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La Guillotine - Brouwerij Huyghe

Not Rated.
La GuillotineLa Guillotine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

103 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 103
Hads: 319
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 20.26%
Wants: 28
Gots: 73 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Huyghe visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-02-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (72) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of La Guillotine Alström Bros
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Reviews: 103 | Hads: 319
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Retaining creamy head. Nuttiness, fruit, and spices (clove, pepper) and hops, in a creamy yeast but not all that works. Wild. Medicinal alcohol kick, so not wild enough. Carbonation tickle tongue.
Slightly above average beer but below average Belgian.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, honey, fruit, spice, and yeast aromas. Taste is much the same with honey, fruit, spice, and yeast flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with great aromas, but unfortunately the flavors just aren't quite as good to me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of metter98
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: The beer is relatively clear dark golden yellow in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a short head consisting of large bubbles on the surface that eventually completely faded away, leaving only a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of Belgian yeast and pale malts are present in the nose along with hints of floral hops and fruity esters. Hints of candi sugar become noticeable once the beer warms up.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell, except that the fruit is a bit stronger—apples seem to stand out in particular—and there are subtle bits of sweetness. There are also some hints of peppery spices towards the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation. No dryness is perceptible.
O: This beer didn't seem to be as complex as other beers in the style, but hid its alcohol rather well and therefore was quite drinkable.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a tasty belgian blonde, lost somewhere between a classic tripel and a belgian pale or strong golden. its hazy and pale yellow, with a few yeast bits and a nose of cut grass and fruity yeast coming off of a several inch tall white head that rings every sip. the taste has a little bit of floral hops on the front end, and a pretty sweet and sturdy malt base for its color, but it flavored predominantly by a classic belgian yeast strain thats got hints of pears and apples to it, without being cloying or artificial. a decent bit of residual sugar in the finish gives body by arrests drinkability significantly, and even effervescent carbonation cant cut it or lighten it up much. a hearty brew for its looks, and one that while i enjoy it quite a lot, its a one and done for me. just a bit filling and sweet for all day drinking, but its alcohol is well hidden and its quality is at the forefront of the experience.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.45/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml standard Huyghe painted bottle - hmmm...guillotines, how very seasonal...

This beer pours a mostly clear, medium golden yellow colour, with some weird, continuously rising basal effervescence, and a teeming tower of thinly puffy, bulbous bone white head, which settles in for a lazy spell, before slowly, slowly ebbing away, leaving some nice soapy webbed lace around the glass.

It smells of earthy, sassy Belgian yeast, grainy pale malts, a bit of peppery spiciness, very soft citrus notes, and subtle leafy hops. The taste is semi-sweet pale malt, some astringent orchard fruitiness, a bit of bubble gum, a slightly sugary alcohol edge, and muddled citrusy, leafy hops.

The carbonation is more than a tad frothy, i.e. in danger of heading straight up one's nose, the body medium-light in weight, and generally smooth, with somewhat of a fruity tendency. It finishes on the sweet side, the malt, sugar, and alcohol all barely tempered by the deftness of the yeast integration.

Not my most favourite style, but for what it is, it is well-made - sugar, grain, fruit and restrained booze fury. Edging into Tripel territory, this is kind of a bit off-putting to actually drink. Maybe it's my unfair seasonal expectations, maybe not.

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Photo of mactrail
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear amber-tinted golden color in the tulip. A modest head bu subtle lalcing along the glass as you sip. Smell of gardenias and hot dogs.

Crisp malty mouthfeel with a deep fruit taste, like dry cherry wine. The yeasty flavor is the main attraction. Floral and perfumey with a savory, meaty, wild yeast taste. Smooth and slightly buttery with a spicy bitter finish.

Less sweet than a lot of these strong Belgians. The classic blonde flavor with a restrained yet sharp, alcoholic note. On tap at Fathom in San Diego.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.68/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

9% ABV according to the Antwerp Beer Passion Weekend menu. Served on-draught into 20cl beer fest stemware. Reviewed from notes taken in Summer 2011.

A: Pours a 2.5 finger head of nice soft cream, fair thickness, and good retention. Body colour is a semitransparent light gold.

Sm: Very light scent of barley. Bland. I get very little.

T: Light pear esters, full clean barley for the foundation, badly handled stale malt, and crystal malt. Generic floral hopping. Tries to be complex but compromises its structure to do so. It's a bit messy; not real balanced. Built alright.

Mf: Coarse and wet, not really suiting the flavours of the body.

Dr: High ABV, easy drinking, and pretty good quality, but not special. Below average.


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Photo of Jason
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Faux ceramic plastic lined and red foiled top 330ml bottle with a “Best Before End” date on the back label.

Appearance: Rich golden hue with a faint haze from the yeast, decent lacing but has trouble sticking.

Smell: Dry doughy cookie like aroma similar to a mild biscotti, some dried fruit also. Mild phenolic in the back with hints of anise and black pepper.

