Struise / Mikkeller (Elliot Brew) | De Struise Brouwers

very good
422 Ratings
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Struise / Mikkeller (Elliot Brew)Struise / Mikkeller (Elliot Brew)

Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed at Deca Services, Woesten-Vleteren, Belgium.

Ingredients: Water, malt, hops, candy sugar, ale yeast and spices.

According to the brewers, this is the hoppiest beer ever brewed in Belgium.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-29-2007

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Ratings: 422 |  Reviews: 289
Photo of gford217
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy deep golden amber that is a golden orange when held up to the light. Mine poured with a huge three finger puffy off-white head that showed great retention and decent lacing. Note: there were also huge chunks of debris all over the bottom of my glass.

S: Sweet citrusy hop smell that has some definite Belgian yeast aroma throughout. There is also a hint of funk in the smell with some definite earthy tones as well.

T: Big tart hit up front with lemon and oranges. This gives way to the bready malt backbone mixed with the Belgian yeast and a little more horseblanket funk. The finish brings back the hop bitterness with lemongrass and pine.

M: The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth but definitely has a bit of tart that puckered my lips a little bit.

D: This is a very complex concoction but it's probably not one of my favorites. The slight funk threw me a little bit and I'm still trying to get in touch with my funky side, so I'll pass on this next time.

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Photo of MrMonkey
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to AdamB84 for the chance to try this exceptional brew!

A very careful first pour into a tulip glass reveals a crystal clear amber brew with a pillowy three-finger off-white head that fades slowly leaving a web of thick sticky lacing. Good head retention. As I emptied the last of the bottle it was much more of a hazy orange due to the yeast that flowed into the glass.

Smell is Belgian yeast, floral hops, some candied sugar, orange peel, pepper, coriander and a hint of alcohol.

Taste is sweet caramel malt and candied sugar up front, then some spicy floral hops, bitter grapefruit, orange peel and coriander. Some yeast and warming alcohol lead into some more bitter floral hops and a long dry finish.

Full-bodied, slightly creamy mouthfeel, but the hops keep things crisp.

A wonderfully balanced beer. Incredibly drinkable, despite the ABV. I wish I had more of these.

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Photo of mdm46410
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle and served in a tulip. This beer poured a lightly hazed amber color with a lasting, two-finger thick head of beige foam. The aroma of the beer was made up of bright citrus notes, sticky caramel, and some earthy yeast. The flavor consisted of creamy caramel/toffee, over-ripened citrus, a lightly acidic sourness, and a strong element of earthy yeast. The mouthfeel was full-bodied with minimal carbonation. A very mild mannered DIPA. The hop bitterness was extremely mellow and at times almost unnoticable.

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Photo of GJ40
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from an 11.2oz bottle purchased at Bruisin' Ales in Asheville, NC.

A - Amber colored and hazy with a thick white head. Decent lacing.

S - Sweet with candy sugar coming through. Fruity hops too.

T - Very strong and complex flavor with many facets including sweetness, alcohol and bitterness. Tastes like a hopped-up Belgian Tripel. The hops really add a bitterness with some grapefruit in the finish. I wasn't sure about it at first but I enjoyed it more as the glass emptied.

M - Good body and carbonation.

D - Its strength and complexity require some effort. I wouldn't rate it highly in the category after one but maybe over time, I would change my mind.

This is an interesting project but it may be too ambitious. I love Belgian tripels and DIPAs but maybe not in the same glass. I did like it more and more as I went through it so maybe I should give it another try.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle purchased at Whole Foods for about $5. I bought it based on the reputations of Mikkeller and Struise, and the IIPA description on the label. I liked it a lot, but my rating is based on the IIPA style (which this doesn't match in my opinion).

The beer is bazy and golden colored, huge thick and active foam, lots of floaties. The aroma is very sweet and hoppy (kind of fruity-hoppy) with a Belgian Strong Pale Ale feel to it. The taste is really good, sweet upfront and bitter in back, balanced in that respect although more hoppy than malty. I don't believe I can taste any spices whatsoever despite the ingredients list on the label. The mouthfeel is smooth and a little thick, definitely a Belgian feel all around.

