Gaspar Ale - Picobrouwerij Alvinne
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Ratings: 146 | Reviews: 105 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by dgallina:
3.18/5 rDev -12.4%
11.2 ounce stubby brown bottle lacking freshness date.
Pours lightly sedimented gold with a ludicrously large white foam head that eventually settles to an inch or so of height. The aroma carries pepper and tropical fruit notes, with significant medicinal alcohol characteristics. Rather unbalanced flavor. Some initial fruit sweetness caries through to the swallow, but is mostly overshadowed by medicinal sourness and a serious overdose of pine-edged hops. Medium-heavy body is oily and hugely over-carbonated. Not something I'd care to sample twice.
11-06-2007 23:36:34 | More by dgallina
More User Reviews:
3.5/5 rDev -3.6%
Beer review from BA Mag Oct 2007.
Following the lead of other Belgian brewers brewing hopped-up ales for the US market, Alvinne releases this unpasteurized, unfiltered, bottle-conditioned beer brewed with pils malt, 3 specialty malts, and Hallertau, Goldings, and Saaz hops. 115 International Bitterness Units (IBUs) worth of hops to be exact.
This one is a foamer! Decanting is difficult, so a patient slow pour into a big glass, or simply waiting a few minutes for the carbon dioxide to release, but once you're there you've got a hazy rich honey-amber-colored beer topped with an outrageous chunky meringue-like foam head with some amazing cling. The nose is a bit yeasty, cidery, with a dense floral hops aroma and some spice. Fluffy and smooth on the palate with a light to medium body. Sweet up front with a buttery caramel base and toastiness that's immediately followed by a massive hop bite and some zesty citric action that's not overly bitter but certainly "hoppy" with plenty of raw leafy, herbal flavors. Earthy, pithy, really rough around the edges, and semi-astringent too. Fruity notes emerge, apple and pear initially, and then a berry-like note. Beneath it's a bit alcoholic, spicy and peppery. Wraps up with a yeasty and slightly bitter linger, with prolonged dry finish.
Though the point of the beer is to be "one of the hoppiest beers of Belgium" (as stated on the label), in doing so the brewer risks overuse and misuse of the hops, and losing total control of the flavors, which is why this brew is not as clean or balanced as other versions--as balanced as you can get for a raging hoppy beer that is. However it's certainly a good pick for those wanting to explore this emerging style.
07-07-2010 00:31:32 | More by BeerAdvocate
3.65/5 rDev +0.6%
On-tap at the Brick Store.
Pours a hazy golden color with a 1.5-finger white head. The head slowly recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.
Smells of light malts with good amounts of leafy and slightly citrus hops along with hints of medicinal notes.
Tastes slightly more crisp than it smells. Light sweet malt flavors up front are quickly joined by loads of leafy hops and a bitterness that kicks in midway through the sip that intensifies through the end. Hints of light citrus hop flavors linger on the palate.
Mouthfeel is alright. It's got a nice thickness however the carbonation was a bit on the heavy side.
Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.
Overall this was a good beer however the flavors weren't as thoroughly fleshed out as others in the style. Worth a shot if you see it around but not worth seeking out.
01-23-2010 22:26:05 | More by glid02
3.4/5 rDev -6.3%
(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a hazy glowing apricot body with strings of microbubbles gliding up the side of the glass. The creamy off-white head takes up two-thirds of the glass and then fades to a big cloud floating in the middle of the glass.
S- This beer has some green hop notes with some sweet light toasted malt and a sweet honey smell. There is a light perfume note of yeast in the background.
T- The first taste is a bitter bite then some sweet malt flavors and a bitter hop finish. There are notes of pale malt that are sweet and hints of pineapple in the green hops.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight fizz finish.
D- This is not the hoppiest beer brewed in Belgium as the bottle proclaims. The beer does have some green hop flavor but not much hop depth. It is interesting but nothing great.
