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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

470 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 470
Reviews: 178
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.78%
Wants: 1,145
Gots: 99 | FT: 10
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: 470 | Reviews: 178 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thegoon55
thegoon55

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

07-26-2013 11:18:50 | More by thegoon55
Photo of StayWhatYouAre2
StayWhatYouAre2

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

07-01-2014 02:34:12 | More by StayWhatYouAre2
Photo of pmoore311
pmoore311

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

01-29-2013 18:39:00 | More by pmoore311
Photo of sludgegnome
sludgegnome

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

06-30-2013 00:53:37 | More by sludgegnome
Photo of BUNZILLA
BUNZILLA

Indiana

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

03-10-2014 14:28:19 | More by BUNZILLA
Photo of mythaeus
mythaeus

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

05-16-2014 16:10:34 | More by mythaeus
Photo of DLucky
DLucky

Florida

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

09-04-2013 18:20:29 | More by DLucky
Photo of shoyoroll
shoyoroll

California

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

01-15-2013 05:10:22 | More by shoyoroll
Photo of tom10101
tom10101

Quebec (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

03-20-2013 20:12:39 | More by tom10101
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

4.26/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a rather deep chestnut hue that is not see through. Next to no head, tiny thin wisps.

S - Aromas of bourbon galore, tons of caramel, toffee, alcohol soaked raisins. This smells super enticing. The alcohol is super faint, which is awesome.

T - Taste is bourbon caramels galore, malty sweetness, light raisins. Maybe dinner slight oxidation. No detectable ABV, not hot at all. Quite tasty.

M - Mouthfeel is rather flat, super lightly carbonated. The alcohol though is super hidden. Very well done.

O - Overall this beer was a bit disappointing, probably should have drank it last year.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 23:08:37 | More by rudzud
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 scottfrie
scottfrie

California

4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle into snifter. Thanks for sharing Justin.

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

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 17:01:38 | More by scottfrie
Photo of cavedave
cavedave

New York

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

Major thanks to MasterSki for this incredibly full flavored brew! 2009 vintage

It pours a thick, cloudy, dark amber/light brown, topped by a thin off-white skim which fades to a persistent island and ring. An oily lace clings lastingly. Beautiful look, just right for a barley wine.

Smell is a full aroma, bourbon up front for sure, with a light sweet caramel, spicy alcohol, and gentle fruitiness (plum? fig?)rounding it into a very tempting bouquet. I catch a hint of chocolate in there, a bit of tart yeast, vanilla, and earthy bitter as well. Nice.

First sip is a blast of bourbon, deep caramel notes, hot alcohol, which holds into the finish. It warms, and the flavors go crazy. Lots of herbal flavors in the finish, earthy, bitter, and wonderful, but the taste dominatingly bourbon and alcohol. There is a lot going on here, wonderful flavors just below the surface, and these are the flavors that remain after a sip. Dark fruit, vanilla, oak, earth, and a bit of sweet to not quite balance the alcohol and bitter. Very strong and tasty. Did I mention bourbon?

Mouthfeel is viscous to the extreme, very low carb., creamy feel, and promotes the flavor profile and finish excellently.

This is a sipper of mythic proportions. I am halfway through the bottle and plan on enjoying the other half in my Barca Lounger, with some Brahms, and with a Cuban, over the next hour.

Impression: If you like bourbon you will love this huge brew. I do and I do.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2010 00:20:29 | More by cavedave
Photo of mikereaser
mikereaser

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed blind as part of Blind Beer BIF #6

A - Pours a murky muddy brown with very little foam.
3
S - Strong bourbon, raisin aroma, dark fruit and some vanilla
4
T - Flavor is the same as the aroma, dark fruit, plums, raisins, some sugary sweetness and bourbon. There is some alcohol present in the finish along with some more sweetness.
4.5
M - creamy mouthfeel, medium bodied with a light amount of carbonation. Lightly syrupy.
4
D - Very easy to drink and enjoy, the alcohol is noticeable but not detracting.
4.5

I'm guessing this is a quad or a barleywine but thats about as good as I can guess.
rip it open and its
Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Aged Barley Wine 2011
wow, 14% and you really can't pick up on it at all. Its not something to gulp but not one that has to be sipped.

tip of the hat to abraxel for another tasty bottle, and hitting a want. sweet!

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2012 05:05:17 | More by mikereaser
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 GregSVT
GregSVT

Texas

4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a snifter - 2010 vintage

A: Pours a deep redish brown with the smallest head I've ever seen which fades as quickly as it forms and leavs no lacing on the glass. I poured it pretty aggresively so I'm not sure if this is normal...the cap gave a hiss when I opened it so the lack of a head was a bit surprising.

S: The nose is full of vanilla, caramel, and toffee with an earthy aroma in the background. Slightly one dimensional but the aromas are incredibly rich and sweet smelling.

