Kuhnhenn Road Rash Imperial Stout - Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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Kuhnhenn Road Rash Imperial StoutKuhnhenn Road Rash Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

87 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 87
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 124
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: walleye on 08-29-2007

This Russian Imperial Stout was made by our very own Jessica Weiman. It is black in color with dark fruit aromas and roasted grains and alcohol are present on the nose. Rich and complex, this intense stout has medium hop bitterness and rich burnt malts. It is a full bodied, velvety beer.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 87 | Reviews: 54
Photo of CrellMoset
2.83/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of dkachur at a tasting at the home of proteus93. Poured into a Brooklyn-logoed footed pilsner glass.

Appearance: Huge creamy sticky light brown head with great retention. Very nice. Body itself is brown, and lacing is big and fairly sticky but about as runny as you'd expect given the abv%.

Aroma: Incredibly pungent, but not the most pleasant smelling beer. There's cocoa powder, heavy, heavy dark fruits, rum raisin, and salty soy sauce.

Taste: Unbelievably salty and bitter at first, and those notes unfortunately taint the whole experience. The bitterness may be intentional - citrus, sour cherries - and the malts are still there, with some cocoa notes and some earthy, lightly roasted, tart and grassy coffee. Very harsh, though.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy and absolutely devoid of carbonation. Not impressive.

Drinkability: This beer was definitely downhill pretty quickly. Everything was harsh and off, but Kuhnhenn isn't known for its quality control, so perhaps I shouldn't be too harsh. So I'll be this harsh.

Photo of largadeer
3.51/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Received as an extra from seaoflament. Thanks Carlos!

Appearance: Black, but not your average imperial stout black - this stuff is absolutely pitch black and the head is nearly as dark.

Smell: Roasty as hell, sweet molasses and straight-up burnt sugar, tar, chocolate and a dash of smoke.

Taste & mouthfeel: Sweet at first, with flavors of chocolate syrup and molasses. Heavy on the palate. Not quite Dark Lord heavy, but pretty close to it. The finish is pretty acrid and acidic, like they used a bit too much black patent, which mingles in a strange way with the syrupy sweetness. The aftertaste is somewhat ashy and tarry. Not bad, but not great either. Definitely a rough beer. Glad I had the chance to try this, but it's not something I can see myself revisiting often.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.82/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lazy Saturday beer #2. My lady friend got this sent to her from a friend...I don't ask, I just drink and appreciate.

Opaque black with a dark clay colored head. Thick legs leave foam painted on the glass. Good retention. Dark fruity esters leap from the glass and up my schnoz. Raspberries and chocolate with a roast backdrop.

Vinous dark fruit, burnt caramelized sugar and a few light roast notes. This must have been aged awhile as you can tell there's a boozy ghost floating within, yet I can't detect any heat at all. Mouthfeel is too thin.

One of those dark fruit centric RIS. I prefer'em much roastier but if that's you're thing (Otter Creek RIS comes to mind) you may be a fan of this lil' lady.

Photo of pwoods
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. brown bottle poured into a snifter. Notes.

A: Pours completely pitch black and thick as motor oil. Good sized dark mocha head forms and holds for a bit. Decent lacing.

S: Lots of deep roast, bitter malts with some chocolate in the back. Definitely some tobacco in the back with a bit of astringency. Dry and smoky. Plenty of alcohol as it warms.

T/M: More of the big deep bitter roasted malts. Pretty dry and bitter, not a lot of rich sweetness or dark fruits. Definitely more of that tabacco flavor, especially as it warms. Big alcohol all over the place. Kuhnhenn's signature I'd say, but not really a bad thing when in the mood. Body is full and smooth.

D: A big Kuhnhenn beer that needs time to get through.

Photo of ryrust5301
3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter

Appearance - Pours like a motor oil, very syrupy and thick. Doesn't bulk up to much of a head, but more like a thin layer of toffee colored bubbles. Nice thick halo effect left around the top of the concoction.

