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La Guillotine - Brouwerij Huyghe

Not Rated.
La GuillotineLa Guillotine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

253 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 253
Reviews: 90
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.39%
Wants: 21
Gots: 29 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Huyghe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-02-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 253 | Reviews: 90 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vancurly
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Leffe chalice.
Rocky offwhite foamy head..hazy apricot in colour, some thin persistent bubbling lifting off the bottom of the glass and disappearing in the haze....
Tropical fruit nose...pineapple mostly, but a hint of sherbety lemon. Some grassy notes.
Candy-like, yet spicy...hint of anise (licorice allsort), maybe some nutmeg or coriander... quite a savoury profile. Some wild vegetal herbal hop in there also. And plenty of pineapple as it warms...
Almost tart in mouthfeel....Quite dry in profile... alcohol heat is evident.

vancurly, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of rec
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I first tried this almost a year ago in Canberra's Belgian Beer Bar, but decided to rebuy it tonight and serve at a temperature I was comfortable with.

It poured golden yellow with a dynamite two-inch foamy head, which also laces brilliantly.

Spice, light fruit such as apricot and citrus come through upon inspection of aroma. It's extremely complex, and a pleasure to disect.

The taste is highly spicey with the lighter fruits coming through strong. It has relatively high carbonation and the mouthfeel remains light yet somewhat creamy.

It's definately something I could drink a lot of, although almost too similar to its brother Delirium Tremens. Regardless, I remain very happy with it; something I'll buy again!

rec, Feb 10, 2007
Photo of Shadman
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saw this along with the small selection of non-macro singles at a local beer store. Pured a hazy amber-yellow with a ton of carbonation...as much fizz a ginger-ale. Frothy white head that left a small amount of lacing. Very much a breadish smell with a hint of that high ABV. Tasted quite yeasty with a touch of hops. Definitely feel the alcohol in the mouth afterward. Tried this one on an empty stomach...got quite the head-rush..

Shadman, Feb 09, 2007
Photo of BigBry
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml ceramic bottle with red foil cap. 'Best Before End' of Mar 2007 clipped on the back label. Has been aging for over a year. Has tried this one at a Beer Fest, and was quite strong (almost harsh). Let's see what some rest time has done.
Color is yellowy/golden with a haze from the yeast. Not a large head, decent layer of white foam, thin lacing. Yeasty and acidic smell, also get aromas of fenel and anise.
Taste has smoothed out nicely. Lots of carbonation keep it crisp and light. Yeasty flavor, with spice and pepper. A bit fruity, but not sweet, quite dry finish. Slightly alcohol aftertaste, but still well hidden. Complex, and still a bit strong in the flavor department, but has mellowed out nicely.

BigBry, Dec 26, 2006
Photo of vanrassel
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured with a cloudy gold with a slight apricot hue and a thin, effervescent head. There were some fruity esters present in the smell, along with a yeasty aroma you'd expect in a beer of this kind.

The taste started malty and with a bit of sharp alcohol. The taste was quite tart and citric, reminding me of ginger ale and lemon. The carbonation was a little high for my liking.

I have to concur with others that it's curious Huyghe would brew another beer so similar to Delirium Tremens. This one's different enough, however, that I can state a clear preference for its superior sibling.

vanrassel, Oct 23, 2006
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

TurdFurgison, Oct 07, 2006
Photo of FightingEntropy
3.23/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Overall, the very light golden ale was pleasant to drink, but seemed to be one dimensional. Poured out nicely with a good head that fell quick with very little lace, but that might have been because it was a little too cold. Strong fruity esters like apple cider, and yeasty all over the place(even pouring gently and leaving an inch), and tasted very sweet on the tip of the tongue, a solid carbonation bite with a slight bitterness to the back but nothing much and no hop presence at all. I was hoping that it would warm up well, but seemed to get thinner and the 9% alcohol really expanded and filled my mouth. It comes in a sharp bottle with a guillotine on the front, so I had hope for a bit more. Good if it's in front of you and you like Huyghe. I couldn't read the best used by date on the bottle, and got it in Jasper, Alberta--so maybe it was past its prime.

