1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

494 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 494
Reviews: 179
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.56%
Wants: 1,167
Gots: 101 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 426-450 | 451-475 | 476-500  | next › last »
Ratings: 494 | Reviews: 179 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Lothore
4.88/5  rDev +9.9%

A- Pours a ruddy, brownish hue with little to no head.

S- Smell is absolutely phenomenal. Tons of brown sugar, hints of bourbon, fig.

T- Wow. Before describing the taste my first thought is ... smoooth. Starts off slightly fruity, possibly hints of cherry mixed with figs, brown sugar sweetness comes in to balance. The end is an alcohol warming balanced exquisitly with very sweet, sugary notes.

M- Thick with a good bit of carbonation left for a beer this old.

D- This is another out of the park brew by kuhnhenn. I truly hope they produce more so I have another chance to drink this one. The main thing I truly loved about this one was the balance. It was huge yet seemed to balance the alcohol perfectly with rich sweetness that a lot of other "extreme brews" fail to do. Totally lives up to the hype in my opinion. Although there probably aren't many bottles left in circulation, if you have a chance trade whatever you can for this one.

Lothore, May 28, 2008
Photo of nyctreal
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%

$6 for a wine glass serving at Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn, NY. Apparently it was illegally trucked in by an anonymous individual. Well kudos to that individual and to the folks here for letting us in on the secret. Pretty sure when this one is kicked, that's it. By far one of the best Barley Wines I've had, with the bourbon barrel in no way overpowering the original flavors of the beer. So I'd clearly recommend getting over to try it out. And of course this is privileged info to be kept between you and me, and any one else who would use the knowledge for good.

nyctreal, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of fartingdog
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%

Pours with very little carbonation. Smells of bourbon, vanilla, alcohol. Taste is big and complex- lots going on here. Malty sweetness, bourbon, vanilla, date, plums- it's a constant discovery severy sip. Mouthfeel seemed a bit thin at first, but as you sip it grows nicely. This is definitely one of those beers that gets better with every sip.

fartingdog, Sep 16, 2007
Photo of biegaman
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%

Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine appears murky on first glance but, upon closer inspection, is in actuality very clear. This is a fact easy to miss given the stunning dark crimson colour and gorgeous, blushing scarlet highlights. There are a select few bubbles resting on the surface but no matter how hard one swirls it's impossible to generate any sort of head (though the glossy tracks of liquid tearing down the glass are beautiful).

The aroma is sweet and deliciously rich. The proper use of bourbon barrels manifests token notes of vanilla, oak, and wood spice but they're accompanied by chocolate, dates, licorice, currants and rich, heavenly malts. My god, the malts! With each smell one delves deeper and deeper into the scent, layer by layer becoming more and more sedated by its divine complexities.

Kuhnhenn should have named *this* beer 4D - it has endless dimensions. While giant bourbon-influenced flavours hit the palate upfront, a great depth of slightly delayed and delicious nuances set in after the swallow: tastes of chocolate mousse and truffles, dates and raisins, french vanilla latte, anise, and heavy caramel. It's like a rich dessert that's big in body and luscious in texture.

The use of bourbon barrel aging is appreciable but sensibly done; all the distinction and character of the whiskey is blended with the malty essence of a barleywine, and somehow managed to loose the strong alcohol presence somewhere along the way. How is it that nearly 15% alcohol goes unnoticed? Neither the ale nor the bourbon dominates. They meld and marry, though the mouth is always coated with rich, viscous caramelly malts.

Oh glory of glories, oh heavenly testament to the eternal majesty of God's creation...
HOLY MACARONI! Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine is among - if not the - best crafted beer I've tried. The precision of detail and particularities, the depth of flavour, the sensible use of barrel aging, the sheer quality - it's a downright divine drink. While other brewers may write music, Kuhnhenn writes symphonies. This was something beautiful. Thanks Grub!

biegaman, Jul 23, 2007
Photo of grub
4.93/5  rDev +11%

pulled from my cellar, purchased at the brewery in december 2006.

12oz bottle.

pours deep ruby red, almost burgundy, with just a small ring of dense off white head around the glass. the colour on this is just amazing.

wow. fantastic aroma. huge blast of malt. bread and biscuit. caramel and toffee. raisin and date. lots of alcohol. vanilla and light bourbon.

taste is amazing. everything from the aroma and more. nice caramel sweetness. date and raisin. light bourbon and vanilla. alcohol. chocolate truffle. i could drink this all night.

mouthfeel is excellent. low carbonation is excellent. nice big body.

drinkability is exceptional. very well balanced. definitely doesn't taste like 14.5%. just great stuff. another winner from kuhnhenn.

grub, Jul 22, 2007
Photo of Viggo
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%

Had at Mondial de la Biere 2007. They give generous samples at the Petit Pub. 8 or so ounces for $5 CDN.

