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Tsarina Esra | Brouwerij De Molen

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding
76 Reviews
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Tsarina EsraTsarina Esra
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Molen
Netherlands
brouwerijdemolen.nl

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by johnnybravo on 02-11-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
76
Ratings:
202
Avg:
4.16
pDev:
13.7%
 
 
Wants:
45
Gots:
42
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 202
Photo of Leif_Eriksson
4.71/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Nose: dates, dark fruit, warm spice, smoke, syrup.

Look: 2014 bottle. dark crimson brown. still.

Taste: black liquorice, leather, figs, cigar, heavy, creamy, chewy, chocolate, oak, whiskey.

HUGE flavours.

 208 characters

Photo of BucBasil
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass at Bottoms Up, Jingan in Shanghai China.

A: Almost pure black with a slight cola red at the edges. Almost no head at all aside from a slight fizz at the top.

S: Sweetness, plum, chocolate of course. Faint traces of alcohol.

T: Slight note of roasted coffee, toffee, milk chocolate, brandy, Kahlua

F: Viscous and thick, sticky in the throat and back of mouth

Overall: A bit much. Really good for a bit then overpowering. Tastes good but the thickness gets to you. Good for a try.

 524 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.61/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark bean brown with no head

Aromas of smoked and slightly rotting meat. Some cocoa malts. Fig. Alcohol prunes. Hints of oxidation.

Metallic bite followed by prunes and jerky, cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, roast malt, fig. Sticky sweetness throughout.

Feel is surprisingly light for an Imper. Porter, but the stickiness sort of makes up for it. Roasty finish.

Overall reminds me a lot of anchor Porter. A bit stronger though. Worth the $8? Probably not. That's part of my rating here.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

 1,375 characters

Photo of josanguapo
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From Zombier. In Teku glass. Watching Los Soprano 4x09. Deliciously sweet. Very low on carbonation, providing it a light and very drinkable feel that is very dangerous for such a ABV

 182 characters

Photo of amano_h
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark chocolate, roasted malts, ripe plums, figs, and some kahlua-like artificial coffee notes tickle the nose. More cacao nibs and some mild yeast-derived esters also join the fray with the passage of time. I might be hallucinating but I think I smell a bit of pumpkin-like spice toward the back as well? Or maybe that's just what I'm craving right now.

Milk chocolate, kahlua, apple brandy, black cherry, and roasted malts is as far as I'm willing to try in describing the gist of the flavors on the tongue. Some toasted nutty flavors and cacao nibs ornate the back end of the flavor department, accompanied by some figs and dark plums. Some booze burn is apparent after a few sips, but that's expected from a... holy fuck. 11% ABV.

Slick and oily. Medium-bodied with minimal carbonation. Definitely a sipper given its high ABV and complexity, but all the elements involved go hand-in-hand without any clashing of flavors whatsoever. A wonderful showcase of de Molen's masterful usage of malt and yeast. I'm curious how this would taste with more age on it.

 1,060 characters

Photo of rex_4539
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Jet black color, no head whatsoever, no visible carbonation.

S: Sweet coffee, roasted malt.

T: Amazing sweet coffee flavors, slightly malty aftertaste.

F: Very drinkable for the high ABV, yet full bodied.

O: One of the best imperial porters I have ever tried. Superb!

 274 characters

Photo of dpgoblejr
4.82/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Enjoy within 25 years! Dated 5/19/15. Consumed 6/28/16. Mostly black, aggressive pour creates barely a wisp of lacing or head. Kind of a subdued aroma of dark fruit, coffee, and chocolate. Tastes of dark cherries, bitter coffee, and some cocoa. Medium to mostly full feel with the alcohol pretty well hidden. Very complex and balanced; I couldn't stop sipping. Overall, a fantastic imperial porter that will captivate you. Enjoy!

 438 characters

Photo of Martine
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep inky black with red eclipse into a tulip. The yellow-fawn head is 1cm at most, falling back to surface froth instantly; this beer is lively, you can see carbonation in the liquid.

The aroma and flavour entwine rather beautifully and artfully; dark chocolate, expresso liqueur, baked cherries & plums, some spiced aniseed, a little gooseberry, and red apple brandy with a toasty lingering bitterness. It's very autumn in its flavour profile, and very balanced.

Mouthfeel is excellent, medium bodied, minimal carbonation, smooth like silk, and warming. The booze is very well hidden, especially for a porter which doesn't go overboard with taste.

