1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Leffe Vieille Cuvée - Abbaye de Leffe S.A.

Not Rated.
Leffe Vieille CuvéeLeffe Vieille Cuvée

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

86 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 86
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 8
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Abbaye de Leffe S.A. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 08-17-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (12) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 54
Photo of BILF
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of PCfirefox
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of doktorhops
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Abbaye de Leffe will always be in my thoughts as being the first Belgian Abbey beer I ever tried, in Europe 2001, before my taste buds were attuned to anything other than Guinness or Corona (my two favourite beers at the time). I remember trying the Brune and thinking "This is disgustingly overpowering my senses", now I practically snort Quadrupels like they were sherbet powder... not really but you get the point.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a St Feuillien chalice.

A: Deep burgundy clear body with a minimal white lacing for a head.

S: Heavy candi sugar on the nose. Hint of dark fruit aromas mix with medicinal Phenols, bit of a apricot/plum preserve over the top with a hint of Belgian yeast, and a malt base is hiding in there somewhere, but who knows where?

T: Sweet like "the sugar is hiding the alcohol" type of sweetness, cloys a little. Profile is the sort of thing you would expect grandma to hide in jars to make a delicious jam with; plum, apricot, and medicinal cherry flavours abound... along with things you wouldn't expect grandma to hide in jars to make a delicious jam with; a mild malt base, some yeast, and light herbal hops. Overall the flavour is a mess. It's too driven by saccharine to be enjoyable, and this is coming from someone who loves sugary treats.

M: Mouthfeel ticks the Belgian Strong Dark Ale boxes - mid to heavy, slight oily body with a mid to light carbonation.

D: Maybe one could grow to love this brew? Perhaps it is an acquired taste? What was Leffe thinking? All valid questions. The only answers can come from you (except the last one, that has to come from Leffe). In any case this beer has none of the awesomeness of Gulden Draak, and once again I'm wondering why I bought a Leffe to review, my younger 2001 self was right in thinking "This is disgustingly overpowering my senses"... only not in a good way like a Belgian Strong Ale should.

Food match: Pour this beer into a jar, add pectin. and wait for it to become a delicious jam as grandma always wanted... then bake some scones and whip some cream.

Photo of TeamUgly
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of bladdamasta
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of SmashPants
4.61/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: a traditional, classically-styled label. Nice as an entire package - has me looking forward to the beer inside.

Appearance: Deep reddish-brown colour with ruby highlights. Two-finger dark tan, think head. Great retention, and wonderful lacing. Such a nice proposition!

Aroma: Rich dark fruits and spices, very full and hearty. No hint of the 8.2% ABV, very nicely rounded.

Taste: spices (mainly cloves) and herbal hops. Warming alcohol as well, with a decent amount of wheat and dark fruits - plums and light raspberries.

Aftertaste: the spices longer nicely, but become a touch cloying after a while.

Mouthfeel: not over the top - minimal carbonation per the style - goes down nicely.

Overall: I'm such a big fan of the Leffe ales - well presented, brilliant flavours and sessional beauties. Only problem is the price - it's worth it, but for a peasant like myself, only for an occasional treat :)

Photo of tbeckett
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle at Beer Deluxe. From notes.

A - Poured ruby with decent carbonation. Bright. One finger of off white head. Spotty lace and a half finger of retention.

S - Sugared plums, dark fruit, very sweet, sweet dark fruit.

T - Sugar, dark fruit. One dimensional but nice.

M - Good carbonation, full body and a sweet finish.

O/D - OK. Pretty straight forward but not too shabby. Could use more complexity.

Photo of ThirstyTorpy
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of likeemdark
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of sd123
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of educorgan
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of sprucetip
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of fugitive
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 330ml. Color deep dark red with medium lasting white head. Aroma malt, sweet, cherries, plum, spicy, alcohol. Taste sweet, malt, alcohol, cherries, plum, orange, sugar, some bitterness. Very lasting taste. I must say that is my favorite Leffe.

