Bourbon Barrels of Beer

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

Kentucky Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels for Six Weeks

For those of you who are fans of fine crafted beer and enjoy drinking bourbon, add Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale to your must drink bucket list.  The Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale had me at first sip–it’s a robust amber ale perfectly infused with bold hints of bourbon.  I wanted to find out more about this unique beer and connected with Nathan Canavera, Brand Manager of Beverage Division at Alltech’s Lexington Brewery & Distilling Company.   Nathan explains “The ale is actually the finished product of Kentucky Ale then aged for six weeks in a once used bourbon barrel, giving it the wonderful vanilla and caramel overtones that we all know and love from bourbon.”  Their Kentucky Ale brand is stored in freshly decanted barrels from some of Kentucky’s finest distilleries.

Savor It

Alltech Brewery’s biggest seller

This is a rare find, as I was fortunate that my friend was generous enough to give me a single bottle. If you are ever offered this beer as a gift, live or travel to a place that sells this, be grateful and savor every drop of it! At this time Alltech distributes to nine states in the nation due to limited supply.   Sadly, they do not distribute to the west coast.  They are growing at a fast pace, but want to ensure that they can keep up with their current territories as Nathan explains, “The last thing we want to do is open a new territory then not have the liquid to support it or begin to short our original markets.  As with lots of craft breweries we are growing quickly, but strive to do it in a manner that will allow us continued growth.”

Alltech has surpassed 20,000 barrel mark this year, with the international award winning Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale at the top–making up more than half of their sales.  Currently, this speciality ale contains 8.2% Alcohol by Volume (ABV), a higher percentage than any of their other beer products.

Food & Drink

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is a nosh in itself as it can served an apertif or an after dinner drink.  Nathan indicates that both savory and sweet plates go well with this libation, “I know people who do food pairings hate when we say it goes well with everything, but we’ve such great successes with so many dishes. I find I like it best ribs and smoked meats while lots of times we see it pair well with desserts because of the vanilla and caramel flavors.”

I can only imagine what it would be like to pair the Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale with a plate of smoked short ribs, or a warm chocolate brownie topped with salted caramel ice cream… Until then I’ll just have to be patient and try it when I’m visiting a state that sells it.  Perhaps in the future Alltech will have the capability to distribute nationwide (fingers crossed).  Either way, I anticipate that the next time the stars align with a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, it will be an experience that is well worth the wait!

More Beers, Liquor, and a New Bourbon Stout to Launch

A New Bourbon Barrel Stout Launching Soon

Nathan shared more about Alltech and the various products they produce on-site.  He explains, “Alltech’s Lexington Brewery & Distilling Company is privately owned by Dr. Pearse Lyons, Owner/CEO Alltech, an all natural animal health and nutrition company in business since 1980. Currently we have six beers, Kentucky Ale an English Pale Ale, Irish Red Hybrid, Kentucky Light, a German Kolsch Style Ale, and Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.”

They also distill a single malt whiskey named after the owner, Pearse Lyons Reserve, a bourbon coffee drink-Bluegrass Showdown, and their own Bourbon, Town Branch launched in 2011.  Nathan shares that they will release their newest product, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout in the next few weeks, “It will only be available in Kentucky and Ohio initially.”  This stout is expected to have an 8.2% AVB or higher.

To learn more about Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale or find where you can purchase it domestically, log on to, like Kentucky Ale and Town Branch Bourbon on Facebook, and follow @KentuckyAle on Twitter.  Cheers!


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