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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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 623 | Ratings: 2,868
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.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.07/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

355 ML poured into a tulip
Thanks to Shagtastic for the bottle
Shared with Mr Kennedy

A-- Poured a near clear, light colored carmel. One finger of white head that faded to a white collar. Just bits of spotty lacing one sides of the glass.

S-- Barrel notes all over the place. Oak, bourbon, big vanilla, and Carmel. Vanilla dominated the nose through drinking.

T-- See above. Reminded me of a vanilla wafer as had a bit of crisp wafer taste along with the vanilla.

M-- Quite a thin body. Not a lot of the base beer to notice as the barrel character, vanilla, just dominated the beer. Slightly sweet feel and a lot of dry vanilla.

O-- Had this in Louisville on tap in July 2011 and loved it. Bottle version??? Not so much. Really dominated by vanilla. Would get it again if on tap only. Was far more balanced on tap.

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Photo of bnes09
4.14/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Caramel color and semi-transparent. White head forms then dissipates quickly leaving a ring around the glass and minimal lacing.

Rich aroma of oak, caramel, toffee and nuts. Complex, intricate and inspires curiosity.

Similar flavors in beginning and middle. Definitely a sweet tone with caramel and brown sugar. Some vanilla and mild bourbon notes. Fruity with cherries and apples adding to the sweetness. Finishes fairly clean with lingering bready malt flavor.

Surprising light feel, just barely medium bodied. Crisp, even carbonation. Exceptionally smooth texture.

I really like this. Highly complex and well balanced.

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Photo of stonermouse
3.61/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

Poured golden and crystal-clear. Fantastic, puffy head, which constantly regenerated. Great lacing as well.

Mild, oaky aroma. Very little bourbon in the smell, which was a bit disappointing. It's a little bready in the aroma as well, more like bread and butter. A touch of vanilla presents as well. Interesting at least.

The taste here is easily nailed down to any bourbon fan. If you've ever mixed your bourbon or Jack Daniels with a diet ginger ale, over-iced it, then gotten distracted and not had a chance to drink it until the ice melted, this is pretty much what we're dealing with here. The only difference is that oak from the aroma, which smooths out the flavor a bit. It's unique, but can be achieved much more successfully with a cheap whiskey and your ginger ale brand of choice.

As this warms, the carbonation dies back and a little more sweet vanilla flavor shows through. But cold, it's a dead ringer for Jack and ginger.

Mouthfeel is pretty nice, actually. Not as sticky and sweet as I expected it to be, and the oak flavor makes it pretty smooth and rich. The pillowy head adds some depth as well.

Interesting brew. Neat flavors, but nothing is overly spectacular. Try it once, marvel at the watery bourbon and ginger ale similarity, and that'll do.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The taste of Bourbon is what really hits you with your first sip, but the sweet and oaky taste of the ale follows after.

The aroma is also a heavy amount of bourbon, but also slightly sweet. It is a very different kind of beer, but I enjoyed it and it is especially good for the winter time.

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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.

 795 characters

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

12oz bottle served in a mug.

pours a clear, medium-light amber tone while yielding a finger or so of short lived head. not much lacing to speak of.

nose is a bit more subdued than i was expecting with subtle notes of caramel malt, a touch of vanilla and mild bourbon.

flavor mostly follows the aroma with caramel, vanilla, a little oak, and some - though not a lot - bourbon. medium bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall, while it does have the uniqueness element going for it, in the final analysis it's an average beer; just doesn't work for me. that said, it's not terrible, just not something i would seek out again.

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Photo of Crundy
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear dark amber, bourbon color, white foamy head and thin lacing

S: the bourbon smell hits you up front, next comes a pleasant sweetness that reminds me of banana bread and vanilla and some clove

T: Again the bourbon is prominent, the oakiness comes out more as well, some vanilla and a hint of hop bitterness and minimal malt presence.

M: very mellow and smooth but slightly dry on the finish, it has a subtle sweet aftertaste and it light bodied

O: very good beer, though a bit too sweet for me but not overly so. Very drinkable and very pleasant oaky bourbon flavors. If you don't like the strength and bite of bourbon but still like the associated flavors, this is a good beer for you.

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Photo of jsh420
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

best by march 08 2012

pours clear gold with a 1 finger white head that faded fast and left some spotted lacing

smell - the first thing i thought of was a candy my friend makes called tutti fruiti - sweet candy malt vanilla some oak

taste is nice - a little sweet and cloying - no real bourbon flavor - all malt vanilla and oak

mouthfeel - medium body with good carbonation - a bit sticky

overall - for the price this beer is a fail and for being aged in bourbon barrels this beer not only falls short but lost yards - however the flavor was pleasant - i will enjoy the rest of the 4 pack but would never buy this again

 623 characters

Photo of Crass3000
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a nice orange color with a finger, white head with decent retention.

