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Bacchus - Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

198 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 198
Hads: 495
Avg: 3.66
pDev: 20.49%
Wants: 9
Gots: 49 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 09-12-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (35) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 198 | Hads: 495
Photo of charlzm
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Consumed February 14th, 2014 from a 12.7 ounce bottle labeled "Bottled on 02/14/2012". I had it on its second birthday! Beer was poured into tulip glass.

Dark/medium brown fluid with beautiful garnet highlights. A fizzy one finger head formed and dissipated into nothing at all within about one minute.

Aroma is sour cherries.

Flavor: sour cherries (surprise!), somewhat woody and richly malty: nutty. Very low bitterness. Well-balanced between tart and sweet, with neither flavor character dominating. Cheesy funk is a grace note in the background.

Unremarkable mouthfeel.

Nicely executed and easy to drink. We'll meet again...

 634 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Usual wrapped, cork and caged 37.5cl bottle: opened in De Kuppe, Brugge on 31st Jan 2014.

Pours a murky brown with a red hue here and there, the head a thin covering of off-white.

Off wine aroma with some sour cherry hints: not as powerful as I expected though, nor as acidic or sour.

The taste is tart though, mixed old fruit barrel feel to the flavour, woody, earthy and with an overriding semi-sourness from the fruitiness.

A beer I've been meaning to try on my last three or four visits to Belgium, glad I made the effort to finally buy one.

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Photo of buzzardman
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Aroma: Nice funky smells itch hint of fruit which drops away as quickly as the head.

Appearance: Clear Reddish brown. Head builds then falls quickly to nothing.

Flavor: light tartness, fizzy like sparkling cranberry, background malt.

Mouthfeel: Dry slightly tart. Very thin light body.

Overall: My First Flanders red. Not bad but not much to it. Very fruity cranberry taste not much on the sour side like the first smell would suggest. Don't think id buy again.
12.7oz bottle $6.99

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The beer is a rusty brown hue. Initially, there is a small head but this quickly fades to nil, giving a still appearance. The aroma brings sweet and sour cherry, musty basement, vinegar. Tart fruit, cranberry, raisins. Perhaps more sweet than sour. Apple juice and maraschino cherries. Low carbonation with a sugary finish. This was just ok.

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Photo of VincentFrey
2.94/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pour / Appearance: Muddy brown, with heavy carbonation. Almost overflowed the bottle, but poured better. No real head or lacing to speak of once the initial bubbles fade. Not a pretty beer at all, and much more fitting to the oud bruin style than I was expecting from the red mug being held by the fellow on the bottle. Worth noting is that this is aged from 9/30/11.

Aroma: Vinegar, cherries, and lactic. All there at once and intermingled. It's complex to pick out some of the individual notes, but nothing entirely great. As muddled as the coloration. The time in the bottle doesn't seem to have done it a ton of good anywhere but carb from wild yeasts.

Taste: Cherry and cranberry. Almost sickeningly sweet, actually, until a big lactic punch on the tongue. Still, so softened by fruit, it's not much to speak of. Is this secretly a kriek or any kind of fruited red? Apparently, after a little research, they also make a Bacchus Frambozen but no labeling here indicates I got the wrong bottle. Hrm. Basically, this is not at all what I expect from an oud bruin and worse for it.

Overall: I don't really care for it, but it's not bad. It's probably quite good for someone just getting into oud bruin or sours in general, and it's got less vinegar than a lot of the style (that said, the lack of acidity predicates this).

Bottom Line: I won't be buying again, but you might like it if you enjoy krieks, frambois, any sort of fruited lambic or oud bruin. I'm not entirely sure what I paid, but I'm sure it'd covered the cost of a 750ml of Rodenbach Grand Cru or a 4pk of Festina Peche. Rather have either of those.

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Photo of MrBoz21
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Poured with ½ inch tan foam, settles into persistent tan cap. Thick lacing runs down side of glass, but does not stick. Dark caramel color, 75% opaque. Moderately effervescent.
Aroma – plum wine and raison and cherry.
Taste: Mild tanginess, cherry tart, not sweet – some sour apple… flavor rests on tip of tongue, but dissipates in mid mouth. Finishes dry.
Mouthfeel: Dry and champagn-like tingly.
A very refreshing and balanced but lacks depth.

 465 characters

Photo of deschutes_fan
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

375mL bottle dated 02/28/12

- Pours a deep chestnut brown, minimal foam but some carbonation.

- Smells of nice fruit, funk, vinegar tart... like a good belgium oud bruin should.

- Taste is mostly a mild cherry tart with some malt and maybe hints of oak. Flavor profile is straight forward and pleasant.

- Overall a decent oud bruin, nothing offensive and nothing too special. Lacking complexity and I was hoping for more of a sour punch, as the nose was hinting it could have. At the price of $7/375mL, I would choose Rodenbach Grand Cru instead, everytime.

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Photo of Goldfish19
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12.7oz bottle

Bottled on: 04/14/09

This has been sitting in my fridge since the beginning of 2011. Bacchus pours reddish brown in color with an almost nonexistent head. The aroma is made up predominantly of sour cherries. I can make out a slight vinegary/musty oak aroma, but it's faint. However, this becomes more apparent as the beer warms up.