Taste: Crisp and lively, the carbonation is at a medium to high level and kneaded right into the light body. Spicy and peppery with an abundance of phenols and an underlying character of alcohol. Dry malt flavour with a mild fruitiness to complement it, hops are there with a bite and the yeast throws a nuttiness that lasts far into the finish. Fruitiness is a tad peachy but like dried peaches. Spiciness from the phenols and alcohol linger and clean the palate. Alcohol starts to become more of a presence as the beer warms with a faint solvent and flexed estery showing.

Notes: Spicy and quite flamboyant, that is just what I want in my Belgian Pale Strong Ale. Perhaps a little over the top but there is nothing wrong with that. Complex and flailing with wild flavours.

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Photo of superspak
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 9/5/2012. Pours moderately cloudy golden color with a 3 finger fairly dense and rocky white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Great dense foamy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of apricot, pear, apple, white grape, bread, candi sugar, light pepper, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, pale malt, and earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of big apricot, pear, apple, white grape, pepper, light banana, candi sugar, bread, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of earthy yeast spiciness/floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of apricot, pear, apple, white grape, pepper, candi sugar, bread, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and pale malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. High carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and moderately prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Belgian strong pale. All around good complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and pale malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Murky dull orange color, under a flush, fuzzy white head.

Nose is resplendent with spices and citric fruit, lively and arousing.

Taste: great, tingly, fruity, spiciness, right from the start and on and on. Blend of lemon, peach, orange apricot, with peppery, clovey companionship, creating a very active, rewarding flavor, quite playful on the palate, spicy citrus never quits in this one.

Body is lightish, though, and finish is soft, swift, unremarkable. Alcoholic volume kicks in quickly too, at a meager 9%, even...

Reminds me a lot of Delirium Tremens, the most famous beer from this brewer, which makes you wonder why..eh, but why wonder, why wonder...A good bottle of suds, I sez!

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Photo of Gavage
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Pours an orange color with a 1/2" head that lasts a while. Belgian yeast is strong in the aroma. Caramel, belgian yeast, citrus, and a moderate bitterness are the main flavors. Aftertaste is long. Mildly refreshing, and quite easy to drink.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
2.85/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Suprised to find I'd not reviewed this beer before, as I've had it many times over the years: anyway this review is of a 330ml bottle, plastic designer covered. Best before Oct 2013, taken during one of my 'mixed tasting evenings' March 2011.

Poured into a Westmalle chalice: dull orange/old gold in colour, with a large white head which stayed but produced minimal lacing.

The nose was sweet and yet with citrus notes within.

The sweetness carried on into the taste, the sour citrus smells did not. Alcohol took over the mouthfeel, which was almost too fizzy, certainly well carbonated, if not overly.

Just a bit too sweet and lacking in body for me, as well as the alcohol content being too obvious.

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Photo of Zorro
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear rusty amber colored head with a tall puffy white colored head.

Smells sweet and sticky with a spicy apple aroma. Slight tart scent this reminds me of my grandmothers apple butter.

Starts out mildly sweet with a strong apple flavor. Slight cinnamon and clove flavors. Slight taste of pipe tobacco. Mild bitterness and a slight brown sugar flavor.

Mouthfeel is full.

Overall a tasty ale and was perfect for thanksgiving. Try this one with hot apple pie,

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice foil-topped faux-ceramic 33cl bottle. Opens with barely a sound of carbonation - I was a little worried, as this one had a fair bit of age on it, but my worries were premature.

Pours a thick, cloudy light orange-beige colour, with a yellowing white head of compact bubbles. Carbonation bubbles make slow progress upwards from the base of the glass. Heavy body leaves excellent lacing. A great looking beer.

Light, fruity note on the nose: cider, pineapple with hints of darker, yeasty elements. As it warms, more organic tones of leather and earth creep in, providing a decidedly unusual character for such a light-coloured beer.

Crisp entry on the palate, with pine resin characters, rye bread and spices. Rather reminiscent of the loaves peppered with caraway I had in Austria. Very noticeable, robustly bitter back palate stays long and sharp. There's a strong note of alcohol heat to numb the palate slightly as well. Despite this, the body is quite creamy and full - more so than many invert-sugar reliant Belgian ales.

This is a very drinkable brew, and one that is smooth with age. I imagine there's some fresher characters in the younger version that I may have missed, but the mellow, creamy, languous version I have here is just fine with me...

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Photo of jdhilt
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a white head that stays, leaving no lace. Low carbonation. Light golden color. Nose is alcohol and apple. Starts with an alcohol flavor, and finishes the same but smooth. Some sweet overtones but the alcohol overwhelms the malts and hops. The 330ml bottle was found in York, England for £2.25.

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Photo of Tone
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, gold color. 1/2 inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, citrus hops, slight grass, and a hint of earthy malt. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level and slight dryness. Tastes of pale malt, slight sweet malt, slight hop, hint of alcohol, and slight earthy malt. Overall, good appearance, blend, and body.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.11/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Best before date of May 16, 2015.

A loud pop when I pulled the cork out, it pours a medium gold with a 2 finger head of foam that seems to keep on growing...well above the lip of my glass.

The smell is of citrus hops, some spice..err...peppery notes, a real dank kind of smell that you get from some well made IPAs.

