Bourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter | Karbach Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
77 Reviews
Bourbon Barrel Aged HellfighterBourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Karbach Brewing Co.
Texas, United States | website

Style: American 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

Added by BgThang on 06-05-2012

BEER STATS
Reviews:
77
Ratings:
502
Avg:
4.31
pDev:
10.67%
 
 
Wants:
159
Gots:
181
For Trade:
21
User Reviews
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Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 502
Photo of tofuspeedstar
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just good lord man. This is like, all I could ask for in a fucking beer.

If you haven't tried it, try it.

If you can't get it, they just recently bottled it, so trade for it.

YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINT MY BROTHERS.

Pours dark as night, tan head that lingers throughout the experience...tastes...it's like candy in a bottle...smells amazing, and coats the mouth. The booze is hidden so well and the bourbon barrel shines through perfectly..

Karbach,

if you see this, bottle it more. JUST SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY

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Photo of Premo88
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber poured into stout glass -- the label designation is No. 005

L: black with toffee head that percolates like coffee then blooms big time -- what a pour! huge lacing

S: coffee/espresso, BOURBON -- man, can you smell the juice ... loads of alcohol in the nose, almost like Windex; sweet figs (?) but not crossing over into darker malt raisins ... very sweet dark red wine. a bit of vanilla in it, then as it warms up, sweet biscuits ... like a damn euro pale lager or brown ale ... that super sweet light malt smell

T: big alcohol ... but coffee/espresso and dark chocolate work with the alcohol (single-malt scotch at times, i'd swear) to give it a great taste. it's not hiding the booze, though ... the aftertaste lingers like sugar and scotch

F: perfect. loads of carbonation and a silky feel give it a fullness that's undeniable. never feels "lumpy" like a lot of big stout/porters feel to me.

O: it's boozy, but it's tasty ... the upshot is a semi-sweet chocolate tasting beer with coffee notes that show through the alcohol notes. honestly, i can't say if it's better than a regular Hellfighter -- both are good.

NOTE -- I've now had this beer through the 007 designation and the current BBH version in 2015, on tap and in the bomber bottle, and it is PERFECT every time. It's by far my favorite barrel-aged beer, so I've re-calibrated its score because it deserves it.

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Photo of enrique_m
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this is my favorite porter! it pours jet black with about a 1 inch of cinnamon colored head and very nice lacing. in the smell you get dark chocolate, vanilla, and fig. the taste is of roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, and a bit of sweetness from dark fruits like figs and dates. the feel is amazing on the tongue since it is the right amount of carbonation. and overall this is a tasty and well crafted brew!

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Photo of h0wdy
4.92/5  rDev +14.2%
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 Wayne17
4.92/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours black like my soul, tan head. Nice lacing down the glass. Smells of dark chocolate, dark malts, bourbon. Taste is super roasty and the barrel is right there perfectly complimenting this rich malty beer. The thing I like about Hellfighter is it's a nice change from some BBA porters/stouts that tend to get super sweet. And sometimes I love a super sweet beer but Hellfighter keeps it more hot and smokey rather than sweet. Karbach rarely disappoints me, and it really doesn't get much better than BBA Hellfighter.

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Photo of StArnoldFan
4.91/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

1/14/13
Poured a pint from the growler I got at Nobi Public House. Almost no head but that might be from the loss of carb. from the growler. Poured a dark brown/black color. Smells of strong bourbon to me. High alcohol content masked very well on this one. Tastes again of good bourbon flavor. This is a solid barrel aged porter, I hope I can find a few more bottles when it hits the shelves.

2/2/13
Poured into a snifter from a bottle today. Needed to re-review and add some points. Perfect pour, nice and black with a thick head. Just a beautiful beer with the best nose ever. Just about perfect for me. Karbach is taking over with these F.U.N. series beers.

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Photo of Ford
4.82/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Karbach brewery tasting.

High alcohol content. The bourbon really smooths it out. So easy to drink. Great dark color. Did I mention the fantastic smell. Just awesome.

Probably the best beer I've tried. Wish it was something I could get regularly, but then it might not be as special. Karbach hit this one out of the park. I can't wait to have it again.

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Photo of alexpcat13
4.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Nearly black, with just a twinge of deep brown. Minimal head

S: Rich coco, vanilla, bourbony aroma.

