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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BA SCORE
99
world-class

378 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 378
Hads: 1,705
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 4.47%
Wants: 1,641
Gots: 424 | FT: 28
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 378 | Hads: 1,705
Photo of stakem
4.32/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes taken 2/5/11. A guest tap/interesting surprise at Jackie O's during the strong ale event.

This brew pours a hazed amber brown without a head. Not even a lace creeps to the top of this brew. A few off-white bubbles rise to the surface when this brew is swirled and that is all that displays reminiscent of a head.

The aroma is sweet with a scent of caramel or toasted toffee and vanilla. In the back it is lightly spicy and earthy with hops. A minorly evident mineral character is present that fades. As this brew warms, it stings the nose with a fusel alcohol presence that is not nearly as evident as I was expecting for 13.5%. Also increasing in character is the rich scent of toffee tones.

The taste of this brew is sweet with a surprisingly forward vanilla upfront that turns more into a caramelized sugar and caramel malt flavor. There is a big booze presence in this brew which is not surprising considering. It has a modest hoppy earthy bitterness that creates a dryness when coupled with the alcohol into the finish. The oak only comes through an makes itself known as it warms up with a very bitey alcohol character that has an evaporative quality on the tongue.

This is a full bodied brew, smooth with a modest amount of carbonation. It is quite drinkable with more of an herbal earthy bitterness and dryness that I was not expecting. Very well done and a complete transformation from the non-barreled version that I had not too long ago. This could be a real gem in a few years, wish I had a bottle or two to stash away. (1,553 characters)

Photo of GoGriz
4.29/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As I drink this, I can't help but think of how good this beer will be in 2 years. The problem is detailed in ptykozoon's review perfectly...either the abv or a slightly annoying hop bite affects this beers finish and takes away from what will be a spectacular beer down the road. Normally I would go through the full review but other reviewers have hit the flavor on the head except for the back end sting of this one.

Do yourself a huge favor...pick up at least two of these and drink one now. Then age the other as long as possible. I think that will reveal this beers true potential which I forecast will be amazing. (621 characters)

Photo of ptykozoon
3.95/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hard pour reveals a short lived fizzy head. Beer looks thin and well carbonated. Pretty brownish purple - no head, lacing or legs.

Vanilla, liquor - bourbon, cherries, lots of caramel, toffee, butterscotch and a bit of chocolate fudge.

Mostly caramel and roasted chocolate, raisin. Very tasty, reminiscent of wine.

Nice bite from the abv, thick mouthfeel, as opposed to my original assumptions - weighty texture, lighter carbonation. Excellent.

Could DEFINITELY use some more ageing, the abv gets in the way of things and knocks of some complexity points. Otherwise this beer is fantastic. (594 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.82/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from my favorite MI trader.

Pours a murky chestnut brown with a small beige head that recedes to a small collar and leaves no lacing, just some boozy legs clinging to the side.

Aroma is massive and spectacular. Where to begin - sweet caramel malts, vanilla, coconut, toffee, tobacco, leather and sugar-coated dark fruits. Let alone the bourbon and oak which integrate into the rest. Whoa.

Taste is just as impressive with an initial sweetness from coconut, caramel malts and dark fruits - raisins and figs. There is also an underlying earthy leather character. The finish is just decadent with toffee, vanilla and a nice bourbon burn with spicy oak thrown in.

The mouthfeel is smooth and dessert-like, thick and sweet with minimal carbonation but plenty for the style.

This is an exceptional beer, decadent, complex and wonderfully balanced for such a massive beer. One of the best beers I've had in recent memory...possibly ever. (947 characters)

Photo of alcstradamus
4.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep caramel brown with a very small head that dies quickly to a collar.

The aroma is very rich with caramel, toffee, nuttiness, booze, and sweet dark fruits. Absolutely luscious and decadent.

The flavor lives up to the aroma. Wow, this is quite good. Rich toffee and oak up front with a burning booziness in the back of the throat that reminds you of the huge ABV. This is big, bold, and unapologetic but not messy.

