EKU 28 | Kulmbacher Brauerei AG

very good
704 Ratings
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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Ratings: 704 |  Reviews: 461
Photo of woemad
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane about three weeks ago. No obvious freshness date, though "1626305" is prominently featured on the rear label.Have those crafty Krauts invented a new calendar system?

This poured an amber color with a brief appearance of an inch of off-white foam. Considering the alcohol content, I wasn't surprised that it didn't hang around too long, though an agitation of the SA BL glass I'm using (thanks again, Bros!) brings back an equal amount of foam. No lace at all.

From the scent, it's fairly obvious that this one's a boozer. While I can get figs, raisins, cloves and peppery notes from the nose, the overriding scent is that of woodsy alcohol. If this label said it was aged in wodden casks, it wouldn't surprise me in the least.

The taste is similar to the nose. At the same time that a fruity flavor of rum soaked raisins and banana-like cloves hit the taste buds, there's also a big blast of sherry-like alcohol, with peppery notes in the background.

This mouthfeel is equal parts creamy and dry - odd, but it works for this beer. The dryness seems to ward off what would otherwise be an unbearably cloying mouthfeel.

An enjoyable dessert, this beer. It'd probably be even more enjoyable on a fall or winter's night, but it's hitting the spot on an August night in hot eastern Wshington just the same.

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Photo of OKCNittany
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml btl into the biggest wine glass my dad owns

A: Copper body with great clarity. Had a 2" bubbly cream head that reduced to a thick ring. No lacing.

S: Good aroma w/ alcohol, caramel, and fruit all present in a big way. Very powerful - let's you know you're in for something big. (and enough to scare off the feint of heart)

T: Wow! I thought I was ready from the smell, but unless you started with a few shots, there's no way to be prepared for this. It's a punch in the mouth right up front with a big caramel malt flavor - followed closely by what seemed like a dozen or so ripe fruits - with the alcohol ever present that seems to be cutting the sweetness (in a good way) rather than interfering or overpowering the taste. Then, just for good measure, another punch in the face w/ from the alcohol at the finish.

M: Fully body - thick (think motor oil, but tasty). Warming finish. Unfortunately, after it warmed, the warming finish turned into alcohol burn.

D: The flavor certainly makes it worth another, but the alcohol content and the thickness make multiples difficult. This is one heck of a sipper though.

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Photo of Nesued
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Poured a clear burnt orange color with an ample head that promptly overflowed my glass. Ooops. I'll have do to better next time! The head, as mentioned, was ample and resolved to a thin remain with no lacing along the glass. The carbonation was slight but present.

Smell - A lively alcohol nose with caramel and a yeasty background. Part of the big nose was a malt aroma as well.

Taste - silky and smooth. A very much "in your face" alcohol/malt mix. Not a hop in sight to cut the malt presence. Lots of sweetness and fruity body as well.

Mouthfeel - Rolls around very well with very little expansion caused by the carbonation. This is quite a sipper. Let it warm up a bit and the body changes to more of almost a whiskey consistency (and respect needed for the high ABV).

Drinkability - I think I've found a beer style I'm not overly very fond of. I've had the Aventinus as well and my responses were very similar.

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, amber/orange color with a bubbly, tan, three-finger head. It left some lace.

S - It smelled of alcohol. There was an underlying malt and grain aroma.

T - There is a smooth maltiness, with a warm alcohol spice.

M - It was crisp and smooth with a warm alcohol presence. It is heavy-bodied.

D - This really is like a fine sherry or port. It would probably be best served after a meal, not with one. Good taste but very powerful.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a vibrant copper with an off-white head that becomes a thin cover for awhile before disappearing from the scene. Nice color and while the head retention isn't great, it's acceptable for the abv. Considering how thick it poured, wasn't really expecting much. An added bonus would have of a well-retained head would have been nice, but it does have a brilliant color.

The smell is of caramel, breadiness and a powerful, yet inviting, sharpness.

