Flandre-Kent Les Frères De La Bière / Thiriez XXtra | Brasserie Thiriez

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Flandre-Kent Les Frères De La Bière / Thiriez XXtraFlandre-Kent Les Frères De La Bière / Thiriez XXtra

Brewed by:
Brasserie Thiriez

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Local name - (Flandre-Kent) Les Frères De La Bière
US Import - Thiriez XXtra

Description on US bottle label:
“This is one rich and très hoppy golden ale. Working in his little rustic brick and wood beamed building, Daniel Thiriez makes this earthy, punchy, flavorful stuff in very small batches especially for the stout-hearted Frères de la Bière, a local caterie of special friends united by their thorough enjoyment of a rough and ready unrelenting farmhouse brew. Mon Dieu, that’s good!”

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-05-2005

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Reviews: 116 | Ratings: 152
Photo of watchnerd
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New label with ’Extra’ instead of ’Xxtra’, 750 ml bottle. Bit of a gusher on opening, with foam overflowing glass and bottle alike. Three finger head that finally settled down after 15 minutes, leaving spotty and clumped lacing. Cloudy golden in color. Very very hoppy, fruity mids, with a dry finish. Is this really a Saison? Debatable, but I like it, regardless.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a evenly clouded orange yellow with a white head. Nose is beautiful; a mix of spices and funk. Flavor is very full of spices (some might think it too much so). Very full, hearty, and even flavor. Feel has a high carbonation to it and a good liquid feel as well with it being kind of inky and thick. Very drinkable and rustic. Not a light saison by any means. Extremely full and robust, this is one to put against food. A good fall time brew.

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Photo of DragYourBone
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wife picked this up for me...and I owe her one for this gesture alone.
My bottle displays EXTRA, not XXTRA.
Refrigerated bottle opened while preparing evening meal.
On first pour, the golden ale was capped nicely with an inch thick puffy head. Lots of carbonation sprites jetted upwardy, with a touch of funk at the bottom. Nice display.
The hops definitely came through on the first taste giving it a slight bitter taste that danced on my tongue as the carbonation fizzed away, while tangy flavors intermingled and finished with a slight tongue smack.
After drinking heavier bodied alee, this really hit the spot.
After putting my face in the glass and closing my eyes, I felt like I was transported to a rural farmhouse where crisp, bright notes of citrus, wheat, grass/hay? eminated.

After the first few sips, the bright notes really ronded nicely. Actually, since I'm not a huge hop head, the mellower tones were more than fine. Also, the scent took on a more musk aroma - like wet grass on a cloudy, rainy day near some fruit trees, and near an out of the way farm garden near an ocean.
This is my first foray into this style, but definitely not the last. I was totally surprised at the 4.5 ABV.
In a word, 'golden'....Oh, and it goes great with pasta.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ten bucks from West Lakeview Liquors. Supremely drinkable. I’m talking like clean German pilsener on a July day drinkable. Speaking of a clean German pilsener…the hop profile in this beer kind of reminds me of one… It’s really spicy and grassy in a noble sort of way. Funkiness is light but present. Complex yeast light fruit flavors are found throughout the nose and palate. Peppery/grassy bitterness finishes the beer rather dryly. Lemon zest citrus character is also found in the finish. Surprisingly complex for the low abv. Actually, I am quite astounded by this beer. I wouldn’t imagine it to be 4.5%. There just seems to be a lot more happening here than that ABV would usually allow. Body is a slightly hazy blonde with a ton of carbonation. Really, this beer is more carbonated than any I have had in a long time. One has to be quite patient with it as the beautiful white head takes minutes to settle. Be careful opening the bottle too. Mine nearly exploded with foam.

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Photo of tpd975
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up at Whole Foods in Sarasota. Had never seen it in my life so I had to give it a try.

A: Pours a beautiful golden honey yellow with a huge thick foamy bubbly head. It takes forever for the head to die as it is constantly being fed by millions of tiny bubbles. There are some dark brown floaties that made their way into my glass.

S: Nice yeasty aroma with a spiciness to it. There are fresh green apples pushing thru as well. The farmhouse funk is there, but its just lingering in the background.

