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Bacchus - Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

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458 Ratings
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Ratings: 458
Reviews: 196
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 9
Gots: 41 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 458 | Reviews: 196
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
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 -10.2%
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%
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 -3.2%
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 +6.5%
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 +2.4%
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 -5.7%
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 -29.4%
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 +11.1%
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

Photo of bluejacket74
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12.7 ounce bottle, label says bottled on 090414. Served in a tulip glass, the beer pours a murky brown color with a half inch cola-like tan head. Head retention is very good, and there's a small amount of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is tart cherries, green grapes and some vinegar. It tastes like tart cherries, oak, plums and a bit of brown sugar. Nice balance between the sweet and tart flavors, but I think it's more sweet than tart. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy with good carbonation. I think it's a decent brew.

Photo of avalon07
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a brown color and a thick consistency. There was an inch and a half of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Nonexistent lacing.

S: Lots of cherries and other fruit, but not much else. Somewhat fragrant.

T: Tasted of cherries above all else, with a little apple, but was a bit on the thin side, especially in the finish. Definitely an uneven flavor.

M: A generally well-carbonated beer with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is one of those beers that has some OK qualities, but is too uneven to wholly recommend.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.78/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

A - A ton of carbonation. The head came and went like this is soda. The beer itself is a reddish brown.

S - A nice belgian nose, that yeasty, sweaty. A touch of nutmeg, cinnamon and cherries.

T - A hint of tart cherries, but very little sweetness overall. Mostly it is dusty, sweaty and sour. The aftertaste is slightly metallic. The flavor is muted and not well rounded.

M - Ugh!!! By far its worst point. It is thin, watery and leaves the roof of my mouth feeling half slimy and half like I sucked on a grape skin or ate a huge bowl of just sauteed spinach. On top of the carbonation is so high that it numbs the tongue - reducing the ability to taste it well. Very unpleasant.

D - Worst mouthfeel (aside from curdy, perhaps) I can imagine.

Photo of STKPICR0720
3.22/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Just tried this brew. I have to say I like it better than Lindemans. A good Flemish sour but not the greatest. A bit tangy, oak aged, fruity and floral aromas make for a delightful experience but I am just not ready for it yet. I do believe this is an up and comer in the Flemish sours worth a double take and try.

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried on tap at Beer Geeks, 14 Jun 2012. Served in a 13 oz tulip.

Small beige head. Somewhat cloudy reddish brown in color. Aroma is sour cherry-vinegary, maybe some woodiness. Some slight cherry sourness to start. This fades in the middle, becoming slightly watery and fizzy. Finish and aftertaste is slightly sour fruity. Light body, moderate alcohol.

Not bad but lacks the depth and complexity I expect from a Flanders red.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the bottle at BRABO in Alexandria. Served in a Bacchus tumbler.

Pours a moderate reddish-brown with a thin off-white head. Some spotted lacing on the way down. The nose carries some light malt and a bit of sweetness and a very faint presence of cherries and light sourness. The flavor has mostly light malt with a touch of sweetness. Very, very light cherry and acidity. Not much of a Flanders. Medium body and slightly creamy. Decent enough, but not a good example of the style.

Photo of Knapp85
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours out as a bubbly reddish brown color with a fizzy light brown head. The head vanishes very quickly and doesn't leave any lacing. The smell of the beer has a fermented cherry aroma with some oaky aromas too. The taste is slightly tart with some soft cherry flavors in the aftertaste. There is a bitter vinegar flavor in there too. The mouthfeel has a generous amount of carbonation. Overall it's a decent Flanders Red. Not overly thrilled with some of the flavors.

Photo of sweemzander
2.63/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12.7oz. bottle poured into a stemmed glass. Bottled on 09-04-14.

(A)- Pours a deep/dark muddy brown color with reddish highlights. Produced a nice frothy tan head that dissipated to bubbles.

(S)- Not much coming through on this. Some subtle dry oaky vinegar funk.

(T)- A mild vinegar/vinous quality. Very subtle oaky acidity. A very shallow/clean finish.

(M)- A clean/smooth carbonation level. Very shallow and an empty mid-palate and finish.

(D)- Too straightforward and mild. Not a whole lot going on here to mention much at all.

Photo of tbeckett
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Drink Bar in Tallinn. Served in a wine glass. From notes.

A - Poured a dark, dark red with a brownish one finger khaki head. No visible carbonation. Leaves good retention and no lacing.

S - Sour cherry, candi sugar, and oak.

T - Sour cherry and a serious woody component. Not as nice as the aroma.

M - Strong carbonation and a light body. Finish is odd as it just vanishes without lingering at all.

O/D - Not too bad but the finish was a little disapointing. Definately a starter for the style.

