Hell's Black Intelligencer - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Hell's Black IntelligencerHell's Black Intelligencer

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66 Reviews
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Reviews: 66
Hads: 204
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 4.36%
Wants: 209
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 airohead2001
3.42/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to glazeman for heading out to FFF for this one. This is a brew I've wanted to try for quite some time now.

As far as looks go, this beer doesn't look much different than any other coffee stout - dark brown/black with a tiny head that quickly fades to nothing. No lacing and no head retention. In terms of smell, it is pure coffee with a tiny hint of fig and burnt roasts. The taste is similar to the smell, but clearly dominated by by the coffee. Overall, this is a drinkable beer, but there isn't a whole lot going on other than the coffee. (556 characters)

Photo of glazeman
3.44/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a growler into a snifter. Split with airohead2001.

A: Black in color with a 1 finger mocha colored head that doesn't leave much lacing, but as decent retension. A crown and swirl of bubbles remained for the duration of the drink.

S: Roasted coffee beans, coffee, espresso, and cappuccino. Other than that, not much on the nose. However, these smells come through very strongly.

T: Well if they were trying to set a record for the most coffee flavor in a beer, I think they succeeded. This literally tastes like it is 80% coffee with only some roastiness of a porter (although even this is easily confused with roasted coffee beans). There is nothing other than coffee and roast in the flavor.

M: Unremarkable. The carbonation and viscosity were fine. The aftertaste was unsurprisingly coffee.

D: I'm really glad I had someone to split the growler with. The coffee flavor is just to intense for me to want a lot of this. Overall, a one-dimensional beer. (969 characters)

Photo of Franz4
3.53/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brought back by a friend of mine on Sunday evening, drinking it 2 days later on Tuesday evening.

A- opaque, no light gets through this beer at all. Light tan head with heavy lacing throughout.

S- Smelled of coffee grinds and seemed very green, earthy.

T- Strong coffee presence, add a touch of hazelnut to it as well, although not overpowering at all.

M- Medium bodied with some average carbonation.

D- A nice beer that I'm glad I was able to try. Above average definitely, but if you add to the fact that it's difficult to acquire in this area, I'd say there are better beers to be had at FFF (598 characters)

Photo of Skull40
3.68/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at FFF. Served in a glass mug. No more plastic cups during the brewpub renovations.

Nice blackness to it with a thick, creamy, oatmealy head.

It smells and tastes of mostly coffee and dark chocolate. The taste includes a nice malty backbone and a very slight toffee flavor.

The mouth feel was thinner than I expected.

Overall, this is a pretty tasty beer. I wouldn't say that it was great, but certainly worthy of a try. The low abv makes for a more sessionable stout. It would have been more enjoyable if the flavors that already exist were just more powerful. (573 characters)

Photo of jeonseh
3.75/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at FFF

A - Dark brown with a nice one finger frothy milk chocolate head. Looks rather thick

S - smells of toffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts, oatmeal and a hint of roasted espresso. A nice, complex nose.

T - Espresso is the main flavor I note at first. There is a roasted oatmeal smoothness to it with hints of dark chocolate. He finish is bitter espresso with a nice roasted malt finish. Overall, I found the flavor to be a bit lacking compared to the note.

MF - light body with light carbonation. I wish this was a bit thicker as I think it feels light for the rest of the beer and prevents the flavor from really shining

O - Another good offering from FFF. This has a great nose and looks great but the mouthfeel and lighter flavors really let's this one down and prevents it from being a great beer. (823 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
3.8/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at FFF a while back. Review from notes.

A - Pours black, a fingers-worth of mocha-color head, some spotty lacing along the sides of the glass.

S - This one is a coffee bomb, obviously. Lots of roast, dark chocolate, coffee beans. A lot of coffee and not much else, which I don't mind, but it would be nice to have a little more complexity.

T - TONS of coffee, roast, expresso, dark chocolate. It's just a one-dimensional coffee-bomb. While I love coffee and stouts, it's just really boring to me.

M - A little too light for a stout, smooth, creamy finish.

D - It's good, but I'll take a Beer Geek Brunch Weasel over this any day of the week and three times on Sunday. Good, not great. (696 characters)

Photo of onefmatt
4.01/5  rDev -8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: It is black, pitch black. Head is a creamy, milk chocolate, brown.

S: Smells like coffee...almost dominates the other smells but roasted malts are present, some chocolate. Intelligencia makes great coffee and this stuff smells like fresh pot of it.

