Kuhnhenn Mayhem | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

64 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Kuhnhenn MayhemKuhnhenn Mayhem

Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by corby112 on 11-25-2009

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 92
Photo of DavoleBomb
4.48/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to OHLRangers for this. April 2009 vintage or so the bottle states.

2.5 A: Murky brown color. The bottle hissed during the cap removal, but there isn't any damn head. This is one damn ugly brew.

4.5 S: The nose, however, is wonderful. Smells like a big ol' English barleywine with a touch of Belgian zing to it. Plenty of dark fruitiness with fig, plum, prune, raisin, and maybe some currants too. Malty sweetness with viscous caramel and rich toffee. Somewhat boozy. The Belgian part comes in with a peppery spiciness. It's almost amazing how forceful the aroma is.

4.5 T: The taste isn't quite as complex as the nose, but it tastes just as good as the nose smells. Lots of creamy caramel and toffee with the same dark fruits as in the nose, though raisin and tobacco taking the reins. The taste is more like an old ale than a BSDA. There's hints of Belgian yeast spiciness, but they are minor compared to the other flavors. This is a super rich, great tasting brew. Booze is evident, but doesn't distract from the taste. I wonder how strong it is?

4.5 M: Thick, syruppy body. Carbonation is surprisingly right where it should be. Super smooth with warming alcohol on finish.

5.0 D: I'm pissed that I only have one 12 ouncer of this. This truly is a wonderful brew that just happens to look like shit. It's rich and complex and Kuhnhenn did everything they set out to do. Kuhnhenn is making a decent run at my list of top breweries.

 1,474 characters

Photo of bamadog
4.44/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Just returned from a beer tour of Michigan and Kuhnhenns was our first stop. I've been dying to get to drink more of their beers as I've only sampled one up to this point, so this was well worth the wait! Review is from notes taken on 6/18/2010 and poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a coppery and amber/ruby color and starts with a 1/2 finger creamy tan head that fades quickly to a thin skim on the surface; body has great clarity and shows no real carbonation; loose oily spots of lacing are left behind.

Smell: Strong presence of very ripe and dark fruits - reminiscent of figs and dates; nice Belgian spices, especially coriander; definite presence of alcohol in the nose with that big ABV. I love the fruitiness and how spicy sweet it is, and it's very robust -- can't wait to get this on the palate.

Taste: Wow - big alcohol right up front as would be expected from this brewery, but once you get past that there's a huge presence of the sweet and ripe to over-ripe dark fruitiness (figs and dates, almost a little raisin aspect too); a nice sweet caramel maltiness with the warm Belgian spices and even a bit of a light chocolaty presence in the end as it warms. Very nice overall!

Mouthfeel: Very warm and vaporous alcohol leaves the mouth tingly; a moderate level of stickiness that's moist is left on the roof of the mouth; body is of medium weight and the carbonation is non-existent so the body is very smooth (it really pulls off not having any carbonation though as the big ABV gives the body some life due to the heat).

Drinkability: Moderate at best because of the super high ABV, but it's really an amazing sipper and would be great in the winter. I'd love to get some bottles of this to age and see if it mellows out at all, but even as is, it's pretty freaking amazing. Something tells me that I may have just set the highest review for this beer.

 1,882 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BeerWorld for sending this my way as an extra. Bottle dated April 2009.

A: A dark mahogany with a tiny bit of crimson coming through. Not too much of a head or lacing.

S: Loads of dark fruit, cherries, bits of chocolate, and sweet malt. Almost reminds me of a barrel-aged imperial stout. There's not much in the way of Belgian yeast.

T: Very sweet caramel malt along with chocolate, dark fruits, bits of cherry, and a slight woodiness. Very complex and very nicely blended.

M: A little bit on the light side, but a bit creamy and very smooth with no alcohol presence.

D: Very complex, keeping me always wanting more. Can't believe how low the average score is on this one, as I am really, really enjoying. Thanks again, Alex.

