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Melchior - Picobrouwerij Alvinne

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

59 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 59
Hads: 102
Avg: 3.58
pDev: 15.64%
Wants: 4
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Picobrouwerij Alvinne visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: paterlodie on 12-03-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 59 | Hads: 102
Photo of Travlr
4.3/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle sample poured by Glenn at the brewery - thanks Glenn!
A: Amber/orange color with a large white head that settles quickly to tiny bubbles with great lacing.
S: Aroma is very subtle, mainly just light malts and yeast, not much hops evident.
T: Bitterness and hops come through in he mouth, nice malt, well-balanced.
M: Good body.
D: Definitely a nice double IPA or barleywine, even without the oak.

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Photo of ronniebruner
4.27/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Never had a mustard seed-infused beer before. The beer pours your average honey yellow color, has a slight hint of fruit in he aroma and pours with minimal head and lace. However, the taste is superb! It is sweet, high in alcohol and delicious. You would never know how good this brew is until you drink it! $5 for an 11.2 oz bottle well worth it! Indeed a surprise

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Photo of tylerzander
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours slightly hazy (maybe owing to a poor pour, though some sedimented yeast chunked out mid-pour), on the straw side of golden with a one finger white head that is as dense as it is long-lasting, which is to say, quite

S - classic Belgian golden strong aromas of pineapple, banana (more runts than the actual fruit, without coming across as chemical), green apple/cider, a light hoppy spiciness from EKG hops and maybe from the yeast as well

T - anticipiated some off the wall mustard spicing but without seeing that ingredient on the label, I would never guess that as an ingredient, though I suspect it's the a contributing cause (along with the hops, naturally) to the lingering herbal/spicy kind of aftertaste and bitterness; ethanol comes across as a contributor to sweetness more than bringing any kind of heat, though there is a slight warming effect

M - dry and not overly carbonated, suiting this beer well and allowing the simple combination of Pilsener and Munich malts take a supporting role to the ester and hop/spice-forward profile of the beer

D - maybe the most distinguishing and interesting feature of this beer, the lingering herbal and spicy bitterness, doesn't do much to aid the drinkability of it; I think this a one and done beer, though it is a fun short-lived ride

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Photo of blazin5050
4.15/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle to a La Chouffe tulip

A A rusty orange definite sediment, with a foamy white head the dissipates almost immediately.
S A lot of Citrus and Malt, I get Honey, Oranges, Pineapples with spicy overtones
T Took a little for me to get into this beer, it was at first quite sour, but eventually the sweet malt came through bringing with it a lot of orange, yeast, and spice. I've never had a Mustard Ale before but as a chef I started noticing more and more mustard as the ale warmed. Very interesting and still quite acidic for my tastes. The hops are there but not as much as I expected for it claims to have been "heavily hopped for a long bitter finish" but as an American I know our hops and we love them dearly, sometimes too much. I read a review claiming to get green grapes and apple, I got that afterward but more when the beer was warm.
M slight carbonation, more on the heavy side due to the thick maltiness of it. The sugar actually started drying on my lips and I feel a little sticky afterwards.
D A very interesting ale, definitely complex and I will be bringing it to a tasting with some friends in the near future. But overall it is not a beer that I would drink very often.


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Photo of glid02
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Porter in Atlanta.

Pours a slightly hazy dark copper color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of medium malts and robust sugar-coated medium fruits - pears and apricots with hints of plums. As it warms very faint spices waft out from time to time.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet medium malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by good amounts of plum, pear, and apricot flavors, in that order. Midway through the sip the fruit flavors dry out a bit, allowing slightly herbal hop flavors to carry through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I thought this was a well done beer but I have to say I got only very mild hints of mustard besides maybe a small amount of dryness near the end of the sip. In any event, it's worth a shot to see for yourself.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

@ Novare Res

Golden apple amber color. Thin head, thin retention but glaciers of foam regardless. Sweet and fruity with an Autumn reminiscence -- I think that's because it smells like candy corn which I believe I'm picking up due to the added sugar. A few banana-esque fruit phenols and peppercorn (which I'm pretty sure is really mustard seed as the description said "brewed with mustard seed").

Taste is again candy corn and burnt orange squash sugar, juicy pear and cantaloupe sorbet sweet and that mustard seed again to play against the sweet, burnt sugar flavors. Alcohol is hidden extremely well.

