Mea Culpa (Beer Mania)
Brouwerij De Cock

Mea Culpa (Beer Mania)Mea Culpa (Beer Mania)
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Pale Ale - Belgian
Ranked #33
Ranked #14,044
4.04 | pDev: 6.93%
Brouwerij De Cock
Very Good
Mea Culpa (Beer Mania)Mea Culpa (Beer Mania)
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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 27 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of noz03
noz03 from Germany

4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this in Beer Mania in 2016 while chatting with the owner of the store who claimed to have brewed it himself, and even designed the beautiful 55 euro glass it comes in and was so impressed by it I honestly didn't believe him until now doing a bit of research!

Great beer, especially under the sun on the beer mania terrace. Very complex flavour with hints of herbs, spices and a slight smokiness.

Apr 17, 2016
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.52/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (old bottle – 2008 drank in 2016): Poured a clear golden color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of candi sugar with light fruity ester is pretty enticing considering the age of the bottle. Taste has light oxidation notes with some residual sugar notes with some fruity ester. Body is about average with good carbonation. Enjoyable though would probably be better if fresh.

Mar 18, 2016
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liamt07 from Canada (ON)

3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Jason, brought back from Belgium. 33cl bottle into a tulip, best before February 29, 2014.

Pale golden yellow, lightly hazy. White head with light lace and moderate retention. Nose has some light herbal character, bitter citrus, crackers, Belgian tripel/pale ale yeast profile, a bit of sulphur and straw. Taste is crackery, grassy, bitter hopping into the finish. Grainy breads, mild citrus and a bit of spice. Dry in the finish, fairly light mouthfeel and medium high carbonation.

Dec 24, 2012
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Gueuzedude from Arizona

4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled July 2010 at Beer Mania
The beer glass for this beer is definitely quite exquisite, though how it is remotely worth 60€ is beyond me. The beer pours with a frothy, meringue like head that is just palely tanned. There is a touch of haze to the golden body. The beer is aromatic with a spicy / floral character to it; I get notes of ginger, white pepper, honey-like malt, bright pear and ripe green apples as well as notes of clove and cardamom. Hay-like pale-wheat like aromatics are joined by some cracker like notes as well. When sediment was added to the glass it contributes an earthy, yeasted note to the aroma and somehow rounds things out.

The beer is fizzy, with a carbonic, peppery bite to it as it first hits my tongue. There is a touch of malt sweetness (honey and sweet pale malt) here, but it is dry overall because of the hop bite,bitterness and spicy, peppery finish. The malt character contributes a hay like and cracker leaning dryness to this beer. Spicy clove notes are quite apparent and there are also notes that remind me of coriander, cardamom and perhaps even some nutmeg. Addition of the sediment brings a roundness to the flavor that mutes the pepper and adds an earthy yeast note to the finish.

This seems to be a beer meant to be drunk and enjoyed on a daily basis. It is very well balanced between the malt, hop, spice and yeast character that all play an equal role, contributing to a harmonious whole. The glass really is quite nice, and at the least, very interesting and no doubt contributes to the overall effect of this beer.

Dec 27, 2010
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jgasparine from Maryland

4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at Beer Mania, Brussels, Belgium on 3/21/2010.

A- Poured from the bottle into the famed Mea Culpa glass with a thin white head, which quickly receded to a haze layer and some nice lacing. Body was a hazy yellow color and moderately carbonated. It's tempting to give this a '5' because of its particular appearance in the Mea Culpa glass!

S- Fresh cracked grain and some doughy aromas combine with some Belgian yeast aromatics in a lovely bouquet with just a touch of stale hops.

T- A nice replicate of the doughy nose with some mild hop bitterness emerging midway and persisting through the finish. Some subtle non-descript spiciness is in there as well. All perceived flavors are delicate (not weak, but nicely delicate).

M- Medium to large body with some creaminess imparted by a velvet blanket of carbonation. Lovely.

D- A very quaffable beer... I wish it were more available in the US!

