1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Tsarina Esra Imperial Porter - Brouwerij De Molen

Not Rated.
Tsarina Esra Imperial PorterTsarina Esra Imperial Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

145 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 145
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 8.87%
Wants: 34
Gots: 24 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Molen visit their website
Netherlands

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: johnnybravo on 02-11-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 145 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A tremendous beer, bottle number 75. Challenger hops, and saaz for aroma. Sent from Holland, fresh. Left it for about 24 hours, yet it kept foaming over, foam eventually almost disappeared,still tasted carbonated. Jet black.Aroma of cocoa and licorice. First maltiness, then the hop bitterness comes at you and builds up over (several) glasses. 92 IBU, an outstanding effort for its class-I would take this over many great imperial stouts.

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Jan (from De Bierkoning) for hand delivering this Bottle #101. What an amazing porter; aroma was roasted malt with slight Smokey flavors, strong licorice, more alcohol aroma as it warmed. I had plenty of frothy brown head after the initial pour. Taste was outstanding for this porter; full-bodied with plenty of bitter chocolate, coffee, slight tobacco flavor with an oily feel; very drinkable considering how high the alcohol level. Can't wait to get some more of this stuff!

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Lazily pours out an opaque, inky black body. No amount of swirling, shaking, or verbal abuse can raise a bubble of carbonation from its depths.

Smell: Roasted malt aroma with notes of barley, baker's chocolate, and licorice liqueur.

Taste: Richly roasty and certainly sweet. Hint of scorched grains. A taste reminiscient of bitter herbs and wood run loose amongst the other tastes of chocolate, licorice, molasses. A bit of smoke on the long bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body that takes on an oily feel due to the absence of carbonation.

Drinkability: All in all, it really is a fine beer.

Photo of oberon
4.11/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of largadeer
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks, Arne. Opaque viscous black with a thin brown crust. Black licorice aroma is prominent, and there's a faint charred undertone along with a bit of molasses sweetness. Palate is very viscous, and the flavors mirror the aroma pretty closely, with strong black licorice flavors, molasses, earthy bitter hops, brown sugar cookies and a touch of alcohol. Really nice stuff, this brewery continues to impress me.

Photo of biboergosum
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of Kegatron
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tiny 18cl red wax topped bottle into a couple of snifters. Mucho thanks to Stakem for splitting this little guy with me. Bottle # 0046/1344.

Pours black with a mocha colored head. This retains with a thin ring around the edges of the glass, leaving back a light cascade of spotty foam. The aroma smells of coffee, cocoa, and some light herbal hops. The alcohol mixes in a bit of spicy warmth as well.

The taste is a blend of coffee, chocolate, green citrus, and some more of an herbal hop character that emerges as well. Brunt roast fills out the back, sticking to the tongue along with some leftover pine and lingering spicy alcohol. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a moderate amount of sharpness to the carbonation, giving this a firm creaminess across the back of the palate. The high alcohol presence, while not being overly hot, does start to wear on the palate a bit despite the short pour here.

This was a solid Imperial style Baltic Porter that definitely had some strength behind it but the flavors here never did quite get as deep or robust as they felt like they wanted to. The alcohol also got to be a little bit intrusive here as well. This was certainly good but ultimately didn’t leave a huge impression on me.

Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So I get back from watching Looper and discover that my beer is also a time-traveler. Apparently this was brewed on December 3rd 2009, but bottled nearly 11 months earlier on January 14th. Thanks to Jeffo for this one. Served in a wine glass. Bottle #288/1320 - 18cl.

A - Hard pour yields a thin tan foam that settles to a thin ring, a wispy patch, and a few specks of lace. Very dark brown with some transparency at the edges.

S - Lots of dark fruits, dark chocolate, and a touch of licorice. Alcohol is fairly well-restrained, and there's a savory undercurrent of soy and umami. There's a bit of roast and char, but as with most of Menno's beer it's understated.

T - Taste is super smooth with lots of chocolate fudge and light caramel and toasted bread. Dark fruits are there, but on the sweeter side rather than vinous. No alcohol presence here, and a mild anise bitterness in the finish. As it warms I get a bit of Belgian-style candi?

M - Medium-full body, with moderate-to-low carbonation that dies out over the course of the glass. Smooth texture with a very sticky finish. Not much in the way of any alcohol heat.

D - I had a bottle of this when Menno was in town and it wasn't nearly as good as this one. Perhaps some vintages have held up better than others. 18cl is the perfect serving for this sort of beer if your drinking for one. Hopefully the batch released stateside recently will be as enjoyable.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle at a recent tasting.

Bottle number 640 of 823. Bottled 1/11/2007. The beer pours dark brown to black with a very small tan head. The aroma is roasted malt, teriyaki and soy sauce. The flavor is more of the same with roasted malt, teriyaki and some light smoke. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle number 646, November 2007 Bottle Date; Sampled February 2010
The beer pours pretty much visually flat, though it does muster a large bubbled ring of froth around the edges. The beer is a tar black / concentrated brown color that is pretty darn opaque when held up to the light. The nose smells of umami laden rich malt, hints of teraki, savory roasted grain, a touch of peanuts, toasted hazelnuts, toasted whole grain bread crust, espresso accented dark chocolate. The finish sees a bit of alcohol warming that evokes thoughts of Bourbon. Oxidation definitely is playing a rounding role here in the aroma, but it seems to only be contributing in positive ways up to this point. It is really interesting how nutty the aroma is, this mixes quite well with the rich malt and roast grain notes.

