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

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

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

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:
618
Ratings:
2,842
Avg:
3.62
pDev:
18.51%
 
 
Wants:
151
Gots:
925
For Trade:
8
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Reviews: 618 | Ratings: 2,842
Photo of Durge
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A clear orange tea color with a modest white cover that clings to the sides and leaves very little lace on the snifter glass served at Max & Erma's at Cincinnati Airport, terminal B. The aroma is a decent carmel malt which I guess is basically a product of the proported bourbon with a hint of citrus hop. The bourbon is a bit more clear in the taste, almost candied It's crisp and clean with good, fine carbonation. There is a mild bitterness that gathers at the back of my mouth, bread and biscuit with some malt, a touch of flowery sweetness and some alcohol. I don't think I would want to drink a lot of these, that bourbon and bitter theme wears a little thin on the taste buds, but it is a fair experience, worth the try. I had it with an excellent turkey club sandwich which seemed to only accentuate the bourbon flavor. It also seemed to have a little kick, the ale not the sandwich.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into an Orval glass.

The beer pours a clear medium gold with some orange highlights. The carbonation is bad, no head rises, no lacing, the beer looks oily.

The aroma is pretty light, giving off light notes of vanilla, oak, and candy sugar at the end.

The taste is really weird, there is some distinct vanilla but its combined with alcohol and sugar.

The feel is super light and watery feeling without much of an aftertaste or feel.

Drinkability is pretty good.

Overall, this beer is really weird. Its like drinking a light barrel ris that's combined with a pilsner. Not a great combo.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, bright amber body capped by a thinning layer of white bubbles.

Smell: Toasty, oaky aroma with slightly lesser notes of brown sugar, vanilla, and humble pale malts.

Taste: Pale malts with a caramel kick to them make way for the far stronger flavors of vanilla, oaken barrel extract, light brown sugar, and even toasted coconut. Medium sweetness throughout. Never much in the way of hops or bitterness. Rebound of basic malty sweetness along with a rather woody quality to the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Hmm. Well, it's certainly interesting, I'll give it at least that much. Maybe its the decaying brain cells, but I cannot adequately recall such a light base beer getting the bourbon barrel treatment. It's appealing to try all the characteristics bourbon barrel aging has to offer without being hampered and diluted by a... well, more substantial beer, but it doesn't make for an overall sublime drinking experience and doesn't have much appeal beyond the one bottle.

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Photo of MacMalt
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I had this on draught. It was served colder than I would have had it from the bottle. This is a very pretty beer but I didn't taste much bourbon. Slight vanilla taste but overall rather pedestrian. Not bad but not special, either.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very beautiful beer, light brown colored, with amazing clarity. The bubbles of carbonation stream upward in numerous lines, supporting a half inch thick off-white foam with excellent retention. Nose is straightforward bourbon, with vanilla notes and sort of a nutty malt character.

The flavor is rather unsweetened and a bit dry with toasty oak and vanilla notes, and yet more nuttiness, almost like almonds. It's suprisingly not overpowering, but something is a bit off here. Perhaps it's a bit too one dimesional, I think it actually needs a bit more kick. The finish is dry and without much depth, it could use a little more bitterness or even some heat to round things out. Mouthfeel is a bit light, carbonation softer than it would appear.

Not as bad as I was expecting, but not good either really. This beer is more of a novelty, probably to entice whisky fans into trying a bourbon-esque brew that will suit their tastes. Hardcore beer fans will likely pass on this one as the beer itself lacks complexity.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter. Pours a clear amber hue with a two fingered white head that drops rather quickly. Some light lacing evident.

Aromas of oak, light vanillla, malt. No hop aroma.

Flavors of diluted vanilla, oak, malt, no hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is relatively thin, decent level of carbonation.

Overall, nothing special here. Rather subdued in all its character.

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Photo of IPreferPotButBeerIsGood
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Looks tasty. Nice dark amber color, very bourbon-y in color with a very thin, bubbly head that leaves a nice ring and a very thin film.

A: Literally smells like watered down bourbon and a bit of ale hint. Not a bad smell.

T: Tasted like bourbon as well, however was very much an ale. Somewhat bitter, but kind of tangy as well. It was interesting, but unimpressive.

F: Felt very nice and bubbly. High-medium carbonation. Went down smoothly.

