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Taras Boulba | Brasserie de la Senne

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BA SCORE
87
very good
208 Reviews
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Taras BoulbaTaras Boulba
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie de la Senne
Belgium
brasseriedelasenne.be

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GCBrewingCo on 09-19-2006

BEER STATS
Reviews:
208
Ratings:
476
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
17.69%
 
 
Wants:
47
Gots:
49
For Trade:
0
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 208 | Ratings: 476
Reviews by pkalix:
Photo of pkalix
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

whoa.... popped the cap and got a pilsner-y whiff of something akin to a French chick's armpits. gruff and growl-y aroma, very different indeed! hazy urine yellow, minor head but creamier with a more vigorous pour. bitter, but not traditionally hop-bitter... more like a pilsner/lager hop bitter. this is a hard brew to describe. Heineken/stella-like, low abv. worth a try but wouldn't purchase again...

 403 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle. Another localized Belgian name I'll look up later.

This beer pours a cloudy, very pale golden yellow colour, with four fat fingers of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat bubbly eggshell white head, which leaves some stellar layered weeping cloud lace around the glass as it gradually recedes - this is one purdy brew!

It smells of semi-sweet bready pale malt, orange cream, zesty yeast, muted coriander, musty pine needles, and a subtle leafy grassiness. The taste is grainy, slightly biscuity pale malt, mildly acrid yeast, subdued, and muddled citrus rind, faint savoury spice, and pleasantly leafy, grassy hops.

The carbonation is quite tight in its closely-held, edgy frothiness, the body medium-light in weight, and a bit too acerbic to be deemed all that smooth. It finishes mostly dry, the gritty malt, yeast, and various citrus, flora, and spicy hops conspiring and colluding as such.

A generally agreeable BPA, one whose mantra of 'extra hoppy' is played out well enough, I suppose, for the conservative Brussels crowd, even if this reviewer is a little nonplussed. Easy to drink, the kind of beer that once you get through half of it, all the while relating it via words, you feel the urge to just say, fuck it, close the laptop, and sit back and enjoy it. I only mention this, because that doesn't happen very often.

 1,343 characters

Photo of macher0
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a wonderful session or outside type ale. A slightly cloudy light straw color with a thick, frothy fine bubble egg shell head. The head slowly retreats with marvelous lace rings. The nose is bright and fruity with strong malt presence. A complex yeast starts off the taste. The mid point of the palate comes through with light malts and dusty grain. The end hits with mild hops. The feel is thin, light, crisp and high carbonation which equates to a fairly smooth finish. Tons of flavor, dry on the end. Go for this if you get the chance.

 545 characters

Photo of Jeremiah459
5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is one of the reasons i enjoy visiting Belgium. Only drink it there too, cause the US imported bottles go through hell getting here and taste awful.
Aroma is very noble hop flowery, low yeast esters. It is as if it was brewed at very low temps to restrain the yeast aromas, which is a really brilliant thing in the case of this beer.
Flavor is of noble hops riding on the backbone of delicious german or belgian pilsner malt.
Aftertaste is a punch in the tastebuds of delicious noble hops (58 IBUs!!!)
THIS BEER IS NOT LIGHT ON THE HOPS, NOR DOES IT TASTE LIKE COORS LIGHT OR PBR!!!! Do not be fooled by bad reviews. THIS BEER IS AWESOME, and the more beers you try, the more you wish you just had a fresh ass taras boulba. A beer i would gladly drink for the rest of my life if i could only choose one. Seriously.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(served in a pint)

A: pale, yellow-amber liquid... hazy as hell... gorgeous, gooey foam stand

S: noble hops galore... grassy, with a farmhouse dirt and spice... dried lemon peel, old cloth

T: grassy, floral edging... mildly piney bitterness that hums and lingers... light lemon in the finish, where a mild malt sweetness and cereal flavor emerges... bitter, yellow grapefruit flesh and a dusting of must in the aftertaste

M: soft, plushy, quiet... sanded smooth, but not polished... mumbling, fade away finish... extremely easy to knock back

O: pretty damn tasty, lovely showcase of hop bitterness... heard this guy say he's more a fan of English ales, and it shows in this one... comes across as a sort of hybrid English bitter and small Saison... curious to try it over there - held up pretty well here

 809 characters

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.

 1,973 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"It was the best of beers, it was the worst of beers..." Well, there's no downside to this Belgian offering but with a foral delicate character up front and a biting bitter note in the back, this really is a tale of two beers.

Pouring with the delicate light straw hue that's typical with Belgian blonde ales, the beer casts a mild yeasty cloud and uninterrupted streams of carbonation. The spritzy bubbles build a fluffed cottony head that sits lightly on the beer and laces the glass intricately.

Very floral to the nose, the beer's supple malt sweetness gives a rounded and somewhat fuller scent to the bouquet of orange blossom, honeysuckle, lavender, lemongrass, and soft coriander. Underpinnings of soft bready pilsner malt allows for a light grain and yeast scent to give impressions of cookie dough.

Just when you think that the aroma profile translates effortlessly to taste, the beer gives a few surprises. Of course the supple sweetness of malt touches the tongue and then seemingly dissolves like powdered sugar while the floral notes march onto the mid palate with a developing earth, grassy, and pepper tone. But the procession toward finish continues to grow into an intensely hopped bitterness that wasn't expected. Finish much like many Belgian IPAs, the bitter bite that's only illuminated in the back of the throat reminds me of lemon pepper, sassafras, and sandalwood.

