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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine | Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

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Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley WineKuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine
BA SCORE
4.42/5
Outstanding
747 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:
#257
Reviews:
207
Ratings:
747
pDev:
8.37%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
1,233
Gots:
156
Trade:
23
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 747 |  Reviews: 207
Photo of Beerbom
4.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of mulder1010
4.06/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip
Got in Black booty volume 5
shared with mrkennedy ( good idea in retrospect)

A-- Poured a deep, dark amber brown. Great looking ruby hues to this. Little to no head at all. Just a thin layer of film with this. Lots of spotty lacing on the sides of the glass and ABV legs.

S-- Holy crap!!! Rich bourbon, total kick in the ass smell. Big amounts of bourbon, melted brown sugar, Carmel, vanilla, toasted oak and dark fruits. Spent several minutes just smelling the nose on this.

T-- Matches the nose but bigger. Sublime taste as just blends very well together with the barrel. Still get the dark fruits and bits of strawberry jam. Not a lot of hops so a dead give away that this is more slanted to an English Barleywine. Kick ass beer.

M-- Rich, thick, decadent. Sublime really. Silky smooth. Biggest fault is the obvious alcohol. Very obvious sipper, still quite smooth though. Heavy feel and low carbonation. Honestly a beast of a beer.

O-- Damned good. One is enough though. Heck, honestly this beer is a monster. Would love to have again. Not as good or as rounded as MOAS, or older vintages of Arctic Devil but pretty much a world class beer worth looking for and hording as much as possible

 1,233 characters

Photo of Bung
4.07/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. Nicely murky dark brown/orange/amber pour. There was a pop from the cap, but next to zero carbonation appears. A few bubbles around the edge. Really, for a big English BW, not offensive.

Aroma, Caramel, sugar daddy, vanilla, oak, all heavily present. You can smell this from a good foot and a half away.

Taste, Malt, molasses, rum cake. Vanilla, some roast that comes across as peat/oak, hefty booze as well. Vanilla oak finish.

It's warm and a sipper, coating, heavy side of medium bodied. Could use maybe just a tad more carbonation, but with the heat that may not work either.

As a few others have said, the heat keeps this a step down from the 4Ds, but it's pretty solid. Worth grabbing, just grab 2.

 715 characters

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.07/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Winter Solstice 2010. ABV on bottle listed as 15.1%

A - the pour is a light amber color, but the body fills out to a more robust reddish color with a modest ring of foam around the edge. it's mostly translucent, with hints of orange light peeking through.

S - I could smell it as soon as I started pouring - lots of malt. Up close, the bourbon is the first thing you get, then some vanilla, wood, and alcohol.

T - Bourbon and vanilla and wood, and a touch of raisins are the first things you get. If you look hard enough, behind all of this there is a strong malty character of a barleywine. But overall, this tastes like bourbon and booze. There's a dryness to it, which might be hop-induced, but I think it's more from the wood.

M - very smooth and creamy, a really big beer.

D - This is too powerful, and with too strong a taste of alcohol (let alone the effect of it) to be highly drinkable. It is smooth and tasty, of course, but still something that will have to be respected and not drank quickly.

 1,009 characters

Photo of madtowndmb1
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of ChrisPro
4.09/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz 2010 thanks to jrallen34

A - dark orange with very little head that dissipated in seconds. A bit of chill haze

S - Tons of caramel, vanilla and a bit of biscuit and popcorn. The sweet smells dominate, but some complex malts there as well

T - Great sweet caramel followed by a huge hit of bourbon. THis is perhaps the strongest bourbon taste I've ever had in a beer. I'd swear there is a shot of booker's in my glass. I wish there was a bit more sweetness to balance it, but if you love bourbon, this is ideal!

M - Despite all the solid bourbon flavor, there is virtually no head. A year has done this beer well apparently. Not too oily, and nice full bodied. Very little carb, but that's exactly what I want in a BA barleywine.

O - Fantastic beer. Extremely well made with no apparent flaws. I wish there was a bit more residual sweetness, but this is a stellar barleywine.

 884 characters

Photo of msumike89
4.09/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.09/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed this blind, thanks to abraxel... 2011 vintage...

