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Kuhnhenn Imperial Crème Brûlée Java Stout - Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Kuhnhenn Imperial Crème Brûlée Java StoutKuhnhenn Imperial Crème Brûlée Java Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

166 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 166
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.3%
Wants: 81
Gots: 5 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 12-25-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 166 | Reviews: 58
Photo of aratcliffe
4.92/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the first beers that blew my mind.

Photo of blankenhoney
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Kuhnhenn's

A: Pours coal black with a light beige head; lots of foamy beige lacing

S: Intense aromas of roasted, slightly burnt coffee; burnt sugar; and vanilla. Smells a fair bit like burnt coffee spiked with hazelnut coffee creamer. That might not sound too good, but this a delectable, delightful smelling beer.

T: A lot less sweet (thankfully) than I expected from the nose. Roasted coffee and light, sugary vanilla. Lots of roast coffee flavor upfront, and it finishes with dry and bittersweet coffee.

M: Creamy, but on the thinner side. Love the dry, bittersweet finish.

O: A great coffee-forward beer with an intriguing nose. Nice and rich coffee flavors, and no overbearing sweetness like your run-of-the-mill coffee beers.

Photo of Bung
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at the new Dead Bear Brewing in Grayling MI of all places.
Becalmed dark brown pour, barely a ring of off white head. Though this is a really full pour.
Aroma, roast malt, fresh coffee. Vanilla is pretty subdued.

Taste, much more intense. Coffee, roast malt, mocha. Lingers nicely.

Medium body, a little low on the carbonation. Coats well enough and definitely no abv presence.

A coffee brew winner with the sweetness very well in check.

Photo of MDDMD
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark brown black color with a nice tan head and some lacing

S-dark malt, coffee, vanilla, light chocolate

T-dark roasted malt, espresso, chocolate, vanilla,brown sugar, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-nice stout with good flavor and not overly sweet, enjoyable sipping

Photo of TheBrewo
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This brew was served from the tap at the Kuhnhenn Brewing taproom in Warren, Michigan. It arrived in a generic tulip, showing the darkest nut brown coloring. It sported a one and a half finger tall head of latte colored bubbles, showing decent retention into spots of lacing around the glass. No haze or sediment was appreciable, and carbonation appeared to be moderate. The aroma was sweet and rich, with notes of milk chocolates, bright hazelnut coffee, vanilla wafer crispness, heavy roast, fresh whole milk creaminess, and black cherry fruitiness. With warmth came light brushes of booze, burnt smokiness, and warming buttery diacetyls. Our first impression was that the coffee really enhanced through the taste, giving much more strength, roast, and genuine savoriness than in the nose. As we sipped, the flavoring began with soured ground coffee, lightly floral hops, fresh but darkly roasted brown and coffee malts, vanilla cream sweetness, bittered walnut oils, smoke, raspberry jam, and mint leafiness. The middle came to a peak with black cherry fruitiness and pit, mild coffee acidity, wet browns and burnt barley, medicinal phenols, and more freshly brewed coffee warmth. The final wash was a blend of continued medicinal bite, fusel booze, cherry sourness, French vanilla and hazelnut coffee beans, white cracker graininess, bitter roast, light leathers, and lemon juiciness. The aftertaste breathed of strong char and roast, fresh coffee, light lemony and floral hops, gritty gravel and mineral, alcohol, plum, and mashed hazelnuts. The body was full, and the carbonation was medium. Each sip gave nice syrupy smack, nice pop, slurp, but lesser cream or foam. The mouth was left coated through the sip, with chalky astringency drying the palate through to the base of the tongue. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank well.

Overall, what we like best about this beer was its taste. The coffee flavoring was genuine, raw, powder, sweet, roasty, and entirely stole the show, as it should have. The secondary addition of this to the final beer base blended excellently, striking just the right balance between the depth, roast, and smoke inherent to the grain bill. This is evident through the aroma as well, but it just doesn’t quite hit you as hard as it does in the tongue. This balance aids drinkability, and again, helps things avoid being sickeningly sweet, while not going overboard with the bitterness or the darkness on the other end. This is a fun, highly drinkable stout, loaded with flavor.

