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Kuhnhenn Fourth Dementia (4D) - Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Kuhnhenn Fourth Dementia (4D)Kuhnhenn Fourth Dementia (4D)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

447 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 447
Hads: 1,007
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 603
Gots: 216 | FT: 25
Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  13.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: marburg on 05-06-2003

Previously Fourth Dementia

2009 11.8%
2010 13.5%
2011 13.5%
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 447 | Hads: 1,007
Photo of MusicaleMike
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a balloon glass. The body is a deep, dark mahogany, verging on opaque. The head is a pillowy, two finger thick, tan foam that has excellent retention. Tiny bubbles. Very lasting, which is surprising for a beer that has such a high alcohol content. Some lacing.

Ripe pineapple is the first thing that came to mind in the aroma. It has a rich, malty sweetness, but a certain tartness/acidity in the aroma which I find desirable in an olde ale. Sherry-like. As it warms, notes of fig emerge.

Taste is bold, explosive. Alcohol and rich caramel malts intertwine, with a balancing bitterness and sweet, vinous finish. Carbonation is excellent and absolutely perfect for helping to lighten the body of this massive beer. Full bodied. Sticky. Nutty, toffee-like aftertaste.

This is a great olde ale. With a perfect appearance, and an excellent aroma, with an equally complex flavor, and active carbonation that serves this beer well, it may be the best in the style I've ever had. Would love to see what additional aging could bring to this beer.

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Photo of sleuthdog
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage into Kuhnhenn snifter

Pour: Copper brown with ruby highlights. Head tried to form but ultimately failed.

Smell: Dark fruits, (figs, dates, raisins), toffee, caramel and brown sugar...just a big sweet forward beer. This regular version is much fruitier than the BB version and does not have a note of alcohol at all.

Taste: Dark fruits up first. Huge taste of figs, raisins, plums and dates that seem to be covered with caramelized brown sugar. Again very sweet and toffee like with a slight alcohol burn. I find this regular 4D to have a tart taste in the back end and through the finish. A very nice warming sensation from this one.

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous. Covers all areas of the palate with sticky sweetness. The sweetness is even found on the lips after sipping. Light carbonation.

Overall: Not as mind blowing as the BB4D was to me but wow is this beer put together to perfection. This is like a spirit sipper for sure. Sweet, complex and decadent!

Thanks Ryan, rpbuckeye!

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

big ups to andrenaline for including this in our last trade
A - swampy brown, thin layer of consistent head, left nicely consistent lacing
S - raisins, molasses, light hints of pears and herbs, not even a tickle of the high octane
T - juicy rasins and plumbs, molasses and butter, sticky sweet to the last drop with just a faint hint of alcohol in the late finish
M - thick and sticky sweet, you would never guess its a 13.5% behemoth, just a little warmth in the chest
O - this is just unbelievable, sweet and delicious and drinkable to the point of being very dangerous, i would love to get my hands on another

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Photo of BGDrock
4.76/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: no head (might be the glass though), foggy dark brown like an americano

Aroma: fascinating, mystifying - raisin, prune, rich complex port; just beautiful!; perfume - slightly floral, over-ripe fruit like apple that's gone brown and rinkled (in a good way)

Taste & Mouthfeel: thick and oily; burnt caramel of the deepest kind, vanilla - like a more intense creme brulee; just a hint of burn in the finish - which goes on for days with simmered dark fruit flavour; hints of coffee bitterness; over time the alcohol becomes more prominent, as well as chocolate, coffee, burnt flavours, but still masterfully balanced with fruit and caramel

Overall: love when a beer has a undefinable, complex flavour that keeps you coming back for more, trying to reason what makes it so good - this is that and more; a must have and probably great aged a few years

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Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011, poured into a KtG tulip

A- viscous ruby/mahogany/dark brown pour with a hint of a head that dissipates quickly into a ring around the class. inviting

S- toffee, fig, dark fruit, maybe some graham cracker? I dunno, there's a lot going on, smells sweet and decadent

T- Somehow even richer on the palette. toffee, burnt marshmallow, brown sugar, decadent.

M- thick, almost cloyingly syrupy, could use some more carb to be just a touch less sticky, great nonetheless and goes with the decadent vibe of the brew

O- if this wasn't so sticky, I'd say I could drink this anytime, but I'm wishing I had saved it for a cold winter rather than a cooler summer eve. Decadent brew that is worth seeking out

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at the Kuhnhenn Brewery as part of a paddle. '11 Vintage.

