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Kuhnhenn Solar Eclipse - Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Kuhnhenn Solar EclipseKuhnhenn Solar Eclipse

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

96 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 96
Hads: 189
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 141
Gots: 33 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  18.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: grub on 01-08-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 96 | Hads: 189
Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the brewpub. Dark body, very little head, some lace. Thick chocolate body, some coffee. Good RIS, though not the most complex,and so not the most representative of what brewers are innovating now, this is mostly chocolate malt delivery, it is enjoyable and surprisingly high abv.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at the pre-FWIBF bottle share held at the Adelaide Inn in Paso Robles, CA.

2010 vintage.

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, char, and burnt sugar aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, caramel, and char flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but very boozy.

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Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of alcohol and chocolate malts in the nose, which intensify as the beer warms up.
T: Similar to the smell, the chocolate malts stand out in the taste, which is quite malty and also has raisin flavors.
M: It feels full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a low amount of carbonation. There is a moderate to strong amount of alcohol warming in the finish.
O: The beer is remarkably drinkable considering its strength because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

Note: 2007 vintage

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. On tap at the brewpub.

Another booze bomb from Kuhnhenn. Good thing these beers are normally pretty good, so I had to give it a go. Pours black with a minimal head and some nice legs in its stay as the small amount of foam goes away. Nose is strong roast, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and slight dark fruits. A bit of molasses. The taste is actually quite a bit boozy, and I'm wondering whether we might have gotten into the batch a bit too early. Feel is boozy and a bit sweet. Drinks well after my mouth gets used to the booze, but this definitely needs some time.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep pitch-black color stout with a small foamy head with minimal retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of light residual sugar with some subtle black chocolate and surprisingly no alcohol. Taste is not as flavorful as expected with some notes black chocolate and some light dry coffee that seems to cover most of the alcohol. Body is fuller then average with an oily texture with average carbonation and surprisingly no alcohol is discernible.

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Photo of largadeer
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2008 vintage. Thanks, Barry. Pitch black body, viscous and thick with a wispy layer of bubbles. Molasses, roasted barley, alcohol, soy sauce and a bit of charcoal make up the aroma. There's some dark fruit in there too. Sweet, borderline syrupy on the palate, roasty with flavors of molasses, charred malt, teriyaki sauce and dark fruit. Intense lingering molasses and and burnt toast finish. Surprisingly smooth stuff, the alcohol is well-hidden and it's fairly drinkable despite the sheer intensity of flavor.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Hoppymeal for getting this one to me. Twelve ounce bottle that had been sitting in my cellar for a few weeks after I received it. Served at cellar temp and poured into an oversized wine glass. Consumed on 07/16/2008.

The bottle erupted as soon as I popped the cap on it. A cascading stream of tan foam poured out of the bottle when I was not looking and I probably lost a good two ounces. Once I made it into the glass it was dark, black as night, with a huge four inch high head of tan foam that took forever for it to finally sit back down. Even once it did, it never fully went away and in fact it kept about an inch of foam layer across the top throughout the rest of the session. Deep side glass lace just dripped down the sides of the glass throughout the session and really gave a great overall look, too bad it was a gusher.

The aroma was very full. Loaded down with cocoa and dark fruits, I knew this one was going to be big from the very first moment. Rich prunes and fig notes were cascading from all angles here. This was really a tremendously good smelling beer. Hints of coffee and alcohol as it warmed only served to enhance the overall presence here. The flavor just followed along beautifully. First thing I have to make note of was the smack of alcohol as I opened it up. Burned the lips a bit at first as it was very strong, but as it warmed and the session wore on, it mellowed out considerably. Deep cocoa and prune flavor. Rich, with raisins and coffee bouncing around, hints of run soaked raisins and touches of sweet malts way in the back. Had a very Belgian like feel to it, lots of fruity yeast flavors, especially toward the back end of it. Long drawn out finish was drown in cocoa and alcohol, leaving hints of it lasting long after it was gone. Fantastic Mouthfeel on this one, rich and very well carbonated. It was not as heavy as some of the bigger stouts, but was just as rich in texture. Very lively, never really giving up any ground on me, I was very impressed here. For 18.00% ABV, this had to be one of the most drinkable big stouts I have ever come across. Just easy to sip on, though I was feeling it later, this was ridiculously smooth after the first initial sip.

