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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
96
world-class
202 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
202
Ratings:
721
Avg:
4.34
pDev:
8.76%
 
 
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1,241
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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley WineKuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-17-2003

User Reviews
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Reviews: 202 | Ratings: 721
Photo of walleye
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

from my favorite brewery. from the tap.poured a dark brown with hints of mahogany around the edges nice tan head. aroma, plums, raisins, toffee, chocolate, malts, hints of wood, cherries, alcohol red wine flavors . flavor, licorice, honey, chocolate, toffee, malts, alcohol a nice blend of sweetness and bitterness. a nice smooth mouth feel. this is a kicken beer. WOW

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Photo of thatoneguymike
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with no head, almost cola-like. The nose.... certainly off-putting. Smells like rubbing alcohol cut with caramel. But the taste, though....the taste saves this, and is a nice mix of caramel, vanilla, dark fruit, and just a touch of hops. The mouthfeel is nice and sticky too, and finishes with a lingering heat that goes so well in these cold winter nights.

One that I never sought out, but certainly glad to have tried, and would definitely recommend, even to those who normally say 'nay' to barleywines such as myself.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 release courtesy of Dlucky, poured in to a tulip.

Appearance: A turgid, brackish, pond water amber, existing in that area right between ruby and brown sugar. On the one hand, you don't get too much out of the hue, because even holding it up to extreme light reveals very little chromatic character - it sports a dirty, hazy, completely opaque body, lying underneath a ring of dense but nonetheless wispy-looking lace, as if the slightest agitation might cause it to dissipate as quickly as the half-finger of lightly tanned head did. On the other hand, there's a sort of understated beauty to the color, how the burned orange hues around the edges of the glass transition beautifully in to the earthy garnet ambers nearer the center which themselves meld seamlessly in to the vast, darker core. The lacing is similar to that of a 14.5% abv barrel-aged barleywine - that is, there isn't any.

Aroma: Very aromatic, even from a distance, and one of the earthiest and most robust malt showcases I've ever smelled. What's most surprising about the nose is the near-complete lack of bourbon, which is only a surprise because of the overwhelming amount of bourbon you usually get out of these bourbon barrel barleywines. Only extreme agitation drags the faintest whiff of that earthy spirit spice out. What this one doesn't hide, however, are the barrel notes - coconut and vanilla are large, mingling with a nice woody earthiness. Brown sugar, molasses, raw sugar, and dark toffee provide a caramelized edge to compliment toast, earth, bread crusts, and even faint cocoa. Dark raisin and cherry notes in turn compliment a lighter citrusy hop note, though the hop component here is mostly earthy, herbal, slightly minty. The smell on this one is "heavy" - that is, you have to agitate it even after warming to truly get everything that's here - but once you coax it out, it proves well worth the effort. The complete lack of any hint of heat or spice just adds to the impressiveness.

Taste: Kuhnhenn's BBBBW starts off dry, and in fact stays dry throughout. This sets it apart from many other barleywines, and indeed many barrel-aged barleywines. The malt characteristics of the nose are very earthy, wholesome, and brown, and - though they do occasionally exhibit the above-mentioned brown sugar, lighter toffee, caramel, and molasses notes - are more inclined towards bread crusts, dry toast, and heavily-attenuated fruit sugars. The attenuation is a virtue, not a vice, and it's a complex, solid malt foundation, authentic, and ends up doing this beer wonders.

In a beer where the barrel characteristics had been less expertly crafted, the above might be a problem. Not so here. KB^4W's relative lack of malt showiness puts the remainder of this brew's mouth on parade for all to experience. Coconut, vanilla, oak esters, and wood sugars come through strongly, as does a less submissive bourbon presence, slightly heated, prickly, golden. The fruits here are more impressive still, with cherries, plums, dates, and raisins melding with the tropical fruit overtones imparted by the hops and the residual sweetness. Hop bitterness is large, but does get somewhat lost in the reason this one does lose half a point, a mild amount of boozy, spicy, warming (not hot) alcohol. Truth be told, what's more impressive is how faint and pleasant this heat really is, given its high numerical value, and in many ways it almost contributes more than it detracts. The remainder of the hop notes - earthy leather, wintergreen, pine, faint grapefruit and berry notes - meld with all the above notes in interesting and unique ways. They seem both mellowed and subdued while at the same time not being buried at all, likely a result of the aforementioned dryness.

