Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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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:
743
Reviews:
207
Avg:
4.34
pDev:
8.76%
 
 
Wants:
1,229
Gots:
154
For Trade:
23
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 743 |  Reviews: 207
Photo of Pearlstreetbrewingco
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.66/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage. Big thanks to Urbancaver for hooking me up.

3.5 A: Murky dark brown color. Just a quarter finger of tannish head than falls quickly and leaves very little lacing. Kuhnhenn has little time to worry about their beers asthetics.

5.0 S: Aggressive, complex, yet extremely complementary. Thick, rich caramel and toffee. Huge raisin, tobacco, plum, prune, and date slap the smell receptors silly. Only mildy boozy despite the huge ABV. Bourbon and barrel add more complexity to an already superbly complex base. Leather, light peat, earth, and melon fruits in addition to oak and vanilla from the barrel.

4.5 T: Tastes like the nose, but isn't as aggressive (how could it be, really?). Huge raisin, prune, tobacco, plum and all that jazz. Again the booze is hidden very well. Big sweetness, but nothing out of hand and definitely not Bruery level. Leather, peat, earth, melon, vanilla, oak. Wonderful taste.

4.5 M: Heavy body. Carbonation is on the lower end of acceptable. Rich, palpable thickness without necessarily being overly chewy.

5.0 D: A taste could have also been a 5.0, so I'll add it here. Really wonderful beer. Kuhnhenn are masters at hiding booze while delivering the amount of flavor that you can only get from a huge ABV beer. Not quite as good as BB4D, but damn close.

 1,323 characters

Photo of tom10101
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of francisweizen
4.9/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a fresh 64oz growler, thanks Mentor!

Rusty-nail brown with a very nice espresso coloured head that makes this beer look absolutely appealing! The aroma of this beer is absolutely amazing. I smell bourbon soaked dark fruits, caramel, oak, vanilla, nice malts, a bit of roastiness and a slight hint of smokiness also come through. Wow, can you say complex? The taste is even more complex with the alcoholic dark fruits hitting first followed by the luxurious notes of oak, vanilla, carmelized sugar, and more. The middle is sweet and dry and the finish is warm, coating, and wonderful. Mouthfeel is thick, and this stuff grabs, and sticks to every tastebud on your tonuge. Drinkability is excellent for a barleywine of this abv, and I beleive that this is only a 2004 vintage of this stuff. Dry-hopped and aged in bourbon barrels this is another masterpiece from a brewery that I will soon visit!

 902 characters

Photo of Jeffo
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dad got me this one when they visited the brewery in MI a while back. Thanks heaps for going down there and picking me up some stuff. Cheers!

From a bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2011

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, medium looking, off-white film that quickly recedes to a bubbly ring only. Clear, dark maroon red body with no carbonation evident. A slight ring remains leaving no lacing down the glass. Nice looking barleywine, though the head could leave a bigger mark on the experience.

SMELL: Piles of bourbon, oak, vanilla, coconut, caramel and toffee on the nose. Hints of milk chocolate as well. Very barrel heavy, but very complex and enticing as well. Great.

TASTE: Excellent. Oak, bourbon, alcohol in just the right amount, red fruits and caramel sweetness up front. A big and flavorful finish of bourbon, oak, vanilla, more caramel and toffee, with light notes of milk chocolate lingering on the palate. Very bold and flavorful with some well measured alcohol tying it all together.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down fine with a bit of a burn at the swallow and finishes slightly sticky. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: Really, really good. Quite strong of course, but the alcohol never overpowers. Lots of aroma and flavor all over the place and a good feel to support the show. A great bourbon barrel aged barleywine; very much enjoyed this. Thanks again dad! Highly recommended.

 1,442 characters

Photo of Hootie159
4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 From bottle. Looks like blood in the mud water. But in a good way. Oily film on top. Smell reminds me more of an old ale. Toffee, caramel, sweet bourbon. Taste significantly improves as it warms. A sweet candi sugar and bourbon pair wonderfully with the traditional English barleywine taste. Despite some of the other reviews, I don't find this to be hot or overly boozy. Feel is nice and has a smooth carbonation. A little thin. This beer does definitely sneak up on you, though.

 485 characters

Photo of birchstick
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Mantooth
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of Zonian1
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Reagan1984
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to Jrallen34 for this one.

Even with an aggressive pour there is no head on this beer. Slight haze and a deep amber color with ruby highlights. No lace.

Aroma is very nice and a nice blend of vanilla, bourbon, alcohol and caramel. A touch of stone fruit as well.

I really enjoy almost everything I’ve tried from Kuhnhenn and this is no exception. Chewy caramel, lots of bourbon and vanilla. A touch of cherry. Lots of layers to the malt. Really nice.

Warming alcohol fairly bold body and slick.

Very nice. In the mood for a barleywine tonight and this really fit the bill.

 595 characters

Photo of woosterbill
4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2009 bottle into a Birra del Borgo tulip. Huge thanks to Knifestyles for sharing this fantastic beer.

