Extraneous Ale (Cassis)
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Extraneous Ale (Cassis)Extraneous Ale (Cassis)
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American Barleywine
4.52 | pDev: 7.3%
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Extraneous Ale (Cassis)Extraneous Ale (Cassis)
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 26
Reviews by MasterSki:
Photo of MasterSki
4.44/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 vintage. Served in a Närke tulip.

A - Quick-dissolving foam settles to nothing. Murky amber-purple body. Wasn't expecting much from a 17% beer, and I got just that.

S - Smells like jam, chocolate, and caramel. And more jam - just a ridiculous amount of raspberries, blackberries, and curarnts. There's an insane amount of fruit here after 7 years, and minimal appreciable oxidation. Firstly, this smells nothing like Extraneous Ale - reminds me more of Bramble Rye BCS in a way.

T - The flavor is heavier on barleywine flavors like caramel and chocolate initially, but the finish is all jammy raspberry and currant flavors. There's a mild amount of oak bitterness that reveals the barrel-aging, but it's largely overwhelmed by the intense sweet fruits and malts. There's a hint of complementary port-like oxidation, but I can see this beer going for a few more years. Minimal alcohol at this stage.

M - Medium-full body, low carbonation, super sticky, with some mild warmth that is the main indicator of the listed 17%. Decadent and liquor-like.

D - Sean and I split the 12oz bottle, which probably led to my delightful hangover to start Dark Lord 2012. Extremely rich and extremely awesome. Well worth seeking out, although there can't be too many bottles of this left. Really hope the Kuhnhenns make this one again.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mentor
3.85/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2005 bottle obtained from the brewery during a solstice release one year, perhaps 5ish years ago. Cellared carefully by me since then. Pours essentially no head, the little that forms dissipates, likely from the high alcohol concentration. I'm guessing high alcohol, because the beer had legs on the side of the glass while being poured in. Crystal clear dark brown liquid with ruby highlights when held to light.

Smells potently raspberry and caramel yummy when being poured. To the nose potent raspberry, dehydrated blueberry, acai, dusty dry chocolate, earthy, clean strong sting from alcohol, plum, anise, cardboard oxidation, bright apricot, caramel under the berry and esters, and much much more. Wowza.

Smells better than it tastes. Tastes wet sweet, but not sticky, strong clean alcohol, dry berries, modest chocolate, and a strong cassis finish. I wasn't quite sure what a cassis tasted like until now, but there is a berry-like flavor in here that is similar to the flavor in their tenacious cassis ale. Must be cassis. Sweet bread pudding, leather, stale basil, and raisin. Unfortunately, this beer comes across as a bit salty and there is definite soy in the finish. My experience aging beer is that this beer is well on the downside and will not improve with additional aging. Cardboard oxidation detracts from the malt caramel and oxidation sherry character. Medium thickness rolling around in the mouth, drying, with mild carbonation. It's a talented brewer that can put together a beer with this high of an alcohol concentration that is so clean.

For the style, no hops were present (what do you expect, it's been aged a long time) and the chocolate should not have been present. This is probably best classified as a strong ale.

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Photo of Sammy
4.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

187 ml. of unique thick fruit wine . A barleywine style? sure. 2007 edition. Pours dark black. Full rich mouthfeel, particularly fun after back-to-backing the hansenns cassis. Full flavour of cassis, fruit sugars residual. Shocked to find it was 17%.

