Tidings Belgian Style Ale
Port City Brewing

Tidings Belgian Style AleTidings Belgian Style Ale
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Strong Ale - Belgian Pale
Ranked #336
Ranked #36,517
3.7 | pDev: 11.35%
Port City Brewing
Virginia, United States
Tidings Belgian Style AleTidings Belgian Style Ale
Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 140 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Lingenbrau
Lingenbrau from Oregon

3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks Craig for the bottle!

Tidings pours a brilliant glowing bright yellow with that classic Belgian lack of opacity. A frothy soapy white blanket above plasters the glass as it descends.

Subliminal or not, this smells like Christmas. Spices galore with anise and clove covering orange peels and banana.

The flavor is a smorgasbord of fruits and spices. Anise and cardamom, clove and cinnamon... mulling spices of a sort I guess. Again with banana and dried citrus rinds. Honey comes through and lasts long in the finish.

Soft feeling, sweet and pretty full if it weren't for the sharp bite of carbonation. Nice and spicy.

This "blonde" drinks like a Tripel. I'm good with that. Thanks again Craig!

Dec 24, 2019
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UPMD_Bill from Maryland

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks amber/honey colored, almost opaque with tiny bubbles.
Smells/tastes sweet: clover honey and spice (cinnamon?) with slight citrus. Very little bitterness, more yeast than hops.
Feels a little sticky, but still easy drinking. Would definitely get it again!

Feb 04, 2018
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88caprice from Virginia

3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Overall, really enjoyable! A focus on spice and sweet flavors.

Poured from a bottle into a wine glass.

Nice fizzy head that dissipated completely. Murky golden color. Smells of coriander mostly. Very fragrant. Spicy. A touch of alcohol. Tastes spicy. Coriander and something clove like. Belgian yeast characteristics. Fairly low bitterness. A fluffy mouthfeel.

Jan 24, 2018
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HattedClassic from Virginia

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a nice foamy head. Beer is a cloudy pale straw yellow. Good look but not similar to others of the type. Snell is good. Good spice notes like light ginger, sugar and Belgian notes. Honey too. Taste is pretty good. Honey note is a good undercurrent. Belgian spices and sugar. Very Christmasy. Light almost unnoticeable hop bitterness. Feel is heavy bordering on medium. Tingling carbonation. Overall, no regrets. Worth getting when it rolls around.

Jan 13, 2018
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PatrickCT from Connecticut

3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall, a great Holiday beer. With this much going on Port City managed to tame all the flavors into a cohesive ale that is festive and balanced. It hits all the holiday notes... wheat, with honeyed malts, spices of ginger and allspice, honey, with a honeyed mouth feel and a sufficient nip of alcohol. A world class Belgian Pale? No. But a wonderful beer to share on over the Holidays.

Dec 23, 2017
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orcrist_cleaver from New York

3.49/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The festive bottle art is the most attractive thing about it. The lack of head and lacing is a big disappointment. Pleasing enough hazy goldenrod.

S: Sweet floral. Pink lemon, cardamom and honey.

M: Pretty bubbly gives off a dry sensation. I almost want to describe it as crisp, at least on the edges. Medium bodied. Not too much warming.

T: Ginger, honeyed grainy malt, black pepper. Also, roasted acorn squash and persimmon comes to mind with its sweet and cinnamon spice character.

O: I really went into this blind as I was expecting a darker seasonal, but I see this beer as going for niche. There are much better classical Christmas Belgians out there, so it misses the mark there. However, it provides a lighter, easier drinking alternative despite the relatively high abv. Comes across more as an autumn beer to me.

Dec 23, 2017
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Pencible from Virginia

4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a cloudy gold with a little white head.
S: It smelled like ginger and nutmeg, with some grassy hops and coriander and spicy Belgian yeast.
T: It tasted like ginger and nutmeg, with some grassy hops and coriander and spicy Belgian yeast. It had a clean and savory aftertaste.
M: It was oily with a little carbonation. Nice slick body.
D: This was a nice beer with fairly simple but enjoyable scent and taste. The body was great, and the finish was smooth, so it was easy to drink. Not earth shattering, but highly drinkable winter brew.

Jun 06, 2017
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I had every intention of drinking this bottle around the holidays, but once again, the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody circumvented my best-laid plans. No time like the present, I suppose.

From the bottle: "Belgian style Ale Brewed with Honey and Spices"; "17.9 P original gravity [;] 3.1 P final gravity [;] 25 IBU bitterness units"; "Elevating Craft Beer"; "Tidings Ale is a strong Nelgian style blonde ale brewed with Maryland wildflower honey and Virginia wheat. These special ingredients store away the flavor and essence of summer to later warm us during the cold winter months. It is gently spiced with coriander, cardamom, fresh ginger and Grains of Paradise."

