Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

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

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
BA SCORE
3.7/5
Good
3,014 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#29,191
Reviews:
661
Ratings:
3,014
pDev:
17.84%
Bros Score:
3.77
 
 
Wants:
157
Gots:
1,028
Trade:
8
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,014 |  Reviews: 661
Photo of Eddieeight
4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks like honey
Smells like weak bourbon
Tastes like vanilla and smoky oak with the bourbon increasing as the flavor fades
It's like someone threw a shot of whiskey into my beer
Mouth feel is light like water
I couldn't drink more than one at a time

 250 characters

Photo of Curley75
4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Lemke10
4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I tried this on-tap at Conway and O’Rielly’s in Janesville, WI in mid 2012. Pours a golden amber color with a strong bourbon scent. Strong crisp taste of bourbon that is silky smooth that is barrel aged to perfection. I thought this was a lot better than what the ratings reflect.

 284 characters

Photo of ryalmighty1
4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into Sam Adams specialty pint glass. Ya know, the pretty curved one!

A- Lightly carbonated, medium-light amber hue. Almost looks like good Savannah honey. Small, one finger head dissipating quickly into slight lacing.

S- Well, this was heaven to me, 'cause I love a good bourbon. So much sweet, caramel-vanilla bourbon smell, you would think you were smelling a well aged bottle of Four Roses Bourbon. Definitely smell oak and a tiny hint of smokiness.

T- Very sweet, very bourbon-esque. A mild American Ale with slight hop characteristics with an overload of vanilla, oak, caramel, fig and, of course, BOURBON! Very pleasant taste. It hides its ABV VERY well. Only complaint is it needs a more complex malt character as well as a little smokiness to balance the sweetness. Almost NO aftertaste.

M- As creamy as Sleeman's Cream Ale. Light, yet silky smooth. Goes down easily, if not a bit TOO easily. This beer is unexpectedly light on the tongue.

D- Oh it's great to drink, just not in large quantities. Its sweetness can be overpowering, and its ABV will leave you wondering what happened after only a few. It will sneak up on you quick with this one.

Overall, a very warm and tasteful beer for those who look for the unusual or unexpected. Great for relaxing in a chair and pairs very well with good cigars, especially Conneticut Shade wrapped stogies. Definitely worth trying, just don't expect this to be the next great session beer.

[EDIT]
When I was home on leave Thanksgiving '09, I went to the Paddy Wagon in Richmond, KY and had this on tap. Wow, was it great! Something about it being on draft brought out all the subtle little tastes even more, such as the caramel and vanilla. Followed it up with a glass of Knob Creek Bourbon and man was I on cloud 9, and it wasn't from the ABV either. This beer is great to warm the soul and relax.

 1,873 characters

Photo of dms1767
4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sardonicone
4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sent into a beer mug.

Appearance: Light amber, 2 finger head that left nice lacing and a bubble ring around the glass.

Smell: Vanilla bean and scotch. Not overpowering, in fact it's a very mellowing scent.

Taste: Fantastic imho. Vanilla, scotch, almost nutty, something roasted, can't quite make out what, but I love it. Bitter on the back end.

Mouth: Medium, slightly over carbonated, the liquor burns on your tongue while you leave it there, burns on the back end and has a familiar warming sensation all the way down.

This has quickly become a favorite of mine, and is a routine member of my rotation.

 611 characters

Photo of Polish1989brew
4.36/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Orangecrush19
4.36/5  rDev +17.8%

Photo of I_imbibe
4.36/5  rDev +17.8%

Photo of jjamadorphd
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

 511 characters

Photo of dbertles
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great bourbon finish. Very nice taste.

38 characters

Photo of CalebDouglas
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally, the highly anticipated bottle of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. And not the ceramic, novelty, $40 bottle that if you rub it, a beautiful bourbon barrel jeanie will magically appear and hastily remind you of how much you over paid for her beer. Released this week, is the 12 oz. $9.99 per 4-pack bottles now on the retail shelves. Packaged in a handsome and artistic lable and carton with a reminescence of the horse and bourbon herritage in Central Kentucky that represents the Blugrass well. Must say that the beer remains as tasty as ever, but the concern is how much stability will this beer handle durring travel and on the shelves. I pick up a mild vinegar aroma and flavor that rides the background of Strong Ale sweetness and strength, distinctive bourbon character, vanilla, coconuts, butterscotch, toffee, toastedness, nuttiness, oakiness, and a touch of brown sugar. So much power, character, intensity, and complexity without pushing the body into thickness. In fact, the beer remains refreshingly thin without watering. Mildly creamy, sweetly rich, and a constant bourbon warming throughout. Finishes with a touch of bourbon heat, toffee sweetness and a mild dryness.

