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Ultra Brune - Brasserie D'Ecaussinnes

Not Rated.
Ultra BruneUltra Brune

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

58 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 58
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie D'Ecaussinnes visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 05-21-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 | Reviews: 51 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.13/5  rDev +7.3%

Rust orange with an infusion of dark coral and edges of polished bronze. This is a great looking beer when backlit with sunshine. The golden beige crown is magnificent as well and proudly upholds the excellence seen whenever fine Belgian ales are poured.

The nose is less dark than most BSDAs. The spotlight is on sour fruit (figs and tart apples rather than raisins) and a moderate amount of phenolic spiciness. If it's more sweet and less tangy than it smells, this could be a pretty good version.

Ultra Brune isn't great beer. In fact, I'll need to get much deeper into the bottle to decide if it's even good beer. Last time I looked, Belgian strong dark ales shouldn't be this sour. It tastes like a combination BSDA and Flanders oud bruin. Hmmm... viewed in that light, this is actually pretty tasty stuff if you don't mind drinking outside the box.

Specifics include sweet apple cider made with Granny Smiths, sourdough brown bread, fig paste and steely caramel. Sweet and tart complement each other throughout the entire mouthful. Hops try to tighten the finish, but can't quite manage it. Looks like I've gone from confusion and budding disappointment to enthusiasm in the space of the past six ounces.

Given the ABV, it's amazing that alcohol isn't a member of the flavor profile. UB drinks at least three percentage points lower. The mouthfeel isn't great, but it's good enough. It substitutes a little Belgian creaminess for a little American slickness.

Ultra Brune is the best of the three Brasserie d'Ecaussinnes beers that I've had so far. If style guidelines are supremely important to you, look elsewhere. If you enjoy square peg beer that refuses to be jammed into a round hole, give this intriguing Belgian ale a try.

08-31-2008 15:52:44 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Crosling


4.28/5  rDev +11.2%

Overall, an impressive brew. Aroma shows caramel apple and toast. Flavor has a lot of depth with a unique toast-like malt character not found in a lot of Belgian ales. Hints of caramel and apple as well. While it is unique and one of a kind, it still remains very Belgian. Finish lasts well, with mainly caramel notes and some roast. What an unexpected treat.

06-13-2008 18:10:37 | More by Crosling
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +12.5%

A: Poured a dark caramel/cola color with a frothy beige head that was fully lasting. Carbonation was moderate-heavy per style with lots of suspended yeast particles.

S: a yeasty aroma with dry chocolate and a slight roasted maltiness.

T: malty with a smooth dark roasted character, sweet chocolate, and a fruity (pears, bananas, & melons) yeasty flavor. There was a nice dark caramelized brown sugar sweetness as well a boozy scotch alcohol presence in the finish as well some dried fruit (prunes). Overall a great Belgian strong dark ale with a soothing, soft roasted character with a semi-sweetness of chocolate to balance things out.

M: light but very flavorful with some dry coffee notes coming through upon warming.

D: The beer drank incredibly smooth for its 10%abv. The soft roasted malting truly highlights this beer with a great yeasty fruitiness and boozy scotch alcohol finish. Truly an incredible drink. Outstanding all around.

05-12-2008 22:57:31 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.48/5  rDev -9.6%

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany-hued bdoy with a small, off-white head.

Smell: Spiced aroma with notes of dusty caramel, dried fruits, candi sugar, and, just to make sure everyone's clear on this, spice.

Taste: Caramel malts with a dusting of sweet candi sugar. Sourish, raisiny flavor alongside a hit of acidity. Very faint floral hop character, but no real bitterness. Good amount of spice. No more than a hint of that 10%. Warming, drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent lil' not-so-little Belgian Strong.

04-19-2008 22:31:15 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of morebeergood


3.73/5  rDev -3.1%

Picked up a corked bottle at Bauer to share with friends on a Saturday evening. Poured into Chimay goblets. There was a two inch head that slowly faded into the light brown colored beer. I am not sure where the "dark ale" description comes from, for I found it to be lighter than most dubbels. Smell was nothing too magnificent, just a hint of spice. Taste was very good, lots of cherry, orange, and cinnamon flavors. For a high abv beer, I didn't notice that one bit, it went down very smooth. Only drawback was that it was a bit thin in the body. Paired with a smoked goat cheese and black pepper salami, it was a nice appetizer before heading out to dinner.

