Hellwoods | Bellwoods Brewery

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91
outstanding
107 Ratings
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HellwoodsHellwoods
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bellwoods Brewery
Ontario, Canada
bellwoodsbrewery.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This is an unapologetic beer. Dark, viscous, bitter, and rich — it's a dangerous elixir of love. Originally developed by English brewers in the 18th century for export to the court of Catherine the Great in Russia, our interpretation of the style would surely make lady C proud. We’ve waited our whole lives to brew a beer with such bravado, and it always sells out faster than we can supply the next batch. Some people claim that imperial stouts are only for the dead of winter, but we feel that this sidekick is there for you, anytime you call.

Added by cmadd on 09-09-2012

BEER STATS
Ratings:
107
Reviews:
27
Avg:
4.21
pDev:
9.74%
 
 
Wants:
22
Gots:
14
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 107 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the Brewery Market. Pretty good drinkability for the level of alcohol. Black with a bit of a mocha head. Good roasty aroma. Taste is bitter with a sugary finish. First sample yielded some almost burnt parts.As it warms, more hops present (second sample), the Warrior burst through. Still, too much sweetness, would like more balance. Its bitter and then somewhat too sweet. Would like thicker mouthfeel.

 421 characters

Photo of acurtis
4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of spycow
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.76/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a huge dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of dry roasted malt with loads of black chocolate notes with medium bitterness. Taste is a good balance mix between some black chocolate notes with medium bitterness and some dry roasted malt with light lingering sweet notes and light coffee notes. Body is quite full with nice creamy touch and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Well brewed without necessarily standing out from the pack.

 524 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.29/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours extremely dark with a very thick dark brown head. Seems viscous visually and the feel is fairly thick as well. Lots of molasses on the flavor profile. Nice roasted malty thing going on as well. Rich beer. Very robust with a slight malt sweetness that accents things wonderfully. Very easy to drink and would probably be a good base for barrel aging or some type of additions.

 390 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.29/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from the brewery, released October 2014. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

A - Dark mocha foam settles to a thin cap, thicker collar, and minimal lacing. Very, very dark brown body that verges on black.

S - My previous experience with Hellwoods was an aged bottle from Grub (I will integrate those notes once I dig them up). This fresh bottle reminds me a lot of Ten FIDY; roasty, with a hefty dose of baker's chocolate, coffee, and green hops. Perhaps a faint whiff of alcohol as it approaches room temperature.

T - Taste is similarly heavy on roasted malts and semisweet chocolate, with a mild cake-like sweetness creeping in. Hop and anise bitterness show up late but doesn't get overly fatiguing until well into the 500ml bottle.

M - Full bodied, with tons of residual stickiness. Medium-low carbonation keeps things from getting too syrupy. Texture starts a bit roasty but smooths out as it moves over the palate. Well-hidden alcohol.

D - This new batch reminds me a lot of Ten FIDY, which is a surprise as the older bottle was super smokey. In any case, both of them were quite good. Bellwoods seems to have the Imperial Stout category dialed in. Slowly worked through a bottle while watching working on my Python chops.

 1,234 characters

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.46/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a pretty dark black, with a small head, and basically no lacing.

This smells like earthy roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, licorice, slight hop, and coffee.

This is a very, very dope imperial stout, with lots of bittersweet chocolate, and a nice herbal and earthy licorice character, with lots of roastiness, and a bit of espresso. There's a slight hop bitterness that just adds to the complexity.

This is medium bodied, quite cremay, and definitely nicely thick, with a lower level of carbonation.

This is really quite fantastic.

 552 characters

Photo of liamt07
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery, into a snifter.

Black with a crimson-brown head. OK lacing but fantastic retention. Nose is dark chocolate, roast, molasses, brown sugar and dark fruit become more noticeable with warmth. Taste has dark chocolate, roast, earthy dark fruit notes and some vanilla sweetness. Complex and only becomes moreso with warmth. Mouthfeel is full and alcohol was fairly absent from the palate. One of the best imperial stouts I've encountered Canada-wide.

 468 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Andrew for this bottle! Bottled Sept 4/12.
Poured in to Bellwoods tulip.

A - Ink black. Half a finger of espresso coloured head.

S - Massive roast aroma at first that gives way to rich chocolate, brown sugar, molasses and light espresso notes.

T - Roast up front. Semi-sweet chocolate, molasses, anise and dark caramel. A good sweetness is well balanced by a noticeable hop presence and a very slightly alcohol warmth.

M - This is by far the best part about this beer. Full body. Thick and viscous with an absolutely massive chew. Light carbonation. Spot on!

O - Yet another top notch beer from Bellwoods.

 625 characters

Photo of LoveStout
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Sweffin
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Photo of biegaman
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hellwoods looks as dense as Rodin’s The Gates of Hell and, indeed, could pass as something from Dante's 'The Inferno'. The beer is solid as bronze but black as coal, without even a flicker of highlighting. Even its head is darker than some people might imagine any beer to ever be.

