Hemel & Aarde - Bourbon BA
Brouwerij De Molen

Hemel & Aarde - Bourbon BAHemel & Aarde - Bourbon BA
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #574
Ranked #15,472
3.99 | pDev: 15.54%
Brouwerij De Molen
Hemel & Aarde - Bourbon BAHemel & Aarde - Bourbon BA
Reviews: 6 | Ratings: 27
Photo of clayrock81
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with minimal khaki head and lace ring down glass. Perhaps b/c of aging or having on tap, not in bottle, but the aroma is basically like sticking your nose in a smoker - meaty, smoky, peaty (is that a word?), smoked brisket (per the wife). Full-bodied and slow-sipping, this beer tastes like how it smells as it is mostly smoky, meaty, the brisket taste is kind of there, some wood and sweetness on finish but mostly this is more of a smoke beer than typical stout - well worth trying.

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Photo of Everydayoff
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap served in a snifter at Hair of the Dog, Bangkok.

It comes with pitch black body and thick silky tan head as a gorgeous showcase. The head stands with great retention before slowly subsiding to an eternal frothy crown also leaving lots of sticky lacing wave on the glass-side.

Loads of smoked and peaty malts in both the aroma and flavor, they together provide note of smoke barbeque and bacon while roasted and chocolate malt lends its black coffee, dark yet creamy chocolate, burnt bread, and vanilla through the nose and taste buds. There are also notes of licorice and mild dark fruits while the bourbon character reveals to add up the complexity level with its spiciness, wood, vanilla, and some warming touch. The end and aftertaste is quite lasting with malty sweetness, roasted coffee, bitterness from both roasted malt and hop as well as all the aforementioned bourbon BA characters.

The body is full with some bold touch and smooth mouthfeel from proper amount of crispness and carbonation. Finish is pleasantly dry.

When Smoked Stout meets bourbon BA, the result is so complex, solid, and very tasty brew, very good sipping as well.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330ml, black wax sealed bottle - I thought I'd had this one before, but nope, 'twas the peaty Scotch hooch one.

This beer pours a solid black abyss, with scant amber basal edges, and two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly brown head, which leaves some old-growth tree-line lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells of well roasted caramel malt, acrid tire-fire smoke, vanilla-forward Bourbon barrel, bitter cocoa powder, a touch of cafe-au-lait, and some tame earthy anise spice. The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, some free-range ashiness, fading burnt rubber, bittersweet chocolate, day-old coffee, kind of muddled Bourbon notes (vanilla, sure, with a suggestion of punch me in the face rye alcohol), musty black licorice, and a minor sense of earthy and floral hop bitterness.

The carbonation is quite tame in its barely-there frothiness, the body a dense medium-heavy weight, and mostly smooth, with just a twinge of char making for a less than optimal experience here. It finishes off-dry, the big malt and Bourbon sweetness parrying the lingering robust smokiness.

Overall, this is a pleasantly complex and interesting version of the style - take a peaty Scotch brew, and put it to some Bourbon wood, which is kind of like retrogression, of a sort. Anyways, pretty tasty once the smoke settles the fuck down, and nicely warming, even if the 22-proof alcohol seems to have been sent to its bedroom without any supper.

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Photo of Marius
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled at Borefts 2016, Bodegraven. Dark brown with a thin tan head with good retention. Notes of smoke, chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, more smoke, some sugar. Full bodied with a medium carbonation and a sweet finish.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle 11,0% Abv.
Served chilled in a snifter.
Bottled on: 30 Jan 2013
Good for 25 years.

Appearance: It seems that De Molens imperial stouts aren't quite as dark as they used to be. The beer still appears pitch black in the glass, however a fair amount of deep red becomes apparent when backlight. A rough pour yields a medium sized tan coloured head. The head actually lasts pretty damn well for a BA beer and fades to a small creamy cap that lasts most of the way down. Swirling lightly results in thin alcohol legs clinging to the glass.

Smell: I wasn't sure that Bourbon would be the best treatment for the earthy smoke of Hemel & Aarde, but based on the initial nose it seems to have worked reasonably well. There is a fair amount of sweetness with notes of vanilla, sweet cream and dark caramel/brown sugar; as well as a decent amount of earthy peat-smoked malt, a little roasted malt and a little chocolate. As the beer warms, the nose becomes oddly sweet and the smokey character seems to vanish.

Taste: The balance of the initial flavour is pretty good, offering a nice combination of bourbon, vanilla, sweet cream, peated malt and some roasted malt in the finish. There is some bitterness in the finish but not as much as I remember in previous variants. Sadly (similarly to the nose) as the beer warms the flavour seems to become far sweeter and looses most of the balancing smokey malt.

Mouthfeel: The body is just about full and quite sticky. There is a medium level of fairly smooth carbonation. As the beer warms and becomes sweeter the mouthfeel seems to become stickier.

Overall: A good beer from De Molen, but it just become too sweet and lost balance as it warmed. I far preferred the Islay whiskey BA versions and hope that the Wild Turkey version I will be opening tomorrow will be a little better.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one a while ago at the brewery in Bodegraven.

From a bottle into a snifter
Bottled 30 January 2013
24 Plato
IBU 108

APPEARANCE: A dark brown pour yeilds a 1+ finger, medium looking, tan head with good retention. Head slowly fades to a nice full wisp. Black body with no carbonation evident. Only a ring remains until the end leaving no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Roasted and smoky malts, some bourbon barrel with light vanilla notes. Sweet cream and light chocolate as well. Pretty nice.

TASTE: Smoky and roasted beginning with some burnt malt and bourbon barrel at the swallow. A big and lingering aftertaste is roasted and smoky with bourbon, oak, vanilla and sweet cream, as well as some sweet milk chocolate and bitter dark chocolate underneath. Chocolatey and roasted with a bourbon barrel finish.

PALATE: Medium-full body with medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down fine and finishes sticky. No bite.

OVERALL: Good stuff, but the base is a more impressive creation. The bourbon barrel adds more boozy flavors, but doesn't make the beer more enjoyable than the base beer is. On the other hand, the barrel doesn't dominate and hurt the base beer either. A good beer that I'll gladly drink a bunch of, but don't need to start picketting for another batch. Recent batches of the base beer have been excellent as is.

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Hemel & Aarde - Bourbon BA from Brouwerij De Molen
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 27 ratings