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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine - Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine
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194 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 194
Hads: 659
Avg: 4.34
pDev: 8.76%
Wants: 1,243
Gots: 138 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  14.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-17-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 194 | Hads: 659
Photo of Phelps
4.61/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was sent to me by seeswo during the Blind Beers BIF. The blind 2011 vintage 12-ounce was poured into a snifter and reviewed blind.

The liquid runs out of the bottle a thin caramel-brown but darkens once in the glass to a cloudy burnt hue. What head does appear comes late and is extremely thin, fizzling away after just a second.

In the nose, I get good amounts of butterscotch, smooth vanilla, oak and toffee. Sweet, sugary dark cherries and maple syrup emerge upon closer inspection.

Wow. I wasn’t expecting the sweet, malty flavors this is delivering, but that doesn’t detract from their glory. In equal amounts I get toffee, cherries and sugared orange slices. Oak, grape and a pinch of nutty almond are behind that. Citrus notes surge at the swallow, but are swiftly overtaken by lingering toasted oak and subtle chocolate.

Carbonation is light but prickly, awakening the tongue to the brilliant flavor and playing nicely off the bright citrus. The body is luscious, thick and smooth, yet it doesn’t weigh down the palate all that much. There’s hardly any alcohol heat, which I have a feeling I’ll be surprised at when I take of this beer’s wrapper.

Incremazing. Brilliant, smooth flavors and an amazing balance between citrusy barleywine notes and barrel-aging. This is without a doubt the best BA barleywine I’ve ever had, and a perma-want has been set.

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Photo of Hugonaut13
4.86/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into snifter. 2011 vintage

A - Pours a very dark murky brown with a hint of burgundy when held to the light. Zero carbonation to speak of.

S - Oh. My. God. Melted toffee, caramel, vanilla, and booze. Fills the room with this smell. Very strong and I don't want to take it away from my nose.

T - Amazing. Follows the nose but the barrel is more integrated. Liquid caramel sex. Figs, raisins, brown sugar, vanilla, followed with some light bourbon. It's like having a decadent dessert with a dram of high end bourbon neat on the side.

M - This is a sipper. Alcohol, although plays very well here, is obvious. Coats your mouth on each sip. My last sip was 8 minutes ago and I still taste it. Zero carb, and that is NOT an issue here. This beer is an event.

O - I'm blown away. The flavors here are so well integrated and complement each other perfectly. This is a huge beer that you'll want to take your time with. This is a BA Barleywine that other BA Barleywines should strive to be.

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Photo of Spider889
3.91/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
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...

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.14/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Loads of toffee on the nose. Hints of fig and raisin. Primarily burnt caramel and toffee throughout the taste. Overly boozy and hot. Nearly still. The mouthfeel doesn't have the body to carry the high ABV.

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Photo of brystmar
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 opened next to Bligh's. My last bottle :(

Much darker body than Bligh's: dark brown/black, minimal beads of white head & lace. Boozy, complex aroma showcases the bourbon character amidst sweet malts. Alcoholic, yet age-y and fantastic.

Plenty of bourbon against the barleywine backbone. Tons going on here: caramel sweetness, bready, barrel character, boozy warmth. Among the best barleywines I've ever tasted; I actually prefer this over KH. Truly unfortunate that I don't have any more of these :(

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Photo of farrago
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
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)

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle from IAmJacksHopTongue (many thanks!). 2014 vintage. Served in a Barrel and Barley teku.

Pours an attractive reddish chestnut with less than a quarter finger cap of ecrue froth. Anything that would have been called head is gone soon after the pour. Some impressive legs form after a quick swirl but there is no lace to speak of.

Smells of sweet bourbon, vanilla, coconut, oak, caramel, toffee, and brown sugar. Those sweet aromas welcome a sip.

