Zatte Bie | Brouwerij De Bie

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Zatte BieZatte Bie
70 Ratings
Zatte BieZatte Bie

Brewed by:
Brouwerij De Bie

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-07-2002

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Ratings: 70 |  Reviews: 59
Photo of hunteraw
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle looks OLD, American import label peeled off as soon as condensation collected when it came out of the fridge, revealing the belgian label underneath (no barcode, yes notched bottling date). Bottled in June of 2003 - this bottle is more than three years old - luckily, this style is cellarable and should have improved with age.

Appearance: red-tinted dark amber, looks somewhere between sparkling red grape juice and cola. One finger off-white head with decent retention and some lacing.

Smell: Belgian yeast aroma, candi sugar, hops, and what I want to describe as a "cola" like character. Some dark fruit as well.

Taste: Fairly subdued character as it enters your mouth. Not as flavorful as I'd hoped or expected. After a second or two of sloshing around, though, it starts to open up. Lots of residual sugars, sweet. Dark fruits (raisin?). Hop bitterness is enough to balance the malts. Very mellow, a touch tart. Aftertaste is earthy, toffee.

Mouthfeel: Not as carbonated as it looked when I first poured it. Medium mouthfeel.

Drinkability: hides the 9% ABV rather well, I think. Not as good as I'd hoped when the label peeled off and I saw this had been inadvertantly aged three years, but fair drinkability all the same.

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Photo of Ego
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

found @ cable beverage, bardonia, NY

boiling head. what the hell does that mean ? OK.. here it goes, you pour this thing and the head looks like it is nearly boiling while it is crackling and fading into nothing extremely quickly.. and very audible also. interesting and unique. dark brown with some sediment in the bottom of the glass, light has to struggle to penetrate this.

deep dark herbal honey, it tries to hide the alcohol but you can sense it here, dark fruits slathered in honey... the nose is deep and heavy, it is almost like breathing in honey.. it "smells" that thick. this smell is so interesting and deep I have to rate it highly.. I haven't smelled anything like this.. total dark honey. this almost smells like a honeyed barleywine.

taste etc.
more honey. which hides the ABV of this thing way too well.. oddly enough I don't find this "too sweet" for me. mouthfeel is medium with very subtle carbonation that doesn't get in the way of the flavor. this one is strange... when you hold it in your mouth you don't get much, only when you let it finish... it drinks way too easily in this manner. DEFINITE warming in the stomach from this. I am getting a bit of molasses flavor in this one as well. it coats the mouth very nicely but the carbonation dries it up just enough to urge another sip. There is a hint of bitterness on the back sides of the tongue which adds an interesting element.

this would make a fantastic digestif with dessert. maybe not something to pair up with uber cheese but more along the lines of oatmeal cookies.. or black forest cake... a really interesting ale.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a bottle at the Ten Pin Cafe, Martinsville, VA, poured into a regular pilsner glass (TPC is lacking in appropriate glassware).

Body is your basic brown with ruby hints. Foamy, average-sized head with mild lacing. Head halves and stays for the duration.

Smells of malt, maple syrup and, yeah, a faint trace of honey. Pretty reserved aroma though, not giving away the great flavors to follow.

Great taste that reminds of a hybrid of mead and a basic Belgian brown. Malt and honey mingle well, with some additional fruit character showing up. An almost hazelnut tinge here too. Alcohol is felt but it's timid, present enough to provide a mellow warming sensation.

The thick-ish, buttery-just-shy-of-syrupy mouthfeel only helps the delivery of the flavor.

Despite a higher ABV, Zatte Bie is very easy to drink. It goes down smooth and will give you a glow after only a few good sips.

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Photo of clvand0
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark color with a nice head that falls fast and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma is very sweet and nutty, with a little caramel. The flavor is also quite sweet with some honey notes as well as some caramel and dark malt goodness. The alcohol is faintly detected. The body is moderate and the drinkability is very good.

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Photo of paterlodie
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled Jul-05 BB 2 years after. Nice presentation with good and lasting beigebrown head and a black beercollor. Nose is very caramellic malted with hint of almond and cherry. Not much to detect of roast in this brew but nice caracter. Taste is malty and shows next to the caramellic taste some burnt note. Further a cherrynote and litle sourness. Alcohol present though fitting in brew and moderate bitterness afterwards. Little metalic note makes mouthfeel and taste less as is the saltyness of this brew. Drinkable brew and something else but after first plesent sips this one turned against me more and more. One of the better of "de Bie" though that I sampled.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a frothy, light amber colored head that sits atop an almost brilliantly clear, deep amber colored beer that shows ruby highlights when held up to the light. The aroma is rich and concentrated with notes of prune, raisin, fig and toffee; overall it is quite sweet and smooth, with concentrated fruit notes being the most noticeable.

