't Smisje Calva Reserva - Brouwerij Smisje

Not Rated.
't Smisje Calva Reserva't Smisje Calva Reserva

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very good

139 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 139
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 15.28%
Wants: 8
Gots: 7 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Smisje visit their website

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: 139 | Reviews: 101 | Display Reviews Only:
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Photo of Danny1217
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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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.

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't Smisje Calva Reserva from Brouwerij Smisje
87 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.