Demon Hunter - Birrificio Montegioco

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Demon HunterDemon Hunter

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BA SCORE
87
very good

37 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 37
Hads: 67
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 7.16%
Wants: 11
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Birrificio Montegioco visit their website
Italy

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 10-11-2006

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 37 | Hads: 67
Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A superb Belgian beer. Cloudy orange with a slow to dissipitate significant white head. Foremost is the taste, a shared combination of malt, yeast, spice and bitterness and the balance is such that in no way is any sip too bitter, or too sweet, or even too yeasty. Full mouthfeel, a sipper without assaulting the palate.A bit on the drying side in the finish. (359 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a reasonable head for any but a Belgian, and there it falls short; leaves some lacing behind, however

Smell: Toffee apple, dark fruit (dates, primarily), vanilla and a hint of white pepper

Taste: Opens with a fruitcake flavor that provides much of the aromatic fruity elements, including the toffee apple and dark fruit; after the swallow, some of the deeper flavor elements emerge, with herbal spices adding balance

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: While this is a good beer, it doesn't have the depth of flavor or the mouthfeel of Belgium's best (623 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the beers these guys make certainly do not come cheap. however, i have almost always found them worth it, and this is no exception. a really boldly flavored belgian strong, rich and malty, hopped more than most, and with a classic italian yeast strain that is both delicious and unfamiliar. the packaging is beautiful, i love the art on this one, and i always feel like its an occasion when i drink their beer. this is a little more in the style guidelines than others i have had from them though, and could easily be made by a famous belgian producer, save the yeast, which is what really makes this special. it gives the beer a really creamy feel, it tastes loosely belgian but less fruit more spice, white pepper and sage and some rooty earthy thing. there is a brown sugar note to the malt body, but the yeast cleans it up really well and carbonated this beer beautifully. it also hides its strength really well, which has been the mark of these italian brewers dabbling in belgian types. expensive bottle of beer to say the least, and its probably not as captivating to most as the peach one they do, but still worth picking up if you can find it. i think grapevine may still have some... (1,193 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In true Belgian fashion, this Italian brew proves very worthy of the style.

Starting off with a lighter than usual rusty and hazy appeararnce, the beer's more moderate carbonaiton only builds a terse sheet across the beer. Heavier around the edges, the beer laces well and retains quite nicely despite the timid foamstance early on.

Aromas of figs, dates, prunes, raisons, nuts and berries are all shown up front. The esters undoubtedly set the precidence of the beer. Tempered by cotton candy confectioner's sweetness, the nose also includes spices of orange peel, corriander, and white pepper. Very complex and seductive.

Flavors start off with the same fruit-forward notion but the spice soon impeed and then the bitterness of both hops and an odd bite in the throat and jaws that isn't the clean bitterness that is provided by the best bittering hops. Still the spices present themselves but don't compliment the esters or malt sweetness that I expected from the nose. The malt profile does give the softer pilsner character and is also complimented by added sugars for dryness and flavor.

The body starts out efforvescent and sugary- that's how the beer remains. A light feel all the way through because of the efforvescent carbonation, but the sweetness lingers on the mouth surfaces just a little too long.

Demon Hunter is a very solid Belgian Strong Dark Ale with a very complex malt/fruity start but the bite and body of the beer hurt it's drinkability at times. (1,478 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a goblet a hazed deep burnt orange color with a quick to form quick to fade white head, a little lighter in color for the style.Brown sugar and yeasty spiced notes in the nose,almost a spiced cake-like element to it.Flavors of dark fruit and brown sugar with some yeasty baking spice to it,not overly sweet,pretty warming.A solid Belgian dark from this Italian brewer and not overly pricey like way to many of the Italian stuff. (439 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Bobby for sharing this one.

A: The pour is a dark copper color with a moderate amount of white foam on top.

S: The sugary sweetness is the first aroma to make itself known. Following that, a slightly musty and tart grape note comes into the picture along with a touch of spice.

T: As you might expect from the nose, there is quite a bit of sugar in the flavor. Somewhat surprisingly, there is also a fair amount of bitterness, but it seems to be more tannic/astringent than hop induced.

