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

BA SCORE
82
good
631 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:
631
Ratings:
2,900
Avg:
3.63
pDev:
18.18%
 
 
Wants:
155
Gots:
957
For Trade:
8
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 631 | Ratings: 2,900
Photo of Bonkinishwa
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling - Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. 8.2% ABV. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Look: Dark amber body, appears as tea, with a small short lived head.

Smell: Most prevalent is the bourbon, somewhat boozy, accompanied by the barrel char. Not really accented by any additional aromas.

Feel: On the thin side, with some light carbonation. Watery feel.

Taste: Mirror of the aroma. Not much besides boozy bourbon and oak barrel. Has a quaint sweet finish paired with the booze.

Overall: I had higher hopes for this, because of how well I liked the other bourbon barrel beers from Alltech, but this just seemed too bland and boozy.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on March 9, 2014.

The pour is highly attractive with its medium amber, bronze color. The head builds up quickly but just as quickly fades. Great clarity.

I was expecting more booze on the nose. Certainly I get a great dose of caramel malts and sweetness but little in the way of bourbon. It seems like a sweeter pale ale.

Medium body.

The taste is a more promising with its sweet malty notes and vague bourbon notes. But nothing extraordinary. Just a generally sweet beer but don't think you're getting a good dose of bourbon or other liquor when you have it. Maybe it is meant to be subtle.

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Photo of Raymond69
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear golden orange , small head some lacing.

Faint Aroma of whiskey , sweet malts.

Fairly sweet and mellow with a sharp bourbon finish. Smokey oaked aftertaste.Very little to no hops detected.

Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation.

Overall a fairly tasty brew.

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

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours fairly crystal clear deep orange/amber/light copper color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, honey, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, and brown bread; with lighter notes of coconut, butterscotch, fruitiness, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of bready malt and bourbon barrel notes; with solid strength. Taste of big caramel, honey, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, and brown bread; with lighter notes of coconut, butterscotch, fruitiness, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light earthy bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, honey, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, brown bread, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of bready malt and bourbon barrel flavors; with no cloying sweetness after the finish. Minimal dryness. Medium carbonation and medium-plus body; with a very smooth, moderately bready/grainy/creamy, and lightly tannic mouthfeel that is nice. Minimal warming alcohol for 8.2%, with zero barrel booziness. Overall this is a very good barrel aged English strong ale. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of bready malt and bourbon barrel flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. Not a ton of malt complexity, but showcases the bourbon barrel character very well. A very enjoyable offering.

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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 ByTor2112
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice to see a Triad Ba has tried this recently. Picked mine up in Bardstown back in June when I went to Maker's Mark Distillery!
Poured a golden color-like clover honey. Very thin head that dissipated.
Aroma-Smells like Maker's Mark with vanilla notes and whiff of caramel.
Mouthfeel-sweet like a Bourbon and ginger ale, very little hop bitterness but they are detectable.A froth on the palate elicits the alcohol. Tasty but I would like a bolder malt backbone to go with the very good bourbon flavor. The 7% can be felt not too long after finishing this one. Does not look like much when poured but it has a nice sweet bourbon flavor and it finishes clean. Wish i could have found a big flip-top jug like the one in the picture.

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Photo of rangerred
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap. Served in a snifter.

Appearance is a clear, light brown. There is a thin head that doesn't stick around for long.

Smells overwhelmingly of bourbon with vanilla being the predominant smell.

At first sip there is a strong punch of bourbon. This is followed by vanilla along with some light oakiness. After sipping on the beer for awhile, the bourbon flavors subside and maltiness becomes much more predominant. I can detect very little alcohol flavor.

The mouthfeel is a little light but I don't feel it is off-putting.

Overall I think this is a very good bourbon barrel beer. The body could be thicker but the beer is fairly well balanced and is an excellent sipper.

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Photo of seabass87
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into tulip.

A- Glowing copper color. Translucent and effervescent body. Aggressive pour yields a small, short-lived, fizzy head.

S- Bourbon (surprising, I know). Apple juice, oddly enough. Not incredibly complex, but is vaguely inviting.

T- The bourbon taste isn't as strong as many bourbon barrel beers. It actually feels a bit "watered down" for lack of a better explanation, sort of like sipping a glass of bourbon after the ice has melted. I can't help but get a bit of apple juice from this... might be an anomaly. A soft vanilla taste comes during transition, and a few seconds later we are hit with a big wave of vanilla.

M- Light bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. A lighter version of a bourbon barrel ale. Dry finish.

