Kuhnhenn Vintage Ale | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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very good
42 Reviews
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Kuhnhenn Vintage AleKuhnhenn Vintage Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
42
Ratings:
74
Avg:
3.91
pDev:
13.55%
 
 
Wants:
36
Gots:
23
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 74
Photo of womencantsail
2.81/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy dark amber color. Nose is kind of funky for a barleywine. It’s got the requisite Kuhnhenn booziness along with caramel and brown sugar. A bit of dark fruit, too. The flavor is kind of cheesy, which is off-putting. The booze is well represented, too. Sweet caramel, brown sugar, toffee, and toasted malt flavors with a light fruitiness. Surprising bitterness for a beer like this, too. Not my cup of tea.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to tulip.

A - Medium amber with a bright orange glow around the edges. A small layer of off-white head formed and quickly receded to a ring around the glass.

S - Sweet caramel, some brown sugar and toffee. Not an overly complex nose and very sweet.

T - A big sweetness up front full of dark caramel, molasses and toffee. A huge alcohol presence enters in the middle and lingers considerably in the finish.

M - Medium to full body with a good chew. Light carbonation.

O - Way too boozy and somewhat one dimensional. I guess that is somewhat par for the course for 17% ABV.

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Photo of Crosling
3.34/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ruby colored ale with a head that holds very well for such a strong beer. Nose doesn't have much character at all and is dominated by booze and maybe a touch malt. Flavor, however, is very nice. Doesn't have a lot of complexity or depth, but it's a nice strong sweet ale, with very well hidden alcohol. Notes of nougat, vanilla and toffee. I think it's a very nice strong ale, but the aroma sucks.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage.

Appearance - Amber body. No head. Looks flat after a while.

Smell - A little appley. Boozy. Caramel.

Taste - Apple fruit malt flavor. Tons of caramel. Dry and boozy. Bitter.

Mouthfeel - Harsh. Very alcoholic. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Monotonous caramel and apple malts. Way over the top.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to the GBX Crew (beeruser & funkydelic) for sharing this one during a recent tasting! 2011 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller oversized wine glass. Poured red-orange with a minimal off-white head. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, sweet alcohol, sugar, wood, and caramel. The flavor was of sweet malt, sweet alcohol, wood, and caramel. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. I honestly went into this one expecting something fantastic. While it wasn’t bad, I definitely wouldn’t call it very memorable either. I was kind of glad that the sugar note I picked up on in the aroma didn’t come through on the flavor. Still fairly well balanced however. Worth trying if you get the opportunity.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to jale for picking this bottle up for Amyliz4 and me. Served in an oversized snifter.

Pours a moderately-dark brown color with a short off-white head and some very light lacing. The nose carries plenty of dark fruit but also quite a bit of alcohol. Malt and sweetness throughout. Plenty of fruit through the flavor, though I wish there were a bit less booze, even for a 17% beer. Medium body with low carbonation and a boozy finish. Pretty good, but not quite up to the level of Kuhnhenn's other big stuff.

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Photo of n2185
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear copper with a finger of beige head that recedes to a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Lots of caramel malts up front with notes of dark fruits like plums and red grapes. There are also some bubblegum and candy sugar notes.

T: Similar to the aroma, caramel malts and dark fruits, especially grapes, hit first. Candy sugar follows along with a piny bitterness from the hops and a light burn on the finish.

M: Medium-thick body with low carbonation, this beer is only a little sticky feeling. I could use a bit more body, though, as it ends up feeling a little watery.

O: A pretty solid barleywine. The most remarkable thing about this beer is its ability to hide its very high abv very well. I thought the beer was maybe 9-11% based on tasting it and was very surprised to learn that it was 17%. Unfortunately, it lacks the complexity needed for a great barleywine.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thank to bierenutz for sending this one my way. enjoyed out of a kuhnhenn tulip.

2011 vintage (not so vintage)

a - brew poured a transparent caramel color with a frothy off white foamy head that slowly dissipated leaving bubbly islands on the surface of the brew. Lacing is sparse and spotty.

s - nice caramel toffee malt with some boozy hop presence. smells big bold and thick...even syrupy.

t - slam you in the face booziness. finishes bitter. some semblance of caramel malts, but all is underscored by the raging heat of the alcohol.

m - surprisingly medium to light bodied. fairly boozy, but doesn't feel 17%...feels more 10 to 12%. i would've expected it to be more syrupy.

o - overall this is an extreme beer, but comes off relatively easy to drink for the sheer size (dfh take note). there are some nice flavors going on but it is very much all a backseat to the booze, however the booze is very tolerable. once you get adjusted to the abvs, the nice toffee caramel malts show up more. quite good for a beer this huge.

