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Hell For Certain - Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's

Not Rated.
Hell For CertainHell For Certain

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

74 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 74
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.69%
Wants: 7
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's visit their website
Kentucky, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Dark Ale |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: SheepNutz on 04-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 74 | Reviews: 65 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by FormatKid:
Photo of FormatKid
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I recieved this beer via Trade probably close to a year ago now. It's been awhile since I've done a review but I'm ready to jump back in.

Belgian Dark I figure this is a style that a little age won't hurt but looking at the ABV it's a little lower than I'd expect so I worry a little bit.

I poured this beer out of a 12oz bottle into a goblet. The body is a little more translucent than I'd expect, usually a good thing but I expect a little murk in a Belgian Dark, practically no head at all and what there is at first quickly recedes into absolutely nothing. The color itself is nice though a nice tawny ruby brown..

The smell is very muted. Faint apple and pear esters. The smell of Belgian yeast I so enjoy is barely perceptable, just a teeny-tiny twinge of must.

The taste turns me about a little bit, the appearance and scent had set me up for disappointment but I feel this is not quite the case. Nice firm apple flavors up front. Clean solid malt profile, again not as much must from the yeast as I would like in this beer. Nice caramel kick in the rear of the palate. The beer is rather light bodied, due to use of some type of sugar I'd assume.

This has to be the most "drinkable" (in the sense of having a few in one sitting) Belgian Dark I've ever had.I could imagine savoring a few of these in a row.

FormatKid, Oct 14, 2005
More User Reviews:
Photo of bluesoul
4.28/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O'Shea's on Baxter in Louisville. Poured into snifter.

A - The beer arrived a dark amber, with almost no head to it. I didn't watch the pour so I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt. Lacing was decent at best.

S - The smell was a lot better than the looks. In my notes I described it as "luxurious", due to the rich profile of it. The nose was primarily malty with hints of nut. Slight funk when swirled, not much sweetness to the nose.

T - Very well balanced attack, barley opens up to a mild heart and finished with a very nice hop kick. Hops tend to build up towards the back of the tongue. I'm not quite far enough along to really pick anything out with this one but that didn't make it any less tasty.

M - Super smooth, light to medium bodied, carbonation was good. Finish was nice and clean, though increasingly hoppy. Hoppy aftertaste but not overpowering.

D - Eminently drinkable for any occasion, I foresee a session of these soon. It was gone all too soon.

As a bit of trivia, Hell For Certain is named after an area of the same name in Southeastern KY, just a bit south of "Hell Creek" and "Whynot?" You really can't make these things up.

bluesoul, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of Duster72
2.88/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice dark amber with an impressive off white head. Aroma is yeasty with some nuttiness and dark fruits. Taste is bready, toasty, slightly sour. Unmemorable and bland. Mouthfeel is on the light side. I drank half the bottle before getting bored with it and dumped the rest out. Moved on to something better.

Duster72, Jun 21, 2007
Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much better than their Dark Star Porter(which is decent). This one pours a clear, copper amber, with a better than expected tan head, that leaves some sheet lacing, eventually fading to collar and slick lace. Not a bad appearance. Aroma is plums and dark cherries, banana bread halved with cinamon raisin bread. Pretty good, so far. Mouthfeel has a hoppy bite, and medium carbonation. Very nice for the style. Taste is much better than expected. Plums and cherries, some McIntosh apples, molasses, and some vanilla flavors. Slight floral hop bitterness keeps the sweet fruit flavors from being cloying. Finishes with a fresh and fruity McIntosh apple taste, with a pleasant dryness. Doesn't taste like a strong, Belgian Ale, at all, but is a very nice ale hat deserves its own niche in the heirarchy of American strong ambers.

merlin48, Feb 19, 2004
Photo of yankeeheel
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a real pretty garnet with a smallish off-white head. Nice layer of lace sets up in the tulip glass.

Smells a little plum like with a hint of cafe behind it.

Tastes downright good. Full of big sweet malty character. Nice smoky underlay supporting a slightly overtoasted nut body. Craemy and caramel like in it's consistency. Finishes slightly astringent.

Mouthfeel is quite full with a real creaminess to it.

