Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley WineKuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine
BA SCORE
96.2%
Liked This Beer
4.31 w/ 745 Ratings
Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley WineKuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
kbrewery.com

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-17-2003

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#241
Reviews:
207
Ratings:
745
Liked:
717
Avg:
4.31/5
pDev:
8.58%
Alströms:
-
 
 
Wants:
1,236
Gots:
155
Trade:
23
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 745 |  Reviews: 207
Photo of Lazhal
3.69/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2014 vintage, poured into snifter.

The is by far the most disappointing BB Barleywine I've had. While it isn't hyped per se, given how well it ranks among barleywines, I'm surprised I didn't enjoy it very much.

One thing that really hit home, was the label says its 14.5% alcohol. I'm considerably LESS bombed after a 19% 120 Minute. 14.5% has to be a mistake. Jesus, what's my name again?

Look - meh
Smell - great
Taste - Tastes like sweet alcohol. Alcohol is hidden well for the 30% this thing must clock in at.
Feel - I can't remember anymore.
Overall - Trading the rest of these. Or hell, I might pay people to drink shots of this and watch them fall on the floor.

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Photo of vacax
3.7/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2009. Thanks Andrew. Chestnut brown in color, slight cloudiness, and little head, only a few strands of bubbles. Smells of molasses, hot buttered rum, and cheddar cheese. Tastes of hot buttered rum, with corresponding alcohol heat, chocolate malts, and overall clean flavors. Finish is warming and brings buttery brown sugar. Medium bodied, much lighter than expected, with a light carbonation that goes with the alcohol heat. This is a tasty beer, some good clean flavors here, but the flavors and body don't seem to stand up to the alcohol content.

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Photo of dougofthefuture
3.74/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF #5.

A - This pours a muddy brown/red that is hazy under the light. Just the smallest bit of head.

S - As soon as I popped the cap I'm thinking barrel aged barleywine. Central Waters perhaps? It smells of sweet bourbon, warm alcohol, and dark fruity malts. This is going to be a nice afternoon...

T&M - TONS of alcohol here. Maybe it is just because it is the first beer of the day, but this hits hard. I feel it in my nose. The carbonation is low and body is a bit weak, so not much of the complexity I thought I could smell really comes out in the flavor. It finishes much more harsh than warming. It is barely afternoon - is that throwing me off, or is this beer really 15%? As it warms, I pick up a bit more of the malty depth, but this seems over-attenuated for a barleywine. I like a bit more thickness.

O - Wow, that's a big glass. I'm warming up to it as it warms, but this is just too overpowering without enough complexity to match the booze. This would definitely be a better beer at the end of the night, but I guess I'll enjoy an afternoon nap instead...

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Photo of Beerman6686
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Luk13
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of BraatenBrew
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of Brew33
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.75/5  rDev -13%

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.78/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 Vintage

Appearance -- Pours a claret hue with a mild haze that catches light beautifully. Slim sudsy beige head quickly fades to a purity ring. Nice.

Smell -- Caramel buns, toffee, dark fruit, vanillin, bourbon, and some alcohol harshness. The aroma makes me think this is a bit rough around the edges, but still pretty good. Nice malt complexity.

Taste -- Again, a bit rough. The bourbon is a bit tart/harsh and the perceived alcohol is high. That said, the base flavors are great: dark fruit, toffee, vanilla/caramel, and with mild earthy hops to stop this from seeming cloying. Well-balance in terms of maltiness. Lingering flavors of bourbon and sugar cookie.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full in body with milder carbonation. Nowhere near still, but pleasantly smooth. If the body was slightly fuller this would've been perfect.

Overall -- Honestly, this didn't live up to my hopes/expectations. This one definitely needs time to mellow. I love how the base beer hits all of my favorite barleywine/strong ale sweet spots, but the alcohol needs to soften before this is can be considered exceptional.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.79/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Jeff (ipa247) for this one. 2009 vintage. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Darkness snifter.