Photo of tectactoe
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Kuhnhenn's brewpub in Warren. Pours very nearly black, maybe some hints of dark, dark ruby-brown near the very edges, but it's pretty much not letting any light through. Tan head shows decent retention, although it doesn't leave much lacing behind. Fine bubbled and cream, it just perches softly atop the black brew.

The aroma is deep, deep coffee beans; kind of like when you open a new pouch of coffee beans for the first time and stick your face in it and inhale. Roasted, rich, oily coffee beans. More roast than sweetness, although a small cream and sugar-like sweetness aspect is relevant. This one has a very faint, abrupt booziness in the tail-end, something that I don't recall being as noticeable in the non-imperial version of this brew. Aside from that, the aroma isn't much different. Maybe a little less sweet.

Handfuls of finely roasted coffee beans and used up coffee grinds line the edges of the flavor profile. The coffee is pretty "deep", in that it almost tastes like a quaintly made espresso rather than a cup of morning coffee. Not picking up as much sweetness on the palate as on the nose, but a faint, vanilla-like residual sweetness comes a-knockin' about halfway through and really ties things together. Without that, it wouldn't really be a "Crème Brûlée" java stout, right?

I'm having a hard time identifying any real differences between this brew and the non-imperial version, and it doesn't help that so much time has passed since I've had the former. These would be a nice one to do a side-by-side with. The mouth feel is pretty smooth, silky, and creamy. Seems thick enough for my liking, so maybe that's something else that the imperialized version has going for it. Either way, they're both very tasty coffee stouts that any coffee-beer lover would definitely enjoy.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks to BigBadBarrel for sending this beer as an EXTRA! Thanks Jon you are seriously awesome!

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: dark black bodied beer with 2 finger of medium brown head. Thick lacing on the side of the glass and the head has a good amount of staying power, slowely droping down to a thin cap.

Smell: This beer smell just like it should...exactly as the name would imply and honestly even better than I expected! Big dark, rich, roasty ,expresso beans. Then comes the sweetness...it matches the intensity of roasty with sweetness. Big whiffs of vanilla and caramel and coffee creamer its completely undeniable and unmistakeable.

Taste: As if the smell of this beer was irrestable...it tastes very similiar to how it smells! Kuhnhenn you are blowing my mind! Very expresso forward beer; heavy roast and rich coffee beans. Then comes the sweetness which adds spectacular balance to the heavy expresso flavors. Lots of coffee creamer, caramel, and vanilla flavor. It finishes with a nice balance between the roast and sweet flavors and imparts a touch of nuttiness. Almost peanut butter like flavor. This beer is wonderful.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Creamy and smooth beer here. Drinks well below 8% abv. Not a hint of booze.

Overall: I really thought that I would have to belly up to the bar at Kuhnhenns to get a sample for this beer, but thanks to Jon...he saved me a long trip and I still got to try this beer.What a treat. Its such a good coffee beer i would even say its on the same level as veitnamese speedway stout and it might even be better...almost a good as Surly Four! Kuhnhenn you guys just nailed this beer out of the park! This beer has been a long time want that was completely worth the wait. Thanks again Jon!

Photo of smalenberg
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark with slight ruby in strong light. Small head with slim tan foam ring.

S - coffee and enough caramel to call to mind cola syrup.

T - very favorful and smooth. Extremely well balanced giving precedence to sweet stout style.

M - not nearly as dry as an imperial stout can be.

O - sweet and very enjoyable.

Photo of jeonseh
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a growler poured into a CBS snifter

A - Dark, espresso coffee. No head other than a very slight layer of foam near the edges.

S - Sweet Coffee. Hints of caramel and vanilla waft up from this. In the backbone, there is definitely a smell of Creme Brûlée that stands out. Smells like you walked into a Gloria Jean coffee shop. Great nose on this one.

