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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:
938
For Trade:
8
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Reviews: 623 | Ratings: 2,868
Photo of rangerred
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap. Served in a snifter.

Appearance is a clear, light brown. There is a thin head that doesn't stick around for long.

Smells overwhelmingly of bourbon with vanilla being the predominant smell.

At first sip there is a strong punch of bourbon. This is followed by vanilla along with some light oakiness. After sipping on the beer for awhile, the bourbon flavors subside and maltiness becomes much more predominant. I can detect very little alcohol flavor.

The mouthfeel is a little light but I don't feel it is off-putting.

Overall I think this is a very good bourbon barrel beer. The body could be thicker but the beer is fairly well balanced and is an excellent sipper.

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Photo of seabass87
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into tulip.

A- Glowing copper color. Translucent and effervescent body. Aggressive pour yields a small, short-lived, fizzy head.

S- Bourbon (surprising, I know). Apple juice, oddly enough. Not incredibly complex, but is vaguely inviting.

T- The bourbon taste isn't as strong as many bourbon barrel beers. It actually feels a bit "watered down" for lack of a better explanation, sort of like sipping a glass of bourbon after the ice has melted. I can't help but get a bit of apple juice from this... might be an anomaly. A soft vanilla taste comes during transition, and a few seconds later we are hit with a big wave of vanilla.

M- Light bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. A lighter version of a bourbon barrel ale. Dry finish.

O- This is more or less a light version of a bourbon beer. The most interesting aspect is the huge wave of vanilla that is delayed by a few seconds after transition. I had this on tap a few weeks ago and the flavors were more pronounced. Not a bad beer, could be sessionable but 8.19% ABV is a bit heavy.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter

Thanks to boxcar01 for the beer and glassware to match

This beer pours a clear golden orange color with faint residues of white on the surface. The aromatics are quite profound. The obvious aromas are bourbon and oak with hints of butterscotch and maple in the background. The off smells came from what could be interpreted as some tart white grapes, which IMO had no business being there. The flavors are also on the complicated side. There are the aforementioned bourbon, oak and butterscotch, but in addition there are strong notes of cinnamon with hints of vanilla. The body of the beer is mostly bourbon, in fact it actually tastes mostly like drinking a complicated yet super weak bourbon. The finish of the beer is interesting it leaves the taste of raspberries in my mouth and I have no idea why. The mouthfeel is a bit watery for the strong boozy bourbon character of this beer. I enjoyed drinking it. It was surprisingly intense, but manageable.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 1" off-white head. Body is slightly copper colored and slightly hazed. Smells of malt and mildly vanilla. Taste has much more vanilla, caramel, and malt, and it's a touch salty. Medium finish.

I was quite pleased with this because it brings the indulgance of bourbon without the harsh high aclohol burn common in other bourbon barrel aged beers. Nice product.

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Photo of mralphabet
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Poured a deep copper colors with a good fingers worth of head that settled to a small ring with very little lacing.

S: I'm getting a lot bourbon hints of vanilla, oak and sweet malt.

T: Pretty straight up ale in the background.... But the foreground is full wonderful bourbon, vanilla, oak and sweet malt just like it smells.. Great mix of flavors over top of an ale.... not over the normal stout.

M: Strangely light to mid bodied but so so smooth.

O: Wonderful take on a bourbon barrel idea, well worth looking for..

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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.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Westmalle goblet.

A: Clear, bourbon-y amber with minimal white head that quickly shifts to lots of interspersed bubbles.

S: Smooth Kentucky bourbon, malts and a hint of vanilla. Oak barrel in the periphery.

T: like drinking a jigger of Kentucky bourbon. Sweet, mellow. Caramel and molasses with vanilla and smokey oak. A real sipper. The alcohol slides in for the kill.

M: light to medium with light carbonation. Picking up some soft mellow fizz the longer it sits on the tongue.

O: a nice surprise. Definitely an after dinner sipper, perhaps with a cigar. More like a bourbon than a beer.

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Photo of Tartarus
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A&S: Poured into a challice, copper colored, with about a quarter inch of head that dissapated leaving a nice film on top. Smell is sort of apple-y.

