Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia - Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth DementiaKuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia

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1,691 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,691
Reviews: 377
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.99%
Wants: 1,634
Gots: 422 | FT: 27
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: alexgash on 12-14-2006

This is our 4th Dementia Olde Ale that has been bourbon barrel aged. This ale has an intense sweet caramel malt flavor and aroma that develops into a toffee/toasted marsh mellow like character.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,691 | Reviews: 377
Reviews by williamjbauer:
More User Reviews:
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottle received in a trade from spartan213. '12 vintage.

Pours a fairly dark brown, basically opaque, with a small quarter inch head, and basically no lacing.

Smells just incredible, I can't even describe most of it. Dark fruits, caramel, toasted marshallow, toffee, and bourbon.

One of the most interesting beers I've ever had- like I said before, I can't really even describe most of these flavors. Caramel, raisins, figs, toasted marshmallow, oak, vanilla, cola, sarsaparilla, walnuts, bourbon. The aftertaste is this incredible blast of caramel and bourbon- almost like bourbon-soaked Werther's candy or something. This is just so unique and awesome.

This is fairly thick bodied, with a sweet and mucho syrupy mouthfeel, and a very low amount of carbonation. Although I really want to slowly sip this, it's really hard to not just gulp it down, it's so drinkable.

This might be the best beer I've ever had. While drinking it, I honestly had no idea what was going on.

Photo of tectactoe
4.39/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Kuhnhenn, also a few times out of the bottle. Pours an opaque, sienna-brown color with a dark-beige, creamy head that smokes out pretty quickly and is kind of hard to bring back, even with aggressive swirling.

The aroma is powerful right from the start, and only grows more so as the beer warms up. The bourbon barrel aging is apparent immediately, thanks to the heavy boozy-oak notes. Light vanilla, candied, booze-soaked dark fruits, and an intense sweetness build up the rest of the aroma. There's a nice clash between the dry warmth from the bourbon barrels and the savory sweetness of the malt.

This one is very creamy as it hits the palate, with a body on the thicker side and a medium amount of carbonation. Bourbon infused fruits up front; dates, figs, ripe raisins. Toasted brown sugar charges through and sweetens things up a bit, as well. Along with the brown sugar comes a delicate vanilla flavor that lasts into the aftertaste. Oak and bourbon flavors are hanging in the background from start to finish - although the word "background" may not do them justice, as they play a much larger role in the flavor.

The taste has the same head-butting of flavors as the nose did aromas - a nice, smooth, mellow boozy warmth with a dry oak underbody competes with a delicate and delectable sweetness in the form of toasted, sugar-coated dark fruit. Booze is, as mentioned, very apparent - but in a "flavor" kind of way, rather than a "burning" kind of way - although it's additional warmth should be noted.

At 13.5% ABV, this beer is no slouch, and it deserves to be slowly sipped. Heavy oak, bourbon, sugar, dark fruits, and vanilla make for a nicely executed barrel-aged old ale. There's a reason people rave about this stuff. It's great.

Photo of SkiBum22
4.92/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 - 12 Oz. Bottle

A - Dark Brown with half finger tan head. Dark and merky looking

S - Wow, this is possibly one of the craziest smells I've ever experienced. Huge caramel, oak and toffee notes. Brown sugar, dark fruits, cherry and maybe some fig. Can barely smell the alcohol.

T - Very complex and similar to the nose. One of the sweeter beers I've had. Love the huge caramel taste.

M - Medium body with very minimal carbonation. Get a little bit more of the alcohol as it warms up. Very syrupy.

O - This is an amazing beer. Definitely top 10 for me. I've never really had a beer like this.

Photo of Hamburgers
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage. Poured into a Courvoisier tumbler. Appearance is a slightly cloudy Burnt Sienna color. Not even a hint of head on this one. Wonderful bourbon aroma with notes of caramel, vanilla, dried figs and chocolate. Flavor is heavy on bourbon but not overwhelming. Full bodied with only a slight carbonation. Long finish. Perfectly balanced.