A: Pours a murky brown, with absolutely no head at all, just some thin whisps across the top of the beer. No lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is sweet of malt, caramel, figs, dates, and vanilla. It’s a nice mélange of those notes.

T: It’s sweet to start, with the beer getting a little funky in the middle (but in a good way). I get malt and caramel up front. I get the fruit notes (fig and date) in the middle, and I get some seaweed like funk in the back end. Seaweed notes tend to turn me off, but this is actually really pleasant.

M: Full bodied beer. Sweet and syrupy, coating, and mild linger on the back end. Not an easy drinker, but it’s very enjoyable.

O: Really nice beer. I’d have to be in the mood to want to open this beer, but it’s really good.

 832 characters

Photo of Zonian1
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: pours very dark with no head
S: big barrel and caramel covered raisins. Awesome aroma!
T: huge booze on this. Behind the massive alcohol there is some caramel sweetness, but man this is boozy
F: booze heat, rather thin too.

 226 characters

Photo of Sabtos
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Stark burgundy, shifting between brown, red and purple somehow, with a quickly fizzling out tan film.

Smell is intense, rich caramel, vanilla, shortbread, biscuit, and oak, with a little sharp bourbon spice and hints of juicy grape.

Taste is rich and complex fig, caramel, biscuit, toasted graham, slightly smokey molasses, rum vanilla bean, and hot, dry, chewy bourbon with a touch of oak.

Thin to moderate body, fizzy yet dry, leaving sticky lips.

 452 characters

Photo of dar482
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A 2014 vintage.

Having this next to Aaron, this was quite disappointing. The beer was hot, watery with some spicy hops on the back. Some sweetness balances this beer out, but in general, tastes more towards an barrel aged American Barleywine.

 243 characters

Photo of Graffy
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dactrius
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.25

Practically completely still. Smell is easily among the best of any barleywine I've had, tons of caramel. Taste follows suit but doesn't quite live up to the amazing nose. Feel is the weak point and I really wanted this to be more carbonated. A great barleywine that could've been one of the best ever with more carbonation.

 328 characters

Photo of dvmin98
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of KAP1356
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bdberr for this one in a trade. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle from the 2010 release. ABV is listed at 15.1%...

A - Pours an almost opaque dark maroon-brown color. A very thin eggshell white head forms and quickly recedes to a collar of the same color.

S - Wow. Very thick dark malts, caramel, vanilla, oak, and nice bourbon all coming through. There are some dark sticky fruits coming through as well; prunes, dates, figs. Some slight cherry there as well.

T - Nice dark brown sugar and dark malts right away. Right after that is a sweet bourbon, vanilla and spiciness which really adds nicely. The dark fruits are there but much more subdued on the palate; I assume from the presence of the bourbon barrel aging. Really strong bourbon presence, which for a bourbon lover like me, is very very nice.

M - Very smooth and a nice full medium to full body on this one. There is a bit of heat from the alcohol and a slight burn on the back palate. Low carbonation, but not all too detrimental.

D - I think this will be a far superior beer with some age on it. That said, this is quite a solid offering from Kuhnhenn. Such a smooth beer for the high ABV. The nice little bit of bourbon heat adds nicely and I really dig it.

 1,231 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/15/2010

2009 vintage. Bottle received in a trade with Masterski, to whom I still owe beer. Thanks a lot Alex. The beer pours ruddy rust water with a thin layer of bubbles resulting from a vigorous pour rather than carbonation. Thick legs on the glass presage the ABV.

The nose is of figs, dates, vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar. Bourbon is very powerful and alcohol heat is palpable, stinging my delicate nostrils, an offense I don't take lightly. Other notes are of toffee and wood. It smells excellent.

The flavor is boozy caramel with a heavy dose of bourbon. Sweetness is at an upper moderate level but it's never cloying. Figs and dates are perceivable, and vanilla is prominent. Alcohol is painfully evident in the flavor; I taste every bit of the 14.5%. At first I thought that it was at a very tolerable level, but as I made my way through the 12oz bottle it began to wear on me. I suppose it's partially my fault for drinking the entire bottle myself. Warming is evident in the bourbon laden caramel finish. The beer is nearly flat, but it's something I've come to accept with the higher alcohol examples of the style. The mouthfeel is sticky and smooth.