Appearance: Somewhat like the BB4D, but with a more reddish hue, and -- surprisingly -- a somewhat smaller head. Given the ABV, this is actually a great looking beer. There's even a little bit of lacing, too.

Smell: Sweet. The BB4D has a chocolate note, and I suppose this has a trace of it as well, but it's less pronounced. This regular 4D has a fruitier aroma, and there's no alcohol in that aroma at all.

Taste: Like the smell, sweet... cherry sort of aromas here, with plenty of malt. There's a decent bitterness in there so it's not all fruity sweetness, but it's definitely a sweeter brew. Dark fruits and malts own this beer. A bit of warmth on the swallow lets you know that this is a high ABV beer, but it doesn't come through in the taste. I like the aroma on this one a bit more than the BB4D version.

I'm no doubt in the minority, but I prefer this one to the bourbon barrel version. It's not by a huge margin, but it's still there. The bourbon barrel may mellow the beer out a tad, but it also takes away notes that this '11 4D had... and that I really enjoyed. This 4D had an inexplicable certain "bite" in the flavor (and I don't mean alcohol) that really intrigued me. This is an excellent beer that must be tried if it can be found.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to northyorksammy for this bottle...

A: Pours a deep brown with only a faint khaki colored head. The foam fades quickly leaving only the tiniest of bubble rings along the edges of the glass. The beer has great legs and no lacing.

S: The nose is caramel, malt, raisin, plum, mild spice, and alcohol. It smells perfect for the style. I'm looking forward to this.

T: Right off the bat I get caramel, raisins, and cinnamon. As it moves to the middle, the alcohol begin to show as is mixes with stone fruits and nutmeg. There is a lot more spice in this beer than I would have imagined. The finish is mild spice, caramel, raisin, vanilla, and alcohol.

M: Full bodied beer. It syrupy and sticky from start to finish. The beer coats the palate and refuses to shift off. Totally cloying and sweet, with great residual flavors.

O: Great beer. I actually think I enjoyed this one more than the barrel aged versions. The caramel fruit and spice are more pronounced in this beer, where some of the subtleties get lost in the Barrel Aged version. Really nice. Would drink again/10.

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Photo of vonnegut21
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured into a tulip.

A: Deep black pour, slight tan head. Minimal lacing.

S: Lots of fig and raisin. Caramel and brown sugar notes linger. Lots of dark winter fruit character. Very nice.

T: HUGE fig, raisin and plum presence on the first sip. Caramelized brown sugar, molasses and slight roasted chocolate flavors follow. This has almost a port wine character to it. Very warming. A big ol' fig bomb. I need one of these on a cold winter night. Delightful.

M: Thick and viscous. Coats the tongue and provide a nice touch of warmth.

O: This was just excellent. I'm sure it's great fresh as well, but I think the two years in the cellar really took this one up a level. Quite possibly my favorite old ale. I can't wait to crack the BB4D sitting in my fridge. I don't think that one is making it until cold weather returns...

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Photo of biegaman
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage tasted 17/6/13 (13.5%)

Let us assume that Kuhnhenn Fourth Dementia is indeed the product of some alternative universe, one where flatness, sludgy murkiness and muddy brown colouring are considered aesthetic qualities for a beer to have. In the eyes of that world it would be a model beer... but in this one it looks like something you'd unclog from your bathroom sink.

Just smelling 4D you'd want to have some tissue on hand in case it sticks to and hangs off your nose; its aroma comes across incredibly resinous and viscous. It's as if the brewery covered tree bark in a hard caramel coating and smeared figs and bruised plums across it. The glass smells as though it's been glazed in some kind of anise seed wax.

Persistence in trying to pick out more and more from the aroma might result a headache - it's that intense - but sipping the beer is a sweet and sublime exercise in relaxation. Vanilla candle and caramel flavours really come to the fore along with all kinds of Christmas-cake dried fruits and spices. The musty oak barrel notes crumble into a chocolate and port-like finish.

High alcohol may give the beer sherry-like undertones but a near chewy maltiness provides enough body in the form of dark toffee and chocolate-covered wafers. A bleached-out, long-steeped English Breakfast bitterness mingles with figs, dates and plum pudding on the finish. The earthy, bittersweet profile is reminiscent of a strong chestnut honey.

