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Hemel & Aarde - Brouwerij De Molen

Not Rated.
Hemel & AardeHemel & Aarde

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

60 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 60
Hads: 161
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 16.63%
Wants: 14
Gots: 35 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Molen visit their website

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Nickls on 08-26-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 60 | Hads: 161
Photo of weonfire
3.09/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A - Jet Black. No light shines thru. Small white head.

S - Heavy smoke and roast flavor. small traces of chocolate.

T - Wow. Serious smoke. Dislike very much.

M - Medium viscosity. alcohol stings the tongue a bit.

O - Will never buy again. Heavily smoked beers are not for me.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.16/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

If strong cigars are your thing; if espresso is too weak for you; if there's not enough chocolate flavor in cocoa powder; then maybe you can find comfort in this beer.

Hemel & Aarde pours with a voluptuous rise of foam that erupts from the beer underneath in most billowing fashion. The absolute black pour beer is capped with a marshmallowy brown foam that's strongly stated for even the darkest of ales. Retention and lace are no problemn here as the foam accompnies the palate right down to the last sip, aligning the glass with rings and spider webs of lace all the while.

Strong roast aromas span an array of scents from rich espresso and malted milk, to lit cigars, spent coffee grounds, campfire smoke and heavily peated whisky. Woody hops, burnt currants, and grapes offer secondary notes to accompany the roasty attack.

The onslaught of roast not only continues but intensifies going into taste. Bitter ground espresso beans, strong ash, cocoa, smoke, damp soil and moss all play a part in the bullying flavor. The alcoholic taste of scotch whisky, licorice, and fennel give slight vinous fruity taste to the scorch while the firm but somehow lost underpinnings of toffee, malted milk candy, and bready starch help to support the fruit, alcohol, and roast.

Full and expansive as the carbonation pushes the beer outward for a very creamy and lush early palate. But the finish of powdery ash, burnt grain astringency, and abrasive alcohols limits the beer's drinkability. Dry, hot, and sharp- the aftertaste reminds me of smoking the wrong end of a maduro cigar.

As with many of their stouts, De Molen prefers the acrid roast character for dryness, bite, and burnt grain. But the amount of these flavors cause difficulty in taste as it gets away from the more succulent, supple, and gentlemanly qualities of better balanced versions.

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Photo of rufusb
3.28/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, poured into tall pint glass. Smell is more faint than other RIS I've had. Malts, peats, unusual aromas. Taste is just as unexpected. A sweetness along with expected dark overtones of roasted malts, coffee and cocoa. Alcohol is prevalent. As beer warmed that became worse. Very interesting flavor, but not a fav. Worth trying this beer.

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Photo of weissbierdrinker
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a black coke like color with almost no carbonation or head.

Smells of an old used chimney.

Taste is smokey, burnt, some alcohol. Burnt flavor linger for a long time. A bit sweet up front.

Good thing about this beer is the flavor and just the right touch of alcohol. Bad things are the oiliness and lack of carbonation.

Bottle says it will stay good for 25 years, I think aging would help this beer immensely.

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Photo of Hellrob
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a good imperial stout but too smoked and only a few drinkable. however, not bad.
a good imperial stout but too smoked and only a few drinkable. however, not bad.
a good imperial stout but too smoked and only a few drinkable. however, not bad.
a good imperial stout but too smoked and only a few drinkable. however, not bad.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle into a New Belgium goblet. 12/2011 bottle date, and it says 10% ABV.

A: Pours an extremely dark brown color. The head is a three finger tan shade with large, aggressive-forming bubbles. It settles down into a thin film after a while, leaving decent streaks of lacing on the glass. This one seems to be strongly carbonated - it almost tried to spill out of the bottle.

S: Wow, the aroma features plenty of chocolate at first. I'm really impressed with how strongly it emanates from the glass, too. As it warms up, this is quickly replaced by notes of peat. This quality is somewhat offputting in my opinion - aside from the ham-like smoke, I pick up notes like algae, rubber, plastic, and even electrical fire. It starts off great and ends up falling on its face, so I'll average it out here.

T: An improvement over the aroma. The peat-laden smoke clusters on the opening, lacking some of the unpleasantries on the nose; it's more of a general hammy/woody tone with a mossy backing. This fades into a midtaste of both licorice and dark chocolate. (in addendum, the licorice qualities here don't bother me...maybe it just bothers me in Stone's IRS, I don't know) The finish is laden with textbook roasted malt dryness, char, seaweed, and perhaps a faint touch of stewed dark fruits. It's definitely peaty throughout; if you don't like seaweed and moss in your imperial stout, you will NOT like this. On the positive side, it doesn't drown out the other notes - in fact, it's solidly complex at the end of the day.

