Heaven & Hell | Brouwerij De Molen

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very good
64 Reviews
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Heaven & HellHeaven & Hell
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Molen
Netherlands | website

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
Reviews:
64
Ratings:
149
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
15.46%
 
 
Wants:
14
Gots:
49
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 149
Photo of Xul
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours almost pitch black with just the faintest bit of light at the edges, capped by three fingers of billowing, khaki colored head. Retention is excellent, to the point where I almost wish it would hurry up and settle down a bit.

S: Lots of earthy, lightly grassy bitterness up front, followed by a healthy dose of roasted coffee and semi-sweet chocolate. Some light smokey notes linger the in the background - strong enough to be evident, but light enough to not be detrimental.

T: Earthy hops are evident up front again, but quickly give way to roasty, moderately bitter coffee and dark chocolate. Some dark cherries and raisins are faintly evident just after the mid-palate, along with caramel sweetness. Finish is a blend of bitter coffee and sweet cocoa.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation...the bubbles could be dialed back and really benefit the beer, but it still has a good chewy feel towards the backend.

D: Very drinkable for a beer of its style and weight. I'm glad I've got another bottle in the cellar, I think that in a year, once the bitterness dies down a bit and it smooths out, it will be a real treat.

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Photo of jdaelhousen
3.59/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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Photo of bobhits
3.54/5  rDev -11.7%
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 Jwale73
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle split amongst three and served in a tulip. Bottle 366 - brewed 23 Nov 2009 and bottled on 08 Jan 2010. Poured black with no light penetration and a dense two inch, khaki-colored head that exhibits great retention; some lacing, but no legs. Nose reveals lactose, cocoa, artificial sweetener and a hint of booze at the back. Taste reveals an earthy quality upfront, as well as roast, cocoa and lactose. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a carbonation level that is a little too assertive - I recommend swirling the glass to even out the body. A very tasty IS - body is a little thinner than anticipated with a little too much carbonation; however, very tasty brew with a well-hidden abv. Well worth your time.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
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 ltjska04
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased at the Beer Trappe in Lexington, KY. Bottle number 1176 from Batch 1206, brewed on Nov 23,2009 and bottled on Jan 8, 2010. The presentation is nice; 11.2 oz bottle with red wax over the cap and neck and individually stamped bottle number.

The cap came off with a big burst of air, but no overflow. When poured into my snifter there was tons of brown fluffy foam filling up the majority of the glass. Pour slowly on this one. Sweet dark chocolate smells waft up from the foamy glass. Once all in the glass, this beer is totally black; no light is getting through it. There are small bubbles that rise of from the bottom to create the brown head. This looks fantastic, can't wait to try it.

The smell is mostly chocolate with some wood and coffee in the background. It smells very rich.

After letting the stout warm up a bit, the first sip instantly warms my face. It doesn't taste alcoholic but it seemed to rush right to my head. My first impression is of the bitterness. I don't know if it's from the hops or chocolate but this is a pretty bitter stout. Up front the taste is underwhelming compared to the nice smell. I'm not getting any distinct flavors, just kind of a weird sticky/hot sensation in the back of my throat. Even though this was bottled only 8 months ago and was wax sealed it almost tasted oxidized. OK, after 20 minutes I'm starting to get more of the chocolate. I'm wondering if that huge foam at first contained a bunch of hop resins, contributing to the bitterness and masked flavors. By the end of the glass the taste is better but still a bit lacking.

This beer coats your mouth and throat for the entirety of the glass. The alcohol isn't noticeable in the taste but it lets you know it's there. This beer doesn't really beg for another sip and I couldn't see myself having more than one at a time, even disregarding the high price tag.

Overall this is pretty decent but I expected so much more. For me the taste was really lacking and proved kind of disappointing. It's good but there are many better imperial stouts out there.

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Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Dan - much obliged!

Pours black with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of robust roasted malt flavors with good amounts of unsweetened chocolate, tobacco, and char.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by good amounts of semi-sweet chocolate. Midway through the sip the flavors darken a bit to allow some tobacco hints to work their way into things. The ending is solidly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another without any problems.

Overall I was a fan of this beer but like most other De Molen beers this one fell just short of being amazing. Still, it's worth trying.

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Photo of chefmikeanderson
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: holy wow! lots of head which is always a plus in my book. Really nice dark beer with the brown chocolate millk head that I always like to see as well. Head retention just doesnt go away and all it does is stick to the glass. Im gonna have to take off half a point just because its to carbonated. I had to wait 5 minutes to get a sip

S: Big bitter nuttiness. lots of roasted flavors in there. the usual chocolate a slight coffee. just what im looking for

T: Really really nutty. thats about as nutty stout that ive had. I'm trying to place what type of nut but its more like a nutshell. it has the bitter almost walnut shell. Not to much chocolate or coffee like usual... which is a good thing.. its different.

M: just a touch thin but barely. The carbonation blows up just a bit to much.