FightingEntropy, Aug 22, 2006
Photo of jamie2dope
4.63/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another beer that I am happy to have discovered during my stay in a foreign land. Pours a cloudy golden tinge with a small, but impressive looking white head. Loads and loads of sediment were swirling around this beer, as well as a few other darker sediment particles that did not look attractive, but didn't seem to bug me. Smell was excellent, fruit throughout such as cherries, apples, passionfruit, pineapple. There was also a light medicinal smell in there. Taste was amazing, juicy fruit, and sweet sugary honey dominated, with some mild sour trangs coming through as it went towards the back of the palate. It was somewhat syrupy, maybe due to the honey tastes I noticed. As for drinkability, My God if only I had this beer around every night, I would be in sheer bliss. I swear this beer came straight from Hades to tempt us all with its deliciousness. Indulge

jamie2dope, May 29, 2006
Photo of nickss
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into the appropriate glass. The beer itself is cloudy and has a golden hue. The white, rocky head is a monumental 2". Gorgeous crystaline lacing.

Spicy hops, almost smokey aroma. Yeasty and lemony. Pepper is apparent as well. This one seems to be almost a mix of a rauch and a belgian strong. Amazingly complex.

Crisp lemon flavour with an almost Saaz-like presence. A bit of pepper. This one reminds me a bit of some of the Unibroue offerings.

Crisp mouthfeel due to the carbonation. All in all though, moderately thick and quite nice.

Drinkable, but a bit too highly carbonated for me to drink more than a couple. Fantastically enjoyable though.

nickss, May 28, 2006
Photo of nouseforotacon
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I purchased this in Tokyo from Isetan department store. Best before August 2008.

Poured out a very pale yellow, lightly golden in color. Foamy white head rushed quickly to the top, but also faded quickly leaving a murky white film with strong carbonation.

The smell was a bit funky at first, boldly sweet with warm alcoholic smelling fruit esters. Dry spice, somewhat peppery, touch of yeast, and some sugary artificial aromas come to the surface. Complex and interesting.

Initially very wet in the mouth, with a dry finish that was also warm alcoholic (reminds me of champagne). The fruit character was present, sweet and tart, reminding me of nectarines. Spicy, peppery aftertaste was present. The body felt surprisingly light in the mouth, with a low hop character.

Well done, but unfortunately I felt like the mouthfeel was slightly unbalanced. There was a somewhat nasty artificial flavoring that left my tongue with an on/off harsh, unpleasant aftertaste.

I dig Belgian Strongs, both pale and dark. This one is worth a try, complex, but still a bit unbalanced.

nouseforotacon, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of mzwolinski
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Attractive bottle, but a fairly unattractive beer. The faux-ceramic look is classic-looking and functional in protecting the beer from light. Once poured, though, the beer pours a pleasant clear yellowish gold, but is marred by a large-bubbled, uneven off-white head. Reminds me of a mangy dog's coat.

The aroma is mixed as well. Nice spicy and floral hops, but the malt character has something of an unpleasant metallic tinge to it.

In the mouth, the beer starts juicy, citric and sweet. A bit of honey character mid-palate. The finish has some nice spicy hops, but, as foreshadowed in the aroma, this quickly melds into a rather harsh metallic flavor that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Besides that, the mouthfeel is a bit fizzy.

A promising beer, and drinkable, but ultimately disappointing, especially given the usually fine beers produced by this brewery.

mzwolinski, Dec 15, 2005
Photo of tavernjef
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky golden yellow with a rough mist of yeasty chunks floating around in there. Medium white cap flights away from the top like a wind blown snow cover across a frozen lake. Very little lace if any decides to stick or make a presence.

Aroma is fueled behind a fine citric sweetness of lemon and orange with a tight squeeze of mustyness to help create a fairly decent Belgian candy-like bouquet.

Taste is also fueled by a moderate dullness of citrusy flavors bringing orange and lemon candied in sweetness. Wet, juicy, and musty for most of its time. Slightly dry and pale finish with some left over yeasty dustings of tannins and dirty fruit skins.

Feel starts fairly full and slides back from there into a medium body with dullish tones in both flavors and carbonation. Finish is both good and bad - Dry, pale, a tad off. It doesn't seem to fit whats going on in the rest of the beer but I like its unique drying weirdness.

A fairly standard Belgian Pale. Could be better, could be alot worse.

tavernjef, Dec 05, 2005
Photo of dauss
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 33cl brown bottle coated with this cream colored coating thats beginning to crack off. A bright red foil covers the bottle cap on the top of the bottle. There were notches on the label, but I'm unable to decipher what it meant. This beer was purchased in Taiwan 8 months ago and brought to the US.

