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

BA SCORE
82
good
631 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:
631
Ratings:
2,900
Avg:
3.63
pDev:
18.18%
 
 
Wants:
155
Gots:
957
For Trade:
8
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 631 | Ratings: 2,900
Photo of BourbonKYGent
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Mmmmm....I'm not sure if it's the beer or my uncontrollable desire for Bourbon (i.e. Makers Mark) but WOW this beer smells good. I must admit the only way I'd ever drink this brew is on tap. I tried it once from a bottle and it tasted like moldy cheese... totally serious. If you like bourbon you'd probably like this one. However, BEWARE... in the words of a famous comedian "it'll get ya DRUNK!" The ABV is high...I mean really high, so be careful because it tastes good and you might want a few. Also, it's extremely expensive. Which may drive you to try it on bottle, but remember... it'll taste like poopy cheese. So with all that said, break the bank and put on your favorite seersucker suit because it's derby day and you'll need a Bourbon Ale... but really a mint julep if we're being totally honest.

 808 characters

Photo of denver10
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with absolutely no head. Aroma is nice and oaky, soft bourbon presence, vanilla, and a tease of some toffee. Aroma is nice but I wish it could have had a touch more depth to allow it to be great; nails the bourbon and barrel influence, lacks enough beer presence. Flavor is toasty and spiceyy with oak, vanilla, toffee, and a soft bourbon presence. A medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this far surpassed my expectations. I always saw this one on tap at the craft bars in Colorado but always passed on it. For whatever reason I assumed it was a dud. Now that I am living in Kentucky and found singles of it on the local shelves, figured I'd give it shot. Certainly glad I did, decent stuff.

 710 characters

Photo of Cylinsier
3.99/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz

Pours clear brownish golden. Off-white lacing for a head.

Smells of brown sugar, biscuit, toffee, and bourbon.

Tastes of biscuit malt, brown sugar, and whiskey. Hint of maple.

Medium body with tingly carbonation on the tongue. Hint of warmth.

Pretty good ale with a nice bourbon flavor and feel. Goes down easy and is something I will probably look for again.

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Photo of Hopscat
3.99/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber color with little head. Server in a small snifter @ John Barleycorns in Chicago. Nose is definitely bourbon with some vanilla and caramel hints. Smells delicious.
Taste follows with bourbon up front and mild smoked and vanilla- caramel malts in mid-palate and bourbon and alcohol burn asserting itself in the end. Not overwhelming for me . Can understand how some can be put off by the bourbon- but really, it's in the Name !
Overall this is a well made beer for the type . Will seek this out again.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4/5  rDev +10.2%

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, golden amber/straw color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed wispy clouds that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Boozy, as you can definitely smell the bourbon of the bourbon barrels the beer was aged in, as well as some oak, vanilla, butter, toasted malt, toffee.

Taste: Interesting. Pretty damn good, in fact! Strong malt notes up front, imparting flavors of buttered toast, caramel and toffee-like sweetness. I also get some vanilla and oak, along with the boozy bourbon flavors courtesy of the aging in bourbon barrels.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, and pretty smooth, as there is pretty much no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 8.19%, there is a definite presence of alcohol on the palate, imparting a pleasant warmth in the mouth.

Overall: This is a much better beer than I was expecting. Nice malt notes, nicely balanced with toffee and caramel and the bourbon overtones. Very nice! I’d certainly drink it again.

 1,117 characters

Photo of Shadar
4/5  rDev +10.2%

While not my favorite style of beer, it's hard to argue about the quality. This stuff is exquisitely smooth and is one of the most amazing mixing beers I've found. Combined with a vanilla porter, for example, you have a very amazing combination.

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

Had this beer at Mead Hall in Cambridge. Served cool, on tap and in a snifter.

Pours incredibly clear amber body and an off white ring head. This is a simple review. Smells like whisky, tastes like whisky. Just had a much lighter body than whisky. No very beer like but an amazing beer to try. Very drinkable. Whisky without the burn.

 335 characters

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

poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Glowing golden body with easily 2 fingers of white head. Good lacing that sticks al over glass.

Smell: Bourbon, oak, and more booze.

Taste: This is an interesting beer! Sweet taste of bourbon, caramel, and butterscotch. Hints of oak and light taste of tannins. A buttery, desert like flavor continues through the middle to end of taste. Very nice balance of flavors here; nothing is overly sweet and very well integrated flavors in this beer.

Mouthfeel: This beer is really creamy and accentuates the sweetness noted in the taste.

Overall: This was a really tasty beer! I nice surprise that a friend brought home with him for us to try. I will be looking for this beer and it is worth seeking out; quite good!

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Photo of aubuc1
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in to a snifter.

Pours a light brown with a thin white head.

