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Val-Dieu Brune - Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu

Val-Dieu BruneVal-Dieu Brune

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

209 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 209
Reviews: 164
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.45%

Brewed by:
Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu visit their website

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-20-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 209 | Reviews: 164 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.51/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark crimson-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruit, alcohol, and slight smoke aromas. Taste is much the same with smoke and dark fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of smoke bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is fairly tasty but the smoke presence I am getting is unexpected for the style.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2013 04:35:57 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a stubby, brown 33cl bottle into a snifter Most of the dark, muddy sediment at the bottom of the bottle added in the pour. The beer was still rather clear, dark brown in color, with a small bone-colored head. The head soon died to a top coat but ample and attractive sticky lacing was left clinging to the glass as the level slowly reduced.

Sweet and fruity aroma. Sniffing this is the only way one gets a hint that the ABV is over 4-5% (except for some warming).

The flavor is mildly sweet with a slight bitterness and a touch of sour. There's a load of dark fruit over medium and medium-dark malts with a hints of smoke, wood, and coffee in the finish and aftertaste. Hints of plums, prunes, dried cherries, roasted nuts and fruit cake. Yum (approaches 4.5)

M: Full, creamy smooth feel with fine, soft carbonation.

O: A very satisfying and drinkable brune. The 8% ABV is mostly well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2013 22:41:38 | More by chinchill
Photo of micromaniac129


3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Abbey val dieu brown pours adeep reddish brown. A beige head which is quite thin sits on top. The body is dense and fades with lacing in it's wake.
The aroma I get hints of sweet malts candied sugar and molasses but there is also a sourness to the aroma as well as vinagar notes.
The taste is dark fruits and sweet candied sugar. Some malts too while the yeast gives a bit of a spicey taste as well. Also, there is a sour taste one can pull out.
While the brew is still chilled it drinks dry and bitter but as it warms the sweetness of the brew comes out and hepls tone down the bitterness.
This brew drinks thinner then most dubbels with some warming alcohol on the palette.
This is a good beer but with decent flavor but what throws me off is the sourness like one might taste in a Flanders style. In any event a pretty likeable brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2013 11:50:06 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of Cyrano41


4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a stubby brown bottle into a goblet. Dark, reddish brown with one inch of beige head. Thined slowly but left lots of pretty lacing all around. Aroma was malts and for the first time I get the "bread" description for beer. Mouthfeel heavy in a good way. Maybe substantial instead of heavy, you know it's there but it isn't a burden. I picked up some nuttyness, brown suger and some alchol. I got this one on a whim with no expectations. I'll get it with malice of fore thought next time.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2013 01:43:12 | More by Cyrano41
Photo of babaracas


4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brownish dark red with one finger thick cream colored head. Settles to a thin ring, with a few thick rings left down the glass. Smell: brown bread, baker's chocolate, cooked red apple with a brown sugar and cinnamon dusting. Taste: upfront it's ripe pear and toasted brown bread with a slight alcohol note, then into powdery unsweet chocolate, red apple skin, cinnamon and (very mild) anise. Mid sip there's some balance from a mild earthy hopping. Medium bodied with fluffy carbonation, juicy towards the end of the sip before a semi-dry, spice accompanied finish. Nice dessert compliment or dessert itself. Cork stamped 10/12.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 05:17:34 | More by babaracas
Photo of stakem


3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33cl stubby brown bottle into a matching Val-Dieu goblet. Again, an example of the best by date being already surpassed (7/7/11) yet I have no gripes about this brew being over the hill by any regards. The brew appears a dark mahogany color with seriously clarity when held to the light. A finger and a half of mildly tanned cap sits atop and slowly fades leaving a full wall of lacing effect on the glass.

The aroma is straight blackstrap molasses coupled with notes of brown sugar, raisins, dates and dark belgian candy sugar/syrup. There is a hint of something root beer or cola-like across the middle of the nose before going on to something more like fruity to floral hops with a hint of earth. Across the back, as this brew warms up there is a hint of something almost dusty or musty about the grain inclusion.

The taste is similar to the aroma in that molasses is a very solid inclusion to the flavor profile. Hints of brown sugar, raisins, dates and belgian candy sugar all support in a formulation to add to the complexity of the sweetness in this brew. However, there is a solid contrast of citrus to fruity and floral hop elements with enough alcohol inclusion to keep things in check. Whereas the aroma led on to this being somewhat oxidized and dusty, the flavor profile is rich, luscious, inviting and very much fresh.