A: Practically still, hazy orange body. While the lack of carbonation is a bit off-putting at first, closer observation reveals how richly the beer coats the glass with rich, symmetrical legs. This looks more like a fine whisky than a beer, and it's intoxicatingly appealing.

S: So rich, so insane. Vanilla and bourbon are the predominant notes, but it's so much more than that. The complexity is so great it calls for a narrative to explain it: this beer smells like a marshmallow that got toasted and lightly burnt in a cherry-wood fire, was extinguished in moist, leafy soil, and was then kept in a raw oak box full of fine small-batch bourbon. Yeah, it's that awesome.

T: How can something so boozy be so good? Smooth, rich, and sweet. Bourbon, vanilla, toffee, butterscotch, earthiness, tobacco, leather, and straight alcohol. Terrific.

M: Slick, substantial, and prickly with alcohol heat.

O: This is the third time I've been fortunate enough to taste this beer, but my encounter with the '09 vintage. It's significantly more complex and drinkable than the '10, but of course the '10 is a bit stronger, and also amazing. Whatever crazy things the Kuhnhenn people do to make this beer, they need to keep on doing it. I've never had a barrel-aged barleywine that manages to be so ridiculously dense with flavor while reining in the booze so elegantly; even though a couple ounces of this beer lasts a long, long time, I have no doubt that I could easily put back an entire bottle without losing the least bit of interest and excitement. It's only rival in this class of beer is Kuhnhenn's own Bourbon Barrel 4th Dementia, and I'd be hard pressed to choose a favorite. I guess I'll just have to try to them side-by-side someday!

Cheers!

 1,847 characters

Photo of prototypic
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009

Many thanks to Beerisheaven and JessetheHutt for the bottles.

Bourbon Barrel Barleywine pours a darker, caramel brown. It's full of haze, but has some reddish highlights with backlighting. A very modest, off-white head tops it off. It's barely a surface covering. Retention was on the short side, and lacing was very light.

The nose is very impressive. It has a very rich smelling, sweet caramel malt base. Bourbon is fairly moderate, but easily noted. It complements the sweet, caramel scent very well and isn't overbearing in the least. Dark fruit notes of plum, raisin, and fig are secondary and smell fantastic. A little oak and vanilla creep in the mix late. I'm not getting much in terms of hops. No huge surprise there. Alcohol is noted, but is blended well for 14.5%. This is very deep, complex smelling beer. I might add...it smells delicious.

The flavor is likewise excellent. It has a sweet, caramel malt base that's quite sturdy. Brown sugar is noted and is a nice touch. Bourbon plays its role perfectly. It's moderate in terms of strength, and is a perfect complement to the variety of flavors. Oak and vanilla add nice depth, as well. A little cherry and dark fruit flavors of fig, raisin, and plum emerge. The flavor profile seems to grow deeper with each sip. It's impressive. Alcohol is definitely noted, and runs a tad warm. It's a big, kick-ass Barleywine, so it doesn't have a negative impact on the flavor, but it is there. Finishes sweet, with a tangy, dark fruit aftertaste...and a bit of alcohol warmth.

Bourbon Barrel Barleywine has a thick body that's somewhat chewy. Carbonation is very, very light. It definitely has a smooth feel. I wouldn't mind a few more bubbles though. For such a big beer, drinkability is good. It does run a tad warm, but it's relatively easy drinking. At 14.5% abv though, you must tread lightly.

Kuhnhenn's Bourbon Barrel Barleywine was something I sought out for a long, long time. I had high expectations, and they've mostly been met. This is a fantastic Barrel-aged Barleywine. I don't know how long it was in barrels, but it was the perfect amount of time. The bourbon flavor is spot-on and works perfectly. The only qualms I have are perhaps too few bubbles and a little too much alcohol. Small gripes. This is fantastic beer. Seek it out.

 2,319 characters

Photo of muskiesman
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of DmanGTR
4.97/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a big beer. Pours a deep mahogany with tangerine hues. Nose is superb. Like a rich candy: toffee, caramel, and vanilla dominate. A bit of golden raisins and figs come out too. Bourbon comes out nicely in the finish. Really nicely done. Sweet, rich, and smooth. A beer of epic proportions. Thanks for opening this Joe!

 325 characters

Photo of whartontallboy
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of Holland
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of FosterJM
3.95/5  rDev -9%
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

 923 characters

Photo of masterofsparks
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of yeaprolly
4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mikepcarney
4.66/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mrebeka
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of tpd975
4.79/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to markwise for bringing a fresh bottle of this one to the tasting.

A: Pours a dark orangish brown hue with a small head. No retention but it does have some legs.

S: Huge aromas here. Tons of coconut, caramel, brown sugar. The barrel stands out in a big way as well with fresh oak, vanilla, and booze.

T: Crazy good brew. Sweet caramel, brown sugar, and toffee. Coconut macaroons, hints of dark fruit and lots of oak, vanilla, and light booze.

M: Medium in body, perfect carbonation, smooth, with a nice boozy finish.

D: Out of this world. World class beer. Kuhnhenn does it again.

 593 characters

Photo of JohnnieNepal
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of newbeeraday
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 743 ratings.
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