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

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
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Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Strong Ale - English
Ranked #31
ABV:
8.19%
Score:
84
Ranked #35,973
Avg:
3.74 | pDev: 17.38%
Reviews:
719
Ratings:
3,240
From:
Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
 
Kentucky, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  171
Gots
  1,106
SCORE
84
Good
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
Notes: 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.
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Reviews: 719 | Ratings: 3,240 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of KRug
KRug from Massachusetts

3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned 4/5/20, bought this a while back so I could finally review it but completely forgot!

This is a beer I've had quite a few times at some local bars, but never bothered to actually sit down and review it. Still my first English strong ale, and not my favorite beer by any means, but I figure it deserves a proper review so let's get into it

Pours a a crystal clear orange amber with 2 fingers of off white head that fades to a thin ring and leaves minimal lacing

This is quite sweet in the nose, like a sweeter whiskey without much oak presence. I'm picking up on aromas of sweet honey, coconut, caramel malt, creamy vanilla, golden raisin, and lightly toasted bread

While not quite as sweet in taste, it's a bit bland, feeling like a watered down glass of whiskey at points. On the front end of the sip I'm tasting honey, molasses, and light earthy hops. The swallow brings notes of spicy whiskey, toffee, sweet vanilla, and a touch of brown sugar

A medium body pairs with mild tingling carbonation, resulting in a silky beer that still feels a bit thin. Finishes mostly dry with a lingering sweetness

This one is good, but not great. It's one of those beers that's good when you're already drunk, and doesn't fare so well under a more critical lens

Apr 07, 2021
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jkh15 from Michigan

4.24/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Really rich in color. Smell just hints at bourbon. Tastes like someone diluted bourbon with beer, but in the best possible way. Taste of honey on the back of the tongue and the typical warmth of a good bourbon going down. Bourbon for people who don’t like whiskey.

Mar 06, 2021
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IPAs_for_days_13 from Texas

3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

L: Pours a light copper/amber color with a one-finger beige head.
S: Smells like toffee, caramel, vanilla, toasty malts, just a hint of bourbon.
T: The taste certainly follows the nose, heavy on the caramel & a lot more of the bourbon comes out in the flavor of the beer rather than the smell.
F: Medium-bodied, medium-high carbonation, thinner than I expected, slowly warming as you consume.
O: certainly a good beer to try, lot's of complexity.

Feb 26, 2021
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Imperishable_NEET from Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer is a brownish amber color, The "Bourbon Barrel" label did not disappoint, there's some definite whiskey flavors in here. As for other flavors, only a little bitterness followed by caramel and fruitiness. Malty aftertaste. Overall pretty good, would definitely drink again.

Jan 31, 2021
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BWolfgang from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Love the bourbon infused taste of this beer. However, it's kind of thin. Wish it had more body and a creamier head. This beer also makes for a great boilermaker with a half shot of bourbon. With this beer I find that's enough.

Jan 16, 2021
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gooddaydiablo from New Jersey

3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

look: clear amber, white head,

smell: cheese, raisin, yummy!

taste: sweet vanilla tastes, but very subtle. only a hint of malt.

feel: good drinkability. light body, smooth. dry and bitter aftertaste.

overall, high quality balanced high abv beer, but everything is just subtle, as a bba I'd wish it's more complex and intense

Sep 28, 2020
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D1noB from Oklahoma

4.88/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Dangerous, slight liquor taste but you have to almost look for it. Carmel and barrel, nutty notes, fantastic beer, still dry crisp at end.

Taste rating in words: A full body in all the right places, with personality. A bag of money sitting by your car door.

Aug 23, 2020
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Mark657 from Texas

2.19/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ignore all the other pompous reviews. Looks like malt vinegar. Smells like malt vinegar. Tastes like malt vinegar. Good aftertaste though. Might just be malt vinegar. Suppose it’s good for some people who like bourbon but I can’t even taste that in here. The alcohol content is probably the only reason to drink this one. 8% is a good amount for a beer. Should get you drunk enough to not notice the taste eventually.

Jul 25, 2020
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just1cho from California

4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

*Poured into a Teku glass from a 12oz bottle*

This beer looked reminiscent of bourbon since it had a clear, brilliant, and attractive bourbon brown color to it. It had a two finger thick white colored head which had a moderate to low amount of carbonation to it. The head left a lacing when it subsided.

The aroma presented prominent notes of bourbon, caramel, and butterscotch throughout. This wasn't overpowering or cloyingly sweet smelling since I found that the aromas mentioned were really nicely balanced in the front. The bourbon wasn't as strong as the other aromas in the middle and back though.

The taste follows the nose. Upfront, I got notes of bourbon, barley, sweet caramel, and butterscotch. Bourbon filled the taste in the middle which transformed out to a more pronounced bread/biscuit character coupled with a more subdued caramel sweetness.

