EKU 28 | Kulmbacher Brauerei AG

very good
453 Reviews
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EKU 28EKU 28

Brewed by:
Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
Germany | website

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Year-round

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-16-2001

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Reviews: 453 | Ratings: 682
Photo of BeerResearcher
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A dark copper color with a thin head and virtually no lace. The malt and alcohol aroma is less than expected. The full, thick malt is quite sweet with flavors of honey and cloves. The strong alcohol packs a punch and practically buries the hops, though bitter citrus can be detected. I recently tasted Austrian Winter specialty, Samichlaus at 14% abv and this EKU 28 at 11% abv seems much stronger. Go figure.

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Photo of proc
3.17/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours out to an amber color with a quickly, fading head. Aroma is that of malt, predominatly and is somewhat sweet to the smell. The alcohol is not hidden very well in this beer and tends to detract from what could be a very good assortment of fruit on the palate. Finish is strong. Not a very drinkable beer, but one to sipped. Average.

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Photo of jlervine
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A few weeks ago, I drove from Atlanta to Chattanooga to obtain some > 6% abv beers - a few trappists, some Stone Brewing Co. beers, and basically whatever else I could find and possible afford. I went up there with a $50 limit to my purchases, and came back with $150 worth of beer. What can I say, I am weak. Nevertheless, the 5 hour trip netted a few choice brews. This is one of them.

Pours a reddish amber, and strains to put forth any head on the beer at all before giving up. Smell is malty, almost a hint of raisin, and a prominent alcohol nose. Taste is malt, brandy-like flavors, and alcohol. It really reminds me of a distilled beverage my father brought back from Bosnia as far as the fruit character. Mouthfeel is very sharp and warming. Definitely a nightcap or digestif - absolutely not a session beer.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Holy cow, this stuff knocks you off your feet, thats if your standing. Color of this is a solid copper with a small off-white head. The aroma is very alcoholic and deep fruityness like a flavored vodka or something. It has some cherry and sugary caramel dark maltyness to it thats just heavenly. Then the taste, watch it now, it says "hi" very quickly. You say hello back by going, "Whew, wow, holy smokes thats strong!" You sip again and the dark fruit and maltyness just settles with very nice tones of caramel, cherry, toffee and other fruits of ripeness lingering around in there. Super complex, inviting, subtle and strong, I'm sorry,did I already say it was strong. The feel is full, rich and a bit deep, some chewyness and butterness with a that alcohol warmness that makes this a serious sipper. And a good sipper at that.

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Photo of bditty187
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Coppery-tawny-auburn hue, lovely off-white head that reached a finger before fading to a soapy residue, no lace. Great nose, potently alcoholic yet very inviting, rummy, caramelized dark fruits too. The first sip is like a punch to the throat. Massively sweet but not cloying, very alcoholic, ripe fruit (plums, raisins, apples), caramel notes, buttery too. Complex palate. The finish has a bitter hint but it’s mainly sweet. The mouthfeel is thick, chewy… full-bodied, syrupy. Little carbonation. This is a sipping beer, savor it, enjoy it… try one.

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Photo of stoutman
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

WHOA! Nice pour with a full white head. A beautiful beer to look at. Copper colored with a long lasting effervescence. Aroma was, to me, a bit funky sweet like fermenting. It smelled like overripe/rotting oranges. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the aroma was not indicative of the flavor. The taste was malty with spice and some fruit notes, none of which were rotten. The finish was warm but hid the alcohol fairly well.

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Photo of oberon
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow what a beautiful beer,poured with a huge head great color.Felt like I needed a cigar and a brandy snifter,alcoholic smell with a slight fruit tinge.Tasted alcohol soon as it hit taste buds,a little syrupy but thats to be expected.Only a little fruity tast was apparent other than alcohol.As it warmed alcohol taste creeped up even more,nice to drink before bed.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

What kind or beer is this, I have to ask, for the label tells me little. Lager, or ale, or?...Huge head, gorgeous red color, and an aroma that makes me step back and gauge myself. Sweet, notes of cherries, and alcohol, and, WOW!, but this is INTENSE! It's enormous and pungent, and formidable, and I haven't even put it to my lips, yet! Full, thick, lush texture...this beer pulls up a chair and makes itself at home in your mouth! Not a beer to be underestimated, to be gulped, or guzzled, or otherwise abused!
In this brew, it's alcohol you feel, above and beyond any other flavors. They may exist, but they must lay before the master, the booze. A touch of citrus and fruit, but faintly, and,again, subservient to King Liquor. Not exactly THE strongest beer in the world, but one of the tastiest strong brews I've ever enjoyed. Just, be careful. Tread wisely, and enjoy.

