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't Smisje Grande Reserva - Brouwerij Smisje

't Smisje Grande Reserva't Smisje Grande Reserva

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

75 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 75
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 19.95%


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: 75 | Reviews: 51 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of HerdNo1
HerdNo1

West Virginia

4.64/5  rDev +25.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2013 01:56:02 | More by HerdNo1
Photo of RickS95
RickS95

Indiana

4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 04:05:52 | More by RickS95
Photo of ngeunit1
ngeunit1

California

4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy brown with a finger of frothy off-white head. Fades fairly slowly.

S - Dark caramel malts, dark fruits, Bourbon, oak, vanilla, Belgian yeast, banana, clove, pepper, coriander, grains of paradise, other spices, candi sugar, cocoa, and some booze.

T - Dark caramel malts, raisins and other dark fruits, oak, vanilla, whiskey, Belgian yeast, clove, banana, pepper, coriander, grains of paradise, other spices, candi sugars, cocoa, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet, warming, and estery finish.

D - Great barrel aged BSDA. Great overall balance.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2013 05:47:07 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of Daniellobo
Daniellobo

District of Columbia

4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice barrel aged brew, with prominent whisky sweetness over a faint spicy touch.

Presentation: 33 cl brown capped bottle. Poor blue label with white typography. Offers a small description of the brew. Notes 11% Alc. by Vol. Served in a snifter.

A - Hazy amber/brown pour, nice frothy head, good retention and surface memory with some rich lacing. Quite the looker for a barrel-aged brew of this weight.

S - Whisky sweetness, malty caramel, barrel notes with a hint of smoke...

T - Tastes brings the whisky up in a prominent way but coated in heavy sweetness. This could be undermining of the whisky character but is actually working well if one likes that sweet flow. Touches of wood, slight smoke hint, and an emerging lingering touch of spice in the finish.

M - Medium-full body with medium carbonation rather smooth with a creamy hint broken by the firm bubble and coated in a nice booze sense.

O - Nice sipper, worth the try if one fancies the whisky/sweet range.

Notes: Solid all around barrel aged Belgian ale, not one for the ages but I'd be happy to revisit it and have a few lying around.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 18:12:53 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of seand
seand

California

3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a translucent mahogany with a fair amount of tan head. A thick ring retains around the edge of the glass, leaving solid streaks of lacing.

S: Cherries and rum-filled fruitcake.

T: Deep but slightly muted sweetness, leading into cherries with the rum and spice from the aroma coming in mid-palate. Finishes dry with a touch of fruit and hops.

M: The body is on the light side of medium; unusual given the ABV. Medium carbonation.

Overall, nice, but not outstanding. I'd certainly have it again if offered, but I'm not likely to seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2012 01:27:57 | More by seand
Photo of JayQue
JayQue

Virginia

3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I saw that this one had some bad reviews. I liked it!!! Poured from a standard 11.2 oz bottle (not the stubby one pictured on this site) into my Chimay goblet. Poured a hazy muddy brown color, more like hazy apricot when held to a light. Head is minimal, shrinks to a covering of the top of the glass. No lacing to speak of.

Smell is spices, black pepper and coriander; belgian yeast and fruit (apples and pears). Aroma is fairly strong.

Tastes good as well, the yeast presence is strong...seems almost like cheese, a flavor I get from a lot of good Tripels. There is candi sugar and sweet fruit presence here as well. The coriander and pepper are prominent. No bitterness or much of an alcohol presence. Didn't get much of the whiskey barrel either.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth. There is a little alcohol presence but not too heavy.

In all, a good slow, sipping Belgian beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2012 01:53:14 | More by JayQue
Photo of kiddynamite920
kiddynamite920

Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a bit flat, ruddy copper in color. Looks cider-y.

S: The whisky is actually quite nice in juxtaposition with the sweet apple, candi sugar aroma. Yeasty and fruity, but the whisky lends smokiness and char to it. Interesting pairing.

T: Initially sweet with some apple and pear, then the whisky and the wood hit hard. Tobacco and smoke are prevalent. Again, interesting melding of flavors here. Finishes with a touch of sweetness with some caramel apple, raisin and fig.

