Buffalo Belgian Bitter | Brouwerij Van den Bossche

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Buffalo Belgian BitterBuffalo Belgian Bitter

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van den Bossche

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by weissbierdrinker on 11-11-2009

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Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 69
Photo of Dentist666
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

8% ABV.
Poured into tulip.
Pours very fizzy and hazy light amber beer with rocky off-white head, low retention, some laces.
Smell - belgian yeasts, pepper, wood, citrus, corn flakes.
Taste - moderately fruity and yeasty, capped by strong hop finish, a bit astringent.
Medium to light body, soft carbonation.
Interesting bitter beer.

 332 characters

Photo of patre_tim
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden with lots of yeast particles suspended within. Topped with 4 fingers of white head that fades fast.

Fruity, a hint of peach, a hint of black pepper, cayenne peppers, and Belgian yeasts. Pineapple and corn candies.

Belgian yeast up front, some pineapple, phenols, but I'm distracted by the watery mid palate. Very little bitterness on the end. Slightly peppery, slightly fruity but light overall.

Light body, medium carbonation. Really covers the alcohol and feels like a much lighter brew than it is.

Found in Vientiane, drank in Chiang Mai Sept 27th, 2015. Its strength is it covers its alcohol, but overall it tastes more like a Belgian Pale Ale, not like a Belgian IPA to me.

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Photo of 6string
3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured out of the bottle and into a Belgian tulip glass with a wonderful golden hazy appearance. Enough sediment floating around to add to the great appearance, a promise that this beer is more than meets the eye. A wonderful head, thick and rich, but is quick to face, leaving a tried and true lacing on the glass.

Not too strong to offend the nose, but I catch hints of fresh cut wood, lemon, orange and flower. It's a subtle hint if anything, but the tulip glass helps confirm that it's there.

It has the taste of a solid Belgian Triple, a nice velvet touch, or "buttery" as I like to call it. However the difference with this beer is the hoppy aftertaste that hits the roof of your mouth. Not quite attacking like an IPA, but definitely a nod to the IPA style.

Overall, I'd buy a six-pack to break out and share with some of my beer buddies after work. Not quite a dessert or dinner beer, but I think it's something to help get your night started.

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Photo of uturn
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

How served: 750 ml caged and corked bottle poured into a Bon Secours Bière Vivante tulip.

A: This beer poured a hazy golden color with a huge 3+ finger white fluffy head which left a sticky lacing on my glass.

N: The nose had notes of grassy and floral hops along with light lemon, cloves and some spiciness.

T: The taste followed the nose with a touch of sweet candi sugar, mild cloves and pepper upfront then by mid palate I got some light lemon zest mixed in with grassy/herbal notes that ended mildly bitter and bone dry.

M: This beer has a medium body with a lively carbonation level.

O: Overall this was a very drinkable and very well hidden 8% abv. This brew tasted much better that when I had it in the past and would look to buy this again.

 763 characters

Photo of impending
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


750ml into a tulip. Pours a nearly transparent light toned copper gold, dense yellow tinged head clumps as it slowly recedes.

The scent has a surprisingly musty note with lots of powdery yeast, lemon grass, camphor.

The initial sensation is entirely of sweetness. Honey, spiced. Flavorful. The bitter is not particularly so. Aftertaste evaporates rapidly to a pleasant dull. Shy of medium lively spritzy mouthfeel.
low on the ipa scale

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Photo of mscudder
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Glad to have another fairly rare Belgian. Poured into a globe. Best before 7-15-12.... lets hope this one has some flavor left.

A - Cloudy straw yellow with a nice sized white head. Cannot see through it and the retention is above average.

S - Pretty light aroma composed of yeast, lemon, apple and a touch of hops. Wish they were more pronounced.

T - Follows the nose while being quite a bit bigger than I anticipated. The fruits fore-mentioned are here in volume with the hops creeping in on the rear. Since the beer is so old I believe this accounts for the passive hops. I would to enjoy a fresh one to see how the balance is, per the intention of the brewery.

