Taras Boulba | Brasserie de la Senne

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Taras BoulbaTaras Boulba

Brewed by:
Brasserie de la Senne

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

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Reviews: 211 | Ratings: 487
Photo of rtepiak
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow. really. 4.5 abv!

pour is a murky golden. the head creeps up the bottle after popping. very carbonated beer. tight white belgian bubbles. nose of herbal straw, pilsner bitterness, and a mild floral lavender quality. taste is soap astringent. quite dry on the tongue. lavender comes through on the palate quite nicely with a pislner earthy like finish. wonderful bitter. light. effervescent carbonation that does burn but adds to the clean dryness of the beer. very mild sweet, some honey with a finish of bread. minty crisp on the tongue balance with that too. great beer. great for late spring to summer. so light and well hopped it could be had with everything... but spicy foods.

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

04/30/09- Purchased at K&L Wine Cellar in Redwood City, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my New Belgium tulip.

Appearance- Medium to ligher golden colored pour. One inch fluffy head with some light lace patchwork and streaks remaining.

Smell- Ligher notes when cold of tropical fruits, lemon rind and yeast. As it warms, the tropical notes really get pungent.

Taste- Very well balanced between the tropical hoppy flavors and the light toasted malty base. Light lemony flavors with what seems like mango possibly as well.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level. Pretty crips and a minor hoppy aftertaste.

Drinkability- All in all a really nice pale ale. Really easy to drink and refreshing.

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Photo of smcolw
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge, over-carbonated head--the bottle vulcanoed when opened. When poured, there is an initial four-fingered head. Leaves chunky ring lace. Quite cloudy; golden color.

Earthy and yeasty aroma predominates...mostly yeast. Clean malt smell without the rawness that I've come to expect from Belgium. Light alcohol in the background.

Acidic without being citrusy. A balanced finish that offers a notable hop flavor. The yeast is lighter than the smell would indicate. Balanced body; leans toward the bubbly side.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours cloudy orangey straw with a huge white, fluffy head. Lots of floaties.

Nose is grassy, really tight, spicy, almost cool.

Taste is tight like the nose, almost odd. Cool, herbal hop bitterness seems to dominate, yeast lends a doughy malt note that gets mixed up in it and doesn't break free. Moderately high bitterness level wears on the palate. Everything ends up muddled up in a tight mass with nothing really breaking free.

Mouthfeel is sharply carbonated, light bodied.

Was a bit turned off by this one, and really sure why. It didn't seem refreshing or overly drinkable, and there seemed to be a lot of bitterness instead of hop flavor. Iffy.

Edit: thinking back, this keg had been rolled down stairs into the basement minutes prior to tapping, so I wonder if that really screwed up the taste by agitating all that yeast into the beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazed, dull golden-hued body with a tall, fluffy, white head.

Smell: Fresh, aromatic notes of dusty citrus fruits, cantaloupe juice, herbs, clean soap, and spices set against a humble backdrop of pale malts.

Taste: European pale malts, only lightly sweet. Fruity tastes of melon and lemon slide into tastes of dried herbs, lemon pepper, and watercress. Moderate bitterness. Slight Belgian yeast character. Minor acidity. Floral, soapy hop flavors in the latter half. Spicy bitterness in the brightly crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: I'm always happy to mix in a lighter alcohol brew, particularly when it's both pleasantly flavorful and irresistibly quaffable.

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Photo of Rors
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A standard pale gold colour with a nice stable head - nothing mega exciting here, but all in all quite pleasant to look at.

The nose presents lovely floral fresh hops and a good sweet malty waft. Some nice fruity aromas too (pineapple and mango.) The smell is very complex for a beer of this strength!

In the mouth the hop attack comes first - this is quite a bitter beer! Its all balanced really well with a good underlying malt sweetness. The aftertaste is short but satisfying and theres also plenty of fruitiness here too.

For a beer of this strength it is really quite a remarkable brew - the balance is fantastic. It's super quaffable aswell.

Its good to see the belgians can make a great light tasty beer aswell some excellent dark, strong brews.

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Photo of markman
3.46/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I gotta be honest here; I was expecting quite a beer. In the end, I was rather underwhelmed.

It comes across rather one-dimensional: grainy aroma, bone dry, with a fleeting mild citrus taste that could easily be missed.

A bit of earthy complexity comes in with the yeasties swirled in.

Not a bad beer, but top 10 BPA? I think not...but a more than decent lawnmower beer.