The feel on this was medium bodied and had a moderate amount of carbonation to it. The malty and bread-y aftertaste to this was semi-lingering but also very satisfying. I also liked that this had little to no bitterness to it, but it also made it dangerously drinkable with the alcohol taste only slightly to moderately noticeable.

Overall, this was a great beer with nice bourbon, caramel, and butterscotch to it. If you're a fan of very malty and caramel-y beer than this is definitely for you.

Jun 23, 2020
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BucannonXC5 from California

3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Reviewed as: American Strong Ale
Glass: Monks House of Ale 12-oz. tulip
Price: $14.99 for a 4-pack
From: Windmill Farms in Del Cerro (San Diego), Calif.
Purchased: April 30, 2020
Consumed: May 6, 2020
Misc.: Bottled on Feb. 10, 2020

Grabbed a 4-pack of this with a ton of others on a recent trip to Windmill Farms. Had this twice before, giving each one a 3.75 on Untappd. I just remember really thinking it was a complex beer. Surprised I hadn’t reviewed it yet, but looking on Beer Advocate I had reviewed their Barrel Stout a 3.97 on Nov. 13, 2018 and Honey Barrel Brown Ale a 3.82 on May 7, 2016. Online description read, “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.”

Poured a medium amber-to-copper clear color with one finger of off-white fizzy head. Could see some bubble streams coming up from the bottom of the glass. Decent spotty lacing. Decent retention. (Sight - 3.50)

First smells reminded me more of an English Bitter or ESB. Also got boozy bourbon, oak, honey, toffee, caramel, butterscotch, raisin, plum, date, red vinegar, brown sugar, graham cracker, hints of coconut and brown bread. Grew on me as it went down. (Smell - 3.75)

Taste pretty much followed the nose for the most part. Pretty complex, but not sure it completely works. Still reminded me of an English Bitter or ESB. Got woody oak, boozy bourbon, honey, graham cracker, plum, brown sugar, caramel candy, raisin, date, brown bread and vanilla. That 8.2 pct. ABV is well-hidden. (Taste - 3.75)

Medium body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, bitter finish. (Feel - 4.00)

Definitely still a 3.75, but very good. God damn to I respect these beers. (Overall - 3.75)

3.76 | 85 | B+

May 26, 2020
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deleted_user_1292814

4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I prefer Scotch over Bourbon but this may be the way I get my Bourbon fix. Excellent amber color (think copper mashtun) with nice head and lace, but not too thick. A sipping before bed beer because after one (definately two) you are ready for your jammies. Not overpowering alcohol, mellow and aged flavoring with caramel hints. Very good.

Apr 20, 2020
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dream from Nevada

2.66/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Not the worst barrel aged offering I've ever had but the most basic and uninspiring one.

Kinda reminds me a lager akin to Heineken that was aged too fast in bourbon. Definitely not enough time in the barrel to have any kind of desirable notes one would want in a barrel aged beer of any kind.

(checks ABV) Oh 8% ? That explains it now. A total mess of execution.

There is absolutely 0 sweetness in this barrel aged beer unlike 99% of the others out there. The tasting notes from the infliction of the bourbon barrel is purely Ethel alcohol. No Vanilla, oak, chocolate, caramel, toffee, tobacco, or anything you'd expect from a barrel aged beer.

Taste is a 2 rating style wise. If you want to get into barrel aged beers do not start, or middle, or end with this one.

Apr 18, 2020
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b11 from New York

2/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

My sense is that this beer gets high ratings simply by virtue of tasting like bourbon. If you mentally "subtract" the whisky flavor and alcohol from this beer you're left with a dull and undistinguished beer. Little malt, no yeast, no complexity, very little in the way of "beer", in fact. The actual "beer" component of this is light, thin, and uninteresting. People who rate this one highly probably like whiskey - I don't.

Feb 08, 2020
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genebartlett

4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding beer! If you’re a bourbon fan, give this one a try. You won’t be disappointed. The ale draws out all the wonderful aromas and tastes from the bourbon cask it’s aged in.

Jan 24, 2020
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WeissDavis from Georgia

3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle to tulip (Need to purchase a snifter).
L: A beautiful deep amber with an ivory cream head that subsides quickly with medium lacing.
S: Deep caramel and vanilla, highly charming though less than expected from the bourbon; hits my nose like a watered-down belgian-abbey ale.
T: The mouth follows the nose, and light (Belgian-like) fruity notes seem more prominent on my palette. A subtle tinge and bite of oak with deep toffee and caramel forefront make for a rather sophisticated taste, still wanting more bourbon.
F: Lighter than expected, but felt heavier the farther into the bottle I got.
Finishes with bright vanilla and oak, quickly subsiding for a velvety and robust toffee flavor to set up camp.
O: Love the taste and look of this beer, wished for more bourbon presence and a heavier mouth-feel.
An overall 3.75 from me, I enjoyed this brew.

