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Struise Tsjeeses Reserva (Bourbon Barrel Aged) - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Struise Tsjeeses Reserva (Bourbon Barrel Aged)Struise Tsjeeses Reserva (Bourbon Barrel Aged)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

28 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 28
Hads: 141
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 22.33%
Wants: 6
Gots: 38 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 08-27-2012

2011 Vintage - Pink & Purple label.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 28 | Hads: 141
Photo of AdamBear
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-dark amber with a thin almost non existent white head. lots of floaties. motionless body. looks heavy and still, like a swamp.

S-very strong pale belgian malts. very malty, lots of caramel and sugars. some rawness. very big smelling. intimidating almost.

T-holy snikies. this is amazing. this is a perfect BSPA. comes in with toasty pale belgian malts and caramels and spices, quite impressive with the spices. peppercorn mostly. the after-taste though...it comes very late, but with a great hit of bourbon barrel. wow this is complex, and not subtle whatsoever.

M-good medium to heavy carbonation with a fairly dry finish

O-Might be the best BSPA I've ever had. Wow. it might also be the only barrel aged BSPA i've ever had...and it works. Dang, this brewery will not let me down!! please go out and find this, if you can't find it, message me and I will help you out!!

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the few remaining bottles left at Bruery Provisions before its closure, yet the small selection may had been the reason why picked up this bottle. Belgian Xmas ale is a good thing, seeing one with a year of age makes the anticipation more anxious. From a 330 ml bottle, on to the beer:

Toasted orange that accidently received a dash of Christmas red.The head on top forms an inch thick, dropping to a lace around the glass. A pleasant nose, mixing some Xmas pudding, plums, candied fruit, rum, raisins, and some alcohol.

It's very flavorful, and despite that is actually quite mellow overall. That makes it even better. The flavors of pineapple, dark rum, raisins, brown sugar....oh, here's the bourbon. There's a hint of chocolate too. It just gets better and better. Add that to the great mouthfeel, which is full bodied yet very soft on the palate, as is the carbonation. Unlike the aroma that gives a little booze, I can't find the alcohol in the beer's taste. Incredicble. The soft aftertaste of rum soaked raisins makes an uplifting final impression.

I had been thinking that I backed myself into a corner after trying some many beers over the last year (many which I approved), but nothing WOW!!! (except for Stone Enjoy by IPA) to my liking. It's great to get that feeling again, and Tsjeeses Reserva is just the medicine that I needed. If you can find it, get it now!

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Photo of heymikew
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This was the winner at our annual winter beer tasting party! (Four reviewers, 20 beers)

Very complex and yummy. Kudos to the talented brewers at Struise!

Tasty with fruit and spice notes , then dark fruit with caramel and vanilla hints of pepper and earthy woods. the oak is there and bourbon undertones.

We've had the regular Tsjeeses for the past few years and it alwasy scored well but this is a step up and will be on the list every year as long as they are producing it.

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Photo of RuudJH
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure which 'reserva' I got here. It says 'Nr. 11 Xmas brew' 'Aged 6 months on oak' (not clear which oak, but nevermind)... bb 12-12-2012.
Bought it today.

Beer is murky brown, thin beige head.
Smell is very very good. It's fruity, tart like some wine (makes me think I could have the port barrel after all). Taste is mild and bittersweet. Malt and caramel, some figs, some cream too. Incredibly soft mouthfeel, the abv is very well covered. You wouldn't think it's 10%. Very smooth and drinkable.

Struise has become one of my favourite Belgian brewers. Surely top 5, likely top 3. A must try. Very recommended indeed.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a Duvel Tulip glass.

Lot C from 8/2010.

A: Pours a deep amber color which is slightly cloudy. Forms a huge yellow creamy head with good retention and many lacings formed and left. A thin layer remains for long time and the lacings are quite molasses

S: Absolutely delicious nose. Sweet, spicy and veeery woody. Strong notes of Bourbon. Fruity with notes of grapes. Very malty too. Some flowery hops and alcohol

T: Perfect. Slightly sweet upfront. Very fruity with strong notes of grapes, oak, caramel malts, whiskey and spices (black pepper and cinammon). Considerable hops bitterness in the end

M: Heavy and molasses body. Medium carbonation. Bittersweet and woody aftertaste

O: Excellent beer. Very whiskey and spicy. A beer to be slowly appreciated

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Photo of Brabander
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this bottle some weeks ago when i had my Belgium day: picking up Westvleteren and the up to Struise.

Poured this one in the Struise glass as it should be. Nice pour with lots of head and some carbonation. Nice lacing which sticks in the glass. The fluid is a bit cloudy but not much. Nice lightbrown/copper colour. Smell of bourbon but not too overwhealming.