Appearance: Clear golden yellow. At first a lage white head had formed, but quickly dissappeared. It is very effervescent, tons of little bubbles just streaming through the beer.

Smell: A thick and sweet malty nose with a bouquet of fruit. General fruity esters with green apples accompany a spicy phenolic nose.

Taste: A full bodied malty and lightly sweet entrance with a lot of fruit flavors. Strong carbonation turns the beer into a bubbly and almost creamy consistancy. Mild phenols and alcohol begin to peak near the finish with a light drying sensation and a malty grainy taste in the end with a full mouthfeel. The 9% ABV is really noticible when the beer warms up.

Notes: I wish this beer had some sort of head retention or lacing, but at 9%, I can understand why it doesn't. This beer has mellowed out into a smooth and fruity Belgian beer. The alcohol is still quite strong after spending so much time in the bottle, and the heavy carbonation makes this a slow sipping beer. Its still very good.

dauss, Sep 05, 2005
Photo of Weizenmensch
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330mL painted ceramic-look glass bottle with red foil around the neck. Best before July '06, if I've understood the labelling system properly.

Appearance: Pretty nice cloudy dark yellow/orange pour with fairly quick dissipating head. Darker than Duvel, but still pretty appropriate. Lacing quite sticky but not all over the place. Fairly normal for the style.

Smell: Gorgeous citrus and cider aromas. Really full-flavoured, I am spending more time sniffing this than drinking it!

Taste: Really nice. Peppery, alcoholic, some candied sugar. Quite watery, i.e. not too pungent, like a watered-down scotch. Very drinkable and a nice sticky aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy with head forming in the mouth. Quite lubricated. Smooth goin' down. It seems like a layer of Guillotine still covers your tongue and mucous membranes after you've swallowed. Cool.

Drinkability: For the style, this is well drinkable. These kinds of strong Belgian ales aren't usually too good to have dozens of, but this one is nice and I could see myself having a few in rapid succession. Still, if I wanted to get that smashed I might as well drink a couple then switch to some cheap local macro brew. I'm enjoying this one now though, and this will become a regular I think.

Weizenmensch, May 12, 2005
Photo of elricorico
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pourerd a hazy orange with a thick creamy white head. If that was all, appearance would probably be a four, but it has so much sediment floating around in it! The first of the sediment actually dropped with an audible plop. Quite a turn off for me, and I tend to always pour my yeast into the glass with belgian beers

Smell is quite nice on the other hand. Very citrus with orange peel quite notable. Not as much spice smell to it as some others of the style, but still a hint there.

Taste is a sweet and tangy mix of citrus flavour with a spicy(coriander?) follow up and an alcohol finish. The alcohol isn't overpowering, but is definitely there in the end. Makes for a pleasant mix, and isn't quite like any Belgian Strong Pale that I've tasted.

Mouthfeel isn't bad, but I find the carbonation to be a bit overdone. Leaves the beer feeling a bit sharp against your tongue.

I find this beer to be all over the place. There are mouthfulls that I find fantastic and mouthfulls that put me off a bit. It's certainly a complex and interesting beer.

elricorico, Apr 28, 2005
Photo of thesilverhand
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at home, from a bottle, in a tulip glass. It poured a slightly hazy orange-yellow with a massive creamy foam head. This is quite an attractive beer, and leaves a nice lace on the glass.
The nose is full of sweet fruit - very sweet. My girlfriend says, "Mmm...cidery." Definitely a bit of apple!
Then to the first sip - there's still lots of fruit; it's not as sweet or distinct as I expected from the nose, but is still prevalent. It fades pleasantly into spice - pepper and cloves most strongly. The alcohol - it is nine per cent, after all - also comes through strongly into the finish, which is quite dry.
It's a bit sharply alcoholic on the palate...not unpleasant, but I can feel the alcohol more than I'd like.
Overall, this is a really nice beer...I wouldn't - or perhaps couldn't, at this strength! - have more than a couple at a sitting, but I certainly will have it again.

thesilverhand, Mar 20, 2005
Photo of jahred
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brought this bottle back from Amsterdam. Best before date Feb '07 on the bottle.

Pours a very pretty, very pale yellow-orange color with an extremely creamy, white head. The scent is light, malty and fruity, though I can't make out particular fruits.

