Very Spéciale Belge (Allagash Collaboration) | Brasserie de la Senne

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Very Spéciale Belge (Allagash Collaboration)Very Spéciale Belge (Allagash Collaboration)
Very Good
42 Ratings
Very Spéciale Belge (Allagash Collaboration)Very Spéciale Belge (Allagash Collaboration)

Brewed by:
Brasserie de la Senne

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
A cross cultural collaboration brew between the Allagash and De La Senne brewing teams on April 12th, 2011.

Added by Thorpe429 on 09-15-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 23
Reviews by BedetheVenerable:
Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 330ml brown bottle with fairly simple, clean label. No date marked.

Appearance: Poured into my Chimay snifter, this pours out a medium orange-amber with a nice ivory cap with good stick.

Smell: Had no idea what to expect from this, but this wasn't what I was expecting. Lots of dank, herbal American hops of front; is this a Belgian IPA? Interesting, and fairly pleasant, but not much depth.

Taste: A bit of toasty, toffee-like malt and a solid, medium-high hop bitterness. Dunno what hops were used here, but they're dark and herbal, rather than the citrusy varieties typcially used in Belgian IPAs. What an odd little beer. Ends bitter, and relatively dry, with a hint of slightly burnt toast.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body.

Overall: For around $5.50, this isn't one I'd buy again. It's a bit different, sure, and it's not 'bad', per se, but it's not really 'good' either. It's not really a traditional Belgian Pale, nor is it a Belgian IPA...something here just doesn't quite work.


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More User Reviews:
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyable Belgian ale. Malty, creamy smooth mouthfeel, with a spicy hoppy finish. Fuity and grapefruit citrus.Very drinkable. Pours very light brown with lace. Aroma light, pleasant yeast.Carbonation right there. Spicy, lightly bitter and drying aftertaste.

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Photo of Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Kinsman
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden yellow body with just a slight bit of haze. Rocky and dense white head tops it off, filling the upper third of the tulip.

Peppery and spicy up front, strong yeast character on the nose. Hops come in second with a good bit of resinous and piney hop notes.

Hops greet the palate with a nice floral and pine character and a good bitter kick. Yeast adds a good bit of phenolic spice. A nice malt backbone to hold it all together.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp with a semi-dry finish. Overall, nothing mind-blowing here but a good collaboration between a couple of great brewers.

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Photo of emerge077
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 bottle, collaboration brew on April 12th, 2011.

Poured into a tulip, it has a saturated golden orange color, brilliantly clear, with a steady plume of rising carbonation. Foam has a soft creamy surface texture, a thin white head at first, eventually a floating island of skim. Spotty sea spray lace inside the glass.

Earthy yeast and sweet malt aromas, not a whole lot of hops here, maybe some grassiness in a subtle sense.

Simple grainy malt and slowly building herbal hops in the aftertaste. Lingering dry finish, herbal character suggests noble hop varieties possibly. Clean and dry, with ample effervescent carbonation. Something vaguely botanical and medicinal, hop remnants most likely. Moderate bitterness after a bigger sip. Wish this was a fresher bottle, it was a good BPA, but nothing too out of the ordinary after sitting for 8 months.

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Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy golden yellow in color and has some small particulate matter visible floating in suspension along with a high amount of carbonation. A careful pour was needed to limit the beer from having more than a two finger high dense white head and overflowing from a snifter glass. The head gradually died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles coating the surface and down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of spicy yeast in the nose along with some hints of citrusy hops.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of Belgian yeast and spices such as pepper are particularly evident towards the finish and linger through the aftertaste. A light amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I really enjoyed this beer because it had a nice kick of dryness and peppery spices but neither of these were overpowering.

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Photo of cestlavie
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of JoeBloe
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a hazy apricot and put up a tight pillowy 2 finger head -
smells citrus-ey and fresh, despite it's apparent age - taste is crisp. with some grapefruit up front - good 'yeast' and a little white pepper with a crisp, snappy clean finish - good carbonation and easy drinking -mildly complex - the wife and I enjoyed this one.