It will be interesting to see if the newly bottled Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale will continue to vary from batch to batch. Locally, this beer will show more vanilla and coconut in one batch, and then more oak and bourbon the next. Sometimes it tastes like a stronger, sweeter standard Kentucky Ale and other times take on cherry or berry character. Many Budweizer drinkers will call this 'inconsistancy'. I call it 'variety' -- a little bit of Christmas in every pint. If this crosses over to the 12oz. bottles, then it will be interesting to see if it gains praise (as it does locally) or criticism.

I have also noticed that this beer gets far lesser review ratings if it has beer 'shipped' out of the Bluegrass than those ratings where BA's sampled it locally. I don't think it's because of our biased tendencies of wanting our local 'baby' to succeed. I have noticed that this beer has traditionally not traveled well. Althought the bottle is pleasant, it's a far cry from the quality freshness that is available locally, expecially brewery fresh. A must drink if traveling through Lexington. Sit back with a brandy sniffer full of the Bourbon Barrel and discuss which horse stole all of your money earlier that day at Keenland. This is the stuff of dreams.

 2,452 characters

Photo of Gallup54
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.34/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a snifter, the liquid is clear copper with light carbonation, the Head is small white and leaves little lace.

The smell is great, lots of a very nice bourbon, vanilla and caramel seem to dominate.

The taste is equally as good but a bit different. Toasted coconut seems to be the taste the bourbon brings not vanilla so much. Really a nice brew to sip. Lightly toasted caramel and some vanilla notes do come out but nothing like the coconut.

The mouthfeel is light body and light carbonation nothing to great here, but not a reason to put it down either.

The drinkability is very good I would love to see this in a store. Thanks to NFLMVP for this very cool find, Prosit MK

 706 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.34/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am going to go way out on a limb with this one I am sure, but I am sorry I absolutely loved it. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 02/24/2010.

The pour was not what I would consider, um great. Light amber in color, nearly golden with a very, very clear body to it. Lots of carbonation could be seen streaming up towards the top of the glass which coalesced into a thin, but firm white cap at about a quarter of an inch, but this really did not stay long, fading with no real side glass lacing. Aroma is sweet, unbelievably sweet with loads of vanilla and sweet candy like notes. I found this incredibly appetizing and dove straight in. Super light body takes you off guard, but once you let this thing open up it's over. Rich beyond words with a sweetness that is unmatched. Like French vanilla ice cream mixed with hints of bourbon and light grain, it just worked. So light it was almost refreshing as I really just could not get enough of this one. 

Overall wow, I did not see this coming. I was not sure I was going to like it nearly as much as I did, but wow it really, really worked for me. I would love to have this one again any time, it is just a wonderful, sweet concoction that truly just worked for me.

 1,253 characters

Photo of MDENT
4.34/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of seabeemom
4.34/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of cmv60
4.34/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of briandschorr
4.34/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My first beer from this brewery. Impressed. Found this at the Beer Den in Leland, NC. The color is dark like coffee. One inch head with mild lacing. The nose is balanced between bourbon, chocolate, vanilla and espresso. The taste follows the nose. A bourbon mixed with coffee and chocolate. The bitterness is there but does not overwhelm the palate. The feel was great. I got a creamy fairly heavy body. Overall, a strong beer and worth a try for all fellow beer lovers.

 470 characters

Photo of joecon
4.34/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A really great bourbon ale!

27 characters

Photo of 2624LuisNY
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Wingnut93
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AllanPatchin1016
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of mutt
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

being a fan of bourban in the winter months, i had to give this one a try. very nice beer. drank from a snifter, it was suggested and i had no clean pints, so what the hey, i use the snifter. great amber color, sweeter than i anticipated, but not to much. nice bourban aftertaste lingers. if you like bourban and you're reading this, you obviously like beer, so try this one

 374 characters

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 3,014 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.