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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 Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2007 00:12:54 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour provided by myself at the blind barrel aged barleywine tasting hosted by DarthKostrizer.

Thanks to FINEBEERGUY for this one!

2011 vintage.

Pours a slightly murky brown with a khaki head that fades to nothing. There is no lacing on this one. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and some alcohol. Taste is much better with malt, brown sugar, caramel, wood, and bourbon flavors. There is an alcohol kick in the throat with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a nice smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good barleywine that tastes much better than it smells.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2012 04:41:52 | More by UCLABrewN84
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 womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.05/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to hoppymeal for hooking it up with a 2009 bottle of this recently. Shared with friends at an impromptu CBS tasting last night (man, it feels awesome to say that).

A: The pour is a murky dark amber color with very little in the way of carbonation and little to no head.

S: The nose is very heavy on the bourbon, with plenty of sweet molasses, brown sugar, caramel, with a light touch of chocolate. There is also some noticeable alcohol.

T: Like the nose, the flavor is definitely heavy on the bourbon. There are, however, nice brown sugar, butterscotch, caramel, and chocolate flavors with a hint of alcohol heat.

M: The body is fairly full, and due to the low carbonation, quite smooth and sticky on the tongue.

D: While there is a decent amount of heat to this beer, I still really enjoyed the flavors. I think the vanilla and chocolate oxidation flavors go nicely with the barleywine base. Perhaps it would have been good to let this age for a bit, but it's still enjoyable fresh.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2010 18:02:02 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a very small foamy head with minimal retention and lacing. Aroma of bourbon with distinctive vanilla notes is quite powerful with some deep caramelized sugar notes and lingering sweetness. Taste is also a very interesting mix between some deep bourbon notes with some balanced vanilla and sweet malt notes. Body is quite full with medium to low carbonation and no apparent alcohol. This one is a sipper and I could not consume vast quantities at the same time.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2011 19:10:19 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Kuhnhenn Brewery, 12.27.2009.

Just stopped in to pick up one of the remaining bottles of Fourth Dementia (thanks to all the BA's who pointed this out in the Great Lakes forum), and we were lucky enough to catch the 2009 version of this on tap at the brewery.

7oz pour into a mini snifter.

A: Dark caramel with some closer-to-gold hues. Bronze and a small off-white slash tan head. Moderately transparent, and somewhat of a glow. Minimal lacing.

S: The smell is immediate bourbon. Underneath the bourbon comes a malty balance including caramel, raisins, a bit of dates, hints of vanilla, toffee, and a wee bit of oak. The bourbon was definitely one of the dominant flavors, but didn't quite overpower like it does with the Perfect Storm.

T: Much like the smell, and the complexity really hits you, with each sip revealing more flavors. As the beer warms, the bourbon mellows through, and out comes a bit of malt sweetness, some nice caramelization, toffee, and a bit of woodiness. A touch of spiciness as well.

M: Quite full bodied and the alcohol doesn't come through nearly as much as would be expected from a 14% beer. Nice and chewy throughout.

D: Very, very drinkable. It was quite sad running out of this, and I would absolutely love to get my hands on a bottle to see what a few years does to this one. As it is, I'm quite glad we were lucky enough to catch this one in time--props to my parents for deciding to move to MI and give my wife and I an excuse to stop by and try this one out.

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2009 22:31:48 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Three Floyds tulip pint glass.

Big thanks to therealnomayo for this bottle!

2010 vintage. The final beer this evening, a sort of leftover from our last major tasting. I love having plenty of good bottles around... Anyway, it pours a clear sunset amber topped by a short lived half-finger of dirty off-white foam. The nose comprises buttery toffee, bourbon, and light vanilla. It's rather simple, but pretty tasty. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some light oak and some additional toffee. Damn good stuff here, especially with the alcohol being almost completely masked. The body is a hefty-feeling medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a thickly slick feel. Overall, a beer worthy of the hype it receives. I enjoyed this bottle very much.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2011 00:17:39 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2010 01:08:23 | More by MasterSki
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by beergirl8 in a blind taste test. Thanks.

Beer is dark brown and hazy wtih a thin broken white head of small and large bubbles that fail to rally to form much lacing on the glass. Carbonation appears low. Looks "to style" to me for a bourbon barreled barleywine.

Smell is nice and liquor. There is a lot going on in the aroma of this one, not my favorite out of the three but probably the middle one for me. This one has a lot of complex malts and caramel with raisins and stone fruits all mixed in with some bourbon, fun.

