Black Betty Imperial Stout - Reserve Series Aged In Whiskey Barrels - Nebraska Brewing Company

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Black Betty Imperial Stout - Reserve Series Aged In Whiskey BarrelsBlack Betty Imperial Stout - Reserve Series Aged In Whiskey Barrels

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328 Ratings

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Ratings: 328
Reviews: 102
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 101
Gots: 114 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Nebraska Brewing Company visit their website
Nebraska, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: RedHaze on 01-05-2010

Black as night and every bit Imperial, this RIS was originally launched to tremendous accolades. Going further, this Stranahan’s Whiskey barrel aged version meshes the rich chocolates, the coffee-like aromatics with the sweet whiskey nose and drying character of the oak. Slightly behind on the palette are the hops – held in restraint by the wonderfully full mouthfeel and broad flavors brought on by the perfect blend of so many malted barley varieties. Ready to enjoy upon release and perfect for extended cellaring.

83 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 328 | Reviews: 102
Photo of kkleu357
4.41/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Well this was a nice surprise. Thickish black body. Big woody bourbon aroma. Nice chocolate bourbon taste. Best comparison I could give is it is very similar to Barrel Aged Plead the 5th. Had the BAPT5 earlier in the day and almost felt like I was drinking it again.

Photo of JMS1512
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with “vigour” into my Lucifer snifter

Sight: Inky, dark black body with a dual-layer head, brown head. Yup- two layers. First, a small, thick top on which a host of big sudsy foam sits, plus a thick underpinning of extremely fine bubbles. This one sticks around, like a trusted friend.
Aroma: Lots of vanilla, and a hint of wood and booze. I don’t detect much else.

Taste: In the taster’s opinion, the barrel has not taken over the beer, but it is present. Lots of dry wood, vanilla, and booze greet the mouth. Chocolate, malt, and coffee says hello once the beer warms up a little bit. It’s the cleaner, slightly spicier burn that says “whiskey” not “bourbon.” The end finishes with a little bitterness and a little dash of hops.

Feel: Sugary syrupy sweet and oily. Tiny bubbles provide good carbonation, but the density of the beer- definitely chewy, and I hate using that word.

Overall: Fantastic high-end offering from Nebraska Brewing. I appreciate they went with the slightly less conventional whiskey barrels rather than bourbon.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

This one was shared by Mark last night, thanks man!

This one pours a dark black, typical imperial stout look here, with a very small head, and no lacing.

This one smells super hot and whiskey forward.

It also tastes way too hot and whiskey forward. There's a pretty unpleasant heat, with an astringent alcohol bitterness. If you strain, you can taste the base stout, with some decent chocolate and caramel, but the barrel has kinda overwhelmed this one, unfortunately.

This one is way too thin for the style, too, which is disappointing. There's a lower level of carbonation.

Not all that impressed with this one.

Photo of pat61
4.88/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Brilliant black under a pillowy 1” dark tan foam collar that paints the glass with a thin sheet of lace.
S: Cocoa, dark dried fruit, faint whiskey.
T: Creamy with more chocolate than coffee supported by dark dried fruit, vanilla and grain. Long chocolate aftertastes and a big creamy dark unsweetened chocolate bitter on the finish.
M: Fine soft carbonation produces a rich creamy texture with a medium full body. Slightly warming. The alcohol is big but not hot or solventy.
O: This beer stands out for its rich, creamy texture and the incredible balance between the different elements.

Photo of Wardnemisis
4.78/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

a good stout especially if you like the bourbon taste

Photo of Roguer
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Super dark, thin brew, topped with a dark beige head. Firm, good size, great retention, and nice lacing.

Fairly subdued aroma; the whiskey and oak are present, alongside some chocolate, coffee, and cream from the malt. Smells good, but not amazing.

Beautifully smooth and rich flavor. Lots of chocolatey malt up front, with lots of bitter roast and oak following around mid-palate and lasting through the finish. Whiskey notes come in most strongly the back third (with a brief kiss up front), and are well-blended and complementary vice overwhelming. Creamy.

Very nice growing heat on the back-end, but otherwise this drinks like a 9% imperial stout. Surprisingly lively. Nice roasty bitterness. A little thin for my preferences.

This is an excellent BA stout. It isn't the most complex, but the whiskey imparts a lovely flavor to what is clearly a thick, smooth base beer.

Photo of HipCzech
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at The Hay Merchant, served in a 5 oz snifter. Deep brown black with restrained tan head. Intense and rich roasted malt, coffee, vanilla, barrel wood and whiskey (without heat), and some sweeter fruit notes (pineapple?). Velvety smooth and full bodied. A complex but well integrated sipper.

