Hemel & Aarde Bruichladdich Barrel - Brouwerij De Molen
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Ratings: 34 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
4.08/5 rDev -2.4%
08/12/2011 (bottled December 8th) - Great fill almost to the top of this 33cl bottle. Bottle label says this puppy is 12% ABV and unpasteurized. No bottle number on label.
Pours a dark brown almost black with red tones. Almost no carbonation at all with just a few bubbles hangin’ on the rim. Zero and I mean zero lacing. Smells of peat, coffee, dark chocolate, booze, and deep roasted malts dominate the nose. First sip is surprisingly thin and quite inky but there is enough peat and smoke notes combined with dark chocolate, coffee and licorice to make for an interesting brew. I am a tad disappointed due to the lack of carbonation but overall pleased as the Islay whisky notes are most welcomed. I am hoping my other bottle is better carbonated but overall this beer is worth seeking out.
07-24-2012 01:01:31 | More by ATLbeerDog
3.3/5 rDev -21.1%
Thanks, Alex. Side-by-side comparison with the regular Hemel & Aarde.
A - Pours dark brown, huge tan-colored head, spotty lace.
S - The scotch hits you right away, chocolate, peat, char, light smoke. I don't think the barrel did much to enhance the nose on this beer, as it takes away from the sweetness of the base.
T - Similar to the nose. Scotch, oak, chocolate, peat, char. Again, not as well-balanced as the base with an over abundance of a boozy Scotch note. Alcohol is there for sure...a little too much. Finish is light sweetness and Scotch barrel.
M - Full body, heavy carbonation, creamy oak finish.
O - The Scotch barrels hurt this beer, IMO. There's not enough balance when compared to the base beer and the alcohol takes away from the sweetness and smoke. The carbonation was also a distraction for me. Not bad, but not something I'd drink again.
06-07-2012 15:13:51 | More by Sean9689
4.43/5 rDev +6%
To my surprise, the bottle I had was filled almost to the cap, yay more beer for my money.
It pours ink black with no head and just a small ring around the edge of the glass that leaves some this spotty lacing, pretty much as expected from a beer that's been barrel aged.
Whiskey and oak are front and center in the smell with dark chocolate, peat and smokiness with some coffee and a medicinal alcohol in the back.
It tastes like you'd expect, dark chocolate, peat, medicinal alcohol and smokiness form a backbone for delicious whiskey flavour and smoothness with oak and a little caramel rounding it all out.
Mouthfeel is very whiskey like, smooth and silky but fairly heavy and certainly not one to drink quickly.
All in all it's pretty much what I had expected, a heavy sipper with lots of whiskey smoothness and quite alcoholic. Great stuff but it takes an evening to drink one.
05-21-2012 21:21:00 | More by Aethien
3.7/5 rDev -11.5%
Bottle from Jeffo. #458/1776, brewed December 3rd, 2009 & bottled June 7th, 2010. Served in a Cigar City snifter next to the base beer.
A - Voluminous dark tan-grey foam that eventually settles to a thick collar, splotchy wisps, and spotty lace. Seems overcarbonated, but don't think it's infected. Very dark brown, near-black body.
S - Well, there's that distinctive Scotch whisky aroma - medicinal iodine, peat, char, smoke, some alcohol, and a nice dark chocolate note mixed in there.
T - Taste is quite similar to the aroma, and starts out pretty enjoyable, with notes of roasted malt, char, peat, and some dark chocolate mid-palate. However, the finish is laden with tires and iodine and it lingers indefinitely. The balancing sweetness of the base beer is nowhere to be found.
M - Smooth, medium-full body, with surprisingly zesty carbonation for the style. Chewy texture, with some mild alcohol warmth.
D - Significantly more challenging to drink than the base beer, and really needs significant time to open up. Also, sharing the nip three ways resulted in ideal portion size. If you really dig Scotch this may be a winner, but using the barrel in addition to the peated malts was overkill in my opinion.
05-15-2012 00:48:45 | More by MasterSki
4.3/5 rDev +2.9%
330ml bottle 12,0% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.
Bottled on: 08 Dec 2011
Good for 25 years.
Appearance: Hemel & Aarde looks pitch black in the glass, with a strong back light only revealing faint red edges. A rough pour yields a small, ultra slow forming, tan coloured head that actually displays pretty good retention for the Abv. A light swirl yields massive alcohol legs and a light yellow stain on the glass.
Smell: Wow, I was expecting the Bruichladdich barrels to increase the peat characteristics ten-fold, however the initial nose seems to be a lot more restrained than the base beer, with more standard imperial stout characteristics noted.
The peat characteristics increase as the beer warms.