 740 characters

Photo of wagenvolks
4.41/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from The Belgian Room in NYC. Served in a tulip.

Mayhem displays a dark russet-chocolate body with cola colors at the edges. No visible head or carbonation, even with a good swirl of the glass. Aroma makes up for what the appearance lacks by providing a phenomenal bouquet: browned apple flesh, toffee, plum, and a light licorice note. Almost smells a bit oxidized, with a sherry-like note in the background. However, the alcohol (10.5% as reported by the bartender) is well hidden.

No detectable booze heat in the flavor either, which allows a plethora of spice and dark caramelized sweetness from the malt to shine through. Prune and fig from the yeastiness with a hint of chocolate and earthy hops. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, with just enough carbonation to keep the body from becoming overly viscous on the tongue. Yet again, Kuhnhenn manages to craft a delicious beer that pushes the ABV envelope. Mayhem is a certified 'malt-bomb', and I loved every second of it. Still scratching my head as to how this one has gotten such a mediocre reception thus far...

 1,074 characters

Photo of blakesell
4.24/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a beveled pint glass.

Obtained from the brewery Jan 30 2010. Reasonably fresh.

Appearance- Beer pours reasonably still, not a lot of head at all that quickly is nothing but still manages to leave a little lacing on the sides of the glass. Beer itself is cloudy and brown amber. I keep trying to make more of the lacing but it just isn't that present.

Smell- Dark cherries and so much malt upfront the biscuit malt and cherry scent are really quite impressive here, showing us Americans what can be done with a Belgian style beer. Rich dexterous sweetness, I really think there's a probability of lactose sugars, but this is not detracting by any means.

Taste- Kuhnhenn does it again. Wow, sweet cherries, an overload of lighter malts in a darker styled beer, no hop presence or bitterness to speak of. Rich berries, I want to say something like a Loganberry or Marion berry. Wow, this is one beer I want to have more of to just savor.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, full bodied, effervescent, lightly carbonated, lightly warming.

Drinkability- I'm tempted to set the drinkability at 5 here, this is one impressive Belgian style, like none I have ever had before. Kuhnhenn shows again why I would love to go back to their brewery and will.

 1,266 characters

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.23/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Flat pour, approximately the color of cola, albeit murky and perhaps a bit more reddish.

S - The aroma is immediately rich, reminiscent of the hors d'oeuvres known as burgundy mushrooms, with cinnamon and mulled spiciness, raisin and dark fruitiness.

T - Take the olfactory and add specifics such as chocolate, prune, plum, fig, date, cognac, sherry and deliciousness. This is a delightful brew.

M - Despite the flatness, it is still very nice. Has plenty of tooth.

D - Quite unusual and quite nice, too.

 512 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

My first beer from Kuhnhenn. The beer pours a dark brown color with a khaki head. The aroma is brown sugar, cherry, oak and alcohol. The flavor is sweet brown sugar, dark fruit, alcohol, vanilla, butterscotch, chocolate, caramel and toffee malts. The alcohol is very present, making this beer very boozy. Low carbonation and medium mouthfeel.

 389 characters

Photo of tmoneyba
4.2/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by alexsdad06. Poured reddish/brown color with an minimal light brown fizzy head that diminished with little lacing. Complex dark fruit, toasted malt, yeast and alcohol aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Medium to heavy complex dark sweet flavor with medium to heavy sweet finish and a small bite of alcohol. Good standout brew.

 378 characters

Photo of mwa423
4.19/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown/red murky color. It really reminds me of swamp water with little head to speak of.

S - Nice smell with a deep dried fruit aroma, some yeast and and some cinnamon and ginger like spicing.

T - Taste is slightly wine like with lots of fruit, some breadyness and some malty sweetness. It's pretty crazy because every sip is slightly different. This is a very complex beer that deserves its time to warm up and change on the tongue.

M/D - Mouthfeel is thick and enjoyable. A really great and complex beer that everybody should drink slowly and really enjoy all the flavors.

