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Super Brew 15 - S. C. Martens S. A.

Not Rated.
Super Brew 15Super Brew 15

Educational use only; do not reuse.

41 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 41
Hads: 63
Avg: 1.94
pDev: 44.33%
Wants: 18
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
S. C. Martens S. A. visit their website

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  14.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Nerudamann on 04-08-2011

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (12) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 41 | Hads: 63
Photo of Nerudamann
3.65/5  rDev +88.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass.

Look - very crisp looking, kind of golden/amber in color. Clear, with about a finger's worth of foam that dissipates very quickly. Carbonation is good.

Smell - very fruity smelling, kind of like a champagne. Maybe a little malty.

Taste and Mouthfeel - still tastes like a glass of champagne, but the alcohol is definitely present. Sweet, and not hoppy tasting at all and only a tinsy bit bitter. A little dry tasting. It really does taste more like a glass of champagne. Texture is pretty clean and well-balanced, but a little more toward the watery side.

Overall - Not a bad brew. Definitely worth a taste, but not my favorite among the barleywines. Not terribly complex either, but still decent.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.41/5  rDev +75.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Straight up pour only a two finger white head that vanishes leaving no lace. Crystal clear amber color. Wicked carbonation and medium bodied. Honey nose and flavor is fizzy honey, looking for hops maybe a hint at finish. Easy to drink but bad example of a barleywine, for about the same money Dogfish Head Olde School is much better. Very high ABV is hidden. $4.50 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.32/5  rDev +71.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pretty, if typical, clear amber with a respectable off-white head that does not stick around too long. Strong, fruity aroma is more like apple brandy than beer, and packs a punch. Flavor is - HOLY GUACAMOLE, is this beer, or brandy? Alcohol bite is quite fierce, overpowering the fruity and yeasty components. A fine beer if you like brandy, but it packs quite a wallop - this will knock you on your ***. Texture is smooth and fairly fizzy, but the alcohol bite is as fierce as an angry Rottweiler. Fine for barleywine and brandy lovers - this beer is not for the faint of heart!

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Photo of mactrail
3.3/5  rDev +70.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

English barleywine? More like synthetic linseed oil. Tastes like alcohol and apricot nectar, the cheap Romanian kind. Just a hint of transmission fluid. I am not making this up. Smells like an Oriental market. Pours a clear amber in the Highball glass. A little carbonation on the tongue, but no bubbly head to interrupt the proceedings, which is to transfer alcohol from a former sugar beet processing plant to your brain. Start counting backwards from 100 and see how far you get.

Actually not bad tasting if you don't think of it as beer. Kind of a weird mixed drink flavor, a touch of Campari, some sugar syrup, and those bitters. Should be good with blood sausage.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.07/5  rDev +58.2%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

500 mL bottle,

A: Pours a clear gold with a fizzy minimal white head that doesn't make it past 2 seconds.

S: Honey and cider, some booze and malt. Pretty nice smell. Reminds me of a thin Sonoran 200 at times.

T: Light malt with some phenols and fruit esters (pear). Fairly boozy but contains it pretty well.

M: Medium-bodied but only from the ethanol, the actual malt flavour is minimal. Pretty smooth for how big it is. Thin on the finish.

O: A weird beer to try. As an English barleywine it is below average in the style. As a big ol' malt liquor it's pretty good. Take it for what it is, certainly not terrible.

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Photo of AmericanGothic
2.79/5  rDev +43.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a Peace Tree pint.

A: Pours a clear, pale orange-brown color with 1/2 finger of off-white head. No retention or lace, okay carbonation.

S: Vinous and even a bit sake-like. Odd but interesting.

T: Sweet and boozy, a little flat on the flavor. Some honey up front, but it can't sustain throughout the sip and the alcohol overtakes and spoils it a bit. Finish again reminds me of inexpensive (but drinkable) sake. There's a little sweet bread in here, too, but it also gets lost in the alcohol.

M: Nothing special, but the carbonation keeps it alive.

