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EKU 28 - Kulmbacher Brauerei AG

Not Rated.
EKU 28EKU 28

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

619 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 619
Reviews: 435
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 15.52%
Wants: 45
Gots: 30 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kulmbacher Brauerei AG visit their website

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
A super-strong Bock, but not an Eisbock.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-16-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 619 | Reviews: 435 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ohmybock
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm updating my previous review because my recent bottles of EKU 28 are better than what I described in my previous rating...

Big malty/toffee aroma you pretty much only get from a true German bock brew. Very, VERY nice! Actually, there's also a strong fruitiness which you don't get all that often in a German lager. Even so, it's a "clean" fruitiness so you know it's still a lager. Beautiful amber color with a slight head, but one that seems to stick around. After pouring it into a glass, the appearance and aroma of this brew just make me want to immediately take a sip! Carbonation is decent and appropriate for the style, but some previous bottles have been too low. Flavor is a malt assault on the tongue combined with some heat from the alcohol. The flavor improves on the aroma with a huge malty/toffee explosion on the tongue. I get ripe fruits...perhaps some apple, but even more I'm getting some beautiful ripe pear flavors. Have you ever forked over the money to buy some Harry and David's Royal Riviera pears? They're expensive, but ohhh so good...nature's candy! Anyway, I definitely get some of that great, ripe, Oregon pear character in this brew. When I first tasted this beer ten years ago, I wasn't crazy about it. Now, it's one of my (occasional) favorites. It's not something I would drink often, but I love to keep some on hand for the times when I'm in the mood...and it seems to hold up incredibly well in my fridge for long periods of time. There's no denying EKU 28 is a malty brew...even for German standards, yet it still has a nice, clean-fermented lager taste. Even though the malt character is strong, I don't think this brew goes too far with its maltiness. Take Vetter 33 on tap in Heidelberg for comparison. Vetter 33 is too over-the-top malty, and has way too much of an unfermented malt-syrup taste. EKU 28 on the other hand, is much more drinkable and thoroughly fermented. I really enjoy this brew, but I can imagine that some don't because it's a bit extreme. EKU 28 has definitely become a brew I've come to love over the years. If you disagree that's okay, that just leaves more for me!

ohmybock, May 28, 2007
Photo of oelergud
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Honey golden ruby clear body with good carbonation and a large off-white head that falls quickly and leaves no lace.
Very strong alcoholic vapors amid sweet spiced malts.
Sweet malty caramel and toffee with a good kick of spice. Lots of hops as well but more mild mannered. Aftertaste of alcohol and sweet spiced malts.
Very full body but surprisingly little coating considering the thickness of the beer.
Highly drinkable in spite of the very apparent alcohol.


oelergud, May 15, 2007
Photo of soulgrowl
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Mahogany orange amber, thinly carbonated with a blink-and-you'll-miss-it parchment-colored head. The fleeting head is to be expected with a beer of this strength, but even so this isn't terribly attractive.

Smell: Massively nutty malts: hazelnuts, walnuts, and almonds all pressed into a sweet and lightly fruity liqueur. Amaretto, honey, apple juice, wheat bread. Very malty and very nice. Sweetness is offset by brisk but surprisingly subdued alcohol and a hint of estery, sort of woody hops.

Taste: Like the aroma, this is a nutty, caramelly, malt-forward brew. Sweet through and through, definitely not what I would call balanced, but somehow not cloying. Tart apple juice and honey first, followed by a subtle walnut liqueur flavor with a bit of vanilla and a suggestion of prunes. Slightly roasty, almost chocolatey, just before the finish, then ends sappy sweet, vaguely herbal-hoppy, and with a soft surge of warm alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and lush. Syrupy at times, but that's to be expected, and all things considered, this is actually surprisingly clean and dry.

Drinkability: Definitely the lightest beer of this strength I've ever had. Remarkably drinkable, almost like a cross between a barleywine and a bock. Very nice, this one was a pleasant surprise.

soulgrowl, May 05, 2007
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a deep gold, nearly orange with two fingers of creamy but quickly dissolving head. No lace, but not much surprise there.

