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Taras Boulba - Brasserie de la Senne

Not Rated.
Taras BoulbaTaras Boulba

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

351 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 351
Reviews: 182
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 10.66%
Wants: 39
Gots: 16 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: GCBrewingCo on 09-19-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 351 | Reviews: 182 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wethorseblanket
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

wethorseblanket, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of Chincino
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Chincino, Nov 18, 2010
Photo of nkersten
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

nkersten, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of MarcGetty
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

MarcGetty, Oct 10, 2010
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

FeDUBBELFIST, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of Halcyondays
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Halcyondays, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of rudzud
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

rudzud, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of bobsy
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

bobsy, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of mynie
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

mynie, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of largadeer
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a couple bottles from Dyan this week. Thanks!

Into a wide-mouthed goblet, Taras Boulba appears a hazy, yeasty straw color. Champagne-like effervescence feeds a large creamy head that slowly settles to a splotchy cap.

The aroma contains a subtle and pleasant mix of bready malts, spicy Belgian yeast and zesty, lemony hops.

Herbal, floral, zesty hops hit the palate first, quickly matched by bready and earthy malts, white pepper-like spiciness, strong lemon rind bitterness. This has a lot of flavor and complexity, but it never feels heavier than its 4.5% ABV. Light and thirst-quenching, dry from front to back, I'm really liking the balance between the malt, hops and yeast. There's a touch of medicinal phenols in the finish that remind me of aged Orval, faint enough to add an interesting complexity. The bitterness in the finish seems to grow with each sip, lingering for minutes in between sips, exhibiting an herbal and lemon peel-like character. Such a great beer.

largadeer, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of Jeffo
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Bert's Bierhuis in Utrecht.

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a 2 ½ finger thinner looking bubbly white head with decent retention. Opaque amber orange with higher levels of carbonation. Head eventually fades to a bubbly foam cap. A thin film remains until the end and leaves bits of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Pale and wheat malt in the nose, with lost of continental hops as well. Lots of floral notes and some spices as well. A big nose on the pour.

TASTE: Follows the nose nicely. Pale and wheat malts again, with floral hops and spices following. Ends with some sweet malt and a bitter hop bite, moving into a long lasting bold and bitter aftertaste. Very flavorful for such a low ABV.

PALATE: Medium body, light on the palate, with higher levels of carbonation. Creamy, though a little thin on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly dry on the palate.

OVERALL: A great, flavorful summer session beer. Proves that a low ABV doesn't mean low in flavor and complexity. This is a great alternative to witbier on the terrace on a warm summer afternoon. It's just too bad this one isn't distributed more widely. Highly recommended.

Jeffo, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of augustgarage
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 330mL bottle into my Troubadour tulip. Best before February 11th, 2012.

Sunglow body with shades of golden poppy and golden yellow at the edges. Delicate magnolia crown is thin but persists. Lacing is very nice, with the appearance of a countour drawing of snow-capped peaks. Shimmering legs run rapidly down the sides.

Biscuity pale malt, fresh noble hops, and faint citrus adorn the nose.

De La Senne's signature blonde yeast is evident though restrained compared to some of their other offerings; a complex blend of phenols and fruit. Hops suggesting alfalfa and unripe stone fruit contribute a moderate drying bitterness that makes this incredibly drinkable. Somewhere between a Belgian Pale and a Belgian IPA.

Smooth, medium-light bodied, with a soft effervesence.

Low ABV, excellent flavor, very refreshing - a wonderfully sessionable Belgian ale.

augustgarage, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of benfons
3.28/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy blonde, thick foamy head

S: Malts, grains, with a bit of sourness too.

T: Hops overpowering the "herbiness" of the beer. Probably also the first beer that starts bitter and becomes sweeter in the aftertaste.

M/D: Carbonation i allright, but it does have a soapy feel to it. ABV-level is fine.

benfons, May 23, 2010
Photo of DefenCorps
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ryan raved so much about this beer that I couldn't pass up when I saw bottles at the Perfect Pour yesterday. Best by 11 Feb 2012, that's quite a ways out, especially for a 4.5% pale ale.

