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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine - Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley WineKuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine

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

437 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 437
Reviews: 176
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.78%


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: 437 | Reviews: 176 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ncvbc
ncvbc

North Carolina

4.98/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Murky, rusty, red with brownish hues. Thin tan head that fades to a ring. Slow rising carbonation. It looks potent.

Smell is pretty remarkable. It's soft, subtle, and insanely complex. Bourbon and vanilla seem to blanket a vast assortment of aromas. Toffee, oatmeal, chocolate, coconut. Raisin, fig, spice. Too much to mention, really.

How could it get any better? Well, it does. I literally got chills when I took my first sip of this beer. Big, sweet, chewy malt flavors. A perfect warmth from the bourbon that isn't overpowering by any means. Layered with a depth of flavors that I have found in only a handful of brews and they work some serious magic.

This beer absorbs itself into the tongue. So rich and extremely smooth. Perfect carbonation and texture. To be enjoyed slowly but surely as a sipper.

While it is quite huge and needs to be consumed slowly, it's like heaven in a bottle. One bottle happens to be just enough. Not quite the ultimate in terms of drinkability volume-wise but as close as it gets. There are others that I could have more of but I won't savor and enjoy them like this one.

A big, big thanks goes out to grub for the chance to try this most excellent brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2008 02:01:51 | More by ncvbc
Photo of DmanGTR
DmanGTR

New York

4.98/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a big beer. Pours a deep mahogany with tangerine hues. Nose is superb. Like a rich candy: toffee, caramel, and vanilla dominate. A bit of golden raisins and figs come out too. Bourbon comes out nicely in the finish. Really nicely done. Sweet, rich, and smooth. A beer of epic proportions. Thanks for opening this Joe!

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 08:54:29 | More by DmanGTR
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proc

Michigan

4.97/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I could literally copy trbeer's review for this word for word and feel satisfied with the review. I too had this at the Polar Beer Fest right along side trbeer. This was such a drinkable barleywine, that it blew me away. The flavor exploded in the mouth, with hints of spice and a wonderful buttery flavor present. An outstanding beer. Kuhnhenn...I'm in love.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2003 09:11:45 | More by proc
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.97/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A first things first, huge, enormous thanks goes out to Jay for hooking this one up. This has been a mission of mine forever and I owe him for that! Twelve ounce bottle was chilled down to cellar temperature as soon as I received it and served at the same temperature in a snifter. Consumed on 08/04/2008.

The pour was just what I would have expected. Rich notes of caramel colored brown, with hints of ruby around the edges and a deep, opaque haziness that overtook the entire session. Smallish head of deep tan lace then formed on the top and settled down quickly to just a broken film, but this did the job of thoroughly coating the inside of the glass with abundant lacing throughout the session.

The aroma is the thing that dreams are made of, well Bourbon Barrel dreams anyway  Incredibly subtle, yet complex I have not ever had something this wonderful cross my nose. Rich notes of bourbon and vanilla, so strong, yet so welcoming just layer on top of each other, seamlessly dancing around the effortless profile. Hints of toffee and caramel, some touches of almost some kind of coffee or something, this was incredible. The flavor, I am really having a hard time putting into words, but suffice to say this was by far the best barley wine I have ever had. Complex wasn't the word, started out with big notes of vanilla, coating the tongue and not letting anything stand in its way. Light notes of oak and bourbon starting to come in now as it begins to warm, then the bourbon takes over and starts to mix in with toffee and caramel, some light vinous properties and a touch of spice. There is some light fruitiness going on in here, maybe some fig, some tart cherries, not sure, but it was a nice little splash around right before the finish. And let me just tell you, the vanilla flavor lasted so long, I was still tasting this after I brushed my teeth it felt like, just really tremendously good. This was ridiculously smooth, I cannot even begin to try and get that point across. This was over 14% abv, but I have not had anything in this category. It was amazingly subtle and sublime, complex yet simple. Perfectly aged, yet still vibrant. This is what it should be, what all barrel aged beers should strive to be. Nothing here is overdone, quite the contrary, it is done as just enough.

