Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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96
world-class
742 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
742
Reviews:
207
Avg:
4.34
pDev:
8.76%
 
 
Wants:
1,232
Gots:
155
For Trade:
23
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 742 |  Reviews: 207
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

 355 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of jaydoc
4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pour provided by myself at the blind barrel aged barleywine tasting hosted by DarthKostrizer.

Thanks to FINEBEERGUY for this one!

2011 vintage.

Pours a slightly murky brown with a khaki head that fades to nothing. There is no lacing on this one. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and some alcohol. Taste is much better with malt, brown sugar, caramel, wood, and bourbon flavors. There is an alcohol kick in the throat with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a nice smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good barleywine that tastes much better than it smells.

 603 characters

Photo of spycow
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of brentk56
4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2010 bottling

Appearance: WIth a bubbly froth that fritters away to a ringlet, the liquid beneath is still and Bourbonesque, with a brilliant, burnt caramel color

Smell: Boozy Bourbon aromatics, with toasted coconut, vanilla, caramel and oak,

Taste: Somewhat oxidized flavors right off the bat, bringing toasted coconut, Bourbon, vanilla and dry oak aspects; after the swallow, the dryness builds, with subtle fruit flavors adding another dimension; tannic finish

Mouthfeel Full bodied, boozy and still

Overall: I have had this in my cellar for some time now and, while the oxidation is more than I had hoped, this is still a powerful beverage

 653 characters

Photo of oline73
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy mahogany with hardly any carbonation. By the time a touch of carbonation has showed up it is off white, but it goes away immediately. 3.5

Smell: Sweet and malty, I'm picking up a bunch of caramel and some bourbon. Smells a bit like barleywine candy. Getting lots of dark fruit as well. 4.5

Taste: Follows from the smell. This beer is a bit hot, but that is to be expected given the fact that it's so young and the abv is so high. Sweet caramel malt with dark fruit and some vanilla notes. Warming bourbon and more sweetness in the finish. Very good. 4.5

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side with mild, tingly carbonation and a slick finish. 4.5

Overall: This beer is fantastic. Really sweet and warm, but that was to be expected. I would like to get some more of this to let it sit for a year or two and see how it is at that point. 4.5

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a very small foamy head with minimal retention and lacing. Aroma of bourbon with distinctive vanilla notes is quite powerful with some deep caramelized sugar notes and lingering sweetness. Taste is also a very interesting mix between some deep bourbon notes with some balanced vanilla and sweet malt notes. Body is quite full with medium to low carbonation and no apparent alcohol. This one is a sipper and I could not consume vast quantities at the same time.

 503 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another long-time want generously shared by ipa247. Thanks, Jeff. This review is for the 2009 vintage. I was able to sample the original 2005 batch a couple of times this year as well and found it more enjoyable than the '09, with greater oxidation and mellow alcohol and an excellent balance of wood and bourbon flavors.

The beer sits in my glass a near-lifeless mahogany color. Clarity is excellent for such a big barleywine. While the occasional bubble can be seen rising to the surface, this is very lightly carbonated.

This beer absolutely reeks of bourbon barrel, but it's pleasantly warm rather than nostril-singing. Dark fruits, caramel, leather and a touch of earth bring complexity to the table. This smells great.

Bourbon is unsurprisingly dominant on the palate, but there's a huge malt backbone to support the strong barrel character. Sweeter notes of caramel, vanilla and dark fruit are nicely balanced by the woody tannins and sharp alcohol. Full-bodied, syrupy, and perhaps a bit too boozy, but still thoroughly enjoyable. The finish is biting and hot, but not unpleasantly so, though those that dislike a noticeable heat in their beer may find this harsh.

 1,175 characters

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of dmorgan310
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of mothman
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 Vintage

Big thanks to eyebrews for sending this one out

Pours hardly any beige head. Color is an amazing bright ruby hued mahogony brown. This beer is glowing. Very appealing.

Aroma: Sweet and malty. Caramel and toffee. Big oak flavors. Bourbon is subtle but a perfect amount for the beer. Raisins and dark dried fruit notes in there as well. Perfect.

Taste: More bourbon up front. Rich caramel and toffee. Big oak flavors again. Reminds me a bit of cedar. Vanilla comes out here. The flavors blend very well. A little hot, but not bad.