Mouthfeel: An amazingly balanced body. This one's chewy, sure - what 14.5% abv barrel aged barleywine isn't? - but it's not nearly as thick or heavy or biting as you'd expect it to be. Instead, it's relatively attenuation makes for a smooth, not-too-sticky body, filled with tons of fine effervescence. The result is as creamy as you'd like, as crisp as you'd like, and truth be told fairly light for a beer of this magnitude, which definitely eases the (wanted) imposition that is the slew of aforementioned flavors.

Drinkability: A masterstroke from the enigmatic QC-challenged, dot-matrix label-applying genius of micro breweries, and likely the most drinkable 14.5% brew I've ever had. An amazingly mature brew, for two reasons: first, the alcohol heat is incredibly tame for its numerical equivalent; and second, the flavors are incredibly well-blended/balanced for the age of this beer, with everything complimenting and mingling with everything else in a way that you usually only see in a beer of this size at an age four times this one's age. A must have for barleywine fans, and I'm confident Wooden Hell ain't got shit on this beauty. Seek it out if you can - you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of Deuane
4.51/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A healthy 4 oz. pour given to me by a very generous, yet unknown BA at DLD '09.

A-Dark, murky, red tinted, deep brown with a thin ring of light tan bubbles.

S-Huge blast of a complex swirl of aromas. Dominated by a large dose of caramel malts, toffee and turbinado. Subtle hints of orange rind and raisin follow. Ends with notes of bourbon, astringent oak and a hint of vanilla.

T-Dominant caramel malt and turbinado. Oak dryness and vanilla sweetness creeps in underneath the malt onslaught. A bit of alcohol heat in the finish.

M-Medium-heavy, slick and somewhat syrupy. Deep lingering flavours and a nice astringent finish.

D-As good as advertised. This is a BBA malt lovers dream. Nicely done, but I think the sweetness and ABV would slow me down in the end.

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Photo of rye726
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been wanting to try this one for a long time. Served from a 12oz bottle in asnifter at cellar temp.

Pours a dark brown with a thin tan head. Nose has rich malts, caramel, toffee, ripe pitted fruits, oak, vanilla and bourbon. Taste has similar profile except for a subtle tart cherry presence. Medium body drinks well.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A perfect BA Barleywine. This beer really brought me from BA stouts over to BA Barleywine. When done well, the extra hardiness brings a little extra flavor and enjoyment to the overall profile.

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Photo of s1ckboy
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Bottle. Another amazing extra from Jack.

A - light brown body, less than a finger of off white head.

S - Sugary candy, caramel, alcohol (bourbon).

T - Bourbon, caramel, toffee, some dark fruits, a tiny bit of citrus on the back end (from the hops?). Very sweet.

M - Medium. Low carbonation, works good for the style.

Fantastic. Probably the best barleywine I've tried so far. Took me by surprise.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

'05 Vintage - Brewery Aged version from the '09 Winter Solstice Party. Served in my Darkness snifter.

A - Wow! A hard pour yields a half-finger of toffee-colored foam that dissipates slowly to a thin ring and some haze. There are even a few spots of lace. Lots of bubbles on the sides of the glass. Body is an opaque milk chocolate color. Impressive for a 14.5% beer from 2005, and one of the best-looking Kuhnhenn beers I've had (which ain't saying much).

S - The smell is wonderful. Caramel, bourbon, burnt brown sugar, dried dark fruits (raisins, dates, figs, prunes), lots of oak. The booziness of the '09 has subsided quite a bit, and only pops up when the brew is at room temperature. Reminds me of Abacus quite a bit, which is high praise, but it's a bit more mellow.

