Grimbergen Optimo Bruno - Brouwerij Alken-Maes

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Grimbergen Optimo BrunoGrimbergen Optimo Bruno

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BA SCORE
84
good

103 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 103
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 17.91%
Wants: 11
Gots: 13 | 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: 103 | Reviews: 44
Reviews by jazzyjeff13:
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.

More User Reviews:
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 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 benmiliron
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Paid 2.09 euro for a bottle.

This is a surprisingly good beer to be found in S. Italy. Color is a gorgeous ruby red brown. Head stays on with nice thick foamy lacing. Smells of belgian candy, licorice, burnt sugar, spice. Lovely. Taste is almost as good - heavy dark malt, high gravity, sticky but not overdone. I almost want to say there is a candy cane in there, but that's not it. Cinnamon? Mouthfeel is just about perfect to compliment the above. Soft bubble, sticky & nice (very nice) roll around the mouth.

There's only one weird thing about this brew: no yeast at the bottom of the bottle. I think maybe it's pasteurized?

Photo of Bierschenker
4.36/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favourite beer brands.
This bottle poured out a dark amber-red beer which (like all Grimbergens) wasn’t very keen on giving a head. The head had a light brown colour and was quite creamy.
It had a hard sour acidic and malty sent with some chocolate and sweets in it too. It wasn’t a very nice smell, but most strong dark beers tend to have a ‘heavy’ odour.
The taste was very strong and also very rich. Some strong bitter chocolate sneers and dark German bread with a strong malt taste and citric tones. As the beer got warmer the flavour was enriched with the taste of dried prunes.
The aftertaste was a dry and warm malt and chocolate and traces of dried prunes and raisins.
A beer with a good alcohol percentage and a high drinkability. Surely one of my favourite beers.

Ut Vivat, Crescat, Floreat

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 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 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 Gusler
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have been a fan of Grimbergen since I sampled my first double so many years ago, and I still seek them out when possible. A pretty cherry red to almost copper as it sets in the glass, the head modest in size, frothy in its consistency, and the color off white, but it does evanesce quite quickly leaving a very thin veil of lace. Nose is a bit vinous, tart and crisp; the malts play a big role. Start is quite tart, lots of malt, the top is middling in feel, with the finish bitingly acidic, and the hops are perky in their spicy bite. Dry long lasting aftertaste and a decent beer, not a great beer, but well worth the sample and the 10% ABV does warm the “tummy” if not the cockles of your heart.

Photo of Paddez
2.99/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours an extemely clear, amber-coloured brew (rather than brown, wich the name suggests) that produced a small but dense head after a rather hard pour. It dissapeared rather quickly too.
The smell is malty with some fruity notes and some alcohol near the end of the sniff.
the taste starts of spicy and malty but it soon overtaken by a strong acidic taste of alcohol.
The alcohol has a warming effect, wich is nice but the overall mouthfeel is quite poor:
Same goes for the drinkabillity. Although this brew argueably hits less hard than the Grimbergen Triple it's still incredibly heady.

Quite an alcholic brew. It was okay for once but I won't be buying it again.

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

330ml bottle bought from GapWines, Belfast...

Poured a deep rusty brown... creamy tan head poured thick, foamy and meringue like then faded slowly to light layer. No carbonation... light sticky lacing...

Aroma - Tart dark fruits (raisins, prunes, dates), toasted bready malts, some vinegary traces (hints of like Flemish sour ale), treacle, burnt sugar sweetness, peppery / spicy hops, nutty...

Taste – Sweet, lightly roasted maltiness, some sourness, winey notes, tart red fruits (red grapes, prunes, plums), brown sugar / molasses sweetness, spicy, bready / yeasty notes, some warming alcohol comes through, peppery hops...

Feel - Pretty smooth and creamy... medium bodied... maybe a little too sickly sweet to drink too many of these...

Overall - A pretty good dark ale... maybe a little unbalanced but well worth a try...

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 Nesued
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Dadz Bar and Grill, Lumberton NJ. Served in a chalice.

Appearance - Dark brown, tan creamy head that was a two-finger depth when it arrived at the table.

