Hell Hath No Fury Ale - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Style:
Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #23
ABV:
8.4%
Score:
93
Ranked #2,617
Avg:
4.22 | pDev: 9.24%
Reviews:
56
Ratings:
141
From:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  57
Gots
  9
SCORE
93
Outstanding
Notes: An American take on a Belgian Dubbel aged in bourbon barrels.
Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 141 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sparty1224
Sparty1224 from Michigan

4.59/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Serving: 12 oz. crowler poured into a Founder's CBS snifter. Canned 2 days ago, not sure about the original brew date. Tastes pretty fresh though, so assuming it's a new circulating batch.

A: Pours a near-pitch black, if not very dark brown color. Subtle off-white head lingers around the rim.

S: Raisin, fig, plums, some slight roasted malt. Barrel give a nice, sweet, oaky character.

T: Dark fruit jam, figs, vanilla. Some slight powdered cocoa. Bourbon is nice on the finish, very smooth.

M: Flavor surprisingly comes off as a stout, but mouthfeel is thinner and more of an ale body. Boozy without being hot.

O: So Hell Hath is an interesting beer. It's been nearly 8 years since I first had it, and I think I've only had it once since then. It's an interesting mutant of a Belgian dark and a traditional stout. You don't see many Belgian darks put in a barrel, if any, but the stout character of Hell Hath lends really well to barrel-aging. Comes out like a nice single BA-stout. You can definitely still pick up the unique Belgian character underneath the roast notes and the barrel. I guess this beer has been circulating in kegs for quite some time, and I've never really even seen it. So I'm super happy to have finally grabbed a crowler, totally worth it.

Recommendation: A nice barrel treatment to a special beer in the Bell's catalog, this is a must-try.

Jan 17, 2021
Photo of Tripel_Threat
Tripel_Threat from Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap in a snifter. Dark Cola colored liquid with a rim of bubbles. Nice, sweet aroma, with wood and vanilla combining with candi sugar, molasses, dark fruit. Flavor adds a wonderful cocoa ribbon and an oily feel. Absolutely satisfying and ready for more.

May 14, 2019
Photo of ajm5108
ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tastes like an oatmeal raisin cookie soaked in bourbon. Very good balance between the sweeter notes & the bourbon heat - raisin, cinnamon, vanilla, a little oak underneath. Excellent

Mar 20, 2019
Photo of ovaltine
ovaltine from Indiana

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pour is black with a dark tan head that dissipates almost instantaneously. The barrel is prominent on the nose nose, but there’s also a significant dark chocolate component as well as some coffee notes.

The barrel is present on the taste as an oaky flavor, but the dark chocolate is the star - it provides a depth of flavor that is most excellent. There’s also coffee and clove flavors (from the Belgian yeast).

Another winner from one of my favorite breweries. This is outstanding, IMHO.

Mar 10, 2019
Photo of DeaconWhite82
DeaconWhite82 from Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this on tap at a Whole Foods while watching a Penguins vs Bluejackets hockey game. Look us almost black. You feel and taste the bourbon. Gave me a calming , relaxed buzz. I like. Bells strikes again.

Mar 08, 2019
Photo of Giggy
Giggy from Michigan

4.41/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Crunchy's, E. Lansing, MI. Part of a Bell's Barrel Aged Beerfest. I've had the normal HHNF in a bottle, thought it was good. The bourbon Barrel aging takes this beer to a premium level. Keep up the good work Bell's!

Dec 07, 2016
Photo of justinp444
justinp444 from Michigan

4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on draft it has a black body and a light beige head of a quarter inch. Smell of chocolate, floral, date, fig, slight vanilla, and some bourbon. Flavor is big fig and date, some bourbon, caramel, molasses, lots of vanilla, cherry, and some slight roasted malt on end. Mouthfeel is full, body is moderate, and carbonation is light to moderate. Very smooth drinking heavily complex bba dark ale.

