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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: 177 | Ratings: 467
Photo of rfgetz
3.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a tootsie roll brown color with light easily coming through the edges, minimal head and lacing. Scent strong on bottom shelf bourbon and vanilla, roast profile minimal with a cheap holiday milk chocolate presence. Odd buttery toffee/ cracker jack dominates the end of the scent profile. Taste disappoints again with thin tastes all around, even the bourbon notes are watered down and still dominate taste. Off cracker jack notes again come through the finnish Medium bodied, dry and thin for style. Beer offers very little in the way of anything that could be destined as full or aggressive.

 597 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

poured into a pint glass; shared with a few friends.

Appearance: brown body almost black. Tanish brown head with decent lacing.

Smell: Smells like bourbon stout.

Taste: Mild bourbon flavore, but do not ever semem to get a taste of a nice thick stout. Mild chocolate and some more bourbon.

Mouthfeel: High levels of carbonation and moderate beer body.

overall: this was a good attempt at a barrel aged stout. This beer is taken to much barrelling and not enough time being a stout. Less carbonation and heavier body.

 522 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.01/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a Ping glass.

A - Deep dark brown with a one-finger tan head. Good retention and lacing left on the glass.

S - Dark Chocolate and coffee.

T - Smokey coffee, and some tobacco.

D - Thin for a Bourbon Barrel Stout.

O - flavors are here, just not right some how.

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Photo of jrallen34
2.46/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Nothing like picking up a bottle tick then checking the review to see a c+, this will be yummy! 12oz bottle in August 2010, poured into my Darkness glass...The lightest shade of black with dark brown fringes. A really light tan head rises a full finger then disappears to a thin ring, no lacing...Light and boring aroma that is very malty at first, chocolate syrup mostly. The syrup has really generic qualities that are not appealing at all. I can't tell this was barrel aged, no typical indicators...The taste is horrendous, light chocolate syrup poured into a glass of water that then was used as an ashtray. The feel is super light, very water like.

There are no redeeming qualities to this beer, it should be avoided.

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

Aromas are of faint bourbon and some cork, nort oak, but cork. Sweetenes, but not in a good way, I am leary...

The tatse is miserable. Watered down bourbon and soggy oak, tastes like a homebrew which is very premature. Light smokiness and roasted grain. Mouthfeel is thin with medium carbonation.

One and done definitely. I remember drinking their bourbon brown ale last year and feeling the same way. This brewery is a long way from pro status in my opinion. Way too thin and watery. Flavor is weak and needs more behind it. Worst bouron barrel or any wood aged beer I have consumed to date.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.12/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

A: Dark, dark brown, almost black. Completely opaque. No head, no lacing, no carbonation. Intimidating.

S: Complex. Toffee sweetness, coffee, dark chocolate. This portends for an excellent stout.

T: Here the bourbon makes its presence known, lurking in the background as a caramelly alcoholic sweetness. I detect light smokey notes as the slightly bitter coffee flavour takes over and carries me out to the aftertaste.

M: Nothing special here, move along.

D: This is a pretty tasty beer, but I don't foresee me drinking more than one of these at a time. Highly recommended.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.3/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottled on May '10 notched on the label.

Thanks again to Wisconsinality for another beer from Kentucky!

A - Dark black with a clear ring around the outside of the glass. A thin foam of light-tan head has a nice ring around the outside.

S - Light wood with a solid bourbon barrel nose that accompanies coffee and chocolate. An off scent of metallic refrigerator in the background is a bit off-putting but the roasted malts even it out.

T - Dark chocolate and molasses with light coffee. It's blended well with a bit of woody bourbon. Something seems off a bit though.

M - Medium-bodied and smooth but rather thin for a bourbon barrel stout. Dry and lightly bitter.

D - Meh. Too thin and something seems a little bit off otherwise it's a fair bourbon barrel stout.