Smell - Malt, malt and oh, by the way, a bit more malt. This is a malt lovers dream. I did sense some sugars but only faintly.

Taste - Depth of character. Very complex with more than just "malt" once you take a hit. Some sweetness and a "bready" and spicy flavoring to round out the description. It took me at least three of these to figure out that much, I'm sure I missed more than I found.

Mouthfeel - mmm, nice and meaty. The carbonation adds to the ability to "feel" this beer more than I expected.

Drinkability - Here's where I have a problem. To say this is representative of the style is a no-brainer, but the company it keeps in Strong Belgians is a weightly lot! This was a special occasion when I tasted this offering so I'm not sure of the availabilty. To be in the company as a Gulden Draak, Delerium Noel/Tremens is saying something. To stand with them is saying something else. I would put the Bruno almost on par with these, not far behind.

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 janubio
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Red brown colour, with a good head that doesn't hold too long. Aroma is sweet, alcoholic, toffee, cherries, dates.
Sweet flavor with a bit of sourness. Mouth of cherries, dates, sherry wine, with some hints of chocolate.Medium to light body. I'm not exactly a fan of Grimbergen but this is one is good enough.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Sampled at ‘t Kroegske in Ostende with my good friends “Posh” Nik and “Red Shed” Steve Wiltshire on the finish of a heady days drinking. The last night of my annual Easter trip to Belgium, and my tired palate, called for some serious strength brews to celebrate the end of yet another great trip to this most wonderful of beer nations which never fails to impress me.

After trying the Keyte on draft, as opposed to the bottle which I had tried earlier in the week in ‘t Kroegske, the owner who recognized us from our earlier libationary visit, pulled out some chilled Grimbergen Optimo Bruno bottles. Now we’re talking!!! Brewed at Brasserie de l’Union, although this Ale Brewery is now owned by S&N / Alken-Maes, I have always found the Grimbergen brews to be passable and continued to drink them at times of limited choice. Yet checking my notes I had never tried the Grimbergen Optimo Bruno it seems, so this was a new one for me.

Appearance: Ruddy amber with light ruby red-copper hints, not exactly “brown”. Thick clotted cream head that filled the Grimbergen glass with a light tan brown expansive froth. Certainly looks good in the goblet and presents a very “high-powered” presentation. Finely attenuated carbonation, miniscule bubbles form the “under the head” world of milky conditioning when this one is angled and righted.

Nose: Deep malts, Brune like odors despite the less than Brune like appearance. Sharp acidic sour character to the Malts with some dark fruits in the background to balance this out. Spicy hop finish with some sharp edges. Nicely put together, rather one-dimensional, but nevertheless bold in strength.

Taste: Much better than it smells, solid dark malts, a lightly toasted feel with raisins, prunes and dark chocolate middle. Light oatmeal and baked bread feel in the finish. Dry ending with some nice spicy bitterness to balance the dark chocolate malts.

Mouthfeel: Pretty bold for a Brune, but given that it is 10% it isn’t shy or backwards in coming forwards. Thick Malts and the soft warmth that it imparts in the upper chest after the swallow lend it a big feel.

Drinkability: Oh man, the 10% is stealthy, it creeps up on you, I had two of these and they both hit me on the way home, a double mugging. Way too easy to sink.

Overall: Clocks in at 10%, yet it does seem to be a rather simple Strong Dark Ale in presentation, yet given time and a little warmth it is not that bad at all. Not great but a solid performer. However, it most certainly hit the spot after a long days drinking and I would go for this one again no worries…..but later in the night! LOL.

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 cypressbob
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle

Pours with a dark brown body, tan head with good retention, some nice thick lacing on the glass on the way down

Smell, thick estery dried fruit, plums, raisins, dates, prunes. Some burnt brown sugar and molasses, little bit of malt in the background

Taste, thick heavy spiced malt, sweet and bitter dried fruit soaked in rum or some other heavy liquor. Slight sweetness, bready malt, little hop bitterness, slight warming alcohol but only slight

A tasty belgian ale, the 10% is very well hidden

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 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 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 Franck
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

Prune, toffee and alcohol. Good sweet taste

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.

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Grimbergen Optimo Bruno from Brouwerij Alken-Maes
84 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.