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Hell's Black Intelligencer - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hell's Black IntelligencerHell's Black Intelligencer

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66 Reviews
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Reviews: 66
Hads: 204
Avg: 4.36
pDev: 11.24%
Wants: 217
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: AleWatcher on 10-25-2010

An oatmeal stout brewed with Intelligentsia coffee. "Richard yet lives, Hell's Black Intelligencer" - Queen Margaret, Richard III

28 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 66 | Hads: 204
Photo of funkyaudio
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice black color with a small ring of tiny bubbles. Its pretty thin, but does leave some slightly syrupy traces around the glass as you swirl. Aroma is a massive wave of dark roast coffee, with the flavor following almost identically, except there are a few slight notes of chocolate with the coffee flavors. As I mentioned it is on the lighter bodied side of things, but also very very smooth and easy to drink. Really is remarkable how much it tastes like pure iced coffee. TRULY a fantastic beer if you’re into these sorts of flavors... cannot wait until I get to try it again! And here I thought coffee bender was going to be the closest beer to an iced coffee I’d ever try

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Photo of lookitsmp
4.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Three Floyds Brew Pub on 5/1/12

I had been wanting to try this beer for a long time now and it did not disappoint.

Appearance: Poured a black, dark coffee-like color with some dark brown to red tones on the edges where the light hits. This beer looks like a cup of black coffee, and I mean black. Very nice looking beer. Even the consistency looks like coffee.

Smell: When I smelled this beer, I turned to my friend and just let out a blissful sigh. This is one of the best smelling stouts I've ever had the pleasure of inhaling. HUGE (the all caps is an understatement) coffee. Not just your ho-hum folgers either. This beer smells like great coffee. While you can mostly detect the awesome roasty coffee notes, there is a faint sweetness hanging out on the sidelines.

Taste: I can die happy. (again...) HUGE coffee notes. Roasty, bitter, with a touch of sweetness. Then comes the dark chocolate, that sweetness I smelled in the background. The coffee and dark chocolate create a perfect medley of roasty, bitter, and sweet flavors that had me smiling the whole time. This beer made my day.

Mouthfeel: If there's one thing I can knock this beer on is the mouthfeel. It felt a little thin. Not in a bad way, though. In comparison to other oatmeal stouts it could be said that it is light bodied. However I think that adds to the experience and enhances the coffee flavors. It's sort of thin and very smooth...like coffee.

Overall: This beer had me smiling the whole time I was drinking it. It has a place in my top 10 beer list now. I hope that Floyds ends up bottling and distributing this soon because it is hands down one of their better beers (and that's saying a lot!). If you can get to the pub, if you like coffee, or are in the mood to try something different and new you have to get this beer.

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Photo of TapeDeck
4.92/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer can not be stopped!

Even in a disposable solo cup, it's perfect. This is the standard by which all breakfast stouts should be judged. Oatie, bitter, massive coffee kick in the face... It's not sweet at all.

The beer has a tan foamy head with continued lacing as long as you allow it to exist in your delivery vessel.

Totally black and opaque. If this were bottled, it would be the every day beer during Bears season.

Pairs really well with loud music and a desire to be left alone for some pensive beer snob moments!

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Photo of sliverX
4.92/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from growler to glass, pitch black nice one finger mocha head faded down to a film and ring around the edge of the glass. Left decent lacing.
Smells like a fresh cup of dark roasted coffee, would expect no less.
Tastes like a cup of coffee, I'm thinking I may need to pick up some of the coffee from Intellegencia or whatever it is. Pick up a nice herbal/medicinal hoppiness that fits perfectly... Hmmm maybe float a couple hop cones in the morning joe..
Mouthfeel is medium to start but finishes light perfectly suits the brew
Drinkability damn... a 1/2 gallon won't just cut it, especially since my girlfriend (who is in no way a craft drinker) keeps taking my glass and trying to play keep away... I'll share
She was intrigued enough to ask where the brewery was so she could get more... I think when we make it to Chicago at some point we'll make a detour...

