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Bourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter - Karbach Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Aged HellfighterBourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

60 Reviews
THE BROS
95
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 60
Hads: 439
Avg: 4.3
pDev: 30.23%
Wants: 146
Gots: 148 | FT: 19
Brewed by:
Karbach Brewing Co.
Texas, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 60 | Hads: 439
Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a trade with icetrauma. 22 ounce bottle into tulip glass; No. 005, bottled in May 2013. Pours dense pitch black color with a 2 finger dense dark tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, brown sugar, toast, vanilla, toffee, clove, oak, bourbon, light char, light coffee, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, light char, toast, vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, clove, oak, bourbon, light coffee, and roasted earthiness. Light roast/barrel bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, toast, toffee, vanilla, clove, oak, brown sugar, light char, light coffee, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel flavors; with a great malt/barrel flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy and moderately slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent barrel aged porter! All around great complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and barrel flavors; and quite smooth to sip on for the high ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of mattLummus
3.99/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good, interesting Porter. Nice head with a semi-sweet aroma. Body is pretty heavy for a Porter, which I enjoy. Taste is semi-sweet at first, with a bitter aftertaste, and you can taste the barrel age in the finish. Solid beer with unique notes, although it can be a bit rich.

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Photo of Hops4Pops
4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

32 oz growler.
Expectations are very high.
A: Aggressive pour into a tulip. Pitch black in color. Light shown through it reveals a very dark reddish brown color. Pretty strong flashlight and fresh batteries. Can only barely see through this beer! Small thin tan head dissipated quickly. Oily light lacing.
S: Wow. Big Beer. Bourbon, chocolate, malts, tiny bit of hops.
T: Very good! Very balanced except for the ABV sticking out a little bit. I expected that however considering it was aged in bourbon barrels and is over 10 percent. Pretty much tastes exactly how it smells. Bitterness comes in the back end. Very nice
M: Smooth and creamy up from with the warmth on the finish. It has a "come hither" mouthfeel to it.
O: An outstanding beer in my humble opinion. This is a big boy beer. Strong. Outspoken. Unique. Right on. Appropriately named, it begs for a fight. After I finish this growler, I think it may have won. Going to let it warm up a lot to see what else I can find buried in it.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

005 on draft

Black pour that isn't totally opaque with a thick tan head.

Bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, roast, dark fruits, and wood.

Flavors come through nicer on the tongue. Bourbon booze, raisins, vanilla, dark chocolate, coffee, and caramel. Gets a little sticky sweet.

Smooth medium body. Slightly tingling carb.

Had the 007 and this and both are great.

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Photo of BryantForestry
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
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

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Photo of mhksuccess
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This review is for the 005
Pour from a bottle into Bruery snifter
pretty dark pour
smell is very nice roasty and bourbon flavors
pretty complex taste dominated by the bourbon barrel which are very nice
mouthfeel is solid not too thick or thin pretty much just how it suppose to be
get a little vanilla come thru on the back end and heavy barrel
overall this is a solid outing would get again or try some of the other in this series

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Photo of cvm4
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No. 005 in the series

A - Pours black and has a dark caramel head. The retention is lacking, but it's a solid looking imperial porter.

S - Smell is a bourbon barrel dream. The bourbon is dominate here. It's backed up by vanilla, dark chocolate and a bit of licorice.

T - Gobs of oaky bourbon goodness. Just as dominate is the expresso, dark chocolate and vanilla. Slight licorice. Really delivers on the taste.

M - Medium bodied with perfect carbonation. Once warmed, it can feel a little bit syrupy &/or cloying.

O - To me, an imperial porter is basically a ramped up stout. This is a pretty awesome one at that.

