1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Loterbol Bruin - Café-Brouwerij Loterbol

Not Rated.
Loterbol BruinLoterbol Bruin

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

74 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 74
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 14.54%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Café-Brouwerij Loterbol visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 12-24-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Loterbol Bruin Alström Bros
Ratings: 74 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of belgbeerdrinker
belgbeerdrinker

Colorado

3.33/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: dark brown color, thick head that remains at 1 finger thick, good lacing
s: mix of sweet malts and tart cherry with hints of pecans
t: moderate malty sweetness balanced with tart fruits on the periphery and the pecan flavor does eventually come through...surprisingly consistent with aromas
m: medium to thick body, light carbonation
d: decent beer, just not too much to miss

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 03:56:22 | More by belgbeerdrinker
Photo of Nick3
Nick3

California

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

Beer has a consume before date (in french) of Dec. '08. Poured into my Kapittel Watou chalice; it quickly forms a 4 finger chocolate head that doesn't die quickly. The head slowly recedes in the center but it maintains it's height around the edge of the glass. A great looking beer to the say the least. Smell is dark fruit, malts, and alcohol. Taste is similar to the nose with a little hops balanced in during the finish. Ample carbonation tees up a smooth tasting beverage. Easy to drink to say the least. The beer wasn't superb, but it was pretty damn good.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2009 03:43:08 | More by Nick3
Photo of bskrtz
bskrtz

Illinois

4.63/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.2 ounce bottle, to open challice. Served cold -- 39 degrees

A) Deep dark brown. Held to the light, I can't see the bulb. Swampy & thick

S) Bitter herbs, fresh flowers, root beer, sweet pastry

T) This is good beer. Not as sweet as many Belgian dark ales, but complex with bitter, unique yeasts and hops. I smell root beer and ginger bread as I sip.

M) Belgians seem to have a consistent effervescent quality, with fine, tight carbonation. This may be due to bottle conditioning.

D) A very drinkable beer. It's strong but I barely taste the alcohol. A real treat -- I think I'll have another.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2009 00:50:17 | More by bskrtz
Photo of daftafne
daftafne

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bought this for ten dollars at keg liquors in new albany, in.

Poured into an 8 oz tulip, an inch of light tan head formed and subsided leaving a good amount of lacing. Mahogany color with haze from yeast/sediment. Smells of raisin, apple, cinnamon, vanilla, sugars. Smells sweeter than it tastes - it is just a bit sweet with the hops, sour apple, roasted malt, spices, dominating the flavor profile. Nice bitter finish, alcohol fairly prominent. Medium body with good carbonation. Not sticky and an overall pleasant mouthfeel. One of these is probably enough per drinking session due to high alcohol content and fairly full body. Overall a delicious bruin worth trying!

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2009 00:03:41 | More by daftafne
Photo of wl0307
wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coming in a 330ml slim brown bottle, BB 04/2009, served lightly-chilled in Westmalle's broad-rimmed chalice.

A: deep dark copper hue with slight murkiness, topped with a very well-lasting 0.5cm thick dark beige cappuccino froth
S: sweet black-tea aroma comes with refreshing chocolate malts, licorice and understated sour-sweet prunes. A swirl gives rise to an extra touch of esters like sweetened kidney-bean paste that is not as assertive as many other Belgian dark ales, but all's approachable and integrated on the nose.
T: aromatically dark malty and yeasty upfront, but soon backed by a deepening hop-bitter backbone that shows a marvellous herbal+savoury+spicy mixture featuring licorice powder, pepper cone, spiced dried olives, black-grass jelly, a bitter edge of burned sugar and dry-ish burned malts. Very chewy, dry and unusually bitter in the finish, witnessing really good interaction b/w yeasts and hops, where a "dry-ish sweet" herbal edge as of licorice and aniseed seems to outlast everything else.
M&D: the carbonation is well in control, refreshing but only microscopic fizz is felt on the palate, complementing the evolving structure and deliciously bitter theme just nicely. Overall, this Strong Dark Ale shows less influence of the dark candy sugar than of the copious amount of hops, as the bitterness overall really elevates this estery dark ale to the next, "quaffable", level~~

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2009 21:44:54 | More by wl0307
Photo of Cunningham26
Cunningham26

Massachusetts

3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- pours a mahogany brown with a good two fingers of small-bubbled foam that left a good white lacing.
S- Boozy, with lots of malts and fruit breaking through. Definite hints of golden raisin, apples, and some spice.
T- Fruit up front, with cloves, spices, toffee, and some really light coffee. Together it made it almost port-like on the palate, but overall pretty good and complicated.
M- Ok, the booziness makes itself apparent for the first third but tapers as the body adjusts.
D- Not really sessionable, but the one I had was interesting, especially once it warmed up.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2009 00:28:46 | More by Cunningham26
Photo of henrysunset
henrysunset

Washington

3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very Dark and clear (unhazy) but with suspended sediment. nice sized head of tan.

