Serafijn Celtic Angel | Microbrouwerij Achilles

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Serafijn Celtic AngelSerafijn Celtic Angel

Brewed by:
Microbrouwerij Achilles

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by paterlodie on 07-07-2005

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Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 31
Photo of PlutonowyManiek
2.82/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Color: copper, slightly cloudy. Head color ecru, not too high.
Aroma: roasted notes, dark fruit, delicate notes of coffee.
The taste is the same, dark, sweet fruit, fresh bread, and again roasted coffee notes.
Saturation of high, alcohol on the verge of a pleasant reception.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.64/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml Bottle - Sep 26, 2007. Strong, creamy Bosc pear flesh, perfectly ripe and imbued delicious yeasty esters. Peppery and with sandalwood. Pours a paler shade of amber, with a soapy sparse tinted head. Flavor is a lilting pale fruits and light esters. Nice sugar character, with bits of brandy, oatmeal and caramel. Mingling between caramelization backed with nuttiness and the brighter more alive fruits. Airs of scotch, foamy brine, and muskmelon. Palate is explosive and heavily carbonated, which makes it bright and brings a dancing soft air quality to it. Eventually as this beer settles and breathes and becomes familiar it reveals the heavy Munich use, making it a bit of a Belgian Oktoberfest. If that makes sense. Really not a bad beer...Thanks Rudy for an awesome extra!

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saw this one on tap at the Bethlehem Speakeasy one night when I was there. I ordered a class out of curiosity. The beer was handed to me as a really nice looking dark red brew with a big fluffy lookin head on top. The lacing was pretty solid for the majority of the beer. The smell was lightly roasted with some Belgian yeast aromas and spice on the nose. The taste I thought was pretty good also. The flavors were just about the same as the nose. The mouthfeel was mostly smooth with a little carbonation in there. Overall this beer wasn't too bad in my opinion.

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Photo of John_M
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Did a double take when I saw this on tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a slightly hazy, darkish copper color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive in this beer, showing brown sugar, chocolate, a hint of orange citrus and considerable spice. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this well crafted beer, though it has some light hoppy bitterness in the finish as well, which helps to balance the moderate sweetness. As a result, the finish is actually on the dry side. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, withe beer showing more richness tha I expected, considering the relatively low abv. Drinkabiity is very good, with the alcohol no more than an afterthought.

Just an altogether delicious beer from this brewery.... pretty much everything they make is.

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Photo of fairdinkum2
3.16/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

How could you a Celtic Angel lead you astray? So it was the beer's name that attracted me to it in the first place, but an angel should be sublime, not ordinary.

Nice pour. Clear copper color, but poor retention

Slightly medicinal, mineral notes. Weak and not memorable

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Photo of popery
2.88/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An unexciting to mediocre Belgian. I was looking for a calm, middling beer tonight, and even that relatively low bar was not met. I've been fairly dubious of this bottle since I purchased it. It's an odd name for a beer and it was on sale for $8 at a grocery store that I don't normally associate with good beer. That said, my experience matches up to other reviews, so I don't think that the bottle was bad or anything. The beer pours a normal enough warm brown-amber color with an extremely effervescent head. The head puffs up hugely at first, filling the glass with bubbles with only a couple inches of liquid. Despite all of this initial excitement, the head actually dissipated quite quickly and left very little lacing. It's actually sort of funny that there were so many bubbles in the appearance because the mouthfeel is distinctly under-carbonated. I would admit if this were my fault from an overly vigorous pour, but I babied it into the glass trying to avoid the monstrous head. The smell is really lacking. It's a flat, yeasty odor with very little of the normal complexity of good Belgian yeast. I'm not sure how the yeast would really be at fault, so I'm not totally sure what's wrong with this beer. The flavor is somewhat better but still odd. It's sweet with a fair bit of caramel and bread malt flavor, but it's not really very interesting or complex. The bitter yeasty flavor is also there in the flavor. There is a merely passing earthy Belgian note. The beer just doesn't come together. It's not awful, but if you're going to make an oddball Belgian variation, it's got to be good. Experimental or not, this beer doesn't really work on any level for me.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A big, rocky, almond head quickly rises and falls, settling to a thin blanket atop a rich, clear, copper-to-chestnut ale. A syrupy film coats the walls of my Hoegaarden Snifter.

This angel begins to sing at arm's length, with notes of bourbon and fig. Once within reach of the nose, strong molasses almost dominates while allowing some raisin and butterscotch to share the stage.

