I like bourbon and I like beer, so sure, let’s put them together and see what happens. I love pizza and beer too, and while that infused beer turned out to be an evening of oregano burps, you never know.
Lexington Brewing makes Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale and several other brews that are aged six weeks or so in charred oak bourbon barrels. The parent company also makes bourbon, so while they don’t say, it’s a good bet some of those barrels end up in the mix. The brewery’s parent company, Alltech, also does a lot of animal feed supplements, so I’m hoping for bright eyes and a shiny coat.
The cardboard carrier for the four, not six, bottles recommends a snifter, but I went with a pint glass. It pours a clear copper with almost no head. The whiff is bourbon, of course, with vanilla and maple filtering through.
It’s a thicker mouth feel than you might expect, with a bit of boozy heat. I expect that’s more the strong ale’s 8.19% alcohol content than the bourbon essence. Don’t expect a boilermaker. The bourbon flavor is definitely there, but it’s an essence or flavoring. That vanilla/maple/bourbon element is enhancing the malty sweetness of the beer itself. Think Innis & Gunn or Hen’sTooth.
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is not something to slam on a hot, sweaty afternoon. It’s a sipper, a chewer, a very “autumn” beer – which makes me curious to try the brand’s new pumpkin spiced ale once the temps dip again.