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Photo of ElGuapo
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a golden amber with a massive off-white foamy head. lace is all over the glass even after the brew has been finished. the aroma is of caramel, malts, and alcohol.

flavor has a nice sweet maltiness, but there is a whole lot of alcohol that hurts this one a little bit. you will pick up a nice smooth caramel taste that tones down the alcohol a little to keep it from getting out of hand. it has a nice warming sensation as you drink it. this beer is full-bodied, full-flavored, and very rich. carbonation is light, and it has a very good feel to it. the alcohol flavor keeps it from being a great drinker, but it is still good.

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Photo of yen157
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very clear deep amber or copper or whatever you want to call it. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was something about the aroma that nudged me the wrong way. It wasn’t the alcohol, malt, or esters, but something else. Some sort of sourness that was unexpected I just didn’t care for much. The first sip almost knocked me out of my chair. What a drink! A huge buttery malt (but I don’t think diacetyl) floods the mouth and was balanced not by hops but by an alcohol/solvent burn. The tongue was left tingling for much of the moderately long salty caramel finish. Hops were minimal at best and kinda go unnoticed, by me at least! Viscosity is pretty high and carbonation in the mouth in tiny since this beers is respectfully sipped. This was a tasty beer and worth the waiting for the store to get it back in.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very strange. To see the total lack of head after a couple of minutes, zero lace. I hate to have the rating lowered too much by appearance, because I liked this beer. Pretty easy to drink considering the strength. Quite sweet (I know a sweet beer when my teeth start to hurt!), and I don't think I could have more than two. However, if you're looking to warm up, drink this. I have a little cold tonight, and this works way better than Nyquil!

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Photo of jackndan
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

EKU 28: An amazing beer. Amber colored with a hint of ruby red. The aroma is very, very sweet (for a beer), with a strong aroma of tangerine. The initial taste is very strongly alcohol. Extremely thick/creamy mouthfeel. Taste is very sweet, warm flavor, with very prominent tastes of tangerine/and just a wisp of malts. Very nice and dry aftertaste, very clean, not much aftertaste. Very nice.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.61/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I worried a lot about this beer. First let's take the color, which is absolutely gorgeous -- orangeish/red, the most sunset-looking beer I've ever seen. At first I thought it was just pretty. Now that I think about it, though, this is just the color nature tends to paint things when it wants to warn people to *stay away*! Ah well, if the color doesn't get ya, the aroma will. Huge nose of alcohol, which mellows a bit to an aroma of rum soaked raisins with lots of sweet caramel malt underlying. The third warning is the lack of any evident head -- you can just see the carbonation struggling to make its way up through the massive levels of alcohol in this beer. Ok. Time to take the first sip. I absolutely could not believe how creamy and smooth it is! The caramel and alcohol combine together to produce something not entirely unlike a rather nutmeggy, spicy dark cola. Dr. Pepper for grown-ups. Alcohol and malt dominate the main body as well, with some nice fruity, orange-like esters developing. Then the beer finishes off with a nice combination of peppery spiciness and understated hop bitterness. Finish is sweet, but just barely. Not nearly as cloying as it could have been. This beer handles its alchol *very* well, and provided it is shown the proper respect, is quite a nice bed-time beer.

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Photo of Wildman
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a copper amber color and formed a bubbly off white head that left circular lace. An aroma of malt and caramel. A powerful taste of malt and caramel and strong presence of both in the finish. The alcohol comes through as an after affect of the finsh. Nice flavor, but definately a sipper style, even if it does come in a six pack.

