Urthel Samaranth | De Leyerth Brouwerijen (Urthel)

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Urthel SamaranthUrthel Samaranth

Brewed by:
De Leyerth Brouwerijen (Urthel)

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 01-06-2004

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Reviews: 336 | Ratings: 560
Photo of bark
3.17/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The colour is medium brown with a tint of brown. Although there are traces of yeast in the bottle, the liquid is clear. The small white head quickly sinks down to a fine lid, leaving some lacing.

The smell is alcoholic and fruity, it males me think of plums-in-brandy candy. Hints of dried fruits, ripe apples, cognac and marzipan.

The taste is sweet with a quickly passing sour note. Earthy notes of ripe fruit, raisins, marzipan, bitter almonds. The aftertaste is sweet with some notes of malt, mixed dried fruits and a slowly growing bitterness. Lots and lots of alcohol in the finish.

The carbonation is mild. Small bubbles. The liquid is sticky.

A quadruple just a little above the average. Maybe it gets better after some cellaring?

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Photo of jrallen34
3.22/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I drank this from a 11.2 oz bottle in Brugges into a chalice.

It pours with good head big head, and an amber colored body.

The aroma is heavy and spicy, with some cherry hints.

Sipping beer, would drink again in moderate amounts, but can't drink a lot of it.

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

Poured at a good temperature with a nice, cream-colored head that slowly settled. Color is a clear red amber with lots of bubble trails. Aroma is malt, fruit, a bit of brandy. Flavor's like nose, mainly sweet with some back tang and bitter; also hint of fish. Body and carbonation are good. Finish is like flavor, boozy, and of average length.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 330ml Belgian fattie. Picture of red-nosed gnome on the bottle and cap.

BA says this is a quadrupel, and the bottle says quadrium ale... But all the quads I've had before were dark. I was surprised at the light color of the beer.

This tasted sweet and just slightly bitter. Not too different form a golden barleywine, like Hair of the Dog Fred. About the only thing similar with other quads is the alcohol content.

Really good and unique strong ale.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750ml bottle served in a tulip glass. This beer was a ruby red color with a medium-sized white head that left a little bit of lacing. It had a sweet, fruity aroma. I would describe the aroma as that of cranberry orange bread. The taste was fruity, with a strong malt presence. Hops kicked in late. Maybe a little bit on the sweet side, but a truly enjoyable beer.

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Photo of stcules
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber-cherry colour, with a white foam, compact and with medium pesistence.
At the smell: caramel, malt, honey (a lot), bread, ginger, ripe melon, wither flowers.
The taste is fruity again: melon, pear, almond. Sweet.
Full and strong body. Well hidden alcohol (12%).
The aftertaste is on the same notes, fruity and warming, with a hop bitter in the finish that come back and envelops all.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Gouden Carolus chalice. Best before March 2013.

A: Wine-dark brown, topped by creamy head. Murky enough to prevent anything but a shadow from being visible through the beer. Some sediment. Good lacing.

S: Sweet. Almost too sweet. Candy sugars and faint apricot.

T: Not a let down, fortunately. Sweet, but not oppressively so, with definite dried apricot notes and plenty of candy. Lighter than expected, with some spices and yeast sneaking in. The aftertaste is hopped, dryish, briefer than I'd like, and full of flavour -- predominantly light fruit. Great beer.

M: A bit thin at times, but, on the whole, quite satisfactory.

D: Quite drinkable for the ABV (which is only occasionally noticeable). A good Quad, but not the best. I would drink it again, certainly, but I hesitate to recommend it above more worthy competitors.

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Photo of Gusler
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draught @ Papago
The beer comes fresh from the tap a hazy deep amber color with a plentiful head that is a winsome light tan and creamy in texture, after decomposition the resultant lace forms a surrounding blanket on the glass. Nose is earthy from the yeast, an over ripe apple aroma also noticed, spicy and fresh, start is slightly sweet with a nice grain profile, the top is middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is striking in its acidity, the hops plentiful and the 12 percent ABV leaves a bit of alcohol bitterness at the very dry finish, potent brew, and quite tasty to boot.

