EKU 28 | Kulmbacher Brauerei AG

very good
459 Reviews
EKU 28EKU 28

Brewed by:
Kulmbacher Brauerei AG

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A super-strong Bock, but not an Eisbock.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-16-2001

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Reviews: 459 | Ratings: 700
Photo of DaveStewartBrown
5/5  rDev +27.6%

EKU 28 has really become one of my new favorites. I enjoy a strong, challenging beer at times but not something that will give me a headache.

If you see an EKU 28 grab 1 or 2. It will put you DOWN! It's a really tranquilizing beer, but clean, so no headaches or other unwanted side effects. It can be a little pricey but worth every penny. It has so many rich flavors. Dark, earthy fruit notes seem to push forward the most, but this is not a sweet beer necessarily. The flavor intensifies as it warms in the glass, and the last sip tends to be divine in my opinion. Drink from a chalice or even wine glass for sure. The color is a decadent rouge/ molasses.

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Photo of RochefortChris
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a light copper color with very little off white head that clings to side of glass

Smell of alcohol but not over powering. Some melanoiden malt, slight fruitiness and no hop presence.

Taste of fruity, melanoiden malt, can tell the alcohol is there but definitely well masked. Almost no hop flavor

Very chewy beer. Medium low carbonation with some warming from the alchoho. Pleasant aftertaste.

I absolutely love this beer. An epitome of the style and the high alcohol is so well masked which is what I love in high gravity brews like this one. Fantastic job on this one.

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Photo of mariposafan
4.94/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a bright reddish amber - almost exactly the same color as a bottle of amaretto to which I compared it. Virtually no head and what little there was goes quickly - not surprising given the 11% alcohol content but I'd still like to see a little more stick around.

The aroma is superb. Rich and sweet and caramelly but with a touch of brightness.

My new favorite tasting dopplebock. Not too sweet yet not overly roasty. The brightness from the aroma carries over to just a touch of bitterness which, coupled with the minimal alcohol flavor (at 11%??) cuts the sweetness without impinging.

The feel isn't as viscous as some dopplebocks but it has plenty of body. The carbonation is lightly prickly, doing its part to cut through the amazingly rich flavor while never intruding.

Move over Celebrator - you've just been replaced as my favorite dopplebock.

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Photo of Matthewislee
4.93/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an outstanding beer. Well balanced, but strong. Appropriately carbonated. Not as sweet as I had expected (to my happiness) but just as malty as you would expect. Beautiful color. Lots of little tiny bubbles. This is high quality and I haven't got a great deal of experience with the style, but now I'm eager to try some more.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.92/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I must admit that EKU 28 is one of my favorite nightcaps. This strong lager starts beckoning the drinker as soon as the bottle cap is cracked [Hiss!]. The initial release of carbonation unleashes an array of intoxicating aromas that are truly devine. This one is best served cool (45-48F) in a logo cognac snifter. The deep orangish-copper color is contrasted nicely by a cream colored head that dissappears rather quickly. The intense ripe fruitiness of dried apricots & orange zest lead the wonderfully intoxicating nose out of the glass.

The first sip reveals a nectar richness with some creamy "butter brickle" & "Grand Marnier" notes. 28 is very full-bodied with an extended sweet; almost syrupy finish that lingers. The rich creamy sweetness is underscored slightly by an unobtrusive bitterness and clean "cognac" laced finish. The last sip is even better than the first.

Take special care to serve this V.S.O.P. lager in its appropriate glass (a cognac snifter), so as to properly enjoy all of the wonderful nuances. Pair 28 with a hearty marinated beefsteak, wild game stew, or even enjoy it after a piece of rich marbled chocolate-cheesecake. Definitely worth seeking out and cellaring a few bottles for, "Whenever something good and strong is needed."

PROST! Beertracker

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Photo of ledemie
4.88/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer, if you even have scotch single malt ( smooth), this is the same for beer, smooth, nice ethil after tast, not to sweet, not hopy, not bitter, this is a really really smooth beer, but becaraful, it will knock you out. So drink with moderation.
Nice beer.

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Photo of pat61
4.87/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours brilliant amber gold under a 3” off-white foam collar that dissipates to a thin film.
S: Rich bread, malt spice, light spice from hops, alcohol.
T: A big malty presence and big alcohol struggle for balance with light spice from grains and hops observing from the sidelines.
F: Full body and below average carbonation.
O: A wonderful, massive beer with big robust flavor and alcohol.

