Kuhnhenn Vintage Ale - Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Kuhnhenn Vintage AleKuhnhenn Vintage Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

73 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 73
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 37
Gots: 21 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  17.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: plaztikjezuz on 12-22-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 41
Reviews by JamnesCameron:
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Kuhnhenn for Summer Solstice '13. This was the 2011 edition. It pours a surprisingly light color; golden-amber that exhibits mild clarity. It's topped off with a thin, white film that quickly spreads out and bunches up to a mere ring around the glass. Not a lot of action coming from this one, but that's to be expected.

I was a little shocked at how "light" and subdued the aroma was, considering the sheer potency of the beer. It didn't jump up and sting my nostrils like I was expecting, and in that, I'm almost a bit let down. What's there is pretty nice, though. Honey, clove, toffee, brown sugar, and a noticeable amount of bready yeast. Sweet overall, but still a little less powerful than it could stand to be.

Luckily the taste is a bit more forward - lots of alcoholic warmth hits the palate right away, and at 17.5% ABV, who am I to complain about that? It never gets hot, but it is definitely something you'll have to respect by sipping it slowly. Malt contributions are huge (obviously), and the flavor profile is quite nice; honey, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, and lots of generally sweet maltiness.

There's a very nice counterbalance of almost-tart fruits; mainly apples, but also a bit of cherry and plum. The slight tart aspect cuts adds a third element alongside the boozy warmth and the malty sweetness that lets the beer expand and grow in its complexity. Much like Kuhnhenn's Extraneous Ale, the alcohol doesn't go unnoticed, but it still doesn't burn like you'd think 17.5% ABV would.

The body is quite thick, although not massive enough to become cloying or cumbersome. Creamy, oily, somewhat sticky, and robust, with minimal carbonation, aiding in the smooth mouth feel. The alcohol leaves a nice warmth in your gullet while your palate can still taste hints of sweet caramel, brown sugar, and apples.

I'm definitely glad I got to try this - it really is another great offering from Kuhnhenn. I prefer things like 4D and Extraneous Ale to this, but it's still a nice offering. It's a "lighter" take on the old ale/barleywine style with not as much dark fruit, and more light-skinned tartness. Hats off to these guys for creating such ridiculously high ABV beers and still keeping them so damn drinkable.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage.

Appearance - Amber body. No head. Looks flat after a while.

Smell - A little appley. Boozy. Caramel.

Taste - Apple fruit malt flavor. Tons of caramel. Dry and boozy. Bitter.

Mouthfeel - Harsh. Very alcoholic. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Monotonous caramel and apple malts. Way over the top.

Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to the GBX Crew (beeruser & funkydelic) for sharing this one during a recent tasting! 2011 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller oversized wine glass. Poured red-orange with a minimal off-white head. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sweet alcohol, sugar, wood, and caramel. The flavor was of sweet malt, sweet alcohol, wood, and caramel. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. I honestly went into this one expecting something fantastic. While it wasn’t bad, I definitely wouldn’t call it very memorable either. I was kind of glad that the sugar note I picked up on in the aroma didn’t come through on the flavor. Still fairly well balanced however. Worth trying if you get the opportunity.

Photo of jimmy82063
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had to stay home from work today and noticed a Kuhnhenn event at DeCicco's of Ardsley. That said tomorrow should be interesting! Froma growler poured into a brandy snifter.

A) Poured into a brandy snifter, starts out with a small head that quickly dissipates. Nice lacing though on the glass.

S) At first smell I get citrus and this is certainly not something I would expect from a barleywine.

T) Wow lemon up front, this is different, it does finish up with a bit of caramel. Alcohol warms to the finish (I would hope!)

M) Low carbonation and you do get a bit of a pucker from the lemon.

I enjoyed this as I like beers that push the envelope. I would imagine that any further reviews would run the gamut. I would buy this again.

Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Jay for sharing this. 2007 bottle.

Deep orange body, almost opaque. Thin foam collar, connected by a thin skim in the center. Borderline harsh fusels, vodka-infused apricots, dried tangerines.

Citrusy orange marmalade with bits of peels, canned peach or pineapple, generally lots of tropical fruits. Very rich feel, very sweet and strong. Aftertaste is a lingering sugary citrus confection, with an underlying sting of alcohol. It's best shared, or at least needs to spend a year in time-out to mellow the unapologetic booziness.

Photo of n2185
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear copper with a finger of beige head that recedes to a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Lots of caramel malts up front with notes of dark fruits like plums and red grapes. There are also some bubblegum and candy sugar notes.