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Photo of walleye
4.7/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

had this September 22nd, my birthday present from Brett. another wow beer. poured a dark amber to ruby with no head. aroma besides the hint of alcohol I got black currant followed by some red currant and the secret ingredient green tea with a nice blend of malt and vanilla and caramel. flavor, the currants take a front seat here with the caramel and vanilla coming in a close 2nd, I was excepting the alcohol to be right up front on this beer but it just poked it head out. IMO this would give the raspberry eisbock a run for its money

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Photo of whartontallboy
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.86/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dusky-hued dark ruby, with a rim of white. Strong all cassis aroma. First, freshly poured percolating Hero Cassis, bubbling in a nonic at a bar in Amsterdam, followed by tooth-marring Finnish cassis jellies, and finally with a tart nip of lightly aged Belgian black currant juice. All expressive, yet singular. Incredibly profusive. Bright, however yielded a faint edge of vegetal character. Flavor begins with a sharp, sweet and almost slightly bitter cassis flavor, with edges of blackberry and tight vinegar expressions. After a blossing bold cassis domination initial, I’m swepth into a faint dark caramelly sugar, with some distant yeast toasts. This movement of other characters doesn’t really ever get to fully express itself, drowned in the sea of amazing black currant character. Again, this ebbs mediciney and cloying, with a few touches of sickly sugar. However, one cannot underestimate the ridiculous smoothness for a beer of assumedly 17% alcohol. Vinous and caramel shuffled with cassis in some first date awkwardness. Finally, a touching note of minute vegetal hop dust sails over the blasting fruit character. Yeast spice and esters I think help add an extra dimension to the cassis flavor. Obviously this was accidental (the addition of currant juice), because it’s unbalanced. If the currants had been reduced by 50% this would be a beer up there with Raspberry Eisbock. Being the cassis whore that I am, this was fun to sip, especially considering the bright vinous notes, but it just got a little overbearing. I guess not every accident spawns a winner.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.65/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decided it would be fitting to finally open one of these on the eve of the winter solstice party. This bottle was very generously given to me after last years solstice by Bret. Pours a medium copper to red and amber in color, murky, with a small caramel colored head that quickly recedes to a ring. Aroma is strong of blackberries, there is a prune and raisin aged malt aroma behind this that is evident when agitated. Some bready yeastiness and alcohol in the aroma as well. Taste follows with some sweet pruny maltiness up front that is quickly followed by an incredible blackberry jam flavor. The blackberry dominates and lingers on the tongue into the slightly drying and warming finish. There is a bit of bitterness in the finish as well, almost as chewing on a blackberry seed. The alcohol is noticeable only as a warming in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, definitely sugary feel accentuates the blackberries and is cut by the warmth of alcohol. Far and away the best fruit beer I've had to date. I suppose barleywine is an okay category as there are definitely some barleywine characteristics (tho more english bw than american), however these take a backseat to the blackberries. Outstanding beer, Cheers to Kuhnhenn, look forward to visiting tomorrow.

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Photo of rallison
4.2/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to WeeHeavySD for bringing this rarity to the Sea Of Floydster tasting (like we were lacking in the rare beer department..).

Hugely sweet caramel-tinged cassis in the aroma. Enjoyable, but definitely bordering on the too sweet side - that said, as a sweet nightcap with some cheesecake, this would definitely work.

Sweet, smooth, rich, decadent cassis against a powerful caramel-ish body. Overly sweet, once again, but quite interesting. More caramel and brown sugar and less cassis than in Tenacious Cassis.

Virtually no alcohol heat. Not a bad beer, but not totally digging it either. Unique, indeed.

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Photo of punkrkr27
4.54/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark ruby brown color with a small tan head that dissipates almost immediately. Thick black currant smell evident as soon as you open the bottle with notes of honey, some citrus, vanilla, chocolate, and alcohol. Lots of vinous black currant flavor with a strong dose of vanilla. Hints of caramel,brown sugar, and some woodiness.r popping out with loads of alcohol in the finish. The intense alcohol is about the only thing that takes away from a perfect 10 for flavor. Body is full and oily with, obviously, plenty of alcohol warming.

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Photo of WeisGuy
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of seaoflament
4.07/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jon (weeheavysd) for bringing this rarity to the SeaofFloydster Tasting on March 28th. Supposedly there was a very limited bottling of this.

