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Hellwoods - Bellwoods Brewery

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

50 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 50
Reviews: 16
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 8.27%
Wants: 14
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bellwoods Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: cmadd on 09-09-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 50 | Reviews: 16 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by biegaman:
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

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.

02-25-2014 03:33:42 | More by biegaman
More User Reviews:
Photo of beerhunter13

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

08-23-2013 13:47:07 | More by beerhunter13
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev -9.5%

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.

09-23-2012 20:12:43 | More by Sammy
Photo of heebes

Ontario (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%

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.

10-21-2012 19:55:03 | More by heebes
Photo of Boozecamel

British Columbia (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

10-17-2013 02:48:44 | More by Boozecamel
Photo of Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.19/5  rDev -0.9%

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.

08-15-2013 03:00:26 | More by Rutager
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

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.

02-20-2013 21:09:11 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%

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.

11-06-2012 01:35:59 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of mtbdonn


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

05-13-2014 02:29:26 | More by mtbdonn
Photo of mmurphy525

Nova Scotia (Canada)

4/5  rDev -5.4%

04-27-2014 21:13:36 | More by mmurphy525
Photo of ssmack

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

10-10-2013 02:18:15 | More by ssmack
Photo of ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

06-19-2013 13:39:12 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

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.

03-28-2013 23:32:03 | More by papat444
Photo of liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

4.48/5  rDev +5.9%

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.

11-19-2012 20:31:31 | More by liamt07
Photo of mattsander

Alberta (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -13.7%

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.

04-25-2013 14:11:54 | More by mattsander
Photo of SebD

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

10-09-2013 18:05:10 | More by SebD
Photo of cmadd

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%

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.

09-09-2012 19:09:34 | More by cmadd
Photo of mmapes


4.24/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

09-20-2013 19:03:17 | More by mmapes
Photo of jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%

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!).

09-11-2012 14:46:12 | More by jrenihan
Photo of oldp0rt

Quebec (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

09-09-2013 02:42:06 | More by oldp0rt
Photo of Jaywalsh20


3.25/5  rDev -23.2%

04-27-2014 13:42:59 | More by Jaywalsh20
Photo of fizzyted

Ontario (Canada)

4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

01-24-2014 14:35:00 | More by fizzyted
Photo of lgmol

Nova Scotia (Canada)

4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-22-2013 01:49:58 | More by lgmol
Photo of evil_liver

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -5.4%

10-21-2013 04:59:31 | More by evil_liver
Photo of andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

06-15-2014 00:50:41 | More by andrenaline
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Hellwoods from Bellwoods Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.