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Photo of mynie
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice longneck bottle, nice logo, nice price.

Pours quadish. Indistinguishable from a good Belgian dark, actually. Very dark red, very hazy, nice little white head.

Smells good, but also a tad too strong and a tad too uneven. Big, giant sugar with lots of spicy malt and fiery alcohol.

Tastes like a little kick of quad malts and yeast and then you're about to think about to review it but BAZAMO you get sacked by a ton of burny alcohol on the back end. Don't get me wrong; I like a nice burn in my heavy Belgians. But this is unbalanced. The dark malt flavors taste more like a dubble than anything, richly sweet with huge sugary nodes and very light banana and spice, but man oh man is that alcohol overpowering.

Not bad, but like I said at least twice already this is way too unbalanced.

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Photo of ccrida
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on draft in the official Urthel chalice, it has a great illustration of the Urthel gnome, which is characteristic of all the brewery's packaging. They are a very small artisan brewery upstart run by a husband and wife team, he being the artist responsible for said logo and marketing, while she's the head brewer and is responsible for making all of the beer. I recently had the good fortune of meeting them at the Ale Street News's Belgian tasting this paste spring in NYC, and I must they say are kind and very enthusiastic folks that making some wondering interesting brews. As their operation continues to mature, I'm really looking forward to see what they come out, as unlike many of their contemporaries in Belgian, Urthel isn't interested in creating merely another line of Trappist clones. Instead they take more of a home-brewer's approach, loosely interpreting (and often exaggerating) traditional recipes and styles, but creating distinctly unique new brews they call their own.
The draft pours a deep golden amber color, with moderate haze and small whitish head, which lingers around leaving a delicate, sugary lace. Very strong aroma appears to be a gridlocked battle between caramel/sugar, fresh, bitter hops, sweet, fruity esters, and alcohol. The discreetness of the aromas was my first indication the quad might be bit unbalanced, and a few sips quickly confirmed that tastes of these aromas were indeed not well blended, albeit a bit more complex then the nose had lead me to expect. The hops, accentuated by the apparent hardness of the water, ultimately dominated the finish of this beer, which is rather unusual for the style but indicative of the brewery's willingness to experiment. There was also a very pleasant tartness from the yeast in addition to the sour apple, grape and citrus esters. Although the body was rather syrupy, the generous use of sugar drys out and balances the richness of the sweet malt, with notes of caramel, honey, toast, rum and raisins. There is a lot to the mouthfeel, but it would have done better had the overall taste profile been smoother. This quad is fairly drinkable, as it's relatively digestible in spite of such high gravity, making for a robust tasting beer that goes down easy and masks it's high ABV very well. Still, the recipe could use some tweaking, and additionally, the beer tasted a bit young. Bottle conditioned I'm sure it would smooth out nicely with age, but the fresh keg I tasted had clearly not fully matured. The Urthel is certainly worth trying for those that tend to gravitate to the more 'extreme' beers, but purists (and light-weights!) might want to steer clear.

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Photo of Pencible
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured a cloudy light mahogany with fluffy light tan head. It smelled like rich dark chocolate and creamy yeast and banana nut bread, with some earthy caramel. It tasted like banana nut bread with some creamy yeast and powdery milk chocolate and earthy nutty malt. It was fairly thick with smooth carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste with some alcohol warming. Overall this was a very refined beer with a very delicate taste and body, but nothing super rich or powerful. The alcohol was apparent, so this beer is definitely better to sip. Definitely an enjoyable beer fresh, but it will likely mellow out and the malt might further sweeten with a few years of age. This didn't have the obvious or powerful characteristics that some quads do, but the subtleties had me thinking about it the next day and wanting more.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a mostly clear dark orange color with notes of red. the head is a tannish white looking color, it is pretty thick and about 2 fingers of it. it dissipates relatively quickly leaving a lace on the glass that falls down the glass slightly slower than the lace.