T: The best damn French beer I have ever consumed. There is a nice peppery taste that is noted right from the start. Citrus fruits and the tart apples also come thru. You are left with a yeasty bready taste with nutmeg in the finish.

M: Light and refreshing.

D: Very

Overall: I enjoyed this with cheese and crackers. It is a very finely made beer that is so complex when it comes to taste. It was so light and refreshing, yet big on taste. I would love to seek out more of these small scale farmhouse treasures. Let's hope Mr. Thiriez continues to share.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle bought from Tuckers Maltings...

Poured a slightly hazy straw yellow colour... enormous, rocky white head filled the whole glass and faded slowly to nice thickish covering... lots of quite big carbonation bubbles rush to the surface... very light lacing...

Aroma - Strong peppery and grassy hops, damp hay, very floral, quite salty, medicinal notes, light anise, no real malt coming through, quite strong fresh herbal notes - light basil, coriander, some ginger. Spicy lemon and lime fruitiness, faint marzipan traces, some doughy notes...

Taste – Quite a lot of strong sharp citrus and grassy hop bitterness, lots of sea salt, pretty floral and perfumed, mouth watering sharp tangy fruits (grapefruits, lemons and some sour apples), lime peel hints, strong herbal notes, quite peppery, the slightest hint of biscuit malts, the faintest of honey sweetness...

Feel - Very sharp and dry... light bodied... very refreshing although might be a bit too sharp and acidic to be really drinkable...

Overall - A very good and slightly unusual Belgian Pale Ale... well worth a try...

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Photo of Patrick999
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

You know, just looking at this classy bottle adorned with hop cones, I know it's going to be good.

Poured into tulip a pretty goldenrod...holy crap, this foams up more than Duvel. It eventually settles down, leaving a mountainous rocky white head that sticks around. Cloudy and lots of "stuff" floating around. I really like that. Gives it a wild, fresh look. Simply, one of the best-looking beers to which I've borne witness. It does the Duvel tulip justice and then some.

Even at 4.5%, this really smells like a farmhouse ale. Lots of fresh, fresh apple, fragrant herbs, spices, and just a tad funky. I don't get as much sheer hop as I would have expected for this being dry-hopped, but I have to remember that we're not dealing with American hops here.

Taste - as it warms a little, I get quite a bit of that fresh apple taste, a tad sweet....not a sour apple at all. Behind that, spicy and substantial - full bodied for such a "weak" ale. Well-carbonated, but not at all prickly. Exceptional feel.

Drinkability - Far, far bigger than your typical 4.5%. Extremely flavorful and truly enjoyable. If this was easier for me to come by, I'd be all over it constantly. Mr. Thiriez, please make more beer and send it over my way. Here's one for France, big-time. If this is the way they brew beer in France, I need more. Perfectly evocative of the French countryside in summer. I should be sitting outside a Paris cafe with a 750 of this and an assortment of fine French cheeses, watching the women go by. I'd be one hell of a happy man.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Packaged in a 25.4oz bottle with black wrapping around the top and then traditionally capped. Upon opening the beer, foam starts to slowly ooze from the top like Kilauea. Luckily, the foam stops at the crest of the bottles lip, saving me from having to clean up after myself. When poured into the glass, there is apporximately 1/4in of beer, the rest is all foamy head. I dont know about you, but I like beer, not foam. The head SLOWLY subsides, and begins to look like Great Stuff tm on top of my beer. The rocky, foamy head has the consistency of meringue on top of my moms lemon meringue pie. Mmmmm.

The aromas are slightly sour and have some citrus aromas to them as well. Very yeasty and earthy. Spicy and peppery.

After wainting nearly 10 full minutes, I am finally able to sample the beverage that lies beneath the rocky and stiff head. Citrusy, peppery, yeasty, earthy. Very pleasant and smooth. I am normally not a big Saison fan but this one seems to be one of the better ones I have had.

Pretty creamy in the mouthfeel. As big as the head is, there is not a lot of carbonation and effervescence in the mouthfeel. I guess all of the bubbles escape through the fizzy foam. Nice drinkability and certainly worth another shot, especially as summer winds down and my mind and body are itching for some winter/fall beers.

