Taras Boulba | Brasserie de la Senne

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88
very good
202 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
202
Ratings:
449
Avg:
3.91
pDev:
17.65%
 
 
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43
Gots:
42
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Taras BoulbaTaras Boulba
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie de la Senne
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GCBrewingCo on 09-19-2006

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Reviews: 202 | Ratings: 449
Reviews by AaronHomoya:
Photo of AaronHomoya
4.49/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

"Extra hoppy ale" is all I can understand from the label, which I consider a good sign. This is a fairly light Belgian pale ale, bottle conditioned with some awesome hoppy characteristics.

Yellow/light gold color. Light head with tons of great retention and lacing all down the glass. Aroma is grassy, slightly tart, citrus, and a bit of yeasty funk. Tastes incredible. A perfect blend, for me, of refreshing light malt, yeast complexity, slight sour/tartness and of course, a good helping of bright hops!

I can't remember how much I paid for this bottle, but I fear it is a lot more than I'd hope for such a potentially perfect session ale. I'll definitely be trying to reproduce this in my own home brewery.

 711 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle. Another localized Belgian name I'll look up later.

This beer pours a cloudy, very pale golden yellow colour, with four fat fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat bubbly eggshell white head, which leaves some stellar layered weeping cloud lace around the glass as it gradually recedes - this is one purdy brew!

It smells of semi-sweet bready pale malt, orange cream, zesty yeast, muted coriander, musty pine needles, and a subtle leafy grassiness. The taste is grainy, slightly biscuity pale malt, mildly acrid yeast, subdued, and muddled citrus rind, faint savoury spice, and pleasantly leafy, grassy hops.

The carbonation is quite tight in its closely-held, edgy frothiness, the body medium-light in weight, and a bit too acerbic to be deemed all that smooth. It finishes mostly dry, the gritty malt, yeast, and various citrus, flora, and spicy hops conspiring and colluding as such.

A generally agreeable BPA, one whose mantra of 'extra hoppy' is played out well enough, I suppose, for the conservative Brussels crowd, even if this reviewer is a little nonplussed. Easy to drink, the kind of beer that once you get through half of it, all the while relating it via words, you feel the urge to just say, fuck it, close the laptop, and sit back and enjoy it. I only mention this, because that doesn't happen very often.

 1,343 characters

Photo of macher0
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a wonderful session or outside type ale. A slightly cloudy light straw color with a thick, frothy fine bubble egg shell head. The head slowly retreats with marvelous lace rings. The nose is bright and fruity with strong malt presence. A complex yeast starts off the taste. The mid point of the palate comes through with light malts and dusty grain. The end hits with mild hops. The feel is thin, light, crisp and high carbonation which equates to a fairly smooth finish. Tons of flavor, dry on the end. Go for this if you get the chance.

 545 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(served in a pint)

A: pale, yellow-amber liquid... hazy as hell... gorgeous, gooey foam stand

S: noble hops galore... grassy, with a farmhouse dirt and spice... dried lemon peel, old cloth

T: grassy, floral edging... mildly piney bitterness that hums and lingers... light lemon in the finish, where a mild malt sweetness and cereal flavor emerges... bitter, yellow grapefruit flesh and a dusting of must in the aftertaste

M: soft, plushy, quiet... sanded smooth, but not polished... mumbling, fade away finish... extremely easy to knock back

O: pretty damn tasty, lovely showcase of hop bitterness... heard this guy say he's more a fan of English ales, and it shows in this one... comes across as a sort of hybrid English bitter and small Saison... curious to try it over there - held up pretty well here

 809 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"It was the best of beers, it was the worst of beers..." Well, there's no downside to this Belgian offering but with a foral delicate character up front and a biting bitter note in the back, this really is a tale of two beers.

Pouring with the delicate light straw hue that's typical with Belgian blonde ales, the beer casts a mild yeasty cloud and uninterrupted streams of carbonation. The spritzy bubbles build a fluffed cottony head that sits lightly on the beer and laces the glass intricately.

Very floral to the nose, the beer's supple malt sweetness gives a rounded and somewhat fuller scent to the bouquet of orange blossom, honeysuckle, lavender, lemongrass, and soft coriander. Underpinnings of soft bready pilsner malt allows for a light grain and yeast scent to give impressions of cookie dough.

Just when you think that the aroma profile translates effortlessly to taste, the beer gives a few surprises. Of course the supple sweetness of malt touches the tongue and then seemingly dissolves like powdered sugar while the floral notes march onto the mid palate with a developing earth, grassy, and pepper tone. But the procession toward finish continues to grow into an intensely hopped bitterness that wasn't expected. Finish much like many Belgian IPAs, the bitter bite that's only illuminated in the back of the throat reminds me of lemon pepper, sassafras, and sandalwood.

The finesse of the beer's upstart plays light on the palate with the creamy effervescent that lifts and whimsically dissapears- again, much like powdered sugar or cotton candy. This powdery note hides its bittering power very well and never allows it to pronounce until deeper in the finish. But that bitterness does bring about a sharp, peppery, and somewhat astringent bite that's much like biting on raspberry seeds. Lightly acidic, the beer closes with pleasant alcohol warmth, aided hop dryness, and a fast-fleeting malt presence.

This beer would work perfectly with some of those delicate fish entrees that are also a bit oily. The floral notes of the beer will complement that of the fish preparation, and the bitterness will cleanse the mouth and allow the champagney carbonation to refresh the palate and ensure every bite tastes like the first.

