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:
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 zekeman17
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of akang
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of StoutHunter
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

 3,277 characters

Photo of bpfrush
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of bobv
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of hollywood_15063
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of xnicknj
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of papat444
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

***2011 Vintage***

Thanks to Masterski for this one.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle and split with my wife.

Appearance: A rusty brown body with minimal head though it does leave a nice slick sheet as the glass is tilted.

Smell: Intense, sweet fruit notes, pungent plums and apricot, bourbon is a nice compliment and it's not too boozy.

Taste: I taste a wave of flavors: bourbon, oak, dark cherries (no tartness), sweet berries, smoky wood, coconut. There's probably more but this is really good.

Mouthfeel: First sip lets you know what this is as it is a bit boozy but not overly heavy. Ultra smooth in the palate remarkably.

Overall: A top notch barleywine. Could use a few of these for the upcoming winter :)

 713 characters

Photo of Sabtos
4.11/5  rDev -5.3%
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 bsuedekum
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of tectactoe
4.73/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kevin for bringing this along - 2010 vintage. Yet another infamous Kuhnhenn brew that has eluded me longer than it should have. It pours a solid, red-tinted copper color with really nice clarity. Barely any head forms, though that's not much of a surprise for a three year old 15.1% ABV barley wine; a small beige collar is the one sign that carbonation still exists within this brew.

After popping the cap, the smell of Kuhnhenn's BBBW fills the room - after pouring it and bringing the glass to my face, it smells like I'm standing in a sticky caramel and toffee factory. So insanely sweet and so insanely strong. Sticky caramel, heavy toffee, dark fruits (prunes, juicy dates, raisins), and sticky maple syrup. The beer smells big... Actually, it smells HUGE.

The barrel influence isn't as strong as I was expecting, or at least compared to Kuhnhenn's other popular barrel aged beer, BB4D. Perhaps the barrel-aging time was left, or maybe it's the three years of mellowing that has muzzled it just a bit. Light, woody barrel and vanilla in the finish with pretty staunch booze and bourbon. The bourbon from the barrel is heavier than the barrel itself.

I cut this beer with a knife and take a bite... Seriously, the body is huge; extremely viscous, chewy, sticky, and creamy beyond your wildest dreams. The largest, caramel-y and toffee-laden backdrop asserts itself immediately with each sip; a substantial boozy flavor swims throughout the sugary sweet and malty base, confirming that the "bourbon" is more forward than the "barrel".

Plenty of dark, fruity sweetness plays amidst the caramel and brown sugar bath; more dates, more raisins, and tons of sweet prunes. Light anise and a drying, palate-scraping assertion of booze-soaked oak and wood lasts long into the aftertaste. Palate coating to the maximum, this is the type of beer you'll be tasting long after you've swallowed.

Such a treat, and such a great beer. Robust, ominous, and one of the best barley wines I can recall drinking in recent memory. Though many people would argue, I'd say that I enjoy this beer much more than Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia. This beer is just so hard to criticize. I'll be sure to stock up on this each time Kuhnhenn releases it... Such an awesome barley wine.

 2,274 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of scottfrie
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle into snifter. Thanks for sharing Justin.

Pours a near flat caramel color without any head or sign of bubbles. Caramel, vanilla, leather and tobacco fill my nose with a decent splash of bourbon. Taste follows suit with very smooth flavors. Tobacco and bourbon are warming in the aftertaste. The alcohol is hidden very well despite being nearly 15% and this drinks crazy well. A rich, smooth and sweet (but not cloying) barrel aged sipper. Thanks again Justin.

 471 characters

Photo of hilgart1
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DanGeo
4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of williamjbauer
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of CTJman
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of mportnoy
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of deonreds
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of anteater
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AgentZero
3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 2010 Winter Solstice.

A - Beautiful deep red color that goes amber/yellow on the edges. One finger of white head that instantly disappeared and left a loose ring on the outside. Miniscule traces of lace randomly and sparsely left on the glass.

S - Big caramel smell on this, with deep notes of vanilla and barrel. A lot of brown sugar and roasted malts, with some dark fruits.

T - Nose follows the taste, as it is a caramel and brown sugar bomb. There is a really big nut taste to this, not sure where that is coming from. Vanilla is big on the end, with some oak. Alcohol is buried.

M - Pretty close to full bodied and smooth. Lower level carbonation.

D - Super easy to drink at 15.1% (what this batch says on the bottle). This is a great beer, but having had an earlier version, not nearly as good or complex. Maybe it just needs a bit of time.

 860 characters

Photo of buschbeer
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Treyliff
4.51/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage
12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep brown with ruby hues, thin foamy off-white head has short retention but leaves a ring around the edge

S- melted caramel & toffee up front mixes with woody oak barrel, bourbon, vanilla, fig & raisin. Lesser notes of tobacco, leather & alcohol

T- opens with HUGE flavors of caramel & toffee, quickly followed by a hit of bourbon barrel that provides woody oak, vanilla and more caramel. Mid-palate continues with bourbon, and brings out sweet dark fruit notes of fig & raisin . The finish gives a mineral-like saltiness that mixes with earthy tobacco, lingers of more caramel, bourbon & fig

M- medium-heavy body with low carbonation leads to a foamy viscous mouthfeel that continues into a slightly warming finish, abv hidden very well, given the abv

O- pretty much everything you look for in a BA English Barleywine, tons of caramel, dark fruit and plenty of barrel character

 945 characters

Photo of Bunuelian
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of gford217
4.44/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of masonjer poured into a snifter. I can't thank Jeremy enough for the opportunity to try this rarity.

Pours a dark murky reddish brown with little head outside of a small ring of bubbles that leaves very little remnants.

The aroma is massive and just explodes out of the glass. It has hints of citrus up front but the caramel malts, toffee and brown sugar really dominate. There are hints of dark fruits, bourbon and vanilla as well, though very subtle.

The taste has the same dominant malt backbone with tons of caramel malts and brown sugar. The wood makes itself felt a little more in the taste with some vanilla hints and the finish has a huge bourbon burn that lingers between sips.

The mouthfeel is extremely slick and just coats the mouth with bourbon and sugary sweetness. The carbonation is almost non-existent.

This is a damn fine barleywine and one that I've been looking to try for a while. I got hints of oxidation in the taste but that's really just nitpicking with such a great beer.

 1,021 characters

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