Kuhnhenn Aldebaran | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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very good
61 Reviews
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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 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 ghostwalker
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Labeled Winter Solstice 2010. One year old, so hopefully the sample I am reviewing isn't biased by age.

Body is red-gold with thick sticky yellowish-white head. I love IPAs that are visibly chewy before you even take a sip.

Nose is sharp and sweet with an almost harsh hop bite. A bit of Belgian-ness is there also.

Flavor is very big. Lots of sweetness here (maybe like a Dreadnaught) but huge hop flavor as well. The Belgian component is noticeable on the finish, but just barely.

Mouthfeel is sticky and rich, with a bit of that hop-strippiness on the tooth enamel.

Overall is very good. It's still a bit hot, and the sweetness may be elevated from age, but it's a really good beer.

I generally love Kuhnhenn's dark beers more than their hoppy beers, but this is an exception. Great stuff!

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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 jmunsters
3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap, in a snifter, at Hopcat in Grand Rapids, MI.

A - Poured a cloudy copper color. Barely transparent. Arrived at our table with a bit of head left from the pour. Lacing clings to the glass throughout drinking it.

S - Caramel, citrus, sugars. Not getting a lot of a Belgian yeast.

T - IPA for sure. Hints of Belgian yeasts on the palate fades to a crisp malty backend. It's hopped, but not crazy. A little boozy. Very balanced.

M - Nice carbonation. Easy sipping. The bit of booziness (and the high ABV) keeps it from being incredbly refreshing.

O - I enjoyed it quite a bit. So much so I'm reviewing it from a growler fill at home.

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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 srandycarter
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Murky raw apple juicy, off white viscous, thin head. Lots of cling lace.

S - Spicy meat. Sweet malt undertone.

T - Spicy, peppery, some almost xmas spices. Loads of sweet malt and bittered with seasony hops. Alcohol apparent.

M - Big flavors, wash out well together. Carb just under what I would like. A little cloying at end. Medium to heavy body.

D - Big flavors and big ABV don't make this sessionable, but it sure is good for one.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

thanks, fear025! Into pint glass.

A- Hazy brown with copper/dirty gold highlights. Small head that is dirty looking, thin minimal lacing.

S- Heavy yeast, bit of a raw hop octane quality.

T- Spicy, peppery yeast, very bready. Slightly medicinal. Piny and citrus hops. Some weizenbock qualities. Confusing, but enjoyable. Tropical fruit and cloves in the finish.

M- Boozy, but not overly so. Great carbonation. Moderately heavy body and strong lingering flavors.

O- Interesting, tasty. Strange. Not bad.

637

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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 Gigantis
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I think I may have had a different experience with this beer than most of the reviewers. I had it on tap at a beer bar near where I live and the bartender, who is very well-connected to the Kuhnhenn folks, told me to be careful with this one since it is 14%abv. That's quite a lot! Certainly more than 8.5% listed here.

But anyway,
The beer is a murky, burnt amber in hue. It sort of looks like a redder Guinness before it sets since the. Sort of looks like swirling swamp water (but darker obviously). The head is a healthy, frothy off-white and quite sticky.
It smells a little like most double IPAs: pine, hops, a little grapefruit. This one has aromas of woodchips, saffron and some serious Belgian yeast quality as well. That is the only characteristic of this beer I would liken to a Belgian IPA, but that is not necessarily a bad thing since I found this rather mysterious beer incredibly enjoyable once I actually started drinking it.
It has a thick, syrupy feel to it. Not that it didn't look thick, but it pulls off this texture quite well. A truly well-balanced beer, the Aldebaran (if that is its real name) gets you nice hops n' tartness and then goes darker as the smoke and carmel come through. It truly tastes more like a barleywine than anything else but what a barleywine it is. It finishes sweeter but this quality is mitigated by the alcohol burn. I wouldn't say it tastes like 14%, but you know it's there.
All in all, I wouldn't want more than one in a sitting because I certainly felt it after I finished this beer. I came back the next night to get another one and had it slower.
Another great one from Kuhnhenn.

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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 MbpBugeye
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Normyk for this one. I love Kuhnhenn but I dont get may chances to try them, outside of the summer beerfest in Ann Arbor every summer.

9.5% ABV, Winter Solstice 2010. After drinking nearly half of this I believe the 9.5% more than 8.5%

Poured into a Goose Island Matilda goblet.
A- The color is near crimson. For the sake of poetic descriptors, we'll say its a Venician red. The head that caps it is very small but tenacious. It holds in a thin film but is so sticky thats all thats needed to blanket my glass in detailed lacing.