This is an excellent porter; complex, balanced, smooth, rich and light all at the same time. Not once can I identify an area which puts me off or I think diminishes the beer; this is incredibly well brewed.

 865 characters

Photo of tigg924
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap. Pours opaque, dark brown in color, with 1/4 inch head. Taste is dark chocolate, sweet chocolate, light coconut, coffee, and dark fruit. Light bodied for style. Complex sipper that was a real treat to have.

 221 characters

Photo of DoctorZombies
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black pour with tan head; cap dissipated quickly to a ring which maintained throughout; spotty lace; good clarity. Roasted malt, chocolate and black licorice nose; dry straw as liquid continues to open up. Flavors of chocolate, roast malt with a semi sweet licorice middle; dry cocoa powder finish with just a touch of alcohol. Medium, dry mouthfeel; light plus carbonation. Semi sweet linger with a little alcohol woven in the Lite roasted bitter malt.

 453 characters

Photo of Marius
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown, close to black, with a very tall, tan-coloured and fine-grained head that gives way rather quickly to a thin, sticky lacing. Smells like dried fruit, sour cherries, blackberries, caramel, roasted malts, some coffee liquor. Tastes like sour cherries, roasted malts, dark chocolate and some coffee, apple brandy. Medium body, soft mouthfeel and a nice, warm and bitter-sweet finish

 391 characters

Photo of Sathanas
4.49/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle from Sherbrooke Liquor in Edmonton, Alberta. Drank it last night, along with many other De Molen dark beers, for halloween. Chocolate, roast, dark fruits. Slight dirtiness, some smokey flavours. Surprisingly easy drinking considering its strength. Makes the lips stick together. Really well balanced and tasty.

 323 characters

Photo of Bonis
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer is quite unique, as are most stouts i've tried from this part of the world. Yea, this is a stout to me. Licorice, some bakers chocolate, fudge, and lots of fruity yeast esters on the nose. Taste is of a rich fruity cocoa malt, also dark/roasty/slightly astingent. Never tasted a beer that actually tasted like a malt shake... this reminds me of one without the milk anyway. Either this is sweet or just deceptively sweet... i'd lean toward the latter. Would love to know how they brew this. Ingredients are listed on the bottle, but my feeling is that is just the tip of the iceberg. Very solid, but not amazing.

 622 characters

Photo of cbutova
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle date of 25/04/14; just over a year old. Thanks ReallyOldBrownDog for gifting me this and so much other beer.

A- The black-and-white DM labeled 12oz drops a basically pitch black brew into my wine glass. With an aggressive pour the head barely makes it over about 2mm high with a light tan appearance quickly darting to the edges of the glass. This small ring leaves almost no lace.

S- An array of potent aromas jump out of the glass giving me more of a foreign or even English yeast impression than heavy roast. Strong notes of spicy dark dried fruits, anise/licorice, charred barley, bitter dark cocoa powder, toasted nuts and grains, aged caramel malts and plums.

T- Same general idea as the aroma but a burnt bitterness seems to amplify the heavily roasted grains, licorice, pure dark chocolate and toasted nutty flavors. The dark fruits like raisin, plum and fig are up front and lead to the bittering aftertastes. Exhaling brings ashy, smoked flavors out.

MF- Oily with carbonation on the low-end, not flat but just enough bubbles to keep it acceptable. Slick and thick overall consistency. Finishes slightly warm with burnt bitterness lingering.

A complex, strong Porter that presents a very wide spectrum of flavor. Dark and fruity and not a chocolate coffee bomb; certainly has that East of the Atlantic feel from the yeast.

 1,344 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

gosh, de molen has to be one of the kings right now. i know i am a mikkeller fanboy, but these guys are on the rise. this beer is sensational, has a lot of elements that make it similar to other beers they make. its rich and huge and yeasty, boasting chocolate and coffee distinctly as accent flavors, and like my colleague said, its literally light biting into a piece of fudge in terms of both taste and feel. thick and yeasty looking too, with fish food pieces floating about and a full inch of airy tan head that really never settles, although i never gave it a chance to, drank it pretty fast... oh well! notes of peanut and sludgy de molen yeast, feels old, but my bottle was made in 2014. dry for its abv, but there is a big caramel malt middle in this real dark beer, and it never resides, lingering awhile after the swallow. this is campfire stuff for me, to be consumed outside, late and night, in the summer. i know thats weird for porter, especially of the imperial variety, but thats what it screams to me. its the one big dark brew that needs pine pollen and campfire smoke and burnt marshmallow to make full sense. not a trace of booze in the taste, but what a buzz! love

