Balthazar | Picobrouwerij Alvinne

BA SCORE
80
good
67 Ratings
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BalthazarBalthazar
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Picobrouwerij Alvinne
Belgium
alvinne.be

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stcules on 03-01-2005

BEER STATS
Ratings:
67
Reviews:
37
Avg:
3.43
pDev:
17.2%
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
2
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 67 |  Reviews: 37
Photo of mrfrancis
3/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of larbush
4.25/5  rDev +23.9%

Photo of brbrocc
4/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of kayrex
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of olympicgatorade
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Naugros
3.71/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wasn't a huge fan of Melchior, finding it too sweet, so we'll see how this magi does.

Off the bat you can tell this is well conditioned due to the fact that I barely got the mouth of the bottle to the glass in time to avoid a spill. A huge, tan head immediately rose on top of the dark brown body which cast a ruby hue.

The smell screams raisins! The coriander and cardamom fight to supply an astringency that promises to balance out the sweetness. A little musty but I'm can pick out any bite form the ginger. Hopefully it's there in the flavor.

The taste follows the smell very closely and the promise of the spices counterbalancing the sweetness was kept. It's still a little sweet, but not nearly as bad as it could be (like Melchior). The only issue I have with this beer is that there is a metallic tang to it, like licking a penny. It lingers into the aftertaste which is a bloody shame. The ginger does show up but without any bite. There's a sour element that increases as it warms. Very complex in flavor, so much so that I taste something different with each sip.

A little high on carbonation, but that makes the beer surprisingly refreshing. But more bite from the ginger would have made this taste like a ginger ale. Otherwise the body has some creaminess to it which is quite enjoyable.

Well now, I'm going to have to find Gaspar to break the tie.

 1,372 characters

Photo of pmlato
3.25/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of Stoutsman
3/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of jophish17
2.5/5  rDev -27.1%

Photo of patm1986
4/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of EnJeiBee
4.19/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - As everyone else noted, this one was a gusher. I probably lost 50% of the beer down the drain due to over-carbonation. Once I managed to get some into a glass I noted a hazy sediment filled deep red-brown hue and a tan head with good retention and lacing.

S - Dark malt character and a raisin aroma dominate a slightly spicy nose that I couldn't distinguish (even with the spices written right on the bottle).

T - Very interesting and complex flavor profile. The dark malt backbone and raisin flavors were complimented quite well by a spiciness from what I would assume was the ginger and a warmth from the alcohol.

M - It was medium-bodied, but severely over-carbonated

O - Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this. I didn't really know what to expect from it, but it was pretty enjoyable. The complexity in the nose/ flavor was fabulous.

 850 characters

Photo of goldbot
3.51/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Lot 338.

Exploder! Lost about 2/3 of this beer down the drain as foam. Whats left is a cloudy medium brown color with floaties. Plenty of head (obviously) which dissipates quickly. Aroma is tons of malt and dark fruit. The flavor is again very fruity with bready malt and caramel notes. A bit of roast malt. No hint of spices anywhere. Full bodied with plenty of silky crispness.

 380 characters

Photo of vandemonian
4.38/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Balthazar has a dark amber colour and a perfect slightly yellow head. There was really a lot of sediment in my glass, but I don't mind that. This beer is extremely carbonated, so watch out for the spray when you open it. The smell is very nice and malty, with some alcohol and raisins. The taste is sweet and malty with some alcohol and fruitiness. There is some noticeable clove flavour and not really any bitterness. Lovely. Really nice strong beer.

 451 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.17/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark brown color and a murky consistency. There was a big, creamy, tan-colored, lasting head. Average lacing.

S: Had a very spicy, sweet aroma, with traces of fruit and malt.

T: Tasted of malt, some fruit, brown sugar, cardamom, and coriander. Not your classic Belgian strong dark ale flavor, but still very complex and spicy.

M: Lots and lots of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Because this beer deviates from the style a bit, I know it won't necessarily appeal to everyone, but I still think it's drinkable.

 576 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
2.95/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

(Served in a chalice)
A- This came out as a gusher. Deep walnut brown dense body supported a huge deep tan head that was bubbly with lots of light brown flecks in it that soon faded to a film. There was a sea or racing carbonation.
S- The rich brown sugar aroma has a dry spicy aroma to follow with a strong ginger aroma that finished with a mustiness of cardamom.
T- The musty spices had a light sweetness to them with a cardamom and fruity note and a soft brown sugar cidery finish. There was a bitterness, not from hops, that grew in the finish with each sip.
M- This beer had a medium mouthfeel feel and no alcohol heat but a fizzy finish.
D- This beer was hard to get through. The spices dominated and just didn't work together at all. It was a bit like drinking a ricola cough drop with a cardboard quality.

