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De Molen / Närke Goths & Vandals - Brouwerij De Molen

Not Rated.
De Molen / Närke Goths & VandalsDe Molen / Närke Goths & Vandals

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

90 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 90
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 8
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Molen visit their website
Netherlands

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  11.10% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 04-19-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Collaboration with Narke, belgian strong ale aged in bourbon barrels
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 90 | Reviews: 17
Reviews by Jeffo:
Photo of Jeffo
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewer calls this a strong dark ale on the label, so reviewing it as such. Got it from the De Molen beer shop in Bodegraven.

From a bottle into a snifter
Bottled 28 Feb 2013

APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour yields a one finger, medium looking, light brown head with decent retention. Brown body, clear, with higher levels of carbonation. A ring and splotchy wisp remains with some falling dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Dark fruits, raisins and dates, light milk chocolate, vanilla, coconut, and some woody bourbon barrels. Brown sugar as well. Nice and enticing.

TASTE: Dark fruit sweetness up front with bourbon, oak, some vanilla and coconut, with alcohol through the middle into the swallow. Bold and boozy aftertaste of bourbon, oak, dark fruit sweetness, spicy notes and some hints of bitter chocolate and leather lingers on the palate. Pretty flavorful and enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough, smooth going down and scratches a bit at the swallow. Finishes rather sticky and some heat lingers.

OVERALL: Really, really good, though a bit too hot and boozy at this point. This review is actually made from notes about a half year ago and now, quite a while later, the bottles have really mellowed and my score would probably be a touch higher. This will probably do very well over the next few years. Recommended if you get the chance.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The line between Belgian darker, strong ale and that of Barleywine has just been fused. The combined efforts of De Molen and Narke gives us a sweeter, richer and chewy beer but with the brandy tones of fruit and spice that suggest lightened vinous tones. There might be multiple personalities living inside this complicated and complex ale.

Taken back at the ale's lacking and lumbering head formation, the ale seems to simmer lightly in the snifter with a dainty skirt of foam that amounts well after the ale pours. Underneath, the darker-than-usual tawny and rusty-brown ale carries a deeper tone than is usual for either style. Even a strong swirl does little to regenerate any head character while the ale prefers to coat the glass with clinging legs.

Its deep and deviant aromas of molasses, toffee, brown sugar and root beer kick things off, but its undertow of brandy and port offer up a decadent wine note. Dark fruits of figs, dates, raisins, plumbs and prunes all signify a savory sherry scent while a skim peppery balance pangs away at the nose with peppercorn, wood spice, and rum.

Its savory sweetness leads the taste with flavors of hard candy, black-strap molasses, maple and brown sugar. As the taste turns toward wine, glimpses of port and sherry open up for a savory fruity middle, full of cherry, grape, plumb, blackberry, currant, fig and date for a medley that's early and sweet throughout. Even as the ale attempts to finish, it does so on the heels of vinous spice, peppercorn, tangy balsamic, soysauce and brandy-type warmth.

Its bold and chewy texture labors on the palate and relegates the ale to a slow and steady sipper- much like after dinner port or sherry. Its exhorbant sweetness is felt largely due to its hardly existent carbonation that does little to give the beer a lift, but also allows the ale to saturate the taste buds with its full brunt of sweetness. Lingering indefinitely, the taste of fortified wine and molasses tread onward into the next sip.

Probably more of an English Barleywine than a Belgian dark ale, the beer shows a plethora of intangible taste, those that are hard to achieve. But its balance struggles to come around as does its ability to offer any supporting body or dryness. I love the ale... but I also see its potential.

