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Kuhnhenn Solar Eclipse | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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Kuhnhenn Solar EclipseKuhnhenn Solar Eclipse
Very Good
197 Ratings
Kuhnhenn Solar EclipseKuhnhenn Solar Eclipse

Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 18.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by grub on 01-08-2008

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 197 |  Reviews: 102
Photo of basickness
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of bob727
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of ljc973
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of dar482
4.8/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The beer comes in a dark brown, almost Cola color.

The beer pops of rich dates, plums, raisins, licorice. It follows with tobacco, roasted bitterness, and cacao. The amount of complexity makes the beer seem barrel aged. The ABV is completely hidden as it drinks nowhere towards BA beers of similar ABV like Uncle Jacob's or Black Tuesday.

The beer offers unbelievable complexities and hides its ABV extremely well.

 417 characters

Photo of mjenkins5
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%

Photo of Ferocious
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%

Photo of Jasonrm72
4.68/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2008 vintage
pitch black, no head.
Strong bourbon scent, strong bourbon flavor. Finishes with a bourbon booziness (redundant, but saying it once doesn't do it justice) . Incredibly smooth, Full mouthfeel, a bit sticky. For not being barrel aged, this is as good as it gets. This is what I look for in a stout.
Edit: Whew, 18% ABV, didn't say it on the bottle. That explains some things.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.67/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage. Big thanks to glazeman for the opportunity to drink this.

4.5 A: Black color. Not quite one finger of light brown frothy head that falls quickly overall, but has good retention for being 18% ABV.

5.0 S: Wow this is nice. Full on flavor. Good bit of roastiness to start with, then bittersweet chocolate, molasses, and toffee next. Also a bit hit of smokiness. The most amazing thing about the aroma is that the massive alcohol is hidden nearly perfectly. It doesn't really register in the nose, but can tell it's there on the exhale as it blows it up into my eyes, causing a slight burning. Not the most complex smelling brew, but the integration of what is there is flawless.

4.5 T: Taste is not quite as amazing as the nose, but it does follow it closely. Good bit of roastiness again, but this time the residual sweetness is strong enough to overcome it. Molasses is a big contributor here (and the heavy body leads you to believe that you might be drinking molasses anyway), toffee, dark roast coffee which I didn't pick up in the nose, sweet caramel, bittersweet chocolate again. Warming alcohol throughout and especially on finish. However, the taste of alcohol (not the warming) is again pretty well hidden.

5.0 M: Big thick, rich, and heavy body. Smooth as silk. Carbonation is on the lower end, but is fine for this brew. This is how I like RISs to feel.

4.5 D: An excellent example of a super high gravity brew. The residual sweetness can be a bit cloying at times, but it's pretty well balanced for what it is. I'm not big on the taste of alcohol and fortunately this brew does a great job of hiding it. There aren't really any major flaws, but this could perhaps be a bit better with a touch more roasted barley. Anyway, I think I have to get some more of this now.

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Photo of Spica66
4.63/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am so glad this is this beer that is earning me my BA Initiate mug!!

A: Completely black. Thin ring of head with some retention and fine lacing left on the glass.

S: Dark roast, some coffee, alcohol, and a little dark chocolate.

T: Dark roast malt. Sweeter than I expected. Coffee and dark chocolate notes. Really strong alcohol. A sipper to be sure. Love it!!

M: Smooth, but with an alcohol burn all the way down to the bottom of your stomach.

D: Considering that a few years ago this would have been one of the strongest beers in the world, I had no problem making this one disappear!

This is a no-gimmick RIS. Sweet, strong and very nice to drink. Wow, what a great beer...

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Hoppymeal for getting this one to me. Twelve ounce bottle that had been sitting in my cellar for a few weeks after I received it. Served at cellar temp and poured into an oversized wine glass. Consumed on 07/16/2008.

The bottle erupted as soon as I popped the cap on it. A cascading stream of tan foam poured out of the bottle when I was not looking and I probably lost a good two ounces. Once I made it into the glass it was dark, black as night, with a huge four inch high head of tan foam that took forever for it to finally sit back down. Even once it did, it never fully went away and in fact it kept about an inch of foam layer across the top throughout the rest of the session. Deep side glass lace just dripped down the sides of the glass throughout the session and really gave a great overall look, too bad it was a gusher.