03-31-2008 23:25:32 | More by morebeergood
Photo of Bobzilla

New York

3.53/5  rDev -8.3%


C: Chocolate brown, light tan head with a small amount of lacing throughout the glass.

S: A cocoa, caramel, light buttery smell. A hint of some fruitiness after further warming. Raisiny esters are peeking through.

T: Sweet, bitter, with a bite at the finish. There is a bit different taste than the smell implies. The caramel and buttery sweetness isn't very present. There is a bit of a pretzel biscuit flavor hiding beneath the surface. (Maybe bad storage conditions for the bottle?) The ester quality is in the taste, but I can't quite discern what specific fruit is peeking through. The Raisin character, fig, date, dark fruity mix is present mostly at the front of the taste. It finishes with a more bitter character.

M: Very smooth with a tingly finish. (Yes...tingly.) The carbonation seems to be a bit heavier than I'd like on this one, but its not horrible. It seems to diminish the richness of the beer a bit.

D: A bit too heavy for multiples. A nice flavor, but with so much sugar in the beer, it can get a bit heavy by the end of the bottle.

03-30-2008 21:10:08 | More by Bobzilla
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.38/5  rDev -12.2%

A careful pour yields a three-finger thick, lightly dirty-tan colored head. The beer is a very dark brown color, but shows a clear, deep red color when held up to the light, you almost can't see through it though because if is so excessively carbonated. The aroma is quite fruit-like; aromas of cherries, prunes, raisins and rich fig note are tempered just a bit by a touch of spice and a meaty maltiness. Dark, candy like malt character, a touch of toasty grain, toffee, musty earth, , some notes of clove, perhaps a touch of ginger, over-ripened fruit (plums) and some metallic oxidized malt character. This has a very rich nose, it just smells thick and sticky. Not bad, but certainly not very dry.

Not nearly as sweet as the aroma might have suggested, nor is it as thick as the aroma made it out to be. The beer is sweet, but not overly so and the body is actually fairly light for a beer of this strength. Fruit flavors of ripe, slightly concentrated plums and raisins are noticeable up front, a bit of oxidized malt character then becomes noticeable in the middle (hint of wet cardboard) as does some richly caramelized malt notes, a touch of toffee, ample flavors of browned bread crust, touches of chalky toasted grain. Spice flavors reminiscent of clove and cardamom combine to give this a flavor somewhat akin to Dr. Pepper. Subtle flavors of young ginger, white pepper and even a touch of mint add to the spice notes. The flavors are very much focused on the rich fruit notes with the malt, and to a lesser extent the spice notes playing a supporting role. While not overly heavy, this beer does have some heft and fullness to it, though it is fairly light for a beer of its strength.

An interesting beer, but not nearly as good as I was hoping. A bit too sweet & fruit focused, without a depth and complexity to provide enough balance.

03-09-2008 05:09:51 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +1.3%

Short, fat, 11.2 oz bottle copped singly from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield for about $3.00...
Pours with an aggressive and frothy head that left quite a bit of lacing around the glass before quietly receding... Smell was replete with molasses, syrups, sugared candies, thick and strong malts, and noticeable caramel...
Taste very much paid homage to the aroma with very similar characteristics including a dominating malt essence, loaded with caramel, sugars, figs, dates, prunes, raisins, and currants... very rich and thick taste and mouthfeel with the hefty 10% ABV slightly noticeable in both the nose and taste...
Wouldn't say this was the best representation of the style, but a good, solid sample nonetheles...
For the price, I really couldn't go wrong...
Taste was rich without being cloying or overbearing...
First beer from this brewery, and I wasn't dissapointed at all...
Worth a try...

02-22-2008 15:04:12 | More by dsa7783
Photo of Slatetank


4.05/5  rDev +5.2%

Thanks Bitterbeerface for sharing this at the Lancaster Brewer's club meeting. Poured cool into my La Fin Du Monde tulip.

A - Deep nut brown w/ full tan head that leaves lace w/ decent stickage.

S - Nutty, leafy, earthy w/ tobacco-like woody scents.

