Kuhnhenn Grand Cru | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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Kuhnhenn Grand CruKuhnhenn Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by walleye on 11-17-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 29
Reviews by EnemyWithin:
Photo of EnemyWithin
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Kuhnhenn Grand Cru. Bottle into Duvel glass.

Appearance - 4
Toasted golden color with a creamy white head slowly dissipating into a thin covering. Moderate lacing. Very clean looking.

Aroma - 4
Reminiscent of a trippel style. Soft bready and honey sweetness with a very typical fruity banana and spice aroma of a Belgian yeast. As the beer warms, the ester component becomes very pronounced.

Taste -3.5
Starts out slightly sweet, with a little bit of the bite from the alcohol. Then dominant fruity ester as well as a spiciness that comes midway through. Then the bitterness from hops becomes detectable and a slight alkaline sourness. Finishes with lingering banana sweetness. Taste is more hefenweissen with a touch of whitbier. It has a very robust flavour. Overall, a tad on the sweet side.

Mouthfeel - 4
Mild to moderate thickness with a balanced and smooth carbonation. Hops add a nice astringency bitterness to cut through and contrast the malt. Actually quite a pleasant feeling beer.

Overall - 4
Interesting beer with a strong flavour profile. Reminds me of a hefenwisen, whitbeir, and trippel all mixed together Feel that is has enough of a backbone and versatility that it would make from interesting pairings with food.

On its own, it is quite enjoyable, but really think it would improve with food. Although I find that the actual sweetness and spiciness is a bit heavy handed for my liking. I think that a touch more of a refined and balanced approach would refine the experience.

Recommend consider trying.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Always like to try a new Kuhnhenn brew. 10 year anniversary brew. Pours into my glass a deeply hazy yellow orange with a quarter inch of bubbly foam on top. Aromas of light fruits and lots of spice. Belgian yeast brings in notes of banana, clove and some bubblegum as well. Crisp, semisweet malts.

First sip brings creamy malts upfront with a bit of sweetness and caramel. Lots of fruit and spice flow through with tropical accents and banana. Belgian yeast bringing clove and phenolic character. Candy-esque sweetness on the finish with a bit of alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy with good carbonation. Enjoyable brew to drink. This one wasn't groundbreaking for me but it was tasty and I'm glad I had a chance to sample it.

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Photo of FrognutUnl
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle picked up at my local beer store.

A - Hazy gold with minimal white head considering the vigorous poor.

S - Cloves, white grapes, and overall spiciness.

T - Cloves with a slight fruity sweetness and notes of candied ginger. About half way through the glass the taste of white grapes joins and bubblegum the party.

M - The carbonation provides just the right amount of body and slight tickle down the back of the throat.

D - Another fine brew from Kuhnhenn that goes down quite easy and leaves you wondering where the rest of the bottle is.

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Photo of Sammy
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the brewpub.Opaque yellow with some bubbly white head. Yeasty aroma, and yeasty taste, along with some spiciness and fruitiness demonstrated the craftmanship. Natural carbonation, right there. Also known as the "Duvel in Ms. Jones" Middling mouthfeel.

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Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of nickd717
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle shared by bring - thanks, Barry!

This beer pours a hazy golden color with a small white head leaving swirls on the beer.

Aroma is lemony with a little sweet malt, Belgian yeast, and fruity esters. Not too much to it.

Flavor is decent - pale malt and Belgian yeast, lemon, green apple, spice, and a little tartness.

Slightly tart on the palate with medium-full body.

I disagree with Kuhnhenn's dubbing of this one as their Grand Cru. It's simply nowhere near one of their better beers. It's somewhat drinkable, but overall not terribly impressive.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Ashley’s - Ann Arbor, MI - Dec 20, 2007. Aroma comes quietly as light pear brandy and phenols in a suitcase. Gentle. Pours a paler shade of sunset orange, with golden fringes and a white head. Flavor starts softly in the wheat oils and esters. Peppery and backed with orange peel. Lots of soft savory flavors. Herbal. Sweetness lies a little heavy for me through the grain sugars and makes this less than drinkable. Carbonation holds well with the spiced quality, but gets weighed down by the sugars. Just a nip too sticky for me. Finishes on fruit skin glow. This would have been awesome at half the gravity. But, at 8.5, it’s just a bit of beast. Alcohol does hide well.

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Photo of heebes
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.
Bottles from Kuhnhenn are apparantly hard to come by, even in MI so it was nice to find this to try an offering from the brewery.

