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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

85 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 85
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 8
Gots: 12 | 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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 85 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of czfreeman
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So happy to finally find a rare Belgian here in Munich. Grabbed this one at a grocery near Munchener Freiheit. I am a fan of the norma lLeffe Blond, it is a standard in my beer fridge.
Unwrapping the purple foil and decanting, the brew pours a medium brown ruby mahagony tone, accented by reddish-violet tints around the edges. Light streams of carbonation move under a light, fluffy slightly tan head. Good appearance, but lacks a bit compared with a La Terrible or a Rochefort.
Aromatics is where the beer picks up a little steam. Fig, red grape, currant, smoky oak, cherry, raisin, a hint of rum, and dark fruit round out the nose. Rum-cherry-raisin, orange, and sweet oak is my primary impression, and seems at this point that this BSDA will lean a bit on the sweet side.
The flavor is immediatly much less sweet than expected. Cherry, blood orange,a hint of bitter caramelized sugar, smoke, oak, raisin, a light warming in the throat carries the rum aroma I found in the smell test. Finishes lightly bitter, with a nice touch of cleansing, tingling carbonation. I began with the brew at cellar temp, yet as it opens up and more oxygen is introduced, 10 minutes or so, it really picks up a Merlot character than really is light, tannic and superb.
Drinkablity is higher than expected for a BSPA, yet lower in the same thought. It is easier to drink than a normal BSDA in that the flavors are a bit subdued and take a little while to pick apart. Also the body is relatively light, and less throat and stomach warming than other, stronger examples. It is lowered in this same fact, as it doesn't pack the same super-complex, satisfyingly delicious punch as some of it's bigger brothers.
For me this brew falls in the dead center of the BSDA category. Not too strong, but never approaches weak or watery. Good brew.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Feeling a bit under the weather so instead of having a beer, I figure that I'll continue to add some old paper reviews tonight.

Inflatablechair brought this over a long while back... Thanks Sam!

1" fluffy white head.. the brew is a brilliantly clear burnt orange.

nose is very Continental BSDA... deep dark fruits.. rich malts... toasty and quite a bit of raisin.. phenolic.... nice.

flavor is raisin with caramel .. spicy phenols remind me of white pepper... meshes well with the fruity esters.. dark and pretty delicious.. a bit of alcohol with warmth.

body is surprisingly lighter than expected given the rich palate.. carbonation is abundant yet smooth.

Sam is the man... I wish I would have taken better notes on this rarity.

All 4's.

Photo of Nickls
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with a nice frothy, sticky eggshell head; decent spidery lacing; rich copper-brown hue

S - Sweet plums and raisins; richly malty; kiss of booze; some passion fruits

T - Rich and flavorful sweet raisin notes; some other dark passion fruit-like notes; some caramel; toffee; and almost a slight roasted quality; Nice enough but doesn't really distinguish itself

M - Medium to thinner; very lively carbonation; a little sitcky

D - Nice sipping brew, and a quite tasty brew. Enjoyable throughout, but a tad too sweet IMO.

Overall, an unexpectedly nice brew from Leffe and I actually would recommend to fans of the BSDA style that tends to a touch sweeter take. Worth a look.

Photo of rvdoorn
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought this bier in Brussels and brought it back home. Poured into a Westvleteren glass. The beer pours a clear deep copper-brown color, with a cappuccino-cream-color head, that disappeared fast into a very long lasting lacing.

Smell: very spicy, alcoholic, floral hops, fruity esters (citrus and hints of banana) and yeasty

Taste: similar to the smell, bitter-sweet overall, spicy hops, clear malted barley, a bit too alcoholic, fruity, yeast and some sugar (caramel). Bitter spicy alcoholic aftertaste

Mouthfeel: creamy, watery-bodied, with some sharp medium-high carbonation

Overall: not bad, not good. Still I think it is one of the best Leffe beers on the market. The alcohol however, is too much present in this one.

Photo of AlexLMS
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: bright, ruby colour. Very clear. The head is creamy, medium tan and quite substantial. It may persist for a long time but presents nice lacings.
Aroma: sweet malts, caramel, spices and alcoholic vinous.
Taste: again sweet malts, port wine, caramel, herbal hops and spices.
Mouthfeel: silky and creamy, average carbonation, high but reasonably disguised alcoholic strength and a full body.
Finish: starts with a sweet alcohol feeling that turns rapidly to more bitter nice long lasting aftertaste.

Overall: I think Vieille Cuvée is the best Leffe in the market. It is very well balanced, the bitter aftertaste is delightful and it is quite spiced. A must have.

Photo of Suds
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer appeared as a new offering at the local supermarket, just in time for Christmas. The brew is a ruddy brown color with a tan head and considerable lace. It's a nice looking glass of beer. The aroma is great...lots of mixed spice and malts. There's an herbal, peppery, phenolic, yeastiness in the aroma that's backed by a touch of ethanol. There's a touch of distant ripe fruit, but also very discernible bitter chocolate, in the aroma. The taste has a lot of malt presence, along with sugar and an omnipresent alcohol warming. Relatively smooth with a medium body. Pepper and phenols in the finish. Long and lingering aftertaste. This is a very enjoyable and contemplative beer.