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Photo of gmcfarre
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into St. Bernardus Chalice

A - Pours a clear straw yellow color with massive frothy head that is off white and very rocky. Lacing is gorgeous.

S - Funky breaded yeast with a sour farmhouse scent. A wet dog without any unpleasantries. Slight clove and sour banana like fruit scent. Touch of lemon zest.

T - High carbonation yields a bubbly tingle at the forefront of this brew. Spicy/fruity middle with a light to medium body and touch of belgian hop bitterness. Mellow yet spicy. Tasty yet challenging.

M - Well carbonated with a mid to light body and drying finish.

D - Really tasty interpretation of the style with a very low alcohol content. Do you need to be a beer geek to enjoy this? I don't know, maybe this is just a great easy drinking and refreshing beer that makes a good intro to the style. Its just plain good.

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Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an oversized wine glass a slight hazed light golden with a large blooming white head that left globs of lace behind as it settled ever so slowly.Slight funk in the aroma like a horse blanket along with some mineral and honey a firm toastiness rounds out the nose.A real smoky character wich I didnt expect on the palate along with an herby dill and spicey white pepper like quality in the finish a little phenolic yeasty character in the background and somewhat dry.Complex to the hilt with alot of flavor a real summer quaffing style saison.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Be careful with the pour; this is the largest head you might ever see. Yellow/orange color, voluminous head, thick, white, sticky. Pretty impressive. An earthy aroma, some citrus noted also. Very hoppy flavor, with some lemon. A most refreshing and enjoyable beer, and, at 4.5% ABV, you can drink a few.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

07/19/07- Purchased at City Beer, in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my Troubadour tulip.

Appearance- Mid goldenrod in color. Pours with a furious large pock marked doughy head. This head is literaly like whipped cream. It's thick and solid! Leaves wonderful huge chunks of lace behind. About the best appearance per style you can ask for.

Smell- Ahhh, very nice farmyard scent. A bit of urine and horse blanket as well as some sour lemon notes and some peppery spices.

Taste- Damn this is one hoppy ass beer. Never mind that it's a saison...it's hoppy nonetheless. Fairly dry, which is nice and a nice lemon pucker at the end of the swallow. A bit sweet as well...some light cookie dough magic going on here. Peppery as well which goes great with the hoppy dry bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Fairly high carbonation rate. Wonderful hops o' plenty left in the aftertaste.

Drinkability- Score one for France! Probably the first and last time I'll ever be saying that. Wonderdful all around beer that I will be seeking out in the future. One of the top saison's I have had. The only negative I see is that the hops may be just a touch over the top per style.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
1.62/5  rDev -60.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This beer was skunky...skunky like a Beck’s. And I couldn’t find any other component of this beer redeeming enough to get over that skunkyness. My encounter with this beer started out OK...it has a pale yellow appearance with a medium amount of head. However, its aroma was skunk plus some cloviness. Taste exhibited Beck’s (or maybe even Beck’s Light) levels of skunkitude, again with a bit of clove chasing after it to apologize. Definitely not recommended.

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Photo of jwff
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Glows a pale gold with a rocky white head. Pour this one carefully. Suspended yeast. Strong honey smell with a sweet yeast spice. Light funk. Brown sugar backs it with a faint earthy hop smell. Fresh, thick honey and spice flow through the mouth with a mild, but raw bitterness on the back of the tongue. Brown sugar and honey linger in a sticky finish. Medium mouthfeel which thickens as it warms. The low abv lends itself to sweetness, but never gets cloying. This is an interesting saison because the hops seem a bit out of place but lend an earthy, raw characteristic to this beer. Either way, I think this qualifies as nectar.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I admit that the three hop nuggets on the label are what made me want to try this beer. I also admit that I was not disappointed at all.

Pours a semi-cloudy golden-orange color with a massive white...did I say huge, because I should have...head. Reminded me of Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel with the enormous head and the aroma.

The smell is of fresh, grassy hops (you can tell it was dry-hopped), lemon zest, cloves, yeast, white pepper, and just a touch of the mustiness I was looking for. Very nice.

