Sunday, May 15

Beer Review: Oakshire Hellshire Series I - Barleywine Aged In Bourbon Barrels

I was lucky enough to get a couple of these thanks to my friend @mmcooljam. I got these from him yesterday. Bottles are roughly $15 a piece no matter where you go.

There's a lot of hype around this beer, some comparing it to the release of Darklord etc. Many lined up early morning May 7th at Oakshire in Eugene, OR to snag these up. The bottles were to be later released May 9th. Let's see if all the hype is well granted shall we?


The label is quite cool on the bottle. It reminds me of playing Doom 3 on the PC when it was released. Lot's of devilishly dark artwork and goblins etc. This beer is aged for nearly nine months in the depths of Oakshire.. a realm of carefully fermented beers as the bottle states.


I poured the glass, and held it up to both artificial light, and natural to show the amber, and ruby colors of the barleywine. Forgive my use of a Rogue glass as I have yet to build back a glass collection after a breakup of days passed.

Let's begin.

Appearance: (4.0)
- The beer pours a whiskey brown and ruby copper, and seems rather clear though there was a patch of yeast at the bottom of the bottle, and some murky floating drifting clouds within the bottle before opening. The two fingers of tan head quickly dissipated leaving a healthy ring and floating bed of foam on top.

Smell: (4.0)
- Wonderful aroma of sweet brown sugar, caramel malt, and spicy hop character. All seems to meld very well. Light vanilla, and almost a cream soda-like aroma. This smells like a perfect good dessert barleywine. Little spicy alcohol heat.

Taste: (4.5)
- I let this warm a bit, and the flavors are showing through amazingly. Wonderful amounts of vanilla show through with an oak and herbal touch. The sweetness is present, but not overly powering. A roasted caramel touch presents itself well, balancing any heat. A wonderful hop bitterness tops it off with earthy and grassy notes. This is a fantastic barleywine. Light esters play a finishing role.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Great hop additions seem to leave the mouth a touch dry, as well as not being overly sweet which I like. Medium bodied, slightly chewy, and not overly sticky at all. Seems and is, as it should be.

Overall: (4.5)
- Overall this is a great barleywine. It does seem that a lot of care went into the production of this beer. The oak, vanilla, and bourbon notes are a fantastic touch to this barleywine, and I am a much bigger fan of bourbon barrel barleywines than I am stouts. This is perfectly balanced, and only yet slightly hot. I bet this beer would rest very well, but guessing it won't get any better after only a few years or so. Get it while you can. It's great, and worth the price.

A / 4.33

(BeerAdvocate.com rating scale)

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