Hellshire I - Oakshire Brewing

Not Rated.
Hellshire IHellshire I

Educational use only; do not reuse.

102 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 102
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 22.39%
Wants: 56
Gots: 43 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Oakshire Brewing visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jsanford on 03-15-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

"A bourbon barrel aged barleywine. It is 10% abv and spent 10 months in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels."

Released May 2011
View: Beers (38) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 102 | Reviews: 58
Reviews by Brewbro000:
Photo of Brewbro000
4.6/5  rDev +37.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Duvel tulip at cellar temps:

A: Pours a dark brown/red that shows brown highlights when held to the light. Whispy off white foam slowly dissipates but is reignited with each sip. Lacing remains throughout.
S: sweet roasty malts followed by vanilla and deep woody aromas and bourbon. Booze is upfront but there seem to be layers to each smell off the glass.
T: heavily boozy that is quickly balanced with sweet malts. Actually the flavors seem to fight with eachother throught each sip making for a great experience. Vanilla shows through and finishes with some alcohol heat. Exactly what I want from a %100 barrel aged beer, I want to taste that barrel.
M: thinner than expected but silky and balanced by the carbonation
O: a great barreled Barley Wine to say the least. A few years will make this beer exceptional as the boozy whisky flavors taper off and meld.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ericandersnavy for sharing this bottle.

With all of the negative reviews here on BA, I was expecting the worst. Luckily the bottle we had was very good, but a little bit hot. I think it would have calmed down with some more age on it.

The beer pours a hazy brown color with an off-white head. The aroma has a ton of bourbon and toffee notes, with some oak notes mixed in as well. I also get a little bit of vanilla. There is no mistaking the fact this is a bourbon barrel aged beer.

The flavor follows suit. The dominant flavors are bourbon and oak, with some vanilla, maple and toffee mixed in as well. The alcohol in the beer is somewhat hot and could use some mellowing out. Still, I think all of the flavors work very well together and make for an enjoyable beer.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and low carbonation. Very glad I got to try this one.

Photo of daveytheformer
4.39/5  rDev +31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

into a snifter

Pours an orange hued light brown with a very thin tan head that immediately fades to some lacing.

Aroma is of caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, oak, bourbon, and a little bit of hop spice.

Tastes a lot like the smell. Some coconut and alcohol heat as well. Bourbon, vanilla, and oak dominate.

Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Big and chewy.

Overall is and an amazing beer that I'm really excited to have got to try.

Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Mark – much obliged!

Pours a hazy honey-copper color with a cream-colored head that leaves decent lacing and heavy legs.

Smells of mildly sweet, deep caramel malts with large amounts of vanilla, oak, and booze. Also present are faint hints of toffee.

Tastes more well-rounded than it smells, with less booze. Smooth caramel malts up front are joined quickly by mild amounts of toffee. Midway through, large amounts of vanilla and softer oak flavors come into play. The oak fades out, allowing the vanilla and caramel malts to carry through to a mildly bitter ending. Mouthfeel is very good, with grainy carbonation.

Overall this was a very good beer. The complexity made up for it, and shows that the brewer still knows his way around a barrel. My one qualm is that the nuance of Heaven Hill wasn't able to shine as much as with others I've had aged in the same barrels. Still, it's well worth a shot.

Photo of thagr81us
3.47/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to 67couple for sharing this one with me! Thanks Jon! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a hazy reddish brown with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, vanilla, dark chocolate, wood, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, bitter hops, wood, sweet alcohol, and subtle dark chocolate. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. Unfortunately, I was really expecting more out of this one. Based on the nose I was really looking forward to taking my first sip. However, the first sip kind of let me down slightly. While it wasn't bad, it wasn't what I was expecting based on the aroma. I would be glad to try this one again in the future, but wouldn't go out of my way to do so again.

