1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Bruin (Red Cap)Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Bruin (Red Cap)

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

56 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 56
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 10.86%


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)
View: Beers (30) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 47 | Show All Ratings:
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 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 GClarkage
GClarkage

California

4.18/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2005 02:26:03 | More by GClarkage
Photo of Paddez
Paddez

Belgium

3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very foamy stuff this, and quite hard to pour properly.
The beer - once poured into a goblet - is cloudy and maple brown topped by a huge off-white head.

Smell: The smell is malty and mildly tart with some aromas of dark fruits, raisins and spices.

Taste:The taste is a bit weak. Malty with some roastiness and some raisins. Some faint spices in the back. Finishes slightly tart, leaving some roasty raisin notes to linger in your mouth.

Mouthfeel & Drinkabillity: Medium bodied and appropriately carbonated, but somewhat flat and without any warming effect of the alcohol.

Conclusion: A fair beer in a style that's not my favourite.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2005 20:32:56 | More by Paddez
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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 wasn’t all that bad. It completely missed the essence of the style though and felt clumsy on the palate.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2005 00:05:39 | More by RoyalT
Photo of GCBrewingCo
GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2005 21:23:52 | More by GCBrewingCo
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 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 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 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 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 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 Zorro
Zorro

California

3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2004 03:37:53 | More by Zorro
Photo of mzwolinski
mzwolinski

California

3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a devil of a time figuring this one out, until I read EyechartBrew's review. My bottle, too, was misleadingly labeled as a "triple," which led to a bit of confusion on my part as the beer poured out an almost opaque brown. Nice looking head on the thing -- thick, long-lasting, even if lacking lace. But it sure as heck didn't look like a triple.

Nor did it smell or taste like one. Didn't smell like much at all, actually. A bit of tart yeast, but very mild. The flavor is fairly malty, with some hints of dark fruit, and finishes with just the slightest hint of sour flavor -- quite dry.

A decent enough flavor, and with a nice mouthfeel. But not much depth at all, and not at all what I would expect for the style. Pretty boring.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2004 03:03:11 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of GreenCard
GreenCard

Oregon

3.05/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by date: Oct. 2, 2006...

Appearance: reddish brown color, good clarity, light terracotta-colored foam (weird!), huge spongey pillow of head, good retention, lacey

Aroma: malty sweetness, earthy hops, spicey, slight sourness

Flavor: musty malt backbone with a slight tangy twinge, yeasty, molasses, finishes pretty dry with a can sugar aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, blooming carbonation, alcohol warmth

Overall Impression: The mouth of the bottle and the cap were rimmed with dried sediment. Bottle must have been stored upside down for a long time. An OK beer. A bit different than the usual bruine, but not spectacular.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2004 18:21:59 | More by GreenCard
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 kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.63/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2011 11:27:31 | More by kojevergas
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-07-2009 00:03:10 | More by smcolw
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-28-2007 02:50:39 | More by canucklehead
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 BrewMaster
BrewMaster

California

4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Ruby red and semi cloudy with a fluffy tan head with excellent retention.

Smell: Light aroma that is slightly fruity with cherry notes. There is sweet malty base to the nose as well.

Taste: Light dusting of caramel flavor with a fruit flavor coming from the malt. Some candy sugar and a tart, sandy ending. A hint of sweet corn sweetness is also in there. Not very lively but well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Coats mouth well without being sticky or overbearing.

Drinkability: Very drinkable and it paired well with pizza at Lucky Baldwin's.

Serving type: on-tap

04-10-2005 19:32:47 | More by BrewMaster
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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, can’t really say it was bad, but really not a good representative to the style in my humble opinion.

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2004 19:43:59 | More by Gusler
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Bruin (Red Cap) from De Brabandere
82 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.