4D doesn't have to be sipper but it's a wise to way to consume a beer that is both strong and complex; each mouthful reminds one of just how much can be derived from only a few measly ounces (bought with, it must be said, more than just a few measly dollars). Mind you the beer's high price tag is reflective of a rich beer, one that gives even more with bottle age.

Any Kuhnhenn in the cellar means life is good. Kuhnhenn beers - the barrel-aged offerings in particular - are objects against which to measure the rest of your life. Though they aren't cheap, these beers aren't about being well-heeled – they're about being well-off, in the sense that you have the fortunate circumstances to enjoy some of America's most rare and unique ales.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 5.26.13

2010 Vintage

A - Pours a dark caramel brown with a small dark tan head that fades away quickly.

S - Caramel, toffee, dark fruit, booze.

T - Caramel, dry fruit, booze. A touch of some oxidization.

D - Heavier body with low carbonation.

O - Boozey dark ale with lots of caramel and dark fruit flavors.

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Photo of tbeckett
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage. From notes.

A - Dark amber pour with half a finger of brown head. No lace and no retention with booze legs.

S - Aggressive. Whiskey, tons of dark fruit, port, lot's of spirits. Serious spirit/caramel/boozy fruits. Deep.

T - More spirit barrel, sugar, dark fruit, whiskey, vanilla, port. Complex.

M - Mild carbonation, full body, sweet spirit-like finish.

O/D - Wonderfully complex. Lot's of stuff going on with a deep boozy character and richness to compliment it. Drinks more like port. Liked it lot's.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1767th Review on BA
Bottle to Kuhnhenn Tulip

2011 Bottle

App- A turbid looking mix of browns, reds and purples. A bit muddled with a small 1 finger head. A bit dense and more along the lines of a stout mixed with an old ale. Not the most inviting color. A little bit of cling as it slides down the glass.

Smell- A lot of dark fruits and sugars on this one. More brown sugar and plums that I would have thought. I think time has mellowed this one out. The alcohol was a bit whispy still but not overpowering. A bit of oak and vanilla on a big whiff of this one.

Taste- This was more of a thicker tasting dark fruits leaning quad like flavor vs. old ale to me. I like the balance of flavors on it with the oak and vanilla balancing out the sweetness and the alcohols. Semi sweet with a bit of a bite on the finish from the alcohol.

Mouth- A medium body that almost borders on full with a medium thick carbonation. A bit of the residual sweetness remains and a bit of the vanilla and fruits as well. Some oak on a lip smack as well.

Drink- I thought it was tasty. I prefer the Bruery Anniversary Old ale offerings and the barrel aged 4D but this was very good.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.53/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

Deep brown. Surprisingly nice head for the style, a couple fingers. Settles to a respectable film.

Big dark fruit on the nose, nice undercurrent of toffee and a bit of chocolate.

Holy sweetness. A little bit of odd, but kind of welcome, tartness to start things off, but then it's just a rush of sweet sweet fruit. There are some chocolate flavours that I really like and the slight alcohol heat near the finish is really nice, but it really needs a touch more zing to balance things out.

Mouthfeel on the other hand is just terrific. Full bodied with perfect amount of carbonation, an area where many old ales fall flat on their faces.

Some will (and obviously do) enjoy this, but too sweet for my tastes.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

BB 2017/01/01

Beer appears very dark brown- close to black but not quite. A small bit of off-whitehead is gone almost instantly.

Smell is very strong and rich. Burnt caramel/toffee, raisin. Quite malty. Smells like a port to me, with dark fruit.

Coming off the nose, the taste has a surprising herbal/spice flavour that I did not expect. Along with that are similar flavours to the nose- caramel/toffee, raisin, brown sugar. Alcohol heat is quite present, which is no surprise. A bit smoky. Very big flavour. Quite sweet.

Full bodied, very heavy, with a moderate carbonation level. Feels sticky. Sugar has a drying effect.

Overall, one big beer. I quite like it but it is a bit on the sweet side (although I do have a sweet tooth). Alcohol is also a bit much. I do wonder if it will mellow with age. In any event, quite enjoyable.

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Photo of uno99
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Whoah! One of the highest ABV beers ever (legally) sold in Ontario.

