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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

181 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 181
Reviews: 95
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 13.3%
Wants: 136
Gots: 34 | FT: 7
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 181 | Reviews: 95 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First bottle: 8.26.2010
Second bottle: 4.25.2011

A. Pours a dark motor oil black with a wisp of a dark tan head that disappeared as soon as I saw it.

S. Strong fig smell with coffee, sweet milk chocolate, caramel, dark rum, and a bit of nuttiness (walnuts or pecans).

T. Thick loaf of delicious sweet bread pudding with caramel, brown sugar, walnuts, and rum. A second bottle had a lot more alcohol on the tongue with some soy sauce as well; I deducted .5 from the taste score.

M. Medium to thick with very little carbonation. A bit hot on the tongue.

D. An incredible sipper. It's a bit hot still, but much smoother than I expected at 18%. This is a heavenly dessert in a bottle. I'll probably let this sit another 4-6 months before I pull another bottle out, but I'm already excited for it. The beer (oddly) seemed more fresh with an additional 8 months in the cellar. The alcohol numbs your cheeks and tongue a bit, but doesn't come through in the taste as much as the beer warms. While I still like this beer, I'm not as enamored as I was after the first bottle of it.

Photo of HopHead84
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of mikey711
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brief notes From a Handbottle

A: Pitch black, with a single mocha colored ring around the edge that did not leave any lacing.

S: Very boozy, almost like a chocolate liquer. Some roasted notes and some molasses as well

T: Dark fruit notes with a touch of caramel, some roastiness and lots of booziness. Molasses and some chocolate

M: Very thick with a nice amount of creaminess

D: This is a huge beer and i actually quite enjoyed the boozy quality. I had about 10 ounces of this no problem and actually found myself wanting more once i was nearing the end. I definitely would like to try this one again

Photo of BARFLYB
2.75/5  rDev -29.7%
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.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.11/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-an aggressive pour results in a small amount of khaki colored head, dense and creamy sitting on top of an opaque black liquid.

S-notes of milk, meat, light smoke aroma, yeast, lots of raw malt sweetness, a fair bit of booze.

T-these huge imperial stouts just don't go down easy and a full 12oz is going to be too much. milk chocolate, lightly meaty, notes of smoke, a fair amount of yeast, a bit of booze, malty sweetness, maybe some dried plums, more booze and some heat.

M-full bodied to say the least, pass me the fork and knife, creamy texture, syrupy, moderate carbonation, not enough carbonation in the world to balance this huge body. heavy, syrupy, so thick.

D-not the huge mess I thought this would be. there is a ton of flavor in this, huge beer, similar to Dark Lord, alcohol and cloying sweetness underneath yeast seem to dominate but the big malt body isn't done horribly. not something you want a lot of.

Photo of webmanspidey
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle poured into a tulip glass. This is solid black without much head.. doesn't look to be too thick either. Smell is pretty well masked.. but a lot of molasses, sugar, and dark fruits.

Taste is very sweet with a strong molasses and sugar component. Also some hints of rum and raisins. Not very typical for an imperial stout without the typical coffee/chocolate or even hops flavors.

Drinkability is terrific for 18%, with only a slight alcohol burn. Without actually knowing, I'd have guessed this was closer to 10-12. Mouthfeel isn't very thick, pretty medium-bodied and slightly oily.

This is a good and unusual imperial stout.

Photo of oglmcdgl
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A bottle split with some of the best friends ever.

A- a small fizz of tan head from a stiff pour that settles instantly to a mirror finish. Super dark brown almost pitch black in color. Not as thick as I was expecting from a stout of this stature.

S- booze soaked plums and dates with bakers chocolate and molasses. Lots of heat in the nose.

T- booze and chocolate cake. Burnt dark brown sugar. Over ripe black berries.

M- full bodied but not super thick. The heavy alcohol presence really cuts through the body. Lite carb.

D- well its a monster to be sure and huge on flavor. Not an everyday brew but a good one if ya like big ass stouts.

Photo of jrallen34
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of hoppymcgee
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. 2010 vintage bottle into a small snifter. Part of Kuhnhenn's Summer Solstice series of beers.

A: Dark, dark cherry brown riding on the very verge of black.

S: The best feature of this beer. Honey, fermented figs, and black licorice with a hint of booze. Neat.

T: Caramel, rum raisin, hazelnut, and a good amount of booze.

M: Slick, oily, and buttery with little carbonation.

D: I thought this was quite the nice sipper. I think most beers at this ABV would be way too sweet for my liking. Let it be know that this is much less sweet than Black Tuesday, but at the same time I wouldn't classify this beer as an RIS but rather an Old Ale.

Overall, this one from Kuhnhenn was built to last. Pick up a bunch of this year's batch and throw 'em in the cellar, but make sure you try one first!

Photo of alexgash
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. 2010 edition.

Dark root beer brown body. Vigorous pour yields a dark sandy brown head that dissipates quickly. The nose is a mix of smoky meats, dark chocolate, chocolate syrup, figs, soy sauce, aged balsamic, and vanilla. Intriguing for sure.