M: A shade thin for how big this beer is. Definitely has the Belgian mouthfeel of tiny bubbles, but they are almost overridden by a strong whisky burn and smoky bitterness.

O: A neat pairing of flavors and aromas. Would work better if the small parts of the puzzle worked better. Needs more viscosity and body.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2012 02:45:15 | More by kiddynamite920
Photo of Viciousknishs
Viciousknishs

Virginia

3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a deep coppery color with a finger of light brown head. Decent head retention with some lacing.

S- aromas of raisiny dark fruit, caramel malt and herbal orange coriander hit the nose at first. Yeasty aromas with more fruity esters blend in the middle with some candy sugariness. Finishes with a musty oak, whisky, and a slight hint of vanilla.

T- rich caramel malt and Belgian candi flavors with the coriander herbal orange quality hit the palate at first. Belgian yeast with fruity esters blend in with notes of raisin and dried fig. Really well placed whisky flavor and oak come out in the finish. Great flavor.

MF- silky smooth mouthfeel. Medium body and soft small bubbled carbonation.

D- very drinkable.

Overall a deliciously unique brew. Whisky and Belgian... More please.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2012 02:58:07 | More by Viciousknishs
Photo of danedelman
danedelman

Pennsylvania

3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

found this one at a bottle shop in north jersey. looks old. Thanks Ixodus for the shop!!

A-deep mahogoney with a huge tan head that slowly disapates.

S-lots of dried fruits and dark candi sugar. some bourbon and oaky notes linger behind.

T-wow!! never had this before. has the beginning like a good Quad (dried fruit, candi sugar, belgian yeast) but then turns to a smoky oak woody flavor. has a slight sourness/cidary flavor too but hides behind all the other flavors.

M-medium bodies with lots of carbonation. some heat in the swallow but well masked nontheless.

Overall, this is a must try!! Although far from my favorite, I have never had something like this one before. If I find again I will buy but will not seek out this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 01:22:25 | More by danedelman
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

1.15/5  rDev -69%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 18:43:49 | More by sweemzander
Photo of bonkers
bonkers

New Jersey

3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured from a 11.2 ounce bottle into a SA perfect pint. The beer is very carbonated, I had to wait 10 minutes to let the 3+ inch head die down, good lacing. Very sweet aroma, some spiciness, lots of booze. The beer is very sweet, it overtakes all other characteristics. There is some spiciness, light alchohol, whiskey characteristics. The finish is sweet and it lingers. The body is medium, good carbonation, cloying mouthfeel. As it warms it gets bett, a definite sipper, and not a beer I enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2012 00:57:35 | More by bonkers
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a dark brown color with a fluffy tan colored head on top. This brew is smells a little roasted and yeasty, not too bad. The taste of the beer gives of some raisin flavors along with a bit of spice in the finish. The mouthfeel is rather mellow and smooth, a little bit lighter than expected from a dark brew. Overall it's a pretty nice brew, I'd drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2011 00:08:26 | More by Knapp85
Photo of ShogoKawada
ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz into lost abbey tulip. Beer is a slow gush on opening but I have plenty of time to pour it. Whisky cask matured 't smisje kerst ale brewed with spices.

A- Creamy brown body and a lively head that leaves quite a little bit of sandy lacing on the glass. Very nice- Great pour.

S- A little tart, red delicious apples and raisins. A bit of burnt sugar.

T- The whisky comes out, mild grass and smoke and a lot of toffee. Beer is pretty mellow, though. Opens up after a bit- hint of tartness initially is wiped away by vibrant fruit.

M- Really smooth and delicious. Alcohol is very well integrated. Beer is light considering the style and ABV, and carbonation is spot-on.

O- I've never had the base beer but this barreled version is fantastic. Great lively fruit, no sign of the ABV, really enjoyable. 't Smisje makes some unusual, unique, and ultimately satisfying beers.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2011 22:46:40 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of MufflnMan
MufflnMan

Florida

3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a snifter glass. Incredibly overactive off white head. Had to pour this one extra slow. Head was present for the entire drink, beautiful lacing sticking to the sides with each sip. Color was a dark brown.

