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 Double / 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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Ratings: 64 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of jbakajust1
4.45/5  rDev +49.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Snifter @ Oakshire on Hellshire realease

A - Pours an opaque black, w/ thick 1 finger brown head, thins to cap slowly w/ great lace

S - Smells of coffee, lots of coffee, vanilla, coconut, dark chocolate, caramel, wood, alcohol, roasty.

F- Tastes the same as the nose, lots of chocolate & coffee, caramel, dark fruits, cherries, raisins, plums, bourbon, alcohol, vanilla, roasty.

M - Smooth, rich, roasty, complex, semi-sweet roasty bourbon finish. Full body.

O - Great job w/ this one. Flavors and aromas blend well, coffe and chocolate come through nicely, bourbon presents itself but not too aggressivaly. No astringency at all. Too drinkable. No fusels. Very good BA Imp Stout. Much better than Hellshire I. Great job Matt.

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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.

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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 daveytheformer
4/5  rDev +34.2%

Photo of djeucalyptus
4/5  rDev +34.2%

Photo of caninedevotion
4/5  rDev +34.2%

Photo of the_beerist
4/5  rDev +34.2%

Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4



A: Pours pitch black and viscous with a small fast fading brown head. Nice color.

S: Lots of coffee and charred malt with dark chocolate. Licorice blends with oak, vanilla, and a little coconut. Dark fruit is faint. Bourbon is restrained.

T: Strong coffee with big cocoa notes. Bourbon is light, seemingly subjugated by the coffee, but wood is stronger. I get light vanilla notes. There's a charred malt presence with a little licorice. The beer is moderately bitter with notes of earth. Alcohol is well hidden. There's a hint of dark fruit tartness in the late finish, seems like a byproduct of the coffee.

M: Full in body with lower medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is silky and viscous with some astringency.

Overall: This is nothing crazy but it's good and definitely better than Hellshire I. 

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Photo of doughanson78
3.93/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Black as hell on the pour. Black as hell in the glass. Huge one finger head, mocha in color. Great retention and lacing.

S: Huge bourbon and coffee aroma. Slight sweet chocolate notes. Very boozy.

T: Milk chocolate upfront. Coffee in the middle with a slight roasted note. Big borubon. Light butterscotch. Finishes very boozy with a good alcohol bite.

M: Pretty light in body for an Imperial Stout. High carbonation. Decent creaminess. Big alcohol burn in the back of the throat.

O: A good Imperial Stout. With all the amazing Bourbon Barrel aged stouts coming out now it's hard to keep up. This does a good job but not amazing.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.9/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a dark brown in color with brown highlights and a thin head that left very little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: weird tart quality upfront in the aroma with traces of chocolate, dark fruit, roastiness, and caramel with acidic notes that I feel are not suppose to be there. Not really any booze barrel character to speak of though.

T: the tart character was more apparent on the palate alongside some fruit berry notes, slight chocolate, more of a wine barrel flavor than bourbon, hints of acidic notes, and very little coffee coming through at the finish.

M: the brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, fruity, slightly chocolatey, and tart finish.

O: I'm sure the way it turned out was not suppose to happen but was not as bad as other infected beers. I really wish I would have experienced the real deal, Oh well.

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Photo of ccrida
3.83/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber, my only one, picked up when it was first released and properly cellared since. Poured into my Delirium Tremens snifter, Hellshire II is pitch black with a ruddy, dark tan collar leaving light lace.

Smell is caramel, waxy, a blast of roast, a touch fruity.

Taste is, bam, sour cherries, lacto, with a very roasty finish. Quite good actually, reminds me a lot of older viscosity. Not at all the intent from my understanding, and not what I was expecting for a bourbon barrel imperial stout, but frankly it hits the spot and better suits my taste.

Mouthfeel is on the thin, slippery side.

Drinkability is interesting. First off, if you don't like lactic beers, you're out. I do, and find the attenuation increases the drinkability, as well as increases the complexity. Nice pucker, with the big roasty stout backbone, it's got a lot of depth. Nothing from the Bourbon barrels, but the bugs I guess.

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Photo of Sparky44
3.75/5  rDev +25.8%

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 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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Photo of Duff27
3.63/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Short head form on a dark brown/black beer. Nice alcohol legs inducing spotty lacing. Little head retention.

Smells like lacotose, soured. Kinda Stanky! Faint cherries.

Definitey different, definitely soured. Some cherries, chocolate involved.

Medium to medium-thick mouthfeel. Low carbonation.

Well, I liked it...sort of! I can see how some would drainpour for some. Worth a shot if you get a chance...have some people on hand though. Thanks TATURBO.

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Photo of kylemckinnis
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of claspada
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of pperez38
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of awoldt09
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of klipper
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of Sarlacc83
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of adkieffer
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of msubulldog25
3.46/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

One of a couple I bought around Thanksgiving at the local Zupans Market ($14.99/ 22oz. bottle, purple wax seal). Served out of the cellar on a pretty chilly day, so temperature is in the 40s, I'm certain. Tulip snifter.

First off, I'm not going into Hellshire II blindly. I've seen some reviews and read the banter in the BA forums, including some very forthright explanations from brewer, Matt Van Wyk, regarding the 'infection'. For what it's worth, I'll be as impartial as possible.

A: Perfectly dark, 'BLACK' for all intents. It's the way a heavy imperial stout *should* look: impenetrable. Crown with a thin layer of tawny cream, impossible small bubbliness, with a dollop of floating froth. Good lace, a sheet that breaks apart but holds as a constellation of speckles, a few loose strands.

S: A nice coffee roast, very earthy and vaguely smoky. chocolate and a little vanilla sweetness. A little papery... or is that cocoa powder? Mild tart fruit, but nothing overbearing. Good strength.

T: Had to mull this one over before filling in this category; given the unintentional tartness, it's a curious thing to rate. Dark and pungent, coffee and chocolate form a solid base, with an ashy/woody huskiness. Then there's the vinous, pucker-inducing cherry/lemon and sour grape that ebbs and flows, sometimes playing nicely with espresso and cacao, sometimes overruling it. Interesting and, for me, not offputting.

M: Rather thin feel and moderate-low carbonation. 'Smooth', yes, but also slick and somehow 'juicy' (my salivary reaction to the tartness). Long-lasting finish holds the worst of both the bitterness and sourness.

O: This reminds me a bit the love it/hate it 'infected' porter that Cascade released a couple years ago; the sour-lovers rejoiced while many others balked. Know what? I like this beer. Sure it's tart and oddly thin, but I had no problem finishing the bottle...and, frankly, wanted more at the end. Here's to unintended consequences and to Oakshire continuing to make forward strides...

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