Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine - Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine
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BA SCORE
95
world-class

188 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 188
Hads: 623
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 4.64%
Wants: 1,231
Gots: 135 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  14.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-17-2003

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 188 | Hads: 623
Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
4.77/5  rDev +10.7%
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. (1,275 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Kuhnhenn snifter. 2011 bottle.

Appearance - Poured vigorously with just a few khaki bubbles. Mostly flat otherwise. Deep red brown with a bit of sediment at the end of the pour.

Smell - Excellent barrel character. Bourbon, lots of charred oak, vanilla. Deep brown sugar. Oxidation has started, but it adds instead of detracts at this point.

Taste - Immediate bourbon alcohol bite. Lots of brown sugar and vanilla. Oak even more present here. There is a slight acidic twang from the barrel, too. Just a little bitterness in the back.

Mouthfeel - Well it's nearly flat. It's also boozy, but I don't mind that so much.

Overall - An immense beer in every respect. Incredible. (704 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2010 bottle in a trade with deyholla. Poured 2/12/13. Deep amber brown pour, somewhat cloudy, and with no head whatsoever. Aroma of plums, vanilla, bourbon, oak, caramel, and toffee. Nice. Hot bourbon up front that smooths into a very sweet vanilla toffee on the back of the palate. Long lingering oaky vanilla. Medium to heavy on the palate. Alcohol warmth is there, but not overly boozy. Never had a fresh one so it could be the age. Unexpectedly smooth for 15.1%. A top barley wine for me. (492 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle into snifter. Thanks for sharing Justin.

Pours a near flat caramel color without any head or sign of bubbles. Caramel, vanilla, leather and tobacco fill my nose with a decent splash of bourbon. Taste follows suit with very smooth flavors. Tobacco and bourbon are warming in the aftertaste. The alcohol is hidden very well despite being nearly 15% and this drinks crazy well. A rich, smooth and sweet (but not cloying) barrel aged sipper. Thanks again Justin. (471 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.64/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes.

The color is a ruby caramel brown with a transparent tan edge. A small off-white cap leaves only an island after a few moments.

The aroma is sweet, deep, and complex. Bourbon, caramel, lots of vanilla, and oak.

The flavor unwraps slowly, bringing out new layers as it warms. Caramel, toffeet, and a bit of bready malt contribute to a sweet front. There is some oak and vanilla next. As the sip comes to a close, a bourbon presence really steps up and dominates. It causes some tingling of the tongue, burn in the back of the throat, and warming of the stomach. I can handle a strong bourbon presence, but this is almost over the top. It might get better with some significant age on it.

Other than that, this is a big-bodied barleywine, with enough booze and intensity to take on the strongest beer aficionado. (828 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on-tap at Kuhnhenns.

appearance- brownish and no visible head upon serving. slight lacing along the sides as i drank.

smell-mostly bourbony as expected. other than that I smelled vanilla and some toffee maybe a little bit of weaker fruits such as figs.

taste- the bourbon is definitely the strongest and the first taste but it is quickly followed by the vanilla and the barleywine style. toffee and vanilla are the most prevalent. the alcohol comes in strong in this brew but it is expected and balanced well by the other tastes

mouthfeel- medium to thicker body and low carbonation. its not to thick for a bourbon barleywine and not overly sticky. overall it felt very good as a sipper.

overall- great beer. not dominated by the bourbon but not understated. a good and tasty bourbon barleywine. the strength in taste comes as bourbon but the vanilla and toffee catch up easily. my first kuhnhenns and definitely not my last! a good and balanced bourbon barleywine. easliy worth the price i paid (~$8 per 12 oz) (1,017 characters)

Photo of Chaney
4.92/5  rDev +14.2%
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. (1,118 characters)

Photo of Jules11788
4.61/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a murky mahogany brown; no head, no lacing

S: Smells of sweet sticky bourbon-infused caramel/toffee; strong woody notes pervade the background with hints of bananas, figs, and leather. Smells incredible

T: Deliciously sweet bourbon-y maple syrup, candied dark fruits, smoky wood. The flavors are strong and perfectly balanced

M: Med-thin viscosity, oily, slick; very slight hint of booze on the tongue, but warms nicely as it goes down. This is the only aspect of this beer that falls short, as I would have liked a thicker, chewier mouthfeel

O: This beer is beyond fantastic, definitely the second best barleywine I've ever had behind King Henry. Highly recommended (679 characters)

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed this blind, thanks to abraxel... 2011 vintage...

