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Grimbergen Optimo Bruno - Brouwerij Alken-Maes

Not Rated.
Grimbergen Optimo BrunoGrimbergen Optimo Bruno

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BA SCORE
84
good

101 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 101
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 17.91%
Wants: 11
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Alken-Maes visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-14-2003

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 101 | Reviews: 43
Photo of Franck
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

Prune, toffee and alcohol. Good sweet taste

Photo of titvs
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Review based on the BJCP2008 guidelines (style 18E). Bottle 33 cl - Batch 10:43 <2>. AROMA: sweet malty profile with caramel notes. alcohol notes with a bit of solventy character. some esters but faint. APPEARANCE: deep amber color with ruby highlights. translucent. large tanned head with good retention. alcohol derived viscosity with lacing. TASTE: sweet malty profile with some esters reminiscent of dried grapes. strong alcohol presence almost solventy. some caramel notes. low bitterness and a semi-dry finish. no hop flavours. PALATE: medium body with high carbonation. some alcohol warmth noticeable. OVERALL: a belgian strong ale that lacks complexity.

Photo of GONZALOYANNA
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle. Grimbergen Chalice glass. Copper brown color, veiled appearance. Close crown, light beige in color, shows fairly good retention & leaves a lasting thin layer on top. Aroma profile includes caramel malts & berries, herbal & citric notes, hints of chocolate & sugar alcohol. Toasted malty & sugary upfront with light tartiness. Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Silky palate. Hints of sirup, candies & fruits - strawberries & currants-. Tartar touch & warming alcohol & spices linger into a long sweet finish. Slight fruity aftertaste.

Photo of jonb5
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, poured into Kasteel Chalice.

A: Dark mahogany, thick looking, one finger head, decent retention, lots of lacing.

S: Lots of cranberry, molasses.

T: Cranberry, brown sugar, hints of cocoa like bitterness towards the end.

M: Surprisingly light, smooth, moderate carbonation.

O: Gets points for the crisp body and well hidden booze, but lacked depth of other Quads.

Photo of Radome
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Served from a 33 cl bottle bought in Spain.

A - Perfectly clear. Deep amber/medium brown but with red highlights and lets lots of light through. Off-white head started out about 1 cm thick, then faded to a thin layer with thick ring at the edge and lots of lacing. Very pretty beer.

S - Aromas are very muted and hard to pick out. Just a little wet malt, a little brown sugar, a faint grassy note that could be hops, and a hint of vinegar that always jumps out at me in Oud Bruin ales. That vinegar note seems to indicate some aging, maybe in wood. Nothing smells bad or off, it just doesn't have enough good aroma to be rated higher.

T - Again I get some hints of an Oud Bruin, but without any depth or complexity. There is very little malt. No hops flavor. There is a lot of caramel/brown sugar flavor, followed by a slight vinegar tang. A hint of alcohol in the moderately sweet finish. No overt oak or wood flavor to go with the "aged" impression.

M - Medium mouthfeel--seems appropriate. Some hops bitterness and a bit of alcohol burn. Light carbonation.

O - A beautiful looking beer that disappoints on the nose and tongue. Some nice flavor hints, but lacking in malt background and depth.

Photo of StJamesGate
3.64/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear chestnut with rocky taupe foam that instantly rims and leaves intricate trailers. So toasted malts and cranberry sauce but also lots of phenols and a whiff of booze - not the best nose.
Juicy red berries, some clove and woody spice, Balsamic oakiness, gingerbread, prunes and raisin toast plus just a hint of herbal hops.
Big sour cherry finish and root beer linger. Medium, some chew, but crisp and hot.

Serve chilled, says the label to my surprise.

The "other" site has this as a Quad, so not sure what to make of it. Fruit and clove, almost like a Christmas fruit cake, and lots going on but complex without being deep, if you know what I meant - flavors hit one at a time. Overall, too sweet, thin and boozy.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very clear, but solid red-brown colour, with a fine but insubstantial head of white. Some patchy lacing, forming from the very fine bubbling in the head and in the carbonation. Body is light, but solid. Looks decent enough.