The taste is of sweet caramel, graininess and tangerine fruitiness. Alcohol grows more warming, but never overwhelms Sweet, hot, long finish.

The feel is syrupy - with such high gravity it's no wonder. Yet, it maintains a surprising, welcoming, smoothness.

This is a nice sipping brew that is much easier to drink than the abv level would usually have it to be.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cellared for two years. Pours a brilliantly clear shade of tawny amber with bronze highlights. Soapy, off-white two and a half finger head showing respectable retention for a fortified beverage, but leaves no lacing. The nose is heavy with Apricot brandy, dark crystal malt, and deeply toasted notes like Special B or Aromatic malt. A background aroma of cider gets stronger as it warms, as does the faintest trace of perfumey noble hops. Immense caramel and roasted nutty flavor on the first sip; sweet isn't quite a sufficient definition. Raisin phenols and apple ester add more depth to the malt profile, while a mellow yet firm hop bitterness begins to round out the formidable sweetness. True balance is achived in the aftertaste, when a dark fruity booze character provides the slow burn that gradually dries the residual sugar. Full-chewy body with a fine carbonation that seems intentionally light to emphasize the malt complexity and thick mouthfeel. This is a sipper and not intended for hurried consumption, and it also never becomes cloying or overwhelming; the alcohol is warm but not hot and the malt is tremendous -but fades out allowing a very managable finish. Certainly worth the wait as this is simply too abrasive when young, and could perhaps benefit from another year in the cellar.

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Photo of ericj551
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

EKU 28 pours a brilliant crystal clear orange with a light wispy head. Aroma is malts, some light fruitiness, maybe even some sweet orange aroma. Flavor is rich and sweet tons or sweet caramel taste. The beer has a soft fruit flavor with almost no hops to speak of. It is very clean, and well balanced. The alcohol is not hidden, but not too bad for 11%.

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Photo of kwakwhore
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish pour with an ample off white/light beige head. Not long lasting and not much lace. Malt predominates in the aroma lightly spicy. Flavor starts out with some not real pleasant fusel notes, but these disappear as the beer warms to a good drinking temperature. Flavors are sweet, mildly spicy with a bit of caramel. Kind of like a toned-down Samichlaus. Alcohol ends up being well disguised in the beer. Not extremely complex but tasty and at the price(2.12 a bottle) quite drinkable.

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Photo of frozenpantsuit
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

beer poured a reddish brown

smell was a semi sweet caramel with a hint of cashews and a slight alcohol smell.

the head disapated fast and the lacing was slight and faded just as quickly

mouth feel was full, carbonation was evident, but thickness of brew prevented in from overwhelming the pallate.

sweet caramel taste was the most noticable at first taste, as i continued drinking i noted alchohol taste but neither the carmel sweetness nore the alcohol taste fully took over. became more bitter as it warmed.

a nice beer. would not have assumed it was 11% if not for the label.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hope the street people don't find out about this beer lol. Pours a nice dark gold with decent head. The nose is all malt and a alcohol haze that serves as a warning. The first taste is malty big and hot with each sip coming easier with a decided smoothness considering the ABV. Compared to Giraffe, Faxe strong etc this is a well made beer that is pretty darn strong. I like that it comes in a can ( catch up beer lol)

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Photo of ohmybock
4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm updating my previous review because my recent bottles of EKU 28 are better than what I described in my previous rating...

