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: 1,900
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 DmanGTR
4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Joe for busting this out at a tasting.

Poured dark brown with ruby/maroon hues in the light. Not much head here, but other things can make up for the lack of giving head.

I smell wonders in the making here. I feel like I've just interrupted an intimate sex scene, where I've walked into a room where Ms. Caramel is making vanilla and fig babies with Sir Bourbon. I feel naughty for sniffing around like a lost hound pup, but damn I can't help but waft this beauty into my olfactory bulbs and bathe in its erotic presence. Man, it's like those two are just going at it hard, causing the oaken four poster to creak and crack. Their neighbor, Madame Toffee, is listening through the walls, enjoying the sounds of the intertwining lovers.

As I leave the room, not wanting to further disturb them, I notice empty bottles of port wine and a leather whip laying on the nightstand. That will come in handy later I suppose.

The whole experience is extremely smooth, velvety, and creamy. Everything is in place, even for the low carbonation. I have hardly a qualm for this beer.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
4.39/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage. Thanks again to Knife.

A - Pours a swamp water ruddy brown with lighter brown edging. ZERO head, maybe a couple lingering bubbles. I never understand how people rate appearance a '5' when there is no head...anyways, still looks good.

S - Strong roast character (chocolate, minor espresso) with a huge wallop of sweet caramel and toffee. Vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, figs, and booze. Excellent layering in the nose.

T - Huge sweetness balanced by slight fruitiness and bread. The sweetness is mainly from a huge butterscotch presence. Mid palate, believe it or not, I get S'mores. Honestly, chocolate and graham cracker with some marshmallow. Interesting. The vanilla, spices and dark fruits (mainly figs and dates) are in the finish.

M - Pretty boozy, but that was expected. I think a year or three in the cellar will bring that down.

O - An incredibly deep and layered beer. Each flavour plays well with each other. A touch hot right now but still a stellar brew. Loved it.

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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.

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Photo of J0E
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just picked this up 2 bottles of this last night, after passing them up a month or so ago for regular 4D.

Appearance: very dark, almost opaque with a little bit of brownish copper. Absolutely no head, poured into a goblet style glass.

Smell: Just fantastic. There's definitely a lot of the oak and bourbon on the nose. As it warms, the smell gets even sweeter, with more brown sugar and some serious alcohol heat. I could just smell this all day...

Taste: Very similar to the smell. Beautiful bourbon and dark fruits. As it warmed, more malty sweetness and alcohol came up front.

Mouthfeel: It's pretty thick and syrupy - but not quite as thick as an imperial stout. It helps give the beer a nice long finish.

Overall: I'm very happy I went back and picked up the bourbon Barrel version of this. The barrel aging kicks this beer into a whole other level. Seek this one out. I'm glad I bought 2!

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

500th review. Enjoyed with Alex (alex3891) at the Library Alehouse about a month ago. Taken from notes. Also, a HUGE thanks to Erik (erikkoppin) for this damn good beer. Cheers friend!

Appearance – Pours a dark, murky brown into a tulip. Not much head if any, and just a tiny bit of lacing.

Smell – Just a fantastic nose on this. Port and sherry, burnt brown sugar, vanilla, figs and prunes, oak, slight leather and bourbon. Smells relatively sweet overall, but wow, I just keep enjoying this beers aroma.

Taste – The taste is completely similar to the nose, and exactly what I expected. Wonderfully integrated brown sugar and dark molasses up front which mixes with the earthy leather and bourbon flavors. Midway the dark fruits come through, more prune and fig than anything else I can put a finger on. An almost port like quality with bittersweet cocoa ends the sip.

Mouthfeel – Quite smooth and creamy, thicker, lower carbonation.

Overall – Certainly an awesome beer and one I am glad I have two more of. For such a high abv, the beer went down like it was nothing. The nose and flavors were absolutely fantastic, and worked exquisitely well together. Though relatively sweet/rich, I enjoyed it immensely. Can’t wait to share one with my brother-in-law come Christmas.

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Photo of jefferz5000
4.79/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

HUMONGOID THANKS to Scoot1969 for this freebie!!!!

