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Baltus O.V.S. Ale - Heavyweight Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Baltus O.V.S. AleBaltus O.V.S. Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

114 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 114
Reviews: 112
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Heavyweight Brewing Co. visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.20% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 04-30-2002)
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Ratings: 114 | Reviews: 112 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Wonka:
Photo of Wonka


4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 FL. OZ.
8.2% Alc. by Vol.
‘unfiltered and bottle-matured’
No date (was stored here for a few months)

Appearance – slightly opaque dark amber body; very light carbonation rising through the life; pours to a finger-thick, light cream colored head that dissipates quickly to nothingness; lace is non-existent

Smell – cherries blended in coconut cream with a bit of alcohol

Taste – toasty, table sugar, bit of caramel, ripe dark red cherry; bit dry, tart grape skin with a touch of sweetness in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel – good burst of carbonation at first sip; rather full throughout in the top half of the glass when colder and leaning toward a medium/full body when warmed as the glass empties

Drinkability – the closing tartness isn’t a big detractor; the aftertaste is certainly pleasant; not too dry; flavor is a nice adventure; the feel is a carbo bomb on the tongue just after cracking it open

Recommendable when looking for a Belgian Dark. There are some worthy components. Certainly give it a go.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2005 19:03:07 | More by Wonka
More User Reviews:
Photo of nmann08

District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

06-11-2012 02:48:47 | More by nmann08
Photo of Beertracker


4/5  rDev +3.9%

01-27-2012 16:41:00 | More by Beertracker
Photo of macster


3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky amber/brown color producing a thin bone-white head. No lacing noted. Nose of earth, spice, dark fruit, yeast, candy sugar and some oxidized wet cardboard notes unfortunately creep in (old bottle I suspect. No dating observed on label). Mouthfeel is a tad syrupy, but smooth with a pleasant, fine carbonation. Somewhat scattered, confused, but interesting flavors of ripe fruits, banana, yeast rolls, roasted malts and plum with a strange underlying tart sourness. Finish a bit quick and fleeting. OK, but one bottle’s enough.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2006 06:01:28 | More by macster
Photo of DrJay


3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Murky, reddish brown topped by a thin wisp of tan head with a rocky ring. Minimal short-lived lacing. It smells of candy sugar, fruit, licorice, with crystal malt sweetness and a bit of burnt malt. The flavour is all over the place - waves of ripe fruit, roast, sweet malt, and tartness come and go. Notes of cherries and red grapes also appear. There's also a bit of alcohol (with some warmth) in the finish, along with some saltiness. The body is on the heavy side, but this may be partly due to fairly low carbonation making if feel a little flat. Slightly slick texture. This beer sure kept me guessing throughout. Not everything worked that well for me (like the carbonation/texture combination), but there were elements that I really liked (fruity tartness appearing between other flavours). Definitely an interesting beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2006 02:25:22 | More by DrJay
Photo of HimerMan

New Jersey

1.38/5  rDev -64.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

12 oz bottle served in my trusty Delirium tremens glass.

Pours a murky brown color that has a lot of haze and clouds, with a small, but standing, head of tan/cream.

Immediate smell of salt, and - honestly, soy sauce. This is the third beer that I ever tried that had this taste to it. I am not sure where this came from either, very very strange.

Taste - first sip - soy sauce, maybe tamari, with hints of figs and a brown malt flavor that does not come through in a very appeasing way. I am not sure the bottles I had were fresh, or possibly stored correctly. However, due to the timing of me trying this, coupled with the availability of this beer - this is the best I could do.

If you are looking to try Heavyweight, this is not the beer you should search for first. I am a firm believer of Heavyweight, and really love many of their beers. I wish Tom and Peggy the best in their new endeavors - but, can not recommend this beer as your first Heavyweight experience.

Great company, great people - not this beer though.


Serving type: bottle

08-05-2006 03:15:42 | More by HimerMan
Photo of cbl2

New York

2.3/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

8/12/2005 $2.00 12 oz. 8.20% No best by date.


From the distinctive snub nosed Heavyweight bottle, this beer pours a deep opaque mahogany with minimal carbonation that leads to just a thin wisp of white on top.


Subtly sweet with a burst of alcohol and an odd musty scent that is offputting.


