Het Kerstbier (Green Cap)
Brouwerij 't Gaverhopke

Het Kerstbier (Green Cap)Het Kerstbier (Green Cap)
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Brouwerij 't Gaverhopke
Belgian Dark Strong Ale
3.39 | pDev: 16.22%
Aug 20, 2016
Dec 15, 2002
Het Kerstbier (Green Cap)Het Kerstbier (Green Cap)
Notes: None
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Rated: 3.5 by John_Beeryman from Virginia

Aug 20, 2016
Rated: 2.97 by RochefortChris from North Carolina

Jan 13, 2015
Rated: 3.5 by Hohnbaum from Kansas

Jun 14, 2014
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Reviewed by BlackHaddock from England

2.7/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75
Into a tasting glass from a 33cl bottle on 15th Dec 2012 at the 18th Essen Christmas Beer Festival.

Dirty amber body with a thin white covering, didn't look to great to be honest.

Supposed to have Juniper Berries, Bog Mirtle and Cloves within the ingredients, I picked up none of those flavours or smells. I did however pick up a semi-sweet spiciness which I didn't really take too.

I found the beer strange and with weird traces and hints of earthiness and off-flavours: not the best beer of the day!
Jun 01, 2013
Rated: 3.25 by JAHMUR from Connecticut

Feb 20, 2013
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Reviewed by metter98 from New York

3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
A: The beer is a dark hazy amber-orange in color and has a light amount of carbonation along with some fine particles visible floating in suspension. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that quickly died down, leaving only a few bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of ginger and fruity yeast in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has some notes of herbal hops and hints of spices.
M: It feels medium-bodied (and somewhat thin for the style) on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I’d have to say that is one of the most unusual beers I’ve had in this style. It’s not quite as complex and fuller in body compared to other Belgian Strong Dark Ales, but it does have some interesting flavors with the ginger and spices. It’s almost like having a strong dark ale on cask as the flavors are subdued and the carbonation level is lower.
Sep 27, 2012
Rated: 4 by rolltide8425 from Pennsylvania

Jul 26, 2012
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Reviewed by stcules from Italy

2.81/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3
Bright red color, slightly veiled. Beige, fine head.
In the smell malt and red fruit in the background. Then some balsamic and spicy notes, something resinous. Juniper?
In the taste a little bit of acetic note, not intended, we think. Then again spicy and balsamic notes.
Rond, malty, red fruit. Almond.
Not bad, but a little ruined by the acetic note.
Average body, alcohol well hidden.
May 23, 2012
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Reviewed by thagr81us from South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Served from tap into a Trappe Door tulip. Poured red-orange with a two finger off-white head that subsided to half a finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, earth, fruit, and ginger. The flavor was of sweet malt, fruit, ginger, earth, and cream. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. I really ordered this one on the sole purpose that I had never had it before so I went into it completely blind. The ginger aspect I picked up on was really quite interesting in this one. There was definitely a nice earthy presence going on as well to keep things nice and subtly complex. Definitely worth trying at least once if you get the opportunity.
Apr 06, 2012
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Reviewed by LiquidAmber from Washington

3.75/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a cloudy medium orange amber. Lots of pillowy white floaties. Fast, rapidly dissipating carbonation on pouring, then a thin, medium light tan head formed, leaving lacing. Aroma of fruit, mostly apple and orange, slightly sour with clove and cinnamon. Flavor is unusual, a combination of the sour cherry and fruit in a Flanders ale combined with darker fruit and Belgian spicing. Taste quickly dissipates with a dry, old stale fruit aftertaste. Hits of green apple and ginger in the finish. Thin bodied. A very odd taste profile that almost works, but the finish is a bit sour and dry for me. Glad I tried this, but it will not be a regular.
Jan 21, 2012
Photo of RedBeerchetta
Reviewed by RedBeerchetta from Massachusetts

2.56/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
On tap at The Ginger Man in NYC this Christmastime 2011. Just ~90 minutes before Phish takes the stage for their MSG New Years Run! So much has changed I that year, all for the good.

Looks nice. Rusty, deep cranberry. Perhaps like a cognac. Just not enough head.

Smells like cinnamon. That's the dominant, overwhelming, only smell. Not happy about that.

It's okay. Were it July and I were blindfolded and told I had been transpored to the future (e.g. July), I might love it, but in late December when I'm able to precede it with something like Scaldis Noel (I did), it's like trying to heal a gunshot wound with gauze. It's insufficient.

Looking forward to next year's pre-show Xhristmas beer review!
Dec 28, 2011
Rated: 4 by nlincoln from Pennsylvania

Dec 18, 2011
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Reviewed by avalon07 from South Carolina

3.84/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had an orange color and a cloudy consistency. Lots of sediment (it was visible in the bottle, and I did try, but some of it still made it into the glass). Not a whole lot of head or lacing.