Photo of tempest
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Drinks of the World

This is a beer to think over. Maybe it's the just the slew of plain Swiss beers I've had that makes this stand out, but I'm a fan. Right off the bat the aroma reminds me of a rose garden with herbal spice thrown in - very floral, yet earthy. The flavor has a big sweet strawberry and cherry malt with a hint of toffee with those same yeast characteristics. As for the appearance, it's a clear red-amber with a white head and lacing. The carbonation is pleasantly crisp and the body isn't too thick to weigh this down. It reminds me of Duvel in terms of drinkability and how the mix of malts and esters linger in the aftertaste. Worth seeking.

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Belgium, somewhat aged which minimizes sweetness of caramel. Pours dark with a modest head.Fresh spiciness in nose. Drinks smooth, dark, balanced, interesting, with malt and spice. Drying finish. Medium mouthfeel. A good Belgium, and beyond the normal Leffe servings. ABV unnoticeable but clubs you over the head later.

Photo of ggaughan
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Obtained this bottle on a holiday trip to Bruges. As I had never seen this Leffe version I thought it would be worth picking up to try.

The beer poured a clear, bronze color with a slight off white head that ran away pretty quickly. The aroma is a bit mixed with some caramel malty tones and also some fruity tones as well. The taste is a bit of the same but has a spicy kick on the tongue at the beginning and it is also a bit bitter as well. This is a well balanced beer and one of the better Leffes that I have tried to date.

Photo of thierrynantes
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sorry but this following comment is in french :

Appearance : Bière marron orangée, léger trouble, belle mousse onctueuse, mais qui s'aère ensuite, de tenue correcte toutefois.
Smell : Arôme caramélisé avec des nuances liquoreuses.
Taste and mouthfell : Goût moelleux, surtout en 1ere bouche, bon corps, bière assez sucrée.
Drinkability : bonne bière dans le style dark strong ale

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a deep burgundy and brown color ale with a great big foamy head with some good retention and some lacing. Aroma of candi sugar with some nice Belgian malt. Taste was to be honest a little bit disappointing with a watery body and a unrefined sugar taste that didn’t do much for me. The body is watery with some great carbonation and a nice creamy texture. I’m not the biggest fan of this brewery but I have to admit that this beer featured some great characteristics but lack some cohesion and a malt profile to hold the whole thing together.

Photo of janubio
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a pretty red colour, with a small head that doesn't last for too long. Aroma is floral, cherries, chololate, cinnamon. Flavor is smooth, very creamy. Taste: is an explosion in the mouth, flowers, honey, chocolate, cherries, cinnamon... but all of them very shy. I think to remember a heavier body years ago.

Photo of atigerlife
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with orange highlights. Medium sized fluggy light brown head. Moderate carbonation seen rising. Good head retention and lacing. Overall, a very attractive and interesting beer to look at.

Aroma is sweet, caramel, malts.

Taste is sweet, malts, dark fruits, winey with some spiceyness.

Mouthfeel is cleansing and medium bodied.

Overall, a very nice beer. Quite warming. Wonderful digestive. Wish I had more...

Photo of rec
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours well, quite similar to the other brews in the Leffe range. A big beige head comes to life quickly, and even when gone presents quality lacing..

Sweet malt, orange, lighter fruits and spice hit the nose up-front.

Herbal spice and sugar cane are evident with first sip, the yeast and a mild citrus also reach the tounge quickly after. Rich malt and nuts are present in the sweet, moist and sour finish.

It's a beer I'll never turn my nose up to, but I still prefer the Brune, and I'm sure it will remain my favourite from Leffe.

Photo of Vancer
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A fresh, best before 24/03/08 brew. Whoo, a opaque brown, make that black, pour capped by a frothy, sticky tan head. Fresh!

Quite an unique aroma, malty, yes, but mixed with a pilsner like euro yeast. Sweet caramels, Belgium yeast, sugar cane, banana, orange and malt grace the quaff, even some lite coffee notes. Geez, every brew I get envious of the Belgium’s that get to enjoy this on an everyday basis.

Dry and crisp, this is just top shelf stuff. Man, I need a case of these bad boys. At 8% I could sip these all day, albeit slowly.

Thanks to my great son, “studying” overseas in Amsterdam, I was sent this for the unique chance to enjoy.

Photo of Kulrak
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber color with about 3 inches of chunky head that sticks around for a while and laces the glass. Smells estery and yeasty, with hints of cloves and citrus. Tastes very sweet, malty & woody with some estery fruitiness in there. Very tasty. Mouthfeel is heavy and a little creamy, but with a lot of carbonation burn on the tongue. Finishes very cleanly. All in all, a very drinkable beer, once again Leffe hasn't let me down.

Photo of Beeryce
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 33cl bottle into stemmed bowl-shaped Leffe chalice creating a foamy lather of slightly off-white extremely stable head which surprisingly produced very little lacing. The color of the beer was a clear amber brown with a slight purple hue that I am not sure was real or imagined due to the combination of the purple foil topped bottle and exquisite framboise and vinous nose.