Overall, wow, this was worth the search, and deserving of the appraise that it gets. It was a whole new level of Barley wine for me, this was exactly what I wanted it to be, exactly what it needed to be. A fantastic brew that literally blew me away. I would love to get this one again, but I know it won't happen. Still though, WOW.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2008 23:02:13 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine appears murky on first glance but, upon closer inspection, is in actuality very clear. This is a fact easy to miss given the stunning dark crimson colour and gorgeous, blushing scarlet highlights. There are a select few bubbles resting on the surface but no matter how hard one swirls it's impossible to generate any sort of head (though the glossy tracks of liquid tearing down the glass are beautiful).

The aroma is sweet and deliciously rich. The proper use of bourbon barrels manifests token notes of vanilla, oak, and wood spice but they're accompanied by chocolate, dates, licorice, currants and rich, heavenly malts. My god, the malts! With each smell one delves deeper and deeper into the scent, layer by layer becoming more and more sedated by its divine complexities.

Kuhnhenn should have named *this* beer 4D - it has endless dimensions. While giant bourbon-influenced flavours hit the palate upfront, a great depth of slightly delayed and delicious nuances set in after the swallow: tastes of chocolate mousse and truffles, dates and raisins, french vanilla latte, anise, and heavy caramel. It's like a rich dessert that's big in body and luscious in texture.

The use of bourbon barrel aging is appreciable but sensibly done; all the distinction and character of the whiskey is blended with the malty essence of a barleywine, and somehow managed to loose the strong alcohol presence somewhere along the way. How is it that nearly 15% alcohol goes unnoticed? Neither the ale nor the bourbon dominates. They meld and marry, though the mouth is always coated with rich, viscous caramelly malts.

Oh glory of glories, oh heavenly testament to the eternal majesty of God's creation...
HOLY MACARONI! Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine is among - if not the - best crafted beer I've tried. The precision of detail and particularities, the depth of flavour, the sensible use of barrel aging, the sheer quality - it's a downright divine drink. While other brewers may write music, Kuhnhenn writes symphonies. This was something beautiful. Thanks Grub!

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2007 15:52:00 | More by biegaman
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grub

Ontario (Canada)

4.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pulled from my cellar, purchased at the brewery in december 2006.

12oz bottle.

pours deep ruby red, almost burgundy, with just a small ring of dense off white head around the glass. the colour on this is just amazing.

wow. fantastic aroma. huge blast of malt. bread and biscuit. caramel and toffee. raisin and date. lots of alcohol. vanilla and light bourbon.

taste is amazing. everything from the aroma and more. nice caramel sweetness. date and raisin. light bourbon and vanilla. alcohol. chocolate truffle. i could drink this all night.

mouthfeel is excellent. low carbonation is excellent. nice big body.

drinkability is exceptional. very well balanced. definitely doesn't taste like 14.5%. just great stuff. another winner from kuhnhenn.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2007 19:59:26 | More by grub
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

4.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Eternal thanks & glory unto FlandersNed & beerisheaven for shipping me this much sought-after treat. I never thought I'd see one of these, much less multiples from different years. Winter Solstice 2010 edition, with 15.1% alcohol on the label vs. the 14.5% on the BA listing.

Poured into my lovely Captain Lawrence glass, where the a white head feints & withdraws so quickly it might have been imagined. Very dark beer, but when held to the light, glows with the inner fires of Mordor. Smell is pure top-shelf barrel-aged barleywine: rich bourbon, vanilla, warm sweet malts, sting of alcohol. This one writes the book & adds a few footnotes; the aroma is perfect.

Out of the fridge, I let it warm for several minutes before sipping. Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barleywine. One sip & I'm blowing over the limit. The is a complex, boozy, brawler of a beer. Big Time Rush hits my tongue in multiple places; huge bourbon backed with vanilla, brown sugar, molasses and/or maple syrup, sticky dancing raisins, oak or ash or maple, dash of caramel, holy holy hell. Then a tidal wave of alcohol wraps them all up, sticks a bow down their throat, & warms my chest cavity all the way down to my Achilles tendon.

Seriously. Smoother than cream silk pie, & screw the ABV, this is so drinkable I wish it came in a bomber so I couldn't wake up for work tomorrow. A sipper that demands to be gulped, Dew-style. It's a bit hot, but who gives a rip? I can't imagine age doing anything good to this, it's so good already.

