Klüdde Strong Ale
Brewery Vivant

Klüdde Strong AleKlüdde Strong Ale
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Brewery Vivant
Michigan, United States
Belgian Dark Strong Ale
3.35 | pDev: 23.28%
Jan 28, 2014
Jan 23, 2011
Klüdde Strong AleKlüdde Strong Ale
Notes: None
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Photo of woodychandler
Reviewed by woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75
Another6Pack had sent this to me a while back, but between awaiting picture approval and the unending onslaught of beers, I lost track of this one, buried in my refrigerator. I am thinking that, based on previous reviews, that it may have mellowed during its hiatus. The CANQuest (TM) marches on!

From the CAN: From the CAN: "Special Limited Release"; "Freshly Brewed in Michigan"; "Brewer's Reserve Limited Release"; "Belgian Style Dark Ale Brewed with Star Anise and Green Raisins"; "WHY USE CANS? We set out to build a sustainable brewery and found through our research that cans are a better option than bottles. Cans are much lighter in weight, contain more recycled content, are able to be up-cycled, and use less energy to produce. The canning line also has a much smaller footprint than a bottling line. If this was not enough, cans provide better protection from flavor degenerating oxygen and hop flavor robbing sunlight. This is the best package we can provide to bring our beer to you, tasting the way the brewer intended it. Enjoy."; "At Vivant, our brewers have the freedom to dream up new and experimental beers in order to keep their creative edge. Typically these specialty beers are reserved only for those lucky enough to stop by our pub on the right given day. As is often pointed out to us from those outside Grand Rapids, this seemed very selfish. We agreed and launched this series of small batch beers in [CAN]s."; "As the name implies it is a limited release. It is possible that the beer you are drinking is from a single batch of experimental beer that may never be brewed again. Or maybe we will make it again in a few months, or next year. Yeah, it sounds cruel but there are so many beers we want to make that we just [CAN]'t stop creating. So enjoy it while you [CAN]. If you really like it, don't tell your friends about it and just buy it all yourself."; "Cheers! Vivant Brewers".

Based on its age and the strong possibility that settling may have occurred in the lapsed time, I decided to go with a gentle pour into a Westmalle chalice. The Crack! revealed another brimful craft CAN and I could smell the anise as soon as it was opened. My pour garnered a skim of deep-brown head that quickly dissipated to wisps, but I will take responsibility on that as I did not want to disturb potential lees. Color was a deep, dark-brown with ruby highlights at the edges (SRM = 44) and limited light penetration. Leaning in for a deeper sniff, the anise was prevalent, but the raisins also imparted a vinous white-wine quality. Mouthfeel was medium, but the carbonic bubbles were very small and scrubbing on the tongue. There was little evidence of the alcoholic heat, but instead, it had taken on an interesting tartness, a combination of dry white wine with the bitterness of licorice and dark chocolate. Wild! It strikes me that it has aged nicely, especially given the thoughts of some of the previous reviewers. In looking at the list of other beers in the style, it also becomes obvious that many are Christmas/holiday beers and this really reminds me of some of the ones that I have tasted and/or reviewed. It had that fruitcake taste with dried dark fruits, a bit of tartness and a bready flavor from the malt. The finish was quite dry, again in keeping with its vinousness, but not puckeringly dry. It was tart, certainly, but I would argue against outright sour. It seems that its availability has increased from limited to year-'round and I might suggest buying a four-pack and setting one or two aside to age. This was by no means a drain pour, nor did the thought even occur to me. I recommend buying it now and opening it at the end of this year as it will easily stand up to the passage of time. That said, one was plenty for this self-avowed hophead as I now need a lupulin fix to get me right.
Jan 28, 2014
Rated: 2.75 by warnerry from Michigan

Aug 25, 2013
Rated: 3 by ROBSTARR from Michigan

Jul 28, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by BlissJunkie from Michigan

Jul 22, 2013
Rated: 1.5 by MgoJohnStamos from Michigan

Jun 29, 2013
Rated: 2.5 by JohnnieNepal from Michigan

Feb 23, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by shamrock071521 from Michigan

Jan 25, 2013
Rated: 3.25 by Lukafer from Michigan

Dec 10, 2012
Rated: 3.5 by DrIPA from Michigan

Nov 30, 2012
Rated: 4 by rolandboy from Michigan

Nov 13, 2012
Rated: 3.75 by leprechaunandfatman from Ohio

Nov 11, 2012
Rated: 3.25 by ltltony from Michigan

Oct 24, 2012
Rated: 3 by jereb33 from Michigan

Sep 09, 2012
Photo of Gigantis
Reviewed by Gigantis from Michigan

4.02/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
The Kludde. Some people seem to find this beer a bit unbalanced. I guess that this means I will be rating it far higher than average but I think this is the best thing Vivant has made. It's a weird beer, no doubt, but it tastes like nothing else you will try.
I first had this on tap at the brewery. I didn't think all that much of it at the time but once I saw that they had it in cans later on I bought a four-pack. I don't know why I like this beer so much more now than I did when I first had it on draft but I have only had it in cans since and it has proven to be a great, if slightly high octane, standby throughout the past year.