M: I was right, this is strongly carbonated and airy in its feel. Dry, too. In spite of that, it does have a substantial heft on the palate - still, it's too lively on the tongue for a RIS. This becomes a better brew in all palate aspects once the carbonation calms down.

O: Rather unusual. The flavor profile is great, but the aroma is inconsistent and the feel is more in line with a BSDA (not unexpected given its country of origin). Having said that, once I got used to the bold peatiness, I did grow to like it quite a bit. Even at $8 a bottle, I'd entertain the notion of buying this again. Probably not often, though.

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Photo of dgilks
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Gushes like a bitch. Foam goes everywhere but I still end up with a bit of beer. Inky black is what's left with a tan head. Fair head retention.

Very smoky with lots and lots of alcohol. A touch earthy. More peat. Quite interesting.

Sweet and malty with a fruity hint. More peat. Chocolate. Caramel. Earth. Interesting but not as well integrated as it could be.

Medium-full body with moderately-high carbonation. Over-carbonated.

To me this beer must be a touch infected or way overcarbonated. The gushing has led to a beer that is out of sync. Nice but not great.

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Photo of beergoot
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle with a brewed/bottle date of 5 DEC 2011 and a 10% ABV listed on the label.

Deep, dark brown body with an extremely rich, thick head. Roasted grain, a hint of peat, espresso, molasses, and caramel swirl about in the aroma. Deep, chocolate flavor initially that seems to get spoiled by a phenolic, band-aid-like undertone that takes over at the end. In between, there are some good hints of roasted, smokey grains and a rather sharp bitterness. A strong, boozy alcohol presence mixes in with the other off-putting flavors. Very smooth, medium-heavy body with a dry finish.

This is a Jekyll & Hyde kind of beer. A lot of good things come through, but just when you think you're enjoying some big dark beer nirvana, some weird, strange flavors pop-up to ruin the party. Perhaps its the peated barley malts that are at the crux of what I consider off-putting flavors for me. Others may really like that component, it's just not for me. Still, I find enough good things with the beer, so it's not necessarily a bad experience overall, just different.

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3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On-tap. Snifter glass. Enjoyed on jan´13. Black color, tan froth & fairly good retention crown. Coffee & fudge chocolate notes, roasted malt aroma & licorice candies to the nose. Roasted malt & pepper flavor, bitter/sweet mouthfeel. Medium to dense body. Moderate to low carbonation. Burnt chocolate & licorice touch are shown in a long finish. Dry coffe on the aftertaste. ABV well hidden.

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Photo of beerdrifter
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the beer store at the De Molen Brewery. Lost about a quarter of the bottle as it was a gusher when I opened it. Pitch black pour with two finger tan head with great retention and lacing. Huge smokey, roasty nose with a ton of peat and hints of mocha and coffee and a touch of burnt electronics. Thankfully the peatiness and burnt electrical doesn't really show up in the taste. It's totally dominated by the smoke and dark chocolate with hints of espresso, oak, tobacco, alcohol, and just a touch of vanilla. Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, thick and chewy with a nice bitter finish. If it weren't for the smell, this would be a really great beer. I am not a fan of peaty or smoked beers, and this beer has all those characteristics in the smell. The rest of the beer is solid and enjoyable.

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Photo of Beejay
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much thanks to my friend Richard for this brew!

A: Black in body with a very large and dense brown head.

S: Dark roasted malts, with a nice hit from the peated malt. A bit of a bready smell followed by licorice.

T: Dark bitter chocolate and black licorice dominate. Followed by roasted malts, a touch of smoke, and an earthy bitterness at the finish. There is almost a hint of sea air at the finish. As it warms a bit the sweetness comes a bit more to front.

M: The body is thick, the carbonation is fine, and fairly abundant. While there seems to be plenty of carbonation, it doesn't seem over carbed. The finish leaves a little bit of a coating.

O: Overall I like it. It certainly favors a more aggressive style over the overly sweet and smooth one. I'd like to imagine heavily scarred men, wearing bits of dead animals, and smelling of pine and earth would drink this around a campfire while eating bits of dead animals that were not fit for wearing.

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

- 2011 vintage (aged 4 years)
- 11.2oz. bottle poured into Lost Abbey Teku on 9-Oct-15

Surprised at how much carbonation there still was. I had about 1.5-2 inches of head. It's too carbonated for the style. It had a bit of Belgian yeast sweetness to it, but not sure if they used Belgian yeast in it. Nice roast and malt profile, typical of an RIS. Based on this experience, this beer hasn't peaked yet. Overall, a good example of the style.