The body is medium to full and carbonation is low but still somewhat prickly.

Overall this beer is phenomenal, no doubts about it. I'm not sure it is really an improvement on the regular 4th Dementia, but rather an equally good but different beer. (676 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.89/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on tap at Kuhnhenn in a tulip.

Appearance: Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia is bistre in color with walnut edges. A small off-white head starts firm, then fades to mostly a ring. Not much lace, but the head reaffirms itself with each sip or swirl. Not a ton of lace expected here with such a big ABV.

Smell: Great aroma, there is no doubt about it. Tons of molasses, plums, raisins, fig, caramel, and dark roasted malts. Bourbon and oak just add another level of complexity, although each aroma is easily identifiable in its own right.

Taste: Once I smelled this, I figured the taste would be incredible, and it does not disappoint. Just tons of flavor throughout each sip. The bourbon barrel aging interacts perfectly with the original beer. Very complex. Caramel malt is the first flavor to be noticed, and then an bourbon burning that is present throughout. Sweet molasses and roasted malt, figs, and plums provide the sweetness. Light earthy hops, then oak, smoke, and a touch of bourbon to finish. Very satisfying.

Mouthfeel: The creaminess is immediately noticeable, with the body of the beer quashing the carbonation. Alcohol warms the throat and stomach throughout, and the lips are left a little bit sticky. A very full body.

Drinkability: Barrel aging claims another victory. It just made a great beer even better. Obviously a sipper, but I would be satisfied sipping this for a long time. (1,410 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My only beer that I had while visiting Kuhnhenn on 01/07/11 before I went back to Chicago. Figured I might as well go all-out, since this was my only pour. Served in a snifter, from notes.

A - Pours a mirky reddish/brown, half a fingers-worth of off-white head with some larger bubbles here and there on top. After the initial pour, there's no lacing a some random bubbles and a thin film on top.

S - Burnt sugars, candy, bourbon, oak, dark fruits, bourbon, malts and more bourbon. It's not overly sweet and not too boozy. I was very surprised how balanced this one was, especially with very little aging.

T - Very much similar to the nose. Bourbon, burnt sugars, candy, oak, roasty malts. Again, nothing overpowering each other here...everything is working well together. I wouldn't say there's no booze coming through, but not 13.5% worth.

M - Medium to full, rich and smooth, drinks like a fine spirit.

D - It took me an hour to finish my pour, but I really took my time to enjoy it since it was my only beer of the visit. It was excellent on-tap and I'm looking forward to cracking a bottle in the near future. A must-try! (1,131 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at the 2010 Winter Solstice Party. Served in a New Belgium tulip.

A - Pours with a dime of off-white foam that settles to a thin ring and some filmy haze on top, but no lace. Nearly opaque dark brown body.

S - Earthy bourbon, dark fruits, oak, vanilla, some grape and dark fruit sweetness. As it approaches room temperature it grows slightly fusel, but it's not unexpected considering this is over 13%.

T - Bourbon, vanilla, raisins, brown sugar, and shockingly well-hidden booze. From taste alone I would never guess this was as strong as it is. It's essentially a reference quality barrel-aged old ale.

M - Medium-full body, some expected warming of the throat. Finish is surprisingly clean and doesn't feel syrupy or cloying. Carbonation is quite low, but style-appropriate.