The promise of a Belgian Dark Ale is more alluring than what is presented here. Strong acid, with moderate bitterness, steals the thunder, allowing little else to be enjoyed. Perhaps there is some black tea and dark bread mixed in the finish which is overwhelmed by alcohol fumes.

The thin, watery body belies any expectation developed by the appearance noted above. Sadly, this beer is akin to flat soda pop.

While disappointing and far from the style, Serafijn still delivers an enjoyable experience which perhaps has more to offer when paired with a meal.

This is not quite the six-winged angel implied by the label, however, with some tuning, this one could deliver the haunting melody of a folk harp.

date consumed: 16 Nov 2008

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Photo of lhaqq
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Somewhat cloudy light pale brown body and thin tan head.
S: Some spiciness, wheat, and yeast.
T: Tastes wheat-ier and not as sweet as expected. Some malts, but not overall terribly flavorful.
M: Feels creamy but still bubbly.
D: Unlike how I would label most Belgians, it would be a pretty good session beer. Not too complex and covers the abv well. A couple of friends generously supplied it over dinner. I think that its a great beer to have alongside a good meal.

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Photo of tmoneyba
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by shigadeyo.

Poured hazy copper color with an average fizzy off-white head that was mostly lasting with excellent lacing. Moderate toasted bread malty and fruit aroma. Medium to full body with a sticky texture. Medium sweetbitter flavor with a medium sweet finish with a small alcohol bite of moderate duration.

Appearance was the best of process.

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Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber from Preiere Gourmet. A blonde ale, good yeastiness, finishing with some hops. Aftertaste of the yeast. Yeasty head on the golden colour. Yeasty aroma. Medium plus mouthfeel, though above average carbonation. Decent more hoppy than usual from a Belgian.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
2.58/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cool looking 750 mL bottle purchased from Capone's for $12 (yikes!). Let this one warm after taking it out of the fridge and poured into a tulip glass. Batch 0607 printed on the cap underneath the gold foil.

Color was darker than expected based on the label which reads "unique belgian golden ale." Really it is more of a light, golden red with a large off white head that looks stiff, if that makes any sense to anyone, and falls off rather quickly to an unimpressive collar with no lacing.

Smell is weak, there is some toasted bready malt as well as some spicy yeast notes but not enough of anything to make this one stand out.

Taste is similar, pretty weak and uninteresting. There is a little tartness in there as well, a tad lemony, but overall this one falls well short of expectations.

Mouthfeel is medium with medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability is fine but with a beer this boring, who would reach for another. dgallina is right about this being "expensive for this level of quality." If you do happen to see this on a shelf somewhere and it is bargain-priced, pass for any number of better and cheaper beers, rare vos being a widely available and far superior substitute.

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Photo of rdickey
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Definitely a redhead, not a brunette. 1½ finger head is active but sticks around. Significant bubbles from the bottom.

Smell: Mostly malt; pretty bready, but with some nice spice. Stays the same as you drink it.

Taste: Very much a red ale when you get to the taste. Nice spice... not as overwhelming as a lot of Belgian dark ales, which makes it more approachable in a way. Might be a good intro beer for someone who's never had a Belgian dark ale.

Mouthfeel: Pretty good, although I have mixed feelings here. The carbonation is relatively high, which gives it a nice zip, but it also to a certain extent overpowers the beer, which deserves better.

Drinkability: Not a session beer by any stretch of the imagination, but a nice one to knock down and, as mentioned, might be a nice intro beer for a beer-challenged friend.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dried apricot with an impressive amount of yeasties after a small initial pour. The pour was small because the golden sandalwood colored crown expanded quickly, cresting the rim of the glass in a flash. The foam, which is more stiff and rocky than creamy and melty, isn't sticky enough to result in more than a few fingers of sea foam lace.

The label calls Celtic Angel both a Belgian golden ale and a light Irish ale that uses Belgian yeast. BA calls it a Belgian dark ale. It looks exactly like Serafijn Christmas Ale, a beer that was supposed to a BSPA, but didn't look or taste like one. Maybe the smell and taste tests will make sense of the confusion.

There isn't much to be gained from the nose. The beer is lightly toasty malty, musky fruity (apples primarily) and is Belgian yeasty. It isn't very aromatic and isn't very interesting or complex. So far, the needle on my excitement meter has barely budged.

