Vondel - Brouwerij Riva S.A.

Not Rated.
VondelVondel

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BA SCORE
87
very good

55 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 55
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 13
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Riva S.A.
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 | Reviews: 51 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Pegasus
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep brown in color, verging on black, with moderate clarity, and a small tan head.

Aroma: Coffee and chocolate, with some toasted malt, and a slight dark fruit presence.

Taste: Opens with an earthy chocolate note, this carries throughout the taste, with hints of dark fruit along the way. The finish is slightly sour.

Mouth feel: Soft, reasonably full, with a slight note of carbonation, and a mildly chalky feel.

Drinkability/notes: A most interesting beer and a most interesting style. Try this or any Oud Bruin if you can.

Thanks to my friend and fellow BA HardTarget for sharing this rare example.

Photo of cbl2
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:

Opaque brown with 1/2" head that settles rapidly. Extremely evervescent.

Smell:

Very sweet with malts bursting forth, almost a burnt caramel.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Smooth and silky with malts upfront followed by a tinge of alcohol and hints of sherry.

Photo of yelterdow
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2001 vintage served in a Duvel tulip at cellar temperature... muchas gracias to akeeper for surprising me with this five-year old example of a corked and caged 750ml bottle of goodness.

Appearance- Pours a clear sunset red with a light, orange-beige head... one finger thick, no lacing. The center island of foam is all that's left after about two minutes. Great muddy sediment is swirled in towards the end of this tasting.

Smell- Wood, sour cherries, strawberries, must.

Taste- A fruity, mildly alcoholic palate becomes more assertive as the beer comes to temperature... nuances that lie within may have mellowed and dispersed over the five years in the bottle. A nice dry hop bite after the swallow offers great closure. Still sweetish and malty, I enjoy this Oud Bruin with a strong blue cheese.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The crisp effervescence gently swells and grows confidently and elegantly in the mouth... meanwhile the belly warmth creeps in just in time to pour the final dregs in. I enjoyed sampling this one, Amy, thanks again for the thoughtful gift.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Green bottle definitely left me worried about reviewing this one, but there was no need a well taken care of sample from Sharp Edge Creekhouse. Pours a deep amber mahogany with a beige toned nicely developed head leaving a thin collar of lacing around my snifter. Aroma has a wine like vinous character to it mixed with an underlying spiced up sweet aroma. Taste is sweet and tangy shimmering malt and fruit tones along with a very nice dry finish completing this beer. Mouthfeel has a healthy amount of carbonation with a light medium bodied beer nice full body from the darker roasts this beer works very well for my tastes and dances along my palate. Drinkability is definitely good especially for a flemish brown ale, just the high abv holds it back from becoming a true session beer in my eyes.

Photo of bditty187
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy but surprisingly clear (that makes sense, right?), ruby-brown in hue with a slight coppery highlight when held to the light. A flimsy, foamy off-beige head topped the beer, it reached a modest finger in height before quickly fading to a loose cap of bubbles. There was not subsequent lacing, disappointing. However, the appearance is still intriguing. The nose is malty; there is no mistaking that. However the funky, sour notes like cherry candy can’t be ignored either. It is true that the nose isn’t very loud and this is disappointing. The malt contributes aromas of distant mocha coffee and some hints of toffee covered currants. There is also a faint suggestion of medical aromas at the finish, like ban-aids. The bouquet is neither complex nor compelling, disappointedly ordinary and hardly inviting. The palate is livelier than the nose indicated but most of this extra excitement seems to come from the rather bold alcohol. At 8.5% abv it is little surprise. The heat of the alcohol seems to toy with candied berry flavors of currants and blends very well with the medical flavors too. The palate is pleasantly herbal as well with hints of grass and oak. The cocoa flavors are bland, like really old semi-sweet baker’s chocolate but they mix fairly well. By the finish hints of caramel come into play. Even though a lack of malt deep and complexity is painfully obvious this is still a tasty beer. This is something I could go back to. The aftertaste is long and hot with sweetness like alcoholic candy. Yummy. Medium in body, I feel it really needs more bulk on the tongue, it isn’t painfully lacking in body but it is too noticeably thin IMO. The carbonation is moderate but natural. The mouthfeel is very pleasant but maybe a tickle slick. While not a great beer it is drinkable and good enough that I would buy it again. Luckily (surprisingly) I bought this in Nebraska. In Lincoln to be exact for $7.00 a 750ml. Worth another go-around for me, not worth seeking out if you haven’t had it.

