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

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Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series)Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series)

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

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by CaptinRedBeard on 05-05-2010

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Reviews: 178 | Ratings: 468
Photo of thecheapies
3.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled April of 2012, as notched on the label.

Pours black as night with a light brown head. Retention is average. The capper is slowly fizzing away. Can't see much else through or in this beer. 3.5

Kind of funky-smelling. Dark chocolate, underarm, black coffee, dark syrups, roasty malts, woodsiness, and compost. A little off-putting.

Hints of vanilla bean and light oak is about all the evidence there is to recognize bourbon barrel aging. Tootsie Roll chocolate, sweetened coffee, and aged hops. Spicy bite to the finish. Pretty simple taste profile. Nothing to write home about. Not sure what that body odor that lingered in the aroma was, but thankfully it does not show up in the mouth.

Medium-to-thin. Oily and slick with that prickly finish. Light on the effervescence. One of the easier drinkin' bourbon barrel-aged stouts.

For 'Bourbon Barrel Stout' to be in the largest font on the label, this beer doesn't live up to its namesake. It's an okay stout, but it's missing the mark on many levels. This is an average-to-half-decent American Stout that happens to be barrel-aged, although it didn't pick up many complexities. I'm going to give it a 3.5 overall, but mostly for effort.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.31/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at BBC (4th St) in Louisville, KY.

A: Pours a jet black in color. The beer has a half finger tall dark beige head that reduces to about a quarter finger tall but never completely goes away. Very light lacing is observed.

S: The aroma is not as intense as I expected - a little on the mild side. Aromas of burnt and dark roasted malts, some light oakiness, and bourbon + vanilla.

T: Lots of intense bourbon and vanilla flavors along with some light amounts of oakiness/woodiness. Light amounts of dark roasted (almost burnt) malts. The beer has a light lingering bitterness. I can also taste some of the harshness of the alcohol from the bourbon.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Some alcohol warming is present. Slightly thin.

O: Not a bad beer but a little thinner that I wanted/expected for the style. There is a nice complexity to the flavor but it is a little harsh to be a sessionable beer. Alcohol could have been more well hidden.

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Photo of cagocubs
4.2/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up in Louisville KY. Poured from bottle into glass.

A: Pours dark, pretty much an opaque black. Real thin off white head dissapears to a thin ring around the edges. Slight lacing.

S: toated malt, oak, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, and buttery bread.

T: Toasted malt, barley, vanilla sweetness, chocolate and coffee bitterness, and a definite oak and woody character. Intresting tastes that are pleasant. Aftertaste is toasty.

M: Medium body with decent carbonation for a stout. Good flow and a pleasant aftertaste. Good stuff. I liked it alot.

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Photo of Vonerichs
3.03/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown body with head that stuck around for a brief moment.

Smells of chocolate, vanilla, and cola.

If the wasnt called bourbon barrel stout, I'd never know bourbon was used. There are hints of vanilla, but otherwise there are no other bourbon qualities. It tastes more like a brown ale than anything else.

Mouthfeel is thin and under carbonated.

It was an ok beer in general, but a complete miss on the style.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.78/5  rDev +48%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap into a becker glass at Doc Crowes

A- Poured black with a one-two finger frothy mocha head that leaves coating lace. Everything you want a stout like this to look like

S- Strong and complex aroma of vanilla, oak, chocolate, and roasty notes.

T- Big flavoful stout with notes of vanilla, oak, chocolate, roasted coffee, and bourbon. Nice balance between sweet and roasty, the bourbon notes are not overdone and complements the stout very nicely

M- Soft, creamy, chewy mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Really a silky smooth mouthfeel perfect for a stout.

O- A great barrel aged stout that is very drinkable. Hardly a trace of booziness in this beer, just some nice warming. Really flavorful and a great mouthfeel. I have not had a ton of bourbon barrel aged beers but many I have had really overdo the bourbon but this beer strikes a great balance.

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Photo of CliffBrake
3.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle begins gushing slightly upon cracking the cap. Pours with a huge open head - not very attractive with very large gaps and bubbles. Black color with a bit of darkest red showing along the edges. Leaves decent lacing on the glass, when the head does eventually die away. With a careful pour, and letting it sit for a few minutes, it looks pretty good.

