Urthel Samaranth - De Leyerth Brouwerijen (Urthel)

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Urthel SamaranthUrthel Samaranth

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

324 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 324
Hads: 524
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 9.7%
Wants: 30
Gots: 43 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
De Leyerth Brouwerijen (Urthel) visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 01-06-2004

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 324 | Hads: 524
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.35/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There are certain things in life that shouldn't be rushed: choosing your wife, buying a house, or drinking a Belgian Quadrupel.

This one came in a 33cl brown bottle (new shape and label to the one shown 20th Aug 2010, and at 11.5%ABV): I poured it slowly into my Westmalle chalice and allowed it to settle, I had too because the bottle brought up all the sediment as I poured it.

The beer was a reddy brown colour, the tanned head soon receded to a weak collar and a wispy covering. The floating grist refused to calm down, so I prepared my food pairing: Organic Cheshire Cheese and Black Olive Biscuits, accompanied with Hazelnuts. The food element wasn't touched until my review findings were complete, but with the sediment messing me around it took some will power not to attack the cheese before I had my first sip.

The aroma being given off was treacle and molasses, a rich fairground toffee apple sort of affair.

Once the beer began to settle correctly I began sampling its delights: very sweet upfront, like the smell, all treacle tart and no custard. The alcohol content reared its head within the mouthfeel but the expected hop bitterness didn't meterialise at all. The beer is a fireside, pull up an armchair sort of brew. Luckily the weather in Shropshire today is foul, wet, windy and very un-August like, so it fitted the bill ideally.

This is the sixth Quadrupel I've reviewed on BA, and I think it slots in midway on character and overall scores (without checking). (1,486 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Urthel : Samaranth

Poured into its branded glass. A rich amber/copper in hue, some small yeast particles are suspended. Soapy white head forms and recedes to a fine layer. Sweet whole grain bread in the smell along with some brown sugar. Complex beer, roasted malt, caramel, fig, raisin. Very little alcohol presence for an 11% beer. Mouthfeel is rich and full bodied. A good quad, true to style, and is a detriment to sobriety. (429 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a goblet at the Steelgaarden.

Overall, this is a big, tasty beer, but the alcohol catches up with it. There's a fusel alcohol feel and big warming feel. The appearance is a dark brown with a thin tan head. The aroma is an almost creamy sweetness of caramel malt and esters. The flavor is quite complex, with chocolate and cherries, cola, toffee, caramel, and a touch of dates. The fruits are very big, but rather a nice compliment to the sweet malts. It's a shame about the booze, we'd have an otherwise awesome quad here. (533 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quitea nice beer, and although high alcohol is very smooth and drinkable.

Poured a honey color with a fairly small head, but excellent lacing in the glass.

Smell is a little astringent, but warming with definite alcohol presence and a strong malt note.

Taste is very nice with a malty yeasty taste typical of belgians. Very winey with a hoppy finish and primarily a malty body. There is also a typical stone fruit taste in the middle and a yeasty sourness at the end.

Very nice mouthfeel. Just right on carbonation and body.

Extremely drinkable. Has a nice winey taste, but very balanced, dep and rich while retaining a nice smoothness. (651 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear light brown colored ale with a small yellowish tan colored head.

Smells malty and strongly of raisin and fig. Strong brown sugar and fruit this has a bit of fruitcake aroma to it. Spicy ethanol caries a pepper scent. Slight grape but a stronger brandy aroma.

Starts out neutral and woody with a brown sugar after taste. Fruity and on the sweet side has a distinct earthy flavor. Tasty with lots flavor, fig shows up after awhile. Could be a little more complex but it nails the style perfectly.

Mouthfeel is full.

Overall very tasty! Very much a sipper and quite good. Not the best Quad but I would never refuse a glass of this. (638 characters)

Photo of wl0307
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from the Belgium-based "Belgian Shop", coming in a 330ml slim brown bottle, at 11.5%abv.; BB 06/2010, served mildly chilled in Hapkin's bulb-shaped sniffer.

