Hellfighter | Karbach Brewing Co.

Liked This Beer
3.94 w/ 165 ratings

Brewed by:
Karbach Brewing Co.
Texas, United States

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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 165 |  Reviews: 21
Photo of Blaze5445
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Thanx4AllDaFish
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of AtrumAnimus
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The pour is an extremely dark porter that more closely resembles a stout. A porter will typically allow a little hint of light through. This one has zero light making it through. The head is a nice foamy tan color that is thick and rick with a slow settle that leaves large holed persistent lacing down the glass.

The nose is hinting to bread with a subtle hopping and sweet malty that is blanketed with a tiny bit of smokiness.

The taste is very strong and bitter hops that ride on a subdued malt bed that has the matching smokiness that one would expect. The finish is rather bitter and not terribly clean. This is good, but not great.

The mouthfeel is just right for an imperial porter with a nice coating feeling that allows the palate to bathe int he flavor without being cloying.

Overall this is a drinkable Imperial Porter but is not my favorite. There are definitely others I would prefer to drink. That said it is a fine example and definitely worthwhile to try.

 975 characters

Photo of kew
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of cdwil
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of JamLand
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Wedgie28
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This stuff tastes, smells and feels really strong. It's very manly. You should get a bottle at a bar and just leave it on the table all night so people will know how cool you are. Tear off the label and bring it home with you.

A. Good
T. Good
S. Good

This beer is GOOD but it's strong. After two 22's you will not be cool even though you think you are and girls won't like you because you'll be really loud and arrogant. Take it easy with this stuff.

 453 characters

Photo of Lare453
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of BillHilly
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of roostor07
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Radome
4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber bottle into a goblet.

A - Extremely dark brown color; totally opaque like engine oil. Head is dark tan colored and piles inches high. Very fluffy, moussy and long-lasting. Some of the larger bubbles have an oily sheen. Huge amounts of lace.

S - Sharp cracked-grain dominates the aromas. Some earthy and grassy hops as well. A hint of smoke, maybe mesquite smoke, like a good Texas barbecue. Overall the smells are clean, but at lower level than I expected, almost muted.

T - A very good balance between malt and hops. Malt is bready, with brown sugar, raisins, chocolate, and a bit of coffee roast. Strong hops bitterness, but the actual hops flavors are hard to nail down. They seem flowery and have maybe a bit of grapefruit; I'm pretty confident they are US-type rather than English, but I can't guess the variety.

M - Thick, creamy body. Carbonation moderate, but contributes to the creaminess. Mouth-coating sweetness in mid-palate, but dries out in the end. Some alcohol burn, but not much considering the strength.

O - This is a big, bold, moderately complex beer. It has a creaminess that combines with the chocolate notes to bring up visions of chocolate milk, but the hops bitterness quickly bring you back to the reality that this is an Imperial Porter. It would make a great base beer for experiments with barrel-aging, etc., and I know Karbach does that with it. I would like to try some of those special editions as soon as I can..

 1,471 characters

Photo of Kramerbarthomer
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of gtermi
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of valkyre65
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of vcoggins
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Can_has_beer
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours black with a tan head.

S- Chocolate, roasted malts, and vanilla.

T- Very similar to how it smells. It's hot from the alcohol.

M- I love the carbonation on this beer. I noticed it with last year's batch as well. It gives the beer a very creamy and full mouthfeel, making it taste decadent.

O- I love this seasonal offering. If it weren't for the price I would drink it consistently. Even though the alcohol comes off as hot, I don't find this as a flaw. Personally, I like a cold weather beer to have this quality. What I like most about Hellfighter is the overall combination of the chocolate & vanilla, the heat from the alcohol and the creamy mouthfeel. I think they combine wonderfully to comprise a delectable full-bodied imperial porter.

 755 characters

Photo of rob8557
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of BryantForestry
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of Musineer
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of kojevergas
2.76/5  rDev -29.9%
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 mothman
3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
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 Tiernan
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of abex44
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of fooziex
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Hellfighter from Karbach Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 83.6% out of 100 with 165 ratings
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