Bourbon Barrel-Aged Barley Wine
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Barley WineBourbon Barrel-Aged Barley Wine
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Style:
British Barleywine
Ranked #6
ABV:
14.5%
Score:
98
Ranked #302
Avg:
4.44 | pDev: 8.11%
Reviews:
212
Ratings:
777
From:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Winter
Wants
  1,250
Gots
  156
SCORE
98
World-Class
Bourbon Barrel-Aged Barley WineBourbon Barrel-Aged Barley Wine
Notes:
Reviews: 212 | Ratings: 777 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by StoutHunter:
Photo of StoutHunter
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Short Review. I've been wanting to try this beer for a very long time and I'm happy to finally get to try, it's very good and it lived up to my high expectations, the bourbon barrel is strong and the barlywine base is just what I want with some nice rich flavors that go well with bourbon barrel. I really need some bottles of this. Highly recommended if you like the style. It's a boozy sipper, but damn is it tasty.

2016 UPDATE. I got a bottle of this 2015 Vintage as a Christmas Gift. Poured from a foiled brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks good, it's got a classy look to it and it's eye catching. It poured a nice brown color that took on more of a caramel color when held to the light with a little under half a fingers worth of bubbly tan head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness with a big bourbon and caramel like aroma being the first to show up and it followed by some vanilla, lots of sweet malts and some dark fruit aromas. Up next comes a little bit of an oak aroma with some raisins coming through and it's got more of that bourbon and caramel coming through along with a noticeable boozy aroma. This beer has a very nice aroma. it's what I would expect for the style and the bourbon was showcased nicely.

T- The taste seems to be very similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of sweetness with the bourbon still being the first to show up and it imparts a nice mixture of bourbon, oak and vanilla flavors that are showcased nice and they are followed by the malts which impart a some caramel and sweet malt flavor. Up next comes a pretty big boozy flavor followed by the raisins which shows up towards the end along with pretty much no bitterness with the sweetness and booze taking it's place with some bourbon, sweet malts, raisins and caramel showing up in the aftertaste. This is a very nice tasting beer, but it's very sweet and boozy.

M- Not the smoothest. pretty warming, pretty boozy, not too crisp, full body with a lower amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel is nice, but i wish it was smoother and not as cloying and boozy.

Overall I thought this was a very nice beer and a very good example of the style, it's very intense that's for sure and it pushes my sweetness and boozy tolerance to the brink. This beer doesn't have the best drinkability, one is the perfect amount for me, but it takes me a long time to get through it. What I like the most about this beer is the taste and aroma, they were very nice and had some great complex flavors and aromas. What I like the least about this beer is the sweetness and boozyness, I know that's how it should be, but I wish it was toned down just a little. I would buy this beer if I had ever had the chance and I would recommend it to anyone who likes big and boozy barrel aged barleywines. All in all I was very happy with this beer and I was impressed how much complexity and rich flavors they packed into this beer. IT's on the better Kuhnhenn beers I've had and it's a great example of the style. Good job guys, this one tasty and intense beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of blankenhoney
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from the 2014 Winter Solstice release, savored from a snifter

A: BBBW pours clearer and thinner-looking than I was expecting, with absolutely no head. Kind of a deep brown or mahogany, with bright ruby tones.

S: Aromas are fantastic: old-smelling wood; ripe cherries, dates, and raisins; a little bit of vanilla; and a nice touch of straight alcohol.

T: But the taste is where this one heads to another dimension: an incredible blend of wood, alcohol, red fruits, and butterscotch. Everything the nose promised, and more.

M: Mouthfeel is surprisingly light and on the thinner, vinous side. Essentially no carb.

O: A world-class English barleywine, and a great way to wind down the weekend. Loved the strong wood presence, the slick mouthfeel, and everything about the way it tastes. This is about as good as a BA English barleywine gets (though it didn't unseat what I think is the king of the style, Mother of All Storms).

 937 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.56/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, from the 2013 Winter Solstice release. Poured into a GLBC snifter today, 1/12/2014.

Appears just like BB4D- dark brown, very hazy and nearly opaque, with a fairly minimal tan head that leaves a small film. It looks boozy, but maybe that's just because I know it's made by Kuhnhenn.

Smells friggin' phenomenal. Intense toffee and butterscotch notes round out a vanilla marshmallow bomb. Seriously reminds me of the likes of BVDL in how much vanilla and marshmallow there is, and the intensity of it. Best smellin' barleywine I've ever sniffed. It does get some more solvent alcohol as it warms up though, which isn't unexpected.

It's not quite living up to what it smells like, but it's still very good. Intense butterscotch and toffee flavours along with a nice rich barrel vanilla flavour that is not overpowering like in the nose. Brown sugar, molasses, anything else that makes a beer sweet- it's in here but this is still balanced by a bit of alcohol heat and oak.

Medium-thick bodied, about what I'd want from a good barleywine. A bit sticky, solid carbonation. A sipper due to the intensity of the flavours and the ABV is definitely a lot less apparent than the 14% it says on the label.

Phenomenal English Barleywine. Probably the best I've had to date that wasn't made from third-run barrels. It's very similar to Bourbon County Barleywine- but the smell on this one blows away the BCBW. I do think the BCBW is more balanced and easier to drink. Either way, if you enjoy sweet and boozy barleywines, this is absolutely your beer.

 1,555 characters

Photo of mikeyv35
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Date: 04/29/2011
Type: 12oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2010 Winter Solstice
Glass: Portsmouth Tulip

Would like to thank AgentZero for sending me this bottle in my WW5 box. Much appreciated!

