Barbãr (Belgian Honey Ale) | Brasserie Lefèbvre SA

very good
171 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: 171 | Ratings: 392
Photo of johanvond
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Barbar pours with a clear golden hue moderate head and carbonation. The real thing about it is trying to figure out what these flavors are doing. The sent of honey, wheat and pepper. There is this battle of funkyness between the golden style and the calming sweetness of the honey. Funky tartness like the inside of the skin of the granny smith apple mixed with a skin of a lemon held togehter with pepper and orange marmalade. Wierd, and it leaves a grassy aftertaste with a citric zest. Somthing refreshing yet contemplative.

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Photo of albern
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pretty much comes as advertised. It pours an amber orange color with a slight bit of haze, modest carbonation, a reasonable head with retention, not much lacing. The aroma is quite mild, sweet malts, honey, candied florals, maybe some hard to pin down spices, some alcohol notes too. The taste is a bit sourish, some candied fermentables, spices such as coriander, definite honey notes, some typical Belgian yeastiness, a bit of orange rind. The alcohol is a bit too strong with this beer, and it is not masked over all that well. This could have been a much better beer with more crispness and less alcohol. The finish is a bit tart, a bit drying, and too alcoholy.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a five+ finger cream head that fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Sweet apple cider nose. Flavor is sweet, fruity with some honey almost cloying. Clean finish. $3.70 for a 330ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma. Best before Oct 2007.

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Photo of whenindoubtstout
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Good beer, bought it for $3.50 @ 12oz to pit it against my clone. Flowery bouquet. Fine head and body. Flavor sweet and spicy. Honey evident without being cloying. Finish beautifully balanced and dry. Quite drinkable. Should not have been filtered I will drink my own barbarian from now on.

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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 dsa7783
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz single bottle copped from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
"Ale brewed with honey and spices (coriander, orange peel)" on the front logo sticker...
Pours a hazy, cloudy, straw-colored, light-blonde, bright amber colored-hue with a slight foamy and frothy head that left hardly any lacing...
Super-sweet aroma filled with honey and candied sugars along with fresh florals bursting through...
Taste strongly complemented the aroma, with a noticeable blast of honey in the flavor, along with vanilla and candied sugars which strongly dominated and pulled through... Super-sweet flavor that seemed slightly unbalanced with a suggestion of sugars that refused to let go...
Mouthfeel and drinkability were also about average, but slightly cloying and hard to get down at times...
Overall, not a bad brew after you've already had a couple...

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Photo of Foxman
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours a quite clear and frenetically carbonated lemony yellow. Three fingers of puffy white head stand proudly sculpted. Tongues of lacing lap the inside of the glass.

The aroma is briefly malt and candy sugar sweet before coriander and orange zest merge with dense, crisp esters twirling green apple and the merest hint of banana.

Upon tasting, a touch of caramel and an earthy tanginess bring the grain to the fore before candy and honey join some berry to sweeten the lead. Coriander and an intimation of bitter orange oil come before the flavor dries and flattens into an ester-driven crisp fog. A brief blush of doughiness slides into a twisting, residually sweet but increasingly dry finish. It's not bad but it has a few too many uneven seams, like a sidewalk heaved by tree roots.

Medium bodied, the carbonation brings the sweet, grainy flow to life.

It's ambitious but it never really steps up to the plate for a full swing. The ingredients fall together but never mesh so much as co-exist tentatively. It's moderately drinkable on a good day, I guess. I gave it a shot, but I can safely say that, despite being more than mediocre, this won't be making a return trip to my fridge.

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

330ml bottle bought from McHughs, Dublin...

Poured a light copper colour. Slightly off white head poured fairly loose and frothy then faded quickly to wispy covering... decent amount of carbonation bubbles drift slowly to surface... barely any lacing...

Aroma - Stong sweet and slightly perfumed honey, quite grainy malts underneath, fairly spicy and peppery, grassy hints, tropical fruits (pineapple, lemons, mango), light wheatiness...

Taste - Sharp and spicy fruitiness (bitter oranges, pinapples, lemons, apples), lots of floral honey sweetness, grassy, quite peppery, faint anise notes, some almond nuttiness...

Feel - Pretty sharp and dry... light bodied... a bit too sweet to be very drinkable..

Overall - A decent enough and slightly different pale ale... just maybe a little on the sweet side though... worth a try...

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Photo of Doomcifer
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, bright golden color with a nice, fluffy, white head that reatains great. The aroma came flying up during the pour. Smells of apples, bubble gum, fruity, bananas, coriander, citrus notes. Fantastic nose!!! The flavor is also reminiscent of apples, citrus notes, spices ala coriander, banana, hops in the finish. Very juicy but comes across very thin. Mouthfeel is light, very carbonated, and crisp. Pretty drinkable. Not bad at all.

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Photo of windigo32
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice golden brown with a finger of head. Retention could be better.

S: Smell is nice. Slight alcohol smell, honey, and spice.

T: Definate honey taste and slight backing of alcohol.

M: Feel is good, its not overly carbonated and isnt overly heavy either.

D: Goes down nicely. I could have had more of this one.

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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 rallison
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy light amber color with a 1 finger fluffy white head.

S: Honey, spices and maybe some Candi sugar.

T: Honey and coriander are the dominant flavors. Some sweeter Belgian style pale malts are back there, with a bit more spiciness. Pretty tasty, but not complex - heavy on the honey and coriander.

M: Slightly prickly carbonation, although not much sign of the alcohol.