Aroma - smells heavy with syrupy fruit, like wine. Fusel vapors take over as it settles. Heady.

Taste - big layer of sweet malt at the front of the palate. Candy, bubble gum, and banana are the impressions I get of the sweet side. The swallow brings on an intense grain flavor, the sweetness backing off enough to support it from backstage. Warm alcohol takes over just before the swallow and from there on. Not harsh but certainly big. Whew, a tongue-smasher, some of the subtler flavors are already disappearing and just the sweetness, rich malt, and booziness remain. A rather long finish, the flavors hanging around like a dose of cough syrup. The bulk of the beer boils down to some simple flavors but they are impressively tasty without getting brash or tiring.

Mouthfeel - filling brew, leaves a nice coating behind, average carbonation.

Drinkability - I'd have it again but would be interested in laying a bottle down for five years or so to see what happens.

brewdlyhooked13, May 03, 2007
Photo of rallison
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temp into a matching EKU 28 snifter.

A: Golden red with basically no head - this thing looks thick.

S: Smells of apples and pears. Very fruity. Smells quite interesting.

T: Again, lots of fruitiness. Apples and pears are very evident, with a nice bit of alcohol warmth. Very brandy-like in strength and taste. Vinous. No hops that I could find. Lots of caramel too. Ends with a nice alcoholic spicy bite. Definitely an after dinner sipper.

M: Extremely rich with very low carbonation (although there is a touch at the end) - as I believe this is meant to be. It's syrupy, but it's also a sipper, so that's ok by me.

D: It's not really meant to be overly drinkable, but yet, this bottle is going quickly...

Overall, recommended. Want something to drink by the fire? This is it.

rallison, May 02, 2007
Photo of DoubleJ
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If 9.2% ABV in their regular Eisbock wasn't enough, Kulmbacher also makes a stronger 11% ABV version. Purchased from the only place I know that sells Eisbocks (Town and Country Liquor in Fullerton), on to the beer:

A - Pours dark orange with some red hues.

S - Alcoholic, malty, raisins, and grapes.

T- The added alcohol has changed the flavor around a bit, with some sugar candy notes, a touch of caramel, and a hint of vanilla. The doughiness from the malts reminds us that it's still a bock. The alcohol can get distracting at times, but not enough to keep you wanting more. Drinks fairly well for its strength.

Notes: Yowser! This stuff is pretty strong! Despite that, I didn't feel much of a kick after having all 11.2 ounces. This stuff gave me goosebumps the farther I got along with it.

DoubleJ, Apr 20, 2007
Photo of mikesgroove
2.65/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured a very clear and very bright yellow orange with no head and no visible lace. Lots of visible carbonation streaming up from the glass.

S - Smell was very light at first but started to come through some more as it warmed. Nice smell of grain mixed with some dried fruit, raisins, plums, maybe even some peach. A slight bready twang to it and a definite hint at the alcohol inside.

M & T - The first impression of the taste was extremely sweet, with an enormous alchol bite. The feel was very syrupy, almost cough medicine like and made it a bit hard to put down. Lots of alcohol left a huge warming feeling in the belly, but I would almost say there was too much alcohol in this one as it really packs a wallaop and distracts from some of the flavors.

D - Overall this will kick your butt if you have more then one. It really did come off as a bit too strong. Maybe tone down the alcohol and puff up the hops and it could be a fine frink. Maybe I let one sit down for some months, though I don't know how it will age. This is very intresting and a definate sipper, a good one to try.

mikesgroove, Apr 10, 2007
Photo of BBM
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

EKU 28 pours a clear golden honey color with a reddish hue and a thin white, fizzy head. The aroma is of rum, raisins, warm alcohol, and other dark fruits. Pleasant and powerful.

