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: 702
Photo of Davedrinkinbeer
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought one to try, I finally found a place that sells this beer, so I figured I better get it. Opening the beer and drinking straight from the bottle, 2 scents jump out-- sweet fruit and alcohol. With 11% alcohol content, the 2nd is not a big surprise. The alcohol scent is not overpowering however.

Tasting the beer is a pleasant surprise, it is very balanced and sweet overall. Alcohol, while the scent is present initially, is well masked until the very end. Plum, sugar, apples, and hops are definitely present. Beer finishes a little dry, sticky, yet has an overall light feel which is surprising.

A very good doppelbock, and also a very strong one too. Surprisingly to me this is not an eisbock, but the sweet taste help mask the alcohol in this beer making it very drinkable. I will get more of this beer in the future.

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Photo of Premo88
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle poured into pilsener

L: brown-amber, orange, crystal clear, a bit light compared to other dopplebocks but an absolute beauty -- the color and clarity are stunning; pushes up big head, almost 1 1/2-inches tall, beige/tan foam that looks thick and sticky but dissipates rapidly and doesn't stick; good activity in the glass, mainly a tight column of bubbles in the middle of the column; keeps a thin collar of beige foam

S: fruity sweet ... plums, dates ... just a bit of dust, clean abbey ale dust (nothing barnyardesque or from the farmhouse); fig fruitcake

T: a bit hot from the alcohol is the first note, can't get around it, like a port wine; dusty fig and prune, some spicy hops, way more black pepper/spicy hop flavor than you can detect in the nose; smoothed out on the back end with a layer of brown sugar, molasses -- those notes are light compared to the dark fruit flavors; as it warms, has a slight peat/earthy flavor; the second half of the glass takes on a dominate earthy flavor ... not fruity or sweet but also not bitter or peaty

F: crispy and light for 11% ABV; carbonation tickles the tongue and may be enhancing the alcohol heat; I normally like a lot of carbonation, but for some reason the carbonation here might be a bit much

O: the alcohol heat can throw you at first, but all in all a great brew; the fruity sweet nose is the highlight for me, and the bubble activity inside the beautiful burnt orange-colored brew is quite a show

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Photo of sjccmd
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Robust malty aroma. Rich butterscotch, toffee, grapeskins, raisins. Toast, graham cracker, and cinnamon. Biscuits. I feel like I can sit with this for a while and just smell it.

Pours rich ruby/amber with a thin wispy off-white head. No lacing.

Rich juicy caramel. Baked apples and pears. Burnt sugar. Subtle roast creeps in at the finish. Spicy, sweet alcohol. Seems sweet initially but dries out in the finish.

Medium full body with low carbonation. Feels "sticky" on the palate, but not cloying.

Much stronger and sweeter than a typical doppelbock, but easier drinking than, say, Samiclaus.

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Photo of BB1313
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a transparent auburn with a fluffy light khaki head that falls leaving nice retention and okay lacing. Great color. The aromas are awesome. Lots of rich caramel along with some toffee notes. Dark fruits are present. Lots of malty goodness. The flavors follow the nose perfectly. The malts shine. More caramel and toffee. Hints of raisins and black cherries. Solid malt backbone. It's sweet, but not cloying or over the top at all. Not too bitter. There's a very subtle spiciness in the finish. Alcohol is well hidden. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's on the lighter side of full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's very smooth and easy to drink. It's dangerously drinkable.

This is a great brew. Great aromas and flavors. Highly enjoyable and fun to drink. Definitely worth checking out. Highly recommended.

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Photo of KonigObHops
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

When this beer was poured it looked more like an Irish red ale than a Dopplebock. It also had a thin beige head which disapated quickly.

The beer had a very sweet, malty aroma.

The initial taste is quite sweet, but the toasted malty tones that you would expect from a Dopplebock are also present. In the middle the maltiness and caramel notes fade and a nutty flavor appears and lingers until the sheer sweetness of the beer overpowers it. At the end the sugary sweetness begins to worm on the tongue and is joined by the strong, but not overpowering presence of the alcohol tingling the tongue.

The mouthfeel is smooth, but not as substantial as you would expect from a Dopplebock. There is also the recurring tingling sensation as the alcohol seems to evaporate on the tongue.

