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Bourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter | Karbach Brewing Co.

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Bourbon Barrel Aged HellfighterBourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter
BA SCORE
4.31/5
Outstanding
539 Ratings
Bourbon Barrel Aged HellfighterBourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter
BEER INFO

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

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
Ranking:
#640
Reviews:
80
Ratings:
539
pDev:
10.67%
Bros Score:
4.25
 
 
Wants:
158
Gots:
178
Trade:
19
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 539 |  Reviews: 80
Photo of TheCheesus
1/5  rDev -76.8%

Photo of SavvyStudent
1/5  rDev -76.8%

Photo of Blitz_
1.08/5  rDev -74.9%

Photo of ohiobeer29
2/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of Dmkaz
2.5/5  rDev -42%

Photo of Moses_Malone
3/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of masterofsparks
3/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of Port_Seat
3/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of ScubaSteve00
3/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of rspauldi
3.09/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An average barrel aged porter. Not very complex and very little barrel flavor. Mostly get a roasty flavor and it leaves a strange aftertaste. There are much better BA beers out there. I would skip this one.

 210 characters

Photo of Raziel313
3.17/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bourbon used is very cheap.

27 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
3.24/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

BBH has, at this point, undergone so many releases, and, as is the case in any barrel aged beer, each release has been different. However, I have to say the inconsistencies in this case have at times been so extreme, it's a detriment. I first had their experimental batch at the Monsters of Beer festival in 2012, and have been fortunate enough to try most batches since. The review below is an "averaging" of reviews, taking into consideration the good batches and the less-so batches.

The color is wonderful, the head is medium-dark, nice with light retention. The aroma is rather one-note, the major failing of every batch, almost entirely barrel and bourbon. The taste, when good, is very good - bourbon, chocolate, just light hints of barrel, toffee, and coffee. Unfortunately, like nearly every Houston dark beer, the body is thinner than desired.

Overall, BBH can be a great beer. At its height, it certainly was. Unfortunately it can also be a rather mediocre beer, and that seems to be the case often.

 1,013 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of kojevergas
3.32/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Ah, the current 11th highest rated Southwest beer. Fun Series 007. 1 litre swing-top growler filled at The Growler Room and served into a stem-tulip at low altitude in Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given its current ratings, but I wasn't too impressed with the base. Reviewed as an imperial porter.

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.

Swingtop yields a healthy pop upon removal, indicating adequate carbonation.

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

Pours a one finger wide head of gorgeous supply complexion and nice smooth even consistency. It's got a great khaki colour to it and has ample creaminess and thickness. Appears soft. Head retention is pretty good - about 4-5 minutes. Nice even lacing sticks to the sides of the glass when you tilt it, but doesn't really hold.

Body colour is a predictable opaque solid black - a darker black than the base beer, to be sure - but still not quite a jet black per se. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Overall, it's about what you'd expect from an imperial porter. It's not unique or special, but is certainly appealing. There are no obvious flaws here.

Sm: The bourbon notes are prominent, eclipsing the aromatics of the base. It's pretty vanilla-forward, with oak taking a backseat. It isn't the toasted oak wood I crave in a great bourbon beer, but it's oak alright. If I search, I find the dark malt sweetness of the base , but it's faint. I do find cream, caramel, chocolate (malt), and perhaps marshmallow. I don't find the lactose sugar notes or brown sugar I noticed in the base beer.

Overall, vanilla is dominant. It's a pleasant if timid aroma of below average strength. Rarely are imperial porters so tame.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. I also have trouble identifying any sort of hop profile. It's certainly more on the sweet end than the bitter end.

T: The bourbon overwhelms the base beer, supplanting it almost entirely. Sure, you've got the dark malt/chocolate malt sweetness of the base propping up the bourbon barrel notes, but for the most part the base has been eclipsed by the barrel. I like to see better integration of barrel notes into beer; ideally the barrel should complement nuances already present in the base beer and coax out more complexity, subtlety, and depth of flavour, but that isn't the case here. This is just an insipid imperial porter drowned in bourbon.

But don't get me wrong; the bourbon notes are spot-on. Wonderful vanilla is dominant, with some backing oak present as well. (Though as abovementioned, it's not the toasted oak you'd find in a more sophisticated brew like Backwoods Bastard).

Marshmallow, cream, caramel, maybe toffee. I'm getting a hint of sassafras and cola nut - maybe because I know to look for them having experienced them in the base.

As it warms, I pick up an identifiably English character - I think from the yeast. I love that element, and wish it was more pronounced.

No hops, or alcohol is/are identifiable. It's certainly sweet, but not cloying.

This isn't a complex, subtle, deep, intricate, or nuanced imperial porter. Nor is it much of a porter. Has some nice bourbon notes - I just wish it offered more in terms of the base beer. I do like it, but I'm unconvinced it's deserving of its ranking as the #11 Southwest beer. Average duration/intensity of flavour.

Mf: Sticky. Silky. Smooth and wet. Nicely full-bodied and thick. The texture is strong enough to support the flavour profile, but I don't know that it really coaxes much out of it; there isn't a perfect marriage of texture to taste here but it gets the job done and doesn't distract. Decent presence on the palate. A bit overcarbonated.

Has warmth on the backend which manifests mainly as a pleasing sensation in the stomach.

Decent execution. The stand-out for me is the light softness of it.

Dr: You've got to start with a more flavorful base to really execute a bourbon barrel aged imperial porter right. This brew pales in comparison to superior beers in its class, but it's a nice dark brew that will satisfy fans of bourbon in their beer. I might nab it on-draught if I have the opportunity, but I wouldn't jump at the chance to buy it again for home consumption. Hides its alcohol nicely and I find it pretty drinkable for what should be a sipper. I'll have no trouble killing the litre I purchased.

Drinks best from a snifter.

B-

***
02.20.15:

1 finger wide head is smooth, soft, and luscious. Opaque black colour.

Sm: Overly bourbony, overwhelming the base. Cream, vanilla, dark malts.

T/Mf: Creamy, with a bourbon-forward profile that overwhelms the base beer entirely. Vanilla. Not balanced in terms of barrel/base, but balanced overall.

O: A sipper, sure, but nevertheless enjoyable. Probably Karbach's best work, but that isn't saying much. Far from world-class.

Low B-

 4,982 characters

Photo of gilgar
3.34/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Haymarket. Coconut and a little acidic.

53 characters

Photo of CapRedd
3.45/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

Photo of texasnomad
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

Photo of jwff
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

Photo of ajzy
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

Photo of JohnnieNepal
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

Photo of mpayne5
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%

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Bourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter from Karbach Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.31 out of 5 with 539 ratings
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