Belgian Strong Dark
pFriem Family Brewers

Belgian Strong DarkBelgian Strong Dark
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Style:
Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #102
ABV:
10%
Score:
87
Ranked #13,244
Avg:
3.95 | pDev: 10.38%
Reviews:
17
Ratings:
99
From:
pFriem Family Brewers
 
Oregon, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  1
Gots
  13
SCORE
87
Very Good
Belgian Strong DarkBelgian Strong Dark
Notes: Belgians say, “Op uw gezondheid’” when toasting, but you don’t have to speak Flemish to appreciate the bold, complex flavors of fig dipped in dark chocolate, ripe fruit and toffee in this immense Ale. Op uw gezondheid!
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 99 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of NickSMpls
NickSMpls from Washington

4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A huge, foamy head is the first thing you get. The nose is Belgium yeast, fruits and green hay. Each sip brings up multiple layers of dark stone fruits - figs, dates, plums and all sit lightly on the tongue. There's only a hint of the stiff 10% ABV, so be careful. Another fine example from the beer wizards of Hood River

Oct 01, 2018
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beergoot from Colorado

3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown body; a bit hazy; dense, sticky head. Roasted grains and dark, pitted fruits in the aroma. A rather zesty edge to the flavor, spicy, like anise; toffee; a bit boozy. Heavy body; coarse and prickly on the palate; some alcohol heat blended with a mild residual sugary quality.

Overall, a fine Belgian dark ale loaded with candied sugars and dark roasted grain and pitted fruit essences.

Apr 22, 2018
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i am an enormous fan for these guys, and its always a treat to get to drink on their beers. this is poured from a reasonably priced bottle and has an almost gushing almond colored head rising a couple of inches high resting atop of a deep brown base, very active and belgian looking. aroma here is great, very classic smelling belgian yeast with the traditional spice cake complexion, clove and anise and all, awesome with this malt base, which has notes of prune and raisin and molasses, sort of built like a quad. very wintery in flavor with a rummy fruit cake complexion, clove from the belgian yeast, dried berries and currants and figs, and a toffee sort of sweetness bringing it all together. its hearty and dense but drinks lighter than it should with a well hidden strength and a ton of whooshing carbonation that makes it feel a bit lighter. i love beers like this, old school, and good enough to have come from a reputable belgian maker. these guys should get more hype, they almost always blow me away. as good of an american made belgian strong as i have had all year...

Oct 06, 2017
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wordemupg from Canada (AB)

4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Corked and caged bottle into tulip 27/8/17
Makes a little noise in the glass as it settles, raisins, prunes, burnt sugar, dark bread, faint banana chips, chocolate, smells like something I want too eat, a hint of booze, I thought it hit the style fairly well...

Aug 28, 2017
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ckornmannn from Washington

4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle into a tulip glass. Alternately herbal and grassy, but also dark fruit smell and taste wise. Thick meringue like head. Mouthfeel and finish is surprisingly dry, given the ABV. This is really exceptional and right there with Rochefort in my opinion.

Apr 26, 2017
Photo of dro7
dro7 from California

4.31/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle poured into a Belgian chalice. Very carbonated with a large head.

Aroma: alcohol tickles the nose, freshly baked bread, hay, and plums

Taste: fresh bread, Belgian yeast, dried plums and figs, and melted caramel.

This is a great Belgian style ale. It could easily be confused for a real Belgian ale.

Apr 13, 2017
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snaotheus from Washington

3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2016-12-28
375ml corked/caged bottle served in a pair of WABL shorty nonics. Bottled on 10/10/15.

Pours a dark amber with a big light colored head that fades moderately fast and leaves some medium weight lacing. Smell is yeasty, very yeasty, dates/raisins, maybe some caramel or toffee.

Taste is funky -- surprisingly light, especially for a 10% beer. Some anise, some slightly burnt caramel. Something nutty.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth. Overall, pretty nice beer.

Dec 29, 2016
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub where it is listed as "Belgian Strong Dark" at 10.25% ABV and 38 IBU, Dark clear, copper-brown body.topped by a semi-durable white head that leaves some lacing on the glass. Lightly sweet with plenty of fig and date tones. Some chocolate in the finish. Moderate complexity for style. Smooth, medium body.

Jul 09, 2016
Photo of ricke49
ricke49 from Oregon

4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

not specifically released as a winter warmer/treat; this brew however provides the ideal winter characteristics of malti-ness, alcohol warmth and spice notes to make it an ideal choice for areal winter, snow-bound, evening. I'm perplexed by one of the earlier reviews which actually mentions 'barf' - must have either been a bad bottle, or bad palate. This offering is amazing. Spice, figs, perfect carbonation. Very smooth for 10% abv. Great brew.

Dec 21, 2015
Photo of draheim
draheim from Washington

3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375mL (bottled 4/8/2015) into a tulip. Pours a clear mahogany w/ a soft off-white head, lively carbonation.

Aroma is a blend of sweet dark fruits, bready Belgian yeast and spice.

Taste follows nose. Sweet dark malt and bready yeast. A touch vinous.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean, semi-dry finish.

Overall a solid Belgian dark ale. pFriem seems to take a pretty straightforward, classic approach to its beers, which I appreciate.

