B.D.S. Belgian-Style Dark Ale | O'Fallon Brewery

very good
64 Ratings
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B.D.S. Belgian-Style Dark AleB.D.S. Belgian-Style Dark Ale

Brewed by:
O'Fallon Brewery
Missouri, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by homebrewhawk on 02-11-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 64 |  Reviews: 23
Photo of Eaglefan344
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of mfield14
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Photo of mjaggers
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of IpeeA
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of gpawned
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Local Option cervoise.

A BSD plus a port barrel sounds like a good combination to me... This stuff pours a dark black-garnet topped by a finger of sweet khaki foam. The nose comprises black grapes, brown sugar, light maple syrup, light molasses, very light oak, dark fruits, and clove. The taste brings in more of the same, though some actual tawny port flavors come into play here as well. In addition, some vanilla bean and light cocoa find their ways in, too. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a mildly grainy feel. Overall, a very nice beer, one that deftly explores the interplay between port and BSD, and one that somehow gets systematically overlooked 'round these parts.

 726 characters

Photo of peabody
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a very cloudy dark brown to black with very little off-white small suds that stay with the pour for the length of the drink. Lacing here for sure.
The aroma is raisin and date and sugar malts. The alcohol is pretty evident here. The belgian yeast is here also but the whole thing smells like sour raisins.
Taste is pretty good for a 10%er. You have the belgian spices and the oatmeal and raisin but the alcohol really puts this beer in the "hot" range. Still not so overbearing as to be bad.
Mouthfeel is sticky and the flavor retention is very nice here.
Overall I think this is a very good beer from a so-so brewer.

 627 characters

Photo of MasterSki
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased many moons ago at Armanetti's. Served in a random glass at Edward's 80s party.

A - Tan foam settles to a thick collar, partial cap, and minimal lace. Dark brown body with a hint of transparency at the edges of the glass.

S - Bready malts, brown sugar, port, oak, candi sugar, red fruits, plums and raisins - quite sweet but with a sharp vinous note.

T - Taste is quite similar, with lots of red fruits, sweet port, caramel, red licorice, and candi sugar. Belgian yeast character is quite restrained in relation to the malt, or it's been obliterated by port - there's just the faintest bit of yeasty bread to keep things from getting cloying.

M - Medium-bodied with active carbonation. Fairly crisp and dry, and lightly tannic in the finish. I don't get much alcohol heat

D - This is really easy to drink considering the ABV, although it gets a tad too sweet after a while. I could have stood for a tad more Belgian yeast character, but this is a nice port-barrel strong ale in any case.

 1,009 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at Benny’s tasting.

Pours a hazy orange brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, raisins, and caramel covered green apples. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and a woody finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but pretty strong.

 467 characters

Photo of sammo
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of brentk56
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opens silently, though it does pour out a bit of foam that quickly fades to a ringlet; the color of the liquid is coffee brown; while there is not much head to speak of, it does leave a surprising amount of dots on the chalice

Smell: The alcohol is prominent on the nose, but underneath the booze burn there is a vinous blend of fortified grape, blackberry and oak

Taste: Fruity and tart, up front, with fortified grapes, blackberries and sour cherry flavors; by mid-palate, some chocolate adds depth, though the tartness builds; nicely balanced into the finish, with some oak and vanilla flavors lingering into the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation; warmth in the gullet

Overall: Certainly the best beer I have tasted from O'Fallon though not the best example of a wine barrel aged beer I have sampled; a bit one-dimensional as the BSDA elements fail to come through in a meaningful way

 936 characters

Photo of hoppymcgee
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Daniellobo
3.47/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fair take on a Belgian dark ale aged in Port barrels, hefty vinous raisins overpower the experience.

Presentation: 22 oz brown wax capped bottle. Glossy label with a barrel background, brewery brained, and burnt typography with name of brew. Back offers a small narrative with intent, brew details. and bottling date of June 2011. Shows 10% Alc. by Vol. Poured into a snifter.

A - Deep amber brown pour with a brief head that fades in an instant leaving almost no memory or lacing.

S - Malty-raisiny, sweet vinous touch with a sugary sense…

T - Which ride furiously over the palate. Strong sense of dark fruits blended with that port barrel, raisins, figs, raisins, and some more dark raisins, small sense of a Belgian sugary edge with a minimal yeastiness, hint of sour corners under the long sweetness, which buries in a remote distance notes of wood.

M - Medium/-full body with minimal carbonation. Maybe feeling studier given the intensity of flavor. Sticky and quite cloying as it finishes.

O - Slow sipper, one needs to like this intense dark fruitiness and barrel to really enjoy it.

