Sigma | Picobrouwerij Alvinne

very good
16 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Picobrouwerij Alvinne

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Stum-pub on 08-10-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 83
Photo of Dentist666
3.89/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque dark brown beer with thin mocca head, low retention, some laces.
Smell - dark fruits, yeasts, metallic.
Taste - candy, slightly vinegar, dark fruits.
Medium body and carbonation.
Good beer with interesting local yeast strain.

 232 characters

Photo of dacrza1
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

DATE: October 30, 2016... OCCASION: finished cleaning up the house for our Halloween party tomorrow... GLASSWARE: Duvel tulip... Explosion! uncapped this guy, turned my back, and a puddle is on the island... luckily, I had two 11.2 ounce bottles; the second met with me with equal "zeal"... pouring into the oversized tulip, its effervescence is tamed to a degree, but a midnight black body is tough to ignore... its head is a brown mass of pocked foam akin to a sponge, its center a lactic creaminess... blackberries, raspberries, pear, apple, as well as some lactic hints--milky sweetness flirting with fruity tartness... a slow, subtle sipper that elicits nursing, though at 10% ABV, no bite exists...medium to full-bodied traction, lively but not reckless in its effervescence... this flavor profile intrigues: at first, a fruity tootsie roll, then anise and wild berries build a tart, nearly puckering profile, before the lactic, oyster stout-like brine finishes at the throat... tannins bring out a wine-like quality... nutty, okay and a dessertif of an ale, with enough dimensions to make me seek it out again--and to rue the spilled froth that I lost upon opening! As the glass drains, a brown shade is pulled down, making this an even more attractive glass...even a bit of peat--much is loaded in here... I can see some fans of this style not feeling it tart enough, but added dimensions make this stout and powerful offering more than appealing... the only thing missing is the funk that often accompanies the great sours... still, a great find in a break-pack twelve-pack....

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown coloured brew with plenty of foam. Worthy to note that it needs a good chilling lest you lose some via gushing.

Very acidic smell with both a fruity and vinegar like sourness. Some of a hoppy nose seeks through though I can't give it a decent descriptor.

Fruity sour, quite acidic, a healthy malt sweetness, complexity is the nature of this beast whilst the alcohol is on the timid side.

Medium body, slick mouthfeel, excellent Flemish Brown all around. Too bad it's retired; reasonably priced is another plus.

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Photo of amano_h
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Funky oak, thick balsamic vinegar, and hints of chocolate tickle the nose first and foremost. Stout-like characters of molasses and figs also faintly surface as the beer warms up, familiar caramel and toasted malts is present on the back end as well.

A very pronounced acetic sour flavor attacks the tongue before anything else, with roasty oak and dark fruits immediately following up. A malty sweetness is what is left behind after the initial puckery onset, but neither of the flavors linger on for too long.

Light to medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Not too prickly on the tongue. There's surprisingly a wine-like tannic after taste to this one, however, which probably makes it the most "complex" out of the three greek-letter themed Alvinne beers.

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Photo of justinp444
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter it has a thin slight beige head of a quarter inch with a reddish brown hazy body. Smell of slight sour, raspberry, cherry, fresh fruit, strawberry, some wood and oak, and floral. Taste is a lightly sour cherry, some lemony citrus, tiny bit of metallic, and a bit of a wine like flavor. A large amount of fruit and wine sour flavor are what dominates this beer. The mouth feel is moderate to full with a light carbonation allowing for a tart kick to take over the feel and a moderate body as well. A very nice easily drinkable fruity wild ale that still retains a good amount of sour.

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Photo of tigg924
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours clear, dark brown with one inch head. Smell is vinegar and oak. Taste is a wonderful combination of dark fruit, figs, sour mix, and oaking. Beer is sour but not overly so. Wonderful and complex beer. Glad I picked up a bottle.

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Photo of biegaman
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sigma is a beer that tests your reflexes - it's one you have to pour quickly or risk losing a bunch to the floor or countertop. 'Gusher' may be a little too dramatic a term for this case but that carbonation sure can climb; be sure to pay close attention when prying off the cap. The liquid itself is dark brown but not entirely opaque; gorgeous, colourful highlights are appreciated around the edges.

We have here an orgiastic array of smells that range from dried to sour fruits to chocolate and roasted nuts to sweet, rich malt. More specifically, one may note prunes, cherries, toffee, figs, dates, treacle and tootise-roll. All of these flavour elements - sweet and sour - come together triumphantly.

Sigma does have some balsamic qualities - the tart acidity and dark, inky, musty sweetness - but it doesn't overwhelm as far as sourness or vinegar-y funkiness goes. If we are going with the balsamic parallel this is certainly a 10+ year old example. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me at all to learn it was barrel-aged (even though it lacks a strong tannic, oaky presence).

Sour beers aren't for everyone. Me, personally, I love them. But I understand why some people don't like them. Sigma, however, is considerably agreeable as far as sours go. Not only is the tartness balanced but there's an unusual amount of rich, roasted maltiness. Mind you the alcohol (listed here as 7.6% as opposed to 10%) is present; it's not impeding but it is noticeable.