Photo of Agbeereng
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Well - balanced, complex malted barleys, some nice suttle Chocolate & coffee notes. Bourbon barrel notes add to overall profile. Sl dry clean finish. Drinks well to the point of being dangerous. Strongly recommend.

Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black body and a thin brown head off a draught pour.

Lots of chocolate and roasty coffee on the nose which is enticing. Some whiskey and vanilla flesh it out nicely.

Seems a little thin on the palate unfortunately. Follows the aroma profile.

I heard the bottles cost a pretty penny so I opted for a draft pour. Really good but not anything special I would rush out for.

Photo of Sintech
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black Betty is the best barrel age stout in Nebraska!!

Photo of richj1970
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 ml bottle into tulip glass. Bottle dated 06/29/13.

A: Pitch black with a little brown tint and a gigantic 3-4 finger deep tan head that seemed to take forever to settle to a thin film on top. Some spotty lacing.

S: Big time whiskey aroma hits you right off the bat, but some oak, vanilla, and burnt sugar also promient. After it warmed up, a little coffee and chocolate makes an appearance,

T: Again the whiskey dominates the flavors, but also some bitter chocolate, vanilla, and espresso. A little hint of oak.

M: Suprisingly a little thin for a stout of this ABV, but still fairly full bodied. Finish is a little dry, and a touch bitter.

O: Nice stout. I wish the coffee and chocolate notes were more promient and the whiskey a little more subdued. It's a tad pricey, but I'm glad I got the opportunity to try it.

Photo of KFBR392
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours with two dense fingers of khaki, light brown head. The head looked like foam on top of an overpriced coffee concoction. Active carbonation is as bright and active as I've seen in a BA stout, continually regenerating the head.

Smell: bright oak, rye bread, and surprisingly bright fruits. Fruit accents of pears, white grapes, and apricots. Has a chardonnay type fruit profile. Touch of vanilla and caramel mesh on the body, almost too much so, with some slight booze. Fruits and oak are certainly the biggest standout.

Taste: Oak and dark fruits hit first. Vanilla and some toffee opens up on the body. A light touch of roasted malts with a sting of boozy bourbon. The huge carbonation I really feels hides many of the flavors and what flavors come through are slightly undistinguished.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is huge in this one, too much so IMHO.

Overall: This is certainly a unique stout, nothing like any other BA stouts I've had. The bright fruits are welcome but I would use more barrel character and a richer body. Glad I tried it, but wouldn't revisit it in the future.

Photo of artoolemomo
3.64/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Notes from flight tasting

Fairly typical nose bit of a dark beige head. Nose alludes to caraway or actual rye bread in a way that I've never noticed from an Imperial stout. Very thin mouthfeel and rather lacking in the whole presence department as well. I'm glad I didn't spend 9 bucks on a glass. Some fruit sweetness that matches well with the chocolate sweetness but pretty much craps out on the finish.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown approaching black color with a good sized light brown head, fades quickly but leaves some patchy lacing on the glass as it depletes.

Smell has a surprisingly strong dark fruit aroma, plenty of raisins, roasted malt backing, not much hop presence but this bottle has been in the cellar for some time so it's not surprising.

Taste is not your typical RIS, the dark fruit is similar to the aroma meaning it has a strong presence, very raisin-y, not overly roasted or bitter, carbonation is way too high with the body being on the thin side, hops have faded but would likely show up quite well since this isn't a heavy stout at all, decent wood character without being overbearing, strength was quite hidden and mellow.

Photo of sethcroisant
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- even with a slow pour, it has a beautiful cascading effect. colossal brown head with lacing that cannot be rivaled. very impressive start.

S- very spicy, mostly from the hops and booze, but partly from the roasted malts.

T/M- creamy, almost sludgy feel with low carbonation. whiskey flavors are immediate and provide a bit of sweetness that lingers. the spiciness is very present and is pretty powerful. good amount of hops combat the sugary flavors well. bready characteristics are in the aftertaste.

O- an impressive and surprisingly balanced beer. hopefully brews like this will start to get Nebraska Brewing Co. noticed a little more.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this bottle at cellar temp poured into a snifter. The beer pours a jet black color. A large beige fluffy and somewhat spongey 3 cm of head foaming up, fades very slowly. Large windowpane lattice develops as the head recedes.
Aroma is some dry wood and raisins with black licorice or anice notes mixed in. I actually dont get any booze on the nose, nor much of, if any hop presence. Texture is very smooth and gentle rolling carbonation makes this beer amazingly easy to drink considering the umph it is packing in calories and alcohol.
The flavor is similar to the nose with big dark malt, roasted grain and a hint of dark fruit. Moves to some dark chocolate and dark fruit, again raisins fit. Finishes with just a little heat and I find this to be an enjoyable beer for a cold winter day.

