Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth DementiaKuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia

Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

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

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Reviews: 412 | Ratings: 1,891
Photo of BarrytheBear
1.18/5  rDev -73.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

2010 edition shared with, and courtesy of, madtowndmb1. Thank you Kyle for hitting another want!

Pours a placid muddy brown. Uninspiring first act to be sure.

Smells of soaked cardboard, sherry, and cooked brown sugar. The second act is equally disappointing.

This is one 12 oz bottle that will see it's end in a drain rather that either of our gullets. Oxidation has throttled the life from whatever had once set up residence here. Unbearable cloying sweetness lands the knockout punch.

No Mas Senor! No Mas! Vamos a Davey Jones Locker conmigo!

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Photo of eatabagofbooger
2.62/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Murky, rusty, syrupy pour with just a few stray bubbles-not even enough to call a head. Possibly the most viscous pout I've ever seen. It's like olive oil, but the color of used motor oil. Really clings to the glass when you swirl it.

S: Holy diabetes, batman, this smells like marshmallows, maple syrup, and brown sugar with hints of oak, alcohol, and leather. I'm honestly scared to taste this!

T: Much better than I expected from the nose, as the bourbon comes through much stronger. Prunes are an addition to the flavors listed above. Still too cloyingly sweet by far.

M: Here's where this beer shines, or at least gets points for being unique and impressive. The only beer I can compare it to in thickness and consistency is bcbs. In that beer, though, it works really well with the heat and roasty bitterness. Here, it enhances the sense that you are drinking syrup from the bottle. Still impressive.

O: I'm more than a bit disapointed with this one, but I did have pretty high expectations. Still, for an old ale, I'd like to see more leathery, oxidized, and/or tannic flavors to balance out the sweetness. I guess if you have a real sweet tooth, this beer is for you; otherwise steer clear.

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Photo of Cramshawbar
2.81/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

I am not going to get all clinical and serious about this beer.
The fact that it tastes so much like soy sauce can simply not be hidden away by its great colour and aroma.
Sorry but this should be used for cooking and not drinking. Clearly this is just my opinion as it sits at number 20 of the most popular beer list.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.02/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a La Chouffe tulip in me friend's gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado.

A: Pours a half finger khaki colour head that quickly reduces to an edgewise floater. Fair cream and thickness. Awful retention, though the ABV is quite high indeed. Colour is a nontransparent dark vaguely fecal brown. Opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Not appealing really at all.

Sm: Heavy caramelized malt, English hopping (dirty floral), some biscuity yeast, and some cream. Strong malts, some oak barrel. Some boozy heat. An average strength aroma. Not horribly appealing.

T: Biscuity yeast. Heavy malt caramelization provides the foundation. Dirty floral hopping is prominent to its detriment. Some heat. Heavy on the toffee - probably its best attribute. Maybe some oak; if so, it's buried. It's alright, but I don't care for it much. Maybe slight hints of licorice. Some spice. Not horribly complex, and not at all subtle. I don't see what all the hype is about. This is mundane. Overly sweet.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Good thickness. Good carbonation. Suits the flavours in a general sense.

Dr: I'm severely disappointed by this beer. Hides its ABV quite well, but that's the best thing about it. I expected far more given the style. It's no North Coast Old Stock Ale. Pricey and over-hyped. I wouldn't get it again. I just don't get it. I'll go with a C+ for the well-hidden ABV, but I'm just damned disappointed.


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Photo of vinny21bal
3.19/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I have had 3 vintages at different periods. This is a very extremly over rated beer. It is however a decent beer. But I really don't think there is any part of this beer that is over the top amazing. I think it would be a good everyday shelf beer, but nothing special. It may sound like I am being negative about the beer but I do think again it is a decent beer just not special

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Photo of Damian
3.29/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Drank on-tap at Spuyten Duyvil, Brooklyn, NY

Poured a thick, dark mahogany with copper highlights. Absolutely no head and no noticeable carbonation.

Aroma was rich and sweet. Dark and dried fruits (plums, prunes and raisins) were apparent along with brown sugar and a port wine-like quality.

Taste was similar to smell except deeper, darker and more alcohol rich. Smooth, toasted malts along with burnt sugar, raisins and currants came through strong up front. The intense, rummy alcohol flavor took over mid-palate and crescendoed in the finish, where it became sharp and biting. No discernible hop presence.

Mouthfeel was quite syrupy, thick and rich with little to no carbonation.

As for drinkability, this beer was definitely a sipper. Even with the strong flavors and aromas, I felt that the alcohol intensity was overwhelming (though not surprising at 13.5% ABV).