Nose is mild and smooth, but undertoned by Belgian characters of slight acidity and a prickle of spice. Something slightly savoury to it as well, like baked italian bread. Quite pleasant.

Taste is much lighter, and the bread character comes through as a yeasty harshness. Slight acidity to it throughout, giving it a prickle as it passes over the palate, but also lightening the palate, giving a slight olive oil character on the finish. Feel is very light, which is unsurprising for the style, but the beer doesn't quite have enough complexity to make it stand out in other ways.

It's not bad, but it's a beer not at the peak of its genre or country. What we end up with is a rather insubstantial Belgian brew that doesn't do much one way or the other.

Photo of RodneyFarva
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a snifter

pours a two finger white head, slowly dissipates with considerable lacing. beer pours a deep copper/amber color

aroma of cherries, prunes, dates, as well as some malts and spices

taste of same dark fruits of aroma, but heavier malt presence, as well as a good amount of sweetness at the end. alcohol is noticeable but not overpowering. a nice chewy texture

overall, very enjoyable, the aroma and taste of dark fruits i really enjoyed, although a little sweet for my taste

Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.52/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The color is deep amber while the tan tall head is very uneven, almost sizzeling. Some lacings.

S: Sweet, sweet malt; molasses and dark dried fruits. Yeast and spices. The sweetness is almost candy-like.

T: Dark dried fruits up front, not that sweet. Then the malt sweetness evolves. Spices and yeast.

M: Long aftertaste that is both sweet and bitter. Body is full and carbontation mild.

O: Not as complex as I expect a beer in this style to be. Nice, but not great.

Photo of ZorPrime
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is amber in color, clear too. Nice head that sticks well to the glass. Yeast in the aroma, some bananas and spices. Nice. Light notes of sugar. Taste is well balanced. Caramel Malts and sugary. Warmth feeling, nice. Alcohol is present in the mouth. The finish is slightly dry. This is the more complex beer from this brewery... I'm happy, because I wasn't impress so far. Complex but not difficult to approach. This could be a good starting point for somebody wanting to try some Belgium dark beers. When the beer warms up a bit, it shows some chocolate. Nice! I love it! Cheers.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber/ruby with a large, lasting head.
Nose shows chocolate, port-like notes, sultanas and brown sugar, along with a healthy dose of candi sugar.
Similarly sweet flavours, although it quickly dries out. There's lots more candi sugar and golden syrup along with more sultanas/dried fruit. A bit over the top. The alcohol is pretty noticeable too, almost harsh.
Carbonation is way over the top, but at the same time it's needed to cut through the sweetness.

Photo of distantmantra
3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a chalice. A La Mort Subite. Brussels, Belgium. Notes from April 2011.

A: Dark brown ruby red color. Poured with little to no head.

S: Extremely sweet smell with a hint of alcohol.

T: Notes of dark fruit, mainly cherry. Bitter finish with barely any sign of the alcohol.

M: Medium body with average carbonation.

D: Not a bad Belgian strong ale, but there better ones easily available.

Photo of rvdoorn
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from a Belgian supermarket.
Look: Poured ruby-brown color with a nice head.
Smell: Malts, yeast, candy sugar, dark fruits (raisin, plum) and some light tart cherries.
Taste: Raisins, caramel, sour cherries, brown sugar, and sweet malty character.
Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation, sticky body.Alcohol is very well hidden.
Overall: Nice beer, bit too sweet for my pellt, but still my favorite Grimbergen.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 330ml bottle with a BB of April 2011. Picked up cheap from my local beer specialist.

Poured into a Stella chalice. A dark reddish-brown hue with good carbonation. Forms a huge head of tan-coloured foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a surface layer. Rich fruity aroma with notes of bananas, yeast esters and dried fruits - accompanied by a considerable whiff of alcohol.