Very drinkable. It must be some kind of UK curse that I'm drinking this on the eve of the NCAA's.

yankeeheel, Mar 18, 2004
Photo of BamfBacon
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

BamfBacon, Jul 03, 2013
Photo of Sammy
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Some alcohol, yeast and malt in nose. Whitish foam. Very mild brownish body. Some yeast in taste, bown sugar and pepper and cloves and raisin.Not too drinkable, and a fairly mediocre Belg. Above average mouthfeel and appropriate carbonation.FOund at Warehouse Beverages.

Sammy, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hell For Certain reminded me right off the bat of an English style barleywine with its luxurious, fruity, sweet and caramel-soaked maltiness; and full bodied, pillowy mouthfeel. And, in fact, it even looks like one with its hazy, reddish, deep-copper body and frothy tan head. And not to beat a dead horse, but it kind of smells like one too.... there's not much really-specific Belgian yeast character coming through in the nose (it is fruity and floral though, with notes of peach, tangerine, and tropical fruits). More Belgian" yeast character is present in the flavor, however, with a soft phenolic note and delicate touch of spice that helps dry it out (and overall it's just not as agressive as an English barleywine). The bitterness is balancing and it finishes dry despite the amount of malty sweetness that initially hits the tongue. It's nicely rounded and very drinkable. And somewhere in the aroma, and then again in the flavor, is a thread of orange-like fruitiness (and even some pineapple) that's quite nice and very memorable! There are some low-level leafy hops as well, and they appear almost tea-like once it warms. A unique, satiating, satifying, and thoroughly enjoyable ale that's certainly worth trying!

NeroFiddled, May 12, 2005
Photo of ElGordo
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle into my Duvel tulip glass. Body is slightly turbid, deep amber in color with bright orange highlights, and topped by a good inch of light brown head that thins out rather quickly. Aroma is mainly spicy, funky Belgian yeast, with notes of brown sugar and peach. Palate is fairly malty, with caramel and light fruity flavors interplaying with the spicy yeast.
I agree with some other reviewers that this tastes almost more like a barleywine, but the presence of the yeast makes it an unmistakably Belgian-style ale. Body is a touch creamy, but moreover a little foamy and thin. Not a bad beer, and a better effort than I would have expected from a small brewery in Kentucky.

ElGordo, Sep 12, 2006
Photo of Jon
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright garnet with a thin layer of bubbles. Lacks substantial head and lace, but attractive,nonetheless. Fresh nose of apricot, yeast, coriander and peppercorn. Ripe fruit, namely apricot, in addition to coriander, pepper and a definite presence of earthy hops make up the flavor profile of this ale. As the beer reaches room temperature, the beer turns fruitier and spicier, creating a two-dimensional flavor with pronounced citrus character. Mouthfeel is fairly creamy, smooth, well-carbonated, and honestly better than expected. A very drinkable Belgian-style ale from Bluegrass in what I'd imagine is to be similar to the Dubbel style. Overall, a tasty beer, though a bit lacking in true Belgian character.

Jon, Nov 24, 2003
Photo of bditty187
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy, bronzy-copper-amber in hue, attractive, there wasn’t much of a head that formed. Actually, there wasn’t any head, just a small collar, almost naked in the middle. I think the foam is off-white in color; there really isn’t much to look at. There was no subsequent lacing. This beer is dull in appearance for a Belgium-style beer. The nose isn’t very chatty and it doesn’t speak with much of a Belgian accent. Sugary-sweet and alcoholic are the main aromas; behind this are some fruity notes (mainly melons) and a kiss of rinds (from the hops I assume?). At the back is some nondescript maltiness. I can’t say the bouquet impresses me much, it is not bad but too close to boring. So, I can’t call it inviting. The palate is good; it has a malty-backbone that reminds me of McChouffe. HFC is fruiter though; I like the apple flavors, pears, melons, and juicy tropical fruit. Hmm… a Belgium Amber Ale maybe? This beer is plenty sweet, almost too sweet for me. Sugary in the middle, by the finish the beer does dry out just enough to make it quaffable, the hop bitterness is moderate but firm enough for balance by the end. There are enough flavors going on for me to care. However, “enough” doesn’t make this a great beer. It is too clean for one thing. I’d drink it again. Once at room temperature I liked it much more, as more layers of flavors could be enjoyed. This is obviously the way to drink this beer, slightly cooler than cellar temperature didn’t work out as well. Medium in body, a tickle thin and watery, the carbonation is a bit too low as well. If the carbonation was livelier and the body was bigger this beer would be much better. This is only the truly negative thing I can say about this beer. It is drinkable and likable. It is friendly but not aggressive enough my tastes. But this is yet another solid offering from the BBC, thanks SheepNutz for the sample. Worth a try.

bditty187, Aug 20, 2004
Photo of beveritt
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml wine bottle size into a Duvel tulip shaped glass. Bottle had no indication of when it was made, but I got it from a local liquor store that has pretty good turnover.

