X-Mas Zinnebir - Brasserie de la Senne
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Ratings: 125 | Reviews: 91 | Display Reviews Only:
3.73/5 rDev -1.1%
A superior Belgian pale. Pours a big white head, and leaves lots of good lace. A wonderful peachy spicey aroma. Taste of a bit of corriander, cinammon, ginger, vanilla, honey. Smooth drinking, above average carbonation. On the sweet side, but not sweet.Medium mouthfeel.
06-24-2008 02:39:03 | More by Sammy
3.58/5 rDev -5%
Bottle picked up at State Line in Elkton, MD. Served in a De La Senne tulip.
Pours a moderate caramel color with a light tan head and some good lacing. The nose carries some nice yeast tones with a bit of spice and fruit and some additional light spice in the background. The flavor falls along the same lines and is fairly well-integrated with everything going on, including the malt. Medium body with good carbonation and a slight chewiness. Good brew.
12-17-2011 13:28:38 | More by Thorpe429
3.75/5 rDev -0.5%
A: The beer poured slightly cloudy dark brown in color with a two finger high beige head that quickly faded into a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. Yeast particles are visible floating in suspension near the bottom of the glass.
S: There are aromas of spicy hops and notes of dark fruits in the nose.
T: The taste is rather complex and has flavors of spices (pepper stands out in particular) and yeast; there are also some hints of dark fruits and sweetness. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, smooth and somewhat dry on the palate with a medium amount of carbonation.
D: The beer isn't that difficult to drink because any traces of alcohol are well masked. The amount of dryness and bitterness decrease in strength as the beer warms up, making it more balanced.
11-10-2010 03:44:16 | More by metter98
4.08/5 rDev +8.2%
Almost opaque roasted walnut brown (that becomes much murkier later) with dusky cherry highlights when backlit. Why am I not surprised that the huge, wheat toast brown cap looks fantastic? I swear I can identify Belgian beer on the pour simply by looking at the head. It's whipped creamy, is persistent and looks like it'll leave more than a little lace for my viewing pleasure. This is what a Belgian dark ale should look like.
I'll have to wait for the head to deflate and for the beer to warm a little before making up my mind about the nose. At this point, it smells like a spicy porter or stout. Chocolate and coffee are more prominent than is typical for the style. A pleasing spiciness appears as the beer gains a few degrees.
Zinnebir Xmas is a fairly straightforward dark ale on first blush. On second and third blushes too. Don't get me wrong, I still like it, but part of what I like about Belgian beer is its complexity. It's all well and good that the brewer at Brouwerij Sint-Pieters eschews candi sugar, syrups and spices (in a 'back to basics' kind of way), but the reason those things are used is that they often result in great beer if the brewer is sufficiently talented. Hint: my mind is about to change.
Actually, this beer strikes me as cross between a porter and a Belgian dark ale. The flavors brought out by the generous roasting of barley malt (again, chocolate and coffee) make it darker than the vast majority of similarly styled ales. An underlying yeasty spiciness keeps it true to its country of origin. It opens up quite a bit with warming and I find that I'm enjoying it more with each passing ounce. I can now appreciate coffee-macerated raisins and plums.
The mouthfeel isn't as carbonated as the head (and the head regeneration on all subsequent pours) would lead one to believe. Its lightness is a boon to drinkability, but it certainly isn't as pleasing to the mouth as it should be. It also has a tendency to lose its structure on the finish.
I have no idea what makes this particular offering a Christmas beer, other than the season in which it's released. Xmas (and it non-seasonal sibling Zinnebir) are two good, honest, well-crafted Belgian ales that impress without the aid of bells and whistles. Sometimes I wish more craft brewers shared Mr. Leboucq's brewing philosophy.
03-13-2007 22:44:14 | More by BuckeyeNation
3/5 rDev -20.4%
Pours a dark carmel brown with a nice firm, but quickly fading, head.
Nose is salty carmel and toffee; hints of hazelnuts and sugared coffee. Undertones of plum.
Mouthfeel is medium/thin and without a lot of appeal.
Flavors are just plain weird. Burnt coffee and green peppers; big celery mid palate and green herbs. Finish is bitter medium strong coffee. All in all a burnt grain character. End finish is bitter burnt coffee.
