't Smisje Calva Reserva - Brouwerij Smisje

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

105 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 105
Hads: 152
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 12.09%
Wants: 10
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Smisje visit their website
Belgium

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 (21) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 105 | Hads: 152
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A rich aged beer, reddish-brown, not much head, slightly detracted satisfying experience at the end, with many black grains of sediment. Alcohol warming began promptly. Brandy influence from barrel. Caramel. Fruity and honeyish, yet grainy not creamy mouthfeel. (261 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark burgundy color, utterly opaque....nestled 'neath a solid, if thinnish cap of tannish foam.

Aroma: sweet, tart, pungent, cherryish, lemony, deep, twisted, delicious...love it.

Taste it, now: huge presence in the mouth, floods every section of the senses with intense flavors, vast citric feel, sharp, spicy, somewhat sweet taste...brandy and barleywine comes to mind...big plum and grape...a little oaky, but fruit and alcohol reigns supreme.
The 12 % abv becomes king in time, but the flavor there remains Lord of All. Wow. If you want a tasty ride for mind and body...grap onto a bottle of this one!

...it's almost "too strong"..but, then, it's not...it's huge, but...I like that! (698 characters)

Photo of Crosling
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

Burgundy color, with a lasting film of large bubbles. Expressive apple brandy, soaked oak and brown sugar in the aroma, with hints of caramel and cider. Flavor is rich, supple and very well balanced. The attributes of the original beer integrate well with the barrel, giving hints of soft caramel, apple skins, toffee and vanilla. It’s delicious, no doubt, yet, unfortunately, the front palate to the mid-palate shows a completely flat body and it only improves a little and becomes very slightly chewy on the finish. Could easily be a 4.3+ if I didn’t score the mouthfeel a 1. Too bad. (588 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy sienna body with a modest head that declines to a film but leave an abstract pattern of lacing across the chalice

Smell: Strong phenols with prominent apple and grape elements as well as some wood

Taste: Starts with a complex blend of burnt caramel, oak and fruit that is transformed, mid-palate by Candi Sugar, raisins and oaky tannins

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light bodied with very modest carbonation; lots of warming on the finish

Drinkability: Very interesting and unusual; a definite sipper (532 characters)

Photo of clvand0
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with no carbonation, no head. The aroma is very alcoholic and fruity. There doesn't seem to be much more to it than alcohol and raisin/grape fruit. The flavor is very much the same. Very thin with a lot of raisin and grape flavors going around and an alcoholic bite. The body is very thin. The drinkability is ok, but the thin alcoholic character makes it tough. (383 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a solid amber color with almost no head and no hint of carbonation from the bottom. Very pretty shade. Nose is alcoholic, with a background of raisin and a red winey grape, almost portlike. Wow. Intense aromas. I'm a little scared to taste it. Flavor is not as strong as the aroma would lead to believe. Foundation is the dark fruity to winey, but with a solid oaky character on the finish. I think the oakyness helps to balance it and make this a very tasty beer. The alcohol is not too strong on the flavor either. Tasty. Feel is thick, with a lack of carbonation. I'm actually impressed with the drinkability of this brew. Everything about it is big and full, but it doesn't keep it from disappearing from my glass. I enjoy it a lot. (742 characters)

Photo of daedalus
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From what I have read, calvados is the new ‘in’ liquor and is gaining popularity in upscale restaurants and trendy bars along the East Coast. The apple brandy is most often served as a digestif, which is exactly how I enjoyed this beer.

Poured carefully into the center of a brandy snifter with the yeast left at the bottom of the bottle. After all of the aging, I was surprised to see carbonation, coarse as it was, form a quickly dissipating tan colored head. The beer itself is burnt sienna with orange hues - nearly the same color as the bottle from which it was poured.

The nose reveals dark fruits, rum soaked bread, calvados/apple aromas and a fair amount of alcohol.

Served at cellar temp, the flavors really come alive. The calvados is evident, but not overpowering, and a sweet caramel maltiness disguises the beer’s strength. The pleasant, warming alcoholic finish makes this one a nice conclusion to a hearty meal. (938 characters)

Photo of Sephiroth
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours with a decent head, the last time I had this ( about a year ago ) it was almost totally still. Body is a slightly hazy amber. Aroma of apples, rum, raisins, plums, all well blended.

