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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very good

260 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 260
Reviews: 92
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 14.82%
Wants: 95
Gots: 82 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Nebraska Brewing Company visit their website
Nebraska, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: RedHaze on 01-05-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 260 | Reviews: 92 | Display Reviews Only:
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1/5  rDev -74.9%

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1.5/5  rDev -62.3%

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1.5/5  rDev -62.3%

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1.5/5  rDev -62.3%

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2/5  rDev -49.7%

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2/5  rDev -49.7%

Photo of Jeffo
2.42/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Kkottonmouthkngz flew this one over the pond and dropped it, and a whole slew of other brews, on my head a couple weeks back. I had a great time at De Wildeman, and thanks heaps for your generosity.

From a 750ml into a snifter
Barrel Aged Reserve Series
ABV: 9.3% IBUS: 83
Brown bottle and black label

APPEARANCE: A transparent, dark brown pour produces a big, three finger, medium looking, fluffy, tan head with great retention. Sienna brown, almost black body with loads and loads of carbonation all over the place. Head eventually fades to a thick, ½ finger foam cap leaving sheets of foamy lacing down the glass. Carbonation eventually settles down but a full cap remains until the end and leaves sheets of lacing the whole way down the glass. The stout is too light and transparent and the carbonation is out of control, but it eventually calms and the lacing looks great.

SMELL: Mild nose of roasted malts, cocoa powder and some light whisky notes. A touch of oak and vanilla, but this is all quite mild. Not much base beer there, and not much barrel for that matter. Pretty lackluster.

TASTE: Mostly barrel and booze up front. Roasted malts, toffee, cocoa powder and some dark fruits with hints of whisky and oak notes at the swallow. Lots of booze in the finish, relatively speaking. A mild but lingering aftertaste of whisky, oak, and a touch of cocoa as well. This is very mild in flavor, but what is there is mostly dominated by the alcohol. This is relatively flat and bland.

PALATE: Medium body and higher levels of carbonation. Light on the palate, but smooth and creamy enough, goes down fine and finishes slightly mouth-coating with some lingering heat on the palate. Too much carbonation and a little light for the style.

OVERALL: Definitely a let down. The bottle looks pretty cool, but that’s about it. What I could detect from the base beer was less than impressive, what with the mild and flat flavor profile, and the barrel aging really failed to save this one in any way. It’s also overcarbonated, which lead to an out-of-control look and a light feel on the palate. Not one I’d recommend going after. Regardless, I really appreciate the chance to give this one a go. Thanks again for the hookup Kkottonmouthkngz! Hopefully we can share some brews together again sometime.

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2.5/5  rDev -37.2%

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2.5/5  rDev -37.2%

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2.75/5  rDev -30.9%

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2.75/5  rDev -30.9%

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2.75/5  rDev -30.9%

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3/5  rDev -24.6%

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3/5  rDev -24.6%

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3/5  rDev -24.6%

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3/5  rDev -24.6%

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3/5  rDev -24.6%

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3/5  rDev -24.6%

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3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of number1bum
3.03/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Part of the NEPA BC split from back in November. Pours a pretty dark brown, darker in the glass than on the pour but certainly not the "black as night" noted on the label. Head is more bubbly than dense and produces about a finger and a half of foam, which settles to a bubbly, uneven lace without much stick on the sides.

Smell has a pleasing whiskey aroma up front, with notes of vanilla and wood. Behind it is some sweet malt, chocolate and caramel with some roasted notes and a hint of coffee as well. The malt base is pretty light, however, and lacks much depth. It smells thin, which for a barrel aged imperial stout does not seem to portend good things...

Taste is, as the nose predicted it might be, pretty thin. It just lacks the depth of flavor that an imperial stout, barrel aged or not, should deliver. It has some roasted and coffee notes, with a bit of sweetness, but those then wash almost completely away as the whiskey flavor asserts itself. It's not that the whiskey is overpowering, because it's not - it's actually pretty nice - it's just that the stout itself is very weak. The whiskey is pleasant and has some vanilla flavor as well, plus there is a woody quality in the finish. Just a touch of alcohol heat. The whiskey actually saves this from scoring even lower.

Mouthfeel is woefully thin for an imperial stout. It's a medium body, but barely, and lacks a creaminess to make it feel fuller. Carbonation is fine and it's pretty smooth, but I like my impys with more meat on their bones. This just does not cut it.

The whiskey qualities here are pretty nice, aggressive without being overdone, but the stout itself falls flat. It's too thin and lacks much character, making the final product pretty subpar, particularly in a category with so many outstanding beers. The whiskey saves it from being a complete disappointment in fact. Once I finish a sip and the palate is clean, it feels as though I'm drinking a highball of whiskey rather than a beer; that being the case, I'd rather just drink the whiskey.

Photo of mcallister
3.13/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Deep brown in color slightly light and not black with a small head that leaves good lace.

Wet cardboard in the nose almost like a corked wine. Mildew, chocolate, wood, hints of vanilla, with black fruit esters.

Not a bad beer, easy drinking, light and not overly complex, but a dick load of alcohol on the finish. Some dark fruits in the middle with wood tannins on the finish. Hints of whiskey, wood, vanilla, milk chocolate, and plum.

Mouth is full but yet not thick and big like you'd expect with a beer like this. I normally don't consider price with drinkability but considering this bottle cost me $25bux this may be the most overpriced beer I've ever had, and I'm not one to complain about pricing.

Photo of illidurit
3.13/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared at the December iteration of the Santa Cruz tasting series. Pours dark brown with an ecru froth. Chocolatey aroma, light roastiness, slight booziness. Piney hops atop dark chocolate in the flavor, plus a whole lot of whiskey. Right now I’m not interested in beers that need a hundred years of aging just to become approachable.

Photo of maximum12
3.13/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to iasanlee, RandomBattle & beerisheaven for shipping me bottles of this Nebraska brew. The first was consumed around the fire at Lake Itasca, camping, on a cool September night. This one split with my wife after watching Star Wars with the kids for the first time. Then off to bed with them.

Pours black & frizzy. The smell is on the subtle side of the genre, with the bourbon & malts on equal footing on top of the play bill. Perhaps vanilla, roast, & licorice, too.

Enjoying Black Betty around a roaring fire (that took forever to get going) made me taste a lot of smoke. I thought it was coming from the wood - wrong - it was coming from the glass. Smoky malts border on charred are the taste of the day. Bourbon? Really? Vanilla is fleeting, but in a blind test, I'd guess this was more baltic porter than barrel-aged big stout. And more porter-like than anything else in the mouthfeel.

Disappointing, & one-dimensional. Not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but pretty pedestrian, & the lack of barrel taste, coupled with the thin mouthfeel, leave me pretty neutral. Decent enough; this was a 2010 bottle & I enjoyed the 2009 much more that last evening, so this may need some age. But I can't see that helping with the lack of barrel.

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3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of womencantsail
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour is black in color with a small tan head. Smells strongly of roasted malt, licorice, and char. There is definitely some booze/heat to it, too. A little bit of dark chocolate and coffee. The flavor is no more impressive. Intense roast and booze flavor with a bit of molasses and licorice. Maybe some dark chocolate and astringent coffee. Meh.

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Black Betty Imperial Stout - Reserve Series Aged In Whiskey Barrels from Nebraska Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 260 ratings.