M - Medium body with tons of carbonation, a bit excessive in my opinion. Wets the palette well and leaves a fairly dry finish.

O - This is an above average Belgian IPA for sure and I did enjoy it. I simply cannot forget that the age of the beer has effected my tasting. Perhaps another day.

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Photo of laurastradford
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer at a small bar in Bruges, a local recommended it as one of her favorites. It poured beautifully with a thick gorgeous head. The lace stayed on the glass throughout the enjoyment of the beer. It had a very dry crisp flavor. I had been drinking more spiced, complex, and flavored Belgians recently and this was a nice return to a more simple cleaner taste.

 370 characters

Photo of ThaCreep
2.45/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

No real flavor to the nose if it is a small hop pulling grapefruit. In the mouth, one wonders just where is the bitter since we really feel like drinking a pilsener everything is most ordinary.

A few grains here and there and presto, it's done....

 249 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, funky green apples and yeasty. In the taste, a nice green apple tartness and a small pine hop, ending with a dry yeasty flavor. A small tart bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry green apple aftertaste. Nice tartness and small presence of hops.

 321 characters

Photo of Squelch
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Crystal clear. White head. Nice lacing

Smell: Smells like a triple. No hop aroma. What gives?

Taste: has the belgian funkiness but where are the hops?!?!

Mouthfeel: Light bodied. Excellent

Overall: not a bad beer. More of a belgian pale ale than an IPA. Needs more hops.

 287 characters

Photo of movingtrain
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One pint, 9.4 fluid ounces.

Pours a golden-straw color. Massive, fluffy, white head on top. Excellent carbonation throughout.

Aroma is of some earthy funk, clove, sage, oak, orange peel, a bit of lemon, and wet wood.

The flavor is a little more sweet than I would have thought. It is bitter up front, but the overwhelming quality here is the sweet maltiness in the middle. The Belgian yeast comes through, adding a dry flavor, as well. It is funky, but not in an overly farmhouse funk kind of way. There is a bit of wild characteristic to this beer, with damp earth and a somewhat sour note.

Overall, the beer is not quite that bitter at all, actually. It has some bitterness, but that quickly gives way to the tonal sweetness on the palate. It's a good looking beer, and is a fine dry ale. An interesting find, holding on to some beloved funky characteristics, but providing just a bit too much sweetness overall, which overshadows the potential for the yeast and hops to play a much stronger role.

 1,003 characters

Photo of liamt07
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Ken, 750ml into a tulip. Best before August 26, 2012.

Poured a straw yellow, with a slight green tinge. Big fluffy white head, sticky lace and great retention. Solid all around. Nose has lemon zest, grass notes and some light sweetness. Very European in character. Taste has more lemon, grass, some pineapple and pine. Medium high carbonation, a more "Euro" take on the style relative to several of the incarnations I've had over the past while which were more American in hop character. Refreshing and very nice; a pleasant Belgian IPA.

 556 characters

Photo of mcallister
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice looking pour. Golden in color with good carbonation and a inch brilliant white head exploding out of the shoot and fading quickly into a sticky ring around the glass. Whitest head I've seen. Cork pops with a gusto.

Light phenols in the nose with herbal, earthy hops, some floral notes, a bit of cereal, and an obvious belgian spicy quality from the yeast.

A really easy drinking beer actually. Seems nothing like 8.5 percent. Drinks like 4.5. Great malt character, chewy, grainy, and a bit of corn flavor. Some coriander flavors, other herbacious qualities, white pepper, and the lightest hint of pineapple and mango. Soft, creamy and light.

 650 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First greeted by a little funky yeasty aroma. Medium yellow, generous three quarters of an inch head retention.Lots of lace was left in th glass. Good outhfeel, aAppropriate carbonation. The taste yields a light bitterness, I was expecting more bitterness.
Spot on the style, thanks for bringing back from Michigan, Ken.