Mouthfeel: Warming and smooth. Fairly large bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends a little dry with some bourbon notes. Very well done.

Overall, a damn fine ba bwine. A little hot, but still very well done.I don't really mind the small amount of heat for the style. They tops many ba bwines I have had. I really want more.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Kuhnhenn Brewery, 12.27.2009.

Just stopped in to pick up one of the remaining bottles of Fourth Dementia (thanks to all the BA's who pointed this out in the Great Lakes forum), and we were lucky enough to catch the 2009 version of this on tap at the brewery.

7oz pour into a mini snifter.

A: Dark caramel with some closer-to-gold hues. Bronze and a small off-white slash tan head. Moderately transparent, and somewhat of a glow. Minimal lacing.

S: The smell is immediate bourbon. Underneath the bourbon comes a malty balance including caramel, raisins, a bit of dates, hints of vanilla, toffee, and a wee bit of oak. The bourbon was definitely one of the dominant flavors, but didn't quite overpower like it does with the Perfect Storm.

T: Much like the smell, and the complexity really hits you, with each sip revealing more flavors. As the beer warms, the bourbon mellows through, and out comes a bit of malt sweetness, some nice caramelization, toffee, and a bit of woodiness. A touch of spiciness as well.

M: Quite full bodied and the alcohol doesn't come through nearly as much as would be expected from a 14% beer. Nice and chewy throughout.

D: Very, very drinkable. It was quite sad running out of this, and I would absolutely love to get my hands on a bottle to see what a few years does to this one. As it is, I'm quite glad we were lucky enough to catch this one in time--props to my parents for deciding to move to MI and give my wife and I an excuse to stop by and try this one out.

 1,517 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to rudzud for sharing this interesting beast.
2011 vintage.

Pours no head, like nooo head, light legs but not as clingy as I thought, murky weird molasses maroon color.

Nose is incredible, bourbon city, tons of toffee and caramel, nutty, a nice soft aged malt thing too, bit of a raisin and brandy soaked raisin, very light booze warmth, touch of vanilla barrel and great bourbon. Just a faint hint of oxidation which keeps it from epic status.

Taste starts great but has a weird flavor, slight bbq like sauce but very light, perhaps oxidation. Other than that very nice, tons of bourbon and mild vanilla barrel, lots of toffee, caramel, little molasses, more brandy soaked raisin, mild bitterness too. Finish is nice, bit more bitter, hint of warming booze, more toffee, brandy raisins, bourbon and little barrel.

Mouth is a bit thin but not too syrupy, how it has so much and yet not too heavy or boozy, but too light on the carb.

Overall great, just that one bbq sauce possible oxidation thing, otherwise nice bourbon, toffee, brandy raisin, malts, etc.

 1,075 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Kegatron
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ The Great Taste of the Midwest (Madison, WI) on 8/14/10. Dispensed from a little keg carried on the back of "Spaceman Todd" during the event.

Pours a murky brownish caramel color, with (to be expected) just a very light smattering of bubbly off-white head which quickly scatters and leaving just the tiniest smattering of light spotty foamy down the sides of the glass. The aroma has a lot going on with it. Cocoa, some dark fruit, burnt smelling molasses, vanilla, and brown sugars notes all make an appearance. There's a good bit of woody tannic character present from the barrel which lends this a green feel in the nose. Unfortunately, the warmth of the barrel is also VERY strong here and threatens to overpower some of the flavors in spots. You gotta' dig deep to get to the goods in this bouquet.

The taste is fairly similar to the nose and if anything, runs maybe even more intense with flavors of chocolate, toffee, fruit, and those unmistakable notes of vanilla and burnt molasses from the bourbon barrel. The woody character is also VERY strong here, giving the overall profile an earthy tannic feel that blends in effortlessly with some very light herbal hop activity that hangs in the background. The mouthfeel is chewy, thick, and hot, and to its credit I guess, it's tough to figure out if the extreme heat is coming from the ridiculous ABV or the obviously very fresh barrels that these were aged in. I'm betting more on the fresh barrels, which is a credit to the depth of flavor here helping cover up the high alcohol in the body.

Still too young and raw to really call this world class, I can definitely see though why the aged 2005 vintage is so highly sought after. Let some of that heat mellow off and this stuff will be outstanding in a couple of years. I'm going to have to seek a bottle or two of this out.

 1,846 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 742 ratings.
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