Oct 31, 2016
Photo of SerialTicker
SerialTicker from Michigan

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

I had the original HHNF several years ago when I first started drinking craft and thought it was pretty decent, but not quite my "bag." I had this a week or so ago, and it basically blew my mind -- how is this not on everybody's ISO list? It's so complex. It has everything. It's not exactly "Belgian strong ale"-like at first, at least to me, but all of those flavors sneak in on the finish. Awesome bourbon and oak with brown sugar dark fruits (the dark fruit flavor you normally get in Belgians, not the dark fruit flavor you'd find in a stout... how do I explain -- more "authentic" tasting dark fruits?), some vanilla, a little heat... truly delicious. This beer's got it all. I feel like this ought to be the next trend in BBA'd beers, because if this is any indication, this style BELONGS in a barrel.

Oct 23, 2016
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4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

4.49/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10oz draft pour at Olympic Tavern. Black body with thin cap of off white head. Aromatic vanilla and barrel notes. Dark fruits and light char from the barrel. Flavor is similar to nose. Very barrel forward with nice barrel character and light booze. Lots of vanilla and oak. Light dark fruit and brown sugar. Light barrel char and hint of smoke. Tobacco and lightly bitter in the finish. Medium body with low, but adequate carbonation. Glad to finally track down this Bells offering. As expected great barrel aged beer from Bells and its an immense improvement of the base beer. It also reminds me quite a bit of Bells BA 9K which is also a beer that I really wasn't a huge fan of the base beer, but after the beer had spent time it barrels really became a fantastic beer.

Oct 17, 2016
Photo of neenerzig
neenerzig from Ohio

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

Enjoying this beer on-tap at the Tremont Taphouse at their annual Bell's tap takeover that always happens here on the second day (the first Saturday) of Cleveland Beer Week. Served in a goblet style glass, this beer draws a very dark brown, almost black color that's not interested in letting in any light at all. Has a tan head that's only abou 1/4 of an inch thick when first served that settles to a medium sized ring lining the inside of the glass. Decent lacing. Aromas of roasted caramel malt sweetness, oak bourbon, and some Belgian candy sugars are all nicely present. The taste is pretty much the same, with some roasted caramel malt sweetness that gives way to a nice oaked bourbon boozy bite that's followed with a nice Belgian candy sugar sweetness and some dark fruit notes of plum and dates. Has a slightly crisp, mostly smooth and just slightly creamy, medium to fill bodies mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. A very good version of this already excellent beer!

Eric

Oct 15, 2016
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HattedClassic from Virginia

4.11/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Opaque dark brown color. Texture is shiny and thin like it's been aged.

Smell is strong sugar but has a slight cleaner smell from the alcohol. Seems it rummified a bit. Moderate bourbon note. Slight burned candy aND a hint of roasted notes.

More Dubbel less barrel age. Moderate bourbon note mixes with the sugary belgian notes and gives off bits of dark fruit notes.

Heavy body but with a nice and slight thinness. Very smooth and extremely silky. With very little carbonation but enough to give it texture.

Fantastic and pretty good go for it.

Sep 27, 2016
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gatornation from Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap @ Blue Door Pours a dark mahogany color with crimson streaks and highlights,a small but fresh biege head. smell of dates,fig and pear sweet malts wood and bourbon. taste starts with mellow bourbon it mixes in dark and white fruits with candied sugar and malts, nothing over powers here the BA is mellow and compliments this dubbel, a sweet finish. delicious brew the barrel and fruit mix well together.

Sep 14, 2016
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Georgiabeer from Georgia

4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Brick Store Pub. Pours dark and a slightly viscous brown with a thin ring of head. Smells deeply of sweet bourbon, dark chocolate, and cocoa. Heavy with molasses and vanilla aromas from the barrel. Sweet malt and some brown sugar round out the aromas. The taste is quite malty and sweet, with a welcome edge of slightly sour wood. Lots of molasses on the finish, but also nice chocolate and roasty flavors. The bourbon itself is subtle and well integrated. Very smooth, and very enjoyable overall.

Aug 09, 2014
Photo of tut2528
tut2528 from Illinois

4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had a full growler of this one either last year (or the year before), sorry about the delay.

