Taras Boulba | Brasserie de la Senne

very good
212 Reviews
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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: 212 | Ratings: 488
Photo of t8s8l8
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Very diverse, the color is a cloudy yellow, gold. the head on this thing screams Belgian. the retention stuck around the whole time drinking and an interestingly it appeared the head retention created an island within the middle of the glass. The aromatics mostly yeast driven it seems gives of an interesting phenol, that plays well with the soft spicy citrus notes present from the hops. the flavor is very similar to the aroma. Its semi sweetness finishes comfortably dry. what makes this beverage above average is the mouthfeel. It has a high carbonation level that does not effect the creaminess in the mouthfeel. There is no alcohol warmth and very approachable. This is overall something to share with friends not an everyday beverage but overall impressed.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.3/5  rDev -15.4%

A: Transparent pale. Light head.

2.5S: Smells skunky and uninteresting.

T: What? How is this extra hoppy? MAYBE for a BSPA. Still. Herbal boring and bad.

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

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours moderately cloudy golden orange color with a 1 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big pear, apple, grape, orange zest, pepper, clove, floral, grass, herbal, honey, bread, and floral/yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop, malt, and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of pear, apple, lemon, grape, orange zest, pepper, clove, floral, grass, herbal, honey, bread, and floral/yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of light fruits, citrus, pepper, clove, floral, grass, herbal, bread, honey, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of malt, hop, and fruity/spicy yeast notes; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and crisp mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming noticed after the finish; expected of 4.5%. Overall this is an excellent hoppy Belgian pale ale! All around great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy ester, malt, and hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of CookstLiquor
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 330ml bottle. Pours a very pale whitish-yellow colour with big bubbles. The nose has subtle notes of light citrus, spice, cracker and grain. Taste is similar with a very crisp, dry finish. Effervescent carbonation. A light, refreshing session beer.

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Photo of sfprint
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Single finger head, a beautifully bright yellow apricot in color with soda like carbonation, totally hazy with no visible rising carbonation.

Smells basically like a nice witbier. Cilantro, orange zest, citrus notes.

Extremely tangy bitterness like grapefruit rind. Citrus peel bite is first which is a bit difficult, but under that is a very nice, light, pomelo/tangelo citrusiness. However the flavor isn't super strong. The strongest thing is the intial tang.

Light with an initial mouthpuckering tang. Not much carbonation.

A friend of mine says this is his favorite beer and I do agree that it's very nice and well constructed.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Moeder Lambic Fontainas, served in a de la Senne stemmed pokal glass.

A- Pours a hazy golden apricot color with a huge, creamy white head, great retention and lacing.

S- Really nice aroma of hops, yeast, dough, flowers. Smells really light and refreshing.

T- Similar to the aroma, mild hoppiness, some yeast and pale malt dough/breadiness, really nice floral component.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth, soft feel, dry finish.

O- I really enjoyed this beer, I had it on tap a few separate times at Moeder, and this is a very, very drinkable, tasty, good-for-any-normal-day sort of beer.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

EDIT: Revisited this today (7/30/13). Much better than I initially remembered. Still a little too prickly and overly carbonated for my liking, but the flavor is exceptionally simple and refreshing. Recommended.

Poured on tap at Trappist Provisions into a 6oz wine glass. Review is from my notes.

Pours a pale golden color with a 2 finger of white head and loads of carbonation that streak the entire glass almost to the point of making it look cloudier than it really is. As it clears up, the head eventually dies down, but it does retain a lively, champagne-like feel with all of the extra carbonation. Not too viscous overall, as expected, but also looks pretty thickened. Looks like a standard, great take on the BPA style.

The aroma is surprisingly bitter and spiced up, consisting of BIG grassy, bittered dry hops, as well as slightly toasted grains with an off smoked flavor, and spices ranging from black pepper to cumin (?). Definitely not what I expected at all, but De la Senne is known for the experimental releases. At the same time, it is rather normalized as it is low in ABV and a relatively simple recipe stable... However, what they've done with the hops definitely makes it stand out. There's not much of a malty backbone to make out, but the dried, crisp grainy flavor as well as the grass and even leaves (as it warms up) is pretty interesting. Could do less with the overly toasted flavor, but otherwise, it's quite good.

The flavor is exactly what I thought it would be, with the palate getting coated with bittered, dry golden grains and grassy, floral hops. Not too much citrus here, in fact, but undeniably rustic and grassy. Super raw, although the grains at times do feel diminished with the strong hoppy character. I can make out some slight fruitiness, such as dry cider, but I'm getting loads of other wild notes such as tree sap, dried earth, white peppers, and brown grass. It's really fascinating and reveals a lot of these rustic notes in the long run, especially as it warms up. Body is slightly thin, but contains enough carbonation to hold this together in the long run.

