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La Bestia Aimable | Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling

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BA SCORE
84
good
43 Reviews
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La Bestia AimableLa Bestia Aimable
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling
Texas, United States
drinkrangercreek.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by champ103 on 12-10-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
43
Ratings:
150
Avg:
3.69
pDev:
26.56%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
37
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 150
Photo of kojevergas
3.04/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

9.4% ABV according to the label. Batch #LB-009. 08/20/12. This is nearly 14 months old. 21 Plato. 28 SRM. 25 IBU. Reviewed as a Belgian-style Dark Strong Ale because it identifies as such on the label. Brewed with honey. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded grey pressure cap and generally appealing label art acquired at me local HEB Grocery and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average given the brewery, which has really disappointed me with their barrel aged offerings lately.

Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a 1.5-2.0 finger wide head of khaki colour. Decent creaminess, frothiness, and thickness. Head retention is pretty good for the high ABV - about 4-5 minutes. Little lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a transparent translucent dark amber of rich vibrance. No yeast particles are visible. Appears well-carbonated.

Overall, it's within style conventions, albeit a bit lighter than I would have expected. Not unique or special. There are no obvious flaws.

Sm: Honey, dark malts, dark fruits (fig, dates, prunes), abbey yeast, cocoa/chocolate malt, brown sugar, raisin, caramel. Any hop presence is too buried to be noticeable. No alcohol is detectable.

Pretty standard fare for the style. I'm surprised at the seeming high amount of residual sugars considering its age and the yeast used. A pleasant aroma of mild strength. I'm looking forward to trying it.

T/Mf: Hm. Sticky residual sugars are abundant and betray a poorly attenuated yeast (relative to the style). The honey also increases the sweetness, and I'm not sure why it's there to be honest. Raisin is present, but the fig, prune, and date notes are much more reticent than the aroma suggested. Dark malts, chocolate malt, brown sugar, caramalts. Maybe sassafras? It might have a kiss of red wine. A hint of anise. It's got a loose cohesion, but it's not particularly well balanced, nor is it gestalt. I don't get a sense that the brewers were fully in control here; it seems more like they followed a Belgian dark ale recipe and hoped for the best. Lacks the complexity and subtlety of the best beers in the style.

Shallow depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

No hop character or true yeast character comes through. Too sweet overall. There is some light noticeable alcohol, but it's not a boozy flavour profile by any stretch.

Sticky, smooth, and wet. A biteen too thick. Medium-bodied. Unrefreshing. Sugary. Suits the flavour profile okay; it's to style. Overcarbonated.

Not harsh, astringent, gushed, or boozy.

Dr: Downable forgettable stuff from Ranger Creek. There's nothing in any way remarkable about this beer. Very mediocre. At this price point, higher quality is needed. I wouldn't get this again or recommend it to friends. If it's this boring with a year of age on it, it must be pretty dull fresh. To its credit, it hides its ABV decently. Just a bit better than average.

If you're looking for an American strong dark ale that can compete with traditional Belgian offerings, look elsewhere. While this is worth trying, it's far from world class.

Low C+

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Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to redredwino(Reddit) for this interesting guy.

Light fluffy head, super dark molasses brown colored beer.

Nose of sweet brown malts, light candi sugar, brown sugar,light nutty malts, hint of honey candy, light creamy soft aged malts.

Taste had soft aged brown malts, some darker Belgian malts, light brown sugar, honey, candy, semi sweet, light cinnamon and nutty malts, light bitterness, touch of fruit, crystal malts and caramel. Light sticky sweet finish, lingering nutty sweet brown malts, light bitterness, long sweet honey and syrupy malt finish.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, lighter carb, light booze.

Overall decent, nice dark soft malts, sugars, honey, sweet syrups but not heavy, light booze, decent bigger beer.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The pour is a muddy dark amber color with minimal carbonation and some small off-white bubbles.

S: Sweet overall, like a BSDA should be, fairly heavy on the caramel with some nice dark fruit notes. Raisins and prunes seem to be the most prevalent. Brown sugar is in there as well.