The beer has a reasonably full palate to it that clings to the mouth a bit and definitely lingers. It is fairly sweet and is reminiscent of dried fruits; I get notes of prunes and figs predominantly. I also get a bit of a phenolic note in the finish, which, in combination with the hint of alcohol, a touch of toasty malt character and a hint of spiciness, helps to dry out the finish just enough to make one want to take another sip. Overall this beer is rich and fruity. It has just a touch of aged malt character to it, which supplies it with just a touch of sherry-like flavor. The sherry and toffee notes combine to make this a great sipping beer, especially appropriate when there is a chill in the air.

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Photo of wl0307
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this beer from the Beer Circus, East Croydon, London. The bottling date is Feb. 200_... ?? not specified.

A: served in a big-tulip shaped wine glass, it pours a very deep dark-ruby colour, with a soda-like "hissing" head dissipating quite fast, leaving just a rimmed, off-white foam.
S: interestingly floating, astringent and sharply-candyish note mixed of a kind of herb+cherry-flavouring+banana-skin+sharp perfume upfront, followed by figs, lightly-caramelised brown-sugar and a raw, yeasty and slightly rustic aroma sustaining firmly in the background. Overall the nose upfront is too aggressive to be attractive and approachable, a bit like the smell of some wild flower in full blossom, and hindering more subtle aroma from coming through until much later.
T: creamy texture of sweet dark malts hits the front palate, along with a very warm, candyish-sugary, peppery, mildly-toffeeish, cherry-ish and ripe-plum's flavour overwhelming the whole mouth, leaving a slightly conflicting, spicy mouthfeel followed by an intensifyingly dryish texture towards the finish, with slightly sweetish aftertaste of preserved-dates or the like.
M: the mouthfeel is consistently smooth but always side-by-side with an alcohol touch, backed by mildly carbonated body but turning a bit syrupy after the flavour softens and a bit thin towards the end.
D: overall a full-bodied beer with overly sugary flavour. I can't say I like this beer, but it shows some potential to age, softening its sharper edge in some months or years...

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A plesant experience with this one. Orange like colored and modestly headed. Decent lacing. Perfumy and mildly spicy aromas blend with big sweetness of honey, malt, and caramel. Tastes sweetly honey, caramelly, and toasted. Belgian candies, cinnemon, and allspice decorate the body. Licorice noted play in the body and toward the finish. Finish is the only place that reveals the high sweet alcoholic flavors. Finishes mildly drying and sweet.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Grabbed this in Indy last weekend. It pours a deep ruby brown color with a finger of head that falls to a full coating over top. The nose is light raisin, slight spicey, and a puff of alcohol. Not too bad. The flavor is just okay as well. I get a big metallic flavor up front. This is followed by a sweet raisin, and slightly strong alcohol flavor that does not meld well with the brew. The feel is moderate to thick with a moderate carbonation. I think the flavor does not work too well with this one. An average brew.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearence: The creamy off-white head sits above a reddish brown body with orange tints.

Smell: The smell is luciously sweet, with strong honey and sugar notes.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is a great sweet and sour mix, with strong honey and candi sugar tastes. It has the sweetness of mead, the sourness of a lambic, the complexity of a flanders red, and the body of a Belgian dark ale. The complexity is outstanding.

Drinkability and Overall: This is a truly unique ale in my opinion. It's hard to fit it into a specific catagory, but whatever the hell it is I thoroughly enjoyed every last ounce in my glass.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy dark orange with a frothy white head that hangs around for a while. Fruity nose reveals a good amount of sweet malt, stone fruit, molasses, a touch of Belgian yeast, and a distinct alcohol presence. Palate is complex - up front, sweet malt with notes of honey, molasses, and dried fruit, becoming sharper in the back of the mouth with a touch of hops and the yeast coming forth. Warming alcohol sensation on the finish lasts for a while. Mouthfeel is a little lacking, simultaneously thin and syrupy, I don't know how to describe it. While interesting, this is a difficult beer to drink. Of course, the bottle I have is almost two years old, so maybe it's better in its prime.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darkest orange/weathered bronze with a huge amount of suspended bits and bright orange highlights that burst through the bottom edge of the glass like a tropical sunset. The lid is a letdown. It's white toast brown and is soft and mealy. Small to begin with, it quickly falls to a flat, featureless disk and gives up no lace. I'll have to pick some middle ground between the good looking beer and the not so good looking head.