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Photo of Stopper
4.87/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A very thin small watery head pours over a distinctly ruby-colored body. The aroma is strikingly like that of an old port, with undertones of a sweet robust maltiness. Initially the mouthfeel is big and very viscous, with a slight tingle on the tip of the tongue on the sides. This is followed by a very big, sweet, syrupy middle, becoming somewhat smoky and raisin-like and evoking a fine old bourbon. The finish is very alcoholic and wine-like, with touches of port again. This then trails off revealing a lingering biscuity maltiness.

After tasting this beer I had to check again to make sure it was really from Germany. Could they possibly make this sweet nectar in adherence to the Reinheitsgebot? This beer is absolutely unique among all the German beers I have ever tasted. In fact, this beer is quite unique among all of the beers I have ever tasted. The full effect and flavor can be gathered from a very small sip, just as with a straight bourbon or scotch, making it a perfect beer for slowly sipping. I can only begin to imagine the myriad ways in which this could be paired with food, though it is wonderfully suited to standing alone as well. This may just become standard stock for me, to aid in converting friends who drink wine or liquor but "don't like beer". Prost!

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Photo of mattcrill
4.87/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Deep fruity esters that remind me of prunes, sherry soaked cherries, and a touch of carmel. No hop aroma. Just a hint of alcohol to keep it interesting.

Appearance: Brilliant brick red pour with a thin white head. Moderate effervescence streams up the side of the glass.

Flavor: More dark fruit notes, candied plums, carmelized oranges, maple syrup, and some warming alcohol. Finish is clean, crisp, and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Very warming and numbing to the back of the palate.

Overall impression: A well balanced, dangerously drinkable eisbock. Wonderful depth and maltiness that finishes dry. Works for me any time of year but probably wonderful by a fire in the winter.

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Photo of putnam
4.85/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

...buttered malt crust aromas...
brilliant reddish orange color with a slick of paisley bubbles on top
Fat, rancio/tawny port texture brings with it a combination of baked apples, brandy, wood, smoke, old bandages, caramelized bananas, burned sugar and hashish. Wow!
NOW I read the back label: "the character to stand in for fine sherry or port." They're not kidding. Also could "stand in" for fine scotch or cognac.
As it opens, murky, heathen elements emerge, including rain on hot asphalt, bitter, roasted almonds and suntan lotion.
The finish is outrageously long and perfectly balanced as little surges of bitter nuts, caramel and smoke emerge for minutes after.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.82/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this one at Brewhaus after work with friends.

A - Caramel gold hue is lighter than I thought it would be, and a nice chunky cap of foam sits on top. Looks shimmery and deep, like turpentine or wood polish. Cool.

S - Toffee, caramel, chocolate cake, and alcohol. (Singing) "These are a few of my favorite things..." Has some nice hop weediness to keep it from smelling too sugary, and the very noticeable alcohol helps also. Smells like a good scotch.

T - Holy shit this is good! Big time malt insanity with chocolate cake, tootsie roll, brownie, cookie, and cinnamon flavors. A nice dose of hay-like hop bitterness keeps things balanced, and the alcohol helps keep the sugar from being to cloying. Outstandingly good. Tastes like an Imperial Dopplebock, if you will.

M - Full bodied, malty and sugary as hell, but with a really solid alcohol attenuation that makes it feel weighty, heavy, and very firm but never bloated. More like a big badass tank of a fullback than a fat flabby lineman.

D - This is an all around winner. An outstanding sipping beer that could serve in place of a single malt after dinner by the fire. This was served in a pint glass, but I should have asked for a snifter. This will be a wintertime staple in my cellar.

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Photo of ordybill
4.78/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from an 11.2 OZ bottle into a tulip glass. The appearance is a light copper color with a small off-white head. The aroma is a very nice blend of malt, fruit and alcohol. The taste is big on fruit with some malt.

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Photo of JayS2629
4.76/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was pleasently surprised with this one. It poured a clear honey tone with a thin white head that faded fast and left small rings of lace.

The aroma was amazing with a mead like smell, bourbon barrel notes, and sweet honey. Lots of fruity notes; candied apples, pineapple and pears. Fumes of alcohol blanketed in some spicy notes, oak and vanilla. Some floral notes balance things out.

Sweet honey and bourbon with oak, vanilla, ripe fruits. Apples, pears and pineapple with candied dry fruit. A touch of spice, floral notes, some tea like herbal qualities and fruity orange notes balance out the sweetness.

