Tsarina Esra | Brouwerij De Molen

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Tsarina EsraTsarina Esra

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Molen

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

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Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 204
Photo of stakem
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
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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Photo of Kegatron
3.92/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tiny 18cl red wax topped bottle into a couple of snifters. Mucho thanks to Stakem for splitting this little guy with me. Bottle # 0046/1344.

Pours black with a mocha colored head. This retains with a thin ring around the edges of the glass, leaving back a light cascade of spotty foam. The aroma smells of coffee, cocoa, and some light herbal hops. The alcohol mixes in a bit of spicy warmth as well.

The taste is a blend of coffee, chocolate, green citrus, and some more of an herbal hop character that emerges as well. Brunt roast fills out the back, sticking to the tongue along with some leftover pine and lingering spicy alcohol. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a moderate amount of sharpness to the carbonation, giving this a firm creaminess across the back of the palate. The high alcohol presence, while not being overly hot, does start to wear on the palate a bit despite the short pour here.

This was a solid Imperial style Baltic Porter that definitely had some strength behind it but the flavors here never did quite get as deep or robust as they felt like they wanted to. The alcohol also got to be a little bit intrusive here as well. This was certainly good but ultimately didn’t leave a huge impression on me.

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Photo of spdyfire83
2.11/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

63rd Review
Bottle to snifter
Bottle #464

Shared with farundrpar on a recent visit to Amsterdam. Consumed side-by-side with Tsarina Esra Reserva.

A: Medium brown. Looks like chocolate milk. 2+ (mocha white) fingernail head on medium pour.

S: Milk chocolate mixed with paint thinner and laid on oak chips. Yuck!

T: Very roasty. Off tint of cardboard and smoked chipotle peppers. Burnt chocolate. Hint of caramel (the only positive in this experience). Overly burnt dark malt.

M: Prickly and not pleasant. Medium bodied/carbonation.

O: Sharp and off. Hodge podge of really weird tastes and characteristics. Unpleasant from start to finish and thoroughly not enjoyable. Not sure if the bottle is/was infected or what, but this was just a bad beer. Sad, because I really enjoyed the Tsarina Esra Reserva that was consumed side-by-side with this.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one at the De Molen bottle shop in Bodegraven. Wanted to drink the new batch before trying the Cognac version they'd just brewed.

From a 33cl bottle into a snifter
Bottle 335 of 768

APPEARANCE: Pours out brown and transparent, yielding a 2 finger, thicker looking, tan head with great retention. Black body and medium carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a good cap and totally coats the sides of the glass. A ring and splotchy wisp remain leaving some nice lacing down the glass. Good looking beer, though it could be a little darker off the pour.

SMELL: Dark malts, smoky malts and licorice notes in there. Caramel notes, dark chocolate and coffee in there as well. Bold and impressive stuff. Enticing.

TASTE: Dark malts, caramel and smoky notes, as well as some licorice flavors up front. Some vanilla and sweet cream through the middle, leading into a bitter, pure chocolate and coffee finish. A good burst of booze on the swallow as well. Big and lingering aftertaste is boozy with chocolate and caramel sweetness as well. Very flavorful and enjoyable.

PALATE: On the fuller side of medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes with a little burn at the swallow. A slightly sticky finish and some heat lingers on the palate.

OVERALL: This stuff really is world class. The previous small batch was flat, unfortunately, but this one is just as good as I remember the earlier batches being. A great look with a huge nose and piles of delicious flavor. Only the relatively aggressive heat keeps this one from scoring like a champ. Definitely worth the trouble if you get the chance. Highly recommended.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Bottle shares by Tim, thanks! 2010 vintage.

A: Black with a small beige head. Foreboding.

S: Dark chocolate with molasses and licorice, and earthy hops in the nose. Light smoke notes waft from the glass and I get lots of green wood. 

T: The flavor doesn't quite live up to aroma. Light chocolate with some plum and grape, almost a sourness in the finish. Roasted grains are apparent. Alcohol is well masked.

M: Full body with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is sticky and chewy.

Overall: Recommended. A good Baltic Porter.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Rich, long, and delicious hefty take on a porter.

