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Bacchus | Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

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Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
Belgium | website

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 09-12-2002

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Reviews: 203 | Ratings: 524
Photo of ngusset
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Goulden Carolus chalice on 5/5/16, bottled on 5/22/14. Beautiful rich dark brown malt color. Impressive grey brown head. Smells faintly of cider or raspberries, and rust. Crisp mellow tartness, very refreshing, good mouth feel, light yet not too thin.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

MJ's "Great Beers of Belgium" calls the West Flanders shop Van Honesbrouck "prolific" and says it "has in the local style a beer called Bacchus: lightly toffees, with an almond nuttiness, and a spritzy raspberry-like tartness in the finish."

I will review this once I get it again as my notes are cryptic and this is a hard style for me to appreciate.

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Photo of dorianmarley
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is dark brown with a very fluffy tan head and nice lacing.

Nose is tart, with apple cider vinegar, cardamom, crusty bread.

Taste is mildly tart, with malt vinegar, cherry juice, RC Cola.

Mouthfeel is refreshing with medium-mild carbonation.

Overall, not the best Flemish in the world--mild in flavor and personality--but I'm not asking for my money back either.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling right now on 1/13/16. Comes in a heavy single 12.7 ounce green bottle that I purchased today at Whole Foods in West Omaha for $5.99. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a 14 ounce "STORZ" snifter glass.

Brew pours a deep mahogany in color with a small beige foamy/creamy head. Some light spotty lacing is seen when sipped but not a whole lot. Aroma is of tart dark fruit which might be cherries with some 'vinegary' overtones. Taste follows the nose with tart sourness. Actually goes down easy with no harshness or bitterness. Lighter-bodied with perfect carbonation. Like a sour ale which I actually like. A different tasty brew that is worth a try.

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Photo of kitch
3.44/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.75

A 375ml wrapped bottle with a best before date of 25th November 2016 and poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: It poured a clear dark brown colour with a less than one finger tanned head that dissipated quickly but leaves some nice stringy lacing.

Aroma: Mainly tart cherries with some grape, apple juice and vinegary elements.

Taste: Taste is similar to the aromas with tart cherry sourness and grape bubblegum sweetness with hints of apple juice and brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, with mid to high carbonation.

Overall: This was better than the Kriekenbier version that I tried before. However, unfortunately, according to the wrapping, it seems they add Stevia to the beer. I don’t use sugar substitute sweeteners in anything ever, and I don’t see why I need to start doing so in beers.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

375ml bottle, with a paper-wrap label holding all the deets. What is it with this brewery and artificial sweetening agents?

This beer pours a clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, with three hefty fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and mildly bubbly tan head, which leaves a bit of my kid's dinosaur cookie profile lace around the glass as things quickly dissolve.

It smells of tart cherry, plum, and apple juice, white wine vinegar, a twinge of sour yeast, and semi-sweet bready, grainy caramel malt. The taste is quite in line, with mixed and matched plum, raisin, red apple, and cherry underripe fruit notes, cooking vinegar, grainy, lightly doughy pale and caramel malt, and a sort of free-range, but understated and thin brown sugar thing.

The carbonation is fairly frothy and a tad fizzy, but keeps it mostly reined in, the body on the light side of middleweight, and generally smooth, with a soft airy creaminess arising as it warms. It finishes off-dry, the somewhat tart fruitiness still predominating.

A pleasant enough rendering of the style, the tart, complex fruitiness sliding right in alongside the base caramel malt, while any other astringencies keep the noise down. Worthy of checking out if you're into sour beers that don't destroy your palate.

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Photo of MLoxxer
2.83/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I poured this beer from a 12.7 oz bottle dated May 22 2014 into a 14.75 oz porter/stout glass. The head dissipated very quickly, almost like that of a soda pop. It did however leave a remnant of foam around the periphery. The color is a rich, dark brown, through which light does not pass easily. The beer's aroma is very unpronounced, it does have a very slight nose which pleasantly reminds me of a lambic. Flavorwise this beer is pretty mild with a pleasing sourness but not at all fruity. The mouthfeel is very good, there is a nice tannic presence. Not having tried any other Flemish Oud Bruins I have nothing to judge it against. I do like it, it's just a little too mild and understated for what I expect from a $6.00 per bottle Belgian though.

