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

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
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Style:
English Strong Ale
Ranked #33
ABV:
8.19%
Score:
84
Ranked #33,479
Avg:
3.74 | pDev: 17.38%
Reviews:
710
Ratings:
3,208
From:
Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
 
Kentucky, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  169
Gots
  1,102
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: 710 | Ratings: 3,208 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BucannonXC5
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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itsonelouder from North Carolina

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
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spectru from Florida

3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear amber, cream colored head recedes quickly and disappears completely. There is no lacing; a mild but distinctively sweet aroma; very nicely carbonated; I generally don't care for bourbon-barrel-aged beers, but this one is not too strongly bourbon flavored. The alcohol is very definitely apparent.

Apr 14, 2019
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usernamenotinuse from Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours copper color, medium amount of off white head, fair retention with decent lace.
Smells vanilla-butterscotch, yeasty/bready. Smells like bourboun w/o the kerosene notes. Very pleasant.
Tastes smooth, rich, robust, charred barrel, vanilla, butterscotch, clean finish.
Feels is smooth, medium bodied.
Overall, very pleasing, smooth bourbon barrel strong ale. Hides the alcohol very well. Drink cold if you want to avoid a bourbon burn in the finish.

Mar 13, 2019
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jettjon from Florida

3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, it’s a brownish-clear color with a thin cap of small white bubbles with decent retention. Nose has sweet malt and bourbon notes. Flavor is similar to nose with sweet malt, bourbon, and vanilla. Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing. 8.1% ABV is very well masked. Overall a very tasty beer, I feel it is perhaps slightly underrated. Would definitely try again.

Mar 10, 2019
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Samlover55 from New York

3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle into Tulip
Bottled on 5/7/18
Pours a murky amber with thin white head
Tons of vanilla up front, peaches, toasted malt
Bitter up front followed by artificial vanilla,  and a dry bitter finish
Medium bodied,  above average carbonation
Overall this beer is bad,  but it could be I had it sitting in the fridge for too long

Feb 21, 2019
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jcwebninja from Missouri

4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

!2 oz bottle poured into 16 oz snifter. My brother brought to me from Nashville. Really like this one. Smooth and light for an 8.1 ABV. Probably helps that I enjoy bourbon, but how great that this one even looks like a glass of bourbon.

Feb 17, 2019
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mothmanscott from Georgia

3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

From notes 10/18/12: Pours clear light amber producing 2 fingers of off-white, somewhat lasting, frothy head that leaves a pasty wash of lace. Aroma is similar to a glass of watery bourbon with hints of caramel malt and floral hops. Taste is thin bourbon, wood and caramel in a faint hoppy background. Finish is boozy and again much like watery bourbon. Aftertaste is similar and moderately persistent.

Jan 24, 2019
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.59/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can into a pint glass. canned 11/16/16, so over 2 years old here.

Slightly hazy yellow/amber body. An initial decent white head dissipates to a thick ring & strong covering. Decent lacing.

Aroma of booze & boiled sugars.

Frankly it tastes like 80/20 bourbon & water. There is a hint of sweetness and a light burn from the abv.

Mouth is between thin and medium, finish a light bourbon burn.

Overall, not a beer I particularly enjoyed. Light body & mouth. pretty one dimensional.

Jan 06, 2019
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Nass from Florida

3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I agree with everything that has already been said about this Bourbon Barrel Ale. You have to like bourbon to be able to drink an entire bottle, the vanilla is upfront, slight booze on the finish, good carbonation, clean drinking. It almost feels like I'm drinking a mixed drink. Man o man the craft breweries are really attacking the alcohol beverage world from all angles, and this a solid representation of that. Cheers! B

Nov 06, 2018
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BeerBourbonAndBooty from Tennessee

4.28/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I love Bourbon so I absolutely love this beer most of the time. Very complex yet smooth taste with a malty ale taste overridden by Bourbon and vanilla flavors. The only complaint I have is that sometimes different batches taste inconsistent because every Bourbon Barrel is going to produce a different taste. I don’t think they’ve quite mastered the quality control in producing a consistent taste. It’s always good, just sometimes more bourbon, sometimes more vanilla, and sometimes not much of either. I think they grew much quicker than they expected and kind of threw quality control on taste consistency out the window.

Nov 03, 2018
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 3208 ratings