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Brew Crew: Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

Brewery: Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company
Available at: Sherbrooke Liquor Store (11819 St. Albert Trail)

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is a mundane example of whiskey barrel beers. Bourbon, by definition, must be aged in a new oak barrel each time it is distilled, leaving a stockpile of used barrels. Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company is, like other more famous brewing companies, putting one of their headliner ales into one of these used barrels and then placing it to rest anywhere from four to eight weeks at the discretion of the brewmaster. The intention is to have a drink that resembles some of the bourbon flavours with an easier drinking style and some light beer notes.

The pouring of this starts the boring experience, with nearly no head and limited carbonation bubbles. To the nose, you have some pleasant vanilla and floral scents with an undertone of bourbon. Though enjoyable, the floral scent does not jump out and vanilla is anything but interesting, leaving the drinker wanting something more.

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale left a bitter feeling everywhere but in my mouth. They have badged a boring bottle with interesting-looking labels and filled it with a mediocre ale masquerading as a whiskey fan’s best friend. With such boring flavours and presentation it feels like the brewers have made a bourbon-inspired ale simply to use up their leftover barrels. With a high price, low volume, and uninspired flavour, this is a hard pass. Avoiding this and replacing it with bourbon-proper is a better use for your time and taste buds

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