Inspiration | Community Beer Company

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91 Ratings

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:
No notes at this time.

Added by trebbates on 07-28-2013

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 91 |  Reviews: 15
Photo of Heretic42
3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

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)

 3,453 characters

Photo of JNForsyth
3.45/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of kevindp9
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of fiveiron83321
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

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.

 175 characters

Photo of Mordhaus
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

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

 600 characters

Photo of M_chav
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Photo of KAF
3.66/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Seabass1964
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of CRJMellor
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of greenspointexas
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of MouthfulOfchris
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Mortarforker
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of petermethot
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dasotelo50
3.76/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

 1,072 characters

Photo of mig100
3.79/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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.

 315 characters

Photo of kds2437
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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Inspiration from Community Beer Company
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 91 ratings