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

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618 Reviews
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.

Added by SheepNutz on 07-13-2004

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Reviews: 618 | Ratings: 2,849
Photo of mantis3333
4.78/5  rDev +32%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light copper color. Smells very sweet. Tastes a lot like Werthers original candy. I am usually not a fan of bourbon but I loved this beer. Well worth $12 for a 4-pack. I would love to try a draft of this. I would not drink this exclusively in a sitting though. 1-2 is good occasionally.

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Photo of byaeger
4.77/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Though I have had this on tap at the brewery's "bier stube," I'm rating this on the bottles I've had. This is a remarkable beer. I know barrel-aging is getting big including aging this or that in bourbon barrels, but for a golden ale from Lexington, this one makes the most sense since the barrels emanate from down the road.

I credit this beer with turning me into a bigger bourbon fan. Rich, vanilla-oak flavors dominate, but you can sip it like a rich beer. The scent hits you first and though it's not very carbonated, it fills the mouth with equal parts beer and bourbon in a symbiotic fashion.

Though you can only drink one of these in a sitting--or at least should--the one bottle will leave you feeling GOOOOD. When the angel's share of the 90 proof bourbon marries out with the 5ish percent ale, what's left is a strong 9 percent beer that is liquid gold and warmth.

Biggest downside: Only available in Kentucky, and when the hell are you gonna be in Kentucky?

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.76/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured into pint glass. Great 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 dare to mix whiskey and beer blends

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Photo of Kicksmile67
4.74/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Being both a beer and bourbon drinker this is the perfect marriage. Living in the hometown of this brew I can get it most places one would find good beer. The ability to get it on tap while touring the brewery is an experince I extend to anyone in Lexington, its free and its cold!
The appearance of this beer is a reddish gold color with a thin but lively head. The smell should be a perfume. Beautiful sweet bourbon with a mild sent of hops. The taste is amazing. Very bold with an immediate taste of good quality bourbon and a slight but enjoyable beer finish. The mouth feel is rich but not thick and tingles the tougue with the hint of whiskey it embodies. Drinkability is dangerous as this "beer" can take you more like a whiskey and more than a couple can fog the mind of the most avid beer drinker (trust me). If you can get this its a must try, especially those who enjoy a good quality Kentucky bourbon on occasion. Possible derby beer methinks?

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Photo of k1001001
4.74/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I used to live in Lexington, and I love drinking this beer. Being that Lexington is in the heart of bourbon country, there couldn't be a more fitting beer for the region (I think the beer is aged in casks from Woodford Reserve and Maker's Mark).

Be careful and don't drink too much! It is 8.2% ABV. Much like bourbon, it is best to sip on.

It has a very sweet taste, much like the bourbons that it takes its flavors from. It makes for a good "dessert" beer. If I had one complaint, I would say that sometimes the bourbon overpowers the beer. You can definitely taste when you have a Woodford batch for sure.

For a bourbon-based ale, this is the best. All of the others are weak imitations in comparison.

I prefer it best in a bottle.

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Photo of fallenshadow
4.73/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

L - Dark colour. Not very transparent. Some light lacing on top.
S - Lovely bourbon smell upfront.
T - Outstanding bready, caramel, vanilla and bourbon oak finish.
F - Smooth as silk, what more can I say.
O - Maybe overall I'm giving this a real high rating but if someone offered me a bottle of this I would take it in a heartbeat. A beer I would keep my eyes open for again.

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Photo of Nitro-Boy
4.72/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Come on Guys, Mouth feel...Really! Its a beer. No... I'm not a yellow fizzy beer idiot. I'm just a guy who LOVES good beer. Beers are either good or bad. Only by personal taste. This one however...Wow , If you like the taste of vanilla extract. This is the beer for you!!! Try this stuff is AMAZING. You Cant go wrong here. Try IT!!! Write your one review.

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Photo of iceball585
4.62/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Bright amber color, clear, one finger thick fluffy head that faded quickly, lots and lots of bubbles rising throughout

S- Bourbon, vanilla, oak, malty, strong auroma of alcohol

T- Kentucky bourbon whiskey, oak, pale malts, vanilla, light hops flavor

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, smooth, flavorful, slight warming of alcohol, dry finish

D- Definitely worth trying

If you like bourbon whiskey as much as I do... then you really need to try this one. It's amazing the amount of flavor from the bourbon barrel that comes out in this brew.

