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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: 183
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: 183
Photo of MbpBugeye
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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

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.

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.

Full bodied with a loose, soft carbonation.

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

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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 Gfunk720
4.92/5  rDev +22.4%
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.


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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 fear025
4.46/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Growler pour.

Aroma:Coffee, chocolate, sugary syrup in the aroma.

Appearance:Black and opaque, very little head.

Taste:Very sweet. Dark chocolate and caramel. There's some roasty notes in the foretaste. There's a little bitterness, which comes out more on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel:Medium body, smooth and creamy.

Drinkability:This is quite a delicious dessert beer. I believe it's best enjoyed fresh, because I had a bottle before that tasted nothing like this fresh growler.

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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.

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Photo of SeaUrchin
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

had on tap tonight, second beer of the night, on tap in tulip at kuhnhenn

appearance - black in low light conditions, thin head if any that quickly dissipated, little cabonation

smell - smelled of sweet vanilla up front with nice roasted malts, then faded into a nice coffee scent, best part of this beer was the smell, that alone was enough for me to want to drink it

taste - followed nose, started off vanilla with a nice sweet roasted malt following, then that moved into a watery malty taste with possibly a bit of dark chocolate but that was a streatch, followed by a nice coffee flavor, over all it was balanced going from a moderate sweet vanilla and moving into a mildly bitter coffee, after taste was of a frozen vanilla cappuccino, will order again

mouthfeel - a bit watery for me based off of the style and my experience with both creme brule stout by souther tier and FBS, i would have liked a bit thicker with this type of flavor i prefer a thicker mouthfeel to pair with the above normal flavoring but over all pleasant still, went down very easily

drinkability - this is a very drinkable beer, went down a bit too easy for me and got a glass of water after it to prepare for the impending drive home, would gladly grab a growler and enjoy from the safety of my own house, if you are a fan of souther tier creme brule stout and FBS this is the perfect marriage of the 2

the score may be low due to mouthfeel as stated i prefer a thicker beer when flavored like this but overall this was a tasty brew

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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 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 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 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 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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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 liquidcraft
4.16/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out mildly; not exceptionally syrupy or fizzy but with no head. A huge coffee bean jumps out of the top of this, some scents of vanilla like it was a coffee with cream. It smells smooth if such an adjective can be used.

The taste captures the bitterness of coffee accurately and prominently. Creme brulee sweetness is the first detectable flavor before even finishing the sip that is quickly enveloped by coffee. There are subtle complexities under the coffee: cherry and some vanilla among other indistinguishable notes. Texture's silky yet thin; I want these flavors to be creamier. Alcohol's nowhere in sight, I could slip this to my friends at breakfast with a good chance of them not realizing they were sipping a beer with their toast and jam.

As a heads up, I've heard from people worth trusting that this beer ages poorly and is best when fresh.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Chilled at approx 42 degrees, allowed to warm to room temp
Super fantastic thanks goes to mjd83goblue for sending this one my way! Damn I sure do love Kuhnhenn beers!

This pours up a very dark brown color and has some pretty intense ruby highlights, when backlit. The small head that forms is dark brown colored and doesn't stay around for very long. The lacing is mostly spotty, but does leave a couple of thin strands, and is quite sticky.

Big notes of very dark roasted coffee beans, freshly ground, ooze from the rim of this glass. They are being kept in check by a wonderful sweetness. This is full of rich vanilla notes and loads of carmalized sugar and traces of brown sugar. Very light notes of dark fruits, mostly cherries. Hints of milk and dark chocolates and a splash of heavy cream.

Okay, maybe Java should come before Crème Brûlée, in the name of this one. Coffee is definitely the stand-out here. Lots of great flavor of dark roasted coffee beans. Loads of fresh ground coffee flavor. Slightly bitter and acidic notes. The Crème Brûlée aspect is here, but it's underneath the surface. A good touch of vanilla is here. Light traces of caramelized sugars. The Crème Brûlée aspect actually comes off as more of a flavored creamer in a cup of great coffee.

This one has a medium body and a low level of carbonation. This helps it maintain a nice smoothness, but it has no creaminess to it. This one really ought to have a good deal of creaminess, and I think that it suffers by not having it. It comes off as almost thin because of it.

This is nicely drinkable, and the 8.00%abv is nowhere to be found, even when trying to find it. I'd be inclined to reach for a few other Kuhnhenn offerings before this one, but I'd never turn one of these down though, that's for sure.
Actually, I think that I'd love to blend this one 50/50 with Southern Tier Crème Brûlée Imperial Stout. ST can almost be too sweet sometimes and the coffee prominence of this one should go nicely with that.

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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 nickd717
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle shared by bring - thanks, Barry!

Pours dark brown with a very small light tan head. Kuhnhenn is not big on heads overall it seems. This has more than most of their beers though.

Aroma is very rich with loads of chocolate and coffee. Sweet malts and a little alcohol as well. Smells excellent.

Flavor is not quite up to the level of the aroma, but still tasty. Very Tootsie roll-like with milk chocolate as well as coffee, toffee, and roast. Not too much going on, but what is going on works well.

Medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a drying mouthfeel.

Very enjoyable overall. Would not be hard to take down a full bottle of this beer.

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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 farrago
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Close to no head with an aggressive pour, thin islets of brown microfoam, no lacing. You guessed it, liquid as black as the ace of spades, as impenetrable as a nun's knickers. Cappuccino, freshly whipped cream, vanilla extract, milk chocolate powder give the nose a soft, enveloping appeal, cherry syrup, brown sugar, this noted it does have an unprocessed graininess to it which approximates hop bite, fills your nostrils and stays there for some time. In the mouth it's medium-bodied with an acidic punch which jolts you and momentarily forestalls the arrival of the cappuccino, vanilla pudding, whipped cream, graham cracker pie crust, cinnamon powder, licorice and baker's chocolate. As it warms the bitter roast of the coffee becomes more noticeable. There's also more of a perfumed lift than downwards pressure on the palate. Tart cherry pie wafts through the finish. Within its general category it achieves a distinct personality, which is a rarer accolade then previously.

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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.

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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!

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