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Taras Boulba - Brasserie de la Senne

Not Rated.
Taras BoulbaTaras Boulba

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

368 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 368
Reviews: 184
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 38
Gots: 20 | 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 (16) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 368 | Reviews: 184 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours murky pale yellow with a large white creamy head that slowly dissipates into rich lacings.

S: Lot of Belgian yeast almost a bit acidic, rich citric notes. Spicy.

T: Dry balanced bitterness. Lots of fruits; lemon zest, bananas. Some wheat. Spicy.

M: Aftertaste is rather long and really bitter. Body is a bit thin and carbonation is moderate.

O: Lots of spices and a nice bitterness could go a long way, but this one lacks body.

Photo of alex667gbg
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was glad that this was still available here in Sweden this week, as is was a temporary release for this spring. So here is my review.

You can notice the yeast floating around in the bottle before opening it. Pouring up a cloudy, almost glowing yellow liquid with a really thick small bubbled creamy head. Beautiful!

Nose is Yeast, herby and a bit hoppy. Not a very big nose however.

Something that describes this beer in taste is its balance! Great hops and malts in a great balance and it gives you a fruity citrus, apple touch that really seem strange for a belgian beer. Good hops for us hoppy freaks too. Great beer!

A really good beer!

Photo of
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours hazy golden, luminescent gold with a nice creamy head that dies back fairly quickly leaving nice Brussels lace.
Aroma is subtle but deep and complex – caramel malt and nuttiness give a sweet, coffee cake-like smell that hides beneath floral and citrus hops.
Mouthfeel is smooth with a nice punch of refreshing carbonation.
Flavour is a bit thin, diluted notes of honey and bitter hops with a dry, hoppy finish. Bitter in a manner similar to tonic water on the end.

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

The smell is a bit yeasty with just a little phenolic hints of oil paint and sweet almonds. Some light hoppy notes of hay and bitter herbs. It's quite mild for being a Belgian ale.

The colour is cold orange with a tint of gold; the liquid is cloudy with some yeast particles. The finger thick head slowly sinks down to a thin lid, leaving almost no lacing.

The taste is smooth with a bitterness that makes me think of English IPA rather than Belgian pale ale (and I like it). Some yeast and hints of plastic and paint. Sweet malty-fruity notes in the background. Light to medium bitterness. The aftertaste is surprisingly dry with a fine bitterness, some metallic hints and a touch of Belgian yeast. The metal grows in the finish.

The carbonation is light to medium strong; the small bubbles are almost sharp. The liquid is smooth.

A highly drinkable and surprisingly bitter flavour. Very refreshing.

Photo of crossovert
3.15/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle.

It pours a light gold with a big, foamy white head that leaves a ton of lacing.

The smell is fruity and malty with a hint of tang.

The flavor is first light and airy and it ends in a very bready finish that has a little bit of bitterness.

It is a decent beer. My bottle might be old.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.1/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy pale yellow color with a small 1 inch head that becomes an oily film on the top of the beer. Spotty bits of lace on the drink down. Smells of yeast, watery citrus hops, and malt. Tastes of watery malt, subdued citrus hops, and yeast. Somewhat abrasive hop bitterness after each sip. Not too good. Good carbonation makes for a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, I am glad I got to try this hard to find Belgian beer but it is not my cup of tea.

Photo of Intrinsic
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Taras Boulba looks very good, pouring a cloudy straw colour with a nice thick head. It smells slightly fruity and has strong spice notes and an obvious hop character.

The taste is exactly what I was hoping for - very light malt flavour backed with a bitter punch that completely overwhelms your tastebuds. The spice is less pronounced in the taste but still plays an important role.

The mouthfeel is almost perfect. Taras Boulba is incredibly smooth, mostly as a result of the fine carbonation. the finish is dryer than average. It makes this beer very drinkable. A very good interpretation of the style.

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

Appearance. Pours a golden, hazy straw with a finger and a half of white bubbly head that lasts a couple minutes.

Smell. Light grains and funky Belgian yeast. Some herbal hops and spoiled fruit.

Taste. Bitter grassy and herbal hops and light malt. A little sour apples and a long lasting, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel. Medium-light body with medium-strong carbonation.

Overall. This is a case of the sum being greater than the parts. Everything works so well together in this beer. Great stuff.

Thanks, NorthYorkSammy!

Photo of harrymel
3.1/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to schmoopsbeer for this extra, cheers!
Best by 5/10/2012

A: Pours a hazy light bronze ale. Single finger, meringue head which dissipates over a few minutes with shredded sheet lacing. Yeast flecks scatter the bottom 1/3.

S: Classic belgian yeast with tones of metal, clove, and a hint of banana. Noble hops take the back seat.

T: Taste follows the nose well. The beer has decent bitterness and a near tartness to it. Okay.

M: Medium body with high carbonation. Fairly foamy while in the mouth, actually. Could use a little less carb.

D: Drinkable and decent. I would not purchase myself again, but would pass along to another to spread the wealth.

