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

Not Rated.
Black Betty Imperial Stout - Reserve Series Aged In Whiskey BarrelsBlack Betty Imperial Stout - Reserve Series Aged In Whiskey Barrels

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107 Reviews

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Reviews: 107
Hads: 351
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.64%
Wants: 101
Gots: 120 | FT: 7
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 107 | Hads: 351
Photo of beerexplorer1973
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: brown, thin head; long legs; rich dark color, almost black

Smell: mild whiskey but sweet nose

taste: Very mellow on the pallet. Character improves as it should with a quality stout as it airs and warms. The whiskey surprisingly subsides as it warms. Hard to believe its 9% ABV.

Mouthfeel: medium body

Overall: I was very hesitant to buy this at $20 for the bottle. I, as well as my beer exploring friend, was very glad that I did. If my income would support it, I would buy a case next time I had access! (520 characters)

Photo of JustineSintek
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is so good. It's pitch black in color. Smells like whiskey, fruit and chocolate mixed. Tastes like dark candied fruit, chocolate, coffee and a slight hint of whiskey. It is smooth, rich and very drinkable. I love this beer. It is one of my favorites now. (264 characters)

Photo of Sintech
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Out of 22oz bottle.

Appearance - Pitch black.

Smell - Fruity, chocolaty and a hint of the whiskey barrel.

Taste - Smooth chocolate, dark fruit, coffee slight hint of booze. WOW!

Mouthfeel - Low attenuation. Thick. Incredible.

Overall - One of the best stouts out there. Definitely the best barrel aged stout in Nebraska!!

Grade (A+) (338 characters)

Photo of MinorThreat
4.97/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served from a 750ml bottle.

A- Dark, real dark. In the range of TenFidy used motor oil dark. Light tan head average lacing.

S-Boozy in all the right ways, Vanilla, smokey oak, beautiful bourbon intertwined with licorice, roasted chocolate and burnt marshmallow. Wow, it smells like Pappy Van Winkle and Dark Lord, NICE.

T-Lots of the nose carries over to beautiful bourbon barrel vanilla and leather. Chocolate, roasted marshmallow and caramel with a slight, desirable boozyness. I honestly don't think the booze comes from the beer so much as the barrel which works, well.

M-Light CO2 so the beer stays rich and creamy with a coating viscosity. Awesome

O-I am not sure if there is a consistency issue here or what but the low reviews could not be for the batch I tried. I have had Dark Lord, Darkness, Kate, CBS, Parabola and Hunaphu's and Black Betty is close, real close to being in the same league of the aforementioned RIS's. BABB flexes the bourbon barrel so well, it reminds me of Parabola (15 to a lesser obvious extent). Well done, seriously well done. (1,066 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.88/5  rDev +20.8%
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. (596 characters)

Photo of Whadawookie
4.78/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First time trying this! Picked up from the local brewery and chilled slightly at home. This beer smells great, looks great, tastes great, is great. I'm quite proud such a great brew is made so close to home. I smell whiskey and yeast up front, then banana. Taste is just ridiculously good. Roasted grains linger while the carbonation bubbles on the tongue, then the whiskey kicks in... real hard. You are left with a caramel/bourbon coating in your mouth that is incredibly warming and pleasing for this Platte at least (couldn't resist the geographical pun, sorry) (565 characters)

Photo of adman08
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours deep brown, almost black, with very little creamy, off-white head that does leave a small amount of lacing.
S-The most obvious aroma is the whiskey. It comes through strong but not overly boozy, more subdued with hints of vanilla, oak, dark chocolate and a hint of coffee.
T-Slightly boozy, a strong whiskey flavor with some oak, coffee, vanilla and bitter dark chocolate. There's also a slight sweetness in the middle.
M-Full bodied but not super thick and syrup-like. Slightly sweet with fairly low carbonation.
Overall, a very delicious and well done barrel aged imperial stout. I feel like most barrel aged imperial stouts end up too boozy, like they just added straight bourbon to the beer rather than aging it in used barrels. The flavor profile is very complex and again unlike some imperial stouts this beer is nicely balanced and not overly sweet. Pricey but worth a try at least once. (904 characters)

Photo of Agbeereng
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
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. (218 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.54/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml brown bottle with a vintage date of 2009.

Tight tan lacing, pitch black. Yeah, the whiskey says hello with oak and alcohol with some vanilla burnt sugar in the nose as well. Smoothness takes it time moving through this heavy liquid. Creamy and slightly viscous. Booze flavor is right up front but never becomes hot even with the beers higher alcohol level in play. Big roasty flavor in the middle unfolds as the beer warms up, unsweetened dark chocolate and espresso comes to mind. Burnt currants, vanilla, more chocolate and a whiskey note wrap up the finish which lands bitter sweet coming from all aspects of the beer and its barrel aging.

