Hellfighter - Karbach Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 14 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Premo88:
4.14/5 rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
bomber 22 oz. bottle poured into pub glass
L: black with chocolate brown highlights only at the very edges of the glass when held up to the light; massive fluffy tan to dark tan head about 2 inches with almost normal pour; the head really explodes, laces, sticks ... just an awesome show
S: super malt; full sweet biscuit, toasted chocolate, sweet coffee. it's all malt but without crossing into the darker/raisins/licorice zone. so sweet.
T: woooah, alcohol! taste follows the smell closely with the very notable exception of the alcohol ... it's there, and while the good taste notes try real hard to cover it up, it's still there. very dark, burnt barley that may also have some hops pushing it into a nice bitter bite that gets smoothed out by all of the sweet malt. an interesting collection of tastes for sure.
F: solid silky, full ... at first it seems a bit too, how do I say? it has just a bit of that lumpy pudding feel some milk stouts/imperial stouts get, but only for a moment, then it starts feeling like simple good beer, plenty of carbonation despite the massive head it creates (I could drink this in my nonic glass with the CO2 nucleation point with a light pour and be good)
O: it's a hell of a beer in many ways ... it puts on a show in the pour and the nose. i need an air freshener made out of this stuff! the 9.5% ABV is not as well disguised as I'd like, but that might just be me.
bottom line: it had me coming back for more. considering i'm still not much of a stout/porter drinker, it's saying something that I wanted a second (and now a third!) bomber of this stuff.
Serving type: bottle
05-09-2013 06:40:04 | More by Premo88
More User Reviews:
4.1/5 rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Poured from a bomber bottle into a goblet.
A - Extremely dark brown color; totally opaque like engine oil. Head is dark tan colored and piles inches high. Very fluffy, moussy and long-lasting. Some of the larger bubbles have an oily sheen. Huge amounts of lace.
S - Sharp cracked-grain dominates the aromas. Some earthy and grassy hops as well. A hint of smoke, maybe mesquite smoke, like a good Texas barbecue. Overall the smells are clean, but at lower level than I expected, almost muted.
T - A very good balance between malt and hops. Malt is bready, with brown sugar, raisins, chocolate, and a bit of coffee roast. Strong hops bitterness, but the actual hops flavors are hard to nail down. They seem flowery and have maybe a bit of grapefruit; I'm pretty confident they are US-type rather than English, but I can't guess the variety.
M - Thick, creamy body. Carbonation moderate, but contributes to the creaminess. Mouth-coating sweetness in mid-palate, but dries out in the end. Some alcohol burn, but not much considering the strength.
O - This is a big, bold, moderately complex beer. It has a creaminess that combines with the chocolate notes to bring up visions of chocolate milk, but the hops bitterness quickly bring you back to the reality that this is an Imperial Porter. It would make a great base beer for experiments with barrel-aging, etc., and I know Karbach does that with it. I would like to try some of those special editions as soon as I can..
Serving type: bottle
02-16-2014 04:26:50 | More by Radome
4.11/5 rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
A- Pours black with a tan head.
S- Chocolate, roasted malts, and vanilla.
T- Very similar to how it smells. It's hot from the alcohol.
M- I love the carbonation on this beer. I noticed it with last year's batch as well. It gives the beer a very creamy and full mouthfeel, making it taste decadent.
O- I love this seasonal offering. If it weren't for the price I would drink it consistently. Even though the alcohol comes off as hot, I don't find this as a flaw. Personally, I like a cold weather beer to have this quality. What I like most about Hellfighter is the overall combination of the chocolate & vanilla, the heat from the alcohol and the creamy mouthfeel. I think they combine wonderfully to comprise a delectable full-bodied imperial porter.
Serving type: bottle
02-05-2014 15:05:08 | More by Can_has_beer
2.78/5 rDev -29.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25
I'm excited to try this given it's the base beer for what is currently ranked #11 on the Top 50 Southwest list. 32oz grumbler filled at The Growler Room a few days ago and served into an Avery stem-tulip in low altitude Austin, TX.
Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given its current 88 rating.
Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
Pours no head whatsoever - not even a floater ring.
Body colour is a rather dark brown-black - but not quite a jet black. Opaque. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.
Far from the sleekest imperial porter I've seen. I'm pretty unimpressed by the appearance, but given that this is a growler review I'm optimistic. Appears undercarbonated.
Sm: Dark malts, black strap molasses, chocolate malt, lactose sugar, sassafras, root beer, cola nut, and some vaguely medicinal vinous character.
No hop profile, alcohol, or yeast character is detectable.
Overall, it's an inoffensive aroma of below average strength. There's just nothing here that really grabs me. So far, it's a rather generic imperial porter with little to set it apart.
T: The build is cohesive but shockingly shallow, lacking any real depth of flavour at all. Far from gestalt. It's got a pretty standard malt base - just dark malts and chocolate malts. There's some cola nut and sassafras character in there too, as well as some unbecoming vinous character that doesn't belong in a porter. I also pick up hints of brown sugar and lactose sugar.
No hop profile, yeast character, or alcohol comes through.
There's very little happening here, and what little there is doesn't feel neatly balanced. The notes coexist but there isn't any intricate integration of notes or anything. The painful simplicity isn't doing it any favors, and there's no subtlety or nuance at all. I'm pretty underwhelmed. I will say it's nuttier than anticipated given the style.
Flavour duration is surprisingly brief. Flavour intensity is low. Mediocre amplitude.
I don't know that I like this. Not only is it boring, frankly it's rather insipid. That said, I am grateful there aren't any off-notes, and I'm surprised the alcohol doesn't come through more. I'd probably guess it was 7% if I tried it blind. I really want some roasted barley character, but there's hardly any here.
Mf: Undercarbonated - likely because it's a growler pour. Smooth and wet. A bit sticky. Should be creamier and softer. Too thin. Borders almost on watery. Lacks body and weight on the palate. It's fleeting - not a good characteristic for an imperial porter. Bad presence on the palate.
Not oily, astringent, dirty, harsh, gushed, hot, or boozy.
Overall, the texture is to style but doesn't coax much out from the flavour profile. More oomph is needed.
Dr: I can't see why this was chosen as the base beer for a bourbon barrel brew; the quality just isn't there. Maybe it's like Fifty Fifty's Totality in that it's meant to be a bit more neutral so that the barrel character can really dominate. As a stand-alone imperial porter, it's very forgettable. That said, its well-disguised alcohol content will get you drunk, and it might make a nice break from the heavy bludgeoning porters and stouts flooding the market. I certainly wouldn't buy it again, and I wouldn't recommend it to friends, but I doubt I'll have any issues finishing all 32 oz of it. Ultimately, it's not a bad porter - just a disappointing and bland one. It's hard to love and hard to hate. Certainly not Karbach's best work. Might be better on-draught (or even nitro).
If you're looking for a great imperial porter, try Ballast Point's Victory At Sea instead.
Serving type: growler
01-21-2014 06:28:52 | More by kojevergas
United Kingdom (Wales)
3.74/5 rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Light tan head. Color is black.
Flavor profile: rich chocolate, caramel, toffee, and a touch of nuts. Roasted malts and coffee.
Mouthfeel: roasted and smooth. Full bodied. Ends dry and roasted.
Overall, a solid porter. This is boarder line stout. Full flavored.
Serving type: bottle
01-17-2014 05:59:18 | More by mothman
Hellfighter from Karbach Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.