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Bourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter - Karbach Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Aged HellfighterBourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

312 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 312
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 110
Gots: 81 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Karbach Brewing Co. visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: BgThang on 06-05-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 312 | Reviews: 44 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Abbbp
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Abbbp, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of GoPokes
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

GoPokes, Feb 20, 2014
Photo of videofrog
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

videofrog, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of Ben7773
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Ben7773, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Zaphog, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of beergorrilla
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

beergorrilla, Feb 13, 2014
Photo of Kramerbarthomer
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Kramerbarthomer, Feb 13, 2014
Photo of Longhorn08
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Longhorn08, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of Can_has_beer
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Can_has_beer, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of d5001986
4.45/5  rDev +3%
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!

d5001986, Feb 03, 2014
Photo of benclimbs
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep chocolate black with a great look.

Nose is tons of vanilla/bourbon and deep cocoa and chocolate notes, along with some deep dark dried fruit.

Taste is classic for a big bourbon barrel aged stout - tons of oaky whiskey like character in the background mixed with all the good stuff that you want.

Solid beer, thanks Wes!

benclimbs, Jan 31, 2014
Photo of mdaschaf
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

mdaschaf, Jan 30, 2014
Photo of layinbrix
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

layinbrix, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of kojevergas
3.31/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Ah, the current 11th highest rated Southwest beer. Fun Series 007. 1 litre swing-top growler filled at The Growler Room and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given its current ratings, but I wasn't too impressed with the base beer. Reviewed as an imperial porter.

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.

Swingtop yields a healthy pop upon removal, indicating adequate carbonation.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of gorgeous supply complexion and nice smooth even consistency. It's got a great khaki colour to it and has ample creaminess and thickness. Appears soft. Head retention is pretty good - about 4-5 minutes. Nice even lacing sticks to the sides of the glass when you tilt it, but doesn't really hold.

Body colour is a predictable opaque solid black - a darker black than the base beer, to be sure - but still not quite a jet black per se. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Overall, it's about what you'd expect from an imperial porter. It's not unique or special, but is certainly appealing. There are no obvious flaws here.

Sm: The bourbon notes are quite prominent, eclipsing any aromatics of the base beer. It's pretty vanilla-forward, with oak taking a backseat. It isn't the toasted oak wood I crave in a great bourbon beer, but it's oak alright. If I really search, I can find the dark malt sweetness of the base beer, but it's shockingly faint. I do find cream, caramel, chocolate (malt), and perhaps marshmallow. I don't find the lactose sugar notes or brown sugar I noticed in the base beer.

Overall, vanilla is dominant. It's a pleasant if timid aroma of below average strength. Rarely are imperial porters so tame.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. I also have trouble identifying any sort of hop profile. It's certainly more on the sweet end than the bitter end.

T: The bourbon overwhelms the base beer, supplanting it almost entirely. Sure, you've got the dark malt/chocolate malt sweetness of the base propping up the bourbon barrel notes, but for the most part the base has been eclipsed by the barrel. I like to see better integration of barrel notes into beer; ideally the barrel should complement nuances already present in the base beer and coax out more complexity, subtlety, and depth of flavour, but that isn't the case here. This is just an insipid imperial porter drowned in bourbon.

But don't get me wrong; the bourbon notes are spot-on. Wonderful vanilla is dominant, with some backing oak present as well. (Though as abovementioned, it's not the toasted oak you'd find in a more sophisticated brew like Backwoods Bastard).

Marshmallow, cream, caramel, maybe toffee. I feel like I'm getting a hint of sassafras and cola nut, but that just be because I know to look for them having experienced them in the base.

To be fair, as it warms, I pick up an identifiably English character - I think from the yeast. I love that element of this porter, and wish it was more pronounced.

No hops, or alcohol is/are identifiable. It's certainly sweet, but not cloying.

This isn't a complex, subtle, deep, intricate, or nuanced imperial porter. Nor is it much of a porter in general. It has some nice bourbon notes going for it - I just wish it offered more in terms of the beer component. I do like it, but I'm not convinced it's deserving of its current ranking as the #11 Southwest beer. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

Mf: Sticky. Silky. Smooth and wet. Nicely full-bodied and thick. The texture is strong enough to support the flavour profile, but I don't know that it really coaxes much out of it; there isn't a perfect marriage of texture to taste here but it gets the job done and doesn't distract. Decent presence on the palate. A biteen overcarbonated (even from a growler!).

Not oily, astringent, gushed, hot, boozy, or wet. There is a bit of warmth on the backend which manifests itself mainly as a pleasing sensation in the stomach.

Decent execution. The stand-out for me is the light softness of it.

Dr: You've got to start with a more flavorful base to really execute a bourbon barrel aged imperial porter right. This brew pales in comparison to superior beers in its class, but it's a nice dark brew that will satisfy fans of bourbon in their beer. I might nab it on-draught if I have the opportunity, but I wouldn't jump at the chance to buy it again for home consumption. It hides its alcohol content nicely and I find it pretty drinkable for what should be a sipper. I'll have no trouble killing the litre I purchased, but I wouldn't recommend it to friends. Not Karbach's best work.

To be honest, I'd sooner take Ballast Point's Victory at Sea over this - bourbon barrel or not.

Probably drinks best from a snifter.


kojevergas, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of valkyre65
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

valkyre65, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of Dicers
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Dicers, Jan 21, 2014
Photo of brandon911
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

brandon911, Jan 21, 2014
Photo of kew
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

kew, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of cdwil
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

cdwil, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of Jim13
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Jim13, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of Tiernan
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Tiernan, Jan 17, 2014
Photo of stumac
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

stumac, Jan 15, 2014
Photo of IrishColonial
4/5  rDev -7.4%

IrishColonial, Jan 14, 2014
Photo of Crazydaddyo
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Crazydaddyo, Jan 10, 2014
Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -7.4%

drewone, Jan 08, 2014
Bourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter from Karbach Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 312 ratings.