Judas | Brouwerij Alken-Maes

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Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 180

#119 ranked Belgian Strong Pale Ale | 8.50% ABV

Brouwerij Alken-Maes

Notes: Year-round availibility. 
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Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 180
Photo of kevinl6
4.75/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow, this one is special. Poured this one carefully into my Hapkin Tulip. A dark golden appearance with a nice full 2 finger head. The appearance was surprisingly clear also, giving it a look of high quality. Smell was very sweet, and slightly spicy, intoxicating! Taste was exceptional, slightly fruity and beautifully sweet, perfect. The mouthfeel was full, but at the same time, not too thick. Drinkability is insane, if not for the 8.5%, I could drink this one all day. Duvel used to be my favorite beer of this style, then it became Hapkin, now it is Judas!

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Photo of ALEBOY
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One hell of beer!!! If you're a fan of Duvel or Lucifer you will most likely enjoy this. A Dense and creamy head with wonderfull fruity/vanilla aromas. The alcohol was slightly evident in the taste but not enough to put me off drinking several glasses. You must try this Belgian delight!

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Photo of xylophonica
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Lovely dark blonde colour, absolutely packed full of carbonation bubbles (this did fizz up as soon as it was opened). Perfect amount of head, in this glass it's about 2 fingers. Fades to a nice lacing.

S - Sweet, wheat sort of scents at first. Not very strong but fairly pleasant. Some bread aromas with maybe a hint of cheese or mild fruit (specifically banana) and even some chocolate.

T - Strong, dark/bitter caramel hints leading to cacao on first taste. Alcohol content is noticeable but not overpowering. Smooth and slightly soothing. Has hints of a wheat/nut flavour as well. Aftertaste is complex, again maybe some cheese and if you look hard a bit of banana.

M - Smooth but not particularly creamy, fairly strong on the tongue. Expected it to be a bit more rough due to the carbonation being so prominent but actually it's quite pleasant.

D - Never had this before now and loving it. I suspect at 8.5% the alcohol content might catch up with you eventually but until then it would a glorious ride!

This beer is great. Must confess I knew nothing about it before consumption so didn't have any expectations. Hard to pick too many things wrong with it; colour of the beer wasn't mind-blowing but made up for it with the great lacing.
Very reminiscent of Orval.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a straw color, like a pilsener, with a bubbly half-inch head that reduces to a thin layer. Very few bubbles, and they're all mellow. Best thing about looking at this one were the cool bubble-helixes twisting and dancing in the middle.

Aroma is fresh and light, which hints at the flavor profile. Very mild malt, hops and spices. Lightly sweet. Would like the aroma to assert itself more.

The flavor is fantastic, and for such a light and unassuming beer, it's fairly complex. As you drink and it warms slightly the sweetness and spiciness mingle seamlessly, with rounded vanilla flavors melting into an almost white pepper prickliness. Some yeast traces remain, and a sticky, sugary malt flavor adds additional character. Best of all is the milk-like creaminess that asserts itself in flavor and mouthfeel when it reaches just the right temperature.

Judas is super-light and super-refreshing. Not a beast of a beer, but one that speaks loudly in a more subtle manner. Cools on a hot day like a saison or witbier. A wonderful summer beer that hides the 8.5% alcohol deceptively well.

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Photo of nagyonz
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Colour is like wild honey, with a very-long-lasting, steady foam(I think it may hold a pence).
Smell is very fresh, grassy, and a little bit malty, sweet.
For taste it is good to drink (maybe it needs a little more carbonation), flavours of apricot and bananas appear.
Bitter, long lasting after-taste.
A strongly recommended one- I can hardly let it go!

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Photo of srandycarter
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a little head small light soapy lacing very light pale color

s light belgiun nose light sweet banana

t big ass taste - malt candy trop fruit banana

m very big full good carb and balance

d very drinkable. My favorite, I think on this trip to Europe. I recommend if you can get it.

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Photo of Pepeton
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, since this is my favorite style I already know this review will rank high in my profile.

Good orange, golden brew; with a very long lasting head; ethernal and complex lacing.

Smell is fruity, malty with hints of hops.

Taste as smell: Complex, with a great balance of malts and with some sweetness.

Mouthfeel is bitter, hoppy and dry. The 8.5% ABV is obvoius, but not imposing (at least not with your first 3 bottles!).

Oh! I'll buy this one as long as I kind find it in my local department store (in the gourmet section, of course.).


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Photo of jhtipton
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Does not look too intimidating in the glass. A nice very white head of about 1 inches but it has a very smooth taste. It goes down easy and you barely notice the 8.5 ABV. I could drink a few of these in a session but be careful standing up. Readily available in Spain at the Carrefour store at a fairly reasonable price. Will be picking up a few more of these in the future. But one question - where are the hops...

