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Taras Boulba - Brasserie de la Senne

Not Rated.
Taras BoulbaTaras Boulba

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

195 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 195
Hads: 423
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 17.09%
Wants: 42
Gots: 35 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie de la Senne visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: GCBrewingCo on 09-19-2006

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (22) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 195 | Hads: 423
Photo of HappyHourHero
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33 cL bottle with a best before date of November 2009 (22 months from now). Spiffy cartoon label that says "Extra Hoppy Ale". Who could turn down a hoppy Belgian?

Fruity, yeast, candied sugar aroma. Tall, fine, off-white head leaves a thick coat of lace. Glowing golden beer frames a cloud of lazily rising bubbles. Sugary vanilla and fleshy fruit up front give way to juicy pine and grapefruit hop flavors. The finish is slightly bitter. Just enough to clear all the sweet flavors and drive you to another sip. It starts as a Belgian Pale Ale and finishes as a mild West Coast IPA. IPA.

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Photo of jackorain
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured into a chalice from the bottle by the bartender at Monk's Cafe in Philly. Slightly cloudy, pale golden and cloudy. Not quite pillowy head leaves nice lace and stcuk arounf for a while.

The beer smells of spicy and peppery hops and clove. Hint of banana and a sweet bready malt aroma. maybe even a little doughy and fruity.

The beer is dry and quite hoppy for a belgian pale ale. This beer is dry from start to finish. The hoppiness continues in the finish.

I could have had a few of these, but there were jsut so many to try.

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Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
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

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not a big fan of paying over $10 for a bottle of beer I've never heard of, but I am prone to references to the works of Nikoalai Gogol. One of the strangest labels I've seen in a while. Looks computer drawn, and depicts a bald, moustachioed burly man hoisting a keg and shouting "Smeirlap" over the prone, and outcrying figure of a man with a face out of "Guernica", all before a carnival backdrop, with a slanted church to right of panel. Picasso man is crying out something in Flemish, and if you visit the Shelton Brothers website, they explain the word balloons and the connection to the Gogol story. Somewhat....


capped and corked, ...POP! and out comes the funk! and into a Westmalle chalice she goes...

Clean golden hue, lightly hazed,, huge, pillowy white, lace leaving head. Looks beautiful.

Flowery aroma, a touch of sour, and lots of spice...plenty of Saaz hops going on, I think...Green bottle, and initial aromatic impressions had me worried about skunking, but it just seems the unique character of this brew, and not a bottle of cat pee. (Close, though.) Some lemony, citrusy flavor meets the light spices. Nice.

Taste: hops are in charge on the tastebuds, laying claim of the palate. Light bodied, low alcohol, light in the malt department, this is all hops, and easy drinking. Smooth, with no flaws, but lacks pizzaz, or any real, particular character. A palatable ale with higher hops. No biggie. Would go great with food, but offers no excitement. Nice for sessioning. But at that price, I expect more.

Worth the $10.49? No. But they got me with the name and the label. That's how they get ya!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours quite well carbonated and despite a very careful pour I start out with four-fingers of foam, that quickly grows to 6 fingers in height, including the last two-and-a-half being above the rim of my tulip glass. Quite a well built structure, it shows no signs of overflowing despite its height. The head is a light tan color and sits atop a brilliantly clear, orangish tinged, gold colored brew. The foam is quite dense and creamy in consistency. This is quite aromatic; as I pour I get notes of dried grass and as I marvel at the structure of the head I get bright fruit aromatics that remind me of aromatic apples and pears. I have no idea how I am going to get to the beer under all of this foam, but for now I am content delving into the contents of the aroma. This definitely has a funky edge to it; slightly musty, a touch of cork, damp grain and a touch of sharp esters / phenolics are the funky notes. Really the aroma is about the mix of fruit and hop character though; just under the omnipresent fruit notes (apple, pear, some star-fruit, kiwi and dried Muscat grape) is a nice grassy hop character that has a light herbal edge to it. As my nose gets used to the fruit notes, more aromas start to come out; the aroma now smells distinctly of un-ripened fruit (green mango, green papaya and even a distinctively cucumber like note). As the head slowly recedes it forms a volcanic cone structure that is topped by a bulbous, mushroom crown of froth; really one of the most distinct structures I have ever seen on a beer. A nice, thin layering of Belgian lace clings to the sides of the glass too.

Very dry tasting up front and even creamy feeling on the tongue. After five minutes of waiting for the first sip the beer has lost quite a bit of carbonation, but it still has more than your average beer. The carbonation adds a bit of texture to what is a very light feeling beer. There is a bracing bitterness to this beer though that lingers through to a long finish. In the near finish that un-ripened fruit character / cucumber note from the aroma shows up in the flavor, but it is not nearly as big as the aromatic note was. The fruit notes come out more towards the end as this is where a touch of malt sweetness shows up, just before succumbing to the dry, biting bitterness. The hop flavor in this brew leans towards grassy notes with a touch of lemon zest, perhaps some notes of nettle and even a touch of a tobacco like note that mixes in with the bitterness in the finish. The second pour of this beer retains a lot more carbonation, actually I did not wait a full 5+ minutes before taking my first sip. This causes the beer to almost vaporize as it first hits my tongue. Soft flavors of apple and pear are noticeable at times as is a bready malt / yeast note, some cracker like malt and some honey-like malt flavors.

