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Kuhnhenn Aldebaran | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
61 Reviews
THE BROS
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Kuhnhenn AldebaranKuhnhenn Aldebaran
BEER INFO

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

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.25%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A very hoppy citrus nose leads this beer, with low malt and high hops in flavor. The Belgian yeast leaves the palate creamy instead of dry. This is an awe-some beer for Belgian and hop fans alike.

Added by mikesgroove on 03-19-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
61
Ratings:
151
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
15.58%
 
 
Wants:
24
Gots:
13
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 151
Photo of Sammy
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Mondiale 2011. Double IPA level of hop assertiveness. Slight head, lacey, hop aromas. Extremely bitter, citrus,slightly above average mouthfeel.Piney, minty, essence of lemon. Not getting noticeable Belgian nor rye spice characteristics. Good drinkability.

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Photo of largadeer
3.05/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to masterski for sending this my way. Much appreciated. 2010 winter solstice release.

The beer pours a murky greyish brown with red highlights. It's an odd, frankly unappetizing color, but the head makes up for it a bit, rising to a two finger height and showing solid retention.

The smell of baking bread hits the senses first; the malt profile is very bready and grainy. There's plenty of Belgian yeast character, too, bringing to mind cotton candy, Pepto-Bismol and herbal remedies. Odd, yeah, but not necessarily unpleasant.

Bready and medicinal on the tongue, like fresh bread dipped in Pepto-Bismol. Cotton candy, clove, herbal hoppiness, faint citrus. The alcohol is shockingly well hidden, but I can't say that I care for the yeast flavor much - it's too far on the cotton candy / cough syrup side of things. The finish presents a mild bitterness that's almost overwhelmed by spicy, coriander-like phenols.

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Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pous a tawny color with a modest head that laces to some extent

Smell: Tart and herbal, with a Belgian influence that is reminiscent of coriander

Taste: Biscuity and caramel flavors up front followed by a bitter, hoppy (but herbal) character in the middle; everything blends together nicely in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Distinctively different; definitely not a classic DIPA; much more like a Belgian DIPA

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. On tap at the brewpub.

Pours a copper-amber color with a finger-and-a-half of white head that dies down a bit quickly but leaves behind some nice lacing. The nose is strong and loaded with hops, mostly citrus with the dominant components being orange and grapefruit.

The taste is even more hops with a fairly-aggressive amount of bitterness. This leads to a nice dry finish. However, it gets a bit boozy toward the end. Drinkability is pretty good and this is another solid DIPA from them. Interesting that I've really enjoyed their DIPAs but have gotten into their single IPAs quite as much.

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Photo of jlindros
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This vintage clocks in at 9.25%. When done well this is one of my fav styles, but if not it can suck. This one thanks to erric (Reddit). 2012 vintage, so probably should have been drunken a while back, but it hasn't been in my possession for more than a couple months.

Pours the smallest dainty dusting of head that flashes instantly gone, no lacing, slightly hazy apple juice light copper brown with a weird watery look somehow.

Nose comes in big time sweet, syrupy, almost a syrupy mess, candi sugar, brown sugar, a dried dark fruit raisin date thing with a fermented plum, and a bit of a bready yeasty dough as well. IT clocks in the booze wafting out quite a bit, with some esters and light phenols as well that bring a bit of bubble gum and slight chemical aroma, a rotten apple aroma as well, and hints of baking spices.

Taste comes on with the big heavy malts again, syrupy sweet, not cloying but not too far away from it, again candi sugar galore, syrup and more syrup with some fermented apple syrup, some dried fruits with hints of raisin and brandy soaked dates but not so much a good way. Booze is plenty rampant, tingly, warming, and even a fusel taste, as well as esters a plenty, bubble gum with that, fruity ester flavors, and some phenolic slight chemicals. The malts bring more sweet reddish candy and toasty amber malts, as well as yeast additions of light baking spices again and a little beady yeasty touch. No citrus, no hops other than mild bitterness and hint of an earthy woodsy pine needle like flavor. Finish is still quite sweet but it at least attempts to dry, candy galore, candi sugar and syrup coats the mouth but not as syrupy as I expected, plenty more tingly booze, fruity esters, etc... but then there is a big earthy chewy spicy hop presence, like I just swigged the wort of a big IPA fresh out of the boil kettle.

