't Smisje Grande Reserva | Brouwerij Smisje

't Smisje Grande Reserva't Smisje Grande Reserva
BA SCORE
64%
Liked This Beer
3.7 w/ 89 ratings
'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
Ranking:
#27,240
Reviews:
52
Ratings:
89
Liked:
57
Avg:
3.7/5
pDev:
19.46%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
6
Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 89 |  Reviews: 52
Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2/5  rDev -45.9%

Photo of emerge077
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of DrBier
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Thorpe429
1.41/5  rDev -61.9%
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 ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
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 BuckeyeNation
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
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 JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
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!

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Photo of drabmuh
1.42/5  rDev -61.6%
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 Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of afsdan
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of enelson
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of clayrock81
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
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 John_M
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm equally puzzled by those who refer to whiskey barrel aging. The label refers to this as Catherine the Great Stout aged in cognac barrels. In any event, this beer is delicious.

The beer pours a murky brown color with impressive head retention and lacing. In fact, if anything the beer was a little too active, as I had to wait 15 or 20 minutes for the head to die down. The nose is just wonderful in this beer, consisting of chocolate, butter (a lot of butter), vanilla and root beer. There is also a hint of brandy in the aroma, though it's hard to pick out from all the other wonderful smells in this beer. For the most part, the flavors on the palate replicates the nose, except there is more of a pronounced chocolate, cherry and vanilla flavor. There is also considerable spice in this beer, which inparts some additional coffee and orange citrus flavors. The beer has a moderately sweet flavor profile. Mouthfeel is sensational with this beer, as I get a long, soft creamy finish. This beer is absolutely delicious. The abv. is well disguised in this beer, which is a bit dangerous. I can easily see myself downing a couple of these bad boys at a sitting, which at 11%, would not be such a great idea.

Excellent beer. Would not hesitate to order this one again.

 1,273 characters

Photo of Latarnik
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of sweemzander
1.18/5  rDev -68.1%
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 DucksFan16
3.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of weeare138
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
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 PEIhop
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of corby112
4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper color with dark ruby and chestnut brown hues when held to a light source with a huge frothy beige head that has excellent retention, lasting the whole way through and leaving nice chunks of lacing along it's way.

Peppery spice aroma with a nice citrus fruit presence along with an earthy oak, vanilla and whiskey notes.

Spicy flavor with a nice peppery presence and hints of citrus and dark fruit. Orange peel, lemon zest, orange peel, dark cherry, plum, raisin, fig are balanced out by a peasant earthy oak/vanilla flavor from the aging with a nice bit of whiskey and a slightly sour, dry finish.

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't Smisje Grande Reserva from Brouwerij Smisje
Beer rating: 64% out of 100 with 89 ratings
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