Scent is alcohol, wood, dark malt.

taste is dark, thick relatively little short term aftertaste and a tail flavor of chocolate and roast.

Mouthfeel is smooth and rich. i enjoy it but don't absolutely love it.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2008 03:21:31 | More by henrysunset
Photo of IBUnit63
IBUnit63

Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Freshness date December 2008. Poured into Ommegang chalice.

Solid cherrywood body with rustic character. Bready 2-finger head with muffin tunnels and good lacing. Moderate carbonation and very slight occurrence of yeast particles.

Nice sourness with spice compnent of ginger, cloves and sour bready yeast. Starts off a little soapy but quickly opens up to style.

The sourness is enjoyable up against a charred malt component. Carbonation becomes more apparent and cuts through the thickness well, but maybe a little too well as I'm getting a slight bicarb feel along with the hearty natural flavor of yeast, malt and earth. Hop bitterness is grassy as well as earthy.

Carbonation contrasted with the thick back of the offering is very well-done. I like the disjointed balance quite a bit. Good, even sour finish.

Nice sipper for a nightcap. Very meaty and enjoyable while the carbonation keeps it clean.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2008 12:39:29 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

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

split a case with friends, bought directly from the importer here in beijing.

330ml bottle poured into tulip. "best by" date is may 2009. the importer's label also lists the actual brew date of may 2007.

dark cola color, almost clear as it decants easily, leaving behind most of the yeast. two-finger head slowly fades to a constant thin layer. nice lacing.

herbal aroma, almost minty. plus a subtle amalgam of holiday spices, before you then pick out the caramel and toffee.

flavor has phenolic notes upfront, along with the herbal, and again near-mint character. hint of spice, but more approaching vanilla. dried fruit sweetness and malt character are balanced by a pretty bold hop bitterness (which in turn seem tied to the aforementioned herbal notes), itself contributing to a very dry coffee-like finish, with slight touch of acidity. grassy, herbal notes in the aftertaste

not too thin. maybe a slight astringency. moderate carbonation provides body and lift.

i'm glad i got a bunch of these.

ps - 8% abv is nicely hidden. watch out!

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2008 18:03:53 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of dreadnatty08
dreadnatty08

District of Columbia

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

Pours a hazy dark mahogany color with just a slight light highlight at the bottom of the glass and plentiful tan, sticky head. Aromas are bursting with dark, dropping tart fruits, spicy alcohol, and a nice lacto note. On the palate, it's not an exceptionally big bodied Belgian. The rich, malt and yeast dominated flavors, toasty, bready ring high with dark fruits and a light chocolate note. The finish is quite dry with a firm hoppy bitterness not really seen in other BSDAs. It's a very drinkably beer at 8% with just a nice belly warming alcohol but absolutely no burn. A great brew to enjoy on this unseasonably cool day.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2008 22:10:47 | More by dreadnatty08
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
AKBelgianBeast

Alaska

4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting beer. BB July 06.

Pours very dark with deep ruby highlights. The nose is nice and malty with good spice flavors. Smell shouts belgian. Dark fruit smells rise out of the frothy head. Taste is first very malty, some good dark fruit flavors through the middle of this very rich brew. sort of a deep malt presence, tastes some very slight almost eisbockishness. Or maybe doppelbock wort. Caramel is in here. kind of reminds me (slightly) of la choulette ambree. This is a very malt driven brew, but there is a little bitter hop bite on the finish, and the fruit flavors lighten and linger on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is just a slice thinner than I would like for the style. Drinkability is good, but nothing abnormally fantasmical. Great beer, has a unique flavor to it, it tastes, like, belgerman.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2008 06:39:27 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ML green, Belgian bottle purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield for $10.99...
The appearance was truly exceptional - even a slow, steady pour resulted in a massive, huge foamy head that slowly receded and left an incredible amount of lacing around the edge of the glass... Deep purple, crimson, ruby-red hue...
Sweet, malty aroma rendolent of dehydrated fruits, figs, and prunes...
Sweet, caramel and vanilla taste accompanied by notes of dates, dark fruits, chewy malts, and a slight tinge of vanilla...
A very authentic, high-quality, substantial beer bursting with character, taste, and flavor...
Good, creamy, rich, thick mouthfeel and an equally good level of drinkability make this a pleasure to enjoy...
Good stuff...
Recommended...

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2008 18:41:07 | More by dsa7783
Photo of yemenmocha
yemenmocha

Arizona

4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy off-brown color with generous, tight head that is also a brownish colour.

Nose is very complex with citrus zest, estery notes, and fresh baked white bread crust.

On the palate is a pleasant sweet n sour flavor with more of the pleasant bready taste, mixed fruit, and a tangy spice on the finish.

