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Corsendonk Pater / Abbey Brown Ale - Brouwerij Corsendonk

Not Rated.
Corsendonk Pater / Abbey Brown AleCorsendonk Pater / Abbey Brown Ale

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979 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 979
Reviews: 559
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 37
Gots: 59 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Corsendonk visit their website

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-02-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 979 | Reviews: 559 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brdc
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown beer with a very large, foamy head that never dissipates.
The smeel has hints of raisins and caramel, with underlying alcohol. The aged, large corked version is fruitier with lots of berries as compared to the new, small bottle.
The taste is very good: malty sweetness, caramel, chocolate, and again, raisins. It finishes somewhat dry.
Mouthfeel is very good, and aged versions lose a bit carbonation and feel creamier. It is not exactly a beer to have by the dozen, I prefer it as a night cap, but still goes down easy.

Aging it lends a fruitier nose and creamier palate, otherwise it does not change it much.

brdc, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown body with a very creamy-looking off-white head.

Smell: Enticing malty aroma of chocolate, red grapes, spices, and a slight yeastiness.

Taste: Plenty of malt sweetness with rich, full flavors of chocolate fudge and toffee. Light floral bitterness. Smokiness and the fruity taste of port wine lurking in the background.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Immensely smooth with a very soft carbonation.

Drinkability: Look, this beer had me jumping up and down and juggling bananas. Would a BAD BEER be able to do that?

ChainGangGuy, Sep 15, 2006
Photo of startle69
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew is the culmination of all things great in beer!

A - Pours dark crystal with a volcanic head - looks like it should be sitting in a museum display case

S - Raisins, chocolate, port, perfecly balanced sweet and sour notes that are so well blended yet independantly defined

T - All components of this beer are orchestrated so well together that it creates a taste that never leaves your tongue - never

M - Awesome carbonation with a little warmth from the alcohol

D - Keep em coming!

In my opinion this is what every beer should be. Simple yet complex, highly drinkable, and oh so satisfying! There is not much better out there.

startle69, Sep 09, 2006
Photo of Viggo
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An old bottle, sampled after the old bottle of Agnus I had kicking around.

Pours a hazy and chunky brown/red, big loose tan head forms, lots of lace and great retention. Smell is sweet, very vinous, caramel and cherries, fruity, some alcohol. Taste is sweet and malty, toffee, fruity, very vinous, grapey, nice though. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation but pretty smooth, very mellow. Not bad, as with the Agnus, I'll try a fresh example again.

Viggo, Aug 25, 2006
Photo of VoodooBrew
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before 11/08/07.

Corsendonk Brown is indeed that -- deep, dark brown with ruby highlights and good clarity. An initially sizeable off-white head eventually settles down to leave significant lacings on the glass, and lively procession of bubbles continues to issue upward.

The nose is of dark fruit and spice, characteristic of ales in this style. Some light caramel and toasty malt also feature. Ditto the palate, where peppery phenolics, moderate bitterness, and a prickly carbonation give way to a smooth maltiness that hints at chocolate and molasses before finishing fairly dry. The alcohol (7.5%) is pretty well-integrated, but provides ample warmth to let you know it's there.

This beer is quite good indeed (come on, how Belgians aren't?), but it didn't quite impress me as much as Corsendonk Abbey Pale Ale did. The carbonation isn't necessarily higher than it should be, but for me it comes across as a little rough at times. And I could go for a little more complexity in the aroma. But still... worth looking into, especially as part of a larger survey of the wonderful ales of Belgium.

VoodooBrew, Aug 18, 2006
Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Riley's here in Madison for a mini Belgian Brown/Dark ale session - thanks expatsteve.

Pour: burgundy in the glass, tangerine-amber to the light under a big ol' eggshell white head.

Nose: citrus peel, cinnamon/nutmeg, musty yeast and herbal tea. Gives an amazing aromatic potpurri impression that I could inhale all afternoon.

Taste: dusty spices, lemon-pepper, cinnamon/nutmeg, dried citrus peel, raisin/date with a musty yeast finish. Bordering on Xmas-brew territory, but much more restrained and refined in execution.

Feel: light body with a yeasty grit and light, fizzy carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall: Insanely aromatic, close to Winter Warmer territory but has enough going on and is crafted well-enough to avoid that gimmicky style. A treat for the senses.

Golden2wenty1, Aug 07, 2006
Photo of expatsteve
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark chocolate brown, with some appealing orange ruby hues. Big 1 1/2 inch head with nice lacing and good thin suds cover. Low visibility, with low/medium (more medium) viscosity.

