Bornem Dubbel - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Bornem DubbelBornem Dubbel

Educational use only; do not reuse.

540 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 540
Reviews: 394
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.16%
Wants: 9
Gots: 33 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sixpack595 on 05-23-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (96) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 540 | Reviews: 394
Reviews by giblet:
Photo of giblet
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured a nice reddish brown. about one inch of head with steady carbonation. smells of fruit and malts. the taste is kinda chewy fruit. hint of sweet raisins. a bit sweet for my taste but it is a good quality beer.

good lacing down the glass. not a beer that i could or would have much of for the taste is too sweet.

suckem up and movem out.


More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Very dark and fruity looking, like someone puréed a bunch of figs and dates. The head came up a little but went down rather quickly.

Smell – The aroma is just how it looks: dark, ripe fruit. My hunch about dates and figs was right on. This ale reeks of mashed dates and figs. I can also pick up some cherry sweetness and maybe some tobacco along with a faint whiff of alcohol.

Taste – Guess what this ale tastes like? That’s right, date and figs. Actually, the toasted malts come out on the tongue, which gives it a nice balance (you don’t feel like you’re sucking down fruit juice). The bready flavor isn’t big but it’s significant. The alcohol is more present as well.

Mouthfeel – Lightly carbonated and medium to full in the body. The alcohol sensation in the mouth is significant.

Drinkability – Not a tame dubbel by any means, this one is rough around the edges but exciting to drink. I wouldn’t introduce a novice to the style using this Bornem offering, but I enjoyed the experience.

Update – I first reviewed this shortly after joining the site in 2003 now here it is almost four years later so I thought I’d take another look at this fella.

The head is markedly better than my first review. It is full, came up easy, and showed awesome retention. The carbonation was a little better as well, so I’m changing some scores around that will move it up from an overall 3.6 to 3.9.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with rapidly expanding carbonation into a snifter a dark burgundy color with merlot highlights. Nice head. Aroma of nuts and dark fruit. Creamy. Tastes like cherries, toffee, dates. All malt, no hops to notice. Slightly grainy texture in the finish but that’s it. Nice carbonation, light on the palate, drinkable but not exciting.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750ml bottle served in a tulip glass. The beer was an amber color with a thick tan head that resembled whipped cream. A very appealing beer. The aroma was malt, some sweet fruit, and a little spice. Taste was similar, althought the taste of pear was the predominate flavor. The malt was there, though, and that nice yeasty taste you get with Belgians. A little bit filling.

Photo of Todd
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown stubby ... no freshness date.

Cloudy brown beer with ruby hues and a slightly tan lace that drop to a ringed lace fast. Fruity aroma, some caramel. Medium, firm body. Smooth, slick and sweet ... strong notes of caramel, burnt sugar, sweet dark grapes (lots of grape juice flavours), and hints of cherries and raisins. Bitterness is quick, a bit like watery lime juice, and it helps balance the dominating malt profile. Hops have a cheesy finish to them. Alcohol lends much warmth, some spice and prickle to the palate. Alcohol spice blends with touches of phenols. Yeast flavours become pronounced in the finish, with bready flavours as the beer warms.

A fairly decent dubbel. Simple with good drinkability and warming effect.

Photo of generallee
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a 330ml or 11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: It has a dark cloudy brown color with some deep ruby highlights. The head is huge, thick and has stiff rocky peaks that are light tan in color.

Smell: The aroma has lovely fruity esters and a roasted malty character as well.

Taste/Mouth feel: The body is heavy and full. In it there is a rich malty base with funky yeast and a dark fruity character. Dark cherries and prune are noted and add pleasant sweet and tart flavors to the brew. The finish has a fairly dry hops presence that adds some light bitterness. It is well carbonated and bites on the tongue, cutting through the heavy slick palate and the 8% abv. gives a mellow warming affect.

Notes: It has a decent flavor and kick of alcohol.

Photo of Guden
3.47/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A mid brown/orange color with lots of clarity and little carbonation bubbles. The head is beige, thick, lasts forever leaving thick lacing. Really looks the part.