T - Sweet coffee at first. There are hints of vanilla and caramel mixed in. There is definitely a sweet hint of the Creme brûlée as well but it is just a hint. The coffee is definitely stronger in here. The finish is light, bitter espresso with enough cream sweetness to keep it from being too bitter

MF - Minimal carbonation. Medium body with a slight stickiness to it. There is a slight astringency near the backend that comes from the coffee.

O - A great coffee stout from Kuhnheen. Has a great nose to it. I really like how well it balances the coffee with the sweetness throughout.

Photo of DevilsCups
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a small snifter, taken from notes.

A - Sits black in the glass with cola edges. As the supply goes down it develops a more dark ruby red hue. Still, a very dark stout. Medium brown head and crystal clear. Photo of the pour : http://tinyurl.com/7b7qfqu

S - Marshmallow, caramel, black coffee and soft vanilla. This one smells fantastic. Roasted malt is swimming around in there. Really an outstanding aroma. Not crazy sweet as it hits on the bitter coffee notes more.

T - Marshmallow again upfront followed by bitter black coffee and vanilla. Very nice. Not overly sweet like Southern Tiers Creme Brule, as it focuses more on the coffee than the vanilla. Very dark chocolate in the late finish.

M - Carbonated like Old Rasputin. Slightly fizzy, medium in body. Not too thick, not too thin. She's a tickler.

O - Search it out. I had this on draft, so I can't comment on a bottled version, but it was a treat.

Photo of facundoCNB
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a deep black with a solid 2 fingers of fluffy brown head. head reduced to 1/4" throughout life of glass.

S - toasted oats, vanilla, lactose sugars - very sweet aromas, slight hint of coffee, bourbon

T - a party of tastes just exploded in my mouth.. my first taste was tiramisu.. i guess it's like a rum soaked creme brulee now that i think of it.. very sweet, delicious. the longer i drink, the more coffee flavors i get. this is perfection for a stout.

M - creamy, yet smooth and watery enough to not make you full like most stouts this heavy

O - as far as a flavored stout goes, this is hands down the best thing i have ever had. this, along with joe mama's milk stout are a tough fight for my #1 spot

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.31/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Imperial Creme Brulee Java Stout, 32-oz growler filled at The Growler Station in NYC.

Appearance: Served in my Lost Abbey snifter, this thing comes looking mighty hefty with a shiny-oily black color and a great two-finger head that soon recedes into one and then to a rim and thick soapy bubbles.

Smell: Coffee, dairy, vanilla powder. Coffee-mate and other artificial sweeteners. Cheap chocolate (Russel Stover, most likely)

Taste: Follows nose, with coffee and more of that fake vanilla upfront, then some roastiness and hops. Spoiled heavy cream and funk.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly thin for a beer this big. Disappointing, with low body and carbonation, medium flavor. Ends very watery and flat.

Overall: Drinks good for the style, but this really isn't so good. It mostly tastes of fake vanilla powder, instead of the real creme brulee you get in Southern Tier's version. Will not revisit.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks to mikem409 (via RB) for this gem!

Pours with a black body, and a light frothy chocolaty head. Dissipates to a filmy ring. Aroma of sweet cream, coffee, roast, vanilla cream, sugar milk, and a robust chocolate. Fearing an overly sweet taste, I was pleasantly surprised. It's sweet with a vanilla/chocolate milk note, sweet creamy coffee, big roasted notes. Feels average though really. It's very creamy, but it's medium bodied at best. Nothing bad at all but definitely the slight week link. Admissible though in the end because this is a wildly tasty and aromatic beast!

Photo of Holland
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor; served in a small sample glass.

A: black with deep brown highlights, little head when it got to me, but it kept it fairly well.

S: smells heavily of coffee, some chocolate, and sweet malts.

T: tastes much the same as the smell, no surprises here.

M: fairly carbonated for something so thick (medium-heavy body). Not sure how much that added, but it was fine.

O: not very drinkable, but neither is the breakfast stout. That's the big comparable here, and I think the FBS is more complex and delicious. Give this one a try, though.

Photo of liamt07
3.45/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by Chris of the Rhino, December 2009 bottling. Into a snifter.