Can you say oxidized? At least I hope that's the reason this tastes as it does. Grapey and acidic with an odd alcohol/fruit finish. Down the drain with my $2 you go…

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2006 17:07:53 | More by cbl2
Photo of plaid75

New York

3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a murky dark copper hue with a one finger creamy head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell was a combination of black cherry, prune and an earthy yeast. There was a definite Merlot element to the aroma as well.

The taste starts off with an acrid red wine taste, but almost immediately mellows to a dark malt biscuit and a mildly spicy fruitiness.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side, which was suprising.

Drinkability is not this beers strong point. Not my favorite style, but I can appreciate the quality of this ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2006 02:05:21 | More by plaid75
Photo of laintringulis


4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into pub glass in 2 pours. Appears thin, but not watery, medium brown with burgundy tints, thin beige head that is gone very quickly, very light lacing. Large sediment.

Smells very strong spicy alcohol, almost too boozy of a smell. Has earthy,musty smell with the presence of figs/dates, allspice, and clove.

It has a moderately strong spicy alcohol taste, very creamy and buttery. Tastes much better than it smells. The alcohol presence is a bit strong on the backtaste, but not offensive. It has a taste that reminds me of a nice tawny port wine with some coffee taste. Nice mouthful. I really didn't expect it to cling to your mouth like it does, especially for a strong ale. The taste and mouthfeel improved significantly with the yeast pour. Much more rounded flavors and smoother.

I would gladly try more of this, but I think this is a one at a time type beer that needs savored and not for fast drinking. I'm not sure if this is really 100% true to style, but I thought it was quite good.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2006 09:02:06 | More by laintringulis
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blood orange with a dark bronzy glow, a truly gorgeous color. A few busy streams of carbonation can be seen wending their way through the particulate-filled beer to the creamy, dense cap above. Eventually, the head resembles melted butter pecan ice cream (without the pecans) and deposits a good bit of lace in a blurry rings pattern. Note: when the glass is empty, the lace pattern resembles actual lace.

The nose doesn't immediately blow me away, but it's a good one and is complex enough to get the job done. It's moderately dark malty, fairly spicy and smells almost as much like a weizenbock (without the banana) as it does the stated style. A little more power would bring the various elements into greater focus and into greater relief relative to one another. Good, not great.

Baltus O.V.S. tastes like a sweeter, less spicy version of some of the great Belgian BSDAs. It's definitely good beer, but it doesn't have the layers of depth and complexity that I crave in the best of this style. It may seem counterintuitive, but for me, great Belgian-style beer needs to have strongly individualistic notes to its flavor profile that also combine seamlessly into a beautifully symphonic, harmonious whole.

Never mind what it does wrong, what does it do right? Plenty, that's what. As with many Heavyweight brews, it tastes like a combination of styles that works out well, rather than messily, in the end. I have to give the brewery credit for pushing the envelope and succeeding more often than not. The beer is both sweet and sour and is fig and date fruity with a light sprinkling of allspice; all of it resting on a sturdy brown ale base. Delicious.

The body either needs to be bigger, in which case the restrained amount of carbonation would be perfect, or the mouthfeel needs to be more lively, in which case the lighter than expected body would be perfect. Still though, what has been provided is perfectly in keeping with the 'goodness, but not greatness' of the beer in general.

Baltus O.V.S. is an enjoyble, slightly offbeat, Americanized BSDA. It won't make me forget some of the otherworldly versions that hail from the country after which the style was named, but I'm enjoying it immensely all the same. I hope that the rumors of the brewery's demise are greatly exaggerated because it'd be a damn shame if Baltus and the rest of the always interesting, often extraordinary Heavyweight lineup were no longer available.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2006 15:10:03 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of crwills

Ontario (Canada)

3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured at the correct temperature, but into a pint glass rather than proper glassware (because I had no idea what style it was and didn't bother to look it up!) Cloudy, light brown -- actually a fairly unique colouring. Orangey highlights, and a smallish head that fades with not much lacing.

Smells typically Belgian, although the sour fruit is a bit more prominent than usual. Fruity or flowery hops, mildly roasted malts, and maybe a bit of toffee.

Taste is quite tart and sour. Unexpected, and I'm not sure if I liked it (but that might have just been because it was unexpected). Some citrusy hops, upfront maltiness, and strong yeasty/doughy flavours rounding it out. Decent mouthfeel, but a sweet, malty aftertaste that I didn't really like.

