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

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

Brewed by:
Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
Kentucky, United States

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.

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User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 691 | Ratings: 3,145
Photo of LAND_MINE
1.61/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This label should read: Aged in Bourbon barrels for 3 minutes. Where is the Bourbon? I couldn't taste any. I have tried two different "BBA" beers from here and felt like I was drinking water. Also, what awards did this win? Only thing I could figure is that the Bourbon they got from the barrels won awards. The same barrels they swished this beer in for 30 seconds. I highly recommend that you find something else to drink as this is NOT a BBA beer.

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Photo of cwm51662
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This was a beer first tried in the midst of a long night. Was glad to later find out it was as good as it seemed then. Prolly one of the weakest aromas I've hit, but full flavor.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.26/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Clear amber with a soft, even fuzzy blanket.

Aroma is mild of banana bread and pear.

Taste has a smooth toastiness with banana bread, very light wood and some sweet cola with a faint splash of bourbon heat and spiced apple. I think maybe vanilla tones from the barrel are creating the banana-like effect.

Full body, soft carbonation, finishing semi-dry.

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Photo of FullOfHopkins
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Solid beer. Very easy to drink for 8%. This is a great beer to follow up a good meal with it. It’s got a nice flavor, it’s smooth, and it’s just sweet enough to really compliment a meal, almost like wine. Flavors aren’t very complex and are a little *too* sweet for my general preference, but overall I definitely enjoy it. Nice vanilla and bourbon notes, and they hide the booze really well. Overall, not my favorite but a very solid beer that I would (and will) drink again.

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Photo of ctmiami
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Probably not my favorite style but a big success in my house with family and friends over thanksgiving , People where impressed with the aroma and flavors. You can definitely smell and taste the bourbon and the barrel.

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Photo of j_albatross
3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Soapy loose head in a pint glass. Copper, light amber color. Light, sweet bourbon nose. Very sweet ale, malty forward, with rich notes of good bourbon and an oaky finish. The thin body of an American domestic lager or ale makes for easy sipping. Overall pleasantly surprised, was great as an after lunch digestif.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

There's a fingernail of dishwater white around the rim and most of the middle. The beer is copper in appearance. The aroma is difficult to seek out but I get some vague cereal grains. I'm tasting caramel with a hint of bourbon at the back of the palate. The mouth is dry, warm, and a touch thin.

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Photo of Bruno74200
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Tastes like a strong bud infused with bourbon. I wouldn't go back to it. I understand now the price (less than €3) for a bourbon barrel aged beer. Not worthy

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Photo of ZCarper
2.97/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer tasted like liquid popcorn. It tasted like I was drinking a stick of butter. I had drank a devil's ale right before and I think the pale ale dimmed the true flavor.

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Photo of bobv
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Moderate pour yields a one inch white head over a bright amber body with some lacing. Head is gone in a few minutes. Nose of slight vanilla, oak, and slight bourbon. Another "let it warm" offering. Tastes of bourbon and vanilla, but only after some time in the glass. Good feel and overall, pretty tasty and with some patience, rather enjoyable. Cheers!

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Photo of GiselesGazelle
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a perfect pint glass

Appearance - just under a finger of head, white that has a hint of beige to it. Head dissipates fairly fast, the lacing quickly trails off. This beer is fairly translucent, but has a nice golden-amber body.

Smell - aroma is fairly sweet, vanilla, bourbon, yeasty wheat. It's hopped with fuggles, which imparts an earthy, woody scent.

Taste - I'm a fan of wheaty malts. The vanilla comes through bright and clear, finishing with the distinct charred oak. The bourbon is there, but it's pretty light. Lightly bitter.

Mouth feel - moderate carbonation with light-medium body, smooth finish. I'm not sure if "robust" is the right way to describe this, but that's not a bad thing.

Overall - pleasantly surprised with this one. Really solid 8.2% abv, smooth finish. If you like wheat beers, this is a really good option. I feel like the bourbon barrels are a bit of a tease, this one could really be pushed to the next level if they aged it a bit longer, but I guess that's the trade off for price and storage space. I would definitely buy this one again.

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Photo of CHickman
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear gold color with a 1 finger foamy off white that faded slowly and left minimal spotty lacing.

Smells of vanilla, coconut, toffee, caramel, butterscotch, oaky notes, wine and funky yeast. The vanilla really stands out and dominated the nose.

Tastes of sweet malt, caramel, toffee, graham cracker, wheat bread, light booze, bourbon, charred wood, maple syrup, tea leaf, light peppery spices and earthy notes. Really nice oaky and vanilla notes, with a fine level of sweetness that hides the ABV well. Goes down pretty easy for a BBA brew.

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Photo of DiscerningEye
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I drunk it out of the bottle so can't really comment on the look. Started drinking it cold but liked it better after it warmed up a bit. Bourbon aroma was definitely more noticeable after it warmed up. Very light hints of vanilla. Great beer for a cold night. A robust and strong beer but easy to drink. Take it slow, it is a strong one!

