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

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

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47 Reviews
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Reviews: 47
Hads: 62
Avg: 3.59
pDev: 10.86%
Wants: 3
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
De Brabandere visit their website

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-18-2004

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 47 | Hads: 62
Photo of Brabander
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!

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Photo of katan
3.21/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz into a bottle

A - Pours a dark brown, to almost a red amber color. Extremely hazy. Head formation extremely strong, leaves behind a 1/2" head. Dirty white in color.

S - An orangish, sour, and almost acidic note on the nose. Very potent belgian notes here, with some yeasty backdrop.

T - Starts with that orange almost oxidized note - sour, acidic like orange juice. Mid-stream starts to show some sweetness and lots of buttery esters. No hops to be found. Some bready yeast bite starts to show in the aftertaste. Seems to have the hint of champagne instead of beer.

M - Moderate beer body, but certainly a potent carbonation profile. Little retained sensation on the tongue.

D - Moderate to low drinkability - highly filling with all the carbonation. ABV is OK, but a hair difficult. Lastly, the flavors just do get a bit old.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours to a hazy reddish brown color that with a light tan head that explodes out of the glass, but then quickly settles down to a skim through mid-glass.

Aroma is a tad muted, but is mostly a mix of hoppy citrus fruits and malty sour dark fruits. Mouthfeel is tangy-sweet, alomost like a dumbed down Flemish Sour. Flavor follows the fuit theme, and the finish is a fairloy confusing mix of smooth dark ale and the wackiness of a Flemish Sour.

An interesting beer.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
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.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.06/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of scottoale
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.

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Photo of Jredner
3.29/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The aroma holds sweet candy sugar and fruit notes with a rich sweet maltiness and mild dirt/dust notes. The body is a cloudy and ruddy brown and holds a massive three finger thick tan head that is both bubbly and diminishing. Low intensity flavor on the initial sip. There are some muted apple notes and mild fruit peel tinged sweetness. It feels spent like it once had flavor and couldn’t hold onto it. The carbonation is tongue tingling, but not out of control and the lacing is non existent with foam left from sips quickly sliding down the inside of the glass. Ho-hum.

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Photo of rallison
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.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.41/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of janubio
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one pours an enormous head that last for a big while.
Dark cloudy brown colour
Smell of dark fruits, raisins, cherries, chocolate and some wet earth. Rough earthy flavour, taste of fruits, specially cherries, with caramel notes and spices. Interesting, but there's something that it lacks that I can really define. Have to try another one.

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Photo of BrewMaster
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
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.

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Photo of mickeymac
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.

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Photo of JBogan
2.97/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a cloudy dark amber with a large tan head. Lots of carbonation here.

Smell of raisin, perhaps a little coffee as well. Alcohol was present but mild.

Tasted the alcohol more than I was expecting, along with dark fruits and a bit of what seemed like tobacco.

Mouthfeel was somewhat thick, maybe overly so for my taste.

Not the most drinkable beer. I was a little disappointed with this, hoping for maybe a bit more balanced flavor.

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Photo of dgallina
3.02/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 fluid ounce brown bottle without freshness dating. Labeled as a tripel, but that's doubtful given the color and flavor. Clearly a Flemish brown ale.

Pours hazy dark copper / brown with prodigious tan cream head, very good lace. Doesn't smell of much of anything. Some fleeting sweet malts and perhaps a touch of sour oak. Tastes quite muted. Chewy toasted malt in the center with a lightly tannic wood and iron finish. Medium body, very big carbonation.

A really uneven beer. Looks great but the smell and taste are forgettable. Bavik know how to make decent beer (see the Petrus line for some good examples). They should drop this redundant brand IMHO.

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Photo of drewbage
3.92/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of Graham5161986
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of Umbra
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of Paddez
3.31/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of TheBeerWatcher
3.12/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pilaarbijter Bruin has a hazy, orange brown color with lots of floaties. The creamy head is beige and abundant. It slowly leaves a nice lacing on the elegant Pilaarbijter glass.

The aroma is dominated by roasted malts with a touch of tart and spicyness (cloves). Not really complex but not bad.

Tasting the beer is not surprising at all: more roasted malts, sweetness upfront and some bitterness in the rather long aftertaste. The syruppy mouthfeel and roasted taste make me think of a stout, certainly considering the very low level of carbonation.

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Photo of DJLehnherr
3.59/5  rDev 0%
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%.)

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Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Bruin (Red Cap) from De Brabandere
82 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.