Brouwerij De Molen ‘Heaven & Hell’ Bowmore BA Imperial Stout


24067943_777632492420898_2913534585530038999_n“Although hard to comprehend for many, this is the big brother of Hel & Verdoemenis. With loads of dark malts in both back and foreground, supported by strong but smooth bitterness from hops and roasted malts. Flavor indication: chocolate, coffee, toast.”

Served in a snifter. She pours a menacing black colour with an extremely well retained thumb of brown foam assembling on top. Impressive lace work clinging to the glass as we imbibe.
Oh wow, there’s peat and dark chocolate and tonnes of it! It smells oily and super rich with that salty soy sauce and molasses intensity to it. On the flip side there’s a dense and gelatinous aspect….chocolate mud cake and carob spring to mind. Once it settles in the glass the whisky notes begin to shine through. Really potent stuff.
Just as we thought, with a bit of time to warm this huge stout unveils that unwavering Islay whisky character – smoke, peat, salt and slightly medicinal with a big and warming booze burn (12.9% ABV). Undertones of ash, burnt chocolate and dank woody notes deliver a smoky and peaty finish with hints of salted chocolate and a persistent warmth from the booze.
The mouth feel is slick, oily and aggressive. The whisky texture really comes through with intent here as does the ABV but can you blame it when it almost clocks in at 13%?!
Tell you what, we had our reservations to begin with. But once those smoky and peaty whisky notes came through it almost takes on the strength of a boilermaker. The whisky flavours are absolutely dialled in. We’ll hold out until De Molen age a stout in Lagavulin 16yo barrels. Now that would be heavenly.