Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #244
Ranked #27,090
3.82 | pDev: 9.95%
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Very Good
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 56 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of buschbeer
buschbeer from Ohio

3.34/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz bottle
Served in a Kuhnhenn's snifter

A - It pours pretty dark. I would call it a reddish brown. It has some dark amber highlights. I barely got a skim of tan head.

S - It smell like soy sauce and mint. This makes me a little apprehensive to try it. It smells more like a Belgian as it warms. It smells really sweet.

T - The taste is not as bad as the smell. It has a weird taste. I get that soy sauce and mint taste, but it is not strong. I get a sweet, sugary taste that kind of covers it up. The finish has faded remnants of a Belgian strong dark ale. One again, it improves with a warmer temperature. It is sweet with some Belgian spices.

M - Medium with low carbonation.

O - This beer just has some weird shit going on. I'm guessing I had it for too long. It gets better as it warms. I need a newer one to compare.

Mar 07, 2014
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alpinebryant from Connecticut

3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark raisin / belgian candy sugar color with caramel undertones.

S: Aroma of sweet cidery beer with honey, spices and belgian yeast

T: Taste is indeed cidery and a bit boozy. Plenty of belgian spice flavors along with honey and caramelized sugars. Plum and dark fruit flavors along with belgian candied sugar mixing with raisin and caramel.

M: Light carbonation medium body

O: its ok, nothing great. Definitely not worth the $7 a bottle tag but glad to have tried it.

Dec 28, 2012
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superspak from Ohio

3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature tulip glass, 2011 winter solstice bottling. Pours lightly cloudy dark red color with a small 1 finger off white head with decent retention, that reduces to a thin film cap. Minimal spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of raisin, prune, caramel, molasses, pepper, anise, clove, allspice, cinnamon, banana, leather, earth, and yeast spiciness. Very nice, interesting, and complex aromas with good balance. Was not sure what to expect when I opened the bottled, didn’t know this was a spiced Belgian. Taste of huge tart raisin, prune, molasses, toast, caramel, chocolate, banana, clove, pepper, earth, leather, cinnamon, herbal, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of dark fruit, molasses, clove, leather, earth, chocolate, and yeast spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and balance of flavors, with big intensity on the palate; zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a fairly creamy, slick, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian Strong dark ale! Very intense with big complexity; and quite smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable sipper.

Nov 01, 2012
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cosmicevan from New York

4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

consumed on 6/30, while I was "on Hiatus." massive thanks to bierenutz for the hookup from the 2011 solstice party. enjoyed from my kuhnhenn tulip.
2011 vintage

a - brew poured a deep plum purple with a thin creamy head that was gone relatively quick leaving just a skin of head. no lacing to speak of, but swirling the glass rebuilds some head.

s - as soon as the bottle opened, some fruity spiciness filled the air. upon closer inspection...yowza!!! deep dark fruit with a wonderful glaze of white peppery sage and clove like spicing. really fantastic smelling. really reminds me of ommegang's adoration (an all time favorite).

t - YUM! now that's what i'm talking about! wonderful BSDA. deep dark fruits and nice spicing. some booziness, but doesn't feel like 11% by any stretch of the imagination.

m - nice 11% tingle in my mouth. a bit thin for such a big beer and for the style, but dangerously drinkable. not as creamy as the original and classics for the style, but far superior to most american takes on a true belgian classic.

o - overall, i was rather impressed with this beer. another winner from kuhnhenn. this brewery really knows how to brew beer and for them to knock it out of the park over and over again on these big beers (and a BSDA no less) is quite impresssive. granted this is not a classic belgian take, it is far closer than most american attempts at the style.


Aug 01, 2012
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mltobin from Connecticut

3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle over the border in New York state.

Appearance is brown with a short head, beige color. It has a nose of malts, belgian yeast and quite a bit of spice. Sipping on this strong dark ale and I taste dark fruits, biscuit, caramel and black currants. Mouthfeel is medium, with a boozy finish. A pretty tasty beer, but probably not as good as one may hope for the cost of it.

May 26, 2012
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BirdsandHops from Oregon

3.49/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear brown with a finger of light tan head that recedes to a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Sweet bubblegum and candy sugar with holiday spices--cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg come to mind--dominate the nose. There are slight bready and caramel notes toward the finish.

T: Similar to the aroma, holiday spices and bubblegum hit first followed by caramelized sugar and maple-like flavors. The finish is of sweet breads with a light alcohol warmth.

M: Medium body with low carbonation, this beer is watery feeling.

