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Kuhnhenn Solar Eclipse | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 100 | Ratings: 196
Photo of badbeer
2.38/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle generously shared by iowaherkeye, thanks Joey! Very dark brown color, brownish head that quickly dissipates. Aroma is very boozy, once you get past a big wiff of alcohol you find some bready and roasty aromas; just not very pleasant. Taste is also very boozy, burnt, ashy, and just a little weird to me. High carbonation and light body. Too much focus on alcohol, not enough attention to the beer. More body and less alcohol, then we'll talk; no more alcohol for the sake of alcohol. I have all the confidence in the world that the Kuhnhenn brothers will get this one fixed up and into another one of their masterpieces; it's just not there yet, IMO.

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Photo of EgadBananas
2.48/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

2007 vintage. Alcohol roasted malts and dark fruits aroma. Some licorice. Black, some brown edges. Surprisingly nice tan head. Alcohol taste, faint chocolate and roasted notes, light coffee. Not very dynamic. Carbonation is extreme for the style and very stingy and prickly. Fairly full bodied, but hard to enjoy with the carbonation.

Very disappointed in this this.

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Photo of Lothore
2.53/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a deep black color, I could tell this was almost a gusher. The head is out of hand ... almost like overcarbonated homebrew status.

S- Sweet, roasted malt notes with a tangy mettalic smell followed by a caramel scent, hints of baby diaper. I should note that the smell is a little off and because of the carbonation at this point it's possible the bottle could be infected but lets press on and find out.

T- Taste is lots of roasted malt followed by a thick mettalic taste. Alcohol is well hidden. At this point I don't necessarily think it is infected but it just seems off to me.

M- Thick with lots of carbonation.

D- This was not drinkable for me at all. I loved trying it but there were multiple things in the taste and smell that made me want to run from the hills. The high alcohol was very well hidden but that's the least of this beers concern at this point. I have to believe it was better fresh.

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Photo of BARFLYB
2.75/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle split with oglmcdgl, purchased at di cicco's on a recent visit to the captain.

A- Black, that pretty much sums it up, a big black thick body on this beer with a small minimal amount of tannish cap on top, no lace.

S- This smells like a monster and with the ABV I kinda knew this going in. A big amount of booze/alcohol. Under that roasted malt out the ass, dark fruits minimal. Hops are kinda in the picture in a storm king kinda way.

T- My god, huge beer here, very boozy and rizzy. Dark malts, chocolate, dark fruit a small amount of roast with no coffee. And of course there is the booze, Oh my how you've grown. It kills the beer for me, I cant get past it.

M- A big bodied beer here with a pretty full body with a small amount of carb that's barely detectable under the heat that resonates on the tounge and mouth, heat bomb. A small amount of nail polish. I like the feel it's just HOT.

D- My 4oz's or so was enough, Im good on any more. It will take about ten years for the booze to be tamed in this monster, on par with the demon series beers from Avery in terms of HEAT.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.11/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-an aggressive pour results in a small amount of khaki colored head, dense and creamy sitting on top of an opaque black liquid.

S-notes of milk, meat, light smoke aroma, yeast, lots of raw malt sweetness, a fair bit of booze.

T-these huge imperial stouts just don't go down easy and a full 12oz is going to be too much. milk chocolate, lightly meaty, notes of smoke, a fair amount of yeast, a bit of booze, malty sweetness, maybe some dried plums, more booze and some heat.

M-full bodied to say the least, pass me the fork and knife, creamy texture, syrupy, moderate carbonation, not enough carbonation in the world to balance this huge body. heavy, syrupy, so thick.

