Taras Boulba
Brasserie de la Senne

Taras BoulbaTaras Boulba
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Style:
Belgian Pale Ale
Ranked #22
ABV:
4.5%
Score:
87
Ranked #12,924
Avg:
3.9 | pDev: 11.54%
Reviews:
223
Ratings:
546
From:
Brasserie de la Senne
 
Belgium
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  50
Gots
  58
SCORE
87
Very Good
Taras BoulbaTaras Boulba
Notes: Light blonde with 4.5% alc., generously hopped with the finest aromatic hops, giving it a very refreshing character and a scent reminiscent of citrus.
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Reviews: 223 | Ratings: 546
Photo of aleigator
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazed pale golden color with a huge, stable head.

Smells of fresh cut citrus, wheat and additional lime zest atop bread dough.

Drinks utmost refreshing with a stony effervescence and a light, flavorful body.

Tastes of an initial carbonation burst, featuring a mineral quality and bread dough, enriched by a note of wheat. Immediately a noble hop quality kicks in, getting a dry punch from additional citrus and lighter lime bonbon. Finishes aqueous, slightly spicy, with white pepper and cardamom adding perfectly to a longer lasting lime finish with a prevailing bitterness.

This drinks quite explosive, intense and refreshing at the same time. The beer got a perfect balance to it, adding a gentle smoothness to its mineralic carbonation, making this as drinkable as possible.

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Photo of Arjen
3.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

When in Brussels....Bottle in L'Ultime Atome, Ixelles/Elsene. Cloudy lemon yellow colour Firm white head, very dense on the top layer, with bigger bubbles underneath, good retention. Aroma is refreshingly hoppy, fruity and bitterish. Retronasal: hoppy, citrus, bitterish and grainish. Flavour is above moderate bitter and light fruity. Light bodied. Bitter finish, not too extreme but long lasting. Very flavourful and sessionable.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Today is the occasion of my New Odds & Sods Beer Sunday (Week 711) & this is my second of the eclectic lot of bottles & CANs that will follow over the course of the day.

From the Bottle: "Smeirlap! Awel merci! Taras Boulba es roezeg van kolaire! Zanne zaune es mi een wolline getraut!" It looks like Dutch, but it could be Flemish or Walloon. Either way, it has Google Translate stumped! Would someone PLEASE translate this for me/us?!?; "Unfiltered Blond craft beer, refermented in the bottle. Pour without the sediment - it can be drunk separately. Store in a cold and dark place. Enjoy its freshness: Do NOT age this beer!"

Whoopsie! I fail to understand how aging a bottle-conditioned beer is detrimental. Oh well, their beer, their rules. I began with a Pop! of the cap & a slow, gentle pour. If nothing else, at least I can pour with clarity. I ended up with a glassful of Yellow-Golden (SRM = 4 - 5) beer with NE-quality clarity, but The Gelt Gang of Midas, Croesus & Mammon disagreed with me, saying that it was a solid Yellow, but not deep enough to be Gold for their refined tastes. 8=( Ingrates! A finger of foamy, bone-white head formed of its own volition & then fell away to wisps. 8=( Nose had a very pronounced papery mustiness, like that bundle of newspapers from years past found up in the attic. Clearly, the yeastie boyz had done their job! I am still stumped as to why they are worried about aging a bottle-conditioned beer. Mouthfeel was medium, but tingly from the carbonation. Nice. The taste was VERY dry, lightly spicy and very musty. Mmm. I checked back on the revamped Styles & this is completely in-line with the guidelines. There was little hop bitterness, but I was down with that since I have some hoppy goodness lined up for later. Finish continued to be dry, only slightly bitter with an inherent spiciness that lingered well past the swallow. Nice.

I

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Photo of flyingpig
3.4/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle from Wee Beer Shop, Glasgow (£3.10):
Definitely a fresh & bitter offering, it wasn't the most complex with the pale malts dominating alongside some herbal flavours & yeast but there wasn't a huge amount going on beyond that. The beer was a very dry one throughout with some faintly funky flavours following on behind some grassy & earthy hops. It was a pleasant & flavoursome offering that went down fairly well but it wasn't quite to my liking sadly & it's not one I'd go for again.

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Photo of dipso123
4.26/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A remarkably flavorful beer at 4.5% ABV. Both the yeast character and the malt are bigger that one would expect in such a small beer. If only it were more readily available I could see it being a house staple. A standout session beer.

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Photo of stakem
3.31/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Small format bottle into a snifter appears a hazy holden yellow with white cap.

The aroma is sulfur dominated with slight herbal hop appeal.

The taste is dry and grassy with slight fruity yeast accent. Some cereal grains and mineral/carbonic aftertaste.

