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Brown Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #18
Ranked #25,458
3.84 | pDev: 11.2%
Colorado, United States
Very Good
Notes: Solenna pairs the fruitiness of a traditional Belgian yeast strain with the subtle spicy character of Brettanomyces and the floral notes of German hops. Notes of candy apple, cinnamon, and fresh-cut grass give way to a dry finish and firm lingering bitterness.
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 74 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of gatornation
gatornation from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light cola color with an off white head.Smell of spice cinnamon and nutmeg strong Brett. Taste is floral and fruity, apple ,grassy notes with cinnamon apple some bready notes. Mouth is medium bodied with a great Brett notes mixing with herbs and spices ,very good.

Jun 07, 2020
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donspublic from Texas

4.29/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled in Sept 2016 drank with 2.7 years on it
Poured from bottle into tulip, good 3 finger tan head, good retention and lacing. Clear amber in the glass, good looking beer. Good nose, some cinnamon, belgian esters, some underlying herbal/medicinal notes (can't put a name to them) and a good bit of funkiness on the nose. Taste is initially dark stone fruit, some grassiness, some belgian fruitiness and some mild cinnamon notes thru the middle. Finishes dry, almost like a big tannic cab. The brett had fun with this beer as it sat in my fridge for a few years. My Biggest regret was this was a one off, didn't get the 4 pack. Man this beer is complex. Sad that it seems to be a one off. Maybe I will run across some bottles of this sitting on the shelf somewhere, one can hope.

May 03, 2019
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Taybeh from Minnesota

4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Brett is strong with this one. From a 11.2 oz single, bottled almost 2 years ago, into a Tallgrass tulip, pours a hazy murky cinnamon with a massive 4 finger off-white head, great retention and good lacing. On the nose, I mainly get slightly medicinal brett, a little green apple, and some hints of spicy pepper and cinnamon, too. The nose gets better as it warms, but even so, while it is good it’s the least good dimension of the beer for me. Taste: starts off a little fruity, biscuity malts, then a little sharp spice, and then the medicinal Brett notes and herbal earthy hops jump in and kind of dominate...a little Belgian bubblegum sneaks in there too. Finishes lively and a little dry and bitter. Interesting offering that I enjoyed a lot!

May 27, 2018
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: pours bright amber and generates a ivory 3.5" foam cap that mounds up over the lip of the glass and has excellent retention

S: Belgian yeast aromas of fruit, cinnamon, and some grassy notes dominate.

T: starts with biscuit, spice, cinnamon, fruit, peach, and bubble gum building to a pleasant assertive bitter finish that squeezes out any hint of sweetness

F: incredibly creamy, mousse-like texture giving the beer a light airy feel with fine, soft carbonation

O: nicely balanced yet complex and layered and will only develop and improve as it matures

Sep 16, 2017
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cavedave from New York

4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Wasatch for this funky treat

Pours darkest amber with red cast, big beige head that lasts, cloudy thickish look to it.

Layers of tart, ranging from berry tart to sharp lactic, are underlaid by righteous earthy and spicy funk. Hints of floral and honey sweet give it a delicious complexity. Med. strength, very alluring aroma.

Lactic tart fronts the parade with supporting cast of overripe peach, green apple, peppery spice, earthy funk, and sweet that never seems to show strongly but keeps the dry finish from being overdry. As it warms citrus pith and herbal bitter add complexity.

Highly viscous, med. carb., full bodied, with a heavyweight of a finish that stays clean.

Really tasty beer from master saison producers at Funkwerks. Highly recommended.

Jul 23, 2017
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TH28 from Florida

3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. 10/3/16 bottle date. Appearance: Deep amber, clear, with a thick, frothy off white head and great lacing. Aroma: Sour apple, grassy, and a distinct brett funkiness. A touch of cinnamon. Taste: Light malt sweetness, grassy, tart apple, and a really strong barnyard, horsey funkiness from the brett. Fairly strong bitterness. Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a fairly high carbonation Finish: Dry with a strong grassy, funky brett that lingers. Overall: With around 8 mths on this beer, the brett is aggressive and dominant in the aroma and flavor of the beer. Malt character is very low, and the dark amber color suggests there should be more there. Brett is really the showpiece of this beer, almost a little one dimensionally so.

May 29, 2017
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Wasatch from Colorado

4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz. Bottle
Bottled On: 2016.07.27
ABV: 6.3%

Poured into a tulip a pretty nice cloudy brown color, pretty nice carbonation, with a really nice thick/creamy two-finger plus off-white head, which leaves some really nice thick/creamy sticky lacing behind. The nose is really nice, malty, yeasty, slight funkyness, with some slight spicyness, cinammon. The taste is really nice, malty, yeasty, funky, with some spicyness, cinammon. Medium body, ABV hidden very well. Overall, a very tasty brew.