T: Not quite as sweet as it smells, and the beer is very toasty, especially for this style of beer. Hints of chocolate and brown sugar with a decent amount of dark fruits and malts.

M: Medium in body with a low level of carbonation.

O: Could have been better with more carbonation, but it is what it is. Also a bit too toasty for my liking.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.39/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Thanks to jl28r1 for this bottle!

Review #1700. So far, the only other offering I've had from this brewery has been great. Here's hoping for 2-for-2. It pours a murky cocoa-ruby topped by a sparse gathering of dirty soap bubbles. Methinks the carbonation may be a tad lacking here... The nose comprises black cherry, dusty cocoa powder, toffee, figs, clove, nutmeg, light watermelon, and biscuits. The taste holds notes of red wine, figs, cocoa, toasted biscuits, black cherries, a touch of roasted malts, and a small swig of oak. The body is a smarmy medium, with a light carbonation and a slightly oily feel. Overall, a decent brew, but one that seems to be suffering from young age (beer-wise) and a slight undercarbonation. Something tells me a few batches down the road this thing will be pretty damn good, but right now it's just okay.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BarZigKin for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown/red/amber color with an off-white head. The aroma is very nice and definitely Belgian in origin. I get a lot of toffee malt, but I also get some cherries and yeast notes.

The flavor is caramel malt, grassy hops and cherries. I also get some banana and clove notes, which undoubtedly come from the Belgian yeast strain used in this beer. All of the flavors work very well together and make for a very good, Belgian-inspired, Texas-brewed beer.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

I am very glad I got to try this and look forward to having additional beers from Texas' newest brewery.

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Photo of rudzud
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to JLindros for sharing this bottle. Poured into a Samuel Adams perfect pint glass.

A - Pours a crystal clear almost garnet colour with a nice creamy one finger head that fades at the usual rate to live a nice halo.

S - Wow, really nice honey notes to match with malt sweetness. Good belgian yeast notes along with the typical dark fruit esters.

T - Jared and I both said upon tasting this that there was some definate "sugar daddy" candy flavours. Really good smooth honey notes along with dark fruit esters and a touch of chocolate. Good honey sweetness and malt along with dark fruits. Nice and smooth.

M - Typical belgian strong dark ale mouthfeel here. Slightly heavy, decent carbonation, ABV definately noticeable.

O - Overall, glad I got to enjoy this beer. Not a bad BSDA. Loved the strong honey aspect of this beer. Nice big beer.

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Photo of champ103
4.42/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Flying Saucer in Houston.

A: Pours a dark mahogany red color. A two finger beige head forms with good retention. Sticky lace is left behind.
S: A big fruity aroma of pears, apples, and figs. I love the fruity aromas. Sweet malt, and a nice musky aroma to let you know this is a Belgian Ale. I love it.
T: Follows the nose. Lots of fruits. Pears, apples, even grapes. Plenty of sweetness. Light wood as well. Earthy yeast that works perfectly with everything else.
M/D: A medium to full body. Creamy and smooth. So easy to drink. The alcohol is not noticeable at all. I can sip on this all day.

A very nice Belgian interpretation. I am so glad to see some Texas breweries doing something like this. I find myself buying more bottles (while they last) and getting this more while out at the bars. Excellent, and one of the best new beers to come out in Texas.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to lnashsig for sending me this one as an extra in a past trade! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller oversized wine glass. Poured a massively dark red brown with a two finger light tan head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, Coca-Cola, banana, bread, dark fruit, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, bread, banana, alcohol, and caramel. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. The Coca-Cola aroma I got on this one was a little strange if I am completely honest. However, the aroma was very nice and quite complex. The flavor on this one was also quite complex and enjoyable. I just wish that some of the alcohol would have been cut out of the flavor to allow some more subtle notes to come through. Worth trying at least once for sure if you get the chance.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Brownish red color beer with a brown head that bubbled up about two fingers. Didn't have great retention but left tons of small spots and a couple big lines along the side.

