Bourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter - Karbach Brewing Co.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged HellfighterBourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

367 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 367
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 11.37%
Wants: 132
Gots: 111 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Karbach Brewing Co. visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BgThang on 06-05-2012

F.U.N. Series 003 (Apr 2012) aged in barrels from Heaven Hill Distillery which included: Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, and Old Fitzgerald

F.U.N. Series 005 (May 2013) aged in barrels from Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, and Old Fitzgerald

F.U.N. Series 007 (Nov. 2013) aged in barrels from Makers Mark and Four Roses
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 367 | Reviews: 52
Reviews by starkmarvelo:
More User Reviews:
Photo of OneEye78
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage poured from a bomber into a snifter. Dark black with an almost white head. Smell was primarily bourbon, vanilla and oak. Taste lead by coffee, with brown sugar, vanilla and bourbon heat. Mellowed as it warmed, with more sweetness and chocolate tones. A very solid BBA porter, interested to try it with some age.

Photo of Wayne17
4.92/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours black like my soul, tan head. Nice lacing down the glass. Smells of dark chocolate, dark malts, bourbon. Taste is super roasty and the barrel is right there perfectly complimenting this rich malty beer. The thing I like about Hellfighter is it's a nice change from some BBA porters/stouts that tend to get super sweet. And sometimes I love a super sweet beer but Hellfighter keeps it more hot and smokey rather than sweet. Karbach rarely disappoints me, and it really doesn't get much better than BBA Hellfighter.

Photo of Jcwbolt
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I did not get try this under the 003 label but is great this year with the BBH label.

Photo of bobv
4.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured (medium on the vigorous scale) into a Tree House snifter.
Not quite black with a one inch tan head, which has dissipated slowly.

S: Ah, roasty vanilla and bourbon at first.
As it warms a bit, mocha!

T: Ooh, baby!
Milk chocolate and bourbon!

M: So frickin' nice and velvety!

O: Please, sir, may I have another!!!
Definitely in my top 5 BBA Porters!
Thanks John!

Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz brown bomber

Nearly pitch black, tight tan lacing does a great job staying together as well as sticking to the glass. Fresh barrel booze, wood, roasted grain, dried dark fruit, vanilla, coffee grounds and rose water pummel the nose. Extremely smooth, lots of wood, creamy full body, boozy from both the barrel and its own strength. Burnt raisins, vanilla, peppery alcohol, espresso, unsweetened dark chocolate, black berries, roasty finish.

A lot of fun sipping this one, the barrel aged character is very bold though the beer is just big enough to stay balanced. The brewers intention was met here, worth the hunt to find a bottle or two.

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler from Whole Foods in Houston.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a few small brown bubbles, but no real head. The aroma is heavy on the brown sugar and vanilla, with a hint of whiskey thrown in. The flavor has a lot of wood and whiskey notes, as well as a good dose of maple. The molasses and vanilla notes are also present. I get a little chocolate and roasted malt in the flavor, but this beer is all about the whiskey barrel aging. Medium to thick mouthfeel and low carbonation. Delicious.

Photo of frenchblood21
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into KBS goblet. Date of review is 8/9/14.

Appearance- HUGE light brown head! Slowly creeps down into the glass. The liquid is black but not pitch black. Fantastic looking beverage.

Smell- Big boozy bourbon fills my nose right away. I get chocolate, roasted malt and honey too. Vanilla is there too, but I get no coffee, which the description on the bottle said I would.

Taste- Bourbon and chocolate blow you away. Now I get the coffee and vanilla and it's wonderful. Surprisingly, there is still quite a hoppy presence too. Roasted malt pops up for a second at the very end.

Mouthfeel- Thick, deep and awesome. Again, a surprising amount of hops coat the tongue and linger a while. Chocolate flavor just won't go away.

Overall- Really solid offering from a brewery I had never heard of. This is how barrel-aged beers are supposed to taste.

Photo of chinchill
4.64/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Big Hops Growler Station in San Antonio during a Karbach tap takeover.
Excellent appearance with an exceptionally creamy and durable tan head.
Excellent use of barrel aging: the whisky and wood are prominent but do not bury the fine porter base. Near perfect bitter/sweet balance. Very smooth full body with spot on carbonation.

O: highly recommended.

Photo of 4lo
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 BBH. 003 was the best of the bunch in my opinion

Photo of Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Haymarket. Coconut and a little acidic.

Photo of zonker17
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Wanted to like this more but too heavy mouthfeel for a porter.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.11/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown throughout, light brown two finger head, meager retention.

Aroma: bourbon, oak, roast, burnt toast, milk chocolate, espresso beans, Subtle alcohol.

Taste: bittersweet cocoa, powdered sugar, oak, vanilla, caramel, light coffee roast, bourbon notes, tobacco.

