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Hellbender Barleywine - Pisgah Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hellbender BarleywineHellbender Barleywine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

91 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 91
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 7.48%
Wants: 87
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
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: 91 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kingjames1:
Photo of kingjames1
kingjames1

South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle like a frothy root-beer almost, with a fluffy head that soon dissipates to a sticky lace. Smells of alcohol and fruit, with an upfront breadiness. Smells like a malt-bomb to me. Taste is great. The hops appear on the palat mid-way through, with some sourness and bitterness to balance the strong malt-sweetness. Definitely a barleywine. As with other Pisgah beers, it has a unique flavor I enjoy. Strong, but somehow balanced. Carbonation nicely balances the syrupy thickness, making it more drinkable. I could definitely sip on this while sitting back on the 'front porch' of the black mountains for a good while.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2008 23:45:07 | More by kingjames1
More User Reviews:
Photo of solo103
solo103

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

07-08-2014 21:18:09 | More by solo103
Photo of twowheelssoar
twowheelssoar

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -0.2%

06-30-2014 04:44:51 | More by twowheelssoar
Photo of GeezLynn
GeezLynn

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2014 02:02:55 | More by GeezLynn
Photo of Stum-pub
Stum-pub

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -0.2%

05-23-2014 04:41:37 | More by Stum-pub
Photo of mntlover
mntlover

Tennessee

3.81/5  rDev -5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2014 21:59:39 | More by mntlover
Photo of duff247
duff247

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

04-29-2014 03:46:06 | More by duff247
Photo of SLeffler27
SLeffler27

New York

3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2014 20:09:04 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of ChuckS
ChuckS

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

03-10-2014 10:47:41 | More by ChuckS
Photo of rickcrip76
rickcrip76

Georgia

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

02-18-2014 20:12:42 | More by rickcrip76
Photo of JohnnyMc
JohnnyMc

Ohio

3.25/5  rDev -19%

02-16-2014 15:58:39 | More by JohnnyMc
Photo of Axnjxn
Axnjxn

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

02-10-2014 14:19:02 | More by Axnjxn
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seavercm

Georgia

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

01-31-2014 14:02:19 | More by seavercm
Photo of Drknight
Drknight

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +6%

01-24-2014 15:27:13 | More by Drknight
Photo of thehooksman
thehooksman

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 03:28:58 | More by thehooksman
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

4/5  rDev -0.2%

12-28-2013 23:16:26 | More by kylehay2004
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IrishColonial

Texas

3.25/5  rDev -19%

12-20-2013 01:57:55 | More by IrishColonial
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2013 20:16:32 | More by dirtylou
Photo of SportsandJorts
SportsandJorts

Virginia

3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-30-2013 16:57:28 | More by SportsandJorts
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mc4z

California

4/5  rDev -0.2%

11-29-2013 21:27:46 | More by mc4z
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Wamba

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +6%

11-25-2013 00:24:12 | More by Wamba
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kris_n

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -0.2%

11-24-2013 16:30:28 | More by kris_n
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KevinGordon

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +6%

08-07-2013 23:40:13 | More by KevinGordon
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bcostner1

Tennessee

4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

08-07-2013 11:38:32 | More by bcostner1
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YobroitsJoe

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +6%

08-07-2013 05:20:04 | More by YobroitsJoe
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Hellbender Barleywine from Pisgah Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.