Update: still a mainstay in my Spain diet. Much healthier than the fried pork. One of the best non Trappiste triples out there and in Europe it seems to be readily available at about $6 for a four pack. Can't beat that! 2/09/2012.

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Photo of AlexLMS
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: bright rich gold colour. The head is white, medium-sized and foamy. Fair retention followed by a beautiful lacing.
Aroma: very nice sweet malt aroma with some fruit notes.
Taste: sweet malts, caramel, fruits and spices. Little hops.
Mouthfeel: unctuous and silky, good carbonation and a full body. Warming, although Judas is so well balanced that you do not feel the 8.5% ABV.
Finish: not so long but interesting mixture of sweet and bitter aftertaste.

Overall: I loved this beer. It is complex and intriguing. The high ABV do not get in the way of this wonderful tasting experience. One of the best Belgian Strong Ale I’ve ever tasted. Looking forward for the next one.

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Photo of Dzu
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: turbid light amber with a massive white foam head.
S: Belgian yeasts, citrus.
T: Classic triple, caramel, citrus.
F: Full body and medium carbonation.
O: it's great belgian.

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Photo of beerthirtysa
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Light golden color, not too many bubbles. Have to pour aggressively to produce a decent head. Fine look to the head, though not terribly long lasting.

S: Pleasant fragrant sweet and malty aroma, with hints of grass and citrus.

T: Fairly sweet front end. Just about when it becomes too much, the pale ale aspect kicks in and a slight tang (not lambic!) citrussy flavor comes through. Nice finish - grassy, toasted grain notes.

M: A little oily and thin, but quite drinkable.

O: The taste far outweighs the negative aspects of this brew. If it had just a little more carbonation it would be a 5. Certainly an outstanding example of a belgian strong pale ale!

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Photo of rvdoorn
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: poured a hazy yellow brown color with a nice long lasting head.
Smell: Banana, lemon peel, spicy pepper and floral hops.
Taste: Banana, orange peel, spicy pepper, peach, candy sugar, dry bitter alcoholic aftertaste with hints of nuts.
Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, medium bodied. Nicely balanced
Overall: A very nice beer to drink

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Photo of RodneyFarva
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl bottle poured into a snifter

pours a one finger bubbly white head, beer is a pale straw color to almost light copper color.

aromas of sweetness, some light spices, belgian yeasts, some white-wine like aromas as well. alcohol content noticeable

a strong clean sweetness, some spices and yeast present, alcohol is very well hidden, and although the carbonation cuts the sweetness somewhat, it is quite present.

overall, very enjoyable, but as others have said, with Duvel nearly as widely available and only a bit pricier, it makes it only an occasional choice.

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Photo of Jason
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On the same lines as Hapkin or Duvel but different and great in its own little ways. The appearance was fine a bit hazier than I expected yet the head was par to style. Not as dry as I expected either with a big juicy fruit middle and fresh bitter finish that was a bit hay like. Nice rolling smoothness with a bitter-sweet palate yet a bitter semi-dry end.

I gladly quaffed this treat like any other strong Belgian pale that has come my way, I’d like to run into this one again.

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Photo of vancurly
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Honey coloured, light amber. No haze. White head, and lace.

A strong pressed-ham/mortadella smell, with a strange pickled vegetable note. Perhaps I should label this as herbaceousness. Warms to complex malts, musk.

Floral hop flavours, complex candy sweetness, bubblegum phenolics, fleshy/gaminess. Flinty aftertaste.

Full mouthfeel, light sweetness, that finishes with a slight astringency, and light/medium bitterness. A perfumy aftertaste carries it through.

An interesting drop, lacking the sweetness of some of it's peers, thereby making it more drinkable in a session. Its profile makes it very suitable for antipasto plates, pickles & cured meats.

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Photo of jdm
4.11/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a 2+ finger thick, creamy, white head. medium yellow color and visible heavy carbonation. smells like a mixed fruit basket. heavy apples and some banana. can barely make out a grassy hop in the aroma (barely). taste starts strongly sweet even though the mouthfeel is not thick and strongly goes bitter at the end. love the way this beer shows off boldly at both the sweet and the bitter. strong alcohol is a secret agent. this one could really sneek up on you. the alcohol is warming but the taste of it is not close to over-bearing. this beer defines belgian lace. about 40 percent of my glass is obscured by thick lacing.

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Photo of dansmcd
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear pale straw colour, flimsy white head with drools of lacing all the way down.

S - Pear and peach, bread, green apple, sauvignon blanc, yeast.

T - Quite vinuous, pear stands out, Belgian wild yeast. Very nice.

M - Low carbonation, medium body.

O - Another top quality Belgian on the market. Definately worth a go.

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Photo of dqrull
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden with a large airy foam, that after dying out in about 3 minutes leaves some dry lacing on the glass.