Poured into a tulip a semi cloudy orange amber with a off white head that fizzes away quickly. Nose is light cirrus fruits, banana esters, spices and cloves and a distinct Belgian yeast. Taste is similiar; though there is a tart fruit spiciness in the middle leading to a funk like finish. Medium bodied with good carbonation. Overall it has a wonderful auroma and a good taste/body. At it's price point of 4.99 a 12 oz I won't seek more out, though I'd like to try more from Kuhnhenn.

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Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks, Barry. Hazy gold in the glass with a firm white cap. Sweet and peppery aroma, intensely estery and yeasty. Ripe banana and clove are prominent. Pretty intense flavor, big up-front esters and phenols lend flavors of banana, clove, pepper and green apple. It's a bit sweet for the style and lacking finesse, somewhat syrupy with a peppery sweet finish. Decent.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tangfoot was kind enough to give me a bottle of this. Thank you, Fred! This is the 09 vintage.

Decanted carefully into my Hopleaf tulip, this beer sits a light orange, mostly clear, with a dense off-white head with good retention. Lacing is minimal.

The nose brings to mind the Troegs Scratch #14, the saison, and that's a good thing. Spicy with white pepper combined with a honey and floral character, this is quite excellent. A pale, cracker-like malt character is noticeable, lending a mild, grainy sweetness to the beer. Mildly yeasty with some citrus, I'm really liking this Alcohol is apparent on the back end.

The palate is a bit of a disappointment given the wonderful nose. Opening with a simple, sugary sweetness with an alcoholic bite. With a spicy bite, a combination of ginger and pepper, the fruity palate is more noticeable in the mid-palate, where it takes on a mildly fermented peach-like character along with some honey. Mildly sweet on the finish with a lingering alcohol bite and a grainy huskiness, this is solid stuff. Carbonation is medium-light, working well with the medium body of this beer. I'm going to enjoy sipping this for the next hour or so, enjoyable stuff that I'd love to try again.

I'd sum it up as a saison-tripel hybrid moderately American in its take (with the sweetness) with enough Belgian character to make this quite drinkable

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Photo of surlytheduff
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of BBP
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a tannish-orange. Slight amounts of sediment adds to the mild haziness. No lacing, and just about no head, but there is a slight cloud of head floating around.

S- The aroma is primarily spicy. Notes of fruit and yeast were detected as well.

T- This seems to fall between the styles of a tripel and a hefeweizen. It had the spiciness and flavor of the hefe, but a body and the yeast of a tripel.

M- Full and very smooth. It pulls this off quite well.

O- Aside from some very slight alchohol heat, the only thing taking away from the drinkability is the spiciness of this. That being said, I'm sure I could have a couple easily. The 9.3% seems to be made up due to the ease of drinking. I consider this a success along these lines.

As far as it goes for a beer, it's pretty nice. I'm not a hefe fan though, so it hard for me to judge it. I can say that it is definitely not the standard BSPA. I don't think it was worth the steep price tag I payed by any means though. I'd only recommend this at the price it costs to people who really love both hefes and tripels. Aside from price per quality, there's nothing I had against it though.

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Photo of HopStoopid120
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up in Dearborn in September and kept it to enjoy over Christmas. Used a Chimay goblet. Poured a uniform orange colour with no head, very hazy and murky. There was a slight cloud floating in centre glass, perfectly still with no visible carbonation.

Yeast aroma, some tangerine, pitted fruit, peach. Tastes like a Belgian Strong Ale, lots of yeast, slightly funky, over ripe fruit, apricot, sour / bitter orange zest, ginger weighs in too, some clove. In the mouth is a silky texture, cleansing with some acidity. The aftertaste is really nice and it lingers for quite a while taking on a slightly sweeter dimension after the swallow. Alcohol well integrated, I can't believe it's over nine per cent. The body is a bit on the thin side but the beer, like the brewery, is distinctive and well worth a visit.

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Photo of DrJay
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orange with a brownish hue topped with fine, off-white foam. Good head retention with a bit of lacing. Aromas of ginger, cloves, citrus and crackery malt. The flavour was heavy on malty caramel, with notes of clove, bubblegum, oranges and tangerines, plus a bit of peppery alcohol. It also had a bit of earthy citrus peel, cookie dough character, with some gingerbread and bread crust too. Medium to full bodied with lowish carbonation, a bit on the dry side. Tasty, but quite intense.