There is a big malt flavor up front, with caramel, dark fruits, and a raisin quality to it. There is a very slight hop balance, but the finish is very alcoholic and warming. This is in no way a bad thing, in fact it is quite a pleasant sensation. It's almost more akin to a brandy or port wine. Mouthfeel is clean, but a bit thin. Even at 11%, this beer remains fairly drinkable. Overall this is one powerful beer that is meant to be a sipper. Highly recommended.

BBM, Mar 27, 2007
Photo of goochpunch
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep honey with some rather active carbonation in the body, a thin head that eventually turns into a thin ring, and some lace clinging to the sides. Lot of hot alcohol in the nose with some sweet honey and bready malts. Smells kind of worty. The alcohol along with some light fruits hit the palate first. Bread, honey, and pears continue on into the finish, which has an almost medicinal quality, but it doesn't go too far. Mouthfeel is thick, slick, and with a soft and mellow carbonation. With the high alcohol, this one is a sipper.

goochpunch, Mar 26, 2007
Photo of drpimento
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Having this bottle at home, but I'm sure they have it at Bodega downtown La Crosse, too. Poured with a big, thick, foamy, luscious light tan head and some lace. Most head disappeared except for a thin cover. Nose was intensely malty, caramel, toffee, and bitter yeast. This is just out of my cold fridge and it's great; I know it'll be better as it warms. Still, the flavor is very good! Like the aroma but better. Great body. Very mouthfilling with just the right carbonation. Having it with a bowl of spicy congee. Good match. Nice finish that is yeast bitter at first fading to the above sweet flavors. Very rich, not a session beer; but one or two is fine.

drpimento, Mar 24, 2007
Photo of jamie2dope
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I alwasy thought the EKU stuff looked rather curious, so I picked up a bottle without any clue that it was an Eisbock. It poured surprisingly light orange color, with pretty much no head. This is certainly the lightest shaded version of the style I have seen (though I have not seen many). Smell was very boozy and fruity...apples seem definitely there. Taste was on the malty side, with viscous honey, raisins, and more booze. This beer seems to explode when it swishes around the palate, bursting with flavor in every way. It is a bit carbonated, not not too much. While this is a drinkable beer for sure, it is also pretty strong and heavy. One or two bottles at a time seems appropriate to me. Final Thoughts: A nice beer for sure. Maybe not the best Eisbock I have had, but still enjoyable. I would like to see how it is on tap.

jamie2dope, Mar 10, 2007
Photo of Jermbrew
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

I poured this in to an oversized snifter. Deep amber in color. The head disappears very quickly, but leaves behind a little swirly foam on top.

Aroma is huge in this beer. Sweet cherry-like scent with hints of vanilla and oak. It's a good inviting smell.

Taste is vanilla and malty sweet and mouthfeel is great. The liquid is velvety and super smooth, but the hot finish reminds me of the high ABV.

I can have this occasionally but it depends on the time and place. This may be a good one to finish the night with.

Jermbrew, Mar 01, 2007
Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a little bottle of this last night at the Essen Haus. A bargain at $4 if you ask me. This is quite a beer.

Pours that dark orange-copper color that screams so quintessentially that this is a German Doppelbock or Eisbock. Head is initially thick and tan but it doesn’t have much of a life span and before to long descends to just a very thin clinging lace. Not much carbonation. Seems to be an old bottle.

Aroma is quite pungent, primarily of boozy dark fruit…tons, and tons of prunes/rum raison but also some cherries. Very boozy but it does manage to give one the idea that they might find a heck of a lot of malt in this brew from the hints of caramel that rise with the alcohol notes.

Thick, soothing, chewy feel. Highly viscous. Somewhat sweet. Primary flavor is booze soaked dark fruit but the caramel malts are also quite nice. Reminds me a little bit of Optimator. Also, many beers are described a vinous but this one seems more like Cognac then wine.