O- This is more or less a light version of a bourbon beer. The most interesting aspect is the huge wave of vanilla that is delayed by a few seconds after transition. I had this on tap a few weeks ago and the flavors were more pronounced. Not a bad beer, could be sessionable but 8.19% ABV is a bit heavy.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter

Thanks to boxcar01 for the beer and glassware to match

This beer pours a clear golden orange color with faint residues of white on the surface. The aromatics are quite profound. The obvious aromas are bourbon and oak with hints of butterscotch and maple in the background. The off smells came from what could be interpreted as some tart white grapes, which IMO had no business being there. The flavors are also on the complicated side. There are the aforementioned bourbon, oak and butterscotch, but in addition there are strong notes of cinnamon with hints of vanilla. The body of the beer is mostly bourbon, in fact it actually tastes mostly like drinking a complicated yet super weak bourbon. The finish of the beer is interesting it leaves the taste of raspberries in my mouth and I have no idea why. The mouthfeel is a bit watery for the strong boozy bourbon character of this beer. I enjoyed drinking it. It was surprisingly intense, but manageable.

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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 mralphabet
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Poured a deep copper colors with a good fingers worth of head that settled to a small ring with very little lacing.

S: I'm getting a lot bourbon hints of vanilla, oak and sweet malt.

T: Pretty straight up ale in the background.... But the foreground is full wonderful bourbon, vanilla, oak and sweet malt just like it smells.. Great mix of flavors over top of an ale.... not over the normal stout.

M: Strangely light to mid bodied but so so smooth.

O: Wonderful take on a bourbon barrel idea, well worth looking for..

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Photo of bmeehan
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I wish I had drank this sooner after I bought it, but regardless, it's still a beer that can be appreciated. It pours a beautiful golden brown and there is a faint aftertaste of bourbon, but its scent is almost non existent and compared to other ales aged in bourbon barrels, this one is forgettable.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Westmalle goblet.

A: Clear, bourbon-y amber with minimal white head that quickly shifts to lots of interspersed bubbles.

S: Smooth Kentucky bourbon, malts and a hint of vanilla. Oak barrel in the periphery.

T: like drinking a jigger of Kentucky bourbon. Sweet, mellow. Caramel and molasses with vanilla and smokey oak. A real sipper. The alcohol slides in for the kill.

M: light to medium with light carbonation. Picking up some soft mellow fizz the longer it sits on the tongue.

O: a nice surprise. Definitely an after dinner sipper, perhaps with a cigar. More like a bourbon than a beer.

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Photo of Tartarus
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A&S: Poured into a challice, copper colored, with about a quarter inch of head that dissapated leaving a nice film on top. Smell is sort of apple-y.

T&M: Taste is slightly fruity, with a strong alcohol taste mouthfeel is very smooth. I definitely get the bourbon in the name. Taste is interesting and different, not quite aure how I feel about it.

D: Pretty drinkable considering the high abv, it comes off pretty light.

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Photo of Umbra
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on the way out of CVG at the ?& Erma's
Though it had the same great color as the bottle version, the carbonation and head were non-existent. Aroma was muted as well, with only some faint bourbon and vanilla mixing around. Again, I really liked the flavor, though the vanilla seemed to distract from the bourbon at times. Mouthfeel was medium with a sweet finish. Quite drinkable, but only for 2-3.

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Photo of Merkur
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this on tap at Drake's, a new KY based resteraunt that has opened an outpost in the Nashville area.

While a huge, huge fan of bourbon barrel aged beers (stouts especially, and who isn't), this was a bit of a let down.

This beer was served in a Kentucky Brewery snifter glass. It poured a dark amber color. Much lighter than I would have thought.

Like most good bourbon barrel aged brews, this had your usual vanilla and booze smell.

The beer tasted very strongly of the bourbon. While a good stout will pair well and not have this taste overpower the beer, for this beer it was definately in forefront.

The overall mouthfeel was much ligher than I would have imagined. Much more like a brown ale.

Overall this beer has good flavor, but by the end the flavor felt a bit played out.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz, 9/11 bottle date
Boulevard tulip

A: Pours out a clear muted orange color. Even though I didn't get a ton of head (only a ring of white), I did get a lot of tiny bubbles steaming from the bottom. Leaves some lacing. Definitely see some alcohol feet.

S: Immediately I get caramel and sweet malt. It's almost BA barleywine like initially. I get some vanilla too. Bourbon is present. The age might have killed some hops off.

T: You don't get a lot of bitterness up front anymore, but there is a touch. Sweet malts: caramel and toffee. It's very barleywine like without the body. Vanilla hints in the mid mouth. Some woodiness. The finish is creamy.

