1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Hemel & Aarde Bruichladdich Barrel - Brouwerij De Molen

Not Rated.
Hemel & Aarde Bruichladdich BarrelHemel & Aarde Bruichladdich Barrel

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

34 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 34
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 8.85%
Wants: 14
Gots: 14 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Molen visit their website
Netherlands

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ricke on 01-21-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 34 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by beerdrifter:
Photo of beerdrifter
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!

beerdrifter, Feb 08, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of ricke
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

NOTE: This is Hemel & Aarde aged on a Bruichladdich barrel used for the first time in 1972.

Dark brown color, small beige uneven head. Some lacings.

The aroma is of smoky whisky, peat, wood, charcoal and roasted malts.

The flavor is sweet with salty whisky additions. Notes of roasted malts, peat, wood, whisky and mild chocolate. The finish is somewhat bitter with edgy notes of smoky whisky and some alcohol.

Full-bodied and with a smooth mouthfeel.

Very good. Menno sure seems to know his way around imperial stouts.

ricke, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of jtladner
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

jtladner, Nov 18, 2013
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -4.3%

acurtis, Jul 02, 2014
Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

biboergosum, Apr 09, 2012
Photo of kkrez
5/5  rDev +19.6%

kkrez, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of crosenkrantz
3.75/5  rDev -10.3%

crosenkrantz, Apr 03, 2014
Photo of Pnell316
4.93/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had a good amount of barrel aged stouts and I must say WOW! This one is excellent! It has an amazing smokey scotch smell and taste. This one wasn't easy to come by but I will be looking for more. This may just be one of the best stouts I've ever tried.

Pnell316, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a small bubbly head with no retention. Aroma of peat malt is dominated with notes of scotch also quite enjoyable. Taste is a nice complex mix between some peat malt with light smoked notes and solid black chocolate notes balanced with warming scotch notes. Body is quite full with no carbonation. Very well brewed with loads of complexity but still great drinkability factor

Phyl21ca, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

another simply excellent little beer from de molen. this little bottle #178 was served in a tulip and enjoyed mid afternoon while i chilled around the house. consumed on 09/11/2010.

really a dark pour with a thin layer of light tan that clung to the sides for every bit of its life. some decent lacing being put down here as it rolls along.

aroma is full of peat and smoked malty notes. rich cooca lies underneath all of this and really serves as the back bone of a really solid and very dark profile. campfire scents abound as this absurdly full flavored stout just continues to morph on me as i chug along with it. smoked malts is stealing it away now as the full breath of the tobacco an leather soaked barrel flavor has come in full force. mildly carbonated but no where near flat it seems to effortlessly roll across the palate.

overall an excellent offering here and something i am truly impressed with. i with i could get more of these gems.

mikesgroove, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of TheBrewViking
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

TheBrewViking, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of psiweaver
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into my oakquinox tasting glass.

A: pours a rich black with minimal carbonation and a little bit of dark brown lacing.

S: the barrel mellows out some of the extreme peat that is found in the non barrel aged version. You get some vanilla and scotch notes to go with the peat.

T: the peat is really mellowed by the barrel in the taste, nice notes of scotch, vanilla, oak and a much more balanced taste profile.

M: again the barrel has mellowed some of the alcohol out and the overall mouth feel of the beer is much better as a result.

Overall i really like both beers but prefer the barrel aged because its more balanced and had a better taste profile in my opinion.

psiweaver, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -4.3%

ygtbsm94, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of MaseFace
4/5  rDev -4.3%

MaseFace, Jun 14, 2012
Photo of Kim_Tardif
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Kim_Tardif, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of womencantsail
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris for sharing this one on Saturday.

A: The pour is a very dark brown color with hardly any head and just about flat.

S: An intense peat character to the nose, likely both from the malt and the scotch barrel that was used. A nice oakiness to it and a slight nutty character.

T: The sweetness of the beer is surprising with the heavy peat character and almost smokey flavor. Some chocolate underlies this and provides some additional sweetness.

M: Very, very lowly carbonated but smooth and mildly creamy on the tongue.

D: I'm not always the biggest fan of "smokey" beers, but this one leaned much more toward the peat side of things and just provided an incredibly interesting complexity.

womencantsail, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of cervejinha
3.25/5  rDev -22.2%

cervejinha, Nov 18, 2013
Photo of Elbrownbag
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Elbrownbag, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of gford217
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another European gem from Jan, poured into a tulip.

Pours an oily black with a short-lived fizzy tan head that recedes to a hefty collar with a swirl along the top. Bit of lacing around the sides.

The aroma is excellent with some heavily smoked malts and plenty of peat as well. The underlying dark malts and cocoa comes through in addition to a noticeable whiskey burn in the nostrils.

The taste is thick and oily with a base of chocolate malts, roasted coffee and smoke. This melds really well with the peat presence from the Scotch barrel with also lends a dryness to the finish along with a hefty alcohol burn.

The mouthfeel is on the fuller side of things and super creamy with a low soft carbonation.

This is an excellent beer and a fantastic use of a Scotch barrel. I can contrast it directly with the Islay Brunch Weasel which had a far more dominant Scotch presence, too much actually. This is not only more drinkable but a much better melding of the barrel and underlying beer. Highly recommended.

gford217, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of Jeffo
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this at the De Molen beershop in Bodegraven. This is a rereview. The first bottle I had was a nip and was insanely carbonated and tough to drink. It tasted great, however, and still got a score of 4.03. Glad to try a new batch.

From a 33cl bottle into a snifter
Bottled on 8 December 2011

APPEARANCE: Pours dark, transparent brown and yields a small, thicker, tan head with decent retention. Very small head quickly fades to a splotchy wisp and ring. Black body and no carbonation evident. A decent ring remains until the end and leaves some dots of lacing down the glass. Looks much better than that overcarbonated first batch.

SMELL: Nice nose on this one; very bold, complex and interesting. Lots of roasted malts, espresso and dark chocolate as well. Some burnt caramel and charcoal notes, as well as some well integrated peat from the barrels. Same as the regular version, but the barrel has left a touch more peat qualities without overpowering the brew. The base beer is a little more impressive as well actually. Really nice.

TASTE: Big flavors as well. Roasted malts, lots of peat, and notes, as well as bitter espresso and chocolate all over. Big and lingering aftertaste has lots of roasted and burnt malts, bitter hops, sweet caramel notes, and a good dose of booze from the barrels. Very similar to the regular version, but more peat and heat. Very nice indeed. Excellent.

PALATE: Medium body and syrupy slick on the palate. Very modest carbonation, but creamy and smooth on the palate. Goes down fine, quite oily, and finishes somewhat sticky on the palate. Would like a tick more carbonation on this one, as it's just slightly on the good side of flat. Thick and syrupy, however.

OVERALL: This is an excellent beer, and I enjoyed this one much more than I did the first batch many moons ago. Where the first batch was flawed by too much carbonation, however, this batch is plagued by not enough. Let's hope the third batch nails it on the head, because this brew has the nose and flavor profile to be a world class beer. As it is now, it's a solid continent class beer. Ok, that was stupid. Recommended for mass consumption.

Jeffo, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of Brabander
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Brabander, Dec 21, 2013
Photo of Sean9689
3.3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Sean9689, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Thehuntmaster, May 03, 2012
Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 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.

ATLbeerDog, Jul 24, 2012
Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

JAHMUR, Jan 08, 2014
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Hemel & Aarde Bruichladdich Barrel from Brouwerij De Molen
91 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.