Tsarina Esra
Brouwerij De Molen

Tsarina EsraTsarina Esra
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Style:
Baltic Porter
Ranked #15
ABV:
11%
Score:
93
Ranked #2,280
Avg:
4.2 | pDev: 8.1%
Reviews:
90
Ratings:
229
From:
Brouwerij De Molen
 
Netherlands
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  44
Gots
  44
SCORE
93
Outstanding
Tsarina EsraTsarina Esra
Notes: Tsarina Esra is an imperial porter. A style with his roots in England from many ages ago. It's fullness, it's richness in flavor and it's warming feeling makes it perfect for cold nights. Because of the enduring barrel aging in Ardbeg whisky barrels, this edition is enriched with crazy (really!) peat flavours. It was injected with Brett while in the barrels. Flavor indication: Chocolate, liquorice, funky peaty
Reviews: 90 | Ratings: 229 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by uturn:
Photo of uturn
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of htomsirveaux
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

33 cL bottle tried 7 Mar 2009, #26, bottled 1 Nov 2007. Courtesy of ygtbsm94, thanks!

Poured in 0.4 L Steiner Pils tulip. Almost no head, this beer is essentially flat. Pours reddish black, opaque. Aroma is of molasses, prunes, figs, some chocolate and dried cherries. Lots of molasses and ethanol, burnt caramel, slight astringency. Finishes with prunes and bittersweet chocolate. Lots of molassess sweetness throughout, slight hint of smokiness at the finish. Fairly heavy body, mouthfeel is like cocoa powder. Alcohol noticeable but not overpowering.

Good but the lack of carbonation was a big detriment.

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Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 05/04/12.Pours a deep dark cola color with a creamy half finger beige head atop.Aromas of dark roast coffee,raisin/prune,and earth with the alcohol being big but not in ur face.Wow alot going on flavor wise with dark fruit and dark roast intertwined with big earthy tones giving a great drying lager-like finish.This is a great Baltic porter with just enough sweetness and just enough drying earthiness,top notch.

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Photo of Sigmund
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

180 ml waxed bottle, courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. Also sampled at Olympen, Oslo. ABV is 11%. Bitterness 92,9 EBU. Pitch black colour, no head, hardly any carbonation. Lovely vinous and roasty aroma, dark dried fruits, oak. Roasty flavour with oaky and vinous notes, distinct hoppy bitterness in the finish. Good stuff!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle number 646, November 2007 Bottle Date; Sampled February 2010
The beer pours pretty much visually flat, though it does muster a large bubbled ring of froth around the edges. The beer is a tar black / concentrated brown color that is pretty darn opaque when held up to the light. The nose smells of umami laden rich malt, hints of teraki, savory roasted grain, a touch of peanuts, toasted hazelnuts, toasted whole grain bread crust, espresso accented dark chocolate. The finish sees a bit of alcohol warming that evokes thoughts of Bourbon. Oxidation definitely is playing a rounding role here in the aroma, but it seems to only be contributing in positive ways up to this point. It is really interesting how nutty the aroma is, this mixes quite well with the rich malt and roast grain notes.

My first sip sees me noticing that the beer is sweet, viscous, yet somehow thin due to the lack of carbonation. This also has a touch of weird, almost rubbery, burnt vegetal note to the finish that is a bit distracting in my first sip. Flavors of molasses, dark chocolate, and burnt brown sugar up front are followed by interesting leather notes, touches of tar, a bitterness from both burnt grain and hops. In the far finish there is a touch of chalkiness, but the bitter roast grain husk flavors linger on the tongue without being overly astringent. Some oxidation adds some burnt sherry notes, a background richness and roundness to the malt as well as a subtle nuttiness to the finish that in combination with some of the chocolate flavors makes me think a little bit of nutella (but without the aggressive hazelnut flavor). Despite the light body (much of which is likely due to the lack of carbonation), this is most definitely a sipping brew and somehow it also has a thickness to it

An interesting beer that I could wish had a touch of light carbonation, but really still drinks pretty well without it. I am not sure if this will actually make 25 years, but it has lasted the past two pretty well.

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Photo of Sammy
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A tremendous beer, bottle number 75. Challenger hops, and saaz for aroma. Sent from Holland, fresh. Left it for about 24 hours, yet it kept foaming over, foam eventually almost disappeared,still tasted carbonated. Jet black.Aroma of cocoa and licorice. First maltiness, then the hop bitterness comes at you and builds up over (several) glasses. 92 IBU, an outstanding effort for its class-I would take this over many great imperial stouts.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Lazily pours out an opaque, inky black body. No amount of swirling, shaking, or verbal abuse can raise a bubble of carbonation from its depths.