Upon popping the cap to this sexy bottle, the aroma hits me, BAM!!! But we'll get to that in a moment. Appearance is a bit underwhelming. No real head forms, just some large soapy bubbles, but I did begin with a rather small pour. Deep reddish brown hue, with decent clarity.

Here we go, aroma is huge and full of so many things. Caramel, toffee, dark fruits, some kind of nuts, bourbon (of course), chocolate? It's just so good and fragrant! I could really sniff this all night.

Taste follows suit, and brings everything with some real OOMPH! I sorta just want to get this review over with so I can continue to enjoy this beer.

This is one of the most delicious beers I've ever had, and frighteningly easy drinking for 13.5%.

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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 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 wagenvolks
4.19/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (2010) courtesy of Thorpe429. Cheers! Poured into a Ranger Creek snifter.

Sits in the glass with a faded copper penny color--mahogany at the edges. The head is wispy and ephemeral, quickly retreating to a thin ring of tiny tan bubbles. The aroma is delightful with intricate notes of bourbon-drenched caramel, raisin, fig pudding, and vanilla bean. It's sweet, but not overpowering or cloying as rum and dark fruit yeast esters add a nice balance to the maltiness.

The flavor shows off every inch of the +13% ABV; the regular 4D (and even 5th Dementia) do better at hiding this. Chocolate-covered cherries and dark rum notes swirl and warm the cheeks and stomach while a dose of English toffee and golden raisin linger after the booziness fades. Body is chewy and thick, but delicately carbonated. The alcohol is strong, and seems to get stronger as the beer warms. Set aside a lengthy sipping time for this beer, or better yet, share it with a friend. A full bottle, while delicious, is almost too much to handle in one sitting. Give it a few years in the cellar if you're the adventurous type.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Hopsbreath for this. 2010 vintage poured into a tulip.

Appearance- Pours like a thick sweet tea. Very dark, dark crimson. No head or lacing at all. 3.5/5

Smell- Very sweet maple aroma. Some apple and alcohol as well. 4/5

Taste- This is where it gets interesting. Sweet apple and maple flavors. Some molasses and a little spice in there also. Good amount of alcohol, but you wouldn't know this was 13% abv. Lots of sweetness left on your lips. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel- Port- like thickness. Very good mouthfeel. 4.5/5

Overall- Very good sipping beer. I wish I had some more to cellar for a special occasion. Although I have a feeling that this is one that I would like better fresh. Thanks Jason. 4.5/5

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Photo of PenguinBeerFan
4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours thick, dark brown. Not much head, and dissipates quickly.

S - Dark fruits, fig and raisins are the meat of it. Strong bourbon and vanilla notes round it out. Could whiff this all day long.

T - Awesome. A lot going on here. Thick, malty maple syrup notes up front. Strong bourbon flavors on the swallow, but not enough to put it out of balance. This is a perfect example of what bourbon aging can do to a beer without being overpowering.

M - Not giant stout thick, but pretty heavy for the style and syrupy.

O - This is a superbly done beer and the best of the style I have sampled. Definitely in my top 10 brews.

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Photo of davesway10
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Kgristoff for the opportunity to drink this exceptional beer. This beer pours a murky brownish red with little to no head what so ever. The Smell is a divine blend of Bourbon, vanilla, Caramel, toffee. The taste is the same, but smooth and perfect. For me this is easily a top 5 beer of all time. If I could only drink this more often the world would be a much better place, Honestly there are only 1 or 2 beers tops that I currently Desire , and desire is the operative word here, more than this one. Wow, I love it.

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Photo of ElGrecoVerde
4.79/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, muddy brownish red with almost no head.

Bold caramel aromas blended with mixed spices, bourbon, and dark fruits. This is an incredible smelling beer.

Does not disappoint. Intense flavors of caramel, bourbon, raisins, cherries, plum, and molasses stand out. Undertones of cinnamon, rich wood, vanilla, cider and biscuit. Hints of coffee and dark chocolate round out the complex list of flavors.

Heavy yet not overwhelming. Compliments it's sipping style well.

