1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Kuhnhenn Aldebaran - Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Kuhnhenn AldebaranKuhnhenn Aldebaran

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

136 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 136
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 24
Gots: 10 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  10.25% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mikesgroove on 03-19-2008

A very hoppy citrus nose leads this beer, with low malt and high hops in flavor. The Belgian yeast leaves the palate creamy instead of dry. This is an awe-some beer for Belgian and hop fans alike.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 60
Reviews by jmunsters:
Photo of jmunsters
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap, in a snifter, at Hopcat in Grand Rapids, MI.

A - Poured a cloudy copper color. Barely transparent. Arrived at our table with a bit of head left from the pour. Lacing clings to the glass throughout drinking it.

S - Caramel, citrus, sugars. Not getting a lot of a Belgian yeast.

T - IPA for sure. Hints of Belgian yeasts on the palate fades to a crisp malty backend. It's hopped, but not crazy. A little boozy. Very balanced.

M - Nice carbonation. Easy sipping. The bit of booziness (and the high ABV) keeps it from being incredbly refreshing.

O - I enjoyed it quite a bit. So much so I'm reviewing it from a growler fill at home.

More User Reviews:
Photo of jeonseh
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark cherry cola color with light carbonation trailing upwards. No head or foam on the top

S - Lemon, bubblegum, light clove, caramel malt. Smells a bit like the bubblegum you'd find in the pack of baseball card. Sarsaparilla like root beer. Slight cherry

T - Root beer, sarsaparilla, vanilla, cherry, bubblegum, and light orange peel. The finish has slight booze and vanilla, some heat to it.

M - Light carbonation with a sharp mouthfeel from the strong sarsaparilla flavor

O - Really an interesting beer that has a spicy homemade root beer presence that doesn't come around too often. Definitely a good Belgian presence with lots of bubblegum and clove as well.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Mark – thanks!

Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a cream-colored head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of caramel malts with good amounts of pine and herbal hops. Also present are slight amounts of indistinct spices and bready aromas.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Slightly grainy caramel malts up front are joined quickly by good amounts of pine hops. Midway through slight spices and hints of medium fruits come into play, fading out into a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with decent carbonation.

Overall this was a solid beer but there wasn’t enough Belgian in the Belgian IPA to make it worth revisiting.

Photo of mully
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to TheBlackMallard for the chance to try this beer.

dark amber red color is very clear, creamy head is a light tan color.
Resiny pine like hops - Savory spices a little malt sweetness shines through
Crisp hops a little residual sweetness and carmel flavor balance the hops well. pepper cloves and a hint of banana

Creamy, great mouth feel smooth small bubbles in the carbonation scrub your mouth go eliminate lingering bitterness

Very drinkable beer Higher gravity but does not taste it, mmmm good.

Thanks again to
TheBlackMallard

Photo of Sammy
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Mondiale 2011. Double IPA level of hop assertiveness. Slight head, lacey, hop aromas. Extremely bitter, citrus,slightly above average mouthfeel.Piney, minty, essence of lemon. Not getting noticeable Belgian nor rye spice characteristics. Good drinkability.

Photo of Kegatron
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub.

Pours a clear dark amber with a finger of off-white tan head that shrank down into a great looking layer of creamy retention that left just huge, thick lacing behind. The aroma is a big ole' fume of heavy sweet malts, pine, floral hops, yeasty notes, and rye.

The taste is a well balanced mix of piney hops, floral notes, spice, yeast, deep, sweet caramel malts and a touch of dry rye notes. The mouthfeel has a medium full feel with an excellent rich and creamy texture to it.

Wow, this was solid. They called this a variation of a Belgian IPA at the brewpub and I would be inclined to agree based on the yeasty nature of this. Maybe a Belgian style DIPA? Anyway, whatever it was, I loved the flow of the flavors in this and the overall drinkibility was great for a 9% beer. Definitely don't hesitate to try this if you see it at the brewpub. Great stuff!

Photo of CortexBomb
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really interesting concept here by the Kuhnhenn Brothers...an IPA, but with Belgian aspects. The beer pours deep ruby into a tulip, a fairly thick head that sticks around for some time before fading off into the sunset. Big piney hop aromas, which pairs, very interestingly, with the spicy Belgian yeast. Yum.