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Photo of Premo88
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber poured into stout glass -- the label designation is No. 005

L: black with toffee head that percolates like coffee then blooms big time -- what a pour! huge lacing

S: coffee/espresso, BOURBON -- man, can you smell the juice ... loads of alcohol in the nose, almost like Windex; sweet figs (?) but not crossing over into darker malt raisins ... very sweet dark red wine. a bit of vanilla in it, then as it warms up, sweet biscuits ... like a damn euro pale lager or brown ale ... that super sweet light malt smell

T: big alcohol ... but coffee/espresso and dark chocolate work with the alcohol (single-malt scotch at times, i'd swear) to give it a great taste. it's not hiding the booze, though ... the aftertaste lingers like sugar and scotch

F: perfect. loads of carbonation and a silky feel give it a fullness that's undeniable. never feels "lumpy" like a lot of big stout/porters feel to me.

O: it's boozy, but it's tasty ... the upshot is a semi-sweet chocolate tasting beer with coffee notes that show through the alcohol notes. honestly, i can't say if it's better than a regular Hellfighter -- both are good.

NOTE -- I've now had this beer through the 007 designation and the current BBH version in 2015, on tap and in the bomber bottle, and it is PERFECT every time. It's by far my favorite barrel-aged beer, so I've re-calibrated its score because it deserves it.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
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?!

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

they tell me this is the best texas has to offer, and after a careful drinking of this stuff, I still have to give a nod of the cap to jester kings better beers, but this is downright impressive. it pours a chalky black color with an inch of dense off white foam that leaves sexy lacing all along the glass. the nose is bourbon heavy, really intense warming alcohols and some gentle sweetness. I like that its a porter not a stout, the English ale yeast is evident, and the malts just aren't quite as big, which gives this a degree of drinkability for this time of year. its got a lot of character in the grains, maybe even some rye in here, but more than anything I taste a gentle chocolate roast and some patient vanilla that doesn't really open up until the finish. alcohol isn't quite hot, but its very resonant in the finish. I like that its not too sweet, and finishes a little dry. full body but not brutal. a wonderful example of the style, and a beer I will look forward to drinking again. a nice introduction to karbach, ill have to find some more of their stuff.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle (003) into a snifter.

Just how the style should look, dark brown with a thin cap of custard foam--could use a bit more retention but I'll let it slide given the ABV and barrel-aging. Aromas of sweet vanilla and milk chocolate plus light roast. Barrel notes are in the background, hiding a bit, but ever-present.

The flavor is perhaps one of the best usages of barrel-aging I've encountered in quite some time. I'd place BB Hellfighter up there with some of Firestone Walker's better examples (Parabola, Sucaba) in that respect. The imperial porter flavors of coffee, roast, and chocolate balance perfectly with vanilla sugars and caramel from the bourbon soaked wood. Mouthfeel is appropriately medium in body with a pitch-perfect carbonation level. Lingering flavors of tangy coffee, dark fruit, and more bourbon. Overall, a masterpiece of a beer and highly drinkable. A solo bomber kill is entirely within reason.

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Photo of SSEngelbrecht
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

served on tap in a half pint glass.

The head was light with caramel color, the beer is black as my ex's soul.

The smell is dominated by the aromas imparted by the barrel: bourbon and oak, followed up with a licorice and dark chocolate.

The taste is pungent and the oak and bourbon flavors are very prominent, but the chocolate, licorice, coffee and roasted malt are still readily accessible. It has mild bitterness and the hop presence muted.

The beer has a medium mouthfeel not quite syrupy, not thin.

Overall this is a delicious example of a barrel aged porter, even though the line between porter and stout is pretty blurry. This beer is a gem, if you can find it.

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Photo of Bluestar
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of DocJitsu
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque, dark, somewhat muddy brown with an average sized rootbeer colored head. A lot of sorghum, bourbon, and caramelized creme brulee on the nose. It has a mouthfeel that is pretty full and expansive, but not viscous. A bit of scorched smokiness blends well with sorghum, oak, and bourbon. There's quite a bit of hop bitterness for the style, but it is not overwhelming. It's a good sipper.

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Photo of maximum12
3.53/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to drummermattie02 for a 'trade' that involved him sending me a couple of Karbach bottles & me sending him...something. On Monday. Seemed like a good idea, still does. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife.