Smell of chocolate with notes of vanilla, bourbon and alcohol. Flavor is a bit grainy with some chocolate, vanilla and a hint of bourbon. A bit simple, it seems to rely on flavors from the barrel more than from the base malt.

Fizzy carbonation is the first impression in the mouth. Overall this beer shows some of the promise of a barrel aged double stout, but perhaps also some of the difficulty in finding the right balance in the barrel treatment.

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Photo of papat444
2.3/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Part of a haul of beer my parents bought me on their way back from Florida.

Poured from a 12oz bottle, bottled Jan. 2012.

Appearance: Totally opaque brown with an ecru head about 3 fingers worth. Gradually recedes to thin ring before disappearing.

Smell: Traces of vanilla, wood, BBQ sauce and faint bourbon. Not in your face, very mild.

Taste: Mild vanilla, twinge of bourbon and some smoke but this is far from robust. Being bottled a month ago, this should be bursting with flavor but instead is bland.

Mouthfeel: Weak, watery, thin, mildly flat. Lacks substance and body.

Overall: Extremely disappointed in this one. You can barely tell there's bourbon in there. Tastes like a weak brown ale, not even close to a stout. Not offensive taste-wise but offensive to the style. Stay away!

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Photo of FanofHefe
3.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on-tap at the brew house in a fluted pilsner glass (not sure about the bartender's choice of glassware here). Deep black body and a small tan head. Not much lacing.

The aroma is weak overall, maybe due to the glass (snifter or tulip may have been better). Some define bourbon aroma and only a small amount of roasted malt.

The flavor is a little better. Heavy bourbon and vanilla flavors dominate the taste. Roasted malt and oak come along for the ride but in minor roles.

The mouthfeel is very thin for a stout. Overall, I find this beer to be too sweet and thin to compete in the -bal aged category. Decent try but not great.

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1.8/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle to snifter. No indication of ABV. Bottled July 2010 and sampled on 10/16/11.

A: Four fingers of frothy fluffy head erupt on the 3/4-of-a-bottle-pour. The light brown head slowly fades into an uneven wavy cap. Long lasting film over the black body. Lacing coats the glass entirely but quickly slides back down.

S: A big oaky component and artificial vanilla stand out. Chocolate, caramel and grain roasted to a near acrid degree. Soily and musky. The hops impart notes of grass and pine.

T: Follows the nose closely. Adds cardboard. The base beer lacks depth of flavor – and the bourbon barrel character is very faint – if surface level only. Flavor duration is short, but vanilla lingers long.

M: Thin and over-carbonated for the style. Finishes chalky somehow?

O: Not a very good beer unfortunately.

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.45/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottled September 2011, served at around cellar temperature.

Pours very dark brown to black with a one finger brown head that leaves some spotty lacing and recedes to a ring and wispy cap.

Aroma features a lot of oak, some bourbon and vanilla, roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, some dark fruits. Quite oaky. Good to very good strength.

Flavor is some bourbon, vanilla and oak, good roasted malt, chocolate and coffee components, a fair bit of dark fruits, fairly sweet as well. A bit of alcohol but well integrated, and less than expected for 9%.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style but still medium bodied in the grand scheme of things, somewhat creamy, somewhat sticky, moderate carbonation.

I found this to be pretty good stuff and better than the BA score here indicates. I had only modest expectations going in but was pleasantly surprised. Not up to the level of the big barrel aged heavy hitters out there but I would put this on par with something like Weyerbacher’s Heresy.

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Photo of 4thelvofbeer
1.67/5  rDev -48.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Disappointing. This is the example of a brewery that has jumped on the "barrel aged" bandwagon. This is a watered-down example of a barrel aged stout and is frankly a disgrace to carry the name barrel aged stout. Black in color with a weakly colored brown head. Taste is weak, with light notes of chocolate that fade as quick as you can begin to taste them. Watery and light for a barrel aged beer. Mouthfeel is like drinking water. Save your money....extreme disappointment.

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Photo of BrewBre
2.68/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look = dark dark brown with slight amber edges and some tan head.

Smell = roasted, oak, and coffee are three distinct notes that come to mind. Almost has a hint of burnt/char to it.

Taste = a great deal of chocolate and roasted malt.

Feel = thin to medium body with very little carbonation.

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Photo of musicforairports
2.43/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Black color. Light brown head leaves no real lacing.