O: Reminds me of Stack, except I liked Stack better. This beer seems like it wants to be good, but doesn't quite get there. Glad I tried it, but probably wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
2.61/5  rDev +34.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Caracole small snifter. Slight trepidation here….. Pours a medium coppery amber. A rush of carbonation similar to a soda, that hisses and foams very pleasantly for about 15 seconds forming a very brief (about equal to the life of the Higgs boson) head that completely disappears; nice active carbonation in the glass. Aroma of English barleywine elements, bready malt, dark dried fruit, but with an odd light solvent component. Flavor starts out similar to aroma, dark dried fruit and bready malt, alcohol, similar to a cheap brandy. Finishes with malt, alcohol and a similar hint of solvent. Points off for the soda like head formation, but gets some for very nice carbonation; similarly the carbonation gives it an adequate mouth feel. Similar enough to a barleywine flavor to finish the bottle, but this was a one and done for the oddity and to tick Romania (never one of my expected top beer destinations and still holding that title). Try this if you are adventurous, but don't get your hopes up.
This bottle labeled "Old Superior Ale / Beer With Me", but talks about being a classic barleywine and obviously the same beer.

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Photo of Lemke10
2.51/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I bought a 16.9oz bottle of this at Binny's in Plainfield, Il in late 2011 for $3.69.

Pours a clear amber color with almost no head. Scent is floral with hibiscus tones. Taste is rather rough and harsh. It has that bite like a good bourbon barrel stout but is dry and really has a strong alcohol taste to it. Finishes with a slight citrus taste. Interesting style and taste but there is just way to much alcohol in this beer to taste the beer. Great for getting hammered but not very good if you are tasty brew.

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Photo of BeerDocT
2.44/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Romania. Land of castles. Beautiful, black-eyed women. Dracula. And this beer. I saw this at my local Assi (a Korean super-grocery) and thought, "Hey! Romanian beer!" I had to pick it up. Was it worth a purchase?

Appearance 3.25: Poured out a completely translucent amber color. Very little head. No lacing. Still, it is the completely translucent nature of this beer that is appealing. No floaties, no nothing. A striking look for someone who has seen a lot of beers.

Smell 3.5: Gorgeous bouquet on this beer. Sweet-smelling like honey with a light grain scent. There is also a strange scent of saki about this beer. Very strange, but not off-putting.

Taste 2.0: Front is sweet and astringent with a hint of barley and honey. Middle is slightly sweet with a big wave of acetone. Finish also has a slight sweetness with a caramel-malt flavor. Aftertaste is where a burning sensation spread all over my palate along with an unpleasant acidic taste with a definite coppery twang. Tastes nothing like a beer. This tastes like some kind of "artisan" mead and not a beer.

Mouthfeel 2.0: Too much carbonation, so much so that it burns the mouth. Unpleasant and distracting.

Overall 2.0: Wow, this is a strange brew indeed. My wife said she liked it and thought it would go good with food. This may indicate that the master brewers of Romania brewed this as something with which to seduce a lovely, black-eyed maiden. Regardless, it is a beer that is not a beer (being a barley wine) and holy mackerel can you taste the difference. Sweet, burning, astringent...still, it is worth a shot if you are an intrepid beer hunter and angling for something new. Not every shot hits the mark, folks.

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Photo of davey101
2.44/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

500 ml bottle into my appropriate Founders 15th anny barleywine glass. Thanks again to match1112 for delivering on my craziest wants. I've heard the reputation of this beer but I had no idea it was hovering around 15% abv....

A - Pours a crystal clear dark brown/orange body. White foam forms quickly but disappears within ten seconds. It looks like a glass of apple juice with rising carbonation. How deceiving it looks!

S - Werthers original mash up of toffee and caramel, burnt malts, and an almost vegetal like fruitiness. Apples? Some cheap fusel booze on the end. Despite coming off as a bit candy like and artificial its not terrible I suppose.

T - Toffee and caramel, fermented apples, and a rough but manageable alcohol bite. It's certainly not appealing or what I would describe as "good" but it is drinkable. Therein lies the problem. It does feel boozy but not 14.9% boozy, its just the richness and sweetness which will slow you down. This is a headache in a bottle.