 594 characters

Photo of joshuaseresse
4.09/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of this when I was in Grand Rapids, MI a couple months ago. It was $4.99 a bottle. Split it between 3 people. Poured my 4oz in a small sample glass:

A - Flat amber ruby hue. Cherry and brown core. No head or lacing. The color wins points here but the carbonation does not.

S - Dark fruit and currants. Chocolate covered cherries. Boozy and earth. Smells of light wood. Caramel and vanilla. Pretty hot smelling.

T - Mellow brown sugar and loads of dark fruit, plums and cherries. Some vanilla. Kind of sweet.

M - Pretty smooth and not as thick as I was expecting, a bit watery. Silk feeling and nice on the way down.

D - I split this with two other people and I was fine with my 4oz. There is a lot going on smell and flavor wise. Again, as some people have pointed out, it lacks in carbonation and is quite flat; however, I'm giving it decent appearance points because I really like the color. Like all Kuhnhenn brews, it has that trademark flavor which is always nice. Pretty good brew.

 1,013 characters

Photo of mothman
4.09/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled April 2009

Poured into bruery snifter.

Pours no head at all. As a result, no lace. Color is a dark bark brown.

Aroma: Dark malts, raisins, molasses, dark fruits, cranberries, dried cherries. Very malty, but packs a huge flavor. Awesome.

Taste: Huge malt profile. Reminds me of a quad. Raisins, cherries, plums, chocolate, caramel. Big and malty but lots of flavor. Some grapes, molasses and more big malt flavor. Solid.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and rich. Medium to full bodied. Low carbonation. Ends dry and malty.

Overall, this beer is pretty massive and I am enjoying it. It has a huge flavor and is pretty tasty. I really am enjoying this beer. Drinkable and I want more.

 682 characters

Photo of foogerd
4.06/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a muddy brown with no head and some bubbles pretty sad looking
S-Lots of sweet toffee and caramel undeniable barley wine aroma here thats the first thing i thought when i took a sniff at this some light floral notes in the background.
T-Really sweet and warm alcohol combine for a pleasant chocolatey malty bready taste, delicious!
M- smooth silky a glimpse of carbonation but suits the brew
D- no abv notation on the bottle and i could certainly feel this ill be having one really enjoyable bottle

 509 characters

Photo of vacax
4.05/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber with a small of of bubbles appearing in my glass. Aromas of raisin, candi sugar, plums, wine grapes, and booze. Tastes of grapes, sweet red wine, and candi sugar. Fairly simple but elegant flavors. Quite an enjoyable flavor here. Moderately full body with a lighter to medium carbonation that avoids being too bubbly and lets the subtle flavors shine. Good beer here, wasn't expecting anything and quite a nice surprise.

 437 characters

Photo of WorldWideStout
4.03/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this as an extra in a trade two or three years ago. At the time, all the reviews were pretty bad, talking about tons of booze, and I decided I'd wait. Well, tonight, the wait is over!

A: A medium, warm brown. Absolutely no head.

S: Lots of fruits. Dates, figs, raisins. A touch of sherry, perhaps from oxidation. Honestly, it smells like an English-style barleywine.

T: ...and tastes like one too! Starts off with some plum and not-quite ripe dark fruits. The middle is where you really get the barleywine characteristics - rum-soaked raisins abound. The dark fruits are sometimes present in the middle as well, so I see why someone decided to call it a BSDA, but there's no Belgian yeast or spiciness here. The taste seems to thin out more than usual at the end. The aftertaste is, oddly enough, an innocuous roasted coffee note that isn't too strong, but does linger for awhile. There are some fusels present in the middle and end, but they're pretty tame.

M: Gentle but definitely present carbonation is there. It dies off halfway through the sip, but I don't know if that's a good or bad thing.

O: This beer reminds me of JW Lees, one of my favorite beers. No one knew anything about this beer; the style, the alcohol, so I really didn't know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised!

