Hel & Verdoemenis - Bourbon BA
Brouwerij De Molen

Hel & Verdoemenis - Bourbon BAHel & Verdoemenis - Bourbon BA
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #59
Ranked #946
4.36 | pDev: 8.26%
Brouwerij De Molen
Hel & Verdoemenis - Bourbon BAHel & Verdoemenis - Bourbon BA
Notes: Aged for 20 months
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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 168
Photo of Arjen
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

33cl bottle, 2016 edition (11% ABV), at home, so aged over 2 years. Jet black colour. Hardly any head. Aroma's of bourbon, vanilla, wood, roasted malts, charcoal. Retronasal it's sweetish, vanilla, bourbon, roasted. Flavour is moderate sweet, dark chocolate, a bit boozy, light bitter, roasted. Moderate alcohol feel. Medium bodied. Low carbonation. Long finish, with charcoal and moderate bitterness.

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Photo of REVZEB
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So I really liked the non-barrel aged version, but I LOVE this version! Still plenty of what I noted in the original: dark chocolate, coffee, raisin, almond, caramel, and booze, but now add in rich and viscous depth and complexity in how the barrel plays with all of these classic stout elements. Gives a little cream fresh texture on the finish too.

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Photo of moose1980
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours almost completely still; no head, only a thin foam around the edges. Aroma is similar to the non-ba version: all roasted coffee and dark chocolate, with the hops lending some spicy earthiness to it.
Good lord, hello bourbon. Whatever barrel that is missing in the aroma is more than made up for in taste. Just a huge smack of oak bourbon barrel upfront and mid-palate, then ending like a piece of dark chocolate - dry and bitter. Low carb.
Subtleties be damned; one for the whiskey lover in your life, no doubt.

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tap @ Small Bar, Bristol - 11% Brett version - Pours dark black with a small tanned foamy head which quickly dissipates to a film. Aroma - roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee notes, licorice and vanilla hints. Taste - Slight sweetness at the front, hints of sourness, roasted malts, dark chocolate, roasted coffee, slight alcoholic finish. Nice well balanced strong ale

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Photo of Beersnake1
4.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2016 vintage poured at fridge temp. Pours black with little carbonation. Nose is full of bourbon, licorice, roasted malts, and caramel. Taste is mind-blowing. Just the right amount of bourbon and bitterness from the roasted notes. Nice dark fruit, with a bit of sweetness up front. Bitterness lingers for a while. Also getting some chocolate, coffee, and tobacco on the taste. Mouthfeel is nice and thick, with a creamy body.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.47/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

330ml bottle from Good Spirits Co, Glasgow (£7.80):
Definitely a strong one from De Molen, overly so in my opinion & quite a hard one to get through as a result of the overpowering alcohol taste from the bourbon. There was a lot of peat & dark malts featuring through with the odd grain thrown in for good measure but the balance definitely wasn't as good as I'd have liked. Some dark fruits featured at times but I found them more subdued than expected & there was no sign of any hops, although the fact that the beer was three years old wouldn't have helped that any. The aftertaste was a lingering one with some coffee & an earthy bitterness rounding things off & while it was an okay beer, it's not one that I'll find myself going back to again; perhaps I'd have enjoyed it more if I was into whisky but sadly this wasn't a beer for me.

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Photo of AlarmClock314
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle, US date of 1/28/13. Pours mostly black with a very small sized khaki head. Smells of bourbon, oak, oxidization/parchment, vanilla, dark fruit, roasted malt, and cocoa. The taste follows closely with bourbon, oak, roasted malt, oxidization, cocoa, dark fruit, and vanilla; pretty rounded. Medium bitterness and subtle sweetness. Average body and low carbonation for the style. Overall, this one held up okay for approaching 3 years of aging. It reminded me of aged KBS with a little less bourbon and more dark fruit. Pretty tasty as a whole.

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Photo of Marius
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle, labelled as Hel & Verdoemenis Bourbon Barrel Aged. Very dark ruby-brown pour with a thin tan head. Smells like bourbon, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, coconut, a bit of sherry. The taste follows the same notes, with an emphasis on coffee, chocolate and bourbon. Medium to full bodied, light carbonation and a roasty-sweet aftertaste.

