Joseph Spelt Ale | Brasserie De Silenrieux S.A. (Chez L'Père Sarrasin)

49 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Joseph Spelt AleJoseph Spelt Ale

Brewed by:
Brasserie De Silenrieux S.A. (Chez L'Père Sarrasin)

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-25-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 55
Photo of womencantsail
2.51/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: The beer pours a hazed golden color with a tint of orange and a thin white head.

S: Starts off with honey and bread notes, and a nice floral note. However, the more you smell it, the more stale and cardboardy it becomes. Light grass notes are also present.

T: Things are pretty much the same with the flavor, except the grass and cardboard are more pronounced the entire time. Light honey and bread sweetness can't salvage this one.

M: Medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Too bad as this sounded interesting.

 533 characters

Photo of TheLiterati
2.53/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a cloudy maize color with a smallish white head. Aroma is of citrus, though quite faint, with a yeasty presence.

First impression of the mouthfeel was “Wow – this seems thick.” I can’t think of another way to say it than it felt “heavy” – like wearing a sweater on my tongue, which is interesting, as others have described it as light to medium. Then again, I didn’t get a nice pop when I uncorked it, so maybe I just got a stale bottle. There's a series of numbers along the side of the label that are likely date codes, but actually just noticed that none are marked.

Taste was pleasant – light citrus, some clove, and coriander – but all in all I wasn’t overly impressed.

 698 characters

Photo of genaro
2.59/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Another case where I'm probably not worthy of the beer. Anyway, here's my unscholarly opinion. The color was light gold. At first the color was clear and then it clouded up. The head was good. The aroma was very yeasty and metallic. The taste was unusually strong, citrusy, bitter, and mediciney with a strong presence of apples. The finish was pretty much likewise. Overall it was a combination that was too bitter, unusual, and untasteful for me. This beer is certified organic according to the California Organic Act of 1990.

 528 characters

Photo of marburg
2.87/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was not terribly impressed with this beer. It opened with a loud pop, and the carbonation was quite nice though the head with a bit mediocre. Aromas of apples and lemon peel. The taste is light and wheaty up front but has an almost rotten sweetness to the end. It's not very complex, there isn't a whole lot going on, and the light aftertaste is a little gross. It was a 750mL bottle. I had a glass and then dumped the rest.

 426 characters

Photo of paterlodie
2.98/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

BB end 2006. Good presentation though overcarbonisation makes it hard too ppor in. Nice pale golden beer with haze. Nose is orange/citrussy, litle koreander and some maltyness( with creamyspelt) but overal very light and pale. As is taste that gives mostly maltyness, some orange, litle sourhint and some bitterness. Mouthfeel is due to overcarbonisation watery and overal a drinkable beer but carbonisation makes it hard to drink.

 431 characters

Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours from the 750ml corked bottle a transpicuous bright gold color, the head is Bunyanesque in size, bubbly in texture and a brilliant white color, the lace a thick and velum like sheet. The nose that of fresh cut hay and bit of yeast and over ripe pears, citrus crisp, clean and fresh, start is somewhat sweet, hints of grain, the top is light to middling in its feel on the palate. Finish is almost astringent; hops are indeterminate, quite dry and lingering aftertaste. While being drinkable, I can’t really say I care much for this beer, but then I’m not particularly fond of “Blonde” beers, of any nationality, maybe it’s a little to “Lager Like” for my taste, even if it is a wit.

 703 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.06/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a cloudy, golden yellow color with big carbonation and a fluffy white head. Nose is faint and pretty weak with light wheat making uo the nose. Taste is light wheat, banana, some clove and spice but pretty standard. mouthfeel is a bit of spice. Drinkability is average .

 276 characters

Photo of donnebaby
3.12/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Despite my not incredible review of this beer, it's got its pluses. I wouldn't drink more than one at a sitting, though. For a beer that doesn't have much else going on besides its excellent arome, it's far too sweet for me.

That said, it's aroma is great: lemony with that distinctive belgianish coriander aroma...definitely memorable. After that smell I wanted a cloudier appearance than I got, however the lacey foam was very nice. The mouthfeel was a bit dull, and the taste was too syrupy for my persuasion, the main reason I wouldn't give it higher marks. I almost got the impression I had added half a lemon to my beer, for it's lemoniness.

The is the first spelt beer I've had, though, so I have to add that I lack experience on what to expect.

 760 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brewery Visit - 24th April 2000.

Tried on draft in the Café, which is next to the Brewery, the Chez L’Père Sarrasin. Limited Notes.

Joseph, 6% ABV.
A very strange, deep yellow, wheat beer brewed with spelt wheat and very cloudy indeed. The literature that I picked up, states that this is intentional due to the double-fermentation. Spicy hints in the aftertaste. Reasonable drinking beer as I recall, but quite strange and can take some getting used to.

 464 characters

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a 750ml bottle

Pours a cloudy yellow grainy color with a small head. Smells great. Apples, coriander, banana. On second thought, it smells like baby food! Weird...