Bulls-eye! While the craft beer movement is still maturing there are times like these that is pure proof that the movement is advancing quicker that the beer industry has a whole would ever think. Keep it up Paul, I love what you do!! (885 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.54/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a moderate amount of carbonation. Big two finger tan head that slowly settles into a smaller creamy layer.

Smell: A rich, roasty, and boozy dark malt forward aroma with a big scent of chocolate, coffee, and whiskey. Dark roasted barley malt with big hints of dark chocolate, coffee, toast, smoke, biscuit, grains, and yeast. Big barrel presence with bourbon whiskey hints of vanilla, oak, and wood. Sweet hints of molasses. Subtle dark fruit hints of raisin and fig. Also some light earth hops. A very good aroma.

Taste: Like the nose hints at, a very rich, roasty, and boozy dark malt driven taste with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, and whiskey. Dark roasted barley malt with upfront notes of dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, burnt toast, smoke, grains, biscuit, and yeast. Good barrel presence with nicely boozy notes of bourbon whiskey, vanilla, oak, and wood. Sweet taste of molasses sugar. Dark fruit undertones of fig, raisin, and dates. Subtle notes of earthy hops. A really good roasty taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Rich, creamy, and fairly syrupy. Some booze heat is felt as expected but it’s not too hot.

Overall: A very good take on a Barrel Aged Stout. Big rich chocolate, coffee, and whiskey flavors. (1,347 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
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. (436 characters)

Photo of Stoutfan23DJ
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
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! (1,920 characters)

Photo of ZX6Chris
4.48/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Black with thick mocha colored head that lasts forever!

S-Smooth oak, chocolate, oranges, a little bourbon, vanilla.

T-A big oak flavor, vanilla, oranges, some alcohol warmth and a little chocolate and roasted malts.

M-Medium bodied, smooth, lightly carbonated.

D-Great flavor, nice mouthfeel. I like alot of Bourbon and a little more would have been nice. (362 characters)

Photo of Klym
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

yet another with Cavery. Poured into an oversize wine glass.

A: Pours an obsidian black with a surprisingly white one finger head. Lacing is very attractive.

S: Getting unusual smells from this one. Almond milk , chocolate, sourdough bread and roses all come through. Smells a little hot for 9%.

T: Smores and M&Ms through and through tapered down by the hotness of alcohol and mild bite of coffee/smoke. Chocoalte, marshmellow and graham crackers all distinct and present in this (a thanks to cavery for picking out the graham cracker in the taste).

M: Mouthfeel is really solid with a pumpkin like creaminess backing it up. A great beer to have in your mouth.

O: This is one underrated beer. The creamiest and sweetest RIS I've ever had, and perhaps the sheer tastiest at that. This is a must for RIS enthusiasts. Its hotness at 9% though forces me to knock my overall evaluation down a notch. (905 characters)

Photo of hardy008
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours dark black, letting no light pass through. Has a two finger creamy medium tan head with good retention and lacing. The aroma has chocolate, dark roasted malt, whiskey, oak, and vanilla. The smell of whiskey is pretty strong.

The taste consists of chocolate, dark roasted malt, whiskey, oak, vanilla, and raisins. The whiskey taste is not as strong as the aroma suggested, but is still noticeable. Not hot with booze like I thought it might be, which is a plus.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, smooth, creamy, with a bittersweet aftertaste. This is a very nice beer from Nebraska brewing, and makes me curious to find out what they will come up with next. (668 characters)

Photo of DCon
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed from a bottle at the Microfest in Forest Park (St. Louis), MO. Was able to get two 10oz+ pours into my 16oz Microfest Pilsner glass. No B.O.D. available (didn't see on the bottle or label).

Appearance- A very deep brown color but clear body with 2 fingers of light brown head that forms after a minute after the pour. Nice attribute! Great retention follows this up and has a small amount of lace.

Aroma- Great amount of coffee/roasted malts from the start and then the smokey/oaked smell comes around.

Taste- A decent amount of malt and dark chocolate taste upfront and then a roasty taste at the finish. Has hints of garlic and vanilla combined in here. So much to taste, had to have another pour!

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, Medium viscosity, Good Carbonation, and a strong coffee/oaked barrel ending on the palate.