Pour is the dark black of a porter (a 10.8% porter, yowza). Digging deep, but I'm not getting much off the surface of the beer nose-wise. Faint vanilla, sweet malts.

Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter takes a bit of time to grow on me; definitely a beer that needs a bit of cuddling to warm up. It's defined by a double-entendre of vanilla fudge right up front - & who doesn't love that? Bourbon nip is slow to show, just a peek of the goodies in the middle. Roast arrives, & it's nice & strong. Lots of sweet malt on the downside of the hill. The strong point might be the smoothness, this is creamy & lovely.

Clocks in around good. There's something odd about the beer; it doesn't quite meet my expectations about how a barrel-aged porter should taste, & I'm not sure why. Nonetheless, looking forward to my second Karbach beer.

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Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz, Winter 2013 release
Kennett Winterfest plastic cup

A: This pours out a deep amber leading to dark brown. Thought it might be a little darker, but it is only a porter. Reddish edges. Collar of tan for the head. Some lacing bits.

S: Dark fruits. Vanilla. Oak. Dark chocolate. Some roast coffee.

T: Dark chocolate. Deep rich cocoa. Vanilla. Oaks. Nice roast. Dry finish.

M: Big medium to big.

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Photo of StArnoldFan
4.91/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

1/14/13
Poured a pint from the growler I got at Nobi Public House. Almost no head but that might be from the loss of carb. from the growler. Poured a dark brown/black color. Smells of strong bourbon to me. High alcohol content masked very well on this one. Tastes again of good bourbon flavor. This is a solid barrel aged porter, I hope I can find a few more bottles when it hits the shelves.

2/2/13
Poured into a snifter from a bottle today. Needed to re-review and add some points. Perfect pour, nice and black with a thick head. Just a beautiful beer with the best nose ever. Just about perfect for me. Karbach is taking over with these F.U.N. series beers.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of lokieman
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22 oz. bottle to Live Oak pilsner glass. Thanks rainerschuhsler for the bottle!

A: Pours very dark as expected. Little thinner than I was expecting...light head. Looks like a barrel aged stout.

S: Vanilla, oak, dark fruit, roasted malt. A bit of sweet chocolate.

T: Follows the nose well. Bitter bourbon bite up front, slight hops followed by a roasty sweetness. Very well done.

M: Little thinner than I would have liked and this detracts from the mouthfeel for me. My only knock on this fine brew. Doesn't come close to killing the experience for me but could be improved.

O: My expectations were blown away. Wasn't expecting this kind of greatness from a little, upstart brewery out of Houston. Fantastic BA Imperial Porter...It pains me to say that I would take this over Black Butte XXIV. I love Deschutes...but this is something special. Keep 'em coming Karbach...

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Photo of Duff27
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Near one inch light mocha head on a dark brown body. Good head retention.

Almost has a sweet vanilla nose to it. Yum!

Wow. Well integrated -bal presence with chocolate/fudge. Alcohol heat present but not overwhelming.

Very smooth. Lower end but adequate carbonation. Full mouthfeel.

Pleasantly surprised with this Texas offering. Half step below standout but definitely an under the radar beer. Thanks egrace84!

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Photo of afluentturtle
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1st pour from the keg at the petrol station.

Snifter. Tan head color is black.

A fair amount of roast with a nice dose of oak and bourbon. Vanilla and lots of chocolate. Fairly sweet. Lots of malts.

Very smooth and creamy. Full bodied but ends a little dry.

Overall, not BCS good, but still pretty solid and tasty. I'd give it a try!

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Photo of tofuspeedstar
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just good lord man. This is like, all I could ask for in a fucking beer.

If you haven't tried it, try it.

If you can't get it, they just recently bottled it, so trade for it.

YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINT MY BROTHERS.

Pours dark as night, tan head that lingers throughout the experience...tastes...it's like candy in a bottle...smells amazing, and coats the mouth. The booze is hidden so well and the bourbon barrel shines through perfectly..

Karbach,

if you see this, bottle it more. JUST SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter from Karbach Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.