Brewery: Alltech’s Lexington Brewing Company
Beer: Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale
Style: American Brown Ale
Character: Brewed with honey and ginger and aged in bourbon barrels.
Ratings at the time of Review: BA: 84 | RB: 58
Metal Connection: THE CULT – Honey from a Knife
BeerMetalDude Rating: 3.75/5
Around 2014 I was introduced to a beer called Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale by a friend who was all about this beer back then. I remember sharing it from a growler of hers. The beer was not that bad from what I remember, but I knew nothing of the brewery. Since then, I have seen several beers sharing the same “Kentucky…” label. After doing a little research, I came to find out that Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company was opened in 1999 by a company named Alltech, which is an animal nutrition company with operations in animal feed, and meat. Alltech develops agricultural products for use in both livestock and crop farming, as well as products for the food industry. They got int the beer business with the release of their English Pale Ale named Kentucky Ale. These guys do get a bad reputation throughout the local Craft Beer drinkers, as they look at this brewery as “Big Business” and not loyal to the Craft Beer way of things. I, for one, enjoyed the beers I have had from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing Company. To be honest with you though, I did not purchase this beer, as it was given to me by the sales rep from the local distributor for this brewery.
As with all the other labels by this brewery, this one features their standard drawing of a barrel with the word Kentucky arched on the top side with a horse head logo in the middle. The name of the beer is under this icon. This is all written on the face of the barrel. The overall color of the label is a honey golden color with beehives and honeycombs silhouetted throughout the label. Nothing really fancy. In fact, it has a “Big Beer” look to it.
I used a Real Ale Oktoberfest beer mug for this session. Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale poured a clear dark reddish-brown color, which was topped with a large nearly 2 inch tan foamy head. There was decent head retention throughout, leaving web-like lacing down the mug.
The aroma was pretty complex and full of flavor. Oak wood, bourbon, roasted malts, some caramel, toffee, chocolate, vanilla, coconut, blended with hints of honey, and some biscuit bread. There was a very mild ginger spice that showed up at the end of each whiff, and lingered a bit right along side oak wood, and boozy bourbon.
The taste was similar to the nose. The big flavors that hit the palate first was oak wood, boozy bourbon, roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, toffee with hints of vanilla and coconut from the oak barrel, and some bready malts. There was traces of honey and some spice from the ginger, but it was not as up-front as I believe, it should have been. The aftertaste was oak wood, boozy bourbon, toasted coconut, and roasted malts.
The body was medium-heavy with a smooth mouthfeel, and not so hot, considering this is a bourbon barrel-aged beer and is 10%. Mild carbonation. This one had a smooth, yet kind of dry finish, which I’m assuming is from the added spice, ginger.
Overall, this beer was not that bad. Even though I am not a huge fan of ginger, I am a believer of deliver what you promise. This beer advertised ginger on the label, and it just was not as prevalent in the flavor as I would have thought. I’m glad the honey was at least present. I haven’t had much from this brewery, but I do want to at least try their offerings.
Metal Connection: All these damn honey beers with no clever names are making the Metal Connections harder and harder. I went a little out of the box on this one. I’m sure all of you reading this knows exactly who this band is from hearing their music on now, Classic Rock radio stations around the world. I present to you the British Rock band, The Cult. They formed in the early 1980’s, and hit charts here in America with the songs “She Sells Sanctuary” from their 2nd full length album, Love from 1985, “Love Removal Machine” from Electric (1987), and “Fire Woman” from Sonic Temple (1989). Vocalist, Ian Astbury, and guitarist, Billy Duffy are the only original members throughout their career to the present time. In the early 2000’s, Ian Astbury became the lead singer of The Doors, and even performed with the surviving members of MC5. The song I chose is called “Honey from a Knife” from the band’s 9th full length album, Choice of Weapon. This song has an excellent hook, rocking guitar riffs, and Astbury’s voice is as awesome as ever. Now for those of you living under a rock or too young to even care who these guys are, please do yourself a favor and look up the songs I listed above! Enjoy!