Hell's Belle | Big Boss Brewing

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Hell's BelleHell's Belle

Brewed by:
Big Boss Brewing
North Carolina, United States

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by blackie on 02-26-2007

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Reviews: 109 | Ratings: 289
Photo of Knapp85
2.98/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This poured out as a clear looking golden yellow color, the head was white and fizzy looking. The retention and lacing are decent. The smell of the beer is very Belgian, lots of bread-like aromas on the nose with some minimal fruit esters. The taste of the beer was pretty straight forward, grains and some sweet sugar-like flavors. Not much depth to the mouthfeel, just kinda feels boring to me. Overall it's an ok brew, not really something I would seek out again.

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Photo of metter98
3.62/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Big Boss Brewing, Raleigh, NC

A: The beer is hazy yellow in color and has a thin white head that slowly faded away and left lacing down the edges of the glass.
S: There are moderate aromas of fruit, spices and yeast in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and slightly dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The alcohol is well masked, which makes this beer a good sipper.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy honey color with a decent enough head that leaves a few dots and dashes

Smell: Shortbread malt with hay and white pepper

Taste: The shortbread brings some sweetness in the front end, with the white pepper and hay flavors adding balance in the middle; the flavors blend together nicely in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Refreshing and tasty; a good stab at the style

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a light orangey color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of candi sugar with light fruity ester is OK. Taste is a mix between some candi sugar, which is a bit too raw with some notes of fruity ester and a light dry hoppy finish. Body is quite full with average filtration and good carbonation and no alcohol was perceptible. Not bad though it has some flaws (too much sugar and ingredient don't' mesh together).

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Photo of zeff80
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a slightly hazy, straw yellow color with a small, soapy, thin, white head. It left a soapy residue on the glass.

S - It smelled sugary sweet with citrus notes. Also a subtle yeast aroma.

T - Overall, a fairly sweet beer with a light caramel flavor. Candy sugar and yeast at to the beer's lightly spiced character.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A light-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty nice American brewer's attempt at a Belgian ale. Easy drinking and quite tasty.

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Photo of mothman
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Weyerbacher tulip.

Pours 1 finger of creamy off white head. Fades to a smaller layer leaving some thick splattered lace. Color is a lightly hazed golden orange with a lot of active carbonation.

Aroma: Fairly bland for a bpa. Has some yeast flavors with cloves and spices. Light banana flavors. Not too much here.

Taste: Seems like it has a very grassy hop flavor with a large amount of yeast here. The only spice note I can really pick out is the clove. Some banana flavors again. I also get some alcohol towards the finish. Not a lot of fruit flavors here which I like to see in a bpa.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, bubbly, and creamy. A medium bodied with a surprising medium amount of carbonation (I expected higher). Ends very dry with some spice flavors.

Overall, I wasn't overly impressed with this one. It was fine to drink, but just didn't have a big flavor like some of the other bpas I have had. That and the alcohol showed more than I want to see in the style.

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Photo of oberon
3.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slight hazed lemon-gold with a nice tight one finger craterous white head that held well,interesting aromas,I pick up some light pheolic spice,lemon,and a briney-like component wich is odd.Flavors are pretty subtle for the style but pleasant,subtle phenolic spice and smoke with some light candied ginger and lemon.Not bad its highly drinkable,just subtle for the style.

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Photo of chinchill
3.47/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, marked brewed May 2011, poured into a pint glass. Some of the additional sediment in bottom of bottle added after the first few sips.

A - Hazy golden color, darker than a standard American lager, with a 1 finger of-white head. The head has moderate duration and leaves little lacing. Sediment (yeast?) in bottom of glass. Sediment suspended

Aroma: Mainly a moderately strong fruity yeastiness. Hints of coriander. cloves & cinnamon in the nose The 7% ABV is partly apparent in the nose although mostly hidden upon tasting.

Taste: this is a surprisingly malty ale with a fine yeasty Belgian bent. a good bit of clove, and some mild tartness. Different from any beer I can remember and with very enjoyable flavor, finish and aftertaste.

M - medium-light body; well-chosen carbonation; semi-dry finish; lightly crisp.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy medium golden yellow in color with some straw yellow highlights and a light amount of gentle visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall foamy white head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of light fruits (white grape, pear, apple, and peach) with some lighter notes of spicy yeast (white pepper) and light lemon citrus.

T: This beer tastes very similar to how it smells. Upfront there are some pale malts with light fruit sweetness (white grape, pear, apple, and peach/apricot). That is followed by some lighter notes of spicy yeast, similar to white pepper and a touch of lemon citrus. Light amounts of spicy/earthy hops that contribute a light amount of bitterness towards the finish which does not linger.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and slightly dry.

