Heaven & Hell | Brouwerij De Molen

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89
very good
160 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
160
Reviews:
68
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
9.93%
 
 
Wants:
15
Gots:
51
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 160 |  Reviews: 68
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 547, bottled January 2010. Roasted Coffee and chocolate aroma. Very dark brown body with deep tan head. Above average creamy mouthfeel, lots of chocolate with bitterness right there, 92 ibu, dry and a sot acidic finish. Good drinkability. Good for style, though not unique these days.

 291 characters

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

on tap, insanely good, de molen is near the top of my list for beers just like this. the quality and uniqueness here is insane, and i cant believe these guys dont get more love, i think they make some of the most compelling dark beers in the world. this is just so thick and dark, holding an inch of airy lace head that isnt but a few shades lighter than the near black beer itself. tons of viscosity, but some carbonation too. the aroma here is a faint hint of smoke, dark cocoa powder, and bitter dark barley, seemingly bone dry, so odd for the style, no trace of its strength at all in the nose. the flavor is amazingly deep and complex, with a toasted element, leather, milk and dark chocolate alike, wet soil, dry wood, and the classic unique de molen ale yeast, which always sort of seems to be a mature english high gravity thing mixed with elements from scotch ale yeast and even a little bit of saison or lightly wild yeast. it always makes de molen beers for me, and its a rock star in this one too. chocolate and earth in the finish, oddly delicate for how strong and intense it is, apparently brewed with a great understanding of ingredients and processes, far more impressive in overall quality than almost any of the big american stouts, barrel aged or otherwise. de molen continues to blow me away every time. this is as good as it gets!

 1,352 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle # 1448. One of the best looking Imperial Stout to come from the Netherlands that I've seen as of yet. The Pour is really nice, a thick black river of what looks like used motor oil. The head billows quickly with a dark brown head. The aromas of some light bourbon, big roasted malts, some dark chocolate and a little burn of the alcohol in there. The taste is burnt molasses, and some rich malts. The mouthfeel is on the thicker side which looks awesome in the glass.

 474 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A substantial and aggressive Imperial Stout that allows roast and alcohol to dominate the palate.

The pour delivers an eruptive carbonation that spills the glass and forbades the control needed for a consistent pour. Black as night and eventually froathy, the beer carries a viscous pour and give medium roast-stained hued head that carries mostly through the session.

Strong roasty aromas gives up a boost of boozy alcohols, sweet caramel sweetness, and rum-like licorice notes.

Flavors of espresso, sweet rum, cocoa, and charred fruits (mainly raisons and plumbs) carry the beer from its initial sip until its long and lingering roasty finish.

Never really drying, the beer stars sweet, roasty, and rich and largely finishes the same way, with only a reprieve of alcohol warmth and fleeting roasty dryness.

As Russian Imperial Stouts go, this one has remarkable flavor and body but the beer just doesn't have the harmony and balance to compete with the Old Rasputins of the world.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle, 12% ABV in this incarnation. Always a bit odd to see a de Molen product with an English name on the label.

This beer pours a solid, abyssal black, with the faintest of basal cola edges, and a very thin cap of wispy, ethereal brown head, which is gone in mere moments, leaving some streaky distant mountain stream lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of pungent, alcohol-laced dark chocolate syrup, roasted caramel malt, bittersweet creamed coffee, Nordic licorice, treacle, and a wee earthy hoppiness. The taste is gritty, grainy pale and bready caramel malt, chalky toasted cocoa powder, subtle raw coffee beans, an isolated wet char, dried molasses, a soft herbal hoppiness, and restrained, near bursting at the seams cold booze.

The carbonation is quite understated, just a low-key frothiness presiding, the body a hefty medium weight, and generally smooth, but with the caveat of an upper palate tickling alcohol heat. It finishes more or less on a strong drying trend, the light smoke and elevated ABV starting to pull the rug out from under the big malt.

I dunno, there's just something too, well, underwhelming about this whole deal - sure, all the elements are pretty much nailed, but the overarching, multifaceted bitterness thing just isn't doing it for me or the airworthiness of my skirt.

 1,344 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.44/5  rDev -14.6%
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 brentk56
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours black as night but flat as a pancake; no lacing

Smell: Rich and roasty, with chocolate, coffee, dark fruit and tobacco tones

Taste: Opens very roasty, with chocolate, caramel and dark fruit flavors (raisin and plum) developing through the middle; tobacco and coffee tones add another dimension after the swallow; boozy, through the finish, with a rum-like aspect

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and very rich; no carbonation; plenty of warmth in the gullet

Overall: With better carbonation (and it could have just been this bottle), this would be a top flight RIS; captures the dark fruit element that so many American brewers seem to miss in the style

 670 characters

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 8/6/2013. Pours dense pitch black color with a thin dense dark tan head with solid retention; that reduces to a patchy lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toasted dark bread, molasses, raisin, prune, licorice, vanilla, char, leather, light smoke, herbal, wood, and roast/smokey earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of big dark/roast/bready malt; with light-moderate dark fruit, smoke, and earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of huge dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toasted dark bread, molasses, raisin, prune, licorice, vanilla, char, leather, light smoke, herbal, wood, and roast/smokey earthiness. Good amount of herbal and roast/char bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, molasses, toasted dark bread, raisin, prune, licorice, vanilla, char, leather, and roast/smokey earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of big dark/roast/bready malt; with light-moderate dark fruit, smoke, and earthy hop flavors; with a nice roasted bitter/sweet balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and very full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy/silky, and fairly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this was an awesome Russian imperial stout style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of big dark/roast/bready malt; with light-moderate smoek, dark fruit, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,706 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of oberon
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter jet black no highlights when held to the light,an overflowing mocha colored head atop,almost all head.As underwhelming the pour may have been the aromas are on the other end of the scale,bitter chocolate and a good dose of it along with dark fruit,roasted nut,and caramel,alot going on and its all good.Although a bit sharp in the mouthfeel department it doesnt take away from the big earthy flavors,this is one hopped up stout.Big dry chocolate along with slight wood,its roasted and hopped to the hilt,lighter dark fruit and caramel give it light sweetness.I cant give it a higher drinkability score becaus its lighter in feel and can get a bit hot but the flavors and aromas are great.