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Photo of Arthuros
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Vieille brune. Old dark beer, ciderey like as you'd expect.

If that's what you're into, its delicious. Otherwise, it's surprising, a bit aggressive, bit pleasant after a few sips. Still unusual though.

 203 characters

Photo of dar482
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours in a dark garnet.

The aroma offers tart cherry, vinegar, candy sugar, red grapes, vinous flavors.

The flavor follows with a medium candy sweetness, hints of Luden's cough drops, grape, red wine, a medium tart quality with a touch of vinegar, vinous, although the finish falls apart onto some malt.

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Photo of Myotus
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12.7oz bottle (bottled on 19Jun12 (over 3 years old!!!)) into a Mikasa tulip. Pours with a half singer's worth of light brown foam that dissipates into a line within 15 seconds. Dark brown in color with a maroon tint. Has scarce, scattered, small white particles floating within the brew. Very subtle bubbles. Has strong aromas of oak with mild aromas of sour yeast and brown sugar, and subtle fig and cherry aromas (quite frankly a boring combination of aromas). Initial taste is of strong sour yeast, green apple (suddenly appears!), and oak flavors. Mild fig and brown sugar flavors along with subtle cherry flavors enter shortly after as the initial flavors persist. Medium bodied, mildly carbonated, with a mildly tart and dry finish. This was a great beer, but a relatively boring Flanders Oud Bruin.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.11/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour is dark brown with some reddish highlights. Head of foam isn't outrageous but firm and long lasting.

Fruity notes both sweet and tart in the nose. Deep whiffs give me a bit of Brett. At least I think so.

Fruity taste with a mix of sweet and sour. Identifying the fruit is, as usual, a chore for me. Black cherry, green apples. ? The base brown is there as well. But. .Oud Bruin style Ales do put the sour notes up front if they are done right. ..my opinion.

Fairly light bodied with light carbonation, I find no fault with the mouthfeel.

A very nice brew and I like having that little pull tab to help get to the cap. I will get more.

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Photo of Sunn
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is definitely a great intro into this style like others have said. It's not a WOW beer in my opinion at all, but it's damn tasty and represents all the aspects of this style really well.

The beer had a nice look. Dark red but the head disappeared within seconds. The smell was surprisingly faint for the style, but it made up for it in taste and drinkability. Unfortunately the price tag is very high which I think turns a lot of people away from this. Pricing aside, the beer is definitely worth a try. Out of the few Oud Bruins I've had this one does everything right and overall a great tasting beer.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fruit, malt, tartness and spice on the nose. Pours dar brown with a thin film of a cap. The palate is sour and fruity over rich malt sweetness. The balance is tilted slightly to the sweet.

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Photo of bnes09
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Only mildly tart with hints of fruit, mostly apples. Subtle spices blended in. Medium bodied with ample amount of fine bubbles. Neither dry nor moist nor slick in the finish. Lingering fruit flavor in the end.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Deep caramel red burnt color. Barely a half finger of tan head, quickly dissolves but leaves the same tall bubbly collar on the edge. Minor amount of carbonation, even some rising though the center. Very unique color on this brew.

Interesting nose. Caramel sweet toffee notes, almost candy story like, but getting into that classic Belgian sweet character to match. Hints of peanut like brittle, faint hints of maple syrup, and just a hint of cherry fruit. Very interesting, but definitley pulling the sweet angle in the forefront.

The candy action, and light character is definitely in the fore front, leaving classic tart acidity behind and malt sweetness left behind. Light bodied, taffy like sweetness and a bit watery to match, but manages some palate enjoyment. Candy cherry sweetness with a hint of cough drop character in the mid palate. Slightly burnt finish, and with a bit of mineral carbonation kick if slightly flattened down. Hints of some mild burnt toast and crackling grains on the finish. Very light and candy character, and easy drinking.

