Kuhnhenn Winter Wonder Lager | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

very good
85 Reviews
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Kuhnhenn Winter Wonder LagerKuhnhenn Winter Wonder Lager

Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Eisbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-27-2003

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Reviews: 85 | Ratings: 131
Photo of largadeer
1.18/5  rDev -69.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks, Barry. 09 vintage. Murky rusty copper body with a thin cap. Ridiculously sweet bubblegum aroma. Booze, caramel and spice make up the rest of the smell. Horrific bubblegum syrup flavors abuse the palate; this is like Bubble Yum dissolved in moonshine, and then heavily spiced. Incredibly syrupy and heavy on the palate with a wearying spicy and syrupy finish, this is abysmal.

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Photo of mentor
1.38/5  rDev -64.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Bottle shared by crosling...thanks for the opportunity.

Pours an off-white head over a dark tan liquid. Smells potently of cheap microwave popcorn---butter flavored. Really foul. So off and bad that the only comparison I can make is the sample of beer I once tried that tasted like 'play-doh'.

Taste was sour and foul buttery. Diacetyl failure. One sip and I sent my sample down the drain.

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Photo of Brez07
1.84/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Reviewed as part of the Blind Beer BIF #6. 12oz bottle served in a snifter. Label says 2009 but also has Winter Solstice 2010 written on it

A: Man, this is not a pretty looking beer. Brown, muddy looking. No head or lacing (2)

S: Hmm, this is... interesting? Smells of burnt toast, prunes and a bourbony vanilla (3)

T: Oh dear, that's abrasive. Dark fruit and tomato? Tart prune juice, or maybe red wine vinegar. Fussle alcohol burn. Not pleasant, this one is headed for the drain (1.5)

M: Medium bodied. Minimal carbonation. I want to brush my tongue to get the residual flavor off of it (2)

D: No thanks (1)

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Photo of bobsy
2.43/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had this at the Mondial de la Biere, and grabbed a whole bottle while I kicked back and watched the drunks stagger past our booth at the end of the day.

This is an absolute boozebomb. Pours a burnt umber with a patchy white film of a head that gamely tries to leave something behind, but fails. Aroma is all booze and sugar. Well, perhaps there's some caramel and grain in there too, but holy smokes this thing is hot and sweet. Bejesus, this will sit you on your ass pretty quick. Mondial lists it at 14%, but I'd be more inclined to believe it of it said 24%. Screaming hot alcohol like a 12oz pour of whiskey combined with twice the sugar of your average coke. Instant buzz guaranteed. Alcohol-soaked dark fruit and alcohol-soaked spices add (some) depth. Peppery finish on the tongue and instant heart-warming makes the drunks seem almost passable. Syrupy body with a low carbonation meant it took me an hour to get this one down.

Wow. Hot mess. Rocket fuel for beer snobs.

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Photo of gordavidson
2.98/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2007 Vintage
15.5% ABV

A- A very deep ruby red. Clear with a splotchy white head. Very serious looking.

S- Cotton candy, cinnamon, spruce, some alcohol and spiciness. and a whole bunch of vegetable soup.

T- A massive amount of vegetable soup. Sweet, and a little hop. Not all that complex. Tastes like a bloody Mary.

M- Warm, then hot. The carbonation level isn't too bad.

D- A hot bloody Mary beer. Maybe this is too old, maybe it's just bad. This is not all that interesting or good.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2007 Edition

A: dark lager color but cloudy
S: very cloying, sweet like homebrewing malt extract
T: when compared to other eisbocks this one doesn't stand up, sickly sweet, not well-balanced and clean
M: decent, but still very cloying
D: not like other eisbocks in drinkability and smoothness

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Photo of beerhan
3.11/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Perhaps I did not have this beer under the best circumstances but it was damn near undrinkable. It was a cool night but this beer really warms you up. It has the aroma of christmas time and the look of a dortmunder. The cluster of flavors just bombards you but nonetheless the alcohol is not hidden at all. I only had a taste luckily because I could not have taken anything more than this. Way too alcoholic to drink more than 4 ounces.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to my mom for picking up the 2009 edition at the 2010 Winter Solstice party for me. Served in a snifter. Closing out the eisbock list with this beer.