A: Pours a murky brown, with absolutely no head at all, just some thin whisps across the top of the beer. No lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is sweet of malt, caramel, figs, dates, and vanilla. It’s a nice mélange of those notes.

T: It’s sweet to start, with the beer getting a little funky in the middle (but in a good way). I get malt and caramel up front. I get the fruit notes (fig and date) in the middle, and I get some seaweed like funk in the back end. Seaweed notes tend to turn me off, but this is actually really pleasant.

M: Full bodied beer. Sweet and syrupy, coating, and mild linger on the back end. Not an easy drinker, but it’s very enjoyable.

O: Really nice beer. I’d have to be in the mood to want to open this beer, but it’s really good. (832 characters)

Photo of papat444
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

***2011 Vintage***

Thanks to Masterski for this one.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle and split with my wife.

Appearance: A rusty brown body with minimal head though it does leave a nice slick sheet as the glass is tilted.

Smell: Intense, sweet fruit notes, pungent plums and apricot, bourbon is a nice compliment and it's not too boozy.

Taste: I taste a wave of flavors: bourbon, oak, dark cherries (no tartness), sweet berries, smoky wood, coconut. There's probably more but this is really good.

Mouthfeel: First sip lets you know what this is as it is a bit boozy but not overly heavy. Ultra smooth in the palate remarkably.

Overall: A top notch barleywine. Could use a few of these for the upcoming winter :) (713 characters)

Photo of joefuzz
4.82/5  rDev +11.8%
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. (586 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 opened next to Bligh's. My last bottle :(

Much darker body than Bligh's: dark brown/black, minimal beads of white head & lace. Boozy, complex aroma showcases the bourbon character amidst sweet malts. Alcoholic, yet age-y and fantastic.

Plenty of bourbon against the barleywine backbone. Tons going on here: caramel sweetness, bready, barrel character, boozy warmth. Among the best barleywines I've ever tasted; I actually prefer this over KH. Truly unfortunate that I don't have any more of these :( (506 characters)

Photo of raveskdr
4.14/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally got a chance to try this. Big ups to Thorpe429 for getting me a bottle. Served in a FFF Teku glass.

A - Mahogany brown with some reddish undertones. Slight carbonation that recedes to the edge of the glass.

S - Sweet caramel and the bourbon from the barrel dominate the smell. Slight vanilla as well.

T - Sweet caramel up front, from the barrel and from the malt. Vanilla in the mid palate and on the back end. Slight alcohol burn, which is to be expected.

M - Very velvety and smooth. Good carbonation for the size of the beer, and a good lingering sweetness.

O - I really like this one. Just a super solid bourbon barley wine. Definitely up there near my favorites. This is from 2011 so it has a bit of time. On the second tier of BBBW (only 1st/god tier BBBW is King Henry, imo). (795 characters)

Photo of jegross2
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing the 2011 vintage of the Bourbon Barrel Barleywine from the Kuhnhenn Brewing Company out of Michigan.
Score: 96

2011 vintage bottle served in a Three Floyds teku glass and enjoyed on 08/13/12. A huge thanks to Ben for hooking me up with a bottle of this majestic beer.

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany, burnt chestnut color that is translucent with a ruby caramel hue and a gorgeous yellow to chestnut brown fade when held up to the light. Absolutely no head at pour save for a thin tan bubbly ring around the glass at pour, even though I tried hard pouring this beer. Minimal oily lacing with good spotty cling. 4.5/5

Smell: Holy moly! This one instantly reminds me of King Henry. Huge notes of bourbon soaked raisin, vanilla, brown sugary caramel/molasses, and dark fruit. The vanilla flavor is light and fluffy and dessert like, but it is bold and perfectly complementary to the dark fruit aromas of the beer. Some toffee and even a little milk chocolate comes out as the beer warms. There's a very subtle woodiness in the nose too. The nose is incredibly malty and sweet, but for it's just so...inviting! The beer never seems "too sweet" at any point. There are ample bourbon notes in the noose that are rich and robust. Seriously, this aroma is just as good as King Henry's.5/5

Taste: Taste is the same as the nose but with a little more brown sugar and bourbon flavor upfront. The flavors are big, bold, malty and delicious. The sweet maltiness of the beer gets a little boozy as the beer hits room temperature, and I found the beer best enjoyed slightly chilled. The beer is less balanced on the palate than it was in the aroma, but the blend of desserty vanilla and sweet raisin flavors here is absolutely unreal. For all the malty booziness that comes through on the tongue as the beer warms up, you would never guess this one was nearly 15% ABV. I could imagine that a little more time to smooth out the "booziness" of this brew could turn this into something even better. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: An absolute lack of carbonation is the great downfall of this beer. I expect my heavy ABV beers to be low in carbonation, but Kuhnhenn seems to be trying to rival the Lost Abbey's "psst"-less bottles here. Full bodied with an oily and viscous mouthfeel that seems to border on "syrupy" based on how sticky it feels at times. Malty sweet finish. 2/5

Overall: A big and bold barrel-aged beer -- which is just how I like them! This beer would likely rival King Henry for the crown of best barleywine that I have ever had if it had even a modicum of carbonation. I really need to try this one on tap.

