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Hell's Black Intelligencer - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

66 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 66
Hads: 204
Avg: 4.36
pDev: 11.24%
Wants: 218
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 WillCarrera
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at DLD 2012, poured into a plastic cup, reviewed from notes.

A- Pours a super dark brown, verging on black, has a thin layer of creamy tan head.

S- Unbelievable coffee aroma, really delicious coffee beans and roasted grain, some chocolate, smells awesome.

T- Big blast of coffee beans, bitter and heavily roasted, a bit of char and then some bittersweet dark chocolate.

M- Medium-bodied, medium to low carbonation, feel is maybe slightly thin but I think it's fine.

O- An awesome coffee beer, FFF + Intelligentsia is definitely a winning combination.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of tsauce2
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes taken 4/13/2012

P: 8 fl oz pour into a glass jar.

A: SRM is black. Opaque. Light tan head, 1/2 in, dissipates to line the top of the beer. Light carbonation. Medium lacing.

S: Big dark roast malt profile with generous oat additions. Coffee is surprisingly light on the nose, but becomes more pronounced as the beer approaches room temp.

T: Big oat flavors along with heavy dark roast malt. Coffee was a bit lighter than expected. Light natural, lightly bitter chocolate notes. Dark roast malt and oat on the aftertaste.

M: Medium body. Dark roast malts and oats give a moderate chewy/viscous feel. Wet finish.

O: Just when I think the Floyds only know how to rock out with their hop out, they remind me that I'm an idiot by making something like this or the Mushy P. HBI is without a doubt one of the better, I'd say top 5, Oatmeal stouts I've ever had. It's my favorite style, so I'm pretty critical when it comes to oat stouts. Huge oat flavors dominate this beer. I wish I picked more coffee, but then again this beer was fantastic as is. PLEASE BOTTLE THIS BEER ALREADY!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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 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.

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

Wow. It's like drinking coffee only better. Delicious, creamy, alcoholic, effervescent, malty coffee. It's incredibly smooth and manages to pack a huge coffee aroma and flavor without any bitterness at all. It's medium bodies with a clean mouthfeel. Highly drinkable.

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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.

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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 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 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.

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