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

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BA SCORE
82
good
618 Reviews
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
Kentucky, United States | website

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:
618
Ratings:
2,841
Avg:
3.62
pDev:
39.5%
 
 
Wants:
152
Gots:
924
For Trade:
8
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 618 | Ratings: 2,841
Photo of dukeandduke
3.84/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

 344 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Gem clear, shiny copper (SRM 15). The short-lived, off-white, rocky head leaves no notable lacing on a North Coast pint glass.

The aroma is dominated by caramel and malt. Faint bourbon is noticeable while warmth brings out light butterscotch.

The flavors are rather mute for the style, especially given the bourbon barrel aging. Caramel is noticeable, as well as some bourbon, vanilla, and coconut. Sweetness is pronounced over the bitterness. The finish starts off moderate before quickly becoming faint and lingering.

The body is medium with a watery nylon texture. Alcohol is as expected, while the carbonation is modest and prickly. Slight metallic notes are also noticeable.

Enjoyable despite its unexpected modesty of flavor and aroma. This is worthy of discussion, but there is no "wow" moment to deliver on its promise.

 831 characters

Photo of elduderino28
1/5  rDev -72.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

If I wanted to drink bourbon, I would drink bourbon. This ale fails to find a balance between a beer with a hint of bourbon and the enjoyment of a liqour by itself. I enjoy bourbons, but this was an unsuccessful attempt.

 220 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.21/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap in DC. Lots of candy, sugar babies, caramel, super sweet, slippery and slick. Some wood aging apparent, but mostly sugary sweet (and delicious)

 150 characters

Photo of Zaktcc
2.31/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2

All in all, I just did not enjoy this beer. I tried, but I failed to enjoy it.
A - The beer does look enticing at first; pours a transparent brown color with a beautiful white, fluffy head that does linger around for quite a while.

S - At first, fairly pleasant and quite prominently representing the bourbon it was brewed in - not much else to the scent. However, I do not know if it was associated with the taste, but the smell progressively got less enjoyable.

T - First sip; "hmm this is not bad, wait -- eh it's alright". And it was downhill from there. I genuinely just did not enjoy the way this beer tastes. As I near the bottom of the glass while I write this review, I am contemplating just dumping the rest down the drain - something I don't think I could ever truly hold my self to doing, being, I mean, it is beer after all. I think I would just rather keep my bourbon and beer separate with this brew.

M - The only saving grace for the beer. Incredibly smooth and drinkable, well maybe more of a sipping beer given the flavor atrocity. Regardless, a truly amazing feeling beer - almost certainly contributed to the barrel aging.

O - If anyone read through all this, I think you get my overall impression...

 1,225 characters

Photo of bmeehan
3.81/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

 300 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Rich auburn pour, little glimmers of red, orange and light brown throughout it, a fall cornacopia if you will fitting of some autumn wreath on your door and shit. Small beige head on the beer. Aroma, toffee, oak and bourbon, its a little strong and not well integrated when a heatwave hits your nose.

On the palate, the alcohol heat isn't as strong, tastes nice, integrates well. It is very strong on the charred oak and bourbon mouthfeel, this isn't all that nuanced. Some dark cherry, vanilla, caramel, toffee and plum tinge to it, hard to discern through the massive amount of oak and bourbon. Nothing in terms of hops to pick up on. The most minimalistic bitterness, and even probably half of that in which I am picking up on, is probably just alcohol heat + carbonation confusing my tongue. If there was any aspect that could use significant improvement, its the mouthfeel, the beer just felt a little too watery or thin for all the flavor and heat to it. I think more two row would bulk this up to 9-10% but taste wise, it wouldn't feel like it.

 1,053 characters

Photo of Ottoj55
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice golden color, unexpected as that bourbon beers are often stouts. Up front smells like a shot of whiskey, good. Tastes like an awesome oak barrel and whiskey, again unexpected in a beer this lightly colored. Feel was average, a bit like a shot of booze. A good surprising beer.