OK, I knew this was an A+ beer after the second sip. This, along with the Perfect Storm, are the pinnacle of barrel-aged barleywines. Absolutely fantastic, borderline perfect, & I'm delighted I have a few more in the basement. Epic beer. Damn.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2011 03:20:58 | More by maximum12
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

4.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presently, this is the #9 ranked English Barleywine here on BA.

2010 Vintage served in a snifter.

A: Poured a saturated, caramel color, with a bit of ruby highlights poking through. The slight, marshmallow looking head was but a mere ring around the brew, but had tremendous staying power.

S: Just flat out awesome! Sort of a caramel-nut-butterscotch combo. The nuttiness was obviously the bourbon. This definitely was designed as dessert fodder, completely devoid of pine, citrus, and anything that might be considered a solvent.

T: Caramel-toffee and then some, with a bit more hoppy bitterness than I was expecting, but that worked its magic in terms of cutting through the intense sugariness. Strong for sure, yet quite delectable.

M: I've never tasted this fresh, but I have a hunch that it was quite a bit sweeter than this. Sure, this was post dinner fare, but I certainly wouldn't classify this as an outright sugar bomb. The carbonation had only a tinge of prickle and some lacing was left behind after a gentle swirl.

O: This is truly one of the best brews I've had all year, possible in the last few.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2012 00:14:44 | More by Chaney
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Arizona

4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a fresh 64oz growler, thanks Mentor!

Rusty-nail brown with a very nice espresso coloured head that makes this beer look absolutely appealing! The aroma of this beer is absolutely amazing. I smell bourbon soaked dark fruits, caramel, oak, vanilla, nice malts, a bit of roastiness and a slight hint of smokiness also come through. Wow, can you say complex? The taste is even more complex with the alcoholic dark fruits hitting first followed by the luxurious notes of oak, vanilla, carmelized sugar, and more. The middle is sweet and dry and the finish is warm, coating, and wonderful. Mouthfeel is thick, and this stuff grabs, and sticks to every tastebud on your tonuge. Drinkability is excellent for a barleywine of this abv, and I beleive that this is only a 2004 vintage of this stuff. Dry-hopped and aged in bourbon barrels this is another masterpiece from a brewery that I will soon visit!

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2005 00:34:01 | More by francisweizen
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Crosling

Colorado

4.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12’er. What nectar. Dark brown color. Outstanding aroma. Astonishingly complex flavor of absorbed wood (coconut, vanilla, soaked wood, light whiskey) and heavy malt (an array of cinnamon covered fruit, caramel and toffee. Very, very smooth. If anyone has any bottles of this for trade, I am willing to trade heavily for it.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2007 05:29:14 | More by Crosling
Photo of Lothore
Lothore

California

4.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a ruddy, brownish hue with little to no head.

S- Smell is absolutely phenomenal. Tons of brown sugar, hints of bourbon, fig.

T- Wow. Before describing the taste my first thought is ... smoooth. Starts off slightly fruity, possibly hints of cherry mixed with figs, brown sugar sweetness comes in to balance. The end is an alcohol warming balanced exquisitly with very sweet, sugary notes.

M- Thick with a good bit of carbonation left for a beer this old.

D- This is another out of the park brew by kuhnhenn. I truly hope they produce more so I have another chance to drink this one. The main thing I truly loved about this one was the balance. It was huge yet seemed to balance the alcohol perfectly with rich sweetness that a lot of other "extreme brews" fail to do. Totally lives up to the hype in my opinion. Although there probably aren't many bottles left in circulation, if you have a chance trade whatever you can for this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2008 03:06:45 | More by Lothore
Photo of Floydster
Floydster

California

4.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle generously shared by seaoflament on 10/25/08, thanks to Carlos for going out of his way once again, reviewed from notes, four to five ounces poured into a small sampling glass

A-Color is a dark brown with red hihglights, very small maybe 1/8 inch beige bubbly head that disappears immediately, no retention or lacing
S-First off the smell was outstanding, it had bourbon, maple syrup, dried fruits, berries, raisins, lots of butterscotch, sweet chocolate, toffee, deep caramel scents, vanilla, oak, and dates
T-Flavor was slightly oxidized and that was the first thing I noticed and really the only complaint, the combination of woody accents, big bourbon flavor, caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, dark fruits, and chpcolates was unparalleled, I sipped on this for close to a half hour and it was better with each sip, and very different each time too, starts off on the sweeter side, some chewiness in the middle, slightly dry finish with some booze and sweetness there to balance it out, cannot believe how well the flavors worked together, this stuff is great
M-Hot, sweet, chewy, and sticky mouthfeel, full bodied for a barrel aged brew and on the verge of being syrupy, very low level of carbonation, taste lingered for a long time and was great
D-Could have the drank the whole bottle it tasted so good, but both the alcohol and sweetness would have got the best of me, but the booze are hidden incredibly well for a brew that is near fifteen percent

