Urthel Samaranth - De Leyerth Brouwerijen (Urthel)
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Ratings: 464 | Reviews: 314 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ccrida:
3.63/5 rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Served on draft in the official Urthel chalice, it has a great illustration of the Urthel gnome, which is characteristic of all the brewery's packaging. They are a very small artisan brewery upstart run by a husband and wife team, he being the artist responsible for said logo and marketing, while she's the head brewer and is responsible for making all of the beer. I recently had the good fortune of meeting them at the Ale Street News's Belgian tasting this paste spring in NYC, and I must they say are kind and very enthusiastic folks that making some wondering interesting brews. As their operation continues to mature, I'm really looking forward to see what they come out, as unlike many of their contemporaries in Belgian, Urthel isn't interested in creating merely another line of Trappist clones. Instead they take more of a home-brewer's approach, loosely interpreting (and often exaggerating) traditional recipes and styles, but creating distinctly unique new brews they call their own.
The draft pours a deep golden amber color, with moderate haze and small whitish head, which lingers around leaving a delicate, sugary lace. Very strong aroma appears to be a gridlocked battle between caramel/sugar, fresh, bitter hops, sweet, fruity esters, and alcohol. The discreetness of the aromas was my first indication the quad might be bit unbalanced, and a few sips quickly confirmed that tastes of these aromas were indeed not well blended, albeit a bit more complex then the nose had lead me to expect. The hops, accentuated by the apparent hardness of the water, ultimately dominated the finish of this beer, which is rather unusual for the style but indicative of the brewery's willingness to experiment. There was also a very pleasant tartness from the yeast in addition to the sour apple, grape and citrus esters. Although the body was rather syrupy, the generous use of sugar drys out and balances the richness of the sweet malt, with notes of caramel, honey, toast, rum and raisins. There is a lot to the mouthfeel, but it would have done better had the overall taste profile been smoother. This quad is fairly drinkable, as it's relatively digestible in spite of such high gravity, making for a robust tasting beer that goes down easy and masks it's high ABV very well. Still, the recipe could use some tweaking, and additionally, the beer tasted a bit young. Bottle conditioned I'm sure it would smooth out nicely with age, but the fresh keg I tasted had clearly not fully matured. The Urthel is certainly worth trying for those that tend to gravitate to the more 'extreme' beers, but purists (and light-weights!) might want to steer clear.
Serving type: on-tap
06-14-2006 17:50:11 | More by ccrida
More User Reviews:
3.94/5 rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
A: loose foam from start to finish....reddish-brown, relatively clear till a few yeasts slipped in....
S: clean ,vodka-like booze... some light, raisin-y fruit.... mellow yet full floral nuance... overall, nice but somewhat subdued
T: super-smooth, velvety-flowery, cookie-ish malt.... brown sugar, granola, background raisin.... superbly mellow and balanced - flavors don't explode, but excellent, nonetheless
M: ethanol-attenuated medium-light body.... subtle, spongy foam wash with each sip... easy-drinking - airy and light around a compact, satiny flow.... fairly restrained swell of boozy warmth midway through each sip
O: one that doesn't bombard the senses with flavor.... gotta let it sit for awhile for it to open up.... even then, dry and quite mellow... nice, if you're digging the subtleties and simply want to quell the swelling in your brain
Serving type: bottle
02-03-2014 04:55:10 | More by Bouleboubier
Urthel Samaranth from De Leyerth Brouwerijen (Urthel)
90 out of 100 based on 464 ratings.