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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine - Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

481 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 481
Reviews: 179
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.56%
Wants: 1,150
Gots: 98 | FT: 9
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: 481 | Reviews: 179 | Display Reviews Only:
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 TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

3.4/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010 version, from the 2010 Winter Solstice, something like $7.50 each if I remember correctly. I brought this to a little tasting on a Wednesday night in northern OH.

It pours very clear, with a nice dark amber color and a fairly thin head. The smell is really strong and sweet. Someone mentioned sugary cookie dough and I think that fits pretty well. Almost sickly sweet, with brown sugar and lots of malt, also a barrel component that stays in front of the aroma.

IMO this is NOT an English Barleywine, this is a STRONG tasting American style barleywine. Not so much in liquor, the barrel presents more with vanilla oaky flavors. Loads of sweet sugary malts, sweet to a fault really. Everyone else seemed to like it more than me, guess I don't have the correct disposition for this beer style. The alcohol is pretty noticeable too which is another negative for me.

Light carbonation, decent body but who cares. The massive flavors are the draw here. I think this could definitely benefit from a few years of mellowing.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2011 04:05:30 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

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

From the 2010 Winter Solstice.

A - Beautiful deep red color that goes amber/yellow on the edges. One finger of white head that instantly disappeared and left a loose ring on the outside. Miniscule traces of lace randomly and sparsely left on the glass.

S - Big caramel smell on this, with deep notes of vanilla and barrel. A lot of brown sugar and roasted malts, with some dark fruits.

T - Nose follows the taste, as it is a caramel and brown sugar bomb. There is a really big nut taste to this, not sure where that is coming from. Vanilla is big on the end, with some oak. Alcohol is buried.

M - Pretty close to full bodied and smooth. Lower level carbonation.

D - Super easy to drink at 15.1% (what this batch says on the bottle). This is a great beer, but having had an earlier version, not nearly as good or complex. Maybe it just needs a bit of time.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2011 05:45:06 | More by AgentZero
Photo of webmanspidey
webmanspidey

Michigan

4.03/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is the 2008 Barleywine release at 2010 Winter Solstice.. 12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Color is a translucent reddish brown without much head whatsoever. Smell is very sweet with lots of caramel, acidity, toffee, bourbon, and alcohol.

Taste is heavy on bourbon with loads of vanilla, caramel, molasses, and oak. Alcohol is intense here, as there is a noticeable burn at the finish. Little to no carbonation in the mouthfeel.

Very tasty, but intense.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2011 03:34:42 | More by webmanspidey
Photo of ColdPoncho
ColdPoncho

Ohio

4.05/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Winter Solstice 2010. ABV on bottle listed as 15.1%

A - the pour is a light amber color, but the body fills out to a more robust reddish color with a modest ring of foam around the edge. it's mostly translucent, with hints of orange light peeking through.

S - I could smell it as soon as I started pouring - lots of malt. Up close, the bourbon is the first thing you get, then some vanilla, wood, and alcohol.

T - Bourbon and vanilla and wood, and a touch of raisins are the first things you get. If you look hard enough, behind all of this there is a strong malty character of a barleywine. But overall, this tastes like bourbon and booze. There's a dryness to it, which might be hop-induced, but I think it's more from the wood.

M - very smooth and creamy, a really big beer.

D - This is too powerful, and with too strong a taste of alcohol (let alone the effect of it) to be highly drinkable. It is smooth and tasty, of course, but still something that will have to be respected and not drank quickly.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2011 22:09:45 | More by ColdPoncho
Photo of GoGriz
GoGriz

Massachusetts

4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love Bourbon Barrel Barleywines and some just taste better than others. This is one of them.

Pours a super dark copper color with a thin filmy head that hangs around for a bit. The smell is of fig and dark fruit, brown sugar and caramel bourbony goodness. Hints of vanilla follow. The flavor is like the nose only balanced by a mild hop presence at the back end. My only knock on this beer is that it could be more decadent (a heavier, more extreme flavor profile) and I would imagine that in time it will be. I have an 08' that I will drink and compare this with later. Mouthfeel is perfect with a good creamy heft and nice carbonation. Drinkability is hard to judge...can you give a 15% beer a 5 on drinkability?

