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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Hell's Belle - Big Boss Brewing

Not Rated.
Hell's BelleHell's Belle

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

106 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 106
Hads: 265
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 12.04%
Wants: 10
Gots: 31 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 106 | Hads: 265
Photo of mentor
2.06/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to GCBrewingCo for the opportunity. pours a thin layer of lightly pinked off-yellow head over a hazed thin browned yellow liquid. Smells vegetal and wet cardboard on a sticky sweet and strong ester. Not right for the style. The syrup of a marachino cherry without the cherry flavor. Artificial. Watermelon and raspberry.

Tastes extract fruit. Earthy with syrup stickiness. Ble-ech. Very estery (pear, cherry is mild). Some juniper. Thick mouthfeel holds the unpleasant on my tongue much longer than I'd hope to get away with. Dumped. (541 characters)

Photo of drperm
2.46/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

WFB '07 tasting.

This beer is pervaded by a strange note of hominy that upsets the balance of the whole thing, and drives down my ratings of what could otherwise be a fair brew.

I've had more mediocre brews from Big Boss than anything else; I'm wondering if quality control didn't suffer when the brewery changed hands last year from the old Edenton establishment. (368 characters)

Photo of sailbretthd
2.58/5  rDev -27.7%
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. (478 characters)

Photo of Oxymoron
2.65/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Any AC/DC fans in the house? Pours a slightly hazy golden amber color with some orange hues throughout. A soft white head that has limited retention and no lacing.

The nose is soft overall. A light malt aroma with hints of caramel and bready notes, but no real distinct Belgian characteristics. Some minor hope notes on the back end but nothing really distinct. Some yeast notes but not really a Belgian yeast character. More along the lines of a US Amber. Some minor butyric and a light butter note as well.

The taste brings out a bit more Belgian quality but still wanting more. To start the malt has more of a malty taste with a distinct bready note. A light candy sugar flavor is noticeable on the backend but is more of a texture thing than taste. The yeast is a bit more distinct with a light plum and fig notes. Limited on esters though. A light hop note in the back end with more of a earthy character. Some minor butyric but a bit cleaner than what the nose indicated.

The body is a bit dry even for style. I think this has to do with the sugar that was added. Carbonation is ok. Overall a limited beer with more of an amber quality than Belgian pale. (1,163 characters)

Photo of KajII
2.76/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Trappist glass]

Poured a hazy amber in color with virtually no head just a thin layer floating on top that did not stick around too long and had extremely poor lacing.

The aroma was very mild of a hay like malt, citrus hops and a moldy yeast with hints of fruit (peaches I think) and honey.

It tasted moderately bitter with a light fruity flavor from the beginning to end and had a mild hoppy pungent flavor at the finish that only lasted for a very short duration.

Mouthfeel was light to medium in body and watery and dry in texture with a super mild carbonation.

Overall the beer was a tasty brew, it's just that I expected a little more from a Belgian style beer. (693 characters)

Photo of kkipple
2.84/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A. Looks nice, a dull rich amber-copper with a decent white head that goes into my glass well, falls fast and leaves just a touch of lace around.

S. Kind of a weird aroma here... malty and estery, vague spice and smells kind of like... tangerines? Palm juice? I dunno... it's rather sweet, almost sickly sweet smelling, big sugar and malt notes here. A little toasty. Strangely metallic. Not well put together, really... I wonder what hops they used here?

T. A bit better. Malty-sweet with bitter, fruity-weird hops for character that I'm not sure this beer needs. Just a tad earthy and there's that metallic note again. Seems like there is a chunk of candy sugar in this one. Finish is a little damp and sweet. Decently carbonated.

I wanted to like this beer... the artwork and the name are great, and Big Boss makes some good brews. Alas, this didn't do it for me... a fair shot at a rather rare style, this needs to be gone over again for my liking. Worth a shot if you can get it fresh, maybe. (1,001 characters)

Photo of ATLbeerDog
2.85/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a extremely light yellow in color with a white 1/8 inch head that quickly recedes, below average lacing and above average carbonation. Smells of floral citrusy hops, fruits, and cloves. Tastes fruity and light with cloves coming through and almost dominating. (265 characters)

Photo of mikul93
2.88/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A Pours a murky straw gold color with a small head that dissipated rather quickly. Some lacing.

