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Tsarina Esra - Brouwerij De Molen

Not Rated.
Tsarina EsraTsarina Esra

Educational use only; do not reuse.

63 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 63
Hads: 166
Avg: 4.15
pDev: 13.98%
Wants: 35
Gots: 32 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Molen visit their website

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: johnnybravo on 02-11-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 63 | Hads: 166
Photo of Bonis
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer is quite unique, as are most stouts i've tried from this part of the world. Yea, this is a stout to me. Licorice, some bakers chocolate, fudge, and lots of fruity yeast esters on the nose. Taste is of a rich fruity cocoa malt, also dark/roasty/slightly astingent. Never tasted a beer that actually tasted like a malt shake... this reminds me of one without the milk anyway. Either this is sweet or just deceptively sweet... i'd lean toward the latter. Would love to know how they brew this. Ingredients are listed on the bottle, but my feeling is that is just the tip of the iceberg. Very solid, but not amazing.

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Photo of cbutova
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle date of 25/04/14; just over a year old. Thanks ReallyOldBrownDog for gifting me this and so much other beer.

A- The black-and-white DM labeled 12oz drops a basically pitch black brew into my wine glass. With an aggressive pour the head barely makes it over about 2mm high with a light tan appearance quickly darting to the edges of the glass. This small ring leaves almost no lace.

S- An array of potent aromas jump out of the glass giving me more of a foreign or even English yeast impression than heavy roast. Strong notes of spicy dark dried fruits, anise/licorice, charred barley, bitter dark cocoa powder, toasted nuts and grains, aged caramel malts and plums.

T- Same general idea as the aroma but a burnt bitterness seems to amplify the heavily roasted grains, licorice, pure dark chocolate and toasted nutty flavors. The dark fruits like raisin, plum and fig are up front and lead to the bittering aftertastes. Exhaling brings ashy, smoked flavors out.

MF- Oily with carbonation on the low-end, not flat but just enough bubbles to keep it acceptable. Slick and thick overall consistency. Finishes slightly warm with burnt bitterness lingering.

A complex, strong Porter that presents a very wide spectrum of flavor. Dark and fruity and not a chocolate coffee bomb; certainly has that East of the Atlantic feel from the yeast.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

gosh, de molen has to be one of the kings right now. i know i am a mikkeller fanboy, but these guys are on the rise. this beer is sensational, has a lot of elements that make it similar to other beers they make. its rich and huge and yeasty, boasting chocolate and coffee distinctly as accent flavors, and like my colleague said, its literally light biting into a piece of fudge in terms of both taste and feel. thick and yeasty looking too, with fish food pieces floating about and a full inch of airy tan head that really never settles, although i never gave it a chance to, drank it pretty fast... oh well! notes of peanut and sludgy de molen yeast, feels old, but my bottle was made in 2014. dry for its abv, but there is a big caramel malt middle in this real dark beer, and it never resides, lingering awhile after the swallow. this is campfire stuff for me, to be consumed outside, late and night, in the summer. i know thats weird for porter, especially of the imperial variety, but thats what it screams to me. its the one big dark brew that needs pine pollen and campfire smoke and burnt marshmallow to make full sense. not a trace of booze in the taste, but what a buzz! love

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Photo of farrago
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a moderate head, under a finger, mostly larger bubbles which sizzle off quickly, there is some lacing but it’s extremely thin lines with not great stickiness. The liquid is a murky brown, fully opaque, develops a yellow tint at the rims and surface, you can see a few strands of bubbles within but you are more likely to spy particulate floating about. The nose is at once compact and expressive, German chocolate cake, licorice, vanilla cake icing, toffee, kind of too sweet for real smokiness to show, curious lack of fruit scents, quiet raisin and prune at best, lingers with minimal effort. Full-bodied, layers creamily on the tongue, however, here you get something like bitter chicory which brightens the attack. Low carbonation, more fluffy than refreshing. Licorice, pine sap, crème brûlée, molten chocolate, roasted chestnuts and scone flavors keep the sweetness on parade, one could argue there is an uptick in the plum, prune, raisin, cherry fruit. The finish is somewhat flat-footed, yet no faulting the intensity of the flavors it chooses to spotlight. Does a reasonably good job of masking the alcohol.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Extremely dark brown, just a poor thin string of foam.
Nice roasted malt smell, soy sauce, chocolate liqueur, lots of caramel, sweet dried fig, date, faint blueberry. Pretty nice.
Huge fig and date up front, juicy raisin, with lots of dark chocolate. Some licorice, caramel coated chocolate cake, molasses, sweet coffee, nice roasted malts. Faint vanilla and cinnamon. Cocoa powder finish, toasted dark bread crust and faint hints of smoked wood.
Aftertaste has sweet coffee, date, chocolate and some roasted malt. Pretty intense. Medium body, very low carbonation. Alcohol totally hidden.
Awesome flavors, really smooth and absolutely no alcohol present. Not one bit. Awesome!

