1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Bommen & Granaten - Brouwerij De Molen

Not Rated.
Bommen & GranatenBommen & Granaten

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

136 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 136
Reviews: 73
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 15.84%
Wants: 16
Gots: 46 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Molen visit their website
Netherlands

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  15.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
750ml: 53.9 IBU
330ml: 57 IBU

(Beer added by: hoppymeal on 11-12-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 73 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Phyl21ca
1.93/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle: Poured a transparent amber color ale with zero head. Aroma of dry fruits, oxidation and sweet corn notes is quite intense. Taste is also dominated by warm alcohol ester notes with some corn, some oxidized caramel malt notes with intense dry fruit and loads of residual sugar. Body has an oily like texture with zero carbonation and loads of alcohol was apparent. This was bottle in 2010 and is supposedly good for another 25 years! I can’t say I was very impressed with this beer as way too much alcohol and sugar was perceptible. There seems to be a trend of zero carbonation and high-gravity beer with no attenuation and I just don’t get it.

Phyl21ca, Oct 19, 2012
Photo of Happyhopper
2/5  rDev -48.1%

Happyhopper, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of champ103
2.03/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This is an 08 bottle.

A: Pours a murky, almost opaque, but dirty looking rusted brown color. A tiny, thin, bubbly white head forms, and fizzles out in an instant. Looks flat and lifeless.
S: Very sweet malt, plums, figs, moldy wood, hot fusel alcohol. Over barring sweetness and alcohol in the nose.
T: Again, just way over barring. Huge sweetness and residual sugars. Some dried fruits. Apricots, plums. Very vinous as well. Though mostly hot, burning alcohol.
M/D: A sticky, syrupy body that is pretty much flat. Wow, I can not finish this. Just to much. One of the hottest, most alcoholic forward beers I have had.

The bottle is about 3 years old. Though still over barring and unpleasant. Not something I will touch again for a long, long time. If ever.

champ103, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of Brandywine
2.4/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2010 Vintage

Appearance: Murky brown tinged with orange. No head or carbonation to speak of. Big alcohol legs but not as sticky as I'd expect at 15.2 % ABV.

Smell: Brown sugar, caramel, apples, slight smell of booze. Then it all fades quickly.

Taste: A little harshness from the booze, sweet sugary apple flavor but kind of watered down. Some caramel. Very one dimensional.

Mouthfeel: On the light side of full or maybe even medium. Disappointing for a beer of this style especially one that is such high gravity.

Overall: Very disappointed in this beer. Not worth trying especially at the price point. It's a very simple brew but the few notes it does have are not particularly enjoyable and the body comes off thin for what should be a huge barley wine.

Brandywine, May 26, 2013
Photo of jmhart
2.45/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Shared this with Frasier433 during our weekly tasting session. He picked it up at Hop City.

A- Murky mahogany. Zero carbonation. No lacing. I served this to 3 people, 2 pours each. On the very last pour (so pour number 6) I really made it forceful and go just a hint of co2. I'm not looking for a lot, but something. The stillness of this beer really made it seem flat, dull, and unappetizing. Looks like a 40 year port, that oxidized reddish-brown color.

S- The smell was pretty incredible. Obvious nuts and malts. There was a flavor I was trying to define, and I said "Apricots...no, plums...no, apricots AND plums" and then Frasier said "Nah dude, figs". Yes, figs...figs all the way. It smells like a fine aged port. Smells like a 40 year old port.

T- Really sweet, overly sweet, toffee and grape juice, but bitter on the end. A drying flavorless bitter. Actually pretty unpleasant.

M- Medium-full bodied, thick and rolling. Moist.

D- The appearance was acceptable, the smell was incredible, but the taste was just really hard. We had three people drinking a 33 cL bottle, and it was hard for us to finish. Frasier picked up 2 bottles. I said, age the second one for 10 years and let's come back to it, see if the sugars mellow out.

Overall, the smell was really incredible, but the taste was just down right unpalatable.

jmhart, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of mmurphy525
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

mmurphy525, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of safaricook
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

safaricook, Aug 25, 2012
Photo of dangeru
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

dangeru, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of Brent
2.65/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Interesting bottle - very artisanal label with a thin, rather oily, red wax coating over the metal cap. Pour was dark chestnut with little head. Very low level of carbonation, bordering on flat. Heavy dose of brown sugar with prune and dried fruit in the background. ETOH was prominent and biting, stabbing through the sweetness with a jagged edge. Finish was overly-sweet and cloying. Unfortunately, I'm just not digging this beer.

Brent, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of RochefortChris
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%

RochefortChris, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of pixieskid
2.85/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've now tasted 2 separate vintages of this beer; one with about 2 years on it and one with just a few months. Both have been equally disappointing in different ways.