***Has a good feel and body, nice melding flavors and a prett solid balance, all things considered. Well done and well rounded.

Photo of jmarsh123
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Scott for the growler!

Pours black with a small tan head leaving spots and good lacing. Looks a little too bubbly.

Rich notes of chocolate and raisins in the aroma. A slight bourbon nose, but takes a backseat to other flavors.

I could tell this would be tasty when I got flavor out of it while still cold. Lots of chocolate and rich roasted coffee up front. A bit of raisin/fig, but not as much as the nose. A little smoke and licorice as well. Then the bourbon kicks in. Biting booze at the back end to provide some heat, but doesn't completely overpower the base. Finishes with almost a rye like spiciness along with the booze.

Medium to full bodied. Carbonation is perhaps a touch high for the style, but pretty close. Alcohol is present, but not harsh.

Might tasty and major props to my friend for hooking me up with this. Very tasty brew.

Photo of afluentturtle
4.31/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a growler into a pint glass.

Appearance: Flat black with about a finger of tan/khaki head. A little bit lacing down the glass.

Smell: Whoa tons of burboun up front, not as much as straight up hard stuff but this beer is really hot. Chocolate, and toffe, roast malts also detectable. Just a hint of vanilla.

Taste: Deep dark chocolate and bourbon. A little bit of spice and vanilla. The bourbon flavor really pairs well but it's just a little to"fresh" for me. Given time to mellow out this beer could be epic.

Mouthfeel: Probably my favorite part of this beer. Excellent carbonation and feel, there is no better way to describe it then like smooth velvety liquid bliss. Incredibly easy to drink.

Overall: A must have! Wish I could drink it more often. My only compliant is that it had too much bourbon heat, but surely a year or so of aging would mellow it out.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle of the FUN 005 vintage pours a rich, opaque black color with a rich cap of brown head. Nice retention and lacing...pretty much perfection on the appearance.

Nose is light bourbon, woody coconut and pineapple...not sure where the tropical fruit is coming from, but it is interesting and something I dont remember smelling in the FUN 003 and tap BBHF.

Taste has a nice compliment of coconut woodiness and what I imagine a 20% ABV pineapple bourbon liqueur would taste like. There has certainly been some negativity on the bottled versions of BBHF compared to the tap version, but this one is very satisfying. There is some definite underlying hops and it tastes nothing like the base beer (thankfully). Mouthfeel is silky and would fare well even as a stout. I just love the coconut/chocolate/vanilla interplay...Almond Joy anyone?!

Photo of stumac
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the F.U.N. 007

Drinking this little beauty at Craft Pride's Karbach Party!

Pours up dark brown with a decent tan head. Nice lacing. Nose is vanilla and caramel and big oaky. Very rich aroma. Flavor is same as nose. Slightly smoky. Crispy fresh carbo. Full bodied. I dig this.

Photo of BryantForestry
4.62/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

#007 in the series - Nov 20, 2013

excellent beer, great taste, color and feel

smell is very bourbonic

sorry guys no eloquent waxing

I LIKE THIS BEER

Not sure what F.U.N means

I recommend the beer, the brewery and the store

thank you Trey at Speck's in Conroe, Texas

Photo of d5001986
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

32oz growler poured into tulip.

A: Pitch black with large, foamy, tan colored head.

S: Powerful booze and roasted malt up front. Chocolate, caramel, and molasses.

T: Sweet and boozy with good roasted character. I also pick up molasses and vanilla.

M: Medium bodied, surprisingly refreshing.

O: I thought this was very good. The strong roasted character was a plus for me, very drinkable!

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

thanks to egrace84 for the share.

poured into tulip glass.

reviewed from notes taken 1/17/13.

Appearance: dark brown to light black bodied beer with 1 finger of medium brown head.

Smell: a splash of bourbon, vanilla and chocolate.

Taste: bourbon and fudge. a hint of bitter dark chocolate. vanilla and oak in the finish. Simple and effective.

Mouthfeel: low end of a medium bodied beer with low end of moderate carbonation levels. Its a touch thin, but nothing distracting. Fairly smooth drinker.

Overall: Nice to see some good beer coming from Texas! Solid on all aspects of the beer just wish it was a little full feel on the beer.

Photo of Bluestar
4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

wow. absolutely blown away by the quality of this beer.

let me start by saying that I am happy to have another bottle of this, and I wish I had of been smart enough to buy more. Hopefully the brewery decides to make more of this down the road... and deliver it right down the road to my house...

been a while since i reviewed a beer, so here we go...

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a snifter.

A - a small 1/2 pinky finger beige tinged head appears on the pour, which dissipates to a thin white lining around the glass. a swirl easily brings it back. Color is almost a pitch black, can see a brown/deep burnt red tinge around the edge when held to the light..