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Photo of EORS
4.87/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

3 Floyds event at my local pub, had no clue what this beer was (or even what it was really called as the name was scrawled on a chalkboard) when I tried it. Poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Opaque with a half inch head the color of mocha. Head dissipates fairly quickly but leaves lacing down the glass. Not a ton of carbonation visible.

Smell: Hints of the great stuff to come. Coffee and chocolate hit the nose first, followed up by a generous amount of roasty malt. Finally, there's a vanillalike sweetness to this beer that comes through in the aroma.

Taste: All of the above, plus more. Lovely rich malt body with more of that lactose-like sweetness from the oats. Leaves hints of coffee and roast malt in the mouth. Barely a hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: a real treat - smooth, full-bodied and creamy when the carbonation is up, retained the smoothness as the beer sat, but the moderate carbonation really adds an extra feeling of thickness that makes the beer really enjoyable.

Overall: A very very pleasant surprise, and one to be savored if you can find it. I'd wanted to try a dark beer (not Robert the Bruce) from 3 Floyds for some time, since most of what we get here is gumballhead and pride and joy. Lived up to anything I could have expected from it.

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Photo of abrand
4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap poured into a plastic cup.

Very dark pour with no visibility. A nice 1 finger head leaves some lacing. Smells is so rich with coffee. Very pleasant smelling. Some grains are also noted. Taste is again full of coffee. I loved this taste. Not much else really going on. Subtle notes of chocolate. Mouthfeel is somewhat full and well carbonated. Overall I loved this. So much coffee. Amazing.

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Photo of Betmore
4.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

*poured from a growler into a pint glass*

Hell's Black Intelligencer poured jet black with a one finger tan head that dissipated within a minute or two. There was fair to moderate lacing.

The aroma of this beer is pure roasted coffee with just a hint of chocolate. If I didn't know better, I'd swear I had a glass of cool coffee. And while this beer is lumped into the Oatmeal Stout catagory, I can't help but grade it as a sub catagory of Coffee Stout. Is it basically one dimensional? Yes. But that dimension is AMAZING. I want this stuff for breakfast.

The taste? Well, it goes right along with the aroma. It tastes like really good coffee, but better. Thats really the only way I know to describe it. If you like coffee, you'll love this beer. I want this stuff in my thermos at work.

Mouthfeel is just about right for this style, in my opinion. The carbonation doesn't linger. Its got the body of creamy hot chocolate but with the taste of A+ coffee. I want this stuff for dessert after dinner.

Drinkability? I could sip this stuff all day. The ABV isn't out of control like a lot of the other stouts. It was a pleasure to experience.

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Photo of beerhan
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I drink lots and lots of black coffee. This beer is more or less just coffee. It smells like coffee and tastes like it but goes down even smoother. No need to get into the details except that it is jet black, lightly carbonated and incredibly drinkable. Really wish they would bottle this and send it to ohio.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the FFF brewpub on New Year's Day and was so impressed, got a growler to go.

Pours nearly pitch black with a one-finger tan head. Head retention is really good, as is lacing. The smell is unsurprisingly dominated by cold brewed, dark roast coffee and lighter notes of toasty malt and dark chocolate. Flavor is much the same with the delicious Intellegensia coffee taking center stage. The bitterness from the coffee is noticeably absent with only a beautifully smooth roasted bean flavor remaining. The toasty malt and dark chocolate notes provide nice depth along with some light dark fruit flavors that creep in on the finish. This is a whole lot more complex than many coffee stouts. The full-body is presumably assisted by the oatmeal. The finish is fairly dry, but not overly so, and the alcohol is almost non-existant. The drinkability is quite high due to the complex flavors and absence of intrusive bitterness and alcohol. Pretty much unquestionably the best oatmeal stout I've ever tried, and right there with the best coffee stouts I've had. As this was my first beer of 2011, I think it bodes well for the year.

