Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale
Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.

Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown AleKentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale
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Brown Ale - American
3.71 | pDev: 13.21%
Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
Kentucky, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown AleKentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale
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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 108 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of lwillitz
lwillitz from Wisconsin

3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle into nonic pub glass

A - 2 fingers of medium tan over a deep mahogany body

S - honey sweetness, oak/wood/bourbon

T - honey sweetness, bourbon; lots of wood and bourbon in the finish

M - medium body high in prickly carbonation

O - I've had better bourbon barrel ales, but this is a decent brown nonetheless.

Jun 01, 2017
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I know, I know, behind the times as usual, but such is the nature of The Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody. I had purchased this at the FGBS when it was last released & set it aside in favor of everything else. I am starting to get caught up so beers that got shunted aside are beginning to come to the forefront.

From the bottle: "Ale brewed with Kentucky honey and ginger, aged in oak bourbon barrels"; "The Barrel-Aged Seasonal Series".

Once again, the excitement and anticipation was almost too much to bear, but I am a master of self-restraint & so I simply Pop!ped the cap and performed a gentle pour into the awaiting glass. Once this was accomplished, a vigorous in-glass swirl raised just over a finger of foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head with moderate retention. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity & cola highlights. Nose had the distinct coconut quality that seems to be a trademark of bourbon and there was a light spiciness, but I do not think that I would have readily identified it as ginger. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but getting there. I could really taste the bourbon in this beer, but it was marred by the spicy bite of the ginger, which seemed to clash and grind against the sweetness of both the bourbon & the honey. Finish was dry, but that was largely due to the almost overpowering spiciness. It seemed like a case of gilding the lily or too much of a good thing is too much. I would also have been hard-pressed to identify it as a Brown Ale. It has been retired, so perhaps they agree with my humble assessment.

Jun 01, 2017
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jwilcox767 from Ohio

3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

A - golden mahogany
S - honey scents sure, but no ginger, not much bourbon either
T - same as smell, nothing to rave about, almost a little metallic. The flavors are not well blended, like they took their stock "bourbon barrel ale" and dropped in a different flavor packet.
M - rich and smooth
O - I don't know what it is about Alltech's brewing process or ingredients, but I can always immediately identify it (in a bad way for me). The beer is fine, drinkable, but I need to stop buying it thinking that I'll be getting something new and interesting.

Apr 01, 2017
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jjamadorphd from Florida

4.01/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another very good Lexington offering I am really enjoying...

As a brown ale, it is certainly one of the better ones I have had. A reddish hue out of the bottle with tan head that has great staying power with decent lacing down the glass. The smell was mostly honey without any other notes I could pull out. What really surprised me was the feel - smooth, oh so smooth. So much so, it makes it dangerously drinkable which at 10% ABV could be a problem (though in a good way...) I really enjoyed the taste of honey without being overpowering. Overall, a very good brew from one of the brewers I admire.

Jan 22, 2017
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Couldn't pass this up in the mix six section for around 2 bucks. Into a pint glass.
Fizzy mocha head slowly to nothing. A rather deep dark amber brown. Smell is some honey faint with roasted malts and caramel tones. Taste is mild bourbon, honey like sweetness and some roasted malt in the finish. Body is more on the lighter side but ABV can catch up with you in this brew.

Overall I don't see why this beer is rated so low its a rather smooth honey sweet brown ale "aged" in bourbon barrels. It may not be the best but it still taste rather good.

Jan 22, 2017
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DraconusDesanctus666 from Florida

3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle,into a Funky Buddha snifter.

Thin khaki head that doesn't last long.Dark brown with ruby highlights.Very light carbonation.

On the nose I get sweet honey and roasted malts,backed by the slightest hint of bourbon.The absence of strong bourbon notes is a plus in my book.

On the palate I get dark roasted malts,sweet honey,and again just the slightest hint of bourbon...Once again a plus in my book..Maybe just a tad too sweet with the honey,but not enough to kill it.

The body is medium,with a smooth finish.

This isn't the best brown ale I ever tasted,but it certainly isn't the worst...Not sure why all the negative reviews.