T&M: Taste is slightly fruity, with a strong alcohol taste mouthfeel is very smooth. I definitely get the bourbon in the name. Taste is interesting and different, not quite aure how I feel about it.

D: Pretty drinkable considering the high abv, it comes off pretty light.

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Photo of Umbra
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on the way out of CVG at the ?& Erma's
Though it had the same great color as the bottle version, the carbonation and head were non-existent. Aroma was muted as well, with only some faint bourbon and vanilla mixing around. Again, I really liked the flavor, though the vanilla seemed to distract from the bourbon at times. Mouthfeel was medium with a sweet finish. Quite drinkable, but only for 2-3.

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Photo of Merkur
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this on tap at Drake's, a new KY based resteraunt that has opened an outpost in the Nashville area.

While a huge, huge fan of bourbon barrel aged beers (stouts especially, and who isn't), this was a bit of a let down.

This beer was served in a Kentucky Brewery snifter glass. It poured a dark amber color. Much lighter than I would have thought.

Like most good bourbon barrel aged brews, this had your usual vanilla and booze smell.

The beer tasted very strongly of the bourbon. While a good stout will pair well and not have this taste overpower the beer, for this beer it was definately in forefront.

The overall mouthfeel was much ligher than I would have imagined. Much more like a brown ale.

Overall this beer has good flavor, but by the end the flavor felt a bit played out.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz, 9/11 bottle date
Boulevard tulip

A: Pours out a clear muted orange color. Even though I didn't get a ton of head (only a ring of white), I did get a lot of tiny bubbles steaming from the bottom. Leaves some lacing. Definitely see some alcohol feet.

S: Immediately I get caramel and sweet malt. It's almost BA barleywine like initially. I get some vanilla too. Bourbon is present. The age might have killed some hops off.

T: You don't get a lot of bitterness up front anymore, but there is a touch. Sweet malts: caramel and toffee. It's very barleywine like without the body. Vanilla hints in the mid mouth. Some woodiness. The finish is creamy.

M: It's medium bodied. Creamy almost.

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Photo of vobr0002
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- nice white head, golden amber color. Almost like mixing some bourbon with light beer.

S- lots of vanilla, some bourbon and caramel but fairly muted.

T- very light flavors but a nice smooth bourbon flavor. Not too much else.

M- very smooth light body. Higher carbonation.

O- its a good beer. Its a nice change of pace when you want something light but still want the bourbon flavor.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on date of 9-1-11.

A- Pours a deep golden to lighter amber hue. Fairly translucent with a 1-finger foamy head that is gone quickly. A constant cascade of carbonation bubbles. Ok lacing.

S- Bourbon and hops combo is prominent in the scent. Underlying sweeter tones and grassy notes. Lots of oak notes.

T- Pretty much what you would think from this one. A delicious blend of bourbon and beer. Sweet notes come after a strong bourbon flavor. Hints of vanilla and slight hops bitterness intermingle. A true sipping flavor.

M- Sort of light for such a complex flavor profile. High carbonation, but not too much to overwhelm the bourbon flavors.

Overall, an interesting experience for my first oak aged beer. Not quite like sipping some Jack, but comparable. A true sipping, session beer.

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Photo of Jason
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to clvand0 for the sample ...

A- Mild haze off of a deep golden hue, thin lacing from a light carbonation.

S- WOW!! Big hit of bourbon in the aroma, sweet vanilla, alcoholic and woody.

T- Upfront malt sweetness melds perfectly with the thick layer of bourbon flavor, mild hopping shows a modest but balancing bitterness. Both vanilla and wood are all over the palate with a warming alcohol from the 7.0% abv.

M- A tad too under-carbonated for my liking but it does not really take away from the beer that much. Nice and creamy though.

D- Sipping and sipping only ... I could only see having one glass in a sitting.

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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.

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Photo of matjack85
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A friend of mine brought back a single 12oz bottle of this beer for me when he returned from the Kentucky Derby last Saturday. He said they come in 4 packs for $8.99. No freshness date.