Photo of vande
3.27/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Urine Yellow, a bright golden color with very little head... light lacing left around the top...

S - Farmy...straw/hay barnyard

T - grassy, bit of wheat/yeast/bread in there. Crisp, bitter on the back end.

M - thin...dry

D - Not bad. Worth a try, not sure how often I'll go back though. But definitely worth a try.

Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From 33cl bottle that I picked up from Dranken Geers.

Poured intoa snifter.

Pours golden hazy with a enthusiastic two finger head that leaves a bit of lacing.

Smells of citrus fruits, malts and almost like a pilsner faint hints of hops on the nose.

Taste of light malts, wheat and subtle hint of spices. Bitter aftertaste.

So far so good but the mouthfeel is a bit of a let down. Light body, fair amount of carbonation and a dry finish.

Low ABV makes this perfect for a lay sunny afternoon. Extra hoppy ale is what it says on the label and that's what this beer delivers. Great session beer.

Photo of rarbring
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer is clouded light golden with an uneven white head that leaves good lacing.

Spicy and fruity, clove, cardamom, banana and apples.

Initially a taste of sweet fruits, peach and red apples, some lemon and a distinct bitter spiciness.

Medium low carbonation, a small body, a very coarse dry feeling.

Actually, a bit to unbalanced hoppiness, I lack a body to help it be refreshing.

Photo of biegaman
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Taras Boulba has a solid appearance. And while that is certainly true in the figurative sense as it is quite commendable, I meant it more literally: I can't see through the damn thing! Its fair golden tone is misleading - this has a dense complexion (such that all highlights have been squashed). Its head too is impressively solid. It is substantial and steadfast.

Its smell is like that of a lover in that while it might seem unusual and unfamiliar at first, in time it grows to arouse you. Indeed, I've become attached (nearly obsessed actually) with this reeking - but curiously attractive - bouquet that has the underlying odor of a dusty attic and stinky, soft rind cheese. Of course, those are mostly covered up by a perfume of fruity yeast and even fruitier, effervescent hops.

I'm not sure that beer (or anything for that matter) can have a taste independent of its taster. But let us not get bogged down debating philosophy and let it suffice to say that this beer tastes amazing to me. Your palate may feel otherwise. But for mine, this simple (but substantial) flavour of pale malts and pineapple-like hops is the knees. And at such a low alcohol makes possibly the most definitive session beer.

Hops! What a glorious discovery! The lingering fruity esters of the yeast would have complimented the toasty sweetness of the malts just fine on their own, as it has been for centuries, but with the help up a hop profile that is thick and bitter and sprightly, the beer is taken to new levels. This may not have been the first European brewery to experiment with American hops, but they may have conceived the best outcome.

I understand Gogol is one of the greatest of all the great Russian writers but I doubt even he could have devised a character so memorable and unique as this. In fact, this is my favourite Belgian character since Hercule Poirot. While admittedly it does a take a great deal of its character from the American hops, there's no mistaking that its intricacy, balance and the first-rate of its craftsmanship were undoubtedly the work of a Belgian mind.

Photo of Cmack15
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had on this tap at Julians and instantly fell in love with this beer. This is a perfect session beer in my opinion and I wish I could find bottles of it. The mouth feel, aroma, and taste are all nice and evenly balanced. The low abv makes this beer perfect. Super highly recommend it.

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at memphis taproom. Been looking for this on draft forever. Nice!

A- comes to me with two huge fingers of bright white head atop a hazy golden yellow brew. Head settles rather quickly to leave a ton of sticky lace and a giant frothy ring around the glass.

S- bananas and honey, belgian yeast out the ass. Some lighter spice and pale malts. Bright sweet florals.

T- spiced bananas and honeysuckle with a slow roll into some bready dusty Belgian yeast and powdery malts.

M- a bit less than medium in body and a bit more than medium in carb.

D- this stuff rocks! Simply beautiful brew. Super drinkable and a blast to quaff. Worth the wait to find it on draft.

Photo of jrallen34
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap into a tulip at Moeder Lambic...A honey gold pour with a light tan head. A big clear thick off white head, good retention and lacing...A light sweet aroma of honey and grain, mostly the same on the taste. A light tasting but flavorful and easy to drink brew.

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Dan.

Pours a hazy pale yellowish with a somewhat small coarse head. Smell is floral and herbal with a saison-like essence. A faint funk and yeast also is pleasant. Taste is lemony and herbal/flowery with barely a trace of malt. Dry and bitter on the finish. Mouthfeel is too thin and watery. Overall, a good sessionable pale.

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

I had this beer on tap as part of a four beer sampler so it was poured into a sampler glass.

It poured a hazy golden color with a foamy white head. The aroma was floral. It was light bodied with high drinkability. It was very light, refreshing, and crisp.

