Kulmbacher Brauerei AG

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German Eisbock
Ranked #4
Ranked #2,583
4.14 | pDev: 9.66%
Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
Notes: Formerly called Kulmbacher Reichelbrau Eisbock

Eisbock was inadvertently invented in Kulmbach one bitter winter day when an apprentice brewer accidentally left wooden barrels of bockbier in the brewery yard, causing them to burst. When the ice was chipped away, a richer, more concentrated dark lager remained inside the barrels.
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Reviews: 635 | Ratings: 1,099 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ludachris
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Its chestnut brown body is so dark it borders on black. A light tan head reaches a surprising height considering its ABV, but falls just as quickly. A fine film of ethanol makes the sides of the glass too slick for lace to stick to.

There's a surprising brightness to the oodles of overly ripe dark fruit that oozes out of the glass. Almost like a gummy candy feel. Fleshy dates, dark raisins and plum cake. Toffee and caramel covered marshmallow. Cocoa, hazelnut and sarsaparilla. An ode to malted barley. And with all that being said, its far from being cloying, overly intense or a booze bomb.

Lots of fig, lots of raisin, and lots of tootsie roll to start. Squishy plums and dates are rolled into a delicate chocolatey center. Just as fast as it starts is nearly as fast as it ends, with dark, soft Christmas cake standing at the exit.

I was expecting a lot of stick and a lot of weight to the body, neither of which were true. It's so soft and understated and exceptionally clean. The soothing warmth in my chest is the only sign of its alcohol.

What an exceptional lager. The Bugatti of bocks. It's so smoothed out, sanded down and refined that its elegant. A real treat on Christmas day.

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Photo of weissbock
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I admit this was consumed only a year after graduating into "better" beers... so at first everything about it sorta spooked me into thinking maybe i got a bad bottle. Please bear with me (sorry!) even though beer was chilled too cold, about 38 degrees, upon the pour the aroma was intense, unlike any beer i had smelled before... but not in a nice way. My friends still laugh but I've always described that first smell to be reminiscent of a stuckey's interstate restaurant's bathroom, odd! Let it sit open for 35 + - minutes before going in for first taste. by then it had warmed to about 50 degrees i guess.

Sorry I'll cut to the chase: That warming made it a new beer! Nowhere were the spoiled smelling aromas but magically replaced with combination of sweet freshly baked bread, biscuit, and rich malt!, nirvana! Sweet but hopped enough for great balance. Malty, nutty, very bread-like aroma and taste along with raisin? other dark fruits and slight chocolate. Not boozy at all for 11% abv imo. plenty of body. Took an hour to finish, but because i wanted to savor each sip having only purchased two, sadly! Last trip to greens beverages atlanta i grabbed all they had... only 14 bottles, sniff, not easy for me to find. Certainly in my top 5 after all these years, a simply fantastic beer! Prost! Also love the EKU28!

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Photo of VoxRationis
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Decanted from an 11.2 oz (330 ml) bottle into a custom taster pint; coded 28493721 (no idea, tastes great, but head less lively than some describe).
A: Pour a crystal clear, dark brown color with ruby red highlights, a slightly less than one finger, tan head, which dissipates to a rim, and mostly edge lacing.
S: Tangy and fruity with aromas of cherry, molasses, walnut, honey, licorice, and a touch of white pepper. Alcohol definitely appreciable without being overwhelming.
T: Sweet with flavors of cherry or cherrywood, orange, molasses, pumpernickel, dark roast coffee, licorice, and white pepper. Bitterness is rather solid, but very much in balance with the sweetness and flavor elements. Alcohol clearly present without rising to the level of booziness.
M: Medium to full bodied with nicely persistent lacing.
O: This is a gorgeous drinking experience. Really a brilliant combination of aroma, flavors, sweetness, and bitterness. This is could get used to (had not idea). Reminds me of a Belgian Dark Ale. Gorgeous.

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

Pours dark brown with red highlights, with a fairly ample (especially for the ABV) tan head.

Aromas of caramel malt, dark fruit, dried fruit, and cashews.

The flavors follow the nose, but with even more complexity. Caramel malt, heavy and forward. The mid palate enjoys figs, raisins, tobacco, leather, cashew, and yeast. The finish is spicy and brings some booze, but not a burn.

The brew is full bodied, chewy, and yet remarkably drinkable for the ABV.

Overall, an outstanding representation of the style.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4


Bottle to tulip glass.

LOOK: Dark Brown-a touch muddy, very small head. Flat look.
AROMA: malt, corn, brown sugar.
TASTE: very smooth lightly toasted malt with a caramel like sweetness. I get some raisin and extra breadyness, almost rye like character. Super tasty.
FEEL: pretty flat, but body is 3/4 of the way from medium to full body. Sturdy. Drinks smooth.