Not something I could drink a lot of at once.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2006 02:46:27 | More by crwills
Photo of EStreet20

New Jersey

2.68/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Brooklyn snifter glass.

A - A hard pour produces an opaque, dark reddish brown with a very thick off white head on top. Laces the glass very nicely.

S - A bit crazy here. A bubblegum smell seems to be leading the way folloed by a lot of candy sugar and a yeasty character. I;m not crazy about it but the aroma leaves me intrigues as to the taste.

T - A lot going on here, but I;m not liking this one at all. A lot of pure sugar/bubble gum tastes leave this one tasting like a mix of a saison and a really bad hefeweizen. Too much bubble gum and sugar with no real balance. It's hard to place any more flavors here but I really think this beer falls off huge here.

M - A nice amount of carbonation and smoothness, still the taste is really not there in my opinion.

D - I gues it's just not my style but to me this beer is a hodgepodge of flavors that have no balance and don' meld well.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2006 04:29:11 | More by EStreet20
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a super cloudy brown, huge off white head, sticky lace all over the glass. Smell is sugary sweet, brown sugar and molasses, raisins/dates, chocolate, citrus, an orange spice aroma similar to Orval. Taste is sweet and citrusy, brown sugar and raisins, with orange peel and spice, some iron and chocolate. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, highly carbonated, it spewed forth from the bottle after it was cracked, but very tasty. Thanks sammy.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2005 00:35:28 | More by Viggo
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS


4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice offering from HBC. Deep courdoroy brown, no head very little lacing. Dried fruit and cranberries kep this beer real. This beer reminds me of a highly alcoholed beer from Delaware (no names), but better. Rasians and brown sugar make this sweet on the palate.

Considering the ABV this beer presents, I find it very drinkable. Alcohol is nicely balanced in the beers malt body.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2005 03:54:01 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
Photo of tgbljb


4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a deep ruby-copper color with only modest tannish head that soon dissipates to only a slight ring. Smell is very malty, with pronounced dark fruit noted. Roasted grain also present. Taste is very dark and fruity (raisins, plums) and thoroughly enjoyable. Alcohol is extremely well hidden. Finish is suprisingly smooth and tasty. A very well-made beer that I will definitely revisit.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2005 21:34:58 | More by tgbljb
Photo of jaluria


2.98/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This beer is colored dark brown with little carbonation and only a faint head. The foam does not hold nor does it leave behind much lacing. I can smell: plums, dark fruit, and roasted malts. Very interesting, but way too powerful as opposed to subtle, which in my opinion leads to greater exploration of the beer. The alcohol taste is upfront followed by a bitter spice taste. My throat was very dry after just a few sips which probably has to do with the alcohol content of this beer. I enjoyed this beer but it has too much of an alcohol taste upfront to have a high drinkability score.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2005 23:32:58 | More by jaluria
Photo of mentor


2.65/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottle provide by my buddy, Sulldaddy. Thanks again for the opportunity to try something new. Pours a half finger tan head over a very cloudy (murky?) brown orange liquid. Well, it's a belgian dark, so I stirred up the sediment and into the glass it went. Smells like a belgian dark. Chocolate, molasses, candy sugar, some alcohol, butter, toffee. Delicious. Tastes sweet and chocolate to start with an unexpected sour cherry then jumps in. Some alcohol burn with brown sugar and molasses, but that sour keeps coming back. An unpleasant distraction, actually. Late, I get a hallow caramel, iron, and dry dry cocoa. The finish is dry with tiny acrid carbonation on my tongue. The sour persists into the aftertaste, as does the tiny bubbles forming on my tongue. Md body and mild, but sharp carbonation. Minimal lacing on the inside of the glass. Dumped the last couple gulps so I can move on to an IPA.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2005 07:34:37 | More by mentor
Photo of jakester


4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this as a single at the Northeast Taproom in Reading. No date on the bottle or label, but with this beer it doesn't matter.

Pours a slightly hazy dark amber with a one finger head of cream colored foam. The head drops to a coating and a ring, with decent lacing. Slow, soft carbonation rises to the top.

Aroma is at first phenolic, then dark, fruity, rich malts. Dried plums, pears, apples. Spicy. The phenolic smell disappears quickly.