02-09-2011 01:46:33 | More by GRG1313
4.33/5 rDev +14.9%
Clever label, nice looking bottle.
Pours a deep reddish brown. Two fingers of foam rise and fall in the Moinette chalice. Skim of foam uncannily resembles the continent Antarctica...hmm.
Smell is light, fruity, and pleasant. Predominant notes of green apple and pear.
A dark, bready malt hides in the background.
Taste is alot like the aroma, sliced green apple, pear, malty with an interesting Belgian yeast character. It's fairly simple, but pretty tasty, similar to a Dubbel. Alcohol is present more as it warms, but it's well integrated.
Mouthfeel is medium, tiny bubbles of carbonation make it smooth one, with a fairly dry finish. A fairly easy sipper, but maybe one to try once a year, due to the pricetag.
Label notes: The name Zinnebir is a play on the term "zinneke" - Brussels slang for "little bastards", referring to those young men living in the poor quarters of Brussels (where the Zinne river once flowed) who have one Flemish-speaking & one French-speaking parent. The brewer Bernard Leboucq identifies strongly with the "little bastards": he is French-speaking Bruxellois, now brewing in rough Flemish farm country.
01-11-2007 01:01:22 | More by emerge077
4/5 rDev +6.1%
Pours dark brown that is clouded. Nose is perfume touched with an almost floral/tree like fragrance. Kind of like smelling an almost budding something-or-other. Flavor is nice. Evenly spiced. Nice level of sugar and yeast funky. Smooth liquid feel with a low carbonation. This is a smooth beer. Nothing wild or crazy. I might easily be convinced to go for more after a first.
01-01-2008 07:02:11 | More by RblWthACoz
3.95/5 rDev +4.8%
Note sure how the hell this is a Belgian PA????
Pours an effervescent chestnut with 3+ fingers of rocky tan head. Above average lacing & head retention
S: Chocolate powder& appleskins
T: Tartness & cocoa, appleskins, & brown sugar up front, along with some leafy hops. Dates, appleskins & green apples as this warms, plus a touch of cinnamon. Finishes dry, tart,& with more appleskins
MF: Starts off with fairly vigirous carbonation & the medium body eventually catches up
Drinks easy for a BELGIAN DARK, good offering!
08-10-2008 02:31:45 | More by russpowell
3.38/5 rDev -10.3%
This label art is about as weird as their Taras Boulba, maybe even weirder...computery, with another Picasso character, some animal woman with a bob holding a beer, lit by a star, and there's another animal in a suit opening an enormous bottle. Strange. I won't look too far for the meaning!
Dark brown/burgundy, plummy appearance, litte head atop.
Very aromatic, wafts out from the start, but let's go in...dark fruit & spices, cola & a bit of cocoa, licorice...raisins and pepper.
Taste: darker, spicier, but none too rich. Hot. Bigger spice that I expected. Light bodied, compared to the fierce flavor, and the spice sticks out way too much without some tasty malt to back it up. More I drink, the more annoying is this prickly heat. I'm not digging the Zennebir, nossir.
There's some taste, but it's overpowered by this intense spicy, cola-y...Dr. Peppery thing...not what I'm looking for !
C'est la vie!
12-14-2007 11:09:38 | More by feloniousmonk
4/5 rDev +6.1%
I had this at the Lancaster county brewers Christmas Party 2010 -not sure who shared it, but I had it in a cervoise slightly cooler than cellar temp.
A hazy caramel color w/ an abundance of floatees - thin beige light cap w/ tiny bead. The smell is of spicy yeast and slight toasted grain w/ hints of wood and caramel w/ a mild aroma of raisin. The feel is great with dry woody, spicy texture. Moderately carbonated w/ subtle phenolic elements and lots of earthy dry and spiced accents w/ subtle astringency and toasty textures w/ light alcohol.
The flavors are good w/ strong yeast presence w/ lots of Belgian character which includes phenolic mild medicinal tinge w/ a medium level of spiciness which complements the slight stone fruit and mild toasted flavors well. The malt has an earthy flavor and the gentle woodiness expresses well with the other elements of the yeast. I was enjoying this at the end of the party with several other BA's and this impressed me that it was able to stand out amongst many other quality Belgian and English strong ales in appearance. I would definitely try this one again.
