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Beer Information
Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
70 76 64 2 9 4
Black Orchard by The Bruery
Belgian Dark Ale
5.70 % ABV

Review by SAP on 08/06/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
76 3 9 14 4 8 2008
750ml Bottle; Sampled August 2008
As expected this beer is a gusher, a slow gusher I am easily able to pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip, but despite my fore-knowledge I still end up with only three-fingers of beer and a head that grows past seven fingers in height and overflows the tops of my glass. The head is a dingy, tan color and is quite creamy with some obvious staying power. The beer is a murky, dark brown color that shows a touch of amber highlights when held up directly to the light. The aroma smells of tart green apples, pear and sour plums with a backdrop of orange zest, substantial clove and some earthy coriander. A particularly deep whiff of the aroma leaves me with a prickly, almost burning sensation in my nose due to all the carbonation, but underneath this is a dusty, toasted malt, slightly roasted grain note that gets a touch sharp and even astringent some how.

By the time I sip the brew the carbonation has subsided to normal levels. The beer has a light tartness to it, though not as much as the aroma might have suggested and there is a light, dusty cocoa note here that comes through despite this beer being quite dry. Much cleaner tasting than I remember this being on tap, I think the yeast has settled out a bit more compared to that keg. Fruit flavors of plum seem most noticeable. The ample carbonation adds to the acidity found in this beer, though the tartness is not to the point where I would ascribe it to "wild bugs".

Despite being careful, my second pour ends up with a nice overflow of beer that ends up on my desk. The second pour seems to accentuate some fruit notes a bit more with notes of apple and even some raisin joining the note of plum. Spice notes of clove phenols are joined by an earthy spiciness that melds in with the dark malt notes of toasted grain and light roast character. Exceedingly light bodied, yet not watered down, this is extremely quaffable and is how I like an easy drinking modern Belgian Ale (despite the high final gravity or the early 20th century Wit). The new pour also introduces the ample carbonation that provides a peppery carbonic bite.

This is much more integrated and thus tasty than the draught sample of this that I first had. Interestingly enough, I wouldn't say that it is all that different tasting or smelling, it just works quite a bit better.

Served In: Tulip

Review by Tip Top on 07/23/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
64 2 8 13 3 6 2008
A - Pour produces a light brown head that's not dense at all and very fizzy. Like the head you would get on a cola, only with smaller bubbles. It fizzes down to just a ring around the glass very quickly. Body is a dark brown and very hazy. Can't see much though this glass.

S - Smell is very roasty with all dark malts. There is some wheat in here too. Smells almost like a roastier weizenbock.

T - Taste is surprisingly lighter than I figured. It's got a touch of wheat up front. Then comes in the sweetness of cake, almost like a fruit cake/spice cake mix. Spiciness is very present, with lots of coriander and some black pepper.

M - On the light side of medium bodied. Very fizzy, this is overcarbonated.

Overall - This isn't a bad beer by any means, but it just isn't doing it for me. Spiciness overpowers many of the flavors and this comes off as a tad watery.

Served In: Goblet

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