Medium brown color with no head to speak of but a thick head is not what is expected from this type of beer...looks syrupy.

Intense berry aroma, almost cough syrup-like, a bit of vanilla, blueberries, caramel and toffee candy. Very sweet and interesting.

The taste was the same as the aroma, sweet candy berry flavors, cherries, blueberries with a hint of tartness. Loads of caramel malt sweetness and a bit of alcohol warmth in the finish. A tad syrupy but similar to the Tenacious Cassis. A dessert beer to sip after a meal.

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Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 vintage shared by Nanoslug and provided by Masterski. Thanks, guys.

Caramel colored with a pinkish tint. Only lightly carbonated, a hard pour left me with a thin collar. The clarity and color are excellent.

The aroma is an awesome blend of tart currants, butter toffee, sherry-like oxidation and raspberry preserves. Alcohol, amazingly, is barely noticed.

Woody, leathery oxidation meets tart ripe currants on the tongue. Blackberry jam, butter toffee, sherry - fucking fantastic. Alcohol is only faintly noticeable. Rich and syrupy mouthfeel with light carbonation. A long finish of tart currants, wood, leather and caramel, this is decadent but very drinkable. Thanks, Alex!

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Photo of Floydster
4.72/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle brought to the SeaO'Floydster tasting by WeeHeavySD, thanks you so much for this one Jon, I had no idea this was even released to the public, poured into my Stone sampling glass, reviewed from notes

A-Greyish brown with some amber highlights, 1/8 inch white head that did not last long at all, nice legs
S-Black currants, cherries, rich malts, booze, whole grains, caramel, sweet fruit juices, rum, toffee, and red wine
T-Starts off with a big cherry flavor, some sweet malts in the middle, booze in the finish mixed with vanilla and berries, got sweeter as it warmed, not nearly hot as expected, more caramel comes out later, lots of underlying fruit in the aftertaste, really enjoyed its flavor
M-Sweet, fruity, boozy, and warming mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, very little carbonation but it was fitting, lingering aftertaste was nice and lasted a while
D-Could have drank this bottle, great drinkability, booze were there but maybe seemed ten percent and not seventeen, smooth, not overly sweet, nicely hidden strength, great stuff

One of my favorite Kuhnhenn beers yet, also one of my fave super high alcohol beers to date, this one sure did surprise me, I know I will never get to have this again but I wish I did, quite an accomplishment by this brewery, seek this out if possible, highly recommended

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Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of TasteTester
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of spycow
4.75/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of nickd717
4.27/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2005 vintage thanks to Nanoslug. Thanks a lot, Adam and Anna. Apparently MasterSki is to thank for procuring this bottle.

Pours a cloudy reddish-brown with pretty much no head. Very viscous.

Smells incredible. Loads of fresh cassis as well as sweet caramel and toffee, and spice.

Flavor is also great. A little more alcohol than I'd like, but excellent otherwise. Intense cassis, caramel, toffee, and spices.

Full-bodied and even a little syrupy with very low carbonation.

Overall this is excellent. Never thought I'd get to try this, and I'm glad I did, especially since I'm a huge ticker.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.22/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. I really wish I had written down who brought this so I could give a thank you. However, shoutout to a generous soul for this brew.

Pours a slightly-murky crimson color with some brownish colors in there as well. Very slight head that actually persists around the rim of the glass for a bit of time. The nose is really, really nice with some strong fruit flavors of cassis, with perhaps a bit of berry in the background as well. Nice toffee and caramel aromas as well. A bit oxidized, which worked some nice flavors into the brew.

Along with the oxidation, the flavor department brings some great fruit presence and really nice notes of sweetbread. A bit of booze overshadows things, and I could say that this still could use a bit more time. Otherwise, feel and taste are pretty nice. This is really an elegant sipper and I'd love the chance to try it again.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.54/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 Vintage...thank you Alex for this huge long-time want!

