Jan 7, 2013

Kuhnhenn 2012 Wheat Wine Ale

     First things first. There is nothing better than aging a barley or wheat wine. Letting them sit in a bottle, condition and come back to it a year or so later and see what crazy things the sugars and fermentation will do. Usually, from most of the ones I have experienced it is more times than not complete beer bliss. The thing is though it is best if you have two bottles so you can get a taste of it fresh and then one down the road to compare notes.
     THIS is something I should have put in the cellar. I only have been able to get my hands on one so far and there is was teasing me and calling my name. Everything Kuhnhenn's brews is in small, small batches and what ever they make is always epic, over the top and pretty much amazing. I tried to resist. I really did! It's kept calling my name though so I could not resist.
     OK, enough hype here and I haven't even popped the cap off it yet.
     Pouring opaque brown in color til held up to the light where it gives off some ruby red shimmers my curiosity doubles. The shades of barley and wheat wines are always interesting as they vary from one brewers secret to another. The head is minimal and melts fast but does leave a slight cap behind and a constant ring making a thick lace all the way through the sipping.
     The aroma of this is huge as partially leaps out of the glass. A large malty backbone gives off a mix of molasses & caramel which is then wrapped with the scents of concord grape, vanilla and notes of tropical fruit. Interestingly enough for the big 11% abv it packs-the boozy qualities are quite muted on the nose.
     First thing that comes to mind on tasting this is how soft it feels in the mouth and on the tongue. Not bubbly or light but very fluffy. Then the flavors kick in and, my oh my, do they. Quite big some somewhat grape on the front. That is followed by a bit of wheat spiciness. The layers keep coming as there is a bit of smoky caramel next, some dark cherry tartness, brown sugar and clean not to sticky finish of deep lemon. As this brew breathes in the class all these complexities grow much more pronounced but never boss each other out of the way or turn into just to mushy muck of flavors. The alcohol IS there in the flavor but is well hidden though it does bring a tingle to the body letting a person know that even though this is a gentle giant it would get the best of you if you sat down and decided to have session as it would turn into a tussle of trying to walk a straight line after a couple
     Yep, I should have saved this to see how it aged but, like I said, I have only been able to get my hands on only one so far but Boy! Oh Boy! it is sure dang delicious.
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