Shangrila | Birrificio Troll

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
40 Ratings

Brewed by:
Birrificio Troll

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by wl0307 on 10-02-2006

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 40 |  Reviews: 29
Reviews by akorsak:
Photo of akorsak
4.09/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pin at Farmers' Cabinet. Shangrila aged in sherry barrels that held JW Lees Harvest Ale.

A: The ale pours with a thick and pulpy look, ample sediment hazing over the ale and giving it a reddish-brown color. No head.

S: Vanilla, sherry strength and wood. Mild sourness follows. The base Shangrila beer has a very unique spice profile that, unfortunately, doesn't come through very well. Instead, it is swallowed up by the sherry barrel notes.

T: On the initial serve, the vanilla and wood are strong, fortified by the sherry. A very mild sourness follows but hardly enough to look at the ale as a sour. Instead, the wood dominates. As in the nose, the underlying ale tends to disappear, lost behind the sweet sherry notes. Easily the most complex of the offerings, not to mention a very rare find.

M: The mouthfeel picks up thick barleywine, sweet vanilla and fortified sherry. The complexity is admirable, a true sipping beer.

 932 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of glid02
3.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a turbid red-orange color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of light malts with hints of Belgian candi sugar - there's not a whole lot going on here. If I really stick my nose in there I can get light hints of pears.

Tastes more robust than it smells. Sugar-coated pears meet green apples up front, with a very light amount of spices coming in right at the end. I wouldn't have guessed the ABV was 8.5%.

Mouthfeel is very nice. It's got a smooth thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. This certainly wasn't hard to finish, but I don't know if I'd want another one.

Overall this was a tasty beer, but nothing to write home about. Worth a shot if for nothing else than the mish-mash of ingredients used.

 845 characters

Photo of daftafne
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Found a bottle of this at a Whole Foods in Chicago (I was excited for the good find!)

Poured into a tulip it was an orange/red with a yeast suspended and two fingers of tan head. The smell was really quite powerful. Smells mostly of sweet dark fruits, spice. Taste is sweet but not cloying, finishes with spices. Yes, there is curry in it and it was a tad spicy but just barely. The blend of spices was such that it was difficult to pick them out individually (except for the anise). really well-balanced, especially considering the interesting ingredients. Unique flavor profile. Reminds me of theobroma (for the spice). Creamy mouthfeel, some alcohol warmth. Worth trying though it cost 15 dollars for a 750 ml bottle....

 724 characters

Photo of zaphodchak
3.61/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light, kinda straw brown body, cloudy, lightish tan head, thin.

Nose is a bit odd. Kinda metal tang.

Taste has coriander, and some spice; anise is there I guess, the rest (I had to read the bottle) are hard to pin down as well. Overall impression is Belgian golden ale. Faintly bitter.

Mouthfeel is light with faint carbonation.

Interesting, but the spices aren't present enough to be compelling.

 400 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.64/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber with a small, fading head.
Noes shows sweet caramel, over-ripe bananas, faint unidentifiable spices, may some garlic.
Some sweet malt transfers through as a flavour, whilst the spices remain in the background, although they are a little more pronounced than in the aroma. some alcohol shows through, along with a metallic note.
Carbonation is a bit excessive.

 376 characters

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Hi Time Wine in Costa Mesa, CA. in May, 2008, from the back cellar, price not recorded. 750 ml bottle with a new label; the same basic feel of the label shown, but less dramatic.

Pours a moderate amber-brown, fairly clear until the sediment hits the glass. A thin head quickly turns to a thin film, although there is some decent carbonation.

Aroma is a light caramel roast, semi-sweet, maybe a hint of carob. Pleasant but not overwhelming.

Flavor is fairly typical of a very light version of the style. There is the roasty malts, the spiciness, the molassas and brown sugar, but in a very light, thin version of what I am used to. As I read that is is supposed to have curry and tandoori spices in it, I honestly don't get that at all. I recently had a Unibroue brew of the same style, and it was so much heavier and richer and fuller, this one seems like a "lite" version in comparison. Not that this is all bad, it tastes good, it just isn't as bold as I would expect.