Jan 06, 2017
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WoodBrew from Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this bottle off the single shelf at Binnys. It poured a clear rich mahogany with no head and no lace. The scent had faint bourbon. The taste is white wine like and slight bourbon finish. The Mouthfeel is medium in body with smooth carbonation. Overall it's ok certainly worth a try.

Jan 01, 2017
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TonyLema1 from South Carolina

3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

L: deep brown with a thin tan head
S: sweet, honey and bourbon
T: malty, bourbon, smells better than it tastes
F: creamy, medium body, not a great finish, I get some off flavors
O: another disappointment from this brewery... I'm done with them

Dec 27, 2016
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ichorNet from Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've always enjoyed trying Alltech's weirder barrel-aged offerings, including their bizarre peach wheat beer aged in bourbon barrels and their huge BBA pumpkin ale, so when I saw this I figured "why not?" A big, bold brown ale with honey and ginger, aged in the infamous Kentucky Bourbon Barrel ale oak barrels. Let's see what it's about!

Pours a deep brown/mahogany color with a bubbly off-khaki head that sinks to a half-finger after a while. The coloration on this beer is intense and gorgeous, with some ruby undertones and a swath of creamy foam sticking to the surface of the beer. Each little pour builds a finger or so more of head that bubbles away actively, being borne up by brittle carbonation. Swirling the glass builds up some legs on the foamy collar, dredging up some deeper notes from the darker body of the beer itself. A very nice looker.

Nose is sweet bourbon, maple syrup, surprisingly present notes of spicy ginger and clover honey and some light-roast coffee as well. A bit nutty... some butterscotch and caramel/toffee candy notes in there too. Definitely boozy, with an earthy and conversely-sweet temperament, this brew definitely comes across strong in the nose. It's not quite cloying, as the ginger does some work to help prevent that, but it has a sugary aspect that might hurt it for some people. I figured as much with this one, knowing who made it and what the style was, so I was welcoming that aspect and was not disappointed. Mileage clearly varies on this beer, so take my rating with a grain of salt.

Flavor is surprisingly peppy and well-rounded with a seemingly hefty imperial brown ale base combining sweet and bready malts with a kick of good ol' bourbon whiskey in the mid-palate. Honeyed sweetness appears towards the front and transitions to ginger/spice and light, earthy and grassy hops in the finish. A bit of light orchard fruit here at times. Toasty maltiness provides this with a consonant warming quality when taken in stride with the tannic, chewy oak and sweet whiskey elements. Good mingling of flavors here. It's not nearly as unbalanced as it could have been, and the diacetyl-like notes from the barrels these guys use is pretty nonexistent. The regular Kentucky Bourbon Ale is rife with this note and it makes it tough to drink for me personally, so I was glad to see that it took a backseat here. I think the ginger is kind of an unsung hero in this beer. It's not a prominent flavor, but there's just enough of a measured amount here that keeps this in the realm of enjoyable, thoughtful beer that I can't feel ripped off at all. In fact, I like this quite a bit.

Feel is pretty slick and leans towards the lighter end of medium, especially for the huge ABV. Carbonation is noticeable but not really too explicit for the most part. I was worried this was going to be overly-sweet and brutal to drink based on the nose and my general feeling about this brewery, but this one surprised me with a very good balance of stuff going on.

Nov 26, 2016
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chinchill from South Carolina

4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. Bottling date of 10-30-2015?.

Look: Pours a dark red-brown color; clear with attractive ruby highlights. Moderate size light tan head with partial sheets of lacing. Good retention.

Aroma: Sweet malts and bourbon dominate, along with woody oak barrel.

Feel: Medium bodied; very smooth; medium carbonation.

Taste: Lightly sweet with hints of both honey and caramel. Moderate bourbon, yet not very boozy. Faint ginger and light oak. Some honey, caramel and bourbon linger in the aftertaste. Approaches 4.25.

Overall: While not a big fan of this brewery, I found this barrel aged brown to be exceptionally good. Careful: Very well hidden alcohol!

Sep 12, 2016
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mlockman from Indiana

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I may be one of few, but I really like this beer. Admittedly, there is not much bourbon flavor at all, but that aside, this is a really solid honey brown ale.

