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't Smisje Calva Reserva - Brouwerij Smisje

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

106 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 106
Hads: 155
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 17.65%
Wants: 10
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Smisje
Belgium | website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale | 12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jon on 11-26-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (19) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 106 | Hads: 155
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very carefully poured from a long-standing bottle with great care to leave the lees behind, it's a fairly clear orange-copper color. A half ounce of beer may be lost in the effort to leave the sediment behind, but it's well worth it as it leaves a cleaner flavor and lends a bit to its appearance as the lack of head can be somewhat detracting. The aroma, however, more than makes up for any faults in its appearance with it's rich caramel-drenched maltiness, dark sugars, sticky prunes and soft raisins, just-cut juicy apples, earthy wood, subtle vanilla, and delicate waft of alcohol. A Belgian barleywine? Interesting. It's body is full, and it's exceptionally smooth across the palate as there's no carbonation whatsoever; leaving it very much like a brandy in more ways than one. The flavor continues the onslaught of apple/caramel/prune that the aroma began with the addition of some spice and heat from the alcohol. As it warms (and you progress through the glass) the alcohol softens a bit, but still lingers at the back of the throat. Hmmm.... given that this is a rich and strong sipping beer, but not one that's overly complex (class it along with Samichlaus), I'd suggest that the intensity of the alcohol might be a bit much. A pleasant surprise that's certainly worth trying but Valhalla's a long way off.

 1,319 characters

Photo of ark57
3.02/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

There is no head on this barrel aged beer and there is no carbonation to speak either. It is a murky ruby-brown. The aroma is fruity (apple is detectable among some dark fruits), woody (very strong wood character), and there is peppery alcohol. The aroma is somewhat pleasant yet harsh. Apple is the first flavor noticeable then a strong woodiness. It is malty, but seems to be dominated by the barrel and alcohol. The finish has a good amount of hotness from the alochol. The initial taste is not too grea, but the lingering apple in the aftertaste helps the score out.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with NO head, bottle conditioned so there are chunky bits on the bottom. Hazy, murky off-color amber. Strong raisin nose, starts sweet and malty, finishes smooth and sweet. Alcohol is clearly noticeable. No carbonation and medium bodied. Savor this one - NOT a session beer.

 280 characters

Photo of marburg
4.31/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured by my lovely fiancee and set on the coffee table 3-4 feet away. No more than 45 seconds later, the entire area felt like a sea of fruit and alcohol. I was swimming in redolent joy. I glanced over and noticed that it poured with absolutely no head whatsoever, and there wasn't even a hint of carbonation. I won't linger on that point, but I think a little carbonation would have been nice.

Evocative aromas of apple juice, prunes, alcohol, candied apples, and musty earth. Mind boggling combinations of aromas and flavors. Apricot? Maybe. Carmelized pear? Somewhere deep inside. Overripe peaches in syrup? Sure. The apple-ish flavors and alcohol really push the palate around and take it for a ride. I'm glad I had someone to share it with though, because I really should have poured only half a bottle and put the rest in the fridge. As this warms, the alcohol and apple become overly burdensome to the tastebuds, and this loses its appeal in a hurry. For something so intense, it's very good and very easy to drink. But let's not forget that it *is* this intense, and while 12% is hefty, there are plenty of brews that don't reveal the pure, brandy-like, unrestrained power of alcohol so quickly. I consider that a fault -- albeit a small one -- with this beer.

A very engaging beverage. The aging process really changed this beer, I'm sure. And it's unique qualities make that a very good thing.

 1,410 characters

Photo of HappyHourHero
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at room temperature. Poured from a couple inches above the glass and no head formed, just some large bubbles around the edges. The aroma is fairly mild, a little bit of alcohol, but not like I expected. Some sweet raisiny smell in there as well. I thought it was going to be pitch black in color, but it's actually more of a glowing dark apple cider color. Wow, this beer is mellow, no bite to it, and the mouthfeel is silky smooth, although I could go for a little carbonation. The flavor is mild as well, especially so for a 12% beer. Raisins and mild apples soaked in dark rum. This is an incredibly good beer and deserves a higher overall rating, but I can't justify giving it a 5 in any category. I am incredibly impressed by how mellow and flavorful this beer is. I wouldn't drink it too cold or the flavors will be drowned by the alcohol.

 853 characters

Photo of Jon
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

't Smisje Calva Reserva is yet another take on barrel aged beer. This beer is aged in E. Dupont Calvados casks for six months before bottling. Keeping that in mind, this is a wonderfully unique creation. It pours a murky auburn color with absolutely no head and no active carbonation. Nose is dominated by the Calvados, or apple brandy, oak, raisins, additional ripe fruit and a healthy dose of alcohol. Additional notes of sweet malts, coriander, Calvados, overripe fruit (apples, obviously) and a warming alcohol presence characterize the flavor profile. Only the slightest hint of earthy Hallertauer hops used in the brewing process are noted. Mouthfeel is super smooth and elegant, much reminiscent of a strong liqueur. This is a true sipping beer with the weight it carries, but it sure is delicious on the way down.

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't Smisje Calva Reserva from Brouwerij Smisje
87 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.