Smell is vanilla, some chocolate, and a little dark matls. Really melds together nicely. The taste is really nice vanilla, a little hops in the background, and maybe a tiny bit of booze. But just a really nice beer. This is my second time having it and it seems just as goo dor better this time. Highly recommend it.

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Photo of sommersb
4.24/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 02-01-2012
Freshness: Best by 03-15-2012
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Dogfish Head signature glass
Purchased: 4-pack from Frugal MacDoogal, Nashville

Pours a clear, bright copper color. The white head is a finger's worth high, with low retention and heavy lacing.

Big aromas of bourbon dominate, with wood and oak, sweet malts and vanilla. Very rich, aromatic and pleasant.

Taste is of caramel malts, bourbon whiskey, woodiness, toffee and vanilla. Features a nice alcohol warming and little to no bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth, with moderate carbonation and a medium body. Finish is of caramel malts and bourbon.

Overall a very enjoyable bourbon beer. Different in that most bourbon barrel aged beers are bigger and heavier, but this lighter beer is quite tasty.

 795 characters

Photo of ONUMello
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Orange-amber color with a one-finger head that thinned quickly
S: Fairly nondescript overall, though malt and the toasted bourbon aromas do come through.
T: Sweet, with tons of vanilla and bourbon. Malty; hardly anything hoppy comes across.
M: Medium-bodied, smooth and a bit sticky from the sweetness.
O: Tasty for sure, though I'd prefer a little less sweetness and a little more complexity.

 433 characters

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

Poured a golden color with a one finger head. A little bit of lacing on the glass.

Nose is straight vanilla.

Tastes is sweet, sweet vanilla and bourbon. No real hop flavor.

Light on carbonation but nice and creamy.

Overall its a little sweet for me. A definite sipper full of vanilla and bourbon.

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Photo of KELPAK
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A real nice beer to sit back and sip on amongst friends or watching a game. Has a real likeness to drinking a tumbler of bourbon which can be a great thing for some people but for me it was a little much.

Taste is on the sweet side but it is an enjoyable beer for the bourbon barrell enthusiest which there are a great deal of in my area.

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Photo of Bierlerner
4.19/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bottle and into a KBBA snifter

A- pours a very crisp, clear golden caramel color. A bright white head of 1 finger bubbles up fast and then almost as fast clears away. From appearance it looks a bit thin. When drinking, little splotches of lacing are left behind.

S- nice and light bourbon aroma. Faint hints of oak. Butter.

T- At first sip, it tasted of a watered down bourbon. But once warmed and sipped more, it blossomed into much more balance. Bourbon, oak, a hint of lemon peel. And a very pleasant creamy caramel and butterscotch through out as well. Not very complex, but very pleasant and very well balanced.

M- my one complaint, the mouthfeel is a bit thin. Could use some more body and perhaps more carbonation.

O- overall a fantastic after dinner nightcap, which is why I'm looking past the light body. Would stock in reserve lol

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a small brandy snifter. Color is clear, light amber gold. In fact, it looks like lightly carbonated bourbon. The nose offers up some muted alcohol aroma mixed with some citrus. In other words, it smells like a screwdriver.

Flavor is somewhat hop-forward. It's light and fizzy and there is a faint taste of bourbon that just doesn't complement the beer flavor at all. Mouthfeel is average.

Overall, this was disappointing. I wouldn't say that this is a poorly-made beer, just that it was poorly thought out. Bourbon-barrel aging just cries out for a beer that is rich and malty, not a light ale that is crisp and hoppy. I don't want a beer that tastes like bourbon, I want a beer whose flavors are complemented by the bourbon notes (see Founders Backwoods Bastard or BBC Bourbon Barrel Big Brown). This was not what I was looking for.

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Photo of jsgpu90
4.51/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me start with the fact that I am not a bourbon drinker. However, when I first had this beer, I was hooked, I admit I was hammered and remember saying this beer tasted like "cookie dough". That being saidm there is a great flavor profile with this beer. It is not the best beer in the workd but if you like the hint of bourbon or "cookie dough" this is a damn good beer.