O - An odd treat from Romania. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting, however the booze will creep up on you when you least expect it. A rather unassuming beer with a dark side. The dark side being that it will totally fuck you up. I feel like I could survive the cold war now.

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Photo of mdfb79
2.42/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Blind Beer #7 from TMoney2591; thanks Kyle. Poured from what looks like a 16.9 oz. bottle into my Gulden Draak tulip.

a - Pours a very transparent orange-yellow color with two inches of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for a few seconds and disappears, and leaves no lacing at all on the glass. Looks like apple juice.

s - Wow, this is going to be an interesting one. Smells of coffee, burnt malts, apples, alcohol, sweet marshmallow, toasted malts, sugar, light fruit, and light wine. Very, very interesting. An odd sweetness to it. Thinking maybe an American Blonde Ale? Not bad, but not great.

t - Tastes of burnt malts, white wine, apples, alcohol, fruity malts, light coffee, sugar, roasted malts, and sweet marshmallows again. Again, pretty interesting. No real clue about this one…some sort of American Blonde ale brewed with apples maybe? Smells a bit too alcoholic to be a blonde ale though, so thinking maybe a Belgian Strong Pale Ale? Alcohol is a bit too prominent for me.

m - Light to medium body and moderate to high carbonation. A touch overcarbonated and some alcohol warmth.

o - Overall the most interesting smelling and tasting beer of the BIF so far. At first I thought it may be an American blonde ale brewed with sugar and/or apples, but I think the alcohol is too high for that. Switching to a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, and would guess in the 11-12% ABV range, but who knows.

And the reveal is…Super Brew 15 from Romania, a 14.9% ABV English Barleywine. Wow, never seen such a light looking barleywine, and never had any that smell or taste like this. Very strong and a bit weird, and certainly through me for a loop. 3/7 on styles, guessing this was a kill shot.

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Photo of emerge077
2.36/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

"Barley Wine Ale" on the label, something was obviously lost in translation here, highly doubt this was intended to be a true barleywine, English or otherwise. It really does taste like a poorly made braggot (mead made of malt & honey), as someone else pointed out. Slim brown 500ml bottle.

Thin loose film of soapy bubbles that clump around the edges of the glass. Second pour from a height produced a finger of super fizzy foam, that sizzled like champagne. It quickly becomes still and glassy, again like a braggot or mead. It's a bright crystalline amber color.

Smell is all honey, fairly sweet and clover-like, no trace of the evil within. Flavor is similarly focused and one dimensional honey, with a slight solventy alcohol note of white grapes. Very astringent and harsh feel that is really the downfall of this "beer". Sharp stinging alcohol, lingering medicinal aftertaste that eventually eclipses the initial sweet honey flavors unfortunately. White wine, champagne, fusel alcohol.

Someone did a bad job of translating (and marketing) this... specifically somewhere between "barley" and "wine" (braggot), but it's no barleywine to be sure. Reviewing it as a braggot, it's still way off kilter and harsh to be a success in that realm either.

Hey at least its better than chugging Earthquake, or Keystones...to da dome.

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Photo of michijo
2.26/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 3

Pure Romanian moonshine. I drank a whole pint of it, and though I didn't get incredibly drunk, that time period has a hazy dark quality. I didn't enjoy it. I imagine 2 pints of this would have produced a strong stumbling gait and perhaps even black-out. Luckily I only had one.

I am convinced that they added pure Vodka into this beer. It has a strong Slavic nature of Eastern Europe vodka drinking. I would avoid this one in the future, unless you like the smell/flavor of pure Denatured Alcohol. I am not convinced that this was not brewed in a mountain still by gypsies.

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Photo of BrewMaven
2.11/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Saw this in a Brooklyn deli and it said Barley Wine!...???...!!!

Pours deep clear gold with almost no head and the bit that was there vanished in a half a blink.

Almost no scent save for a bit of grain and candy.

The taste is what I'll remember most about this here brew..AGGGHH!!! Candy sweetness followed by a rush of raw alcohol on the finish! JEEZ!. Mouthfeel is on the thin side with cauldron like carbonation.