 710 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Armsby Abbey

Nice creamy and bubbly darker head of about 1 finger fades semi slowly, big bubbles, pitch black colored beer.

Nose has a burnt chalky charred malts, black patent malt, bit of super dark chocolate, bit of coffee, earthy bitterness from scorched malts, bit of a biscuity malt.

Taste starts with bitter earthy charred malts, burnt coffee grinds and charred malts, bit syrupy, black patent, super dark choc, hints of dark fruit like fig, bit of warming booze, touch of spices. Finishes sticky syrupy malts, fairly bitter both earthy hops and charred malts, some dark malts and roast lingering.

Mouth is heavier bodied, a bit syrupy with decent carb and light boozy warmth.

Overall decent, super rich thick and syrupy stout, lots of burnt flavors but no real minerality, nice bitterness, booze is hidden well and not too sweet.

 855 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Rifugium
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Armsby Abbey, Worchester, MA

Poured dark brown to black, with a minimal tan head. Semi-sweet chocolate in the nose with a bit of bitterness and alcohol sweetness. Taste was of chocolate and cocoa and some dark fruits, giving way to slight alcohol / slight malty sweetness. Somewhat heavy mouthfeel with a bit of alcohol bite. Moderately strong, but drinkable.

 381 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%

Pitch black pour with a modest dark beige head quick to a small frothy lace.
A truly imperial stout smell, big roast, bitter dark chocolate, dark licorice, faint dark fruit, black coffee with a shot of cheap spirit, faint vanilla, leather. A bit of smoke, wood, and a spicy, pungent dried hop leaf pushing through. Apollo hops really bring that strong hint of bitter leaf, a bit dank, reminding of burnt weed.
Bitter from the start, with really strong 100% cocoa (possibly more?!) dark chocolate and ristretto coffee (bitter, but lacking the acidity). Some subtler fermenting plum and raisin, really drenched in alcohol. Booze kept in check by the big (really big!) roasted malts, burnt, ashy, charcoal-like, with a dry woody feel even. Bittering hops make it even more brutal (95 IBU). Hints of vanilla and licorice here and there, some dusty cinnamon too. Also some generic herbal hop spikes, hinting black tea and ribwort.
Aftertaste has roasted coffee bean, strong cocoa powder, burnt bread and linear, but rough (maybe boring) hop bitterness. Medium to light body. Alcohol is hidden, but it's still a sipper cause of the big hoppy burnt bitterness.
A big ballsy imperial stout, quite extreme, but not cringe-worthily so. A new big stout hit from the De Molen for me, especially without any barrel-aging.

 1,308 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a tulip. Brewed on 11/23/09, bottled on 01/08/10. Batch #1206, bottle #672.

a - Pours a a dark brown, almost black, with 2 fingers of tan head that has great retention and moderate carbonation evident. Nice lacing.

s - Smells of cocoa, dark fruits, roasted malts, sweet chocolate, toasted malts. Very enjoyable.

t - Tastes of cocoa, bitter and sweet chocolate, alcohol, roasted malts, and dark fruits. Also some smokiness or toasted malts.

m - Full body and low carbonation. Smooth, thick body.

d - A pretty nice stout. I enjoyed the smell a lot. I think a little more time on it to let the alcohol fade would make this even better. Would love to try again.

 693 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Bobby for sharing this one.

A: The pour is essentially black with a large mocha colored head that is surprisingly well retained.

S: The nose is full of intensely roasted malts along with a bit of semi-sweet chocolate. There's some detectable alcohol as well, along with a mild level of acidity.

T: A very nice chocolate flavor to this that I wasn't fully expecting. Still, plenty of roasted malt flavor (perhaps a bit too much). There's a moderate bitterness that is present as well.

M: The body is medium and so is the carbonation.

D: I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. Usually I'm not the biggest De Molen fan, but this one was actually palatable.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle poured into my new Firestone snifter. Bottled October 5, 2010. Bottle number 575.

Appearance - Viscous black pour with a very nice mocha head. Gets a bit chunky at the end. Thick collar and a few islands and peninsulas of foam.

Smell - Earthy hop presence is amazingly prominent. Boozy. Roasted coffee. Sweet caramel and some molasses back there.

Taste - The hops are less prominent, but still earthy right at the start. Roasty chocolate that starts dark and gets milkier. Tons of sweet malts kinda kill the stout aspects. Sugars linger with a molasses and caramel flavor. Bitter in the finish, but not enough to battle the sugar.

Mouthfeel - It's sweet, too sweet. Not a diabetes bomb, but the flavors demand a drier finish. Creamy, though.

Overall - De Molen beers are always interesting and well-made. It's a good beer, but it's an over-sweet RIS.

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Heaven & Hell from Brouwerij De Molen
4.03 out of 5 based on 160 ratings.
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