Smell is first smooth whiskey, then a mellow malty bread. Don't know if I should sip it or bite in to it.

Taste reminds me of a bourbon/vanilla creamshake. The vanilla is very pronounced after the bourbon.

Good mouthfeel and good drinkability for a bourbon beer.

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

Huge thanks to kmpitz2 for this sample.
Poured from a growler into a snifter glass.

For those of you who live in the Midwest, this beer reminds me Vernor's soda pop, not just in appearance but also in smell. I mean this tastes like bourbon flavored Vernor's pop. Crazy! Pours a clear brilliant golden color, looks like Southern Comfort. A nice half inch thick bright white head forms. No lacing is left behind. Big bourbon aromas, combined with vanilla, wood, and coconut. Very pleasing on the nose. Well balanced flavors of bourbon and beer. Both compliment each other well. Medium to light bodied and a nice smooth mouthfeel. This is way too easy to drink. I'm glad I have a growler of this stuff!! See ya in the emergency room! Thanks again, Kevin!

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Photo of capeannbass36
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into snifter that came with beer.
Clear, amber. 1/4 inch head that quickly dissipated. Minimal lacing.

S- Sweet, bourbon, vanilla, a little wood.

T- Surprisingly tastes just as good as it smells. Bourbon and vanilla. Caramel comes out as beer temperature rises. Slightly warm feeling after swallowing.

M- Light to medium body. Light carbonation.

O- I really enjoyed this. Definitely going out to find some more.

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

I got this as an extra in a trade with 6DaysBottomOcean recently. I am very excited for this one for I haven't heard of it until it fell in my lap. Poured into a pint glass. This one is a very clear amber color with about two fingers of bubbly white head. Nice sticky lacing on this. The smell is unlike any other beer I can recall. Smells of rich butterscotch and sweet bourbon run straight to the front. My words can't do the smell justice. It has a certain sweetness to the aroma that I am familiar with but can't place my finger on. It smells really nice and very malty with subtle oak undertones. I'm intrigued to say the least. It has a nice balance of bourbon and malt with a slight sweetness that I can only call comforting. The bourbon hits nicely right up front but it creeps very subtly, to finish strongly with sweet malts and a spot on oak flavor. The mouthfeel is as expected, medium bodied with fair carbonation. For what this is I would say it is quite drinkable, even though I would only want it once in a while. It is however, really hitting the spot on a cool Autumn night in New England.

 1,107 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 NuclearDolphin
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sniffer

Appearance - Dark orange with a hazy appearance; good lacing on the side

Smell - Vanilla, Oak, Whisky, Scotch, Malts, and toffee. It's like smelling an actual bottle of bourbon with a slightly more vanilla scent

Taste - Vanilla, Oak, Whisky, Scotch, Toffee, Malts and Yeast. While it still tastes great, the flavors all come off as a bit underwhelming despite the complexity.

Mouthfeel - Crisp and light with some moderate carbonation. It feels great and refreshing but it would feel much better if it had a creamy texture to it

Overall - As a bourbon ale, it's good but it feels a bit underwhelming for what it is. That doesn't mean that it's a bad beer, far from it! For a beer in general, it's pretty damn good.

 741 characters

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

thanks goes to weeare138 for this beer. poured like southern comfort with a very small off white to beige head. aroma whiskey when it is first poured into the glass than get some vanilla, woody, a slight floral. flavor wow just like Jack Daniels with out the alcohol kick. If I didn’t pour this myself I would have never guessed this to be a beer. that said this was good.

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Photo of jwc215
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this one!

Pours bright, clear copper with a thin head that becomes a thin cover. Some lacing follows down the glass.

The smell is of bourbon whiskey. Vanilla and oak really stand out. Caramel/toffee backs it up.

The taste is of bourbon. The vanilla and oak are quite strong. Caramel shows a firm maltiness. A light touch of earthy bitterness balances some of the sweetness. Whiskey hangs on well into the aftertaste.

It's on the full side of medium with medium carbonation.

Alcohol is reasonably well-covered, but this is still a sipping, one at a sitting brew for me. Nice bourbon character. Barrel aging well-done.

 649 characters

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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Photo of MDekker
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Straight from my brother in Lexington, KY! Pours out light brown, clearly filtered, with a disappointingly small head. It smells sweet, like alcohol, bourbon, and orange. Naturally, there's bourbon in the flavor, which makes it quite unique. The hops at the end are just enough to balance the sweetness, but don't do any more than that. Overall, it's different, but good. In the mouth it's actually quite smooth, and has a slight and satisfying aftertaste. Went down easy, althogh the slightly higher alcohol was noticable.

 523 characters

Photo of HardTarget
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Surprisingly light color, clear amber blonde, almost orange tint. Looks a bit like Bourbon, save the thin but full cover of white head that sticks to the side of the glass.

