Hellshire II | Oakshire Brewing

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Hellshire IIHellshire II
64 Ratings
Hellshire IIHellshire II

Brewed by:
Oakshire Brewing
Oregon, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
The second beer in the Hellshire series is an Imperial Stout that was 100% aged in Buffalo Trace and Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels for 7 months.

Released November 2011

Added by msubulldog25 on 10-17-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 64 |  Reviews: 27
Reviews by kscaldef:
Photo of kscaldef
3.68/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Update from 10/31/14 "scary beer tasting". Way downhill at this point: cold, sour, black coffee. 2.0)

A: Dense coffee head, dark brown body

S: mostly chocolate, hint of coffee, slight spicy bourbon note.

T: Chocolate and coffee. A little burnt / acrid flavor, but not overwhelming. A good dose of oak.

M: A bit thin for the style. Nice medium carbonation. Coats the mouth well without being syrupy.

O: Not a homerun, but a nice beer that I can't complain much about.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of NWer
2.33/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Aggressive pour into tulip resulted in minimal flat head and very little carbonation.
Initial flavor picked up is dark cherries. Aftertaste, a feel of wet towels allowed to mellow in the hamper for a few days.
A normal person would drain pour this puppy. I'm not normal. I'll drink it anyway while watching Tim sink into the abyss.
My only regret is that I have two more I picked up as a result of the hype surrounding Hellshire I and the release of Hellshire II.
Oh well. Can't win 'em all.
A definite swing and a miss with this one.

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Photo of SPRichard
3/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of daveytheformer
4/5  rDev +34.2%

Photo of kevwcamp
2/5  rDev -32.9%

Photo of seanthornton152
2/5  rDev -32.9%

Photo of kswbeer
4.17/5  rDev +39.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours very thick, black with a hit of red/brown and next to no head. The last time I poured something this think was when we were reviewing Old Engine Oil.

With the first aroma I get a hit of bourbon and red wine with just a little maraschino cherry.

The first taste is complex. It starts as a Stout with a little coffee but quickly moves to a plum/prune followed slowly by a light bourbon and dark red wine. The taste left on the tongue is the traditional Stout chocolate/coffee. It’s a 10 ½ percent ABV but it really doesn’t hit you with the alcohol, its more of an afterthought.

Mouth feel is right in line with an Imperial Stout. It’s thicker, coats the tongue and hangs around for a while. My personal preference would be to serve it a few minutes after its out of the fridge so the temp/carbonation balance is right.
Overall I’m a fan. There are a few barrel aged Stouts out there right now and I think this holds up with any of them. I don’t think it’s a beer for a novice drinker (they just won’t enjoy it), but if you like Imperial Stouts I think you’ll like the complexities the barrel aging adds to it.

The lactobacillus is a big downer but I’ve had to pitch a more than 1 batch of my own homebrew. I had a fear of opening an undrinkable beer but I thought my bottle was just fine. The effect on the beer will completely depend on the storage conditions and time. I had mine in the fridge since I bought the bottle at the OakShire tasting room on Nov. 23, 2011 and opened it on Jan. 8, 2012. So if you have a bottle and are thinking about taking it in for the refund think about how you’ve stored it, I wouldn’t want you to miss out on a good beer.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.09/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of hopsbreath
3.18/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Busted out by Matt Van Wyk at the East Burn beer dinner. Thanks to the brewer for the sample. Served in a small snifter.

A: Very dark brown with ruby edges, a small ring of espresso bubbles, fairly thin looking with minimal legs. 2/5

S: Good bourbon, vanilla, caramel, cocoa, and other requisite -bal stout notes are in attendance. Peppery alcohol singes the nose... in a good way. Nothing is really dominating and the balance is pretty good at this point. 4/5

T: Odd... This lands in the fruity category of the imperial stout family. Prunes are the dominant fruit presenting. Some slightly acidic roasty coffee shows through as well. I'm not picking up much chocolate and mention that now since it's frequently a characteristic in stouts. The bourbon is mild and in good balance against the stout. While not my favorite bourbon stout, I'm not really disappointed. 3/5

M: A slightly chewy beer yet small for what I expect from the style. It does finish quite clean which is a plus. 3/5

O: An interesting beer. Definitely a departure from a typical American imperial stout. I'm sure there will be plently of people who enjoy it. 3/5