Overall, this is an interesting Dopplebock. It is not as complex or substantial as a Celebrator, and not as straightforward as a Spaten. It is extremely sweet, which is not to be interpreted as bad... Just different for this style. Be careful with this one because it could go down fast, and it packs 11% abv.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Are we dealing with a classic or a great beer here ?
Given that classics (like Anchor's Liberty) inspire a movement, then EKU 28 is just a great beer because no other brewer seems to get how EKU 28 was made because nothing in my experience comes close.
The only thing that is average about EKU 28 is its looks. Even then, it looks like sherry... but alas, beer has suds.
As for the smell, never has there been so much fruit and sweet malt produced in a lager process. And the taste delivers.
Amazingly, the mouth is neither cloying nor alcoholic... which defies expectations.
Overall, if you have never Had EKU 28 twice... then you have not lived.

MJ is quoted on the bottle as calling this a "world classic." Judge that accolade as I quote here his 1999 "Guide" that gave EKU 3 of 4 stars "the nose and palate are intensely malty with some estery notes and a strongly alcoholic finish."
EKU also was selected and received an extensive review in Roger Protz' "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"
Listed in the "1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die", EKU 28 deserves to be on the list for all of the reasons above.

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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 stevoj
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Beautifully done strong beer from one of Germany’s old breweries. Eisbock in particular is a specialty of Kulmbac, and this one is a joy to drink. Aroma of toffee, similar to a Belgian strong ale, and taste is also sweet like toffee, with a slight hint at the alcohol content. Nice for a winter’s evening....Cheers!

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Photo of beergoot
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle date info: 2517194

Dark, brownish-copper hued body; coarse carbonation rising with a foamy, thin and wispy, off-white head. Richly aromatic with caramel and dark roasted malts; sweet; nutty; a sense of alcohol deep within. Heavy caramel flavors infused with a nice counterbalancing boozy quality. Heavy body; chewy and oily; warm.

Taste-wise, this is a pretty decent doppelbock. It's too bad that the head really disappears completely after a few minutes. The alcohol burn also could be backed off a notch though is needed somewhat to keep the sugary sweetness from becoming cloying. It's got depth with the flavor but comes across awkwardly for the overall balance. Still, this is one to try for this particular style.

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Photo of spoony
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a 330 ml bottle (code says 2329182) into a snifter.

A-A normal pour produces about a finger of tan head that fades quickly and leaves a collar around the glass. No lacing. The beer is medium amber in color with no carbonation to be seen through the clear liquid. Attractive hue, but kinda ho-hum.

S-The aroma is, as you might expect, quite malty. I mostly sniff light colored honey, bruleed bananas, golden raisin, and some syrup notes. Not much dark fruit to be found here. There are hints of grainy, alcohol spice too. For a beer this big, alcohol is warming instead of in your face.

T-The taste is similar to the smell. Golden raisin, caramel, bruleed banana, toffee, and a lot of general sweetness. There is a bit of spice and alcohol warmth, but nothing hot or intrusive. After the initial sweetness onslaught, the finish fades to a medicinal, herbal alcohol on the palate. Very nice.

M-The body on this beer is big and the carbonation is mellow and creamy. It might be a little syrupy for some, but I think it fits this style well.

O-A nice beer that really represents what a big, malty, German brew can do. It obviously lacks the bells and whistles of a modern BA stout or barleywine or whatever, but there is no denying this is a great tasting and complex brew.

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Photo of Korbynlehr
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lovely caramel color, carbonation seems to be high, but no head at all. Smell us somewhat non-existent. Taste is quite surprising and delightful. Almost has a slight apple cider finish. Hard to believe this is 11%

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Photo of curasowa
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, copper color with one finger of head that fades with little lacing.

Aroma: Sweet malt, a little molasses, ripe tree fruit and raisins.

Taste: Lots of sweet malty goodness, a little boozy, port wine fruitiness, a little toasted, nutty malt lingers into the finish.

The Rest: Creamy but not sticky, low carbonation, pretty drinkable. Really good!

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Photo of Immortale25
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty much like liquid bread. Rides that super fine line of big malt character, sweetness and alcohol taste, which is pretty subdued given the high gravity. Much prefer this to Samichlaus.

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Photo of BigRedDog
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours is a clear copper. Small off white head that doesn't linger.

Smell is of raisins, prunes and dates. Residual caramel sugar lingers in the background. Sweetness present on the nose, but not overpowering.

Taste is fairly close to the nose. Raisins and dark candied fruits upfront, followed by a lingering sweetness and slight booze warmth. Caramel melds in nicely on the finish.

Mouthfeel has a nice heft to it without being heavy. As clear as the beer is, the senses are slightly confused and the weight of the beer is surprising yet welcomed.

Overall a great representation of the style.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark orange-brown with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, brown sugar, and dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, caramel, dark fruit, and raisin flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with solid aromas and rich and boozy flavors.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.27/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Nothin' like a big ol doppy-bock on a hot summer day...