 320 characters

Photo of peensteen
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ken for bringing this bottle, also thanks to Ken for the small scale beer shower when the cork flew off this thing.

Hazy golden colour, nice white head with some nice lace. Smell is yeasty with notes of lemon zest, grassy sazz hops, faint citrus but lots of lemon and lemon grass. Taste is yeasty and grassy, lots like Duvel meets pilsner, lemony citrus notes, lightly spicy, moderate hop profile. Medium carbonation, medium body with a very full feel. Quite a nice hopped up Belgian, no traces of alcohol and quite tasty.

 533 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one was a little bit of a bummer. The beer poured out as a golden yellow color, semi-hazy looking with a thin white head. The smell of the beer has some pleasant hop aromas coming off of it. The taste was like drinking a German Pilsner with just a bit more of a hop flavor. The mouthfeel on this was a little thin and didn't have enough carbonation. Overall this beer is average to me.

 390 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, bright golden hue, enormous head on it, lovely lace-ful flowering of foam.

Aroma: nothing but hops, super bitter, all kinds of citrus, pine, cat pee. outrageous astringency. Prickly, but perfect.

Taste: light bodied, smooth, but big on the hops here, a veritable hops delivery machine, though easy-drinking as a pilsner. Belgians can't screw that up. Big bitterness continues, nice texture, nice drinking. Definitely fits the standard style of Belgian IPA, as it's been presented so far.

Delicious stuff, certainly stands among the best Belgian IPAs, in the continental category. Not as much Belgian character that you'd get from an American version, oddly enough, but so much of the bitter. Way to go, Buffalo.

 722 characters

4.01/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass. Light Golden color, hazy appearance, looks like a wit bier. Head is white, dense & close enough to create mountains of foam like cummulo-nimbus clouds or sugar cotton. Small bubbles. Every sip you take leaves a circle lacing from top to the bottom, ´til the end. Smells yeasty, mildy citric & slightly spicy. Bitternes at first touch, high carbonation crips your palate. A real vivant bière. Subtle hints of sweetness hidden by dry bitterness all around. The masked alcohol will burn you at the aftertaste with traces of woody, resin flavor. In my opinion should be considered as a reinterpretation of an English bitter & included in the Belgian Strong Ales Style, since I couldn´t find either the aroma or the hoppy flavor of a Belgian IPA.

 769 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Label scuffed but appears to have a "best before" date of 2012.

Pours a light clear amber with a thick and fluffy pure white head;

Nose is light apricot with a hint of candi sugar and a light white bread yeast.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with light carbonation.

Flavors are bitter on first taste to a very sweet in the front and back palate and green bitter in the middle palate. Perhaps sounds better than it tastes. Flavor profile is just schizophrenic for me but grows on me as it warms and gets some air.

Finish is light green herb bitter. All in all this one has confusing flavors and characteristics for me that are not terribly appealing.

 655 characters

Photo of aepb1
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

on tap at Stubbie's

A- Hazy straw yellow body with a bubbly white head

S- Herbal hops and grassy hay

T- Hay and grain up front with a dry hop finish. There is a some malt underneath for a backbone and balancing

M- Light/thin, but it's smooth with lower carbonation

D- Easy to drink and I was surprised to find out the ABV was that high

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Buffalo Bitter pours a slightly hazy yellow-gold body beneath a massive head of rocky white foam. The head slowly falls in upon itself to create a mound of foam in the center of the glass - it looks kind of like a sombrero sitting on top of your beer! Rings of lacing are created with each sip. Nice appearance.

The aroma is fairly basic, displaying a golden malt, some yeast, a touch of lemon, apple, and a grassy hop note. It's surprisingly not very fruity or hoppy at all, and there are none of the phenolics usually associated with Belgian yeast strains. This must be a Belgian interpretation of an English bitter, except that it's too strong to even fit within the upper echelon.