T: Similar to the aroma, caramel malts and dark fruits, especially grapes, hit first. Candy sugar follows along with a piny bitterness from the hops and a light burn on the finish.

M: Medium-thick body with low carbonation, this beer is only a little sticky feeling. I could use a bit more body, though, as it ends up feeling a little watery.

O: A pretty solid barleywine. The most remarkable thing about this beer is its ability to hide its very high abv very well. I thought the beer was maybe 9-11% based on tasting it and was very surprised to learn that it was 17%. Unfortunately, it lacks the complexity needed for a great barleywine.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.23/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to tulip.

A - Medium amber with a bright orange glow around the edges. A small layer of off-white head formed and quickly receded to a ring around the glass.

S - Sweet caramel, some brown sugar and toffee. Not an overly complex nose and very sweet.

T - A big sweetness up front full of dark caramel, molasses and toffee. A huge alcohol presence enters in the middle and lingers considerably in the finish.

M - Medium to full body with a good chew. Light carbonation.

O - Way too boozy and somewhat one dimensional. I guess that is somewhat par for the course for 17% ABV.

Photo of Amalak
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this off the tap at Barcade in Brooklyn. It has a nice clear, copper color to it. There's a good foamy white head and some lacing behind. Nice citrusy scent.

This is a dangerous beer. According to the board this is 17 percent abv and it doesn't taste like that. It's citrusy, with a very nice fruity IPA taste ot it. Some malt and a lemon underpin. It's strong as hell, but not in a port wine kind of way.

Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ok i know what you are thinking, wait this vintage ale is from bo's, not kuhnhenn's. well you would be half right, wayne, the ex-brewer from bo's now works at kuhnhenn. so we now have kuhnhenn vintage ale, huzzah!

pours a very deep copper or a light mahogany with a thin head that fell into a few stray bubbles over 20 minutes.
the aroma is fruity, malty, hoppy, apricots with a good aroma of alcohol.
the flavor is rich and malty, with a good bitterness, it is a little sweet, there is an herbal hop component, the beer for being as fruity as it is iver very clean of "off flavors" for being this strong. tha alcohol is there and present but not over powering like it should taste for as strong as this beer is.
not exactly like bo's vintage, but man this is a kick ass beer, and very close.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to jale for picking this bottle up for Amyliz4 and me. Served in an oversized snifter.

Pours a moderately-dark brown color with a short off-white head and some very light lacing. The nose carries plenty of dark fruit but also quite a bit of alcohol. Malt and sweetness throughout. Plenty of fruit through the flavor, though I wish there were a bit less booze, even for a 17% beer. Medium body with low carbonation and a boozy finish. Pretty good, but not quite up to the level of Kuhnhenn's other big stuff.

Photo of grub
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased at the winter solstice party dec 21/07. label also notes "Burns 2007" at the top, indicating it was brewed by their new brewer, Wayne Burns, formerly of Bo's. website indicates 17% ABV. sampled jan 12/08.

pours hazy deep orange, almost reddish brown. a small gold head rises up then quickly falls to a ring around the glass. no lace.

aroma is good. light alcohol. tons of caramel. big bready malt. great fruity character - raisin, light citrus. bit of toasty character.

taste is good. alcohol. big fruity character - lots of raisin and date, bit of cherry and cranberry. big bready malt. low bitterness level. tons of caramel. bit of honey sweetness. bit of grapefruit. earthy hops. interesting and unique.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. nice big body.

drinkability is very good. the alcohol is noticeable and warming, but not overpowering. with all the great fruity character it makes me think of a nice port. the alcohol and malty/fruity character balance well against each other. though i don't know if i'd call it an american barleywine, i really enjoyed it.

Photo of hopdog
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle acquired in trade with pantanap (thanks!).

This one was one of those slow creeping gushers. The kind that didn't spray, but kept on creeping out of the bottle.

Poured a deeper brownish / amberish color with a larger sized off white head. Aromas of dark fruits, nuts, caramel, and a little 'stale'. Tastes of dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and just all around sweet. Some alcohol in the finish but not 17%.

Notes from 5/20/08

Photo of chanokokoro
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2011 Vintage, fairly aggressively poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Kuhnhenn branded snifter

Pours a deep golden amber capped by a two and half finger off-white head. Average retention, some light lacing that disappears quickly. Dates, hints of plum, and some spice on the nose. Dates, hints of cherry, plums and prune, a slight touch of fig, some light brown sugar and molasses and warming alcohol. Some citrus notes and mild bitterness on the finish. Slick, smooth full body, a bit soapy and syrupy; very typical of a barleywine. Mild carbonation. Really enjoyable brew. I expected a lot more heat for a 17% abv barelywine, but it was fairly well-balanced.