S-the nose is relatively big and quite boozy. A bready malt beginning with a light caramel backing is backed by malty dark fruits. Fresh plums and rum soaked dark cherries show through, heavy on the alcohol.

T-the taste is pretty much a mirro of the nose. Toasted biscuits with a caramel undertone. Dark booze soaked cherries and some fresh, not so ripe, plums. The alcohol is definitely present and in a large way brining a warming in the chest

M-this is quite full bodied and extremely smooth. It is somewhat creamy, the carbonation is spot on giving it a solid bold and strong finish.

D-this has got some solid flavors going on but it is pretty hot. It could use some time to mellow.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.7/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark honey-gold and cloudy. Flavor is rich and smooth with fruity hints and just a whisper of bitterness. The texture is smooth, but it has a nice bite that reminds you this is a strong ale. One of the best beers I have ever tried, worth seeking out.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.59/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours brown with a large fading head.
Nose shows sweet caramel, solvent-like booze, brown sugar and treacle.
Sweet and boozy flavour. More brown sugar, booze and some bready malt.
A little harsh and boozy.

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Photo of jaxon53
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Brouche for sending me this brew in the NoBS BIF ULTRA. Served slightly chilled in my Westvleteren glass, from an 11.2 ounce brown bottle. Poured a deep, almost brown, amber color. A solid inch of thick, bubbly off-white head rose up from the glass. Awesome head retention on this beer, thanks to the very active carbonation bubbles streaming up from the bottom of the glass. Tons of thick, clingy lace was left behind on the glass. Smell was of plums, dark cherries, a touch of wood, Belgian yeast, candi sugar, and a touch of alcohol. Very fruity. Flavor was again plum, semi-sour dark cherries, some sweet malts, sweet candi sugar, and some faint yeasty notes. Finishes rather smooth, with some alcohol heat felt in the back of the throat. Tons of carbonation felt as well. A nice full bodied mouthfeel, that was somewhat thick and palate coating. Pretty good drinkability, just becareful, the big ABV will sneak up on you. A solid Urthel offering.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a Trappe Door tulip. Poured red-orange with a two finger off-white head that subsided to one finger very slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, bread, fruit, spices, and vanilla. The flavor was of sweet malt, fruit, dark chocolate, bread, wood, and vanilla. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation which gave it an almost creamy texture. Overall this was a pretty decent brew. To be honest, there were quite a few notes that I was not expecting in this one. The vanilla note was definitely the biggest surprise to me. Granted it did add a nice touch to the other flavors there, but it just felt a little lackluster overall to me. While good, it just felt a little off to be labeled as a good brew. Worth trying if you get the chance, but that is about it.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Caged and corked 750ml - Solid toned color of lightly burnt orange and semi opaque in its glow. Gorgeous crown of fluffy smooth off-yellow sits tall and thick and man does that sucker keep its hold. It maintains its presence at about a 1/4 inch thee entire time it had liquid. Impressive. Lace is light and intricate with thin ink splotchy patterns.

Aroma is peppery and alive with fruity zazz and highly effervescent with spices. Cracked pepper, both white and black, make a noticeable spice over some custard zingyness, yeasty esters tend to be earthy and floral. Mild undertone play of pear, orange rind, and apple make up the fruit side thats hepling create a close balance. But the spices win out by alot.

Taste is smoothly inclined with broad fruity flavors of pear, apricot, apple, and orange. Gently musty and earthy overscore. A wonderfully delicate nature to its character overall as it rounds off very nicely into the spices while maintaining its fruity base. Balance is better in the taste dept. then what I perceived in the aroma. Finish is a complex glide of alcoholic spices, floral dryness, and lightly fluffy kick backs of the fruity stuff. Kinda lemony with pear and apple. One tasty treat. Mildly complexing with a well balanced forum of flavors.

