't Smisje Grande Reserva | Brouwerij Smisje

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
84
good
52 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
't Smisje Grande Reserva't Smisje Grande Reserva
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Smisje
Belgium
smisje.be

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by emerge077 on 12-09-2007

BEER STATS
Reviews:
52
Ratings:
88
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
25.27%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
6
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 88
Photo of sweemzander
1.18/5  rDev -68.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a murky leather-brown color. Some decent tan froth and lace. A little muddy looking for the style.

(S)- An almost salty apple cider aroma. Bits of wood and spice. Finishes with subtle brown sugar.

(T)- Tart, sour, very very earthy: like dirt. Metallic and just overall, a funky clay and a very very bitter finish.

(M)- A low carbonation level. Just a nightmare of a mouthfeel and flavor profiles: sour, earthy, bitter, and metallic.

(D)- Just a mess of a beer. Not sure of its age, but this is just horrendous. A rare drainpour since I could barely stomach another sip.

 620 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
1.41/5  rDev -62.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Bottle shared by bmanning.

Pours a murky light brown with quite a bit of haze and sediment. Small, tight head. No lacing. Nose is something else, with a weird nutty character permeating everything else. Hints of toffee and dark fruits in the back. Taste is dark fruits, toffee, caramel, and a strong nutty presence. A bit of something else is off, though it is hard to place. Feel is creamy and nutty with almost no carbonation. Really bad. Overall, just not a good beer with some seriously strange flavors.

 509 characters

Photo of drabmuh
1.42/5  rDev -61.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer was so bad it was offensive. I am HUGELY unimpressed with this entire brewery. It baffles me that this beer has a positive review. This was close to the worse BEVERAGE I've ever had. If I were still in Arizona, I wouldn't have poured this down the drain, I would have taken the bottle out to the mesa and shot it with an assault rifle. Unfortunately, this was not an option. Beer poured into a tiny snifter. I only drank 1.5 ounces before choking back my gag reflex.

Beer is kind of brown / amber but its so settled that there appears to be a gradient of crap in the glass. Its darker at the bottom than the top and I don't know what to think about that. No head, no lacing, no nothing.

Aroma is harsh, mildly smoky, a little sweet. Probably the best thing about this beer.

Light in body, dry in finish, peaty smoke in the palate, gross midpalate flavors. I hoped that the smoke would cover up the rotten wood flavors and skunk and nastiness but it somehow amplified them. I would never buy or drink this beer. It was horrid.

 1,038 characters

Photo of jjayjaye
2.32/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Whoa. Totally unlike any BSD's that I've ever considered before. Really trying to stick it out but I'm not a big fan. Unique is one thing, drinkability another. The nose and the flavors mirror up pretty well, but wow, not sure where it's coming from. First off on the sweet side with some nice figgy character that is mixed with a floral something mixed in with a soapy Sen Sen licorice and some nasty leathery horse blanket thing that lingers well past it's welcome. The mouth feel is light bodied, tingly tangy and fairly dry. Cleans up pretty quickly aside from that unnamed goose bump making thing that's going more towards a tartness as it warms up. I'd love to wave you off of this one, but I think that it's so unique that you ought to give it a ride. Definitely not what I consider inside the classic style. I'm not getting the 11% ABV in any shape or form. I'm going to finish this one but I'm not going back. Really interesting...FYI, I just drain poured the Fiori.

 975 characters

Photo of JBogan
2.88/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The glass is filled with a ruby color with a very small head which leaves an average amount of lacing.

The aroma is full of dark fruits, perhaps raisins along with a heavy dose of burnt wood.

There's a very boozy character to the taste, along with cherries and the previously mentioned dark fruits. It's a bit too sweet for my liking, and seems more like a barleywine.

The mouthfeel is very thin and quite flat, but does go down smoothly.

The sweetness of this beer made it hard for me to want to finish the glass. There are far better examples of this style available.

 573 characters

Photo of drpimento
3.05/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ok beer. When first opened, picked up a whif of burnt matches. Poured with a smallish light tan head and some lace. Color is an oragne dark amber. Aroma is malt caramel, yeast and a hint of bandaids. Flavor is the same as aroma. Body is good and so is carbonation. Finish is like flavor, medium in length and a bit boozy.

 321 characters

Photo of bonkers
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured from a 11.2 ounce bottle into a SA perfect pint. The beer is very carbonated, I had to wait 10 minutes to let the 3+ inch head die down, good lacing. Very sweet aroma, some spiciness, lots of booze. The beer is very sweet, it overtakes all other characteristics. There is some spiciness, light alchohol, whiskey characteristics. The finish is sweet and it lingers. The body is medium, good carbonation, cloying mouthfeel. As it warms it gets bett, a definite sipper, and not a beer I enjoyed.