Photo of womencantsail
2.81/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy dark amber color. Nose is kind of funky for a barleywine. It’s got the requisite Kuhnhenn booziness along with caramel and brown sugar. A bit of dark fruit, too. The flavor is kind of cheesy, which is off-putting. The booze is well represented, too. Sweet caramel, brown sugar, toffee, and toasted malt flavors with a light fruitiness. Surprising bitterness for a beer like this, too. Not my cup of tea.

Photo of FosterJM
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

969th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
12 oz

2011 Summer Solstice Release

Thanks to ErikKoppin for this one.

App- A bit like a think root beer with a bit of spirit amber/light brown in it. A bit of a 1/4" ring of bubbles and only a very few lines of cling to it.

Smell- Very boozy with a bit of caramel, malts, nougat and pineapple. Seemingly a bit thin on the nose but yet very boozy as mentioned.

Taste- This was very full of flavor. You have the Barleywine flavors mixed with some barrel, mixed with some DIPA and a little malty. Not really like another beer I have had but still tasty even with all that booze and flavor behind it.

Mouth- A creamy medium body with a a low/medium carbonation level. A good bit of peppery booze with a trailing thick citrus on the back end.

Drink- Only my 2nd Kuhnhenn beer and this was good but needed a bit more thickness to match the ABV. At 17% needs more to cut this, maybe a bit thicker? Maybe a little sweeter.

Photo of joshuaseresse
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 bottling. Thanks to brian23456 for sharing this bottle at our epic battle of the 12oz. Poured into a snifter:

A - Nice golden brown with amber hues toward middle and edges. Strong carbonation around the edges.

S - Really nice caramel and light sweet chocolate. Rich vanilla, oak and a bit of barrel booze heat.

T - Bready caramel and brown sugar. A bit leathery but really smooth. A tad boozy but overall really a great taste.

M - Pretty well carbonated but very smooth. There is a nice boozy zing and tingle toward the end.

D - This one was drank toward the end of the night but I'm sure this one was drank pretty quick. Its always nice to enjoy a Kuhnhenn's brew but this one was quite a treat. Would like to try this again when I would be a bit more sober but it was quite tasty.

Photo of krkearney
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, 2007 vintage. Pours a deep brownish copper color, capped with a fairly large brown head that gradually diminishes. There's a lot of fruit in the aroma; apricot, raisin, and dates, which are joined by caramel, brandy and port. Huge amounts of dark fruit flavor, prunes and dates really stand out. Caramel malt, toffee, vanilla and alcohol round out the flavor, leading to a brief vanilla finish. Smooth body, with minimal carbonation. Another very big beer from Kuhnhenn; very drinkable for its ABV.

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature tulip glass, Winter Solstice 2011 bottling. Pours hazy deep orange amber color with a 1 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of caramel, toast, apple, raisin, peach, plum, brown sugar, honey, floral, light pepper, and earthy yeast esters. Nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and fruity notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toast, peach, raisin, plum, apple, pepper, honey, light brown sugar, floral, spicy alcohol, wood, and earthy yeast esters. Good amount of earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, peach, light fruits, pepper, floral, honey, light brown sugar, spicy alcohol, wood, and earthy yeast esters. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and fruity flavors; with a good balance of bitterness and no cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a slick and moderately sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden for 17% with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice barleywine. Nice balance and complexity of malt,hops, and fruity flavors; and very smooth to sip on considering this is 17%. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of cosmicevan
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thank to bierenutz for sending this one my way. enjoyed out of a kuhnhenn tulip.

2011 vintage (not so vintage)

a - brew poured a transparent caramel color with a frothy off white foamy head that slowly dissipated leaving bubbly islands on the surface of the brew. Lacing is sparse and spotty.

s - nice caramel toffee malt with some boozy hop presence. smells big bold and thick...even syrupy.

t - slam you in the face booziness. finishes bitter. some semblance of caramel malts, but all is underscored by the raging heat of the alcohol.

m - surprisingly medium to light bodied. fairly boozy, but doesn't feel 17%...feels more 10 to 12%. i would've expected it to be more syrupy.

o - overall this is an extreme beer, but comes off relatively easy to drink for the sheer size (dfh take note). there are some nice flavors going on but it is very much all a backseat to the booze, however the booze is very tolerable. once you get adjusted to the abvs, the nice toffee caramel malts show up more. quite good for a beer this huge.