Presentation: 18 cl green, capped, and waxed bottle. Simple Label with a an orange oval framing the text over white background detailing the characteristics of the brew. O.G. 1118, F.G. 1026, EBC Colour 388.7, Hop bill, EBUs 92. Adds recommended drinking temperature, and cellaring range (up to 25 yrs). Shows brewing and bottling date (17 Nov 2010), and that this is bottle 0714 out of a 1344 18 cl bottles batch, alongside Alc. by Vol. (10%) Served in a snifter.

A - Deep black pour with a 1/2" short lived head, fair surface memory and minimal lacing.

S - Roasted nose, touches of coffee and chocolate, lightly woody with a touch of smoke.

T - Very rich and long roasted range. touches of chocolate, coffee with a bigger intensity, dash of dark fruits, dried prunes... Tiny black-currants, and a touch of licorice. Roasted malts and a touch of caramel mid-palate.

M - Medium/full body, with medium to low carbonation that is held very nicely with the long lasting flavor profile, rather smooth with an oily bitter and creamy finish.

O - Rich and long sipper with an excellent flow.

Notes: Again De Molen offers a tremendous dark brew, well not that their hoppy stuff is mediocre, quite the contrary… But these dark ales have a richness and palate of their own. Well, worth the paid price for this little bottle.

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Photo of rvdoorn
4.74/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 806, 2007 vintage. Thnx PP!
Look: The beer pours a very dark color with almost no head.
Smell: Roasted malts, banana, coffee, creamy milk chocolate and vanilla
Taste: Malts up front, followed by creamy coffee, chocolate with hints of tobacco finishing with a nice bitter kick from the hops and roasted malts
Mouthfeel: Thick body with low carbonation
Overall: Wow, what a beer! Only disadvantage is (again) the low carbonation of this the molen beer.

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Photo of stx00lax
4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage, bottle number 3! cool

A- dark brown pour with a light brown head that fades pretty fast. carbonation looks pretty minimal

S-smoked malts dominate. raisins, molasses and ripe plums as it warms.

T- This was the highlight for me. Vinous notes blended with light smoke, bitter roast balance pretty well. Maybe a tad on the sweet side. But i like sweet. Good complexity

M- medium viscosity coats the mouth pretty well and leaves a decent overall impression. I wish it had a touch more carbonation though, it was pretty flat which ultimately hurt its drinkability.

O- great flavor profile with good complexity. Im not sure what the intention was with the carbonation, but if it had more, this would have been solid.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark reddish brown color with an average frothy brown head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate to heavy roasted malt, dark fruit and alcohol aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Medium to heavy dark fruit sweet flavor with medium to heavy sweet finish of moderate to moderate to long duration. Solid complex beer.

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Photo of GoGriz
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rec'd this bottle in a recent trade from Jeff. Thanks for one of the coolest trades I've done to date man. Bottle number 0141...great presentation.

Appearance is pretty nice. It takes a gentle swirl to coax out a thicker head and its color ends up being a cinnamon, mocha tinted brown.
Smell is of milk chocolate and it is very distinct. Wow the nose matches the taste in the milk chocolate department. Other than that though the flavor is a bit one dimensional. Mouthfeel is like a chocolate shake and I like it. Not what I was expecting from this.

A really nice, somewhat simple beer that I know I'll crave in certain moods (which sucks as I may never have it again). I'm enjoying it thoroughly now!

This is the 2009 bottling. 18cl.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

18cl bottle poured into a tulip, bottle # 1167...Pours a dark brown with a light tan had, rises about two fingers, but gone right away. Spotty lacing...A very strong aroma of alcohol, black licorice, but it sweet, yet I'm not thrilled...The taste pulls this out, super complexity. There is still lots of alcohol, this could use some time before drinking. The taste is very vinous, I would assume this was aged in red wine barrels but I can't find anything to indicate that. A sweet start, red wine, then a bitter coffee finish. A very tannic feel. Enjoyable to drink, but this is a sipper.

Worth trying.

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Photo of largadeer
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
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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Photo of soulgrowl
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
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 Sigmund
4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
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 Mora2000
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle at a recent tasting.

Bottle number 640 of 823. Bottled 1/11/2007. The beer pours dark brown to black with a very small tan head. The aroma is roasted malt, teriyaki and soy sauce. The flavor is more of the same with roasted malt, teriyaki and some light smoke. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2009 - Drank 2010.

A - Deep brown, not quite black. Small creamy beige head, that settles pretty fast with a bit of lacing left.