Smells of char, chocolate and an off-putting note of butter.

Flavor has some char, vanilla and wood notes, but they ride atop a watery, acidic beer that doesn't taste much like a stout at all.

Thin-medium mouthfeel. This doesn't feel like a 5.5 percent ABV stout, let alone one of 8.6 percent ABV.

This is neither a good stout nor a good bourbon-barrel beer. It's not pricey, but I guess I know why.

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Photo of jonsarts
4.17/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is essentially an ordinary stout with extraordinary vanilla oakey, splashing of bourbon finish. Great on a cold evening with a nice steaming bowl of stew.

There is a hint of that char from the inside of a barrel that penetrates the brew. I don't care for that flavor in a wine, but it works well with a stout so long as it is subtle.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.52/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter.

A faint head is barley made that doesn't stick around much, leaves a soapy collar. Body color is a dark walnut brown, with red and looks actually just a little see through on the edges

Bouquet is high on barrel notes, wood, cedar angles, sawdust, with some nice malt backbones. Interesting, not much going on but I do enjoy it. Very very dry.

Mild subdued barrel palate. Faint hint of the classic bourbon notes but very buried of caramel and vanilla and richness, instead the roast malt dominates primarily. Char action much like an American porter. Wet bodied a bit with some very noticeable carbonation. Dry sense on the nose doesn't come off on the taste with it's wet angle.

Overall this actually isn't a bad beer, but for slapping the bourbon barrel name on there, this is not quite pulling it off. It's more of a roasty American porter/stout to me but still enjoyable.

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Photo of 2378GCGTG
3.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip at 43 degrees

Appearance: 2 inch brown head, excellent retention and great lacing. Black in the center and red at the edges when held to the light.

Smell: Bourbon, oak, coffee, and vanilla

Taste: Bitter coffee predominates at the front, fading into vanilla and oak with light buttery bourbon undertones

Mouthfeel: Light, almost watery, with a softness from the bourbon aging.

Overall: I am disappointed by this years offering, past years have been mush better, and in fact the Jeffersons aged beer is far superior to this beer.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into New Belgium globe.

A: pours deep brownish black with a tiny bit of light barely peaking through at the edges, tannish white head, some retention and lacing

S: nose features raw oak and vanilla up front, some chocolate mixes in, but not nearly as much as I'd hope for. Really losing the stout base. Perhaps the base beer isn't hearty enough to stand up to the barrel aging.

T: thin vanilla at the front along with some sweet malts and a hint of milk chocolate. The finish is primarily creamy vanilla. The roasted malts seem to be lacking in presence,

MF: thin body for style, medium carbonation

O: not a bad beer for its price, no bad flavors, just falling a little short of its competitors

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a 16 oz. Snifter.

A- pours black with very thin tan head. Some lacing that resides quickly.

S- roasted malts, coffe, cough syrup, faint vanilla.

T- roasted malts, very faint bourbon and vanilla, a bitter coffee taste that is slightly off but can't pin point what.

M- medium body, medium carbonation.

O- poor attempt at a BA stout. Missing the bourbon, vanilla, and oak flavors and aromas acustomed to the style.

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Photo of stakem
2.6/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I could have swore I reviewed this brew before because I vividly remember the experience being below average. Here we go again, 12oz brown bottle with a bottled on date of October 2010. This brew pours a very dark brown that once held to the light displays some clarity around the edges. An initial formation of khaki head forms with more than a finger strength and slowly fades to a film that maintains across the top seemingly throughout the entire duration.

The smell of this brew initially has a pleasant character of faint, sweet milky chocolate, vanilla, oak and a bit of roast. More smells reveal some hints espresso-like coffee character that starts to turn like char. When swirled, a bit of sulfur comes out that mixes with quite a bit of mineral component. And there it is, the initial pleasing and expected character of this brew abruptly turns to quite a mineral filled scent that is slightly earthy with mixed notes of stinky cheese.

