Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth DementiaKuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This is our 4th Dementia Olde Ale that has been bourbon barrel aged. This ale has an intense sweet caramel malt flavor and aroma that develops into a toffee/toasted marsh mellow like character.

Added by alexgash on 12-14-2006

BEER STATS
Reviews:
407
Ratings:
1,862
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
8.89%
 
 
Wants:
1,701
Gots:
453
For Trade:
38
User Reviews
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Reviews: 407 | Ratings: 1,862
Reviews by CrellMoset:
Photo of CrellMoset
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle courtesy of a great new trading partner - thanks! Poured in to a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a deep opaque mahogany, decadent looking, letting light slip in only around the very edges. A rather vigorous pour coaxes about half a finger of fawn head to the surface of this one, though it only sticks around for about a minute and change before settling down in to a thin but broad fog and a slightly more voluminous but dense collar. Agitation settles both some nice lacing on the sides of the snifter (which, despite the barrel aging and 13.5% abv price tag, actually has some heft and some sticking power, leaving nondescript blotches along the sides of the glass) as well as reveals the thickness of this beer vis a vis how long it takes the released carbonation to travel upwards (hint: it's very slow).

Aroma: An incredibly interesting and complex nose. Deep, fat, rich, and oaky, with almost no burn whatsoever. The base beer is prominent initially (though less as you bury your nose in it more and as it warms) and sits up front, and provides a solid foundation. Light fruits mingle very well with the barrel components (discussed below), but also well with the heavier fruits - dates, raisins, cherries, hints of (though not) fig - as well as cocoa and toffee. There are hints of darker malts, providing an earthier foundation than the other notes above suggest that they might provide.

The barrel here was very obviously bourbon or whiskey, and the marriage is very nice. Obviously, the spirits are fairly prominent - sweet bourbon with plenty of rye overtones accentuate both the (slight) twinge of alcohol as well as the thick sweetness of the fruity notes in the base beer. The other notes - dark oak, hints of vanilla, other very barrel-ish spice hints - are all right below the bourbon, and also a significant quantity of smoke. The only downside is the slight mingle of high-end fruity notes and alcohol esters - the combination comes a little too close to a chemical cleaning agent at points, maybe like Pine Sol or (at its worst) straight up isopropyl.

Taste: There's the burn! Like the nose on steroids, but at 13.5%, that's at least partially to be expected. The base beer is still fat and prominent, darker here than it was in the nose, with more chocolate and caramel than dark fruits (but the dark fruits are still there, don't worry), but more light fruits, smoke, and esters. From tropical fruits at the top all the way down to smoky, chewy oak at the bottom, this one traverses the entire taste bud experience, but still has that pesky (and very intense) heat.

Mouthfeel: Perfect, and likely this beer's best attribute. A fat, thick, chewy base beer, sugary and heavy, but dancing right along the "cloying" line with an expertly introduced amount of carbonation, well integrated, for a creamy, frothy frappe-like feel.

Drinkability: Honestly, not as good as the KBBBW was. This one has way more heat and less of dynamicism between the barrel aging and the base beer - that is, the spiciness and strength of that base beer countered the barrel aging and intense alcohol overtones much better than this one does. That being said, this is still a pretty damn good beer, bursting with exciting and dynamic flavors, bright and energetic, while still a little mellow and refined. At 13.5%, I was pleasantly buzzed after finishing a bottle, so don't expect to down a six-pack of these (and if you do happen upon a six-pack of these, inform me immediately to assist with proper disposal), but it's worth seeking out, if not worth selling the farm for.

 3,588 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.96/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottle received in a trade from spartan213. '12 vintage.

Pours a fairly dark brown, basically opaque, with a small quarter inch head, and basically no lacing.

Smells just incredible, I can't even describe most of it. Dark fruits, caramel, toasted marshallow, toffee, and bourbon.

One of the most interesting beers I've ever had- like I said before, I can't really even describe most of these flavors. Caramel, raisins, figs, toasted marshmallow, oak, vanilla, cola, sarsaparilla, walnuts, bourbon. The aftertaste is this incredible blast of caramel and bourbon- almost like bourbon-soaked Werther's candy or something. This is just so unique and awesome.

