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't Smisje Calva Reserva - Brouwerij Smisje

't Smisje Calva Reserva't Smisje Calva Reserva

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

129 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 129
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%


Brewed by:
Brouwerij Smisje visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jon on 11-26-2003)
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Ratings: 129 | Reviews: 101 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by eyeenjoybeer:
Photo of eyeenjoybeer
eyeenjoybeer

Seychelles

3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from a bottle into a Jackie O's tulip glass

A: cloudy hazel body with a light off white head. Head grows to half an inche and settles quickly to a thin layer of bubbles on the body.

S: The initial smell is brett funk. I was not expecting this. Faint caramel is in there too, but Brett is dominating.

T: Well the brett is much, much less pronounced in the taste. I get a lot of champagne notes with some light sour apple notes. I am not really getting the more nuanced flavor of calvados as much as just some apple tartness. I am wondering if this bottle has a tiny bit of infection going on. I will check some other reviews to see if others have noted this. Some tobacco and light wood linger well after the swallow. I am not blown away, but I sure like it. The 11% alcohol is not really an element to my tastebuds. The carbonation is just right.

M: Stay with me here, but it "feels" like champagne bitterness without the bubbles. Otherwise the mouthfeel is not particularly noteworthy.

Overalll, this is an interesting beer. I like it, but it was not like I expected. There is a lingering bitterness, tobacco and oak like, that I am just not on board with. I would like to try this beer again with some other calvados barrel aged beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 04:04:45 | More by eyeenjoybeer
More User Reviews:
Photo of Kramerbarthomer
Kramerbarthomer

Colorado

4/5  rDev +2.8%

02-09-2014 08:40:49 | More by Kramerbarthomer
Photo of Danny1217
Danny1217

Florida

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

33 cL bottle poured into a St. Bernardus Challice. Saw this sitting on a store shelf and couldn't pass up the concept of a calvados barrel aged Belgian ale.

This beer pours an extremely murky reddish brown with a small head that fizzles out very quickly. A very ugly looking beer, to be honest.

The smell is a step up from the appearance. Lots of dark fruit. Plums, grapes, figs. Some oak, tart apple, and calvados notes. Some funky, leathery notes. I could swear there is some brett in here, but it could just be everything else going on.
Taste follows similarly. Dark fruits and some caramel like flavors as well. "Barnyard" and leather somewhere in the background as well. A touch of tartness, but not as powerful as in the nose, as it is balanced by the sweet flavors of Candi sugar and caramel malts and some spice.
Feel is a touch thin for a Belgian dark ale, but pretty solid otherwise. Moderate-high carbonation.

A very interesting beer, for sure. Worth checking out if Belgian dark ales and calvados barrels interest you.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 22:35:11 | More by Danny1217
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weeare138

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +2.8%

01-01-2014 01:56:36 | More by weeare138
Photo of logicerror
logicerror

California

2.5/5  rDev -35.7%

12-15-2013 08:23:44 | More by logicerror
Photo of Alex5
Alex5

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +2.8%

12-10-2013 03:01:59 | More by Alex5
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

10-24-2013 00:36:26 | More by oline73
Photo of mendvicdog
mendvicdog

Maryland

3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

10-23-2013 14:56:03 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of duceswild
duceswild

Maryland

3.5/5  rDev -10%

10-23-2013 04:03:57 | More by duceswild
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -22.9%

08-17-2013 18:37:22 | More by acurtis
Photo of WOLFGANG
WOLFGANG

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +2.8%

07-03-2013 21:30:49 | More by WOLFGANG
Photo of zonker17
zonker17

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

05-20-2013 00:07:19 | More by zonker17
Photo of RedneckBeerz
RedneckBeerz

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

04-23-2013 20:56:05 | More by RedneckBeerz
Photo of mdillon86
mdillon86

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +2.8%

04-22-2013 03:08:28 | More by mdillon86
Photo of AltBock
AltBock

Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz dateless stubby bottle with a bright red cap. The label is a blurry purple colored piece of wood. The top of the one and only label explains what kind of barrel it was aged in and what kind of spices it was brewed with. Poured into a Cycle Brewing Snifter.

This beer looked like an apple cider to me. It poured a murky caramel brown with some minor reddish orange highlight. The head of foam was a weird color as well. It was a light tan/khaki color. It's hard to explain the true color. As for the size of it, it wasn't that big. It was about 1/4 of inch in height. It had acceptable retention that a sting of foamy rings and some small spots of lace around the glass.

The aroma was apple brandy first and the beer a far second. Up front was the tart green apples, sweet caramel, brandy/alcohol, and a whiff of raspberry and oak. If you can catch it, you'll smell the malt and that's the only beer like aroma that came through. It sort of smelled like an apple cider.

Looked like an apple cider, smelled like an apple cider, but did it taste like one? I'd say so. Like the aroma, it was apple brandy first and the beer a very far second. The apple brandy was a lot stronger in the aroma than the taste. The taste started off with lightly tart green apples, a dash of raspberry, a plum or two, a bite of sweet caramel, a pinch of oak, and a subtle taste of alcohol/brandy. After that, the beer then finishes up with a taste of dry lightly roasted malt.

