La Bestia Aimable - Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling

Not Rated.
La Bestia AimableLa Bestia Aimable

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BA SCORE
84
good

136 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 136
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 14.05%
Wants: 4
Gots: 36 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: champ103 on 12-10-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 42
Reviews by Onslow:
Photo of Onslow
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby .. really good lacing .. . nose and mouth of dark plum, orange, berry, coriander and cherry jubilee .. . abv is extremely well masked, this beer and my cat = the troublemaker .. . a delicious well made beer that jumps over fences and runs into the forest .. . a great brew for this young brewery! .. . if we can't do that we'd just be the tallest people living here..

More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BarZigKin for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown/red/amber color with an off-white head. The aroma is very nice and definitely Belgian in origin. I get a lot of toffee malt, but I also get some cherries and yeast notes.

The flavor is caramel malt, grassy hops and cherries. I also get some banana and clove notes, which undoubtedly come from the Belgian yeast strain used in this beer. All of the flavors work very well together and make for a very good, Belgian-inspired, Texas-brewed beer.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

I am very glad I got to try this and look forward to having additional beers from Texas' newest brewery.

Photo of augustgarage
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of gawnphishin (many thanks!). Poured from a 750mL bottle into my De Dolle Oerbier tulip.

Dark maroon body, with sufficient clarity to reveal some deep carmine highlights at the edges. Concentric steps of buff foam build up to a mass of lightly whipped cream in the center of the glass. Dense sticky 3-D lacing forms a lattice-work around the sides. Good retention.

Malt, dank dusty attic/cellar aromas, an odd wood note, then a variety of dark fruit mixing with light yeasty phenols and a hint of honey (though it smells dark, like avacado or something - similar to molasses almost) in the nose.

Peppery, figgy palate entry, with hints of fresh oak, faint citrus, and cocoa nibs. Lightly toasted malt notes, chewing tobacco, and hints of honey - sweet at first, but increasingly dry into the finish. Maybe some raisins in the aftertaste. Decent complexity, though the flavors don't work in perfect unison.

Effervescent, medium bodied, vaguely astringent mouthfeel.

While not to style (though hard to pin down what's wrong exactly), this is overall a tasty and unusual ale.

Photo of TexasBrewSlinger
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark brown/reddish color with decent head

smells sweet, a little boozy, dark fruit and honey, not hugely complex but nice

taste roasted figs, honey, cola spice, sweet malt, hint of toffee.

overall very nice. the dark rich notes are counterbalanced with a spicy lift. I like it more and more each sip.

Photo of thagr81us
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to lnashsig for sending me this one as an extra in a past trade! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller oversized wine glass. Poured a massively dark red brown with a two finger light tan head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, Coca-Cola, banana, bread, dark fruit, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, bread, banana, alcohol, and caramel. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. The Coca-Cola aroma I got on this one was a little strange if I am completely honest. However, the aroma was very nice and quite complex. The flavor on this one was also quite complex and enjoyable. I just wish that some of the alcohol would have been cut out of the flavor to allow some more subtle notes to come through. Worth trying at least once for sure if you get the chance.

Photo of vickersspitfire
4.01/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter and it looked awesome: it’s a dark murky brown color that pretty much resembles apple butter, has some decent carbonation and is topped with a thin, tan head that quickly turns into a thin ring around the glass. Lots of fruity aromas come through, figs, prunes and grapes are all there along with some spices, cinnamon to be exact. Its got a medium body that just wraps you mouth with a dark fruit flavors some peach and pear is detectable. The honey is only noticeable in its aftertaste which is also mildly bitter and has no hint of alcohol. This is my first Ranger Creek taste and I am very impressed so far.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Muddy red/brown color, with a tan two finger head that leaves nice lacing. Some citrus hops on the nose, oak, vanilla, ample dark fruits, malty sweets, and a touch of chocolate as well. Tastes of dark fruits, so woodiness, roasted malts, some chocolate and and slightly sweet linger. Body is medium, good carbonation, with a slight creamy texture.

Photo of gawnphishin
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. I couldnt find a date on the bottle.

This looks great for a bdsa. An opaque red brouwn with a large head.

The smell is of great dark fruits and a slight astringency from the alcohol. Smells sweet.

The taste is biscuty with dark fruits like prune again. Very little alcohol.

The mouthfeel is excelent. Dry and very effervesent.

The beer is great, but a little high octane for my taste. They could hide the alcohol a little better.

Photo of ruzzal
2.03/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Maybe the bottle was too old, maybe not my style, but ouch. Drain pour.

