Kentucky Coffee Barrel Stout is an American Imperial Stout that’s brewed by Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. For the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a snifter from a 12 oz. bottle.
What You Need to Know
This Imperial Stout takes the brewery’s flagship Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale and ages it with coffee in the bourbon barrels. So how was it? Let’s get to the review.
The Stout pours a clear mahogany hue that shows a hint of honey brown at the edges of the glass when held to the light. The ale is topped by a finger-thick cap of loose tan-colored froth that dissipates rapidly. The head’s reduction leaves a thin band of foam around the glass.
The aroma is strong with a scent of vanilla and booze. As the beer warms, just a hint of earthy coffee can be detected.
The palate is led by a flavors of browned bread, earthy wood, and a mild dose of floral hops. A mix of roast malt and coffee greet the back end and the tasting then sweetens with vanilla, caramel, some dark fruit, and a hint of booze.
The feel is smooth but not quite the luscious creaminess one might expect. The bitterness is restrained and the alcohol imparts a modest warmth. The body isn’t quite full with moderate carbonation.
The short head retention makes the appearance of this brew wanting. The aroma is strong, persistent, and pleasant enough. But surprisingly, though, there really isn’t much coffee. The feel is lovely and the palate is delightful. It’s complex and layered but again, the coffee is restrained with the bourbon barrel flavors being in the forefront.
Overall, the Kentucky Coffee Barrel Stout is a nice Imperial Stout. And it’s about as an easy drinker you’ll find for the style. However, if you were hoping for a more pronounced coffee flavor, you may want to try another beer.
Alltech recommends the following food pairings with their Kentucky Coffee Barrel Stout: big intense dishes, roast beef, lamb or game, grilled or roasted. Rich, moderately aged cheese. Chocolate peanut butter desserts, anything with toasted coconut.