Despite clocking in at 11% ABV, this beer was medium bodied. This beer's apple cider qualities masked the high ABV. It also added to the beer's low carbonation rate and apple heavy aftertaste. The aftertaste had a bunch of lightly tart apples, caramel, a little raspberry, oak, and a pinch of malt. This aftertaste doesn't linger.

It's certainly unique, I'll give them that. Looked like an apple cider, smelled like an apple cider, tasted like apple cider, but guess what, it's not an apple cider. You'd think this Calvados barrel aged beer would be overpriced, but its not. I think I paid about $6 for this small bottle. Not too overpriced. If you like your hard ciders, I'd say you should buy a bottle. Would I drink it again? One bottle is fine for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2013 23:33:24 | More by AltBock
Photo of sholland119
sholland119

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -10%

04-07-2013 12:09:30 | More by sholland119
Photo of themind
themind

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This brew is very good! it has a slight sour taste to it and an apple brandy finish. The barrel aging is pronounced yet not overwhelming. I really enjoyed this and I am surprised this is not rated higher. This is a quality Belgium brew that I would buy again.

Bottom Line: Good brew!

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2013 23:39:20 | More by themind
Photo of PEIhop
PEIhop

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +2.8%

03-15-2013 01:24:28 | More by PEIhop
Photo of Misanthropy_Sipping
Misanthropy_Sipping

Nebraska

5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

((((Unbelievable))))

This... this is a beer that if I would ever see again, I would buy as much as I could.

It cost about $6-$7, but it was amazing.

Poured a very nice deep brown/red, a bit murky... a bit creamy look to it. Very fine, grainy bubbles that stood the test of time and did not go flat through the lengthy enjoyment of the beer. Just held on excellent.

Smelled wonderful, had that calvados scent, bright apple and raspberry sort of tart smell, intermingled with wood and earth tones. Hints of pepper and vanilla.

The taste is great. I held on to a bottle for quite a while and it matured well. The calvados comes through in the front, it is sweet. A bit thick but not sticky. There is a soury tartness that cleans the palate. You really get a great pinch and peppery bite from the grains of paradise and the booze. There are cherries and apple, berries, brandy, oaky vanilla flowing through this beautiful brew. There is a slight dryness with the low tone sour and pepper bite.

Mouthfeel is great, as said it is sweet but not sticky. Which I love for the medium to slightly chewy body. The carbonation is fine and gritty. Adds kind of a crunchiness to it.

I can't believe this beer is not rated higher. It is definitely a dessert/cold autumn/winter to spring transition night beer. But I love this beer. One of my favorite Belgian Brewers, and by far my favorite of this brewer's beers that I have had.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2013 04:21:03 | More by Misanthropy_Sipping
Photo of MDDMD
MDDMD

Pennsylvania

3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark brown red color with a light tan head and minimal lacing

S-dark fruit, apple, caramel, brandy, hint of spice

T-caramel malt, dark fruit, apples, brandy, cinnamon, slightly boozy, flavor fades quickly with no significant aftertaste

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-a nice strong ale, but flavor seems to fade out. Would have merited a higher score if not for that.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2013 00:46:03 | More by MDDMD
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TXhomebrewer

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

02-14-2013 06:54:18 | More by TXhomebrewer
Photo of RickS95
RickS95

Indiana

4.31/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich mahogany brown pour, thickest looking beer I've seen that wasn't pitch black. Nothing watery looking, just a muddy brown that you can tell is full of flavor. The head is a very light brown/tan color and creamy looking. Decent retention, small buildup of bubbles forming a ring as the bubbles dissipate. No lacing at this point.

Malt and alcohol. Smells like a liqueur, less like a beer, unless it's a brute and based on the ABV for this, it is. The more whiffs I take, the more is smells like Utopias.

The malt is prevalent on the taste buds, but thankfully, the alcohol isn't. Caramel and dark fruits, think plum or raisin. Only a splash of alcohol deep, deep in the swallow.

Remarkably smooth compared to what I expected from the smell. The alcohol is well-hidden, only showing up as a bit of heat from time to time. Sweet intial burst of flavor, buttery in mid-sip and slightly tart, hot finish. Full bodied. There is some carbonation in the finish, as it starts off somewhat crisp but the butteriness comes on for a sticky swallow.

I was scared of this just from the smell, but it's exceptionally good beer. A sipper for sure, my bottle only claims 11% ABV, but it's still plenty. Reasonably easy to drink, full of good flavor. Very happy to have another bottle for another time.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2013 04:07:12 | More by RickS95
Photo of impending
impending

California

3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

B

33cl into a tulip. Pours a rich amber dirty cola dishwater, little head, minimal lacing.

The aroma is treacly sweet in a nice way, rich in caramel and barrel. Vinous and mild oxidation. Lots of fruits that have begun to rot.

Pleasantly low in sweetness, less than expected. Full bodied lifeless mouthfeel. The barrel aging is its signature. Only a hint of tart but enough to know this is destined to be cider given time. More a belgian barleywine than a bsda.
cheers
jd

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2013 05:31:35 | More by impending
Photo of ROGUE16
ROGUE16

Delaware

3.5/5  rDev -10%

12-31-2012 19:46:09 | More by ROGUE16
Photo of kkmiller76
kkmiller76

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +2.8%

11-28-2012 04:09:48 | More by kkmiller76
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't Smisje Calva Reserva from Brouwerij Smisje
87 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.