- Name: Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
- Brewery: Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. (Lexington, Kentucky, USA)
- Style: American Strong Ale
- ABV: 8.2%
- Review number: 2
- My score: 4.75 / 5.0
I had a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale for the first time (and many times after that!) at probably my favorite bar in Cambridge, The Meadhall. I like that they have about a hundred beers on tap so I never get bored. And if I ever get homesick, they also serve all existing trappist beers in bottle.
Anyway, I was surprised at first by the size of the small glass, but after a few sips you understand why: you drink it more like a liquor than a beer. I remember it as the first beer I really enjoyed here. A big difference here is that I usually drink it on tap, so let's see what I prefer.
At a first glance, this beer looks awesome, slightly lighter than golden. It is a bit cloudy but does not look thick. Its appearance is inviting and charming. There is no way you won't want to take a sip.
I expected a lot of foam, but no, it was not foamy at all. You can barely see the bubbles either, it does not look carbonated.
First sip, there is no hesitation: this beer is strong (stronger than you expect), sweet and has an evident smoked taste. Don't get me wrong, none of these are drawbacks. It has a strong character that suits it well, it is not too sweet and the smoky tint is exactly what you want. This beer is thicker than its color presumes, which is good: you are not drinking water.
After a few sips, you realize why this glass is small (which doesn't really matter when served in a bottle!): after a while, the smoky-sweet taste would be too noticeable for a pint.
The Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is well-bodied: it has the right balance between thin and thick. It is not over-carbonated but it is definitely not flat.
First of all, my personal opinion was that, served in a bottle, I could feel the alcohol more than when served draft. Of course, I am not objective when reviewing this beer, because I already loved it beforehand.
It is definitely a remarkable beer to drink before a nice dinner. However, I would not recommend it to accompany a meal due to its strength. After all, I would not drink Bourbon while having dinner...