Hell's Belle - Big Boss Brewing

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Hell's BelleHell's Belle

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259 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 259
Reviews: 108
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 14.81%
Wants: 10
Gots: 29 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Boss Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: blackie on 02-26-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 259 | Reviews: 108
Reviews by dbrauneis:
Photo of dbrauneis
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy medium golden yellow in color with some straw yellow highlights and a light amount of gentle visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall foamy white head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of light fruits (white grape, pear, apple, and peach) with some lighter notes of spicy yeast (white pepper) and light lemon citrus.

T: This beer tastes very similar to how it smells. Upfront there are some pale malts with light fruit sweetness (white grape, pear, apple, and peach/apricot). That is followed by some lighter notes of spicy yeast, similar to white pepper and a touch of lemon citrus. Light amounts of spicy/earthy hops that contribute a light amount of bitterness towards the finish which does not linger.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and slightly dry.

O: While this beer has a moderately high ABV, the alcohol is well hidden making this beer a very nice sipping beer (not one that I want to be using for a session beer because it is a but too strong for that). Nice flavors make this one enjoyable.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.71/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slight hazed lemon-gold with a nice tight one finger craterous white head that held well,interesting aromas,I pick up some light pheolic spice,lemon,and a briney-like component wich is odd.Flavors are pretty subtle for the style but pleasant,subtle phenolic spice and smoke with some light candied ginger and lemon.Not bad its highly drinkable,just subtle for the style.

Photo of boston2bburg
2.91/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy despite leaving most of a tremendous amount of sediment on the bottom of the bottle. Darkish gold and a massive pillowy white froth with tons of thick, sticky lacing.

Honey dominates the aroma...also floral.

Fuller-bodied than average for the style, with some sweetness that I could do without. Butterfinger-candy. Fairly bitter.

Smoothish mouthfeel, not quite spicy enough, could be spritzier - exhibits some of the same pitfalls a lot of American takes on Belgian beers have. Still goes down easy for the alcohol content and gives a nice warming effect.

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.2/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy golden orange with a thin white head. Low retention and light lacing.

S: Very light aroma of spice, but otherwise about average.

T: Delicate citrus and spice blend incredibly well with a very light malt. Light hops work to bring balance to everything. The finish is interesting in that it seems a bit quick but has a enjoyable lingering hint of sweetness.

M: Medium bodied but on the lighter side; light carbonation.

D: Smooth! Goes down easy with little to no alcohol recognition in the taste. The lingering hint of sweetness whets the palate for the next drink Very good.

Wow! I'm sometimes amazed when something comes to me from a round-about way and it's been local the whole time. Such is the case with Helle's Belle. I live in the city it is brewed in and it has taken this long to learn of it! I'm a fan of the Abbey styles and it's absolutely wonderful to have someone brewing something this good in my back yard.

Great job, Big Boss, I'll be stopping by soon!

Photo of chinchill
3.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, marked brewed May 2011, poured into a pint glass. Some of the additional sediment in bottom of bottle added after the first few sips.

A - Hazy golden color, darker than a standard American lager, with a 1 finger of-white head. The head has moderate duration and leaves little lacing. Sediment (yeast?) in bottom of glass. Sediment suspended

Aroma: Mainly a moderately strong fruity yeastiness. Hints of coriander. cloves & cinnamon in the nose The 7% ABV is partly apparent in the nose although mostly hidden upon tasting.

Taste: this is a surprisingly malty ale with a fine yeasty Belgian bent. a good bit of clove, and some mild tartness. Different from any beer I can remember and with very enjoyable flavor, finish and aftertaste.

M - medium-light body; well-chosen carbonation; semi-dry finish; lightly crisp.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip)
bottled in Feb. no year listed
A- This beer has a hazy light copper body has a creamy white head that fades to a thick ring and is supported by a gentle carbonation.

S- The green pine resin hops are followed by a light yeasty aroma.

T- The floral yeast flavor is dry and crisp with a green hop snap in the finish. There is a light cheese rind brett character in the finish along with the hops that linger a moment.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a fizzy foam in the finish and no real alcohol heat.