Photo of bpfrush
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a small fading head.
Nose shows doughy yeast, spicy phenols, sultanas and rich golden syrup. somewhat faint though.
Sweet flavours, more sultanas and brown sugar, not much else though. Very moreish however.
Carbonation is suitably high.
Leffe's most impressive?

Photo of Faune
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Extremely dark amber, a nice two finger head. Left a nice amount of lacing in the cup

S- malt, roasted tones, sweetness and fruit.

T- Sweet at first and a nice dry finish. Maltyness, cloves, some spice, roasted notes, some fruit notes.

M- Smooth and creamy with a nice gentle amount of carbonation.

D- A darn good quaffer.

Photo of Cozzatoad
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle

A- Ruby brown, maybe a little darker than ruby. Head is big at first but it fades quickly still leaving a decent covering. Good locking but there's close to no lacing

S- Very sweet but good. Prunes are right there along with the sweetness from the malt. I also feel grapes and maybe some more dark fruits hints. Then there are some spicy alcoholic notes (esters?) to bring life

T- Not as sweet as the smell suggests. Of course there's sweetness from the malts but they also have some roasted underlined tones to bring balance. Then dark fruits as the smell suggested, with a spicy alcholic feel to bring some complexity

M- Not a big but still rich body with a lively alcoholic character. A bit too carbonated in my opinion, good on tongue but too fizzy and aggressive on the palate

D. A pleasant sweetness in a not overly complex drink. But of course there that common flaw with Leffe beers (alcohol is highly detectable while swallowing)

This is actually very similar to Leffe Radieuse (the Radieuse being a little better). I can't see the point with making two beers instead of one

Photo of Everydayoff
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a Leffe chalice by freshness date.

A:
Clear ruby brown color, thick off-white head with average retention, it sinks into some perpetual foamy film covering atop while clinging patches of lace appear on the glass side sip by sip. Carbonation seems to be medium to high.

S:
Very interesting; cherries predominate along with other dark fruits in kind of plum and dark berries. There is also sugarcane poking to a nose.

T:
Scorched fruits pronounce fruitiness, sweetness and bitterness through the taste buds where dark malt lays as base. Caramel, molasses, phenol and some spice of alcohol come in late addition which also help to yield long lasting sweet finish together with ester from yeast.

M:
The body is medium to bold, rather rich in texture. The palate contacts with good crispness and fine carbonation, dry finish.

O:
Solid beer with robust fruity character, it would be a long kiss good night to have this before bed.

Photo of anakar
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice, but just nice - Not fitting for such an expensive beer.

App - Dark gold, very small head (maybe I poured it wrong, but still). Lots of carb

Smell - Fruity, but not strong or very rich

Taste - Goes like the smell, trying to be luxorious, but coming very short

Mouthfeel - Just like any other leffe; Goes down smooth, a bit heavy

* Very important comment, I had it again after a couple of months aging, and it's much better.
So I redid the numbers, but I also must note that it does get luxorious if you give it a chance to age
And the ABV is higher

Photo of laituegonflable
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mediciney copper colour, quite metallic really. Head is generous, nice and fluffy, sinks slowly but leaves nice webs of lace. Clear body showing lots of light carbonation. Great head and lace; pretty decent overall.

Smell is very fruity, with apricot and plum edges, a hint of apple and that classic musty Belgian yeast overlain. Actually very jammy. Seems a bit saccharine, fruit-wise but otherwise nice.

Taste is a bit lacking really. Lots of fruity sweetness at first, with that apricot and deep rich plum but degenerates into weak sweetness late-mid after quite an earthy malt note mid-palate, with a touch of brown sugar. Feels a bit overly sweet, like it's a bit old and the non-malt characters are diminished. They're still there; just underplayed. Spice comes through on the back, quite piquant with a touch of tobacco and some spicy alcohol on the very back. Yeah, it's alright, just lacking and a bit oversweet in the critical places.

Mouthfeel is decent. Very full but a touch of carbonation texture - just a whisper, it just adds texture to an otherwise flat palate and it's thick enough to pad the tongue.

Not bad overall but I feel it could be better, could have been better, even, once, but it's not its former glorious self.

Photo of Daniellobo
2.71/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Quite a mediocre offering, somewhere between a pretentious profile and low quality boredom.