A: Extended pour yields a single layer of off-white colored coarse bubbles that dissipates quickly, forming a single ring along the side of the glass. Beer is a cloudy brownish mud/clay. Lacing is stringy and with no stick.

S: Bourbon barrel aging is prominent in the nose. Big oak and vanilla upfront. Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and roasted malt. Some prunes in there also. Rather subtle but rich and sweet at the same time.

T: Caramel, chocolate, brown sugar, and toffee upfront. Roasted malt. Very rich with a strong malt backbone. Relatively hot. Prune and raisin in the background with a nice, subtle, dark chocolate bitterness. Finishes with an alcoholic spiciness. Pleasant brown sugar and caramel aftertaste.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Bubbles are detectable but oily and dense on the palate overall. Smooth going down with a detectable bit of heat. Finish is accented and aftertaste lingers.

D: A very solid representation of the style. Notably, what sets this apart from the best in its class is that lack of richness and integration of flavor. This one's a bit rough around the edges and all the ingredients don't seem to have melded with one another yet. Bal-aging also seems to imparted a bit too much heat. Still, a very good beer and I'm glad to have had the chance to try it.

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Photo of gvhockey
3.79/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Halcyondays
3.8/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz. bottle, excited to try this, 2009 Vintage,

A: Pours a murky unfiltered brown with a mild head, for an aged barleywine it's solid.

S: Brie and bourbon, it's cheesy definitely a unique smell, off putting at times, but it'll make an impression.

T: Taste is much more straightforward. Sweet bourbon and malt, vanilla, full-flavoured though it is really that one flavour, but the one flavour is very good.

M: Full-bodied, rich, smooth, very mild carbonation. Ethanol is very well hidden, I had no idea this was 14.5%

D: Definitely a good beer, my first from the legendary Kuhnhenn. Definitely has it's good points, I would love to see where this is fresh.

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Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mondiale 2007. Dark brown body with amber highlights. A great soapy white head. Very fresh tasting, vanilla and caramel. A very good bourbon barrel effort, and a great matchup of barleywine. 14.5% was extreme and it was a good thing this was my last beer of the night. Had the 2010 and was good though not best, great aroma though coconut dominated taste.

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Photo of chefduff2
3.85/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of IMFletcher
3.86/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2014 bottle pour; Nice amber color, not as dark as expected. Nose is completely inviting, all the characteristics of a great BA barleywine. But then you taste it. Thin in an alarming fashion, and an odd finish that worsened as it warmed and caused me to react like I was drinking something especially tart (though it wasn't tart at all).

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Photo of SacoDeToro
3.87/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Carlos for sharing @ the Ballast Point 12th!

Poured a deep ruby with a small off-white lace.

The aroma was full of rich caramel malt, bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Some alcohol was present.

The flavor of the beer had a rich caramel maltiness appropriate for the style. It was well infused with prominent notes of bourbon, vanilla, and oak, which added tremendous complexity. Some medium dried fruits came through in the palate as well. It did, however finish too sweet, IMO. This bottle was a tad past it's prime. I prefer just a tad bit of oxidation in my American barleywines, but this had gone past that point. The hoppiness was too low for the style.

The mouthfeel was pretty heavy. The body was full and creamy. The carbonation was delicate and was appropriate for the style.

A solid barleywine that exhibits a good barrel character, but not the best example I've had.

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Photo of baybum
3.88/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of doldham
3.9/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of sweemzander
3.91/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 Vintage. Thanks to steebo777 for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a deep reddish sienna brown color. Produced a surprising cap of tan foam despite the massive ABV level of the beer. Even some lace showed up.

(S)- The bourbon barrel has pretty much dominated the aroma. A sweet yet dry alcohol burn with bits of oak and vanilla. In the far background is some brown sugar and toffee.

(T)- Similar to the smell; without a doubt this is definitely bourbon barrel aged. The bourbon flavors are not timid in this beast. Some sweetness of caramel, toffee, and brown sugar, but this is very much mostly an oaky bourbon with some subtle malty notes. I like it though for what it is.