D- This beer has a nice flavor with some good yeast characteristics and nice hops that compliment.

Photo of apbarwood
3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bright, pale amber color. A little bit of foam to start but it doesn't last long at all and minimal lace if any. A hint of pears and citrus in the aroma maybe, a little whiff of some yeast, not much. Flavors delivers what the aroma promises with a little more gusto but barely. It seems very unbalanced towards the sweet/spiced side. It has a cloying mouthfeel that isn't totally appealing. It's not horrible but not very good either. I don't really recommend it.

Photo of Brenden
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Beer #4 in an NC beers only tasting, thanks to Benny (styleisking).

[ Appearance: 3.5] About a medium yellow color, this beer looks a bit like unpolished gold as a natural brightness tries to fight through a light haze. The head is white, fairly fluffy, with better than average retention and reasonable patching.
[Aroma: 3.75] Spicing comes out nicely with a good bit of musty earth and pale sweetness in the nose. There's some pale fruit and a bit of pepper with the sweet.
[Flavor: 3.5] Pear and apple lead to some heavier clove notes before a bit of heat in the middle. Something comes in to give an impression of unrefined sugar. A hint of leaf adds the balancing bitterness. It ends a bit too phenolic.
[Mouthfeel: 3.5] The body leans light but manages medium with a dryness that's appropriate for the style. The phenols keep it from being as clean as it should be. It's crisp and fluffy from beginning to end.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thin head from the get-go is fed by an army of bubbles, and the color is a slightly-hazed sunny gold shade. Not an insanely hot number, so I guess it's just a Heck's Belle in this department.

Aroma is fruity--pear, peach, apple, with wispy white pepper and a very distant alcohol presence. Yeast is definitely not running the show here, not in the nose at least, and considering the style, it really should be. Not even as doughy as the real deal beers of this type.

Fruity character comes into the flavor, as hinted by the aroma, although there's more white pepper and alcohol mingled in. Some doughy elements middle to end. So with more depth in the flavor than aroma, this proves to be fairly enjoyable, but it's a bit dry (the flavor dies quickly) and again, that wonderful Belgian yeast uniqueness just isn't happening. Not enough anyway. Mostly alcohol and cinnamon/white pepper in the finish, but even those die out rather swiftly.

Nice round medium body, fairly creamy and quite enjoyable.

For all its faults, it's a likable and drinkable offering. It could've been a too-boozy affair, similar to Holy Mackerel, which this reminds me of. If you've ever had that, this is in the same ballpark but the better, more balanced of the two. The bottle offers two ways to deal with Hell's Belle: "Run Away" or "Take Her On." I wouldn't say run away, exactly, but taking her on comes with a caveat or two.

Photo of erikeifert
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

picked up a single from whole foods and poured it into a pils glass. good looking brew with a golden color and decent head that goes away fairly quickly. taste great, sweet and bready. real easy drinking and i could probably put this beer into my rotation of easy drinkers for after work. 7% abv? cant tell but i did only have one. I am impressed with what big boss is doing and i look forward to trying more of there stuff.

Photo of tdm168
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery's tasting room

Pours and orangish amber. Smells of Belgian yeast and coriander. Tastes of wheat, yeast, and mild coriander spice. Well carbonated; light to medium bodied.

Not bad. Definitely one of the better year round offerings from Big Boss.

Photo of dirtylou
3.03/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz single, shipped by a dark weasel

appearance: poured into a bells chalice, very pale straw body, clear and lacking any sort of liveliness

smell: overly sweet, an oddly placed whiff of sour funk, vegetal notes

taste: ehh, this not a very impressive effort from a brewery i dont really understand. there is an offensive sour corn funk going on here and some really chalky sugar in the aftertaste

mouthfeel: meh, syrupy with a lingering afteraste that isnt pleasing

drinkability: not good

Photo of GinaBeerInc
3.27/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a transparent deep golden with a wispy-lacing white head. Aroma of lightly sweet pale Belgian malts and a good amount of bready Belgian yeast and some mild sulfuric notes, Body starts fairly full and sweet with good, authentic Belgian character and some drier earthy bittering hops. A pretty decent Belgian ale.