Recommendation: Seek this one out and enjoy with friends. This beer is likely a bit too bold for the casual beer drinker.

Pairings: Filet Mignon.

Cost: $8 for a 12 oz bottle. (2,790 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (563 characters)

Photo of mulder1010
4.06/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip
Got in Black booty volume 5
shared with mrkennedy ( good idea in retrospect)

A-- Poured a deep, dark amber brown. Great looking ruby hues to this. Little to no head at all. Just a thin layer of film with this. Lots of spotty lacing on the sides of the glass and ABV legs.

S-- Holy crap!!! Rich bourbon, total kick in the ass smell. Big amounts of bourbon, melted brown sugar, Carmel, vanilla, toasted oak and dark fruits. Spent several minutes just smelling the nose on this.

T-- Matches the nose but bigger. Sublime taste as just blends very well together with the barrel. Still get the dark fruits and bits of strawberry jam. Not a lot of hops so a dead give away that this is more slanted to an English Barleywine. Kick ass beer.

M-- Rich, thick, decadent. Sublime really. Silky smooth. Biggest fault is the obvious alcohol. Very obvious sipper, still quite smooth though. Heavy feel and low carbonation. Honestly a beast of a beer.

O-- Damned good. One is enough though. Heck, honestly this beer is a monster. Would love to have again. Not as good or as rounded as MOAS, or older vintages of Arctic Devil but pretty much a world class beer worth looking for and hording as much as possible (1,233 characters)

Photo of BostonHops
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a murky, deep amber / mahogany tone while yielding no head. as others have noted, for a big EBW this comes as no surprise. nose is outstanding with a huge bourbon wallop right off the bat followed by bold notes of caramel, brown sugar, then some vanilla, oak, and a dark fruit presence.

taste follows the aroma. lots of robust bourbon-y, caramel-y, brown sugary goodness with the vanilla, oak, and dark fruit joining in the background. very sweet, though doesn't cross the line into cloying. boozy in the finish, but that 14.5% ABV is hidden well. chewy, full bodied mouthfeel with low carbonation.

overall, outstanding. very tasty barrel aged EBW. one to sip and savor.

(originally reviewed: 01-30-2012) (747 characters)

Photo of jethrodium
4.19/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle generously shared by colonelforbin. Thanks Mike. Pours a dark brown with very small white head that settles to a ring and leaves close to no lacing on the glass. The aroma is big caramel, toasted marshmallow, bourbon, toasted oak, and vanilla. The taste is sweet with oak, caramel, bourbon, toasted marshmallow, and vanilla. The finish has a bit of lingering oak. Medium-full body. Low carbonation. Quite enjoyable. (428 characters)

Photo of s1ckboy
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
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. (408 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (1,286 characters)

Photo of portia99
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle (2010 vintage - 15.1% ABV) poured into a Cigar City snifter.

A - Pours an astonishingly clear and bright mahogany color that is just beautiful in the glass. A small fizzy and soda-like head makes a brief appearance before falling to the surface leaving only the thinnest of collars on the edge of the glass. Fizziness and lack of any lasting head are minor detractors here sadly.

S - Smooth brown sugar, caramel, vanilla bean...almost like creme brulee in overall effect. A bit of burnt sugar comes on with a mild bourbony alcohol hit rounds things out. This smells outstanding!

T - Very nice and well rounded flavors. First sip hits with rich caramel and brown sugar surrounded by smooth bourbon. Quite vanilla'y, overall sweet and dessert-like with hints of raisins. Alcohol is evident but exceptionally smooth.

M - Body is medium-full and carbonation is tingly but still at a relatively low level. Alcohol is quite smooth, but there is no doubt about the 15% here. Quite a sipper...it is boozy and almost spirit like. There is a definite warmth and tingle left on the lips and tongue from the alcohol. Very much a dessert in a glass.