Mouth is med to fulled bod with plenty of syrupy feel, lighter disappointing carb, and lots of warming tingly booze.

Overall... sigh, probably the worst Kuhnhenn beer I've had yet, and has to be because it's too old for it's own good. Sorry to say I didn't sit long on it, so it was probably either in erric's cellar or shelf, but I can't complain as it was an extra in a trade of lots of great Kuhnhenn meads which were fantastic. So if this is a small sacrifice to make, so be it. This was just a big sweet mess, like a quad with extra hops, and the hops were all on the finish chewy spicy not so pleasant kind, way too sweet to be a Belgian IPA, all candy no hops, no floral, no citrus, nothing nice really, too much ester presence even for a Belgian beer, well an IPA that is. If this were a quad it might be a bit better, but still a tough swallow.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub.

Pours a clear dark amber with a finger of off-white tan head that shrank down into a great looking layer of creamy retention that left just huge, thick lacing behind. The aroma is a big ole' fume of heavy sweet malts, pine, floral hops, yeasty notes, and rye.

The taste is a well balanced mix of piney hops, floral notes, spice, yeast, deep, sweet caramel malts and a touch of dry rye notes. The mouthfeel has a medium full feel with an excellent rich and creamy texture to it.

Wow, this was solid. They called this a variation of a Belgian IPA at the brewpub and I would be inclined to agree based on the yeasty nature of this. Maybe a Belgian style DIPA? Anyway, whatever it was, I loved the flow of the flavors in this and the overall drinkibility was great for a 9% beer. Definitely don't hesitate to try this if you see it at the brewpub. Great stuff!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

thrilled to death to be able to try this one last night. had a lovely growler sent to me and felt there was no better way to enjoy it then to bust it out at the bday party. served cold and in many a pint glass, this one was consumed on 10/02/2010.

the pour was a nice rich amber color with a nice two finger creamy head of off white that dominated the top of the profile. really nicely one and left loads of lacing down the sides of the glass.

the nose is dominated by lovely earthy tones that mixed in with luscious piney hops and a well rounded and incredibly sweet malt base. warming really starts to bring this out as notes of candied sugar, sweet caramel and floral notes all start to rear their head. smooth, even flavor is tremendously well balanced and simply phenomanal. rich palate is fresh with resin filled hops and light notes of alcohol that are quickly balanced with sugary malts and a lovely candy flavor. smooth, creamy feel lets the flavor really steal the show as it becomes increasingly drinkable to the point of insanity.

overall just a fantastic big ipa. this was really a hit last night and went head to head with super friends to steal the show.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into signature tulip glass, 2012 Winter solstice bottling. Pours fairly crystal clear orange copper color with a small fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of mango, orange, banana, pear, apricot, clove, pepper, bubblegum, caramel, bread, and earthy yeast spiciness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruitiness, spicy esters, and malt notes. Taste of orange, mango, banana, pear, clove, bubblegum, pepper, caramel, toast, brown bread, and earthy yeast esters. Light spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of tropical fruit, citrus, banana, pear, clove, bubblegum, pepper, caramel, toast, brown bread, and earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of fruitiness, spicy esters, and malt; with a great balance of sweetness/spiciness; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly creamy, slick, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Very smooth to sip for being 9.25%. Overall this is a very nice Belgian IPA. Good balance and complexity of fruity, spicy, and malt notes; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As usual with a Kuhnhenn beer, this one comes courtesy of Derek. Thanks!

A: The beer pours a clear amber color with a finger of soapy, off-white head and some mild lacing.

