ConntuckyLightnin’ Bourbon Ale
1 750 ml bottle, $14 or so, 8.5% ABV
Purchased at Maximum Beverage, West Hartford
The “famous Kentucky distillery” whose barrels were used for this batch of ale was Willett in Bardstown. From the bottle’s label to the Two Roads website to all sorts of online reviews and write-ups, I got sick of reading about this secret distillery.
It’s Willett. A very good distillery by the way… I have no idea what the deal is with the “secret.”
I really dig the name of this beer. It’s clever and cheeky and tells the story of the beer. Well done, Two Roads, well done.
The name made me think about my experience growing up in the Philadelphia area and how we used to refer to the whole of Pennsylvania between Philly and Pittsburgh as “Pennsyltucky.” This was not said kindly; nor will I suggest I wouldn’t say it again right now.
There, I just did. Out loud to my little rescue turtle. He was nonplussed.
I sent a tweet out asking my followers where they’d consider Conntucky. I received several different towns/areas in response. “The Valley” which is the Naugatuck Valley and various eastern towns were the top vote-getters. I’ve thought long and hard about it and I really haven’t settled on any particular town or area. We know it wouldn’t be anywhere in western or southern CT or anywhere along the Sound at least.
I’m going to go with Killingly/Danielson. I heard once that that area has the highest teen pregnancy rate in Connecticut. I can only find anecdotal stuff related to this though. Killingly does rate 9th in teen births which is still pretty startling when you consider the 8 ahead of it are what you’d expect: The Hartbeat, Dirty Water, The Bridge, Hard Hittin, Gun Wavin’ and so on.
So yeah, Killingly is Conntucky. I’ve made it official. (Please send your hate mail to Bob. A. Booey of Greenwich, thanks.)
Two Roads says:
The Connecticut Yankees at Two Roads have CONNjured up this moonshine inspired bourbon-like ale. Using good ol’ USA cron grits and aged in real bourbon barrels from a famous Kentucky distillery, this unique CONNconction includes notes of whiskey, oak and vanilla. It should make your taste buds happier than a pig in “____.”
Whoa! Eeeeeasy there Two Roads. Someone got a bit carried away with the copy on this bottle’s label. Did I mention the barrels were from Willett?
Most bourbon barrel aged beers are stouts and don’t involve corn grits. I’ve never even heard of, let alone had, any beer of this type before, so I was definitely curious to crack this bad boy.
I am not a bourbon (or whisky or whiskey or scotch or rye) guy at all. Maybe I’ll get into them when I get older, but they’re just not for me. So these booze-infused beers have to be done right for me to really like them. Heck, I’m on record saying I like NEBCO’s Stout Trooper better than their barrel aged Stout Trooper. (Hate mail? See above.)
The smell of the Conntucky was quite boozy right off the bat. Just like Killingly. Boom!
Once poured, it didn’t let up. But I kind of dug this offering. It needed to mellow a bit in the glass (and/or I needed to get a quick buzz from the 8.5% ABV), but after half a glass, I was really enjoying it. It’s not great or anything, as the corn and the alcohol heat are present throughout. And it is an ale after all, which again is just sort of weird and new to me in this format.
And it’s not worth 14 bucks or whatever I paid for it.
Overall Rating: B
Rating vs. Similar style: C