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Catherine The Great (Calvados) | Brouwerij Smisje

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Brewed by:
Brouwerij Smisje

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stakem on 06-07-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 1 |  Reviews: 1
Photo of stakem
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

What a treat to be able to enjoy this brew. This was a wooden pin (5 gallons, gravity pour) at the Farmer's Cabinet for the Belgian Beer Geek Brunch during Philly Beer Week 2011. The wooden pin previously was used to age Calvados and subsequently the JW Lees Harvest Ale (Calvados version obviously) before getting filled with Catherine the Great in 2002. The look of this weathered, rusty banded barrel is oozing with history and character.

Served in a mini snifter, this brew appears a murky brown color that is not your typical look for a RIS. However, having the normal, nonbarrel aged version in company for a side by side tasting shows no difference visually. A scarce amount of bubbles make their way to the surface where there is no head formation at all, no lacing effect either except for the alcohol "legs." A swirl does nothing to provoke a head.

The smell of this brew is big boozy alcohol accent with a sweet undertone of apples and caramel. Plenty of huge barrel aged presence here with scents of toasted coconut and vanilla sweetness. The alcohol is readily evident but completely dominated by the smoothness of the barrel aging effect.

The taste is musty grain character with oxidation and light cardboard before being over taken by apple flavoring and big booze accented by the brandy. Strangely smooth with a vanilla and coconut incorporation. The aftertaste starts to show more of the base brew characteristics with a tart fruit flavor similar to green apple and pear skins.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with little to no carbonation. I'd call it still, but it is lightly felt on the tongue but looks still. The alcohol really drives itself home on the last sip but it is enjoyable as a sipper. The barrel aging of this brew has completely modified it into a deep brew more in line with the old ale or barleywine style.

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Catherine The Great (Calvados) from Brouwerij Smisje
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 1 ratings
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