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Bacchus - Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

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449 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 449
Reviews: 193
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%
Wants: 9
Gots: 37 | FT: 0
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.
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Ratings: 449 | Reviews: 193 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to Founder's tulip.

A - Poured medium brown/amber colour with a small amount of cream coloured head that receded to a ring around the edges of the glass.

S - Bready malts, some dark fruit and a tart/sour aroma. The sour aroma is noticeable but not dominant as I expected. A touch of spice is evident in the background.

T - Sour/tart taste up front that is dominant but is not to the point of being puckering. Some balsamic vinegar and dark fruit in the background.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation.

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a Trappe Door tulip. Poured a massively dark red brown with a two finger light tan head that subsided to half a finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, tart cherry, cream, sour, and tart. The flavor was of sweet malt, sour cherry, cream, and tart. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I am a decent fan of this style and this one really didn't disappoint me too much. I like the fact that I was able to pick up on the cream aspect I mentioned in the flavor as it helped to balance out the tart flavors going on. This made the brew much more enjoyable for me. Worth trying if you get the opportunity on tap.

4.21/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml hand wrapped half champagne bottle served in a Flute glass.Enjoyed on oct´11.Identified on the package as an OUD BRUIN.
Pours light mahogany in color.Beige crown with large bubbles.Good retention.Flowers,green wood & mildy toasted malt aromas.Citric sourness upfront followed by sweet malt flavor.Light body & gentle high carbonation.Grapefruit finish.Lemony malty aftertaste.Refreshing & drinkable.

Photo of PerHops
4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- very dark. murky brown color. Very little evident bubbles.

S- slight vinegar lots of lemon. a little funk and earth. Very interesting.

T- Tart cherries, apples, a nice very pleasant dry finish for the style

M- Good level of carbonation despite the way it looks,

O- I will buy this one again.

Photo of liamt07
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the LCBO, best before November 1, 2013. Packaged in a big sheet of paper, that clearly identifies this as an Oud Bruin - not sure why it's a Flanders Red here. Into a wine glass.

Pours a dark maroon, with some mahogany highlights. Light offwhite head, moderate density but soon fades to some bubbles and a thing head. Almost zero retention. Nose has some light sourness, grapes and berries, light metallic and woody notes. Some acetic qualities. Taste is drying right off the bat, some lightly acetic berries with some wood. Becomes a bit grape-ier near the end. Bittersweet finish with a pucker. Pretty high carbonation, but avoids being fizzy. Dry enough to encourage constant sipping. A nice little sour that could be a lot nicer with a bit more depth and complexity.

Photo of biegaman
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bacchus is the kind of brown colour I imagine looks something that like of the wooden barrels it was temporarily aged in. Slivers (no pun intended) of ruby and orange are kindled along its base but transparency is tough to come by, even though the beer's complexion is clean. Its concrete-coloured halo is thick and persistent.

The aroma beckons of tart cherry fruit, low-grade sherry vinegar, wood must, and a fair bit of toasty caramel malt. The common initial reaction would be to liken it either to an odd red wine or an expensive balsamic vinegar, both of which are understandable first impressions. It is both fairly fruity and tannic whilst also dark, syrupy and sweet.

The so-called "Flemish Ales" all share strong characteristics of acetic acid, unfermented sugars and, often, a bit of alcohol. The best Flanders Oud Bruins, however, are similar to an authentic balsamic vinegar whereas the Red Ales are more like sherry vinegar: not as dark or savory, but noticeably more nutty and fruity.

Indeed the flavour lay bare to more cherry fruit and nutty malt. Acetic acid provides a tickling (lemon-like) tartness but it doesn't counteract sweetness entirely; lots of toasted malt comes through loud and clear. The finish is dry as expected with some acidic burn but it lasts only seconds. All fruity and vinegary flavours depart disappointingly quickly.

Bacchus is just the thing to serve those people who think of beer as nothing but bland, yellow soda-water. It showcases that the complexities in flavour, smell and texture achieved from malted grain can rival (even somewhat mimic) every bit those of fermented grapes. It should also greatly appeal to those like whiskey sours and similar cocktails.

Photo of Stocean1
4.19/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Unwrapped this oddity from the newspaper and poured the unmarked green bottle (felt like I discovered it in an abandoned tunnel used during WWI) into a pint glass. Little off white head with patchy lacing. A nice one finger head would pop up with a swirl of the glass. A ruby chestnut colour.

The smell is something else: lots of wine; grape; malt, dark fruit, black shitty earth (somehow not in a bad way); and light floral hops.

Taste follows the nose, cheap wine combined with belgian dark ale, frankly unique to me.

Mothfeel is earthy, tart, dry, slightly bitter with little carbonation and medium body

Overall a real interesting and rewarding brew

Photo of paxkey
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

scrolled down to read a few reviews after seeing the photo. style on wrapper is flemish old brown.
mine is wrapped and the bottle is green and unmarked. a sticker adorns the plain gold bottle cap with 11-01-2013 appears to be the best before date.

bottle opens with no hiss or pop. tough cap to open.
copper/rust brownish. nice tan head. beer is dark but can see through it.
lots of sweet sour notes on this. very tart. i am salivating from the aroma. reminds of a gueze. jammy fruit smell, raspberry strawberry. nice funky tartness. this beer is enticing. i love a good sour beer.
mild acidity and carbonation leads to a light body with tonnes of flavor in the finish. raspberry and jammy fruit taste. hits the stomach a little hard but the flavor is great.

a great sour beer.