S: Quite hoppy, much more American hop driven than I was anticipating. Nice citrus hop nose up front. As the beer sits for a moment, the incredible amount of phenolic contributions from the yeast come through. Tons of spices, almost a cinnamon type smell. Some big toasty bread in there as well.

T: The flavor reminds me of a beer brewed closer to home: Mischief (from the Bruery). Big time yeast contribution with lots of spicy phenols and yeast. There is some nice citrus hop flavor and a moderate bitterness. A slight pineapple flavor on the back end along with some bitterness and a hint of alcohol.

M: Medium in body, however the carbonation is a bit on the low side. Really the only drawback.

O: Surprisingly well done. Usually Belgian IPAs are a style I could live without, but this does a great job of incorporating both Belgian and American characteristics.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am revisiting my review for this one, as I now have a fresh sample. The original review was of a nine month old bottle. Served in a Kuhnhenn tulip glass. This batch is 9.5%

Original score 3.5/4.0/3.5/4.0/3.5 for a total of 3.65

A - One-fingered of off-white foam that settles to a thin cap and leaves plenty of glass-coating lace. Body is a hazed dark reddish-brown.

S - Grapefruit a tropical hop notes, herbaceous hops, Belgian yeast, and some bready malt and burnt sugar character.

T - Taste is actually more hop-forward, which is a surprise. Lots of ripe citrus and tropical fruits mingle with some stone fruit esters, spicy Belgian yeast, and a bready malt backdrop. Bitterness is mild.

M - Extremely dry finish, moderate carbonation. Creamy, and relatively easy to drink. Some warmth, but not overt alcohol flavor.

D - This was a substantial improvement in my book, although my score didn't increase a huge amount as I've tried nearly a thousand beers in the interim. If you're into Belgian IPAs, I'd recommend picking this up instead of Lunar Eclipse.

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Photo of Tone
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, copper color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Poor retention and slight lacing. Smells of floral hops, yeast, dough, citrus, and sweet malt. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong floral hops, citrus, slight sweet malt, and slight yeast. Overall, a good aroma and body, but lacking in appearance.

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Photo of liamt07
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the 2012 Winter Solstice, into a tulip.

Orange brown with some offwhite head, moderate lacing and retention. Nose is spicy and yeasty with sharp citrus nose and a big dose of sweet bready malt that linger just behind the hops. Taste has more sweet malt, beautiful Belgian yeast character, huge fruity hop character and some spicing lingers into the finish. Some dryness, medium full feel and alcohol is well disguised. Medium carbonation is great for this beer. A very pretty American take on the Belgian IPA.

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Photo of aasher
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of my coworkers brought this back from his weekend trip up to Michigan. Wowzers!

This beer pours a light bodied and very clear dingy copper in color with a soapy one finger head. The nose is incredibly fresh and has a really nice floral hoppiness to pair with a touch of yeast near the end. The nose is really nice and pungent. The flavors are nice and yeasty with slight caramel malt and almost a slight candied malt aspect before finishing moderately dry with a nice hop bitterness. It drinks light in body with a nice flash of flavor before going on the hoppy side. It doesn't drink like an imperial Belgo either. The alcohol is well masked. Overall this is a really interesting beer. I've never really seen a 10%+ Belgo before and this is done nicely.

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Photo of biegaman
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Kuhnhenn Aldebaran has the appearance of a dark honey: clear but distorting, very deep golden in colour, and, despite a viscous complexion it looks very sheeny when held into the light. Also like a honey, it has tiny pockets of air but no real bubbles or foam. Overlooking the lack of head, a relatively high score can be granted just for its lovely glisten.

Aroma, like appearance, is reminiscent of a dark honey. It combines with fresh-cut grass clippings, pine needles, tree resins, and floral overtones to create an intense herbal quality. This runs simultaneous to notes of pumpkin pie-like spice that includes cinnamon, mace and nutmeg.

Aldebaran is an entertaining beer; there's a lot of flavours all going on at once. A smooth and caramelly malt tastes just like chestnut honey: earthy and dark, almost leathery, nutty-sweet but lightly bitter at the same time. But hops are in the spotlight - minty greens, soapy citrus and piny resins are noted. There's also the brown sugar/pumpkin-pie (and actual pumpkin) flavour as well.

