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Bacchus - Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

410 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 410
Reviews: 182
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 8
Gots: 25 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 09-12-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 410 | Reviews: 182 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brentk56
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%

Appearance: Pours a clear rust color with a rocky head that fades with some speed though it leaves some spotty lace behind

Smell: A rather woody aroma infused with caramel and cherry and just a hint of tartness

Taste: Opens with a combination of wood, caramel and cherry flavors, though the cherry becomes dominant by mid-palate, when the tartness starts to become assertive; still, after the swallow, the beer is rather one-dimensional, with none of the anticipated sour complexity and the finish is watery and presents much more sweetness than I would have expected

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation; a bit watery

Drinkability: A rather unchallenging Flanders Red though pleasant enough to drink

brentk56, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of cbutova
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%

On tap at Sierra Grille. Surprised by the rating.

A- Murky dark red-brown. Nice creamy off white cap with good retention. Tons of spotty, fine lace. Sexy.

S- Vinegar and dark fruit, raspberry and cherry. Good strength. Really reminds me of a a dressing, not surprised though.

T- Vinegar goes to the background. Very light and tasteful. Dark fruit notes, but more subdued than any I have encountered. Belgian yeast hints too. Very malty finish.

MF- Extremely light body, wow. Nice, low carbonation goes well with subdued flavors. SMOOTH.

DB- Very interesting. Best described as Monks Cafe light. Very subdued and well balanced flavor. I love interesting beer.

cbutova, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of meatyard
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Pours out perfectly clear, dark, ruby/mahogany with a short, light tan head that recedes quickly to a thin cover without lacing. It looks promising.

The smell is sharply sour at first, mild vinegar and a little fruit, cherries mostly.

The taste is pretty boring for a Flanders Red. The sourness is very mild and it's too sweet in the end. There are moments of cherries and oak in the flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium and well-carbonated.

Drinkability: This isn't a bad beer but the best thing I can say about it is that the color, when held to a light, is very pretty. It just doesn't compete well with any number of other Flanders Red beers. Many will find it OK and comfortable if they have no expectations for it being a good beer for the style.

meatyard, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of armock
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%

A - Poured a brown color with a thin off white head no lacing

S - Has a tart fruity nose some cherries

T - Very good tart cherry flavor not overly fruity

M - This beer has a medium body with high carbonation to it

D - This is a wonderful sour beer thats easy to drink this is a beer that I could drink all night long this is a beer that when you see it you should pick it up

armock, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of rudzud
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%

Picked up a bottle at the last beerfest.

A - A clear mahogany pour with a one finger white head that quickly disappeared. After a few minutes there was no lacing at all in the glass.

S - Nice sour notes. Very faint sour cherry smell.

T - Solid flavors. Light tart/sour aspects along with the faint sour fruit taste. Just a little bit of malt in the mix as well.

M - High carbonation has this feeling almost like a soda than a beer. That being said, with this style it leads to a fresh crispness.

D - Tart/sour with high carbonation combined with the low ABV makes this a really pleasantly drinkable flanders. Like others have said, this would be a great entryway beer to the world of sours.

rudzud, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

Thanks to jdiddy and the Heavy Metal BIF for this bottle!

Clapton's "The Shape You're In" just makes me wanna drink something. If only 'twere about beer... This guy pours a dark ruby-tinted brown topped by finger or so of dark-ish ecru foam. The nose comprises red grapes, watered-down vinegar, a light must, black cherries, and a hint of raspberries. The taste tones the vinegar down to a nice degree, adding only a subtle twang of acidity. The fruits and berries remain, with the must being toned down a notch as well, with some figs, nutmeg, and mandarin oranges thrown in for good measure. The body is a stalwart medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a nearly sticky finish. Overall, a nice Flanders Brown, not the most characteristic of the style, but tasty and enjoyable nonetheless.

TMoney2591, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of ZeroSignal
3.1/5  rDev -16.2%

On tap at The Tap and Mallet

A - Pours a dark ruby red color with a thin, tight head that dissipates quickly. No lacing to speak of.

S - Nose is fruity with a hint of a sharp tartness, nose feels a little light

T&M - Fruity esters with notes of cherry and a twang of sourness. Some sweetness from the malts. No real notes from the yeast.

D - Well, it was decent, but probably nothing worth seeking out. I enjoyed the glass I had and ordered something else.

ZeroSignal, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of jmhart
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

On tap at Leon's Full Service

A- deep ruby brown, pretty closed to clear, with not much head, but a nice lace atop the brew.

