Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Heaven & Hell - Brouwerij De Molen

Not Rated.
Heaven & HellHeaven & Hell

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

56 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 56
Hads: 111
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 10
Gots: 38 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Molen visit their website
Netherlands

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rvdoorn on 09-07-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 56 | Hads: 111
Reviews by broken22:
Photo of broken22
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So I poured this bad boy into my duvel tulip glass and had to wait a long time for the head to subside. I have never seen a beer foam up so fast in this glass. Most beers pour in even when I'm sloppy without much fuss. Crossing my fingers I didn't get a bad batch. While I wait I tell you the head is a mocha a color full of tiny micro bubbles. There is no cascade to watch. The smell is nice very chocolaty with a hint of a bourbon notes. Well the beer is not bad; or if it is it's a really good bad beer :P The flavor is light on the initial chocolate I was smelling initially. The subtle bourbon is now more of what I'm getting. The overall flavor is very well balanced and doesn't attack and take over you mouth. The finish is a nice linger of very mellow bitterness. The mouth feel is full bodied with very little carbonation.

Overall I think this is a fantastic beer. Very well crafted. I really enjoy the flavor that was crafted. The labels are cool for their simplicity. They look like old prescription apothecary labels. (1,031 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter jet black no highlights when held to the light,an overflowing mocha colored head atop,almost all head.As underwhelming the pour may have been the aromas are on the other end of the scale,bitter chocolate and a good dose of it along with dark fruit,roasted nut,and caramel,alot going on and its all good.Although a bit sharp in the mouthfeel department it doesnt take away from the big earthy flavors,this is one hopped up stout.Big dry chocolate along with slight wood,its roasted and hopped to the hilt,lighter dark fruit and caramel give it light sweetness.I cant give it a higher drinkability score becaus its lighter in feel and can get a bit hot but the flavors and aromas are great. (710 characters)

Photo of tbryan5
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of BenTherHppedThat
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Dan - much obliged!

Pours black with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of robust roasted malt flavors with good amounts of unsweetened chocolate, tobacco, and char.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by good amounts of semi-sweet chocolate. Midway through the sip the flavors darken a bit to allow some tobacco hints to work their way into things. The ending is solidly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another without any problems.

Overall I was a fan of this beer but like most other De Molen beers this one fell just short of being amazing. Still, it's worth trying. (825 characters)

Photo of lanamj
3.37/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a frosted trolls tulip. I love this glass!!!

A- This one pours pitch black with a thick,active, chocolate foamy head that seems to hang out for some time. It is deep in color but still remains to look somewhat thin.

S- Lots of roasted malts and alcohol on the nose. Some chocolate, coffee and date are faintly present. It has a nice smell, a little boozy but it has a dark and sweet aroma.

T- Lots of coffee, roasted malts and booze. It has a Belgium flavor to it even though it's an American style stout. It finishes dry and is a little hot in the throat. Some bitter chocolate resides in the middle and sweet booze at the end. Not the worse, but not the best.

M- A little to much carbonation for a stout. It has the body of a Belgium stout. Its a little thin but finishes smooth. It has a 25yr shelf life according to the label. This one was not but a year old, in saying that it open with a pop and most likely would settle down over time. I can see this one aging well. But maybe i tried it to soon.

O- With time it would be great. The smell is great but the body and booze are a little to much. I will definitely grab another and age to see results. (1,171 characters)

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of biboergosum
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle, 12% ABV in this incarnation. Always a bit odd to see a de Molen product with an English name on the label.

This beer pours a solid, abyssal black, with the faintest of basal cola edges, and a very thin cap of wispy, ethereal brown head, which is gone in mere moments, leaving some streaky distant mountain stream lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of pungent, alcohol-laced dark chocolate syrup, roasted caramel malt, bittersweet creamed coffee, Nordic licorice, treacle, and a wee earthy hoppiness. The taste is gritty, grainy pale and bready caramel malt, chalky toasted cocoa powder, subtle raw coffee beans, an isolated wet char, dried molasses, a soft herbal hoppiness, and restrained, near bursting at the seams cold booze.

The carbonation is quite understated, just a low-key frothiness presiding, the body a hefty medium weight, and generally smooth, but with the caveat of an upper palate tickling alcohol heat. It finishes more or less on a strong drying trend, the light smoke and elevated ABV starting to pull the rug out from under the big malt.

I dunno, there's just something too, well, underwhelming about this whole deal - sure, all the elements are pretty much nailed, but the overarching, multifaceted bitterness thing just isn't doing it for me or the airworthiness of my skirt. (1,344 characters)

Photo of azkkr
3.96/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Metalmonk
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the label: "This beer will be good for 25 years if kept cool and dark." But I just don't have that kind of time, so off comes the cap tonight. Brewed on August 26, 2010, bottled on October 5, 2010. If only all breweries were as up front about such trivial things, eh?

Quite a powerful "ziss!" upon prying the cap off (which was lightly waxed). It's a damn beautiful beer in the glass, blackness as deep and wide as the cosmos, and a super-tight mocha colored head made of zillions of snap-crackle-poppin' bubbles.

