't Smisje Calva Reserva | Brouwerij Smisje

BA SCORE
87
very good
162 Ratings
THE BROS
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't Smisje Calva Reserva't Smisje Calva Reserva
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Smisje
Belgium
smisje.be

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
162
Reviews:
111
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
14.54%
 
 
Wants:
9
Gots:
9
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 162 |  Reviews: 111
Photo of clickpush
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour: 11.2oz bottle to wide mouth glass. Cloudy dull brown body w/ absolutely no head. Bottle opened w/ a hiss but nothing like that in view in the glass.

Nose: Mulled apple cider. Sweet and fruity. Malty, caramel, honey.

Mouth: Somewhat fizzy, minty, malty, cider-y... a touch of roasty, brown malts. Warm alcohol heat. Enjoyable but perhaps a bit past its prime.

 366 characters

Photo of BeerFreak311
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of clvand0
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with no carbonation, no head. The aroma is very alcoholic and fruity. There doesn't seem to be much more to it than alcohol and raisin/grape fruit. The flavor is very much the same. Very thin with a lot of raisin and grape flavors going around and an alcoholic bite. The body is very thin. The drinkability is ok, but the thin alcoholic character makes it tough.

 383 characters

Photo of aasher
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Calvados, I'm in. This beer arrived in Indianapolis a few weeks ago.

Calva Reserva pours a dirty full bodied pond water brown with a frothy cream colored lacing. It looks like a toilet that you'd find unflushed in a subway bathroom. The nose is rich and malty with plenty of calvados on the nose. It's solid and has plenty of caramel apple presence. The flavors are kind of a mess though. There's the green apple and caramel but also plenty of random malty sweetness, heavy on the toffee and butterscotch. It's too much sweetness and doesn't feature enough complexity. It drinks heavy and sticky and surprisingly doesn't show any alcohol. This beer was strange but had some redeeming qualities. It wasn't bad at $5.99 a bottle.

 728 characters

Photo of ROGUE16
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of sholland119
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of duceswild
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of gutbuster
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Tolnik
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this dark redish brown beer into a pint glass. Amazed that it produced very little head and no lacing. It seemed like it was flat to me. The aroma of fruitiness greats the nose. The taste of bing cherries, grapes, and berries greet the palate. The alcohol gives off a tart sour finish.

 292 characters

Photo of eyeenjoybeer
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from a bottle into a Jackie O's tulip glass

A: cloudy hazel body with a light off white head. Head grows to half an inche and settles quickly to a thin layer of bubbles on the body.

S: The initial smell is brett funk. I was not expecting this. Faint caramel is in there too, but Brett is dominating.

T: Well the brett is much, much less pronounced in the taste. I get a lot of champagne notes with some light sour apple notes. I am not really getting the more nuanced flavor of calvados as much as just some apple tartness. I am wondering if this bottle has a tiny bit of infection going on. I will check some other reviews to see if others have noted this. Some tobacco and light wood linger well after the swallow. I am not blown away, but I sure like it. The 11% alcohol is not really an element to my tastebuds. The carbonation is just right.

M: Stay with me here, but it "feels" like champagne bitterness without the bubbles. Otherwise the mouthfeel is not particularly noteworthy.

Overalll, this is an interesting beer. I like it, but it was not like I expected. There is a lingering bitterness, tobacco and oak like, that I am just not on board with. I would like to try this beer again with some other calvados barrel aged beers.

 1,249 characters

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11ish ounce bottle into my dollar store snifter glass. Appears a clear deep ruby red/brown color with about a finger of light ecru foam. Smells and tastes of mildly spicy belgian yeast, hint of pepper, dark fruits such as plums, cherry skins, raisins, apples and pears. Medium in both body and carbonation, this quad left a bit to be desired when compared to what else is out there in this style.

 411 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

put this bottle next to another 11.2 oz bottle and tell me it's not a midget.. i truly think the t'smisje brewery is lying about their beer size.. but that's another issue, and one i can send a nasty email about when i perfect my belgian.

pours a murky belgian brown/red.. no lacing, really no head either. nose draws alot of sweet liquor, wood, vanilla and pepper out of those casks. age has pushed the aroma here into the green apple/cidery realm, creating an atmosphere of nervousness and foreboding daunting tasks.. very smooth beer flavorwise. vanilla custard and brandy milkshake... like bailey's, this goes down smooth but carries an uncompromising weight and alcohol warmth that cannot help but limit consumption,

an interesting treat.. not worth 6$ for 10 oz and probably not something i'd buy again... but im glad i tried it. the dulle teve reserva is along these lines with deeper depth and more vibrant expression to it.

 938 characters

Photo of berkey
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first beer in about a week (on a diet to get ready for the warmer weather) so figured I'd make it a strong one. From last night's notes.

Poured into a Duvel Tulip. Forms a surprisingly large head when compared to other offerings from this brewer I've tried. Very large, loose, soapy bubbles. Retention was also very good but once it finally died down it was gone completely. Body is a very cloudy brown with hints of red. Very little in the way of lacing.