 285 characters

Photo of wdberkley
1/5  rDev -72.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

First off, I'm typically a fan of anything that spends time in a barrel.

However, if you take a beer that's slightly better than hangover piss and barrel age it "for up to six weeks in freshly decanted bourbon barrels from some of Kentucky’s finest distilleries," you're bound to have something that gives off a slight hint of oak, some mediocre bourbon notes, and still tastes like hangover piss.

If I was presented with only two options for vital life sustaining hydration - drink this again or squeeze water out of elephant shit in the African Savanna a'la Bear Grylls - I'm picking the elephant shit every time.

 623 characters

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

L: Amber color, with minimal head that fades fast
S: smells like sweet alcohol and funky beer
T: reminds me of flat sweet wine. Likes it's been left in the glass overnight.
F: thin and watery.
O: not going to get again

 218 characters

Photo of dcotom
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into a Craft Beer Club sampling glass. Bourbon-like in appearance, clear, dark copper color contrasted by nice head of white foam. The aroma is bourbon barrel forward, but had mellowed quite a bit compared to a fresh one from the same four pack that I sampled a year and a half ago. The harshness on the palate had also diminished, resulting in a very drinkable product with some nice alcohol warmth and a smooth finish. (Kind of like... bourbon.)

 475 characters

Photo of Synn
4.39/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My reviews are going to be straight forward.

My journey -

The occasional drinker may not notice how superb and smooth this ale is. I come from drinking stouts like Samuel Smith, and other craft beers you may have not heard from, so bringing this to the counter was just another one of my "let me try this" beers. To say the least I was pleasantly surprised. It pours like a typical ale with a nice amber color, lets not get into looks here because lets be honest, who care's about what beer looks like? As you pop open the bottle with your face close it you instantly smell the beers beautiful aroma. It hits you with a slight hint of vanilla, a wiff of dry bourbon, and honestly it draws you in.

Taste -

As the beer hits your nasal glands and tongue you taste your typical ale. A nice crisp, refreshing, and smooth beer. It took me about 2 bottles to really get the taste and feel down. To be honest, I'm not going to fluff this review up any more. You'll taste a nice hint of maple, some woody and clean taste that's unlike anything I've ever tasted. To put it simply, if you like ales, bourbon, or any hint of Jack, Makers Mark, or whisky, GO GET THIS BEER. I had it with a seafood chowder and it complimented it beautifully.

 1,234 characters

Photo of mmmbeer89
2.83/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

i'm not a fan of bourbon so i wasn't expecting this beer to taste great...but it actually has a good taste until the bourbon after taste which brings it down some to me. it's smooth and not a bad buy if you wanna different style beer to try.

 241 characters

Photo of schwansmantr
4.06/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale with a ABV of 8.2 I think one might want to take it easy on this beer. When you pop the top you get a very nice smoke with a slight hint of Jack Daniels followed by a malty burnt bread crust smell and then I slight fruity punch, very complex. It poured a slight head and seams to have a decent amount of carbonation. The dark caramel stained glass looks very inviting as I peer into the climbing bubbles. The taste is that of smoothness that's light on the tongue then bam comes the bourbon fallowed by an oh so slight fruitiness to only give you a climax of hops. This is a hard one indeed, very hard. I feel like I'm jipping the beer by not writing more. There is a lot going on with this Ale and most of it is good. If you are whiskey lover you will adore this beer if your not it could be tough for some girly men/women to drink. Sip,sip,sip. Wow is this a tough one. I do know there's a reason it comes in a four pack it's got some jolt to it.

 976 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle at America on tap.
Rich caramel with hints of vanilla and oak with a bit of sweetness to round it all out. I enjoyed this more than I thought I would.

 157 characters

Photo of Tom_Leventhall
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'm not an ale drinker, nor do I typically like sweet beer. The bourbon flavor isn't overpowering and vanilla comes through quite strongly in taste and smell. It's not a session beer in terms of body or alcohol content (8.2%), But if you want some smooth and unique, this is a worthwhile find. Get it on tap if you can. - Tom Leventhall

 341 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
2.9/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

2.5 A: Clear dark orange/light amber color. About one finger of frothy off-white head that falls almost instantly and leaves no lacing.

