Mad Belgian | Mad River Brewing Company

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Mad BelgianMad Belgian
64 Ratings
Mad BelgianMad Belgian

Brewed by:
Mad River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by RedHaze on 08-09-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 64 |  Reviews: 47
Reviews by Schmaltzy:
Photo of Schmaltzy
3.2/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into my Chimay stemware.

A- Lightly clouded golden pour with some decent 1-2 fingers head that dissapated quickly into some slight lacing.

S- Not great, typical light belgian with small amounts of citrus, belgian yeast, spices.

T- Taste seemed better than the smell, citrus, major sweet yeast component and some major baking spices with some candied fruit hiding.

M- Acceptable, nothing great. Light/Medium body.

D- Decent flavors on the palate but lacking in smell. Pretty easy to drink, don't know if I'm really craving another though

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ericandersnavy and boomer0813 for sharing this bottle.

Te beer pours a hazy golden color with a white head. The aroma is citrus with some Belgian yeast. The flavor is earthy hops as well as some light malts and Belgian yeast. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of pat61
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

L: Deep amber with a 3 finger off-white head.
S: Citrus, caramel malt, over ripe fruit.
T: Fruit, slightly sweet, light caramel, citrus.
F: Medium body and above average carbonation, creamy.
O: The malt and hops are a little off for a Belgian. It lacks the malt and yeast complexity of a Belgian Style Golden Ale.

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Photo of Arherring
3/5  rDev -12%

Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.51/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to Jeff for this one. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Blue Point snifter.

A: Standard pour yields a 1 finger dense, slightly off-white head with moderate retention. Beer is a semi-clear tree sap. Lacing is patchy and stringy with poor stick.

S: Nose is honey, resiny hops, brown sugar, maple, and a touch of brown sugar. Unlike any other Belgian Pale Ale I've had. Spice is conspicuously missing. More like a watered down barleywine.

T: So sweet it makes my cavities hurt! Opens caramel, resiny sweet hops, brown sugar, a bit of raisin, and prunes. Sweet dark fruit predominates in the middle with a swift kick of maple just for good measure. Ends pineapple and raisin. Finish is cane sugar and the slightest touch of Belgian spice. Aftertaste is more sugar.

M: Medium bodied and moderatly carbonated. Bubbly in the mouth and a bit abrasive going down. Heavier than most Belgian Pales. Sticky. Finish is accented and aftertaste lingers.

D: The character is there... sort of... but this one is just sooo cloyingly sweet I can't take it. Skip it. Not even close to a good representation of this subtly complex style. This one makes me think that American brewers should leave the Belgian styles to the Belgians.

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Photo of tempest
2.69/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I bought a slightly dusty bottle, but figured that as a Belgian pale, this should be fine for some time. Maybe, it is a little old, but from what I can tell it may never have been quite right. The aroma reminds me exactly of Mott's Applesauce. The flavor has a heavy cider character with a hint of Belgian spice. Wow, this beer is just dominated by apples, it tastes more like a thick hard cider than anything.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.12/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy amber color with a thin off-white head. The aroma has some fruit notes (apple and cherry) as well as some funky yeast, and biscuity malt. The flavor is similar with some fruitiness upfront, along with some funky yeast character, a little maltiness and a dry, sour finish. Drinkability is decent. Overall a mediocre beer, not worth buying a 4 pack of for sure.

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Photo of Nage37
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of alleykatking
3.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours hazy golden copper color. Yellow hues when held to light. One finger white head dies into spotty lacing in glass.

S- Big clove and banana smell. Light earthy yeasty smell comes right after. Some sweet malts lay in the background. A light peppery aroma in hints as well.

T- Sweet bready malts come from nowhere. Some fruits make a quick appearance before yeasty clove taste hits you to finish it all out. Light hop in the end with some pepper notes. This is almost more of a mess of flavors than being smooth.

M- Light medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good with the style. Clove and sweet malts are left on the palate and tongue with this one. Almost drying on the palate.

D- This would be great if everything would come together a little more. For now it's a one and done. Hope to see this come around a little more though.

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Photo of Diomede
3/5  rDev -12%

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.08/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up tonight at Brewforia... Too expensive... I'm not gonna say what I paid because I'm embarrassed that I didn't look at the pricetag until I got home... Poured into my Old Guardian goblet.

2 finger lite tan head shows good lacing and retention... the brew is pretty clear lite orange.

Nose is nearly all apple juice ... some background spicy phenols... and something that I associate with pears show, but apples are the front runner.

Wow.. flavor is different, but not in a great way.. just an okay way. banana esters and bits of clove carry the torch up front.. mid palate flavors seem really muddy to me.. bits of caramel and toasty malts don't exactly play well with a lingering clove presence... and then on then midway toward the finish a distinct metallic flavor comes out..

Body and carbonation seem about right yet the above problems distract too much... this might actually be a drain pour as I just don't feel like I want to spend the time moving through an entire bottle.


This just seems like an old bottle possibly... I don't know, the first bottled reviews from this come from only about a year ago.. I think it just needs to be dialed in.

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Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is hazy rosé in color. It poured with a thin white head that died down but consistently left a thin film of bubbles covering the surface along with a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: The nose has aromas of candi sugars along with some hints of caramel.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has candi sugar flavors and some associated sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation and leaves some stickiness in your mouth.
O: The beer isn’t very balanced and the sweetness makes it cloying.

