Belle Royale - Strong Belgian Cherry Ale | Driftwood Brewery

Belle Royale - Strong Belgian Cherry AleBelle Royale - Strong Belgian Cherry Ale
Liked This Beer
4.13 w/ 30 ratings
Belle Royale - Strong Belgian Cherry AleBelle Royale - Strong Belgian Cherry Ale

Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery
British Columbia, Canada

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
A strong Belgian-inspired ale with a 1/2lb of Morello sour cherries in every bottle.

Added by Graham5161986 on 05-04-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 |  Reviews: 18
Reviews by Hornet2003:
Photo of Hornet2003
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Must...think...of...word...other....than....Salmon!! We'll call it cranberry-lemonade. Some cloudiness when the yeast gets mixed in. Minimalist head. No lacing but those sexy little Belgian yeast clumps that float on the top.

Smell: I got a very nostalgic whiff of Belgian yeast and sugar. The cherries aren't as obvious in the smell, but there is a subtle fruitiness to it.

Taste: Frickin' fantastic! Sweet and tart at the same time. The Belgian notes are so floral and aromatic, and then the cherries come through after a brief moment. They almost seemed complemented by a rose-ish taste as well. Not sure if the sweetness comes from the alcohol, but there was no apparent alcohol taste.

Mouthfeel: Quite enjoyable to drink. Not over-carbonated like some of the Belgians. Doesn't turn into pop as it warms. Smooth drinking.

Drinkability: I had no problem finishing this one off. The 9% alc/vol does hit pretty hard and the ease of drinking makes it one that you're almost surely going to drink faster than you should.

Overall: Not sure if there should be a separate category for fruit-Belgians as they seem to be a lot more powerful than say an apricot Hefe. But whatever... This was such a pleasure to drink. Not too dry, but most importantly, not a bottle of soda either.

Paired this beer with a grilled seafood salad(scallops/shrimp)-I couldn't imagine a better accompaniment.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of trail77
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of chickenm
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of JonnyBeers
3/5  rDev -27.4%

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The search was for tartness, being cherries and all. What I liked was it wasn't too sweet. Bottom line: Rather neutral, not bitter or sourness or too sweet, but also somewhat dull. I liked the yeasty Belgians, and secondary cherry flavour, so drank the bottle. Good as a fruit beer.
Thanks Derek.

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Photo of pugdogbeer
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured the colour of a hazy strawberry lemonage with a soft head. What a beautiful sight.

The taste of the cherries is not sweet, rather it is a sour cherry with the Belgian yeast adding a slight spiced undertone.

This tasted very much like a North American Begian beer. If you like sour cherries, Belgian style beer and a lot of alcohol, then you will love this as it is true to style.

At 9% ABV, this is not for the faint hearted - a bottle best shared or savoured slowly. Although having said that the alcohol was not overly noticeable, rather just adding to a big tasting beer.

I drink one bottle very fresh and have put aside a couple of additional bottles for tasting at a later date as I suspect the taste may mature. I found that with other Driftwood beer specialties.

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Photo of Rutager
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed 08-02-2011:

Appearance. Pours a nearly clear peach with barely a skim of head. Little evidence of any carbonation.

Smell. Light toasty grains and yeast funk. A little sour fruit.

Taste. Again, toasty light grains and yeast. The tart cherries really come through in the end. Alcohol barely present.

Mouthfeel. Medium-light body with smooth, slightly more than light carbonation. Just a little alcohol warmth.

Overall. Another nice one from Driftwood. Drinks great right now with that full cherry flavour.

 517 characters

Photo of pudoo
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of ritzkiss
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

650ml bottle from the generous EskimoDave, thanks for finding this want for me!

Pours a light pink, almost salmon colored with a finger of head, dies down to a placid pool.

Interesting beer, my guess at it is a tripel with sour cherries. Initial light sourness, light fruitiness that wavers between cherries and fruit punch, light sweetness balanced by a light tartness and a pleasant pinch in the cheeks. As it warms, the graininess and esters I equate with a tripel. Drinks really really smooth for its weight. Not as sour as I might want but a nice easy drinker that is clearly well crafted. I would gladly drink this again. Thanks Dave!

 642 characters

Photo of papat444
3.62/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a gift from my aunt that my brother brought back on a trip last Sept. to their place in Surrey.

Appearance: A light rosé color amid a light golden body. Barely 2 fingers form before dissolving to nothin with no lacing.

Smell: Sour cherries with a strong malt profile.

Taste: Cherries are there, tart but not overly so. Some wood and as it warms a slight sweetness to the cherries reminiscent ever so slightly of maraschino cherries. I found though that the staying power of the flavor was short lived.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation makes this feel alive with a bit of dry tartness to round things off.

Overall: I'm a bit disappointed. I was expecting the cherries to be more present yet they seemed restrained. Still good but not great.

 749 characters

Photo of pontcanna
4.85/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an outstanding beer and I can't wait until they do a new version. Completely addictive and not at all cloying. This is not a fizzy-pop cherry ale, it's dry and more-ish even at 9%. I hope that one day they will do a truly sour version of this brew. Wish I had hidden away a few bottles for the future, but I lacked the willpower. A triumph from a local brewery that goes from strength to strength.