Belgium may have the highest national standard as far as its microbreweries go. Or they're at least some of the most consistent. Alvinne lives up to that statement and my score for Sigma reflects that. It's a beer that lives up to the traditional archetype but also offers a little modern distinction. It's a Flemish ale that should please both Old World and New World crowds equally.

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Photo of Bugs318
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: pretty dark brown, crazy foamy tan head.
S: fruity, slight balsamic, lacking wood due to steel aging
T: like mildly sweet balsamic up front, while moderately tart in the finish. Slight ethanol taste but less than one would expect for 10%
M: Medium body and pretty sharp, bold, carbonation
O: pretty good but odd without the wood.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.66/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very scummy, brown red body with over large bubbly froth a la seaside scum. Fades to flat cola.
Aromas muted, tho sour.
Taste better with lots of old Bruin, cherry, vinegar in the mix.
Really an Oud Briun on steroids, with not too much of the 10% on display.

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Photo of MrMeerbill
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Best oud bruin I've had nice balance of sweet and sour with a touch of bitter if you didn't know better you would thing this is 4%abv crazy refreshing

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautifully built of the sour brown ilk, the "wild" experiment of Alvine hits home with highly authentic flavor but packing the punch of something more... much, much more.

Nearing ten-percent, the ale pours the rusty, tawny and rustic coloration of browns weaved with reds. Its short-lived and zesty head pushes elements of toast, pecan, crabapple, lime and white wine to the forefront aromas until the flavors set in. A quick coat of steely caramel, peanut skins and toast emerge from the malty underpinnings for a balance that comes very early.

Because what follows is a fast recession of malt sweetness and the quick rise of sour grape, tart green apple, and freshly zested lime for something of a Belgian dubbel that has gone terribly wrong- but in the very best way. Going into finish, an under-ripe berry character merges with mild balsamic for a savory, sour and fleeting sweet sensation.

Its closing arguments are those of relaxes malt and tart acidity that frame the medium-light ale with a slimmer overall sensation. With cherry, bordeaux, and sour cherry resonating in aftertaste, the beer is much more drinkable, refreshing and crisp than any ten-percent beer should. It's simply dangerous.

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Photo of metter98
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is hazy reddish brown in color. It poured with a short off white head that died down a bit but consistently left a short head covering the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of oak and Balsamic vinegar are present in the nose along with faint hints of chocolate.
T: The taste follows the smell, having flavors of vinegar and oak along with hints of dark fruits. Bits of sourness become noticeable once the beer warms up a bit.
M: It feels light- to medium on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. Faint amounts of tartness are perceptible.
O: This beer is a good representation of the style and has nice amounts of oak and vinegar in the smell and taste.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of chinchill
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a bottle in Florida.
This dark saison is a malty ale with hints of figs, raisins, and dark fruit cake.
Complex and interesting. Only mildly funky.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Haw River Farmhouse Ales teku glass. Bottlecap says Jun 2017.

A- Gusher alert, but not too bad. Pours a dark brown color with a full two fingers worth of light brown head that retains decently before quickly popping away to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a wispy pattern of sheer surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Incredibly musty, funky aroma full of wet hay and a metallic smell. Also some dark fruit, molasses and fig. Very unique.

T- Pretty strong sourness with more of that metallic note found in the smell. After the palate acclimates, a high drinkability is achieved as I find myself craving more and more sips. The alcohol is superbly well-hidden behind the acidity of the wild yeast. Notes of red grape, blackberry and even a bit of blueberry.

M- Dry almost to the point of being chalky. Medium carbonation and a body that leans toward the fuller side.

O- A very original take on a Flanders Oud Bruin. Has a tannic red wine characteristic to it that you don't find as often in the style. Surprisingly smooth for how strong and complex it is.

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Photo of dcmchew
3.91/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown, almost black, a huge frothy tan head that pops off rapidly, leaving a small sticky speck around.
Smell of tart cherries with a lick of chocolate, some sweetish toasted malt, lactic sourness, caramel, faint lemon juice, faint blueberry.
A short flash of lemon juice, really sour, covered immediately by some toasted malts, and some mellow caramel sweetness. Lactic sourness and some cherry notes throughout, until the slightly roasted finish (bit of cocoa in there, too). A mild herbal funk in there too.
Aftertaste has dry lemon peel, bread crust, lingering yeasts. Medium body, medium carbonation.
Nice, but not as dry and refreshing as other dark sours.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.86/5  rDev -3.3%

Poured a brown body with good head and minor lace ring.
Has a tart/sour aroma with hints of caramel malt sweetness and dark fruits like figs.
Light to medium bodied beer that is juicy and t art that maintains a sharp, crisp bite to it.
Balanced as the low-key sugary sweet malts keep the sour patch flavors (tastes like sour apple and cherry) from making beer too sour.
A nice sour that is light and maintains a little bit of fullness and sweetness.

 451 characters

Sigma from Picobrouwerij Alvinne
3.99 out of 5 based on 83 ratings.
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