Upfront, the taste is even more fruity - peaches and pears, with an odd grainy texture that I didn't quite like. This is followed by a long, peppery, phenolic aftertaste that's quite spicy and a bit overpowering. Not quite as balanced or tasty as I'd like.

jahred, Jul 29, 2004
Photo of Crosling
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at Hall's Beer Tavern in Paris, France.

Damaged Pear Skin.

Odd nose. It's sticky, very fruity and sharp as hell. Red apple skins, pears and caramel seep through.

Medium bodied. Fruit laden palate. Smooth. Huge caramel in the backround with notes of peach, pears and apples.

This beer makes me think that Huyghe can actually brew but oddly enough, it is very similar to the Tremens....

Crosling, Jul 23, 2004
Photo of Cwrw
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A dour name for a beer, La Guillotine I assume makes reference to the effect this beer could have on an unsuspecting drinker quaffing it quickly--indeed, the alcohol hits quickly like the drop of the blade.

Mammoth head, near brilliant white, and very fine-bubbled, milk-like. The lacing moves quickly, but it does stick. Cloudy, peachy, yellow in some light, light brown in others. The appearance is everything a Belgian strong ale should be. The aroma is super sweet, strongly fruit-filled, and syrupy. Apricot, peach, and tart candy. Mmm. The strongly sweet aroma gets high praise from sweet-beer lovers. There is a creamy quality about the aroma as well, and the yeasty freshness is superbly appetising. The taste is very much like wine or sherry, along with some ultra-sweet fruit brandies I have tasted. The phenolic taste is not overwhelming, though very tangible: otherwise there are sweet malt, apricot and berries of various sorts, mint, and earthy yeast tastes, leaving a dry puckering mouth sensation. The finish, though, is extremely alcoholic, leaving the tongue with a warming, burning feel, which is the only reason this is not an easily drinkable beer. High carbonation, and full-bodied. No, this is enjoyable only perhaps occasionally, and certainly no more than two in the same session. High carbonation, and full-bodied. This is more akin to a fruit brandy or port. Phenomenal.

Cwrw, Jul 18, 2004
Photo of donnebaby
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Long-lasting tight foam head over this apricot-colored beer. Significant particles abound. The nose is great and heavy on creamy fresh fruits: banana, peach and apple.

Taste is complex in the mouth, beginning w medium orangy maltiness, which, once gone, leaves an array of tastes, big on dry leaves and spices. Cloves and nutshells. Notes of grapefruit and overripe oranges. Ending with dry chocolate-orange bitterness. A clean, small taste, with good complexity.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, the best part of the brew for me. Carbonation is light but sharp, especially felt on the tongue, as soon as the cream from the head passes. Very good drinkability. 9% is imperceptible except for the warming of the stomach.

donnebaby, May 20, 2004
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev 0%
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!

feloniousmonk, May 01, 2004
Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Sammy, Apr 01, 2004
Photo of IronDjinn
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came in a green 330 ml bottle coated with grey enamel, red foil around neck and cap, best before date marked on back label. Appearance is a hazy golden apricot hue, foamy white head that eventually recedes to a thin cap. Spicy nose, peppery, clove and banana, sweetish fruit like peach or apricot, some boozy pear, sweet malt. Flavour is peachy and peppery, boozy malt finish, but that taste of fruit comes back to linger on the aftertaste. Big boozy mouthfeel, the alcohol definitely makes its presence known. Probably one of the best specimens I've had from this family brewery so far, it has a well rounded character, and a very memorable one at that.

IronDjinn, Sep 14, 2003
Photo of jdhilt
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

jdhilt, Sep 13, 2003
Photo of Garin
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It poured a bubbly pale gold, slightly hazy, with a creamy white head sitting nicely on top.

The aroma was complex and interesting. Sour fruits and sweet cherries, floral and herbal notes, with a spiciness.

The flavour is spicy and earthy, and I'm having a hard time adjusting to it. It's like licking the bottom of a fifty-year-old spice cabinet. I'm becoming more accustomed to it, and I'm finding rich pear flavours and some floral undertones. Hm. A bitter orange-peel flavour fills the finish.

The mouthfeel is full and rich, difficult as it is to separate out the flavours from the mouthfeel.

It's a mighty brew, perhaps a bit much for me. Still, that's not the beer's fault, is it?

Garin, Aug 29, 2003
La Guillotine from Brouwerij Huyghe
88 out of 100 based on 253 ratings.