The taste has a heavy, fruity sweetness with notes of banana, yeast, bread and dried fruit. Has a slightly sour hint to it. Alcohol lends a warming finish to round it off. Rich and complex. Mouthfeel is smooth and leaves the palate slightly dry. Mild aftertaste of dried fruit with an acidic note.

Very nice, with a rich sweet character reminiscent of wee heavy. Probably best limited to one in a session, as it's quite cloying. A good beer to finish with, and worth sampling if you have the opportunity.

Photo of jeranbrews
4.29/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - creamy swathy yeast beige head. Dark leathery brown color.

S - sweet complex dark stone fruits. Cinnamon apple fig. With a bit of pimento. Mild oaky hickory hop smells.

T - sweet malty. Although not as complex as the smells it is yummy. Spicy but no fusil. Aftertaste is tomato toast

M - you feel the 10% in your eyes and heart but not on your tounge. It's surprisingly smooth.

D - about 1 € in Belgium. What a wonderful bargain. Great for so many reasons.

Photo of jhtipton
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this at the local Carrefour in Puerto. Was definitely worth a try and I liked it better than some of the pricier ones available (Chimay Blue). Grimbergen does a good job with their portfolio of strong ales and this one did not disappoint; pours a dark rich lacing head that takes a while to settle down. Smells like a fruit basket and is sweet with malt, belgian yeast, and beet sugar. I could drink at least two of these in a session and will definitely go back for more. At about $2.00 each, why not?!

Photo of Absumaster
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The heaviest beer of Grimbergen. It pours a burgundy red, brownish color with a small head that fades into a small layer of white foam.

The smell is of dark candisugar, malty and has some light tart notes, together with a typical Belgian, fruity yeast smell.

Taste is sweet and leans strongly on the malt. The candisugar adds a sweet and full taste. It has notes of candisugar, caramalts and dark fruits. There is a certain tartness in the beer that can't be called sour. It's more like the subtle tartness often found in Old Ales. The yeast adds a fruity, but subtle fruit note. The 10% alcohol is well hidden by the big body of the beer.
Mouthfeel is sticky which makes the drinkability lower. All together too sweet and sticky for my liking, although I can imagine that this beer is great at the fireplace.

Photo of berley31
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured with hardly any head at all, and what was there was nothing but a ring after a few minutes. Body is a dark ruby color, mostly clear with just a touch of haziness.

S: Very sweet smell, with some alcohol present. To be honest it smelled a lot like cheap church wine to me.

T: Very sweet as well... the dark fruit is there, and it's coming across as mostly cherry-tasting to me. Finish is slightly bitter and dry, but the 10% ABV really is barely noticeable, surprisingly.

M: Medium-bodied, creamy, with soft-to-average carbonation.

D: A good Belgian Strong Dark Ale, which luckily rises above its average aroma.

Photo of drpimento
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

*sigh* here in Brussels, it's just great beer after good beer after great beer after.... I'm learning to deal with it. This very good beer pours with a very nice foamy frothy textured head similar to an ice cream soda, that lasts a long time and lots of lace. The beautiful clear color is mmm, a dark amber. The aroma is a simple caramel, toffee, malt. The flavor gets more complex with adding dark ripe fruits and an ever so slight hint of banana. Body is fairly smooth and carbonation is good. Finish is good but you know you're drinking strong beer. Very good overall; but not a session.

Photo of RobeyStreet
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong, sweet, and nutty. I had this on tap at a bar in Brussels. It's definitely a heavy beer so it's NOT one to pound and ask for another. :)

I had this as an after-dinner beverage and quite enjoyed it. Although it is strong, it is still smooth and very drinkable. Just... slowly! If you like dark ales, I highly recommend this one.

Photo of Jeffo
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this as part of a gift pack at Bert's Bierhuis in Utrecht.

From a bottle into a Grimbergen chalice.