Kuhnhenn's Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine is an enjoyable, albeit potent barrel aged barleywine. I like a high level of alcohol heat in beers of this style, but this became a bit distracting and detracting. If the alcohol abates with age, and precluding an infection in the bottles, I daresay this will be great.

 1,480 characters

Photo of srandycarter
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Cola colored, small near white head leaves fast. Some spotty lace.

S - Fruity! Lots of booze, definitely wood, brandy like, burnt candy.

T - OUch. Hot. Boozy, rich and sweet, carbonation and booze burns the taste out dry at the end.

M - Full body, enough carbonation to carry it off, last part of balance is to the sweet.

D - Palate killer and equivalent to almost 3 beers in alcohol. Definitely not a session beer.

 424 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
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 waltersrj
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle from splax23 (thanks buddy)!

Pour: Reddish brown hue when held up to the light. The off white head is sparkling like a champagne but quickly disappears. Fine bubbles are left around the edge of the glass.

Nose: Molasses, brown sugar, toffee, slight caramel, vanilla (more as it warms), slight oak, toasted coconut and sweet remnants of bourbon. The alcohol is also quite prevalent in the nose which I've found in every Khunhenn beer I've tried.

Taste: Slightly oxidized malt, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, toasted coconut, sweet bourbon and oak.

Mouthfeel: Slightly drying with an initial alcohol burn. This is between oily and watery, pretty nice actually.

Overall: This beer is pretty fantastic and gets better as it warms. I think the alcohol is over bearing at first but the taste gets better as it warms. The slight oxidation is moderately off putting but that's the only real strike against this beer.

 924 characters

Photo of JAXSON
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle. Pours a clear plum/orange with a thin ring around the edges. Nose is wonderful -- thick malt, spicy oak, a nicely weaved sweet bourbon, and a vinous note with plums, raisins. Flavor begins with sweet brown sugar and a light hop note, then rolls into the oak, dry and spciy, and the bourbon. I like the marriage of base beer and bourbon barrel here -- not so overt but powerful, nicely done. There are some faults here, as the booze is a bit heavy on the finish, and there's kind of a hole in the back palate. In style this is akin to Wooden Hell in a way, but it's not as nicely realized.

 601 characters

Photo of Sanderson
4.14/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of raveskdr
4.14/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally got a chance to try this. Big ups to Thorpe429 for getting me a bottle. Served in a FFF Teku glass.

A - Mahogany brown with some reddish undertones. Slight carbonation that recedes to the edge of the glass.

S - Sweet caramel and the bourbon from the barrel dominate the smell. Slight vanilla as well.

T - Sweet caramel up front, from the barrel and from the malt. Vanilla in the mid palate and on the back end. Slight alcohol burn, which is to be expected.

M - Very velvety and smooth. Good carbonation for the size of the beer, and a good lingering sweetness.

O - I really like this one. Just a super solid bourbon barley wine. Definitely up there near my favorites. This is from 2011 so it has a bit of time. On the second tier of BBBW (only 1st/god tier BBBW is King Henry, imo).

 795 characters

Photo of Overlord
4.14/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Masterski!

Pours a brown, ruddy color. Maybe a few stray bubbles on side of glass. Basically a completely flat beer. Not low carbonation, it's flat.

Smells like vanilla, bourbon, a whiff of coconut, dark fruits, and like generally sweet "malt." And alcohol heat. Whoa, so much alcohol heat.

Taste is really sweet, with bourbon-y, vanilla-y malt, a ton of caramel and brown sugar-y, teeth rotting sweetness, and an almost candied dark fruit background. The alcohol folks. The alcohol makes this more akin to having hard liquor than beer. Completely flat mouthfeel, but at least its' a fairly thick brew.

I probably enjoyed drinking this a lot more than the score would indicate, but to be fair, it's got some problems that perhaps only time in the bottle will sort out.

 781 characters

Photo of PHBoiler
4.14/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Loads of toffee on the nose. Hints of fig and raisin. Primarily burnt caramel and toffee throughout the taste. Overly boozy and hot. Nearly still. The mouthfeel doesn't have the body to carry the high ABV.

 210 characters

Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine from Kuhnhenn Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.42 out of 5 with 747 ratings
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