Jan 15, 2020
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Darkmagus82 from Texas

3.64/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a snifter
Appearance – the beer pours a deep amber color with a tiny fizzy white head of foam. The head fades almost instantly leaving just a trace of lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is big of a sweet toffee and caramel smell mixed with a rather decently strong oak and bourbon aroma. Along with these smells comes a little bit of musty and citrus smell of orange peel and light orange flesh.
Taste – The taste is heaviest of a malty flavor of a bready and doughy nature mixed with a bit of a biscuit taste as well as a whole lot of toffee and caramel. There is some oak and light bourbon that are present upfront, but these fade as the taste moves forward. All the while some more sweet flavors of a brown sugar nature join the other malt and sweet to create a more robust “strong ale” like taste. Toward the end a little bit of the oak that was present upfront returns and with a touch of hay and earth, one is left with a sweeter and more robust taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is average in thickness and creaminess with a carbonation that is rather average as well. For the predominantly sweeter and malty taste of the brew the feel was OK and made for a moderately easy, but not too easy sipper.
Overall – An alright strong ale with a good hit of sweet and malt. All said though, I was hoping for more of the bourbon that was depicted in the name. An decent ale, but paying nearly $4 for a single, when I can get other singles of similar nature (Founders Dirty Bastard/OB Old Chub ) at a cheaper price, I would say this one is a passer on a normal situation.

Dec 28, 2019
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Foyle from North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass. A 1" cream colored head drops slowly with plenty of lacing. Color is clear amber. Abundant streaming carbonation. Aroma of bourbon, toasted malt, light hops. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy with a lingering alcohol burn in the finish. Flavors of vanilla, caramel, toasted malt, herbal hops. Overall: very good.

Dec 22, 2019
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B_mit

3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

I liked this Brew. A little light on the mouth feel and palette. But perhaps that is because I was expecting it to be a little more full. But then again, it is an ale and not a stout. Pretty good complexity with the bourbon flavor. I just probably would have preferred something a little less thin.

Dec 21, 2019
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LarryV from Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours an amber color without any substantial head. Nose is bourbon, a little vanilla. No lacing to speak of. Taste is bourbon forward with a slight sweetness from the malt. The oak comes through on the back of the tongue with a subtle hint of vanilla. Overall, a tasty beer but mouth feel is a little thin. Bottom line though, I enjoyed it.

Nov 11, 2019
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peepicheep from Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Yard House in Nyack NY. Do not drink this beer if you do not like Bourbon. Got it? I'm not going to add much to what has been said in the other reviews. My take is Bourbon cocktail rather than Bourbon beer. Really. If someone gave me this blind folded I would say Bourbon and soda. So the question for you is - is that a good thing or not? I happen to be agreeable to this beer but you may feel cheated out of the beer elements. Ye have been warned.

Nov 08, 2019
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Peach63 from New York

4.96/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours yellow to light amber, with 1/2 inch yellowish - tan head. Moderate carbonation. Nice lacing.

Excellent bourbon aroma, with oak, vanilla notes, fuggle hops, goldings hops, earthy.

Taste follows aroma: bourbon, vanilla, oak, fuggles, goldings. Light bitterness.

Medium bodied, silky, semi-dry finish.

This is a very good example of a bourbon barrel ale. Would go great with a shot of Black Jack.

Oct 08, 2019
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SB2017 from Iowa

3.64/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The smell is boozy, fruity, but all in all stinky. Its taste is subtle, smoky, and sweet with a solid banana flavor. Balanced and complex there. Overall, though, this beer misses the mark by being far too light in texture and imprecise on the nose to stand up to the strong barrel flavor and impress.

Aug 24, 2019
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Thankin_Hank from Texas

4.34/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The deep amber, lager looking beer smells a touch sweet and it's all those things. Unique In it's malty sweetness. It's good and I can taste the wood. Drinking is smooth and only a hint of bitterness. Overall this an excellent beer my buddy brought over.

Jul 12, 2019
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CoryU from Florida

4.75/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First review. This is my favorite beer.

I dri k from the bottle, and havent paid attention to looks. It smells like bourbon. The flavor of bourbon comes through amazing, but isn't over powering. The beer isn't as thick as a Guinness, but it's still a a sipping beer. Mostly due to it's stronger ABV.

Great beer for a relaxing evening.

Jul 06, 2019
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Explorer_Bill from Kentucky

3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From a 12 oz bottle to a snifter. Amber color with a cream colored thin head and consistent thin lacing. Bourbon, vanilla, and toast smell. The bourbon and vanilla come through in the taste as does a few spice notes. Definitely not a single note flavor profile. There is a noted hoppy bitterness at the end along with a little alcohol punch. The mouth feel is a bit thin but pleasant. I like this strong barrel aged ale even though I’m not particularly a bourbon fan. I do enjoy the smell of the famous Bluegrass state’s number one export (KY bourbon) just not a big fan of drinking it. Maybe that’s the appeal of this ale. You get to enjoy the sweet rich bourbon fragrance without the entire fire of bourbon whiskey.

Jun 15, 2019
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 3240 ratings