Home > Imperial Stout, Stout > Hemel & Aarde (340 of 1001)

Hemel & Aarde (340 of 1001)

Rating: 3.5

My tenth De Molen beer now and the first since their Op & Top bitter back in April, this one is a smoked imperial stout from the brewery that I picked up sometime back in 2013 and have been saving since then given the bottle mentions that the beer can be aged for up to 25 years. I grabbed this one from the original Good Spirits bottle shop in Glasgow a couple of years ago alongside a couple other strong De Molen beers and this one was among the picks of the bunch since it also features on the 1001 beers list. Hemel & Aarde, which translates to Heaven & Earth in English, will be my eighth Dutch beer from the list and mean that I will only have another five to go after this one although one of those five, Borefts Stout which is another De Molen beer, appears to have since been discontinued and it looks unlikely that I’ll be able to get my hands on a bottle. A strong, smoky offering that is brewed using the most heavily peated malt in the world from the Bruichladdich distillery on the Isle of Islay in Scotland, the bottle I tried was a 2013 vintage (bottled on the 14th May) from the brewery that came in at 10% abv. and was cracked open at the start of January this year; here’s how it help up after three and a half years.

hemel-aarde

Appearance (4/5): Jet black with an opaque body that formed a thin, bubbly, tan brown lacing around the edges of the glass after a while but it took quite an aggressive pour; I guess that’s to be expected with a three-year old, 10% abv. beer but it wasn’t too bad-looking.
Aroma (7/10): Strong and quite smoky, the beer had a lot of dark chocolate and plenty of roasted notes in the early going that fell just short of overpowering. There was a strong oak presence to proceedings with some vanilla adding a little sweetness too before some sugars appeared. Around the middle there was a lot of malted peat and earthy notes coming through alongside tonnes of smoke that was just a little strong for my liking.
Taste (7/10): A very strong and very smokey beer with the malted peat flavours coming through a lot earlier and aggressively with the taste before a little chocolate and subtle sugars followed on behind. The vanilla from the nose featured here as well and I got more of the earthy malts towards the middle but the pear certainly dominated before some oak and toasted bitterness seen things out.
Palate (3/5): An incredibly strong, almost overpowering offering that was quite peaty and bitter with tonnes of earthy malts in there too. There was a little sweetness off both the vanilla and sugars but it remained a dark, heavy beer with fairly soft carbonation after aging for so long and a definite alcohol presence towards the end too that made the beer quite a boozy one.

Overall (14/20): Strong stuff from De Molen here, this one was a very aggressive and almost overpowering imperial stout that was very malty, coming through with plenty of earthy flavours and a lot of peat. The dark malts show the show here with a little vanilla and sugar backing them up but everything end up being just a bit too strong for my liking and the balance wasn’t the best either. It remained very much a drinkable beer that got better the longer it had to open up and develop but sadly I can’t see it being one that I’d go for again; perhaps if I enjoyed my whiskies a little more than I’d have appreciated this one better.

Brewed In: Bodegraven, South Holland, Netherlands
Brewery: Brouwerij de Molen
First Brewed: 2008
English Name: De Molen Heaven & Earth
Type: Imperial Stout
Abv: 10.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. (Glasgow)
Price: £6.00

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  1. February 3, 2017 at 08:23

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