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Taras Boulba - Brasserie de la Senne

Not Rated.
Taras BoulbaTaras Boulba

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

372 Ratings

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Ratings: 372
Reviews: 187
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 38
Gots: 25 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 372 | Reviews: 187
Photo of PhillyMonk
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wasn't sure what to expect, but liked the idea of a "hoppy" Belgian ale. This poured a nice rich golden color in the tulip glass it was served with with a good amount of head that clung for a few minutes. Well-balanced smell with hops dominating. The taste was also hoppy up front, but none of the bitter aftertaste of IPAS. This beer finished with a sweet, smooth flavor that was refreshing and different. I had no idea until I got home that this beer was less than 5% alcohol. If it didn't cost me $7.50 a glass, I could drink this one all night. A delicious ale!

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

A cloudy bright gold colored beer. A massive rapidly forming airy white head faded over a few minutes. Large carbonation bubbles were scant and rose fast. Minimal lace spots.

Earthy scents with strong grass and yeast presence. Hops have a subdued quality and only hint at a bitter aroma. A buttery finish on the back of the nose.

A bitter subdued hops flavor up front. Straw and grass flavors. AS it warms a light fruity essence comes out stronger without having any specific flavor to note.

A nice thickness on the tongue. Few minimal carbonation tingle. Flavors cling very nicely well after swallowing.

A good brew. This one would work nicely with chicken Francaise. A great session brew. Well worth trying if you see it out and about.

Photo of popery
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is probably my favorite sub-5% abv Belgian that I've tried so far. It tastes like a light Belgian IPA, which makes sense given the self-applied label, "Extra Hoppy Ale." I chilled it down a bit in the refrigerator and side-stepped the overflow other BA's have reported. Consequently, the head was probably a bit less than it could have been. The beer is a glowing, hazy yellow-gold liquid with a puffy white head. The aroma is a bit weak. Dry yeast is the main aroma, but there is a noticeable tangerine hop undercurrent. The beer really shines on the palate. It's a pretty exceptional beer given the truly sessionable 4.5% abv. Both malt and hops shine and work well with the yeast. The malt is light but fresh and flavorful. The hops give the beer a great bite in the aftertaste and provide pleasing bitterness and flavor throughout. The yeast flavors are a refined and restrained Belgian complex of earth and must. This is one of those great foreign session beers that's sadly too expensive to drink in quantity here. I'm deeply envious of Belgians (and anyone else lucky enough) who can find it easily and cheaply.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

on-tap at deep ellum during the cantillon/de la senne event on april 24, 2009, week's end of the craft brewers conference.

served in tulip glass.

pale blonde with slight haze. amazing foamy, creamy head. great lace.

bold noble hop nose, herbal, grassy and upfront. faint fruity belgian yeast notes. toasted crackers. whiff of sulfur.

taste: very surprisingly malty and bready, while also hoppy with very crisp herbal tones. snappy bitterness.

light to medium body, with resins in the finish. crisp carbonation has moments of creaminess.

really, this isn't much different from the bottled version. maybe fresher, and of course no gushing. again, this has exceptional depth of flavor for just 4.5% ABV.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'd like to thank Eric from Novare Red Bier Café for suggesting this last winter when we visited his location in Portland, ME. We shared on that night and I've been looking for one to enjoy/review. Finally was able to pick up a couple of bottles.

Upon opening the bottle some carbonation boils in the bottle and slowly starts building foam that would eventually make it's way out the top of the bottle. When poured a wispy white head forms and then begins to fade immediately. The beer is slightly hazy light gold color despite decanting and leaving the yeast in the bottle. No lacing occurs.

Aroma is yeast and spice and some pale grains/malt.

Flavor is quite yeasty as well, a bit dry with some black pepper and other spices.Some grassy notes and then a bready sense in the middle of the profile. Finally a surprising amount of hop bitterness. Almost crisp and definitely dry. You get some additional sweetness as it warms above the serving temperature as well as some additional fruitiness shining through.

Mouth feel is just shy of astringent and body is very delicate. Bitterness makes it seem a bit more bold than it really is.

Quite drinkable and a lot of flavor for a lower ABV beer. This could be a session Belgian.

Photo of Overlord
3.03/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks for the extra!

Pours a hazy gold with a billowing white head that threatened to overwhelm fist the bottle, then the glass. Looks a bit filmy, and the head brings to mind soap foam.

Smells ... well, the bottle says "hoppy," but this smells like Belgian yeast in a familiar "gold ale" format.

Taste, again, has some citrus and lemony hops, but is by no means "hoppy." If anything, it tastes like soapy lemon zest. Not particularly appealing, and this is one of the few times I think a beer is overly carbonated. The flavor could have used a dampening down.

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a hazy, golden color with tall, white foam that persisted and clung to the glass, leaving some lace. The smell was a wonderful aromatic hop aroma (noble?) coupled with effervescent carbonation which tickled the nostrils. The taste was very dry and full of aromatic hop flavors, though not overly bitter. Behind the hops was a mild malt body with only a touch of sweetness. Perfectly balanced. The mouthfeel was dry and crisp with medium body and good, fine carbonation. The hops were present from start to finish. This is a wonderful session beer. Thanks to Daniel from Moan & Dove for recommending this one.