Photo of hopsbreath
2.68/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The next Wooden Hell in my glass! At least that's what the forums would lead me to believe. With so much hype though, this is a beer that had a lot to live up too. In the past week I've had both Abacus and Arctic Devil. Those beers are at the forefront of my mind in regards to the style while I drink this beer. Bomber split into a pair of Portsmouth snifters and shared with TulipSnifter.

A: A steady pour reveals a finger of off white head on top of a garnet body with good clarity. The head recedes to a wisp ring rather quickly. Minimal spotty lacing shows up on the glass. Decent legs. 4/5

S: Here's the star of the show but it still doesn't come up to par with the better barleywines I've had. It's subdued, but notes of toasted coconut, maple, raw oak, and nutmeg are secondary to the obvious brown liquor. As far as -bal barleywines go, I'm hesitant to call this much better then average. 3.5/5

T: In a word, this is "green". It seems like the base beer was very hoppy. Even ten months in a barrel wasn't enough to subdue the harsh bitter character I'm attributing to a questionable hop profile. It has a slight astringency going on as well. The -bal notes currently clash with the bitterness but this is a beer I can see improving with time and pulling together better. Peppery alcohol and understated sweetness are nice but hidden too far in the background. Right now, this is the definition of "not impressed". 2.5/5

M: Moderate carbonation with a pretty lite body. I prefer more viscosity and less carbonation when approaching big -bal beers. 2/5

O: Not a huge fan. I wanted to love this beer but ultimately it came up short. Time in the cellar might help integrate everything better but for now, this is more style than substance. 2/5

Edit: Had this for a second time last night in a lineup of other BA barleywines. I've increased the taste score by half a point to reflect that I liked it better than Central Waters BBBW but still thought it fell below the bar.

Photo of Docer
4.3/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: (4.0)
- The beer pours a whiskey brown and ruby copper, and seems rather clear though there was a patch of yeast at the bottom of the bottle, and some murky floating drifting clouds within the bottle before opening. The two fingers of tan head quickly dissipated leaving a healthy ring and floating bed of foam on top.

Smell: (4.0)
- Wonderful aroma of sweet brown sugar, caramel malt, and spicy hop character. All seems to meld very well. Light vanilla, and almost a cream soda-like aroma. This smells like a perfect good dessert barleywine. Little spicy alcohol heat.

Taste: (4.5)
- I let this warm a bit, and the flavors are showing through amazingly. Wonderful amounts of vanilla show through with an oak and herbal touch. The sweetness is present, but not overly powering. A roasted caramel touch presents itself well, balancing any heat. A wonderful hop bitterness tops it off with earthy and grassy notes. This is a fantastic barleywine. Light esters play a finishing role.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Great hop additions seem to leave the mouth a touch dry, as well as not being overly sweet which I like. Medium bodied, slightly chewy, and not overly sticky at all. Seems and is, as it should be.

Overall: (4.5)
- Overall this is a great barleywine. It does seem that a lot of care went into the production of this beer. The oak, vanilla, and bourbon notes are a fantastic touch to this barleywine, and I am a much bigger fan of bourbon barrel barleywines than I am stouts. This is perfectly balanced, and only yet slightly hot. I bet this beer would rest very well, but guessing it won't get any better after only a few years or so. Get it while you can. It's great, and worth the price.

Photo of largadeer
2.13/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks Arbi!

Muddy amber pour with minimal head formation. Musty, oxidized nose; very nutty with moderate booziness. Somewhat resiny, light caramel. The aroma isn't bad, but the palate is pretty awful. Thin, sharply boozy, with a ton of harsh oak, sticky resiny hop bitterness and nutty oxidation. Caramel and bourbon flavor are pretty faint. Really a godawful finish, a painful combo of excessive bittering hops and harsh wood tannin. Just a bad beer overall.

