't Smisje BBBourgondier - Brouwerij Smisje
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Ratings: 127 | Reviews: 100 | Display Reviews Only:
4.03/5 rDev +2.3%
Glowing dark reddish orange that reminds me of the light emanating from a Jack O'Lantern on halloween night. The ecru cap was large to start, filling the vast majority of the snifter before slowly shrinking to a thick, creamy disk. Wisps and tatters of lace decorate the inversely sloping sides of the glass. This is a beautiful beer.
Although the nose is nice, it isn't quite as rich or as complex as most of the best quadrupels; at least the ones I've had so far. It smells a little like port due to its fruity vinousness. There's also a whiff of mild spice that could be coming from the yeast or it could be coming from the two exotic ingredients that Brouwerij De Regenboog uses (see below).
I'm impressed with BBBourgondier, but my socks are still on my feet. I didn't care for beer of this style at first. That was before I drank a few world-class versions. It's funny how one's perceptions can change so radically with a little palate experience. This is still a more than solid version that does most things right.
In some ways, this beer is more reminiscent of an English barleywine that a quadrupel. The malt bill is slanted toward the lighter end of the scale, with nothing darker than caramel malt as far as I can tell. Apples, oranges and white raisins dominate. There are no figs, plums or dark raisins to be found.
The exotic ingredients include valerian (a medicinal herb used since ancient times) and lemon balm (an herb whose leaves smell both lemon-like and mint-like). Now that I consider it, there is a hint of mint... and maybe those oranges are really lemons after all. In any case, without prior knowledge of the ingredients, I never could have determined that anything other than malt, hops and Belgian yeast were used.
I like the mouthfeel just fine. This isn't the biggest, baddest quadrupel on the block, but there's enough volume and enough linger to maximize contact between beer and buds. The 12.0% ABV cuts through the malt sugars like a hot knife through butter.
This is a good quad, but I'm not tempted to wax poetic. On the positive side of the ledger, it's one of the more drinkable high-ABV ales that you'll find and probably ages like a dream (this bottle is at least one year old, perhaps two). I'm sure they have no interest in using it, but my newly created motto for this brewery is 'usually good, always interesting'. BBBourgondier is both.
06-19-2007 21:23:46 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.05/5 rDev +2.8%
Pours a deep reddish brown, and in a tulip glass the head was most excelent.The smell was sweet, with lots of dark fuits (dates, figs, raisins), and good belgian ale yeast. The taste was very malty and fruity, and fairly sweet as well. The mouthfeel was slightly syupy with slight carbonatoin, and the alcohol presence was masked extremely well. Drinkability was low, only because this is a sweet, thick beer with lots of booze in it.
09-12-2006 03:02:48 | More by zjungleist
4.05/5 rDev +2.8%
Clear reddish brown colored beer with a good tan head that forms and falls. Hell of a lot of sediment in this bottle and it doesn't form a solid plug either, pour carefully!
Smell is sweet and quite strong with the fig aroma. Decently strong scent of lemon also, guess that is the lemon balm mentioned on the label, wonder if that is the same as lemon zest? Brown sugar with spice cake. Alcohol fumes carry more aromatic compounds mainly of citrus and strongly of ginger. Good stout bitterness holds the sweet in check.
The taste starts out sweet and malty with some orange and spice. Lemon is mostly an aftertaste like lemon. Not bad at all.
Mouthfeel is good.
Nice sipper I didn't really expect the strong citrus flavors in this beer. Haven't quite decided if I like this one or not, but it surely isn't a weekly flavored beer. Really need to find a big bottle of this and give it a further more intense analysis.
12-05-2008 01:56:11 | More by Zorro
4.05/5 rDev +2.8%
A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a brown color and murky consistency. There was an inch and a half of creamy, fairly long-lasting head. Average lacing.
S: A good, solid aroma of fruit, yeast, and some spices.
T: Tasted of Belgian yeast, spices (pepper), fruit (apples), and some malt as well. Not exactly a groundbreaking flavor, but focused and tasty.
M: A huge amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.
O: A solidly made, well constructed, drinkable brew.
06-10-2012 20:11:23 | More by avalon07
4.08/5 rDev +3.6%
$6 for a 11.2oz bottle.
attractive clear ruby pour with belgian style whirlpool-top head . even the most minimal jarring creates a sturdy lace.
nose is very raisiny and sweet. vanilla and butterscotch are here too. all flavor and spice, no alcohol or yeast in the aroma. clean is the best way to describe it.
first taste brings out a yeast/malt profile very reminiscent of westvleteren 12. then i get hit with spices.. (bottle says 'valerian and lemon balm'). berries, bananas and raisins to me. sweet burnt sugar. stille nacht comes to mind in the aftertaste. funny that i drank it out of a st. bernardus glass... this beer imitates and captures certain elements of all these big belgians. well done clone- would be a great substitution for the expensive stuff if it wasnt expensive itself. good, but in a weird place ratingswise.