Photo of sailbretthd
2.58/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A--pours a nice golden yellow with little head, fair amount of sediment in bottle

S--some spice along with yeast

T--not enough, I expect more flavor than I am finding. A little bit of spice and citrus but not what I expected.

M--lots of carbonation but some filminess, not crisp nor clean

D--would give a second chance on draft but one bottle is enough

I really expected to like this beer based on their solid brown and kolsch but I think this one could use some more work.

Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured a hazy pale yellow with a minimal white head. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, banana, spices, wheat, and subtle alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, banana, clove, and wheat. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was an okay brew. The flavor and aroma on this one were pretty close to what one would expect from this style. While they were pretty close to traditional, they were not otherworldly which kept this brew from going to the next level. Worth trying if you get the chance, but I would leave it at that.

Photo of jsausley
3.89/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in Big Boss Pint glass. Carolina Ale House at RDU airport while watching the USA - GER world cup match (we lost).

A: Dark yellow color. Translucent, slightly cloudy. One inch head. Mostly a boring appearance that you'd expect from a beer of this type. Pretty swirls of carbonation rising from the bottom (how about a bonus .25 for that?).

S: The aroma of honey malt and hops mixed with earthy notes and a hint of rose. Sweet like it tastes. Hoppy hoppy hoppy.

T: First sip is rich with flavors of honey and a floral nose. Sweet but rich with toasted malts. Slightly hoppy but not bitter. Mild 20-30 IBU estimated. Aftertaste of mild hops. Potent flavor with lots of alcohol but blends well with it's malty and sweet goodness. Significant banana notes as the beer warms.

M: Mouthfeel is good, not too dramatic, soft and smooth with some silkiness. Noticeable bite from the hops and carbonation but not overpowering.

O: Overall an extremely delicious beer with a lot of flavor and subtles. Something worth drinking alone. Don't ruin this beer by drinking it with food or after you have had other beers. This is a beer good enough to drink alone and savor. Wonderful draft from Big Boss.

Photo of rebel1771
3.97/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy honey color with a small head that fades quickly.

S: Smells of dried apricot, coriander, honey, and a hint of banana.

T: Sweet candied fruit flavor up font with hints of coriander and a decent helping of yeast. Balances out nicely with dry pale malt flavor.

O: Overall not a bad brew in any respect. Quite tasty.

Photo of akorsak
3.51/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle picked up on vacation in the outer banks.

A: The ale is golden yellow, bright but hazy. A small wisp of head covers the top of the glass.

S: The aroma has a touch of Belgian candi sugars, nothing strong just enough to make itself known. The biscuitiness of the body is far more dominant.

T: The taste makes up for the lackluster nose. Candi sugars and pepper lead the way, resting atop biscuity caramel malt. The Belgian yeast has created a fruity flavor that finishes the ale nicely.

M: The mouthfeel is good, throwing off a nice fruity sweetness. The taste profile is approachable but not earth-shattering.

D: The alcohol is a little high, even if well-hidden, to quaff. A nice sipper though.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a light orangey color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of candi sugar with light fruity ester is OK. Taste is a mix between some candi sugar, which is a bit too raw with some notes of fruity ester and a light dry hoppy finish. Body is quite full with average filtration and good carbonation and no alcohol was perceptible. Not bad though it has some flaws (too much sugar and ingredient don't' mesh together).

Photo of n2185
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pouirs a hazy straw yellow with two fingers of white head that recedes into a thin cap with little lacing.

S: Some spice and clove notes at first followed by a little bubblegum. There's an odd aroma of what I can only describe as corn afterward with some yeast and floral notes on the finish.

T: Similar to the aroma, some spice notes at first followed by some candy sweetness. Then comes a musty corn-like flavor from the yeast with a slightly bready and spicy finish. There is a light bitterness from the hops as well.

M: Light body with mid-high carbonation, this beer is fairly crisp but that thick corn-like flavor keeps it from being really light.

O: Not a bad beer, but as soon as I put the corn description to the nose/flavor, I just couldn't get it out of my head so it kind of detracted from the beer as a whole.

