Imperial Bourbon Barrel Braggot
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Imperial Bourbon Barrel BraggotImperial Bourbon Barrel Braggot
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4.47 | pDev: 12.98%
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Imperial Bourbon Barrel BraggotImperial Bourbon Barrel Braggot
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 27 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of buschbeer
buschbeer from Ohio

4.06/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl. oz. bottle
Served in a Kuhnhenn snifter

This beer is black in color. An aggressive pour yielded very little mocha head that leaves no lacing.

The smell in the bottle before I poured it was straight bourbon. Once decanted and warmed a little I could smell molasses, dates, figs, raisin, and brown sugar. As it warmed more I started getting aromas of blackberry and black currants.

Surprisingly, the bourbon taste is not dominant. It is evident more at first than in subsequent sips. The taste evolved in much the same way as the smell. I tasted a little bourbon and a lot of malt at first. It started very sweet with dates, figs, and molasses. Then I began to get some dark fruit flavors similar to that of blackberry. Hints of dates and figs intermingle with the blackberry. Finally, I get some vinous flavors. It has a lot going on. The alcohol is well hidden in the taste.

It has a sticky, syrupy mouthfeel with very little carbonation.

This was an interesting tasting experience. I enjoyed it. In the end it was more like a wine than a beer. The abv is going to kick my ass before the day is over.

Feb 25, 2017
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MasterSki from Canada (ON)

4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared with Sean. I can't remember who picked this up for me at Kuhnhenn, but thanks!

A - A thin, quick-dissolving tan foam settles to nothing. Very dark brown body, with a glass-coating film to it.

S - Incredibly sweet, and quite delicious. Big mead component, with light roast from the beer, chocolate-dipped cherries, some bourbon, and light oak and vanilla.

T - There's a bit more chocolate and dry roast here, and a light char and oxidation note. I'm not sure if it occurred during the barrel-aging or from the age but I wouldn't sit on bottles any further. Mead and oaky barrel and vanilla come out significantly more as this warms up, slowly overwhelming the beer characteristics.

M - Super smooth for 15%. Low carbonation, a touch of roast and a good deal of tannic oak in the finish. Full-bodied, as you'd expect.

D - Very good stuff, with Kuhnhenn's usual well-hidden alcohol. I'd recommend drinking this closer to room temperature to minimize the mild oxidation note and maximize the mead characteristics. Sean and I put down 12oz with minimal trouble. Hope they make this one again.

Mar 21, 2013
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brystmar from Texas

4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2011 vintage. Loved this my first time trying it back in Nov'11, hope it's still as good as I remembered.

Black pour, minimal head, beady lace. Strange aroma of bourbon, soy sauce, honey, (mild) rubber tires, booze, and raisins. Super weird, but I kinda dig it.

Taste somehow brings all of the above together in a harmonious blend. Rubbery and soy saucey for a moment before fading into honey-soaked dark fruits, then somehow finishes bone dry with lingering bourbon. Not sure what the hell just happened here, but I love it!

ZERO booze content in the taste, in typical Kuhnhenn style. Again, it's weird as hell, but something about it clicks for me. Need another bottle (or five) of this stuff, STAT!

Jun 14, 2012
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

4.27/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Absolutely inspiring delicious braggot, a great mead. Black bodied, roast and wine aroma. A great drinker despite the alcohol. Some raison,honey,wood, malt and hops, the bourbon is merely another rich aspect of the complex flavour.Only a tad astringent. Something special. Thanks for sharing Tim.

Mar 12, 2012
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dogfishandi from New York

4.77/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

huge thanks to sliverx for sharing this at our last tasting!

2011 Vintage. 12oz bottle poured into a bruery snifter.

pours out pretty much black with minimal head but lots of thick sticky legs left on the glass.

the aroma is full of sweet mead like notes, lots of molasses, honey, dark fruits.

wow, so flavorful. pure raisons have to be the most predominant flavor. ive never had a raisony taste this pure in any beer before this. big port and sherry notes, but still lots of mead qualities. sweet honey, molasses and soy with a touch of vanilla and slight hints of bourbon. so nice...

carbonation was just a touch on the spritzy side, but the body of this is thick and syrupy. feels a lot like drinking a wine, but there is also a beery like feel.

this is really quite an amazing beverage. so unique and complex. ive never had anything close to this and doubt i ever will. definatly in the top 10 beers of all time for me.

Mar 12, 2012
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maximum12 from Minnesota

4.57/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to splax23 for this brew in a fall-time trade. As usual, didn't realize this was an ABV-killer until after popping the top, but hey, oh well.

Pour is black, with a head that wouldn't even warrant a comb-over, & vanishes almost as it appears. Metric ton of sweetness in the nose, & no end to the burnt honey. Nose-curling booze.

Imperial Bourbon Barrel Braggot is a sticky sweet, crap-your-pants, alcoholic bomb. But instead of stinging, it's syrupy alcohol, like a overly rich brandy, though that's not quite right either. But pretty close. Massive dose of dark honey, of course. Knowing all the types of flavors that can be imparted to honey by the pollen the bees are feeding on, I wish I could pick that out, because it tastes familiar. Strong vanilla character standing in for the barrel, I presume. Caramel & toffee underneath the riot. Wildly sticky & gummy in the mouth. So good that one twelve ounce bottle didn't seem enough at first, but as I dig deeper, well, it might just be. I'm almost full already.

Insane beer. Of the braggots I've tasted, this one is a category-killer, just complex & delicious, the one I've been looking for. Simply incredible.

Feb 16, 2012
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brokensail from California

2.72/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks for this one, Steve.