(M)- This is where the beer starts to fail in my opinion. It has a nice mellow carbonation level, however, you feel and taste every single % of that huge 15.1%ABV. Its not necessarily off-putting, but very potent, so you really need to like straight bourbon to appreciate this beer to the fullest.

(D)- I have mixed feelings with this beer. It looked great and I enjoy the flavor it offers, but it very much oozes bourbon heat from every molecule. Its definitely a sipper if there ever was one. I did enjoy it however, but I definitely took my time and savored it over a few hours. I do look forward to seeing what a few years of time will do to this.

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Photo of Spider889
3.91/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Per the bottle: Winter Solstice 2010. 15.1% abv.
Thanks to iceicebaby for this bottle.

Live review.

Beer is a hazed ruddy orange color with hints of aged wood. The carbonation is low, but I was able to produce a small head that was relatively short lived.

Smells of bourbon alright. Lots of wet oak and vanilla as well as some citrus notes. Heavy caramel malt flavors, quite sweet smelling. Doesn't smell really hot or astringent as some higher abv beers can sometimes be.

The flavor is much more alcohol forward, though I still am surprised at the 15.1% abv listing. Seems much less boozy than, say, BCBS. Bitter hops push through to mid palate. Meanwhile dry grainy oak and caramel apple are also quite potent. The bourbon is well integrated but also liquor-heavy.

The mouthfeel is extremely dry. Dry, dry, dry.

Overall an excellent beer. I'd be happy to drink this again.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.91/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very pretty reddish maroon. A bit of white head around the edges. Very good looking beer. Smells a bit oxidied but very nice. A touch of bourbon on the nose but the oxidized aromas. Tastes sweet but dry. Roasty and bourbon heavy. The malts are oxidized but still nice. Overall solid but disappointing with regards to the oxidation

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Photo of craftmich
3.92/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells of alcohol, not boose. Tastes better than it smells...

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Photo of FosterJM
3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1171st Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
12 oz

2011 vintage

Thanks to BdubleEdubleRUN for this one

Shared with GuruDel, jazzpatel, MrHirschybar and BdubleEdubleRUN

App- Pours a very dark orange with pockets of amber and yellow. No head or cling at all. Looked a bit too thin in the glass. Some body was missing.

Smell- Very sweet on the nose. Had a punget sweet booze note that was masked by a malty background with a ton of sugary citrus.

Taste- So somehow after not looking or smelling the part this monster comes to play. The vanilla is upfront with a decent amount of tempered citrus and the malts mellow everything out. The barrel adds some good background flavors to this small but big beer.

Mouth- A well layered medium body with a low medium carbonation. A good amount of oaky sweet vanilla remains.

Drink- In the end, this was actually very tasty. Had a few flaws but was tasty, boozy, grainy and oaky vanilla

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Photo of Jwale73
3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle courtesy of Seeswo. 2010 vintage served in my Old Stock snifter. Pours a translucent mahogany with a loose, half-inch off-white head that quickly disperses towards the shoulders, forming a thin, bubbly band. There's also a residual oily slick across the center of the glass. Nose expresses milk chocolate, a trace of dark fruit and a pleasant buttery vanilla character. Only the merest suggestion of bourbon presents itself. Taste expresses toffee, butter candied fruit and a slightly acrid ethanol character that lingers at the back. Mouthfeel is medium-light (but closer to light) with a slightly coarse carbonation and quite a bit of residual heat that lingers on the tongue and at the back of the throat. All and all, a pretty good barleywine that could use some time to allow that alcohol presence to dissipate. That said, if the alcohol does in fact dissipate, the thinness to the body would be more prominent. I'm not sure if a lot of age will improve this beer, but another year in the cellar might reveal a decent balance.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.96/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Still pour with a wonderful nose of liquified butterscotch. Taste just can't match and is very brown sugar forward. A nice treat and surprise...thanks, Kyle!

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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96.2% out of 100 with 745 ratings
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