01-01-2011 14:07:51 | More by Slatetank
3.51/5 rDev -6.9%
this didn't amaze me, and it didn't seem that christmasy. the pour is dark brown with quite a bit of floating yeast sediment. the head is gorgeous three inches tall and just off white, thick, with good retention in my tulip. the nose is somewhere between a Belgian dub and an American brown ale, its malty with some cocoa and roast, but also sort of sweet, and a little tannic like its been finished in red wine barrels. the flavor is the same, becoming almost tartly acidic as it finishes. some residual sugar and fruit notes. nice frothy mouthfeel at first, but the carbonation dies down quickly and it gets pucker from the acid and too sugary at the end. hard to explain really. also my bottle is listed at 7.8% abv I think, and I agree with that more than I do at 6.5%. good buzz on this one. overall an okay xmas beer that leaves out the spice, but its far from polished. overpriced at 5 bucks a bottle.
02-13-2013 01:30:16 | More by StonedTrippin
3.85/5 rDev +2.1%
First had: on tap at Teresa's, Wayne, PA
Correcting the mistake pour from the other day... This beer poured a caramel brown color, hazy, with a small cap of tannish head that receded quite a bit but left some soapy lacing on the glass. I wouldn't consider this a BPA at all...maybe a BDA if anything. Aroma of cocoa and caramel apples. Nice taste, smooth thanks mainly I think to a lower alcohol content; baker's chocolate, apple skin, caramel, dark dried fruits (just a bit, really), light spices, and some bready yeast coming through. Medium mouthfeel, pretty smooth and drinkable, decent overall.
12-19-2011 13:52:22 | More by Rifugium
4.25/5 rDev +12.7%
Fairly well carbonated, with only a touch of work I easily get a four-finger thick, amber to dark tan colored pillow of froth sitting atop a deeply burnt, amber colored brew (not quite black, but close enough). Surprisingly when I hold the beer up to the light I can see right through it; The light shows a brilliantly clear, and I mean brilliantly clear, deep ruby hue that is absolutely gorgeous. the head leaves lots of lacing as it slowly subsides and even forms a varied, interesting surface with lots of elevation change. The aroma has a nice burnt note to it, but the fruitiness is the first thing that I notice; notes of concentrated plums, raisins and even a touch of tart apple notes are the most noticeable fruit aromatics. The roast character brings a sharpness to the aroma as well as carrying a rich malt character. Aromatics reminiscent of well toasted whole grain bread, touches of dark chocolate, dusty burnt grain husks and something like toasted, crushed soda cracker dust. Touches of liquorice, aromas of cloves, hints of toasted allspice add a spicy component to the nose. The aroma is quite nice and I really like how no one component is dominant; each of my three groupings (fruit, malt & spice) add a noticeable, but well integrated component to the aroma.
Served cool (about 58°F / 14°C), the beer has a soft creaminess to it that is contributed by the residual malt sugars. The sweet malt notes add a touch of body to what is most definitely an easy drinking brew. The sweetness accentuates some notes of raisins and concentrated plum, but compared to the aroma these have lost their intensity and focus. Instead the apple notes (both sweet & tart varieties) as well as fresh, ripe, slightly tart plum notes and even a hint of some concord grape flavors. The fruitiness definitely has a roasted, slightly burnt edge to it and the finish even has slight drying effect with the soft, modestly astringent burnt malt character. This has a really nice malty middle to it; flavors of toasted grain, deeply caramelized / slightly burnt malt sugars, The burnt fruit notes, the toasty malt and the smooth roast character make me think they used some Special B malt here. Spicy notes of clove, cardamom, and cola form a subtle backdrop to the more dominant characteristics already mentioned.
A very tasty beer; this is full flavored, yet not overwhelming. Once again I have been quite impressed by the, now, three beers that I have had from this brewer. I'll definitely make sure I pick up the other brews from these guys as I can. I really dig how light and easy drinking this beer is; this makes it quite a bit easier to finish a whole 750ml bottle on my own. Of course it doesn't hurt that I am really enjoying this beer too, but at least I won't be completely useless after finishing this brew. Looking at some other reviews of this beer I get the feeling that a bit of age has done a lot for this beer.