S- Sour blueberries and dark cherries with hints of oak. Some really nice acetic notes.

T- Strong acidic notes followed by those blueberries and cherries, hint of caramel, and all held together by some oaky tannins. No lactic notes at all.

M- Medium-full bodied and very refreshing. No carbonation, not much alcoholic bite.

D- A delicious Flemmish sour. Moderate amounts of acetic notes, but not even a hint of lactic acid. Extremely refreshing but still deliciously sour. Wasn't sure what kind of beer it was, so I asked the waitress, she said "It's a Flanders Red..." and I interrupted, said I'll take it, right as she said "but it's not as sour as say, Rodenbach, but it's really good and refreshing"

I tried it anyway and I'm glad I did. She was dead on. Not as sour, but still good and refreshing. It was nice given that I was sitting outside in 90 degree heat.

jmhart, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of bskrtz
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%

Poured cold 11.2 ounce bottle to open beer challis

A) Reddish brown, relatively clear & cola-like in appearance

S) Sweet root beer. Hint of sour dough with coffee, spice & citrus

T) Light and surprisingly crisp. In my opinion, not a traditional abbey like dubbel. Refreshing & smooth. Mild alcohol warmth with subtle smooth flavor

M) Typical IPA like feel. Carbonated beverage, not much else to say

D) Worthwhile, smooth darker/amber ale

bskrtz, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of DaveHS
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%

Pours a coppery red with a half inch of khaki head that recedes quickly. Very little tartness in the nose. Mild sweetness,a grainy something or other. Honestly, there is so little going on in the nose it's almost not worth mentioning. Thin, soft mouthfeel. Not nearly enough sharpness or acidity for the style. A delicately tart cherry sweetness with a grainy finish that fades almost instantly. This beer was a tease. It did not satisfy my craving for a Flemish sour.

DaveHS, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of mithrascruor
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%

12.7 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark reddish-brown color with off-white head. Decent retention, and a bit of lacing.

Smell: Light aroma with some malts and a bit of fruit. There's a hint of sour in there too.

Taste: Starts with a bit of tartness, followed by dark fruit (cherries, raspberries) and dark malts. Some biscuit and cream in there too. Light aftertaste with a bit of sourness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with some light carbonation.

Drinkability: Pretty tasty with a low ABV. Easy to drink, and kinda refreshing for this style.

This beer is definitely growing on me as I'm drinking the glass. Not the best representation of this style, but it is a good and tasty beer. Perhaps a good introduction to this style for some.

mithrascruor, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of spointon
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%

I poured this one from a 12.7oz crown capped green bottle into my tall stemmed Petrus glass.

A= This ale poured a beautifully clear reddish mahogany color with a 3/4" off-white head. The head settles to a skim after a few minutes leaving a bit of spotty lace on the glass.

S= Weak aromas overall, but what there was I found to be pleasant enough. Some ripe dark fruit, hints of malt, and a light funk.

T= Started off a little to the malty sweet side and stayed pretty much that way throughout. The esters were tame but the ripe berry fruitiness came through nicely. Sourness was very weak and the yeasty flavors I hoped for were not there. Finished medium dry with a kiss of fruit in the aftertaste.

MF= Medium body with a slight slickness on the tongue. Carbonation was crisp and pleasant.

D= Though this is not what I expected from the brewer's description, it was a damned easy drinking ale that I would have again with pleasure. Could be a great gateway beer to introduce someone to sours.

spointon, Jul 09, 2010
Photo of ebin6
2.78/5  rDev -24.9%

A - Dark ruby red pour; moderately high amount of head with decent retention. A good looking beer

S - Sharp, sweet currant smell with some malty notes if you dig for them

T - Again, fairly sweet; not much sourness to it. Almost a touch of saltiness on the back end which was not welcomed

M - Not very tantalizing in terms of a Flander's Red Ale. Does not measure up in my opinion

D - Although it is smooth, I feel I have to deduct based on style. What makes a Flander's Red so drinkable for me is that more acidic, sour taste which this does not deliver. It doesn't capture my palate's attention for that long

ebin6, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of alpinebryant
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%

Bottled 9.14.09

Pours a dark amber with brown around the edges. Very clear looking with white bubbles. A little darker than I am used to for the style, but looks good

Smell of oak, cherry, sour cream,

Taste of sour cream, flanders red with oak, cherry and biscuits. Definitely some vinegar, mixed with tart cherry. A good example, not my favorite. Finishes with some puckering astringency that is probably more a result of the sourness than how it was brewed.