I smell some apple, raisin, toffee and a spice I can't seem to put my finger on... maybe coriander as written on the label. Taste was much the same, and quickly got a bit too boozy for me. Subtle wood flavor in the background. Mouthfeel was thin and... well, boozy. This beer seemed nice and complex at first but quickly fell flat and one-noted after a few sips. Not sure what happened. Was an interesting drink, but not a repeat.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2011 04:21:26 | More by MufflnMan
Photo of wschmit
wschmit

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle into a Perfect Pint.

A: This foamed up on me when I opened it, so the head is probably not representative, due to a hasty pour. A thin ring of tan head remains around the top of a hazy, burnt amber body with apparent carbonation.

S: Grape fruit snacks and whisky up front. Cherry cola thereafter, with some herbal flourishes. Very enchanting, unique nose. A bit of musty malt rounds it out. No hops.

T: A bit tart initially, it quickly develops into a heavy scotch flavor, and is noticeably smoky. Definitely scotch, not American/Irish whisky. Finish is dry, woody, and a bit too astringent. Perhaps some oxidation, too. Overall, not as good as the nose, to me.

M: Good mouthfeel: medium carbonation lightens the fairly heavy body, and barely a trace of alcohol from this potent pour.

D: If it tasted as good as it smelled, this would be one hell of a beer. As it is, it's interesting, and goes down very easily given the ABV. At 6 bucks for the bottle, it was a fair price, but certainly not a backyard grilling quaff. Still, I enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2011 05:13:39 | More by wschmit
Photo of clickpush
clickpush

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: 330ml bottle to open mouth glass. Murky brown body w/ a touch of a halo and a couple lazy bubbles coming up from the bottom.

Nose: Sour cherry, boozy, oaky. Spicy, cinnamon... a touch of red wine vinegar.

Mouth: Slightly sour, oaky, a tad bitter (from oak?). Also some sweeter baking spices, cinnamon & clove. Something vegetal that I'm not in love with. But still complex, almost like a Flemish brown ale, sweet/sour. Enjoying it. Mouthfeel is plenty carbonated, nice.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2011 02:24:44 | More by clickpush
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81

Virginia

3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a copperish-brown body w/ large sticky head that takes forever to die. Sweet aroma, like candied-sugar, and the whiskey and oak aging are noticeable as there is a strong, woody/burnt malt aroma as well. I'm wondering if also picking up some of the alcohol in aroma although won't say it's a boozy/medicinal smell. Hints of light aromas of raisins and figs and the typical Belgian yeast strain comes out (although no orange). Unfortunately it goes off the rails a little bit. While there are some sweet notes and fruit notes i.e. caramel and something akin to chocolate/toffee as well as raisins and candied fruit and some orange/citric hops, plus a spicy corriander edge, the beer is overcarbonated in my opinion so instead of passing over smooth it is a little prickly and unbecoming. Also, there is also a little bit of a husky sour edge of apple and pear that isn't that greatly balanced, almost a sour vinous taste, and the dry woody/toasted malt presence is on backend as well as booze but not complementary; stands out in sharp contrast. This beer has the stuff to possibly be great but I find that it really just misses on trying to balance all these ingredients and w/ the high ABV it is a stong and long sipper.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2010 23:45:03 | More by clayrock81
Photo of speter
speter

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a cloudy deep brown with a high head that slowly fades, leaving impressive lacing.

S: Roasty malts with an overlay of alcohol aged in French oak. Hints of brown sugar, caramel and raisins.

T: This is one of those beers best sampled in small quantities. Even though the stubby is 11.2 oz, it's still worthy of being split. The initial tastes strike me as very nice. Warming and strong, but after numerous sips, the ethanol turns on you and begins to be a bit too fusely.

M: I'm giving this a high mark, because even at 11%, it is fairly watery and not too much like drinking syrup. The carbonation is impressively high, given the ABV, which makes the overall experience pretty good.

D: Alas, the fusel alcohol is a bit too much for this to be a drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2010 02:33:51 | More by speter
Photo of wisrarebeer
wisrarebeer

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm re-reviewing this beer since my last tasting wasn't so favorable.

