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

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
BA SCORE
3.7/5
2,987 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
Ranking:
#28,197
Reviews:
653
Ratings:
2,987
pDev:
17.84%
Bros Score:
3.77
 
 
Wants:
157
Gots:
1,018
Trade:
8
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,987 |  Reviews: 653
Photo of yamar68
1.37/5  rDev -63%
look: 2 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

Pours an awkwardly transparent caramel gold with a thin finger of white head that is just as awkward - dissipates quickly, showing more fizz than true carbonation. No real lacing but a touch of alcohol legging.

Have you ever had Kentucky Beau? It sort of smells like that... grainy alcohol character smothered with a "bourbon" aroma... vanilla syrup and faint brown sugar.

Watery cheap bourbon with a vanilla/caramel sweetness. It finishes with a weird sweet corn type mellowness... the fact that it's as thin as a Bud Select 55 doesn't really do us any favors.

How is this a viable beer to produce? Did we all just get punk'd? What is this world coming to?

 661 characters

Photo of Generik420
1.4/5  rDev -62.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I tried this at a street festival in Covington, KY this past weekend and have to say it was pretty horrid. I kind of wonder if they don't leave bourbon in the barrel before they add the beer. If you have ever done a depth charge shot, where you drop a shot of whiskey into a pint of beer and slam it, you know what this tastes like. Another reviewer mentioned it tasted like bourbon on the rocks where the ice has melted.. well let me get a little more specific.. imagine that the ice cubes were originally beer and that is what melted into your glass of bourbon. The problem is the beer itself I don't believe is *big* enough to be aged in a bourbon barrel. This was a fairly light colored beer, amber at best, with a straight whiskey aroma. There just wasn't enough there to work with the bourbon flavors and in the end what you get is a mess.

 845 characters

Photo of GregWilson
1.4/5  rDev -62.2%

Photo of BrewIrish98
1.48/5  rDev -60%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This beer is awful. I purchased a 4 pack to include it in a gift for my brother. I decided to sample one of these beers before I included it in the gifts.

Needless to say, I did not include it. Twice I've offered it to friends to get their thoughts with the same results. The only way I can describe this beer is awful. Way too sweet and too astringent from the alcohol.

I enjoy ales, reds, pales, and bourbons ages beers. This taste like a frat kid poured a shot of cheap bourbon into a bottle of subpar beer.

I decided to give it a second chance at a Local BeerFest as the brewery was there. Had the same opinion straight from the tap.

Don't waste your money on this one, Try their KY Light or Kolsh they are a little more forgiving.

 742 characters

Photo of threedaggers
1.5/5  rDev -59.5%

Photo of PorterThwarter
1.5/5  rDev -59.5%

Photo of wrightst
1.5/5  rDev -59.5%

Photo of rspauldi
1.5/5  rDev -59.5%

Photo of Holland
1.5/5  rDev -59.5%

Photo of Beer-Revelry
1.58/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.75

I taste absolutely zero bourbon notes in this brew. I honestly don't know how they get away with calling this bourbon barrel ale.

129 characters

Photo of bhblbagpiper
1.59/5  rDev -57%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

One of my least favorite beers I've had in a while. I actually had to dump it out. It was very hyped before I had it so maybe that made the let down even greater. I found it very sweet and the bourbon/oak qualities to be completely overwhelming. If I want bourbon Ill just drink bourbon.

 287 characters

Photo of AleWatcher
1.6/5  rDev -56.8%
look: 1 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Grabbed a 4 pack on a recent excursion to the Hoosier state... I planned on drinking one and tossing the others in as extras-- and now that I've opened this, I'm even more certain that will be my action with the other 3!

Served in my Portsmouth tulip.

The one finger... Er... Half finger... Ummm... The thin ring of antique-whitish bubbles form a collar around the inside of the glass. Oh wait, they're gone now. This looks like it was apricot juice, if such a thing existed. No lacing. No signs of carbonation.

The nose and flavor are pure cheap boozey bourbon and artificial vanilla. I don't get anything from a base beer here.
This is boozy and harsh. Unbalanced and unenjoyable as a sipper. As this warms, I'm reminded of honey flavored cough drops.
The body is very thin and holds limited carbonation.

Overall, there are so many bourbon barrel-aged beers out there, I would be fine to never drink this again. The beer isn't my cup of tea-- but that doesn't mean I cannot imagine some one else enjoying it.

 1,018 characters

Photo of Chrisc212
1.6/5  rDev -56.8%

Photo of Sapsquatch
1.6/5  rDev -56.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Does anyone else remember when this beer was good? It actually changed my life when I first had it about four or five years ago. I was blown away by the vanilla flavor that came through in the beer. I could not believe how much a bourbon barrel could change a beer. It was delicious.

Not any more.

I'm disappointed every time I taste it. Every now and then I will sample it from various taps in hopes of a good batch. And I know it when I have it. I have yet to consistently sample it at the quality level of when it first came to Ohio. Really, it was that good.

You know, it might still be a good beer. But this beer set a higher standard for me. It is unfortunate that I am holding this beer to the very standard it created for me years ago. Every now and then I will get lucky (less than 5% of the time) and stumble across a good batch. But I have given up at this point. The business decision that was made to sacrifice quality lost me as a consumer.

Maybe it is the aging time. Or maybe it is the process that has changed. It sure seems like the bourbon barrels are being used too many times to claim "barrel aged" on the label without adding flavor. I miss the original. I would have paid more for it. Now, it is so mainstream that the quality has been sacrificed for distribution.

This could have become an iconic beer if quality was more important than quantity. Demand would have always exceeded supply. Instead, consumers like me - that helped to build demand for this beer - are no longer the consumers buying it.

Am I the only one that noticed this?

 1,593 characters

Photo of herrmaurer
1.61/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Nasty shit. People can't really like this flavor

48 characters

Photo of jccuevasr
1.65/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Photo of Monalenard
1.65/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a mahogany brown with a fizzy macro/corn soda lager head that fades as quickly as possible.
smells like it looks, cheap malt, slight hints of bourbon and oak.
taste follows the nose- bourbon barrel budwiser.
mouthfeel is medium, average carbonation.
overall- bourbon barreled budwiser.

 291 characters

Photo of Travisjutin
1.7/5  rDev -54.1%

Photo of goddy82
1.71/5  rDev -53.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75

Photo of gfreed
1.72/5  rDev -53.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This is one of the clearest, brightest beers I've ever poured into a glass; a big, bright pool of shimmery amber just begging to be sipped. But... stop! Unless you like butter, pour this one down the drain. Butter in the aroma, suffocating butter in the taste... butterbutterbutterBUTTAH! Even the body felt a bit oily. I don't know if this thing was aged in an oak barrel or aged over oak chips (or aged in a vat of butter), but the brewery boys and girls need to take a lesson in moderation. Too much oak = too much butter. Might taste good on pancakes, but not much else. Poo.

 579 characters

Photo of xxxcjbcxxx
1.75/5  rDev -52.7%

One word: Butterscotch.

23 characters

Photo of PaulD
1.75/5  rDev -52.7%

Photo of hikeeba
1.75/5  rDev -52.7%

Photo of jbeezification
1.75/5  rDev -52.7%

Photo of cld253
1.75/5  rDev -52.7%

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,987 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.