This is a medium bodied brew with a slick, modest amount of carbonation that was perfect for the style. Overall it was a decent take on the style with the aroma being a bit underwhelming but the flavor really picking things up. My only gripe is that the flavor and residual malt character almost had a bit of piercing sweetness that stung the back of the throat. Having dried this out just a little bit would have helped to increase the overall enjoyable and drink-ability. As-is I almost feel guilty like I should go take a shot of insulin to counteract the sweetness of this brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2012 03:43:17 | More by stakem
Photo of superspak


4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into chalice, 02/09 cork dating. Pours lightly hazy dark reddish brown color with a nice 1-2 finger light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big raisin, prune, caramel, toffee, toast, chocolate, molasses, herbal, earth, clove, pepper, and yeast spices. Damn excellent aromas with great balance and complexity. Taste of raisin, prune, toffee, toast, bread, molasses, chocolate, herbal, earth, clove, and yeast spices. Lingering notes of dark fruit, molasses, caramel, toffee, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, earth, and clove on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of flavors; no cloying sweetness at all on the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed well after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Dubbel! Great flavor complexity and balance; and very smooth to sip on. Highly enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2012 03:29:02 | More by superspak
Photo of mgironta

New Jersey

4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a rich, dark brown with a two finger off white head that dissipates rather quickly. There is a decent amount of lacing left on the interior glass. On the nose, I get some malt and coffee. On the next sniff, I get some chocolate on it and a hint of smoke. This is one of the more complex noses that I’ve had on a beer. On first sip, there’s a decent amount of sweetness to this brew with a very subtle hint of bitterness. I get dates, some coffee notes and chocolate. I also get a bit of brown sugar. There is a lot going on with this beer. The alcohol, despite being pretty high for 8%, is completely hidden. There is also moderate carbonation on this brew. I also thought that this was going to a heavy beer due to the color, but this is a lot lighter than I thought it would be. The finish on the brew is mildly bitter and lingers. This is an awesome beer that is full of complexities and nuances. I will definitely be trying more Belgians if they’re at all like this.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2012 23:07:01 | More by mgironta
Photo of mscudder


3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a snifter. Really love Belgium browns so here we go!

EDIT: Located on the cork was "Val-Dieu 2/11" Assuming this is the bottle date it may account for my dissatisfaction.

A - A deep dark brown which I would nearly define as black. Poured no head whatsoever, thus leading to no lace nor retention.

S - Some dark fruits, toasted malts, caramel and spicy hops. Nice!

T - Fairly large beer with roasted flavors with a complimentary sweetness almost completely throughout. Finishes with a bit of warmth from the ABV and some hop bitterness. I cannot seem to identify a bottle date but it tastes as if it may be a bit beyond age, leading a loss of balance.

M -A nice full-medium bodied brown. As fore-mentioned, there is a bit of bitterness on the back end, against my liking.

O - This is a fair brown that was below what I anticipated. It may just be the bottle I received, but this is far from the better Dubbel's I have come across.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2012 04:11:40 | More by mscudder
Photo of Aethien


3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a small cream coloured head that stays with you and leaves an almost solid lacing around the glass, I don't think I've ever seen a beer leave this much lacing, my entire glass is covered with lacing, pretty cool.
The first things I smell are sweet malts and dark fruit (cherries, plums) followed by bread, caramel and a little alcohol as well.
The taste follows the nose but is a little sweeter and occasionally reminiscent of a stout, quite unexpected but a nice surprise. A tingly alcohol, roasted malts and raising flavour lingers for a while on the tongue. The tastes are all well balanced, subtle and smooth. And smooth is what it feels like. Silky smooth and very heavy, definitely a sipper.

Overall I was positively surprised, this is a beer to take your time with and it doesn't give you much of a choice in the matter either. It was surprisingly stoutlike at times yet always smooth and subtle.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2012 19:32:33 | More by Aethien
Photo of TMoney2591


3.4/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Val-Dieu! just doesn't resound as well as Mon Dieu! does it? Oh well, this stuff pours a somewhat dingy brown topped by a finger of cream foam and populated by some minor floaties. The nose comprises caramel, toffee, light cardboard, light walnut, and light white bread. The taste holds notes of caramel, light dark fruits, light cardboard, and a touch of rye bread. Methinks oxidation has gotten to this, but it's not in the usual way, so that's questionable at this point. Still, it ain't half bad. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, a pretty good dubbel, but nothing close to exceptional or special.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 04:57:10 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of supermantoine


4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cL bottle served in an unbranded chalice at home.

The beer poured very dark brown with 3/4th of an inch beige head. It appeared clear with some yeasty chunks. The head went down to 1/4th of an inch in about one minute and stayed on top of the beer till I finished it.

The smell has lots of roasted grains, caramel, a little hops and reminds me of Guinness Draught.

