Melchior | Picobrouwerij Alvinne

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106 Ratings

Brewed by:
Picobrouwerij Alvinne

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by paterlodie on 12-03-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 106 |  Reviews: 60
Photo of bigred89
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DJ-Hophead
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle, Etre Gourmet, BBE Oct 2013 - Pours cloudy amber with no noticeable head. Low carbonation. Aroma - candied sugar, honey, sweet jellied fruits. Taste - sweet, honey, candied sugar, nice alcoholic warmth, light bitter finish. Meant to be a possible gusher, older age probably mellows it, as well as increasing the ABV. Nice enough sweetish strong ale.

 363 characters

Photo of desint
3.99/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Photo of MichialTanner1
3.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of josanguapo
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From zombier. In Duvel glass. After dinner. Its high ABV isnt appreciable at all. The beer is very turbid, with lots of particles floating and little foam. Smells and tastes nicely sweet. A good and repeatable offering

 218 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a fairly clear peachy amber crowned with a billowy, lacy, 3” white foam collar.
S: Spicy, citrus nose.
T: It starts with large pitted fruit and finishes with a touch of mustard heat. There is some citrus in there too with a touch of salt or mineral.
F: Medium high carbonation, medium to medium light body.
O: An unusual and interesting beer.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.99/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

BOTTLE: 11.2 fl oz. Brown glass. Cute "snub" design. 2015 vintage. Yellow-orange label with an intricate design. Purchased at an Austin, TX bottle shop.

11% ABV. 24 p O.G. 30 EBC color. 60 IBUs.

Reviewed live as a Belgian winter ale per Melchior's website, though Alvinne's distributor (B.United International) calls this "Davy Spiessens Belgian interpretation of the Barley Wine style."

Served cold into a goblet. Expectations are above average given the brewery.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

*WARNING*: This gushes horribly upon opening. I lost easily 10% to the surface of my desk. Overcarbonation is anticipated. Perhaps the mustard seeds were more volatile than Davy realized?

HEAD: ~3 inches, with spots of brown yeast particulate riding atop the white head. Uneven thickness and a poor uneven consistency. Leaves no lacing as it recedes, but the retention is nice - ~4-5 minutes.

BODY: Murky orange-auburn with ample yeasty dregs visibly floating within. Translucent but nontransparent.

Appears severely overcarbonated.

Overall, it's a nice looking Belgian winter ale, but I can't say there're any stand-out characteristics on display. Looks lively and vigorous.

AROMA: On the sweeter side, with heavy fruit tones. Belgian candi sugar bolsters the malty sweetness comprised itself of amber malts, Munich malts, Belgian brown malts (which lend it a faint breadiness), and Belgian pale malts. Fruity notes of apricot, orchard pear, and faint peach. Has some honeyed characteristics, which is a refreshing change from the usual caramel-heavy Belgians. Biscuity, estery, and lightly spicy ale yeast is prominent, guiding the beer. Clove and allspice make appearances. Apricot marmalade dominates here.

I struggle to find the heat or spice of mustard/mustard seed, but cannot.

There may be an acetaldehyde off-note, as evidenced by hints of green apple.

It's a complex aroma, sure, but doesn't deliver on the promise of mustard seed, and it isn't much of a winter ale; the spices, fruit notes, and esters are emphasized over the malts.

Aromatic intensity is moderate.

TASTE: Fruit is prominent, with apricot, peach, green apple, and pear coming through pretty vividly. It's also quite sweet, with notes of honey malt, Belgian candi sugar, pale malts, Belgian brown malts, amber malts, and fruity marmalade. The malt backbone has a young rawness to it, running contrary to what you'd expect in a winter ale; don't look for rich notes of caramel, (deep) brown malt, or heavy bready tones here.

Mustard seed? I don't find it - or at least it's not distinct from the general spice profile showcased here. I do get clove, allspice, and maybe some nutmeg in the midst of the biscuity yeast, but little else.

Is it balanced? Not really; there's no bitterness to counter the heavy malty sweetness, and the raw feel of the beer just doesn't match the intended style whatsoever - either in terms of balance or accuracy. It's complex, sure, but in the absence of careful balance that intricacy is presented as a hodgepodge-y mess of flavours. Not a gestalt brew, nor a particularly cohesive one.

