Barbãr (Belgian Honey Ale) - Brasserie Lefèbvre SA

Not Rated.
Barbãr (Belgian Honey Ale)Barbãr (Belgian Honey Ale)

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BA SCORE
88
very good

312 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 312
Reviews: 156
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 15
Gots: 36 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Lefèbvre SA visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 10-10-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 312 | Reviews: 156 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biegaman
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Barbãr is topped with what looks like cotton-candy; although it's pristinely white, as opposed to the customary pink or blue, it shares the same airy, ultra-fleecy, almost fury semblance and, given the tremendous size of the mound, presents a small difficulty of actually getting at the liquid. The beer is golden and, for all I know, may be clear but the frosted glass of its branded mug prevents me from being sure.

I'm inclined to believe that thick, doughy fleece might be muting some of the aroma too. This strikes on first impression as being a little quiet for a beer seasoned with honey, coriander, orange peel and, most importantly, Belgian yeast. Each of those ingredients are perceptible, mind you, as is the cereal, bready-sweetness of the wheat and pale malts.

Like the composition and sequence of musical notes, the combination of flavours in beer is equally infinite; this particular ensemble is nothing short of a symphonic masterpiece. It has toasty pale malts, a zestful and exotic spicing (enhanced by the natural zest of the yeast), cool and refreshing citrus as well as a succulent honey sweetness. In fact, I find it so incredibly tasty that I'm being reduced to using one word: delicious!

I'm impressed too with how well the individual parts come together. Bright citrus and subtle spice join forces to make one super refreshing duo. And despite nearly doubling the scope of the alcohol, carbonation is tired none and the crisp wheat suffers none; this possesses all the same effervescence and quaffability of a standard-strength witbier.

Given the beer's sweetness (sugar is added as well as honey) I started seeing it as more of an aperitif than beer; indeed, something about it seemed to stimulate my appetite. Given its natural zeal and inherent refreshment, I'd also consider it hands down one of the best beers one could offer as a happy hour pint or entree drink for tasting or dinner guests.

Barbãr sounds like the kind of beer made on a dare, but believe me when I tell you that it's one of the few 8% beers you'll end up chugging rather than sipping. It was a bold man, he who first decided to toil with such dissonant, oddball ingredients, and it was a very adept one who could formulate such a delicious, balanced recipe out of them. I loudly applaud brasserie Lefèbvre for this offering - I'd buy it anytime.

Photo of jsprain1
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Golden, amazingly clear for a style known for being hazy. That's neither good nor bad in my book, merely unusual. Lighter colored than most in style. Thick white head retains well and leaves a couple rings of lacing.
S- Smell is on the sweet side, with hints of spice and citrus. It's a bit like a strong witbier. There is a certain mustyness about that, though appreciated in some settings, just did not seem to mesh well here.
T- Definitely sweet throughout. The honey and citrus play off each other decently, but I found it a bit too sweet and the finish just has a strange mustyness to it.
M- Sticky. not as creamy or smooth as I like from this style.
D- This was a decent BSPA and it hides the alcohol well so I will merit it on that. I would drink another, but I don't know that I would pay for another.

Photo of generallee
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass. The label has a "Best Before" date.

Appearance: It has tarnished golden color with a cloudy complexion. On top I got a two finger tall, light fluffy head. This head slowly settles to a wispy thin layer with a clingy ring at the edge of the glass. This leaves some lace rings at the top of the glass and a few spots on the way down.

Smell: I get a very inviting nose full of sweet malts spiced with coriander, citrus orange peel and spicy herbal/floral hops.

Taste: It starts with a touch of spice and a touch of wheat malt. Bready malt and yeast notes move in with some honey like sweetness and a touch of bitter orange peel. This then leads into a mild herbal/spicy hop finish mixed with balanced malt sweetness. On the palate it has a medium to full smooth mouth feel with soft carbonation.

Notes: Overall Barbar (honey ale) is a very tasty and complex ale. It is definitely worth a try.

Photo of BeerLover99
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: straw yellow, faint hue of cloudiness, up + down 2 finger head,

S: honey, orange peel, grain, coriander, hint of earthy pine.

T: big fresh citrus fruit and honey flavor.

M: medium/light body, mild carbonation, slight prick on the tongue, smooth + dry finish.

D: This is delicious! Complex, fresh delightful bundle or various flavors. Amazing how those brilliant Belgians hide the alcohol in the various flavors. Do your soul a favor and give this a try, you deserve it!

Photo of spinrsx
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear gold colour with a very large frothy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some very nice lacing running in stages down the sides of the glass. The head lasted for several minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - breads/grains, lemon, honey, malts

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and feels slightly creamy on the tongue. I can taste lots of breads/grains, hay, and honey. There are also notes of lemon and a grassiness. The beer finishes with a bittersweet honey aftertaste.

Drink - I enjoyed this beer quite a bit and will seek it out again. The alcohol well was well hidden and the flavours really came together well.

