Helleketelbier | Brouwerij De Bie

Liked This Beer
3.63 w/ 36 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: 36 |  Reviews: 30
Photo of SeanChouffe
4.42/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The contents of the bottle ‘sploded upon unleashing and left copious quantities of particulate matter swirling erratically…
Appearance is a honey color, hazy, with plenty of bits. Noticeably carbonated with a fine white head that leaves a nice layer. Aroma is sweet and fruity, bubblegum with tartness and a yeasty, earthy background. Flavor has a sweet start, with malt and spices and a crisp light hop finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy with a good representation of co2. A complex brew, but hard to pin down; well balanced and smooth. A pleasant drink.

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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 pbrian
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is beautifully interesting, the definition of "artisinal." Large fluffy off-white head shrinks slowly to a nice protective covering over a murky amber liquid. Pumkin pie-like spice aroma is underscored by a gueze-like tart aroma. Starts off slightly sweet and spicy offset by a slight sourness. Creamy mouthfeel. Mildly bitter finish. Once in a while a beer will prove to you that seeking out uncovered gems pays off. This is one of them.

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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 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 StevieW
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't believe this beer was found at my local gourmet grocery store. Cool label, with a green witch stirring a kettle, and drunken cat peeking out from behind the kettle.

Cloudy golden color, with a fizzy fast fading head. Bottle swirl produces a ton of rich yeast goodness. Smell is heavy on the spicy side, lots of sweet cake like flavors. Noticable traditional belgian yeast smell as well. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and anything else lying around. Taste is an explosion of flavors, the belgian yeast is subdued, then the rich spice eruption, followed by a crisper, more dry finish than what is expected from a belgian beer. A very complex flavor combination. A nice after dinner sipping beer. If you see this one, grab it. It's worth the price, if only to challenge your beer tasting skills. 7% ABV, sneaks up on you.

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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 pio
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

mostly clear orange amber with streaming minute bubbles of activity. white lacy head a bit spotty but covering at all times. one long banner of lace with a few other spots here and there.
apricot, light candy and a sweet tarts (tm) scent are notable at the tip of the perfume. a nougat/light caramel hint and a touch of what seems to me like a single floral hop, perhaps a tad of corriander too. totally consealed alcohol.
i tasted this and said out loud alone-delish! an apricot and pear driven belgian journey. candy sweet start and the middle puckers up with a mildly tart finish that leaves the mouth watering. a slightly herbal vegeteal/leafy note is left on the palate, very nice, compelling.
quite an effervescant carbonation compliment the flavors well and it has a juicy body that dosen't seem sticky for how sweet it is, not clingy at all.
this beer is a great choice especially for those who need their eyes opened to the wonderfullness of belgian brews, a good 'told ya so' beer. however it's been a bit inconsistant from bottle to bottle as far as i'm concerned, enviromental/storage/shipping...i dunno why. i do get a couple if i find a row of them are good.

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Photo of inebrius
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stained glass sediments under a tan ring impart visual weight to complement a burly sweet heft. Ginger-pistachio lime loaf aromas add a touch of effiminate decorating and potpourri aesthetic fitting to this slightly saccharine brew. Like a heavy-handed action flick where you always know what's going to happen next.

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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.

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Photo of merlin48
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle pours a hazed, apricot gold body, with a minimal, offwhite head that is minimal, and leaves a few sheets of lace.
Aroma is tart fruity, coriander spicy, and wool sweater yeasty. Spruce and tangerine are also picked up in the interesting nose of this "not really an amber" ale.
Mouthfeel is tart, but smooth. Plenty of carbonation and a light to medium body.
Taste is complex. Very earthy, and spicy in the beginning. The coriander spice lasts the distance, but tart apricots and tangerines creep into the profile early on. This one stays tart, spicy, and dry, but is nicely smooth. Alcohol is well hidden. A doughy yeastiness is very noticeable.
An interesting departure to what I'm accustomed to in a Belgian ale. The label calls this an "amber ale", which puzzles me. In any event, this one is enjoyable and is more dry than others I've sampled. I suspect that no sugars were added to this one.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Murky light brown to amber body. Honest 1cm foam. Huge spicy aroma can be smelled from a meter. Ginger cookies, sage, fluffy malt, Christmas cake, earthÂ… as many flavours as you can name, this is a spice medley. Truly appealing. Yeasty palate. Watermelon or peaches like fruitiness hits the mouth as soon as you take the first sips, but it rapidly evolves into the hard to describe spicy environment. Citrusy, earthy and hugely spicy microcosm. Light rhubarb tartness. Low carbonation, medium body is almost creamy. I could not drink too much of it I guess and the first sip was clearly the best, but this is a superb experiment that I wish I had the chance to try again for the first time.