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Photo of schlimenhaumer
3.47/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a "Belgian Independence Day" tulip at high altitude near Denver, CO. I've had the regular Fourth Dementia, so my expectations for this one are quite high.

A: Pours an opaque reddish-brown color with a very thin off-white head of minimal retention. This one is pretty viscous and leaves a film when swished around the glass. Not the most appealing beer to look at.

S: A strong sweet aroma. Caramel, toffee, sweet malts, oak, some booze and a bit of dark fruit in the background.

T: Opens with toffee and caramel notes followed by some dark fruit notes and an oak finish. The alcohol comes through a bit on the finish, but not as strongly as expected for a bourbon-barrel aged old ale. The sweetness is a bit cloying in my opinion.

M: Full-bodied and viscous with adequate carbonation. Thick and syrupy.

O: I really don't understand the hype surrounding this one. Although it hides the ABV well, I don't particularly enjoy it.

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Photo of Florida9
3.51/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Clearish deep red in color. No head what-so-ever.

S: Odd and unenjoyable. Smells of rye, pumpernickel bread, caramel, bourbon, and a shit load of alcohol. eck.

T: Taste is far better than the aroma. Bourbon, oak, vanilla. Some sweet caramel, brown sugar, and molasses.

M: Medium in weight, but a bit syrupy and viscous. Lower carbonation is to be expected.

O: I have mixed feelings about this beer. Personally, I found the aroma to be horrible, but the taste was far better. Can't say I would seek it out again, but glad to have tried it.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.57/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark amber color ale with a tiny foamy head with limited retention and no lacing. Aroma of bourbon is quite intense with lots of brown sugar notes and light dry fruits. Taste is dominated by bourbon notes with light alcohol ester and some brown sugar with dry raisins notes. Body is quite full with medium to low carbonation and some alcohol was apparent. Interesting and very intense and complex but still a notch below the regular version.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.62/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky reddish brown with absolutely no head or lacing.

Aroma is bourbon soaked raisins, with some heavy burnt sugar and caramel. The bourbon is not very strong.

Similar flavors. Loads of caramel and molasses with big time sweetness. A little bit of vanilla with well integrated bourbon.

Pretty thick mouthfeel with almost zero carb making it cloying sweet at times.

Pretty good. Much better than the regular version although I'm just not a huge fan of the base beer. That said, the bourbon is very well integrated and adds a lot to this one so it was still enjoyable. As with all Kuhnhenn overall rating takes a hit because it is almost completely flat decreasing the drinkability.

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Photo of iadler
3.64/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks Mista for sharing this bottle! I've been wanting to try this for some time. '11 bottle.

A- Pours a cloudy dark brown with a thin cap that dissipates almost instantly, with no lacing.

S- Bourbon is prominent with notes of oak, coconut, caramel, vanilla, burnt toast and a bit of dark chocolate

T- Bourbon hits the palate first followed by some sweetness with caramel, cherry, coconut and maple as well as a hefty dose of roast at the finish.

M- Low carbonation with a syrupy body that finishes a bit hot

O- This is a big beer in regards to ABV as well drinkability. It took me some time to get through my 3 oz pour. This could use a couple more years to potentially smooth out since it was quite hot and bourbon heavy.

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Photo of tjkinate
3.65/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yeah, not my favorite.

A: Murky, sediment filled (even from a careful pour), no head, no lacing.

S: Raisons, loads of vanilla and caramel, slight bourbon characteristics, very malty and had my mouth watering.

T: Wow, that is sweet. TONS of caramel and vanilla followed by dark fruits. Such a sweet beer, I had a hard time finishing the half I poured myself.

M: Medium bodied, creamy, very low carbonation, slight burn from the high ABV.

O: It was worth getting once.

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Photo of Retsinis
3.69/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes.

A: The beer pours a cola brown and is somewhat clear (surprisingly). Only a small ring of bubbles formed, and that quickly faded to nearly nothing.

S: Right up front, strong scents of bourbon, and more bourbon! Some vanilla, oak, and caramel in there too.

T: The bourbon strength and presences also mirrors the nose on the palate in taste. Sweet brown sugars comes through, some mild toffee, strong caramel nuance, and some mild vanilla on the finish.

M: Oily, low carbonation, slightly sticky from the sugars.

