O.N.E. (Our Nastiest Effort) - Bourbon Barrel Aged - De Struise Brouwers
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 7 | Display Reviews Only:
3.04/5 rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3
75cl brown glass bottle served into stemware in hotel in Brussels. Reviewed live. Expectations are sky high given the brewery and style. 10% ABV per the label. Reviewed as a Belgian Dark Strong Ale because the label description identifies it clearly as such. Aged for 12 months in bourbon barrels. Acquired from a friend who lives in Ghent (and has his own contract brew made at De Proef!).
Served chilled and allowed to come to room temperature over the course of consumption.
Beer surges out upon opening, but luckily the flow is slow and can be remedied via sucking. Still, it's far from ideal.
No bubble show forms as it's poured.
HEAD: One finger wide. Khaki colour. Decent thickness. Okay creaminess. Leaves no lacing as it recedes. Retention is below average - not even one minute. It's a bit disappointing, and could be far creamier, fuller, and longer lasting.
BODY: Opaque dark solid black. Nontranslucent, nontransparent. No yeast particles or hop sediment is visible.
Appears overcarbonated. Overall, it's about what I expected, but it isn't unique or special considering the style. Nothing sets it apart, really.
AROMA: I have a broken nose, and unfortunately cannot find anything here. The aroma is extremely light - which is shocking considering it's a bourbon barrel aged Belgian strong dark ale. Oddly restrained, perhaps, but I'm reserving judgement.
TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, lightly creamy, full-bodied, thick, unrefreshing, and overcarbonated.
Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or rough on the palate. Not syrupy, but definitely sticky. Does have some mild alcohol warmth which isn't too pleasant.
Overall presence on the palate is decent. This texture isn't a great complement to this taste.
TASTE: I expected more bourbon character; all I get is some faint booziness - no rich vanilla, toasty oak character, etc. Disappointing. But at least the alleged barrel notes are integrated into the base beer - as light as they are.
The base is also underwhelming. Belgian dark malts, a kiss of licorice/anise/fennel, some sassafras, some herbal hop notes, maybe molasses, faint caramel, a kiss of fig, and some hints of raisin and plum I suppose. Root. Sticky caramelized fruits. Prunes, I suppose. Lightly vinous. Herbal hop character. Almond. It's not a mess, but it's far from well-balanced, and does lack cohesion. Complex, sure, but perhaps at the expense of subtlety and nuance. I wouldn't call it intricate or well-layered, and it's definitely not gestalt.
The barrel isn't really present at all, and the base is a bit underwhelming, which is disappointing. That said, there are some nice elements here, but it's just not coming together like it should. I do like it, but I expected far better given the brewers.
Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.
I guess my biggest criticism is that it tastes too much like an American cola - the roots and herbs and that don't do much for it as a beer, and the almond even lends it a Dr. Pepper note, if you will.
O: It's a sipper, but sadly the quality isn't very high.
Those expecting a divinely brewed Belgian dark ale with incredible vanilla and oak bourbon character will be just as severely disappointed as I am - and not only because the brewery is amongst the best in Belgium. Great premise, subpar execution. I'm surprised this is as underwhelming as it is, and I do adore De Struise, but before more reviews come in and the hype kicks up, I have to say - this emperor has no clothes.
Serving type: bottle
05-21-2014 00:19:37 | More by kojevergas
4.03/5 rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Poured a basically dark brown body with good one finger head and lace patches. The aroma first strikes me as boozy and floral hops but then I get a chunk of both sweetness like licorice, candi sugar and some dark fruits like figs. The beer is easy to drink as its smooth with a boozy, woody body underneath holding it all together. To me, the beer is mostly sweet with a caramel or toffee edge with very minor hops and at times both dark fruits and a sour cherry edge come through.
Serving type: on-tap
02-27-2014 17:16:09 | More by clayrock81
4.69/5 rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Draft @ Borefts 2012. Dark brown with a huge mocha head. Tad vinous nose, big dark fruits, bourbon, molasses, figs and prunes. Sweet mocha, bourbon, vinous, dark malts, ripe and overripe dark fruits, belgian style, prunes, figs, bitter spices, touch wood, some coffee roast in the back, serious bourbon in here, thick flavour and body, this is a pretty damn impressive Belgian.
Serving type: on-tap
10-23-2013 14:15:44 | More by 77black_ships
4.46/5 rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Sampled from a 750ml bottle purchased at their bottle shop in Brugges.
Very inviting appearance and aroma. I wasn't too sure about a bourbon barrel aged Belgian Dark Strong but this really works. The bourbon level is enough to add a new dimension without detracting from the Belgian characteristics (sugars, spicy notes, etc).
I really like this beer and wish I'd bought more to age.
Serving type: bottle
10-13-2013 15:25:14 | More by GJ40
4.04/5 rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Cask at Delirium Cafe
Pours deep brown with no head. Looks a little thin. Smell is booze and fruits, mostly plum. A decent amount of vanilla and some oak come through as well. Taste is boozy, with dark malts, dark fruits of raisin and plum, a slight tartness, some chocolate, vanilla and oak. Mouthfeel is actually a but thin, with warming booze throughout. This was quite tasty, if too boozy. I have a feeling this would be better on CO2 than cask, but will probably never get to find out. Still quite enjoyable.
Serving type: cask
09-21-2013 00:47:50 | More by warnerry
O.N.E. (Our Nastiest Effort) - Bourbon Barrel Aged from De Struise Brouwers
87 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.