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Bitter Truth - Brouwerij Het Alternatief

Not Rated.
Bitter TruthBitter Truth

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

55 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 55
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 1
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Alternatief visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: John_M on 04-25-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by nickd717:
Photo of nickd717
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at City Beer in SF, review dated 6/20/2010.

Pours a hazy golden-yellow color with a nicely-formed white head.

Aroma very Belgian. Other than that, there are hops. Not IPA-level hops, but hops nonetheless. Citrusy and floral. Some mild funk as well.

Flavor is moderately sweet and almost wheaty in a way. Belgian yeast, pale malt, mild funk, orange, lemon, and grapefruit. Not as hoppy as it should be, but still pretty good.

Medium-bodied with lively carbonation and a well-hidden 11% ABV - no booziness at all really.

Overall this is a good Belgian DIPA, but I’ve had far better.

nickd717, Aug 26, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of glid02
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Green’s on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of bright pilsner malts with large amounts of Belgian candi sugar. Also present are sugar-coated pear aromas and lighter, earthy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Light malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by sweet medium fruits. Midway through the sip earthy and slightly leafy hop flavors come into play. Very light citrus hops make a brief appearance near the end of the sip, carrying through to a moderately sweet ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It’s got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I finished my glass without a problem however I’m not sure about another.

Overall I didn’t think this beer fit the bill well as a tripel or as a Belgian IPA – the fruit and spices were lacking for the former and the hops were lacking from the latter. Not a terrible beer by any stretch but one not worth seeking.

glid02, May 16, 2011
Photo of OBIrish24
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

OBIrish24, Dec 25, 2011
Photo of Metalmonk
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sucked in by the curious/strange artwork (which you don't see in the poor picture currently posted here), and the words "bitter," "triple," "IPA" and "Belgium" all on one bottle label.

Pours a nice enough appearance, with a very soupy burnt gold/peach color hosting a dirtied white head that, while never huge, sticks strings of lace onto the glass and remains a long-lasting thin skim otherwise.

Where American-brewed Belgian IPAs are clearly American in origin (it's the hops), this one is clearly Belgian in origin (it's the yeast). An unusual aroma, too, having the smell of a musty basement that's host to overripe-and-close-to-rotting peaches. While that may not sound appealing by its description, it does have an exotic allure, especially if you're into Belgian yeast, because that gives this beer a unique slant. A cotton-candy sweetness continues the "sounds gross, but smell nice" pattern. And I'm just talking about the aroma so far. Wonder how it'll taste...

Well, holy hell, I have never, ever tasted a beer and thought "tomato." It's subtle, and clearly something someone else would taste and get a completely different impression, but those seedy red orbs somehow have a presence in the flavor profile. More common impressions include a candy-like sweetness (not quite cotton candy this time); prickly and bitter citrus rind hops; a just-right dose of warmth from the alcohol; even a nuttiness which might be the malt, might be the yeast, or might be both conspiring to knock my palate all out of whack. Because this is one very different-tasting beer. And I like it. Tons of personality, if a little bit messy.

Feels absolutely great, playing with the tongue by soothing it with lots of bubbles, making for a soft-yet-tickling textural sensation...and very far from dry. "Wet," then?

I don't know, maybe the "tomato" thing is the lunchtime Bell's Oberon playing tricks on my palate, but that was hours ago. And the more I sit with this, the more I glean a careful balance between the hops and the yeast, the real stars of the show in Bitter Truth. In any case, this remains one of the most interesting and unique beers I've had from wonderful, wonderful Belgium.

Metalmonk, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of mattfancett
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%

mattfancett, Aug 26, 2014
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Peach body with floaties, three-quarter inch head. Lace clouds. A nice drink, smooth mouthfeel. A Double IPA taste, the IBU comes through, with Belgian yeast well integrated. Hidden alcohol. Good bitterness.I would seek this out again.Suitable carbonation.

Sammy, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of tempest
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a tulip glass on draft at Tap and Table in Emmaus. It appeared a hazy yellow with a tall white head. This beer taste like an amped up Saison Dupont or Avec Les Bons Voeux. There's a rich spicy orange rind flavor from the hops that dominates, but is also freakin' delicious. It's not too thick for the strength. My only complaint is that I got an odd hay flavor that was a touch off-putting.

tempest, May 14, 2010
Photo of zonker17
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

zonker17, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of thagr81us
3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had while at Beachwood BBQ on a recent trip to Cali. Served from tap into a tulip. Poured a hazy golden yellow with a one finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, banana, and wheat. The flavor was of sweet malt, banana, slight clove, and wheat. It had a light feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this wasn't that bad, but also wasn't that great either. Flavor was kind of watered down in my opinion. Good aroma though. Glad I got to try this one, but doubt I will have it again.

thagr81us, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

JeffreyJDavis, Oct 19, 2012
Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up due to the unfamiliar and odd label. Squat 33cL bottle.