Smell: Roasted malt aroma with notes of barley, baker's chocolate, and licorice liqueur.

Taste: Richly roasty and certainly sweet. Hint of scorched grains. A taste reminiscient of bitter herbs and wood run loose amongst the other tastes of chocolate, licorice, molasses. A bit of smoke on the long bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body that takes on an oily feel due to the absence of carbonation.

Drinkability: All in all, it really is a fine beer.

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

Photo of beerdrifter
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up at the beer store at Brouwerij De Molen. Bottled 05/04/12. Dark brown, nearly black pour with a one finger beige head with good retention and lacing. The nose is dominated by dark fruit and brown bread along with hints of toffee, butterscotch, and coffee. The taste follows suit with huge brown bread, raisins, and dates, along with hints of molasses, licorice, subtle chocolate, booze, and coffee. The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with a sweet, boozey finish. Overall, this is a little too sweet for my tastes and really lacks any kind of roast. More like a Barley Wine for me than a Porter. I remember having this on tap several years ago at ACBF and really liking it, but this was a bit disappointing...

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Incredibly deep, dark, complex and robust, no one does roast more than De Molen. Their chocolate porter of the baltic style takes a pedal off of the burnt side but is no less robust or powerful for it. Its cocoa focus is front and center throughout.

Tsarina Esra's ominously dark tar appearance swirls with syrupy legging and capped with a tarnish espresso froth. Rife and dense with the pungent earthiness of true cocoa powder, a coffee-like, fudgy, woodsy and winey fragrance emerges. Burnt sugars galore as the maltiness is remiss of burnt cream and molasses.

With a cocoa-rich fudginess at its core, the porter brings out a heavily toasted, walnut, coffee and chicory-like earthiness as the carbonized sugars begin to lift. Hints of dark fruit and spice follow the roasted cocoa nibs with nuances of red grape, aniseed, blackcurrant, peppercorn, plum skin and robust bordeaux wine. Its woodsy bitterness is easily dismissed for chicory, smoky chocolate or toasted astringency instead of hops, but an herbal cedar note proves otherwise.

Full bodied and mouth-coating with its low-lying carbonation and its lasting sweetness, but the beer's verbose alcohols and powdery tannins aid in dryness while a peppery, woodsy bite continues strong. A long linger of raw cocoa powder and smoldering ember is long and robust even in after-palate in a simmering afterglow of warmth.

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Photo of janubio
3.54/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Echarle Huevos. Pours a black colour, medium head with long retention, compact lacing. Aroma of dried fruits, chocolate, vanilla, liquor. Full body, creamy dense texture, good carbonation. Sweet finish. Taste is similar to the aroma. Alcohol is not much noticeable. Good.

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Photo of Derek
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Kirk
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of bluejacket74
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 ounce bottle, stamp on back label says 05/04/12. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a half inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The brew smells like dark fruit, chocolate, licorice, bittersweet chocolate and coffee. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some milk chocolate and a bit of an earthy/herbal flavor noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit creamy and slick, and has a good amount of carbonation. I think it's a good brew, but also pricey at $8.99 a bottle. With that being said, it's definitely worth trying.

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Photo of Absumaster
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a very dark brown color with a thin beige head that only leaves a small layer on the side of the glass. The carbonation is very low.

The smell is full of chocolate with only a slight roasted edge. There is a hint of smoke and maybe some traces of vanilla and hoppiness.

The taste is a balanced between the dark malts and the alcohol and bitterness. The dark malts offer a dark chocolate and coffee taste, the alcohol is not upfront, but it gives the beer a warming sensation and a big mouthfeel. The bitterness is 93 EBU according to the label, but never mouthpuckering bitter. As said, the beer is very balanced. The high density of the beer gives it a bit of a sticky mouthfeel, but this is very well crafted with only malts.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solidly coffee-black, with no real head nor highlights. Fabulously rich aroma - especially full of sherry flavors, solvent and unfinished birch wood; there's also an akavit-like character of raw alcohol and carraway, as well as some nice herbal notes. Anise, coriander, and artichoke come together for an Italian bitter flavor. Rich and heavy, rummy and bold but neither too sweet nor too sharp - a rare, well-integrated 11% stout. Chocolate, toasted coconut, and black currants contribute nuance to the thick brew. This is earthy and a little bit strange, but also mighty delicious. An impressive imperial stout.

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

Tsarina Esra looks like hot cocoa: black and opaque at first glance but actually more of a dark brown upon closer inspection. There's obviously no chance of seeing through it - the beer is far too dark for that - but there's definite highlights along the edges and it has a taupe colour head.