Photo of angrybabboon
3.24/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Consumed 10/12/13

Appearance: Somewhere between medium brown and dark amber - cloudy and hazy - pours with a small, off-white head, fades to just a few wisps of a cap, leaves some nice spots of lacing

Smell: Big, cooked caramel malts, and some booze - very cooked, very caramelized, with a touch of straight-up malt extract - some substantial graininess - lots of oak, with some vanilla - a load of booze as well, some whiskey, mostly just alcohol

Taste: Boozeshire? - yes, the big malts from the aroma are here, but the alcohol seems to be the very core of the flavor profile - so, so much alcohol - some whiskey, but it's more like vodka - tons of wood - earthy - extremely cooked malts, dark caramel, molasses, and some general roastiness - did I mention this is boozy?

Mouthfeel: On the full side of medium, smooth, hot with a lot of hot booze

Overall: Just tasting this drunk makes me feel beer

The aroma suggests that this barleywine has some potential. But the actual taste is so boozy. I'm not necessarily opposed to booze, but this is a bit much. I would say this might need more time, but it's already kind of old. Interesting regardless.

Photo of lurpy1
2.36/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Sample at a tasting. Take with a grain of salt because it was such a 4 oz pour only, but based on findings, no way I would have been compelled to drink a pint.

Screw how the beer looks, the big failing were the metallic notes. Barrel is present, obvious, and yummy, but in the nose and on the tongue, the barrel is battered by a fork-in-the-mouth sensation. Oxidized, distracting, hard to get rid of. Mouthfeel is fine, heck, better than fine maybe, but the long-lasting metal aftertaste runs interference there as well.

Waste of good bourbon.Not recommended.

Photo of DaveHS
3.83/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours attractive ruby color, with stained dark oak highlights. Foamy khaki head dissipates quickly, leaving minimal soapy lacing.

S-Plenty of buttery, sweet bourbon and vanilla, with a bit of heat. Smells sweet, like butterscotch pudding. Little bit of diacetyl, but it's not to the beer's detriment.

T/M-This is a little hot, and there's some dry booziness in the finish, but overall it isn't nearly as bad as people are making it out to be. Full bodied, with some bitter dry hops mid-palate. Well integrated bourbon oakiness that allows a perfectly fine barley wine to shine through.

O-Just because it isn't Wooden Hell doesn't mean it's terrible. This is an above average barrel aged barley wine. Not an excellent one, but a good one. Try to separate yourself from the hype and give it a chance.

Photo of psiweaver
4.4/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

had this poured out of a bottle into an oakshire pint glass at yesterday's release day.

pours a copper hued somewhat clear with a nice soft brown head that quickly dissipates.

lots of bourbon, oak and vanilla on the nose with a nice soft alchoholic smell to remind you that this beer packs a punch. Great nose on it though.

fantastic rich taste with a ton of bourbon, you can really tell that it is 100% barrel aged, nice oaky notes with a good amount of sweetness.

the beer is still a little hot so the mouthfeel got marked down for that reason alone. the beer was perfectly carbonated

overall a sublime beer that in a year or two is going to be absolutely fantastic.

Photo of Thorpe429
2.14/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Big thanks to heyta for getting this bottle out to me shortly after the release. Served in a SAVOR snifter as part of last night's barrel-aged barleywine tasting.

Poured a clear golden-copper color with a small off-white head and some sparse lacing.

The nose brought forward quite a bit of straight grain, highly reminiscent of freshly-cracked pilsner malt. Mild bourbon and oxidation there as well. Fairly boozy, too. Flavor was equally unimpressive with strong grain and booze plus some harsh tannins. Only a mild bourbon flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium and chewy. Quite boozy, though this is the first place the bourbon has a positive effect on the beer. Dry finish.

Not impressed with this at all. I was holding out hope that it'd surprise me, but a letdown even from my already-low expectations.

Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.65/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm new to barleywines, so I might like the style, I might not, and I might grade the beer incorrectly because I am a rookie when it comes to this style, but we'll see, I'll grade the beer as a beer! Pours a solid one and a half finger head into my standard pint glass (I didn't have a snifter on hand and I figured a wine glass wouldn't cut it). The head is just slightly off white, mostly small bubbles, with a decent amount of medium sized bubbles too. Good lacing is going on all throughout the glass. The head is disappearing for the most part, but the beer is leaving a nice layer of foam on top of the body, and I always love that. The body is a deep deep brownish red, very heavy looking. Zero visibility through this beer, most likely do to the darkness of it. Overall it looks really nice, the head could have hung in there longer, but it looks really good. The nose is for sure unique and different from what I'm used to, but not all too far from home. I get a bourbon smell for sure, that might be the most dominant aroma, there is also a very very pungent sweet smell and a decent alcohol aroma, not bad though for 10% ABV. Perhaps a small amount of hops, but for the most part malts are way more present, remind me of an irish red, the malts do at least. Maybe a vanilla smell here too, but I'm trying reaaaally hard to identify it, so if it is there, it's very small. Overall a really good smell, pretty unique, and pretty dimensional, but at the same time it it very similar to a malty irish red. Wow! That beer has a serious kick to it. I've had high alcohol beer before (maybe not quite 10%) but holy crap, this is intense. Very deep flavor, HUGE bourbon flavor, I mean this beer half tastes like bourbon, without doubt the biggest flavor there, and it tastes like they mixed half a bottles of bourbon with half a bottle of a irish red. Overall just waaaay too boozy though for 10%, I've had 9% beers and they weren't half as boozy as this is. I understand it's a high alcoholic style, but it's always nice to cover up the ABV, and they didn't at all here. As for other flavors, well it's hard to get any, it's so overpowered by the bourbon and the alcohol, but I will try. I for sure get malt, deep roasted malt, much like an irish red would have, I get a spicy taste, maybe a tiny tiny tiny bit of vanilla. Maybe a tiny bit of hops, but there really aren't any there at all. I mean it's just so hard to get past that alcohol, maybe I'm being a wussy, I dunno. I mean I can appreciate it's high alcohol content, I'm all about getting tipsy and having a good time, but it's a craft beer, and I want to taste more, and it's very hard to do that with all this alcohol and bourbon. Overall it's a good taste, but for sure just waaaay to intense for me to really enjoy it. If I'm on a mission to get completely drunk, then this beer would be just the thing, but in terms of craft brew, it's not hitting on all cylinders for me. Still not a bad flavor, and most likely, just not my kind of beer, but still, not doing it for me any way you slice it. Mouthfeel is very harsh, booze just fill up your mouth, burning and what not. The body is somewhat thin, but for sure not watery, it has some girth to it. Not a terrible mouthfeel overall. Drinkability is horrible, never had a beer that's harder to drink than this, which is ok, considering the ABV, still I wish they would mask it better. Overall not a terrible beer, but for sure not doing it for me, I'm pretty convinced barleywines just aren't my thing, but I wont know until I drink more of em. Overall, slightly above average beer.

P.S. slight maple taste to this beer as well.

Photo of vkv822
2.58/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz : snifter

Clear amber red, with medium-thin foamy off white head.

Quite boozy, oaky, vanilla bourbon.

Again, lots of boozy, bourbon.

Medium body, low, fizzy carbonation.

While fairly one-dimensional and forgetful for the style, I didn't pick up any unpleasant characteristics.

Photo of AgentZero
2.88/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle shared by nkersten at MasterSki's birthday before party. With all the association that this has had with Wooden Hell and BA Hi-Fi Rye I've been anxious to try this one.

A - Burnt caramel color with some ruby and reddish glints on the outsides. White head that didn't stick around for any substantial amount of time. Some mild lacing and some random spots.

S - It smells above average, but that's not saying a lot. Oak, caramel, caramel, coconut, and alcohol. I thought this year's Kuhnhenn BBBW was solid, this is not quite as good as that.

T - I had this at FoBAB under the name Oakshire 001 and it was god-awful. The extended time in the barrel has made it better, but it has not made it great. Somewhat bitter and caramelly with some hard oak. It's also hot, which isn't a really good combination. Overly bitter and astringent.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, nothing to see here.

