Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Bruin (Red Cap) - De Brabandere
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Ratings: 60 | Reviews: 47 | Display Reviews Only:
3.8/5 rDev +5.6%
Lot of lace, with a big soapy head on cloudy brown. Served in the matching glass by the brewery, at Smokeless Joe's. A sharp aroma, something in the sour Flemish that stings the nose bit it's not very high ABV. chocolate malts, it's malty with a carmel and citrus Coco-Cola aftertaste, but with added spice, and then..a flemish sour finish. Or, like a Belgian yeasty dunkel.
03-06-2007 05:53:10 | More by Sammy
3.58/5 rDev -0.6%
This bottle of Pilaarbijter has been standing quiet and still in my beer fridge for several months now, but that didn't stop the instantaneous creation of a foam fountain all over my desktop despite my best efforts to control it. Even now, a growing thumb of brown foam is oozing out of the top of the bottle, even though the bottle is less than half full.
Warm, glowing red-orange-bronze topped by a now barely evident, unsticky cap of golden tan foam. Carefully pouring a few more fingers of beer into the glass results in three times as much froth as beer. The liquid from the bottom half of the bottle murks things up nicely so that it's now close to opaque. Despite the mess, this is a pretty good looking ale.
Pilaarbijter smells like what it is. Allow me to clarify: it smells like a Flanders Oud Bruin. Why the label says Tripel Ale is beyond me. Sour fruit is the obvious olfactory focal point. Spiced, tart apples and pears comes closest if specifics are needed. There's also a certain musty, phenolic, could-only-be-Belgian quality that gives it authenticity.
The beer isn't so wonderful on the palate, although it's still a decent example of the style. At least there's plenty of brown/bruin flavor, for whatever that's worth. It's heavily toasted malty with a pleasing earthiness and unsubtle tea-like notes. While there isn't as much sour fruitiness as anticipated, clove-spiced apples still come to mind. The yeasty spiciness becomes more noticeable with warming, and sweet and bitter fight to a virtual draw.
The biggest problem is the mouthfeel. It's too insubstantial and way too fizzy (like I couldn't have predicted that). What those qualities lead to is an instant tongue annoyance as soon as beer enters mouth. Once the bubbles exhaust themselves, a few seconds at most, the flavor structure collapses and the finish is at hand. That isn't exactly a recipe for enjoyment of what seems like a respectably deep flavor profile.
Pilaarbijter looks like it translates to 'pillar biter'. That can't be right, I thought, until I spotted the obviously anguished character munching on a pillar right there on the label. Those wacky Belgians. This is an okay version a Flanders Oud Bruin (and not an entirely accurate one in the end), but that's where it begins and ends. Here's hoping the brass-capped version is more to my liking. And less explosive.
11-21-2005 20:48:13 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.93/5 rDev +9.2%
Aaaarg! Beer all over the countertop! ...anytime you open a bottle and the beer errupts from the bottle in a wall of foam, and you waste 3/4 of your beer to over gushing, it doesn't leave a good impression. Ok, now that things have settled down, The beer smells quite wonderful. Solid belgian matured malts, spicy, and sweet; only with a woodsy, musky aroma that sets it apart. Looks ... well flat now. But it has a nice murky brown / rust color with a fine lacing. Tastes sweet with malts and fruitiness, but rounded by spiciness, bold and robust woody, nutty characters. Fruits remind me of over-ripe peaches, pears, kiwis, and dates. The beer is smooth, but flat on the palate. It weakens into the finish. Finishes sweet, spicy, and lightly sugary. A good beer, but I'd like to try one without the volcano impression.
01-26-2006 12:20:42 | More by BEERchitect
3.1/5 rDev -13.9%
Appearance: Pours out a lightly hazed, brown body with a tall, foamy, off-white head. I wasn't particularly thrilled with the Bavik Blonde, so I'm having trouble mustering up much enthusiasm for the Bruin iteration.
Smell: The base of malts presents gives off wafts of toast and brown sugar, which is fine and all, but it just doesn't grab me. Secondary notes of overripe fruit and alcohol mist.
Taste: Simple, humble brown malts with some tastes of toasted grains, nuts, and brown sugar. Dark, lightly sour fruitiness present. Earthy, spicy hops with no more than a light bitterness. Mild trace of alcohol. Plain, tempered flavors of sugar, spice, booze, and fruit until you hit the altogether crisp finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.
Drinkability: A step up from it's blonde brother, but that's not saying too terribly much. Some might say you can't even begin to spell bruin without "ruin".
08-01-2009 17:16:41 | More by ChainGangGuy
4.2/5 rDev +16.7%
Sampled @ Palm Tavern in Milwaukee.