Photo of AgentMunky
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a wine glass. Best before 23 September 2011.

A: Light, frothy head surges up. The body is golden, murky-clear, and full of little bubbles.

S: Smells like a typical BSPA -- Duvel comes to mind -- but less forceful and yeasty. This nuance isn't completely without merit, however, and a light honeysuckle scent floats through.

T: Light, floral, and boring. Maybe I'm missing something, but Barbãr seems a bit lacking. Sweet, strong, some wheaty tones on the endtaste. I can't detect any coriander. The 2.5% honey shines through. The aftertaste is alcoholically drying, and honey-sweet. Overall, disappointing.

M: Nothing exceptional, but more than adequate. Drying, sweet, and smooth.

D: Tastes bit strong, but is quenching, in its way. I could imagine quaffing a bowl after battle, but it's not something I'd want to sip after dinner. Not recommended.

Photo of Ashmada
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Barbãr mug.

Look: Golden colour, creamy head with good staying power, the mug makes it look very hazy, but it's actually quite clear.

Smell: Honey dominates, but malt, orange peel and spices transpire in the background.

Taste: Sweet, honey and orange are once again easily detected, some bitter notes are present as well. Alcohol well-hidden.

Mouthfeel: Quite sticky and full, clings to the palate slightly, egging you on to have another sip.

Drinkability: Drinks dangerously fast for an 8% ABV beer.

Not the best beer you'll ever have, but interesting enough to highly recommend a try.

Photo of diamondc
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before 2011/11/09

A: Hazy bronze hue, huge head on this one .. lots of tiny bubbles. Patches of foam left after every sip. An excellent example of what a Belgian pale ale should look like.

S: Honey, apricot, canned pear syrup, orange zest. A bit medicinal, but very complex.

T: Honey, flowers, more of the apricot taste, white grapes. A tad bit of an aspirin-like aftertaste when cold, but goes away when warmed up.

M/D: Pretty easy drinking for being relatively high in alcohol. This beers manages to set itself apart from the wonderful world of Belgian beers.

Photo of rarbring
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is clear amber, has a large white head that leaves lots of lacing.

The smell is fruity, apricot in syrup, and malty, grains.

The taste is sweet fruits, pears, apricots, raisins, and some alcohol, sherry, and a touch of yeast.

Medium high carbonation, a heavy and rather complex body.

Goes very well with strong cheese.

Photo of yapi
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this is a great honey beer. I love sweet, and this is to my liking...
shared it with my girlfriend.

L: okay, good

S: great honey sweet smell, orange peel

T: 2,5% honey, and it's sweet. Also very orange like, due to the fact they make this beer with the curaçao-apple. Orange kind of fruit, and together with the honey it explains why it is so sweet.

O: good beer, very sweet, but not easy to drink 1 by yourself; great if you can share this one, 15cl is just enough to have a great experience.

ages ago, before there was sugar, they used to sweeten the beer with honey. Therefore, this should give a great idea how (sweet) beer tasted back then...

Photo of tbeckett
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was shared with a friend that offered it up. I was extremely skeptical but ended up being pleasantly surprised.

A - Nice cloudy, golden appearance. Not alot of head.

S - Huge yeast and orange profile on this. Really inviting aroma.

T - Nice yeasty character that leads to more citrusy orange notes.

M - Med in the mouth, mild carbonation and very smooth.

D - Really high. Alcohol is nowhere to be found. ABV is reasonable for the style and I got through mine quick considering it was shared.

Photo of impending
2.7/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

33cl into a tulip. Poured a deep orange gold, decent head & lacing.

Large fairly complex aroma due to the added spices, the orange peel and coriander are obvious, the sweetness is big.

Full bodied mouthfeel. I wanted to like this more than I did because the nose was so inviting but the various subtle and not so subtle flavors seemed thrown together, the flavors were discordant.
jd

Photo of SFLpunk
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Back label says "Best Before L20120325 14:43" whatever that means.

Appearance: Clear golden orange with some thin white head. Lots of spotting.

Nose: Big honey and orange blossom nose. Very floral and light.

Palate: Crisp and sharp with alcohol. Tastes of green apple, calvados, orange blossom honey, and some light spices. Nice clean finish.

Notes: At first, I wasn't really impressed with this one, but it grew on me. Tasty and very light for 8% abv. Very nice.

Photo of rodenbach99
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer was bought et the SAQ in the kit ½ meter of beer. Poured from a 330ml brown bottle. Nice dark golden very clear bottle. White head on top. On the nose we can smell clover flowers (maybe clover flower honey). Good taste with a lot of residual sugar, some honey flavor too.

Photo of daledeee
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured this beer into my tulip glass. 11.2 oz bottle

Nose is Belgian hops and hints of fruit and grain.

Taste is slightly tart with apples, slight hint of spice and hops. Hints of malt in the finish.

Excellent carbonated mouth feel with a wet finish

Very drinkable. Tasted fresh and alcohol had a slight warming effect.