Appearance: Pours with a nice thick, light brown head. Head dissipated quickly and left a small amount of lacing. The beer itself is the color of tarnished copper. Small bubbles kept coming up from the glass. Beer is crystal clear.

Smell: Smells heavily of sweet malt, I wonder what the residual sugar is in this thing?

Taste: Beer is sweet and malty, hint a rich nutty taste. Bottle doesn't indicate what the ABV is, but you can taste alcohol.

Mouthfeel: The taste of malt lingers for a time after your sip is finished. The beer has good body and just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: With the sweetness and the above average ABV, this isn't the kind of beer you would drink all night. The 750 ml botle is good to split with someone. If your alone, try to find the 12 oz.

beveritt, Aug 04, 2006
Photo of cwd
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

cwd, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of Generik420
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I really wanted to like this more then I did, being a somewhat local offering. I poured this into a 22oz snifter and found it to be a deep reddish brown. Very light head that didn't last at all. Did have some lacing.

Smell was dominated by alchohol, with hints of a mild fruitiness.

Taste was somewhat malty with more then a hint of alchohol present. Semi-sweet.

Mouthfeel I found lacking. I found the look and smell reminiscent of Chimay Blue, but this seemed under-carbonated and ruined that impression. It just seemed a bit thin.

As it warmed up, I found this much more drinkable and enjoyable. Very pleased to have gotten to try it for free, and would drink it again, but not one I would overpay for.

Generik420, Oct 03, 2006
Photo of hotstuff
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This beer formed a small sized tan head when poured that contained fine sized bubbles that quickly diminished.The body was cloudy and it was carbonated.The hue was copper and the nose was malty, fruity and some alcohol.The flavor was bitter with alcohol and it left an aftertaste.The mouthfeel tingly on my tongue, smooth and medium bodied.There was no lacing with this beer.

hotstuff, Aug 17, 2003
Photo of emerge077
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours into an Oerbier tulip a mahoghany tone, with two fingers of foam after an aggressive swirl and pour of the dregs. No actual yeast was visible in the bottle though. Moderate to low level of spotty lacing, an irregular skim of foam blankets the liquid.

Aroma is mild, sweet dark fruit, raisin, with a slight metallic edge. Sweetness becomes a little cloying over time.

Taste is of light toasted malt, raisin, and fairly ho-hum. Not really a stand-out, but ok. Burnt molasses and graham cracker. Too much diacetyl presence. Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied, possibly due to the addition of yeast. Pretty ambiguous overall. I could finish a bottle, but didn't want another.

emerge077, May 18, 2007
Photo of blackhammer
2.4/5  rDev -33%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Picked up on a shopping trip in Indy, only my second Belgian Dark, so I thought I'd give it a go.

A: Poured a dark reddish brown oak color in the glass with some cloudiness. Poured a rocky head, about a half inch, with lingered on the glass for some time.

S: Strong smell of oats, rye, and cherries underneath both. No hop aroma to be found by my nose.

T: Very mild, roasted oats flavor. Much milder, than I would have expected given, the robustness of its appearance. It seems like all the work on this beer went into it's appearance and smell. Nothing was left for the flavor itself. None of the underlying aromas come through on the palate.

M: Very thin on the mouth and throat. Not a bad feeling, just not memorable. Just too light in body for a beer that appeared to be much more.

D: An easy drinker, certainly, but I expected a lot more when it poured. It just seems lacking in punch in flavor and feel for having such an intimidating moniker.

blackhammer, Nov 24, 2007
Photo of CRJMellor
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gift from trbeer. Thanks Tim
Pours a combination of red,brown with a slight copper tint throughout. Lots of yeast suspended in the nectar with a big light tan head on the pour that fades leaving some splotches of lace.
There are some floaties and yeast visible and a small tan head formed but faded away relatively quickly with no retention.
Aroma of plums and dates immediately rises with some caramel, bread and spicy yeast in the background.
Flavors of dark citrus really begin to emerge as the beer warms. Definitive but light jump of coriander and orange peel.
Mouthfeel is majorly sweet almost overly so. Spcies just cut the sweet malt enough to make enjoyable.
Drinkability is solid. Little bit of on the transition between sweet and spice and just a tad too one-dimensional. Most likely better on draught I imagine.