The flavour on this was similar to the nose: it features a strong malty backbone with a strong, piney hop zing, but then pairs that with the cloves and coriander that one would expect from a Belgian beer. Really unique combination.

The mouthfeel on this is good, full, and enjoyable. Drinkability, also good. Smooth drinking, reasonably priced, good beer.

The bottom line: Aldebaran is yet another interesting brew by Kuhnhenn, combining the typical IPA style with the Belgian yeast has created a tasty new hybrid that I will be having again.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

thrilled to death to be able to try this one last night. had a lovely growler sent to me and felt there was no better way to enjoy it then to bust it out at the bday party. served cold and in many a pint glass, this one was consumed on 10/02/2010.

the pour was a nice rich amber color with a nice two finger creamy head of off white that dominated the top of the profile. really nicely one and left loads of lacing down the sides of the glass.

the nose is dominated by lovely earthy tones that mixed in with luscious piney hops and a well rounded and incredibly sweet malt base. warming really starts to bring this out as notes of candied sugar, sweet caramel and floral notes all start to rear their head. smooth, even flavor is tremendously well balanced and simply phenomanal. rich palate is fresh with resin filled hops and light notes of alcohol that are quickly balanced with sugary malts and a lovely candy flavor. smooth, creamy feel lets the flavor really steal the show as it becomes increasingly drinkable to the point of insanity.

overall just a fantastic big ipa. this was really a hit last night and went head to head with super friends to steal the show.

Photo of buschbeer
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle
served in a tulip glass

A - It is a deep amber color and clear. I got virtually no head. I got aggressive towards the end of the pour to managed a quarter inch of beige head.

S - I get a weird smell that I can't quite place. I do get some alcohol. The bottle described a banana and bubblegum aroma. I don't get that. I do get some citrus and maybe a little pine.

T - The taste is a weird meld of citrus flavors. Now I do get some banana in the aftertaste. The more I sip, the more I become aware of some pine. I has a clean finish.

M - It is moderate with low carbonation for an IPA. Almost slick on my tongue.

O - I bought this right after the Winter Solstice party. I thought it was a Belgian pale ale. I may have sit on it too long. Oops. It wasn't a bad beer, but the hops have probably faded. It is my fault if that is the case. When you have over a hundred varieties of beer some are going to fall through the cracks.

Photo of largadeer
3.05/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to masterski for sending this my way. Much appreciated. 2010 winter solstice release.

The beer pours a murky greyish brown with red highlights. It's an odd, frankly unappetizing color, but the head makes up for it a bit, rising to a two finger height and showing solid retention.

The smell of baking bread hits the senses first; the malt profile is very bready and grainy. There's plenty of Belgian yeast character, too, bringing to mind cotton candy, Pepto-Bismol and herbal remedies. Odd, yeah, but not necessarily unpleasant.

Bready and medicinal on the tongue, like fresh bread dipped in Pepto-Bismol. Cotton candy, clove, herbal hoppiness, faint citrus. The alcohol is shockingly well hidden, but I can't say that I care for the yeast flavor much - it's too far on the cotton candy / cough syrup side of things. The finish presents a mild bitterness that's almost overwhelmed by spicy, coriander-like phenols.

Photo of CHickman
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Oon tap at Rattle-N-Hum in NYC: pours opaque Tootsie Roll brown with a creamy 1 finger tan head that faded slowly and left excellent lacing coating the glass and a creamy layer on top; the color was odd, but it was a great looking beer.

Smells of sweet caramel, piney hops, pine cone, syrup, toffee, floral hops, orange peel, brown sugar and booze like rum; not your typical IPA nose with a lot of sugary sweetness and booze basically muting the hops.

Tastes like caramel, piney hops, pine cone, grains, syrup, toffee, floral hops, herbs, orange peel, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, and booze like rum or merlot; like the nose, the taste is more like a porter than an IPA, rich with sweetness and booze and light on the hops.

Mouthfeel is very creamy, smooth and boozy, with a heavy chewy feel, light fizzy carbonation and an overall thick feel. It was quite dense for a beer in a good way.

