American Imperial Stout | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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American Imperial StoutAmerican Imperial Stout
121 Ratings
American Imperial StoutAmerican Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 121 |  Reviews: 44
Reviews by divineaudio:
Photo of divineaudio
3.71/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, 2012 batch, 9.25%
founders snifter

a - pours an extremely viscous looking, oily dark brown. gave me a pinky's worth of dense, creamy, dark brown head that calmed to a film right away. leaves thin, leggy lacing behind.

s - roasted malt, licorice, tobacco, faint peat.

t - roasted and burnt malts at the forefront with strong tobacco notes. also picking up milder notes of anise, charcoal and molasses. dark chocolate comes out a bit as the beer warms. has a bitterness that stings the tongue on the back end and a slightly boozy finish.

m - far beyond full bodied, but just shy of syrupy. adequate carbonation with a finer co2 profile and just a bit of alcohol burn.

o - interesting take on the style and enjoyable, but a bit of a chore to drink. flavors and mouthfeel are so intense that it fatigues the palate quickly. i could see this pairing well with a fine cigar.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of DanGeo
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of tectactoe
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks again to Mike for opening this beauty at an impromptu tasting; his altruism is extremely admirable and will one day be repaid. This sucker is thick and black, like motor oil that's seen its fair share of mile. The head is an impressively deep tan color; thin-bubbled and foamy as it rests upon the black hole and takes its time settling to a collar.

What a wonderfully huge and bellowing aroma, perhaps amplified from the lackluster Brooklyn Black OPS consumed just before this one. Thick, sweet mountains of baker's chocolate held up with hands of mildly roasted malt. Light coffee beans outline the aroma, with a hint of cream and sweet (brown) sugar that blends nicely with the mild roast character. Sweet without being cloying, and roasty without being over-charred... Great execution.

Just like I'd imagine, the first sip begins with an up-front induction of bittersweet chocolate; think somewhere along the lines of rich fudge; very, very lightly bitter with a heavier hand in the creamy and sweet department. This sucker is packed with tons and tons of cocoa flavors; cocoa powder, liquid molten chocolate, and dense, deep fudge cake. As sickeningly sweet as that sounds, it's balanced exceptionally well by the moderately roasty malts.

A faint undercurrent of sweet anise is present in the tail end, along with a light, scraping coffee bean, dry finish. A good mix of flavors all-around, although the clear king of the hill is definitely the decadent amount of fudge. The alcohol is hidden almost completely, and this could probably pass for a chocolate-introduced sweet stout over an imperial stout. The mouth is huge, creamy, and almost as thick as the fudge its flavor resembles. Mild carbonation to retain that silky smooth mouth feel.

One of my biggest wants from one of my favorite breweries... I don't know how this one eluded me for so long. Huge thanks again to Mike for cracking his last bottle with me. Definitely one of the best of the night (for me at least). I don't think I enjoyed this quite as much as Kuhnhenn's Michigan Mud stout, but it was still damn good nonetheless. Their ability to perform well with so many different styles never ceases to amaze me.

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Photo of badbeer
3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black with a brown-ish head that receded, but did still leave some lacing. Smell is very roasty, with some chocolate notes as well. Still a little too green in the nose and taste to warrant a higher score. The taste did have similar roastiness to it, and seemed to have a little bit of molasses and hints of vanilla. Mouthfeel was full bodied with medium carbonation. Decent beer now, but with age it should improve greatly.

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Photo of standardcherry
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 bottle, 12oz

A: Pitch black, thick body with a large mocha colored head. Looks perfect. Receded a bit but it still left a nice head on the beer.
S: Very roasty. Huge chocolate notes with a bit of piney hops. Smells like chocolate cake, cocoa powder and coffee all in one. Amazing.
T: I had tried this fresh and it was too hoppy for me. Hops faded a lot, there is a slight piney bitterness (although I think most of the bitterness in this case comes from the roast). Roasted malts, sweet milk chocolate, coffee. This is almost fudge-like. A hint of caramel as well. Tastes like chocolate doughnuts paired with coffee.
M: Great full body with medium carbonation. Creamy and smooth with a slightly dry finish.
O: I'd say this is the best non-BA stout I've had. I was extremely impressed by this and I would love to have it again.

