Hellwoods - Bellwoods Brewery

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Hellwoods
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

65 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 65
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 19
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: 65 | Reviews: 19 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Jeffo:
Photo of Jeffo
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Peensteen for this one. Happy to give this one a try.

From a bomber into a snifter
Bottled 1 March 2013

APPEARANCE: A black, syrupy pour yields a small, medium looking, light tan head with decent retention. Head quickly recedes to a light wisp and ring. Jet black body with no carbonation evident. Nice swirly wisp remains leaving dots dots of lacing down the glass. Good looking imperial stout for sure.

SMELL: Big, luscious nose of roasted grain, molasses, dark baker's chocolate and touches of leather. Lots of molasses and chocolate. Big and enticing.

TASTE: Follows the nose really nicely. Roasted notes and lots of sweet molasses and caramel sweetness up front. Plenty of sweetness after the swallow a well, with some bitter dark baker's chocolate, bitter espresso and alcohol proving a solid counterweight. Notes of leather and licorice beside the bitter chocolate and sweet molasses. Big, sweet and roasted flavors, but balanced excellently by the coffee and chocolate bitterness. Really decadent.

PALATE: Fuller body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy and velvety smooth on the palate, enough weight, goes down fine with a bit of a scratch at the swallow and finishes slightly sticky. Big feel.

OVERALL: This was excellent. Perhaps a touch more bitterness to balance the huge sweet flavors would make this perfect, but this is basically as good as it gets. Really complex with lots of aromas and flavors in almost perfect harmony, this one is absolutely outstanding. One I'd gladly drink again and will be on the lookout for in the future. Thanks again Peensteen. Really good beer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of beerhunter13
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of JonnyBeers
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Brewery Market. Pretty good drinkability for the level of alcohol. Black with a bit of a mocha head. Good roasty aroma. Taste is bitter with a sugary finish. First sample yielded some almost burnt parts.As it warms, more hops present (second sample), the Warrior burst through. Still, too much sweetness, would like more balance. Its bitter and then somewhat too sweet. Would like thicker mouthfeel.

Photo of heebes
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Sept 4th.

Pours black with a good size tan foamy head. Nose is rich espresso, coffee beans, vanilla, roasted malts, hint of licorice. Taste is smooth, bitter dark malts, coffee lingers in the aftertaste. Lots of layers here; sweet vanilla rounded out by the bitter chocolate malt. This is a really well done RIS, spot on, brings back memories of some stand outs in the style from the American brewers. Medium to heavy body.
Overall an incredibly well done beer by the boys at Bellwoods.

Photo of Boozecamel
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of Rutager
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Same date as the bottle in the picture. Thanks liamt07!!

Appearance. Pours thick and black with a finger of deep brown head.

Smell. Dark chocolate, plums and a little espresso.

Taste. Drark roasted malts, plums and raisins, caramel, roasty dark malts, and some burnt sugar in the finish. Maybe just a bit of roasted nuts as well.

Mouthfeel. Full body, low+ carbonation.

Overall. Nicely done.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a huge dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of dry roasted malt with loads of black chocolate notes with medium bitterness. Taste is a good balance mix between some black chocolate notes with medium bitterness and some dry roasted malt with light lingering sweet notes and light coffee notes. Body is quite full with nice creamy touch and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Well brewed without necessarily standing out from the pack.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Andrew for this bottle! Bottled Sept 4/12.
Poured in to Bellwoods tulip.

A - Ink black. Half a finger of espresso coloured head.

S - Massive roast aroma at first that gives way to rich chocolate, brown sugar, molasses and light espresso notes.

T - Roast up front. Semi-sweet chocolate, molasses, anise and dark caramel. A good sweetness is well balanced by a noticeable hop presence and a very slightly alcohol warmth.

M - This is by far the best part about this beer. Full body. Thick and viscous with an absolutely massive chew. Light carbonation. Spot on!

O - Yet another top notch beer from Bellwoods.

Photo of mtbdonn
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of mmurphy525
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of ssmack
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of ritzkiss
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of papat444
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to jrenihan for this one.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle, bottled Sept. 4, 2012.

Appearance: Pours a real thick & viscous body. Pretty big head, real dark brown color, bubbly with good lacing.

Smell: Soft cocoa, chunky chocolate, wafts of coffee.

Taste: Bitter-sweet chocolate is predominant, bit of vanilla, some coffee grinds, more chocolate, even in the texture.

Mouthfeel: Real creamy, coats the inside of the mouth well, has a decent bitter bite that trails on.

Overall: Heavy on the dark chocolate but not sweet. Real nice RIS.

Photo of liamt07
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery, into a snifter.

Black with a crimson-brown head. OK lacing but fantastic retention. Nose is dark chocolate, roast, molasses, brown sugar and dark fruit become more noticeable with warmth. Taste has dark chocolate, roast, earthy dark fruit notes and some vanilla sweetness. Complex and only becomes moreso with warmth. Mouthfeel is full and alcohol was fairly absent from the palate. One of the best imperial stouts I've encountered Canada-wide.

Photo of mattsander
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Jet black with a rather dark mocha head, nice.

S: Very roast-forward... charred malts, licorice, chocolate.

T: The 'tanginess' I get from very roasty stouts is strong here, a lot of bittersweet chocolate. Not much fruitness or sweetness. Coffee grounds and bitter tangy blackness.

There's nothing wrong with this stout but the extreme roast-forwardness isn't my cup of tea.

Photo of SebD
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of cmadd
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured with a two fingered head, tan, and the body black like pitch. Beautiful.

S: Classic nose of burnt sugar, oats, and grassy fresh hops.

T: This beer is still quite young – the hops are floral, grassy, and bitter – but the alcohol is extremely well hidden. The taste is upfront with stone fruits, molasses, and burnt sugar. Fresh grassy earth and bitter hops round out the finish.

M: Oily, thick, and perfectly carbonated.

O: This is the best Ontario Russian Imperial Stout, bold and brassy, complex, but not too sweet. Reminiscent of Founders' version of the same. So glad to have this in our province.

Photo of RevCraig
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of nrs207
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of mmapes
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Andrew for the trade. Served fridge-cold (probably too cold) into snifters.

It's thick and dark in the glass with a very thin carmel-brown head. Smells of toasted malt/molasses, not too smoky.

Tastes malty. Not so beer-y -- not very prominent yeast or hops. Dry up front with a dark dried fruit finish. Chocolatey. Semi-sweet. Long finish. It's very good.

I love imperial stouts, and although this might not be my favorite, it's good. Would buy again if I could find it.

Photo of jrenihan
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bellwoods.

Beer is black with a moderately sized tan head. Head fades fairly quickly to nothing.

Smell consists of roast malt, vanilla, anise and some hop scents.

Taste is very nice. Roast malt, a bit of burnt caramel, vanilla, molasses, anise. Some bitterness, with slight grassy flavours from the hops. Alcohol quite well hidden for the ABV. Good stuff.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Heavy and a bit slick.

Overall, really good. Very enjoyable. I hope it is around for awhile as I could drink a lot of these (though probably not in one sitting!).

Photo of oldp0rt
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of Jaywalsh20
3.25/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of fizzyted
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

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Hellwoods from Bellwoods Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.