Hel & Verdoemenis Port Charlotte (peated) B.A.
Brouwerij De Molen

Hel & Verdoemenis Port Charlotte (peated) B.A.Hel & Verdoemenis Port Charlotte (peated) B.A.
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Style:
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,390
ABV:
11%
Score:
92
Ranked #16,169
Avg:
4.07 | pDev: 9.83%
Reviews:
7
Ratings:
15
From:
Brouwerij De Molen
 
Netherlands
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  1
Gots
  2
SCORE
92
Outstanding
Hel & Verdoemenis Port Charlotte (peated) B.A.Hel & Verdoemenis Port Charlotte (peated) B.A.
Notes:
Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 15
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Brouwerij De Molen "Hel & Verdoemenis"
11.2 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, coded "27 JAN 2016"
$7.99 @ Knightly Spirits O.B.T. , Orlando, FL

"Smoked Imperial Stout Aged in Scotch Barley Whiskey Barrels" "Heavily Peated"

Look: Opaque black body beneath a finger thick head of yellowed tan foam.

Smell: Sherry-like, perhaps from oxidation due to age. Is it phenolic from an infection?... it has a little bit of an acetone note... or is it phenolic from peat smoked malt? Mildly cocoa-ish, and a touch fruity as well. Slightly like red wine.

Taste: The sherry-like note carries over, but I also find it phenolic and I'm not sure where that's coming from. The cocoa is much richer than the aroma suggests, and even chocolate fudge-like, and there's some dark fruitiness with notes of raisin and fig and currant - and even perhaps a light note of dark cherry and red wine. The peat rises midway, joining in with the fruitiness as it appears, and then continues on and lingers into the finish. It's fairly bitter but not overdone, and balances the malt on the lower side while in the mouth, emerging to become more bitter in the lingering dry finish. The alcohol doesn't really show even at 11% abv.

Feel: Medium bodied and gently crisp and then smooth with a fine bubbled, seemingly natural carbonation.

Overall: I'm not sure that the peat smoke works as it's so phenolic, and in fact I'd say it's the downfall of the beer. This isn't a fresh bottle, and I've never sampled one so I can't say for sure, but based on my experience with peat-smoked beers in the past that's the issue. Otherwise I find the dark fruitiness quite nice against the dark chocolate. I've had other examples of the style that are similar, Le Coq Imperial Extra Double Stout as brewedby Harvey's for one, so I don't find it odd in comparison to most of the other cleaner examples that are out there, but for those who are aging this I'd say it's past its prime.

Review# 6,400

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2oz bottle into glass. Bottled on date is '27 JAN 2016'.
Black, opaque body. A slight skim of a head upon pouring, but disappears in seconds. No lacing.
Aroma of dark malt, chocolate, peat, and oak barrel.
Peaty and chocolate early taste, but back end is red wine-like tart. Quite an abrupt turn from the slightly sweet to the tart. Some oak barrel comes out too. The scotch influence is faint but can be found by holding the beer in the mouth.
Mouth feel is somewhat and coating.
Not sure if the beer is still close to what it was when bottled, but the peat is quite nice.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pour pitch black with only a few bubbles visible, nearly still, no lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt with light char, peat, cocoa and light molasses. Flavor is dark toasted malt, chocolate and peat, thinning out into a peaty, astringent and lightly tart finish. Light to medium bodied with a little carbonation despite the still pour. A nice, but somewhat thin malty and peaty start, but then things go off the track into a bitter and lightly tart finish that either indicates an infection or the base malt has been overwhelmed by the iodine part of the peat flavor.From the higher reviews here from last year, I suspect that this has been compromised. The peat seems quite nice and I was disappointed to not be able to enjoy it with a robust stout base. Hard to review because I think this probably year old bottle has not aged well or somewhat infected. Starts nicely, but unpleasant finish. Bummer.

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Photo of kitch
4.59/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Brouwcafe de Molen, into a De Molen snifter glass.

Appearance: It was black in colour with a two finger beige head that had good retention and nice lacing.

Aroma: Whisky, chocolate, coffee, wood and liquorice.

Taste: Peat, whisky, coffee, chocolate and oak.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation.

Overall: Brilliant! The base H&V was already very good. I thought that barrel aging it in peaty Port Charlotte barrels was even better as the nice peat and whisky notes make for a great sipper.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served in a chalice glass from the bottle here at Cerveceria Esparte in Conil, Spain.