Photo of DaveHS
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Belgian tulip glass.

A-The color of apple juice, with an inch and a half of off-white head. Leaves fluffy, thick lacing.

S-Fairly nondescript. Some yeasty esters, maybe a hint of clove.

T-Bright and refreshing. Pale malts and honey stand out as the main flavors, with some faint hop bitterness in the finish. A simple, crisp blonde ale made just slightly sweet by honey. Not bad at all.

M-Medium bodied with thick, mouth-filling carbonation.

D-Pretty high. At only $3.99 a bottle, this is a bargain.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Flip-top brown bottle (33cl) poured into my new 'Abbot Ale' glass tankard.

Suprised to see I hadn't reviewed this beer before, glad I checked before popping it open!

The body is a good looking golden colour and the pure white head on top gives it an overal high score for looks, pity the whole head couldn't hang around longer though, it thinned quickly, but was still a full covering at the end.

The nose and taste is a subtle honey one, it isn't in your face, yet you know it's there from the off.

I like this beer, but only one at a time, I am sure the sweetness that it hides so well would eventually come to the fore and ruin the flavours for me.

Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at Chancey Smith. Decent drinking Belgian pale. Unexceptional other than some orange in flavour, honey in the secondary. Golden yellow coloured body with some head, lots of lace. High carbonation. Neutral aromas, perhaps the honey absorbs it.Easy mouthfeel, the smoothness from the honey overrides the carbonation. Nice summer Belgian.

Photo of fropones
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A hazy orange with a decent ecru head.

S - Honey (obviously), some citrus fruit. Fairly simple. Belgian yeast.

T - More honey, a nice sweetness here. Nicely spiced, good balance.

M - Great carbonation, nice body.

D - Nicely drinkable, alcohol pretty well hidden. At only $1 a bottle, I am going to have to buy more of this.

Photo of mithrascruor
3.05/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear deep golden color with a 1-finger foamy white head with good retention.

Smell: Odd spicy flavor with a bit of sweetness, though I'm not too fond of it - a bit like chemical cleaner or something.

Taste: Hops and honey sweetness up front, and some very light spices some in. Sweetness and alcohol in the finish. Somewhat astringent aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied and quite carbonated - masks the flavor a bit.

Drinkability: Stronger alcohol than I expected, but not too strong. But, the flavor is a bit tough.

Sounded good, but I am not a fan. I really don't like the taste; it is a bit too "chemical"-like.

Photo of Pencible
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Best before 10:25 (L20100220) This poured a cloudy dark gold, with thick white head.
S: It smelled like lots of sweet honey and creamy yeast, with some fresh wheat and lemon hops.
T: It tasted like wild honey and lemon zest, with creamy yeast and fresh wheat, and a hint of coriander. It had a moderate bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was thick with some carbonation.
D: This was a pretty interesting and enjoyable beer, like a honey witbier. It was fairly clean and hid the alcohol well, so it was easy to drink. But it's worth sipping to fully appreciate the unique honey character. Recommended, if only to try once.

Photo of Kemmerlin
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: hazy golden color with a thick long lasting and sticky white head
S: smells like it's high in alcohol with a burnt rubber smell.
T: has the orange coriander taste mixed with a clove honey and aromatic hop taste parting slightly to welcome a sweet mixtured aftertaste
M/D: the feel is light sticky and carbonated like a European mineral water. The drinkability is good minus the smell.

Photo of illidurit
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Pours clear gold with a thin white head. Aromas of bread and a quite vivid honey note. Reminiscent of homemade biscuits with honey on them. Sweet grainy flavor, solid honey influence with a barely-there grassiness. Lightly astringent, dry, and a bit unclean in the finish. Still very drinkable.

Photo of berley31
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a Barbar mug. Average-sized, white frothy head that had some good lasting power at 1-finger for the majority of drinking. Body is dark golden and slightly hazy (although hard to tell with that Barbar mug).

S: Sweet and flowery aroma, with honey and spices very noticeable. Almost perfumey, but quite pleasant.

T: Sweet malt with the honey coming through very nicely. The spices are there, and the beer has a peppery note to the taste.

M: Slightly creamy, with a medium-body and average carbonation.

D: Very enjoyable, as the honey is there but not cloying like honey can so often be. A very nice Belgian Pale Ale.

Photo of danydakid
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A; Slightly hazy, golden color with minimal head. Served in a goblet.

S: You could smell the honey in this beer, but it did not overpower the senses. It was slightly sweet and very inviting.

T: The taste was exactly what I thought it would be based on the smell. Very smooth and slightly sweet, with that unique honey flavor. The beer finished very smooth as well, without any bite.

D: This is a very drinkable beer when relaxing on a winter night or hanging out with friends in the summer. I'm not sure I would want more than 2 or 3 in a sitting, but I will definitely be ordering this again.

Barbãr (Belgian Honey Ale) from Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
88 out of 100 based on 312 ratings.