T - Tons of caramel, molasses, spiced rum, anise, chocolate-covered cherries, and burnt sugars. There's some light oxidation, but you can tell this was aged in a keg and not in the bottle. The finish is incredibly spicy, oaky, and tannic - perhaps even too much at this point, as it lingers as an aftertaste for more minutes than I had the patience to measure (as I was reaching for another sip by then!). Surprisingly mellow and smooth for something so strong and boozy when fresh.

M - The body is actually a little thinner than it should be for such a high gravity brew. Otherwise it's very smooth and soft, with very low carbonation that is style-appropriate. After about half-a-glass there's some nice alcohol warmth and a nice buzz building, but that's not wholly unexpected for something this strong. Basically if it were a touch more viscous and chewy it'd be perfect.

D - I've managed to drink an entire 12oz bottle of this beer (both the '09 and '05) on a few separate occasions. It's a slow sipper, but never becomes a chore. The tannic and oaky flavors become a bit tiring, but otherwise it's about as drinkable as a 14.5% beer can be. I think I like Abacus more, but this is still quite excellent.

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Photo of liamt07
4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by Peter of Flying Monkeys. 355ml bottle into some tulips, from the 2010 Winter Solstice release. Civic day tasting, long time want - thanks a TON Peter!

Low carbonation evident on the initial pour, leaves nothing more than some bubbles as a collar. Moderate legs on this, but pretty close to still nonetheless. Body is burgundy in colour, with some light brown sugar-like highlights. Nose is bourbon, caramel, molasses - sweet and sugary all around, not overpoweringly so. Some brown sugar like notes as well. Taste showcases more bourbon, brown sugar, caramel and booze. Sticky, and sweet and a medium mouthfeel - not as thick or syrupy as I thought it would be. Great flavour and a really nice BBBW, exactly the kind of barrel treatment I enjoy from the style. 35/45/4/45/45

Had on draught at the 2012 Winter Solstice, they were pouring the 2011 vintage.

Fantastic barrel integration here, fantastic sweet malt interplay with the barrel and borubon character. Absolute magic, phenomenal when it hits room temperature. 45/4/45/45/5

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Photo of Hootie159
4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 From bottle. Looks like blood in the mud water. But in a good way. Oily film on top. Smell reminds me more of an old ale. Toffee, caramel, sweet bourbon. Taste significantly improves as it warms. A sweet candi sugar and bourbon pair wonderfully with the traditional English barleywine taste. Despite some of the other reviews, I don't find this to be hot or overly boozy. Feel is nice and has a smooth carbonation. A little thin. This beer does definitely sneak up on you, though.

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Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another long-time want generously shared by ipa247. Thanks, Jeff. This review is for the 2009 vintage. I was able to sample the original 2005 batch a couple of times this year as well and found it more enjoyable than the '09, with greater oxidation and mellow alcohol and an excellent balance of wood and bourbon flavors.

The beer sits in my glass a near-lifeless mahogany color. Clarity is excellent for such a big barleywine. While the occasional bubble can be seen rising to the surface, this is very lightly carbonated.

This beer absolutely reeks of bourbon barrel, but it's pleasantly warm rather than nostril-singing. Dark fruits, caramel, leather and a touch of earth bring complexity to the table. This smells great.

Bourbon is unsurprisingly dominant on the palate, but there's a huge malt backbone to support the strong barrel character. Sweeter notes of caramel, vanilla and dark fruit are nicely balanced by the woody tannins and sharp alcohol. Full-bodied, syrupy, and perhaps a bit too boozy, but still thoroughly enjoyable. The finish is biting and hot, but not unpleasantly so, though those that dislike a noticeable heat in their beer may find this harsh.

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Photo of weeare138
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to hopdog for breaking this open...
Appears a semi-transparent amber with a small, off-white head that slowly fades out. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of bourbon, caramel, toffee, rock candy, vanilla, flowers, raisins, cherries...very complex stuff.
Taste echoes the aromas with as much complex characters coming through in the form of caramel, ripe fruit, and oaky bourbon.
Mouthfeel is syrupy, sticky, hot, and lovely. This is dessert heaven. More, please!