Finish is medium to long and somewhat sour, in a good way.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2007 05:45:35 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

BBD: Jan. '08

Pours into a BFM chalice a ruddy brown with a finger of tan foam. Toffee and yeast esters in the nose. Full, unfiltered body, super malty and drying in the finish. Toffee, cocoa powder, mild spice, with a residual herbal and roasty taste. This ale was described as being dry-hopped. Overall, fairly rich with some depth, well balanced, but not mindblowing. ABV was well hidden, but finishing one was enough for me.

Paid way too much for this ($12) at the Bluebird, a pricey new spot in Chicago.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2007 02:56:13 | More by emerge077
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cherry caramel with bright orange and amber edges, murky russet after the final pour. The Belgianesque cap (which translates as 'amazing') is golden ecru in color and is as whipped creamy as any I've seen. It's also incredibly sticky, as evidenced by the thick bridges of foam that connect cap and glass, leaving a great array of lace when they eventually break. This is a fantastic looking beer.

The nose is merely good. It's brown malty and somewhat dark fruity, with less spiciness than I'm used to in a beer of this style. I love what I smell, it's just that more power would probably have provided the complexity that I'm looking for.

My first mouthful was interesting to say the least. The first few seconds were enjoyable, if simple and unexiciting. As my taste buds got used to what they were being bathed in, the darker flavors came on with a rush. Black malt, anise, blackstrap molasses and raisin puree... these are a few of my favorite things.

Unlike the nose, the flavor is incredibly spicy. Along with the usual clove is something that I don't taste very often: black pepper. I can tell that very little candi sugar was used because there's much more bitterness than sweetness. I like sweet BSDAs, I like tangy BSDAs, and I like this bitter BSDA. Simply put, I like BSDAs in all shapes and sizes. I have little doubt that this bottle of Loterbol Bruin would have lasted well beyond the 'best by' date of January '08.

The mouthfeel is a fraction too light and a fraction too undercarbonated to be considered special. It gains some amount of girth with time and warming, but it also begins to lose what little carbonation it had to begin with. How was that beautiful, massive head created, I wonder?

Loterbol Bruin is an intense, black-hearted, black peppery humdinger of a BSDA. If you like Belgian beer and if you like sensory overload, then by all means, give this one a whirl. It isn't that easy to find, but it's definitely worth the effort.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2007 14:53:16 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of aleyeast
aleyeast

South Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a goblet, shoulod have been a tulip, but I was lazy.

says best before 11/05, not sure if that is bottle on?

Brownish Red in color, nice deep color with a thin head that disappates to cover

Brown sugar caramel fruit on the nose, with a little alcohol burn.

No burn on the taste, similiar flavors of caramel, nutty and fruity on the flavors, but malt is dominant. warms nicely and the brown sugar comes out.

Fairly easy drinking at 8%

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2007 18:24:02 | More by aleyeast
Photo of GbVDave
GbVDave

Illinois

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

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a Loterbol tulip.

A: Pours a dark opaque brown that shows off ruby highlights when held up to a light. Marshmallow-y one finger head that retains forever.

S: Aromas of roasted malt and a faint caramel and cherry combination.

T: Roasted malt and tangy fruit in the forefront. As the tangy fruit fades the following flavors come out to play. Bitter chocolate, hazelnut, plums, raisins, cashews, fudge brownies, and a small amount of hops. A pleasant nutty finish.

M: Mouthfeel is oily and chewy but not syrupy.

D: Very interesting mix of flavors. Roasted malt, restrained sweetness, mild tang, and that excellent nutty quality that lends an enexpected layer to this beer. Hard to find and a little spendy but well worth a try. I liked this and the Blonde enough to seek out a Br. Duysters "Loterbol" tulip glass (which is no easy feat!)

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2007 00:50:26 | More by GbVDave
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9

New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into my Delerium Tremens chalice, a Belgian Beer Fest leftover, imported by the Shelton Bros. Fresh stuff? BBF was Oct '06, and the label says best-before end of Apr '05. Nice.... Other label oddities, besides the 2 jolly gents who look dressed for some sort of Carnivale, are the descriptions of this Belgian Strong Dark in other languages... In German it says "Helles Starkbier". Helles? Ya, right!! And in Italian "Doppio Malto". Double malt? I've seen that description on Doppelbock labels... Anyhow...

Poured a deep, dark chestnut-brown hue. Was clear, for now, as I left a substantial amount of sediment in the flasche (swirled in near the end). Head was a frothy, creamy, tan mass, steady at 1" for a bit, then receding slowly and leaving a lace trail behind. Looking good! Loter has a lovely nose, with a nice, DBock-like sweetness and some dark fruit notes. The body is a solid medium, with decent smoothness on the tongue from start to end.