May 13, 2017
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puck1225 from Texas

4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Huge thick beige head atop a cloudy brown body. Smell of nutmeg, hay, and earth. Root beer, malt, hard to describe, but likable.

Dec 19, 2016
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Czequershuus from Minnesota

4.41/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a very hazy medium brown with a very large head. The aroma is full of brett notes, wet hay being very prominent, as well as prune juice, papaya, banana, clove, melon, vinous white grape, pepper, and raisin. The flavor offers bright white grape, clove, nutmeg, plum, apricot, and some barnyard notes. The mouthfeel is assertively fizzy and medium bodied. Overall this is an awesome beer, full of flavor, with huge funk and fruit present.

Nov 19, 2016
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champ103 from Texas

4.09/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark amber, almost brown color with a bit of haze. A dense beige head forms with excellent retention and lace all the way down the glass.
S: Spicy, bready, lightly phenolic. Toasted malts, caramel apples with fresh baked bread. A really interesting mix that keeps growing on me.
T: Wonderful toasted and bready malts up front. Like fresh baked bread. Lightly tart cinnamon apples with a peppery and phenolic spice. The peppery flavor dances on the tongue as this finishes. A touch of earthy hop bitterness in the finish as well. Lots going on here, but everything is balanced and I like it more and more with each sip.
M/O: A medium body that is very smooth. Would like a bit more crisp carbonation bite though. Really enjoyable to drink. Something that is complex, but really welcoming and keeps drawing me in for more.

This wasn't exactly what I had in mind when I picked this up. I saw it on the shelf, and without thinking about just picked it up with no research. Cause, it is Funkwerks and everything they do is worth it. Without much description, other than "Belgian-Style Ale with Brettanomyces" I was thinking this is more along the lines of a Brett Saison. Which, this is pretty far from that style. Really more along the lines of a N'Ice Chouffe. The Brett is just slightly noticeable, but the beautiful maltiness and phenolic spice shine. Really interesting and well done.

Oct 16, 2016
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morimech from Minnesota

3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Gushing head that slowly settled to a foamy cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass. Heavy Brett aroma of barnyard along with some spicy hops. A dry beer despite the darker malts used. The Brett funk is first and foremost flavor which is complimented with spicy hops and bready malt. Body feels a lot thinner than the ABV would suggest. I think the carbonation blew its load during the pour and gushing of the bottle.

Oct 15, 2016
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bsp77 from Minnesota

4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong Brett aroma, with barnyard funk, grass, apple and rye. Taste is also very funky and grassy, with apple, rye and fruity esters all playing a role. Finish is very dry, but the body is not quite as effervescent as desired. Overall, this is a very nice...something. Almost like a mix between a Brett Pale Ale (like Orval) and a darker Rye Saison.

Oct 10, 2016
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Parmesan from Colorado

4.09/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Slightly Hazy mahogany red color with a small white head and just one or two fingers of lacing.

S: Caramel and dark stone fruit, notes of apple and grass. A strong note of Brett.

T: Earthy grassy hops, caramel malt, notes of apple and a strong note of Brett. Finishes with a note of rye.

F: Medium body and carbonation.

O: A very interesting combination of Brett and malt.

Sep 30, 2016
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mactrail from Washington

2.94/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Really big foam in the tall goblet. First pour is all head, but eventually it's drinkable though overly fluffed-up. Lots of sediment makes nearly a third of the bottle less palatable.

Some slightly spicy grain flavor. Moderately bitter, though it tastes more yeasty thn hoppy. Just a hint of Brett. A little rye tasting, with the bitterish resiny cereal. Slightly sourish at the finish and sort of woody. I keep thinking it's lemon peel flavored and the acidity creeps up.

This sound like such a good idea, but it's not really much fun. From the mercifully bottle-capped 750 ml bottle purchased at Grapevine Liquor in Denver.

Jul 17, 2014
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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #77 (June 2013):

LOOK: Dark amber, thick eggshell head, magnificent lacing

SMELL: Spice, yeast, pepper, nectarine, lawn clippings

TASTE: Crisp, lively, apple, light tartness, grassy, stone fruits, spicy, phenolic, faint cinnamon, toasty, biscuity, biting finish

This meeting between Brettanomyces, a traditional Belgian yeast strain and German hops yields a very pleasant and highly drinkable brew that boasts much complexity, but also remains approachable. Rustic and familiar, it grows on the palate with each sip.

Nov 27, 2013
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MistaT from Colorado

3.36/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

As a huge fan of Funkwerks I'm always excited to catch something new from them. Solenna, billed as a Belgian style ale, is another good beer from them but it falls short of the excellent standard they've set with their Saisons.