Glowing orange into a Duvel tulip. Explosive foam, over half the glass with a slow pour. Second pour was a little calmer, with lots of chunky floating sediment. The large amount of foam and large bubbles had me hoping it wasn't infected.

Nose had some fruity Belgian yeast, apples and pears. Not much to suggest hops other than a floral perfuminess. Later on there's some fusels, expected for an 11% Belgian.

Moderately bitter and astringent at first, and it became less so as the glass was drank. Full bodied with medium carb. Some malty sweetness in there. Grassy and floral, not your usual american citrus & pine. Leaves a dry, dusty sweetness in the finish.

I have the feeling this isn't as fresh as it could be, the sediment is more flaky chunks than wispy tendrils. Still it's held up pretty well, but for $5.50 i'd only get it again if it was fresh. You don't see many Belgian triple IPAs... had to try it.

emerge077, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of Erish
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this 11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay chalice. No freshness date that I can detect.

A: cloudy (chunky with yeast) dark gold color, the cream-colored head is ultra-thick and creamy, long-lasting, and features a lovely Belgian cap and lace.

S: the malt aroma is on the sweet side, and nicely saturated with some earthy Belgian funk, there is a vinous, fruity note on top of that, and a nice splash of Belgian spiciness, the hops are subdued on the nose, and tend toward the earthy spectrum.

T: the malty sweetness, clove, spice, and fruity esters nicely commingle up front, the middle showcases more spiciness and a sour note, the finish finally unloads a pleasant hop bitterness that has a floral and herbal character. Harmonious, bold, distinctive: this beer has inspired me to brew my own Belgian IPA!

M: medium-bodied, satiny texture, with extra smoothness from the thick head, moderate to plentiful carbonation, the finish is mineral-dry.

O: Wow! Fantastic beer, and one that has inspired my next home brew.

Erish, Jun 21, 2011
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a cloudy medium orange amber. Two finger fine white head and massive lacing. Sweet malt aroma with light fruit, Belgian spicing; slightly sour. Sweet caramel malt and light fruit followed by dark and light fruit and caramel. In the finish, turns dry with a hop kick and assertion of the Belgian spices. An odd progression of flavors, but works quite well. Pleasant medium body. An unusual Belgian ale that is a definite repeat.

LiquidAmber, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of mfnmbvp
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 fl oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present, just a coded sticker on the bottle. My first encounter with this beer and this brewery, acquired on sale at the local Binny's. Somewhat strange and disturbing bottle art, "a wholly unique Tripel IPA from brewmaster Piet Salomez".

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Definitely looks like a Belgian IPA. Huge five fingers of towering white froth with excellent staying power. Body is a nice burnt orange color, but turns browner once I dumped in the yeast sediment. Head is fluffy and creamy, and leaves behind fat fluffy rings of lace. Looks pretty nice to me.

S - Smell is unlike any sort of IPA I've smelled. Crisp champagne yeast presence, some white grape juice, some apple juice, pineapple, maybe just a hint of booze fumes & dusty malts. Some grassy earthy hop aromas do sort of creep out, but they are faint. A fairly subdued aroma, but nice.

T - Wow, I'm having a hard time describing this one. I guess it's more Tripel than it is IPA this time, but I'm still having a hard time expressing what I'm tasting. Some bubblegummy kind of fruitiness & sweet Hawaiian breadiness.

M - Feel is sticky and fruity, and dry, but all around pretty clean.

Overall, this was a strange strange beer for me, but I definitely enjoyed it. High 10.00% abv isn't noticeable at all. I wouldn't exactly call this bitter either, and it definitely doesn't taste like 70 IBU to me. An all around highly drinkable beer, one I would have again.

Brouwerij Het Alternatief The Bitter Truth ---4/5.

mfnmbvp, Sep 30, 2013
Photo of BrendanDouglas
4/5  rDev +4.7%

BrendanDouglas, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +4.7%

oline73, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of Anatole
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Anatole, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of ReeseMax3
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

ReeseMax3, Sep 14, 2012
Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The Bitter Truth, Tripel 10% 70 ibu

A: Faint chardonnay yellowish faint gold with very thin character similar to a thin lager. HUGE head with carbonation throughout. The carbonation might be my favorite part of this beer, which sounds strange but it is exectued perfectly.

S: Lots of pepper and spice, some clove, mild sugars and tart white grapes

T: A sweet white wine savignon blanc taste opens with a tart grape that fades into a peppery finish. Great mild hops round out the profile.

M: This has a great mouthfeel between the constant carbonation and thin mouthfeel it equates to a strangely balanced and original Tripel that almost leans toward the Gueuze. Very tasty and seems more west-coast than Belgian in character. Love the tart dryness that it imparts.

