Barbãr (Belgian Honey Ale) | Brasserie Lefèbvre SA

very good
170 Reviews
Barbãr (Belgian Honey Ale)Barbãr (Belgian Honey Ale)

Brewed by:
Brasserie Lefèbvre SA

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 10-10-2000

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Reviews: 170 | Ratings: 389
Photo of Sammy
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at Chancey Smith. Decent drinking Belgian pale. Unexceptional other than some orange in flavour, honey in the secondary. Golden yellow coloured body with some head, lots of lace. High carbonation. Neutral aromas, perhaps the honey absorbs it.Easy mouthfeel, the smoothness from the honey overrides the carbonation. Nice summer Belgian.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before 5/29/14.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Small jelly-like clumps of sediment are seen floating around in the glass after the pour. Smell is of malt, grain, honey, fruit, and slight spice aromas. Taste is much the same with honey and grape-like fruit flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

never in a million years could one guess this was 8% abv by smelling or tasting it. it pours a very light sandy yellow color with a tall belgian style white head and a mild haze. smells like fresh floral clover honey and belgian yeast. this is a very bright beer, light in flavor but complex. honey flavor but not sweetness, pollen, wheat malt, and a gentle peppery quality are all present here in the flavor. mouthfeel is prime, light and crisp, infinitely drinkable, with fine carbonation and a miraculously satisfying finish. this is a great bottle of beer, and one i very much look forward to trying again. the honey is as well balanced yet prominent in this beer as in any beer ive tasted. bravo!

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Photo of t0rin0
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Lucky Baldwins 10th Annual Belgian fest on 2/15/09.

Pours clear golden brown color with good lacing and good retention.

Aroma and taste are almost the same with mostly honey dominating. Also some sweet malts and some spiciness. The spiciness is hidden by all the sweetness.

Medium bodied and drinkable but a bit too sweet for my tastes.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a nice lookin golden color. It has a nice white fluffy head on top and leaves a light lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer is sweet, it's got some Belgian yeast aromas and has just a little bit of honey in there too. The taste of the beer is on the sweeter side, it doesn't really taste like a Braggot ale or anything. It is more or less just a sweet golden ale. The mouthfeel had a good carbonation to it and still has a smooth body. Overall this beer wasn't too bad. Not my favorite but not bad.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Always game to try the new stuff to the neighborhood. It is not surprising that this beer is caught somewhere between a Witbier and a Mead. The pour brings out more of a mead appearance with a honey-like color (golden, light amber) with a heaviness and legging like brandy. Aromas are also mead-like up front with a sharp honey, nectar scent before the wheat malts, barley, and twangy yeast character builds in. Estery, citrusy, and flowery throughout the nose. Flavors heavily favor the sweet honey flavor, with a backup of wheat malt, barely, yeasty flavors and herbal tea notes to follow. The hop flavors give a much needed complexity, balance, and variety. Spicy with Wit-like corriander, curraco, pepper, and a lot of yeast contributions. The textures as expected are a bit syrupy, heavy, and more cloying than malty. A hoppy bittering is the only repreive. Finishes spicy, warm, and sweet -- a good substitute for a mead. Similar to the ancient brewed concoctions that are being revived by some Dogfish Head brews. Interesting, but not exactly sessionable.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, part of the '1/2 Meter of Beer' mixed-pack from this brewery now available in Alberta.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden amber colour, with three fat fingers of puffy, frothy, and somewhat creamy off-white head, which leaves some broad, continental drift lace around the glass as things lazily sink away.

It smells of musty field honey, gritty and grainy pale malt, a touch of caramel/toffee sweetness, warm, and indistinct tropical fruit, yeast, a bit of black pepper, and earthy, leafy hops. The taste is dry honeyed crackers, bready pale malt, a floral candied character, one rather akin to the flossy sort, white grape juice concentrate, muddled earthy spices, still understated leafy, weedy hops, and a rising, but respectful enough metallic booze astringency.

The bubbles are pretty well integrated, and manifest as a subtle edginess throughout, the body a steady medium weight, and smooth in the most basic sense, i.e. one does not sense the lack of it. It finishes off-dry, natch, the honey still pulling a certain diva routine, persisting among some near-equally heady maltiness, and the burgeoning sweetness of that bristling 16-proof booze.