A - Pours a brownish/reddish color, cream-colored head, thin collar.

S - Unbelievable nose. Tons of berries/fruits...like sticking your nose in some homemade jam. Mix in some chocolate, oak, and carmel and you have Extraneous Cassis. Str8 ballin'.

T - Less jam up front and more chocolate, dark fruits, and burnt sugars. Light oxidation, oak, and smooth booze follow. The finish is all jammy berries and caramel. The 17% is simply not there...unreal.

M - Medium to full, rich and smooth, creamy fruity finish.

O - One of my top beers of 2012 so far. I think this still has some time left to age as well, but it's drinking simply amazingly right now. Maybe I'll get lucky and score one of these down the road or they'll release it again...who knows. What an experience...thanks again Alex!

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Photo of woosterbill
4.24/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle of the 05 vintage into a Weyerbacher tulip. Shared at a tasting hosted by HopStoopid120 - bottle courtesy of the host and Knifestyles. Thanks a ton, guys!

A: Clear reddish-brown body with just a whisp of carbonation and pretty nice legs.

S: Huge attack of dark chocolate, fruit, and biting, almost citrusy booze. Malty to the max, and insanely alcoholic - and yet somehow it seems perfect. The interplay of fruit, malt, and booze is done amazingly well.

T: This tastes exactly like the cordial inside of a dark chocolate alcohol candy, with a bittersweet mix of chocolate and currant essence; on the finish, the sweetness gives way to alcohol and tobacco notes. Not nearly as hot as you'd expect for the astronomical ABV, but still a little bit harsh. Ridiculous, and wonderful.

M: Still, sticky, and eventually burning. What could you expect?

D: I got about 2 ounces, and it was the perfect amount. Any more would have been overwhelming, any less and I wouldn't have gotten to savor it fully. For being such an amped-up sipper, it's pretty darn drinkable.

Notes: I never dreamt of getting to try this beer, and there it was getting opened just as I arrived at the tasting. What a way to start the night! I couldn't help but compare it to the Raspberry Eisbock I drank the week before, and delicious as this beer was it couldn't hold a candle to KRE in any category except for appearance. If I hadn't had the chance to enjoy KRE so recently, then Extranious (that's how it was spelled on the bottle, inexplicably enough) was an incredible, memorable beer. The folks at Kuhnhenn really know their shit when it comes to dessert brews.


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Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of AgentZero
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of chrispoint
5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of ChrisPro
4.5/5  rDev -0.4%

Photo of joshuaseresse
4.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Steve for sending this huge whale, and massive want, my way in a recent trade. Shared at our La Crosse post - thanksgiving day tasting with some solid BAs. 2005 Vintage. Poured about a 2.5oz sample into snifter:

A - A deep, rich mahogany with amber and fire hues. Really no carbonation, with a counted total of three bubbles hanging out on one side of the glass. Really thick and sticky legs however.

S - Sweet candy and huge on the currants. Hearty chocolate cherries and some brightness. As the brew warms there is a slight moss like aroma. Would score this a 4.25 but I will round down and round up another 4.25 in my review.

T - Sweet and tart mix, with a subtle cognac taste and a little bit of a following burn. The booze is there but it isn't over poweringly hot. Big currants and sour cherries though. A really sweet barleywine.

M - The sweetness and tartness really play a game with the tastebuds. Kind of syrupy with a bit of a thicker side but a nice and smooth booze like characteristic.

O - Yeah, I'm really glad that I got the honor to try this one. I believe Steve said they only sold something like 60 bottles (according to MasterSki it was more like 40 bottles :) in 2005, so I feel pretty lucky to get this one. I do have to say though that I was quite happy with my 2.5oz pour and really don't think I could honestly drink an entire bottle of this to myself. The nose and taste are very fascinating but its a strong bitch for sure. Another interesting brew from the great Kuhnhenns.

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Extraneous Ale (Cassis) from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 26 ratings