Dating back to the late 1700s, Kentucky's reputation as the producer of the finest bourbon is unquestioned. In fact, Kentucky gives birth to roughly 98% of all bourbon worldwide. However, its brewing history languished until 1999, when the Lexington Brewing Company was ressurected from the ashes. Their flagship offering is their Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, which is aged in freshly used bourbon barrels for 6 months.
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale pours golden honey color with a small off-white head. Aromas of bourbon, vanilla, demerara sugar and oak are released through the beer's mild effervescence. It is fairly light in body and mouthfeel, which prevents its sweetness from becoming cloying. The initial heat from the alcohol is soon replaced with flavors of raisins, cream, dried citrus and caramel, which are balanced out by its whiskey-infused backbone. The beer has a moderately long finish with its vanilla flavors and lingering booziness keeping you warm. Unlike most barrel-aged brews, it is light on the palate and is a perfect after dinner sipper by the fireplace. The alcohol by volume clocks in at a bold 8.19%, so proceed with caution. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is available in 4-packs and retails for around $11.