This beer is very good; probably one of the best visual experiences; it has a very intriguing aromatic character, but is not quite perfect; and the flavor is merely quite good. The flavor seems a touch flat somehow, this is of course a product of the low alcohol percentage, but the best of these hoppy, low alcohol sort of season like brews have more texture and more exciting flavors to them than this does. Still this is very good, and I would be quite happy to see a bunch more beers in this same vein. I like how easy drinking this beer is and also how the bitterness, while substantial, is not overdone. I could use a bit more hop flavor and aromatics, but that might be made up for by getting a really fresh sample of this beer.

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Photo of roan22
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bought a few bottles to take to my tasting club for a belgian themed night. I admit I am getting into belgian beers more and more. I really like the belgian pales due to their addition of hops, because I love IPA's. Taras Boulba is great because its not too strong. There is not too much 'belgian funk' in this beer, almost disappointingly, but I can drink an entire bottle and not be smashed. The hops in this beer are subtley bitter and build up on the palate. The beer is almost fizzy and I like the layer of foam after its poured out. An overall refreshing and hoppy drinkable belgian ale, gold in color.

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Photo of Phatz
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to roan22 for bringing this beer to our tasting. It is a rare treat. It is a Belgian Pale with hops. It is what I expected from a Belgian pale with hops. It pours a cloudy yellow with white head. The smell is is sweet malts with a grassy citrus edge; And the flavor is bready malt, yeast and sweetness and caramel covered with citrus hops. It is well carbonated and spicy across the tongue. This is a drinkable beer.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of John_M
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Interesting beer. I was attracted by the label, and the promise that the beer is well hopped.

The beer pours a rich honey gold color, with very persistent head retention and outstanding lacing. Visually, this beer is all you could ask for and looks quite impressive. On the nose I get honey and ginger ale, with some light lemon and lime flavor. On the palate I get some hoppy citrus, with moderate sweet honey and some underlying tartness. The beer is surprisingly light (I did not realize at the time that the abv. is only 4.5%, but it was clear this was not a high alcohol beer), and tends to finish a tad short in the finish. This beer really grew on me as it sat in the glass, with an increasingly noticeable hop bitterness (which I was happy to see).

This was a very nice beer, and given the abv., would make for a good summer session beer. Quite impressive.

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

Appearance - Poured a hazy golden color. Had a huge, fluffy white head.

Smell - Huge smell of hops with hint of fruits and citrus.

Taste - Again huge hoppy falvor with hint of citrus. Has a dry finish.

Mouthfeel - Light body, crisp with medium carbonation.

Drinkability - It was a descent Belgian but nothing too special.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from Tuckers Maltings...

Poured a hazy golden straw colour. White head poured big, rocky and meringue like then faded slowly to nice thickish covering... lots of thick sticky lacing... quite a lot of carbonation drifts to the surface...

Aroma - Floral and grassy hops, some wheat notes - a bit like a Belgian wit.. sea saltiness, juicy and spicy fruits (apples, grapefruits, oranges and limes), peppery, very light honey sweetness, light bready / yeasty notes, faint notes of sulphur, vanilla creaminess, very little maltiness..

Taste – Just a little on the disappointing side after the good aromas although not bad by any means... light watery fruits (apples, lemons, pears), decent peppery hop bitterness, grassy, some saltiness, again some light wheat beer like notes, quite floral, light yeastiness, nice spiciness - light ginger maybe, quite earthy...

Feel - Pretty sharp and dry with a little creaminess just coming through... light bodied... very very refreshing and drinkable - would be excellent on a hot summers day...

Overall - A very good Belgian pale ale although if they beefed up the flavours a touch i think this would be outstanding... certainly recommended though...

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Stand-Out Belgian Pale, one of the finds of my obscure pale hunt. Mildly yeasty, with a good fomay head. Nice mouthfeel, medium lus mouthfeel, expirey 2008. Quite hoppy,good bitterness and a remarkable overall taste effort for 4.5% a.b.v. I would drink this regular and convert many people if this was available regularly.

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Photo of jastack
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

To start, this was a great looking bottle, I really love the artwork. After popping the cork, I did notice some seeping moisture, but this didn't affect the beer at all. Poured a golden/orange color with a big yet thin head. The smell immediately screams saison/farmhouse with a noticeable hop aroma. The taste suggested slight hints of fruitiness, although the dry, yet not all out bitter hoppiness is what shows through in this beer. For me, it had a very similar taste to a La Moneuse I believe, but I could be getting it mixed up with something else, either way I have had a beer that is very similar to this. I found this very refreshing, and would have no problem drinking this on a nice summer day, such as this one. If you can get your hands on this one, I would definitely try it, it's well worth it.

