Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
It’s Monday and that means it’s time for a beer. Well, pretty much any day is a great time for beer, but it gives me an excuse right? Today I’m taking my 50 beer challenge to the state of Kentucky, where I tried Lexington Brewing’s Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.

Lexington Brewing only makes 3 beers, Kentucky Ale, Kentucky Light, and Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale and they were kind enough to send me a few bottles of each.  I decided to review the Bourbon Barrel ale as it sounded interesting as it is aged in freshly decanted bourbon barrels from some of Kentuckys distilleries, which sounded like a great way to represent their state.

Before I start the review, the best glassware for this beer is a snifter.  If you notice my picture I did use a pint glass instead, only for the fact that I just realized I need a new snifter or two and will be buying some this week.  American strong ales are great in snifters, but pint glasses work too.

The Kentucky Bourbon Barrel ale poured a very clear copper color with some light carbonation bubbles floating to the top of the glass. There was some thick off white head that dissipated into some pretty solid lacing which gave this beer a pretty beautiful look.

I really enjoy a good bourbon so I was pretty excited with the aroma.  It was all bourbon smelling with vanilla, booze and wood in the nose.  This was probably one of the most enjoyable beers I’ve smelled and would definitely give the aroma an A+.

The flavor overall is definitely unique.  It almost tastes like some bourbon on the rocks where the ice has melted and your left with a watered down drink that I’m not sure if I should like it or not.  Along with the bourbon flavor I can definitely taste oak along with some malt sweetness and vanilla.

It took me awhile to figure out if I really liked this beer or if I would just rather have a glass of bourbon, but I think I like it.  The mouthfeel is fairly light with a moderate amount of carbonation that I think most fans of bourbon might appreciate at least trying this beer.

It’s a very creative drink and I appreciate the uniqueness of the beer quite a bit.  I’m not sure I would drink this everyday, but it is definitely a beer I’d revisit and I’d suggest you at least give it a taste if you come across it.

Check out their commercial for this beer:

My Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale Review: B+

Here are the details:

ABV: 8.19%
IBUs: 15
Style: American Strong Ale

What’s your thoughts on Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale?


Logan is the owner of Blog About Beer. Along with blogging, he is also the author of two books, Beer Lover's Oregon and Beer Lover's Washington, an avid homebrewer, husband, dad of 2 girls, business owner and lover of ridiculously spicy foods.


  1. Talk about capturing the local fair! I need to head back east to check this out. I love me some Kentucky bourbon and beer… this sounds like a killer combination!

  2. Great blog Logan, I liked your approach to tasting beer. I received a good feel for the beer (Kentucky bourbon beer). I am a lover of bourbon, too. Have you thought about adding other spirits (bourbon…) to your blog . Like say, Four Roses for a lesser pocketbook, or Pappy Van Winkle for a more expanded pocketbook. But anyway, keep the suds flowing.

  3. Harry Manback Reply

    Man, I absolutely love this beer. My buddies run a bar in Muncie, IN, and they keep this stuff on tap…$6 a pint or $3.50 a smallish (prob 2/3 a pint) snifter; snifter is definitely ideal IMO. This stuff is perfect for a nightcap brew right before you go home, after perhaps a few lighter beers (I like to begin with a couple Two Hearted Ales from Bell’s; follow up with perhaps a wheat beer or an amber or brown ale, then finish up with something like a strong stout or KY Bourbon Barrel Ale); it will definitely finish up the evening with a kick.

  4. Well, I had my introduction to this type of beer. At “Brew It Up” in Sacramento, Ca, they make a Honey Porter that is aged in bourbon barrels. What a treat. After a Scotch Ale ( a good bitter ale), the Honey Porter was like an after dinner liqueur. It has the opposition of the bitter and sweet ( not overly though) of the original brew with the vanilla, caramel hints of the barrel. Delicious.

  5. I had my first taste of this ale in a local restaurant last night and my immediate reaction was, “WOW! This is amazing!” I passed the sniffter around to my dining companions and they were equally impressed. The marriage of a fairly nice medium-bodied ale with bourbon barrel aging was a stroke of genius, IMHO. As with many ales, people will either like it or will be put off by it. I enjoyed it and would drink it again. It’s definiely worth trying!

Write A Comment