Fifth Dementia
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Fifth DementiaFifth Dementia
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English Old Ale
4.4 | pDev: 9.55%
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Fifth DementiaFifth Dementia
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 28 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of womencantsail
3.4/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer is a murky mahogany color with a small off-white head. Tons of brown sugar, grapes, raisins, and prunes on the nose. Quite oxidized, in the sherry sort of way. Lightly tart on the nose as well. The flavor has a bunch of molasses, brown sugar, and dark fruit character. Sherry-like oxidation is certainly still present. No noticeable tartness, though. Very sweet and hard to drink all that much of.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.97/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a very deep dark brown with a big three finger plus head of tan lace and just a really full overall look. This was really nice looking with tons of residual side glass lace and a sticky foam top that would not quit. The aroma was wonderful, full of sweet smells of caramel, sugar, chocolate and nuts, with a nice hop essence in the back. I am not sure what the style of this is, but the flavor was robust and full. Very nutty with a decidedly caramelesque sugar to it and a really great fresh, and dry hop like finish. There were hints of chocolate and coffee throughout, but not enough to make it rely totally on those. Such a very full bodied feel, very creamy and rich. This was a magnificent bottle and one that I was really glad I got to try. It really was different than almost anything I had had before

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Photo of GbVDave
4.31/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a North Coast snifter. Thanks to Joe, Matt, Wil, Justin, Jay, Aaron, and Alex for the assist! Honorable mention goes out to Skiba!

2008 release

A: Slides into the glass a deep mahogany color with some rusty highlights. No trace of carbonation, foam, or lace. Some suspended sediment is visible. Lifeless.

S: Very rich nose full of homemade caramel, rum raisin bread pudding, dark chocolate covered cherries, vanilla glaze, and bourbon soaked dark fruit.

T: See above. Frigging wonderful!

M: Slick and syrup-y with only the prodigious alcohol content providing any relief from the sweetness.

D: Way easier to drink than I expected this 15% bruiser to be, but it's meant to be a slooow sipper. Thanks to Joe for sharing this from his cellar.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.52/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Released at 2008 Winter Solstice. 12oz bottle shared with Jason and Olga while watching the NFC Championship. Poured into Darkness snifter.

A - Pours a muddled dark brown, no head, and not much to look at. Then again, who cares how it looks, right?

S - Very sweet, rich, and decidant. Caramel, burnt sugars, slight dark fruit, maple syrup, and no real alcohol/booze note. Amazing that a beer that's 15% can smell this smooth.

T - Just as amazing as the nose. A wonderful sweetness that's balanced by some ultra-smooth alcohol. Burnt sugars, syrup, caramel. Sweet port-like finish, slightly fruity. I seriously can't believe this is 15%. The two years plus of aging has made this bottle phenomenal.

M - Full bodied, little to no carbonation but perfect for this beer, rich and smooth.

D - Sign me up, I want more! This stuff is simply outstanding and the aging has worked wonders for this beer. A sipper for sure, much like a fine port. Highly recommend.

I bumped the appearance because I think the taste is 4.75 or so.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.59/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle provided by Sean, huge thanks...Pours a murky brown, on the uglier side. No carbonation...The aroma is really fantastic, cherries, brown sugar, raisins, vanilla and a hint of a sweet liquor on the finish...The taste is equally as nice, really smooth, cherries throughout, and lots of plums. Only problem for me is a slightly chalky finish which is kind of distracting. Brown sugar backbone, really nice...The mouthfeel is great. For a 15% beer, not hot at all, velvety smooth...So easy to drink.

This is a rare treat well worth trying. Very similar to the 4th, would love to know the difference, would love to try them together to see what the difference is. Almost tastes barrel aged, but its not so I like that.

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Photo of afausser
4.67/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a sort of plum color with a thin ring of head. I'm pretty impressed that there's any head at all. It quickly disappears, turning into a pretty ring around the edge of the glass, a creamy color with thin tiny bubbles making a necklace around the edge of the glass. There's a fine sheet of lacing that quickly disappears.

Smell: Smells very sweet, sticky, and fruity, with a slight amount of alcohol. Raisins, berries, heavy, juicy cherries, and a fairly strong syrup note mix with candies--caramel, molasses, and brown sugar, as well as a slight rum alcohol. Under the surface are dark chocolate notes as well as a slight spice.