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Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Summer Solstice 2011 bottling

Appearance: Pours clear and copper with a very modest head; leggy, but not a lot of lace

Smell: Boozy caramel, vague apple tones

Taste: Boozy from the outset, with caramel and apple tones building through the middle; perhaps some fig appears after the swallow, but the boozy burn overwhelms the development of any complexity

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, low carbonation and hot

Overall: I have tasted a number of beers from Kuhnhenn and have generally been impressed but not this time

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of RB's very own hopscotch. Pours hazy copper with orange edges and initially explosive tan head that dwindles to nothing in about two minutes. The aroma begins sweet and malty followed by fruity esters that aren't all that dark. I also get dusty alcohol hotness. Then the dark fruity esters join in showcasing cherries as the main dark fruit player. The taste has fresh peach and apricot fruitiness followed by darker fruity esters and an increasing hotness into the finish. The after taste has the hotness receding but retains an increasing malty, caramel and cherry goodness. Darn good.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Summer Solstice 2011. No ABV listed on this bottle. Served in my Kuhnhenn snifter.

A - Off-white foam settles to a thick collar, near-complete cap, and a few tiny spots of lace. Lightly hazed caramel body that gets darker if you aren't careful with the yeast. For 17% color me impressed.

S - Intensely sweet, with scads of booze-soaked fruits - pineapples, candied apricots, toffee, Sultana raisins, as well as grain alcohol and fusels when it starts to warm up. There's definitely still residual hop presence, with some mild cheesy decaying beta acids, pine, and herbal flavors in the periphery.

T - Taste is heavier on the toffee and dark fruits, with more balance provided by bittering hops and toasted grains. Alcohol seems less present to taste, but the flavor also seems more muted and lacking in depth. Perhaps a hint of milk chocolate and a nebulous tropical fruit quality to it as well.

M - While the booze may not be obvious in the flavor, there's some serious warming going on, and I've got a definite buzz after 6oz or so. Body is medium-full, carbonation is low, texture is sticky and chewy. Spot-on for the style and ABV.

D - At nearly a year this is approaching enjoyable, but I suspect additional aging would be of benefit (and I rarely recommend this). Might be stellar in 2016, but might also be undrinkable - gamble accordingly. Still, I finished all 12oz on my own and was never tempted to poor it out - that's pretty impressive for a 17% brew.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

969th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
12 oz

2011 Summer Solstice Release

Thanks to ErikKoppin for this one.

App- A bit like a think root beer with a bit of spirit amber/light brown in it. A bit of a 1/4" ring of bubbles and only a very few lines of cling to it.

Smell- Very boozy with a bit of caramel, malts, nougat and pineapple. Seemingly a bit thin on the nose but yet very boozy as mentioned.

Taste- This was very full of flavor. You have the Barleywine flavors mixed with some barrel, mixed with some DIPA and a little malty. Not really like another beer I have had but still tasty even with all that booze and flavor behind it.

Mouth- A creamy medium body with a a low/medium carbonation level. A good bit of peppery booze with a trailing thick citrus on the back end.

Drink- Only my 2nd Kuhnhenn beer and this was good but needed a bit more thickness to match the ABV. At 17% needs more to cut this, maybe a bit thicker? Maybe a little sweeter.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, dark amber body with a foamy, tall beige head.

Smell: It's toasted caramel, raisins, booze and they all have glasses of grain alcohol in their hands (even the booze).

Taste: Syrupy caramel and toffee with a resounding sweetness. Dried dark fruits rehydrated in cinnamon liqueur deliver a jolt of acidity. Finishes so hot, you need to crack open a window.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Nicely warming alcohol presence.

Drinkability: A fine sipper suited to cold weather drinking. It's no lawnmower beer, but you could possibly run the lawnmower on it... If there's one thing about Kuhnhenn, it's that they don't fuck around when it comes to the abv of their line-up!

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Photo of jethrodium
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle generously shared by colonelforbin. Thanks Mike. Pours a dark reddish amber with a light tan head that settles to a ring and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is a light roastiness, some nuttiness, some alcohol, and some caramel. The taste is sweet with caramel and a light nutty note. The finish has a decent bitterness and is warming with alcohol. Low carbonation. Medium body.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz flip-top growler into a Weyerbacher tulip. Huge thanks to Tony for sharing this huge beer.