03-28-2005 13:47:24 | More by goodbyeohio
4.1/5 rDev +4.1%
Appearance: thick head dissipates rather quick hazey translucent amber in color
Aroma: sweet pears and heavy sugary malt character
Flavor: There's that Belgian yeast smooth sugar and caramel candy
Mouthfeel: creamy low carbonation and chewy
This is good but would probably earn a better score from me in the winter
07-12-2006 02:24:15 | More by acoatley
4.1/5 rDev +4.1%
Made a visit to John's Grocery. This was advertised as a "big winter warmer". I get home and see there was only 50 cases of this sent to the U.S. I am pleased some of this found it's way to little old Iowa.
This poured a medium head but I must admit I forced it. The head goes away but leaves nice lace. The beer is very cloudy medium brown.
The nose is very raisin, plum, date or fig.
The taste is rather mild for such a strong beer. Dark fruit with little hops. Sweet with malt and caramel. Lots of stuff going on here. A very distinct and strong finish. Almost like licorice.
The mouthfeel is rather foamy/frothy. Some called this sour. I do not agree. Rather smooth for a strong one. Good drinking.
02-24-2008 00:57:50 | More by daledeee
4.13/5 rDev +4.8%
Poured into a goblet ("trusty") at room temp, it pours a nice brownish/redish (mahogony I guess) color. I got a good deal of yeast that poured from the bottom as well and dribbled into my goblet; interesting. It left virtually no head, but only a nice edge layer on my glass. It appears to be pretty full-bodied, but it didn't look as though while I poured it. Sitting a foot and a half away, i can get scents from this beer. I get good hints of plums, raisins, and other various fruits coming to the front of my nasal passageways. Also, a hint of oak comes through as well (a dry smell i guess) and a little bitter hoppiness, which is always goodness!
first sip is interesting. Not a big as I anticipated with very little carbonation. The plums and raisin scnets come out right away followed by a hefty bit of alcohol. Also a slight yeasty finish (if that makes sense). The hops are also evident at the back of the swallow.
Mouthfeel is pretty interesting as well. It isn't a huge beer; maybe a medium body at best w/ very little carbonation. The alcohol and hops are evident and leave a nice warming feeling in my belly (great winter brew I think). The swallow is nice, and a pretty decent aftertaste as well. This is proving to be a nice find in CT (thanks Spence!!!). I'd recommend it if you can get your hands on it!!!
11-17-2004 01:23:10 | More by Fish113d
4.13/5 rDev +4.8%
I was recently accepted into the BBB babble belt, so I am very excited to try this beer. I havent drank a quad in quite some time so this will be quite enjoyable.
very active carbonation, light tan head,settles quickly, leaves good lacing.
Oats, lemons, white grape, lemons, sourish aromas.there is an odd protein like aroma, cant quite place it.
taste is medicinal(in a good way) figs, prune-bitterness, dates, thinner than most quad,mouthfeel is more of a farmhouse ale. Bitterish on the finish,but very drinkable. I never could have guessed from the cleanliness of the finish that this beer apprached anywhere near 12%abv, this is a well-masked high abv quad, very well executed.
08-07-2008 05:10:53 | More by czfreeman
4.15/5 rDev +5.3%
This beer poured a copper color with a couple finger very creamy off-white head that lasted and laced the glass.
Aroma was malt, caramel, dark fruits (prunes, plums, raisin) and a hint of pineapple.
Flavor was a great balance of the dark fruits noticed in the aroma and malt.
An enjoyable beer. Interesting complexity and worth a try.
05-16-2005 03:31:42 | More by ncbrewerbun
4.15/5 rDev +5.3%
Appearance: hazy brown in color with a thin surface foam for a head. No lacing develops.
Smell: sweetness abounds, mostly brown sugars and malts.
Taste: flavor follows the nose, as a thick malt backbone of brown sugar and caramels is nicely balanced with a slight earthiness, mild bitterness, and mildly noticeable alcohol.
Mouthfeel: smooth at the start and syrupy at the finish. Sweetness lingers briefly, and the tongue feels like it has a slight coating of liquid stuck to it. Heavy in body.
Drinkability: pretty good for a quadrupel since the alcohol is not overbearing, but the sweetness may get old after a glass or two. Definitely worth trying.
02-21-2006 22:52:20 | More by Gavage
4.2/5 rDev +6.6%
This is a nice malty Belgian whose mouthfeel feels like its going to start out as a Flemish red, but quickly develops into heavy malt instead of sweetness or tartness. The color is a cloudy amber with a large, foamy head that dissipates into lingering lace. The smell makes it hard to pin down the style, but some booziness is detectable after a strong whiff. I think this would be best with some sturdy, aromatic type of food, like blue cheese, to go with it, more so than drinking it by itself.