Taste: Extremely sweet and barely hot at all. There's some nice contrast here between the sweet candy and fruit notes and the hop notes. Plums, cherries, and strawberries mix with caramel, brown sugar, and molasses to provide a nice syrupy base. Earthy dark chocolate notes round this one out nicely. As it warms, a bit of rum and whiskey notes come out, particularly in the aftertaste, as well as a good bit of anise. I'm also getting an odd, slightly soapy, cilantro note here. Tastes like wood, as well, very oaky. Bit of red wine.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonated and chewy--medium to thick bodied. Extremely smooth and goes down easily. The one thing I might knock it for is the high level of syrup present, but it's still extremely well crafted.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable. There is no way I would guess this is a 15% beer. Interesting, sweet, well crafted and blended, and a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Generously shared by Adam and Anna (Nanoslug) at a tasting. Thanks!

A: Pours a maroon/brown body with translucent edges. Lightly carbed, producing a very thin collar.

S: Very inviting aroma. Dark fruits in prunes and raisins / sherry, caramel, butterscotch, leather. I found it did have some warmth to the aroma, but others disagreed.

T: Sherry and soy oxidation, but not a lot. It adds complexity to the raisin and prune flavors. I pick up caramel, butterscotch, toffee, and leather. Hints of earth.

M: Low carbonation, nearly still. However, it's very smooth in taste.

D: This would be hard to finish in a 12oz bottle; while it's smooth, it drinks like the heavy beast it is. At least it's served in the right size bottles. Wish I could get more of this.

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Photo of largadeer
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Adam/Anna!

Murky opaque brown with a thin crown of foam. Not an attractive beer by any stretch.

The aroma is complex and intoxicating; prune, raisin, chocolate, sherry, mild earthiness - there's nary a hint of alcohol.

The lack of alcohol on the palate is unsettling. Rich dried fruit flavors are dominant, raisin and prune primarily. There's a subtle earthiness, a little soy sauce, strong toffee sweetness - this is outstanding. The body is syrupy, nearly still, and it finishes on an earthy, fruity note.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.17/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle courtesy of urwutuh8 - thanks! Poured in to a footed tulip on this, the 25th anniversary of my birth.

Appearance: Pours a dark, rich-looking earthy brown, straddling the line between transparency and opacity by virtue of its depth of hue. It's thick, viscous, and intense, but is oily and slick enough that it slides out of the bottle fairly easily, making a vigorous, head-evolving pour difficult. The most I could get was half a finger of lightly beiged head with unsurprisingly poor retention that fades to a thin, dense ring and a single dollop of surface dust inside of thirty seconds. Holding it up to the light reveals no carbonation but does allow plenty of light through around the edges, scattering attractively through the clouded garnet.

Aroma: A little more high and estery than the mouth. Sort of spicy and discrete, almost, with the faint kiss of a distant alcohol burn interacting with the powderyness of deeply-toasted malts and sweet fruits. Chocolate cherries stand out amidst a sea of roasted, sweet malts and wide-ranging fruits.

Taste: A robust and complex taste. First, the malts. Tons of incredibly sweet malts are noticeable immediately up front, though they do fade somewhat by the finish - molasses, caramel, brown sugar, and fruit sugars (more on this soon) roll over the tongue, backed up by a large toasted foundation that's mostly well-attenuated toasted sugars but also suggests half roast, green, light coffee and (less so) powdery sweet baker's chocolate. These malt notes provide a good backdrop for an absolute slew of fruit notes, both darker and lighter than Fourth Dementia, but also a little less authentic. From plump, juicy raisins to thick prunes, distant figs to slightly tart black cherries (that comes across Maraschino-esque, though that could be the sweetness), all wrapped up with a slightly spicy and gently warming alcohol note evoking, you guessed it, rum. The remainder of the flavors are suggestions; anise, almost like fennel-like in places; a strong red wine suggestion, perhaps raspberry-like, with slight oaky tannins. Props all around.

Mouthfeel: Thick, syrupy, and slightly oily with very little carbonation. Sort of what you'd expect from an old (olde? older?) ale, allowing the sweet, roasted and toasted malts to coat the tongue pretty thoroughly. It's not cloying or overly sticky, but I can imagine it might have benefited from a little more lift.