High Quality. Bottle complements of "thee" Bucky Buckman.


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Photo of Beginner2
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A malt-head's delight.
While it doesn't Look like it will be a great beer, it certainly Smells like it; mostly malt of caramel variety and, then, nutty. Tastes echo this back, but the sweet thickness is like I bit into a fig. This seems very much like a doppelbock to me. In fact, I liked their doppel so much that I'd guess this is a similar recipe, just the eisbock process of reducing water.
In my mouth, rich, smooth and, somehow, not too sweet. Alcohol is well concealed.

This is my 6th from Kulmbacher, so I went on their website.... but not for much longer than to look at most the pictures as I could not find the English button, and German is too much work. However this Eisbock is the only dark in their advertised lineup (I couldn't find the doppel or the Monschof schwartzsbier.) Given how few eisbocks I can find, I'm glad I had this one and look forward to finding it again.

I also am curious why so few of these are made. This and two others have over 1,000 ratings, the next drops to 117 and the rest are under 100. I think it is a splendid way to forget about winter.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - dark brown slight head
Smell - creamy caramel toasty toasty different scent
Taste - a lot like the scent. Kind like a jacked up marzen, sweeter porter.
Feel - medium full body with a light carb
Overall - incredible

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Photo of jkblr
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz bottle coded 2747231 poured into a snifter at fridge temp 9.2% ABV. The beer pours dark brown with ruby highlights and light brown head. The head recedes to a thin ring and leaves a little lacing. The aroma is strong malt, brown sugar, raisin and molasses. The taste is fairly sweet with a mild tart undertone. Flavors include cherry, raisin, plum, mild tobacco and molasses. The mouthfeel is full bodied with less than medium carbonation and an undry, but not unpleasant, finish. Overall, very good. I don't mind a sweet beer and this one has just enough bitterness and tart to keep the sweetness palatable. There is a little oxidation showing up at room temperature, but still no booze.

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Photo of mncoinman
3.89/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown with a good foam head. Initial aroma indicates a malty/boozy smell that would be typical for this style. Taste goes down well...booze is balanced with a good bite and an obvious presence of malts with only a mild hop presence. Reasonable beer that could be enhanced with a stronger malt infusion more typical with good bock beers. Good balance however in not letting this eisbock get too boozy !

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Photo of Harrison8
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown with two fingers of pillowy khaki foam. Head retention is good. Aroma is roasty, toasty, caramel malts with a bitter malt bite. Flavor profile is caramel and toffee, with roasted, toasted, nutty, bitter malts behind. Mouth feel is a little stringy and grainy, with a medium-thick consistency. Overall, pretty darn good. Big malts without being a stout. Solid and strong without letting the alcohol poke through.

Draft. Reviewed on phone.

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Photo of rodndtube
4.61/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tasty eisbock! Just one step behind the Aventinus Eisbock by Schneider-Weiss. Often the more affordable option and a little less potent. Never a bad choice.

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Photo of beersampler6
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice deep amber-brown color, a little head and spotty lingering lacing that faded. Smells of sweet fruit, tastes of lots of dark fruit - cherries, plums, raisins, then a little malt, honey, caramel and vanilla. Some nice molasses flavor as well. Smooth mild mouthfeel, just the right amount of carbonation. A little lower rating than expected only because of the slightly over-sweet aftertaste but alcohol and high ABV is nicely hidden here.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2018-07-04 in Columbia, PA from a 330ml bottle

A - Fairly-clear ruby-brown with a 1.75 finger off-white head that drops quickly leaving little lace.

S - Rich dried cherries, lightly toasted brown bread, mild molasses and caramel. Not real strong but inviting.

T - Medium-toasted brown bread, dried cherries, plums, toffee and caramel, herbal and earthy spice. Finishes with a light bitterness to balance the fruit/bread sweetness. Alcohol is well-disguised. Very tasty.

M - Medium-heavy body and light-medium carbonation. Smooth and creamy before drying out nicely.

O - First time I've reviewed a beer of this style. In a blind taste test, I think I would have identified it as an English Barleywine; a style I very much enjoy. Color me impressed.

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Photo of chitoryu12
3.82/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Look: Dark brown with amber tint when held up to the light. Decent tan head.

Smell: A strong yeasty bread smell, like dough at a bakery.

Taste: Following the nose, very bready. A touch of alcohol and a tiny amount of bitterness without hop flavor, but mostly dough.

Mouthfeel: Thick and average carbonation.

Overall: A bit unusual. Not bad, but tastes like drinking the mixing bowl at a bakery.

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Photo of hman43
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: It pours dark brown with reddish hues in it. Head retention is moderately good. The head is light brown.

