Flandre-Kent Les Frères De La Bière / Thiriez XXtra - Brasserie Thiriez
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 146 | Reviews: 115 | Display Reviews Only:
4.35/5 rDev +6.6%
I picked this up because the bottle description seemed enticing. This has far surpassed any expectation that I might have held.
First and foremost, open this one over the sink. Also, a little wetness on the glass will help tame one of the wildest heads that I've ever seen. The head is large, nonstop and truly has a life of its own. When it finally settles down to the point of drinkability, large frothy, white chunks of foam line the glass in a relentless persistence.
The beer behind the head pours a cloudy, bright, straw blond with lots of floaties and visible carbonation. This may be the best looking brew that I've ever had the pleasure to imbibe.
Considering the low ABV, I wasn't expecting a big beer...However, this may be the biggest beer, relative to the ABV that I've enjoyed to date.
The aroma is pungent, earthy saison bliss. The nose contains sweet malt, pepper, clove, coriander, aromatic hops, funky yeast, zesty lemon, banana and a musty, barn like presence. There is no shortage of complexities.
I finally decided to stop admiring the look and smell of this remarkable brew and get to the taste. Sweet malt and light candied sugar up front with a moderate spice profile. Banana, clove, coriander and pepper are all present. The dry finish is accompanied by both a bitter hop presence and a bit of tartness. The funky, pungent, earthy yeast flavors are very notable throughout. This does not taste like a beer that is under 5 ABV.
The body is what I would expect out of a saison with more than adequate carbonation. The drinkability gets a lift from the low ABV.
I wish that I had picked up a couple more bottles of this surprising gem! I highly recommend this!
01-19-2007 00:41:40 | More by Estarrio
3.93/5 rDev -3.7%
If you want a impressive pouring beer, this is the one! Huge frothy ivory dense pillowy cap that literally leaves chunks of cloudy soft pillowy lace in the glass. There is a dimple left where the beer pours a volcano spot. A little too frothy and fast in the glass to be a 5/5.
Candy scents with a hint of honey and leafy Earthiness. Some vanilla aspects with a touch of toffee.
First swigs: A bone dry saison with a smack of cream soda hops. A crisp fresh doughy middle that mingles with a bright apple and pear, followed with a squeaky clean finish.
Light bodied, easy going and refreshing.
Last swigs: Creamy 7-Up with a light fruit hint. An easy drinker overall.
01-16-2007 05:44:29 | More by blitheringidiot
3.75/5 rDev -8.1%
Originally reviewed November 26, 2006. 750mL Bottle. A light woody tooth to the aroma. Slightly grainy. Pale celar golden pour, with twice as much rocky head, soapy and off-white. An incredibly refined sweet taste, with light sweet spuice and an edge of hop flavor touches. Light esters for the the style. Not particularly deep or complex, but heavy handed on the backend with hops and hop flavor. Grassy and long. Sweet, yet dryly drinkable. Lemon peel and citrus dominate the top fusels. As it warms, the brilliant nutmeg spices enlighten me with a floral bouquet. Nice grassy finishes, as this is a delectable drinker.
12-19-2006 19:10:31 | More by CharlesDarwin
4.75/5 rDev +16.4%
750 poured into a tulip very carefully as the head can get out of control in a hurry. This brew is exceptional in the appearance category. Rocky head that retains throughout and hardly fades at all. Slightly hazed golden body with fine carbonation.
Lots of hops in the nose and taste. The drying variety, maybe saaz? regardless its a full boquet of hops. Deep and complex, there is some funkiness to this but it unfortunately gets drowned out a bit by the huge hop smacker. There is a large tropical fruit element that has the power to make an appearance. As this warms the funk makes more of an impression and really turns this into a lovely offering. Finish is dry with lingering funk and hops.
Notes: Definately the best saison I've had in recent memory. So complex and when it warmed just 5 degrees or so the funk lets loose and that is when its at its best. Funk, Fruits, HOPS!! The French doing beer justice??? In this case you better believe it.
