Brewed by De Struise Brouwers
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Oostvleteren, Belgium


on tap

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RATINGS: 774   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.75   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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Bottle conditioned.
Ingredients: Barley malt, hops, cane sugar, yeast and spices.
Strong blond winterbeer with fluffy white head which has been lagered for 8 months on different stonefruits. Tsjeeses was born out of a 5 year brew experience regarding x-mas beer without being capable of finding a suitable name up to now. With the name came a face, a caricature actually, that was drawn on the day Urbain, our brew master and master brewer, drank too many Tsjeesesís. Every time he drinks one, he says "Tsjeeses, what a beer". Therefore the name is more an expression of stupefaction than a curse. We have had already many discussions around the pronounciation of "Tsjeeses". Very close would be that you say "cheeses" or cheese in plural.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
supermeniscus (62) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - JUN 3, 2014
2012 Bottle bought in Bierkoning, Amsterdam and consumed some time during 2013. Pours a dark brown with lots of sediment in the bottom. Turns dark amber up to the light. I love the appearance of this! Rich, sweet aroma with a similar very sweet taste. Complex! I drank this one very slowly and enjoyed every drop. Canít wait to get my hands on another.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
MonsterMagnet (298) - NETHERLANDS - MAY 31, 2014
Bottle, bb 12-12-2012. Pours murky orange/ brown with a small yellowish head. Aroma: figs, raisins, nuts, nutmeg, cherries. Taste: raisins, grapes, figs, plums, wood, cherries, rum, apples, cane sugar. Medium body, smooth/silky, lively carbonation. Sweet and warming with a somewhat tart finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
PapaSkeetSkeet (827) - Corvallis, Oregon, USA - MAY 27, 2014
Deep gold with healthy head. Foam oozed from the bottle upon opening. Aroma/flavor is spicy, sweet grain, yummy yeast. Flavor has a surge of caramel that isnít present in the aroma. Balanced, not boozy. Had a Pannepot next to it (2012, maybe not stored properly, no carbonation) and this had a much better flavor in my opinion. Body is medium, but huge carbonation brings the feel where it needs to be for drinkability.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
kerenmk (2519) - Tel Aviv, ISRAEL - MAY 6, 2014
Bottle sample at a tasting at Dimaís. Thanks Stas and Vova. Cloudy amber-bronze with a creamy, bubbly head. Plum, raisins, then some wood and smoke in the nose, very smoky and sweet in the mouth, also a little fruity. Slightly flat, medium-bodied, long, smoky finish. Awesome.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Deu (721) - Nantes, FRANCE - APR 20, 2014
Bottle. AMber/Brown with a medium white head. Medium to full body. Very complex but well balanced. Spice, sweet (not too much) with a nice bitter finish. Very good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
LomYst (519) - Rotterdam, NETHERLANDS - APR 13, 2014
For the reserva Oak Aged... Brown orange murk... big brown head yet almost no carbs... great complex aroma with booze, wood, port/wine, ripe cherries and some spices... mellow sweet taste, some bitterness in the finish... oily texture... awesome beer

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Douberd (2479) - Arnhem, NETHERLANDS - APR 12, 2014
Bottle 330 ml at home, poured into a tulip glass, ABV 10% Very dark orange colour on the body, slighty hazy, with many tiny pieces of yeast floating around. Huge off-white head, thick, with good retention, leaving traces of lacing around the glass. Aroma is very fruity, also malt notes and light alcohol. Taste has spices, malts, lemon leaves, cardamom, light caramel. Medium thin body, soft carbonation, very dry palate. Quite nice.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Davros (1999) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - APR 3, 2014
Pours orangey amber with a large head. Nose shows spicy phenols and noble hops along with a doughy yeast note and some apple esters. Also a fair whack of malt with caramel and confectionery notes. Sweet malty flavours, again with a big confectionery character. Some noble hops remain along with a hit of booze. A little cloying.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
chimpgibbon (315) - London, Bedfordshire, ENGLAND - APR 2, 2014
Bottle from Cornelius. Dark muddy gold with small pillowy head and fine carbonation. Malty fruity aroma, boozy apples, figs and light vinous character. Big sweetness tempered with apple dryness. Moderately boozy with some spice. Decent.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1224) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 25, 2014
I poured an 11.2oz bottle into a chalice. It appears to have been bottled in 2010 and cost $3 ($0.27 per ounce).

Appearance: Initially a beautiful shade of red, but is quickly obscured by massive yeast sediment. Eventually looks murky and brown. Pours to a small, yellowish, soapy head which almost completely fizzles away.

Smell: Minor cherry aroma, but overall slightly stale and smoky with a strong presence of alcohol.

Taste: Usually, a complex Belgian Christmas beer is the best kind of beer for aging, but Tsjeeses doesnít seem to be the best example. Clearly, the bottle Iím reviewing peaked a while ago, which is a shame because I can tell deep down thereís a great brew here. This vintage is complex, but flawed.

Like any good Belgian strong dark ale, thereís subtlety to be appreciated here. Flavors of cherry, plum and fig linger in the palette (whatís left of them, at least). Itís not quite as robust or delectable as some of the better examples of the style. The alcohol is prominent, but not harsh or hot. Thereís a consistent dry bitterness from start to finish with an mixture of astringent smokiness and dark chocolate on the finish. Itís an odd combination of candy and tobacco Ė most likely due to oxygenation and/or poor storage over the last four years. Still, I can put aside the flaws and concentrate on the genuine beer flavors and find Tsjeeses to be tasty and interesting. A fresh bottle would probably be a much better experience.

Drinkability: Big Belgian brews tend to be just that Ė big. Tsjeeses isnít nearly as imposing as its 10% ABV weight would leave you to believe. While the alcohol does create for a consistent, though gentle, warming sensation, itís not distracting. The delivery is a bit underwhelming as the mouthfeel is thin, nearly flat, and has a slickness to the texture. The astringency on the finish takes some getting used to, and thereís minor dryness on the aftertaste. Not quite a sipper, but not exactly an easy drink.

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