Medium mouthfeel and a strong carbonation. Very impressive for a beer of 4.5% abv. One would think this is a much stronger beer and is amazing at that low of an abv

alpinebryant, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of tigg924
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%

Appearance: brown, minimal head, medium carbonation, cloudy

Smell: sour mix, wood, earth, and dark cherries

Taste: sour mix, wood, earth, faint chocolate, and dark cherries

Mouthfeel: slightly sour, tart, watery, light body, low carbonation

Drinkability: I like this style and would choose this beer over several styles. That being said, this one is very light, and the sourness that I usually get is quite subdued. If I was looking for a beer, I would pick this up. If I was looking for a Flanders Red, I would see if there was something else on the shelf.

tigg924, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of BEERchitect
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%

A well brewed Flander's Red, albeit a bit on the mild side.

Bacchus pours with a deep crimson/ruby color with a mystic glow and slight haze. A thin lace accumulates on top of the beer and covers most of the beer for most of the session. Good lacing despite the slight foamstance.

Medium tartness rises to the nose, decorated with obvious cherries, under-rippened berries, vinous-wine like notes, tanic oak, and cidery notes. Background aromas of toast and barley malt ride just behind all the fruit and yeast character. Quite complex and rounded.

Early flavors of tartness, cherries, and wood show up in moderately aggressive fashion. But those flavors quickly fade to softer flavors and mix well with the berries, cider, and musty notes. Interestingly the flavors remain muted through nearly the duration of the session. Light flavors of chocolate, nuttiness, and toast give a slight rebuttal to the sharp acidic tastes. The cherry character is more of a black cherry flavor instead of the usual bing or tart cherries. But the beer get quite bland for the style late.

The beer starts out acidic and mildly astringent. But as the sharper notes fall, the malt character rises and gives a bit of a creamy feel late, before fading into a last visit to the tart cherry flavors.

A good Flander's but lacks the intensity of flavors found in Duchesse du Burgogne or Rodenbach.

BEERchitect, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of ccrida
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%

375ml crown capped champagne bottle (bottled on 4/14/09). Poured into a tumbler, Bacchus is a clear caramel brown with a small tan head leaving scattered lace.

Smell is initially a bit metallic, iron/blood, sweet malt and a hint of red wine vinegar.

Taste is ok, very light on the tartness, which is something I love about Flanders Reds, and thin on flavor in general, not even particularly sweet or malty. Consequently, the iron note from the nose seems to dominate unpleasantly.

Mouthfeel is fairly acidic in spite of the lack of tartness in the taste. I can feel it coating my teeth, like tannins, which I don't think it is as I don't taste oak, and Flanders Reds are normally aged in stainless (it's oude bruins that get the oak, and normally have less tartness). Light body.

Drinkability is okay, in that it's bland and light (my palate adjusted to the iron and I was able to easily forget about it about a 1/3rd of the way through. However, it doesn't have the tartness or complexity that I look for in the style, and therefore was not worth the $7 it cost me to ever revisit. I can get a 750 of Rodenbach Grand Cru for only a little bit more!

ccrida, Jun 06, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle at our recent sour tasting.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is oak, tannins and red wine. The flavor is similar to red wine with some oak notes and caramel malt. Mild tartness and very dry. The beer has a somewhat watery mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Mora2000, May 31, 2010
Photo of crossovert
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%

375ml green capped bottle. Bottled on 09.04.14.

Pours into my tulip a deep purpleish red with hues of brown and a frothy light tan head that leaves a little lacing as it recedes.

It smells of oak and cherry, a nice blend of the two. Under that is a bit of vinegar and sour but not really enough to make the nostrils tingle.

This one has a really great flavor to me. One of the downfalls of this style is that it ends up being overly sweet, this one is the opposite. And it isn't very sour, but rather tart cherries. There is some oak in the flavor as well, and some nice complementary malts that add a bit of extra depth to the cherry. Initially there was some metallic aftertaste, but it quickly fades.

The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and very nice for the style. It isn't overly syrupy.

This might be the best of this style that I have had, a solid beer.

crossovert, May 27, 2010
Photo of augustgarage
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Completely different label art on mine. Bottled April 14, 2009. Poured from a 330mL bottle into my White Birch flute/tulip.

Dark murky burgandy body with sinopia and amber highlights. A sizable pearl head recedes to a quarter-finger head which leaves behind sandy lacing.

Light red wine vinegar along with a touch of toffee and faintly toasty malt in the nose.

