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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine - Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley WineKuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine

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

509 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 509
Reviews: 180
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.56%
Wants: 1,175
Gots: 100 | FT: 8
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: 509 | Reviews: 180 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Steimie
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Steimie, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of DaveJanssen
2.5/5  rDev -43.7%

DaveJanssen, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of MaseFace
4.75/5  rDev +7%

MaseFace, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of HopsMatt
4.75/5  rDev +7%

HopsMatt, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of Chaney
4.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

2010 Vintage served in a snifter.

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

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

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

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

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

Chaney, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of Jules11788
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
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

Jules11788, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of beerhan
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

beerhan, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

trxxpaxxs, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -9.9%

t0rin0, Oct 19, 2012
Photo of papat444
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
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 :)

papat444, Oct 10, 2012
Photo of WorldWideStout
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

WorldWideStout, Sep 18, 2012
Photo of mhenson42
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

mhenson42, Sep 05, 2012
Photo of joefuzz
4.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

joefuzz, Sep 03, 2012
Photo of brystmar
4.38/5  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 :(

brystmar, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of raveskdr
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).

raveskdr, Aug 25, 2012
Photo of jegross2
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.

jegross2, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of birchstick
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

birchstick, Aug 02, 2012
Photo of Rollzroyce21
4/5  rDev -9.9%

Rollzroyce21, Jul 30, 2012
Photo of danp14
5/5  rDev +12.6%

danp14, Jul 18, 2012
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
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.

TheSevenDuffs, Jul 17, 2012
Photo of leschkie
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

leschkie, Jul 11, 2012
Photo of mulder1010
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

mulder1010, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of BostonHops
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)

BostonHops, Jun 23, 2012
Photo of jethrodium
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.

jethrodium, Jun 23, 2012
Photo of s1ckboy
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.

s1ckboy, Jun 23, 2012
Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 509 ratings.