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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:
46
Gots:
42
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 202
Photo of chinchill
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

De Molen Tsarina Esra Imperial Porter served in a small snifter.

Completely opaque body is covered by an excellent head.

Aroma: rich, sweet and complex, with a load of dark fruits and other elements I could not untangle.

Flavor: starts too sweet then turns more and more bitter -- way more change in this dimension than usual.

Feel: Creamy smooth; very soft; alcohol is almost completely hidden.

O: extraordinary. My admiration exceeded my considerable enjoyment.

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Photo of Absumaster
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
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 Chico1985
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Updated from a 4 'Had' score. Some age on this one - bottle date is 4-5-12, I also have had this fresh(er) in the past.

A - Dark brown with some clarity and red highlights. A large beige head forms on the pour falling to about a half-finger, great retention, not much lace.

S - Pretty nice and complex. Chocolate brownie, some roast and coffee, dark fruits, molasses, nutty malts; great balance with nothing overpowering anything else. Some slight oxidation shows itself but it adds to the flavor and doesn't really affect it negatively. Very smooth with no alcohol here whatsoever.

T - More dark fruit-forward here with kind of a port/cigar box feel. Nice balance of chocolate and roast (leaning more towards chocolate), caramel, toast, brown sugar, some licorice. Maybe some leafy hop in there.

M - Very, very smooth but not too hefty, maintains somewhat of a 'porter' feel rather than an imperial stout. Great high-ish carbonation, nice foaminess to it. Alcohol very well-hidden.

O - Other De Molen 'big dark' brews I've had have been nice but always somehow fell short of their potential through big sweetness, booziness, minimal carbonation, etc. This one avoids those pitfalls and delivers on all fronts. Definitely enjoyed it after some aging. Complex and incredibly smooth and drinkable, the 330ml solo was a little too easy.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.04/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From notes. Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

The beer itself is nearly black with a tightly wound tan froth that exists mostly as a cap on top of the beer.

The aroma is not that appealing. Dark chocolate, molasses, and some bitter coffee notes provide the nice part of the aroma, but licorice and earthy hops are less interesting, and there is a metallic copper smell that hovers above everything else.

The flavor is slightly better. There are no noticeable metallic notes in the flavor, leaving dark chocolate, roasted malt, smoke molasses to provide a nice front, with licorice and a moderate earthy hop finish. The flavor is a bit strange as well, and it is not something I really enjoyed.

The beer feels fine on my palate. It is full, rich, chewy, and smooth, with a medium carbonation for the style. It is a little bit dry and smoky up front, and the earthy hops, coffee, and licorice, provide a kind of acrid, dry bitterness.

Overall this is not a beer I would really go after trying again.

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Photo of Brabander
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Darn, this is a good beer i got in trade with my beerbuddy Roel who lives in the south of Holland.

Poured this beer in my Struise glass. Very nice big head which stays for quit a while. Good smell. Darkdarkbrown fluid.

Taste is very smooth with the alcohol very well hidden. In the aftersip you get the alcohol.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
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 peensteen
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Liam, 2009

Deep brown colour, ring of tan head with not much in the way of lace either. Smell is of burnt coffee beans, bitersweet chocolate and darker fruits, just a hint of alcohol, but fairly robust and roasty overall. Taste is of dark chocolate cake, a bit of coffee as well, herbal-black liquorice flavours and mild dark fruit, a bit of booze with a bittersweet finish. Lightly carbonated, fairly full feel. A great porter, nice rich layerd flavour here probably as a result of aging.

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Photo of themind
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an awesome, magnificent porter! I love this thing!!! deep dark color with a big head when poured into a goblet. The aroma is fresh and the taste is amazing. I really liked this beer. The downside is this 11.2 ounce brew was $11.00 bucks! so this is pricey. Would I buy again....yup since this was a gift lol! it's really good, very drinkable.

Bottom Line: Porter lovers grab this puppy and hold on tight!

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Photo of Cozzatoad
3.21/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

330ml bottle, forgot to check dates

A- Near black colour. Huge light brown head, looks really dense and it shows very nice retention

S- In just three words: roasted milk chocolate

T- A hint of roasted malts upfront, then caramel among a very sweet lactic feel that reminds of a milk stout. Maybe some slight dark fruit hints. Not as complex as one could have hoped. Cloyingly sweet finish, with an unpleasant burnt caramel/alcohol feel that leaves a really bad impression on the back of your mouth. I'm also getting some herbal feel on the back of the tongue, but it feels burnt with alcohol as well ad it does not bring enough balance to an overwhelmingly sweet finish

M- Not at all bad upfront, filling the mouth with a soft viscous feel and just the lightest hint of carbonation. As mentioned, really bad on the back of the mouth and in the aftertaste with that unpleasant burnt feel. Plus, alcohol gets too much in the way

O- Appareance and smell were quite promising but the taste was a total letdown. This is an unbalanced beer, no fine brewing work here, and really not worth it's price

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Photo of bobhits
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Big dark black porter with a huge caramel head. Very nice looking beer.

