Kentucky Vanilla Barrel Cream Ale is brewed by Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co., and for the purpose of this craft beer review, was served in a mug from a bottle.
Pours darker than expected with a color of shiny copper. Ample effervescence appears in the glass. A thick head of off-white foam shows fine retention and leaves a nice lattice of sticky lacing as it recedes. Patches of residue blot the sides of the glass during consumption.
Not surprising when considering the beer’s name, the aroma is strikingly sweet with a scent of vanilla. There’s also a hint of corn. No hops are present.
The palate begins with a taste of corn and biscuit, sweetened by a hint of vanilla. Transitions to a mild flavor of bourbon and floral hops before finishing with a lingering sweetness of vanilla bean.
Many cream ales have a lighter body but this brew is definitely medium. The feel is slick with moderate carbonation.
Overall, it’s mildly disappointing that the barrel aging process doesn’t add more character to the flavor. Vanilla dominates from nose to taste, but when considering the concept and style, that’s not too surprising. The Kentucky Vanilla Barrel Cream Ale can almost be considered a dessert beer and should you have a sweet tooth, give this brew a try.