Roasted, charred malts greet the tongue. Quickly turns sweet and rich with notes of treacle, port, figs, ripe plums, and blackberry reduction. Peppery alcohol settles in, with vanilla and dark chocolate accents. Roasted coffee bitterness in the long, warming finish. Big and rich and sweet, but not too hot for the abv. Full-bodied with a thick, syrupy feel. A sipper for sure, and a good one at that.

Photo of MbpBugeye
4.14/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage.

A- The high alcohol kills any chances this beer has of supporting a head. It fizzes out right away. On the pour it doesnt look to be as thick as some of the thickest beer.

S- Really nice smelling. Heavy on the chocolate and raisins. Obviously strong alcohol notes but not anywhere near what I was expecting.

T- Again, alcohol is beastly but its not anywhere near how it should be for 18%. The first few sips almost take your breath away with alcohol but I soon became acclimated. Sweet chocolate covered raisins play the dominant roll. A nice bittering roast brings it down to earth. Finish is warm but still very smooth.

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.67/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage. Big thanks to glazeman for the opportunity to drink this.

4.5 A: Black color. Not quite one finger of light brown frothy head that falls quickly overall, but has good retention for being 18% ABV.

5.0 S: Wow this is nice. Full on flavor. Good bit of roastiness to start with, then bittersweet chocolate, molasses, and toffee next. Also a bit hit of smokiness. The most amazing thing about the aroma is that the massive alcohol is hidden nearly perfectly. It doesn't really register in the nose, but can tell it's there on the exhale as it blows it up into my eyes, causing a slight burning. Not the most complex smelling brew, but the integration of what is there is flawless.

4.5 T: Taste is not quite as amazing as the nose, but it does follow it closely. Good bit of roastiness again, but this time the residual sweetness is strong enough to overcome it. Molasses is a big contributor here (and the heavy body leads you to believe that you might be drinking molasses anyway), toffee, dark roast coffee which I didn't pick up in the nose, sweet caramel, bittersweet chocolate again. Warming alcohol throughout and especially on finish. However, the taste of alcohol (not the warming) is again pretty well hidden.

5.0 M: Big thick, rich, and heavy body. Smooth as silk. Carbonation is on the lower end, but is fine for this brew. This is how I like RISs to feel.

4.5 D: An excellent example of a super high gravity brew. The residual sweetness can be a bit cloying at times, but it's pretty well balanced for what it is. I'm not big on the taste of alcohol and fortunately this brew does a great job of hiding it. There aren't really any major flaws, but this could perhaps be a bit better with a touch more roasted barley. Anyway, I think I have to get some more of this now.

Photo of Shumista
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage from the summer solstice party.

Solar eclipse pours dark brown with little to no head at all. Some lighter brown highlights around the edge. Smells firstly of alcohol, then some roasted coffee, dark fruits, and wood. The taste is actually much less boozy than the smell suggested it might be. Very very sweet, puckeringly so at first. Tastes of roasted coffee, dark fruits, bitter chocolate and of course some alcohol. At the abv of a liquer, however, it is not as noticeable as I would have expected. Syrupy mouthfeel, warming and sticky. Surprisingly I had no problem polishing off a full 12 oz bottle over the course of about an hour.

Photo of Darien
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage. Poured into a pint glass and was presented with a beer that was as black as night, zero head and no lacing obviously. Smells like alcohol covered by roasted malt and chocolate. Tastes much the same. The alcohol is not as strong tasting as the smell would have you think, there are plenty of dark fruit flavors here and a very very sweet malt presence. Mouthfeel is very creamy, thick and rich, pretty chewy. This beer could really really use some age on it to mellow it out, it's definitely a sipper but the alcohol is more hidden than the smell has you thinking.

Photo of coldmeat23
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees, fridge chilled approx 15 min. before opening
VINTAGE: 2008 (Summer Solstice 2009 Release)

Black, black, black. A small, filmy head of dark brown foam appears and recedes fairly quickly, but at 18.00%abv, that's no big surprise. There is some nicely spotted lacing, but it's very slippery.

This is a huge nose. Big, bold, and rich. Loads of rum/wiskey soaked dark fruit notes. Figs and dates and prunes. Lots of cocoa presence. A smooth roastiness. Very boozy (Shocker!). Very light traces of vanilla and smokiness.

Huge presence of dark roasted malts. Burnt sugar notes and dark fruit notes land a nice sweetness. Blackberries and currants. Milk chocolate and cocoa powder. Blackstrap molasses out the wazoo. Good presence of smoke. Very light trace of vanilla smoothness. I believe that there is a touch of candi sugar in this one, as it has similar sweetness characteristics.

This is full-bodied and has a light-to-mild carbonation level. It's active enough to keep things interesting, but not to really generate a head or anything. Very smooth, like satin. Would love to see this one with some creamy carbonation to it.

Okay, you smell the big abv and you feel it via some warmth, all the way down, but you don't taste it. Nice. This one is a way tasty sipper. Easier to drink than it rightfully should be.

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.

Photo of Murchmac
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to flandersned for this puppy in a trade. Cant believe it's 18%

This 2009 pours out a coffee head with an eclipsing black that overwhelms your eyes.