My guess for abv %: 12

 1,337 characters

Photo of Lothore
4.02/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A -pours a deep ruddy brown hue with little to no head.

S- toffee, booze, burnt caramel, prune, fig, raisin, grape

T- dark fruit, raisin, toasted bread, caramel up front with an untamed alcohol bite on the back end followed by residual sweetness.

M- medium bodied with medium to low carbonation.

D- have been holding on to this for years and there is still deep, untamed alcohol on the back end and a little sweetness that borders on cloying. Very interesting brew that I loved sticking my nose in but ultimately this beer was one that I should have shared.

 561 characters

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Grant – thanks!

Pours a dark amber color with a half-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of medium malts and booze-soaked medium and dark fruits – pears and figs. Also present are moderate amounts of breadiness and slight hints of dark toffee.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Smooth and slightly sweet medium malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by sugar-dusted plum and fig flavors – the fruits are darker than in the aroma. Slight buttery toffee flavors make an appearance near the end of the sip before fading out into a mildly sweet ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It’s got a nice thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I didn’t have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I’m surprised by the poor ratings for this beer – I didn’t think it was quite the bee’s knees but I found it serviceable. Worth a shot, but not worth seeking.

 995 characters

Photo of jamie2dope
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this as an extra from the very generous mikesgroove, thanks very much for hooking it up. This beer pours out a reddish brown color, with just a small lace for heading. The nose is fruit laden, with strawberry, prune, date and fig. A good amount of alcohol also shows up here. Same as far as flavor, though a nice balance shows up half way through. Mouthfeel is smooth, light on carbonation, and somewhere between medium and heavy body. Booze didn't seem too overwhelming. As a previous reviewer said, I am not sure why this received such poor markings. Oh well, I recommend this beer to anyone who has access to it. Cheers

 633 characters

Photo of coldmeat23
3.97/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees
VINTAGE: April 2009
Thanks to mjd83goblue for this one

Murky brown is really about the only way that I can describe the color of this one. A (very) small head forms and quickly dissipates. 'Tilting' the glass gives a little bit of lacing, but what's there is fairly slick and goes right back into the liquid in a few seconds.

Tons of deep, rich, cherry notes. Loads of toffee caramels. A good touch of booze. Good presence of raisins. Huge maltiness. Good notes of dark fruits, in general. Very candy-like in its sweetness with a slight hint of a medicinal quality.

Not nearly as sweet as I expected, surprisingly. Good presence of caramel maltiness. Nice hints of dark fruits, especially raisins and cherries, along with a few dates. Mild toffee notes. Slight presence of brown sugar. The booze from the smell is almost nowhere to be found. Weird.

It is very smooth, but the (extremely) minimal carbonation kind of hurts it, IMO. The body of this one could be so much better and help to make an amazing beer.

This is a very big, bold, decadent beer. It is not for everyday consumption, that's for sure. However it is fairly easy to drink, when you want. I think that it would be even easier if it had some tiny, creamy, bubbles in it.

 1,290 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with small foamy head with some retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of candi sugar and dry fruits is enjoyable and more balanced then I was expecting. Taste is also a more complex affair then expected with a nice strong malt backbone with light residual candi sugar with notes of fry fruits and fruity ester. Nice touch of caramel malt and light toffee. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done though a fuller body would have been a great addition.

 530 characters

Photo of gford217
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from hoppymeal.

Pours a deep, clear amber, almost copper with a small off-white head that recedes to a small collar with some spotty lacing.

The aroma is sweet and fairly one-dimensional with the candi sugar dominating from the outset. Caramel malts and hints of dark fruit and spices.

The taste is a bit more complex but still has the big candi sugar backbone. Lots of big juicy dark fruits with raisins and figs before the finish delivers a sweet but boozy punch.

The mouthfeel is medium to full and very sticky with candi sugar dominance throughout.

Boozy but still fairly drinkable, this is a really sweet Belgian dark. It's all about the candi sugar and dark fruits on this one.

