Bourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter | Karbach Brewing Co.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged HellfighterBourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter
Bourbon Barrel Aged HellfighterBourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter

Brewed by:
Karbach Brewing Co.
Texas, United States

Style: American Imperial Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
F.U.N. Series 003 (Apr 2012) aged in barrels from Heaven Hill Distillery which included: Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, and Old Fitzgerald

F.U.N. Series 005 (May 2013) aged in barrels from Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, and Old Fitzgerald

F.U.N. Series 007 (Nov. 2013) aged in barrels from Makers Mark and Four Roses

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 85 | Ratings: 563
Photo of imnodoctorbut
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The 2019 4 pack "One Each" Hellfighter release - Part 2 - "BBHl"
brewed on 1/15/19 (again....WHAT AM I DOING)
11.2 oz bottle poured from can to pint glass. ABV reads 11.8%

A: DARK dark chocolate colored body, with a toasted cream colored head which has very low retention and settles on down to a thin little love-marsh (*TM still pending) of foamy bubbles.
S: Less booze than part 1, somehow. Still rings in at "experience #1 though. this follows with a malty sweetness, bourbon and mustiness, and chocolate
T: follows the nose. slight booziness immediately followed by malty, backstap molasses sweetness that has tone of bourbon, leather, and cocoa's low-key dark fruit tasting tang and bittersweet to it.
F: medium body, medium carbonation, and smooth as anything-but-hell

Overall (personal opinion):
divine. this beer likes licking leather-bound books and doesn't try to make you feel lesser for it. inviting example of what it means to be a bourbon barreled *anything* and somehow overlooks the fact that most in this style need a good year on the shelf before being this relaxed and smooth. can't help but wonder what a little age would do here, but if presented the choice, I'd say "drink" not "save"

part 2's footnote: my ultimate advice: if you come across this pack, buy two if you can. stow one away for about a year, and then hold a "crash course flight" on the styles contained within the pack.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2015 variant. Pours a pitch black color with a thin foamy head. Head retention is decent. Lacing is good. Has a nice roasted aroma with heavy bourbon, some molasses and mild chocolate. Taste follows the same route. Bourbon is a little more dialed down with more chocolate at the end. Medium to heavy bodied with mild carbonation. Very good.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.36/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This one had to sit in the sink for a good half hour to calm down, as a cylindrical tower of tan foam built out of the bottle. The body is a slick, shiny and opaque dark brown.

Aroma exhibits a lot of wood and cocoa, while taste adds a plethora of roasted nuts and a good barrel presence, interrupted by a vanilla cola flavor that's cut by moderate heat and a thin, dry body.

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Photo of don1481
4.46/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a Christmas mug (fancy, I know).

A: pours dark with a small, rapidly diminishing mocha head.
S: Bourbon, but not burning.
T: bourbon forward, but smooth. Not burning like with crappy barrels.
M: leaves a strong bourbon aftertaste that resonates in the nostrils.
O: So glad I bought a second one of these to bring back to WI.

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Photo of Pencible
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: This poured an opaque cola with lots of dark tan head.
S: It smelled like sweet molasses and dark chocolate, with some toasted coconut and smoky French roast coffee and nougat.
T: It tasted like smoky French roast coffee and dark chocolate and sweet molasses, with some toasted coconut and nougat and chili powder. It had a clean sweet afterraste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Nice fitting body.
D: This was a great bourbon porter, with sweet but balanced scent and taste. The body was good and the finish was smooth with well hidden alcohol, so it was easy to drink. No need to age. Very nice fresh.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Hefty chocolate malt, nice slightly smoky bourbon with a touch of heat, milk chocolate and cocoa astringency, slight vanillin from the barrel. Medium bodied, appropriately carbonated, smooth milk chocolate and slight whiskey heat on finish.

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Photo of KevSal
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

poured into a perfect stout glass

another long time want, very generous extra

looks great in the glass, not super thick for the style but definity darkness the glass

nose is a bit subdued, bourbon up front with some vanilla and barrel sweetness.

definitly tasty! barrel upfront, dark Malta slight roastiness but finishes with some vanilla sweetness.

body is medium thick, big for a porter but less thick than a stout, if your expecting a big thick stout this will disappoint you, but on point for a nice porter

overall I'm glad I finally had a chance at this one. it's definity a tasty brew! I bet the variations are fantastic with this solid base!