Photo of mcallister
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage.

Pours with some with a whispy tan head that quickly fades into nothing leaving nothing behind. Deep amber in color.

Big aromas bursting with prune, date and raisin. Very hot in the nose, sweet brown sugar, a bourbon like note, hints of maple and a woody aroma.

Rich, bold and delicious. Dried black cherry, prune, date, burnt caramel. Nice brown sugary sweetness with a drying dose of burnt alcohol. Raisins and toffee and again a boubonesque twang. Mouth is creamy and biting good carbonation for a beer of this alcohol.

Photo of Viggo
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for picking this up for me at last years Solstice party.

Pours a crystal clear bright ruby red, really brilliant colour, thin light tan head forms, quickly settles to a thin ring around the glass, no lace but some legs. Smell is intense, boozy alcohol, figs and raisins, lots of caramel, tropical fruit, sherry, earthy, very malty bastard, huge mix of caramel, alcohol and fruit. Taste is similar, very boozy up front, but lots of caramelized malts and raisin, very intense flavour, bready malts, honey, alcohol, all in a big insane mix. Mouthfeel is full bodied, almost syrupy with low carbonation, lots of heat on the way down. Pretty insane, a good night cap. Thanks Russ!

Photo of DrJay
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007. Courtesy of grub. Thanks!
There was a mighty pop when it was opened. Murky caramel amber with a yellow beige cap of coarse foam that quickly fell, leaving a bit of a collar. Some short-lived stickage. Malty aroma, lots of caramel and toffee, grain and alcohol, some dried fruit, mild higher alcohols, sherry. Bitterness was solid, but got lost in the mix. Lots of fruit up front, hints of apple along with figs and other dried fruit, then caramel and molasses hit mid-palate. Alcohol dominated the end and lingered into the finish with the fruitiness and grain flavours. Mild fusel character (rose and solvent) that worked well and wasn't overpowering. Very sweet throughout. Quite a beast. Lots of warmth, but little in the way of hotness. Certainly numbed the tongue though. Full bodied and syrupy, lowish carbonation, decent texture for such a big beer. Quite a good drinker for the high abv.

Photo of joefuzz
4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage

Beer pours a crystal clear deep copper with a very surprising sized head for the abv

Smells like a caramel apple...fruity and sweet with a slight hint of alcohol

Tastes just as the nose lets on huge fruit flavors upfront that give way to a very nice sugary sweetness with some winter like spices slight alcohol burn

Carbonation is very low and mouthfeel is slightly thinner than expected

Overall this beer is awesome and I cant wait to see what the rest that I have turn into in a few years

Photo of Pointman
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow - I had this the first time at the Winter Solstice Release party, but didn't write a review. Now I have stored this 6 pack (at an OUTRAGEOUS $28/6) almost until the Summer Solstice.

Very cloudy dark red pour with a TON of head - maybe overcarbonate? Hardly any lacing....

Very sweet and dried fruit nose....

Taste is sweet with dried prunes? But it tastes really good...lol. I do recall the one on draft had a strong alcohol taste. This somewhat aged bottle masks the alcohol completely. This is a 16.5% alcohol beverage....I wish I knew how to have that added to the main review page...

Mouthfeel is a little goofy...good, but there is a latent carbonation...

Overall, I do like this beer. It is very drinkable, too bad it costs sooo much....

Cmon K-Bros...get reasonable with your prices...

Photo of alpinebryant
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes...

Pours a tiny head , relatively sticky lacing, strong copper gold in color.

Aroma of booze, Lemon Rind, Citrus and light caramel mixing with plenty of extra sweet malt aromas.

Taste is primarily citrus and lemon , lots of booze slightly reminiscent of nail polish remover. Although I would never drink nail polish remover, I would definitely drink this again. It is not for the faint hearted and if you are ready for a 17 percent beer, you will enjoy this. I shared a 32 oz growler with a friend and this really did quite well over the course of an hour or so in adjusting slightly with the temperature shifting around towards room temperature. As it warmed, I got more cotton candy/ caramel flavors and it opened up to be a little sweeter and complex than it was when first popped open.

Mouthfeel is syrupy and medium at the same time with a very light carbonation due to the style and appropriate.

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Kuhnhenn Vintage Ale from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.