M: It's medium bodied. Creamy almost.

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Photo of vobr0002
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- nice white head, golden amber color. Almost like mixing some bourbon with light beer.

S- lots of vanilla, some bourbon and caramel but fairly muted.

T- very light flavors but a nice smooth bourbon flavor. Not too much else.

M- very smooth light body. Higher carbonation.

O- its a good beer. Its a nice change of pace when you want something light but still want the bourbon flavor.

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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.

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Photo of Jason
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to clvand0 for the sample ...

A- Mild haze off of a deep golden hue, thin lacing from a light carbonation.

S- WOW!! Big hit of bourbon in the aroma, sweet vanilla, alcoholic and woody.

T- Upfront malt sweetness melds perfectly with the thick layer of bourbon flavor, mild hopping shows a modest but balancing bitterness. Both vanilla and wood are all over the palate with a warming alcohol from the 7.0% abv.

M- A tad too under-carbonated for my liking but it does not really take away from the beer that much. Nice and creamy though.

D- Sipping and sipping only ... I could only see having one glass in a sitting.

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Photo of dukeandduke
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Chicago 1/8/16 (Sweetwater - Draft poured into snifter glass) Dark orange/copper pour, minimal head which quickly dissipated and mild carbonation. Bourbon aroma, with hints of caramel. Enjoyed the malt and mild bourbon taste, stronger ABV not noticed. Smooth and easy going down, texture dry.

Overall very good beer and I'm glad I tried a few.

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Photo of matjack85
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A friend of mine brought back a single 12oz bottle of this beer for me when he returned from the Kentucky Derby last Saturday. He said they come in 4 packs for $8.99. No freshness date.

The beer poured a perfectly clear amber/copper color with a 1½-finger white head that had decent retention. Thin rings of lace slid down the glass as I drank it.

The beer has a wonderful bourbon smell with a hefty dose of vanilla, as well as some oak barrel and alcohol.

While the bourbon isn't overpowering, it is the dominant flavor in this beer. Not much in the way of either malt or hops as vanilla, oak, and alcohol make up the balance of the flavors. Sort of reminds me of a watered down highball (whiskey and ginger ale over ice).

Much thinner and lighter than I thought it would be with carbonation on the low to moderate side. It goes down nice and smooth though.

A nice sipper and a nice change of pace beer. For a really great bourbon barreled beer, try Goose Island's.

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Photo of Kevin_Langford
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was nice! It was, admittedly, my first bourbon barrel ale...I've heard a lot about them but have never tried one, so take my review with a grain of salt. It had a dark, reddish-golden color with a decent head in a glass. It smelled a nice mix of bourbon and a rich ale. Bathe flavor was smooth, slightly carbonated, with bourbon overtones - fairly pronounced. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it would never be a go-to beer for me. If you want to try something new and enjoyable, pick this one up!

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Photo of obywan59
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On a visit to my brothers in August, I purchased this at a Vine Grove KY convenience store (near Elizabethown). I drank half of the 4 pack at the time, and forgot to grab the other 2 when I left for the 8 hour drive home to VA. The 2 beers were still in the fridge when I returned for Christmas, and this time, made it safely home with me.

Crystal clear with a 2 finger white head from a hard pour. Bubbles of carbonation coat the inside of the glass and rise up from the base, diminishing in synchrony with the quickly shrinking head. A bright orange/copper in color. Minimal lace. Looks a bit thin to the eye.

Bourbon, vanilla and oak on the nose, combining to give the impression of dark fruits in syrup, even bananalike at times, with a bit of char. On the second glass, the vanilla/bourbon combo gave me cherry instead of banana.

Lightly sweet bourbon, vanilla and oak are even more dominant in the taste. Bitter char overcomes them all in the middle before everything mellows out in the end. Light alcohol throughout.

Moderate in body with pepper and a bit of fire yet, even after 4 1/2 months. Slightly numbing on the tongue. Nice warmth, as the fire would imply.

This beer is better for the age in my opinion. My brother described his single swallow as "stiff, but good" (he prefers Coors Light), but I agree, it seemed more harsh back in August. It's definitely more mellow now. A bit less char, and I'd have given it even higher marks.

 1,453 characters

Photo of coltonbrimhall
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

-really shitty head...
- has a light whiskey scent the wood really overpowers
- taste as a English ale with a lot of oak and whiskey notes a slight skunk
-ok feel thicker
- ok beer not my style for sure, they hit alot of notes i think they were aiming for but it wasn't a enjoyable drink for me...

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
3.63 out of 5 based on 2,900 ratings.
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