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Very Spéciale Belge (Allagash Collaboration) - Brasserie de la Senne

Not Rated.
Very Spéciale Belge (Allagash Collaboration)Very Spéciale Belge (Allagash Collaboration)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

23 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 23
Hads: 42
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 5.84%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie de la Senne visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Thorpe429 on 09-15-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

A cross cultural collaboration brew between the Allagash and De La Senne brewing teams on April 12th, 2011.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 23 | Hads: 42
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyable Belgian ale. Malty, creamy smooth mouthfeel, with a spicy hoppy finish. Fuity and grapefruit citrus.Very drinkable. Pours very light brown with lace. Aroma light, pleasant yeast.Carbonation right there. Spicy, lightly bitter and drying aftertaste. (257 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Hazy light amber color, some yeast left in bottle. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Grapefruit hop nose and flavor is grapefruit hops, lingering bitter aftertaste. More like an IPA than a Belgian pale. $4.99 for a 330ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT. (338 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy golden yellow in color and has some small particulate matter visible floating in suspension along with a high amount of carbonation. A careful pour was needed to limit the beer from having more than a two finger high dense white head and overflowing from a snifter glass. The head gradually died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles coating the surface and down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of spicy yeast in the nose along with some hints of citrusy hops.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of Belgian yeast and spices such as pepper are particularly evident towards the finish and linger through the aftertaste. A light amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I really enjoyed this beer because it had a nice kick of dryness and peppery spices but neither of these were overpowering. (946 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting beer. I can see the barrel aged influence from the Allagash side pretty clearly. Reminds me of a lot of their other releases, in a mild way. The wild and uniquely vibrant tone reminds me of De La Senne. Overall, it's a pretty good beer with nice character. (268 characters)

Photo of tony223366
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light caramel orange colored beer. I poured the whole bottom of the bottle in so I got some yeasty swirls too. Head was three fingers and really rocky. It's a really dynamic head that looks great. Beautiful lacing too.

S: Wow, I definitely get some beautiful hop aromas in here. It smells earthy, piney and very fresh. I get some nice fruitiness as well as some spicy yeasts too. A little bit of caramel and bready malts. But the star of the show really is the hopand fruity presence.

T: I think this is actually pretty good! I really like Belgian Strong Pale Ale's and Orval is one of my favorite beers of all time so Belgian Pale Ale's are right up my alley. The hops provide a piney, earthy spicy flavor and there's a really great fruitiness that you get in Belgian beers. Malts are bready and a little bit of caramel. Finish is bitter. This is a really great beer! I love the finish too.

M: Mouth is medium with great carbonation. No problems here.

O: Way better than I anticipated. I really need to seek out some more Belgian Pale Ale's considering this is one of my favorite styles! (1,095 characters)

Photo of cavedave
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Recent random pick at Decicco's interesting collab., it pours a very murky and sorta unappealing dark golden, topped briefly by a finger of lackluster beige head.

Luckily the aroma is better, a nice blend of fruity tart that I think is from both hops and yeast, a nectarine/sweet citrus aspect, a bit of candy sweet, some spice comes into my nose on some sips. Pretty nice aroma.

Med. strength taste, not as strong a yeast in the taste as nose, all the other aromas here now as flavors, and quite balanced and tasty they are. Hop flavors do come forward in the end of the sip, nicely, with some righteous notes of herbal bitter keeping it dry, and not too dry. Hardly as fine as some others in taste, but interesting and tasty for sure. Warm, it develops a bit of medicine in end of sip.

Mouthfeel is med. body, med. carb., med. viscosity, with a decent finish, almost as though the brewer aimed to make this beer have average mouthfeel.

Not a great beer, not a terrible beer, an interesting, hoppy take on style. Not recommended for lovers of the finer selections in this style, this one will disappoint. (1,109 characters)

Photo of cradke
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Blond with a nice finger thick head.

Smell: Clean malts. A little bit of bitter comes through. Good amount of complexity here.

Taste: Pretty average. Not great or terrible. There is a good sweetness to it but the aftertaste is a little too...murky? It's complexity is good in that it keeps me guessing and looking for nouns to describe it but I've been falling short other than to say a pretty decent Belgian.

Mouthfeel: Again, pretty decent but not stellar.