Overall this was just flat out awesome. I have to find away to get another one of these somehow. This was just too damn good. A truly rich and decadent dessert, you need to seek this one out, it really was that good! Thanks again to Hoppymeal for this one, really packed a punch!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Boom! Gunshot opening! Pours a black body with a foamy, extremely short-lived beige head.

Smell: Black malt aroma with notes of dark chocolate, charred fruits, nut ash, coffee.

Taste: Dark roasted grains with a snap of sugary sweetness. Tastes of chocolate, coffee, prunes, burnt nuts and creosote struggle to remain cohesive. Hot finish, baby! Hot finish comin' thru!

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Moderate carbonation. Very warming all the way down.

Drinkability: About as fine and drinkable as really any of these high octane stouts possibly can be.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 5/21/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting. 2007 vintage.

a - Pours a dark brown with 1 inch of tan head and lighr carbonation.

s - Smells mostly of oak and whiskey. Hint of chocolate.

t - Tastes of oak, whiskey, chocolate, and caramel and roasted malts. Has some heat to it.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - Enjoyable but still too hot; could use even more time in the cellar. Would like to try again ina nother 2-3 years.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Dave Schuster for bringing this to our "mini" stout tasting on Friday night. Bottle is from 2007 and also says "Burns" - does that mean this will burn? At 18% I suspect it might...

A - ...and we've got a gusher. Thank you Kuhnhenn for high-quality bottling. Once we got this under control we managed to collect most of it in a communal glass that we passed around. Quick-dissipating dark mocha foam - no lace. Pitch black with a hint of orange-red at the fringes when held to the light.

S - Dark roasted malt barley, sweet cream, caramel, molasses, a pinch of dark fruits. This is one very sweet and very boozy brew. There is a surprising hop presence as well - sort of pine-like. I'm not sure how that's possible, but it was there! Like most of my Kuhnhenn experiences, it smelled wonderful.

T - Sour dark fruits, roast malt, dark chocolate, coffee with cream, and (drum roll please) alcohol! Reminded me of Black Albert after taking stanozolol.

M - Medium body, surprising carbonation generating a ton of tingling sensations. Gritty and sticky, with lots of alcohol warmth.

D - Let's see - high ABV and carbonation. Not the best combo here, as you end up stupidly drunk and bloated. The brew tastes quite good, but there's no way anyone would drink two of these.

This (like many Kuhnhenn brews) is kind of a novelty. While I prefer Kuhnhenn's high-gravity beers to those of Dogfish Head, I can still only consume one in an evening.

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Photo of mothman
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cracked a growler of this the other night. Split with kbutler1 and crew. I am still trying to figure out why we did this.

Poured into snifter.

Pours a dark brown, near black. Very little head.

Aroma: Rich, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, oak, and booze. Dark fruits also shine through this one. Pretty big.

Taste: Super rich and chocolaty. Boozy and oaky. Lots of dark dried fruits, cherries, plums, and molasses.

Mouthfeel: Very rich, sweetness, and boozy, but not overwhelming for how big it is. Full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends boozy and rich.

Overall, this beer hides its abv very well. Fairly drinkable. Good flavors. For what it is, it's not too bad. And yes, we did finish the growler. So intense.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad!

2007 vintage

The beer appears a deep, dark brown with a thin head that leaves a fair amount of lacing behind. The nose brings a heavy dose of roasted malt and alcohol. The flavor is big and bold. I'm sure age has tamed the beer to a certain extent, but it still packs a heavy punch. Flavors include roasted malt, booze, brown sugar, chocolates, dark fruits. The feel is heavy with plenty of booze. I guess it is 18% abv, after all. Overall, a pretty good beer, albeit a slow sipper. A few ounces was plenty for me.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma is hot alcohol, chocolate, roasted malt and maple. The flavor is hot alcohol, roasted malt and chocolate. The beer smells and tastes very good, but the alcohol is so hot that it is tough to drink too much of it. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A good imperial stout, that would be even better if the alcohol was toned down just a little bit.

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Photo of billab914
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage poured into my CBS snifter. It poured black in color with a fine tan lacing sticking to the edges of the glass. Very dark and still.