Photo of nkersten
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into St Feuillien tulip. Beer is a light slightly hazy yellow with a half inch white head. Nice retention and some lacing. Smell is incredibly floral hops, very fresh smelling. Belgian yeast in the background, the hops steal the show here. Taste follows smell, firm hop bitterness followed by a very floral hop flavor, a hint of rosewater, a very unique hop profile. Some light malts and a nice bready yeast finish to help balance out the hops a little. A light body with a medium carbonation, the hop flavor coats and gives an interesting finish. Drinkability is very good. I love finding a beer that has lower abv and great flavor. If this was easier to find I would drink it much more often.

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

Found the 11.2 ounce bottle at a local bottle shop and was intrigued by the "extra hoppy ale" label. As it was "extra hoppy" and from Belgium, I knew this would be more towards regular hoppy than extra hoppy for American tastes (a good thing to me).

Pours a light, almost golden color that is far from transparent, almost cloudy. It has a small head at pour, but retains this all the way through the beer which is a nice touch.

The taste is really great. Slightly more hoppy than a Houblon or Local 1 and very tasty. I'm definitely going to go find some more.

4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle to tulip. Best by date of 11/02/12 printed on the top of the cap. $4.50 for the single. The label art looks like the work of a modern day Picasso.

A: Pours with a modest head of 1 1/2 fingers, even with multiple streamers along the glass to aid in retention. Eggshell white in color. The creamy texture lays down lacing in torn sheets around the glass. The body is fairly cloudy and has a golden yellow hue with light to medium saturation. Only noticeable when held to light, this brew is heavily particulate with brown and grey flecks collecting at the bottom of the glass.

S & T: Malts of straw and grain, lightly toasted. The hops are heavy and produce a balanced bouquet of grass, flower stems and herbs with light lemon and the faintest orange in the background. Big leafy yeast contribution, lightly musty and maybe even sweaty as well. Pepper, coriander and dusty flavors are mixed in. Touch of sourness. Somehow a less-than-stellar nose gives way to remarkable flavor. Very commendable since I was convinced I had yet another average Belgian Pale Ale in my glass. Not the case.

M: The mouthfeel is better still. And I'm surprised to see the sub 5% ABV indicated here. Medium-full with a thick and creamy texture. Slightly minerally. The carbonation is lively, yet finely fizzy. The finish is bone dry and moderately bitter. Damn near perfect in my eyes.

D: Highly palatable but...intensely dry drinks have never been highly quaffable for me. Nevertheless, Taras Boulba drinks very well, particulary the first one or two glasses.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a lightly hazy goldenrod with a poofy white head which leaves good lace.

S: Stone fruit, bready pils type malt, with notes of grass and floral herbs.

T: Definitely has a bit of a hop kick to it in this style. Unripe peach, yellow apples, and a hint of spice.

M: Smooth, soft almost frothy carbonation, a classic Belgian mouthfeel.

D: Nice BPA, lower in alcohol than most, but still pretty full-flavoured, a session beer for Belgium.

Photo of rudzud
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from at the Armsby Abbey on 8/11

A - Nice straw color with a big fluffy two finger head. Tons of lacing down the sides throughout the entire beverage.

S - Big time hops with this belgian pale ale. Some faint malt aroma on the end.

T - Citrus! Smooth but crisp and refreshing. My only knock is that for some reason I'm getting a bit metallic after taste.

M - Medium carbonation. Very refreshing!

D - This is really great. Goes down wonderfully to the point of being dangerous. Pale but bitter. Just really enjoyable.

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

12oz bottle at Beerbistro.

Hazy gold pour with three fingers of white head that laces prodigiously as it drops to a thick cap. Tree fruit mingles with pale malt in the nose, with a sweet spiciness in the tail. Finely balanced Belgian Pale Ale profile, with light estery flavours of pear and gooseberry mixing with mild funk and pepper. Herbs, flowers and spices join the mix to make a complex flavour. The light body doesn't seem out of place and contributes to this beer's drinkability, while a billowy carbonations helps to bulk up the mouthfeel to pleasing levels.

This is an outstanding Belgian Pale Ale, and incredibly sessionable and quenching for its weight. It will not be replacing Orval any time soon, but it's a beautifully crafted beer with finesse and style.

Photo of mynie
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured this into a pint glass because what the hell, why not, don't tell me how to live. Also, sidenote, I love creepy cartoons from European nations of no political consequence. Estonian ones especially, but Belgian ones are pretty slick. More of this please.

So this is a Flemmish hoppy pale, I take it. Which makes it my first. And it's also the best hoppy Belgian I can ever remember having, its body and flavor resembling Orval on PCP.

Then again, I don't really remember what Orval tastes like. I remember that it was damned impressive for its size, that it managed to cram in most of the best Belganiness of a good Dubbel only without much of the alcohol burn. This is like that. There's a goddamn Turkishmarketsworth of ripe fruit in there, along with maybe the nicest Belgian yeast profile I've ever come across. It's all the nice flavors you normally associate with burn only there's no burn. And the aftertaste is superb. It tastes the way an old dusty beerstore smells, only in no way gross. One sip of this and it's like I'm standing in the middle of John's Grocery.

Taras Boulba from Brasserie de la Senne
88 out of 100 based on 368 ratings.