 2,248 characters

Photo of dcmchew
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy yellow, big fluffy white head, nice retention.
Smells lagerish, some extra lemon and grains, "greener", but not very attractive.
Taste starts with lemon, and ends with lemon. A bit of orange sweetness, grapefruit, faint orchard and tropical fruit, followed by huge green hops, really bitter. A touch of "soapy" aromatic herbs. Finish is very aggressive and bitter, like being hit with a barrel of hops in the head (the label seemed very inspiring).
Medium body and carbonation, very dry. Damn, this is bitter.
Again, huge hops seem to cover up some probably nice notes. Bravo on the hop-bomb, not so happy about the sacrificed flavours.

 647 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sparkling sunshine yellow with a generous amount of carbonation and an expansive head that was first visible extruding out of the bottle neck following cork removal. The foam looks much better in the glass. It's pearlescent ivory in color, has a fantastic texture (softly rocky and ridiculously sticky) and is depositing patches of thick lace.

TB smells more like a saison than a Belgian pale ale. The nose is lemon peppery and herbal at once. I keep reading about how hoppy this ale is, but it doesn't smell as hoppy as a trio of great Belgians that I've had in the past year or so (Urthel Hop-It, De Ranke XX Bitter and Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel). Let's see what the taste buds have to say.

Taras Boulba is very good beer. It's also amazingly quenching and refreshing beer. Given the flavor and the ABV, this '750' should be gone in no time at all. Back to appearance: a second pour has added a huge amount of yeast to the glass and has made the already attractive head even more attractive. This is one gorgeous ale.

Several ounces are gone and my initial enthusiasm has ebbed a little... but only a little. The beer's biggest negative is that the flavor isn't quite as deep and as complex as it could be. I wonder if a slightly higher ABV would help in that regard. That's pretty much it for the negatives... on to the positives.

Despite a lack of barnyard funk, saison is still the more appropriate style. There's a modest amount of untoasted crackery malt, just enough to give the top notes of hops and yeast an adequate amount of support. Hop flavor and bitterness is generous for a Belgian ale. The finish is especially snappy and tight.

As far as specific flavors are concerned, let's go with lemon zest, meadow grasses, white pepper and spicy cardamom. Maybe a little ground clove as well, but it isn't dominant. The flavor is definitely more assertive as I get into the middle of the bottle. It could be due to warming, but I suspect that the yeast are simply now more plentiful within each gulp. The next highest flavor score is a small step away rather than a giant leap.

Considering the 4.5% ABV, the mouthfeel is surprisingly enjoyable. It doesn't venture beyond light, yet has enough smooth creaminess to get the job done. Longer lasting bubbles would be good; both overall and within each mouthful.

Why would Brasserie De La Senne name a pale ale after an obscure historical novel written by an obscure Ukranian named Nikolai Gogole? Who cares, as long as the beer is delicious. Taras Boulba is another hoppy Belgian that saison freaks owe it to themselves to try.

 2,598 characters

Photo of aszatk01
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of SanFranJake
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of SkiBum22
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Kappakoosh
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Todd
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of bishopdc0
3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Shared with my wife at Novare Res's Zwanze day.

The look is pale golden straw with a big thick white head it laces very nice.

The nose is sweet with hints of pale malts and the hops are subtle in the nose slight grass straw.

The taste is thin at first but becomes more bitter hops and mix with a pale malts to become bitter and fresh. All in all a nice refreshing beer.

 373 characters

Photo of VernonKell
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Belgian bomber, no freshness/brewing date info. Capped and corked, I also found a bit of darker liquid betw. the cap and the top of the cork. The cork seemed to have a slight blue cheese sheen to it, Funky....This one pours cloudy medium tangerine, with an initial huge, wild head, after a minute or two the poor was more controllable and resulted in a real nice slowly fading merainge, and then a thick, wildly undulating film and leaving the now expected extensive thick sheeting and lace. Nose is of candied and spiced cotton candy and popcorn. Earthy, lightly peppery, plenty of yeasty interest. Notes of some light grapefruit, herbal and flowery hop notes and more mild, lingering peppery spice. Very Saison like. Fairly light bodied, quite complex and interesting. I love to come across a new (at least to me), vibrant and very tasty offering like this one. Yeast filled final pour, adds some nutty notes, medium chunks and perhaps a more pronounced hop presence, very nice beer. Not cheap @ $9.99, but oh so worth it

 1,023 characters

Photo of Guinnsslvr
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of GreenMountainBoy
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of olradetbalder
2/5  rDev -48.8%

Photo of DJ-Hophead
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330 ml bottle Beergium - Pours hazy gold with a large white foamy head. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Smell - light bready, ripened fruits. Taste - Pilsen feel foretaste with a lingering bitter finish. Interesting but a little bit too bitter for my tastes.

 259 characters

Photo of innominat
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of clund
4.36/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of NilocRellim
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy pale yellow. Skunky earthy hops, slighty malty. Bubbly and clean, very light but hop forward; earthy and oily hops are flavourful but also soft behind the clean crisp profile. Seems like an excellent summer hopped ale.

 226 characters

Photo of Kraken
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from capped and corked 750ml bottle into a standard pint glass. This unlike the Zinnebier did not have beer between the cork and the cap. Firm pour yielded a 3 finger head with good staying pour and nice lacing. Beer was a pale translucent amber. Smell was of slight hops, straw and Belgian yeast. Taste was slightly sweet, straw/grassy flavors, very light with a hop bitterness in the finish. Long finish. Very easy drinking, light and somewhat mild. Beer was a little thin. Very nice.

 493 characters

Photo of Janeinma
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of fionn13
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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Taras Boulba from Brasserie de la Senne
88 out of 100 based on 202 ratings.