APPEARANCE: Pours a small medium-thick off-white head. Colour is a burnt umber brown with ruby hints and is very clear for the style. Some carbonation evident. Head quickly fades to a thin film, which is nicely decorated by the carbonation from the middle of the glass. A thin film remains until the end but leaves no lacing.

SMELL: A nice bold nose of caramel malt and toffee. Dark fruits show up, raisins, grapes and dates mostly. Not as much spice in the nose, but a nice bed of Belgian yeast under the fruits. Pretty nice.

TASTE: Definitely caramel malt and toffee again. More dark fruits, raisins and grapes predominantly, which give it a wine-like flavour. A good kick of spicy Belgian yeast and some spicy alcohol at the finish, with some faint touches of bitter chocolate as well. A bitter-sweet and spicy mild aftertaste is certainly pleasant, and the alcohol, though well-balanced, is pretty persistent. Pretty solid here.

PALATE: Medium body with higher end carbonation. Not quite as creamy as it could be, but goes down smooth with a little scratch at the end, reminding you it's a "strong" ale. Finishes relatively dry on the palate.

OVERALL: A good beer. The average look and feel certainly kept it back, but the smell and taste were right up there with the best. A drinkable and enjoyable brew. Another solid offering from Grimbergen worth picking up again.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear rub yhued dark brown with a decent creme head. Flavor is a bit apple-ly sweet (are we running a theme here on my last 4 beers?), but brings some nice sweet and a touch hearty character. Feel has a pretty full carbonation. Liquid is about standard. Easy to drink. An okay beer.

Photo of adamette
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 33cl brown bottle with a label a bit different from the one pictured. Has a "date stamp" of sorts on the side of the label which "11" and "09" are chosen. I am not sure what that means. Purchased through BelgianBeerShop.com by mail order.

A 2 inch light brown head over a nice dark ruby brown body which is translucent and has pleasing little streams of bubbles rising up from the bottom.

S Sweet malt but a suprising hint of bitterness to the nose as well. I certainly smell the belgian yeast and alcohol too.

T Sweet caramel malt with distant hops. Nice rounded malt sweetness very appropriate to the style. I can taste that familiar Belgian yeast as well.

M Not overly thick, thin to moderate to the feel which was a bit suprising for the style. I did not detect too much of a syrupy aftertaste which I had anticipated.

D Really good. I wish that this was easier to find because it really is quite drinkable. Also, I cannot taste the alcohol too much at all.

Notes: A real treat to try this beer which was listed on the site as being somewhat rare.

Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark deep brown with retaining white head, a tad of the same lace. Malty yeasty aroma. A real foamer on opening. Above average mouthfeel. Mostly sweet malt taste,some raisin anda bit lactose-like, and yeast thickening it up. Drinkable, sweet though not cloying.

Photo of hawksfan82
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a la trappe chalice.

Pours an extremely dark brown brown. If you hold it up to the light you can get tiny hints of violet in it...but this guy is mostly big and brown. A good finger head with a fairly aggressive pour, dissipates quickly but a nice foam remains throughout the entire session. Not a lot of lacing, but it's very sticky....which shows the sweet nature of this beer.

Smell isn't too strong, it's a good indicator of the taste though. Usual belgian malty notes, but also a hint of the dark fruity sweetness that lies in this beer.

At first the taste is just a big malty belgian brown. After about half the beer, when it starts to warm up, you really pick up a bunch of sweet (not quite sour, but almost) fruits...I'm noticing a lot of cherry. The alcohol doesn't really come in til the finish. Even then it doesn't feel like a 10% brew.

Mouthfeel is a little thin for a beer that you think would be a bit "bigger". I expected a big chewy malty belgian, but this guy is a lot thinner and sweeter than I expected.

Drinkability is good, especially for a 10% beer. Like I said above it doesn't feel or sit like a 10% beer. Although I'm not sure being able to drink a 10% beer faster than normal is a good thing.

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Grimbergen Optimo Bruno from Brouwerij Alken-Maes
84 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.