Notes: Glad to try it but raisins are not my thing, at least not in this quantity, and the way this port was shining it screamed vinous raisins throughout. Enticing for the first small snifter, too much for a second one...

 1,322 characters

Photo of fvernon
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber bottled in June of 2011 into a Goose Island belgian glass. It poured a clean mahogany with almost no head or lacing; just a thin metallic edging around the glass.

The aroma is of prunes and sour cherries that have been smashed to pulp and soaked in port wine and belgian ale; some hints of oak, caramel, and toast linger in the background, but the aroma of fortified-wine-soaked fruit is pretty dominating. It's inviting, but maybe a bit unidimensional.

The taste is immediately sour cherry, port wine, and a somewhat mild belgian dark ale. I fear it is a bit overpowered by the aging process as compared to, say, a quad may be - but it still makes it through with a nice belgian character. Fruity, a bit yeasty, and with some zest that tries to balance out the heavy sweetness of the port barrels. As it warms up the port calms down a bit, but I feel as though it is a consistent fight for dominance as opposed to a smooth collaboration of flavors here.

The mouthfeel is quite nice - not too thick or thin, with the sweetness sticking around by not cloyingly.

I'm very glad to have tried it - I can certainly see port barrel aging as a good idea, so long as they are decently high-end barrels and the beer already strong enough in depth and complexity to withstand the onslaught of an already-overbearing partner. The B.D.S. gives it a good shot, and I'm enjoying it, but I'm also sitting here wondering how one could use port barrels in a way that brings balance as opposed to conflict in a glass.

 1,525 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruddy mahogany with a sliver tan head.
Some lacing & head retention

S: Bourbon notes, plums, faint boozeyness

T: Dark fruit, figs, raisins, prunes & a touch faint boozeness plus woodyness up front. Port barrel aging is coming through in spades as this warms, hints of Christmas pudding in this one, plus some jammy notes as well. Finishes with much dark fruittyness, dark chocolate & port notes & just a bit of leafy hops & a kiss of boozeyness, pretty darn dry

MF: Fairly chewy, low carbonation

Easily THE BEST beer from these guys period. I really enjoyed this one, drinks so easy for the ABV

 606 characters

Photo of sgoro
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of aint_it_strange
1/5  rDev -75.1%

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of egrace84
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of StlHopHead77
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewed 7/10 and bottled 6/11

A-Pours out an uber murky,maroonish brown with an extremely slight,light tan collar of foam that died quickly leaving scant spots of lacing.

S-Sweet cherry,booze,Belgian spice,wood and dried fruit(currant,raisin)

T-Very vinous.Obvious port-like notes of ripe red grape,baked red apple,dried dark fruit and booze that finishes with a slight earhty hop/dry spice note of cardamom/clove.

M-Dry and tannic with fleeting sweetness and a chewy texture.

O-Not a bad effort here from O'Fallon

 518 characters

Photo of Duff27
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of vitters03
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of davidthebruce
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of claspada
4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a super hazy, murky, dark brown color with a small, light brown head of bubbly foam that immediately dissipates. When I swirl in attempt to agitate some foam, I get a little more, that leaves minimal lacing.

Where the appearance drops the ball, the aromas more than make up for it. Initially all I get is crazy amounts of oak and alcohol. After it opens up (literally only a couple minutes) the unpleasant booziness vanishes and I get really pleasant dark fruitiness, delicious sweet/vinous port and amazing dark caramelized malts. No way you would know that this is a Belgian ale (no yeast esters or phenols).

The tastes, however, do have some Belgian characteristics to blend harmoniously with the superbly balanced barrel aging. First you get the sweet port and vinous dry red wine flavors, then the Belgian beer base shows itself, transitioning into the light Belgian spice/clove. There is an emerging apple and more dark fruits (raisins/prunes) as it warms.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a lower than normal amount of carbonation, but I attribute that to the barrel aging. Dry, vinous, slightly yeasty finish; equally vinous and Belgian.

Overall this beer was a great treat. Very unique and nothing like I have ever had to date. I have recently become adverse of Belgian ales because of the overly phenolic and estery nature of poorly made American examples, but I love wine Barrel aged beers so I had to seek this one out and I am quite glad I did. The Belgian presence is subtle enough that it add to the complexity of the flavor profile without overshadowing the delicious port barrel flavors. Flavors emerge more and more as it warms so make sure you don't drink this too cold. Well worth seeking out as it is a very unique and delicious brew.

 1,773 characters

Photo of jsh420
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

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B.D.S. Belgian-Style Dark Ale from O'Fallon Brewery
4.01 out of 5 based on 64 ratings.
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