Hell's Black Intelligencer - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

66 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 66
Hads: 204
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 4.36%
Wants: 208
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 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)

Photo of EricCioe
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at a FFF tap takeover at the University of Chicago Pub, 12 May 2011.

This pours totally black with little or no penetration, a two finger espresso crema head that dies down leaving nice chunky lace. On the nose there is an abundance of toasty oatmeal, roasted malt, and perhaps just a bit of lactose sugar, providing a nice counterpoint to the roasted aromas. There is also some coffee and just a hint of chocolate further back. In the mouth the oatmeal and coffee take over, there never being any doubt this is an oatmeal stout rather than coffee, but with the chocolate and coffee and maybe a little hint of lactose providing some nice backdrop to it all. The body is medium or just a touch fuller, making this a supremely easy drinking and yet full flavored oatmeal stout.

Overall, this is something I could easily drink on a regular basis and something I can recommend without hesitation to anyone who likes medium stouts, though this tastes and feels like a bigger one and drinks like a smaller one. (1,013 characters)

Photo of spark3148857
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Three Floyds:

AP: Deep brown with a creamy tan head.

AR: Balanced roasted malts with slightly sweet and robust coffee.

TS: The coffee is executed perfectly in this stout. Present but not overwhelming and not overly acidic. Oats add a nice sweetness and balance.

MF: Creamy mouthfeel, really superb.

OV: One of the better coffee offerings i've had. A toned down Southern Tier Jahva. The oats are really a great addition. Very enjoyable. (450 characters)

Photo of Sideswipe
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad.

A- Deep mahogany in color with a whisp of tan foam floating atop the beer. Nice lacing.

S- Coffee and roasted malt in the nose.

T- Opens with coffee and chocolate flavors. Roasted malt follows with more chocolate evident in the finish. Aftertaste is a nice lingering roastiness.

M- Feel is thick and chewy. Very well done. Low level of carbonation lends a creamy texture.

O- A really nice oatmeal stout from FFF. Excellent coffee, chocolate and roasted malt flavors combined with a low ABV make this a very tasty, easy drinking beer. Recommended. (587 characters)

Photo of Agold
4.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this beer at the three floyds event at the uchicago pub. Really great event. It pours the blackest of blacks, but there is absolutely no head on this. I was expecting a bit more especially from an oatmeal stout in terms of head. Aroma is outstanding. Great coffee mocha aromas dominate, and every once in a while a bit of citrus hoppiness pops up and says hello. The flavor is a great reflection, with overwhelming coffee and coco and roasted malts, and again, when you least expect it, that american citrus hop character makes its self known. Moutfeel was creamy, light and well carbonated. I never expected I would have a chance to try this beer, but I was really happy I did. It was definitely the highlight of the night. (728 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad

A: Black with a half finger tan head.

S: Really amazing fresh coffee aroma with some cola nut in the background. As the beer warms, it develops more of a raisin aroma.

T: Some great freshly ground coffee and tootsie roll flavor with dark chocolate and raisin undertones. Has a great mouthfeel. I usually don't like thinner stouts, but this one was amazing. (391 characters)

Photo of Motladiwa
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This review is via my notes when I had it for the sixth week in a row in late December at FFF. I loved it so much that I drove from South Bend to get growlers of it 6 weeks in a row. It was served in a 10oz glass coffee cup and it took me an hour to drink, each serving that I had of it that is.

A- This beer is black! It reminds me of stories people have of going to Hell and not being able to see their hands in front of their faces. Great color and what you would expect of a beer that is an oatmeal stout brewed with rich coffee.

S- My God! It's like an intelligent Juan Valdez farted the best coffee in the universe! As it warms it gets better.

T- So lovely. I begin my day with coffee and end it with beer. This is exceptional as it makes the two worlds collide without chaos. Roasty caramel with a perfect blend of smokey, malty sweetness.

M- Very smoothe. Low carbonation. Rolls through the palate leaving me confused as to what time of day it is. The bitterness of the coffee and the sweetness of the oatmeal and malt are very well balanced.

D- Sip it like coffee. That's all I have to say (1,103 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Pizza Port
Carlsbad, CA

Very dark brown, bordering on black, with ruby edges and a thin light brown head. Spots of lacing down the glass.

An incredibly rich and authentic aroma of freshly brewed coffee and a touch of bittersweet chocolate. This is one of the finest smelling coffee stouts I've had--terrific!

Rich, bittersweet coffee flavor is dominant, along with other roasted malts, a bit of a nutty character, and chocolate throughout.

Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

A near-perfect coffee stout. So far, this is my favorite beer from Three Floyds. This stuff is fantastic. (596 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge, huge thanks to Masterski for getting this growler out to me quickly. Shared at a recent tasting and served in a tulip.

Pours black with a slight tan head and a bit of lacing as it goes down plus a fairly-wide collar as the head falls down. The nose is really strong black coffee plus a bit of roast. Really, really strong coffee. Not too much else there but the coffee is really nice and doesn't need anything else to back it up. The taste is quite similar--roasted malt is certainly there as well as some strong, black, high-quality coffee. Really enjoying this. The mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I would like it, though the coffee comes through with a nice bitter, roasted feel. Good carbonation levels and goes down quite easily--had quite a bit of this without thinking about it. Huge fan of this though it doesn't quite compare to the Bullfrog Double Coffee, which is the brew I hold every coffee-infused beer up against. Still, one of the better coffee beers that I've had in a long time. Thanks again, Alex. (1,023 characters)

Photo of ChugginOil
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in an 8oz plastic cup during "destruction".

Pours a very dark, black coffee color with luxurious legs. An inch of tan head.

Nose is coffee on the fresh side, milk chocolate, more coffee grounds and roasty malts.

The taste has an awesome amount of fresh, roasted coffee beans, smooth milky chocolate, and roasted malt. Awesome, fresh coffee characteristics here.

Mouthfeel is medium on the lighter side with medium carbonation.

Overall, outstanding coffee beer that was totally worth it. (500 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

A: Black with slightly less than a finger of beige head that leaves a bit of lacing in its wake.

S: Huge coffee aroma, followed by roasted malt. Very nice.

T: Not surprisingly, a bold, coffee flavor. This beer tastes fabulous. The coffee is fresh and succulent, with none of the astringency or bitterness one sometimes finds in coffee or beers brewed with it. The roasted malt and oatmeal components are largely overshadowed by the dominating coffee, yet though they play a backing role, they are tasty nonetheless.

M: Medium to thin bodied with moderately low carbonation. Smooth on the palate, with coffee presence all along the way.

D: O ya, I would drink this again. FFF strikes yet again with another terrific beer. (759 characters)

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