I think of this ale as an imperial version of Urthel Hop-It. I can't tell for sure but I think the candi sugar messed this up for me.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aggressively bubbled tangerine beneath a massive head of ecru colored froth. It's odd to see a Belgianesque head on a DIPA, but then Elliot Brew isn't your average DIPA. Thanks to multiple bubble factories churning away on the bottom of the glass, it will be quite some time before there's more beer than foam. A fair amount of sudsy lace appears eventually.

There's at least as much Belgian yeastiness in the aroma as hops. At 130 IBUs, I wouldn't think that would be possible. Banana and pear are more prominent than citrus, giving this big ale a BSPA sort of vibe that is appealing. It's clear that we need to throw all notions of a typical DIPA right out the window.

The label calls Struise Mikkeller a DIPA and the brewery's website calls it a 'hoppy blonde'. As far as I'm concerned, the website is much closer to the truth. Any ale that uses candi sugar, (undisclosed) spices and Belgian yeast is no sort of DIPA at all. It is good beer, though, and that's the only thing that matters.

SM is equally sweet and bitter. I hate to be an IBU skeptic, but it doesn't taste like there's enough malt or candi sugar present to balance that many alpha acids. This isn't massive beer, or even huge beer. It's comfortably large beer and is nicely svelte in the mouth.

Whatever spices were used (coriander? grains of paradise?) they weren't added with a heavy hand. The beer is no more spicy than a Belgian pale ale or a tripel that uses an especially estery yeast strain. The bottom line with this brew is that everything works together harmoniously... without creating a world-class symphony in the process.

The mouthfeel is closer to DIPAhood than IPAhood. Gotta be the candi sugar. It isn't sappy or sticky, though, and goes down like liquid silk. A few more bubbles would be acceptable. A few fewer wouldn't.

Since DIPA and BSPA/tripel are two of my favorite styles, I expected more from a beer that attempts to combine the two. There's still a huge amount of potential here and Mikkeller would do well to continue to tweak this basic recipe.

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Photo of RustyDiamond
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle into my La Chouffe stem. Poured very slowly and a giant 4 fingers of monster near-white froth rushed to the rim. Thick delicious looking froth with tons of little glisteny bubbles.
Fire-orange in appearance with an aroma of...? I cannot ever recall not being able to detect the aroma from a glass of beer. 'Some' hops, but that's about it...very puzzling.
Very sweet first sip from the Belgian candy sugar. I detected that brett tartness that ran along with the sweetness. Once that subsided, the spicy hops came through in the mouthfeel. But then, the beer went back to the tart/sweetness, finishing this way.

Quite a puzzling beer for me. I enjoyed and appreciated the hybrid of Belgian-meets-hoppy IPA. Very rough around the edges and too sweet for me. To compare, Houblon Chouffe is probably a more rounded, balanced version of this Belgian IPA style.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice cloudy orange copper color. one finger of white head. Nice lacing.

S: Spice and citrus. Not what you would expect for an American DIPA. Mustiness is there as well.

T: The massive bitterness is there. Candi sugar is in the beginning Really spicy. The Belgian yeast shines through more than anything else. Still reminds me more of a Belgian pale than anything else.

M: nice med mouthfeel. The spiciness is almost part of the mouthfeel if that makes sense.

D: Super drinkable for what it is and no real hint of the ABV. I would agree with others that this should not be a American IPA. For a Belgian IPA it is much better. Also for the price I would not seek this out again.

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Photo of Avryle
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy orange-amber colour with a big white head. Head disapates slowly leaving lots of spotty lace.

S- Sweet citrusy aromas of tangerine and orange You can smell the alcohol.

T- Very pleasant... delicate fruity and earthy hops. Sweet orange and pears?? Finishes with a bitter tangy orange

M- Pleasant mouthfeel. Medium carbonation, medium body.

D- Very smooth drinking. Well balanced.

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Photo of jdubjacket
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Stella Artois chalice. Pours a murky brownish/orangeish color. Very big head on this one and a lot of lacing. Smell is citrus and booze. Taste is not all I was hoping for in this it was rather subdued. Light bread, citrus and alcohol come out slightly in the taste. A full-bodied beer that is very drinkable. I just don't think it should be classified as an imperial IPA.