Photo of jpro
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle into a snifter...

A: Pitch black with a massive head of tight, khaki foam; leaves a few strands of lace.

S: Roasted malt and bourbon / oaky notes; the whiskey aroma isn't overpowering at all.

T: Follows the nose; crisp, roasted malt and dry oak notes; not much chocolate malt - more dry than sweet.

M: Very lively carbonation which makes it feel a little light.

O: A nice barrel aged imperial stout; the slightly lower abv enhance drinkability along with it not being a bourbon / barrel bomb.

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle poured into a large snifter. Consumed with about a year and a half of age on it.

A: Deep, impenetrable black on the pour with a one-inch brown head. Retention is reasonably good given the time in the barrel. Spotty lacing.

S: Chocolate syrup, black cocoa powder, chocolate cookies. Faint whiff of black licorice. Complex estery aromas of dried fig, black currant, and baked apples. Well hidden spike of alcohol. Barrel is subtly integrated with a slight charred oak and whiskey scent.

T: Black cocoa powder, brownies, dark chocolate truffles, fudge. Hints of smoke and barrel char. Whiskey flattens things out a bit on the mid-palate. A subtle caramel backing begins to emerge with time. Spicy alcohol. Estery black currant and dried fig climb to the forefront as the whiskey taste dies. Things pick back up again as it finishes strong with long, lingering fudge, chocolate covered black raspberry, blackstrap molasses, and slight char.

M: Thick and slightly sludgy with a very chewy mouthfeel. No carbonation whatsoever. It isn't missed too sorely, but it could help to add that last extra bit of dimension that would make it perfect. Ghost-like trace of whiskey heat and spiciness.

O: This is my second go around with the Reserve series Black Betty, and I enjoyed it more this time. The base beer is exceptional in its own right, but the whiskey barrel still flattens things out a little bit rather than having the seamless integration that the elite barrel-aged beers flaunt. That still isn't enough to derail this beer though. It really takes its time opening up on the palate, on both the nose and in the taste, but once it does reach its crescendo it never falls and finishes on a very high note. In this case it's the strong finish that leaves a lasting impression and ultimately saves this beer.

Photo of jmarsh123
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Split a few ways with some friends. Pours pitch black with a sludgy consistency. Two fingers of dark brown head sit on top with some nice retention and excellent lacing.

Aroma is dark roasted chocolate/coffee malts with a slight smoky undertone. Sweet whiskey, vanilla and oak are present from the barrel.

Similar flavor with only some subtle variations. A lot of the dark roast coffee and chocolate are noted along with the barrel characteristics. A little dark fruit not evident in the aroma makes an appearance. Barrel doesn't exert quite as much influence as I'd like and the whiskey seems to be a big on the sweeter side of things. Not my preference, but the roast malts prevents this from getting too sweet.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style. *Note* Had this right after BCBCS so probably not fair to compare. Low carbonation with alcohol present, but not overpowering.

Pretty solid although way overpriced for what it is. Enjoyable, but a little more viscocity would really enhance all the other good stuff going on and raise the grades considerably.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nebraska Brewing : Black Betty

LOOK: Dark brown bordering black with an off white head. Leaves an impressive amount of lace.

SMELL: Oaky whiskey, booze laced chocolate, a touch of sharp, spicy whiskey rounding out the finish.

TASTE/FEEL: Robust roasted malt, possibly a hint of booze soaked dark fruits. Chocolate, coffee and getting a rye like spice. Well balanced and heavy on the barrel notes. Dry tannins round out the finish. Finishes dry as hell. Lots of rye whiskey influence.

OVERALL: A tasty and decently complex sipper. Lets the barrel come shining through. Not huge on smoking cigars but this would be an obvious choice to pair with an oily robust stogie from far away lands.

Photo of nlmartin
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The beer was lightly chilled and served in a snifter.

A- The body of the beer is a nice oily black coloration. No opaqueness is noted when the beer is held to light. A thick burnt nugget colored head towers above the beers body. Nice head retention noted. The beer leaves a trail of major lacing on the glass.

S- The aroma of the beer is darkly roasted and slightly smoked maltyness. Vanilla oaked notes combined with whiskey punch toward the for ground. I am really enjoying this beers aroma.

T- The beers flavor delivers on a layered darkly roasted coffee, cocoa, a nip of raisins and yes it brings a pleasing whiskey barrell flavoring. The flavors of the base beer are big enough to stand up to the barrels flavors.

M- The body of the beer is a weak point. The body is simply too thin for my taste. The body is on the thin side. The carbonation is on the low side. The alcohol is a bit assertive and wouldnt be a problem with a more viscous beer. In short the body reminded me of cough syrup.

