Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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.
very good

61 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 61
Hads: 184
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 19.4%
Wants: 89
Gots: 6 | FT: 1
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 61 | Hads: 184
Photo of seaoflament
2.32/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Thanks to by trading buddy, hoppymeal, for knocking off this long-time want of mine. The bottle states it's from December 2009.

Typical dark color pour of a stout only with minimal head and short retention. A thin ring does form around the glass and maintains itself for some time.

As soon as I cracked the cap I got a whiff of strong coffee notes, highly roasted but sweet and floral. Once I get all the beer in the glass I can pick up a nice mixture of vanilla, roasted malts, powdered sugar, lactose, condensed milk, sweet hazelnuts, and LOTS of powdered chocolate and coco. Quite nice overall, very sweet but it doesn't feel cloying just yet, there is a decent amount of roasted malts to balance out the sweetness. The coffee aroma comes across more of a French vanilla roast, almost as if I'm putting a handful of beans up to my nose.

Ugh, dammit...from the moment it touched my lips there is a very acidic sensation and sour cherry finish. I don't think this is how it's supposed to taste. The body is a tad too thin for an imperial stout. The aftertaste is quite nice with the French roast flavor, vanilla, vanilla wafers, brown sugar, and roasted and chocolate malts. Nope, definitely not good. A tad fizzy, very thin and sour to boot. Sigh.

 1,253 characters

Photo of womencantsail
2.98/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Derek for sending this one my way. Finally got around to opening it up yesterday.

A: The pour seems to be black with a dense tan head.

S: A very sweet and sugary nose, sort of like Southern Tier's Creme Brulee. Lots of vanilla, milk, and a decent amount of butter, too. The coffee is the saving grace here, as it helps to mitigate what would otherwise be overwhelming sweetness.

T: There is an unfortunate sourness that just does not seem to match up. It has a bit of vinegar and lactic acids, but it's a fairly clean infection (sort of an oxymoron, there). A bit of cherries, as well, but not much in the way of the characteristics noted in the nose.

M: The body is thick and creamy with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: It's unfortunate that this one is soured. I would like to see what this would have to offer if it was in the original condition.

 868 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.31/5  rDev -17.7%
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.

 897 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.41/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

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

3.5 A: Black color. One finger of creamy light brown head falls quickly and doesn't really leave any lacing.

5.0 S: Holy shit this is amazing. Wonderful coffee aroma and in fact the best smelling coffee I've ever experienced in a beer (it's probably Folger's or something, haha). Lactose, vanilla, and caramel come in at a forceful tie for second with chocolate in third. Just enough roastiness to keep it all in check. Wonderful strong aroma. Excellent!

3.0 T: This sure is disappointing. I'm not sure how they got so much aroma packed into this with so little taste. The strongest taste by far is the sourish sweetness of lactose. The coffee is barely there, the chocolate and caramel are barely there, and the vanilla is absent. It really is rather bland. Fuck.

2.0 M: I was expecting a thick and sticky, but bubbly mouthfeel. Instead I got a thin, lifeless body. Horrible direction for a creme brulee type beer.

3.0 D: This beer had so much going for it until I took a sip. The only reason the drinkability isn't lower is because stiffing the brew is a great experience.

 1,161 characters

Photo of woosterbill
3.41/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Weyerbacher tulip. Shared at a tasting hosted by HopStoopid120. Cheers, Tony!

A: Clear, dark reddish-brown body with a thin, fleeting brown head. Ok.

S: Sweet + sour. Vanilla, coffee, whipped cream, lactose, lactic acid, chocolate, and maybe some soy sauce. Huge, insane, and inexplicably enjoyable. It sounds terrible, and yet I can't stop inhaling.

T: Way more sour than the nose, with some acetic character joining the lacto. Tons of vanilla, coffee, and chocolate, but even more sourness. Not nearly as well done as the nose.

M: Surprisingly thin, almost fully flat, and generally disappointing.

D: Meh. Interesting as hell, but frankly not that good.

Notes: I always love getting to try crazy beers, and this may have been the craziest of the night, flavor-wise. There's just something about an infected, adjunct-laden imperial stout that keeps me interested. Interesting as it was, though, this was by far the least memorable beer of the tasting - I'm entering my notes less than a week later, and I'd already forgotten about this one. Next to Extranious Cassis, Heady Topper, Jubel 2000, and BCBVS, this one really didn't measure up. You know it was a hell of a tasting when this is the weakest beer you open - way to represent, guys!


 1,275 characters

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.42/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours a very dark somewhat clear black with a thin bubbly tan head that dissipates quickly.

S. Coffee, caramel, vanilla, marshmallow, mocha, cocoa - a nice roasted coffee scent, but it manages to be very sweet on the nose; think of a specialty coffee drink.

T. It starts with an acidic coffee taste on the front of the tongue and continues to the middle with rampant sweetness with a very mild bitterness on the tail. Once you get used to drinking it, the sweetness eases down a bit, but it's still quite sweet. As it warms, the cocoa flavors come out more throughout. It gets a semi-sweet cocoa flavor with a mild cocoa bitterness on swallow - altogether much more interesting when warm.

