't Smisje Calva Reserva - Brouwerij Smisje
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Ratings: 134 | Reviews: 101 | Display Reviews Only:
4.31/5 rDev +11.7%
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.
01-27-2013 04:07:12 | More by RickS95
3.61/5 rDev -6.5%
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.
01-14-2013 05:31:35 | More by impending
3.9/5 rDev +1%
11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter; thanks to Keanlacrosse for the share
A hazy brown body with a thin light tan head. Not much staying power as it falls pretty quick. No discernable lacing.
Loads of fruit on the nose. Apples, bears, bananas, raisins/figs, and plums. Notes of caramel, oak, brandy, and sweet bready malt.
Caramel, plums, and apples slide onto the palate. Oak and a mild tartness through the middle with a finish of booze and fruit. There are layers of complexity here. Each sip brings something a little different.
Medium feel, soft carbonation. The finish has this lingering fruity tartness that mixes with a little booze and oak.
Solid complexity with some very good flavors. Worth a shot.
11-11-2012 12:53:33 | More by ColForbinBC
4/5 rDev +3.6%
Review from 10/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a murky dark orange amber. Nice one finger white head with lots of lacing. Looks very attractive. Sour and fruit aroma. Nice medium body. Light fruits, spice, mild malt and just the right amount of sour. A definite vinous quality that worked well. A nice complex dark Belgian and one of the first unequivocally enjoyable beers from Smisje for me.
07-31-2012 20:32:04 | More by LiquidAmber
3.98/5 rDev +3.1%
A: The beer is cloudy brown in color and poured with a two finger high off white head that has very good retention properties and took a long time to settle down.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of dark fruits in the nose—raisins seem to stand out in particular.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and also has some hints of wood in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a high amount of carbonation. Some warmth from the alcohol becomes noticeable as the beer warms up.
O: This is a very enjoyable that is pleasant to sip, although it seems to be a bit over-carbonated (you need to pour it carefully and let it settle down). It’s also not too difficult to drink because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.
06-11-2012 02:04:18 | More by metter98
4.1/5 rDev +6.2%
A: Pours a dark, hazy amber with a thin, creamy white head.
S: Strong apple skin and oak aromas reminiscent of calvados dominate the nose. There are also traces of caramel, alcohol, pear, and cherry.
T: Calvados, brandy, sweet cherry, spiced pear, caramel, toffee, vanilla bean, brown sugar, and a melange of spices wash across the palate. The finish is peppery and prickly with a combination of spice and calvados flavors.
M: Very full in body, rich, and grainy. Quite dry. Carbonation is stinging. Alcohol presence is pronounced.
O: I'm always at least intrigued by Smisje's products, but this one I love. The overwhelming spice and calvados flavors lend this ale a great deal of depth and complexity. Quite sophisticated and refined for such a rustic, unorthodox brewer.
05-24-2012 16:59:46 | More by mrfrancis
3.48/5 rDev -9.8%
Calvados, I'm in. This beer arrived in Indianapolis a few weeks ago.
Calva Reserva pours a dirty full bodied pond water brown with a frothy cream colored lacing. It looks like a toilet that you'd find unflushed in a subway bathroom. The nose is rich and malty with plenty of calvados on the nose. It's solid and has plenty of caramel apple presence. The flavors are kind of a mess though. There's the green apple and caramel but also plenty of random malty sweetness, heavy on the toffee and butterscotch. It's too much sweetness and doesn't feature enough complexity. It drinks heavy and sticky and surprisingly doesn't show any alcohol. This beer was strange but had some redeeming qualities. It wasn't bad at $5.99 a bottle.
04-17-2012 20:27:21 | More by aasher
3.3/5 rDev -14.5%
A - Pours a dark brown with two finger head.
S - Banana, clove, bubblegum, raisin, figs, dark fruits.
T - Peppery sweetness upfront followed by a wave of dryness and taste of rum cake and tropical fruits. An astringent aftertaste that lingers at the end. A bit off-putting.
M - Medium to full bodied with decent carbonation.
O - Decent Belgian strong ale but nothing to get excited about. It's been a while since I've had this style but this one seems on the dry, astringent side.
04-13-2012 00:46:37 | More by pigc
3.53/5 rDev -8.5%
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.
01-21-2012 04:04:45 | More by eyeenjoybeer
4.28/5 rDev +10.9%
P: 11.2 fl oz bottle in to DFH tulip
A: SRM is raisin/dried plum brown. Semi-translucent and clear. Head is off white, 1/2 in, dissipates to nothing. Medium carbonation. Light/medium lacing.
S: Raisin, apple, plum/fig/date, caramel, brandy, oak, alcohol. Very sweet.
T: Much less sweet than nose indicates. Oak and bread notes temper fruit flavors, which are apple and light raisin. A touch of tartness and alcohol. Aftertaste is apple and alcohol.
M: Medium/full body. Semi viscous texture coats the tounge, light tartness stimulates the sides of the palate. Alcohol slides down the middle of the palate. Oak aging adds additional texture to mf. Carbonation brightens everything up. Finishes semi wet.
O: A pleasure. Easy to drink and could sneak up on one very easily if you had a few of these. Alcohol is VERY well concealed. Quite a complex and masterfully balanced beer. Will definitely buy more and age.
12-28-2011 16:03:53 | More by tsauce2
4.1/5 rDev +6.2%
33 cl bottel from brouwerij smisje poured into my lost abbey stemware glass
A : Pours a hazy copper color with a smallish tan head. Nice lace left behind.
S : Aroma is malty bready sweet, dark fruit, caramel and a touch of brandy.
F : Flavor is dark fruit, malty, bready, apple brandy and the finish is quite spicy.
D : very drinkable , i would never say that this beer is 11 % abv.
O: nice brew ! I’m really enjoying this beer, very nice!
12-07-2011 20:05:16 | More by beerpirates
4.43/5 rDev +14.8%
2004 bottle, 25cl. Poured into a Bell's tulip. Approx. 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Jedwards, thanks for another great bottle that I never knew existed.
A - Dark brown pour, not much light is getting through at all. 1/2" or more of head, slowly but surely dissipates. Lacing retains even now, which is about 45 minutes after the pour. Pretty good looking beer.
S - I could smell it as soon as it started coming out of the bottle. Dark fruits, mild licorice and esters. As it airs out for a few moments, a swirl gives me what I believe are apples. Yes, green (not sour) apples. Very pleasant. Slight amount of cherries.
T - Yep, cherries and apples are coming out. Cherries start and meld into a slight amount of boozy cherries, going into apples....then a pretty dry finish. There is a mild Belgian dark ale in the distant back-flavor. About 1/2 way through each sip, the calva barrel esters start to appear and then turn into apples. It is pretty unique. There is a mild amount of sweetness, but nothing that really stands out. Great balance, smooth, and the noticeable esters are very welcome.
M - Smooth until towards the end, when the slight booze and dryness come out. Medium body that fits perfectly with the rest of the beer. It could work if a little thicker, but I like it how it stands. This is extremely drinkable. I think that red wine drinkers would go crazy of this one.
O - Pretty good beer here. Well balanced, the barrel aging adds favorable and unique layers, the sweetness is low and allows for the other flavors to come out, the mouthfeel fits well. I will get more of this one. I am very happy with it. My only concern is that I've reviewed a beer that is 7 years old and I'm not sure how a fresher one will fare. I can see a younger bottle being hot and something more around the B+ range. I will know soon enough.
09-16-2011 23:51:16 | More by claaark13
't Smisje Calva Reserva from Brouwerij Smisje
87 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.