10-19-2006 00:29:35 | More by DogFood11
3.65/5 rDev -10.5%
This is by far the most variance I've had in reviewing one single beer. Absolutley beautiful looking beer. Huge frothy head, sincere golden hues, almost a pillowy existance- picture what Goldschlager looks like... Nice fruity eminations, followed by a wooded backbone on the nose. Bigest disappointment- taste. Are Saison's supposed to be this sour? Fine, if it's a characteristic of the style, I probably shy away from this style from now on. I guess I just don't like it. A little weak in the ABV category; resulting a a pretty easy to drink concoction.
10-03-2006 22:07:03 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
4.45/5 rDev +9.1%
Slightly hazy gold. Epic, extraordinarily fine bright white head. I do believe I could stand on it were I able to fit into the glass. Lasts and lasts as well.
Glorious hoppy nose. Wonderful combination of raw and late addition hop notes. Crunchy, bright, green leafiness with a citric earthy bite. A slight yeastiness adds complexity, and the undertones of bright crackery malt that appear as it warms complete the picture. Beautiful stuff.
Thin side of medium in the mouth. Earthy malt flavors have the initial spotlight, but the hops kick in with both flavor and bitterness on the midpalate, and take control of the extremely long bitter finish. Not as complex as the nose promises, but very refreshing on a hot St. Louis summer day.
Despite the monster head, the level of carbonation is actually quite low, which lends a thirst-quenching quality to the beer. Perilously drinkable. A lick of the lips long after the last swallow brings another wave of bitter, hoppy goodness. Mmmmm. In a world of overly-alcoholic, overly-spiced "saisons" this beer is a revelation. Great stuff!
08-02-2006 16:12:41 | More by Realale
4.22/5 rDev +3.4%
A: Massively carbonated. Extremely large white head when poured...not even sure what color the beer is yet. Super tight bubbles, like whipped cream. Towering, huge, sublime. The body is a cloudy, yellowish pear color.
S: Yeasty and fruity. Very spicy, herbal with fresh grass, wet hay and other copius barnyard aromas.
T: Immediate funk. Very citrusy; lemon extract, lemon peel, grapefruit and lime. Some hidden malt on the tip of the tongue adds a balanced sweetness. Honey on the center of the tongue, continues to add a surprising sweetness...then the bitterness comes. Begins with some fresh hops taking the place of the honey around the front and center of the tongue. The flavors at this point are very crisp. The hop diversity is fairly straight forward, this isn't an extremely "complex IPA" style, just a nice pronounced hop flavor. A bittering blanket covers the roof of the mouth and stays with the drinker long after the last sip.
M: Medium mouthfeel with a smooth carbonation.
D: Interesting beer. I'm a fan.
07-29-2006 04:48:04 | More by Westsidethreat
4.13/5 rDev +1.2%
Next in line (for me) of the newly available Belgian (or in this case, French, but Belgian -style) beers that are kicked up with hops for the American palate, these beers tend to bring a new sensation to hoppiness for the beer lovers in the States (and hopefully elsewhere too!).
Pours a rich thick honey colored with a huge huge huge rocky white head in my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. Very pretty but annoying in that the head is so huge in this glass that there is almost no liquid. The problem reappears with each top up from the 750 ml bottle ($9.99 at La Bodega in Riverside, CA).
Aroma is a gentle but solid hop that orangy, floral, and slightly organic. For a saison, the brett caused organic funk is almost completely drowned out by the hops.
Flavor is a nice rich malty orange soda (but not that sweet)- kinda creamsickle flavor (but not sweet) with a solid hop sharpness on top and at the end. Didn't care for it on the first sip, but gets better as time goes on, but overall I get a little tired of it as the bottle empties. Maybe because the flavor profile is good, but not that complex?
Mouth and drinkability- amazing amount of body for a 4.5%, I really like that. It's an easy drinker, but as I said, it kind of tires as it goes along. Hop bitterness at the back of the throat is a bit harsh.
Overall I really like this. Recommended.