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Photo of BeerZack
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy light orange color with off-white creamy head that leaves lots of spotty lace.

Sweet malt, grainy Pils malt-like smell with prominent alcohol and bitter hop smells.

Funky and almost skunky hop impression. There is a dry spiciness that reminds me of a Belgian Pale Ale, other than that is very Imperial Pilsnerish.

Smooth, very soft carbonation, medium bodied brew. Good beer, but I wouldn't call it an American DIPA at all.

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Photo of d0ggnate
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Amber/orange pour with nearly no head. Presented a bit cloudy.
S: Sweet and surgary with plenty of citrus notes.
T: Spicy, orange, woodsy taste. Spiced character abounds.
M: Palate coating. A viscous and palateable brew.
D: A rare treat to enjoy with friends. Delightfully drinkable.

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Photo of stcules
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark bronze, orange reflexes, lightly veiled. Abundant foam, beige in color, quite compact, but not too much.
In the smel: hop. American hop. Intense, strong.
At the taste too. Bitter, sure, american hop. Grapefruit notes. But not bitter as you can expect after the 130 IBU.
Well, good, sure. Good IPA. But not a miracle.
Very good drinkability, with his 9 ABV.

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Photo of joe1510
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

West Lakeview

Struise Mikkeller empties into the snifter amber with deep golden highlights throughout. A big dense three fingers worth of slightly off white meringue-like head forms on the pour and goes nowhere and by nowhere I mean it doesn't drop throughout the drink and leaves big airy patches of lace on the way down. Explosions of carbonation shoot to the surface from everywhere keeping the head right where it's at. A really great looking beer with one of the best heads I've come across in awhile!

The label says there's 130IBUs in this beer but I can hardly pull out any hoppiness from the aroma. Much more along the lines a Belgian strong pale ale. Spicing is the most notable aspect of the nose. Orange peel and coriander are the first things that come to mind and last throughout. There's a touch of mustiness and sweetness is present from the candi sugar. This is all over the top of a pale cake like maltiness. This is a really inviting beer with good depth.

The flavor is good but doesn't quite live up to the aroma. Starts off a little flat with the cake maltiness but explodes mid-palate with the sweet orange peel, coriander, and a little white pepper to add some zing. There is a bit of hoppiness on the finish but is in no way bitter but more in the flavor department. The hops that are present are, again, citrus in the vein of sweet orange. Starts off a bit flat but ends up being a good drink.

The body is on the lighter side of medium with a healthy carbonation that keeps things light and airy. The candi sugar really helps keep this big brew on the lighter side, body wise. The finish is a bit dry.

This is an easy one to put away and one that could catch up with you in a hurry. It's all at once refreshing, big on flavor yet somehow subtle, and the alcohol is barely noticeable.

I'm not a big fan of Mikkeller's beers, that I've sampled, but this is a top notch brew. Maybe the added help from the guys at Struise made this as good as it is. Either way this is an excellent beer that I wouldn't hesitate to pick up again.

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Photo of Domingo
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the new "Belgian IPA's" that have been popping up. Thus far I think they've been a mixed hopefully this is one of the better ones.
Pours an orange-caramel color with a pretty large white head. Even though 1/4 of the beer was left in the bottle (and it was sitting upright), yeast chunks are definitely showing up.
Smells like a really hoppy Belgian strong ale. The one thing is, the hops are along the lines of the west coat US ones. Nice!
Tastes sweet and fruity up front, but the hops come through in the middle to add a citrus zing. The yeast gives it a little sourness, but it actually compliments the hoppiness nicely. The finish is a little bit bittersweet with overripe peaches, plums, and grapefruity hops keeping each other in balance.
Texture is normal for a Belgian ale, but it's probably a little foamy for an IPA or DIPA.
This is actually a good strength for a DIPA. Not too potent and fiery, but not too weak either.
I like it! It's definitely pricy, but judged on it's own merit this is a winner.

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Photo of merlin48
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle pours into a tulip a hazy peach amber body with a sturdy ecru head. Good retention and curtains of sheet lacing.

Aroma is spicy, fruity, yeasty, and malty. Lots going on here. Fruitiness is citrusy, with orange and pink grapefruit notes. Maltiness provides raisins and molasses hints. Yeastiness has some funk and the spices are smooth but hard to identify.

