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Hellbender Barleywine - Pisgah Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hellbender BarleywineHellbender Barleywine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

94 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 94
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 4
pDev: 7.75%
Wants: 88
Gots: 10 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Pisgah Brewing Co. visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: oberon on 03-12-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 94 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ckeegan04
4.04/5  rDev +1%

ckeegan04, Sep 29, 2014
Photo of ncstateplaya
3/5  rDev -25%

ncstateplaya, Aug 14, 2014
Photo of stakem
3.76/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a teku. The brew appears a clear mahogany color with really no head formation, just a couple large bubbles hang on the surface. A swirl produces of legs of alcohol clinging to the glass.

The aroma is malty sweet with caramel/molasses before getting fruity in nature from a combination of hops and alcohol. A bit of herbal and earthy feel towards the back of the nose.

The taste is sweet with a grainy aspect like biscuit malt. Contrasting that sweetness is an earthy herbal hop inclusion. It is fruity almost like apple and raison mixing with a mild oxidation aspect towards the finish.

This is a medium bodied brew with a low level of carbonation. It has a creeping alcohol warmth and overall is well made. Not the best nor worst barleywine ive had. Worth trying if you get the chance.

stakem, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of solo103
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

solo103, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of GeezLynn
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle (22oz) purchased from City Beverage (Raleigh) .

A: Body is light brown and shows a pretty strawberry hue under the light. Produces a scant white head with decent retention.
S: Caramel, brown sugar, toffee. Also a bit buttery and likely to be very sweet – not expecting much in the way of hops or alcohol at this age.
T: Has become quite fruity at this point – dates, marmalade, lots of brown sugar and a bit of stale bread. Surprisingly, still enough bitterness to cut the sweetness. Finishes with raisin bread, vanilla, pine needle bitterness and has hung onto a slight ethanol bite.
M: Medium body – a bit tannic and dry, and surprisingly, a decent amount of carbonation.

Figured it was getting risky to ignore this any longer, but if you enjoy smooth/sweet aged barleywines, this could have gone longer. Didn’t notice much in the way of oxidation and the carbonation was still adequate. Nice beer.

GeezLynn, Jun 25, 2014
Photo of Stum-pub
4/5  rDev 0%

Stum-pub, May 23, 2014
Photo of mntlover
3.81/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Been holding on to this on advice from the store. Been a year or so and can't wait any longer. So into my snifter it goes.

Pours a deep dark reddish walnut color, almost the shade of my bedroom suite. Decent thumb sized tan head falls fairly fast to ringed scum with some lace here and there.

Aroma is nice sweet brown sugar coated plums, light currants rich sweet sugary caramel malts with toffee hints. Some nice hops to balance out the sweetness mostly herbal/earthy like for me.

Taste is pretty much like the nose sweet malts, not as sweet as the nose brown sugars seem on the low side. Some good dark fruit notes earthy hints toffee notes and some spicy alcohol notes that linger into the finish. Good earthy finish enough hops left to make it not cloying. But to tell the truth for an English Barleywine I could use some more free sugars floating around in this one to make it a little better.

Mouthfeel is nice smooth but adequate amount of carbonation. Body is almost full just seems a touch light for a monster of a brew like this.

Overall not bad just seems to lack a touch of oomph for a big ass malty barleywine.

mntlover, May 09, 2014
Photo of duff247
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

duff247, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of SLeffler27
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Fills an Offero glass with a crystal clear, reddish copper (SRM 17-19). A thin, creamy ochre head immediately dissipates while thin legs rise beneath a ring of fine lacing.

Strong caramel counters faint alcohol amidst toasted malt and light candy sugar.

Hellbender is more bitter than expected from an English Barleywine. Black tea is sweet against a background of faint, toasted malt. Caramelized sugar, white bread and raisins fill out the middle before a long mild finish.

This one has a full body and velvety texture with prickly carbonation. Light alcohol warmth is less than expected in this very dry beer.

Good for sipping on a cold winter day, this one warms well while reading. This was my first taste from Pisgah after years of curiosity. I look forward to exploring more beer from this brewery.

SLeffler27, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of ChuckS
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

ChuckS, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of rickcrip76
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

rickcrip76, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of JohnnyMc
3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

JohnnyMc, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of Axnjxn
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Axnjxn, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of seavercm
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

seavercm, Jan 31, 2014
Photo of Drknight
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Drknight, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of thehooksman
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Beautifully red and clear, no head to speak of though.

Aroma: For me, this was the best part. Lots of aromas of dark fruit and molasses.

Flavor: Begins with lots of sweet malt up front (very sweet), but a surprising bitter hop presence quickly follows that is not at all detected in the nose. Upon reading this seems to be expected of an English Barleywine. Also contributing to the finishing bitterness is the alcohol content.

Mouthfeel: Full body, but not too thick. Smooth. Some alcohol heat.

I've had barleywines in the past and decided they weren't really my thing. I chose this one to give the style another go and it's definitely a winner. Good for sipping and savoring.

thehooksman, Jan 08, 2014
Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev 0%

kylehay2004, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of IrishColonial
3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

IrishColonial, Dec 20, 2013
Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap at the brewery

I've had this before, but not yet reviewed. This is kind of the prototypical english barleywine - not too flashy - its moderately hoppy with notes of sticky pine resin. Supported by a big caramel malt profile, hellbender remains in balance and hits the style pretty square. It's just not overly exciting in the world of extreme and barrel aged barleywines - this seems like a dying style to me.

dirtylou, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of SportsandJorts
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: a deep reddish brown. Decent clarity. A finger of a stubborn tannish head.

Smell: super resiny hops. Herbal and earthy notes. Malty sweetness is there but hidden under the hops strength

Taste: again a huge hop resin is there and powerful. And the sweet caramels and some toasty flavors break through a little more.

Mouthfeel: lots of lingering bitterness and a nice heavy brew

Overall: a huge hop bomb now. Great malt character that just wants to be age out to the front.

SportsandJorts, Nov 30, 2013
Photo of mc4z
4/5  rDev 0%

mc4z, Nov 29, 2013
Photo of Wamba
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Wamba, Nov 25, 2013
Photo of kris_n
4/5  rDev 0%

kris_n, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of KevinGordon
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

KevinGordon, Aug 08, 2013
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Hellbender Barleywine from Pisgah Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.