Flandre-Kent Les Frères De La Bière / Thiriez XXtra - Brasserie Thiriez

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Flandre-Kent Les Frères De La Bière / Thiriez XXtraFlandre-Kent Les Frères De La Bière / Thiriez XXtra

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

148 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 148
Reviews: 116
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 13.02%
Wants: 30
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Thiriez visit their website
France

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-05-2005

Local name - (Flandre-Kent) Les Frères De La Bière
US Import - Thiriez XXtra

Description on US bottle label:
“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, that’s good!”
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 148 | Reviews: 116
Photo of Realale
4.49/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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!

Photo of Westsidethreat
4.19/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of carln26
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 doesn’t show a lot of alcohol. Another nice beer from this brewery.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.51/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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, that’s 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 doesn’t 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 “I’ll 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!

Photo of Bighuge
3.57/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of ElGordo
4.41/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of Jredner
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of VoodooBrew
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.82/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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!

Photo of TripelJ
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of Absumaster
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Crosling
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of Billolick
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of AlexJ
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Thanks Brawley!

Photo of mjohn27603
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of waughbrew
4.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of RugbyBeerRepeat
3.57/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 aren’t enough hops to satisfy my hop fetish. If I want a hoppy beer, I’ll 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.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oooo!
Funk in Deep Freeze!
Just uncapped her, and it rolls right out...

Hazy blonde, with prodigious milk-white head towering above.

Aroma screams out sour and citrus, dry, sly, and sophisticated....reeking of crisp, lemony notes, and big, bright hops. Fresh and lively.

Well-featured hops rip right into the palate and glide happily along for the duration. Beyond that, a mellow saison, indeed. With each new sip, raw, unrelenting hops shine through in the flavor, and ride sidecar on out, fading just enough to aid drinkability. Citric tastes continues, as well, and bitterness is unabated, yet not too hard to handle.

Big carbonation, bright flavor, medium bodied, long, bitter, hoppy finish.

Damn good beer. Recommended. ($10 a bottle, at Blue Max, in Burnsville, MN)

Photo of putnam
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stunning, rocky, bone white head leaps up and sticks. The liquid.is colored more like balsa wood than cattails. Fuming lemon and herb aromas are brilliant in their purity and tightness. Wood resins and bean husks till about as under aromas. Grassy, Sauvignon Blanc, cottonseed, and raw dough flavors. Blanched Spanish almonds. Extraordinarly crisp and dry. Thrilling. Intense. Undeniably useful as a drink to wash down aged goat cheese, fresh greens and butter fried fish.

Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - The gorgeous light orange color glows in the dark and is the perfect yellowish-orange. The head is solid and thick, white as the driven snow and just as beautiful.

Smell - The dry-hopping here doesn't knock you out like a dry-hopped IPA. It's just a more intense hop aroma than the standard fare. It's so smooth and well-rounded though. Amazing.

The malts are light and slightly nutty with some good orangish notes and just a hint of sour lemon. This bouquet is nicely done.

Taste - The taste is spot on. The hops are big and incredibly smooth, the light malts fruity with a bit of Tang, and the light leafy character gives it that farmhouse profile.

Mouthfeel - This medium-bodied ale is so delicate and fluffy in the mouth it almost redefines the term. The beer just evaporates when it hits your cheeks. You almost consume this ale by breath alone.

Drinkability - This is one farmhouse ale that you can session all night long. It is well-rounded in all aspects and earns very solid 4.5s all the way around.

Comments - Big thanks to JustErica for thoughtfully sending this bottle out to Seattle. She could not have made a better choice.

Update - I haven't had this is almost three years so thought now would be a good time to try it again in May 2008. This beer is so smooth and so tasty I upped the Drinkability to 5.0, and with a very modest ABV you can drink it all night long.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is extremely well carbonated, it actually leaked through the cap during shipment to me and is still so carbonated, 2 weeks later, that it forms a five-finger thick head and allows only two-fingers of beer in my glass. The head is a pale cream colored, quite rocky and it forms a nice lace pattern as it slowly subsides, but never disappears. The beer is a pale blonde color with lots of floaties kicked up by the ample carbonation. The aroma smells like Summer; aromatics of blooming fields of wild flowers and grasses, light hay, a hint of lemon, a nice herbal hoppiness, and notes of pear and apple. The aroma is light and airy yet still complex in a subtle way.

The beer is quite light on the palate and quite dry as well. There is a grassy herbal note that compliments the dry grain character, and the finish has a nice sharp bitterness. This is nice and spicy as well. The flavors I can pick up are pepper, ginger, green tea (astringency), lemon, a bit of musty earthiness, and a note like grains of paradise. This has a nice solid bitterness throughout; really it is quite hoppy for a "light" beer. I really enjoy light, flavorful Belgian Ales, especially of the Saison persuasion.

Photo of bditty187
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellow in hue with a faded straw highlight, the color looks very similar to Duvel. Rather hazy and there isn’t much animation either. Yet the head was bright white and meringue-like. Wow, a soft pour produced over three fingers of froth. Head retention was excellent; it was very slow to fade to a size small enough to actually take a sip. Lacing started before I even took a sip, I absolutely love to see that. The actual lacing was very widespread once I started drinking it. The appearance of this beer is outstanding.

The nose is delicate. I often opine about the lack of a boastful bouquet. If the nose was any louder here I think it would hurt the charm of this beer. I detect hints of pears, lemons, earth, marshmallows, pepper, a spice medley (coriander, clove, ginger), and a faint cracker-like malt base. All of these aromas are soft and secondary to the most vocal player, the hops. Saaz hops are in the forefront with their spicy/earthiness and zesty/grassy underbelly. Still the overall potency is low. Yes, the nose is complex and articulate. Inviting, just listen for the whisper.

The palate is a bit of a letdown. I taste celery and dried nuts/wood along with pears, lemons, marshmallows, and pepper. Juicy fruit in the middle with a kiss of spice and then the finish is home to a solid smack of hop bitterness. The finish is the highlight of the palate. Still, the palate is not jiving with me; I mean, the flavor profile is okay but I would have liked a little more funk, a bit more “Belgian” (or French in this case) farmhouse qualities. Light grassiness, cracker maltiness in spots, and a smattering of herbal still can’t distract that celery taste. I am torn, I want to call this beer tame but I also want to call it cultured… refined. The low abv is different take on the style, I wish there was more beef however. Still, it is okay for what it is.

Medium-light in body, low but playful carbonation, the mouthfeel isn’t flat but it is soft, like drinking a cloud which is charming, I suppose. It is a tickle thin but it works very well with the “lightness” of the palate.

Drinkability, in the sense of easiness to drink, is very high. Many lesser beers also fall into this category too. Drinkability, in the sense of how bad to I want another, is low. Sure this beer is good and I can see the attraction and the lovely subtleties but I want more. No, I don’t want every beer to be massive and palate punishing. I guess, my biggest beef is the start of this beer, it seems flawed to me. Maybe it is or maybe I am. Celery/wood does not equal a good drink in this case. I love Farmhouse ales and Saisons but I don’t love this beer. I purchased my bottle in Iowa City, IA.

Flandre-Kent Les Frères De La Bière / Thiriez XXtra from Brasserie Thiriez
91 out of 100 based on 148 ratings.