Taste is really sweet. Apple flavors and yeasty. Almost vanilla pudding flavor. Light bodied and thin. Smooth.

Too sweet for me but not bad. Interesting beer but not one I'll sample again. Can't think of one good situation this beer would fit.

 421 characters

Photo of AlexJ
3.32/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This witbier pours a hazy orange hue with a pillow of frothy white head on top. Lacing is minimal, as is head retention.

The aromas are grassy herbals, sweet honey, green apple, subtle spice, and banana.

The flavor is surprisingly sweet, balanced by a lemony tartness. Pear and green apple are dominant followed by soft spice.

Body is light and thirst-quenching. Carbonation is too aggressive to make it highly drinkable. Finish is light and lemony.

Overall, an interesting alternative to the traditional wit-style, but no match for the Troublette we drank immediately afterward.

 592 characters

Photo of JackRWatkins
3.37/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a hazy golden (brown-ish) yellow and minimal, quickly dissipating head
S: hazy a very earthy, spicy aroma with some subtle pungencies bringing up the rear with sharp with (white) pepper notes joining it
T: A very peculiar (albeit pleasant) drink, immediate apple cider vinegar and some pear (though more pulled back than this note usually appears in beer), there is a general apple richness coming through as well along with some juiciness, there is an earthy/grainy note here as well, but the watery quality kind of kills the spiciness and kind of reduces the earthy quality
M: watery
O: this is pleasant and a bit peculiar but I'm glad I got it, having the beer defined by such a singular quality (especially one not all too frequently utilized as spelt) is great because it is educational and gives a good base for recognizing spelt in the future. It's good, not great, but it is different, and you should try it.

 926 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a pale yellow color ale with a large pale white foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of light funk and fruity ester with some pale malt. Taste is also dominated by some light funky notes with some discernable fruity ester and a light malt backbone. Average body with great carbonation. Well done but maybe lacking some funk to some ester to be truly exceptional.

 394 characters

Photo of wl0307
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This bottle conditioned beer is obtained at the Beer Circus pub, East Croydon, London, cming in 25cl brown bottle at the strength 5.4%abv. The BB date is 2006.

A: pours a hazy, pale-yellowish, pineapple-juice like colour; the white beer head comes rocky and fluffy, settling down slowly and supported by apparently energetic fizzy body.
S: sweetish but lively malts on top of a refreshing lemony wheatish+pineapple fruity note, with a touch of yeast and coriander seed. Overall attenuated and sweet for a witbier.
T: slightly sour-sweet flavour of lemon-flavoured candy + malted-wheat upfront, quickly leading to a settled, semi-sweet and perfumy Chinese green-bean paste flavour and herbal hops, with a nice warmish and yeasty aftertaste. Just a little bitterness with a touch of grainy sweetness in the finish, ending quite clean.
M: the mouthfeel is funny at first, with big bubbly texture disappearing in my mouth fast like a lemonade... and quickly settles down without much buttress of carbonation just when the texture itself collapses to bits on the palate, hence a bit flat and thin mouthfeel at the latter half of sipping.
D: a small tasty beer with a weird body, not demanding but still quite enjoyable. Could use a bit more assertive flavour though, as it sits interestingly in between a Belgian pale ale and Witbier, IMO.--or perhaps that's what makes it special? Worth trying anyway.

 1,407 characters

Photo of Osiris9588
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After rolling the 750ml bottle on it's side to rile up the sediment of in-bottle fermentation, I poured the organic spelt ale into a pint glass. The color was a dull honey. It poured cloudy and contained a wealth of brown sediment. It had a frothy 2 finger head with good retention, leaving lacing sticking to both sides of the glass.

Bouquet offered yeast, clove, lemon, orange. The flavor had a yeast and malt base, with clove, orange, lemon, and some grape. Very light on the mouthfeel with citrus on the tongue, a blend of adjucts and spice, finishing with a burst of orange.

It was a very drinkable beer, but lacked complexity.

 639 characters

Photo of merlin48
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

25.4 oz, corked and caged bottle. Initial pour is a chill hazed, honey gold body with a one finger, offwhite head that quickly falls into a longlasting, film of lace. Some sheet lacing is left on the sides of the goblet. Carbonation is very apparent, as the first pour has sparkling, bubbles ala champagne. After swirling the bottle before the final pour, I get a murky, medium yellow body.
Aroma is very fruity, with lemon, pineapple, and banana leading a dominant, fruit profile. Fresh mushrooms, and an earthy yeast presence are also noted. There is a faint, hint of coriander spiciness.
Mouthfeel has explosively high carbonation, and a medium body.
Overcarbonation is the first impression when rating the taste, but a fruity sweetness quickly takes over. Pineapple and banana flavors are dominant here, with an earthy yeast presence, a hint of coriander, and lots of wheat graininess. The finish is more dry than the beginning, or middle, with a resulting balance that is quite pleasant.
I did not think this ale was overly sweet, but it was definitely overcarbonated(I'm still burping). Easily drinkable, with the low abv, and a nice, organic, Belgian wit for those that enjoy "Juicy Fruit" flavors.

