't Smisje Calva Reserva | Brouwerij Smisje

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't Smisje Calva Reserva't Smisje Calva Reserva
Very Good
163 Ratings
't Smisje Calva Reserva't Smisje Calva Reserva

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Smisje

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jon on 11-26-2003

View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 163 |  Reviews: 111
Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely one of my all time favorites.
By the time I discovered this brew during the past summer only two bottles remained and the manager told me they didn't deal with the distributor any longer .Ughhhh :(
My friends from Belgium had never even tried this one before as they live in West Flanders and this brewery is in East .
I can't explain the smell and taste, but it has to do with these special barrels it's aged in and the spices .
Super delicious strong and dark Belgian that has a potent kick, but you will not taste the high abv.

Hoping to come across this one again one day, so I can stockpile them for years to come :)

Highest rating I've given yet , though I have not had many great ones and still have to review plenty that I have enjoyed :) Cheers !!

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Photo of JayQue
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an orangy/light brown opaque color from an 11.2 oz bottle into my Chimay goblet. Small white head, lots of bubbles. The head fades fast, no lacing. Aroma is dark fruit {plums and raisins) some oak and the brandy. Taste is more of the same with some sweet malt. Mouthfeel is rich with a lot of alcohol warming and some alcohol "bite" even though I have had the bottle for around 2 years. This is a tasty BSDA and a great slow sipper.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

how good is this?! man oh man, what a splendid beer from one of the most overlooked producers i can think of. this is a barleywine type strong malty ale, aged in calvados barrels, and its amazing! cant believe how affordable it is too! lighter brown in color with some deep mahogany notes to it, a short but persistent tan head rests lazily on top, this is definitely mature beer, been in the bottle awhile, and in a barrel for a long while before that. the apple brandy is immediately evident in the aroma, oaky and sweet, red apple skins, red grape, strong malt, molasses, fig, tobacco, this is highly nuanced and complex beer, and the flavor follows the nose pretty well. lots of the barrel character, oak and fruit, somewhat rotting, overripe apple, bruised but still edible, with a baked malt base, almost like a pie. honey and grain, granola sort of quality about the base beer, and some ancient high gravity ale yeast thats tired but still lingering. enormously impressive glass of beer here, amazing what this barrel treatment brings to it, and a lighter more mature base beer than anticipated. easily the best i have had from these guys. this is expert stuff, hoping to find more out there in the world one day...

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Photo of CoreyC
4.66/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Approximately two year old bottle
A - Brown with light white head
S - Dark fruits and prominent Calvados
T - Really good strong dark stone fruits (raisin, plum, prune) as in other excellent BSDAs which are very much enhanced by the Clavados - excellent flavor
M - Nice, sticky
O - Exceptional BSDA

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Photo of bigred89
4.71/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Zekenyce
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of teromous
3.17/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

No bottle date that I can see. The label appearance is a bit different than the one displayed and the ABV is listed as 11% on this bottle.

Appearance: Murky dark tea colored body with a very short head that is very short lived. The head is an off white with a small bit of yellow. It fades as soon as it is poured and doesn't even leave a ring. Very poor head retention. No lacing.

Aroma: I get a very light but sweet smelling caramel aroma that intermingles with a bit of wood. The label says it is brewed with coriander but I don't pick it up at all.

Taste: I'm getting more of that caramel flavor with a bit of a fruity touch at the end. A nice woody finish. Aside from that there honestly isn't a whole lot more going on in this beer. There is a bit of a honey flavor in the aftertaste which is nice but it is very faint.

Mouthfeel: Medium body without much texture. Some apparent alcohol but nothing overwhelming while the beer stays cool. There is not much bitterness. There is a slight tinge to the beer at the front of the palate which adds a touch of complexity but overall it is a bit lackluster.

Overall: It is hard for me to even rate this as average because I find that many parts of the beer are lacking in depth and complexity. I could not consider this beer to be in the poor range given the minor strengths it does have. There is a nice caramel sweetness to the beer and the honey aftertaste is quite nice. Overall I really wouldn't recommend it to a person seeking Belgian Strong Dark Ales or simply Belgian Ales for the first time, but to the more experienced drinker of Belgian Ales I might recommend it for its minor positive attributes that would be appreciated by a person with a bit more tread under their tires.

 1,741 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of REVZEB
4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of stakem
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Dinky 250cl bottle that ive had for a number of years (dating back to my infatuation with calvados BA beers) and by the looks of the sediment sticking to the glass, this is bare minimum 6, maybe 8 or so years old. It pours dark amber to brown with minimal head.

It smells of woody earthen calvados with some oxidation and chocolate/raison. Toffee and caramel is also present.

Tastes oxidized with paper/foliage chocolate and raison. Woody yet boozy. This has an earthiness about it that tastes similar to every "old school" calvados barrel aged beer ive tasted that was pushing several years old.

This is medium in body with light carbonation. Earthy and woodsy but showing its age. More enjoyable than the new rebrew that I hear is tart and has been infected.

 763 characters

Photo of aProtagonist
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Zach136
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Muddy brown with a solid head for 12%

Aroma: Sweet caramel malt with a touch of tomato...

Flavor: Touch of oxidation and burnt caramel.

Mouthfeel: Medium with a pretty dissipating finish.

 202 characters

Photo of evilcatfish
4.56/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TrulySlide
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MissSmisje
4.68/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a stubby bottle with a red cab and purple label into HF tulip. Has been in the cellar for 2.5+ years.
L: beautiful garnet red/brown, with khaki, almost mocha head. Head is much less than other Smisjes, maybe one finger, not erupting out of the bottle, dissipates into a thin collar and island.
S: smells like a dry cidar, some raisins and plum, a tiny bit of malt.
T: apples predominate - fresh but not tart apples, and cooked apples. Some raisins and plum, and little raspberry. Oak. There is some tartness, but it is berry tartness, not apple tartness. Some caramel. A very faint trace of baking spices, but it could just be flavor association.
F: just about perfect, like thick apple juice, but not at all syrupy. Perfect for sipping. Light carbonation, but you can feel it.
O: I love this beer. It's undoubtedly more beer than cidar, and I love where it falls on that spectrum. My favorite smisje after the Double. So happy I have a few more socked away in the cellar. Very curious to see if it changes more, but would be happy if it stays as it is.

 1,071 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big raisins on the nose with traces of alcohol, biscuit, spice and caramel. It pours hazy reddish brown under a 1” off white quickly dissipating foam cap. The palate is loaded with fruit and biscuit, sugary dark bread flavors, plum, traces of prune, and golden raisins in the aftertaste. Its creamy and silky smooth with a medium body and very luscious, fine soft carbonation.

 378 characters

Photo of lildevle
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of CaptFrothy
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle that's been siren calling me from the cellar, been there about 3 years, decided to reward myself after a couple of hours shoveling snow .

vigorous foaming that crests at 3 inches and settled down to skinny white ring, dark mahogany brown.

ancient raisins and wood scents with a sugary old ale aroma.

smooth as newly paved interstate with a figgy raiseny front side and a buttery apple barrel back end. No abv taste detectable, just a little bit of heat.

Just about perfect for me, equal to the rich luxury taste of BCBS or Parabola and only surpassed by the likes of Utopia to these tasting buds.

 607 characters

Photo of drewone
3.2/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of DCLAguy11
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rEBELlION
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of MichaelLamb
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%

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't Smisje Calva Reserva from Brouwerij Smisje
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 163 ratings