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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 SaltofOH
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at 16 bit arcade. Boston shaker.

Appearance: pours a clear amber/orange with 1 finger off-white head. Little, but steady carbonation. No lacing, head dissipates fairly quickly. Lighter in color than expected.

Aroma: sweet, strong caramel, malt, no hops, vanilla, some oak. Butterscotch. Actually smells really awesome.

Taste: bourbon is noticeable; right from the arrival; strong even. Very sweet. Transitions quickly to a surprisingly firm bitterness for 15 IBUs. Oaky woodiness at the end, lingers a bit, then clean. Right before the transition to bitterness, you get the presence of these bourbon congeners that are really outstanding. Irish red ale sweetness and taste really come through in this.

Mouthfeel: midweight. More carbonation than expected. Quite clean.

Overall: had it once before, but didn't think much of it. I love bourbon, and I love English style ales, and this does surprisingly well on both those fronts. Kind of sweet and boozy, but surprisingly quite clean. Really easy drinking for 8+%. I can see why it's popular.

 1,052 characters

Photo of SawDog505
3.49/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass, can't make out when it was bottled probably 2 years ago, been sitting in my cellar. Pours a dark orange with a almost 2 inch fluffy white head that leaves behind some lace.

Smell is plum, brown sugar, oak, bread, vanilla, and hints of bourbon.

Taste follows nicely dark fruit, brown sugar, vanilla, oak, bread, and a little shot of bourbon or warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel is less than medium, moderate carbonation, a but dry, and drinkability is good.

Overall this isn't my favorite beer, but knowing it's been in the cellar a few years, it tastes much better for me than when I first had it. Not nearly the bourbon bomb I remember.

 671 characters

Photo of BillBrasky
4.24/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Look: Nice lacing with medium head. Slightly cloudy body with a enticing amber color
Smell: Mostly Carmel toffee or butterscotch. Very nice aroma.
Taste: Sweet
Feel: Lively thick
Overall: Really enjoyable and different. Definitely taste the burbon, but not overpowering. Pretty expensive, but worth the price if you want something unusual.

 339 characters

Photo of PeterD10
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Lighter than expected for a stout. If looking for a thick smooth after dinner drink, you might not live it. If looking for a very tasty, lighter beer with as kick... This is for you. The bourbon is not over powering.

 216 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
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 HeathenMother
4.85/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was great! The nose has a slight whiskey tone to it. The carbonation wasn't overwhelming but seemed just right. The flavor was mild but not boring. And with an 8.2% ABV, the flavor vets better as the bottle empties!

 220 characters

Photo of bhblbagpiper
1.59/5  rDev -56.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

One of my least favorite beers I've had in a while. I actually had to dump it out. It was very hyped before I had it so maybe that made the let down even greater. I found it very sweet and the bourbon/oak qualities to be completely overwhelming. If I want bourbon Ill just drink bourbon.

 287 characters

Photo of DrewScottAndyCampbell
5/5  rDev +37.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This bourbon barrel aged ale is actually crafted and made in Kentucky, and is one of the only Bbls I've had to really get the bourbon feel into its beer. Thick and rich, with a sweet vanilla and caramel aftertaste, all while getting the special zing of bourbon throughout.

 273 characters

Photo of Dragginballs76
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pour - Deep copper color with thick white head that lasts several minutes good lacing. Head dissipates completely but returns with a light swirl of the glass.

Smell - I get some bourbon and oak i also get a slight sweet smell I am not sure what it is.

Taste - The first thing I get is again something sweet like vanilla pudding, also get some oak and a little bourbon.

Feel - Very light and carbonated no alcohol burn.

Overall - A decent ale I would like to have had a little more depth in the bourbon and a little less sweetness. Still overall a very drinkable good beer.

 576 characters

Photo of Gryphon69
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

2013 bottle

A- Coppery in color, clear. Lots of small carbonation bubbles, nice clean small white head with decent lacing up the sides.

S- Very light bourbon smell. A slight sweetness in the nose.


T- Pretty clean and simple with some mild but noticeable bourbon. A certain sweetness that is hard to place.. maybe something like sour apple.

F- Nice body, pretty smooth and slick. Medium to high carbonation, little bubbles like champagne.

O- Not sure of the overly negative feed backs, If you do not like bourbon why rate a bourbon beer? The bourbon is light and not overpowering, decent flavor and easy to drink. It does have a certain sweetness in the finish. Average and simple, would think a good beginner bourbon beer.

 729 characters

Photo of Barracudas
4.5/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a great beer! The bourbon barrel aroma and taste was very clear but not overpowering. This has to be one of the better Bourbon Barrel ales out there.

 158 characters

Photo of twozni
3.64/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L: Has a nice brown, bourbon color.

S: Right out of the bottle it had a mild bourbon smell which quickly faded.

T: Bourbon, charred wood, vanilla, but almost a flat taste to me.

F: Mild carbonation.

O: It's a good beer that I might buy every once in a while.

 262 characters

Photo of dwillie733
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good beer if you like a combination of bourbon and beer. you can taste the bourbon but the beer is distinctly there with a good malt and good english type ale. Will try and drink again.

 185 characters

Photo of GreatStoutman
3.64/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On draft it pours a nice clear copper, no head by the time the bartender got it to me. Smells nice of bourbon, vanilla and caramel. Taste caramel and bourbon, but not overwhelming and it really does drink smooth. I'm probably not going to have a second- and I can see where people are disappointed given the price point- but this ones on the company for me, and I think it's pretty solid.

 388 characters

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

Serving: Bottle into pint
Served: 24 December 2015

This one feel through the cracks due to Christmas, so I'm reviewing now.

