Solstice Stout
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Solstice StoutSolstice Stout
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #74
ABV:
16%
Score:
98
Ranked #294
Avg:
4.55 | pDev: 8.13%
Reviews:
18
Ratings:
145
From:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  76
Gots
  20
SCORE
98
World-Class
Solstice StoutSolstice Stout
Notes: A special blend of aged ales. This beer, black in color with robust flavors of sweet roasted malt and toffee .
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 145 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Roy_Hobbs
Roy_Hobbs from Connecticut

4.46/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served at 54 degrees and poured into a tulip. Pours absolutely jet black. Not even a hint of any other color. Somewhat small coffee ice cream colored head that didn't last long. Overall, an attractive beer. Aroma is extremely rich. Waves of fig, raisin, malts & more. Taste largely follows the nose, but adds in wonderful toffee notes. Sweet molasses / caramel notes, but not cloyingly so. Feel is fairly thick but smooth.

This is one of those beers that makes me wish I were a more sophisticated reviewer. I can't pick up every note, and I certainly can't describe them all, but what I do know is that this is an excellent beer.

Dec 13, 2020
Photo of larryi86
larryi86 from Delaware

4.54/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Blind review:
12 oz bottle poured into a wine glass

A- Black with small mocha head. 4

S- Chocolate, whiskey, oak, cocoa, some caramel malts, roasted malts. 4.25

T- Chocolate, cocoa, whiskey, oak, some dark fruits, touch of caramel malts, some roasted malts. 4.5

M- Smooth, medium to full body, carbonation is a touch high. 4

O- A tasty barrel aged stout/porter with chocolate added, nicely balanced. 4.25

After thoughts:
I’m moving some number up after learning this 16% ABV I have to bump up numbers because is drinks like it is between 10-12%. Also getting some toffee and more of a complex dark fruit flavors was it warms up.

Jul 16, 2020
Photo of matts2896
matts2896 from Connecticut

4.47/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: very low carb; very dark brown, almost obsisian in color; a little sticky lacing on the glass

S: big oxidation aromas: old books and leather, generic must, masticated dark fruits

T: initial impression follows smell, this beer tastes wicked old despite having been bottled last year. Midpallette, mustyiness of the nose gives way to toffee, fig newton filling, and sickly-sweet marshmallow. The finish is sweet with a bit of bitter dark cherry on the swallow. This beer's flavor is defined by oxidation, but in this case, that is not a bad thing.

Barrel is a nice balancing presence and comes through appropriately. But I do not think the barrel is the star here.

F: solid mouthfeel: slick and a little syrupy, not big and chewy as you might expect a 16% stout. From first taste, however, you can tell this is not a traditional stout. A thinner, more syrupy mouthfeel and low carb work well here

Feb 23, 2020
Photo of Buck89
Buck89 from Tennessee

4.49/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. An opaque dark brown color with a modest tan head that lingered. Complex aroma with chocolate, coffee, dark cherries, vanilla, and bourbon. Same on the taste. I was impressed with the complexity of the malts which only increased as the drink warmed. The barrel presence was there but it did not detract from the stout flavors. Surprisingly not boozy on the finish. Really outstanding.

Dec 26, 2019
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

4.15/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a very dark black, with a tiny head, and basically no lacing.

This one smells like molasses, sarasparilla, chocolate fudge, roast, oak, sweet bourbon, caramel, and dried dark fruit.

This is very, very sweet, but doesn't get too cloying luckily. That classic molasses and almost sarsaparilla type flavor from Fourth Dementia is certainly there, with a ton of bourbon and oak, along with maple and caramel, plus melted sweet chocolate fudge.

This is medium bodied, slightly syrupy, with strangely no booziness, despite the 16% ABV. It's not super thick but it's also not thin.

This is typical knockout territory for Kuhnhenn - big, malty, and sloppy.

Nov 17, 2019
Photo of bbtkd
bbtkd from South Dakota

4.56/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Kuhnhenn Solstice Stout, 16% ABV. Pours thick and black with a real nice two finger brown head that left some lacing. Nose is sweet toffee, bourbon, and malt. Taste follows, quite sweet, plus fruit, very slight bitterness. Excellent mouthfeel, overall world-class. Tastes so great that it is all to easy to drink fast, dangerous with that ABV.

May 12, 2019
Photo of Wolvmar
Wolvmar from Michigan

4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. 2018 vintage. Poured into a tulip glass.

Pour: jet back with a half finger dark tan head. Absolutely black with only a hint of brown from the head. Head dissipates into a decent ring that lasts along with a few clouds. No lacing to speak of.

Nose: sweet malts, bourbon, dark fruits. Hints of coffee and chocolate.

