Black Betty Imperial Stout - Whiskey Barrel-Aged
Nebraska Brewing Company Production Brewery & Tap Room

Black Betty Imperial Stout - Whiskey Barrel-AgedBlack Betty Imperial Stout - Whiskey Barrel-Aged
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #215
Ranked #3,562
4.11 | pDev: 12.65%
Nebraska Brewing Company Production Brewery & Tap Room
Nebraska, United States
Black Betty Imperial Stout - Whiskey Barrel-AgedBlack Betty Imperial Stout - Whiskey Barrel-Aged
Notes: Black as night and every bit Imperial, this RIS was originally launched to tremendous accolades. Going further, this Stranahan’s Whiskey barrel aged version meshes the rich chocolates, the coffee-like aromatics with the sweet whiskey nose and drying character of the oak. Slightly behind on the palette are the hops – held in restraint by the wonderfully full mouthfeel and broad flavors brought on by the perfect blend of so many malted barley varieties. Ready to enjoy upon release and perfect for extended cellaring.

83 IBU
Reviews: 137 | Ratings: 493 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by jbehlar:
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jbehlar from Mississippi

3.18/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Feb 26, 2020
More User Reviews:
Photo of mwilbur
mwilbur from Minnesota

4.68/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a thick, dark black with 1+ inch dark mocha head with decent retention eventually settling down to a thin, persisting skim. Small amount of thick lacing.
S: Potent. Sweet dark chocolate, whiskey, molasses, vanilla, brown sugar, and smooth coffee.
T: Sweet dark chocolate and whiskey hit first, followed closely by brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, oak, smooth medium roast coffee, and a hint of cream. In the aftertaste, there is a sharp up tick in the whiskey alcohol burn that lasts for several seconds which is a nice twist. With warming, dark dried fruit (e.g. prune) and leather emerge.
M: Amazingly smooth for such a behemoth. Medium-heavy body. Delectably and velvety sweet. Luscious. There is still an alcohol burn, but it is phenomenally well restrained. Lovely lingering and maturing on the palate.
D: This one started strong and only got stronger. Well done, NBC! The whiskey barrel aging perfectly complements the already solid base brew. I've got a couple more cellared for aging and I'm already looking forward to them!

3/31/20: Cracked open another 750 mL bottle from the same bottling.
A: Pours black with a thin skim of dark mocha head. (3.75)
S: Interesting! Dark dried fruit and berries are quite strong with hints of coffee, chocolate, and whiskey. (4)
T: Again, dark dried fruit and berries hit first, quickly followed by bitter dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, and whiskey. Hints of oak, vanilla, and brown sugar. (4.25)
M: Medium body and still very smooth. Fruit and roasted caramel sweetness is kept in check. Mild alcohol burn. Lingers nicely on the palate. (4)
D: Maturing very well and it is a bit surprising to have the taste profile turned on its head from my last tasting almost a year ago. The strong chocolate, coffee, and whiskey notes have mellowed quite a bit and the fruit and berry notes have emerged. (4)

Jul 04, 2016
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BarryMFBurton from Indiana

4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Feb 18, 2016
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Beeradelphia from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Oct 16, 2012
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dorkinajeep from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -2.7%

Nov 24, 2012
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muskiesman from New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Mar 08, 2015
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paresis from Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Apr 23, 2015
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Mesa512 from Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Jun 17, 2014
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ADTaber from South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

Jan 25, 2014
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Crass3000 from Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out dark as night with a little brown head with little retention.

Smell is chocolate, vanilla, a little bourbon, and roasted malt. Taste is every bit of the smell with chocolate, vanilla, and a really nice bourbon flavor. Really good!!! Mouthfeel is nice. Great beer if you love bourbon!!!

Jan 26, 2012
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pathman from Ohio

4/5  rDev -2.7%

Jun 02, 2013
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polishkaz from Connecticut

4/5  rDev -2.7%

Jun 04, 2012
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stortore from Illinois

4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a snifter.

Pours nearly black, opaque, with a one finger head, lots of soapy cling. Smells of roasted malts, oak, whiskey vanilla, chocolate, coffee. Taste leads with the malt- not as roasty as the aroma, chocolate, whiskey, oak, vanilla, coffee. Very nice. Smooth, creamy, taste lingers on the tongue, full bodied, appropriately carbonated.

This is one to try, well blended and flavorful. The whiskey barrel adds tons of flavor, without being over the top. Well worth a purchase.

Dec 05, 2015
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MystikCelt from New York

4/5  rDev -2.7%

Oct 19, 2012
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Klym from California

4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

yet another with Cavery. Poured into an oversize wine glass.

A: Pours an obsidian black with a surprisingly white one finger head. Lacing is very attractive.

S: Getting unusual smells from this one. Almond milk , chocolate, sourdough bread and roses all come through. Smells a little hot for 9%.

T: Smores and M&Ms through and through tapered down by the hotness of alcohol and mild bite of coffee/smoke. Chocoalte, marshmellow and graham crackers all distinct and present in this (a thanks to cavery for picking out the graham cracker in the taste).

M: Mouthfeel is really solid with a pumpkin like creaminess backing it up. A great beer to have in your mouth.