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Photo of VoxRationis
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Decanted from a 12 oz (355 ml) bottle into a conical pint glass; no production data.
A: Pours a crystal clear copper color with a one inch head that clears rapidly leaving some soapy lacing.
S: Aromas of bread crust, bourbon, vanilla, and caramel. Almost like a Sugar Baby.
T: Sweet. Vanilla and light caramel flavors in balance with strong bourbon note. Little bitterness. Sweet aftertaste.
M: Light bodied with medium carbonation. Very drinkable.
O: Clearly a taste forward, American innovation on an English classic. Really enjoyed it and would have it again.

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Photo of OzmanBey
4.31/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

If you like the taste of straight bourbon with a nice taste of unhopped beer than this is for you. It's smooth, you can enjoy warm or cold, sip it and enjoy the essence of toffee and vanilla play on your tongue.

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Photo of briandschorr
4.34/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My first beer from this brewery. Impressed. Found this at the Beer Den in Leland, NC. The color is dark like coffee. One inch head with mild lacing. The nose is balanced between bourbon, chocolate, vanilla and espresso. The taste follows the nose. A bourbon mixed with coffee and chocolate. The bitterness is there but does not overwhelm the palate. The feel was great. I got a creamy fairly heavy body. Overall, a strong beer and worth a try for all fellow beer lovers.

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Photo of Bocifius
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a four pack at the local store for $12.95. I usually stick with cheaper beer but wanted to try something different. I went with the tulip glass for this one. On the pour the head was small with a little lacing as it settled. Golden in color like honey. The smell was of bourbon whiskey. Taste like someone mixed a shot of Jack in with my beer and some vanilla. Overall I would say it is not good but not bad either the bourbon smell and taste is a little strong. Pace yourself as this one will kick you in the pants.

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Photo of LukeW_
4.32/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Very dark. Smells much milder than most stouts. Above average bitterness, but not unpleasant. Fairly strong codes taste. Bitter finish. Very smooth feel. Overall, one of my favorite stouts. This brewery makes a lot of very amazing beer!

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Photo of Eddieeight
4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks like honey
Smells like weak bourbon
Tastes like vanilla and smoky oak with the bourbon increasing as the flavor fades
It's like someone threw a shot of whiskey into my beer
Mouth feel is light like water
I couldn't drink more than one at a time

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Photo of bbtkd
4.19/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alltech's Lexington Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, 8.19% ABV. Pours orange and thick, with not much head. Nose is malt, vanilla, bourbon, and sweetness. Taste follows, one of the sweetest beers I've had, and no bitterness. Not much barrel evident. Excellent mouthfeel, overall excellent. Very reminiscent of a scotch ale. Very drinkable.

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4.75/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Beach Club Hideaway, Gulf Shores, AL. Snifter and plastic cup yielded the same level of enjoyment.
L: Dark. Minimally sized tan colored head.
S: Sharp bourbon aroma, very nice. Hints of vanilla cream, dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans.
T: Taste perfectly matched the aroma. Very flavorful. Tasted like it's lightly laced with a fine bourbon.
F: Rich and super creamy with a nice bourbon bite. A little warming. Stout and balanced. Sharp and smooth.
O: This is a special beer. It's not overpowering but it does pack a punch in all categories while maintaining a very gentlemanly stature. Had it 3 times while on vacation and will look for it at home.

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Photo of arizcards
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Picked up a single from Kroger this past Sunday for $3.39. No bottling date.

Beer poured golden with very little head that dissipated immediately.

Nose is cotton candy with a hint of bourbon.

Taste is very sweet, very mild bourbon taste in the background. Somewhat cloying.

Feel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall an interesting concept but not well executed.

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours copper with a very small head but one that leaves off some nice lacing. The aroma has hints of toffee and butterscotch. I do not detect any bourbon on the nose, at least while the beer is relatively cold. The taste is complex with elements of toffee, cherries, a little bit of vanilla and a bourbon-like finish. The bourbon is definitely there but it expresses itself in a very different way to the way it does in a darker beer.

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Photo of 60sFolks
4.11/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This Sipping Beer is to be honored with taking your time with her. She is a dark gold, full mouthed, aroma of bourbon and carmel liquor tongue. She bubbles on and on with carbonation.

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Photo of Hoppy_Time
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a rich coppery Amber, one finger off white head, clear, constant stream of bubbles rising, some lacing.

Aroma is noticeably mettalic which is a turn off for me. Other than that there's some caramel, vanilla, oak, and Almond, slightly earthy.

Taste avoids being as metallic as the nose, good bourbon flavor played over an amber ale. The beer itself is just kind of biscuit and caramel, most of the flavor is a well integrated bourbon barrel, vanilla, oak, sweet corn. Almost reminds me of a malt liquor.

Light bodied, kind of thin and smooth, moderately soft carbonation.

Overall it tastes good enough to drink, and drinks pretty easy, it just doesn't seem very spectacular anywhere.

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 3,145 ratings