2012 Hellshire II by Oakshire brewing

10632832_10102056465673270_7864367582613823620_n 10450792_10102056467569470_4989196946291185721_n 10702021_10102056466476660_5956929276269596116_nRating: 5.35/5

2012 Hellshire II by Oakshire brewing is a 10.5% ABV Double/Imperial Stout aged in Buffalo Trace and Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels for 7 months and bottle aged for 2 years

Label:
Deep within the recesses of the alcoves & antechambers of Oakshire Brewing lies another realm. It’s a place where carefully fermented beers are laid to rest in oaken sarcophagi. They slumber for aeons & emerge as wholly new & unique entities, fueling the malformed creatures that populate those blasted and eldritch wastes. That place is HELLSHIRE.
Hellshire II is an Imperial Stout aged for 6 months in freshly emptied bourbon barrels. Notes of vanilla, coconut, chocolate, roasted coffee, oak & bourbon intertwine with the beer’s complex malt flavors. It’s ready to enjoy now or can be cellared cool and dry for several years. Cheers! Mat Van Wyk, Brewmaster.
___

Like the Hellshire I, in 2012 I traded for this beer. Stories of lore told that this beer was infected and the brewery had apologized. Despite this, I had reviewed one which I enjoyed and aged another for to be drink 2 years later. I wanted to check on its status of infection, that is, if it really was true. It really wasn’t bad back then. Nothing different than what I would have had from a lightly soured Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura, except aged in bourbon barrels. So Now, 2 years later, I resurrect the angel of death to bring you forth the Hellshire II. As enjoyed the Hellshire III earlier this year which came out in 2013, let is see if this beer has completely gone bad or has evolved into something awesome. Cheers!

Aromas:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, dark fruits like raisins, prunes, tart raspberry skins, dark cherry, currants and blue berry yogurt, musty notes, smokey oak, port wine, vanilla, caramel, bourbon, wine grapes, Kahlua, roasted coffee grounds, mocha, anise, chocolate brownies, earthy notes, molasses, bourbon, musty notes and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Dark fruits like Blueberries, blackberries, tart currants, wine grapes, raisins, prunes, figs and dark cherry yogurt, dark fruit raisins, mocha, rich dark chocolate, bourbon, port wine, caramel, vanilla, coconut, smokey notes, roasted coffee grounds, earthy notes, molasses, anise, flan hints, Kahlua, brownies, port wine, funky oak, smokey notes, milk chocolate, smokey oak, licorice hints and tart raspberries.

Aftertaste:
Blueberry yogurt, dark chocolate, caramel, earthy notes, vanilla, bourbon, tart dark fruit and dark cherries, mocha, roasted coffee and smokey notes. No alcohol in the taste, Very smooth despite the ABV, pitch black as night and death body, light to syrupy mouth feel.

Overall:
Absolutely wonderful!! Despite the fact that there is this sour notes, they are very well controlled. This is not your typical over puckering sour. Oh Hell NO! This is quite awesome. The Imperial Stout and bourbon aspects are the ones in controlled only letting a slight sour bitter taste enhance the dark fruits into an oblivion of like a tart dark cherry yogurt and oak. Think of Madrugada Obscura. I would highly recommend this one if you like sour stouts only. Seems like an acquired but regardless, I definitely realized, this one aged great.

Anime/Comic Corner:
Raven from Teen Titans was used in the original Hellshire II. I wanted to bring her back for the 2nd review to show her as a stronger and more flavorful Imperial stout than the original. Right away,m you should be able to tell that Raven pairs greatly with the all aspects of the beer like the darkness of pitch black, death, hell, the label colors, the flavors and the strength of the beer. The first art depicts of how even though she has become stronger, the markings on her body (depicting the infection of the beer) have not stopper her but rather have given here an immense flavor complex and provided a balance to what would have been a pure sour beer but instead focused on the balance overall instead. Great job to Raven!!

Sources:
http://ramy.deviantart.com/art/Raven-271528390
http://yuumei.deviantart.com/art/Raven-Teen-Titans-161642708

2011 Hellshire I by Oakshire brewing

10653420_10102056444959780_1348526635417096660_n 10659332_10102056446476740_2725776183311675554_n 10700006_10102056448797090_5415215982118373812_oRating: 5.25/5

2011 Hellshire I by Oakshire brewing is a 10% ABV Barleywine aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels for 10 months and now bottle aged for 3+ years.

Label:
Deep within the recesses of the alcoves and antechambers of Oakshire Brewing lies another realm. It’s a place where beers are carefully laid to rest in oaken sarcophagi. They slumber for aeons and emerge as wholly new and unique entities, fueling the malformed creatures that populate those blasted and eldritch wastes. That place is HELLSHIRE. Hellshire I is an American Barley Wine Ale aged for nearly nine months in freshly emptied Bourbon barrels. Notes of vanilla, coconut, oak and bourbon intertwine with the beer’s complex malt and hop character. It’s ready to enjoy now or can be cellared, cool and dry for several years.
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Long ago, I traded for this beer. I wanted to save one for cellaring and the other was reviewed in 2012. I decided to wait 3 years before trying this one again to see how it had changed. It seems that the beer has matured plenty and I wanted to give it a go since I had already tried the Hellshire III before. The only way to get this beer now is on online auctions or trading. I can somewhat recall what the experience with this one was like back in 2012 but I can only assume. Either way, I brought it back from the depths of NubiSanctum hell cellar to see the light again. Damn was Hellshire mad or what?! Either way, here we go!

