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

BA SCORE
82
good
2,939 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:
2,939
Reviews:
641
Avg:
3.63
pDev:
18.18%
 
 
Wants:
156
Gots:
977
For Trade:
8
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,939 |  Reviews: 641
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.

 972 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a great beer experience for me. Poured from the tap into a snifter. The head was good sized, about 0.75 inches, but fell before finishing the glass to almost nothing. Beer was a nice dark amber color; it let light through, but with resistance. It didn't smell as strong as I had expected from something out of a bourbon barrel. Smelled slightly sweet with the bourbon coming though. The taste was nice; heavily influenced by the bourbon barrel, with flavors of caramel and oak, with a slight sweetness that I can't place. I didn't have time to see how it progressed as it warmed, though it was served chilled, and not cold. Mouthfeel was a bit lighter than I would like, but since it's the stock ale as a base, I'm not surprised. The lacing was absolutely beautiful after finishing the glass. It was not overly heavy, but coated the entire snifter from the top down. I will not pass this one up when I find it offered again. Worth trying if you come across it.

Edit: I went back and revisited this one to see what I come up with after reviewing for a while. The bourbon flavors play very heavily in this one iving it great vanilla, almost coconut tones. I think this is a much better beer than I gave it credit for before.

 1,235 characters

Photo of JohnK17
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of animal69
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Pens1967
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.31/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Picked this up a few weeks back in Totowa, having never had anything from Alltech's before. I like this style of beer but as so many others alluded to on here, this was weak in the mouthfeel and fell way short of its potential. Even the alcohol was too weak, leading me to believe that this could have been a Brown Ale instead of an English Strong Ale. It went down well but on a cool night like this, I was hoping for a bit more warmth and body.

The pour to this was decent, with a clear appearance, bright copper hue, and sizable head. There was enough lacing to be seen as well and nice amount of carbonation from the get-go. Not a strong aroma as there was some bourbon, oak, and molasses in the nose and faint amounts of those in the taste as well. Was this too malty? Sure. Was this too weak? Unfortunately. Was this like an after-dinner cordial and not a beer that I would expect from the Bluegrass State? Absolutely. Almost reminded me of Frangelico or 43 as there was some walnut or hazelnut that came out of nowhere and went away just as fast. Not a lot of warmth of stickiness like I had hoped.

There was alcohol here but not in the taste and only when I polished this off could I fell it subtly kick in. While not a complete letdown, this beer had so much potential to it but proverbially fell flat. Not as complex as a true Bourbon Barrel Beer, this is what I'd give someone who never had anything of this sort before. Too light for a style that can get as heavy as can be - worth a go once for for those who can't get a hold of anything from Innis and Gunn.

 1,576 characters

Photo of denver10
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with absolutely no head. Aroma is nice and oaky, soft bourbon presence, vanilla, and a tease of some toffee. Aroma is nice but I wish it could have had a touch more depth to allow it to be great; nails the bourbon and barrel influence, lacks enough beer presence. Flavor is toasty and spiceyy with oak, vanilla, toffee, and a soft bourbon presence. A medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this far surpassed my expectations. I always saw this one on tap at the craft bars in Colorado but always passed on it. For whatever reason I assumed it was a dud. Now that I am living in Kentucky and found singles of it on the local shelves, figured I'd give it shot. Certainly glad I did, decent stuff.

 710 characters

Photo of yancot
3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of wisegreensoul
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of DRBiser
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Hojaminbag
2.68/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

After a huge hiss, this one proved to be a gusher. The head is massive and fizzy looking, quickly filling my glass with a huge tower that quickly dissipates. Besides the fact that there's decent lacing it looks a lot like soda.

It doesn't smell good. It seems a bit sour, with a touch of bourbon and black malt.

It's not sour, but it isn't good either. There is a little blast of bourbon with just a bit of wood. Next there is a charcoal flavor. The finish has just a bit of bitterness to it, and it manages to leave the overall impression of being sweet without any real sweet flavor. The finish has the slight taste of charcoal, or maybe even cigarettes.

The mouthfeel is pretty bad. Really light and fizzy; it doesn't just look like a soda, it tastes like one also.

I'm not a fan of this one. Not much going on here. It isn't unpleasant tasting, but the smell and feel are off, and it really isn't good either.

 917 characters

Photo of Magery
3.44/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of cmbeddoe7997
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of WesMantooth
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of bnes09
4.14/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Caramel color and semi-transparent. White head forms then dissipates quickly leaving a ring around the glass and minimal lacing.

Rich aroma of oak, caramel, toffee and nuts. Complex, intricate and inspires curiosity.

Similar flavors in beginning and middle. Definitely a sweet tone with caramel and brown sugar. Some vanilla and mild bourbon notes. Fruity with cherries and apples adding to the sweetness. Finishes fairly clean with lingering bready malt flavor.

Surprising light feel, just barely medium bodied. Crisp, even carbonation. Exceptionally smooth texture.

I really like this. Highly complex and well balanced.

 625 characters

Photo of agreenman19
4.16/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Patches826
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mcallister
3.39/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Nothing special about the looks of this beer. A simple orangish, copper with a small white head and some erratic lacing.

Nose is nice. Coconut, vanilla, bourbon, some nuttiness and other woodsy notes. Hints of flowery hop and sweet malts.

Not a bad beer but not one I would drink more than one of. Again dominated by coconut and vanilla, with a bourbon finish. A bit creamy in the mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. Overall a beer worth trying once.

 456 characters

Photo of wagenvolks
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Gulden Draak goblet.

Pours a bright golden-orange hue that's both clear and well-carbonated. A torrent of bubbles rises up from the etched glass bottom to help fuel a fleeting, eggshell-creme head that dissipates to a ring of bubbles. The aroma is more muted than I had hoped, with a slight hint of vanilla oak, bourbon, crystal malts, and floral hops.

The flavor easily makes up for what the aroma lacks, with a smooth, oaked vanilla kick and a hint of spicy bourbon heat. The hops are slight, while the malts are husky and lightly breaded. Body is on the thinner side of things considering the style, but the carbonation level and smoothness certainly make this a drinkable beer. Although the steep price limits the purchasing potential for this brew ($11/4-pack), its still a tasty treat from the center of bourbon country, USA.

 856 characters

Photo of Doomcifer
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of jwat
2.75/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Uconnelmo
3.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of nickd717
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this on draft on the recommendation of Brian Yaeger, author of "Red, White, and Brew." Brian was nice enough to give me another 12oz bottle of this that I brought to a tasting to share.

A - This beer is a nice clear amber color with a small off-white head and nice lacing.

S - Aroma is bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and oak. Smells very nice.

T - Slightly sweet caramel malt, bourbon, vanilla, oak, buttery notes, and a little alcohol. Very well balanced. It's nice to see a bourbon barrel aged beer done well other than the massive imperial stouts and such.

M - Body is medium and palate is smooth with medium-low carbonation.

D - This is an underrated beer, and drinkable for the ABV.

 694 characters

Photo of charlzm
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
3.63 out of 5 based on 2,939 ratings.
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