A big roasted malt with hints of hops. Porters are normally not the most aromatic of the darker beers but what is here is nice.

Chocolate balanced by roasted malt and enough hops to balance out the sweetness perfectly. The net result is a nice porter that doesn't bite from hops or the roast. A very smooth and somewhat creamy flavor is the net end result.

This is a very creamy beer though not syrupy like some of the bigger imperial stouts.

Tsarina Esra is a nice porter, but I can't see going back to this one anytime soon. Definitely, one to pick up if you like the style. It is a touch pricey like all De Molen beers are in the US, but if you can get past that try this one!

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Photo of thierrynantes
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
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 Jwale73
3.99/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Generous extra courtesy of KingKong. 330ml bottle served in a tulip. 05/04/2012 indicated on the back label. Pours two shades shy of black with a 1.5 inch, tight, mocha-colored head. Head eventually disperses into a sudsy, broken froth. Interesting nose - malted milk balls and dark fruit. Taste follows nose; however, there's also a slight metallic character interspersed in the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a slightly creamy texture and a very mild, even carbonation. Overall, a very good Baltic Porter; however, it may be heading a bit down hill as I'm getting some traces of oxidation. I'd love the opportunity to try this on draft at some point.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle. These statically-labeled offerings from this Mikkeller-esque brewery keep on coming hard and fast to we beer lovers here in Albertastan.

This beer pours a very thorough black, with dark reddish brown hued basal highlights, and three fingers of puffy and broadly foamy beige head, which leaves a few instances of roller coaster profile lace around the glass as it slowly abates.

It smells of dry, chalky cocoa powder, sour black fruit, soft anise, dark sugar, musty earthy, and leafy hops, and a twinge of warming alcohol. The taste is a big shot of semi-sweet baker's chocolate, caramel malt, fruity molasses, a slight milky sourness, mild coffee grounds, more distinctive plump raisins, and a fading earthy mustiness.

The carbonation is quit sedate, and unobtrusive, the body a decent medium-full weight, and rather smooth, with strong creamy leanings. It finishes well off-dry, the chocolate and caramel still most prominent, as the fruit, hops, and alcohol pick and prod away in a slow, barely erosive process.

A rather pleasant porter overall, the chocolate dialed up, the sourness dialed down, and the alcohol somehow off in another dimension, or something. Lots of flavour to go around, and really nothing to keep you from enjoying this like I would imagine the titular Russian empress would.

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Photo of GONZALOYANNA
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle. Snifter glass. Enjoyed on sep´12. Dark mahogany color & tan headed. Lasting thin layer is left on top. To the nose roasted malt & fudge chocolate aromas, floral fragrances & spiced touches. Creamy & sweet malty sensation. Full body. Soft carbonation. Oily & dense. Herbal & bitter cocoa in the middle. Sligthly sugary aftertaste. Incredible well hidden ABV!!

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Photo of popery
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours black with some dark brown just barely showing on the edges. Small-ish mocha-colored head with lots of fine bubbles. It's actually a pretty decent head for the abv. The aroma has a lot of tasty milk chocolate but seems a bit simple otherwise. There's a lactic edge with a whole bunch of cocoa, so basically milk chocolate. There's a definite caramel malt backbone and a bit of fruitiness to the beer, but it's buried in chocolate. A very light touch of booze. There's probably a light mineral-ish hop flavor, as well, but it's not easy to pick out. The taste is sweet, and while there's a bit more depth, the beer is still on the simple side here, as well. Lots of milk chocolate but a bit more malt and hop complexity, particularly in the finish. It's not quite roasty, but there's a darkly toasty malt flavor in there. The milk chocolate sweetness just doesn't relent, though. Mouthfeel is smooth and full. Very good. This is a nice beer, but I was hoping for more. I tried the recent Evil Twin stout and porter brewed at De Molen, and they were great. So, I guess I had my hopes up for this beer and a couple others. While this is a good beer, I don't think it's worth the price tag.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle poured into tulip 28/1/13

A looks like black liquid with a deep cola edge, two fingers of mocha foam fall fairly fast ending up as a thin film that leaves no lace

S molasses and slightly sour dark fruits come out first, bakers chocolate, a little booze, raisins, some licorice and earthy notes

T the roast is darker in the mouth, a little char and smoke work well with the sweetness, slightly nutty and the raisins I could smell have switched to prunes, a little chocolate liqueur with coffee and overall I'm a little surprised how different the flavor is compared to the nose