M: Although it is "only" 8.5%, this beer is somewhat hot and alcoholic. The body is medium and the carbonation is lively and tingling.

D: Not an awful beer, but not something I plan on drinking again. (702 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.42/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

Pours a mostly clear red amber with a finger-and-a-half of white fizzy head that leaves merely a minimal amount of webby lacing behind. The smell holds hints of ginger, figs, cinnamon, raspberries, red grapes, and a touch of molasses. The taste deviates from these sweet fruity notes, opting instead for a more bitter, old-fruity avenue. I'll be straightforward in saying that it's possible that I got a bad bottle, but the flavors I'm getting all seem overly off from the nose: darkly sour grapes, dark wheat, cloves, pepper, and a vein of the ginger that's held over from the nose. As off as the flavors seem, they still are not overtly bad, just out of balance and contrary to the sweet nose (and out of sorts with the usual BSD archetype). The body, on the other hand, is nicely medium, with moderate carbonation, and a mostly smooth feel. Overall, an OK brew, but not one that I would rush to sample again. (945 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decapitated demon is held aloft by a chain and an armored glove, He's a mangy cur, probably deserved it.

Dark crimson coloring, clear at the sides, slim, beige head (starts big, dwindles down).

Malty nose, soft, and slightly sweet. Gets richer and fuller as we go along, feeling like a barley-wine. Ripe fruit, apples and plums.

Taste: again, fruity, rich, ripe. There it is, again. Plums aplenty, a bit rummy, ...a little like a fruitcake. Sweet, sharp, boozy. Nicely rounded, good and malty, ...extra tasty.

Long finish, full body, very rich, and plump. Much goodness involved in this. (593 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clouded brown with a caramel tint. Huge off-white head slowly descends leaving little to no lacing.

The smell is of soured cherries, musty wood, iron and something like flat soda-pop syrup.

Thet taste doesn't quite follow the nose, though there is some resemblance - it's better - but, not much. Iron, caramel, honey, sour cherry and apples (roasted chestnuts?) It has a sweetish, fleeting finish.

It has a creamy, medium body. It's shining moment (even then, doesn't reach great heights - but does reach very good, IMO).

Not bad overall - different - a few things "irked" me about it. Not crazy about the aroma - and, the sourness and iron didn't seem to fit together. Interesting, but not worth the price tag of just short of twenty dollars. (754 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark cloudy amber color with some golden orange hues and visible carbonation bubbling up when held to a light source and a thick foamy tan head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Minimal lacing.

Sweet dark fruit aroma with hints of maple, caramel malt, grape and a nice peppery spiciness.

Very smooth medium body with silk caramel maltiness. Hints of maple, dark cherry, grape, plum, raisin, peppery spice and a slightly dry subtle hop finish that is a bit tart. (476 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gavroche tulip. Pours a hazy, medium to dark orange amber with tons of dark particulates from a careful and not complete pour. Two finger khaki head dissipates to about half and then great retention and lacing. Aroma of dark and light dried and frush stone fruit, apples, Belgian yeast and spicing, slightly oxidized and a bit earthy; a hint of sourness on opening dissipated quickly. Flavor is caramel malt, rich dark and light dried fruit, fresh plum and apple juice, light coriander and Belgian yeast. Finishes with an unusual, but pleasant tannin and hop bitterness that is supported well by the other flavors. Medium bodied with moderate creaminess. A full flavored and nicely balanced dark strong that has a great blend of fruit flavors and deftly handled spicing. The finish was more bitter and dry than most others in this style, but fit well with the other supporting flavors. I liked this quite a bit. The appearance is marred by the numerous particulates, but redeemed somewhat by a cool dark orange color. A somewhat different, but flavorful Belgian dark from Italy. (1,092 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Definitely one of the better Italian breweries.

A: Poured a dark, slightly burnt orange with a huge pillowy light beige head that was mostly lasting. Visible carbonation was light-moderate.

S: a spicy alcohol fragrance (nutmeg, cinnamon) along with ripe fruit and a touch of yeast sourness.