Now, as most seem to agree, it 's a great looking beer. It's dark and viscous and leaves ample lacing upon your glass... drinking from a chalice is the way to go with this one I think. The aroma is actually a bit much for me since I do not much care for the black licorice... but I tell you once you taste it there is something to be said for the combination of black licorince (something I usually detest) and raisin. Now I must be forthright, I like any beer that incorporates the raisin. I also felt that Dogfish Head's Raisin D'Etre was underrated. So, I guess if you don't much care for that brew you should take this review as a lark. However, I stand by the Kludde as one of the best-tasting beers I have had in a while.

For me, it combines the malt goodness of a strong Belgian Dark with all the things I love about the American Strong Ale. It has the right balance of sweetness, fruit and hoppiness. The mouthfeel is actually not as heavy or syrupy as you would imagine. It has sort of a playful froth to it that makes it go down shockingly easily.... and yet you can taste that touch of burn where you know you're drinking a high gravity brew.

I guess I feel like there isn't much else to say. I love Belgians and I love American Strong Ales and this is a great example of where those two meet paradise. Don't be dissuaded by the remarks of others. Try this shit for yourself.... because it is pretty unique, I think.

*** if you feel this has been an awful experience for you I apologize.
Sep 07, 2012
Photo of liamt07
Reviewed by liamt07 from Canada (ON)

2.96/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
Can from the brewery, 16oz can into a tulip.

Dark purple/black with a light brown head. GOod retention and nice lacing. Nose has some herbal, earthy notes, chocolate, black licorice/anise. Taste has some sweet malt character before becoming bitter and herbal. Quite a bit more anise, with a tart fruity finish. Slightly metallic on the back end. Bittersweet, with a medium light body and medium carbonation. Never really been a fan of anything black licorice flavoured, and this beer does nothing to change that.
Sep 03, 2012
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Reviewed by tophers from Michigan

3.1/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5
The nose gives off a strong smell of licorice with a bit of raisin in the background. Bit of an alcohol smell to.

The taste has a bit of tartness from what tastes like grapes. Little bit of licorice but mild compared to the smell. No hop bitterness recognized. Somewhat of a metallic taste towards the end of the finish.

Very light mouthfeel with hardly any carbonation. Not much going on here. Almost feels watery even though this is quite a strong beer.

The grape taste was quite a surprise and not something that is typically tasted in a beer - which I found pleasant. But overall this beer was ho-hum for me. Lacks complexity in the taste and mouthfeel for a Belgian strong dark for me.
Aug 03, 2012
Photo of jeremy13586
Reviewed by jeremy13586 from Pennsylvania

2.98/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Can poured into Duvel glass. No canning date.

Looks almost black, with some dark amber around the edges when held up to the light. Left behind three fingers of light brown head and some decent lacing. The head settled out into a half-finger layer of foam.

Sweet with a little bit of a boozy twang at the end. Dark fruits come and go in the nose.

A sour twang hits the palate first. It is followed by a sweetness and black licorice. Some herbs, raisin and prune are predominant through the middle, but it finishes with a metallic taste.

Medium bodied, smooth, and lightly carbonated, but the beer as a whole was pretty muddy. The metallic finish didn't help too much.

An awesome looking beer, but it was another one where the looks were deceiving. Each sip started out very promising, but then it just got muddled up. The metallic taste was very off-putting and became more prevalent as it warmed up.
Jul 02, 2012
Photo of chugalug06
Reviewed by chugalug06 from Colorado

1.38/5  rDev -58.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5
Think, three-fingered, toffee colored, foamy head. Brew is black.

Heavy licorice and sour malts. Sweaty socks and rubber. Foul.

BLAH! Sour licorice! The raisin is sweet and the anise is bitter; bad mix. Heavy carbonation. Is a zero possible?

