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Spanning & Sensatie - Brouwerij De Molen

Not Rated.
Spanning & SensatieSpanning & Sensatie

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

50 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 50
Reviews: 13
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 3
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Molen visit their website
Netherlands

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jeffo on 07-09-2012

Brewed with cacao, chili peppers and sea salt.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 50 | Reviews: 13
Photo of dcmchew
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very dark brown, close to black, small poor tan head, oily.
Rich salted roasted grain, caramel, baking chocolate, faint smoked wood, some raisin, dried fig, faint vanilla and cinnamon, faint veggie (chilli) note. Emphasis on the roasted, smokey malts.
Raw dark chocolate up front, stale dark fruit (dark grape, plum, fig) and roasted mixed grains, really flavorful with that pinch of sea salt. It also nicely contrasts the caramel notes, making up some salted toffee too. Dusty, smokey soft woody notes (tho it's not barrel aged), dark spices, some alcohol in the finish, bit of coffee bean and a spicy warmth, tho chilli peppers weren't the first to come to mind, but rather peppercorn.
Medium body, low carbonation, a nice smooth sipper. Aftertaste has "hot" peppers (finally, a clear veggie note), lots of rich cocoa, sweet lingering raisin and nice roasted malts (coffee hints still).
I'm pretty sure this is somewhat close to 16-17th century cocoa drinks, with raw cocoa beans and lots of spices. Sure, this has alcohol (that's nice and stealthy), but i think that's the flavor profile. Awesome.

Photo of Beaver13
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle, dated 12/11/2012. Pours brown with a small light tan head that goes to a thin film and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is sweet bakers chocolate with a little chili and vanilla with some cardboard and dark fruit.

The flavor is surprisingly subdued. Some sweet chocolate, anise and some fruit with a little chili spice and alcohol in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a velvety feel.

Overall, an interesting chili imperial stout, a bit reserved. My wife bought this a couple of months ago. I wonder if it was bolder fresh.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Reuben's Brew small snifter. A properly cellared year old bottle. Pours pitch black with a thin brown head that dissipates to patches with light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, mocha coffee, slightly spicy. Flavor is dark toasted malt, charred coffee, slight dark fruit, mild smokiness; a nice light chili pepper bite in the finish. Medium bodied. A nicely balanced rich flavored imperial stout with complex flavor and deftly handled pepper finish. Aged well, although it may have thinned out a bit in body. A welcome stout from a brewery only sporadically available in the Northwest.

Photo of avalon07
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was an inch of off white, foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A big aroma of chocolate, malt, and dark fruit.

T: Like the aroma, the taste was very big and aggressive: Chocolate, roasted malt, dark fruit, chili peppers, coffee, and a hint of hops. Quite a complex brew with some disparate elements that seem to work well together.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a silky finish. Full-bodied.

O: Spanning & Sensatie is a well made, flavorful, and powerful beer - basically everything an RIS should be.

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
3.34/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottled 12/11/12. First thing I smelled when I opened the bottle was lots of grape. I'm now noticing a fair amount of dark chocolate, and some smoke and wood. A good amount of nice dark chocolate flavor. Not really getting any heat from the chilis (maybe its faded due to the aging?), but maybe a hint of flavor. Not really noticing the salt either. Fair amount of grape and a little raisin flavor. Very roasty/ashy aftertaste, with a bit of bitterness.

Photo of mrfrancis
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque black with a thick, creamy khaki head that leaves very little lacing as it recedes.

S: Aromas of woodsmoke, spiced pear, dark chocolate, roasted grain, sea salt, black cherry, Medjool dates, caramel, dried blueberry, and chile pepper fill the nose.

T: Notes of woodsmoke, roasted grain, dark chocolate, coffee, chile pepper, sea salt, spiced pear, apple skin, dried blueberries, blackberries, black currants, figs, Medjool dates, and dried black cherries fill the mouth. The finish is smoky, roasty, and intensely fruity with pronounced pepper, sea salt, blueberry, fig, and black cherry flavors.