It's pretty hoppy from the get go but I DO get a smidgeon of sweetness deep beneath that biter flavour and there is a nice peppery sort of spiciness going on. The citrus, malt, yeast, and pepper are doing a good job of satisfying my palate and the alcohol is there but not invasive.

Medium bodied for the most part; it thins out a tad in the finish.

I had never heard of this brew but it's very enjoyable and easy drinking and dry enough to make it "thirst quenching", if there's such a thing with beer. :^)

Edit: BIG malt kick with the last pour. Yum!

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Photo of wordemupg
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into tulip 17/12/12 sweet label and cap with the "Guillotine" and nothing else,(except a little blood)

A hazy golden yellow with a large well sustained soapy foam that leaves lots of random lace deep down the glass

S sour green apple with some pineapple and spicy yeast, its simple but solid, just a little banana and bubblegum as it warms

T a little booze and some apple juice but lacking some of what the nose has, still decent with some fruity notes and a little sweet grains

M a little foamy and just a little heat, sweet candied pineapple finish, a little average in this department

O perhaps a little generous here but it was pretty easy to drink , the bubbles could be controlled a little better but that's my only major complaint

well priced and I really like the simple label and cap, I'd call it a triple not a BSPA but it could swing either way

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Photo of pat61
4.73/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Fruit and malt on the nose. Pours brilliant orange tinted amber with a vigorous, long lasting, 3” white rocky foam cap. A fruity palate starts with orange, peach, and a hint of banana, spice, light caramel, a touch of bread, pepper and a light bitterness on the finish. Medium body and medium high carbonation. A delight to drink.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into the brewery chalice at the Frigo cafe in Shinjuku Japan. I've never seen this in the USA, not sure why it's in Tokyo but several other people were ordering it too so it's apparently popular.

The appearance was pale and cloudy yellow with a thick poofy white head (similar to Delirium Tremens). The aroma was grassy and funky and also similar to Delirium Tremens. It tasted delicious, almost exactly like one of my favorite beers (Delirium Tremens).

Not really sure why Huyghe makes 2 different beers which are so similar. Maybe someday I'll try them side-by-side and compare for what difference must exist.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a clearish orange although there are definitely some murky yeast or carbonation bubbles kicking around and the head and lace retention are great. Citric and some sweet fruit and definite yeast and spicy nose as it is a particularly strong beer. Crisp, light bodied, passes easy, great balance between a crisp edge thanks to spice and carbonation and a smoothness from yeast as well as some sweet fruit flavors like mango or pineapple as well as crisp citric orange. Alcohol started to warm the finish and hit me as I drank but overall this is a really enjoyable ale.

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Photo of avalon07
4.29/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a yellowish color and a clear texture. There was a foamy, two inch, long-lasting head. Lots of good lacing.

S: A powerful aroma of fruit, malt, and yeast.

T: Tasted of malt (a lot of malt - more than I might have expected), Belgian yeast, fruit, and some esters. A lively flavor, with just enough complexity and power to make it interesting.

M: An off the charts amount of carbonation (I haven't had anything this bubbly in quite a while), with a prickly finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A well made, vibrant, and very drinkable beer.

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Photo of ccrida
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

3cl bottle bought and consumed in Budapest at a little cafe in front of Staint Stephans catherdral. Dull spritzy gold, medium sized white head with some foamy lace.

Smell is very nice, somewhat saison like quinine and limestone, tropical fruits, softer but complex.

Taste has the nice tropical esters but also some soapiness, robust hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is dry and light.

Drinkability is solid, very nice and textured blonde, depth of flavor, balance, some nuance.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.06/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours amber with lots of big chunks of sediment floating round. Large white head.
Nose shows candi sugar, golden syrup, sweet bread and fruit cake. Incredibly sweet smelling.
Flavours include the same sweet bready malt and candi sugar. Way too sweet and cloying.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.31/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a cervoise glass. Best before January 2014.

A: Even a gentle pour resulted in one of the largest heads I've ever seen, filling 85% of the glass and then expanding right over the edges. After aeons of churning, it settles down, balancing out at about three fingers and leaving surprisingly little lacing in its wake. The beer is a cloudy straw-yellow, barely clear with lots of bubbles.

S: Yeasty and zesty. Peppery and floral. Delicate but straightforward.

T: Good gods...Absolutely one of the best BSPAs I've ever tasted. Soft and velvety, subtly fruity, pleasingly and delicately spicy. La Guillotine is the perfect balance of sweet and piquant, neither ever managing to defeat the other. The aftertaste is extensive and flipflops between a slightly sticky sweetness and a drying yeastiness influenced by hops (and perhaps some spices). Damn good.

M: Caressing, clinging, and beguiling. Mmmm.

O: The only other BSPA that gives La Guillotine a run for the money is Don de Dieu, which has a completely different character. Most similar to Duvel, La Guillotine pleases me far more, even if it cannot serve as such a widely-regarded stylistic benchmark. The alcohol is vaguely noticeable, but completely unconcerning. I could (and would) drink a pint or more of this beer. Highly recommended.

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La Guillotine from Brouwerij Huyghe
87 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.