Overall it was not a very good representation of a classic IPA, but the style is evolving and this was average tasting and did a great job of hiding the high ABV. Worth a try, this was a slow sipper that was misclassified at the bar as a DIPA, but still a good beer all in all. This does not have IPA hop bite or a Belgian beer's funky yeast presence, but again it's worth a try as it was a solid effort.

Photo of liamt07
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the 2012 Winter Solstice, into a tulip.

Orange brown with some offwhite head, moderate lacing and retention. Nose is spicy and yeasty with sharp citrus nose and a big dose of sweet bready malt that linger just behind the hops. Taste has more sweet malt, beautiful Belgian yeast character, huge fruity hop character and some spicing lingers into the finish. Some dryness, medium full feel and alcohol is well disguised. Medium carbonation is great for this beer. A very pretty American take on the Belgian IPA.

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

One of my coworkers brought this back from his weekend trip up to Michigan. Wowzers!

This beer pours a light bodied and very clear dingy copper in color with a soapy one finger head. The nose is incredibly fresh and has a really nice floral hoppiness to pair with a touch of yeast near the end. The nose is really nice and pungent. The flavors are nice and yeasty with slight caramel malt and almost a slight candied malt aspect before finishing moderately dry with a nice hop bitterness. It drinks light in body with a nice flash of flavor before going on the hoppy side. It doesn't drink like an imperial Belgo either. The alcohol is well masked. Overall this is a really interesting beer. I've never really seen a 10%+ Belgo before and this is done nicely.

Photo of ghostwalker
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Labeled Winter Solstice 2010. One year old, so hopefully the sample I am reviewing isn't biased by age.

Body is red-gold with thick sticky yellowish-white head. I love IPAs that are visibly chewy before you even take a sip.

Nose is sharp and sweet with an almost harsh hop bite. A bit of Belgian-ness is there also.

Flavor is very big. Lots of sweetness here (maybe like a Dreadnaught) but huge hop flavor as well. The Belgian component is noticeable on the finish, but just barely.

Mouthfeel is sticky and rich, with a bit of that hop-strippiness on the tooth enamel.

Overall is very good. It's still a bit hot, and the sweetness may be elevated from age, but it's a really good beer.

I generally love Kuhnhenn's dark beers more than their hoppy beers, but this is an exception. Great stuff!

Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. On tap at the brewpub.

Pours a copper-amber color with a finger-and-a-half of white head that dies down a bit quickly but leaves behind some nice lacing. The nose is strong and loaded with hops, mostly citrus with the dominant components being orange and grapefruit.

The taste is even more hops with a fairly-aggressive amount of bitterness. This leads to a nice dry finish. However, it gets a bit boozy toward the end. Drinkability is pretty good and this is another solid DIPA from them. Interesting that I've really enjoyed their DIPAs but have gotten into their single IPAs quite as much.

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one at the Kuhnhenn brewery.

Poured a dark red-amber with a creamy tan head.

Aroma of piney hops, Belgian yeast, and sweet malts.

Tastes of pine, rye, Belgian yeast, caramel, tobacco, and malts. A strange mix of flavors that work incredibly well together.

Medium mouthfeel, smooth and creamy, and moderately carbonated.

This was so easy to drink. A nice mix of American IPA with a Belgian twist.

Photo of jlindros
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This vintage clocks in at 9.25%. When done well this is one of my fav styles, but if not it can suck. This one thanks to erric (Reddit). 2012 vintage, so probably should have been drunken a while back, but it hasn't been in my possession for more than a couple months.

Pours the smallest dainty dusting of head that flashes instantly gone, no lacing, slightly hazy apple juice light copper brown with a weird watery look somehow.

Nose comes in big time sweet, syrupy, almost a syrupy mess, candi sugar, brown sugar, a dried dark fruit raisin date thing with a fermented plum, and a bit of a bready yeasty dough as well. IT clocks in the booze wafting out quite a bit, with some esters and light phenols as well that bring a bit of bubble gum and slight chemical aroma, a rotten apple aroma as well, and hints of baking spices.