Smells of chocolate, alcohol, and licorice fill the room.

Taste follows the nose with heat, licorice, anis, chocolate, and roasty character thrown in to boot.

Too much heat and not enough sweet.

Photo of bargerking
4.57/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 poured into a pint snifter.

A - Pitch black with a brown hue on the lace. Very little carbo. Thick viscosity.

S - Sweet candy sugars. Fudge. Molasses. Hints of bitter chocolate. Not really getting any dark roasts out of this. Light booze but 18%? Really?

T/M - Sweetness. Lots of candy sugars. Nothing dark or bitter just a lot of sweet chocolate malts. Almost like a brownie. Heat factor is considerably low. 18% ABV? Really?

D - Considering the ABV, this is extremely drinkable. I wish I had more!

Photo of nickd717
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottle generously shared by bring.

Pours darkest brown with minimal head.

Aroma is roast, chocolate, caramel, sweet malt, and booze.

Flavor is nice and not too boozy. Oaky, almost as if this was -bal aged. Roast, chocolate, anise, caramel, and molasses. Maybe some dark berries or prunes also.

Medium-full bodied and only a little boozy despite the ABV. Low carbonation.

This is a nice imperial stout, I'm impressed. Drinkable for the ABV.

Photo of largadeer
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of emmasdad
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 vintage. Been in the cellar for 8-9 months. Pours pitch black with a minimal tan head. Smells rich and boozy, with hints of dark malt, chocolate and fusel alcohol. On the palate, this seems to be closer to a barley wine than an imperial stout. A whole lot going on in this one, and it doesn't all quite come together. Alcohol is prominent and almost overpowering. Hard to drink more than a glass of this one.

Photo of maximum12
4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mully for a bottle of this treat. Had a few sips on tap at the Great Taste of the Midwest & have been longing for a full bottle ever since. On a school night, too. This is officially the biggest brew I've had to date. I hope I don't need my mommy by the time I get to the bottom of it. Label claims a 2008 birthday.

Black. Still, dead, unmoving. What's coming off the light-sucking pool is faint, malts & chocolate.

What comes off Solar Eclipse in the mouth is anything but faint. Malts like a Marine ambush doubling, tripling, quading up in all the corners & crevices. Heavy chocolate syrup, with a healthy dosing of cherry on top. Anise springs a suprise as it rolls down the throat & it's done up right, just right, to make this stout almost a port. Naturally there's alcohol, too, but the touch is lighter than expected for the ABV.

Heavy, of course, this is a pure sipper all the way to Cooperstown, but what a sipper. Warming. I could see this after a day hunting pike out on the ice, pulling it out & propping my feet by the fire with a book in hand. Mmmm, that sounds nice. I could knock this on drinkability, but why? It's twelve ounces I'll gladly knock back, & it's so damn good I could do another.

This is straight-up damn great beer. When I first saw it I figured "gimmick!" with the high ABV, but this is crafted like a Bechstein piano. Nicely balanced, good touch. Fantastic.

Photo of Jmoore50
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to fellow BA James for opening this one up while watching some Jersey Shore. Classic.

The appearance is dark and thick. It pours a motor oil black with lighter purple edges. It really has no head, even with a vigorous poor. If you read any of my reviews, I need head on my brew and this came with none. There was a slight leg around the glass, but nothing worth writing home about.

The smell is pretty sweet in a dark fruit and candied sugar way. This one has some ABV present as well. I did not know that this was a 18% ABV brew when I drank it, but damn, I would guess it was 8.5%-10% at the most. It had lots of plumbs in the smell, as well in the tastes.

The taste was pretty extraordinary. This does not taste anything like the ABV. It has hints of bitter cooking chocolate with figs and lots of sweet candy sugars. Some bitter espresso flavor in there as well, but not overwhelming. It was perfectly carbonated and sat heavy on the palate. It took the best characteristics of cooking chocolate and espresso and made them shine through. There were prune and raisins that were the strongest dark fruit flavors.

The mouthfeel was heavy and perfectly carbonated. It was a bit hot in the mouthfeel, in the end you got some of the ABV. Again, this is probably the best hidden ABV I have ever encountered, which is why I rated the Drinkability so high. It was a great sipping beer and would of gone great with some vanilla truffles or fudge.


Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Photo of rhinos00
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Was fortunate enough to try this beer, thanks beace. Poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a dark, black coffee color. Zero visibility. Formed a thin layer of cream/tan head. Dissipated pretty quickly.

S- Very potent. Lots of sweet malts, brown sugar, raisins and figs. Picked up a slight smoked character. Complex and rich.

T- Takes after the aroma, except for the fact that the alcohol hits you like a hammer after each sip. Lots of complexity with caramelized malts, burnt brown sugars, and dark fruits. The alcohol was not harsh in any way...more of a soothing warmness that took over.

M- This was a big beer. Thick and viscous. Coated the palate nicely.

D- Drinkability suffered because of the copious amounts of alcohol. Definitely a sipper.

Overall, another great Kuhnhenn beer. Highly recommended.

Kuhnhenn Solar Eclipse from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 181 ratings.