Photo of warnerry
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #100!

Pours a deep reddish brown with almost no head.

Smell consists of bourbon vanilla notes. It smells somewhat sweet but not overwhelmingly so. Also apparent are notes of toffee, oak and dried dark fruits including raisins.

Tastes of vanilla, chocolate raisins and figs. I also get a bit of chocolate chip cookie that is fantastic. Alcohol is somewhat apparent, but is not at all overbearing. A bit of breadiness. Wonderfully complex assortment of flavors that seem to meld together nicely.

Mouthfeel is medium thick and coats the palate nicely. There is a slight warming from the alcohol.

Overall, this is a sipper in the best sense of the term. There is so much flavor in each sip, it is best enjoyed a small amount at a time. This is one of the better examples of barrel aging really improving a beer, as I thought the regular 4th D was good, but nowhere near this enjoyable.

Photo of Billolick
4.67/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Spuyten Duyvil, Bklyn, NY, as part of their Big Fattys celebration or “month long ode to strong and barrel aged beer”. This one seemed to be the “hot beer” according to the gathered throng of BA beer aficionados, so I gave it a try. Poured into a tall wine glass, it exhibited low carbonation, minimal head and next to no lacing. Dark, muddy and dark milk chocolaty looking. Big nose of bourbon, raisins, figs and some alcohol. Served near room temp. on a freezing cold day. Soft, smooth, heady brew, plenty of rum raisin, vanilla, chocolate and dark malty goodness. Alcohol clearly present but did not take away from drinkability. World class sipper, night cap kind of brew. A welcome treat on tap.

Photo of badbeer
4.95/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours fairly brown, but dark red when held to light, with a strong white head that retains very well and leaves retention. Surprising given the percent. Smell jumps out at you, moreso than some DIPA's even. The smell is of bourbon, brown sugar, cherry, molasses, vanilla, oak and maybe even some dates; remarkable. Taste is hard for me to keep track of, it just has so many flavors blended together so well. Seems like some of the bourbon beers I have had have too much bourbon, this is not the case with this one. Full bodied, with slightly higher than medium carbonation; a little less and this one's perfect. A damn near perfect sipper, I'd drink plenty of this if it was available. Well worth the very long trip to Michigan for it. Highly recommended.

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a tan head. The aroma is full of brown sugar, bourbon and raisins. I also get some nice alcohol notes. All of the components in the aroma are very, very nice.

The flavor is just as complex and just as nice. I get a lot of brown sugar and molasses notes, as well as a lot of bourbon, oak, maple and vanilla. The alcohol is present, but it is not as strong as expected from a 13.5 percent ABV beer.

Medium moutfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of 1Adam12
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my main man Mark for this one. Very generous trader.

Pours a dark dark red. Seriously looks like a brandy. Beautiful.
Smells strong. Lots of caramel, toffee, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and alcohol. Taste is a lot of the same. Loads of caramel toffee and bourbon. Vanilla is present but not huge. Bourbon is very noticeable....LOVE IT! Very dry finish. Lots of tingles on my tongue, and also can feel the alcohol in my nose, like taking a shot of bourbon. Wonderful beer. This should be treated like a fine bourbon, sipped and savored. Quite masterful really. Glad Mark hooked me up with this one, and I might have to venture after some more.

Photo of standardcherry
4.64/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage thanks to Steimie! Poured into a snifter.

A: Almost completely opaque black/dark brown color. Tiny off-white head forms but it rapidly dissipated.
S: Tons of bourbon. Caramel, vanilla and brown sugar follow. A bit of alcohol that blends well with the rest of the aroma.
T: Taste is just exceptional. Caramel, bourbon, chocolate, marshmallows, maple and alcohol blend together perfectly. It has an excellent oak/vanilla finish (in a way it reminds me of BVDL). A bit of an alcohol bite at the end.
M: Medium/thick body with low carbonation. This is dangerously drinkable, especially for the ABV.
O: Amazing beer. I'm afraid I'll be disappointed by any old ales that I come across next.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage

12oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter split with fellow BA's. had this side by side with the 2010 4D (non barrel aged).

they both poured out with pretty much no head. poured out a slightly murky dark brown, this was a darker brown than the regular version.

lots of warming bourbon up front with some grapey, winey like fruits, dark fruits. a bit of concentrate apple juice. just a hint meaty.

grape like fruits, lots of hot warming bourbon, a slight briney character. this had a bit more of a smoked meat kind of flavor than the regular one.

smooth, and not a super huge mouthfeel as expected. still the alcohol is a lot more obvious in the BA version. leaves a bit of stickiness on the palate.

a very interesting beer, not really like anything ive had before. i would definatly seek this out again, would love a few of these for the cellar. having the 2 side by side, i definatly enjoyed the non barrell aged version better. this one seemed to muddle a lot of the characteristics that really shined in the regular one with hot bourbon.

Photo of ehammond1
4.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, whartontallboy!

(Aged for 1+ year)

Murky dark brown and dark copper in color with a very small light brown head. Leaves the glass with an oily sheen, and only small specks of stick. Appropriate, though not particularly pretty, though that isn't exactly expected with a beer of this style.

The aroma is superb, and one of the best I've experienced within the style. Layers of caramels and toffees, earthy and vanilla-forward bourbon, some oak, along with marshmallow create something truly exceptional. A bit of an alcohol in the aroma prevents this from reaching perfection.

The flavor is, however, perfect. As with the aroma, the complex layers of caramels, toffees, marshmallow, bourbon, vanilla, and alcohol combine for the ultimate drinking experience. Such a delight.

Medium to near full in body, with moderate though creamy carbonation. Exceptionally drinkable.

The ultimate benchmark within the style. Perfection.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A mix of brown dominating initially, then some darker red and orange colors when held up to the light. Aroma was definitely bourbon, but not harsh, inviting and nice.

Smooth taste, not super boozy, toffee and caramel all over this bad boy. Brown sugar probably makes this a little easier to drink, but never entering into 'sugary sweet' territory. A substantial experience with vanilla as well really integrates beautifully with the bourbon. Chewy, but not thick. Slight oak existence. Even smaller amount of smoke. Possibly a syrup presence.

Its pretty rare that I get amped up about an old ale, but I've been having some pretty decent ones lately, and this is definitely the best of the bunch. Thanks for opening my eyes.

Photo of jeonseh
4.72/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a Kuhnhenn glass

A - Deep brown with a very nice and clean look to it. It actually has a nice quarter inch off-white head comprised of many small bubbles. Actually one of the nicest heads I've seen on a high ABV old ale

S - Wow, the nose blows you away as soon as you get close to the glass. It is strong and complex. Strong caramel, vanilla, and oak from the bourbon intermingle with dark fruits like plums and candied dates. There is also a hint of marshmallow that intermingles as well. It balances the oak and bourbon perfectly with the other flavors as it gives it another dimension instead of overpowering.

T - Initally big hints of caramel, marshmallow, and vanilla hit the tongue. Then, a slight dark fruit that reminds me of English Christmas pudding intermingles with a slight alcoholic kick. The finish is bourbon and oak that lingers on the tongue along with the dark fruit flavors. It manages to be sweet but not cloying and all the flavors meld together perfectly as one flows into the next. The alcohol is there but just enough to serve as a reminder that this is a big beer.

MF - Smooth and velvety on the tongue. Medium body with a slight stickiness to it but still very smooth. There is light carbonation that comes in the finish that helps add to the bourbon and oak flavors

O - A splendid old ale from Kuhnhenn's that impresses from the moment you first get a whiff of it. It has a strong and complex nose that really blows you away. The flavors blend sweet, fruity and bourbony together perfectly so that the all play off of each other instead of one overpowering the rest of the beer. It reminds you why people will go to the winter solstice and stand outside in a Detroit winter to get some of this.

Photo of glid02
4.69/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by a generous soul – much obliged!

