Kuhnhenn Vintage Ale | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Kuhnhenn Vintage AleKuhnhenn Vintage Ale
75 Ratings
Kuhnhenn Vintage AleKuhnhenn Vintage Ale

Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 17.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by plaztikjezuz on 12-22-2007

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 75 |  Reviews: 42
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +28.9%

Photo of ygolordned
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

Photo of hoppymeal
4.7/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a medium copper to amber in color, plenty of sediment and haze, a decent size light caramel head fades to a ring. Aroma is apple-y, raisins, prunes, and sugary caramel dessert bread. Some yeasty breadiness in here as well, and just a small hint of the alcohol. Taste follows the aromas fairly well, a bit of the apple before it goes more sweet into the raisins and caramel sugars, apple is again evident towards the finish along with a good yeastiness and a small warmth of alcohol. Mouthfeel is fairly heavy in body, sugary, but still cut well by the yeastiness and alcohol warmth. A great beer, this one is going to age like a champ, but is a delicious dessert substitute now. Really like the apple notes and good yeastiness.

 733 characters

Photo of joefuzz
4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage

Beer pours a crystal clear deep copper with a very surprising sized head for the abv

Smells like a caramel apple...fruity and sweet with a slight hint of alcohol

Tastes just as the nose lets on huge fruit flavors upfront that give way to a very nice sugary sweetness with some winter like spices slight alcohol burn

Carbonation is very low and mouthfeel is slightly thinner than expected

Overall this beer is awesome and I cant wait to see what the rest that I have turn into in a few years

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Photo of mcallister
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage.

Pours with some with a whispy tan head that quickly fades into nothing leaving nothing behind. Deep amber in color.

Big aromas bursting with prune, date and raisin. Very hot in the nose, sweet brown sugar, a bourbon like note, hints of maple and a woody aroma.

Rich, bold and delicious. Dried black cherry, prune, date, burnt caramel. Nice brown sugary sweetness with a drying dose of burnt alcohol. Raisins and toffee and again a boubonesque twang. Mouth is creamy and biting good carbonation for a beer of this alcohol.

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Photo of cavedave
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is not retired I can assure. Enjoyed 5-21-11 as world was supoosed to be ending.

Pours a nice amber color, pretty clear, with some fleeting foam, and some sticky lace, more than you'd expect from a 17% brew for sure.

Wow, a hit of alcohol and citrus, lemony grapefruity zing, some caramel and candi, hints of grassy and just a touch of tart yeast. Unexpected and delightful.

The taste is also an unexpected treat. It is all the flavors of the nose amped up and presented on a stream of high alcohol warmth and spice that wafts them across the palate, deposits them on the taste buds, and propels them into the pleasure centers of the brain. Not the most complex, but absolutely delicious and unique.

Very thick, but the alcohol is so much less apparent than the ABV would predict that it is also easy to drink, perilously so. A very nice finish that could use a bit more bitter to really excel.

Overall this is one of the most surprisingly great beers I've had. My fourth try from this brewery and they have floored me all four times. Not likely you will have opportunity to get this, but grab it if you see it, I have two more in cellar for trading, but may be consumed instead.

 1,195 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.39/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle courtesy of jale, picked up at the Summer Solstice (thanks Jim!). Summertime was no time for a beer of this magnitude, so I've held off until December to crack one open.

It pours a medium-dark copper color with a very thin off-white wet looking foam. The aroma is VERY Kuhnhenn, strong and rich, evoking memories of Raspberry Eisbock and Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, that type of thing. Dark fruits like plums and figs, maybe a little cheesy too.

It tastes a lot smoother than you'd expect from such a high ABV beer, slightly sweet with a hint of burn in the aftertaste. All kinds of dark fruits come through in the flavor as well, adding dates and maybe ginger to the plums and figs.

Medium bodied, not as heavy as a 17% beer could be, really easier drinking than I expected. Excellent, this was a beer to savor.

 827 characters

Photo of jimmy82063
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had to stay home from work today and noticed a Kuhnhenn event at DeCicco's of Ardsley. That said tomorrow should be interesting! Froma growler poured into a brandy snifter.

A) Poured into a brandy snifter, starts out with a small head that quickly dissipates. Nice lacing though on the glass.

S) At first smell I get citrus and this is certainly not something I would expect from a barleywine.

T) Wow lemon up front, this is different, it does finish up with a bit of caramel. Alcohol warms to the finish (I would hope!)

