Kuhnhenn Winter Wonder Lager | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Kuhnhenn Winter Wonder LagerKuhnhenn Winter Wonder Lager
131 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 131 |  Reviews: 85
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 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 JoeySchlitz
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

'09 bottle as part of a generous gift from waltonc

A: Pours a dark carmel / maple syrup brown with yellow highlights at the edges. Pretty much zero head with some lacing at the edges and the middle.

S: A port-like aroma with a sizable dose of alcohol mixed with some currants and elderberries. A bit medicinal as well. Some all spice and cloves are buried in the background.

T: A ton of sugar, molasses and stewed prunes? The fruit backbone is difficult to pinpoint, but the taste reminds me of the smell of beer being brewed (more exactly the smell of North Coast brewery when they are brewing Le Merle). Again, spices are there as well but muted.

M: Medium viscosity and on the light side with carbonation. For the style and gravity works well.

O: This is a very interesting beer and when I had it on tap at the brewery I really liked it. This review is from a bottle with a few months age and it starts to marinate on itself and lose some of the nuances that it had fresh (odd as many beers develop nuance as they age).

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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 HopHead84
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


2009 vintage. Pours hazy rust water orange with a small creamy beige head.

Candied dates and figs are evident in the aroma, as well as earthy hops. The malt profile is rich and complex. Dark fruit notes are of prunes and plums. Alcohol is light.

The flavor is rich malt balanced by a hearty alcohol presence. Dried dates and figs are evident, accompanied by prunes and a light sugary sweetness. Hops are low and earthy with a low bitterness. The robust finish is sweet and then dry, with lingering dried fruits and alcohol.

The beer is full bodied with low carbonation and distinct alcohol warming. Quite enjoyable, though potent.

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Photo of rye726
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage '09

Pours a hazy, woody brown with a silky tan head.

Nose has ripe pitter fruits, spicy alcohol and dark candies.

Taste is a bit more complex. Sweet plums and cherries followed by figs and dates. Bready malts, toffee coated pecans, a touch of peppery booze and caramel.

Medium body is nicely carbonated. A cellar worthy lager from Kuhnhenn.

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Photo of afausser
4.57/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours with numerous fizzy carbonation bubbles that result in initially a very sparse head, which quickly and predictably disappears. Pretty bubbles, though, and the color is a green toned deep chocolate that also has a reddish tint, the color of which comes across as clay or paprika. As it settles and more is drank, it's green around the edges and varying shades of amber throughout the body.

Smell: Comes across as spiced apple juice--no alcohol at all evident. Cinnamon and clove spice, as well as dark fruits, particularly raisins, and a peppermint note that holds its own yet manages to not overwhelm the rest of the brew. A sweet buttery note comes through--and oddly, this brew really really smells like incense to me. Slight perfume and floral notes that come across as lavender and jasmine. Pears and kiwi also come out as it warms, as well as a slight sour funk that is just barely present. Thyme. Pine. A little hint of curry and especially chili powder notes as it warms.

Taste: The taste is, much like the nose, heavily flavored by fruits. Apple juice is again the dominant note, with a hint of a sweet syrup, as well as clove spice, light raisin flavor and a slight fruity aftertaste. The smallest amount of licorice blends in with the taste as well as a slight amount of wintergreen, both of which are also present in the aftertaste. A bit of nutmeg adds to the spice blend as well as some sweet cinnamon. Particularly as it warms I get cherries and a strong kiwi flavor. Slight alcohol but nicely blended.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is just about perfect but maybe slightly undercarbonated. The aftertaste is great too. Not much to say beyond that.

Drinkability: so very drinkable. Could easily drink this for quite a while. And its not infected!!!

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle courtesy of Dlucky - thanks!. 2009 vintage, poured in to a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a burned rosewood, very fruit juice-like, and thoroughly hazed - or at least dark and deep enough that light is lost quickly just under the surface - such that the only characteristic visible within this beer's interior are occasional and terribly small bubbles creeping upwards towards what remains of a half finger of fizzy white head that even the most vigorous of pours couldn't get higher or to last longer. Indeed, this beer is very still looking - after the fade of the head

Aroma: Cherries and dark fruits dominate - sweet, sticky, and nearly cloying - over other non-fruity malts such as brown sugar and light molasses (and wrapped up with a phenolic clove kiss), though a few lighter notes (particularly apples and pears) peek though. As it warms, a lot of other interesting things emerge. At first, they're light - lavender, rose hips perhaps - though as it warms further, I get a few heavy leafy tobacco notes, woody, faintly smoky, sort of like sandalwood, as well as hints of chili powder or curry. This could be a result of the unique interactions between a faint, distance alcohol burn - standing in for the tinge that you get from smoky, spicy, herbaceous wood - mingling with the earthiness and faint smokiness of the malts, or perhaps not. Either way it's unique, complex, unexpected, and surprisingly pleasant.