2001 Vintage.

Photo of JOaikido
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

33o ml bottle. Best before date of October 2010 stamped on cap.

A- Overwhelming frothy beige head. Dark red3brown colour. Head long lasting. Never completely died as I drank this over more than an hour. Nice bubbliness. Little flecks of yeast sediment.

S- Smoky, caramel. Slight roasted odour and some overipe plum.

T- Smoky. Caramel Touch of alcohol. Yeast refermented flavour. Much as expected from smell. Whole balanced with a slight bitter aftertaste that is not overdone.

MF- Smooth and soft. Carbonation just right for this beer.

D- Flavour good, but I couldn't take too much at a time. Decent as a sipping beer.

Photo of bark
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The colour is dark brown; the liquid is somewhat cloudy. The finger thick beige-brown foam forms a sinking head.

The smell is filled with chocolate and cocoa, some sour notes, brown sugar and some banana sweets.

A taste of sweet chocolate dominates the taste. There are also notes of light syrup; some simple bitterness, brown sugar, cherry stones, strawberry jam and some matured wood cask flavours.

The carbonation is potent and fresh with small bubbles.

As this is my first Oud Bruin beer, I am not sure if this is a good interpretation of the style, but I liked it anyway.

Photo of joe1510
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz. Bottle
$3.29
Sam's Downers Grove

On a careful pour this is still a tremendously chunky beer. Poured garnet that's almost opaque from the chunkiness (proteins I'm guessing with some yeast in there).A half finger white head formed on the pour that faded rather quickly to a ring around the glass. Looks like a coke after the head settles. Wiley carbonation rises throughout the glass moving the proteins as it does. The chunkiness detracts from the appearence in this case.

The smell is really nice. I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this being my first Flanders brown but the smell is similiar to many other dark Belgians. The exception is a touch of tartness. The tartness is very mild and in the form of sour milk. There's a big doughy malt backbone along with some dark fruits such as fig and prune. Old leather aroma as well as tobacco leaf.

Flavor is the same as aroma. Doughy malts start things off and the dark fruits flash in here and there. I even seem to get some bing cherries every now and then. The earthy leather and tobacco leaf show up mildly and soothing on the finish. Noticeable bitterness.

I really like the mouthfeel on this beer. Prickly carbonation and a light body make this beer refreshing and keep it moving. The drawback is the chunks. I find myself trying to sip slowly to keep them in the glass. If not for the chunkiness I would give this a 4.5.

Again, except for the chewiness of this beer it is extremely drinkable and refreshing.

Good beer and something new. I thought the sourness would be more apparent but it's hardly noticeable. I enjoy this beer and am looking forward to trying more.

Photo of bnuttz
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a nice copper color, accompanied with a large frothy carbonation. The smell is different kind of tart, definitely sweet. Taste is definitely malty sweet. Chocolate, caramel, plums, and yet a tartness sneaks through from the bacteria. Definitely sweet, a little more tartness would have been appreciated, but overall not a bad brew, would drink it again.

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$2.50 /11.2oz bottle

I was very excited to try a flanders oud bruin and this was the only one I could find in my area. I think the store was clearing them out. I have seem quite a bit of this in the area and it doesn't seem to be moving too quick. The head on this was massive in my duvel glass without any aggression in the pour. The color of the body was a raison brown. The head was very fluffy and light and eventually settled down to a thin film that concentrated itself to the middle of the glass. The aroma was filled with raison, malt, and small amounts of alcohol esters. There was also a cocoa and cherry backbone. The taste was sweet and tart at the beggining and finished a little dry and malty. The alcohol was very well hidden in the taste, but it hit me hard midway through the bottle. This is a very nice beer that would be enjoyable for a late night drink.

Photo of Popsinc
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with a tan head. The nose was slightly spicey with hints of dark fruits.

The mouthfeel was very smooth. Dark malts gave this beer a good body backing up the lighter tastes of plum and very mild chocolate. There was also an earthiness to the beer and good spice. light hoppiness.

I found this beer to have decent complexity and very good balance. This was an enjoyable drinking experience. I would say this would make a nice after dinner drink for me.