The taste is as complex as the aroma in my opinion with the exception that the taste has more oak in it than the aroma. Maybe I just missed the oak but it is present in the taste. Lead off is sweetness with the stone fruits and raisins to follow. Beer is lighter in body than I expected and finishes a little dry. A good beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2011 21:26:37 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Massachusetts

4.29/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to rudzud for sharing this interesting beast.
2011 vintage.

Pours no head, like nooo head, light legs but not as clingy as I thought, murky weird molasses maroon color.

Nose is incredible, bourbon city, tons of toffee and caramel, nutty, a nice soft aged malt thing too, bit of a raisin and brandy soaked raisin, very light booze warmth, touch of vanilla barrel and great bourbon. Just a faint hint of oxidation which keeps it from epic status.

Taste starts great but has a weird flavor, slight bbq like sauce but very light, perhaps oxidation. Other than that very nice, tons of bourbon and mild vanilla barrel, lots of toffee, caramel, little molasses, more brandy soaked raisin, mild bitterness too. Finish is nice, bit more bitter, hint of warming booze, more toffee, brandy raisins, bourbon and little barrel.

Mouth is a bit thin but not too syrupy, how it has so much and yet not too heavy or boozy, but too light on the carb.

Overall great, just that one bbq sauce possible oxidation thing, otherwise nice bourbon, toffee, brandy raisin, malts, etc.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 03:45:19 | More by jlindros
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.83/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz. bottle, excited to try this, 2009 Vintage,

A: Pours a murky unfiltered brown with a mild head, for an aged barleywine it's solid.

S: Brie and bourbon, it's cheesy definitely a unique smell, off putting at times, but it'll make an impression.

T: Taste is much more straightforward. Sweet bourbon and malt, vanilla, full-flavoured though it is really that one flavour, but the one flavour is very good.

M: Full-bodied, rich, smooth, very mild carbonation. Ethanol is very well hidden, I had no idea this was 14.5%

D: Definitely a good beer, my first from the legendary Kuhnhenn. Definitely has it's good points, I would love to see where this is fresh.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 04:47:45 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured a murky reddish brown color with good carbonation and a nice tan cap

S: Big bourbon influence, plenty of heat with some big dark fruits: i can literally pick them out...figs,prunes and a fresh raisin. Some toffee and, wood and vanilla

T: Heat but not as bad as many beer from this brewery. The sugary sweetness of 4d turned me off but this beer is a bit more balanced and rounded if you can call this balanced lol. Figs, plums, raisins, with toffee, caramel and brown sugar and some Earthy wood notes.

M: Big body, a bit thin on the mouthfeel with heat going down. I felt the body should have been a bit bigger for a beer of this weight

O: Good but not the best. Worth a try for sure.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 16:06:13 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Clark's Ale House.

An incredibly mellow brew. The main flavor and aroma I got pineapple hops. The malt profile was a little too mellow, but there was no trace of alcohol. It was just a smooth sipper. At the end I got some vanilla flavor, but really, the pineapple dominated.

Serving type: on-tap

03-24-2007 05:35:42 | More by tempest
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 01/15/12 notes. Big, big thanks to Thorpe429 for sharing this one, a big Want of mine. Thanks Mike. 2011 vintage I believe.

a - Pours a dark amber-brown color with one inch of white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bourbon, caramel malts, toffee, oak, vanilla, roasted malts, toasted malts, and burnt malts. Some very nice bourbon and caramel in the nose, I like it a lot.

t - Tastes of bourbon, caramel malts, toffee, oak, toasted malts, burnt malts, light fruit and vanilla, and alcohol. Very nice again, though a bit hot, so docking it a bit.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. A nice mouthfeel but docking it a little bit due to some alcohol heat.

o - Overall I thought this was another great barleywine from Kuhnhenn. While I don't think this is as good as 4D and BB4D, I thought it was a ton better than their American Barleywine. Great nose and I bet with some time on it this could become a world class BBA barleywine. Would love to have again.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 20:30:48 | More by mdfb79
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Foofaa for sharing.

A: The barleywine is a pretty orange-brown color that I'd be inclined to call auburn. The fuller body renders the ale opaque.

S: The nose has two distinct features. The first is a strong bourbon aroma, featuring vanilla and brown sugar. The second is an intensely caramel malt presence that has the aroma of an ale brewed with super-heated stones.

T: The malt side stands out upfront, with caramel appearing in alternating strong-weak blasts. Behind the malts, the bourbon lurks. As it comes to full strength, vanilla, dark fruits and brown sugar all appear in succession. The strength of the beer is deceiving, rarely indicating that it is more than 10%.

M: The mouthfeel is softened by a diminished carbonation. The punch of the malts, off and on flavor-wise, is nice.