Photo of Treyliff
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into an oversized wine glass, looks to be well over a year old at this point

A- pours a dark opaque brown color with a very thin fizzy off-white head that disappears almost immediately, leaving nothing behind

S- the aroma closely mimics that of an english barleywine; lots of dark molasses, toffee, fig, raisin & dates. Underlying aromas of spicy rum, there are even some port-like vinous aromas. Hints of cola and acetone close it out

T- sweet and malty up front with notes of black strap molasses, melted caramel/toffee, brown sugar & prune. Notes of licorice candy kick in mid-palate, followed by notes of port and spicy wood. Some rum-like spice on the finish with some black cherry and currant sweetness

M- medium-heavy body with moderate-low mouthfeel leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel that turns into a sticky finish with a slight alcohol warmth

O- this definitely falls more on the English barleywine side, rather than a Belgian dark ale in flavor. There are definitely barrel notes, but more so of port and rum, rather than bourbon. Overall, very enjoyable

Photo of cbutova
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to my good friend ROBD for gifting me a bottle of this. Always wanted to try more De Molen, perhaps this will inspire me to do so.

A- Upon opening the bottle, only a small his exits the pried cap hinting at a lowly carbonated brew. Poured into a snifter with a dark-brown, pretty much black body. At first it looked like no head would form but a small coating of foam slowly builds on the beer and recedes quickly to the edges as a small ring. Lace starts out spotty at the top and ends quickly.

S- Didn't know this was Bourbon aged, upon some research it seems that it most certainly is. It has the barrel feel I remember in Bois/Black Tuesday, perhaps aged for a longer period? A ton comes to mind and here it is in rough order, Belgian dark fruits and spices, molasses, caramel, figs, raisins, oak vanilla sweets, apples, toast grains and slight alcohol. Some nice, smooth aged whiskey opens more with warming.

T- It seems like with this beer each sip reveals another new flavor. The overriding things I get throughout are notes of Belgian yeast and the barrels. Fruits like figs, raisins, grapes, apples and plum come to mind and seem to anchor the beer overall. Barrel flavors of vanilla, medium toast oak and subdued whiskey bounce of those. With time a dark cocoa powder feel opens up from the roast grains. Hints of caramel, molasses, toasted grains, rustic wheat bread, rye spice and aged rum.

MF- Thick and oily body that reminds me of an Old Ale or once again Bois by The Bruey, just coats the palate with oily beer. Carbonation is at a low level but not something you have to search for and works with the rich, complex flavor profile. The alcohol warming also helps with the lack of carbonation.

A lot of complexity and a true sipper. The leading fruity character (for me) is just a tiny bit much as grapes and figs just keep coming back to mind and push out the other amazing flavors at times. Still, would I have this again? Of course. I am glad I drank this bottle alone because the flavors just seem to radiate especially as it warms.

Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev -1%

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was almost no head or lacing to speak of.

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

T: Tasted of Belgian yeast, dark fruit (plums), some chocolate, malt, and a sugary sweet ingredient as well. A little boozy, but it's negligible. A complex and robust (but not overly so) flavor. Nicely subtle.

M: A below average amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Goths & Vandals is a solidly made, well done beer. Its high ABV% is never an issue and it's very easy to like.

Photo of kojevergas
3.24/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Saw Narke's name on the front and had to pick this up.

BOTTLE: 11.2 fl oz. Brown glass. Generally appealing label art. Branded black pry-off pressure cap. Imported by the Shelton Bastards.

Reviewed live as a bourbon barrel aged ale per the label - though this is a Strong Dark Ale per the Shelton Bastards' website. Served cold into a tulip at high altitude in Castle Rock, CO. Expectations are sky high; Narke brewed the best beer I've ever had and I admire De Molen's barrel aging. Allowed to warm over the course of consumption. 10% ABV. Brewed & Bottled at De Molen.

No bubble show forms as it's poured. Yeast was left in the glass.

HEAD: Half finger wide. Khaki-white colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Retention is poor - maybe 30 seconds at best. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Opaque dark brown-black. No hop sediment is visible, but there're yeasty chunks in the glass.

Overall, it looks good for a bourbon barrel ale, but I do wish the head was better (and longer lasting).

AROMA: The aroma suggests a chewy ale redolent of licorice and bourbon, with thick viscous treacle and heavy sugars. The bourbon is actually quite timid, but offers notes of vanilla and oak. It's heavy on dark malts.

I have to say, I'm a bit let down by the bourbon aromatics; hopefully the taste brings more intricate notes of coconut, toasted malt, toasted oak, barrel char, or something that sets off the bourbon more.

And the base seems more like a barleywine than anything else.