In my Duvel tulip, this beer is a touch hazy, light orange in color with a thick, choppy white head with great retention and lacing. The nose is just outstanding. Delicately bready and delicately hoppy, this is an exceptionally balanced beer. A touch of floral honey to go with the hop character that's equal parts earth and lemon. Delicately spicy as well, with some pepper, this is also mildly yeasty.
The palate is dry and an interesting blend of what I assume is Belgian pale malt and some fresh baked white bread. Not "extra hoppy" by any stretch of the imagination, there's a blend of earthy bitterness and lemony tartness, with a solid dose of floral honey thrown in for good measure. Some yeast too? Again, this is an exceptionally balanced, delicate, and nuanced beer. Drying on the finish with the *perfect* blend of delicate earthy hop bitterness and drying, cracker-like malt. With medium-high carbonation, this beer is darn near perfect. I can (and am) inhaling this beer.

When I get back to homebrewing, I will attempt something like this. Fantastic stuff.

DefenCorps, May 06, 2010
Photo of Walken
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brasserie De La Senne: Taras Boulba (Best by: 11/02/12) (Sampled: 04/21/10)
12 oz. bottle, poured into a cervoise goblet.

Appearance: Full pour yields a hazy yellow/orange beer with a nice two-inch head of tight bone-white bubbles. They cling to the sides of the glass leaving tide marks, and in some cases sheets of lace.
Odor: Orange peel and hop spice come to mind, followed by hints of malt sweetness. Not much.
Consistency: Light bodied beer with a strong, effervescent carbonation and a definite tart edge.
Flavor: Dry bready malt flavors, almost reminiscent of a traditional English pale ale, with a hint of fruit, red and under-ripe. Hops throw two elements into the mix, one being a definite orange/peel character which explains tartness when combined with the fruity yeast. There is also a firm, waxy, bitter flavor that carries throughout and flourishes in the dry, tart finish.

This is a great beer, there's a certain cohesion between the seemingly incongruous elements that makes it a really drinkable pale ale.

Walken, Apr 21, 2010
Photo of Beerenauslese
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold with an ample head that dissipates slowly, leaving small amounts of lacing on the glass.

Aromas of sweet malt, green hops, honey.

Tastes of light malt, yet a little funky with some horseblanket, and a nice bitter green hop flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light with crisp carbonation. Finishes dry.

A refreshing light beer, and highly drinkable at under 5% ABV.

Beerenauslese, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of portia99
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle (exp 11/02/12 on cap) poured into a Russian River stemmed Belgian glass.

A - Pours a very hazy pale straw gold color (fairly close to a wit in appearance) with a thin white head that falls quickly to an uneven layer on the surface and a thick collar.

S - Heavy with earthy and spicey hops with some floral character and a bit of skunkiness too. Light biscuity malt aroma in the background, but the hops definitely dominate the aroma.

T - Bready malt backbone gives a nice solid base to this beer. Some lemony citrus sits in a layer of flavor just above the malt. On top of it all, a very firm hop bitterness dominates the flavor. The bitterness really actually overpowers the malt - definitely not a balanced beer - hop bitterness is the focus without much accompanying flavors with it. Good, but rather one dimensional.

M - Light in body but definitely not watery. Carbonation is on the high side and quite fizzy and lively. Bitterness coats the mouth and just sits there forever after the swallow.

D - A bit of a one dimensional beer with bitter, bitter hops and not much else. Malt is secondary, hop flavor is non-existent. I guess I'm probably used to/spoiled by excellent American interpretations with way more hop character. I guess I'm a bit disappointed in this one...it's good, but I have no need to have another now, and I don't see myself seeking this out either - too many other good beers out there to revisit this one.

portia99, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of jgasparine
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served at Chez Moder Lambic (St. Giles), Brussles, Belgium on 3/17/2010.

A- Poured from the tap with a big 1.5" foamy white head, which was well-retained and presenting some nice lacing throughout the drink. The body was a slightly hazy yellow with some lazy bubble trains working their way up the sides of the glass.

S- The nose is packed with big zesty hop aromas and perceived peppery spices. Lesser aromas of pale malt, straw, dough and must are present in lesser quantities.

T- A wonderful replicate of the nose- big hoppiness and perceived peppery notes up front, over a base of musty straw, pale malt and dough. Some flavors of lemongrass emerge in the finish and linger on the tongue.

M- Thin to medium body- highly attenuated- with a coarse carbonation which delivers a slightly bloating feeling. Could stand to have some softer carbonation.

D- Smells and tastes nice, but the bloaty feeling keeps me from wanting a second glass this particular day.

jgasparine, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of ShogoKawada
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz into tulip. Label reads 'Extra Hoppy Ale'.