Appearance: Quite a dark brown depending on how wide your glass is. Poured into a small collectable sample glass from a beer fest it is a very deep brown mahogany. No head or lacing really. Just a small ring around the meniscus.

Smell: Very pungent. Rich chocolate, dark fruits, sweet roasty malt, some lighter fruits, oak, pepper, lemon, leather. Quite complex.

Taste: big and bold. All properties from the scent are available in the taste. A bit of alcohol at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Adequate carbonation for this thick and rich ale. Plan on spending a good hour with this if you find yourself alone with the bottle.

Overall: Lives up to the reputation. A quite drinkable huge beer with complex taste and aroma.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.76/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2012 Vintage bottle drank from a standard pint glass.

A: A beautiful deep brown (mahogany or copper) color with a thin tan head that dissipated rapidly. This bottle had very little carbonation and not much in the way of lacing.

S: Deep, ripe, dark fruit like raisins and dates and a blast of malty ‘breadiness’. There is a slight boozy note which is to be expected given its 13.5% ABV, but it is not overwhelming.

T: Wow! There is a rich caramel sweetness that is dominated by ripe, dried, dark fruit (raisins, figs, dates) and backed by a full, rich malt, biscuit, bread base. There is a nice hop bitterness to balance out the sweetness of the malt. Again, there is a slight booziness, but minimal given the high ABV. Given the high gravity of the beer, it still manages to remain soft on the palate.

M: Fourth Dimension is a bowl of brown sugar porridge on a cold winter’s day. The beer is full and silky smooth giving it an incredibly round and robust presence.

O: A stellar version of a complex beer style. 4D is a perfectly balance beer of rich fruit and biscuit/bready malt with a pleasant hoppy counterpoint. This is an impressive beer!!

EDIT: Poured the same 2012 vintage on Feb 2015. The hops have died back really allowing the malt profile to shine. A certain amount of spice has developed like nutmeg and cinnamon adding a delicious complexity. This beer is only getting better with age!

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Best before 2017/01/01. I think I still have some time.

(4.25) A: Pours an attractive reddish-caramel colour with a noticeable syrupy texture. An aggressive pour gets a thin and creamy head that lasts a while.

(4.5) S: Rum soaked fruit cake, dry oak, dates & figs, loads of brown sugar, hints of cinnamon, and nutmeg. Potent dark fruits along with those candied fruits. Very flavourful and very inviting.

(4.5) T: Boozy raisins, brown sugar, oak, wonderful caramel-like aftertaste, and overripe banana and blueberry. Espresso and dark chocolate syrup towards the finish. Was not expecting such a smooth and balanced finish. Surprisingly not overly boozy considering the ABV and other flavours aren’t drowned out by it.

(4.25) M: Medium bodied with a lower carbonation appropriate for the style. Incredibly slick and creamy with a slightly gritty texture that is all very good.

(4.5) D: This is really great and is actually probably worth the higher price. Everything is exceptional across the board. Will be cellaring another to try in a year or two.

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Photo of Derek
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 Vintage.

I've had earlier (lighter) versions of this and never really cared for it. At the first Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Fest I just thought it was harsh, same with other bottles.

This is better. It doesn't need to be 13.5%, but it is better.

A: Initial pour seems like it is almost still, very little carbonation. Deep, deep mahogany, a few tan bubbles surface and it shows a little leg.

S: Alcohol is apparent in the aroma, somewhat sherry-like. Plenty of raisins, figs, dates and hints of field berry.

T: Although it's stronger than early versions, it doesn't seem so. I thought they were plagued by tertiary/fusel alcohol, but not this one. Tons of dates, raisins, figs and dark caramel, hints of roasted nut and cocoa and some meaty melanoidins. Good bitterness, alcohol is certainly warming.

M: Mild carbonation really works, but I still find the residual sweetness a bit much.

O: I still think this is over-rated, but it is a good brew.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Likely the last brew I enjoy before the arrival of our baby daughter... Our world is about to change, so I figured I would celebrate the change with a quality brew.

A - Pours a murky mahogany, thin layer of head with little retention and no real lacing.

S - Bready toffee, caramel, leather, oak, figs and dark fruit notes, candied apple, buttered bread and wheat.

T - The flavour profile is unique, an earthy hop flavour comes through off the top with the dark fruit notes coming through on the finish. The toffee and caramel are present alongside a hint of bitter espresso, leather and burnt wood. The ABV sweetness is present but not overwhelming and is surprisingly hidden on the finish.

