Hellfighter | Karbach Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
88
very good
165 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
HellfighterHellfighter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Karbach Brewing Co.
Texas, United States
karbachbrewing.com

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by champ103 on 12-19-2011

BEER STATS
Ratings:
165
Reviews:
21
Avg:
3.99
pDev:
11.78%
 
 
Wants:
19
Gots:
30
For Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 165 |  Reviews: 21
Photo of Sammy
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of kojevergas
2.76/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

I'm excited to try this given it's the base beer for what is currently ranked #11 on the Top 50 Southwest list. 32oz grumbler filled at The Growler Room a few days ago and served into an Avery stem-tulip in low altitude Austin, TX.

Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given its current 88 rating.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours no head whatsoever - not even a floater ring.

Body colour is a rather dark brown-black - but not quite a jet black. Opaque. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Far from the sleekest imperial porter I've seen. I'm pretty unimpressed by the appearance, but given that this is a growler review I'm optimistic. Appears undercarbonated.

Sm: Dark malts, black strap molasses, chocolate malt, lactose sugar, sassafras, root beer, cola nut, and some vaguely medicinal vinous character.

No hop profile, alcohol, or yeast character is detectable.

Overall, it's an inoffensive aroma of below average strength. There's just nothing here that really grabs me. So far, it's a rather generic imperial porter with little to set it apart.

T: The build is cohesive but shockingly shallow, lacking any real depth of flavour at all. Far from gestalt. It's got a pretty standard malt base - just dark malts and chocolate malts. There's some cola nut and sassafras character in there too, as well as some unbecoming vinous character that doesn't belong in a porter. I also pick up hints of brown sugar and lactose sugar.

No hop profile, yeast character, or alcohol comes through.

There's very little happening here, and what little there is doesn't feel neatly balanced. The notes coexist but there isn't any intricate integration of notes or anything. The painful simplicity isn't doing it any favors, and there's no subtlety or nuance at all. I'm pretty underwhelmed. I will say it's nuttier than anticipated given the style.

Flavour duration is surprisingly brief. Flavour intensity is low. Mediocre amplitude.

I don't know that I like this. Not only is it boring, frankly it's rather insipid. That said, I am grateful there aren't any off-notes, and I'm surprised the alcohol doesn't come through more. I'd probably guess it was 7% if I tried it blind. I really want some roasted barley character, but there's hardly any here.

Mf: Undercarbonated - likely because it's a growler pour. Smooth and wet. A bit sticky. Should be creamier and softer. Too thin. Borders almost on watery. Lacks body and weight on the palate. It's fleeting - not a good characteristic for an imperial porter. Bad presence on the palate.

Not oily, astringent, dirty, harsh, gushed, hot, or boozy.

Overall, the texture is to style but doesn't coax much out from the flavour profile. More oomph is needed.

Dr: I can't see why this was chosen as the base beer for a bourbon barrel brew; the quality just isn't there. Maybe it's like Fifty Fifty's Totality in that it's meant to be a bit more neutral so that the barrel character can really dominate. As a stand-alone imperial porter, it's very forgettable. That said, its well-disguised alcohol content will get you drunk, and it might make a nice break from the heavy bludgeoning porters and stouts flooding the market. I certainly wouldn't buy it again, and I wouldn't recommend it to friends, but I doubt I'll have any issues finishing all 32 oz of it. Ultimately, it's not a bad porter - just a disappointing and bland one. It's hard to love and hard to hate. Certainly not Karbach's best work. Might be better on-draught (or even nitro).

If you're looking for a great imperial porter, try Ballast Point's Victory At Sea instead.

Low C

 3,841 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of superspak
3.51/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours pitch black color with a nice 2 finger dense khaki head with awesome retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of caramel, raisin, chocolate, roasted malt, floral, pine, toast, licorice, molasses, light coffee, and roasted earthiness. Ok aromas with solid balance of flavors; but is very weak and lacking prominent roasted malt qualities, with much more fruitiness present. Taste of caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, raisin, floral, pine, brown sugar, toast, licorice, and roasted earthiness. Good amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, toast, brown sugar, floral, pine, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Nice balance and complexity of roasted and dark malt flavors; with moderate amount of hop presence and some fairly astringent bitterness lingering after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very solid imperial porter. The weak aromas and astringent hoppiness really knocked it down for me; but this was still an enjoyable offering overall.

 1,331 characters

Photo of mothman
3.74/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light tan head. Color is black.

Flavor profile: rich chocolate, caramel, toffee, and a touch of nuts. Roasted malts and coffee.

Mouthfeel: roasted and smooth. Full bodied. Ends dry and roasted.

Overall, a solid porter. This is boarder line stout. Full flavored.

 265 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
3.89/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Gagnonsux
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of imperialking
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of Lare453
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of BEER88
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Dicers
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of ShanePB
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Anvil.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a large brown head. The aroma has some big chocolate notes, as well as some roasted malt. The flavor is also very bold. I get a ton of chocolate and roasted malt, as well as a hint of coffee. The beer is fairly sweet overall and very enjoyable. The alcohol is noticeable but not overpowering. Thick, creamy mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 407 characters

Photo of Stinger80OH
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of greenspointexas
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of JamLand
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of champ103
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at BRC in Houston, TX

A: Pours an opaque black color. No light gets through at all. A two finger tan head rises with good retention. The foam gently recedes to leave some light lace behind.
S: Very subtle at first. Though as this warms lots of nuances come out. Roasted malt, toasted bread/biscuit aromas. Chocolate, and some vanilla sweetness.
T: This is excellent. Some roasted coffee. Slightly bitter/sweet milk chocolate. A nice roasted malt flavor along with some toasted bread/biscuits. A light lingering vanilla sweetness. I love it.
M/D: A medium to full body. Low on the carbonation, but not under carbonated at all. So smooth and velvety. This is incredibly easy and enjoyable to drink. The alcohol is not noticeable in the least.

This is an excellent "Imperial Porter." I love it, and another great beer from Karbach. Highly recommended.

 857 characters

Photo of drummermattie02
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Hellfighter from Karbach Brewing Co.
3.99 out of 5 based on 165 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.