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

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BA SCORE
82
good
623 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:
623
Ratings:
2,868
Avg:
3.63
pDev:
39.39%
 
 
Wants:
152
Gots:
939
For Trade:
8
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Reviews: 623 | Ratings: 2,868
Photo of kitschiguy
3.12/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

255ml bottle / 8.2%

Pours a dark copper with a pretty crappy head which died. Left a litttle lacing though.

Lots of bourbon on the palate. A hint of vanila. Very little hop bitterness, a little butterscotch - maybe off.

Mouth quite thin.
Alcohol masked very well.

 266 characters

Photo of Sapsquatch
1.6/5  rDev -55.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Does anyone else remember when this beer was good? It actually changed my life when I first had it about four or five years ago. I was blown away by the vanilla flavor that came through in the beer. I could not believe how much a bourbon barrel could change a beer. It was delicious.

Not any more.

I'm disappointed every time I taste it. Every now and then I will sample it from various taps in hopes of a good batch. And I know it when I have it. I have yet to consistently sample it at the quality level of when it first came to Ohio. Really, it was that good.

You know, it might still be a good beer. But this beer set a higher standard for me. It is unfortunate that I am holding this beer to the very standard it created for me years ago. Every now and then I will get lucky (less than 5% of the time) and stumble across a good batch. But I have given up at this point. The business decision that was made to sacrifice quality lost me as a consumer.

Maybe it is the aging time. Or maybe it is the process that has changed. It sure seems like the bourbon barrels are being used too many times to claim "barrel aged" on the label without adding flavor. I miss the original. I would have paid more for it. Now, it is so mainstream that the quality has been sacrificed for distribution.

This could have become an iconic beer if quality was more important than quantity. Demand would have always exceeded supply. Instead, consumers like me - that helped to build demand for this beer - are no longer the consumers buying it.

Am I the only one that noticed this?

 1,593 characters

Photo of Thomas_Wikman
3.39/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

I got this beer in a beer trade. I was expecting more bourbon considering the name and I did not expect it to be sour. However, it was still a good beer.

Look: Copper color almost reddish brown with a thin white head.

Aroma: sweet woody aroma.

Taste: Bready, caramel, vanilla, sour apple, pretty sour, and very mild bourbon.

Feel: Medium body and medium carbonation.

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Photo of fitzy84
4.16/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Meadhall. The beer had a red appearance with a thin head. Aromas included a strong vanilla bourbon flavor with a taste that did follow that nose quite well. The mouthfeel to this beer was quite good as well; generally smooth and creamy, which helped make this a great after dinner/dessert drink. Overall, I thought this was really good.

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Photo of seansean95
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: pretty dark gold with a minimal head and constant lacing.

Smell: sweet and woody.

Taste: similar to taste with a slightly malty aftertaste.

Feel: very smooth with minimal carbonation

Overall not as great as I was hoping. I'd been wanting this beer for a while, but paid $5.75. It frankly wasn't worth that, but it was still a fairly good beer.

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Photo of 57md
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light copper color with almost a finger of head. There a re soft bourbon notes on the nose; the same holds for the flavor. The mouthfeel is grainy. The body is a bit thin for a strong ale and the maltiness is a bit wanting as well. The finish has a nice dry character that compliments the sweetness of the bourbon.

 326 characters

Photo of donspublic
3.94/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip from tap, minimal head, good retention, nice lacing. Clear amberish red in the glass, really pretty beer. Not getting much on the nose like a lot of ba beers, slight vanilla, some bourbon notes coming thru, really restrained. Taste is where this guy shines, great bourbon on the front, slides into vanilla And finishes with a mild semisweet bitter finish. Mouthfeel is great., This is a great beer to keep around for that bourbon kick, doesn't feel that heavy

 481 characters

Photo of daliandragon
3.64/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep copper color with almost no head. Some sedimet is visible. It basically smells like whisky, all right.

Smoother in texture than you'd think, and although the whisky flavor is high, it isn't harsh, apart from the general booziness. Definitely some toasted notes in the aftertaste. Not really my thing, but it certainly is well crafted and true to what it claims to be.

 386 characters

Photo of Roby923
4.11/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep copper. Great balance of hops, malt and and bourbon. Not usually a fan of barrel aged brews, but this one is a new highlight. Great after dinner brew. Wish it was more widely available. Bottled from various bars in Kentucky.

 241 characters

Photo of SerialTicker
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Despite not being a critically acclaimed beer, I've heard about this beer a lot, and have wanted to try it for awhile. Well, it just so happens...

Appearance: Copper with a modest haze to it. A ring of head with just a few swirls of lace.

Smell: Bourbon, bread, fruity esters... and sourness? Not in an infected/negative way, but there seems to be a "twang" on the nose. I like it, but am confused by why it's there.

Taste/feel: A lot like the aroma. Very nice depth. Bready bourbon flavors are what comes through in the finish with an unexpected sourness, but on the front, I get a quick hit of tartness that makes my tongue "go" a bit, with a flavor that I can't quite explain -- but maybe, like another reviewer said, is sort of like sour apple. It's definitely faint, but I can taste it. This beer is nicely balanced -- not very sweet, which was a pleasant surprise. The feel is very smooth for an 8% -- no warmth at all, with a light/medium body and a very nice carbonation that suits this beer nicely.