By what the smell indicated, I thought I would get more of a tartness in the flavor, but it was mild at best; finishes dry.

Overall: Is Bacchus a watered down version of what a true flanders oud bruin should be? Possibly, but it works here, especially for a beer at 4.5% ABV.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle split between 5oz sampler glasses (for comparison with Rodenbach Grand Cru). Bottled On date is 110705.

Pours cloudy, brown, very small head. Some carbonation. Smell is tart, fruity, very nice.

Taste is tart, but not heavily. Fruity, maybe cherry, fairly mild.

Mouthfeel is dry and smooth. Overall, this is a pretty darn good beer.

In comparison, the Grand Cru seems sweeter and fruitier and brighter in terms of flavor -- it just seems to have more going on.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.31/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12.7oz standard pressure-cap bottle into a goblet in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- One-finger khaki-colored head with active, fat carbonation. Boils down to no head. Nearly black body with no clarity. Meh looking beer.

S- Tart, wooden notes. Slightly sour with a caramel malt.

T- Tart and tasty. Cherries and some fleshy fruits. Belgian notes. Sour and reasonably well balanced.

M- Some fizzy carbonation, slight dry finish. Clean.

O- Definitely not the best sour, but the taste is quite nice. Appearance and smell are both disappointing.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.99/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)

Castle Brewery Van Honsebrouck's Bacchus: Flemish red, a finger of lopsided (?) head, fades quickly; mid-dark reddish brown; Smell: pretty good amount of tartaric, raisin; Taste/Mouthfeel: nicely active carbonation, moderate tartaric, black cherry, kinda dry; good; 4.5% ABV.

Poured into a pint glass.

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Photo of Filosoof
4.32/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The best Van Honsebrouck I know. It comes very near to Rodenbach and Liefmans. The nose is even better. The taste is a bit less pronounced.

L: good top; chestnut brown colour, caramel, lasting foam of big and small bubbles;
S: great funk and tartness; reminds of gueuzes;
T: round, nice sour, wood and nuts, touch of wine;
M: I like strong beers, but in it's style this is very refreshing, only 4,5%! Start and after: perfect. Then a bit hollow, but ending very nice; great drinkability; not too sour;
O: you could wake me at night to drink one.

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at beer study in chapel hill.

reddish brown look. no head

slight vinegar and cherries on the nose, but not strong. decent taste...not tart or sour enough... but complex. it grows on you. good cherry taste, not sour though. interesting. medium bodied with low carbonation.

overall didn't love it at first but it grew on me. give this one a chance.

 357 characters

Photo of Sludgeman
3.51/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 9-30-2011 (about 1.5 years old). Poured into a tulip glass.

Not a pretty beer, but refreshing. Reminds me in some ways of a dry wine cooler. Nothing more than an average Flanders style beer. One that I would be willing to drink again if my choices were limited. You might want to give it a try.

A - Very well carbonated. Pours a cloudy dark brown/amber with a two-finger rocky head, which quickly disipates. Did not see any sediment. Minimal lacing.

S - Sour cherry, slight sweetness.

T - A citric tartness. No latic sour, rather dry, pale maltiness.

MF - Sharp, fizzy, dry.

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Photo of HabiMendes
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This dark brown beer has a poorly retained neck (the style expects more retention). The aroma brings cherries, peppery tones, and molasses - and wood-like tones. The malt, both in aroma and taste, should be more pronounced, here expressed as toffee. The aroma expressed well the acidity, and, despite the aging of 2.5 years, no vinegar notes. The cheeriness is expressed both in aroma and taste, and is very pleasant. The body is medium, super carbonated, oily, and smooth. The end is acid, pleasant, but brief.

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Photo of srhoadsy
3.96/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served chilled into a fluted tulip.

Pours a deep mahogany color with a quarter inch beige head that quickly recedes leaving light surface layer with moderate to heavy lacing.

Aromas of carmelized sugars and tart berries.

Flavors of tart berries and cherries, carmelized sugar with a musty mineral background.

Medium bodied with a crisp, dry finish.

I really liked this beer. It is a little on the pricey side but makes for a nice sour.

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Photo of KajII
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[Suggested Glassware: Tulip Glass]

The pour was a murky medium chestnut brown with an average (1-2 finger) light brown creamy head that receded at a steady pace, down to a light scattered film and medium collar with excellent full sheeting of lacing.

The aroma was of a toasted sweet grain malt and a musty Belgian yeast with notes of candi sugar, dark fruit (plums and cherries), a hint of red wine and a light oak cask presence.

The taste was sweetly tart and rather yeasty with a large dose of dark fruit (plums I believe) and a hint of candi sugar that lasted throughout, with the finish having a mild wine presence, a touch of sour berries and a light woody taste towards the end. The flavor lasted an average time after the swallow, with a bold fruity tartness left lying on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was a shade or two below medium in body and lightly dry in texture with a strong fizzy carbonation.