Pours almost black in color with a very small off-white head. Pure booze on the nose. A bit of actual bourbon, but primarily booze. There is a little bit of honey and sweet malt, too. The sweetness is almost overwhelming. Pure honey and graham cracker, maybe some vanilla. A little bit of bourbon, but quite a bit of booze overall. Medium body with very low carbonation.

Jan 09, 2012
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Mora2000 from Texas

4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle. This was part of an epic 20 mead tasting, with 16 Kuhnhenn meads on hand.

Pours a dark brown to black color with a few tan bubbles. The aroma is heavy on the chocolate with some bourbon and honey notes mixed in. The flavor is more of the same. I get a lot of bourbon notes as well as some chocolate, honey and a little bit of soy. Medium mouthfeel. Nice, but I kind of wish the bourbon character was a little lighter.

Sep 19, 2011
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sarro from Michigan

4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap 4 oz sampler for Kuhnhenn Summer Solstice.
Smells of super rich malt, sweet bourbon, wood, and floral honey. Pours without head and a solid black. The brewer/blender/bottler mentioned the stout blended with the mead was 5 years old. Taste is very caramel malt forward with layers of sweet mead and bourbon barrel notes along with a bit of oxidation.
Drinks very nicely, but a 12 oz bottle could probably go a long way between friends.
Also of note, the tap version was supposedly the most oxidized of the 2 kegs with the other keg being used to bottle the Braggot (according to brewer/bottler).

Aug 23, 2011
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Gfunk720 from Connecticut

3.96/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Luke for sharing this bottle. Out of a snifter.

A- Dark brownish black. No head, no lacing. Pretty simple.

S- Port/Brandy, and some soy sauce. I also get some dark fruit, bourbon, and all around sweeteness. Smells pretty darn delicious.

T- This stuff tastes pretty insane. The first thing that came to mind was grape cough syrup. Lots of notes of plums, grapes, and sweet bourbon.

M- It definitely was interesting, particulary the thick sweet body of this beer. Very low carbonation.

O- This beer was very interesting. Doubt I could finish a bottle by myself, but was happy to have tried it. Very unique flavor.


Aug 12, 2011
Photo of rye726
rye726 from Colorado

4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another great Braggot from Kuhnhenn. Pours a dark brown, near black. Nose has mead, oak, bourbon, molasses, dark malts, soy, cocoa and vanilla. Taste has a nice sweet honey presence along with a big roasty bourbon barrel aged stout. Near perfect, I just wish it was a bit less roasty/bitter. Medium to full body has a nice light carbonation. Fantastic.

Jul 31, 2011
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AgentZero from Illinois

3.06/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Black beer with a bruby reddish hue in the light. Brown head fizled up about half a finger and disappeared pretty quickly without leaving much stick on the sides.

S - Carmalized sugar, honey, raisins, prunes, some booze. Massively sweet, almost knocked me over with the amount of sweetness in here. Not sure this is going to be my thing, but can't say it's lacking for aroma.

T - Tastes a lot like it smells. Very, very sweet. Lots of honey and dark fruit, prunes, figs, raisins, you name it, it's there. Not a ton of bourbon on this, seems like the honey has managed to cover it quite well. Just the slightest bit of of wood. It's so incredibly sweet and potent I can't really get a ton down. Sipper for certain.

M - Smooth, full bodied, syrupy, low carbonation.

O - NOt entirely sure what to make of this. Flavor is okay, but so heavy on the sweet stuff it is fatiguing. I guess a certain type of person would go for this, but it's not me, particularly at the exhorbitant $17.50 price for 12 oz.

Jul 19, 2011
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joshuaseresse from Minnesota

4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to both splax23 and punkrkr27 for a few bottles of this in a recent trade. Sold during the Summer Solstice 2011. 12oz bottle for $17.50 a bottle...I'll assess this issue throughout this review. On the label it says "A sparkling Mead with a roasted malt character." It also says both "Mead" and "Braggot" on the label, so I guess its open to interpretation. Split with brian23456 and hu5om after brewing up out first batch of mead. Served into small snifters:

First off...damn, this bottle is expensive! I love Kuhnhenn but $17.50 a bottle...this better be awesome!

A - Pours a murky brown with plum purple, red hues around the edges when held up to the light. Little bubbles of carbonation around the edges. Slight lacing and nice brown legs. This one sort of stains the glass.

S - Loads of oak, maple syrup, brown sugar and some nice tones of honey. Really smells more like its been aged in port wine barrels than bourbon. A bit of roast, plums and raisins and a touch of cranberry. Sooo much going on here. $17.50 isn't sounding too bad at this point...

T - The sweetness of the honey really comes through here, with touches of citrus and pears. Red grapes, grape skins, and a pleasant cabernet/port flavors in the beginning/middle and a slight chardonnay tone to round out the taste. $17.50 really isn't sounding too bad at this point...

M - Thick and heavy, yet smooth. Reminds me of Utopias without the booze heat/burn. Little tingle of the carbonation but that rounds it out smoothly.

O - So, I have money...where can I buy a case of this? Wow, this brew is way impressive. Everything is so complex with this brew that I was blown away. The smells, flavors and texture were extremely well done. I've had a few meads from Kuhnhenn's now, but this one is far beyond any of them and a lot more rich and complex. When compared in price to a bottle of Utopias, $17.50 doesn't sound bad at all for the quality you get in a bottle. I can tell these bottles will age with the best of them and I'm grateful to have two more bottles in the cellar. Now...where can I get more?

Jul 12, 2011
Imperial Bourbon Barrel Braggot from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 27 ratings