It tastes roasted and sweet, and has some dark fruits i.e. cherries, raisins. No noticeable hops, but bitterness/maltiness is very well balanced. It doesn't taste like most of the Dubbel's i'm familiar with. It's way more roasted.

It has a thick mouthfeel, maybe even a little bit creamy. Carbonation is medium and it finishes off in a balanced sweet/bitter aftertaste.

This is an abbey beer brewed with great craftsmanship. It's balanced and has an unexpected taste.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 00:43:08 | More by supermantoine
Photo of BMoldy

New York

3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark chestnut-colored brew with a large, thick off-white head that's still around several minutes later. Super sticky lacing.

S: Sweet malts with strong fruit (pear) notes. Very faint spicy hop aroma.

T: Standard dubbel character, with a good match-up of sweet caramel-like malts and fruity/spicy yeast that gives the beer a pleasant sort of tartness. Slight alcohol warmth. Finish is surprisingly clean, with a mild hop flavor/bitterness.

M: Medium-bodied bordering on the heavy side, probably from the alcohol, with a somewhat slick mouthfeel that just avoids being cloying. Very faint astringency at the very end. Good, unobtrusive carbonation keeps the beer drinkable while letting the flavors shine on their own.

O: I have a particular love for this brewery, though I still prefer the Blonde to the Brune. A solid dubbel, though not as a rich in malt character as some others, and the mouthfeel could use some cleaning up. Still, the flavors blend nicely and the yeast character is particularly interesting.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 14:20:13 | More by BMoldy
Photo of portia99


4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a neutral dark brown color with deep amber highlights...good clarity. Three fingers of stiff, dense and whipped cream textured khacki foam sits atop without giving any indication of falling to the surface. Excellent staying power. When it does finally fall it leaves behind thick sheets of lacing on the glass.

S - Bread is the first impression, a bit nutty, very grainy, mild metallic aspect, booze, light caramel, cinnamon, a bit of band-aid, cloves, dark fruit, mild vinegar. Very nice.

T - Dark fruit, raisins, bread, booze, cloves, menthol (higher alcohols), caramel, candi sugar, touch of acetic vinegary tartness. Lots of complexity here.

M - Rather full bodied with an assertive carbonation. A bit boozy at first but seems to smooth out as the bottle progresses.

O - Very nice Belgian Dubbel. Had no expectations going into this one...happy with what I found. Not my favorite style (prefer the hoppier stuff), but this works quite nicely. A semi-slow drinker...should get me through most of the rest of the night.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2011 23:46:04 | More by portia99
Photo of brewdenver


4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good lacing and fingers around glass. Dark brown in color. with a low head. Head is a oatmeal cream color. Rustic oak smell; strong with subtle esters of alcohol and belgian hops. Subtle taste not too strong in any one area. A slight sourness but very very subtle. My palette can't really put a finger on the taste of this but I like it. there are a lot of complexities going on with this beer but somehow it remains subtle. Carbonation is nice. Right in between. A very good beer. Too bad I bought it in a box set and have not seen this anywhere else. The tripel seems to have even better reviews can't wait to try that.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2011 16:07:54 | More by brewdenver
Photo of KajII

North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Trappist glass]

Poured a medium brown with a large rocky off white head that was mostly lasting and had excellent lacing. The aroma was of toasted malts, a leathery yeast and a slight herbal hop with notes of molasses and coffee. It tasted lighty sweet and sour at first and ended slightly bitter with a strong hint of coffee and a slight alcohol finish that lasted a short time on the palate. Mouthfeel was medium in body and oily in texture with a flat carbonation. Overall a tasty abbey ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2011 17:10:04 | More by KajII
Photo of RedBrewer83


4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into goblet...

A: Pours a dark amber hue with a frothy two finger tan head.

S: Nice aromas of rich caramel malt, bready yeast profile and faint spice.

T: Follows the nose, rich malt upfront followed by the yeast profile full of toasted bread and sweet caramel and just the right amount of spice on the finish.

M: Incredibly smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation, a dry finish and the 8% is so well hidden.

D: Goes down super smooth and a great balance of flavor. Perfect for a chilly night!

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 04:09:35 | More by RedBrewer83
Photo of GilGarp


4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle with cork and cage served cold into a goblet.

The Val-Dieu Brown has a beautiful redish hue with good clarity. The head is thick and long-lasting with nice lacing as it settles.

Aroma is soft and malty with a mild bready yeast. There is a little caramel and spice to go along with it.

Flavor is much the same with a caramel-toffee sweetness and warming winter spice overtones. The yeast is probably the dominant unique flavor here but rich malts make the base.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with appropriate carbonation.