Pours a hazy deep copper-brown color with a cream-colored head that leaves solid lacing.

Smells of robust caramel malts with large amounts of vanilla and toffee. Also present are slight amounts of dark and medium fruits and slighter amounts of grainy toasted malts.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though not quite as phenomenal. Smooth caramel malts up front quickly give way to loads of vanilla, toffee, and butterscotch flavors. Midway through faint earthy hops and dark fruit flavors make an appearance, before fading out into a smooth ending. Mouthfeel is very good, with grainy carbonation.

Overall this truly is a world-class beer. Everything works together very well and this is a beer that’s well worth a shot.

Photo of pwoods
4.62/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #800. Big Thanks to Roger(BeerandBourbon).

12oz. brown bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a deep murky brown. A small head forms with vigorous swirling but dies quickly. No lacing but some alcoholic legs.

S: Loads of bourbon and alcohol. Plenty of dank, damp wood. Rich malts with deep caramel and toffee aromas.

T/M: Plenty of bourbon with warmth and sting. Wood comes out a bit further. The malts can hold their own and rival the bourbon for supremacy, which still works well. Body is medium to medium full with very light carbonation. More carb would beef up the body a bit but I think it's still appropriate.

D: Great beer that's best warm. Can't go wrong with this one.

Photo of timc100
4.88/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage, had at both 1 and 2 year marks.

Pours a dark, dirty, muggy mahogany/ruby brown with no sign of carbonation - not pretty, but no olde ale should have to be.

Aroma is outrageous. Boozy dark fruits - figs, raisins - huge bourbon caramel that enhances the caramel malt, toasted brown sugar. Very fine bourbon vanilla with a sweetness of marshmallow and coconut. Some brandy fruits and cocoa powder. There is some leather and tobacco as well.

Taste is huge, rounded, and balanced. All of the above in the aroma is featured - incredibly smooth with an amazing aftertaste that just lingers and sticks to the bottom of the tongue. Not overly sweet at all - the balance is perfect. The barrel-vanilla character is what sticks out the most - it is very soft and subtle but integrates with everything else strongly.

This is one of the finest beers I have ever had - incredible. 100/100


Revisited: Beautiful barrel aged beer. Perfect amount of sweetness balanced with some bitterness that comes out mid palate, great old ale character, beautiful sweet barrel influence, incredibly rich taste and body. 97/100

Photo of AdamF625
4.53/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- muddy water with red hues. Pours flat with no head
S- malty dark fruit, sweet bourbon, vanilla, hot alcohol
T- very sweet dark fruits, cherries, raisins, some oak and bourbon flavor, caramel, marshmallow
M- flat with little carbonation, syrupy and sweet but dries out on the finish which is very unique.
O- sweeter than I expected but very enjoyable. Flavors blend nicely with the barrel treatment. For a 13.5% beer it is dangerously smooth.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Tony412 for sending this one to me!

A: The beer pours a murky brown/burgundy color with a small tan head that reduces quickly leaving a thin ring on top. Not much lacing.

S: Very deep aroma, some vanilla, caramel and oak up front with plenty of dark fruit underneath. Some raisins and plums with some toffee, and brown sugar.

T: Very good, caramel, toffee, and brown sugar up front with a nice blast of vanilla in the middle. There is some faint dark fruit, not as much as the aroma. A little bit of bourbon and oak.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with no sign of the 13.5% at all.

O: Probably the best old ale I have had. Great flavor profile and amazingly smooth with no real heat at all.

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy and cloudy dark caramel or ligh molasses color. No head. 

Smells like it just cam out of the barrel. Just fantastic. Pretty boozy. Bourbon, dark fruit, raisin, caramel, molasses. 

Flavor is huge and not as boozy as I'd thought from the nose. There is a nice little touch of alcohol warmth after a sip. Big rich caramel and bourbon with dark fruit. Raisin, date and prunes. 

Mouth like syrup. Super sticky and palate coating. Low-med Carb.