Being from Canada, the very idea of honey ale does not inspire a whole lot of hope on my beer radar when I am presented with an example of such. Leave it to some old-world brewing goodness to break me out of that bit of reverie - this one performs said charitable act with aplomb. Honey? Yes, up the wazoo - but moderated, by grain, yeast, hop, and yes, alcohol alike, to provide us with a crazily workable, and drinkable end result.

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Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a frothy head that hangs around for the duration while leaving a dancing pattern of lace on the chalice

Smell: Coriander, fermented honey, wheat and bitter orange peel

Taste: Starts out with a bready, wheat flavor that is joined by intense spiciness by mid-palate, as the coriander and bitter orange peel jump into the fray; after the swallow, the fermented honey and wheat/banana flavors take center stage; the finish is medicinal and spicy, however, with a mead-like element

Mouthfeel: Medium body with prickly carbonation

Drinkability: While this is a unique product and I applaud the craft that went into making, I just don't care for the flavor profile; too medicinal for my tastebuds

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Photo of kojevergas
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Served on draught into a Barbar glass in a bar in Ghent, Belgium. Reviewed from notes.

A: One finger head of fair thickness but no cream. Hazy orange-copper colour. Decent retention.

Sm: Fresh barley. Some souring hops. Subtle fruit notes, but not many. Honey is mysteriously missing.

T: Fruit ester and souring hop blend. Too simple and poorly built for the style. Balanced to an extent. Where's the alleged honey?

Mf: Nicely coarse but a bit too dry. Doesn't match the sour tones of the body at all.

Dr: Not a good session beer, but maybe worth a go for fans of the style. Hides its relatively high abv pretty well. Very affordable in Belgium.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled under license by the Cheval Blanc in Montreal. Light golden ale witha medium head that did not disapear too quickly. The honey taste is very discreet. I could recognize the usual taste of malt from the Cheval Blanc. Enjoyable but not exceptionnal

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Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber yellow tone with high clarity. Lots of fizzy champagne streams of carbonation. Bottle has a somewhat goofy "kokopelli" motif.

Smells crisp, like mild hops, with a bubblegum yeast note. Earthy coriander is present in the taste, and later comes out as the glass warms up. Light bitterness seems more attributed to the Styrian and Hallertau hops (per label) than the orange peel citrus also listed on the label. Reminds me of a Wit without the wheat. Slight honey sweetness.

Very easy drinking, similar in that respect to Duvel. Deceptive abv, and it's not easy to sip...more of a quaffer. Would be a nice sessioner in a 750mL serving.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a murky gold color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains honey, Belgian yeast, light caramelized malts, some spices and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a mild sweetness from flavors of honey, caramel and fruit. Then some breadiness comes in from Belgian yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer but there are several others in the style that I would choose first.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"The true barbarian is he who thinks everything barbarous but his own tastes and prejudices."

--William Hazlitt

Sunny tangerine with lemon yellow borders. Interestingly, there are no yeast in the glass and none left in the bottle. No matter the style, Belgian brewers bull's eye the head more often than not. The manila colored cap, which is both lightly creamy and slightly sticky, is beginning to lay down an attractive array of lace.

The nose is musky and golden fruity. Although I might not have been able to identify the precise ingredients on smell alone, their general properties are easy to pick out. In other words, honey adds sweetness, bitter orange peel adds citrusiness, and coriander adds spiciness. Points for uniqueness and quality, despite a wee lack of power.

Barbar tastes exactly like it should taste, given the ingredients. Strange as it may sound, that isn't always a given. Specifically, it tastes like an Imperial witbier sweetened and flavored with honey. It also tastes unmistakably Belgian, which is a very good thing.

Even though a bolder Barbar might have been a better Barbar, every member of the flavor profile is identifiable and works well in concert with its friends. This is a beautifully balanced beer in all respects. Not just sweet versus bitter, but earthy honey versus tangy orange versus spicy coriander versus estery Belgian yeast.

Warming rounds things off even more and ramps up flavor intensity another notch or two. It's difficult to imagine anyone liking Belgian pales, witbiers and honey-added beer and not liking this Brasserie Lefebvre creation. I didn't say Belgian *strong* pale ales on purpose, because the 8.0% ABV drinks more like 6.0%.

The mouthfeel gets it done. The honey adds a supple quality and a hint of stickiness, while keeping things in the fast lane. Even though the beer doesn't possess the delicate creamy lightness of the very best Belgian ales, the above score was easily earned.

