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Heaven & Hell | Brouwerij De Molen

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Heaven & HellHeaven & Hell
BA SCORE
4.04/5
Exceptional
163 Ratings
Heaven & HellHeaven & Hell
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Molen
Netherlands
brouwerijdemolen.nl

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rvdoorn on 09-07-2009

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#4,164
Reviews:
68
Ratings:
163
pDev:
9.9%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
15
Gots:
50
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 163 |  Reviews: 68
Photo of Patrick999
2.52/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle #348 of 2077. Poured into a big snifter. Foamy for a beer this size, but no gushing issues. Swirling the snifter really rouses the mocha-colored foam. Very dark, opaque beer - held up to a lamp, even the edges swallow up the light.

Aroma is of a generic "freshly-cut wood," and a fair bit of cherry-flavored ethanol. Chocolate, molasses and dark-roast coffee enter into the equation a little as the beer warms, but even so, not the most amazing aroma I've pulled off a big stout by any stretch - skews too much toward alcohol. I know there's nothing wrong with the beer, but I can't say I'm too stoked about it based on the nose.

The taste is like over-steeped dregs from a French press, spiked with wood alcohol. Not that I would know what wood alcohol tastes like, but I imagine it would taste something like this. Bitter and alcoholic, unpleasantly so. Some malty sweetness tries to develop mid-palate, but quickly subsides to an austere ashy, bitter, dry finish for a big stout. Kinda reminds me of fresh Stone IRS, a beer I'm not a fan of for the same reasons.

Feel is somewhat viscous, as expected, yet with some lively carbonation for a stout of this strength.

This beer may have real aging potential, but as of now I have to call it as I see it and say it's not quite undrinkable, but close to it. Right now, it's a brash, balls-to-the-wall beer, which isn't necessarily bad, but for the fact that *this* one is knocking me over the head with flavors that aren't really all that pleasant. This needs time, and a lot of it.

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Photo of domtronzero
2.95/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Huge, billowing, fluffy, never-ending, mocha colored head. Too much froth. TOO MUCH FROTH! Wasted a ton of beer plowing foam from the top of the glass into the sink using a large spoon.

S - Roasty malts, chocolate, caramel, a little bit of fruity esters, piny/earthy hops.

F/M - Roasted malts, dark baker's chocolate, toasty, caramel and toffee. Piny/spicy hops and medium-high bitterness, accentuated by dark malts. Dry and astringent finish. Fizzy and almost hard to swallow. Possibly infected? No other signs of infection other than mouthfeel. Im assuming this is not infected. Medium body with way too much carbonation.

D - OK, but its all out of whack. The body is thin and the carbonation is high, but the flavors are all alright. A little too coarse, but ok.

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Photo of citan133
2.96/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is only an 11.2oz bottle and I couldn't even pour half of it into my tulip before it almost overflowed. The head on this thing is ridiculous. Probably four fingers worth of froth, huge bubbles. It eventually settles down to...three fingers. And stays there. Really dark brown underneath, fudge-looking. The top over the head ends up settling to a really thick, almost whipped-topping consistency. Looks like the head to Orval, though darker.

I'm getting a lot of that stale/aged hop smell I'm not into. Lots of chocolate in here, different types though. Cocoa, milk-chocolate, some coffee. Some baking chocolate. Something spicy in there too I can't quite pick up. That hop smell is bugging me though, first thing I smell every time I go in the glass.

Again, I'm getting the hop thing. Reminds me of an old IPA, that taste. More coffee presence than in the nose, light-roasted coffee, lots of cocoa and bitter chocolate. As it warms the alcohol is pretty evident. Not unpleasant though, a nice little burn after each sip.

Pretty thin for this type of stout. It has the flavor of a big, rich beer but drinks really light. Kind of like someone watered it down without affecting the taste.

Not really a fan of this. That hop thing makes me think I should have either drank it fresh, when it was really hoppy, or waited longer and aged it so that quality fell away. Would be interested in having one of these with a few years on it but won't risk the purchase.

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Photo of mdvatab
2.98/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought two 12 oz bottles from Sam's Quick Shop in Durham, NC back in June. Had been curious to try one, and was in the mood for something barrel-aged. Here goes...

Poured from 12oz bottle into Chimay chalice. (Bottled on 10/5/2010.)

Aroma: Delicious milk chocolate, dark cocoa, carmelized brown sugary sweetness. Some fruity grape juice, a faint bourbon note, and faint, floral hops.

Appearance: Gusher alert! After seeing the foam begin to come out of the bottle opening, I instinctively moved it toward the glass and began to pour. Beautiful dark tan-colored head is two fingers thick. Settles slowly to a thin, but persistent layer of bubbles. Body is black as expresso.