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Photo of Crosling
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely excellent hoppy saison. Perfect appearence with a lasting froth. VIbrant nose. Tremendously flavorful for such a low alcohol brew. Extremely hoppy, but such a balanced flavor. Excellent longevity as well, i’m guessing this will keep well for at least a year (nothing like an American IPA.) Pure and clearly high in quality. Fantastic belgian ale.

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

Service Temperature, 40 degrees. Service Glass, .4 Liter Balloon glass.

On the surface this orange & lightless ale has a mild frothy head with a subtle lace. Taking notice of the dry, slight apple hop profile that is wafting from the oxygen that enters the glass.

Allowing the beer to come across my taste buds, I recall belgian spices, some mild fruitiness, slight yeast and a hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium with some slight resin. Overall drinkability is more suited for the appreciative and less the hoegarden crowd.


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Photo of stcules
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Blonde, slightly clouded color. A finger of a white foam, not too much standing.
Fresh smell, hoppy, with some backing spicy notes.
At the taste the hop is strong, sharp, resolute, though it left the beer vey pleasant and drinkable. Again some spicy notes, orange peel. A good, strong bitterness.
Not bad at all.
A good bitterness in the aftertaste too, even if not very long.
Good new one.

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Photo of emerge077
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #300

For this "benchmark" review, I wanted to try something new & relatively unknown.

Taras Boulba pours a deep peachy tone into an oversized tulip glass. Slightly hazy texture with unfiltered particles of yeast, and steady streamers of carbonation. Merengue-like foam billows to form craggy peaks. Irregular, spotty lacing rings the glass as the excess foam dwindles to an iceberg-like island. It certainly looks Belgian in all aspects.

There's a light pear fruitiness to the aroma, similar to Zinnebir from this brewery. Also a mineral water element, with light earthy hops making an appearance.

It's lightly fruity and hoppy on the palate, with a residual dry, herbal aftertaste. The hops are earthy, and balance the mild fruitiness. Not over the top hops, just gently bitter, with the drying herbal aftertaste.

The feel is airy and effervescent, juicy at first, then with the dry smack on the back of the palate. It was very easy to finish a 750mL of this very refreshing summertime Belgian. Imagine a hoppier, less fruity version of Zinnebir, and that's not far off the mark.

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Photo of Absumaster
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A golden, light orange beer with lots of carbonation and a thin, but creamy head.

Smell is malty and has a definate Belgian yeast character with some spicy notes. The beer also has a nice hop aroma.

Taste is light malty and strong spicy, like a combination of a pils and a tripel, light but powerfull and full-bodied. A nice bitterness which is a litlle raw and herbal. The yeast gives the beer a Belgian spiciness, which reminds me of coriander and anise. The aftertaste is dry and hoppy. Mouthfeel is smooth.

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Photo of wl0307
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BB July 2008, served lightly-chilled in a large bulb wine glass.

A: pale orangey golden hue but rather cloudy; the loosely-frothy white beer head comes restrained in thickness but lasts well
S: sweet lemony+orangey as well as floral hops (as from German noble hops?), with touches of flower-estery fragrance and juicy gristy grainy pale maltiness behind. Intense and reasonably complex.
T: a mouthful of chewy, bitter yeasts comes before the dry-ish, herbal hoppyness and floral bitterness catch up; the finish has lots of mild bitterness to entertain the tongue. Throughout the drink, the light pale malts play a subtle second fiddler to highlight the hop theme, and yeastiness adds up a wee bit of spiciness as support in the end.
M&D: creamy in texture, subtle in carbonation and medium-bodied, this is a very nicely flavoured, heavily hoppy ale, just like what it says on the beer label: "Extra Hoppy Ale". That said, with due respect, it lacks the kind of complexity that other good Belgian Pale Ales have, and is not as bitter as a real Bitter fan would satisfyingly contemplate... extremely quaffable and more-ish, though.

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Photo of paterlodie
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BBE aug 08. Nice and lasting white head and a cloudy golden beer. Nose is quiet hoppy belgium goldings like so spicy with bit of sour orange and some pale maltyness. Sparkling and inviting fresh. Taste is bitter and dry without missing some maltbody. Good mouthfeel and full taste despite only 4.5%. Great session beer IMO.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer was very hazy yellowish amber wtih a white, moussy, and frothy head which lasted forever to lace the glass.

The aroma was spicy and earthy with and extremely interesting hop character. The aroma was also lightly floral with a low fruity character.

The flavor contained a low caramel and a menthol and spicy hop presence which lasted but was never overpowering.

The finish was dry with a lasting low bittering long into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a medium carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel. A really nice beer. More than an Ordinary Bitter, not enough caramel presence for an ESB, it must be a Belgian Pale Ale then.

Draft at Bruxellensis (9/9/06). Also brought a bottle home and saw it for sale at a few establishments around Brussels.

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Taras Boulba from Brasserie de la Senne
88 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.