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Photo of Pointman
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite Grand Cru beers. It starts out nicely, and just gets better as it warms up. A lot of great flavors - bubblegum, pineapple, and red licorice. Finishes beatifully. Very easy going down. I really wish the bros would make this all year round.

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Photo of gford217
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of ogglethorp poured into a tulip.

Pours a cloudy but bright golden orange with a one-inch cream-colored head that collects around the edges as a thick collar with some bubbles feeding it from the bottom.

The aroma is a mix of banana and bubblegum sweetness of a hefe and the spicy yeast and fruity esters of a tripel. There are light peppery spices in the nose as well.

The taste is slightly more amped up with the fruity esters really starting to become more prominent with the bananas taking a back seat. There are some sugar-coated green apples and pears - very sweet taste overall. The finish is lightly spicy with a slight dryness - maybe some grains of paradise?

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with lots of carbonation. It's sugary sweet overall but still light on the palate and definitely not cloying.

This is a well-crafted brew from Kuhnhenn and, luckily, no trace of infection or oxidation at all. A sweet take on a grand cru.

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Photo of biegaman
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottles with alternating labels that read either "10 Year Anniversary" or "2009".

If there is a beer in my glass it's been encased in orange peel. I see one colour and one colour only: just an even, brightly buffed orange glaze. There's no way I can see through to the other side. Clarity is wholly obscured even despite its glossy complexion. Its top is bare and without even the faintest, feeblest most faded signs of carbonation.

Grand Cru smells like it has some powerful legs under it. Specifically, it has a potent and perfumy yeast that fills the air with red-hot phenols and dank, low-lying esters. Of the spices I'd say clove stands out the most; of the fruits, probably mango (although alcohol weighs in almost as heavily as either of the two). That said, I would be open to entertain notions of all kinds of other flavours too - no one said this had to smell simple.

I can vividly feel the slices of mandarin orange slide between my tongue and the roof of my mouth. They've been macerated in Grand Marnier liqueur. There are also festering bananas that were doused in clove. The taste is replete with rank, sweltering fruits and fiery, savory spices. The overtly phenolic taste of 'band-aids' is most impressionable, especially on larger sips. There's no two ways about it: this is hot. But it's flavourful too.

Grand Cru does not designate any one specific style but is rather a general moniker wineries (breweries too, evidently) attach to what they perceive to be their finest batch, to indicate favourable reputation from a certain vineyard or to denote the quality of its terroir. Since little information is available on Kuhnhenn's Grand Cru I'd have to assume they were going for a Tripel - or at least something to loosely resemble that style.

Certainly, the intensely phenolic nature of the drink would indicate as much. The colour, nose and taste all match the profile. The strain of yeast is undoubtedly of Belgian decent. We know the beer is strong but it's still plenty quaffable. All signs point to Tripel but this beer was not meant to be dissected as though part of a forensics crime scene, it was intended to be drunk and enjoyed. I'm going to get back to that...

Because enjoyable this certainly is. The best example of terroir? The top tier of this brewery's production? The finest batch in all the Wolverine State? No, it is not exactly any of those things. But it is among (the many) good beers I've had from the impressive portfolio Kuhnhenn has racked up over the last decade. And it's definitely something worth proposing an anniversary toast over. Cheers also to ThatWineGuy for the bottle!

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Photo of ccrida
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into my Meantime snifter (thx northyorksammy!), Kuhnhenn's Grand Cru has got to have the cheapest, laser printer label I've ever seen. The peer is a murky dirty blonde with a light sand colored head that leaves foamy lace. Not very attractive, and kind of scary to be honest.

Smell is spicy citrus (grains of paradise and/or coriander?), some fusels, some wheat. Pretty unfocused, lots of strong aromas, kind of dirty yeastiness, what am i getting myself into here?

Taste is pretty strong, not what I was expecting, a bit cleaner honestly. It really had a overblown homebrew alcohol bomb look to it, but it's pretty well made, and quite good. Definitely lots of wheat driving big banana and clove esters, spicy on the finish. The ABV is there, but the booze is clean. I'd guess 9-10%.

Mouthfeel is pretty creamy, medium-light bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good, tasty, smooth, and easy drinking, especially for the size. I love big estery Belgian blondes, which this one certainly is. When I see something claiming to be a Grand Cru, I tend to expect a BSDA, but this was pretty darn good, in spite of the cheap labeling and rustic vibe to it, which frankly, kept it honest.