This is a big, bold beer. With such complex flavors there's a high chance of something going wrong. But this is an artfully crafted brew that left nothing unaccounted for.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured cloudy brown color with an average frothy light brown creamy head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Heavy aroma of complex sweet bourbon. Medium to full body with smooth texture and flat carbonation . Heavy complex sweet bourbon flavor with a medium to heavy sweet bourbon finish of moderate to long duration. My expectations were met with a complex standout brew.

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Photo of afksports
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Kuhnhenn is a brewery most haven't heard of.

Most also haven't smelled my apartment this morning.

Eight hours after opening Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia (2011) I'm still reeling from the aroma.  A hard pour produced little to no head on top of the swampy dark brown ruby hued body. No fizzy bubbles to carry the smell up to the nose. No worries - BB4D has no use for bubbles. Vanilla, toffee, coffee, sugarcane, flan, roasted oats, baked yams, rum raisin, cherries, the smoke drifting from a small village stocked with Top Chef contestants. That's the smell of this beer. Oh yeah, and bourbon.

The taste doesn't stack up (how could it?) and is mostly malty sweetness, alcohol, and bourbon. Not much bitterness to speak of. It's not bad. In fact, it's extremely good. And The thick body solidifies this as a dessert Old Ale if there ever was one. But it's not matching the smell.

This is a drinkable beer if it's the only one you're having that evening. It's the best smelling velvet you will ever open from a bottle. An "A" rating does not do the smell justice.

But maybe... just maybe... it's a bit too much? 

I only ask because I've been blowing bourbon barrel boogers all day.

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Photo of camil1mj
4.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Found on the shel mixed among standard 4D. Poured into my newly bought Founder's snifter.

A: Deep toffee brown. Slight head that quickly dissapates.

S: Lot's going on here. Toffee, raisins, among other things I cannot pinpoint. The alcoho is there as well.

T: Just like the smell, this beer has many layers. I typically do not like old ales. This one is exceptional.

M: Much thicker than your run of the mill craft brew, but not quite syrupy. Exactly how I would want it.

O: One of my favorites beers that is not a Stout. Well done. I am glad I live so close to Warren and can find this on the shelf at beer stores from time to time.

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Photo of STEG
4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz/8.99$ at Decicco's Ardsley

Serving temp: Slightly Chilled

Glassware : Obnoxiusly Sized Ridel Bordeaux

Pours a deep brown hue, hues of auburn and coagulated blood. Fine bubbled light sand head with little retention goes missing soon after the glass gets to the table.

Smells of raisin, port, sherry, fig, burnt sugar, sweet malt, light vanilla and milk chocolate notes. A smell combo that sometimes makes me shy away from old ales but there's something reassuring in the nose that let's me know I'm in for something special.

The taste, albeit similar to the aroma, removes the only things I dislike about the aroma which is tough to pin down what, maybe the fig, has been removed and all the things I like about the nose have been amplified and complemented by the barrel treatment. Vanilla caramel, light bourbon, light plum and subtle wood tanins makes this truly wonderful to experience.

Mouthfeel is to style but the alcohol heat isn't until the end and is delightfully warming. Carbonation is spot on and removes the usual trudgig through the super high abv beers. It's a nice 75 out and even being used to low 60s all the time it's not a sickly syrupy difficulty to get through.

Overall this has changed my views on old ales and has me wanting to try the '88 Thomas Hardy's and the Bourbon Barrel Old stock and give old ales another shot Barrel treated or not.

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Photo of djmichaelk
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle courtesy of erikkoppin (thank you!), into a snifter.

A - Pours a murky, cloudy auburn-brown. Not much of anything as far as head, retention, or lacing. I wasn't expecting much considering the abv, but this is looking flat.

S - Caramel, toffee, vanilla, and some roast. Definitely smells like it's on the sweet side, and I have to admit that I'm loving the aroma.

T - Wow, this is awesome. More vanilla, burnt sugar, toasted coconut, and hints of nuttiness. Like a combination of creme brulee topped with marshmellow and peanut brittle. This is great, great stuff. Not much alcohol evident, although I'm starting to get warm.