A: pours a dark russet brown hue with random ruby glows, coming with moderate and fine carbonation, in addition to a 2cm thick beige froth settling slowly to a thin cap.
S: smelling like a traditional English barley wine in lots of ways - the raisiny and apple-ish overripe fruits, the barley candy-ish sweetness, and thick honey-ish scent... Given a swirl, the aroma still retains its integrity/thickness, but revealing a little bit of spicy notes, fig-like aromatic fruits, as well as a faint trace of alc. warmth. Not your "lively" quadruple, but approachable.
T: the slightly effervescent swallow of bitter-sweet malts, slick marinated plums, light staleness, and an apparent input of bitter hops is quickly engulfed by a rich flow of dark sugar and syrupy malts... as the sweetness decreases somewhat, the finishing aroma at the rear of the tongue shows residual bits of Chinese gourd-candy drink, sweet tea, and dried berry-fruits, while a moderately chewy mouthfeel of bitter hops also lingers to add a few extra points to the overall enjoyment.
M&D: the consistently lightly effervescent palate helps greatly to lift the overall heavy body a bit, and also renders a soothing, even semi-refreshing mouthfeel. My criticism of this ale is the heavy presence of the sugary elements on the balance, which come at the expense of a clearer manifestation of fruit esters and spiciness. Having said that, undeniably this ale is very well crafted indeed, not least demonstrated by how attenuated the alc. feels on the palate and down the throat... (1,713 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a thick looking, hazy orange color with very good head retention and lacing. The beer positively looks rich. The beer smells quite sweet and rich as well, showing sweet malt, milk chocolate and butterscotch. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, though to a lesser extent. Frankly, while delicious, I was expecting a bit more flavor. The beer is a bit sweet and one dimensional, with just a hint of milk chocolate. The beer has a surprisingly soft, light and creamy mouthfeel, and is much more drinkable then one would expect for a beer with this abv. The alcohol is very well disguised, though the warming feeling one experiences is a tip off that it's up there.

Very good beer. Perhaps not exceptional, but quite enjoyable nonetheless. (762 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a chalice, the beer is an opaque, caramel-brown coloring, with a foamy, light, fluffy head on the pour that disappears after only a few moments in the glass. Aromas of cherry, apple, rich caramel, molasses, date, raisins, and hints of chocolate. Wow, this is rich! Flavors are very smooth and sweet, with a heavily roasted forward note enhancing the following apple and caramel blend. It's like a delicious apple pie. Candi sugar, molasses, brown sugar, dates, fig, and cherry all blend in nicely, as well. This is a very layered, rich palate. The body is huge, but kept in check with a healthy dose of carbonation to lighten it up without sacrificing any of the feel. The aftertaste is rich and sugary sweet, heavy on the fruit, like a piece of fruitcake. The finish is smooth, slow, and soft, with a solid fruity linger. This is a really good beer. (876 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The brewers claims that Urthel Samaranth is brewed in a way that only Belgian Brewers can and, indeed, considering the level of lush, creamy head present in an 11.5% percent beer, I'd have to agree (especially seeing how ornate the lacing turns out to be, like Corinthian pillars). Otherwise, however, this deep, dark body doesn't provide much to look at.

The aroma has some dark fruit and malty richness, but it smells like someone pulled its batteries out. It lacks the complexities, strength and dessert-like qualities of many of the style's best. It's still worth smelling but the return on your sniffs is considerably higher with other quads. Most of what I'm taking away is a savory herbal element and some esters.

These type ales are very strong indeed, but they're not the kinds of beers designed as if to say: “look! My dick is bigger than yours!” They are complex and mellow, not brute. While their strength is perceivable, the alcohol is integrated and the profile offers plenty of rich fruitiness in the shape of prunes and dates as well as tremendously sweet maltiness that's like liquid caramel. While it would hold up in the cellar, I don't see a need - this is sublime!

Quad is a style that's very easy to brew too sweet - ask just about any American brewer. It's meant to be sweet, to be sure, and this one is nothing if not sweet, but unlike weaker examples it has a complex web of flavours and lots of malty depth to back it up. The finish therefore, despite the brown sugar and fruity notes, is not cloying, but instead quite decadent - a beer equally worthy of desserts as it is hearty, slow-cooked meats.

Urthel Samaranth has all the rich sweetness and sensual qualities that have made the Quad legendary in the beer world. It is, for my money, every bit as good as the household names and definitely deserves more limelight than it's currently given. This is one import worth the extra few dollars - you'd be hard-pressed to find such quality from non-Belgian brewers. (2,002 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a dense deep copper body with a reddish glow at the base and a super thick light tan head that sticks to the glass with each sip.

