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Melchior - Picobrouwerij Alvinne

Not Rated.
MelchiorMelchior

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BA SCORE
82
good

59 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 59
Hads: 102
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.37%
Wants: 4
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Picobrouwerij Alvinne visit their website
Belgium

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 foogerd
3.17/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Pale cloudy yellow with some orange highlights, creates a massive white head which leaves over some patchy lacing.

S- Light fruits, some banana, pears, and melon, along with spices and belgian yeast. Definitely does not smell like an English Barleywine.

T- To me this brew shares qualities of a Hefeweizen with its banana character and Belgian Pale Ale with its yeasty and spicy character. I really grappled to find a relation to an English Barleywine totally in vain. Theres also a bit of an unwelcome medicinal alcoholic bitter finish to the brew from the hops which I did not enjoy at all.

M- Full carbonated feel, glides on the palette.

D- If I wasnt so turned off by this medicinal bitterness I would imagine this would be a tasty brew, but that disturbed the drinkability for me here. (797 characters)

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (546 characters)

Photo of avalon07
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (518 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.67/5  rDev +2.2%
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) (772 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.86/5  rDev +7.5%
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. (1,792 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
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. (1,017 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.23/5  rDev -10%
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. (761 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
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. (631 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (336 characters)

Photo of Sallerj
4/5  rDev +11.4%
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. (377 characters)

Photo of Travlr
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
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. (403 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
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. (709 characters)

Photo of crhensel
3.87/5  rDev +7.8%
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. (915 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
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. (319 characters)

Photo of spointon
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this one on tap on 7/16/2009 at the Bavarian Lodge in Lisle, IL. Served in a short 10oz goblet.

A= This ale poured an orange gold color with fair clarity and a loose 3/4" sudsy white head. The head dropped slowly and left some decent lace on the glass.

S= I found the dominant aroma of this ale to be a spicy note reminiscent of black pepper. There was also a nice blend of bready pale malts, yeast, and noble hops. Not a lot of alcohol in the nose.

T= Started a lot sweeter than I expected after experiencing the aroma. Sort of a thin but sweet malt taste in the front with the peppery spiciness and grassy hops coming after. Finish was much drier and full of spicy warming alcohol.

MF= Medium bodied with a moderately high carbonation level. Despite the carbonation though, this was still fairly soft in the mouth.

D= This was an interesting and ultimately tasty ale, but one I would want more than one of in a sitting. The ABV stays well hidden though, so watch out! (984 characters)

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (623 characters)

Photo of brc
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
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%?). (481 characters)

Photo of Suds
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (615 characters)

Photo of blazin5050
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

-Cheers (1,223 characters)

Photo of LaPeste
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle from Vendome in North Hollywood $5.19. This is my second mustard ale, liked the first one so looking forward to this one.

A: Pours golden brown with a one finger head which dissipates fairly quickly . Particulates floating all over the place (a good thing in my book). Nice lacing.

S: Very sweet vanilla. Ripe fruit.

T: Yeast, malt, spice, just slight mustard. Taste like a good strong Belgian ale. Complexity grows as you continue with it.

M: Thick, slightly syrupy. Medium carbonation, heavy alcohol.

D: Heavy alcohol is warming, you don't have to nurse it though. Gets better as you go. (608 characters)

Photo of hopdog
3.32/5  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. (303 characters)

Photo of phishockey
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz. bottle, and poured it into a tulip glass. A lot of sediment in the bottom of the bottle.

A - dark orange color with nice lacing.

S - dark fruit, malty, very pleasant. The malt aroma intensified as the beer warmed.

T - dark malt, alcoholic, the malt is strong. Finishes off with a sweet malt flavor. As the beer warms, the spicy/mustard flavor comes out a bit more.

M - carbonation makes itself known, but not overpowering. Medium/heavy body overall.

D - the 11% is quite apparent. Strong ale. It will be interesting to see how this beer ages. I would do this beer again, but probably not more than one in a session. (630 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (568 characters)

Photo of MerkinMan
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (731 characters)

Photo of philipquarles
3.01/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a cloudy dark gold with a somewhat small white head. A ridiculous amount of sediment; I guess I should have poured more carefully. I've had some yeasty beers and I normally like some solids, but this is just gross. Smells quite spicy and floral. Lots of citrus esters and quite a bit of sweet malt. Very interesting. The taste doesn't compare to the smell; sweet malt and citrus stand out. Some honey, a lot of peppery spice, and a lot of hop character back this up. Sweet, slightly warming finish. Sounds good, but it doesn't work very well. Feel is heavy and overly carbonated. I really wanted to like this one, being my first Alvinne, but I just can't get into it. (673 characters)

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