Drinkability: A solid beer. About on par with Fourth Dementia, I'd say - better and more complex in some areas, and a little more lacking in others. And the 15.0% ... eh, it's 15.0%. It's there, noticeable, but at the same time expertly blended, hidden by everything but the kitchen sink. Shame this beer was a once off - I'd love to put one of these down for a year or two and see if it would lighten up a little, as I imagine most of these flavors would only get more interesting. Not bad!

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.79/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

900th Review!!!

Major props to rbridges01 for an incredible trade. 12oz bottle into a Delirium Tremens tulip.

5th Dementia pours with a murky, beer-bottle brown body that has a subtle hue of chocolate brownies. Not much head, but that's to be expected with a 15% Old Ale. I'm actually impressed by the trace amounts of tan bubbles that happen to appear with a quick swirl of the glass. On to the smell...oh sweet Jesus. This is heaven in a glass; a perfect 5.0 doesn't do justice to this aroma. Sticky-sweet dark fruits everywhere, dropping notes of raisin, plum pudding, black cherries, fig, and a little pineapple from the hops. Mind-boggling how little alcohol is present in the nose--only a trace of rum-like ethanol is detectable, and it complements the fruitiness well. Rich layers of malty dark chocolate, cinnamon, and earthy hops round out this incredibly aromatic profile.

Oh yeah, that's good 4th Dementia, the 5th is literally dripping with dark chocolate-coated & rum-filled plums and black cherries. Transitions to an alcoholic warmth midway through, as caramel malts and black strap molasses settle in with a hint of spicy hops that show up near the finish. Amazingly complex and drinks nothing like 15%...I would blindly guess 9% at most. The mouthfeel is syrupy and thick, but the sweetness never cloys with the palate. The low carbonation level does just enough to perk up the back of the tongue.

Kuhnhenn is not just one of the best brewers of high alcohol beers, but they may also be one of the finest producers of Old Ale's on the planet. Both 4th and 5th Dementia clearly bolster that claim to the jury of us beer nerds. Thus, I finish my 900th review with a few words from the incomparable Dave Chapelle: "I PLEED THE FIFF!"

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.28/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Funny, reading all the reviews I didn't realize that this is such a rare beer. Don't even remember how or where I got it!

A: jet black, opaque, no head
S: deep, sweet nose, a bit of oxidation? noticed
T: thick, sweet, extremely syrupy, reminded me of an extremely young TH, needs to age for numerous years, a bit of burnt caramel in taste too
M: cloying, syrupy on the tongue, but not so thick that it's offensive
D: something to sip by the fire, a nip size would be sufficient at one sitting

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Photo of prototypic
4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 Winter Solstice Release

Many, many thanks to hoppymeal for this rarity. As suggested, I've sat on this bottle for about a year. It's time.

5th Dementia pours a very dark, cola brown color. It's nearly opaque. A few burgundy highlights are noticeable at the edges. A very light tan head covers the surface momentarily, but recedes quickly. I guess 15% abv might be a little much. I didn't recall it being that strong. What was I thinking opening this tonight? I've got to work tomorrow.

The nose is damn impressive. It's absolutely loaded with dark fruit. Raisin, plum, and fig are in full force and effect here. It smells very malty. Caramel and chocolate malts are both noted. It smells a little sweet, but the chocolate is more cocoa-like than anything. There's a slight yeasty aroma that emerges late. Much to my amazement, I'm barely picking up any alcohol. That's quite a feat for a 15% beer, but it's true. This is great smelling beer. I wouldn't characterize it as overly complex, but it sure smells good.

The flavor is likewise very impressive. There's no question that dark fruit hogs the spotlight. It has a tangy flavor that embodies raisin, plum, and fig. Those flavors resonate throughout. A blend of caramel and chocolate malts anchor it down nicely. It's a little sweet and indeed has a cocoa-like flavor. A little cherry creeps in thereafter. It does have a somewhat vinous character overall. There's a little bit of a yeasty flavor, but it's subtle. Alcohol is more noticeable here, but it's very tame for a 15% beer. There's only a slight warming effect on the finish. That's amazing. I was expecting boozy and hot once I saw the abv. It's not at all. Perhaps a year's time permits it to mature and gel a little. I didn't try a fresh bottle, so I can't say for sure. The flavor continues to improve with warming. This is damn impressive stuff.