D - Splitting a 12oz bottle three ways was an appropriate serving, although I could probably tackle a bottle on my own if I was feeling ambitious. This should cellar extremely well and should only improve with age. (1,014 characters)

Photo of Urbancaver
4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On two at the winter solstice (off notes)

Appearance- very dark in a snifter off the pour. Minimal head. A beautiful beer

Smell- bourbon... First and foremost. Sme maltiness coming through. Smells a bit boozy

Taste- smooth bourbony goodness with lots of malt following. Very very tasty

Mouthfeel- thick and very smooth. Very good mouthfeel

Drinkability- fairly drinkable for the high alcohol cotent. Very good (414 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
4.64/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into my Darkness snifter...Ugly medium brown pour that is muddy and gross. A creamy light tan head rises about two fingers, decent retention, not much lacing...The aroma is fantastic, strong, complex and balanced. A malty brown sugar backbone with notes of bread, maple syrup and vanilla, balanced by smooth oak, bourbon and a little alcohol...The taste sweet but alcoholy. Very malty, lots of bread, vanilla and brown sugar. The bourbon is very strong here as well as the oak. The feel is very hot, especially as you swallow, warming and comforting but also a little annoying.

I really like this one search this out, so flavorful yet easy to drink at 13%. (669 characters)

Photo of glazeman
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to my brother for picking this up for me at the release! This is the 2010 version.

A: The beer is a medium brown in color and has very little head. Actually just a swirl of bubbles after a few seconds.

S: The smell is great and is of bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, and a little bit of dark fruit.
All of the notes come together well.

T: This beer is very rich and complex. There's bourbon, burnt sugar, brandy and a little bit of cherries and raspberries deep down. There's a bit of alcohol heat but not much.

M: I thought that this was just about spot on. There's a very appropriate level of carbonation, and a great aftertaste. The beer sits on the tongue well.

D: For a high ABV beer this has excellent drinkability. It went down easy and I could have easily had more of this. I don't really know what to compare this beer to, as I've never really had anything like it. More brewery's should experiment with a bourbon aged old ale. (952 characters)

Photo of Sammy
4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
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. (447 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A big, huge thanks goes out to Jay for hooking me p with this one. I had been on a mission to track down this as well as the Barley wine for quite some time, and it was just utterly fantastic to be able to try them both in the same week. Served at cellar temperature and poured into an over sized wine glass. This one was consumed on 08/07/2008.

The appearance was ominous. A deep, dark brown. color emerged almost immediately. Entirely opaque, except for a few hints of light on the sides and bottom that showed off a bit of a reddish hue. The head was small, maybe an inch at first and then settling down to about a quarter of an inch, but it did have a tremendous amount of coating effect on the sides of the glass.

The aroma was just spectacular. Lovely hints of vanilla and bourbon, swirling around with caramel, roasted malts and a deep, sweet profile. Enormously complex, it was hard to put the entire thing into context, decadent is a good word. This followed along the flavor as well. Lots of lightly blended bourbon flavors, nothing over the top or really heavy, this was wonderfully accented, and essentially perfection. Started with a rolling touch of caramel, and sugary roasted malts that were accented by touches of vanilla and oak. Hints of some earthy, touches rolled into it as well. Long lasting flavor of bourbon, with a touch of peppery spice on the finish. Luscious Mouthfeel was really just the icing as it came off full bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. A smooth sipper, this was easily the nightcap on the evening and needed to be enjoyed over the long haul which It was.

Overall this was fantastic. My first two BA beers from them have both been two of the best I haev ever had. They really know what they are doing with this one. To be honest I have to score this high, as I really have had maybe one or two beers that I truly liked better then this in the style at all. Damn near perfection and something I would only wish I could get again. Hopefully I can trade for another bottle. (2,030 characters)

Photo of Lothore
3.99/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep, murky brownish hue with no head whatsoever.

S- Smell is huge. Mixed dark fruits, raisins, figs, brown sugar, possibly a hint on bourbon on the back end.

T- Taste is gigantic deep and dark with plenty of raisin and fig notes with a vinous quality to them. Ends very full with lots of bourbon.

M- Thick and sticky with very little carbonation.