10-27-2007 03:43:02 | More by Gueuzedude
4.03/5 rDev +6.9%
Large doughy head with a slow rocky withdrawal; leaving lace on the glass as it recedes. Dark amber color (almost like watered down maple syrup) with the slightest of haze.
Wonderful and interesting aromas of Caribbean spices (mainly all spice). Some alcohol in the nose. A little bit of pine hop, too.
Complex: Starts off dry, soon a sense of pepper comes into play, followed by a mildly bitter hop bite. The swallow is mostly hop and the aftertaste features some of the alcohol warmth. Good body and moderate carbonation.
I am surprised by the other reviews on this beer; I found this to be complex, full-bodied and delicious--in short, a beer worth seeking out.
01-30-2008 23:38:08 | More by smcolw
3.8/5 rDev +0.8%
11.2 oz. bottle, with some kind of post-modern artwork on the cover,
A: Pours a rather cloudy dark brown, kind of confused as to why this is classified as a BPA instead of a BDA. Anyway, it has a really nice off-white/beige head, huge in the beginning and leaves a nice rim around the glass for the duration, spotty lacing as well.
S: Interesting, opening the bottle, I got a hint of yeast esters, dark fruit which was strong, later after the beer is poured, I got more of a hint of hops and spice, more mild a sensation.
T: At first I was expecting a standard Belgian dark brew, with some spices as part of the Christmas season, but when I first tasted the beer I got an unexpected, but actually pleasant sensation - hops. This is a very hoppy dark ale for Belgium, but it mixes quite well with mild tobacco notes and dark malt. No real esters to be found here. A different but enjoyable experience for a dark Belgain brew.
M: Nothing too exciting, quaffable, nice carbonation and aftertaste, medium-bodied. Though at times it feels just a little too light on the palate, also medicinal notes and phenols make an appearance on certain sips at the back of the tongue, sometimes I enjoyed them and they worked with the flavour, other times they seemed to detract from the overall experience, kind of all over the place.
D: This is an interesting dark beer and my second in the Christmas in Belgium set. A nice little hoppy Christmas beer, though I don't think I'd buy it again at the price that I'm seeing it in stores, but a quality product, nonetheless.
01-02-2008 23:36:14 | More by Halcyondays
United Kingdom (England)
3.6/5 rDev -4.5%
Taken in the lovely old bar 'Morte Subite' Brussels during Dec 2011. This is a great beer to 'people watch' with on a cold Belgian afternoon.
Looked good in its glass, a hazy dull brown body with a full biege head above.
The nose was a good mix of maltiness, fruit cake and spices, a Christmas feel to it I suppose.
The taste was simular to the smell, but with a yeast flavour coming through the malts, some hop bitterness towards the end of the sip as well.
Pleasant more than wonderful, thought it a bit lively, so slightly over carbonated for my taste perhaps.
01-17-2012 11:13:47 | More by BlackHaddock
4.28/5 rDev +13.5%
06/30/07- Purchased at CVS Pharmacy in Billings, MT.
Presentation- 750ml bottle with no visable freshness info. Poured into my Duvel glass.
Appearance- Dark brown, maybe a bit a red in the mix. Mahogoney? Head is about 1/2 inch on the pour. A decent sized ring remains. Light patchy lace is left behind.
Smell- Not a huge nose, but what is there is nice. Light dusting of clove with some dark fruits and maybe a bit of dark chocolate.
Taste- Mixture of the nose. More spicy notes than anything. Clove and maybe even a light cinnimon taste combines with some raisins and maybe plums. Chocolate is there, but hidden behind the spicy flavor. A nice sweetness forms as the beer warms to room temp.
Mouthfeel- About perfect carbonation with a light slick sweet taste remaining on the tongue.
Drinkability- A better than expected find from Billings...in a pharmacy of all places. Has a really nice flavor and sweetness from a lower abv brew. Pretty impressed with this Belgian Dark.