I Pop!ped the cap & commenced a very gentle pour since my bottle has some age on it. An in-glass swirl was enough to raise a brief finger of foamy, bone-white head that quickly fell away to wisps. Color was a brilliant Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4 - 5) with NE-quality clarity, summoning forth The Gelt Gang of Mammon, Midas & Croesus, all clamoring for a taste. Nose gave lie to the statement of "lightly spiced". The ginger was prevalent, but there was also a black pepper-like presence from the coriander. More like "heavily spiced". Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was quite spicy, but for a holiday ale of any style, I would be hard-pressed to dun it for this. The ginger was front and center, but then a black peppery spiciness crept in, followed by a honey sweetness. It was actually kind of sticky on my lips, which just happened to be smacking of their own accord. I would say that this was a good indication that I was enjoying it. The prevalence of the spices rendered it a dry beer overall, but again, nothing to dun it on.

Apr 03, 2017
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AngusOg from North Carolina

4.14/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed on draft with lunch. Nicely spiced but not over done, keeping drinkability high. Besides the added spice, I get some light Belgian yeast spice, but finishes smooth with a nice slight sweetness. Maybe a touch undercarbonated for the style, but overall an enjoyable holiday brew.

Dec 23, 2016
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bubseymour from Maryland

3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 11/4 drinking on 11/20 (nice and fresh...less than 3 weeks. Nice cloudy yellow brew like a wheat beer. Small but high quality head. Really nice aroma of banana, clove, wheat/grain and some Belgian yeast notes. Taste is very peppery and heavily spiced. A little too much IMO to be truly enjoyable. Very heavy beer and rich mouthfeel. Strong Pale Ale is appropriate for this one. It finishes almost boozy from the spice and body. Still decent beer but not quite working out overall for me.

Nov 20, 2016
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m3rkury from New York

4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look is straw with a bit of haze and very fine lacy head.

Smell is classic belgian: ginger, esters and just enough alcohol to let you know its there.

Taste is surprisingly crisp. Ginger/pepper notes with some coriander. Hint of yeast at the end with spiciness.

Good overall belgian/honey ale.

Feb 02, 2016
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Billolick from New York

3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Bottled on dating etched onto the bottle (11/10/2015)

Pours lite straw, wispy near white head, fine film and ample fine bits of lacing

Spicy nose with some ginger, Belgian yeasty,

More Belgian yeast notes with bubblegummy sweetness, light pepper, candi sugars..light and brightly flavorful. I love the style and this an enjoyable take on it

Jan 28, 2016
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Stakebone from North Carolina

4.44/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear straw with some head retention. Aroma is spicy and sweet. Flavor is more nuanced with spiciness that keeps on giving. Mouthfeel is more tripel than Belgian strong ale with good balance and moderate bitterness. Great beer. Surprising from this brewery.

Jan 12, 2016
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GarthDanielson from Virginia

3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured on tap in a shaker pint, the beer is a hazy, pale, honey gold coloring with a clingy, foamy, white head. Aromas of honey, lemon, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove. Balanced and inviting. Flavors are spice heavy forward, with clove, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg dominating. Solid follow of lemon, honey, and a subtle Belgian funk. Balanced and tasty, on a light, smooth body. The aftertaste is more of the spice blend, with a subtle linger through a frothy, effervesced finish.

Nov 22, 2015
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obywan59 from Virginia

3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

My first sampling of a Port City brew.

A hazy golden verging on pale orange in color with a 2 finger off white head that recedes rather quickly to a ring around the glass and a bit of patchy film on the surface. Light carbonation.

Spice in the forefront, mainly coriander and ginger, with light honey and doughy bread.

Ginger and coriander and honey on the tongue as well, with some light tart wheat and a not quite acrid bitterness.

Crisp and peppery. Light to moderate in body with warming alcohol. Drying on the palate.

A nice winter warmer for a frigid winter night. Tasty with decent balance. Just a hint of cloy, but that's a Belgian for ya.

Feb 21, 2015
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Jeffreysan from Maryland

3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, honey-yellow color with no head what-so-ever.

Aroma: Strong notes of honey and clover and clove, but not much in the way of malt or hops. There’s some Belgian yeast aromas there, imparting notes of straw and a little barnyard funk, but the predominate aroma is honey.

Taste: Very Belgian saison- or triple-like. Tons of Belgian yeast, providing lots of clove, bubblegum, coriander, and some black pepper, all under a honey backbone.

Mouthfeel: Thin to almost watery. No carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 7.8%, there is just a touch of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a pretty good beer, but not what I was expecting for a Christmas/Winter beer. There’s some good Belgian yeast notes and honey, but I was expecting a darker beer loaded with winter-like spices. Belgian fans should like this.

Jan 26, 2015
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ksimons from Illinois

3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bready malts in the smell and taste with honey, spices, and yeast. Medium body with moderate to high carbonation. An interesting beer that I am glad I tried. I think it is better than the average 3.65 rating.

Dec 29, 2014
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metter98 from New York

4.09/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Mugs Ale House, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high bright white head.
S: Light to moderate aromas of cardamom and other spices are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste starts out with lots of spicy flavors—coriander and cardamom stand out in particular—and finishes with some sweetness from the honey and some notes of ginger.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very interesting and complex—I liked how the honey helped to balance things off and prevent this from being overly spicy.

Serving type: on-tap

Dec 07, 2014
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ThisWangsChung from Maryland

3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very pale straw color - we're practically talking light beer territory. The head is impressive, though; at three fingers high with good retention and a creamy texture, it really creates an aesthetically pleasing brew. Some patches of lacing are left behind, which is somewhat unusual for a BSPA.