Not very drinkable for me. If I want a lot of dark fruit boozy flavors I’ll probably go the Baltic porter route. This is a nice beer but it just doesn’t stand up to the eisbocks I’m used to drinking from New Glarus, Capital, The Dane, and Aventinus.

DaPeculierDane, Feb 28, 2007
Photo of mjc410
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've decided to pour this into my La Moneuse glass, being bereft of a snifter at this time. The beer puts up a short-lived head that fades in less than ten seconds to a thin glass ring. The body has a beautiful color, though: it's a transparent ruby-copper. The nose is full of brown sugar, dark bread, and the scent of pecan pie, which may very well be the first time I've said this about a beer. Very interesting. The taste is a near-cloying, caramel and light brown sugar experience. I honestly don't think there's more to it than that, but it tastes wonderful, in very small sips. The mouth might be one of the thickest I've ever come across, with almost non-existent carbonation. But really, I can't see a "combat" beer like this having any bubbles to lighten the load, it just wouldn't feel right. If I could have this with pecan pie, or a hefty chocolate dish, or creme brulee, or... Well, suffice it to say, this is a great one.

mjc410, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of khiasmus
2.98/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

A-Pours a beautiful clear, dark amber. Almost no head that disappears comletely in moments.

S-Very sweet, almost sickly, with some fig and apricot notes, and no hops.

T-It's very good, but honestly my first taste almost choked me-I wasn't expecting something so overwhelmingly sweet. Tastes like malt and dates. No hops. Reviewing the guidelines for the eisbock, it fits very closely except for how sickeningly sweet it is.

M-Slick and oily-smooth, with low carbonation and a dry, warm, alcohol finish.

D-I wanted to pour it out after first sip. Simply too damn sweet. If you want a much, much better example of Eisbock, get a Kulmbacher Eisbock.

khiasmus, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of scruffwhor
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had the last bottle from that first six-pack. So I aged one bottle over one year from purchase.

Appearance- A vibrant, yet clear honey and brandy amber with a strong head that quickly fades after a minute. No lacing and mild bubbling.

Smell- A light port with some a mix of honey and candied fruits.

Taste- The alcohol lightened up nicely. It became better intermingled with the fruity, brandy flavored malts. Very good for sipping while reading a bit from my Homebrewing book.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and a little spicey with a thick and tight chewy texture. Fucking awesome before going to bed.

Something worth cellaring for a year, maybe two.

scruffwhor, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer tasted like a dunkel that had been distilled. While I know nothing about the history of this beer, it struck me that this beer may have been launched when high-alc alone was enough to distinguish you from other beers. But in a marketplace where we have an abundance of dubels, tripels, and quads, in addition to barley-wine, old ale and other high-alc styles, I'm not sure this beer measures up so well.

It poured with little to no head. It had a sweet malt aroma, and a pleasant malt/bourbon/caramel/spice flavor. Not bad, but not as complex/nuanced as I was led by the label description to expect. Mouthfeel was full and slightly puckery. This beer is not extremely drinkable, but I don't think its supposed to be!

BeerBelcher, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of ledemie
4.9/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer, if you even have scotch single malt ( smooth), this is the same for beer, smooth, nice ethil after tast, not to sweet, not hopy, not bitter, this is a really really smooth beer, but becaraful, it will knock you out. So drink with moderation.
Nice beer.

ledemie, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of dpool
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Fairly dark, amber color with a light head.
S: Nice combination of carmel, hops and bread
T: Vey pleasant, reminds me of a belgian strong ale. Hints of sweetness with a nice follow of alcohol.
M: Very smooth
D: Good beer to enjoy after a long day, very well balanced, but the alc % keeps you from having a few.

dpool, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of janubio
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very nice bright copper colour, with a correct head that fades quickly, leaving some lace that fades too in a couple of minutes. Smell is of dark fruits and brandy or port, with hints of vanilla, almonds and cherries, and caramel too. Taste is sweet, very strong, caramel. Vanilla and cherries are noticed too, with a slightly bitter touch in the end. This is really a very fine beer, but if you have tried Samichlaus before... it pales in comparison. Then again, any other beer do.

janubio, Jan 17, 2007
Photo of Abita45
2.9/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. I'm unfamilar with this style of beer, so I don't have many preconcieved notions of what it should constitute, though it is described as a 'bock' so I'll keep that in mind.