The mouthfeel (in this growler sample anyhow) is considerably under carbonated, which would normally be a concern with a beer this high in alcohol. Far from syrupy or boozy however, this beer comes laminated in soapy, minty, resinous, honeyed, and yeasty layers. This multifaceted texture more than makes up for (and is made possibly only by) a lack of serious malt.

Kuhnhenn Aldebaran is both a beer lover's and beer reviewer's dream: it is distinct and offers no shortage of flavour to savour and report on. It is a genius recipe that combines sweet malt, Belgian yeast, and a gluttony of hops to make an ale that somehow, paradoxically, is one that you can easily, casual enjoy yet slowly, contemplatively appreciate. It really impressed me.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle received as extra from TheBlackMallard - this is the most ridiculous extra i've received - thanks a million! Poured into my Urthel tulip

A: Crystal-clear deep crimson-amber with a dense off-white head. Great retention and nice lace work.

S: Spicy hops up front with pine and a definite mint component. Mild fruitiness with some pineapple and a solid malt backbone with some dark sugar and plums. A mild alcohol note is present on the nose

T: Strange, unlike any DIPA i've had. There's some hoppiness up front with pine and lemon. The body is thin in an appealing way with a dry finish but I'm not sure there are enough hops to carry this one through. There's an earthy feel to it in the middle. Puzzling, almost like a cross of an old ale and an IPA.

M: The carbonation is spot on and goes well with the dry finish

D: A rather novel DIPA and an interesting take but I'm not sure i'd drink too many too often.

Note: My rating on taste is purely according to style. If i were to rate this beer on it's own, i'd give it a 4/5 for taste. However, I cracked it hoping for a DIPA and I'm reviewing it in this light

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Photo of jrallen34
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the brewery into a tulip...Pours a super dark orange, good retention and lacing...The aroma is light, medium fresh hops a little bubblegum and pine, slight alcohol finish...The taste is ok, nothing special not a great dipa, too much alcohol, pine presents but not too much but still distracting...The bartender told me this was his favorite beer. Its ok, nothing special, but a decently drinkable dipa.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap yesterday at the Winter Solstice release, and tonight I'm cracking open my first bottle. I figured I'd start with the IPAs as everything else is built to age.

This pours very clear from the bottle, a little hazier on tap for some reason. It's got a dark orange-copper color and a decent if short-lived head.

Really nice nose, maybe a little more like a Belgian IPA than an American version, or maybe the correct style is DBIPA. The hops present with a little age maybe, still imparting nice pine and leaf aromas, spicy like many good Belgian IPAs. Every few whiffs I get a little chocolate too, which proves I'm getting drunk tonight.

It tastes exactly as expected from the smell, a really nice mix of spicy and sappy hops, with a noticeable alcohol burn in the back (no real alcohol taste though). Some sweetness in there too, seems a lot of malt was added after all.

Thick for the style, not so much as to hurt drinkability but enough to again prove that the gravity was high. Very nice overall, if anything I'd like less ABV or at least less burn. But that's what you get with Kuhnhenns, sticking to what they do best.

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Mark – thanks!

Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a cream-colored head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of caramel malts with good amounts of pine and herbal hops. Also present are slight amounts of indistinct spices and bready aromas.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Slightly grainy caramel malts up front are joined quickly by good amounts of pine hops. Midway through slight spices and hints of medium fruits come into play, fading out into a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with decent carbonation.

Overall this was a solid beer but there wasn’t enough Belgian in the Belgian IPA to make it worth revisiting.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Big thanks to steimie for lending a hand with this one. Very much appreciated. Enjoyed in a kuhnhenn snifter.

a - brew poured a fairly still ruby mahogany. Some spotty lacing bjiut really no head to speak of.

s - caramel malts and hops

t - just like the nose. Resembles an american bareley. Nice flavor. Some hints of an amber ale.

m - softcarbonation, bitter body and finish.

o - overall a nice beer. Very amber crossed with an american barleywine. Big toffee and pine cone hoppiness.

