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 | website

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:
39.5%
 
 
Wants:
152
Gots:
925
For Trade:
8
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 618 | Ratings: 2,842
Photo of brap
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent and drinkable but didn't really taste all that barreled. I've had some barrelled beer where you really can taste the nuances of the wood but this just seemed like a sweetish ale. Not horrible but didn't have the complexity the name suggested. Seemed more marketing ploy than anything. Given the price per 12 oz bottle there are a number of different directions I would go before returning to this. That said, if someone handed me a cold one, I wouldn't turn it away.

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Photo of Bunman3
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Could be the best beer deal ever - I picked up a growler of this for $4.99 at Wine and Beyond in Sherwood Park. This ale poured nicely with a reasonable amount of head that disappeared fairly quickly (not surprising for a draft growler that has been sitting for a couple of days.) The bourbon flavour is just enough to give this ale a very unique and pleasant taste. It has a decent amount of kick and goes down very nicely. The combination of great taste and killer deal make this a highlight reel brew.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

So I saw this sitting on the shelves at Marty's and figured it was worth a shot. Last night we were hanging around with a buddy and both of our wives. We were trying some beers and this one finally hit the table. The women absolutely loved it. My buddy's wife calls it her "Coconut beer"

She is correct that the beer smells a even taste quite a bit like coconut. Reminded her of sun tan lotion which she meant as a compliment.

A light amber/copper color that is very bright. A decent light beige head shows some retention. Not much in the way of lacing.

In addition to the description above the aroma also had a lot of vanilla and straight bourbon notes. The oak was very present.

I really wasn't expecting much and I'm not sure why, but this was pretty damn good. The flavors were lead by bourbon and the entire gang from the aroma came for the ride. Coconut, vanilla, oak... Really nice flavor. All the bourbon with none of the booziness. I have to admit they fooled me on the abv. After drinking for a bit I was asked what the abv was and I said I didn't know, but it didn't seem high and I guesses 5ish... At 8.1 this hides the abv extremely well. Frankly scary well.

The body is the one area where I think this has room for improvement. It seemed just a hair too thin for all the other components. Just a touch more body and this could get very interesting.

I was shocked we all like this so much and the ladies want to know when I can get more.

Looks like this will be in my beer fridge again. Definitely worth picking up.

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Photo of Chaz
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant brass in color, exhibiting average amount of carbonation. The beer is topped with a two-fingered, lighter tan head (more off-white) which falls rather quickly and leaves a ring of foamy lace and thin film on top.

Nose offers vanilla and sort of an indeterminate malty fruitiness. On second guess, the bourbon aspect is full and there's even some boozy character. There's an almost tropical sensibility on the nose -- tropical fruit and rum with vanilla? It's a little odd, and much different than what I was expecting...

Sweet and full of the bourbon barrel character on the first sip. Equal parts warming alcohol and vanilla overtones, along with the tropical fruit aspect present in the malt character on the nose, and WOW! Am I tasting coconut, or am I just imagining it?

Mouthfeel is a little fuller than I'd expect (and the barrel treatment always seems to thin any beer style), but it's really sort of an average mouthfeel, and the carbonation actually seems lighter on the palate than it "looked" streaming from the bottom of the glass...

Overall this is a quirky drink. It's no carbon copy barrel-aged anything, and is instead unique enough to seek out insofar as the flavor is concerned. Frankly --and though I'm sure it isn't to everyone's liking-- as a fan of shmaltzy Tiki drinks I might seek to buy this one by the case!

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Photo of jera1350
3.91/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a tulip a dark gold color with a creamy clean white cap of foam on top.

The aroma lends notes of sour whiskey, cherry and vanilla. After some hard digging, I can pick out some coconut faintly. The nose a little light overall though.

Whiskey notes up front, followed by rather strong vanilla and toasted coconut. A very long and pleasant finish full of the aforementioned flavors. I wish the malt bill was a little bigger on this one, with some added sweetness. Right now, it tastes like a light version of Backwoods Bastard, which is still a fine quality to have.