Barbar (meaning 'barbarian') is anything but an unmannered brute. It's a civilized tipple that combines a handful of classic flavors into an enjoyable, drinkable whole. In spite of the $3.49 price tag, I could be convinced to buy it again. Actually, it wouldn't take any convincing at all.

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Photo of russpowell
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoying this in a Barbar mug!

Pours honey colored with 2 fingers+ of fantastic fluffy pearl white head. Insane lacing & head retention

S: Fruitty with grassy hops, plus candi sugar

T: Herbal hops, dryness & much apricot, along some warming booze up front. Much dryness, a touch of lemon, apricots, figs, boozey persimmons & a touch of cardboard as this warms. Finishes boozey with much dryness, figgy & leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied, with soft carbonation, balances pretty good once warm

Drinks alright had this on tap in Germany at a beer fest & it was better. An interesting take on the style that may have suffered just a bit during travel. If I ever drink it again, I will let it warm WAY up

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appears a honey golden semi clouded hue with effervescent bubbles streaming up to form a bright white head even fine Belgian style lacing. Aromatics mild cat pee funkiness, coriander spiciness with soft honey sweetness. Mild citrus peel with perfumey herbal hop accents, the smell works for me. Flavor brings upfront honey sweetness balanced with spicy coriander/citrus peel combo pale biscuit malt sweetness with light herbal grassy hops in the finish. I'm not crazy about honey beers but this one wasn't cloying in anyway pretty smooth and straight forward witbier, honey infused hybrid of a Belgian blonde ale. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with effervescent bubbly carbonation tickles the palate but flows nicely. Drinkability is decent not a session beer, but I'm glad I gave it a shot although in the future I know compared to some of my favorite Belgians I probaby won't return to this one in the near future.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't think that my bottle explicitly said Belgian Honey Ale, but it was an 8% brew and it was made in Belgium, and the label is extremely similar. So I will put it here.

Pours a slightly foggy orange/gold with an uneventful nose that has minor alcohol and spices peeking out. Flavor is strongly influenced by spices and there is a definite hint of orange there as well. Feel has a lot of carbonation to it and a decent liquid feel. Very drinkable. As long as you don't mind heavily spiced beers, go for it. Cool cap on the bottle too.

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Photo of jwc215
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle:

Pours golden with a thick head that stays, leaving foamy lacing on the glass.

The smell is of honey, coriander and orange peel.

The taste is of sweet honey with orange peel. Sweet and tangy. A touch of coriander gives it a peppery spicing. A bit of alcohol gives it a kick in the finish, though reasonably well-covered in the taste. Sweet with just enough bitter balance and spicing to keep the honey sweetness from becoming too much.

It has a honey-sticky coatingness whilel keeping a light-to-medium body. A very pleasant aftertaste lingers on the palate.

This is an interesting brew, that has a smoothness and a refreshing quality that makes it deceptively drinkable. When in the mood for a sweeter, honey-ish ale, this one is certainly one to grab!

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Photo of Billolick
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Typical teeny 11.2 ounce Belgian offering, Pours darkish golden, clear, under a nice looking tiny bubble film and leave some great, fine, striated and wispy lacing. The nose is of some honey, and ripe fruits. Pleasant enough creation, peppery spicing, bright yeasty notes, some sweetness picked up late, balanced by dry and, again peppery notes. Nice. Worth a try.

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Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/13/08- Purchased at Bottle Barn, in Santa Rosa, CA. $2.79 price tag.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with a small date code on the back label. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Medium golden-yellow colored pour with a 3/4 inch head. Slight rim of froth remains after the head has disipated. Leaves some light sticky trails of lace behind.

Smell- Lots of honey in the nose, followed by some white pepper, corriander and powdered sugar.

Taste- Honey really comes through here big time....just enough to add almost a perfect amount of sweetness. That combined with the sugary texture makes it a nice sweet tooth beer. Corriander adds a bit of fruity charachter and the spices come in last evening things out.

Mouthfeel- Pretty smooth, a bit of a heavier sticky mouthfeel. Abv is not really detected.

Drinkability- Everytime I see a new Belgian brew with a low price tag, I'm always hesitant. In this case it was a nice suprise. Very drinkable and tasty.

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Photo of stevoj
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another beauty from Belgium! I’m really going to miss being in Europe when I have to return to the US next year. Everything about this brew is top notch, a little sweeter than you average strong ale, but still a knockout!

