Black Betty Imperial Stout - Reserve Series Aged In Whiskey Barrels | Nebraska Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding
131 Reviews
Black Betty Imperial Stout - Reserve Series Aged In Whiskey BarrelsBlack Betty Imperial Stout - Reserve Series Aged In Whiskey Barrels
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Nebraska Brewing Company
Nebraska, United States
nebraskabrewingco.com

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

Added by RedHaze on 01-05-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
131
Ratings:
447
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
13.12%
 
 
Wants:
103
Gots:
154
For Trade:
11
User Reviews
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Reviews: 131 | Ratings: 447
Photo of stephens101
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
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 -2.5%
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.

 1,127 characters

Photo of q33jeff
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

**
07/23/2016
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 +15.8%
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 0%
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 +11.4%
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 +11.9%
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.

 296 characters

Photo of swampoodle
2.1/5  rDev -48%
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 -28.2%
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.

 165 characters

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.51/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

 446 characters

Photo of JRed
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
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 -0.7%
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 +8.2%
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.

 507 characters

Photo of morimech
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

 766 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

 524 characters

Photo of Getalegup
4.48/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

 285 characters

Photo of Pencible
3.62/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

 548 characters

Photo of beergoot
4.51/5  rDev +11.6%
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...

 664 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
2.12/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750ml bottle $18.99. Super huge head, odd for such a big barrel aged stout. Aroma is odd, off, boozy yet almost sour. Flavor had the slightest touch of sourness and I suspect it was infected. The body was very thin. Drainpour.

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Photo of L0ne
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From backlog. 750ml bottle, April 2015.

Pours black with a tan head that leaves decent lacing. Medium bodied, whiskey, barrel, chocolate, some dark fruits and cherry, roast, quite a bit of sweetness.

 200 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a black body with two finger head and left lace patches down the glass. Aroma is boozy and chocolaty with touches of dark fruit like figs. Full bodied and chewy with a great balance between chocolate sweetness, dark fruits (figs and possible black cherry), touches of vanilla sweetness and woodiness as well a dry finish thanks to booze (which is good, not bad) and roasted malts. A beer that is more sweet than dry that is typical of this style, with the coffee notes rather laid back, which is my personal preference, and holds everything together. A little pricey but worth having one.

 599 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very creamy head that has a medium tan color. The beer itself is a very dark brown that actually comes off as black. The texture is a bit watery but still appears to have enough weight to it to make it look drinkable. My guess is that the barrel aging has thinned out the beer a little, which is why it looks the way it does.

The beer smell is very nice and very tempting. The whiskey notes really come and give off a nice spice smell normally found in rye beers. The interaction with the oak notes also gives it a good and pleasing smell. Additionally, there is a slight vanilla note that softens the whiskey and oak; making the smell less harsh. Unfortunately, the chocolate and caramel notes are muted and overpowered by the former.

That taste is much better than the smell even though it has the same notes. The taste is a bit more organized and diverse as opposed to the smell where the whiskey is pretty strong. The whiskey and other notes are still there but the chocolate and roasted malt notes are stronger and more visible; leading to a more sweet and less spicey note than the smell. Pretty good. The taste also has a strong grassy hop note that you can't find in the smell and is pretty good.

The feel is good. The beer is heavy bodied but it doesn't feel like that since the biting carbonation and thin, slick body makes it feel much lighter. The body feels thin but that seems to be common with rum and whiskey aged beers. Surprisingly dry finish.

Overall, I'm starting to think I drank this beer to young and needs some time to age a little and develop a little more. However, it was still a pretty good RIS and recommend getting it.

 1,669 characters

Photo of Jasonrm72
4.46/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Smells great, whiskey, chocolate.
Foam. Lots of foam. Took a while for it to settle down.
Rich, chocolate, solid whiskey.
Good body, ends with a good whiskey finish.
Very good beer, especially for the price, $18 for a 750ml

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Photo of teromous
4.46/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

No date or batch markings on the label or bottle that I can see.

Appearance: Black bodied beer with a HUGE light khaki head that stands forever in a massive billowy pillow. It bypasses "lacing" and leaves literal sheets of foam on the sides of the glass. Tipping the glass while drinking leaves an avalanche of foam on the side. It looks absolutely fantastic. What is exceptionally notable is how good the head formation is on a beer that is 11.3% ABV. Bravo!

Aroma: Right off the bat there is this woody and slightly nutty aroma (hazelnut specifically). There is a bit of a spicy touch at the end that is nondescript but present. As the beer sits a bit of alcohol starts to unfold from the envelope of aromas which is reabsorbed by the aroma of wood. It's not an overly complex scent but a nice one.

Taste: There's a lot going on here. Mostly it reminds me of the char that you get on a nice steak. Then I get this wood flavor that pops in that is very nice. I know that the label mentions that this beer is aged specifically in whiskey barrels but it isn't overwhelming with whiskey flavor. In fact the character from the barrels comes out more than the whiskey (which I don't personally notice). It really gives this beer a chance to showcase the malts without being a "barrel bomb" that hides everything. I'm really enjoying the flavor of this beer. The alcohol will show through in this beer the longer you drink it, especially as the beer warms up, but I don't find that a detractor given the fact that it is 11.3%. There is a nice dark chocolate flavor that becomes more apparent as the beer warms up as well. This is accompanied by a molasses flavor that develops more towards the end of the glass.

Mouthfeel: I actually had to bypass the flavor for a second to write about the mouthfeel. It is a very full bodied beer with lots of roasted bitterness with a nice smooth carbonation to wash over the palate. It is not a very heavy or thick beer but it has a fullness determined solely by its character. It is very well done.

Overall: It's awesome. This beer embodies exactly what I think of when I hear "Russian Imperial Stout." It is big, it is bold, and it is full of flavor. It manages to show restraint in the right places so that it feels like I'm drinking beer and not a bottle of whiskey. I want more of this. It is a very enjoyable beer to drink and I would be hard pressed to find a stout lover who wouldn't be in love with this. If you see this in the store you should pick it up.

 2,502 characters

Photo of Prasm
3.86/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark appearance, pours a thick 2 finger head. Aroma's of cocoa, dark chocolate, and coffee with a rich full mouth-feel. Nice dark chocolate and coffee up front flavor but flavors dissipate quickly leaving a hole thru the mid-palate. Comes back nicely in the back-end though and finishes with bitter dark chocolate and coffee.

 333 characters

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Black Betty Imperial Stout - Reserve Series Aged In Whiskey Barrels from Nebraska Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 447 ratings.
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