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Photo of sportscrazed2
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark brown to black with a low to medium head.
Aroma: Smells like a very concentrated coffee.
Taste: Tastes very much like coffee. Might be slightly more acidic than coffee but overall this beer tastes so much like coffee that if Starbucks told me this was iced coffee I might believe them.
Conclusion: If you like iced coffee that is very rhich in flavor you will love this beer. I could drink this all day long. Just be careful you might not realize how much you drink and end up completely drunk

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.69/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to spycow for the growler! Awesome stuff!

Pours pitch black with a thin tan head. Nice patchy lacing is left on the glass.

Mmm... so many coffee beans. The nose is amazing! Smooth, roasty, earthy coffee with vanilla and milk chocolate. I think this is the best smelling coffee stout I have ever come across. So balanced with no imperfections, excellent. Smells like a better version of a chilled espresso. I need to get some of the coffee they use.

The flavor is full of well roasted coffee, dark chocolate and the oatmeal comes through a bit. Dark malts with great coffee flavor. Tastes like there's a smooth shot of espresso in here. Nothing is burnt or metallic. A great balance between the coffee and the base beer.

The mouthfeel is smooth and slightly bitter with an excellent body for a 6% ABV stout. The oatmeal really helps to beef up the body a little bit and smooth things out.

Drinkability is exceptional. This is most likely the best coffee stout I have ever had and I think most of the tasting group I was with would agree. Great nose/flavor and only 6% ABV. This would give most imperial coffee beers a run for their money and the coffee aspect is actually better than any other imperial sized beers I've had with coffee. Way to go Three Floyds! I highly recommend seeking this out before its gone.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was surprisingly tasty for 6%. Another win for FFF. Had on tap at the brewery.

The beer has a nice dark dark brown color, a small ring of off white head and a good looking body.

The smell has plenty of great fresh coffee brand with a nice chocolate malt base. Some nice hip esters float out as well, I know it's cliche but it reminds me strongly of Founders Breakfast Stout.

The taste is extremely balanced, a great blend of sweetness and lots of roast, with plenty of body. Lots of fresh coffee, a great grainy oatmeal malt base, and nice fudge notes. A little bit of bittersweet tastes in the finish.

Feel is good, nice body overall and well carbonated. Wish it was thicker.

Overall an excellent brew.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thrilled to be able to drink the one with calton and the guys from gbx yesterday. such a damn fine beer, i was extremely impressed. served in multiple pint glass.

pour could not have been any better with a dark inky color that no light could penetrate which gave rise to a huge tan head that was nearly three inches in height. really an amazing looking beer i have to admit. full on mocha covers the room with its smell, this was a monster right out of the gate. immense coffee and chocolate aroma does not dissapoint as the flavor comes through with a wonderful balance of coffee, vanilla, roasted malts and cocoa, simply sublime. each sip melted away the palate with its smoothness. sweet coffee and vanilla wash away the palate in the end,

overall a superb offering here one one the best i have ever had in the style by far. simply an amazing beer.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks goes out to mikesgroove for sharing this one with myself, Zack, Cameron, Scott and Rich at GBX. Served from growler into a North Coast Old Rasputin nonic. Poured pitch black with a one finger tan head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and coffee. The flavor was of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and cream. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this brew was just plain excellent. Very nice flavor and aroma going on in this one. Flavor came on in waves which made my palate very happy. Glad to have gotten the chance to try this one without doubt. Thanks again for sharing this gem Mike!

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Photo of curly31989
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my friend Adam for dropping this by while in town. What can I say, intelligencia coffee and FFF are a match made in heaven.

This poured dark black, with a small brown head. As the beer warmed up, the coffee aroma became very prevalent mixed with oatmeal and chocolate notes. The smell reminded me of a mocha.

This beer has wonderful flavor. The coffee is very strong but smooth, full bodied, with very low bitterness and acidity. There's a good amount of chocolate to back up the coffee flavor.

The mouth feel was slightly lacking for me. It came off a little too dry for my liking, but smoothed out as the beer warmed up.

If you can stop by FFF, you must try this one before its gone!

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got to enjoy this beer at Romans' during the FFF Poppa skull event. Served in a tulip.