Photo of colforbin73
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

i thought the rondenbach grand cru was dreadful... so, you might say i am not a big fan of the style. but i will try and give a fair review here.

pours a murky red brown with a thin rim of tan foam. the smell alerts you: Warning! this is not a beer -- sweet and sour, slightly spicey.

the taste is, again, not very beer/ale like. it's carbonated but it's juicy -- kind of like a sour juice -- more like a strawberry soda, than a beer. it's not bad -- but i don't get a lot of malt, and basically 0 hops -- qualities i appreciate in my ale and beer.

i am still drinking this only out of curiosity -- trying to imagine when i might want it -- maybe on a sail boat. i could see drinking it on a super windy day with a red-onion-on-rye sandwhich.

otherwise -- note to self: avoid Flanders Red Ale

Photo of Pencible
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear dark crimson with quickly dissipating tan head.
S: It smelled like sweet prunes and sour cherries, with tobacco and caramel and candi sugar and oak. Kind of like a barrel aged cherry vanilla coke?
T: It tasted like juicy sour cherries and tart oak and sweet vanilla, with a little candi sugar and prunes. It had a very clean sweet and tart aftertaste.
M: It was thin and very bubbly, like champagne. Decent body for this style.
D: This was not nearly as sour or tart as expected, with nice sweet balance. Decent body and low alcohol made it easy to drink. I would consider this a gateway beer into the sour ales, but it's a bit bland if you're already used to lambics or more tart beers.

Photo of ptykozoon
2.76/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Ugly dirty brown.

Oak, sour grape, unripe apple.

Raisin, cherry, too sweet.

Syrupy sweetness gets in the way of body, taste and complexity. Flavors aren't particulary outstanding either.

Below average flanders red for me. Should have been less sweet, the sweetness should have been tastier and a tad more sour wouldn't hurt.

Photo of Kshock
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

There was a lot of things i liked about this particular beer, but none of them took over and made the beer amazing. I feel its kind of stuck in the middle area between not bad, but not great, just ok. Nice sour notes on the palate, but not much nose to it. Its a well rounded beer, but nothing that makes me seek this out again, just another beer on the craft beer journey.

Photo of musicforairports
3.11/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours brown, with a nice head that goes fast and doesn't leave much lacing, as these beers tend to go.

Smell is muted and of overripe, tart cherries.

Taste is the wateriest I've had of the Flanders styles. The flavor that is here is mildly tart black cherries, but it's lacking much of a lactic sour component and isn't even very sweet, like some of the less sour ones tend to be. Quite watery.

Carbonated on the mouth and goes down easily.

The taste isn't bad, but it's not much. I'd go for lots of other Flanders beers over this, and they don't cost any more.

Photo of jayhawk73
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a dark red color w/ a one finger brown head, which quickly goes away. Lacing is average at best, probably a little below that. Good looking beer overall.

S- Smell is that of woody-ness, cherry, and a slight tartness. A little on the weak side from some others I've tried in this category. Seems a little one dimensional to me.

T- Very smooth for this category of beer, and not in a good way. It seems as all the flavors have been muted or watered down from what they should be. The taste also disappears faster than any beer I ever remember trying. It's literally gone in about 5 seconds. This might be a good introduction into this style of beer, but it misses the mark w/ me.

M- Lacking the tartness and feel of the best in this category. That's about it...

O- This is a good beer, it just seems as though it has been watered down in a lot of ways. Definitely check it out if you're new to the style, but there are better out there.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this beer up a couple days ago at Hop City in Atlanta. The guy who worked there said that they call this a "starter" Flanders, so I don't know how much I expect from this one. It is a "starter" Flanders for me too, but that is because this is the first one I am having before a Rodenbach. Here we go:

Appearance: Pours a pretty clear deep garnet color with a 1/2" of tan foam on top that was thick and creamy with some lace already being deposited on the glass just from the pour and a little swirling. After a couple minutes, the head was still a solid 1/2", and when you hold the beer to the light, you can see that there are numerous bubbles rising. There is some pretty solid lacing left after drinking.

Aroma: I am already getting some of the dark caramel and sweet/sour cherries that you expect with this style. As you get deeper into it, there is some subtle vinegar coming out. As the beer warms up some, the fruitiness is getting a bit stronger, but that is about the only other thing notable about the aroma.

Taste: The flavor is quite mild and light from the notes that you could pick up in the aroma. The body is medium to light with high carbonation, so it comes across the palate very drinkable...more so than most examples of this style, which I am not sure is a good thing. The malt is in charge of this beer from the beginning of the sip to what is to linger, but there are a whole bunch of other notes mixed in there to add subtle complexity. The finish is dry because of the carbonation and attenuation, but there isn't any harshness left on the back of the throat from roast, hops, or anything else.

Opinion: This really is a pretty good beer. I prefer my Flanders to be MUCH more bold, like Rodanbach, but this is still a good representation of the style and as they Hop City guy stated, it would be good for someone new to Flanders. It is actually easier to try than the Duchesse. All this said, I will stick to other examples, but I am glad that I tried this one and would definitely recommend it if you 9or your girlfriend) wanted to try something different and you aren't familiar with the Flanders styles. This would be a very good introduction to the style.

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Bacchus from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
84 out of 100 based on 458 ratings.