Taste comes on with the big heavy malts again, syrupy sweet, not cloying but not too far away from it, again candi sugar galore, syrup and more syrup with some fermented apple syrup, some dried fruits with hints of raisin and brandy soaked dates but not so much a good way. Booze is plenty rampant, tingly, warming, and even a fusel taste, as well as esters a plenty, bubble gum with that, fruity ester flavors, and some phenolic slight chemicals. The malts bring more sweet reddish candy and toasty amber malts, as well as yeast additions of light baking spices again and a little beady yeasty touch. No citrus, no hops other than mild bitterness and hint of an earthy woodsy pine needle like flavor. Finish is still quite sweet but it at least attempts to dry, candy galore, candi sugar and syrup coats the mouth but not as syrupy as I expected, plenty more tingly booze, fruity esters, etc... but then there is a big earthy chewy spicy hop presence, like I just swigged the wort of a big IPA fresh out of the boil kettle.

Mouth is med to fulled bod with plenty of syrupy feel, lighter disappointing carb, and lots of warming tingly booze.

Overall... sigh, probably the worst Kuhnhenn beer I've had yet, and has to be because it's too old for it's own good. Sorry to say I didn't sit long on it, so it was probably either in erric's cellar or shelf, but I can't complain as it was an extra in a trade of lots of great Kuhnhenn meads which were fantastic. So if this is a small sacrifice to make, so be it. This was just a big sweet mess, like a quad with extra hops, and the hops were all on the finish chewy spicy not so pleasant kind, way too sweet to be a Belgian IPA, all candy no hops, no floral, no citrus, nothing nice really, too much ester presence even for a Belgian beer, well an IPA that is. If this were a quad it might be a bit better, but still a tough swallow.

Photo of foobula
3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

2012 bottle. Have had it for about 1.5 years, thanks Dan. Beer seems close to flat when opening, very little "pop". Apperance is ruby red, no head, the stillness on top tells me it is indeed flat. Nose is sunscreen (in a good way), sweet, malty. Taste is yeast up front (I'll attribute the "sunscreen" smell to the yeast), kind of tangy & slight citrus bitterness on the sides, more bitterness going down with yeast flavors. Nice. Mouthfeel is medium, but very flat. Doesn't seem to be properly carbed, or the seal was not intact. Overall the flatness really hurt my initial impression, but as it warmed I noticed that less and the tastiness took over.

Photo of womencantsail
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As usual with a Kuhnhenn beer, this one comes courtesy of Derek. Thanks!

A: The beer pours a clear amber color with a finger of soapy, off-white head and some mild lacing.

S: Quite hoppy, much more American hop driven than I was anticipating. Nice citrus hop nose up front. As the beer sits for a moment, the incredible amount of phenolic contributions from the yeast come through. Tons of spices, almost a cinnamon type smell. Some big toasty bread in there as well.

T: The flavor reminds me of a beer brewed closer to home: Mischief (from the Bruery). Big time yeast contribution with lots of spicy phenols and yeast. There is some nice citrus hop flavor and a moderate bitterness. A slight pineapple flavor on the back end along with some bitterness and a hint of alcohol.

M: Medium in body, however the carbonation is a bit on the low side. Really the only drawback.

O: Surprisingly well done. Usually Belgian IPAs are a style I could live without, but this does a great job of incorporating both Belgian and American characteristics.

Photo of YonderWanderer
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark red copper with a thick head of foam. Decent lacing on the glass.

S: Hops. I know, surprising, right? Citrus, grapefruit, pine, and resin all mix together in a hoppy blend.

T: Nice big malt backbone starts this one off before the hops decide they want to punch you in the head... over and over again. This is a damn nice brew. Incredible balance for such a hoppy beer. Lots of citrus, pine, and resin in the hops, balanced by a nice big sweet malt.

M: Thick, viscous, and smooth.

D: This is a damn fine DIPA, and as much I enjoy it, I can't see drinking more than one of these at a time. It's an intense brew.

Photo of glazeman
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle into a snifter. This 2010 bottle says 9.5% on the label.

A: Brown in color with a 1 finger off-white head that has moderate retention and excellent lacing. I was quite surprised by the color.

