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Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Bruin (Red Cap) - De Brabandere

Not Rated.
Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Bruin (Red Cap)Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Bruin (Red Cap)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

57 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 57
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 3
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
De Brabandere visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-18-2004)
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Ratings: 57 | Reviews: 47 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scottoale
scottoale

California

3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this for $1.79 at a local liquor store, no freshness date except the 5 digit code on the back label. From the 330ml. brown bottle pours a mahogany-brown with a three-finger tan head. I trickled ( rather than pour) into a tulip glass and the carbonation was off the chart. There was a thick yeast sediment glued to the bottle bottom.

The nose is malty with a spicy, musty, sourness throughout. As it warmed some alcohol comes through with an orange-peel citrus aroma of sweetness.

Sweet, spicy malt followed by a tangy tartness and a yeasty finish. This stuff is mouth puckering with some sizzle on the tongue that comes to a creamy ending.

The body is full, the carbonation is out of control and the flavor is sour (tart) overall. An interesting Belgian that's worth tasting.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2006 09:53:25 | More by scottoale
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 it’s 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!

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2004 22:28:53 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled at the Ostend Beer Festival 2004 in Oostende, Belgium.

Copper.

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2004 01:16:42 | More by Crosling
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2005 20:48:13 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Dukeofearl
Dukeofearl

California

3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I opened this puppy on my balcony 16 hours after purchase. Boy was I glad I was outside- I lost almost 1/3 of the bottle to overblown root-beer like foam that just kept going and going and going. It would have been an incredible mess in the house. What was left poured a medium brown, translucent (root beer is not a bad description of the color) that (obviously) had a monstrous off-white head. Aroma is soft and bready with moderate sweetness, and a very slight hop note. Flavor is of honey and sweetbreads with that same slight hop bite at the end. A nice brew- not great, but very drinkable. I tried this and the Pilaarbijter Blond in sequence, and this is the better of the two.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2004 14:56:26 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of rallison
rallison

California

3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a mini Chimay goblet at Lucky Baldwin's.

Smell has some of the funky sourness - nice little hint as to what you're in for. Taste definitely has tartness, but is more subtle than a Duchesse, for example. Has certain oakey quality. Earthy flavors, with some caramel malts to balance it. Mouthfeel is pretty well carbonated, although not entirely satisfying - could use a little more body or something. Drinkability is good.

This is a nice, but not exceptional, example of the style. I'd take another glass of it if offered, but might not buy it again. Still, I can recommend this.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2007 08:54:32 | More by rallison
Photo of DJLehnherr
DJLehnherr

France

3.64/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The Pilaarbijter brown poured out of the bottle with a big and tall foamy head. A lot of carbonation here. A light and translucent (almost clear) brown color, a shade over to the red side. At first, all I could smell was the malty yeast scents coming from this long-lasting head: an overpowering yeastiness. After the foam settled (after quite some time), perhaps a little cherry sweetness mixed in with the malty scents.

It tasted fairly sweet — a bit sweeter than I expected — mixed with that roasted chestnut flavor that I really like in browns. Very typical of browns here. Maybe again also hints of cherries, and then with a little bitterness — but not too much — on the finish. The carbonation was lost on the head, however, as this beer went flat very quickly.

After several sips, my main impression was that this 6.5% ABV beer is very easy to drink: Maybe too easy to drink. The flavors are there, but they’re less bold than in other browns. This is a mild brown, a bit thin -- it even seemed “watered-down” to me. This is a beer that would pair easily as an accompagnement to a meal, but is perhaps less impressive as a standalone beer. Quite drinkable, however, and surely a pleasure for those who like sweet brown ales!

(NOTE: Though the page here says 7% ABV, my bottle marketed for northern Europe is clearly marked 6.5%.)

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 07:51:49 | More by DJLehnherr
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2005 11:09:04 | More by Gavage
Photo of mickeymac
mickeymac

California

3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From an 11.2 oz bottle, it's reddish brown with a fairly active head that leaves a lot of little bubbles even after the head dies down a bit. As with the blond version, both the smell and taste are decidedly subdued. This is a decent brew that's quite drinkable, with nothing off-putting in the smell or taste. Too many great Belgians are out there to go looking for this one again.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2004 05:00:23 | More by mickeymac
Photo of deadonhisfeet
deadonhisfeet

Kentucky

3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this baby into a goblet and it came out highly carbonated (as expected) sporting a nice white head. The nose was very wine like with apples, honey, and berries.

The taste is quite malty and fruity sweet up front (apples and dark cherries), then becomes dry juniper on the finish. The taste of this beer is quite good, but the finish is a little drab.

I enjoyed this beer quite a bit, but one can easily find beers of this style with quite a bit more substance. There's certainly nothing wrong with it, but I don't think I'd seek it out. There are better ales of this style that are more plentiful in this neck of the woods.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2011 00:44:33 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of DogFood11
DogFood11

California

3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had no idea what to expect from this brew as this is the first Oud Bruin style that I've had that I know of. Pours a dark brown with a nice cloud like head that settles down to a solid finger and partial lacing. If you just touch your lips to the brew it comes across sour but with a full gulp it becomes balanced. Sour up front then builds into a medium to full bodied caramel/fruity middle. Fascinating on the palate. bubbly carbonation but without the sting. rolling soft texture on the tongue. The sourness lingers in the aftertaste.