S Spice, Yeast, sweet malt and some fruit.. maybe banana.

T Spice with a candy sweetness. There is a musty aftertaste

M Nice carbonation with a dry finish.

O Not that great of a beer. Would not seek out again. (313 characters)

Photo of boston2bburg
2.91/5  rDev -18.5%
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. (565 characters)

Photo of jrstamp
2.92/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Golden, but not to style for a Belgian Pale Ale. Very clear with a medium carbonation. Quickly disapating head.

S: Strong Belgian yeast character, very Saison like, with some spice. Light hop aroma. Some malt sweetness.

T: A little too sweet, but not terrible. Muted malt flavor that is kind of unappealing to me.

M: Light to medium body, fairly dry finish.

O: Taste and Aroma have some significant flaws. Not something I would look to drink more than a sample worth. (475 characters)

Photo of klikger
2.95/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle served in a Duvel tulip. Thanks for the extra, OskarsBamaBlues!

A - Golden, small white head which shrinks quickly, fair lacing

S - Belgian yeasts, cardamom

T - Yeast, grassy herbs, some lemon --> a touch of honey and floral hops --> More yeast and herbs make for an earthy, slightly bitter finish. This isn't a bad Belgian pale, but there's something I can't define that's just off.

M - Medium to heavy-bodied, decent carbonation

D - A lot of booze for 7%, actually. Between that and the flavor, one is plenty for me. (542 characters)

Photo of mugglesandhops
2.95/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received as an extra from a gracious BA

poured twelve ounce bottle into snifter.

A- hazy, yellow-organge color, lots of carbonation, good head that faded very fast, minimal lacing.

S- citrus, grapefruit, pineapple, cherry, maybe a little bit of malt in there somewhere.

T- fairly bland, nowhere near as good as the smell.

M- thin and watery.

D- very easy to drink beer, nothing special here. (400 characters)

Photo of RSchaeffer
2.96/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Review #19
12oz bottle into Portsmouth pint glass.

A - Pours golden straw in color, slightly hazy with a thin white head.

S - The nose is mostly bananas with a bit of spicy, yeast notes.

T - Quite sweet and sugary. Fruit notes are dominated by banana and apple. Spicy yeast finish.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Fairly smooth.

O - I honestly did not enjoy this one, I found it to be quite sweet for my liking. I wouldn't drink this again. (461 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
2.98/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This poured out as a clear looking golden yellow color, the head was white and fizzy looking. The retention and lacing are decent. The smell of the beer is very Belgian, lots of bread-like aromas on the nose with some minimal fruit esters. The taste of the beer was pretty straight forward, grains and some sweet sugar-like flavors. Not much depth to the mouthfeel, just kinda feels boring to me. Overall it's an ok brew, not really something I would seek out again. (466 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -16%
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). (462 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
3.03/5  rDev -15.1%
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 (494 characters)

Photo of wcudwight
3.05/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bright golden in color with a thin wispy white head that falls pretty quick.
Wierd smelling. Smells like that funky mixture close to the perfume aisle in Dillards. Not bad just weird.
Lot's going on in the flavor but it just kind of goes everywhere with out any direction. Faint fruits. Peaches, cherries. Some citrus. Pineapple. Some Belgian funk. Some spiciness and pepper. Also a hint of metallic in the aftertaste.
Good mouthfeel. There's just enough acidity in the mouthfeel to add some pizazz.
Drinkable but one is enough. This beer is worth a try but not a sixer purchase imo. (583 characters)

Photo of jmalex
3.1/5  rDev -13.2%
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. (1,025 characters)

Photo of movingtrain
3.19/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a six pack of this at Harris Teeter in North Carolina.

12 ounce bottle poured into a Carolina Beer Company sample glass.

