EKU 28 | Kulmbacher Brauerei AG

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EKU 28EKU 28
Very Good
710 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: 710 |  Reviews: 466
Photo of Injemanze
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I found this at an international beer festival in Hangzhou, China. I had never had an Eisbock before so I was admittedly curious.

Appearance- Pours a deep amber, almost a copper-red. Head was minimal without much

Smell- Scotch alcohol, spices, and fruit

Taste- Malt, honey, berries, cinnamon, but the alcohol overpowered the other flavors. More like cheap brandy than beer.

Mouthfeel- Spicy and alcoholic. The oily consistency was unpleasant however.

Drinkability- The overwhelming taste of alcohol meant I would not want more than one of these in sitting.

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Photo of biegaman
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A brandy/cognac appearence. Beautiful but no head. Glowing and transparent. Sweet, sweet nectar liquere aroma of malt. Wowza! Heavy, thick, viscous mouthfeel. Well maintained, not much booze comes through. Flavour short of anythign ecstatic but mouthfeel is impressive. Light caramel toffee, but not assertive on the palette. A fantastic appertif. Barley-wine even? A little more assertive on hops could do it good but that isn't the German style I know (we can leave that to the Americans!) Slight stickyness to the finish, but distant. 11% I had no idea! A little too thin in the mouthfeel compartment. Grows more 'syropy' but still a magnificent makeup. Candy malt! Slightly one-dimensional. A winner - but I'm not entirely impressed because I know this could be more...

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.1/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 1 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This started out promising, but was reallly not very good. Poured to a brownish red, with medium tan head and had an aroma of malty dark fruit. Unfortunately, the head dissipated almost immediately, and left zero lacing. In addition, as beer warmed, the 11% alcohol became the overwhelming aroma and taste, so that by the end, I felt like I was drinking some cheap rock-gut or moonshine. Not impressed with EKU 28.

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Photo of bigdeuce
3.47/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first Eisbock and I have to agree with the last reviewer, a very good beer and not something I can drink more than 1 or 2 in a sitting. Almost a maple/brown sugar flavor, very heavy and slightly sweet. Not much head, fairly bubbly. Almost similar to an Old ale, but not nearly as rough and bitter. More sweet than harsh. Very oily on the palate. A nice offering but not something to drink that often.

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Photo of BassAssassin
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear amber color similar to maple syrup. Thin, quickly dissipating head. Few bubbles of carbonation. Very indicative of the alcohol strength of this style.

S: Strong scents of maple syrup and raisins. Alcohol smell is also present. Sweet and slightly spicy.

T: Huge malt presence. Sweet and fruity with hints of caramel. No real hop flavor to be found. Stays true to the style. Alcohol is slightly spicy and lends a warming character.

M: Slick and Full. Very rounded, syrupy mouthfeel. This is a heavy beer.

D: Due to its strength and body, it'd be tough to have more than one or two of these in one sitting. However, that doesn't stop it from being a very good beer. It's a great beer to sip on a cold night. I'll be buying several; some to drink now and some to cellar and taste through the years.

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Photo of Boto
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle: This one pours a fairly clear amber color, with a fair amount of off-white head. That drops off quickly to leave a glass with no lacing. The aroma is a bit sweet. Mainly notes of caramel and raisins to the nose. Possibly some other fruits and a bit brown-sugary also. There is a flatness to the taste: the carbonation is already gone. The taste is a bit of caramel malts and some dark fruits. Maybe a hint of oakiness in there also. Not bad.

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Photo of AltBock
3.72/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle with a simple oval label that is tan colored in the middle with a red and gold trim. In the middle of the label in big red letters is "EKU." Above the letters is a gold crown with three gold coins on each side. Each of the coins has a different picture in them, but they're too small to read. On the back is a square label that's the same color as the front label, but with a paragraph of information about the beer, a Michael Jackson quote that says this beer is "World Classic," Govt. warning, and a batch or some other kind of number on the back, mine being 1546154. There's a big neck label wrapped around the neck (duh), but it's all in German, so I can't read it, but I can read a few key words.

Appearance: I decided to break out the Oversized Wine Glass for this one. When it was poured, the beer was an orange color with a tint of brown to it. The head of foam was nonexistent. Maybe not nonexistent because I did see a few bubbles at the top and that dissipated away very fast and left no sign of either rings or lace around the glass.