O: Not bad if you like bourbon, but if you like bourbon, drink bourbon. This isn't something I would quite feel inclined to buy again, and I'm glad I only got a bottle instead of a growler.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: Medium gold color, and very, very clear. One finger's worth of white head, and lots of visible carbonation.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, charcoal, caramel malt.

T: Follows the nose - very bourbon forward, but with nice woody flavors and a caramel sweetness.

M: Thin thin mouthfeel. Nice carbonation on the tongue. Not overly hot even with the bourbon flavors.

O: This one is different, interesting, but ultimately not great. I feel like it's a bourbon-aged non-hoppy pale ale.

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Photo of DoctorDog
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a clear amber, with ~1 finger of white head, which fades gradually, leaving a thin, incomplete cap. No lacing noted.

S- A strong odor of pure bourbon.

T- Like sweet bourbon with a few hint of banana esters and vanilla. Alcohol bite is moderate. Sweetness is fairy high.

M- Moderate carbonation/fairly creamy.

D- Decent. Nice bourbon flavor that isn't overpowering, and a nice feel.

Future outlook: Probably not one to seek out often, but a pleasant brew that I wouldn't turn down.

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Photo of russpowell
3.54/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jwc215 for this one, Thanks Joe!

Pours honey/amber with one finger of rapidly falling pearl colored head. Nice viscous look to this with average lacing & head retention

S: Toffee, butterscotch & bourbon by the bucket that faded as this warmed

T: Dryness, bourbon & butterscotch & some booze warmth upfront. Much toffee, oaky, dryness & vanilla as this warms. Finishes dry, semi-boozey with a touch of honey, almost pulled a 4.0

MF: A bit thin all things considered, more malt depth is needed, with medium carbonation

Drinks alright, a bit dry for my tastes

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

Burnt amber look with light carbonated head.

Strong bourbon smell to this one. Very light vanilla smell.

Mostly bourbon flavor, but it's not too strong, with a light smokey vanilla finish that is very pleasant.

Not too light and not to heavy, this is a good moderate beer that seams to get all over you mouth and has a good finish.

I may get another one of these and age it for some time. It seams like one of those beers that will get much better with a little aging. Will update if I do.

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Photo of martyl1000
3.54/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours a reddish amber, with a slight head into a tulip glass. The aroma is nice, bourbon and mild brown ale, with a bit of maple syrup and raisin.

It's quite smooth in the mouth, though with very subdued flavor, a tad bit of vanilla mixed with tame bourbon and wood barrel. But mostly just pedestrian English brown ale, with modest carbonation. Definitely easy drinking, with a totally hidden ABV. It's just not something I'd buy again, given the price and the vast array of better BBA beers out there.

A little sweet, to be sure, but hardly anything else going for it, other than its creamy feel on the pallate.

Other than the aroma, which is quite nice, this comes off as an entirely forgettable BBA beer. It's not bad (or is it?) It's definitely muted in flavor and uninspired in execution. It's as if one took an anonymous English ale (think Boddignton's, or Newcastle Founders) and dipped it briefly in a bourbon barrel.

Sorry to be harsh, but I'm used to serious BBA beers, with a year in the barrel, like Central Waters, or BCBS, or Founders KBS, or Hoppin Frog BA Boris. Somehow Alltech's Lexington feels it is respectable to barrel age for only six weeks, which is what they state on their website.

 1,214 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 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 masterbruewer
3.54/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a golden brown, plenty of head.

Smell has hints of earthy bourbon flavor,

Interesting blend of flavor. The bourbon taste is stronger than I expected, but settles in fairly well.

Mouthfeel is unremarkable.

In fairness, I'm not a big fan of any "flavored" beer, be it cherry, pumpkin or bourbon. I tried to factor that in to my opinion. That said, it wasn't bad. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt for now and revisit later when I'm more familiar with the style.

If you like bourbon or flavored beer, it's worth a try.

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Photo of EMV
3.54/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at 'World of Beer' in Orlando, poured into a snifter.

L: Pours a clear light mahogany color. Moderate white head and decent lacing of the glass.

S: Probably the best part of this beer... bourbon notes with toasted malts. Mild vanilla and cloves.