Pours to a deep amber/copper color. No head at all, and no lacing. Aroma is one of sweet malt and somewhat grainy. The mouthfeel is pretty thick and creamy. Definitely not a beer I would have many of in one sitting.

Taste is not that great. The alcohol comes through, along with a taste of overripe fruit or burnt brown sugar. A kind of sweetness that borders on being too 'harsh' to really be sweet. If that makes sense.

I can't help but wonder if some of the flavors are a result of the importation and sitting on a shelf. This was bought as part of a winter beer variety pack, so its freshness could be a major factor here.

I won't rule this beer out in the future, especially on a windy day where that alcohol bite will be appreciated, but for right now, this beer did not leave as favorable impression as I'd hoped.

Abita45, Dec 30, 2006
Photo of seanyfo
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Lovely copper barley colour with a solid toffee 3 finger head when poured into a duvel glass. dissapates quickly to nothing. - looks like brandy after about 5 mins, no head at all

S- lots of toffee and fresh bready malts, golden syrup aswell

T- this tastes very malty indeed, alcohol is well hidden amongst fresh bread and a golden syrup sugary flavour finish, very smooth and moreish

M- mouthfeel is great, not too syrupy which i expected from the smell. medium carbonation, well balanced

D- A lovely winter sipper, the alcohol being well masked and the sweet notes make this very moreish, but be careful as the alcohol hits you quickly

NOTES* I paired this with a christmas mince pie. the sweetness of the mince pie accentuated the fresh bready malts more, taking away the syrupy feel, which made it all the more enjoyable

seanyfo, Dec 17, 2006
Photo of Phocion
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a brandy snifter. Beautiful deep reddish amber and very bubbly with about 3/4 of a finger of white head, though it quickly falls into a thin lace of bubbles.

Strong sweet malts. Bread dough and molasses. Rich fruit salad aroma as well, most notably apples.

Flavor is mostly alcohol. Lots of alcohol, especially as it warms. The ABV is 11% and this brew doesn't even try to hide it. Strong doughy and fruity malts balanced by an ever-so-slight hoppy bitterness.

Thick, syrupy mouthfeel and light carbonation. High ABV along with thick alcohol and incredibly sweet malts kind of hinder the drinkability. Nonetheless, I'd recommend this to anyone who thinks they can handle it.

Phocion, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of jdoolin
4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz bottle, poured into a brandy snifter

Appearance: Poured a clear, dark brownish red. Very nice color indeed. Not much head, and what little formed, disappeared shortly after the pour. But to be expected, really.

Aroma: This beer has a heavenly aroma. I just sat there with my nose in the snifter for at least a minute before taking the first sip. There is a big fruity aroma, with a lot of caramel malt and definite rummy alcohol.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Very thick, syrupy mouthfeel. Carbonation is still there, but not much. Which in this case is just enough. Big malt flavor that is sweet, but not at all cloying. Complex fruitiness and spicy alcohol blend well with the malt to make this a very tasty, interesting beer.

Notes: This is a tremendous sipping beer. I must have savored this for an hour, with half the time spent enjoying its incredible bouquet. Very good beer for coming in out of the cold.

jdoolin, Nov 18, 2006
Photo of geetlord
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a very clear copper color with a tiny short lasting head

The aroma was sweet with apples and caramel and of course a large hit of alcohol

The flavor was very sweet but mellow, like caramel or molasses there was a bit of tartness as well, like tart apples. Lots of alcohol and some smokiness in the finish. The mouthfeel was very smooth and creamy somewhat thick and syrupy, and very good.

geetlord, Nov 11, 2006
EKU 28 from Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
87 out of 100 based on 619 ratings.