T: Dark chocolate, vanilla, dried/aged dates or possibly figs(even had a slight coconut... i might be alone in this one), finishes with a nice bourbony-firey-goodness

M: Heavy

O: Really excellent, would highly reccomend... probably the best porter i've had

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Photo of Hops4Pops
4.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

32 oz growler.
Expectations are very high.
A: Aggressive pour into a tulip. Pitch black in color. Light shown through it reveals a very dark reddish brown color. Pretty strong flashlight and fresh batteries. Can only barely see through this beer! Small thin tan head dissipated quickly. Oily light lacing.
S: Wow. Big Beer. Bourbon, chocolate, malts, tiny bit of hops.
T: Very good! Very balanced except for the ABV sticking out a little bit. I expected that however considering it was aged in bourbon barrels and is over 10 percent. Pretty much tastes exactly how it smells. Bitterness comes in the back end. Very nice
M: Smooth and creamy up from with the warmth on the finish. It has a "come hither" mouthfeel to it.
O: An outstanding beer in my humble opinion. This is a big boy beer. Strong. Outspoken. Unique. Right on. Appropriately named, it begs for a fight. After I finish this growler, I think it may have won. Going to let it warm up a lot to see what else I can find buried in it.

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Photo of dga5030
4.76/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I had this on tap at the brewery, and again from a bottle a few weeks later. It's dark and thick like a stout, and brilliantly brings together the complex flavors of being barrel-aged in a way that makes it sweet, but not boozy. I'd definitely seek this out in the future.

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Photo of Bluestar
4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

wow. absolutely blown away by the quality of this beer.

let me start by saying that I am happy to have another bottle of this, and I wish I had of been smart enough to buy more. Hopefully the brewery decides to make more of this down the road... and deliver it right down the road to my house...

been a while since i reviewed a beer, so here we go...

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a snifter.

A - a small 1/2 pinky finger beige tinged head appears on the pour, which dissipates to a thin white lining around the glass. a swirl easily brings it back. Color is almost a pitch black, can see a brown/deep burnt red tinge around the edge when held to the light..

S - Bourbon and vanilla are the dominate notes, oak and dark, unsweetened chocolate in the background.

T - again, bourbon dominates, dark chocolate a little more prevalent here, nice woody notes, some roasted malt and strong coffee flavors as well.

M - Par for Karbach. This is what this brewery does consistently very well. Hard to fault them here, but at the same time, not really any better/worse than normal. A nice full mouthfeel, with just the right amount of carbonation, but not viscous/thick in the slightest sense.

O - a fantastic beer that I would run out and buy more of it I thought there were any stores that still had it (and I live within 5 miles of the brewery). A fantastic beer for someone who enjoys nice porters and single malt scotches/bourbons. Highly recommend.

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Photo of champ103
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

New review on 01-05-13

A much needed updated review. I have had this several more times since my first review. Plenty of times at the brewery, and most recently on tap at Jackson's Watering Hole of all places. Go figure. Either I was off my rocker the first time around, or I had a bad keg...Anyway here you go.

A: Pours opaque black color. A two finger tan head forms with excellent retention. Spiderweb looking lace is left all the way down the glass. Very impressive considering the high ABV and barrel aged to boot.
S: Oh man everything is perfectly integrated. At first the roasted malt hits you in the nose. Then deep dark bakers chocolate. I love roasted and toasted malt, and this has them in spades. Then comes the barrel. So well integrated. Wood, smoke, vanilla. Amazing.
T: Follows the nose. A big roasted and toasted malt character. Bread and biscuit. Dark chocolate. Smoke, wood, vanilla from the barrels. An amazing integration.
M/D: A full body and moderate carbonation. So silky smooth. This is like silk. Just a lushes full body that works perfectly. If I did not know better, I could drink this like water. So enjoyable and easy to drink. The alcohol is non nonexistent. A real treat.

Besides my first go around, which I thought was rather one sided, this has constantly been one of the best barrel aged beers around. Let alone Texas. Like I said, a much needed update to a beer that can hold its own, and maybe best Bourbon County Stout. For me that is saying something.

Original review on 06-11-2012

On tap at Hay Merchant in Houston, TX.

A: Pours a near opaque black color. A one finger bubbly tan head forms and sticks around for a minute. The head finally recedes to nothing.
S: Bourbon, wood, slight char. Vanilla and chocolate. Not much else.
T: Follows the nose, and fairly simple. Big woody Bourbon flavors. Light charred wood with a big sweetness. Vanilla and chocolate. Some lingering alcohol.
M/D: A medium to full body. Medium carbonation, and maybe just a tad watery. Another slow sipper. The bourbony alcohol flavors take its tool.

I like it, just not nearly as good as the base beer. I think the Bourbon barrel has muted this a bit. All the great nuances in the base are taken over by the barrel. Nice try, but I will take regular Hellfighter any day.

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Photo of chinchill
4.64/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Big Hops Growler Station in San Antonio during a Karbach tap takeover.

Excellent appearance with an exceptionally creamy and durable tan head.
Excellent use of barrel aging: the whisky and wood are prominent but do not bury the fine porter base. Near perfect bitter/sweet balance. Very smooth full body with spot on carbonation.