This is fairly thick bodied, with a sweet and mucho syrupy mouthfeel, and a very low amount of carbonation. Although I really want to slowly sip this, it's really hard to not just gulp it down, it's so drinkable.

This might be the best beer I've ever had. While drinking it, I honestly had no idea what was going on.

 977 characters

Photo of StrongRepublican
4.93/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 Vintage:
Pours a rich, viscous amber, syrupy in color/appearance. Thin tan head forms with a vigorous pour but dissipates immediately leaving just a trace of a collar. English toffee, burnt sugar, toasted marshmallow, vanilla, oak, and coconut all peak through in the aroma with just the slightest hint of booze. All of these sweet, luscious smells come out in full force in the taste. Incredible depth and richness of flavors; the barrels are prominent but not dominating, instead balancing and complimenting the massive caramel sweetness/toast/oakey vanilla tannins/leather. Once the sweetness begins to drop, you're hit with huge sweet cherries/dates/dark fruit and a lingering hint of booze. Sticky lacing is left clinging to the glass. Mouth feel is full-bodied, sweet, syrupy, but the carbonation level is perfect to move this sweet malt bomb around the palate. Overall, it easily ranks as one of my absolute favorite Old Ales, it's simply fantastic and dangerously quaffable.

 987 characters

Photo of thatoneguymike
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2015 bottle into a snifter:

Best old ale I've ever had. Super dark brown in color and somewhat boozy on the nose, but, man...this is just smooth, caramel coated candy bar without ever being actually sweet. Coating mouthfeel, nice pleasant warming sensation. Truly wonderful.

I was hesitant to crack this, now I wish I had a few more. Much better than I expected, as I'm not typically a huge fan of the style. Definitely a recommended brew.

 442 characters

Photo of Sparty1224
4.79/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Serving: 12 oz. bottle poured into a Founder's CBS snifter. No bottled on date, but this is 2015 vintage, so maybe 2-3 months old at this point.

A: Pours a syrupy-thick, mahogany-brown color. Just a hand-full of bubbles in a very calm beer. Some light getting through.

S: Apricot, fig, maple syrup, plum, dark cherries, vanilla. The bourbon is very faint on first pass, but a good whiff reveals it. Comes through as a more oaky, leathery note, and less wet, fresh bourbon.

T: Big fig, jam, plum, and caramel notes up front. Some vanilla and toffee in the middle. Finish leaves more of a slightly booze-tinged character than an overt bourbon note, but lets you know that there's some barrel presence there.

M: Just brilliant. This is about as thick and chewy as you'd want for a barrel-aged beer, regardless of the style. The high-ABV is well hidden. Carbonation level is right in the sweet spot.

O: Kuhnhenn is my hometown brewery, as I grew up a short 15 minutes away. However, I didn't discover it's place in the craft beer universe until 1 or 2 years in. A very small, unique place, Kuhnhenn has a similar ethos to Founder's in that they do it their way. After my first Winter Solstice in 2012, it instantly became one of my favorites. BB4D is a legend, and 3 years later, it still holds up as a classic. This beer, for the style, has it all. It's rich, sweet, decadent, layered, and above all delicious. It's truly an achievement to craft a beer this drinkable and tasty. My only small critique is that I would like a bit more barrel presence here. Not sure if it was more predominant a few years back, but it's just a tad mute here. Maybe I'd have to have it side by side with 4D to truly appreciate it, but bourbon isn't the first thing that comes to my mind when drinking this one. Nonetheless, it's an under-the-radar beer that deserves a bit more acclaim than it already has.

Recommendation: Mandatory drinking for lovers of all things barrel-aged.

 1,967 characters

Photo of DanGeo
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of tectactoe
4.39/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Kuhnhenn, also a few times out of the bottle. Pours an opaque, sienna-brown color with a dark-beige, creamy head that smokes out pretty quickly and is kind of hard to bring back, even with aggressive swirling.

The aroma is powerful right from the start, and only grows more so as the beer warms up. The bourbon barrel aging is apparent immediately, thanks to the heavy boozy-oak notes. Light vanilla, candied, booze-soaked dark fruits, and an intense sweetness build up the rest of the aroma. There's a nice clash between the dry warmth from the bourbon barrels and the savory sweetness of the malt.