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Photo of Immortale25
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. Back label says 05/04/12

A- Pours a 99% opaque black color with a 1/4 inch light brown head that retains a bit before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and minimal surface foam.

S- Sweet, alcoholic aroma of dark roasted malt, caramel and molasses.

T- The sweetness continues with an almost brandy-like quality due to the high alcohol content. So smooth though as multiple sips are taken easily. The dark roasted malt brings notes of coffee, dark chocolate and even some raisin. A hint of oxidation actually complements the other flavors.

M- Slightly creamy with medium-low carbonation and a full body.

O- I feel like this was the perfect time to crack this one. Aged over 2 and a half years, it's snowing outside and I just got off work, so the warmth of the booze plus the tastiness really hits the spot. Cheers.

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Photo of beergoot
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottle label data: Date of 05/04/12.

Dark ebony and garnet hues exhibited by the body; thick, fine foamed, luxurious head. Ripe plum and fig aroma. Soothing caramel and brown malt flavors; mild brown sugar flavors; subtle smokey tone; vanilla; cocoa. Heavy body with a very soft, smooth tone; medium residual sugar texture; semi-sweet finish.

A very sublime, smile-producing dark ale. Rich, robust, and balanced with an exquisite flavor complexity. A dark malt treasure with no distracting alcohol heat even with it's 11.0% ABV. An exceptional example of what a big beer can be...

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Photo of beerdrifter
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up at the beer store at Brouwerij De Molen. Bottled 05/04/12. Dark brown, nearly black pour with a one finger beige head with good retention and lacing. The nose is dominated by dark fruit and brown bread along with hints of toffee, butterscotch, and coffee. The taste follows suit with huge brown bread, raisins, and dates, along with hints of molasses, licorice, subtle chocolate, booze, and coffee. The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with a sweet, boozey finish. Overall, this is a little too sweet for my tastes and really lacks any kind of roast. More like a Barley Wine for me than a Porter. I remember having this on tap several years ago at ACBF and really liking it, but this was a bit disappointing...

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Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 05/04/12.Pours a deep dark cola color with a creamy half finger beige head atop.Aromas of dark roast coffee,raisin/prune,and earth with the alcohol being big but not in ur face.Wow alot going on flavor wise with dark fruit and dark roast intertwined with big earthy tones giving a great drying lager-like finish.This is a great Baltic porter with just enough sweetness and just enough drying earthiness,top notch.

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Photo of babaracas
4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark reddish brown with thick head of dense light brown foam, sheet of delicate lace halfway down the glass. Smell: buttered and toasted brown bread, raisin, fig, dark chocolate. Taste: huge dark fruit flavors and light on the roast. Plum, raisin, dates, dark brown sugar, into toasted brown bread with very mild roast and a moderate earthiness. Medium body with plenty of delicate carbonation to move things along. Silky feel with a quick jab of alcohol near the end of the sip. Sticky brown sugar and raisin finish. Bottled 4/12.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours black with a mocha head.

S: Sweet, toasty, roasty malts, dark chocolate and dark roast coffee in the nose.

T: Sweet toasty/roasty malt, dark and milk chocolate, coffee. Sweet malts are the dominant characters. Some alcohol as it warns and sweetens further.

M: Full bodied and creamy smooth when it's warm enough.

O: Definitely recommended. It smells like a porter and tastes like a slightly sweet stout.

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Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tsarina Esra looks like hot cocoa: black and opaque at first glance but actually more of a dark brown upon closer inspection. There's obviously no chance of seeing through it - the beer is far too dark for that - but there's definite highlights along the edges and it has a taupe colour head.

Tsarina Esra looked a little light coming out the bottle and, indeed, smells a little more like a Brown Ale than it does a Baltic Porter; the notes of toasted brown bread, nuts, and raisins are far more mild than you'd expect from an 11% beer. There certainly isn't the heavily roasted malts that the brewery advertises.

The palate definitely raises the volume up a few notches, but flavours still stay within the boundaries of sweet (dried fruit, black licorice, truffles) as oppose to the anticipated more bitter, dark qualities (espresso, unrefined cocoa). This makes it a slightly more approachable ale but strips it of the rich, decadent notes that distinguish the style's best.