O: highly recommended.

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Photo of BryantForestry
4.62/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

#007 in the series - Nov 20, 2013

excellent beer, great taste, color and feel

smell is very bourbonic

sorry guys no eloquent waxing

I LIKE THIS BEER

Not sure what F.U.N means

I recommend the beer, the brewery and the store

thank you Trey at Speck's in Conroe, Texas

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.62/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22oz bottle (003) into a snifter.

Just how the style should look, dark brown with a thin cap of custard foam--could use a bit more retention but I'll let it slide given the ABV and barrel-aging. Aromas of sweet vanilla and milk chocolate plus light roast. Barrel notes are in the background, hiding a bit, but ever-present.

The flavor is perhaps one of the best usages of barrel-aging I've encountered in quite some time. I'd place BB Hellfighter up there with some of Firestone Walker's better examples (Parabola, Sucaba) in that respect. The imperial porter flavors of coffee, roast, and chocolate balance perfectly with vanilla sugars and caramel from the bourbon soaked wood. Mouthfeel is appropriately medium in body with a pitch-perfect carbonation level. Lingering flavors of tangy coffee, dark fruit, and more bourbon. Overall, a masterpiece of a beer and highly drinkable. A solo bomber kill is entirely within reason.

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Photo of chrismann65
4.61/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This is just one of the best BA. Porter I have ever tasted .! Rich vanilla, bourbon, roasted malt, and chocolate. ! Houston we have a winner , Wow great Job Karbach !! I'm Drinking #07. BA, Hellfighter...Can't wait for the new BBH. will be released several times a year, sometimes with other ingredients (cherries anyone?) in the mix. The brew's rich malt character, along with chocolate and vanilla notes, make it the perfect beer to warm your toes! What a nice beer , WOW . !!!

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Photo of stumac
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the F.U.N. 007

Drinking this little beauty at Craft Pride's Karbach Party!

Pours up dark brown with a decent tan head. Nice lacing. Nose is vanilla and caramel and big oaky. Very rich aroma. Flavor is same as nose. Slightly smoky. Crispy fresh carbo. Full bodied. I dig this.

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Photo of rspauldi
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a wonderful bourbon barrel aged porter. Nice notes of chocolate with a little roast. I love that the roast doesn't dominate but is there to complement. That also goes for the bourbon, it's not dominant but you know its there and it complements nicely. Nice job Karbach.

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Photo of drummermattie02
4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another football game, another Karbach beer. Growler this time, but hopefully bottles soon.

A - brown, borderline black with a dark tan head that dissipates quickly.

S - Big bourbon/vanilla aroma, not too hot, almost mellow. Reminds me a bit of Parabola.

T - Extremely integrated barrel flavor, the base beer stands up well and there is a good bit of vanilla here too. The finish has a bit of roast to it and the barrel flavors linger.

M - minimal carbonation and dense feel, but I think a) that's OK for a beer like this and b) it's a growler. Very drinkable despite the heavy weight - 32 oz was way too easy...

Bottles will be fun to try.

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Photo of Myotus
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
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.
NOTE:

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark brown with a light brown head
S: Bourbon, sweet, brown sugar, cola, vanilla, dark chocolate
T: Bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, molasses, oak, dark chocolate, light roast, dates
M: Creamy, medium
O: One of the best bourbon barrel porters I have ever had. Great balance

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Photo of mdgogiants
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First had at brewery and now got it in a bomber. Wow! Can stand up to other bourbon barrel aged beers from GI or anywhere else! Great bourbon taste and a very smooth, smoky feel. Has to be top beer this great Houston Craft brewer has made!

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Photo of d5001986
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

32oz growler poured into tulip.

A: Pitch black with large, foamy, tan colored head.

S: Powerful booze and roasted malt up front. Chocolate, caramel, and molasses.

T: Sweet and boozy with good roasted character. I also pick up molasses and vanilla.

M: Medium bodied, surprisingly refreshing.

O: I thought this was very good. The strong roasted character was a plus for me, very drinkable!

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Photo of bobv
4.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured (medium on the vigorous scale) into a Tree House snifter.
Not quite black with a one inch tan head, which has dissipated slowly.

S: Ah, roasty vanilla and bourbon at first.
As it warms a bit, mocha!

T: Ooh, baby!
Milk chocolate and bourbon!

M: So frickin' nice and velvety!

O: Please, sir, may I have another!!!
Definitely in my top 5 BBA Porters!
Thanks John!

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Photo of HipCzech
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
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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Bourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter from Karbach Brewing Co.
4.31 out of 5 based on 502 ratings.
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