Notes include: Dark chocolate, dark fruits (burned raisins, cherries and dark berries), a hint of molasses, charred wood, heavily roasted malt, a hint of coffee, earthy peat smoke, slight salty sea spray note, oak, almond and a touch of scotch-like alcohol.
Taste: The initial flavour is quite sweet with notes of dark fruit, cocoa and dark caramel. De Molen's signature charred wood and heavily roasted malt follow, with earthy peat, oak and Islay scotch on the back end. The finish is reasonably bitter, with a lingering whiskey-like dryness.
While the 12% is not totally hidden, it is very well integrated into the flavour profile and would be missed if absent.
Mouthfeel: Pretty much bang on for a big barrel-aged stout! Full (or just under) bodied, oily, slightly sticky with an ultra low level of super smooth carbonation.
Overall: Unexpectedly, instead of boosting the peat characteristics of the base beer, the Bruichladdich barrels seem to have toned them down, creating a more balanced beer. That said, it is still one to avoid if you are not a fan of peated whiskey.
05-03-2012 13:16:12 | More by Thehuntmaster
4.03/5 rDev -3.6%
750ml bottle, commendable, accountant perfunctory front label. 25 years of best before? Nice idea, but no match for my current compunction! Made with 'Bruichladdich barley malts', and 10% ABV - same thing? Ok, on with it, heaven and earth, and what have you.
This beer pours a solid, impenetrable black, save some ever so slight basal cola highlights, and one fat finger of tight foamy beige head, which settles at an agreeable pace, leaving some intricate tree limb mesh lace around a majority of the glass in the process.
It smells of peaty, meaty, smoky malt, the bready, caramel, and grainy characteristics well submerged in that stuffy Islay maelstrom. The taste is sweet, lightly toasted caramel malt, a sour smoky essence, some mild dry coffee notes, middling cocoa, and a struggling earthy, leafy hoppiness. A nice side-stepping departure from expected oblivion.
The carbonation is well reserved, the body a plus-sized medium weight, dare I say full, and pleasantly smooth, but for some lingering raspy smoke and hop notes. It finishes sweetly malty, woody, and yes, still sour. No alcohol insurgency, despite the big ABV.
I can't really account for the name, word for word, but this is one strong candidate for the completeness so inherently insinuated. The hefty stout characteristics seem to seep through, eventually, and are generally amenable, in a low-countries, tangy sort of manner. Wow, even I need some rarefied ratification to justify that sentiment. Sorry, y'all just need to try this, full stop.
04-09-2012 07:27:25 | More by biboergosum
4.3/5 rDev +2.9%
I mostly came here to say that my bottle, also thanks to doop, was perfectly carbonated. Seems I am in the minority, but yeah.
This essentially comes off like a smoked, barrel-aged, stout. It's the only one quite like it that I've ever had, but that's not a bad thing. A bit boozy on the nose, the taste is a great balance of peat, smoke and malt. The mouthfeel is perfect for the style (I would be turned off if this were undercarbed, I think). De Molen is really doing some weird, wonderful, stuff over there.
02-28-2012 03:24:10 | More by johnbjaeger
4.15/5 rDev -0.7%
Picked this up at the beer store at Brouwerij De Molen. Pitch black in color, but an aggressive pour yielded almost no head and very minimal lacing. Nothing like the standard Hemel & Aarde which was a total gusher when uncorked. The nose is very boozey, peaty and smokey, with hints of dark chocolate, licorice, and espresso. The barrel has thankfully mellowed the peat that dominated the Hemel & Aarde nose. It follows through in the taste as well as the peat is very subtle. Dark roasty chocolate and intense scotch notes dominate. Not sure I've ever had the scotch emerge so boldly like it does here. As it warms it opens up with hints of mocha and oak, but the warming scotch is king. The total lack of carbonation doesn't really hurt this beer. It's flat, but smooth as silk and thick and oily. Definitely a sipper with a nice subtle bitter finish. This is a one and done beer for sure. Very rich and boozey, but totally enjoyable. Another incredible beer from De Molen!
02-08-2012 18:26:47 | More by beerdrifter
4.45/5 rDev +6.5%
popped the top on this bad boy and it was filled all the way to the top so there was barely any carbonation. Appearance is black with no head at all.
Smells smokey with a good amount of bourbon as well
Taste follows the nose, the smokey malt and the bourbon fight for the lead on this one, i can't tell which one wins. But the smoke finishes it out for sure but never dominates, very well balanced
Mouthfeel is lacking from the limited carbonation, if this bottle was carbonated right this beer would be a winner.
Much thanks to Doopie for this one, De Molen makes some awesome stouts. Nice beer I wish it was carbed and it would have been top notch
02-07-2012 03:00:49 | More by TheBrewViking
Hemel & Aarde Bruichladdich Barrel from Brouwerij De Molen
91 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.