Overall: A solid belgian but nothing to write home about. (534 characters)

Photo of JoeBloe
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a hazy apricot and put up a tight pillowy 2 finger head -
smells citrus-ey and fresh, despite it's apparent age - taste is crisp. with some grapefruit up front - good 'yeast' and a little white pepper with a crisp, snappy clean finish - good carbonation and easy drinking -mildly complex - the wife and I enjoyed this one. (330 characters)

3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle.Tulip glass.Enjoyed on oct´11. Golden yellow.Hazy.White creamy lasting crown. Resiny,woody,spicy,bready aromas.Very dry hoppy upfront. Helpfully malts provides a soft velvet palate.Lemon zest & coriander in the middle. Medium-light body,quite high carbonation.High astringency no matter malty note finish.Piney aftertaste. (336 characters)

Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Unfiltered hazy amber. Medium shine. Natural carbonation travels up the side of the glass in lines.

Smell: The aroma is complex. My first impression is of a mix of czech and german style pilsner hops. I get grass and hay but also slight tropical fruit and and chamomile. The overall impression is tart and dry.

Taste: Snappy belgian yeast. Big medicinal feel, tingles on my tongue for a while. Some fruits, pear, pineapple. Light citric lemon. Biscuit malts. Backing bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Dry and bitter. tart finish.

Overall: Very refreshing and flavorful. It was worth trying. It's slightly expensive but I wasn't disappointed. (647 characters)

Photo of homebrewhawk
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle served in a tulip. Poured a clear gold with a finger plus of fine, white bubbled head. Bottle conditioned. Light Belgian yeast spice with some citrus in the aroma. Lots of spice in the flavor, coriander and a little black pepper. More citrus. Slight hop bitterness. Light bodied and dry. Plenty of carbonation. Tasty. (332 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky honey orange with a 1 inch foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. There is sediment that settles to the bottom of the glass on the pour. Small patches of lace stick to the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, spices, yeast, and some subtle floral hop aromas. Taste is of malt, spices, yeast, and some floral and herbal hops on the finish. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a light level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but nothing I would get again. However, it's always interesting to see collaborations so I'm glad I picked one up to try. (684 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 bottle, collaboration brew on April 12th, 2011.

Poured into a tulip, it has a saturated golden orange color, brilliantly clear, with a steady plume of rising carbonation. Foam has a soft creamy surface texture, a thin white head at first, eventually a floating island of skim. Spotty sea spray lace inside the glass.

Earthy yeast and sweet malt aromas, not a whole lot of hops here, maybe some grassiness in a subtle sense.

Simple grainy malt and slowly building herbal hops in the aftertaste. Lingering dry finish, herbal character suggests noble hop varieties possibly. Clean and dry, with ample effervescent carbonation. Something vaguely botanical and medicinal, hop remnants most likely. Moderate bitterness after a bigger sip. Wish this was a fresher bottle, it was a good BPA, but nothing too out of the ordinary after sitting for 8 months. (856 characters)

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 330ml brown bottle with fairly simple, clean label. No date marked.

Appearance: Poured into my Chimay snifter, this pours out a medium orange-amber with a nice ivory cap with good stick.

Smell: Had no idea what to expect from this, but this wasn't what I was expecting. Lots of dank, herbal American hops of front; is this a Belgian IPA? Interesting, and fairly pleasant, but not much depth.

Taste: A bit of toasty, toffee-like malt and a solid, medium-high hop bitterness. Dunno what hops were used here, but they're dark and herbal, rather than the citrusy varieties typcially used in Belgian IPAs. What an odd little beer. Ends bitter, and relatively dry, with a hint of slightly burnt toast.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body.

Overall: For around $5.50, this isn't one I'd buy again. It's a bit different, sure, and it's not 'bad', per se, but it's not really 'good' either. It's not really a traditional Belgian Pale, nor is it a Belgian IPA...something here just doesn't quite work.

(1,007 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of this at Julio's. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a crystal clear super light amber with a nice, thick one finger white blanket of a head that left minimal lacing but great retention.

S - Rather average here. Pretty boozy, considering the ABV. Some light fruit esters of bananas, slight belgian spices, light sweetness. Not much in the way of hops.

T - Eh, not really what I was expecting here based off of the nose. Nice belgian spices, some grains (wheat?). The fruit esters are mostly just light banana thanks to the belgian yeast with a light malty sweetness and bitter hop finish.