S: Holy freaking spices. Not just the usual suspects - i.e. coriander and cinnamon - but also notes like oregano, black pepper, ginger, and thyme. It's the coriander, in particular, that's striking me the hardest. There isn't much of anything when it comes to malts or esters: their neutrality seems to suggest a desire of showcasing the spicing more than anything. Certainly an interesting nose, if not a great one.

T: To the surprise of no one with a working nose, the flavor is spicy as well. Just a hint of malt sweetness opens it up, before the spice profile comes down like a damn hammer. Coriander, ginger, cinnamon, oregano, you name it, it's here. It's strong enough to give the finish a surprising bitterness. What ultimately rules, however, are the honey notes suddenly appearing. A reasonably good brew that could use a bit more balance.

M: Doesn't seem to have the dryness or zesty carbonation of a typical BSPA. The honey really comes through on the feel: it gives both a lingering sweetness and a building dryness. It is pretty drinkable for nearly 8%, then again, it freaking SHOULD be.

O: Interesting. While it's ultimately too sweet to really succeed as a BSPA, it does do a decent job of showcasing the spices. A few tweaks will make this one really good.

Feb 03, 2014
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cjgiant from District of Columbia

3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Review on tap, 12/16:
Overall rating of 3.5 stood, but digging into the craft of it, appreciate the makeup of the beer.

Cloudy yellow, looks a tad on the dirty side. Medium thin rim, no lacing.

Smell of Belgian yeast Hefe - and interestingly nice combo, with the wheat coming out nicely. Honey is also noted, bit the added spices are a very nice accent. Kept appreciating the nose more and more.

Taste combines the notes differently, and unfortunately they crash together a tad. Specifically the yeast and spices fight a bit too much. The lighter feel with a tad more carbonation than is relatively needed doesn't help. The spices come out strong mid taste, so this has that holiday brew aspect to it.

Maybe just a bit too much attempted here. To my palate, Belgian yeasts only work in cleaner situations, and this one has a bit too much going on all at once to work for me.

Jan 21, 2014
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delta490 from Virginia

4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-poured out a deep clear gold. Minimal head or retention.

S-honey and spices are abundant in the aroma

T-has a certain tangy quality to it. The spices, honey, malt and earthy hops blend quite well

M- thinner and smooth. Fits the flavor profile well

O-an full flavored holiday ale that doesn't overwhelm with its flavors

Jan 01, 2014
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tgatort from Florida

2.71/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Served on tap in D.C. It's pretty rare that I don't want to finish a beer. This was one of them. Way to much of a peppermint taste. Almost had a medicinal taste or a toothpaste taste. Maybe it just wasn't my style of beer but I can not recommend it.

Dec 08, 2013
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Rifugium from North Dakota

3.27/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

First had: on tap at Port City

Cloudy golden-yellow pour with a thin, bubbly head that sank to a small ringlet; minimal lacing. Light aroma of toasted grains and mild spice and fruity esters. Taste was a bit bland, Honey Nut Cheerios, light notes of ginger and coriander, herbal hops. More grainy than sweet. Light-medium body, fairly drinkable, but nothing that really stood out to me.

Nov 30, 2013
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blackie from Oregon

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

single from WF, brewed with Virginia red winter wheat and Maryland honey

a: served in a unibroue tulip, the beer is a hazy golden hay in color, the pour producing a small head that recedes to a thin ring in short order

s: coriander and cardamom occupy the nose with complex perfumes - underneath is a honey sweetness, phenolic, ginger and white pepper, clean wheat grain, fruity bubblegum esters, white flower nectar, and a slew of yeast output, benign papery hops, the spicing is a bit strong for my nose, but it's a nice spice blend, and kinda creeps on me after a bit

m: carbonation light-moderate, smooth, light bodied

t: spice again takes center on the palate - big coriander and cardamom with ginger, phenols, cleanly sweet flavors of wheat and honey, suggestions of pepper after the swallow, hops mildly flavored with a slight bitterness, spices lingering very long, good but an unbalanced mess of spice at times

o: my gripe here is not with the spice itself, but the fact that a large majority of the character of this beer seems to be derived from the spice bill, a combination of the mild structure of the beer and sheer volume of spice, not to say it's all bad of course - I'm a fan of these spices, and they provide a warm aroma and while creating an interesting drink

Apr 09, 2013
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C20Percent from Virginia

3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

*Review taken from notes*

A: Cloudy light orange color with a bright white head that disappeared a bit too quickly.

S: Honey. Period. And, some holiday spices -- cloves, maybe?

T: Taste a lot like mead. Heavy honey flavor. Spicy. Warm. A very unique finish.

M: Smooth, medium body.

O: I'm not a huge mead fan, and this comes very close to that. But, Port City deserves credit for a risky take on a winter seasonal. This is a good selection. I think a couple of tweaks, and this is a great beer. As it is, a bit too much honey for me.

Mar 19, 2012
Tidings Belgian Style Ale from Port City Brewing
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 140 ratings