Flavor has a brown sugary semi-sweetness, though not quite as sweet as the aroma suggests. Yummy dark fruit flavors abound, with some raisin and prune coming through. There is also present a slightly burnt, bitter edge to it, though it doesn't detract too much from the overall flavor. Finish is a tad dry, yet the dark fruit lingers a bit. No noticeable after-effects of the 8% abv. Rather liked it, and wished it was a 750ml bottle and not 330ml...

Prosit!!

overall: 4.1
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4

959

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2007 20:03:26 | More by Bierman9
Photo of dgallina
dgallina

Georgia

3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml slim brown bottle notched best-before November 2005. Sampled January 2007.

Pours very cloudy (chunky really) dark brown with a creamy head and thick lace. Smells malty, nutty, and toasty with a spicy sour medicinal edge. The flavors are well-blended and a bit muted due to the long aging.. Nutty malts, sour medicinal grape notes, and quite a bit of butterscotch on the tongue. Some carob and tobacco notes as well. Great mouth feel. Creamy yet well-carbonated and easy-drinking despite the relative strength. I'd be interested in trying a fresh sample of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2007 06:27:14 | More by dgallina
Photo of Gmann
Gmann

New York

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown ruby color with a decent light brown head, left some lacing as it dissipated. The smell is of sweet figs, caramel malt. The taste is initially of figs, slightly spicy, finishes with a coffee/chocolate flavor. Moderate mouthfeel, creamy, well carbonated. Reminds me more of a Dubbel than a Belgian SDA. I could drink a few of these.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2006 02:32:35 | More by Gmann
Photo of dherling
dherling

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured out a deep brown color with a massive fizzy tan head with good lacing. The nose has caramel, chocolate, fudge, with a slightly fruity edge. A candy store? Weird. The taste starts malty sweet, butterscotch and chocolate with some bitterness on the finish. Mouthfeel is good, medium carbonation, creamy long finish.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2006 05:48:45 | More by dherling
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a dark brown color. The head is thick and foamy, nice lace, and the liquid has notable small bits of yeast in suspension. The smell is pretty nice…Belgian malts, sugar, a little phenolic spiciness, some horseblanket quality, and a little earthy yeast. I love those smells in combination, it’s something that you never get tired of smelling. The taste has similar qualities, with a notable caramized sugar flavor in the front. There’s a little bitterness for balance. Fairly full and satisfying mouthfeel. On the downside, there’s not as much of the ripe fruit and warming qualities that I appreciate in most Belgian dark ales. They’re present, just a little more restrained than necessary. This is a well made but modest brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2006 20:10:48 | More by Suds
Photo of GCBrewingCo
GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice a clear deep dark amber brown with a tan head which rose slighly and fell to lace the glass.

The aroma was strong, strong malt and dark caramel when first opened. As the head made it's final retreat the aroma became dark caramel with a phenolic Belgian yeast spice. The alcohol in the aroma on this one was strong and prevalent. Some dark fruit presence of raisins and prunes was notable.

The flavor was nicely malty with a dark caramel and muted Belgian yeast spice that was quite peppery. The dark fruits, again raisins and prunes, were notable but muted and added complexity to the flavor rather than being presented as a strong characteristic. Some alcohol was present in the flavor and set off the phenolic and peppery spice of the yeast.

The finish was dry with a bit of lasting chocolate (very dry) and pepper spice into the aftertaste. The body was medium full with a moderate carbonation level. The alcohol warming after consumption was fairly high. A pretty darn good Belgian Strong Dark, the flavors were complex and interesting rather than being prominent and overpowering.

11.2 ounce very full bottle.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2006 23:37:59 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of


3.15/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11-12oz. bottle. Poured a cloudy brown color, slightly coppery at the edges. Large, light tan head. Aroma was mainly sweet (fruit/melon) with a bread-yeast scent as well. Taste was roasted/burnt toast, pepper, sweet in the middle, fairly strong alcohol notes and a mild hop finish. Body was medium, carbonation was same. Alcohol warming started immediately as did the drying. Overall, an interesting and complex beer, which was not really to my taste. I prefer more of a hop presence and less sweet.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2006 20:04:47 | More by
Photo of Matthew
Matthew

Connecticut

4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brownish with slight reddish hues. A giant head of white that pokes out of the top of the glass, looks just like an ice cream float.
HInts of yeast and dried fruit with a very subtle spicey note in the nose as well.
Sweet, with flavors that remind me of brown sugar with lots of little bits of other flavors there too. Earthy and somewhat yeasty, with some dried fruit type flavors. Overall a pretty dry beer.
Good smooth mouthfeel with low carbonation.
Easy drinking beer. Very tastey and deserves some real tasting and exploration.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2006 23:13:03 | More by Matthew
Loterbol Bruin from Café-Brouwerij Loterbol
89 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.