Flavor: An earthy, mineral note up front, followed by chocolate sweetness, a fruity combination of brandy, bourbon, and powdered cocoa. This one is definitely "booze-forward"-- fairly hot with a peppery finish. My opinion was good initially, but after each sip, I began to taste a phenolic plastic, almost burnt hair-like, note. It got to the point where I wasn't enjoying it anymore, and didn't finish the glass.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-high, yet creamy, carbonation. As mentioned above, finish was a bit hot.

Overall: This one was a sensory roller coaster ride, but unfortunately ended on a disappointing note. The aroma led me to believe that it was going to be a good/great one. Unfortunately, there was something that just wasn't right. The loud hiss and initial gush, and also the phenolic note, lead me to suspect that there might be an infection issue... The bottle suggests cellaring for up to 25 years. At $10 a pop (WAAAAY overpriced), I'm going to hang onto my other one to see if she somehow improves down the road. You definitely won't find me buying another one, though, and I can't recommend that you make the investment either.

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of Reagan1984
3.19/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my buddy Doug for bringing this beer over for me.
Brewed on 11/23/09...Bottled on 1/8/10

The head is explosive on this beer. A 2+finger head forms in my oversized snifter glass which would equal a glass full of foam in any standard glass. The head is light tan in color and hangs around for quite some time. Deep dark brown shoe leather color. No lacing per se, but with every sip a sheet of bronze foam coats the glass.

The aroma is so intense it's almost off putting. Smells like tar, burnt plastic, slight coffee, maybe even charcoal.

Thankfully, the flavor is better than the aroma. Charcoal, ash, burnt malt a hint of cocoa powder. A mineral flavor at the end. The abv is fairly evident.

This is about as thick of a beer as I've seen. It just coats your tongue and sticks with you for several moments. Fairly dry in your mouth.

The flavor is pretty good and I enjoy the mouth feel. The aroma really gets in the way for me. Especially drinking this out of a snifter.

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Photo of crosenkrantz
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of lanamj
3.37/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a frosted trolls tulip. I love this glass!!!

A- This one pours pitch black with a thick,active, chocolate foamy head that seems to hang out for some time. It is deep in color but still remains to look somewhat thin.

S- Lots of roasted malts and alcohol on the nose. Some chocolate, coffee and date are faintly present. It has a nice smell, a little boozy but it has a dark and sweet aroma.

T- Lots of coffee, roasted malts and booze. It has a Belgium flavor to it even though it's an American style stout. It finishes dry and is a little hot in the throat. Some bitter chocolate resides in the middle and sweet booze at the end. Not the worse, but not the best.

M- A little to much carbonation for a stout. It has the body of a Belgium stout. Its a little thin but finishes smooth. It has a 25yr shelf life according to the label. This one was not but a year old, in saying that it open with a pop and most likely would settle down over time. I can see this one aging well. But maybe i tried it to soon.

O- With time it would be great. The smell is great but the body and booze are a little to much. I will definitely grab another and age to see results.

 1,171 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.44/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

BOTTLE: Purchased for 4.80 euro @ De Kaapse in Rotterdom. Brown glass. 33cl format. Classic De Molen label design - simple black and white, no-nonsense. Branded black pry-off crown cap.

11.90% ABV. EBC 494. 97 EBU. Bottled: 31/12/14. Best before: 31/12/39.

Served cold into stemware and allowed to come to temperature over the course of the review. Expectations are high given the brewery and style.

HEAD: ~1.5cm wide head of tan colour. Creamy, with a nice full consistency and a good complexion. Soft-looking. Leaves no lacing as it recedes, which happens quickly (within 1 minute). Respectable for its high ABV, but I've seen far better (even at higher ABVs).

BODY: Predictably, it's an opaque black in colour. A proper ink/jet black. No yeast particulate is visible within.

It's a nice look for an imperial stout.

AROMA: Rich milk chocolate, cream, chocolate malts, sweet dark malts, cocoa powder, coffee-like acidity, buried roast, chocolate syrup. Suggests a thick imperial stout with plenty of bold flavour, but also good balance.

Aromatic intensity is above average. I detect no hop character, yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes.

TASTE: Chocolate malts, chocolate syrup (Hershey's does come to mind), milk chocolate, and dark malt sweetness lend this brew its backbone, but it's far from cloying or saccharine. Some bitter coffee-like acidity keeps it balanced, as does some subtle roast. Hints of burnt sugar, black strap molasses, anise, sugarcane, rum-soaked raisin, char, and indistinct dark fruit (not plum, fig, or dates, but something else I can't quite put my finger on).

The way the bitter and harsher notes harmonize with the sweeter and smoother notes is remarkable; they never clash, but rather just play in counterpoint.

Nice depth of flavour, though there's room for improvement. The coffee-like bitterness slowly fades in the aftertaste, bolstering flavour duration. Flavour intensity is moderate - which is right for the style.

There's ample room for still more intricacy and subtlety; this is relatively simplistic for an imperial stout.