Photo of AtrumAnimus
2.74/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

The beer pours an extremely cloudy strong tea color that has a lightly tanned head that is thick and settles at a moderate to fast rate with no lacing down the glass. The beer looks a lot more promising than it actually is.

The smell is weak with a strong sweet malt tone that has sour notes to it. The complexity is rather lacking.

The taste is very disappointing. This is far more a Flemish style sour in flavor that an attempt at a true Belgian style ale. (And I am fully aware the two areas are geographically overlapping, I have visited the area thoroughly and even proposed to my wife there). The Flemish culture is still a distinct region that has very distinct beers from the rest of Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. They even have their own language.

That said this beer is a sour ale and not a Belgian ale and not a very good sour at that. The alcohol is prominent in the flavor and the sour leaves a dirty unpleasant finish. The beer is rather unpleasant. I can see why they started to make whiskey from it. The alcohol content makes is a great candidate for distillation.

*Note - the whiskey is actually a lot better than this beer. Not great, but decent and good for Mint Juleps and such.

The mouthfeel is somewhat cloying and is appropriate for a sour. It is also the second best part of this beer.

Overall this beer is so bad I just can't finish it. I am never going to buy it again either. I just don't know what the Ranger Creek guys were thinking. Cause to date I haven't just liked everything I have had from them, I have given it excellent to rave reviews. Their Mesquite Smoked Porter is top notch.

They just fell down on this one in my opinion as there is nothing friendly about this beast.

Photo of Fenris244
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in snifter at the saucer

Dark reddish brown in color, thin tan head, good retention and lacing though.

Fruit aromas, figs come to mind, some cherry and cinnamon as well. also bits of honey and plum. Fruity and spicy much like a Belgian smells pretty good!

Fruity in flavor as well, the fig and plum are more prounced than in the aroma, more dark fruit flavors are there too but I can't identify them, a honey like sweetness is there joined with some spiciness and a plum skin bitterness.

Medium in body, low carbonation it works well with the beer though, pretty smooth.

Overall aside from being the last thing I expected ranger creek to roll out they did a pretty good job, it's tasty complex and a little different.

Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to redredwino(Reddit) for this interesting guy.

Light fluffy head, super dark molasses brown colored beer.

Nose of sweet brown malts, light candi sugar, brown sugar,light nutty malts, hint of honey candy, light creamy soft aged malts.

Taste had soft aged brown malts, some darker Belgian malts, light brown sugar, honey, candy, semi sweet, light cinnamon and nutty malts, light bitterness, touch of fruit, crystal malts and caramel. Light sticky sweet finish, lingering nutty sweet brown malts, light bitterness, long sweet honey and syrupy malt finish.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, lighter carb, light booze.

Overall decent, nice dark soft malts, sugars, honey, sweet syrups but not heavy, light booze, decent bigger beer.

Photo of gnemesis
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into snifter on 05/09/2011.
Pours dark red topped by a dirty-white creamy head. Dissipates quickly but leaves decent lace. Smells of Belgian yeast, cider, and sweet honey- strange brew indeed. These flavors appear in the taste but add some earthy notes, dark fruit, raisin, and maybe a touch of vanilla. Again strange but the taste is pretty good. Medium Body and low/medium carbonation. Weird beer, average, but drinkable.

Photo of AgentZero
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Brownish red color beer with a brown head that bubbled up about two fingers. Didn't have great retention but left tons of small spots and a couple big lines along the side.

S - Honey, belgian yeast, dark fruit. Smells fairly tasty with a bit of sweet sugar.

T - Taste is likethe nose with a little bit more phenolic yeast. Sweet with some dry notes that cut into it a little for a bit of an edge. Some dark fruit with a touch of honey.

M - Active carbonation and medium bodied.

O - Good beer, would like to try the barrel treatments of it as it has a nice flavor profile and is easy to drink.

Photo of bmwats
3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750 ml bottle into tasting snifter.

A: Dark brown, no head, but does leave a small ring of brown-white foam, and rim of the glass. No real lacing.

S: Earthy malt, with butterscotch, raspberry, and wine grapes.

T: Slightly sweet and pungent malt with caramel and raspberry. Tastes pretty much like it smells.

M: Hearty feel, pungency fills and coats the palette. Comes across as a little washed out. Slightly dry, bitter finish.

D: Easy drinking.

Atmosphere is ok. Nothing special in terms of appearance, nose is earthy and fruity. Flavor is a sweet and pungent fruit, sweet, and malt combination. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff.