M not too thick with a little heat, a little sticky on the lips and nice sweet roast aftertaste lingers for a while

O pretty solid example of the style, could use a little age but already quite mellow for a big brew. quite a bit going on and nothing to complain about, something I'd drink again in a heartbeat

I'm happy with this one and might buy one or two to sit on, I doubt I'll age it for the 25 year potential I see printed on the bottle but I'm sure a year or two would do it some good

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Photo of safaricook
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bought it at the Bierkoning in Amsterdam. It was bottled on 05APR12 and therefore a few month short of a year old. I poured it into my Leute Bokbier glass, which is basically a wine glass without a stem. Let it warm up a bit before the pour. I had this one a couple of times and was always excited about it and finally got to review it.

Nice creamy looking beige head of a few fingers that reduces slowly leaving a thin layer and later only a rim, little lacing. It is dark as (Italian) coffee with some ruby shine when put into a strong light source

It smells of chocolate, malts, only little coffee and some booze.

Taste is of malt, little coffee, alcohol. Sourness from some dark fruits and malty sweetness is well balanced. Finishes sweet and a little bitterness.

Really smooth almost oily texture, with enough carbonation to keep it from being stale.

Perfect beer to end the day with. Very satisfying in taste, smell and mouthfeel. If you dig the style you have here a very fine example. My favorite beer from Brouwerij de Molen so far.

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Photo of Daktyls
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into an SA PP glass. This porter is a deep, dark brown, practically black with a half fingered, mocha colored head that dissipates quickly to a patch of lacing in the middle and a ring of slightly larger bubbles around the outside edge of the glass.

S: Mocha and bold coffee present themselves almost immediately with slight hints of yeast in the background as well as some very slight hints of dark fruits.

T: Light notes of coffee and chocolate combined with some less notes of dark fruits and some breadiness.

M: Creamy feel with a low level of carbonation that allows the flavors to come through without masking any flavors too much, though it does hide the higher alcohol content very well.

O: A nice, solid porter with a lot of flavor. A very enjoyable beer that I would definitely have again.

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Photo of crnipeter
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottled 11-07-2011 so roughly a year old by now. Apparently opaque very dark brown body with ruby hue gets crowned by thick persistent tan head that never entirely goes away and weaves firm sheets of lace on the sides.

Pleasant aroma that's not overly complex exhibits pronounced darker malt chocolate quality and shows some esters of dark fruits and currant.

Initial sweet flavor with chocolate-caramel qualities is overrun by dark malts that last through the relatively dry finish, yielding coffee-like roastiness and liquorice notes. Alcohol is noticeably warming yet remains restrained gently wrapping itself around the tongue.

Substantial carbonation makes the full body mouth-filling and seemingly lighter than actually is. I was pleasantly surprised by excellent mouthfeel and appearance provided by Esra. Obviously De Molen has/had serious quality control issues as their Hel & Verdoemenis was a sink-job due to complete absence of carbonation.

So, the tsar has fallen but tsarina still holds the throne. (330 ml, into tulip)

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Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So I get back from watching Looper and discover that my beer is also a time-traveler. Apparently this was brewed on December 3rd 2009, but bottled nearly 11 months earlier on January 14th. Thanks to Jeffo for this one. Served in a wine glass. Bottle #288/1320 - 18cl.

A - Hard pour yields a thin tan foam that settles to a thin ring, a wispy patch, and a few specks of lace. Very dark brown with some transparency at the edges.

S - Lots of dark fruits, dark chocolate, and a touch of licorice. Alcohol is fairly well-restrained, and there's a savory undercurrent of soy and umami. There's a bit of roast and char, but as with most of Menno's beer it's understated.

T - Taste is super smooth with lots of chocolate fudge and light caramel and toasted bread. Dark fruits are there, but on the sweeter side rather than vinous. No alcohol presence here, and a mild anise bitterness in the finish. As it warms I get a bit of Belgian-style candi?

M - Medium-full body, with moderate-to-low carbonation that dies out over the course of the glass. Smooth texture with a very sticky finish. Not much in the way of any alcohol heat.

D - I had a bottle of this when Menno was in town and it wasn't nearly as good as this one. Perhaps some vintages have held up better than others. 18cl is the perfect serving for this sort of beer if your drinking for one. Hopefully the batch released stateside recently will be as enjoyable.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
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 Dope
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very dark brown with a large and dense light brown head adorning it. Decent lacing but nothing spectacular.

S: Super fruity, loaded with dark fruits. Cherry, grape, raisin, fig, plums, you name it. Touch of chocolate and char but not a huge amount of roasted malt character. Sweet caramel. Creamy. Even get a hint of anise in there.

