Cipher | Half Acre Beer Company

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55 Ratings

Brewed by:
Half Acre Beer Company
Illinois, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MasterSki on 02-08-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 |  Reviews: 20
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma has a lot of Belgian yeast as well as some biscuit malt. The flavor is more complex. I get some nice yeast and orange citrus notes, as well as some coriander. There is also some sweetness from the biscuit malt. The alcohol is also noticeable. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 342 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a teku)
A- This beer pours a crystal clear clover honey golden body with a slow motion carbonation that supports an off-white head of thick cream that sticks to the glass with each sip leaving register marks.

S- Even during the pour, the aroma of candied fruit esters and flowers followed by green candied hops come through. Nice full pineapple weed hops finish the aroma.

T- The softer dry yeasty esters have some green herbal hops that take on more of a pungent role in the finish. There the hops linger just a bit after each sip.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a gentle fizz prick in the finish that complements the hops flavor and no alcohol heat noticed.

O- The crisp light beer has a great aroma with lots of yeasty ester depth and strong hop support. It doesn’t come through as much in the flavor but it still is very tasty. The beer really dries out as the beer opens up.

 902 characters

Photo of quirkzoo
3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to rmalinowski for this extra.

Golden yellow with 1 finger of soda like head that recedes quickly.

Holy Belgian Yeast Batman. Tons of cloves and spices, bright citrus fruits, not much else discernible. Pleasant but a bit one note.

Again pretty one note with lots of Belgian yeast and a dry minerality.

Light mouthfeel, very drinkable.

Nice light Belgian but after you scratch the surface there isn't too much complexity.

 432 characters

Photo of Beezee
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of Shadteks
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler fresh from the brewery, poured into half acre imperial tulip.

poured a nice golden color with nice sediment floating around with a perfect white fluffy 2 finger head,no real lacing happening here though.

It smells of spice slight fruitiness and Belgian yeast slight funk.

Taste is on point with a crisp refreshing fruitiness with some great spice notes from the yeast,as it warms the funk comes up front finishes more dry with slight citrus notes in the rear, Boom!

 477 characters

Photo of Vonerichs
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear straw color with an aggressive white and whispy head. The head is short-lived and leaves no evidence of ever existing once it's gone.

It smells of phenolic yeast, clove, and straw.

The banana is a little more pronounced in the taste. Clove, straw, and finishes with a very light peppery spice.

Mouthfeel is crisp, moderately light, and prickly carbonation.

Another fine offering from Half Acre. These guys can really make some well-put-together beers, regardless of style.

 488 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a dry tulip glass. A rinsed glass seemed to negate the head completely. Hazy golden tone, thin cap of white foam that settles slowly after a few minutes. Minute carb trails rising from around the edges. Foam eventually breaks on the surface, leaving island clusters of larger bubbles. A dense collar of lace is left behind after a few sips.

Initial sulfuric note blows off quickly, becoming fruity with banana and pear from the yeast esters.

Creamy and smooth, slight phenolic spice in the form of clove and pepper to a lesser extent. Banana and pear notes in the middle with some vanilla tapioca creaminess throughout. Medium bodied with delicate carbonation. Dry finish with a light aftertaste of earthy vegetal hops. Very flavorful and fresh, an interesting take on BSPA.

 787 characters

Photo of KDawg
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from bomber into a tulip. Pours a clear gold color with a small head

nicely balanced with good depth and aromas of creams, oranges, hops, florals and some spice tones. Good complexity with good depth as well

medium/full bodied with a good smooth feel. It is lacking a bit though on the mid and not really fat either on the attack. Good balance with nice flavors of oranges, creams and some spices

The aromas are sadly much better than the feel and flavors. A good beer nonetheless, but I was hoping for a bit more from half acre here

 543 characters

Photo of jegross2
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of tfidler
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Canada_Dan
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of GbVDave
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into two pint glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a slightly hazy bright blonde color. Loads of suspended sediment in the bottom of the bottle. Not too much head or lace to speak of.