Photo of spinrsx
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375ml Bottle

Appearance – Reddish brown colour with a large size frothy and fizzy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation visible and there is a fairly good amount of lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, vinegar

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, raisins, and something along the lines of balsamic vinegar. There is also a rustiness and a fair amount of tart citric flavour. It finishes with a malty aftertaste with a bit of a lingering citric tart aftertaste.

Overall – This would be a good stater beer for someone new to the style. The flavours are there, but they aren't too over the top and in your face. It's actually pretty drinkable, I could have a few. I also really like the bottle and the packaging. Worth buying.

Photo of bryehn
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first experience with this style, love the paper wrapper. Poured into an oversized wine glass.

Pours a deep ruby-chestnut colour with a moderate off-white head that gets retained as a collar.

Rather sour aroma with an unripened green apple or white grape tone. Earthy malt, fresh grains and a honey note are also present.

The taste is also sour, but subdued and approachable. I get a lemony flavour backed by yeast and a light, syrupy malt tone with a subtle woody finish. Nice, but could use a little more punch.

Fairly thin with a nice pop on the tongue. Low carbonation overall, but the long-lasting collar and yeast keep things bright. Slightly sour, acidic and dry aftertaste.

Very pleasant introduction to the style, really reminds me of a lambic or gueze minus the strong fruit tastes/smells. Will seek this beer/style out again for sure.

Photo of kwjd
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish-brown colour with thick off-white head. Not too much lacing on the glass, but nice head retention. Smells of vinegar and cherries. Somewhat tart/sour type flavour, some more sweetness in the aftertaste. Not as intense flavour as many other beers of this style, but it is still nice. A bit thin for the mouthfeel. I'll probably pick up a few of these since we don't have many of this style coming into Ontario.

Photo of jbonapar
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Given one of my favorite beers is Duchesse de bourgogne, i was excited to try this new Flanders Red Ale. Poured as expected, Red with a nice thick foamy head.

Smell was much less impressive than Duchesses. Very minimal odor for sure.

Taste was mildly sour with a very subtle barnyard funk. Slight woody overtone at the end. A wee-bit of sour cherry tartness in their the a nice balsamic vinegar lingering sourness.

Overall a nice beer but not as good as the best mentioned above.

Photo of Digimaika2
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ooh wrapping paper! I feel like it's Christmas. Very cool packaging. Bottle cap stamped 11-01-2013. Poured into my Unibroue tulip.

A: Pours a clear and vibrant red colour when held up to light. A solid two fingers of creamy beige head slowly recedes to a blanket, and then a ring.

S: Sour funky aroma, strong orchard fruit aromas of dark cherries and grapes, yeast, clove spice, and a faint raisin smell. Smell really makes me want to drink this so I think it's safe to say it's a good smell.

T: Fairly sour and lemon-like taste upfront. Harder to detect the other qualities that were coming through in the smell, aside from a solid sour cherry taste. Wood and general earthy notes are present.

M: Light body with moderate carbonation. Appropriate and pleasing for the style.

O: Good but not necessarily great. More of a dynamic taste would probably put this into the next level, however, still a decent flanders red ale.

Photo of ritzkiss
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle wrapped in paper a'la De Ranke, from the LCBO Autumn release, best before of 11-01-2013 on the cap.

Pours a dark brown with hints of cherrywood and auburn, finger of head fades to a collar.

Light vinegar and oak in the nose, some caramel and bread from the malt. Light. Flavor follows suit, more sweetness than is accustomed to in the style, sweet and a little too fizzy. Light red wine vinegar, cherry, caramel, earth, lemon like tartness lightly in the finish, sweetness comes across as a little artificial. A training wheel sour that doesn't really resemble the complexities of the real deal, simple and easy to drink. Not a bad beer and I would drink it again, just don't expect a proper Flanders ale.

Photo of MeisterBurger
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark and dense with ruby/purple highlights topped by a thin beige head.

Acidic aroma with raspberry

Taste is like cherries and grape pop, with a powdery sugary sweetness that makes the raspberry tartness barely detectable, but it slowly builds as apple cider vinegar flavour come to the fore. Finishes clean and quick.

Medium-light body with heavy carbonation.

It's good, but not nearly sour enough.

Photo of peensteen
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown with ruby highlights, one finger of off white head, no lace to speak of. Smell is yeasty, funky wild notes, some cherry and other berry aromas present, lightly oaky at points. Taste is tart and yeasty, lots of fruit, cherry and red grape, vinous, some dark fruit, in finish with some malt, nice sourness. High prickly carbonation, light to medium body, nice feel. Solid stuff, very drinkable, on the more approachable part of the spectrum for the style.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle from the Yonge and Wellesley LCBO. Wrapped in fancy paper, but the bottle itself is completely unadorned. Marketed as an Oud Bruin.