5th Dementia is full-bodied and thick. Feels a little chewy. It's nice and smooth. A few light bubbles are the only evidence that it isn't flat. Carbonation is that light. I think a few more bubbles might be a good thing. It might open it up a bit more. Drinkability is definitely above average for a beer of its stature. I'm amazed that this goes down so easy for a 15% beer. But...15% abv....Wow! A beer that big can only be so drinkable. Save this one for an occasion to savor. It's definitely a sipper.

5th Dementia is one of the more interesting beers I've had recently. It's certainly very good. I'm floored that it's so gentle in its approach. It never feels like a 15% beer in any way. Nonetheless, it is very big and strong. The flavor is very bold and satisfying. It's not all that complex, but it certainly accomplishes much with what is here. I like this beer. I like it a lot. It's unique and should be saved for a night where you want a big, chewy beer that takes an hour plus to drink. Take your time and enjoy it. Thanks a ton, Derek. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to try this one.

Just FYI for anyone with concerns...I've had this bottle for about a year and there are no signs of it being infected.

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Photo of deliriumfest
4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed on 12/1/09

This one pour a dark mahogany/brown color with a very small white head due to my vigorous pour. The aroma is a huge blast of booze and dark fruits with a touch of malt and some dark fruits. The taste is amazing! Tons of dark fruit, brown sugar and yeast remind me of Thomas Hardy. The mouthfeel is full bodied and well rounded with little carbonation. For the aroma and 15% alcohol, this one is amazingly drinkable. A fantastic beer that is enjoyable the whole way through as it opens up and evolves as it warms. I had no idea this one was so rare so I'm glad I got to enjoy it all by myself on this nice first day of December.

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Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes
Much thanks to hopdog for sharing this rarity...

Appears a dark brown with a 1 finger, fizzy, off white head that quickly fades into a gentle cap.
Smell is of caramel, vanilla, dark fruit, rum soaked raisins, prune, tobacco, pralines, and cashews.
Taste is very port like with notes of cognac, plums, caramelized sugar, raisins, caramel candies, raisins, prunes, and a smacking of hops.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, slick, and very warming.

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Photo of gford217
4.67/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another Kuhnhenn beer courtesy of Derek, poured into a snifter.

Pours a very, very dark mahogany, almost black in the glass but with definite ruby tones around the edges. There's a small gathering of bubbles along the top that dissipate fairly quickly. There's not much lacing, but there are legs clinging to the sides of the glass after each sip.

Wow, the aroma is just massive. It's got a big sweet caramel malt backbone with all sorts of sweetness on top in the form of dark, booze-soaked fruits, chocolate and brown sugar. The alcohol is present but not overpowering and it carries a port-like character throughout.

The taste has the same deep sweetness with lots of dark, sweet fruits - like chocolate-covered raisins. There's plenty of molasses sweetness and an emerging wood character that comes out more and more each sip. The booze is very understated, though it does leave a nice burn after each sip.

The mouthfeel is smooth and slick with a low, almost non-existent carbonation. it's definitely on the fuller side of things and sticky sweet overall with some booze (you can't completely hid it at 15%).

Well, after the last couple of (infected) Kuhnhenn beers I've had, I wasn't letting my expectations get too high. Instead, they've delivered a world-class old ale that tastes fantastic now and will probably get even better with age. As it warms, it's become one of the more complex beers I can remember tasting. Outstanding.

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Photo of hopdog
4.74/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle acquired in trade (thank you very much Derek!).

Poured a dark, dark brown color with a very small sized off white head. Aromas of roastiness, chocoalte, dark fruits, molasses, caramel, port wine, and nutty. Tastes of dark fruits, nutty, molasses, port, caramel, and vanilla. Sweet, but not cloying. Some alcohol in the finish, but no where near 15%. I wish I had more of these!

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Photo of seaoflament
4.49/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks goes out to hoppymeal for the opportunity to try this rare beer from Kuhnhenn. I'm a really big fan of their 4th Dementia and couldn't wait to try the 5th Dementia. I shared this bottle with a few friends at the Stone Sour Fest 09.

The beer was a dark brown with no head, sort of still.