Creamy, sikly and slick. A bit sticky but not overly cloying. Complex and enjoyable sipper.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a 330 mL bottle into a pint glass. Deep orange copper colored with a small 1/4" light colored head that quickly dissipated leaving no lacing. A lively stream of carbonation steadily flows upwards from the bottom of the glass. Crystal clear.
S: apples, prunes, red stone fruits, sweet malts
T: sweet fruits upon first taste melting into wholesome malt, balanced slight bitterness from hops upon finish, prevalent flavors of complex alcohols and esters notably banana, can taste the alcohol but not 11%, improves as it warms
M: excellent full feel with proper carbonation, finish is smooth without feeling oily, leaves a very pleasant aftertaste
O: As my first eisbock I was unsure of if I would enjoy the style. I was pleasantly surprised by how balanced this beer is. I was expecting a much sweeter, alcoholic tasting, "chunckier" brew. I would seek out this beer again.

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Photo of roddwolff
4.74/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer with more alcohol i have taken, once served in my glass "Bayern Pilsener":

A: Very bright brown color, yellow foam layer;

S: Malt to it's fullest expression, very sweet, plus strawberry, is similar to absinthe;

T: Is much like the smell, malt sweetened with vanilla, cherry and brown sugar, the end is toffee with alcohol;

M: Very sweet and alcoholic, it's clear the level of alcohol in the throat, with robust body and creamy;

D: Seems you're drinking a beer with 30° ABV, a very strong beer to be respected, i finished all they had at Walmart.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.7/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

EKU 28 has a thin, beige head and a clear, amber appearance, with some lacing and tiny streaming bubbles. The aroma is rich: heavy, sweet, caramel malt, toffee, sugar, and grain. Taste is alcohol forward, with a background of sugar, caramel candy, black bread, and syrup. There is also a little bit of bitterness, but not much. Mouthfeel is thick, sticky, and heavy, and EKU 28 finishes mostly dry and boozy. Overall, this is a great beer.


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Photo of Offa
4.7/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a wonderful, rich, velvety doppelbock, the main weakness being that it is just a hair too sweet.

Deep orange-red, it has a small tan head that is creamy but soon dissipates to a lasting ring and wisps.

The aroma is floral, fruity, with turned plums, raisins, grapes, mild caramelized quality, overall quite nice.

The taste is wonderful, rich, sweet-spicey, oaky-woody with strong raisins, caremlized dried figs, turned plums, caramelly and fruity overall with nice, warming alcoholic-dried-fruit spiciness. It's quite sweet but so wonderful in feel and taste and so smooth, that this is ok.

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Photo of JohnMeinhardt
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I just wanted to say that this beer is a shinning example of how flavorful and interesting a Reinheitsgebot beer can be. I've had beer with fruit syrup squirted into it that has less fruit flavor than this amazing brew. With such a creamy and foamy mouthfeel, mixed with the perfectly sweet caramel fruitiness, I feel like I'm eating a really smooth fruit custard tart or cake. All this out of 4 ingredients!!! PROST!

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.64/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Pilsener Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

This one pours a nice, clear, medium shade of copper. It has a head of eggshell colored foam that is almost two-fingers thick. This recedes to about an 1/8 inch thick surface covering of foam. The lacing is in mid-sized strands and fairly slippery.

Man, does that smell delicious, or what? It's probably the closest that I've ever come to 'bread in a glass'. It has a huge, bready, yeasty smell going on. It's joined by some nicely buttery maltiness and a nice, mild, toast presence. There is also a very light hint of fruitiness.

The huge yeast and malt components are still here, and they are still dominant. Sweet, buttery, caramel notes are here now. Bananas, raisins, figs and dates are all easily spotted. The toasted bread notes are easily found, also. Mild hints of leather, tobacco and toffee covered nuts are also here. This has a mild spice component, as well.

This one is full-bodied and has a mild level of carbonation. It is really very smooth. It lacks any real amount of creaminess, but that completely works, for this one. Slightly viscous, which I find to be a plus.

The 11.0%abv is not in-your-face, but is still easily spotted. Despite this fact, this is still a tasty and drinkable beer. Just don't drink too many, or too quickly, as I think that it would cost you, the next day.

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Photo of Phatz
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to SwillBilly for hooking me up with this. You rock.
This is a fascinating style and this beer is superb. It is extra rich and very intense in flavor, alcohol and suagr and spice. This boozy wonder should be enjoyed in nothing less than a grand snifter and after it has been allowed to warm.

Appearance: Pours an attractive tawny red color with a small head that fades. (what I expect at 11%) and some very limited lacing.

Smell: a very rich nose full of caramel, syrup, malts and sugar. Alcohol and spice bleed through the sweet body as well. There may even be a hint of berries in there with the Brandy in the aroma.