A: Pitch black with about a finger of mocha hued head. Nice coating of lace. Good retenttion.

S: Wow! Coffeee all day long in the nose. A nice smooth coffee with hardly any bitter or harshness. Maybe just a touch of cocoa but it's fighting to be noticed.

T: The flavor has just as much coffee as the nose with a bit more chocolate. Simply wonderfully smooth. No bitterness at all. Other than those two flavors I can't pick anything else out. I'm not complaining.

M: Medium body smooth and velvety carbonation.

D: Overall I could drink this all day. With the sessionable ABV and super smooth flavors this one hits the spot for sure. One of the best coffee forward oatmeal stouts I've ever had.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Supplied by spycow at our recent tasting.

A - Nice late foam rose on this one after a fairly normal pour out of the growler. Nice one finger brown head, surprising as the growler was a couple days old. Good black color, with some brown on the edges.

S - A very bitter coffee smell, really reminds me of a dark espresso served warm. Quite the coffee beer, not a ton of stout characteristics about it.

T - This was quite the shock, a great tasting beer, somehow managed to capture the essence of warm coffee in it while being cold. The stout characteristics are tasted mostly in the depth of the beer, as it doesn't taste like overcarbonated and watered down coffee, as the oatmeal stout base is strong enough to support the rich coffee flavor.

M - It was a little flat, although I'm not sure more carbonation would have been better on this fresh.

D - Highly drinkable for something with such strong coffee. I drank several glasses of this and loved it, phenomenal beer.

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Photo of mynie
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

10 oz glasses being poured at the brewpub. Served in a translucent glass coffee cup. I love that.

Looks like a dark stout or porter. Not much of a head, since the coffee cup doesn't allow that, and it's more of a very dark red than a black.

Smells like a wonderful blend of dark coffee and west coast finishing hops. Very, very dry. Perfect! More brewers need to realize that there's a different between coffee stouts and mocha stouts, and that while chocolately beers can be nice, they're not the only way to go, and that there's something grand about a dark, bitter coffee beer.

Tastes great, but a slightly thin body prevents everything from tying together perfectly. It's straightforward and delicious: black coffee up front, dry American hops in the back, big, huge bitterness all throughout.

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Photo of StormKing47
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler shared by Jwiss22 with petesuphi. Went a little something like this...

A- A menacing, hellaciously black appearance. I mean god damn it's black as tar, allows no light to pass through and has a nice amount of carb leading up to a thin brown head that is darker than some nut brown ales I have seen. A frightening appearance that is intriguing in the same sense.

S- A right hook of roastiness followed by a few straight jabs of bitterness and chocoaltes. As it warms a creeping over hand right of dark, bitter chocolates and the intoxicating and seductive aroma of freshly brewed gourmet coffee. This one will have you on the ropes drooling on yourself and waiting to skip all properness and get down to business. An amazing aroma.

T- Holy shit! This is like drinking iced coffee. It's a great bitter opening accompanied by sweet and bitter chocolates. The finish is a shit ton of coffee, roastiness and sweet chocolates. The maltiness is there, but not a real front runner to the overpowering coffee wallop.

M- Utterly blissful. It's coating and syrupy not at all chalky, coats everything. I swear I had to pick coffee grains out of my teeth. There's no abv heat to speak just coffee, coffe and more coffee. Did I mention coffee? Not to mention it's smooth as glass.

D- If you love coffee why haven't you tried this already? It's simply an experience and an enjoyable one to boot. Love it. It's not overwhelming and a smooth and velvety masterpiece. I would love this with breakfast.

For the love of God Three Floyds can you please bottle some of your masterpieces so they can be traded for by us out of towners?

