Guido | Brouwerij Smisje

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Very Good
93 Ratings

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Smisje

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 02-03-2002

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Ratings: 93 |  Reviews: 67
Reviews by keithmurray:
Photo of keithmurray
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip

appearance - murky brown liquid with huge, pillowy khaki head

smell - honey is most prominent on this one, yeast, bread, raisins, caramel

taste - raisins, honey, prunes, yeast, figs, brown sugar

mouthfeel - heavy carbonation, full bodied, a bit less balanced than other iterations of this style, sweet upfront, dry finish

overall - pretty good beer, albeit not as refined as other BSDA's. I can't tell how much age this bottle had on it, but Glad I tried this out.

Price Point - $4.79/11.2 oz bottle

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Todd
4.61/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Comes in a short, stubby, brown bottle with a hand glued label.

Appearance: Colour of the beer is a murky brown with amber edges. Carbonation creates a hissing noise as the beer is poured into the cup. Flat head ... a bit of a dissapointment, but I do remember it being much better when I ordered it at 't Brugs Beertje in Belgium.

Smell: Big caramel aromas, touch of honey, esters, warm toasted bread and alcohol.

Taste: Smooth and absolutely delicious with a matured malt character comprised of caramel, toffee, chocolate, light coffee and toasted flavours. Thin astringency in the background, with a thin underlying fruitiness. Honey flavours give the sweetness an incredible depth, while light raison flavours back up the malts. Hop bitterness is subdued, but present with a leafy feel, mild bitter twang and thin herbal flavour. Finish is malty, a bit grain dry. Alcohol becomes noticeable as your cup empties.

Notes: "een donker bruin bier, gebrouwne met mout, ho, kandij, rozijnen, honing, gist en water" ... basically this is a dark honey beer with rasins. One of the best beers that I've had to date.

Traditionally served in 1 of 6 custom ceramic cups, each with a different poem by Guido Gazelle, a poet and priest who died in 1999. This beer was brewed in celebration of his life and work. My cup is "Kleengedichten 2". I brought my sample over from Belgium in May 2000, it was brewed in 1999. At the time this beer was already extremely rare, but there was word of them brewing a follow-up batch to meet the demand. I'm sure you _cannot_ get this amazing beer anymore, but would love to hear otherwise.

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Photo of Billolick
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stubby 11.2 ouncer, no bargain at $4.99! I was in a good mood, so I said, "what the heck" it looked interesting. Pours jammy dark apricot amber, dark tan loose head, and leaves moderate stringy lacing. Wildly excotic nose with hints of ripe plummy fruits, nutty yeast, sour funkyness. Full flavor, thoroughly Belgian style brew, with dashes of sour, sweet, heady, fruity, and complex all going on all at once. Cherries, figs, raisins, light chocolate, smokey leather. Belgian lovers go get some of this interesting artisinal creation and enjoy

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a dark purplish-brown color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of dark fruits - figs and raisins mostly with hints of green apple - and Belgian candi sugar. As the beer warms hints of darker malt aromas waft out but the fruit aromas remain in charge.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Indistinct sweet malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by sugar-coated dark fruits, raisins and plums, again with hints of green apple. Midway through the sip the malt flavors gain a bit more body and carry through to a sweet and crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this was a BSDA that was on the fruit-heavy side of things. Solid but nothing special, worth a shot.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a dark hazy pecan brown body with a creamy beige head that last and last sticking up above the glass. It is a bit too dense to see any carbonation. The head last and last sloughing off in sheets on the side of the glass.

S- There is a musty cheese note that ironically reminds me of old people smell but in a nice way. There is a bright tartness smell in the finish that is nice aswell, and it has a light cola note to it.

T- This beer has a tart fruit punch hint with some nice tannin notes and a light sweetness to the finish. There is a nice depth of flavor but it is to complex to describe with my limited vocabulary.

M- This beer has a full mouthfeel with a slight astringent pucker to the finish that dries out the finish nicely.

This beer has some nice tartness and some more wild yeast notes but it still has some nice vinegar/wine notes to it. This beer has some nice flavor and ages very well.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Isn't it a shame how ugly the American labels of Belgian beers can be? Between the government warning, the barcode and the bottle redemption info, it makes the labels look cluttered, with the artwork seeming like an afterthought, some necessary annoyance that gets in the way of regulations and legalities. At least this label on Guido is no Van Gogh. Just sayin', and I guess there are more important things in life. Like the beer itself!

A marvelous, striking sienna color houses a zillion-and-a-half bubbles that feed a bountiful, frothy, cratered head. Absolutely gorgeous. Quite a bit of lace, as expected from that crazy head, and thick too.

Aroma has that mineral element of many Belgians, yet the honey used to brew this beer dominates. Raisins are also obvious, so clearly these are just a little more than subtle touches and were an integral part of the recipe. Nutty, with some graham cracker character. Very dessert-y smell overall, like a caramel pie.