O: This is one underrated beer. The creamiest and sweetest RIS I've ever had, and perhaps the sheer tastiest at that. This is a must for RIS enthusiasts. Its hotness at 9% though forces me to knock my overall evaluation down a notch.

Oct 10, 2011
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ajzy from Wisconsin

1.5/5  rDev -63.5%

May 15, 2013
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beerexplorer1973 from Wisconsin

5/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: brown, thin head; long legs; rich dark color, almost black

Smell: mild whiskey but sweet nose

taste: Very mellow on the pallet. Character improves as it should with a quality stout as it airs and warms. The whiskey surprisingly subsides as it warms. Hard to believe its 9% ABV.

Mouthfeel: medium body

Overall: I was very hesitant to buy this at $20 for the bottle. I, as well as my beer exploring friend, was very glad that I did. If my income would support it, I would buy a case next time I had access!

Aug 29, 2011
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MattSweatshirt from Texas

3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black body and a thin brown head off a draught pour.

Lots of chocolate and roasty coffee on the nose which is enticing. Some whiskey and vanilla flesh it out nicely.

Seems a little thin on the palate unfortunately. Follows the aroma profile.

I heard the bottles cost a pretty penny so I opted for a draft pour. Really good but not anything special I would rush out for.

Mar 12, 2015
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Birdlegs from Washington

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Sep 13, 2014
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jonbeer89 from Nebraska

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Jan 24, 2013
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Stoutfan23DJ from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Lost Abbey Stemware glass at 55 Degrees.
2011 Vintage - 750ml bottle - 9% ABV - Imperial Stout Aged in Whiskey Barrels for 6 Months

Appearance: Poured a jet black along with a small tan head that disappears down to lacing in less than a minute. Looks beautiful and intimidates me to start drinking immediately!

Aroma: A presence of spicy whiskey, bourbon and oak, coffee beans, roasted barley and malts, rye, chocolate, touch of smoke, new leather, and a slight fruit sweetness on the nose.

Taste: I immediately get the big rye whiskey and bold bourbon, charred oak, and a nice vanilla also from the barrels. The most present of all the elements in this is the bourbon/whiskey barrel characteristics but it doesn’t cover up or overpower anything else at all. Mixed with the barrel characteristics, I also receive the rich mélange of cocoa, caramel and roasted barley and malts together, the smooth bittersweet chocolate, sweet molasses, espresso coffee beans, anise, dark fruit, bitter hops on the back end and a very slight alcohol burn on the finish when it starts to warm up. The barrel characteristics and the base beer come together very well and really complement each other.

Mouth feel: In-between a medium/thick body, carbonation is minimal but is where it should be. This is another great big complex beer that persuades you to slow down, sip on this for an hour or two and just simply appreciate it.

Overall: Overall, this is right on-par with the other top-shelf barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stouts on the market and the best beer I’ve ever had from the state of Nebraska. This is the second whiskey barrel stout that I’ve had and is right on-par with the Flying Dog barrel-aged Gonzo Porter. In the end, this was an impressive RIS with really great barrel characteristics integrated with a really solid, robust yet smooth base beer. Big complexity, well-balanced, and well-crafted!

Nov 22, 2012
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3Hops from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Sep 29, 2012
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Jason from Massachusetts

4.54/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml brown bottle with a vintage date of 2009.

Tight tan lacing, pitch black. Yeah, the whiskey says hello with oak and alcohol with some vanilla burnt sugar in the nose as well. Smoothness takes it time moving through this heavy liquid. Creamy and slightly viscous. Booze flavor is right up front but never becomes hot even with the beers higher alcohol level in play. Big roasty flavor in the middle unfolds as the beer warms up, unsweetened dark chocolate and espresso comes to mind. Burnt currants, vanilla, more chocolate and a whiskey note wrap up the finish which lands bitter sweet coming from all aspects of the beer and its barrel aging.

Bulls-eye! While the craft beer movement is still maturing there are times like these that is pure proof that the movement is advancing quicker that the beer industry has a whole would ever think. Keep it up Paul, I love what you do!!

May 05, 2010
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layinbrix from Colorado

4/5  rDev -2.7%

Jul 23, 2014
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sulldaddy from Connecticut

4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this bottle at cellar temp poured into a snifter. The beer pours a jet black color. A large beige fluffy and somewhat spongey 3 cm of head foaming up, fades very slowly. Large windowpane lattice develops as the head recedes.
Aroma is some dry wood and raisins with black licorice or anice notes mixed in. I actually dont get any booze on the nose, nor much of, if any hop presence. Texture is very smooth and gentle rolling carbonation makes this beer amazingly easy to drink considering the umph it is packing in calories and alcohol.
The flavor is similar to the nose with big dark malt, roasted grain and a hint of dark fruit. Moves to some dark chocolate and dark fruit, again raisins fit. Finishes with just a little heat and I find this to be an enjoyable beer for a cold winter day.

Apr 15, 2013
Black Betty Imperial Stout - Whiskey Barrel-Aged from Nebraska Brewing Company Production Brewery & Tap Room
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 493 ratings