What do beer drinkers, animal nutrition and performance horses have in common? The answer is the Alltech Company a major producer of natural animal health products and owner of the Lexington Brewing Company. Alltech is also sponsoring the FEI World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park from September 25-October 10, 2010. This will be the largest equestrian sporting event ever held in the United States and the first time this global event has ever taken place outside of Europe.
Our local Alltech office hosted an open house last week. I wanted to go because of my involvement with the livestock industry (veterinarian & farmer) and my interest in craftbeer. Their brand new facilities include offices, a small laboratory and a warehouse. I was impressed with the friendly employees. After a tour I was able to sample their Kentucky Ale which tasted pretty good on a warm and windy afternoon.
My name was called as a door prize winner, and I chose to take home a mixed six pack of their ales. It was a good opportunity to review these ales for this blog.
Kentucky Light is a Kölsch-style ale with ABV=4%. It was poured into a pint glass with a 1 1/2 finger white head that quickly faded. The ale had a gold color and light spicy aroma. It was refreshing and not heavy on the palate. It would make a good “lawn mower” or summer beer. Grade =B.
Kentucky Ale is a marriage between an Irish Ale and an English Pale Ale (according to the brewery website). It has an ABV=5.3%. It was poured into a pint glass and had a less than one finger head that faded quickly. The color was a light amber. There was a mild malty aroma. The flavor was slightly malty and not very hoppy. The mouth feel was not heavy. This beer was awarded a bronze medal at the 2005 Great American Beer Festival. Grade = B-.
The Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale was the most interesting of the group. It has an ABV=9%, so it is meant to be sipped. It poured out with a slight head into a snifter. The color was reddish brown and the aroma was of bourbon and oak. The flavor was a mixture of bourbon and oak with traces of vanilla and caramel. Fine bubbles worked their way to the top of the snifter during the tasting session. This was the most enjoyable of the three (my wife even liked it!). It was awarded a silver medal at the recent 2010 World Beer Cup (wood and barrel aged beers). It also received a silver medal at the 2007 Great American Beer Festival. Grade = A-.
These ales are normally available only in Kentucky and Ohio. They are worth finding. Thanks to Alltech for this door prize!
PS – I first learned about Alltech and their ownership of the Lexington Brewing Company in Brian Yaeger’s book “Red, White, and Brewed”. The author was interviewed by New Brew Thursday in their February 25, 2010 episode. I recommend the book for craftbeer fans.