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Bourbon Barrel Aged Hell Hath No Fury Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Hell Hath No Fury AleBourbon Barrel Aged Hell Hath No Fury Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

44 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 44
Hads: 82
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 7.62%
Wants: 48
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: grub on 01-24-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

An American take on a Belgian Dubbel aged in bourbon barrels.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 44 | Hads: 82
Photo of woosterbill
2.97/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear growler into a snifter; big thanks to Tony for sharing this rare barrel-aged treat.

A: Black, translucent body with dark brown glints. Thin, fleeting head of off-white foam that settles into a ring. Just fine.

S: Huge, huge alcohol presence - fruity, appley, solventy. Some bourbon and vanilla show up underneath; interesting, but a little off-putting. I love apple cider, but that's not what I want a barrel-aged BSDA to smell like.

T: Sweet fruity booze, followed by bourbon, oak, vanilla, raisins, rum-soaked dates, and even more straight booze. Fascinating, but rough.

M: Kind of thin, with plenty of fine, creamy carbonation. Not great.

O: This one was immediately reminiscent of Town Hall Port Odin, but simultaneously less terrible and less interesting than that train-wreck of a beer. The acetone notes distract rather than dominate, which is actually worse in a way. As much as I love barrel aging, this beer is a great example of how the process isn't necessarily a guarantee of greatness.

Cheers! (1,019 characters)

Photo of bobhits
3/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Hell Hath No Fury is to me the ultimate starter Belgium beer. It's got some Belgium characteristics but it takes on just a sweet and simple strong ale flavor that I feel is pretty enjoyable though completely underwhelming.

Reviewed based on my serving at Beer Trappe today:

Pours a near black body, no head but that's a result possibly of just how the beer was poured, no room left for the head. Very thick, yeast and protein clearly adding to the darkness. Held to the light a deep murky amber/brown color.

The bourbon comes off in the nose in full force. The aroma is subtle compared to some, but it dominates the aroma. It actually here works extremely well with the dark fruity nature of the Hell Hath No Fury.

The problem for me is that the woody bourbon nose doesn't really shine as brightly in the taste. The bourbon is what holds this beer together and keeps it from being fully disappointing, but there is just something greatly lacking here. There is no alcohol kick, no hops to finish it off, just some wood mixed in with an overly sweet and absurdly one dimensional base beer. For what it's worth, dark fruits, molasses, subtle wood and alcohol from the bourbon, and slightly burnt malt flavors as well.

The beer lacks any real character in the mouth as well. Nearly flat, rather full bodied, but lacking anything to keep the drinker interested.

Overall I don't dislike this beer as much as the review may sound. I've had it twice on tap now, once a year ago where I discovered it doesn't pair with a cigar and then today. The problem is that I expect some character to a bourbon aged beer. The bourbon helps in this regard, but it never takes it up that final notch to really give me anything to write home about. (1,737 characters)

Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.23/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured from a growler from partytown ky into a tulip. pitch black with a tan head.

smell's alright, vanilla and oak, raisin. smells slightly tart, a touch cidery.

taste is slightly tart and sour, dark fruit, vanilla, bourbon, oak, roastiness.

mouthfeel is slightly thin. drinkability is meh.

i really wanted this beer to be a mind blower, bit it was kinda. meh. not sure if it was the growler or the keg itself, it just has a big sourness which really dominates the flavor. i feel like im being fairly generous with this rating as well. (540 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap at UJ's for their annual 'wood' event. Had this during beer week and the bourbon was baller, let's see how this is doing.

BBAHHNF comes into the glass looking a mix of bark brown with some red and some plum like color on the sides. I got a 1/2 inch of cap about half tan in color with minimal stick, rings if you will. Smell is HHNF on top of bourbon, it seems to have faded a bit. Some plum and a definite sign of a infection coming on soon. Taste is semi cocco with some dark fruit mixed in with light bourbon(where did it go?), Some faint vanilla and wood from the barrel. The infection is there but not too pronounced right now, Any bar owners witha keg of this should put it on soon, the sickness will only grow. Some sour cherries The other old ale flavors that should be here are buried. Feel is above medium with a light but slick carb witha sour twang for a aftertaste. I barely got through my glass, not a keeper at this point. (945 characters)

Photo of TCgoalie
3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 9/17/10 on tap at HopCat.