Aroma: Raisins, molasses, lemon peel, chocolate, with cloves in the background. Hints of banana.

Taste: Bread, honey, chocolate and a little coffee, making for a roasted quality to the aftertaste. Balanced with some nice mild spicing - anise, cloves. Toffee developments, along with a little fruit. A few hints in places of lemongrass and pepper. Nice plum developments as it warms alongside sweet bready malts.

Mouthfeel: Light - a little bubbly but the carbonation isn't particularly aggressive. Nice sweet malt finish, with a hint of metallic hops.

Drink: This isn't as complex as some other Belgian darks and dubbels, though this is about as drinkable a beer as you'll find. Nice balance, though not as immediately fruity as I would have expected. This beer could be sessionable or stand on its own. Impressive.

expatsteve, Aug 06, 2006
Photo of EStreet20
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce brown bottle poured into a large St Bernardus goblet.

A - A dark brown with a reddish tint with a nice finger thick off white head sitrting atop.

S - Yeasty up front with a spicy aromas. Some sweetness kicks through along with a bit of a clove smell.

T - Has a robust opening with some fruits coming through. The yeastiness is not in force as much as one would suspect. A fairly flavorful brew with a clean finish.

M - A nice medium to full body, fairly high carbonation for the style.

D - Good. Not quite as complex as many dubbels but a nice taste and interesting enough to have with a nice steak or similar meal.

EStreet20, Aug 03, 2006
Photo of HoustonTX
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got the last bottle of this at my local beer store.

A - Deep brown with an offwhite large head. Lacing is all over the place. Good carbonation streams.

S - Raisins really stick out, along with malt and yeast notes.

T - Taste upfront was a nice dark fruit malt blend, with notes of fig, raisins, and plums pop out. Strong yeast comes in to balance at the finish. Strongly carbonated and leads to a bubbly crisp, dry aftertaste. Not bad.

An average Dubbel, but nothing extrodinary.

HoustonTX, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of cbl2
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 07/09/06.


Pours a hazy pale golden straw adorned by 2 inches of creamy white head that is added to by a vigorous carbonation that races up the glass in small fine beads.


Loaded with black pepper and a touch of malt sweetness.


Lightly peppered in flavor, this froths in the mouth due to an abundance of carbonation. A very mild malt backbone is lightly bittered by the peppery hops in the beginning and finish.

cbl2, Jul 30, 2006
Photo of Damian
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber brown/black with a small creamy head that faded quickly.

Strong malts, yeast and alcohol were noticeable in the aroma.

Taste was malty rich with notes of dried fruits (raisins and prunes) and a touch of alcohol. A subtle hop presence was apparent as well. Finish was somewhat dry and smoky.

Full bodied mouthfeel. My only complaint was that this beer seemed to be overly fizzy.

Regardless, an overall excellent dubbel.

Damian, Jul 20, 2006
Photo of stouty1
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

By the way, I drank this with some Venison tonight. Went very well together! In fact, I highly recommend it!

Poured from a 750mL bottle to give a rich (cannot see thru) caramel color with a full head. I poured this into a larger tulip and I got a fairly large head (almost 2 inches). My first smells were of nothing but malt. I decided it was too cold so I drank it down letting the bottle warm up for my second try. As I enjoyed my Venison chops...

1st pour: Taste a little bit of the raisin but I really had to try hard. Had no mouthfeel whatsoever. Alcohol taste afterwards must have attributed to the dryness.

2nd pour (same bottle): Poured better with only a 1 inch head (same glass). Now, the smells really came out of apple, raisins, and nutty malt. The taste really exploded of fruit. I cannot tell between raisin or apples. Still a dry after taste, but I cannot sense the alcohol, very well hidden. Feels thinner this time than the last. I enjoyed this beer even though I am not a brown ale person.

stouty1, Jul 10, 2006
Photo of smcolw
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a mid-level brown with a two-finger head and lots of fine lace.

The aroma is surprisingly light on the dark malt notes. (The taste is similarly missing the chocolate or crystal malt flavors.) There is some balancing hop, but this is primarly a light dark beer.

If I close my eyes, I taste a low-hop IPA or a high-hop ESB. As a result, this may be my favorite Belgian ale. Against the "look", this is a surprising beer. Excellent flavor with lots of hop elements, very full bodied with good carbonation.

