Black Betty Imperial Stout - Whiskey Barrel-Aged | Nebraska Brewing Company

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Black Betty Imperial Stout - Whiskey Barrel-AgedBlack Betty Imperial Stout - Whiskey Barrel-Aged
Black Betty Imperial Stout - Whiskey Barrel-AgedBlack Betty Imperial Stout - Whiskey Barrel-Aged

Brewed by:
Nebraska Brewing Company
Nebraska, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Black as night and every bit Imperial, this RIS was originally launched to tremendous accolades. Going further, this Stranahan’s Whiskey barrel aged version meshes the rich chocolates, the coffee-like aromatics with the sweet whiskey nose and drying character of the oak. Slightly behind on the palette are the hops – held in restraint by the wonderfully full mouthfeel and broad flavors brought on by the perfect blend of so many malted barley varieties. Ready to enjoy upon release and perfect for extended cellaring.

83 IBU

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 136 | Ratings: 485
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 bottle, properly cellared. Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very nearly black, appearing opaque black in the glass with a half finger brown head with great retention and nice lacing; actually built slowly over time, which is unusual for a BA beer in my experience. Aroma of dark toasted malt, whiskey, dark chocolate, hints of coffee and dark dried fruit. Flavor is dark toasted malt with moderate char, dark chocolate, whiskey, dates, coffee beans; somewhat boozy. Finishes with malt, whiskey and coffee. Medium bodied with light creaminess. Has everything I hope for in a barrel aged RIS: deep malt, some char, suggestions of dark fruit, coffee and chocolate and good barrel character. The whiskey is quite forward in this one, even after so many years and the malt seems a hair thin for the size of this stout, but overall it is excellent and warming. If I'm lucky enough to run across this again, I'll be happy to review a fresh bottle.

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Photo of moose1980
3.33/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Black as the name implies with a huuuge mocha head. Aroma of roasted coffee, hunt of oak, and an overload of hops. This is two years old I believe, but it still smells even bitter. Taste is petty harsh, and not whiskey-type harsh which would be ok. The high IBUs and roasted notes just seem to clash, almost to the point where it gives an astringent, burnt coffee impression.
Drinkable, but disappointing.

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Photo of omahawk
4.39/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Drank in the taproom. Appearance is dark black and viscous with a thick dark head that lingers and laces. Smell is of chocolate, whiskey and roast. Taste is incredibly smooth for such a high alcohol beer. Chocolate, roast, with subtle whiskey and molasses sneaking in there. The only way I’m clued into the huge alcohol on this is the backend “warming” feeling I get. This a really smooth, well executed world-class beer.

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Photo of haywoodjablonski
5/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this beer. I first had the 2014 version, I want to say. That was fantastic, but the 2015 version was so-so. Needless to say the one I picked up a few weeks ago is a return to greatness.

More whiskey-aged stouts please!

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Photo of Cfred371
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I sat on this for maybe nine months, in a cellar for 7 and back in the fridge for two I'd guess.

Look: Black Betty pours as her namesake implies-black. A khaki head appears, and slowly dissipates into the abyss.

Smell: malts really dominate the nose, surprisingly, with some hints of a whiskey

Taste: toffee, some roasted malt and coffee are present, dark fruits on the back of the tongue, but the barrel seems limited. The whiskey aging primarily adds to the booziness in this point of the bottles age.

Feel: medium to medium full body, with quite a bit of carbonation. There's a buttering end that's not intense, but present.

Overall: it's worth buying a bottle, but I'd suggest drinking early. I'll likely grab the next release and see how it compares to a bottle I happened to sit on.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark brown color with khaki colored head. Whiskey, oak, chocolate, vanilla, and coffee on the nose; follows onto the palate. Full bodied and thick. Finishes with whiskey and plenty of chocolate notes.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

$ 20.56 (Including tax)/750 mL bottle ($ 0.810/oz) at Central Market, Alamo Heights, TX
Undated bottle at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter, allowed to warm to 50 degrees
Aroma – very strong roasted malt, some chocolate
Head average (Maximum four cm, slow controlled pour), light brown, creamy with rocks, diminishing to an irregular four to eleven mm creamy ring and a thin layer with a large rocky island
Lacing – excellent. Wide rings of tiny to small bubbles meld to coat the inside of the glass like a wool sock
Body – dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor – begins with roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee with cream; ends with slight alcohol burn and a slightly burnt malt/coffee bitterness; no hops, no diacetyl
Palate – medium to full, creamy, soft carbonation

Overall, good. However, that coffee with cream taste quickly becomes annoying, particularly for those of us who prefer our coffee black. So, in review, a pretty beer whose taste does not quite live up to appearances.