07-07-2007 03:25:14 | More by rhoadsrage
3.5/5 rDev -3.6%
This one's a cloudy coppery-brown with some sediment. The head is a one to two fingers and starts off thick and dense, leaving some lacing behind. It doesn't take all that long to dissipate, though.
More hops than malt are in the nose, but the balance isn't bad. There's also some yeast with a slight distinctive funk, rounded out some citrus, a distinctive sweetness, and alcohol.
There's a firm, hard hops bitterness to this one that would overpower the malt except that this is unlike any IPA I've ever had. Oddly enough, the sweetness is still strong underneath with lots of citrus. It's not too artificial, but it's not exactly the most real fruit flavoring I've tasted. There's some sourness added to the range of bitter and sweet. It tends to muddle, but otherwise the balance is pretty nice. There's a light spicy bite underneath.
The body is oddly light, almost but not quite medium. It's pretty smooth and carbonation is moderate.
This is one of the most unique brews I've ever drunk. It's odd, unusual, and totally worth trying. Generally pleasant and pretty tasty.
08-25-2009 20:03:17 | More by Brenden
3.68/5 rDev +1.4%
Sunny golden color with an enormous head, typical of so many bottled-conditioned Belgians. Quite hazy. Leaves a good bit of lace on the glass.
First aroma impression is good, with a creamy sweetness reminding of birthday cake frosting and a big malty breadiness. Then the big hop blast comes in, which has its own exotic quality and is really nothing like typically ultra-hopped U.S. IPAs. Hops lean to the fruity side. Yeast comes in too, as does a prevalent boozy blast from the alcohol. If it weren't for the latter, the aroma would score even higher.
Definitely bitter, and at 115 IBUs, it's as intense as you'd imagine--but a different kind of intense. As with any highly-hopped Belgian, this can't and shouldn't be compared to similar U.S. IPAs. The hops remind of a super-spicy mango, sticking and jabbing through a caramel-y malt center. Reminds of an over-the-top gooey orange-glazed cinnamon bun. Some saltiness appears. Bitterness prevails in the finish, as does some dirty yeast traits. Alcohol is even more prevalent than in the aroma, which doesn't necessarily work toward the greater good.
Slick and medium-bodied with ample carbonation, only slightly sticky after the swallow.
If it weren't for the alcohol sticking out so far, this would be amazing. But this is good and definitely a different kind of IPA, even for a Belgian IPA. One to definitely give a shot if you're any kind of hop lover.
04-26-2009 17:46:35 | More by Metalmonk
4.22/5 rDev +16.3%
Poured from the 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip. Body is a slightly opaque, pale golden-orange color, crowned by a small ring of stark white head. Aroma is mostly pale malt with a good bit of spice to it, pepper and pine from the aggressive hop profile. Palate is a big dose of piney, citrusy hops, tempered by some sweet pale malt and a funky, slightly sweet yeast character. Finish is rather dry, with a lingering hoppy bitterness. Body is a little thin for a beer as strong as this one, but is still substantial enough for the amount of flavor. This is a slow-sipper, one to savor over the course of an hour or so, but still highly drinkable. An excellent new beer to the Oregon market.
10-18-2008 07:34:08 | More by ElGordo
3.53/5 rDev -2.8%
Poured this one into a goblet. A slow pour produced LOTS of carbonation, with a inch of creamy head. Looks like champagne bubbles. Hazy orange in color. Popping noises from the bubbles.
Smell was slightly fruity, bready maltness, plastic, wheat and sweet.
Taste was very bitter in front. Then it goes dry in the middle with a touch of sweetness. Ending by a lingering bitter finish that sticks to your lips. As the beer warms its easier to drink. No hoppy fruit tastes to speak of. Lots of bittering hops in this one. Dry mouthfeel.
Overall this may be the highest IBU beers in Belgium, but I dont think its the "Hoppiest beer in Belgium" as the label describes. Its an interesting beer, that Im sure tastes way better fresh in belgium. Than when we get it here in america with god knows how much age on it.