D- Honestly, I liked kuhnhenn's bourbon barleywine a lot better. This reminded me a lot more of extaneous ale and was a little over the top for me. (510 characters)

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

12'er. Big time nose of raspberry covered chocolate, caramel, toffee, vanilla, bourbon and charred wood. Dark color. Extremely complex malt and yeast character with an array of caramel, chocolate and fruit-like flavors then on top of all that, it has an intriguing barrel character as well that just takes it to another level. Damn good beer. (342 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.82/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the winter solstice release at the end of 2006.
Very dark brown, mahogany edges with a fine beige cap and lots of spotty, streaky lacing. Tons of caramel and toffee with a rich earthy/oaky aroma. Some vanilla and raisin, mild booze. Balanced bitterness keeps the big malty sweetness in check. Caramel and toffee, mild woody character, tootsie roll, some chocolate character. Amazing, rich flavour. Full bodied, low carbonation makes it a little heavy, smooth texture. Kuhnhenn has a knack for making big beers extremely drinkable. The barrel aging didn't overpower the base beer, which I found really appealing, while adding a new complexity to a great old ale. (679 characters)

Photo of fartingdog
4.77/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Not sure of the vintage.
I love the regualr Fourth Dementia, so I've been dying to try this one.
Pours a hazy dark brown with no head to speak of. Smells of bourbon, raisin, plum. There is a heck of a lot going on in the flavor department- bourbon, chocolate, plum, a slight barrel tannin, very interesting and damn good! There's also a hint of a flavor that reminds me of pipe tobacco. Leaves a light film on the tongue- perfect for a lingering pleasant aftertaste. Noticeable alcohol warming on the back of the throat after a bit.

Again, Kuhnhenn does not disappoint. This is one hell of a tasty old ale! Definitely worth seeking out. (637 characters)

Photo of grub
4.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle purchased at the brewery dec 27/2006 and cellared since then compared beside a fresh growler of regular 4th dementia. bottle says it was brewed 2-16-05 and best before 2011.

pours a crystal clear deep red-brown with nice ruby highlights when held to the light. a very scant incredibly fine tan head forms and disappears almost instantly. no lace.

aroma is excellent. lots of vanilla and oak. toffee and caramel. notes of brandy and maybe a little sherry. raisin. chocolate. light alcohol. bit of almond. bread and biscuit malt.

taste is amazing. much smoother and mellower than the regular 4th dementia, and meshed together nicely. light alcohol. dark fruit - raisin and date. light toffee. caramel. dark chocolate. almond and hazelnut. hint of coffee. vanilla and more vanilla. touch of raw oak. much of the bourbon seems to have mellowed since my last sampling when freshly bottled. doesn't have as much lingering sweetness as the regular 4th dementia. bread and biscuit malt. so many layers. just incredible stuff.

mouthfeel is fantastic. super smooth well integrated low carbonation level. medium-big body is great.

drinkability is excellent. the 7 or so months since i purchased this bottle has given it time to mellow out and removed all the 'hot' alcohol i noticed when fresh. perfect balanced, with a more mellowed warmth than the regular 4th dementia. i thought the drinkability on that one was excellent, but this brings it to a new level. fantastic stuff. (1,493 characters)

Photo of hoppymeal
4.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours cola in color with an amber hue, nice and murky, a faint skirmish of caramel colored bubbles skim the surface and then quickly fade. I can smell this beer instantly, the woodiness and rich malts waft up and have me salivating. Aroma is hugely rich and sweet with prunes, caramel, grapes, and vanilla, as well as a large deep leather and wood aroma to balance the sweet along with a faint soy sauce. Taste follows suit with some hugely rich and sweet pruney and caramel maltiness and a nice dose of woodiness that mingles with a warming alcohol. Mouthfeel is thick and rich, a slight tingle from the woodiness blends with the warm alcohol in a slightly dry finish. This beer has pretty much floored me, I love the regular 4th and this is far and above, extremely complex aroma, extremely rich taste, a sipper for sure, but a heavenly one at that. Cheers to Kuhnhenn for making such an incredible beer. (906 characters)

Photo of mcallister
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

As good as a old ale can look. Amber/copper chock full of scarlet undertones. Head is tan full and has very good retention considering ABV. Leaves a layers of lace wherever any head was. Nearly opaque accpet when held to light where the ruby scarlet takes charge.

