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

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Joseph Spelt AleJoseph Spelt Ale
57 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 |  Reviews: 50
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.8/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml caged and corked, either 2005 or 2006 (not clearly indicated), served in a Duvel tulip glass.

A - murky, golden yellow color with a huge white head that lasted the entire glass, leaving trails of lacing.

S - sweet wheat malt, fruity, and yeasty aromas fill the nose.

T - very delicious tasting brew, this is as good as any (pricey) wit beer out of Belgium.

D - delicious taste and reasonable 5% abv make this an excellent drinking beer and it's all organic to boot!

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Photo of Sigmund
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

250 ml bottle, courtesy of Cardinal pub, Stavanger. Also available in Norway at Vinmonopolet. ABV is 5%. This spelt beer is organic (French: "biologique")., and has had a secondary fermentation in the bottle. Very pale blonde colour, hazy. Large and fluffy white head. Yeasty, spicy (cloves a.o.) and citrussy aroma, nice. Spritzy mouthfeel. The flavour is wheaty, fairly dry, notes of citrus and pepper. Not very different from their buckwheat beer "Sara". Joseph is a decent beer, but not worth the ridiculously high price in Norway.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudly pale yellow with very healthy carbonation and a head that sticks around forever. Lace builds up quickly as the glass empties.

Aroma is fresh-baked bread, light spices, flowers, mild honey.

The flavor is deceptively simple. At first I thought I had it, then it seemed to evolve with each sip. First there's soft sweetness--candy-like, honey-like, with apple, pear and various spices--then a gentle graininess--but the finish brings in a subtle bitter, green-apple-sour accent. Then it dries out, but not before treating you to a light, velvety mouthfeel.

By far one of the most unique beers I've had from Belgium. It drinks as much like a saison as a wit, in my tastebuds' estimation. I would definitely return to this beer...I just wish I'd bought more than one bottle (albeit a nice big caged-and-corked number).

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Photo of BeerHonky
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of TheLiterati
2.53/5  rDev -31.8%
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.

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Photo of Osiris9588
3.6/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle. 8-9 oz sample. Pours a hazy peachy orange color with a light head over top that falls to a patchy coat with solid bubbles boiling up from the bottom explosing at the surface. Nose is interesting. I get notes of raisin, a grainey/herbal quality that I can only assume is the spelt, with a very light banana and lemon zing on the end. Very interesting aroma. Flavor is just as interesting. I get notes of raisin, and a flavor I associate to be the spelt...kind of like a graineyness, but more sweet. There is a moderate spiceyness on the finish as well, reminding me of corriander. It finishes with just a touch of metallic bite, but not offensively. Feel is moderate with a very active carbonation, leaving it with a pretty light feel overall. As far as things go, this one is pretty nice. Spelt adds an interesting twist to it...a spiceyness/earthyness/herbalness that rounds out the raisin character. Its not what I would call a witbier, but I do enjoy it.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a hazy medium yellow color with three fingers of fluffy white head. There is a bit of lacing. The smell is spicy, with a little pepper, ginger, and a bit of that spelt. The taste is very spelt-like. Very grassy. Not much of that spice that was in the nose. It tastes nothing like the aroma. Very good though. The finish is slightly sweet. The body is a little thin, but the drinkability is fantastic. A very unique brew. Thanks to Chris for sharing this one.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

At a recent beer tasting, this beer was described as a Farmhouse Saison rather than a Witbier. Nevertheless, it's solid beer with tons of flavor and character. Before the beer is finished pouring, ripe pears, peaches, mangos, and papayas aromas abound from the bottle. A lightly plastic-ey and woody character (from the cork?) quickly subsides leaving the fruit flavors, compimented by soft and delecate spices to round out the beer. Corriander and curraco adds a finess and creaminess to make this low alcohol beer abundant in character and flavor. Finishes light, airy, modestly dry and clean. A terrific anytime beer.

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Photo of Brent
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of Higravity
4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is some good stuff right here, I don't care who you are. Nice semi-cloudy golden body white a billowing white head. Smells citrus spice and acidic sweet malt, but not sour acidic. Spicy saison like at first but think while the yeast is adding some of the flavor the spelt adds a delicate hint of its own grain flavor and the hops give a nice spicy kick too. Good clean finish as the corriander leaves my mouth tingling. This is quite a ride and something I will wear out at my local.

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Photo of filabrazilia
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An explosive fluffy white head crowns out of the glass of this hazy yellow beer. Quite a show for the eyes.

There is a hoppy (saaz?) aroma in the nose that is joined with spice and fruit. The citrus elements are balanced with a touch of spice that create a pleasing aromatic experience.

A tangy malty character gives way to a lighlty fruity finish. The lemony/orange flavor is wonderful.

A pretty thin and refreshing beer that has a strong bitter finish. The hops strangle the tongue in the finish. Wow. What a fantastic contrast--thirst quenching and complex.