Belgians are so dreamy.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From zombier. In Duvel glass. After dinner. Its high ABV isnt appreciable at all. The beer is very turbid, with lots of particles floating and little foam. Smells and tastes nicely sweet. A good and repeatable offering

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Photo of edbeered
4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Belgian Beer Fest(9/12-9/14) at The Muddy Pig in St Paul, this pours an opaque orange color, with a small white head that quickly dissipates. On the program, this is described as a "Mustard Ale"(there were actually two samples of this style at the fest). The smell is mildly fruity. The taste is fruity, with apple, pear, and plum flavors being notable, as well as a slight yellow mustard flavor blending in. The combination of flavors is terrific. The mouthfeel is tart and tasty. This is a very flavorful example of a style of beer I've never even heard of until I attended this festival and is another example of why Belgian beers rock(anything goes)!

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Trappist Provisions into a 6oz wine glass. Beer brewed with mustard seed?? Sounds awesome!

Pours a brownish amber color with a decent amount of head and lots of carbonation lodged at the bottom of the glass. Definitely contains a hazed, near cloudy coloring, even on tap, and an enormous viscosity that is expected at 11% ABV. Lacing holds together really well, although the alcohol legs do seem to drag it down substantially, especially as it warms up. Definitely thickened in appearance, which makes this far more hearty and inviting overall.

The aroma is filled with sweetened caramel maltiness and a spiced backdrop that I have trouble putting my finger on right away. Is it the peppery notes arising from the mustard seeds, or perhaps a byproduct of that ingredient that remains still slightly astringent and zesty? Nevertheless, it's still fainter than expected, but still really interesting. There's a sour, sort of farmhouse-like finish in the aroma, especially as it warms up, but the malts and fruity, red fruit focused yeast seem to be the focus here. Hops are virtually nowhere to be readily found, but the spices make up for it right away. As it warms up, the yeast really opens up, often resembling tamarind and apple peel, albeit still quite subtle. Really soothing overall, despite any malts overpowering here.

The flavor is a little bit of a different story, however, as the mustard and spices become a little bit more predominant. At first, the palate finds itself awash with caramel malty characteristics with light graininess and yeasty esters. Eventually, however, the aftertaste becomes chock-filled with the spices, to the point where this starts to resemble hearty rye bread coated with Dijon mustard and perhaps a bit of cheese, or (as my friend pointed out) chicken like features. It's definitely different, but very flavorful overall. The alcohol is incredibly masked here, and the dry finish makes you linger to try another sip to get the initial sweet breadiness, creating a vicious yet addicting cycle that makes this a rather dangerous concoction. Very different, and surprisingly soothing due to the large alcohol backbone.

I really enjoyed this beer more than I expected, especially with the fact that the initial flavor and finish are very different from each other. As indicated earlier, this is like eating mustard-filled sandwich without all the extra condiments! As an experiment, this turned out just find, and is well balanced despite what it has going for it. Would work well on a summer or winter day for sure. Great stuff.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a peach/gold, an inch or so of cream/white foam. Fine particles in suspension until the end, then the particles get rather big. Hard to decant, the sediment slides right out of the glass. Light but sticky lacing.

Aroma - sweet, yeasty, definite alcohol vapor. A touch of mustard? Hmm, it's hard to tell but at times I think I pick a little up.

Taste - mmm. The Belgian candi sugar hits right away, combining with the yeast and abv for the basic strong ale flavor. The mustard seeds impart a unique spicy, pungent taste that is a little indistinct, but nice. Warm on the finish.

Mouthfeel - very smooth and flowing, muted carbonation.

Drinkability - breathy and potent, but mighty tasty.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a fairly clear peachy amber crowned with a billowy, lacy, 3” white foam collar.
S: Spicy, citrus nose.
T: It starts with large pitted fruit and finishes with a touch of mustard heat. There is some citrus in there too with a touch of salt or mineral.
F: Medium high carbonation, medium to medium light body.
O: An unusual and interesting beer.

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Photo of Sallerj
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The smell and taste on this one are mostly sweet, caramelly, malt, with a little dark fruit. Despite what the bottle says, hops do not feature prominently in this beer, although the aftertaste is a little bitter. It's also much stronger than it tastes (11%), so maybe the alleged 60 IBU are hidden behind a ton of malt. The mustard is present, not prominent, and not dissonant.

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Photo of gford217
3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Brick Store poured into a tulip.

Pours a bright, opaque yellow-orange with a large fluffy white head that shows great retention and lacing. The beer was described to me as an ale brewed with mustard seeds though the dominate aroma and flavor throughout, for me, was apples. The aroma was very sweet with the aforementioned apples with a hint of tartness. Maybe a hint of mustard if you really try to find it. The flavor is a complex blend of light fruits with green and red apples, pears, apricots and a little bit of hops in the finish. The mouthfeel is very smooth with good carbonation. I enjoyed this beer and it was like no beer I have had before. Recommended.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2005)

Thanks for opening this with me, JealousChalice!