Taste is good with the 10 percent of alchol very well hidden but also giving a good contribution to the beer. Well balanced and tasty.

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Photo of RMentair
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. To me, Struise concoctions are either hit or miss, very few "meh" beers because they brew on the edge. This one is a definite hit. My new favorite Christmas beer!

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Photo of ehammond1
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap (2010)

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

(Aged for 2 years)

A hazed golden amber with a very small, creamy off-white head. Leaves the glass with large collections of bubbles of stick. Unremarkable, but it definitely makes me want to drink it.

Lots of fruit elements coming through in the aroma (from the hops and yeast) in the way of sun-dried cherries and figs, some pepper, dried grapes that are turning to raisin, and oak. Really, this is quite the complex aroma. There's only a very mellow bourbon character to this, but it's there, and incredibly well integrated. However, the interesting, complex, divine yeast character is what separates this beer. It's quite nice.

The flavor is just as complex as the aroma, and express a lot of similar characteristics. Lots of dark fruits and oak shine through, along with a moderate bitterness, and some integrated, and complementary bourbon. It comes in to lend a spice not found in most barrel-aged offerings. An exceptionally drinkable, complex beer.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. I suppose I would like this to have more carbonation, especially for the style, but it's a tough thing to complain about when a. the beer is barrel-aged b. it's over two years old, and c. it's this darn delicious.

This one was not only interesting, but it was marvelously delicious. I would like to have this one again and will if I can ever find it.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So, exactly how much complexity can you cram into a Belgian pale ale? The fine brewers at Struise have seemed to find more depths, layers, and varieties of taste with help from used bourbon barrels which were used during six months of wood aging.

The beer pours with a somewhat muddy appearance of burnt orange and goldenrod hues. The haze murks up the snifter but testifies to its full "non-filtered" flavor. A creamy and fluffy off-white head separates from the liquid and caps the beer with long standing foam and intricate patterns of lace left behind.

Fruit and spice fill the nose- first a cidery apple note rises, then grape, pear, under ripened berries just before richer notes of dates and figs rise as the beer warms. Spicy white and black pepper, aniseed, cumin, and coriander also get bolder and spicier when I dive deeper and deeper into the session until the scent of musty and vinous woods, wine-like acidity, and vanilla laden oak accompany those last few drops.

Flavors take quite a journey across the palate, and once again are lead by fruit. A mix of wine-like fruits of pear, apple, and grape create a refreshing taste that are in perfect contrast to the early wine-like acidity, white pepper, and soft celery seed. Morphing into oranges, dried lemons, and raspberry- the the develops darker fruit taste at middle palate. Then the richer taste of figs, cherries, sultans, and dates invite a balance of fresh cracked black peppercorn, vanilla, caramelized oak, and sandalwood to signal the beer's finish. Earthen hops add to the mix and become just one of those spicy wood flavors that weave into the flavor profile seamlessly.

Medium bodied, there are those moments when the wine-ish acidity and thinness signal lighter bodies, but then the caramel, dark fruit, and carbonation makes the beer seem creamier than that. But as the carbonation dispels, the beer's spicy sweetness turns earthly bitter, tannin/powdery-dry, and with bourbon-style warmth to finish.

Tsjeeses Reserve is one of the most complex Belgian strong pale ales on the market. Balanced to near perfection, the beer gives new tastes to be explored with every sip. It's one of those beers that's less about enjoyment and more about exploration!

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Photo of danieelol
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a browned golden with nice resilient creamy looking white head and nice spotty lacing.

Smell is bourbon, barleywine-y, a tad vinous. Seems a little crayony which reminds me of other De Struise BA beers- perhaps oxidation, or perhaps the barrel, perhaps a bit of both. It's hard to tell. Bit of mint and menthol, somehow it almost reminds me of Gratitude.

Taste is surprisingly smoky at first, tastes almost like this was aged in Scotch barrels. The smoke isn't overbearing at all though, merely an opening and then a a conclusion to the fruity flavours. Quite drying and even bitter in the finish. Probably just the bourbon bite manifesting itself as smoke and a burnt quality.

Mouthfeel has hints of mint, of course the aforementioned smoke. A wee bit of sourness. Decently sweet but can't really nail this down as either dry or sweet- it bounces around a bit. Barrel is dry, base beer is kinda sweet.

Definitely reminds me of the base beer with a nice BA element added. Leagues ahead of the Port version.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 fluid ounce bottle into a Belgian tulip. Says it's a 2012 Reserva, but doesn't indicate any barrel-aging.

