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't Smisje Kerst | Brouwerij Smisje

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BA SCORE
3.94/5
Very Good
108 Ratings
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:
Also known as Smiske Winter

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-15-2003

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#7,851
Reviews:
74
Ratings:
108
pDev:
9.9%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
3
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 108 |  Reviews: 74
Photo of SLeffler27
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark garnet brown and a bit hazy. A short-lived dark khaki tight foam settles to a thick blanket leaving no lace in a Rochefort chalice.

Rich earthiness marks the otherwise sweet aroma. Dark fruits such as raisins, dates and figs compliment pumpernickel bread. Warmth reveals prunes and Brazil nuts.

Strong flavors are revealed within a well-balanced sweet/bitter profile. This follows the nose with earthy flavors being more prominent. After the modest finish and warmth, some ginger is noticeable.

This is extraordinarily creamy with ample carbonation against a light medium body. It is on the dry side with alcohol well below expectations.

Kerst may stretch the style but it does so in positive ways. I found it to be just right while relaxing after work on a cold winter day before dinner.

 803 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.16/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Here is an example of what happens when you take short-cuts in your (my) research.
I bought this because I recognized the brewery's name and had a few of their quirky interpretations... of which all were interesting and one superbly good.
So this bottle of Kerst hangs in my cellar, somewhat neglected because it is hard to know what you are going to get with Smisje. In a flurry of cleaning out my beer cellar to prepare for Fall, this one gets ramped up to the staging area in the cooler.... and I soon pop the top.

The research problem emerges quickly because I want a beer to soothe the Dog Days of Summer. Fortunately for me, there was enough alcohol in this beer that I could imagine it was January in Chicago... instead of the humid, heavy rainstorm in July that was passing through.

This is a great ale... but follow this advice: drink it when the temperatures are low.

 880 characters

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

Photo of Barnchaser
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2 finger plus head, Dissipating quickly. Effervescent. Pretty Ruby brown color.
Warm, Boozy and spicy.

103 characters

Photo of steverx8
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GRG1313
3.37/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of jrfehon33
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of jalop
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bigred89
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jrob21
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of pat61
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Has a tartness on the nose and a little funk. Hazy amber, bone white stiff cap dissipates to ½” from 3”. Palate: fruit, rich malts, bubble gum, pineapple, peach with a balance of tart and sweet. Medium body, above average carbonation.

 239 characters

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

Photo of teromous
3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The bottle I have appears differently from the one listed on this site. It has red lettering and a black silhouette of hills with trees. The bottle also says 12% ABV and "Belgian Winter Ale brewed with spices (coriander & grain of paradise)"

Appearance: It is a hazy murky iced tea brown color with a thin dirty-white head that fades instantly. As usual head retention is not something to hold against a beer that is 12%.

Aroma: There is a strong caramel scent along with dates. It has a very rich aroma to it, that completely consumes all olfactory senses. If aroma had a "mouthfeel" it would be syrupy.

Taste: It has quite a lot of flavor. At first there is this rich candy caramel flavor, then it is followed by this nutty pecan flavor, which has a biscuit aftertaste, and a popcorn-like ending. I like it.

Mouthfeel: Despite the collection of flavors and ABV of the beer, it comes across as a fairly medium bodied beer, and a lighter shade of medium to boot. It has a touch of effervescence which seems to further the lightness of the body. I would like to see a larger beer like this have more of a coating quality.

Overall: I didn't pick up any coriander or grains of paradise, but the flavor qualities were still there to make this an interesting beer. It didn't blow me away but it was a good beer. Try it if you like large Belgian beers, but you're not missing anything if you can't get it.

 1,404 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Tiny particles of sediment are seen suspended in the beer after the pour. Smell is of toasted malt, dark fruit, mixed fruit jelly, and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, caramel, dark fruit, and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice balance between the malt, dark fruit, and spice characteristics all around.

Serving type: bottle.

 711 characters

Photo of dcmchew
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Bitterbill
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It pours a very hazy/cloudy dark honey colour, 1 finger head of foam with the usual Belgian quality re retention and lacing.

The smell is of dark fruits, black cherries amongst them?, yeasty, some light spiciness.

The taste is stronger than the nose but not as impressive to me. Dark pitted fruits, yeasty, orange peel bitterness, has some woody notes and light Port(more of that please), vanilla,..to me, a tad over complex and not everything comes together in total harmony.

Top end of medium bodied, medium carbo, very good mouthfeel.

So, in the end analysis, I reckon, despite what I said about the complexity above, this IS a very good brew.

 651 characters

Photo of lmaduells
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of timmynyc
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of mattfancett
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of kkmiller76
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of DRBiser
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

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't Smisje Kerst from Brouwerij Smisje
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 108 ratings
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