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Photo of Hautacam
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this for the second time on tap at My Place Restaurant in Newtown, CT.
Slightly cloudy , light gold , with a frothy head..served in a Hommel Ale chalice.
Smell is earthy and hoppy.
Taste is slightly grassy and earthy Noble type hop, with a bite for sure. There is bit of malt...not enough to balance, but enough to tame the hops a bit...not sweet. There is also a hint of lemon, yeast and bubblegum in the background.
Mouthfeel is on the light end of medium and the carbonation is just right.
A pretty easy drinking Belgian.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Taras Boulba poured a hazy straw yellow with a wicked strong foam head which was 3-4 fingers. It left some nice lacing on the sides of the glass and retention was moderate.

Aroma was enjoyable as it reminded of Belgian smells with added hoppiness. It had a nice fruitiness to it. The taste is light and fruity and was one which could be session-able. It was pretty dry in the mouth and you were left with some resinous hops. Overall a very solid Belgian Pale.

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

Pours a clouded yellow orange that's hard to see in this dark light. Nose is minor dough with spices mixed in. Milder than I expected. Flavor is quite hoppy it seems. Fair amount of dough. Earthy too. Minor citrus on the backside. Decent level of spices it seems, buy really the hops are in full effect here. Smooth feel. Low carbonation. Nice to drink. It started off off to me but soon got quite nice. Like this beer a lot.

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Photo of hellbilly
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottle BB may 09 by way of glouglouburp.

a rather ugly hazy blonde colored pour with a soft white head and light spotty lacing.

fruity yeasty aroma... pear, lemon and grass with a ton of flowers and herbs (thyme, rosemary and savory... yep). it actually smells like my herb garden!

there's just a touch of flower blossom sweetness on the palate. but that's it!.... extremely dry with a nice lingering bitterness throughout. flavors of pale grain, dust, faint citrus, earth, more herbs and grassy/skunky hops with a spicy bite on the finish. light to medium bodied with prickly lively carbonation and mouth feel. airy texture. extremely refreshing yet complex.

great lunch beer... i bet it's insane fresh off the taps!

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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.

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Photo of corby112
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a nice golden color with a thin white head that didn't last very long. Nice hop aroma with hints of spice and fruit. Strange combination of a belgian strong ale and an IPA. The absence of any malt flavor gave this a funky aftertaste.

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Photo of currysage1
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle with some very interesting artwork, went to the Shelton Brothers website to get the 411. Interesting story.

Starts by overflowing the bottle when uncapped, poured into my Ommegang chalice. Color is very cloudy, like unfiltered cider, 2 finger white crackly head sinks to a good covering with decent lacing.

Smell is of spiced honey, light fruitiness, almost like a light perfume. Some hop presence but too light to tell anything definitive.

Taste is of bitter apples, definately more hop forward in the flavor, bitterness, very flavorful with untoasted grain and grape skins.

Feel is what I would expect from a beer of this style, refreshing body, heavy carbonation. Could have another but the bitterness might get to me. Very good recommended.

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

Golden body, modest, retaining head, and not-to-crisp on the tongue. Wonderfully refreshing with a hint of honey on a bed of flower. Slight sour tart oils incude citrus and powdered candy sugar. A lemon merengue turns De Ranke bitter with healthy use of hops, the way only Belgium knows how. Something special.

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Photo of ATPete
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

green 750ml
thanks Skourtis!

Pours a hazy yellow color with a huge white head that just wont quit, sticky and very strong, lots of vigourous rising carbonation rush to support the monster. Creamy Belgian yeast and sweet buttery hops develop in to an interesting nose. Lemon skin, orange pulp, fresh grapefruit rind, makes for a slightly tart approach throughout also notes of wintergreen minty pine and soap. Slightly skunked but barely, although i wish there was a date on the bottle. Overall this is a damn interesting beer. Decent medium and grainy body, but very refreshing and drinkable.


maybe i am the fool, you better watch this one, i got a booming head ache just minutes after finishing the bottle!

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

33 cl bottle.

Pours a very hazy, pulpy, mango yellow with powdery lemonade edges. Rocky, lacy, cotton white head. Perfume-y nose of lemon bars, wheat bread, cloves, hay, a hint of bubble gum, and a mix of peppery and herbal hops.

Grainy astringency and assertive, grassy hop bitterness up front. A dollop of honey on wheat bread shows up mid-palate along with lemon mineral water bitterness. Lemon peel and yeast dominate the finish, with some lingering spicy wheat malt fighting with the bitterness. Moderate body with a lively, bottle-conditioned feel. Refreshing and interesting. Would be a nice quaffer for a hot Belgian day!

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Photo of Proteus93
2.97/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: A murky, yet a rather vibrant hue of yellow. Similar to what I would typically expect from a witbier. A big, rocky and foamy head of stark white billows on top.