T: Tastes like it smells...big coffee taste, but works well with the malt character to deliver a nice flavor. Not surprising considering it is a Floyds beer. Everything is big in their arsenal.

M: Nice body for a stout, not too heavy, and is pretty smooth.

D: Definitely tasty, no booziness to it, as I mentioned it goes down smooth. (589 characters)

Photo of ChadQuest
4.02/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Three Floyds, they serve this in a Coffee Mug, LOLs and smiles all around.
Hard to view in this light and in this glassware, but it is black with a tan head,but i probally could have guessed that before ordering.
The aroma and flavors are totally strong in the coffee dept, and this is one of the few beers where its done right, they started with good coffee roasted just over the border by a great roaster(intelligensia), and made sure it didn't come out like cardboard like most coffee beers, good stuff here, top 5 coffee beer out there.
Even more impressive is that they got the full round roasted flavors packed in here with such a low ABV! and kept everything in check, it's too often that non-Imperial coffee stouts go cardboard, not the case here.
Medium body and highly drinkable,somewhat creamy but with an almost dry stout feel to it.
Bottle this. please. (875 characters)

Photo of birchstick
4.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black in color without much of a head. Nose is loaded with fresh coffee aromas with some chocolate notes. Taste is Pretty much coffee from the start to finish - tons of fresh coffee mixed in with chocolates. Somewhat one-dimensional, but pretty delicious altogether. Mouth has a little bit of carbonation through the middle and smoothes it out. Overall, this is a really nice coffee beer but a good drinking beer. (419 characters)

Photo of fear025
4.11/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Aroma:Tons of coffee in the nose. It smells like a cup of coffee, no beer.

Appearance:Black with very little head.

Taste:It's definitely coffee, but there's also dark chocolate, and roasty malts. It still has amazing coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel:It's a little watery, but very easy to drink.

Drinkability:This was quite a pleasure to drink, but I'm a big fan of coffee. This is a great mild coffee stout, but with none of the sourness you sometimes get with this style. (469 characters)

Photo of Auracom
4.12/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Yes, very excited to see this back on the brewpub's tap list. 8 oz. served in a plastic cup on March 25th, 2012 during the FFF Deconstruction.

A - Exactly as remembered. Very deep black/brown coloring, probably the darkest FFF beer I've seen besides DL. One-finger, dark khaki head. Average retention and lacing.

S - Strong roasted espresso and coffee beans. Oatmeal flakes, almost a light lactose, a twinge of honey and vanilla as it warms.

T - Not quite an iced coffee in beer form, but it's about as huge on the espresso front as you could hope for. Very little sweetness throughout the drink. Lots of roasted malts morph into a bitter coffee finish at the back end.

M - High carbonation, not smooth. Surprisingly dry finish.

D - Effortless to drink this one and helps remedy my hatred for Chicago traffic at 2 p.m. on a Sunday. Revisiting would be a no-brainer, though it doesn't seem quite as robust in the coffee notes as I recall. (945 characters)

Photo of beesy
4.12/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

tap tap - seved in a short mug glass.

A - deep brown, almost black with a two finger medium brown head. Leaved a fair amount of lacing.

S - wow - lots of coffee. Some roasty, acrid notes apparent, but the coffee overwhelms all.

T - the intense coffee flavor as one would expect from the nose. Very drying on the palate - almost like a irish ale yeast dryness, but more intense. No hops detectable - the coffee overwhelms all.

M - just enough body to hold on to all the flavor - any thinner and I would say fail,

D - somewhat low for me. I'm not a coffee drinker, but do enjoy coffee/espresso stouts, I just like them with a little more reserved flavor.

Overall, a pretty nice beer. I do like my coffee stouts a little less coffee forward, but this well made in the FFF style. (784 characters)

Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Imbibed at the FFF Brewpub 10/29/2010. Served in a glass coffee mug.

Appearance -- Pours jet black with two fingers of sudsy khaki head. Not too shabby.

Smell -- Cafe macchiato, dark roast malt, faint toffee sweetness. The Intelligentsia coffee takes center stage for certain.

Taste -- Again, rich roast coffee is in the limelight. Tastes like the morning's first cup with a splash of cream and a dash of turbinado sugar, black patent malt, gentle oats, and baker's chocolate.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body with medium-high prickly carbonation.

