Two Roads Conntucky Lightnin’

rating_fair59 points

We believe it was the poet Robert Frost who once wrote,

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one that got me as far away
from this beer as possible!”

Okay, we may have taken some liberties with Mr. Frost’s poem, but no worse than Two Roads did in proclaiming its Conntucky Lightnin’ as having “aged in bourbon barrels” with “notes of whiskey.”

In fact, our panelists agreed that the Two Words that best describe this Two Roads offering are “false advertising.”

conntuckyLet’s start with what’s good about this beer.

[Crickets chirping]

All kidding aside…the beer has an attractive appearance. Our panelists enjoyed the cork-topped bottle, the label adorned with a map of Connecticut, and a slightly cloudy, deep caramel color on pour.

Intrigued? So were we. But prepare to be let down.

Throughout the rest of the ratings, the panel discovered that things were either not present as advertised, or just…plain…bad.

Conntucky Lightnin’ had very little aroma. Some panelists found hints of smoke and caramel, and others found it “smelled like beer.”

What didn’t it smell like? Bourbon.

The panelists almost universally panned the taste of this brew. Most simply said they were let down by it. Panelists’ notes ranged from ” nothing more than a malty beer,” to “hints of woody smoke,”  to “tastes like cheese mixed with a slightly worse cheese.”

What wasn’t noted in the taste? Bourbon.

By now, you’re probably noticing a pattern here. So you may assume that bourbon was nowhere to be found in the aftertaste of Conntucky Lightnin’.

Surprise! Bourbon was finally noted in the aftertaste…albeit light…and by only one of the panelists. Maybe “Surprise!” was a little too strong a reaction.

Actually, “strong reaction” is probably a better term for the aftertaste of this brew. One panelist angrily barked, “Where’s the bourbon?!”

Another noted a very unpleasant “yeasty cheesy funk” that immediately stopped him from drinking any more.

Similar reactions across the panel lowered drinkability scores. Most found disappointment in the lack of bourbon character in a $20 bottle of beer marketed as and touted for its bourbon barrel aging.

One panelist was so turned off by the beer, he jokingly proclaimed, “If I was stranded on a desert island and this bottle of beer washed ashore, I’d smash the bottle and slit my neck with it.”

We’re obviously not serious and don’t recommend such drastic actions. And while one of our panelists enjoyed it enough to rate it in the low 80s, the rest of the panel was thoroughly disappointed in a lackluster brew marketed as a top-shelf, barrel-aged release.

To evoke Mr. Frost in closing, if you’re looking down the Two Roads offerings, you may want to consider Conntucky Lightnin’ the road not taken.

Editor’s Note: We recognize that our review of Conntucky Lightnin’ is somewhat critical. While we stand by our review, we decided to cellar a bottle for one year to see if time can tame this beer. Look for our review of our cellar-aged bottle in June 2016.

(Appearance 8.5, Smell 5.33, Taste 16.33, Aftertaste 11.5, Drinkability 17.67)

Two Roads Conntucky Lightnin’ Appearance (10) Smell (10) Taste (30) Aftertaste (20) Drinkability (30) Total (100)
Jon 8 5 5 1 5 24
Mike 8 5 13 8 14 48
Bob 9 7 18 10 20 64
Rick 9 5 20 16 20 70
Amy 9 3 20 17 19 68
Sara 8 7 22 17 28 82
Average: 8.5 5.33 16.33 11.5 17.67 59.33