Smells alot of lemon, an almost bitter tartness that is reminiscent of lemon and bitter orange peel, lychee as well. The smell is actually a bit reminiscent of american hops, but without the piny-ness and grape bitterness, but all in a malty way.

Tastes of lemon peel, green grapes and fresh apples, really nice, but there is a yeast-prescence that quenches the rest of the flavours a bit, even though it contributes with some green fruitiness like pears and apples.

Slightly too thick mouthfeel for the style, takes away some of the refreshing feel that it otherwise provides with the flavours, and the carbonation is nice.

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Photo of impending
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl into a tulip. Pours a crystal clear rich gold, minor head, minor lacing.

Traditional yeasty light skinned fruit aroma, clean, restrained mild phenols.

Taste begins with soft sweetness. Finish begins slightly bitter and dry. Long evolving aftertaste. Medium to full bodied smooth mouthfeel. Warms well. Nice phenols.

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Photo of Filosoof
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There's really not much to mention specifically about Judas. It surely is a lookalike of Duvel and Duvel-alikes and is a nice drinkable beer. You could have a lot of fun with this one, staying at one of the great Belgian historical markets. More critical: there are better ones.

The look dissappoints. It has a reasonable top, but it quite quickly disappears (for a blond one).

The smell is bready and malty.

The taste has some elements of banana, bread, grass and pineapple, but none of them is ruling.

The mouthfeel is great though. The alcohol and bitter crisp keep hanging for a long time.

Overall: nice terrace beer.

PS: it looks like the stronger example of Hapkin. Maybe it can be explained by the fact that Hapkin is also a Alken-Maes beer nowadays.

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Photo of The_Bujon
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Judas is indeed a strange beer....in a quirky eccentric kind of way.

Pours clear, similar to pretty much most Belgian Blondes. The head is disappointing given I was expecting fireworks.

Aroma is solid, you get a bitterness and mild hop.

The taste is actually not too bitter, definitely a very dry sharp finish, but the main essence of this brew is the yeasty fruit combo, backed up with hefty amounts of alcohol.....you can smell your own fuelled breath as your tongue starts to pickle with the first slug.

Feel is nice and smooth, only that dry ethanol ending that lets it down in my opinion.

Overall, a strong brew that tastes stronger than it's mediocre 8.5% abv. Not really like anything else I have had, doesn't taste quite like a tripel, and not quite a blonde.....somewhere in the middle.
If you like this, bier du demon is the closest thing I have had, but that really is pure unadulterated rocket fuel.

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

11.2oz bottle, enjoyed somewhere in amsterdam

appearance: bottle served with its own judas chalice, glowing blonde tripel body and a strong wavy beige crest

smell: tropical fruits, pineapple, light tones of honey, sugary yeast

taste: very nice and refreshing triple, sweet pineapple and tropical fruit dominate the flavours, banana and peach candy...i liked it

mouthfeel: refreshing and full of yeasty action

drinkability: nice

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

11.2 oz bottle purchased at The Bier Koning in Amsterdam, NL

A- Brilliant golden color, slow but steady carbonation into my rather improper Gordon's Scotch glass, rocky 2 finger white head slowly dissipates leaving small patches of lace

S- just like a truly great golden ale should, spicy, bitter, lots of fruit notes, an indescribable subtle sweetness and of course, alcohol.

T- Punchy but not aggressive, very bright, lemons, orange, good malt character and still some booze upon the finish.

M- A bit short, very sparkly and bright to the tongue during the initial taste, but the steady malts and 8.5% clean that up nice.

D- good for what it is, a little more exciting than a Duv.

R- its a classic, dont create an epic hunt for this beer, but if you spot a bottle, pick it up.

4/21/2008- Amsterdam, NL

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

appearance is heaps of heap with a lager coloured beer beneath it letting out fine bubbles.
Smell is fairly similar to duvel but different yeast, otherwise it's like malts and that.
Taste is same as smell, though has a taste similar to the leffe signature after taste.
Mouthfeel is good, maybe a touch more carbonation could do.
Drinkability is good, its price is average for a belgian.

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Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Great looking brew...pours clear deep golden with rich white head, great retention and intricate lacing.

S-Minerals, rich Belgian yeast notes, bits of earth, light toasty malt, faint fruit tones of yellow apple and white grape.

T&M-Puckery up front with malt and yellow fruits, nice midpalate with more fruit, minerals, and a bit of the spiciness from the yeast. Finish is fruity booze with just a hint of hop bitterness. I could use a little more hops. Aftertaste is a mix of Belgian yeast and fruity chewing gum.

O-A good beer. I'd rather go for a Duvel-more up my alley with the dryer finish but this is a good choice and definitely one I'll come back to from time to time.

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Judas from Brouwerij Alken-Maes
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 180 ratings