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Photo of farrago
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thinnish cream white head even when poured with moderate aggression, the lacing streaks are wide but glide down swiftly. Effulgent pumpkin orange color, the deeper core hints at brown, the outer edges yellow. There's a certain fluffy frothiness to the texture of the nose, plays up clove, cinnamon, spiced oranges, honey, croissant flakes and then apricot, banana, green apple, cantaloupe fruit scents, follows on with a good deal of pepperiness and touch of peat moss, complex without being pushy. Medium-bodied, firm in spite of constantly swirling carbonation, feels substantial. The volume quieter here with the pepper up in front of the clove, ginger, cinnamon spice. Not that sweet, has a dried fruit character to the apricot, peach, pear, banana flavors, just about the same with the orange, tangerine citrus, perhaps a tad juicier. Pinch of honey. Not unyielding per se, kinda austere. It's "manly" like drinking a single malt scotch, just where's the cigar?

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Photo of maximum12
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mully for handing this over as an extra during an in-person trade on Darkness Day Eve 2009. The other Kuhnhenn he dropped on me was delicious, so I'm hoping this one follows suit. Vintage 2009.

Pours that distinctly cloudy, rakish Belgian orange. Smell is pure Belgian - strong yeasts, low-hanging fruit, & a scatter-shot of alcohol. Jumping all over this is rampant spiciness.

This Grand Cru is a touch more subdued than the nose would lead me to believe. Still, this is a "pale" that packs an Abrams in its pocket, which I hadn't quite braced myself for. Nothing overbearing in this, but a handful of things stick out. First is a wild charge of Carmen Miranda, from bananas to mango to peaches to pears, quite a tongue-tripper. Alcohol rushes in on top of them & is quite distracting, as is the liberal use of Belgian yeasts, almost like licking the leavings of a homebrew carboy (not that I've done this...really). One is left with a strong taste of fake fruit/medicine in the aftertaste, which takes the pleasure principle down a notch. A touch sweet, but the heft matches the 'feel.

Very good beer, mostly recommended by the complexity of the fruitiness & the goofiness thereof. This might be closer to a barleywine, or a triple, or a hefe on 'roids, not sure which, but whatever it is, it's a very pleasant mess of a beer.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from 2009. Thanks d0b for sharing this one. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip glass. I also had this on-tap when it was known as "The Duvel in Mrs. Jones".

A - A finger and a half of eggshell white foam that dissipates to a cap and color. Only a few tiny spots of lace. Dark apricot orange body with that's pretty opaque. There's a few bubbles visible at the bottom of the glass. Pretty solid, but nothing mind-blowing.

S - It's very tripel-esque, with lots of perfume, medicinal notes, spice, honey, malted wheat, banana, bubblegum, and Belgian yeast. There is a light touch of heat and estery alcohol. The smell is big, rich, and lush - but there's a little too much spice and not enough fruit for my liking.

T - The taste is also clove-heavy, over top of a malted wheat base that contributes bubblegum, banana, mango. The Belgian yeast and medicinal elements are more understated and the booze is a little better hidden. The aftertaste is a little dirty and earthy tasting - not my favorite.

M - Lively carbonation that is prickly but not harsh or burning. Sticky finish from a medium-thick body. There's a bit of heat and warmth.

D - I was happy to share a bottle of this, but it wouldn't be something I'd be reaching for often. It's pretty good for the style and competitive with the big boys.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - this belgian style offering is a light tea brown with no head and no carbonation

S - the hops are prominent, the first element of the aroma to hit is a piney/cedar-y aroma, very resiny and slightly sickly sweet, rather intriguing, with some inherent hidden spices

T - pininess is still big in the taste as well, with a huge ginger kick added to it, the spiciness is evoked as a nice dlove flavor, balancing the sweetness of the pine/ginger, the description says "clove, banana and bubble gum", i can definitely smell slight elements of clove and banana, but i couldnt pick out the bubble gum

M&D - a tasty beer, well balanced sweet and spicy, easy to drink, a nice example of an amercian version of a belgian style, well done again kuhnhenn's

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Photo of walleye
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from my favorite brewery. poured a deep amber, with a light tan head. aroma, caramel, hops, pine,alcohol. flavor, hops, citrus, apples, pears, grapes, honey with a nice bitterness finish. the brewers at kuhnhenn do it again, I am glad they are close. I think they make the best beer.

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Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.75/5  rDev -27.2%

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Kuhnhenn Grand Cru from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 29 ratings.
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