This is light in body and effervescent with carbonation. A decent belgian pale ale but not in my wheelhouse of things i enjoy. I dont need to have this one again.

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just had this somewhat hard to get beer (not common in Texas) and I thought it was pretty good. The Belgians make the best Belgian Ales.

Look: cloudy yellow hue with a thick bubbly white head

Aroma: citrus, yeast, some pine

Taste: A little bit sweet, yeast, grapefruit and grapefruit rind, and some pine resin.

Feel: light and crisp, significant carbonation

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Photo of Korbynlehr
4.31/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy, smells of honey mixed with hints of marijuana, yes you read that correct. Lots of carbonation. Flavor lasts quite a while. Great Belgian beer. Definitely a beer to try.

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Photo of thebeers
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Cloudy yellow with a massive pure white head that leaves heavy rings of lacing.

Pine boughs, juniper berries and sugar in the nose. Watery, piney bitterness in the taste. Light bodied with just enough carbonation.

The perfect session IPA? IDK. It certainly does the trick in Brussels.

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Photo of Tone
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy straw color. 3/4 inch head of a white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of slight Euro yeast, pale malt, citrus hops, hint of floral hops, and slight sweet malt. Fits the style of a Belgian Pale Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with a high carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, citrus hops, hint of Euro yeast, pale malt, floral hops, hint of spice. slight pine, and a hint of alcohol. Overall, good appearance, floral and citrus dominate aroma and body, too carbonated, and the blend is quite good.

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Photo of dar482
4.52/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a medium to deep gold, with a pillowy cloud like head floating on top of the beer.

This bottle specifically immediately smelled skunked, assuming from issues of mishandling. Citrus, floral, crackers, dough hints of spice.

The beer drives of supple and lightly chewy doughy and crackery malts while prickling the tongue with its effervescence. A hint of acidity of lemon, but leaning towards the sweetness of dessert Meyer lemon. With spice throughout and a cedar woodiness hitting on the finish.

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Photo of MaltyPythonsHopCircus
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Colouring is a slightly hazy golden with white quickly dissipating head. Nice bright hop profile, which is assertive but sessionable. There's also a nice crispness on palate to finish off with

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Photo of vinicole
3.4/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thin looking straw colour. Thick frothy head.
Hoppy grass aroma with citrus notes.
Fruity taste. Some banana with spice.
Well carbonated and medium body.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.34/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Looks like a Hefe--hazy tan yellow with a large foamy white head.

Smell is banana, wheat, lemon, and pear.

Taste is much more bitter with a lot of hidden hops, grass, a little horse blanket, hay, finishing somewhat astringently. Prima Pils in its own way reminds me a little of this--which makes me wonder why this isn't or wasn't more popular stateside. Anyway, I can see how this would inspire other brewers, but, it's not my cup of tea.

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Photo of MoohMooh
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy, straw yellow with 3/4 finger airy head. Pretty lacy. It smells of apple, banana and citrus mainly; it's pretty sweet, with a touch of alcohol. Hay. There's something that reminds me of a pilsner, but I don't have the slightest idea of what causes this. Taste is bready, with some apple and citrus. Definitely on the bitter side. Body is medium and prickly. It feels a bit watery sometimes, too clean perhaps.

It's... good, I guess. Pretty refreshing, but nothing really special. I wish I liked it more, because as always with the Brasserie de la Senne, the label art is terrific, but no dice.

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Photo of JonCorbett
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy lemon/straw yellow, chunky white foam head made up of medium to large bubbles. The dissipation medium but a rather sparse lace as the liquid dwindles.

Aromatics: Sweet almost bubblegum aroma starts first, then carries into some banana and tropical citrus. A tiny bit of yeasty-ness in there that gives it a creamy smooth nose

Taste: a slightly tart lemon citrus start but is quickly replaced with a rather in your face freshwater logged bark-like earthy bitter and an odd tanginess that may or may not have a spicy tinge to it, depends on your sip/swig ratio. There is a touch of biscuit and yeasty malt.

Mouth: A well blended mix of carbonation and creamy liquid. A little more coarse than smooth as it bumbles over the tongue. Medium body has a rising crescendo in bold bitter that almost drop to nothing; breaking clearly in intensity leaving behind just a few weeping stragglers of juniper spiked hops.

Overall: It says “extra hoppy ale” right on the label, and I think it was actually really good. I’ve had some real doozies but this level of hoppy is what I’d classify as “extra hoppy”. It’s not extreme, and is kept in check with a good level of malted barley and sugar. I absolutely love the bubblegum scents wafting in my nose, I think in the end that is the main reason I drank it with a little more gusto than normal. It’s an unusual scent to have in a beer in the Western part of Canada for sure.