Two bottles were tasted, and both had excessive carbonation. The first bottle cascaded foam from the bottle for a good minute or two. The second was opened very slowly, and was poured immediately over the glass.
The color was a deep crimson brown, creamy foam formed an irregular surface. Smell was dark malt, slightly musty/sweet.
Taste was creamy, malty and balanced. Some pepper, caramel, dark fruit and earthy flavors. Not especially sour or even tart. Very smooth going down, quite drinkable.
This was a nice overall Belgian Brune, with more Dubbel characterisics than Oud Bruin.
04-08-2007 02:55:44 | More by emerge077
3.48/5 rDev -3.3%
Gold and hazy. Starts with a great head and it continually leaves good lace on the glass.
The smell is distracting as I can detect a slight plastic smell.
The flavor is an improvement--no plastic here. There are notes of sweet orange with a light bitterness. The body is spot on. A nice Belgian Brown.
09-07-2009 00:03:10 | More by smcolw
United Kingdom (England)
3.3/5 rDev -8.3%
33cl brown bottle with red cap, best before 06/2009, drank 12/2006.
Maybe I should have left this for a year or two, because it wasn't as good as I was expecting.
Poured into my 'Straffe Hendrik' bowl glass, its Redwood brown colour sparkled in the light, the half inch thick off white head slowly fell away even though the bubbles kept on coming.
Sour, vinagerous, acidic aroma, not the normal beer smell what-so-ever. As the beer warmed a little, a sweeter scent came forth, cooking apples.
The taste brings you back to what you wanted, a good Belgian Brown. Tart and strong, with a bite to the throat, made me burp, which makes me think I should have drank it at a later date (like 2008).
Even though I enjoyed this beer, I think an older one would be a whole lot better.
12-27-2006 22:01:33 | More by BlackHaddock
3.68/5 rDev +2.2%
Pours a clear bronze color with a thick 2" head. Carbonation levels seemed higher than average. The aroma was of cherries and muskiness. Flavor was of caramel, sour cherry, and pepper along with some mild bitterness. Overall this brew was mildly sour compared to others in the category.
Mouthfeel was crisp at the start and finish. Sour cherries softly lingers into aftertaste. Medium / heavy in body. Decent drinkability since flavors are mellower than expected.
04-27-2005 11:09:04 | More by Gavage
2.63/5 rDev -26.9%
Served on-tap at Cafe Samson in Nijmegen, Holland into a Bier van het moment tulip. Reviewed live.
A: Two finger slight tan head of nice cream, fair thickness, and average (~2.5 minute) retention. Colour is a semitransparent dark amber. Not at all brown in colour.
Sm: Amber malts is all me broken nose can pick up per the light strength of the aroma. All apologies, lads.
T: Amber malts, caramelized malt, and a bit of cream. Some bittering hops on the climax. Very simple. Not really bold and certainly not complex. A bit disappointing. Badly built and poorly balanced.
Mf: Too coarse. Wet. Very generic and not tailored to the flavours of the body.
Dr: Hides its relatively high ABV well, but is lacking in quality and even drinkability on account of the unwarranted coarseness. The price isn't bad in Holland, but it's still a beer I wouldn't havve again. It's very generic, but I wouldn't call it bad. Maybe fans of the style would appreciate it.
07-06-2011 11:27:31 | More by kojevergas
4.18/5 rDev +16.1%
07/24/05- Purchased at Plumpjack's in San Francisco, CA
Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with a code on the back label (dating?)
Attempted to pour in my Delirium Tremens tulip, but ended up in my Duvel tulip.
Appearance- Kind of between a dark red and light brown pour. A murky looking color. How about the color of very polluted water. At first pour into my Delirium glass I knew I was going to have to switch. About 2oz came out of the bottle to form about 10 oz of head. So, I poured that into my Duvel glass and continued on. Took me a good few minutes to pour the entire brew into my Duvel.
The lacing was very nice as well.
Smell- Smells kind of like a tripel, smells kinda like a oud bruin. Has the sweetness and dark fruit scent, but then has a roasted and tart scent as well.
Taste- Hmmm, tastes like a tripel, tastes like and oud bruin. Odd little beer. Starts with a moderate sweetness and light raisin flavor, then gets a wee bit tart and the roasted malt comes into play. Tastes just like it smells.
Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation, a bit crisp on swallow.
Drinkaibilty- Wow, I dig both beers from this brewery. This one is very refeshing. You can't even notice the abv as well. It's over 80 degrees outside and this one hit the spot. Very drinkable brew even though it really doesn't fall into an Oud Bruin or Tripel category. Not sweet enough or strong enough for a tripel and doesn't have that tart puckering kick for an oud bruin. Still a very good brew.