Photo of crusian
2.86/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from a sunshine mart in Austin, thanks for the tip kevinscott.
Pours a dark plum color with no head, great, another one of these carbonated-less beers. Getting tired of these.
Smell is interesting... I get tart, so I assume this is going to be a bit sour... I also get prunes and maybe some berry, along with a tinge of belgian yeasty clove.
The taste is also odd... it is sweet, but there is some funk and it's a tad sour. The begian yeast is strong on the finish with clove and lingers on the tongue. There is also a hop bitterness that lingers as well. A small taste of the prune. I dont really like this. I dont think that th flavors go well together. trying to figure out if this is has brett in it, or what that gives it the slight sour... maybe this will be better in a couple years?
No carbonation...
I'll try it again in a couple years.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.39/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Thanks to jl28r1 for this bottle!

Review #1700. So far, the only other offering I've had from this brewery has been great. Here's hoping for 2-for-2. It pours a murky cocoa-ruby topped by a sparse gathering of dirty soap bubbles. Methinks the carbonation may be a tad lacking here... The nose comprises black cherry, dusty cocoa powder, toffee, figs, clove, nutmeg, light watermelon, and biscuits. The taste holds notes of red wine, figs, cocoa, toasted biscuits, black cherries, a touch of roasted malts, and a small swig of oak. The body is a smarmy medium, with a light carbonation and a slightly oily feel. Overall, a decent brew, but one that seems to be suffering from young age (beer-wise) and a slight undercarbonation. Something tells me a few batches down the road this thing will be pretty damn good, but right now it's just okay.

Photo of Atlas1
3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first Ranger Creek beer. Picked it up at Central Market in SA two weeks ago on a visit up there. Has a hand-written label on the side which says "Bottle Conditioned, Batch # LB-005, Date: 5-01-11." Good to know when it was bottled.

Poured into a barrel pint glass, this beer is a dull mahogany color with a light head and no lace. The nose is nice and fruity. Fig and prune scents with dark berries and pear. Various spices. The taste is sweet up front, again heavy on the dark fruits; plum, fig, prune, maybe some apple and pear. It says it's brewed with honey, and I notice that flavor only when I really focus on it. If not called to my attention, I might not catch it. Sort of a dull herbal aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for what I was expecting, but it finishes with a nice dryness.

On the whole, this is a decent but unspectacular beer. Nothing here really grabs me and demands my attention, but it's completely fine and would, as the bottle says, accompany a number of dishes quite nicely. Nothing too fancy here, but a solid effort from Ranger Creek.

5-31-2013 postscript: I tried this again this week, over a year since my review of it, and found it much more agreeable. I noticed the dark cherry, bitter apple and sweet honey flavors a lot more this time around, and appreciated the beer much more overall. Perhaps this beer grows on you over time, or maybe the recipe has been tweaked a bit. Either way, I would happily revisit this again. Cheers to Ranger Creek for created a much more complex brew than I realized the first time around.

Photo of womencantsail
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The pour is a muddy dark amber color with minimal carbonation and some small off-white bubbles.

S: Sweet overall, like a BSDA should be, fairly heavy on the caramel with some nice dark fruit notes. Raisins and prunes seem to be the most prevalent. Brown sugar is in there as well.

T: Not quite as sweet as it smells, and the beer is very toasty, especially for this style of beer. Hints of chocolate and brown sugar with a decent amount of dark fruits and malts.

M: Medium in body with a low level of carbonation.

O: Could have been better with more carbonation, but it is what it is. Also a bit too toasty for my liking.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured an amber-red/brown color, somewhat hazy, with a decent head that pretty quickly dissipated into a nice off-white sheen, leaving sheets of lacing when you sip that quickly rejoin the brew.

Smells of spicy dark fruits, Belgian yeast, a bit of sweetness, lots of spices. Great smelling brew!

Taste is of funky, pungent malts, dark fruits again, plenty of yeast, spices. Pretty strange stuff but enjoyable anyway.

Feel is pretty smoothly carbonated, medium bodied, with a semi-sweet, lightly bitter fruity aftertaste.

Overall it's pretty good. An interesting premium beer from Ranger Creek.

Photo of champ103
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Flying Saucer in Houston.

A: Pours a dark mahogany red color. A two finger beige head forms with good retention. Sticky lace is left behind.
S: A big fruity aroma of pears, apples, and figs. I love the fruity aromas. Sweet malt, and a nice musky aroma to let you know this is a Belgian Ale. I love it.
T: Follows the nose. Lots of fruits. Pears, apples, even grapes. Plenty of sweetness. Light wood as well. Earthy yeast that works perfectly with everything else.
M/D: A medium to full body. Creamy and smooth. So easy to drink. The alcohol is not noticeable at all. I can sip on this all day.