Sep 06, 2015
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber from Washington

3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium to dark mahogany brown with red highlights. Thin off-white head dissipated slowly to patches and a ring around the glass. Aroma of sweet bready malt, dark stone fruit and spicing that was reminiscent of winter warmers; cinnamon and cloves. Inviting. Flavor is unusual, starting with semi-sweet dark stone fruit, clove, dried dark fruit, earthy. Finishes much drier with a strong neutral hop and peppery spice finish. The cinnamon and cloves are strong in this one. Medium bodied. A different take on a BDSA, surprising dry for the sweet aroma, and almost medicinal in the bittering herbs and hops. Somehow this all came together for me and I enjoyed this quite a bit, although if I had my heart set on a classic Belgian dark profile, I wouldn't have been as happy. Cloves were very dominant here. I found the high ABV well hidden, making this a somewhat dangerous beer in a growler, sneaky to drink. One of those ales that are unusual enough that they invite continual tasting to try to figure out what's going on. Not what I expected, but quite good. I've heard good things about Pfriem and this is a fine start. I would have been very happy with this as a winter warmer.

Sep 29, 2013
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barleywinefiend from Washington

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a darkish brown color with some red and purple highlights, a lightly dirty cap sits atop. This beer has some decent head retention leaving a few rings of lacing.

S: Dark fruits, candy sugar, chocolate and booze come to mind at first. Much like any for this style. I detect a little bit spiceiness, perhaps pepper, cloves?

T: Initial candy covered dark fruits. Some chocolate in there and the booze sordove dashes in and out. A little bit of spiciness comes out and some does a grape bubble gum like note with more chocolate. The finish is a bit sweet, plenty of heat but not overly sweet and tends to dry out a bit

M: Medium-full bodied, robust,sweet and creamy. Well carbonated for the style.

O: A very good representation of the style and this is a style I absolutely love.

Jul 15, 2013
Photo of John_M
John_M from Oregon

3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at bier stein the other day.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is pretty nice on this beer, as I get considerable brown sugar, chocolate, a hint of root beer, some vanilla and considerable underlying spice. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, with the yeast and spice component reminding me very much of a Belgian dubbel that was actually made in Belgium. The beer does seem to dry out pretty nicely on the finish, and I agree with some other reviews, that the finish on this beer is pretty dry and slightly hoppy (despite the initial moderate/modest sweetness in the beer). Unfortunately, I'm also getting considerable heat from the alcohol in this beer, which wore on me more and more as I went along. The first sip I tried, I thought "wow, what a great beer." However, half way through the glass I literally couldn't drink it anymore; that's how hot and boozy this beer was. Mouthfeel was medium bodied to full otherwise, with a long, spicy, lightly hoppy, hot finish.

An interesting beer, but the alcohol needs to be better integrated into the flavor profile. I ended up leaving half my glass at the Bier Stein, simply because the beer was too hot and alcoholic on the finish.

Jun 29, 2013
Photo of Impfan
Impfan from Washington

4.48/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Possibly the driest 10%+ ale I’ve ever tasted. Cognac colored with a finger of slim white head that vanished fairly quickly. Very complex nose of dry apple cider, armagnac, Calvados,, chocolate, fig, toffee, roasted chestnut, banana and clove. Extremely long and dry (even austere) finish. Great stuff!

Apr 27, 2013
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eatabagofbooger from Oregon

1.42/5  rDev -64.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

I've been enjoying this style a lot lately, and based on their reputation and the fact that these guys are local, I really wanted to like this beer. The appearance is pretty standard, and it starts out with a great creamy mouthfeel, though there is an odd bitter dirty flavor combined with an unpleasant artificial sugary sweetness. As it warms, it starts to taste like barf. Not just generically bad, but specifically like vomit. This beer is just terrible. I hope this was just a bad batch. Otherwise the brewers should be ashamed for unleashing this atrocity upon the world.

Feb 10, 2013
Photo of jnsjnsjns
jnsjnsjns from Oregon

4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I visited pFriem during the Hops Fest held in Hood River, OR this year and couldn't have been more pleased. A fantastic brew pub with fantastic food and beers. Their strong dark was a stand out to me. A little bit of an alcohol tinge, especially as it warms up, otherwise a wonderful beer all around. Smells of currant, a bit port-like, caramel, toffee and a fatastic flavor. A sipper, well worth the time. I live in Bend and was so happy to find it on tap at Crow's Feet! Cheers!

Nov 20, 2012
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beertunes from Kiribati

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to OKComputer for sharing this gift with me. Poured into goblet. Poured a fairly typical dark reddish-brown color with just a light bit of off-white head that had moderately low retention and no lacing.

The aroma featured the expected deep fruit, grains and slight yeasty spice of the style. The taste was the same, full, earthy grains, some stone fruit and a tangy hit of spice and yeast.

The body was pleasantly full, without becoming heavy. Drinkability was good, the 64oz growler disappeared quickly between 3 of us and we all would have had a bit more. Overall, a good brew, and one I suspect will improve as the brewery dials in their system. Very nice first beer.

Aug 06, 2012
Belgian Strong Dark from pFriem Family Brewers
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 99 ratings