Smell: The aroma was that of sweet malts in the beginning, caramel and a hint of hops in the middle, and all of this ended with a fruity background. I hostly thought there would have to be some kind of alcohol in there as well, but nope! Just a very nice sweet aroma.

Taste: Like the smell, I thought maybe this beer wouldn't have much flavor and end with a huge explosion of alcohol, but that's far from the truth. What I got was a very sweet taste of sweet malt, sweet caramel, hint of bitter hops, and with a not too big taste of alcohol at the end. Basically it was very sweet with an alcohol finish. The alcohol was there because it's at 11% ABV, but it wasn't as one dimensional as I thought it would be. Nice!!!

Mouthfeel: Very thick, full-bodied, very little carbonation, and with a slight alcohol burn to it. I can say I'm feeling it going to work on me. A nice sipping beer.

Drinkability: Overall a very nice beer that would be good on an occasional basis, but be careful with this one. Although Eisbocks are not my favorite style of beer, I would probably buy again in the future.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

08/04/06- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle, no freshness info listed. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Really nice off cherry color. Maybe a touch of a golden-cherry if that rings a bell. Off white, kinda yellow creamy head. Maybe 1/4 inch on the pour, a nice creamy rim remains. Sparse, but nice streaks of lace remain.

Smell- Super deep toasted caramel malt combined with alcohol, light woody scents and maybe a touch of anise. Really strong scent.

Taste- Strong and sweet, even a bit hoppy with a semi bitter aftertaste. Caramel sludge coats your tongue. Maybe a touch of berry flavor, but not as much as indicated in the nose.

Mouthfeel- Thick, viscous and mouthcoating. Lower carbonation level.

Drinkability- Strong, sweet and fabulous. Still new to the world of Eisbocks. Not quite as flavorful as Aventinus, but very good nonetheless. A bit strong to have more than one though. Winter after dinner drink. One is just right.

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Photo of absolutbc2001
4.04/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark translucent red-brown in color with very little head (probably since this bottle is several years old). Medium thick.

Sweet strong smell that warns of a heavy malt filled beer. Does not have the bitter aspect of the taste.

Heavy taste. Lots of malt. A little bitter. Taste of alcohol is strong.

A little low in carbonation but a nice thick taste appropriate for 11% alcohol. Leaves the taste nicely on the lips.

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Photo of fido
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting beer; A very flavorful beer for a 11% ABV.

It pours a nice copper color, Little head almost no lacing; Smell is fruity and very malty with some alcohol; Taste is the same than smell, fruIty, caramel and sweet; Mouthfeel is syrupy, nice bitterness and almost no carbonation; Very drinkable with moderation.

Very nice.


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Photo of msubulldog25
4.49/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer twice in one day: first as a 4 oz. taster pour at Portland International Beerfest, second in a goblet (16 oz.!) at Concordia Ale House.

A: A caramel orange-brown with a minimal head. Looks like a brown cloudy beer, nothing special...

S: Rich malty smell, a candy/toffee sweetness. Hints of spices like nutmeg or cinnamon, dark fruit, alcohol. I swear I smelled mint, too. All nicely layered and comingled.

T: A "wow" taste for me - remarkable layers of toffee sweetness, fruit, bittersweet chocolate/cocoa, smoked wood, and ever-present alcohol warmth, like bourbon.

M: Nice full-bodied mouthfeel. Carbonation gives a little prickliness, but generally a smooth beer.

D: Terrific flavor and smell, to be enjoyed in moderation. High alcohol level (Germany's "strongest beer"?!?!) and complex flavors make this one to be savored with dinner or dessert. I had mine with a dinner of a bacon & blue cheese burger and fries; they went quite well together.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fluorescent burnt orange when backlit with bright afternoon sunshine. The cap is boldly orangish ecru in color and is impressively loud. Snap, crackle and poppin' fizzy, it deflates quickly and is nearly gone at the one minute mark. No softness, no creaminess, no stickiness... no lace. I know that alcohol is a notorious headhunter, but this is ridiculous.

Headless beer has always been fairly aroma-deficient in my experience, from what I assumed was a lack of aerosolization. Then again, there's nothing to get in the way of the beer and my nose. This one has a fair amount of power and resembles nothing so much as Cognac. It's fruity and fusel alcohol-like, not tremendously malty as expected. Perhaps a snifter would have helped elevate the nose past merely above average.