Overall- Never had anything from Nebraska Brewing Company, until this brew. Almost could be called a Imperial Coffee Stout (if possible). Drinkability was very nice even though the style usually doesn't allow this. I would like to try more from Nebreska Brewing, just like I'd like to try EVERY beer from EVERY brewery :) (1,152 characters)

Photo of HopHunter19
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - mocha colored head that sticks and leaves great lacing, dark brown/black beer that's opaque in color
s - roasty, espresso, creamy, whiskey, light vanilla, chocolate
t - big whiskey notes, like the bite of taking a shot of whiskey without the burn or the bad parts, distinctly different from a bourbon barrel aged stout. roasty, espresso, vanilla, caramel undertones, good base beer
m - thick, heavy beer. Alc covered, except for the whiskey notes. aftertaste is espresso, whiskey
o - pretty awesome beer. Would buy again, price point is kinda high but not too high to try again on occasion. (594 characters)

Photo of kkleu357
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
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. (266 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at 50F in to CBS Snifter. No bottle date apparent.

A - Poured dark brown and settled black with 2 fingers of thick, foamy espresso coloured head. Good lacing.

S - Big whiskey aroma up front that is the most notable aroma but doesn't dominate. Roasted malts, oak, vanilla and chocolate are also evident. A complex nose.

T - Whiskey up front, as the nose indicated. The middle had a complex array of flavours including charred malts, cocoa and vanilla. The whiskey returns in the finish and lingers on the tongue. My only complaint is the slightly over charred malts flavour. Otherwise a near perfect barrel aged imperial stout.

M - Medium body, slightly creamy. Carbonation is light to moderate. A touch watery for the style.

O - A nice change of pace from bourbon barrel aged stouts. We done. (808 characters)

Photo of Blanco
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black color with a surprisingly light, tan colored head. head is pretty sizeable from the initial pour. Lacing is excellent, with obvious viscosity.

Smell is of light bourbon, chocolate, vanilla.

Taste is very nice right off the bat. Bourbon is there, but very balanced with the rest of the beer. Light chocolate and hints of vanilla in the background. I'm just surprised at how balanced it is.

Mouthfeel is thick and visious.

Overall, this is one hell of a bourbon barrel stout. The flavors, while not overly complex, work very well together. (564 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A gift from my Russian Stout Queen

It certainly is black: mean, thick and indubitably black. Fluffly beige head gives off lots of lacey fireworks. Hearty collar of retention.

Oak jumps out at the nose first. Vanilla, coffee and chocolate with whiskey as an afterthought.

Roasty and refined and full of complexity. Vanilla dominates but has a healthy supporting cast of coffee, dark chocolate syrup and whiskey sweetness. The flavors do a great job of complimenting each other rather than fighting with one another as in many big beers. Fluffy, tongue caressing body. Warm without being hot.

My first beer from the Cornhusker state. (635 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black as night with a one finger khaki head that settles to about 1/4 inch. Leaves tons of speckled lacing down the glass.

S: Freshly ground medium roast coffee, chocolate syrup, roasted malt, licorice and some faint sweet whiskey notes.

T: Opens on the sweet end with some chocolate cake, dark chocolate covered espresso beans and molasses. Then progresses towards a drying finish of charred wood, whiskey and some burnt brownies. It definitely warms but it's far from what I would consider "hot." Mouthfeel is slightly heavy without weighing down the flavors too much. I don't know if I can justify the price, but this is tasty business. (646 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

536th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter

Purchased at NS Liquor in Lincoln, NE

App- A very dark dark brown with garnet edges. About a finger of head that was quick to recede and didnt leave much in terms of lace.

Smell- Roasty light malts with a little bit of bitter hops, slight really. Nice light dark chocolate aromatics as well.

Taste- This was amazingly smooth without the gigantic ABV bite. It was very well balanced and had a lot of barrel and chocolate behind it.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbed as well. A roasty chocolate aftertaste was left behind.

Drink- This was so smooth and rich and smooth. I want more of it but such a large price point, it is well worth it. The flavors are so balanced and the booze is so well hidden. A very well crafted beer. (777 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.34/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (690 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Hojaminbag for this brew.

750ml Capped
Bottle Conditioned

Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice two-finger creamy light tan head, which leaves some very nice thick sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, very slight hop note, lots of chocolate, very nice whiskey note, vanilla. The taste is very nice, malty, very nice whiskey barrel notes, lots of chocolate. Full/Medium Body, ABV is hidden very very well with this one, creamy. This one is very enjoyable to drink. Thanks Ben! (549 characters)

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Black Betty Imperial Stout - Reserve Series Aged In Whiskey Barrels from Nebraska Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.