Pours a moderate brown color with some amber coloring in there as well. Very thin off-white head and a few legs down the side of the glass. Slight collar. Nose is loaded with dark fruits and some alcohol. Slightly spicy as well. Taste is a bit oxidized and really quite warm. Warm as in lots of booze, even for an eisbock. Low carbonation. Decent but probably way too young. Normally Kuhnhenn hides alcohol better than this.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle, 2007 vintage, 15.5% ABV. I received this ages ago from either TheBlackMallard or goryshkewych. I also received a re-release of this vintage from the 2008 Winter Solstice Party from Viggo. Thanks guys!

The cap comes off with a small hiss, and a hazy muddy,ruddy brown beer fills my glass, a light brown head briefly rising before falling off to a ring very quickly. The nose is surprisingly muted. This is in some ways like a iced old ale.There's some black cherry, cherry skins, caramel and dark honey. Initially a little too cold, as it warms up it grows boozy, and adds some prune notes as well. There really is nothing going on here.

The palate, on the other hand, is a lot more flavorful. Quite sweet, almost bitingly so, with a definite kirschwasser taste, fruit and almond-like pit tannins. Some fruit - dried apples, raisins and prunes - as well as a little leather, are present. The alcohol is present and potent, though not as prominent as I'd expect. Apart from a little caramel, though, this does start to fall off on the palate. Bitter (almond skins) on the finish with brown sugar, a little licorice and some prunes, this beer is full in body, lightly carbonated. Decent, enjoyable even, in 2-4oz servings, but 12oz is a bit of a chore.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.21/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. Says 2009 and 2011? Deep amber and ruby body. Some khaki bubbles that settle out quickly. Smells of raisins and alcohol. Brown sugar and sherry oxidation. Taste starts sweet and sugary. Dark fruits and raisins. Quickly cut by a sharp acidity and oxidation that dries it out. Alcohol burn in the back end. Warming with low carbonation. Heavy and slow to drink. Not something I'd drink again, but interesting enough to warrant trying at all.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into my Darkness glass. 2009 batch picked up at 2010 Winter Solstice...Dark brown ugly pour with a little amber. As it pours initially no head or carbonation at all. As it settles a thin light tan ring forms around the glass. No lacing...The aroma is very quadish with dark fruits, raisins, plums, candied sugar, bubblegum, spice, and a little apple brandy finish. A quad on steroids, but I'm digging it for sure...Taste not as successful as there is tons of alcohol on the taste and feel, too warm. Rubbing alcohol from start to finish, acetone notes too. Quad notes of dark fruits, etc, are essentially gone.

Not enjoyable, maybe this will be better with time, but not ready yet.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Vintage, 2007.

Looks rather nice with a bold amber glow, but just a slight collar of pale froth.

Smells of dark fruits and fruit cake with an amaretto booziness beneath.

Tastes quite similar, but the sweet fruit cake is over come by a slight sting of citrus rind followed by a hard liquor alcohol burn. Feels pretty rough in my stomach too. It's pretty obvious this one's 15.5.

Feels dense but clean and actually burns a bit.

Wow. Not much in the way of balance here. Perhaps there is a time and place for this one, but it escapes me at the moment.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled on 2-21-09
2007 Vintage, 15.5% ABV
Reviewed from notes.

A: Cool red color, lots of foam, good lacing with lots of bubbles, and a number of tiny yeast floaters.

S: Fruity and very boozy, with a strong aged quality.

T: Strong vegetable flavor, alcohol is surprisingly subdued, followed by big fruit flavors.

M: Way too thin, way to flat. Detracts from the big flavors.

D: Poor, very strong with an unattractive mouthfeel.