O - A disappointment, but I guess I shouldn't be suprised given how bad the beer was I had at FoBAB. It just goes to show that time barrel can help to cover stuff up, but if the base beer is just bad it's probably not going to be a great beer. May get better as it cools down, but this beer isn't very good and I strongly disagree with anyone who thinks it's comparable to Wooden Hell, or even BA Hi-Fi Rye.

Photo of mportnoy
1/5  rDev -70.1%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Undrinkable. I had to spit it out.

Photo of sweemzander
2.3/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to Jason for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a murky reddish caramel color. Some white bubbles.

(S)- Booze soaked raisin and caramel with a strange cardboard bit in there.

(T)- Similar to the smell. Some booze soaked caramel with a strange cardboard thing.

(M)- A good carbonation level. The balance is ok, but is definitely a little strange overall; both in taste and feel.

(D)- Its not off, but just a little strange. Disjointed and just a little bizarre. Maybe it needs more time to balance and smooth out?

Photo of womencantsail
3.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The infamous Hellshire I. Thanks for the trade, Dale.

A: The pour is a cloudy amber color with pretty minimal head formation.

S: Smells really good. Lots of bourbon, vanilla, oak right away, giving a huge barrel presence. The barleywine aromas of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and dark fruits are evident and impressive as well.  

T: The flavor just really falls short. Toffee, nut shells, and wood dominate the flavor. There is a bit of vanilla and some mild bourbon, but the oak and booze are just overpowering. It really lacks refinement, cohesion, and balance.

M: The body is medium with low to medium carbonation.

O: A really nice nose but the flavor was disappointing.

Photo of John_M
4.05/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled this with some friends at Max's last night (the staff was good enough to let me open a bottle I'd brought from home).

The beer pours a somewhat hazy brownish amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The nose is likewise attractive, showing considerable brown sugar, along with some vanilla and bourbon notes. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this sweet BW, and is completely dominated by the brown sugar. There's also some vanilla and light chocolate, but really not much a of bourbon presense. Mouthfeel is pretty full, with a long, smooth, very sweet finish. Also, at least right now, I found this beer to be a bit hot, with some noticeable alcohol in the finish.

A nice beer, but not really anything to get too excieted about, at least at this juncture. I really think this beer needs more time in bottle, and I'm now wishing I had an extra bottle to see what laying this beer down for a year or two does to it. Also, a bit more bourbon characteristic would be nice as well. Frankly, if the label had not told me this beer was barrel aged, I would not have guessed it.

Edit from 4/28/15. Much to my surprise, a bottle of the Hellshire I was brought to a bottle share the other day. The beer has aged quite well, and is very smooth and long on the palate now. The beer is definitely still a bit hot and boozy, but otherwise, is quite enjoyable. I have upgraded my review accordingly.

Photo of FosterJM
3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

780th Review on BA
Bottle to goblet

@Woodshop Classix
Thanks to the guys at Thefullpint for sharing!

App- When this poured it looked very very light in the glass. A watered down soda brown with only a one finger head. No lace, no cling.

Smell- Super boozy right off the bat with a touch of malts and bourbon. Didn't mesh well. It was there but wasn't there was an additional note on the nose which lended you to do a double take.

Taste- Again the flavors follow the nose and is just super boozy. The ABV is so prevalent on this one. The barrels didn't seem to smooth anything out or meld with the oak and impart some vanilla or tamed malty notes.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. Sweet boozy malts are all that remain.

Drink- It was good and I was giddy to try it but this feel so flat for me. I don't know if it was the thin body or the muddled boozy notes. Could've been a lot better

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.94/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into my Duvel Tulip glass.

A - Pours a cloudy carmel brown with a light tan ring of bubbles forming around the edges.

S - Bourbon, fruit, carmel, and oak. Smells nice.

T - Strong boozy bourbon, with a woody finish. So hot, it is hard to find the nice flavors hidden underneath.

D - Big alcohol burn, decent carbonation, not sure why I didn't get a head.

O - HOT! Good flavors, but this one needs time to mellow.