S: A very fruity and spicy smell, with apples and Christmas spices coming through.

T: Tasted of green apples, Belgian yeast, cinnamon, and some other spices. An interesting flavor, and not at all what I expected from BSDA. A little unfocused, but there's a lot of flavor here.

M: A little in need of carbonation, with a smooth, dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Kerstbier is kind of an oddball beer. It has some real flaws, but it's worth a shot.
Dec 05, 2011
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Reviewed by corby112 from Pennsylvania

1.76/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2
Pours a very dark amber color that is almost completely opaque with lots of sediment floating around. Even with a careful pour there are large chunks of yeast floating around. Also, there is no head to speak of.

Sweet dark fruit aroma with some leathery malts and wintry spices. Slightly medicinal with hints of pepper and cinnamon along with some plum and cherry. Smells much better than it looks.

Medium bodied with a syrupy medicinal mouthfeel that is cloyingly sweet with lots of dark fruit, sweet alcohol and heavy spice. Slick, oily and really unpleasant with hints of cardamom and cinnamon, cherry, grape and plum followed by a really unpleasant syrupy cough syrup flavor and harsh alcohol. Just a complete mess of a drain pour.
Nov 10, 2011
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Reviewed by SolomonGrundy from California

3.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
Lots of sediment in here, too much in fact. Pours a orange-ish hused amber, super cloudy like river water. Light carbonation. No head or lacing. Aromas have some candy sugar, ripe pineapple, a slightly sour note, like black cherry juice. Some spice, too, like clove and cinnamon. Pretty nice smelling and unique.

Flavor is....interesting. It might be infected for all I know. Almost like drinking a soda, the carbonation is so spritzy. Oh, by the way, $4.99/11.2 oz. bottle and 8% ABV...Flavor is hard to pin down. The carbonation attacks right away, beats up your tongue a little, then settles down to bask in his glory. The early middle sees a sour-ish, tangy-ish note arrive. It's like a sour ale, but very muted. The carbonation is still making inroads, too. Never really leaving the scene of the crime. I get a little of the clove, but the middle and finish are rather thin, all things considered. Strange beer and not sure I like it. At this price point, it's too expensive to be worthwhile. Back to the flavor, however...

Where were we? Oh yes, the late middle...I get a very herbal note in the late middle, all the way through the finish...It's like mint...It's nice. In fact, it makes up almost for the rest of the ale. Kind of juniper-ish too. No real hop character to speak of...

Strange beer, possibly a bad bottle, but unsure. Ultimately it was too weird for me, but I could see myself enjoying this on a warm Summer day...

What I like most: The nose and unqiue flavor profile.

What I like least: The seemingly "bad" bottle of beer..Not sure it was supposed to be like this.

Verdict: Too expensive to make it worthwhile, but strangely attractive...
Feb 22, 2011
Photo of impending
Reviewed by impending from California

3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
33cl into a tulip. Pours an unexceptional ruddy brownish orange. Minor head subsided quickly, minor lacing. The final pour yielded the biggest yeast clumps I've seen.

Aroma is definitely Noël, heavily spiced, orange peel, cardamom and bog myrtle. Quite nice!

Taste is a surprise, no expectation of the acidic tart twang. All of the spices in the nose are in the taste but the grape skin green apple pushes them to the back. Finishes faintly dry and bitter. The pleasant aftertaste evaporates quickly. Sharp prickly mouthfeel.

Many adjectives applied to many belgian styles can be applied to this brew, unique, but very far outside the style of a strong dark.
Jan 30, 2011
Photo of Halcyondays
Reviewed by Halcyondays from California

4.06/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
33 cL bottle into an Orval chalice,

A: Pours a ruddy sepia with small white head, solid retention.

S: Quite pleasant. Notes of key lime and candied orange dance in the malt base.

T: Heavy yeast presence. Strong notes of dark fruit with a lot of lime and citrus which I picked up in the nose. Green apple heavy at times, reminds me somewhat of malic acid mid-palate. Hay-like hops add some balance at the finish, there's a note of black pepper at the end there too.

M: Medium-bodied, has a noticable acidity which I liked, tart at times, bouncing carbonation, spritzy.

D: Definitely a unique take on the BSDA, but it's a Christmas beer, it's allowed to get a little weird. Well made, good Belgian effort.
Dec 14, 2010
Photo of HeyItsChili
Reviewed by HeyItsChili from South Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
A - Bottle poured into a goblet. Pours ruddy, opaque copper with big nuggets of unfiltered funk floating freely. No head to speak of.

