Klüdde Strong Ale - Brewery Vivant
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Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
4.05/5 rDev +20.9%
Another6Pack had sent this to me a while back, but between awaiting picture approval and the unending onslaught of beers, I lost track of this one, buried in my refrigerator. I am thinking that, based on previous reviews, that it may have mellowed during its hiatus. The CANQuest (TM) marches on!
From the CAN: From the CAN: "Special Limited Release"; "Freshly Brewed in Michigan"; "Brewer's Reserve Limited Release"; "Belgian Style Dark Ale Brewed with Star Anise and Green Raisins"; "WHY USE CANS? We set out to build a sustainable brewery and found through our research that cans are a better option than bottles. Cans are much lighter in weight, contain more recycled content, are able to be up-cycled, and use less energy to produce. The canning line also has a much smaller footprint than a bottling line. If this was not enough, cans provide better protection from flavor degenerating oxygen and hop flavor robbing sunlight. This is the best package we can provide to bring our beer to you, tasting the way the brewer intended it. Enjoy."; "At Vivant, our brewers have the freedom to dream up new and experimental beers in order to keep their creative edge. Typically these specialty beers are reserved only for those lucky enough to stop by our pub on the right given day. As is often pointed out to us from those outside Grand Rapids, this seemed very selfish. We agreed and launched this series of small batch beers in [CAN]s."; "As the name implies it is a limited release. It is possible that the beer you are drinking is from a single batch of experimental beer that may never be brewed again. Or maybe we will make it again in a few months, or next year. Yeah, it sounds cruel but there are so many beers we want to make that we just [CAN]'t stop creating. So enjoy it while you [CAN]. If you really like it, don't tell your friends about it and just buy it all yourself."; "Cheers! Vivant Brewers".
Based on its age and the strong possibility that settling may have occurred in the lapsed time, I decided to go with a gentle pour into a Westmalle chalice. The Crack! revealed another brimful craft CAN and I could smell the anise as soon as it was opened. My pour garnered a skim of deep-brown head that quickly dissipated to wisps, but I will take responsibility on that as I did not want to disturb potential lees. Color was a deep, dark-brown with ruby highlights at the edges (SRM = 44) and limited light penetration. Leaning in for a deeper sniff, the anise was prevalent, but the raisins also imparted a vinous white-wine quality. Mouthfeel was medium, but the carbonic bubbles were very small and scrubbing on the tongue. There was little evidence of the alcoholic heat, but instead, it had taken on an interesting tartness, a combination of dry white wine with the bitterness of licorice and dark chocolate. Wild! It strikes me that it has aged nicely, especially given the thoughts of some of the previous reviewers. In looking at the list of other beers in the style, it also becomes obvious that many are Christmas/holiday beers and this really reminds me of some of the ones that I have tasted and/or reviewed. It had that fruitcake taste with dried dark fruits, a bit of tartness and a bready flavor from the malt. The finish was quite dry, again in keeping with its vinousness, but not puckeringly dry. It was tart, certainly, but I would argue against outright sour. It seems that its availability has increased from limited to year-'round and I might suggest buying a four-pack and setting one or two aside to age. This was by no means a drain pour, nor did the thought even occur to me. I recommend buying it now and opening it at the end of this year as it will easily stand up to the passage of time. That said, one was plenty for this self-avowed hophead as I now need a lupulin fix to get me right.
01-28-2014 22:01:26 | More by woodychandler
4.15/5 rDev +23.9%
The Kludde. Some people seem to find this beer a bit unbalanced. I guess that this means I will be rating it far higher than average but I think this is the best thing Vivant has made. It's a weird beer, no doubt, but it tastes like nothing else you will try.
I first had this on tap at the brewery. I didn't think all that much of it at the time but once I saw that they had it in cans later on I bought a four-pack. I don't know why I like this beer so much more now than I did when I first had it on draft but I have only had it in cans since and it has proven to be a great, if slightly high octane, standby throughout the past year.
Now, as most seem to agree, it 's a great looking beer. It's dark and viscous and leaves ample lacing upon your glass... drinking from a chalice is the way to go with this one I think. The aroma is actually a bit much for me since I do not much care for the black licorice... but I tell you once you taste it there is something to be said for the combination of black licorince (something I usually detest) and raisin. Now I must be forthright, I like any beer that incorporates the raisin. I also felt that Dogfish Head's Raisin D'Etre was underrated. So, I guess if you don't much care for that brew you should take this review as a lark. However, I stand by the Kludde as one of the best-tasting beers I have had in a while.