M - Thick and creamy, with light carbonation. I was concerned about the carbonation after the pour didn't show much, but it turned out pretty nice. More on the sweet side than dry, with a lingering finish.

O - I've heard good things about this beer, and I have to say that it definitely lives up to the hype. It works great as a dessert beer given the sweetness. It's somewhere between HOTD Matt and Cherry Adam, and to be honest it's better than both of them. Really glad that I traded for some of this. Also very glad that it comes in packs of smaller bottles, and that I still have three more.

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Photo of khumbard
4.81/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to BeerWorld for the bottle.

A - Pours a dark reddish brown, with a small head. Pretty unassuming.

S - Wow the nose on this beer is amazing. Big time toffee, oak, vanilla, bourbon, leather, sweet candy. The smell on this one is one of the best malty beers I've had.

T - The taste follows through, this beer is top notch. It is sweet, but smooth. Big bourbon, rich malty flavor, toffee, bourbon, vanilla, some booze, and maybe a little tobacco and leather. The sweetness is up front, but is so darn tasty and finishes smooth that this one is up with the best.

M - Low carbonation, a little syrupy... not bad, but nothing really to speak of.

O - Having had this twice now, this has become one of my personal favorites. The nose and taste on this beer are stunning, and I would be a happy man to have a case of this in my cellar.... unfortunately I'll have to live with the 3 bottles I have left.

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Photo of Adrianized
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured in to a snifter.

Essentially black, but once held to the light it's actually a very dark mahogany. Super thin head dissipates to only a tiny ring around the glass. No lacing.

Wow this smells awesome. Lots of caramel, bourbon, oak, maple, molasses, and vanilla. A deep enough inhalation after swirling the glass actually burns my nose from the alcohol.

Very strong molasses and maple. One of the strongest bourbon flavors I've tasted in a beer. Lots of caramel, toasted malt, and woody oak as well. The alcohol is well hidden for 13.5%, but it's certainly there; although it doesn't burn either. This is damn good.

I love the mouth feel. It's full bodied and syrupy. Little carbonation.

This is an amazing brew and totally worth seeking out. Anyone that likes bourbon barrel aged beers would LOVE this

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.14/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Snifter glass.

A - Dark Carmel brown with only a few tan bubbles on the edges.

S - There is lots going on here. Spices, carmel, old fruit, brown sugar.

T - Toffee, carmel, brown sugar, some slight vanilla tones.

D - No carbonation at all. Very, very sweet.

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Photo of badboyrsl84
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a thick syrupy caramel into a tulip glass with very little head.

Smell - wow what a great smelling brew. vanilla, Bourbon, cinnamon, nutmeg, roasted malt and alcohol.

Taste - follows the nose really well. Tons of sweetness with the vanilla, bourbon, and holiday spices. The alcohol is present but nowhere near the 13% this bottle claims. Amazing brew well worth the wait.

Mouthfeel - super smooth and very easy to drink. The carbonation is very tame and almost not present. As it warms the alcohol stands out a little more but still remains very smooth.

Overall - the only beer better than this is KBS. I love them both equally.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

aquired as an extra in trade with kdub87. Thanks Kirk! Drinkn this side by side with the non-barrel aged version of 4D.

Pouted into tulip glass.

Appearance: brown beer with red highlights. Ablsolutely no no head even after an aggressive pour.

Smell: Beer smell just like it tastes. Caramel, vanilla, dark fruits, toffee, and bourbon.

Taste: Another nice, malty beer with the flavor of sweet caramel and vanilla. Hints of toffee and candied sugar. Some dark fruits are also present in the background of the beer. Alcohol is more present in this version, than non-BA version. Still no major burn from alcohol.

Mouthfeel: The beer remains creamy and smooth. Full bodied and low carbonation. This beer is a bit more sticky than non-barrel aged version.

Overall: I prefer the barrell aged version of 4D to the original version; both awesome beers. This is my second beer by this brewery. It is fantastic! Thanks Kirk!

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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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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
4.5 out of 5 based on 1,900 ratings.
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