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

BA SCORE
82
good
2,977 Ratings
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
Ratings:
2,977
Reviews:
649
Avg:
3.63
pDev:
18.18%
 
 
Wants:
157
Gots:
1,002
For Trade:
8
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,977 |  Reviews: 649
Photo of dms1767
4.37/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sardonicone
4.37/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sent into a beer mug.

Appearance: Light amber, 2 finger head that left nice lacing and a bubble ring around the glass.

Smell: Vanilla bean and scotch. Not overpowering, in fact it's a very mellowing scent.

Taste: Fantastic imho. Vanilla, scotch, almost nutty, something roasted, can't quite make out what, but I love it. Bitter on the back end.

Mouth: Medium, slightly over carbonated, the liquor burns on your tongue while you leave it there, burns on the back end and has a familiar warming sensation all the way down.

This has quickly become a favorite of mine, and is a routine member of my rotation.

 611 characters

Photo of Polish1989brew
4.36/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Orangecrush19
4.36/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of I_imbibe
4.36/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of jjamadorphd
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I really like these beers brewed in flavored barrels - luckily bourbon is a favorite of mine...

Out of the glass it pours a beautiful black with highlights of red. The bourbon smell mixes well with the hops and malts and it does about the same for the taste. In fact, I like the taste much better than what met the nose and it was a plus that the beer was only lightly carbonated with a thick texture to round out it out quite well. Overall, it's probably one of the better flavored barrel beers I have had.

 511 characters

Photo of dbertles
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great bourbon finish. Very nice taste.

38 characters

Photo of CalebDouglas
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally, the highly anticipated bottle of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. And not the ceramic, novelty, $40 bottle that if you rub it, a beautiful bourbon barrel jeanie will magically appear and hastily remind you of how much you over paid for her beer. Released this week, is the 12 oz. $9.99 per 4-pack bottles now on the retail shelves. Packaged in a handsome and artistic lable and carton with a reminescence of the horse and bourbon herritage in Central Kentucky that represents the Blugrass well. Must say that the beer remains as tasty as ever, but the concern is how much stability will this beer handle durring travel and on the shelves. I pick up a mild vinegar aroma and flavor that rides the background of Strong Ale sweetness and strength, distinctive bourbon character, vanilla, coconuts, butterscotch, toffee, toastedness, nuttiness, oakiness, and a touch of brown sugar. So much power, character, intensity, and complexity without pushing the body into thickness. In fact, the beer remains refreshingly thin without watering. Mildly creamy, sweetly rich, and a constant bourbon warming throughout. Finishes with a touch of bourbon heat, toffee sweetness and a mild dryness.

It will be interesting to see if the newly bottled Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale will continue to vary from batch to batch. Locally, this beer will show more vanilla and coconut in one batch, and then more oak and bourbon the next. Sometimes it tastes like a stronger, sweeter standard Kentucky Ale and other times take on cherry or berry character. Many Budweizer drinkers will call this 'inconsistancy'. I call it 'variety' -- a little bit of Christmas in every pint. If this crosses over to the 12oz. bottles, then it will be interesting to see if it gains praise (as it does locally) or criticism.

I have also noticed that this beer gets far lesser review ratings if it has beer 'shipped' out of the Bluegrass than those ratings where BA's sampled it locally. I don't think it's because of our biased tendencies of wanting our local 'baby' to succeed. I have noticed that this beer has traditionally not traveled well. Althought the bottle is pleasant, it's a far cry from the quality freshness that is available locally, expecially brewery fresh. A must drink if traveling through Lexington. Sit back with a brandy sniffer full of the Bourbon Barrel and discuss which horse stole all of your money earlier that day at Keenland. This is the stuff of dreams.

 2,452 characters

Photo of Gallup54
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.34/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a snifter, the liquid is clear copper with light carbonation, the Head is small white and leaves little lace.

The smell is great, lots of a very nice bourbon, vanilla and caramel seem to dominate.