Very smooth, but the body could use a bit of heft to round it out. Very dry feeling as well.

Rather enjoyed this one. Lives up to all of the bourbon barrel in its name. I just wish it had some more malt to add sweetness and body. It would then be an "A" or higher in my book. Still, this is one tasty beer. Actually kind of nice to have a barrel aged beer under ten percent alcohol for once. I would certainly pick this one up again.

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Photo of oberon
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Maybe the first Kentucky beer I have had,I poured into an oversized wine glass to get the full aroma aspects of this beer,it poured clear deep golden with a very thin head,good clarity just not much head to it.Man that stuff smells like Wild Turkey,full oak and vanilla/caramel notes with a bit of biscuit malt,no hop presence that I could find.Light mouthfeel but not sharp,just a little thinner than expected I guess.Flavors are oaky and vanilla tinged with that caramel and and biscuit showing through as well,again no hop presence noticrable in my mind.Something a little different,it tastes just as much as a bourbon as a strong ale,but I liked it for a change of pace.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber in color with some yellow and golden highlights. Scant fizzy head but that's to be expected given the style. It kind of looks like bourbon.
Smells of bourbon with hints of oak burning in a woodstove. The aroma is not as strong as I expected.
Bourbon flavored. Suprise! There's also hints of vanilla and maybe coconut. Again for a barrel aged beer it's kind of mild. It's still complex and tasty though. This beer's almost suductive in it's flavor profile.
Lighter in body than most of the style but this doesn't detract from the overall experience of drinking the beer.
Nice beer that I'm glad I've had the oppurtunity to try, thanks to Grafton.

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Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Harrigan’s Tavern, Dayton, OH

A: The beer is crystal clear light amber in color. It poured with a thin head on the surface that left some lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderate to strong aromas of bourbon in the nose; the smell intensifies as the beer warms up.
T: Similar to the smell, the bourbon barrel aging really stands out in the taste, imparting flavors of bourbon and vanilla along with hints of oak. The vanilla becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The bourbon is nicely incorporated into this beer and doesn’t really add alcohol heat. I enjoyed this because the bourbon is very evident but not overpowering.

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Photo of gobrewins
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a glass.

A: Light brownish copper in color, decidedly translucent, pours with a light, not foamy head that does not last for too long and does not re-form well after sips are taken.

S: Smells like a bottle of Jack Daniels, only not as strong of course, due to the much reduced alcohol percentage in comparison

T: Strong bourbon flavor makes this ale seem to have the character of a darker ale, though it is not. A much greater malt presence than hop presence, and not a lot of other flavors are there to overpower the bourbon.

M:The bourbon flavor creates a small burn through each sip, with the sugary malts present on the tongue.

Overall, I'm very happy with this beer. The bourbon is the strongest flavor, perhaps overpowering the other flavors of the ale. And yet, what does one really expect when they're picking up something called "bourbon barrel ale"? Adding that to the fact that bourbon is one of the few liquors I enjoy drinking, and you end up with a beer I strongly approve of. Great taste, definitely would get again.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this in a BIF, along with a matching snifter. My only glass specific to a single beer, so I've gotta use it. Tasted 2 September 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours a very clear, pale golden-orange. Half-finger of whitish head, not much lacing. OK.

Smells like whiskey. Really, that's all I get from it. But that's what it's supposed to smell like, so I'm fairly impressed. Not much beer character at all.

Tastes like watered-down whiskey. I get some grainy flavors up-front, but it's a whole lot like a shot of whiskey with water. Interesting. There's no sharpness at all, no alcohol bite, no burn. It's like they pulled just the flavor out, and somehow made the beer taste like that.

Mouthfeel is fine. Watery, with medium-low carbonation.

The thing that amazes me about this beer is how they seem to have pulled all the flavor, the essence, or bourbon out, without the alcohol or the sharp edges. Probably the mellowest bourbon-forward beer I've ever had. Unusual, and quite tasty.