Zatte Bie is one of the weaker BSDAs that I've ever smelled, but it's still pleasant. The focal point of the nose is dark fruit (raisins, prunes, dates) covered in caramelized sugar syrup. It doesn't smell quite dark enough to bring molasses into play. It's better than average, but lacks power and personality.

Whatever intensity the nose lacks is more than compensated for by the taste. The intense burst of flavor wasn't that pleasant for the first few sips. Something seemed off somehow, but I couldn't pinpoint what exactly. As my taste buds have adjusted, I'm feeling better about things. It's darkly fruity (like liquid raisins) and is sweet and spicy. This might just be the raisiniest beer that I've ever had.

There's just enough bitterness present to keep sweetness from dominating. Some amount of alcohol manages to peek though, but is an integral part of the flavor profile and can stay as long as it continues to behave. No surprise, given the ABV, that the beer is nicely warming and begs to be sipped. The mouthfeel is somewhere between medium and full with a light chewiness and an understated amount of carbonation (for a Belgian).

Despite the name and the apiary scene on the label, Zatte Bie doesn't contain honey. I don't speak Flemish (or whatever language the website uses), but I'm pretty sure this is a standard BSDA. Or, as the label reads, an 'Artisanal Belgian Brown Ale'. It's a good one too. Although it's unlikely to make anyone forget the best of this style, I'm enjoying the bottle thoroughly.

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Photo of cro250klr
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I like Belgian browns so I tried this one. Nice pour dirt/leather brown. The head was a tannish one finger that stayed till the end. A slight sweet aroma of honey, candy sugars and fruit. Little carbonation, which makes for a soft mouthfeel. 9%? If it is, it is well hidden. Very smooth. I had three of these and the 9 started to kick in. One of the better browns I've had, and would certainly look for it again.

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Photo of swamiswamu
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one has one of the most distinguised heads out there. The huge frothy mass just kinda stays. The color is a deep brownish burgundy. There is a pleasant yeasty aroma. The taste features a wonderful interplay between the malt and underlying yeast with hints of caramel and bourbon. The huge body deducts somewhat from the drinkability, but this one's great.

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Photo of rousee
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The drunken honey bee.
A-Ranging in color from a fruit punch cranberry ruby red in the bottom 1/3 of the glass to tan in the middle third and then a leathery brown at the top third of the glass. Small head fades quick.

S-Beautiful caramel smell only hints at the bang that comes from the first sip. Has a slight sourness on the nose like a Flemish red.

T-Zing of tartness like a lambic followed by malt and fruit. The fruits are cherries or extra sweet grapes--plums too maybe. Strong carbonation--the first sip kinda shocks you. Has a raspberry soda type flavor--some syruppy qualities but deleivered in a subtle manner so it doesn't detract at all from the enjoyment.

MF-Velvet-fuzz--quite nice with some dryness.

D-its okay. Wouldn't really want more than one or 2. As far as smoothness goes, it is a tad above average.

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Photo of merlin48
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

750 ml corked and capped bottle with a label depicting a napping brewer with a swarming bee and beehive above the barrel he is resting his head on. Unusual label, and the cork was a bear to remove, even with a corkscrew. This pours into a goblet a dirty, chestnut brown with a small tan head that quickly falls into a longlasting collar. Attractive sheet lacing is left on the goblet. No sediment noted.
Aroma begins with malty chocolate and toffee, quickly joined by dark fruits(prune juice), and mild spicing. Raw clover honey is also prominent, as is an earthy yeast presence.
Mouthfeel reveals a medium full body, with a spritzy carbonation that is uniquely Belgian.
Taste begins with a dark fruit sweetness that evokes coriander spiced prune juice. Mild note of toffee, strong note of raw honey, and plenty of herbal hops bitterness. The promising start goes downhill midway through with some harsh acidic yeastiness and a medicinal note from the otherwise concealed alcohol. The finish is dry and acridly bitter from a dank yeastiness. This follows into the aftertaste, and convinces me that this is an ale to avoid in the future. The aroma and initial tastes remind me very much of one of Unibroue's strong dark Belgian style ales, like Trois Pistoles, or La Fin Du Monde. Zatte is rougher around the edges, however, and lacks the balance of its Canadian counterparts. Maybe, the green color of the bottle played a role here, but this one disappointed.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown in color with ruby highlights when held to light. It forms a light brown creamy head that leaves good lacing. The aroma is herbal, spicy, malty with hints of toffee and brown sugar. The flavor is malty, sweet, with brown sugar and choclate notes. It also has a bit of honey sweetness. It is medium in body and highly drinkable. It has a nice semi-sweet finish. A really good brew.