The taste starts out slightly bitter with a spicy mildly alcoholic tang to it. The body of this beer is unique and excellent with a complex mixture of currants, dark cherries and blackberries melded with sweet creamy maltiness. These flavors balance the alcoholic characteristics of this Belgian Strong Dark Ale with out overpowering them.

The aftertaste however was somewhat unpleasant with an overpowering metallic tinge. I don’t know if this is from the bottle cap or contact with the foil during pouring. I will try this beer again in hopes that it was just a rare occurrence.

The mouthfeel was nice with a crisp effervescence that is definitely more carbonated than other Belgians. I am not sure what the Cuvee refers to as, at least with wine, it can refer to multiple things such as: the best the producer has to offer, a special reserve batch of a particular style or a blend of two or more varieties or styles.

On the whole a very good beer that is a must try in my opinion. It was complex and full of flavors that were very pleasing with the exception of the metallic aftertaste.

Photo of vancurly
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Burnt orange, brown. Beige head.

Nose first of fresh hops, then some complex malts. Even an earthy hint of mushroom or somesuch....

Flavour is spicy. Some yeasty phenolics, fruity candy hints. Lolly shop.

Foamy mouthfeel, with good malt body that balances the bitterness that comes out.

I reviewed this in parallel with the Radieuse... this is not as harsh, and more approachable.

Photo of biegaman
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very pleasent surprise to find - in Venice of all places - by chance, while seeking shelter from the most fierce thunderstorm I've ever experienced. Neck and cap wrapped in purple foil. Poured with good level of head, clung for lacing. A glowing ruby with some transparency. Aroma is a biscuity yeast cake smell, notes of dried fruits and nuts. A fairly rich aroma, what is often characteristic of a British Ale.. Different.. The beer's style is not overly apperent right away, character takes some searching for and the beer did seem to benefit to a little warming. A crisp and earthy finish. Light spice and unique flavouring. Carbonation and flavour are strong enough that it prevents an passive, overly light drinkability, but doesn't offer much to sit and sip and ponder over. In many ways, the beer carries itself like a macro and doesn't posess the subtleties of fine Belgian craft beers. All the same, this is above the average in my opinion, a pleasure (and huge surprise) for me to find.

Photo of ernie
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish-brown color, rather dark, with an occasional spark of orange. Beautiful dense head, moderate carbonation.

Smell malty, spicey, winey, with a hint of black berries and ripe fruit.

Start sweetish, high alcohol content well felt but not overwhelming, malts and fruit very well balanced. Mouthfeel anything but watery, this brew isn't shy of its gravity. Nice acidity in the finish, long fruity-bisquity aftertaste.

Recommended!

Photo of Daredevil
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

color: elegant dark brown
texture: creamy, portish
palate: rich malt and roasted grain with aromas of caramel, cashew nuts
finish: a hint of herbal spiciness

A well brewed and well presented beer, well worth the slightly higher price than blonde or brune from the same brewer

Photo of descartes
2.73/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 33 cl bottle.

Appearance: A redish brown with a nice quarter inch of white head.
Smell: Grape smell with a sharp alcoholic smell as well as a hint of hops.
Taste: Really strong hops taste, strong bodied but otherwise very muddled spicy and sour flavor. Uggh strong but something is wrong, cann't quite put my finger on it.

Photo of Finite
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber red, good head retention, good lacing. Sweet malts with floral smells. Tastes of vanilla and caramel malts. The whole mix was smooth and satisfying. The after taste was present with sweetness still there on the edges of the palate and bitterness on the middle.

Leffe didn’t let me down. Is a good session beer.

Photo of jarmby1711
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

In general higher alcohol beers so far for me have just been too strong , and this is no exception
The colour is teak to deep brown and the large head was loose and persistent There was litle bead.
The smell had a lot of clove like spiciness and plenty of alcohol.
The taste was dominated by the alcohol ( which I dont particul;arly enjoy ) however there was some fruitiness in there which I thgink was bananaish.
It was well balanced and smooth to oily
Always hard to judge a beer when ou realise that the style just doesnt suit.
For me a novelty but hard to think about trying again.

Photo of DaveFL1976
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

With a fairly conservative pour, Leffe Vielle Cuvee pours a 50-50 mix of body and head. The body is a beautiful crystal clear copper/amber while the long-lasting, frothy tan head takes forever to settle down. The nose is a combination of malt, toffee and some fruity flavors (plums, maybe?) with a bit of alcohol. For 8.5%, the alcohol smell isn't as strong as I'd expect.
Taste is quite delicious. Sweet, plummy, with a bit of alcohol bite that I wish were a little more mellowed, but well-balanced nonetheless. The sharp, not smooth alcohol character of the beer knocked the taste down by a half a point, in my book. Aftertaste is that of toasted barley and that alcohol-bite leftover taste.
The mouthfeel on this is beer is just about perfect. It starts out creamily carbonated in your mouth, has a medium body and just coats your mouth. Drinkability on this is good, but that slightly astringent alcohol bite makes me slow down a bit.

Leffe Vieille Cuvée from Abbaye de Leffe S.A.
85 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.