Jun 16, 2016
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jzlyo from Iowa

3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is honey, malts and a hint of bourbon/sweetness. The flavor is bourbon, honey, burnt caramel, malts, mild fruit and a mix of sweetness and alcohol in the finish.

Jun 03, 2016
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BucannonXC5 from California

3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Clear 8-oz. tumbler glass
From: Jubilation Wine & Spirits in Albuquerque, N.M.
Price: $3.99
Purchased: May 7, 2016
Consumed: May 7, 2016
Misc.: Bottled on March 9, 2016 (I think)

Had high hopes or this one after reading the bottle - ale brewed with Kentucky honey and ginger, aged in oak bourbon barrels. Did not look up the review or ratings. Also saw some other good looking beers from this brewery, but only picked up this single one.

Poured an auburn, dark reddish brown semi-clear color with two fingers of khaki-tan, frothy head. Some bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Below average lacing. Below average retention. (Sight - 3.50)

Smelled a lot of unbalanced flavors on the nose in the beginning, but got better as it smoothed out. Got wood oak barrels, chocolate, roasted nuts, honey, oaky bourbon, caramel and some toasted toffee. (Smell - 4.00)

Tasted bourbon, chocolate, roasty nuts (hazelnut?, I think something different), woody oak, thick honey, toasted toffee, vanilla, some rye, very light hints of that ginger that I read about on the bottle, caramel and rough molasses. (Taste - 3.75)

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long, oaky, warming finish. (Feel - 4.00)

This was an interesting beer for sure. Liked it, but didn’t love it. Not sure I’d want a 4-pack of this, but would love to try their other offerings. (Overall - 3.75)

3.82 | 86 | B+

May 16, 2016
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Stinkypuss from Pennsylvania

3.84/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a medium brown color with a white head that recedes to a fine layer of lace. The aroma is boozy, with brown sugar, alcohol and bourbon all being present. The flavor follows suit, sweet brown sugar, nutty malts, and light bourbon. Sweet upfront, mildly cloying but nice flavors so its not that bad. Its actually a bourbon beer with a lighter body and only a semi-dry tannin finish. Overall, this is an impressive bourbon barrel brown.

Apr 05, 2016
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mmmbeer89 from New Mexico

3.26/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is sorta an odd beer taste wise. On some drinks i get a bourbon taste, some a honey taste and some a coffee/stout taste, very rarely do they combine. The latter two taste good while the first not so much. I enjoyed it most after having a couple of sailor jerry drinks first so i was already used to the alcohol flavor by then.

Mar 14, 2016
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap 2/28/2016 at Pour Farm Tavern in New Bedford, MA, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains roasted malts, honey, maple and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out very sweet with flavors of maple, honey and brown sugar. Then a hearty roasted malt character comes in. There is not much trace of the high ABV. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for a high-octane brown ale.

Feb 29, 2016
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EMV from Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a dark mahogany brown... hints of copper as you hold it up to a light. Clear with 2 fingers of tannish head. Great lacing.

S: Vanilla and sweets. Notes of bourbon and booze... oak.

T/F: Malts forward, vanilla and candies... oak character with some good bourbon flavor. No discernible hop presence. Sweet and boozy... a bit lacking in complexity. Good carbonation for a barrel beer.

O: Not bad, and an unusual beer (a brown ale) to bourbon age. It's got some good flavors going on... I like the barrel aspect.. a bit underwhelming in complexity but very drinkable. Hides its ABV which is always a good thing.

Feb 22, 2016
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BeccaH from Florida

3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at World of Beer, Viera, FL 1/14/16. Booziness of the bourbon is a bit overpowering. Honey is imperceptible. Decent mouth feel but wish the finish was smoother.

Jan 14, 2016
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Bonkinishwa from Kentucky

4.24/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. - Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale. 10% ABV. 12oz bottle poured into snifter.

Look: Pours a dark caramel color, and settles even darker, retaining ruby highlights. Small white colored head from a non aggressive pour, which quickly lapses into lacing.

Smell: Sweet bourbon and honey are most profound, along with some minor charred oak barrel, and some spicy ginger, and dark fruits.

Feel: Medium to light bodied, with a lot of carbonation.

