Holy Sheet (Brandy Barrel) - Heavy Seas Beer

Not Rated.
Holy Sheet (Brandy Barrel)Holy Sheet (Brandy Barrel)

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BA SCORE
88
very good

121 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

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Ratings: 121
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 6
Gots: 18 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cw577enfield on 06-19-2013

Uber Abbey Ale aged 8 months in Brandy Barrels
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 121 | Reviews: 22
Reviews by FlussigkeitMut:
More User Reviews:
Photo of jondeelee
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Holy Sheet opens to a fruity, spicy nose with brandy overtones. The underlying Belgian is very present, with typical banana and clove aromas, but these are amplified by the brandy barrel aging, which brings out a touch more pepper, and adds scads of vanilla, lightly charred wood, and sweet brandy, giving the beer a strong overtone of brandy liqueur poured over banana ice cream. The malts add biscuit and pie crust, as well as touches of yeasty rising whole wheat dough, which combine with the banana to form a banana bread note. Add to this berry, cherry, orange, and fig fruit esters, as well as brown sugar, candi sugar, caramel, and threads of grapefruit from the hops, and the result is a fine aroma, nicely balanced between breads and sugars, and the brandy aging the cherry on top. There is a strong alcoholic overtone here, the brandy aging very apparent, but it does still mix well. One negative note is that the banana aromas come across as slightly overripe, perhaps because of the brandy, but coated in so much brown sugar and vanilla that it almost doesn’t matter.

On the tongue, the beer opens with more brandy than Belgian, the sweet, syrupy notes of the liqueur sliding across the tongue in waves of maple, agave, and corn syrup sweetness, mixed with vanilla and lightly charred wood. The Belgian notes come second, bringing bananas and peppery cloves, the sweetness of the banana mixing nicely with the syrupy brandy, and the peppery cloves blending with the charred wood. Fig, raisin, berry, and cherry fruit esters add further nuance, as do heaps of brown sugar and caramel. The malts also add whole wheat dough, biscuit, and pie crust, helping earth the brew. Hops add a touch of bitter pine and grapefruit in just enough quantity to keep the beer from becoming overly sweet. The brandy notes grow as the beer is held on the tongue, and in the aftertaste can become a bit alcoholic, with vapors climbing up the nose. Some brown sugars and vanilla notes also remain in the aftertaste, as well as a few fruit esters and bready notes, and all of it lingers on the tongue for a long time. Mouthfeel is a viscous medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is a very nice barrel-aged Belgian, the brandy notes blending perfectly with the Belgian notes, and setting a high standard for others to follow. The brandy barrels are inspired here, as too often Belgians are aged in bourbon barrels, which can lend far too harsh of an alcoholic kick. There is perhaps an overabundance of sugar and sweetness as a result, and licking your lips can seem like licking brandy-soaked brown sugar pops, but the beer is nice enough that this isn’t much of a problem.

Photo of Brenden
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Holy Sheet is a deep, dark garnet-hued brown that's neither clear nor opaque but isn't thick either. A medium brown head makes an effort and brings up a steady half-finger of foam. Retention isn't bad, and lacing clings in loose spotting that isn't too sparse.
The smell is, on first impression, bubble gum. That makes way for clove, a gentle spiciness, and plenty of fruits with some brown sugar and wood. The brandy is evident without giving off too much heat. It's got balance and depth without relying too heavily on alcohol (though it's certainly not weak) or wood, but integrating everything very well.
Figs, bread and caramel come out in the flavor as well, mingling with clove and spiciness with wood coming through just in a light dry note amidst the sweetness, taming it well. A beer like this can really get cloying, and this one doesn't.
The feel doesn't translate as well in this beer. It's smooth, yes, but really seems to run thin. There's not much crispness to liven it, not that I want more than just a little. It simply seems like the brandy got to the body and brought it down some. For a heavy style, meant to be a meal, the body ought to be there. Still, this is a great beer overall.

Photo of Gmann
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear amber brown color with a short tight khaki colored head that settled into a light ring. Pretty color.

The aroma is sweet. There is some brown sugar notes as well as raisin. A bit of a musty wine grape. Some general spice.

The beer is quite sweet but not cloying. A pumpernickel malt base with lots of grape fruitiness. A bit of a clove and pepper spice. The brandy barrel aging is subtle but does add that extra grape fruitiness that works quite well with this style. There is a candied raisin or candied plum note. Everything blends quite well together.

The feel is light with fizzy carbonation. Sweet on the palate but its not cloying or sticky. There is an earthy bitterness in the finish. A tad of a belly burn from the abv.

Pretty impressed with this beer. Very nice balance. The flavor doesn't blow me away but they kept in check a beer that could get crazy sweet and boozy.