This one is very creamy as it hits the palate, with a body on the thicker side and a medium amount of carbonation. Bourbon infused fruits up front; dates, figs, ripe raisins. Toasted brown sugar charges through and sweetens things up a bit, as well. Along with the brown sugar comes a delicate vanilla flavor that lasts into the aftertaste. Oak and bourbon flavors are hanging in the background from start to finish - although the word "background" may not do them justice, as they play a much larger role in the flavor.

The taste has the same head-butting of flavors as the nose did aromas - a nice, smooth, mellow boozy warmth with a dry oak underbody competes with a delicate and delectable sweetness in the form of toasted, sugar-coated dark fruit. Booze is, as mentioned, very apparent - but in a "flavor" kind of way, rather than a "burning" kind of way - although it's additional warmth should be noted.

At 13.5% ABV, this beer is no slouch, and it deserves to be slowly sipped. Heavy oak, bourbon, sugar, dark fruits, and vanilla make for a nicely executed barrel-aged old ale. There's a reason people rave about this stuff. It's great.

 1,760 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Schlais
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of cjn40277
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SanFranJake
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of SkiBum22
4.92/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 - 12 Oz. Bottle

A - Dark Brown with half finger tan head. Dark and merky looking

S - Wow, this is possibly one of the craziest smells I've ever experienced. Huge caramel, oak and toffee notes. Brown sugar, dark fruits, cherry and maybe some fig. Can barely smell the alcohol.

T - Very complex and similar to the nose. One of the sweeter beers I've had. Love the huge caramel taste.

M - Medium body with very minimal carbonation. Get a little bit more of the alcohol as it warms up. Very syrupy.

O - This is an amazing beer. Definitely top 10 for me. I've never really had a beer like this.

 599 characters

Photo of newk340
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of lateralundertow
4.99/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Hamburgers
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage. Poured into a Courvoisier tumbler. Appearance is a slightly cloudy Burnt Sienna color. Not even a hint of head on this one. Wonderful bourbon aroma with notes of caramel, vanilla, dried figs and chocolate. Flavor is heavy on bourbon but not overwhelming. Full bodied with only a slight carbonation. Long finish. Perfectly balanced.

 345 characters

Photo of heddar33
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of warnerry
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #100!

Pours a deep reddish brown with almost no head.

Smell consists of bourbon vanilla notes. It smells somewhat sweet but not overwhelmingly so. Also apparent are notes of toffee, oak and dried dark fruits including raisins.

Tastes of vanilla, chocolate raisins and figs. I also get a bit of chocolate chip cookie that is fantastic. Alcohol is somewhat apparent, but is not at all overbearing. A bit of breadiness. Wonderfully complex assortment of flavors that seem to meld together nicely.

Mouthfeel is medium thick and coats the palate nicely. There is a slight warming from the alcohol.

Overall, this is a sipper in the best sense of the term. There is so much flavor in each sip, it is best enjoyed a small amount at a time. This is one of the better examples of barrel aging really improving a beer, as I thought the regular 4th D was good, but nowhere near this enjoyable.

 894 characters

Photo of barhoc11
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of StoutFox
4.34/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Callmecoon
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of 77apm
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of VernonKell
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of bierdabbler
3.75/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Billolick
4.67/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Spuyten Duyvil, Bklyn, NY, as part of their Big Fattys celebration or “month long ode to strong and barrel aged beer”. This one seemed to be the “hot beer” according to the gathered throng of BA beer aficionados, so I gave it a try. Poured into a tall wine glass, it exhibited low carbonation, minimal head and next to no lacing. Dark, muddy and dark milk chocolaty looking. Big nose of bourbon, raisins, figs and some alcohol. Served near room temp. on a freezing cold day. Soft, smooth, heady brew, plenty of rum raisin, vanilla, chocolate and dark malty goodness. Alcohol clearly present but did not take away from drinkability. World class sipper, night cap kind of brew. A welcome treat on tap.

 713 characters

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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 407 ratings.
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