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Photo of Bytemesis
3.41/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Nikos. Pours clear black, minimal head, slight ring of tan lacing. Aroma is bourbon, molasses, anise, chocolate. Flavor is light plus sweet, medium bitter, roasty, a hint ashy, anise again. Lingering bitterness and a bit light on bourbon character. Lightish body for style and a bit watery on the palate.

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Photo of BastardKing24
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 edition
Pours a coffee color, I can see through it, but its dark.
Smells like a decadent BA beer, just loads of oaky nasty age, with plum, brown sugar, rotten dark fruit.
Taste is not the same but delivers. I get a big hit of chocolate mixed with some dark fruit syrup, and some figs with coffee and chocolate mixed in
Feel is great, not super carbed, but has the bubbles to back its sweetness and thickness
Overal its a unique beer that i may buy again, its one of a kind, and I can tell its small batch. It had a load of chunks in the bottom but thats ok by me. Try it if you find it.

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Photo of qcghost
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap at Gollem Amstelstraat in Amsterdam. Was recommended by the bartender and poured into a tulip glass. Aroma is full of bourbon vanilla, dark fruit, chocolate, and coffee. Taste follows similar notes, although I picked up some more caramel sweetness rather than the coffee/chocolate bitterness, perhaps due to the bourbon barrel aging. Carbonation is well-balanced and overall this is a wonderful RIS.

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Photo of amano_h
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle pour into De Molen Tulip

S: Honeyed Bourbon. Dark chocolate. Coffee. Licorice. Figs. Dark Cherries. Vanilla. Leather. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

T: Honey. Chocolate. Fresh espresso. Toffee. Caramel. Molasses. Black cherries. Vanilla.⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

M: Medium-bodied. Prickly, but light carbonation. Moderate booze-burn. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

O: The bourbon barrel acts somewhat minimally upon the brew as most of the characteristics of the original Hell and Damnation seem well preserved, but the added dimensions I feel hinder the brew more than make it more complex better rounded.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep black color with a think foamy khaki head that disappears almost immediately, leaving nothing behind

S- lots of spicy bourbon up front on the nose with aromas of toasted walnut, burnt caramel/toffee, toasted oak, vanilla, brown sugar, raisin, spicy woods, toasted coconut & chocolate. Very complex and welcoming

T- big bourbon flavors follow the nose up front, at times almost tastes like straight bourbon. The mid-palate opens up some chocolate and charred malt, along with dark fruit and toasted nuts. The finish gives notes of wet oak, spicy bourbon and dark fruit

M- medium body and medium prickly carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that continues into the finish

O- very bourbon-forward after spending nearly two years in the barrel. The flavor lacked some complexity, mainly because of the dominant bourbon. But as a bourbon drinker, I definitely enjoyed it

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Photo of CHickman
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 1/22/2014, 1 PT 9.4 OZ listing 10% ABV: pours pitch black color with a 1 finger cream/foamy tan head that cascaded up like a Guinness and stuck around for a while, dissipating very slowly. The head was full of tiny bubbles that were popping as it went down, leaving excellent foamy rings and a layer around the top edge.

Smells of rich dark chocolate, roasted grains, coffee grinds, bakers chocolate, cocoa powder, faint vanilla, charred wood, oaky notes, piney hops, lemon zest, light floral hops, toffee, chocolate malts, biscotti, raisins and other dark fruit and some faint booze or red wine. This pretty much nails what a RIS should smell like: roasted malt, chocolate, smoky notes, burnt grains, dark fruit and a mild hop influence. Very well done.

The flavor takes everything good that was in the nose and adds more complexities, getting better as it warms. Wow, the taste is just like the nose with a nice mix of dark chocolate, roasted grains, piney hops, cocoa powder, vanilla, coffee grinds, bakers chocolate, smoked grains, charred wood, oaky notes and barrel aspects that bring out peat moss and smoked wood, lemon zest, floral hops, toffee, molasses, chocolate malts, chocolate covered biscotti, raisins and other dark fruit like cherry and dates, and then an espresso like finish. Some faint booze comes out at times like bourbon, dark rum or an oaky merlot/red wine, but it's not a hot alcohol burn but rather a nice complement in the overall profile. Chocolate is the most pronounced flavor, to the point that it's like a milk shake with woody aspects and a shot of merlot. It jumps from dark chocolate to mild chocolate to cocoa powder to vanilla shake to espresso and back to chocolate bar, all while allowing the hops to pop through with some zest and piney bitterness which formulates balance. This got better with every sip and was an extremely pleasant surprise as I did not expect this brew to be this damn good and flavorful.