Photo of thierrynantes
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sorry but this following comment is in french :

Appearance : brune avec d'invitants reflets rouges.
Smell : dans les effuves d'alcool, le malt se mele agréablement au chocolat.
Taste and mouthfeel : Ronde, doucatre, veloutée : elle ne s'exprime que par les sucres sur un fond d'alcool qui prolonge le goût.
Drinkability : bonne bière brune (style flemish brown)

Photo of pootz
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle: the pour put a ruby high lighted cloudy chestnut ale in my tulip..1 finger rocky tan cap does not last long goes to a surface lace that stays. Aroma is nice like a sour cider with cocoa undertones. Peppery mouth feel from carbonation but once this breaks away you get a rush of flavors..pear cider with chocolate some treacle and toast...marvelous drawn finish that turns syrupy with a rush of sweet licorice and then some warming. Nice brown...a pleasant surprise

Photo of Cwrw
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The cork popped violently from the black 750ml Vondel bottle, and the ruby brown beer poured with crisp carbonation into my chalice. The cork has the year "2003" printed on it. The head was extremely frothy initially, and then it calmed and formed a steady light brown covering, with a mix of some big and small bubbles. The lacing was a little fizzy, but then turned creamy and moved slowly down the glass. The beer possesses deep reds and rich dark browns; rosewood or even cherry. Aroma is of the dusty yeast, raisins, faint, old maltiness with only a small hint of sourness in the background. The malt shares the spotlight with astringent alcohol. Leather and strong licorice in the smell too, giving some barley-wine aromas. Other notes of brown sugar, horehound, and blackberry. I expected some tartness to the aroma, this being a Flemish brown ale. To me the smell is more like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale; not to say at all that the aroma is bad. Despite the violence with which this ale poured, the taste is actually quite low in carbonation: almost milky and even a little flat. Again I get licorice up front in the mouth, strong dusty malt, and very little alcohol in the taste, though Vondel sends some pleasant coatings of warmth to the stomach rather quickly and deceptively. The taste is well enough, albeit slight on complexity, and the beer is in desparate need of carbonation(though I am not sure if this was a result of storage--this bottle is over 2 years old). There is some lactaid sourness, but nothing very tart or fruity about this beer at all. Now this is odd: the second glass poured from the bottle is actually very carbonated. Indeed, as for carbonation, the first and second pours from this bottle could be two different beers. The finish is mostly malt with some dryness left in the corners of the mouth. The taste also gives some plum or prunes, mixed with the dominant yeast flavour of the beer. Mouthfeel is fickle, as I mentioned, but the beer is definitely full-bodied. Little phenolic presence makes it easy to drink as well. I was expecting more complexity, but taken by itself, this is still a very good beer.

Photo of Rastacouere
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brown beer with a generous head in terms of space, but not in terms of time. Sweet nose of chocolate and liquorice. RIch sweet taste, fruity, caramel with late tart notes. Riva at its best. Big props to the cheaper state than most too, around here anyway

Photo of biegaman
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favourite styles of beer, this one has some tough competition. I drink this with other great examples in mind, the bar is certainly set high.
Very assuring pour. Nice head which would desist into a fine lacing as it warmed. Cloudy brown. Aroma pairs up pretty well with the style, but not as 'authentic' I didn't think. Stronger as it warmed, that's a good thing. Took a little longer to get a feel for, not as distinct or confident as others in this unique style. Mouthfeel is a little too carbonated for a Flemish sour. Nowhere near as complex or wine-like as others. No alcohol , flavours not as pronouced. Flavours disapear quickly, don't stick around. They don't seem to stand out as they should with what this style permits. I liked this beer, but there is so much more to this style

Photo of HardTarget
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Inspection: Ok, this one was interesting. It was labeled as their wit beer http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/217/1600 but when I poured it: it was black! So; obviously it’s not the wit. After tasting, we had to assume this was the Oud Bruin, so I’m posting here.

Aroma: Chocolate malt is the main character with some mild dark fruit if you reach for it.

Appearance: Quickly dying head left the beer with a calm surface. The glass was deep brown and slightly hazy.

Flavor: Again, chocolate malt starts things off, but it fades into some nice dark fruit and a firm sour note in the long lasting finish.