O: Good, but hot in terms of alcohol. This beer was shared with me at the Clusterfork # 4 tasting event at the Bruery. Unfortunately, I have not had the regular version for a better base comparison. However, knowing straight bourbons, it was pretty heavily infused into the beer. If you love bourbon, then that’s a plus, if you want more balance, as I do, then this beer might have gotten too much residual bourbon from the wood in the barrel. It's still good, but is very much a sipper of a beer, and even 12 oz split a 3 ways, was plenty @ 13.50%

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Photo of Retail1LO
3.69/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My second Kuhnhenn's beer in two nights. What a treat. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Jester King snifter.

Pours a dark, muddy brown with ZERO head. It appears as though there's little to no carbonation in this one. Not sure if that's the norm or not. The nose is a straight up bourbon bomb, mixed with some vanilla and cocoa. The taste also proves to be absolutely laden with bourbon. This is 13.5%, and I feel like I can taste every last tenth of a percent of the alcohol. The taste otherwise mirrors the nose. The mouthfeel on this is pretty hot. Again, very booze forward. There's a mild dark fruit overtone on the finish, but it's tough to distinguish through the pervading alcohol. Overall, I'm glad I got to try this, and although it is tasty and I would certainly not bat an eye at the opportunity to have it again, I don't think it's one I'll seek out going forward.

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Photo of GregSVT
3.74/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a snifter - 2010 Vintage

A: Pours a muddy brown with absolutely no head and barely even a tinge of carbonation on the sides. I even poured this pretty aggresively and it made noise when I popped the cap so I'm not sure what's goin on here.

S: The nose is big wafts of caramel, toffee, vanilla, and dark fruits.

T: The taste is a tangy version of the nose with big flavors of caramel, toffee, vanilla, dark red fruits, and earthy red wine.

M: The feel is on the thicker side but it's damn near flat. I'm a bit dissapointed here.

O: The aromas and flavors are great but no carbonation makes this tough to drink. It's almost like drinking wine at this point.

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Photo of 7ways
3.76/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It hopefully goes without saying, but just in case, DO NOT DRINK THIS BEER COLD. I found optimal serving temperature to be between 61 and 66 degrees.

Deep dark brown with a swirl of an almost-head and zero lace.

Very dense, expressive aromas of black cherry on the vine (along with the soil), burnt fruit, brandy, and mainly super sweet malt. Rather phenolic and estery for a BA beer. No bourbon really, more of a big smokey and brandy/rum alcohol presence. It burns my nose and I like it.

It's hard to define anything but caramel/toffee/blah blah blah because it's so incredibly sweet and rich. Golden raisins come to mind. If it weren't just more than slightly tannic feeling, the -bal aging might be lost on me. The vanilla/oak/bourbon profile I look for is lost in the shuffle. But like many -bal aged beers, it is rather hot, and in this case almost like a semi-sweet caramel liqueur. Thankfully the heat dissipates quickly, allowing a very flavorful and pleasant finish.

This beer is very dense, with minimal but definitely sufficient carbonation. The alcohol "burn" is more akin to the feeling of smoke on the rear of the palate. It sounds off-putting, but it is much better than the alternative.

We are spoiled. There are so many beers available now that defy convention by apparently tasting and feeling "smooth" despite surpassing 12% abv. Taking that in context makes it difficult to severely judge BB4D. Despite it's faults, I do very much appreciate this beer. This is an elaborate, tortuous monster that may become something amazing with time.

And for the record, I think the barrel aging process really hurt this beer and was downright unnecessary. I gave the non-BA version an A+.

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Photo of Brew33
3.77/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Urbancaver picked this one up for me at the Winter Solstice, thanks Cam.

The beer pours a MUCH darker than expected color. A very dark brown with a few bubbles. The aroma is loaded with bourbon and dark malts. Not overly sweet in the nose. Bourbon dominates the nose. The flavor is also very bourbon forward but the malts do their best to keep the balance. Alcohol heat is present as is a prune characteristic. Some dark fruits, sugar, vanilla, grain bitterness, and a creme brulee flavor that lasts and lasts. Sweet, sticky, boozy.

The mouthfeel wasn't anything to write home about. Slick and medium bodied. I would have like a little more creaminess or fullness. A touch more carbonation would have been welcomed.

Overall a good, not great beer. I was really looking forward to this one and left a little disappointed. I'd drink it again happily.

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Photo of tarheels86
3.8/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355mL red wax. Older batch. 2008? Pours a cloudy amber with not much of a head. Aroma is huge toffee, gold raisins, tiramisu, rich chocolate, vanilla. Very nice. Taste is gold raisins, toffee, spices, very barleywine like. Some of the 11% starts to show through in the finish. Sweet, thick, sticky. 4/5/2010 8/4/7/4/15=3.8

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Photo of kscaldef
3.85/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 Vintage

A: Vigorous pour yields little more than a wisp of foam. Dark garnet body.