 405 characters

Photo of cycnet
4.83/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A bright, clean mouthfeel with exceptional sour cherry flavour, nothing cloying or sweet about this, makes Belle Royale an amazing beer worth seeking out.

Perfect for a patio on a hot summer's day, this beer packs a huge 9% punch without tasting heavy or too strong.

Driftwood has done an amazing job with this one, once again.

 330 characters

Photo of cartwar
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of bumchilly25
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Derek
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pinkish-orange pour has zero head. Well-carbonated and the bubbles keep climbing.

Nice cherry on the nose, slightly tart & sweet; light phenolic spicing with hints of pineapple, mango and papaya.

The cherry flavour isn't overbearing and it's well-integrated. Nice phenolic spicing with hints of tropical fruit and underlying biscuity malt. Modest bitterness; slight alcohol warmth.

Well-attenuated, body is surprisingly thin for its weight.... bubbly with a slight drying alcohol finish.

Incredibly good drinker for its weight. Well-crafted.

 545 characters

Photo of oldp0rt
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of ericj551
3.72/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Belle Royale pours a slightly pink reddish orange with a pink head that fades immediately. The aroma is dry, phenolic, yeasty character with some tart cherries. A bit of the yeasty character comes up front in the flavor, with tons of tart cherries quickly over taking it. The tart cherry flavor rides into the finish, with some light malt popping up. The tartness lingers along with the cherries. The mouthfeel is a bit thin, but the alcohol is well hidden.

 457 characters

Photo of wordemupg
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into tulip 1/9/11

A looks pink on the table but a fair bit of copper when held to the light, just a short lived fizzy foam that leaves no lace

S hoppy cereal, lots of yeast and cherry and a little raspberry and honey

T what I smell but with a little kick, almost tastes like a cherry infused Duvel, fairly dry and just a little booze but not the 9% I see on the label. malty but the hops haven't faded yet, a little tart but very tasty

M thick and well carbonated, just a little heat but I don't mind, leaves a little behind in your mouth and the flavors linger forever as a result

O pretty easy to drink for a tart 9% cherry ale that's for sure, I like the yeasty flavors mixing up with the grainy, fruity goodness.

Thanks EskimoDave for hooking me up, a pretty special brew that's worth looking for. I'm curious to how this one would age but I'm just happy I got to try it once.

 910 characters

Photo of EskimoDave
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of 604growler
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Graham5161986
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, this new beer from Driftwood pours a beautiful salmon orange, pink colour with a 1 finger, bright white head that reduces to a thin film and leaves some traces of lacing on my snifter.

Smells is of classic Belgian candied dark fruit malts but brightened up with nice notes of cherries, apples and yeast which make for a very inviting nose.

Taste is of bright, lightly candied fruit with a very pleasant sweet and sour profile from the Morello cherries. I get some nice grapefruit-y citrus notes coming through mid sip as well. The finish is, again, touched with sweet and sour cherry flavour and a light alcohol warmth that brings this beer to the next level. Not only that but this beer has a super long lingering finish highlighted by light fruity notes that dance on the palate. Now that it has warmed a bit, the grapefruit notes have really come to the fore on the finish! Quite spectacular really.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated while not being overrun by the latter. The finish is slightly oily but predominantly clean and crisp with a slightly spicy character as well. Quite refreshing for such a high ABV beer.

Drinkability-wise, I think this beer, despite its high ABV, does very well. It's such a pleasure to sip. Exploring all the flavours and aromas involved makes it a real treat. I could see myself having a couple of these but I think they'd creep up on me!

Big props to everyone at Driftwood brewing for yet another stunning ale. Cheers!

 1,489 characters

Photo of Torontoblue
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an attractive pinkish-amber into a large Duvel tulip glass Absolutely zero head, not even a lacing. Nicely carbonated with a constant rising stream of small bubbles.

Nice cherry on the nose, with a hint of sweet tartness, spice & tropical fruits.

Cherry flavour is balanced and well integrated. Hints of spices, bready malt and an underlying tropical fruitiness. Nice & slightly bitter.

Body is surprisingly thin for a 9% beer.... bubbly with a nice dry, bitter finish.

 478 characters

Photo of Mages64
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of canucklehead
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have missed the availability of Unibroues Quelque Choise since it was a fantastic cherry beer but Driftwood has created a worthy successor in Belle Royale. Pours light pink and kinda cloudy with a lovely cherry nose. The beer is so restrained in the cherry taste that is revels in the slight sourness against the belgian yeasts. Complex and incredibly drinkable this is one of my favourite BC beers of the year

 412 characters

Photo of BDTyre
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great beer from Driftwood. Pinky gold with very little head. No lace even clings to the glass. Malty, cherry smell. Brown sugar, bread even a bit of milk chocolate. Sweet, with a bit of sourness to it.

Slightly sour cherry taste, but very pleasant. Light malts, very light hop profile. Fruit, sugar and a very light, pleasing alcohol profile. The 9% ABV is hidden quite well. Dry, slightly bitter finish. An awesome dessert beer, really tasty. Driftwood once again delivers.

 475 characters

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Belle Royale - Strong Belgian Cherry Ale from Driftwood Brewery
Beer rating: 80% out of 100 with 30 ratings
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