Photo of BarrelO
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a goblet. Smeirlap!

A: Light orange with a big puffy head. In fact, I barely keep it from gushing all over the counter.

S: Citrus and spicy yeast.

T: A stunningly refreshing mix of tartness, hop bitterness, and biscuity malt.

M: Light with tons of carbonation.

D: This is really easy to put down. I'd drink it all the time if it were more widely available and less expensive.

Photo of deanhead
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice straw color. Big brilliant head, which reduced to a lace minimal lace.
Aroma is a peppery and lime like.

Taste is bitter and floral, crisp and clean.
Light bodied and refreshing.
Drinkable, but nothing really stands out with this beer. It's good but as others have mentioned it's not fantastic.
All around good beer, but nothing that really strikes a fancy with me on this one.

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

No apparent freshness date on bottle

This is a good beer. Not a bad beer, not a great beer, not an OK beer, but a good beer. There is nothing that really stands out here but there is nothing I can pick apart either.

It has a nice thick, lasting head with more than a little yeast in the glass if you pour recklessly.

Bright citrus and tropical aromatics slightly bitter from the "Extra Hoppy" aspect of this beer. Not really hoppy at all though this seems to ride a perfect line of bitter, fruity and earthy.

Nice carbonation that keeps this fresh and lively in the mouth, a bit more than most Belgian Pale ales.

This is easily drinkable, but not something I want all the time. Only beacause there are so many great Belgian Pales out there, and this one is just good. Not Bad, but good.

Photo of imagineiii
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into my duvel tulip. pale yellow to hazy orange in color. finger of white head. decent retention.

nose is of grass, maybe hay. light fruits, apples and melons. cloves. smells alot like local 1. but this beer has half the alcohol, hmmmm...

initially its sweet and clovy, with faint fruits that are more dominant in nose. crisp hops clean any residual sweetness away, leaving only a slight bitterness behind. slightly peppery. marvelously balanced.

mouthfeel is perfect. carbonation is just right, flavor complexity isnt nearly overpowering to the palate. clean finish.

this beer is as drinkable as any belgian out there. it is light and clean, leaving the drinker wanting more. unfortunately it is cost-prohibitive to session with this beer, as much as id like to.

advertised as extra hoppy, it is anything but. rather the hops just serve to clean up the sweet fruity esters left behind from the belgian style.

Photo of rtepiak
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow. really. 4.5 abv!

pour is a murky golden. the head creeps up the bottle after popping. very carbonated beer. tight white belgian bubbles. nose of herbal straw, pilsner bitterness, and a mild floral lavender quality. taste is soap astringent. quite dry on the tongue. lavender comes through on the palate quite nicely with a pislner earthy like finish. wonderful bitter. light. effervescent carbonation that does burn but adds to the clean dryness of the beer. very mild sweet, some honey with a finish of bread. minty crisp on the tongue balance with that too. great beer. great for late spring to summer. so light and well hopped it could be had with everything... but spicy foods.

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

04/30/09- Purchased at K&L Wine Cellar in Redwood City, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my New Belgium tulip.

Appearance- Medium to ligher golden colored pour. One inch fluffy head with some light lace patchwork and streaks remaining.

Smell- Ligher notes when cold of tropical fruits, lemon rind and yeast. As it warms, the tropical notes really get pungent.

Taste- Very well balanced between the tropical hoppy flavors and the light toasted malty base. Light lemony flavors with what seems like mango possibly as well.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level. Pretty crips and a minor hoppy aftertaste.

Drinkability- All in all a really nice pale ale. Really easy to drink and refreshing.

Photo of smcolw
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge, over-carbonated head--the bottle vulcanoed when opened. When poured, there is an initial four-fingered head. Leaves chunky ring lace. Quite cloudy; golden color.

Earthy and yeasty aroma predominates...mostly yeast. Clean malt smell without the rawness that I've come to expect from Belgium. Light alcohol in the background.

Acidic without being citrusy. A balanced finish that offers a notable hop flavor. The yeast is lighter than the smell would indicate. Balanced body; leans toward the bubbly side.

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours cloudy orangey straw with a huge white, fluffy head. Lots of floaties.

Nose is grassy, really tight, spicy, almost cool.

Taste is tight like the nose, almost odd. Cool, herbal hop bitterness seems to dominate, yeast lends a doughy malt note that gets mixed up in it and doesn't break free. Moderately high bitterness level wears on the palate. Everything ends up muddled up in a tight mass with nothing really breaking free.

Mouthfeel is sharply carbonated, light bodied.

Was a bit turned off by this one, and really sure why. It didn't seem refreshing or overly drinkable, and there seemed to be a lot of bitterness instead of hop flavor. Iffy.

Edit: thinking back, this keg had been rolled down stairs into the basement minutes prior to tapping, so I wonder if that really screwed up the taste by agitating all that yeast into the beer.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazed, dull golden-hued body with a tall, fluffy, white head.

Smell: Fresh, aromatic notes of dusty citrus fruits, cantaloupe juice, herbs, clean soap, and spices set against a humble backdrop of pale malts.