The aroma has a lot of dark fruits in it. I get fig and plum mixing with a brown sugar and molasses sweetness. Decent amount of booze is there as well. Just a hint of roasted malts. Very nice aroma to it.

The taste shows a lot of the sweeter dark fruits to it throughout. I get a little chocolate and roasted malts in the finish along with some caramel and alcohol. Lots of malty, fruity sweetness to it. Very flavorful beer overall.

The mouthfeel is thick and a little syrupy with carbonation being low. Overall it was a pretty good beer. It has a lot of dark fruit, sweeter, malty flavors to it and seemed to lean towards the old ale style a little to me. Pretty smooth and flavorful, especially given the abv %, but it also seemed a little overly sweet and one dimensional at times as well. A very enjoyable beer to sip on though this evening.

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Photo of BARFLYB
2.75/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle split with oglmcdgl, purchased at di cicco's on a recent visit to the captain.

A- Black, that pretty much sums it up, a big black thick body on this beer with a small minimal amount of tannish cap on top, no lace.

S- This smells like a monster and with the ABV I kinda knew this going in. A big amount of booze/alcohol. Under that roasted malt out the ass, dark fruits minimal. Hops are kinda in the picture in a storm king kinda way.

T- My god, huge beer here, very boozy and rizzy. Dark malts, chocolate, dark fruit a small amount of roast with no coffee. And of course there is the booze, Oh my how you've grown. It kills the beer for me, I cant get past it.

M- A big bodied beer here with a pretty full body with a small amount of carb that's barely detectable under the heat that resonates on the tounge and mouth, heat bomb. A small amount of nail polish. I like the feel it's just HOT.

D- My 4oz's or so was enough, Im good on any more. It will take about ten years for the booze to be tamed in this monster, on par with the demon series beers from Avery in terms of HEAT.

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Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Split a small bottle with a couple friends. This could be the best 18%+ stout I've had. Yes, there was a touch of sharp alcohol, but it wasn't overly rough or thick with residual sugar.

If you told me this was a Belgan take on the style I'd believe it. The dark berry fruit esters are unmistakable up front. This is followed by smooth caramel and mellow roasted barley. Overall this was a great sipping beer. A fine drink for a snifter on a chilly day.

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Photo of corby112
3.27/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage.

Pours a dark chocolate brown color that appears pitch black and completely opaque in the glass with a one finger beige head that quickly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Streaks of lacing left behind.

Sweet, boozy aroma with with subtle dark fruit accompanying the sweet and roasted dark malts. Huge ethanol/alcohol presence overpowers things a bit too much for my liking hiding the malt character. Underneath all of the booze there are hints of chocolate, coffee bean, toffee, fig and raisin. The malts become more prominent as it warms but the alcohol still dominates the nose.

Medium bodied and slightly oxidized with tight carbonation lingering throughout. Lots of sweet, boozy heat but more complex than the aroma suggests. Slight smokey presence with a subtle roasted malt character that counters all of the sweetness. Hints of dark chocolate, coffee bean, char and oatmeal provide some nice bitterness as a counterpoint to the booze, chocolate malt and dark fruit notes. This beer has calmed down a bit in four years but there is still a ton of alcohol flavor. Sweet booze overpowers the other flavors but the ABV is relatively well masked. A decent amount of heat in the finish but not harsh and it's surprisingly easy to drink. It's definitely still a sipper but I finished the bottle way faster than expected.

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Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much thanks to hopdog for the opportunity...
Appears a pitch black, with foamy tan head that slowly fades into a mild cap that floats on top of the opaque darkness.
Smell is of heavy cocoa, vanilla, roasted nuts, espresso, dark fruit, and mild smoke.
Taste...very complex with ripened fruit, toasted malt, java beans, molasses, and hints of smoke rounding out the flavors.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, fruity, with some grapes, and heat in the swallow. The heat is tolerable for being 18% abv.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black with a small toffee colored head and thick legs on my glass. The aroma is of dark chocolate with an accompanying light roast, and a big brown sugar influence. Alcohol is potent. The flavor is stinging alcohol with chocolate and light oxidation. Brown sugar is strong and dark fruits are subtle. The mouthfeel is thick, full, and viscous. Carbonation is low.