This brew is a total loss... An extra and much appreciated, but it's just not my speed... Too much sweetness for the bitter licorice. Sadly a drain pour.
Jun 21, 2012
Photo of WoodBrew
Reviewed by WoodBrew from Ohio

3.94/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Trying the Vivant Kludde and it is a complex beer. This beer should be reated for what the brewer intended and not for what the person's taste buds. The Anise and Dark Fruit will be too much for the layman drinker. The beer is dark and rich but not quite opaque. There is no head or lacing. The taste and smell are powered by black licorice and raisins. The body is medium to full with decent carbonation. Overall it is a tasty beer.
Jun 16, 2012
Rated: 3.75 by sholland119 from Pennsylvania

Jun 08, 2012
Rated: 2 by beergorrilla from Michigan

Jun 07, 2012
Rated: 2.25 by Zaphog from Michigan

Jun 07, 2012
Rated: 3.75 by adamdd from Michigan

Jun 04, 2012
Rated: 4 by sgoro from Illinois

Jun 02, 2012
Photo of RollBounce
Reviewed by RollBounce from New York

3.86/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Thick tan colored head, ebony black, roasted notes, pepper, dark chocolate mint,and green grapes on the nose.

Peppermint start, with pepper, coffee, chocolate, grape like sweet finish.

Overall; Very different then expected. More Porter like then a dark Belgian.Great with dark chocolate mint.
May 31, 2012
Rated: 3.5 by adamant1912 from Michigan

May 19, 2012
Photo of superspak
Reviewed by superspak from North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
16 ounce can into tulip glass, no canning date. Pours very dark hazy reddish brown color with a good 2 finger fairly dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some slight spotty lacing on the glass, with a decent amount of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of molasses, anise, caramel, raisin, plum, grape, roasted malt, nuttiness, candi sugar, biscuit, pepper, and yeast spices. Some pretty nice aromas. A little much on the anise, but has some good balance and complexity. Taste of molasses, plum, raisin, roasted malt, grape, anise, chocolate, candi sugar, biscuit, pepper, clove, and yeast spices. Lingering notes of molasses, grape, caramel, candi sugar, anise, roasted malt, chocolate, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. The anise definitely is more toned down in the taste, and gives a slight tartness to the brew; which is quite nice. Nice balance and complexity with flavors. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden, with only a small warming after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian dark ale! Nice flavor balance, with a good amount of roasted chocolate character. Really enjoyed this one.
Apr 26, 2012
Rated: 4 by TwoPieceOB166 from Michigan

Apr 25, 2012
Rated: 2.75 by alrhodesjr from Michigan

Apr 21, 2012
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Reviewed by UpToMeBeer from Colorado

3.96/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
A - Dark with ruby red hints and tannish finger head.

S - I'm smelling mostly the anise; Belgium yeast and some raisin/grape.

T - The anise blends really nicely with the grape. A sour hint that emerges more as it warms.

M - Medium to full body, a bit of stickiness.

Very interesting beer....So grateful my Michigan buddy was eager to share this. I'm not even a huge anise fan, but it sure works here.
Apr 17, 2012
Rated: 2.25 by zonker17 from Texas

Apr 08, 2012
Photo of hmbrewer336
Reviewed by hmbrewer336

2.18/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2
A: pours with a deep mahogany color. good head retention that is a yellowish tan.

S: aaahhhh... this different. heavy anise dominates every thing else here. esters are also prevalent. some roast malt. i needed to look hard for it though.

T: starts with crisp acidy green raisin flavor that is almost puckering, then moves to an almost salty ester malty kind of thing followed by star anise. then finishes with a metal flavor. for 9.5% the alcohol is hidden well I know the can have liners but beer should be served in the bottle.

M: does not follow appearance. acidic effervescence. and moderate CO2. light in body for 9.5. needs more unfermentables

O: very interesting overall. had to have another simply out of curiosity. don't think i'll buy any more. it started to get annoying. Cant't get over the can and metal taste. Had buddies that felt the same. At first I thought it was just me. Star Anise just does work here for me, and grapes are for wine.
Apr 07, 2012
Photo of MICAMD
Reviewed by MICAMD from Maryland

2.71/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
A- Pours a very dark ruby red liquid, bordering on black unless held to a light. The creamy light brown head has pretty good retention.

S-Smells like off-brand cola, maybe a touch of coffee, and fruit. Very unique to say the least.

T- Sour fruit, raisins, anise, and some mint. Very odd, and the more I drink of it, the less I enjoy it. There is a lot going on, but of doesn't necessarily mesh.

M- Lighter carbonation with some odd lingering flavors. The alcohol content does seem to be pretty well hidden.