Drinkability -- The Floyd clan really hits the nail on the head with this coffee oatmeal stout. It leans hard on the coffee to accentuate the malt roastiness. Moreover less malt sweetness than in the usual oatmeal coffee stout. Robust, very well balanced - dare I say tempered? Not too much acrid roast/coffee grounds bitterness. One of the better coffee-centric beers I've ever had. (931 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler provided by Thorpe, thanks! Beer is completely black and opaque. This tan head of small bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation low. Looks good.

Aroma is nice, some roast, some coffee, decent volume, smells good.

Beer is creamy and finishes with some coffee notes on the ending. It's medium bodied and has a great forward mild sweetness, good body in the middle, low carbonation in the mouth and a strongly bitter but not overpowering finish. I'd have more of this. (493 characters)

Photo of nkersten
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler shared by Chris at Halloween tasting, thanks! Pours a opaque hazy coffee brown/black with a small mocha head that disappears fast. Smell is pure espresso with a slightly sweet milk and chocolate malt in the background. Big coffee flavors up front, slightly sweet with lots of coffee grounds following and some bitterness. Somehow it is not overpowering for a coffee stout. Mouthfeel is heavy with mild carbonation, coating and creamy. This is one tasty coffee stout, hopefully they will decide to make it again. (519 characters)

Photo of alleykatking
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap yo!

A- Pours a deep black color. One and a half finger mocha colored head showed medium retention. This just leaves whisps of light foam on the top of the beer. Nice this streaks of lace on the sides of the glass.

S- Iced coffee is all I can think of! This has a deep roasted malt base to begin with. Some hints of darker chocolate really goes well with the malt. There is a fresh roasted coffee flavor that just jumps out from this point on. It really overtakes everything but to be honest I don't mind.

T- Upon first sip I get the roasted malts right out front. This quickly goes from a roasted malt to a darker chocolate and then just keeps the dark chocolate in the front. Coffee roast does come in next with more of a espresso style of taste. The chocolate and coffee mingle and blend fantasticly together. Nothing really else gets ahold of my taste buds. I really don't mind though.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Coffee and dark chocolate dominate everything from the palate to the aftertaste. Even in the aftertaste there is really not much in hints of alcohol at all. This was a one sided beer with the focus being on the coffee and malts. No off flavors could be detected at all in this coffee bomb. Medium drying on the palate from the alcohol.

D- Wow oh wow. If you like coffee..you will like this beer. The ABV is very low and adds to the drinkability to this beer. I could have sat down and had many many pints of this beer. FFF just proves once again that they are not just another brewery. Their flavorful beers are worthy of most of the hype they get. (1,612 characters)

Photo of cadaugherty
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ 3 floyds in a coffee mug, Growler brought to Darkness Day, and again on tap @ Small Bar Division in a snifter.

Appearance- Dark as black coffee with a lighter colored head than I expected. Holds head for a little while then melts into a thin ring and leaves very nice lacing.

Aroma- COFFEE! Seriously this smells like the espresso I brew every morning (Black Cat from Intelligentsia). If you like espresso/coffee then you will like this.

Taste- Chocolate coffee, rich malt flavor that really comes through. A bit of hops on the back for nice complementary flavor with the coffee up front.

Mouthfeel- Perhaps a bit thinner and more attenuated than would be great for a stout. This is the only flaw I can really say this beer has.

Drinkability- Partly due to the thinner mouthfeel this is a very drinkable stout. Overall I could comfortably have 2 of these and not need a break in between.

Honestly I would drink this in the morning before I would drink Beer Geek Breakfast. This is a Coffee stout that takes coffee seriously. (1,039 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With ultimate smoothness and a velvety texture, this Stout carries intense roast and coffee taste but with a very moderate mouthfeel and dry finish.

Pouring a solid black color, the infussion of coffee is almost evident to the eye. A creamy off-white head blankets the beer before reducing to a delicate creame around the rim.

Aromas are of freshly ground coffee beans- likely of espresso or French roast varieties. The roast of barley, malted milk, bitter chocolate and light caramels support the coffee notes; but this nose is all about gormet coffee.

Flavors reveal themselves in reverse, layer by layer. Sweeter, maltier character shines first with the soft caramels and malted milk richness. But the transition into chocolate, cocoa, roasted barley, and finally French roast coffee carry the beer into the coffee bittered finish where the final impressions are all about the smooth coffee taste.