07-25-2005 02:26:03 | More by GClarkage
4.35/5 rDev +20.8%
Explodes out of bottle, took 5 minutes to pour, fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Murky amber color, ton of yeast in bottom of bottle. Strong carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Raisin nose. Flavor is sweet and sour raisins, smooth easy to drink, this small bottle is not enough. $3.19 for a 330ml bottle from John's Market Place Tigard, Or.
02-11-2007 23:50:22 | More by jdhilt
3.25/5 rDev -9.7%
Pours a murky reddish brown brew with one of the most violent carbonation levels that I have ever seen in a beer.
Smell is mild and fruity with a lightly tart scent not unlike Alka-Seltzer.
Taste is not nearly as sour as most Flanders red beers. the tang of lactic acid is tame. The rest of the flavor is fruity and dry with a bit of bitterness in the finish.
Mouthfeel is OK.
Drinkable? Not really. Not something I will buy again.
04-29-2004 03:37:53 | More by Zorro
British Columbia (Canada)
3.2/5 rDev -11.1%
Served in the brewery glass at Smokeless Joe's.
A: Deep amber-brown; off-white head, no retention or lace.
S: Dark fruit and spice, with slight hints of funk from the yeast.
T: Raisins, spice, brown sugar, caramel, cider, hints of phenols; modest bitterness. The slight sourness makes it seem like its more 'off' than an actual Flanders oud bruin.
M: Moderate body has some residual sugar, but the finish is still slightly dry.
D: Approachable, but not engaging.
05-25-2007 16:20:54 | More by Derek
3.33/5 rDev -7.5%
The beer pours a slightly hazy mahogany color with a smallish off white head that is frothy in texture; the lace is adequate to cover the glass. Nose has a sweet and sour aroma, hint of yeast, crisp and clean to the senses, start is tart and the top thin in its feel. Finish is acerbic, fair hop profile, sour and very dry aftertaste, cant really say it was bad, but really not a good representative to the style in my humble opinion.
02-23-2004 19:43:59 | More by Gusler
3.2/5 rDev -11.1%
Sandwiched this one in between a dubbel and a quad thinking it was a triple...silly me, trusting the label. Pours a reddish-brown hue with a thick, pillowy light tan head. Fairly line-bubbled foam fades a bit fast to a nice sheen and leaves a wall of lace on the glass. Unusually dark for a triple, but now that I see it classified as a Oud Bruin here, many more things about this one make a bit more sense.
On the nose I get green olives, sugary alcohol, strawberry/cherry bubblegum and some black pepper. A pretty complex and unique smelling beer.
Kinda thin feeling and pretty fruity in the mouth. Surprisingly malty and bready. Taste is not as complex as the smell and I wish the yeast gave the brew a bit more character. Overall I was a bit disappointed with this one, but then again, I was expecting a tripel.
05-23-2009 04:20:02 | More by twiggamortis420
3.28/5 rDev -8.9%
Appearance This one had what I call a kitchen head, because as soon as I popped the cap it blew all over my kitchen. It eventually settled into a nice, pond brown color in the glass.
Smell The malts here stand out from the other competitors. They are toasty dark with some mild cherry sweetness and a bit of modest sourness.
Taste The toasty malts hold their own here at the taste. They are dark and yeasty and hide what little fruit there is. The sourness is very understated and defers to the heavy malt base.
Mouthfeel This medium-bodied ale is overcarbonated even for this traditionally effervescent style. Not only did the head blow all over my kitchen floor but even in the mouth it is overdone and cheap.
Drinkability This wasnt all that bad. It completely missed the essence of the style though and felt clumsy on the palate.
06-29-2005 00:05:39 | More by RoyalT
3.58/5 rDev -0.6%
Presentation: 330ml/11.2 fl.oz tall thin brown glass bottle. The main label (as others have correctly pointed out) is somewhat confusing, as it appears to be the exact same one that is generic to both the Blond and Bruin. Labeled as a Tripel ale, refermented in the bottle both the Pilaarbijter Blond and Bruin have the same description on the label WTF?! The only difference is that the Bruin has a much darker brown background to the picture of a rather inebriated looking dude clinging and actually biting a stone Pillar (a play on words for the beers name Pillar Biter). The Bruin also has a Red colored crown cap, whereas the Blond has a run of the mill brass colored one.
