Helleketelbier | Brouwerij De Bie

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 HopStoopid120
2/5  rDev -44.4%

Photo of GreenCard
2.7/5  rDev -25%
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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Photo of desint
2.83/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of AlexAfonin
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Travlr
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

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Photo of lanbewardin
3.13/5  rDev -13.1%
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 -12.5%
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 acrawf6
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

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Photo of Euroglot
3.27/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Dentist666
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
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 Shovelbum
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
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 Douberd
3.42/5  rDev -5%
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 BuckeyeNation
3.44/5  rDev -4.4%
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 Popsinc
3.46/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

 571 characters

Photo of mattfancett
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of biercycle
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.59/5  rDev -0.3%
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 Sammy
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
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 +2.8%
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 +2.8%
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 Gueuzedude
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
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 mickeymac
3.74/5  rDev +3.9%
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 OWSLEY069
3.78/5  rDev +5%
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 Jason
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
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 Rastacouere
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
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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Helleketelbier from Brouwerij De Bie
3.6 out of 5 based on 36 ratings.
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