Sugars and booze drive the flavors. Bourbon, burnt sugar, toffee, caramel, vanilla, cereal grains, mild herbal bitterness, brown sugar, oak and a hefty whallop of alcohol. The flavors play well off of each other with nothing seeming out of place in the blend. Despite the undeniable heat this goes down with an ease that belies the 14.5% abv.

Full, almost syrupy feel with soft carbonation. The aftertaste is lingering, hot & sweet. Notes of bourbon, burnt caramel, toffee and a mild bitter herbaceousness.

Kuhnhenn has yet another excellent barrel aged offering with their Bourbon Barrel Barleywine. It comes accross as just a bit hot but is a pleasing quaff nonetheless. As with everything else I've had from Kuhnhenn, I was quite happy to have a chance to try this and would love to try one with a little age at some point.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.91/5  rDev -9.9%
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

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.84/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage, poured from 12 oz. bottle into Alesmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- Pours a dark copper with a minimal trace of off-white head. Small lines of lacing remain.

S- Oak, vanilla, and bourbon are the front runners here. Nice sweet caramel notes, slight notes of leather and tobacco.

T- Holy sweet candi sugar Batman! Vanilla, bourbon, leather, oak, and toffee. Very malt forward as is the style, with very minimal bitterness.

M- Full body and low carbonation. Very smooth, slightly slick, and crazy drinkable at 14.5%.

O- Amazing barleywine. This could be one of the best I have ever had, and I have had KH, MoaS, BA NE, etc. Will have to try and get a case of this if I ever have the chance!

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Photo of callmemickey
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Release

A: Amber brown body. Fairly clear. Moderate light tan head. Quickly receded but remained as a skim for the duration. Spotty lacing throughout.

S: Dangerously sweet. Like warm maple syrup. Quite a bit of bourbon with its oak and vanilla companion notes. Caramel, brown sugar, and raisins fill out the sweet maltiness. Subtle spicy underbelly.

T: All of the notes from the nose are here, but the sweetness has mellowed out. Bourbon, oak and vanilla are up front paired with a slight booze blast. Caramel, molasses, brown sugar, raisins, and a hint of citrus. Some earthy/spicy hop bitterness. Well balanced between the booze/malt/hops.

M: Moderate-heavy bodied with near ideal carbonation. Only a slight booze burn (considering the 14.5% ABV, this is impressive). Clean finish, with a bit of bitterness and only a little lingering sweetness. Manages to deliver an incredible amount of sweetness from start to finish but never crosses the line and becomes cloying.

D: Slow drinking, but that should be no surprise. Deliciously complex with a good body = top tier bourbon aged barleywine. I'd imagine aging this brew would only improve the balance and help bring out additional layers of flavor.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of mikereaser
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
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.
S - Strong bourbon, raisin aroma, dark fruit and some vanilla
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.
M - creamy mouthfeel, medium bodied with a light amount of carbonation. Lightly syrupy.
D - Very easy to drink and enjoy, the alcohol is noticeable but not detracting.

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!

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Photo of unclekeith
3.99/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber with minimal head. Malty and sweet booziness on the the nose. Not as sweet as I expected. More oak than bourbon. Good backbone with some bitterness. Well balanced. Solid barleywine.

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4.77/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Noah1 for the bottle. 2011 Vintage.
12oz bottle to tulip.
Sampled 07MAR13

[A] Pours a very dark crimson - just a few shades away from black. Rather still in the glass, there is a nothing more than a single strand of fine bubbles arranged around the edge of the glass. No lacing.

[S] Rich, plump, overly ripe dark fruits with a hint of earthy soil and old leather. Surprisingly low alcohol presence. A faint tea-like herbal quality comes through as well, probably due to the age more than anything else. The bourbon barrel made the invite list but is not the star of the party.

[T] The sugary malt sweetness displays amazing depth. Buttery caramel, dark brown sugar and dark molasses - just a phenomenally complex balance between sweetness and bitterness. Incredibly smooth and easy to drink. How in the world did they manage to remove nearly every last trace of alcohol and heat? It's dumbfounding honestly.

