Kuhnhenn Vintage Ale | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Kuhnhenn Vintage AleKuhnhenn Vintage Ale
Liked This Beer
3.88 w/ 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

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Ratings: 75 |  Reviews: 42
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 Urbancaver
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
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 woosterbill
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
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...


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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.

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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.

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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 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 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.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
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 DrJay
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
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 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!

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Photo of Viggo
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
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 Crosling
3.34/5  rDev -13.9%
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 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.

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Photo of hopdog
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
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 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.

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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.

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Photo of Pointman
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
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 ChainGangGuy
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
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 Lothore
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
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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Kuhnhenn Vintage Ale from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Beer rating: 70.7% out of 100 with 75 ratings
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