For me, it combines the malt goodness of a strong Belgian Dark with all the things I love about the American Strong Ale. It has the right balance of sweetness, fruit and hoppiness. The mouthfeel is actually not as heavy or syrupy as you would imagine. It has sort of a playful froth to it that makes it go down shockingly easily.... and yet you can taste that touch of burn where you know you're drinking a high gravity brew.
I guess I feel like there isn't much else to say. I love Belgians and I love American Strong Ales and this is a great example of where those two meet paradise. Don't be dissuaded by the remarks of others. Try this shit for yourself.... because it is pretty unique, I think.
*** if you feel this has been an awful experience for you I apologize.
09-07-2012 02:15:21 | More by Gigantis
2.95/5 rDev -11.9%
Can from the brewery, 16oz can into a tulip.
Dark purple/black with a light brown head. GOod retention and nice lacing. Nose has some herbal, earthy notes, chocolate, black licorice/anise. Taste has some sweet malt character before becoming bitter and herbal. Quite a bit more anise, with a tart fruity finish. Slightly metallic on the back end. Bittersweet, with a medium light body and medium carbonation. Never really been a fan of anything black licorice flavoured, and this beer does nothing to change that.
09-03-2012 02:17:41 | More by liamt07
3.05/5 rDev -9%
The nose gives off a strong smell of licorice with a bit of raisin in the background. Bit of an alcohol smell to.
The taste has a bit of tartness from what tastes like grapes. Little bit of licorice but mild compared to the smell. No hop bitterness recognized. Somewhat of a metallic taste towards the end of the finish.
Very light mouthfeel with hardly any carbonation. Not much going on here. Almost feels watery even though this is quite a strong beer.
The grape taste was quite a surprise and not something that is typically tasted in a beer - which I found pleasant. But overall this beer was ho-hum for me. Lacks complexity in the taste and mouthfeel for a Belgian strong dark for me.
08-03-2012 22:33:23 | More by tophers
2.93/5 rDev -12.5%
Can poured into Duvel glass. No canning date.
Looks almost black, with some dark amber around the edges when held up to the light. Left behind three fingers of light brown head and some decent lacing. The head settled out into a half-finger layer of foam.
Sweet with a little bit of a boozy twang at the end. Dark fruits come and go in the nose.
A sour twang hits the palate first. It is followed by a sweetness and black licorice. Some herbs, raisin and prune are predominant through the middle, but it finishes with a metallic taste.
Medium bodied, smooth, and lightly carbonated, but the beer as a whole was pretty muddy. The metallic finish didn't help too much.
An awesome looking beer, but it was another one where the looks were deceiving. Each sip started out very promising, but then it just got muddled up. The metallic taste was very off-putting and became more prevalent as it warmed up.
07-02-2012 06:46:42 | More by jeremy13586
1.35/5 rDev -59.7%
Think, three-fingered, toffee colored, foamy head. Brew is black.
Heavy licorice and sour malts. Sweaty socks and rubber. Foul.
BLAH! Sour licorice! The raisin is sweet and the anise is bitter; bad mix. Heavy carbonation. Is a zero possible?
This brew is a total loss... An extra and much appreciated, but it's just not my speed... Too much sweetness for the bitter licorice. Sadly a drain pour.
06-21-2012 03:00:01 | More by chugalug06
3.95/5 rDev +17.9%
Trying the Vivant Kludde and it is a complex beer. This beer should be reated for what the brewer intended and not for what the person's taste buds. The Anise and Dark Fruit will be too much for the layman drinker. The beer is dark and rich but not quite opaque. There is no head or lacing. The taste and smell are powered by black licorice and raisins. The body is medium to full with decent carbonation. Overall it is a tasty beer.
06-16-2012 21:20:39 | More by WoodBrew
3.88/5 rDev +15.8%
Thick tan colored head, ebony black, roasted notes, pepper, dark chocolate mint,and green grapes on the nose.
Peppermint start, with pepper, coffee, chocolate, grape like sweet finish.
Overall; Very different then expected. More Porter like then a dark Belgian.Great with dark chocolate mint.
05-31-2012 21:14:37 | More by RollBounce
Klüdde Strong Ale from Brewery Vivant
78 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.