O - Overall, an excellent BA Barleywine...barreling is well done. Hops really don't play much of a role in the beer at all - the barrel is the balancing element against the sweetness of the malt. The malt is candy-like, sweet and complex with many different sugary impressions made. The bourbon gives this a kick that it needs and really cuts thru the sweetness to bring this back into balance. Very well done...but I didn't really expect anything less from this one. (1,621 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.66/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage. Big thanks to Urbancaver for hooking me up.

3.5 A: Murky dark brown color. Just a quarter finger of tannish head than falls quickly and leaves very little lacing. Kuhnhenn has little time to worry about their beers asthetics.

5.0 S: Aggressive, complex, yet extremely complementary. Thick, rich caramel and toffee. Huge raisin, tobacco, plum, prune, and date slap the smell receptors silly. Only mildy boozy despite the huge ABV. Bourbon and barrel add more complexity to an already superbly complex base. Leather, light peat, earth, and melon fruits in addition to oak and vanilla from the barrel.

4.5 T: Tastes like the nose, but isn't as aggressive (how could it be, really?). Huge raisin, prune, tobacco, plum and all that jazz. Again the booze is hidden very well. Big sweetness, but nothing out of hand and definitely not Bruery level. Leather, peat, earth, melon, vanilla, oak. Wonderful taste.

4.5 M: Heavy body. Carbonation is on the lower end of acceptable. Rich, palpable thickness without necessarily being overly chewy.

5.0 D: A taste could have also been a 5.0, so I'll add it here. Really wonderful beer. Kuhnhenn are masters at hiding booze while delivering the amount of flavor that you can only get from a huge ABV beer. Not quite as good as BB4D, but damn close. (1,323 characters)

Photo of nrbw23
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark ruby red color with a very thin head. Head becomes a thin ring and leaves pretty much no lacing.

S- Not a whole lot here going on compared to some of the others. Quite a bit of sweetness, sugary, oats, vanilla and booze.

T- Vanilla, oats, a touch of citrus, burnt sugar, wood and booze.

M- Medium in body and low carbonation.

O- This is a good beer for sure. I enjoyed this one. (398 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.64/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to bierenutz for hooking this one up. put a 2010 and 2011 in the fridge, starting out with the 2010 and will hopefully move onto the 2011, but after 15.1%, not sure i'll be able to tackle a 14.5%, but hey, it IS monday...isn't it? enjoyed out of my kuhnhenn snifter.

2010
a - popped the bottle and filled my glass, the brew poured a rich mahogany caramel color with a fingers worth of greyish creamy head that fizzled away in less than a minute leaving a small ring of bubbly head around the surface of the brew. no lacing to speak of whatsoever. pretty much what i'd expect for a beer this big.

s - as soon as i popped the bottle i could smell this gem. in a word perfection. caramel soaked in bourbon. a really perfect blend. great sweetness. nuttiness. really just a magical blend. the heat is invisible in the nose.

t - the taste is just as spectacular as the nose, but the heat is a bit more evident. for a 15.1% beer though, this is WELL hidden. excellent english barleywine with toffee and caramel like malts.

m - the heat can really be felt in the aftervibe. my mouth tingles with delight of the booze that has just gone down my gullet. SUPER smooth...super amazing.

o - overall, i am blown away. all this talk of king henry and abacus/sucaba, and even BB4D to a large extent. where are the people screaming from the rooftops about BBBW (i do know that there are a few of you out there though). can't wait to rip open the 2011...the plan is to open it when i have an ounce or two of this left for comparison. fingers crossed that i can handle all that dynomite brew tonight.

*** ** ***
2011 (side-by-side with a few ounces of 2010 saved for comparison)

a - 2011 looks a bit deeper and darker and more purple.

s - there is a distinct difference in the smell, the 2010 clearly carries more booze when compared to the 2011, but both hide it magnificently. the 2011 has a stronger sweetness presence, but the 2010 is far more complex (and also warmed up a bit, so perhaps things will change). much more nutmeg in the 2011.

t - wow, the 2011 might taste better. in the side-by-side, the 2010 tastes much more boozy. the 2011 is just phenomenal (both are really). both are balanced amazingly. both exhibit everything you want in an english barleywine and HUGE ABVs that are well masked and masterfully crafted.

m - just as smooth as the 2010, the booze is just as well hidden. the 2011 clearly has less booze in a side-by-side.

o - choosing a favorite between the two is like choosing a favorite child...just not possible. they each have characteristics that are amazing and both have similarities that are just top of the heap.

ISO more of this beer. (2,676 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

Thanks for providing this one, UCLABrewN84!

Blind Tasting and Review

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

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

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

Medium bodied with low carbonation.

Fantastic. This ranked as one of the highest in our blind barrel-aged barleywine tasting. (886 characters)

Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.