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Photo of Beertracker
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Kuhnhenn's Winter Wonder Lager (2008) pours up like a flat soda pop w/o much luster, but it manages to release enough carbonation to create a wisper thin beigeish-white head that barely manages to ring the glass above a rather dull, murky brown-burnt umber body. It's rather an ugly mess to be brutally honest! The complex, sweet nose starts to make up some ground with its aromatics and rich melanoidin maltiness complimented by some enjoyable toastiness that's reminiscent of freshly baked Tin Vienna bread. There's quite a bit of fruitiness with some Noble hop spiciness and a defined alcohol presence, but very bready (yeasty)... yet generous! The flavor is dominated by a rich, saturated melanoidin maltiness that is marked by the faintest touch of spicy bitterness. The sweet, chewy full-bodied finish is quite syrupy, but just manages to avoid being a pancake condiment thanks to some alcohol afterburners. Winter Wonder Lager is a love it or hate it kind of a beer. I'm not totally convinced this one aged well, so I'll revisit with a fresher bottle. However, being a refined man of the malt, I tend to give it marks simply for its bold audacity and the layers, upon layers of malt richness. I'd recommend WWL to any barleywine & malt lovers in the house, but don't expect finesse. Here's to a Winter Wonderland!

PROST! Beertracker

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Photo of nickd717
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle shared by bring - thanks, Barry! Weird how largadeer had some of the same bottle and gave it an F, but I didn't think this was too bad.

Pours hazy medium amber with a small off-white head.

Aroma is sweet malt, candy apple, spices, and a little booze. Smells decent.

Flavor is sweet caramel and toffee, apple cider, cinnamon, allspice, and some bubble gum.

Medium-full bodied and just a little boozy with average carbonation level.

Above average drinkability for the ABV. Not a bad beer overall, but definitely not a great one.

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Photo of bbothen
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage.

A - Murky, cloudy reddish brown. 1 finger head dissapears quickly.

S - Slightly sweet. Faint yeast & alcohol.

T - Sweet dark fruit, raisin or date, with a big alcohol finish. You taste the 15% for sure.

M - Full body with minimul carbonation.

D - The 15% is there, but quite drinkable for how huge this beer is.

This is a huge beer. I'd get the longer this sits, the better it gets. I'm going to rest my other bottle for a couple years.

A great winter brew. It'll warm you up, that's for sure.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the 2009 vintage courtesy of Derek. Thanks!

A: The pour is an incredibly murky dark brown color with minimal at best head formation.

S: As with almost all eisbocks, this one is sweet, very sweet. There is a ton of caramel and toffee, but also tons of booze. The usual dark fruit suspects: raisins, plums, and prunes. There is a bit of toasted bread and perhaps some red grapes.

T: Sugar and booze are the two main food groups here. Intense caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and bread flavors are all present. There are lots of raisin and plum flavors, and maybe a bit of black cherry. A light fruity tartness and hints of bold red wine.

M: The body is medium to full with rather low carbonation.

O: I like eisbocks and I like Kuhnhenn, but this was a bit too much for me.

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Photo of webmanspidey
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle of the 2009 variety poured into a Duvel tulip glass. This is a dark brown/purple color without much in the way of head. Smell is a potent, very sweet mix of plums, grapes, cherries, and maybe dark chocolate. Alcohol is pretty intense in the flavor, and its burn is really dominating. Some very sweet dark fruit and tart cherries are present, followed by a quick bitter finish and more of the strong alcohol burn.

This would probably be a little better if I had given it some time to mellow. As is, it is a little too hot and boozy.

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Photo of nanobrew
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

drank a 2009 bottle on Christmas 2011

A- Dark mahogany with a slight rise in bubbles, thin head that disappears. After a while the beer looks still.

S- The alcohol is the first thing that hits. It smells of medicinal, sweet grapes juice, molasses.

T - Molasses cookies, dark fruit, slight yeast ester. Finish with chocolate and grape juice. Almost reminds me of a port or maybe even a brandy

M - Sticky, little carbonation, no alcohol burn

O- Nice sipper, lots of different notes from toffee, caramel, bready, fruit, and chocolate. I was glad the beer did not taste and feel like the smell (intense alcohol).

