182. Bell’s Brewery – Bourbon Barrel Aged Hell Hath No Fury Draft

At our homebrew club steering meeting, one of the guys mentioned that they had Bell’s Hell Hath No Fury on draft at Medici.  So, I decided to quickly stop by and try it.  I had read about it on Bell’s website and which says, “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.” Except this version was bourbon barrel aged as well.

It was solidly black in color, and had a thin creamy head on it.  The aroma was mostly oaky, with some molasses and fruity smells coming from it as well.

The body was much lighter than I was expecting from a barrel aged beer, as it wasn’t even quite what I might consider a medium bodied beer.  The mouthfeel was a bit watery, without much carbonation in it.  The flavors were very oaky up front, followed by a bit of fruit, bourbon, and  slightly molasses-like flavors.  However, it turned a bit sour in the finish and aftertaste.  There was obviously the fruitiness of the Belgian yeast present, but this was definitely a sourness that seemed to evolve from it.

This beer had a very complex flavor to it, and it’s one that I’m not sure I would want to pair with a food.  I believe it’s one of those that is meant to be tried and enjoyed on its own, rather than accompanying a meal.

I really enjoyed the forward oakiness and the complexity of fruitiness, bourbon, and malts.  However, I was not really expecting the sourness in the finish.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t an unpleasant sour flavor, but I would consider it an infection in the beer rather than something intentially done to improve the taste.  That said, it did add an additional layer of complexity to the beer.  I don’t think you could drink more than one or two.  Overall, this is a beer you should give a try if you’re looking to go out and have one complex, flavorful beer.

My Rating: ★★★½☆

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