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 Knapp85
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was one of the first strong beers I ever had back in April of 2008. I had this on tap at a small bar in Doylestown Pa called Stephanie's Pub. I wanted to try this because I was amazed at how strong the abv was at the time. I ordered a glass and it was something much more than I expected.

Poured as a copper color with a thin white head on top. The head didn't last very long and didn't leave much lacing. The smell of the beer had a boozey aroma and some heavy malts in the background. The taste was mostly malts along with a nice alcohol heat in the throat. The mouthfeel was smooth though and very drinkable. I'd like to try this one again someday just to see what I think of it now after having beers that are stronger than that one.

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Photo of jyuhas
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dense, lively almost-white head. Crystal clear, beautiful. The color of fresh, bright copper. Some noble and piney hops in the beggining quickly fading, leaving aromas of dried fruit, grapes, and wine. Lightly floral like chamomile tea. A bit sweet with lightly fruity and floral flavors.

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Photo of BeerFan95
2.8/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured a clear copper color with a thin slightly off-white head that lasted quite awhile but did not have any lace

S: Mostly caramel malts and some brown sugar. Some dark fruits.

T: Taste was sweet although it was not one dimensional it was still sweet. Some oak and vanilla notes in the after taste.

M: I was disappointed in the mouth feel. It seemed pretty light, not watery but it seemed to have no weight to it.

O: I was impressed that the alcohol was well hidden. It was sweet but the oak and vanilla balanced it out just enough from it becoming overly sweet or cloying. The light mouth feel really hurt for me.

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

A - Dark honey amber brew with faint lacing and rising carbonation just up the inside edges of the glass.

S - Nice aroma of sweet toffee and syrup sugar. Light malt sweetness notes and a crisp brown alcohol present. Oak barrel kick, much akin to the smell of a bourbon whiskey. Faint ammonia cleaner touch.

T - Light malt and spiced, warming alcohol up front. The alcohol bite here reminds me of a warm, sweet mead alcohol. Lightly toasted malts, and some honey and toffee sweetness. Some faintly bitter grape skin, and a mellowed wine dryness. The bourbon barrel notes hit the back of the tongue and the alcohol warms the throat, and evaporates in the mouth.

M - Smooth and mellowed mouth. Mild carbonation balances the richness of this beer. Slight dryness in the finish.

O - A very complex and well crafted beer. This is a sipper, or a warmer. A high abv, warming, spiced malt brew this beer is high quality.

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Photo of chaz01
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce ( or so) bottle from Beer of the Month Club, poured into a snifter glass.

A: golden copper color, very clear, with a medium size head that recedes immediately.

S: Malty, bready and caramel in the aroma with a bit of alcohol reminding me of rum.

T: Caramel malty sweetness with lots of noticeable alcohol and rum notes. Dark fruits like raisins and dates, then a pleasant alcohol and caramel finish that lingers long after the beer is gone.

M: Full bodied, thick and syrupy with the right amount of carbonation.

D: This is a big sipping beer, that stands up like a big barleywine. Something I likely never would have tried. -- another example of why I return each year to the BOMC.

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Photo of greybeardloon
2.17/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a Reidel O Burgundy tumbler.

A: Clear, tea colored, with an attractive, parchment-colored head that dissipates quickly. No lacing.

S: Very sweet malt overwhelms most everything else. I do get a couple of strong but fleeting whiffs of Band-Aid and of a baby girl who has been sitting in a wet diaper for too long. Alcohol comes through more clearly as the beer warms.

T: Cloyingly sweet malt. The sweetness is monolithic. Sometimes I think I'm picking up caramel or dried fruit or honey, but really it's just sweet. The high ABV is obvious. As the beer warms (and it has plenty of opportunity to do so), I get a touch of aspirin bitterness at the end.

M: Quite a nice, slightly viscous mouthfeel. The carbonation is just about right and keeps the beer from feeling too thick.

O: I really can't get past the overwhelming sweetness of this beer. I had this beer once before, and my impressions were largely the same. I couldn't finish that one either. If there were hummingbirds around, I would put this out for them.

Revisiting this beer in early 2013, I almost feel like I had a bad batch last time. I don't expect that is actually the case, but I don't get any of the obnoxious flavors I remember from last time I had this beer. In fact, I rather liked it.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock glass.

Safety orange liquid topped by a fluffy lasting champagne (the color) crown. Good clarity reveals brighter amber highlights and a steady stream of micro-bubbles. Dense soapy lacing; superior retention.