M - Medium bodied, a tad sticky, and finishes surprisingly wet.

O - A tasty brew that is incredibly complex. The nose and flavours are complex and I found that they became even more diverse as the brew warmed. There's a reason this is top rated, and I will definitely be grabbing a few extra bottle to age.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, brownish black topped by a thin head. Decent lacing.

The aroma is booze and raisins, bourbon maybe. Rum. Vanilla. Treacle and molasses. Lots of toffee and sweetness, lots of dark fruits.

Delicious sweet brown sugar and black liquorice. Salt water toffee. Lots of dark fruits. Some tobacco and vanilla. It's a tad boozy, but in a good way. The delicious malty sweetness is noticeable but is quashed perfectly with a mild bitterness. Just a complex yet wonderful depth of flavour here.

It's ligher than expected body actually works really well with all of the rich flavours that are going on here.

Very well rounded and enjoyable. Definitely a sipper and one is enough at any given time. But super enjoyable.

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Photo of scootny
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2010 bottle. A murky dark mahogany with lots of chunks floating and swirling around. Some lace and a remnants of the light wispy head sitting on top. Smell is a fusion of brandy/rum and beer with a heavy sweetness and lots of burnt sugar flowing into a heavy alcoholic presence. Some bits of dark roasted grains and yeasty fruitiness. Chocolate laps at the nose. Raisins and figs in there as well. Taste is densely sweet with the aforementioned raisins and figs. Notes of coffee and bitter cocoa powder. Hops are here in abundance and still they barely control the massive sugar content of this ale. Earthy in character and mildly pungent they bring a semblance of balance to this beer. Feel is thick. Thick like a sandwich from the Carnegie Deli in NYC, ( You can get four slices of extra bread and still have to stretch your mouth to bite it ). Carbonation is mild and gentle with enough pop to break up the syrupy, sticky nectar. This is a beer equivalent to Napoleon Brandy with a warming quality that keeps your swallows in check. Try to pound this one and you are lost cause. Sip, savor and warm up as you indulge your senses in this one. While it may work with sweeter desserts I'm thinking nuts and full flavored cheeses as a perfect compliment to this one.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage.

Appearance - Deep brown with a surprising head. Wispy surface with a thin collar. Leggy on the swirl.

Smell - Mmm. A bit of oxidation, some wet sock aroma, delicious. Deep earthy caramel aroma.

Taste - Nutty malt flavor, earthy hops. Slightly less impressive than the smell. No real sweetness. Bitter finish. No booze.

Mouthfeel - No alcohol or sweetness. It's a sipper, but it's not really difficult to drink. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Nowhere near as good as the barrel aged version, but still an impressive beer.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2011 bottling poured into my Hill Farmstead tulip - thanks GraniteSkunk! A beer & brewery I was never sure I'd be able to try, and now I get to sample one of their finest!

A: Hazy dark opaque brown body - hardly any head at all on this beer, can't swirl anything up. Alcohol legs are present on the glass.

S: Caramel, sugary malt, toasted brown sugar, dark fruits (fig, raisin, possibly dates?). There are whiskey-like notes to the nose, not exactly 'barrel-aged' notes, but just suggestions of a whiskey-like character. Faint milk chocolate and ghost-like vanilla.

T: Follows the nose, epics amounts of caramel in this beer as one would expect from an Old Ale. Sweet without being cloying though, supremely drinkable really. Milk chocolate, toffee, figs and raisins, faint vanilla...this is good...a bit of heat is noticeable and balances the sweetness nicely.

MF: Slick, viscous mouthfeel with extremely low carbonation (the bottle hardly hissed when opened) - however it doesn't detract from the drinkability and really lets the flavors shine.

O: Probably the finest Old Ale I've tasted, and I'm not partial to this style. I wanted to kill the hype on this one if I could, but its well deserved. Really nice and drinkable, appears to be the perfect beer for barrel-aging IMO.

Thanks again GraniteSkunk, an awesome extra!

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Photo of tectactoe
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Had this quite a few times at Kuhnhenn, but I finally decided to crack some of my 2011 bottles, and this review will be based off of that. Fourth Dementia pours soft, rich, and thick, almost like warm maple syrup out of the bottle. It's a very deep and dark mahogany, showing ruby highlights in front of the light. A small, khaki crown forms slowly upon pouring, showing decent retention for this high gravity brew. A quick swirl of the glass will easily conjure up larger froth if desired.

