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Melchior - Picobrouwerij Alvinne

MelchiorMelchior

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

85 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 85
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 16.67%


Brewed by:
Picobrouwerij Alvinne visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: paterlodie on 12-03-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 85 | Reviews: 52 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2012 21:28:33 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.88/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2010 12:31:53 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle, poured into tulip glass, as per instructions on the label.

Pours light brown/dark amber with a creamy off-white head that settles to a wide patch. Broken rings of lacing stick. Some tiny "floaties" present.

Not sure if the aroma is mustard, or power of suggestion. Caramel certainly present, with a mild perfuminess.

Sweetness covers the 60 IBUs. The mustard is more identifiable in the taste than in the aroma. It doesn't overwhelm, though. Mixed feelings about mustard seed taste here, though. Alcohol is mildly present, but pretty well-covered for abv level. Not sure if hops died, and there's no freshness date. Not overly sweet, though, so they must be there balancing out the caramel.

Feel is a bit clumsy. Seems syrupy, going towards full-bodied, but with a fizziness cutting through at times.

Overall, it's not offensive, and drinks surprizingly well, but it's pretty lackluster. I do like this one more than the other two "magis" from this brewery, though that's not saying much. It's okay, but not worth the price tag for this one.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2008 15:46:24 | More by jwc215
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed at the 16th Essen Christmas Beer Fest 2010.

Pours a hazy bronze colour, with an off-white head.

The Hallertau Perle and Hallertau Spalt Select hops don't give off much aroma and being unfiltered and unpasturised the yeast smell seemed to be the dominant one to me, some mixed herbs and spices also appear in the nose.

Sugar and mustard seeds are added during the brewing process and this made the taste a strange sweet and sour mix that just about complimented each other. The hops gave the finish a dry bitterness even if they added little to the smell.

Alvinne do mess around with their beers at times, this one was fine in my eyes, although I sometimes wish they'd just brew a regular beer and leave it alone (no mustard seeds, oak aged in vomit, etc, etc)

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2010 10:29:12 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: yellow orange in color with a one finger head that falls slowly.

Smell: malt sweetness, yeast, and some spiciness are easy to detect.

Taste: yeast flavors are up front alongside a nice malt profile. Green grapes, apples, pepper, and barely a hint of mustard round it out. Bitterness is mild but balancing and an overall dryness is noticable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp and very dry throughout. Aftertaste is short.

Drinkability: decent flavorful beer but the dryness knocks this down a notch. Interesting flavor profile worth seeking out.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2009 13:37:06 | More by Gavage
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in a snifter)
A- A hazy caramel body has sticky white head on top and a microbubble carbonation which is gentle. There are some flotties that stick on top of the head and swirl around in the body.
S- The caramel rich aroma takes on a finish of new sneakers and a slight dried tree leaves note.
T- The slightly tart flavor has a soft caramel note that leads to a green bittern bite in the finish. There is a grapefruit herbal note to the bitterness and a spicy fusel hint of soft mustard that comes through when the beer opens up.
M- The medium mouthfeel has no real fizz or alcohol heat.
D- The tart and spicy qualities overpower the much softer malt notes which actually seem pretty good. Aroma might be from age or just odd with the mustard seed.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2010 16:41:49 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2010 22:01:58 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to Sebletitje for this one.

Pours a nice golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, with some dark fruit notes. The taste is sweet, malty, yeasty, dark fruits. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice little brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2009 11:55:48 | More by Wasatch
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.13/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark cloudy amber/ orange color with a foamy yellowish head. Tangy aroma with light fruits, hop and mustard seed. Hoppy up front with a malty fruity center and a shar tangy mustard aftertaste. Caronated up and sweet up front hoppy center and strong mustard aftertaste. Very unique but not very tasty. I was hpoping it would have a brown mustard fllavor not yellow.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 08:43:30 | More by corby112
Photo of wl0307
wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2006 02:48:50 | More by wl0307
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-03-2010 21:18:04 | More by glid02
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

3.83/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2009 21:19:06 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

33 cl bottle (who/what are those guys on the label??) poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Melchior is a hazy dark gold with an off-white head that leaves pretty heavy lace. Definitely not a BSDA, and in fact, my first ever mustard ale.

Smell is sweeter malt, peppery, and very yeasty.

Taste is sweet but spicy, doughy yeast, complex and interesting, tough to wrap my head around. There is a savory element to the spice that has to be the mustard seed, but there's a lot going on that it doesn't smack you in the face, and I doubt many people wold guess it as an ingredient if they didn't already know. There is very floral flavor, from the hops I presume, lilac like.

Mouthfeel is thick and yeasty, on the drier side. Have I mentioned this beer is awfully yeasty? No floaties though...