A: Clear medium amber body with a 1/2" of fine off-whte head. Incredible retention and lacing for such a gigantic brew. You'd never guess from looking at it that it weighs in at 17%.

S: Huge, dry, fruity booze. Smells like a dry dessert wine, if such a thing exists. Grape skin, dates, grapefruit (but NOT from hops), and dry, bready malt. Ridiculous in ever sense of the word.

T: Lots of grapes and booze, with the latter really taking over. This tastes like a mixture of barleywine and vodka, and yet it's kind of ok.

M: Viscous medium body with a touch of prickly carbonation. Just fine.

O: Another crazy one from Kuhnhenn, and I can't say I'm surprised. They really know what they're doing with beers of astronomical alcohol, although this one didn't provide quite the memorable individuality of their gigantic fruit beers or BBBW. It did, however, pair spectacularly with Winnimere cheese...

Cheers!

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Photo of hopdog
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle acquired in trade with pantanap (thanks!).

This one was one of those slow creeping gushers. The kind that didn't spray, but kept on creeping out of the bottle.

Poured a deeper brownish / amberish color with a larger sized off white head. Aromas of dark fruits, nuts, caramel, and a little 'stale'. Tastes of dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and just all around sweet. Some alcohol in the finish but not 17%.

Notes from 5/20/08

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ok i know what you are thinking, wait this vintage ale is from bo's, not kuhnhenn's. well you would be half right, wayne, the ex-brewer from bo's now works at kuhnhenn. so we now have kuhnhenn vintage ale, huzzah!

pours a very deep copper or a light mahogany with a thin head that fell into a few stray bubbles over 20 minutes.
the aroma is fruity, malty, hoppy, apricots with a good aroma of alcohol.
the flavor is rich and malty, with a good bitterness, it is a little sweet, there is an herbal hop component, the beer for being as fruity as it is iver very clean of "off flavors" for being this strong. tha alcohol is there and present but not over powering like it should taste for as strong as this beer is.
not exactly like bo's vintage, but man this is a kick ass beer, and very close.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Kuhnhenn for Summer Solstice '13. This was the 2011 edition. It pours a surprisingly light color; golden-amber that exhibits mild clarity. It's topped off with a thin, white film that quickly spreads out and bunches up to a mere ring around the glass. Not a lot of action coming from this one, but that's to be expected.

I was a little shocked at how "light" and subdued the aroma was, considering the sheer potency of the beer. It didn't jump up and sting my nostrils like I was expecting, and in that, I'm almost a bit let down. What's there is pretty nice, though. Honey, clove, toffee, brown sugar, and a noticeable amount of bready yeast. Sweet overall, but still a little less powerful than it could stand to be.

Luckily the taste is a bit more forward - lots of alcoholic warmth hits the palate right away, and at 17.5% ABV, who am I to complain about that? It never gets hot, but it is definitely something you'll have to respect by sipping it slowly. Malt contributions are huge (obviously), and the flavor profile is quite nice; honey, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, and lots of generally sweet maltiness.

There's a very nice counterbalance of almost-tart fruits; mainly apples, but also a bit of cherry and plum. The slight tart aspect cuts adds a third element alongside the boozy warmth and the malty sweetness that lets the beer expand and grow in its complexity. Much like Kuhnhenn's Extraneous Ale, the alcohol doesn't go unnoticed, but it still doesn't burn like you'd think 17.5% ABV would.

The body is quite thick, although not massive enough to become cloying or cumbersome. Creamy, oily, somewhat sticky, and robust, with minimal carbonation, aiding in the smooth mouth feel. The alcohol leaves a nice warmth in your gullet while your palate can still taste hints of sweet caramel, brown sugar, and apples.

I'm definitely glad I got to try this - it really is another great offering from Kuhnhenn. I prefer things like 4D and Extraneous Ale to this, but it's still a nice offering. It's a "lighter" take on the old ale/barleywine style with not as much dark fruit, and more light-skinned tartness. Hats off to these guys for creating such ridiculously high ABV beers and still keeping them so damn drinkable.