Pours a deep brown tobacco in color w/ only a skim coat tan head, only a ring of bubbles around the glass. Leaves little to no lacing on the glass. Well, it looks like an English Barleywine. Aromas of bourbon, vanilla,oak, covering brown sugar and caramel. The taste was just about the same, but a touch more complex. Big bourbon/vanilla/oak up front, followed by caramel and brown sugar, and finishing with tobacco and leather. Thin to medium bodied. Would have liked this one a little more lush. You are not going to drink alot of this one, w/ the 15.1% ABV showing it's face throughout.

Overall, this was a pleasure to sample! For what it is, it's fantastic w/ excellent complexity and depth. Age will only make this one better. However, for me the 15.1% ABV and strong bourbon character were too much for me, as I really struggled to finish my 12oz. glass. Not my cup of tea, but very good.

 1,077 characters

Photo of HumanParaquat
4.51/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TGanyone
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Mistofminn
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mega thanks goes out to Mothman, for sharing this with me. 6 oz of this whale, all to myself!

Pours a amber orangish color, clear with some flaky sediment. Poured with a head, but shrinks and disappears. Leaves little to no lacing.

The nose is strong and intense. Big woody notes. I don't get a ton of bourbon here, or booze for that matter. Just a dry, oaky, caramely, malty barleywine. It smells fantastic.

Sitting here now reviewing this, I'm kind of amazed that the ABV on this is so high. I never imagined it was this high when I was enjoying it. Being the last beer of the night, one could argue my senses were skewed. I beg to differ, as we sipped on some low ABV sours for quite some time before cracking into this night cap. And boy was it a night cap...

The taste is great...brown sugar and caramel, oak and malts, sweet toffee and vanilla. Again, literally no alcohol, it's incredibly well hidden amongst the layers of intense flavors. It's different every time I take a sip, and evolves as it warms. This was sipped and savored over the course of half an hour or so.

About medium in body, with a pefect carbonation level. Smooth and slightly boozy in the feel. I only say that because you can feel the heat in your throat and stomach, it's just hard for me to taste actual alcohol. Drinkability is probably criminally dangerous.

Obviously, a world class beer. One I will probably never get to try again. The beer exceeds the hype on this one. If you don't like this beer, then BA Barleywine's just aren't for you, as this is the top of it's class. Thanks Ben for this once in a lifetime chance!

 1,612 characters

Photo of ElGordito
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of needMIbeer
4.75/5  rDev +7%

Photo of onespartan
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dfhhead25
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of ZombieHead
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of marvin213
3.46/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Among the darkest barleywines I've poured, it's more menacing than inviting. NO head to speak of suggests this one's a bruiser! It looks thick like coagulated mud. Should I sip...or spoon? As an aside, I find cheap foil wrappings a tad on the tacky side.

It smells like bourbon barrel-aged formaldehyde...I mean, it smells like death. The nose is SO potent and it's off-turning like a waft from a liquor bottle. I know it teeters on 15%, and I like the big-hitters, but I'm not sure how imma handle this one. Objectively, the nos is bourbon and alcohol with tinges of toasted caramelized toffee. The burning raw strength is an abrasive weakness.

The taste is more palatable than expected, despite (because of?) the burnt nose hairs. An odd, toffee caramel corn provides a sweet and buttery feel. It's oily. I wonder what more carbonation would do. The buttery taste is NOT creamy. I'd love to try it on tap! How crazy would nitro be? It's like that initial tongue touch has a candied appeal, but the gasoline burn makes it a serious sipper. Tastes like butter oil but burns like gasoline--I wonder if I could put it in the popcorn popper.

Like each of the few brews I've had from Kuhnhenn Brewing, it's a nice novelty, strongly sweet bear of a beer. Do they make a pale ale? I respect going big, and I seek out the barrelly influenced (bourbon on the taste here is nearly an afterthought), but I'm still uncertain about these liquids from Warren, MI. Gosh, there are so many beers from MI....

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Photo of smittybrew83
4.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tylerstravis
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jaydoc
4.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Marti403
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of sourdog
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of kemoarps
4.31/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2017 vintage poured into a Founders KBS stem. Thanks to @FlintB for sending this my way during NBS BIF#007!

Pour is the medium brown of rich toffee or dates. Lightening at the corner, and nary a hint of a head save for a few scattered soapy bubbles that accumulate at the edge.

Cold, the nose leads with a woody character and some faint chocolate and alcohol. I'mma let this warm up for a bit, because I have a sneaking suspicion I pulled it too cold from the fridge and it will benefit from opening up a little bit.
OK. Checking back in on it I think I made the right move. While still lead by the woody character of the barrel, there is a little more depth and richness to it as well as some slight char on the malts.

Rich notes of caramel and vanilla and sugar dates. Spicy bourbon influence and some tobacco and leather... classic BW flavours wrapped in a sipping level bourbon influence that is incredibly rich and creamy and smoothe.

Big smoothe rich body. Like velvet on the tongue. Carbonation plays off the spicy bourbon notes nicely. Definitely a sipper, but 14.5% is not as in your face as I would have expected. Just incredibly smoothe and rich and impressively drinkable for how big it is.

Very much enjoying this one. Thanks for sending it along Brian!!

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.75/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of VAbdoyan
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of DCLAguy11
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ajs4bd
5/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of FalconA
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of EdwardK77
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Barley Wine from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 777 ratings