This beer satisfies my hop cravings. It is perhaps the hoppiest Belgian. I like the fact that isn't too sweet. As a transition beer from English ales to Belgian, this may be the best.

smcolw, Jul 02, 2006
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.55/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

From the experimental batch. Best by Nov 19, 2004, sampled well after that, lol. But at 7.5%, we'll see how it held up.

Appearance - pours a muddy cola color into a Duvel glass with a very frothy light brown head. It builds a cap of about 2 fingers and starts to bubble down fast before it kind of dries up and holds at a half-finger or so.Stays off the glass somehow and yields no lacing. 4.5

Aroma - some sweet, fruity kind of yeast with a light caramel undertone. It fades to more of a bready, crackery but still slightly sweet aroma. After drinking half of this, a scent hit me in the olfactory that takes me back about 30 years...plastic planes, tanks, and cars all held together with the heady-scented Testor's Model cement. Not every time, but the alcohol and the sourness and whatever, just now and then it was unmistakeable. 3.5

Taste - starts out with a sour, tart fruitiness, like a lambic. Rats, one of *those* beers, lol. Oh well, it's been a while and I need to keep my palate honest. I think I'll do well to try and pick up the flavors stated on the bottle text. Port and raisins, I can find those in the tartness after my mouth gets used to the initial flavor. The black chocolate I'm not so sure about. I detect a hint of *something* back there, could be chocolate, or maybe just the malty side fighting through the sour veil at times. Halfway through the first glass I can even accept that there is some sweetness here, also undetectable at first. Maybe I should have this with some sharply flavored cheese or something. By itself, I can see it is a well-made creation but it is not for me. 2.5

Mouthfeel - over the top carbonation, just about blew the cork out when I turned it. Average weight to the body, I would almost prefer a lower carbonation to try and pick out some of the more subtle flavors, but that's not often to style with these kinds of beer. 2.0

Drinkability - no, not one I would have again but I am grateful to the Van Steerberge staff for the opportunity to try their beer. 1.5

brewdlyhooked13, Jun 30, 2006
Photo of andrewmartin
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ML bottle, no date

A: Hazy chocolate, carmalized sugar with a big tan head

S: Sugar, malt, yeast, notes of alcohol and raisens

T: Starts off with strong malt and sugar flavors, leaves with some alcohol and bitterness

M: Very smooth

D: Very drinkable, especially considering the alchol content

Found this to be a good, but somewhat one-dimensional, offering of this style.

andrewmartin, Jun 30, 2006
Photo of rokoch27
3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nutty, yeasty brew pours hazy brown with a lacey ivory head. The head was way too big and didn't really go away, it was really more of an annoyance than anything. Fruity aroma with an undertone of chocolate. If you like Belgian beers, then check this one out. Worth a try, but nothing to write home about.

rokoch27, Jun 08, 2006
Photo of doubleipa
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was probably the first Belgian beer I ever had. I think it was about 20 years ago. Of course it was served too cold, but it did look real nice. Good creamy head and a dark brown color. Aroma was more malt than anything else. Not much yeast. Head lasted until the end and great lacing made for wonderful appearance. A little toasted malt and dried fruit. This is really just an average beer in this category, IMHO.

doubleipa, Jun 08, 2006
Photo of Absumaster
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark brown ale with lots of carbonation and a nice, stable 1"head.
Smell of ripe red apples, grapes, toffee and caramel, a combination that I have never tasted in a dubbel, fresh yet caramellic. This smell has to grow, and after a few sips it all comes together.
Taste was raisins, red apples and grapes with lot of caramel and chocolaty notes. It was sticky and medium sweet, but aftertaste was dry. Second layer had some toffee and baked bread.
A fresh Dubbel without the burned malts, fresh and for me a little too full bodied.

Absumaster, Jun 05, 2006
Photo of mcallister
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a corsendonk tulip glass. Caramel brown with red tinted hues very clean looking. A creamy, fluffy tannish 2 inch head rests upon the belgian. Damn sexy looking beer.

Aromas of cinnamon, belgian yeast strain, sweet caramel malt, milk choclate, almond, and toffee.