T: The initial flavor starts off with some spicy caramel notes, a dry complex oak woodiness and dried fruit. The finish was slightly acidic and bitter with a good spicy alcohol bite. The beer finishes with a very good caramelized and alcohol fade with a dry finish leaving a slightly malty residue lacing behind.

M: creamy and full bodied with warming fruit coming through (apples, pears).

D: Overall a spicy and malty Belgian style beer and a good recommend, easy and a pleasure drinking (786 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A loud pop when I popped the cap, which has a curious plastic cylinder thingy attached to it. Hazy copper coloured with plenty of sediment floating around.

The smell is big on toasted malt with side notes of Belgian yeast and some conglomerate of spices.

The taste is spicy, again, not easy to distinguish which, with toasted malt, Belgian yeast...maybe that spice is or at least reminds me of rye. No mention of rye in the beer's description but that won't stop me from mentioning it. This also has a dankness and earthiness to it. And the finish? I get light fruity tones that make it on the dry side.

Okay, this beer really has me befuddled; I'm now getting hints of horse blanket as it warms up and you probably know what that would suggest. Overall, I'd say smell wins over taste.

This is weird and I will just have to let the cards fall where they may. If you see bottles of it, give it a go. (902 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
2.95/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a medium brown that has a strong ruby haze. Mediocre head with no lacing and sparse bubbling.

Smell- A little bready with some bitterness that doesn't seem to come from hops. Seems somewhat of a mix between an English and Belgian ale.

Taste- The malts don't seem like a blend of English and Belgian brewing, its more like confusion. Biscuity malts battle with spicey malts. Definite English hops IMHO. Needs better malt balance.

Mouthfeel- Sweet and subtle bitterness. Smooth on the way down until the end of the sip. (544 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I found a bottle at John's Grocery in Iowa City, and paid about $16 for it. The bottle was beautiful, with black printed paper covering like a gueuze or other Belgian specialty, with a side view of an ugly red demon's head hanging from a chain held by an armored hand. Cool and odd.

The first whiff from the open bottle was sour like a Jolly Pumpkin beer or a Flanders Red, so I chose an Orval glass to hold it. The beer was light copper color and murky-translucent, with a nice 1-finger off-white foam which settled quickly. The aroma definitely indicated Brett, smelling like any number of Jolly Pumpkin or Russian River wild ales. The beer was possibly better than any of these competitors though, in that it had a really thick mouthfeel lending a substantial presence to the beer. Very nice taste, sour up front and sweetly malty in the middle, with an after-taste mingling sweet and sour. Awesome, I have to up my taste rating to a 4.5.

Is it worth $16? Possibly not since other beers are comparable at $6-9 for the same volume. But a nice treat and one that I recommend. (1,079 characters)

Photo of drpimento
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pretty interesting beer. Poured with a small to medium sized light tan head and a little lace.Color is a hazy/cloudy medium brown amber. Aroma is different with honey malt tobacco tree bark dark ripe fruits. Flavor is like aroma and more sweet plus plums and a bit of cherry. Body is full round rich with good carbonation. Finish is like a tapering flavor. Not a session. (371 characters)

Photo of mynie
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at John's Grocery.

THAT is how you wrap a bottle. It's like some fantastic thing you'd see painted on some kind of scary cathedral.

Pours dark brown with a large head. Just about what you'd expect from a nice-looking Belgian dark.

Smells very crisp and tart. Light on the yeast and alcohol, heavy on the spice.

Tastes more like a nice saison than Belgian dark. Big spice to start things off, white pepper and lemongrass, moving into a very crisp and fizzy tasting middle that consists of hard fruit esters and a lightly sour yeast. This drops off into a heavier yeast with a light peng of brown sugar and a lingering sourness.