A: nice copper color - thin lacing on sides and in middle of glass
S: oaky, cloying, some oxidation but nothing offensive - almost barleywine like (especially with the amount of EtOH - there's something very intriguing about the nose - sherry undertones
T: not bad - I see that the reviews are all over the map - my sample isn't bad at all (and I've been drinking Belgian beers for nearly 25 years) - malty, alcohol, some oakiness - definitely doesn't taste like its 11% ABV -
M: not thick and cloying like I expected - warming and smooth
D: very drinkable for the amount of alcohol - this bottle wasn't something incredibly amazing in taste but not bad

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2010 00:52:37 | More by wisrarebeer
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

1.35/5  rDev -63.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer was so bad it was offensive. I am HUGELY unimpressed with this entire brewery. It baffles me that this beer has a positive review. This was close to the worse BEVERAGE I've ever had. If I were still in Arizona, I wouldn't have poured this down the drain, I would have taken the bottle out to the mesa and shot it with an assault rifle. Unfortunately, this was not an option. Beer poured into a tiny snifter. I only drank 1.5 ounces before choking back my gag reflex.

Beer is kind of brown / amber but its so settled that there appears to be a gradient of crap in the glass. Its darker at the bottom than the top and I don't know what to think about that. No head, no lacing, no nothing.

Aroma is harsh, mildly smoky, a little sweet. Probably the best thing about this beer.

Light in body, dry in finish, peaty smoke in the palate, gross midpalate flavors. I hoped that the smoke would cover up the rotten wood flavors and skunk and nastiness but it somehow amplified them. I would never buy or drink this beer. It was horrid.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2010 15:08:40 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

1.4/5  rDev -62.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2010 13:01:41 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of jjayjaye
jjayjaye

New York

2.33/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Whoa. Totally unlike any BSD's that I've ever considered before. Really trying to stick it out but I'm not a big fan. Unique is one thing, drinkability another. The nose and the flavors mirror up pretty well, but wow, not sure where it's coming from. First off on the sweet side with some nice figgy character that is mixed with a floral something mixed in with a soapy Sen Sen licorice and some nasty leathery horse blanket thing that lingers well past it's welcome. The mouth feel is light bodied, tingly tangy and fairly dry. Cleans up pretty quickly aside from that unnamed goose bump making thing that's going more towards a tartness as it warms up. I'd love to wave you off of this one, but I think that it's so unique that you ought to give it a ride. Definitely not what I consider inside the classic style. I'm not getting the 11% ABV in any shape or form. I'm going to finish this one but I'm not going back. Really interesting...FYI, I just drain poured the Fiori.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2010 16:14:24 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of drpimento
drpimento

Wisconsin

3.05/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ok beer. When first opened, picked up a whif of burnt matches. Poured with a smallish light tan head and some lace. Color is an oragne dark amber. Aroma is malt caramel, yeast and a hint of bandaids. Flavor is the same as aroma. Body is good and so is carbonation. Finish is like flavor, medium in length and a bit boozy.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2010 21:03:13 | More by drpimento
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Somewhat murky mahogany hue, with an off-white smallish head.

S - The smell is strong of whisky barrels, with some dark fruits, cherries and some oxidation.

T - The taste is so different than the smell, it is more of a Belgian-Scotch Ale than I expected. It is semi-sweet, with a peaty smokiness and a big nutty malt flavor. I don't get so much Whisky but there is some eclectic spicing, as advertised. It is pretty good, but not excellent by any means.

M - It has the feel of a cask ale, smooth but under-carbonated.

D - I am not sure whether I am let down or just surprised by this one. t' Smisje makes some very good stuff, so I had fairly high expectations here.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2010 21:32:57 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of JBogan
JBogan

Nevada

2.88/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The glass is filled with a ruby color with a very small head which leaves an average amount of lacing.

The aroma is full of dark fruits, perhaps raisins along with a heavy dose of burnt wood.

There's a very boozy character to the taste, along with cherries and the previously mentioned dark fruits. It's a bit too sweet for my liking, and seems more like a barleywine.

The mouthfeel is very thin and quite flat, but does go down smoothly.

The sweetness of this beer made it hard for me to want to finish the glass. There are far better examples of this style available.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2010 20:51:44 | More by JBogan
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't Smisje Grande Reserva from Brouwerij Smisje
84 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.