I enjoyed this beer although it takes some getting used to.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2005 02:58:20 | More by DogFood11
Photo of drpimento
drpimento

Wisconsin

3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2008 05:14:01 | More by drpimento
Photo of brandon911
brandon911

Texas

3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

06-23-2014 22:43:01 | More by brandon911
Photo of Umbra
Umbra

Maryland

3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Didn't have the pouring issues with this one that I've seen in other reviews. This was the other half of a free four pack of the pilar biters. Cloudy light brown with thick tan head. Great retention and lacing. Acidic caramel aroma that comes back in the flavor. Sweet sour mix was nice, though I would've liked it to swing one way or the other a bit more. Nice caramel apple feeling afterwards, so I think that I'll save the other bottle for later in the fall. Tart and hearty, it came off as medium bodied and finished clean. Drinkability was up there a bit.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2006 16:27:22 | More by Umbra
Photo of Graham5161986
Graham5161986

British Columbia (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a cloudy, very dark reddish brown with a 3 finger, rocky off-white head that has great staying power. Leaves a patchy lace.

S: tart fruitiness, ripe cherries and a touch of brown sugar malt. A bit of cotton candy as well.

T: nice ripened, tart fruit flavour with a warming alcohol sensation, slight floral hoppiness with a sweet touch of yeast on the finish.

M:light and very crisp, well-carbonated and a smooth, dry, tart finish.

D: This is a nice and interesting beer. The colour is fantastic and tartness of the fruit really makes it an enjoyable beer to sip. The alcohol is well hidden and provides for the slightest of warming sensations as the beer slides down your throat. I would buy this beer again - I would also like to try their blonde.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2008 08:30:13 | More by Graham5161986
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2007 05:53:10 | More by Sammy
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew spewed beer all over my counter when I opened it. Pours a light brown color with foam all over the place and decent retention and lacing. The aroma is backed by a caramel character with some acidic sourness along with some sour apples. The flavor follows suit very well. Quite tart at first, but also complex once my palate gets used to the sourness. There's a strong backing of toasted malts in this one as well. The body is ok, but it seems to be way overcarbonated and the drinkability is pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2006 15:37:35 | More by clvand0
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2006 12:20:42 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of drewbage
drewbage

California

3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cl brown bottle with no date marking. Poured into my brand spanking new Pilaarbijter glass.

Beer pours with an impressive white head that holds big and foamy until the mustache puts it work to it.

Deep dark red beer with a light haze and a good fine bubble that flows through the brew.

Aroma is dried fruits and cinnamon with just a touch of mustiness, but the aroma is just a preview of the flavor.

The flavor.. dried cherries and apricots with a blend of cinnamon and ginger with a soft sourness that leads into a dry nutty earthiness and a final bite that opens the palate for next sip.

Not the most complex beer (not surprising given it's origins from Bavik, but its an admirable effort.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2004 06:30:36 | More by drewbage
Photo of damndirtyape
damndirtyape

Ohio

3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at La Trappe, San Francisco. Served in a 25 cl Tulip Glass.

Appearance: Ruby-red to brown clear beer, with a light tan 1/4" dense head. Lots of persistent lacing all over the glass.

Smell: Slightly musty, oak, some vanilla.

Taste: Roasted malt mixed in with some woody/oak flavors, sweet malt (again a hint of vanilla) and some sourness at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth at first, but lingers a bit sticky on the teeth. Nice thickness and light carbonation.

Overall / Drinkability: Nice looking beer, but with my first few sips I wasn't sure. However, as I drank more of it, it grew on me and I ended up having another glass. While I ended up sipping on it over the dinner, I found by the end of the first glass I could have easily downed it and definitely wanted another glass to savor a bit more. So drinkable in regards to the fact that you want to enjoy it, slowly, over a longer period than a 25 cl glass can provide.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2013 05:12:54 | More by damndirtyape
Photo of Marius
Marius

Romania

4/5  rDev +11.4%

07-17-2013 15:50:29 | More by Marius
Photo of Ciocanelu
Ciocanelu

Romania

4/5  rDev +11.4%

07-16-2013 21:00:50 | More by Ciocanelu
Photo of Brabander
Brabander

Netherlands

4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good and honest brown old Flanders. I bought this one in Gent a few weeks ago. This is an old style beer and i loved it.

Poured in my Struise glass the beer itself is darkred to brown. Big big broken white head with some carbonation.

Good and sweet smell. Tasted some sugar, burned malt and very faint the yeast.

A very nice and drinkable beer!

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2010 22:15:27 | More by Brabander
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4/5  rDev +11.4%

09-02-2012 15:08:16 | More by t0rin0
Photo of rekel
rekel

Netherlands

4/5  rDev +11.4%

11-28-2011 21:27:00 | More by rekel
Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Bruin (Red Cap) from De Brabandere
82 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.