That said, it drinks nothing like its strength and has a chestnut honey-like profile that makes it a satiating porter. It lacks the coffee-ish roast and stout-like semblance of many new world examples, but it has a deliciously agreeable, toothsome molasses/tootsie-roll-like satisfaction...

And hence Tsarina Esra is a little sweet for my tastes. The prunes-meets-rum cake profile isn't exactly what I look for in the Baltic (or any kind of) Porter style and this makes it a tough one to recommend, especially given the rarity and price on this side of the world. De Molen remains one of the best Dutch breweries I've tried, but they have better offerings than this.

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Photo of chinchill
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

De Molen Tsarina Esra Imperial Porter served in a small snifter.

Completely opaque body is covered by an excellent head.

Aroma: rich, sweet and complex, with a load of dark fruits and other elements I could not untangle.

Flavor: starts too sweet then turns more and more bitter -- way more change in this dimension than usual.

Feel: Creamy smooth; very soft; alcohol is almost completely hidden.

O: extraordinary. My admiration exceeded my considerable enjoyment.

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Photo of Absumaster
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a very dark brown color with a thin beige head that only leaves a small layer on the side of the glass. The carbonation is very low.

The smell is full of chocolate with only a slight roasted edge. There is a hint of smoke and maybe some traces of vanilla and hoppiness.

The taste is a balanced between the dark malts and the alcohol and bitterness. The dark malts offer a dark chocolate and coffee taste, the alcohol is not upfront, but it gives the beer a warming sensation and a big mouthfeel. The bitterness is 93 EBU according to the label, but never mouthpuckering bitter. As said, the beer is very balanced. The high density of the beer gives it a bit of a sticky mouthfeel, but this is very well crafted with only malts.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Updated from a 4 'Had' score. Some age on this one - bottle date is 4-5-12, I also have had this fresh(er) in the past.

A - Dark brown with some clarity and red highlights. A large beige head forms on the pour falling to about a half-finger, great retention, not much lace.

S - Pretty nice and complex. Chocolate brownie, some roast and coffee, dark fruits, molasses, nutty malts; great balance with nothing overpowering anything else. Some slight oxidation shows itself but it adds to the flavor and doesn't really affect it negatively. Very smooth with no alcohol here whatsoever.

T - More dark fruit-forward here with kind of a port/cigar box feel. Nice balance of chocolate and roast (leaning more towards chocolate), caramel, toast, brown sugar, some licorice. Maybe some leafy hop in there.

M - Very, very smooth but not too hefty, maintains somewhat of a 'porter' feel rather than an imperial stout. Great high-ish carbonation, nice foaminess to it. Alcohol very well-hidden.

O - Other De Molen 'big dark' brews I've had have been nice but always somehow fell short of their potential through big sweetness, booziness, minimal carbonation, etc. This one avoids those pitfalls and delivers on all fronts. Definitely enjoyed it after some aging. Complex and incredibly smooth and drinkable, the 330ml solo was a little too easy.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.04/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From notes. Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

The beer itself is nearly black with a tightly wound tan froth that exists mostly as a cap on top of the beer.

The aroma is not that appealing. Dark chocolate, molasses, and some bitter coffee notes provide the nice part of the aroma, but licorice and earthy hops are less interesting, and there is a metallic copper smell that hovers above everything else.

The flavor is slightly better. There are no noticeable metallic notes in the flavor, leaving dark chocolate, roasted malt, smoke molasses to provide a nice front, with licorice and a moderate earthy hop finish. The flavor is a bit strange as well, and it is not something I really enjoyed.

The beer feels fine on my palate. It is full, rich, chewy, and smooth, with a medium carbonation for the style. It is a little bit dry and smoky up front, and the earthy hops, coffee, and licorice, provide a kind of acrid, dry bitterness.

Overall this is not a beer I would really go after trying again.

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Photo of Brabander
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Darn, this is a good beer i got in trade with my beerbuddy Roel who lives in the south of Holland.

Poured this beer in my Struise glass. Very nice big head which stays for quit a while. Good smell. Darkdarkbrown fluid.

Taste is very smooth with the alcohol very well hidden. In the aftersip you get the alcohol.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 ounce bottle, stamp on back label says 05/04/12. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a half inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The brew smells like dark fruit, chocolate, licorice, bittersweet chocolate and coffee. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some milk chocolate and a bit of an earthy/herbal flavor noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit creamy and slick, and has a good amount of carbonation. I think it's a good brew, but also pricey at $8.99 a bottle. With that being said, it's definitely worth trying.