Appearance: Thin black body with a thing tan head as well rising maybe half a finger's length with a vigorous pour. Zero lacing.

Smell: Has a white wine scent, don't know if it's just me but I also smell chamomile. There's chocolate there but very light.

Taste: Complex sweet but still malty. Smoother than expected with a wine and notes of brandy in the brew. Chocolate notes are there but most of the flavor might be a bit overpowered because of the alcohol feel.

Mouth: Sticky brew, thin body and the carbonation is medium but closer to the lighter side.

Overall: I will say the brew is good but there are better animals to hunt in the jungle. Drink with love my friends...Salud!

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Photo of Marius
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at Lentebierfestiv 2016 in The Hague. Pitch black pour with a very tall espresso head with excellent retention. Smells like peat, roasted malts, dark cherries. Peat with sherry up front, followed by dark chocolate, coffee, cocoa, cherries and a bit of milk chocolate, or cappuccino. Spicy/hot aftertaste, with notes of cognac and sherry. Damn good.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.32/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed immediately after trying the Bruichladdich (peated) barrel aged variant. I can only wish I had the Octomore variant on hand for the trifecta.

BOTTLE: 330ml. Brown glass. Classic De Molen simple black and white label. Black wax-ed over pry-off crown cap. 6.50 euro. Bottled: 20-01-2016. Best before: 20-01-2040. (Oddly, apparently De Molen grants this a 24 year aging period, but plain ole Bruichladdich gets a 25 year aging period. I trust in De Molen's brewers and blenders, but come on, lads! How could you know this wouldn't last one measly 25th year when it's more peated than Bruichladdich?).

EBC 297. 102 EBU. 24 degrees plato. 11% ABV. Brewed with Saaz and Columbus hops.

For what it's worth, this variant wasn't as highly filled in the bottle as the Bruichladdich.

HEAD: Dark khaki colour head. Retention is ~15 seconds at best, leaving no lacing on the sides of the glass.

BODY: Opaque black colour. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Doesn't look as good as the Bruichladdich variant, to be honest - the head barely lasts long at all.

AROMA: Deep peat. Dark malts. Chocolate malts. Faint oak, with a blip of vanilla. Maybe a hint of coconut. As with the Bruichladdich variant, the barrel character really overwhelms the base beer.

Aromatic intensity is average.

No hops, no yeast, no overt alcohol.

TASTE: Quite simplistic, actually. Dark malts - though the usual concomitant sweetness isn't so pungent here as in most examples of the style. The barrel eclipses the base almost entirely, but doesn't bring much into the fold - mild peat (perhaps unexpectedly, less peat is present here than in the Bruichladdich variant), muted reticent oak, a blip of vanilla.

I can't call it balanced, seeing as the barrel is so overwhelmingly dominant over the base. But worse than imbalanced, it's painfully simple - which is tough to forgive in Russian Imperial Stout - one of the most intricate styles in the world.

I do like it, but it leaves a lot to be desired, and I'm shocked at how shallow it is; I didn't anticipated a Port Charlotte Hel & Verdoemenis variant would have less depth of flavour than a mere Bruichladdich Hel & Verdoemenis variant.

TEXTURE: Smooth and wet, but a biteen rough from the subtle peat. Full-bodied, with moderate viscosity. Not a syrupy or sticky brew, but a hefty and filling one. Carbonation is perfect.

Not ideal, nor a perfect companion to the taste, but this texture complements the taste decently well.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh. A biteen scratchy, and slightly dragging on the palate.

OVERALL: While it disguises its high ABV pretty well, it's far from De Molen's finest work - and far from the finest Hel & Verdoemenis variant. Indeed, it's highly surprising that the Bruichladdich variant from this same distillery (my favourite distillery) is superior to the Port Charlotte barrel aged variant (which is a Scotch I prefer even to Bruichaddich, I think). Why the superior Scotch results in an inferior beer to that of the inferior Scotch when used for barrel aging is beyond me, but it is as it is. A sipper, definitely, but not the world-class holy-shit-this-has-great-peat-and-Scotch notes brew I hoped for. De Molen does far better.

B- (3.32) / WORTHY

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Hel & Verdoemenis Port Charlotte (peated) B.A. from Brouwerij De Molen
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 15 ratings