D-not the huge mess I thought this would be. there is a ton of flavor in this, huge beer, similar to Dark Lord, alcohol and cloying sweetness underneath yeast seem to dominate but the big malt body isn't done horribly. not something you want a lot of.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.17/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010 vintage

A - Pours a pitch black with no foam but a ring of tan bubbles around the glass
S - I'm picking up alot of dark fruits, some soy sauce, brown sugar some roastiness.
T - Hit with a big amount of plum, really sweet brown sugar, very sweet, there is no roastiness at all. There is also a bit of a soy sauce flavor to it but its not distracting. The sweetness almost becomes cloying which is weird. I've never had a RIS this sugary. Maybe it should have sat longer.
M/D - smooth and slightly creamy. almost thin bodied. The alcohol is actually starting to take effect on me. The sweetnes limits this one so far and the alcohol hits you pretty quickly.

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Photo of corby112
3.27/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage.

Pours a dark chocolate brown color that appears pitch black and completely opaque in the glass with a one finger beige head that quickly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Streaks of lacing left behind.

Sweet, boozy aroma with with subtle dark fruit accompanying the sweet and roasted dark malts. Huge ethanol/alcohol presence overpowers things a bit too much for my liking hiding the malt character. Underneath all of the booze there are hints of chocolate, coffee bean, toffee, fig and raisin. The malts become more prominent as it warms but the alcohol still dominates the nose.

Medium bodied and slightly oxidized with tight carbonation lingering throughout. Lots of sweet, boozy heat but more complex than the aroma suggests. Slight smokey presence with a subtle roasted malt character that counters all of the sweetness. Hints of dark chocolate, coffee bean, char and oatmeal provide some nice bitterness as a counterpoint to the booze, chocolate malt and dark fruit notes. This beer has calmed down a bit in four years but there is still a ton of alcohol flavor. Sweet booze overpowers the other flavors but the ABV is relatively well masked. A decent amount of heat in the finish but not harsh and it's surprisingly easy to drink. It's definitely still a sipper but I finished the bottle way faster than expected.

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Photo of Gfunk720
3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottle, out of my CL tulip.

A- Pretty black, though not completely. I expected it to be really thick, but it looks fairly average. Nice tannish head, with some light lacing.

S- Dark roasted malts, sweetness, and licorice. Hints of brown sugar, some soy, and a touch of booze.

T- A rather robust and sweet RIS, strong roasted malt flavor. Brown sugar and caramel, and again with the soy. A hint of hops on the back end and some heat. A bit cloying, but surprisingly drinkable for the ABV

M- Despite its appearance it is quite syrupy. There is a light level of carbonation, but it is pretty fitting for the style. The sweetness gets to be a bit much.

O- Overall this was a decent sipper. Very sweet, and the flavor was a bit over the top. About half way through it, I really started to have a hard time drinking it. Wish I split it with some friends.


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Photo of WorldWideStout
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010 vintage.

A: Quite thick and dark as it is poured out, and no head whatsoever. Obviously.

S: As I am pouring the beer, my nostrils pick up what at first smells like pure alcohol. Luckily, more in depth sniffs reveal molasses, dark fruit, chocolate, and brown sugar, with alcohol fusels in the background, not dominating.

T: I get the booze right away, which is an oddity for me, as I usually don't taste the heat until the middle of the sip. There are also some notes of unripe plums and molasses that come in soon after. The dark fruit pervades the middle, turning a bit tart, truth be told. The beer gets even odder towards the end, with a cherry cough medicine taste taking over at the very end of the sip and comprising the entirety of the aftertaste which lingers for at least 10 seconds, much longer than preferred.

M: More carbonated and less thick than I would have expected. It does feel fairly creamy when sloshed around in the mouth, but not that heavy.

O: A peculiar beer. I have another that I will age for a few more years, but I fear that the medicinal aspects of the beer will only become more prominent.