[M] Easily a 5. This is one of the thickest, chewiest mouthfeels I've ever come across. Gentle carbonation starts at the beginning of the palate and helps to lift the the slick and syrupy texture. Completely cloying...just the way a big, 14.5% barleywine should be. I absolutely love it.

[O] This beer is nothing short of world class. And I want more.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees
Huge thanks goes out to MasterSki for this one!

This one pours a dark copper color. A thin head of loose bubbles forms and quickly recedes. The lacing is present as an abundant spottiness, which slides down the slick oiliness on the side of the glass back into the liquid.

A thick rich maltiness permeates this snifter of goodness. A definite level of booziness is present, but at 14.50%, that is certainly to be expected. Loads of bourbon presence. A strong vanilla caramel presence, also. Big oakiness. Light hints of maraschino cherries. Lots of golden brown sugar notes along with golden raisins. Nice hints of yeast and spices.
This smells so much like delicious candy, laced with whiskey.

The taste is more spicy than sweet. There is still a lot of brown sugar, caramel, and vanilla in here. They are leveled out by the warmth and spiciness of the bourbon along with the dryness of the oak. Marascino cherries soaked in bourbon with a splash of rum. Lots of raisins and a touch of blackstrap molasses. Very nice hints of dates. There is a nice level of hops here that get all but lost, by the covering booziness. They make a brief, shining appearance right before the finish, only to be swallowed up again by a wonderful bourbon sweetness. The finish itself is on the dry side and has a wonderful warmth which you can feel for quite a while after it is swallowed.

This one is full-bodied, but the carbonation level is light. This provides it with a wonderful smoothness, but it hasn't got any creaminess to it, which I find to be disappointing. With a nice amount of creaminess, this could be perfect.

Okay, so it's true that the high abv will keep you from slamming these down. The beautiful taste will make you want to try, though. It's smooth enough that you might think that you could get away with it, too.
This is a delicious beer and worth the effort to track down, if you aren't afraid of the sweeter side of the glass.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.64/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes.

The color is a ruby caramel brown with a transparent tan edge. A small off-white cap leaves only an island after a few moments.

The aroma is sweet, deep, and complex. Bourbon, caramel, lots of vanilla, and oak.

The flavor unwraps slowly, bringing out new layers as it warms. Caramel, toffeet, and a bit of bready malt contribute to a sweet front. There is some oak and vanilla next. As the sip comes to a close, a bourbon presence really steps up and dominates. It causes some tingling of the tongue, burn in the back of the throat, and warming of the stomach. I can handle a strong bourbon presence, but this is almost over the top. It might get better with some significant age on it.

Other than that, this is a big-bodied barleywine, with enough booze and intensity to take on the strongest beer aficionado.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.33/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

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Photo of pwoods
3.59/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. brown bottle poured into a Russian River tulip.

A: Pours a ruby garnet with decent clarity considering the barrel aging. Moderate head on the pour with a bit of retention and not much lacing.

S: Under a decent amount of bourbon and barrel, molasses and toffee... I get a faint but distinct aroma of my grandmas and mothers Christmas cookies. Butter cookies with home made icing. Doesn't smell overly sweet, either. Maybe some oatmeal cookies and walnuts, too. Bizarre.

T/M: The bourbon is there and not as over powering as I was expecting, but it's not quite melding with the BW like I did expect. Plenty of barrel, vanilla. A bit more sweetness than the nose implied. Alcohol heats up quite a bit as it warms. Maybe the slightest hint of the Christmas cookies, but I might be reaching. Body is only about medium and the carbonation is mild to medium.