Appearance 4.75, Aroma 4.5, Flavor 4, Palate 4.5, Overall 3.75.

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Photo of stephens101
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Coal black and topped with a finger of dense, dark tan froth.

An array of plum, dark chocolate, caramel, cotton candy, dried wood and grain in the aroma.

Notes of dark chocolate, sugar, plum, black licorice and pine go down surprisingly smooth. A definite charred woodiness lingers past the finish.

Heavier side of medium in body but silky before a bit of fusel edginess at the end.

A new favorite Imperial Stout in the works here.

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Photo of ccg
3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It has almost two inches of foam on the first pour, which is surprising for a BA stout, but it settles very slowly, leaving behind a ton of lacing on the glass. The foam looks dense and creamy even though the base looks slightly thin. Still, it looks quite good once you get past that initial, over-carbonated-looking head.
Unless the look of it, the smell leaves no doubt that this is a whiskey-barrel-aged stout. It smells rich and sweet and decadent. Caramelized sugar, bourbon and rye, oak, chocolate, and a hint of hops in the background.
The flavor is similar, but noticeably subdued compared to the smell. I can still taste the whiskey, the grains, a bit of coffee and chocolate, some oak, and some hops on the finish, but it's all very mellow. It's well balanced, but I think it would be better if they turned up the volume a bit.
The feel is nice and creamy, as expected, but unfortunately also fairly thin, especially for a BA stout.
It doesn't really drink like a "big beer," but it's tasty, creamy, and velvety smooth. I wouldn't go out of my way for it, but if I came across it again, I'd probably pick up another.

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Photo of q33jeff
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: dark black. Big head, but it was poured vigorously.
AROMA;: Malty...smooth
TASTE: pepper, malt,
FEEL: smooth. But astringent.

Very nice. Interesting. Better than sexy betty.


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Photo of mwilbur
4.68/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a thick, dark black with 1+ inch dark mocha head with decent retention eventually settling down to a thin, persisting skim. Small amount of thick lacing.
S: Potent. Sweet dark chocolate, whiskey, molasses, vanilla, brown sugar, and smooth coffee.
T: Sweet dark chocolate and whiskey hit first, followed closely by brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, oak, smooth medium roast coffee, and a hint of cream. In the aftertaste, there is a sharp up tick in the whiskey alcohol burn that lasts for several seconds which is a nice twist. With warming, dark dried fruit (e.g. prune) and leather emerge.
M: Amazingly smooth for such a behemoth. Medium-heavy body. Delectably and velvety sweet. Luscious. There is still an alcohol burn, but it is phenomenally well restrained. Lovely lingering and maturing on the palate.
D: This one started strong and only got stronger. Well done, NBC! The whiskey barrel aging perfectly complements the already solid base brew. I've got a couple more cellared for aging and I'm already looking forward to them!

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Pours black with nice tan head, minor lacing. Aroma of wood and whiskey. Big flavors in this stout with oak dominating the taste. Chocolate and bourbon came out as it warmed, but the wood taste continued to win out. Medium slick oily mouthfeel. Overall pretty good brew, would drink again.

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Photo of AndrewMichael
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL capped bottle. This was a splurge from the local Total Wine store, $18.99 for the bottle, but definitely worth it. Poured into a stemmed, tulip style glass. Nice jet black color, a off-white foamy head on the beer. You get a little bit of everything in this one, some whiskey barrel notes up front, some booziness, dark roasted malts, and a relatively smooth finish for the abv. Top notch beer in my opinion.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Pitch black with a thick and creamy tan head.
S- Burnt oak and whiskey with sweet chocolate.
T- Chocolatey Roasty malts. Booze, oak, whiskey.
M- Creamy and slick. Oily and slightly heavy.
D- This surpassed my expectations. A rich heavy Barrel aged stout that was worth the money in my opinion.

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Photo of swampoodle
2.1/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I have too say I was excited to get this, but man what a disappointment. No notes that everyone is getting, just tasted like a plain stout!! No chocolate or oak what so ever. Sorry just fellas, really disappointed.