Pours a hazy caramel brown, thin off white head, lace spots, decent retention, head eventually disappears though. Smell is wow. Toffee, bourbon, alcohol, very rich, dates raisons, amazing. Taste is too. Sweet toffee, buttery oak, bourbon, dates, more toffee, bit of citrus, alcohol, super caramelized oaky vanilla goodness, just insane good. Mouthfeel is full bodied with low carbonation, hot going down, just right. Kuhnhenn is amazing.

Viggo, Jul 14, 2007
Photo of weeare138
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%

Much thanks to hopdog for breaking this open...
Appears a semi-transparent amber with a small, off-white head that slowly fades out. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of bourbon, caramel, toffee, rock candy, vanilla, flowers, raisins, cherries...very complex stuff.
Taste echoes the aromas with as much complex characters coming through in the form of caramel, ripe fruit, and oaky bourbon.
Mouthfeel is syrupy, sticky, hot, and lovely. This is dessert heaven. More, please!

weeare138, Jul 13, 2007
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -13.3%

Mondiale 2007. Dark brown body with amber highlights. A great soapy white head. Very fresh tasting, vanilla and caramel. A very good bourbon barrel effort, and a great matchup of barleywine. 14.5% was extreme and it was a good thing this was my last beer of the night. Had the 2010 and was good though not best, great aroma though coconut dominated taste.

Sammy, Jun 01, 2007
Photo of tempest
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%

On-tap at Clark's Ale House.

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

tempest, Mar 24, 2007
Photo of Crosling
4.88/5  rDev +9.9%

12’er. What nectar. Dark brown color. Outstanding aroma. Astonishingly complex flavor of absorbed wood (coconut, vanilla, soaked wood, light whiskey) and heavy malt (an array of cinnamon covered fruit, caramel and toffee. Very, very smooth. If anyone has any bottles of this for trade, I am willing to trade heavily for it.

Crosling, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of DrJay
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%

Enjoyed at the brewpub. Clear and brown with reddish highlights. The yellowish, light brown head showed good retention given the gravity and fine bubbles stuck to the sides of the glass throughout. What a beauty. Aromas of toffee, vanilla, wood, light citrus, and mellow alcohol came together nicely. Moderate bitterness that barely keeps up with the other flavours. Lots of toffee and caramel, vanilla, and oak. Hops were quite citrusy, mostly grapefruit, and the bourbon character melded nicely with the alcohol flavour and warmth in the finish. Full bodied with low carbonation, smooth texture with a bit of dryness. Very tasty! The alcohol was really well hidden given the strength of this brew, making for an easy (and dangerous) drink. Another winner from Kuhnhenn.

DrJay, Jan 04, 2007
Photo of hoppymeal
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%

Pours a dark amber to brown and clear with the slightest flash of some cream colored carbonation that fades back in an instant. Aroma is rich sweet maltiness, prunes, raisins, cherries, aged overripe fruit, and coconutty alcohol. Nose is a good indicator of taste here as the beer is incredibly rich and sweet. Bourbon comes thru in the taste but only very lightly, a little cola flavor is evident which mixes with the sweet sugary fruity and pruney maltiness. There is alcohol evident in the taste as well, no real bite, just a nice mellow warmth. Fairly full in body, the carbonation is definitely low as evidenced on the pour, there is a nice tingle on the tongue that balances the sweetness and some dryness in the warming finish. This beer was absolutely incredible for me, one of those that every smell was as good as the first and every taste made me say wow. A nice sweet night cap, and even though the alcohol content is quite high I savor each drop and know I could definitely drink more of this.

hoppymeal, Jan 04, 2007
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%

A - this gem of a brew pours a dark translucent ruby red that turns near transparent brown when held to light, a thin thin rapidly dissipating white head that fizzes as it vanishes and vary miniscule scant streams of carbonation

S - a power packed aroma, big and up front is raisins, toffee and alcohol, well blended and complimentary, secondary and subtle is a slight chocolate aroma, very intriguing

T - wow, you can really taste the bourbon, ive had bourbon barrel aged b rews that have a slight bourbon flavors, this one has a big up front bourbon flavor, so smooth and velvety, its incredible; all the other flavors that were detected in the aroma, the raisin, the toffee, the slight chocolate, are all elongated by the bourbon into a seemingly endless finish that lasts for several minutes, wish i could get this more often.