Photo of Treyliff
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage, 22oz vintage poured into a tulip glass

A- pours a murky mahogany brown color with a small khaki colored foamy head that reduces completely, leaving nothing behind, lots of light-brown floaties moving around the bottom of the glass

S- lots of candied Belgian sugar aromas up front that mixes with aromas of licorice, raisin, dark cherry, oak, vanilla & brandy

T- lots of dark fruit up front with flavors of cherry, fig and raisin. Candied Belgian sugar mixes with notes of toasted brown bread, peppery spice, clove, brandy, caramel malt, and burnt brown sugar. Oak barrel aging adds a vinous quality to it with highlight of red wine, eventually finishing sweet with a candied fruit linger

M- medium viscous body with low carbonation leads to a creamy and chewy mouthfeel that follows through to the finish, with a silky smooth linger

O- lots of dark fruit flavors mix well with the barrel aging. I nice slow sipper that opens up as it warms

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
9% ABV, 2013

A - Holy Sheet pours dark mahogany brown in color and comes topped with sudsy ivory foam. The dense cap of bubbles lingers quite a while, draping the glass in lace as it descends.

S - Soft Belgian-inspired yeast dabbles with banana and clay behind the smooth caramel-sweet malt. Wet wood and suggestions of brandy are forthright but to get any complexity, a vigorous swirl is required and opens up nuances of raisin and dried, candied dark fruits but also includes traces of vinegar reminiscent of a sour brown like La Folie.

T - The Belgian inspiration is still in this beer, opening the flavor up as opposed to hiding like in the aroma. Raisin and plum present some of the dark fruit nuances while smooth maltiness follows through. Brandy barrel incorporation in flavor is minimal though, and only suggests hints of the spirit but brings more oak and traces of sour vinegar to the table.

M - Holy Sheet's rich entry mirrors a Belgian dubbel closely and has a good balance, though malt forward. Warming alcohol thins the feel out for a smooth experience that's lovely to drink.

O - The base beer is a classic example of an American-brewed Belgian beer that's clearly American-brewed, though certainly isn't bad. Unfortunately, this beer seems to have spent very little time in the barrel (probably a continuously used barrel at that) as it tastes young. It hasn't been given the chance to really mingle with the Brandy, which is more of an after thought.

Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep ruby brown ale with a singer of beige foam atop

S: subtle dark fruit aromas beneath the drier spirits of brandy and oak; elements of spice and must

T: fig and date-like fruits suffused with the essences of brandy; clove and spice, musty grapes and watery raisin

M: slim and slick, airy vapors, light-medium weight, slight tingle on the tongue, wet and dry finish

O: the dubbel is not a style I often go for, but I have so enjoyed all of Heavy Seas Uncharted Waters release in 2013 and 2014 that I picked this up. these guys are doing some real nice work with barrel-aging, and this was an enjoyable ale. May be hit-or-miss for hardcore dubbel fans, but for the curious, open-minded BA, a nice ale for sure.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Hazy dark copper. Full tan head and lacing. Better looking than I remember Holy Sheet (non BA version).
smell: Dark fruit. Mostly sweet, a bit of sour. Brandy is not front and center but I'm picking it up now that I know what I'm looking for.
taste: Much like the nose. Richer than I remember non-BA version. Certainly not an in your face BA, more on the subtle side, but this beer benefits from the treatment.
overall: Very nice beer. Doesn't knock my socks off but I'll look for more.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Deep amber brown color. Didn't get much of a head, but that's partially due to me pouring it too cold. The small head that did form was a frothy beige.

4.0 S: Not a whole lot of beers work well with the brandy barrel treatment, but this is one of them. Vinous grape enters seamlessly with raisin, dates, prunes, currants, and plums from the base. Caramel maltiness with toastiness, toffee, and a light peppery spiciness. Oak and vanilla. Very nice here.

4.0 T: Taste is like the nose, except it may be even more vibrant. Plum and grape intertwine with caramel and toasty malts. Dates, raisins, prune, currants fall underneath. Again not a whole lot of spice, but enough pepper to give it some complexity. Oak and vanilla on finish.

3.5 M: Lighter medium to medium body. The carbonation level is fine, but it could be a bit spritzier. Still, super smooth.

3.75 D: Very good barrel effort here. Barrel flavors complement the base beer's flavors quite well.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Hazy in color a rather deep amber with just a 1/2 inch of mocha head.
S - mild brandy tones, rather sherry like with a bit of sour plum and prunes. Other dank dark fruits as well, rather fruity.
T - A simple touch of brandy not very noticeable on the palate just a mild burn to the finish. Taste isn't very sour which is nice just mild dark fruits mostly plums, and some dry yeasts in the finish.
M - Medium in thick in body with some rather boozy notes.

Overall I am not sure how the base beer is since I never had Holy Sheet but it seems pretty good with brandy notes. Not bad overall.