The taste is char with a bitter roasted grain element that gives way to a light amount of bitter chocolate that lasts into the aftertaste when only a small sip is taken. When larger gulps are taken, there is a tartness present that is a bit distracting and gives a chalky quality that is a bit out of place. Sulfur and mineral flavors run throughout the middle of the profile. Surprisingly this off-character gives way towards the end and leaves an aftertaste of cocoa powder on the tongue. A very strange experience for sure.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with an abundance of carbonation that is effervescent and bubbly on the tongue. I dont want to be the one that screams infection over this brew but this is a drastically different experience from the last bottle I had. The previous bottle I consumed had an abundance of dark cherry tartness and minerals that was not enjoyable at all. While this bottle was slightly better, it still tasted a bit off to me. This brew flirts with having potential but something has gone wrong. I wouldn't mind having this again when it is fresh but I would be hesitant.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
3.68/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shaker pint: Black body with the faintest, deep red highlights. Half-finger of tan head that drops to a thin coating.

Smell at first: Ah, cocoa, oak, bourbon. As it warms: kind of a musty, waxy character develops, chocolate seems kind of faky, some solventy booze emerges. It's like good smells gone slightly bad.

Taste is not bad: vanilla, some bourbon, pleasant roast character in the finish, aftertaste is a nice restrained bourbon flavor. On the mild side & kind of washed out, but not bad.

Kind of light-bodied for a bourbon barrel stout, low carbonation. Not a great combination, as I'd rather go for either full-bodied or a little more carbonated. Just comes across as flat.

Not bad overall, but really lacking in some areas. Just kind of wimped out, honestly, plus some off-notes in the aroma. Doable, & I don't think I'd pass up another one, but not real memorable.

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Photo of avalon07
3.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and a thick texture. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Not much lacing.

S: Lots of chocolate in the aroma - much more than most stouts - with traces of malt and coffee.

T: Like the smell, the taste had a lot of chocolate, with a bit of malt and coffee. Not much of the advertised bourbon. Tastes and feels more like a porter than a stout. Not a bad flavor, but not strong enough.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This isn't a terrible beer, but definitely not as good as others in the style.

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Photo of antoines15
3/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks goes out to JJ for picking this one up for me. He's my sixty-four year old co-worker who bought me a 4-pack of this for no apparent reason. Now, on to the review.

A: Resembles a darker, flat coca-cola with a few bubbles around the edge. Or day old coffee, if you prefer.

S: Smells of chocolate pretty heavily. No bourbon aroma to speak of, unfortunately.

T: More chocolate. Not offensive, but not very exciting either. Still no bourbon. Cloyingly sweet, maybe? In a Dark Lord kinda way?

M: Here is where this beer loses me. It is a bit too carbonated and very thin for the style.

O: Again, this beer is not bad, but not awesome either. I'm pretty sure it is going to get a "C" from me, and I think that is a very fair assessment. Thanks again Joe!

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Photo of Guden
3.69/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep black with just the faintest dark brown highlights at the edges. Almost no head, just a thin film of creamy off white bubbles. Not much to say, but it does leave a pretty lacing.

S - Alcohol, oak, smoke and some of the deep coffee and licorice notes I love to see in stouts.

T - The coffee flavor is certainly there with a tempered amount of alcohol and a bit of character that seems somewhere between smoke and vanilla and I can only assume comes from the char on the barrel. I like the character but it seems as though it could all be a bit more pronounced and a bit more rounded.

M - This is the weakest character to this beer in my opinion. Light on carbonation, but with only a medium heavy body and lacking the great creaminess I would love to see.

D - This isn't a hard beer to drink but it isn't one that's as complex as the name would suggest. A nice addition to my mix and match 6 pack but not something I'm going to go out of my way to enjoy again.

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Photo of Ruger
3.31/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured hard and still only managed a half finger light brown head, minimal lacing and the body is black with a red tint that silhouettes at the top when held up to the light.

S - Tons of melted chocolate with a light booze wisp that follows up.

T - Very light bourbon couldn't get much but its there , overwhelming chocolate that is nicely counterbalanced by finishing with a slight hop bitterness that disperses.

M - A little too much carbonation for my tastes but its fine; medium bodied still really smooth.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
3.74/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - very thin looking and light, no real head formation. not a good start.

S - Nice big bourbon and chocolate notes. A really fine smell.

T - Sweet chocolate, roasted coffee, some almost minty alcohol...a little confusing. Some good stuff, but some not-so-good stuff as well...

M - Smooth, a bit thin.

O - This is a so-so beer. It's not terrible, but it has some off flavors and is a bit too thin. It could probably use some more bourbon on the tongue.

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Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series) from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
3.23 out of 5 based on 468 ratings.
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