S-The smell of dark sugar and a vinous note comes through during the pour. There is some dry sweetness and more dark sugar layers as the beer opens.

T- The dry brown sugar flavor has some caramel notes and a roasted malt flavor that is soft but grows a bit as the beer warms. There is a soft cream cheese note and a sherry taste to the finish with a soft sweetness to the finish. The aftertaste has a touch of bitterness but I'm not sure if it is hops or dark malt. There are some cherry cola notes to the dark sugar as the beer warms a bit.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft fizz and a warm alcohol heat that turns into a soft burn as the beer opens up.

O- This beer has some nice flavors but not a great deal of depth and a pleasant alcohol that works with the soft sweetness. (975 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Explodes out of bottle and pours a five-finger+ light tan head that stays forever and leaves a good lace. Cloudy pale amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Sweet malty nose. Starts with a nice mix of malt and hops, finishes with a sweet piney flavor. $7.45 for a 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA. (327 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml/Corked

Pours a slightly cloudy orange color, nice carbonation, nice small creamy tan head, tons of lacing afterwards. Scents of malts, slight hops, spices, and slight citrus. The taste is slightly tangy/sweet, some spices, with a slight dry finish, and warm feeling in the throat. Medium body, a well rounded/complex brew, alcohol content hidden well. Very drinkable, another awesome brew from Urthel, highly recommended. (430 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz Picked up at the Boise Coop probably 6-7 months ago, don't remember the price... probably in the $5 range. Poured into my red wine glass. Listening to Sasha's Involver mix.

3/4" head that goes away quickly leaving behind only a little lacing. Cherry juice/touch of brown... a few little yeasty floaties despite a careful pour.

Aroma is dark dried fruit... figs... raisins dates... etc. Medium dark caramel with no noticeable hops. A little alcohol as it warms.. expected. sweetness also increases as it heats up. Belgian yeast fruitiness... but pretty restrained.

Flavor is big malty/candy sweetness with more dark dried fruits predominantly raisins. Good bitter backbone, but little hop flavor that is easy to identify. Fruity flavors mid palate... Dark Cherry Juice? finishes with spicy Belgian yeast esters... Fairly thick palate, but enough carbonation to make me want another sip.

I've had this brew probably 6-8 times over the year, and have always been happy with my purchase... tasty and a good value for a Belgian quad. I need to pick up some more for the cellar and promise myself to not actually drink them when I am feeling a jones for Belgian beers. (1,171 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
3.03/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/2" of eggshell head over the light copper brew. Head is resilient, with good lacing. Aroma is yeasty fruits, with a sweet undertone. Taste is initially slightly spicy malt, which gives way to excessive sweetness. Alcohol is not particularly apparent, but that mouthful of sugar could hide just about anything. Mouthfeel and drinkability both quashed by the sweetness, which for me, even for a quadrupel, seemed over-the-top. Worth a try if quads are your thing, but I probably won't be revisiting. (623 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from 9/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a nice dark orange-red amber. Minimal head and lacing. Aroma of sweet malt, Belgian spicing. Medium bodied with some creaminess. Dark and sweet fruits, malt. Somewhat dry at the very first, blending into malts and fruits. Sweet and dry finish. Very complex and tasty. Alcohol a bit forward, detracting from the overall experience. Still a very nice and tasty quad. (435 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a rustic golden orange color with big fluffy white head.

S: On the nose was a fresh lemony-orange aroma with a nice yeasty funkiness with some sour oranges.

T: For flavor there was some sweet spiciness and honey malting followed by subtle pepper notes. Ther as a nice complexity of spices as well yeastiness (bananas) with some light cloves. Nicely balanced overall with some citrus and sourness (apples), with a big alcohol finish.

M: The mouthful was lively with a good spicy hoppiness.

D: Very good drinkability considering the abv with a nice complexity leaves you wanting more. (599 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber color with some suspended yeast. 1/2 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of alcohol, tart malt, sugary sweetness, slight fruity aroma, and a hint of raisin. Fits the style of a Quadrupel. Mouth feel is smooth and slightly thick with a high carbonation level. Tastes of tart malt up front with some slight alcohol, then a strong sweetness overtakes. There are slight fruit flavors throughout. Overall, the sweetness smooths the alcohol flavors nicely and the finish is amazing. (531 characters)

Photo of Derek
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Lighter than other quads I've tried. Not much darker than some tripples. Not a lot of head, but some nice lacing.