TEXTURE: Prickly overcarbonation mutes the booze and simultaneously prevents it from being refreshing. It's in the middle of the coarse/smooth spectrum, and errs on the wetter side until the finish - where it dries, emphasizing the green apple. Medium-bodied, with fair weight and heft on the palate.

This mouthfeel fails to elevate this beer, but it matches the style in general. Not as accentuating as would be ideal.

OVERALL: This didn't quite scratch my Belgian ale itch, nor did it incorporate the mustard seed in any meaningful way. Off-notes of acetaldehyde are indicated. It's a poor Belgian winter ale, and drinks like more of a boozy Belgian pale. I'm not sure what Alvinne was after here, but the result is a bit of an alcoholic mess and doesn't cater to the tastes of the discerning drinker. Even at local Belgian prices, I couldn't justify a second purchase. Even drinkability is limited by the overt alcohol presence.

High C (2.99)

 4,064 characters

Photo of dcmchew
3.49/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Like many other Alvinne beers, this was a really aggressive gusher, so pop the cap carefully. Therefore, huge fluffy, frothy white head. Dark amber, hazy.
Smells sweet, but fruity, with peach, honey-glazed apricot, pear compote, maybe just a bit sugary. Lots of spicy yeasts, with a lot of pepper, some nutmeg, some marzipan. A tart note too.
A nice mix of sweet and sour fruit up front, but mostly just sweet later on, when the sugared bready malts show up. There rich juicy peach and apricot, orchard fruit syrup, even some tropical hints, like overripe, mushy mango, in contrast with some mild cider apples, lemon and orange peel, faint berries. Lots of spices afterwards, with clove, pepper, allspice, hint of almond, faint lemongrass, but there's also a funky yeast, not exactly Brett, but still "green", a feeling that's enhanced by some nice bitter hop.
Not sure what the mustard seeds did here, probably just enhanced the spicy feel. Aftertaste is filled to the brim with yeasts, too much. No fruitiness, just some bitter hop. Medium body, kinda fizzy.
An aggressively unbalanced beer, but it does have some pretty nice moments. Gah, a pity.

 1,149 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of DrBier
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of lmaduells
3.71/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MichaelLamb
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of safaricook
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%

I drank this at Borefts 2014. I remember that this was quite sharp in the beginning with fruits and peppery hops in the aroma. Taste was sweet from the alcohol with ammonia presence like in a Westmalle and a firm hop bitterness. As this warmed up it got even sweeter and was less sharp regarding bitterness and ammonia, but still not a favorite. One of the bigger disappointments that glorious night.

 400 characters

Photo of brianmandell
3/5  rDev -16.7%

Cap has BB date Jun 2015; Hazy amber pour with thick white head. Candi sugar dominates the other aromas of spice, white grape, honeysuckle and ethanol. Flavor leads with sweet malts and candi sugar, booze, fruity esters, spice including hints of mustard seed ending in a cloying sweetness and bitterness that is very off-putting. The carbonation all seems to have gone to forming the head which makes this medium bodied beer actually feel a little thin. Overall, not my cup of tea.

 481 characters

Photo of Danobold
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Mphis
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Odysseyalien
3/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of davidwhatshisnam
2.75/5  rDev -23.6%

Photo of metter98
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a moderate to high amount of visible carbonation. A careful pour resulted in a three finger high off white head that took a long time to die down, eventually settling into a half finger high dense head. Lots of sediments poured out from the bottom of the bottle and colored the head tan.
S: Moderate aromas of Belgian yeast and candi sugars are present in the nose along with some hints of spices.
T: The taste initially starts off with a little sweetness but as the sediment is poured out of the bottle subtle flavors of mustard seeds become stronger and help to balance off the candi sugar. Notes of other spices and yeast are also noticeable.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The addition of mustard seeds makes this a unique Belgian Strong Pale Ale and are well incorporated into the beer without overpowering any of the other flavors. This beer is dangerously drinkable for 11% abv and I can't perceive any alcohol in the taste, although you can definitely tell it is strong with the underlying notes of candi sugars.

 1,134 characters

Photo of nyrblue2
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of refractor82
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of Alex5
2/5  rDev -44.4%

Photo of brandonld23
4.5/5  rDev +25%

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4/5  rDev +11.1%

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Melchior from Picobrouwerij Alvinne
Beer rating: 3.6 out of 5 with 106 ratings