Taste: follows the nose pretty closely. Sweet but not cloying. Dark molassses, maybe some brown sugar, malts, balanced with coffee/dark chocolate bitterness. Dark fruits, maybe some vanilla. Probably some hops somewhere but well hidden.

Mouthfeel: smooth, silky, low carbonation. Slight marshmallow feel. A beautiful sipper that you’ll want to swirl around a few times before swallowing. Really enjoyable.

Overall: along with BA 4th Dementia, my favorite from (my first) the Kuhnhenn Winter Solstice releases. Would absolutely buy again although it may be a bit sweet for some.

Mar 04, 2019
Photo of GreatStoutman
GreatStoutman from Texas

4.57/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Really unique, and huge beer. Not incredibly complex, but the flavors that are presented are really big.

Roasted malt, sweet caramel/toffee, and a finish with hints of coffee and bitter chocolate.

Full bodied, but not quite motor oil level. This bottle is a 2018 and I’m guessing it develops nicely!

Mar 03, 2019
Photo of maximum12
maximum12 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks again to FlintB for this 12 oz. bottle. I had no idea this was 16% when I popped the bottle open to *begin* an evening of drinking. Might be a short night.

Darkness flows, with little foam except around the edges of the pond. Nose brings caramel, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate. Waiting for the fruit but never materialized.

Solstice Stout – damn, son. This has that cherry taste in a positive way, which I find hard to discover in combo with a stout-type beer. Stone cherry dipped in caramel, vanilla bourbon (together, not separated), licorice (which is what really sticks around), ending with oak dental implants for days. Remarkably, no booze at all. Big thick. The serious ABV is disappearing faster than it ought.

Before looking it up, I thought I was in for a routine (or as routine as Kuhnhenn gets) imperial stout. I should have known better. A really interesting & excellent brew.

Mar 03, 2019
Photo of CanConPhilly
CanConPhilly from Pennsylvania

4.46/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L - 1.5 finger dense mocha head atop an oily black body.

S - dark fruit, semisweet chocolate, roast, grapes.

T - dark fruit dominates, followed by chocolate, roast, red wine, plum, anise, a little vinegar, mixed berry, wood. Low bitterness. Low sweetness. Moderate-low booziness.

F - medium-full body with low carb.

O - a baffling brew. No idea what style this is, but damn it’s tasty.

Feb 24, 2019
Photo of pmarlowe
pmarlowe from Virginia

4.02/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2018 release.

A: Pours dead black with a thick cap of light brown head. Excellent retention.

S: Roasted malt, coffee, light rich bourbon, and toffee.

T: Coffee, roast, brown sugar, toffee, and black char. Moderate sugary sweetness brings this into more of the dessert realm.

M: Medium-full body, chewy, with medium-light carbonation. Light alcohol heat; hides the alcohol remarkably well for 16%.

O: Decent dark ale with light bourbon treatment. The sweetness overwhelms the taste and sharply limits drinkability.

Feb 01, 2019
Photo of superspak
superspak from Ohio

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

7900th review! 12 ounce bottle into snifter, 2018 vintage. Pours dense pitch black color with a small dense dark tan head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of huge dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, toffee, fudge, brownie/cake batter, raisin, plum, prune, fig, cherry, date, sherry, toasted oak, roasted nuts, dark/brown bread crust, and biscuit; with lighter notes of vanilla, licorice, bourbon, coconut, smoke, char, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, and yeast/roast/toast/oaky earthiness. Some increasing booze in the aromas, but not overwhelming. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/black/roast/bready malts, fruity yeast, oak barrels, and light earthy hop notes; with big strength. Taste of huge dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, toffee, fudge, brownie/cake batter, raisin, plum, prune, fig, cherry, date, sherry, toasted oak, roasted nuts, dark/brown bread crust, and biscuit; with lighter notes of vanilla, licorice, bourbon, coconut, smoke, char, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, and yeast/roast/toast/oaky earthiness. Light herbal, grassy, roast, charcoal bitterness; and bourbon/oak tannin spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, toffee, fudge, brownie/cake batter, dark fruit, sherry, toasted oak, roasted nuts, dark/brown bread crust, biscuit, vanilla, licorice, bourbon, coconut, smoke, char, leather, tobacco, herbal, grass, and yeast/roast/toast/oaky earthiness on the finish for a while. Amazing complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/black/roast/bready malts, fruity yeast, oak barrels, and light earthy hop flavors; with an amazing hop/roast bitter/sweet, and bourbon/oak spiciness balance; with no cloying, acrid, astringent flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from lingering hop/char bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness. Light-medium carbonation and very full body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky/velvety, and lightly sticky/chalky/tannic mouthfeel that is insane. Minimal warming alcohol for 16%, with no barrel booze lingering after the finish. Overall this is an insane barrel aged blended imperial stout! All around amazing complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/black/roast/bready malts, fruity yeast, oak barrels, and light earthy hop flavors; extremely smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV, with the mildly bitter/charred/tannic/drying finish. Perfectly balanced super rich malts, fruity yeast, and oak barrel presence/integration; with solid earthy hops against sweetness. This states a blend of aged ales, so probably has the 4D with other of their well known strong ales. A really mind blowing offering, and world class style example as expected. The overall complexity is unreal.