 501 characters

Photo of MufflnMan
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a snifter glass. Incredibly overactive off white head. Had to pour this one extra slow. Head was present for the entire drink, beautiful lacing sticking to the sides with each sip. Color was a dark brown.

I smell some apple, raisin, toffee and a spice I can't seem to put my finger on... maybe coriander as written on the label. Taste was much the same, and quickly got a bit too boozy for me. Subtle wood flavor in the background. Mouthfeel was thin and... well, boozy. This beer seemed nice and complex at first but quickly fell flat and one-noted after a few sips. Not sure what happened. Was an interesting drink, but not a repeat.

 670 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a copperish-brown body w/ large sticky head that takes forever to die. Sweet aroma, like candied-sugar, and the whiskey and oak aging are noticeable as there is a strong, woody/burnt malt aroma as well. I'm wondering if also picking up some of the alcohol in aroma although won't say it's a boozy/medicinal smell. Hints of light aromas of raisins and figs and the typical Belgian yeast strain comes out (although no orange). Unfortunately it goes off the rails a little bit. While there are some sweet notes and fruit notes i.e. caramel and something akin to chocolate/toffee as well as raisins and candied fruit and some orange/citric hops, plus a spicy corriander edge, the beer is overcarbonated in my opinion so instead of passing over smooth it is a little prickly and unbecoming. Also, there is also a little bit of a husky sour edge of apple and pear that isn't that greatly balanced, almost a sour vinous taste, and the dry woody/toasted malt presence is on backend as well as booze but not complementary; stands out in sharp contrast. This beer has the stuff to possibly be great but I find that it really just misses on trying to balance all these ingredients and w/ the high ABV it is a stong and long sipper.

 1,226 characters

Photo of kiddynamite920
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a bit flat, ruddy copper in color. Looks cider-y.

S: The whisky is actually quite nice in juxtaposition with the sweet apple, candi sugar aroma. Yeasty and fruity, but the whisky lends smokiness and char to it. Interesting pairing.

T: Initially sweet with some apple and pear, then the whisky and the wood hit hard. Tobacco and smoke are prevalent. Again, interesting melding of flavors here. Finishes with a touch of sweetness with some caramel apple, raisin and fig.

M: A shade thin for how big this beer is. Definitely has the Belgian mouthfeel of tiny bubbles, but they are almost overridden by a strong whisky burn and smoky bitterness.

O: A neat pairing of flavors and aromas. Would work better if the small parts of the puzzle worked better. Needs more viscosity and body.

 792 characters

Photo of speter
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a cloudy deep brown with a high head that slowly fades, leaving impressive lacing.

S: Roasty malts with an overlay of alcohol aged in French oak. Hints of brown sugar, caramel and raisins.

T: This is one of those beers best sampled in small quantities. Even though the stubby is 11.2 oz, it's still worthy of being split. The initial tastes strike me as very nice. Warming and strong, but after numerous sips, the ethanol turns on you and begins to be a bit too fusely.

M: I'm giving this a high mark, because even at 11%, it is fairly watery and not too much like drinking syrup. The carbonation is impressively high, given the ABV, which makes the overall experience pretty good.

D: Alas, the fusel alcohol is a bit too much for this to be a drinkable beer.

 774 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber body with a small, fizzy white head.

Smell: Heady aroma of smoke, juniper berries, fruit, and a dizzingly array of strong spice notes.

Taste: Honeyed sweetness, a tart fruitiness, wood, spices, and lots meaty smokiness, like biting into a pulled pork sandwich. All of the flavors push and shoove the palate around, all vieing for your undivided attention.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Quite warming. Sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Plenty of intense, otherworldly flavors jumbled up in here, and, while it's interesting, I don't think I'll be reaching for another bottle anytime soon.

 641 characters

Photo of danedelman
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

found this one at a bottle shop in north jersey. looks old. Thanks Ixodus for the shop!!

A-deep mahogoney with a huge tan head that slowly disapates.

S-lots of dried fruits and dark candi sugar. some bourbon and oaky notes linger behind.

T-wow!! never had this before. has the beginning like a good Quad (dried fruit, candi sugar, belgian yeast) but then turns to a smoky oak woody flavor. has a slight sourness/cidary flavor too but hides behind all the other flavors.

