Inspiration | Community Beer Company

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Brewed by:
Community Beer Company
Texas, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 92
Photo of brentk56
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy mahogany color with a two finger ecru head; good retention and strands of lace

Smell: Caramel, raisin, candi sugar and spice cake tones; the yeast phenols are prominent

Taste: Spice cake, raisin and caramel forward with candi sugar building the sweet aspect; the yeast phenols build, through the middle and linger into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: A decent stab at the style; not quite the finesse of the Belgians but worthy of merit

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Photo of DoctorZombies
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber, almost brown draft pour with off white head; little cap, little lace. Caramel malt, clove and banana nose. Caramel malt, clove and banana flavors. Medium mouthfeel and light carbonation. Overall, a decent quad.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look is dark mahogany, with red tones when held to light. This khaki head dissipates to nothing.

Smell is like you would expect from Belgian yeast, with dark fruits and some malt characters.

Taste is sweet with raisins and other fruits, candi and late breadiness.Delayed bitterness presents at finish.

Feel is medium bodied with good carbonation. Somewhat chewy and very sticky.

Overall, this is a nice dark Belgian ale. Nothing stands out, but its nicely balanced and easy to drink.

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Photo of alexpcat13
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown, almost black... no head

S- Spices- cant't identify them, a little boozy smelling,

T- roasted dark fruits with a nice little metally char taste on the finish

O- Solid beer, nice and flavorful, first belgian dark ale... definitely makes me want to try more.

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Photo of tbryan5
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Dark brown and ruby. Almost black with minimal head.

S- good amount of bourbon and oak. Some vanilla and honey too. Great barrel aged smell.

T- Faint dark fruits including plum but the bourbon character dominates. Great aroma.

M- Medium carbonation

D- A decent Barrel aged beer and my first barrel aged BSDA.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.3/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

BOTTLE: Purchased in Austin, Texas, and aged for 6+ months prior to consumption. 355ml. Branded grey pry-off crown cap. Brown glass. Generic label design.

9.45% ABV. 21.2 Plato O.G. 45 IBUs.

Served chilled into a tulip and allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption. Reviewed live as a Belgian style dark specialty ale per the label. Expectations are average.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Occupies ~80% of the glass. Pale khaki colour. Creamy and frothy as can be. Has a nice supple soft look and a good complexion. Retention is great - ~10+ minutes. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Deep translucent amber. No yeast particulate or sediment is visible within.

Appears well (if not over) carbonated. It's a decent look for a Belgian dark ale, even if it's (perhaps ironically) a biteen bright for the style. Not a unique or special appearance, but the head retention is quite impressive at this high an ABV.

AROMA: Crystal malt, caramelized sugars, candi syrup, amber malts, malt extract/syrup, mild spice from the Belgian yeast, fig extract/puree, raisin, treacle, and dark fruit (prunes or dates, methinks).

Aromatic intensity is average. Pretty mellow and restrained for a dark ale, worrying me that it might be shallow or reticent.

I find no overt hops, off-notes, or booziness.

TASTE: Jammy dark fruits dominate, with heavy caramelized sugars abound. Fig, dates, prunes, maybe plums. The spiciness of the Belgian yeast is restrained and muted, but findable. Treacle-y amber malt sweetness provides the malty backbone. Attenuation isn't quite high enough for the style, leading me to believe some kind of lesser Belgian yeast was used (or maybe the fermentation temperature wasn't quite right). I don't pick up on any evidence of Trappist yeast. Raisin, caramel, and crystal malts add some interesting flavours. I don't find the English malt mentioned on the label.

It's balanced enough, albeit timid and yes, somewhat shallow. Not the deepest or most expressive Belgian dark ale out there, but pleasant enough for an American attempt at the style. There's adequate complexity and subtlety to it, and there's a lot of good stuff going on here - particularly the vivid dark fruits, which are seamlessly integrated.

As it comes to temperature, prune emerges as its dominant note.

TEXTURE: Not the delicate fragile mouthfeel of the best beers in the style, but rightly medium to full-bodied. Features apt (moderately high) heft and weight on the palate, but it avoids syrupy territory. Smooth and wet with a nice softness and tingliness to it. Has a slight stickiness that plays into the jammy fruit vibe nicely.

Overall presence on the palate is pretty good. Though this doesn't elevate the beer as a whole, it does accentuate the fruity notes nicely - highlighting my favourite aspect of the beer.

OVERALL: As drinkable as any American attempt at the style, and well-executed for what it is. No, it doesn't rival the best traditional beers in the style, but it holds a candle to them - and that's saying something. I'd like to try more of Community's Belgian style offerings. This is well worth giving a go, and might even do well with some (further) aging. With some tweaks, it could really be a contender on a national level. As-is, it's certainly well above average, but doesn't quite crack into the same league as its most serious domestic competition.

Low B- (3.30)

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Photo of russpowell
3.59/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pour a garnet-hued orange with a sliver of tan head. Zero lacing & head retention, slightly more turbid as time goes on

S: Plums & a little booze, some leafy hops. Slight plumyness once warm

T: Follows the nose, figs & a little brown sugar up front. Booze presence mixing with figs & bready dryness, some raisin as well, nice jammy notes ( apricots & figs ) as this warms, dryness. Finishes dry, fruity & a little boozey with some brown sugar lurking in the background

MF: Medium body, slight carbonation

Not as good as I hoped, but well worth a go. Might age well, but I'm not seeing that

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Photo of a0lbudman
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L-hazy dark brown color with a light brown head
S-light roast aroma with a sweet smell to it
T-It has a different taste than most Belgium style beers. I would say it was a mixture of hop bitterness, malt and alcohol finish
F-creamy high carbonation and medium body
O-the taste was a surprise in a great way. The aroma gave you a hint, but the taste gave you a complex beer that ended up well for me

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Photo of JonathanTaylorThomas
4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice fruity Belgian dark. Not my favorite style, but I want to say that I love that a brewery in the DFW area is trying something like this. Community is an incredible brewery, and I can appreciate them trying to make beers that not everyone will love or be familiar with.