I like it. The flavor is the best attribute so far and since flavor is all-important to me, I can cut the appearance and the smell a great deal of slack. Because I love Big Beer, I love the idea (and often the execution) of the Eisbock process. What could be better than concentrating the flavor of good beer? How about an EisDIPA?

EKU tastes like a cross between beer and liquor. It's single malt whisky-like without any of the wonderful peatiness and only a fraction of the power of that fine elixir. It's also much more fruity, which brings the aforementioned Cognac into the picture. Actually, it's more second-rate California brandy than Remy Martin.

I don't really appreciate any hops and there's a curious lack of sweetness given all the malt. The flavor takes the majority of its cues from lightly spicy alcohol it seems. Aging this beer in wood (for all I know, it was) would do wonders for what is a deep, although not a broad, flavor profile.

The body isn't nearly as full or as plush as the bodies on most Imperial stouts or barleywines. It's big, but it has more of a slick silkiness than a mouth-filling luxuriousness. The fact that there's almost no detectable carbonation doesn't bother me in the least and only adds to the liquor-like mouthfeel.

EKU 28 needs a more exciting name. It could also use a better look, but then I don't care too much about that with beer of this sort. I'm enjoying it more and more as I delve into the final third of the bottle and am enjoying the warmth that is spreading from my stomach outward, despite the heat of the day. I'll have to buy another few bottles for those inevitable subzero Iowa winters.

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Photo of Fuller
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - very clear orange-brown copper color. What little head there was disappeared within seconds leaving no remains.

S - sweet fruit and malt smell with some alcohol.

T - very sweet and rich, fruity taste. Bitter at the end. Can taste the alcohol, but not as much as I expected at 11% ABV.

M - thick and syrupy. Almost no carbonation.

Overall a nice sipping beer. Not one I'd have more than a couple in a sitting.

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

Poured almost amber in color with a thin white head. No lacing. Nose is full of strawberries, caramel and a tad bit of grapefruit. Taste is largely the same, with pleasant bitterness in the tail end. Mouth is carbonated with some of the tiniest bubbles I've come across. I can see myself buying this again for sure.

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Photo of Pepeton
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I guess I have to thank the Soccer World Cup for this brew, 'cause a local supermarket is now offering 7 beers from the Kulmbacher brewery in a sort of a celebration or homage for the host of this sport event.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Started celebrations for Fathers Day really early. :-)

Pours an amazing orange-reddish, with a matching one-inch head which survives for three seconds flat. No lacing at all.

Smell is deeply malty, with some fruitiness aroma in the background.

Taste is all of malts and with a mild bitterness, sweet, sweet, sweet. Not very complex. Alcohol is naturally so present. Very full body, oily, syrupy.

Mouthfeel is spicy, with some carbonation.

Drinkability is limited due to an imposing 11% ABV. This will make a great apperitif or digestive. Actually, later today I'm heading to buy a few more bottles.


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Photo of wedge
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stunningly clear, brilliant reddish copper color with a head that disappears quickly leaving a slight creamy ring around the edge. Alcohol coats everything in the aroma...not in an offensive way - very clean. Bright, rich fruits including cherry and plum. Flavor is rich and sweet - oak, dark fruits, toasted malts. The strength of the alcohol is definately noticeable in taste too but again, its very unobjectionable. Smooth, thick, and warming.

Powerful stuff for sure, yet not overly so. Still, a bottle or two and you'll be done. Numbs the old noggin...

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Photo of RedHaze
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, bright copper color, with a quarter inch head that quickly fades to a spotty cap, leaving behind only traces of lacing.

Smell; this has a strong grainy profile up front. After I let this settle for a couple of minutes there are some nice hints of cherries, vanilla and caramel malts. The alcohol is very present in the aroma as well.

Taste; this very sweet, and that graininess comes through in the taste, but not quite as strongly as in the smell. Vanilla, cherries and caramel malts all come through as well, and there's also an almost oak barrel flavor going on. Mouthfeel is nice and full, but it's a bit on the syrupy side for me, and with the alcohol so strong it's definitely a sipper.

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a clear amber with a large head for a high alcohol beer. The smell is strong with vanilla, sweet malt, dark fruit, and alcohol. The taste is sweet with vanilla, malt ,fruit, and some oak aging. This has a borban flavor to it that's just great. The m/f is heavy with all the flavors mixing well. This is the best eisbock I've had. Excellant.

