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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

478 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 478
Reviews: 179
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: 8.56%
Wants: 1,144
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: 478 | Reviews: 179 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rollzroyce21
Rollzroyce21

California

4/5  rDev -9.9%

07-30-2012 13:56:06 | More by Rollzroyce21
Photo of iatethecloudsfor
iatethecloudsfor

Vermont

4/5  rDev -9.9%

11-18-2013 01:41:39 | More by iatethecloudsfor
Photo of claytong
claytong

Vermont

4/5  rDev -9.9%

01-23-2012 05:14:23 | More by claytong
Photo of UNCCTDawg
UNCCTDawg

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -9.9%

03-31-2013 14:42:22 | More by UNCCTDawg
Photo of funkel81
funkel81

California

4/5  rDev -9.9%

03-13-2013 03:57:58 | More by funkel81
Photo of boxcar01
boxcar01

Kentucky

4/5  rDev -9.9%

11-15-2013 20:04:11 | More by boxcar01
Photo of Lunch
Lunch

Maryland

4/5  rDev -9.9%

10-06-2013 16:21:07 | More by Lunch
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 t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4/5  rDev -9.9%

10-19-2012 02:31:25 | More by t0rin0
Photo of ldhughes3
ldhughes3

Louisiana

4/5  rDev -9.9%

03-26-2013 04:49:15 | More by ldhughes3
Photo of pmarlowe
pmarlowe

District of Columbia

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

2010 vintage. Tulip glass.

A cloudy reddish copper color with only a wisp of light stone colored film which mostly fizzles out by the time you've set the bottle down. Apple and caramel are at the forefront of the nose, along with sweet malt, nuttiness, cherry vanilla, whipped cream, but finally a slightly harsh solvent and alcohol aroma at the end. The smell is wonderfully complex but the alcohol harshness definitely detracts from it for me. Tastes like caramel malt and cherry, with some dry oakiness and a dry finish which again features alcohol prominently and a slightly off flavor that I can't place. I'm not picking up any of the bourbon flavors here or on the nose. Carbonation is pretty low but supports the surprisingly medium-light body just fine. Slightly tannic. Overall, this smells quite good, tastes pretty good, but the alcohol presence is a little much and unfortunately the bourbon is MIA. It tasted good enough but I'm not sure I'd reach for it regularly.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2011 06:27:57 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of jjheinrichs
jjheinrichs

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -9.9%

01-19-2013 20:21:00 | More by jjheinrichs
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 Bung
Bung

Michigan

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

12 oz. Nicely murky dark brown/orange/amber pour. There was a pop from the cap, but next to zero carbonation appears. A few bubbles around the edge. Really, for a big English BW, not offensive.

Aroma, Caramel, sugar daddy, vanilla, oak, all heavily present. You can smell this from a good foot and a half away.

Taste, Malt, molasses, rum cake. Vanilla, some roast that comes across as peat/oak, hefty booze as well. Vanilla oak finish.

It's warm and a sipper, coating, heavy side of medium bodied. Could use maybe just a tad more carbonation, but with the heat that may not work either.

As a few others have said, the heat keeps this a step down from the 4Ds, but it's pretty solid. Worth grabbing, just grab 2.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 03:47:16 | More by Bung
Photo of mulder1010
mulder1010

Australia

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

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2012 14:15:25 | More by mulder1010
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

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

Huge thanks to hoppymeal for hooking it up with a 2009 bottle of this recently. Shared with friends at an impromptu CBS tasting last night (man, it feels awesome to say that).

A: The pour is a murky dark amber color with very little in the way of carbonation and little to no head.

S: The nose is very heavy on the bourbon, with plenty of sweet molasses, brown sugar, caramel, with a light touch of chocolate. There is also some noticeable alcohol.

T: Like the nose, the flavor is definitely heavy on the bourbon. There are, however, nice brown sugar, butterscotch, caramel, and chocolate flavors with a hint of alcohol heat.

M: The body is fairly full, and due to the low carbonation, quite smooth and sticky on the tongue.

D: While there is a decent amount of heat to this beer, I still really enjoyed the flavors. I think the vanilla and chocolate oxidation flavors go nicely with the barleywine base. Perhaps it would have been good to let this age for a bit, but it's still enjoyable fresh.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2010 18:02:02 | More by womencantsail
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 ChrisPro
ChrisPro

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz 2010 thanks to jrallen34

A - dark orange with very little head that dissipated in seconds. A bit of chill haze

S - Tons of caramel, vanilla and a bit of biscuit and popcorn. The sweet smells dominate, but some complex malts there as well

T - Great sweet caramel followed by a huge hit of bourbon. THis is perhaps the strongest bourbon taste I've ever had in a beer. I'd swear there is a shot of booker's in my glass. I wish there was a bit more sweetness to balance it, but if you love bourbon, this is ideal!

M - Despite all the solid bourbon flavor, there is virtually no head. A year has done this beer well apparently. Not too oily, and nice full bodied. Very little carb, but that's exactly what I want in a BA barleywine.

O - Fantastic beer. Extremely well made with no apparent flaws. I wish there was a bit more residual sweetness, but this is a stellar barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2011 03:42:34 | More by ChrisPro
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

recieved via trade with mrandypandy! Thanks Andy!

