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:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerBeing on 09-18-2007

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 110 |  Reviews: 59
Reviews by MattSweatshirt:
Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

More User Reviews:
Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -20.2%

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4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of chickenm
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of ggaughan
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33 cl bottle. Beer poured a hazy brown color with a half inch thick tan head that was nearly gone in less than a minute and was replaced by a ring around the edge. The nose is malty, cocoa with a touch of spice. The taste is chocolately, peppery and creamy with a toasted malt character and a slight sweetness. Maybe even a touch of fruit underneath. Solid beer.

 362 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Capped and corked, and when pulled the cork gave a huge "POP" but luckily no gushing here (common with bottle-fermented Belgians). Pours a lovely, deep chocolate brown color, quite dark, and it goes nicely with the dirty-white head that pops and crackles slowly to a thinner layer.

Something really alluring about the aroma. Remarkably vinous, but with equal amounts of nutty yeast, cocoa nib and alcohol warmth. Something like malted milk balls emerges through all of that.

Taste-wise this isn't as confident or impressive as the appearance and smell. A burnt flavor detracts from the good things going on here, and the good things were all identified in the aroma: malted milk balls, cocoa nibs, wine/grape...and some fig as well. Some pumpernickel too, but ultimately the burnt flavor feels "off" and, while the alcohol isn't flaring or cloying, its presence seems pushy when smacked up against that off/burnt taste.

Feel is quite right, that's for sure. Smooth, caressing bubbles give a nice silky character while maintaining a strong tingle for extra life and buoyancy.

Here's an example of a beer that is really damn good...except for how it tastes. And if the taste is off, what have you really got? It's hardly even bad, there's enough good going on in the flavor to keep me interested, but it's a bit messy and needs some work.

 1,340 characters

Photo of mattfancett
2.8/5  rDev -25.5%

Photo of Sammy
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the tastier beers I have had in a while.Complex and very drinkable. Initial gulp, maybe because of long cellaring didn't do it. But then, chocolate, spice,some roast,fruity
very dark with off-white head. Spicey and cherry nose.Smooth drinking.

 250 characters

Photo of eallured
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into de la senne tall tulip at brugs beertje in Brugge. A typical Belgian brown color with moderate (for a Belgian) tan head that quickly dissipates and leaves no lacing.
Aroma is of dark, but not burnt toast, light roasted coffee and a good bit of alcohol, slightly sharper than the clean ethanol sweetness. Some sweet fruit, maybe pear, and also a floral note is also present.
Taste is initially of the same light roasted coffee, almost nutty, and definite strong bitterness, quite aggressive for a Belgian. There is enough sweetness, however, and the roast flavors are light enough that the bitterness is pleasant and round, rather than sharp and astringent. A relatively high finishing gravity makes the finish a bit sweet, but the bitterness definitely lingers as well.
Mouthfeel is medium for your typical BSDA. Far from the thickness of a gulden draak for example, but not light and quaffable. As with all good Belgian beers, this is best drunk slow and savoured.
Overall a very enjoyable beer, and not a session ender, but deep and complex. Moderate alcohol for the style. Leaves you not neccessarily wanting another of this(especially with all of Belgium currently at my fingertips) but definitely wanting another of something.

 1,245 characters

Photo of RickS95
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark, burnt chocolate brown. As dark as I've seen for the style. Head is offwhite and fleeting.

A lot of stuff to choose from. At different times I picked up chocolate, coffee, pine, citrus, licorice, and vanilla.

It tastes more like a stout. The chocolate is most noticeable, but it's nothing resembling dominant. It actually tastes like watered-down coffee with some cocoa in it, but it works.

While the taste worked, the mouthfeel was nothing worth writing home about. Bordering on light bodied, almost a Guinness like feel, with some bittering hops in the finish.

This beer needed something. Not so much flavor, just more character in the body. It was too loose for my liking.

 686 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Brown body. Hinting at black. Big head. Lots of wisps. Nice lacing.

