Helleketelbier | Brouwerij De Bie

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37 Ratings

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Bie

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-10-2002

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Ratings: 37 |  Reviews: 30
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Dentist666
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Hazy copper/amber with fizzy off-white head, low retention.
Smell - utterly yeasty, overriped fruits.
Not so pleasant beer with lack of carbonation, medium body and finally poor for belgian product.

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Photo of Euroglot
3.27/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of desint
2.83/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of AlexAfonin
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of janubio
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Hazy orange to amber colour, small head that vanishes soon, good lace. Smell of cherries, oranges, apples and spices. Medium body, carbonation good enough, sticky palate. TAste of fruits, cherries, apples, spices. Sweet finish.

 228 characters

Photo of mattfancett
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of HopStoopid120
2/5  rDev -44.9%

Photo of Douberd
3.42/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown bottle, 330 ml, label only on the front side. ABV 7%. Poured into a tulip glass, at home.

Deep copper colour, with a white two finger head. Average retention, no lacing left behind while it turned to a thin film on the beer's surface. Some light activity in the glass.
Lots of alcohol and yeast on the aroma, wheat, a bit fruity too.
Nice pleasant taste, a bit weird at first but it get used quickly. Grapes, yeast, again the alcohol quite noticeable.
Medium on the body, quite carbonated. Very dry on the palate.
Nice beer, but for some reason easily forgetable.

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Photo of biercycle
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of lanbewardin
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into the glass golden brew, fairly clear, small head that stayed around a bit

Smell is pretty typical for the style, very yeasty, very belgian.

Taste was kinda disappointing, nothing very complex or out there. A little bready, a touch metallic, I feel like I'm drinking a different beer than some of these reviewers.. maybe they change their recipe every now and then? There just wasn't much going on here for me.

Either way I would like to try some different beers from this small brewery, but I probably won't be coming back to this one.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer bottle (33 cl. brewed in 2009), tasted in 2011. Gushing when opening.

Appearance : orange color, with white foamy head.
Smell : yeasty and fruity aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : sour fruity taste (like a Flemish brown beer ).
Drinkability : an average beer in the style Belgian strong pale ale (gushing effect).

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Photo of jbonapar
4.29/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle in QUebec.

I love the label, witches brew!

Smell - Butter, toast, flowers. A Beautifull smell!

Taste - So smooth, unbelievably smooth to me. Strong Buttery flavors over a malty undertone. Some banana, some spice...A touch of Cinnamon.

I really enjoyed this beer, I'll be buying more.

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Photo of Travlr
3.08/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance was muddy brown with a small white head that doesn't last, and not much lacing.
Smell was caramel and malt, distant hint of spice.
Taste was slightly sweet malt, not much finish, not well balanced. Little hops.
Average and uninspiring, lacks complexity. Would like to try it again to be fair.

 303 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks probtsk. A pale that is yeasty, good german bitter, light, satisfying and drinkable. It starts with a bit skunky aroma that turns neutral. Its been in there since 2006! Lace and sediment and mouth tingling - in the last ounce of sediment. But maize? that's known as corn.

 278 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours opaque brown/ orange-ish colorwith a light tan head. In the aroma, tart green apple, citrus, and a hints of a sour cherry as well. In the taste, tart and malty, yet light in flavor. A smooth and medium mouthfeel, with a cherry like aftertaste. Light in flavor, yet big in the nose, and in the aftertaste. Quite nice.

 322 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a ditry hazy dark beige color ale with a huge foamy head with perfect retention and good lacing. Aroma of Belgian malt with some wheat and some sweetness also coming through. Taste is a mix between some candi sugar, some wheat malt and some bready yeast. Great carbonation with a full body and no apparent alcohol.

 329 characters

Photo of Shovelbum
3.41/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Minimal to no head. Hazy red-hued brown. Aromas of malt, plumbs, light biscuit, light spicy-earthy hops and a touch of alcohol. Biscuty malt up front with a bit of a hop sipcy-bitterness at the tail end of the flavor. Oh and some diaceytl in there as well. Fairly crisp, mildly sweet, medium to lean body.

A self-described amber ale, I find the appearance a bit off-putting. The rest of the beer is busy, yet enjoyable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.44/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bright brassy orange with much less carbonation that most Belgian beer. The head is modest in size, is the color of dry oatmeal and is too soft to be attractive, either immediately after the pour or while it deflates. An almost complete lack of lace hurts since the cap isn't a looker to begin with.

The nose is a classic mix of lightly boozy fruit and spicy, phenolic yeast. In my early days as a BA, I wondered how anyone could enjoy aromas like this. I now find them to be strangely appealing. This one has plenty of power and has its more aggressive aspects checked by its friendlier ones. It isn't a world-beater, but it's interesting and good.

The flavor isn't quite as good. Helleketelbier's flavor profile is too simple, too lacking in depth and complexity. Sour fruit is still noted (unripe peaches and apricots), but fails to make much of an impression since the flavor is so mild and fleeting. Despite its presence in the nose, the more attractive characteristics of the yeast are AWOL in the mouth. The yeastiness is a mere blip rather than a palate-pleasing, sustained burst.