My first sip sees me noticing that the beer is sweet, viscous, yet somehow thin due to the lack of carbonation. This also has a touch of weird, almost rubbery, burnt vegetal note to the finish that is a bit distracting in my first sip. Flavors of molasses, dark chocolate, and burnt brown sugar up front are followed by interesting leather notes, touches of tar, a bitterness from both burnt grain and hops. In the far finish there is a touch of chalkiness, but the bitter roast grain husk flavors linger on the tongue without being overly astringent. Some oxidation adds some burnt sherry notes, a background richness and roundness to the malt as well as a subtle nuttiness to the finish that in combination with some of the chocolate flavors makes me think a little bit of nutella (but without the aggressive hazelnut flavor). Despite the light body (much of which is likely due to the lack of carbonation), this is most definitely a sipping brew and somehow it also has a thickness to it

An interesting beer that I could wish had a touch of light carbonation, but really still drinks pretty well without it. I am not sure if this will actually make 25 years, but it has lasted the past two pretty well.

Photo of stakem
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thimble sized pour from this tiny medicine dropper of a bottle that was dipped in red wax. Roughly a 3oz or so pour of this from a ~6oz nip into a 5oz mini snifter. With Kegatron along for the ride, we divulge this mysterious dark liquid. Obligatory bottle numbering system, this one was #46 in line. It appears a dark brown color with a faint hint of brown clarity around the edges. A swirl hardly provokes any lacing effect or bubbles from solution. A few spots and leggings of alcohol are noted on the glass.

The smell of this brew is unexpectedly herbal with hops, grass and sulfur. Some fruity alcohol aspects emerge reminescent of raisin, licorice and some tar-like notes. As it warms up, it gradually gets back in line with roasty elements if dark grain and bitter chocolate scents.

The taste is bitter with a dry roasty grain inclusion that is burnt tasting of char, tobacco and earth. Some raisony alcohol provides a faint sweetness. The tangy inclusion of alcohol mixes with the dry earthy elements to make for an unusual yet enjoyable experience. The more sips are taken, the more the alcohol seems to become integrated in the brew. All across the backend, are Belgian yeast influences mixed with some herbal hoppiness. Licorice last long into the aftertaste.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. Initially it is pretty bold with alcohol that tapers off and becomes more enjoyable. It also has a little bit of awkward flavors as aromas that seemingly burn of as the experience continues. Not a bad brew but also not something I would get terribly excited over getting to try again. The small format of this bottle was quite ample to get a feel for.

Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of chinchill
4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of HopHead84
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/7/2011

Bottle shares by Tim, thanks! 2010 vintage.

A: Black with a small beige head. Foreboding.

S: Dark chocolate with molasses and licorice, and earthy hops in the nose. Light smoke notes waft from the glass and I get lots of green wood. 

T: The flavor doesn't quite live up to aroma. Light chocolate with some plum and grape, almost a sourness in the finish. Roasted grains are apparent. Alcohol is well masked.

M: Full body with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is sticky and chewy.

Overall: Recommended. A good Baltic Porter.

Photo of liamt07
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of wordemupg
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle poured into tulip 28/1/13

A looks like black liquid with a deep cola edge, two fingers of mocha foam fall fairly fast ending up as a thin film that leaves no lace

S molasses and slightly sour dark fruits come out first, bakers chocolate, a little booze, raisins, some licorice and earthy notes

T the roast is darker in the mouth, a little char and smoke work well with the sweetness, slightly nutty and the raisins I could smell have switched to prunes, a little chocolate liqueur with coffee and overall I'm a little surprised how different the flavor is compared to the nose

M not too thick with a little heat, a little sticky on the lips and nice sweet roast aftertaste lingers for a while

O pretty solid example of the style, could use a little age but already quite mellow for a big brew. quite a bit going on and nothing to complain about, something I'd drink again in a heartbeat

I'm happy with this one and might buy one or two to sit on, I doubt I'll age it for the 25 year potential I see printed on the bottle but I'm sure a year or two would do it some good

Photo of jrallen34
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

18cl bottle poured into a tulip, bottle # 1167...Pours a dark brown with a light tan had, rises about two fingers, but gone right away. Spotty lacing...A very strong aroma of alcohol, black licorice, but it sweet, yet I'm not thrilled...The taste pulls this out, super complexity. There is still lots of alcohol, this could use some time before drinking. The taste is very vinous, I would assume this was aged in red wine barrels but I can't find anything to indicate that. A sweet start, red wine, then a bitter coffee finish. A very tannic feel. Enjoyable to drink, but this is a sipper.

Worth trying.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Tsarina Esra Imperial Porter from Brouwerij De Molen
93 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.