WeeHeavySD (3365) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAR 20, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
08 750ml corked and caged via TheBeerSommilier. After staring into my cellar like a zombie, I chose to open this, because I needed a big beer and I wanted a new rating and they came together in the form of hellbender. Drank from one of my reidel snifters. Pours rich orange with a creamy tan head. Nose is sweet and rich and smells pretty damn nice now with some hops in there too. Taste is hoppy, sweet and rich with a prickly mouth feel and a slight back end warming. I gotta say this hits the spot.
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - OCT 14, 2010
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
750ml bottle. The pour yields a clear copper-brown body with a tall, creamy head of khaki tinted foam. Showing good retention, that head leaves skinny snakes and flares of lacing on the glass. Aromas are based in brown sugar and sticky caramel malt, showing sweet, hinting at figs, dates, and various other dark fruits. Thereís a hint of nuttiness in there as well. Hops are primarily earthy, and they lend a nice edge to the otherwise malt driven nose. Flavors are largely the same, again based in caramelized brown sugar and some dark toffee, with maybe a touch of light molasses. Dried figgy fruit malts show a touch of welcomed oxidation, as hops come across earthy, with just a touch of pine. The palate sports medium-plus substance and lively carbonation (perhaps a bit too lively, in fact). Alcohol is noticeable and warm, but not overly aggressive. Overall, itís a pretty solid barleywine. There are no fatal flaws, but itís not a jaw dropper either. Good brew.
jrob21 (3333) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - OCT 12, 2008
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle back from Bruisin’ Ales. Murky reddish brown color with a decent fizzy tan head that lasts for a while. Smooth, malty bw that is not hopped up but still tasty. Raisin and molasses aromas with a bit of caramel and floral hops in there to balance. Well carbonated, medium bodied beer. Finish is a little bitter and alcoholic. Before that though you get some plum and raisin flavors. Would expect a little more body and malt backing from a bw but this one is pretty good and relatively easy to drink.
beernovice39 (3270) - Montana, USA - FEB 10, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft at brewer. Pours a cloudy red/brown with a medium beige head. Scent is fruit, molasses, and brown sugar. Taste is molasses, fruit , brown sugar, and malts. Strong and sweet.
NachlamSie (3191) - Denver, Colorado, USA - FEB 14, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
draught. Hellbender is a rich ruby color with a thick white head. I wasnít really expecting the fullness of the hops. They were quite nice and foresty over the rich caramel and berry notes. Nicely aromatic brew. Thereís a great balance of pine, citrus, caramel, juicy berries, a bit of wood and barley all of which culminates to finish dry and slightly puckering. Very nice!
OldGrowth (3118) - the Containment Area, North Carolina, USA - JAN 7, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
bottle, from brewery. Good aroma, sweet. malty, chocolate, caramel, fruity, orange, fig/date, little berry, little orange, little leather, little candied sugar. Clean dark orange color, Big Head, good lace. Bittersweet flavor, doesnít have quite as much as aroma. caramel, candied sugar, berries stand out to me, Medium body, oily creamy mouth feel, bitter dry finish. Good brew, was still a little on the hot side with the ABV and could of sat a while longer, IMO. Aroma, was good for a lot of little nuances as it warmed.
dchmela (2990) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JUL 30, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thanks to MGumby10 for this one. Chunky brown caramel pour with a thin white head. Lots of caramel and brown sugar aroma. Big bold caramel malt, spicy hops. Slightly hot finish, but very tasty.
jcnielsen (2983) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - FEB 10, 2014
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
On tap at Pisgah. Pours a dark brown color with white head. Malty, caramel, malty sweet flavors. A little above average barley wine.
Hophead22 (2879) - Redlands, by way of Wisconsin,, California, USA - SEP 18, 2008
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
750ml bottle from trade with TURDFERGUSON. Poured a murky dark brown, with a tan head. Big rich maltiness, very aromatic. Slight harshness in the front, very bubbly. Nice overall, glad to get my hands on a bottle.
corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 4, 2011
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bomber, 2009 vintage(?)
Pours a dark ruby/copper color with golden amber edges when held to a light and a one finger frothy yellowish beige head that quickly fades into a thick lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.
I was expecting the aroma to be very leathery/boozy but itís surprisingly sweet with dark malt notes and zesty spice. There is a touch of earthy/leathery malt and alcohol sweetness but the nose is dominated by hints of caramel, toffee and rye as well as some cinnamon, brown sugar and dark fruit. Hints of fig, raisin and plum.
Fuller bodied than expected with a beautiful balance of sweet and earthy/leathery malt as well as some autumnal spice, dark fruit, booze and faint hops. Lots of luscious sweet malt flavor with a lot caramel, toffee, chocolate, rye and hazelnut. This is countered by some zesty spice with notes of pepper, brown sugar and cinnamon. Iím also picking up some sweet dark fruit, notably raisin, plum and fig. There is some faint hop bitterness balancing things out as well as some subtle alcohol sweetness but there is little to no heat. The ABV is excellently masked with only subtle warmth in the finish, making this beer dangerously drinkable.
Overall, this beer has developed very nicely. The alcohol heat has mellowed very gracefully, allowing the sweet malt and dark fruit notes to shine. Incredibly complex, well balanced and extremely quaffable. I had to slow myself down from drinking down the whole bomber to fast. Another excellent beer from Pisgah that I highly recommend.