Demon Hunter | Birrificio Montegioco

BA SCORE
86
very good
72 Ratings
THE BROS
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Demon HunterDemon Hunter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Birrificio Montegioco
Italy
birrificiomontegioco.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 10-11-2006

BEER STATS
Ratings:
72
Reviews:
37
Avg:
3.87
pDev:
12.66%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
5
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 72 |  Reviews: 37
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I found a bottle at John's Grocery in Iowa City, and paid about $16 for it. The bottle was beautiful, with black printed paper covering like a gueuze or other Belgian specialty, with a side view of an ugly red demon's head hanging from a chain held by an armored hand. Cool and odd.

The first whiff from the open bottle was sour like a Jolly Pumpkin beer or a Flanders Red, so I chose an Orval glass to hold it. The beer was light copper color and murky-translucent, with a nice 1-finger off-white foam which settled quickly. The aroma definitely indicated Brett, smelling like any number of Jolly Pumpkin or Russian River wild ales. The beer was possibly better than any of these competitors though, in that it had a really thick mouthfeel lending a substantial presence to the beer. Very nice taste, sour up front and sweetly malty in the middle, with an after-taste mingling sweet and sour. Awesome, I have to up my taste rating to a 4.5.

Is it worth $16? Possibly not since other beers are comparable at $6-9 for the same volume. But a nice treat and one that I recommend.

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Photo of mynie
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at John's Grocery.

THAT is how you wrap a bottle. It's like some fantastic thing you'd see painted on some kind of scary cathedral.

Pours dark brown with a large head. Just about what you'd expect from a nice-looking Belgian dark.

Smells very crisp and tart. Light on the yeast and alcohol, heavy on the spice.

Tastes more like a nice saison than Belgian dark. Big spice to start things off, white pepper and lemongrass, moving into a very crisp and fizzy tasting middle that consists of hard fruit esters and a lightly sour yeast. This drops off into a heavier yeast with a light peng of brown sugar and a lingering sourness.

I could drink this stuff all day. At 15 bucks a bottle, it's probably not worth what it costs, but it's still an exceptional beer and the packaging alone justifies trying it at least once.

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Photo of mrfrancis
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of rderedin
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Tall 750ml (25.4 fl.oz) Belgium style brown glass bottle sealed with a large crown cap. The main label is split vertically in half; the left hand side has a dark black background with a very colorful picture of a Knights glove holding high a horned red colored demonic head from a chain set into a green shield like scroll which has the words ‘Demon Hunter’ in rather gothic looking yellow text. This side of the label lists the beer in a white scripted font as ‘Birra Artigianale Demon Hunter’. The words ‘La Cacciatrice’ which I think translates as The Huntress of Terrorists and that it is the Product of Italy. Listed at 8.5% Alc./Vol. The right hand side of the label has a white background and is dedicated to the Nanny state US Government Warning and lots of other useless bollocks. All this is nicely wrapped in a highly decorated crisp black paper wrapper that has the same pattern as the left hand side of the main bottle label.

Appearance: Deep brown torso has some golden amber refraction at the edges of my Chimay Goblet. Light tanned head fizzes into existence and rises on the initial with a large bubbled consistency. It soon settles with in a relaxed manner to a thin covering which eventually breaks, though it never collapses and always leaves a healthy halo ring. Conditioning is below par but enough to do justice in the beginning, but in the finish is seems to vaporize and evacuate the body all too quickly leaving a rather flat looking effort. Subsequent top-ups do help to reinstate some life and look into this one, but it can struggle if you decide to sip this one slowly.

Nose: Soft Devon toffee, peppered steak, herbs, light spices, roasted Chestnuts, walnuts and a strange hint of the dried out deposit that sticks to the outside of those screw top lids on peanut butter jars. Overall the nose is barely above average in strength but does tend to entice a little.

Taste: This is one of those beers that exhibit an accomplished taste, but not one of the fundamental elements really strikes you neither as outstanding as nor more important than the others. A combination of herbal malts and soft spiced low key hops intermingle with Devon toffee, a nutty base, suppressed toasted dark fruits and a mellow finish with some hint of Belgium chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Marshmallow feel initially gives way to a flatter more liquor like texture later on as the conditioning evacuates the body later on. Smooth feel, honey roasted peanuts and feel of saliva thick with a heavily chewed home made toffee lend some depth and a higher reign to the initial medium feel. Not quite a 4.0 though, but a bit above a 3.5.