This was for sure on my top three beers to try list, and the fact that they were only one hundred bottles ever produced made it look like I might not get to try it, luckily I did, going out on a limb here and saying that this is the best barleywine I have ever had, I think this was a 2006 vintage but I am sure this would hold up for another decade, would love to drink this again but not likely, cannot recommend this enough

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2008 22:36:58 | More by Floydster
Photo of Hugonaut13
Hugonaut13

Illinois

4.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into snifter. 2011 vintage

A - Pours a very dark murky brown with a hint of burgundy when held to the light. Zero carbonation to speak of.

S - Oh. My. God. Melted toffee, caramel, vanilla, and booze. Fills the room with this smell. Very strong and I don't want to take it away from my nose.

T - Amazing. Follows the nose but the barrel is more integrated. Liquid caramel sex. Figs, raisins, brown sugar, vanilla, followed with some light bourbon. It's like having a decadent dessert with a dram of high end bourbon neat on the side.

M - This is a sipper. Alcohol, although plays very well here, is obvious. Coats your mouth on each sip. My last sip was 8 minutes ago and I still taste it. Zero carb, and that is NOT an issue here. This beer is an event.

O - I'm blown away. The flavors here are so well integrated and complement each other perfectly. This is a huge beer that you'll want to take your time with. This is a BA Barleywine that other BA Barleywines should strive to be.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2013 01:00:18 | More by Hugonaut13
Photo of kawilliams81
kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage, poured from 12 oz. bottle into Alesmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- Pours a dark copper with a minimal trace of off-white head. Small lines of lacing remain.

S- Oak, vanilla, and bourbon are the front runners here. Nice sweet caramel notes, slight notes of leather and tobacco.

T- Holy sweet candi sugar Batman! Vanilla, bourbon, leather, oak, and toffee. Very malt forward as is the style, with very minimal bitterness.

M- Full body and low carbonation. Very smooth, slightly slick, and crazy drinkable at 14.5%.

O- Amazing barleywine. This could be one of the best I have ever had, and I have had KH, MoaS, BA NE, etc. Will have to try and get a case of this if I ever have the chance!

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2012 02:19:42 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of joefuzz
joefuzz

New York

4.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep brown with a red tint with a very small light brown head that fades to a ring of bubbles clinging to the rim of the glass.

Smells of sweet bourbon and vanilla pods with plenty of malt.

Tastes has a lot of raisins and over ripe plums up front that fades to a vanilla bourbon and some slight char, slight warming down the throat from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is pretty thick and carbonation is very low...but it fits this beer perfectly.

Overall this is a amazing example of the style it is everything I could ask for in a BA barleywine and it comes in a 12oz awesome sipper.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2012 02:31:54 | More by joefuzz
Photo of BeerBuilder
BeerBuilder

Minnesota

4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a murky dark brown, almost black color with a light brown head that leaves spotty lacing. The aroma is unbelievable!! Dark fruits, malty, sugars, candy coated raisins and dates...breads. Nice!! The flavor is sweet dates and raisins with candi sugars and fruits and malts and....and...!! I cannot do this beer justice! It is so easy drinking for such a high octane. Damn!!! I don't want it to end. Thanks Stub-ob for this boozing, alcoholic, malty...tasty brew.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2004 05:35:44 | More by BeerBuilder
Photo of mikeys01
mikeys01

