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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine - Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley WineKuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

490 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 490
Reviews: 179
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.56%
Wants: 1,160
Gots: 100 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  14.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-17-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 490 | Reviews: 179 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by dougofthefuture:
Photo of dougofthefuture
dougofthefuture

Minnesota

3.7/5  rDev -16.7%

Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF #5.

A - This pours a muddy brown/red that is hazy under the light. Just the smallest bit of head.

S - As soon as I popped the cap I'm thinking barrel aged barleywine. Central Waters perhaps? It smells of sweet bourbon, warm alcohol, and dark fruity malts. This is going to be a nice afternoon...

T&M - TONS of alcohol here. Maybe it is just because it is the first beer of the day, but this hits hard. I feel it in my nose. The carbonation is low and body is a bit weak, so not much of the complexity I thought I could smell really comes out in the flavor. It finishes much more harsh than warming. It is barely afternoon - is that throwing me off, or is this beer really 15%? As it warms, I pick up a bit more of the malty depth, but this seems over-attenuated for a barleywine. I like a bit more thickness.

O - Wow, that's a big glass. I'm warming up to it as it warms, but this is just too overpowering without enough complexity to match the booze. This would definitely be a better beer at the end of the night, but I guess I'll enjoy an afternoon nap instead...

05-20-2011 18:20:35 | More by dougofthefuture
More User Reviews:
Photo of DanGeo
DanGeo

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

12-29-2013 12:46:09 | More by DanGeo
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +7%

Thanks to Kevin for bringing this along - 2010 vintage. Yet another infamous Kuhnhenn brew that has eluded me longer than it should have. It pours a solid, red-tinted copper color with really nice clarity. Barely any head forms, though that's not much of a surprise for a three year old 15.1% ABV barley wine; a small beige collar is the one sign that carbonation still exists within this brew.

After popping the cap, the smell of Kuhnhenn's BBBW fills the room - after pouring it and bringing the glass to my face, it smells like I'm standing in a sticky caramel and toffee factory. So insanely sweet and so insanely strong. Sticky caramel, heavy toffee, dark fruits (prunes, juicy dates, raisins), and sticky maple syrup. The beer smells big... Actually, it smells HUGE.

The barrel influence isn't as strong as I was expecting, or at least compared to Kuhnhenn's other popular barrel aged beer, BB4D. Perhaps the barrel-aging time was left, or maybe it's the three years of mellowing that has muzzled it just a bit. Light, woody barrel and vanilla in the finish with pretty staunch booze and bourbon. The bourbon from the barrel is heavier than the barrel itself.

I cut this beer with a knife and take a bite... Seriously, the body is huge; extremely viscous, chewy, sticky, and creamy beyond your wildest dreams. The largest, caramel-y and toffee-laden backdrop asserts itself immediately with each sip; a substantial boozy flavor swims throughout the sugary sweet and malty base, confirming that the "bourbon" is more forward than the "barrel".

Plenty of dark, fruity sweetness plays amidst the caramel and brown sugar bath; more dates, more raisins, and tons of sweet prunes. Light anise and a drying, palate-scraping assertion of booze-soaked oak and wood lasts long into the aftertaste. Palate coating to the maximum, this is the type of beer you'll be tasting long after you've swallowed.

Such a treat, and such a great beer. Robust, ominous, and one of the best barley wines I can recall drinking in recent memory. Though many people would argue, I'd say that I enjoy this beer much more than Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia. This beer is just so hard to criticize. I'll be sure to stock up on this each time Kuhnhenn releases it... Such an awesome barley wine.

07-06-2013 18:38:53 | More by tectactoe
Photo of Schlais
Schlais

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

03-07-2014 05:59:35 | More by Schlais
Photo of marvin213
marvin213

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -20.5%

Among the darkest barleywines I've poured, it's more menacing than inviting. NO head to speak of suggests this one's a bruiser! It looks thick like coagulated mud. Should I sip...or spoon? As an aside, I find cheap foil wrappings a tad on the tacky side.

It smells like bourbon barrel-aged formaldehyde...I mean, it smells like death. The nose is SO potent and it's off-turning like a waft from a liquor bottle. I know it teeters on 15%, and I like the big-hitters, but I'm not sure how imma handle this one. Objectively, the nos is bourbon and alcohol with tinges of toasted caramelized toffee. The burning raw strength is an abrasive weakness.

The taste is more palatable than expected, despite (because of?) the burnt nose hairs. An odd, toffee caramel corn provides a sweet and buttery feel. It's oily. I wonder what more carbonation would do. The buttery taste is NOT creamy. I'd love to try it on tap! How crazy would nitro be? It's like that initial tongue touch has a candied appeal, but the gasoline burn makes it a serious sipper. Tastes like butter oil but burns like gasoline--I wonder if I could put it in the popcorn popper.

Like each of the few brews I've had from Kuhnhenn Brewing, it's a nice novelty, strongly sweet bear of a beer. Do they make a pale ale? I respect going big, and I seek out the barrelly influenced (bourbon on the taste here is nearly an afterthought), but I'm still uncertain about these liquids from Warren, MI. Gosh, there are so many beers from MI....

01-22-2012 18:50:06 | More by marvin213
Photo of tjthresh
tjthresh

Indiana

4.15/5  rDev -6.5%

Pours murky muddy brown with large bubbled brown head. The nose is huge with loads of toffee, hops and oak. The flavor is a fantastic blend of toffee and booze. The mouthfeel is thick but very drinkable. The heat from the booze lingers just for a bit.