Put a bomber down with dinner (homemade veal cutlets & orzo), and here's my take:

Appearance - not what I was expecting or hoping for. As a fan of Belgian pale ales I was hoping this would be lighter, and enhanced by the Brett. Instead it pours with a heavy, bubbly head that while quickly subsides isn't that attractive. Color is a dark orange caramel that is murky and hard to see through.

Smell - okay, not much here to excite which is disappointing as their yeasts normally bring more funk. Slight sour nose with standard dried fruits coming through.

Taste - again, disappointing as you'd expect a beer brewed with Brett to have more sour and complex flavors. This comes through flat and relatively devoid of flavors aside from the standard dark ale fruits. I did notice some sour flavors in the afteraste however...

Mouthfeel - good as it wasn't overly thick or syrupy which too often dark Belgian ales can be...definitely drinkable.

Overall - give it a go if you like dark Belgian ales and Funkwerks but if not, stick to the Saisons and their lighter ales (Provincial) which I believe they do much better.

Oct 12, 2013
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

the newest bottled offering from funkwerks finally made it into my home. it is a unique beer that pours a rust shade and boasts a two inch off white head, thick and lovely. the nose is sort of bland compared to some other funkwerks stuff, I really don't get the heavy dose of brett I was expecting, but there is a nice spice element from either rye malt or some added spices, hard to tell. the flavor features nicely roasted german malts, some fall spice, and a warming Belgian yeast finish. its complex enough, but I don't think this beer is up to the usually very high level of funkwerks beers, it seems to be missing or lacking something, but maybe age will help this one, as the brett continues to develop. it also seemed out of context, like more of a cold weather beer, but the craftsmanship is still impressive. good bubbles and a medium body that drinks smoothly. others in our group liked this one more than me, I was really hoping for more of a brett influence, but perhaps a good introductory beer to those intimidated by or unfamiliar with the power of brettanomyces.

Jun 10, 2013
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at the 2013 Firestone Walker Invitational held at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours a murky orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus, and onion and garlic hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus and herbal flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that tastes better than it smells in my opinion.

Jun 03, 2013
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Burgundian bottle, thanks to doktorzee for lugging this one back from Colorado for me.

This beer pours a mildly hazy, medium copper amber hue, with three fingers of finely textured, frothy, glistening foamy ecru head, which leaves some broad chunky hollow warren lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of semi-sweet pale malt, with a touch of caramelized cereals, earthy funk, softly astringent Belgian yeast, played-out chewing gum, and leafy, grassy hops. The taste is grainy pale malt, dry, faintly fruity drupe skins, white pepper, somewhat ethereal bacterial funk, tame, surprisingly innocuous yeast, and earthy, weedy, and sort of grassy hops.

The bubbles are rather robust and thorough in their reach, the body medium-light in weight, and actually quite smooth, even a little beyond my creeping expectations. It finishes just off-dry, the malt exhibiting some staying power, while the subdued fruit esters and yeast bitterness balance things out, mostly.

I'm gonna quibble about the style designation here - this is by no means 'dark', so perhaps a plain ol' BPA would suffice. Aside from that, this is a tasty, decent Brett-infected Belgian ale. Not all that funky or sour, but evenly drinkable, and there's room aplenty in this world for that.

May 30, 2013
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denver10 from New Mexico

4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Purs a dark red with a nice thick, frothey off white head. Aroma and flavor follow suit with some nice Belgain yeast at the get go with some subtle spiciness and bubblegum, it gets cut by some brett, that hints at some fruitiness and tartness (thought it never gets tart), there's some earthiness to this, a little caramel malt, and a mild bitter finish . A crisp, active mouthfeel, super drinkable. Overall, a beer I like more and more with each try. A bit on the subtle side at first, with each experience more of this beer seems to show itself to me. My first couple times trying it I was lukewarm to this at best, fortunately I kept giving it more tries whenever I would comes across it on tap, as it has since become one of my favorites from Funkwerks. Can't wait for the bottles of this come out (under the new name) in March.

Feel as though this bottle version is different from the version I tried so often on tap. Perhaps a slight recipe change along with the name change? Either way, still awesome.

From the bottle:

Pours a maroonish caramel with a big, khaki head. Love the aroma with some funkiness, some bubblegum, cherry-apple caramel, a touch of cinnamon, and a little grass. Flavor pretty much follows through. A crisp, active mouthfeel. This beer is dangerously drinkable Overall, bottle just might be better than the tap variations I had previously tried. A great release by Funkwerks here.

Aug 17, 2012
Solenna from Funkwerks
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 74 ratings