Mouthfeel is actually relatively thin as noted above. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Overall, good and enjoyable, but light and thin.

 1,120 characters

Photo of matjack85
2.5/5  rDev -28.2%

Photo of Chugs13
2.75/5  rDev -21%

Photo of papat444
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Flashback #366

14 characters

Photo of geexploitation
4.32/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear on the first pour, then cloudy as the lees is kicked up. Big, flat head that fades quickly on top of a ruby-tinged, light amber body. The smell is quite intriguing -- the Tandoori spices they use in this beer come across as a warming dryness that reminds me of chestnuts, along with some sweet candi sugar notes and some oxidation. On the palate, nutty sweetness followed by a gradually drying, warm spiciness. There's also a strange pear/diacetyl element that crops up in the second half, but somehow it works. Unlike anything else I've had, and very tasty. Mouthfeel is full of carbonation, with a medium body and slight alcohol hotness, especially as the beer warms. Overall, this is really cool. Very unusual, and it doesn't sound like a concept that should work, but it somehow does. This paired very well with some whole wheat pita and hummus. Very good.

 872 characters

Photo of dsa7783
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Gingerman...
Great, exotic, authentic stuff...
Pretty pricy in the stores, but on tap a lot cheaper...
Dark-brown hue, thick head and apparent lacing...
Smell: Rich malts, dark, candied sugars, raisins...
Taste: Dark, dehydrated fruits, slight mocha, raisins, purple grapes... Medicinal flavor...

 319 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

For some reason, Bobby bought this at the Pizza Port Carlsbad bottle shop and I ridiculed him relentlessly for how awful this beer was going to be. Of course, I was forced to endure a nice healthy pour. Thanks...

A: The pour is a dark orange-amber color with a short lived off-white head.

S: A strange nose on this beer. Quite sweet with notes of corn, salt, and spices. A bit of anise and candi sugar, too.

T: The flavor is quite odd. It is highly sweet, but there is a different sort of spice flavor in there that I can't quite describe, likely from the curry spices.

M: The body is medium with a moderate carbonation, but it's not quite enough to make up for the syrupy nature of the beer.

D: I'll admit, this was not horrible at all, but it was far too sweet. And the (seemingly) curry flavor was a bit too much for me.

 828 characters

Photo of InspectorBob
3.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Suds
2.9/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is deep, dark amber beer. It has a nice head immediately after the pour, thick and dense, but it doesn't last and produces little lace. Lots of floaties in the brew as well. The aroma is interesting. Huge spice (a bit hot), alcohol, and buiscuity malts. The smell also has a curry, pepper, and ginger note in the's a lot like the smells in an Asian or Indian meal (maybe that's the point?). However, it seems a little misplaced in the beer, and the divergent aromas don't really meld well. The taste is sweet and spicy, with plenty of Belgian yeast character. Alcohol warmth is abundant. Full, although a bit rough, in mouthfeel. This one is not particularly drinkable, and although interesting, really didn't do much for me.

 741 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.36/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Split this one with birradr14, thanks for the shot. Pourd into some wine glasses and then some.

A- Shangrila has a chestnut brown/tan look with some lighter shades when up to light. The head on this was enormous with a big soapy beige foam that left some nice streaks. It's a good looker.

S- Initially I was in love with the smell, but that faded after some time. The main smell is that of indian spices with some anise and dark candi sugar. Does not exactly smell like a Belgian dark, I would call this a spiced/herbed beer, perhaps a change is due.

T- On some sips, I really enjoyed this, but on others Shangrila just did not hit the marks. The main taste was that of a mixture of spices with a decent malty base. Some candi sugar rears it's head but not enough to be a dominate flavor, a bit more would of rounded this out a bit, as I found this more spicy than sweet. Some yeast plays a part in the finish. This bottle has probably been sitting on the shelves for a bit, so hops were not in the picture. This is an interesting beer to say the least.