Drinkability: I enjoyed the 750ml, no worries there, but I feel that this one could do so much more with just a little more effort. Enjoyable, and above average but it just dips below the “solid beer” feeling, though it does seem to be in reach, criminally close at times, yet desperately far away at others. Needs a bit more work I think to appeal beyond the intrigued “Initial Imbiber”, to the “Second Purchase” crowd.

Overall: As with the earlier ‘Draco’ that I tried from Birrificio Montegioco, I did not really notice the rather steep selling price on this one until it was too late. This offering is much better than the earlier ‘Draco’ though, and whilst I cannot honestly say that it represents good value for money, it is certainly worth trying and not a bad effort. The ‘Demon Hunter’ is aged for 15 weeks and I think helps to raise the bar a tad. An interesting newcomer to the US, at least the West Coast, but if you see the ‘Draco’ and ‘Demon Hunter’, and only want to splash the cash on one, this should be the choice…however….if you have any of the offerings from Panil or Baladin for the same or lesser price, and fancy going Italian, this one would be left on shelves to go dusty I feel. A candidate for future promotion but this offering is not quite in the Italian Serie A League, just yet at least.

 4,005 characters

Photo of Beginner2
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Listed in the "1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die", my review and possible re-rating comes after I Have this again.
(I probably won't.)

136 characters

Photo of dsa7783
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copped a $16.99 bottle from Oak Tree in South Plainfield... very elegantly wrapped - decorated to perfection with a really attractive appearance of a devil's head tied to a chain... Pours a dark chestnut, amber color with minimal frothy head that soon dissipated... smell is replete with grapes, prunes, and honey... taste complements the aroma, with a noticeable pepper-bittersweet aftertaste... flavor is very intricate and high-class, laden with caramel, vanilla, pepper, creamy malts, and well-balanced with a touch of hops which do well to offset the overall rich and sweet character of the beer... a very unique sample, completely distinct from anything I've ever tasted, but in my opinion, still not worth the hefty sum I dished out for this one... Mouthfeel was thick and creamy, and the beer was really drinkable and went down smooth, crisp, and clean... ABV is not noticeable at all... Recommended...

 910 characters

Photo of ystazi
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of merlin48
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Paper wrapped 750 ml bottle, as pictured, pours a murky amber brown body with a small beige head. Some sheet lacing is left on the goblet.

Aroma is interesting. Fruity berry and kiwi, caramel apples, herbal hops,toffee, and spicy nutmeg, clove, and anise.

Body is medium full with an average carbonation. Just a hint of syrupiness here.

Taste is complex. Caramel apple notes are most prominent but a toffee maltiness is present throughout. Herbal hops add a solid bitterness. Lots of spice flavors, with anise, white pepper, nutmeg, and clove, weaving in and out. Finishes clean and even.

Kinda pricey, even for an Italian craft ale, but complex and enjoyable.

 664 characters

Photo of ScaryEd
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Photo of RedneckBeerz
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Vylo
2/5  rDev -48.3%

Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A monster three finger rich tan head erupts with a vigorous pour. Body is a deep brown that almost seems layered twords the bottom of the glass with some amber tints. Slightly zesty mineral spicey notes on the nose are very soft. Also has a hint of soapy hops. At first sip you got a very mineral based feel. Palate includes a bit of grapefruit and soured malt. A slight hop bitter rounds out the mouthfeel. Extremly lighter than I expected. Super easy to drink. Not as complex as I think it could become with some agging. Enjoyable overall but tough to pay 18 bucks a bottle for.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off the art on the wrapper is simply amazing. Now on to the beer.

A: Cloudy copper color with minimal head.

S: Apples! and cider. Was not expecting that at all.

T: Apples then fruits with a slight hint of the yeast. Finishes with a slight hop bitterness. Not too bad.

M: Nice med body. Nothing good or bad really.

D: Very drinkable. The price on the bottle keeps it from being something to seek out on the norm but it was good. Just not good enough to pick up at 17.99.