Wow...boatloads of caramel, with a burnt character way back, and unsurprisingly that equals a toffee-like personality. Honey is raw and only lightly sweet, while the raisins are bigger, bolder. Sit with this awhile and a pleasant alcohol warmth adds to the flavor, which also reminds of graham cracker, liqueur-infused milk chocolate (emphasis on the milk), dark fruit (of an unspecific type) and Tootsie Rolls. Quick finish offers a ghost of the caramel-y sweetness, drying out fairly quickly without feeling "dry." Sounds overly sweet, but it's not, and I suppose that's where the hops come in, but yeah, this is a malt-lover's beer for sure.

Appropriate texture complements the flavors. There's a tingle from all those bubbles yet it's far from balances a velvety, medium-bodied feel with a soft but very present carbonation.

I stopped collecting/amassing Belgian beer bottles a couple years ago, due to space issues. I'm gonna throw this one into the display though, 'cause it's so damn delicious. Still hate the compromised/Americanized label though.

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Photo of mattfancett
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of AdamBNYC
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of GRG1313
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a Regenbook ale with honey and raisins and that is precisely what you get - honey and raisins all the way! (Not necessarily a bad thing.)

Pours a dark brown with an off white head. Decent looking.

Nose is very assertive sweet carmel. Simple but bold.

Mouthfeel is bright and well balanced once you get over the huge hit of sweet and can evaluate the mouthfeel. Decent and well balanced with pleasant carbonation.

This beer is all about the flavors. HUGE sweet honey and deep flavorful sweet raisins. Like drinking raisin juice laced with honey. Big sweet honey front palate that goes to a big sweet rich ripe raisin back palate.

Finish is all huge honey. This is very different; unique I'd say. Definitely worth a try with an open mind and a must if you like the "sweeter" character of beer.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark, murky mahogany with a thin tan head. There was a noticeable amount of big un-filitered yeasties that settled on bottom of glass.

S: The nose yielded dried fruit, honey and raisins with hints of sweet caramel and candi sugar.

T: The beer starts off very sweet, honey, butterscotch like which nice fades to a smoothing sourness. Some toffee, and figs are also noticeable with a spicy hop tang and some spicy alcohol warming. On the finish was some dried raisins and some flowery hops.

M: The mouthful was light and a little thin with a very active and fizzy carbonation.

D: A slow dark sipper and really good to enjoy.

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Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

original review: 07-11-2007

A- Pours a rich chestnut tone into a Moinette chalice. Moderately tame foam, it settles to an irregular skim. Head retention is good.

S- Apple cider and pear from a foot away, nice. Up close there's a slight smell of wet stone after rain. Warming up, there's a funky grain presence as well.

T- Tart, underripe cherry, nutty and malty in the middle and finish. A hint of grape seed/cherry pit in the aftertaste with raw honey. Darker malt flavors linger too. It involves the palate on contrasting levels...sweet, sour, and savory.

M- Slightly puckering at first, then the soft carbonation rounds it out.

D- Easy to sip and finish a glass, possibly two.

The stone cold pimp on the label is the poet, priest and Flemish language proponent Guido Gezelle...

Notes: After missing the rare opportunity to try this on draft (twice), I was happy to find this in the bottle. I'll venture a guess that it's back in production. It's worth a shot if you can find it.

Cellar notes 03/2009: bottle aged over 1 yr. happy to report it's still alive and kicking. Some funky parmesan odor when opened, then all grapes in the nose. Golden raisin is noticeable in the flavor, slightly sweet, musty, and vaguely astringent.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a hazy and cloudy dark brown color ale with a huge foamy head with quite good retention and lacing. Aroma of candi sugar and sourness is pretty intense. Taste of sweet malt candi sugar and funky Belgian yeast is complex and quite intense. Body is way above average with tick lees at lying at the bottom of the bottle with some great carbonation. Interesting farmhouse characteristics that I wasn’t expecting.

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Photo of berkey
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had this in bottle on occasion but first time on tap. Served in a tulip at The Trappist in Oakland about an hour ago. Notes are live and I'm typing them up on the train home.

Deep amber brown body, large head with average retention and inconsistent stringy lacing. The last bottle I had was a little flat but not the case on tap at all.

Smell is very tart, with sour apples, tons of wild flowers, and some faint cherry aroma. Some honey here but not much in the way of raisins.

The tart fruit character from the aroma carries over quite well and I'm finally getting some honey. Have to search for the raisins a bit at first but they're much more detectable as this warms. Much more balanced than the tart nose suggests. Wow, honey is really starting to come through now that I've hit room temp but the flavors are starting to amalgamate quite well. Because of the balance the alcohol is almost undetectible, quite a feat. This keeps things high on the drinkability scale. If this was available more often it would be a regular.

Overall this is a must try, possibly my favorite application of honey in any beer. Glad to finally have this on tap and I won't miss a chance to have it again.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pour a dark, muddy mahogany amber with a fine half finger off- white head. A careful pour still had a bit of particulates in it. Nice aroma of plums and dark dried fruit, sweet caramel and bready malt. Flavor is sweet caramel malt, dried dark fruit, plums, honey and a bit of cardboard; finishing with sweet dark fruit juice and a hint of hops. Medium body with a reasonable creaminess. A sweet, but very pleasant dark Belgian that leaves my wondering how old the bottle is and whether the cardboard is due to age or design. Still quite enjoyable and if it is old, has held up reasonably well.