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Photo of yankeej13
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this beer as a present from a friend who went driving up north and on his way back down south saw this and thought of me so I thank him for that!

Apperance- A nice light red color with a nice little rim of foam. Lots of carbonation, nearly clung to the glass making it hard to tell the color of the beer lol.

Smell- I have never had a bourbon ale before so I was not sure what or what not I was supposed to smell but this you can clearly tell, it had bourbon in it...duh.

Taste- It was pretty well balanced. It did not have an overpowering bourbon taste As quick as you taste the bourbon its gone a second later.

Mouthfeel- Nice light and very crisp. Leaves a small hint of bourbon behind with leaves your mouth with a good flavor.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer considering I would have never tried this if my friend did not bring it to me so for that I say...Cheers!

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Photo of ixodus
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to auroracrisis for providing this in a trade.

A: Pours golden amber in color with a small white head that dissipates quickly into foam just covering the surface leaving no lacing.

S: Bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, bread, small trace of alcohol.

T: The barrel is on the main stage in this one. Oak, vanilla, and bourbon in the forefront, and bready caramel in the back. Quite smooth and not very hot, easy drinking,

M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation and a little bit of warming from the alcohol. Could have been a little more full.

O: Overall it's definitely the most easy to drink bourbon barrel beer I've ever had. My glass went empty fast. If it were available here I'd definitely pick some up.

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Photo of cincyfan90
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: A strong, sweet nose of bourbon and vanilla

Taste: The bourbon presence is more so in the nose rather than the taste; this beer has sweet caramel notes along with the spice of bourbon and vanilla.

Overall: A pleasant beer that can be paired well with Flan, jalapeno cornbread, and smoked pork.

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Photo of bluegrassbrew
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter with its own logo, this brew looks nice. An interesting red tea like color to it. Small head quickly drops to nothing. Smell is a tad weak. Bourbon dominates with some wood in there as well. Taste is sweet candy and bourbon. No real hop presence detected. Lighter than I would have expected but the mouthfeel is just right. Very drinkable as an after dinner beer.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap and served in a snifter, the beer is a light, clean, golden-chestnut coloring with a thin, off-white head. Aromas are light and sweet, with a vanilla, slight booze, and creamy blend. The beer's flavors are smooth and rich, with a cream overlay of the booze/bourbon characteristics, with a light toffee malt laced throughout. The aftertaste is the creamy sweetness, almost buttercream. Smooth, light finish. Very enticing. Strong flavor profiles, but remains well balanced on the smooth body.

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Photo of gcamparone
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A-Pours a clear golden amber body with a medium 2 finger fizzy white head that reduces fairly quickly to leave spotty lacing.

S- Lots of whiskey, not much beer. Smells like a glass of whiskey on the rocks without the alcohol. Caramel and vanilla. There's a metallic aroma too.

T- A little nicer than the aroma but still very one-dimensional. Sweet caramel, butterscotch, french vanilla. Definitely get whiskey and maybe some bready malt in the aftertaste.

M- Medium body, medium-high carbonation. Pretty drinkable for the abv.

Overall a decent beer. Pros: it's drinkable, pretty flavorful, and definitely has a heavy bourbon character. Cons: One-dimensional and a little too bourbon forward.

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Photo of cyclewag
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Really have to have a taste for the brown liquor store enjoy these new beer plus blends. Being a fan of Innis and Gunn Rum cask aged I thought I'd try this and whiskey and scotch beer blends... Not for me.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 03/27/11 notes. Shared by Thorpe429 at a local DC tasting. Bottle says "Official Beer of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games"...awesome that they chose an 8.19% ABV bourbon barrel aged beer as their official beer.

a - Pours a clear golden color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks nothing like an American strong ale; I was shocked how light in color it was.

s - Smells of heavy bourbon, vanilla, bready malts, light oak. Pretty enjoyable.

t - Tastes of light bourbon, oak, vanilla, bready malts, wheat. Bourbon is up front in the taste, but not as strong as the nose.

m - Light body and moderate carbonation. For a bourbon barrel aged beer that is over 8% ABV, this one was insanely drinkable. I would have had no problem drinking the entire bottle myself.

o - Overall this was an interesting bourbon barrel aged beer that I enjoyed and thought worked well. I don't think it is an American strong ale, but more like a light beer aged in bourbon barrels. None the less something I would like to have again sometime.