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Photo of Xenoreactive
2.9/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Overall, a dinky beer. Doesn't have enough density or resilient flavor profile when it comes down to it. Tastes like a thin Old Rasputin clone with dry nutty whisky.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.51/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap. Pours a dark side of the moon black with tan lacing that settles into a thin blanket.
The aroma is chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, oak and vanilla with a hint of leather and booze.
Big bitter chocolate flavor as well as some notes of char, dark roast coffee, vanilla and oak. A bit of boozy warmth that is not all all overbearing. As it warms, a bit of prune and leather.
Mouthfeel is thick and viscous.
Outstanding imperial stout.

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Photo of JRed
4.62/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Opaque in body with khaki head that stays. Aroma of vanilla, cocoa. Tastes of vanilla, cocoa, coffee, booze. Heavy body with little carbonation. Very smooth. Amazingly restrained. Quite perfect.

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Photo of stevoj
4.01/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled at Boise’s Imperial Stout get together, over 120 bottles to choose from. Going with the flow on this rating. This was one of the highlights of the evening (after the Dark Lord) and the chance to tick of Nebraska.

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Photo of stortore
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a snifter.

Pours nearly black, opaque, with a one finger head, lots of soapy cling. Smells of roasted malts, oak, whiskey vanilla, chocolate, coffee. Taste leads with the malt- not as roasty as the aroma, chocolate, whiskey, oak, vanilla, coffee. Very nice. Smooth, creamy, taste lingers on the tongue, full bodied, appropriately carbonated.

This is one to try, well blended and flavorful. The whiskey barrel adds tons of flavor, without being over the top. Well worth a purchase.

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Photo of morimech
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I see no date on the bottle.

Black Betty is indeed very black. A massive head forms that slowly settles to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass. A wonderful looking imperial stout. Aroma is more wet wood than I would of liked. There is whiskey with notes of vanilla, roasted malt, smoke, ash, and alcohol. The barrel also added an unfortunate wood flavor to the beer as well. Just raw wood. This beer is also lacking in the malt flavor. I get a little bit of roasted malt and a hint of smoke in the finish. Notes of whiskey and vanilla. The body is surprisingly thin for a beer of over 11% ABV. This was a disappointment. Just because it is barrel-aged doesn't mean it is automatically a good beer. A waste of money but did have some pleasant qualities.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours thin but produces a monstrously frothy and foamy head. Khaki head. Pitch-black body. Sticky, scattered lacing. 4.5

Kind of wine-like on the nose, light whisky. Oaken. Dark chocolate. Light tobacco. Pleasant but lacking some depth and complexity. 3.75

Dark chocolate and earthy, grassy notes. Oaken, light bourbon and gentle dark fruit notes. 4

A bit thin, but there's a smooth, creamy, and chewy quality that offsets that and makes this pretty delightful. Bitter, spicy and chocolatey on the finish. 4

Pretty nice.

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Photo of Getalegup
4.48/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

4.4ish! Great bourbon smell with some chocolate, coffee. Color is deep dark brown almost black with soft tan foam that covers the surface, tastes of bourbon, chocolate, and tasty light roast coffee (read just a little bitterness), Overall a very smooth bourbon aged stout. Recommended.

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Photo of Pencible
3.62/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured an opaque pitch black with lots of fluffy tan head.
S: It smelled like coffee grinds and oak and cocoa powder, with some raisin and toasted coconut.
T: It tasted like dry mocha and charred oak, with some fresh coconut and earthy dried fruit. It had a earthy bitter aftertaste.
M: It was oily with a little carbonation. Nice full body.
D: This was a good brew, but not top tier. The scent and taste weren't that rich, but the body was great. The finish was pretty hot, so it was better to sip. Age might help, fresh is good not great.

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Photo of beergoot
4.51/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Ink black body; very thick, immensely dense, rocky tan head. Roasted grains; chocolate; dark fruit, cherries; wood and booze in the aroma; coffee beans; anise. Burnt grains and boozy flavor from beginning through the middle of the taste; bitter chocolate. Heavy and dense with plenty of residual sugar body; smooth and velvety mouthfeel.

From the ebony depths to the craggy top of the head, this beer delivers with a rich, full-flavored punch. This is on par with some of the finest northern European dark ales with tons of robust character. This is a monster with depth and balance to make it very approachable for fans and the curious of huge dark ale treats...

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Black Betty Imperial Stout - Whiskey Barrel-Aged from Nebraska Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 485 ratings