BBHHNF was delivered in a tulip glass, black in color with a steady thin tan head. Some splotchy lacing exists once the beer trades places from the glass to my stomach.

A lot of oak is evident in the smell alongside an essence of dark fruits and molasses. The smell also has a sweet twinge to it with a bit of heat as well.

The taste starts with barrel aged oak overtones which transitions to a very sweet almost sour bitterness. There is a lot of plum to the sweetness backed by bourbon. The malt presence is noticeable but lacks balance with the other components.

The mouthfeel is rather thin for the alcohol content and the fact that it is barrel aged.

Overall, this is a bit too sour heavy and lacking balance. I'm content finishing up this glass and moving on to a different brew. (827 characters)

Photo of bertram
3.85/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at a Bell's Tap Takeover-pours a dark, almost black with a substantial tan head; bourbon smell is subtle & mixes with an almost woody aroma. Very malty taste with a subtle bourbon taste. A good beer, though I prefer the regular HHNF actually. (249 characters)

Photo of JoePat
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mahogany to black Coleridge with a tan head.

I get vanilla an bourbon in the nose. Very boozy with a hint of chocolate.

A lot of bourbon up front with a so.e what sour twange at the end.

The mouthfeel is thin but the flavor makes it feel thicker. (257 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Jose Pistola's in Philly; served in a tulip for $6.50. This beer is a lot more bourbon than Belgian dark, but it's pretty tasty, so I'm not complaining. As it warmed, however, an odd earthy apple core or pear aroma came out that took away from the otherwise amazing vanilla bourbon notes. The flavor had a little hit of berry esters, but it was dominated by cocoa and toasted oak from the again. Among bourbon-barrel beers, this is on the more drinkable end of the spectrum; it's nice to have something that doesn't just need to be sipped. Check this out if you can find it. (584 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
3.98/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown with creamy kahki head... looks like a stout. Smell is of dark roasted grains, wood, vanilla, mild burbon, touches of prune, grape, apple - smells like a stout. Taste is smooth and mellow, lots of vanilla, mildly boozy, some coconut, dark dried fruits and grape on the back end, nice roasty quality - tastes like a stout. Medium bodied, slightly watery, moderately carbonated. A nice beer that is more mellow then the againg, look and scent dictate. This is a stout, dont lie to me. (506 characters)

Photo of regspeir
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

draft at City Tap House for their "Bell's 31 Flavors" event.
Poured a very dark brown with caramel-colored edges and a mocha two-finger head which dissapated quickly to a frothy coating. Nose is Dark fruits, Belgian yeast and sweet malt. The taste is roasted malt up front followed by dark fruits, vanilla and the brown, sugar-like sweet malt. There is also evidence of the yeast and some spice. Mouthfeel is medium, smooth - not a lot of carbonation evident, and very dry. This is a nice, comfortable brew and I liked the level of warmth and influence of the bourbon barrel. A good sipper for sure but the dryness might not argue for making it session-able for me. (666 characters)

Photo of brew3crew
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark brown, almost black color with tan head
S-Some vanilla with bourbon at the forefront
T- Very Rich, bourbon hits up front. Fruit starts to come through as it warms up and towards the end.
M-Goes down smooth and clean. Nice full body
D-Goes down very easily, almost too easy, Solid brew. (301 characters)

Photo of jsanford
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Brewvival 2011.

Pours a very dark brown with a thin, mocha-colored head. Huge aromas and flavors of figs, brown sugar, chocolate, cherries, and caramel with a ton of Bourbon. Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. The ABV is completely hidden, I'd love for Bell;s to work this into the seasonal rotation! (322 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At tap at the Bells Fermented Eclipse event at Stub and Herb's back in June. Fantastic event.

