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Brigand - Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

Not Rated.
BrigandBrigand

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

184 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 184
Reviews: 114
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 14.14%
Wants: 6
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-12-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 184 | Reviews: 114 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beertracker
5/5  rDev +30.9%

Beertracker, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of kurgan3
5/5  rDev +30.9%

kurgan3, Jul 28, 2012
Photo of roywilliams
5/5  rDev +30.9%

roywilliams, Sep 09, 2013
Photo of ZDePaolo
5/5  rDev +30.9%

ZDePaolo, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of Dapperticus
5/5  rDev +30.9%

Dapperticus, Sep 18, 2012
Photo of Campodog
5/5  rDev +30.9%

Campodog, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of jonbriggs
4.75/5  rDev +24.3%

jonbriggs, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of MacStinson
4.75/5  rDev +24.3%

MacStinson, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of chel29
4.75/5  rDev +24.3%

chel29, Jul 11, 2012
Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.66/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Brigand Belgian Ale has a thin, almost nonexistent, grayish-white head, and a dank, opaque, peach-colored appearance, with essentially no lacing and some gray-brown chunks sinking down, once the caked sediment at the bottle’s bottom is swished and poured in. The aroma is super rich- apricot, dark, slightly turned fruit, some citrus, candy sugar, and lighter fruit cake, with maybe some strawberry shortcake and cream cheese. Taste is also extraordinarily rich- dark, slightly turned fruit, apricot, citrus rind, lighter fruit cake, cream cheese, peanut butter, sweet bread, white bread, lemon, and even milk, of all things. Mouthfeel is light to medium and extremely prickly, and Brigand Belgian Ale finishes not so dry, cloying, rich, sweet, and wonderful. This is not for beginners. What a substantial beer! Outstanding!

RJT

RonaldTheriot, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of ikenney87
4.63/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got a good deal on a single of this beer. Bottle says 'bottled on 070717'

Appearance: semi clear, honey-colored beer. I see a little bit of yeast in my glass, and virtually no yeast cake in the bottom of the empty bottle. Little head when poured, but picks up a bit when agitated. Little to no lacing.

Smell: Very fruity. Apple-juice. Honey. a little spicy. Not smelling any heat.

Taste: Sweet malt. caramel/light toffee. Belgian yeast of course. Nice little bitterness as well. Very well rounded beer. A little warming in the throat. Spicy finish, like white pepper.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light. Works well with the flavors.

Drinkability: If it weren't for the alcohol, I'd call this one refreshing. I really enjoyed this beer.

ikenney87, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of BeerDocT
4.53/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a (unchilled) wide-mouthed glass.

-Appearance 4.0: Slightly murky deep golden color. Nice sized head after pouring, less than one inch. Head dissolved to a small, attractive ring of bubbles that remained during the entire time I drank the beer. Very small carbonation bubbles are visible rising all over the beer.

-Smell 4.5: Very pleasant smell of barley and straw and caramelized sugar. Wonderful!

-Taste 4.5: Slightly sour at first with a big hop bite. This fades into a wonderfully warming sweetness that delivers a burnt sugar flavor along with a slight citrus taste. After swallowing, there is a sudden dryness and crispness followed by a delicious malty and hoppy taste that stays in the mouth for many minutes. No discernable taste of alcohol despite its 9% ABV. Just delicious.

-Mouthfeel 4.0: This is a bottle-conditioned beer, but has what I would consider to be a "normal" amount of carbonation. The carbonation is pleasant and not overpowering and enhances the beer drinking experience.

-Overall 5.0: Exceptional beer, nearly perfect. Very refreshing, but with a cloying thickness that separates it from lagers or lighter ales. This is a wonderful beer that should be sampled by any beer aficionado.

Since so many others have done so, I will do so as well: the label states that this beer was brewed 7/17/07. Brewed by Castle Brewery van Honsebrouck. $11.99 for four at Total Wine in Atlanta. Worth every penny.

BeerDocT, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of kundabuffer
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm surprised this beer currently has an overall score of 83. After having a Chimay beige label, I'm finding this much more interesting and complex. Citrus, plum, and honey dominate the nose; after a bubbly start hops make a brief appearance before giving way to an interesting "opening" in the finish, which is mellow and a little sweet, with some noticeable alcohol (not unpleasant). Very good!

kundabuffer, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of jklecko2
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

jklecko2, Oct 30, 2012
Photo of Bellonc
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Bellonc, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

A – Cloudy yellow-orange with a thin fizzy head of less than a finger’s width that seems to fizz away almost instantly. Small amounts of clumpy lacing. Not much to look at. By the mid point of the glass there was actually ZERO head and lacing left. Unusual.

S – Whoa. Strong, complex aroma of caramel, citrus fruit, Belgian yeasts, and butterscotch. Definitely inviting.

T – Hot damn. Huge, rich butterscotch character with additional esters of apricot, nectarine, caramel, raisin, date, vanilla, banana, and prune. Fruit flavors are lush and non-acidic. Malty toffee like underbody. Earthy hops help bring some balancing bitterness to the finish as the sweet fruit esters fade. Outstanding! 9% abv almost completely undetectable until it warms a bit. Honestly if it was possible to rate a beer as a six in taste, this would earn one.

M – Prickly carbonation bordering on fizzy, but for this style it works. Thin bodied without degenerating into wateriness.