Smell - Nose is nothing short of mind boggling. At first smell I could have sworn it was a DL, eerily similar. First of all it's sweet as hell with the usual bitter coffee bite. The thing that makes it all come together is the bold strong dark fruits that just radiate from this devils brew.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Hello dark fruits! Your palate is crushed under the dark fruit flavor, especially the cherry. Sweet chocolate and the coffee biterness try to hold their own, but are easily curb stomped by the massive fruit presence. An almost sour like drying taste accompanies the bitterness. Very harsh on the first sip but mellows into a thick syrupy slide down the throat. The beer is so complex I won't even begin to disarm this bomblike brew.

Drinkability - Wow! There's so much going on here it's incredible. The dark fruits are so overpowering that they almost run away with this beer instead of holding it together. It's definitely a unique beer, but with so much going on it's hard settle in on it. A beer to sip over time and explore all it holds within.

Photo of badbeer
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black, brown around the edges with a tan head the recedes to a ring around the glass. Boozy smell, chocolate, roasty, caramel, and some cardboard. Roasty, some hops, chocolate, and espresso. Full body and medium carbonation. Pretty decent Imperial Stout that I'd drink again, given the chance.

Photo of seaoflament
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to tangfoot and mj for a bottle each of this beer.

Pours an intensely dark color, viscous and sinister looking. About an inch of foam topped the head, fizzy and active, but it quickly settles to a ring.

Aromas of dark berries, currants, deeply roasted malts, molasses, brown sugar, hints of coffee, chocolate flakes, wood, oak, and vanilla. There's a little bit of alcohol that peaks through the layers of sweetness but it doesn't take away from the rest. I'm also getting a bit of olives, which is odd but I have encountered them in other imperial stouts. There's also some maple syrup, sugar cookies, and a little bit of toast. The aroma reminds me quite a bit of Dark Lord.

The taste begins similar to the aroma, dark berries, currants, and then an onslaught of roasted malts, toast, chocolate, molasses, sugary bread, wood, cocoa, and vanilla. Pretty complex but there is a tangy almost vinous flavor in the after-taste that I could do without. There's also some anise flavors, and star anise as the tongue feels a little numb but that could also be from the alcohol.

Feels syrupy at first and then some carbonation tries to pick it up and push it back but it doesn't seem to work out. Still, very decent and fairly easy to drink for a 12.5% alc. beer.

Photo of ShrLSU
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. bottle into an Ommegang goblet.

appearence: Poured a very deep black color. Not much head to speak ok but great lacing from a slight tan foam.

smell: Some deep coffee and slight fruity scent. A little bit of cocoa and a slight sour scent. .

taste: OK there is so much going on here i'm having trouble breaking it down. i taste bitter coffee flavor, some sweet dark fruit, and a sour finish. Extremely complex.

mouthfeel: Very creamy and nice carbonation to balance.

drinkability: Big thanks to Tosque for this beer. It's the first beer i have tried from the kuhnhenn line and it's very different, but very interesting. I can't wait to try some others from this brewery.

Photo of TheBlackMallard
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Filled pretty high for a Kuhnhenn bottle.

Pours jet black into a snifter with a small mocha head.

Smell: Coffee, Roasted Malts, Chocolate, and Vanilla.

Taste: Dark Fruits, Coffee, Vanilla, Molasses. Thick and Heavy, it doesn't get much heavier than this. Definitely a sipper and not something you'd want to enjoy after a big meal.

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

Bottle shared by Pwoods with RoyMunson and myself.
Pours a very dark brown, near black in color. There's just a bit of frothy head that forms on the pour. With the abv, I'm even surprised that that happened. Smell is huge roasted malts, some dark fruits and some slight tobacco. Just subtle hints of tobacco. This beer isn't trying to hide anything. It's full frontal assault on your tastebuds and your sobriety. I don't know why we continue to pull out these high abv bottles near the end of the night. Don't you remember how the 3 Guys off the Scale went?! After it gets a chance to warm up more, there's even more of that tobacco, leather flavor coming in. It's really starting to come into it's own. It's a very nice, different stout that I've not had too many like. Good beer.

