Torment Dark Belgian-Style Ale
Heretic Brewing Company

Torment Dark Belgian-Style AleTorment Dark Belgian-Style Ale
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Style:
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #66
ABV:
10%
Score:
88
Ranked #7,977
Avg:
4.02 | pDev: 10.7%
Reviews:
29
Ratings:
99
From:
Heretic Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Winter
Wants
  6
Gots
  20
SCORE
88
Very Good
Torment Dark Belgian-Style AleTorment Dark Belgian-Style Ale
Notes:
Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 99 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of dertyd
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours out a dark brown color with red hues and 1 finger of honey comb colored head----------------- the aromas are of dark fruit, chocolate covered cherries, dried plums, figs light citrus and carmel----------------- the flavors are of plums, figs, pears for days, Carmel and sweet tea, the beer has a medium mouthfeel with no bitterness at all-------------------- overall this is a great strong dark ale, big dark fruit and carmel flavors finishing smooth

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Photo of doktorhops
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This came HIGHLY recommended by a fellow craft lover (i.e. the craft of loving). When I say HIGHLY in all-caps I’m not practically shouting through the internet at you - it means this guy really gushed over it and was even so bold to say that “if I love Belgian brews...” [indeed I do] that “this represents the best stab by an American at a Belgian styled beer. Ever.” Pretty big words IMO, I’ve had plenty of excellent Belgian styled beers from US brewers such as Sierra Nevada, Victory, North Coast, Cigar City, Clown Shoes, etc... not sure if Heretic here have managed [damn I really wanted to keep that alliteration going...] to top the works of these top flight US brewers [hmmm, I’ll allow it]. I guess that’s one of the many reasons I drink beer and write about it - to find out if this is the ultimate US brewed Belgian styled beer.

Poured from a wax-sealed 650ml US bomber sized bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Fuck it smells good... jumping ahead I know, but this really smells good, OK focus Doc. Presents an almost opaque deep dark chocolate brown, bit of mahogany in there too, and a tan head that drops back to a lace ring. Splotches of lace on the side of the glass too, not bad at all. 8/10.

S: Spicy cinnamon notes mingle with rich caramel and dark fruits (date and fig mostly) with a slight woody tone that gives an impression of dryness in the finish that may or may not be there. This aroma is close to flawless - there’s plenty of complexity and balance going on, I would be hard pressed to pick between this and Chimay Blue, although I do love cinnamon [it’s like a naughty Rastafarian]. 9/10.

T: The balance continues to surprise with how well this has been done - it’s sweet but not overly, the above notes: cinnamon, rich caramel, date, fig and that woody note work so well together and the finish has just the right amount of dryness to pull it all back. There’s a lingering aftertaste of cinnamon as well. Yet I don’t feel that it’s outclassing Chimay Blue (though it has been a long while since I’ve had a Chimay). Also it’s a tad boozy (like a granny on bingo night). 9/10.

M: Medium bodied with a decent and creamy carbonation, but a touch too gassy (as the burps are my witness). 9/10.

D: Yeah old mate wasn’t far off: This is one of the greatest US brewed Belgian styled beers I’ve had. Everything was pretty much spot on, would drink again [and again, but maybe not a 4th time - I can be mercurial with beers]. 9/10.

Food match: I would def cheese platter this baby... [that sounded less weird in my head].

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Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a dark cola color capped by two fingers of ecru foam; good stickage and some splashy lacing lingers

Smell: Dark fruit tones prominent, bringing fig and date; treacle, candi sugar and spice cake tones, too

Taste: Brown sugar, candi sugar and treacle forward, with the fig and date flavors building; the spice cake element arrives, in the middle, along with a boozy aspect that warms the palate through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: It is rare these days to see a domestic brewer nail this style, let alone even try it; consider me impressed

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Photo of Everydayoff
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Very deep mahogany brown in color with some reddish shade and mildly hazed body, the pour builds up thick silky light brown head that well retains itself with good retention before slowly subsiding to some lasting foamy sheet on the surface and leaving some lacing patch and spot on the glass-side.

Oh it is so sweet in the aroma with the massive amount of malt exhibiting everywhere, it ranges between rich caramel, vanilla, chocolate, fudge, dough, bread, and molasses plus with the Belgian’s yeast character of dark fruit, apple, pear, banana, and orange as well as slight phenolic spice. There is also a note of candy sugar and toffee to add some more sweetness.

The taste has nice combination and complexity between all the notes aforementioned in the aroma. It starts off with yeasty character of dark fruit, apple, pear, banana, orange, and some spice. Then it becomes very malty with notes of caramel, vanilla, chocolate, fudge, dough, bread, and molasses just like in the aroma. There is a big sweetness covering all over from the addition of candy sugar. The end and aftertaste is well lasting with all those sweet and fruity flavors.

