Thursday, August 26, 2010

403. Bell’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Hell Hath No Fury Ale

We’ve been waiting for this beer ever since Jason at the Trolley Stop told us he was getting a keg of it in. After all, Hell Hath No Fury is yummy by itself, so dumping a batch in bourbon barrel should only lead to better things, right? This beer (and all of the other Bell’s beers on tap tonight at the Trolley) was part of the Dayton Beer Week festivities leading up to AleFest on Saturday. The highlight for the week thus far, however, still has to be Aaron setting the Trolley Stop’s pink elephant on fire. I mean, let’s be honest—that’s gonna be a hard one to top. Burn, baby, burn. Sorry, Fletcher.

Our previous encounter with Bell’s includes Batch 9000, Hopslam, Cherry Stout, Sparkling Ale, Winter White, Christmas Ale, Third Coast, Oberon, Octoberfest, and Two Hearted.

BB Hell Hath No Fury pours a dark rich chocolate brown that is extremely clear; the head is tan and begins by covering the beer, but quickly reduces to a ring. The nose has a nice mix of dark malt sweetness, vanilla, dark fruit, and oak—there’s hints of molasses, plum, and fig as well as dark candy and bit of bourbon. To be honest, there is much less bourbon aroma than I expected, which is nice—it is subtle, rather than overpowering. Flavors follow much of the nose; vanilla flavors are present across the profile, but in subtle and balanced ways. BB Hell Hath No Fury opens with molasses, brown sugar, and Belgian candy mixed with vanilla; the middle shifts into dark fruits, primarily plum, fig, raisin, and a general stone fruit flavor—something like black cherry. The shift into the finish has an oak tannic bite that allows the bourbon flavors to emerge out of the dark fruits. The closing flavors are a mix of bourbon, vanilla, and brown sugar mixed with oakiness that lingers on the top of mouth and the back of the throat. There is some warmth in the mouthfeel; the body is medium to heavy, but not cloying or sticky. Instead, it is clean, vinous, and slightly drying on the palate, specifically as the tannic oak flavors emerge in the final third. An alcohol bite comes out as the beer warms, as does an increased oak tannic bite. The carbonation is medium-low, which does allow the complex array of flavors to sit on the tongue for longer periods of time. I did like the oakiness coupled with a lighter beer style (well, lighter compared to most oak-aged beers, which are stouts), as it makes for easier drinking—the kind of drinking that tends to get me in trouble. BB Hell Hath No Fury is an excellent beer—I’m glad we got a chance to sample it. I only wish we could get our hands on this on something of a more regular basis. Nonetheless, thank you Larry Bell for another delicious, delicious beer. Oh, and this one is hands down a Top 10 Best Label contender. It still makes me giggle...
Photo from here.

From the (new) Bell’s website: “Originally conceived along the lines of a Belgian Dubbel, Hell Hath No Fury Ale morphed during development into something entirely different. Blending a pair of Belgian abbey-style yeasts into a recipe more akin to a roasty stout, Hell Hath No Fury Ale offers up warm, roasted notes of coffee & dark chocolate together with the fruity & clove-like aromas.”

I think there should also be a special entry from my dream journal here, but that might get a bit too creepy. My bad.

ABV: 8.4%


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