(Aged for 7 years)

Dark orange and light brown with a small light brown head that quickly fades away to a thin ring atop the beer. This leaves dots of lace down the glass.

A sweet, though complete, aroma of caramel, bread crusts, brown sugar, and mild citrus. Very nice.

The flavor too is quite nice, with a delicious, complex, bready sweetness leading the way, accompanied with very mild citrus, caramel, and toffee.

Medium bodied with low carbonation.

This has held up exceptionally well over the years.

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Photo of brc
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Feb 2014 on cap. Decanted into goblet. Small dense white head, auburn liquid with lots of particulates.

Strong bread yeast smell. As I get my nose closer, I get a hint of spicy hops, black pepper, a whiff of whiskey.

Rich caramel, cream, chai tea flavors up front. Spices are nice, providing a little twist instead of alot of flavor. Brandy alcohol flavor in the finish, plum/apricot flavor like a quad.

Creamy, coating mouthfeel. Alcohol very well hidden (is this really 11%?).

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Photo of wl0307
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottling date: 01/05, served lightly-chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.

A: pours a murky, brown-ish amber hue; the 2cm creamy beige beer head settles elegantly to a rimmed foam, leaving uneven sheets of lacing behind; ve...ry gentle carbonation.
S: like a well-hopped barley wine, the smell upfront is full of flowery and sweet citric notes of EKG and Challenger hops (as specified on the beer label), backed by a semi-alcoholic base of strong and thick barley candy. The composition is not complex enough, though, in favour of a sweet, jammy note of melted crystal sugar and plenty of rough and sharp yeastiness as the beer breathes.
T: yeasty yeasty~~ an assertive aroma of pheonolic, ash and old wood barrels prevails upfront, fast bringing abroad a surprisingly light, crystal-sugary maltiness on top of a tremendous flow of hops, with tannic and pheonolic bitterness creeping down the tongue and lingers to continue its chemistry with somewhat licorice, bitter-sweet aftertaste of Munich(?) malts. The lingering, flat-bodied hop bitterness gives the whole palate a "niche", which, along with that tannic touch, skilfully softens the strong profile by a good margin. Only in the very end does a warm flow of alc. emerge deep down the throat.
M&D: the carbonation is quite creamy on the mouthfeel with a semi-sharp fizzy kick at the back at the initial stage; pretty moderate-bodied for a 11%abv. strong ale, and alc. is very well hidden. The more I sip it, the more I find similarities with English Barley Wine, although the malt flavour is pretty different. Not the most complex offering from Alvinne, but I personally find it quite approachable. Might keep another bottle for a longer period before trying it again.

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Photo of crhensel
3.87/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(bottle into trappist glass) From the first hint of the pour, I could tell that the carbonation was going to be off the chart and there was no disappointment there! There was no head to speak of, but the CO2 stuck right to the side of the glass the whole time. First hints of aroma were very off-putting as the main waft was that of cheese...never a good sign. Being a trooper, I pressed on, however, and found that the flavor was not too bad, if you love the aftertaste of the alcohol. I was about to give up, but found on another sip before the drain that sitting DID indeed mellow this initial alcohol taste and more of the subtle grain flavor cam forward. However, for advertising that it is brewed with mustard seeds, I could not tell at all. There was no hint of mustard at all in this drink. I would recommend letting this one air for a while before drinking for the flavors to mellow and mingle a tad first.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.86/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hugely murky pumpkin orange with a light dusting of black peppery looking yeast and an outstanding crown of bubbly ivory foam that filled most of the snifter on the initial pour. Whatever follows, this beer looks like a dream.

Unfortunately, the nose is much less impressive. It's modestly fruity and spicy, but that's about it. Challenger and East Kent Goldings hops aren't appreciated, and neither are the mustard seeds. Let's hope this wise man is a little smarter on the taste buds.

Melchior does not taste like an English barleywine. The estery Belgian yeast pretty much disqualifies it right out of the gate. It's more like a pale-malted, spicier-than-usual Belgian quadrupel. Several years in the cellar have almost certainly stolen some of its punching power, but things are improving as the middle of the bottle approaches.

Flavors include fruit (apples, pears, apricots) macerated in their respective fruit brandies, and a great deal of clove and pepper spiciness. Still no mustard seed, which is probably a good thing. The alcohol is masked very well, which helps. A pleasant warming on the way down is more suited to January than August, but I'll take it.