I suppose this would be a good beer for those who are looking to stick a toe into the style, but who are afraid to take the full, screaming plunge. Its basic construction and low level of flavor intensity should be amenable to most newbie's palates. My preference for bolder flavors keeps me from loving it.

The mouthfeel is closer to medium than to light and is so undercarbonated that it lacks any sort of mouth interest. I don't usually mind modestly carbonated beer, but this one needs the kick in the ass that more bubbles would surely provide. In fact, since a beer's mouthfeel is so important to me, it can't help but drag the drinkability score down with it.

Helleketelbier ('bright kettle' beer?) is a minor disappointment. I enjoyed Zatte Bie and hoped that this one would at least be its equal, but it wasn't to bie. I'll still try any Brouwerij De Bie beer that I run across, even if my prior enthusiasm is now somewhat dampened.

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Photo of Zorro
4.32/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep golden colored beer with a light head. This looks a lot like a French Hard Cider in the glass.

Smell is sweet and full of dark fruit scents. Lots aromas of apples, raisin, plumbs, cinnamon and black pepper. Slightly sour smelling like Granny Smith apples. Aromas of brown sugar and cork round up the scents.

Taste is sweet malt and a hit of brown sugar at the beginning with a nice oak and vanilla after taste. Spicy cinnamon and coriander hit on the next sip and the brown sugar remains as the base malt flavor. This beer stays on the sweet side and just keeps tossing new spice combinations at your tongue. The enjoyable vanilla and oak after taste returns after every sip to clean your tongue and prepare it for the next sip.

Mouthfeel is good.

Very good drinkability here. But be warned this is a sweeter and spicier Belgian ale. A very nice beer that is unfortunately not very common.

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Photo of acrawf6
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I cannot find a freshness date on this, so i dont know if aging had an effect on the beer.

Poured out a deep orange color. From the carbonation release in the bottle, i expected a huge head and was a little dissappointed.

Smell: a crisp sourness with hint of alcohol. My nose clears up a little like it has menthol or something in it. This smells very unique in my opinion. (But my nose is a little stuffed up, so this may not be totally correct.)

Taste: Sour, or tart, l thought like a mild lambic. Sour green apples too come to mind. I keep tasting this sense of plastic. Again, that might be due to age, or bad bottling, dont know. aftertaste is a silky bitterness.

Mouthfeel: average i think, if not a little below average. creamy body, but not a full body considering the style.

Overall, i think i need to try another bottle of this one. There is something telling me i have a bad bottle of it. I want to try it again, but based on this one, i think its ok because it is different, but there are plenty of better ones of this style to enjoy.

 1,061 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.72/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, chunky orange copper color. It is topped by a thin tan colored head. The aroma is interesting with notes of earthy spices like coriander, clove, a bit of allspice and a bit of yeastiness. The aroma is also fruity with notes of raisin and fig. The taste is sweet and fruity up front but finishes quite dry and earthy. This has definitely aged a bit, but it is not noticeably oxidized, instead it has a rich malty fullness to it and a bit of that earthy woody note to it in the finish. The spice character of this beer reminds me of coriander, cardamom, ginger, grains of paradise, and white pepper. This beer is quite rich tasting, and the spice character has become really well integrated, the spice elements are really not all that apparent individually, more as an integrated spicy whole. Quite drinkable, I can only imagine what a fresh vibrant version would be like.

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Photo of Toddv29424
4.19/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very pleasant drink. Smell is pretty pungent and is like an American Pale Ale with lots of hops. The taste is pleasantly not like that at all. Tastes like a blonde with fruit added instead of citrus. Hops are apparent for sure but are in no way the dominant taste. Great for anyone looking for a beer with a refreshingly fruity flavor.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.41/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

04/13/05- Purchased at Draeger's Market in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with a witch and her freaky big eyed cats and a calderon of...hops?

Appearance- The only bad thing about this beer. Golden-orange color with lots of little yeastie flakes roaming around. Very small, quickly evaporating head and absolutely no lacing.

Smell- Smells much like some of the Unibroue brews. A bit spicy and sweet with a nice fruity scent. Maybe even a little nutty.

Taste- This one is nice and yummy. Tons of different spices...corriander and others that I can't put my finger on. A nice cotton candy sweetness as well. Maybe a slight touch of hops in the mix.

Mouthfeel- Average carbonation, tiny bit of thickness in the feel.

Drinkability- Definitely going to see if the store has any more of these. Can't remember what I paid, but I'm sure it wasn't more than $3. Very drinkable. Hell, this could be a good Belgian session beer. I dig it the most!

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Photo of GreenCard
2.7/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottling date: Nov. 2003

Appearance: amber, good clarity, thinnish layer of frothy off-white foam, poor head retention

Aroma: almonds, preserved dark cherries, macaroons, alcohol, bubblegum

Flavor: initial estery sweetness followed by a yeasty mealiness, wet leather, musty malt, peppery alcohol, mild herbally hops, finishes sweetish with a yeasty aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, fine carbonation, alcohol warmth

Other comments: The more beers I taste from this brewery, the more I think it's just an overrated little independent brewery that is only getting the high ratings on BA because it's Belgian and not corporate.

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Helleketelbier from Brouwerij De Bie
Beer rating: 3.63 out of 5 with 37 ratings