One of those beers you just don't want to take your nose out of. Full of rich candied toffee. Burnt caramel and hints of milk chocolate. Aromas of what seems to be pounds and pounds of dried smyrna figs put in a blender and liquified. Bing cherry, brown sugar and maple with a nutty character. Nice sweet toasted vanilla oak aromas,delicously adventurous.

Wow is the first thing that comes to mind. Rich and full with a round brown sugar maple sweetness that isn't cloying at all. Again this is just full of pasty fig flavors and aromas. Dried berries and cherries, with a hint of hazlenut. Nice alcohol burn in the chest is the only offsetting flavor. Barrel aging added a nice hint of vanilla and sweet bready flavors meld well with the full milk chocolate covered toffee mid palate.

Although this beer is huge I could drink this all day everyday and life would be nice. Unfortunately I can't so I will savor this beauty for the next couple hours. (1,225 characters)

Photo of Damian
3.29/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Drank on-tap at Spuyten Duyvil, Brooklyn, NY

Poured a thick, dark mahogany with copper highlights. Absolutely no head and no noticeable carbonation.

Aroma was rich and sweet. Dark and dried fruits (plums, prunes and raisins) were apparent along with brown sugar and a port wine-like quality.

Taste was similar to smell except deeper, darker and more alcohol rich. Smooth, toasted malts along with burnt sugar, raisins and currants came through strong up front. The intense, rummy alcohol flavor took over mid-palate and crescendoed in the finish, where it became sharp and biting. No discernible hop presence.

Mouthfeel was quite syrupy, thick and rich with little to no carbonation.

As for drinkability, this beer was definitely a sipper. Even with the strong flavors and aromas, I felt that the alcohol intensity was overwhelming (though not surprising at 13.5% ABV). (874 characters)

Photo of mentor
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love 4th D, so when crosling offered to share a bottle of oak-aged that he'd come to possess, I was definitely 'in'. Pours a dark brown liquid with red edgings. Smells solventy, chocolate, char, strawberry, stingy vanilla and coconut as it warms. The overall aroma, I just can't describe. Wonderful to sniff.

Tastes like a sort of chocolate liquor. Chocolate covered strawberries with a stray raisin thrown in for good measure. Sharp clean alcohol sting and dry finish. Not strong oak, refined and well done. Minimal char mixes with chocolate and toffee. Chocolate candy with vanilla-liquor center. Caramel is buried, some sherry malt-oxidation and a smidge of butterscotch (not diacetyl). Thick smooth body could overbear, but the alcohol cleans. Mild carbonation. Fantastic beer. (786 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
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. (713 characters)

Photo of stouty1
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had no idea what I had in my fridge. This has been sitting in my fridge since last summer. That's 2005! Holy Crap! I can't believe I waited so long to try this.

A: Poured into and IPA glass a dark coffee with red highligts. Foam only came from the last pour of the bottle leaving around a 1/4" of head which has remained around the rim.
S: Oranges. Grapes, chocolate, maltiness.Maybe some apples? Alcohol.
T: Sweet (grapes and apples) and malty (chocolate and coffee). Oh, and some Hops kick it in the rear! For an bittery alcohol leave.
M: Bittery sweet and silky smooth.
D: Not everyday but this is my first Barleywine so, I am not used to them yet. (661 characters)

Photo of kirok1999
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2005 bottle.
Sweet mother of god! The smell hits as soon as I open the bottle, super sweet malts, cherries, chocolate, caramel. This thing is trying to climb down my throat while still in the bottle. Served at about 65 degrees and pours a dark amber with sticky white lacing that hangs on the sides of the glass.
The taste was better than the smell. Silky smooth, just the right amount of sweetness, complex fruits, chocolate, with the oaky bourbon alcohol very well hidden.
I could easily drink this every day and not get tired of it. This is now my favorite barleywine by far. Exceptional in every way. I'm searching for real estate near the brewery! (658 characters)

Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 378 ratings.