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Photo of donspublic
3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
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

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Photo of thebeers
3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Leathery orange-brown color with a half-finger of white head. Wood, chocolate and caramel on the nose. Light-bodied in comparison to most barrel-aged beers, with good carbonation that really makes the caramel flavor pop. There's a definite, but light and easy-drinking, bourbon flavor to it. It's just a fun, quaffable beer.

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Photo of merlin48
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first experience with the bottled version. Pours a clear light amber body that seems a shade lighter than the draft version. Head is small and shortlived and leaves some wispy spots of lace on the snifter. Aroma is bourbon, and lots of it. Vanilla and oak notes are also prominent. Body is light to light medium, almost watery. Low carbonation. Taste has plenty of bourbon, joined by flaked coconut and vanilla. Slight caramel notes are also present and the wood tones are prevalent. Hops aren't noticed but there is a pleasant bourbon bitterness all the way through. A good sipper, but I still prefer this on draft.

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Photo of MattyG85
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep copper orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of off white head which fades into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lace.

Smell: A very whiskey forward and fairly sweet malty aroma. Big barrel presence with hints of bourbon whiskey, wood, oak chips, and vanilla. Toasted malts with hints of sweet caramel, toffee, yeast, grains, and biscuit. Also some sweet hints of molasses and brown sugar. Hop presence is very light. A little scent of booze. Aroma is pretty much bourbon and caramel malt. Decent.

Taste: Like it smells, very barrel forward with with sweet notes of caramel malt. Barrel notes of bourbon whiskey, oak chips, wood, and vanilla upfront. Toasty malts with sweet notes of caramel, toffee, grain, yeast, and biscuit. Some molasses and brown sugar add to the sweetness. Very little in the way of hops. Sweet but smooth and not syrupy. Decent bourbon taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, smooth, and slightly slick. Alcohol presence is pretty smooth for a barrel aged beer.

Overall: A decent barrel aged brew. Good smooth whiskey taste. The base beer could of had some more substance but it went well with the barrel.

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Photo of endincolorado
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an ultra-clear, pale copper with a decent, off-white head that settles quickly. Lacing is adequate.

Aroma is heavy on vanilla and slight woodiness, reminds me of whiskey and water. Some sweet malt aroma- no hops.

Flavor is also big on vanilla and is pleasantly reminiscent of bourbon, though also slightly of cream soda as well. A lingering sweetness and a slight hop presence can be found in the finish.

Mouthfeel is okay. Could be a little creamier, and less carbonated.

A drinkable beer, and one that might be a stand-by if not for the price tag. I'd heard this was amazing and I was skeptical. It's pretty good, but there are a lot better barrel-aged beers.

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Photo of mcguirmn
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter.

Appearance: pours an orange-amber color. Minimal carbonation.

Smell: obvious Bourbon presence. Other than that, not much there smell-wise. I gave it a 4.5 because I really like Bourbon.

Taste: I scored the taste a little lower because, as other reviewers noted, besides the Bourbon, there isn't much else there taste-wise.

Carbonation: thin. Low carbonation.

Overall: I might be a little biased, given my love of whiskey and bourbon, but I really liked this beer. I first tried it by drinking it straight out of the bottle, and it tasted a bit harsh. But when I tried it out of the kentucky bourbon barrel ale snifter, it was much more enjoyable. This beer has all the taste of bourbon without any of the harshness.

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Photo of 57md
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

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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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