D: After the aroma I was expecting great things, and I've rarely been let down by Kuhnhenn... but things just didn't quite add up. A decent beer but I was expecting more.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on-tap at Kuhnhenns.

appearance- brownish and no visible head upon serving. slight lacing along the sides as i drank.

smell-mostly bourbony as expected. other than that I smelled vanilla and some toffee maybe a little bit of weaker fruits such as figs.

taste- the bourbon is definitely the strongest and the first taste but it is quickly followed by the vanilla and the barleywine style. toffee and vanilla are the most prevalent. the alcohol comes in strong in this brew but it is expected and balanced well by the other tastes

mouthfeel- medium to thicker body and low carbonation. its not to thick for a bourbon barleywine and not overly sticky. overall it felt very good as a sipper.

overall- great beer. not dominated by the bourbon but not understated. a good and tasty bourbon barleywine. the strength in taste comes as bourbon but the vanilla and toffee catch up easily. my first kuhnhenns and definitely not my last! a good and balanced bourbon barleywine. easliy worth the price i paid (~$8 per 12 oz)

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Photo of kevanb
4.56/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, 2013 vintage, poured into a Kuhnhenn Etched Snifter.

The beer pours a dark burgundy color, opaque, hazy and thick in texture, a taut, fizzy khaki head rises about a finger high from the the beer before receding nicely, leaving only a few touches of lace behind, which themselves wither and fade easily. The aroma is monstrous, tons of marshmallow character, toffee, oak, bourbon, charred wood, brown sugar, a bit of molasses, vanilla and some pitted fruit. It's huge, complex, sweet, savory albeit a bit astringent at the back end. The flavors are right in line, tons of rich malt, toasted marshmallow, burnt brown sugar, soft toffee, vanilla, raisin, bourbon, chewy oak, charred character, some light stone fruit, but boy does the barrel character shine here. Potent alcohol is also a big component but its really smooth, more of a warming character at the finish. The body is the one area of concern, its smooth and the carbonation is low, but it does feel a bit thin, and underwhelming. The finish is soft and mild, warm and sweet from the alcohol.

Verdict: A truly delicious Bourbon Barrel Barleywine from Kuhnhenn and the best beer I've tried from them, surpassing BB4D, which I didn't think possible. The complexity is astounding on the tongue and the marshmallow character is wonderful. If only it had a richer, thicker body to carry the flavors. Cheers to Kuhnhenn for this masterclass.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh Kuhnhenn; why do you do this to me? I live out of your distribution area and you make these great beers.

Pour is a crystal clear chestnut brown with a light tan ring around the edges.

Strong aroma of bourbon barrel aging with sweet vanilla, caramel, oak, and roasted pecans.

Taste of a healthy dosing of bourbon mixed with plenty of vanilla and oak barrels. There is definitely a booze presence to it and it is slightly hot on the back of your throat, but this actually does in fact have booze in it so that should not come as a surprise. Sweet sugars from a 14.5% abv brew are clearly present but not nearly as many as I thought might be. Taste wise, this comes in pretty close to a fresh Samichlaus which is a massive compliment. Great malt backbone with bourbon and oak flavors. Light mouthfeel and a light carbonation even with a hiss as the bottle opened.

This is a fantastic barleywine that has been aged in bourbon barrels. Brilliant

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Photo of BostonHops
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a murky, deep amber / mahogany tone while yielding no head. as others have noted, for a big EBW this comes as no surprise. nose is outstanding with a huge bourbon wallop right off the bat followed by bold notes of caramel, brown sugar, then some vanilla, oak, and a dark fruit presence.

taste follows the aroma. lots of robust bourbon-y, caramel-y, brown sugary goodness with the vanilla, oak, and dark fruit joining in the background. very sweet, though doesn't cross the line into cloying. boozy in the finish, but that 14.5% ABV is hidden well. chewy, full bodied mouthfeel with low carbonation.

overall, outstanding. very tasty barrel aged EBW. one to sip and savor.

(originally reviewed: 01-30-2012)

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Photo of ChrisPro
4.09/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of KAP1356
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 194 ratings.