Taste: A wave of brown sugar and light toffee sweetness grapples with a ton of raisny, cherry, prune, and fig sweetness. Even a few tropical fruits join in - kiwk, pineapple - though that could be a more result of the nearly canned sugar/cane sugary sweetness that this beer exhibits. Lighter fruits emerge with agitation, buttery pears and fuji apples. Yeasty spiciness - mildly phenolic, faintly nutty - that's mostly clove-like rounds things off. Less of that surprisingly woody, smoky, herbal quantity here in the taste, as it seems most things are fairly well hidden under the fruity sweetness, though a fair amount of tobacco, jasmine, and beachwood emerge as this one approaches room temperature.

Mouthfeel: Fairly thick, though probably not as sticky, cloying, syrupy, or sugary as it by all rights should be. The carbonation here is incredibly fine, well-integrated, and consistent, resulting in a creamy body full of pinpoint effervescence. A nice balance.

Drinkability: An odd, complex, and unique beer. It's definitely an eisbock - that is, it's a malty brew with Belgian yeasty overtones - but this one has a lot going on in places. Typical of Kuhnhenn - the brewery that seems like it's done in some guy's basement, rough edges, high abv%'s, small batches and all - to produce something like this. The 13% (or 15%, or 12%, or 18%, or whatever this year's batch is - also very Kuhnhenn-esque!) is definitely feelable, if not noticeable in the taste or aroma. A potent lager win for Kuhnhenn, even if the alcohol retardation is occasionally noticeable and the sweetness is rather formidable.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle thanks to DrJay. Bottle states - 2007 vintage, 15.5%. Uncapped and poured into my Ithaca shaker glass. The lager appears the color of murky iced tea with a good inch or so of quickly fading, light tan head. Nose and flavors consist of sherry, brown sugar, molasses, plums, sweet cherries, fermenting over ripe apples, alcohol (although it wasn't as hot as I was expecting), sweet caramel, a peppery spiciness, overall, quite sweet and a bit boozy. Medium to full bodied with ample carbonation levels. A noticeable alcohol burn in the throat after each sip. The sweetness gets to you after a bit and that hurts the drinkability. Plan to spend an hour plus sipping this one, or better yet, share it with a friend or two.

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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 coldmeat23
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
Super huge thanks to mjd83goblue for this one!

This is an opaque medium/dark amber color. A thin head of foam forms and recedes to a filmy surface covering, rather quickly. The lacing is in thin strands, but is mildly sticky.

The nose is good, but fairly simple. Loads of caramel maltiness. Quite a good showing of both fresh and maraschino cherries. Hints of dates and a light touch of yeastiness. It smells similar to my grandmothers kitchen when she would can fruits. It has a cooked fruit kind of thing going on.

Big presence of sweet maltiness. This is on top of a big breadiness. More of the cooked fruitiness going on. Hints of brown sugar and caramel.
I'd very much like to try this one again in three to five years, as I think it has some good aging potential.

Very full bodied, almost thick. A very nice, mild level of carbonation. This one is really silky smooth and has a very decent, mild level of creaminess to it.

This is definitely a sweet beer, but it comes just shy of going into cloying territory. Absolutely a dessert beer. This would be excellent with some creme brulee or even brownies.
I find it to be quite easy to drink, as a one-and-done kind of bottle. You won't really want to slam back multiples in a session.

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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 MasterSki
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to biegaman for tossing me one of these last Xmas. Finally got around to it. 2007 bottle, weighing in at 15.5%. Served in my Darkness tulip.

A - A half finger of tan foam that dissipates to a thick collar that sticks around. A few spots of lace. Murky dark brown color. I'm fairly impressed I got as much foam as I did considering the ABV, but the color is just darn ugly.

S - Bread, dark fruits, caramel, a little booze, some sherry-like oxidation, burnt sugars, a touch of raspberry truffle. It definitely has that patented Kuhnhenn malt profile.

T - The taste isn't quite as good - there's some definite oxidation setting in. Caramel, berries, burnt sugars, a little bit of spice in the finish. Considering the ABV it's nowhere near as boozy as I anticipated.

M - The texture is quite syrupy, with only light carbonation. Not as thick as I expected, but still medium-full bodied. The aftertaste is surprisingly clean, with a slightly roasty bitter finish. Alcohol heat builds pretty quickly.