O: A pretty decent beer, overall. Interesting, to say the least. It reminds me of Thanksgiving or Christmas desserts in beer form, though in a good way. Its biggest fault is a lack of body or carbonation.

May 24, 2012
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woosterbill from Kentucky

3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle of the 2011 release, poured into a 25cl Duvel tulip. Thanks to Tony for sharing.

A: Clear dark orange body with only a thin ring of off-white bubbles. Ok.

S: Highly spicy, floral, and intense. Lots of cinnamon, white pepper, and allspice. A little booze, but not too bad. Very nice.

T: Some dark fruity maltiness joins the intense spiciness and light floral notes. A good dose of warming booze. Quite enjoyable.

M: A little thinner than I'd expect, with some light, lively carbonation. Ok.

O: I really enjoyed how distinctive and intense this one managed to be without being truly overwhelming in any one dimension. Well worth sampling if you're interested in the style and you like your BSDAs with a ton of spice.


May 19, 2012
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM from California

4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1235th Review on BA
Bottle to Kuhnhenn Tulip
12 oz

2011 Solstice Bottle

Thanks to ErikKoppin for this one

App- A garnet and brown infused brew with a bit of a semi clarity around the edges. A small 1/2 inch semi khaki/creme head formed and was gone quickly. Left a nice trail of cling and lace.

Smell- Rich and lush dark fruits mixed with a soft yeast aroma. Had a bit of raisin and plum aromas as well. A small trace of the booze could be smelled on the nose.

Taste- I hate to say it, but this one should be classified as a dubbel. I know the ABV is over 9 but the flavors arent really screaming BSDA to me. Drinks very much like a dubbel with more of the raisin and fruits taking over vs. yeasty and deep flavors. I will say it wasnt bad at all, just doesnt drink like I thought it would.

Mouth- A semi-medium body with a medium/full carbonation with a yeasty bubbly quality behind it. Left residual booze and dark fruits.

Drink- A tasty beer, just one that blurred the edges of styles for me. Might do well with some time on it to let things mellow and blend a little bit more.

Apr 26, 2012
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MasterSki from Canada (ON)

3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the 2011 Winter Solstice. Served in a Darkness snifter.

A - Hard pour rouses a dime of crusty white foam that dissipates to a wisps, then nothing at all. Transparent dark plum color, if you manage to keep the sediment in the bottle. Other than the dearth of foam it's quite attractive.

S - Anise, dark fruits, Belgian yeast, mild medicinal character, and a surprising amount of cinnamon. Alcohol seems pretty reasonable for the listed 11%.

T - Taste is fairly similar, with dark fruits, yeast, spices, cinnamon, and perhaps a hint of milk chocolate. Very festive - almost like a Belgian Christmas beer.

M - Carbonation is surprisingly active given the appearance. Body is medium, and a bit watery for the ABV. The texture is grainy and lightly sticky in the finish. A mild amount of warming alcohol is the only indication of the listed 11%.

D - I actually liked this a fair bit, and found it very easy to drink and I worked through the entire bottle fairly quickly. I usually despise spices in my beers, but they were well-integrated into the flavor profile. Not a beer I'd want often, but for whatever reason I really dug this tonight.

Apr 26, 2012
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SupaCelt from Michigan

3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

an aggressive pour produces no head whatsoever. it seems flat and lifeless. the brew is cola coloured and looks quite rich and lovely despite being headless and very sparsely carbonated.

the nose is full of dark fruit character. black cherry with slight booziness and a splash of cola come to mind. a light sprinkle of clove and a pinhead of cinnamon swirl around with the more bold notes of sweetness.

the taste is very mild and not overpowering despite having such a pronounced dark fruit nose. the fruitiness is cut by a decent amount of bitterness that seems to come in on the heels of some clove spiciness. there is a slight ashy hint and an astringency that is reminiscent of leather and shoe polish. it has an initial smootheness that is quite unexpected, but is likely due to the near total lack of carbonation.

the mouthfeel is light to medium. the lack of carbonation is noteable and takes away from this beers overall effect.

overall, this brew is not one that demands a repeating of the experience. it has some interesting qualities. it is a somewhat memorable representation of this style because it is far different than any others that have washed across the author's palate. it can be said that this brew did not meet expectations.

Apr 10, 2012
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webmanspidey from Michigan

3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. This is a muddy brown color with minimal carbonation. Smell is very odd with a mix of dark fruits and spices. Taste is very mellow with an acidic lemon finish. The alcohol is masked very well, it is barely noticeable. This is very different from others in this style.. Worth trying.