Really comes off as a session like oud bruin and dumbed down. Easy drinking, but really nothing exciting.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy and darker honey brown. Has hues in it and a fat enough head of tan foam that fell slowly enough to leave lace. Nose is vibrant with black cherry and dark fruits. Some treacle and a good little hint of something sour. Taste is rich and crisp malt. Lots of layers to this one. Dark fruits, a touch of spice and that treacle. This has a slight hop bitter that comes to the tongue just as the small pucker from sour kicks in and your mouth starts to really water. This finishes dry and with a big juiciness. Medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of babaracas
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From green 12.7oz bottle, pours a perfectly clear red-tinted dark brown, one finger thick creamy but fast fading pink-khaki colored head. Sheet of lace sticks for a few inches down. Smell: raspberry, sour peach note, leather, barnyard note. Sparse... fruit and not much behind it. Taste: cranberry-raspberry blend, brown sugar, herbal with woody and green apple candy notes in the finish. Light bodied with fizzy carb and a fast finish... seeing the abv online this makes sense, but makes the beer come off as underpowered. Tasty and refreshing at least. Bottled 5/2014.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.09/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap served in a short wine glass at fridge temps.

Appearance: reddish brown, light off white head of small bubbles, very clear

Nose: cherries, wild yeast sour smell, faint raspberries

Taste: sour funk, sour cherries, dried red fruits, lactic mouthfeel, light mouthfeel

I really enjoyed this one. I need to drink more sours. Fantastic job!

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Photo of Wanne
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is between bordeaux-red and brown, with a white head that rapidly vanishes. Aroma of red fruits, which also reappears in the taste. This, in combination with a medium sour taste, gives the beer a winey taste. Love the beer, love the style of beer.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

After visiting Russian River and loving their sours I now find myself gravitating in that direction. Seeking out sours I am even more convinced that RR does them right, having said that this is a pretty decent sour, abiet quite different but still darn tasty.

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Photo of cambabeer
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%

I actually don't usually like sours, but this one was pretty good. More drinkable than I expected it to be and didn't completely destroy the palate. Malt brings some sweetness and the sour taste that is there is more of a citruc sour and not a vinegar one that I expected.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%

Pours out a deep brown with red hues. Smells of caramel malts with a very subdued barrel/sour nose. Flavor has a sour twang, but not a very strong vinegar/barrel character as one would expect from this style. A bit one note. Malt tastes of general "sweet." Mouthfeel is light and prickly. This isn't bad, but really lacking in many ways.

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Photo of constantine_272
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with a deep haze. A cross between dark muddy water and black tea. Viscous sticky dotted tan foam. Low carbonation.

S: Slightly sour black cherry and prunes. Earthy. Rich brown leather and wet wood chips. Tangy and slightly lactic.

T: Starts off cool, watery and refreshing. Rich tanginess of cherries, cranberry and pomegranate. More dark salty chocolate and sour raspberry comes through. Slight mild fruit sweetness finishes long with a little tingle.

M: Thin light and refreshing. The tanginess finishes the beer clean. Very mild sweet dryness finishes.

O: I really liked this one. The mix of slight sour, dark fruit and rich earthiness really worked well together. This beer had a lot of flavor, but in a well rounded way unlike other beers that just try to be the most sour or the most roasty.

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Photo of ryannosaurus
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

12.7oz bottle poured to tulip

Nice deep brown color, fairly opaque. 1 finger of well tanned head lays over quickly, but a decent lace of bubbles persists

Aroma is strongly barnyard: bit of horse, bit of runoff from the horse. That dissipates as it breathes to a mild tang with some brown sugar / molasses notes

Taste has some sour and a bit of oak, Nice, but not particularly memorable

Good carbonation with a fairly thing body, pretty lively brew on the tongue

Very nice polite likable brown, perhaps a nice mild springboard if you were introducing someone to belgian sours. For my own purposes, there are some better examples I'd reach for over Bacchus

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Photo of TongoRad
3.37/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is not the best looking beer- kind of a murky brown with a quickly disappearing head. Appearances aren't everything, though, especially in this corner of the beer world. The aroma is very mellow, but I get dried fruits, a touch of leather, dark brown sugar, and an overall Orange Brandy quality (kind of like Cointreau). It could definitely use some more punch, but is pleasant nonetheless.

The palate is kind of the same way- needs a little zip. There is a definite sour presence, but it only goes to 7. The flavors are more earthy, and the dark sugar dominates. The balance and mouthfeel are right where they should be, and it's quite easy to drink, but would be helped by some more complexity of flavors. The key word seems to be 'pleasant', where 'memorable' is unfortunately what the price commands. Under the right circumstances I could see knocking a few back, though.

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Bacchus from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
83 out of 100 based on 203 ratings.