O: While this beer has a moderately high ABV, the alcohol is well hidden making this beer a very nice sipping beer (not one that I want to be using for a session beer because it is a but too strong for that). Nice flavors make this one enjoyable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burnished gold with bright lemon highlights and a handful of slowly ascending bubbles. The two finger crown of bone colored foam looks like it belongs on an American ale rather than a Belgian one... but then this is an American ale. The foam melts into a thick puddle and the glass isn't exactly coated with lace.

The nose does a pretty good job adhering to the style guidelines, probably because Big Boss uses a capable yeast strain. It's modestly golden fruity with a great deal of clove spiciness. More power would have been better.

Hell's Belle is a decent Belgian-style pale ale, though that's where it ends. Unfortunately, there isn't the flavor definition or complexity that the best versions possess. Translation: it's both too messy and too simple. Having said that, the brewers got the outlines of the style essentially right.

The maltiness tastes slightly toasted bready and has the earthy, nutty, melanoidin quality of Munich. Hop flavor is not abundant and bitterness is moderate-balancing. Yeast esters are still pear-apple fruity and are also impressively clove-like, with a phenolic vibe that is slightly offputting, becoming somewhat more tolerable with warming. Suggestion to the brewers... use a cleaner yeast.

The beer drinks every bit of the 7.0% ABV, which is a positive in my book. An American ale mouthfeel (as opposed to a Belgian ale mouthfeel) is no surprise. In the end, with respect to quality, this characteristic is pretty much in line with all the rest.

Big Boss Brewing deserves credit for giving North Carolinians a glimpse of the possibilities outside of the usual wheat ale, amber ale, pale ale and stout. It's just too bad that they didn't come closer to the Belgian pale ale bull's eye.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing, Bobby.

A: The beer pours a clear golden color with a thin white head.

S: A fairly light nose. There is a decent amount of banana along with some sugar and pears, maybe a bit of sweet apples. A little bit of yeast, bread, and spice.

T: Lightly spiced with some sweet bread and sugar. There are mild fruit notes, mostly some banana with a little bit of pear and apple. There is just a little bit of straw, some light spices, too.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Not bad, but sort of bland and muddled.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours aslightly foggy orange gold with a thick off white head. Nose is minimal spices. Flavor is a large portion of pineapple. Minor overall citrus tone covering it. Light amounts of dough. Minimal funky. Smooth and a bit thick liquid feel. Low carbonation. Easy to drink and not too shabby.

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Photo of tdm168
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery's tasting room

Pours and orangish amber. Smells of Belgian yeast and coriander. Tastes of wheat, yeast, and mild coriander spice. Well carbonated; light to medium bodied.

Not bad. Definitely one of the better year round offerings from Big Boss.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.34/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled June 2011.

A very foamy soapy head that makes a good few fingers but recedes quickly. Cloudy murky yellow orb like body with not much visible carbonation, kind of dull. Leave a simple puck at start, but then only a thin collar while drinking, and then pretty much disappears of any sense of head or lacing what so ever.

Bouquet though is classic Belgian sweets and yeast, kind of spicy phenolic like in a way, a hint of wild ale brett like sour that come out like sour raspberries.

Taste is strong, unfortunately a bit too medicinal. Strongly bitter medicine on the finish, with some yeast character. Sort of lacking in the finish department, kind of wet and muted. There is a strong body feel to this but the taste is not what I am expecting.

I am going to have go middle of the road on this one, it's not one I'd want to have again that's for sure.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.35/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, bottled in 1/08, served in a tulip.

A: Cloudy golden orange/peach color with a lot of sediment, thin white head that quickly dissiaptes to a ring with no lacing.
S: Pleasant but boring. Expected slightly sweet, yeasty smell with some strong spices.
T: Very thick and slippery/buttery mouthfeel, with strong carbonation. Again, like smell, pleasant but honestly not all that much flavor. Initially sweet, but in finish slightly more spicy and a little smoky. Alcohol isn't present in taste but is easily felt. There is n't really much balance between the sweetness and spiciness and for me the overall flavor profile is just wrong.

I remember liking this beer a lot more fresh on the tour than I do in the bottle now. This doesn't seem as flavorful and is a little boring

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Photo of John_M
4.22/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Barley's the other night.

The beer pours a light gold color with good head retention and lacing. The is complex, attractive and interesting, showing honey, bananna, clove, with some noticeable spice as well. The flavor profile replicates the nose, though it's not quite as forward and intense. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light, but with plenty of flavor and a slight creaminess. Drinkability is exceptional; I could easily drink this all evening. Very impressive.