Aroma is very sweet and a little intense. Apples stand out much more than expected. The spicy aromas typical of a Belgian Winter Ale are very dominant as well, much more so than the Grande Reserva. Alcohol isn't difficult to pick out here along with the yeast.

Spices dominate even more on the palate. It's actually a little much for my tastes. Alcohol isn't hidden here either and Brandy notes (although I wouldn't necessarily say Calvados) are front and center on the aftertaste along with some leather and wood flavors. Apples and other fruit are here as well but not as much as in the aroma. If you're thinking the combination of an estery Belgian ale, Brandy, and tons of spice, is odd then you're right. It doesn't quite come together in my opinion.

Medium carbonation and silky texture create a good mouthfeel but the spice and booze hurt the drinkability in my opinion. I don't know exactly why the barrel aging didn't soften the edges and create more well rounded flavor like on the Grande Reserva but I enjoyed this one much less.

Overall not entirely unpleasant and I wouldn't turn down one if it were offered but not something I'll seek out again. I love most everything I've tried from Regenboog but this is my least favorite to date.

 1,716 characters

Photo of impending
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

B

33cl into a tulip. Pours a rich amber dirty cola dishwater, little head, minimal lacing.

The aroma is treacly sweet in a nice way, rich in caramel and barrel. Vinous and mild oxidation. Lots of fruits that have begun to rot.

Pleasantly low in sweetness, less than expected. Full bodied lifeless mouthfeel. The barrel aging is its signature. Only a hint of tart but enough to know this is destined to be cider given time. More a belgian barleywine than a bsda.
cheers
jd

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

God help me if I could remember when I got this beer. I think that it was in Colorado a couple years ago, but here is is with a $5.69 price tag on top, so someone was proud of it...and I obviously wanted to try it bad enough to shell out $6 for it, so let's give it a shot. With it being an aged beer already that was 12%, I am sure that the extra time hasn't hurt it.

Appearance: Has a little off-gas when opened, but pours a clear Reddish brown with no head at all. It looks a bit like a still Coke, but more Red.

Aroma: I initially got a healthy dose of sweet caramel malt mixed with a reserved sour note like you get with Vichtenaar. As the beer starts to warm, the alcohol is adding heat to the nose as well as some defined spice.

Taste: The flavor is quite thick at first giving you some syrupy sweetness to start out the flavor profile, but the alcohol quickly comes in to take care of that and thin out the beer on the palate a bit like how a solvent comes in and cleans things up. After the alcohol comes in, it adds spice and heat that takes you all the way to the finish. the wood is blatantly obvious in the flavor and is coming out more as it warms. I am not getting the sour notes in the flavor like I was in the aroma. There may be a little bit there, but it is reserved. the overall body is medium despite the perception of significant sweetness at the beginning of the sip. The carbonation is non-existent.

Opinion: Well, this is a pretty good beer. There is a lot of flavor, which I can certainly appreciate. That said, it is severely lacking carbonation compared to just about ANY other example of this style. I would go so far to say that perhaps if they got the carbonation up, that this may be a different beer. As it is, I will drink the whole thing and like it, but I wouldn't put it up there with Rochefort or anything where you savor every sip.

 1,874 characters

Photo of digr
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from Notes:

Highly Carbonated - Opening bottle gave a strong "woosh" despite just out of the cold fridge. The bottle continued to pour foam as soon as the bottle touched the glass (tilted). Filled to the top of the Belgian style Rapscallion goblet. Huge head - only able to pour small amounts before foam fills the glass. Beer literally "foams" out instead of pouring liquid.

Initial taste has a metallic taste... This might be from the bottle cap?

After mid pour - Beer is strong. Medium thick mouthfeel. Slightly sweet balanced with bitterness. No real "Funk", but not exactly "clean" either. Not a sippin' beer. More like take long mouthfuls and swishing it about to get the full effect of bubbles and taste. Can really taste the wood / Calvados aging - as an after taste (tannins).

Kinda like a Belgian Quad (Which I guess this is roughly), Brown - Cloudy, darkfruit. But no Bananas. Some Caramel.

11% alcohol is well hidden in the rest of the flavors.

 969 characters

Photo of stakem
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
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 MichaelLamb
3.64/5  rDev -7.1%

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Squat 11.2oz bottle picked up at the Coop more than a week ago and refrigerated ever since.... poured into my Chimay goblet... Don't remember exactly, but paid about $5.

Cracked the seal and immediately the brew fizzed up and out of the bottle.. at least I was able to keep it over the counter on the way to the sink and off the floor.... Crap!! about a third of the bottle was gone by the time I got things cleaned up and poured it.

4 finger head stood an easy half inch out of the glass... lite tan and died back noisily leaving descent lace... the brew is a very murky lite walnut.

Nose is expected spicy dark fruits with a pronounced applesauce aroma.. raisins and mild caramel trails off into the apple... some earthy woody notes as it hits room temperature..

Flavor is an interesting yet fairly uninspired mix of dark fruity malts with a significant pour of apple juice... sorta funky woody presence... just doesn't strike me as remotely interesting in the big picture... all the flavors are by themselves and are one dimensional at that... I think some age in the bottle may help it, but christ.. I don't want bottle bombs.

