Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale | Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.

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BA SCORE
82
good
613 Reviews
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
Kentucky, United States | website

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.19%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Award winning Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is a unique sipping beer with the distinctive nose of a well-crafted bourbon. Our Kentucky Ale is aged for up to 6 weeks in freshly decanted bourbon barrels from some of Kentucky’s finest distilleries. Subtle yet familiar flavors of vanilla and oak are imparted to this special ale as it rests in the charred barrels. Pleasantly smooth and robust, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale may also be served as an aperitif or after dinner drink.

Added by SheepNutz on 07-13-2004

BEER STATS
Reviews:
613
Ratings:
2,825
Avg:
3.62
pDev:
39.78%
 
 
Wants:
150
Gots:
917
For Trade:
8
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Reviews: 613 | Ratings: 2,825
Photo of SerialTicker
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Despite not being a critically acclaimed beer, I've heard about this beer a lot, and have wanted to try it for awhile. Well, it just so happens...

Appearance: Copper with a modest haze to it. A ring of head with just a few swirls of lace.

Smell: Bourbon, bread, fruity esters... and sourness? Not in an infected/negative way, but there seems to be a "twang" on the nose. I like it, but am confused by why it's there.

Taste/feel: A lot like the aroma. Very nice depth. Bready bourbon flavors are what comes through in the finish with an unexpected sourness, but on the front, I get a quick hit of tartness that makes my tongue "go" a bit, with a flavor that I can't quite explain -- but maybe, like another reviewer said, is sort of like sour apple. It's definitely faint, but I can taste it. This beer is nicely balanced -- not very sweet, which was a pleasant surprise. The feel is very smooth for an 8% -- no warmth at all, with a light/medium body and a very nice carbonation that suits this beer nicely.

I think this beer is quite a bit better than the 82 "Good" rating on this site, as you can see. I feel like people have to be going in expecting something it's not (a BBA stout). Or, people are turned off by that strange sour sort of smell and flavor, which I could understand, at least.

In any event, I really enjoy this. It reminds me a touch of a Massacre Light, for the .5% of people who have had Massacre by Wolverine State Brewing Company.

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Photo of colts9016
2.9/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A one finger light tan head that is bubbly and creamy, the head dissipates quickly. The color of the beer is a golden amber color with some reddish orange hues. The clarity of the beer is clear with carbonation bubbles visible.

N: Super bready, citrus, resin, honey, vanilla, wood, bourbon, yeast, caramel, toffee, and some earthy notes.

T: Bready, boozy, vanilla, wood, bourbon,yeast, caramel, toffee, earthy, resin, and citrus.

M: very warming, carbonated, medium body, and slightly astringent.

O: Terrible, the beer has no balance the alcohol is every revealing and hot.

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Photo of stratslinger
4.84/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ok, by far my favorite beer ever! I'm a Kentucky boy, so bourbon is close to my heart. Tried this and fell in love. Deep amber color. Pours nice with heavy head. Definitely smell the vanilla notes and oakyness of the charred oak barrels. Malts come though nice in the scent department as well. Taste is exceptional! The sweetness of the bourbon, oak, and malt all intertwine together to make a refreshing drink. I consider this a dessert beer as drinking 6 or 7 of these would get a bit too heavy. But a couple after dinner is amazing. ABV near 9% (?) gives this brew the power to warm you up on a cold night! Around $12 a 4-pack, but pick some up if you never had it. And better yet, try it on draft when you can find it! #GOBIGBLUE #WILDCATS

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Photo of jjamadorphd
4.35/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I really like these beers brewed in flavored barrels - luckily bourbon is a favorite of mine...

Out of the glass it pours a beautiful black with highlights of red. The bourbon smell mixes well with the hops and malts and it does about the same for the taste. In fact, I like the taste much better than what met the nose and it was a plus that the beer was only lightly carbonated with a thick texture to round out it out quite well. Overall, it's probably one of the better flavored barrel beers I have had.

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Photo of DaneBramage
3.09/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bought for $2 a bottle on clearance at my local shop. Pours a reddish amber with medium head, not much of an aroma. Smooth English-style ale with bourbon, caramel and vanilla flavors. Not outstanding but not bad either, went down easy on a warm evening. Much tastier and less sweet than other bourbon ales out there, and a bargain for the price.