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Photo of Cynic-ale
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ggaughan
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Hop Devil in NYC as part of their Kuhnhenn tasting. This beer poured an impressive beep black hole color with a deep tan medium thickness head. Very intimidating looking. There was a nice warming chocolate character to the nose with even more of the chocolate and coffee notes in the taste. There is also a nice hop profile to the beer but not overpowering. All in all the tastes make for a well balanced, yet big, stout.

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Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at Mondiale 2007. Review #2200. A very good RIS, I do not know why it is labelled American. Dark brown with a macha crown. Chocolate and alcohol nose. Medium plus mouthfeel. A lot of sweetish chocolate. Significant carbonation.Would have liked lower alcohol for drinkability.

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Photo of schmidtmattsays
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of wellsnb
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Danielr26
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of CaptainFleeker
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of dvmin98
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Rutager
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A big thank you to liamt07 for this badass 2012 beer.

Appearance. Pours black with half a finger of rich brown head.

Smell. Molasses and dark chocolate, dark roasty malts and a touch of dark fruit and black coffee

Taste. Tons of dark chocolate, woody dry and roasty malts, maybe a touch of dark fruit, cocoa powder and char in the finish.

Mouthfeel. Fairly full body, low+ carbonation.

Overall. Great representation of a big American stout. Bold and flavourful, great stuff.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of creamy medium-dark chocolate notes with light floral coffee notes with some roasted malt notes but limited bitterness. Taste is quite spectacular with great creamy medium-dark chocolate notes with some floral dry coffee notes, some lactose notes and some medium dry bitter roasted malt to finish. Body is full with luscious creamy texture with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Quite a balanced experience with loads of flavours while retaining some good amount of drinkability.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage. Listed at 9.5%, so seemingly very different from the previous vintages.
Poured in to snifter.

A - Ink black with a thin layer of mocha colored head that immediately reduced to a thin ring around the glass.

S - Big hop presence is noticeable right away with some pine notes. Some roast and chocolate aromas are also present.

T - Lots of piney hops up front with a fairly big bitterness. Roast, chocolate, char and some ash. The ashy-char flavours really come to the forefront as the beer warms up.

M - Full body, Thick and chewy. Light carbonation.

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Photo of enelson
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of jegross2
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing the American Imperial Stout from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company out of Warren, Michigan. This imperial stout was most recently released at Kuhnhenn's annual Winter Solstice party.

Score: 98

2012 vintage bottle served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 01/16/12. Shout out to Robbie Moy for hooking me up with this bottle!

Appearance: The body of the beer is black as ink with no transparencies (sorry, no ruby tones here) to speak of. Pours a thin layer of mocha-colored head that settles to a ring around the glass. Dare I assume that this Kuhnhenn beer has some carbonation!? Absolutely outstanding lacing and retention. Quite frankly, this is a beautiful looking beer. 5/5

Smell: Slightly sweet milk chocolate, roasty malt, fudge and a little caramel are my first impressions. A modest amount of fig and raisin and a little leather is present as well. Faint bitter/burnt coffee and bakers chocolate too. As the beer warms up and airates, a little more sweet dark fruit complexity and a touch of brown sugar come out as well. What an absolutely inspiring and complex imperial stout nose! It is sweet/bittersweet, and totally balanced. A dash of "woody" and pine hops are present in the nose, but it's perfectly incorporated. A faint hint of black licorice comes through at room temperature. 4.75/5

Taste: The taste is surprisingly different from the nose. The dark fruit and sweetness takes a backseat to the more roasty and bitter/bittersweet elements. Bakers chocolate and dark chocolate with a little burnt roast and "coffee breath"-like flavor are the boldest elements of the taste. A very faint amount of black licorice and a little non-sweet dark fruit follow the upfront bitter and dark chocolate flavors. Towards the finish, there is just a touch of sweet fig that rounds out the beer and adds balance to a bitter "upfront" flavor experience. Finishes with a nice roasty, slightly burnt (and ashy) cacao flavor. The beer is bitter/bittersweet. I am not detecting much, if any, hops in the flavor -- but they are not missed. As the beer warms up, a well-incorporated (a la Black Albert) cherry flavor starts to come through in the back half of the beer, in addition to a little more of the woody/ashiness in the finish. When the cherry comes through as the beer warms up, it loses a bit of its bitter edge and becomes more "balanced." Needless to say, this beer tastes as complex as it smells. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a perfect amount of "low carbonation" (versus Kuhnhenn's traditional "where's the carbonation"-type carbonation). Bitter/bittersweet on the palate. Finishes somewhat dry, but not chalky dry. 5/5

