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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 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 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 Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2007 00:12:54 | More by Sammy
Photo of SacoDeToro
SacoDeToro

California

3.88/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Carlos for sharing @ the Ballast Point 12th!

Poured a deep ruby with a small off-white lace.

The aroma was full of rich caramel malt, bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Some alcohol was present.

The flavor of the beer had a rich caramel maltiness appropriate for the style. It was well infused with prominent notes of bourbon, vanilla, and oak, which added tremendous complexity. Some medium dried fruits came through in the palate as well. It did, however finish too sweet, IMO. This bottle was a tad past it's prime. I prefer just a tad bit of oxidation in my American barleywines, but this had gone past that point. The hoppiness was too low for the style.

The mouthfeel was pretty heavy. The body was full and creamy. The carbonation was delicate and was appropriate for the style.

A solid barleywine that exhibits a good barrel character, but not the best example I've had.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2008 15:40:16 | More by SacoDeToro
Photo of Spider889
Spider889

Ohio

3.9/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Per the bottle: Winter Solstice 2010. 15.1% abv.
Thanks to iceicebaby for this bottle.

Live review.

Beer is a hazed ruddy orange color with hints of aged wood. The carbonation is low, but I was able to produce a small head that was relatively short lived.

Smells of bourbon alright. Lots of wet oak and vanilla as well as some citrus notes. Heavy caramel malt flavors, quite sweet smelling. Doesn't smell really hot or astringent as some higher abv beers can sometimes be.

The flavor is much more alcohol forward, though I still am surprised at the 15.1% abv listing. Seems much less boozy than, say, BCBS. Bitter hops push through to mid palate. Meanwhile dry grainy oak and caramel apple are also quite potent. The bourbon is well integrated but also liquor-heavy.

The mouthfeel is extremely dry. Dry, dry, dry.

Overall an excellent beer. I'd be happy to drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2011 06:53:30 | More by Spider889
Photo of Urbancaver
Urbancaver

Ohio

3.93/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very pretty reddish maroon. A bit of white head around the edges. Very good looking beer. Smells a bit oxidied but very nice. A touch of bourbon on the nose but the oxidized aromas. Tastes sweet but dry. Roasty and bourbon heavy. The malts are oxidized but still nice. Overall solid but disappointing with regards to the oxidation

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 01:56:41 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

3.95/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 Vintage. Thanks to steebo777 for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a deep reddish sienna brown color. Produced a surprising cap of tan foam despite the massive ABV level of the beer. Even some lace showed up.

(S)- The bourbon barrel has pretty much dominated the aroma. A sweet yet dry alcohol burn with bits of oak and vanilla. In the far background is some brown sugar and toffee.

(T)- Similar to the smell; without a doubt this is definitely bourbon barrel aged. The bourbon flavors are not timid in this beast. Some sweetness of caramel, toffee, and brown sugar, but this is very much mostly an oaky bourbon with some subtle malty notes. I like it though for what it is.

(M)- This is where the beer starts to fail in my opinion. It has a nice mellow carbonation level, however, you feel and taste every single % of that huge 15.1%ABV. Its not necessarily off-putting, but very potent, so you really need to like straight bourbon to appreciate this beer to the fullest.

(D)- I have mixed feelings with this beer. It looked great and I enjoy the flavor it offers, but it very much oozes bourbon heat from every molecule. Its definitely a sipper if there ever was one. I did enjoy it however, but I definitely took my time and savored it over a few hours. I do look forward to seeing what a few years of time will do to this.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2011 16:35:11 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.95/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle courtesy of Seeswo. 2010 vintage served in my Old Stock snifter. Pours a translucent mahogany with a loose, half-inch off-white head that quickly disperses towards the shoulders, forming a thin, bubbly band. There's also a residual oily slick across the center of the glass. Nose expresses milk chocolate, a trace of dark fruit and a pleasant buttery vanilla character. Only the merest suggestion of bourbon presents itself. Taste expresses toffee, butter candied fruit and a slightly acrid ethanol character that lingers at the back. Mouthfeel is medium-light (but closer to light) with a slightly coarse carbonation and quite a bit of residual heat that lingers on the tongue and at the back of the throat. All and all, a pretty good barleywine that could use some time to allow that alcohol presence to dissipate. That said, if the alcohol does in fact dissipate, the thinness to the body would be more prominent. I'm not sure if a lot of age will improve this beer, but another year in the cellar might reveal a decent balance.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 03:34:20 | More by Jwale73
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

4/5  rDev -9.9%

02-09-2013 22:33:36 | More by GRG1313
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a snifter glass at Churchkey DC.

