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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

436 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 436
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: 436 | Reviews: 176 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of raveskdr
raveskdr

Virginia

4.13/5  rDev -7%
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).

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2012 02:19:20 | More by raveskdr
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

4.35/5  rDev -2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2012 08:07:10 | More by jegross2
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2012 02:15:15 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of mulder1010
mulder1010

Australia

4.05/5  rDev -8.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2012 14:15:25 | More by mulder1010
Photo of BostonHops
BostonHops

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
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)

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2012 03:52:12 | More by BostonHops
Photo of jethrodium
jethrodium

California

4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2012 02:06:07 | More by jethrodium
Photo of s1ckboy
s1ckboy

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2012 00:39:54 | More by s1ckboy
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2012 00:54:32 | More by billab914
Photo of portia99
portia99

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2012 00:48:20 | More by portia99
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2012 03:04:49 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of nrbw23
nrbw23

Ohio

4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2012 19:19:28 | More by nrbw23
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

4.63/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2012 01:07:19 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2012 15:13:05 | More by ehammond1
Photo of boralyl
boralyl

Oregon

4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage.

A - Poured into a tulip glass. The beer produces virtually no head, and what does appear fades away quickly. The beer is dark brown with a reddish tint. It's somewhat murky looking.

S - The aroma is full of sweetness and booziness. There is a huge caramel component along with some vanilla and bourbon. The bourbon isn't too strong and I"m surprised I don't get more alcohol in the aroma, based on the high percentage.

M - Full in body and lightly carbonated. The feel is just right, not too thin and not too thick.

T - The alcohol content is a bit more noticeable in the taste. The bourbon is pretty forward with the caramel sweetness taking the back seat. There is a little vanilla present as well.

Kuhnhenn does some amazing barrel aged beers. I didn't really notice any oxidation, despite the ~3.5 years of age. This is a great barrel aged English Barelywine ale, although I prefer their barrel aged 4th Dementia.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 04:49:59 | More by boralyl
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 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 FosterJM
FosterJM

California

4/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1171st Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
12 oz

2011 vintage

Thanks to BdubleEdubleRUN for this one

Shared with GuruDel, jazzpatel, MrHirschybar and BdubleEdubleRUN

App- Pours a very dark orange with pockets of amber and yellow. No head or cling at all. Looked a bit too thin in the glass. Some body was missing.

Smell- Very sweet on the nose. Had a punget sweet booze note that was masked by a malty background with a ton of sugary citrus.

Taste- So somehow after not looking or smelling the part this monster comes to play. The vanilla is upfront with a decent amount of tempered citrus and the malts mellow everything out. The barrel adds some good background flavors to this small but big beer.

Mouth- A well layered medium body with a low medium carbonation. A good amount of oaky sweet vanilla remains.

Drink- In the end, this was actually very tasty. Had a few flaws but was tasty, boozy, grainy and oaky vanilla

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2012 02:43:03 | More by FosterJM
Photo of b3shine
b3shine

Ohio

4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to snifter. Looks good; dark and thick with minimal lacing. Smells great! Bourbon, candied cane, and molasses. Tastes excellent! This brewery really has the barreling down to a science! Mouthfeel is good as well. Overall, a fantastic brew that I really appreciate getting to try.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 01:26:47 | More by b3shine
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 01:05:07 | More by oline73
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 tewaris
tewaris

Minnesota

4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Winter release

12 oz poured into a snifter. Thanks Ron, as always! Poured a deep copper brown with hardly any head. There was quite a bit of sediment, mostly confined to the bottom part of the bottle, and was carefully avoided. For now. Like any robust strong ale, legs were more impressive than the lace.

Have I been drinking too many barleywines? Or too few? Dried dark fruit, toasted coconut, toffee, bourbon, oak summarize the aroma. Taste is similar, but more intense... for one, hops are present, very much so. The sweetness is not as fruity as it is alcoholic and liqueur like, but this beer is not harsh. Not at all. Finishes quite clean with some warmth, and a long taste lingers. Smooth and coating with a very good body, this is a cigar beer all around. Still a notch below King Henry in my opinion. Although a blind tasting will easily expose my refined palate :/

I have not had a single strong beer from Kuhnhenn that I cannot call amazing. I have had my fair share of strong/old/barleywine style ales and only a few of them have seemed worth seeking out again. These beers, unlike a pilsner, have to be chosen with care and consideration because of their ABV. If I had to choose only on the basis of the brewer, I will always pick Kuhnhenn. In line with the pedigree, the Bourbon Barrel Barleywine is an amazing ale, with great balance and drinkability. Perhaps not "THE" barleywine but not too far behind. Love it!