M&D- The feel was lucious smooth with no hops bittering things up. The spices stuck around for a bit on the tounge. I would say this is medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation which probably helped things out a bit. The drinkability was not great, In no way would I dare to polish off a bomber of this on my own. Shangrila actually is a good beer to pair with food for a small gathering. Before looking at the ingredients used I said to myself this would go great with some indian food or some jumbalya, low and behold I saw that some curry spices among other similar ones were used.

Do yourself a favor and pair this with some mildly spicy food and it will make the experience that much better. While not my favorite beer from Italy, this is unique, and would have again in smaller portions.

 1,860 characters

Photo of cpanossian
3.83/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was expecting a sour beer after my first smell - reminded me of Flanders sours. But first tastes were a big surprise - not sour at all. Rich savory ale, with hints of apricot and curry, like Southern Comfort with carbonation and some head. After mellowing in my glass for a short while, further smells reminded me of a nice sherry from souther Spain. This is a fine sipping ale to go along with a meal or nice cheeses.

 420 characters

Photo of laituegonflable
1.94/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a reddish amber hue, clear body with white head, nothing particularly special. Looks fluid, and very pale for the style. Not great.

Smells very phenolic, with a herbal hop aroma but an overwhelming whiff of booze as well. Slight diacetyl-ish character coming through midway, maybe just a touch too much sweetness there. Bit metallic on the back. I'm afraid it's actually unpleasant.

Malty sweet all over the palate, with some slight fruity notes upfront, raisiny sweetness. From the midpoint on it's all big booze notes though, which also dries up the potentially pleasant opening notes. Just too big. Needs so much more body here to combat the strength in the flavour. Basically all the flavour and complexity of flavour is swallowed up and sapped out by the booze.

No real texture at all either. A shame.

 816 characters

Photo of brentk56
2.15/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with lots of yeast in suspension; a hard pour was necessary to get any head at all, and what arrived faded quickly without leaving any lace; I do notice a ring around the neck of the bottle that marks the liquid line; infection, perhaps?

Smell: Herbacious, medicinal aroma; I pick up some licorice, perhaps, but am finding the curry and tandoori (I thought that was a style of cooking, not a spice) hard to identify; very boozy, too

Taste: Opens with a cidery flavor with a medicinally herbacious flavor developing by mid-palate; these flavors linger in the aftertaste, and not in a good way

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and flat

Drinkability: Really disappointed in this one; something clearly not right here so I will have to try this one again, but not any time soon, I expect

 818 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.92/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store Pub. Pours amber with very little head but good clarity. Smells of apricot, mango, and spice. The taste is similar, with tropical fruit, especially mango and passion fruit, and some more spice. A bit overcarbonated, but overall a pleasant enough quaff. I wouldn't pay what they charge for a bottle, but finding it on tap was nice.

 356 characters

Photo of malmquna
4.08/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Went to Torino to find this at Eataly, an amazing grocery store with a small restaurant in every section (steaks at the butcher, fish where appropriate, tasty bar food in the beer and wine section).

Beautiful copper to chestnut color, ever so slightly cloudy. Solid off-white head that lingers as a thin cover over the beer and along the glass.

Smells of bourbon or cognac, some banana esters, sweet like candi sugar. The flavor agrees, and immediately meets you with some sweetness, those banana esters again, all over an amber malt base. The flavor may tend a little too much toward estery and boozy.

This beer is quite effervescent, and that leads to a good mouthfeel with the combination of malt, sweet, and bubbles. Quite drinkable, but likely better with food.

 769 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.97/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at the Local Taphouse for their Italian SpecTapular.

Pours a pale amber hue, quite clear with a very light and rather insipid body. Head forms a thin ring of off-white. No lace. Overall, it looks pretty damn disappointing.

Nose is similarly disappointing. Instead of the heady array of Himalayan spices I was promised, we get weakly fermented apple cider with a touch of cinnamon as almost a throw-away afterthought. Very light on, as well, giving very little up at all.