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3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I only pour for a split second and the head crawls past four fingers and over the top of the glass and out of the bottle. This beer is totaly carbonated. When it settles you get a leather brown head. Body is used oil jet black. Nose is of sweet malt, port, black currant and some coco with a bit of alchol. Soured dark fruit enter the mouth shrill and darkly bitter. The dark ruits keep a very dry feel throughout the palate. Bitter and mediciney tart feel really hangs on to the back of the tongue and creates the sharp mouthfeel. Alchol really warms the belly. A slight coco liquer feel comes about as this on warms a bit. Drinkability would suggest this one in small doses.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.39/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thought this was gonna be darker but no. There are darker beers. Aroma was fucking harsh, hot and boozy.

Taste was a little better than that, thick ass malt, heavy booze sting, yeast pronounced? A cool non barrel aged beer of this strength, yes, but I don't think it is a return trip if I'm buying. Just huge and hot covering up other aspects of the beer.

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Photo of brystmar
3.39/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

64oz growler from New Beer Distributors.

A: the first glass poured two full fingers of creamy tan head; the second yielded precious little. Mild, beady lace forms raindrops on the sides of my glass.

S: disappointing, as it's very subdued with dark fruit and booze being the only two items I can even detect. There's precious little here to savor, even from the first pour with plenty of head. Gets boozier as it warms.

T: plums, raisins, figs, and other dark fruits surprised me up front. Booze and roasty malts bring up the rear. Dry finish with plenty of alcoholic warmth, but really not harsh like I expected. Easily the fruitiest RIS I've ever consumed.

M: big, creamy body helps with the drinkability. Slippery and smooth on the tongue. This is as good as it gets without nitro.

D: pretty drinkable for an 18%, but I'm not sure I can stand more than one glass at a time. Definitely easier to drink than a fresh pour of Bourbon County Stout -- despite being nearly 50% stronger -- but still quite far behind other big boys like Dark Lord, 120 IPA, or DFH Fort. An enjoyable brew, but not one I'd purchase again.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep pitch-black color stout with a small foamy head with minimal retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of light residual sugar with some subtle black chocolate and surprisingly no alcohol. Taste is not as flavorful as expected with some notes black chocolate and some light dry coffee that seems to cover most of the alcohol. Body is fuller then average with an oily texture with average carbonation and surprisingly no alcohol is discernible.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to flandersned for this puppy in a trade. Cant believe it's 18%

This 2009 pours out a coffee head with an eclipsing black that overwhelms your eyes.

Smells of chocolate, alcohol, and licorice fill the room.

Taste follows the nose with heat, licorice, anis, chocolate, and roasty character thrown in to boot.

Too much heat and not enough sweet.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I can't think of a better occassion to drink this beer than. . . a solar eclipse. Popped open at the fiftyfifty solar eclipse party. Wasn't all big bad black in the appearance, was equal parts black and brown actually. Aroma was just pungent alcohol and yeast more than anything else.

Taste, powerful alcohol, a yeasty dominance, you can pull out some oak/wood and chocolate malt notes if you really search and get acclimated to the strength of the beer. A little more sweetness to the beer may have helped cover up the alcohol heat. A little bit of that dark fruit sensation is there, but this is a relatively straightforward beer, probably two yeast strains and just gobs of alcohol all over it. Enjoyable for what it is, a novelty.

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Photo of paytoplay
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

2010 GABF bottle. Look good? meh. Smell good. Meh. Taste, pretty awesome, super complex. Mouthfeel. Amazing, thick rich and seems sweet but comes together. Drinkability? 18%? Doesn't seem hot but you know it's there lurking over your shoulder. Would pass this up but also would just ask for 3 or 4 oz of the stuff.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 vintage. Been in the cellar for 8-9 months. Pours pitch black with a minimal tan head. Smells rich and boozy, with hints of dark malt, chocolate and fusel alcohol. On the palate, this seems to be closer to a barley wine than an imperial stout. A whole lot going on in this one, and it doesn't all quite come together. Alcohol is prominent and almost overpowering. Hard to drink more than a glass of this one.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Oops, did I just open an %18 beer? I guess I did. Doesn't look too thick, but dark nonetheless. Seems like it wants to foam alot in the pour. The head fills to the brim but dissipates quickly. I'm actually getting some almost tart, fruity notes upon opening the bottle, perhaps infected? After getting a whiff the fruit notes seem mild, and there are some burnt malty notes in the mix. Did I mention some alcohol fume? Not as potent as expected though.