12-02-2009 01:28:13 | More by cannabanaceae
2.88/5 rDev -20.7%
After a gentle pour this bright orange beer sits under a large white head. Heavy sticky lacing is left behind every sip.
I smell something akin to orange detergent. Under the fruit aroma is a soapy, solvent type smell. Strange and not appealling.
The flavor is also bizaare. Light malt, sugar, and a ton of earthy hops makes this very interesting. Artificial orange flavoring is the dominant component of this ale. I do not really get what the brewer was going for here.
Has a medium body with good carbonation. Nice texture here.
Just a bit bizaare for my tastes. I will not be reaching for another one anytime soon.
08-12-2008 00:06:42 | More by morimech
3.43/5 rDev -5.5%
Pours a hazy orange amber with a huge thick and firm white pillowy head.
Ripe pineapple nose with light undertones of malt. The malt nose develops more as it sits in the glass.
Mouthfeel is crisp and sharp and with a big character.
Flavors are very malty and very hoppy all at the same time and each character seems very identifiablel and not well integrated. It's like this beer can't make up it's mind...hoppy or malty. Fruit and spice and malty and then a definitive layer of grapefruit oil bitter. Finish is a hoppy pine.
Different. Not particularly drinkable or pleasant. Would likely try again to confirm.
12-05-2009 22:43:05 | More by GRG1313
3.5/5 rDev -3.6%
Hoppy Belgium style 8% abv 115 ibus.
A: Hazy bright copper orange color with a big fluffy white head.
S: some light alcohol and bananas and slight doughy yeast hints along with some fruitiness.
T: Smooth body, big sour/tart oranges start this beer out. Some spicy hopping in the middle, which fades very nicely into sour fruit (apples) for a finish. spicy hops are detected in the aftertaste. There is some strong alcohol detection, almost kerosene like that may contribute to the hot and spicy finish.
M: Body is thin, with warm bananas upon warming with some sweet candi sugar spiciness as well. Very dry and bitter palate. Some acidic tang in finish as well, sour lemons.
D: good beer, though with the hot alcohol nature may limit this to a sipper and drowns out the intended hoppiness.
06-26-2008 22:28:36 | More by beerthulhu
3.88/5 rDev +6.9%
A 330 mL bottle.
A: The IPA pours with a vengeance, quickly occupying 4 fingers in my Westvleteren glass with foamy, thick head. In all, it required 4 pours to empty out the bottle. The ale itself is a darker, hazy chutney color.
S: Peppery anise and candi sugars create a spiciness that nicely matches against bitter European hops. The interplay of sweet and bitter is confounding - I love it and hate it!
T: This Belgian IPA is focused on the hoppy bitterness. The bite grabs you immediately with an earthy, herbal hop flavor. Those hops are matched well with the spicy tripel flavors. Those flavors have a coriander peppery zest, sweetened with pale candi sugars and dry Belgian yeasts. Pleasant sipping with a nice finish.
M: The bitterness of the hops and the sweetess of the tripel flavors are a great match. A hybrid that actually works.
D: The high alcohol is well hidden but beware because it can sneak up on you.
04-05-2008 02:10:08 | More by akorsak
4.15/5 rDev +14.3%
Bottle poured at the brewery, making for a beautiful, thick-looking copper with a copious and lasting head the color of a good sabayon. Lots of citrus-y hop aromas, grapefruit, orange and wood. Hops are to the fore as much in the mouth, with a large dose but of a delicately flavored blend, giving more taste of grapefruit and a coriander herbal note. Also a nice dose of malt, caramel, yellow fruits. There is a balance there of lots of contrasting flavors, but not quite in a harmonious whole. Creamy, filling but clean feel, well done on that. A winter brew in blonde style.
11-23-2013 19:46:57 | More by ManforallSaisons
2.8/5 rDev -22.9%
Out of the brown stubby bottle it pours a deep, hazy orange tone. Gentle streams of carbonation rise to the surface. It retains a finger of foam for the duration of the glass. It passes the test in the looks department.