Colorado

4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a growler recently procured at the Kuhnhenn Brewery. Color is that of a dirty, crusty, many years old penny, murky brown with just a bit of light coming through. No filtering here whatsoever, I can tell this is going to be one filthy beast of a barleywine, I love it already. The huge aroma is sweet and fills the air with boozey bourbon and soft rotting fruit, sweet and just a bit tart. Notes of sticky molasses and vanilla. I can’t pick out anything singularly hoppy in the aroma, but I know they’re buried somewhere in the melee.
Taste starts out with a rich blend of bourbon soaked plums, raisins, dates, and over-ripe fermenting autumn fruit, once it’s started to brown and fall from the tree to be beset upon by bees. Fruit notes taper off in a perfect tartness as sweet caramel syrup begins to drip off your tongue as the murky malt mixture takes over in the middle. Body is just a bit on the heavy side, consistency is thick enough to make this almost a meal in itself, chewy and delicious. Finish stokes a slowly building fire out of smoldering oak logs, leaving you with a nice warm burn and bewilderment as to how they packed so much complex flavor in this amazing creation. Bourbon is present throughout this beer but perfectly complements rather than dominates the malt and hop flavors. Drinks dangerously smooth as well. Excellently crafted, Kuhnhenn amazes me once again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2004 19:12:32 | More by mikeys01
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tpd975

Florida

4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to markwise for bringing a fresh bottle of this one to the tasting.

A: Pours a dark orangish brown hue with a small head. No retention but it does have some legs.

S: Huge aromas here. Tons of coconut, caramel, brown sugar. The barrel stands out in a big way as well with fresh oak, vanilla, and booze.

T: Crazy good brew. Sweet caramel, brown sugar, and toffee. Coconut macaroons, hints of dark fruit and lots of oak, vanilla, and light booze.

M: Medium in body, perfect carbonation, smooth, with a nice boozy finish.

D: Out of this world. World class beer. Kuhnhenn does it again.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 02:42:26 | More by tpd975
Photo of travMI13
travMI13

Michigan

4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, 2011 Winter Solstice vintage, poured into a Kuhnhenn snifter.

A: Deep, murky mahogany. Not a lot of light getting through here. Very thick, yet very little lacing.

S: The smell is wonderful. Bourbon, toffee, caramel, and a touch of vanilla. Some straight up booze mixed in with the rest of the nose, but it is definitely concealed.

T: Bourbon, toffee, and caramel again. I am picking up the oak, and there is a nice vanilla sweetness on the finish. This almost reminds me of a sticky bun. I'm glad this is my dessert for the evening. Fantastic.

M: Sticky and sweet. No carbonation at all. Leaves a nice, lingering aftertaste over the tongue.

O: The standard Kuhnhenn Barley Wine is one of my favorites. I didn't think it could really be improved upon. I was horribly mistaken. I want to age this to see if it gets even better, but I'm skeptical. Fantastic beer as it stands, and perfect for a cold winter night.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 02:56:39 | More by travMI13
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FeDUBBELFIST

Pennsylvania

4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Noah1 for the bottle. 2011 Vintage.
12oz bottle to tulip.
Sampled 07MAR13

[A] Pours a very dark crimson - just a few shades away from black. Rather still in the glass, there is a nothing more than a single strand of fine bubbles arranged around the edge of the glass. No lacing.

[S] Rich, plump, overly ripe dark fruits with a hint of earthy soil and old leather. Surprisingly low alcohol presence. A faint tea-like herbal quality comes through as well, probably due to the age more than anything else. The bourbon barrel made the invite list but is not the star of the party.

[T] The sugary malt sweetness displays amazing depth. Buttery caramel, dark brown sugar and dark molasses - just a phenomenally complex balance between sweetness and bitterness. Incredibly smooth and easy to drink. How in the world did they manage to remove nearly every last trace of alcohol and heat? It's dumbfounding honestly.

[M] Easily a 5. This is one of the thickest, chewiest mouthfeels I've ever come across. Gentle carbonation starts at the beginning of the palate and helps to lift the the slick and syrupy texture. Completely cloying...just the way a big, 14.5% barleywine should be. I absolutely love it.

[O] This beer is nothing short of world class. And I want more.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2013 02:32:44 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of Mistofminn
Mistofminn

Minnesota

4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mega thanks goes out to Mothman, for sharing this with me. 6 oz of this whale, all to myself!

Pours a amber orangish color, clear with some flaky sediment. Poured with a head, but shrinks and disappears. Leaves little to no lacing.

The nose is strong and intense. Big woody notes. I don't get a ton of bourbon here, or booze for that matter. Just a dry, oaky, caramely, malty barleywine. It smells fantastic.