Mar 30, 2010
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ManforallSaisons from Belgium

4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought from Beer Mania a few month ago and cellared since then. The beer presents with an attractive honey color, not much darker than necessary to avoid confusion with a pils, somewhat marred by flakes of sediment (perhaps the fault of a hasty pour), and almost a finger of ivory foam. The scent is quite delicate, of yeasty dough with just a smidgen of floral hops, clove and smoke. The flavor is restrained -- more so than my memory of a fresher version -- and balanced among a surprising malt sweetness, with maybe a touch of citrus zest (in no way tasting like an ingredient), supplanted by a cleansing bite of herbacious hop. The mouthfeel is substantial but not quite chewy, toeing the line of a session beer but one you don't just quaff.

Feb 16, 2010
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HopHead84 from California

4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Thanks to Floydster for grabbing this for me. Like a moron I opened this one sitting at my desk. It foamed over in a split second and left my pants soaked with beer. This is going well. The beer looks great in the glass. It's a slightly cloudy dark orange with a monstrous 3 finger white head. Lacing is left all over the glass after a few minutes.

The nose is phenolic and of biscuity malt with notes of ripe golden apples, pears, oranges, and a little lemon. I detect floral spices, earthy hops, straw, and grass. The yeast character is decidedly Belgian.

The flavor opens with apples and toasted biscuity malt. This segues into pears, lemons, and spices, with an underlying earthy hop character. The yeast is again distinctly Belgian. Sweetness is at a low level. The finish is apples and pears. The beer is medium bodied with a lower medium level of carbonation. This is a straight forward Belgian Pale, but I haven't had one for a while and it's actually pretty damn good. Well done, Brouwerij De Cock.

Jan 19, 2010
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wilwfu from Illinois

4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought this back with me from belgium and have been saving for a rainy day... pours a golden orange color; huge white pillowy head, leaving tons of lacing. Has a subtle but inviting spicy, yeasty aroma and the taste follows: spicy, lemony, candied flavor. Like a slightly spicy vanilla wafer and some custard. Everything is very well balanced with subtle lingering sweetness from the belgian candied sugar. Really glad I picked one up, a world class pale ale

Nov 29, 2009
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Floydster from California

3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle purchased from Beer Mania a few months back, I wonder if they will start selling this beer outside of their facility, reviewed from notes, poured into my Chimay goblet, light orange color with golden highlights, two inch frothy white head, aroma consists of tons of different spices,vegetables, perfume, bread, floral accents, lemon juice, Belgian yeast, peaches, toastiness, and sweetness, flavor starts off with a dry quality mixed earthy accents, spices and bread in the middle, Belgian yeast mixed with lemons and peaches in the finish, warms up with more spices coming out, everything from cloves, nutmeg, to even spruce, dry, spicy, and yeasty mouthfeel, lots of carbonation but it was fitting for the style, medium bodied, taste lingers for a long time, could drink another one or two of these, pretty light overall, no booze in the flavor, stays smooth even with a huge spice component, this exclusive beer was a nice surprise, not a bad brew for its small cost of a couple euros, would drink again if it were more easily accessible, worth trying

Aug 24, 2009
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gregc from New York

3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Pours a orange color with a big white frothy head.

Aroma is very perfume like, floral, lemons, bread and belgian yeast.
Flavor is ok...very earthy, lemon, fresh baked bread, belgian yeast and peachy like fruit flavor. This beer is very carbonated, almost too much for my liking, somewhat thin and spicy from the carbonation. Its a drinkable beer, but nothing i was overly impressed with.

May 05, 2009
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RblWthACoz from Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours into that sexy Mea Culpa glass a barely hazed orangish/amber. Thick frothy creme head. Nose is perfume, floral, and dough. Flavor is a bit tangy sweet. Mild earthy tones. Pretty good balance. Vibrant and champagne like. Very easy to drink. Elegant, smooth, and nice flavor.

Mar 19, 2009
Photo of hopdog
hopdog from Pennsylvania

3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle labeled BB 15/11/09.

Poured a lighter and slightly hazy yellow color with a huge sized white head. Aromas of fruits (I'm getting apples and some pears) and spices. Tastes follow with the spices coming through stronger. Thinner body. Lots of lacing left on the glass. A little one dimensional, but still enjoyable.