3.0 S: Nose is primarily the barrel. A lot of leather, apple, vanilla, oak, toastiness. Caramel and toffee which could be coming from the barrel or the base beer. Hints of grass with a fresh mountain spring water component. It's not bad, but it smells more like watered down bourbon than beer.

2.75 T: Like the nose, this beer is just a bourbon delivery vehicle. Tastes like it smells with leather, apple, vanilla, oak, and toastiness being most prominent. On the drier side, but does have a sweet caramel toffee flavor.

3.25 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. This would benefit from a little more body, but it does have some creaminess to it.

3.0 D: It's okay for what it is, but it's not that great of a beer.

 900 characters

Photo of jbredbeard
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one is surprising in a few ways. It has an almost undetectable grassy aroma. The flavor has a sweet, heavy plum quality that is completely unexpected. It's very rich but not exactly full bodied in that it also has a crisp, pilsner-like drinkability. Seems like it contradicts itself in a few ways...and that is the best part. Kind of pricey, but that's okay for this every once in a while brew.

 404 characters

Photo of JebBeerFish
3.89/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Black Cow in Newburyport. Nice light caramel color. Nice bourbon taste, not sure why this is not rated better. My theory is because not much love for this brewery. I would have again.

 199 characters

Photo of Walligator
3.37/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

New at the craft beer LIFE. I enjoy most of the bourbon barrel stouts I've tried. Was at Binny's talking to a sales person about KBBA . She said she didn't realy know much about it, hadn't tried it. I like stouts and ales so I thought that this combo might be good. Wrong! I'm not going to try to describe the smells, tastes, etc. I'll say this, though. It smelled like a bourbon barrel stout and tasted like a sour ale. Very dissapointing.

 440 characters

Photo of beerloggedin
3.17/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Just not good for a bourbon barrel beer. Look is very light amber, smell is surprisingly bourbon nose, the nose sets you up for a disappointing taste which lacks any bourbon or oak flavors, and the feel is much too light and overly carbonated. The bud light of barrel aged beers.

 281 characters

Photo of JordonHoltzman
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap into a tulip glass. A dark translucent amber body, no real head to speak of but a white ring of bubbles. Smell is really lacking to the point that I feel like I have a stuffy nose from a cold, which I don't. Only the faintest hint of bourbon comes through.
Ahh, well at least the taste delivers. Extremely strong notes of vanilla from the bourbon. For what is self-described as a sipper, I'd say this is really tasty and drinkable for a bourbon barrel aged beer, let alone and English strong ale. You get a nice dark fruit backbone in the middle but finishes smooth and crisp.
Weak smell, very nice taste.

 615 characters

Photo of TBoneJones
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky copper/ light brown with some particles. Decent head, some nice lacing.
Smells of some malts and caramel. Some alcohol present on this nose.
Tastes like an oak-casked ale. But nothing complex or too special. Oak and vanilla. More sweet than bitter. There's a tangy aspect for certain, and I'm not much a fan of it, however some nice malts poke through the tang.
It is pretty smooth, medium-lighter bodied.
Okay, decent, not complex. I do wonder how many unassuming samplers of new beer mistake this , due to its name, for a KBS or something along those lines. I didn't, but I did assume it would be a stout and not a strong ale. Big difference.

 664 characters

Photo of thebeers
3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Leathery orange-brown color with a half-finger of white head. Wood, chocolate and caramel on the nose. Light-bodied in comparison to most barrel-aged beers, with good carbonation that really makes the caramel flavor pop. There's a definite, but light and easy-drinking, bourbon flavor to it. It's just a fun, quaffable beer.

 327 characters

Photo of tone77
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of light bourbon. Taste is light bourbon, malts, some sugary sweetness as it warms, alcohol is well hidden. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a decent beer, but not as flavorful as it could have been.

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
3.62 out of 5 based on 2,841 ratings.
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