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Photo of Retail1LO
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Firestone Walker Proprietors Reserve Series snifter

Pours a dark but brilliant garnet shade of dark red, with the scantest of heads despite a straight down the middle pour. Minimal lacing. The nose is incredible. Lush cocoa, vanilla, and dark fruits intermixed with a lovely touch of the bourbon barrel treatment. This is a damn tasty barley wine, I'll say that right now. This is rich in the aforementioned flavors. It's awesome when a beer's nose and taste align this well. It's damn near perfect. The mouthfeel is silky smooth with a sweet finish that's rounded off perfectly by the bourbon. I can't believe for the life of me that this is 14.5% ABV. Where is it? I can't find it. There's booziness to it, but nothing about this beer screams out that it's this goddam big. Overall this isn't just a home run, but a grand slam. Twice over. I'm permanently in search of this. For like, forever.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to Jrallen34 for this one.

Even with an aggressive pour there is no head on this beer. Slight haze and a deep amber color with ruby highlights. No lace.

Aroma is very nice and a nice blend of vanilla, bourbon, alcohol and caramel. A touch of stone fruit as well.

I really enjoy almost everything I’ve tried from Kuhnhenn and this is no exception. Chewy caramel, lots of bourbon and vanilla. A touch of cherry. Lots of layers to the malt. Really nice.

Warming alcohol fairly bold body and slick.

Very nice. In the mood for a barleywine tonight and this really fit the bill.

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Photo of montageman
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Did a tasting of 4 beers yesterday evening over a few hour span. This was the first. Brought to me in a 10 oz tulip. The color is gorgeous - deep red almost like blood (it's necessary for survival) and a small tan head that disspates leaving lacing around the sides of the glass. Smells like bourbon (of course), caramel, chocolate, dark fruit/grapes - no messing around here. Taste is sweet, almost cloyingly so, also some port character, brown sugar, bittersweet chocolate, and alcohol. Mouthfeel is thick & rich, almost chewy with some little carbonation. Aside from the sweetness, this a drinkable BW - very complex. Highly recommended.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Short Review. I've been wanting to try this beer for a very long time and I'm happy to finally get to try, it's very good and it lived up to my high expectations, the bourbon barrel is strong and the barlywine base is just what I want with some nice rich flavors that go well with bourbon barrel. I really need some bottles of this. Highly recommended if you like the style. It's a boozy sipper, but damn is it tasty.

2016 UPDATE. I got a bottle of this 2015 Vintage as a Christmas Gift. Poured from a foiled brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks good, it's got a classy look to it and it's eye catching. It poured a nice brown color that took on more of a caramel color when held to the light with a little under half a fingers worth of bubbly tan head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness with a big bourbon and caramel like aroma being the first to show up and it followed by some vanilla, lots of sweet malts and some dark fruit aromas. Up next comes a little bit of an oak aroma with some raisins coming through and it's got more of that bourbon and caramel coming through along with a noticeable boozy aroma. This beer has a very nice aroma. it's what I would expect for the style and the bourbon was showcased nicely.

T- The taste seems to be very similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of sweetness with the bourbon still being the first to show up and it imparts a nice mixture of bourbon, oak and vanilla flavors that are showcased nice and they are followed by the malts which impart a some caramel and sweet malt flavor. Up next comes a pretty big boozy flavor followed by the raisins which shows up towards the end along with pretty much no bitterness with the sweetness and booze taking it's place with some bourbon, sweet malts, raisins and caramel showing up in the aftertaste. This is a very nice tasting beer, but it's very sweet and boozy.

M- Not the smoothest. pretty warming, pretty boozy, not too crisp, full body with a lower amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel is nice, but i wish it was smoother and not as cloying and boozy.

Overall I thought this was a very nice beer and a very good example of the style, it's very intense that's for sure and it pushes my sweetness and boozy tolerance to the brink. This beer doesn't have the best drinkability, one is the perfect amount for me, but it takes me a long time to get through it. What I like the most about this beer is the taste and aroma, they were very nice and had some great complex flavors and aromas. What I like the least about this beer is the sweetness and boozyness, I know that's how it should be, but I wish it was toned down just a little. I would buy this beer if I had ever had the chance and I would recommend it to anyone who likes big and boozy barrel aged barleywines. All in all I was very happy with this beer and I was impressed how much complexity and rich flavors they packed into this beer. IT's on the better Kuhnhenn beers I've had and it's a great example of the style. Good job guys, this one tasty and intense beer.