Tsarina Esra looked a little light coming out the bottle and, indeed, smells a little more like a Brown Ale than it does a Baltic Porter; the notes of toasted brown bread, nuts, and raisins are far more mild than you'd expect from an 11% beer. There certainly isn't the heavily roasted malts that the brewery advertises.

The palate definitely raises the volume up a few notches, but flavours still stay within the boundaries of sweet (dried fruit, black licorice, truffles) as oppose to the anticipated more bitter, dark qualities (espresso, unrefined cocoa). This makes it a slightly more approachable ale but strips it of the rich, decadent notes that distinguish the style's best.

That said, it drinks nothing like its strength and has a chestnut honey-like profile that makes it a satiating porter. It lacks the coffee-ish roast and stout-like semblance of many new world examples, but it has a deliciously agreeable, toothsome molasses/tootsie-roll-like satisfaction...

And hence Tsarina Esra is a little sweet for my tastes. The prunes-meets-rum cake profile isn't exactly what I look for in the Baltic (or any kind of) Porter style and this makes it a tough one to recommend, especially given the rarity and price on this side of the world. De Molen remains one of the best Dutch breweries I've tried, but they have better offerings than this.

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Photo of Diomede
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of deereless
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of rallison
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to johnnybravo for sending this over from the Netherlands.

A vigorous pour leaves only the most pitiful of bubbles. Given a minute, the beer is completely still looking. Relatively thick dark, dark brown/black body.

Dark chocolate, molasses, tobacco in the smell.

Molasses, chocolate and funky dark fruits in the flavor. Vinous. Tar (in a good way) and tobacco. Herbs. Espresso. Definitely complex and interesting.

Mouthfeel is thick with virtually no carbonation. Oily. Slightly alcoholic.

A very interesting, and altogether quite tasty, beer. This one really doesn't fit any one style perfectly. Probably best not to go in expecting a traditional Baltic Porter.

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Photo of johnnybravo
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Normally I do not rate much beers. I'm simply too lazy. But to rate this one I had to enter a few other ratings to get to 20 reviews so I could enter this new beer to the database. And I think it was was worth it. This beer is absolutely the best beer ever brewed during the last 40 years (before that I have no knowledge) in the Netherlands. Just amazing. I do like porters and stouts a lot. And this Baltic Porter has all it needs. The aroma is very strong, chocolate, roasted, malty, hops. The flavor just the same. And the mouthfeel. How do they do it? It's so full, so warming, so silky and oily, so warming. And above all that so well balanced. The only others that I had that come close are Närke Kaggen Stormaktsporter and Thirsty Dog Siberian Night.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 small green 180ml bottle w/red wax #219 – bought in Amsterdam

Pours a dark root beer color with a very small quickly dissipating head. Smells of booze, figs, dark overly ripe plums. First sip is complex yet in many ways rather simple. Deep roasted malts, dark fruits, hazel nuts and a tad of brown sugar comprise the taste. The beer is slightly under carbonated and that hurts the mouthfeel. Pretty damn tasty. Drank side by side with a 2012 version bought stateside. 2010 was hands down better and really seemed liked a different beer. The 2010 had yeast in the bottle and was bottle condition while the 2012 was not bottled condition. Really cool to have two different years side by side.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Jan (from De Bierkoning) for hand delivering this Bottle #101. What an amazing porter; aroma was roasted malt with slight Smokey flavors, strong licorice, more alcohol aroma as it warmed. I had plenty of frothy brown head after the initial pour. Taste was outstanding for this porter; full-bodied with plenty of bitter chocolate, coffee, slight tobacco flavor with an oily feel; very drinkable considering how high the alcohol level. Can't wait to get some more of this stuff!

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Photo of thierrynantes
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from La Cervoiserie, and tasted in 2013.

Appearance : dark brown color, with light tan foam head.
Smell : roasted malty, alcohol and coffe aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : roasted malty, licorice and heavy sweet and bitter with a long long duration.
Drinkability : a nice beer in the style Imperial or Baltic Porter.

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Photo of largadeer
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks, Arne. Opaque viscous black with a thin brown crust. Black licorice aroma is prominent, and there's a faint charred undertone along with a bit of molasses sweetness. Palate is very viscous, and the flavors mirror the aroma pretty closely, with strong black licorice flavors, molasses, earthy bitter hops, brown sugar cookies and a touch of alcohol. Really nice stuff, this brewery continues to impress me.

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Tsarina Esra from Brouwerij De Molen
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 229 ratings