07-01-2006 02:32:17 | More by Dukeofearl
4.2/5 rDev +2.9%
This beer poured from the bottle a deep gold color, very hazy, and is topped by an immense chunky white head. The head shows great retention, and when it finally recedes leaves an intricate pattern on the side of the glass. Tons of carbonation in this beer. I did a spot refill when I began the review, and the foam overflowed all over the counter. Subtle nose. It has layers of yeast and bread dough, bright citrus orange, and a finish of spice, a little cardamom, and a touch of pepper. The flavor has light spice, more of the bread dough character. It has a lot more citrus bitterness than the aroma led me to believe. The orange character morphs into the traditional grapefruit. Nice bitterness that lingers well after the beer goes down. As already stated, tons of carbonation. This gives it a lighter mouth feel than many beers, slightly slick. Nice drinkability. It doesnt show a lot of alcohol. Another nice beer from this brewery.
06-18-2006 15:25:53 | More by carln26
3.5/5 rDev -14.2%
Presentation: 750ml green glass bottle. Sealed with a shiny black plastic covering on the neck leading one to have the impression that it may be corked, but once easily removed (thanks to one of those nifty pre-installed tabs) it revealed a large simple brass crown cap. Main label has three large hops arranged in a flying-V. Listed at 4.5% Alc. Vol., but with no freshness date. Imported by the Shelton Brothers.
Description to the left of the bottle explains:
This is one rich and très hoppy golden ale. Working in his little rustic brick and wood beamed building, Daniel Thiriez makes this earthy, punchy, flavorful stuff in very small batches especially for the stout-hearted Frères de la Bière, a local caterie of special friends united by their thorough enjoyment of a rough and ready unrelenting farmhouse brew. Mon Dieu, thats good!
Appearance: Racy head is not as bad as the previous two Thiriez brews which I tried, but it does seem over-active. Deep white head forms with a uniform topping at first, but it soon collapses in an irregular manner which produces a rocky surface. Pale golden-yellow colored body looks thin at times, flashing with a faded straw look when back-lit. Carbonation is like Asti Spumanti.
Nose: Jaded limes mix with lemons and a low strength cut-grass background. Yeast is clean but evident, as is Hessian sacking and a dried lemongrass finish.
Taste: Rather simplistic, the lemon and hop-bitterness shine through. Sure, there are additional team players, but they are all huddled together it seems. Bright lime sharpness punctuates the ending, as does a tangy straw flavor with some tart character. The bottle finishes with a high bitterness, clean and tasty, but it doesnt feel like anything extra.
Mouthfeel: Bright and full of shine, but with all the strength of the suns rays on a cloudy day it never quite seems to get going.
Drinkability: Refreshing, with a nice bitter hop bite in the twisting finish. The thin feel is disappointing though, yeah I know its only 4.5% but I have had English Pale Mild with twice the body of this. The well carbonated body helps, but it masks a thin torso which disappears faster than it should.
Overall: Most certainly an enjoyable beverage. But the tastes are rather too short-lived for my liking and the body a little unsupportive. At 4.5% it is certainly not a heavy hitter and a tasty brew, and it is one that is rather drinkable, but given the rather hefty price tag of $9.99, it is a tad over-priced for anything other than an Ill try it once for a go sort of offering. Enjoyable stuff nonetheless, but an expensive treat. As always, thanks again to my own personal Thiriez West Coast distributor for allowing me to try this one. Merci Monsieur GrandÉnorme!
06-08-2006 04:30:26 | More by TheLongBeachBum
3.53/5 rDev -13.5%
The body of this beer is colored a pale yellow tone. Slightly hazed. Huge, frothy snow white head. And it keeps getting bigger as it builds a rocky top. Nice aroma of yeast and a little candy sweetness mixed with some leathery earthiness. Lemon and anise add a nice little subtle touch. A nice earhty bitterness is noticed first. With a backing of crackery pils like malting. Pepper adds spice and lemon adds some bright citrus tones. Carbonation is jacked up too much (2 for 2 in that department now from this brewery). Very gaseous mouthfeel and burp inducing. Makes this less drinkable, even though the taste is decent.