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Photo of oline73
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm going to try to do better at guessing what I'm drinking than I did with the first bottle. Beer#2. A blinded 12oz. bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy reddish amber with a small layer of off white head. The head fades to a ring around the edge of the glass and doesn't leave much lacing. 3

Smell: This is getting interesting. I'm hit with a slightly fruity sourness right away. There is some sweet malt as well. I feel like I'm picking up some pineapple and maybe some red wine. 3

Taste: The sourness from the smell definitely shows up here as well. I'm picking up some red wine notes here too. The flavor is slightly buttery with some butterscotch in the finish. Along with the sourness, there is a slight bitterness that magnifies the wine like flavor in the finish. 3.5

Mouthfeel: The body is medium with smooth and tingly carbonation. The finish is quite dry. 4

Overall: This was an interesting beer. I would guess that it was wine barrel aged. Not real sure on the style, something with some wild yeast? 3.5

 1,050 characters

Photo of Hoptometrist
3.24/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap into a snifter for the Winking Lizard's Glass of the Month

A- Poured a clear light amber color with very creamy head that left tons of chunky lace

S- Smells like bourbon and booze. Pretty powerful aroma

T- This tastes like drinking bourbon. Not picking up on much else, light vanilla notes. Strong alcohol presence.

M- Fuller bodied but not syrupy. Pretty high carbonation for what I was expecting. Strong alcohol presence and warming.

O- The bourbon flavors overwhelm this beer. A strong base beer would have helped balance out the bourbon, bourbon aged stouts seem to fare better than this bourbon aged pale ale/irish red. Not bad, but tastes just like bourbon. If you really like bourbon flavors this might be an easier drinking alternative to drinking it straight.

 787 characters

Photo of cdkrenz
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - It pours a crisp orange body with mild carbonation. The head is bubbly like a soda but stark white and lives only long enough to set my glass down before its gone nearly immediately.

S - It has a nice aroma of malt. The brewery claims this is a combination of a couple beer styles, one being an Irish Red. That's evident in the aroma.

T - It certainly has Irish and English traits in the sharpness of the flavor. The bourbon barrel aging seems to have added a nice subtle accent.

M - It has medium to full body which is common for the style but uncommon for and Irish Red or English Pale. Either way the slightly abrasive texture across the tip of my tongue is nice with the finish lasting long enough to savor each pull..

~ I like this beer but I don't think I'll be seeking it out in the future. I would have liked to see the bourbon and oak flavors come through with greater emphasis. Perhaps more time in the barrel could have aided in that request.

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Photo of SickGnar
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Warm, bright, just slightly golden light copper. Totally clear with multiple streams of steady bubbles rising to a smallish white head. It falls, but retains a ring and leaves some okay lacing.

S: Bourbon – vanilla, toasted coconut, oak, and a hint of booze. Some toasty pale base grain and malt sweetness behind the bourbon. A hint of caramel increases as it warms. Decent strength for the bourbon aspect, light on the beer, but interesting and pleasant overall.

T: Vanilla & coconut oaky bourbon is about as forward as in the nose, but relatively less pronounced since there is more other stuff going on. Sweetness especially is increased from the nose. Both a low crystal / caramel malt sweetness, and a spicy/boozy/vanilla bourbon alcohol sweetness. Toasty pale base grain is there, but it stays in the background. Also in the background are some softly balancing earthy / herbal hops. The bourbon barrel aspect really lingers on in the finish.

M: Medium body with matched carbonation that is very finely textured & soft feeling. Quite attenuated with only a hint of lingering sugars. Most of texture seems to be from oak tannins. Slowly creeping warmth.

D: Quite interesting & pretty tasty. A bit dangerous as the over 8% abv is very well hidden. I would like to see just a touch more heft to the body and some more robustness to the malts. Still it is very much alright as is and really lets the nuances of the bourbon show through without being the least bit overdone or harsh. I am not one for bourbon, but this brew is pretty nice. It is remarkable in how it does not depend on robust malts or a hefty body to carry the bourbon.

 1,646 characters

Photo of ixodus
3.92/5  rDev +8%
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.

 718 characters

Photo of vrbulldog22
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with a little off-white head.
Smell is sweet, bourbon, brown sugar, vanilla, some malt.
Taste is vanilla, caramel, bourbon; pretty sweet.
Very smooth, creamy.
Not much 'beer' taste in this one, just enough to keep it from being an all bourbon taste. One of my wive's favorites, I drink it when it's there but I don't go out of my way for it. It's a nice way to get a full bourbon flavor without the burn/ alcohol harshness.

 444 characters

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 GarthDanielson
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

 505 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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