S - Honey, belgian yeast, dark fruit. Smells fairly tasty with a bit of sweet sugar.

T - Taste is likethe nose with a little bit more phenolic yeast. Sweet with some dry notes that cut into it a little for a bit of an edge. Some dark fruit with a touch of honey.

M - Active carbonation and medium bodied.

O - Good beer, would like to try the barrel treatments of it as it has a nice flavor profile and is easy to drink.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Muddy red/brown color, with a tan two finger head that leaves nice lacing. Some citrus hops on the nose, oak, vanilla, ample dark fruits, malty sweets, and a touch of chocolate as well. Tastes of dark fruits, so woodiness, roasted malts, some chocolate and and slightly sweet linger. Body is medium, good carbonation, with a slight creamy texture.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch LB 007, bottled on 2/21/2012 and enjoyed June 23, 2012.

This pours a caramel amber in color, almost like a dark (oxidized) peach or the color of pureed raisins. There’s a light plum and raisiny aroma with a bit of the raisin/dried fruit notes coming across on the palate as well. I pick up some prunes along with a slight phenolic note. It finishes sweet but slightly off balanced. I pick up a dubble-like sweetness and some bubblegummy notes to it as well as nutmeg, cinnamon, and fig on the aroma. Ultimately it doesn’t do it for me, whether it’s the beer itself or the style I found this one I’ll end up skipping in the future. Sorry guys.

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Photo of harrymel
3.36/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2011, I believe.

Pours 2oz with three fingers of light caramel head that falls in a few minutes to a quilt of the same. Spotty lace. Cloudy and dark amber. Smells of cola, sugar, dark malts, belgian yeast, hints of wood and a little bit of plum. Some sugar, some yeast, some good juicy dark stone fruits. Medium bodied with low carb after the head falls. I think this beer is above average for domestic attempts, but falls short of the greats out of the homeland over the pond. Perhaps as they refine and develop the yeast, the beer will take on an outstanding structure.

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Photo of armock
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to turfy for hooking this bottle up in a trade.

A - Poured a brownish copper color with a huge tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of sweet sugar with dark fruits and spiced Belgian yeast

T - Like the nose starts off with sweet malt with dark fruit flavors and finishes with spiced yeast notes

M - This beer has a fuller body with higher carbonation to it

O - I'm very pleased with this beer it's good to see something like this being brewed in Texas it has a good taste that leaves you wanting more worth getting your hands on a bottle to try sometime

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.79/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured an amber-red/brown color, somewhat hazy, with a decent head that pretty quickly dissipated into a nice off-white sheen, leaving sheets of lacing when you sip that quickly rejoin the brew.

Smells of spicy dark fruits, Belgian yeast, a bit of sweetness, lots of spices. Great smelling brew!

Taste is of funky, pungent malts, dark fruits again, plenty of yeast, spices. Pretty strange stuff but enjoyable anyway.

Feel is pretty smoothly carbonated, medium bodied, with a semi-sweet, lightly bitter fruity aftertaste.

Overall it's pretty good. An interesting premium beer from Ranger Creek.

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Photo of stephens101
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one's been sitting around the cellar and begging for attention, so time to give it a go.

Pours dark brown with reddish hues and a prolific tan froth.

A decoy aroma of quite sour dark fruits is sent strong before notes of grain and taffy take off in a different direction.

Tastes of grain, phenols, licorice, dried dark fruits (plum and raisin) and has a slightly sour finish.

Medium bodied and the alcohol is not a factor.

What is this? It's a beer. And this one isn't all that one way or the other. Just drink it.

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Photo of bmwats
3.59/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750 ml bottle into tasting snifter.

A: Dark brown, no head, but does leave a small ring of brown-white foam, and rim of the glass. No real lacing.

S: Earthy malt, with butterscotch, raspberry, and wine grapes.

T: Slightly sweet and pungent malt with caramel and raspberry. Tastes pretty much like it smells.