The beer poured a perfectly clear amber/copper color with a 1½-finger white head that had decent retention. Thin rings of lace slid down the glass as I drank it.

The beer has a wonderful bourbon smell with a hefty dose of vanilla, as well as some oak barrel and alcohol.

While the bourbon isn't overpowering, it is the dominant flavor in this beer. Not much in the way of either malt or hops as vanilla, oak, and alcohol make up the balance of the flavors. Sort of reminds me of a watered down highball (whiskey and ginger ale over ice).

Much thinner and lighter than I thought it would be with carbonation on the low to moderate side. It goes down nice and smooth though.

A nice sipper and a nice change of pace beer. For a really great bourbon barreled beer, try Goose Island's.

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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!

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Photo of obywan59
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On a visit to my brothers in August, I purchased this at a Vine Grove KY convenience store (near Elizabethown). I drank half of the 4 pack at the time, and forgot to grab the other 2 when I left for the 8 hour drive home to VA. The 2 beers were still in the fridge when I returned for Christmas, and this time, made it safely home with me.

Crystal clear with a 2 finger white head from a hard pour. Bubbles of carbonation coat the inside of the glass and rise up from the base, diminishing in synchrony with the quickly shrinking head. A bright orange/copper in color. Minimal lace. Looks a bit thin to the eye.

Bourbon, vanilla and oak on the nose, combining to give the impression of dark fruits in syrup, even bananalike at times, with a bit of char. On the second glass, the vanilla/bourbon combo gave me cherry instead of banana.

Lightly sweet bourbon, vanilla and oak are even more dominant in the taste. Bitter char overcomes them all in the middle before everything mellows out in the end. Light alcohol throughout.

Moderate in body with pepper and a bit of fire yet, even after 4 1/2 months. Slightly numbing on the tongue. Nice warmth, as the fire would imply.

This beer is better for the age in my opinion. My brother described his single swallow as "stiff, but good" (he prefers Coors Light), but I agree, it seemed more harsh back in August. It's definitely more mellow now. A bit less char, and I'd have given it even higher marks.

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

-really shitty head...
- has a light whiskey scent the wood really overpowers
- taste as a English ale with a lot of oak and whiskey notes a slight skunk
-ok feel thicker
- ok beer not my style for sure, they hit alot of notes i think they were aiming for but it wasn't a enjoyable drink for me...

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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.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Almost no head, the color was bourbonesque, with soft brown tones.

The scent is creamy, milky and sweet with hints off coconuts. Very light bourbon, oak and earth are hard to come by.

The taste is very creamy, silky, milky lactose and strong coconut. I lost the actual bourbon flavor that I expected. The feel ended with a bourbon aftertaste and hints of alcohol on the tongue but overall this is a quality tasting ale.

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Photo of Veillantif
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle, about 11 degrees C, poured into a stange glass, not chilled.

A: The rustic label promises nothing more—thank God—than "ale aged in oak barrels," and that is exactly what it looks like upon pouring: a handsome oaky color. Two fingers of foamy head dwindle in under a minute down to one, then in another minute down to a gossamer thickness. Damn; wanted it to last.

S: I've had three oak-barreled, ersatz-Bourbon beers, and this is the first whose scent of Bourbon is potent without being overpowering. As I foresaw, there's a smoky flavor; as I hoped, there was an evident beer flavor, too.

T: Don't these guys get a bit of a free ride? I mean, the smoky Bourbon flavor is so irresistible that it almost inoculates a brew like this from criticism. But other than its tree-given charm, is there something beerishly great about this one? Beerishly good, yes: this is by no means third-rate swill given instant cred with a flavor gimmick. But what do I taste after that admittedly awesome rush of smokiness passes? Vanilla, sweet malt: agreeable subordinate flavors that know their place.

M: I wish that the carbonation were a little more robust, since it's way too easy to drink something too delicious too fast. But I'll tell you, this aftertaste will make the happiest ex-smoker in the land light up within five minutes.