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Photo of codysjb
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle that gushed at ton (more than other beer thus far), lost a good 1/3 to the drain from gushing. This may have been from it being on two recent planes.
A: Jet Black, huge head that take a long time to fade.
S: Coffee, chocolate, lots of booze (too much).
T: Coffee, roasted malt and booze.
M: Alcohol, chocolate, very strong distinct taste.
O: this is a very hard beer to classify. On the one hand its obviously very complex, but it's not great maybe I just don't like this style all that much. Very, very strong pungent smell, almost too strong for a beer.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks, Alex!

A - Pours darker brown, thin tan-colored head, thin collar.

S - Chocolate, peat, char, and roast. Lots of sweetness but also lots of char/smoke to balance things with a lot of peat on the back end.

T - Peat, chocolate, and brownies mixed with char, smoke, and roast. Very much like the nose, lots of sweetness but also some nice smoke and char to help bring it all together. Alcohol isn't noticeable at 9.5%. The finish is chocolate and roast.

M - Medium to full body, light carbonation, creamy finish.

O - A nice De Molen RIS with good sweetness and nice roast to keep things balanced. A nice beer to sip on and enjoy over time and something I would have again.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330ml / 10% alcohol / bottle date is partial but looks to be from March 2013.

Appearance - Pour into a snifter is blackblackblack with a surprisingly voluminous tan head. Great retention but not much lace.

Smell - Intense peat and salty scotch-like smokiness first and foremost with very minimal roast, char and dark chocolate. Some earthy tones. Having some Rex Attitude flashbacks...

Taste - Definitely more balanced and generally stout-like. Burnt chocolate, caramel, coffee w/cream, dark fruit, and nutty malts coming out while still maintaining a good amount of peat and smoke. Some hop bitterness there. Coffee ground finish. A pretty harmonious balance as it starts to warm, certainly trumps the nose in that aspect.

Mouthfeel - What it lacks in heftiness, it makes up for in velvety smoothness with easy-going medium level carbonation. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Overall - Ultimately I think the Scotch-smoke is a little overkill here, moreso in the scent. Either way the taste/mouthfeel is great though. Complex flavor, well-hidden alcohol, smooth, nice balance.

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Photo of quirkzoo
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dec. 5 2011 on the shelton brothers label on the back, not sure what the date means.

Pours an absolutely gorgeous jet black with 2 fingers of small bubbled light tan head.

Lots going on in the nose. Smokey, chocolatey, woodsy and lots of roasted grains.

Taste is more of the same. Smoke definitely dominates but isn't totally overpowering. Just a touch of alcohol warmth, exactly what you want in a RIS.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and ever so slightly creamy. Definitely a sipper but relatively easy drinking for the ABV (my bottle said 10%)

Overall this is a solid RIS, especially if you like a touch of smoke. Glad I picked it up, might get another one at some point to try with a bit more age on it.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Found a few bottles of this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam again. This is a re-review. The first time I reviewed this it came out as a 4.4 overall.

From a 33cl bottle into a snifter.
Bottled on 7 December 2011

APPEARANCE: A very careful pours is brown and relatively transparent, forming a two finger, medium looking, foamy, tan head with very good retention. Jet black body and lots of carbonation evident. Head is relentless, but eventually fades to a thick foam cap. A good wisp remains until the end and leaves some decent lacing down the glass. This is much lighter in color and carbonated than I remember the earlier batch.

SMELL: Big nose on this one. Lots of roasted malts, some cacao powder and some light peat aromas. Some deep espresso and dark chocolate notes, as well as a charcoal quality. Perhaps some burnt caramel in there as well. Very enticing indeed, and whisky malts work well here.

TASTE: Roasted malts up front with some nice cocoa powder and peat notes from the whisky malts. A good dose of dark, bitter chocolate and some espresso. A bold and lingering aftertaste is plenty bitter with lots of roasted and burnt malts, balanced by some burnt sweet caramel notes. Finishes with a slight touch of booze, but is very well measured. Wonderful stuff, though not quite as bold as the nose and a little boozier than expected.

PALATE: Medium body and higher levels of carbonation. Very creamy on the palate, but quite light weight, unfortunately. Soft and smooth carbonation, this one goes down smooth, with a little heat at the back, and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Alright, though it could be slightly fuller and heavier. Creaminess makes up for it somewhat.

OVERALL: A good brew, with lots of nice roasted and chocolaty qualities, as well as a light touch of peat from the bruichladdich whisky malts for good measure. This was enjoyable, but the higher levels of carbonation and the slightly lighter body held it back a little. Still, this is one worth checking out, and one I'll come back to from time to time. Recommended.