 818 characters

Photo of sketchpunx
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark coppery brown with a huge bone white head that stays and stays. I have to ease back on the pour, and even then i can only fit 2/3 in my 0,3L flute. The smell is nice and spicy, as advertised. This beer has a very interesting flavor. Big ginger up front, and some alcohol in the middle and corriander at the finish. a little bit astringent, but in a nice warming way. This beer is well carbonated and maybe a little thin, but i don't really mind that because of the interesting spicy flavors here. I can't recall a beer that I have tried to compare this to. I wouldn't drink this every day, but very good overall and worth a try. Different.

 652 characters

Photo of drpimento
3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured with a smallish tan head that quickly subsided and no lace. Color is a cloudy amber, red, brown with sediment. Aroma is caramel, resin, eastern spices, citrus, soy sauce. Flavor is like aroma, a little tangy and salty. Body is ok and so is carbonation. Finish is on the bitter side. Nothing special.

 306 characters

Photo of Beerenauslese
3.63/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle imported by B. United. No freshness date, but the cap has lot: 338.

This was the biggest gusher I have ever opened, even though I handled the 330 ml short bottle with care. I had to pour it into several glasses, and still 1/3 was lost. After the profuse suds died down, what was left of it showed a creamy tan head over a dark caramel brew. Leaves some lacing; lots of sedimentary particles evident in the head.

Aromas of caramelized malt, ginger, candi sugar, alcohol.

Tastes malty, with coffee and toffee flavors, and the ginger and coriander spices come through. It has a bit of a metallic cola taste as well from the spices. Actually, I find the flavors enjoyable. Finishes dry and peppery, with a raisin spice cake lingering taste.

Body is light. Carbonation is still good despite the gushing.

The alcohol is noticeable. Overall, the beer could be better integrated. It reveals to me what the backbone of a Belgian strong ale might be, but it doesn't actually have much meat on the bones.

If you have one of these, you might have better success if you refrigerate it very cold, then pour it into a glass. Let it warm up, then drink away.

 1,174 characters

Photo of nrpellegrini
4.27/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Max's Belgian Beer Festival.

Poured a dark burgundy color with a small tan head that fades. Smells very sweet not much dark ale, more like a sweet pale ale. Taste is a whole different story, just sweet malt, great alcohol taste. Smoooth, a sweet red wine. I want more.

 279 characters

Photo of Sallerj
2.95/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This smells like a cross between root beer and jaegermeister... seriously. It kind of tastes similar. There aren't many recognizeable beer tastes here. It's slightly tart with dark molasses-like malt flavors, a lot of sweetness, and a complex blend of herbal flavors. If anybody has had the Italian liqueur Fernet Bancha, this is like the undistilled version of it. I didn't get through the whole 11.2 oz.

 405 characters

Photo of John_M
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a dark amber color with very good head retention and lots of sticky lacing all around. The nose is also fairly attractive, consisting of rootbeer, and milk duds. Sort of odd combination, but it's not bad. The flavors replicate the nose, except there's something of a burnt toast flavor as well. In combination with the rootbeer and milk duds, it's not the best combination in this moderately sweet beer. Also, there's something of an alcoholic bite in the finish that isn't working for me either. Mouthfeel otherwise isn't bad; the beer is medium bodied with a soft, long finish. Drinkability is OK, though the alcohol is bit more noticeable then I'd like.

This is a decent beer, though I can't say I'm in love with it. Too many other great beers out there....

 800 characters

Photo of Travlr
4.3/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured by Glenn at the brewery.
A: Almost completely black with a small white head that settles quickly to just rim bubbles and some lacing.
S: Aroma of dark fruits, dates and coriander, background hints of vanilla.
T: Flavor starts with milk chocolate and progresses to roasted coffee, with a bit of caramel.
M: Decent body, a bit light for the style.
D: Nice enough, closer to stout than a dark ale, but tasty.

 419 characters

Photo of crossovert
3.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is the second offering I'm trying form this brewery. Like the Gaspar, this one has rather crappy label art, like it matters.

Pours into y duvel tulip glass dark brown with an abundance of floaties and a light caramel colored head that rises to the brim. It seems pretty carbonated and dissipates quickly leaving spotty, watery looking lacing.

The smell is quite pungeant and spicy. Tons of corriander, along with pinches of caramom and ginger. Also some yeast and cirtus prickle the nose.

Tastes much more porter-like than your normal strong dark ale. The chocolate malt is roasty, strong, and very rigid and it blends with some very pronounced sourness. Not unlike the Old English porter from New Glarus only it is less offensive. The spices are in the taste as well, and the ginger blends with the alcohol, prickling the mouth with each sip. There is some fruitiness in there too..

The carbonation seems to be good, but it comes of slightly watery, it is good but not great.

Overall a decent beer that ambiguously fits in the BSDA category, it isn't like most, but it is decent.

 1,090 characters

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Balthazar from Picobrouwerij Alvinne
3.43 out of 5 based on 67 ratings.
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