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Photo of Bayern1971
4.58/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm a bit surprised at the so-so reviews of this beer. IMHO it's one of the best American beers I've tasted in a long time. Most beers classified as "Bourbon" usually come off as Chocolate mouth-bombs. Yeah, melted & fermented cocoa nightmares. What's so lovely about this one is that it hints at the cocoa but also has a subtle oak and vanilla flavor. Taste is complex and only becomes understandable after subsequent tastings. 9% alcohol is barely perceivable and there's little carbonation which is KBB's only weakness.

In parting, KBB is the best American brew I've tasted in years. There's a revolution going on here and I'm glad I'm along for the ride.

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Photo of azretan
4.57/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful dark Amber color, with a strong bourbon smell and taste and light after taste. Enjoyable on occasion but not an every day beer despite the lightness of its feel

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Photo of Zacemy
4.56/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a delicious brew. I am a big fan of bourbon and the taste is excellent. This a beer that you want to take your time and enjoy its rich flavor. I stumbled upon it and will most likely be drinking it again. You do not need to be a big fan of bourbon to enjoy this beers big flavor.

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Photo of nova009
4.52/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a bronze copper color reminiscent of pennies. Light carbonation with little to no head.

S- Wow fantastic smell! The bourbon really hits you from the start. Vanilla and oak follow with a fair amount of prominence.

T- Really complex and delicious flavors. The mixture of bourbon and vanilla make for a very smooth drink. Alcohol is present but is not overbearing.

M- Carbonation is light but balances well. An almost silky feel that makes you want to swish it around in your mouth for awhile.

D- Definitely one you want to sip on. A great one to drink before bed.

I love bourbon and good beer so this one was perfect for me. Definitely one of my favorites.

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Photo of jsgpu90
4.51/5  rDev +24.6%
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 Barracudas
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a great beer! The bourbon barrel aroma and taste was very clear but not overpowering. This has to be one of the better Bourbon Barrel ales out there.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale - Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass (no snifter in my glassware collection as of yet. newb move, yes I'm aware), this brew's got a two finger finely porous off-white head that dissipates rather promptly, not too much lacing, and a medium amber transparent body.

Smells like, you've taken the correct guess, bourbon. Albeit nowhere near as profound as the real deal, this has certainly got the redeeming qualities of a finely made, true Kentucky bourbon. Take it from a guy whose entire father's side is from the state!

The taste here is exactly the same as the aroma described above. Damn tasty, folks. It is very drinkable.

Mouthfeel is lively and crisp.

Overall, a 4.5 for Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale - Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. I will purchase this beer regularly

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Photo of woodychandler
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured with a light, off-tan head with very low retention, quickly reducing to wisps. The color was a beautiful orangish-amber with NE-quality clarity. The nose was redolent with vanilla and wood. The first sip gave me the same vanilla and wood that I noted on the nose, plus coconut and honey on the tongue. Wow! Mouthfeel was full and creamy. The finish had a slight alcohol burn, but that was fine by me. I am usually not a huge liquor drinker, nor do I routinely stray from the hops, but dang!, this was some good stuff.

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Photo of spree92
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes taken on 4/16/11-while in Boston for the weekend.

A- pouted a 10oz drink into a small swifter. A bubbly white head sat on a rich copper ale.

S- velvety malts, bourbon is very strong, oak from the barrels and a warmth of alcohol.

T- Awesome. The bourbon has a chewy, sticky caramel to it. So creamy and rich, buttery.

M- Full, moist beer. As it sat and warmed up, the complexityeas ever changing. Even though I did not know the abv, I could tell it was in the 8-10% range.

O- Enjoyed this a lot. One of the better beers I have ever had. Easily the best Bourbon beer imo.

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Photo of Vierenner
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic beer. Had many times on tap and in bottle form before writing this review. You have to want to taste vanilla in your beer to like it. It's buttery smooth and unique -- I wish I had another beer to compare it to but I've found none. There's a magic formula here that will be duplicated ... eventually.

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Photo of PubMariner
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance – Medium amber with a white head that fades to a ring.
Aroma – The aroma is soft and oaky with a definite note of bourbon. Vanilla and toffee show through.
Taste – First taste is toasty with some toffee and vanilla. The oak and bourbon influence come through strong in the middle and carry all the way through.
Finish – Toffee candy with a light bourbon taste. This beer is all bourbon and oak from start to finish.