M - Roasted nuts and mellow dry yeasty notes. Mellow carbonation w/ light sweetness.

T - Fruity w/ a vinous quality at first w/ husky mellow and dry grainy qualities. A light bready taste mixes well w/ a nutty tobacco and toasted malt element in the finish.

D - A nice malty belgian brown w/ plenty of complex flavor and nice malts in the taste. I consider this very drinkable.

11-23-2007 16:13:22 | More by Slatetank
Photo of PittBeerGirl


3.93/5  rDev +2.1%

Poured into my Chimay chalice.

A- Opaque medium to dark brown body with smooth and creamy light tan head. Head has perfect 1/2 finger retention and little lacing is left behind in the glass. When held up to the light a thick, cloudy, yeasty presence can be seen at the top 1/2 inch of the body along with bubbles that rise to the top.

S-not much to pick up. Very subtle smell of raisins. Even more subtle smell of spicy Belgian yeast.

T- Tart plums and raisins upfront with a solid bready yeast backbone. Tartness and spicy yeast taste intensify for the finish. Sweet raisins and spicy yeast linger with hints of warming alcohol.

M- Medium to high carbonation with smooth and yeasty body.

D- Alcohol is pretty well hidden here and this is a pretty unique brew. Something that I will pick up again. I have two other offerings from Ultra in my fridge and I am excited to try them.

08-30-2007 04:35:02 | More by PittBeerGirl
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -4.4%

More attitude than the blonde, there is a lot of head on a deep brown body. Medium plus mouthfeel, with a tad of bittersweet cocoa and lots of chocolate malt. Bit of sour finish and strong carbonation. Alcohol catches up to you. Overall satisfying.Thanks Phyl21ca/boutip for the hitchikers.

08-15-2007 01:17:51 | More by Sammy
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -7%

Bottle: Poured a deep brown color ale with a huge foamy head with some good retention and good lacing. Aroma of sweet malt and light candi sugar is interesting. Taste is dominated by some sweet Belgian malt with some candi sugar. A bit one-dimensional I thought with no spices or yeast overly present. Body was about full with some good carbonation and no alcohol was discernable.

07-20-2007 19:17:23 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of jim102864


3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Had this, a sample of my favorite Belgian style in a bottle at Hop Devil, New York. I finished this feeling wholey dissapointed. Perhaps it was too young and with a little aging, would've offered a better experience. The appearance was chocolate brown with little carbonation. The nose offered hints of walnuts and chestnuts but was very subtle. The Taste was somewhat nutty, but again, little carbonation and little else. This has got to be a beer that is simply not yet ready for prime time. The mouthfeel was equally as thin. Sure it's a drinkable brew but uninspired. Still, because of the style, I'll seek it out again and give it another shot.

07-12-2007 12:53:48 | More by jim102864
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

4.28/5  rDev +11.2%

Pours a five-finger light tan head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Almost black with mahogany highlights. Yeast left in bottle. Woody nose. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is sweet caramel and tart at times - complex, clean finish, high ABV is well hidden. $3.25 for a 330ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

06-25-2007 22:28:50 | More by jdhilt
Photo of clickpush


4.03/5  rDev +4.7%

Pour: 33cl bottle to tulip. A two and a half finger light tan head tops a ruby red beer. The head clings to the glass all the way down its slow descent. Tons of bubble trails interspersed throughout the body of the brew. Head is thick and rocky. Looks delicious.

Nose: Not exceedingly aromatic, much less than I expected, but still nice and complex. Banana, caramel, spicy clove, allspice.

Mouth: Excellent, a relatively dry beer, bittersweet chocolate, chalky, citric, alcohol notes. Well carbonated and solid, pretty darn drinkable.

05-30-2007 21:12:13 | More by clickpush
Photo of mbutter1997


4.22/5  rDev +9.6%

A: Dark brown color, ~1 finger of light frothy head dissipating to thin film across the top.
S: Sweet smells, not very prominent, but nice and enjoyable.
T: Very similar tastes to its style, and close to a dubbel. No overpowering alcohol, covered nicely by the goodness of the beer's malts, chocolate & coffee tastes, all very enjoyable.
M: Tingly carbonation, good after taste, slightly rich but not thick.
D: Very drinkable beer. Finishes nicely and every sip is enjoyable. I will definitely have this again and recommend to friends. Will also need to sample other beers from this brewer.