Smells bready, slightly herbal & hoppy at first, but there's a catch. This is followed by acrid sterile gauze, and a general mustiness and briny smell afterward. This is starting to remind me of a bad experience with Vuuve, on a much more subdued level.
Tangy orange peel. Herbal hop bitterness,that lingers in the back of the throat. It's awash with a dominant astringency, an antiseptic feel that ultimately interferes with the balance of the ale. There's a vague basil note, and a very light notion of honey in the aftertaste once the bitterness subsides. It's ok, but doesn't redeem it in the long run.
Bone dry mouthfeel, not a juicy hop profile in the least. Alcohol is present, lending to a solvent-like character. It's not very balanced, hopefully this was an off bottle. Won't be trying this again.
07-07-2007 03:10:23 | More by emerge077
4.13/5 rDev +13.8%
Poured from a 355ml bottle a tapered tulip glass.
Very little head. Great hop smell rising from the head. Extremely bitter beer. Bitter hop taste was present at first but was much more pronounced on the back end. You could taste the bitter hops especially on the back of the throat. Citrus and fruity notes helped to mellow it a bit. However, after every sip I was reminder how hoppy this was by the bitter taste on the back end. Great stuff.
This is the hoppiest Belgian I have ever had. Not as good as some of the American hop bombs but more drinkable than some as it was not too over the top.
I would recommend this one and have added 2 bottles to my cellar.
08-19-2007 22:00:02 | More by tendermorsel
3.58/5 rDev -1.4%
Bottle: Poured a hazy yellow dirty color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Fruity esters are easily noticeable in the aroma with some light alcohol notes also discernable. Taste is a mix between some fruity ester with some light phenols of alcohol and a light dry hoppy finish. Full body with limited filtration and good carbonation. I was expecting a bit more hops and less prominent alcohol but still very good overall.
11-20-2008 18:17:56 | More by Phyl21ca
4.13/5 rDev +13.8%
Wow, from reading the reviews it sounds like lots of bad examples of this have ended up on the east coast through a distributor who mishandled this one. Too bad. I tried it from bottle at the Trappist in Oakland. 115IBU from Belgium? This is definitely worth a sample. Unlike the American brewers who are trying to out hop-hype themselves and rip my stomach in half, this one is focused on smooth bittering hop flavor, which just goes to show that 115IBU means something different in Belgian brewers minds than American brewers.. The bottle says, hallertau, goldings and saaz. The goldings are defeinitely very prominent in the bittering, somewhat with saaz on the finish, but i would have not guessed hallertau. Light golden color, medium carbonation, nice and dry finish. More spicy than citrus in the hop flavor, very delicious all in all. Thanks to Aaron for the pour and suggestion.
12-02-2007 11:36:04 | More by nahthan
3.08/5 rDev -15.2%
25 cl bottle "stubbie" purchased at Hi Time Wine in Costa Meas, CA. in late 2008 (date not recorded) and consumed in February 2009. Price not recorded.
Pours a slightly hazy golden ale in my Stella chalice with a big rocky head that does not want to budge one inch to allow access to the beer below. A dollop of brown stain on top of the head shows the yeasties that escaped my pour.
Aroma is of those wonderful Belgian yeast strains, complex and strange, tart and organic, mixed with a definite hop bite. The hops are mellow by California standards, but still want to be counted here.
Flavor takes a while to explore, thanks to the head. An interesting mix of pungent hops (lemon drops), wild organics from the yeast, and a lot of notes that come flying in from unexpected places (alcohol, grass, miscellaneous spices that I can't define, whisky smoke, etc.). I honestly have a hard time with this one. Too many things going on. Very thick on the tongue. It's interesting, no doubt, but I just can't get my arms around it to enjoy it.