A - 330ml poured to a Westy chalice of sorts. Color is kind of a dark orange/brownish, small off-white head forms and fades to a slight ring quite quickly, and later nothingness.

S - Dark bread, leafiness, caramel-drizzled apricot, brown sugar, some banana, strongish alcohol. On the faint side but pretty nice and interesting.

T - First thing noticeable in the taste is alcohol and quite a bit of it. Lots of caramel, toast, fruit, and some nutty malt. Kind of a rum feel to it. Good but seems like there's less flavors/more booze-fusels going on here than the nose.

M - Definitely malty but really isn't very smooth considering the style. Lots of foamy carbonation, big warming alcohol is kind of a flavor in itself but pretty distracting overall. 330 solo goes slooow.

O - I kind of like the idea of ultra-warming sipper 11% doppelbocks, but the malts here just don't stand up to the alcohol presence. Decent but just plain hot, and/therefore pretty plain flavors as well. Ironically their eisbock is much smoother and less ABV.

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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 DevAJ
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was one of first beers that I bought as a "just to try" awhile ago (before I became a member) and I had remembered it as just being a strong beer though I do remember liking it.

However, since I had had a multitude of beers since then, I decided that I needed to try it again to give it a proper rating. As you can tell from the rating, I do still like it quite a bit, though I'm not 100% on the doppelbock classification. It could be that I haven't had enough doppelbocks to truly grasp the category or it could be that this is just in a category of its own (I would lean that way).

It's not really all that sweet until you get to almost the very end of the swallow and then a bit of bitterness sticks around for a little while on the aftertaste. In all honesty it doesn't have much of a taste up front as all of the action seems to happen toward the end of each drink as it's not until the aftertaste that you truly get the flavor and an appreciation of the malt. It's a very interesting and complex beer.

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Photo of GerryPendry
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Malt and alcohol. Sweet, but not overly so. Proves that you don't need to cram a ton of hops into a beer to make it tasty and satisfying. If there was a such thing as Samichlaus Light, I imagine it would taste like this. Try it if you can find it.

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Photo of Foxybrau
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Whoa. This must be a beer like no other. I'll let everyone else pick out the details, this beer is underrated, the brothers have it right. World class. The nose is...beer! We spend hours coming up with adjectives and descriptors for all sorts of brews while 28 just flat out nails it. It smells like beer, it tastes like beer- sweet, sharp, grain, and booze. It packs of punch of alcohol that seems to carry a tiny note of every beer you've ever had. It's plenty thick on the palate and more complex than most. German copper totes the load, this ones a stud.

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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 smakawhat
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Libbey style pilsner glass. CRUNCH, what the hell? Friggin bottle lip cracks when I open it!! First strained it slowly a little bit into the glass. Took one whiff... yikes... well so much for that idea. Grabbed another glass and poured it into that one.

Great light looking doppel. Perfect caramel red with a slapping sound coming out of the bottle though. Faint tan head barely a finger, but manage to keep a good sized collar.

Real nice light aroma. Seems small, but a waffery toffee angle that is really nice. Mild sensing clove and great spicy hints of nutmeg and clove. Soft, but hints towards a much lighter beer it seems.

Took just a few sips, all that needed. Great tasting notes of black licorice and anisette all over. Light bodied a little wet slightly, but malts still manage to coat all over. Light toffee aromas get bigger with repeated sips. Real light carbonation as well but with a hint of fizz though, and some toffee richness.

Overall a real interesting doppel, too bad I couldn't drink much of it. One rinse of the bottle and found a giant shard in the bottom.

 1,130 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: crystal clear; bronze - SRM approx. 18; with a fairly aggressive pour, a 3 finger khaki head that receded to a thin cap; nice Belgian lacing, but it didn't last long;

S: brown sugar, dark fruit, a little yeast; not getting much in the way of hops;

t: bran muffin with raisins; rich; alcohol warming comes through at the finish; a little bitterness at the end;

M; a little syrupy; moderate carbonation;

O: really easy to drink, which at 11% ABV, is sort of scary;

 469 characters

Photo of ClePaul
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look 9/10
Smell 18/20
Taste 38/40
Feel 8/10
Drinkability 18/20

Overall 91/100

Wow, I thought this was delightful... Maybe some of this is because I had zero expectation or hype. Still, has a really nice rich and hardy bock flavor. Yet at 11% it is rather easy to drink. If you see this it's worth a pick up~

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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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EKU 28 from Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
3.92 out of 5 based on 702 ratings.
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