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Photo of DrJay
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of grub. Thanks!
It gave a powerful pop when the cap was removed. A very gentle pour produced a gigantic brown head, sort of fluffy, that settled to a coarse, one finger cap in a minute or two. The beer itself was black with perhaps the faintest brown edges. Decent head retention, not much in the way of stickage or lacing. Lots of roast and toffee in the nose, sweet caramel and chocolate notes, heavy fruit character, sherry, mild alcohol, dry cocoa, a hint of licorice and vanilla. A bit smoky as it warmed. Giant flavour, quite intense. Solid bitterness, partly from the dark malts. Tons of roast and dark chocolate, figs and cherries, toffee, sherry, and alcohol. Quite fruity overall. Lingering sweetness. The carbonation was too high, making the texture a bit coarse, but once that problem dissipated a little it was much smoother. A little bit syrupy, full bodied, lots of warm alcohol. An easy drinker for such a big stout and pretty tasty.

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Photo of Viggo
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

grub picked me up some Kuhnhenn at their Winter Solstice Party, always looking out for me!

Pours a deep impenetrable black, very opaque, big fizzy brown head forms, very thick and hearty, a few spots of lace on the glass, settles to a thin ring. Smell is huge, tons of fruit, chocolate, roast, toffee, sherry, alcohol, molasses, bit of smoke, quite nice. Taste is very sweet, tons of fruit, milk chocolate, iron, alcohol, sherry, molasses and candi sugar, cherries, charred wood, smoke, very complex. Mouthfeel is full bodied with high carbonation, smooths out nicely the more it sits though, alcohol burn but pretty damn drinkable for 18%. Nicely done from Kuhnhenn! When you were shouting at the devil... we were in league with Satan!!!

Thanks Russ!

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I can't think of a better occassion to drink this beer than. . . a solar eclipse. Popped open at the fiftyfifty solar eclipse party. Wasn't all big bad black in the appearance, was equal parts black and brown actually. Aroma was just pungent alcohol and yeast more than anything else.

Taste, powerful alcohol, a yeasty dominance, you can pull out some oak/wood and chocolate malt notes if you really search and get acclimated to the strength of the beer. A little more sweetness to the beer may have helped cover up the alcohol heat. A little bit of that dark fruit sensation is there, but this is a relatively straightforward beer, probably two yeast strains and just gobs of alcohol all over it. Enjoyable for what it is, a novelty.

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Photo of rudzud
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at a private tasting.

*2010 Vintage*

A - A nice deep dark pour with a surprising head. considering the ABV.

S - Pretty good RIS aromas here. Some light dark fruits and chocolate.

T - Taste isnt that bad. Sweet malts (carmel) and dark fruits along with a little roasted chocolate. ABV is nicely hidden.

M - Alright mouthfeel. Not quite as creamy as I'd like. I agree with others that this is like a more refined WWS.

O - Overall, this is a tasty beer. Wouldn't mind getting one and tossing it in the cellar.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 winter solstice edition, now opening it 7 months later as I thought it could use some age after reading reviews and considering the 18% ABV.

This pours dark, more brown than black and with zero head. STRONG aroma of dark fruits and alcohol, sweet roasted malts and toffee/molasses. Like liquor soaked plums or raisins would smell.

It tastes very strong too, with a fairly strong burning feeling after each sip. Initially sweet, lots of dark fruit like figs/raisins/plums and plenty of malt. Thick bodied and viscous, nice match for the overwhelming flavors.

This defines a sipper beer, more like a night cap than a poundable beer.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into my Narke tulip.

2010 version.

Pours a light black with a disappointing total lack of carbonation, nada...A light aroma but very intriguing and complex. Very matly balance of sweet chocolate, vanlla, light coffee finish but not bitter coffee, a cool peat moss underlies everything...The taste is a lot of the aroma, lightly sweet, a little coffee, just not a ton going on to keep me wanting to drink...The feel is fine, nothing special...Drinkability is off the hook good, no way in hell you canll this is 18%, crushed this bottle in like 10 minutes.

A very up and down for kunhenn, but the aroma and drinkability factor to get you messed up quickly makes it worth trying.

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Kuhnhenn Solar Eclipse from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.