M. Medium bodied with a fairly high level of small bubble carbonation that helps lift off the intense flavors, but doesn't bite.

D. Firstly it's much too sweet for my tastes. Also, it's not terribly balanced; there are a lot of flavors going on, but they don't really meld. As it warms, the flavor profile loses some complexity but gains drinkability. In the end I mildly enjoyed this brew, but I was still ok with the one bottle I managed to pick up.

 1,147 characters

Photo of AgentZero
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

 493 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

 891 characters

Photo of WeisGuy
3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a - pours quite black with a one-finger mocha head that quickly diminishes, retention around the edge only, no much lacing

s - the aroma is the highlight, like a vanilla latte with four or five shots of espresso and some caramel thrown in as well, they hit the creme brulee notes very well, really fantastic aroma

t - bitter coffee burst up front the quickly turns into a sweet and sour vanilla and caramel flavor, lingering light coffee bitterness and a strange lactic sourness, I'm not sure if there is an infection issue with these bottles, but I tried this on tap at last years Winter Solstice and in the bottle (same batch) soon thereafter, and there was no sourness, my previous tastings were much more enjoyable, I'm giving this a 3 versus a lower score because I know how great it was before the sourness developed

m - full-bodied, moderate to low carbonation, fairly sweet and sour finish with only light bitterness, some alcohol warming

d - the sourness is rather awkward and really limits the drinkability, the alcohol is pretty well hidden

Pretty disappointed with this bottle, as my previous tastings of this beer were fantastic. I'll definitely revisit this one with one of my remaining bottles or the next release.

 1,234 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.59/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Adam for this one. A beer I was just thinking about and miraculously ended up on my doorstep. Poured from a 12oz. bottle dated December 2009 into a Blue Point snifter.

A: Increasingly heavy pour as I try to create some head, utterly fails on this one. A .5 finger mocha head rises for a millisecond and then disspates just as quickly. Beer is pitch black letting through no light. Lacing emanates slightly from the sides of the beer where a thin layer of head struggles to hold on. Not much there though, not that I expect a whole lot.

S: Coffee, vanilla, chocolate cake, cocoa, and every other synonym of "chocolate smelling" I can think of. Incredibly balance with the coffe though and depth equal to the looks of this pitch black beast.

T: Opens a sour coffee which is pervasive throughout. Hints of vanilla, cocoa, brownie, dark and milk chocolate, and sour purple grapes. Finish is more irksome sourness that won't go away. Lingers for a bit, though not at all sticky.

M: Medium to full bodied, carbonated and not as smooth as it could be. Oily in the mouth though not overly so. Finish is viscous and heavy and lingers for quite a bit. ,Not sticky like I expect though.

D: The smell of this beer just keeps me going back for more but the sourness in the taste repels me like no other. I'm not sure if this one is infected or not, but I hope it is (in which case I will edit this review later on). That being said, this beer shows huge promise. The flavors and complexity are there as well as the mouthfeel to pull it all together. I'm definitely gonna give this one a second shot if I get a chance!

 1,624 characters

Photo of peensteen
3.64/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

 651 characters

Photo of Holland
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

 572 characters

Photo of airohead2001
3.66/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to glazeman for taking the trip out to Kuhnhenn Brewing Company for this year's Summer Solstice!

A - Dark brown with nice legs, but surprisingly, there is no head.

S - Lactose, cream, vanilla, chocolate, coffee.

T - Slightly to my disappointment, this one is quite sour. Similar to the Short's Cup A Joe. The coffee is the clearly the most dominant taste, but the sourness is overpowering.

M - Pretty thin all in all. For an 8% imperial stout, I was expecting this one to be a little bit thicker.

D - Again, similar to Cup A Joe, the drinkability of this brew is limited by its sourness.

 606 characters

Photo of BMoney575
3.69/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 1-16-10
Bottled in December 2009

Pours completely black and opaque, with almost no head and absolutely no lacing. Very viscous looking.

Smell is all coffee and vanilla, very sweet but without being cloying. The coffee becomes even stronger as it warms, really adding to the enjoyment.

Taste is much earthier than the smell, the coffee is not as sharp, adding more of a malty quality. The creme brulee aspect adds a an odd bitterness that a can't quite place. Not as good as I had hoped.

Mouthfeel is very thin, almost watery, a disappointment.

Drinkability is decent, but the odd flavors and thin feel make it more difficult.

Overall, started out awesome, and then tanked.

 689 characters

Photo of gford217
3.69/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another Kuhnhenn bottle from hoppymeal.

Pours almost completely black and oily out of the bottle with almost no light passing through underneath a small creamy tan head that recedes to a trace of bubbles and leaves very little lacing.

The aroma is excellent with plenty of espresso and lactose and vanilla sweetness as well as dark roasted black malts. It's like a sugary coffee dessert in the nose.

The taste is odd because I get all the same character as the aroma but it seems very watered down. The initial taste is the vanilla and caramelized sugar sweetness with a quick roasted coffee presence that gets washed away into a lightly roasted but sweet finish.