Do yourself a favor and track this down. If this beer was a woman, well you know....

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2011 00:22:56 | More by GoGriz
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 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 msubulldog25
msubulldog25

Oregon

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

A chilly Sunday night, watching the pathetic battle between the 6-9 Seahawks and 7-8 Rams. Dulcet sounds of banjo lessons in the background (my wife's first session with a friend of ours). A good night for a hearty beer.

2009 version, 12 oz. bottle poured to a snifter; 'ALABAMA' in blocky silver font across the black cap. Another cheap-looking printer-quality label that belies the quality of beer inside. Big thanks to hoppymeal for sending this a couple months back.

A: Warm sienna/chestnut orange, subtly hazed and cut gently by tiny carbonation. Hardly any head, just a swirling and breaking skimcoat of powdery tan. Slinky ring, no lace whatsoever.

S: Oh my ~ PLENTY of sweetness in the nose, a surge of maple-syrupiness and vanilla erupting from the glass. Bourbon and raisins with a lilting, almost perfumed, woody undertone.

T: Candy: creme brulee, vanilla beans, boozy fruit and spicy/brown-sugary bourbon. What starts overtly sweet and grain-forward mellows wonderfully, revealing a more savory woodiness and a remarkably dry, even peppery finish. Balance and depth are both spot-on - just a delicious barleywine that's drinking wonderfully 1+ year after its release.

M: Remarkable feel, just a 'wow'-inducing creaminess. Velvety, trace bits of woody coating, lingering sugars. Soothing heat approaches slyly, building gradually without ever dominating - amazing for a beer as sizable as this. Impossibly velvety and smooth.

D: Big aroma and flavor, balanced enough for a barreled barleywine but skewed well toward sugariness. A wonderful sipper that'd be a treat to have again. Just like it was a treat to have tonight. Great job, Kuhnhenn, and thanks again, Derek.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2011 04:09:37 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of glazeman
glazeman

Pennsylvania

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

Huge thanks to my brother for picking this up from the Kuhnhenn winter solstice release! This is the 2010 version coming in at 15.1%

A: Murky brown in color with a ¼ finger light tan head that fades quickly into a swirl of bubbles and a crown that remained for the duration of the drink. Pretty much what I had expected from this beer and near perfect.

S: There's a lot of bourbon on the nose. Other than that there's some oak, maple syrup, and cabernet.

T: Nice balance of caramel, vanilla, and bourbon. What surprised me the most was that the finish was pretty dry. There's a tad of alcohol head here, but not very much. There's also a little bit of nuttiness here.

M: Low carbonation, but that's how I like a 15% ABV beer. This one is smooth and sits well on the tongue.

D: There's no real alcohol presence in the taste, but there's a warming sensation that goes down my throat and into my stomach as I drink this beer. Perfect for a winter night. With the excellent taste and feel this has "dangerous" drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2010 06:13:00 | More by glazeman
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

3.83/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Jeff (ipa247) for this one. 2009 vintage. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Darkness snifter.

A: Extended pour yields a single layer of off-white colored coarse bubbles that dissipates quickly, forming a single ring along the side of the glass. Beer is a cloudy brownish mud/clay. Lacing is stringy and with no stick.

S: Bourbon barrel aging is prominent in the nose. Big oak and vanilla upfront. Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and roasted malt. Some prunes in there also. Rather subtle but rich and sweet at the same time.

T: Caramel, chocolate, brown sugar, and toffee upfront. Roasted malt. Very rich with a strong malt backbone. Relatively hot. Prune and raisin in the background with a nice, subtle, dark chocolate bitterness. Finishes with an alcoholic spiciness. Pleasant brown sugar and caramel aftertaste.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Bubbles are detectable but oily and dense on the palate overall. Smooth going down with a detectable bit of heat. Finish is accented and aftertaste lingers.

D: A very solid representation of the style. Notably, what sets this apart from the best in its class is that lack of richness and integration of flavor. This one's a bit rough around the edges and all the ingredients don't seem to have melded with one another yet. Bal-aging also seems to imparted a bit too much heat. Still, a very good beer and I'm glad to have had the chance to try it.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2010 21:39:51 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of joshuaseresse
joshuaseresse

Minnesota

4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by my homie Brian, thanks a lot man. Poured into a snifter:

A - Pour produces really no head but only bubbles around the edges. Brown cream, little murky and cloudy.