Feel is quite nice as well. Again the balance is key to its overall welcoming component. Firm, steady, steardy, nearly full body with a great fluffy maltish texture and unfiltered film that coats the mouth with a light grab of spice and floral nuances. The fruity side keeps the overall kinship but always steps aside to let in the other ingredients do the thing.

It's a well balanced, spicy, fruity, firm quad that really sinks its teeth into ya. It goes down just right for its higher ABV and will hit ya late as it dwells in the head. Recommended.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This one poured a beautiful, brownish-orange in color. It was cloudy but glowing at the same time. The big, white head came up nicely, showed good retention, and left some cool-looking pits of foam on top of the liquid.

Smell - This Quadrupel reeks of orange rind. Beneath that smell the toasted malts and citrus hops are filled with giant, powdering spices. I can also pick up a hint of yeast. This is a very complex nose and I'm sure I'm not doing it justice here.

Taste - The yeast came out much bigger at the taste. The rindy orange didn't disappoint and came along from the nose as well. The big, heavily-sweetened orange and cranberry juices stole the show, though.

Mouthfeel - This one is medium to full-bodied with some light carbonation. It is creamy and rich in texture with a finish that is both sweet and dry at the same time.

Drinkability - I felt like a king drinking this bottle. It is very well-balanced and is the "grand-cru" of the Urthel line.

Update - I popped a bottle for 2005 and was equally as pleased. The Appearance could not have been better so I'm raising this rating from 4.5 to 5.0. This is a top notch Quad that delivers in spades and, IMO, is underrated.

Update - I came upon a 2008 the other day so am taking my time at enjoying another bomber. This ranks right up there with the classic Quads like the 12s brothers and 3P.

Update - I got a hold of a 2010. This really is a fantastic beer and unlike others of the style is not overly sweetened. There's actually some mild bitterness here that balances out the monster malt profile. This really is a fascinating Quad and I never get tired of exploring the different vintages. Best of all, if you want to age this you can put it away for five years and get a monster sugar-bomb.

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

Out of a 750ml corked and caged bottle. Sits pretty in the Palm tear drop glass; beautiful ruby amber color, clear, with a very tight white head that settles into a puffy cap. The aroma is sweet with raisins and candied cherries, some peppery spice and some fusel alcohol. The taste is big on honey and raisins, candi sugar, very light tobacco. A very very sweet brew; hard to separate from a BSDA. Moderate body with prickly carbonation, again very sweet but not quite syrupy or cloying. Nice big flavors but not quite what I expected from a quad, expected more of a malt body and balance to the sweet. Still a well made brew but for a quad I can find better examples.

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Photo of illidurit
2.91/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle poured into my Westvleteren goblet. Pours a sort of ashen goldenrod color, sort of sickly to be honest. Certainly far lighter than any standard quadrupel. Creamy tan head displays great retention and leaves films of sticky lacing. Aroma is diacetyl and caramel. And that's it. Flavor is very similar. Old butterscotch and caramel make this a very sweet beer. There is also a whisper of dark fruitiness and alcohol. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and sticky from the sweetness. Pretty one-dimensional, and possibly suffering from a brewing flaw with all that diacetyl. Not really mindful of the style either.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this at Bert's Bierhuis in Utrecht.

Into a chalice.

APPEARANCE: Pours a bit 2+ finger medium-thick off-white head with very good retention. Colour is a burnt umber brown with little carbonation. Head slowly fades to a thick film cap and leaves lots of immediate lacing. A think film stays until the end a leaves lots of lacing down the glass. Very nice looking quad.

SMELL: Some brown sugar and caramel malt with lots of spicy notes; cloves, coriander, white pepper and some spicy alcohol notes. Hints of raisins and dates as well, on top of a base of Belgian yeast.