D: A few sips is good. Anything more and the heavy pricetag kicks you square between the eyes. A full, malt-centric barleywine if ever I've had one.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2010 01:52:09 | More by akorsak
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Huge thanks to Jeff(ipa247) for opening this at our tasting.

Pours a dark caramel toffee brown color with burnt amber edges. Completely still with a faint, very thing ring that quickly fades.

Sweet boozy aroma with a very prominent bourbon presence. Hints of caramel and toffee along with some dark fruit, especially fig, plum and raisin. Again, the bourbon is dominant but you can still smell the oak and other notes.

Very hot and extremely boozy with a ton of bourbon that dominates the flavor and lingers into a long warm finish. Subtle vanilla from the barrel along with some slick caramel toffee sweetness and dark fruit, namely fig, date and raisin. A bit too hot and bourbony and not as well balanced as I prefer but it's a very nice sipping beer that should be savoured slowly.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 22:35:37 | More by corby112
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ The Great Taste of the Midwest (Madison, WI) on 8/14/10. Dispensed from a little keg carried on the back of "Spaceman Todd" during the event.

Pours a murky brownish caramel color, with (to be expected) just a very light smattering of bubbly off-white head which quickly scatters and leaving just the tiniest smattering of light spotty foamy down the sides of the glass. The aroma has a lot going on with it. Cocoa, some dark fruit, burnt smelling molasses, vanilla, and brown sugars notes all make an appearance. There's a good bit of woody tannic character present from the barrel which lends this a green feel in the nose. Unfortunately, the warmth of the barrel is also VERY strong here and threatens to overpower some of the flavors in spots. You gotta' dig deep to get to the goods in this bouquet.

The taste is fairly similar to the nose and if anything, runs maybe even more intense with flavors of chocolate, toffee, fruit, and those unmistakable notes of vanilla and burnt molasses from the bourbon barrel. The woody character is also VERY strong here, giving the overall profile an earthy tannic feel that blends in effortlessly with some very light herbal hop activity that hangs in the background. The mouthfeel is chewy, thick, and hot, and to its credit I guess, it's tough to figure out if the extreme heat is coming from the ridiculous ABV or the obviously very fresh barrels that these were aged in. I'm betting more on the fresh barrels, which is a credit to the depth of flavor here helping cover up the high alcohol in the body.

Still too young and raw to really call this world class, I can definitely see though why the aged 2005 vintage is so highly sought after. Let some of that heat mellow off and this stuff will be outstanding in a couple of years. I'm going to have to seek a bottle or two of this out.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2010 19:35:29 | More by Kegatron
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
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2007 15:10:16 | More by weeare138
Photo of Viggo
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
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2007 03:06:30 | More by DrJay
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Thorpe429 and Amyliz4. Thanks Mike and Amy!

Served in a blind taste test with Alpine Great and Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Barleywine.

A: This beer appears brown and hazy, with a thin, wispy head that leaves a few random traces of lacing on the glass.

S: Bourbon, sweet malt, toffee, caramels, oak.

T: Sweet raisins, plums, toffee, and dark fruits, all soaked in alcohol. This is a potent brew, and well done.

M: Medium-thin in body, with a fairly low carbonation level.

D: A great beer for sharing, or slowly sipping over the course of an hour or two. Perfect for a rainy, wintry day.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2011 21:31:39 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/15/2010

2009 vintage. Bottle received in a trade with Masterski, to whom I still owe beer. Thanks a lot Alex. The beer pours ruddy rust water with a thin layer of bubbles resulting from a vigorous pour rather than carbonation. Thick legs on the glass presage the ABV.

The nose is of figs, dates, vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar. Bourbon is very powerful and alcohol heat is palpable, stinging my delicate nostrils, an offense I don't take lightly. Other notes are of toffee and wood. It smells excellent.

The flavor is boozy caramel with a heavy dose of bourbon. Sweetness is at an upper moderate level but it's never cloying. Figs and dates are perceivable, and vanilla is prominent. Alcohol is painfully evident in the flavor; I taste every bit of the 14.5%. At first I thought that it was at a very tolerable level, but as I made my way through the 12oz bottle it began to wear on me. I suppose it's partially my fault for drinking the entire bottle myself. Warming is evident in the bourbon laden caramel finish. The beer is nearly flat, but it's something I've come to accept with the higher alcohol examples of the style. The mouthfeel is sticky and smooth.

Kuhnhenn's Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine is an enjoyable, albeit potent barrel aged barleywine. I like a high level of alcohol heat in beers of this style, but this became a bit distracting and detracting. If the alcohol abates with age, and precluding an infection in the bottles, I daresay this will be great.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2010 07:45:56 | More by HopHead84
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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.