Incredibly potent melanoidins in the nose - toffee/caramel suffused brown bread; lots of malt; and an indescribable depth that remains clean. Hints of bubble-gum, red bananas, and clove.

Sweet bready palate entry, with a powerful wave of malt which expands outward, blossoming in flavor as the alcohol begins to kick in. Fine muscovado sugar, vague coffee, and black pepper emerge in the long warming finish.

Medium-bodied, well carbonated, and somewhat creamy, yet still crisp despite the immense ABV. Quite warming, but not hot.

This is a doppelbock so strong in flavor and alcohol, it puts many eisbocks to shame - and while I rarely shell out the $20+ for a six-pack - very little else can satisfy the craving that this beer engenders.

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

From the bottle to a tulip. Pours a bright copper with a very thin head. Smells of malt and alcohol. Mouth feel is somewhat thin with some level of tingliness. Taste is well balanced with malts, sweeter hops, molasses and the alcohol is present. This was an experiment for me and I was pleased. Definitely a "one and done" due to the ABV, this was still surprisingly drinkable.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up at Total Wine in Alexandria. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pours a bright red-copper that is nearly transparent. Quite light and clear for a doppelbock. There is a thin off-white head to begin, though that quickly disappears and doesn't leave anything behind other than a few thin legs.

Smell first pushes through some notes of sherry along with some dark fruits, cherry, and molasses. Brown sugar there as well. Lightly sweet and a bit boozy. Very complex. Flavor isn't quite as well integrated, hitting more of the sweet brown sugar notes and less of the sherry. There's also quite a bit more booze than there was in the nose. Feel is medium with low carbonation and a bit of alcohol. Quite good overall. Very different than the typical doppelbock, though something that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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Photo of beertunes
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Al for giving this to me to try. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a nice reddish-orange brown with about an inch of just off-white head that had good retention and light lacing.

The aroma is rich, full and malty, with just a bit of an alcohol scent. The taste is about what I expected, sweet, malty, grainy and had just a trace of hops.

The body was full, rich and just short of being too sweet. Drinkability depends on your taste for alcohol and sweetness, I liked it.

Overall, a pretty good beer. Worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of bashiba
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a nice light orange/copper, very clean and clear with a light sticky off white head.

The smell was very sourdough bready with a touch of musty sourness.

The flavor is very heavy sweet malt with some light tropical fruit notes along with a very bready flavor. Nice toasted malts dominate the flavor with almost no hops to speak of, a little bit of the 11percent abv pokes through, but isn't at all overpowering.

The mouthfeel is very thick and chewy.

Nicely drinkable huge beer, but a bit lacking in depth and complexity.

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

Pours clear red copper with a slight head that quickly becomes a thin sheen, leaving sticky lacing.

Aroma is bready caramel malt and clove. Hints of dark fruit and generous alcohol warmth.

Taste is more of the bready caramel malt from the nose, with a good bit of brown sugar sweetness. Raisin and date dark fruit matched with peppery yeasty spice. Finishes with lingering alcohol warmth and a minerally metallic quality.

Mouthfeel is a slick medium body.

Overall a lighter depth of flavor than I had anticipated. Dangerously easy to drink considering the high ABV. The alcohol isn't hidden, but the heat it provides complements rather than detracts.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We pour a brew golden-amber in color. It has a caramel colored head of tiny, active bubbles, standing two fingers high. This audibly fizzes away to nothing, at a rather quick pace. The liquid is transparent, occluded only by its somewhat deep color. No sediment is noted otherwise, and carbonation looks to be average. The aroma is malty and sugary sweet. The latter is lent from rich and buttery diacetyls which border on browned caramel and apples, dark fruits, and plums. The alcohol is ever present, but hides well within that sweet, molasses scent. As we sip, grains infused with buttery diacetyls and a saltiness are introduced up front. The malts taste toasted, lending a bit of a cooked vibe over the flavoring. The middle pushes through with a highlight of sweet, brown sugar, and a component of oddly sweetened booze. The finish shows a heightening of the strong alcohol content, which assumes a peppery bite among the final washing of malts through the last drop. The aftertaste breathes like a handful of lightly buttered, partially charred popcorn scraped from the bottom of the kettle. The body is full and the carbonation is low to medium. The feel is thick, almost syrupy, but not quite. The residual sweetness certainly adds to this allusion. The mouth is left quite dry, as the last drops of alcohol evaporate from the tongue. When licking the lips they taste oddly salty, as if you had spent the entire day on the beach. Each sip is more warming than the last. The abv is uncharacteristically high for the style, but the beer drinks easily, hiding it well.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was how bold in flavor it was. The aroma was strong, and did not miss any crucial components for a doppelbock. The flavor profile was similar, in that it included everything standard. Where this beer stands apart is certainly in the abv, which is over the top, but seemingly appropriate for such a big brew.