T/F: This one just didn't do it for me, and it tasted thin and watered down. Like there was more flavor to be had that just didn't make it forward. Sweeter than expected, not boozy at all for a beer with this ABV, and mild vanilla and oak tones. Moderately carbonated.

O: Just not a fan, and again... it tasted like somebody took a better beer and watered it down. It smelled good... but the flavor just wasn't there, and there are way better bourbon aged brews out there. Wouldn't have it again.

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Photo of dcotom
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into a Craft Beer Club sampling glass. Bourbon-like in appearance, clear, dark copper color contrasted by nice head of white foam. The aroma is bourbon barrel forward, but had mellowed quite a bit compared to a fresh one from the same four pack that I sampled a year and a half ago. The harshness on the palate had also diminished, resulting in a very drinkable product with some nice alcohol warmth and a smooth finish. (Kind of like... bourbon.)

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Photo of tvv375ia
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-ochre colored with about a 2 finger head that stays around for awhile

S-bourbon dominates when being poured and still strong when the glass is sitting on the table and can be smelled for a few feet. When the glass rest for a time it settles down I can smell a litte carmel and vanilla as well

T-bourbon comes throgh here as well with a faint touch of malt but not a lot really

M-light to medium bodied with pretty good carbonation throughout

O-I guess I would go along with the people calling it a bourbon bomb

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Photo of domtronzero
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear copper orange with a medium, short-lived, whitish head.

S - Big caramel, bready malts, oak, vanilla, slight alcohol.

F/M - Caramel, big sweat malt profile. Vanilla and oak, toffee. Slightly boozy alcohol. Medium-bitterness lets the malts shine. Medium body with medium low bitterness.

D - Clean, not too huge, but just a little too thick and sweet to put more than one of these down in a sitting.

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Photo of kegger22
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is an odd beer. It's color is amber with a modest head that quickly fades to nothing. It is the aroma and taste that are odd. Both are like a parody of what bourbon barrel aging should be like. That being said, while the aroma was like an imitation scent, the taste wasn't that bad. It was certainly malty sweet and the other dominant flavor, while not evocative of bourbon, is more caramel and vanilla. The feel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is OK.

KBBA is not a bad beer, but it just comes across as contrived, to me anyway.

Edit: The reviewer below me mentioned coconut and I realize that's it. The smell and taste remind me, not of coconut, but of coconut extract.

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Photo of EricHeff
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have had Bourbon Barrel Stouts before but not an Ale.
I poured the beer into a glass and got frothy 1 finger head. Its a completely clear amber color. The smell is quite different from other beers. You can actually pick up a bit of the bourbon smell.
The taste is full of the aging. Mostly hints of bourbon from start to finish with a hint of the wood in there.
This is a good, easy to drink beer. I don't think I'll have many of these, but its defiantly a nice to beer to chill with.

 487 characters

Photo of mdunman
3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark amber with a pretty good head and some linger

S: Maltiness with a strong bourbon note

T: Bourbon takes over and doesn't let go. There is some malt and hoppiness in there, but it's drowned out by the bourbon

M: Medium body, good carbonation

First couples sips of this are pretty incredible. After that it's a tough drink to finish, there is simply too much bourbon flavor. It was good, but once was enough for me.

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Photo of jacobseyb
3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle golden orange with a little bit of white head, less than a finger strong. Bourbon dominates the nose , with some alcohol finishing it out. Bourbon and caramel malt are present in taste with little to no hops present. Feel is very smooth, some carbonation, some oiliness. Overall it is not my favorite, I would have preferred more flavor and more carbonation.

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Photo of wescj
3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

I like how the color is very bourbonish. Downside to appearance is the quickly vanishing head. I don't know much about the science of bourbon aging--maybe the process kills the head?

Smells good, malt blends with the bourbon very well. Reminds me of a sweet bourbon sauce you might pour on a dessert.

Bourbon taste comes out great, without overpowering the rest of the brew. Again, there's a good, caramelly malt backbone. The only beef I have with the beer is that the bourbon doesn't taste "blended" with the other characteristics of the beer. Like maybe someone put an ounce or so of bourbon in the glass right after I poured it. But I won't discount this one for it; it seems to be a pretty common characteristic among the lighter bourbon ales (ie, not stouts).

I gotta say, the bourbon gives this one an odd aftertaste. Pretty good besides that.

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
3.62 out of 5 based on 2,842 ratings.
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