05-23-2006 02:49:54 | More by Bighuge
4.43/5 rDev +8.6%
Poured from the 750ml bottle into my Duvel tulip glass. A cloudy bright golden-orange body is topped by a huge creamy white head with a meringue-like consistency. Ample carbonation continues to swirl for a while, emanating from around the etched "D" at the bottom of the glass. Just beautiful.
Aroma of fresh, spicy floral hops, with a touch of Belgian ale yeast. A hint of white pepper and lemon zest can be detected as well. Palate is mainly fresh, floral hops, and lots of them. Notes of grass, clove, and citrus, along with some earthy Belgian yeast. Finish is fairly dry, with a biting but not hugely bitter hoppiness. Body is light and crisp, like a good saison should be, with great carbonation that adds an almost creamy sub-layer. This is just about the perfect beer for a warm summer night. Were it not for the price (steep even with my discount from the shop), I would probably buy a whole lot of this beer. Damn good stuff.
05-19-2006 06:24:37 | More by ElGordo
4.7/5 rDev +15.2%
Fluffy pastel lemon. No wait, that's the head, there's no beer in the glass yet. The explosive, airy, rocky, meringue-like crown looks tremendous above the beer that is slowly replacing it from the bottom up. The liquid itself is tremendously hazy, with a ridiculous amount of what I presume is yeast and bits of hop. This is just the sort of unrefined, cluttered look that I love. Outstanding.
The nose is more hoppy than any saison that I've ever had and it's even more yeasty-spicy than it is hoppy. The dominant aromas are lemon pepper and clove, with floral, grassy noble hop notes and farmhouse funk just beneath the surface. If the flavor is even a rough facsimile of the nose, it'll be something special.
The flavor is indeed something special. This is a tremendously delicious and dizzingly complex beer. Prior to cracking the cap, I had expected an explosive hoppiness along the lines of De Ranke XX Bitter. After assessing the aroma, I began to wonder. After tasting, I wonder no longer. Thiriez XXtra is at least as hoppy as XX Bitter, maybe more so. The hops detonate on the palate with each mouthful.
I have never chewed on fresh hop cones, but I imagine that it tastes something like what I'm experiencing each time I upend the glass. The beer is almost witheringly hoppy and is as bitter and as dry as the biggest American hop bombs. It's just that it uses European varieties and it coddles them in a soft, airily light body. Hopheads only need apply.
This must be a relatively new bottle because the hops taste as fresh and as green as if they were on the vine mere days ago. The flavor profile is made up of bitter grass, white pepper, dessicated lemon pulp and spicy clove... all whirling, swirling, twirling around on the palate in ever-changing and ever-fascinating fashion. I'm glad the ABV is low because I want to keep my wits about me so that I can enjoy the final ounce as much as I enjoyed the first one.
I know saisons are supposed to be light-bodied and well-carbonated (and this one certainly is), but I can't help feeling that a little more viscosity would improve what is already a great mouthfeel. Of course, I could be wrong. Its lissome, buoyant nature makes drinking this fine ale as easy as breathing.
I'm ecstatic that some of the Belgian and French breweries have realized the wisdom in adding more hops to their pale ales and saisons. I'm also amused by the fact that they feel a need to add XX to the name of the final product, as if what they've done is somehow unseemly or even pornographic. I couldn't be more thrilled, however, when the beer is as exhilaratingly hoppy and as breathtakingly brilliant as Thiriez XXtra. C'est magnifique!
05-14-2006 15:38:44 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.98/5 rDev -2.5%
Smells like a once wild field that has been freshly mown. Herbal notes with slight citrus asspects. Hazy yellow in color with a massive snowpeak-like white head. Fore is slightly bitter, but quickly fades to reveal a sweet yeasty, malt laden base. Has sweetish citrus notes like lemon meringue or Key Lime pie. These citrus notes are the most outstanding and play nicely off a slightly bready maltiness that is present through all flavor ranges.