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Photo of gford217
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Derek for yet another Kuhnhenn brew.

Pours a very hazy orangish brown with a small one-finger head that recedes to a soapy cap and a little lacing.

The aroma is pungent on this one with a massive dose of citrus hops - grapefruit peel especially - and a healthy dose of evergreen. There is also a big sweet malt aroma and some fruity Belgian notes.

The taste is not nearly as hoppy as I was expecting from the nose and the Belgian yeast really comes out with light fruits and a bit of spice. The finish does have a bit of hop astringency along with the spiciness from the yeast.

The mouthfeel is slick with very soft carbonation and, despite the huge flavor comes across fairly light bodied.

As is normally the case with Kuhnhenn, there is a ton of flavors coming together. They pull it off well in this one though I wouldn't say this one is all that drinkable.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle
served in a tulip glass

A - It is a deep amber color and clear. I got virtually no head. I got aggressive towards the end of the pour to managed a quarter inch of beige head.

S - I get a weird smell that I can't quite place. I do get some alcohol. The bottle described a banana and bubblegum aroma. I don't get that. I do get some citrus and maybe a little pine.

T - The taste is a weird meld of citrus flavors. Now I do get some banana in the aftertaste. The more I sip, the more I become aware of some pine. I has a clean finish.

M - It is moderate with low carbonation for an IPA. Almost slick on my tongue.

O - I bought this right after the Winter Solstice party. I thought it was a Belgian pale ale. I may have sit on it too long. Oops. It wasn't a bad beer, but the hops have probably faded. It is my fault if that is the case. When you have over a hundred varieties of beer some are going to fall through the cracks.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 6/19/2010. On tap at the brewpub. Pours a clear amber brown with a thick white head. Aroma of Belgian yeast and rich sweet malt. Flavor of spices, Belgian yeast and citrus, tropical fruits, and caramel malt in the finish. A nice blend between a Belgian ale and IIPA - both styles make their presence in this beer (perhaps IIPA wins out). Pretty tasty and enjoyable overall.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one at the Kuhnhenn brewery.

Poured a dark red-amber with a creamy tan head.

Aroma of piney hops, Belgian yeast, and sweet malts.

Tastes of pine, rye, Belgian yeast, caramel, tobacco, and malts. A strange mix of flavors that work incredibly well together.

Medium mouthfeel, smooth and creamy, and moderately carbonated.

This was so easy to drink. A nice mix of American IPA with a Belgian twist.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a slightly hazy amber brown with minimal tan head, retention and lacing are so so... looks light bodied

S - Woody cherries and medicine-like dark fruit/burn, blegian candied sugars and light hops

T - Very dry hoppy up front transitions into a candy sweet belgian-spiced flavor with a kick of slightly warming dark cherries at the finish. Aftertaste is a burning bitter

M - lightish bodied with decent carbonation, very drinkable

O - A lot of big flavors mixing quite well. Enjoyed this

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Photo of Sean9689
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into my NB tulip.

A - Pours a copper/reddish color, small off-white head, some spotty lacing and a thin ring around the glass with a hazy film on top.

S - Lots of grapefruit, citrus hops, huge bitterness, some malt sweetness. A nice mix of bitter hops and sweetness. Very well-balanced.

T - Not near as piny/citrus as the nose suggests. Slightly sweet but a nice dose of bitterness mixed with some tropical fruit notes. I really was expecting more hop/bitterness, but actually, I'm digging the light bitterness, tropical citrus, and slight sweetness. Slightly bitter and slightly sweet finish.

M - Light to medium, good carbonation for the style, oily finish.

D - I liked this one a lot more then I was expecting. The combo of bitterness, sweetness, and citrus notes are very pleasant. Not a huge hop bomb, which I enjoy for a change.

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Kuhnhenn Aldebaran from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.
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