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

Thrown in as an extra in a trade with Matt (mgp2675). Thanks!

Poured a dark opaque black with a foamy mocha head that retained well and left a few streaks of lacing on the glass. Aroma is driven by roastiness, dark malts, dark sugars, a bit of ash and licorice. More of the same in the taste, dark roasty malts with a bitter edge, dark fruits--plums, cherries--maybe a twist of citrus zest in there? brown sugar, and lesser notes of ash and licorice with some hints of booze-soaked wood. Mouthfeel is about medium, maybe on the heavier side, pretty smooth, lower carbonation, mildly hot from the alcohol. Overall a good drinker.

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

Bottle picked up for me by Mikolaj. Served in a Kuhnhenn tulip and shared with DeaconBluez way back in late September. Somehow skipped entering this one when I transferred my notes.

A - A very thin foam quick dissipates almost immediately. Black body, that leaves behind a glass-coating oily film. Very ominous, and does the name justice.

S - Big notes of anise, heavily roasted malts, tobacco, dark chocolate, leather, and alcohol. Very low sweetness here, with only a hint of dark fruits. Somewhat hot, but not unreasonably so for 12%.

T - There's a tad more sweetness in the taste, with light fruity berries and molasses notes amid the intense roasted and charred malts, bitter anise, dark chocolate, and leather.

M - Low carbonation, thick and sludgy, chewy, full body, with plenty of sticky residuals. Some alcohol burn too. Pretty much what you'd expect from a 12% RIS.

D - First, let this one warm up so that the sweeter notes become a little more apparent. When served too cold it's unbalanced toward the burnt side of things. Enjoyable in small doses, although I probably could have used another person (or two) to help Chip and I with the 12oz bottle. It's an extremely 'classic' RIS and a beast of a beer. The 2011 vintage should probably age well for many years to come.

Photo of grandq
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Completely black, minimal brown head after a vigorous pour. Smells like blackstrap molasses, maybe a touch of tobacco.

Man, there's a lot to mull over in this layered, flavorful malt bomb. This has got to be the thickest feeling RIS I've yet had. Sipping at a temperature a bit cooler than optimal, I'm getting huge amounts of chocolate, a bit toasted chestnuts. Plum and raisin sneak along the sides of the tongue while a whole loaf of bread or a heap of fresh baked biscuits take up the center. The fruity sweetness wears on the tongue after a bit, though it is keeping me from downing this too rapidly. Molasses forms the last stratum, and is a tad too prominent. Really not picking up the alcohol on this. Waiting for this to warm...

As it warms, the various notes begin to blend. Reminds me of the flavors of kvass minus the sourness. Also, hops begin to show themselves, stripping the molasses a bit on its way back.

My mouth is coated after a few sips like I've been drinking rich hot cocoa. Minimal bitterness to get in the way, and even the fair amount of carbonation doesn't lighten the velvet load. The lingering flavors overstay their welcome a bit unfortunately, as molasses isn't something I like having remain on my tongue for long periods of time, though it may be a favorite kind of cookie. Drinkability ultimately suffers.

Ultimately, I'm impressed with this flavorful brew and am eager to plunge into the rest of Kuhnhenn but don't think I could have this too often (as if I had the choice). Big thanks to hoppymeal for this and the coming Kuhnhenn reviews.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - this stout pours extremely dark with a light brown dark head, the body is dark enough to obscure any carbonation

S - roasted malts dominate the aroma, with strong supports of bittersweet chocolate and coffee beans

T - the strong roasted malts dominates the taste as well, with a peculiar addition, a sharp almost medicinal (but not unwelcome) cherry note, just for a brief second, then the coffee/bittersweet chocolate come in for the coup de grace, and they come in huge, a big flavorful finish

M&D - a great brew, a little sharp for some, not for me though, a great blend of flavors ordered in a tongue-pleasing way, a very tasty beer, well done, man i wish Kuhnhenns still sold 12 oz bottles.