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Photo of peensteen
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Liam, 2009

Deep brown colour, ring of tan head with not much in the way of lace either. Smell is of burnt coffee beans, bitersweet chocolate and darker fruits, just a hint of alcohol, but fairly robust and roasty overall. Taste is of dark chocolate cake, a bit of coffee as well, herbal-black liquorice flavours and mild dark fruit, a bit of booze with a bittersweet finish. Lightly carbonated, fairly full feel. A great porter, nice rich layerd flavour here probably as a result of aging.

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Photo of themind
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an awesome, magnificent porter! I love this thing!!! deep dark color with a big head when poured into a goblet. The aroma is fresh and the taste is amazing. I really liked this beer. The downside is this 11.2 ounce brew was $11.00 bucks! so this is pricey. Would I buy again....yup since this was a gift lol! it's really good, very drinkable.

Bottom Line: Porter lovers grab this puppy and hold on tight!

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Photo of Cozzatoad
3.21/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

330ml bottle, forgot to check dates

A- Near black colour. Huge light brown head, looks really dense and it shows very nice retention

S- In just three words: roasted milk chocolate

T- A hint of roasted malts upfront, then caramel among a very sweet lactic feel that reminds of a milk stout. Maybe some slight dark fruit hints. Not as complex as one could have hoped. Cloyingly sweet finish, with an unpleasant burnt caramel/alcohol feel that leaves a really bad impression on the back of your mouth. I'm also getting some herbal feel on the back of the tongue, but it feels burnt with alcohol as well ad it does not bring enough balance to an overwhelmingly sweet finish

M- Not at all bad upfront, filling the mouth with a soft viscous feel and just the lightest hint of carbonation. As mentioned, really bad on the back of the mouth and in the aftertaste with that unpleasant burnt feel. Plus, alcohol gets too much in the way

O- Appareance and smell were quite promising but the taste was a total letdown. This is an unbalanced beer, no fine brewing work here, and really not worth it's price

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Photo of bobhits
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Big dark black porter with a huge caramel head. Very nice looking beer.

A big roasted malt with hints of hops. Porters are normally not the most aromatic of the darker beers but what is here is nice.

Chocolate balanced by roasted malt and enough hops to balance out the sweetness perfectly. The net result is a nice porter that doesn't bite from hops or the roast. A very smooth and somewhat creamy flavor is the net end result.

This is a very creamy beer though not syrupy like some of the bigger imperial stouts.

Tsarina Esra is a nice porter, but I can't see going back to this one anytime soon. Definitely, one to pick up if you like the style. It is a touch pricey like all De Molen beers are in the US, but if you can get past that try this one!

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Photo of thierrynantes
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from La Cervoiserie, and tasted in 2013.

Appearance : dark brown color, with light tan foam head.
Smell : roasted malty, alcohol and coffe aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : roasted malty, licorice and heavy sweet and bitter with a long long duration.
Drinkability : a nice beer in the style Imperial or Baltic Porter.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Generous extra courtesy of KingKong. 330ml bottle served in a tulip. 05/04/2012 indicated on the back label. Pours two shades shy of black with a 1.5 inch, tight, mocha-colored head. Head eventually disperses into a sudsy, broken froth. Interesting nose - malted milk balls and dark fruit. Taste follows nose; however, there's also a slight metallic character interspersed in the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a slightly creamy texture and a very mild, even carbonation. Overall, a very good Baltic Porter; however, it may be heading a bit down hill as I'm getting some traces of oxidation. I'd love the opportunity to try this on draft at some point.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle. These statically-labeled offerings from this Mikkeller-esque brewery keep on coming hard and fast to we beer lovers here in Albertastan.

This beer pours a very thorough black, with dark reddish brown hued basal highlights, and three fingers of puffy, broadly foamy beige head, which leaves a few instances of roller coaster profile lace around the glass as it slowly abates.

It smells of dry chalky cocoa powder, sour black fruit, soft anise, dark sugar, musty earthy, leafy hops, and a twinge of warming alcohol. The taste is a big shot of semi-sweet baker's chocolate, caramel malt, fruity molasses, a slight milky sourness, mild coffee grounds, more distinctive plump raisins, and a fading earthy mustiness.

The carbonation is quit sedate, and unobtrusive, the body a decent medium-full weight, and rather smooth, with strong creamy leanings. It finishes well off-dry, the chocolate and caramel still most prominent, as the fruit, hops, and alcohol pick and prod away in a slow, barely erosive process.

A rather pleasant porter overall, the chocolate dialed up, the sourness dialed down, and the alcohol somehow off in another dimension, or something. Lots of flavour to go around, and really nothing to keep you from enjoying this like I would imagine the titular Russian empress would.

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Tsarina Esra from Brouwerij De Molen
91 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.