O- The flavors are really odd and just do not mesh. Definitely not something I would seek out again.
Apr 02, 2012
Rated: 3.75 by Another6Pack from Michigan

Mar 24, 2012
Rated: 3.5 by denimdemon from Indiana

Mar 15, 2012
Rated: 3.5 by tripledbrew from Kentucky

Mar 13, 2012
Rated: 3 by 4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

Mar 12, 2012
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Reviewed by StoutHunter from Michigan

3.71/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
I picked up a can of Brewery Vivant's Kludde Strong Ale a couple weeks ago for $3.29 at The Lager Mill. This beer seemed pretty interesting, a Belgian Strong Dark Ale brewed with raisins and star anise, sounds pretty unique, I'll give it a shot, so lets see how it goes. 2012 Vintage Limited Release. Poured from a pint can into a goblet.

A- I really like the way the can looks, it's got cool artwork all around even blended into the background with plenty of information, I have never seen a can with a sticker label on it before, but I thought it was pretty cool and different. It poured a nice dark brown color that bordered on being black and it took on a really good looking dark ruby color when held to the light. It had two and a half fingers worth of tan head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end. From the can to the liquid inside this beer looks great through and through.

S- Wow lots of different things going on here making for one weird aroma. It starts off with a mild malt aroma and medium amount of spicy yeast. After that things start to get weird with a sour vinegar like aroma that I wasn't expecting. The weirdness continues with some roasted malts, raisins, other dark fruits, and at the end there is a big hit of anise that smells similar to a black jellybean. This is one different smelling beer, there's a lot of different thing going on here that make it really unique but I feel like some of the aromas didn't blend that well together, it's ok.

T- The flavor seems to be just as weird as the aroma and pretty similar. It starts off with a short glimpse of some bready and roasted malts that impart a slight brown bread and a slight smokey malt flavor that is followed by some dark fruits with the raisins sticking out the most. After that comes a light medium amount of spicy Belgian yeast with no specific spice sticking out, after that comes that weird sour slighty similar to vinegar taste that I have only found in wild ales and spoiled beer. On the finish comes a little more more roasted malts and a pretty heavy amount of star anise that makes for a black licorice like finish. It wasn't that bitter, it had some sourness that covered up the bitterness and it had some roasted malts, sour, and anise flavors in the aftertaste. Only a slight bit of alcohol showed up, it was hidden very well. This is one weird tasting beer, at first the flavors were a little to intense and seemed to clash, but after it warmed up slightly and I drank more the flavors seemed to flow better and it wasn't that obnoxious. It's good, but I can't say I loved it.

M- Somewhat Smooth, sharp, medium bodied, and it had a high amount of carbonation that got to be a little prickly. The body was nice but I would have liked the carbonation to be toned down a couple notches so it wasn't so fizzy and prickly.

Overall I thought that this was a good beer that was super unique, but in the realm of Belgian Strong Dark Ales I would say this one is pretty average, but I don't have a lot of experience with that style so I can't be that sure. This beer isn't too drinkable, the flavor and carbonation were pretty intense so one can would be more then enough for me, I couldn't see drinking much more then that, but that alcohol was hidden very well. What I liked most about this beer was the look, every aspect of this beer looked good and I don't know if it could look much better. What I liked least about this beer was the high amount of prickly carbonation, I really think that a lower amount of carbonation would help this beer a lot. I would buy this beer again, but probably just a single and not very often, I would like to see how some of my friends react to this beer. I only recommend this to adventitious beer drinkers, if you can handle a little sour and some anise then you might really like this beer. This beer came out nothing like I expected, I wasn't prepared for the sour aspect of this beer, I'm not a big fan of sours but I think I'm slowly easing into the style as I didn't find the sourness as off putting as I normally do. It takes balls to put out a beer like this and I respect that, it is for sure one of the more weirder beers I have tasted, the flavors were a little to intense for me at first but once I got use to them they weren't half bad, the flavors aren't for everyone but if you can make it through the first few sips you can make it through the full pint. All in all I have to say I am impressed that they took a bunch of flavors that shouldn't go together and somehow they ended up working and I don't how, I can't wait to see what their other Limited Release beers are like. Good job guys, it's nice to know there's another brewer in Michigan who isn't afraid to think out of the box, and the pint cans are a great twist, throw a couple of these in the cooler while camping to mix things up, I bet this would taste even better by a campfire.
Mar 07, 2012
Rated: 2.5 by Supergenious from Michigan

Feb 25, 2012
Rated: 3.5 by raymo55 from Michigan

Feb 18, 2012
Klüdde Strong Ale from Brewery Vivant
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 51 ratings