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Photo of AleWatcher
1.06/5  rDev -73%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

My final beer from my gift membership to the Beer of the Month club.

Poured into mug.

So I had to double check the bottle when I poured this-- I couldn't believe how light the color was. This is like an orange-tinted dark gold. One finger head is gone in a few sips leaving only wispy bubbles behind. No lacing.

Smells of malts and alcohol. Spices too.

Taste has some sweetness up front before the booze takeover. This tastes and feels every bit of 11%. It doesn't mask it. Big spicy and peppery notes on the finish. Warm alcohol sensation in my throat. I'll be honest, I'm simply not a fan of this beer. I like many dopplebocks, but this is not counted among that list. This is unenjoyable for me to drink. The finish has an astringent cleaning product quality that males me think I just drank acetone.

The body feels sugary (like sugar in water-- gritty but not?) and syrupy.

Wow. Anyone want the rest of my bottles?

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Photo of drizzam
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A hazy orange/red body is topped by a half finger orangey looking cap. Minimal head retention and some spotty lacing is left down the inside of my glass.

S - Sweet malty aroma with a definite boozy presence. Smells like this is going to be a hot and big beer.

T & M - Caramel malt seems to be the main player here, touched with accents of fresh honey and apple juice. The alcohol is warming on the swallow, but not as much so as I expected from the aroma. It has a sort of creaminess as far as mouthfeel is concerned and it finishes clean, with a bit of sweet honey aftertaste.

D - This is certainly a big beer, and I realize this as I type this review with a warm alcohol feeling in my belly. Very well crafted and a good example of a strong Bock. If you like big beers, this one is definitely worth a shot.

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Photo of 05Harley
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle # 1738203

Purchased @ Tulley's Wells, Maine

Price - $4.40

Appearance: Amber in color. Slightly hazey with a 1" head that vanishes quickly leaving behind a thin layer of suds and a ring around the glass. A complete absence of lacing throughout the experience.

Smell: Heavy aroma of raisins, caramel and bourbon with a hint of fruit maybe pears. A pleasent nose overall.

Taste: A burst of sweetness is quickly pulled back revealing flavors of vanilla, raisins and grapes.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with some stickiness. No carbonation to speak of. Fairly hot with some dryness in the end.

Drinkability: Once again another perfect example of a sherry/port like style. A fine beer to sip and enjoy next to the fire on a cold winter night.

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Photo of basica
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice clear amber color into my snifter glass with a one-finger thick head that recedes fairly quickly to a ring; active fizzling is visible in the liquid (4)

S - Intensely sweet nose with dominant notes of caramel, bready or biscuity malts and alcohol; aromas of dark fruits were also present. (4)

T - Syrupy sweet malts upfront with loads of caramel and brown sugar sweetness; fruity phenols with notes of plums and dates showing up in the middle, gradually fading towards a slightly bitter and raisiny finish. (4)

M - Full-bodied with a syrupy thickness and moderate carbonation; goes down heavy but surprisingly smooth and rather dry with a pleasant warming (4)

D - As akin to the Samichlaus, the EKU 28 is also a Doppelbock that better fits the profile of a Barley Wine. At 11%, the alcohol is fairly well disguised; this beer is good, but I would generally prefer the Samichlaus, as well as most other Barley Wines I've tried. (3.5)

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Photo of keithmurray
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

apperance - clear , copper color, some tan head

smell - raisins, plums, figs, molasses, malt, bit of booze

taste - rich, malty goodness, dark fruits such as raisins, plums and figs come thru, caramel on the finish

mouthfeel - highly carbonated, big bodied, thick/filling beverage, not as smooth as some other dopplebocks, slightly sweet, booze comes thru in the finish, but this is to be expected at 11% abv.

Drinkability - definetly a sipper, for its price range (~$3.50 for a 12 oz), I will likely look at other alternatives when looking to drink a dopplebock (one of my favorite styles). This was a good beverage that I am glad I tried, though

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

33cl bottle, Germany, best by 1/6/11. Yeah, right. More like 1/6/15, with 11 percent ABV and all. But the Germans like their beer fresh, so here goes nothing.