Even though English barleywines (the aged ones at least) tend to be thinner than their American counterparts, this mouthfeel is a little too thin and loose. Especially since it's Belgian rather than English. However, it's still enjoyable and is easily above average. Good sipper.

Melchior and Gaspar (Belgian IPA) are the best of the Picobrouwerij Alvinne 'Magi' series, while Balthazar (BSDA) brings up the rear. This is a worthy purchase for those who like high-ABV, heavily spiced Belgian ales that are far enough outside the craft brewing box to be interesting, but not so far outside it as to be quirky or strange.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.82/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger cream head that fades quickly to a ring, leaving traces of lace. Cloudy amber color with floaties. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Yeasty, spicy nose. Flavor is spicy, hints of mustard. Sweet and slightly bitter finish. High ABV is totally hidden. $5.95 for a 330ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of MerkinMan
3.82/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark gold / orange. Slightly opaque with a head that dissipates pretty quickly

S: Very yeasty with some hops and spice presence.

T: The mustard seeds are not as much a distraction as I may have imagined. They work quite well to dry out the pallate to allow the yeast a place to explode. Still strange, mind you. (another sip) The malt sweetness that comes before the dry mustardy flavor is a nice backbone for all the other things going on. The hop flavors are both earthy and fruity -- more heavily hopped than many other Belgians.

MF: The yeast is very active and help accentuate the flavors. Body is a little heavy.

D: much better than I expected. Complex indeed with nice contributions from the yeast, hops, and spices.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.81/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Brick Store Pub, and served in the appropriate glassware as usual. Pours a dark, hazy orange with a nice, finely beaded head that settles to a respectable cap and leaves some lacing as well. Very light aromas, but there is some bright fruit, candi sugar, and a hint of spiciness. The taste is a bit on the sour side to start, and finishes with a spicy kick from the mustard seeds added to this brew. There is also a hint of sweetness and an earthy bitterness that develops. Mouthfeel is fairly smooth with just the right level of carbonation. This is interesting, but its a bit too unusual and even slightly jarring to drink too much of. Better with food.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.79/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to JealousChalice for sharing this at DarthKostrizer's tasting.

2005 vintage.

Pours a slightly murky honey orange with a beige head that fades to nothing. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, brown sugar, and alcohol. Taste is the same with some honey and Golden Grahams flavors. This beer is flat with no carbonation but does have a medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but the mouthfeel is quite lacking.

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Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Second mustard beer in our two mustard beer tasting. It pours hazy deep gold with copper hues and thin off white head. The light aroma has notes of Belgian sugar, lighter colored fruity esters, some dark fruit esters and a hint of mustard. The taste is slick and sweet and moves toward dark fruity esters and a mild background, OK faint background, of mustard spice. I also get some yeasty spice and faint banana. Like the other mustard beer the mustard spice is just too faint. This would taste a whole lot better with a bigger mustard presence.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's a hazy orange with a billowy white head. Very sweet and fruity in the nose with some spiciness from the hops. I'm not picking up any mustard seed aroma.

Boozy and sweet but a strident spicy hoppiness (Challenger and East Kent Goldings according to the label) give it some balance. I'm not sure I would notice the mustard seed flavors if I didn't know they were there but underneath the hops is a distinct bitterness of the mustard seed. Sticky body with a strong lingering hoppiness with a hint of mustard in the finish. Strong hoppy aftertaste.

The mustard is not as pronounced but like Wostyntje, it makes it work.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of and split w/ dkachur - thanks!! My portion poured into a tasting glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazed, glossed-over orange, light around the edges, with a head of magnificent retention that leaves thick, glittery, but surprisingly sticky sheets of lacing. There's an absolute metric ton of yeast that stays perfectly in suspension throughout the entire experience - very impressive.

Aroma: Spiced phenols, grape and apple esters, surprisingly light and fruity, and, yes, of course, mustard seed.

Taste: Heavily spiced, mustard-esque, sweet, honey-like malts, about half a dozen distinct fruity esters, from apple skins to Concord grapes to pears.

Mouthfeel: Thick, with lots of fine, pin-point prickly carbonation that enhances the phenolic and mustard spiciness. Interesting.

Drinkability: Well, I certainly can't taste the 11%. I know this is a brief review for me, but I was pleasantly surprised by this beer - a Belgian strong brewed with mustard grain? But somehow it works, melding well with the natural phenols of the yeast and the fruit. Strange but worth a try.

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Melchior from Picobrouwerij Alvinne
82 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.