The aroma was very full. Loaded down with cocoa and dark fruits, I knew this one was going to be big from the very first moment. Rich prunes and fig notes were cascading from all angles here. This was really a tremendously good smelling beer. Hints of coffee and alcohol as it warmed only served to enhance the overall presence here. The flavor just followed along beautifully. First thing I have to make note of was the smack of alcohol as I opened it up. Burned the lips a bit at first as it was very strong, but as it warmed and the session wore on, it mellowed out considerably. Deep cocoa and prune flavor. Rich, with raisins and coffee bouncing around, hints of run soaked raisins and touches of sweet malts way in the back. Had a very Belgian like feel to it, lots of fruity yeast flavors, especially toward the back end of it. Long drawn out finish was drown in cocoa and alcohol, leaving hints of it lasting long after it was gone. Fantastic Mouthfeel on this one, rich and very well carbonated. It was not as heavy as some of the bigger stouts, but was just as rich in texture. Very lively, never really giving up any ground on me, I was very impressed here. For 18.00% ABV, this had to be one of the most drinkable big stouts I have ever come across. Just easy to sip on, though I was feeling it later, this was ridiculously smooth after the first initial sip.

Overall this was just flat out awesome. I have to find away to get another one of these somehow. This was just too damn good. A truly rich and decadent dessert, you need to seek this one out, it really was that good! Thanks again to Hoppymeal for this one, really packed a punch!

 2,501 characters

Photo of bargerking
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 poured into a pint snifter.

A - Pitch black with a brown hue on the lace. Very little carbo. Thick viscosity.

S - Sweet candy sugars. Fudge. Molasses. Hints of bitter chocolate. Not really getting any dark roasts out of this. Light booze but 18%? Really?

T/M - Sweetness. Lots of candy sugars. Nothing dark or bitter just a lot of sweet chocolate malts. Almost like a brownie. Heat factor is considerably low. 18% ABV? Really?

D - Considering the ABV, this is extremely drinkable. I wish I had more!

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Photo of maximum12
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mully for a bottle of this treat. Had a few sips on tap at the Great Taste of the Midwest & have been longing for a full bottle ever since. On a school night, too. This is officially the biggest brew I've had to date. I hope I don't need my mommy by the time I get to the bottom of it. Label claims a 2008 birthday.

Black. Still, dead, unmoving. What's coming off the light-sucking pool is faint, malts & chocolate.

What comes off Solar Eclipse in the mouth is anything but faint. Malts like a Marine ambush doubling, tripling, quading up in all the corners & crevices. Heavy chocolate syrup, with a healthy dosing of cherry on top. Anise springs a suprise as it rolls down the throat & it's done up right, just right, to make this stout almost a port. Naturally there's alcohol, too, but the touch is lighter than expected for the ABV.

Heavy, of course, this is a pure sipper all the way to Cooperstown, but what a sipper. Warming. I could see this after a day hunting pike out on the ice, pulling it out & propping my feet by the fire with a book in hand. Mmmm, that sounds nice. I could knock this on drinkability, but why? It's twelve ounces I'll gladly knock back, & it's so damn good I could do another.

This is straight-up damn great beer. When I first saw it I figured "gimmick!" with the high ABV, but this is crafted like a Bechstein piano. Nicely balanced, good touch. Fantastic.

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Photo of rudylaw
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mully for providing these 2008 bottles. Sampled fourth in a ten stout tasting and placed second.

Of course, pitch black pour with a colossal mocha head. It smells very interesting. Not picking up a lot of alcohol but plenty of sweetness. Toffee, dark fruits, sherry, anise and vanilla.

Wow is this sweet! Even after smelling this, the amount of sweetness just knocks me over. Plums, anise, cherries, figs, sherry... so much going on! Very, very fruity and not at all what I was expecting.

After having this on tap @ GTOM, I wasn't all that impressed. Having it a second time in the bottle, I was overjoyed! Good works, Kuhnhenn!

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Photo of CaptainFleeker
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of Rutager
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of ajzy
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of Hugonaut13
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of fcdepalm
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of garfscores
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of DmanGTR
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of storksonm
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at GTOM

Saw a giant line in the Kuhnhenn corner of the tent and wanted to see what all the fuss was about all I saw was a sign that said imperial stout 19% and new I had to try it. It was a dark rich stout with noticable alcohol smelled like chocolate malts and had a smooth mouthfeel with a alcohol burn in the aftertaste. It was a very fine imperial stout but it had me nursing it so I wouldn't get to sloshed at the great taste.