04-24-2006 23:11:09 | More by Jredner
4.45/5 rDev +9.1%
Big-time rocky head sits atop this Belgian beauty. The hop aroma takes on rustic notes, with a dash of marijuana in there somewhere. Then, hints of evergreen enter the picture as the aroma becomes increasingly interesting. Flavors are fresh and clean-- hops flavor appears first then a firm bitterness becomes the star into the medium finish. Belgian beer + hops = big winner. Solid!
04-19-2006 01:54:02 | More by VoodooBrew
4.85/5 rDev +18.9%
I had this at the Linwood in Boston, this review is from notes I made later that night.
Pours a slightly hazed gold with a pillowy white head and draping lace trails. The aroma us if earthy English hops and lemon drops. The taste has a lot of aroma hops, more herbal than piney or citrusy. Malt sweetness is well structured and intricate and provides perfect balance. The finish is bitter with tonnes of grassy, floral hops.
This is a fantastic beer, hoppy, complex and extremely drinkable. Seek it out!
04-05-2006 01:59:41 | More by CAMRAhardliner
4.88/5 rDev +19.6%
Pours a hazy, pale, peppered golden-blonde. The voluminous head resulting from the pour needs no encouragement (Read: Open near a sink or have a towel handy...) Aromas of fresh grains, followed by a wind of citrus and floral hoppiness entice olfactory curiosity. Subtley sweet, grassy malts mingle with the palate briefly, but are out-classed by dry, floral hops. The bitterness lingers, but is not unpleasant. Numerous short pours into a large balloon glass quickly rejuvenate the fluffy head making each sip commence with a kiss from the clouds. All of this, plus a low alcohol content, make for a tremendously sensational, session saison.
04-04-2006 02:50:51 | More by TripelJ
3.85/5 rDev -5.6%
This is a French beer, which reminds me of the Belgian Poperings Hommelbier, but without the caramelic taste. This is dominated by hop flavor and taste. It poured a very clear light amber with a lot of carbonation and a nice stable head.
Smell was perfect, almost like fresh hops, yet not sharp. There were also some grassy and resinous notes.
Taste was bitter and hoppy, leaving little room for other flavors. When the beer warms some ripe fruit (from the yeast) comes out. This profile reminds me of the La Chouffe strain, nice and fruity. The body was pretty thin and goes well with the taste.
Together with the hoppiness and high carbonation, it is a wonderfull refreshing brew.
03-25-2006 16:50:50 | More by Absumaster
4.6/5 rDev +12.7%
750ml green capped bottle purchased at Rich O's in Indiana. Awesome up close hop photo on the front. Pours into my tulip glass a cloudy pale yellow/orange hue with a huge white clumpy, frothy head on top. Tons of active carbonation rises up..quite a sight. Aromas of light grainy malts with mellow citrus accents of lemon peel, melon and orange. A wonderful, intense floral, herbal hop aroma enchants the senses. An earthy, rustic yeast twang is there as well, but it's the bountiful unique almost perfumy aroma of the hops that really shines here. Simply lovely.
First sip brings a light, musty grainy maltiness with hints of citrus fruits and earthy yeast. Not long after the poignant herbal, floral hops take center stage and delight the taste buds. A spicy, peppery flavor runs throughout the brew. Finishes smooth and a bit dry with a mellow bitterness. Such big, green leafy flowery hop flavors. Ultimately, this is a unique, rustic, complex and wonderfully tasty saison. Divine.
Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with plenty of fast moving carbonation. Goes down easy and is so refreshing. This is a definte session saison and I honestly wish I had another 750ml to follow up after this one. Goes to show that you can get an amazing amount of flavor out of a lower abv brew. Cheers to Daniel Thiriez for producing this amazing brew and to Shelton Bros. for bringing it to the U.S. and into my hands. Highly recommended to saison lovers and hop lovers alike. Not to be missed.
03-25-2006 04:27:59 | More by orbitalr0x
4.43/5 rDev +8.6%
Enormous froth of wispy foam. Beautiful farmhouse-like aroma, which is very hoppy and herbal, but also tremendously fruity, leathery and yeast-led. Palate begins with a minty, herbal blast, which follows into light hints of liquid smoke, fruits, yeast and herbaceous-like hops. I find it very balanced, something I would surely drink everyday if I lived in France. The body is big and creamy and seems to elevate all the flavors.