Jan 28, 2019
Photo of darktronica
darktronica from Indiana

4.42/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the 2018 release, poured to a teku in nearly a perfect pour--half a finger of tiny cocoa-powder bubbles over a jet black, viscous stout. Lots of vinous character, an overload of oak and light tartness from the three years in barrels, and a very distinctive base, plenty of tannins, bitter dark chocolate, floral hops, and vanilla all playing well together in the sandbox. In a crowded field, this is extremely memorable, although it may not be a crowd-pleaser across the spectrum.

Jan 09, 2019
Photo of ThickNStout
ThickNStout from Georgia

4.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle from IAmJacksHopTongue (thanks so much for this super awesome surprise!). 2015 vintage. Served in a Three Floyds teku.

Pours oil black with hints of chestnut highlights around the edges and only a few wisps of deep khaki bubbles accross the surface to call head. No lace.

The nose is all about the strong barrel notes. Bourbon, wet wood, vanilla and chocolate. Smells great!

The taste echoes that aroma. Huge bourbon and wet barrel are present throughout. The alcohol is a tad hot but not at all distracting from the layers of chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, caramel, creamed coffee, brown sugar, leather, tobacco and earth. There is a whole lot of sweetness and a good blend of old ale and stout flavors in and amongst all that barrelly goodness. Absolutely delicious.

Oily, thick yet still creamy feel with low carbonation. The heavy liquid coats the tongue but relents fairly quickly with traces of dark fruit and chocolate doused with woodsy bourbon.

Kuhnhenn has yet another winner in my book with Solstice Stout. Mixing Eclipse with 4D and aging it over three years in a bourbon barrel was a fantastic idea that led to some super rich and enjoyable complexities. I'm very glad to have been given the opportunity to try this rare treat.

Jul 07, 2015
Photo of Kurmaraja
Kurmaraja from California

4.68/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A bit hot in the aroma but otherwise damn near perfect. The only other example of this kind of a stout / barleywine blend I've had was Before the Dawn by Steel Toe which was also phenomenal. This is like its big brother.

Incredible dark fruit, chocolate notes, lots of barrel. Mouthfeel is perfect, thick and creamy.

Feb 05, 2015
Photo of Davepoolesque
Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.44/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lots of flavor in this. Good alcohol burn. Super smooth, very little carb, above medium mouthfeel and thickness. Big caramel and dark fruits(dried cherry, fig, raisin). Short finish. Decently complex. Yum.

Jan 29, 2015
Photo of dar482
dar482 from New York

4.99/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer comes in a reddish brown copper.

The aroma has huge amounts of sweet sherry, bourbon, dark fruits, dried dates and plums, oak, and rich caramel brown sugar sweetness.

The flavor follows with that sweetness up front. Notes of sherry or port are quite prominent. The beer is smooth and sweet of caramel sugar of BB4D, but there are also touches of roast and chocolate that balance the brew out. Tobacco, leather. Oak and vanilla finish the beer.

A hugely complex beer that drinks like a dessert liqueur. The complexity is almost unmatched.

Dec 08, 2014
Photo of Beejay
Beejay from Virginia

4.34/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A huge thanks to RocPorterFanatic for getting me this brew! Cheers buddy!

A: A murky muddy brown as it pours, and damn near black in the glass, even an aggressive pour only brings forth a quaint amount of dark rich brown head, which quickly dissipates into the oil like body of the beer.

S: All the typical malt bombs markers on this guy! Molasses, brown sugar, rich caramel, dark fruit, and a good dose of alcohol. There is almost a hint of creme brule on there as well.

T: Malt, malt malt, and then there is a little more malt. Rich and thick with caramel, burnt sugar, toffee, and espresso in the finish. There is a hint of oak and vanilla, which becomes a little more prevalent as the beer warms. There is a fairly decent dose of alcohol.

M: Thick like oil, but with a little more grit. Low carbonation, smooth and syrupy with a finish that clings like cellophane on cellophane.

O: This is one hell of a malt bomb, I actually wish there was a little more of the bourbon, but man still a killer beer.

Jul 13, 2014
Solstice Stout from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 145 ratings