Weak coffee, tart cherries, bread crusts, and a light vinuous flavor on the palate. I wouldn't mind a little more sourness and/or some funk. No off notes. Finishes fairly dry.

Mild astringency, brisk but moderate carbonation.

Decent, unexceptional example of the style - it might make a good introduction to sours, but there are more interesting variants out there...

augustgarage, May 09, 2010
Photo of 100floods
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%

pours a vinegar brown with no head. This beer smells pleasantly of vinegar/ketchup. There have been a few other's in this style, namely the Duchess, that have a similar smell, but this has more a vinegar aroma. Medium carbination, the sweet flavors kick through the bubbles the most. If this beer was ketchup it would be the best ketchup ever. I'm not well versed on Flanders Red Ales, but i'm a huge fan nonetheless. This combines a hint of sour with a nice sweet flavor found in bruins. The bottle tells you nothing of the beer's style and I was pleasantly surprised to pour this beer to find out its style. To be honest, there's nothing super special about his beer other than it's very tasty. It's less intense than the Duchess which is good for people interested in the style. CHECK THIS SHIT OUT!

100floods, May 09, 2010
Photo of popery
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%

A decent sour, though a bit mild. This one is mostly acidic, but the beer is rather light in flavor and feel, at least relatively fresh, so it's still fairly easy to drink. Bacchus pours a deep red with a shade or two of brown, small ecru head. Aroma is too mild but there are some nice sweet and sour cherry notes and hints of grain. Flavor is a bit better with more acidity, a light funk and mild malt. Feel is a bit thin, which isn't really a big surprise, but it's still a fairly easy beer to drink.

popery, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of tpd975
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

on tap at hopcat

A: Pours a slightly hazy murky shade of reddish brown with a small tan head. No retention or lace.

S: Aromas of sour berries, mild spice, and a hints of sweet cherry juice.

T: Flavors of red berries, both sweet and tart. Mild wood, vanilla, and spice.

M: Medium in body, pretty smooth.

D: Easy to drink. Not the best, but solid as a whole.

tpd975, Apr 12, 2010
Photo of Billolick
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%

12.7 ounce green bottle, black foil over the cap, no bargain at $5.99 @ DeCicco market in Ardsley, NY. Bottled on 4-14-09. Dark brown with a burnt red hue. Thick light mocha head, that stays and stays, then goes to a thick film, collar, and respectable if not amazing strands of lace. I get a healthy load of must and tart fruit in the nose. Ah Flanders Red, what a wonderful style and this one was not bad, moderatly tart, no real sour bite, some tart cherry notes. A bit more musty character midway and in the finish. Not bad, I think some stinky cheese and crusty bread would compliment this selection well. Worth a try. Good gateway sour/Belgian red.

Billolick, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%

Sampled 1702, Tucson AZ; September 2009
This beer arrives from the tap served in a tulip glass. It is topped by a frothy, almost two-finger thick, amber tanned head. The beer is a darkish, brown-amber color that shows a deep, clear red color when held up to the light. The aroma smells quite fruity with rich cherry notes taking the lead role here. Tartness seems to be missing from the aroma, at least it isn't overly noticeable by me, though it is likely an acetic note that is bringing out the cherry notes. Cherry skin note add some complexity here and the nose smells somewhat sweet, other notes of children's aspiring and some berry notes add a hint of complexity to what is otherwise a somewhat weak aroma.

Despite the sweetness in the nose the beer tastes quite dry as it first hits my tongue. The beer is most definitely tart, thank goodness, despite not smelling tart at all. The flavor really comes off as washed out though, even watery somehow. There is a soft acetic presence along with a lactic sourness; this is more tart tasting than sour and there is a sweetness that kicks in towards the middle of each sip and continues through to the sweetness; this light sweetness tempers the tartness even more. The beer tastes fruity as well, though perhaps not as pronounced as it was in the flavor; cherry notes are most noticed, but perhaps there is a hint of raspberry as well. A hint of tannins adds some structure towards the finish and there is a very soft malt presence (a hint of toasted malt and a touch of caramel are just perceptible). Really the flavors are just too light here, I really feel like someone took the volume on a normal sour beer and muted the hell out of it. Fairly light bodied, though not overly thin, this beer seems made for quaffing by the pint.

There is quite a nice mix of flavors to this beer, but it really has just been watered down too much. A more concentrated version would likely be phenomenal & for this reason I find this beer quite disappointing.

Gueuzedude, Mar 07, 2010
Bacchus from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
84 out of 100 based on 410 ratings.