De Brabandere

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Strong Ale - Belgian Pale
3.98 | pDev: 12.06%
De Brabandere
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
View: Beers
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 70 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JackRWatkins
JackRWatkins from Alabama

4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From bottle into teku style glass (date code: 22-04-15) roughly three years of age
A: Pours with a nice, frothy, three-finger head, and an amber to orange body, prominent lacing.
S: Definite tannic oakiness, pineapple, hints of funk, some astringency.
T: Malty, sharp, and slightly sweet right off, with some pineapple coming through later, it is slightly tart but not overly so (I wouldn't call this a sour beer), the oaky notes have a strong presence here and marry well with the hops and malt body, there is some less than pleasant astringency caused by the tannins colliding with the hops though it is not a big issue for me. Some notes of white grape as well.
M: the medium body is a bit much and causes some of the less pleasant elements of this beer to sit on the tongue for too long, bone dry otherwise.
O: An excellent but imperfect beer, not a sour beer, worth your time. This beer is good all around but to me the nose is where this beer really shines.

Sep 27, 2018
Photo of mpyle
mpyle from Maryland

3.59/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pale amber color, quite cloudy. Pours a big white head, tightly bubbled and long lasting.

Rich malty nose, some candy sweetness. Gentle phenolic character...maybe some clove? Slightly tart nose as well.
As warms the wood becomes more prominent in the nose.

Gentle flavors, well balanced and certainly not overly hoppy (but does have some earthy hop flavors embedded). Again perhaps a bit clovey, and a definite tartness midmouth. Finishes quite dry and slightly bitter.

MF - Medium body and very high carbonation. Carbonation really detracted from the overall presentation of the beer for me, as it overwhelmed things. High carbonation and wood aging give it a real drying effect.

Think my sample might be past peak. Hoppiness very muted, slight hint of oxidation.

Nov 26, 2016
Photo of justinp444
justinp444 from Michigan

4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine glass it has a heavily fizzy almost champagne mixed with soda water like white frothy head and a hazy straw yellow. Smell is lemonheads, biscuit-y malt, floral, and earth. Taste is lemon citrus, oak, vanilla, white wine, and a slight biscuit malt. It has a full mouth crispy slightly overly carbonated and a light body.

Aug 17, 2015
Photo of ajm5108
ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lots of dry yeast on the nose, summer hay and a little lemon citrus as well. The label touts the hops addition but is very light, which isn't a complaint. You get some chalky Belgian yeast flavor, straw, some creamy vanilla from the oak and some light lemon peel. Easy and smooth, good carbonation, a little tart pop as well. Very good brew.

Jun 18, 2015
Photo of drpimento
drpimento from Wisconsin

4.54/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very good sour beer. Appearance is a large, super frothy, off-white, slow to settle head, good lacing, and an almost clear light amber color with lots of bubble trails. Aroma is a very fragrant blend of tart fruit, oak, yeast. Flavor's like nose, tart is in front and is not overly assertive, is balanced with a little sweet. Very clean and easy drinking. Great body. Not something I'd drink over and over, but would be great with a wide variety of foods and just to sip or even quaff on its own.

Apr 18, 2015
Photo of jmasher85
jmasher85 from Maryland

4.58/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm glad I got to try this, even just once. Pours a mostly clear, pale gold with no head and unfolds as a remarkably unique, exciting, and delicious beer. It advertises itself as being very hoppy, which in these days of hop inflation, can be a turnoff because a proudly hoppy beer is often just a bitter one.
However, the bouquet on this stuff is gorgeous, like walking into a royal French orchard in full bloom. Some mild citrusy zing mixed with pear and green apple and a potpourri of grasses, herbs, and those rich, mellow but very present hops they were talking about which, far from being too bitter or grapefruity, were piney, grassy, and floral enough to remind me what the best-hopped beers taste like.
The flavor matches the smell with all the above qualities filling the mouth, and adding to it a mild tartness, a little more pine and earth and a hint of oak from the barrels. It's not foamy at all, but heavily carbonated and each sip explodes and fills your mouth. At 8%, you can taste the strength of the brew well, but it doesn't overwhelm you or give much burn or astringency. Really, the medium-high abv enhances the flavor and gives a little bit of needed to punch, like a sweet, kind, gentle elderly lady who's got the mouth of a sailor just to keep you surprised. This beer is expensive, but totally worth buying once or twice. Oh, and I'm totally keeping that gorgeous, printed spumante-style bottle.

Edit: Tried it again. Whole Foods had it, go figure. Splurged again on the $25 gift to myself and toootally worth it. Still love this girl, though the awesome hop flavors have clearly been toned down over time. Get it soon or don't bother!

Mar 27, 2015
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.1/5  rDev +3%

Strongly sculpted from pilsner malt, oak, and strong wine influences, the stronger golden influence of this ale reigns supreme with intangible fruit and spice flavors that will hit home for the Belgian ale fans.

Its gold austere casts a mild haze to start, pushing forth a cottony froth that builds gracefully from those racy streams of carbonation. Hovering just above, a light angel food sweetness supports a zesty scent of citrus and orchard fruit along with a spicy hop tinge.