4, 4, 4.5, 4.5, 4

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2012 03:21:56 | More by tewaris
Photo of Fux
Fux

France

4.22/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Opaque, dark brown with mahogany glints. Almost no head. Looks like a solid, strong barleywine...

S: Very powerful nose. Aromas of Port, Bourbon. Chocolate malts along with red fruits (cherry, grapes), dark fruits. Woody, oaky scent. Smells like a solid, strong barleywine...

T: Sharp attack, a bit boozy. Chocolate maltiness. Lots of ripened red fruits, dark fruits. Notes of bourbon, vanilla. Sweet. Big kick of alcohol on the finish.

M: Surprisingly smooth, oily. Powerfully warming. A winter night sipper. But neither sticky nor cloying.

O: Nice beer. Would be glad to see how it ages and if develops these woody notes very present on the nose but slightly hidden by the alcohol on the palate.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2012 20:59:36 | More by Fux
Photo of KevSal
KevSal

California

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

been waiting to try this guy, finally got a chance tonight. big thanks to dblab33 for the hook up. i need to get my hands on more kuhnhenn brews!

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

a- very little head. looks a lot more like a ba wee heavy, like bog water. murky reddish orange brown with nearly no head. doesn't look too spectacular, but its expected.

s- tons of sweet malts, hint of cherry, toffee and a nice whiff from the english barelywine base.

t- loads of flavor on this one! some sweetness from the malts and vanilla from the barrel. not too much Bourbon on htis one but a enough to hint its there. slight alch burn in the finish along with a bit of cherry, which isnt very much at all. these guys hold the secret. certain flavors in there keep this one from beering great, cant put my finger on it.

m- thick bodied, almost chewy. the heftiness works great to layer the flavor on the tongue.

o- very good beer! theres a few things i wish were present, that "something" (which ba 4d seems to nail it just right). if you got the chance, go for it, very nice treat.

edit: woa 14.5! i didn't realize this guy was that high. man these guys are the king of disguising the booze

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2012 08:09:56 | More by KevSal
Photo of perrymarcus
perrymarcus

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
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 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. definitely a sipper. many thanks to abanton for the opportunity.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 04:37:27 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of Rhettroactive
Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From 12oz, gold foiled bottle to Bruges hyrid glass on 1/24/12
*From notes

-- Muchos gracias, TurdFurgison --

Vintage: Winter Solstice 2011

A: Like it's BA brethren BB4D, this looks like a cask ale. When I say I forcefully poured this beer into the glass, I mean I Bobby Brown'ed this son of a bitch down the center of the vessel. Not a mere trace of head or lacing, though I will say there's a minimal collar to it. Unfiltered cider brown in hue.

S: What a spectacular nose. It's eisbiere-like, as every bit of amazingness is jam packed into one concentrated space, fitting beautifully into my nostrils. The overly ripened fruit, warm vanilla and bourbon are outstanding.

T: Beautiful from the get-go. Colorful dried fruit up front, which leads to a slightly sweet mid-palate. The barrel characteristics really evolve and arrive on the back end, as it's quite woody. The lingering finish overflows with creamy caramel, pipe tobacco and a signigigant amount of hearty lees.

M: This in no way comes close to the best BA Barleywines, but it's no slouch, either. It lacks carbonation (which I credit to the barrel aging), and from this, it feels a tad bit thin fo such a big, hefty beer.

O: Kuhnhenn has knocked another barrel aged brew out of the park, as their BBBW is top shelf. They seem to find concentration in their beers that I've never before witnessed, and it's a marvel to behold. Big thumbs up from Rhettroactive - this is delicious stuff.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 19:40:56 | More by Rhettroactive
Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 436 ratings.