I could smell 4D long before I ever brought the glass to my face - pretty much as soon as I cracked the bottle open. It's a highly sweet malt bomb that is very reminiscent of a barleywine up front. Humongous caramel aromas, warm toffee, and a melted coating of brown sugar smeared from wall to wall. Rich dark fruits reside beneath this blanket of sugary goodness; plums, black cherries, dates - all candied and tangled in vibrant sweetness. I pick up very faint woody aromas, though I don't believe the original 4D ever touched a barrel. Wonder what this is from? Alcohol is present with a warming and smooth notice, similar to that of brandy or sherry. Warmer temperatures only reveal more nuances in this already complex labyrinth of aromas; more sticky toffee, light tobacco, graham crackers... This aroma is blowing my mind.

Smelling this beer does nothing but get me even more excited to finally bring it to my lips. Truth is, I usually sit there and wave it in front of my nose for minutes before I finally take a sip. Initially, 4D comes out swinging with a fruit combination, sweet and pure like a puree; cherries, raspberries, and ripe plums are leading the pack by far. Now imagine those fruits drizzled in rich caramel, and rolled in a vat of brown sugar, then dipped delicately in a brandy bath for a few hours. Sticky bouts of toffee are strong from start to finish along with lighter hints being given to honey and maybe even maple syrup. 4D is sending my entire sensory system into a frenzy and I'm loving every goddamn minute of it.

Again, warmer temperatures yield an even larger bouquet of flavors, so I recommend taking it slow; it probably took me a little over an hour to finish the 12 oz bottle and that's the best way to do it. The flavors intensify and grow to a ridiculous degree of power and refinement, as if they weren't incredible enough already. The aftertaste is full of that light oak flavor that I was getting in the aroma - again, kind of mind-boggling considering this wasn't aged in a barrel or anything. Long lasting, toasted brown sugar couples with graham crackers and leftover cherry and raspberry juices to give one last jolt of sweetness before the sip of 4D is gone forever. Despite the intensely high levels of sweetness, the beer elegantly avoids becoming cloying through delicate balance with the alcohol heat and a faint (almost unnoticeable) addition of earthy hop bitterness. Slightly sticky mouth feel, heavy and thick on the palate, low-medium carbonation.

Holy shitballs. This stuff is absolutely incredible. I know I'm probably one of the only people that thinks this, but I enjoy the regular 4D much more than the barrel-aged version. I don't believe that barrel-aging always makes things better, and here is a perfect example of that. Why? Bourbon barrel aging imparts a particular and dignified set of flavors; in my opinion, these flavors kind of mask what I love so much about 4D. Call it a barleywine or an old ale or whatever the hell you want - this beer is a perfect example of the capabilities of not only its style, but beer in general. Enjoy this beer and take a nap, then thank me later.

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Photo of Dope
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle

A: Pours a murky dark, dark, dark brown/red. Small fizzy tan head despite aggressive pour; very low carbonation. Almost no lacing, just little specks here and there. Good head retention at least.

S: Very fruity. Loads of raisin, fig, prune, dates...and grape juice? Molasses and toffee too. Caramel, lots of it. Very sweet, almost cloyingly so. Smells similar to a JW Lees if I'm not mistaken.

T: Whoa. Smooth and heavy malts. Loads of caramel, brown sugar, toffee and molasses. LOADS of it. Less fruit here but raisin and fig is still apparent, especially towards the middle. There is a slight taste of alcohol briefly in the finish but it's surprisingly mellow given the low carbonation and high ABV. Finish is a little less sweet, toffee and marshmallow stand out here. Some fruits in the lingering aftertaste but much drier than the initial flavor. Still sweet, just not as much.

M: Heavy body, high ABV and low carbonation. It's thick and smooth but not nearly as cloying as I expected it to be. Surprisingly drinkable.

O: A serious old ale. A must-have for the malt lover with boatloads of maltiness and fruits. No sign of hops here. Above-average drinkability for the ABV, it's surprisingly mellow and smooth. Flavors are quite strong of course but not sharp and overpowering. Would love to get my hands on a barrel aged version of this.

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Kuhnhenn Fourth Dementia (4D) from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 447 ratings.