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

(Served in a tulip)
bottled in Feb. no year listed
A- This beer has a hazy light copper body has a creamy white head that fades to a thick ring and is supported by a gentle carbonation.

S- The green pine resin hops are followed by a light yeasty aroma.

T- The floral yeast flavor is dry and crisp with a green hop snap in the finish. There is a light cheese rind brett character in the finish along with the hops that linger a moment.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a fizzy foam in the finish and no real alcohol heat.

D- This beer has a nice flavor with some good yeast characteristics and nice hops that compliment.

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Photo of akorsak
3.51/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle picked up on vacation in the outer banks.

A: The ale is golden yellow, bright but hazy. A small wisp of head covers the top of the glass.

S: The aroma has a touch of Belgian candi sugars, nothing strong just enough to make itself known. The biscuitiness of the body is far more dominant.

T: The taste makes up for the lackluster nose. Candi sugars and pepper lead the way, resting atop biscuity caramel malt. The Belgian yeast has created a fruity flavor that finishes the ale nicely.

M: The mouthfeel is good, throwing off a nice fruity sweetness. The taste profile is approachable but not earth-shattering.

D: The alcohol is a little high, even if well-hidden, to quaff. A nice sipper though.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Florida Beer Co. tapered glass. Says this fine beer was bottled on: and then there's a row of months and years with nothing indicated.

A- Pours a semi-hazy medium amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Soily Belgian yeast aroma that's a bit sweet and quite boozy. Toasty malt with some Belgian candi sugar.

T- Flavor follows suit with more fruity yeast characteristic, mild bitterness and a noticeable alcohol presence. The sweetness helps keep it drinkable but there's not a lot of depth to the sugar/yeast/alcohol combo.

M- Bitey from the alcohol with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- A pretty passable Belgian-style ale. The alcohol isn't hidden very well and the flavor profile lacks depth. That said, it's drinkable and doesn't have any overwhelming flaws.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Hazy peach gold to amber under a clingy 1” cream colored foam cap that dissipates moderately fast.

S: Peach, ripe to over ripe fruit, a trace of banana and spice.

T: Very fruity flavors with a blend of orange, citrus, stone fruit, and a light malty caramel sweetness finished off with a moderate bitterness.The yeast driven fruit flavors are moderate to moderately high, the malt flavors are moderate to moderately low, the hop bitterness is moderate. There is a long lingering fruit finish.

F: Medium to medium light body, medium high carbonation, no astringency, very minimal warming.

O: A good, flavorful Belgian Pale Ale.

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Photo of avalon07
3.44/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a dark orange color and a cloudy texture. There was an inch of foamy, somewhat long-lasting head. Average lacing.

S: A decent enough aroma of yeast, spices, and fruit.

T: Tasted of apples, spices (pepper, cinnamon), a little bit of malt, and yeast. Not necessarily a bad flavor, but a bit out of balance. The spices seem to take over the whole thing.

M: A fair amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Not a bad beer, but it doesn't necessarily stack up to its Belgian cousins.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.62/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks very much to ThirstyBird for sharing this one. 12oz. bottle served in my ST tulip. Poured a hazy orange-gold with a head that quickly dissipated into a skim. Nose was candi sugar with some citrus qualities. Taste consistent with nose; however, a biscuity quality also comes out. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied and a little syrupy with a consistent background carbonation and some astringency at the finish. Decent brew, but lacking in complexity - didn't blow me away.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought a bottle in Raleigh, tried it in a hotel. The beer was a dirty yellow color with a thin head. The smell was more like a tripel than Belgian pale ale, it seemed to have a lot of candi sugar in it. The taste was very sweet, maybe over the top with candi, the cloying feeling I got dropped the drinkability a little. Overall OK but not anything I'd look too hard for.

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Photo of ccrida
3.77/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gold with a white head that leaves light lace with little last.

Smell is heavy fruity Belgian yeast esters.

Taste is very estery, loads of banana, some green apple, a little pink peppercorn. Light plastic phenols. Nice little mineral snap.

Mouthfeel is dry, with a light body. Could use more carbonation, it would have helped the appearance as well as the mouthfeel.

Drinkability is good, it's big flavors, but smooth, and light bodied.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz single, shipped by a dark weasel

appearance: poured into a bells chalice, very pale straw body, clear and lacking any sort of liveliness

smell: overly sweet, an oddly placed whiff of sour funk, vegetal notes

taste: ehh, this not a very impressive effort from a brewery i dont really understand. there is an offensive sour corn funk going on here and some really chalky sugar in the aftertaste

mouthfeel: meh, syrupy with a lingering afteraste that isnt pleasing

drinkability: not good

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Hell's Belle from Big Boss Brewing
3.56 out of 5 based on 289 ratings.
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