Smell: Boozy, with a worty sweetness.

Taste: Unsurprisingly, a bit of bourbon with my beer. It's not unpleasant, which is to say I don't care for bourbon generally, but occasionally will have one. The bourbon is a firm part of the flavor but melds with the English Strong base and fits rather well. A light smoky aspect but no real strong wood flavors, which is a nice departure from most attempts in barrel aged beers.

Mouthfeel: A bit prickly, seems a touch over carbonated but lots of body keeps it far from fizzy. Lightly slick texture and a slow drying clean finish.

Overall: I didn't expect to like this beer much, and am pleasantly impressed to be very wrong. Rich complementing flavors, heavy body pushing me around at over 8% abv.
I feels sophisticated sipping on this one. Quite refined and enjoyable.
Solid brew!

Thanks to Illudium for the sample!

 1,051 characters

Photo of secondtooth
4.04/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber, with a solid head of fine, off-white foam. No lace to speak of.

Aroma is distinctly bourbon...I get oak wood and vanilla. Oh, the vanilla.

Taste is pretty strong, sweet but with an unmistakable bourbon feel. Actually, this is the most "bourbon-like" of any barrel-aged brew I've ever had.

Alcohol is strong here, and this is an ideal middle-ground in-between beer and whiskey. Not for the faint of heart, but unique and innovative all the same.

 460 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
4.04/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this beer at the midwest brew fest. The beer poured a copperish color with a minimial head. Smells like whiskey rather than beer. Taste like a combination of bourbon and beer which I find unique. Went down smooth as beer and with a hint of whiskey. Overall a good beer for those who like bourbon.

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Photo of bheilman
4.04/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice golden color with a decent head with a medium to high amount of carbonation. The smell is fantastic. Somewhat sweet smell with a delicious slightly bourbon accented aroma. The taste is solid but not mind blowing. About what you would expect although a lot lighter than any other beer I've had that was aged in bourbon barrels. Leaves a decent aftertaste, but the lightness allows the taste to fade quickly. Fairly drinkable for a stronger beer although I would want to switch up after about three or four of these because it has more sweetness than a typical beer. Overall I was pleasantly surprised and although it isn't the most tasty bourbon barrel beer I've had it is still a special beer.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.04/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from a friend in Cincinnati. Enjoyed with some Skyline Chili. Tasty combination!

A: Clear dark golden color with barely any head. Light pale tan foam lingers for a bit.

S: A nice blast of bourbon on the nose. Some nice vanilla and hints of brandy soaked apricot and oak.

T: The base beer does just enough here to not take away from all the great bourbon flavor but to also not let this beer become a bourbon bomb. Some lightly bready malts peek from behind the bourbon and go well with the subtle vanilla and charred oak bourbon flavor. Very drinkable for all the bourbon present.

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Photo of beeragent
4.04/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a glass from a 12oz. bottle. The beer poured a clear medium amber, forming a thin white head which quickly faded. The aroma is strong bourbon along with a hint of malt. The taste is a smooth combination of bourbon, malt, caramel, and a hint of vanilla. Not very complex, but the simplicity works for this brew. Clean smooth mouthfeel. Aside from the slightly higher abv., this is definitely a beer I wouldnt mind having a few of. Overall, I was expecting a bad tasting beer after hearing reviews about it, but I was suprised to find that the beer actually had a good flavor. I will definitely buy this again. Recommended!!

 634 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.04/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Urbancaver for sending this my way.

a - opened the bottle and filled my founders sniftery tulip. The stream from the bottle was a pretty soft yellow, but it settled as much more orange in the glass. Very lively visible carbonation...head was thin and didn't hang long, but could be rebuilt on command, but would leave quickly. Lacing is pretty sparse.

s - Yum. A nice sweet woody bourbon smell. A tangy vanilla...like vanilla extract is also present, but sweet oaky bourbon tells the story. Quite nice if you like that (which I do). Toffee as well.

t - WOW...that was a surprise. This beer is dominated by a toffee like caramel or even butterscotch. The heavy bourbon on the nose is much tamer on the flavor. This is a great tasting beer, but it is a bit muted and watered down in the flavor.

m - surprisingly watery and thin. leaves a sweet aftertaste, not as much tingle as I would've expected...not as bourbony as I expected.

o - overall after a sniff, I was ready for a new favorite, but then was surprised when the beer hit my lips. Don't get me wrong, this is a solid beer, and VERY unique (the butterscotch toffee thing is pretty crazy), but the flavor is a bit watered down. If I could turn up the flavor intensity a few notches, this would be an A+ beer. That being said, I'd love to have another and another since it is such an easy drinker.

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
3.63 out of 5 based on 2,900 ratings.
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