Foamy, compact, cream-colored head that dilly-dallies for ages. Lace drags down all sides of the glass forming a foamy wall. Beneath is a brown, plum skin-colored body with streaming carbonation apparent. 4.5

An aroma of orange peel, candy syrup and floral bouquet with some light coriander or some other table spice. Seems to lack some depth, as the first pass of the nose is about all the intrigue you'll find on this nose. 4

Continues to present a candy, say lollipop, flavor, a citrusy bite, and a bit of barrel quality, mainly oak and some spice. The flavor also offers robust floral flavor and sweet bready malt. I enjoy how this tastes. 4.25

Rich and full-bodied through 3/4 of the palate before a gentle carbonation entrance and mild booze. The sweetness takes on candy-like properties but never becomes too bothersome. The finish is semi-dry, yeasty lingering deal. 4.25

This is drinking quite well. Hard to know all the stats on this, but as it drinks, it is very enjoyable.

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Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%

Pours a medium brown color with minimum head, seems pretty carbonated. A TON of sediment on the bottom. Wow, on first sip this is a delicious beer. As soon as it hits my tongue the first thing i taste is dark fruit such as raisins and dates, a touch of caramel to give it some sweetness, and cinnamon. Then comes the bourbon taste with a little bit of oak. This causes the overall taste to be slightly sweet, any more and I may not have enjoyed it as much as I did. The more you drink the more your taste buds will be overwhelmed by the rushes of flavor. This is one of my favorite Christmas beers to date.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip. 2011 vintage.

(A)- Pours a murky & cloudy pale chestnut brown color. Produced some really nice off-white froth with some surprising retention. Even some lacing left behind.

(S)- First thing that comes to mind is rich fruitcake. It has a depth to it in a rich and sweet way along with a dry oaky boozy raisin aroma. Some fig, dark fruits, and a bready yeastiness; just like a fruitcake.

(T)- Quite similar to the smell, only the yeast presence definitely lets itself known more. A bit dry but also a great combo of a nutmeg, toffee, raisin, and dark fruit flavor profiles. Just a twinge of the bourbon barrel at the end.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance to this. The bourbon barrel does not throw its weight around and it meshes very well with the rich yet not overly sweet beer base. The bitterness does go up a few notches as it warms, but it only gets better with that little bit.

(O)- Everytime I have a beer by Struise, I am always thoroughly impressed by their complexity, their drinkability, and just that little something different to put it over the top and this one is no different. I have not had this fresh, but with the little time on this has really seemed to settle any strong booziness it might have had, while integrating the barrel into something really good. I will track down more of this to have around Christmas time

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Photo of MDDMD
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-orange brown color with a smallish off-white head and little lacing

S-malt, dark fruit, brown sugar, cloves, hints of bourbon

T-toasted malt, dark fruit, molasses, cloves, coriander, hint of vanilla, very light bourbon presence

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth and not at all boozy

O-a tasty BSPA for sipping, but did not have as much of a bourbon presence as I had hoped for and I had difficulty distinguishing it from the regular version

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Photo of Bonsall_Phil
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2011 Edition; consumed in Mar 2015

A: Deep amber-brown, like a rotting apricot. SRM19-20ish. Minimal head, as expected, and recedes to a thin wispy white skin quickly.

S: Waxy-fruitlike scent, like a scented candle trying to mimic fruitcake. Stone fruits under barlywine, yeasty bread and stone fruits come to mind.

T: Follows the nose mostly with the yeast and stone fruits shining forward in a more highlighted fashion, figs and other dark fruits present too. Very clean and dry on the palette. Taste evolves as it warms, like the finest quads. Bourbon and Oak just a minor accent, but there

M: Carbonation is minimal (age?) alcoholic warmth is well-masked but present. There's a creaminess that is very pleasant.

Overall, a very nice beer even at 4 years. I have one more and I am torn about keeping it until Christmas as I do not feel like this beer has much time left in storage and the complex flavors are very enjoyable now. Drink now or forever hold your peace :)

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Photo of ajm5108
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very similar in taste profile as the normal Tsjeeses with a hefty fig, grape & apple flavors with some medium bready malt. It is huskier & slightly more mellow, and you can definitely sense the oak & even a very distant bourbon. Better than the normal Tsjeeses, if only because I felt that was a little sharp & boozey, the aging helps balance out the flavor profile.

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Photo of chinchill
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage 11.2oz bottle poured allowed to warm for a while then poured into a snifter. Nonetheless, this improved with further warming in the glass.

A: Foam rose up the neck upon uncapping and would certainly have overflowed the bottle if not quickly emptied into my glass. It poured a murky & cloudy chestnut brown color with a well-proportioned, off-white head that had good, but not excellent, retention. Some spotty lacing left behind.

Aroma: Too much alcohol, but otherwise very nice, with a rich and complex mix of dark fruits and light spices and with a bready yeastiness.

Flavor - similar to the smell, but with more hidden alcohol, light woody notes, and a less pronounced fruitiness. Some mild barrel aging evident in the aftertaste.