S: Intense toffee and vanilla, with moderate wood and bourbon.

T: Sweet and caramelly and chocolatey, finishing with wood and light roast.

M: Syrupy and rich with minimal carbonation. Some alcohol burn, but it's pretty well masked.

O: Intense is the word here. Delicious as a dessert. Way too much to drink very much of. I'll work my way through this bottle, but it's going to take a while. FWIW, I think calling this an Old Ale is a mis-characterization.

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Photo of alalvarez75
3.86/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Foam only came from the last pour of the bottle leaving around a 1/4" of head which has remained around the rim.

S: Oranges. Grapes, chocolate, maltiness. Alcohol.

T: Sweet (grapes and apples) and malty (chocolate and coffee).

M: Bittery sweet and silky smooth.

O: For sharing, not for sipping all night.

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Photo of 33nickadams
3.87/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2010 bottle

Got this one to celebrate Easter with my family. Didn't get the chance to drink it there, but I'm glad because now I'll be able to give it my full attention. After a vigorous pour it is a dark brown with very little head. Not much in the way of streaming bubbles. I smell bourbon, molasses, raisin and a little vanilla. Not an overpowering taste of bourbon, but I also get some molasses and raisin. The 13.5% alcohol is very well hidden. The mouthfeel is the only let down for me. It has a full body with very little carbonation. I picture this not unlike a drink that they would have in the medieval times. I guess that makes sense, since its an Old Ale. This will take me a while to drink, and I'll savor every sip. Overall, very complex brew, but the lack of carbonation makes me lower the score a little.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.88/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to capra12 for picking this one up for me. Most recent vintage. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Darkness snifter.

A: Standard pour yields no head. Beer is a muddy brown/clay. No lacing and minimal legs. A really sad looking beer.

S: Nose is caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, some dark fruit, and booze that tickles the nose. Aromatic and deep though a bit one dimensional with such a strong alcohol presence.

T: Opens caramel, brown sugar, sweet plum, anise, molasses, and booze. Hugely sweet throughout. Some more fruitiness makes itself present towards the middle with layers of chocolate and vanilla coming in towards the end. Finish is boozy with some nice burnt brown sugar and more molasses in the aftertaste. Nice complexity and a lot of different layers. Very Enjoyable.

M: Full bodied with low carbonation. Oily and viscous in the mouth. Very robust and heavy going down. Booziness is noticeable. Finish is messy with a lingering aftertaste. Very over the top.

O: A real meal in a bottle, Kuhnhenn BA 4D is everything you'd expect it to be. Heavy, boozy, and incredibly rich, and complex. Its a solid beer but nowhere near as good as the ratings indicate in my opinion. Still worth trying though.

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Photo of foundersasap
3.89/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: pours a gorgeous burgundy clear little carb small head generation, dissipates instantly
Smell: fruits of apricot, sweet fig, plum
Taste: carbon copy of nose, all sweet fruits in forefront, not much backup, wishing for some toffee, marshmallow, very difficult to pick out the bourbon notes, little to no heat
Feel: medium feel sweet slightly sticky
Overall: little disappointed and did not find enough complexity or bourbon which is why I buy BA beers, decent though

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Photo of divineaudio
3.89/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle poured into my founders snifter.

a - pours a gnarly looking, murky brown with no head whatsoever. kinda looks like swamp water. leaves a single, fine ring of lacing around the edge of the glass.

s - carmel, leather, vanilla, bourbon.

t - massive carmel malt with lots of other little things going on. notes of raisin and fig, vanilla, faint leather. still has ample hop bitterness to counter the malty sweetness. finishes boozy and very dry.

m - full bodied. slightly chewy, lacking in carbonation, finer co2 profile, big alcohol warmth.

o - pretty good, but doesn't hold a candle to beers like hotd adam. nice flavor but lacking in some other areas, and still pretty hot after almost two years. looking forward to this years batch. will likely revisit this review with a fresher bottle.

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Photo of pepsican
3.9/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rust brown with no head. Bourbon, cherry, chocolate, and caramel aroma. Flavor was dominate bourbon, cherry, booze, chocolate, foot, tobacco, toffee, and caramel. No carbonation in the finish. Very boozy, dry, a bit of sweetness. This was good and had a bunch going on in it, but at the same time it had the similar "barrely" flavors that the BA barley wine had, and I really didn’t care for that one at all. This worked a bit better, but it just misses world class for me.

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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
4.5 out of 5 based on 1,891 ratings.
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