M-medium bodies with lots of carbonation. some heat in the swallow but well masked nontheless.

Overall, this is a must try!! Although far from my favorite, I have never had something like this one before. If I find again I will buy but will not seek out this one.

 738 characters

Photo of flannelman808
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer pours with a semi opaque mahogany red color. The beer is topped with an off white thin but apparent silky head. smooth latte like froth on this stuff.

S: coriander and spice and wood jump out at me... dark toffee malts and a caramel like sweetness. maybe some dark fruit as well... smells good.

T: Rich and much more boozy than I would have guessed by the nose. Whisky barrel comes through for sure... wood is all over the place. Sweetness and vanilla are also present. over ripened sugary dates?

M: Rich and lingering

D: not too high given this beers sweet almost cloying profile.

 598 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears a semi-transparent, crimsoned toned amber with a small white head that slowly fades into a heavy collar. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, light smoke, and toffee.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with meaty, smoked jerky jumping across the tongue.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a grainy, astringent, heat that is mildly tough to swallow.

 412 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a dark brown color with a fluffy tan colored head on top. This brew is smells a little roasted and yeasty, not too bad. The taste of the beer gives of some raisin flavors along with a bit of spice in the finish. The mouthfeel is rather mellow and smooth, a little bit lighter than expected from a dark brew. Overall it's a pretty nice brew, I'd drink it again.

 379 characters

Photo of robbyc1
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Unique fluffy head with a hazy reddish cherry amber look. Lots of carbonation and great lace, the head looks like pillow fluff.

Malty nose, not big but figs, stone fruits dominate.

Leather and stone fruits hit up front, very unusual. Stored in whisky casks and with corrianger and grains of paradise, I think the spices are barried by the cask, subdued flavors , not a sign of the high abv, but a sipper nonetheless, after dinner for sure. with cigars and a shot as well.

Heavy and smooth, more like a port with some carbonation.

Not an easy drinker, but a different type of beer, even for a Belgian Dark, this one is interesting.

 634 characters

Photo of wschmit
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle into a Perfect Pint.

A: This foamed up on me when I opened it, so the head is probably not representative, due to a hasty pour. A thin ring of tan head remains around the top of a hazy, burnt amber body with apparent carbonation.

S: Grape fruit snacks and whisky up front. Cherry cola thereafter, with some herbal flourishes. Very enchanting, unique nose. A bit of musty malt rounds it out. No hops.

T: A bit tart initially, it quickly develops into a heavy scotch flavor, and is noticeably smoky. Definitely scotch, not American/Irish whisky. Finish is dry, woody, and a bit too astringent. Perhaps some oxidation, too. Overall, not as good as the nose, to me.

M: Good mouthfeel: medium carbonation lightens the fairly heavy body, and barely a trace of alcohol from this potent pour.

D: If it tasted as good as it smelled, this would be one hell of a beer. As it is, it's interesting, and goes down very easily given the ABV. At 6 bucks for the bottle, it was a fair price, but certainly not a backyard grilling quaff. Still, I enjoyed it.

 1,062 characters

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Somewhat murky mahogany hue, with an off-white smallish head.

S - The smell is strong of whisky barrels, with some dark fruits, cherries and some oxidation.

T - The taste is so different than the smell, it is more of a Belgian-Scotch Ale than I expected. It is semi-sweet, with a peaty smokiness and a big nutty malt flavor. I don't get so much Whisky but there is some eclectic spicing, as advertised. It is pretty good, but not excellent by any means.

M - It has the feel of a cask ale, smooth but under-carbonated.

D - I am not sure whether I am let down or just surprised by this one. t' Smisje makes some very good stuff, so I had fairly high expectations here.

 674 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Whisky cask matured 't Smisje Kerst Ale brewed with spices (coriander and grain of paradise)" From the importer: Tsmisje Kerst matured in Michel Couvreur’s whiskey barrels. (Scotch whisky is my guess)

Color is a deep caramel tone, nearly opaque. Aroma of overripe fruit, a little funky at first, but that soon blows off. A touch sweet and earthy as well. Mildly sweet and spicy, full bodied but not syrupy or huge.

Very long finish of earthy peat and campfire smoke. Celery salt or artichoke? It's an acquired taste, but it's delicious. Warming, without the solvent alcohol of the Scotch. Nice mouthfeel for 11%, great for sipping. Bottle was $6, very much worth it.

Listed ingredients: Barley, Wheat, Amber & Caramunich malts. Hallertauer & Goldings hops. Spices: Dark candi sugar, coriander, grain of paradise.