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: black, thick, persistent light brown head and full lacing.
S: good dark roasted coffee and dark chocolate mostly.
T: really well-balanced between the light/medium sweet dark bready/chocolatey/coffee malts and the roastiness (but not overly so) and smooth bitterness. kinda like a perfectly sweetened(for me-not too much) espresso.
M: well-carbonated but still rich and smooth. medium body.
D: nice that there is so much flavor in a 6% stout-drinks much bigger than it is. listed at 28 IBU. please bottle this-better than moloko, black sun, or alpha klaus.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad when I was there. Poured a dark black color with about half an inch of mocha-colored head. Scent was out of this world with fresh-brewed coffee and molasses. A bit of charcoal as well. Taste was like Starbucks bitch slapped you in the face. Tons of fresh coffee with some roasted malt and vanilla flavors. Mouthfeel was nice and creamy with slightly bitter finish. Drinkability was very high. Overall, if you love coffee...you will love this beer. I had Funky Buddha's Maple Bacon Coffee Porter a few nights ago, and to me these two beers have the best coffee profile. May need to revisit Speedway Stout since it's been a while. My main point is that it's up there with the best of them.

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Photo of Brenden
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many, many thanks to Steve (a74gent) for bringing around a growler of this one that I don't know when I could ever have gotten.

This is a black-as-night brew, starting off the strong iced coffee experience right off the bat. A small, creamy tan head forms and sits around for a while, sticking some nice lacing around as it drains.
This smells like I brewed some coffee in a french press then refriderated it. It has a strong fresh coffee aroma that isn't watered down. This is one of those belends that very nicely mingles having beer character (stout elements of, along with coffee, bittersweet chocolate, roasted barley, a touch of smoke, and just a touch of sweetness) with the element they're going for being front and center and by no means distracted from; in this case, fresh coffee.
The tflavor follows suit. It tastes like just a dash of creamer was added, interestingly. The light underlying sweetness pulls through first, then the malts, bittersweet cocoa,and oats deep within, allowing this one to be all about coffee and yet now allow me to forget I'm drinking a beer.
This is full of big stout thickness in a big, full, robust body, with the velvety, mouth-filling smoothness I'd expect from an oatmeal stout (which, just having the growler, I didn't know until I started drinking). This one's dry without any hrash bitterness or astringency many coffee beer efforts suffer from. This is a delight to drink.
There's not much wrong with this one. Not having any opportunity to get out to FFF, I'm very glad to have gotten a shot at this beer.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad.

A: Near black with a modest beige head. Lacing is scattered. 

S: A blast of coffee with earth, nuts, and a whisper of molasses. Chocolate blends with roasted malt. Smells great.

T: Roasted malt meets a potent earthy coffee presence that really dominates. This tastes like iced coffee with a light nuttiness. There's a low bitterness and a good amount of dark chocolate.

M: Full in body with upper moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is chewy and sticky.

Overall: A very good coffee stout.

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Photo of thetomG
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice black color with a small ring of tiny bubbles. Its pretty thin, but does leave some slightly syrupy traces around the glass as you swirl.

Aroma is a massive wave of dark roast coffee, with the flavor following almost identically, except there are a few slight notes of chocolate with the coffee flavors.

As I mentioned it is on the lighter bodied side of things, but also very very smooth and easy to drink. Really is remarkable how much it tastes like pure iced coffee. TRULY a fantastic beer if you're into these sorts of flavors... cannot wait until I get to try it again!

And here I thought coffee bender was going to be the closest beer to an iced coffee I'd ever try....

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Photo of phisigben
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I have had this several times on-tap, but the last time was on tap at the Indiana Brewers guild Winterfest.

Look - It pours almost completely black, but the is very little head and what head there is, is a mocha color.

Smell - Am I getting ready to drink an ice coffee? Huge huge coffee flavor, then with a little chocolate.

Taste - Just like in the nose a huge coffee bomb. There is a bitterness that I think is from the coffee I don't really taste any hops. It is not very complex but for what it is it's one of the best oatmeal stouts that I have ever had.

Mouthfeel - This is the one part where it loses some points from me, compared to other in this style the mouthfeel is pretty thin.

Drinkablilty - This is crazy good, I really wish they decided to bottle this beer for 2011. It could be such a great gateway beer for people who think they don't like darker beers.

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Hell's Black Intelligencer from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.