The older bottle wasn't carbonated, at all. Had excellent flavor profile though and the abv was well hidden. If it had been carbonated, I would have certainly rated it higher.

The fresh bottle, well, first of all, I can't stand the Sladek hops that De Molen uses. Herbal, vegetal, putrid smelling hops. While this bottle was carbonated, it was overly sweet/sugary, and had no body.

De Molen rocks when it comes to their wide range of Imperial Stouts, but otherwise, their successes are few and far between imo.

pixieskid, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazed but bright orange-red, almost brown, with absolutely no head whatsoever. It doesn't even fizz as I uncap it. It looks still and heavy and dormant in the glass. Looks very heavy, however; full and thick in the body, with some very small suspended sediment flecks that somehow escaped my ostensibly careful pour. Very interesting, at least.

Nose is big, portly and boozy. Big, rich and sweet, slightly spiritous aromas, that don't particularly rip at my nostrils with their intensity, but which certainly suggest big flavours to come. Lots of brown sugar syrup, dusted coconut ice, and sweet pastry. It's all very round and rich.

Taste is extremely sweet, almost to the extremities of decency. Huge sugary sweetness of roasted toffee, strawberry tart, and straight down the line candy. There's nothing else to it, except the mild acidity through the centre which just evokes different types of lightly fruity and massively heavy sweetness. Feel is smooth and thick as anything.

No, this is too much, as far as I'm concerned. This is a beer that has gone way too far one way and has become unbalanced and difficult to drink. Maybe you're not meant to drink it - maybe you're meant to pour it over ice cream as some sort of sickly delicious sugar syrup, but as a beer, even to sip, it's beyond redemption.

lacqueredmouse, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Strong, syrupy aroma is rather sweet, not really like beer at all, with notes of molasses and honey. It pours a clear, dark cola brown with a skimpy head that doesn’t hang around long. Flavor is quite sweet, more like wine than beer - and watch out for that alcohol bite! Well, look at the ABV and then wonder why it bites like an angry pit bull. Texture is rather like a hard liquor, mainly raw alcohol bite with some sweet and fruity and molasses hints. I prefer a beer that smells, tastes and feels like beer. However, different strokes for different folks.

Cyberkedi, Jun 17, 2012
Photo of Jeffo
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this one a few times but have never bothered to review it. With the recent release of a Bordeaux BA version, it seemed like the time for a 15% night.

From a bottle into a snifter
Bottled 21 August 2012
32 Plato
IBU 57

APPEARANCE: A thick and viscous pour produces a small, tighter, bubbly, off-white head with decent retention. Head cascades really slowly, which is mesmorizing. Fades quickly to a sandy wisp and bubbles around the glass. Perfectly clear burnt orange with almost no carbonation evident. A bubbly ring sticks around but looks almost flat by the end. Pretty nice looking for the style, though the head needs a bit more staying power.

SMELL: Bold and boozy nose. Caramel, toffee, some red fruits, raisins and spicy alcohol. Candi sugar and berries as well. This is going to be big, sweet and boozy.

TASTE: Lots of sweetness up front. Toffee, red fruits, berries, and some apple sweetness into a boozy and spicy, alcohol laced finish. Booze, pepper, herbs and spices and a good dose of grainy sweetness as well. Bold and lingering aftertaste, but surprisingly not hot. Flavorful and very herbal and earthy. Maybe a touch peaty, with some lingering bitterness trying to compete. This is a challenge and perhaps too much so.

PALATE: Fuller body with lower levels of carbonation. Heavy and oily, but not overly creamy, goes down fine and finishes slick and sticky. A bit of a burn at the swallow with lingering heat on the palate. A little watery as it sits perhaps. Pretty good for such a monster.

OVERALL: This is big. Very big. Maybe too big. Very sweet and lots of grainy flavors. Every time I have this I'm reminded that it's just not really my thing. The cascade dry hopped version was excellent, as the hop flavor overtook the sweet, grainy flavor that can be so dominating here. Let's see how the Bordeaux version is.

Jeffo, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of Holland
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to Chrisfarleywine for this beer.

A: mostly clear deep brown color with some red and orange tint to it. Head is minimal, but exists for a little while, and the lacing has the smallest bubbles I have ever seen, but still sticks to the sides of the glass.

S: huge aroma of malt, caramel, and dates and raisins. It's about as good as a non-barrel aged barleywine gets for smell.

T: hefty taste of sweet malt, very slight hop bitterness, and a huge back end of mild fruit from raisin to apricot. It is very sweet, though.

M: thick and without much carbonation at all. There is foam sticking to the sides of the glass, but I cannot more than the slightest bit of carbonation.

O: This is so sweet I can't handle it. It's as thick as eggnog, too. Some carbonation in this would bring it back to life, but there is none. Too bad these small pieces bring down an otherwise excellent beer.