Full flavors early, give the impression of a weighted body, but the early creaminess gives way to a fleeting malt fullness and towards a smooth and velvety dry finish. Avoiding the acrid textures of coffee grounds, the coffee dryness and bitterness reveals themselves nicely without astringency or unnecessary bite.

A very solid Oatmeal Stout, signatured by the silky finish- but with bold coffee character. Though high in quality, you should expect a very coffee-forward beer. (1,383 characters)

Photo of hooliganlife
4.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to Dan8181

pours a deep cola black with a creamy head. light retention.

lots of coffee, lots... lights sweet roasted malt.

coffee, lots of it. tastes like a cold espresso. light sweet roasted body backs up what is a coffee bomb. light citrus hops towards and through the finish.

moderate body with a light carbonation.

as a fan boy of intelligentsia coffee, i was eager to try this. did not let down. awesome coffee bomb. (434 characters)

Photo of klikger
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler pours courtesy of CaseyK - thanks again!

A - Black, not much head, good lacing

S - Pungent fresh roasted coffee - smells fantastic; a touch of oat

T - Rush of coffee to the dome --> roasted malts and oats --> bitter chocolate and espresso beans on the finish

M - Thin, even for an oatmeal stout, but decently carbonated

D - If you like coffee, this is very drinkable.

This is a fantastic beer. It's not complex (in terms of # of flavors), but the coffee notes are second to none. I am jealous of you who live close to 3Fs right about now... (560 characters)

Photo of chanokokoro
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Three Floyds Brewpub, served in a 8 oz. plastic cup during the "Destruction" (expansion/remodel).

Pours darkest brown possible with about a one finger head (not easy to judge with plastic cups!). Strong espresso with chocolate and roasted malt accents on the nose. Just like the aroma, bold espresso floods the tastebuds, is quickly met by slightly sweet milk chocolate and finishes balanced with just a touch of roasted malt. Wonderful mouthfeel on this brew medium body, appropriate for an oatmeal stout, adequate carbonation lends to a creamy and satisfying beer. (577 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub the night before DLD '12!

Black body, lots of bubbles produce manila-colored head. Decent lace.

Incredibly pungent aroma of fresh coffee caresses the nostrils. Smells crazy good -- really reminds me of Bourbon County Coffee. Gotta visit Intelligentsia now...

Pretty damn flavorful for a regular oatmeal stout. Tons of coffee, roasted malt stouty goodness, caramel, other deliciousness. Could use more body for an oatmeal stout, but that's peanuts. This is an incredible beer that I wish they bottled. (525 characters)

Photo of youradhere
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler acquired in a trade from cheezedawg. Pours thick black with ample tan head. Smells of subtile coffee and heavy chocolate. Tastes the same, and very smooth. Mellow drink with ample carbonation, drinkability is very high. My BMC drinking friend even liked it and we killed the growler quickly. I will turn him to the darkside yet. (350 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Three Floyds. Served in a coffee mug.

A - Poured with a finger of foam that settles to a light film and a thick ring of bubbles, leaving behind great lace sheets. Black body that reveals no hint of color.

S - Coffee, some cream and sugar. Not sure what else I can say here?

T - Coffee, some vanilla, and a hint of malt backbone. It's good coffee too - not at all harsh or astringent.

M - Some zesty and slightly harsh carbonation, but a smooth medium oatmeal stout body rounds things out.

D - This is very drinkable for a coffee beer. It isn't overly bitter or palate destroying like some of its brethren, and there's no alcohol to be found. One-dimensional, but who cares? (688 characters)

Photo of lloyd83
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Blacker than black...Literally not a bit of light coming through when held up to the light. Not very much head on my pour, but what's there is a nice, inviting brown. Can't wait to dig in!

S- Straight coffee. Has some hints of something else hiding in there, but the coffee is clearly dominant here. Sorry, I'm new :)

T- Yum. To clarify, I love the smell of coffee, just not the taste. That said, to me this tastes like what a good coffee bean smells like, not what a 'good coffee' tastes like. Make sense? I remember going to the mall and walking past Gloria Jean's back in the day, and always noting how absolutely fantastic it smelled, and how I always wished that's what coffee tasted like; that's what HBI reminds me of--what coffee should taste like. Finishes with a hint of bitterness.

M- Would have expected this to be a bit thicker given it's looks, but it nonetheless, it all works.

D- Alas, I've got a Sunday to myself full of playoff football and a kickass Stout. Please, contain your tears, I know it's a sob story. Totally going to kill this growler on my own! (1,081 characters)

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