Sitting here now reviewing this, I'm kind of amazed that the ABV on this is so high. I never imagined it was this high when I was enjoying it. Being the last beer of the night, one could argue my senses were skewed. I beg to differ, as we sipped on some low ABV sours for quite some time before cracking into this night cap. And boy was it a night cap...

The taste is great...brown sugar and caramel, oak and malts, sweet toffee and vanilla. Again, literally no alcohol, it's incredibly well hidden amongst the layers of intense flavors. It's different every time I take a sip, and evolves as it warms. This was sipped and savored over the course of half an hour or so.

About medium in body, with a pefect carbonation level. Smooth and slightly boozy in the feel. I only say that because you can feel the heat in your throat and stomach, it's just hard for me to taste actual alcohol. Drinkability is probably criminally dangerous.

Obviously, a world class beer. One I will probably never get to try again. The beer exceeds the hype on this one. If you don't like this beer, then BA Barleywine's just aren't for you, as this is the top of it's class. Thanks Ben for this once in a lifetime chance!

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2010 05:15:49 | More by Mistofminn
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mcallister

Ohio

4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the 2005 batch that has been in my cellar since release.

This is a dense, deep garnet, opaque and just plain dirty looking with almost no carbonation.

Nose is wonderful, full of dried sweet fruits of date, raisin, prune, and fig with large toffee reserves and caramel. Hints of milk chocolate, than a burst of vanilla and bourbon too round things out.

Beers really don't get much better than this. The bourbon and vanilla character is very well done and just adds a layer of complexity to the rich malt backbone instead of taking the lead role like so many barrel aged beers do. Tastes almost identical to the nose with a bit of acidity and warmth in the mouth and chest. Love english style barley wines and this one is one of the best I've ever had. Very sweet but not cloying, the epitome of an after dinner/dessert beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 20:31:55 | More by mcallister
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hoppymeal

Michigan

4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber to brown and clear with the slightest flash of some cream colored carbonation that fades back in an instant. Aroma is rich sweet maltiness, prunes, raisins, cherries, aged overripe fruit, and coconutty alcohol. Nose is a good indicator of taste here as the beer is incredibly rich and sweet. Bourbon comes thru in the taste but only very lightly, a little cola flavor is evident which mixes with the sweet sugary fruity and pruney maltiness. There is alcohol evident in the taste as well, no real bite, just a nice mellow warmth. Fairly full in body, the carbonation is definitely low as evidenced on the pour, there is a nice tingle on the tongue that balances the sweetness and some dryness in the warming finish. This beer was absolutely incredible for me, one of those that every smell was as good as the first and every taste made me say wow. A nice sweet night cap, and even though the alcohol content is quite high I savor each drop and know I could definitely drink more of this.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2007 02:46:22 | More by hoppymeal
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Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at Mondial de la Biere 2007. They give generous samples at the Petit Pub. 8 or so ounces for $5 CDN.

Pours a hazy caramel brown, thin off white head, lace spots, decent retention, head eventually disappears though. Smell is wow. Toffee, bourbon, alcohol, very rich, dates raisons, amazing. Taste is too. Sweet toffee, buttery oak, bourbon, dates, more toffee, bit of citrus, alcohol, super caramelized oaky vanilla goodness, just insane good. Mouthfeel is full bodied with low carbonation, hot going down, just right. Kuhnhenn is amazing.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2007 04:23:55 | More by Viggo
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mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 Vintage

Big thanks to eyebrews for sending this one out

Pours hardly any beige head. Color is an amazing bright ruby hued mahogony brown. This beer is glowing. Very appealing.

Aroma: Sweet and malty. Caramel and toffee. Big oak flavors. Bourbon is subtle but a perfect amount for the beer. Raisins and dark dried fruit notes in there as well. Perfect.

Taste: More bourbon up front. Rich caramel and toffee. Big oak flavors again. Reminds me a bit of cedar. Vanilla comes out here. The flavors blend very well. A little hot, but not bad.

Mouthfeel: Warming and smooth. Fairly large bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends a little dry with some bourbon notes. Very well done.

Overall, a damn fine ba bwine. A little hot, but still very well done.I don't really mind the small amount of heat for the style. They tops many ba bwines I have had. I really want more.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2010 15:41:00 | More by mothman
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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 437 ratings.