D: Decent. I'll have no problem with this bottle at the least.

Overall, decent. I've had better, but this a solid BSPA. No outstanding flaws, just not very complex and a bit heavy on certain characteristics.

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

Beer bottle (33cl), tasted in 1999.
Appearance : Blond, honey colored foam generous that adheres well to glass.
Smell: Nose of yeast and citrus.
Taste and mouthfeel: A clear bitterness of hops and alcohol dominates the taste. The final Meets in a soft fabric of honey.
Drinkability: A good beer in the style Belgian strong ale

Review added 11-14-2007, translated from french 1-21-2008.

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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 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 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 Beerzebub
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Translucent gold color. Two inches of pillowy off-white head. Big sheets and gobs of lace.

Smells explicitly of orange peel and coriander, along with honey, grassy hops and sweet doughy malt. Fresh and inviting.

Sweet malt up front, soon joined by grassy hops, orange rind, spices, and alcohol. Yeasty dough throughout. Some hop bitterness. Fairly long finish: sweet, grassy, spicy, and boozy.

Great smooth creamy carbonation, but then it finishes a bit watery and sugary. Quite drinkable, despite the sweetness.

Simple and not totally balanced, but enjoyable. Refreshing and warming at the same time.

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Photo of number1bum
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Part of NEPA BC split #6.

Pours a clear golden color with a soft, fluffy 2 fingers of white head. Head retention is very good, leaving a thin lace.

Smell is sweet like honey, with some spicy notes from the coriander and also some yeast.

Taste is of honey-sweetness and a little bit of hop bitterness, or maybe some bitterness from the orange peel, but not a whole lot else. There's a bit of spice as well. It's not overly complex or exciting but it's pretty tasty nonetheless.

Mouthfeel is medium- to full-bodied but the carbonation is a bit much. It takes away from what otherwise would be a pretty smooth brew.

Not bad, and definitely different. Worth a try.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle into my DT glass. Had a best by date of Jan 09. It was a clear golden color with slight alcohol shimmer. It had a big white head that dissipated into a collar. Good carb with some lacing. The aroma was awesome. Spicy from the coriander balanced perfectly with the orange peel and honey. The taste was also incredible. Starts off sweet from the honey then the spices kick in to be followed up with a smooth sweet again finish. I find most beers with honey to be overpoweringly sweet and therefore pretty bad but this one gets it right. The honey should be a nice accent like here and not the dominant flavor. Mouthfeel was good but had just a tad too much carb. It distracted you from the great flavor. Overall, a really great beer that I highly recommend. Glad to see this one hit the Texas market and look forward to many more. (4.5, RR, T, Y)

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Photo of IdentityAles
2.95/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Nose: Fruity esters, some phenolic yeast derived smells, and maybe a hint of higher alcohol

Appearance: Hazy orange with a tight lasting ring of bubbles stuck around from beginning to end

Flavor: Fruity upfront, banana and orange, and than a hint of what I assume is coriander, followed with some sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated that cleans the residual sweetness up and leaves the palate tingling

Enjoyable and drinkable but laking certain characteristics that would make it an above average beer.

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Photo of letsgopens
2.37/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a translucent yellow gold with scattered rising bubbles. The relatively thick white head holds well and leaves good lace.

The aroma is sweet and yeasty with plenty of honey and some mild hops. A bit of spice is detectable, but uneventful for the most part.

Sweet honey, and some spice in the flavor as well. Somewhat acidic, some orange zest and yeast. The components of the beer sound appetizing, but there is something about it that doesn't mesh well. Somewhat metallic and flat in the middle. Its not as carbonated as it looks at pour.

The flavor is mostly light and a bit weak. As a result the 8% abv becomes painfully evident as the brew warms. Okay at best.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a golden yellow color with a large white head. The aroma is sweet with honey and coriander and malted wheat. The taste is can be a little too alcoholic with wheat and honey. Overall, this is a pretty interesting brew but the drinkability is affected because the alcohol comes out a little too much.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice deep straw - yellow with a big white fluffy head. It has nice aromas of orange and coriander, suttle hops, and slightly alcoholic. It the taste, citrus and coriander, a bitterness, with a dry alcoholic end. A nice little burn too. Decent body, malty and smooth, it seems to go down too easy. A very nice beer, expecting something completly different, but enjoyed it.

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Photo of deeplennon
3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big turn off at the start when I keep pouring and pouring and find that the beer isn't bottle conditioned. Isn't that illegal in Belgium?

Otherwise this is a modestly enjoyable beer. Alcohol presence is moderately high for an 8% Belgian but interplays fairly nicely with the honey. The aftertaste of both honey and coriander is especially pleasing.

Indeed, this is somewhat of a gimmick beer, and I couldn't drink more than one without getting sick of it, but it's pulled off well enough not to be a throwaway.

Now just put some yeast in the damn bottle...

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Photo of BDTyre
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Yet another honey beer that is mead-esque in character. Still a beer though...

Golden colour with a decent snowy white head. Spicy, coriander-honey smell. Nothing too spectacular. Still a good dose of malt and hops in there.

Taste is bitter with a hint of honey sweetness, corriander, and a christmas-esque feel to it. Not very sweet, but more of a subdued spice and hop bitterness.

This is a sipper, and definitely not something I'd visit again on a regular basis. Good, but not that good.

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Barbãr (Belgian Honey Ale) from Brasserie Lefèbvre SA
3.87 out of 5 based on 392 ratings.
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