Photo of BeerTruth
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Kan and hoppymeal for this one (I think).

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours an absolute midnight black letting no light through with a one finger brown head that dies down to a thin layer of bubbles that reamains. Some stickiness, but not much. Smell begins with roasted coffee grinds and sweet espresso. Dark chocolate and smoked barley with a sweet caramel and molasses backbone. For the 12.5%, I don't detect much alcohol in the nose which is beyond me. Holy Batman roastiness! Charred malts, smoked barley, and dark French roast coffee. Cocoa powder, licorice, and some vanilla midway with a touch of booze and lots of fig and dates. Aftertaste is bitter and smokey with a funky finish. Full body with a slick and chewy feel that has a very mild carbonation. A monster brew for sure, even a 12 oz. bottle should be shared.

Photo of HopDerek
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick lightless black with a pinky of thinly bubbled burnt orange/tan head. Little retention but nice lacing and an oily residue. Smells of dark fruits, roasted malt, chocolate, licorice, charcoal, chalk, and alcohol. Tastes of bitter baking cocoa from the start followed by dark fruits like raisins, cherries, dates, prunes, and plums, then a touch of brown sugar. Strong burnt notes of smoke and charcoal follow, then a bitter blast of espresso mixed with cream in the finish as well as a slight sourness and a touch of alcohol. Full bodied, smooth and thick with low carbonation, but a syrupy body that clings to your palette. Fruity, roasty, bitter, brash, and abrasive, definitely not a beer everyone will like, but RIS lovers should appreciate its attitude.

Photo of webmanspidey
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in the brewpub in an oversized wine glass. Decent chocolate smell with nice roasted malt character. Similar taste.. lots of chocolate and coffee. Slight alcoholic twinge at the end, but in general a very smooth and drinkable imperial stout. Lots of character and creamy texture.

Photo of warnerry
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Notes from May 2012; on tap at the brewpub

A - Pours pitch black with two fingers of brown head. Head has good retention and leaves some pretty nice lacing.

S - Roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, a bit of burnt malt and a sweet aroma. Some noticeable alcohol as well.

T - Taste is like the smell, but brings on some dark dried fruits that I didn't get from the nose. Has a marshmellow like taste as well. Quite good. The finish is very roasty and bitter.

M - Full mouthfeel that coats the palate nicely. Starts sticky sweet and end s dry and bitter.

O - On the roasty end of what i like in a big stout, but this works well. A bit of sweetness, but focused on the chocolate and roasted malt.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Hoppymeal for this one.

This beer pours terribly thick and is a light swallowing dark black with hints of raisin creeping in around the edges. The head is a tan creamy film.

Smells of charcoal briquettes soaked in port with a hint of cider vinegar that works quite well. This is also accompanied by a boozy sting.

Tastes of a charred smokey and a pinch of salt with a light and easy gooey barley and maple syrup. It finishes out a delicately smokey caramelized sugar.

Feels light, but slick and solid with slight dismissive pin-pricks of carbonation.

This one is a great candidate for the cellar. Perhaps two years would do this well. To be paired with exceedingly dark chocolate.

Photo of kirok1999
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is thick and inky black with only a hint of a dark off white head. Smells of coffee followed by sweet dark fruits. Exactly the kind of stout I like.
Taste is a lot of coffee with a nice hop bitterness in the finish. There's some chocolate in the middle to make it a real interesting beer.
Feels really dense and bready with very light carbonation.

Photo of shivtim
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this bottle via aforbes10 and kkulacki. Huge thanks!
Not sure how I feel about the "Road Rash" combined with the picture of the motorcycle... seems painful! However, I do love Kuhnhenn's labels, as they look like they were printed in someone's basement, giving a special "small batch" feel.

The pour is beautiful. Intense rich brown/black, with a two finger dark brown head. Head slowly subsides into a thin sheen with good legs.

Nose is extremely sweet malts, lots of dark fruit, and a strong roasty backbone. Mild hints of sugary ethanol and the faintest bready smell.