A very nice Belgian interpretation. I am so glad to see some Texas breweries doing something like this. I find myself buying more bottles (while they last) and getting this more while out at the bars. Excellent, and one of the best new beers to come out in Texas.

Photo of dcloeren
2.58/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a toffee colored brown with two fingers of khaki colored head that hung around for a little while and pulled a Harry Houdini and vanished

The smell is not very impressive at all. Getting belgian yeast, honey, and some extremely floral notes that aren't very flattering

The taste is very florally hop forward, not a lot of belgian yeast shining through, and the abundance of carbonation is hiding any other flavors that might be mixed in

Medium bodied and overly carbonated.

Overall, the only plusses that I can think of is that this beer hides the alcohol extremely well... other than that, this was not a good beer IMO. Won't be looking for this one again

Photo of kojevergas
3.04/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

9.4% ABV according to the label. Batch #LB-009. 08/20/12. This is nearly 14 months old. 21 Plato. 28 SRM. 25 IBU. Reviewed as a Belgian-style Dark Strong Ale because it identifies as such on the label. Brewed with honey. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded grey pressure cap and generally appealing label art acquired at me local HEB Grocery and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average given the brewery, which has really disappointed me with their barrel aged offerings lately.

Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a 1.5-2.0 finger wide head of khaki colour. Decent creaminess, frothiness, and thickness. Head retention is pretty good for the high ABV - about 4-5 minutes. Little lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a transparent translucent dark amber of rich vibrance. No yeast particles are visible. Appears well-carbonated.

Overall, it's within style conventions, albeit a bit lighter than I would have expected. Not unique or special. There are no obvious flaws.

Sm: Honey, dark malts, dark fruits (fig, dates, prunes), abbey yeast, cocoa/chocolate malt, brown sugar, raisin, caramel. Any hop presence is too buried to be noticeable. No alcohol is detectable.

Pretty standard fare for the style. I'm surprised at the seeming high amount of residual sugars considering its age and the yeast used. A pleasant aroma of mild strength. I'm looking forward to trying it.

T/Mf: Hm. Sticky residual sugars are abundant and betray a poorly attenuated yeast (relative to the style). The honey also increases the sweetness, and I'm not sure why it's there to be honest. Raisin is present, but the fig, prune, and date notes are much more reticent than the aroma suggested. Dark malts, chocolate malt, brown sugar, caramalts. Maybe sassafras? It might have a kiss of red wine. A hint of anise. It's got a loose cohesion, but it's not particularly well balanced, nor is it gestalt. I don't get a sense that the brewers were fully in control here; it seems more like they followed a Belgian dark ale recipe and hoped for the best. Lacks the complexity and subtlety of the best beers in the style.

Shallow depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

No hop character or true yeast character comes through. Too sweet overall. There is some light noticeable alcohol, but it's not a boozy flavour profile by any stretch.

Sticky, smooth, and wet. A biteen too thick. Medium-bodied. Unrefreshing. Sugary. Suits the flavour profile okay; it's to style. Overcarbonated.

Not harsh, astringent, gushed, or boozy.

Dr: Downable forgettable stuff from Ranger Creek. There's nothing in any way remarkable about this beer. Very mediocre. At this price point, higher quality is needed. I wouldn't get this again or recommend it to friends. If it's this boring with a year of age on it, it must be pretty dull fresh. To its credit, it hides its ABV decently. Just a bit better than average.

If you're looking for an American strong dark ale that can compete with traditional Belgian offerings, look elsewhere. While this is worth trying, it's far from world class.

Low C+

Photo of depechemode1983
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy dark mahogany. With decent a foamy tan cap. With bits of patchy lacing.

S - Smell is sweet and acidic. Grapes, sour apricots and brown sugar are very noticeable. Along with some Belgium spiciness. Trace amounts of alcohol end the nose.

T - Taste is semi sweet and sour up front with a sour alcoholic middle. Ending is sweet and grape like with caramel and spice.

M - smooth and medium to thin bodied. Carbonation Is soft and pleasant.

D/N - Excellent beer. Tasty and drinkable. Hope I can find some more of this.

Photo of harrymel
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2011, I believe.

Pours 2oz with three fingers of light caramel head that falls in a few minutes to a quilt of the same. Spotty lace. Cloudy and dark amber. Smells of cola, sugar, dark malts, belgian yeast, hints of wood and a little bit of plum. Some sugar, some yeast, some good juicy dark stone fruits. Medium bodied with low carb after the head falls. I think this beer is above average for domestic attempts, but falls short of the greats out of the homeland over the pond. Perhaps as they refine and develop the yeast, the beer will take on an outstanding structure.

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La Bestia Aimable from Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling
84 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.