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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 64 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of nmann08
2.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of t0rin0
2.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of brentk56
2.31/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Despite an increasingly hard pour, no head arose over the espresso brown liquid

Smell: Dark chocolate, espresso, bourbon and sour tones

Taste: If you keep this beer isolated to the sweet receptor cells on the tip of the tongue, it is rather nice, with dark chocolate, coffee and bourbon tones; sadly, if you move the liquid back and wash it over the receptors on the sides of the tongue, the sourness from what appears to be a lactobacillus infection become apparent and overwhelm the stout flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with almost no carbonation

Overall: Sorry to see what has happened to this beer but recommend that those who have a bottle drink it sooner rather than later as the infection spreads as I doubt that it is what Matt intended; I really enjoyed his beers when he was at Flossmoor so I know about his capabilities; better beers are coming, I am sure

Thanks, chumba526, for the opportunity

 922 characters

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

Photo of ygtbsm94
2.75/5  rDev -7.7%

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 stakem
2.74/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to Joe for the chance to try this. Poured into a snifter, the brew appears black in color with the faintest line of clarity and brown around the edges. When held to the light, there is a faint redness along the perimeter. A dark brown finger of head appears and as it slowly recedes, leaves spots and a webbing pattern of lace. A swirl revives a full finger worth of dark brown head.

The smell of this brew initially has cocoa, coffee and roasty elements with a hint of oak and vanilla. Those initial pleasant suggestions dissolve into a tangy fruit character and a touch of sulfur mixed with dirty diaper. More smells bring out more notes if sulfur that mixes with a mineral character.

The taste is tangy alcohol that is accented by whiskey with both flavor and warmth. There are faint notes of chocolate, oak and vanilla. Just like the aroma indicated, there is a dirty taste of sulfur and diaper that is off-putting a bit. The aftertaste is somewhat vinous with earth, tobacco and light coffee to cocoa quality. Unfortunately the unpleasant character to this brew outweighs the positives.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. Very big alcohol inclusion here even while served colder than ideal. This currently tastes a bit off and was not very enjoyable. I was happy to have a chance to try it but not something I'd be terribly excited to have again.

 1,391 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 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 MasterSki
2.96/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Mike (AgentZero) for bringing this rarity to my birthday. I suspect he's been waiting a while to pay me back for all the 'great' beers I've shared with him. Served in a taster glass.

A - Tan foam settles to a thick collar, leaving a few wisps on top but minimal lace. Black body.

S - Smells a lot like the infected Alpine stouts. Tons of lactic and buttery flavors, mingling with roasted coffee beans, milk chocolate, and more butter.

T - The taste has more cherry tartness amid the coffee grounds and chocolate, and a bit less lactic and buttery flavors. Not terrible, but very strange for a bourbon barrel-aged stout.

M - Smooth texture, medium-full body, low carbonation, well-hidden alcohol, and some tannic dryness in the finish.

D - Strangely this was more enjoyable to Hellshire I. For an infected barrel-aged coffee stout it was reasonably palatable. Actually, it's better than a lot of dark sours I've had.

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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 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 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 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 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%

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 Sparky44
3.75/5  rDev +25.8%

Photo of HuskyinPDX
1.51/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

22oz bottle poured into a Pint glass.

A - Pours a dark, deep brown with no head at all.

S - Funky, sour, soy sauce. Hmmm.. Not good.

T - Woah, Way off. This tastes like a cat crapped in my beer. Not good at all. Tainted and infected. My first run in with an infected bottle.

D - No carbonation.

O - Infected, badly. Tastes awful. Ask my sink how it tasted.

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Photo of claspada
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%

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 jophish17
1.5/5  rDev -49.7%

Photo of Sean9689
2.96/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Shared at Alex's Birthday Bash @ Pipeworks!

A - Pours a muddy brown color, mocha-head, sticky lace.

S - Dark fruit, diacetyl, oak, light coffee. Slightly tart, sweet, and boozy..."interesting", to say the least.

T - Chocolate, berries, peat, lightly acidic, dark fruit, booze. The tart notes aren't actually all that bad, but I know this isn't exactly what the brewer was trying to achieve with this one.

M - Medium to full body, good carbonation, creamy tart finish.

O - Another "meh" beer from Oakshire. They're 0/2 on their Hellshire beers, so here's hoping for a home run on their next at bat. Can't say I'd want to have this one again.

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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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Photo of sharpski
3/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of harrymel
1/5  rDev -66.4%

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