S- A mix of biscuit and banana that I've only found in true belgians, a bit one noted though. Lacking in malty sweetness.

T- A bit more complex than the nose with some definite light roast, dark fruit character, woodiness, biscuit and a bit of alcohol on the tail end that lingers and mingles with the biscuit and banana of the nose.

M- Medium to high in body and medium in carbonation seems like it should be right but something about it makes it more of an easy drinker and less of a mouthfiller than it should be.

D- An easy drinker at 8% abv this one doesn't match up to the best dubbels out there but it's a decent beer in and of itself.

Photo of Jason
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

33 cl stubby brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Awesome head retention, I wait for a beer to come across with a head so perfect it makes me cry knowing I have to drink it. This is Brussels Lace. The vibrant brownish brick red colour embers in the light.

Smell: Sweet ripe figs, faint lemon and lots of other dark fruitiness. Some malt, phenol and alcohol in the aroma but it is mostly fruitiness.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated with a viscous mouth feel. The palate switches back and forth from a dry maltiness to herbal phenols. Cheesy hop? Ripe dark fruit have a dry tone to them with a mild tartness to boot. Touch of earthiness from the yeast

Notes: A bit brash on the palate for my liking, enjoyable but not something I’d hunt for again. It did very well up against the sharp cheddar I paired it with.

Photo of merlin48
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11.2 oz brown, stubby bottle served into a St Bernardus goblet. This Dubbel pours a muddy, brown, swamp water appearance with a minimal beige head, and no lacing.

Aroma is fresh, Portobello mushrooms with coriander and a whiff of Swiss cheese(Gruyere). Yes, it's odd.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and somewhat lacking in carbonation.

The taste is unlike any Dubbel, or Belgian ale I've yet had. Lots of roasted malt flavors here. Chocolate malt, and roasted coffee are all over the palate. Almonds, coriander, and allspice are also assertive. This one is very tasty, but so unusual for the style that I'm not certain if I've got a decent bottle here.

This dubbel has left me puzzled. I pondered about trying the Bornem Triple, first, but opted for this one instead. I enjoyed this, with its malty goodness, but it's so atypical for style that I'm wondering if this bottle was heat damaged. Nevertheless, it's tasty enough that I would enjoy another if I had one.

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Large bottle, caged and corked and without freshness indication. Opens with a lot of oomph and pours murky, cloudy dark chocolaty amber, with very active bubbles rising to the top. This Belgian raises a huge medium bubble head, show top notch retention, meringue, and slowly settles to a one inch froth and leaves the expected and hoped for scattered, thick splotchy lacing. Rich soapy nose, with figs and rum infused raisins. Nice!
Things go only slightly down hill from here, notes of more rum, raisins, soft spice, dark candi sugars and bready, sweet Belgian style goodness. Perhaps a bit thin flavorwise and nothing really special mouthful wise. All in all, a real worthy and heady Belgian Dubbel…….

Photo of Mora2000
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to slasher007 for sharing this bottle.

Pours dark reddish-brown with a white head. The aroma is standard dubbel, with dark fruit, candi sugar and Belgian yeast. The flavor is dominated by dark fruit but it was kind of a let down after the great aroma the beer had. Not sure what was missing, but there was something lacking in the flavor. The mouthfeel is relatively thin, thinner than I like in a beer of this style and somewhat watery. Low carbonation.

Photo of jondeelee
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Boasts a massive aroma that starts tapping at your nose while the beer is still a good foot away. Malty, sugary fruit esters are easily discernible, bringing in not-so-subtle hints of banana, pear, and apple cider/apple juice, along with caramels and maple syrups.

On the tongue, the fruitiness of the nose takes a seat in the sidecar, and darker sugars take the handlebars, with thick maple syrups especially present, as well as caramelized brown sugar and hints of pure vanilla. None of these flavors are what you'd call "subtle," but they are fairly well balanced, and the malts work in great syncopy. Hops are light, and almost nonexistent but for a light buzz on the soft palate. There is, however, a noticeable alcohol whang, especially in the aftertaste. Carbonation is medium to medium-heavy, and mouthfeel is slightly viscous, landing just north of water.