07-03-2007 16:51:09 | More by GClarkage
3.58/5 rDev -5%
Picked up a bottle for $3.75 from Abe's Cold Beer. Poured a clear, brown with a light tan head. This isn't much like most winter-styles, there's a bit of corriander flavor (maybe some nutmeg), but this is mostly a hoppy Belgian brown ale that finishes with a big bitter kick that's a mix of dry chocolate and orange peel. The main flavor tastes like caramel with toasted bread crush and a hint of sweet chocolate. Overall a mix of bitter candy malt flavors. Interesting, but not amazing. Certainly worth a try.
02-25-2010 00:01:35 | More by tempest
United Kingdom (England)
4.33/5 rDev +14.9%
Coming in a 330ml slim brown bottle, BB Nov. 07. Served lightly chilled in a broad-rimmed chalice.
A: pours a slightly hazy, copper-ish colour with dark-brown hints; thin, foamy beer head with good retention and a gentle bubbly body.
S: the strong scent of sweetened dried orange-rind and perfumy green apple-ish fruit-esters dominate the nose from the beginning, gradually dissipating to mingle with the maltiness; gradually a deeper, sweet candy-sugary note and profound caramel malts come through, backed by delicious treacle, preserved black-berry+raisins, plenty of juicy fruity+grassy hops firmly in the background. The nose is very different from a standard Belgian dark ale, with a richer fruity hop edge which is, IMO, more common to English ales--actually it gives an impression of well-hopped and malty ESB!! I might be over-joyed to think so~~
T: very light-bodied dark+caramel+chocolate(?) maltiness leading towards colourful flavour of dryish-treacles and caramelised brown sugar, light dark-chocolates, light aftertaste of ripe black-plums, dates and slightly herbal bitter hoppyness and a "settled", licorice and woody aftertaste... Chewy malty overtone, but very lightly-textured with a lively and slightly dry, lingering bitter taste.
M&D: surprisingly light and lively on the mouthfeel, as opposed to the aroma and the colourful flavour; the hoppyness on the palate is not so prominent as the nose, but leaves a quite clean and aromatic hoppy overtone in the mouth. Pretty soul-lifting for a X'mas beer, this is not as strong and heavy as many of its counterparts, but perhaps more quaffable and different.
02-12-2006 00:46:16 | More by wl0307
3.63/5 rDev -3.7%
A 750 mL corked and capped bottle.
A: The ale is a dark brown color, close to a dark chocolate. When held to light, brilliant ruby red hints emerge. The head is big, clocking in around 3 fingers.
S: The ale has a deep aroma, full of thyme and a distinctive yeast.
T: The ale has all the trappings of a Christmas beer. It is dark and full of spices. There is some chocolate, sour green apples, a hint of thyme. The lower alcohol fits in well here, giving the spices the main stage.
M: The apple and chocolate mixture is nice, giving a full sweet taste. The mouthfeel brings a depth of spices that just seems to work as a Christmas beer.
D: Very drinkable. The low abv and multitude of spices and flavors is very enjoyable. A good drink.
12-25-2006 19:01:12 | More by akorsak
3.13/5 rDev -17%
(Served in a stemmed strange)
A- During the pour a loud fizzy head soon disappears leaving the dense but clear dark ice tea colored body on its own. There are tiny strands of carbonation trailing to the surface.
S- The yeasty aroma has some prune hints and a softer clove spice note in the finish.
T- This beer has a soft clean flavor with some dried fruit notes with a mineral water taste that turns medicinal when it warms. There is bitter bite at the finish that is not distinctly hops.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with no alcohol heat.
D- This beer is a bit thin with the spice and fruit characteristics being pretty light with not much malt underneath.
12-02-2009 21:51:13 | More by rhoadsrage
2.9/5 rDev -23.1%
Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly to a ring leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color, yeast left in bottom of bottle. Slight spicy nose. Light-medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Flavor is a spicy caramel, some hops at finish. Better choice is Ridgeway's Pickled Santa for price and flavor. Pricey at $7.22 for a 330ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.
12-25-2008 23:52:05 | More by jdhilt
X-Mas Zinnebir from Brasserie de la Senne
85 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.