D: My dream is that someday, some enterprising fellows will come along and make Trappist-style ale with crystal malt, then age it in these oak barrels. On that day thereon I will drink nothing else whatsoever as long as I live. Until then I will happily drink another one of these babies whenever I happen to be in the Bluegrass State.

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Photo of megahurts4
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

Appearance: amber, small head, and some lacing.

Smell: bourbon sweetness and a malty grain.

Taste: bourbon, oak, and a malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel: medium and sweet.

Overall:
This has a nice bourbon flavor, but I think it may be a tad too sweet.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I got a bottle of Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company's Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale that my brother brought back from his trip down south. I have had this beer a couple times a while ago, this was actually my first Bourbon Barrel beer that I ever I had, I liked it, but I thought that it was pretty intense, so lets see what I think of it now. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- I like the label on this beer it's pretty clean and classic looking, it looks pretty good to me. It poured a lighter caramel color that took on a nice bright copper hue when held to the light and it had two fingers worth of white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end. This was a decent looking strong ale, but I wish it had better head retention and lacing.

S- The aroma starts off with a pretty heavy bourbon aroma that imparts some oak, vanilla, and slightly smokey aromas. Next comes some sweet malts that impart a molasses, toffee, caramel, and some booze soaked raisins. The caramel and toffee come through again towards the end along with a lighter boozy aroma. This was a great and complex smelling beer, the malt base isn't covered up and there tons of great complex aromas imparted from the Bourbon Barrels.

T- The taste follows the aroma nicely with the sweet malts showing up first and they impart some sweet caramel and molasses flavors with a slight bit of toffee. Next comes some flavors from the barrel, I get some vanilla, oak, charred oak, and Bourbon flavors. Towards the end I get some Bourbon soaked raisins and a lighter alcohol presence that isn't warming and it had a low amount of medium bitterness. This was a good tasting beer, the heavy caramel flavor helped balance all those flavors from the barrel, but the flavors did taste slightly watery.

M- Pretty smooth, crisp, slightly creamy, medium bodied, with a higher amount of prickly carbonation. The mouthfeel was going the right direction till I got to the carbonation, it was just too prickly for this style of the beer and the body could have been a little thicker.

Overall I thought that this was a good beer and a good example of barrel aged beer that isn't a Stout, Stouts usually work the best because of how their robust malty taste balances out the heavy barrel notes, but with this beer the malt base was very caramel like which provided good balance to the barrel aspects of this beer. This beer had pretty good drinkability, it went down pretty smooth for a barrel aged beer, it wasn't overly boozy, I could see drinking another one if I had it. What I liked most about this beer was the aroma, it was really nice and complex, just what I want from a barrel aged American Strong Ale. What I liked least about this beer was the slightly thin body and the prickly carbonation, the body was the main flaw with this beer. I would buy this beer again when in the mood for a cheaper barrel aged beer, but it isn't available here, so who knows when I will be able to drink it again. I recommend giving this beer a try, it might make for a good introduction to barrel aged beers, it worked for me, maybe it can work for you. This beer made for a good first impression for this brewery, I would like to try some of their other beers. This is a good example of a barrel aged American Strong Ale, it had good flavors and was nicely balanced which isn't that easy to do when barrel aging a beer, this is good but it can't hang with some of the better bourbon barrel beers, but it's a good easily accessible example of the style and that isn't easy to come by, good brew guys.

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Photo of smalenberg
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - lovely amber with slightly beige head

S - Woodiness from the barrel aging, bourbon and malty sweetness combine. Bourbon comes through stronger as the beer rests and hints of alcohol strength.

T - very flavorful malty sweetness with caramel and candy notes followed quickly by the strength of the bourbon.

M - smooth with a bite of alcohol, the body seems light at first, but as the bourbon makes its presence know, it moves quickly to medium. Some alcohol warmth, but not unpleasant. Long lingering bourbon sweetness on the palate.

O - Really glad I've had the opportunity to taste the base amber used to make this beer, which is good in its own right. The bourbon barrel aging takes it up a few notches. Very well done and well worth a try if you appreciate bourbon.

In a Duvel glass.

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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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