S - Bourbon and vanilla are the dominate notes, oak and dark, unsweetened chocolate in the background.

T - again, bourbon dominates, dark chocolate a little more prevalent here, nice woody notes, some roasted malt and strong coffee flavors as well.

M - Par for Karbach. This is what this brewery does consistently very well. Hard to fault them here, but at the same time, not really any better/worse than normal. A nice full mouthfeel, with just the right amount of carbonation, but not viscous/thick in the slightest sense.

O - a fantastic beer that I would run out and buy more of it I thought there were any stores that still had it (and I live within 5 miles of the brewery). A fantastic beer for someone who enjoys nice porters and single malt scotches/bourbons. Highly recommend.

Photo of chrismann65
4.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This is just one of the best BA. Porter I have ever tasted .! Rich vanilla, bourbon, roasted malt, and chocolate. ! Houston we have a winner , Wow great Job Karbach !! I'm Drinking #07. BA, Hellfighter...Can't wait for the new BBH. will be released several times a year, sometimes with other ingredients (cherries anyone?) in the mix. The brew's rich malt character, along with chocolate and vanilla notes, make it the perfect beer to warm your toes!


Our Beers
Hopadillo IPA
Weisse Versa Wheat
Weekend Warrior
Sympathy for the Lager
Rodeo Clown Double IPA
BBH Series
FUN Series

Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nearly black in color with soft carbonation. Intense vanilla and wood notes with a mild booziness. A nice roasted malt aroma, dark chocolate, and a hint of coffee. Just a bit of caramel sweetness. The flavor is quite nice with a nice chocolate, caramel, and roast combination along with the intense barrel flavors of bourbon, wood, and vanilla. Still a touch boozy, but enjoyable.

Photo of Ford
4.82/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Karbach brewery tasting.

High alcohol content. The bourbon really smooths it out. So easy to drink. Great dark color. Did I mention the fantastic smell. Just awesome.

Probably the best beer I've tried. Wish it was something I could get regularly, but then it might not be as special. Karbach hit this one out of the park. I can't wait to have it again.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours beautiful black-brown with a one-finger khaki head that lasts very nice soapy lacing throughout. Aromas of light bourbon undertones, sweet and roasted malt, some cherry wood and coffee. Dark chocolate, wood, sweet malts, some coffee, and light esters are detected in the flavor along with the occasional showing of Makers Mark and Four Roses which doesn’t seem to mesh quite well. Medium mouthfeel. Quite a quaffable beer for the package punched brew. Not entirely sure if the Makers Mark complemented the Four Roses barrel quite well enough which hurt the overall score very slightly. Glad to have tried this from Karbach and look forward to trying out more of their F.U.N. series down the road.

Photo of champ103
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

New review on 01-05-13

A much needed updated review. I have had this several more times since my first review. Plenty of times at the brewery, and most recently on tap at Jackson's Watering Hole of all places. Go figure. Either I was off my rocker the first time around, or I had a bad keg...Anyway here you go.

A: Pours opaque black color. A two finger tan head forms with excellent retention. Spiderweb looking lace is left all the way down the glass. Very impressive considering the high ABV and barrel aged to boot.
S: Oh man everything is perfectly integrated. At first the roasted malt hits you in the nose. Then deep dark bakers chocolate. I love roasted and toasted malt, and this has them in spades. Then comes the barrel. So well integrated. Wood, smoke, vanilla. Amazing.
T: Follows the nose. A big roasted and toasted malt character. Bread and biscuit. Dark chocolate. Smoke, wood, vanilla from the barrels. An amazing integration.
M/D: A full body and moderate carbonation. So silky smooth. This is like silk. Just a lushes full body that works perfectly. If I did not know better, I could drink this like water. So enjoyable and easy to drink. The alcohol is non nonexistent. A real treat.

Besides my first go around, which I thought was rather one sided, this has constantly been one of the best barrel aged beers around. Let alone Texas. Like I said, a much needed update to a beer that can hold its own, and maybe best Bourbon County Stout. For me that is saying something.

Original review on 06-11-2012

On tap at Hay Merchant in Houston, TX.

A: Pours a near opaque black color. A one finger bubbly tan head forms and sticks around for a minute. The head finally recedes to nothing.
S: Bourbon, wood, slight char. Vanilla and chocolate. Not much else.
T: Follows the nose, and fairly simple. Big woody Bourbon flavors. Light charred wood with a big sweetness. Vanilla and chocolate. Some lingering alcohol.
M/D: A medium to full body. Medium carbonation, and maybe just a tad watery. Another slow sipper. The bourbony alcohol flavors take its tool.

I like it, just not nearly as good as the base beer. I think the Bourbon barrel has muted this a bit. All the great nuances in the base are taken over by the barrel. Nice try, but I will take regular Hellfighter any day.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter from Karbach Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 367 ratings.