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Hellfighter - Karbach Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
HellfighterHellfighter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

126 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 126
Reviews: 16
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 8
Gots: 21 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Karbach Brewing Co. visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: champ103 on 12-19-2011)
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Ratings: 126 | Reviews: 16 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4/5  rDev +1.8%

04-04-2013 00:55:38 | More by t0rin0
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -23.7%

09-27-2013 03:22:13 | More by acurtis
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

03-21-2012 15:19:00 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4/5  rDev +1.8%

03-22-2012 04:13:35 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4/5  rDev +1.8%

04-26-2013 16:40:01 | More by spycow
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

4/5  rDev +1.8%

02-23-2013 23:51:34 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Anvil.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a large brown head. The aroma has some big chocolate notes, as well as some roasted malt. The flavor is also very bold. I get a ton of chocolate and roasted malt, as well as a hint of coffee. The beer is fairly sweet overall and very enjoyable. The alcohol is noticeable but not overpowering. Thick, creamy mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: on-tap

07-30-2012 02:29:15 | More by Mora2000
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

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.

Low C

Serving type: growler

01-21-2014 06:28:52 | More by kojevergas
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

10-08-2013 19:04:40 | More by imperialking
Photo of mothman
mothman

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
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours pitch black color with a nice 2 finger dense khaki head with awesome retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of caramel, raisin, chocolate, roasted malt, floral, pine, toast, licorice, molasses, light coffee, and roasted earthiness. Ok aromas with solid balance of flavors; but is very weak and lacking prominent roasted malt qualities, with much more fruitiness present. Taste of caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, raisin, floral, pine, brown sugar, toast, licorice, and roasted earthiness. Good amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, toast, brown sugar, floral, pine, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Nice balance and complexity of roasted and dark malt flavors; with moderate amount of hop presence and some fairly astringent bitterness lingering after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very solid imperial porter. The weak aromas and astringent hoppiness really knocked it down for me; but this was still an enjoyable offering overall.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2013 04:51:18 | More by superspak
Photo of dmorgan310
dmorgan310

Panama

4/5  rDev +1.8%

02-20-2014 02:51:02 | More by dmorgan310
Photo of drummermattie02
drummermattie02

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

07-12-2012 15:13:43 | More by drummermattie02
Photo of ShanePB
ShanePB

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

04-11-2013 18:56:49 | More by ShanePB
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle pours a rich black color with a billowing brown head, even with a gentle pour. Retention is awesome and lacing even better. Not even a sheet of lace...more like a wall. Amazing looking beer.

Nose is surprisingly fruity, like strawberries covered in melted Charleston Chew. Malts are chocolaty and smooth. Keeps the roast and caramel to a minimum. Smells decent, but a far cry from the barrel-aged Hellfighter.

Taste maintains the fruity profile in the flavor along with a big alcohol wash. The malts are understated, but nicely flavored...I just wish they were a bit bolder. Hops are there in a leafy-background kind of way, but I cant help but think a different varietal might have worked better. Mouthfeel is great, nice and creamy, plenty full for a porter. The alcohol is a little rough right now, hoping that smooths out at some point. It is pretty tasty, but unfortunately I have had the bourbon barrel aged Hellfighter a few times before finally trying this and it aint even close!

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2013 23:24:47 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at BRC in Houston, TX

A: Pours an opaque black color. No light gets through at all. A two finger tan head rises with good retention. The foam gently recedes to leave some light lace behind.
S: Very subtle at first. Though as this warms lots of nuances come out. Roasted malt, toasted bread/biscuit aromas. Chocolate, and some vanilla sweetness.
T: This is excellent. Some roasted coffee. Slightly bitter/sweet milk chocolate. A nice roasted malt flavor along with some toasted bread/biscuits. A light lingering vanilla sweetness. I love it.
M/D: A medium to full body. Low on the carbonation, but not under carbonated at all. So smooth and velvety. This is incredibly easy and enjoyable to drink. The alcohol is not noticeable in the least.

This is an excellent "Imperial Porter." I love it, and another great beer from Karbach. Highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2011 01:55:25 | More by champ103
Photo of Lare453
Lare453

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

03-07-2014 05:48:52 | More by Lare453
Photo of cdwil
cdwil

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

03-16-2014 19:58:15 | More by cdwil
Photo of Gagnonsux
Gagnonsux

Texas

4/5  rDev +1.8%

09-10-2012 22:45:57 | More by Gagnonsux
Photo of gtermi
gtermi

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

02-11-2014 04:51:11 | More by gtermi
Photo of duff247
duff247

Texas

4/5  rDev +1.8%

12-19-2011 05:00:13 | More by duff247
Photo of jheezee
jheezee

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

04-02-2012 15:39:50 | More by jheezee
Photo of JamLand
JamLand

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

03-12-2014 01:55:51 | More by JamLand
Photo of Stinger80OH
Stinger80OH

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

12-19-2013 14:29:18 | More by Stinger80OH
Photo of BeerHunter76
BeerHunter76

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

07-03-2012 21:30:59 | More by BeerHunter76
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Hellfighter from Karbach Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.