Full body with creamy smooth mouthfeel from its low to moderate carbonation through the palate, the feeling is just right that is not too hefty nor too thin with proper amount of crispness to carry all the things well. Finish is dry and pleasant.

Simply Torment with pleasure with the heavy loads of malty caramel, toffee, bread, and so on. Also candy sugar and fruity yeast, it is just like a great dessert with lots of sweetness from malt, sugar, and fruity ester.

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tap @ Small Bar, Bristol - Pours dark brown with minimal tanned foamy head which quickly disappears, Aroma - dark fruits, dark sugar, caramel notes. Taste - Sweet, candied sugar, dark fruits, roasted malts, spice overtones, light yeast notes, light bitter finish with a light whisky feel warmth. Very nice Belgian style ale.

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Photo of stevoj
3.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Boise Co-op. Pours out a nice mahogany hue, small, soft beige head. Initial whiff of cherries had me thinking of a kriek. Taste changes the tone a bit with some pit fruit, raisins, dates and just enough Belgian yeast to wrap it all up. Comes off as a lighter weight quad. Very pleasant surprise.

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Photo of jlindros
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Since I heard about this brewery and the guys who created it, I've been aching to try their beer. Finally got my hands on some. Hopefully this is what I was hoping for. Bottled 11/20/15, so 10 months old, but par for the style.

Pours a decent fizzy foamy 1/2 finger darker head that fades at a quicker pace, dark hazy auburn mahogany color.

Nose is really interesting, lots of Belgian malts, caramel crystal toffee malt very biscuity, big caramel candied raisin, lots of Special B malt, a touch of a wet cardboard so perhaps a little oxidation unfortunately, but that fades quickly as I swirl it, bringing more sweet candy, fig and date, candied raisin, caramelized candi sugar and a little creme brulee, nice ester profile.

Taste brings a lot more of the same, tons of raisin, brandy soaked raisin and candied dates, fig paste, dried fruits, nice ester profile with all that. Plenty of sweet like malts, caramel all over, caramelized brown sugar, candi sugar, a little toffee, caramel creams candy, nice biscuit toffee like, plenty of Special B malts. A touch of warming booze with a little phenol character which brings nice Belgian spices. Finish is sticky, a bit sweet, tons of lingering caramel, toffee biscuit candy, mild booze warmth and a bit of phenols still.

Mouth is fuller bod, a bit creamy rich, decent carb, lighter but decent carb.

Overall quite nice, def hits that spot for a Belgian strong dark ale, mild warming booze, nice phenols and little ester profile, great sweet caramel biscuity toffee candy malts and tons of great raisin date profile. Other than the mild oxidation on the nose that seemed to disappear quickly, this was a very nice Belgian.

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Root beer like in color, with red/brown tones that have some copper undertones....quasi opaque and there is a syrupy texture to it around the side of the glass....not much for lacing and/or a head, but there is a thin ring around the glass. Carbonation is somewhat hard to see but it is in many columns when looked upon straight down from the top.

S- Sweet rum and plenty of fruit, such as peach, apple, plum, apricot, figs, and a strong sweet cotton candy that seems to be derived from Belgian candy syrup/sugar....I also enjoy the cinnamon spice right on the finish! There is plenty of malt goodness, toffee and caramel are all noted....very nice overall....robust and rich to boot!

T- Chalk full of thick sticky sweet flavors! Sticky caramel, toffee, apple, orange zest, plum, Belgian candy sugars, melted brown sugar, milk chocolate, pear/peach/apricot, beer nuts, prunes, cotton candy, malted barley, buttery yeast....this is rummy and slightly boozy at the same time....hints of vanilla....just amazing in the flavor!

M/O- This is medium/full bodied and the carbonation is smooth smooth smooth! This has dessert like qualities and is a delectable brew that is rich and flavorful....drinkability is nice and I would rather enjoy a sitting of this over an evening! This changes and mellows out well as it warms and I'd love to explore this one again! Cheers!!

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Photo of puboflyons
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the wax topped 650 ml. bottle dated 11/20/15. Sampled on March 14, 2016 at about 47-48 degrees.

The pour is an attractive looking ruby red color for the most part with a long lasting foamy tan head.

The aroma brings out a pear, apple, and fruity quality for sure with Belgian roasted malts and sweetness. The 10% booze is definitely not on my nose.

Medium to better than medium body.