Smell: There is a heavy malt aroma with dark cherries. There are some moderate plum notes as well.

Taste: There are various rich, malty elements lead by some molasses flavors and bread. There are flavors of dark cherries and plums. It is sweet to a point with some bitterness that provides a tilt towards the sweetness without overdoing it. The alcohol is very smooth.

Feel: It has a full body with moderate carbonation. It has a pleasant amount of alcohol warming.

Overall, this is a malt driven beer with plenty of dark fruits to enhance the taste and aroma.

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Only the second time I try this - not really - widely available style of beer. This one is definitely less strong than Aventinus Eisbock. This is only 9.2% ABV and goes almost on doppelbock territory. It's a dark syrupy (and almost flat) nutty balanced beer. Quite enjoyable and not cloying.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
3.86/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque, very dark brown with a minimal tan head.
Aroma is malt-driven. Brown bread, milk chocolate, a touch of plum.
It's a sweet beer but not over the top. Breast with a bit of molasses and a touch of berry. A bit boozy.
Mouthfeel is medium and sticky. Makes you thirsty for the next sip.

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark opaque umber brown with a small head that didn't leave as much lace as I expected. Nose is full of sweet brown bread, quad-like aromas, and cola. Taste is fairly sweet, but is not cloying. Malt, brown bread, cola, and earthy roasted barley. Actually better than I expected from this brewery. It isn't Schneider Aventinus, but is really quite enjoyable for what it is...a less complex but still flavorful eisbock.

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taste: rich, roasted dark malt, semi sweet. Roasted barley malt and caramel with some hops to nose. Brown hue, semi clear, with large creamy head. Medium/full body. pair well with roasted food. I had this bock several years ago.

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Photo of tigg924
3.66/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours chestnut brown in color, clear with 1/4 inch head. Taste is bready malt and light chocolate. Heavy bodied, low carbonation, and sweet. Makes for a very clean German lager. I prefer other eisbocks, but this one is tasty. Would get this again.

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Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep brown with a slight reddish hue topped by a dense finger of light tan head which fades quickly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing.
S: Smells of dark fruits and bready malt with a slight toasted note. Hints of spice and a little banana as well
T: Taste is bready malts with some dark fruits and spicy alcohol. Hints of banana too but mostly sweet bready malt with some caramel. Swallow is more bready toasted malts with a little more spice, light raisin and a little banana.
M: This beer is fairly full in body with soft carbonation that is just slightly prickly.
O: Overall this is a pretty tasty beer. It has a really nice body and some classic eisbock flavors. It isn't super strong but it definitely packs a bit of a punch. This one may be pedestrian for an Eisbock but I think it's a good place to start if you want to branch out.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured about an inch of white foamy head that died within a minute. The body was extremely dark which caused no carbonation to be seen rising. The lacing was lightly speckled, but intricately stayed together for a good two minutes before it spider-webbed, very impressive. The lacing eventually died, but it took a good five minutes before it all died. The smell had mainly raisins, plums and cherries - mainly balanced between the three. Some sweet malts enter in at the end. The taste was extremely rich with some molasses and the raisins, plums and cherries come back but just enough to remind you they exist in this beer. The flavor was extremely well balanced. The palate was about a medium with a good fullness to it. It could be the ABV felt a little boozy, but somehow that didn't bother me too much. Overall, this is a very nice eisbock that I would come back to.

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Photo of TonyLema1
3.77/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: looks like Pepsi, not a lot of head or lacing
S: dark fruits
T: sweet, cloying, dark fruits
F: lots of mouthfeel, full body, boozy
O: the German version of a Belgian Quad

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Photo of goodsuds
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass. Color is a dark brown with a red hue when held to the light and one finger head that quickly recedes.

S - sweet malt, dark fruits, sweet bread

T - starts sweet with hints of molasses, dark fruits, a tiny bit of hot alcohol mid palette that fades quickly to dark fruits and a nice hop bitterness. Very well balanced and the alcohol is well hidden.

F - slightly viscous, medium carbonation and mouthfeel.

O - this is an excellent beer. I love dopplebocks, especially EKU 28 and Celebrator. I saw this sitting next to them and decided to give it a try and I must say I am not disappointed. Obviously a little stronger than a dopplebock, but very enjoyable. This will have a place in my malty beer rotation for sure.

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Photo of bbtkd
3.81/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Kulbacher Eisbock, 9.2% ABV, 23 IBU. Pours medium viscosity, and dark brown, with a one finger tan head. Nose is fruity sweet and malty, with a hint of caramel. Taste follows, with a slight bitter close. Great mouthfeel, overall excellent.

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Eisbock from Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 1099 ratings