Notes from 3/13/07

Nov 13, 2008
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BeerBelcher from Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is "the house beer" at Beer Mania in Brussels. It is the invention of the Nasser (the proprietor) and comes in a very unusual glass and is really pretty good. The clientele at this store/cafe is decidedly beer-geeky, so perhaps Nasser just brews to a geek's taste. It is a substantial but very drinkable beer. A regular visitor to this site could probably have this as a session beer.

It poured a dark yellow with a very fine champagne-like head. Aroma was clovey and densely malty and bread-y. Flavor was very malty, but not in an overly sweet cereal-y or grain-y way. Mouthfeel was a bit chalk-y and rough, but not bad.

I would recommend this beer; I thought it to be pretty good. I had a bottle at Beer Mania in Brussels.

Oct 23, 2008
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CanuckRover from Canada (ON)

4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark gold, slightly hazy. Huge head off an average pour. Foamy with medium-sized bubbles. Carbonation looks serious, bubbles just won't stop flying upwards. Really great looking pale ale. Spiderweb lacings.

A really fantastic, fruity aroma. Lemonade, sweet honey, coriander. Belgian yeast.

Coriander and honey figure large in the beer in my opinion. A sugary sweetness, think cream soda. Maybe a little bit of ginger Very soft vanilla notes. Grainy malt is overshadowed (not in a bad way) by all the spices, not that I can name them! Alcohol is well hidden in this balanced ale.

Mouthfeel is fantastic. I was a little worried by the look of the carbonation, but it was very nice, quite refreshing.

The label listed 10 ingredients, so six spices. Very furstrating not being able to pick them out. Nonetheless, a really fantastic blond.

Apr 22, 2008
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TripperDaniel from Canada (ON)

4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I figured for my first review ever (of many more to come, however) that I'd do a 'different' beer. Tasted it at Beer Mania in Brussels. This was the third time I'd had the beer there. It was different this time than I remembered it and I asked Nasser (owner of Beer Mania and creator of Mea Culpa) if he'd changed the recipe - he said they reduced the refermentation sugar because it was getting too carbonated. Bottles post a best before date of two years after brewing (so this one would have expired around October 25, 2009), but are clearly capable of aging well beyond that.

Notes: 6.5% alcohol and bottle conditioned. No ingredients listed on bottle or website, other than "ten spices." Reviewed Thursday, January 24, 2008.

Tasting notes:

Appearance: Pours (into the specially-designed Mea Culpa glass) a slightly hazy golden yellow with straw coloured highlights. The snow-white head is like a marshmallow that refuses to go away. Even at the end of the glass, it was still sitting there like a big cloud. I've actually never seen anything like it. Of course it left a good amount of lace on the glass, too.
Nose: Vanilla, lavender, thyme, grainy malt and citrusy hops. Smells very appetizing. Slight bitterness noticeable and it does have a hint of sweetness in the nose. Good complexity, right from the start.
Taste: The nose continues through the body, carrying the vanilla, lavender, thyme and graininess. The citrusy hops come through as confit lemon, and there is also the typical Belgian yeast funk, which is in perfect balance with everything else. The beer is quite full-bodied and slightly cloying on the finish, although it is very dry.

Overall: A truly excellent blonde. Very complex and ageable - I'd say two years minimum before the beer really starts hitting its stride. Not as cloying as other blondes can be, and dryer than is typical for the style. Nasser says his favourite beer is Orval, and maybe the dryness is a reflection of that.

Feb 27, 2008
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drseamus from New York

4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this back in July at Beer Mania served in it's own crazy glass. It poured a crystal clear light golden amber color topped with a thick white head and lots of visible carbonation just like a blonde should be. The aroma is quite yeasty with honey sweetness. It is very smooth with a good malt backbone. The taste is pretty light and the body is pretty light as well. Good drinkability.

Nov 20, 2007
Mea Culpa (Beer Mania) from Brouwerij De Cock
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 27 ratings