Holland, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of Etan
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

330ml bottle into a tulip. Bottled in August, 2010 (#393/2304).

A: Murky reddish brown with a small head of coarse off-white bubbles. Pretty ugly.

S: Sweet and slightly oxidized. Grapes and raisins, fig, brown sugar, a bit of a solvent note from the alcohol.

T: Not quite as sweet as the aroma, with some savory roasted grain qualities to it to offer a bit of balance. Mushed raisins, prunes, burnt sugar. Warming.

M: Thick and syrupy. Flat.

O: I don't see this beer going anywhere good. Meh.

Etan, Oct 22, 2012
Photo of Lee45102
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Lee45102, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of laituegonflable
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deeply burnished amber colour. Head is very disappointing, can hardly even call it a 'film' - more a ring, of small bubbles. Lace also non-existent. Body is very cloudy, which is the only indicator this is a beer made with, like, ingredients. Looks like it was just too heavy to handle.

Smell is quite funkadelic. Massive weirdness coming off that with a huge rubbery aroma, like massive. Corporeal edge to it as well, like sweaty socks. Lots of spice as well though - tobacco and nutmeg and even sumac. Yeah, chilli as well, plus cinnamon. Fascinating and complex, points for that. But you know, weird, as well.

Taste is very sweet and heavy. Lots of caramel and vanilla malt flavours on the front and the flavour continues onto the finish. Large tart flavour comes through midway, a hint of rubber on it but largely fruity with concentrated berry notes, some cumquat and brandy booziness on the back. A hint of cinnamon and more sumac definitely on the finish, works well with that booziness to create a rich, full palate. Fruity and heavy, really. An interesting drop, but I'd reach for other beers before this one. I feel like I could get most of the same flavours from a liqueur.

Extremely syrupy mouthfeel, with the kiss of alcohol-related death on the back. Could definitely use more texture as it just seems thick and soupy. Carbonation would help here as well.

Yeah, a very heavy drop, but it is quite pleasant for the most part. A good sipper - could see it being served as an after-dinner beer.

laituegonflable, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of kojevergas
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11.2 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. "Enjoy within 25 years" - pretentious bastards. Recommended serving temperature 15 C. Expectations are above average, yet I fear it will be over-hopped like many English Barleywines. Brewed and bottled August 24th, 2011.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm considerably over the course of consumption. Side-poured with extra vigor as carbonation issues are absolutely anticipated (I've had some bad De Molen experiences in the past).

A: As predicted, it pours absolutely no head whatsoever - even with a vigorous as hell pour. A beige white floater is present about the edges, adding little in the way of appearance. That's what you get when De Molen tackles a 15.20% beer. Colour is a dark rusty caramel-copper. Nontransparent. Non-opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Wonderful malts - among them biscuit and seemingly well-balanced dark and bright malts. Wonderful caramelization, evoking the wort-like aroma of an ongoing brew. Some booze comes through, but quite little for the ABV. Shockingly, the hops seem complementary to the style and flavour profile, not intruding upon it like so many bad beers in the style. A moderate strength aroma. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Has De Molen actually pulled off a good English Barleywine?

T: Quite sugary. Yes, sugar, sugar, more sugar, and a hint of molasses - all over a heavy dose of caramelization. Quite sweet; I assume this is to drown out the ABV - which it does most admirably. It resembles port, but lacks sufficient depth of fruit character to make the resemblance favorable. I do like the fig, but it's in dire need of more. Plums or raisins would do nicely to complement the flavours here, but sadly are not present. In any case, it's a sugar bomb. Hops are vague and indistinct, but stay on the fringe, never entering the body enough to add any real flavour - not that they could with all the sugary malt bomb action. It's damned overwhelming. No yeast comes through, nor does any alcohol - which is a damn fine accomplishment at 15.20%.

It's just a shame there's so little flavour here. No depth, complexity, or subtlety at all. It feels like a homebrew experiment in concealing alcohol. Sure, the yeast ate all the malt, but where do we go from here?

I will say that the alcohol yields a warming sensation in the stomach. I consider this a plus. Moreover, the one note that does stick out is a hint of toffee, which is relatively easy to find and comes in spades on the climax. It lacks dimension, but it's there.

I like it in a general sense, but it's far from great. I'm just glad it's not overhopped.

Mf: Thick as hell from the sugar bomb, resembling the milk leftover in a cereal bowl after an infant gets done with his chocolatey sugar bombs. Understandable, but far from ideal. It's smooth and wet. Syrupy. Undercarbonated - a seeming De Molen common trait. Doesn't feel tailored to the flavour profile, but sure it suits it in a general sense. The mouthfeel does what it can to ensure this 15.20% brew slides down easily enough, and I respect that.