At first I was pretty thrown off by all of the wild spicy and earthy flavors, but the more I consumed this the more I realized that a Belgium take on an American session beer is pretty great, as you do get the slightly fruity, funky yeasty phenols here, as well as the spices and dried hop resins, without having to worry about getting plastered after one or two glasses (I'm looking at you, Westmalle Tripel). A very good offering from De la Senne and probably one of the tastiest beers I've had recently that's under 5%. I could stock up on these in the future for casual evenings, no doubt.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy light to medium golden yellow in color with some apricot highlights, light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation, and a moderate amount of fine yeast particles in suspension. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy head that slowly reduces to a medium sized finger tall thick patch (almost cap-like) along with a very thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of Belgian yeast, herbal and spicy hops, as well as some lighter notes of pale malts.

T: Upfront there is a light flavor of pale malts that is quickly overtaken by the moderate flavors of the Belgian yeast and hops - I detect spicy (peppery) as well as herbal hops. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness which fade pretty quickly.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Moderate amounts of dryness.

O: This beer is easy to drink and sessionable, the beer has a low ABV and wonderful taste/smell of yeast and hops. I could enjoy several of these and it was refreshing on this warm spring afternoon.

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

musty, hay, chalky, yeasty aroma
golden color with a bit of orange hues and a rocky bubbly head
The taste strikes you with a bit of sweetness like an orange creamsickle at first and soon follows with grapefruit pith bitterness but it's not lingering. the bitterness is a short burst and it finishes dry.
the mouthfeel is medium and creamy and well carbonated.
overall it's a very drinkable Belgian pale that could serve as a everyday beer.

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Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is slightly hazy golden yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation along with some fine particles floating in suspension. It poured with a finger high bright white head that gradually died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of herbal and spicy hops are present in the nose along with some hints of Belgian yeast.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is dominated by grassy, herbal and peppery spicy flavors from the hops, the latter of which lingers through the finish. A light amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a rather dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The low alcohol content makes the beer very sessionable but it is still packed with lots of hoppy and yeasty flavors making it comparable to some of the top Belgian Pale Ales.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beer is cloudy golden, with a medium-sized snow white head. Good lacing, moderate retention.

Interesting nose. Bubblegum, banana, floral notes and Belgian yeast, along with some hops: citrus notes, mainly orange. Has some similarities to a weisse, but no wheat.

Taste is quite bitter, particularly for a Belgian. Creamy, with yeast flavours. Orange and some citrus, light fruits. Bready. Again, I am surprised it is only barley making up the grain bill.

Very creamy, smooth. Medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

Overall, quite good indeed. Unique and nice.

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Photo of chanokokoro
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml brown bottle into an unbranded tulip glass

Pours a hazy pale, straw yellow capped by a billowing two finger bright white head. Excellent retention, significant lacing. Grassy hops, Belgian yeast, hay, and flora. Typical Belgian yeastiness, pear, grass, and hints of dried dried apricot. Finishes with mildly bitter green tea and just a hint of fresh mint. Light-bodied, slick with a hint of creaminess. A personal favorite among Belgian pale ale. Throroughly enjoyable everytime.

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

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a St. Thomas chalice glass.

Pours a nice hazy yellow-golden colour with a decent sized white head.

Smells of hops: fresh, slight pepper.

Tastes fairly hop forward: not over-the-top citrus, light fruit, hint of pepper/spice; and light biscuity malts. Fairly well balanced though the hops are very much out there when cold. Fairly substantial mouthfeel.

Overall a pretty nice beer, different from the usual Belgian offerings in it's hop forward taste.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint. Pours out a hazy straw. Refermented in the bottle so it makes sense. Very nice two inch head, amazing lace retention.

The smell is heavy mineral, grain and grass. A bit boring, but not bad.

The taste saves it from being mediocre by quite a bit. Pale malts start it off, with fresh mown grass and citrus quick to follow. A hint of spice and Belgian yeast follow, finished by more citrus. Tons of flavor for a 4.5% beer. Goes down very well, smooth and light.

I haven't ever had a more delicious session beer. For being so light, this beer kicks some tastebud ass!

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Photo of kojevergas
2.73/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

"Taras Boulba" Extra Hoppy Ale. 4.5% ABV. Brasserie de la Senne Brussels.
.33cl bottle served into a S'Feuillien goblet. Reviewed from notes taken in Belgium in June 2010.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger light fluffy head of nicely thick cream and good retention. Body colour is a nontransparent copper with visible floating yeast particles.