I could drink this stuff all day. At 15 bucks a bottle, it's probably not worth what it costs, but it's still an exceptional beer and the packaging alone justifies trying it at least once. (840 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Tall 750ml (25.4 fl.oz) Belgium style brown glass bottle sealed with a large crown cap. The main label is split vertically in half; the left hand side has a dark black background with a very colorful picture of a Knights glove holding high a horned red colored demonic head from a chain set into a green shield like scroll which has the words ‘Demon Hunter’ in rather gothic looking yellow text. This side of the label lists the beer in a white scripted font as ‘Birra Artigianale Demon Hunter’. The words ‘La Cacciatrice’ which I think translates as The Huntress of Terrorists and that it is the Product of Italy. Listed at 8.5% Alc./Vol. The right hand side of the label has a white background and is dedicated to the Nanny state US Government Warning and lots of other useless bollocks. All this is nicely wrapped in a highly decorated crisp black paper wrapper that has the same pattern as the left hand side of the main bottle label.

Appearance: Deep brown torso has some golden amber refraction at the edges of my Chimay Goblet. Light tanned head fizzes into existence and rises on the initial with a large bubbled consistency. It soon settles with in a relaxed manner to a thin covering which eventually breaks, though it never collapses and always leaves a healthy halo ring. Conditioning is below par but enough to do justice in the beginning, but in the finish is seems to vaporize and evacuate the body all too quickly leaving a rather flat looking effort. Subsequent top-ups do help to reinstate some life and look into this one, but it can struggle if you decide to sip this one slowly.

Nose: Soft Devon toffee, peppered steak, herbs, light spices, roasted Chestnuts, walnuts and a strange hint of the dried out deposit that sticks to the outside of those screw top lids on peanut butter jars. Overall the nose is barely above average in strength but does tend to entice a little.

Taste: This is one of those beers that exhibit an accomplished taste, but not one of the fundamental elements really strikes you neither as outstanding as nor more important than the others. A combination of herbal malts and soft spiced low key hops intermingle with Devon toffee, a nutty base, suppressed toasted dark fruits and a mellow finish with some hint of Belgium chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Marshmallow feel initially gives way to a flatter more liquor like texture later on as the conditioning evacuates the body later on. Smooth feel, honey roasted peanuts and feel of saliva thick with a heavily chewed home made toffee lend some depth and a higher reign to the initial medium feel. Not quite a 4.0 though, but a bit above a 3.5.

Drinkability: I enjoyed the 750ml, no worries there, but I feel that this one could do so much more with just a little more effort. Enjoyable, and above average but it just dips below the “solid beer” feeling, though it does seem to be in reach, criminally close at times, yet desperately far away at others. Needs a bit more work I think to appeal beyond the intrigued “Initial Imbiber”, to the “Second Purchase” crowd.

Overall: As with the earlier ‘Draco’ that I tried from Birrificio Montegioco, I did not really notice the rather steep selling price on this one until it was too late. This offering is much better than the earlier ‘Draco’ though, and whilst I cannot honestly say that it represents good value for money, it is certainly worth trying and not a bad effort. The ‘Demon Hunter’ is aged for 15 weeks and I think helps to raise the bar a tad. An interesting newcomer to the US, at least the West Coast, but if you see the ‘Draco’ and ‘Demon Hunter’, and only want to splash the cash on one, this should be the choice…however….if you have any of the offerings from Panil or Baladin for the same or lesser price, and fancy going Italian, this one would be left on shelves to go dusty I feel. A candidate for future promotion but this offering is not quite in the Italian Serie A League, just yet at least. (4,005 characters)

Photo of merlin48
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Paper wrapped 750 ml bottle, as pictured, pours a murky amber brown body with a small beige head. Some sheet lacing is left on the goblet.

Aroma is interesting. Fruity berry and kiwi, caramel apples, herbal hops,toffee, and spicy nutmeg, clove, and anise.

Body is medium full with an average carbonation. Just a hint of syrupiness here.

Taste is complex. Caramel apple notes are most prominent but a toffee maltiness is present throughout. Herbal hops add a solid bitterness. Lots of spice flavors, with anise, white pepper, nutmeg, and clove, weaving in and out. Finishes clean and even.