S - Sweet and delicious bourbon barrel, caramel and brown sugar. Stingy sensation to the nostrils. Dark fruits abound.

T - Creamy and sweet bourbon and creamy vanilla, brown sugar. Oak and earthy, tingly barrel.

M - Tingly and velvety. Nice cream feel, which is very nice. I like this a lot but there is a bit lack of carbonation.

D - Very good and a great bbbw. I wish I had more. Typical taste and feel of a Kuhnhenn brew which is never bad. Must get more...

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2010 19:11:02 | More by joshuaseresse
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 mcallister
mcallister

Ohio

4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the 2005 batch that has been in my cellar since release.

This is a dense, deep garnet, opaque and just plain dirty looking with almost no carbonation.

Nose is wonderful, full of dried sweet fruits of date, raisin, prune, and fig with large toffee reserves and caramel. Hints of milk chocolate, than a burst of vanilla and bourbon too round things out.

Beers really don't get much better than this. The bourbon and vanilla character is very well done and just adds a layer of complexity to the rich malt backbone instead of taking the lead role like so many barrel aged beers do. Tastes almost identical to the nose with a bit of acidity and warmth in the mouth and chest. Love english style barley wines and this one is one of the best I've ever had. Very sweet but not cloying, the epitome of an after dinner/dessert beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 20:31:55 | More by mcallister
Photo of Khazadum
Khazadum

Illinois

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

HUGE props to Alex for busting this out at his impromptu tasting. This bottle is the 2005 vintage. A hefty pour hit my GI tasting glass.

A- Fantastic off-mocha head caresses my glass with minuscule carbonation noted from the body of the liquid. It fizzles down to a faint skin but the lacing on this bad boy is amazing. It sticks like molasses at times. Caramel apple sauce body color.

S- Whoo heavy bourbon after all this time aging. After the spirit smells I find a mixture of sugar and sweets. Its like a big basket of goodies. Raisins that have been breaded in brown sugars. Apples coated in toffee.

T- Initially sour with the fruity nature of apples. Not much brown sugar or raisins here but definitely bourbon to balance everything out as expected.

M- For a bourbon barrel aged beer this is unbelievably smooth. It has an average body that compliments the flavors well. It clearly helps define the flavor profile and generates that somewhat enjoyable finish.

D- I'd definitely say that there is no problem drinking this beer. I want more even and would put away two in a night. I can't believe it is 14.5%.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2010 03:57:53 | More by Khazadum
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

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

A HUGE thanks to my boy Alex(masterski) for yet another hook up.

2005!!! version...A darkish brown, watery though, semi clear, not much carbonation...The aroma here is unreal, its almost all dark liquid brown sugar, so nice and sweet but with a bite, light wood on the finish, a little vanilla...The taste is almost equally amazing, brown sugar, vanilla is more pronounced, light wood finish. Super easy to drink.

This is the second best bw I've had, right below Wooden Hell.

2010 Version, unreal aroma that is Dr. Pepper mixed with pure malt, awesome.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2010 19:23:12 | More by jrallen34
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 prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

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

Vintage 2009

Many thanks to Beerisheaven and JessetheHutt for the bottles.

Bourbon Barrel Barleywine pours a darker, caramel brown. It's full of haze, but has some reddish highlights with backlighting. A very modest, off-white head tops it off. It's barely a surface covering. Retention was on the short side, and lacing was very light.

The nose is very impressive. It has a very rich smelling, sweet caramel malt base. Bourbon is fairly moderate, but easily noted. It complements the sweet, caramel scent very well and isn't overbearing in the least. Dark fruit notes of plum, raisin, and fig are secondary and smell fantastic. A little oak and vanilla creep in the mix late. I'm not getting much in terms of hops. No huge surprise there. Alcohol is noted, but is blended well for 14.5%. This is very deep, complex smelling beer. I might add...it smells delicious.