M: Very full-bodied, dryish for the style, and somewhat silky. Carbonation is firm. Alcohol is pronounced, but mellow.

O: An interesting and immediately appealing experimental stout. The combination of flavors is a bit out of the ordinary for the style, but it works. To me, this is just further proof that Brouwerij de Molen may be the best and most consistent maker of big, flavorful stouts on the planet right now.

Photo of biboergosum
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. 'Voltage & Sensation'. Why to I get the feeling they're running out of good ideas for this particular marketing meme?

This beer pours a solid black, with prominent basal cola highlights, and four fingers of puffy, densely foamy beige head, which leaves some pleasantly spectral webbed lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of thin coffee, black licorice, relatively weak bready caramel malt, saltwater taffy, charred cocoa, an ashy nuttiness, and earthy, weedy hops. The taste is bittersweet chocolate malt, a touch of caramel/toffee candy, simmering chili flakes, fading anise, milky coffee, an independent saltwater acridity, mild fleshy black fruit, herbal hops, and a burgeoning suggestion of metallic alcohol.

The carbonation is generally unobtrusive, the body a sturdy medium weight, yet somewhat wanting in its thinning smoothness. It finishes on the sweet and smoky side - chocolate, anise, coffee, and a murmuring chili heat tempering things a wee bit.

A slightly strange offering at the outset, but in the end, it winds up a just another well-made RIS, with a bit of tingling, due in mostly equal parts to the guest spice and salt ingredients. Worthy of a try, if you lust after such flavours, in the Mexican cocoa ideal, but that has never been my thing, so this will be a one and done, thank you ma'am experience for me.

Photo of biegaman
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Spanning & Sensatie is like looking down into the middle of the ocean at midnight - you won't see anything but blackness and yet staring off into this nothingness can be strangely entrancing. The beer pours with an absolutely huge, mocha-tinted head that is also well worth gazing at.

There's nothing strange about noting espresso, black licorice, and dark fruits in the aroma of a Russian Imperial Stout... except when said RIS is brewed with cocoa and chilli peppers (and sea salt, though I doubt you'd be able to smell much of that, at least you shouldn't be able to).

Of the latter, only the cocoa is appreciable. Lots of dark chocolate comes through in both smell and taste, the intensity of which varies depending on the size of the sip and the temperature of the beer (more is noted as it warms). Even more prominent, however, is the flavour of strongly-brewed coffee. No heat, no salt. Everything is pretty normal and uneventful so far...

I would have anticipated issues involving too much chilli spice. But it turns out that my biggest complaint is the bitter astringency of the espresso/pure cocoa notes. While I found it to become gradually obnoxious, it was easy enough to shake given the beer's heavy sootiness and smoke elements. At more than a year old, this bottle is still holding itself together well.

For me, just the sound of a stout brewed with cocoa, chilli peppers and sea salt is enough to induce cravings, but Spanning & Sensatie ("Voltage & Sensation") surprisingly provides little of either. A nice enough beer, but disappointingly ordinary given the unusual cast of ingredients.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The same mindset that goes into the crafting of gourmet chocolate has found its way into beer! And why not? Brewers have flirted with the integration of cacao, chilis, and salt for generations.

Pouring a murky brown color, nearly black- its nearly evident that the ale employs cocoa powder as its haze makes it almost obvious. Frothy and creamy to start, the beer's coffee-like creme settles on the beer before surrendering to the cocoa oils that pull it apart and leave light early lacing high on the glass.

Smoky chocolate rises to greet the nose along with the supporting roast of French pressed coffee. Transitioning to taste, its the taste of burnt caramel, roasted walnut, and ash that takes the beer from robust sweetness to roasty dryness late. Coffee-type bitterness balances the moderate malt sweetness and provides a sturdiness for cocoa and hops. Herbal in its presence, the chili additions are more of the singed flesh of the fruit and not of capsaicin spice. Any complement of sea salt results in a fuller and more rounded savory taste and doesn't make the beer a salty one.

Full bodied on the tongue, the weight of residual malt sweetness and creaminess weaves all the complex additions together and easily distracts the taste buds from the high alcohol warmth. Finishing roasty, powdery and a little minerally- the beer closes with final impressions of campfire and ash.