S: Definite Belgian-y aromas here. Spicy, fruity, peppery. Hint of cut grass as it comes up to temp.

T: See above. Taste follows the nose exactly.

M: Full and spicy. Finishes bone dry when cold but gradually fills out and takes on a distinct white pepper edge.

O: Could've done with a little more fruit or sweetness, but I really liked the spice and grassiness. Nice.

 601 characters

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of nathanjohnson
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of CanisMajor
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Kurmaraja
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a shaker pint glass.

Thanks to taiyed for sharing this bottle!

Gotta love a bottle o' beer that challenges you mentally while you drink its contents... This stuff pours a very lightly hazy golden straw topped by over a finger of white froth. The nose comprises banana peel, clove, wet wheat, light toffee, very light buttery biscuit, and a touch of cashew. The taste follows fairly closely, but there's a stronger sense of vague sweetness now, and this clashes with the Belgian yeast, creating a somewhat strangely nigh-funky flavor on the tongue that just doesn't sit well with me. The wheat and toffee come through strongly, along with heavy amounts of clove and black pepper. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, an alright beer, but one that suffers from a disconnect between the yeast and the rest of the beer. Just didn't do it for me...

 927 characters

Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My wife grabbed this for me in Chicago. Enjoyed on 5.20.12

A - Pours a hazy, light honey-orange with a one inch near-white head. Solid retention.

S - Light Belgian yeast comes through and some subtle lemony citrus.

T - Lemons and Belgian spices, just as it should be.

D - Good carbonation and a light body.

O - Good Belgian-style without being overly spicy.

 362 characters

Photo of RTrain12
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A peruse of the beer aisle starts to look like a fourth grade techno-junkie's weekend project with a quilt work pattern of grid, angular, and neon catches my eye. I guess I'm a sucker for obnoxious beer labels.

As most American brewed, Belgian-style blonde ales do, Half Acres' pours with a tarnish straw color and the expected yeasty haze. A creamy head forms a semi-dense head of absolute white foam that retains well with adequate lace, but shyly demonstrates the authentic rocky structure and withstanding of traditional Belgian versions.

Distinctly Belgian, wheaty, and yeasty as the aromatic profile plays out with estery fruits that seem almost banana with papaya, plantain, and southern pawpaws. Balancing scent of spicy clove and coriander seep into the bready notes of light light baking bread, candied grain, honey suckle and overall floral character. An almost-brine scent rises and reminds me of latex and copper and offers an unsettled intrigue.

All those supple and whimsical notes return in flavor for a sweetish tone of honey, biscuit, restrained caramel, and saccharine then followed closely by the spices of white pepper, clove, celery seed, straw, mulled grass, salt and soap. Met with an odd peppery and meaty character that oddly reminds me of electrical tape and ham causes me to take pause but doesn't deter me from returning to the next sip.

Creamy and medium textured (perhaps robust for the style), the beer's timid fullness endures through mid palate and into an extended finish of tardy semi-dryness and peppery bite to finish. The aftertaste of fruit and spice seems more of an evaporated aroma than a taste.

Rustic yet characterful, this verbose Belgian blonde ale gathers a range of taste that's normally avoided in the style but are somehow delivered in fairly pleasant light in this quirky rendition. Good job Half Acre!

 1,859 characters

Photo of JVan
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of mcallister
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light straw colored with a medium bodied white head. Good retention with spotty lacing.

Aromas of chalk, rock candy, belgian yeast, black pepper, some clove and bubblegum phenols as well. An almost barnyard character as well like it's a bit "shitty".

Phenolics come through nicely, some toasty malts, light noble hops on the finish, a bit grassy with rounded belgian yeast ester and belgian spices. An odd off flavor on the finish and long after that really messes things up. Otherwise a nice beer. More like a triple or blonde than a BSPA.

 542 characters

Photo of thewimperoo
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

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Cipher from Half Acre Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 55 ratings