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Hell's Belle - Big Boss Brewing

Hell's BelleHell's Belle

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

191 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 191
Reviews: 100
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 14.97%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: blackie on 02-26-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 191 | Reviews: 100 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of fragilemacabre

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As Misha (ommegangpbr) said: this beer does a good job of being authentically Belgian.

It's sort of a cross between sparkling wine and Champagne with some deeper beery qualities. There's a white grape flavor going on here with some well-done carbonation and a bitter edge that keeps it from flying out of its category. This one isn't terribly spice-heavy, though it jumps on the palate some. I'm not bored. It's a bit earthy, which works in its favor and ties in well with its hay color.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2010 08:43:27 | More by fragilemacabre
Photo of ommegangpbr

New York

4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shades of Orval!
Very nutty, very bready. Yeast is heavy duty in the flavor. Quite a bit dense for the style but that's ok. Shades of grape candy flavor pop up. Grape soda, even. Not very soda like in density, though. Heavier than that in flavor, but still light enough on the palate.
Tasty and interesting. I'd be happy try other offerings from this place,

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2010 08:27:10 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of movingtrain


3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2010 22:31:15 | More by movingtrain
Photo of bamadog


4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review is from notes taken on 3/24/2010 and poured from the bottle to a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a mix between a straw color and apple cider color; starts with a big two finger head that is fluffy and white and fades rather slowly to a full skim; body is entirely clear and shows strong carbonation as it breathes; when I finish the pour, the body is much cloudier from the yeast; no lacing is left behind.

Smell: A tart apple presence; a little perfumey and there is a nice coriander spicing; slight biscuity and yeasty presence.

Taste: Pretty much like the smell, the tart apple presence dominates the palate and the definite coriander spicing compliments it very well; very slight presence of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Very nice carbonation that is strong but not sharp; body is fairly well-built, not light, but certainly not heavy either; slight drying effect and there is a light sticky coating on the roof of the mouth; surprisingly the belly is left a little warm.

Drinkability: I could drink this all day; great flavors, crisp light body and a manageable ABV at 7%.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2010 05:50:54 | More by bamadog
Photo of scooter231

New York

4.05/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a Belgian beer alright. Pours a honeyed, golden tone that is appropriately hazy, with lighter, straw colored hues when held to the light. Floaties are definitely present. Hi, Yeast! Head was poofy and white but not as impressive as I thought it would be. No lacing.

A big whiff and your nose is infiltrated with sweet malts and citrus, specifically orange, and zesty notes. Honey is also very present. Smells malty and sweet- nothing muted here.

Taste falters juuuust a wee bit. Sweet, but not cloyingly so. Again, the malts are definitely saying hello, with their sweetness- no real bitterness to speak it. Citrusy notes are less present, but honey comes through. Apricot makes a stand, too. It's tasty.

Mouthfeel is slick, veeeery very slick, oily, and chewy. I prefer more carbonation but this is spot on for this beer. It's dense. Overall, a tasty brew, though the overall effect is a bit heavy, and the 7% does a good job of sneaking up on you. And, come on. Hell's Belle? The name alone gives it a thumbs up.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2010 00:36:25 | More by scooter231
Photo of bdupree

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours with a very dense, creamy foam. Lingers quite a while. Slightly hazy golden hue.

S: Good aroma, but not very powerful. Hints of the banana, but not a great deal more.

T: Taste brings out the banana, with honeydew melon and citrus. Might be some hints of coriander in there, too. All the flavors do blend well.

M: Buttery. Very, very smooth.

D: This is a very drinkable Belgian style ale, in the Americanized sense. With a slightly lower alcohol level, you can drink this one without getting the KO punch from a high gravity Belgian.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2010 00:26:58 | More by bdupree
Photo of L337ish

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice cloudy, honey look. Head fades and leaves pretty much no lace.

S: Smells great. Kind of sweet, accompanied with a nice smell of wheats and malts.

T: Reminiscent of a darker brew. The word "lemony" comes to mind. The taste is pretty similar to the smell, which in my opinion is quite good.

M: A medium body. Pleasant bitterness with a great, clean finish.

D: Very easy to drink. Goes down smooth and leaves me wanting another sip pretty soon after.

I don't quite know what to say about this beer. There really is nothing to complain about, but there isn't really anything that stands out to me either. Overall, it's a good beer. I think pretty much anyone can enjoy this brew as it's not too strong and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2010 19:27:17 | More by L337ish
Photo of jonziefle

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured a cloudy, slightly pale honey color; microsuspension is visible. Two finger white, bubbly head that diminishes to a thin layer before sticking around some more. No lacing at all.

Smell: Sweet wheat malt and fruity yeast esters. Some banana and cinnamon spices as well. Moderate sweetness.

Taste: Nice darker wheat malt flavor, banana and cinnamon flavors. Moderate sweetness. Very similar to the nose, with it having more bite and having a darker taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a nice bite to start. Clean finish.

Drinkability: This is a very drinkable Belgian Ale and very refreshing. Simple flavors come together well, and it has a very good mouthfeel. Only the appearance is slightly lacking, with it being slightly paler than I usually like.

Buy Again? Yes

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2010 23:32:29 | More by jonziefle
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burnished gold with bright lemon highlights and a handful of slowly ascending bubbles. The two finger crown of bone colored foam looks like it belongs on an American ale rather than a Belgian one... but then this is an American ale. The foam melts into a thick puddle and the glass isn't exactly coated with lace.