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Photo of chaunur
4.49/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Talbots Inn in Bardstown-Bourbon capital of the World.

Wow, Now I really love bourbon and have always been disappointed in the the "Bourbon Barrel" beers out there, it's like they just showed the the beer the barrel. But not this stuff. One whiff and you know you have the real thing.

Poured a very nice clear medium light amber into a snifter. Off white, fluffy 1/2" head the faded fairly quickly. Nice lingering lacing.

As I said one whiff and you know what you have. A very strong but not overpowering presence of Bourbon, vanilla, carmel, oak tones and slighly woodsy. It reminded me of the Angels share in a Bourbon warehouse.

The aroma was right with the flavor, again the bourbon was present but not overpowering. Maybe just a tad sweet and a little heavy on the tongue. Some heat in the mouth from the high alcohol content. It is most defintely a sipping beer.

We had just finished touring and sampling at 3 Bourbon distilleries, Jim Beam, Heaven Hill and Markers Mark when we hit Talbots for dinner and drinks, A Hot Brown and Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale were the perfect finish to the day!

Overall this one of my favorites.

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Photo of canislupus88
4.48/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, first time i poured into a glass and second time i decided it was good from the bottle too.

looks like beer, nothing really special about the appearance.

smells of bourbon, with a little vanilla, like vanilla extract in a way.

tastes of sweet delicious bourbon. very mild ale with sweet bourbon and a slight hint of vanilla extract, i can't stop drinking this, i downed the first one in less than 10 minutes it's so good. but the "ale" part of the beer is purely just the way it is fermented because it is very mild for the 8.1% abv, tastes like a boilermaker. my dad who only drinks coors light, harp, and molsons actually liked this beer.

this beer is really drinkable, if it weren't for the high alcohol i would have no problem pouring the entire 4 pack down me in one sitting (but it takes me a few hours haha) but then you're a little sick.

i would love to have this beer all the time, i think it is worth the $12 for the 4 pack.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.47/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours from the growler a clear golden amber, vibrant with a bubbly head that fades rather quickly to a ring around the glass. Aromas begin with beautiful bourbon, vanilla, sweet caramel, woody tones and light fruit notes. Very nice, enchanting aroma here.

First sip brings a sweet fruity caramel maltiness. Luscious bourbon flavors dance on the palate. A hefty helping of vanilla and woody tannins show up mid palate. Finishes smooth and slightly sweet. Very well balanced overall, the lingering bourbon barrel notes are great here.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. Mellow carbonation works really nice in the overall brew. I could drink a lot of this with no problem. Wonderfully melded flavors and quite refreshing. Goes to show how great barrel aging can be. Many thanks to clvand0 for the opportunity. Word is that this beer is aged in Woodford Reserve barrels as well.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.47/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle gifted from friends. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" white head above the clear golden amber brew. Head is down to a small-bubbled film pretty quick, with average lacing. Aroma is sweet and bourbony. Taste starts with a moderate pale malt sweetness, oak and vanilla come on in the middle, and then fade into the close. Mouthfeel is wow smooth, and drinkability is much too easy. Still liking this brew.

11/30/05 - 4/3.5/4.5/5/5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with kmpitz2. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1/4" of off-white head over the clear light copper brew. Head is gone pretty quick, with sparse bubbly lacing, both kind of par for a barrel-aged brew. Aroma is extremely boozy, easily overpowering the malt sweetness found in the Kentucky Ale base brew. Taste is much more balanced than the nose was indicating, with the malt sweetness smoothly fading into the bourbon tinges, with vanilla and wood apparent, but not enough so as to overpower the other flavors. This is one of the smoothest barrel-aged brews I've had, and the drinkability is just as good. I know it's only 7%abv, but with a lighter brew to start, it would take a bit more finesse to not destroy the original beer. This one is great.

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Photo of RedlinerScott
4.46/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First had KBBA on tap at the wedding rehearsal dinner of my daughter and son-in-law three years ago. Only recently realized it's marketed in bottles as well. Pretty strong bourbony aroma and flavor with a kick from a higher alcohol content. Despite it's boldness KBBA goes down pretty smooth with no noticeable aftertaste. I've got a feeling you either really like this sort of thing or you really don't. Count me in!

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Photo of taters21
4.46/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An exceptional ale with a considerable oakiness and subdued vanilla note from the bourbon barrel aging but not overpowered and has a nice smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
3.62 out of 5 based on 2,849 ratings.
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