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Helleketelbier - Brouwerij De Bie

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

32 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 32
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 14.36%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Bie visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-10-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (8) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 32 | Reviews: 29
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz slender brown bottle, the label shows a cartoon like witch and her familiar brewing in her cauldron. No freshness date.

Appearance: Gingery orange colour, great head during the pouring and the retention was above par also by leaving sticky patches down the glass.

Smell: Powdery yeast, a bit minty with ripe oranges and apple skin. Spicy going on herbal and fruity with esters to boot. Mild diacetyl is noticeable.

Taste: As smooth as it is crisp with a moderate fluffy body, some creaminess comes through on the mouth feel and so does a slap of buttery diacetyl. Fruity esters are abundant but not overwhelming, suggestions of rind of grapefruit and apples comes to mind. Alcohol has a touch of warmth to the body. Malt flavours are sweet yet grainy. The spices and the spiciness from the Saaz hops give a good bite to counteract and complement the sweetness. Spices go from allspice to herbal. A little phenolic with medicinal flavours middle to end.

Notes: Can a beer be too complex? There are so many flavours going on at the same time that the taste buds get worn out. Seems like this beer would be better off being pair with a hearty meal rather than having it alone.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Popsinc
3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A golden/amber pour with a fairly generous white head.

Smell: Overall a very mild and subtle nose. Hints of raw sugars and honey comb take centre stage here.

Taste: A light roasted malt flavour is obvious up front. Noticeable caramel sweetness highlights the body of this beer with a suagry honey sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Dry for the most part but the finish leans towards a sweet and exceptionaly smooth ending.

Drinkability: I thought this was a decent beer, slightly better then average at best. Worth another shot but not nessecarily world class.

Photo of merlin48
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle pours a hazed, apricot gold body, with a minimal, offwhite head that is minimal, and leaves a few sheets of lace.
Aroma is tart fruity, coriander spicy, and wool sweater yeasty. Spruce and tangerine are also picked up in the interesting nose of this "not really an amber" ale.
Mouthfeel is tart, but smooth. Plenty of carbonation and a light to medium body.
Taste is complex. Very earthy, and spicy in the beginning. The coriander spice lasts the distance, but tart apricots and tangerines creep into the profile early on. This one stays tart, spicy, and dry, but is nicely smooth. Alcohol is well hidden. A doughy yeastiness is very noticeable.
An interesting departure to what I'm accustomed to in a Belgian ale. The label calls this an "amber ale", which puzzles me. In any event, this one is enjoyable and is more dry than others I've sampled. I suspect that no sugars were added to this one.

Photo of Shovelbum
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Minimal to no head. Hazy red-hued brown. Aromas of malt, plumbs, light biscuit, light spicy-earthy hops and a touch of alcohol. Biscuty malt up front with a bit of a hop sipcy-bitterness at the tail end of the flavor. Oh and some diaceytl in there as well. Fairly crisp, mildly sweet, medium to lean body.

A self-described amber ale, I find the appearance a bit off-putting. The rest of the beer is busy, yet enjoyable.

Photo of mattfancett
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks probtsk. A pale that is yeasty, good german bitter, light, satisfying and drinkable. It starts with a bit skunky aroma that turns neutral. Its been in there since 2006! Lace and sediment and mouth tingling - in the last ounce of sediment. But maize? that's known as corn.

Photo of jbonapar
4.29/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle in QUebec.

I love the label, witches brew!

Smell - Butter, toast, flowers. A Beautifull smell!

Taste - So smooth, unbelievably smooth to me. Strong Buttery flavors over a malty undertone. Some banana, some spice...A touch of Cinnamon.

I really enjoyed this beer, I'll be buying more.

Photo of pbrian
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is beautifully interesting, the definition of "artisinal." Large fluffy off-white head shrinks slowly to a nice protective covering over a murky amber liquid. Pumkin pie-like spice aroma is underscored by a gueze-like tart aroma. Starts off slightly sweet and spicy offset by a slight sourness. Creamy mouthfeel. Mildly bitter finish. Once in a while a beer will prove to you that seeking out uncovered gems pays off. This is one of them.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.59/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a ditry hazy dark beige color ale with a huge foamy head with perfect retention and good lacing. Aroma of Belgian malt with some wheat and some sweetness also coming through. Taste is a mix between some candi sugar, some wheat malt and some bready yeast. Great carbonation with a full body and no apparent alcohol.