TEXTURE: Finishes dry and almost acrid, which encourages the next sip. Smooth and wet up front. Full-bodied, viscous, and chewy, but never syrupy or (too) sticky. Has a heavy, hefty presence on the palate. Good thickness. Near perfect carbonation.

Could be softer and creamier, but overall this mouthfeel is a good companion to the taste. Its thickness emphasizes the chocolate syrup note nicely.

OVERALL: ABV is well disguised. This isn't the sipper you might think it'll be, but you couldn't quaff it on account of its thickness and big flavours. It's more balanced and well-rounded than many (most?) American attempts at the style. The way the motor oil-redolent texture complements the taste is remarkable, and the beer avoids the pitfalls that usually accompany imperial stouts of this type; it's thick and viscous without being sludgy or overbearing and it's bittersweet without being imbalanced. Well worth trying, though its price point (even here in the Netherlands!) is quite high relative to its quality.

B- (3.44) / WORTHY

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Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of tclapper
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of andthevolcano
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of brez8791
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of jophish17
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of BeerTruck
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of bobhits
3.54/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

roast malt almost a touch smoky, much stronger than most stouts
hint of chocolate/coco
some rather sweet maybe slightly "off" sweetness to finish I can't place, a dark fruity hoppy mix?
hints of coffee,

Pitch black, bubbly tan head. Not overly thick but does linger a bit and well if you're into looking at a beer i really don't even know what this category is about. It's a beer...and it looks like a stout which it is.

Sweet malt up front, very sweet.
lingers with a nice roasted/nutty/coffee flavor
slightly fruity taste that's very much similar to the "off" sweet smell. perhaps a dried grape flavor mixed with an ever so faint bit of molasses

Rather thin body. As a nice alcohol flavor but not as creamy as one might expect from some stouts. The bubbles are rather pronounced and that doesn't seem to fit my expectations. The bubbles and the sweet malt up front are almost stinging on the tongue.

Certainly an easy beer to drink, almost too much of a drinker than a sipper as it should be at the cost and at the abv that's listed here.

This stuff needs age if for no other reason than to reduce the carbonation. It makes for a decent head but I feel it's almost getting to the Champaign levels. My worries are this will get too sweet with age but that's always the risk you take I suppose.

Well worth a try. It's certainly a tasty beer and if it were 1/3 the price I'd get some for aging to see what happens. At the price I sadly won't be buying again, but I am glad to have tried this.

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Photo of DanGeo
3.56/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of tomfneph
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought beer 1131/1206 bottled on Jan. 8, 2010. I poured into a chalice straight from the fridge and I did not have the foaming head problem described by other reviewers. I had a one finger tan head that looked gorgeous, even my wife was impressed. The inky black color of the beer is impenetrable to light and really makes you think this is going to taste stouter than it does. The smell is predominantly toasted chocolate malt. There is a faint vinous aroma also. The taste of the beer is surprisingly mild. Chocolate and charcoal are there at the fore, but fades to a faint taste of tobacco. The mouthfeel is more like an IPA than a stout. There is no sweetness and the hops quickly shine through as the predominant lasting flavor. It's almost as if this beer doesn't know what it wants to be. Overall I was disappointed in the taste which did not measure up to the wonderful color and aroma. I would drink this again if someone gave it to me, but I'm not sure I would fork over another $10 for another bottle.

 1,014 characters

Photo of LAND_MINE
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jdaelhousen
3.59/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pour produces an insane amout of head, at least 3 fingers. Pour overlfowed the glass, but the head retents itselef for a while with very slow disapation.
Aroma contains strong notes of chocolate and some strong complexitites of oatmeal and grainyness. Sweet trailing aroma of carmelized sugar. Taste contains a strong boozy makeup of chocolate malt and some mildly roasted barley accompanying that sweetness. ABV is surging high and noticeable at the center through to the finish. Aftertaste gives off a mildly added bitterness to cut through all of that intense barley. Seems a bit unbalanced and ABV is harsh on the palate. Not enough up front hop to this beer IMO to cut through all that malt. Still, this slow sipper is still a treat.

 739 characters

Photo of T-34-85
3.59/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Brevbin
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Satchboogie
3.62/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Armsby Abbey during Stoutfest. I was really excited to try this.

A: Black with brown/clear edges, absolutely no head.

S: Tons of wood, roasted malts, chocolate, hint of coffee, touch of alcohol.

T: As with the nose the wood comes through strongly. Tastes like very light wood, almost light oak to maple. There's a strong base of roasted malts, chocolate, and a little molasses sweetness with a touch of dark fruits going into the finish. Fairly boozy on finish.

M: A bit light on the mouthfeel, though smooth. Has a good bit of burn on the end.

O: I was real excited to get a chance to try this and unfortunately it didn't really meet expectations. My first try I really liked it, but revisiting it, it just didn't stand up. Too much wood, not enough 'umph', harsh alcohol, and light body.

 809 characters

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Heaven & Hell from Brouwerij De Molen
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 163 ratings
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