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 8/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium orange amber with a moderate off white head with lacing, nice looking. Belgian spice aroma. Nice medium body with pale malts, fruit, Belgian spices and distinct honey. Honey and slight hop finish. A bit sweet and has a brief acerbic flavor, but overall quite nice and interesting ale. Similar to a triple, but heavier bodied and with a nice honey backbone. I will try this again.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Barbar pours a clear golden color, bone white fizzy head forms and leaves some lace on the glass. In the aroma, honey, malt sweetness and some floral hops. Also a note of coriander like spice. In the flavor, dry spicyness reminiscent of coriander, lemon zest and anise. A nice sweetness and belgian yeast kick pair well with the spices. Solid mouthfeel, lighter bodied. Overall, a tasty little beer here. A pleasent mix of malt, belgian yeast, honey and spice.

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Photo of biegaman
4.26/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Barbãr is topped with what looks like cotton-candy; although it's pristinely white, as opposed to the customary pink or blue, it shares the same airy, ultra-fleecy, almost fury semblance and, given the tremendous size of the mound, presents a small difficulty of actually getting at the liquid. The beer is golden and, for all I know, may be clear but the frosted glass of its branded mug prevents me from being sure.

I'm inclined to believe that thick, doughy fleece might be muting some of the aroma too. This strikes on first impression as being a little quiet for a beer seasoned with honey, coriander, orange peel and, most importantly, Belgian yeast. Each of those ingredients are perceptible, mind you, as is the cereal, bready-sweetness of the wheat and pale malts.

Like the composition and sequence of musical notes, the combination of flavours in beer is equally infinite; this particular ensemble is nothing short of a symphonic masterpiece. It has toasty pale malts, a zestful and exotic spicing (enhanced by the natural zest of the yeast), cool and refreshing citrus as well as a succulent honey sweetness. In fact, I find it so incredibly tasty that I'm being reduced to using one word: delicious!

I'm impressed too with how well the individual parts come together. Bright citrus and subtle spice join forces to make one super refreshing duo. And despite nearly doubling the scope of the alcohol, carbonation is tired none and the crisp wheat suffers none; this possesses all the same effervescence and quaffability of a standard-strength witbier.

Given the beer's sweetness (sugar is added as well as honey) I started seeing it as more of an aperitif than beer; indeed, something about it seemed to stimulate my appetite. Given its natural zeal and inherent refreshment, I'd also consider it hands down one of the best beers one could offer as a happy hour pint or entree drink for tasting or dinner guests.

Barbãr sounds like the kind of beer made on a dare, but believe me when I tell you that it's one of the few 8% beers you'll end up chugging rather than sipping. It was a bold man, he who first decided to toil with such dissonant, oddball ingredients, and it was a very adept one who could formulate such a delicious, balanced recipe out of them. I loudly applaud brasserie Lefèbvre for this offering - I'd buy it anytime.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.61/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: medium golden hue with a huge effervescence and the tiniest hint of haze. Head is three fingers of creamy ivory foam with excellent tenacity and leaving an attractive chunky lace on the glass as I drink. Excellent.

Smell: sweet malt with a fair amount of graininess and a hint of orange and a touch of coriander -- an admirably gentle hand at the spicing. However, the raw-grain aroma I don't particularly like in this style; it just doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the picture.

Taste: super sweet flavor; the honey really stands out here. There's also a very floral quality to the beer, probably a result of the spicing. Not bad, but too sweet for my palate.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a good carbonation and a good creaminess. Frankly the mouthfeel doesn't live up to the beauty of the effervescence and majestic head, but it's still pretty good.

Overall: this beer has a wonderful look and decent feel, but it is simply way too sweet for me. That said, the flavors are otherwise decent.

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Photo of Zorro
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy burnt orange colored ale with an OK white Head.

Smell is sweet and musty with a clear and strong honey and pollen aroma. Orange honey and marmalade aromas are recognizable but the coriander the bottle says is in here is missing in the scent. This beer is quite intensely yeasty smells like bread.

The taste starts out sweet and powdery with yeast and pollen. Significant orange flavor here it is fairly strong with a touch of orange juice flavor. Bit of sourness in the aftertaste that I interpret as citric acid.

Mouthfeel is good.

This is an OK beer but not one of the best. Try it once and I am sure you won't want a whole case of the stuff.

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Barbãr (Belgian Honey Ale) from Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
3.87 out of 5 based on 389 ratings.
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