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pretty viscous. Looks a bit slick/oily.
A very nice aroma and flavors to match. Milk chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and lightly roasted, fluffy malts.
Reminds me a lot of BA Framminghammer. Highly recommended

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Photo of ccg
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a fantastic-looking porter. It has a foamy head with thick lacing, thick legs, and excellent head retention. The beer itself is jet-black and almost completely opaque. I can only see a little bit of light coming through the edges if I tilt it to the side.
In the smell, there is a lot of whiskey with obvious alcohol, and a bit of woodsy spiciness like rye, but there's also a slightly out-of-place spice, like... I don't know... fennel? It's a little bit odd.
Fortunately, the flavor is quite a bit better. Loads of chocolate and vanilla and oak. The whiskey is tasty without bringing a ton of heat. There's a slight coffee-like, earthy bitterness on the finish. Quite good.
The feel is also satisfying. It's dense with a great creaminess.
This beer was a great surprise. I had heard of it but didn't know much about it. I randomly picked one up when I saw it, and I'm glad I did! Definitely recommended.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a snifter, 2015 vintage

A- pours black in color with just a bit of light creeping through on the edges, small fizzy off-white head disappears quickly

S- smells of chocolate & caramel, with a big whiff of bourbon, which also brings notes of vanilla, hint of coffee & dark fruit

T- big blast of bourbon up front with plenty of barrel character showing up, along with some vanilla sweetness and earthy wood. Mid-palate brings roasted malt, chocolate and a bit of caramel. The finish brings more bourbon and some alcohol

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that continues into a slightly warming finish

O- bourbon-forward throughout and still has a bit of heat, nice sipper

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Photo of marauding_prongs
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. it definitely packs a punch. It tastes good. It is definitely a sipping beer (no chugging). My fiance was even willing to try a couple sips (stouts normally don't get past her smelling them). You can also tell it has been barrel ages.

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Photo of Myotus
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured at 44°F from a 22oz bottle (2016 vintage) into a snifter. Consumed on 06Jul16.
SMELL: Big aromas of bourbon, molasses, plums, and figs commingle with mild aromas of sweet chocolate, coconut, oak, and vanilla along with subtle amounts of sweet coffee and toffee. Hints of roasted malts provide just the right amount of bitterness.
TASTE: A robust yet balanced flavor is immediately established with strong flavors of bourbon, molasses, figs, and plums smothering the palate. The sweetness profile is augmented as mild flavors of sweet chocolate and vanilla immediately trail. Mild flavors of oak and subtle coconut and toffee flavors add more complexity to the brew. Mild flavors of salty minerals and subtle sweet coffee present a tastier enhancement to the Porter as coconut and toffee flavors grow to mild. Hints of bitter roasted malts end this symphony of brawny balance as all previous flavors persist.

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Stout glass pour is black, with fairly rich body and a low tan head, little lacing.
Smells of chocolate notes, some vanilla and a hefty/ burning aroma of bourbon.
Taste is burnt cocoa, caramel with some vanilla, malts, sweet and wrapped in bourbon barrel.
Aftertaste has some tart berry poking through. Interesting imperial porter.
Feels silky smooth and medium, velvety... terrific mouthfeel.
A very nice barrel-aged effort by a local brewer I don't believe I've sampled.

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Photo of BillRoth
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at Karbach's during Houston beer safari. Wonderful version of a big full silky porter that has been bathed in bourbon, caramel and vanilla from some serious barrel aging. No evidence of its high ABV. Greater sipper that goes great with food or alone. Loved it.

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Photo of BeerSamurai34
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one is fantastic. This is probably one of the very best stouts brewed in Texas and it is very underrated. It has a super creamy mouthfeel, and perfect viscosity.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Black glass holds a thin halo of dark tan and shows some ruby edges when back lit.

Aroma: Heavy bourbon barrel with some soy sauce and some sour notes.