S: A very peculiar, but interesting smell of peanut butter and cinnamon. There's also some basic nuttiness. This wasn't at all what I was expecting for the style as the hops are almost non-existent on the nose. Still, I can't knock it too much as it is still very interesting and complex.

T: I could swear the put some grapes in here, as there is a lot of dark fruit and something that tastes akin to grape skins. There's a little bit of hop bitterness at the finish but not all that much. Overall, this is a very balanced beer, not exactly one for the hop heads.

M: Excellent feel. The viscosity and aftertaste are spot on in my book. There's a nice level of carbonation, though it leans toward the lower end of the spectrum.

D: Super high. The taste is pleasant and the beer does not have the faintest amount of etoh presence. I would be very happy to have multiple of these one right after another.

Photo of Avryle
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark clear orange. Big off-white head dissipates to a small cap

S- Hops...Mmmm. Grapefruit & floral. Sweet maltiness coming through.

T- Sweet & malty with heavy hops. Very Nugget Nectar-like. This is sexy.

M- Medium bodied & creamy.

D- Nice. Very nice. Thanks to littlebreeze & mred137 for bringing to the impromptu consumption.

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

Pours a hazy, copper color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Poor retention and slight lacing. Smells of floral hops, yeast, dough, citrus, and sweet malt. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong floral hops, citrus, slight sweet malt, and slight yeast. Overall, a good aroma and body, but lacking in appearance.

Photo of cfrances33
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Blind Tiger in NYC. Served in a tulip.

Pour: Deep amber, with a finger of light rusty head. Head recedes and leaves no lacing.

Smell: Caramel malts up front, followed by a nice citrus. No super strong hop presence, but nice. A little bit of booze, and a nice Belgian yeast comes through with clove and banana.

Taste: Bitter citrus hops up front, followed by an overwhelming caramel malt presence. Lots of triple attributes with substantial Belgian yeastiness, cloves, pepper, and bananas. Booze is pretty substantial at first, but everything becomes better incorporated as the glass warms.

Mouthfeel: Light bitterness, and a pretty full body. Booze presence is pretty substantial throughout and really hurts this beer.

Overall: Interesting group of flavors, but just too much booze for this to be enjoyable.

Photo of TheBrewo
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was served from the tap at The Blind Tiger in New York, NY. It arrived in a generic tulip glass, glowing a dark amber coloring. The head was half a finger tall, composed of creamy tan bubbles. The head bubbled away, showing no real retention, but leaving thick sheets of lacing as the liquid descended. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared active. The aroma gave smoked bacon greasiness, herbal and soapy hop bite, deep nutmeg, pumpkin, and black pepper spice, spearmint freshness, fusel alcohol, and the bite of wet Belgian yeast. Our first impression was that the flavoring was that the hugely bittered phenolic waves struck a curious contrast against the berry, malty sweetness of the base. As we sipped, strong herbal hops, plastic and clovey phenols, caramel malt sweetness, black pepper, booze, and synthetic cherry syrups mixed for the start. The peak came with bright Belgian yeast twang, continued clovey spiciness and bittered chemical phenols, mixing strawberry and apple sugars, boozy fire, and surprisingly clean pale malts wash. The finish rolled in with soapy and herbal hop bite to the very end, with pale and caramel malts, more black pepper and boozy spice, and a strong aromatic muskiness with warmth. The aftertaste breathed of strong phenolic bite, clove, nutmeg, garlic aromatics, plastics, dust, deeply earthy hops, and acorn nuttiness. The body was medium, and the carbonation was higher. There was nice slurp, smack, cream, and pop to each sip, with a cooling coating left around the mouth. The latter bubbled off with a decent fizz, leaving a crisp, but mild astringency to hang on. The abv was easy, and this one sips nicely.

Overall, what we liked best about this beer was the strong pop of flavoring, with that big, spicy, phenolic character. Such boldness is interesting for the style, making it deeper and darker than many other Belgian IPAs. At first sip this beer is beastly, but he warms up nicely, with the spice being easily met by the sweeter caramel maltiness, and the herbal hoppiness by the end. The lack of a beautiful head takes a touch away from the experience, but the longer you sip on this, the better it gets.

to view more.
Kuhnhenn Aldebaran from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.