T: The taste is rich with flavors of vanilla, caramel, and toffee along with a bit of a dark fruit flavor like figs. Not as rich as MoaS but still pretty damn good. A bit boozy with a slight alcohol bite on the finish but it doesn't detract from the overall flavors.

M: The feel is thick and rich with a big oily component that coats the mouth.

D/O: This is pretty good and while the ABV is a bit high that won't stop me from drinking more of this. I look forward to how my other bottle ages over the next year.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2011 02:03:02 | More by GregSVT
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 jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.29/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to rudzud for sharing this interesting beast.
2011 vintage.

Pours no head, like nooo head, light legs but not as clingy as I thought, murky weird molasses maroon color.

Nose is incredible, bourbon city, tons of toffee and caramel, nutty, a nice soft aged malt thing too, bit of a raisin and brandy soaked raisin, very light booze warmth, touch of vanilla barrel and great bourbon. Just a faint hint of oxidation which keeps it from epic status.

Taste starts great but has a weird flavor, slight bbq like sauce but very light, perhaps oxidation. Other than that very nice, tons of bourbon and mild vanilla barrel, lots of toffee, caramel, little molasses, more brandy soaked raisin, mild bitterness too. Finish is nice, bit more bitter, hint of warming booze, more toffee, brandy raisins, bourbon and little barrel.

Mouth is a bit thin but not too syrupy, how it has so much and yet not too heavy or boozy, but too light on the carb.

Overall great, just that one bbq sauce possible oxidation thing, otherwise nice bourbon, toffee, brandy raisin, malts, etc.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 03:45:19 | More by jlindros
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 6.3.13

2011 Vintage

A - Pours a dark brown with a few dark tan bubble that disapper instantly.

S - Booze, dark fruit, plums.

T - Bourbon, chocolate, caramel, vanilla - Amazing!

D - Low carbonation with a heavier body.

O - Didn't smell that great, but the layers of flavors are amazing. So good and inviting. Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2013 05:11:11 | More by HuskyinPDX
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 mikeyv35
mikeyv35

New York

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

Date: 04/29/2011
Type: 12oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2010 Winter Solstice
Glass: Portsmouth Tulip

Would like to thank AgentZero for sending me this bottle in my WW5 box. Much appreciated!

Pours a deep brown tobacco in color w/ only a skim coat tan head, only a ring of bubbles around the glass. Leaves little to no lacing on the glass. Well, it looks like an English Barleywine. Aromas of bourbon, vanilla,oak, covering brown sugar and caramel. The taste was just about the same, but a touch more complex. Big bourbon/vanilla/oak up front, followed by caramel and brown sugar, and finishing with tobacco and leather. Thin to medium bodied. Would have liked this one a little more lush. You are not going to drink alot of this one, w/ the 15.1% ABV showing it's face throughout.

Overall, this was a pleasure to sample! For what it is, it's fantastic w/ excellent complexity and depth. Age will only make this one better. However, for me the 15.1% ABV and strong bourbon character were too much for me, as I really struggled to finish my 12oz. glass. Not my cup of tea, but very good.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 16:06:44 | More by mikeyv35
Photo of egajdzis
egajdzis

Pennsylvania

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

Poured a brownish amber color with a thin, off white head that left light lacing on the glass. Aroma of raisins, tobacco, smoke, vanilla, bourbon, nutmeg, a bit of oatmeal, char, and alcohol as well. Taste of more caramel malts, cherry, bourbon, raisins, citrus fruits, light nutmeg, dried fruits, chocolate, and alcohol as well in the finish.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2008 00:00:54 | More by egajdzis
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 augustgarage
augustgarage

California

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

Review #300. 2009 Vintage. Poured vigorously from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

Carmine body with lust and amber highlights, clear, with a shiny pearl head that recedes to a creamy collar with good retention, beset as it is by comets of microbubbles ascending from the bottom of the glass. A consetallation of minute lacing dusts the sides against a back-drop of thick French Polish.

Intensely malty aromatics - dark chewy black bread, caramel, a hint of treacle, nuts, carmelized figs, nectarines, along with a light barrel note suggesting vanilla and rye.

Punishing maltiness backed by a wave of spirits from the alcohol on the palate. Quite ester-heavy, which ramps up the sweetness, though the alcohol and light tannins from the barrel manage to reign it in before you reach the extended finish with hints of char, burnt toast, and ginger syrup. The bourbon is present, but is subtle compared to a lot of barrel aged beers I've tried.

Medium-light bodied, maybe a little thin but there is a creaminess that makes up for this aspect; very warming (no surprise there) if not a little hot (extended aging would probably tame this somewhat), and well carbonated.

The ABV and the price gave me pause, but if you can stand the heat, this is well worth tracking down...

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 02:46:46 | More by augustgarage
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
Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 470 ratings.