Overall it's a very good beer! I'd like to try it with age, but love it new.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Alex (Masterski) for bringing this one up on his visit to Alaska.

Pours a nice brown color with major ruby highlights. Carbonation quickly falls to a skim, and leaves no lacing, but appears to be carbonated correctly for the style.

Nose is chock full of dark fruit. Some caramel lurking in there as well, and also an odd maltiness that i picked up in alot of kuhnhenn's huge beers (extraneous and BBBW).

The caramel flavors come on strong in the flavor, complimented by a big bourbony booziness. Certainly not for the faint of heart. Pretty hot. The finish is a little more bitter than i expected, but certainly not out of the style's sweetspot. Booze, caramel, and slight dark fruits linger after each sip.

Mouthfeel is money. Big and chewy, good carbonation, ideal. My only gripe is that it could be a touch bigger body-wise. Feels every so slightly thin.

Overall a very nice beer. Not much to critique here. A little more body, and slightly less booze would be nice, but really not in need of any serious alterations, IMO. A great beer. Thanks again Alex.

Photo of Sammy
4.17/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on cask at the brewpub, courtesy of the owners. This aged in bourbon cask was rich and thick. The aromas were delightful, and that carried even more so in the taste, which demonstrated wine and cognac notes. I would love some of this after a special supper. Thick carmel body. Reddish brown.
Just as great on tap, a year later at Winter Solstice. Thick, incredible bourbon aroma, rich taste, magnificent. Somewhat on the sweet side though.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.88/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to capra12 for picking this one up for me. Most recent vintage. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Darkness snifter.

A: Standard pour yields no head. Beer is a muddy brown/clay. No lacing and minimal legs. A really sad looking beer.

S: Nose is caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, some dark fruit, and booze that tickles the nose. Aromatic and deep though a bit one dimensional with such a strong alcohol presence.

T: Opens caramel, brown sugar, sweet plum, anise, molasses, and booze. Hugely sweet throughout. Some more fruitiness makes itself present towards the middle with layers of chocolate and vanilla coming in towards the end. Finish is boozy with some nice burnt brown sugar and more molasses in the aftertaste. Nice complexity and a lot of different layers. Very Enjoyable.

M: Full bodied with low carbonation. Oily and viscous in the mouth. Very robust and heavy going down. Booziness is noticeable. Finish is messy with a lingering aftertaste. Very over the top.

O: A real meal in a bottle, Kuhnhenn BA 4D is everything you'd expect it to be. Heavy, boozy, and incredibly rich, and complex. Its a solid beer but nowhere near as good as the ratings indicate in my opinion. Still worth trying though.

Photo of mikey711
4.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to surlytheduff for the bottle.

A: Deep brown, but still with a bit of transparency, not much head but that wasnt a real issue for me.

S: Tons of toffee and caramel mixing with vanilla and bourbon. some smokiness and brown sugar.

T: Very similar to the nose. the bourbon was very present and quite enjoyable, at times i felt like i was drinking a very nice bourbon

M: Very boozy, the smallest of sips went a long way. I found myself taking alot of time with this beer enjoying every sip

D: I am extremely happy to have finally tried this beer as it is one of the top bourbon barrel aged beers i have ever tried. I am very curious to see how this one will age as well.

Photo of 33nickadams
3.87/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2010 bottle

Got this one to celebrate Easter with my family. Didn't get the chance to drink it there, but I'm glad because now I'll be able to give it my full attention. After a vigorous pour it is a dark brown with very little head. Not much in the way of streaming bubbles. I smell bourbon, molasses, raisin and a little vanilla. Not an overpowering taste of bourbon, but I also get some molasses and raisin. The 13.5% alcohol is very well hidden. The mouthfeel is the only let down for me. It has a full body with very little carbonation. I picture this not unlike a drink that they would have in the medieval times. I guess that makes sense, since its an Old Ale. This will take me a while to drink, and I'll savor every sip. Overall, very complex brew, but the lack of carbonation makes me lower the score a little.

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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
100 out of 100 based on 1,691 ratings.