Like the aroma the taste is more fruit-forward than malt forward but both are there and both are quite sweet. No booze in the flavor either. But at the end of the bottle my head told me it was there.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.69/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a half finger of light tan head on a dark brown body.
The aroma is caramel, burnt caramel, ripe plum and alcohol.
The taste is quite sweet, a little boozy, lots of fruits and chocolate.
The texture is medium with nice fizz.
It's rich.

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Photo of Beerisnear
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: Deep dark brown with a 1.5 finger of head in a tulip glass.
Smell: Caramel, dark fruits, bready. Slightly sweet with a twinge of alcohol left on the nose.
Taste: Malty sweetness. Dark fruits and esters shine through. A slight spice at the finish to balance out the sweetness.
Feel: Medium body with fine carbonation.
Overall: A pretty decent BSDA. I let my glass warm slightly bringing out some of the fig notes. I also found that some of the initial woodiness of the esters faded with some warmth.

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Photo of JackieKu
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle. Poured into tulip.

A: Dark brown. Poured with 2 finger high head with moderate retention.
S: Intense caramel aroma. Toffee. Malty sweet. Little alcohol.
T: Malty. Sweet but not too sweet. Toffee & chocolate. Bittering finish.
M: Medium bodied despite its strong flavors.
O: Quite good for the style. Not way too sweet.

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Photo of leaddog
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a deep copper brown with two fingers of creamy tan head.

Smell - bready malts with caramel notes, fruity esters, dark fruits (plum, raisin, and fig), candied sugar, hint of spicy hops.

Taste - Moderate level of bready malt flavour supported by notes of caramel, dark fruits, fruity esters, and candied sugar. Very little to no alcohol taste. Finishes with lingering sweetness from fruit and some spiciness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light-to-moderate carbonation. Touch of warmth from the alcohol and a little dryness.

Overall - A very well crafted Belgian Strong Dark Ale with an excellent mix of malts, fruity esters, and dark fruit. A little more carbonation would make this spot on.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Bottle dated 12/1/2014:
(review mostly stolen from NBS post)
Pours a deep, slightly ruby brown, with off white head, as shown. Head sticks to sides after receding. Nose definitely has some sugary notes: molasses, rock candy, cola, some rooty notes. A bit warmer, some fig comes through. Feel is a tad light, prickly carbonation perhaps hiding a bit of alcohol bite.

Taste of a cold brew starts out with those sweet notes coming through. The flavors that come in after the dark/candy notes are a bit wet cardboard-like, maybe I can view them as woody in nature in a certain light. I let it warm a bit and those flavors subsided a bit, and I could get some or the flavors the bottle and other reviews suggested (candied pear, for one).

When all is said and done, I am going to have to chalk it up to the fact that this beer probably just didn't work for me as well as it did for others.

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Photo of oberon
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a chalice a full deep amber with a sticky light beige head atop.Aromas of dark fig,brown sugar,and yeasty phenols,the phenols are no joke.Love the rich dark fruit and brown sugar flavors with enough earthiness in the finish to keep it in balance for such a big beer.I like that the sweetness is kept in check...a little but it keeps it's richness,a very good beer.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz, dark red wax sealed bottle, one of the easier iterations of said presentation to actually open that I've come upon of late.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, dark red-brick amber colour, with two chubby fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly beige head, which leaves some broad land bridge lace around the glass as it slowly fades away.

It smells of bready, doughy caramel malt, musty toffee, earthy yeast, dark candi sugar, mixed orchard fruit (plums, bruised apples, bananas and pears), and somewhat hot and phenolic alcohol. The taste is gritty, grainy caramel malt, hard toffee candies, laid-back yeast, brown sugar, sweet, syrupy pear and apple fruit notes, indistinct earthy spice, and light leafy, kind of perfumed hops, the only real sign of the elevated ABV.

The bubbles are quite soft and lilting in their genial frothiness, the body a solid medium-heavy weight for the style, and plainly smooth, with a pleasant creaminess evolving as things warm up a tad. It finishes off-dry, but not too sweet, as the fruity and spicy esters give it the ol' college try at conceiving a sense of balance, sort of.

An interesting and tasty BSDA, the normal metrics all there, with a well-concealed 20-proof booze factor. The variable mustiness lends some old-school credence as well, but it comes off as being layered on just a wee bit too thickly in places. At any rate, worthy of checking out, if you're into big, bold Belgian-style brews.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This pours a dark malty color. It has a Belgo-y estery aroma, very floral. The flavor has a malty caramel-forward flavor with an estery and somewhat unbalanced finish.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle enjoyed in a lopsided snifter.

a - brew poured a watery brown. Settled darker in the glass with ruby highlights to the light. Thin khaki bubbly head that bubbled away fairly quick leaving small patches of bubble on the surface.

s - nose is grape juice

t - taste is dark fruit, grape mostly. Quite tasty...not your typical American Belgian strong dark. Nice creamy feel but not like the authentic Belgians' feel. Something different. Really easy to drink...spiked grape juice. Pleasant surprise.

