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Hellwoods - Bellwoods Brewery

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59 Ratings
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Ratings: 59
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.06%
Wants: 18
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bellwoods Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This is an unapologetic beer. Dark, viscous, bitter, and rich — it's a dangerous elixir of love. Originally developed by English brewers in the 18th century for export to the court of Catherine the Great in Russia, our interpretation of the style would surely make lady C proud. We’ve waited our whole lives to brew a beer with such bravado, and it always sells out faster than we can supply the next batch. Some people claim that imperial stouts are only for the dead of winter, but we feel that this sidekick is there for you, anytime you call.

(Beer added by: cmadd on 09-09-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 59 | Reviews: 19 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MasterSki
4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from the brewery, released October 2014. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

A - Dark mocha foam settles to a thin cap, thicker collar, and minimal lacing. Very, very dark brown body that verges on black.

S - My previous experience with Hellwoods was an aged bottle from Grub (I will integrate those notes once I dig them up). This fresh bottle reminds me a lot of Ten FIDY; roasty, with a hefty dose of baker's chocolate, coffee, and green hops. Perhaps a faint whiff of alcohol as it approaches room temperature.

T - Taste is similarly heavy on roasted malts and semisweet chocolate, with a mild cake-like sweetness creeping in. Hop and anise bitterness show up late but doesn't get overly fatiguing until well into the 500ml bottle.

M - Full bodied, with tons of residual stickiness. Medium-low carbonation keeps things from getting too syrupy. Texture starts a bit roasty but smooths out as it moves over the palate. Well-hidden alcohol.

D - This new batch reminds me a lot of Ten FIDY, which is a surprise as the older bottle was super smokey. In any case, both of them were quite good. Bellwoods seems to have the Imperial Stout category dialed in. Slowly worked through a bottle while watching working on my Python chops.

MasterSki, Nov 07, 2014
Photo of Spreetaper
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Spreetaper, Nov 05, 2014
Photo of mick303
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black, viscous and thick appearance, with some light film and lacing, which is dark coffee tan. Aroma has burnt coffee, dark chocolate, rich brandied dry fruits, rich malty and vanilla notes, peppery spice as well as a definite earthy hop presence.

Taste carries a wave of robust roasty notes, espresso and earth, bitter and hoppy with a sappy earthy character, also cocoa and d chocolate, thick and very strong leading to an intigrated bitter finish. Dark roast malts, thick molasses and caramel, with some residual malty sweetness past the hops.

As expected, thick and heavy, quite creamy actually this is a very heavy beer, mild carbonation and very bitter. I would maybe tone down how viscous this is, though I do enjoy it, it's almost like soupy hot chocolate, big satisfying beer.

Big brash russian stout, nice strong flavour and a good balance, alcohol is well hidden and not hot at all, rich and satisfying. Quite a hoppy interpretation but it's drinks very nicely. Would recommend thiis.

mick303, Nov 01, 2014
Photo of KrisDLSmith
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%

KrisDLSmith, Oct 28, 2014
Photo of Luisc94
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

A: Thick black color with dark Brown 2 finger head, low carbonation and médium to high retention.
S: first impressions mocha like smell some coffee and licorish, nice roasted malts, tho the malts do not completely overpowers the hops, you can feel some pines and slight perfume smells.
F: immediately you feel roasted malts some coffee flavors and chocolate tones. The coffee and malt flavor are the main on this beer there is some bitterness in it but not overpowering, after all the malts you can feel the hops; you can feel piney/citric flavors too.
M: very thick body, viscous with a low to medium carbonation. The thick moughtfeel combines great with the low carbonation, making it a smooth drink.
O: great balance in the malts hops and bitterness, that mix well with its body making it a very solid Imperial Stout.

Luisc94, Oct 26, 2014
Photo of nrs207
4/5  rDev -5.2%

nrs207, Oct 19, 2014
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4/5  rDev -5.2%

iL0VEbeer, Sep 14, 2014
Photo of Shawn_Winters
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Shawn_Winters, Sep 13, 2014
Photo of Jones153
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Jones153, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of Jlefa
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Jlefa, Jul 30, 2014
Photo of Jerboat
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Jerboat, Jul 25, 2014
Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -5.2%

KAF, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of Cadbury
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Cadbury, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of andrenaline
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

andrenaline, Jun 15, 2014
Photo of KrizzlyBear
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

KrizzlyBear, May 16, 2014
Photo of jcb7472
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

jcb7472, May 15, 2014
Photo of mtbdonn
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

mtbdonn, May 13, 2014
Photo of mmurphy525
4/5  rDev -5.2%

mmurphy525, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of Jaywalsh20
3.25/5  rDev -23%

Jaywalsh20, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of hunterjames
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

hunterjames, Apr 11, 2014
Photo of 4ster
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

4ster, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of GoHabsGo
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

GoHabsGo, Mar 14, 2014
Photo of biegaman
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hellwoods looks as dense as Rodin’s The Gates of Hell and, indeed, could pass as something from Dante's 'The Inferno'. The beer is solid as bronze but black as coal, without even a flicker of highlighting. Even its head is darker than some people might imagine any beer to ever be.

There's a towering amount of malt in the aroma (coffee, chocolate, roasted grain) but also, somewhat unexpectedly, a bold and distinctive amount of hoppiness too; the two vie for the nose's attention as if their lives depended on it. Ultimately, it smells smoky but "green"; there's lots of pine, grass and forest floor nuances. Some vinous red wine notes too.

Imperial Stouts like this are perfect for the cold weather - their hearty, warming characteristics give the body a sense of satisfaction, satiety, and safety. This thick, roasted malt bill is made up not only of dark chocolate and burnt toffee flavours but also sooty campfire smoke and coffee bean astringency, and is chased by earthy Darjeeling tea and woody spruce-like hop flavours.

The mouthfeel drinks like a blend of in-house roasted artisan coffee and single origin dark chocolate - there's a certain 'quality' to it that is intangible but all so appreciable. I've had bourbon barrel-aged stouts that don't achieve this level of milky vanilla sweetness, bitter espresso and charred wood spice flavour (and certainly none that mask their alcohol so effortlessly).

Hellwoods was clearly designed with horsepower in mind but, out of courtesy, never quite kicks it into high gear. The engine is certainly not off, mind you - this offers the all of the complexity expected of a 10% RIS but is simply, somehow, that much more approachable. The guys at Bellwoods known their way around a mash tun, that's for sure. This is hellishly good.

biegaman, Feb 25, 2014
Photo of fizzyted
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

fizzyted, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of yancot
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

yancot, Jan 21, 2014
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Hellwoods from Bellwoods Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.