The finesse of the beer's upstart plays light on the palate with the creamy effervescent that lifts and whimsically dissapears- again, much like powdered sugar or cotton candy. This powdery note hides its bittering power very well and never allows it to pronounce until deeper in the finish. But that bitterness does bring about a sharp, peppery, and somewhat astringent bite that's much like biting on raspberry seeds. Lightly acidic, the beer closes with pleasant alcohol warmth, aided hop dryness, and a fast-fleeting malt presence.

This beer would work perfectly with some of those delicate fish entrees that are also a bit oily. The floral notes of the beer will complement that of the fish preparation, and the bitterness will cleanse the mouth and allow the champagney carbonation to refresh the palate and ensure every bite tastes like the first.

 2,248 characters

Photo of dcmchew
3.46/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy yellow, big fluffy white head, nice retention.
Smells lagerish, some extra lemon and grains, "greener", but not very attractive.
Taste starts with lemon, and ends with lemon. A bit of orange sweetness, grapefruit, faint orchard and tropical fruit, followed by huge green hops, really bitter. A touch of "soapy" aromatic herbs. Finish is very aggressive and bitter, like being hit with a barrel of hops in the head (the label seemed very inspiring).
Medium body and carbonation, very dry. Damn, this is bitter.
Again, huge hops seem to cover up some probably nice notes. Bravo on the hop-bomb, not so happy about the sacrificed flavours.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sparkling sunshine yellow with a generous amount of carbonation and an expansive head that was first visible extruding out of the bottle neck following cork removal. The foam looks much better in the glass. It's pearlescent ivory in color, has a fantastic texture (softly rocky and ridiculously sticky) and is depositing patches of thick lace.

TB smells more like a saison than a Belgian pale ale. The nose is lemon peppery and herbal at once. I keep reading about how hoppy this ale is, but it doesn't smell as hoppy as a trio of great Belgians that I've had in the past year or so (Urthel Hop-It, De Ranke XX Bitter and Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel). Let's see what the taste buds have to say.

Taras Boulba is very good beer. It's also amazingly quenching and refreshing beer. Given the flavor and the ABV, this '750' should be gone in no time at all. Back to appearance: a second pour has added a huge amount of yeast to the glass and has made the already attractive head even more attractive. This is one gorgeous ale.

Several ounces are gone and my initial enthusiasm has ebbed a little... but only a little. The beer's biggest negative is that the flavor isn't quite as deep and as complex as it could be. I wonder if a slightly higher ABV would help in that regard. That's pretty much it for the negatives... on to the positives.

Despite a lack of barnyard funk, saison is still the more appropriate style. There's a modest amount of untoasted crackery malt, just enough to give the top notes of hops and yeast an adequate amount of support. Hop flavor and bitterness is generous for a Belgian ale. The finish is especially snappy and tight.

As far as specific flavors are concerned, let's go with lemon zest, meadow grasses, white pepper and spicy cardamom. Maybe a little ground clove as well, but it isn't dominant. The flavor is definitely more assertive as I get into the middle of the bottle. It could be due to warming, but I suspect that the yeast are simply now more plentiful within each gulp. The next highest flavor score is a small step away rather than a giant leap.

Considering the 4.5% ABV, the mouthfeel is surprisingly enjoyable. It doesn't venture beyond light, yet has enough smooth creaminess to get the job done. Longer lasting bubbles would be good; both overall and within each mouthful.

Why would Brasserie De La Senne name a pale ale after an obscure historical novel written by an obscure Ukranian named Nikolai Gogole? Who cares, as long as the beer is delicious. Taras Boulba is another hoppy Belgian that saison freaks owe it to themselves to try.

 2,598 characters

Photo of aszatk01
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of SanFranJake
3.36/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of SkiBum22
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Kappakoosh
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Todd
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Jcorn
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bishopdc0
3.28/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Shared with my wife at Novare Res's Zwanze day.

The look is pale golden straw with a big thick white head it laces very nice.

The nose is sweet with hints of pale malts and the hops are subtle in the nose slight grass straw.

The taste is thin at first but becomes more bitter hops and mix with a pale malts to become bitter and fresh. All in all a nice refreshing beer.

 373 characters

Photo of VernonKell
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Belgian bomber, no freshness/brewing date info. Capped and corked, I also found a bit of darker liquid betw. the cap and the top of the cork. The cork seemed to have a slight blue cheese sheen to it, Funky....This one pours cloudy medium tangerine, with an initial huge, wild head, after a minute or two the poor was more controllable and resulted in a real nice slowly fading merainge, and then a thick, wildly undulating film and leaving the now expected extensive thick sheeting and lace. Nose is of candied and spiced cotton candy and popcorn. Earthy, lightly peppery, plenty of yeasty interest. Notes of some light grapefruit, herbal and flowery hop notes and more mild, lingering peppery spice. Very Saison like. Fairly light bodied, quite complex and interesting. I love to come across a new (at least to me), vibrant and very tasty offering like this one. Yeast filled final pour, adds some nutty notes, medium chunks and perhaps a more pronounced hop presence, very nice beer. Not cheap @ $9.99, but oh so worth it

 1,023 characters

Photo of Guinnsslvr
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of GreenMountainBoy
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Photo of olradetbalder
2/5  rDev -48.7%

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.

 259 characters

Photo of ant1
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of innominat
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of clund
4.36/5  rDev +11.8%

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Taras Boulba from Brasserie de la Senne
3.9 out of 5 based on 476 ratings.
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