Overall, it's a pleasant albeit warm aroma of mild strength.

No yeast character or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE/TEXTURE: Rich and dessert-like, with a heavy barleywine-esque malty sweetness from dark malts, treacle, barrel sugars, and chocolate malt. The feel is chewy as hell, with a ludicrously full body and a heavy bulky presence on the palate...yet it's oddly thin, giving it an annoyingly weak feel. It's smooth and wet, but lacks the silkiness and softness that would elevate the beer beyond its mere taste.

The bourbon is the best aspect of the beer but still disappoints; there's a glimmer of vanilla and a hint of generic soulless oak, but no rich toastiness, coconut, evocative white oak, interesting barrel sugars, etc.

The base has its nuances, including licorice/anise, molasses, maple syrup, treacle, and brandy, with dessert-like hints of port and sherry wine. I can't help but think that more notes will emerge as it comes to temperature; there seems to be a lot of subtle character hiding under the surface of this one.

That said, the depth of flavour is below average - which I find shocking given the breweries behind this. Flavour duration and intensity are average.

It's aptly carbonated, and has no egregious texture problems (e.g. oiliness, astringency, et al).

Overall, I find it very underwhelming. It's a shell of a better beer, and just lacks evocative flavours. The shallowness of its constituent notes really undoes it.

OVERALL: Given the pedigree of both De Molen and Narke, I have to say I hoped for better. This is an interesting barleywine-esque build with some bourbon thrown in, but never quite finds it legs. It can't wrangle its complexity or subtlety into a cohesive gestalt focused flavour profile, and comes off somewhat chaotic as a result. The alcohol warmth is fine, but I wish it wasn't so thin. The bourbon barrel character is wanting, and I find myself questioning just how long the base was aged in barrels for - a few months, at best?

As it warms, some indistinct fruit emerges - too muted to evoke much at all. Raisin and a bit of fig, I guess?

High C+

Photo of freneticamnesic
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%

A - pours deep dark brown, thin brown head, dissipates quickly

S - raisins, dark fruit, alcohol, dark bread

M - only medium thick, little carbonation

T - coffee, raisins, black currant, brown sugar, alcohol notes, oak

O - overall a bit sour, but very nicely balanced. Also a bit light for a RIS, but typical for Dutch variants. The bourbon barrel aging adds a very nice flavour

Photo of Chico1985
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

330ml poured to a Fantome tulip on a gloomy - gothic? - Friday night.

Appearance - Filled nearly to the top and barely any 'psst' when opened, per usual from De Molen. Beer is dark brown with some murkiness, bits of light are able to shine through. A finger or so of beige head retains decently as a patchy cap for most of the duration, eventually forming a thick ring by the end.

Smell - Very flavorful bourbon stands out, tons of vanilla, caramel, raisin and spice. Belgian yeasts, toasted oak, bread, molasses, alcohol. Sweet and boozy, but pretty awesome and complex, intensity decreases after some time but quite good.

Taste - Toned down but also smoothed out. Big raisiny dark fruit presence takes over a bit more, bourbon is tamer than in the scent but still a good amount of it. Nice sweet malts of vanilla, caramel, molasses, some chocolate. Biscuit, fruity yeasts and spice.

Mouthfeel - A touch on the thin side with low-but-there carbonation. Definite warming alcohol but doesn't detract. Good, works with all the sweet flavors, but some more oomph here would be nice.

Overall - Sippin' nightcap dessert beer that is probably best split, but a pleasure solo as well. Complex bourbon flavors ontop of a BSDA is a great combo I'd like to see more often.

Photo of stakem
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Im guessing this has been brewed more than once. My bottle was dated Feb 28, 2013 and had an abv of 10.6% not the listed 11.1

12oz bottle poured into a matching De Molen taster tulip. The brew appears black in color with a rich mocha head that displays awesome powers of retention. A thick cream cap lasts for quite the duration considering its abv level. As it fades, patches of lace stick to the glass.

The smell contains notes of dark fruity sugar like raison and a tangy bourbon component before the onset of the malt imparting acents of chocolate, roast, caramel and some vanilla from the barrel aging.