CRJMellor, Jun 07, 2005
Photo of Boilermaker88
2.45/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Picked up this BBC offering in West Lafayette, IN during my week-long trip back to the Indianapolis area. Had some rather high hopes for this brew but am left rather disappointed.
Presented in a stubby brown bottle with a "best before" date of Feb 04 on the label edge, Hell For Certain poured a hazy dark orangy-apricot color, like overripe apricots. Despite a large but rather sluggish amount of carbonation, no head formed and no lace was left. The smell an enticing blend of bready malt, soft ripe dark fruits, coriander and pepper. The taste is where Hell For Certain lost me. While initially exibiting a yeasty malt flavor with some dark fruit notes, it transitioned to a spicy, peppery bite and eventually left a sharp metallic tang on the back of my tongue in the finish. The metallic burn lingered long afterward and was a real detractor. The feel was medium-bodied, with a dry edge.
I felt quite let down by this brew. Hell For Certain didn't get any better as it warmed, only imparting an alcohol astringency to go with the palate-killing metal taste. Hell, for certain, at least taste-wise.

Boilermaker88, Nov 08, 2003
Photo of mikesgroove
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

nice dark brown color with this tin wispy head of off white that capped the top only for a slight time offering little in the way of side lacing. aroma of roasted malts, light smoke, and hints of chocolate, nice and warming, but lacked the punch i was looking for. flavor was more of the same, not bad at all, had all the right markers there with light peat, lots of chocolate, deep roasted profile, just too light for me to be honest. thin feel

mikesgroove, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Listed here as a dark strong Belgian, I probably would tag it as a dubbel. Some candy sweetness in the nose, malty with sweet, fruity esters. Flavor is on the lighter side for the style (whichever way you want to make the call), but it is a very drinkable interpretation. BBC is no Ommegang, but they brewed a pretty tasty beer here.

Brent, Apr 25, 2002
Photo of endincolorado
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Deep, clear gold-amber-- light on head, ultra-low retention, thin lace

Smell- Sweet malty character, with some yeast and notes of baked bread

Taste- Slightly blander than I expected, pale malt, bread, light yeasty spice

Mouthfeel- fairly thin and flabby, low on carbonation

D- I expected a little more from this beer -not one I'll seek out for another round.

endincolorado, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of Gusler
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fantastic beer to see setting in the glass, an eye pleasing cherry red with a masterful head that is light tan in color, with the lace glutinous sheets that cling mightily to the glass. Over ripe pineapple aroma’s, hints of fusel alcohol, malt, sweet and a real “Sniffer”. Start dominated by the malt, the top middling in feel, the finish purposeful in it acidity, the hops meaningful in their spicy bite, dry aftertaste that is somewhat sour, quite reminiscent of a Flanders Red Sour Ale, a real yummy for the tummy and the palate.

Gusler, Dec 20, 2002
Photo of dren
2.08/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Pours a dark amber with a nice thick head that leaves lacing. This is the only good quality of this beer.

Smells malty and slightly nutty. A very small hint of dried fruit sweetness.

Tastes similar with the malts up front and hops afterwards. The flavors do not blend well at all. You have to swish this in your mouth to pick up some of them, very bland but bad tasting. It's like an IPA gone wrong with some Belgian yeast thrown in it. The worst attempt at this style I have had. As the beer warmed I caught a few hints of dried fruit but as soon as you pick them up they are gone. I didn't want to finish this beer which is extremely rare as I'll drink just about anything.

Mouthfeel was fairly thick but the flavor was flat. Enough carbonation. This was another high point of the beer. If I didn't have tastebuds I wouldn't mind drinking it.

Pass on this beer. Actually pass on just about everything the BBC has to offer. They have a few gems in there, but they are far and inbetween.

dren, Jun 11, 2007
Photo of Cresant
3.05/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. into a Duvel tulip. Created very little head. Reddish-brown leather color and clear.

Sweet smelling, floral with alcohol presence. Pleasant.

Taste reflected the smell. Sweet raisiny, mild alcohol presence. Not very complex yet enjoyable.

Mouthfilling yet mildly carbonated. Smooth.I would like to try this one on-tap.

Cresant, Jul 11, 2006
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Hell For Certain from Bluegrass Brewing Co. - East St. Matthew's
81 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.