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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

273 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 273
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.91%
Wants: 92
Gots: 74 | FT: 7
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter Alström Bros
Ratings: 273 | Reviews: 44 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
TheBeerAlmanac

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

04-02-2014 18:11:05 | More by TheBeerAlmanac
Photo of Thanx4AllDaFish
Thanx4AllDaFish

Texas

5/5  rDev +15.2%

04-02-2014 16:38:23 | More by Thanx4AllDaFish
Photo of WTKeene
WTKeene

Texas

4/5  rDev -7.8%

03-29-2014 00:38:35 | More by WTKeene
Photo of Pro_Magnon
Pro_Magnon

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

03-25-2014 05:09:27 | More by Pro_Magnon
Photo of Wayne17
Wayne17

Texas

4.93/5  rDev +13.6%

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.

03-24-2014 18:41:09 | More by Wayne17
Photo of Chien_Rouge
Chien_Rouge

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

03-23-2014 17:24:57 | More by Chien_Rouge
Photo of fredmugs
fredmugs

Indiana

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

03-23-2014 01:47:15 | More by fredmugs
Photo of Bwagner1122
Bwagner1122

California

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

03-22-2014 01:02:38 | More by Bwagner1122
Photo of Gotti311
Gotti311

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

03-14-2014 10:28:08 | More by Gotti311
Photo of fthegiants
fthegiants

California

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

03-05-2014 23:12:02 | More by fthegiants
Photo of bram325
bram325

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

03-04-2014 16:04:45 | More by bram325
Photo of Abbbp
Abbbp

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

02-24-2014 05:27:40 | More by Abbbp
Photo of GoPokes
GoPokes

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

02-20-2014 05:16:04 | More by GoPokes
Photo of videofrog
videofrog

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

02-16-2014 19:56:03 | More by videofrog
Photo of Ben7773
Ben7773

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

02-15-2014 06:52:52 | More by Ben7773
Photo of Zaphog
Zaphog

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

02-14-2014 01:01:54 | More by Zaphog
Photo of beergorrilla
beergorrilla

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

02-13-2014 20:37:31 | More by beergorrilla
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Kramerbarthomer

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

02-13-2014 04:53:21 | More by Kramerbarthomer
Photo of Longhorn08
Longhorn08

Texas

4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

02-04-2014 02:51:36 | More by Longhorn08
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Can_has_beer

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

02-04-2014 02:14:11 | More by Can_has_beer
Photo of d5001986
d5001986

Wisconsin

4.45/5  rDev +2.5%

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!

02-03-2014 23:33:47 | More by d5001986
Photo of benclimbs
benclimbs

California

4.29/5  rDev -1.2%

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!

01-31-2014 05:23:58 | More by benclimbs
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mdaschaf

Washington

4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

01-30-2014 01:40:57 | More by mdaschaf
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layinbrix

Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

01-28-2014 03:26:50 | More by layinbrix
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.31/5  rDev -23.7%

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.

B-

01-22-2014 06:45:30 | More by kojevergas
Bourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter from Karbach Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 273 ratings.