S- The aroma is immediately apparent. Its malty robustness wafts throughout the room. Bringing the glass to my nose, I encounter the stuff that makes this an imperial IPA. There is a lush bouquet of tropical fruit. Its like a fruit salad almost. Tons of pineapple, peach, tangerine, melon and a strong essence of banana. The uncanny thing is that the strong caramel I was getting as I poured takes a backseat to the tropical fruit once I smell up close.

T- Quite the balanced and sweet IIPA. Indeed it does blur the lines between IIPA and Barleywine, what with the strong caramel foundation, but this, in my book, is very much an IPA. Its flavor isnt as bright as the aroma, but its close. The Belgian yeast plays a bigger part in the flavor. The banana is still there, but the yeast also gives a large dose of spiciness. The finish is quite citrusy, but more in the order of citrus rind.

M- Carbonation is pretty much spot on. The finish is pretty dry and very spicy. Alcohol is just enough to keep you drinking slowly, lest you burn out your tongue right away.

D- This sweeter take on an IIPA demands to be sipped slowly. This is a huge hit from Kuhnhenn. I want to see this stuff at the summer Brewers Guild fest, and hopefully at bottle shops in Ann Arbor this July, but I know Im just wishing.

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Photo of glazeman
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle into a snifter. This 2010 bottle says 9.5% on the label.

A: Brown in color with a 1 finger off-white head that has moderate retention and excellent lacing. I was quite surprised by the color.

S: A very peculiar, but interesting smell of peanut butter and cinnamon. There's also some basic nuttiness. This wasn't at all what I was expecting for the style as the hops are almost non-existent on the nose. Still, I can't knock it too much as it is still very interesting and complex.

T: I could swear the put some grapes in here, as there is a lot of dark fruit and something that tastes akin to grape skins. There's a little bit of hop bitterness at the finish but not all that much. Overall, this is a very balanced beer, not exactly one for the hop heads.

M: Excellent feel. The viscosity and aftertaste are spot on in my book. There's a nice level of carbonation, though it leans toward the lower end of the spectrum.

D: Super high. The taste is pleasant and the beer does not have the faintest amount of etoh presence. I would be very happy to have multiple of these one right after another.

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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 goodbyeohio
4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

it says 9.5, but what does a label know?

burnt amber color, pours thick as evidenced by slow movement from the glass. frothy scape sits blissfully across the surface. nose of cooked carrots, catbox, and cedar sprigs.. yet somehow- appealing! sips with body but not heavy. slow enjoyment is prescribed for this particular ale. woody hop bite up front, tangerine tartness in the finish. a little bit of furniture polish in the uber-end never killed anyone. repeated sips bring a smokiness, more wood, and echoes of nectarine skins. all the while, the imagined belgian ipa flavor finds itself existing amidst all this chaos. really a top shelf brew here.. thanks buddy!

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Photo of seeswo
2.88/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottled shared by CaseyK (thanks!).

Pours a strawberry blonde with an almost pinkish-white head. Weird, but cool looking, I guess. The only other beer that I have ever seen look like this was a wild. The smell is strongly Belgian, with minimal hops. At this point, it was officially unclear what I was about to taste in spite of it not being a blind tasting. Tastes like a very malty dipa mixed with a belgian yeast funk. The hops are not very present. Pretty sweet. Almost a bit chewy in the mouth, with a lingering sweet bitterness. This beer was not very drinkable and altogether wasn't much of a success for me.

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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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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Kuhnhenn in a tulip.

Appearance: The tulip arrives with an amber brown beer inside, with a thick white head that slowly fades to a ring, leaving spots of lacing down the sides of the glass.

Smell: Sweet candy, bubblegum, and citrus and herbal hops. More robust aroma as it warms - some alcohol, floral and more herbal notes peak through.

Taste: The flavor starts out with some caramel malt, candy sweetnessm and citrusy hops. Bubble gum and some Belgian yeast, there is such a champagne like dryness here, then some herbal hops pop through.

Mouthfeel: The feel is dry and lightly sticky, with medium carbonation and a fuller than medium body for the style.

Drinkability: Definitely a sipper, this was an enjoyable example of a Belgian IPA. I would definitely like to go back and try this again, Belgian IPA's may take a few tries to get the full flavor.

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