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Photo of bkny27
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

saw this beer, didn't know about it, had to get it just based on the picture of Guido, and "brewed with honey and raisins"

A-medium brown with a small head that fizzes when you pour

S-a sweet scent, raisins, sweet bread

T-sweet, caramel, raisins, fruit, with almost a sour overtone, slightly resembled a much scaled back flemish sour red; slight alcohol taste

M-thin carbonation, almost reminding me of champagne, but not nearly as carbonated

D-I could enjoy this whenever it is available

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Photo of Amalak
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had out of a short, stubby bottle.
A. Completely opaque. Brown in color. Some head and lace. Beautiful darkness to it.
S. Very harsh alcoholic way. Malty.
T. I was expecting the worst, but this was done really well. There is a hallowness in the middle that the raisin makes, but it has a beautiful ale maltyness. The barleywine taste kind of comes through.
M. Has a very coarse carbonation to it.
D. This would be a beautiful drink to have after have some Moroccan/middle eastern food. Can't have too many of these.

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Photo of Blanco
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay goblet. Beer is an amber color with off-white head that doesn't hold for very long. It's heavily carbonated as evidenced by the hundreds of carbonation bubbles that are stuck to the walls of the goblet. Smell is of caramel and dark fruit, along with some spices. Some slight honey notes. Taste is very strange at first, unpleasant and difficult to pinpoint. Subsequent sips are much better with more of the dark fruit coming through. Thankfully, the caramel character is not present in the taste. After a bit some sweetness comes through. I can also pick up some of the honey and hints of grape juice. Slight warming sensation. Light mouthfeel. Seems like at one point this beer had quite the reputation. Before I bought it I had never heard of it, though I'm not sure why. Not the best BSDA I've had, but infinitely better than most American takes on the style.

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

Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is cloudy brown in color and poured into a snifter with a huge off white head that has good retention properties. A light to moderate amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles, along with some yeast particles floating near the bottom of the glass.
S: The smell is a bit sweet and sour with aromas of apple cider, honey, raisins, spices and yeast.
T: Honey dominates the overall taste, which is rather complex and also has flavors of candi sugar, raisins and spices. The taste becomes sweeter as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate with a high amount of carbonation and lots of dryness.
D: This beer has interesting flavors and is something that definitely needs to be sipped. I would consider having this again the next time I am looking to try a beer that's unique.

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Photo of MrBen
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brewed with honey and raisins? Should be interesting. And it was -- so much so that I believe I'll be relieving a local supplier of its stock.

Guido pours a medium-brown and puts up a nice, stable head. Dots of lacing cling to the bottom of the glass.

Nose is sweet -- the savory type, not the more bold Belgian candi syrup variety. Flavor is complex, to say the least. Sweetness detected in the aroma is very well balanced in the overall flavor profile by a refreshing tartness that a nicely played combination of yeast and hops can lend to a brew.

Mouthfeel is welcoming with just the right amount of fizz to match the sweet and tart flavors. The taste is excellent. I was able to taste the honey and raisins in the mix, as well as some hoppy notes. Definitely not a candi bomb at all. This is really enjoyable stuff. A creative offering for sure.

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Photo of eric5bellies
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of Martstar
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of weeare138
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Ortino's Northside under the rouse of "Regenboog Belgian Brown w/ dates". Gotta love Shangy's, man
Appears a murky, cider toned brown with a 2 finger, tan head that slowly fades out.
Smell is of candi sugar, raisins, brown sugar, caramel, freshly baked bread, and light apples.
Taste is a smooth version of the mentioned aromas...this is way better the two times I've had it in bottles within the states(via hopdog, & at Monk's Cafe). It's really quite an addictive taste that is peculier but definite raisin presence is there...not sure why the board said "dates" but I guess that is a passable fruit as well coming through in the aromas and flavors. I'm not sure if I would've picked it out though had I not been told.
Mouthfeel is smooth, sugary, sweet, mildly astringent with a hint of acidity that is tolerable for the style.
Not a bad beer at all.

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Photo of claspada
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid amber with a large off-white head that slowly dissipates; a bit of lacing sticks. Some yeasty chunkiness escapes as I did not pour carefully enough but still it's kinda gross.

Aroma is quite complex; honey, caramel, raisins, candy, with a few citrus notes; obviously also some Belgian yeast smells.

The taste is fairly sweet honey and caramel. Subtle raisins, that grow a bit as it progresses, Belgian yeasty spiciness and a touch of earthy hops balance the sweetness that remains a dominant feature throughout. Slight alcohol, but not too assertively. Slightly astringent. Complex with a sweet finish.

Effervescent Belgiany carbonation, but the body holds up well. Some sweet stickiness and alcohol cling to the palate, but not in an unpleasant way.

An interesting, unique sipper that is light enough to drink faster than that if you desire. Lands between a pale and dark Belgian ale, Brown ale? Certainly strong though; this would make a nice, sweet after dinner/dessert beer.

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Photo of mrunseen
4/5  rDev +3.1%

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Guido from Brouwerij Smisje
Beer rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 93 ratings
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