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't Smisje Grande Reserva - Brouwerij Smisje

Not Rated.
't Smisje Grande Reserva't Smisje Grande Reserva

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

82 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 82
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 20.33%
Wants: 7
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Smisje visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: emerge077 on 12-09-2007)
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Ratings: 82 | Reviews: 51 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by RickS95:
Photo of RickS95
4.43/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a stubby 11.2 ounce bottle

It looks the style. There's nothing really that separates it from other strong dark ales, but it's still an attractive beer. Medium to dark ruby brown. Particulates. Soft white head, a finger thick with moderate retention that never fully dissipates.

Dark, fruity nose. Figs or raisins. Maybe some red apple. Belgian sugar. Red grape. Hops are an afterthought.

Taste is same as the nose with the raisins, apples and grapes. Red delicious apple, not the tart kind. Candied sugar. Spices. Really nice.

Very sweet, but not too sweet. Fruity, acidic, but combined with the sweet for a nice balance. Some heat from the alcohol in the finish. Slight burn on the lips. Tangy and earthy. Acid in the swallow.

Overall, this is a hell of a beer. It's got strong characteristics, but they never cross the line. Easy to drink for such a strong beer, classic Belgian. Wish I had more.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Kraken
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 11.2 fl oz bottle.

Had a nice color, dark brown. Very minimal head, fine champagne bubbles. Smells of apple cider/sour apples. Taste is exceptional, slight apple, wood, almost chewy. Wood becomes very prevalent a third of the way through. Slight alcohol burn. This is a real sipper, at 11%. Lovely, but I don't think that I could have more then 1.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a dense brown body with a reddish glow from the base of the glass. There is a thick sticky, spongy off-white head that sticks to the glass with each sip. There is a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles that trickle up the sides of the glass.

S- This beer has a creamy slightly sweet soft peat note with a hint of whiskey and caramel malt and a faint finish of brown sugar.

T- The taste of light smoky wet wood blends with a cream and caramel sweetness. There is a light spice hint to the finish with a slightly dry brown sugar taste.

M- This beer has a full mouthfeel with a creamy texture due to the thick head that last the full beer. There is no real alcohol heat until the beer warms quite a bit and even then it is pretty soft.

D- This beer has a nice smooth yet complex flavor that has many sugary characteristics without being overly sweet. The whiskey and wood flavors have a unique twist of peat but they all work together nicely. Nice winter sipper that is a bit mysterious.

Photo of pwoods
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz stubby Duvel style brown bottle. Purchased at Jungle Jim's, poured into a Leffe over sized wine glass. No dating.

A: Pours a glowing dark apricot amber. Maybe 1 finger worth of eggshell head forms and holds tight. Good lacing.

S: Rich barrel aged aromas of whiskey, oak, and just age. Nice rounded aged alcohol. Light cinnamon sugar notes, lightly sweet. Spices in the back, some of the coriander and grains of paradise.

T/M: Rich malts, whiskey soaked and aged nicely. Some light Old Ale style meaty notes with a pleasant melted brown sugar caramel support. A touch of tartness but I'm not sure where it's coming from. Alcohol is nice, whiskey, rummy, woody. Spices add depth from a supporting role. Body medium full with a smooth and creamy feel.

D: A complex sipper that's surprisingly quaffable even at 11%. I'm surprised this isn't rated higher.

Photo of ggaughan
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I shared this bottle with my wife at the Brugs Beertje in Brugge. The beer poured a brown body with a thick, foamy off white/tan head. The aroma of the beer had some solid oak quality and spice as well. The taste was smooth although there were definite notes of the high abv. There were some pleasing spice notes to this beer. The label said that it was brewed with corriander and grains of paradise. Overall the beer was malty and was good sipped due to the high abv but the beer was pretty easy to drink and left a very pleasing taste in the mouth.

Photo of HerdNo1
4.64/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle into a tulip after letting it warm to 54 degrees. A small, off-white head faded to nothing fairly quickly. The beer itself is a hazy brown.

S: My immediate impression is an explosion of tart cherries; almost lambic in nature. Over a bit of time, I get almost a fruit salad of sensations. The barrel aging is barely detectable and you sort of have to know it's there to pick it up.

T: All kinds of things going on. Dark fruits and sweet malt dominate. The 11 % a.b.v isn't even noticeable. As on the nose, the whiskey barrel is there but you really have to look for it. Marvelous change of pace from too many barrel aged beers that let the barrel dominate. Any hops in this beer are bit players.

M: Creamy, creamy, creamy. This beer just melts in your mouth like chocolate. The finish is mostly sweet but not too much to let it hang around forever.

O: Terrific beer. As with all really good beers, it changes character with each sip and as it warms. It is sweet enough to be one hell of a beer with dessert or, better yet, served as dessert. The Belgians are masters of hiding the alcohol. Fortunately, I don't have to drive after this brew.

Photo of ipc2000
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brewery has been barrel-ageing up a storm and this is no exception. The whiskey is prominent. It is good looking and most drinkable, despite the booziness which is apparent. Average mouthfeel. I would have liked a little less sweetness, brought on by the corriander.

Photo of ajz132
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of mscudder
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of MichaelLamb
3.96/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of akorsak
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served at Max's during 72 Hours of Belgium. This is, based on distributed notes, the first time it has been served on draught in the U.S.

A: The ale is a cloudy creek water brown, showing off some red tones. Not much head sits atop the ale.