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Photo of alexgash
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark, root beer brown body with a nice tan cushion of head.
Nose is soapy sweet. Brown sugar and honey, mostly. Light roasted notes come through at the tail end, along with some alcohol.
Roasted, slightly bitter nut flavors lead off--briefly--but then get overtaken by sweet, brown sugary malts and notes of vanilla. Syrupy from here on out. Roasted character picks up as bitterness swells into the finish. Creamy, coffee-liquer finish with a dash of yeast. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy--almost cloying. Not bad, but there are much better dark, Belgian ales to be had.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 11.2 fl.oz (330ml) brown glass bottle, plain brass colored crown cap, with a rather colorful label that depicts a sleeping brewer being buzzed by a Bee from a nearby seemingly hovering in 3D space Hive.

Appearance: Dark chestnut, dark brown, slightly hazy but clear somehow. Decent head at first, yet it disappears faster than a Terd in a backwash flush. No head in the end, just a halo ring that comprises a light tan head. Lovely super fine dissolved carbonation though, superb conditioning.

Nose: Lots of toffee, creamy Devon milk toffee and some fig like mushy sour crab apples. Smooth though.

Taste: Lots more chewy toffee, creamy swirls, figs, dates and yet more Devon toffee. Finishes with a sweet honey maltness, like a brown sugar encrusted toffee caramel fudge cake. Soft finish. Mild alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Solid feel, lightly warming alcoholic ending, silky smooth toffee chew.

Drinkability: Decent enough drink, can’t help but feel robbed though, I expected a dark stout instead I got an average toffee laden Barleywine.

Overall: What the fuck is this??? This is most certainly NOT the Zatte Bie I had many, many years ago, I recall a dark burnt sweetish roasted black bodied stout that tasted like someone had done a donut on your tongue and left a skidmark on your cheeks. Geez, maybe I am loosing it, this now tastes much more like a Barleywine. Still not bad, but not what it was, by a long stretch. Cost $3.49, a walking the tightrope purchase again.

Bring back the black beer come sweet stout dudes.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle.

Pours dark brown, with a medium sized tan head.

Aroma is sweet malt, caramel, prune.

Flavor is equaly sweet with some fruity notes,
Thick creamy mouthfeel.
High abv is hidden well.
I had a few pieces of smoked guoda cheese with this beer, and that helped dimish some of the sweetness.

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Photo of putnam
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Liqueur, citrus and nut extract is clear on the nose and palate of this medium-bodied, adequately proportiioned ale. Blatant nut flavors, slick, slippery, glycerin-laden textures and compacted, .... lemon pledge, quinine, alcohol, bitterness.

My palate was spoiled by Jolly Pumpkin.

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Photo of dansteino
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark brown with some reddish hints. Nice head.

Smell: Some ripe fruit, spice, and sweetness. I also get some earthy and wooodsy tones. Pretty complex

Taste: Very sweet with some bitterness (provided more by the carbonation -- I think)

Mouthfeel: Now I know what "heavy" and "cloying" means.

Drinkability: One is enough. Thanks. Still, I would buy this again.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a bottle served at Anam Cara.

This Dark Ale poured a cloudy, brown color with tan foam that persisted. The smell was fruity (raisins, prunes, dried fruit) with malt and some sweetness. The taste was full or raisins and dried fruit with malt, honey -- some sweetness but balanced by a slight tartness/sourness. A very rich flavor. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with medium body and low carbonation. The fruity sweetness lingered in the mouth. This was a very nice and mellow dark ale, and was very easy to drink. The alcohol was well hidden.

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Photo of beergurujr
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. brown bottle. no age statement, but there is a place for it on the label.

dark, with a healthy lasting tan head. very fine carbonation.

aromas of sour malt, yeast, and lactic acid.

taste is sour at the start, followed by dry malt and dried apricots. interesting, but as others have recently written, no honey. mouthfeel average, not particularly thick or thin.

finish is a bit sour, though it sweetens as you drink down the glass.

not a bad beer at all. but unless they changed the recipe, there appears to be a problem. advice: drink it now, especially if you like sour beers.

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Photo of DESTRO
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours out a deep brown, nice large head, impressive. aromas of malt, bready yeast, mild honey sweetness etc. not bad. in the mouth it is crisp, bubbly, lively...everything a nice belgian should be. taste wise, youve got your light fruitiness, sweet malt, a touch of honey, some caramel and a decent slap of alcohol. but it seems a bit un-balanced. but hey maybe thats just me. a big beer that is drinkable, but not overly so. one was fine for me.

paid $1.99 for a bottle

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Zatte Bie from Brouwerij De Bie
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 70 ratings