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Photo of Kevin_Langford
3.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was nice! It was, admittedly, my first bourbon barrel ale...I've heard a lot about them but have never tried one, so take my review with a grain of salt. It had a dark, reddish-golden color with a decent head in a glass. It smelled a nice mix of bourbon and a rich ale. Bathe flavor was smooth, slightly carbonated, with bourbon overtones - fairly pronounced. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it would never be a go-to beer for me. If you want to try something new and enjoyable, pick this one up!

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Photo of mlockman
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was really surprised by the flavor of this brew; honestly, the bourbon flavor does not stand out but rather blends into the malt profile, which is decently attenuated by slight hopping, for a smooth and interesting drinking experience.

 237 characters

Photo of basaywhat
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Dark to light amber and clear appearance with a small, diminishing head. Aroma of dark fruits, oak, vanilla and a touch of bourbon heat.

 150 characters

Photo of LisaPPitMom
4.28/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle, pours gorgeous clear light copper color. Especially if you are a Belgian-lover, betting you will enjoy this one. Light butterscotch nose, inoffensively boozy burnt sugar-caramel balance, and the oak does not overwhelm. I keep coming back to this one.

 258 characters

Photo of jrsbeer1971
2.75/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Too sweet, has little flavor that is recognizable as beer. The bourbon presence is weak and pales to other bourbon barrel offerings such as Williamsburg Brewings Bourbon Barrel Porter.

 185 characters

Photo of plumberman63
2.48/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Nice light brown color with a off white foam head. Smells of a weak bourbon whiskey. Taste of a weak whiskey and water. No beer taste to this at all. Watery feel.
Overpriced for what it is. Wouldn't buy again, might if on sale or free. Not a whiskey drinker, so probably not.

 275 characters

Photo of Jayzilla513
3.59/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this beer on tap and in the bottle. It is far far better on tap. For those who think it is good in the bottle, do yourself a favor and get it on tap! Nice amber color, small head with light lacing. The "burbon" flavor is wonderful! Slightly sweet almost butterscotch notes. The beer is a solid 4 on tap, in bottle I'd say 3.25.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.54/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with a modest head that quickly dissipates and leaves an ultra thin lacing that soon diss spears entirely.
Big bourbon and butterscotch aroma; my favorite attribute of the beer.
The taste is bourbon like, buttery, toffee and mostly sweet. There is a boozy and syrupy finish. Medium bodied but on the thin and watery side. I would have liked to see more body and complexity in this one. Overall, nothing special.

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Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
3.54/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This pours lighter than I thought it would. It is an amber colored beer. The head is frothy, and does last. Thee isn't much nose to it, but what's there, I get notes of the barrel. The taste is somewhat sweet to me. There's booziness aftertaste. I guess I was expecting more from this beer.

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Photo of ArchimedesSox
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light brown amber, honey color, dense off white head, good lacing

S: Butterscotch, booziness, vanilla

T: Butterscotch right up front, vanilla comes in, oak flavors

M: Medium, heat from the alcohol

O: I got a lot of flavors associated with bourbon but the taste did not scream bourbon to me. A good beer none the less.

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Photo of Jraiona
4.02/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Beer pours clear Amber in color and produces a light-moderate head. Aroma of caramel and oak. Taste of bourbon is very distinct yet not overwhelming or boozy. Living in bourbon country and being a lover of bourbon this beer is a real pleasure.

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Photo of SaltofOH
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at 16 bit arcade. Boston shaker.

Appearance: pours a clear amber/orange with 1 finger off-white head. Little, but steady carbonation. No lacing, head dissipates fairly quickly. Lighter in color than expected.

Aroma: sweet, strong caramel, malt, no hops, vanilla, some oak. Butterscotch. Actually smells really awesome.

Taste: bourbon is noticeable; right from the arrival; strong even. Very sweet. Transitions quickly to a surprisingly firm bitterness for 15 IBUs. Oaky woodiness at the end, lingers a bit, then clean. Right before the transition to bitterness, you get the presence of these bourbon congeners that are really outstanding. Irish red ale sweetness and taste really come through in this.