Spicy characters on the front of the palate at least, again focussing mainly on a slightly sweet cinnamon character, that builds to a pasty cinnamon-sugar dosage on the finish. Some phenols come in mid palate to do something I don't know what. There's not a lot here for them to meld with or clash against.

Feel is light, but with a tingle from the spice.

Overall, no, it's not a bad beer, per se, but it sure is pretty dull given when it promises.

 931 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.99/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A truly spiced beer, evident from every aspect of its exotic and curious nature.
A flat pour, ruby red with orange glow. Aroma is both malty and full of spices. Very perfumy, strong seasoned. Maybe even a little spicy. I get more frangrance in the taste, which is really quite ambrosial! An icredibly impressive job of mixing so many spices together. The brewer claims to use: a blend of coriander, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, ginger, cardamom, saffron, curry, pepper, anise. I couldn't really pick out many of these, none stood on their own. But all blended conjointly into a very herbaceous mouthfeel.
Very smooth other than a little bitterness from the English hops. I taste alot of fruity notes as well - grapefruit especially. Good caramel malt. The way these spices were combined so agreeably is very impressive.

 825 characters

Photo of corby112
3.31/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark cloudy ruby/ chestnut brown color with a thick, foamy tan head. Spicy peppery aroma with lots of dark fruit, candi sugar and nut. Very spicy and quite different tasting. Very peppery wirth dark fruit notes as well as some sweet candi sugar and a slightly bitter hop finish that is quite dry. Similar to an Xmas ale with an odd aftertaste.

 351 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lighter body than expected for a dark ale and has a two-finger head that dies slow. Really hoppy and bitter aroma with a load of spices; corriander, pepper, clove...not too great w/ spices but there are some in this beer. A light-to-medium body that can even be described as slightly creamy. Tastes seem to vary from tart and citric fruits with some dryness from yeast and bread malt as well as some sweetness from caramel and hint of tropical fruit and/or grape and cherry. Beer is OK balanced but it seems to get caught up on the malts and the fruit flavors are a little bit bland and then the ABV kinda bleeds into the finish. An OK beer but just slightly misses the mark.

 683 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A moderate pour produces an almost four finger thick, pale tan colored head that leaves some delicate lacing on the sides of my glass as it slowly subsides. The beer is a full amber color, when held up to the light the beer shows a hazy, red tinged, orangish, light amber color. The aroma has a light sweetness to it, smells sort of rich and has an intriguing mix of aromatics that are not easily placed, but seem to be produced by a confluence of malt and spice aromatics. A deeper inspection yields aromas that make me think of pears, sweet melons, fresh baked bread, fenugreek, sour apples, perhaps a hint of woodiness and some definite anise there towards the end. The spicing is quite subtle in this beer, it is really hard to pick out and if I didn't know about it I would definitely attribute the complexity of the nose to the yeast driven fermentation character. This has a really nice aroma to it, with soft, subtle notes that are fun to chase.

Sweet tasting up front, but the spices definitely kick in towards the finish. The spices are still not so noticeable as to be easily picked out; in fact after my first sip I can say it is spicy, but not what exactly it is that I am tasting. The up front sweetness accentuates flavors of sweet plums, cantaloupe, a touch of apple and some Anjou pear. The fruit / sweetness also seem to be accented by some of the spice components of this beer, though I would be hard pressed to say which ones. The spices add a sharpness / light astringency to the finish that mimics the effect of hop bitterness, but is certainly uniquely different. The beer has a certain heft to it that helps to carry the flavors, it is not heavy, nor is it light, but is about in line with a somewhat well attenuated Belgian beer of this strength; it has enough heft to it to keep it from being perfectly quaffable, but is still fairly drinkable. This was a fairly well carbonated brew as well, though not so much that I noticed it being excessive.

I am so unused to these spices being used in beer that I am having a hard time pulling out the specific spice flavors here, some of this is because the brewer used a restrained spicing here (at least at the age that this beer is now). A very tasty, interesting beer that I am quite enjoying a 750ml bottle of.

 2,284 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Shangrila from Birrificio Troll
Beer rating: 3.48 out of 5 with 40 ratings