 826 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gorgeous, hazy crimson look, nice, creamy head.

Lovely aromatics, deep, malty, rich, & inviting. Cherries, blackberries, other dark fruits, spices. Gettin' the whiskey, too.

Big splash onto the palate, fat and tasty, but a bit brash. Brandy-like, richness, ...ah, reading the label closely, I see it's the Kerst, which I recently had matured in the whiskey casks.
A little nutty, ...altogether odd, to be accurate. Doesn't press all the right buttons with me, and I can't say why exactly...but, that's cool.

Nice stuff, even if doesn't set my world on fire. And I can hardly notice the 11% abv. Wait...there it is!

 618 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bonfire orange with tangerine dipped in honey borders. No yeasties so far, but only the top two-thirds of the bottle exited on the initial pour. The great looking crown is midway between cream and beige. It has a milkshake-like creaminess and enough stickiness to paint the glass with a fair amount of sea foam lace.

The label indicates that Grande Reserva is Kerst that has been 'whisky cask matured'. By the smell of things, the brewery used Islay Scotch casks. There's a phenolic, smoky peat-like aroma that doesn't come from any other type of whiskey. The coriander and grains of paradise have been steamrolled into oblivion. If you don't care for Islay Scotch, knock off a half-point.

Unlike some barrel-aged beer, this ale picked up a significant amount of character from the wood and the whiskey. Perhaps too much. The complexity present in a great many BSDAs simply isn't present. That doesn't mean the beer isn't good, however.

The final pour adds a deep, rich, coppery color and a significant amount of yeast. It also intensifies an already aggressive flavor profile. Scotch is one of the world's finest libations, but it doesn't always complement beer as well as bourbon does. The flavors here do tend to clash a bit. Can you feel the ambivalence?

Warming helps bring out the spiciness. That said, there's no way I could have identified the spices by name given the cask aging. The beer is also fairly sweet, which works well in the grand scheme of things. A little warmth from the alcohol isn't surprising given the ABV.

The mouthfeel is on the full side of medium-full and delivers a moderate stickiness after the swallow. There isn't as much velvety volume as there could be, but the viscosity makes up for it. Lots of candi sugar, no doubt.

It's hard to say whether 'whisky' cask aging did Kerst any favors. I like the original beer and I like this version just as well. However, neither one even sniffs greatness. The fact that it's unique makes 't Smisje Grande Reserva worth a purchase. That said, I have very little desire to drink it again.

 2,066 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brewery has been barrel-ageing up a storm and this is no exception. The whiskey is prominent. It is good looking and most drinkable, despite the booziness which is apparent. Average mouthfeel. I would have liked a little less sweetness, brought on by the corriander.

 271 characters

Photo of malcontent
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy, bubbly brown-ish body with a scattershot head. Looks like something I've brewed...

Big, yeasty nose with a sweet apricot hint before a subdued hop background makes itself known.

Candy sweetness takes the lead with only a hint of coriander in tow before a full-on rush of Spanish peanuts (skin included) takes charge. A minor hop kick chimes in on the finish creating a complex, unusual and, frankly, delightful experience.

Body shies away from heaviness considering the hefty ABV. Still, the sweetness trends toward slightly cloying after a bit. A great little gem nonetheless.

 586 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle picked up at State Line a while back.

A: In my Koningshoeven goblet, this beer pours a deep, reddish brown with a thick, creamy light brown head. Retention is good, and there's some nice lacework as the head slowly recedes

S: Very rich, this beer has a lot of depth. It opens up with a combination of fresh bread, spices (nutmeg and mace) and a rich and sweet booziness. Being aged in cognac barrels, there is a rich vinous character, with sweet brandy and cognac booze. As good as this is, I can't give it a 4.5

T: Opens with a mild brown sugar sweetness and a bite of alcohol before a melange of spices - herbal with a little mint, as well as nutmeg and a little mace - kicks in. Great barrel character with a big cognac presence with oaky tannins present. The finish is long, dry, and tannic with some alcohol. As it warms up, the complexity of the base beer becomes more apparent, with the rich malty base with brown sugar, burnt sugar, cocoa and a little coffee grinds coming through.

M: This beer is pretty great. Medium in body with moderate carbonation and a great finish

D: As excellent as this beer is, I'm having a hard drinking this. It's too rich for its own good, and a perfect beer to share.

 1,227 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
't Smisje Grande Reserva from Brouwerij Smisje
3.72 out of 5 based on 88 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!