The body is about right for the style, but the carbonation is waay too much..

I don't think I got a bad bottle.. I am pretty sure of it.. I do however think this was bottled before it's time... descent and better than my above negatives describe, but I am still not digging it as I approach the bottom of the glass... I've always found quality control issues with this brewery.

3.5/3.5/4/3/3.5

 1,533 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle poured into a St. Bernardus chalice. It pours a murky dark brown color with a light tan head. The aroma is very aromatic and complex. The aroma explodes with dark fruits, freshly baked bread, and yeast with a touch of spices. The taste is slightly fruits with bready malt with some spices and a boozy finish. Overall, this is a very nice brew that is definitely a "sipper" that would be perfect to warm up with on a cold night. Too bad we really don't get many snuggle up by the fire nights in Florida.

 516 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

50 degrees and rain outside, seems like a 12% oak aged quadrupel should be right on.

Appearance: Evenly hazed red/brown body, head is large at first (even with the abv). Good retention after it fades to small creamy layer.

Smell: Sweet and woody, raisins, brown sugar, a malt bomb, with alcohol not making all that much of an impresion.

Taste: Very woody and earthy, vegetable flavors are big. Not as sweet as the smell would indicate, but it grows on me the more i sip, a very unique flavor, but not as good as many of the other quads.

Drinkability: Not bad, and fairly interesting, more complete than BBBourgondier, but not one of my favorites in the style.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Shawan Liquors in Md. Decanted cool into a Goblet from a brown 11.2oz bottle.
A - The bottle released not even a whimper when uncapped, the vigorous pour resulted in approx 1/4 inch of delicate whispy tan head. The liquid is a murky bottle conditioned brown, like chocolate milk. The lace is transparent but evident like whisky.

S - A caramel and vinous scent w/ vanilla woodiness and full strenght esters of a boozy Belgian. Malty sugary w/ plum and fig in the nose.

M - Malty, sugary as the nose hints at w/ a warmth and viscous syrupy full feel. There is an oakiness with toasted qualities also.

T - Maple, boozy woody vanilla notes start off the taste. A hint of sherry and the depth of port are both apparent. Candy sugar and nutty praline like sweetness make sure you know you are sampling a 12% ale - it tastes like one. Boozy with spice and warming toffee w/ a taste of dry yeasty spice and barrel aged dense flavors.

D - A big, sweet complex ale w/ the strength of 3 beers and the smell and flavor are compliance w/ a high abv of the quad. A nightcap in the best sense it is better than average drinkability-wise, but more than one in a sitting is probably not happenin' for me. The flavor and strength relaxed me slowly, this is a beer made for sipping.

 1,287 characters

Photo of Crosling
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

Burgundy color, with a lasting film of large bubbles. Expressive apple brandy, soaked oak and brown sugar in the aroma, with hints of caramel and cider. Flavor is rich, supple and very well balanced. The attributes of the original beer integrate well with the barrel, giving hints of soft caramel, apple skins, toffee and vanilla. It’s delicious, no doubt, yet, unfortunately, the front palate to the mid-palate shows a completely flat body and it only improves a little and becomes very slightly chewy on the finish. Could easily be a 4.3+ if I didn’t score the mouthfeel a 1. Too bad.

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Photo of cerevisiaephilus
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Zero carbonation. I don't think that's very cool, but oh well. The aroma is incredible!!

I get strong notes of port and brandy and all sorts of other dank dank liquors from this bad boy. Definately some warming alcohol in the nose and maybe even a touch of cramelized apple. Definately some caramel and cherries as well.

Taste is somewhat disapointing after all the hype the aroma was talkin'. Mostly a burnt caramel kind of flavor with a strong alcohol burn. Maybe just a touch of apples and cherries here...but not much. I'm getting some chocolate covered cherry flavors as well...the ones with the syrup in them?? Anyway...I'm warming up to this beer....its growing on me.

Mouthfeel is very light but not sprite. I'd either like a thicker beer or one about this consistency with a good dose of carbonation.

I'm not sure how drinkable this one is...I'm about to fall down and I'm only half way through the 10oz bottle.

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Photo of bigkahunas4
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 350 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

Body was a nice amber color, with some cranberry highlights. Visual esthetic's ended there, as the brew produced no head, and didn't have any lacing to speak of. Nose was quite strong, dark malty fruits and very apparent alcohol. There also was a bold honey scent, anticipated from the brewer's bee harvest.

Flavors were very similar to the nose, lots of bready fruits with a big alcohol bite to finish. The alcohol was quite tart, and for me, soured the taste. Honey notes were apparent, but not strong enough to counterbalance. Mouthfeel was rather blah - not much carb - mildly sticky.

Not a terrible brew, but certainly one you can't have many of. Probably won't seek this out again, unless it's handed to me.

 764 characters

't Smisje Calva Reserva from Brouwerij Smisje
3.92 out of 5 based on 162 ratings.
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