S - A lot of dark roasted malts and barley. A good amount of bittersweet chocolate, some coffee, and some dark fruit. Also a bit of molasses and brown sugar.

T - A lot of those dark, roasted malts are the initial flavor and provides a base for the drink. Some bitter roasted taste, chocolate, and coffee then come in, along with a bit of tobacco. Then dark fruit starts to make a greater presences (raisin and date) along with some molasses. Starts bitter and then eases into a bit more sweeter taste. Alcohol taste is present throughout.

M - Medium to full body that is creamy and a bit chewy. Low carbonation. Also fairly slick.

D - Strong flavors, high ABV, and low carbonation don't help the drinkability. I wouldn't mind drinking one at another time, but definitely not more than one in a night.

Notes: Pretty nice porter, with some strong flavors that evolve through drinking it.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.82/5  rDev -8.4%
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 gford217
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330mL bottle, 2007 vintage #172, courtesy of fonefan poured into a tulip.

The top comes off with hardly a sound and an aggressive pour produces a smattering of big tan bubbles on top of an opaque deep brown body. There is no retention or lacing to speak of.

The nose is boozier than I was expecting with a port character that comes out from the very beginning. There are tons of dark roasted malts, coffee and bakers chocolate underneath the booze. There is an interesting mix of tobacco and leather that comes out as it warms.

The taste really explodes with the first sip. There is an ashy burnt malt and tobacco presence to start things off, but it gives way to some espresso and dark chocolate malts in the middle. The finish gets slightly sweeter with some molasses before the big dry finish kicks in.

The mouthfeel is super slick aned smooth with almost non-existent carbonation. The finish is ash-like in it's dryness which I don't often get in a beer.

This is an excellent beer that I think would be absolutely world class if it had a shade more carbonation. As it is, the look and feel take a hit from the complete lack of carbonation. The nose and taste are exceptional with tons of complexity and all kinds of different flavors coming out. Interesting and tasty.

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Photo of Floydster
4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

33 cl bottle brought by rallison to the SeaO'Floydster tasting, thanks a lot Ryan for bringing this brew from Netherlands, reviewed from notes, poured into my Rader snifter

A-Deep dark brown, minimal 1/4 inch creamy light tan head that did not last long, no lacing, some legs
S-Dark chocolate, molasses, coffee, honey, booze, roasted malts, port wine, and tobacco
T-Starts off with dark roasted malts, syrupy and coffee in the middle, more of that in the finish along with booze, malt seemed peated in this one and was quite harsh, very rich overall with an always smoky and dry flavor jumping out
M-Roasted, dry, and semi-sweet mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, on the lighter side for carbonation, taste lingers
D-Could drink this bottle but not much more, eleven percent is there and you can taste it, still pretty smooth stuff

This was my last beer of the tasting and not a bad one to end on before going to bed on that super comfortable Motel 6 mattress, would like to try the reserve version now and compare them, first beer from De Molen and it did not disappoint, would drink again, recommended

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.97/5  rDev -4.8%
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 Sammy
4.13/5  rDev -1%
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 jmscott
4.44/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Truly an outstanding beer. Has an incredibly unique spiciness and a very smooth taste. My only complaint is the lack of carbonation... ZERO. Perhaps I got a poor bottle, but the beer certainly didn't taste spoiled. This beer had no bubbles, no lacing, no legs, and tasted kinda flat, but was exceptional nontheless.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.07/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of dkachur - thanks Dan! Poured into a chalice.

A: Deep brown motor oil, minimal head, even less lacing. Remains absolutely motionless in my glass.

A: Smoky, burnt, soy bitternerness, vegetal hops, very pungent.

T: Unbelievably sweet, burnt brown sugar, so crazy toasted across the board. Very salty, in a way, and almost burnt in places but the astringencies aren't harsh or offputting.

M: Thick, motor oil-esque, and "oily" would be a good way to describe it. I'll settle with "slicker than snail snot," to use the description that was floating around the room.

D: This one'll kick your butt if you're not careful, and likely even if you are. A beer to be respected, but definitely one to try - very unlike a lot of other baltic porters I've had.

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Photo of rallison
4.42/5  rDev +6%
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 ygtbsm94
4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
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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Tsarina Esra from Brouwerij De Molen
4.17 out of 5 based on 204 ratings.
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