Appearance: After cracking the red crown cap, a fantastic whisp of gray gun smoke twisted and swirled out of the bottle mouth. Poured into a large flute, the immense carbonation, as with the earlier Blond, produced a massive densely packed tan colored head. It soon settled down from the initial 4 or 5 to a much more manageable 2 thick covering that left little lacing. Actually the lacing and head soon settled down a lovely smooth 1 blanket covering that looks great. Foam builds in the bottle between pours, this is very highly carbonated Bruin. The body has a slight haze and reddish-brown body that has some orange-rustic hints. A body of streamers is detectable throughout the experience.
Nose: Again, like the previous Pilaarbijter Blond, rather subdued in strength. On popping the cap, I did get an immediate Flemish Bruin feel that lingered along with gun-smoke from the bottle. Sweetish malts, some toffee and the familiar yet very feint farmyard earthy smell that was also present in the Blond. Nice enough, I certainly have no complaints, but its just too damn weak.
Taste: A mellow Bruin. Inoffensive, which sometimes is a detraction for this style. Again, as with the Blond, the best part of the experience is concentrated in the back end. Clean malts, light toffee, some caramel, and a very slight sour tinge that helps to mix with the smooth carbonation and lend a mild acidic feel. A tad too restrained for my liking, but I am sure that this would make an excellent entry level Bruin for those wishing to try the style for the first time.
Mouthfeel: Sits extremely well in the mouth. The feel is bolstered to champagne levels with the extra smooth carbonation. The finish has some spicy earthy feel on the cheeks. Lively but never prickly, it is incredibly smooth with a nice velvet blanket feel on the tongue. As the Blond did, this really benefits from a spicy earth hop finish.
Drinkability: Hides the 7.0% quite well, and this is easy enough to drink, little in the way of barriers to deter even the fussiest non-Belgium lover. Yet some how for those of us that love our Bruins to have a little more in the testicle department it lacks balls long term.
Overall: Definitely (!!) a big disappointment if you are expecting a full blown Abbey Tripel. LOL. This is most certainly mis-labeled, someone at Bavik screwed up big time. Much more of a Bruin with Flemish influences here and there. For the same price as the Blond, $2.99 for the 33cl bottle (Hi-Times, Costa Mesa), I think I would opt to pick up the Blond in preference to the Bruin, and stick with the Duchesse when I need a Flemish Brune. Still this is well worth a try if you are looking for an entry level Bruin!
05-23-2004 22:28:53 | More by TheLongBeachBum
3.73/5 rDev +3.6%
Poured with a big, big frothy, foamy tan head. Didn't decant and it had lots of yeastoids. Color is a dark hazy brown. Aroma was light, malty, yeasty, and a bit fruity. Flavor was similar but with lots of caramel and toffee. Champagnesque carbonation. Yeasty, taffy, bittersweet finish. Not bad. Could easily drink more.
12-11-2008 05:14:01 | More by drpimento
British Columbia (Canada)
3.5/5 rDev -2.8%
Opaque brown with a big head this beer smells a bit like a dunkel. The taste is moderate with a semi sweet mid changing to a drier finish. A nice brown that is easy drinking but really very complex. I like it but it is not beer to stick in the memory.
06-28-2007 02:50:39 | More by canucklehead
3.53/5 rDev -1.9%
The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear but very dark brown. The head was tan and well lasting to lace the glass.
The aroma was malty with dark fruits, namely raisins. Some slight Belgian yeast spiciness emerged as the head fell and the beer warmed.
The flavor was malty but grainy. The hop flavor and bittering were decidedly earthy and the Belgian yeast spiciness was present but only at a very low and muted level. No appreciable alcohol presence was noted in the flavor.
The finish was dry with lasting caramel and fruitiness and the grainy character carried through to the aftertaste. Also the earthy bittering carried through and lasted. The body was medium to medium light and worked well. This beer was not complex at all, lots of muted flavors, but none working especially well together. No alcohol presence either, even warming after consumption was limited at best.
11.2 ounce bottle. Dark with a red cap. Purchased at Green's in Atlanta for $3.50. I doubt this is an Oud Bruin, more of a one off style closer to a Belgian Dark or a Dubbel. Nothing bad at all, but nothing I would seek out again.
05-06-2005 21:23:52 | More by GCBrewingCo
3.58/5 rDev -0.6%
Sampled at the Ostend Beer Festival 2004 in Oostende, Belgium.
Flat and distant nose, mainly fruit with ripe cherries and grapes but also a distant peppery spicyness.
Nicely layered. Front is dark malts (caramel and chocolate) with nuts. Towards the end the fruit notes come out, espeically cherries and grapes.
07-24-2004 01:16:42 | More by Crosling
Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Bruin (Red Cap) from De Brabandere
82 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.