 1,186 characters

Photo of farrago
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a moderate head, under a finger, mostly larger bubbles which sizzle off quickly, there is some lacing but it’s extremely thin lines with not great stickiness. The liquid is a murky brown, fully opaque, develops a yellow tint at the rims and surface, you can see a few strands of bubbles within but you are more likely to spy particulate floating about. The nose is at once compact and expressive, German chocolate cake, licorice, vanilla cake icing, toffee, kind of too sweet for real smokiness to show, curious lack of fruit scents, quiet raisin and prune at best, lingers with minimal effort. Full-bodied, layers creamily on the tongue, however, here you get something like bitter chicory which brightens the attack. Low carbonation, more fluffy than refreshing. Licorice, pine sap, crème brûlée, molten chocolate, roasted chestnuts and scone flavors keep the sweetness on parade, one could argue there is an uptick in the plum, prune, raisin, cherry fruit. The finish is somewhat flat-footed, yet no faulting the intensity of the flavors it chooses to spotlight. Does a reasonably good job of masking the alcohol.

 1,128 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Extremely dark brown, just a poor thin string of foam.
Nice roasted malt smell, soy sauce, chocolate liqueur, lots of caramel, sweet dried fig, date, faint blueberry. Pretty nice.
Huge fig and date up front, juicy raisin, with lots of dark chocolate. Some licorice, caramel coated chocolate cake, molasses, sweet coffee, nice roasted malts. Faint vanilla and cinnamon. Cocoa powder finish, toasted dark bread crust and faint hints of smoked wood.
Aftertaste has sweet coffee, date, chocolate and some roasted malt. Pretty intense. Medium body, very low carbonation. Alcohol totally hidden.
Awesome flavors, really smooth and absolutely no alcohol present. Not one bit. Awesome!

 678 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. Back label says 05/04/12

A- Pours a 99% opaque black color with a 1/4 inch light brown head that retains a bit before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and minimal surface foam.

S- Sweet, alcoholic aroma of dark roasted malt, caramel and molasses.

T- The sweetness continues with an almost brandy-like quality due to the high alcohol content. So smooth though as multiple sips are taken easily. The dark roasted malt brings notes of coffee, dark chocolate and even some raisin. A hint of oxidation actually complements the other flavors.

M- Slightly creamy with medium-low carbonation and a full body.

O- I feel like this was the perfect time to crack this one. Aged over 2 and a half years, it's snowing outside and I just got off work, so the warmth of the booze plus the tastiness really hits the spot. Cheers.

 890 characters

Photo of beergoot
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottle label data: Date of 05/04/12.

Dark ebony and garnet hues exhibited by the body; thick, fine foamed, luxurious head. Ripe plum and fig aroma. Soothing caramel and brown malt flavors; mild brown sugar flavors; subtle smokey tone; vanilla; cocoa. Heavy body with a very soft, smooth tone; medium residual sugar texture; semi-sweet finish.

A very sublime, smile-producing dark ale. Rich, robust, and balanced with an exquisite flavor complexity. A dark malt treasure with no distracting alcohol heat even with it's 11.0% ABV. An exceptional example of what a big beer can be...

 582 characters

Photo of beerdrifter
3.77/5  rDev -9.4%
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...

 722 characters

Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

 424 characters

Photo of babaracas
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark reddish brown with thick head of dense light brown foam, sheet of delicate lace halfway down the glass. Smell: buttered and toasted brown bread, raisin, fig, dark chocolate. Taste: huge dark fruit flavors and light on the roast. Plum, raisin, dates, dark brown sugar, into toasted brown bread with very mild roast and a moderate earthiness. Medium body with plenty of delicate carbonation to move things along. Silky feel with a quick jab of alcohol near the end of the sip. Sticky brown sugar and raisin finish. Bottled 4/12.

 539 characters

Photo of BierJager89
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours black with a mocha head.

S: Sweet, toasty, roasty malts, dark chocolate and dark roast coffee in the nose.

T: Sweet toasty/roasty malt, dark and milk chocolate, coffee. Sweet malts are the dominant characters. Some alcohol as it warns and sweetens further.

M: Full bodied and creamy smooth when it's warm enough.

O: Definitely recommended. It smells like a porter and tastes like a slightly sweet stout.

 416 characters

Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev -3.8%
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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Tsarina Esra from Brouwerij De Molen
4.16 out of 5 based on 202 ratings.
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