The 2 years of aging since bottling made it very mellow and silky smooth, to the point of being slick and buttery as it slides down. The 10% ABV is masterfully hidden and there's no sign of the yeast used to top ferment this, it's all chocolate malts in the best way possible. Mellow carbonation, there is some bitterness but it's equal hops and burnt coffee, making for a very robust flavor that trails off like bittersweet chocolate with smoky and oaky notes. I got this through the Rare Beer Club, but if I ever see another bottle of it I will definitely buy it as this brew was excellent.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.11/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

im pretty sure now that de molen is one of the best, and definitely one of my favorite, breweries on the planet. this is the last one of their beers that is or has been in the market here in a very long time that i had not yet had, so its bittersweet to find and drink this one, hopefully the crooked stave folks who distribute this stuff keep bringing it in!!! its a good one here, but i wonder if the bourbon barrel and all the flavors it beings into the mix trumps some of the nuances of the base beer. i remember just adoring the regular, and this is pretty amazing too, but the barrel character is strong in char and vanilla and booze, and i think we lose a little of the earth grain bitterness and intensity that it had without it. that said, what the barrel brings is pretty cool. i like the burnt aspect, the charcoal thing, it makes it seem a little thinner in body maybe, but adds a carbon rich earthy thing that really works. i also think the chocolate and raw cocoa notes are picked up a bit by the barrel. its almost meaty in its layers of flavor too, hints of smoke and dark chocolate, as well as molasses sweetness for just a flash. impressive beer, with an oddly sharp yeast finish not like their other beers that leads into a warm boozy finish. impressive beer, but they all are from de molen. fairly priced i think at ten or so buck per bottle. still a few around town if anyone is looking.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 33mL bottle into a Bear Republic tasting glass. Bottled 28 January 2013.

A: NO head. Shiny black and opaque.

S: Coffee and dead yeast. Hints of sweeter chocolate dust.

T: Quite bitter, which is appealing at the moment. Hint of berry-sweet licorice RIS bitterness that's reminiscent of Expedition. The coffee topnotes never quite disappear though and pierce through the other flavors.

M: A bit flat, brief, and murky. Not great, but not terrible. Round.

O: The flavour is soaring, deep, and magnificent. The rest of the beer is less up to snuff. Still. Worthwhile, worth drinking, would drink again. Recommended.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.86/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 oz poured into snifter

A: Black as your worst fears almost no head with the pour just a mocha ring

S: deep rich roast, smooth bourbon, light tobacco, and some leather

T: Perfect...it follows the nose it's very deep thick roasty bourbon with such nice dryness it's tobacco tasting without it overwhelming it's bourbony but dry none of the sweetness it's amazing it's almost liked chewed leather with all the best things about chocolate, toast, bourbon thrown in.

M: It's not viscous but this beer clings and coats

O: This beer gives you bourbon barrel but stripping away the sweet vanilla toffee that you expect and gives you rich layers of the flavors you don't see much in BA beers. It's just amazing

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Photo of KVNBGRY
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 28/01/13 This is incredible. Roasted cacao nibs, subtle coconut and vanilla notes. This beer may have a close to perfect aroma. The body is a touch sweeter and thinner than expected. Carb is light, but right. I'm impressed. This is a top, top beer!

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Photo of GarthT
3/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black with almost no carbonation. Roast malts on nose. Palate is very sweet, almost sugary. Not much else unfortunately. Perhaps a bad bottle (dated June 2013)

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Photo of Roguer
4.14/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Extremely dark black stout, topped by a dark tan head. Firm, good retention, soapy lacing.

Big bourbon aroma, really dominating the profile. Some chocolate and roasted barley comes through. Some vanilla from the wood, and a hint of coconut.

Really smooth flavor up front: roasted barley without much bite at all, wrapped in a soft bourbon envelope. Strong bourbon notes take until the final 1/3 to really show up, and do so smoothly and sweetly, with a growing heat. Chocolate notes show up on the back-end as well. Tannins and tobacco on the finish, with a slight oaky sourness present throughout.

Shocking to see this clocks in at 102 EBU; it's bitter, but there isn't much hop representation beyond a slightly vegetal, earthy bitterness. Not a ton of bitterness from the roast, either.