It seems odd for a Belgian brewer to attempt to combine an Irish-style ale (whatever that is) with a Belgian yeast strain. For my money, quality Belgian yeast will improve just about any beer it touches, assuming that beer was decent to begin with. The only reasonable conclusion, then, is that the base beer started out on less than solid ground.

As is the case with its Christmas counterpart, Celtic Angel tastes like a Belgian golden ale since it's darker than a Belgian pale ale and lighter than a Belgian dark ale. I might have to drink my first two Microbrouwerij Achilles beers side-by-side because the flavor memory of the first one isn't much different than the flavor of the second one. And I would... if they weren't $12.99 each. Ouch.

Specifics include toasted whole grain bread topped with malt powder, tea leaves, ground clove, dried apple slices and dessicated orange peel. I'm reminded of spiced, fruit-added iced tea. The beer is also somewhat woody and is snappy and drying on the finish. Bland doesn't fit, but generic does.

The mouthfeel falls in line with the rest of the attributes. It's closer to light than to medium and has less than the optimal amount of carbonation. The result is a lack of volume in the mouth that isn't likely to impress anyone who's paying attention.

Serafijn Celtic Angel is impressively packaged (with new lime green and yellow labels on the 750 ml bottles), but doesn't get it done where it matters most. A name this good deserves a much more accomplished final product. I would like to see these guys brew an authentic Belgian pale ale that bears little resemblance to the beer I'm drinking now.

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Photo of albern
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an interesting Belgian, certainly lighter and with less alcohol than you will typically find for the style, and very drinkable. The beer pours an orangish amber, slightly cloudy, not much head, retention or lacing to speak of. There is some off white head and the smell is malty, grainy, good but not brilliant. This is a medium bodied beer, that gets a bit more watery as things settle. I like the creamy mouthfeel best. You will find a nice buttery smoothness on the tongue that is quite nice. The taste is clearly malty, somewhat grainy, a bit on the lemon/citrus end of the continuum, and there is a touch of the candied sugars in the fermentation. This is really a Belgian lite type of experience. You won't get the yeasty zing, the syrupy candied sugar experience, the spicy clove, or the alcoholy warming notes typical of the style. You'll get a pretty mild, somewhat medium bodied beer, with a bit of a metallic taste in the finish and no real after taste to speak of. This beer won't challenge anyone's palate, but neither will it offend. It's worth seeking out for a nice introduction to a Belgian ale without some of the more challenging, yet complex, characteristics. This is an easy beer to drink and enjoy. L'Chaim.

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Photo of dgallina
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint, 9.4 fluid ounce brown champagne bottle. Dated June 2007 on the cap.

Pours cloudy caramel brown with a large but thin head which dissipates moderately quickly. Aroma is yeasty and spicy; a sweet caramel base is over-layed with earth, white pepper, and cinnamon. Most of the flavor comes in the aftertaste. The initial sips are a bit plain; grainy with hints of caramel. The beer becomes very spicy at the end, however, with lots of mouth-prickling cinnamon, banana, and white pepper. Body is aggressively effervescent; clean but a bit astringent. Expensive for this level of quality. The aftertaste is nice, but the rest doesn't quite match up.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured an light orangey color ale with a big foamy head with some good retention and some lacing. Aroma of spices with some yeast characteristics and some nice Belgian malt. Taste is comprised of a mix between some Belgian malt with a nice hoppy finish. Body is above average with some great carbonation. Well done for the style.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.64/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours with a fairly hazy, amber-plum color. A tan colored head, that starts out one-finger in height and is somewhat large bubbled sits atop the beer. This is very fruity smelling with notes of plum, raisin and fresh pressed cider. There are some malty aromatics here too, with caramelized grain, lightly toasted bread, & biscuit notes all being noticeable

Served Cool at about 58ºF (14ºC), the beer is quite fizzy feeling; which is a combination of both good carbonation and the lightish body. It does have some fullness to it though; with enough malt character to contribute some sweetness and a bit of palate clinging character. The sweetness accentuates some fruity notes of raisin & plum, though not as much as was in the aroma. A light tartness is found in the flavor as well, which tends to help along the fruit notes and also adds a sort of apple cider like flavor. The beer is also lightly spicy, with touches of ginger, pepper and some clove flavors. As the beer warms up a bit the malt becomes much more apparent; caramelized grain, toasty malt, and even some touches of chocolate in the finish.

I nice drinking Belgian beer; it definitely leans towards the fruity side of the spectrum and a bit more spiciness would make this much more interesting.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of HugoGrim
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a chalice. Thin but intensely carbonated head has pockets of bubbles rising rapidly to the surface.