The taste is boozy with bourbon upfront then malty with roasted grain and chocolate/earth flavors. In the middle and towards the finish you can pick up notes of raison, molasses, earth and herbal hops. Lots of character to take in here, nicely done.

This is a medium to full bodied brew. It is rich and modestly carbonated. The alcohol content is tame except for the occasional bourbon feel that pops out. This beer flirts between the lines of an imperial stout and belgian strong dark ale and it reallybis difficult to draw a line one way or the other. I liked this beer quite a lot but dont forsee myself ever having it again unless the price gets reduced dramatically.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

330ml brown bottle purchased from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA.

Pours a definite brown colour, with a head that only forms with some persuasion. When it forms it's a fine but impersistent ring of yellowish-beige, but that's not unexpected from a beer of its strength. It ends up sitting still, dormant and oily in the glass, but pretty good overall.

Nose is deep and strong, with a pronounced oak character conflicted with a noticeable mineral note that leaves it pinging with metallic, almost salty overtones. There's a dusty, peppery tone to it as well, that's really quite pleasant. It does feel likely it's going to be very dry, but for some reason, even before I've tasted it, I know it won't be. That's an interesting conundrum.

Taste is, indeed, much richer and sweeter than the dryness on the nose anticipated. There's a chewy chocolate and plum-pudding sweetness here that gives depth and breadth to the body. Oak is also present, but it just provides an unassuming cap over the richness inherent in the beer itself. Slight booziness is noticeable towards the back—but the fact that this is 10% ABV, and I only notice a "slight" booziness is quality in itself. Finish has a moderated touch of cherry kirsch.

Feel is thick and oily, and very, very slick. It's good stuff.

Overall, yes indeed: this is a very fine beer, and possibly one of the best I've had from De Molen. There's aromatics that you may not get in another beer of this strength, but the aging and conditioning on it helps it maintain that silky richness. I liked it a whole damn lot.

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle 11,0% Abv.
Served chilled in a snifter.
Bottled: 28 Feb 2013.

Appearance: The bottle lists this as a rye imperial stout, however the appearance seems to contradict this somewhat, with the beer appearing a medium brown in the glass and a backlight showing a fairly deep red colour bordered by a stick slice of amber. A rough pour yields a small light tan coloured head that lasts fairly well for a BA beer but doesn't leave any lacing. Swirling the beer yields light alcohol legs on the glass.

Smell: The nose offers far more barrel character than I was expecting, but given the quality I am not complaining. Initially the nose is reminiscent of a barrel-aged barley wine, with wonderful creamy vanilla and toasted coconut combining with caramel, brown sugar and a touch of milk chocolate. As the beer warms the nose becomes a lot fruitier with notes of raisins, dates and even a touch of fig becoming apparent. Surprisingly ,given the strength of the barrel character, alcohol only becomes apparent in trace amounts as the beer hits room temperature.

Taste: The flavour is even sweeter than the nose suggested and actually strays dangerously close to being too much after while. That said, it is still pretty damned delicious. Notes include: Brown sugar, caramel, some milk chocolate, sweet vanilla, a little coconut, dates, raisins, a touch of rye and a hint of alcohol. There is no trace of any roasted malt or bitterness that I have come to expect from De Molen's stout which reaffirms my view that stylistically this is much close to a Belgian strong ale or an old ale.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium-full and quite sticky, while the carbonation is of a lower medium level and fantastically smooth.

Overall: Goths & Vandals is another fantastic barrel-aged beer from De Molen and one that I will be very interested to try with a few more years on it.

Photo of MasterSki
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Etre Gourmet. Served in a Firestone Walker tulip at Chris' place.

A - A very thin tan foam settles to an even thinner collar and a few specks of lace. Very dark brown body.

S - Lots of bourbon; extremely reminiscent of De Molen's other recent Buffalo Trace offerings, so I'm guessing that was at least one of the barrels used. It's a tad harsh and solventy, with loads of spirit and only mild oak. Malt bill supplies spicy rye malt, biscuit, chocolate, nuts, etc. - the quintessential De Molen brown malt backdrop with very little roast.