There's a towering amount of malt in the aroma (coffee, chocolate, roasted grain) but also, somewhat unexpectedly, a bold and distinctive amount of hoppiness too; the two vie for the nose's attention as if their lives depended on it. Ultimately, it smells smoky but "green"; there's lots of pine, grass and forest floor nuances. Some vinous red wine notes too.

Imperial Stouts like this are perfect for the cold weather - their hearty, warming characteristics give the body a sense of satisfaction, satiety, and safety. This thick, roasted malt bill is made up not only of dark chocolate and burnt toffee flavours but also sooty campfire smoke and coffee bean astringency, and is chased by earthy Darjeeling tea and woody spruce-like hop flavours.

The mouthfeel drinks like a blend of in-house roasted artisan coffee and single origin dark chocolate - there's a certain 'quality' to it that is intangible but all so appreciable. I've had bourbon barrel-aged stouts that don't achieve this level of milky vanilla sweetness, bitter espresso and charred wood spice flavour (and certainly none that mask their alcohol so effortlessly).

Hellwoods was clearly designed with horsepower in mind but, out of courtesy, never quite kicks it into high gear. The engine is certainly not off, mind you - this offers the all of the complexity expected of a 10% RIS but is simply, somehow, that much more approachable. The guys at Bellwoods known their way around a mash tun, that's for sure. This is hellishly good.

 1,790 characters

Photo of Derek
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Whoa, this is thick and heavy, but has a nicely drying alcohol finish.

Pours a thick head, only a thin ring of retention, but shows some lace.

Not a huge aroma, but plenty of depth... cocoa, pumpernickel rye bread, vanilla, port and some underlying espresso.

Lots of Bakers Chocolate and molasses here, balanced with a roasted bitterness without much acidity.

I'm genuinely surprised how good this is... I think it's under rated.

Thanks BakaGaijin!

 455 characters

Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of wordemupg
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into tulip 14/11/12 bottled Sept/4/12 thanks liamt07 for sending the bottle

A black right out of the bottle with just a thin cola edge, a thumbs width of mocha foam stays around long enough to leave a few rings of lace

S over ripe plums hit my nose first, dark fruits are strong in this one, some dark bakers chocolate and chocolate covered raisins with some booze and tobacco

T more going on in the mouth, coffee and char with a little licorice and less booze then the nose, both wet and charred wood with and little molasses, not as much over ripe fruit as the smell and some chocolate syrup comes out with a faint nutty aspect, very solid taste

M enters thick and silky with enough bubbles to give it a very creamy feel, very strong char aftertaste lingers for ages, very thick and rich with just a little heat keeping it from reaching perfection

O pretty solid RIS, big body and great flavors perhaps I should’ve aged it but with only one bottle I don’t have another to make a comparison.

I’m digging Bellwoods so far and need to thank liamt07 for sending me these gems. A big rich stout that’s perhaps a little too easy to drink, what could go wrong?

 1,194 characters

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of bylerteck
4.31/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Rutager
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Same date as the bottle in the picture. Thanks liamt07!!

Appearance. Pours thick and black with a finger of deep brown head.

Smell. Dark chocolate, plums and a little espresso.

Taste. Drark roasted malts, plums and raisins, caramel, roasty dark malts, and some burnt sugar in the finish. Maybe just a bit of roasted nuts as well.

Mouthfeel. Full body, low+ carbonation.

Overall. Nicely done.

 397 characters

Photo of Dactrius
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of andrenaline
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of papat444
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to jrenihan for this one.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle, bottled Sept. 4, 2012.

Appearance: Pours a real thick & viscous body. Pretty big head, real dark brown color, bubbly with good lacing.

Smell: Soft cocoa, chunky chocolate, wafts of coffee.

Taste: Bitter-sweet chocolate is predominant, bit of vanilla, some coffee grinds, more chocolate, even in the texture.

Mouthfeel: Real creamy, coats the inside of the mouth well, has a decent bitter bite that trails on.

Overall: Heavy on the dark chocolate but not sweet. Real nice RIS.

 543 characters

Photo of jrenihan
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bellwoods.

Beer is black with a moderately sized tan head. Head fades fairly quickly to nothing.

Smell consists of roast malt, vanilla, anise and some hop scents.

Taste is very nice. Roast malt, a bit of burnt caramel, vanilla, molasses, anise. Some bitterness, with slight grassy flavours from the hops. Alcohol quite well hidden for the ABV. Good stuff.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Heavy and a bit slick.

Overall, really good. Very enjoyable. I hope it is around for awhile as I could drink a lot of these (though probably not in one sitting!).

 568 characters

Photo of deonreds
4.25/5  rDev +1%

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Hellwoods from Bellwoods Brewery
4.21 out of 5 based on 107 ratings.
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