Overall, this is a good, solid dubbel, and has obviously been crafted by brewers with years of experience.

Photo of Osiris9588
2.52/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle, no date. Pours a murky brown, almost opaque except for a small ruddy glow near the bottom when held to the light. The head is explosive, Duvel like. It bubbles up with the color and consistency that of Root Beer Float foam. It stiffens into a creamy peak, showing great retention and leaving fluffy whisps of off-white lacing.

The aroma is rather weak: faint notes of caramel malt and cola. The flavor--is not good. Yeast and malt with no weight or complexity, followed by a cherry-metallic, not very pleasnt finish.

The mouth is quite light, with extreme carbonation--I think a little less might supply this brew some much needed depth. It's not complex, and not drinkable due to a lack in character. I consider dumping it, but the Van Steenberge mixed six pack was nearly $18, so I'll consume it fast for the 8% alcohol.

Photo of BadBadger
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yum, a fine dubble. This pours a monster head out of the bottle. This head is so thick, additional pouring sends brew down the sides of the foamy beast-amazing. The smell is subtle, a nice malty aroma, with additional fruity scents, and a tiny bit of yeast. No alcohol aroma. The taste is some what sweet with just a tiny hint of citrus. The mouthfell is crisp. This is an incredibly drinkable beverage, especially at the ABV. It is hard to imagine that anyone would not enjoy this nice Belgian.

Photo of ADR
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

End of the line for the reviews of Van Steenberge brews, I like to finish with a malty Dubbel...stubby bottle...

Dark burnt sienna color, mult-sizes to the bubbles of the head and a good 1/2 inch of bottle conditioned suds. A lot of apple and peach to the aroma, fruity. In contrast the malt flavor seems to feature a husky nut-like characteristic, dominant and lasting throughout the taste. Yeast and plum components are in here as well, however this beer seems "tight" for a Dubbel, a style that can show combinations of chocolate and multiple fruit profiles. Not a killer in complexity, it seems like the bigger Gulden Draake and Piraat have the most challenging interest in the Van Steenberge line -- but they do seem to produce a lot more beers than I've had opportunity to get my hands on.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.46/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Once again I fell in love with this beer on draft this past summer while quaffing beers at the Yardhouse in Costa Mesa, CA. This is like a friend revisited, this beer pours ruby musky brown slightly hazed with a cream tan head with weak head retention. This is one malty treat wrapped in raisins and a load of perfectly ripened succulent fruit (mainly pears and apples). Flavor profile brings on a vinous grape tone with hints of mildly alcoholic plum brandy. Wonderful underlying richness of fruit tones. God, I love this beer is topped with a candied apple finish. What a smooth mouthfeel the creaminess that this beer produces to the palate is dream like. Wow, high abv but this beer is amazingly balanced in every way, I know I could put more than one down.

Photo of chinchill
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle from a Belgian sampler 6-pack. Different label than BA photo. Towering head meant more than one pour was needed to empty the bottle into my oversized glass.

A - clear mahogany with a rich sudsy head that lingers and blocks enough light so that the top layer of the beer looks darker.

S - sweet, yeasty, dark dried fruits, toasted malt, tropical and spicy fragrances. A bit earthy.

T - a little sweet, but with a slight bitterness a bit of sour, particularly in the finish. A little bit more clove than I prefer (though nothing like, say, a Leffe); otherwise, well-balanced flavors. Decently complex.

M - good carbonation; medium/light body

O - near or above average for a Belgian dubbel: i.e., very good

Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - A hazy cider brown liquid filled my glass with copious amounts of head.

Smell - A very fruit aroma raisins, figs, prunes, and some granny smith apples. Lastly you have the strong bready malt and some spices.

Taste - Malts are the backbone here with the dark ripe fruits and the apples. The spice is nice but somehow this feels lacking something.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and velvety and full of carbonation. The carbonation is a bit overpowering.

Drinkability - A nice beer but the high carbonation is tough on the tongue and distracts from what could be a better brew.

Photo of rastaman
2.94/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mine says 11%ABV. Nice creamy lasting head. Aroma is quite yeasty. I got a bit of yeast, some apple juice and some Ribena in the flavour. Relatively dry in the end, texture is quite soft and a bit thin for such a strong beer. A bit average i reckon. Not too bad.