Photo of StevieW
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't believe this beer was found at my local gourmet grocery store. Cool label, with a green witch stirring a kettle, and drunken cat peeking out from behind the kettle.

Cloudy golden color, with a fizzy fast fading head. Bottle swirl produces a ton of rich yeast goodness. Smell is heavy on the spicy side, lots of sweet cake like flavors. Noticable traditional belgian yeast smell as well. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and anything else lying around. Taste is an explosion of flavors, the belgian yeast is subdued, then the rich spice eruption, followed by a crisper, more dry finish than what is expected from a belgian beer. A very complex flavor combination. A nice after dinner sipping beer. If you see this one, grab it. It's worth the price, if only to challenge your beer tasting skills. 7% ABV, sneaks up on you.

Photo of Rastacouere
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Murky light brown to amber body. Honest 1cm foam. Huge spicy aroma can be smelled from a meter. Ginger cookies, sage, fluffy malt, Christmas cake, earth… as many flavours as you can name, this is a spice medley. Truly appealing. Yeasty palate. Watermelon or peaches like fruitiness hits the mouth as soon as you take the first sips, but it rapidly evolves into the hard to describe spicy environment. Citrusy, earthy and hugely spicy microcosm. Light rhubarb tartness. Low carbonation, medium body is almost creamy. I could not drink too much of it I guess and the first sip was clearly the best, but this is a superb experiment that I wish I had the chance to try again for the first time.

Photo of Zorro
4.32/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep golden colored beer with a light head. This looks a lot like a French Hard Cider in the glass.

Smell is sweet and full of dark fruit scents. Lots aromas of apples, raisin, plumbs, cinnamon and black pepper. Slightly sour smelling like Granny Smith apples. Aromas of brown sugar and cork round up the scents.

Taste is sweet malt and a hit of brown sugar at the beginning with a nice oak and vanilla after taste. Spicy cinnamon and coriander hit on the next sip and the brown sugar remains as the base malt flavor. This beer stays on the sweet side and just keeps tossing new spice combinations at your tongue. The enjoyable vanilla and oak after taste returns after every sip to clean your tongue and prepare it for the next sip.

Mouthfeel is good.

Very good drinkability here. But be warned this is a sweeter and spicier Belgian ale. A very nice beer that is unfortunately not very common.

Photo of Douberd
3.42/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown bottle, 330 ml, label only on the front side. ABV 7%. Poured into a tulip glass, at home.

Deep copper colour, with a white two finger head. Average retention, no lacing left behind while it turned to a thin film on the beer's surface. Some light activity in the glass.
Lots of alcohol and yeast on the aroma, wheat, a bit fruity too.
Nice pleasant taste, a bit weird at first but it get used quickly. Grapes, yeast, again the alcohol quite noticeable.
Medium on the body, quite carbonated. Very dry on the palate.
Nice beer, but for some reason easily forgetable.

Photo of lanbewardin
3.13/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into the glass golden brew, fairly clear, small head that stayed around a bit

Smell is pretty typical for the style, very yeasty, very belgian.

Taste was kinda disappointing, nothing very complex or out there. A little bready, a touch metallic, I feel like I'm drinking a different beer than some of these reviewers.. maybe they change their recipe every now and then? There just wasn't much going on here for me.

Either way I would like to try some different beers from this small brewery, but I probably won't be coming back to this one.

Photo of GreenCard
2.7/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottling date: Nov. 2003

Appearance: amber, good clarity, thinnish layer of frothy off-white foam, poor head retention

Aroma: almonds, preserved dark cherries, macaroons, alcohol, bubblegum

Flavor: initial estery sweetness followed by a yeasty mealiness, wet leather, musty malt, peppery alcohol, mild herbally hops, finishes sweetish with a yeasty aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, fine carbonation, alcohol warmth

Other comments: The more beers I taste from this brewery, the more I think it's just an overrated little independent brewery that is only getting the high ratings on BA because it's Belgian and not corporate.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours opaque brown/ orange-ish colorwith a light tan head. In the aroma, tart green apple, citrus, and a hints of a sour cherry as well. In the taste, tart and malty, yet light in flavor. A smooth and medium mouthfeel, with a cherry like aftertaste. Light in flavor, yet big in the nose, and in the aftertaste. Quite nice.