Aroma is mostly smoky and rich dark chocolate tones, some nice nutty coffee-like roast as well. A hint of mineral in the background, which is suppressed by a noticeable, enjoyable and not-at-all overbearing alcohol edge. [Okay, as-it-happens reportage here: this is a funny beer. I poured half into the glass, and the other half is currently in the bottle. Every 20 seconds or so a froth comes peeking over the bottle neck, pops and disappears, and repeats. This thing is alive!!!]

Taste: total liquid fudge action. Or liquid brownie. That really gooey, moist kind of deep, dark chocolate brownie. Chocolate abounds here, and brings with it tones of dark roast coffee. It's curious that the hops are pumped on the label (Sladek and Saaz) when it's really the malt that not only drives this thing, but wins the race for it. Oh, the hops are present, lending a bright edge to the heavy-handed and gooey malt center. Rich but not too rich, warming but not hot, hoppy but hops that let the malt take center stage. The taste of this beer blows my freaking mind.

I might have liked just a tad less carbonation, or nearly NO carbonation (like Bell's wonderful Expedition Stout), but the heavy body and just-right stickiness still make a nice textural match for what the taste buds are deciphering.

So, a Dutch stout modeled on the big American craft approach, using Czech hops. This is why I love adventurous brewers and the beer they make. And in this case it's a total success. It's a damn travesty this isn't rated higher here (currently has a B+ average). Maybe it's not rare enough. Or just doesn't have much hype behind it for whatever reason. But damn this is one delightful stout that leans on the hefty, dessert-y side, and does absolutely but absolutely everything right. (2,298 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 547, bottled January 2010. Roasted Coffee and chocolate aroma. Very dark brown body with deep tan head. Above average creamy mouthfeel, lots of chocolate with bitterness right there, 92 ibu, dry and a sot acidic finish. Good drinkability. Good for style, though not unique these days. (291 characters)

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mavajo
4.54/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours an almost impentrable black, with just the barest hits of slightly-transclucent brown highlights. The mocha head absolutely billows out of this thing, with large bubbles for most of the head, and much finer bubbles at the top. It took me about 5 minutes of pouring and waiting to get a properly filled glass. Once I finally got it full and properly proportioned, it was a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, pretty much no lacing. If it at least had light lacing, I could give it a 4.5 - but none at all gets it knocked to a 4.

The appearance set high expectations, and the nose doesn't disappoint. Massive, intense notes of chocolate and coffee. This is one of the best smelling beers I've ever buried my nose in. At this point, the suspense is intense - I've gotta taste this thing.

And...it meets the hype that the appearance and nose built. The explosion of chocolate and coffee in the nose show up here again. Coffee, chocolate in general, but specifically dark chocolate, roasted malts and a splash of smokiness. Typically I detest a smokey taste in my beers, but it's okay here - the medley of flavors works. Each swallow leaves a bitter chocolate aftertaste resting on the tongue. But I like it - it's a constant reminder of the deliciousness I just sipped moments before.

Unfortunately, my first sips likewise bring my first criticism of this brew - I don't like the mouthfeel. There's too much carbonation and bubbliness here. (Is bubbliness a word?) I'd rather this brew coat my mouth with velvetty smoothness, but instead I get this coarse tingling. Big time bummer on that one. I'd like to see the carbonation dialed back quite a bit.

All in all, though, this is one fabulous brew. A better mouthfeel would have brought this thing to damn near perfection. Even still, this is absolutely top notch. Easily the best imperial stout I've had from Europe.

I'd love to try a bourbon barrel aged version of this. That'd be epic.

Edit: Felt I should add this. I drank the beer slowly over an hour or so, and after warming and sitting out for a bit, the carbonation seemed to mellow considerably. It became much smoother and less prickly. If it had felt like that from the beginning, it would have easily been a 4 for mouthfeel. (2,240 characters)

Photo of mdvatab
2.98/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought two 12 oz bottles from Sam's Quick Shop in Durham, NC back in June. Had been curious to try one, and was in the mood for something barrel-aged. Here goes...

Poured from 12oz bottle into Chimay chalice. (Bottled on 10/5/2010.)

Aroma: Delicious milk chocolate, dark cocoa, carmelized brown sugary sweetness. Some fruity grape juice, a faint bourbon note, and faint, floral hops.

Appearance: Gusher alert! After seeing the foam begin to come out of the bottle opening, I instinctively moved it toward the glass and began to pour. Beautiful dark tan-colored head is two fingers thick. Settles slowly to a thin, but persistent layer of bubbles. Body is black as expresso.

Flavor: An earthy, mineral note up front, followed by chocolate sweetness, a fruity combination of brandy, bourbon, and powdered cocoa. This one is definitely "booze-forward"-- fairly hot with a peppery finish. My opinion was good initially, but after each sip, I began to taste a phenolic plastic, almost burnt hair-like, note. It got to the point where I wasn't enjoying it anymore, and didn't finish the glass.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-high, yet creamy, carbonation. As mentioned above, finish was a bit hot.