O- The mouthfeel was the killer on this beer. A bit more thickness would have lifted the beer up to the next level. Not a drain pour but not really the experience I am looking for in a barrell aged stout.

Photo of Dope
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No vintage listed. 9.0% ABV. I believe this to be a 2010 bottle, possibly a 2011.

A: Pours a very dark brown but believe it or not, not pure black. Big, huge, super dense light brown head. Head fades away very very slowly with top notch retention. Just little splotches of fluffy lacing left behind.

S: Really nice whiskey aroma with burnt caramel and oaky vanilla. Roasted malt pokes through with some char and chocolate. Boozy.

T: Big whiskey up front. Caramel again. Less vanilla but still a touch. Lots of charred oak is heavy up front and continues through the rest of the taste. Dark chocolate in the middle with more char. In the finish, the rest of the flavors fade away and you get a little coffee but mainly charred wood, becoming a touch acrid and charry. Boozy bourbon, hints of dark fruit and chalky char lingers in the aftertaste. Belly warming.

M: A little thinner than you might expect from a 9% RIS. I think the bourbon is fairly strong in this and cuts the roasted malt a bit. A little chalky and drying in the aftertaste.

O: An good example of a whiskey barrel RIS. Whiskey barrel character is quite strong, this may have benefited from another year or two in the cellar. Charred oak is prominent, almost more than the whiskey itself. Would have preferred more of the roasted malt character but it's still quite good.

Photo of Tucquan
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2012-01-04 in Columbia, PA. This is a 2011 vintage.

A - Very dark and opaque brown with a 2-finger tan head and good lacing. Very inviting.

S - Bourbon, vanilla, oak, medium-dark roasted malt, touch of chocolate.

T - Bourbon, dark roasted malt, oak, some char, dark chocolate, dark coffee, dark, dark, dark. Alcohol. Prune. Astringent. A bit of caramel sweetness in the finish, which somewhat remains as the increasing roasted and hop bitterness makes itself well known for more than a minute.

M - Medium-heavy body and light carbonation. Creamy yet prickly. Dries out a bit. Not an oatmeal stout thickness but very nice.

O - Gotta say this is a well-done Imperial Stout. I like the dominant dark flavors with a hint of sweetness and bitterness to somewhat balance it out. This is the best beer I've had from this brewer and would seek it out again.

Photo of Stoutfan23DJ
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Lost Abbey Stemware glass at 55 Degrees.
2011 Vintage - 750ml bottle - 9% ABV - Imperial Stout Aged in Whiskey Barrels for 6 Months

Appearance: Poured a jet black along with a small tan head that disappears down to lacing in less than a minute. Looks beautiful and intimidates me to start drinking immediately!

Aroma: A presence of spicy whiskey, bourbon and oak, coffee beans, roasted barley and malts, rye, chocolate, touch of smoke, new leather, and a slight fruit sweetness on the nose.

Taste: I immediately get the big rye whiskey and bold bourbon, charred oak, and a nice vanilla also from the barrels. The most present of all the elements in this is the bourbon/whiskey barrel characteristics but it doesn’t cover up or overpower anything else at all. Mixed with the barrel characteristics, I also receive the rich mélange of cocoa, caramel and roasted barley and malts together, the smooth bittersweet chocolate, sweet molasses, espresso coffee beans, anise, dark fruit, bitter hops on the back end and a very slight alcohol burn on the finish when it starts to warm up. The barrel characteristics and the base beer come together very well and really complement each other.

Mouth feel: In-between a medium/thick body, carbonation is minimal but is where it should be. This is another great big complex beer that persuades you to slow down, sip on this for an hour or two and just simply appreciate it.

Overall: Overall, this is right on-par with the other top-shelf barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stouts on the market and the best beer I’ve ever had from the state of Nebraska. This is the second whiskey barrel stout that I’ve had and is right on-par with the Flying Dog barrel-aged Gonzo Porter. In the end, this was an impressive RIS with really great barrel characteristics integrated with a really solid, robust yet smooth base beer. Big complexity, well-balanced, and well-crafted!

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - black with a thin brown head that has decent retention

S - earthy, roasted malts, anise, chocolate

T - chocolate, dark fruit, roasted malts, licorice, sugar, woody, faint whiskey

M - full bodied, smooth, perfectly carbonated

This is a fantasticly balanced, drinkable stout. It will warm you up on a cold day, and has enough complexity that you could drink the 750mL by yourself without getting fatigued. This was very enjoyable.

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Black Betty Imperial Stout - Reserve Series Aged In Whiskey Barrels from Nebraska Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 328 ratings.