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

served froman 11.2 oz brown bottle, liked the packaging on this one : simple yet elegant.
Dark amber coloured beer, very large bubbly/creamy tan head which i thought unusual for this alcohol volume..but it looked cool.
Sweet aromas of ripe red apples and sweet bing cherries, stronger sherry like tones also picked up..quite complex.
Quite a bitter/swet taste, both clash early but somehow it works. This does taste a little like a good sweet sherry and of cherries. The alcohol is noticable but not ugly. Semi dry/woody finish. Long lasting and pleasurable after tastes.
Pretty nice on the palte, smooth with low carbonation make this an ideal "sipper".
Drinkable? yes but not one that is gonna be a session beer LOL. Just a nice after dinner cold weather dessert beer, which I found I liked.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pouring the beer from the brown bottle, a one centimeter, white head is produced that lasts for a few short moments. The passing of time witnesses the head dissolve into a thin ring of bubbles around the glass' outline. The body is amber brown, relatively transparent, with slow, tired carbonation; quite fitting for a thick, heavy beer.
The aroma is densely packed with caramel malt, a bit of toffee, rum, and alcohol. Taste is predominantly vinuous and features intense malt sweetness mingling with less apparent fragments of brown sugar and stewed figs. Alcohol is very detectable in the aftertaste, perhaps a bit too much so.
The eisbock is medium-heavy on the palate, somewhat syrupy, with a gentle level of carbonation that's fitting for this slow-drinking beer. Finish is dry with a moderate alcohol burn. This eisbock is not as fruity or caramel/malt heavy as the other eisbocks I've had and enjoyed more have been; I think this is the major aspect that the beer could be improved upon.

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Photo of tempest
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Orange body with no head. Smells of rich fruity malt, alcohol isn't apparent but you know its going to be big. More dark fruit malts with licorice. No hops flavor, all malt here. Very smooth drinking and tasty. Feels like at first, but you'll know what you're drinking after the first few sips. Interesting beer, makes me think German Old Ale. Give it a try if you live for malty beers.

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Photo of Gusler
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After its release from 330ml brown bottle, it sets in the glass an orange-gold color with a modest bright white heat that is semi-creamy texture, the lace is a fine coating upon the glass. Nose is sweet malt, fresh and crisp, start is sweet, the grain profile decent, top is light to moderate in feel. Finish has a determined in its acidity, the hops pleasant, the aftertaste dry and a touch of alcohol bitterness from the 11 percent ABV and also some noticeable tummy warming, a drinkable beer, but not something I drink on a regular basis.

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Photo of clabaugh
2.33/5  rDev -41%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish amber. A delicate, sudsy head colored a light, goldish tan rests on top. Decent retention. Lacing is nonexistent.

Smell: Grape, molasses, a barley-like maltiness, and a robust alcohol aroma. A tad medicinal. Some spice. Pepper?

Taste: Very winelike, tart, and bold in its alcohol presence. Brown sugar, and a bitter citric taste. Some acidity.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, and sticky. Really coats the mouth and lingers. Lightly carbonated.

Drinkability: Not a fan of the flavor nor the persistent aftertaste. The alcohol is quite apparent, and limits consumption. A completely new experience in beer for me, but not one I'm necessarily looking to repeat.

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Photo of snilsen13
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So, how does one score an 11% beer? In this case, quite easily. Have you tried any other expensive heavy beers? This really makes a point that cost does not need to be high to get some very luxurious qualities from a beer. Essentially, EKU 28 is not only "one of the strongest beers in the world" and a "world classic" but it's an easy drinking concoction. It's smooth, sticky and heavy like a port, but not quite so heavy as Schamiclaus (15%) or other super heavy weight beers. It smells rich and goes down without any unpleasent bite or after taste. An affordable night cap ($10/6-pack) or a good value for the ABV alone. Not as complex as the super heavy weights, but fills a gap mssing in the 6-pack motif. In some ways, this is about as drinkable as a portly beer can be, meaning that you'll be tempted to grab another as you are not totally exhausted by the first.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.37/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - pours a raw sienna color with half a finger of frothy white head.

S - has a butterscotch and toffee smell, with the associated hops aromas

T - tastes more syrupy than it feels, including a raisiny, pruney flavor, hard to place, maybe molasses

M - sweet and sticky, like a warm molasses

D - low due to the syrupyness, but decent, again a great apertif, would go great with pie a la mode

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EKU 28 from Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 710 ratings
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