S: immediately i get a oak and bourbon aroma that is well balanced by dark fruits, chocolate, and alcohol

T: a very flavorful beer. like the nose, it has a dominant bourbon and oak that that is balanced about by a caramel backbone that has a splash of vanilla notes. the creamy finish puts an added content to it that allows one to want to take another sip.

overall, this is a damn good beer and the alcohol is very well hidden in the taste

Jan 12, 2012
Photo of Brabander
Brabander from Netherlands

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer from my brother from an other mother, Bierenutz. Thanks Dave for this real treat.

I poured this beer in my all time Struise glass. Depdepdarkbrown to black fluid with a very nice lightbrown head, three fingers. Good smell of light coffee and chocolat and some dark candy.

Very delightfull taste. Where is the alcohol? So well hidden! What i can't detect is the influence of the barrel. Great brew! I am in debt Dave!

Sep 01, 2011
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us from South Carolina

4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared this one with mikesgroove during the Growler Party this weekend! Served from growler into a Southern Tier tulip. Poured dark brown with a minimal brown head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wood, dark fruit, and subtle chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark chocolate, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this was a really nice brew. It was quite easy drinking as it had a good flavor and the mouthfeel wasn't destructive to your palate. The flavor on this one was what really stood out for me, but the aroma was still quite good as well. A definite must try if you get the opportunity!

May 16, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove from South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

another gem that i was able to share with calton last night. enjoyed on 5.14.11.

Rich caramel colored pour with a light head of off white that caps it off rather nicely. Settling down it left a little bit of a light sticky lace along the sides. Aroma was the best I have ever come across. Rich toffee and butterscotch, tons of sweet nectar notes. Candy in all its glory. Perfectly aged with a smooth, perfect profile of vanilla, toffee, and rich butterscotch that will not let up. Rich bourbon flavor just rolls across the palate with a smoothness unlike anything I have run across before. Rich vanilla and boozy notes combine to form a perfect balance of rich sweet notes and oak soaked barrel flavor.

Incredibly complex and drinkable this was was everything I had wanted it to be and more

May 15, 2011
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woosterbill from Kentucky

2.97/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear growler into a snifter; big thanks to Tony for sharing this rare barrel-aged treat.

A: Black, translucent body with dark brown glints. Thin, fleeting head of off-white foam that settles into a ring. Just fine.

S: Huge, huge alcohol presence - fruity, appley, solventy. Some bourbon and vanilla show up underneath; interesting, but a little off-putting. I love apple cider, but that's not what I want a barrel-aged BSDA to smell like.

T: Sweet fruity booze, followed by bourbon, oak, vanilla, raisins, rum-soaked dates, and even more straight booze. Fascinating, but rough.

M: Kind of thin, with plenty of fine, creamy carbonation. Not great.

O: This one was immediately reminiscent of Town Hall Port Odin, but simultaneously less terrible and less interesting than that train-wreck of a beer. The acetone notes distract rather than dominate, which is actually worse in a way. As much as I love barrel aging, this beer is a great example of how the process isn't necessarily a guarantee of greatness.

Cheers!

Apr 13, 2011
Photo of BeerAndBourbon
BeerAndBourbon from Ohio

4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed sometime in August (ish) of last year. My wife and I sat around a fire and finished off a half growler of this. I thought I'd surely lost this review, but here it is.

A. Pours super black with a small coffee colored head with no lacing.

S. Sweet bourbon, oak, and roasted malt that contributes some chocolate and coffee aroma.

T. Very much in line with the aroma. The bourbon character here is quite phenomenal; it really takes this beer over the edge and makes it great.

M. Thick body with a medium level of small bubble carbonation.

D. Very good. I'm not a huge fan of the base beer, but this rendition is certainly not to be missed. Check it out if you get the chance.

Apr 02, 2011
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jera1350 from Minnesota

4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Bryant Lake Bowl.

A maroonish brown color with a thin ring of tan foam around the glass. A few spots of lacing.

Big bourbon smell right off the bat. Some sweetness and toasty malt undertones, but the bourbon is what stands out the most.