Mouthfeel: midweight. More carbonation than expected. Quite clean.

Overall: had it once before, but didn't think much of it. I love bourbon, and I love English style ales, and this does surprisingly well on both those fronts. Kind of sweet and boozy, but surprisingly quite clean. Really easy drinking for 8+%. I can see why it's popular.

 1,052 characters

Photo of SawDog505
3.49/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass, can't make out when it was bottled probably 2 years ago, been sitting in my cellar. Pours a dark orange with a almost 2 inch fluffy white head that leaves behind some lace.

Smell is plum, brown sugar, oak, bread, vanilla, and hints of bourbon.

Taste follows nicely dark fruit, brown sugar, vanilla, oak, bread, and a little shot of bourbon or warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel is less than medium, moderate carbonation, a but dry, and drinkability is good.

Overall this isn't my favorite beer, but knowing it's been in the cellar a few years, it tastes much better for me than when I first had it. Not nearly the bourbon bomb I remember.

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Photo of BillBrasky
4.24/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Look: Nice lacing with medium head. Slightly cloudy body with a enticing amber color
Smell: Mostly Carmel toffee or butterscotch. Very nice aroma.
Taste: Sweet
Feel: Lively thick
Overall: Really enjoyable and different. Definitely taste the burbon, but not overpowering. Pretty expensive, but worth the price if you want something unusual.

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Photo of PeterD10
3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Lighter than expected for a stout. If looking for a thick smooth after dinner drink, you might not live it. If looking for a very tasty, lighter beer with as kick... This is for you. The bourbon is not over powering.

 216 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.54/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(12 oz bottle date 122915 - poured into a Chouffe tulip)

L: just about perfectly-clear, orange-amber liquid... very little foam on the pour, and it all but disappears - glass is neat and clean, and the head loudly sizzles out... it really just looks like Old E

S: little bit of vanilla, maybe some candied orange peel... whisper of booze in the back, but relatively mellow on that front... malt in the background, but no grainy definition...

T: clean, lightly sweet malt up front... the barrel character (vanilla creme, wood tannins) soft-surges up in the finish... vaguely metallic bitterness lingering in aftertaste, as well as a touch of wood and smoke... best compliment is that it's drier in the finish than expected

F: light and thin in the finish, slightly glassy texture... moderate frip of suds across the tongue, burps to be had... mild boozy glow lighting up the back of the palate... again, given its relative dryness, the lighter body is welcome

O: is this an ale?... nothing particularly wrong about the taste, it just doesn't taste like there's a quality brew to start... really just tastes like a bourbon barrel-aged malt liquor - barrel age Steel Reserve or Old E and you'll get something similar to this

 1,227 characters

Photo of HeathenMother
4.85/5  rDev +34%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was great! The nose has a slight whiskey tone to it. The carbonation wasn't overwhelming but seemed just right. The flavor was mild but not boring. And with an 8.2% ABV, the flavor vets better as the bottle empties!

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Photo of bhblbagpiper
1.59/5  rDev -56.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

One of my least favorite beers I've had in a while. I actually had to dump it out. It was very hyped before I had it so maybe that made the let down even greater. I found it very sweet and the bourbon/oak qualities to be completely overwhelming. If I want bourbon Ill just drink bourbon.

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Photo of DrewScottAndyCampbell
5/5  rDev +38.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This bourbon barrel aged ale is actually crafted and made in Kentucky, and is one of the only Bbls I've had to really get the bourbon feel into its beer. Thick and rich, with a sweet vanilla and caramel aftertaste, all while getting the special zing of bourbon throughout.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pour - Deep copper color with thick white head that lasts several minutes good lacing. Head dissipates completely but returns with a light swirl of the glass.

Smell - I get some bourbon and oak i also get a slight sweet smell I am not sure what it is.

Taste - The first thing I get is again something sweet like vanilla pudding, also get some oak and a little bourbon.

Feel - Very light and carbonated no alcohol burn.

Overall - A decent ale I would like to have had a little more depth in the bourbon and a little less sweetness. Still overall a very drinkable good beer.

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
82 out of 100 based on 613 ratings.
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