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Photo of Arno
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance: Nearly black, huge mocca / tan foam, not much retention or lacing.

smell: Peat straight away. Coffee. Some sweetness which is hard to define, but seems to be most dark / burnt caramel like.

taste: Had the Tsarina Esra of the same brewery before and this a whole lot different. It's very peaty & earthy. I get a lot of burnt & smokey flavors. Burnt malts & coffee. Leather like. And in between there is some caramel and chocolate sweetness to balance it out a bit. All in all has quite a "whisky effect".

mouthfeel: This is the part i don't really like. I think the flavors are interesting, original, different. But it lacks a bit of body or creaminess. It's quite raw with a hefty carbonation kick. Not the best i've had on this area.

overall: A very different and original beer. I like the whisky like flavors with the peat and earthiness. It's different but having another, more fruity, porter before is not the best way to go. But halfway down i start to appreciate it more. Very interesting beer. Try it out if this description suits you ;)

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Photo of VashonGuy
4/5  rDev -0.7%

This is a very peaty stout. Classified as a Russian Imperial, but it sure reminds me of Scotland. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Nice head and lacing; very dark. Aroma is smoky, and the peat dominates the taste.

The flavor is very strong. My 8 ounce pour (on tap) was almost more than I wanted.

Not your everyday stout, that's for sure, but it's a great change of pace.

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Photo of psiweaver
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into an Elysian pumpkin fest baby snifter. Had this side by side with the barrel aged version.

A: pours a deep rich black with some dark brown lacing, a little bit of carbonation is apparent in the pour.

S: lots of smokey peaty malt, like nothing i have ever smelled in a beer before.

T: peat peat and more peat. its good but overwhelming and there is a bit of a rauchbier flavor to this beer simply from all the peaty malt that was used.

M: very nice mouthfeel with the alcohol very well integrated just the right amount of carbonation.

overall very good though I enjoyed the barrel aged version more. It is a very interesting beer and definitely worth trying once.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Vintage 12/5/11

A - Pitch black with an off white, soapy looking, thick ring of lacing, gentle carbonation through
the middle.

S - Smoke, charcoal, faint dark roasted chocolate.

T - Well balanced throughout, smoky char, charcoal, dark roasted chocolate, oak, peat, and
light coffee.

M - Medium body, gentle carbonation and silky soapy bubble finish on the back of the palate.

O - A fantastic beer that will age for a long, long, time.

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Photo of laituegonflable
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pleasant black, slight brown colour. Head is pretty special, beige colour with beautiful small bubbles and wonderful retention. Lace is disappointing but noticeable. Yeah, nice dark ale.

Smell is very smokey! Huge smoke with charred meat, lots of roasty aroma with bacon notes and some espresso as well. Yeah, very savoury, salty really. Pretty decent, but yeah, it's a curious one for sure.

Taste is interesting as well. Very roasty, but without that meaty note. Lots of char character, very burnt and bitter. Nicely so. Lots of dark chocolate with some licorice notes, toffee and black pepper coming through on the back. Hints of meat suggest themselves late, and some nice rich, sweet characters. Pleasantly spicy and roasty for the most part.

Pretty sticky on the feel, thick but definitely suits the rich flavour.

Quite an enjoyable and drinkable dark beer. Not exactly quaffable but excellent for a sip.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer looks ridiculous. Pitch black with an absolutely enormous head that refuses to go down. Stays at a solid two fingers of thick khaki foam that jiggles in the glass like Jello. Crazy stuff.

S: Oof. Big peated malt aroma. Some burnt bacon grease, cigar ash, espresso and campfire. Can't say I've ever smelled a beer like this, but I kind of like it.

T: A lot of charred malt with some peat and smokiness to it. Some dark chocolate with a faint trace of fudge, and baking chocolate with some almonds. Really complex and pretty tasty. Not a beginner's stout.

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Photo of Rutager
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml dated 7 dec. 2011. Thanks Hoppypocket!

Appearance. Pours a deep dark brown, black in the glass with two fingers of tan head.

Smell. Smokey peat and dark roasted malts, just a little molasses and maybe some dark fruits as well, but the smoke is pretty predominant.

Taste. Again very smokey and peaty with some tobacco and tar. There's also a bit of dark malt, molasses, and maybe a trace of dark fruit.

Mouthfeel. Medium+ body, very light for the abv and it actually works well. Medium-strong carbonation.

Overall. A very interesting beer that doesn't really conform to any style. High abv, lighter body, smokey as hell, and some big stout characteristics ...very interesting indeed.

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Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and a thick texture. There was a gigantic, tan-colored, creamy, long-lasting head. Average lacing.

S: Surprisingly, a very smoky aroma with this beer. Also had traces of chocolate and malt.

T: Tasted of chocolate, malt, a little coffee, a fairly large amount of hops, and the aforementioned smokiness. This last ingredient makes for an interesting flavor. Very focused and generally pretty tasty.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a dry finish. Full-bodied.

O: This beer probably won't please everyone (smoky beers rarely do), but it's well worth trying.

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Hemel & Aarde from Brouwerij De Molen
89 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.