Brewery: Karbach Brewing Company
Beer: F.U.N. Series No. 7: Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter (2013)
Style: Imperial/Double Porter
Character: Imperial Porter aged in Maker’s Mark & Four Rose barrels
Ratings at the time of review: BA: 94 | RB: 99
Metal Connection: JUDAS PRIEST – Hellrider
BeerMetalDude Rating: 5/5
Well, here we are, weeks after the news that our beloved Texas brothers and sisters over at Karbach sold out to the Devil known as AB inBev (Anheuser Busch). Of course, this news is frowned upon by the Craft Beer elite, and this has resulted in a lot of boycotting and backlash to our Houston, TX brewers and team. I for one, am not happy with the news, as I do look at ABinBev as the enemy of our Craft Beer world. They are like the Cobra to our G.I. Joe, or Decepticons to our Autobots, or even our Venom to our M.A.S.K., but just not as cool, obviously.
I looked in my fridge to see that I had a gem sitting in there. This is Karbach’s F.U.N. Series No. 7, their Bourbon Barrel Aged Hellfighter Imperial Porter from 2013. Obviously this is way before the buyout, and when all my co-Craft Beer Drinkers were all in love with the Houston brewery. I am happy I still had this particular beer. This one was released before Karbach decided to make BBH it’s own series in January 2015. Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter was first released as F.U.N. Series No. 3 in April 2012, then as F.U.N. Series No. 5 in May 2013, and finally as this version, F.U.N. Series No. 7 in November 2013.
The F.U.N. Series beers pretty much share the same label, which is a basic white label with text. Very simple design. Brewery logo on top, limited edition stamp right below that, No. 007 being the main focus. The name Hellfighter written in a stamp font in red. Underneath that is the description of the beer. There is a watermark of a flame clip art style logo, but nothing much else is going on. Very generic, and basic. I guess, within this series, with these beers being big releases, Karbach figures that the beer would speak for themselves, and they do.
I poured this beer into a Bitter Sisters Brewing Company snifter glass. Hellfighter appeared very dark brown, a hairline away from being black. The brown shines through when held up towards the light. A full inch of dark tan foamy head topped the beer, which hung around a bit, but then disappeared. There was no lacing left down the glass.
It was a nice complexity to the aroma with oak wood, bourbon, hints of vanilla, brown sugar, toasted coconut, sweet dark chocolate, caramel, dark fruits like raisins and figs, mixed nuts, finishing with a spicy roasted coffee aroma.
The flavors hit the palate pretty hard with oak wood, boozy bourbon, vanilla, and toasted coconut right up front, all from the barrels. Sweet dark chocolate, brown sugar, caramel, dark fruits like raisins and figs, mixed nuts, roasted coffee, and a bit of smoke that wasn’t picked up in the aroma. The lingering aftertaste is all oak wood, mixed nuts, roasted coffee, sweet dark chocolate and boozy bourbon.
The body was actually a lot lighter than I thought it would be, leaning towards being a light medium thickness. The mouthfeel was oily, and slick with a mouth coating smooth and dry finish. No real carbonation present in this beer.
Overall, I loved this vintage of Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter the first time I ever had it back in early 2014, and I still love it now. I am a fan of Karbach Brewing Company, and I felt a nice slap to the face when they sold out to AB inBev. I friended some of the employees at the brewery, and wish them all the success in the future, but I for one will not go out of my way to purchase anything new coming out from them, as I do not believe in giving my money to the company who makes fun of the Craft Beer community. I think I still have another bottle of F.U.N. Series No. 007 somewhere in this house, and I will drink it and enjoy it as I did this one here. I hope that the new availability of Karbach beers around the states will introduce more people into the Craft Beer movement, but I just hope they don’t end here at this brewery, since it will be easily accessible t every gas station corner store. I hope they venture out and seek out the many other options from independently owned breweries. Good luck Karbach!
Metal Connection: When Hellfighter first hit the scene, I always, always, always sang the name of the beer in the chorus of the song chosen for this Metal Connection. This one was a very easy pick for me. Judas Priest, one of the world’s greatest Heavy Metal/Rock band that ever lived, and a personal favorite of mine is who I went with here. They began back in 1970, but did not release their debut album until 1974 with Rocka Rolla. Throughout their career, they have been in the forefront of the Heavy Metal genre with their brand of catchy heavy riffs, and signature vocals laid down by their well known vocalist, Rob Halford. Mr. Halford is the Godfather of Heavy Metal to most of the Metal Community throughout the world. From 1992 – 2003, Rob Halford left the band, and has success with a few other bands in that time frame like, Fight, and Halford. When Halford joined back up with famed guitar duo K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton, Judas Priest released Angel of Retribution in 2005, which is where our Metal Connection song comes from. Here is “Hellrider,” a kick ass tune that will have you headbanging and fist pumping the entire time. I promise you, that you will want to sign the beer name, Hellfighter in the same tune as the chorus of this song.