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Photo of Samuel906
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours reddish, brown, dull with minimal head and minor lacing: not terribly appealing to look at. Smell on the other hand is very, very good. Very malty and sweet up front, brown sugar, raisin, and a hint of citrus funk. Taste is also very malt forward, rich and very sweet. Some boozey warmth. Vanilla, caramel, raisin, spice. Feel is lighter than expected, but sticky from the sugar. Low carbonation.

Overall, very good flavor and the huge malt was a nice juxtaposition to the very hop-forward beers I've been drinking lately. A little too much sugar is my real complaint: masked some of the lighter notes and made it sticky on the palate.

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Photo of willbobaggins
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reminds me a lot of Malheur 12--a bit more viscous though. Label description is pretty spot-on. Candied apples, pears, figs. Really masks the alcohol @ 10%. Tough to take down the whole 350mL solo. Solid dessert beer to share.

Syrupy mouthfeel. Taste follows the nose just like other reviewers have pointed out. Real light lacing, and minimal foam cling. Smells even better as it warms.

Impressed. Pittsburg's (CA) got a gem in Heretic. Definitely looking forward to the hazelnut chocolate porter.

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Photo of SmashPants
4.73/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle: big 650mL dark brown bottle, funky and funky, 'dark' label. A good package.

Appearance: pours an outstanding, vibrant crimson red-copper. Fine carbonation throughout the profile, with a beige one-finger head that drops to a solid ring and cap. A fantastic-looking beer - particularly against the light.

Aroma: as soon as I lifted the lid I was hit with an aroma of various malts - caramels, biscuits and molasses - and some heavy fruits - plums and raisins at the foremost. Most impressive - it's not often I lift a glass of beer to take another sniff - only this and Gouden Carolus.

Taste: follows the nose quite closely - plenty of those sweet malts and fruits with sherry and port backing. A most outstanding brew - I could hardly believe this was 10%

Aftertaste: the flavours linger for a time then drop away completely. A very easy-drinking beer.

Mouth feel: a thick, almost syrupy feel that slides down very easily. A little too easily, at 10% ABV.

Overall: one of the best beers I have had to date. The complex flavours mix well to produce an outstanding brew. It is one of the most expensive beers I have had, but it is also one of the best - well worth one every now and then. The only slight problem is the drinkability of this beer - there is little hint of the 10% alcohol. I fine way to get plastered if one is not careful.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown with a fading off-white head.
Nose shows brown sugar, golden syrup, candi sugar, dried fruit and sultanas.
More golden syrup as a flavours along with candied ginger, bready malt, dried orange peel and hot booze.
Too much carbonation.

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Photo of GPGURU
4.71/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

not for the weak taste buds. This was fantastic. I recommend working your way up to it.
we split a galaxy white ipa, a duvel, aderson valley hoppn ottin, then a stone IPA then this. so by the time we got to it we thought we were ready and bazinga... this was a real mans beer. Had it in a tall flute type glass to really check out the color. awesome dark browns , some reds, and mixed in color. ( we were in front of a fire , so it might have skewed it a bit.).
IT had very little sweetness to it but I could taste some caramel. Next time I have it I'll add more detail right away.

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Photo of eric5bellies
3.06/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank from my Duvel tulip

A - Pours a dark, clear mahogany colour with an off white head that reduces quickly.

S - Has aromas of bread yeast, sweet caramel.

T - Nice vanilla and caramel notes with a sticky sweet like flavour that dominates through the taste until completion. No sign of the ABV. The bread and yeast are also present with some fig and mild dark fruits.

M - Medium to full body with low carbonation

O - I Like this brew. As far as a BSDA goes it is near the mark, but the residual sweetness lessens the authenticity of it and is a little off puting. Lacks the authenticity of an BSDA. The Belgian examples are generally a lot better.

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Photo of Shelbyclimber
4.89/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wonderful color, rich feel in the mouth. Excellent finish with lingering flavor that is reminiscent of previous beers I've had the pleasure of tasting. Warmth of flavors including bourbon tones, carmel flavor, and a finality that makes me want more. This beer will be purchased again as soon as possible.

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Torment Dark Belgian-Style Ale from Heretic Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 99 ratings