Appearance is straw in color, slightly cloudy, and very little head. However, the beer is pretty active, there seems to be a good bit of carbonation going strong, just not in the head.

Smells is earthy...some lemon, mint, caramel, tarragon, and dried fruit.

The flavor is much the same...this reminds me a lot of Great Lakes's "Grassroots" ale. It is somewhat Saison-ish, but not as complex. Pretty malty in the flavor profile, and slightly bitter around the edges.

The bottle reads "Belgian Style Ale," which should have been a warning that there is not specific style intended in this beer. It is Belgian-esque, but only in the fact that it is slightly funky and earthy. There is some candy sugar in the taste, which may account for the "Belgian Style" tag on the label.

Overall, this is decent, but nothing to write home about. It's drinkable, but nothing about this beer make me want to have it again and again. (1,054 characters)

Photo of apbarwood
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
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. (463 characters)

Photo of PatrickJR
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into red wine glass.

A - Light copper with minimal haze. A small, fizzy white head rises with the pour but disappears immediately, leaving nothing. No lace.

S - Biscuit like aroma with touches of old cheese, a little bit of funk, and some caramel and buttery aromas. Not bad, but extremely subdued. A whiff of alcohol pokes through as well.

T - Moderately sweet to begin with, with some light caramel and soft fruitiness; pears come to mind. Mid palate the sweetness begins drying out somewhat and there's a touch of chalk. Late palate introduces some strange old hop flavors, more of the old cheese from the nose along with some garlic and peppery spice. Phenolic character and alcohol hit in the finish with a slight bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with a nice soft carbonation.

D - Hell's Belle is an alright beer, but it doesn't quite get anywhere. The strange hop flavor really throws things off and is absolutely off putting. I liked it, but it certainly fell short of a Belgian pale. (1,020 characters)

Photo of syrupjoe
3.22/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Pale gold color with no head.

Nose is fruity (citrusy) with a hint of coriander.

Taste is also citrusy with a titch of tropical fruit and coriander, as well as a bit of pear and a slight pepper contribution.

Absolutely no carbonation, slightly flabby mouthfeel.

Overall this isn't a bad Belgian Pale but the fact that it's completely flat has me scratching me head. Bottle seemed to have a good seal on it, but perhaps there was a slow leak. Also very little (495 characters)

Photo of GinaBeerInc
3.27/5  rDev -8.4%
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. (317 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Weyerbacher tulip.

Pours 1 finger of creamy off white head. Fades to a smaller layer leaving some thick splattered lace. Color is a lightly hazed golden orange with a lot of active carbonation.

Aroma: Fairly bland for a bpa. Has some yeast flavors with cloves and spices. Light banana flavors. Not too much here.

Taste: Seems like it has a very grassy hop flavor with a large amount of yeast here. The only spice note I can really pick out is the clove. Some banana flavors again. I also get some alcohol towards the finish. Not a lot of fruit flavors here which I like to see in a bpa.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, bubbly, and creamy. A medium bodied with a surprising medium amount of carbonation (I expected higher). Ends very dry with some spice flavors.

Overall, I wasn't overly impressed with this one. It was fine to drink, but just didn't have a big flavor like some of the other bpas I have had. That and the alcohol showed more than I want to see in the style. (977 characters)

Photo of PatronWizard
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another in a long line of thanks owed to mikereaser and the Under 100 BIF. Scored tons of beer I would never have been able to try.

Semi-opaque golden fluid under a snow white frothy head of large bubbles in a sea of smaller bubbles. That's the story.

Bottle says "Belgian Style Ale." Nose says "whisky tango foxtrot?" I simply cannot pinpoint the smell at all. I detect only one odor .... caramel? No. Seriously, I don't know.

Taste is identical. Butter scotch? No? Copper? No. I'll read some other reviews to broaden my knowledge, but I'm at a loss to identify this smell/taste.

Oh yeah, it tastes ok.

A little of the thick side, real nice (low) carbonation. This 12 oz will be history very soon.

Overall: good trial (724 characters)

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Hell's Belle from Big Boss Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.