Taste: The taste makes me think of sweet Cognac. It is very boozy but pleasant with a big wood flavor and loads of caramel and malt and Wee Heavy-like attributes. This beer is so thick and full of malty vanilla syrupy flavors with hints of berries and cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and other spices. The aftertaste is absolutely relentless. This is only my second Eisbock and I think I found a new interest to peruse. As a former whiskey fan Scotch Ales had been a favorite of mine. Now, here is a lager with all the attributes I love! WOW!!

Mouthfeel: I don't even know where to begin. It is exceptionally creamy and viscous and thick and syrupy across the palate, and yet it seems to move easily down the throat. the spicy attributes interplay well with the carbonation to keep it just lively enough. Beautiful!

Drinkability: This is no doubt a sipper. Still, it went down quite easily and hit me like a ton of bricks. And I loved every second of it!

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.61/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I worried a lot about this beer. First let's take the color, which is absolutely gorgeous -- orangeish/red, the most sunset-looking beer I've ever seen. At first I thought it was just pretty. Now that I think about it, though, this is just the color nature tends to paint things when it wants to warn people to *stay away*! Ah well, if the color doesn't get ya, the aroma will. Huge nose of alcohol, which mellows a bit to an aroma of rum soaked raisins with lots of sweet caramel malt underlying. The third warning is the lack of any evident head -- you can just see the carbonation struggling to make its way up through the massive levels of alcohol in this beer. Ok. Time to take the first sip. I absolutely could not believe how creamy and smooth it is! The caramel and alcohol combine together to produce something not entirely unlike a rather nutmeggy, spicy dark cola. Dr. Pepper for grown-ups. Alcohol and malt dominate the main body as well, with some nice fruity, orange-like esters developing. Then the beer finishes off with a nice combination of peppery spiciness and understated hop bitterness. Finish is sweet, but just barely. Not nearly as cloying as it could have been. This beer handles its alchol *very* well, and provided it is shown the proper respect, is quite a nice bed-time beer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

EKU's rich, very subtly toasty, just caramel-kissed, and honey-sweet malt warms to fill the mouth with a lush wash of stickiness that's peppered by alcohol and spicy hops just as its fine-bubbled carbonation breaks on the tongue with a light zest. It's surprisingly drinkable given its full body and high alcohol content. And although the alcohol is noticeable, it helps to thin the malt sweetness, ultimately helping the beer more than it hinders it. Unfortunately, it does limit the head retention, and it's short cap of white quickly dissipates above its crystal-clear, orange-amber body. The nose is not particularly complex, revealing its rich maltiness and a waft of alcohol, but its flavor becomes a bit more complex as it warms with notes of vanilla and almonds as well as some floral hoppiness in addition to its concentrated Munich-malt-like graininess. At the very least, it's quite unique among beers and deserves a try.

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Photo of karst
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The initials E K U indicate in German the First United Brewery of Kulmbach which was once labled as the "strongest beer in the world" with an OG of 28 (in German degrees). EKU 28 pours crystal-clear, orange-amber with a brief white head that leaves some lace. Aromas of malt and alcohol. Flavor is rich, slightly toasty and caramel-kissed (likely from the decoction of Munich malts ) and remind one of fine dopplebocks like Celebrator. The full body and almost syrupy mouthfeel are balanced by its fine bubbled carbonation, high ABV and buried hops. Flavors are fairly complex and evolve with warming.

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Photo of Tomas77
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really like this beer. A clear looking doppelbock. Not many around.

Pours a copper/orange color with a non-lasting head of foam. Little lace on glass.Brilliant clarity. Lagers usually look this way.

Aroma is just unbelievable. The smell of toast when you wake up first thing in the morning without anything interupting it. Some grape notes or marmalade if you will show up on the toast later on. A pleasant surprise. Little hop comes through also. Alcohol present smooth but not hot.

Same grape fruity flavor shows up first before the toast does unlike the aroma. Very malty sweet(some maple syrup hints to it) up front but does finish a bit dry with not much lingering bitterness. Alcohol throughout.

A very rich complex mouthfeel. Full body. Alcohol tingling on the tongue.

Exellent beer all around. Very balanced for a doppelbock. Nice job.

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Photo of kuranes
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours thick and amber with lots of carbonation. Lots of yummy bubbly head.

S: I smell grapefruity citrus accompanied by some deep cherry aroma. Very aromatic.

T: I was expecting a blast of flavor, but this beer is understated. Starts smooth and tasty and finished with a slight bite. Taste is very addictive, but I can't find anything to compare it to. Absolutely delicious.

M: Awesome balance of smooth and sticky.

D: I love this beer. I would drink it every day if it weren't so expensive.

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EKU 28 from Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
3.92 out of 5 based on 700 ratings.
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