Taras Boulba | Brasserie de la Senne

BA SCORE
87
very good
503 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score
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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
Ratings:
503
Reviews:
213
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
11.79%
 
 
Wants:
47
Gots:
52
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 503 |  Reviews: 213
Photo of Fetusonfire
5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of Thorpe429
5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From the bottle at 't Brugs Beertje in Brugge during last week's trip to Belgium. Reviewed from notes.

Served in a De La Senne cervoise.

Pours a semi-hazy straw color with a huge white head and gobs of lacing on the way down. The nose brings some straw and wheat with some faint hops. Nice and inviting, plenty of Noble hop character. Surprisingly, the flavor really takes a turn in an even better direction with plenty of floral hops to combine with the light malt. Light body and good bitterness. Solidly-dry finish. High carbonation and super crisp. DLS does it again. Fantastic brew. Damn near perfect.

 609 characters

Photo of nathanjohnson
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of cadaugherty
5/5  rDev +28.2%

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.

 824 characters

Photo of clearlydiluted
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of avenuepub
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of BrockettBrewing
5/5  rDev +28.2%

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

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

taras boulba is my favorite beer. i could drink it anytime, anywhere and it would always be fresh and exciting to me. it is wonderfully bitter up front, then crushingly refreshing on the finish. it is perfect in every way, and if you don't like it i don't trust you.

it is also a shame that bottles of this beer just never taste as good as i wish they did. i am sure that the number of people that have had this in a bottle and never want to seek it out again is relatively high, because this is a beer that is only as good as it is fresh, and due to importing, bottles are routinely 6-12 months old when they hit the states (which is a goddamn shame). however, if you are fortunate enough to have this beer on draft, do not hesitate. it is incredibly good, and, again, it is my favorite beer. it is perfect.

 809 characters

Photo of gregmurer
4.94/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

THE best of...
Best of, for it's drinkability, even after tree or four of them, it's still a pleasure to order a fourth one...
Best of, for it's mouthfeel, so nice, so strong and hoppy, so good and powerfull...
Best of, for it's taste, that is about the best hop-mix of the brewing industry...
Best of, for it's smell, that only let you one way... drinking it...

and... even the appearance is nice... so, actually, it's the best when you like beers that are made by brewers that are not crawling in front of the market.

 523 characters

Photo of philipquarles
4.9/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

33cl bottle. Pours an opaque straw yellow with a huge white head that lasts. Characteristic sediment. Smells strongly of Belgian yeast and hops. Very floral and somewhat grassy. Light grain in the background. Tastes floral, with a definite hop presence; slightly sweet, grainy malt in the back. Faint yeasty spice. For the style and ABV, the body is as full as it gets. Nice effervescence. Crisp, refreshing, plenty of flavor, lots of character, refined, balanced, etc etc. Fantastic.

 484 characters

Photo of MacStinson
4.84/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Nicky_J
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

Photo of od_sf
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

Photo of imagineiii
4.62/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into my duvel tulip. pale yellow to hazy orange in color. finger of white head. decent retention.

nose is of grass, maybe hay. light fruits, apples and melons. cloves. smells alot like local 1. but this beer has half the alcohol, hmmmm...

initially its sweet and clovy, with faint fruits that are more dominant in nose. crisp hops clean any residual sweetness away, leaving only a slight bitterness behind. slightly peppery. marvelously balanced.

mouthfeel is perfect. carbonation is just right, flavor complexity isnt nearly overpowering to the palate. clean finish.

this beer is as drinkable as any belgian out there. it is light and clean, leaving the drinker wanting more. unfortunately it is cost-prohibitive to session with this beer, as much as id like to.

advertised as extra hoppy, it is anything but. rather the hops just serve to clean up the sweet fruity esters left behind from the belgian style.

 922 characters

Photo of chinabeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

on-tap at deep ellum during the cantillon/de la senne event on april 24, 2009, week's end of the craft brewers conference.

served in tulip glass.

pale blonde with slight haze. amazing foamy, creamy head. great lace.

bold noble hop nose, herbal, grassy and upfront. faint fruity belgian yeast notes. toasted crackers. whiff of sulfur.

taste: very surprisingly malty and bready, while also hoppy with very crisp herbal tones. snappy bitterness.

light to medium body, with resins in the finish. crisp carbonation has moments of creaminess.

really, this isn't much different from the bottled version. maybe fresher, and of course no gushing. again, this has exceptional depth of flavor for just 4.5% ABV.