Rich caramel malt, toffee, an alcohol burn but not overly so, and a nice dry finish. A good belgian yeast strain, and some earthiness. Leaves somewhat of a grainy mouthfeel deep in the finish that I'm not crazy about. Otherwise a good beer.

mcallister, Jun 01, 2006
Photo of BigBry
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thin, brown 330ml bottle with painted front label and BB date on neck label. Poured into the logoed chalice glass that accompanied the gift pack.
A rich dark brown color with a thick tan head. Be careful because the foam keeps growing right out the top os the glass if you aren't careful. Head stays thick and puffy with thick sticky lace clinging to the glass. Lots of aroma, without one smell sticking out or being dominant. Dark fruits like plum or prune, berries, sweet and malty at the same time. Similar to a dark red wine. Flavor has a similar mix of fruits, raisin, plum. Sweetish, but still tart and clean on the tongue. The alcohol remains well hidden beneath all of the other flavor. Good carbonation keeps it light and refreshing even though it is filled with 'heavy' flavor. All of the qualities seem to improve as the beer warms up a touch.
Now that I have the proper glass, I will have to be buying more beer to fill it.

BigBry, May 29, 2006
Photo of unclecrappy
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass from a 750 ml bottle, you get a big head right away, which dissolves quickly into persistent lacing. Color is a rich, dark brown until you hold to glass to a light -- and then you see shot of ruby.

Smells like it should -- a little malty, a little musty.

The taste wasn't as sweet as I was expecting. The malt flavor is right up front, as well as that sweetish tinge the Belgians do so well, but this had a nice, bitter hoppiness to balance things out. After a good mouthful, the sweet -- and a little spice -- was left on my tounge.

Mouthfeel? A touch more carbonation than I was looking for. Unexpected, but not bad.

I roared through the big bottle, on a warm, early-summer night. Very good stuff.

unclecrappy, May 26, 2006
Photo of RedHaze
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, murky brown with a one finger head that rapidly fades to a spotty cap and ring, and leaves behind an adequate lacing.

Smell; lots of rich caramel malts and dark fruits (plums, raisins and some apples). There's almost a ginger snap spiciness as well as a touch of alcohol.

Taste; mmmm....plums, raisins, pears and apples all make a really nice appearance, along with a sweet and rich caramel maltiness. The ginger that I noted in the aroma came out in the flavor more than I was expecting, and there's a bit of lemon in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but the carbonation is a bit on the sharp side which hurts themouthfeel a bit.

RedHaze, Apr 29, 2006
Photo of dbalsock
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a very solid brown, with a ton of head. A beautiful lacing occurs on the glass as it is imbibed.

Smell: Plums? Raisons! oh my, so fruity and enticing, a wonderful aroma.

Taste: It reminds me of raspberrys and chocolate, with other fruits kicking in. Some spices added to the mix too. As it warmed, however, the fruitiness kinda disappeared.

Mouthfeel: A little tart at first, and a tad bitter... this feels very strange on my palate considering how syrupy it is.

Drinkability: For something at 7.5% and so sweet, this is incredibly drinkable.

dbalsock, Apr 26, 2006
Photo of atigerlife
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Corsendonk tulip glass. Best dated 2/14/07.

I have been waiting to try this for 6 months. Picked up a pair of these on a trip and was waiting for an excuse to pop the cork. I certainly wasn't dissapointed.

Poured a beautiful rich brown with a substantional creamy white head. Good retention. Good lacing. Very impressive in the glass.

Aroma of dark fruits and alcohol. Some malts and spiciness also come through.

Taste is of dark fermented fruit [plums/raisins] that jump out of the glass. Malts also come through and there is an underlying sweetness. Lightly dry at the end. Alcohol warmth throughout. Nicely balanced.

Medium body with a creamy mouthfeel and nice carbonation that gives it good cleansing. Overall, a very nice dubbel. Very drinkable and is a nice social beer to sit around and talk with friends. Nicely matched my burger and fries. I am very glad I have another bottle in my beer fridge. Cheers!

atigerlife, Apr 23, 2006
Photo of neenerzig
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a nice medium brown color. It left a mild and dry aftertaste in my mouth, maybe even a bit bitter of an aftertaste. Perhaps the reason I enjoy Corsendonk is because it is the first Belgian beer I ever drank (not this brown ale though, it was the pale ale) so I may be a bit biased towards it. It was introduced to me by a good friend. Plus the bottle just looks so damn cool! And the cork pops out just like a bottle of champaign upon opening it. POP! I am sorry, but bottles of beer with corks just kick ass! You know you can't go wrong with a beer that has a cork instead of a bottle cap! Corsendonk remains my favorite Belgian beer, although I enjoy the Pale Ale even more than the Brown Ale.


neenerzig, Apr 15, 2006
Corsendonk Pater / Abbey Brown Ale from Brouwerij Corsendonk
90 out of 100 based on 979 ratings.