Feel - Ample but soft (natural?) carbonation that's well matched to the flavor profile and medium body.

Overall: impressed by the feel, balance and complexity, I'll head back to get some more of this for Xmas gifts.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2013-01-24 in Columbia, PA. This is lot C/8/10 (from the code on the bottle)

A - Fairly clear with some particulates orange-brown with a 1/2-finger off-white head and mild lacing.

S - Belgian yeast funk, some sour, overly-ripe apricot, spice.

T - Figgy pudding, plum, holiday spices, orange marmalade, light bourbon and tart apricot. It's pretty sweet but yields to drying alcohol and moderate hop bitterness.

M - Medium body and light-medium carbonation. Semi-smooth yet prickly.

O - I like this quite a bit better than the regular Tsjeeses I had earlier in the month. The bourbon barrel aging helped moderate some of the sweetness.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into tulip 8/10/13, cheers MasterSki and Sean9689 for sending the bottle

A slow gush but you have time to get every drop in the glass, dark amber with plenty of sediment and bubbles, large cream colored foam slowly falls to a thick film caking my glass once it fell

S some apple, raisins, faint winter spice, lots of caramel, musty yeast, a little wood but I'm not sure if I'd guess it was BB aged, a little booze but fairly mellow, a nice mix on the nose

T more barrel in the mouth with some vanilla and oak that wasn't as noticeable on the nose, still lots of spicy fruit and caramel

M leaning towards full, less bubbles then I could see in the glass, a little heat, sticky lips with very mellow tannins

O solid beer in my books, easy to drink for a strong ale, not something I'd want all the time but worked well with this chilly evening

not my favorite from these guys but a pleasant experience nonetheless, something I'd drink again

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep clear hazy brown color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of candi sugar with caramelized malt, light toffee and some light bourbon notes are also perceptible. Taste is a very drinkable mix between some caramelized malt with light toffee notes with some residual candi sugar notes, candy ester and some light bourbon notes with some vanilla also perceptible. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I was expecting the bourbon notes to be more apparent but this is still a very enjoyable and easily drinkable beer.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Can't believe I made it to the Struise school house. This beer was one of the few I picked up while there.

Pours out a coppery/amber that is slightly hazy and full of visible carbonation. Slightly off-white head.

Smells of sweet berry, cherry, and pear fruitiness, wood from the barrel, spice and some alcohol.

More alcohol and spice coming in the taste. Fruity and yeasty as well. When warmed you get much more barrel character.

Lots of carbonation on this bad boy. Scrubs the hell out of your tongue.

Such an interesting brew. A must try from these Belgian dudes!

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Photo of thierrynantes
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from La Cervoiserie, and tasted in 2013.

Appearance : amber color with tan foamy head.
Smell : caramel, yeasty and bourbon aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : sweet malty and light fruity flavors, spicy and woody finish.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Belgian Strong Ale (vintage 2011).

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Photo of beerdrifter
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at a great little beer store in Arlon, Miorge Mihoublon. Vintage 2011, best before 26-12-2017. Hazy copper-amber pour with two finger off-white head that fades quickly with decent lacing. Fruity, woody, spicy nose with hints of caramel, clove, raisins, and just a touch of banana, vanilla, and booze. The bourbon is conspicuously absent. The wood and fruit carry through nicely to the taste as well. Hints of oak, dates, plum, caramel, vanilla, apricot, grass, and as it warms and opens up, a very subtle bit of bourbon. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly syrupy with a nice woody, subtly bitter finish. Was hoping for a bit more of the bourbon to come through, but as always, another winner from De Struise!

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Photo of stumac
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours up a murky apple juice look. Decent white head, subtle lacing. Smells of green sour apples, lemons, candy sugar. Tastes is a trip. It starts with a crispy Belgian carbo bite, subtle caramel malts explode into tart fruits. Banana peel, cherries, red apples. Then muttles into an earthy, oaky, lil bit of vanilla finish. Musty, yet clean. Sticky mouthfeel. Medium bodied. Very tasty you rapscallions.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

33cl bottle - 2011 vintage, batch 11. Pours an amber hue with a loose, half inch, off-white head that dissipates into a consistent soapy skim. Nose expresses ethanol, candi sugar and something slightly herbal. Taste follows nose with a hint of toffee and candied fruit, but some hops bittering cuts through the flavor profile. A trace of anise and medicinal at the back. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a slightly oily texture. Carbonation is lively - a bit too assertive and somewhat gassy. Overall, this beer comes off as a barrel-aged Belgian Strong Pale. I liked, but didn't love this beer as there really was no impression of the bourbon character present for me. Pretty much the same as the Port version in my opinion; however this offering had a more pronounced ethanol character.

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Struise Tsjeeses Reserva (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from De Struise Brouwers
90 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.