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Hellwoods - Bellwoods Brewery

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Hellwoods
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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

65 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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:
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4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

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.

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4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

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 KrisDLSmith
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours total opaque black with a huge dark tan head that lasts a long while. Sheets and chunks of foam coat the glass. The aroma is of dark chocolate, roasted barley, vanilla and apple and banana hints (yeast esters?). Lots of dry black licorice explode on the palate alongside the aforementioned flavors. Fresh roasted coffee beans and resiny, piney hops also show in the taste. The mouthfeel is thick and viscous, just south of oily with a subtle, creamy carbonation. Medium bitterness and a nice roastiness in the long finish. Alcohol is impeccably well hidden throughout.

Excellent RIS. Lots of thick chewy malt and roasty flavors, great hop balance, thick body, low booze flavor. It checks off all the boxes. A must try from this fantastic Toronto brewery. The best one in town imo.

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 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 Coronaeus
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%

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 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 mick303
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of peensteen
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Liam for getting me this bottle in October/November?

Jet black with a ring of deep tan head, fair bit of lace and really good retention here also. Smell is full of roast and bittersweet chocolate, some coffee, anise and darker fruits as well, quite a bit of hop kick in here as well. Taste is full on roast, bakers chocolate and bitter hops, black coffee flavours, light sugary sweet points and a bit boozy in the finish. Lightly carbonated, full mouthfeel, big body on this one. Solid RIS here, really happy they are making more of this as this is one beer I wouldn't mind having a ton of.

Photo of MasterSki
4.29/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of wordemupg
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into tulip 14/11/12 bottled Sept/4/12 thanks liamt07 for sending the bottle

A black right out of the bottle with just a thin cola edge, a thumbs width of mocha foam stays around long enough to leave a few rings of lace

S over ripe plums hit my nose first, dark fruits are strong in this one, some dark bakers chocolate and chocolate covered raisins with some booze and tobacco

T more going on in the mouth, coffee and char with a little licorice and less booze then the nose, both wet and charred wood with and little molasses, not as much over ripe fruit as the smell and some chocolate syrup comes out with a faint nutty aspect, very solid taste

M enters thick and silky with enough bubbles to give it a very creamy feel, very strong char aftertaste lingers for ages, very thick and rich with just a little heat keeping it from reaching perfection

O pretty solid RIS, big body and great flavors perhaps I should’ve aged it but with only one bottle I don’t have another to make a comparison.

I’m digging Bellwoods so far and need to thank liamt07 for sending me these gems. A big rich stout that’s perhaps a little too easy to drink, what could go wrong?

Photo of Boozecamel
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

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