O – Holy crap, this is good. All the taste elements come together to form a rich blend. Enough complexity to keep the tongue continuously engaged. I could see some people not liking this as it’s a little…strange, but I found it to be ambrosia, and I will definitely be buying this again (when I can find it, as only one specialty store carries it in Tempe AZ)

TempeBeerMan, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of Dragophant
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Dragophant, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of koladiola
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

koladiola, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of avalon07
4.48/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a brownish color and a dirty, murky texture. There was an inch of foamy head that lasted a fair amount of time. Not much lacing.

S: A super-sweet aroma here (like toffee), with some malt and fruit as well.

T: The flavor on this beer was dominated by butterscotch (or toffee). It's sweet and strong and inviting. Also had some mild yeast, malt, and fruit (apples, making the beer almost taste like a candied apple). A very enjoyable flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a crisp, lively finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Probably not your typical BSPA flavor, but definitely well made and super tasty. Drinkable.

avalon07, May 11, 2012
Photo of BarryNL
4.47/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Found this one on tap in a local restaurant that always seems to have one or two interesting beers on. It was actually advertised as an IPA rather than a Belgian Pale Ale, and I think it was more akin to the English style.

A: Very clear - I think it must have been filtered - a very nice copper colour with a fluffy white head.

S: Incredibly hoppy - not quite sure what sort of hop - could be either an English or German noble hop.

T: Again, all about the hops. Well balanced with a nice bitterness in the finish. Some crystal malt flavour adds complexity to the hops.

M: Pretty good - a nice rich mouthfeel. A bit overcarbonated if it's an IPA but fine for a Belgian.

D: The hops do become a bit overpowering after the second. Still, this is an intense hoppy Pale Ale to be enjoyed occasionally but not in excess.

BarryNL, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of smakawhat
4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 1 PT. 9.4 fl. oz. bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled on 070418, cork says 06-2007.

Body color is very opaque and dull looking. A mix of yellow murky brown, and faint hints of yellow like orange on the edges. Carbonation though is white pinhead and very lively, huge streams continue throughout. Head is a little bit of retention, makes large about two fingers easily, settles to a nice fluffy cap. Some good qualities and not so appealing.

Nose is very impressive. A distinct yeast profile on this that is hard to pin down it seems. A mellow sweetness with a clove and spicy cardomom or some very nutty bark sense. Really good sense of hop tea like English bitterness, mixing with sweet Belgian malts and sucrose. Liking this.

Hits the palate in the right spot. Everything plays out on first sip. Playful carbonation, hints at bubbly champagne but dialed back with a good effervescence and malt depth. Sweetness brings honey and clove, and Belgian candy, but a good hop angle. Honey coats all around with nutmeg and brown dark toasted sensing spices. Warm feeling aftertaste without a big alcohol burn. Hints at depth with crispness.

Overall this is just wonderful I really do enjoy this.

smakawhat, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of Jason
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz green mini magnum bottle with a shiny teal foil top, corked and caged. Freshness date on the back label.

Appearance: Very hazed orange beige colour with a very well sustaining off white lace.

Smell: Fragrant with a mildly pungent barnyard tartness in the nose. Fresh sliced lemons and hay come to mind also.

Taste: Moderate body with a crisp and effervescent carbonation, obvious malt presence though the byproducts run rampant over your taste buds. Mild tangerine and grapefruit flavours, some phenolic medicinal tastes and a liberal hand of hops give an herbal minty twang that lingers for ever. Fruity and estery with a warming alcohol to boot. Earthy and barn yard characters a soft, raw honey like sweetness is the result of the residual sweetness though the nutty yeast and a grainy palate towards the end dries thing up in the finish.

Notes: Misleadingly strong and crammed complexity drives the taste buds wild … a bit overwhelming in a good way. Certainly a beer to think about and ponder "how does such great beer exist on Earth." Baked Brie would be a great pairing for this brew.

Jason, Mar 12, 2002
Photo of dstc
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy, burnt, amber color with a full, airy, light tan head. Head falls slow to a minimal one. Nice lace.

Nose is of malts with a pleasant earthy quality. Touch of alcohol.

Awesome taste. Big, sweet malt backbone. Lots of spice and a bit medicinal. Slight tartness and mild hops.

Medium bodied mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation.

Good stuff, I really like it. Give it a try.

dstc, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of John_M
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Saw this on tap for the first time at Max's last night.

The beer pours a solid gold color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose one gets sweet honey, butter and cherry, and the beer comes across as pretty sweet smelling. To some extent the flavors on the palate replicate the nose, but the beer is far more complex then that. The sweet flavors of cherry, honey and apple are superimposed upon a backbone of sour, with some very nice light bitterness in the finish. This beer is pretty light on its feet, and I would never guess the 9% abv. However, there is a noticeable warming sensation, which is a clue that the abv. is up there a bit. The beer has a very smooth, easy going finish.

... but for the 9% (and rather hefty price tag for a glass), I could see having several of these over the course of an evening. Very nice beer.

John_M, Oct 13, 2007
Photo of clvand0
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle. This beer pours a cloudy yellow-orange color with a nice white head that has good retention and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is mild, but there is a hint of citrus and spice in there. The flavor is much better than I expected. There is a peppery spice like paradise grains that blends well and there is also a slightly tart character that lends itself to citrus. Very tasty beverage. Somewhat yeasty. The body is medium and the drinkability is dangerously good for 9%.

clvand0, Jun 25, 2009
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Brigand from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 184 ratings.