M) Low carbonation and you do get a bit of a pucker from the lemon.

I enjoyed this as I like beers that push the envelope. I would imagine that any further reviews would run the gamut. I would buy this again.

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Photo of Montrose79
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at DeCicco's.

A) Poured into snifter. Minimal head, subsides quickly, decent lacing. Interesting appearance for a barleywine. More of a golden color.

S) Smell is citrus, especially lemon. Very interesting smell for a barleywine.

T) Again citrus, with some darker fruitiness on the back end. Considering that this is 17%, it is extremely drinkable. Very unique.

M) Minimal carbonation, a little on the thin side for a barleywine, but perfect for the huge citrus flavor. The flavor and mouthfeel complement each other well.

Hugely drinkable and at 17%, very dangerous. Not what I was expecting given the style, but it was very enjoyable.

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Photo of Amalak
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this off the tap at Barcade in Brooklyn. It has a nice clear, copper color to it. There's a good foamy white head and some lacing behind. Nice citrusy scent.

This is a dangerous beer. According to the board this is 17 percent abv and it doesn't taste like that. It's citrusy, with a very nice fruity IPA taste ot it. Some malt and a lemon underpin. It's strong as hell, but not in a port wine kind of way.

 412 characters

Photo of joshuaseresse
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 bottling. Thanks to brian23456 for sharing this bottle at our epic battle of the 12oz. Poured into a snifter:

A - Nice golden brown with amber hues toward middle and edges. Strong carbonation around the edges.

S - Really nice caramel and light sweet chocolate. Rich vanilla, oak and a bit of barrel booze heat.

T - Bready caramel and brown sugar. A bit leathery but really smooth. A tad boozy but overall really a great taste.

M - Pretty well carbonated but very smooth. There is a nice boozy zing and tingle toward the end.

D - This one was drank toward the end of the night but I'm sure this one was drank pretty quick. Its always nice to enjoy a Kuhnhenn's brew but this one was quite a treat. Would like to try this again when I would be a bit more sober but it was quite tasty.

 793 characters

Photo of dumptruck81
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of kirok1999
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mcallister for a generous trade for some North Coast stuff.
Pours a dark orange brown with a foamy white head. I popped the bottle, turned my back and it overflowed on the counter. Sniff...
Smells very fruity, thick and tart.
Tastes very fruity, not at all the hop bomb you expect from a barleywine. Almost more Belgian. Very carbonated, lush and tart with ripe fruit and slight citrus note in the finish.
Feels fizzy and full. Easy to sip slowly on a cold night.

 474 characters

Photo of alpinebryant
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes...

Pours a tiny head , relatively sticky lacing, strong copper gold in color.

Aroma of booze, Lemon Rind, Citrus and light caramel mixing with plenty of extra sweet malt aromas.

Taste is primarily citrus and lemon , lots of booze slightly reminiscent of nail polish remover. Although I would never drink nail polish remover, I would definitely drink this again. It is not for the faint hearted and if you are ready for a 17 percent beer, you will enjoy this. I shared a 32 oz growler with a friend and this really did quite well over the course of an hour or so in adjusting slightly with the temperature shifting around towards room temperature. As it warmed, I got more cotton candy/ caramel flavors and it opened up to be a little sweeter and complex than it was when first popped open.

Mouthfeel is syrupy and medium at the same time with a very light carbonation due to the style and appropriate.

 920 characters

Photo of aforbes10
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Konrad for picking this up for me! Pours a burny umber to red with a surprisingly tall and resilient head of light orange brown.

Odor is fruity (sweet currants, dates and black cherries) with some sweet malts and alcohol. Smells a bit like an old dark rum. Becomes much fruitier and pungent as it warms.

Aggressive flavors of unami (!) and alcohol with overripe dates and sour currants. Huge sweet malt backbone. Bold and almost salty in its aggressiveness. Lingering brandy burn and hot fruits.

Mouthfeel is fizzy and thick. milkshake-like but without the creaminess.

After only a few sips i can feel the alcohol hitting me. This is an all-evening beer, for sure. The high alcohol Dogfish Head beers have nothing on this for drinkability and flavor...and all around craftsmanship. I still have yet to find anything but winners among Kuhnhenn's catalog.

 869 characters

Photo of Schroppfy
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. Burns bottle purchased at the Kuhnhenn Solstice Release party 12/21.