M: Hearty feel, pungency fills and coats the palette. Comes across as a little washed out. Slightly dry, bitter finish.

D: Easy drinking.

Atmosphere is ok. Nothing special in terms of appearance, nose is earthy and fruity. Flavor is a sweet and pungent fruit, sweet, and malt combination. Overall, this is a pretty good quaff.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of gawnphishin (many thanks!). Poured from a 750mL bottle into my De Dolle Oerbier tulip.

Dark maroon body, with sufficient clarity to reveal some deep carmine highlights at the edges. Concentric steps of buff foam build up to a mass of lightly whipped cream in the center of the glass. Dense sticky 3-D lacing forms a lattice-work around the sides. Good retention.

Malt, dank dusty attic/cellar aromas, an odd wood note, then a variety of dark fruit mixing with light yeasty phenols and a hint of honey (though it smells dark, like avacado or something - similar to molasses almost) in the nose.

Peppery, figgy palate entry, with hints of fresh oak, faint citrus, and cocoa nibs. Lightly toasted malt notes, chewing tobacco, and hints of honey - sweet at first, but increasingly dry into the finish. Maybe some raisins in the aftertaste. Decent complexity, though the flavors don't work in perfect unison.

Effervescent, medium bodied, vaguely astringent mouthfeel.

While not to style (though hard to pin down what's wrong exactly), this is overall a tasty and unusual ale.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks cfh64 for this one... Very interesting brew

Pours a fairly clear orangish brown. A bit of white head. Dissipates quickly. Smells Sweet and funky. Lots of yeasty belgian goodness. Tastes sweet and tart. A nice yeasty flavour that is really floral as well. Vry interesting and tasty.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this beer up at the downtown Spec's a few days ago. I always have a soft spot for local brewers, especially since I am fortunate enough to be able to call a number of skilled brewers (professional and craft) my true friends. Let's get on with this example, shall we?

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color that I can't really tell how clear it is. There is a standing 1/4" of tan foam on top after a careful pour. You can see that there are quite a few bubbles rising to maintain the head. Even a minute after the pour, there is no noticeable change in the height or appearance of the head. There is some pretty solid lacing left on the glass after drinking, so this is a pretty nicely presented beer.

Aroma: The aroma of the very cold beer was reserved. I got a little bit of dark fruit and some bready yeast, but not much else to speak of. There are some hops coming out as the beer has been sitting for a little bit. As the beer warms, the aroma doesn't really change except that it is getting a bit more fruity, like plums in particular.

Taste: The flavor is also pretty mild for the style. There are a lot of fruity notes to the flavor with plums and raisins a-plenty, but the yeast is a pretty big player in the flavor as well. There are some mild malty components coming out as caramel and some very reserved toasty notes. The mouthfeel is pretty full despite the ample carbonation for the style. Some dark malt acidity lands on the back of the throat pretty quickly after the sip and stays with you for a while.

Opinion: This is a pretty decent beer, but is in a really tough category. I don't know what else to say. I have judged a lot of homebrew in this particular category and this beer is about your 32-37 scoring beer by BJCP guidelines. It has no fermentation flaws, and the category is broad enough to say that just about anything will fit, but the more classic examples of this style are drinkable beyond any reason. These beers are huge, but drink like a milkshake. This beer doesn't hold up to that, which is sad to say because it is a pretty good beer. I personally think that going for a "Belgian Strong Dark" within your career as a professional brewer is a bold move, and to see that this brewery did it with only a handful of beers says to me that they may not be as business savvy as they are enthusiastic about good beer. I commend someone to brew this style, anyone who does, and especially the few that do it well. This is a decent example of the style, but I would think that they would want it to blow me away. It doesn't. There's nothing wrong with it, and maybe on draft it would be a lot more well-rounded. I'd try it again, but would take just about any Trappist or Abby Strong Darks over this one. Sorry, Ranger Creek. This one didn't "do it for me" like I had hoped.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle tried 28 Feb 2011. Served in the 0.4 L Herren Pils snifter.