A- Nice hazy light yellow with peach highlights. A great fluffy white head that has very nice lacing- thick and creamy. Head fizzes out after 5 minutes or so but nice creamy bubbles remain.

S- Yeasty, floral, fruity, maybe a kiss of hops but nothing too big or bold. Still, a nice aroma.

T- Hops are a bit more evident here.. nice yeast notes, a bit bready, and a good hop bitterness. Lacks the fruitiness of the nose but I'm not complaining- really solid flavor profile here. This is a supremely well-crafted Belgian Pale.. the hops are spot-on.

M- A bit chalky, good carbonation (fairly high) and good flavors keep this one moving.

D- Moderate. I really enjoyed it, I'd like to see it in a larger bottle format. Buying a few of these small bottles to drink over a night would hurt the wallet- but I like this beer. While not 'extra hoppy' it is more than sufficiently hoppy, a Belgian pale with a bit of a kick to it. Nice.

ShogoKawada, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of sholland119
3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-A gusher! A cloudy summer squash yellow, a foamy white head, no lacing.

S-Belgian yeast, peppery hops and some spiciness.

T-Peppery spice and some bitterness in the finish. The heavy champagne-like carbonation is a real distraction and detracts from the flavor of the beer.

M-Too aggressively carbonated for my taste.

D-I am not a big fan of this beer.


sholland119, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of Seanibus
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am afraid I have to swim against the tide on this one - I am not a big fan.

Pours a sunny slightly hazy golden with a big fluffy white head. The aroma is sharp and grainy, with some lemon and coriander. The flavor is thin and lemony, with a strong bite of coriander and allspice. There is a grainy, almost wheaty body, with a distinct aspriny bitterness. The finish is a bit weak and watery, however. The mouthfeel is quite watery.

Seanibus, Mar 17, 2010
Photo of Slatetank
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Novare Res Bier Cafe in Portland ME. Served chilled in a goblet

A - A beautiful golden color w/ excellent clarity - rocky pale white cap w/ average sized beading and thick lace collects

S - The smell has green spiciness from the hops w/ tropical notes from the yeast and mild pine notes from the hops as well. The fruit esters seem to be most similar to pineapple w/ mild bitter citrus peel and a mild vegetal note in the background

M - The feel is very good -dry and bitter w/ mild sweet herbal textures -moderately carbonated w/ mellow sweet malt and herbal tinges carry over into the finish w/ a dash of spice as it ends dry

T - The flavor is full w/ sweet tinge of light malt and mellow bitter citrus and pine hop tastes w/a hint of tropical fruit and the malt crispness balanced w/ a light vegetal and spiced
note of hops which also have minor floral aspects. The flavor has a dry quality which is hard to describe but is not so dry that you don't notice the sweet sugared tip. The complexity is good, but not over the top either -just a solid Belgian Pale taste IMO

D - A drinkable pale, the drinkability is very nice for this style - hopped slightly like a belgian strong yet abv is at level of a pale so it is win/win. I found the bitterness to be substantial and if it weren't at the lowered strength it is could be compared to a Belgian Ipa w/ the bitterness - recommended.

Slatetank, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of ThaCreep
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The nose is light enough where unfortunately we do detect a bit of hops, spices and resins. The mouth is the opposite. In addition to being quite special entry in the mouth, rather resinous, leading to flavors of anise and licorice, accented and highlighted by a hops and yeast quality. Tasting offers a body quite dry with a strong bitterness that breathes the fresh hops. With only 4.5 °, it offers much flavor in the mouth and can be drunk in large quantities. A classic BITTER (and not an IPA or Pale Ale like I saw it), yet resolutely Belgian.

ThaCreep, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of richmof
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Belgian pale or Belgian IPA? I would have thought this was more of the latter, with Zinnebir from the same brewer falling into the former category. Either way, De Zenne Brouwerij doesn't seem to do bad beers.

Pungent grassy herbs on the nose and in the mouth, with an almost earthiness. A very keenly hopped ale.

I could drink this beer any time any place.

richmof, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Blind Tiger, NYC.

Poured a hazy dark straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured light cereal malts and a grassy hop.

The taste consisted of clean cereal malts, a grassy hop an mild yeast esters.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style with a lingering dry spicy finish.

Overall a very drinkable and user friendly farmhouse ale.

plaid75, Dec 22, 2009
Taras Boulba from Brasserie de la Senne
89 out of 100 based on 351 ratings.