Pours near black with a nice tan head and a bit of lacing. Not too bad considering the heft on this. Nose is loaded with dark fruits, cherries, molasses, bourbon, and some fruity esters. Hints of roast going forward as well. The bourbon takes over the taste a bit and isn't as integrated as the nose, but still is quite good. Mouthfeel is full and fairly heavy, although not overly boozy. Drinks very well, and was one of my favorites of the event. Would like to try this again. (573 characters)

Photo of CrellMoset
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Bells Tap Takeover at Beer Run, Charlottesville, VA. Served in a nonic.

Appearance: Arrives a foamy brown, nearly opaque, woody and pleasant looking, capped by a nice foamy, quintessentially barrel aged-looking crown, about half a finger tall and a little soapy. It fades gently in to a great collar, soapy and bubbly. High levels of carbonation peek through the edges of the body, replenishing the collar, though I imagine it wouldn't be sticky enough to stay on its own - there's no side lace of which to speak.

Aroma: Thick maltiness - very reminiscent of the regular Hell Hath No as I remember it - showcase mostly toast and toffee, though a few fruity notes as well. What really shines through is the barrel here - tons of coconut, cinnamon, and leather meld with toasted oakiness and earth and a surprisingly mellow kiss of bourbon. Excellent.

Taste: Tart fruits suggest cherries and kiwi, likely from the base beer, mingle with banana notes from the yeast strain and coconut from the barrel to present a panoply of tropical notes. Spicy bourbon is mellow again, mingling well with toast, toffee, and a nice array of dark fruits, raisins mainly but also a few other characters. Not quite as rich as the nose, but still very nice.

Mouthfeel: Thinned, appropriately enough, and unsurprising given what I remember of the base beer and what I know happens when you toss things in a barrel. It's soft and subtle with gentle carbonation, but it still doesn't have enough body in my opinion. This beer's worst attribute.

Drinkability: A fantastic tasting beer that lacks a little on style points, but it's still very nice. I almost went extraordinarily out of my way a few weeks ago to give this a try, so a huge thanks to Beer Run for giving me the opportunity to try this very quaffable (and surprisingly low abv%, given its origins and stylistic leanings). Recommended. (1,890 characters)

Photo of argock
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in a short 10oz clear mini-imperial pint glass at Beer Run (Charlottesville, VA)..

A: Chestnut-mahogany hue with 1-finger light beige head with decent retention and nice lacing.

S: Plum and raisin mingle with tart cherries which works weel witht he light bourbon notes.

T: Bourbon is up front but really accents the cherry note which is strongest but is accompanied by plum and raisin notes as well. Finishes with a light chocolate tone.

M: Smooth and mouth-filling with meidum-full body with medium carbonation.

D: A better version of the base beer for sure -- the spice and heat of the bourbon are nice complements to the tart cherry and dark fruit flavors. Not overly sweet and a pleasure to drink. (720 characters)

Photo of pmccallum86
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap during Fermented Eclipse at Stub and Herbs.

This beer pours a rich dark black color with a one finger dark head.

Smell is enormous with big spice notes and boozy bourbon notes as well. The smell here is awesome.

Taste is big and rich with tons of spice notes bombarding the palate, some cinnamon, dried fruits, ginger, bourbon, oak and vanilla all come through. It is a little messy but still quite tasty, a little too hot though.

Higher carbonation with a full body, complete opposite of sessionable.

Drinkability was good, but would be a lot better of this beer had some time to mellow out more. (613 characters)