Photo of acrawf6
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I cannot find a freshness date on this, so i dont know if aging had an effect on the beer.

Poured out a deep orange color. From the carbonation release in the bottle, i expected a huge head and was a little dissappointed.

Smell: a crisp sourness with hint of alcohol. My nose clears up a little like it has menthol or something in it. This smells very unique in my opinion. (But my nose is a little stuffed up, so this may not be totally correct.)

Taste: Sour, or tart, l thought like a mild lambic. Sour green apples too come to mind. I keep tasting this sense of plastic. Again, that might be due to age, or bad bottling, dont know. aftertaste is a silky bitterness.

Mouthfeel: average i think, if not a little below average. creamy body, but not a full body considering the style.

Overall, i think i need to try another bottle of this one. There is something telling me i have a bad bottle of it. I want to try it again, but based on this one, i think its ok because it is different, but there are plenty of better ones of this style to enjoy.

Photo of janubio
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Hazy orange to amber colour, small head that vanishes soon, good lace. Smell of cherries, oranges, apples and spices. Medium body, carbonation good enough, sticky palate. TAste of fruits, cherries, apples, spices. Sweet finish.

Photo of GClarkage
4.41/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

04/13/05- Purchased at Draeger's Market in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with a witch and her freaky big eyed cats and a calderon of...hops?

Appearance- The only bad thing about this beer. Golden-orange color with lots of little yeastie flakes roaming around. Very small, quickly evaporating head and absolutely no lacing.

Smell- Smells much like some of the Unibroue brews. A bit spicy and sweet with a nice fruity scent. Maybe even a little nutty.

Taste- This one is nice and yummy. Tons of different spices...corriander and others that I can't put my finger on. A nice cotton candy sweetness as well. Maybe a slight touch of hops in the mix.

Mouthfeel- Average carbonation, tiny bit of thickness in the feel.

Drinkability- Definitely going to see if the store has any more of these. Can't remember what I paid, but I'm sure it wasn't more than $3. Very drinkable. Hell, this could be a good Belgian session beer. I dig it the most!

Photo of HopStoopid120
2/5  rDev -45.8%

Photo of beerguy101
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium golden brown color, very cloudy. Smallish head, Aroma is applish, cookie and citrus. A medium bodied amber, spiced with a multitude of spices: ginger, allspice, coriander and ???. Tart and sweet throughout, flavor of apples predominates. Interesting beer, great for sipping. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. High alcohol is not noticeable.

Photo of Travlr
3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance was muddy brown with a small white head that doesn't last, and not much lacing.
Smell was caramel and malt, distant hint of spice.
Taste was slightly sweet malt, not much finish, not well balanced. Little hops.
Average and uninspiring, lacks complexity. Would like to try it again to be fair.

Photo of Toddv29424
4.19/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very pleasant drink. Smell is pretty pungent and is like an American Pale Ale with lots of hops. The taste is pleasantly not like that at all. Tastes like a blonde with fruit added instead of citrus. Hops are apparent for sure but are in no way the dominant taste. Great for anyone looking for a beer with a refreshingly fruity flavor.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.72/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, chunky orange copper color. It is topped by a thin tan colored head. The aroma is interesting with notes of earthy spices like coriander, clove, a bit of allspice and a bit of yeastiness. The aroma is also fruity with notes of raisin and fig. The taste is sweet and fruity up front but finishes quite dry and earthy. This has definitely aged a bit, but it is not noticeably oxidized, instead it has a rich malty fullness to it and a bit of that earthy woody note to it in the finish. The spice character of this beer reminds me of coriander, cardamom, ginger, grains of paradise, and white pepper. This beer is quite rich tasting, and the spice character has become really well integrated, the spice elements are really not all that apparent individually, more as an integrated spicy whole. Quite drinkable, I can only imagine what a fresh vibrant version would be like.

Photo of thierrynantes
3.15/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer bottle (33 cl. brewed in 2009), tasted in 2011. Gushing when opening.

Appearance : orange color, with white foamy head.
Smell : yeasty and fruity aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : sour fruity taste (like a Flemish brown beer ).
Drinkability : an average beer in the style Belgian strong pale ale (gushing effect).

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Helleketelbier from Brouwerij De Bie
83 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.