Big malty/toffee aroma you pretty much only get from a true German bock brew. Very, VERY nice! Actually, there's also a strong fruitiness which you don't get all that often in a German lager. Even so, it's a "clean" fruitiness so you know it's still a lager. Beautiful amber color with a slight head, but one that seems to stick around. After pouring it into a glass, the appearance and aroma of this brew just make me want to immediately take a sip! Carbonation is decent and appropriate for the style, but some previous bottles have been too low. Flavor is a malt assault on the tongue combined with some heat from the alcohol. The flavor improves on the aroma with a huge malty/toffee explosion on the tongue. I get ripe fruits...perhaps some apple, but even more I'm getting some beautiful ripe pear flavors. Have you ever forked over the money to buy some Harry and David's Royal Riviera pears? They're expensive, but ohhh so good...nature's candy! Anyway, I definitely get some of that great, ripe, Oregon pear character in this brew. When I first tasted this beer ten years ago, I wasn't crazy about it. Now, it's one of my (occasional) favorites. It's not something I would drink often, but I love to keep some on hand for the times when I'm in the mood...and it seems to hold up incredibly well in my fridge for long periods of time. There's no denying EKU 28 is a malty brew...even for German standards, yet it still has a nice, clean-fermented lager taste. Even though the malt character is strong, I don't think this brew goes too far with its maltiness. Take Vetter 33 on tap in Heidelberg for comparison. Vetter 33 is too over-the-top malty, and has way too much of an unfermented malt-syrup taste. EKU 28 on the other hand, is much more drinkable and thoroughly fermented. I really enjoy this brew, but I can imagine that some don't because it's a bit extreme. EKU 28 has definitely become a brew I've come to love over the years. If you disagree that's okay, that just leaves more for me!

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Photo of oelergud
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Honey golden ruby clear body with good carbonation and a large off-white head that falls quickly and leaves no lace.
Very strong alcoholic vapors amid sweet spiced malts.
Sweet malty caramel and toffee with a good kick of spice. Lots of hops as well but more mild mannered. Aftertaste of alcohol and sweet spiced malts.
Very full body but surprisingly little coating considering the thickness of the beer.
Highly drinkable in spite of the very apparent alcohol.


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Photo of soulgrowl
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Mahogany orange amber, thinly carbonated with a blink-and-you'll-miss-it parchment-colored head. The fleeting head is to be expected with a beer of this strength, but even so this isn't terribly attractive.

Smell: Massively nutty malts: hazelnuts, walnuts, and almonds all pressed into a sweet and lightly fruity liqueur. Amaretto, honey, apple juice, wheat bread. Very malty and very nice. Sweetness is offset by brisk but surprisingly subdued alcohol and a hint of estery, sort of woody hops.

Taste: Like the aroma, this is a nutty, caramelly, malt-forward brew. Sweet through and through, definitely not what I would call balanced, but somehow not cloying. Tart apple juice and honey first, followed by a subtle walnut liqueur flavor with a bit of vanilla and a suggestion of prunes. Slightly roasty, almost chocolatey, just before the finish, then ends sappy sweet, vaguely herbal-hoppy, and with a soft surge of warm alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and lush. Syrupy at times, but that's to be expected, and all things considered, this is actually surprisingly clean and dry.

Drinkability: Definitely the lightest beer of this strength I've ever had. Remarkably drinkable, almost like a cross between a barleywine and a bock. Very nice, this one was a pleasant surprise.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a deep gold, nearly orange with two fingers of creamy but quickly dissolving head. No lace, but not much surprise there.

Aroma - smells heavy with syrupy fruit, like wine. Fusel vapors take over as it settles. Heady.

Taste - big layer of sweet malt at the front of the palate. Candy, bubble gum, and banana are the impressions I get of the sweet side. The swallow brings on an intense grain flavor, the sweetness backing off enough to support it from backstage. Warm alcohol takes over just before the swallow and from there on. Not harsh but certainly big. Whew, a tongue-smasher, some of the subtler flavors are already disappearing and just the sweetness, rich malt, and booziness remain. A rather long finish, the flavors hanging around like a dose of cough syrup. The bulk of the beer boils down to some simple flavors but they are impressively tasty without getting brash or tiring.

Mouthfeel - filling brew, leaves a nice coating behind, average carbonation.

Drinkability - I'd have it again but would be interested in laying a bottle down for five years or so to see what happens.

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Photo of rallison
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temp into a matching EKU 28 snifter.

A: Golden red with basically no head - this thing looks thick.

S: Smells of apples and pears. Very fruity. Smells quite interesting.