The nose does a pretty good job adhering to the style guidelines, probably because Big Boss uses a capable yeast strain. It's modestly golden fruity with a great deal of clove spiciness. More power would have been better.

Hell's Belle is a decent Belgian-style pale ale, though that's where it ends. Unfortunately, there isn't the flavor definition or complexity that the best versions possess. Translation: it's both too messy and too simple. Having said that, the brewers got the outlines of the style essentially right.

The maltiness tastes slightly toasted bready and has the earthy, nutty, melanoidin quality of Munich. Hop flavor is not abundant and bitterness is moderate-balancing. Yeast esters are still pear-apple fruity and are also impressively clove-like, with a phenolic vibe that is slightly offputting, becoming somewhat more tolerable with warming. Suggestion to the brewers... use a cleaner yeast.

The beer drinks every bit of the 7.0% ABV, which is a positive in my book. An American ale mouthfeel (as opposed to a Belgian ale mouthfeel) is no surprise. In the end, with respect to quality, this characteristic is pretty much in line with all the rest.

Big Boss Brewing deserves credit for giving North Carolinians a glimpse of the possibilities outside of the usual wheat ale, amber ale, pale ale and stout. It's just too bad that they didn't come closer to the Belgian pale ale bull's eye.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2010 14:05:28 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 22:28:24 | More by oberon
Photo of jmalex


3.08/5  rDev -13%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2010 21:59:28 | More by jmalex
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yet another beer that I picked up during the summer, and even though visions of Trevor Hoffman coming out of the bullpen are going through my head as I down this, I'm reassured that #42 will quickly put those thoughts to an end as the World Series will kick off next week. I'm not an AC/DC fan but this has a nice name and label to it. What about the beer inside? That's a bit of a different story...

Nice pour to this - decent head, a hazy golden color, and a hue nearly as good as one of it's Belgian counterparts. Not much of a strong or distinctive odor to it and the taste surprisingly is tough to pinpoint as well. Sure, there's banana, clove, straw, lambic-like sourness to this, malt, and wheat but with all of these put together, it just feels like something's not clicking here. I'm not downing it fast nor avoiding it, but the dour aftertaste is not as biscuit-like as I would have hoped for. Is it a Belgian Pale Ale in taste? A trippel? Or perhaps a beer that can't really be categorized? I'll stick with my last suggestion.

Sure, there's alcohol in here and in the midst of everything, it can be felt. I commend these guys for going after this style in a part of the country where...well, there isn't anything like this. I bought this in Carolina on my way home from being on the road this summer and I don't think that I ran the risk of ever having anything like this before. No two Belgian beers are remotely close to being like each other and that is more than certainly the case with this. Now if I could only find out where this went astray...

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2009 06:44:38 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of kexp

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. What a nice belgian tripple offering. Color was a nice slightly burnt orange. Head was a nice inch in the 8 oz stemmed glass provided by the brewery. The smell was sweet and a touch fruity, which got my anticipation level up quite a bit. Taste was outstanding. Sweet, fruity (orange, apricot), very slightly spicy. Could not detect the alcohol. Very drinkable. Mouthfeel was nice, not great. Overall, a really good take on a belgian tripple. Loved it.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2009 15:32:52 | More by kexp
Photo of apbarwood


3.23/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2009 00:23:20 | More by apbarwood
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks very much to ThirstyBird for sharing this one. 12oz. bottle served in my ST tulip. Poured a hazy orange-gold with a head that quickly dissipated into a skim. Nose was candi sugar with some citrus qualities. Taste consistent with nose; however, a biscuity quality also comes out. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied and a little syrupy with a consistent background carbonation and some astringency at the finish. Decent brew, but lacking in complexity - didn't blow me away.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2009 18:11:17 | More by Jwale73
Photo of Dodo2step


3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2009 22:54:22 | More by Dodo2step
Photo of Oxymoron


2.68/5  rDev -24.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2009 19:50:54 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of Onenote81

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at a Brixx Pizza near Lake Norman. Came out a murky gold with a thin white head on top. No lacing at all. Smells of bananas, spices, yeast, and bread.

The mouth is crisp and firm. Great feel. Flavor is pretty tame, but I like it. Big Belgian yeast smack that finishes slightly fruity and sour. This is pretty well done. I'm not the best expert on BPAs, but I liked this one.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2009 23:40:43 | More by Onenote81
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

3.55/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2009 22:37:59 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of BDLbrewster


3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thank you Metalmonk!

12oz poured into the trusty pint. Hazy orange hued amber, like the color inside of a butterfinger. Thick head with alright retention and tons of visible carbonation. Smells of sweet belgian yeast, banana and Hawaiian bread. Good sweet creamy banana start and then nothing. No aftertaste once so ever, this is a bad thing. This beer just stops. It tastes really good, and then like it was never in your mouth. Adds to the drinkability but does not help overall rating. Lacks complexity.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2009 01:36:22 | More by BDLbrewster
Photo of kkipple

South Carolina

2.85/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2009 03:46:59 | More by kkipple
Photo of PatrickJR

North Carolina

3.2/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2009 10:16:51 | More by PatrickJR
Photo of PatronWizard


3.33/5  rDev -5.9%
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

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2009 03:54:40 | More by PatronWizard
Photo of mugglesandhops


2.9/5  rDev -18.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2008 02:45:53 | More by mugglesandhops
Photo of dirtylou


3.03/5  rDev -14.4%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 23:59:04 | More by dirtylou
Hell's Belle from Big Boss Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 191 ratings.