Overall a very good dubbel although still not one of the best. A good value and worth a try if you're into the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2010 01:29:53 | More by GilGarp
Photo of A380

Manitoba (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark cloudy colour with lots of bubbles (strongly carbonated) and a very nice creamy tan head with amazing lacing. initial smell is quite weak, not very strong. dark roasts and alcohol with toffee, taste is quite the same with a hint of added yeast. very refreshing. this is the second bier i have had by val dieu and i can honestly say that these beers are two of the finest beers i have ever tried.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 04:23:32 | More by A380
Photo of kjyost

Manitoba (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle purchased at the MLCC. Bottle BB 09/02/2012. Poured into a Duvel tulip. Served around 8-10C

A: Unfortunately flakes of heavily flocculated yeast made it into the beer, but save that it is a perfectly normal Dubbel. A rich reddish brown that is clear with a finger and a half of head that descended quickly, leaving lacing as it drops.

S: Aromas are stronger than expected, but appreciated. It smells great for its style, with a bit of burnt sugar and sour cherries coming through at different times.

T/M: A very thick body with some residual sweetness plays nicely. Lots of berries, predominantly cherries, then it morphs into raisins, comes across the palate lingering and sticking there wonderfully. A very enjoyable brew, although the carbonation comes off as a little low.

D: Must slow down. This is 8%...

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2010 19:44:32 | More by kjyost
Photo of RuudJH


4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fresh smell of yeast, caramel and dark stewed fruits.
Taste similar: quite sweet and sour. Malts in the background, with coffee and nuts.
Mouthfeel is smooth and mellow. Bitterness in the aftertaste, with coffee and chocolate covered nutts.
Not a bad brew at all. It's drinkable, meant for wet cold fall evenings. Nice example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2010 16:32:37 | More by RuudJH
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear dark burgundy color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet fruit ester and candi sugar is quite enticing and enjoyable. Taste is a proper mix between some candi sugar with notes of fruity ester and a medium sweet malt backbone. Body is a bit light for style with great carbonation and light creamy texture which is quite good with no apparent alcohol. Very nice for the style and something I wouldn't mind drinking more often.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2010 18:55:42 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of bskrtz


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

11.2 ounce bottle emptied into my trusty St Bernardus Watou glass challis

A) Dark chestnut brown, hazy & dense with yeasties. Small lacy biege head, moderate carbonation

S) Sweet & sour mash, root beer, licorice, bread pudding

T) Very complex mix of sweet figs, raisons, dates, apricot & banana with muted espresso and burnt chocolate. There is a lot happening here.

M) Lively with ample carbonation. Alcohol is well hidden but apparent after it's gone...

D) Very good beer; classic Belgian Dubbel

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2010 00:29:00 | More by bskrtz
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark russet red with apricot accents and a beautiful crown of khaki colored foam that is classic Belgian ale. Fine yeast can be seen drifting downwards and fine bubbles can be seen blipping upwards, while sheets of tattered lace are beginning to be laid down.

Speaking of classic, the aroma is classic dubbel. It features medium-dark fruit (mostly medium) and has a pleasing amount of yeast estery clove spiciness. Good things are expected on the palate.

Like all Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu ales, Brune is good beer. It does nothing out of the ordinary, it just does everything that it's supposed to do exactly right. If even a little improvement occurs with warming, a 4.5 for taste might be in order.

Specifics include brown bread covered with fruit marmalade, ripe figs, sticky dates, hints of earthy tobacco and toasted pecans. That makes it sound like the beer is overly sweet, but it isn't. There's enough bitterness to keep things in relative balance, which improves drinkability even more.

The mouthfeel, while pleasant, isn't up to the usual standards for beer from this country. It could use a little more heft and it could be more expansively creamy. That might be nitpicking, but Belgians are the best mouthfeel brewers in the world, so I use slightly different standards for their products.

When all is said and done, this beer is at least as good as Triple and Blond. Only Winter (also known as Grand Cru) is superior. If you have a hankering for a classic Belgian dubbel, Val-Dieu Brune will scratch that itch will no trouble at all.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2010 13:17:34 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of daledeee


4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. This is a stubble 11.2 bottle

Poured a dark brown with some chunkies. Head is near white with excellent lacing.

Nose is not very strong but has the dark fruit going on.

Taste is really nice with dark cherries, figs, plums. This beer is slightly sweet.

Mouth feel is about right with some carbonation and not as watery as some other dubbels I have had.

Alcohol is hidden and this is very drinkable. One of the better dubbels I have had.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2010 23:15:53 | More by daledeee
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Val-Dieu Brune from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
90 out of 100 based on 209 ratings.