Category Archives: Van Viven

Review of Viven Smoked Porter

Hello guys.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be sampling the Viven Smoked Porter produced by the Brouwerij Van Viven located in Sijsele, Belgium.

I really enjoy smoked beers and although it may still be a bit warm outside for my liking for this style I figured that having one wouldn’t hurt too much. 

Let’s check the website,, for some information regarding this brew.

Viven Porter is a fairly bitter porter beer, smoked to produce grand flavours.  Is for the beer connoisseur a remarkable piece of craftsmanship compiled into a single glass of beer.  The finesse in the finish and creamy crown make many mouths water (or better: ‘beer’).

Let’s pour.

This brew comes in an 11.2 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 7.0%.

It poured black to say the least.  No highlights whatsoever showing through.  A well sized khaki colored head was formed from a very easy pour.  It was both creamy and smooth.  The retention time was solid and the lacing was sturdy as well.  A very pleasing looking beer in my opinion.

The nose brought forth a nice waft of smoke and wood.  Even a few bacon and country ham hints.  Just a touch of light coffee along with a few toasted grain notes gave it a wee bit more complexity and helped even and balance it out.  I thought it smelled pretty good. 

The flavor has a medium strength aggressiveness as far as the “smoke” aspect goes.  It seemed to have more of a toasted grain profile however.  Again, hints of bacon, fried bacon fat and country ham.  As the brew warmed it seemed to lose some of its coffee savors and “power”.  I don’t know if that was due to the fact that my palate began to become acquainted or what, but it didn’t hold together as well as I thought it might.

The mouthfeel was medium to medium/full.  Very smooth, chewy and dry with an excellent amount of carbonation.  A plentiful amount of flavor was left behind after each sip as well.

This was a very good representation of a smoked beer from my standpoint.  It definitely shouldn’t be passed by if you are experimenting with all of the smoked beers that are out there.  Even though the Viven Smoked Porter may not exceed the Schlenkerla in robustness and flavor profile, it is quite a bit easier to drink I think.  It’s just not as “loud” or pronounced as those representations are.  I would pick this up again for sure and I would love to try it again either this Fall or Winter.  A lot of smoked beers are very one dimensional, as is this one, but sometimes that’s all a person needs.  Nothing too confusing or overwhelming.  Just straight and to the point.  Have you guys ever tried the Viven Smoked Porter?  What did you think?  Feel free to leave a comment and let me know.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.9 out of 5
Grade:  B+

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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Country: Belgium, Van Viven


Review of Viven Imperial IPA

Hi guys.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Viven Imperial IPA produced by the Brouwerij Van Viven located in Sijsele, Belgium.

Unfortunately, I have yet to ever try anything from these guys, so this should be an exciting experience for me.

From the breweries website,, we find this bit of information concerning the Imperial IPA.

Viven Imperial IPA is originally from the west coast of America.  This recipe, combined with the Flemish brewing art, has an excellent result.  It does many beer lovers’ hearts beat faster.  It is a bitter hunk with a beautiful balanced of citrus keys (especially pink grapefruit) and floral tones.  A true experience for the senses….

Let’s drink it, shall we?

This brew has an ABV of 8.0% and it comes in an 11.2 oz. bottle.

The Viven Imperial IPA poured a cloudy, deep orange to amber color.  The cap was off white, soft, mostly creamy and nicely compacted with small bubbles.  The retention time was excellent and the lacing appeared to be patchy and clingy.  A touch of clear alcohol legs were found on the sides of the snifter when tilted.  It settled to a thick ring around the top of the liquid.  It looked pretty good I thought.

The nose divulged a nice and juicy aspect of grapefruit and peach citrus.  A piny redolence was accounted for as well.  Some underlying caramel malt provided a subtly sweet scent while an earthy hop and somewhat woody fragrance added a pleasant twist for my nostrils.

The taste brought forth a solid dose of the citrus.  Grapefruit and peach again.  I found it to be quite resiny and piny (in a good way), although the bitterness wasn’t as forceful as I thought it might be.  A sturdy bit was accounted for though.  The soothing caramel sweetness was harmonized extremely well.  It wasn’t nearly as much as some of this style can provide.  Only a minor savor of alcohol was found and, again, I stumbled upon a very interesting woodiness that seemed to fit perfectly with the style.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Considerably dry, smooth, somewhat sticky and chewy.  The carbonation was satisfactory and no real warmth was felt from the alcohol.  An excellent amount of flavor was left behind on the palate after each sip however.

I’ll tell ya.  I think we have a very nice beer right here.  It might not be the best Imperial IPA I’ve ever tried, but there is no denying that it packs plenty of substance and allure for me to want to try it again.  The drinkability is quite high and it could be enjoyed at any point during the year in my opinion.  I would definitely recommend this to any craft beer drinking friend for sure.  I’d suggest that you guys give the Viven Imperial IPA a try if you see it as well.  I think you may like it.  The earthy/woody feature was a very nice facet I thought.  Be sure to let me know what you think of it once you give it a sample.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.2 out of 5
Grade:  A-

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