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Photo of kirkfrailey
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of grub
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | 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. sampled jan 7/08.

pours nearly black and opaque even at the edges. a hefty "pfft" when i popped the cap had me nervous that it was over carbonated, but a gentle pour got it into the glass ok. a big light brown head made of medium bubbles rises to the rim of the glass and fairly quickly drops to a 1/4" layer on the beer. no lace.

aroma is nice. light roast. bit of roast. light alcohol. coffee and baker's chocolate. light vanilla. anise. toasted multi-grain bread and biscuits. hint of orange citrus hiding in the background.

taste is great. nice warming alcohol. solid roasty hit. rich dark chocolate, like those fancy dark 60% cocoa bars. medium bitterness level seems to come mostly across as bakers chocolate. anise. vanilla. molasses. espresso. loads of caramel. bit of toffee. malt from here to tomorrow - toasted multi-grain bread, fresh baked biscuits, crackers. bit of smoke. there's so much going on here. there's something else that i can't quite put my finger on, but i think it's a bit of orangey citrus in the background.

mouthfeel is ok. initially the carbonation was on the high side, but with a few minutes of swirling while i explored the flavour and aroma it mellowed out to a more pleasant level. even with the above average carbonation it still manages to feel silky smooth. this is also one of the biggest, chewiest beers i've ever had. massive body.

drinkability is surprisingly high considering its initial carbonation and high abv. the malt balances the alcohol very well. there's nearly no taste, but no mistaking the warmth that starts with the first sip and spreads from there. it almost forces you to slow down and sip at this one, but damn is it good. with the right carbonation this one would be stellar. actually reminds me strongly of dark lord.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Kuhnhenn Solar Eclipse, 12-oz bottle purchased at Spuyten Duyvil Grocery in Brooklyn, New York. $14!!!

Appearance: Served in a Sierra snifter, pours very thick, like black oil or liquid chocolate, European style. Surprisingly, it produces a sizable head, almost one finger. Good retention, a tan rim remains around the glass. Lacing is quasi non-existent.

Smell: Chocolate, burnt sugars, booze (bourbon) and wood. Also some savory/nourishing aroma, like pork belly simmering in a stout reduction sauce. Coffee, grapes, plums.

Taste: Surprisingly thin for such a gigantic beer, but still very tasty. Chocolate all over, sugary sweetness (never bad or overbearing, though). Smoke, dark fruit again (this time pureed and filtered), more bourbon and booze. Tingly and dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and smooth, dry finish. Full flavor and body, low carbonation. Satisfying and well-balanced overall.

Drinkability: Incredibly high. The only point of comparison I have is World Wide Stout, that other 18% crazy stout. WWS knocks me out and I'm a big drinker, but Solar Eclipse is fine. Just a nice buzz and rosy cheeks.

I love this one.

 1,145 characters

Photo of grandq
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tucking into this for the opening Bruins v Habs game (I can't well go drinking Peche Mortel as a B's fan now can I?). Thanks to Hoppymeal for this long ago trade - I took the advise to lay it down for nearly a year.

Pours into my snifter a deep dark brown with a surprisingly huge head with a light pour. The tan head cloud that emerges on top is composed of very visible large bubbles - seems kinda like a honey comb. Really proncounced or I don't know that I'd comment on it. Smells heavily of licorice and molasses, with a little smokey, meaty quality. The taste is powerful, though I anticipated that after the Road Rash. Dark chocolate and licorice are pretty prominent. A salty, sea water quality blends to boozy cherries and figs before the mists of peat smoke roll in. Some lactic sweetness backing up. In spite of a truly substantial body, the carbonation is just nuts - very prickly and lifting. Alcohol creeps in to warm but stops just shy of searing, leaving a salt and pepper dash atop the chocolate on the finish. Faintly calls to mind some Belgian interpretations of the style, but on steroids. A fan of salt/choco combos, this is ace. Can't say this will be everyone's cup of tea, but having come to expect intense and unique stuff from Kuhnhenn, this is no dissapointment. Different from any RIS I've had.

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Kuhnhenn Solar Eclipse from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 197 ratings
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