 1,137 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.73/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak Tulip. Pours pitch black, very little signs of carbonation. Pour leaves a thin medium brown ring around the glass, but no lacing. Aroma is subdued, dominated by chocolate and coffee. Flavor starts with dark, roasted malt and coffee, followed by a very odd red wine component, almost like a stout had been mixed with an oaky red wine. Finish is also quite vinous, but with roasted malt. Medium to creamy bodied. Very little bourbon flavor. This was an apparently infected batch, which is too bad, the stout flavors seemed quite nice. It is still drinkable and I'm enjoying a one time chance for a stout and red wine combination. It doesn’t quite work, but still interesting in an odd way.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
4/5  rDev +34.2%

Photo of kylemckinnis
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of Mahlik
3.45/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber from Bridgetown Beerhouse in Portland poured into snifter. Reviewed from notes.

A - Pours an opaque black with almost no head. The minimal amount of head was a dark brown/mocha color and dissipated quickly. Little to no lacing; this beer appears to be thick and oily, looks like motor oil; Some carbonation bubbles could be seen racing up the side of the glass.

S - Coffee and dark fruits (prunes/raisins). Vanilla, bourbon and oak in the background. Some faint chocolate as well. Also almost a caramel smell. I do get whiffs of coconut but I was only able to pick that out because the bottle said so. You can get some the alcohol off the nose.

T - Coffee with an almost prune juice taste. It's a bit unusual. It's not terrible but something seems off. Vanilla and bourbon notes come through but not as much as I thought. The alcohol hits up front but finishes smooth. I'm not pulling out as much in the taste as I did in the aroma.

M - Full-bodied with very little carbonation. It's a thick, oily and a bit chewy.

O - A decent BA imperial stout. Not my favorite. It had an unusual taste. Definitely brings the beer down. I'm glad I didn't make the trip to the brewery for the release.

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Photo of claspada
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of pperez38
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of ygtbsm94
2.75/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of MaltsOfGlory
2.77/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

So from the reports Oakshire has put out, this beer has been spoiled with lactobacillus, which makes the beer taste acidic and tart. I'm still going to give it a shot, since I have a bottle after all, and not all of the beers were reported spoiled. An extremely aggressive pour leads to only a tiny, one quarter of head, honestly I'm surprised I even got that much. The head is a solid brown, maybe even dark brown, one of the darker heads I have seen in quite a while. The head has now faded down to just a sliver, and is pretty much all medium sized bubbles, more bubbly than even a head really. I can't really tell how the lacing is going to be, we will have to see as I get down the glass. The body is just pitch black, I mean crap this beer is dark. No light getting through, not visible carbonation, no sight of any kind, completely pitch black. The lacing will for sure play a big role in this appearance because it's so dark I can't tell the carbonation, or cloudiness, etc. As it is now, it's a decent looking beer, the head was not very good, but it did have a nice color, and the body being extremely pitch black is nice. On the smell it's hard to tell whether what I'm smelling is the sour lactobacillus smell, or just the barrel, heavy alcohol smell. I mean honestly I'm just getting a nice big bourbon aroma, with a very substantial chocolate aroma as well. Oakshire says this beer has coffee in it as well, honestly I'm getting more sourness than I am coffee, and I'm not getting too much sourness at all, so basically there isn't really much in the way of coffee here. Like I said it's very hard to tell what exactly I'm smelling, on some sniffs it smells more like sourness, and on others a nice bourbon smell. Either way you can tell it's a boozy beer. Even though I could very easily give this beer a 4, there is for sure some sourness, and to play it safe I'm going to give it a 3.5 for aroma, because my nose isn't painting a clear enough picture for me. If the sourness truly isn't there all that much I will bump up the grade for the taste. Yeah this is a damn sour beer. I mean is it undrinkable? No, but I'm...damn confused first of all. I mean the sourness really just makes it taste like they mixed wine with a stout, it's very sour, but you can also tell there are heavy malt, chocolate, etc. in the background. I mean the alcohol is really the only consisted, not super weird and surprising thing about this beer, it's boozy, as expected. Frankly not as boozy as a 10.5% could be, but for SURE there non the less. After that it's like I said, biiiig sour wine like flavor up front, then followed by some chocolate, big dark malts, a a bourbon flavor. I mean is it undrinkable? No, like I said. However, this is going to be hard getting through this 22. I know this isn't normal either, because unlike some barley wines, I can drink imperial stouts without any problem, a normal imperial stout would not be this "difficult" to put down. Anyways, what more can I say about the flavor, it's a sour ass beer that makes it taste like wine mixed with a stout. A 2.5 is about right, because it does have some good flavors. In fact it could even get a 3 because the sourness is dying down, but it's a spoiled beer, 2.5 is ok. The mouthfeel is actually the worst part of this beer, really no question about it either. It's an incredibly thing mouthfeel, almost nothing going on at all, it's like water. The carbonation is extremely low, there is barely anything there. I would go as far as to say I might not have a difficulty finishing this beer if the mouthfeel wasn't horrid. Drinkability is terrible as one would expect, I don't think this beer will be as hard to drink as the Hellshire one, because even though that was a decent beer, it had a burn like no other, this at least has some malt and other stuff to get me through the sourness, at least a little bit. Overall what more can I say? It's a bottle of wine mixed with an imperial stout, not a very good combination. Not the worst beer I have ever had, probably not even in the top 5 worst, but it's not a very good beer. I'm going to give it a 3 overall because I went a little rough on the taste, and overall it's not an awful beer, but for sure not good.