Photo of jbakajust1
2.86/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into Sierra Nevada tulip, 6 weeks cellar temps, 5 hours fridge. Happy Father's Day!

A - Pours a cloudy tawny amber to deep copper, thick off white 1 finger head w/ lots of active carbonation. Thins to a nice thick cuff. Some lacing at first, dissapears as consumed. After warming quite considerably the beer clarifies and shows ruby highlights.

S - Lots of Oak and vanilla. Honestly can't smell anything but bourbon. As it really warms up the bourbon notes still dominate, but very subtle hints of sweet malts and dark fruit come through slightly. After 1.5 hours of warming spicy hops come through with the bourbon in the nose.

T - Lots of bourbon, vanilla, oaky. Very spicy lasting bitter finish. Has a mild sweetness up front but very covered with bourbon. Lots of alcohol heat. My tongue stings if I leave the beer on it too long trying to get a non-bourbon flavor descriptor. A very light caramel sweetness appears as it really warms.

M - Med-High carbonation, Low-Med body. Quite fizzy, and thinner than the style should be. There is a lingering spicy bitterness with a sweetish coating left on the tongue. Lots of alcohol warmth and a silky finish after it warms quite considerably. As stated above, stings the tongue if left there too long.

O - I was really looking forward to this beer, had a small sample from a genorous friend at the release. After reviewing it in proper pour amounts and glassware though, wasn't too impressed. Judging as a barley wine, it is not chewy enough, and has high carbonation. The alcohol is very prominent. There was too much oak and bourbon, the base beer was nearly undetectable to me. Bitterness was somewhat harsh. It was much better as it warmed considerably, but it took me 2 hours to review and come to the same conclusion as my wife got in 1 sip... a shot of bourbon with a bitter finish.

PS. I am hoping that my second bottle will be better in a year. My hope is that the bourbon and oak will fade off, the bitterness will mellow as well as the alcohol bite, and that the barleywine will appear. I really wanted this beer to be amazing as I talked for the whole 10 months w/ the Oakshire guys about it, and I typically enjoy Oakshire's BAL-aged beers.

Photo of oregone
4.5/5  rDev +34.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle into NB Globe:
A: Deep caramel with a happy amount of carbonation for the style that has commendable persistence. This looks like how I want most BW's to look.
S: Bourbon Barrel driven. Toasted coconut and oak aromas mesh with the bourbon and some caramelized fruit. It makes no bones about what it is. Excellent.
T: Caramel and some butterscotch with coconut and dark molasses. Bourbon is apparent with the oak notes and shows a commendable balance on the hops already. They freshen,but aren't intrusive on the barrel, oak or caramelized fruit character.
M: Excellent. A decadent beer to be sure, but kept fresh by the perfect carbonation and hops.
O: Awesome brew. All of the elements are in place for this to be an absolute stunner in time though it's dynamite already. This will mesh very well and soften with more age and I can't wait to revisit in a year. Wish I'd gotten more...

Photo of DefenCorps
3.15/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

John was kind enough to share a bottle of this.

Pouring a mildly hazy ruddy brown with a dense, light brown head that recedes leaving no lace. The nose is a rather intense blast of oak, heavily tannic with some bourbon, behind which the base beer appears. A nice barleywine, with an appetizing blend of caramel, toffee, a little nougat and a faint bitterness, the barrel character has overtaken this beer. Specifically the barrel character is too harsh. The label notes coconut and vanilla, but all I get is tannins. The palate, likewise, opens plenty harsh with booze, oak, tannins, and plenty of caramel. The last beer I remember tasting that was this harsh was Splinter Black - it almost tastes like raw oak was used! Super spicy, this is a rather puzzling beer. Caramel, toffee, butterscotch and vanillin are all present in copious amounts. Medium-full in body with light carbonation, this is great on the palate until the harsh oaky astringency takes over. All told, a solid effort, and one I'd love to try in a year or two, but right now, I can't recommend it.

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Hellshire I from Oakshire Brewing
77 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.