With the taste comes a soft confectioner's sweetness and wafer-thin bread support. Across the middle the sweetness wanes and the hops build to develop an earthy grass, pepper and pine taste. As faint swirls of honeysuckle and herbal botanicals build on the taste, the bitterness of white grapefruit, the acidity of white grape, and the spice of oak begin to shape a wonderfully unique finish.

As the bitterness grows into a full-on grassy, pithy bit, soft and powdery oak gives a highly drinkable and dry taste. Its perfume of fresh and fragrant wood shavings and oddly soap character resonates in aftertaste while alcohol spice ensures a dangerous dryness to its taste.

Dec 14, 2014
Photo of GabeBoise

4/5  rDev +0.5%

Nice tart lemony oak barrel notes on the nose and judicious hopping nicely complement the sweetness of the tripel base beer. Would have rated higher except for the high price.

Dec 14, 2014
Photo of bnes09
bnes09 from Illinois

3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light golden color. Huge, billowing, soap suds-like head towers over the glass. After a couple minutes, the head forms a web like structure inside the glass. Wait a couple more minutes, and it leaves a small mountain on top of the liquid which sticks around forever. Leaves large, foamy patches off lacing all over the glass.

Clean aroma. Green, grassy and somewhat medicinal.

Mild flavor. Subtle grainy malt well balanced with a light, leafy hop quality. Minimal oak and just a hint of spice.

Medium bodied with a harsh, snappy carbonation.

Overall, ok. The appearance is by far the best quality. I've certainly had better examples the style and at a fraction of the price.

Nov 19, 2014
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84 from California

4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle I brought to share at Skuter's tasting.

Pours a murky golden-orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, honey, tropical fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, tropical fruit, and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with nice honey and fruit characteristics, but I am not getting any sour beer aspects that the label says went into the making of this one.

Serving type: bottle.

Sep 28, 2014
Photo of superspak
superspak from Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 5/9/2014. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy deep gold color with a 2-3 finger dense and rocky white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big lemon zest, pear, apple, apricot, white grape, citrus peel, oak, herbal, straw, floral, grass, clove, black pepper, light musty funk, cracker, bread, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, earthy/floral hops, oak barrel, and light pale malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big lemon zest, pear, apple, apricot, white grape, citrus peel, clove, black pepper, oak, herbal, straw, floral, grass, light musty funk, cracker, bread, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Slight tartness and moderate yeast spice/earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon zest, pear, apple, apricot, white grape, citrus peel, clove, black pepper, oak, herbal, straw, floral, grass, light musty funk, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Damn nice complexity and balance of bright fruity/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and oak barrel flavors; with a very crisp malt/yeast/hop balance and zewro cloying flavors after the finish. High carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and fairly dry mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian strong pale ale. All around great complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, earthy/floral hops, and oak barrel flavors; and extremely smooth and crisp to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Aug 02, 2014
Photo of ONovoMexicano
ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

4.61/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Belgian tulip from the 25.4 ounce bottle.

A- Pours a pale straw color and produces a massive foam that requires several pours and waits. Cloudy pale golden body shows lots of carbonation.

S- Floral hops, lemon zest, apples, oak, citrus peel. Many explosive flavors but joining together in a tasteful blend of maltiness, hops and tartness... Loving this aroma.

T- Loads of tropical fruit, citrusy and floral hops, an undercurrent of sweet malt and some lingering zestiness. Outstanding flavor and just a slight amount of tartness.

M- Medium body but drinks fairly lightly with a yeasty effervescence. Some sweetness at times, but has a slightly bitter finish with the taste of citrus peel adding some dryness.

This beer is downright spectacular and unforgettable. I need more bottles. The price is up there but I'll bite the bullet for how incredible this is.

May 13, 2014
Photo of roblowther
roblowther from Texas

4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml corked and caged. A beautiful bottle. It pours light gold with a very persistent creamy tan head that just stays for ages and leaves nice lacing. Smell is lemons, soap, grass, and a lovely breadiness. Taste is citrus, with a strong woodiness. Hops are everywhere but very subtle. Hard to describe, dominant but tender. Like a dominatrix with a heart of gold. Mouthfeel is creamy and tingly with a very nice viscosity that coats your tongue. Overall, this is a fantastic beer. A great combination of flavors and styles going on. Hard to pigeonhole, not hard to love.

Apr 26, 2014
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MadScientist from New York

4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It pours with a finger of mostly compact foam that leaves ropes of Belgian lace on the glass. The beer is a slightly hazy golden color.

A medium earthy aroma of both hops and tart funk with an underlying barrel aroma. There is a low, light colored fruit note along with a light pilsner malt aroma.

A tart and moderately bitter first impression with a floral hops flavor and light tartness. The hops are also a bit spicy but the floral dominates the flavor of the ale. There is a light, gram cracker like sweetness from the malt. moderate light colored fruit flavors.

A light bodied beer with a strong level of carbonation and a moderate warmth.

Tasty and food friend, almost like a blend of a straight lambic hopped like a Belgian IPA.

Apr 05, 2014
1894 from De Brabandere
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 70 ratings