03-03-2009 18:31:09 | More by tjthresh
Photo of Chris_Panos
Chris_Panos

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

02-18-2014 22:25:49 | More by Chris_Panos
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.33/5  rDev -2.5%

Big thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

2009 vintage. The beer pours brownish-red/amber color with a white head. The aroma is awesome. I get a lot of bourbon, but also some orange citrus, caramel and brown sugar notes. The flavor is heavy on the maple with some brown sugar, vanilla, alcohol, caramel and bourbon. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

A very nicely done bourbon-aged beer, that I am very happy I got to try.

09-14-2010 05:43:08 | More by Mora2000
Photo of jaminjohnson
jaminjohnson

Yukon (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

11-27-2013 09:21:19 | More by jaminjohnson
Photo of bpfrush
bpfrush

Wisconsin

4.75/5  rDev +7%

01-25-2014 04:26:35 | More by bpfrush
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


4.28/5  rDev -3.6%

Bottle (2011)

Thanks for providing this one, UCLABrewN84!

Blind Tasting and Review

Dark, cloudy brown with very little visible carbonation. There's a thin film on top of the beer, but that hardly qualifies as anything resembling a head. That being said, this appearance is about par for the course for barrel-aged barleywines.

Aroma is a nice combination of caramel, brown sugar, black bread, and some alcohol heat. It's sweet without being overly so. It's boozy without being overly so. There's a bit of vanilla and oak character as well.

The flavor is quite exceptional, with lots of vanilla, cream, oak, caramel, toffee, and bourbon combining. For being so exceptionally high in ABV, this one hides it fairly well, even at this relatively young age.

Medium bodied with low carbonation.

Fantastic. This ranked as one of the highest in our blind barrel-aged barleywine tasting.

04-20-2012 15:13:05 | More by ehammond1
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Cynic-ale

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

07-14-2014 22:59:55 | More by Cynic-ale
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williamjbauer

West Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

01-12-2014 02:56:22 | More by williamjbauer
Photo of jtladner
jtladner

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

05-09-2014 23:32:46 | More by jtladner
Photo of striker2160
striker2160

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

05-21-2014 14:04:05 | More by striker2160
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

3.55/5  rDev -20%

12oz. brown bottle poured into a Russian River tulip.

A: Pours a ruby garnet with decent clarity considering the barrel aging. Moderate head on the pour with a bit of retention and not much lacing.

S: Under a decent amount of bourbon and barrel, molasses and toffee... I get a faint but distinct aroma of my grandmas and mothers Christmas cookies. Butter cookies with home made icing. Doesn't smell overly sweet, either. Maybe some oatmeal cookies and walnuts, too. Bizarre.

T/M: The bourbon is there and not as over powering as I was expecting, but it's not quite melding with the BW like I did expect. Plenty of barrel, vanilla. A bit more sweetness than the nose implied. Alcohol heats up quite a bit as it warms. Maybe the slightest hint of the Christmas cookies, but I might be reaching. Body is only about medium and the carbonation is mild to medium.

D: After the aroma I was expecting great things, and I've rarely been let down by Kuhnhenn... but things just didn't quite add up. A decent beer but I was expecting more.

08-29-2011 04:53:41 | More by pwoods
Photo of JasonFromLA
JasonFromLA

California

5/5  rDev +12.6%

08-05-2013 00:46:21 | More by JasonFromLA
Photo of timc100
timc100

Illinois

4.63/5  rDev +4.3%

2013 vintage

Deep mahogany, dark dirty brown/ruby - completely opaque. A surprisingly long-lingering creamy head with big alcohol legs. Aroma isn't huge but fantastic - very soft, sweet vanilla and marshmallow from the barrel as well as very smooth toffee and caramel. Taste is huge and mouthfeel is perfect. Very smooth and full bodied carries the sticky caramel, toffee, vanilla, and lots of oak.

I'm not getting a ton of bourbon off of this, but the barrel/beer blend is fantastic - incredibly smooth and well balanced.

02-02-2014 03:36:12 | More by timc100
Photo of weonfire
weonfire

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

01-14-2014 04:20:31 | More by weonfire
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

4.41/5  rDev -0.7%

A: Pours a clear brown/burgundy color with very little head, just a few bubbles forming. No retention or lacing at all.

S: The aroma is quite strong. Lots of caramel with plenty of the bourbon coming through, vanilla, toffee, a little molasses.

T: Fantastic, the flavors are blended together nicely. Brown sugar, vanilla, and caramel dominate with bits of oak/wood.

M: Medium to full bodied, extremely smooth. Low carbonation.

O: Lived up to the hype, really enjoyed this barleywine. Smoothness helped a lot.

05-08-2013 22:07:20 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of MrVonzipper
MrVonzipper

California

5/5  rDev +12.6%

01-18-2013 10:06:33 | More by MrVonzipper
Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
UWBadgerFan4Life

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

08-21-2014 11:59:49 | More by UWBadgerFan4Life
Photo of king75
king75

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +7%

12-31-2013 20:33:39 | More by king75
Photo of Mar02x
Mar02x

Netherlands

5/5  rDev +12.6%

04-14-2014 13:46:54 | More by Mar02x
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -13.3%

Mondiale 2007. Dark brown body with amber highlights. A great soapy white head. Very fresh tasting, vanilla and caramel. A very good bourbon barrel effort, and a great matchup of barleywine. 14.5% was extreme and it was a good thing this was my last beer of the night. Had the 2010 and was good though not best, great aroma though coconut dominated taste.

06-01-2007 00:12:54 | More by Sammy
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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 490 ratings.