Taste: A lot of honey and bourbon up front, semi boozy. Some notes of the charred oak, and dark fruits appear about midway through. On the aftertaste, some sweet honey and bourbon linger.

Overall: My brother got a few of these, and had two left over to age, but luckily he let me have one to try. I have had some barrel aged beers before, and am no stranger to them. This was overall, really enjoyable; nice blend of aromas and tastes.

Jan 11, 2016
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do_ob from Kentucky

3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle into a pint glass. Pours a medium brown and settles a dark, brownish-red in the glass. Lots of carbonation and tops off with about 1 finger of vanilla-colored foam. Lots of bourbon and ginger on the nose with hints of honey, caramel, and vanilla. Upon tasting, bourbon and honey are the two biggest flavors I get. Very sweet with bourbon and caramel, accompanied by spicy ginger, molasses, vanilla, and oak notes. A decent meshing of flavors, albeit quite boozy. The bourbon seems to take away from the other ingredients a little, and it tastes a little flat on the back end. In terms of feel, this one is okay. Dense and syrupy initially, but doesn't thicken up much as it warms on the palate. I feel like overall, it's a little watery.

Not a bad brown ale at all. I might hang on to a bottle or two to try in a few months. This beer kinda reminded me of a Curmudgeon or Dirty Bastard, only not quite as good. Still enjoyable.

Jan 05, 2016
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Fordcoyote15 from Pennsylvania

3.59/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a kentucky bourbon barrel snifter. Looks are deep mahogany colored with a very frothy white head and extremely thick lacing, the abv is very evident from this beers appearance.

S - like nothing. Very disappointed here. Even though it was in a snifter I was struggling to pick up on much of anything other than some Belgian quad or doppelbock like fruit. Smells very sweet.

T - predominating ginger and honey. Not a whole lot else. Very faint bourbon at the end as well as somewhat bittered from the ginger.

M - very, frothy and creamy like most Alltech beers. This one drinks extremely dry, probably from the ginger. The mouthfeel on this I personally very much enjoy.

O - I'm a big fan of brown ales but this one isn't terribly reminiscent of the style. The ginger and honey bitter and sweet battle takes the forefront where malt and hops normally would. Overall not bad or undrinkable. Somewhat of a novelty really and worth trying one.

Nov 29, 2015
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.29/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Undated bottle at 42 degrees into shaker
Aroma – malt, quickly gone
Head large (Seven cm, aggressive pour), light brown, fizzy/frothy, diminishing to irregular three to four mm ring and frothy layer
Lacing poor – rare small island of tiny bubbles
Body dark amber, clear
Flavor malt with alcohol, sweet, some ginger; no oak, no hops, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3.25, Flavor 3, Palate 4, Overall 3.5

Aug 20, 2015
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Jason from Massachusetts

3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

So the theme is being massive with flavors of bourbon, honey, and ginger ... 10% abv and smells real sweet. Filtered clarity with a decent looking light tan head. Very sweet on the palate, mild barrel aging which comes off more wood than bourbon. Hint of honey and the ginger does not really show up until the sweetness subsides. A little too clean and was hoping for some more depth here. Not half bad but flavors feel restrained a bit letting the sweetness and alcohol come to forward.

Jun 04, 2015
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tigg924 from Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I think this is the brewery's best bourbon barrel ale since the original. The taste is vanilla, bourbon, oak, honey in the backbone, and a good dose of ginger. In some of Alltech's other seasonal offerings, I wanted more bourbon taste. This one showcases that flavor and the other flavors complement it. Well done Alltech.

Mar 16, 2015
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rangerred from Tennessee

2.81/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

12oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a clear deep ruby with a one finger dark tan head. Surprisingly good head retention and lacing considering the strength.

Aroma is pretty disappointing. There is a distracting metallic note and tons of bourbon. It is pretty one dimensional and I'm not picking out many nuances at all. Where's the honey and ginger?

The flavor is overwhelming vanilla and wood (bourbon) with more of that metallic note. Again it's hard to pick out any honey or ginger. There is kind of an acrid finish that is not smooth at all.

Overall, while I'm a fan of the standard Kentucky bourbon barrel ale this one is pretty disappointing. Just too unrefined and boring.

Jan 09, 2015
Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 108 ratings