tomspalla (9) - Orange Beach, Michigan, USA - AUG 27, 2009 does not count
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
A wonderfully complex beer that changes it’s mouthfeel and aroma while it warms in your hands. Thankfully it can now be found at a select few distributors around Detroit.
otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - AUG 8, 2009
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Kuhnhenn Brewing is a tiny brewery in Warren, Michigan which brews small batch artisanal ales that you would swear the brewing goddesses above had blessed. Rare, coveted, and possibly even worshiped, their ales encapsulate the time-honored tradition of small batch artisanry which I imagine many of our fore-mothers and fore-fathers of brewing held dear. In little hamlets and villages the world over, a skilled brewer was the pride of the town, and their wares were quite often top-notch, enjoyed and sacredly coveted by knowledgeable outsiders. I would put myself on the coveting side seeing as I have only been able to sup on two of their beers so far. Small bottles big on flavor and character, I can see, smell, and taste the heavens in their beer.
Deep dirty amber brown with a fluffy tan head. As her tan clouds descend upon the murky seas below, lace crackles and sparks along the sides of my glass, striking in playful intervals. With each strike, smoking wood and dank, dark nutrient-rich earth sizzles underneath. Brown spices mingle with apple skins and sun-dried prunes. Cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, sage, and rosemary highlight sweet prunes and the crisp citric acidity of red apple skins. She is very forestry and woody; I feel as if I have stumbled into the Black Forests of Germany centuries past where majesty lingers in the air with a heavy presence. Despite her dampness, there is an underlying presence of dry wood tannins, and I simply cannot take it anymore. Diving headfirst into her body, I am enveloped in an array of tastes and textures; dry, sweet, spiced, rummy, earthy, and woody. Wood tannins immediately work their palate cleansing pleasures atop my tongue while her alcohol warmth permeates my body. Her warmth lingers in each breath with nutmeg and cinnamon sticks while sticky my lips reveal butterscotch and maple. A solid palate, she focuses the brunt of her attack in the middle, choosing to come in with a whisper, conquer, and then leave just the same. Prunes and raisins finish last with a deep chewy sweetness. As we part ways, more warmth, spice, dry wood tannins, and the crisp crunch of red apple skins linger in sweet memoriam.
When I sup on a beer like this, there is clarity of understanding in my heart and in my mind. I understand why, for centuries, brewers were lauded sacred positions in society. Beyond being liquid bread, I imagine that many of their brews were heralded for their taste and flavor; a life-enhancing beverage which was also a gourmand experience of heavenly origins. Vinophiles can have their viticulture. I’ll stick to my beer, continuing my sacred quest for the fruits of Kuhnhenn Brewing.
Saarlander (1686) - Saarlouis, GERMANY - JUN 21, 2009
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
A great brew shared awhile back at my tasting in the rain..Dark fruits, Bourbon vanilla, sugary, rich, like desert in a glass, easy to drink,well balanced, I forgot who brung it, but thanks!
Lothore (618) - California, USA - JAN 28, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
A- Pours a deep, murky brownish hue with no head whatsoever.
S- Smell is huge. Mixed dark fruits, raisins, figs, brown sugar, possibly a hint on bourbon on the back end.
T- Taste is gigantic deep and dark with plenty of raisin and fig notes with a vinous quality to them. Ends very full with lots of bourbon.
M- Thick and sticky with very little carbonation.
D- Honestly, I liked kuhnhenn’s bourbon barleywine a lot better. This reminded me a lot more of extaneous ale and was a little over the top for me.
Cletus (6355) - Connecticut, USA - JAN 25, 2009
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
2004 bottle: Pours brown with a thin white head. Smells of earthy malt, dusty, some nice dark fruity hints. Tastes tea like and fruity with some caramel and molasses on the finish. Good!
2005 bottle: Similar to the 2004 in color and mouthfeel, but with more velvety sugary bourbon like hints. Overall, a very enjoyable beer!
fordest (2373) - Santee/San Diego, California, USA - SEP 12, 2008
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Sampled at RBSG. Wow, what a beer. So much sweet malty aromas. Flavor of vanilla, malty sweetness, wooden barrel, and brown sugar. Good good yumminess
beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - AUG 30, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
RBSG 2008. Thanks to Aloha C for this sample. Very rich caramel flavor up front, working off the bourbon flavors , lots of depth with soft layers of chocolate and hints of vanilla. Very smooth on the palate. There are a ton of flavors in this beer, but they all work off each other giving tons of layers of flavor that mesh perfectly.
hapjydeuce (996) - Carlsbad, California, USA - AUG 14, 2008
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
RBSG ’08. cquiroga gave me a few tastes of this during the Grand Tasting at Pizza Port. Hazy mahogany color that pours with a fine beige ring. Big aroma of molasses and dark chocolates above the bourbon and oak. I can only describe the flavor as chocolate-covered cinnamon rolls, sprinkled with brown sugar and infused with bourbon and wood. A bit of light carbonation still showing. Super-smooth palate that left me pining for more. Very, very good.
yespr (39547) - Copenhagen O, DENMARK - AUG 6, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
From bottle, huge thanks to whom gave me some of this. Pours golden brown with a lacing tan head. Aroma is dense malty and fruity. Smooth fruity and caramel malty dense flavour. Light wooden note. Fruity dense finish. Sweet into the far finish.
awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 4, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
From a 12oz Bottle. Generously shared by Dennis at Danger Abbey. Pours a muddy, clay brown color with a
thin ring of wispy off-white head. Dark fruit aromas ooze from my glass, complimented by some dense caramel
melanoidins. The bourbon characters are present, but melds delightfully with the base beer to create sensations
of rum-soaked raisins, vanilla laden brown sugar, and peppery figs. Full bodied, softly carbonated mouthfeel with a sticky texture. Decadent flavors of bourbony caramel melanoidins and loads of dark fruits. Slightly oxidized, but the enhanced fruit characters add to the beer’s complexity, and the sticky sugars left behind are ample enough to hide any potential problems with body thinness. Vanilla, figs, and peppery oak and left lingering on the palate in the finish. Some mild oak tannins linger behind in a desperate attempt to dry up the sugars, but fail. To say this is over-the-top would be an under-statement, but everything is incredibly delicious.