Photo of BB1313
4.01/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. 22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a dark murky ruby with lots of haze; extremely small off-white head that leaves solid retention and decent lacing. The aromas are full of sweet raisins and dark fruits. The brandy is clearly noticeable. Lots of caramel and vanilla as well. Smells good. The flavors are are also full of dark fruits. The brandy comes through in the flavors. It doesn't overwhelm the other flavors, but it's clearly there. There's a nice balance. It's also slightly spicy. More vanilla. Hints of cocoa and chocolate. Lots of caramel malts. There's some brown sugar in the mix. There's not a ton of Belgian characteristics and I sometimes forget I'm drinking a dubbel, but it still works. Finishes clean with a subtle warmth. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is full-bodied, but thin. The carbonation is on the lower side, but it still works in this case. This makes a great beer to sip on and it starts to develop even more as it warms up.

This is a very good barrel-aged beer from Heavy Seas. I really like it. They used the brandy barrels appropriately. This might not be a mind blower, but it's close. I probably could've given this an even higher score. It's just very enjoyable and well crafted. Recommended.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear dark cola brown in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and crimson highlights. The beer has a finger tall creamy foamy tan head that reduces to very large patch of medium thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to heavy amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of dark fruits (plum, raisin, and fig), dark malts, spices (clove and pepper), and distinctive Belgian yeast. Light to moderate aromas of rum and oak barrels.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of dark malts with dark fruit sweetness including plum, fig, and raisin. That is followed by flavors of spices including clove and pepper, distinctive Belgian yeast, and rum + oak barrel. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish which fades quickly and a light amount of rum/alcohol flavors which lingers.

M: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: I found this to be a very enjoyable barrel aging on a dubbel - not a combination that I have had a lot of times. I chose the rum barrel aged beer on this cold evening because rum reminds me of the Caribbean and I needed some warm thoughts...and the alcohol warming as well.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.84/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. The beer pours a dark mahogany with garnet highlights on the edges of the glass. I get minimal creamy eggshell head of about 1 cm that fades quickly to nothing.
The aroma is lots of caramel and toffee with a bit of oak and booze.
Beer is very malty on the first sip with soft silky texture and mild rolling carbonation. The flavor is similar to nose with toffee and caramel mixing with just a little bit of booze on each swallow.
No hops anywhere to be found on this beer, very drinkable considering the ABV.
I dont find this to be a complex beer but it is certainly drinkable and could sneak up on you a little.

I would buy this again if I saw it on the shelf. Definitely a maltys brew with little to no hop presence.
Worth trying.

Photo of cw577enfield
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: ruby color, two fingers of head, some lacing.

S: not much of an aroma, picked some toffee, candy sugar, and bit of vanilla.

T: bit boozy, could taste the brandy pretty well, notes of chocolate and raisins.

M: light to medium bodied, nice carbonation, smooth and refreshing mouthfeel.

O: interesting beer and glad that I tried it at least once. Pretty good deal for its price, nine dollars.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.71/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Holy Sheet (barrel aged version)

LOOK: Pours a dark brown, for the most part clarity is fine. Off white foam forms and leaves a good amount of lacing. Some sediment was in the last pour but nothing crazy.
SMELL: Brown sugar, oak, bourbon.
TASTE: Opens up with rich sugary malts, chocolate, more malt, brandy. There is a small amount of oak. Nutty flavor with a pleasant warming booze. Small earthy, leafy hops. Belgian yeast gives to brew some fruity notes of fig and rum raisin.
OVERALL: A bold beer, definitely not shy with the alcohol and big flavors. I think this would be a good choice to set aside in the cellar for a few years to see what happens.

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

22 ounce bottle into chalice, 2013 bottling. Pours slightly cloudy deep ruby red color with a nice 1 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of plum, raisin, fig, pear, toast, caramel, brown sugar, light chocolate, clove, pepper, oak, toffee, light vanilla, light brandy, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast ester, malt, and barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of plum, raisin, fig, pear, toast, caramel, chocolate, brown sugar, brown bread, clove, pepper, toffee, oak, light vanilla, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of dark fruit, caramel, toast, chocolate, brown bread, brown sugar, clove, light vanilla, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast and robust malt flavors; with a fair amount of barrel presence and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent barrel aged dubbel. All around great complexity and balance of yeast ester, robust malt, and moderate barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of Apellonious
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1 pt 6 fl oz bomber from Lil Roberts Place into thee glass - 2013 release

A - pours a dark brownish black with ruby accents. Half finger head that moves to a thin lace. 2nd pour resulted in a frothy two finger head. Some lacing hangs on the sides of the glass.

S - Fighting a cold, so not the best time for the olfactory, but I am picking up dark fruit, figs, maybe some molasses/sugar and faint whiff of alcohol.

T - Bread, sugary malts, some brandy-esque notes. Slight caramel and booze notes.