Sm: Bittering hops. Cream.

T: Barley and cream foundation with a restrained bittering hop climax - a bit like a tame IPA. Pleasant. Some yeast does pull through, adding a pleasant biscuity aspect to the flavour profile.

Mf: Lacks the terrible coarseness of many similarly hopped beers. There's a sharp carbonation bite, but the mouthfeel features welcome coarseness to bring out the flavour and provides needed wetness in an attempt to refresh. That said, it doesn't really suit the flavours all that well. It's passable.

Dr: Highly priced by locla standards. Somewhat mundane. Drinkable enough, but not a session beer. Pedestrian and forgettable.


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Photo of outdoor7or24
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into pint glass.
A: pours a light hazey golden color, brilliant creamy white head, carbonation
S: Belgian yeast, light grain, clove, floral notes, orange, honeysuckle
M: medium with a light fresh feeling
T: creamy wheat, earthy and grassy, peppery with carbonation settling and opening up to light hop bitterness that is slightly drying on the tongue.
O: pretty cool brew and yes I would drink another.

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Photo of xmorgan
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Trappist, Oakland, CA
Appearance: hazy straw color, very nice lacing
Smell: straw like and yeasty
Taste: citrus slight bitter with a herbal finish
Mouthfeel:medium dry with a grapefruit rind slight aftertaste
Overall:drinkable refreshing golden ale

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

On draft at Moeder Lambic Fontainas.

The beer is light golden hued and extremely hazy and murky. A thick, foamy head measuring approximately an inch leaves sticky lace ringlets around the glass. The aroma brings coriander, grass, light yeast, malt, floral hops. Similar to a saison in many aspects. The taste is refreshing and light, with a nice floral hop presence. The finish is tangy ith a light bitterness. Thin and quite drinkable. A nice sessionable type example of the style.

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

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from Chez Clem's, tasted in 2012.

Appearance : golden color, with white foamy head.
Smell : hoppy and yeasty aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : flowery hops flavors with fruity notes, a nice hoppy finish.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Belgian Pale Ale.

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

On draft at Churchkey DC, served in a snifter. Beer is yellow and mildly hazy with a big tight white head.

Beer is yeasty and sweet in the nose, mild hoppiness.

Beer is sweet in the sense that Duvel is sweet beer, it is an interesting beer. Yeasty and mildly dry on the finish with a little hops in the midpalate, mild bitterness at the end. I enjoyed it a lot.

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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.

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3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle. ½ Pint glass. Enjoyed on jul´12. Pale straw color. Hazy appearance. White, medium bubbled, froth. Rocky, fairly good retention, crown. Floral & citric aromas with subtle tropical fruit hues. Maltiness & Belgian yeast at first sip is blown out by heavy hoppiness that lingers into the finish. Medium to light body. Moderate to high carbonation. Oily texture, slightly watery in the middle . Lemon juice sensation, heavy astringency. Long bitter finish. Resiny & piney aftertaste. A devilish refreshing & amazing Belgian Pale Ale.

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

2010 on tap at O'Brien's

A: Hazy light golden color with a thin white head.

S: Pretty faint but some light notes of citrus and earthy hops.

T: Really subtle but great flavor profile. Some light citrusy notes: lemon and orange peel with a nice grassy and spicy hoppy finish. Maybe some pale malt as well. Light and refreshing. I'd definitely drink this again.

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Photo of beerdrifter
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. Very cloudy, hazy yellow pour with two finger foamy white head with good retention and nice lacing. Pretty typical Belgian Pale Ale nose with lots of grass, lemony citrus, and yeast. The taste follows suit with a really intense citrusy, grassy, yeasty tang. Hints of lemon, orange rind, spicy herbal hops, and a touch of pepper as well. Mothfeel is slightly fizzy with a nice crisp, dry, tangy, bitter finish. It definitely stands out as a Belgian Pale Ale.

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

Poured into a Stone Brewery flute. Pours a light yellow-orange amber fine white yeast particles floating from pouring the whold bottle, half finger fine white head that slowly dissipates, leaving nice lacing. Aroma of earthy citrus light fruit, faint Belgian yeast and mild hops. Flavor of light bready malt, citrus and hops. Finishes with a light lemony bitterness and light malt. Light to medium bodied. A refreshing pale ale with a distinctive dry, hoppy, citrusy finish.

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Taras Boulba from Brasserie de la Senne
3.9 out of 5 based on 488 ratings.
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