The first taste is dark malts, quickly followed by alcohol heat. Then the fruitiness comes through. Dark, dried fruits like above, dark candi sugar, spices like black pepper and cinnamon. This is a yummy beer! Aftertaste is sweet and heat, with dark fruit overtones. The phenolics are here, but really muted.

Mouthfeel is lip-smacking sweet and smooth as silk. Carbonation is soft and makes the beer feel luxurious in your mouth. Finish is sweet and heat. (duh!)

At 8.2%, this will knock your dick in the dirt. But the way this beer tastes, you won't really care after two or three. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2005 14:58:38 | More by jakester
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Much malt and some hops on top of a sourness discovered in the Heavyweight products I have had so far. Cocoa and coconut and candy sweetness.chewy yet not yeasty. An experiment yet a cross-bread. Worth having the one time. Taste average and does not disguise the alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2005 03:15:56 | More by Sammy
Photo of beertravel

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite of Tom's beers, I miss it now that it's a seasonal. But I do have some laid away for those snowy days!
This beer pours a cloudy chestnut color with lots of fruit and alcohol on the nose. The palate follows the same pattern with a fruity, bready, warm flavor. I have had this beer 1 day old and 3+ years old. It only gets better with time. The alcohol profile smooths out over the aging but is still up front.
The Belgian/English hybrid is quite evident as it doesn't favor one end of the spectrum more than the other. The Belgian yeast gives it that candi sugar flavor, but the English malts favor the Old Ale style.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2005 06:33:30 | More by beertravel
Photo of Chadbrew


4.58/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very yummy beer. I wasn't expecting the fullness this beer offered. Gobs of lacing and a thin layer of very fine bubbles cover a rich caramel colored brew. The smell is mostly candi and some alcohol but the taste is divine. Full body and superb balance! Indeed the bitter sweet I get on the tip of my tongue is smoothed over by a wash of malty sweetness. I will be looking for more of this in the future as I have only this one bought as part of a sampler.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2005 13:58:59 | More by Chadbrew
Photo of SheepNutz


3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a deep deep amber color with one finger of head. There is minimal lacing. The smell is sweet, fruity, and slightly tart. Sour grapes and cherries reign supreme. The taste hits hard. I knew this was 8.2%, but I just wasn't ready for it. There is some sweetness present, with a bit of honey and some cherries. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and strong. The drinkability suffers some from the alcohol. Thanks to Kev for sharing this interesting treat.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2005 23:39:00 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark ruby red/brown color with a one finger offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a wonderful malty scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with some Belgian candy sugars and a fruity yeast aroma. The taste is awesome. It has a very complex palette. First it starts with a smooth and creamy malt flavor that goes down easy with a slightly earthy feel. Next, it finishes with a fruity, tart Belgian yeast taste. It is full of flavor and excellent mouthfeel. It is a full flavored beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine Belgian dark. It has tremendous flavor and aroma; a good drinker.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2005 01:26:20 | More by WesWes
Photo of goodbyeohio


4.58/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

sampled as part of 'heavyweight night' at moan and dove

funny that im the last person to review this since my opinion has changed so much over (what appears to be) a short period of time.

looks great. opaque, dark orange with a sizeable, wafty head. aroma is all over the place with candi sugar. what the f*ck? last time i drank this (albeit from the bottle) it was malty and icky dark roasty chocolatey.

according to the brewer, the change with this 2005 version is westmalle yeast instead of a la chouffe yeast.. doesn't make sense to me (i like chouffe much more than westmalle) but hey, good choice!

taste is wicked smooth, light banana and crisp fruitiness. dubbel breadiness and freshness.. licorice finish. delicious beer. wish i could have had this all night, but was in it for the sampling. the standout beer of the night and something that must be experienced from the GRAVITY CASK.

Serving type: cask

04-03-2005 22:46:47 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of JackStraw22


4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: hazy, dark orange/brown. Little head, no lacing.

aroma: light and fruity, malty, raisens and dates.

taste: sweet, almost tart, really bites at the front. More spicy at the finish, like a belgian. Really very nice. The tartness seems to cool off a bit as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: slick and sticky, really coats the mouth.

drinkability: I could go for another

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2005 02:44:46 | More by JackStraw22
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Baltus O.V.S. Ale from Heavyweight Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.