T: Again, lots of fruitiness. Apples and pears are very evident, with a nice bit of alcohol warmth. Very brandy-like in strength and taste. Vinous. No hops that I could find. Lots of caramel too. Ends with a nice alcoholic spicy bite. Definitely an after dinner sipper.

M: Extremely rich with very low carbonation (although there is a touch at the end) - as I believe this is meant to be. It's syrupy, but it's also a sipper, so that's ok by me.

D: It's not really meant to be overly drinkable, but yet, this bottle is going quickly...

Overall, recommended. Want something to drink by the fire? This is it.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If 9.2% ABV in their regular Eisbock wasn't enough, Kulmbacher also makes a stronger 11% ABV version. Purchased from the only place I know that sells Eisbocks (Town and Country Liquor in Fullerton), on to the beer:

A - Pours dark orange with some red hues.

S - Alcoholic, malty, raisins, and grapes.

T- The added alcohol has changed the flavor around a bit, with some sugar candy notes, a touch of caramel, and a hint of vanilla. The doughiness from the malts reminds us that it's still a bock. The alcohol can get distracting at times, but not enough to keep you wanting more. Drinks fairly well for its strength.

Notes: Yowser! This stuff is pretty strong! Despite that, I didn't feel much of a kick after having all 11.2 ounces. This stuff gave me goosebumps the farther I got along with it.

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.72/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured a very clear and very bright yellow orange with no head and no visible lace. Lots of visible carbonation streaming up from the glass.

S - Smell was very light at first but started to come through some more as it warmed. Nice smell of grain mixed with some dried fruit, raisins, plums, maybe even some peach. A slight bready twang to it and a definite hint at the alcohol inside.

M & T - The first impression of the taste was extremely sweet, with an enormous alchol bite. The feel was very syrupy, almost cough medicine like and made it a bit hard to put down. Lots of alcohol left a huge warming feeling in the belly, but I would almost say there was too much alcohol in this one as it really packs a wallaop and distracts from some of the flavors.

D - Overall this will kick your butt if you have more then one. It really did come off as a bit too strong. Maybe tone down the alcohol and puff up the hops and it could be a fine frink. Maybe I let one sit down for some months, though I don't know how it will age. This is very intresting and a definate sipper, a good one to try.

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Photo of BBM
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

EKU 28 pours a clear golden honey color with a reddish hue and a thin white, fizzy head. The aroma is of rum, raisins, warm alcohol, and other dark fruits. Pleasant and powerful.

There is a big malt flavor up front, with caramel, dark fruits, and a raisin quality to it. There is a very slight hop balance, but the finish is very alcoholic and warming. This is in no way a bad thing, in fact it is quite a pleasant sensation. It's almost more akin to a brandy or port wine. Mouthfeel is clean, but a bit thin. Even at 11%, this beer remains fairly drinkable. Overall this is one powerful beer that is meant to be a sipper. Highly recommended.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep honey with some rather active carbonation in the body, a thin head that eventually turns into a thin ring, and some lace clinging to the sides. Lot of hot alcohol in the nose with some sweet honey and bready malts. Smells kind of worty. The alcohol along with some light fruits hit the palate first. Bread, honey, and pears continue on into the finish, which has an almost medicinal quality, but it doesn't go too far. Mouthfeel is thick, slick, and with a soft and mellow carbonation. With the high alcohol, this one is a sipper.

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Photo of drpimento
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Having this bottle at home, but I'm sure they have it at Bodega downtown La Crosse, too. Poured with a big, thick, foamy, luscious light tan head and some lace. Most head disappeared except for a thin cover. Nose was intensely malty, caramel, toffee, and bitter yeast. This is just out of my cold fridge and it's great; I know it'll be better as it warms. Still, the flavor is very good! Like the aroma but better. Great body. Very mouthfilling with just the right carbonation. Having it with a bowl of spicy congee. Good match. Nice finish that is yeast bitter at first fading to the above sweet flavors. Very rich, not a session beer; but one or two is fine.