I would be happy to drink this brew on a regular basis. Leave it to the Belgians to create an easy to drink beer that has a touch of complexity.

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Photo of wl0307
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of paterlodie
2.98/5  rDev -19.7%
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.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle that I ran across recently, and wanted to try something with spelt- hey, why not?

Presentation is a light, thin golden with a white head, at first very fluffy and massive, then settling down while being fed by a constant stream of tiny bubbles like champagne.

Aroma is light, gentle citrus, grain, overall pleasant.

Flavor follows through, mostly grainy, some light tart fruit, some grasses, and a gentle herbal flavor I cannot place.

Light and refreshing, with a decent flavor profile. I like this beer.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale straw color with a full big bubbled white head, active carbonation, and some clumpy lace rings. Spicy clove aroma and flavor with a light grainy character all around that lends some citric flavors. Light bodied, airy, and refreshing ... but maybe a bit too light.

Per Label: "Certified Organically Processed"

($7.49 / 25.4 oz corked and caged tall straight bottle)

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Photo of santoslhalper
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: Poured a decently cloudy gold with a nice, creamy bleach white head. Loads of carbonation in the beer as well.

Smell: The smell is a mix of spices and wheat with a very add and almost unpleasenty astringent background.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is pleasently suprising, with a nice balance of wheat, spices, and fruitiness. It's incredibly light on the mouth, as compared to the usual creaminess of Witbier's, but it's not horrible. A bit more texture would be welcome, but not neccesary.

Drinkability and Overall: Definitly not a bad beer. It's not perfect, but quite enjoyale for what it is. This was a gift to me from the batender Joe at Tulune's in Johnstown PA. What a friendly thing to do. Thanks bud. Try this beer it's worth a shot.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

03/25/05- Purchased through Hi-Time Wine Cellars.

Presentation- 24oz bottle caged and corked. No dates on the bottle to be found. Poured into my Duvel glass.

Appearance- Light yellow, approaching white in color. Good sized creamy white head and moderate lacing. Lots of yeast floaties as well as a puddle of yeast on the bottom of the glass.

Smell- Corriander, hints of lemon and a light scent of pepper.

Taste- A nice bit of sweetness in the taste. A small amount of fruit flavors, with a small amount of spices. Maybe even a bit of a honey taste.

Mouthfeel- This one was mid carbonation range, but went down pretty smooth. Not watery at all.

Drinkability- RIght up there with Hoegaarden. A extremely refreshing wit.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.32/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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Photo of merlin48
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

75 cl bottle, cork and caged. Certified organic. Rolled the bottle before opening as per suggestion from Apparently, that's what waiters do at the brewery for customers before presenting to consume. Pours a lemony yellow with a frothy, white head. Citrusy, zingy, wheaty aromas, subtle yet spicy. Faint yeast notes. I know I'm going to like this one, I'm imagining it's a little bit tart... Well, upon first sip, not so much tart, but well-carbonated, spritzy and has some citrus undercurrents to it. Nicely subdued husky, malty twang to it. Very refreshing and extremely drinkable. Pretty hefty mouthfeel for an average ABV; almost chalky, but certainly welcomed. I like it a lot, I only wish I'd found this beer sooner, because it's an excellent summertime quaffer, even moreso than the Sara for those warm, summer days.

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Photo of finepaws
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got in a 750ml bottle. Poured a slightly cloudy lemon color with a thick carbonated white head. Melted down, but never left. Smells fruity, and peppery, with lots of malt. Has a sour apple, spice flavor. With a spicey aftertaste. Mouthfeel is cool and smooth. Very drinkable. This is a good summer beer. Amazing how long the spice lingers on the tongue. This was quite pricey at $8.99 a bottle, but I think I would buy it again

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Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a real spritzy light yelow with a decent head wich is gone pretty fast but bubbles everywhere on this one prety highly carbonated,big fresh squeezed lemon aroma here along with a little grain.Very refreshing taste of lemon oil with some grainy notes in the aftertaste.Refreshing maybe a little one dimensional but pretty good,I think better than the ratings of most of the others gave.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear light gold straw color with a thick pale white head. Aromas of spicy grain, light dustiness, with a good whiff of lemon pepper. Quite well carbonated, quite a light beer that is so spritzy the taste is hard to pin down. It has a nice lemony graininess to it. Predominantly a light refreshing beer. There is a bit of complexity to this beer including an interesting spicy element in the finish of this beer, notes of a hayfield that is blooming with nectar laden flowers with a bit of a bite. I definitely like this beer, it is simple straight forward with just enough complexity to keep me interested.

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Photo of genaro
2.59/5  rDev -30.2%
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.

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Joseph Spelt Ale from Brasserie De Silenrieux S.A. (Chez L'Père Sarrasin)
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 57 ratings