't Smisje Calva Reserva | Brouwerij Smisje

BA SCORE
87
very good
162 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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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:
10
Gots:
9
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 162 |  Reviews: 111
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 LiquidAmber
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 10/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a murky dark orange amber. Nice one finger white head with lots of lacing. Looks very attractive. Sour and fruit aroma. Nice medium body. Light fruits, spice, mild malt and just the right amount of sour. A definite vinous quality that worked well. A nice complex dark Belgian and one of the first unequivocally enjoyable beers from Smisje for me.

 418 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yeah baby, out of a gravity feed cask at 72 hours of Belgium (at Max's today).

The beer pous a hazy tannish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is profoundly complex, with orange peel milk chocolate, brown sugar and honey. There's some underlying spice as well, but I can't begin to describe it. Flavors replicate the nose on this moderatly sweet beer, with the spice and light hoppiness giving the beer a somewhat dry, lightly bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, and drinkability is very good.

Nice beer and an absolute treat to sample on cask.

 585 characters

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

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Photo of bigred89
4.71/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
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 jdhilt
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with NO head, bottle conditioned so there are chunky bits on the bottom. Hazy, murky off-color amber. Strong raisin nose, starts sweet and malty, finishes smooth and sweet. Alcohol is clearly noticeable. No carbonation and medium bodied. Savor this one - NOT a session beer.

 280 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12% Quadrupel. Matured in Calvador Casks for 6 months. Bottled in 03 and aged and sampled after 4 years in 11/07.

A: The beer pours a dark burnt burgundy color with virtually no head.

S: On the nose is a strong vinous wine like aroma of sherry. There is a noticeable amount of alcohol on the nose as well as oak, burnt brown sugar sweetness and a complexity of burnt woodiness.

T: The flavor starts off with some burnt sugary sweetness, molasses and woody notes. There are underling notes of dried fruit, figs and dates. The alcohol is very even, noticeable but very well subdued for its 12%abv drinking more like a 8%abv. The beer is sweet from the caramelized malting and very complex from the calvador cask ageing. There is a nice earthy bitterness from the hops to balance out the malt sweetness and nice campfire minerality notes such as charred wood. There is some acidity to the palate and the beer finishes with a nice alcohol warming fade full of dried fruit, figs, dates, burnt molasses, and woody complexity with a touch of light smokiness.

M: The mouthful is syrupy and full bodied.

D: A must try and recommend and surprising enough has a great drinkability factor despite its high abv. I would suggest ageing this for 3-5 years to let the alcohol mellow. This beer truly has the aroma and palate of a sherry and drinks just as eloquently smooth and complex as any fine wine.

 1,396 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 weeare138
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of corby112
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a dark red/brown color with hardly any head at all. Tart aroma of cherries, grape, blackberry, raisin and plum. Sweet fruit taste perfectly balanced out with strong alcohol flavor rendering it not too sweet. A touch sour in the finish. Very good!

 275 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours an opaque amber body that has a soft glow of red in the light but is to dense to see any carbonation. The snow-white head is a thin ring of big bubbles and slides down the glass with each sip.

S- The smell of apple butter and wood has a nice flower blossom hint and a note of brown sugar.

T- The taste of dry apple skins and smooth wet wood has a nice caramel malt flavor for support. There is a soft herbal dry spice note at the finish. As the beer warms there is a light brightness of apple juice.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with no sign of alcohol heat even when warm.

D- This beer has subtle flavors but they all blend very well and this is a very drinkable beer. The calvados and cask notes really compliment the beer without overpowering it.

 801 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter; thanks to Keanlacrosse for the share

A hazy brown body with a thin light tan head. Not much staying power as it falls pretty quick. No discernable lacing.

Loads of fruit on the nose. Apples, bears, bananas, raisins/figs, and plums. Notes of caramel, oak, brandy, and sweet bready malt.

Caramel, plums, and apples slide onto the palate. Oak and a mild tartness through the middle with a finish of booze and fruit. There are layers of complexity here. Each sip brings something a little different.

Medium feel, soft carbonation. The finish has this lingering fruity tartness that mixes with a little booze and oak.

Solid complexity with some very good flavors. Worth a shot.

 716 characters

Photo of Zekenyce
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jwale73
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jedwards for sharing. 2009 vintage served in my Allagash tulip. Poured a translucent copper, almost caramel in color, with a bubbly, quarter inch bright white head. Some lacing, but no legs. Nose is boozy - dark fruit (prunes) and vinous. Taste is boozy, sugary (brown sugar and/or molasses) with some dark fruit and grains of paradise. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and a little fizzy. A flavorful Belgian Strong Dark - a little hot, but didn't overly detract from the experience.

 488 characters

Photo of drpimento
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I thought this was going to be better. Poured a small, light tan, fizzy head that quickly faded and no lace. Aroma was malt, toffee, ripe dark fruits, caramel, and wet cardboard. Color was a slightly hazy brown with amber highlights. Flavor was like aroma. Didn't really taste the alcohol as much as feel the effect. Finish is fairly short and like flavor. Wholesale price for this is way too high.

 398 characters

Photo of Zach136
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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 mrfrancis
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark, hazy amber with a thin, creamy white head.

S: Strong apple skin and oak aromas reminiscent of calvados dominate the nose. There are also traces of caramel, alcohol, pear, and cherry.

T: Calvados, brandy, sweet cherry, spiced pear, caramel, toffee, vanilla bean, brown sugar, and a melange of spices wash across the palate. The finish is peppery and prickly with a combination of spice and calvados flavors.

M: Very full in body, rich, and grainy. Quite dry. Carbonation is stinging. Alcohol presence is pronounced.

O: I'm always at least intrigued by Smisje's products, but this one I love. The overwhelming spice and calvados flavors lend this ale a great deal of depth and complexity. Quite sophisticated and refined for such a rustic, unorthodox brewer.

 777 characters

Photo of WOLFGANG
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of bobv
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of MDDMD
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark brown red color with a light tan head and minimal lacing

S-dark fruit, apple, caramel, brandy, hint of spice

T-caramel malt, dark fruit, apples, brandy, cinnamon, slightly boozy, flavor fades quickly with no significant aftertaste

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-a nice strong ale, but flavor seems to fade out. Would have merited a higher score if not for that.

 392 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one is dark brown in color with a tinge of orange and a nice, full head that left clumps of pitting foam on top of the liquid.

Smell – The light, fluffy orange aroma mated perfectly with the big yeast. The fruits are bold as well. The pear and banana in particular go well together. The high ABV is masked well at the nose. This one is nicely put together.

Taste – The malty backbone takes on some sour notes at the taste. The spicing here is powdery and dark. I can pick up some good caramel flavors along with some granular brown sugar. The hearty, overripe apricots are overflowing. In the background I’m finding some good, doughy flavors and a small reminder of the high ABV.

Mouthfeel – This one is bigger than medium in the body with a chewy, sugary mouthfeel and a small alcohol sting.

Drinkability – I thought this BSDA needed a bit more structure but otherwise filled the bill. It kind of tasted liked a BSDA that was overaged a bit past its prime. Either way, it made for a great aperitif.

 1,035 characters

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