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Photo of DrJay
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the brewpub. Clear and brown with reddish highlights. The yellowish, light brown head showed good retention given the gravity and fine bubbles stuck to the sides of the glass throughout. What a beauty. Aromas of toffee, vanilla, wood, light citrus, and mellow alcohol came together nicely. Moderate bitterness that barely keeps up with the other flavours. Lots of toffee and caramel, vanilla, and oak. Hops were quite citrusy, mostly grapefruit, and the bourbon character melded nicely with the alcohol flavour and warmth in the finish. Full bodied with low carbonation, smooth texture with a bit of dryness. Very tasty! The alcohol was really well hidden given the strength of this brew, making for an easy (and dangerous) drink. Another winner from Kuhnhenn.

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Photo of auroracrisis
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 12oz into two snifters.

Amber color with rose highlights and a thin film around the edges of the liquid. Pretty thick and hazy but not opaque by any means.

Toffee and vanilla greet your nostrils then quickly moves into oak and notes of coconut. More bourbon influence is introduced as it moves into a touch of heat and more vanilla. Less sweet than I had anticipated which is a good thing.

Opens with sweet toffee and decadent coconut sweetness. Moves into the more savory barrel and oaky flavors, then onto more bourbon. The bourbon in the beer never becomes boozey at all, and remains a nice compliment to the base beer.

Creamy and full bodied with moderate carbonation.

Great notes of toffee and warming bourbon. Not boozey at all which is a feat for a beer of this abv. Trade for this if you can, it will not disappoint.

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Photo of oline73
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy mahogany with hardly any carbonation. By the time a touch of carbonation has showed up it is off white, but it goes away immediately. 3.5

Smell: Sweet and malty, I'm picking up a bunch of caramel and some bourbon. Smells a bit like barleywine candy. Getting lots of dark fruit as well. 4.5

Taste: Follows from the smell. This beer is a bit hot, but that is to be expected given the fact that it's so young and the abv is so high. Sweet caramel malt with dark fruit and some vanilla notes. Warming bourbon and more sweetness in the finish. Very good. 4.5

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side with mild, tingly carbonation and a slick finish. 4.5

Overall: This beer is fantastic. Really sweet and warm, but that was to be expected. I would like to get some more of this to let it sit for a year or two and see how it is at that point. 4.5

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Photo of waltonc
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a few glasses of this with JoeySchlitz on tap at Kuhnhenn last night. Fantastic stuff. Served too cold in a snifter glass, this poured hazy caramel without much head. At first I wasn't very impressed by this beer, but once it warmed to a proper temperature, it was great. Smells and tastes of bourbon barrel aged goodness, with woody, caramel, toffee, and vanilla notes, as pretty much every bourbon barrel aged barleywine does. But where this really shined in my view is the simple fact that it is so well done - clean, polished, not too much bourbon, not too sweet, not too thick or thin. Everything is just right. And it's really high in alcohol. JoeySchlitz and I were pretty tipsy upon leaving Kuhnhenn last night. Great stuff.

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Photo of gford217
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of masonjer poured into a snifter. I can't thank Jeremy enough for the opportunity to try this rarity.

Pours a dark murky reddish brown with little head outside of a small ring of bubbles that leaves very little remnants.

The aroma is massive and just explodes out of the glass. It has hints of citrus up front but the caramel malts, toffee and brown sugar really dominate. There are hints of dark fruits, bourbon and vanilla as well, though very subtle.

The taste has the same dominant malt backbone with tons of caramel malts and brown sugar. The wood makes itself felt a little more in the taste with some vanilla hints and the finish has a huge bourbon burn that lingers between sips.

The mouthfeel is extremely slick and just coats the mouth with bourbon and sugary sweetness. The carbonation is almost non-existent.