D: This beer isnt hot at all IMO. big flavors but easy drinking. The only thing I really dont love is the excessive carbonation. Take that away and this is a really really good beer

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Photo of Mavajo
4.54/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours an almost impentrable black, with just the barest hits of slightly-transclucent brown highlights. The mocha head absolutely billows out of this thing, with large bubbles for most of the head, and much finer bubbles at the top. It took me about 5 minutes of pouring and waiting to get a properly filled glass. Once I finally got it full and properly proportioned, it was a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, pretty much no lacing. If it at least had light lacing, I could give it a 4.5 - but none at all gets it knocked to a 4.

The appearance set high expectations, and the nose doesn't disappoint. Massive, intense notes of chocolate and coffee. This is one of the best smelling beers I've ever buried my nose in. At this point, the suspense is intense - I've gotta taste this thing.

And...it meets the hype that the appearance and nose built. The explosion of chocolate and coffee in the nose show up here again. Coffee, chocolate in general, but specifically dark chocolate, roasted malts and a splash of smokiness. Typically I detest a smokey taste in my beers, but it's okay here - the medley of flavors works. Each swallow leaves a bitter chocolate aftertaste resting on the tongue. But I like it - it's a constant reminder of the deliciousness I just sipped moments before.

Unfortunately, my first sips likewise bring my first criticism of this brew - I don't like the mouthfeel. There's too much carbonation and bubbliness here. (Is bubbliness a word?) I'd rather this brew coat my mouth with velvetty smoothness, but instead I get this coarse tingling. Big time bummer on that one. I'd like to see the carbonation dialed back quite a bit.

All in all, though, this is one fabulous brew. A better mouthfeel would have brought this thing to damn near perfection. Even still, this is absolutely top notch. Easily the best imperial stout I've had from Europe.

I'd love to try a bourbon barrel aged version of this. That'd be epic.

Edit: Felt I should add this. I drank the beer slowly over an hour or so, and after warming and sitting out for a bit, the carbonation seemed to mellow considerably. It became much smoother and less prickly. If it had felt like that from the beginning, it would have easily been a 4 for mouthfeel.

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Photo of oberon
4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of detlefchef
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The most peculiar thing about this beer is that the head almost has a crust to it. Over a cloudy and nearly broken dark reddish brown color, sits this nearly hard and thick foam. Not a bad thing, but certainly a bit strange.

The booze really shows through rich coffee, nutmeg, and allspice flavors. Super creamy texture which seems odd because the appearance led me to believe that it might be a bit coarse.

Certainly unique, and for that, I'm happy to have tried. That said, would not likely be my first choice going forward.

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Photo of gford217
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle #715, bottled in January 2010.

Pours thick and black with an enormous clumpy tan head that shows excellent retention and leaves thick lacing on the sides.

The aroma is excellent and dominated by roasted chocolate malts. It's complimented by light leathery notes and espresso. There is a surprising hop presence as well with some citrus sneaking in.

The taste is even more chocolately with bakers chocolate dominating at the outset before the toasted malts and citrus hops come in. The finish is bitter chocolate and a bit of alochol burn.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied but the carbonation is high which keeps it from getting too thick. That said, the carbonation is a little overdone for my liking.

This is an excellent beer from De Molen who has definitely proven to me that they can make a great stout. The hop presence surprised me but it's still the dark chocolate that stands out.

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Photo of johnnybravo
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unbelievable aroma of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and licorice. Pitch black, firm brown head, good lace. Sweet, heavily hopped, chocolate, coffee and a hint of licorice. Full, sticky, light dry mouth feel and warming. Powerful, heavy and flavourful. Great stuff but I was glad it wasn't their usual 75cl bottle but just a small one. Just enough!

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Photo of rvdoorn
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this bottle at Berts Bierhuis in Utrecht. This one is brewed in April, bottled in May and has bottle number 750. Poured into my Westmalle glass. The beer pours a dark-brown-black color, with a one finger thick, fantastic dark-brown head.

Smell: Great! This beer has a very nice, deep smell. Full of sweet dark fruits (with figs in the foreground), coffee, some tones of vanilla, strong sweet roasted malts, and I think I even smell some leather....

Taste: Not as good as the smell, because personally I think that would have made this beer one of the better ones out there for the style.... Bitter-sweet in general. Light-bitter coffee, caramel, wooden notes, tobacco (the first time I actually taste this in a beer), dark chocolate, roasted malts. The aftertaste is very long, very bitter, hints of pepper and tabacco, but also a bit too alcoholic.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, thick, oily, relatively low carbonation (but carbonation is much better than hel en verdoemenis)

Overall: A fantastic Imperial stout. The Molen does it again! Although the alcohol is maybe a bit too much present, generally a fantastic beer, full of bitterness mixed with some well balanced sweetness. Highly recommendable, but only of you like the force of bitterness...

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Heaven & Hell from Brouwerij De Molen
89 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.
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