Mouthfeel is medium full with a satiny medium carbonation.

Taste is complex but well balanced. Hops have a bitter citrus edge tamed quite well by the Belgian candy sugars. Orange and pink grapefruit notes are enchanting from start to finish. Caramel coated raisins lend a malty balance. Slight yeasty Belgian funk adds complexity. Spices are subtle and smooth but I can't really identify them. Finishes clean and slightly bitter with citrus rind.

I didn't think I would like this. My previous experience with Belgian IPAs has been a mixed bag. This one is quite good, unique to be sure and highly drinkable.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle, special ratebeer release purchased from Abe's in Bethlehem for $6.55. A bit pricey but this is a unique find so why not.

Poured into a tulip, nice apricot/peach color, fairly clear, visible carbonation and a sizable but under control white head that left some nice lacing.

Smell is a bit funky, some spiciness from the yeasts and some from the spices, hops are very bold and citrusy--really nice combination of belgian and american style brewing.

Taste is bitter, lots of american hops, candi sugar, and a healthy dose of belgian yeast flavor. It's pretty dry but still manages to seem balanced.

Mouthfeel is light and fairly highly carbonated. Absolutely amazing. The yeast in the second pour rounds out the body a bit and it is still very good.

Drinkability is limited mostly by price. This is an expensive beer, but also a high ABV, bitter American Belgian IPA. If i could afford two, i wouldn't drink them in one night because they are pretty strong, but this is a very good and very easy drinking beer considering the style.

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Photo of akorsak
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 330 mL bottle purchased at Capone's.

A: The ale is well carbonated. After opening the bottle, I allowed it to sit and breathe only to see the head slowly creeping out of the bottle. In the glass, 4 fingers of head came off of the first pour. Despite the size, the head doesn't lace very well. The ale is a hazy orange amber color, close to an iced tea in appearance.

S: The nose is that of a Belgian IPA, Belgian spices and candi sugars and lots of hoppy bitterness.

T: The first sip reinforces my Belgian IPA belief. The spice profile is pale candi sugar and coriander with touches of anise. That spiciness sets the stage for a strong hop bitterness. The effect is much more tripel than DIPA and I like it. The finish is the typical muddled Belgian IPA melange of spicy sweetness and harsh bitterness.

M: Mmmm Belgian IPA. The blend of Belgian spices and American hops is an inspired. The sweetness that lingers in the palate is unique.

D: The alcohol is well hidden but it does sneak up on you. The combination of the two styles really works. Had I rated this as a Belgian IPA, the score would have jumped up a bit.

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Photo of Gmann
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown color with a nice fluffy khaki colored head that left some chunk lacing on the side of the glass. The aroma is of funky Belgian yeast, green apples, flowers, and light candi sugar. Definitely a saison or spicey BSPA aroma. The taste is of honey malt with floral notes, subtle Belgian yeast spiciness and candi sugar sweetness. This is followed nicely by a grassy bittering hop flavor. Very nice flavor profile. The feel is moderate and well carbonated. Has a bit of a sticky feel from the candi sugar and finishes with a nice bitter edge. A very nice take on a Belgian IPA, not sure why this is classified as DIPA. With the obvious Belgian yeast and candi sugar, this brew has very strong BSPA characteristics. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.69/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - decants into a snifter and still pushes up three fingers, easily rising above the glass top but not spilling over. The beer is a hazed peach/dark apricot color with a very active bead. The feed to the off-white cap has it holding quite well. The lace is big-bubbled and sticky.

Aroma - spicy orange citrus, candi sugar. a gingery smell, yeasty. Lots of cools things to find here, very nice.

Taste - a Belgian IPA, it may be my first. I know the style says 'American' but the candi sugar flavor, the occasional note of funk, the yeast styling, is anything but. The hops have a fruity, laced with alcohol beginning, and grow slowly bitter. They develop enough to earn IPA status and then kind of hold steady as the abv imparts double/imperial status to things. The finish is a very warm, moderately hoppy residual, and is very good. A little too hot for perfect status but close.