Poured into an oversized wine glass. Chestnut, murky, and with just a hint of cherry red when held aloft. Leaves a decent-sized off-white head, good lacing. Nice looking brew.

Nose is apple vinegar and mild sour cherry, not much else. Like a mild kriek.

The initial blast of sour cherry led me to think I had opened a puckery kriek, but this burst of flavor quickly abated, leaving only a mild tart cherry, apple vinegar and musky finish. Surprisingly hollow. Medium bodied, sticky, potent carbonation.

A good introductory Flemish red, but not nearly as bold and puckery as I would have liked.

Photo of jrenihan
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best Before Jan 1, 2013 (or Nov 1, 2013... not sure which!)

Beer is labeled and sold as an Oud Bruin. Bottle has no markings whatsoever, but comes wrapped in a piece of paper with all of the pertinent information. I assume this is the same beer, but am not sure why it is listed here as a Flanders Red Ale.

Beer is dark brown with dark ruby red tints. Quite dark. An off-white head of moderate size dissipates fairly quickly, leaving a film. Moderate lacing.

Smell is fairly sour, with cherry. That's really all I get. Not bad, but pretty simple.

Taste is better. Similar to the taste, but more enjoyable. Quite sour, with a fruit flavour that is most reminiscent of cherry but certainly does not come across as cherry flavoured. Like the smell, I find it to be fairly one dimensional.

Body is a little watery, and more carbonated than I would like. The sourness really dries out the mouth. Fairly light.

This is not a style that I have a tonne of experience with, but this beer didn't impress me that much. Happy to finish it, but it certainly was not particularly exciting.

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Van honsebrouck Bacchus, Castle Brewery, no info whatsoever beyond, "Belgian ale".
Bottled on: 090414. What, is this a time traveling bottle of beer?

Cloudy and brownish red. Half inch of soft brown foam above.

Aroma: sour cherries off the bat, a little twist of tart, matched with sweet malt. Nice, soft sourness. Lovely stuff.

Taste: bracingly sour and puckering at first, sweet and sour cherries, lush and luscious. Rather mild, while still sophisticated. Sweetness rises, and is matched by the minor sour notes.

This one won't win accolades from the soreheads among the beer geek crowd, but it'll hit a sweet note with a wider public.

Photo of MattyV
3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Closer to brown than red with a tight and creamy light tan head. Aroma's a delicate and complex mix of acetic sourness with some mustiness and cherry fruit... some oak comes out as it warms. Taste is light vinegar/sourness up front with definite cherry and tannic undertones. All of the flavours quickly vanish, leaving a finish that is very crisp, with little aftertaste aside from something that hints at red wine. Light body that is accentuated with solid, tingly carbonation. A nice Flanders red with a great flavour profile, just comes off a bit too watered down.

Photo of goldbot
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The label says "Bottled on 090414". Beer from the future!

Pours a deep nut brown color, almost auburn, with foamy, tan head. Active carbonation and good head retention. All yeast in the aroma. Lots of spicy funk up front balanced with fruity esters. Flavor is fruity and malty; very tart at first. As the palate adjusts, the beer gets pretty sweet and quite fruity with raspberry and cherry flavors coming out. The mouthfeel is thick and heavy from the sweetness at first but the carbonation helps to lighten it up and thin it out a bit.

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at Sin and Redemption. More or less balanced flemish red, actually good for the style, and a gateway sour. Dark grape juice colour with thin white head. Very pleasant smell, cherry. Cherry taste, also grape juice from the sugars. Above average mouthfeel. somewhat palate eraser, not bad for me.Good drinkability.

Photo of metter98
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear reddish brown in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that quickly faded away, leaving a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of sour cherries and oak in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of sour cherries, although these aren’t that strong and there are some hints of initial sweetness.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate, a bit watery and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink but the sourness and flavors seem to be somewhat muted compared to other beers in the style.

Photo of andrewinski1
2.62/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip. The color is gray-brown with a hint of red. The color isn't really appealing, but the head is relatively large and has a slight rose tint to it. There isn't much lacing.

The aroma is mostly slightly sweet cherry. The malt isn't detected much past the fruit.

The taste starts out with a bit of sweet cherry but quickly turns into mild tartness with some cola in the finish. There is a bit tinny flavor in the finish as well.

The body is light and the carbonation slightly aggressive; emphasizing the cola qualities included in the taste.

This falls a bit short for me. I don't really care for the cola flavor, and the tartness seems like an afterthought. The most appealing part is the aroma, though it is one dimensional.

Photo of rvdoorn
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 vintage from tap at the vlaamse reus in Wageningen.
Look: dark reddish-brown color with almost no head, but a nice lacing in the glass.
Smell: Sweet and sour, candi sugar, oak, vinegar, red fruits and dark fruits
Taste: Similar to the nose: sweet with a slight sour aftertaste. Cherries, candi sugar and dark fruits, with some wooden tones in it. No hop taste.
Mouthfeel: Low carbonation and medium-thick body
Overall: Very nice and balanced. Much better than the fresh one, although still a bit too sweet for the style

Bacchus from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
84 out of 100 based on 449 ratings.