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.