Clear, shimmering dark amber with some ruby. Thick head shrinks swiftly. Above-average lacing and retention considering the strength.

Flavor is rich, sweet and malty, but not too sweet, which I appreciate. Lots of caramel, dulce de leche, and toasted biscuits. Lacks some of the chocolatey notes of other doppelbocks. Alcohol is prevalent, but nothing near what I would expect for an 11-percenter. One hell of a beer. It's more like a "triplebock" when compared to the other standard bearers of the doppelbock style. This is a very simple beer, but it does its job well and is very drinkable despite the booze. Mouthfeel is somewhat syrupy, but the thickness is also seductive. Carbonation is smooth and fine, but fades fast.

Contrary to popular belief, this is not an Eisbock. There is no freezing process used by Kulmbach in the brewing of this beer. Rather, the beer is supposedly allowed to ferment for several months. Whatever the methods, the results are delicious.

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Photo of beergod1
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear, dark amber with an off white head that mostly lasted and left good lacing. The aroma was heavy caramel, lots of alcohol, some fruitiness and whiskey notes. The initial flavor was moderately sweet, Malty while the finish was Caramel and a little hot alcohol. Pretty good, Med to heavy body. Kinda like a good Double bock should.

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Photo of DrJay
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber with a deep orange hue, not quite coppery. Very clear with a thin wisp of fine whitish bubbles on the surface of the beer. A bit of spotty lacing. Very malt aroma, grains, caramel, alcohol, toasty, hint of fruit. Alcohol soaked raisins up front, sweet malts and caramel, toasted, lingering grains. Viscous body with low carbonation, lots of alcohol warmth. Pretty good overall, fairly drinkable for a big beer -- lots of sweetness but not cloying.

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Photo of generallee
4.44/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 11.2oz bottle into a small mug. The label lists the abv at 11% and there is a short description on the back.

Appearance: The body has a rich deep amber colored body with good clarity. On top, the head is small and fades quickly. It leaves only a small patch of thin lacy bubbles. This is all very slick and no lace sticks to the glass at all.

Smell: The aroma is interesting and not exactly what I had expected, in a good way. I get a slightly buttery note with some candy like (grape sucker) sweetness backing it up. There is only a very slight hop note way off in the background.

Taste/Palate: The flavor reminds me somewhat of a fortified wine. There is a mild alcoholic warmth throughout with notes of wine grapes and grape candy sweetness within a big malty body. Again as in the aroma, the hops are distant and offer very little bitterness. The palate is what I would expect with its carbonation and mouth feel are right on for the style.

Notes: I am defiantly a fan of this beer.

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Photo of Omegabyte
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This beer has an amber/orange color. It is on the lighter side of any dopplebock I've tried. It pours with a good head that dissipate after a few minute.

Smell: The smell is rich and full of spice. Not too sweet, but has molasses hint.

Taste: Wow, this beer is sweet. Sweet like Thai iced tea. That was really a surprise after smelling it. The spices are drowned out by the sweet, but it still has a full body flavour. So it's sweet like cookies, not sweet like skittles.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth. Like velvet on the tongue. I had this beer at around 50 degrees F, and it seemed perfect. Could still be a little colder and have the same feel, but too cold and it might ruin it.

Drinkability: I would save this beer for an after dinner desert type. Would not drink it on an empty stomach on a hot day. Overall, it would be really good for certain circumstances, but not all.

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Photo of metter98
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and poured with just a few bubbles covering the surface. A very slight amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: There are moderate aromas of raisins and a slight amount of sweetness in the nose.
T: The overall taste is very malty and has notes of caramel. The alcohol is noticeable in the taste but is not that overpowering; there is a moderate amount of malty sweetness but this is not cloying.
M: It feels full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a light amount of carbonation. The beer has some thickness and coats the tongue; there is also a moderate amount of alcohol warming in the finish.
D: This is a beer that needs to be slowly sipped given its alcohol content.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Extremely clear copper, crimson with a thin head that completely disappears within seconds.

S - Malty with boozy notes, dark fruits, burnt sugars. I get boozy notes that remind me of Buffalo Trace bourbon.

T - Sweet malt with some alcohol heat. Candied fruits, caramelized sugars. Still tastes like a sweeter, maltier Buffalo Trace to me.

M - Rich, heavy, boozy with a bit of alcohol sting.

D - Normally I would say this is a big boozy mess but everything seems to work well together.

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