Great aroma of sweet malts and rich spices. Some alcohol noticeable.

Very complex flavor. Spiced, bitter, dark fruits. Has a bit of a slightly unpleasant aftertaste, but it only marginally diminishes the experience.

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Photo of dstc
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with a very large off-white head. Head falls leaving no lace and just a small head. Looks well carbonated.

Smell is a bit sweet and very tangy. Malty as well.

Tastes like it smells. Sweet and tangy with a subtle burnt taste and a surprisingly clean finish.

Medium bodied in the mouth. Big carbonation and a slight bit of alcohol.

Nice beer. It wasn't what I was expecting but I enjoyed it and I'd have it again.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours an amber body with a tall, thick off-white head. Moderate lacing.

Smell: A lightly malty, spicy aroma redolent of ripened fruits such as pears and apricots.

Taste: A light, bready sweet maltiness starts, followed by the fruits carrying over from the scent. The spicing is mild with soft undertones of clove. Finishes dusty and dry with a light citrus bitterness that's hit-and-run, like a hot cross bun.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Highly carbonated; too effervescent for me.

Drinkability: That wasn't very interesting, either as a Belgian Ale or as an Irish Red.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. First off and not that important but it has to be said, this is clearly not a belgian dark ale. Its just like the bottle states a belgian take on an Irish red ale. Poured contents into a stemmed pils glass it forms an easily managed frothy and creamy eggshell white head. Orange body with a healthy amount of carbonation.

I wasn't sure if this fusion would work but at the end I think it worked out well. Has the soft subtleness of an Irish red combined with the peppered and fruitiness of a belgian pale. I think it leans stronger towards the belgian side of the house but that would be expected as that is their expertise. The sweetness turns bubble gum like as it warms. Slightly breaded malts with an angel food cake side collides with a rather large sweetened fruity backside and balanced by an herbal hop outer shell. Peppery finish doesn't translate until late in the aftertaste.

Notes: It was a good showing although not something I'd go out of my way for. Its into a once a year category but I doubt I'll see it again anytime soon.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

High marks for the name on this one. Bottle says the "style" in a Belgian interpretation of a Irish Red. Tastes more like a confused homebrewer in Brussels, but good nevertheless.

The beer pours very big, off white head billowing up the class and then falling to a pool of thick foam in just the center. A kinda sunset orange color when backlit and a darker reddish color when not. Light spicy aromd in the nose--from yeast I'm guessing--and a malty characteristic underneath that is a bit like an Irish Red. Nose fades with the head and doesn't really stick around to fight it out with the malt. The carbo bit is strong, explaining the head, and the solid malty taste powers over the top of the fizz, though the body is a bit light and watery. Yet the beer is still slightly assertive and good enough to grab your attention. Real nice beer that disappeared rather quickly and was refreshing for the unique attempt at hitting between styles.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Inspection: Notes best by date of Aug/07 notched and 6.2% abv.

Aroma: Malty, with noble hops and a mild citric note.

Appearance: Amber/yellow glass holds a fluffy off white head. The bottle gushed slightly on opening.

Flavor: Mirrors the aroma. Some mild oxygenation which is disappointing given I’m well ahead of the best by date.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation.

Overall Impression: Eh. It’s like Scottish ale, without the peat. Sketchy note due to sampling during a brew session.

Hand carried back from Quebec.

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Photo of Pegasus
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy copper color, with a large white head, prominent carbonation, and excellent lacing.

Aroma: Prominent tangy aroma, with yeast, candied oranges, and earthy notes.

Taste: Rich, earthy chocolate flavors, with yeast notes, an earthy bitterness throughout, finishes with a lingering herbal hop note.

Mouth feel: Rich, full and soft, with zesty carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: An excellent and enigmatic beer, as I have come to expect Belgian beers to be.

Many thanks to HardTarget for generously sharing this rare beer.

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Photo of paterlodie
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poors out with unbelievable and very well lasting head and brown beercolor with haze. Nose is swee orange, litle green gras, and quiet roastmalty. Taste is quiet burnt for it's color, sweet, litle hay and quiet spicy. Overal a plesant taste and very malty with a moderate and good bitterness. Mouthfeel is good with this taste and cause of enormous carbonisation that fits well with the taste. Good beer, well drinkable

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Serafijn Celtic Angel from Microbrouwerij Achilles
3.63 out of 5 based on 31 ratings.
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