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Photo of putnam
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

2004, 15.5%
Brown, red and caramel amber liquid is fizzy enough to generate some foam. Alcohol pulls it back down quick though.
Aromas of fruit salad with white grapes, coconut, tangerines and white port. Fruit flavored candies, mulling spices and alcohol are evident on the nose too.
On the palate it is a mash of fermenting, candied nuts and spices. Sugary alcohol flavors join estery fruitiness, sesame and wine elements.

This is a daring, interesting beer. I find it monsterous as a proposition for drinking.
I'll use it in a sauce (or 'as' a sauce!)

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Photo of Jeffo
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dad brought this one back from MI a couple summers ago. Cheers!

From a bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2011

APPEARANCE: A muddy brown pour yields a slight wisp that vanishes almost immediately. Muddy, light brown body with no carbonation evident. The slight ring that remained after the pour disappears quickly as well and the beer is left looking pretty flat right away. Lousy looking and borderline ugly.

SMELL: Caramel, butterscotch aromas on the nose with some dark fruits and spicy alcohol as well.

TASTE: Bold flavors of butterscotch and dark fruits up front. Raisins and spicy alcohol notes into the swallow, leaving a bold and lingering finish of spicy booze, sweet dark fruits, caramel, with hints of bitterness as balance. Quite quad-like actually.

PALATE: Medium-full body with medium levels of carbonation. Quite creamy on the palate, goes down with a bit of a scratch and finishes sticky on the palate. Good feel.

OVERALL: A very flavorful and enjoyable higher ABV brew for sure. Not as hot as I had assumed it would be either. In the end, this is a good beer to sip on over an evening, which I gladly did. A better look would help make the experience more enjoyable, but that is a minor issue. Thanks again for the brews dad! Recommended.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 version. Clear amber color, appears to be syrupy/viscous. Only faint bubbles visible, it's not dead, but there is no head with just a pencil thin ring. The nise is rich and malty with caramel and fruit. There is also a hint of tea-like herbal character. The alcohol doesn't smell too strong.

The flavor is also huge on malt sweetness. Mostly sugary but a bit tangy also. I also get an earthy/peppery note up front. Very warming in the finish, the alcohol takes your breath away almost. Carbonation was actually stronger than it appeared, with an expected syrupy mouthfeel.

Overall a solid example. These malt bombs are not particularly my bag, but I am sure many would like this...

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Photo of minterro
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very quick notes from a sample of my gf's beer:

S&A: Yeasty fruitiness. No head present. dark red semi-translucent looking beer.

T&M: very boozy (a little overwhelming). very yeasty, with hints of citrusness and dark fruits. On the medium side of carbonation, medium to full bodied. Its very warming.

overall: it was good, and it tasted great for how high the ABV was but it just wasn't worth 7$ a bottle.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle at 38 degrees. Vintage 2007 at 15%ABV.

Pours murky dark amber with a syrupy consistancy. A stretch pour barely kicked up a minimal head which faded to nothingness within seconds. Zero lacework and a placid surface remained for the duration.

Aromatics lead off with sweet malt extract, caramel, butterscotch, and chipped toffee. Hints of alcohol and crushed mint follow through.

On the full side of medium bodied, with a syrupy, tacky mouthfeel. Chewy and viscous.

Sweet, caramel-laced malt, dried figs, and sugar-dusted dates start the palate. A strong alcohol warmth and spiciness quickly steps forward along with a medicinal tinge and a fusel bite.

Finishes with a lingering, sweet warmth, caramel cubes, and peppery alcohol.

This is one big, malty, strong beer. The low carbonation and high level of residuals keeps the beer from being very drinkable.
Lacking much complexity, just a boatload of malt and alcohol.
More like a midwest triple bock.

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

was served a pint glass of a deep golden headless beer.
the aroma was different from what i remember, but still very good, spicy, malty, some unidentified fruit.
the flavor was pretty complex, very malty, little phenolic, some spices, peaches, other unidentified fruit, little hot on the end.

this batch was 2006 reserve keg at the brewery
it was 15.5 abv

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Kuhnhenn Winter Wonder Lager from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 131 ratings.
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