The flavor is likewise excellent. It has a sweet, caramel malt base that's quite sturdy. Brown sugar is noted and is a nice touch. Bourbon plays its role perfectly. It's moderate in terms of strength, and is a perfect complement to the variety of flavors. Oak and vanilla add nice depth, as well. A little cherry and dark fruit flavors of fig, raisin, and plum emerge. The flavor profile seems to grow deeper with each sip. It's impressive. Alcohol is definitely noted, and runs a tad warm. It's a big, kick-ass Barleywine, so it doesn't have a negative impact on the flavor, but it is there. Finishes sweet, with a tangy, dark fruit aftertaste...and a bit of alcohol warmth.

Bourbon Barrel Barleywine has a thick body that's somewhat chewy. Carbonation is very, very light. It definitely has a smooth feel. I wouldn't mind a few more bubbles though. For such a big beer, drinkability is good. It does run a tad warm, but it's relatively easy drinking. At 14.5% abv though, you must tread lightly.

Kuhnhenn's Bourbon Barrel Barleywine was something I sought out for a long, long time. I had high expectations, and they've mostly been met. This is a fantastic Barrel-aged Barleywine. I don't know how long it was in barrels, but it was the perfect amount of time. The bourbon flavor is spot-on and works perfectly. The only qualms I have are perhaps too few bubbles and a little too much alcohol. Small gripes. This is fantastic beer. Seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2010 00:10:13 | More by prototypic
Photo of JoeySchlitz
JoeySchlitz

Colorado

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

Many thanks to Waltonc for the hookup of a couple bottles of the 2009 vintage.

Poured into my trusty Hopmonk snifter. A fairly still beer with minimal head, almost non-existent, which settles into a thin ring at the perimeter of the glass. When put in front of my computer screen, a burnt sienna glow shines through the glass, a little lighter at the edges. An initial sniff into the glass reveals a medley of aromas: a strong fusel-alcohol, butterscotch, caramel, and brown sugar. A healthy amount of barrel is also mixed in and gives a bit of a funkiness.

The taste is more alcohol bite at first, then caramel, brown sugar, a very faint bit of hops, and some candied sugar. There are some faint rum-soaked fruits lingering in there as well. Although sweet, it is not overpowering and works well with the medium viscosity of the beer. Very light carbonation is present.

Overall this is a very good barrel-aged barley wine, but I think that it has fallen off a bit since the first bottle that I opened and when I had it on tap at the brewery this past winter.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2010 03:37:02 | More by JoeySchlitz
Photo of steve8robin
steve8robin

Massachusetts

3.28/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Review # 200. I love the Barleywines and have been looking forward to this for a long time. Let's give this big beast a go. 2009 Vintage 12oz bottle split with my beer bud...

A: Deep murky butterscotch brown with no head and a tiny lace atop the brew. Kind of looks like liquid caramel. Very good.

S: Heavy bourbon blended awesome with toffee. Some thick dark fruits in the middle. Apple, grape, plum, raisin. Heavy booze bite on this. Super hot smell. I get some walnut and almont scents on the backend. Good.

T: Holy hot burn Batman! Immediate dry alcohol bite blended with some bitter hop on the back. Hints of toffee / caramel in the middle. A lot less complex than I expected. The boozy bourbon just melts all other flavors away. Hard to pick out many different tastes with such a boozy bite to it. Man, did this disappoint. Ok.

M: Super thick dry body. Leaves some decent flavor on the palate. Good.

D: Eh, as easy as drinking Petron straight. Warming, but not an easy one to get down.

All in all, man, this one started good and went downhill from there. This is like drinking straight hard liquor. I'm not even sure if age would help settle this one down enough to improve it. This, to me, is not a good example of a good barleywine. Strong barleywine? Yes. Not too complex because all of the flavors are buried by the liquor. I'd say that this one was definitely not worth hunting down. Don't bother here. You will trade a lot and get a little. Only try once if you have access. Otherwise, don't bother.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2010 01:13:02 | More by steve8robin
Photo of ucusty
ucusty

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Stopbarking for this one! As a bonus! Very generous of you! Vintage 2009. Hazy copper pour with a thin tan head. Aroma is creamy, vanilla, bourbon and toffee. Caramel, toffee, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, and dates. Nice warming finish! Decent beer

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2010 15:42:32 | More by ucusty
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

3.6/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle courtesy of jconrick1. Shared with trep; my half poured into a Maudite tulilp.