Not a bad beer if you like playing "Lets kill my liver and taste buds all at once"

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.09/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

When I learned of this beer, I had to try it. I mean, a nearly 15% b-wine from Romania, born of some semi-mysterious brewing contest? How could I not wanna try it? It pours a clear amber-brass topped by a tower of short-lived lightly off-white foam. The nose comes off very sweet, with notes of maple syrup, cinnamon, Belgian candi sugar, light caramel, and a kvass-like breadiness rollicking throughout. The taste seems to bring in more of the same, though the kvass is now somehow roasted; then comes a surge of what I can only describe as bad fruit (and not a particular bad fruit, either, just the vague notion of bad fruit), along with a light-but-still-sharp bite of booze near the finish. It all comes together extremely poorly, lemme tell ya. The body is a surprisingly light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a kinda slick, oily feel. Overall, a bit of a trainwreck of a beer. Would it really have come out any other way?

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a crystal clear body that has a slight hue of deep orange and a fizzy head that boils away before I can set the glass down. There is a racing carbonation of big bubbles that pop at the surface.

S- The aroma of white wine and butterscotch take on an artificial diacetyl aroma

T- The caramel flavoring reminds me of butterscotch pudding then on to the big fusel heat in the finish that has a bit of a permanent marker taste that grows in the finish.

M- The light crisp mouthfeel has a huge burn that makes it hard to take another sip.

O- The artificial flavor mixed with the big alcohol burn really makes this beer undrinkable. It is otherwise very clean and I don't get any other flavors it is rather like a clean adjunct lager with a monster alcohol heat and some caramel syrup added.

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Photo of metter98
1.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A: The beer is clear golden yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a very thin white head that instantly dissipated, leaving only a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of alcohol and apples in the nose; however these aren’t very pleasant smelling.
T: Similar to the smell, the beer tastes like high proof grain alcohol mixed in with some apple juice.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. A bit of alcohol warmth is noticeable.
O: I thought that this beer could be difficult to drink based on its high alcohol content, but the smell and taste seem to be what renders it rather undrinkable. I’ve had malt liquors that were easier to consume (and more palatable) than this beer.

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Photo of Ueberales
1.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a hefe glass. Absolutely no head, but the carbonation display was spectacular. It generated a constant curtain of fine bubbles throughout the drinking experience, but a head never formed.

Aroma was very bready initially, but very quickly turned to an overwhelming alcoholic/DMS dominated smell. So alcoholic in fact, it burned a little when taking a deep inhalation.

Mouthfeel was decent. Not too watery, but not very thick. Probably the result of the 15% AVB composition.

Taste was similar to flavored moonshine. No hint of hops whatsoever. Entirely dominated by alcohol. But what would one expect for a 15 percenter? I'm not sure where they got the sugars for the high ABV, but it was probably B infusion of adjuncts. The "barley" in Barrleywine was decidedly absent. A decidedly harsh alcoholic aftertaste dominated the flavor.

Overall, this is probably a one-timer for me. For the price, I had to try one. Let's just hope it's not loaded with fusels for the sake of tomorrow morning. If someone bought one for me, I'd probablly take them up on ity, but I'm not shelling out any more of my money for a second.

It's a great beer if your inttention is to get a big buzz as quickly as possible. If you're lookijg for a quality Barleywine, stick to the proven standards. It is affecting my ability to review as I drink it.

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Photo of womencantsail
1.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

A rare Romanian tick courtesy of Bobby.

A: The pour is clear golden with minimal carbonation and no head at all.

S: What a nose...Booze and honey immediately hit you and are reminiscent of a crappy mead. Sugary white grape juice is another comparison that comes to mind. Rubber and cooked vegetables are also present.

T: No better on the tongue. Searing alcoholic heat hits you like a ton of bricks. Hot as hell and once again like a poorly made mead. Intensely sugary with a bit of a cardboard flavor for good measure.

M: Medium to full in body with very low, almost non-existent, carbonation.

O: Bad in almost every way.