Photo of zoso1967
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew found its way to my table almost completely opaque black with a nice fluffy tan head that left sticky lace. I was taken aback because it looked much more like a stout than a strong Belgian dark ale. The aroma was slightly sweet with plenty of dark fruit and some bourbon notes. It also carried a fair amount of earthiness and some vanilla, and perhaps a bit of dark malt roastyness. The bourbon was much more noticeable in the flavor, but not overpowering. This brew was on the malty side with notes of brown sugar, dark malt, vanilla, plums, dark cherry, wood and some nuttiness. It had a nice smooth body that was on the fuller side of medium and finished well. Very drinkable for style with very little alcohol showing through. Very well done. (756 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared this one with mikesgroove during the Growler Party this weekend! Served from growler into a Southern Tier tulip. Poured dark brown with a minimal brown head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wood, dark fruit, and subtle chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark chocolate, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this was a really nice brew. It was quite easy drinking as it had a good flavor and the mouthfeel wasn't destructive to your palate. The flavor on this one was what really stood out for me, but the aroma was still quite good as well. A definite must try if you get the opportunity! (708 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The unadulterated Hell Hath... shows a very, very sweet and weighted beer per style. Where it's characterful and robust, it lacks depth and palatability. Let's see what the barrel gives us...

The beer pours with a viscous plop into the glass. Very creamy looking but with a muddy appearance. Somewhere between brown and burgundy, the beer carries a russet haze. Very froathy head of barley-stained foam and lace. Aside from color, the beer shows a lot of substance and structure.

Very complex nose and flavor kicks off with the sweet malts and unresolved sugars. Confectioner's sugar and cotton candy notes come to mind. Very estery with grapes, licorice, plumbs, figs, dates and prunes. Where this beer separates from the original is in the nutty, bread crust, tannin, and vinous notes- these are quite evident in taste and aroma. Where the balance of the Hell Hath 1.0 remains of constant sweetness, the 2.0 balances well with the woody tannin, vinous notes. The addition of Bourbon alcohols also give a handsome strength to the beer without becomming boozy.

Quite full and heavy, nearly chewy to the mouth. Where a lot of styles are nice this way, the preference on these Belgian Darks is to be better attenuated, drier, and more palatable.

The barrels give greater depth and complexity to the malts without disrupting the sweetness or esters. They also help to balance the beer in the absence of hops or complexity on its own. (1,434 characters)

Photo of bhalter8
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap as part of Brick Store Pub's 13 days for 13th Anniversary. Served in a stemmed glass, it is dark as night, a very dense and murky looking beer. An equally dense, but thin, medium brown colored head rests atop and provides decent lacing as the beer is drunk. Might have been served a bit cold, as this beer's aroma really opened up as I let it sit. The bourbon treatment is certainly prominent, but not overwhelming, as chocolate and dark fruit aromas add to the mix. These aromas indeed carry through to the flavor. This beer could easily age, but is certainly not too hot. The bourbon flavors hit you up front, but the raisin/prune flavors that you want to enjoy in a Dark Belgian are present as well, in addition to a nice roasted malt and coffee hint. Really a wonderful bouquet of flavors in this beer. As previously mentioned in the appearance, this is a very dense beer, and one that, luckily, can be enjoyed slowly over a long time. Somewhat light carbonation, as one might expect. This beer is a great fit for a place like the Brick Store because it invites you to enjoy it very slowly while chatting with your fellow pub patrons. I wish I could have it on a cold winter evening, but a beer this good was ok even on a muggy Georgia summer's day. (1,264 characters)

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to steamhead.

A - Pours a deep dark and rich mahogany color with some nice .5 inch finger head that is quite dense. the color is a bit creamy.

S - Aroma is a bit muted except for some nice Belgian yeast qualities.. SLight clove and some nice funk. There is also some wood and slight alcoholic burn. Nothing too intense though.

T & M - Taste starts off with some nice bready malt and Belgian yeast chalkiness. There is a slight traditional Belgian Strong Dark Ale flavor to this with some clove and nice dark fruits. Figs and even some slight raisins. The Bourbon adds some sweetness but more than anything adds vanilla and some nice wood and oaky flavors. Nice complex and full mouthfeel with tons of flavors that are well crafted and very vivid.

D - Good beer that surprisingly has more alcohol kick than the ABV would indicate. (841 characters)

Photo of kzoobrew
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review input from notes. Enjoyed 01/30/11.
Big thanks to brew3crew for the growler. Cheers Jason!