 330 characters

Photo of FUwolfpacker
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle.Tulip glass.Enjoyed on oct´11. Golden yellow.Hazy.White creamy lasting crown. Resiny,woody,spicy,bready aromas.Very dry hoppy upfront. Helpfully malts provides a soft velvet palate.Lemon zest & coriander in the middle. Medium-light body,quite high carbonation.High astringency no matter malty note finish.Piney aftertaste.

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Photo of MRsojourner
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of allouez86
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of trancesk8er
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at Moeder Lambic St. Giles during our trip to Belgium last week. Reviewed from notes.

Served in a De La Senne cervoise.

Poured a clear yellow-straw color with a bit white head and loads of lacing. Thin cap throughout.

The nose brought forward light American hops with some pine and citrus plus a good amount of yeasty spice and light pepper. Flavor was fairly hoppy with the yeast taking over a bit more.

Light body with a pronounced bitterness. Dry bitter finish after a nicely carbonated light-bodied mouthfeel. Really fantastic and a great collaboration.

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Photo of MaineMike
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of jdhilt
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Hazy light amber color, some yeast left in bottle. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Grapefruit hop nose and flavor is grapefruit hops, lingering bitter aftertaste. More like an IPA than a Belgian pale. $4.99 for a 330ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of fortierv
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Unfiltered hazy amber. Medium shine. Natural carbonation travels up the side of the glass in lines.

Smell: The aroma is complex. My first impression is of a mix of czech and german style pilsner hops. I get grass and hay but also slight tropical fruit and and chamomile. The overall impression is tart and dry.

Taste: Snappy belgian yeast. Big medicinal feel, tingles on my tongue for a while. Some fruits, pear, pineapple. Light citric lemon. Biscuit malts. Backing bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Dry and bitter. tart finish.

Overall: Very refreshing and flavorful. It was worth trying. It's slightly expensive but I wasn't disappointed.

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Photo of zeff80
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy copper/orange color with a two-finger, khaki colored head of bubbly foam. It left thin trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled fruity with a little funkiness.

T - It tasted spicy and fruity with notes of grain and roasted malt. Great balance of flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a really tasty Belgian ale. Glad I picked this one off the shelf. Nice collaboration.

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Photo of mmsimmons
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky honey orange with a 1 inch foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. There is sediment that settles to the bottom of the glass on the pour. Small patches of lace stick to the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, spices, yeast, and some subtle floral hop aromas. Taste is of malt, spices, yeast, and some floral and herbal hops on the finish. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a light level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but nothing I would get again. However, it's always interesting to see collaborations so I'm glad I picked one up to try.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting beer. I can see the barrel aged influence from the Allagash side pretty clearly. Reminds me of a lot of their other releases, in a mild way. The wild and uniquely vibrant tone reminds me of De La Senne. Overall, it's a pretty good beer with nice character.

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Photo of sk8man121
3.37/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Just saw this on the shelf this evening. Never one to pass up anything Allagash touches, so here goes.

11.2 oz bottle ($5.19 at RSVP in Portland, ME) poured into goblet.

A: Pours a hazy orange-gold with dandelion highlights. 1-finger head dies quickly into a small cap. Ruddy/rugged.

S: Fruity esters, mellow banana and citrus. Light hop/spice presence.

T: Quite peppery and bitter up front, with a strong presence of American hops; not what I was expecting. Piney, resinous center with a very bitter finish.

M: Highly carbonated; sticky and creamy. Not exactly a joy to drink.

O: I'm not about to say that this is a poor effort, but VSB lacks complexity, and really is far too bitter for my tastes (and I love a strong hop presence). The sticky, resinous mouthfeel only makes matters worse, and detracts from the overall experience.

Ok, but won't be purchasing again.

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Very Spéciale Belge (Allagash Collaboration) from Brasserie de la Senne
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 42 ratings
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