The appearance turned out to be much like what I expected, not too amazing. Other than a small amount of foamy patches here and there, there was no lacing to speak of. A small rim of "head" did stick around for most of the beers life, but like the original head, it was extremely bubbly and just not that good. I mean even though this beer had a nice body color, the head was bad and the lacing was bad. A 3 seems about right.

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Photo of awoldt09
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of caninedevotion
4/5  rDev +34.2%

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of sweemzander
2.45/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

22oz. waxed bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to Jason for the bottle!

(A)- Pours a rather thick pitch black color. Produced a small cap of brown froth and lace.

(S)- Tons of dark fruits. Prune, raisin, plum, cocoa, and maybe faint bits of coconut and vanilla. Very dense in the dark fruit area.

(T)- A small, but very evident tart sourness and soy component that takes over most of the beer's flavor profile. Still, some of the dark fruits poke through though.

(M)- A very mellow carbonation level. Clearly infected with that sour kick. All the dark fruits are nice, but just adds to the infection bit. Very sweet and fairly thick too; even for the style.

(D)- Unfortunately, this is clearly infected. However, it is not an infection that completely makes this undrinkable. Honestly, it is not horrible with the sourness it has, but obviously not intended. It does show some interesting flavors, but you just cannot get around the sour infection.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.81/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Strong Ale 2011

Pours essentially black in color with a finger or so of tan head. Smells strangely lactic and acidic. Quite a bit of coffee as well as roast, oak, and and whiskey. The flavor has a sharp acidity and astringency to it. Some oak, vanilla, and whiskey flavors. A little bit of cocoa powder and weird hint of a dusty sort of flavor. A bit thin in body for an imperial stout with medium carbonation.

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Photo of joefc
2.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of John_M
4.42/5  rDev +48.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up a few weeks back at Concordia alehouse in PDX.

The beer pours a pitch black color with good head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is complex and impressive, showcasing considerable dark chocolate, licorice and coffee grounds, coupled with some underlying vanilla, chocolate malt balls and light bourbon. There's a strong roasty quality as well, which I can only recall ever experiencing to this extent with some of the Abyss RIS. The flavor profile is every bit as good, and once again, is quite complex. The beer is dominated by dark chocolate, bourbon and strong coffee, but there's also an underlying wine flavor that is unusual and intriguing as well (like other reviewers, I'm wondering if this is intentional). The wine flavor tends to counter the sweet vanilla and dark chocolate, and actually works pretty well to tone the sweetness down a bit. The beer is a bit thin on the palate, though mouthfeel is otherwise fairly full, with a long, winey, licorice and dark chocolate finish. Alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile, though the warming sensation in my cheeks is a tip off that the alcohol is up there a bit in this one.

Really liked this beer, though I guess it's not for everyone. At least with the bottle I had, the beer was delicious and delivered plenty of flavor. Also, I got none of the "butter" or "infection" flavors some reviewers have noted, though the winey flavor and finish is a bit unusual. Still, this is pretty tasty stuff, and is a beer that is very "light on its feet," at least in comparison to most RIS. Would definitely not mind trying this one again with a bit more age on it. I have to think, however, that there is considerable bottle variation in this beer.

 1,741 characters

Photo of nmann08
2.5/5  rDev -16.1%

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Hellshire II from Oakshire Brewing
Beer rating: 2.98 out of 5 with 64 ratings