S: Not the most pleasant thing to my nose... quite a soapy, and almost skunky aroma. There are herbal elements there, but they are quite overwhelmed by the other scents.

T: The taste doesn't come across as so much 'skunked.' The big, soapy kind of flavour is there, as the aroma suggested. A notable hop bitterness is there, but certainly doesn't present itself as aggressively as many American hopbombs will.

M + D: Feels great... it's a shame I'm not blown away with the scent and flavour, as this would really top it off. A nice, crisp carbonation to begin, followed by a fairly slick and even oily body which makes for a smooth and easy finish before basically 'vaporizing' with a bit of a post-finish dryness. This may be a case of an "off-bottle" and it may simply be that I am not too keen on the hops used or the method in which this beer was made. I'd be happy to try it again to ensure I am not throwing a perfectly good beer out the window with this one, becasue it looks fine in the glass and the feel is fabulous.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a golden-yellow body that is clear but gets hazier with each glass. There is a sea of carbonation that supports an off-white head that turns into thick odd-shaped clouds.

S- A yeasty green aroma has a fresh rain quality to it but not really any hops or malt notes come through. Pretty clean aroma even when warm.

T- The soft water flavor has a white plastic note to it with some herbal qualities coming through as it warms. There is a green bitter not in the finish that increases as the beer warms. There is a big pungent dandelion bitterness after each sip that lingers.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a fizzy note that cleans out any hint of flavor except for the pungent bitterness.

D- There is not a lot of flavor in this beer other than the pungent bitterness after each sip. The hops due linger but there is just no real aroma or flavor hops and not much to support the bitterness of the hops that are there.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.2/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The labeling of this beer indicates that it is imported by Shelton Brothers. Their website says they're "only interested in bringing you the very best," but I didn't this beer to be all that representative of that claim. OK to be sure, but definitely under-delivers on the big claim of "Extra hoppy ale," which I found to be typical of Belgian beers that claimed to be hoppy. A nice blonde beer, but nothing special.

Appearance was a cloudy hazy yellow (like beer + lemonade) with clove-y aroma and more hop than is typical in Belgian ale, although for an American accustomed to DIPAs, IPAs, and APAs, it really isn't hoppy...maybe more hops than the average Belgian golden ale, but certainly not much more. A bit of sweetness and citrus as well. Pretty thin mouthfeel, on the watery side.

I'd weakly recommend this beer - OK, but I didn't mention it on the postcards I sent home.

I bought this bottle at Beer Mania in Brussels. The bottle I got was labeled for import, which is where the Shelton Brothers URL came from.

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Photo of Derek
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy straw with a huge, fluffy, white head. Good retention and some lacing.

S: Floral (slightly soapy) hops, marmalade, minerals, lemon grass, candied fruit.

T: Floral, slightly citrusy hops; lemon zest; pale malt; light spiciness; some saison character really comes through in the finish; good bitterness. Hard to believe it's only 4.5%. I'd love to see this 'imperialized' for some more flavour.

M: Light to moderate body is well-carbonated. Very dry, crisp finish.

D: Very drinkable.

Big thanks to Phyl21ca for this extra!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a cloudy (lots of lees) beige color ale with a nice foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of extra dry hops with lightly spicy yeast. Taste is a well balance mix between some spicy yeast with some really dry hops (not really bitter though) and good Belgian style malt profile. Full body with great carbonation. Well done if maybe a tad too dry but I wouldn't mind having this more often.

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

Pours a somewhat cloudy dark golden with an excellent creamy white head and some sticky lacing. Smells earthy with hops and a bit of forest floor. Big bitterness from earthy and herbaceous hops. There are some spice notes, a bit of creaminess, and some smooth very slightly sweet malt providing a backbone. Aftertaste of white pepper. This is extraordinarily flavorful for such a low abv beer. Excellent achievement. The mouthfeel is a bit spicy and quite smooth, even a tad light. Very drinkable and enjoyable.

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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.

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Photo of chuckd123
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this a couple of weeks ago at Moan & Dove. Poured from a 750ml corked bottle into a goblet. Color is a light copper - I'd call it a shade or two lighter than a typical pale ale. Very nice 1/2 - 3/4" head with good lacing and retention. The aroma is slightly floral, with faint smell of hops mixed in. Exeptionally drinkable beer (although in this case three of us split one bottle), one I could see having several of over the course of an afternoon with friends. Relatively low abv% adds to drinkability. This is a very unique beer, and one I will definitely try again.

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Taras Boulba from Brasserie de la Senne
3.9 out of 5 based on 487 ratings.
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