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

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

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

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.

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 690 | Ratings: 3,143
Photo of spectru
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of usernamenotinuse
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of jettjon
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of Samlover55
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
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

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Photo of jcwebninja
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

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Photo of MikeWard
3.59/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of Nass
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
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

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Photo of BeerBourbonAndBooty
4.28/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

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Photo of Tinfang
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brewery website calls for this to be drunk from a goblet. Used a similar bar glass. Packaging is about as Kentucky as could be.

Coppery dark cola color with fine bubble head. Not generous but adds to the appeal.

Smell is vanilla and bourbon.

Tastes like bourbon, along with vanilla and a bit of cake spices. Bourbon is very dominant, sort of overwhelmingly. Alcohol well hidden.

Mouthfeel a bit thin but good carbonation.

Overall worth trying but you gotta like bourbon to be a fan.

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Photo of JohnDon
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into snifter glass. Appears a medium to dark amber with a half of inch head that dissipated within 30 seconds, leaving a thin lacing around the bottom. Smell is very forward with bourbon. Taste is smooth, creamy, and vanilla with (surprisingly) mild alcohol taste. Feel is light and carbonated. Was my first "English Strong Ale" but was very good and drinkable (for the ABV).

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.32/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into mini snifter.

Gorgeous fiery amber-orange color with a creamy off-white head of 1/2 finger. Lots of lace on the sides of the glass.

Aromas are clear and evident. Caramel, toffee, molasses, horehound, with dried apples, peaches & cream, and slight smoked fruit.

Flavor brings forth toffee, hot caramel, red grape, and freeze-dried banana, Slight boozy heat.

Feel fits the beer perfectly I think. Cuts nicely but retains a good level of heat and a medium-heavy body.

Overall, I think Alltech gets hated on for a lot of reasons, but this shouldn't be one of them. This is a stellar beer. Absolutely would purchase again.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
2.75/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

This feels like a BBA beer that doesn't want to be a beer. Given the different varieties available, it feels like another attempt to create the same trendy wave of Alco-pop that NYFRB spawned except this time with Bourbon.
Tawny and clear in a nonic pint. Much more carbonation than expected from a beer that's Barrel-aged. Aroma and flavor are the same: watered down bourbon with a hint of caramel malt. It's not offensive, and it's not entirely bland, either. Feel is thin with prickly carbonation. Maybe someone who wants 16 proof bourbon would enjoy this.

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Photo of chitoryu12
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: Somewhat clear copper with a small white head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Very sweet malt. A little noticeable bourbon.

Taste: Incredibly sweet malt with vanilla and caramel notes. It's difficult to really identify as a beer from the lack of beer-like flavors. Almost no bitterness, with a very minor bourbon note.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat thin and highly carbonated.

Overall: I'm not sure. While it doesn't taste bad and some may even argue it tastes good from the high sweetness, it falls pretty far from a strong ale definition.

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Photo of ElCommodoro
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I don't drink much craft beer anymore. I saw this one at a good price and I'm drinking it straight out of the bottle.

Nose is VERY sweet up-front. A strong, sugary malt flavor with notes of vanilla and caramel.

Taste also hits hard with the sweetness. It's possible that this has been sitting on the shelf for a long period. I purchased it at a shop where I've been able to purchase several beers that have been out of production for years. Nothing wrong with this if you're ready for a sweet beer, though. This has not suffered any ill effects from aging, other than possibly being a bit mellowed. I can taste the oak, for sure, but it's like a sweet oak. There's just so much brown sugar and candy flavor going on here. A little bit of the yeast can be tasted and you can sorta tell it's 8% ABV, but it's well masked by the sweetness.

There's really not much else to say. You want a sweet, oaky, dark, 8% beer, get this.

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Photo of tp1962
4.91/5  rDev +32.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I have to say the price point is not in comparison with taste. $12.99 for a 4 pack? Really? It should be priced based on abv. I like it but won’t buy it again at $12.99 price point . There are more affordable great tasting beers for a lot less$$$$

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Photo of ThemThangs
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought this randomly and came in with no expectations, and it's pretty good. Refreshing and crisp, would be a good Summer BBQ beer in my opinion. I could knock back a few of these no problem, very easy drinking. I don't get a ton of the bourbon flavor, mostly a nice balance of hops and sweetness.

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Photo of Radcpa
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light brown copper appearance with slight white head that disipates almost immediately. Aroma is a strong bourbon. Taste is a mild alcohol with much weaker bourbon than anticipated from the aroma.

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Photo of Scott17Taylor
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm just drinking this for the style tick. It's not good, but I'm glad I tried it. The bourbon brings tons of vanilla and some caramel to both the aroma and the flavor. It's super sweet with tons of barrel character, but I'm not sure what they were going for with the base beer. It's a good example of what barrel aging can do, but it's really not a great beer.

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Photo of cx329
2.83/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

I really wanted to like this one but sadly it fell flat and I won't be buying this one again.
The color is a nice copper I'd expect from an ale, the head a bit thin but not bad.
Upon the first sip I get hints of oak and bourbon but the nose is lacking. Not much going on there, a slight barley/bourbon mix perhaps. Up front I can taste the bourbon and oak but the finish is weak and flat. This brew would shine with just a bit more carbonation and a liberal sprinkling of noble hops.

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Photo of TheCondor
3.09/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up from the Party Source and poured into a snifter. Really excited about this one as I like beer, and I like bourbon, so what could go wrong? I found out quite a bit.

A - The best part of the beer. Pours a nice copper color with a small fizzy head that goes faster than a noob in porn. I do think the packaging is cool though.

S - Slight bourbon, a bit of malts, a bit of breads, pretty flat nose.

T - Even worse than the nose. I did not like this beer at all. Could not taste the bourbon, very flat flavors. Bits of malts, a bit of sweetness and caramel, but not much else.

M - The worst part of the beer. Really thin, fizzy, and dry. It just felt very watery to me.

O - I would not recommend this brew, especially for the price. I was expecting something with a lot more bourbon and a lot less fizzy and water. It's been a long time since I had to drain pour a brew but I had to do it with this one. It was awful. I don't know how this got up to a 3.7 rating, maybe they changed the recipe recently or something. There was nothing in my experience to indicate I did something wrong, it was a clean glass and I had a fresh palate. I think it just sucked.

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Photo of theBubba
3.14/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Pored into my tulip glass and before I could line up my camera (I take shots of all my beers to catalog) Poof! The head was gone. Didn't make for a nice shot. Smells nice. Bourbon and vanilla. But it's thin bodied and almost flat in terms of carbonation. And at close to 5 bucks for a 12 oz. tall neck, there are much better ways to spend your beer money.

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Photo of ordybill
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. Has a clear copper color with a small white head. The aroma has some vanilla and wood. The taste is mild with a hint of bourbon in the background.

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Photo of quadmad
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottled April 2017. Purchased July in Simsbury Ct. A bit strong on the bourbon for my taste. Nice dark amber colour. Kind of boozy. High price for ordinary beer.

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Photo of LAND_MINE
1.61/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This label should read: Aged in Bourbon barrels for 3 minutes. Where is the Bourbon? I couldn't taste any. I have tried two different "BBA" beers from here and felt like I was drinking water. Also, what awards did this win? Only thing I could figure is that the Bourbon they got from the barrels won awards. The same barrels they swished this beer in for 30 seconds. I highly recommend that you find something else to drink as this is NOT a BBA beer.

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 3,143 ratings