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Photo of biggred1
4.08/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, strawberry blonde with a huge airy head of tan shaving cream that leaves plenty of sticky lace on the glass. Belgian yeast, cloves and spice with green apple peel in the nose. The flavors are nice and spicy with cloves, coriander and a nice blast of juicy hop bittering that elevates the taste above most examples of the style. Medium bodied with lively carbonation. A solid offering from Mad River.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.32/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Hazy darker orange color. One finger of creamy head with okay retention and some lacing.

4.0 S: Kinda smells like a saison. Peachy fruitiness up front. Only a slight hit of the famous Belgian yeastiness. Some straw and a light amount of funkiness (again, like a saison).

3.0 T: Not a whole hell of a lot going on here. Bitter backbone with a slight spicy yeastiness.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Spritzy carbonation. Could be a lot creamier.

3.0 D: This wasn't anything special.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Looks more like an old ale than a Belgium pale. Hazy copper in color with an Ok 1/4 inch of head that forms a pretty sticky lace ring.

S - Again musky like an old ale with a kind of oak sweet malt smell. Smells kind of like an old DIPA with aged hops and malts.

T - Well it's far from terrible but the taste is sweet kind of medical herbal hop taste, which is faded next to some Belgium candied sugars and a touch of fruity yeasts.

M - Medium and kind of chewy on par for the style.

Overall I am not sure what is going on with this brew. With no sediment in the glass I am convinced it was suppose to look and taste like a Belgium Old ale. That could be the excuse for such a low score since its suppose to be a Belgium pale ale...

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Photo of gatornation
3.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from 12 oz bottle

A- pours a cloudy amber /copper color with a quick receding head a little looks good

S- is sweet malts,a sour yeast and bread smell.some candied fruits

T- is a sweet malt and bread brew,sweet caramel.sweet malts some yeast and a little hops

M- is carbonated sweet on the palate a little tart..aaverage at best

O- 1 and done this is not a good example of a belgian pale or golden ale

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Photo of ssimpson89
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of apf
4.25/5  rDev +24.6%

Photo of tippebrewcrew2
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Mad River brew co
Mad Belgium

A=4 Medium white well retaining head.

S=3.5 Yeast, clove, banana

T=3.5 Sour tartness followed by carbonation.

F=3.5 Lively carbonation with medium to light body

D=3.5 It's a very fast beer. The flavors do not stay in the mouth long. Good beer for a hot summer day but not the best for the style

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Photo of floraday
4.03/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy reddish gold with a very thin head. Head dissipates to nice lacing.

S: Some biscuit on the nose with lots of yeast. Stone fruit with clove comes through towards the end.

T: Very nice. Lots of soft clove with yeasty finish. Very bready towards the end. No metallic which I tend to find on most American made Belgians of this style.

M: Very nice. Lots of bread and yeast on the palate. Feels great in the mouth.

D: Great beer! Lots of yeast and malt. Not one of those fruity Belgians that are becoming too popular.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of TheQuietMan22
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into my Allagash tulip. Color is dark wheat orange; cloudy and much like maple syrup. Three fingers of thick head developed and dissipated to leave a thick lacing and ring around the outside.

Smell: Smells much more like a British pale ale at first, but becomes more Belgian as it warms. Sweet caramel malts, honey, orange citrus, bananas, Belgian yeast. Very enticing.

Taste: The honey from the smell stands out in the taste. Apples, bananas, caramel, yeast. Just at the end there is a very well-balanced hop bite.

Drinkability: Creamy, smooth, and very tasty, The Mad Belgian is, as the carrier says, very quaffable.

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Photo of flexabull
3.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one sure looks nice, poors a bright dark gold color with a nice big fluffy head.

Aromas are very yeasty, spicy, floral and grainy. Almost smells a bit like grape nuts. Kind of odd, but still pleasant enough to not be a bad thing.

Taste is fairly light. Flavors seem pretty muted and similar to the aromas, a definite gritty grainy cereal flavor, as well as some floral notes, light citrus fruits, and a general Belgian yeast flavor. While this doesn't taste bad, it's a little to scattered and faint.

Mouthfeel is ok, not too bad, but on the light side.

Drinkability is also ok. This is a decent Belgian style beer. Started out looking great, but everything else was just a little above average from there. I like Mad River Brewing, but to me this isn't one of their better offerings.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.51/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass; nice light tan colored head, a solid inch thick; color is copper/amber, dense.

Smell is light malt sweetness, with cidery notes.

Taste is mild malt sweetness of caramel; cider flavor continues but not as robust. Hints of spice, but subdued.

Mouthfeel is good, somewhat stronger caramel malt notes keep flavors lingering.

Drinkability is good, though i could see a few more spicier notes making this a bit more interesting.

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Photo of RedHaze
3.98/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber with a nicely dense two finger head. The foam fades to a 1/4 inch layer, and sticks around for the entire drink, leaving a thick lacing behind.

Smell; mildly fruity and yeasty. Traces of apricots and citrus mingle with sweet malts. Very tame in the aroma department.

Taste; bready malts kick start things, plus a mild sweetness. Apricots, peaches and a touch of citrus lend a nice fruitiness, topped off by a light hoppiness and Belgian yeasty quality. Very nice, and seems to get better as it warms. Glad to see a brewer do a more delicate Belgian style as opposed to the huge Quads etc. (though those are pretty good as well).

Mouthfeel/drinkability; mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a light and smooth carbonation. With the somewhat lower abv, and light carbonation, the drinkability is really good on this one.

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Mad Belgian from Mad River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.41 out of 5 with 64 ratings