07-23-2008 00:49:43 | More by StoutHearted
4.2/5 rDev +6.6%
Drinking a bottle of this brew at room temp in a snifter. The beer pours a clear mahogany with some garnet tints, the bottom of the bottle releases some yeast dredges into the glass. I get a soft fluffy off-white head of about .5 cm to foam up. Aroma is dark fruit, ripe plums, raisins and cherries dominate, but I also detect lemon and banana as well. Actually I hint of nutmeg perhaps too. First sip reveals a thinner body than expected with very smooth, gentle and almost non-existent carbonation. Flavor is generally sweet, with ripe fruit coming through again, plums and prunes mix with caramel and again the lemon shows up. I get a bit of bitter earthy hop presence on the finish as well. A quite tasty and easy to drink beer. Very smooth for 12%.
11-15-2004 04:14:50 | More by sulldaddy
4.2/5 rDev +6.6%
On-tap at Monk's Cafe, Philadelphia, PA.
Poured a dark plum color with a slight cream colored head. Aroma of sweet berries balanced out by a nice sour scent. I was expecting this to be very sour but was surprised by the nice balance of dark fruits and bitter sourness. Very drinkable enjoyable beer.
12-01-2008 08:41:43 | More by corby112
4.2/5 rDev +6.6%
Had this a couple times now and its great. It pours a hazy brown color with little head. The little bit of foam that appears is offwhite.
The smell is nice and spicy. Also some raisin smell. Very malty and sugary. The taste is strong on the spices but overall its not as strong as one might expect. The sweet malt and possibly candi sugar stand out and balance nicely with the spices. There is the slightest presence of hop bitterness.
Very drinkable and enjoyable. I found it was better when it warmed up, say around 55 to 60 F. I noticed that even as it warmed, no alcohol showed up in the smell or taste.
02-29-2008 21:24:14 | More by t0rin0
4.22/5 rDev +7.1%
So I picked up one of these when I realized that it had already aged 5 years...listed on the bottle "Brewed in 2002."
I don't know how familiar people are with the plant valerian...but it is a natural sedative....and also some lemon balm is in this thing too.
These people put some interesting things in their beer.
A-The bottle looks appealing...short stubby 11.2ozer with an attractive label. It pours a bubbly hazy murky amber, and has a 1/4inch bubbly brown greyish tan colored head...light lace rings around the glass.
S- Thick malty sweetness, roasted sugars, fruity yeast, big cherry, berry and other red fruits, and a hint of lemon...basic characteristics of a quad...and I am surprised that there is no foul smell from the valerian.
T/M/D- Thick and sweet...the sugars and fruit(cherry, raisin,and plum) are present in the body, a pungent hop alcohol burst right before the finish, and the beer lives on your mouth between sips....there is a really unique oily lemony finish....I really have not experienced anything quite like this...I look forward to trying more beers from this brewer.
03-20-2007 03:45:17 | More by jameaterblues
4.25/5 rDev +7.9%
Attractive red color. Head quickly dissipates. Specks of lace.
Smells of caramel, solvent, alcohol, red and green apples, lemon cough drops, maraschino cherries, vanilla. Very nice in a booze and candy way.
Tastes almost too sweet at first - caramel, raisins and candied fruit - but toast and herbal bitterness quickly step in and manage to achieve some kind of balance. Also earth, wood, and booze. Very unusual herbal character, presumably valerian and lemon balm. No discernible hops, I can't distinguish the hop bitterness from the herbs. Long finish, herbal and woody.
Suggestive of an ancient pre-hops beer, the ridiculously strong kind reserved for funerals of shamans... yes, I'm a dork.
Quite drinkable for what it is. Strange and wonderful stuff.
03-24-2007 07:23:02 | More by Beerzebub
4.25/5 rDev +7.9%
Pours a very murky deep amber color. Reminds me of apple cider. There was a small amout of sediment or crust around the mouth of the bottle-this might have made it cloudier then it should be. Nice aroma-hints of vanilla,caramel,brown sugar. Good oakey notes-earthy and yeasty. All the different smells are nicely balanced. Big sweet flavor up front-raisen like. Slightly sweet. 12%???!!!! Not from where Im sitting-high abv is very well hidden. Somewhat spicy. Very full body-a damn fine beer. I need to buy more then one next time or see if it comes in a liter size. Well worth buying.
12-20-2004 01:35:49 | More by lackenhauser
4.3/5 rDev +9.1%
Appearance is great with a head that's thin, but still foamy. Also my Chimay glass does let the carbonation bubble up through the top and feed the head more and more.Very nice lacing, but it doesn't stick so well.
The smell is of sweet dark fruit like plum and raisan, with almost a wine smell without the strong alcohol scent. Also has aftertone traces of nutmeg.
The taste is suddle and complex at first, then the strong flavors of nutmeg, creamy plum and raisan with a little pepper flavor as well.
The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth.
Drinkability is O.K., but to answer the question of would I have another? Probably not for a little while, but I respect this beer for what it is.
04-11-2006 11:00:50 | More by Erdinger2003
't Smisje BBBourgondier from Brouwerij Smisje
88 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.