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Photo of kunzbrew
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

color of a red leaf off a maple tree in fall. The smell of cherry fruit is strong along with alchohol, that puts you on your ass. the tasste of haops and malt are almost non-existent because of the over power strength of this brew but it is very tasty. It is almost like leaving a twizzler in a bucket of vodka for months then try to eat it. I am very pleased with this purchase it should last me quite a while.

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Photo of inebrius
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Like a punch in the chest from your best friend at a drunken bonfire party EKU 28 is a warm and powerful brew. It starts out looking like your normal amber lager and even poured a huge head, but soon the head is gone and it looks like a glass of unfermented wort. Nose is brandy-like and curls the hairs. And it IS malty, malty sweetness attacks your tongue but is quickly cleansed by fusel alcohol and bittering hops that balance everything out and you're ready for another taste. ABV is apparent yet not a problem. Complex and tasty. A German lager equal to many of the Belgian strong ales.

This is one quality sipping brew. A big cheers to VENOM for the sample.

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Photo of marc77
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear reddish copper hue w/ brilliant clarity from the ample lagering. The head settles quickly into a thin spotty ring due to the high alcohol. Sparse bubbles rise slowly through the apparently viscous brew. Sugar coated nuts and caramelized sweetness upfront in aroma, toasty malt and fruity melanoidins follow and grow progressively more intense as the brew breathes and warms. Smells like a ballsy hellesbock, with alcohol notes milder that the strength would indicate. Although the flavor profile is assertively sweet overall, it is not one dimensionally so. Rich, non - diacetyl buttery malt is the foundation for toasty, nutty and perhaps decocted Munich malt, which complement crystal and residual sweetness to lend a toffeeish character. Mellow, yet bright fruitiness combine with the sweetness to form a red licorice note. The body is deceivingly light while the mouthfeel is viscous and a bit syrupy, yet not cloying. Hop bitterness is virtually absent. Finishes expectedly sweet; brown sugar like sweetness coats the tongue. EKU 28 struck me as cloyingly sweet at first, but it became increasingly complex as it breathed. It's a fine dessert beer that would pair well with simply rich vanilla or coffee ice cream.

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Photo of Suds
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light amber in color with a very small, short-lived head. Smell is all about alcohol. The beer is very syrupy and sweet. Very little carbonation. Tastes something like a dopplebock, but the beer is very one-dimentional. Not bad, but overrated.

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Photo of Jason
4.36/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz slender brown bottle with a foiled top, a freshness date is printed on the front label. On the back label is a somewhat disturbing picture of a drunk German man pointing at his stein.

Deep copper hue, very clear with a head that disappears quickly, I guess the more this ages the more the head takes a hit. As I poured it the carbonation struggles to reach the top.

Straight up clean alcohol with a huge ripe fruit aroma, rum raisin comes to mind as well as over ripe apples. An underlying caramel note show that there is a huge maltiness within.

Mouth feel is creamy beyond belief, carbonation is still intact with a viscous rolling feeling as it caresses the palate. Thick on malt, big on sweetness but not out of balance at all. The alcohol rips through the mouth with a big fruity ester and solvent character that does not go overboard. Hops are there but very faint. Fruitiness is really ripe with slight banana and apple sweetness. Malt comes back with a thick syrup caramel flavour as the alcohol bursts again in a spicy kind of way. Finishes sweet with waves of alcohol fumes leaving the mouth and warming the body.

I gauged the head retention to be that way knowing it would be like that so I was not too disappointed, the aroma is simply amazing and the flavour crushed my palate for the rest of the night. As for the alcohol, this is a night cap brew. I’ll save the other bottle to have around the winter holidays.

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Photo of DarthMalt
3.08/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Well, there's no pretense about what this beer stands for--ABV!!!

I think the problem with reviewing a beer like this is that we are so accustomed to our "beer-reiview mode" that we try to force beers like this, or an Adventius Eisbock (or something similarly extreme) into the same refrigerator, glass, coaster, and mouth as we do our Czechvars and IPAs, which is totally unfair to the style. Some beers need to be taken on their own merits.