A touch more chocolate as it warms. Smooths out overall very nicely.

Slick mouthfeel, medium bodied but quite a big beer, nonetheless. Bourbon aging provides a ton of heat. Very lively; almost too much sting to enjoy chewing, but not quite. Fairly long wet finish; lingering heat; bourbon and oak aftertaste linger on the tongue beautifully.

This is a very good BBA stout, especially for bourbon lovers. A stronger showing by the malt profile is all that keeps this from being truly world-class. I need more STOUT in my stout.

Definitely drink it warmer, or start slightly chilled and appreciate the change. This seems like a great candidate for aging.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.94/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this at the De Molen beer shop in Bodegraven.

From a bottle into a snifter
EBC: 297
EBU: 102
24 degrees Plato

APPEARANCE: A clear, dark brown pour, almost black, yields a one finger, medium looking tan head with decent retention. Black body, transparent, with higher levels of carbonation evident. A splotchy wisp and ring remain leaving no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Lots of sweet cream and vanilla, milk chocolate, oak, toffee and butterscotch on the nose. Bourbon notes too, but the candy aromas come out much more prevalent here. Nice stuff.

TASTE: Bourbon, oak with some caramel and alcohol up front. Big and lingering finish with more spirit and wood, sweet vanilla, toffee and milk chocolate on the palate. Flavorful, but not extremely complex. Still, this has all the necessary elements in all the right places.

PALATE: Medium body with lower levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes sticky. Some heat lingers. Like the feel of a lot of these brews.

OVERALL: Another good H&V variant. I don’t think this is quite as intense and complex as some of the others in the family, but it’s still a quality barrel aged H&V variant and can hold its own next to any of the heavy hitters in the style. Basically H&V could be aged in anything and it would probably turn out just fine. There are other variants I’d reach for first, but I certainly wouldn’t turn this one down. Cheers!

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Photo of pants678
3.65/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Black with no head of note.

Vanilla and bourbon.

Bourbon's not as pronounced as chocolate. Faint hint of sweetness, would guess that's stronger pre barrel aging. Like Arcadia's BBA Stout, could well stand to be kicked up a few notches. Meets criteria yet hardly a beer of superlatives.

Could stand more carbonation even knowing the style.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

Pour is dark brown with dark tan head. Nose is pretty balanced with nice bourbon notes, faint peat and wood notes. Some roasted malt notes and hints of dark chocolate. Taste has much more peat and some interesting yeast notes. More malt complexity and and depth but a bit of sweetness through the finish. Milky chocolate and light roasted malt with brown sugar and malt sugar left over. Medium body with a creamy feel and softer carbonation.

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Photo of Ohiovania
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Delicious. Bakers chocolate sweetness, toffee, bourbon with all of its vanilla, and a little sweet smokiness that lingers. Finishes just a tiny bit dry that makes you drink a little faster than sipping. Mmmm

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Photo of cbutova
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to my buddy Cheeks for providing me with this bottle, always been meaning to try more of this series.

A- 12oz bottle poured to a snifter with a black, but not pitch black body. A tiny head forms only for a few moments before falling fast to a small, frothy ring. Lacing is spotty and rare.

S- Prominent aromas jump out of the glass with notes of deeply roasted malts, sweet dark sugars, candied raisins, bourbon soaked oak, vanilla and just a touch of alcohol. The dark fruits and sweetness bring an Old Ale factor into play that I find in high ABV Bruery beers.

T- Trifecta balance of Bourbon soaked toasted oak, dark roast grains and caramelized, sugar soaked raisins. The flavor drinks huge but the alcohol doesn't come into play, just rich if that makes sense. Notes of burnt cereal grains, dried dark fruits, cherry, vanilla sweetness, whiskey, oxidized caramel ala Old Ale, prunes and wood.

MF- Super thick bodied and oily like an Old Ale or syrupy Stout. Carbonation at a low-medium level but appropriate considering the decadence. Finishes warm but does not reach hot.

Sweet but in a good way, coming from someone who is not a fan of overly sweet beers. The sweetness is matched by a nice alcohol warming, Bourbon soaked oak and raisin dark fruit characteristics. De Molen is growing on me, big time.

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Hel & Verdoemenis - Bourbon BA from Brouwerij De Molen
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 168 ratings