Kinda pricey, even for an Italian craft ale, but complex and enjoyable. (664 characters)

Photo of dsa7783
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copped a $16.99 bottle from Oak Tree in South Plainfield... very elegantly wrapped - decorated to perfection with a really attractive appearance of a devil's head tied to a chain... Pours a dark chestnut, amber color with minimal frothy head that soon dissipated... smell is replete with grapes, prunes, and honey... taste complements the aroma, with a noticeable pepper-bittersweet aftertaste... flavor is very intricate and high-class, laden with caramel, vanilla, pepper, creamy malts, and well-balanced with a touch of hops which do well to offset the overall rich and sweet character of the beer... a very unique sample, completely distinct from anything I've ever tasted, but in my opinion, still not worth the hefty sum I dished out for this one... Mouthfeel was thick and creamy, and the beer was really drinkable and went down smooth, crisp, and clean... ABV is not noticeable at all... Recommended... (910 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off the art on the wrapper is simply amazing. Now on to the beer.

A: Cloudy copper color with minimal head.

S: Apples! and cider. Was not expecting that at all.

T: Apples then fruits with a slight hint of the yeast. Finishes with a slight hop bitterness. Not too bad.

M: Nice med body. Nothing good or bad really.

D: Very drinkable. The price on the bottle keeps it from being something to seek out on the norm but it was good. Just not good enough to pick up at 17.99. (480 characters)

Photo of jwinship83
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml capped bottle with no freshness information on it drank from my duvel tulip glass.

A- this one pours out a murky orangeish brown colored body with a finger and a half of bright white colored head. the head lasts the entirety of the glass and leaves behind complete rings of lacing.

S- belgian yeast is the first thing i notice. there are alot of fruit-like malts in here as well. apple, fig, pear, and date. some spicy peppery aromas also.

T- the taste is much like the smell. there is a definite belgian yeast presence. some sweet summer fruits also. apple, pear, plum, fig, and date. small pepper like spiciness at the end along with a small taste of alcohol.

M- medium to full bodied and highly carbonated. palate coating. moderate warming form the alcohol.

D- easy to finish my portion of this bottle, but i dont think a whole 750ml would be able to hold my attention. i look forward to what else this brewery has to offer. (940 characters)

Photo of peabody
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out a slightly cloudy ice tea color with one finger of creamy off-white suds. Nice lacing.
Smell is creamy malt and spice with a strong yeasty aroma followed by the alcohol burn.
Taste is bready like a dirty cup of yeast water with sugars and candy caramel stickyness. They hide the alcohol here quite well.
Mouthfeel is dirty and stays dirty for the entire tasting. No alcohol in the aftertaste. Just a dirty sticky sugar flavor.
Drinkability is OK I guess. Not a bad drink but certainly not a great drink. (513 characters)

Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.59/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A monster three finger rich tan head erupts with a vigorous pour. Body is a deep brown that almost seems layered twords the bottom of the glass with some amber tints. Slightly zesty mineral spicey notes on the nose are very soft. Also has a hint of soapy hops. At first sip you got a very mineral based feel. Palate includes a bit of grapefruit and soured malt. A slight hop bitter rounds out the mouthfeel. Extremly lighter than I expected. Super easy to drink. Not as complex as I think it could become with some agging. Enjoyable overall but tough to pay 18 bucks a bottle for. (580 characters)

Photo of alpinebryant
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat cloudy brown with particles floating in space. Good head and one that stayed around for a while with large bubbles.

Smell of strawberries, grapes, biscuit, raspberries Coriander and belgian yeast. This is a very good smelling Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Possibly the best smelling I have had but I anxiously await the perfect smelling BSDA.

Taste of berries, strawberry raspberry, some sour white grape and a light taste of funk. Oak and aging in barrels seem to be on the menu, although I cannot confirm because I do not know enough about this beer. Very possibly the barrel flavors are just from the yeast, but either way, it is blends together nicely and the sour biscuit malt flavors become most prominent as it warms.

Mouthfeel is pretty light, but adds to the drinkability, good carbonation and a nice smooth rounded belgian taste. Recommended (868 characters)

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Demon Hunter from Birrificio Montegioco
87 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.