A deep mahogany to dark chestnut brown along the edges. Only a thin presence of tan bubbles but very tiny and uniform makes a collar around. Looks a lot like King Henry. Seems it might be a bit thin also.

Quite a warm but not too boozy nose. Light oak, heat, and this large sense of nutty tannic quality.

Palates comes with a bit of a surprise. Big wetness and not much round oak aging character in the feel, for a barrel aged beer. Flavors do come out to play though. Dark chocolate comes out quite a bit more with some alcohol like a bottle of Godiva liqueur. There's a great sense of chocolate macadamia nuts all rolled into this almost like a bottle of Frangelico as well. Subsequent sips come in with lots of stomach alcohol warmth.

Overall though it doesn't have enough beer style character and is slightly heavy on the booze. But it's got impressive flavors to round out everything else going on.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2014 12:36:45 | More by smakawhat
Photo of IdrinkGas
IdrinkGas

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -9.9%

03-24-2013 22:11:24 | More by IdrinkGas
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

4/5  rDev -9.9%

11-19-2011 21:48:55 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of smartassboiler
smartassboiler

Illinois

4/5  rDev -9.9%

12-01-2013 06:32:43 | More by smartassboiler
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 funkyaudio
funkyaudio

Illinois

4/5  rDev -9.9%

04-16-2014 02:55:31 | More by funkyaudio
Photo of IrishColonial
IrishColonial

Texas

4/5  rDev -9.9%

10-23-2013 01:49:51 | More by IrishColonial
Photo of Steve212
Steve212

New York

4/5  rDev -9.9%

05-10-2014 02:13:17 | More by Steve212
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 FullObs
FullObs

Illinois

4/5  rDev -9.9%

11-15-2013 00:47:07 | More by FullObs
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

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

Thank you for this long time want, Alex! This is the 2010 version, clocking in at 15.1%. In true Kuhnhenn fashion, the label did not deal with being refrigerated very well.

Decanted into my snifter, this is a clear, ruby red with an off-white head that recedes to a ring rather rapidly. Swirling the beer in my glass leaves some coating. The nose is rather excellent.Plenty of brown sugar, plenty of booze, bourbon and tannins, all really powerful, and a little bit of vanilla as well. Surprisingly fruity, there's a blend of candied orange peel and a light floral character. In addition, there's an almost brandy-like character here. Excellent stuff.

The palate opens rather monstrous - big, boozy, hot and sweet. A friend of mine once commented that he likes his barleywines like he likes his women - hot, boozy messes. Well, this definitely does fit the bill. Brown sugar, maple syrup, a little toffee are present on the malt front, but in all honesty, this is almost entirely about the barrels - hot, bourbony, almost alcoholic burn are present, and it is quite fitting on this rainy, late-winter night. Tannins appear, lingering on into the finish, this does add a light nutty character. Vanilla is moderate, but there's some honey, light and fruity. Full in body with soft, creamy carbonation, this does beer does feel very smooth on the palate. Dark fruit character is quite light, this is more along the lines of a young JW Lees. Warming, this is great stuff, though not the most drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2011 00:05:59 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of douginromeo
douginromeo

Michigan

4/5  rDev -9.9%

03-08-2014 12:43:06 | More by douginromeo
Photo of klipper
klipper

Michigan

4/5  rDev -9.9%

11-18-2011 00:17:16 | More by klipper
Photo of eggs
eggs

Illinois

4/5  rDev -9.9%

07-02-2013 00:49:37 | More by eggs
Photo of ej285701
ej285701

Ohio

4/5  rDev -9.9%

11-15-2011 13:57:06 | More by ej285701
Photo of Rollzroyce21
Rollzroyce21

California

4/5  rDev -9.9%

07-30-2012 13:56:06 | More by Rollzroyce21
Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 470 ratings.