Taste is great, age has done this well. Not as sweet as it was last year, it is now malty sweet, rather than sugary sweet. It is bready, fruity(raisins/figs/apples), and warming on this snowy night. The calvados ageing is obvious. Mouthfeel is thick, and moderately carbonated, especially for the ABV. Drinkable as hell, the bottle has got to be like 8.5 oz. or so. (566 characters)

Photo of BeerBuilder
4.67/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pour to a murky brown color with a bit of ruby highlights. It forms a thick, creamy tan head that leaves a lot of lacing when sipped down. The aroma is malty, brown sugar, rum soaked raisins & dates. It has a sweet candy-like aroma. A bit of alcohol is also present. Very nice.

The flavor is candy-like, with dark fruits and a brown sugar sweetness. It is full-bodied and warms the belly. It has a somewhat creamy texture, which makes it easy to sip despite its strength.

A really enjoyable sipping beer. (511 characters)

Photo of neonbrown82
3.25/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours to a nutty brown and blood red color with a nice thick frothy head. Carbonation is fairly minimal. Laces the glass very well.

The smell is good. Some complex raisin, plum, and fig with some strong malt and candy sugar. Only a slight cidery aroma from the calvados.

The taste is not too great. Starts off nice and sweet with a tart cider fading into the raisin, fig, and plum and then finishing dry, nutty, and earthy. Quite complex, though it is a journey through borderline foul taste.

The body is full and syrupy. Carbonation is sharp and prickly. Alcohol is right up front, but doesn't provide a lot of burn. This is not a very drinkable beer. (671 characters)

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.59/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

put this bottle next to another 11.2 oz bottle and tell me it's not a midget.. i truly think the t'smisje brewery is lying about their beer size.. but that's another issue, and one i can send a nasty email about when i perfect my belgian.

pours a murky belgian brown/red.. no lacing, really no head either. nose draws alot of sweet liquor, wood, vanilla and pepper out of those casks. age has pushed the aroma here into the green apple/cidery realm, creating an atmosphere of nervousness and foreboding daunting tasks.. very smooth beer flavorwise. vanilla custard and brandy milkshake... like bailey's, this goes down smooth but carries an uncompromising weight and alcohol warmth that cannot help but limit consumption,

an interesting treat.. not worth 6$ for 10 oz and probably not something i'd buy again... but im glad i tried it. the dulle teve reserva is along these lines with deeper depth and more vibrant expression to it. (938 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 330ml bottle. Black label has red, orange and yellow artwork, lending a fiery appearance. Listed at 12% abv and described as being brewed with Barley malt, wheat malt, Vienna malt and caramel malt. Hallertauer and Kent Goldings hops are used together with dark & white candy sugars. Spiced with Coriander and Grain de Paradise. Aged in E. Dupont calvados casks for 6 months.

Appearance: Leaving the thick carpet of dark brown yeast behind in the bottle, a steady pour reveals a dark brown body that is pellucid. Held to the light a shimmering dark orange reflects the light. A small bubbling crusty tan colored head starts smooth but then collapses to leave a craggy looking pot-marked creviced head which soon disappears completely. Negligible carbonation.

Nose: Lots of dark fruits, dried orange zest, spices and black peppers mingle nicely in the dark malts and high end alcohols. Very strong aromas from this monster.

Taste: Rum like bourbon soak woods entrance this goliath. Dark rum soaked fruit cake sizzles throughout. Smooth flavors but the alcohol is detectable in the latter third. After the swallow the alcohol scorches with burnt sugar and spiky black peppers lingering on the tongue. As it warmed the dark fruits revealed a luscious rich feel.

Mouthfeel: Warming alcohol leaves a temperature trail; at the death it fires a little. Burnt sugar laces the finish. Despite the double-digit tag, it keeps you guessing because it felt like it lacked something somehow. Big but thin at times. The low carbonaion does not help either.

Drinkability: Difficult to finish towards the end but given the high alcohol content it was a pleasant enough brew.

Overall: I found this one to be a little too much in the end, it felt like it was too harsh in the finish, maybe a bit more time in the bottle would have remedied this, but it is still an expensive investment nonetheless. Share this one if you can. (1,940 characters)

Photo of silenius
4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I always expect something special to come from tiny bottles. This beer met those expectations.

The pour is a bit cloudy and muddled and topped off with a light brown growing head that relaxes back into a thin blanket with lace. I was surprised it was so murky looking - almost like a very dark unfiltered apple cider. Sort of a dullish brown.