Photo of LXIXME
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice sized light brown head slow dies above a clearish dark burnt dark reddish colored beer. Full aroma with a variety of elements with remind me most of roasted dates or prunes with a nice compliment of barley maltishness. A full taste follows but doesn't quite live up to the aroma, but still a pretty tasty half hour enjoying this import. States that it's 8% but I'll be jiggered if I can detect any of that in the taste.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3 $1.50 I had to give this a try.
Pours a deep dark tea colored amber with a nice single finger head that melts to very thick lacing.
Aroma is dark fruits and alcohol with a touch of carmel and burnt sugar.
Taste is sweet dark fruits and burnt sugar with a little too rough alcohol edge.
Mouthfeel is thin for style but full of tiny carbonation.
Aftertaste just a lighter version of swallowing taste...dark fruits, burnt sugar, carmel, alcohol.
Not world class...but not bad.

Photo of biboergosum
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml squat, bulbous Belgian bottle.

This beer pours a clear, dark bronzed amber hue, with a teeming tower of puffy, loosely foamy, and certainly bubbly ecru head, which settles slowly, eventually rendering some attractive hanging curtains of lace around the glass.

It smells of strongly bready caramel malt, random dark orchard fruit, gritty brown sugar, further Mesopotamian fruit - figs and dates and all that - edgy yeast, and some mildly acrid booze. The taste is warm caramel malt, stale dark worldly fruit, a little musty tobacco leaf, baking sugar, and equally tame yeast and simmering alcohol.

The carbonation is there, but rather on the low side of your typical frothiness, the body a steady medium weight, perhaps a tad astringent, but smooth enough. It finishes on a drying trend, the malt obviously still in play, but the booze and yeast fronting strongly.

A decent dubbel, maybe a little on the dry side, which is a-ok with me, as nothing is out of balance on the whole. Not overly complex, but drinkable enough for this doubting Thomas acolyte.

Photo of mintjellie
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark ruby-brown, this beer shows is rich and beautiful in colour. The well-retained beige head is tightly formed and leaves lots of lace on the walls of my chalice. Smells of tart green apple, plum, and flowery perfume. There's a hint of banana in the scent. Caramelized flavour also shows notes of green apple, lemon, and raisin. Finishes with a leafy medicinal bitterness. Just a little bit boozy. Medium bodied, with low carbonation for the style. Feels very smooth. I enjoyed this quite a bit.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle > Chimay goblet

This has a classic, dark-brown look with deep ruby and crimson hues, very vibrant. you gotta love the look of this style. I rank it right up there with the classic, vibrant color of an English barley wine or golden clearity of a fine german pilsner. Very fast carbonation creates and supports a massive 3" deep off-white head, classicly clumpy with amazing retention.

The nose has a sweet, dark malt scent with honey, brown sugar, spicey herbs, mahogony treated wood, aged, cracked leather and all-spice.

The malt in this brew is pretty complex with sweet malt, mild chocolate, cherries, brown sugar...very refined flavor's, yet bold. A very crisp and clean middle body and a very smooth and soft finish. Subtle roastie nuts and earthy, bitter herbs gives balance. a dry-wheat feeling rolls in later; this dubble is light on malty sweetness with more herbs and spices coming through that usual for the style. The blalance is very unique, and the yeast flavor's stand out most, alng with the malt.

A very refined dubble.

Photo of jmz62565
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy apple cider looking color with a very large foamy head. This beer has a ton of carbonation and the head is huge,thu it doesn't leave any lacing. The smell has a real "bisquity" aroma to it along with sweet candy sugar and carmel, dark fruits,and malt. The taste has sweet tart apples, alcohol, citrus flavors,and hops. Not bad,but it is very tart. This tastes more like a hard cider tyhan a double. The m/f is light with the flavors mixing Ok,but the tart fruit flavor really overpowers this beer. Not bad,but i'd look elseware for other Belgians.

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Bornem Dubbel from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
84 out of 100 based on 540 ratings.