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Equinox / Zwarte Piet | Brasserie de la Senne

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Equinox / Zwarte PietEquinox / Zwarte Piet
Very Good
110 Ratings
Equinox / Zwarte PietEquinox / Zwarte Piet

Brewed by:
Brasserie de la Senne

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 110 |  Reviews: 59
Photo of flagmantho
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip. This is the "Zwarte Piet" version.

Appearance: deep rich dark brown hue with lots of haze and a thick finger of frothy tan foam. Quite attractive in my opinion.

Smell: rather sweet but with a nice dose of dark fruits and dusty tobacco leaves. Just what I like in the style.

Taste: on the sweet side and a little bit muted, but nonetheless the flavor complexity is there. This really works for me as a somewhat less heavy example of the style.

Mouthfeel: lighter-bodied than average, but with a big carbonation. Creaminess is big but ephemeral.

Overall: I like this beer a lot, although turning up the volume just a little bit would be brilliant.

 698 characters

Photo of AlexFields
3.49/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Buzz3d
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(bottle from 2013 I presume - carefully poured into a Chouffe tulip)

L: super-dark ruby red liquid... good finger+ high, rose-tinted tan foam - settles in a smooth crest above the mouth of the glass and calmly recedes into the beer, leaving a thick blanket of lace in its wake

S: lovely dark milk chocolate with dark candi sugar and a hint of raspberry hard candy... faint whiff of coffee liqueur and earthy-spicy yeast on the back end... touch solventy as it warms

T: polished, muscular-but-delicate roasted grain bitterness and dark caramel... bit of a dry, yeasty-spicy bite, which points to this bottle having begun to succumb to age or abuse... aftertaste is bittersweet coffee with some dark sugar and vinous-like esters, perhaps a hint of black pepper or ash

F: plenty of unfermentables to keep the body from zapping out totally dry... pleasant little rubbery roll riding a coat of sparkly suds... still has a sense of balance at this point, but not for much longer

O: once again, you take a chance trying a Belgian you haven't had before... one out of every four seem to have this 'quirk' about them... the guys at the counter laughed when I asked them what I should go with between this and the Zinnebir - I knew immediately they must have both been from last year, as these De la Senne bottles haven't been flying off the shelves around here since PBW '13... it's a shame, because their beers are pretty good - wish more people knew... maybe these sales peeps oughta do a better job pimping them out, huh?

 1,520 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of mattfancett
2.8/5  rDev -25.5%

Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of erbu
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of byronic
3.13/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with a nice thick head, looks very nice after the pour. Can't distinguish much from the nose other than some malts and Belgian yeast. Tastes rather muted with some hints of bitterness and malts. The alcohol is very present and overpowering. Perhaps some of the flavours have disappeared with age but I wouldn't return to have this brew again.

 361 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The bottle label is just "Zwarte Piet" (Black Peter - a Low Countries folklore character) and has a different graphic on it (a black character wearing a white safari get-up). Other than describing itself as a dark ale, the ABV is listed as 8.2%.

Zwarte Piet pours a turbid brown color and creates a lasting, thick, creamy, off-white head. Roasted grain and slight chocolate aroma with a faint cherry note; yeasty and doughy. Taste is much like the aroma, perhaps a bit more bitter chocolate and a twinge of alcohol heat. Surprisingly light and thin body yet very soft and smooth.

A rather interesting dark ale that manages to satisfy despite having some weak minor points such as mouthfeel (it just seems too weak and watery overall). Dark grain, chocolate and even a pinch of coffee-like bitterness and bite makes this one worth trying.

 839 characters

Photo of tykechandler
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of chickenm
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Seanhvw
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Wukk
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of rixcat
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of CookstLiquor
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 500ml bottle. Racist label aside, this pours a rich dark brown. Nose offers up complex floral, fruity notes with roasty notes of chocolate. Taste is boozy and a bit sweet, with notes of dark dried fruits and a strong bitter finish. Very smooth and sippable.

 271 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours a very dark, nearly opaque brown with a nice to finger light brown head that dissipates slowly, leaving heavy lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, nuts, cocoa, faint Belgian yeast and spicing. Flavor is initially muted toasted malt, cocoa with dark, tart fruit developing later and finishing with charred malt, cocoa and some grassy hop bitterness. Medium bodied with peppery sharp carbonation. An unusual take on a brown ale, flavors are more muted and not as rich as a porter, but there is a lighter, Belgian fruit component that makes this interesting and different. The char in the finish is unexpected and perhaps a bit strong for flavor balance, but overall a quite interesting hybrid of porter and Belgian dark. Worth a try.

 773 characters

Photo of ManforallSaisons
3.26/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It being Sinterklaas/St. Nicolas, it was clearly time to pull this out of the cellar, I think a couple months after buying. While I should strive not to prejudge, it was what I'd expected, in fact hoped for from this house: not a standard Belgian Christmas ale but a modern take on a peacefully non-imperial stout -- more roast and no/less candy sugar, clean, solid rather than decadent. Goodness knows for sure about a best-by date but looks like 2014 and no month are ticked on the label. Luscious-looking brown-black body with a sustained layer of cream. Little smell, some esters, a touch of coffee, but little is the operative word. Seriously roasted coffee again, in the flavor, plus toffee, some apricot and citrus, along with herbal and bitter but slightly coppery hops. Nice chewy attack and it cleans out well.

 820 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
3.57/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Oh man, this label...

A: Pours a deep chestnut color, turning black in the glass, with a nice two finger sand colored head. Really good retention and some nice lace.

S: Cocoa powder, roasted malt, light gingerbread and cinnamon and just a hint of spicy rye. Pretty interesting. None of the fruit in here that I expect in a BSDA.

T: Opens a touch roasty with a light brown sugar sweetness to it. Bread crust, faint chalky yeast in the background, rye and a slight touch of earthy hops near the finish. Interesting, but I don't know if I'd go back to this.

 558 characters

Photo of brandonld23
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Photo of desint
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

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Equinox / Zwarte Piet from Brasserie de la Senne
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 110 ratings