02-26-2009 01:18:39 | More by Dukeofearl
3.8/5 rDev +4.7%
The brewer of this beer calls it "the hoppiest beer in Belgium", which sounds intriguing but turns out to be misleading. This is not hoppy like an IPA, or even an American or British pale ale, but tastes like a typical fruity Belgian pale ale with a noticeable mild hop finish. Now on to the specifics. This pours an opaque orange color with tiny white bubbles and a small white head. A small amount of lacing lingers on the goblet. The smell is indistinct, but more fruity than hoppy. The taste is fruity, with elements of tart apple, plum, and orange, as well as a mild citrussy hop presence. The hop presence lingers in the aftertaste most pleasantly. I found it refreshing and quite drinkeable. The brewery needs to change their advertising, not the beer.
07-15-2007 13:28:14 | More by edbeered
1.68/5 rDev -53.7%
Another sucker purchase. Blame my adoration for stubby bottles. They remind me of my brother.
Crazy borderline gusher. I get a pour the color of peach, maybe closer to the color of the upper half of a tequila sunrise. All that yeast & debris quickly pile up. It's just as cloudy & off-putting as Mexico City's air pollution.
Pepper, honey, lemon, joint spackle, & a tub of gasoline. I'm stubborn, so like an idiot, I kept going.
Taste is a less then gleeful mix of stale Honey Grahams, chalk, yellow grapefruit juice, & seriously bitter orange rind. It tastes more like chewing on a pen cap then fruit, but the acidity is there. It really isn't much fun.
Mouthfeel is sprinkled with talcum powder & too much heat. On average for body; the good carbonation helped it go down easier, but it's about as pleasant as choking on soapy bathwater.
I beat myself for making the purchase, & swallowed it like a kid taking his medicine. A bar of Irish Spring has more character. :(
02-13-2008 07:45:24 | More by PEBKAC
4.4/5 rDev +21.2%
375ml bottle poured into a gold rimmed Brooklyn Flute
A Poured a very very active and extremely fizzy burnt amber color with a huge head of white foamy lace that was soo big it had to be poured at least four times before it all settled down into the glass. The frothy top never fully settled down and there were copious amounts of lace present throughout the entire session and this really gave it quite a full appearance. Very active and lively carbonation could be seen streaming up towards the top constantly refreshing the large amounts of foam already there. I could tell this was going to be an interesting one for sure.
S The aroma was full of yeast and spice with a very nice light fruit vibe coming off of it. Lots of peaches and pears were readily apparent and easily transferred the aroma into one of a nice Belgian pale. There was a large amount of hops present on the nose as well, what seemed like citrus like west coast hops to be exact really punctuated an already significant looking brew. A touch of alcohol was present hidden under all of this as well but it served more to round out then to distract.
T The flavor was very full and very different. First thing I noticed was the huge hoppy flavor coming off of it. This was easily recognizable and made a nice overall introduction. As you worked past that some nice fruity flavors worked their way in, lots of peaches and pears, apples and a touch of orange, probably coriander starting to break through. A good amount of yeast gave way to a nice dry hoppy finish that was accented by some grape like flavors in the end. Very nice and light with a touch of alcohol mixed in to let you know this had a bit of a punch to it.
M Very nice light body with huge amounts of carbonation really let it pop a bit when you started to sip on it. There was a certain amount of smoothness, of creaminess to it due to the large amount of froth on top and the delicate carbonation, but there was also the crisp, clean freshness of the hops that served to lighten it up as well.
D Very nice sipper. I found this to be an excellent accompaniment to dinner and something that was best served over a period of time to really enjoy the flavors and really let it bring out all the subtle nuances it had to offer.
Overall this was a tricky one. It was kind of different then a lot of the stuff I had tried and was definitely very complex. I really enjoyed the hops in the finish and thought that the fruit notes of the yeast were really splendid as well. A really nice treat and something I would very much like to try again. A bit different and almost like the Belgian version of an IPA. A bit darker and a bit more sour then the La Chouffee, this was defiantly a treat.
12-19-2007 00:06:24 | More by mikesgroove
Gaspar Ale from Picobrouwerij Alvinne
82 out of 100 based on 146 ratings.