03-23-2006 21:49:58 | More by Crosling
4.45/5 rDev +9.1%
Large green bottle, capped and with foil, no freshness/bottling date info provided. Pours yeasty/cloudy light orange amber. With a super fine tiny bubble head and sheen, leaving fine scattered lacing. Has the look of something special. Nose is multi faceted, yeasty, peppery, light funk and perhaps a wiff of the 'ole barnyard. Delicate mouthfeel, and notes of lemon and pepper. Drying, crisp and spicy hops add bite to the finish. World class, interesting, complex brew. Was great with spicy chineese food. Search for and seek out this fine creation
03-18-2006 11:19:12 | More by Billolick
4.38/5 rDev +7.4%
An unexpected surprise, this saison pours beautifully, a hazed lemon yellow with a massive, billowing, white head that retains excellently and coats my goblet in lace. A view from the top reveals craggy, rocky peaks in the densely whipped froth. A real beauty to look at.
Aroma is that of a saison, mixed with an English IPA. Soft fruit, lemon, citrus, and crushed rock minerality is heightened by sticky, fresh hop notes of grapefruit, pine, and wildflowers. Very rustic and hoppy at the same time.
Flavor thankfully follows, with very saison notes of dry lemon peel, white pepper, dry minerality, flower petals, and hoppy grapefruit, lemon, floral and fruit hops providing a long, bitter finish. Bone dry and very quaffable. This is what the French must drink after mowing the lawn.
Body is mediem, light and fluffy mouthfeel and a creamy, smooth texture. Very easy to drink due to the low abv. Overall very nice and enjoyable.
03-02-2006 14:28:39 | More by AlexJ
4.5/5 rDev +10.3%
Pours light straw yellow out of bottle. Wow, the foam quickly overtakes the glass and very slow develops into a glass of beer. This is much lighter in color then most beers I've had lately. Almost too much foam. Beer is a very soft mouthfeel. Not acidic or that biting on the tongue. Hops presence is noticeable with some bitterness. Glad this is more than a pint. Very drinkable. This is hopped but not overly so. Very solid and goes down well.
01-09-2006 01:17:00 | More by mjohn27603
4.68/5 rDev +14.7%
Very hazy very pale yellow with a very light-looking white head and fierce lacing. Ooh! That is fresh hoppage! How does an imported 4.5% beer in a green bottle stay so fresh? and leafy. spicy. herbal. musty. Flavor is just as fresh, but with an even spicier attitude that lingers on for a long time. An array of spiciness including black pepper and capsaicin. Feels awesome as the medium body carries the high carbonation across perfectly. Too easy to drink, this is probably the best hop-flavor profile that I have had. Only 4.5%? My god, what a beer.
12-06-2005 01:05:55 | More by waughbrew
3.53/5 rDev -13.5%
Poured with a large head that will stick around for the duration. I was surprised because the smell and the texture of the head reminded me very strongly of Duvel, which I did not expect from a hoppy saison. The color is a hazy medium-light blonde.
This beer is light-bodied and very drinkable. Even though it is dry hopped the hop flavor is not particularly strong. Low alcohol content (4.5%) contributes to its drinkability. It bills itself as a French farmhouse ale and it tastes as such.
Very nice mouthfeel. The carbonation will sting the bottom of your tongue. Bubbles continued to form at nucleation sites in my glass until the very end.
Overall, this is a very enjoyable and drinkable beer. That said, I will probably not buy this beer again. There just arent enough hops to satisfy my hop fetish. If I want a hoppy beer, Ill go with an IPA. I liked it just as much as my favorite French farmhouse ale, Saison Dupont, but it is two dollars per bottle more expensive.
Without a doubt, a solid, enjoyable beer. Give it a shot.
11-30-2005 00:09:04 | More by RugbyBeerRepeat
Flandre-Kent Les Frères De La Bière / Thiriez XXtra from Brasserie Thiriez
91 out of 100 based on 146 ratings.