Taste is a wallop of malts right off the bat. Lots of sweetness runs alongside a bitter carob taste. Some alcohol comes in on the end and then a lingering ashy burnt malt flavor. More pronounced layers of toasted malts become apparent upon some warming. Quite nice.

Mouthfeel is syrupy, but with good carbonation.

Photo of woosterbill
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. Big thanks to Knifestyles for sharing.

A: Opaque black body with a clumpy dark tan head. Spotty lace. Ok.

S: Very sweet, with gigantic marshmallow on top of chocolate, dark fruit, and light booze. Very nice.

T: A little roastier than the nose, with dark chocolate, coffee, marshmallow, and prominent booze. Not quite as nice as the aroma, but still tasty.

M: Very thick, viscous, sticky, and full of fine, creamy carbonation. Intense.

O: This was a huge RIS, and a very good one. It didn't have any particular Kuhnhenn craziness, but was actually straightforward and to style (albeit ramped up a bit in terms of ABV). Good stuff, and something I'd love to see on the other side of a bourbon barrel...

Cheers!

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Used motor oil blackness crawls out of the battle and settle into the glass like a tar pool. Head is milk chocolate brown and beautiful with big rocky bubbles that leave scattered dots of lace. My mouth starts to water as I take first whiff of the nose and am greeted by huge doses of chocolate, toasted malts, burnt toffee, black licorice and some rich coffee. Amazing aroma. So far its perfect. As you take first sip you are surprised by a sharp balance of bready richness to balance this but not what I was hoping for, based on the nose. A cold coffee like bitter feel hangs on to the back of the tongue along with a slight sour feel. Alcohol is completely hidden except for the fact that it warms the belly well. This is very unique for the style but still very good. Very nicely drinkable.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pennzoil black with a similar opacity. The brown sugar hued lid that is currently snuggled into the upper half of the glass doesn't look as though it will melt any time soon. In spite of a sky-high ABV, a few scraplets of sea foam lace manage to stick.

The sloping sides of the snifter help to concentrate what is already a potent and roasted malty nose. Aromas include dark chocolate, blackstrap molasses and black licorice. This is shaping up to be a doozy of an RIS.

While Jessie's Road Rash isn't the world-beater that I was expecting, it's still good beer. The biggest negative is a tart-n-tangy fruitiness reminiscent of unripe plums (and maybe even lemons). Hopefully, that characteristic will fade as the beer continues to warm and as malt sweetness plays a larger role.

Too bad that Kuhnhenn doesn't publish ingredients because it tastes like American hops such as Cascade and/or Centennial are in the house. The beer has a citrus quality that would be more enjoyable if it was bitter rather than tart. The aromas described above find their way onto the palate, providing almost as much enjoyment. Molasses is front and center. Alcohol, amazingly enough, isn't.

Do other brewers use tapioca and rice in their big stouts? The goal must have been a full, creamy, silky mouthfeel. Mission... partially accomplished. Given the ABV and the flavor profile, however, it needs to be meatier. Carbonation? Appropriately subdued.

Even though the label looks like it was done on someone's laptop computer, who doesn't love hot chicks on motorcycles? I'm torn between being slightly disappointed in what was expected to be an outstanding Imperial stout and being thankful for a good sipping beer that should gently ease me into my midday nap like a velvet hammer upside the head. Let's go with the latter. Thanks to bakerslp for the bottle.

Photo of Lothore
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours almost pitch black with a thick, chunky dark brown head which sits magnificently atop this menacing brew.

S- Lots of grain, slightly faint for the style, a little bit of milk chocolate.

T- Very Rich, sweet chocolate, dark fruits, coffee, lots of roasted malt at the end.

M- Very thick with perfect carbonation in my mind (some may say it is a little overcarbonated)

D- This is definitely one to sip on. On this cold winter night it is just about perfect. Too rich to have all the time but im enjoying it right now.

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Kuhnhenn Road Rash Imperial Stout from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.