T - Spicy rye malt shows up more in the flavor, with perhaps a bit of roast creeping in. Less whiskey here, with more dark bread, dark fruits, dark chocolate, biscuit, and accompanying bourbon and oak. Not as barrel heavy, but that's a good thing as the aroma was a tad rough.

M - Some definite warming alcohol. Silky, medium-full body with fairly low carbonation. Not still, as some De Molen's are, but definitely on the verge of it.

D - The aroma is a tad rough, but otherwise this is pretty good. Seems a bit boozier than the listed 10.6%, but it's pretty tasty on the whole. I anticipate this will be quite excellent in 6-9 months.

Photo of jaasen64
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip. Imported from Belgium by the Shelton Brothers.

A- One of the highest bottle fills I've seen, literally just about touching the cap. Cap comes off without much of a hiss. Pours a dark brown that appears an opaque brownish black in the glass, head is almost non-existent but appears to have decent carbonation.

S- Heavy bourbon creating a bit of a boozy profile, raisins, slight molasses, oak, plums and other dark fruits. Nice base beer with some decent complexity and nice aromas but barrel comes off a bit too strong.

T- Raisins, plums, light syrupy molasses, toffee, balanced barrel, finishes with oak, toffee, and some more dark fruits. Nice complexity, barrel complements the base beer, decent overall balance with just a touch of booze.

M- Slightly under-carbonated, slick mouthfeel with a medium body- slightly lighter then you'd expect a beer like this to have, fairly drinkable with only a slight alcohol burn. Could benefit with a little bit more carbonation.

O- This was a nice beer that was definitely worth trying however there were some minor tweaks that could have made this a lot better. The carbonation level could have been a little bit higher and the body could have been a little bit fuller and creamier. While I definitely enjoyed being able to try this beer I don't think I'd spend $11 on another bottle, although it might be interesting to cellar.

Photo of shleepy
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from small bottle into Cantillon glass.

Dark brown. No head - very flat.

Liquorice, dark fruit, caramel malt notes on the nose.

Taste is fairly sweet, liquoricy. Lots of vanilla/oak, as well. Finish has a distinct coffee note that I like.

Mouthfeel is smooth and syrupy. "Sticky" finish (i.e., sugar left over in mouth / on lips).

Body feels lighter, perhaps, than expected for such a dark, strong beer; but it's still fairly heavy, overall.

An enjoyable dessert beer.

Photo of Reagan1984
3.57/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is very thin and light for an Imperial Stout. Little foam around the edges and no head to speak of. The color is a brown with mahogany tones and is somewhat translucent. A touch of foam remains but no lace whatsoever.
Aroma is somewhat sharp with a finish of sharp oak and even some sherry notes. Really reminds me of sherry…….
Hmm, drinks like a sherry as well. Oaky, raw slightly vinous. In wine they speak of Old World & New World wines. This is clearly an Old World (European) style beer. As it warms a touch of chocolate and black cherry. I will say this, there is a lot going on here.
Body is clearly thin for what I know as an Imperial Stout, but that takes me back to the Old World comment…..
Interesting beer and one that I am delighted to have been able to try. If your looking for a classic North American Imp Stout, this is not your beer. If you are looking for an interesting, somewhat avant-garde little treat… try to find this.

Photo of ksimons
4.36/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-dark mahogany in color with light ruby highlights. Very minimal amount of khaki head that disappears quickly.

S-dark fruits, heavy bourbon smell, vanilla, light molasses, malt body

T-similar to the smell, malt background with dark fruits, vanilla, spicy rye. As the beer warms more chocolate notes appear. Bourbon also becomes smoother.

F-medium to full body, light to moderate carbonation

Delicious aroma and at first a sort of harsh taste but as the beer warms the flavors all mellow and you are left with a deliciously smooth beer

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Undated 330 mL bottle at 45 degrees into tulip
Aroma – molasses
Head – none
Lacing – none
Body dark brown/black, opaque, weak effervescence
Flavor very sweet, molasses, brown sugar, some vanilla; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate full, syrupy, flat

Appearance 3, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 3.75

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De Molen / Närke Goths & Vandals from Brouwerij De Molen
90 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.