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Photo of peabody
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out a slightly cloudy ice tea color with one finger of creamy off-white suds. Nice lacing.
Smell is creamy malt and spice with a strong yeasty aroma followed by the alcohol burn.
Taste is bready like a dirty cup of yeast water with sugars and candy caramel stickyness. They hide the alcohol here quite well.
Mouthfeel is dirty and stays dirty for the entire tasting. No alcohol in the aftertaste. Just a dirty sticky sugar flavor.
Drinkability is OK I guess. Not a bad drink but certainly not a great drink.

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Photo of chrispoint
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of jwinship83
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml capped bottle with no freshness information on it drank from my duvel tulip glass.

A- this one pours out a murky orangeish brown colored body with a finger and a half of bright white colored head. the head lasts the entirety of the glass and leaves behind complete rings of lacing.

S- belgian yeast is the first thing i notice. there are alot of fruit-like malts in here as well. apple, fig, pear, and date. some spicy peppery aromas also.

T- the taste is much like the smell. there is a definite belgian yeast presence. some sweet summer fruits also. apple, pear, plum, fig, and date. small pepper like spiciness at the end along with a small taste of alcohol.

M- medium to full bodied and highly carbonated. palate coating. moderate warming form the alcohol.

D- easy to finish my portion of this bottle, but i dont think a whole 750ml would be able to hold my attention. i look forward to what else this brewery has to offer.

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Photo of pixieskid
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of Spreetaper
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Owl Farm (Brooklyn,NY)

32 characters

Photo of sludgegnome
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Cloaked_Phantom
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of mschrei
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of alpinebryant
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat cloudy brown with particles floating in space. Good head and one that stayed around for a while with large bubbles.

Smell of strawberries, grapes, biscuit, raspberries Coriander and belgian yeast. This is a very good smelling Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Possibly the best smelling I have had but I anxiously await the perfect smelling BSDA.

Taste of berries, strawberry raspberry, some sour white grape and a light taste of funk. Oak and aging in barrels seem to be on the menu, although I cannot confirm because I do not know enough about this beer. Very possibly the barrel flavors are just from the yeast, but either way, it is blends together nicely and the sour biscuit malt flavors become most prominent as it warms.

Mouthfeel is pretty light, but adds to the drinkability, good carbonation and a nice smooth rounded belgian taste. Recommended

 868 characters

Photo of SilentSabre
4.29/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

(Intriguingly) Paper Wrapped 750mL bottle precisely like the photograph here on BA. $15,99 Arbor Place Beverage Douglasville, GA USA
Okay, let's be honest. I bought this because of that terrific label, and no other reason, and I'm certainly glad I did. I thought this was corked and caged, but removal of the paper wrapping revealed a standard pry-off bottle top. Removal of the top resulted in a very loud "pop" which actually startled me. Also, there is a plastic bit that protrudes off of the cap down into the mouth of the bottle about half an inch. I've never seen that feature before.
Anyway, onto the beer. The pour was a somehwat murky bronze-red colour with more of an orange colour around the edges. Lots of fine particulates toward the bottom of the glass can be seen when held to a lamp. Head was moderately creamy with moderately knit bubbles. Nonetheless, it faded into a light frost over the liquid's surface in a few moments after pouring. Decent lacing of the glass. A nice looking beer IMO.
Smell was terrific. Loads of sweet toasted cereals/malts and loads of fruit nuances, as well. Perhaps a bit of pear? Some red apple or cherry? Even a trace of freshly sawn timber, I think. Nice indeed. So much so, I felt a 5 was in order.
Sadly, the taste isn't quite as spectacular as the smell, but *is* quite good nevertheless. Taste is dominated by the roasted malt one detects in the nose with the fruit profiles asserting themselves to a much lesser extent. What trace of hop bitterness that *is* present here is detectable only on the finish, and modestly so at that.
To be the style of beer that this is, and to be 8,5%abv, I felt that this was wonderfully drinkable, with the alcohol virtually non-detectable. A mastefully crafted ale that I will certainly spend $16 for again. Brilliant!

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Photo of drseamus
3.11/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A kicker for our tasting on 3/29/08 brought by Avryle

Obviously the artwork on the bottle requires that you try this beer. Amber/reddish body that is crystal clear. There is no head at all. The aroma is straight apple juice. The flavor is sweet apples initially but fades into a slightly more bitter apple cidery flavor. Fairly thin bodied, but that kinda works with the appley feel. Decent drinkability.

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Demon Hunter from Birrificio Montegioco
3.87 out of 5 based on 72 ratings.
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