04-29-2007 19:02:36 | More by mbutter1997
Photo of Fugazme


4.58/5  rDev +19%

murky brown... 1/2" darker, off-white head... very thick, but dissipated a little too fast for me and leaves a puffy, cloud-like cap... swirl is great.

BIG nose... with maple, fig, quite bready... lots of raisin, malt, yeast... alcohol, cinnamon, chocolate. Very nice.

Smooth palate, alcohol warmness... a touch dry...

Taste is of dark fruit and malt... malt, spices, yeast, alcohol...

Revisits will be required!

02-10-2007 17:53:46 | More by Fugazme
Photo of stereosforgeeks


4.1/5  rDev +6.5%

Appearance: Coppery brown color with large head that dissipates quickly but leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: Plums with some caramel and cherries are present as well. Bready overtones.

Taste: The caramel and plums present themselves throughout. There seems to be a hint of cinnamon present as well.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and almost silky smooth with minor carbonation. The yeast lingers on the palate.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. The sweetness masks the alcohol nicely.

01-28-2007 23:19:34 | More by stereosforgeeks
Photo of mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%

330ml bottle bought from www.belgianshop.com

Poured a deep burgundy red with some brown tinges... Creamy tan head poured quite thick but faded fairly quickly to very light layer... no real lacing...

Aroma - Sweet dark fruits (blackcurrents, cherries, some red grapes, figs), treacle sweetness, caramel maltiness, light nuttiness, some woody notes, leathery, malt / fruit loaf, some aniseed, spicy hops...

Taste – Quite tart vinuous red / dark fruits (definite blackcurrents, grapes, raisins), marsala wine notes, brown sugar / molasses, light vinegary hints, some pepperiness, alcohol (sherry) soaked fruit cake, some saltiness, some light yeastiness, woody. light hop bitterness...

Feel - Quite smooth then some sharpness coming through after.. Medium / full bodied... Pretty drinkable even at 10%...

Overall - A very good and slightly unusual beer - not your typical Belgian dark ale... well worth a try...

01-15-2007 10:34:56 | More by mdagnew
Photo of bditty187


4.2/5  rDev +9.1%

Hazy, brown in hue with a slightly chestnut-ruby influence; massive beige head, at the apex the foam was some three (plus) fingers tall. Head retention was impressive, the bubbles slowly faded to a soapy cap. The subsequent lacing was spotty but not very widespread. Overall the appearance is solid.

The nose is surprisingly plumy and winy; vinous with spicy Belgian yeast in the mix as well. It is a lovely combination. There are hints of pepper, dried cherries, and a good dose of caramel… the 10% abv is not hidden. I like that. Moderate-high potency; it is chatty, complex and fun to sniff (pleasantly unique and yet familiar). I really enjoyed the bouquet. Inviting.

The palate is quite plumy and vinous but not quite as vocal as the nose. The caramel plays with the alcohol notes, dark fruits, dried cherries, raisins, and even hints of chocolate. The booziness is not as loud or as hot as I thought it would be; it merely plays a supporting role. I think this is complex but easy to understand. Tasty, enjoyable… the flavor profile is very likeable. To me the palate is a cross between an English Barleywine and a Belgian Strong Dark Ale (20-80% influence, respectfully). Enjoyable.

Medium in body, delicate but lively carbonation, the mouthfeel fits this beer well. I really like the long, boozy (but not hot) aftertaste with lots of dark fruit notes (some spiciness too).

For 10% abv this is a very drinkable beer. It sort of reminds of a bigger version of Maudite. I didn’t know much about this beer when I bought it. Hell, I even passed on ordering it for Beertopia. I mean a Belgian beer called “Ultra?” Damn Michelob for ruining that word for beer everywhere! I’m glad I rectified that. Tasty. Worth a try.