The taste is equally as good but a bit different. Toasted coconut seems to be the taste the bourbon brings not vanilla so much. Really a nice brew to sip. Lightly toasted caramel and some vanilla notes do come out but nothing like the coconut.

The mouthfeel is light body and light carbonation nothing to great here, but not a reason to put it down either.

The drinkability is very good I would love to see this in a store. Thanks to NFLMVP for this very cool find, Prosit MK

 706 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.34/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am going to go way out on a limb with this one I am sure, but I am sorry I absolutely loved it. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 02/24/2010.

The pour was not what I would consider, um great. Light amber in color, nearly golden with a very, very clear body to it. Lots of carbonation could be seen streaming up towards the top of the glass which coalesced into a thin, but firm white cap at about a quarter of an inch, but this really did not stay long, fading with no real side glass lacing. Aroma is sweet, unbelievably sweet with loads of vanilla and sweet candy like notes. I found this incredibly appetizing and dove straight in. Super light body takes you off guard, but once you let this thing open up it's over. Rich beyond words with a sweetness that is unmatched. Like French vanilla ice cream mixed with hints of bourbon and light grain, it just worked. So light it was almost refreshing as I really just could not get enough of this one. 

Overall wow, I did not see this coming. I was not sure I was going to like it nearly as much as I did, but wow it really, really worked for me. I would love to have this one again any time, it is just a wonderful, sweet concoction that truly just worked for me.

 1,253 characters

Photo of MDENT
4.34/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of seabeemom
4.34/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of cmv60
4.34/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of joecon
4.34/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A really great bourbon ale!

27 characters

Photo of 2624LuisNY
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Wingnut93
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AllanPatchin1016
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of mutt
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

being a fan of bourban in the winter months, i had to give this one a try. very nice beer. drank from a snifter, it was suggested and i had no clean pints, so what the hey, i use the snifter. great amber color, sweeter than i anticipated, but not to much. nice bourban aftertaste lingers. if you like bourban and you're reading this, you obviously like beer, so try this one

 374 characters

Photo of seansean95
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: pretty dark gold with a minimal head and constant lacing.

Smell: sweet and woody.

Taste: similar to taste with a slightly malty aftertaste.

Feel: very smooth with minimal carbonation

Overall not as great as I was hoping. I'd been wanting this beer for a while, but paid $5.75. It frankly wasn't worth that, but it was still a fairly good beer.

 353 characters

Photo of SSEngelbrecht
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at HopJack's in Pensacola, FL.

A: Huge light tan head, beautiful orange - red color.

S: The oak and citrus are prominent.

T: The barrel is the first taste to hit the palate. Red fruit and light citrus are also present. More subtleties emerge as the beer warms.

M: The beer is light and crisp.

O: This was a well balanced beer, but not overly complex. This is a great example of the style, and I really enjoyed it.

 425 characters

Photo of Big_Mazz
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dave128
4.32/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at pazzos pizza pub in Lexington. Poured into a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel snifter.

A - An average pour from the pitcher yields a finger of slightly off white head that dissipates pretty slowly into a thin disc on top of the beer. Clear dark amber in color, very similar to actual bourbon. Lace rings occur on the pitcher from every pour.

S - sweet caramel and bourbon on the nose. Alcohol is pretty well hidden for an 8 percent beer.

T - incredibly sweet and rich on the caramel malt. Bourbon is definitely on the forefront in the taste. Of the bourbon ales I have tasted, this is definitely the most bourbony. It is woody and delicious. The reason I am giving it a 5 on taste is that it is so unique and I have never had anything quite like it.

M - It is a little light bodied for the flavors present and doesn't really seem like that big of a beer, but carbonation is average to low which is spot on for this style.

O - It's not really that drinkable of a beer. Being a whiskey lover, I like it a lot, but it is hard to have a lot of it in one sitting since the flavors are pretty intense and the alcohol content is high. Like it or not, it is definitely a unique experience for anyone that tries it.

 1,221 characters

Photo of mshanecrowe
4.32/5  rDev +19%

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
3.63 out of 5 based on 2,977 ratings.
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