 706 characters

Photo of mynie
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured this into a pint glass because what the hell, why not, don't tell me how to live. Also, sidenote, I love creepy cartoons from European nations of no political consequence. Estonian ones especially, but Belgian ones are pretty slick. More of this please.

So this is a Flemmish hoppy pale, I take it. Which makes it my first. And it's also the best hoppy Belgian I can ever remember having, its body and flavor resembling Orval on PCP.

Then again, I don't really remember what Orval tastes like. I remember that it was damned impressive for its size, that it managed to cram in most of the best Belganiness of a good Dubbel only without much of the alcohol burn. This is like that. There's a goddamn Turkishmarketsworth of ripe fruit in there, along with maybe the nicest Belgian yeast profile I've ever come across. It's all the nice flavors you normally associate with burn only there's no burn. And the aftertaste is superb. It tastes the way an old dusty beerstore smells, only in no way gross. One sip of this and it's like I'm standing in the middle of John's Grocery.

 1,081 characters

Photo of joshautry
4.58/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of papat444
4.57/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Glouglouburp for giving this to me as a last minute extra.

When i open the bottle (33cl), i see loads of bubbles rising and not long after, it starts foaming out of the bottle. No time like the present to pour...

Appearance: Hazy, golden body with massive foam that doesn't take too long to form a nice 2 finger head which is fluffed like a cloud as if it were whipped.

Smell: A sweet aroma that i can't put my finger on (at first). Bubblegum? Not quite, more like a natural sweetness, sugar cane? Closer but not quite. More of a fresh dough smell, bordering on a fresh donut.

Taste: I like it right off the bat. First thing i taste is hops, mixed with some dry fruit maybe? Malt rounds it off quite nicely. Extremely well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is low. Very tolerable biitterness felt throughout the palate. Hops are always present but never dominant. Some kind of rind-like feel (lemon?). A floral/grassy character is felt which reminds me of a meadow or pasture with all the aromas involved.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink with enough taste to match. Seriously, this beer puts to shame all beers that sacrifice taste for ease of consumption.

Overall: The most flavorful beer with a lower ABV i've had to date. A beer i would have again in a heartbeat. Definitely put one on the top of your list.

 1,328 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.57/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Taras Boulba has a solid appearance. And while that is certainly true in the figurative sense as it is quite commendable, I meant it more literally: I can't see through the damn thing! Its fair golden tone is misleading - this has a dense complexion (such that all highlights have been squashed). Its head too is impressively solid. It is substantial and steadfast.

Its smell is like that of a lover in that while it might seem unusual and unfamiliar at first, in time it grows to arouse you. Indeed, I've become attached (nearly obsessed actually) with this reeking - but curiously attractive - bouquet that has the underlying odor of a dusty attic and stinky, soft rind cheese. Of course, those are mostly covered up by a perfume of fruity yeast and even fruitier, effervescent hops.

I'm not sure that beer (or anything for that matter) can have a taste independent of its taster. But let us not get bogged down debating philosophy and let it suffice to say that this beer tastes amazing to me. Your palate may feel otherwise. But for mine, this simple (but substantial) flavour of pale malts and pineapple-like hops is the knees. And at such a low alcohol makes possibly the most definitive session beer.

Hops! What a glorious discovery! The lingering fruity esters of the yeast would have complimented the toasty sweetness of the malts just fine on their own, as it has been for centuries, but with the help up a hop profile that is thick and bitter and sprightly, the beer is taken to new levels. This may not have been the first European brewery to experiment with American hops, but they may have conceived the best outcome.

I understand Gogol is one of the greatest of all the great Russian writers but I doubt even he could have devised a character so memorable and unique as this. In fact, this is my favourite Belgian character since Hercule Poirot. While admittedly it does a take a great deal of its character from the American hops, there's no mistaking that its intricacy, balance and the first-rate of its craftsmanship were undoubtedly the work of a Belgian mind.

 2,088 characters

Photo of Crosling
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely excellent hoppy saison. Perfect appearence with a lasting froth. VIbrant nose. Tremendously flavorful for such a low alcohol brew. Extremely hoppy, but such a balanced flavor. Excellent longevity as well, i’m guessing this will keep well for at least a year (nothing like an American IPA.) Pure and clearly high in quality. Fantastic belgian ale.

 358 characters

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.

 515 characters

Photo of GreenMountainBoy
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

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Taras Boulba from Brasserie de la Senne
3.9 out of 5 based on 503 ratings.
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