11-21-2006 18:28:24 | More by bditty187
Photo of guzzle211


3.58/5  rDev -7%

33cl bottle poured into a tremens glass. cap reads 'best before 6/10/09.' quite a shelf-life!

a: deep brown with copper and amber highlights. half-finger tan head disappears quickly, leaving a thin bubble-blanket over the entire exposed top. very light touch of lace that doesnt last longer than two sips.

s: bread. and bread. oh, and bread. very strong malt aroma, very little attempt to hide abv.

t: very complex through the temperature range. sweet when cold turning to a prune-juice-like bready liquid. my description sounds worse than it really is, there's just a lot going on here.

m/d: light and very smooth, a great sipper like a strong red wine. this is a 10% offering after all. reminds me of stepan razin 'porter.' however, compared to some of its style-mates, not nearly as 'drinkable' (based on the common misconception that drinkability means repeatability.) i dont know if i would buy a case of it, but i will definitely be buying another single sometime in the near future.

09-29-2006 01:51:22 | More by guzzle211
Photo of jwc215


4.33/5  rDev +12.5%

11.2 oz. bottle poured into glass chalice:

Pours deep brown with a creamy head that became a lasting spotted covering. Some lacing is left along the glass.

The smell is of raspberry, toasted bread and alcohol.

The taste is of tart raspberry backed by sweet caramel. There's a dark grain breadiness. Touches of brown ale-like nuttiness and coffee bean come through to back up the fruitiness. A hint of cocoa also mixes itself into the blend as the drink progresses. Complex and well-balanced among tart, sour, sweet and a touch of bitter.

It's medium to full bodied. Creamy and almost silky smooth, briefly disrupted by a sharp, drying alcohol.

Rich, complex and somewhat unique. It may not be the best that Belgium has to offer, but it is certainly up there!

09-24-2006 04:59:38 | More by jwc215
Photo of psinderson


3.6/5  rDev -6.5%

11.2 oz bottle poured into goblet-type glassware.

Appearance: Quite dark with a cream-colored head that reduced to a hearty thin layer of foam. Very attractive in the glass.

Smell: Malts up front, bready. Some rasted notes beneath the malts. Little indication of alcohol in the nose despite the high ABV.

Taste: The alcohol content appears a bit up front. Very sweet from beginning to end with a brief flavor of chocolate somewhere along the way. Very complex tastes here. There's a strange mild sour metallic aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied. Feels and tastes a bit like honey.

Drinkability: This is a very sweet and heavy beer that you wouldn't expect to be very drinkable. The sweetness really overwhelms.

I am always amazed at the complexity of Belgian ales. This one seems too far on the sweet side of things, but I'm still glad I tried it.

09-08-2006 01:27:10 | More by psinderson
Photo of TastyTaste


4.18/5  rDev +8.6%

350 ml. bottle opens as a gusher, spilling beer until a glass was brought in to catch.

Appearance: Clear body, if you can get any light through the brown depths, big off-white head, sticky and slow fading.

Smell: Toffee, raisins, butterscotch, alcohol, spicy and fairly complex.

Taste: Malty and sweet, lots going on here, toffee, raisins, dark fruits, and a nice alcohol burn. The only complaint I have is a little metallic flavor. Good, overall, but falls short of the best of this very delicious style.

Drinkability: A fine sipping beer, drinkablity is enhanced by the smooth body, alcohol is there, but very well hidden. A nice find.

08-27-2006 03:18:01 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +12.5%

The beer poured into the chalice clear dark brown with a tan and low, yet persistent, head which lasted well to lace the glass.

The aroma was dark caramel and a sizeable dark fruit impression. The dark fruits were raisins and prunes and a bit of dried dark cherries. Spices were mostly cinnamon and pepper, but an alcohol presence, enhanced the phenolics of the yeast.

The flavor was nicely achieved with a malt presence which contained caramel, and plenty of dark fruits, raisins and prunes. The flavor also had a suprise flavor that I rarely taste in a beer, horehound. The spices were peppery and again a bit of cinnamon. The flavor contained quite a bit of alcohol but in the end it added complexity rather than being harsh on the palate.

The finish was dry with lasting dark fruits, caramel and horehound very pleasantly into the aftertaste. The body was just above medium with a decent level of carbonation. The alcohol warming was certainly present but was not overdone. A very nice Belgian Strong Dark.

11.2 ounce bottle. Best beofre 24/01/11 on cap. Ultrabrune is written as a single word on the label.

08-25-2006 22:46:33 | More by GCBrewingCo
Ultra Brune from Brasserie D'Ecaussinnes
86 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.