Smell is quite pleasant with many aromas. I get toffee, peanut butter, tangerines, peanut brittle, and something slightly woody.

Taste is quite malty sweet, but not cloying in any way. Very much a dessert beer! It hits me with a dense fruity sweetness and a caramel maltiness that is really mouthcoating. Somewhere in there I get some notes of cinnamon. The aftertaste has a light woody bitterness that wraps things up nicely.

Mouthfeel is plush and velvety soft like the backseat of a big ol' Cadillac.

Very drinkable and enjoyable. (891 characters)

Photo of ypsifly
3.35/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from an 11.2 with no dates into a chalice.

Brown with no head at all. The sediment is easily disturbed so this one was given a delicate pour, however there's still a lot of floaters in the glass.

Whisky notes dominate the nose. Smells very alcoholic. My nose says "get ready for a sherry dosed with Macallan's 12yr scotch".

Very sweet. You can really taste the "E. Dupont wooden calvados casks" that the label says this was aged in for 6 months. The alcohol registers a bit creamy. Good mouthfeel, but I wouldn't call this very drinkable.

't Smisje impressed me with their BBBougondier, but I won't be revisiting this brew unless someone offers me a freebie. (677 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the chalice hazy medium amber with a very low off-white head that while barely there, managed to lap at the glass and leave traves of it's presence.

The aroma was deeply malty with dark caramel malt, biscuit aromas and huge dark fruit aromas of raisins and prunes. The aroma had a strong alcohol presence which caused spicy peppery phenolics of belgian yeast to emerge.

The flavor was deep, deep maltiness with strong dark caramelization and large flavors of biscuit and amber maltiness. The flavor was toasty with dark crystal maltiness and fruity with raisin and prune flavors pronounced in the complexity. The alcohol was restrained in the flavor, but the spicy phenolics remained and enhanced the package.

The finish was dry with long lasting biscuit and dark caramel maltiness and peppery spice lasting beyond the aftertaste. The body was just below full and above medium full. The biscuit malt flavor was extreme in this beer and actually very well done. The alcohol left a large warming sensation and reduced the drinkability but certainly enhanced the complexity of the beer.

11.2 ounce (said the label) bottle. No freshness dating. Purchased at Green's in Atlanta, GA for $4.

Note: I took the 11.2 ounce bottle and put water to the level the beer was and then poured into a measuring cup and only got about 8 ounces. The bottle was purchased without regard to bottle volume, but the labeling should indicate with some reasonable accuracy the amount of liquid inside. (1,511 characters)

Photo of horndecker
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tiny little bottle, large brew inside.
No head. Absolutley no head, Wait, some perfuntory suds, then they're gone. It's mud. A cloudy murk, reddish brown, the color of iced tea. No lace, no late forming spritz at all.
But the smell is wonderful. Toffee and caramel up front, figs, cabbage and earth, and chocolate.
The first sip yields spicy sweet fruit, malt underneath, a lingering yeast flavor. An earthy bitterness follows, little or no trace of hops. There is an alcohol burn and an intense sweet chocolate liqueur feel, but it doesn't seem like 12%.
It has a syrupy mouthfeel, still no carbonation, spicy on the tongue. A bit cloying and very rich.
A nice quadrupel, with some different notes to it. Not my favorite, but I would drink it again. (756 characters)

Photo of counselor
2.82/5  rDev -29%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours a ruddy brown with no head, practically flat. aromas of nut, plum and soy, the taste was similar, vinous, alcohol , deep braised fruits, plum, raisin, and burnt meat. Not terribly appealing and quite a dissapointment given the price for a 11.2 oz bottle. (260 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
4.74/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked one of these up at Mountview liquorafter Terry told me there was only 2 cases of it in the state.
I am drinking a room temp bottle and pouring into a chalice. Upon opening the beer I get some gushing foam out of the top. As quickly as possible I begin to pour the beer into my glass. The beer pours a hazy chestnut twinged orange with some white yeast sediment on the bottom of my glass. After the gushing opening, I am surprised at the rather small beige head of .5 cm that develops, The head fades to a sturday surface layer that does stick around through the sampling.
Aroma is complex with green apple, sour cherry, cloves, some general bready/biscuity scnets and a brief hit of white grapes and alcohol as well. First sip reveals a thick body and fine tingly carbonation. THe texture is actually almost syrupy or chewy. Flavor is tasty and complex with caramel, apples, white grape, and perhaps melon. Overall it is very fruity and sweet up front. I also get some warming alcohol on the finish in my belly.
Overall this beer is very easy to drink for being 12% and I enjoy it thoroughly. Definitely buy this if you can find it! (1,145 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one is dark brown in color with a tinge of orange and a nice, full head that left clumps of pitting foam on top of the liquid.