Incredibly candied and hoppy. Liquid fruitcake for the holiday season. Iron, earth and big pine in the flavor, with an oaky astringency. When cold the alcohol is much less apparent. When warm this gets sticky, even more sugary. Nice burnished copper color, very little carbonation. Somewhat hot. Thick mouthfeel, even when cold, which is a wild accomplishment. Feels handcrafted in the extreme.

 471 characters

Photo of joe1510
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle

2007 Vintage

Here we go again, another Kuhnhenn gem from hoppymeal; you send such great beer Derek! Vintage Ale has a mahogany body that glows bright ruby when backlit. Tiny particulates suspend throughout but the clarity is still very good. The dirty white head grew to two fingers easily but settled at a skim coat with a surprisingly thick collar. The collar stays in place thanks to the carbonation riding up the sides of the glass. Thin but sticky carbonation is left behind after each tilt of the glass.

The nose on this brew is very different; big, bold and boozy without question. There's a metric ton of caramel sweetness in the nose which is closely followed by a warm but clean alcohol heat and mild vanilla. Date's, figs and prunes all lend a helping hand but there's also an unexpected fresh fruitiness, tangerine and mango come to mind. There's a slight penny character but oddly enough it adds to the overall aroma. Interesting indeed.

The flavors follow every twist and turn the nose suggested. The caramel is still here in boatloads while the bursting fruitiness comes at me from every direction. Apricot, tangerine and mango all bring some sweetness as figs, pears, plums and bring more of that earthy fruitiness. There's a hint of leather and tobacco in every other sip but it's constantly evolving. The more of this beer I drink the better it gets to the point of being irresistible. The only thing holding this back is the booziness on the swallow.

The body is full with a sight stick left behind after each drink. The carbonation massages the tongue but is mellow enough to let this beer work through at its own pace. Slow is the name of the game with this brew.

The heat on the finish drops the drinkability a touch but this really is a great cold evening brew. Each sip warms my core and makes me want the next soon after.

This is a high quality brew. The abv was a little distracting on the first couple drinks but as this opened up it really blossomed into a gem. I would love another one of these to try in another year or two. Thanks again for the great brew Derek!

 2,112 characters

Photo of krkearney
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, 2007 vintage. Pours a deep brownish copper color, capped with a fairly large brown head that gradually diminishes. There's a lot of fruit in the aroma; apricot, raisin, and dates, which are joined by caramel, brandy and port. Huge amounts of dark fruit flavor, prunes and dates really stand out. Caramel malt, toffee, vanilla and alcohol round out the flavor, leading to a brief vanilla finish. Smooth body, with minimal carbonation. Another very big beer from Kuhnhenn; very drinkable for its ABV.

 511 characters

Photo of grub
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased at the winter solstice party dec 21/07. label also notes "Burns 2007" at the top, indicating it was brewed by their new brewer, Wayne Burns, formerly of Bo's. website indicates 17% ABV. sampled jan 12/08.

pours hazy deep orange, almost reddish brown. a small gold head rises up then quickly falls to a ring around the glass. no lace.

aroma is good. light alcohol. tons of caramel. big bready malt. great fruity character - raisin, light citrus. bit of toasty character.

taste is good. alcohol. big fruity character - lots of raisin and date, bit of cherry and cranberry. big bready malt. low bitterness level. tons of caramel. bit of honey sweetness. bit of grapefruit. earthy hops. interesting and unique.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. nice big body.

drinkability is very good. the alcohol is noticeable and warming, but not overpowering. with all the great fruity character it makes me think of a nice port. the alcohol and malty/fruity character balance well against each other. though i don't know if i'd call it an american barleywine, i really enjoyed it.

 1,107 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Jay for sharing this. 2007 bottle.

Deep orange body, almost opaque. Thin foam collar, connected by a thin skim in the center. Borderline harsh fusels, vodka-infused apricots, dried tangerines.

Citrusy orange marmalade with bits of peels, canned peach or pineapple, generally lots of tropical fruits. Very rich feel, very sweet and strong. Aftertaste is a lingering sugary citrus confection, with an underlying sting of alcohol. It's best shared, or at least needs to spend a year in time-out to mellow the unapologetic booziness.

 540 characters

Photo of DanGeo
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Photekut
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of MrHirschybar
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Docrock
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of ajzy
4/5  rDev +3.1%

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Kuhnhenn Vintage Ale from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 75 ratings
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