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Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature tulip glass, Winter Solstice 2011 bottling. Pours hazy deep orange amber color with a 1 finger dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of caramel, toast, apple, raisin, peach, plum, brown sugar, honey, floral, light pepper, and earthy yeast esters. Nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and fruity notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toast, peach, raisin, plum, apple, pepper, honey, light brown sugar, floral, spicy alcohol, wood, and earthy yeast esters. Good amount of earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, peach, light fruits, pepper, floral, honey, light brown sugar, spicy alcohol, wood, and earthy yeast esters. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and fruity flavors; with a good balance of bitterness and no cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a slick and moderately sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden for 17% with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice barleywine. Nice balance and complexity of malt,hops, and fruity flavors; and very smooth to sip on considering this is 17%. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of DrJay
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007. Courtesy of grub. Thanks!
There was a mighty pop when it was opened. Murky caramel amber with a yellow beige cap of coarse foam that quickly fell, leaving a bit of a collar. Some short-lived stickage. Malty aroma, lots of caramel and toffee, grain and alcohol, some dried fruit, mild higher alcohols, sherry. Bitterness was solid, but got lost in the mix. Lots of fruit up front, hints of apple along with figs and other dried fruit, then caramel and molasses hit mid-palate. Alcohol dominated the end and lingered into the finish with the fruitiness and grain flavours. Mild fusel character (rose and solvent) that worked well and wasn't overpowering. Very sweet throughout. Quite a beast. Lots of warmth, but little in the way of hotness. Certainly numbed the tongue though. Full bodied and syrupy, lowish carbonation, decent texture for such a big beer. Quite a good drinker for the high abv.

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Photo of chanokokoro
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2011 Vintage, fairly aggressively poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Kuhnhenn branded snifter

Pours a deep golden amber capped by a two and half finger off-white head. Average retention, some light lacing that disappears quickly. Dates, hints of plum, and some spice on the nose. Dates, hints of cherry, plums and prune, a slight touch of fig, some light brown sugar and molasses and warming alcohol. Some citrus notes and mild bitterness on the finish. Slick, smooth full body, a bit soapy and syrupy; very typical of a barleywine. Mild carbonation. Really enjoyable brew. I expected a lot more heat for a 17% abv barelywine, but it was fairly well-balanced.

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Photo of Viggo
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for picking this up for me at last years Solstice party.

Pours a crystal clear bright ruby red, really brilliant colour, thin light tan head forms, quickly settles to a thin ring around the glass, no lace but some legs. Smell is intense, boozy alcohol, figs and raisins, lots of caramel, tropical fruit, sherry, earthy, very malty bastard, huge mix of caramel, alcohol and fruit. Taste is similar, very boozy up front, but lots of caramelized malts and raisin, very intense flavour, bready malts, honey, alcohol, all in a big insane mix. Mouthfeel is full bodied, almost syrupy with low carbonation, lots of heat on the way down. Pretty insane, a good night cap. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage

Pours a pretty reddish orange. A nice bit of offwhite head. Not too thick but viscous as I would expect for a 17 percent beer.
Smells rich and malty. a nice hop presence. booze underlying it all. An almost fruity nose.
Tastes sweet and fruity. Thick, boozy, but certainly doesn't taste or feel like 17 percent. lots of malts and fruity characteristics. A few sips in the burn hits. Enjoyable but potent

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Photo of Pointman
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow - I had this the first time at the Winter Solstice Release party, but didn't write a review. Now I have stored this 6 pack (at an OUTRAGEOUS $28/6) almost until the Summer Solstice.

Very cloudy dark red pour with a TON of head - maybe overcarbonate? Hardly any lacing....

Very sweet and dried fruit nose....

Taste is sweet with dried prunes? But it tastes really good...lol. I do recall the one on draft had a strong alcohol taste. This somewhat aged bottle masks the alcohol completely. This is a 16.5% alcohol beverage....I wish I knew how to have that added to the main review page...

Mouthfeel is a little goofy...good, but there is a latent carbonation...

Overall, I do like this beer. It is very drinkable, too bad it costs sooo much....

Cmon K-Bros...get reasonable with your prices...

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Photo of Lothore
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Immensely thankful to get this one from hoppymeal!

A- Pours a rosey, peach hue. Cloudy with a big, tan, fizzy head.

S- Smells very sweet, raisins, dates, hints of red grape, carmelized sugar.

T- Taste is fairly complex, very boozy. Hints of raisins, caramel, brown sugar, ends with alcohol and a lingering hoppiness.

M- Thick with quite a bit of carbonation.

D- Not my favorite kuhnhenn brew but not bad by any stretch of the imagination. Tastes quite a bit like a belgian quad or belgian strong dark.

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Kuhnhenn Vintage Ale from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.
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