Smell – The light, fluffy orange aroma mated perfectly with the big yeast. The fruits are bold as well. The pear and banana in particular go well together. The high ABV is masked well at the nose. This one is nicely put together.

Taste – The malty backbone takes on some sour notes at the taste. The spicing here is powdery and dark. I can pick up some good caramel flavors along with some granular brown sugar. The hearty, overripe apricots are overflowing. In the background I’m finding some good, doughy flavors and a small reminder of the high ABV.

Mouthfeel – This one is bigger than medium in the body with a chewy, sugary mouthfeel and a small alcohol sting.

Drinkability – I thought this BSDA needed a bit more structure but otherwise filled the bill. It kind of tasted liked a BSDA that was overaged a bit past its prime. Either way, it made for a great aperitif. (1,035 characters)

Photo of Rastacouere
2.54/5  rDev -36%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle at Spuyten Duyvil. Dark Mahogany, no head, looks completely still. Extremely sweet aroma with cask wood aging notes obvious. Extremely vinous (port), apple or plum like. Huge alcohol flavor. It lacks some dimension other than liquorous anything. Tongue-burning like a strong scotch that you keep a long time in mouth, Very yeasty, cake-like. Medium to full body, appears syrupy with this carbonation absence. Feels like hot syrup. Not very good at all, I could not finish a whole bottle of this liquorous, heating, sweet wood juice. Overwhelming. (553 characters)

Photo of rastaman
3/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle @Toronado, San Fransisco. I think thanks go to mat for this beer, but i’m not entirely sure. this was pretty wierd. Salted licorice, toasty caramel and vegemite, definite aged character, not quite my bag, but not bad. Packed a punch, and theres lots of flavour. (269 characters)

Photo of cerevisiaephilus
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Zero carbonation. I don't think that's very cool, but oh well. The aroma is incredible!!

I get strong notes of port and brandy and all sorts of other dank dank liquors from this bad boy. Definately some warming alcohol in the nose and maybe even a touch of cramelized apple. Definately some caramel and cherries as well.

Taste is somewhat disapointing after all the hype the aroma was talkin'. Mostly a burnt caramel kind of flavor with a strong alcohol burn. Maybe just a touch of apples and cherries here...but not much. I'm getting some chocolate covered cherry flavors as well...the ones with the syrup in them?? Anyway...I'm warming up to this beer....its growing on me.

Mouthfeel is very light but not sprite. I'd either like a thicker beer or one about this consistency with a good dose of carbonation.

I'm not sure how drinkable this one is...I'm about to fall down and I'm only half way through the 10oz bottle. (935 characters)

Photo of drewbage
4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap courtesy of the mad storage lockers of Lucky Baldwin's and the inebirating condition brought on by the annual Belgian Beer Festival.

Beer arrives in the small Chimay goblet as a light milk chocate hazy brown with no head for the seeing.

Aroma is chocolate cherries with a twist of the oasis scent of dates adding an earthiness and sugar not normally found.

Wet, cherries with a sweet chocolate orange and brown sugar to the end disguising the alcohol which becomes evident by the inevitable head swoon induced somewhere around sip #3. (558 characters)

Photo of granger10
2.95/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured a murky reddish brown color that turns peach when exposed to light. There was some yeast floating in my glass even though I poured quite carefully. No head or carbonation to speak of. The aroma was amazing however. Strong notes of fruit and wood and rum filled the room. It attacked my senses! Really good, I was very excited to take a sip of this one. Upon my first sip I get a watery sensation and little else. What!? Where's the taste that should follow the aroma? Well, the more I drank of it the more of a rum alcohol taste I get. I also get some red apples and a woody tone around the edges. This beer is really weak in body and too smooth, as in no bite from carbonation or any other flavors. To be honest the alcohol didn't offset the lack of carbonation like I thought it would. It was warming in the finish but I drank this one a little too quick because there were no lingering flavors. I am Very Disappointed! Way too expensive! (957 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
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)

't Smisje Calva Reserva from Brouwerij Smisje
89 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.