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Photo of redleaves
1.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Amber barleywine? Lots of little bubbles. Smell is of toasted sesame oil and soy sauce. Aka homemade Chinese food...funny because it looks like toasted sesame oil as well. Simple and grainy. Flavor is more the same, not as viscous as I thought it would be. Is that salt? Did they use champagne yeast on this? Hmm, not bad if I was drinking sweet rice wine with Japanese. But I'm drinking beer with sausages, doesn't really work...lightest "barleywine" ever. Very good conversation starter at a party I want to get wrecked at...but so is four loco. I had to try it once. It's like a bad B movie. I gotta see it even though I know it's terrible.

Update: I don't think I can finish this...

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Photo of andrewinski1
1.87/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to Joe for bringing this one by. Pours clear and golden, with lots of bubbles racing to the top of the glass, but no head.

The aroma has a lot of honey to go along with bread and alcohol. This smells very sweet.

This tastes like sweet bread. There is some heat in the finish. The taste isn't quite as offensive as I feared, but the lack of balance or much of any beer flavor is disappointing in a beer.

I suppose one could plug the nose and choke this down. Maybe even enjoy it on some masochistic level, but it doesn't deserve high marks.

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Photo of ronniebruner
1.82/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Whoa..... this beer is absolutely terrible. I want my $2.89 back. I of course bought this because of the high alcohol content to give it a try, but I really shouldn't have. I couldn't even make it half way through! This one went straight down the sink. I'm sure if I were a hobo living in an alley I would have enjoyed this more, but since I'm not, I will beg you not to waste your hard earned money on this. If you have a friend that drinks all your beer buy a few of these, put them in the fridge and that guy will never take a beer from your fridge again. Yes, its that bad. Easily in my top 10 worst of all time.

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Photo of afrokaze
1.8/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had to grab this when I saw it on sale for $3 - how can I pass up the infamous Romanian barleywine that's 15%? FosterJM, I hope you're happy! Tickers gotta tick.

Pours a dark clear gold with barely any carbonation. Doesn't look much like a barleywine - but at least the head dies after 10 seconds and it looks like piss after a night of drinking too much barleywine.

The smell is pretty much just lots of fusels, but it adds to that whole shady eastern European appeal and lives up to my nightmares. Some vanilla and tobacco come out after it warms, but so does jet fuel.

Cheap oxidized brandy and a crapload of stale pale/amber malt, which technically makes it a barleywine I guess. Or maybe bum-leywine is a more apt description. It's hot as hell but in that manly self-destructive way like cheap whiskey, and the finish is all grain and corn syrup.

The mouthfeel is thick enough to keep it from scorching your taste buds, but it feels more like a DIPA than a barleywine. Also, diabeetus.

I'm not gonna lie, I couldn't get even half way through the bottle before a pre-hangover headache started to come on strong and I had to dump the rest because no one could get past the smell. That being said, if I didn't have work tomorrow I'd just have said fuck it and polished it off because it's that kind of awesomely terrible. Plus, in retrospect, I've had American barleywines that were just as bad that spent time in barrels and cost 10 times as much. And it puts radioactive hair on your chest.

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Photo of tone77
1.78/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a very dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of alcohol, plastic, green apples. Taste is, well, OMG. It's terrible. Pure alcohol. I need to go grab a shot glass out of the cabinet, and a can of Olde English 800 from the fridge, for use as a chaser. Feels light and hot in the mouth and overall is a horrible beer, I can feel a headache coming on as I finish the bottle.

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Photo of Vixie
1.66/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

A beer loving friend insisted I try this, so bought a bottle for me.

Pours gold with very little white head that doesn't stick around long.

This is one time where I am glad I don't have the sharpest sense of smell. Basically sweet with a chemical smell that is trying to dominate the sweet.

Starts out sweet, then a chemical flavor takes over, leaving a nasty aftertaste. Not sure what this is made form, but doesn't taste like anything natural to me.

As for feel it's wet, that's about it.

Not the worst thing I have ever tasted, but nothing about it was very good. Has flavor, but that doesn't mean it's a good flavor. Interesting to try once for the experience, best thing I can say is I didn't go blind drinking it.

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Super Brew 15 from S. C. Martens S. A.
55 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.