Pairing: I real want to play on the scent here more than the flavour, but I will try to accommodate both.. I’m going to actually try a dessert of angel food cake with strawberries and cream to cut that bitter down and capitalize on the bubblegum sweetness aroma. I’m also going to suggest this would pair nicely with a nutty cheese combo - maybe an almond/cashew coated cheddar and cream cheese ball common around the fall and winter holidays, spread on “everything” bagel pieces or multi/ancient grain crackers.

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Photo of REVZEB
3.64/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is one of those that if session ale was its own category it would rate more favorably, but alas it is not, so I am left wanting more for a belgian pale. The pour is very nice and the smell is very nice with pale hops and belgian yeasts leading. The taste and feel are just so delicate it falls short of great

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Photo of bylerteck
3.34/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Fairly mild in all respects. Best by wasn't on bottle so could've been quite old. On sale as well so could've been old stock. All the qualities of a Belgian Pale were there, just muted.

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

crystal clear, straw yellow, fine white foam with lacing
not much aroma, some peppery phenols, hint of spicy noble hops, peach skin
faint pilsener malt but mainly interplay between noble hops and phenols from the Belgium yeast. dry and grassy hoppy ending
quite substantial for such a low abv beer. fine carbonation, refreshing
I had this before and was not impressed. It was old though. This time it is less than 3 month old and I get this delicate interplay between Belgium yeast phenols and noble hops and in all its refreshing beauty. Nicely done indeed.

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Photo of woomThomas
3.02/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

The beer is hazy yellow light. The foam is white with large bubbles. The foam will slowly disappear, leaving great trails. Smells of hops, citrus, a little yeast and flowers. Are some grass and pine. The smell is a bit anonymous and had been expected more. The flavors of the hops and hops. Then comes the lemon and pineapple, a little grass, grapefruit, spices and a little orange zest. Small yeast tones and fresh bitterness. A little bitterness in the finish. Light to medium body, medium bitterness bitterness, medium carbonation. A little dry and bitter in the end. Refreshing with fruity notes.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm guessing this was categorized "BPA" 10 years ago before the "BPA IPA" style became a new category.
But to the credit of Taras Boulba, the hops do not overwhelm... actually, just enough hops to balance. A delicate beer. But dry... possibly to a fault.

Reviewed in the "1001", you could easily make the case for Taras Boulba being on the list... if it was the ale that made an early contribution to the BPA IPA style. If others were pioneers, Taras can be on the list based on its subtle dryness.

And the name? Credit the "1001" reviewer with doing his research: it is a play on how cultural differences (an increasingly big problem in Belgium) are silly (Even sillier here in the U.S. These fights are particularly unproductive when considering the universal language of beer. Cheers !)

And how does Taras Boulba complement food? I'll tell you about my pairing mistake. I drank half of "TB" waiting for the microwave to heat up last night's leftovers from a pan-Asian restaurant. The other half of "TB" did not go well with a spicy dish that seemed to have jalapeños in it.
5/28/17 Had Taras again, this time with Indian leftovers. Kind of the same mistake, learned again with a different cuisine.
If I have Taras again (and I probably will), I'll try it with northern French food... like my world-famous ratatouille.
8/1/18 Had Taras again with my ratatouille and it reminded me of a good saison, one so good that it makes mediocre food taste good. I found the pairing.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.28/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When I have the possibility to get hold of a beer from Brasserie de la Senne I haven't tried I'm diving right in to it!

This beer was released at #Systembolaget, Sweden in April 8, 2016.
ABV: 4.5% so this is a "low-alcohol" beer :)

It pours hazy, light yellow with a two finger high, offwhite head.

Nose: Not much here! Light sense of citrus, yest, bread, floral notes, grass and pine.
Taste: Citrus, grass, grapefruit, spices and orange zest.
Mouth: Light to medium body. High but soft carbonation. Dry, bitter ending.

Very refreshing beer! Great for a summer picknick.

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Photo of Jow
3.57/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a very bitter beer and I am more of fan of the zinnebeer that the Brewery produces.

This is a very very bitter beer, could be excellent in the summer with a certain dish but I can not drink more than 2 pieces because of the bitterness. Quite unique this beer.

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330 ml bottle Beergium - Pours hazy gold with a large white foamy head. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Smell - light bready, ripened fruits. Taste - Pilsen feel foretaste with a lingering bitter finish. Interesting but a little bit too bitter for my tastes.

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Photo of Arthuros
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A hoppy pale ale with moderate to high bitterness, but also great aroma from the hops. Malts are more withdrawn, and the beer doesn't come off as too sweet. A good, light, bitter Belgian pale ale.

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Taras Boulba from Brasserie de la Senne
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 546 ratings