D: This is an exceptionally drinkable beer with great lasting appeal. The price is a bit too much to make it a session beer but the 10% abv makes it a contender for a great well-rounded beer. I would love to bring this along for a hot weather activity and other venues. The more that I drink it the smoother and milder it gets, I love the tart character that is akin to a sour cuvee.

Narrative: Tipper Poppington was born a proletariat merchant assistant with a secret . He worked hard all his days, overseeing the notary, making sure the itemized bundles were packaged correctly, sealing all the correspondence with the hot wax seal. He wasn’t the best in the office, or the brightest, or even the most amiable. However, young Tipper was born under a conditional will from his great great grandfather which stated that if Tipper could become a fencing master by the age of 21, he would take his grandfather’s large estate, heretofore unbeknownst to him, and win the heart and mind of the winsome female interest in the clerking office. He was alerted on his 20th birthday with a knock on a rich mahogany door. The package contained a terse note wrapped around a perfectly balanced Epee, “train you will, take you shall,” with a copy of the holographic will attached. “God speed, Young Poppington” the clerk master whispered to himself as he watch Tipper practice fervishly in the courtyard, each parry a daunting swipe at greatness, and the heart of his beholden.

SubpoenaDeuces, May 31, 2011
Photo of Tertullian007
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

Tertullian007, May 07, 2013
Photo of crossovert
3.03/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz stubby brown bottle.

It is a gusher, my other experience with another brewery was the same, they need to rework some stuff at their brewery. It pours a clear golden orange with an out of control white head.

It smells like a sugary Belgian pale ale.

The taste is bit and fruity, mostly Belgian yeast, not much bitterness, though a bit of it comes in at the end. I hope it is an old bottle, because they kinda of forgot the ipa part.

Ill give it a slightly lower drinkability because it takes an hour to pour and then drink.

crossovert, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of The3rdbeer
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel Tulip, initially 3 fingers of head, now after a minute there is about 1 1/2.

A- Dark hazy orange creme color, the head is a off white as well. looks like a musty DIPA.

S- belgian yeast, hops, carmel and carmel and booze, some tropical fruits but more on the dried side of things. very crystalized in the smell of the fruit.

T- threw me off, it swirls in the mouth to reveal that signature belgian flavor of yeast and hop bitters then light booze back to some sweetness and spice from the malts this has a lot of carmel in the after taste and the lingering dried fruit in the end. little booze in the after taste and just a swirl of it in the taste.

M- medium lite body wich is shocking to me considering this is a 10% maybe medium but on the very lightest note possible, and the carbonation is medium heavy and it works for me here.

O- Interesting, I have never had a tripple IPA before and this is kinda what I expected except less bitterness than originally thought. The carmel and dried fruit notes come through this nicely and its almost the hops that are a flavoring to those. Its a interesting but satisfying brew.. and very fooling for a 10%!

The3rdbeer, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of smcolw
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pleasant start to the head but it settles to nearly nothing; leaves good lace. Light amber color with an orange tinge. Cloudy.

I really like this aroma. It's subtle but not complex. It does not have the over-the-top bitter hop, although it is present in a milder form. There's a gentle lighter malt aroma that makes for a wonderful blend.

This is a far hoppier beer than the smell would imply. Creamy mouthfeel with a proper level of carbonation. Good aftertaste but it is not as bitter as most DIPA's. It also doesn't linger as long.

smcolw, May 30, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ

A: The pour is a slightly cloudy golden orange color with a finger or two of white head.

S: Pretty fruity on the nose, but that's really all the aroma has going for it. Pretty light and not all that fragrant. Maybe some banana and bready malts.

T: Sweet citrus flavor starts this one off along with the same banana esters that I found on the nose. Definitely some alcohol to it, too. Along with the tangerine and orange peel, there seems to be some peach.

M: The body is medium with a sort of underwhelming carbonation.

D: Described as a "Triple IPA", this was anything but. I was not a very big fan of this beer at all.

womencantsail, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of John_M
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a slight hazy gold color with fair at best head retention, but decent enough lacing. Really donb't get a whole lot on the nose, just some light bitter citrus, a hint of nutmeg and clove, and not much else. Fortunately, this beer is much better on the palate. The beer starts off with some moderate sweetness, reminding very much of a Belgian tripel. However, the beer quickly dries out, as one gets a decent amount of bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but the finish is a bit thin. Alcohol isn't too noticeable (especially for the abv.), as a lot of the heat is obscured by the hoppy bitterness in the finish. Stilll, the high alcohol wears on me after a while, which detracts from the beer's drinkability.

An OK beer, but it's not so wonderful that I'll likely order it again any time soon.

John_M, Apr 25, 2010
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Bitter Truth from Brouwerij Het Alternatief
86 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.