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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 twiggamortis420
3.35/5  rDev +3.7%
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 thagr81us
3.3/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into a flared pilsner. Poured a dark red brown with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, dark chocolate, wood, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, wood, sweet alcohol, subtle caramel, and smoke. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a fairly decent brew. I saw this one on the menu and that it was bourbon barrel aged and had to try it. However, while the barrel was definitely there in this one it really made me wonder how good the actual base beer really is as the barrel was pretty much the dominate factor on this one. While being okay to drink it did leave a little to be desired. Worth trying at least once if you can, but I would leave it at that.

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Photo of n2185
3.28/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Pours black with some faint brown highlights around the edges and a finger of light tan head that disappears almost completely with no real lacing.

S: Some roasted malts with lots of sweet, creamy chocolate aromas. Vanilla is also very much present along with a touch of oak and bourbon. Slight alcohol aroma on the finish.

T: Again, some roasted malts with creamy chocolate flavors. Vanilla and oak follow with a surprisingly subtle touch of bourbon. The finish has a slight alcohol burn along with a little char flavor.

M: Medium body with low carbonation, this beer is a bit watery feeling.

O: Not a bad beer and it's nice to have a bbal beer that isn't super thick, super sweet, and/or super boozy. Still, I could go for a bit more bourbon flavor and a thicker body.

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Photo of argock
3.18/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on-tap in a clear pint glass at Beer Run (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Nearly black with 1-finger tan, big-bubbled head with good retention and nice lacing down the glass.

S: Strong cardboard bourbon aroma with fairly weak roasted maltiness and earthy hoppiness

T: Bourbon occupies most of the flavor as the maltload falls way short of adequate. The flavor is by no means bad but just isn't up to snuff for the style. Unfortunately, BBC undermalts most of their brews.

M: Medium body at most which is below the bar.

D: Just doesn't have the girth to even approach the 2nd tier for this style. Middle of the road.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.6/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-dark brown black color with a smart tan head and minimal lacing

S-dark malt, light bourbon, hint of vanilla and brown sugar

T-dark roasted malt, light brown sugar, light bourbon, light vanilla, mild char, mild bitterness in the finish

F-light to medium body'with moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-average stout, barrel-aged adds a little, but still does not have notable flavor and light body for a stout

 418 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.53/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A - Served in pint glass. Very dark brown, almost black color with amber highlights. Three fingers of mocha head.

S - Sweet vanilla, bourbon, chocolate

T - Oak/vanilla, roasted malt. Finishes with black coffee.

M - Medium leaning towards full.

D - It's not going to be a go to stout, but I wouldn't turn one down either. I am a fan of the style and almost every stout I have had is drinkable. That being said, I feel that this is an above average beer in the entire landscape of beers.

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Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4.41/5  rDev +36.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip

A:Pours a very deep brown, settling into an opaque black. The head is almost nonexistent for mine, but the bubbles that surface are tan and surprisingly large, although if you can generate the head, it's much, much more flavorful. It doesn't flow as thick as one would hope, but it's more viscous than a traditional porter.

S: Aroma is exquisite: sweet dark chocolate, hints of caramel and bourbon, bits of coffee and molasses, lots of scent and very welcoming.

T/M: Has a low to medium amount of carbonation with the bourbon very well balanced between caramel, chocolate, and coffee notes. Some slight roasted malts and just a touch of bitterness finish it off.

This is a very good bourbon barrel beer and likely the best year round bourbon barrel on the market.

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Photo of Brent
3.53/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BBC fell a bit short of the mark on this one. Poured tarry black wiht light mocha head. Aroma was toffee and coffee. Sweet, roasted malt flavor with coffee, unsweetened cocoa powder and a bit of charcoal. Not much bourbon came through - overall this struck me as a middle-of-the-road American stout, with no real barrel aspects, othter than perhaps the contribution of the charcoal note.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.67/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- poured into a snifter. Vigorous pour gives a pitch black appearance with a small, fizzy tan head that reduces quickly and eventually completely dissapears leaving no lace.

S- melted Hershey bar, tobacco, and charred wood. Just a hint of woodsy bourbon at the end.