Taste: European pale malts, only lightly sweet. Fruity tastes of melon and lemon slide into tastes of dried herbs, lemon pepper, and watercress. Moderate bitterness. Slight Belgian yeast character. Minor acidity. Floral, soapy hop flavors in the latter half. Spicy bitterness in the brightly crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: I'm always happy to mix in a lighter alcohol brew, particularly when it's both pleasantly flavorful and irresistibly quaffable.

Photo of Rors
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A standard pale gold colour with a nice stable head - nothing mega exciting here, but all in all quite pleasant to look at.

The nose presents lovely floral fresh hops and a good sweet malty waft. Some nice fruity aromas too (pineapple and mango.) The smell is very complex for a beer of this strength!

In the mouth the hop attack comes first - this is quite a bitter beer! Its all balanced really well with a good underlying malt sweetness. The aftertaste is short but satisfying and theres also plenty of fruitiness here too.

For a beer of this strength it is really quite a remarkable brew - the balance is fantastic. It's super quaffable aswell.

Its good to see the belgians can make a great light tasty beer aswell some excellent dark, strong brews.

Photo of markman
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I gotta be honest here; I was expecting quite a beer. In the end, I was rather underwhelmed.

It comes across rather one-dimensional: grainy aroma, bone dry, with a fleeting mild citrus taste that could easily be missed.

A bit of earthy complexity comes in with the yeasties swirled in.

Not a bad beer, but top 10 BPA? I think not...but a more than decent lawnmower beer.


Photo of Hautacam
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this for the second time on tap at My Place Restaurant in Newtown, CT.
Slightly cloudy , light gold , with a frothy head..served in a Hommel Ale chalice.
Smell is earthy and hoppy.
Taste is slightly grassy and earthy Noble type hop, with a bite for sure. There is bit of malt...not enough to balance, but enough to tame the hops a bit...not sweet. There is also a hint of lemon, yeast and bubblegum in the background.
Mouthfeel is on the light end of medium and the carbonation is just right.
A pretty easy drinking Belgian.

Photo of cswhitehorse
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Taras Boulba poured a hazy straw yellow with a wicked strong foam head which was 3-4 fingers. It left some nice lacing on the sides of the glass and retention was moderate.

Aroma was enjoyable as it reminded of Belgian smells with added hoppiness. It had a nice fruitiness to it. The taste is light and fruity and was one which could be session-able. It was pretty dry in the mouth and you were left with some resinous hops. Overall a very solid Belgian Pale.

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

Pours a clouded yellow orange that's hard to see in this dark light. Nose is minor dough with spices mixed in. Milder than I expected. Flavor is quite hoppy it seems. Fair amount of dough. Earthy too. Minor citrus on the backside. Decent level of spices it seems, buy really the hops are in full effect here. Smooth feel. Low carbonation. Nice to drink. It started off off to me but soon got quite nice. Like this beer a lot.

Photo of hellbilly
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottle BB may 09 by way of glouglouburp.

a rather ugly hazy blonde colored pour with a soft white head and light spotty lacing.

fruity yeasty aroma... pear, lemon and grass with a ton of flowers and herbs (thyme, rosemary and savory... yep). it actually smells like my herb garden!

there's just a touch of flower blossom sweetness on the palate. but that's it!.... extremely dry with a nice lingering bitterness throughout. flavors of pale grain, dust, faint citrus, earth, more herbs and grassy/skunky hops with a spicy bite on the finish. light to medium bodied with prickly lively carbonation and mouth feel. airy texture. extremely refreshing yet complex.

great lunch beer... i bet it's insane fresh off the taps!

Photo of gregmurer
4.94/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

THE best of...
Best of, for it's drinkability, even after tree or four of them, it's still a pleasure to order a fourth one...
Best of, for it's mouthfeel, so nice, so strong and hoppy, so good and powerfull...
Best of, for it's taste, that is about the best hop-mix of the brewing industry...
Best of, for it's smell, that only let you one way... drinking it...

and... even the appearance is nice... so, actually, it's the best when you like beers that are made by brewers that are not crawling in front of the market.

Photo of corby112
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a nice golden color with a thin white head that didn't last very long. Nice hop aroma with hints of spice and fruit. Strange combination of a belgian strong ale and an IPA. The absence of any malt flavor gave this a funky aftertaste.

Photo of currysage1
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle with some very interesting artwork, went to the Shelton Brothers website to get the 411. Interesting story.

Starts by overflowing the bottle when uncapped, poured into my Ommegang chalice. Color is very cloudy, like unfiltered cider, 2 finger white crackly head sinks to a good covering with decent lacing.

Smell is of spiced honey, light fruitiness, almost like a light perfume. Some hop presence but too light to tell anything definitive.

Taste is of bitter apples, definately more hop forward in the flavor, bitterness, very flavorful with untoasted grain and grape skins.

Feel is what I would expect from a beer of this style, refreshing body, heavy carbonation. Could have another but the bitterness might get to me. Very good recommended.

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Taras Boulba from Brasserie de la Senne
88 out of 100 based on 372 ratings.