Poured black, with some deep ruby highlights in the light round the edges. A thin head is produced, but a thick brown collar retains. Nose wafts huge notes of French vanilla flavoured coffee, hazelnut and brown sugar. Sweet and some lesser roast notes. Just awesome. Taste left me wanting much more unfortunately, lots of sour/lactic notes - a significant departure from the nose. Chocolate and coffee are there as well but are less pronounced, some roastiness prevails. We debated initially as to the likelihood that this lactic sourness was intentional, but based on these reviews, I'm guessing this bottle has turned south. Although the sourness isn't overwhelming, it certainly isn't what I'd like in this instance. Medium full feel, and I can't help but feel let down that this wasn't as good as it smelled.

Photo of peensteen
3.64/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Chris' bottle

Pours a deep black, light tan head, good retention. Smell is rich with sweet sugary notes, vanilla, coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, burnt sugar, very nice to smell. Taste is malty and roasted, lightly astringent, light sour lactic like notes, some bitterness comes out, mild vanilla and chocolate, some coffee, this was pleasant at times and at times a little on the bad side. Medium carbonation, good feel, decent weight. This was fairly enjoyable, aside from the overly lactic and sour points experienced in some sips it was quite good, if you have any in the cellar you should open them soon as these probably wont last much longer.

Photo of AgentZero
3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Black beer with some tannish foam that faded to a decent ring.

S - Chocolate, coffee, cream, caramelized sugar, vanilla. Kind of does smell like creme brulee, not a bad thing. Definitely more of a dessert beer than anything else.

T - Taste is fairly creamy, with chocolate, vanilla, caramel, some lactose. A little like a milk stout, and sours some on the end. Not bad.

M - Thick beer, pretty creamy, lower carbonation.

O - Too sweet to drink tons of, not bad, but save it for dessert.

Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives with a pitch black color; the small head quickly descends to a ringlet and archipelago though it leaves spots of foam behind

Smell: Black bread, coffee and vanilla

Taste: Black bread and coffee flavors, up front, with a hoppy bitterness that emerges by mid-palate; after the swallow, the vanilla arrives to provide the Crème Brûlée character

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation

Overall: What a contrast to the Southern Tier version of this style - that beer is a sipper that ultimately overwhelms while this one is dry and refreshing

Photo of Spider889
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Growler shared by Normyk. Damn dude, this stuff was awesome, thanks Rob!

The brew is black with a thick head. Good retention, even in my mini Jackie O's snifter. I will say upfront that I went back for 2nd and 3rd pours of this so it was a good sample size to be rating this so high.

Overall this is just a thick looking stout. Ok lacing as well, which was even better for some of those using full-sized glasses for the tasting.

The aroma is utterly delicious. It's very sweet, but not cloying. Coffee is big as is vanilla. There is an amazing toasted marshmallow smell that translates into crème brûlée most excellently. Also plenty of roasty malt and chocolate aromas.

The taste was outstanding as well. Strong, dark french roast coffee. Bitter roasted barley adds an element of char. Bakers chocolate, and vanilla add to the desert aspect of this beer. There's a light greenness to the hops, which is the only thing I might change. But that's me getting really nitpicky.

Medium bodied with a dry finish. Overall, this is an amazing beer. I imagine it as taking all of the best aspects of the Southern Tier Imperial Stout series, leaving behind the heavy booziness and cloying sweetness associated with them, and rolling it all into one super coffee chocolate oatmeal crème brûlée stout. Aww yeah..

And I must say again, that the brewers got the crème brûlée character spot on. Too many claim to impart such flavors into their beer, but most cannot deliver. Kuhnhenn has delivered crème brûlée on a silver platter... erm... growler.

Photo of Ryan011235
3.94/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 5/20/11

Many thanks to Normyk for sharing this growler.

Dark brown. 1/8th inch of brown foam thins quickly. Wispy retention with a bubbly collar. Swirling helps a bit; however, by the end, only liquid remains.