M&D - as I noted in the taste, the bourbon created an incredible smoothness that will at least neutralize the ABV (which is pretty high) for some and enhance it for others, depends on your tastebuds, but an amazing taste and brew, if you go to eastern MI and dont stop here, you are doing yourself a serious disservice

afternote; had this at my New Years party, got kinda drunk (the one night a year), and although i had this first so i could enjoy it unimpaired, i found one last sip in the AM, and it got better with some time to breathe, richer and smoother.

sinstaineddemon, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of montageman
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%

Did a tasting of 4 beers yesterday evening over a few hour span. This was the first. Brought to me in a 10 oz tulip. The color is gorgeous - deep red almost like blood (it's necessary for survival) and a small tan head that disspates leaving lacing around the sides of the glass. Smells like bourbon (of course), caramel, chocolate, dark fruit/grapes - no messing around here. Taste is sweet, almost cloyingly so, also some port character, brown sugar, bittersweet chocolate, and alcohol. Mouthfeel is thick & rich, almost chewy with some little carbonation. Aside from the sweetness, this a drinkable BW - very complex. Highly recommended.

montageman, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of francisweizen
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%

From a fresh 64oz growler, thanks Mentor!

Rusty-nail brown with a very nice espresso coloured head that makes this beer look absolutely appealing! The aroma of this beer is absolutely amazing. I smell bourbon soaked dark fruits, caramel, oak, vanilla, nice malts, a bit of roastiness and a slight hint of smokiness also come through. Wow, can you say complex? The taste is even more complex with the alcoholic dark fruits hitting first followed by the luxurious notes of oak, vanilla, carmelized sugar, and more. The middle is sweet and dry and the finish is warm, coating, and wonderful. Mouthfeel is thick, and this stuff grabs, and sticks to every tastebud on your tonuge. Drinkability is excellent for a barleywine of this abv, and I beleive that this is only a 2004 vintage of this stuff. Dry-hopped and aged in bourbon barrels this is another masterpiece from a brewery that I will soon visit!

francisweizen, Jan 18, 2005
Photo of mikeys01
4.8/5  rDev +8.1%

Served from a growler recently procured at the Kuhnhenn Brewery. Color is that of a dirty, crusty, many years old penny, murky brown with just a bit of light coming through. No filtering here whatsoever, I can tell this is going to be one filthy beast of a barleywine, I love it already. The huge aroma is sweet and fills the air with boozey bourbon and soft rotting fruit, sweet and just a bit tart. Notes of sticky molasses and vanilla. I can’t pick out anything singularly hoppy in the aroma, but I know they’re buried somewhere in the melee.
Taste starts out with a rich blend of bourbon soaked plums, raisins, dates, and over-ripe fermenting autumn fruit, once it’s started to brown and fall from the tree to be beset upon by bees. Fruit notes taper off in a perfect tartness as sweet caramel syrup begins to drip off your tongue as the murky malt mixture takes over in the middle. Body is just a bit on the heavy side, consistency is thick enough to make this almost a meal in itself, chewy and delicious. Finish stokes a slowly building fire out of smoldering oak logs, leaving you with a nice warm burn and bewilderment as to how they packed so much complex flavor in this amazing creation. Bourbon is present throughout this beer but perfectly complements rather than dominates the malt and hop flavors. Drinks dangerously smooth as well. Excellently crafted, Kuhnhenn amazes me once again.

mikeys01, Dec 30, 2004
Photo of BeerBuilder
4.8/5  rDev +8.1%

Pours to a murky dark brown, almost black color with a light brown head that leaves spotty lacing. The aroma is unbelievable!! Dark fruits, malty, sugars, candy coated raisins and dates...breads. Nice!! The flavor is sweet dates and raisins with candi sugars and fruits and malts and....and...!! I cannot do this beer justice! It is so easy drinking for such a high octane. Damn!!! I don't want it to end. Thanks Stub-ob for this boozing, alcoholic, malty...tasty brew.

BeerBuilder, Dec 18, 2004
Photo of walleye
4.53/5  rDev +2%

from my favorite brewery. from the tap.poured a dark brown with hints of mahogany around the edges nice tan head. aroma, plums, raisins, toffee, chocolate, malts, hints of wood, cherries, alcohol red wine flavors . flavor, licorice, honey, chocolate, toffee, malts, alcohol a nice blend of sweetness and bitterness. a nice smooth mouth feel. this is a kicken beer. WOW

walleye, Nov 28, 2004
Photo of proc
4.97/5  rDev +11.9%

I could literally copy trbeer's review for this word for word and feel satisfied with the review. I too had this at the Polar Beer Fest right along side trbeer. This was such a drinkable barleywine, that it blew me away. The flavor exploded in the mouth, with hints of spice and a wonderful buttery flavor present. An outstanding beer. Kuhnhenn...I'm in love.

proc, Feb 17, 2003
« first ‹ prev | 426-450 | 451-475 | 476-500  | next › last »
Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 494 ratings.