This is a damn fine barleywine and one that I've been looking to try for a while. I got hints of oxidation in the taste but that's really just nitpicking with such a great beer.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees
VINTAGE: 2009
Huge thanks goes out to MasterSki for this one!

This one pours a dark copper color. A thin head of loose bubbles forms and quickly recedes. The lacing is present as an abundant spottiness, which slides down the slick oiliness on the side of the glass back into the liquid.

A thick rich maltiness permeates this snifter of goodness. A definite level of booziness is present, but at 14.50%, that is certainly to be expected. Loads of bourbon presence. A strong vanilla caramel presence, also. Big oakiness. Light hints of maraschino cherries. Lots of golden brown sugar notes along with golden raisins. Nice hints of yeast and spices.
This smells so much like delicious candy, laced with whiskey.

The taste is more spicy than sweet. There is still a lot of brown sugar, caramel, and vanilla in here. They are leveled out by the warmth and spiciness of the bourbon along with the dryness of the oak. Marascino cherries soaked in bourbon with a splash of rum. Lots of raisins and a touch of blackstrap molasses. Very nice hints of dates. There is a nice level of hops here that get all but lost, by the covering booziness. They make a brief, shining appearance right before the finish, only to be swallowed up again by a wonderful bourbon sweetness. The finish itself is on the dry side and has a wonderful warmth which you can feel for quite a while after it is swallowed.

This one is full-bodied, but the carbonation level is light. This provides it with a wonderful smoothness, but it hasn't got any creaminess to it, which I find to be disappointing. With a nice amount of creaminess, this could be perfect.

Okay, so it's true that the high abv will keep you from slamming these down. The beautiful taste will make you want to try, though. It's smooth enough that you might think that you could get away with it, too.
This is a delicious beer and worth the effort to track down, if you aren't afraid of the sweeter side of the glass.

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Photo of Rutager
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Huge thank you to liamt07 for this big big want. 2012 bottle.

Appearance pours a very hazy, deep rusty brown with a very thin collar, no real head to speak of.

Smell. Sweet creamy caramel and toffee, brown sugar and bourbon, just a hint of dark fruit. Sweet and delicious. The bourbon is a nice level, not overwhelming.

Taste. Sweet creamy caramel and toffee again, brown sugar, a little bit of molasses, vanilla and a bit of woody bourbon.

Mouthfeel. Very thick but not too sticky, low carbonation.

Overall. Fantastic stuff. Pretty much a benchmark for a BB bwine.

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Photo of billab914
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured caramel brown in color with just a trace amount of white lacing around the edges of the glass.

The aroma really mixes the barleywine and bourbon barrel flavors well. Notes of caramel, toffee, fig and cherry come out and are complimented excellently by the bourbon, brown sugar, oak and vanilla. Perfect balance of beer and barrel flavors and a fantastic aroma overall.

The bourbon really comes out in the taste. Brown sugar, slightly boozy bourbon, caramel, cherry and plum are all things that come to mind. A nice oaky vanilla flavor comes out in the finish as well as some balancing bitterness helping it from becoming overly sweet. Again, the beer and barrel flavors seem really well balanced and complimenting of each other.

The mouthfeel feels a little thin, but the lack of almost all carbonation could be contributing to that. I like low carbonation in beers like this though, so I'm not really complaining.

Overall I thought it was a really great beer. The barleywine flavors were really good, the bourbon was really good and together they complimented each other excellently. Overall, it really comes together well and was definitely one of the better barrel aged versions of the style I've had.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage. Poured in to Founders snifter.

A - Very dark brown. Only a small ring of light brown head.

S - Loads of dark caramel and toffee up front with some bourbon, oak and vanilla aromas. Hints of chocolate in the background.

T - Sticky toffee, brown sugar and dark caramel up front. The bourbon shows up in the middle with a touch of vanilla. Some oaky/woody flavours are present throughout. Light chocolate flavours show up in the background.

M - Full body. Very light carbonation. Carbonation is a little low but works somewhat well for this beer.

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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 202 ratings.