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Hel & Verdoemenis - Bunnahabhain BA | Brouwerij De Molen

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
86
very good
10 Reviews
THE BROS
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Hel & Verdoemenis - Bunnahabhain BAHel & Verdoemenis - Bunnahabhain BA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Molen
Netherlands | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
102 IBU

Added by Jeffo on 12-10-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
10
Ratings:
28
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
22.62%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
6
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 10 | Ratings: 28
Photo of kojevergas
3.18/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Regrettably brief notes below:

BOTTLE: 33cl brown glass bottle. Standard De Molen minimalist black & white text-only label. Branded black pry-off crown cap. Bottled: July 9th, 2013. Purchased at Plan B in Rotterdam.

HEAD: Thin - .5cm at best in terms of width. Khaki colour. Shining complexion. It's a shame it lasts all of 10 seconds. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Not an opaque ink-black, actually; it has a schwarzbier-esque brown-black colour, redolent of cola. This lends it a weak appearance. No yeast can be seen within.

Looks somewhat subpar for an imperial stout, actually. How did such a good base beer result in this appearance merely by being aged in a Scotch barrel?

AROMA: Marvelous peat. Scotch is obvious in this aroma: peat, faint smokiness, wood.

But what isn't obvious is any base beer character of any interest. Generic dark malt and brown malt sweetness barely emerges. Where's the Hel & Verdoemenis base beer character so many know and love?

Aromatic intensity is average.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Boozy, dry, hot, and rough. The peat really made this coarse; it drags on the palate, lending the texture a scratchy parching feel (a characteristic which, unfortunately, has been obvious in De Molen beers for some time now). This mouthfeel really doesn't serve the taste well at all. The dryness in particular makes it harder to drink, and it's already a sipper with its high ABV. Really scrapes the palate. I love the peat flavour, but it shouldn't come at this cost.

The taste suffers from the problems the aroma nodded towards; the barrel drowns out the base beer. Who knew Hel & Verdoemenis could be eclipsed so easily? Peat, wood (not recognizably oak), smokey Scotch notes. I find no dark malt sweetness or chocolate malts at all - let alone any intricate or interesting notes from the base beer. This comes off painfully simplistic as a result, with the base beer providing next to nothing in terms of flavour. Shallow, reticent, and disappointing.

The highlight flavour-wise is the Scotch peat, but then that seems to be the source of the problems this beer has texture-wise.

OVERALL: There's no harmony of texture and taste here, and the barrel fails to accentuate anything the base beer provides; indeed, the base beer provides seemingly nothing at all. Why not just drink Bunnahabhain? De Molen makes some lovely brews; this is unfortunately not one of them. I wouldn't buy it again at its ~6.50 euro price point, and I'd advise others avoid even a first purchase (go with the Wild Turkey variant instead).

Something of a disappointment coming from a brewery as accomplished as De Molen. Nevertheless, above average - if only for its peat presence.

C+ (3.18) / ABOVE AVERAGE

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.51/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Ratebeer tasting at Dick's.
Dark brown body with a small beige cap. Huge campfire smoke aroma. Smoked sausage, fire, malt. Aggressive char and smoke character. One dimensional.

 176 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours tar black, very very tiny lace, lasts for the whole ride though.
Smell of smokey roasted malts, strong coffee, spices and dark chocolate, some peat barrel (that certain burnt rubber kinda smell), soy sauce, dark fruity esters and wood.
Quite a bit of complexity, not much, but far from being bland: taste starts with juicy plums and figs, sweet strong coffee and cocoa powder, losing its sweetness for rougher bitter notes, like dusty barrel, oak (nice hint of vanilla alongside the woody dark spices and the faint licorice), smoked wood and lots of peat, which really stands out. Quite a bit of booze in the finish, charcoal also.
Low carbonation, almost flat, smooth (maybe a bit watery sometimes), sipper-ish enough.
Nice BA with a clear peat single malt scotch note, very dark and quite flavorful beer.

 812 characters

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle 110,% Abv.
Served chilled in a wine glass.

Appearance: The beer appears pitch black in the glass, but as with most recent H&V variants, a back light shows a generous slice of deep red along the edges of the glass. A rough pour generates a small dark tan coloured head that actually lasts fairly well and even leaves a few small patches of lacing.

Smell: Wow, I didn't expect the Bunna barrels to impart this much peat - the initial nose is almost all Scotch with notes of campfire, earthy peat, dried seaweed and a certain saltiness. After a few minutes the base beer slowly starts to emerge with notes of chocolate, brown sugar, roasted malt and a touch of tartness (cherries?). Further warming yields a fruity character (again slightly tart) with notes of raisins, plums and black cherries.

Taste: The fruity tartness from the nose is again present in the flavour (could this be the early signs of an infection?), but thankfully it doesn't detract too much from the flavour. The barrel is again very prominent, offering a ton of peaty goodness, however there is a substantial dark fruit character and some roasted malt. De Molen's signature bitter char is however notably absent.

Mouthfeel: There is actually more carbonation than I expected - medium-low level (I expected the beer to be virtually flat) and fantastically smooth. The body is medium.

Overall: Another solid BA imperial stout from De Molen, the barrel character is fantastic however the slight tartness detracts a little from the flavour.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
2.95/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

330 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with a decent khaki head. Faint surface wisps. Chunky collar.

Smell - Peaty scotch. Smells like a briny scotch. Deep roasted malts. Dark chocolate.