 700 characters

Photo of KAP1356
3.82/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle recived in a trade a while back. Marked 4/2009. Poured into a Weyerbacher tulip...

A - Poured a pretty flat and oily dark amber color. There is some very light carbonation noticeable, but no real head forms at all.

S - Nice fruit aromas here. Figs, prunes, dates, and some berries come out. Lots of cherry notes too and an almost chocolate covered cherry aroma as well. Caramel and some chocolate come out. Nice aromas.

T - Very similar to the nose, although the chocolate covered cherry comes out even more. Is this thing barrel aged? It comes across like a carbonated sherry. Raisins, dates and figs. Some vanilla and plum flavors also come out.

M - Really not much carbionation to speak of. Slick feeling and a medium-heavy bodied beer that is a bit thick.

O - Really wanted to give this a 3.75, but I rounded up. I enjoyed this one except for the mouthfeel. I'm not quite sure why it has received lower marks, but to each their own. Would like to know more about this beer to get an understanding for what it really is.

 1,042 characters

Photo of tpd975
3.82/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice nutty brown. Zip zero for a head.

S: A bit boozy, gooey raisins and figs for sure. Lots of malty sweetness, caramel, and burnt brown sugar.

T: Rich, sweet, and boozy. Tons of rich over ripe dark fruit. Sweet candy malts, molasses, and stinging alcohol.

M: Flat, sweet, bold, and boozy.

D: Not real drinkable, but not bad either.

 348 characters

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.79/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What an interesting beer. 2009 bottle date. 12oz into Newport Storm pint glass.

A- Pours a nice brown color, but this thing is almost flat. A few bubbles do their best to try and convince me this is carbonated, but I know better. A super-aggressive pour leaves me with a glass full of doldrums.

S- Sweet fruit, chocolate malts, brandy sweetness.

T- Very interesting. Chocolate-covered cherries. Tastes a little like a chocolatey stout, a little like a fruity BSDA. Really deep and lush flavors. Alcohol is warming in the mouth and on the way down. 'Chocolate-covered-cherries' keeps popping into my head.

M- Flat, thick, chewy, heavy, tasty.

D- OK, I was ready to write this beer off due to the stillborn pour. But This beer really shines with some amazing flavors. Really rich and decadent. I took my time, and really enjoyed this beer once it warmed a bit. Had it a bit of carbonation, this beer would be a grand slam. As it is, it is interesting, tasty, and something I'd seek out again, regardless of the carbonation.

 1,029 characters

Photo of zdk9
3.74/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Dark brown- not a faintness of head and therefore no lacing- looks like a rootbeer.

S- Complex, a lot of different flavors: sweet maple, sweet berries, caramel apples, brown sugar.

T- Also quite complex as in the nose. Some sweet citrus- orange and lime. Less sugary than the smell.

M- Basically no carbonation wich really distracts my tastebuds. Slight burn on the tongue (I'm curious as to how much alcohol this has).

D- Super complex but the lack of carbonation is really detracting from the beer.

 507 characters

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Picked up in Ann Arbor during the weekend of the summer brewers guild fest. April 2009 on the label. Opened with barely a hiss and poured flat.

A- As I said, it poured nearly flat, no head at all. The only thing that tells me there is at least some carbonation left is the few spots of tiny wisps. The beer is a totally muddy purple brown. Its pretty strange looking, similar to water from a mud puddle. Reminds me of the stuff we had to trudge through at the brewers guild fest.

S- Lots of cherry and other fruits like figs. Some chocolate, grape and fusel alcohol. Not bad.

T- Very sweet. This beer is huge on black cherry, fig, prune and other dark fruitness. There is that touch of chocolate that comes around on the end.

M- Nearly flat, some carbonation remains but its barely noticeable. Smooth body and very sweet.

D- I finished this bottle, it being flat didnt totally ruin it for me. Luckily this is a beer that can kinda work with out carbonation.

 962 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Kuhnhenn Mayhem from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
3.46 out of 5 based on 92 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.