A good jumping off point for this beer is the propaganda on the box which says, "Een van de zwaarrste......"--Oops! Wrong side. Which says:

"This world-famous beer was made for moments of quiet contemplation or warm conversation. Enjoy at cellar temperature (about 50 degrees). [Okay, there's a HUGE hint!]. EKU 28 is a fabled after-dinner digestif, a splendid Winter warmer, or a soothing nightcap to any season. The one to choose whenever something good and strong is needed."

My Deal: Served too cold. Thin, evaporating head. No bubble streams. Color is deceptively light amber, but with a glistening red light that dares to consume like a good cognac (highlights get better as beer gets lower :). Aroma is that of an caramel apple soaked in nail polish remover. Smokin'-hot foretaste with charred oak in the mid-range. Aftertaste is fairly clean, leaving only the memory of all those litle yeast cells which gave their lives valiantly in pursuit of this brew.

Nighty Night!

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Photo of Todd
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2oz brown bottle. No bottled on date; don't really need one for a beer with this strenth, but for vintage purposes it might be nice.

Appearance: Light copper in colour with an active level of medium sized carbonation bubbles. Head is thin, white and creamy with a slight syrupy stick to the glass.

Smell: Mega malts (mostly caramel), deep, rich fruity esters and a strong alcohol nose.

Taste: Thick, full-bodied, syrupy and luscious on the palate. Luckily this is broken up by the lively carbonation for some balance. First flavour to emerge is a rather spicy (and warming) alcohol that delivers one hell of a kick to the palate, then the head. Malt comes next, and it's massive, rich and sweet with a caramel, milky chocolate and candied backbone. Strong oak and vanilla flavours are also present, along with a sort of date / fig sweetness. Juicy fruit flavours (all kinds: apple, pineapple, mango, honeydew mellon, etc) follow, then a buttery bicuity malt character soothes the palate into the finish. Bitterness is there, but it seems to smooth in with all of the other flavours, offering a much needed flavour balance to counter the sweet and strong malts.

Notes: This is a beer to be sipped, savoured and respected. For the style, it's also very well balanced and perhaps one of the best eisbocks I've ever tasted. Powerful. Complex. Balanced. Tasty. Hell yeah!

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Photo of Sigmund
2.03/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Some initially pleasant oak and malts flavours are soon overwhelmed by a revolting alcoholic syrupy sweetness, making it almost impossible to finish a bottle. The eisbock style is not something I'll sample again - unless it's for free.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a very bright orange / copper color which looks very nice, head fizzes out very fast though. On the nose is fruit, rich malts and the scent of 11% abv. can’t be missed. Same on the palate rich malts, fruitiness, raisins, slight citrus notes, and tiny caramel notes also. A bit sticky in the mouth feel, and that 11% abv. slightly heats the throat and warms the gut. A little much alcohol, but a good sipping brew. I wouldn’t recommend more then one at a time. Holy cow...my throat is numb...

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Photo of ADR
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Some classify this brew as an "Eisbock" (6/14/02 now, it is, style categories changed at this site)...poured it in a Pilsner glass, pretty dark amber, but clear. Head is just a spidery trace after 20 seconds. Raisiny, clovey, sweet aromas, hints of alcohol. Prune, cinnamon, and sugar flavors, a coating mouthfeel in the extreme. Alcohol has most kick on the swallow. Lots of spice and subtle flavor alterations. The brew is just too sticky for me, just saved from cloying by some slight citrus hints. Heavy duty stuff, I'll take it over a sherry, but wouldn't call it drinkable in quantity unless you have the next day off.

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Photo of cokes
4.49/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A raging lcebock.
Pours a golden orange color. With a fizzy off white head.
Nose consists of raisin bread notes, fig, some molasses and alcohol.
Taste contains all of these as well. With emphasis on fig and molasses. Caramel tones are evident as are faint vanilla and oak. Alcohol is almost blistering....but not neccessarily bad.

Thick mouthfeel is balanced with a decent CO2 level. Syrupy and sticky, yet still smooth.
If you are looking to be punished by a huge malt beast...look no further. Plus, it is pretty tasty and complex to boot

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EKU 28 from Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
88 out of 100 based on 453 ratings.