Spanning & Sensatie is a full, complete, and highly gratifying taste. I would prefer a bit more sweetness to remain in the beer even if it means pulling back slightly on its dryness for a more savory, dessert-like session.

Photo of MasterSki
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jeffo for the hookup. Served in a taster pint glass.

A - Huge tan foam that leaves behind glass-coating lace. Dark brown body with transparent ruby glints at the edges of the glass.

S - Chiles and cocoa powder dominate, veering more on the chocolate side of things. Dark, roasted grains, and a slightly metallic note.

T - The taste is more typical of an Imperial Stout, with yeasty dark bread, chocolate, caramel, and brown malts as well. Only mild chile, and very little roast as is typical of De Molen's offerings. Finish is bready, and I don't get much of the advertised sea salt.

M - Medium body, a tad light and watery for 9.8%. Well-hidden booze and velvet smoothness to the texture. Very easy to drink for a high-ABV chile beer.

D - A solid and enjoyable offering from De Molen, just lacking in the heat and chile presence for which I was hoping. Would happily drink this again, but I can think of a half-dozen De Molen stouts that I'd prefer.

Photo of rarbring
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The brew is black, a small brown head, little lacing and good curtains.

Smelling of coffee, cocoa and dried dark fruits.

Tasting sweet, brown syrup, toast and black jam, a warm spicy finish.

Little carbonation, soft and sticky, a big body and warm finish.

A very solid dessert.

Photo of Arno
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Dark, but still quite transparant. A small creme/mocca colored head. Fades quickly.

appearance: A bit of sour, roasted malts mixed with caramel & chocolate sweetness.

taste: The first sip was kind of sour, then followed by a lovely cacao & caramel sweetness with a slight bitter licorice / coffee like finish. Also has some peppery to it. It was ok, but then after a few more sips it started to get better and better, developing in a very interesting beer. I had this one after dinner and it's an excellent after dinner drink.

mouthfeel: Medium carbonation and body. It has a nice round feel to it, well balanced.

overall: A very enjoyable beer. It needs some air, or some sips to recognize all that's going on. And from that point forward it's just gets better and better. It's not as sweet as some of the other more alcohol heavy "De Molen" beers. It has nearly no alcohol taste to it. Has a slight sour undertone, which fades over time. Has a nice balance of sweetness and lovely round bitters. Actually one of the better "De Molen" beers i've had so far.

Photo of Jeffo
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A new imperial stout from De Molen. Good thing too, as they've been slacking for a while now when it comes to putting out beers in my favorite style. It's been a least a couple weeks...

From a bottle into a snifter
Bottled 4 June 2012
Brewed with cocoa, chili peppers and sea salt

APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour yields a small, medium looking tan head that quickly fades to a faint wisp and ring. Black body, relatively transparent, with no carbonation evident. A faint ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Roasted malts, cacao for sure, and some caramel malt notes as well. Some smokey aromas with salty licorice. Not much in terms of chili on the nose. Medium strength.

TASTE: Caramel malts and some smoky notes up front. A bit of dark chocolate, cocoa, and some licorice through the middle into the finish. Medium strength but persistent aftertaste of caramel sweetness, salty licorice, chocolate and just a faint touch of chili peppers as well. Nice for them to make an appearance. This is relatively sweet stout with a hint of chili peppers for good measure. More my style.

PALATE: Medium-full body and medium levels of carbonation. Good weight and creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes a bit mouth-coating. No burn, but a hint of chili peppers linger for sure. Well measured.

OVERALL: Another good beer from De Molen. They have been increasingly consistent with their big releases, which makes me all the more spoiled for having them in my back yard. Some other websites have this listed as a vegitable beer, but this is as much a vegitable beer as Hunahpu, Abraxas, or Pliny the Elder. Lots of nice sweet stout flavors with a touch of peppers for added fun. Worth checking out if you get the chance. Recommended.

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Spanning & Sensatie from Brouwerij De Molen
88 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.