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Photo of Jason
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz slender brown bottle, the label shows a cartoon like witch and her familiar brewing in her cauldron. No freshness date.

Appearance: Gingery orange colour, great head during the pouring and the retention was above par also by leaving sticky patches down the glass.

Smell: Powdery yeast, a bit minty with ripe oranges and apple skin. Spicy going on herbal and fruity with esters to boot. Mild diacetyl is noticeable.

Taste: As smooth as it is crisp with a moderate fluffy body, some creaminess comes through on the mouth feel and so does a slap of buttery diacetyl. Fruity esters are abundant but not overwhelming, suggestions of rind of grapefruit and apples comes to mind. Alcohol has a touch of warmth to the body. Malt flavours are sweet yet grainy. The spices and the spiciness from the Saaz hops give a good bite to counteract and complement the sweetness. Spices go from allspice to herbal. A little phenolic with medicinal flavours middle to end.

Notes: Can a beer be too complex? There are so many flavours going on at the same time that the taste buds get worn out. Seems like this beer would be better off being pair with a hearty meal rather than having it alone.

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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.

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Photo of mickeymac
3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was served from an 11.2 oz bottle with a haggy looking witch stirring a boiling cauldron on the label. Although it's labeled an amber ale, it's actually closer to gold than amber. A small white head disappears quickly and no trace of lace is left on the glass. The smell is an intriguing mix of spice and tart fruit. The taste of apple or pear is backed up by what seems like the entire contents of a spice rack. Maybe it's a bit too much; things just never seem to come together as expected. Fortunately, the 7% abv is well-hidden and it's overall a pretty pleasant experience but not an earthshaker.

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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 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.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium golden brown color, very cloudy. Smallish head, Aroma is applish, cookie and citrus. A medium bodied amber, spiced with a multitude of spices: ginger, allspice, coriander and ???. Tart and sweet throughout, flavor of apples predominates. Interesting beer, great for sipping. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. High alcohol is not noticeable.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light gold with a coriander aroma that was perceptible without even trying. The head didn't last at all on this one and i found it hard to keep the yeast out of the beer. Aroma is of apricots and coriander with hints of fruity esters and a touch of alcohol. Taste is smooth and very drinkable with malt flavors and a delicate sweetness balanced with the citrus flavors of the coriander. The body is light on this one so i suspect that they used kettle sugars. A pretty drinkable beer that i might just emulate for a summer quencher with a higher gravity than normal. A bier that is characteristically belgian yet new in terms of restraint on unpleasent yeast characteristics while optimising the fragrant, fruity aroma so typical of traditional belgian ales. Helleketelbier sweetens as it warms as well as gaining a more pronounced coriander citrus flavor.

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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.

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Photo of mattfancett
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of biercycle
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Popsinc
3.46/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A golden/amber pour with a fairly generous white head.

Smell: Overall a very mild and subtle nose. Hints of raw sugars and honey comb take centre stage here.

Taste: A light roasted malt flavour is obvious up front. Noticeable caramel sweetness highlights the body of this beer with a suagry honey sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Dry for the most part but the finish leans towards a sweet and exceptionaly smooth ending.

Drinkability: I thought this was a decent beer, slightly better then average at best. Worth another shot but not nessecarily world class.

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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 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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Helleketelbier from Brouwerij De Bie
Beer rating: 38.9% out of 100 with 36 ratings
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