T- chocolate continues on the palate with notes of day old coffee. Chocolate and roasted malts give a bit of charred character, finishes dry with just a hint of bourbon. Can't really pick up any of the oaky barrel flavors. I actually get a bit of cola on the back end.

M- low carbonation with medium body, somewhat slick mouthfeel with with light-carbonated foamy finish. Mouthfeel felt a little thin overall.

O- my grading is based on what it is, a stout, although the ABV may suggest otherwise. I was looking for more bourbon flavors but its still a pretty tasty stout nonetheless.

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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 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 Redrover
3.53/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was happy to see this on as a tap offering at the Tip Top in Columbus.

Served in a standard shaker, the beer is jet black with a smallish tan head.

It has a nose of molasses, bourbon, charred malts,

The taste is similar to the smell; it is sweet with charred malts, very subdued bourbon. It also has percolated coffee and brown sugar.

Mouth is thinner than expected. But it does make for a pretty drinkable beer

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.63/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an oily black with a toasted solid tan head that looks good while it lasts, though it crackles down to nothing pretty quickly, despite a hard pour.

A surprisingly sedate smell for a bourbon barrel stout. Hints of anise/licorice and gooey melted chocolate come forth, as does a bit of milky sweet cream. Only with warming does the bourbon come through, and it's neither intrusive nor too subdued.

Things improve in the taste department. I still get hints of anise, while the chocolate is bigger and gooier, and a healthy dark roast coffee bean element comes into it. Sweet dark fruits muscle in as well, giving an added edge to the flavor. Bourbon is here, though it didn't bring much wood along with it. It's nice and mellow, really laid back, and that's how I like my bourbon-ed beers. A slightly mineral taste pervades underneath it all, and actually comes out just a little too much in the finish, but chocolate-covered caramels come in strongly and try to snuff that out.

The enjoyment of the flavors is brought down a couple notches due to the surprisingly thin/watery and also too-carbonated texture. A little confusing getting both characteristics together, and in a stout no less. It's not terrible, and would pass if it were any number of other styles. But it's trying to be a premium stout, and something rounder, creamier and smoother would have been better.

I found more to like about it this second tasting than I did the first a couple days ago. This isn't amazing, but the bar has been set so high for bourbon barrel stouts that one performing merely B-level ("good") gets slapped around a lot. I'm not sure that's fair, but hey, life isn't fair, and beer is one of the best things in life, so...just give it a shot and think for yourself.

 1,765 characters

Photo of Floydster
3.25/5  rDev +0.6%
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 jsanford
2.69/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Picked up a single of this at a Total Wine while visiting the parents. Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours cola-black with a big foamy mocha-colored head that swells up considerably, only to quickly dissipate to a flat black. Really strange, I've never seen a beer lose it's head so quickly, kinda reminds me of a glass of Pepsi.
S - Bourbon dominates the nose, along with chocolate syrup and coffee. As a bourbon fan, this smells pretty good, if a bit one-dimensional.
T - Dark malt, coffee, vanilla, chocolate syrup and bourbon. Flavors are nicely on-point but...
M - ...Horrible mouthfeel. Thin body with a weird, fizzy carbonation. Once again my soda comparison comes in. Feels like chocolate-bourbon Pepsi.
D - I'm struggling to get through this, I can't believe how badly they screwed up the mouthfeel on this. Make it creamy with lower carbonation an you'd have a great beer on your hands. As it is? A trainwreck.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a very dark brown almost black color with a dark tan head that settles down to a thin head that collars around the glass throughout the session. The aroma is dark chocolate, coffee, and slight bourbon. Medium mouthfeel. Roasty, coffee, dark chocolate, with a slight bourbon note but not really overly strong. Not bad, the body isn’t as heavy as I would like for a beer like this. however, this reminds me of a KBS which brought a grin to my face. A cheap and accessbile beer that is! The bourbon is pretty minimal as well. A pretty easy and good drinking beer overall.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.87/5  rDev +19.8%
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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Bourbon Barrel Stout (Clay Street Series) from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
3.23 out of 5 based on 467 ratings.
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