 1,210 characters

Photo of Brent
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Caged and corked - nice firm carbonation pop as the cork came out. A fair bit of turbidity even with a careful pour, resulting in a slightly cloudy soft golden color. Bright flavor without much yeast-produced spicing. Some uniquely "Belgian" character to the brew, hinting at a Belgian golden ale influence. Not at all bready or yeasty, despite the ever-increasing amount of suspened solids as I worked by way through the bottle. By the last glass, it was getting down-right murky. Overall, a nicely understated wit.

 516 characters

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

An unusual wheat beer, spelt is a very old grain in the wheat family. Cloudy, high carbonation, strong head. A good wheat style. Organic, $8.99 for 750ml. Importer: WIN - IT - TOO Inc. Santa Barbara, Ca.

 207 characters

Photo of saccro
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - head fades fast, leaves no lace. golden and cloudy

S - sweet-tart apple aroma. a little musky. a little cooked celery

T - tart honey flavor. tartness increases in the aftertaste. slightly oxidized..maybe a bit skunky. old musky. ok. mild hop flavor

M - slippery mouthfeel, light tingly carbonation

D - pretty tart, okay belgian. this one is just not very fresh.

 369 characters

Photo of mjyoung
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split w/ bbb099

A: Pours a nice, hazy true yellow color. It might not be quite what I was expecting, but the head is nice and thick and frothy.

S: A wee bit of barnyard provides an intriguing note, but with a pretty solid malt and lemon backbone. Not sure what to think yet.

T: Let it warm. It's pretty bland and not very complex at first, but it opens up A LOT. A nice malty background with lemon zest, pepper, and a hint of wheat. Strong fruity notes with hints of apple and banana.

M: VERY bubbly but has a bit more body than I was expecting given the high carb. It works really well for me.

O: Overall? Pretty good and definitely it stands out, but not amazing. I'd definitely drink it again.

 703 characters

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

This is a good wheat beer. nothing too crazy or off the charts for a belgian wheat, but a good, drinkable beer. Good carbonation, nice subtle clove hints... nothing overpowering here. Hard to differentiate spelt from wheat, but do I really care? This is exactly what i expect from a good belgian wheat... nice carbonation, a nice fruity malt flavor and exceptional drinkability.

 378 characters

Photo of crossovert
3.79/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

It pours a hazy gold with a fluffy bright, white head. It recedes decently quickly with some lacing. Typical for the style.

The smell is heavy on the orange and corriander. The spelt brings a bit more musty earthiness than the average wheat.

The flavor is surprisingly tart and not as sweet as most for the style. It reminds me of a heartier version of Blanche de Namur. The flavor doesn't hold as well as it could, the carbonation is high and the flavor rolls of the tongue quicker than I would like

Ill take it over Hoegaarden any day.

 555 characters

Photo of BeerHonky
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, corked and caged. Labeled as "Certified Organic", can't be a bad thing, right? At any rate, be careful when opening this stuff! After removing the cage the cork took off with a huge pop. Luckily I had my hand covering it and it didn't have a chance to take out an overhead light. Lots of carbonation and bubbles start heading up through the neck of the bottle. Pours a wonderful golden straw color that is almost perfectly cloudy throughout the glass. There's about two fingers worth of extra fizzy and foamy white head. You can immediately detect the yeasty, banana aromas. Upon further inspection, there is also some apples and pears in the nose as well. Very promising. While the aroma was fantastic, the beer was a bit over carbonated (hence the cork wanting to take orbit). So I let this warm up a bit and allowed some of the CO2 to escape. I think this was helpful as the initial flavors were hard to detect through all the scrubbing bubbles. So now I can get a nice medium, creamy body that has mostly fruity flavors up around the roof of the mouth. While you do get a slight biscuity, grain flavor, I do wish it was a little more prevelant, and perhaps some spice would be nice too. Overall its not bad and quite refreshing, would love to try this in its homeland.

 1,286 characters

Photo of bbb099
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear bubbly pale golden color with foamy white head.

S - Apple, pear, citrus, yeasty aroma. Overall, fruity and belgian.

T - Cider-like flavors. Fruity sweetness followed by a sour, savory, crisp aftertaste. Great witbier flavors, smooth and drinkable.

M - Highly carbonated yet still somewhat creamy. Light bodied.

O - The high carbonation level kill the taste a little bit but the flavors come out a little more as it warms up. Nice beer to drink during a hot sunny day.

 482 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ThirstyBird for the opportunity to try this one. Poured a murky, straw gold. Head effervesced and dissipated immediately, crackling and popping as it did, before finally dissipating completely. Nose was very light; perhaps grapefruit. Taste was citrus, some light fruit and a faint yeast quality. Mouthfeel is light and lively. Very easy drinking and refreshing brew.

 377 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Joseph Spelt Ale from Brasserie De Silenrieux S.A. (Chez L'Père Sarrasin)
3.69 out of 5 based on 55 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.