TASTE: A touch of caramel malt followed by lots of spicy elements. Cloves, coriander, white pepper and some spicy alcohol at the end. Some sweet brown sugar as well, along side the customary shot of Belgian yeast. Long lasting aftertaste is spicy with a touch of alcohol the whole way. Quite nice.

PALATE: Medium body with medium-low carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth with a bit of an alcohol scratch at the end. Finishes with just the right degree of stickiness on the palate.

OVERALL: Another solid effort from Urthel. Definitely a drinkable quad, and the 12% ABV doesn't get in the way of enjoying this one. Urthel consistently makes good beer, and this is one that is certainly worth re-visiting in the future. Recommended.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Urthel Samaranth has a thin, cream-colored head, a medium brown, murky appearance, and not much lacing left behind. The aroma is of rich, sweet, candied fruits, such as fig or dates. Lots of bread, as well. Taste is of sweet bread crust, spiced bread, fruits, fruit bread, some bitterness, and brandy notes. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and Urthel Samaranth finishes between wet and dry, with a sure alcohol presence.


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Photo of Reagan1984
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this at Novare Res Bier Café earlier this week. Came served in a Urthel Hop It glass. I figure this is close enough... Poured with a luxurious head that was off white in color and showed great retention. Lots of nice lacing. Deep amber color that was hazy with mostly maroon tones...
Aroma is of dark fruits and grapes. Figs... yeasty tones.... Deep Aroma.
Really nice flavor and very deep. Dates for the sweetness and black cherry for the fruitiness. Some concord grape flavors.. And lots of malt tones.... Some real earthy and spice tones... Good...
Large mouth feel yet refreshing and inviting. One to take your time with and explore..

I enjoyed slowly making my way through the bottle.

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Photo of arizcards
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked upa 750 ml bottle at Total Wine back in late January for $8.99. 11% abv.

Copper color beer poured a thin off white head and dissapated quickly. Nose is quite nice, light and dark fruits, belgian yeast, and alcohol. Taste is apples, pears, figs, finishing with a nice dry hop. Mouthfeel is lighter than hoped but has a pretty good belgian yeast smooth feel as it goes across the palate. Drinkability is good, the beer was hot with the first sip but subsequent sips present a nice winter sipping beer.

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Photo of cokes
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Generally clear burnt umber sporting a wan and ashen puff of diminishing cream.
Spiked dark fruit punch nose, which doesn't unfold fully until it warms and reaches room temperature, full of pineapple, kiwi, fig, golden raisin, pear, and black cherry, doused liberally with calvados and dark rum.
A whole grain bagel coarseness initiates things inside the mouth. That only lasts a few moments as it turns fruitier towards apple butter and pear and black cherry. In all, the depth of fruitiness is a Cliff's Notes version compared to the aroma, and one is left to wonder where the rest went. Yeast adds limestone, white pepper and clove, then malt seems to regroup and conjoin with chocolate covered bananas. Booze careens in on the latter portions, with a heated, sharp and drying vapor. Calvados is strongest, but exotically spiced dark rum, and the hazelnut-vanilla-toasted-butter oakiness of bourbon are also featured. It's all enjoyable, but, honestly, this drinks far too much like a cocktail. Hops are phased entirely out and it carries that evaporating syrup texture of liquor: Fat and blanketing up front, then vanishing into a thin mist of sting and potency.
It's drinkable solely because the flavors work. And it's actually very tasty, in many aspects. But it's too much like a good mixer at some dive bar--all searingly raw and hot-- and not enough like a quality Belgian ale.
This has a good deal of promise and allure, and I'm rating it decently, because I feel the good outweighs the bad. Ultimately, it probably needs many years to settle down. And even then, I have a feeling the sparse body will have a hard time dealing with its firewater tendencies.

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Urthel Samaranth from De Leyerth Brouwerijen (Urthel)
4.03 out of 5 based on 560 ratings.
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