Appearance: Honestly, this is probably the weakest point for the beer- the beer pours a muted gold color with a dishwater head that collapses under influence from the alcohol content. I'm not a huge fan of the color- it just looks off.

Smell: Sweet vanilla notes from the bourbon dominates the nose more than anything else.

Taste: Sweet malts and an overwhelming sweet vanilla note from the bourbon barrels. Finishes far drier than I would have anticipated given the style, but I found this really nice. It demands continual sips.

Mouthfeel: High body, despite the coloring, and medium carbonation.

Overall: I think this beer is drastically underrated. For being a barrel aged beer that's brainlessly easy to acquire, it's pretty tasty.

 866 characters

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

Chicago 1/8/16 (Sweetwater - Draft poured into snifter glass) Dark orange/copper pour, minimal head which quickly dissipated and mild carbonation. Bourbon aroma, with hints of caramel. Enjoyed the malt and mild bourbon taste, stronger ABV not noticed. Smooth and easy going down, texture dry.

Overall very good beer and I'm glad I tried a few.

 344 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Gem clear, shiny copper (SRM 15). The short-lived, off-white, rocky head leaves no notable lacing on a North Coast pint glass.

The aroma is dominated by caramel and malt. Faint bourbon is noticeable while warmth brings out light butterscotch.

The flavors are rather mute for the style, especially given the bourbon barrel aging. Caramel is noticeable, as well as some bourbon, vanilla, and coconut. Sweetness is pronounced over the bitterness. The finish starts off moderate before quickly becoming faint and lingering.

The body is medium with a watery nylon texture. Alcohol is as expected, while the carbonation is modest and prickly. Slight metallic notes are also noticeable.

Enjoyable despite its unexpected modesty of flavor and aroma. This is worthy of discussion, but there is no "wow" moment to deliver on its promise.

 831 characters

Photo of elduderino28
1/5  rDev -72.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

If I wanted to drink bourbon, I would drink bourbon. This ale fails to find a balance between a beer with a hint of bourbon and the enjoyment of a liqour by itself. I enjoy bourbons, but this was an unsuccessful attempt.

 220 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.21/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap in DC. Lots of candy, sugar babies, caramel, super sweet, slippery and slick. Some wood aging apparent, but mostly sugary sweet (and delicious)

 150 characters

Photo of Zaktcc
2.31/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2

All in all, I just did not enjoy this beer. I tried, but I failed to enjoy it.
A - The beer does look enticing at first; pours a transparent brown color with a beautiful white, fluffy head that does linger around for quite a while.

S - At first, fairly pleasant and quite prominently representing the bourbon it was brewed in - not much else to the scent. However, I do not know if it was associated with the taste, but the smell progressively got less enjoyable.

T - First sip; "hmm this is not bad, wait -- eh it's alright". And it was downhill from there. I genuinely just did not enjoy the way this beer tastes. As I near the bottom of the glass while I write this review, I am contemplating just dumping the rest down the drain - something I don't think I could ever truly hold my self to doing, being, I mean, it is beer after all. I think I would just rather keep my bourbon and beer separate with this brew.

M - The only saving grace for the beer. Incredibly smooth and drinkable, well maybe more of a sipping beer given the flavor atrocity. Regardless, a truly amazing feeling beer - almost certainly contributed to the barrel aging.

O - If anyone read through all this, I think you get my overall impression...

 1,225 characters

Photo of bmeehan
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I wish I had drank this sooner after I bought it, but regardless, it's still a beer that can be appreciated. It pours a beautiful golden brown and there is a faint aftertaste of bourbon, but its scent is almost non existent and compared to other ales aged in bourbon barrels, this one is forgettable.

 300 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Rich auburn pour, little glimmers of red, orange and light brown throughout it, a fall cornacopia if you will fitting of some autumn wreath on your door and shit. Small beige head on the beer. Aroma, toffee, oak and bourbon, its a little strong and not well integrated when a heatwave hits your nose.

On the palate, the alcohol heat isn't as strong, tastes nice, integrates well. It is very strong on the charred oak and bourbon mouthfeel, this isn't all that nuanced. Some dark cherry, vanilla, caramel, toffee and plum tinge to it, hard to discern through the massive amount of oak and bourbon. Nothing in terms of hops to pick up on. The most minimalistic bitterness, and even probably half of that in which I am picking up on, is probably just alcohol heat + carbonation confusing my tongue. If there was any aspect that could use significant improvement, its the mouthfeel, the beer just felt a little too watery or thin for all the flavor and heat to it. I think more two row would bulk this up to 9-10% but taste wise, it wouldn't feel like it.

 1,053 characters

Photo of Ottoj55
3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice golden color, unexpected as that bourbon beers are often stouts. Up front smells like a shot of whiskey, good. Tastes like an awesome oak barrel and whiskey, again unexpected in a beer this lightly colored. Feel was average, a bit like a shot of booze. A good surprising beer.

 285 characters

Photo of wdberkley
1/5  rDev -72.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

First off, I'm typically a fan of anything that spends time in a barrel.

However, if you take a beer that's slightly better than hangover piss and barrel age it "for up to six weeks in freshly decanted bourbon barrels from some of Kentucky’s finest distilleries," you're bound to have something that gives off a slight hint of oak, some mediocre bourbon notes, and still tastes like hangover piss.

If I was presented with only two options for vital life sustaining hydration - drink this again or squeeze water out of elephant shit in the African Savanna a'la Bear Grylls - I'm picking the elephant shit every time.

 623 characters

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
3.05/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

L: Amber color, with minimal head that fades fast
S: smells like sweet alcohol and funky beer
T: reminds me of flat sweet wine. Likes it's been left in the glass overnight.
F: thin and watery.
O: not going to get again

 218 characters

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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