Hell's Black Intelligencer - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

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Hell's Black IntelligencerHell's Black Intelligencer

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95
world-class

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 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 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 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 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 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. (877 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 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 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. (1,143 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 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 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)

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 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! (701 characters)

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. (853 characters)

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? (1,629 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 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 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. (267 characters)

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. (309 characters)

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. (1,324 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 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 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 (511 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 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. (801 characters)

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