Delicious bourbon starts it off and flows through the whole taste. A nice moderate sweetness along with a little sour from the bourbon barrel. Roasty malts and some noticeable hops, although not much. Again, the bourbon is quite strong, but it is not hot or overly boozy at all in my opinion.

Lower carbonation, smooth and extremely dry finish. Medium-full bodied.

I really enjoyed this beer. Probably our favorite of the night. Big bourbon barrel taste that really makes a good beer great. I would love to have this one again in the future.

Mar 29, 2011
Photo of jsanford
jsanford from Georgia

4.07/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Brewvival 2011.

Pours a very dark brown with a thin, mocha-colored head. Huge aromas and flavors of figs, brown sugar, chocolate, cherries, and caramel with a ton of Bourbon. Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. The ABV is completely hidden, I'd love for Bell;s to work this into the seasonal rotation!

Mar 21, 2011
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yuenglingfan101 from Ohio

5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

appearance is black with a little bit of tan head which is good. Not to thin and not too thick. Smells of malts and black cherry. Taste is the same as the smell. Black Cherry and malt. Mouthful has good feeling to it. Smooth. Drinkability is great. Even at 8.4% a six pack would be great with the guys.

Mar 20, 2011
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bobhits from Kentucky

3/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Hell Hath No Fury is to me the ultimate starter Belgium beer. It's got some Belgium characteristics but it takes on just a sweet and simple strong ale flavor that I feel is pretty enjoyable though completely underwhelming.

Reviewed based on my serving at Beer Trappe today:

Pours a near black body, no head but that's a result possibly of just how the beer was poured, no room left for the head. Very thick, yeast and protein clearly adding to the darkness. Held to the light a deep murky amber/brown color.

The bourbon comes off in the nose in full force. The aroma is subtle compared to some, but it dominates the aroma. It actually here works extremely well with the dark fruity nature of the Hell Hath No Fury.

The problem for me is that the woody bourbon nose doesn't really shine as brightly in the taste. The bourbon is what holds this beer together and keeps it from being fully disappointing, but there is just something greatly lacking here. There is no alcohol kick, no hops to finish it off, just some wood mixed in with an overly sweet and absurdly one dimensional base beer. For what it's worth, dark fruits, molasses, subtle wood and alcohol from the bourbon, and slightly burnt malt flavors as well.

The beer lacks any real character in the mouth as well. Nearly flat, rather full bodied, but lacking anything to keep the drinker interested.

Overall I don't dislike this beer as much as the review may sound. I've had it twice on tap now, once a year ago where I discovered it doesn't pair with a cigar and then today. The problem is that I expect some character to a bourbon aged beer. The bourbon helps in this regard, but it never takes it up that final notch to really give me anything to write home about.

Mar 17, 2011
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brokensail from California

4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A huge thanks to Eric for killing one of my big wants with this growler.

A: Pours essentially black, maybe some reddish-brown highlights to it. A small tan head sits on top.

S: Intense is a great way to describe this beer. Really strong on the dark fruits up front, particularly plums, with a nice black cherry note to it as well. The bourbon follows offering a pleasant booziness in addition to oak and vanilla aromas. Just a touch of roasted malt (or perhaps charred oak) is in there.

T: Sweet malt, sugar, and dark fruits are there to remind you that this is a Belgian beer. The plums are again quite strong and there is a touch of banana and raisin. Bourbon barrel really provides a lot of the flavor and gives the beer a solid oak, vanilla, and booze profile.

M: Medium to full in body with a moderate carbonation.

D: This was quite a tasty beer. I really thoroughly enjoyed it, but the booziness of it does get to you.

Mar 07, 2011
Photo of bertram
bertram from Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at a Bell's Tap Takeover-pours a dark, almost black with a substantial tan head; bourbon smell is subtle & mixes with an almost woody aroma. Very malty taste with a subtle bourbon taste. A good beer, though I prefer the regular HHNF actually.

Mar 02, 2011
Hell Hath No Fury Ale - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 141 ratings