It tastes fuller than it smells, but the flavor still basically follows the aroma; and you might be surprised that it's a Belgian beer given the restrained nature of the yeast. There's a bit of citrus to it (lemon), as well as the aforementioned apple, and some other fruit as well (white grape, light melon). The hops come through leafy and grassy. The malt is a touch sugary, and lightly biscuity. Dried grass or straw comes from somewhere (malt? hops? both?). What bitterness is there is just enough to keep the sweetness of the malt in check (around 30 IBU's) along with the subtle spiciness of the alcohol, and it finishes drying with notes of grassy hops and fruit lingering. It's sweetish, but balanced in the end; and I think this might pair well with fatty foods such as duck with an orange glaze; or foods with a bitter/earthy edge like a burger topped with gorgonzola and sauteed broccoli rabe.

The mouthfeel is soft and smooth with a medium body and fine-bubbled median carbonation that gently tingles the tongue.

Overall, it's a tasty beer with charm, and subtle nuances. It's easy to drink, and the alcohol never shows; yet at the same time it doesn't particularly stand out in any way. File under "good with food".

 1,918 characters

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

Poured from a 750 ML. Solid golden color with a large white head, served in a tulip glass. Head is lacy and foamy and stays the entire session. The aroma is of earthy, saaz, and some other hop. There is litle to no maltiness in the flavor and the bitterness is not overwhelming, but is the distinctive taste of a Belgian bitter. Close to Popperings ALE in taste, but not as good IMO. The carbonation is solid and body is light for the alcohol. A good alternative to any Belgian Abbey Ale.

 488 characters

Photo of dedrinker
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy golden hue with a white head.

Aroma - fresh clean yeasty earthy

Taste - clean wheat and earthy with a little sweetness with light apple/ muscat fruit attached. Half way between a Saison and a Belgian golden ale (think duvel etc).

medium light body with prickly champagne like carbonation.

Finish is a little bit earthy tartness - just a little. Didn't pick up anything bitter or any taste of buffalo. Joking.

Not bad at all, but the name and label do little or nothing to encourage or promote the beer.

 513 characters

Photo of biggred1
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brassy yellow with a big rocky head of different sized bubbles that leaves some decent lace on the glass. Soft lemon and hay with a touch of herbal hop in the aroma. Untoasted grain and hay with a gentle hop bittering and a dry champagne-like yeastiness. Alcohol is well hidden. Light and creamy with aggressive carbonation that scrubs the palate after each sip. A good tasting, easy drinking beer but not really a BIPA or even a very complex Belgian ale. Dangerously drinkable at over 8% ABV.

 493 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Best by date of July 2012; Sampled August 2010
A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces four-fingers of frothy, pale head. The beer is a nice gold hue that shows a brilliantly clear, pale gold color when held up to the light. The aroma smells of green apples, pears and not much else. If you really dig for it some grain notes of dry grass and soda crackers becomes a bit noticeable. The aroma is really quite simplistic in its expressive fruit aromatics.

A touch dry tasting as it first hits the palate, but as it moves across the tongue fruit flavors accentuate a simple grain sweetness. The beer finishes with a linger sweetness and pear / green apple fruit flavor. This beer is amply carbonated which provides a touch of a peppery carbonic bite, though without any real hop character this isn't enough to balance the fruit and sweetness. There is a touch of dusty grain character here in the finish as well as a touch of spicy yeast character. This is really nice and light feeling, so at least it hits that aspect quite well.

Inoffensive, simplistic, though not half bad, this beer isn't nearly as bad as I had feared, but it really doesn't make me want to drink it either. I will say one thing though, the rest of this bottle will be put to good use in my continuous batch of blended malt vinegar.

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Buffalo Belgian Bitter from Brouwerij Van den Bossche
3.67 out of 5 based on 69 ratings.
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