Drinkability is pretty good if you like full flavored Belgian blondes, which I do. The high ABV is very well hidden, and it's fairly unique. Still, it was a bit too, um, yeasty, and will probably give me the shits.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2008 02:00:35 | More by ccrida
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brownish color with a thick, cloudy consistency. There was an inch of fluffy, long-lasting head. OK lacing.

S: An oddly muted aroma of malt, hops, and some spices.

T: Tasted of malt, the advertised mustard seeds, , a little caramel, and some hops. Like the smell, the flavor was weirdly restrained and muted. Not unpleasant, but could have been better.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: An uneven beer, but still mostly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2011 13:19:56 | More by avalon07
Photo of stcules
stcules

Italy

2.63/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Chestnut wood colr, dark. An abundant beige head, after all, not bad.
Same for the smell, a mix between the freshness of white flowers and vanilla, and a tropical fruitiness (melon).
Taste. First thing: too carbonated. Maybe also for this reason, the starting sweetness (melon), and a strong bitterness (almost of american hops) are untied, not weel amalgamated.
It's a beer quite heavy, not very drinkable.
Boring.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2007 10:08:04 | More by stcules
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2008 01:59:31 | More by gford217
Photo of hopdog
hopdog

Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle.

***Not a gusher but a little bit of a foamer.***

Poured a medium and cloudy golden color with a larger sized off white head. Lots of suspended floaters. Aromas of yeast, spices, some fruitiness, and some citrus. Tastes of breadiness, spices, fruity, and yeasty. Medium alcohol finish.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2009 01:06:15 | More by hopdog
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Here's a sweet, amber and very cloudy liquid. This one has tons of sediment...large clumps of yeast suspended in the liquid. Nice firm, stable head, however. The smell is mostly yeast and fruit, along with copious malt scents. Plums and raisins, a mix of pale and toasted malt. Fresh grain and Belgian yeast. Somewhat spicy, especially in the taste. The beer is warm, just on the boarder of being hot from the booze. It's quite a sweet beer, full in body, and nearly heavy. The sweet character lasts long into the finish. Not really un-balanced, just heavily tilted. This one is pretty good, yet a little haphazard.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2009 14:58:49 | More by Suds
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 15:05:55 | More by ehammond1
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2009 07:15:08 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Short, stout, 11.2 oz single bottle copped from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
"Driekonigen Ale Brewed With Mustard Seeds" on the front logo sticker...
Pours a dark-amber, copper-colored hue with a minimal foamy head that soon receded and left a negligible amount of lacing around the glass...
The mustard seeds are apparent in the aroma, along with caramel, honey, anise, yeast, and phenols...
Strong, caramel-riding flavor, and must admit that the hefty 11% ABV is hard to detect behind a unique blend of interesting flavors... Definitely not an above-and-beyond beer, but certainly a distinguishable and unique sample nonetheless...
Different...

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2008 20:42:23 | More by dsa7783
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-02-2010 22:52:53 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of CrellMoset
CrellMoset

Virginia

3.8/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2008 07:39:26 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of Absumaster
Absumaster

Netherlands

3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer comes gushing out slowly out of the bottle. It pours a muddy, orange yellow color with a carzy big head, that dies down into a rocky white cream.

Smell is fruity Belgian and has fruity notes of lemon and melon. There are some higher alcohols and very hidden a spicy, green smell, probably the anise seeds?

Taste is fruity Belgian with the higher alcohols a bit hidden and a spicy hop character. The yeast creates a good Belgian base where the malt is hidden a bit and is only pilsnermalty with sugar. At least that is how I taste it. The anise seeds on the label do add a spicy and 'Asian' note but very subtle.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2009 09:32:26 | More by Absumaster
Photo of paterlodie
paterlodie

Belgium

2.38/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottled 10-05. Massive expirience when opening this one as this is my second bottle that massivly gushed and made me clean the floor. Flush stop after about 30% was out of the botle. But enough about that now, this beer has a nice nice head that lasts very well but has scary beercollor as this one is defenitly heavily tainted but shows from a distance as chocolate milk with this enourmous amount of yeast or whatever it is. Nose is hoppy and caramellic malted and smells highly alcoholic and if someone would tell this would burn i'd believe him. Taste is alcoholic and yeasty, bit of alcohol and heavy hopped. Massive in taste but unbalanced and with this gushing, alcohol- and yeastlevel undrinkable IMO. Hopefully this were just a couple of first or last bottles or that they get this gushing and yeastproblem in hand cause this way I can't give them a hands up for a brew that actually has potention to be a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2005 20:46:43 | More by paterlodie
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Melchior from Picobrouwerij Alvinne
82 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.