You would be safe to call the color black, when held to the light a deep mahogany color shines through. Decent brown sugar colored lacing set a top, soon fades leaving a nice ring around the top. A respectable amount of sticky lacing clings to the walls of the glass.

Bourbon was noticed right off the bat. Not particularly boozy smelling though the bourbon in dominant. Dark fruits and molasses aromas are rich. Vanilla and oak are interlaced through out and very pleasant.

Mild roasted malt, chocolate and dark fruit flavors are up front. Sweet caramel and bourbon fall just behind. This is a rather sweet beer but stops far short of being cloying. The booziness is held in check, there is absolutely no heat. Vanilla is once again laced throughout. Very little hop flavor is detected.

Full bodied though on the lower end of full. Soft carbonation is adequate and appropriate. Very smooth texture across the tongue. Long and pleasant finish.

Very good beer, dangerously drinkable. The bourbon really works well to compliment the base beer. May be hard to find but I recommend seeking this one out if you have the chance. (1,225 characters)

Photo of grub
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sampled on tap at hopcat jan 22/2010 as part of their 2nd annual extreme beer fest.

pours deep dark brown, nearly black and poaque with a thin ring of very fine brown head. at its thinnest point a bit of light is able to slip through and it gives a bit of a garnet flare. the head drops fairly fast and leaves a few spots of lace.

aroma is insane. super complex. bourbon and vanilla. coconut. bit of tropical fruit. dark fruit from the base beer - raisin, date, plum. bit of smoke and earth. light chocolate hints. there's a bit of spice there too. more depth than i think i'm really capturing, but i'm not sure that all those elements work.

taste is great. there's a whole lot of barrel up front, to the point that it almost obscures the beer beneath. but after a few sips you start to see through the barrel a bit. bourbon, vanilla, light coconut. touch of belgian spice. nice dark fruit - raisin, date, fig, plum. dark chocolate. bit of espresso. light alcohol. whole wheat bread and cracker. a touch of lighter hay and grain starts to show through. low sweetness. low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. nice medium-large body with a pleasant fairly dry finish. just under medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. it is big and complex with a whole lot going on, but i think for the most part it is an improvement over the base beer. the barrel adds a nice complimentary aspect that i liked. good stuff. (1,430 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 8739, 7/20/09, tapped September 29, 2010.
Total blackness in the glass, nice brown ring above, slowly slipping down in size.
Aroma reeks of bourbon, Big molasses and vanilla, sweet, rich, and decadent. Cocoa and dark fruit below, a bit.
Taste: Succulent and sweet, juicy, palpably pulpy, rolls away and dries off some. Dark fruit, fig, raisin, dates, maybe...a wonderful port wine quality asserts itself. Realigns, edges into moderation, evens out, ends light and dry on the palate. Flavor still lingers lightly.
If there's a flaw in this, it's that you can't really discern the character of the dubbel beneath the bourbon in this, but it's too excellent a combination to quibble over such things. If you love bourbon barrel brews, this one does the trick. The base beer holds it's own, and the bourbon truly shines.
So glad to try this one! (852 characters)

Photo of Brew33
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hell Hath No Fury- Bourbon Barrel Aged

This is a beer I had been trying to track down for quite some time. It pours a surprisingly clear dark reddish-amber. The aroma is solid. Nice big hit of bourbon, some more sniffing produces some sweet caramel and toffee aromas, brandy? MAybe a little.

The flavor is much less bourbon forward. I think Bell's gave this beer the perfect amount of time in the barrel. Bourbon is there but it doesn't smack you in the mouth like other bal-aged beers. Rich malts integrate perfectly with the barrel, yeast, and alcohol. No hops here. The alcohol is there, it adds to the complexity but doesn't offer a ton of heat which is a bonus. The mouthfeel is lush without being too heavy. The drinkability is excellent for such a "big" beer that has spent time in a bourbon barrel.

All in all a fantastic beer that I'm glad I pulled the trigger on. Bell's gets another one right. (909 characters)

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Hell Hath No Fury Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
92 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.