Aromas:
Old Dark fruit forward like prunes, raisins, brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, musty oak, bourbon, toffee, fancy wine and cheese, old mango, old oranges, oatmeal, pecan pie, hazelnut, molasses, coffee cake, butterscotch, toasted coconut, rye bread, nutella notes, dark chocolate and maple syrup.

Flavors:
Dark fruits like prunes, raisins, figs, maple syrup, cherries, Caramel, Rye bread, coconut, vanilla, earthy notes, musty oak notes, bourbon notes, oatmeal, hazelnut, pecan pie, fancy wine and cheese party funky hints, rich pecan pie, toffee, pralines, old oranges, old mango, butterscotch, coffee cake, nutella hints, molasses, brown sugar, almond joy and dark chocolate notes.

Aftertaste:
Old Oranges,rye bread, nutella hints, caramel, vanilla, coconut, oak, bourbon, earthy and musty notes linger for a bit. No alcohol in the taste. Age has made this one smooth, medium to full body, mildy syrupy mouthfeel.

Overall:
Age has made this one very awesome . It reminds me a lot of the Stone Bastard in the Rye but with a dark fruit and caramel forward flavor profile than the hidden hop notes found in the fresh Stone one. It also reminds me of the Barrel Aged Blockhead Doppelbock from the Coney Island Series. Would I recommend this one? Yes!! It really gets better with age or at least at this point, aging has done this one some crazy magic. If it is hard to believe this is still 10% ABV, Call it an 11% better.

Anime/Comic Corner:
Mystique from Marvel’s Xmen as well as her posing as Ms. Marvel was used in this pairing since the original time I used her was when I posted my first try at Hellshire. She pairs well with the label as well as the aspect of the beer history in terms of her appearance of death and hell. The colors she represents pair well with the colors of the beer label as well as some of the flavors including the dark fruit, caramel, red wine, and citrus and mango.

Sources:
http://thequarterbin.com/wp-content/uploads/76_ms__marvel_48.jpg
http://37.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m5ov8jjewq1rydvyko1_1280.jpg

Hellshire III (2 years aged) by Oakshire brewing

10153052_10101781211714410_2466266965355744274_n 10155744_10101781211684470_1995767293482911530_n 10150597_10101781211654530_7689844992233434206_nRating: 5.66/5

Hellshire III (2 years aged) by Oakshire brewing is a Foreign/Export Stout aged in bourbon barrels.

Label:
Deep within the recesses of the alcoves and antechambers of Oakshire Brewing lies another realm. It’s a place where beers are carefully laid to rest in oaken sarcophagi. They slumber for aeons and emerge as wholly new and unique entities, fueling the malformed creatures that populate those blasted and eldritch wastes. That place is HELLSHIRE. HELLSHIRE III is a Foreign Style stout aged for nearly 10 months in a freshly emptied bourbon barrels. Notes of vanilla, chocolate, roasted coffee, oak & bourbon intertwine with the beer’s complex malt flavors. It’s ready to enjoy now or can be cellared cool & dry for several years. Cheers! Matt Van Wyk. Brewmaster.
___

This crazy beer has been something I have been looking for since its release in 2013. Very elusive for sure! I have done reviews for the first two in 2011 and 2012 and with the release of the Hellshire IV, it is already hard to find. Regardless, it has been aged for a whole year and if we include the 2 months since the February release, that makes 2 years altogether aging. I have waited a long time to try this beer and well, even kept the right artwork that pairs with it waiting a long time. So be it! Here we go, on to the review!

Aromas:
Currants, dark fruits, coffee, vanilla, oak, bourbon, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, lavender, currants, wine grapes, currant, anise, molasses, marshmallow, roasted barley, wine grapes, port wine, leathery notes, brown sugar, mild smokey notes and cherries.

Flavors:
Delicious berry yogurt, fancy coffee, mocha, milk chocolate, rich dark chocolate, vanilla, coconut, oak, bourbon, dark fruits, rich currants, caramel, toffee, marshmallow, roasted barley, berry jam on toast, anise, molasses, leather notes, smoke, wine grapes, lavender, fudge, brown sugar, cherries, smoked oysters hints and maple.

Aftertaste:
A dry stout finish but it definitely has a very good lingering complexity. Roasted coffee, lots of berry notes, yogurt like notes, anise, dark chocolate, coconut and bourbon notes. No alcohol in the taste. Very smooth yet sipping drinkability. At 8.5% ABV, there seems to be a great complex feel even in the aftertaste.

Overall:
Not sure how the early version of the beer tasted but this is definitely very complex and delicious making it exceed my expectations. Lower ABV, smooth to drink and still retaining complexity its very crazy. Hellshire, I mean, Oak shire redeemed themselves with this one as they advised that the Hellshire II was infected. It may not be the same beer but it is close to what I remember the second being except with way more added complexity and well similar yet, different style, more of the dryer type but yet maintaining its greatness overall. Hell if you can find this one.

Anime Corner:
Succubus by Felsus of Deviantart.com was used in this pairing as it was the coolest pairing that fit the colors of the label since 2013. I waited a very long time to do a pairing with this beer and this artwork and I finally got the chance. It also fits the artwork and the whole aspect of hell too this is a devil succubus sheep and as the dry stout goes, she will drain you dry. That is why this beer is this so smooth and sweet as Hellshire will absorb you in to a pit of darkness!!