Kuhnhenn Winter Wonder Lager | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

very good
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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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Ratings: 131 |  Reviews: 85
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 ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -22.3%

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 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 jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage, Eisbocks can be great when done well, and this with some nice age, on New Years Eve at the beginning of the heart of winter. Thanks to grub for this one.

Pours the slightest fizzy bubble head more from the air getting mixed in the pour than carbonation I think, over fairly hazy ruby maroon brown colored beer.

Nose is interesting, starts with plenty of caramel... like caramelized brown sugar, creme brulee big time, toasty almost burnt caramelized sugars aroma, plenty of toasty bready like malts as well, as there's almost like a fresh toasted bread aroma. Plenty of reddish malts, and syrupy like the red candy from candy apples, and a slight coppery aroma. Lots of wheat as well, a nice bock aroma, with hints of fruity lager but quite heavy, and presence of booze, doesn't burn the nostrils like I expected, but like alcohol vapors it almost seems like.

Taste comes big as well, pretty sweet as expected, with lots of big malts and wheats. Lots of wheat flavors with a nice bock taste. Then comes the reddish malts, lots of caramel, and again caramelized sugars the add to that toasty creme brulee flavor. Sweetness also brings toffee, maple, and red candy syrup as well. Juicy flavors, a bit of a fruity lager kick as well but not much. The sweetness gives way to booze quickly, and booze gets tingly and warming, plenty of booze there as it is 13% and drinks maybe not quite that much, but definitely up there. A bit of esters also come from the booze. The bock flavors and malts brings more toasty malt flavors, a little bready, almost caramelized (there's that word again, word of this beer) bread pudding. The big sweet, malty booze flavors stick around for a while on the finish, as it tries to dry off a bit and does so fairly well, but hard to dry all that sweetness, a bit more toffee, caramel, toasty malts, and syrups all lingering with a hint of bitterness cutting through.

Mouth is almost pure syrup, maybe a little lighter than pure maple syrup, lighter carb but typical for 13% Eisbock. Booze is plenty.

Overall pretty good, a nice end of the year beer to drink. The booze is definitely there but not quite drinking like a 13%, maybe more like 9-10%, not sure if that's the sweetness balancing it or the age but more drinkable than expected. Quite sweet too, syrupy, nice malt flavors and wheats, bock flavors, etc. The sweetness is dominant but goes fairly well overall and not crippling.

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Photo of Jakers90
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of woosterbill
4.39/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from 2007 into a Weyerbacher tulip. Thanks to Knifestyles for opening this, yet another crazy Kuhnhenn.

A: Cloudy orange-amber body with a finger of frothy tan foam. Great retention but very little lace. Nice enough.

S: Wow. Smells like an insanely good Barleywine: toffee, brown sugar, figs, sherry, raisins, and general sweet goodness. Terrific.

T: Even sweeter and fruitier than the nose. Terrific, albeit intense and boozy.

M: Sticky, lightly carbonated full body. A bit of spiky booze, but generally solid.

O: Chris handed me this one to try without telling me that it was an Eisbock, so I had nothing more than "lager" and "Kuhnhenn" with which to form my expectations. It's saying something that I wasn't really surprised to find myself confronted with an insanely huge, absolutely delicious malt-bomb. Great stuff.


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Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of klipper
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of ej285701
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

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 mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No head at all at first but slowly but surely a thin tan cloud rises up and over the top and settles down giving a touch of light foam along the sides and the bottom of the glass.

Tons of rich toffee and caramel initially on the nose, once it warms up though it becomes one of the most complex aromas I have ever encountered. Light alcohol notes, hints of dark cherries and fruit, light chocolate and almost a root beer like touch as it really comes up near room temperature. To say the aroma was inviting would be an understatement, this was intense. Smooth, full, thick body on this one really let the flavor just coat your tongue, and again this was an expierence all its own. A malt monster, caramel and light molasses notes led the charge until a soothing, candy like chocolate and toffee notes come in. But it was the fruit like cherry notes and rich cola flavor that set it apart

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Photo of maximum12
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

What are you trying to do to me, Brian? I get this little bottle in a beautiful box from beerisheaven & think "yeah, just mowed the lawn, I'm hot & sweaty, time to kick back...oooh, a nice cute lager. Let's pop that open." Holy crap, 13%? Must mentally shift gears to prepare for alcoholic onslaught. 2010 Winter Solstice Release, vintage 2009.

Pour about half the bottle into a nice New Holland glass & it's a gorgeous color, like the burnished scales of a Copper Dragon (the one from the original '70s Monster Manual...crap, that other geek is showing up now). The aroma raises my blood alcohol level about .02 & blows deep sweetness, sugar-coated apples, & a horn full of Middle Eastern goodies. I don't know that this is the base for the Raspberry Eisbock, but it sure smells it. Fantastic.