Apr 01, 2012
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brystmar from Texas

3.59/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh bottle shared 3 ways. Blah appearance for the style, but one whiff lets you know this isn't your everyday Belgian. Super spicy aroma with malty Belgian undertones and banana esters.

Similar to the nose, this has a Belgian base with plenty of weirdness on top. Very spicy and fruity, strong banana flavors.

An interesting take on the style, exactly what I expected from Kuhnhenn. But that said, I can't drink more than a few oz of this. Glad I tried it.

Mar 10, 2012
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divineaudio from Michigan

3.37/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a tulip. 2011 release.

a - pours a murky chestnut color with a thin cap of coarse, tan head. no lacing.

s - massive clove spice, banana, shoe leather, cola.

t - tangy and spicy with pumpernickel bread like qualities. big clove flavors, candi sugar, notes of sour grape, plum and maybe some rye sourness. finishes fairly dry with a spicy kick. alcohol taste comes out as the beer warms. quite a complex array of flavors here, though i don't feel that they all play well together.

m - medium in body with medium carbonation. lighter co2 profile. significant alcohol warming.

o - abv kicks in about 1/3rd of the way through the bottle, this is a slow sipper or one to share. definitely an interesting beer, but this one isn't really doing it for me. probably wouldn't spend the money on this a second time.

Mar 09, 2012
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BBP from Canada (ON)

3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours ruby-chestnut without any really head at all.

The aroma is fairly par for the style but is a bit brighter as if it has some elements of a belgian pale ale. Fairly pleasant and elaborate.

The flavor is pretty nice. It has a good BSDA foundation but works a little spice and bright sweetness into it rather than playing only on the dark malts and fruit. A bit of candied sugar as well but with minimal sweetness coming from it.

The body is medium-thick and medium-heavy. The finish is dry and slightly sticky.

Overall, this was a solid BSDA but I wasn't really blown away by it. It strikes me as one of the beers Kuhnhenn makes that follows the style closest, and I think I prefer the brews they make that break the mold a bit more. I can almost say with certainty though, if you like BSDA's, you'd enjoy this.

The balance is nice and it's been made well.

Feb 02, 2012
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Pointman from Michigan

4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cracked a 2007 after hockey. Dark but cloudy. Not much head. Some latent carmal nose. Trying to place the other scents.

Taste was lighter than I expected. Tangy flavor. Light lacing. Literally trying to decide if I like it. The aging took away what I call the Kuhnhenn's taste. Which is good. Some clove and licorice overtones coming through. This beer is evolving with the mixing of O2. I am enjoying the journey! Wow...a little menthol? This is an unbelievable treat! It is sooo much better that what I remembered when I had it at Winter Solstice 2007.

I am tempted to properly suck the air out of the bottle and take it to the Brewery for the Brothers to taste it tomorrow.

Yep that's what I am doing. If you can get one of these online or anywhere. BUY IT!

Feb 14, 2011
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed the 3-year aged version at the brewpub. Great aroma. Strong, with meady smooth characteristic. Candi sugar, cinammon Ruby red with lots of lace Some sourness, ginger, clove, maybe cardom and coriander, making it a sipper. Above average mouthfeel.

Aug 10, 2009
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Lothore from California

3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Felt like randomly cracking this one tonight.

A- Pours a nice crimson color with a fizzy, brownish head which fades quickly.

S- Smell is very intriguing, extremely fruity, clove, banana, mixed christmasy spices, almost cideresque.

T- Here we go, it definitely tastes more like a BSDA than I was expecting. Figs, dark fruits and sweet caramel dominate the taste and are accentuated by lighter fruit notes such as banana and perhaps a small amount of mango. The taste is rounded out by a bit of clove toward the end.

M- A little overcarbonated and fizzy, medium viscosity. Seems strange since this was brewed almost 2 years ago (June '07)

D- At first I was really digging on the light fruit notes mixed with the heavy, fig and caramel however it is definitely a big beer and I think the combination is a little too much towards the end of a bottle. Definitely share this one.

Mar 21, 2009
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Viggo from Canada (ON)

3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, day 3 of insane return of DrJay tasting, Jay brought this one!

Pours a hazed light reddish brown, medium sized tan head forms, drops a few spots of lace and settles down to a decent sized ring around the glass. Smell is nice, very spicy, some caramel, yeast, apples, lots of fruit, cloves, cinnamon, bready, some brown sugar, pretty interesting comination of aromas, very spicy and fruity. Taste is similar, some iron, caramel, very malty, lots of spice especially cloves and cinnamon, very fruity, touch of raisin, some strawberry and cherries, brown sugary and spice finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation, very spicy, but pretty interesting take on the style. Thanks Jay!