Overall this was a nice fruity brew that that possessed a somewhat bold tartness along with a mild sweet candi flavor, which worked very well together to make sure that no one characteristic overpowered the other...


 1,170 characters

Photo of bashiba
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured a deep red/brown with bright clean ruby highlights along with a thick and creamy long lasting head, tons of carbonation filtering up from the bottom for a long time.

The smell is a little bland, just lightly musty and bretty with a touch of sweetness.

The flavor has a very musty deep dark basement quality to it, not really sour, just and underlying tartness and funk, a very hint of sweetness along with some cedar notes. The finish is especially musty.

The mouthfeel is super creamy and rich.

I like certain aspects of this beer a lot, but feels a bit thin where it counts, smell & taste. Still, its not to bad.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.96/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 375mL bottle into a tulip. Bottled 7/5/2011.

Appearance: rich dark ruby hue with a haze-free body and a strong effervescence. Head poured three fingers of frothy tan foam but dissipated quite quickly indeed with no lace left on the glass. Nice, but a better head would have been nicer.

Smell: sweet caramel malt with a hint of molasses aroma and just the right amount of tartness. There's nothing particularly complex here, but each part is balanced very well. I like it.

Taste: much like the aroma, the sweet caramel flavor is balanced with a bright tartness right up front. The flavor develops a little bit of brown-sugar character as well, which I quite like.

Mouthfeel: body is quite light and carbonation is pretty strong, yielding a big but evanescent creaminess. Not bad, but lacking a little bit of body.

Overall: this is one tasty and refreshing beer. Granted, I like the style in general; still, I would gladly have this again and gladly recommend it.

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.17/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12.7 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled Sept 30, 2011.

A: Pours a cloudy ruby brown with a 1 finger slightly tanned head. Can see some visible carbonation through the mostly opaque body. Head dissipates in a minute or two. Spots of lacing.

S: Get that authentic Flanders smell right off the bat. A good funky yeastiness with hints of cherry and other tart fruits.

T: I get a lot of cherry up front. Has some sour characteristics on the backend but it finishes with more of the cherry. More sour comes in at bottom of the bottle.

M: Crisp and dry body. Light on the palette with a good amount of carbonation. Pretty easy drinking when you like this style.

Overall another good Flanders. Slightly more focused on the cherry as opposed to other malts or funkiness. Good for those who have had a lot of Lambics and are looking to expand.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Ruby redish brown, fairly clear, Big head leads to small quick, then to ring. No lace.

S - Tart cherries. Cannot discern much else.

T - Thinner than hoped, tart cherries, artificial cherry flavor as well.

M - Light body, light carbonation, balance a little on the cloy side on finish.

D - Not my favorite, but glad to try.

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Photo of FLima
3.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown colour. Almost no head, good carbonation with small bubbles.
Sour predominant aroma. Also, as expected a sour taste and vinegar, fruity, specially citric lemon. Great beer to drink as a bridge to the most lambic sour beers. Great drinkability, good surprise.

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Photo of eric5bellies
2.53/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Drank from my Ciney sniffer

A - Pours a dark clear mahogany colour with a two fingered head that dies quick

S - Oak and vinegar

T - Very watery flavours that is acidic with little fruit but more vinegar

M - Light body with medium carbonation. More carbonation and body required.

O - disappointing, because it lacks flavours and body

 337 characters

Photo of roblowther
2.84/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark reddish brown with a thin tan head with tiny Don Ho-like bubbles. Smells like oak, cherries, and leather. Sounds like an ad for 70's aftershave, somehow. The taste is very mild, with prominent sour cherries and some of that leather. Did I mention that its mild? I think my 70's aftershave model has mellowed in his old age. The mouthfeel is very slightly carbonated, not much to write about. Overall its lighter than I expected. Its not nearly as intense as some in the style, maybe this is the beginner version.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12.7 oz green bottle, nice simple label, clearly marked bottled on date (this one's right around a year old). Into a Chimay chalice.

Appearance: Brilliant warm mahogany hue with a nice ivory cap with decent retention.

Smell: Red wine barrel, light Brett funk, some musty malt, and tart apple/grape notes. Honestly, really quite pleasant.

Taste: Not quite as complex as the aromas, unfortunately, but still pretty nice. Light caramel tones, tart grapey fruit, a hint of Bretty funk, and a light, cleansing tartness. Hint of minerality and crackery malt on the finish. Actually, this is kind of growing on me throughout the glass.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated, tingly, tart, refreshing, and begs for another sip.

Overall: Definitely a sort of 'table' Bruin with the low gravity and less intense malt flavors than the bigger examples, but this was still enjoyable. This would likely make a very good gateway beer to introduce people to traditional Belgian sours, but is also quite refreshing and would likely pair well with a bit of Don Vino goat cheese and crackers, or perhaps a nice goat cheese marinara and toasted baguette.

Only big downside, $6.00-plus for a 12.7oz bottle...I'd give this an 84-85, B.

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Bacchus from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
83 out of 100 based on 198 ratings.