Winter Wonder Lager is an alcoholic A-bomb. Hold on, I need a moment here. Lightning-based alcohol whips the throat, laced with a generous helping of figs, dash of sweet prunes. Wild malts mimic the deep, saturating sweetness of the aroma & cling to the palate like a happy tick. Flickers of caramel, apples in the finish before the boozy slop obliterates all of the that lovely depth. Dead flat, little to no life to this one, but who'd want this to be a fizzy, lively beer? Not I. Damn good thing this comes in a small bottle; it's intriguing how a beer like this can be so stinging while other big beers can mask the alcohol content so well.

This is an epic, brawling, rude, in-your-face big beer with a ton of depth & taste (not to mention the 58% alcohol). Very good.

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Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Grant. Unfortunately I didn’t record the vintage but I’ll assume it’s the 2009 version.

Pours a clear brownish-amber color with a half-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet medium malts with moderate amounts of indistinct spices. Also present are mild amounts of booze-soaked raisins.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though more robust. Moderately sweet caramel malts with hints of darker toasted malts kick things off and are joined quickly by dark fruit flavors – raisins and figs. Midway through the sip light amounts of dark spices – nutmeg and brown sugar if I had to choose – come into play, carrying through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It’s got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I didn’t have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I was pretty ambivalent about this beer – nothing was not badly but nothing made me excited about my next sip either. Worth a shot if you see it around, especially if eisbocks are your thing.

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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 drabmuh
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle opened by Thorpe last night in an attempt to temporarily shut down the eisbock list. Served in a snifter. Beer is brown and hazy with almost no head or lacing, low carbonation. Looks OK.

Aroma is sweet with a mild sense of booze. It's not offputting though. Smells rather nice.

Beer is sweet and much thicker than I was expecting. It's not bad tasting at all it's just a little simple. It's sweet with a mild alcoholic bite and a relatively plain finish. Easy drinking for a 13% + beer and as far as eisbocks go it was above average in my opinion. I'd have it again except I trend toward the lower ABV spectrum on beers.

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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 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 Sean9689
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from 2010 Winter Solstice poured into my Darkness snifter. It's Christmas Eve, what better time to crack this?

A - Pours a reddish/brown, small off-white head. No lacing or retention, or bubbles after it all settles down, just the beer and nothing else.

S - Dark fruity notes: lots of raisins, plums, dates, cherry liquorish, boozy alcohol, although it's not quite 13.5% worth. Very rich and fruity, sure to warm me up!

T - Not as fruity as the nose suggests. Very warming! Haha. Slight bitter cough syrup notes, some sweetness which helps balance the bitterness. The 13.5% is pretty well hidden, there's some hotness on the finish, but very slight.

M - Medium to full, very slight carbonation (if any), buttery finish.

D - Very solid and perfect for this cold and snowy Christmas Eve. The alcohol is hidden very well and I'm looking forward to seeing how this one ages. Recommend.

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Photo of mothman
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage

Poured into snifter. Pours hardly an head. Color is a murky caramel brown.

Aroma: Rich and malty. Toffee, caramel, dried fruits. Plums, cherries, raisins, and licorice. Has the distinct Kuhnhenn heat to it, which I really enjoy. I like it.

Taste: Fairly sweet, but still rich. Toffee, caramel, and leather flavors. Plums, raisins, dried cherries, licorice all show again. Shows some more heat. Very malty, but provides a nice amount of dark fruit flavors.

Mouthfeel: Warming, smooth, creamy. Medium to full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation (but it works). Ends dry and malty.

Overall, another winner from kuhnhenn. This beer provides the warmth similar to a lot of the other big kuhnhenn beers. I had no idea what the style was on this one when I opened it, but at first smell, I knew it was bigger than a typical lager. Get some!

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Photo of kbutler1
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. 2007 vintage. Poured into a CCB snifter. Pours an opaque rusty mahagony color with zero head, only a razor thin collar around the glass. The aroma is intriguing with notes of dark fruit like cherry, plum, and raisin. The booze is pretty evident upon the first sip of this brew, not in a bad way, but in a "let's just sip on this" way. Sweet and malty with a heavy mouthfeel this beer starts sweet with dark fruit notes that transitions to a long drawn out finish with some bitterness. Big and chewy. Alcohol warms you as you drink. Pretty nice although the lingering bitterness is not that pleasing.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. 2009 vintage.

3.5 A: Murky dark orange brown color. One finger of creamy light tan head that falls quickly and leaves no lacing.

4.0 S: Lots of toffee, tons of it really. Currant and raisiny fruitiness. Some molasses and brown sugar in there as well as a moderate booziness.

3.5 T: Lots of toffee again with lots of caramel too. Raisiny fruitiness again. Strong neutral maltiness and moderate to heavy booze. Good, but a bit lacking in complexity for a brew with this ABV.

4.5 M: Thick heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Though a bit sweet, this is very smooth and creamy.

4.0 D: Another solid effort from Kuhnhenn. Could be a bit more complex, but good overall.

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