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Photo of REVZEB
4.06/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I will start by saying the beer is shallow in the body and appearance. Which in the texas heat I can see how lighter beers are desirable. That being said, the taste and smell really didn't suffer. Plenty of sugared plums and figs, candi sugar, smooth malts, clean belgian yeast, little booze mixed with brown sugar to finish off taste. Smell is booze and dark fruit forward.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy reddish brown with off-white head. Some dark fruits mostly on the nose; follows onto the palate. Fairly one-dimensional, but has a little maltiness on the finish.

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Photo of stephens101
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice looking ruby red brew with a fluffy tan head sits in front of me begging to be drank. I'll oblige.

Has a subdued and pleasant aroma of dark fruits, phenols, spice and grain.

Tastes of dark fruits (persimmon and prune), prune juice and black licorice. Has an unexpectedly timely, big and fitting hop finish.

Medium-bodied with a dry finish. Quite easy despite the ABV.

Can't wait to get back down south to grab some more goodies from Community!

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Belgian tulip.

The head is a frothy, khaki-colored beast that requires multiple pours in order to get the liquid level where I want it. As the head dissipates, lace seems to have exploded as from a grenade about the glass. The body is dark brown and slightly resembles plum skin. There's no transparency, trickles of carbonation and yeast particles visible. 4

Initially, I thought I smelled some toasted coconut like Trois Pistoles, but a second whiff suggests a heavy dose of plum and raisin. There's a candy-like sweetness and fruity esters. 3.75

Sweetness reigns on the palate as well, as this is almost port-like, raisiny, and sort of mineral-like the way earthy raisins can be. It's heavy on dark fruit flavor and finishes with an odd metallic taste. 3.75

It's a burly beer that is filling and has a kick to it, although the alcohol is well-masked. It's mostly cream and smooth, but there's a metallic taste that isn't nice to the tongue. 3.75

There are good moments to this beer and others less so. It's mostly enjoyable and good for slow-sipping.

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Photo of roblowther
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 bottle, poured into a chalice. It pours out so dark brown its nearly black, with a creamy tan head that persists for quite a while. It looks more like a stout, really. Smell is fantastic, prunes, raisins, a little orange, and a whole lotta good. The taste has carob, biscuit, a balanced sweetness, and leathery finish going on. Very nice. A subtle roast oversees the whole affair. The aftertaste is slightly sharp, just barely dry, makes you want to take another sip. Mouthfeel is nice and tingly, just a touch slick, could maybe stand a bit more viscosity. Overall, I like this a lot. Maybe a bit less roast, maybe a bit more sugar up front, but who wants to nitpick. This is a darn good beer and it does my heart good to find Belgian style ales brewed in my Community.

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Photo of champ103
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

@BeerImmediately, this is but one really good brewery in Texas, there are many more. Believe it, just funnin with ya :)

A: Pours a cloudy reddish/brown color. Fine bubbles rises to over two fingers, and forms a rocky looking beige head. Plenty of lace is left behind.
S: Big toasted malts, light caramel sweetness, and banana esters. Lightly spicy, peppery and phenolic. Very nice.
T: Again, very nice and all around solid. A wonderful toasted malt flavor, caramel sweetness. Peppery, and phenolic like spice. Banana like fruity esters. Spot on.
M/D: A medium to full body. A bit high on the carbonation for me at first. After this breaths a bit, it becomes more creamy and smooth. Very enjoyable to drink. A great sipper.

I love Trinity Triple, and this is very good as well. Well done and highly recommended.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Second beer from this brewery I've had in last two nights, and both have been fantastic.

Picked up a 750ml at Las Colinas Beverages this evening.

Pours with a short, cream colored head over a very cloudy, amber-to-brown body. Head hangs out as a skim film forever, and really nice, sugary/sticky lacing.

Aromas are fresh and bright for the style. Picking up plenty of raisin, spices, molasses, yeast, and even lime tangy-ness.

Flavor is awesome and complex, as this style should be. Lots of sweetness dominates, but doesn't take over thanks to the cut of the hops and yeast (think tree fruits like lemon/lime). Breadiness / yeastiness plays a huge role in the middle, along with a kiss of cocoa powder. Lots of Vermont maple syrup in the finish. Mouthfeel starts full of effervescence and is almost sharp/tangy, but the finish is leaves a bit of thickness / cloy.

Can't believe this beer was produced in TX. I only hope the people here can appreciate the sick skill that went into this, and support this killer new brewery which had the balls to produce a Belgian Strong Dark Ale in Dallas.

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Photo of trebbates
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is the second time I've had this and it is just as good as the first time I tried it. Community Brewing in Dallas is a newcomer to the scene and so far I'm impressed. This is my first actual review so I will keep it simple. I love Belgian ales. This one poured from the tap with a nice white head that dissipated quickly. It had that nice raisin honey taste that a lot of strong Belgians have but not too overpowering. I was surprised to see that this beer had a 9.6 abv. It's very drinkable and not cloying at all. I very solid beer.

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Inspiration from Community Beer Company
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 92 ratings