The first sip feels so light on the tongue, like it's just floating. It foams up quite a bit on the palate, too much in fact, but the flavor is nice, and the effervescent alcohols are warming. A touch of sweet chocolate and tangy cherry are there, but it's hard to let it rest on the tongue to taste it, as it all turns to foam in my mouth. Suprisingly, the high ABV is not that noticible, this could pass for 12% in my book.

Overall not bad. Needs some work in the mouthfeel. The drinkability was decent. I would be interested to try this again to see what a few more years could do to it...

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Photo of timc100
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5


Pours like a porter - dark brown and decently clear. Not a menacing looking stout. No head to speak of - leaves a film of alcohol around the glass. Aroma and taste are decent. Bakers chocolate, slight vanilla, dark fruits, a lot of umami/soy sauce that is not in balance with the other flavors. Taste is huge - big booze, some chocolate and dark fruits, and more of the umami flavor. Mouthfeel is viscous and sticky - lingers a long time.

Wanted a lot more out of this - is unnecessarily boozy and out of balance.

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Photo of mentor
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle of 2008 brewery aged version. Pours almost no head over a pitch liquid. Smells chocolate, roast, dark fruit, anise, carob, scorched caramel, lemon, black patent sour, and clean alcohol sting. Strong cappucino.

Tastes very nice. Strong malt sweet with dark fruits, gentle black malt sour, and clean stingy alcohol. Malt is thick chocolate and mild roast. Fruits are prune, fig, lemon, and . Salty. Hazelnut and sour jordan almond. Nice soured caramel oxidation from aging. End dries just a bit from the alcohol and salt.

Thick with mild astringency in the finish. Very mild carbonation.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. On tap at the brewpub.

Another booze bomb from Kuhnhenn. Good thing these beers are normally pretty good, so I had to give it a go. Pours black with a minimal head and some nice legs in its stay as the small amount of foam goes away. Nose is strong roast, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and slight dark fruits. A bit of molasses. The taste is actually quite a bit boozy, and I'm wondering whether we might have gotten into the batch a bit too early. Feel is boozy and a bit sweet. Drinks well after my mouth gets used to the booze, but this definitely needs some time.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at the pre-FWIBF bottle share held at the Adelaide Inn in Paso Robles, CA.

2010 vintage.

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, char, and burnt sugar aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, caramel, and char flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but very boozy.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black with a small toffee colored head and thick legs on my glass. The aroma is of dark chocolate with an accompanying light roast, and a big brown sugar influence. Alcohol is potent. The flavor is stinging alcohol with chocolate and light oxidation. Brown sugar is strong and dark fruits are subtle. The mouthfeel is thick, full, and viscous. Carbonation is low.

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Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the brewpub. Dark body, very little head, some lace. Thick chocolate body, some coffee. Good RIS, though not the most complex,and so not the most representative of what brewers are innovating now, this is mostly chocolate malt delivery, it is enjoyable and surprisingly high abv.

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Photo of Shumista
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage from the summer solstice party.

Solar eclipse pours dark brown with little to no head at all. Some lighter brown highlights around the edge. Smells firstly of alcohol, then some roasted coffee, dark fruits, and wood. The taste is actually much less boozy than the smell suggested it might be. Very very sweet, puckeringly so at first. Tastes of roasted coffee, dark fruits, bitter chocolate and of course some alcohol. At the abv of a liquer, however, it is not as noticeable as I would have expected. Syrupy mouthfeel, warming and sticky. Surprisingly I had no problem polishing off a full 12 oz bottle over the course of about an hour.

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Kuhnhenn Solar Eclipse from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 196 ratings.
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