S: The nose is a peat wet dream, thick with smoky notes that are damn near chewable. This is no bourbon barrel wonder, Scotch creates an awesome smell.

T: Like the best rauchbiers, this beer is so meaty that you can chew it. The whisky barrels (note the spelling) add a delicious peat flavor that has some sea salt bite. The peat envelops the ale, permeating every aspect. There really isn't any indication that this is a Belgian ale, the barrel has so taken it over. But wow, what a way to go.

M: Like meat aging in a smokehouse, this beer is a meal. So chewy and thick, it's hard to but the glass down.

D: Damn! 11%? No wonder I was a little tipsy this morning (okay, a lot tipsy). Hopefully more places will see it on draught now that Max's has popped the cherry.

Photo of emerge077
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Whisky cask matured 't Smisje Kerst Ale brewed with spices (coriander and grain of paradise)" From the importer: Tsmisje Kerst matured in Michel Couvreur’s whiskey barrels. (Scotch whisky is my guess)

Color is a deep caramel tone, nearly opaque. Aroma of overripe fruit, a little funky at first, but that soon blows off. A touch sweet and earthy as well. Mildly sweet and spicy, full bodied but not syrupy or huge.

Very long finish of earthy peat and campfire smoke. Celery salt or artichoke? It's an acquired taste, but it's delicious. Warming, without the solvent alcohol of the Scotch. Nice mouthfeel for 11%, great for sipping. Bottle was $6, very much worth it.

Listed ingredients: Barley, Wheat, Amber & Caramunich malts. Hallertauer & Goldings hops. Spices: Dark candi sugar, coriander, grain of paradise.

Photo of enelson
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of berkey
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From some other reviews there seems to be confusion about which bottle we are reviewing and which barrels were used. Mine is aged in Michel Couvreurs Scotch style Whisky barrels. Same as the one pictured.

Very hazy brown in apperance but shows some pale orange hues when put to light. Forms a very good head but it doesn't last long. Moderate filmy lacing.

Didn't have to wait long for the aroma to greet me. As soon as I dismissed the bottle cap I was hit with some fruity malt notes. After the pour I'm picking up pears, peaches, mild sweet cherry and some yeast. Also some interesting difficult to define earthy aroma here. Spice is present but not overly agressive.

Taste is much more woody and earthy than the aroma (peaty?) and not nearly as sweet. Pears and apples still present though along with some mild citrus and very faint smoke. Spice is detectable but fairly mellow, I've never had the regular T'smisje Kerst but I suspect the barrel aging softened it some. The flavors blend together a bit and the overall taste gets slightly muddy but I wasn't unprepared for this from other Regenboog bottles I've had and it doesn't detract from my enjoyment one bit. Alcohol is really hard to pick up here other than a slight warm tingle in the mouthfeel. This brewer hides their booze about as well as anyone.

Overall highly enjoyable. I'm glad I picked up several bottles as this one is very hard to track down. Surprised my fellow BA's don't seem to have enjoyed it as much as I did.

Photo of weeare138
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears a semi-transparent, crimsoned toned amber with a small white head that slowly fades into a heavy collar. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, light smoke, and toffee.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with meaty, smoked jerky jumping across the tongue.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a grainy, astringent, heat that is mildly tough to swallow.

Photo of shroompod
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Whisky cask
Pours with a nice head , some lacing. Cloudy orange in color.

Aroma of dark fruit , slight whiskey scent.

The cask maturation is pretty subdued but works well high sugar and alcohol content. Spices are detectable but not distracting.

Mouthfeel is thick , good carbonation.

Overall a beer I really enjoyed, it's price is a little high for everyday drinking but thoroughly tasty.

Photo of HundredWeight
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of mrunseen
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of calcnerd
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into two small white wine glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Slides out of the bottle a hazy, golden, caramel-brown. Very creamy khaki-colored, 1/2 finger head. Lazy streams of bubbles.

S: Pear, honey, and whiskey are the dominant features here. Also noted were sweet caramel malt, bread, and spices.

T: Whiskey, sweet fruits (pears/apples) honey, spicy hops, oak, spiced caramel, and sweet and smoky malt. Earthy and sweet.

M: Slick and coating, not at all syrupy. This beer coats everything in your mouth! Alcohol content seems virtually non-existant.

D: Goes down so easy, a pleasure to drink!

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of Thorpe429
1.4/5  rDev -62.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Bottle shared by bmanning.

Pours a murky light brown with quite a bit of haze and sediment. Small, tight head. No lacing. Nose is something else, with a weird nutty character permeating everything else. Hints of toffee and dark fruits in the back. Taste is dark fruits, toffee, caramel, and a strong nutty presence. A bit of something else is off, though it is hard to place. Feel is creamy and nutty with almost no carbonation. Really bad. Overall, just not a good beer with some seriously strange flavors.

Photo of chrispoint
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of sweemzander
1.15/5  rDev -68.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a murky leather-brown color. Some decent tan froth and lace. A little muddy looking for the style.

(S)- An almost salty apple cider aroma. Bits of wood and spice. Finishes with subtle brown sugar.

(T)- Tart, sour, very very earthy: like dirt. Metallic and just overall, a funky clay and a very very bitter finish.

(M)- A low carbonation level. Just a nightmare of a mouthfeel and flavor profiles: sour, earthy, bitter, and metallic.

(D)- Just a mess of a beer. Not sure of its age, but this is just horrendous. A rare drainpour since I could barely stomach another sip.

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't Smisje Grande Reserva from Brouwerij Smisje
84 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.