The flavor is just as remarkable and different as the aroma. Quick hints of sweet malts with some candied sugar up front, but then the spicy, grassy hops come through with a light banana and spice (clove and coriander) taste at the finish. The traditional Saison yeasty funk is noticeable throughout, but isn't overpowering at all.

Light body with an abundance of carbonation. Nice for a warm afternoon BBQ. Very enjoyable brew.

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Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to grassrootsVT for this...
Appearance: Thar she blows! This one foamed like a volcano spewing white lava with yeast and hop particles dusted on top. Plenty of dusty fallout remains held in suspension in the straw yellow body. A large, fluffy head slowly fades out and leaves pillowy lacing around the glass.
Smell is of earth notes, light funk, citrusy, lemon, florally, and a touch of vanilla.
Taste is mostly of the aromas perhaps toned down slightly. along with a touch of pears and honey backing up the gently spiced, lemony brew.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, fluffy with CO2, herbal, and mildly spiced.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Splitting this bottle (750) at room temp with Stopper. The beer is poured into a snifter. Beer exhibits a hazy gold color with very large rocky eggshell colored head, that overflows the glass. Gradually recedes to a sturdy surface layer but hangs out throughout sampling. Aroma is herbal hops and some musty funk with a bit of honey and brown sugar as well. First sip reveals a lite body but also tingly carbonation that adds to the mouthfeel. Flavor is slightly fruity and honey sweet then herbal hops that actually get a little bitter like tea leaves on the finish. This bitterness is almost rindy and lingers a bit on the palate. An easy drinker with quite a bit of character.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.46/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a bright, light golden color, cloudy with yeast, and a huge, beaded white head that almost overwhelms the glass. Lots of sticky lace and chunks of foam persist as the head itself dissipates. Very green hop aroma. Resiny, slightly piney notes with some white pepper and pale bready notes in the background. On the palate, huge carbonation fills the palate and stomach -- it serves to lighten the load a bit, but ultimately is too much carbonation. Quite acidic from all the hops. At the front of the palate, earthy hop oils dominate. Plenty of resiny hops throughout the palate, and just a little bit of spice to complement them. This beer is pretty one-dimensional; it delivers on the hops, but not on much else. I would expect more from a hand-crafted saison.

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Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A superior version of the blonde. A saison/biere de garde with a nice spicey nose, easy drinking, easy alcohol. Great foaming head on attractive yellow. Easy mouthfeel, and reasonable taste. Understated for lunch. Unexpectantly hoppy bitter. Refreshing.

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Photo of Phatz
3.81/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had Thiriez XXtra at Monk's cafe. Thanks to GueuzeGeek for the recommendation. We tried this side by side with the Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Belgian IPA. A very interesting similarity while understandably different styles. Thiriez XXtra is a Saison driven by spices (and hops) and Houblon is more malt backed (and hops) but the both possess the Belgian style yeast and are particularly hoppy per style. Regardless, an interesting exercise. Thanks to phnphilly for participating in our taste test as well.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orange gold with a massive massive head that was completely uncontrollable. It is not phnphilly's fault the head just overflowed *every* time. Thick white foam that took so long to receded I simply impatiently pushed my nose through it to get a taste of my beer.

Smell: Grassy hops and spices and a bit of lemon citrus and pepper. Seems to be dry hopped with the fresh grass bitter attribute.

Taste: Spicy hops and lemon lime bitter with a yeast Belgian attribute (note: it is a French beer that is simply a parallel) And earthy leather base heavily peppered and spiced and leave with another bite from the hops, and a small hint of tangy farmhouse saison funk. Full of flavor and yet never cloying. Good brew. Good Choice. Thanks GueuzeGeek.

Mouthfeel: The feel can be best described as spicy. Though that is the taste is is the feel on the cheeks as well. The body seems quite light but it is greatly over carbonated and the lively bubble with the spices just make it a prickly spicy brew.

Drinkability: I wouldn't session this. I enjoyed trying it but after the experiment it was time to move on.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of Estarrio
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up because the bottle description seemed enticing. This has far surpassed any expectation that I might have held.