Vintage 2010.

poured into a tulip.

Appearance: A glowing brownish amber colored body with no head at all; a very small ring of white head around the glass is hardly noticable.

Smell: This beer smells really sweat! Malt bomb for sure! Caramel, brown sugar, dark fruits, toffee, vanilla, and of course oak!

Taste: Moderate sweetness, this beers nose follows the taste. Vanilla and barrel notes hit strong right away. The malty backbone is quite noticable too. The caramel and brown sugar are really hard to miss and make there presence known! Dark fruit linger in the background with the wood notes of the barrel. It gets boozey quick and stays boozey through the aftertaste. The booze tends to mute most of the flavors.

Mouthfeel: full bodied beer with low...virtually no carbonation. This beer is syrupy and heavy.

Overall: This is another great Kuhnhenn offering, but it needs more time in the cellar. When the heat dies it will be out of this world! Its a great nightcap for a cool night just like this evening in Illinois.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 02:03:43 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of trxxpaxxs
trxxpaxxs

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2012 13:31:37 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of KAP1356
KAP1356

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bdberr for this one in a trade. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle from the 2010 release. ABV is listed at 15.1%...

A - Pours an almost opaque dark maroon-brown color. A very thin eggshell white head forms and quickly recedes to a collar of the same color.

S - Wow. Very thick dark malts, caramel, vanilla, oak, and nice bourbon all coming through. There are some dark sticky fruits coming through as well; prunes, dates, figs. Some slight cherry there as well.

T - Nice dark brown sugar and dark malts right away. Right after that is a sweet bourbon, vanilla and spiciness which really adds nicely. The dark fruits are there but much more subdued on the palate; I assume from the presence of the bourbon barrel aging. Really strong bourbon presence, which for a bourbon lover like me, is very very nice.

M - Very smooth and a nice full medium to full body on this one. There is a bit of heat from the alcohol and a slight burn on the back palate. Low carbonation, but not all too detrimental.

D - I think this will be a far superior beer with some age on it. That said, this is quite a solid offering from Kuhnhenn. Such a smooth beer for the high ABV. The nice little bit of bourbon heat adds nicely and I really dig it.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 01:24:31 | More by KAP1356
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/15/2010

2009 vintage. Bottle received in a trade with Masterski, to whom I still owe beer. Thanks a lot Alex. The beer pours ruddy rust water with a thin layer of bubbles resulting from a vigorous pour rather than carbonation. Thick legs on the glass presage the ABV.

The nose is of figs, dates, vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar. Bourbon is very powerful and alcohol heat is palpable, stinging my delicate nostrils, an offense I don't take lightly. Other notes are of toffee and wood. It smells excellent.

The flavor is boozy caramel with a heavy dose of bourbon. Sweetness is at an upper moderate level but it's never cloying. Figs and dates are perceivable, and vanilla is prominent. Alcohol is painfully evident in the flavor; I taste every bit of the 14.5%. At first I thought that it was at a very tolerable level, but as I made my way through the 12oz bottle it began to wear on me. I suppose it's partially my fault for drinking the entire bottle myself. Warming is evident in the bourbon laden caramel finish. The beer is nearly flat, but it's something I've come to accept with the higher alcohol examples of the style. The mouthfeel is sticky and smooth.

Kuhnhenn's Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine is an enjoyable, albeit potent barrel aged barleywine. I like a high level of alcohol heat in beers of this style, but this became a bit distracting and detracting. If the alcohol abates with age, and precluding an infection in the bottles, I daresay this will be great.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2010 07:45:56 | More by HopHead84
Photo of waltersrj
waltersrj

Washington

4.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle from splax23 (thanks buddy)!

Pour: Reddish brown hue when held up to the light. The off white head is sparkling like a champagne but quickly disappears. Fine bubbles are left around the edge of the glass.

Nose: Molasses, brown sugar, toffee, slight caramel, vanilla (more as it warms), slight oak, toasted coconut and sweet remnants of bourbon. The alcohol is also quite prevalent in the nose which I've found in every Khunhenn beer I've tried.

Taste: Slightly oxidized malt, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, toasted coconut, sweet bourbon and oak.

Mouthfeel: Slightly drying with an initial alcohol burn. This is between oily and watery, pretty nice actually.

Overall: This beer is pretty fantastic and gets better as it warms. I think the alcohol is over bearing at first but the taste gets better as it warms. The slight oxidation is moderately off putting but that's the only real strike against this beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2011 03:37:48 | More by waltersrj
Photo of JAXSON
JAXSON

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle. Pours a clear plum/orange with a thin ring around the edges. Nose is wonderful -- thick malt, spicy oak, a nicely weaved sweet bourbon, and a vinous note with plums, raisins. Flavor begins with sweet brown sugar and a light hop note, then rolls into the oak, dry and spciy, and the bourbon. I like the marriage of base beer and bourbon barrel here -- not so overt but powerful, nicely done. There are some faults here, as the booze is a bit heavy on the finish, and there's kind of a hole in the back palate. In style this is akin to Wooden Hell in a way, but it's not as nicely realized.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 00:44:44 | More by JAXSON
Photo of raveskdr
raveskdr

Virginia

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).

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2012 02:19:20 | More by raveskdr
Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 478 ratings.