T: Starts out fruity with the dark fruits mentioned in the aroma. Turns into some roasted malt with char and a bit of chocolate. Char turns almost ashy towards the finish. Ends with a bunch of char, a little chocolate, some anise and a little residual dark fruit. Hints of ashy char and dark fruit linger forever in the aftertaste.

M: Not as big as you'd expect for 11%. Super creamy and smooth, however.

O: Too many baltic porters are almost indistinguishable from an imperial stout. This one is not. Very fruity without a huge amount of roasted malt like you'd get in an IS. Drinkability is shockingly high for an 11% brew, it's very smooth and creamy and a delight to drink. Excellent baltic porter, possibly the best I've had.

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Photo of Arno
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

appearance: Sort of pitch black, or very dark brown at the very least. Nice 2/3 finger foam head. Not lasting too long, but has great lacing.

smell: Roasted malts together with some sour dried red fruity malts. Dark caramel & chocolate sweetness. Coffee as well.

taste: Quite amazing. First you get sweet & sour dried fruits, like black currant, vigs and plum. Then there is some sweet, smokey, dark caramel followed by roasted coffee flavors. Slightly bitter, but quite mellow for a proper porter. Then as a finish it all seems to come together. You still get the hint of sour, dark dried fruits, the sweet caramel and a bit of coffee. The coffee and caramel fade over time, leaving quite clearly the vigs/plum taste behind. Lovely.

mouthfeel: delicious. Creamy, round and full, but with a proper carbonation kick.

overall: I'm tending to give this one a 5 actually. But usually i only get there after i had a few. This is the one i'd go back to the brewery for so far, after bringing back a whole case of "The Molen" bears last time as tasters. It's quite alcohol heavy, but you don't get none of that when drinking (after maybe ;)). It has such a great flavor balance. I like porters, but most of the time they are just a touch off balance. It's too bitter, too milky or whatever. This one seems to do everything right. Highly advised!

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle 11,0% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.
Bottled on 08 November 2011 - Good for 25 years.

Appearance: Tsarina Esra appears pitch black in the glass, with a strong back light revealing the deepest of reds along the edge. A rough pour yields a massive, slow-forming, coffee-creme coloured head that displays good retention for the Abv. and leaves some patchy lacing.

Smell: Wow, this is very different from the last imperial porter I had (BBXX), though I guess this is a much more traditional take on the style. Notes include: Roasted malt, ash (noted in most of De Molen's big stouts), dark caramel, sweet dark fruit, a hint of molasses, toasted grain, marie biscuits, a hint of herbal hops and a touch of tar. As the beer warms, milk chocolate notes become apparent.

Taste: Mmmm, this is a delicious imperial porter. Roasted malt, light charred notes, sweet dark chocolate, sweet dark fruits, burned raisins and liquorice are all noted. Warming yields notes of chocolate liqueur, a hint of smoke and a touch of coffee. The finish is moderately bitter with light notes of earthy hops.
Perfect Abv. cover, I would not have guessed this was much more than 9%.

Mouthfell: Pretty much bang on for a big porter! Just shy of a full body with a medium level of super smooth carbonation.

Overall: With winter on its way, this was a great choice for an evening sipper! I wish I had another bottle.

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Photo of stakem
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thimble sized pour from this tiny medicine dropper of a bottle that was dipped in red wax. Roughly a 3oz or so pour of this from a ~6oz nip into a 5oz mini snifter. With Kegatron along for the ride, we divulge this mysterious dark liquid. Obligatory bottle numbering system, this one was #46 in line. It appears a dark brown color with a faint hint of brown clarity around the edges. A swirl hardly provokes any lacing effect or bubbles from solution. A few spots and leggings of alcohol are noted on the glass.

The smell of this brew is unexpectedly herbal with hops, grass and sulfur. Some fruity alcohol aspects emerge reminescent of raisin, licorice and some tar-like notes. As it warms up, it gradually gets back in line with roasty elements if dark grain and bitter chocolate scents.

The taste is bitter with a dry roasty grain inclusion that is burnt tasting of char, tobacco and earth. Some raisony alcohol provides a faint sweetness. The tangy inclusion of alcohol mixes with the dry earthy elements to make for an unusual yet enjoyable experience. The more sips are taken, the more the alcohol seems to become integrated in the brew. All across the backend, are Belgian yeast influences mixed with some herbal hoppiness. Licorice last long into the aftertaste.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. Initially it is pretty bold with alcohol that tapers off and becomes more enjoyable. It also has a little bit of awkward flavors as aromas that seemingly burn of as the experience continues. Not a bad brew but also not something I would get terribly excited over getting to try again. The small format of this bottle was quite ample to get a feel for.

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Tsarina Esra from Brouwerij De Molen
4.16 out of 5 based on 202 ratings.
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