First and foremost, open this one over the sink. Also, a little wetness on the glass will help tame one of the wildest heads that I've ever seen. The head is large, nonstop and truly has a life of its own. When it finally settles down to the point of drinkability, large frothy, white chunks of foam line the glass in a relentless persistence.

The beer behind the head pours a cloudy, bright, straw blond with lots of floaties and visible carbonation. This may be the best looking brew that I've ever had the pleasure to imbibe.

Considering the low ABV, I wasn't expecting a big beer...However, this may be the biggest beer, relative to the ABV that I've enjoyed to date.

The aroma is pungent, earthy saison bliss. The nose contains sweet malt, pepper, clove, coriander, aromatic hops, funky yeast, zesty lemon, banana and a musty, barn like presence. There is no shortage of complexities.

I finally decided to stop admiring the look and smell of this remarkable brew and get to the taste. Sweet malt and light candied sugar up front with a moderate spice profile. Banana, clove, coriander and pepper are all present. The dry finish is accompanied by both a bitter hop presence and a bit of tartness. The funky, pungent, earthy yeast flavors are very notable throughout. This does not taste like a beer that is under 5 ABV.

The body is what I would expect out of a saison with more than adequate carbonation. The drinkability gets a lift from the low ABV.

I wish that I had picked up a couple more bottles of this surprising gem! I highly recommend this!

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If you want a impressive pouring beer, this is the one! Huge frothy ivory dense pillowy cap that literally leaves chunks of cloudy soft pillowy lace in the glass. There is a dimple left where the beer pours a volcano spot. A little too frothy and fast in the glass to be a 5/5.

Candy scents with a hint of honey and leafy Earthiness. Some vanilla aspects with a touch of toffee.

First swigs: A bone dry saison with a smack of cream soda hops. A crisp fresh doughy middle that mingles with a bright apple and pear, followed with a squeaky clean finish.

Light bodied, easy going and refreshing.

Last swigs: Creamy 7-Up with a light fruit hint. An easy drinker overall.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Originally reviewed November 26, 2006. 750mL Bottle. A light woody tooth to the aroma. Slightly grainy. Pale celar golden pour, with twice as much rocky head, soapy and off-white. An incredibly refined sweet taste, with light sweet spuice and an edge of hop flavor touches. Light esters for the the style. Not particularly deep or complex, but heavy handed on the backend with hops and hop flavor. Grassy and long. Sweet, yet dryly drinkable. Lemon peel and citrus dominate the top fusels. As it warms, the brilliant nutmeg spices enlighten me with a floral bouquet. Nice grassy finishes, as this is a delectable drinker.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.73/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 poured into a tulip very carefully as the head can get out of control in a hurry. This brew is exceptional in the appearance category. Rocky head that retains throughout and hardly fades at all. Slightly hazed golden body with fine carbonation.

Lots of hops in the nose and taste. The drying variety, maybe saaz? regardless its a full boquet of hops. Deep and complex, there is some funkiness to this but it unfortunately gets drowned out a bit by the huge hop smacker. There is a large tropical fruit element that has the power to make an appearance. As this warms the funk makes more of an impression and really turns this into a lovely offering. Finish is dry with lingering funk and hops.

Notes: Definately the best saison I've had in recent memory. So complex and when it warmed just 5 degrees or so the funk lets loose and that is when its at its best. Funk, Fruits, HOPS!! The French doing beer justice??? In this case you better believe it.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is by far the most variance I've had in reviewing one single beer. Absolutley beautiful looking beer. Huge frothy head, sincere golden hues, almost a pillowy existance- picture what Goldschlager looks like... Nice fruity eminations, followed by a wooded backbone on the nose. Bigest disappointment- taste. Are Saison's supposed to be this sour? Fine, if it's a characteristic of the style, I probably shy away from this style from now on. I guess I just don't like it. A little weak in the ABV category; resulting a a pretty easy to drink concoction.

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Flandre-Kent Les Frères De La Bière / Thiriez XXtra from Brasserie Thiriez
4.07 out of 5 based on 152 ratings.
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