The mouthfeel holds this one back for me as it tastes watered down. The mouthfeel is very thin and slick with low moderate carbonation but way too light bodied.

The aroma really had me excited but the flavor is just too washed out for this one to be a great beer. Which is a shame because I think the flavors are there but it's tough to know due to the light body.

 1,033 characters

Photo of darklordlager
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark mahogany with a samll 1" soda-like head that recedes almost immediately. Liquid stains the sides of the glass as it is swirled.

S: Dark malts and roasted malt. Very strong dark-roasted coffee aroma, and chocolate pudding. Light diacetyl, and a bit fumey from the alcohol.

T: Roasted malt and chocolate up front, moving along to sweetness from the lactose and the chocolate/coffee coming in again near the end. Alcohol is felt on the upper palate but not in the throat. Sweetened coffee with cream is the prominent taste as it warms, but it doesn't have the body one would expect. Imho, Short's Cup A Joe is superior.

M: Rather thin, with the body possessing a deadening finish that doesn't linger on the tongue. Charred malt flavour remains though, as well as a bit of the lactose.

 802 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at the brewery into a tulip...The beer is medium black, light tan carbonation, doesn't last long...The aroma is super strong, exactly like coffee, too strong though. A little too sweet...The taste is sweet milk and vanilla, interesting, really hits the creme brulee on the head. Coffee finish, can drink a little, but right now the flavors are too strong. Tone it down a bit and maybe this will be really good.

 428 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.87/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by bring. Thanks, Barry. Impenetrable black body with a small reverse-cascading tan head that quickly settles to a ring. Smells like...creme brûlée. With coffee. The vanilla and cream are right up there with the intense coffee aroma. Very sweet and dessert-like, there's a bit of milk chocolate as it warms. Tastes quite good, but it doesn't quite match the smell. Coffee is up-front, slightly vegetal in character. It isn't as sweet as the aroma led me to believe, but there's a sold vanilla-cream sweetness behind the coffee. The mouthfeel is creamy and rich and the finish mild and roasty with a slight vegetal note. Very nice stuff.

 652 characters

Photo of ARoman
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap, poured into a balloon snifter. The aroma is a warm creme brulee with a heavy dose of coffee. The beer is a dark, clear cola color with an abundant, off-white head that looks thin with large, soapy bubbles that has moderate retention and okay lace. The taste is a medium high chocolate sweet with a medium bitter burnt. The beer is smooth and lightly creamy with a small bubble, soft fizz, and a medium full body. The flavor is a creamy creme brulee with a light toffee and a warm coffee that finishes with a crispness, a hoppy spice, and notes of java. The finish is of a moderate length and tappers off quickly leaving just a light hint of roasted vanilla in the aftertaste.

 683 characters

Photo of rye726
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Near black, creamy tan head. Nose has vanilla, coffee, caramel, roasty malts an cocoa. Tasty is roasty and astringent from the coffee. Perhaps infected, a bit sour. Flavor seems to be going downhill. Drink now, going down hill fast! Go get some, try it for yourself.

 266 characters

Photo of Ryan011235
3.94/5  rDev -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.

 660 characters

Photo of DevilsCups
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

 925 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the brewpub. A real coffee and sweet cream experience. Reddish brown body. Very creamy mouthfeel. Smells creamy coffee. Better than the Southern Tier version. Great even for a non-coffee drinker like me. Sweetish, and best as dessert after a meal.

 265 characters

Photo of david131
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Very deep black with barely any light getting through at the edges. The mocha head is creamy at first but settles to numerous splotches on the surface. Looks like it means business.

S- Coffee, cream, and cocoa powder. Smells very sweet and oddly complex. There is something to this I can't quite put my finger on.

T- Sweet chocolate and coffee with just a hint of a nutty aspect at the end. Not as rich as the aroma led me to believe, in fact it is rather well balanced.

M- Smooth but there is just something a bit off at the very end... maybe a touch metallic or sour.

D- Drinks rather well and it is nice to have something a little different than just a normal coffee stout. This tastes a little different than it did on tap. Worth trying either way.

 762 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16oz aluminum Kuhnhenn "prowler" from IAmJacksHopTongue (many thanks!). Filled 2 days ago. Served in my Phish snifter.

*a disclaimer- there was a slight leak in the growler that resulted in a loss of carbonation. I'll report the results, with as much understanding as I can muster for the obvious impact to appearance and feel

Pours black with very little head. Given the situation there is no surprise over the complete lack of retention or lace.

Sweet, roasty nose of coffee, caramel and vanilla. Nice.

No surprises in the flavors. A predictable and tasty blend of coffee, vanilla, caramel and dark chocolate. Very little detectable alcohol. This is more successful at blending both coffee and vanilla than many other attempts I've had.

A fairly light feel with almost no carbonation. Finishes with java, burnt cocoa and vanilla beans.

While not up to the greatness of several of their other offerings, Kuhnhenn has a nice coffee vanilla stout here. The nose and flavors are right on and I can't really fault the appearance or feel for falling a bit short.

 1,068 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Kuhnhenn Imperial Crème Brûlée Java Stout from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.