Tons of dark fruit sweetness, dates, raisins, prunes, brown sugar, molasses, toast, chocolate, black cherries, yeast fruitiness and a bit of alcohol in the back.

A bit of teriyaki upfront, then a mixture of sweet and tart dark fruit in the middle. Toasted almonds near the finish, I love that flavor in a malty beer. Following close by are brown sugar, molasses, alcohol with a very fruity and sweet finish. Wow, just seems to get better with each sip. In the last two sips or so I could taste some toasted oak and toasted coconut. Low carbonation, definitely a sipper, full bodied, and very tasty. Would love to have this one again, too bad it's so limited.

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Photo of Lothore
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very dark brownish black with little to no discernable head.

S- Lots of fig, caramel, dark fruits, and a little bit of alcohol. reminiscent of extraneous ale.

T- Lots of dark fruit up front, figs, plum, deep caramel, with a brown sugar sweetness that runs through the from beginning to end. Perhaps a little sweet for my taste but the alcohol is very hard to detect.

M- Thick with medium to low carbonation.

D- This seems like a great nightcap. It seems to me that it is just a modified extraneous ale recipe that is a little less harsh and more sweet.

Thanks go out to Derek for allowing me a shot at this, probably could have never scored it without him.

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Photo of Crosling
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Really nice nose on this beauty, showcasing rich malt notes of chocolate, cookie dough and jammy dark red fruit. Flavor is brilliant. Tremendously malty and rich, loaded with caramel, chocolate, nuts. Finish is lingering as well. Well, wow, yea, Kuhnhenn rocks hard. This reminds me of young (darker vintage) Hardy's. An absolute beauty and one to put away and forget about. Stunning.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.37/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark ruby brown to black in color, an agressive pour reveals just a small amount of caramel foam atop which fades to a thin ring. Aroma is an very powerful dose of raisins and prunes, just a monster of dark dried fruit. Also, a little swirl reveals some nice leather and soy notes, sweet sticky malts are present as well as a big yeastiness. Taste is quite similar with the raisins coming thru strong, leather and caramel sweetness mix in up front, a good dose of tangy belgian yeastiness in there as well mid taste and into the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, the beer is what i'd call chewy and though it is definitely sweet it is not too sticky feel-wise. It is nearly still with just a touch of carbonation. A very small amount of heat in the finish, though nowhere near what it could be given the abv, the alcohol is actually hidden fairly well. To me, this beer almost seems like a blend of the bo's vintage ale and the 4th D. A sipper for sure, very tastey yet also extremely big and sweet.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.29/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Busted this out for Superbowl NBS - shared it with Dave & Bryna. The first review ever! Served in a pint glass.

A - Head? Nope! A few tiny bubbles that vanish almost immediately. On a subsequent pour I got a fleeting dime-sized foam, although I may have imagined it. Dark, dark, brown - as close to black as it gets.

S - Sweet! Caramel, dark fruits, plums, raisin. There's a barrel-aged smell to this - oak? Is this even barrel-aged? The smell is huge - you can smell this sitting on the table - but it's surprisingly unboozy.

T - Caramel, prunes, nuts, dark fruits, port/sherry. There's also some of the KRE chocolate truffle/raspberry flavor in there - either this is blended out of other Kuhnhenn brews or they used the same strain of yeast (likely, as KRE is also super-high gravity) and some other common ingredients. Is this even beer anymore? This reminds me of a lighter SA Utopias!

M - Medium bodied, negligible carbonation. Smooth and creamy, with a little alcohol warmth. Leaves my mouth feeling like I just drank juice.

D - Well - I might be able to drink one by myself...maybe? Strangely enough my wife can't get enough of this stuff, but I'd be OK with a 6oz pour like KRE. On the plus side the booze is very well hidden and the taste is delicious. Definitely a sipper.

This is a conundrum - I start running into problems rating beers like this using BAs standard metrics. It just doesn't look like beer, and it's not meant for multiple servings - more like a special occasion cognac or brandy - so it's going to suffer in those categories. The experience of drinking this beer was definitely A (maybe even A+), but there's no way I can honestly adjust my quantitative scores to get it that high. I see people giving brews like Utopias a 5.0 in appearance, but I can't bring myself to do likewise.

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Fifth Dementia from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 28 ratings