Brew Review-Bells Hell Hath No Fury

Before I got a full beer of this “Belgian black ale”, I had a sample.  When I ordered the full beer I told the bartender “I’m not sure yet if its good, but its definitely interesting.” After finishing the entire glass, that’s honestly still how I feel.

It pours out black, really dark, and completely opaque.  There was a small tan head that quickly fell into a few whispy strands on top.

In the nose, the first thing I got was sour.  Now, I realize that sour is not a smell, but throughout the beer, that’s the only way I could think of to describe the initial smell. The sour is also mixed with subtle hints of coffee and chocolate on the end.

Unsurprisingly, the initial taste is – wait for it – sour.  This is where the Belgian half of the beer really shows through.   There’s some very hidden fruity taste in there as well.  This quickly gives way to a combination of bourbon, that is really a mouthful, and this then moves into the “dark” part of the beer with a malty chocolate taste that combines with the bourbon to linger on the tongue.  Overall I almost feel like I’ve sucked on a Sourpatch Kid, then taken a shot of mid-range bourbon and washed it all down with a swig of coffee.

So you can see why the most accurate description of this seasonal offering is “interesting”. I really like the upfront Belgian taste, but I’m not sure if alone it could be enough to support me drinking the whole beer.  The malt, chocolate and bourbon finish is nice, but doesn’t really compliment the Belgian.  Overall, its worth a sample, maybe even a full glass at a bar, but I would not recommend a full six-pack.



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