Jan 06, 2009
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DrJay from Texas

3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Biergotter Tasting - Day 3. I brought this one along.
Slightly hazed coppery red colour with a tight beige collar. A bit spotty. The aroma was fairly intense. Lots of spice, mostly ginger and clove, bread and yeast, nearly perfumey, with a bit of alcohol. Smelled a lot like gingerbread cookies. Low bitterness, spicy and yeasty, molasses, gingerbread. Alcohol and spices lingered in the finish. A little more than medium bodied with high carbonation, off-dry with some warmth. Very spicy, but tasted pretty good.

Dec 26, 2008
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grub from Canada (ON)

3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Biergotter Tasting, Day 3: Barleywines and Others. DrJay contributed this one. thanks jay!

750ml bottle. sampled nov 29/08.

pours deep red-brown, pretty much crystal clear, with a small fluffy light yellow head. the head drops fast and leaves no lace.

aroma is ultra-spicey. tons of ginger, clove. big floral character too. gingerbread cookies. cinnamon. light alcohol. there's a bit of malt hiding behind, but the spice is definitely dominating.

taste is good. the spice is a bit more restrained than in the aroma, but still fairly assertive. ginger, cinnamon, touch of clove. floral too. alcohol. bread and cracker. bit of dark fruit.

mouthfeel is good. medium-high carbonation level. medium-light body.

drinkability is good. the spice is a bit much for me, but it was still interesting.

Dec 11, 2008
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hopdog from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle acquired in trade. June 2007 Vintage.

***Gusher alert - soaked my bar***

Poured a medium and cloudy amber color with a medium sized off white head. Aromas of dark fruits, spices, and caramel. Tastes of dark fruits (lots of them), spices, brown sugary sweetness, fruity and some earthiness. Some alcohol in the finish.

Notes from 6/27/08

Nov 10, 2008
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, medium brown body with a creamy, light beige head.

Smell: Syrupy dark maltiness with notes of plums, strawberry jam, and a blend of various spices.

Taste: Dark malts with a taste of heavily caramelized sugars. Dark fruits and jam. A bit of aniseed and other various spices. Yeah, it's a bit boozey, and comes across a touch solventy. Spicy, drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Restrained carbonation. Rather sticky mouthfeel, that's for sure.

Drinkability: I am left somewhat disappointed, shaking my head all the while. It just didn't quite come together for me. Glad to have tried it though!

Jun 15, 2008
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CortexBomb from Michigan

3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep purple into a tulip with a nice thick head on top. The nose on this is dominated by fruit esters, primarily bananas with a strong spicy edge.

The flavour follows along the same lines: the dominant thing present is a huge spicy banana flavour, definitely a light clove presence. Some alcohol present in the flavour, but not a lot. An interesting, aggressive flavour.

The mouthfeel, nothing particularly special but not disappointing. Fairly light and bubbly, which is expected for the style. The drinkability, overall decent. It's not a difficult beer to drink, and it's not something I would mind having again. Something I will only occasionally be in the mood for though.

The bottom line: If you like huge banana flavours, then Prometheus is a great beer to try out. The particular flavour present here is not something that I will personally want to experience every month, but it's a solid brew.

Mar 29, 2008
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tpd975 from Florida

3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Hop Devil in NYC

A: Pours a very clear amberish color with a nice thick off-white head. The head does linger a bit and manages some very beautiful lacing.

S: It has a big Belgian fruity aroma with lots of banana, some apple along with Belgian yeast. There are notes of malt along with some spice.

T: Very nice Belgian style brew. Nice touches of banana and tropical fruits. There are spices like clove and corriander. The yeasty quality is there along with some grainy malts.

M: Medium bodied with a light sparkling quality.

D: Very nice, I enjoyed it.

Overall: Not the best Belgian brew in the world, but may be the best from Wisconsin. It is true to the style and the aromas and flavors are very nice. I was happy to have tried this one.

Mar 27, 2008
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plaztikjezuz from Michigan

4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

we served a chalice with the splendid elixir contained with in.
it was a very dark mahogany with a thin white head that slowly fell into a few stray bubbles.
the aroma is soft but very rich. the malt is there but not over powering, there are fruits like plumbs, cherries, and apricots. there is a spice but i am not sure what it is.
the flavor is splendid. malty but not heavy on the palette, easy drinking, fruity, slight spice.
this beer could really be confused with a belgian beer, it reminded of unibroue's trois pistoles, but not a copy a stand alone beer just similar.

this is one of the best beers i have ever had that kuhnhenn has ever made.

Dec 22, 2007
Prometheus from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 56 ratings