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Photo of jamie2dope
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I alwasy thought the EKU stuff looked rather curious, so I picked up a bottle without any clue that it was an Eisbock. It poured surprisingly light orange color, with pretty much no head. This is certainly the lightest shaded version of the style I have seen (though I have not seen many). Smell was very boozy and fruity...apples seem definitely there. Taste was on the malty side, with viscous honey, raisins, and more booze. This beer seems to explode when it swishes around the palate, bursting with flavor in every way. It is a bit carbonated, not not too much. While this is a drinkable beer for sure, it is also pretty strong and heavy. One or two bottles at a time seems appropriate to me. Final Thoughts: A nice beer for sure. Maybe not the best Eisbock I have had, but still enjoyable. I would like to see how it is on tap.

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Photo of Jermbrew
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

I poured this in to an oversized snifter. Deep amber in color. The head disappears very quickly, but leaves behind a little swirly foam on top.

Aroma is huge in this beer. Sweet cherry-like scent with hints of vanilla and oak. It's a good inviting smell.

Taste is vanilla and malty sweet and mouthfeel is great. The liquid is velvety and super smooth, but the hot finish reminds me of the high ABV.

I can have this occasionally but it depends on the time and place. This may be a good one to finish the night with.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a little bottle of this last night at the Essen Haus. A bargain at $4 if you ask me. This is quite a beer.

Pours that dark orange-copper color that screams so quintessentially that this is a German Doppelbock or Eisbock. Head is initially thick and tan but it doesn’t have much of a life span and before to long descends to just a very thin clinging lace. Not much carbonation. Seems to be an old bottle.

Aroma is quite pungent, primarily of boozy dark fruit…tons, and tons of prunes/rum raison but also some cherries. Very boozy but it does manage to give one the idea that they might find a heck of a lot of malt in this brew from the hints of caramel that rise with the alcohol notes.

Thick, soothing, chewy feel. Highly viscous. Somewhat sweet. Primary flavor is booze soaked dark fruit but the caramel malts are also quite nice. Reminds me a little bit of Optimator. Also, many beers are described a vinous but this one seems more like Cognac then wine.

Not very drinkable for me. If I want a lot of dark fruit boozy flavors I’ll probably go the Baltic porter route. This is a nice beer but it just doesn’t stand up to the eisbocks I’m used to drinking from New Glarus, Capital, The Dane, and Aventinus.

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Photo of mjc410
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've decided to pour this into my La Moneuse glass, being bereft of a snifter at this time. The beer puts up a short-lived head that fades in less than ten seconds to a thin glass ring. The body has a beautiful color, though: it's a transparent ruby-copper. The nose is full of brown sugar, dark bread, and the scent of pecan pie, which may very well be the first time I've said this about a beer. Very interesting. The taste is a near-cloying, caramel and light brown sugar experience. I honestly don't think there's more to it than that, but it tastes wonderful, in very small sips. The mouth might be one of the thickest I've ever come across, with almost non-existent carbonation. But really, I can't see a "combat" beer like this having any bubbles to lighten the load, it just wouldn't feel right. If I could have this with pecan pie, or a hefty chocolate dish, or creme brulee, or... Well, suffice it to say, this is a great one.

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Photo of khiasmus
3.03/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

A-Pours a beautiful clear, dark amber. Almost no head that disappears comletely in moments.

S-Very sweet, almost sickly, with some fig and apricot notes, and no hops.

T-It's very good, but honestly my first taste almost choked me-I wasn't expecting something so overwhelmingly sweet. Tastes like malt and dates. No hops. Reviewing the guidelines for the eisbock, it fits very closely except for how sickeningly sweet it is.

M-Slick and oily-smooth, with low carbonation and a dry, warm, alcohol finish.

D-I wanted to pour it out after first sip. Simply too damn sweet. If you want a much, much better example of Eisbock, get a Kulmbacher Eisbock.

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EKU 28 from Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
3.92 out of 5 based on 704 ratings.
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