Taste - The scotch is so intense that it tastes like the poured salt water into it. Very briny and peaty. Dark chocolate. Bitter.

Mouthfeel - Seems thin. Bitter. Boozy. Salty.

Overall - Overwhelmed by scotch. And not in a good way.

 440 characters

Photo of rudzud
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recently stumbled across my notes from The Festival 2012. Lets do this!

A - Poured a very, very dark black motor oil like consistency with a good one finger light mocha head that fades to thin wisps. Not bad.

S - Aromas of tons of peat here. Smokey roast malts, campfire smoke galore, light coffee. Solid.

T - Taste is very, very nice. TONS of smoke and peat here, good earthy notes, charred burnt malts. Big bitter chocolate. Really, really pleasant.

M - Mouthfeel is solid, creamy and thick. Nice masking of ABV.

O - Overall a very, very good beer. Almost perfect representation of a BA RIS.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

33cl bottle into a snifter

A: Pours pitch black with a finger if dense dark tan head with a very vigorous pour. The pour is very thick, almost pouring like syrup. Average retention and lacing.

S: Strong peat dominates the aroma. Behind that, I get a fudge-like chocolate aroma, light malted milk balls, and moderate roast character.

T: Peat dominates the flavor as well - it's extremely strong, almost overwhelming. Fortunately there is a strong base beer as well. A very sweet fudgy chocolate flavor is fairly strong along with a nice caramel sweetness. Moderate hop bitterness helps balance the sweetness.

M: Quite thick with low to moderate, yet creamy carbonation.

O: The peat flavor is extremely strong in this beer, but it works. The base beer is quite nice and complements the peat well.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.76/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

330 ML bottle

A-- Jet black with touches of ruby. Thin mocha colored collar. Light carbonation.

S-- Peat bomb!!! Was in the barrel a bit I would say. Peat, wood, and chocolate are prominent. Underneath is roasted malts, char and burnt tires.

T-- Peat, wood and chocolate again but more malts and some rolled oats. Gets quite sweet. Milk chocolate and dairy chocolate.

M-- Sweet feel. Medium bodied and light carbonation. Takes a bit to get more of the base beer but quite well rewarded. Good chocolate and floral peat finish.

O-- One of the better base beers in the world that can be really good in a barrel. Quite complex and drinkable. ABV is very well hidden. A touch below the other BA versions of this base though.

 728 characters

Photo of claaark13
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was totally prepared to add this beer and review it, but the man that sent it to me beat me to it! Thanks Jeffo. Poured into a Bruery snifter at a few degrees colder than cellar temp. 33cl, 9/5/12 bottling date.

A - Fairly black with a nice, creamy light tan head. Looks very nice. Sticks well enough. I was not expecting this from De Molen.

S - Tons of barrel. I had to pour this and then let it breathe for a couple minutes before diving in. Strong, woody peat presence. Decent amount of smokiness, some leather as well. Very strong aroma, but maybe a bit much.

T - Chocolate malts, then a strong earthy peat that stays around for the rest of the flavor. Burnt wood flavor comes in in the back half and sticks around as well. Wood and peat come back in the finish. Slightest amount of alcohol heat comes through near the finish, but the char hides it well...almost undetected at all.

M - Nice, creamy, full medium.

O - If you're a fan of smokey Islay whiskey, this is 100% for you. I wish I would have split this with Rempo, but I didn't know it was going to be like this. The smokiness is just enough to blend well with the earthiness, but isn't enough to taste like I just ate a 1/2 smoked cigarette. Considering the style, this is fantastic.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one was brewed for the 2012 BOREFTS festival at De Molen in Bodegraven. Bottles available at the shop as well. Good stuff!

From a bottle into a snifter
Bottled 5 September 2012

APPEARANCE: A black, syrupy pour yields a one finger, thicker looking, light mocha colored head with good retention. Thicker black body with no carbonation evident. Head fades to a swirly wisp and ring that clings to the sides of the glass. A faint wisp remains and leaves dots of lacing down the glass. Good looking.

SMELL: Lots of peat and earthy aromas. Smoky, roasted malts, campfire all over the place, and some decent licorice and leather as well. Burnt malts and coffee show through at the back. Lots of peat and leather here. Bold stuff.

TASTE: Bold flavors as well. Lots of smoky peat and earthy flavors up front, with leather and burnt, charred malts from the base H&V as well. Lots of barrel and peat at the swallow, moving into a bold and lingering aftertaste of smoky peat and leather from the barrel, as well as some good roasted, burnt and charred malts, as well as notes of bitter dark chocolate from the base beer. Really good barrel flavors and a big, nasty base stout that competes. A stout and peated whisky fan's dream.

PALATE: Medium-fuller body with lower levels of carbonation. Enough weight on this one, creamy on the palate as well, goes down smooth and finishes slightly sticky. No heat on this one either. Good stuff.

OVERALL: More evidence that De Molen should just barrel age the crap out of H&V instead of goofing around with Rasputin or whatever. This was a big peat bomb for sure, but the base stout is mean enough to compete with the most dominating barrels you can find. Lots of great smoky peat flavors from the barrel, and great roasted and charred flavors from the base stout. Probably the best peat barrel stout to date. Stellar stuff!

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Hel & Verdoemenis - Bunnahabhain BA from Brouwerij De Molen
86 out of 100 based on 10 ratings.
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