Smell - Very acidic. Some deep roasted malts. Lemony acidity. Clean tartness.

Taste - The roasted malts take a back seat to an immediate sourness. Brett flavors. Lemony tartness. Grainy. Some chocolate comes back in the end. Dry.

Mouthfeel - Dry finish. Medium light body. Not a ton of tartness but what it has is good.

Overall - Good blend of acids and chocolate. Doesn't do much for me, but it's a decent beer.

 535 characters

Photo of zonker17
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of mc4z
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of philipquarles
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

film and very good lacing.

Smells of roasted malt pure and simple. This also comes through in the taste, with a chocolate/coffee smokiness predominant. Very light prune-esters. Hops are there, but very weak.

Mouthfeel is nice and thick; the creamy head is also a plus.

Very drinkable. A really simple, traditional Belgian take on a stout.

 341 characters

Photo of CooperEllis
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter.
The head was thick, maybe 1/3" but disappated quickly, leaving only traces of foam around the edge of the glass. The remaining head did remain for the duration of the drink, sliding down the glass without leaving any residue.
The aroma is excellent: dark cherry or currant with slight carob.
The taste is unwhelming, altough the carbonation is very to my taste and the alcholol bites slightly. The longer this stood, the better the taste developed. Oddly, there is no decernible aftertaste - and the initial flavor (of which no single character dominates) doesn't linger. Once it's swallowed, it's gone.
Throughout the glass, the mouthfeel was excellent; very full. As the temperature rose the feel remained constant.
I would say this is very drinkable, but I question if I would.

(review #2 - I've decided to number my reviews so that if people are reading them they can place the review in it's proper context - maybe someday I'll have 100 up and someone will read this and think "eh, terrrible review", well, now you'll know why - it was my 2nd one)

 1,075 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 dabears
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed it just as it hit the local store. 25oz bottle that fools you. Opened the bottle cap to find a cork underneath (have a corkscrew). Color is super dark brown, bordering on black. The nose has some belgian sweet candy and hints of spice. The body of the beer does not match the color, but it does deliver flavor. A well balenced beer with hints of belgian sugar sweetness, spice, and a generous amount of hops. Hops are not prominent or overwhelming if that is what you are looking/not looking for. Overall didnt seem much different from year round belgian ales, but it was a tasty beer.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear deep brown color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and great lacing. Aroma of dry malt with a light European hops finish. Taste is definitely drier then I would have expected with a nice enough dry hops finish. The label ''winter beer'' lead me to expect a Belgian malt bomb with some balance sweetness but instead it seems I got a dry winter beer. Good carbonation with no discernable alcohol. While this is not bad or flawed, I thought it was too dry for my taste buds and not something I would revisit anytime soon.

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Photo of Coren
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of theopholis
2.46/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- Pours a fairly opaque amber with a good, frothy yet creamy, off-white head.Good head retention.

Aroma- Quite sour, with an uncomfortable barnyard smell lingering in the background. Smells like somebody squeezed a bunch of lemons over a chicken coop.

Taste- It's unusually hoppy for a Belgian beer. Spicy. Some hints of licorice. Kind of a free-for-all.

Mouthfeel- The carbonation is a bit high, and loose. Doesn't have that tight CO2 most Belgians do. Body seems about right.

Drinkability. Well...I didn't dump it down the sink.

 544 characters

Photo of desint
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of imbibehour
4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2012 poured on tap at Churchkey DC into a snifter glass. Described as a Belgian Imperial Stout.

A real nice red body with hints of dark chestnut brown, giving to a faint tan head. Manages to keep a collar.

Interesting nose on this beer. Light grass, and a fruity nuttiness similar to an English Dark Mild but a bit bolder.

Taste brings a real nice and controlled roasty character of char and pan gravy but with a Belgian like sweetness as well. Creamy charring mix with no perceived heat either. Body is very light in feel but gives lots of flavor

Overall it really does remind me of a dark mild with a fascinating character. Real interesting beer.

 660 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 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

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