Mouthfeel: Thin body, low carbonation

Overall Impression: Different. VERY different from the wit I expected given the label. I don’t have a lot of Oud Bruins to compare this too, it struck me as mild, not quite “funky” enough.

Hand carried back from Montreal

Photo of crookedhalo
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

75 cl bottle with a cork dating of 3/2001. Pours a cloudy reddish chestnut with a big, fluffy beige head that lasts for a good while and laces decently. Yeasty, cinammony, cocoa, obviously malty, red appley and earthy aromas. Slight suggestion of red wine in the aroma, too. Faint, chalk-like mouthfeel, indicating a modest body. Malty and sweet, but overly so. The maltiness comes across sometimes as being cardboardy. It's not as sour as I seem to remember, or maybe the aging subdued those qualities that I seem to foggily remember. There is a slight woody-like shallow tartness. The taste is pretty bland when compared to other beers of the style. I like it, but I'm not really enthralled with the beer's lack of character. It's just lacking some gusto as well as some tartness. If a malty brown is what you're looking for, go for it. If you want a world class oud bruin, I could make better suggestions.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a very rich and dark ale and not a flander red per say in my opinion. Large head when pourred into glass but it did disapear a little bit too quickly. Has a very nice roasty butterscotch and molasse finish. Another nice and diffrent product from Riva

Photo of papat444
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This bottle was brewed by Liefman's.

Poured from a 330ml. bottle, best before 12/2011.

Appearance: Active foam fills 3/4 of the glass with a dusty tan color. Body is semi-opaque and the color of cherry wood. Each additional pour yields more foam.

Smell: A bit of yeast, some mild tartness and an aroma of an old cellar. Pleasant enough.

Taste: Some wood, cherries and berries, not much lactic action and some traces of whiskey?

Mouthfeel: Very low carbonation with a smooth body.

Overall: Held up rather well. Good but not great.

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

Deep brown appearance, strong malty yeasty nose. Very malty, nice acidic bitterness/ hint of sourness. I'm not sure i could have enjoyed it to its full potential because it was a really hot day and i think it was a bit to strong and not so refreshing.

Photo of Brent
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tightest cork I've run across, and the first where I had to use a corkscrew. Poured a ruddy amber-walnut with a quick, fizzy head. Well carbonated. Some mildly sweet caramel apple flavor up front on the first sip, with alcohol rising sharply. After a few sips, however, caramel and alcohol both receded. Aged orchard fruit and some hints of oak tannin. Not as tart or acidic as other oud bruins I've had. For the high abv and the initial alcohol pungency, the alcohol did mute and this was surprisingly drinkable.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the chalice a clear deep amber brown with a tan long lasting head that rose tall and then fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was caramel and chocolate with a nutty component. Also present were dark fruits, raisins, and a slight spice. Another fruit present in the complex aroma was pineapple.

The flavor was caramel and chocolate and a just noticeable sourness, very understated for an Oud Bruin. The fruits were still present, but understated and missing complexity. What was present was a harsh alcohol burn.

The finish was dry with lasting chocolate and caramel. The body was medium light to light.

750 ml bottle, 2001 on cork. A decent beer, but the flavor was missing complexity.

Photo of rousee
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours the color of a strong concentrated brown tea. Forms a quick 1/2 figer head and disappears quickly into a wisp on top.

Smell is slightly leathery-vinegar with malt coming through pretty strong also.

Taste is musty and malty. It has some of that characteristic Belgian complexity, but the smell is more complex than the taste.
Mouthfeel is really nothing special-a little chalky and dry.
Drinkability is average too.
This beer was disappointing. A great bottle design and expensive too- not a good value for the $$$. Just nothing special.

Photo of beergurujr
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml cork-finished brown bottle. cork states "2001".

sort of a murky dark copper colour; this is a bottle-conditioned brew.

aroma of dark fruit, semisweet chocolate and lightly roasted malt. there is a certain buttery component here, perhaps due to the age of the sample. it, however, is not distracting.

flavour is bready, sweet malt, a bit of dark and dry demarera sugar. i cannot detect hops (which is just what i expected).

finish is of dry malt and semibitter chocolate. the alcohol is not detectable in the flavour, but it certainly is in your head! overall an interesting beer, which has (apparently) aged well.

Vondel from Brouwerij Riva S.A.
87 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.