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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.
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
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Reviews: 61 | Hads: 184
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.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
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

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Picked a bottle up at the brewpub.

Pours a very dark brown color with a thin head. The nose brings out some chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and a bit of cream. The taste and body together make it evident why this is a "creme brulee java" beer as the coffee and cream flavors mix quite well with a bit of sugar. Chocolate in the background. Good body without too much booze. This was a good-drinking beer and I wish I had gotten a bit more to age.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.46/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at the recent Kuhnhenn Winter Solstice party. Served in a snifter.

A - Pours with a half-finger of tan foam that dissipates quickly to a ring and a bit of light haze - minimal lacing. Pitch black body, with only the tiniest hint of brown at the bottom of the glass.

S - Crème brûlée! Coffee (with cream)! Roasted malt, light brandy, maraschino cherry. Definitely not as saccharine and diabetic as the Southern Tier version - the coffee helps balance things out. It's just terrific - wonderful balance, and reference quality for this type of stout.

T - The taste is more of a 4.25, but since I was hard on the appearance I figured I'd round up. It's a little more roasty and dry, with less overt sweetness. The coffee starts to take center stage, with a bit of dark chocolate also creeping in. The aftertaste is bitter, and mounts throughout the serving.

M - Smooth, medium-thick body, with low carbonation. Surprisingly dry finish, with only slight residual stickiness.

D - A 12oz bottle is probably the appropriate serving size. It's very far into dessert beer territory. However, the well-hidden booze, moderate bitterness, and delightful flavor make it a well-enjoyed serving. It also helps that I don't feel like my heart is racing and that I have to amputate my leg afterward. Highly recommended!

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Photo of mothman
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 Bottle

Poured into Darkness snifter.

Pours hardly an tan head that fades to a thin ring fast. Color is a dark copper brown, but settles in the glass as pretty much black.

Aroma:The aroma is very rich. Tons of hershey chocolate flavors with strong coffee and roasted malts. I also get some chocolate syrup up front. One of the sweetest beers I have smelt. Massive flavors coming from the nose.

Taste: Taste is very similar to the aroma, but not as big. Big dark chocolate flavor with lots of roasted malts. Some strong coffee flavors with some faint grassy hops showing. It isn't as sweet as I was expecting, however.

Mouthfeel: Very rich, roasted, and slightly crisp. A fuller body with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends very roasted and dry.

Overall, the aroma got me very excited for this beer, but the taste didn't pack that big of a punch. I do like it, however. The aftertaste ending so dry makes it a little hard to drink.

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

on-tap at Rattle & Hum.

Creme Brulee Java Stout stays in the glass with a dark shade of black, not jet oil black but a nice dark color. I cant see through it, dark enough. A tight half inch of coffee colored foam stays on top and dirties up the glass alot. Smell is coffee with creme brulee added. Not over the top and integrated with some oat and a faint storm kingesque hop scent. The taste is good and Im not dying after drinking it. The thing about this is that I don't get over the top cloying butterscotch diactal ala Southern Tier. This alone makes this one leaps and bounds above that. The coffee makes for a great counterpart and adds some burnt flavor that aint that large. Feel is medium and not the smoothest beer out there, a bit rough around the edges, but I dig the aftertaste. Carbed up just fine, this one is a winner in my eyes.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.14/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of Bung
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
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!

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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.

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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.

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Photo of illidurit
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not sure who wandered up and gave me a pour of this at Woodshop 5.0 but thanks. Pours dark brown with no head. Aroma explodes from the glass: creme brulee (duh), vanilla, semisweet chocolate, cocoa, and brown sugar. Flavor has some licorice, vanilla extract, roasted malt, hazelnuts, vague fruits. Very high carbonation but with some swirling it's okay. Medium body, too thin to properly support the flavor. Otherwise a very good beer.

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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!


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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.

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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.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.22/5  rDev +5%
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!

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 3/10/2010, updated on 3/27/2010. Growler. Pours black with a small tna head. Aroma of chocolate peanut butter fudgyness like a rich, chocolate pb cake with tons of fudge drizzled all over it. Or maybe a brownie with peanut butter cups inside. Either way, it's pretty awesome. Also slight vanilla notes. Flavor brings out more of the coffee and tons of vanilla notes, still some chocolately peanut butter notes but much less prominent. Wow, great dessert beer and only 8%! Top notch.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing a bottle of this on 1/30/10.

A - Poured a deep brown body with a bubbly burnt tan head that reduced to a patchy veil and yielded sparse lace.

S - Vanilla-infused coffee creme brulee goodness! Vanilla sweetness definitely dominates the aroma. Smells like an expensive dessert at a fine Italian restaurant.

T - As with the aroma, that little sweet vanilla bean packs quite a huge flavor, although there is a slightly bitter coffee character and underlying chocolate notes, both adding complexity to the stout and keeping the flavor from becoming one-dimentional. Finishes with slightly bitter, earthy hop notes amidst the intense sweetness.

M - Medium bodied with a slick yet thin and watery texture. Finish is bittersweet on the palate.

D - Pleasant blend of creme brulee and coffee attributes, although the mouthfeel is a bit lacking for an Imperial Stout. Otherwise, this is a class act.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.1/5  rDev +2%
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

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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.

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Kuhnhenn Imperial Crème Brûlée Java Stout from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.