Presentation: 33 cl capped bottle. Leffe branding with purple distinguishing touches, main label in yellow with abbey drawing and purple ribbons with name of the brew. Back label offers a one liner noting authenticity and succinct tasting notes. Shows best by date (20/02/12), and Alc. by Vol. (8.2%). Served in a tulip glass.

A - Deep amber pour with a generous frothy head, good retention, fair surface memory and lacing. Things do go down from here...

S - Sweet and yeasty nose, monochord and a bit perfunctory. Fades quickly with the tiniest of fruity touches.

T - Taste is that of a bizarre brew that tries to hint a complex profile but that is nowhere near it. There is a generic yeasty sense and under all the boring texture a couple of touches of dark fruit, hint of caramel that is sustained. Light push from the hops, with a weak bitter impulse that fail to revive the flavor instead are held by the now lightly tingly carbonation. Flavor fades... Leaves one with a malty sense, with that lingering bitterness. Like under all the forgettable layering it could be an old ale, a wee heavy even, but can't by a broad distance...

M - Initial flat sense but... The carbonation is there emerging over a deceptive medium body, slightly watery at points and with a tiny sirupy point later on with a clear tingly carbonated uplift over an emerging boozy finish.

D - Flavor comes last to the palate... What an strange rhythm, when it does the brew has given quite a mediocre impression and the range in the palate is not enticing at all. Hefty without any quality that makes it really desirable.

Notes: I really was not expecting much from this offering but surely a bit more than this. Any of their regular macro offerings, the blonde or particularly the bruin, is better than this far from mediocre attempt at an old Belgium ale.

Photo of eric5bellies
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Pours a nice transluscent redish copper colour withe nice tight white head that retains to a film.

S - Sweet prunes and raisins

T - Nice candy sugars quitea tart finish but plenty of dark fruits in play

M - Medium to light body with mediun carbonation.

D - Quite an unusual offering fro Leffe

Photo of SleepyMonk
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Chilled 330ml bottle poured into a Leffe chalice glass.

Body is a rich and bold dark amber with an almost perfect looking 3-fingers of creamy head that falls away gradually to a rocky uneven surface with sticky lace.

Aroma is focused on sweet dark fruits like plumbs, raisins and grape. Malt and spicy yeast also feature.

Taste begins with a bitter hop taste with roasted malts, burnt honey, roasted malt and mild espresso flavors.

Vaguely moderate balance with a medium degree of carbonation.

This and the Tripel are possibly the best of the Leffe range in my opinion.

Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle served in a chalice.

A: Pours a clear dark amber color forming a very creamy, soapy and persistent light yellow head. Lots of lingering and molasses lacings are formed and left in the glass

S: Sweet, fruity and spicy in the nose. Notes of caramel, caramel malts, honey, candy sugar, dark fruits (mainly plums and grapes). Light spicy notes like cloves and black pepper. Strong Belgian yeasts character: quite bready and earthy. Light notes of flowery hops

T: Sweet and malty upfront. Strong notes of toffee and caramel malts. Notes of honey and dry dark fruits (plums and raisins). Sweet bread and some spices like cloves. Notes of bubblegum, earth and hops. Light bitterness. Balanced bittersweet strong Belgian Ale style

M: Full and molasses body. Medium carbonation. Very sweet and malty aftertaste

O: Good drinkability despite the sweetness and high ABV (8.2%). Belgium Strong Ale character. Recommended

Photo of dgilks
3.13/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Quite a robust aroma but it isn't great. I'm getting some light phenolics and esters but the dominant note is underattenuated, sweet, sickly malt.

Moderately dark amber colour with a big, fluffy off white head. Good retention.

The flavour is better than the aroma. Moderately sweet with a good phenolic note. A hint of spicy alcohol and chocolate comes through. Just a slightly tart edge and note of dried fruit.

Medium light body with moderately high carbonation.

An okay example of a Dark Belgian Ale. Unfortunately, it is nowhere near the quality of a good Trappist example.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Leffe Vieille Cuvée from Abbaye de Leffe S.A.
85 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.