Overall: This is without a doubt one of the absolute best stouts that I have ever had. It is complex, flavorful and dynamic. The nose and taste have similar elements, but each is quite different in which characteristics shine. I love how the beer developed as it went from cellar temperature to room temperature, though I probably preferred it slightly more on the colder side of that scale. My only regret is that I only got one of these. I will have to seek out more.

Recommendation: Seek this beer out; it is one of the best imperial stouts you will find!

Pairings: A cigar.

Cost: $8 for a 12 oz bottle.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.92/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What an absolutley massive beer. A big thanks goes out to jay for even getting this gem of a beer into my hands, I was soo absurdley happy I was beside myself. Served at about fifty degrees and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 01/05/2009..

Damn this was thick! The darkest of darks, and deepest of black is what came out of this bottle. Just retarded in how big it looked. No light escaping, in fact it sucked it in! A small head, maybe a qurter inch of dark brown rose up after a few minutes time, but mostly a very thick looking black beer.

The aroma was heaven. Rich chocolate and dark fruits melded together seemlessly. Really very rich and full, and easily one of theb est smells I have come across. As it warmed some nice touches of molasses and woody notes start to dominate with a really intrsting bourbon smell in the back. To taste this was like falling into a giant pillow. Super mellow and smooth, what 12+% this thing had the alcohol so well hidden it was scary. Rich and full with a woody, oak soaked, chocolate geyser of taste just exploding from the glass. Some burnt sugar notes, sweet lactose like flavors, and that really nice dark fruit tartness in the finish. Different then most other giant stouts, this one had a mind all its own.

I continue to be blown away by these beers. Seriously there was nothing here to not like and I could have went for another one with ease. One of the better beers I have had, period.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

12 Fluid Ounce bottle
Served in a Kuhnhenn snifter

This beer pours black and doesn't really have much head. There is a small cap of mocha head the disappears fairly quickly. It looks like motor oil when poured. It appears quite viscous.

The aroma is fantastic with smells of dark and milk chocolate along with hints of anise.

The tastes starts out sweet with milk chocolate. Then some anise and chocolate malt flavors come into play. It develops a light bitter chocolate and black coffee flavor in the finish and aftertaste.

The body is thick and viscous with a full, chewy mouthfeel.

It is sometimes risky to hold onto stouts this long. This cellaring paid off. It is a delicious stout with great flavor and aroma and a perfect mouthfeel. It was well worth the four year wait to try.

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Photo of rallison
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a wonderful RIS tasting last night. Was a standout!

A: Thick, thick black with no head. Very viscous looking.

S: Dark chocolate, warming alcohol and roast coffee.

T: Rich chocolate and espresso with some warming alcohol. Very tasty and complex.

M: Low carbonation and nice and rich.

D: As rich and strong as this is, it drinks extremely well.

Highly recommended. At our RIS tasting, this was one of the favorite. Rich flavors that all come together so well.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

I've had this bottle for at least three years. Black label with a yellow eagle

A: poured into a snifter to a viscous black with a dark brown head that fades quickly and leaves no lacing
S: smells of bittersweet chocolate, roasted malts and a little coffee.
T: taste is roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, a little bit of charred black malt, slight sweetness and a hint of oxidation. swallow is a little oxidized with some lingering notes of roasted malt, dark chocolate and dark roast coffee
M: full in the mouth with soft carbonation and a drying finish
O: an impressive beer. with some age on it it's a very smooth sipper that has some nicely blended edges. I'd like to try a fresher bottle to see how it compares.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
3.55/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out a little head that dissapated quickly like most high alcohol beverages do. Little lacing and black as night with a little brown swirls. The smell was powerful with sweet molasses and roasted malts, it's very green so I will cellar the rest for a while. The taste is really green with a powerful sweet molasses taste to it. The mouthfeel was pretty good. Overall I will try more in a few years, but it's still pretty good.

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Photo of GrizXTKEX519
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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American Imperial Stout from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 121 ratings