D - This is a definite sipper, and it's going to take me over an hour to finish a 12oz bottle. I don't like it quite as much as the Eisbock, Cassis, or 5th Dementia, but it's still a decent brew with well-hidden alcohol. I'd be interested to try this fresh, and it looks like I might get the chance at the Winter Solstice party.

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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 srandycarter
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Fairly clear dark amber, small head leaves fast to tan ring.

S - Sweet and REALLY fruity. Cooked fruits from all over the plate. Truly inviting.

T - It just gets better and better. Reminds me of an after dinner apertif, rich, cooked fruits and booze, thick sweet and delicious.

M - Heavy, for the sweetness, pretty good balance. Very coating.

D - Sorry. Too big and too BIG. One is good, and I hope I get another in the future!

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Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very much a barleywine, smells like a barleywine.. or an Eisbock. Thick creamy mouthfeel, this is emminently drinkable. Caramel brown and it looks thick. Big abv like a good ready to drink barleywine. Sugar and background spice, lots of caramel malt.Dangeroudly drinkable.

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Photo of prototypic
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to hoppymeal for the Kuhnhenn hook-up. Really appreciate it, man.

Bottle labeled 2007

Appearance: This one's a very nice looking reddish amber color. It's clear and has an excellent red tint. The head is vanilla in color and only about a finger deep. The high abv in this one obviously killed it quickly. Very little lacing was left behind.

Smell: It's a little underpowered, but a nice smelling beer. The nose is very rich in dark fruits. Plum and raisin scents waste no time getting into the mix and linger throughout. Caramel malts smell plentiful and sweet. There's some light berry notes that emerge at the secondary level. Alcohol is noted, but it's not that strong. My bottle doesn't indicate the abv, but if it is 13%, it certainly doesn't smell that strong.

Taste: It's very malty and sweet tasting. Perhaps a little too sweet. Caramel malts are very flavorful and indeed provide an excellent base. Dark fruit flavors of raisin and plum are strong and permeate throughout. There is a light rasberry flavor that adds a nice element to it. It's subtle, but effective. Alcohol is somewhat prevalent. It's bordering on running a little warm, but doesn't cross the line. But, it's close. Finishes sweet.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's full bodied, very creamy, and smooth. Carbonation is dialed down pretty low. Definitely a sipping beer here. Despite its big stature and presumably high abv, it goes down pretty easy. I wouldn't say it's good in this department, but for its size, it does a nice job.

Kuhnhenn makes kick ass beer. This is simply another example. It really is very good. I do think it'd be slightly improved with a little less sweetness and a lower abv. Those two tweaks would really drive this beer to excellence. As it is, it's very good. Definitely worth seeking out. Thanks for the bottle, Derek.

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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 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 TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 release, acquired via trade from hoppymeal, so a big "thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar and a lot of alcohol.

T: The taste is sweet and fruity up front with strong flavors of dark fruits, caramel and brown sugar. There's a tartness that quickly follows along with a strong alcohol burn. Any hops that were there have faded with age, but there's still some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, I probably held onto this one a little bit too long but it's still a good beer to sip on for a while.

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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 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 Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep cloudy amber color beer with small foamy head with minimal retention and almost no lacing. Aroma consists of deep sweet malt with some dry raisins notes also noticeable. Taste is a mix between some sweet malt with notes of dry figs and raisins. Although taste is very sweet it avoid being cloying. No discernable alcohol even thought ABV is quite significant with a full body with limited filtration and some low carbonation. Very well done and definitely something I would want to try again.

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

I think it's fitting that I'm drinking this beer on the first day of winter 2008.

2007 vintage 15.5%

Thanks, GrandCruDrew

A. Served in my DFH snifter. Tan head that dissipates quite quickly into a thin skim layer. Dark orange, hazy bright orange when held up to light.

S. boozy alcohol, dark fruts, sweet maltiness

T. sweet dark fruits raison, malty, alcohol, long lasting finish. No hopiness at all.

M. Full bodied, rich, thick mouth coating, sticky.

D. Well balanced, alcohol hidden quite well, while this is not a session beer it is quite drinkable, very warming for a cold stormy winter night.

Thanks again, GrandCruDrew

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4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

With a vigorous pour you do get about an inch of tan head that fades to just a skim in a couple of minutes. Body is a murky dark swampy brown. Nose has fones of ripe grape, port, sweet malt and a bit of citrus twords the end. Enters the mouth with big electric dark fruit notes. This brew is nicely sweet with overly ripe apple tones and a malty spice based pofile. Maybe some creamy dark toffee notes come through on the back end of the palate. This is a really hard to define brew style wise. Alchol is well hidden but does warm the belly well. Mouthfeel is very attractive for such a big beer. A wonderful sipper for any time of year.

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Kuhnhenn Winter Wonder Lager from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 131 ratings
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