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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 36 |  Reviews: 30
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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Helleketelbier from Brouwerij De Bie
Beer rating: 3.63 out of 5 with 36 ratings
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