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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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BA SCORE
98
world-class

588 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 588
Reviews: 190
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 8.58%
Wants: 1,200
Gots: 118 | FT: 12
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 588 | Reviews: 190
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4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

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5/5  rDev +12.9%

Photo of Phelps
4.61/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of josephwa
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of mentor
3.14/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2009 release has a bottlecap which says "Alabama". WTF? Tried the orignal batch in 2005 and loved it. A friend picked up this bottle for me at the end of 2009 and brought it here to me in Colorado while visiting over the holidays. Pours a soda pop head that quickly disappears over a fairly clear ruby brown liquid. Smells bourbon, almonds, coconut, vanilla, cherry, and clean alcohol. Some brown malt character is carried on the alcohol as nutty or faint chocolate. Some dark fruits, which I suspect will develop more as time goes by.

Tastes almond, chocolate nutty, cherry sour, rounded vanilla, and a strong drying wood character with a strange waxy component. Strong, but very clean, alcohol. Caramel and prune way beneath and found only with searching. Dominated by the wood and bourbon with too much alcohol to allow the malt to show through. It's potent, like in a quality cognac. Mouthfeel is md-thin and drinkability is sure to improve.

Photo of Gotti311
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of iatethecloudsfor
4/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of deonreds
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of bum732
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

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4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

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4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

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4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Photo of pmarlowe
4/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

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4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

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4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

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4/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of Spider889
3.91/5  rDev -11.7%
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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4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of augustgarage
4.32/5  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...

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4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

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4.4/5  rDev -0.7%

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4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 588 ratings.