Photo of Dodo2step
3.59/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

P- Thanks Skeeordye

A- a yeasty chunk floating light orange color with yellow mixed in. No head and lokos quite carbonated.

S- banana, peach, floral spices and a peppery malt if that sounds reasonable.

T- a strong banana and floral spice hits first but then i get a hefty pepper taste with a bready apricot filling type of taste.

M- floral mouthfeel but yeasty and strong banana.

D- overall not bad but the chunks of yeast were a displeasing site. Its a nice beer to have once and awhile but i wouldnt buy a sixer of it. This would be good with a pasta dinner.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.
7% ABV, "Bottled on" unmarked.

Thanks to Onenote81 for this bottle!

A - Hell's Belle is a brilliant clear blonde color with a pluming head of foam on 'er. The tightly packed little bubbles drop slowly and produce one little arch of lace on the glass.

S - Yeast esters blaze out of this beer with a fire-y fury; potent clay and white pepper, cardamom, and a splash of white grape all make an appearance. Earthy wood splinters show up too, but certainly not to the degree this one is barrel aged. Grainy pale malt balances the upfront hoppiness of the sharp citrus notes of lemon, grapefruit, and mild pineapple.

T - Sharply dry Hell's Belle flames up with a hoppy bite of citrus and earth tones with quite a bit of earthiness from the Belgian yeast esters following. There is a good balance of yeast and hops backed by a grainy pale and sweet pilsner malt base.

M - Plenty of carbonation keeps Hell's Belle lively-feeling while very smooth at the same time. The alcohol presence goes almost unnoticed making it a devil in disguise as this beer finishes out with an incredibly dry bite and moderately bitter lingering flavor.

O - Nothing screams "cool off" like the penetrating stare from a fire-headed woman on a crisp Belgian pale ale titled Hell's Belle. Especially when it's over 100° outside. And I cool off indeed. This is a tasty rendition of a Belgian classic, complete with plenty of yeast nuances to cut through the hoppy flavor. Hell's Belle is unique, enjoyable, and foxy.

Photo of smakawhat
3.34/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled June 2011.

A very foamy soapy head that makes a good few fingers but recedes quickly. Cloudy murky yellow orb like body with not much visible carbonation, kind of dull. Leave a simple puck at start, but then only a thin collar while drinking, and then pretty much disappears of any sense of head or lacing what so ever.

Bouquet though is classic Belgian sweets and yeast, kind of spicy phenolic like in a way, a hint of wild ale brett like sour that come out like sour raspberries.

Taste is strong, unfortunately a bit too medicinal. Strongly bitter medicine on the finish, with some yeast character. Sort of lacking in the finish department, kind of wet and muted. There is a strong body feel to this but the taste is not what I am expecting.

I am going to have go middle of the road on this one, it's not one I'd want to have again that's for sure.

Photo of jmalex
3.1/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to my friend Tim for bringing this back from NC. I had never heard of this brewery and am excited to try it.

APPEARANCE: Pours into an Allagash tulip a clear, nearly straw gold. A very small head forms initially but shrinks immediately to just a tiny collar with a few stranded wispy bubbly patches.

SMELL: Quite peppery with a decent dose of sweetness. A little bit of farmhouse funk is here too, but the spiciness tends to overwhelm all.

TASTE: Very sweet. Some of it is from minimal fruity esters of the yeast, but a lot seems to be just residual sweetness and sugars. There's nearly enough bitterness to balance it out, and the spiciness helps too.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium to medium light bodied, and the carbonation is waaay low.

DRINKABILITY: Not the best. Though I can see how someone may find this refreshing, it's just way too sweet for my tastes, and certainly for a Belgian pale ale style.

Well, not the best, but I'd love to try some of their other (non-Belgian) stuff. I can't recommend this one, however.

Photo of elflake
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

If you're in the grocery at 1:58 and not in the mood for hoppiness, an excellent choice. Nothing special, nothing to complain about. More carbonation would be welcome, (and more flavor ), but very drinkable , ( session Belgian ? ), just too bland. Wouldn't want it to be my first beer of the night, but works fine as seventh or tenth...

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Hell's Belle from Big Boss Brewing
80 out of 100 based on 259 ratings.