Taste: Bourbon flavor is strong but compliments a host of other flavors. Chocolate sweetness and alcohol burn fuse into a deep rich concoction. Heavy malt shows a little depth as well with some toffee and caramel notes.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body triggers a mandatory chew, oily texture lasts and alcohol burns.

Overall: Monster beer. Very tasty but the heavy barrel notes may not be to everyone's preference. A nice slow Sunday sipper, I could see getting a couple more but I don't think this would cellar well, chocolate doesn't age nicely.

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Photo of Sak3
4.92/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Deep black coloring with a thin amount of head ontop of it.
Smell: Chocolate with a little bite of liquor in it.
Taste: Chocolate with just enough liquor to enjoy it while not being overbearing.
Feeling: A nice kick that leaves me feeling very pleased with my trade.
Overall: A highly enjoyable drink that is worth a purchase of!

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Photo of smanson56
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer poured a dark black color into my Nightshift Snifter. A fairly light thin tan head on top.
The nose is barrel aged bourbon I'm pretty sure. I'm fairly sure that are some hints of chocolate in the nose.
The taste is a smooth barrel aging nice bourbon overtones. I'm finding some dark chocolate in this beer maybe actually a dark Aztec type chocolate.
The mouthfeel is nice and smooth with a nice thickness to this beer.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Trying the Hell fighter 3 at Mojos Sports Bar and Grill. It is a monster first beer. It poured an opaque black with ecru head that is leaving a lace. The scent had waifs of bourbon. The taste has bourbon, vanilla and alcohol. The Mouthfeel is fuller in body with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a great beer....for sipping....not sessioning.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours deep brown body with cherry highlights. Small light tan head that reduces to leave little lacing and retention.

On the nose is heavy bourbon and vanilla, some chocolate and caramel.

On the tongue is very sweet milk chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, molasses, finish is lightly roasty. Mouthfeel is a little thin, low carbonation.

An enjoyable brew to sip, made for a great Easter morning treat.

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Photo of JebBeerFish
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark Brown.

S: mild bourbon and vanilla.

T: no one flavor predominates; vanilla, bourbon, cocoa.

F: Average.

O: Good but not great. Barrel presence could be amped up

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Photo of brentk56
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Arrives pitch black without much head; a bit of a swirl helps out and creates some dots of lacing

Smell: Dark chocolate and roasted malt, brown sugar, vanilla, coffee and Bourbon

Taste: Dark chocolate and roast, up front, with brown sugar and vanilla in the middle; a hint of dark fruit joins with the coffee and Bourbon, after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: Glad to find this on tap while in Houston; a pretty impressive beer with the Bourbon deftly handled

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Photo of OmahaKF
4.11/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Smell is bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon, burnt sugar, and a hint of graham cracker. Taste is vanilla, fair bit of booziness, cocoa powder, rich bourbon, and a hint of caramel. Much more like a stout than a porter. My first and only beer from Karbach and I'm really impressed!

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Photo of HipCzech
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 22 oz bottle poured into a 9 oz Libby Embassy snifter. F.U.N. Series 007, 2013.

Appearance: Deep, dark, inky brown with a thick cap of tan foam.

Smell: Toffee, oak, vanilla and brandy soaked prunes.

Taste: Deeply malty, molasses, roasted grains, boozy fruitcake, vanilla and espresso bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy with moderate carbonation.

Overall: A rich, malty sipper. Nice booze and barrel notes while remaining mellow and balanced.

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Photo of cavedave
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a thick looking black with a fine knit head of tan that only grudgingly kicks back to lasting, thick cap. Sheets of oily lace coat the glass. Beautiful.

Mmm, vanilla and dark caramel, coffee and dark chocolate, with light oak and bourbon notes make a truly delectable, full strength aroma.

Nice medium/full strength taste that captures a clean and balanced version of all the aroma flavors. Sip ends nicely semi-dry with lingering alcohol spice and light roasty bitter. It carries a good degree of sweetness that makes this super tasty

Easy drinking, medium bodied, yet nicely viscous, super clean flavor profile, medium carbonation with a finish that rocks a linger that stays clean and yummy.

Alcohol is super well hidden and this is just a delightful beer I highly recommend.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter from Karbach Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.34 out of 5 with 563 ratings