S - Slight funkiness, Belgian sugary malty goodness. A bit like a slightly moldy apple.

T - The flavor starts out with a fleeting glimpse of standard strong dark Belgian beer, then gets mildly sour and fades out. Little bit of crisp green apple sourness to it that rounds it out nicely.

M - Slight to the watery side of medium. Consistency changes to slightly filmy near the bottom of the glass, where all the beer boogers lie.
Feb 26, 2010
Photo of strictly4DK
Reviewed by strictly4DK from Pennsylvania

3.56/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3
11.2 oz bottle poured in my Weyerbacher tulip glass.

A - Pours bronze/amber with little head and lacing. Pretty boring till you put it up to the light and notice the GIANT clumps of sediment. This would be unappealing to many but I love this quality in Belgian beers.

S - This is where this beer gets very interesting, doubt I can even describe it properly. Faint belgian spice and than an odd tang that I've only noticed in a few beers. Possibly some sweet ginger, interesting, not quite sure if it's pleasant.

T - That odd tang shows up in taste as well not nearly as pronounced. Hints of nutmeg and belgian spice, mildly phenolic. Surprisingly mild given the huge clumps of yeast floating in the glass. Ginger is definitely present and dark fruits, raisin/figs.

M - Thin bodied and carbonation is very flat for the style. Finish is much more like a cider than any beer, not very pleasant and detracts greatly from the unique flavor profile.

D - Bad body but unique flavor profile keeps me interested....but not nearly enough to pick up another. ABV is only 6.8% and goes unnoticed.
Jan 05, 2010
Photo of wl0307
Reviewed by wl0307 from England

2.96/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
Coming in a 330ml short brown bottle, bottle-conditioned; brewed on 31/05/2008, BB 05/2012, served mildly chilled in Kasteel's broad-rimmed chalice.

A: as the yeast sediments get disturbed immediately after the bottle is cracked open, a cloudy texture is unavoidable; besides that the dark murky russet hue comes with super fine carbonation and a dirty beige frothy head with good retention.
S: rather "flat"-sweet & sugary malty and gingery-spicy upfront, laced with some sweet herbal notes; a swirl brings out estery aroma, brown sugar, rusty/metallic touch. But overall the cloying sweetness overwhelms other delicate aroma, hence an unbalanced nose.
T: a thin-bodied swallow of semi-sweet amber malts comes with yeast sediments' flavour and a subtle edge of gingery spices, tasting better than the nose suggests. The finish is mildly spicy, dry and bitter, contributed by hops and yeastiness I assume, while the chewy palate seems to be underscored by an interestingly mineral-paste-ish palate of root spices. Kerst/X'mas like alright, but the overall balance and any focus in flavour are apparently in the lacking.
M&D: the carbonation is mild enough, but the overall palate still falls a bit thin and highlighted by the weak flavour profile. This ale is somewhat X'mas-like, thanks to the additional joy of the gingery elements, but the flavour profile as a whole is still quite messy. I don't think I'd bother to spend money on this again.
Dec 15, 2009
Photo of Travlr
Reviewed by Travlr from District of Columbia

3.67/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
A: murky muddy brown with an explosive light tan head that fizzes out rapidly and leaves thin bubbles with scant lacing.
S: unique; unfinished, newly cut oak sawdust, and pine nuts. I have never sniffed a beer like this before.
T: unique taste, like a smooth cream liquor with a bot of chili and acid (but sort of in a good way). some hints of butterscotch and light spice, maybe nutmeg.
M: good body, very smooth.
D: this is a strange one. I think maybe I like it, at least enough to try it again to see if it grows on me.
Dec 13, 2009
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
Reviewed by ViveLaChouffe from Georgia

3.47/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Pours murky chestnut with a thin tan head. Lots of alcohol in the aroma, fruity and lightly sour, a bit of funk.

This is a weird one. The alcohol I thought I smelled is nowhere to be found in the flavor. Lightly tart and fruity with a light funk. There's the distinct vinegary taste of lactic acid. Thinnish body, crisp and tart. Berries and sweet spice with a cidery finish.

This is different to be sure. A bit of oud bruin, a bit of lambic and a little Flanders red thrown in for good measure. I can't say I love it but I would love to know how they brew it. Worth a look.
Dec 17, 2008
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Reviewed by JorisP from Belgium

4.22/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Very nice aroma of spices and lactic acid, going on in the taste. Overall taste is rather sweet, but beautifully balanced.
The impressive number of spices notwithstanding, no overpowering spicey taste.
Dec 15, 2002
Het Kerstbier (Green Cap) from Brouwerij 't Gaverhopke
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 23 ratings