights. No head to speak of. Light lacing.

S: Chocolate, espresso, bourbon, oak.

T: Smooth, semi-sweet chocolate. Oak-y. Smokey. More like chocolate coffee. No bourbon in the taste. The high ABV is well-hidden. A bit watery.

M: Light to medium with low carbonation.

O: Was really hoping for a more robustness. Really missed the bourbon.

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Photo of chinchill
1.89/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle with bottled date notched of April 2013 from Liquor Barn (KY).

Solid pssffft upon prying the tap, and the oversized bubbly head both suggest an over-carbonated stout. Given the appearance, the aroma suggests this could be an infected bottle: it smels dank and sour. There is a hint of bourbon and maybe the dank is just from the oak barrel. ... (sips)... Definitely over-carbonated. Flavor features spoiled dark grains. It's drinkable, barely, at best. ... (a few more sips) ... actually, I think I'd rather pour this out and have a good beer.

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Photo of Omnium
3.35/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours black with a finger of khaki colored head, moderate lacing.
S - Not a lot of aroma, some dark roasted cocoa thats about it.
T - Taste is ok, a lot of sweetness to it some more of those chocolate malts coming through, a touch of smoke.
M - Nothing special either, sweet, chewy.
O - This was a disappointment.

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Photo of Brabander
2.68/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

This was one of the worst Bourbon barrel aged stout i have had in years....very disappointing beer and i had so much high hopes form the Bourbon state.

I got this beer is a trade this week with a guy i know from Facebook. We met at Westvleteren.

Poured in my Struise glass the beer has some problems to get some head. I had to pour the beer firmly in the glass. No particular smell and that is odd for a beer which should be barrel aged.

The carbonation was way too much, it blew out the rest of my the taste no hints of oak or a barrel at all....

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Photo of AmishLightning
3.31/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Black as midnight. Very little to almost no head to speak of, and almost no bubbles appearing on the surface. Did they forget to add carbonation?

Smell: The nose showed through to be incredibly bourbon heavy with strong notes of roasted malts. The bourbon seemed a bit too overpowering.

Taste: At first drink the roasted malts seem to be the most defining characteristic of the brew followed by a prominent bourbon finish. However, as the beer warmed up the bourbon started to take hold of the palate. As the beer neared room temperature the bourbon became literally overpowering. The flavors were heavy on the wood and vanilla notes. Not that I know much about bourbon, but those were the two accents that stuck out in my experience. My friend made a good observation when we were rating this; "Tastes like Kentucky".

Mouthfeel: Thicker body. However, the lack of carbonation ended up ruining the strong well-rounded body that, I feel, the brewer was going for.

Overall: I was a bit sad with my experience of my first barrel aged stout. I feel that the bourbon was overdone without the flavors of the beer remaining in the taste profile.

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Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series) from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
Beer rating: 77 out of 100 with 469 ratings