Mouthfeel - solid to heavy feel, the carbonation matches the power in this brew blow for blow and adds to the big beer feel while still enhancing drinkability.

Drinkability - despite the abv I'm downing this baby quickly and thinking about hoarding the other one. Yum.

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Photo of gmcfarre
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into snifter

A - Pours a ruby hued brown with some orange tints and a massive frothy white head. Head lasts well and leaves behind nice walls of lacing. A few particles hang near the bottom and a steady stream of carbo bubbles rises from the bottom.

S - Scent is sweet and citrusy from the "130 IBUs" of hop flavor. Strong Belgian yeasty component that almost overpowers the supposedly intense hops. As it warms dark fruits emerge and the hops add another piney dimension. Very complex and balanced.

T & M - Starts with a sweet tart lemony citrus and strong carbonation. A bit of caramel with some breaded notes. Hop flavor is not overpowering, but incredibly well balanced if this does indeed have "130 IBUs". Finish is lemony bitterness with some residual sweetness. Finishes with a strange tingle on the tongue that lasts well after the beer is gone. Not too bitter. Certainly tastes more Belgian than American DIPA-ish, but its rather tasty and well-balanced on all levels.

D - A nice tasting and different brew that doesn't easily fit into styles. Some Tripel-style spice with lots of citrusy hops make an interesting beer that is probably worth trying. Not sure if it was worth nearly $9 for 11.2 oz though.

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Photo of tempest
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting. The side has an oval that reads "SM No. 12 Elliot Brew," right under "ratebeer." Apparently this is the second of's Worldwide Masters Series.

Frankly, I'm not blown away. This actually reminds me of a failed homebrew attempt at a hoppy quad. Naturally, this is better, but I'm not a huge fan. The funky, herbal hops are a bit much. Like Saison Dupont on overdrive - in a bad way. The big European hops, candi sugar, and malts just don't mix well for me. I appreciate the bitterness. The hops here are undeniably big, with rough, grassy grapefruit. And unlike my concoction, this has enough sweet malt to not finish dry. It's a balanced but strong bitterness. And I still have to give this beer credit for complexity and drinkability. Maybe it just isn't for me. Worth a try for something hoppy and different.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours cloudy orange-amber with an excellent head and lacing. Aroma is bready and a tiny bit funky with lots of earthy hops and the tiniest bit of horse blanket. Taste is a bit bolder, with lots of bitter, earthy hops and perhaps a bit more of that horseblanket as well as some lingering woody bitterness and almost tea-like tannins. Big crusty, bready malt balances it out. Unusual and delicious. Thick mouthfeel with some lingering tannins make this somewhat of a oneshot for me- at least in one evening.

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Photo of sfoley333
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.2 fl oz bottle from PP bottle shop into a New Belgium snifter. Poured a murky amber orange color with off white head. The head was thick and had awesome lacing. Smell is mixture of citrus with sweet tropical fruit( tend to be a sweeter smell than hoppy). Taste is upfront grapefruit with a sweet sugary nutmeg flavor but this beer is very well balanced(between hop flavor, malt, and bitterness) and the alcohol is extremely well hidden. Mouthfeel was smooth, medium to light body, and mild carbonation. This is a very easy drinking beer that is extremly well balanced. However, it wasnt really a hop bomb at all. I have tried tons of double and triple IPAs and this one while well crafted and very balanced is very tame in both bitterness ( i cant believe its 130IBU) and hop flavor. I think its a wonderful beer but at $7 for a 11.2 oz bottle I can get a 22oz out her in SoCal that is twice the hop bomb.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.11/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a cloudy burnt orange, with a full, fluffy white head and plenty of Belgian-style lacing.

S: Ripe hops, the smell of fresh grapefruit, and sugary candy.

T: Bitter melon and pine, some cantaloupe, mixed with yeasty Belgian beer is what it tastes like. Not sure the malt really melded well with the hop character, it was just all right for me.

M: Full, but light carbonation, fairly medium-bodied, and very resiny.

D: An interesting beer collaboration, but at $8+ a bottle, I don't think I'll buy it again, but I'd drink it again.

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Struise / Mikkeller (Elliot Brew) from De Struise Brouwers
3.93 out of 5 based on 422 ratings.
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