Overall: This one was a sensory roller coaster ride, but unfortunately ended on a disappointing note. The aroma led me to believe that it was going to be a good/great one. Unfortunately, there was something that just wasn't right. The loud hiss and initial gush, and also the phenolic note, lead me to suspect that there might be an infection issue... The bottle suggests cellaring for up to 25 years. At $10 a pop (WAAAAY overpriced), I'm going to hang onto my other one to see if she somehow improves down the road. You definitely won't find me buying another one, though, and I can't recommend that you make the investment either. (1,836 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle poured into my new Firestone snifter. Bottled October 5, 2010. Bottle number 575.

Appearance - Viscous black pour with a very nice mocha head. Gets a bit chunky at the end. Thick collar and a few islands and peninsulas of foam.

Smell - Earthy hop presence is amazingly prominent. Boozy. Roasted coffee. Sweet caramel and some molasses back there.

Taste - The hops are less prominent, but still earthy right at the start. Roasty chocolate that starts dark and gets milkier. Tons of sweet malts kinda kill the stout aspects. Sugars linger with a molasses and caramel flavor. Bitter in the finish, but not enough to battle the sugar.

Mouthfeel - It's sweet, too sweet. Not a diabetes bomb, but the flavors demand a drier finish. Creamy, though.

Overall - De Molen beers are always interesting and well-made. It's a good beer, but it's an over-sweet RIS. (869 characters)

Photo of tomfneph
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought beer 1131/1206 bottled on Jan. 8, 2010. I poured into a chalice straight from the fridge and I did not have the foaming head problem described by other reviewers. I had a one finger tan head that looked gorgeous, even my wife was impressed. The inky black color of the beer is impenetrable to light and really makes you think this is going to taste stouter than it does. The smell is predominantly toasted chocolate malt. There is a faint vinous aroma also. The taste of the beer is surprisingly mild. Chocolate and charcoal are there at the fore, but fades to a faint taste of tobacco. The mouthfeel is more like an IPA than a stout. There is no sweetness and the hops quickly shine through as the predominant lasting flavor. It's almost as if this beer doesn't know what it wants to be. Overall I was disappointed in the taste which did not measure up to the wonderful color and aroma. I would drink this again if someone gave it to me, but I'm not sure I would fork over another $10 for another bottle. (1,014 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of crosenkrantz
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Bung
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small format October 2010 bottling. Nearly black with a good thickness to it. The gigantic light brown head is an annoyance as always for me. The whole "it's part of the Belgian brew experience" is just stupid. How is the beer overflowing the glass even with an extremely careful pour a good thing? Anyways..once it settles down it is a nice looking brew.

Aroma, some roast malt, quite a bit more chocolates and molasses. A little rum cake.

Taste, once you get over the chocolate flavored sugar, there is a nice milk type stout beneath. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate covered coffee bean, some roast malt.

Fills the mouth pretty well. I'd call it creamy but it seems just a tad watery. For all the booze in the aroma, there is none going down. Drinks very easily.
Cancelled because it is similar to their other stuff? Better than any others I've had from them, though this is the first cellared brew I've had from them. Worth grabbing if you can still find it. (963 characters)

Photo of Webbydag1
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark berry note with a leathery coffee finish. (46 characters)

Photo of Neffbeer
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle
Marked January 8 2010 bottle date
Poured into a Goblet

A: Jet black, reddish/tan 2 finger head. The beer exhibits excellent retention and good lacing.

S: Dark malts, chocolate, anise, smoke, and some dark fruits waft from the glass. Some bittering hops are still detectable.

T: Chocolate and dark burnt malt enters first and lingers for a long time. It is a bit bitter which masks some of the other notes I picked up on the nose. Some smoke pulls through and it manages to finish dry. As it warms the hops and fruit start to emerge, much better.

M: Lush and full, quite good.

D: It might not be at the top of my list for imperial stouts, but it is a very respectable brew. (690 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass. Bottled on October 5th 2010. Bottle number 2036.

A slight gusher but not too bad from opening. Impressive head of dark brown coffee cream and chocolate. Body is classic case of dark walnut black/brown. Retention is sick but eventually calms down. Crazy lacing breakup and super foamy.

Nose is a good mix of light molasses, coffee mild roast and milk chocolate. Very nice with barleywine like heat and hint of bitterness. Real nice lots of things going on.

Taste is really delicious. Taste seems to follow the nose with one exception. Molasses lightly in the palate but then a soft mild black licorice sense. Some milky chocolate comes out a bit. Licorice angle comes out in a very rich way but never totally dominates. Thick palate but rich and velvety, without being syrupy. No boozyness sense incredibly easy drinking. Palate has a mild small carbonation and when focusing on it even gives the drink a sense of rich sweet cola taste.

Overall just a great example of what a stout can be. Great beer! (1,055 characters)

Photo of enelson
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of tclapper
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Heaven & Hell from Brouwerij De Molen
89 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.