Dr: It's drinkable as all hell for the ABV, but where is the craftsmanship? I could easily get pissed on this brew; in fact I'd go so far as to say it's dangerous. But there's so little on the table here. I wouldn't even want to buy it just to age it; what is there here that would mature over time? It's a fair offering from De Molen, but it's held back considerably by its simplicity. I'm glad they avoided the usual pitfalls of the style, but this is far from a great example of the style. Decently priced for what it is. I've given it a high rating in this category because it truly is a masterclass in hiding ABV.

B-*

*I originally gave this one a C+, but it gets considerably better as it warms, letting the fig notes come out. I adjusted my score to a B-.

kojevergas, Jul 08, 2012
Photo of beachbum1975
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Todeon (on RB) for sending me this one as an extra...

Corked and caged, bottled #295 of 558. Brewed Sept 16, 2008 and bottled on October 16th, 2008.

Pours a semi-cloudy, true brown. I'd like to describe more about the color, but all I get is brown in my head. Absolutely ZERO head though...

Smells of insanely sweet, concentrated and complex malts... Alcohol, caramel, sweet fruits (Strawberry?) and decadent sweetness abounds.

Flat, moderately heavy bodied with light carbonation on the mouth. Much like the nose with added heat from the alcohol.

This is a HUGE beer, but no my cup of tea. I don't know how someone could drink and entire bottle of this. It's thick, chewy and sweet leading to much drinkability factor being low.

Wow...

beachbum1975, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of PapaEugene
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A big bottle which was a joint purchase of me and rvdoorn. I was really looking forward to this Dutch brew since I heard many good things about it.

A: Great hazy orange color with just 3 tiny bubbles on the surface.... meaning no head whatsoever.

S: A huge grainy smell in the foreground, honey, syrup, orange peel and alcohols.

T: Mega sweet and I guess that's why you don't notice the 15% ABV. Grains, honey, syrup and dark fruits. There is also some hidden note of paper.

M: This beer is dead for carbonation, nothing, nada, niente etc etc... it has a medium body and a very thick, glycerol like, mouthfeel.

D: If there wouldn't be the grains, this could be mistaken for an Italian desert wine like malvasia. With some carbonation and some aging to reduce the sugar content this might have been a great barley wine. I'm waiting until I hear about a batch with carbonation then I will surely try and review it again.

PapaEugene, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of RuudJH
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

De Molen's Bombs 'n Grenades (funny dutch comic reference), over 15% abv. Nugget hop.
I'm slightly worried.
Brewed 19 januari 2011.
Bottled 11 march 2011.
So it's a pretty fresh sample.

Red brown, with a thin head. Hardly any carbonation.
Smell is boozy, with quite a heavy scent of earthy hops. some floral and herbal.
Taste is more sweet than expected, but the alcohol dominates this brew nevertheless. It is combined with the heavy bitterness and malt sweet. It's wild and unbalanced.

Aftertaste is of alcohol and bitter hops.
Overall, I think this is far too boozy.

RuudJH, May 14, 2011
Photo of levifunk
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into snifter. batch 8? bottle 623.

a - pour is reddish brown. no head at all.

s - dark fruit, caramel sweetness. some yeasty notes. not much of any booze which is surprising.

t - fig and brown sugar. somewhat weak. can taste some faint hops and fruitiness.

m - thin palate and no carbonation.

overall - kind of a let down. I've got another bottle, and given that it says it can age 25 years, maybe i'll give that a go. it is very drinkable, especially given the abv.

levifunk, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of rarbring
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A clear red and brown, dark copper, colored beer, a small off-white head with no lacing, and good curtains.

Smelling of brown sugar, bread and bitter oranges.

The taste is ever so sweet, syrup and caramel, brown sugar, apple juice and bitter orange peel.

Little carbonation, soft and oily, almost sticky, a soft warm finish.

A sweet and sticky dessert.

rarbring, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of AgentMunky
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a brandy snifter. Brewed on 15 April 2010. Bottled on 19 August 2010. Batch of 2304 bottles. Bottle 2221.

A: Lots of sediment. NO head. Russet. Translucent.

S: Grapes and molasses. Deep, strong, and sweet.

T/M: Incredibly smooth, round, and sticky. It doesn't taste like 15.2%. No carbonation, but loads of sugars. Rich, brandy-like fruit. One dimensional, but pleasant.

O: Overpowering and oversweet, but a pretty good English barleywine. Wouldn't have again, but might recommend.

Notes
OG: 1150
FG: 1041
EBC Colour: 24.3
ABV: 15.2%
Bittering hops: Nugget
Final hops: Chez Saaz
EBU: 53.9

AgentMunky, May 16, 2012
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Bommen & Granaten from Brouwerij De Molen
86 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.