S: Fruity, like a sherry.

T: Warming, fruity sweetness is nicely balanced by the hop bitterness. No hop flavour. Unrefined sugar, with light coloured fruit/christmas cake flavour. Very warming, but not overly alcoholic in flavour.

M: Moderate, slightly syrupy body, with a moderately high amount of carbonation.

D: Taste isn't overwhelming, so it's easily approachable, but the slight alcohol flavour is a little prohibitive. This ones for sipping... like a sherry after dinner, or a night cap.

I wouldn't be surprised if the colour only comes from dark, caramelized sugar. (705 characters)

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

U: This one pours amber with a large off-white rich thick head that stays for a long time before dissipating, leaving lots of lace.

S: Sweet malt with sweet dark dried fruit. Rather heavy on the alcohol and a bit chemical, but still complex.

T: Sweet light roasted malt (caramell). Fruity, very fruity - both dried dark fruit but also ripe red apples. Complex, and alcohol, but very faint alcohol if you think about the 12%...

M: The aftertaste is sweet and lasts for quite some time. The body is full and the carbonation is moderate.

D: To drink a quad is to drink something very complex. If you're into the adjunct lagers you probably shouldn't bother but for rest of us - try this one and the try an adjunct lager (it's just like water). Anyway this beer style is one of my favourites, and I havn't had a bad one yet... (828 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a capped and corked 750ml bottle. Label read 11.5% abv.

Appearance- A thick and sturdy head of only one finger, but remained with the first pour of beer from my big bottle into my chalice. A orange pekoe tea mixed with honey look and lethargic bubbling added to my viewing pleasure.

Smell- A very spicey smelling brew. Lots of strong herbs and alcohol mixed with always aromatic Belgian malts.

Taste- You can taste some very herbal cherries in the front. Alcohol and toastiness in the middle. Alcohol and brown sugar in the back.

Mouthfeel- Warm and light in fruitiness. (598 characters)

Photo of bark
3.17/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The colour is medium brown with a tint of brown. Although there are traces of yeast in the bottle, the liquid is clear. The small white head quickly sinks down to a fine lid, leaving some lacing.

The smell is alcoholic and fruity, it males me think of plums-in-brandy candy. Hints of dried fruits, ripe apples, cognac and marzipan.

The taste is sweet with a quickly passing sour note. Earthy notes of ripe fruit, raisins, marzipan, bitter almonds. The aftertaste is sweet with some notes of malt, mixed dried fruits and a slowly growing bitterness. Lots and lots of alcohol in the finish.

The carbonation is mild. Small bubbles. The liquid is sticky.

A quadruple just a little above the average. Maybe it gets better after some cellaring? (746 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 330ml Belgian fattie. Picture of red-nosed gnome on the bottle and cap.

BA says this is a quadrupel, and the bottle says quadrium ale... But all the quads I've had before were dark. I was surprised at the light color of the beer.

This tasted sweet and just slightly bitter. Not too different form a golden barleywine, like Hair of the Dog Fred. About the only thing similar with other quads is the alcohol content.

Really good and unique strong ale. (472 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draught @ Papago
The beer comes fresh from the tap a hazy deep amber color with a plentiful head that is a winsome light tan and creamy in texture, after decomposition the resultant lace forms a surrounding blanket on the glass. Nose is earthy from the yeast, an over ripe apple aroma also noticed, spicy and fresh, start is slightly sweet with a nice grain profile, the top is middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is striking in its acidity, the hops plentiful and the 12 percent ABV leaves a bit of alcohol bitterness at the very dry finish, potent brew, and quite tasty to boot. (588 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.22/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I drank this from a 11.2 oz bottle in Brugges into a chalice.

It pours with good head big head, and an amber colored body.

The aroma is heavy and spicy, with some cherry hints.

Sipping beer, would drink again in moderate amounts, but can't drink a lot of it. (261 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.6/5  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. (2,658 characters)

Urthel Samaranth from De Leyerth Brouwerijen (Urthel)
90 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.