Aromas of roasted coffee, cream, nips of chocolate and some toffee. At times, butterscotch. Nice and potent. Tastes exactly the same: lots of roasted coffee and some espresso, unsweetened cocoa. Not overly sweet; good balance with roast. Some hops. Full body. Moderately low carbonation. Half creamy, half gritty feel, like coffee dregs. Not hot, but tingly.

Quite tasty and enjoyable. I could drink it from time to time.

Photo of mgbickel
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery, 10oz pour served in a tulip.

The beer arrived with a thin layer of dark khaki foam already settled on top of the black/brown body. The head dissipated quickly...poor lacing.

The nose has lots of roasted malts, sweet lactose, coffee and chocolate.

Like the nose indicates, the taste is roasty and sweet with a milky vanilla backbone. The sweetness takes over in the middle and gives way to a roasted finish. The ABV is hidden well and does not show up in the flavor.

Medium to thick mouth feel with little carbonation.

Awesome beer. Got better and better as it came to temperature. I really with I lived close enough to get this on a regular basis.

Photo of TheDudeRules
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Generously hooked up by Scoot1969. Thank you sir.

Poured into my Darkness snifter. Jet black pour. No trace of light coming through on this one. Two fingers of tan fluff rest on top of the vicious black. My nose is greeted by whole bean coffee. Vanilla and bakers chocolate have come to the party too. Beautiful. Taste is right on par with the smell. Coffee upfront, chocolate in the middle, followed by vanilla on the finish. It is sweet but certainly not overly to me. Mouth is pretty thin but that is what the doctor ordered here.

I've had the Southern Tier version of this beer before. That was like sweet syrup. This beer was sweet as well, but not near what the aforementioned was. This was like a wonderful cold pressed coffee. Downright fantastic. Would drink this regularly given the opportunity.

Photo of MbpBugeye
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Normyk. Thanks a lot, I always love trying Kuhnhenn stuff.

Appearance
This beer is a deep, onyx black. Very inky looking. The head and it's retention is superb.

Aroma
I think it was unanimous, at our tasting, that this aroma is fantastic. Lots of vanilla lays down a thick creaminess to the aroma. Coffee carries equal weight and imparts a rich roast with plenty of caramel in tow. This smells sweet, but not sickly sweet, as I had feared.

Taste
The flavor is a little bit less sweet than the aroma, and I think that's a good thing. Lots of coffee with french vanilla. Very nice. This beer pretty much tastes like a cappuccino. The flavor is, however, a bit on the weak side. At least its not cloying. There is a light booziness on the back end.

Mouthfeel
Full bodied with a loose, soft carbonation.

Overall
Very nice. I feared that it would be another sickly sweet mess like most other vanilla imperial stouts.

Photo of Knapp85
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really enjoyed this brew a lot, tried a sample at the brewery and found it to be very tasty. The pour was as black as they come with a very minimal brown fizzy head on top that vanishes quickly. There was also some spots of what looked like oil patches on top of the beer. The smell is of coffee, lots of coffee, also some chocolate and vanilla in the mix too. The taste is pretty intense. Right from the get go ther is rich fresh roasted coffee upfront then it fades into a really nice soft vanilla sweetness. The only thing that bothered me about this beer was it's thickness. I think it was just a little too light for an imperial. Other than that this beer rocked. I even brought home a growler to share with some friends back at home.

Photo of Gfunk720
4.92/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

64oz growler from DeCicco's. Thanks to Alex as always.

A- Pitch black with a foam espresso head. Little to no lacing. The beer appears thick and full.

S- Smells of the most wonderful whole bean coffee aroma. Notes of chocolate, caramel,and butterscotch. Creamy and delicious.

T- Much like the smell, a brilliant java stout. Better than most I've ever had. Again whole bean coffee/espresso, chocolate, and butterscotch. A great balance of the three, with the coffee really leading the way. The aftertaste is perfect, not too acidic or overboard.

M- Again, pretty much spot on. A little light on carbonation, but the body is perfect.

O- Not sure how this beer is rate a B+, as it was an A all the way in my book. A must have for coffee lovers. Would absolutely seek out again.

-GFunk

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Kuhnhenn Imperial Crème Brûlée Java Stout from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 166 ratings.