M - Mouthfeel is a hair above average. Somewhat thin, but crisp enough to have a dry finish.

O - Overall, disappointed with this beer. Just didnt do it for me. A lackluster nose with everythign else just being a few hairs above average. Wouldn't buy this again. (879 characters)

Photo of Jake1605
4.16/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Hazy, cloudy burnt orange. 3 finger head that goes mostly away after a minute or 2 leaving thick soapy patches around the side of the glass. Sweet funky citrus smell, very nice. Mild, medium bodied, soft mouth feel, dry finish. Taste is earthy, citrus, lemon, bready, earthy & bitter. Well balanced & drinkable. (311 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy copper/orange color with a two-finger, khaki colored head of bubbly foam. It left thin trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled fruity with a little funkiness.

T - It tasted spicy and fruity with notes of grain and roasted malt. Great balance of flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a really tasty Belgian ale. Glad I picked this one off the shelf. Nice collaboration. (458 characters)

Photo of Bendurgin
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden straw color with about an inch of pillowy white head. Nice retention with thick lace.

Dry aroma with hay and some funky yeast. Hints of lemon and wheat

Dry flavor with a nice grainy toast flavor with a little bit of a bready yeast. A bit of a celery/grassy
hop flavor to finish it off.

Light bodied with a dry finish. Nice soft carbonation

Pretty tasty. Nice offering here. (400 characters)

Photo of andrewinski1
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a small English glass. The color is clear golden. The head is white and creamy. Very good looking.

The aroma is heavy on spicy yeast with some malt sweetness.

The taste is a balance of sweet malt and very grassy hops with a hint of spice. This is actually on the hoppier side of the style, with a little more bitterness to go with it.

The body is medium and the carbonation is strong. This is nice, maybe not super special. (438 characters)

Photo of Kshock
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Golden in color with a white head that resides quickly after pour. No much lacing.

S- Earthy hops with some light fruit esters. not a big aroma at all.

T- Earthy hops, dry on the back end. Good amount of residual flavors, mostly bitter hops.

M- A little thin for the style, very dry on the back end.

O- Not bad, could be better (334 characters)

Photo of Kinsman
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden yellow body with just a slight bit of haze. Rocky and dense white head tops it off, filling the upper third of the tulip.

Peppery and spicy up front, strong yeast character on the nose. Hops come in second with a good bit of resinous and piney hop notes.

Hops greet the palate with a nice floral and pine character and a good bitter kick. Yeast adds a good bit of phenolic spice. A nice malt backbone to hold it all together.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp with a semi-dry finish. Overall, nothing mind-blowing here but a good collaboration between a couple of great brewers. (593 characters)

Photo of sk8man121
3.37/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Just saw this on the shelf this evening. Never one to pass up anything Allagash touches, so here goes.

11.2 oz bottle ($5.19 at RSVP in Portland, ME) poured into goblet.

A: Pours a hazy orange-gold with dandelion highlights. 1-finger head dies quickly into a small cap. Ruddy/rugged.

S: Fruity esters, mellow banana and citrus. Light hop/spice presence.

T: Quite peppery and bitter up front, with a strong presence of American hops; not what I was expecting. Piney, resinous center with a very bitter finish.

M: Highly carbonated; sticky and creamy. Not exactly a joy to drink.

O: I'm not about to say that this is a poor effort, but VSB lacks complexity, and really is far too bitter for my tastes (and I love a strong hop presence). The sticky, resinous mouthfeel only makes matters worse, and detracts from the overall experience.

Ok, but won't be purchasing again. (877 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at Moeder Lambic St. Giles during our trip to Belgium last week. Reviewed from notes.

Served in a De La Senne cervoise.

Poured a clear yellow-straw color with a bit white head and loads of lacing. Thin cap throughout.

The nose brought forward light American hops with some pine and citrus plus a good amount of yeasty spice and light pepper. Flavor was fairly hoppy with the yeast taking over a bit more.

Light body with a pronounced bitterness. Dry bitter finish after a nicely carbonated light-bodied mouthfeel. Really fantastic and a great collaboration. (577 characters)

Very Spéciale Belge (Allagash Collaboration) from Brasserie de la Senne
85 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.