Large lacy yellow-tan head. Medium to light carbonation. Clear dark reddish brown in color. Aroma is sweet and sour cherries, apples and cola. Starts fairly sweet. Burnt sugars and apple fruitiness. Some figs. Warming ethanol, medium body is a touch flat. Very slight bitterness in the finish. Lingering cola and cinnamon aftertaste.

A didn't like this one quite as much as I did.

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Photo of claytong
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was hard to rate as it's very different from a typical belgian dark and from most beers in general. I also served this way to warm but was on the patio locked out of a house.

Appearance - Not what I was expecting. A murky brown with a bit of amber in there. Decent head, lacing stays.

Aroma - A lot of things going on, hard to get much out of this. Nothing strong though to the nose. Got some belgian yeast and fruit, that was about it.

Taste - All is very mild, belgian yeast, some fig, banana bread. My tastebuds weren't excited but they weren't displeased, like some sort of limbo.

Mouthfeel - light body, medium carbonation. refreshing.

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Photo of videofrog
3.86/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into an Ommegang tulip. Bottled on 7/14/11. Served as close to label-suggested 48 degrees as possible.

A: Dark reddish brown body, cloudy. Head dissipates so rapidly that I didn't even get a good look. No lacing.

S: Sweet malts, figs, plums, also a tart berry that I can't identify other than to say it's not cherry. Subtle spices there as well.

T: Dark fruits in the beginning, spiciness & peppery alcohol in the middle, and then a very slight hop bitterness in the finish. The honey lingers in between sips.

M: Thick, almost syrupy. Low carbonation, honey coats the throat.

O: I need to get a fresh bottle of this to see how it compares. I liked this one, but so many other great BSDA's are readily available on the shelf. This was unintentionally aged as I picked it up at a store that had nothing from Ranger Creek under a year old. Holds up well enough after 17 months, though. Worth a try fresh or with a little age on it.

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Photo of Radome
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a goblet.

A - Moderately cloudy, rich brown color; reddish orange when held up to the light. Head is tan and fairly thick when poured. A skin of tiny bubbles remains on the surface and there is a thick ring around the glass. Huge sheets of Belgian lace on the glass.

S - The nose is hugely malty. Some raisin and spice. Low esthers. A whiff of alcohol and smoke in the background. There is a hint of funkiness that reminds me of an Oud Bruin.

T - Not as much malt as I expected from the nose. Peppery spice and dark fruit in the mid-palate followed by a smoky, earthy hop finish. The resemblance to an Oud Bruin jumps out again. There is some aged funk in the finish that tastes a little vinegar-like to me, but it adds complexity rather than detracting.

M - Thin to medium body. Sparkling carbonation. Hops bitterness is on the high side for the style, but adds a good backbone. Alcohol is there, but not as much as you'd expect for 9.4%.

O - This is like a big, highly carbonated Oud Bruin. Not as much malt body and flavor as I'd like for a Strong Dark, but it's got decent complexity and interesting funkiness.

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Photo of dcloeren
2.58/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a toffee colored brown with two fingers of khaki colored head that hung around for a little while and pulled a Harry Houdini and vanished

The smell is not very impressive at all. Getting belgian yeast, honey, and some extremely floral notes that aren't very flattering

The taste is very florally hop forward, not a lot of belgian yeast shining through, and the abundance of carbonation is hiding any other flavors that might be mixed in

Medium bodied and overly carbonated.

Overall, the only plusses that I can think of is that this beer hides the alcohol extremely well... other than that, this was not a good beer IMO. Won't be looking for this one again

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The full tumbler arrived showcasing a dark amber brew with a decent cap of foam. The yeast and aroma remind us we are dealing with a Belgian inspired brew. Orchard fruitiness pervades. Malt and little sweetness starts off the flavor profile as it moves toward a boozy fruit inspired center. The alcohol adds some pepper at the end.

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La Bestia Aimable from Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling
3.69 out of 5 based on 150 ratings.
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