I think this beer is quite a bit better than the 82 "Good" rating on this site, as you can see. I feel like people have to be going in expecting something it's not (a BBA stout). Or, people are turned off by that strange sour sort of smell and flavor, which I could understand, at least.

In any event, I really enjoy this. It reminds me a touch of a Massacre Light, for the .5% of people who have had Massacre by Wolverine State Brewing Company.

 1,460 characters

Photo of colts9016
2.9/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A one finger light tan head that is bubbly and creamy, the head dissipates quickly. The color of the beer is a golden amber color with some reddish orange hues. The clarity of the beer is clear with carbonation bubbles visible.

N: Super bready, citrus, resin, honey, vanilla, wood, bourbon, yeast, caramel, toffee, and some earthy notes.

T: Bready, boozy, vanilla, wood, bourbon,yeast, caramel, toffee, earthy, resin, and citrus.

M: very warming, carbonated, medium body, and slightly astringent.

O: Terrible, the beer has no balance the alcohol is every revealing and hot.

 580 characters

Photo of stratslinger
4.84/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ok, by far my favorite beer ever! I'm a Kentucky boy, so bourbon is close to my heart. Tried this and fell in love. Deep amber color. Pours nice with heavy head. Definitely smell the vanilla notes and oakyness of the charred oak barrels. Malts come though nice in the scent department as well. Taste is exceptional! The sweetness of the bourbon, oak, and malt all intertwine together to make a refreshing drink. I consider this a dessert beer as drinking 6 or 7 of these would get a bit too heavy. But a couple after dinner is amazing. ABV near 9% (?) gives this brew the power to warm you up on a cold night! Around $12 a 4-pack, but pick some up if you never had it. And better yet, try it on draft when you can find it! #GOBIGBLUE #WILDCATS

 743 characters

Photo of jjamadorphd
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
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.

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Photo of DaneBramage
3.09/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bought for $2 a bottle on clearance at my local shop. Pours a reddish amber with medium head, not much of an aroma. Smooth English-style ale with bourbon, caramel and vanilla flavors. Not outstanding but not bad either, went down easy on a warm evening. Much tastier and less sweet than other bourbon ales out there, and a bargain for the price.

 349 characters

Photo of Kevin_Langford
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was nice! It was, admittedly, my first bourbon barrel ale...I've heard a lot about them but have never tried one, so take my review with a grain of salt. It had a dark, reddish-golden color with a decent head in a glass. It smelled a nice mix of bourbon and a rich ale. Bathe flavor was smooth, slightly carbonated, with bourbon overtones - fairly pronounced. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it would never be a go-to beer for me. If you want to try something new and enjoyable, pick this one up!

 503 characters

Photo of mlockman
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was really surprised by the flavor of this brew; honestly, the bourbon flavor does not stand out but rather blends into the malt profile, which is decently attenuated by slight hopping, for a smooth and interesting drinking experience.

 237 characters

Photo of basaywhat
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Dark to light amber and clear appearance with a small, diminishing head. Aroma of dark fruits, oak, vanilla and a touch of bourbon heat.

 150 characters

Photo of LisaPPitMom
4.28/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle, pours gorgeous clear light copper color. Especially if you are a Belgian-lover, betting you will enjoy this one. Light butterscotch nose, inoffensively boozy burnt sugar-caramel balance, and the oak does not overwhelm. I keep coming back to this one.

 258 characters

Photo of jrsbeer1971
2.75/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Too sweet, has little flavor that is recognizable as beer. The bourbon presence is weak and pales to other bourbon barrel offerings such as Williamsburg Brewings Bourbon Barrel Porter.

 185 characters

Photo of plumberman63
2.48/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Nice light brown color with a off white foam head. Smells of a weak bourbon whiskey. Taste of a weak whiskey and water. No beer taste to this at all. Watery feel.
Overpriced for what it is. Wouldn't buy again, might if on sale or free. Not a whiskey drinker, so probably not.

 275 characters

Photo of Jayzilla513
3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this beer on tap and in the bottle. It is far far better on tap. For those who think it is good in the bottle, do yourself a favor and get it on tap! Nice amber color, small head with light lacing. The "burbon" flavor is wonderful! Slightly sweet almost butterscotch notes. The beer is a solid 4 on tap, in bottle I'd say 3.25.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

 433 characters

Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
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 ArchimedesSox
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light brown amber, honey color, dense off white head, good lacing

S: Butterscotch, booziness, vanilla

T: Butterscotch right up front, vanilla comes in, oak flavors

M: Medium, heat from the alcohol

O: I got a lot of flavors associated with bourbon but the taste did not scream bourbon to me. A good beer none the less.

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Photo of Jraiona
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Beer pours clear Amber in color and produces a light-moderate head. Aroma of caramel and oak. Taste of bourbon is very distinct yet not overwhelming or boozy. Living in bourbon country and being a lover of bourbon this beer is a real pleasure.

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
3.63 out of 5 based on 2,868 ratings.
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