'Alabama' on the bottle cap, and BBBW chugs into the glass with a dull, copper-brown body--murky with yeast. Despite the care on the pour, lots of dark yeasties swirl at the bottom of the tulip and become an unappetizing distraction with each sip. A faint, effervescent tan head tries its best to matriculate with a swirl, but given the ABV, I'm surprised there's even the least bit of foam. The aroma is buttery...an auspicious start. I mean this thing is REALLY buttery: butterscotch, burnt toffee, and maple syrup. Lots of hot booziness to back it up, but the sweet buttered note is distracting, and nearly clouds all traces of the bourbon-aging. Not necessarily bad, but just not even close to how I thought this would smell.

The flavor cranks up the booziness and thankfully shows off more of that signature bourbon heat that Kuhnhenn does so well with their barrel-aged beers. A bit medicinal at times, but the buttery presence is nearly non-existent on the tongue. Body feels sticky and chewy with a hot, syrupy finish. Still, surprisingly smooth for the ABV. The BBBW is the first real "miss" I've had from Kuhnhenn. The buttery aroma was distracting, and the rest of the beer was verging on a hot mess. Not something I'd look for again, but this brewery's track record is impressive enough for me to want to try every last beer they produce.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2010 17:27:30 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of beertooth
beertooth

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2009 bottle poured into a goblet glass.

This beer pours an almost still burnt amber with a tiny collar of white bubbles.

The nose is fairly complex. HUGE bourbon and alcohol notes burn the nostrils and burnt sugar, stone fruit, and dates follow suit. I think I'm picking up on some cardboard-esque oxidization. Far from the rich fruits and oaky notes I was expecting.

Very boozy and hot in the taste. Some mildly sweet malts mix with barrel and bourbon. Bourbon overpowers most of the beer. It's just not doing it for me. I love bourbon barrel aged barley wines, but this is falling short. Not enough complexity to back up on the booze.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thinner side for the style with a very low level of carbonation.

Big thanks to Masterski for tossing me this bottle. I'm glad I was able to try it, but it wasn't my cup of tea. Maybe the batches vary. Maybe I should've let this cellar a bit longer.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2010 06:39:19 | More by beertooth
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nickd717

California

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

Huge thanks to bring, who was generous enough to share 12oz bottles of the 2005 and 2009 vintages for a vertical tasting. This'll be big review #800 for me, and I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who cares about that.

2005 pours hazy dark amber with minimal head. 2009 pours hazy medium amber with a minimal head.

Both have an excellent aroma - sweet malt, caramel, toffee, oak, bourbon, and vanilla. More oxidative notes in the 2005 and some leather and sherry.

Both flavors are intense. Sweet caramel and toffee, bourbon, and lots of -bal notes of oak and vanilla. 2005 has some leather, molasses, and sherry oxidation notes as well. More barrel and vanilla too. 2009 has more alcohol, as the 2005 has almost no booze to it.

Just a tad boozy on the palate, less so with the 2005. Medium-bodied and smooth with appropriately low carbonation.

Overall both were great, but the aged version was really special. Extremely drinkable for the ABV. Really enjoyed this one (or these ones).

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2010 17:04:10 | More by nickd717
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farrago

New Jersey

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

Pouring heartily right into the center of the glass yields close to zero head, hence can't be any lacing either, right? Murky copper orange to brown hued liquid, more orange and general glow further near the rims, remains translucent not opaque. The nose betrays the bourbon immediately but thankfully not the alcoholic burn, vanilla, butterscotch, dutch chocolate, caramel leap to the fore, behind these come candied orange peel, cake batter, ginger and a blend of banana, peach and maraschino cherry fruit scents, underneath lies a subtle lactose funkiness. Full-bodied without seeming heavy, the density comes mostly from the strong bourbon character as well as, here, the alcoholic burn. Vanilla, butterscotch, caramel comes with a little licorice, ginger root. Clamps down a little too hard to give free berth to the orange peel, apricot, peach, cherry, banana fruit, ends on a drying note. The carbonation is somewhat inactive but what's there is fluffy like a cotton ball. For its type, good drinkability but I would still characterize it as along the lines of a "dessert beer." (12/09 vintage)

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2010 01:00:19 | More by farrago
Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 481 ratings.