M - Starts off smooth, then gets prickly on the back of the tongue, then a medium finish. Carbonation overall on the light side. Dry aftertaste. Warming brings some additional stickiness, with the buzz. Does anyone still use the word buzz?

O - I have a hard time "aging" something once it hits my fridge or household vicinity. This one is in line with my previous belgian abbey ale experiences, and damned if I am not curious what this one would taste like with another year under its belt. As of now, a decent offering worth trying, especially if you are into the style.

Photo of hackmann
4.49/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: the brewery calls it mahogany … I’ll say, dark coffee with deep mahogany highlights when held to the light. The head was a thin beige color that leaves only a spot of lacing. On the last pour, as I finish the bottle, I got about a one finger head.

Aroma: deep rich and thick malty tone; dark fruit that reminds me of fig and a nice touch of vanilla, the nose feels creamy,

Flavors: hints of vanilla, cherry, and honey coming from the barrel aging, dark fruit, faint spicy oak wood, toasted grains, rich creamy dark caramel, nice touch of alcohol and light coffee

Mouthfeel: this is all about the mouthfeel; smooth, thick, sticky, really creamy, no carbonation except for a super fine fizz on the palate, dark sweet roasted notes on the taste and aftertaste

To the Point: overall, this is great. The mouthfeel is superb, the aftertaste is long, this is a great sipper that is truly tasty and super smooth, be careful of the 9%

Photo of DaveBlack
4.36/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy, dark brown color. A finger's width of tan head disappears fairly rapidly from the top, and leaves very little in the way of lacing.

S: Dark, rich malt flavor complimented by plenty of fruits, including raisins and cherries. Belgian yeast, candied sugars. The alcohol is very present, and it carries the characteristics of brandy which I have a hard time defining as anything but brandy.

T: After the smell, the taste doesn't hold any surprises. Toffee malts, candied sugars, Belgian yeast. All those flavors of a nice dark dark Belgian. The alcohol is present throughout the beer, but really comes through towards the end, with lots of phenols. The finish is where the taste of the brandy is most noticeable.

M: Moderate body, moderate carbonation. The beer is quite sticky and viscous.

O: In this beer, the flavor profile of brandy seems an obvious choice for pairing with the complexities of a Belgian beer. This is a great beer, definitely worth keeping an eye out for.

Photo of larryi86
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, 2013, poured into a tulip

A- A deep clear burgundy/brown with a two finger off white head.

S- Sweet, dark fruits, cherries, apples, brandy, brown sugar, caramel malts, some oak.

T- Really sweat, cherries, brandy, apples, some chocolate, oak in the finish, touch of earthy spices, good complexity, brandy is pretty strong.

M- A little hot, slightly creamy, medium body.

O- A nice twist to a dubbel, brandy is tasty. I will pick this up again, seems like it will be nice on a cold winter day.

Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - The beer was a pretty straight brown color with modest bubbles topping the glass.

Smell - The brandy dominates the nose on this one, which may suggest brandy dominates the beer.

Taste - The initial taste begins sweet, but there is nothing about the taste to suggest this is a dubbel. As the taste evolves, it is pretty much straight brandy. If you use your imagination, you might find vanilla notes masked by the brandy. The aftertaste is not overly "hot", but it is modestly warming.

Mouthfeel - The brandy does coat the tongue nicely, but it coats with notes of straight brandy.

Overall - If I wanted to taste brandy, I would go out and buy a bottle. The booze really takes over on this one. I would probably not suggest this one to a friend.

Photo of lordernest13
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark red hue that was very cloudy, couldn't see light through the glass. The scent of vanilla overpowered most of the other smells. The taste had hints of toffee, vanilla, with a brandy undertone that seemingly got stronger as I drank, but never became overbearing. Was a medium bodied beer, and overall This beer is quite good and worth trying.

Photo of jjboesen
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Holy Sheet opens as one would expect from a Belgian Abbey: the requisite long pour, followed by a quick subsiding of the initial head, which is a cream colored mesh of billowing froth atop an impervious pool of dark mahogany. Within, the observant quaffer espies a sparse school of carbonation bubbles dashing about to eagerly rise up to the top. We're done here. Decent appearance.

I liked the nose; t is a rather inviting miasma of maple, brown sugar and banana. The taste is much like a sloshy mixture of sugar and bourbon supplemented by a boozy belch of malt. Once again, this is not your regular cloyingly sweet abbeys.

In any case, if you happen to be an afficiandao of mild Belgians, I most heartily recommend this beauty; it is not complex, it will not overwhelm, but it is most assuredly a very nice expression from Hugh Sisson and his motley crew. (Gotta keep that pirate motif going, dontcha know.)

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Holy Sheet (Brandy Barrel) from Heavy Seas Beer
88 out of 100 based on 121 ratings.