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

Not Rated.
Val-Dieu BruneVal-Dieu Brune

Educational use only; do not reuse.

169 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 169
Hads: 249
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 12.19%
Wants: 15
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu visit their website

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-20-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Val-Dieu Brune Alström Bros
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Reviews: 169 | Hads: 249
Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A decent Belgium and an easy drink. Lots of Lace. Aroma of yeast and bit of spice. Sediment. Bittersweet: malts and balanced with hops. Medium mouthfeel. Some sugar and carmel. A bit complex. Some coffee and mint. I have had better in this style, but this is satisfying.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy ice tea brown body with a decent creamy head that never quits and leaves lots of lacing

Smell: Yeasty, brown bready, with a dash of unsweetened chocolate

Taste: Starts out with a slightly sweet bready profile and some nicely balanced bitterness joins at mid-palate; finishes consistent with the balanced flavors and some alcoholic warmth

Mouthfeel: A touch light for a dubbel with plenty of carbonation

Drinkability: Decent, but I feel it is lacking a bit of sweetness and complexity to be among the very best dubbels

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Photo of Phyl21ca
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.

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Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a chalice, a dark brown color with flecks of red. It had a pillowy, off-white, two-finger head that left very nice lace.

S - It smelled of tons of malt. Also, dried fruit and nut aromas were present.

T - It tasted nutty and spicy. The malt flavor was not as strong as it smelled. There was also a fruit-like taste.

M - It was crisp and warm on the tongue. A medium to heavy-bodied beer.

D - A very good dubbel. This was the first I've had from Val-Dieu and it is yet another good Belgian beer.

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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.

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

Poured a deep slightly hazy amber with a few small floaties swirling around with a big fluffy white head that leaves sheets of lace behind as it settles into a creamy froth.Aromas are spiced like that of cinnamon and phenolic clove a touch of sweet cookie dough as well.A smooth creamy-like mouthfeel lends well to the rich flavors of this beer somewhat clovey and light sweet a touch of semisweet chocolate but not overbearing finishing with a slight dryness.Not a bad dubbel I dont drink many of this style,this one I enjoyed.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best Before: 09/09/10

Appearance: Pours out a clear, dark reddish-brown body with a large, frothy, ivory-colored head. Nice, delicate lacing.

Smell: Malty, mocha-scented aroma with further notes of nutty toffee, dark fruits, booze, and candi sugar.

Taste: Heavily sweetened mocha, sugary toffee candy, and even a pinch of cocoa powder strike the palate. Flavors of fruit, anise, baked bread, and sourish yeast are present but this all gets somewhat obscured by all this rampant sweetness. Drying finish (though still quite sweet) with just the tiniest bit of alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Moderate carbonation lends some assistance in scrubbing away all of those pesky sugars.

Drinkability: While not exactly a classic of the style, it remains a sweet, pleasant dubbel.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

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

Presentation: Short stubby 11.2 brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Deep reddish brown, the lace that trails down the side of the glass in magnificent as well as the glowing clarity this brew show when put to light.

Smell: Some chocolaty and definite coffee roasted grain aromas, bit of malt sweetness, breadiness that is close to pumpernickel and mild phenols in the nose to bring more to the table for the nose to play with.

Taste: Crisp with a moderate body that holds well, carbonation is medium to high. Bitter twang from the roasted malts is coupled with a touch of hops and enhanced by the carbonation all at once. Sweetness is underlying add tries to keep the bitterness on an even keel. Maltiness is deep and complex with dark bread, roasted coffee and unsweetened chocolate. Alcoholic esters are tight and keep to a minimum, warmth from the alcohol is a bit slow but works in just fine. Slightly dry finish with vague phenols making themselves noticed.

Notes: Flavourful, sturdy and complex. All about the malt and hops without too much else getting in the way other than the occasional phenolic aroma and flavour.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark ruby with minimal off white head. If you pour the whole bottle in (sediment and all), you get a cloudy ruby (and the nose is noticeably more yeasty). Nose is a cross of old grape skins and cherries with a syrup edge. Flavor is pretty interesting. Starts off tangy and almost bitter in a way. Constant sweet tone with a doughy edge to it towards the tail end. With all the sediment in there, the subtle changes are less noticeable and it tends to stay an even, slightly caramel brew. Feel has a great level of carbonation on it. Pretty drinkable, though that 8% will get to ya quick.

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of chinchill
4.22/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A sample of one of my favorite styles from an as-yet untried brewer...this is always fun!
Color is a deep, dark, gorgeous red, and the head is a thick, full, frothy off-whitish hue. Aroma: jam-packed with with spice, vanilla, cola nuts. (I can't shake off a certain similarity to Coca-Cola, as much as I'd like to!)
Lush and luscious mouthfeel, fueled by tingly, sparkling hops. Aflood with earthy, yeasty feeling, and rich, satisfying malt. Just delicious! Tantalizing on the tongue, with flavor fully realized. This little stubby 11.2 oz. bottle depletes far too briefly!
Much thanks to JohnnyDuvel for helping a BA brother out!

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Photo of jwc215
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml cork=caged bottle, poured into a glass chalice:

Pours dark brown with some dark rubyish hues. The thin tan head eventually becomes a wide patch. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of spiced dark bread, some herbal notes and a bit of anise.

The taste is rooty, aniseedy with sweet caramelish/toffeeish maltiness, a touch of herbal spicing and a hint of sourish dark fruitiness. Becomes sweeter and maltier as it progresses. Nice maltiness.

It has a creamy, silky, medium-to-full body.

A nice, malty, but well-balanced, sipper with quite a bit of subtle complexities to it. A delicious dubbel with a great feel!

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Photo of stakem
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

04/14/06- Purchased at Plumpjack's in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz stubby bottle. Best by date notched on the side of the label. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep brown in color, maybe even getting into the black territory. Large 2 inch head. Rose to about the top of my glass, which is quite a feat with a Duvel glass. Thick and pock market white head. Close to a whipped cream texture. 1/2 inch remains throughout. Thick chunk lacing left on the inside of my glass. Textbook!

Smell- Deep dark roasted malt, touch of dark chocolate. Cloves and other spices combine with a winelike scent.

Taste- Light alcohol in the taste. Vinous in taste and feel. Grapes and plums mostly. Cloves and maybe a light touch or corriander. Cola like as well. Quite delicious.

Mouthfeel- Thick and a touch sugary. Well, ok, more than just a touch sugary. Middle of the road carbonation.

Drinkability- If easier found this would be one of my go to Dubbels. Worth the $4 I paid for it.

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

The beer poured a nice dark brown color with a medium head. The head did last through the drink. There was a slight yeast and sweet aroma, which translated into the flavor components. There seemed to be a hint of chocolate in the aftertaste. This sports an average thickeness, making this extremely drinkable.

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

On-tap at Naja's Place in Redondo, just a few miles west of the 405,

A: Pours a mild, cloudy brown, with a thick, off-white head, leaving nice lacing in the tulip-shaped Sam Adams Black Lager glass it was served in.

S: Nice smell of malt and sugar, molasses.

T: Very tasty, tastes of rum and brandy, the rum more so, with a thick malt current, backed with dark fruit and prunes. Raisins also play a heavy part. The beer is very yeasty and quite estery, with a slight hint of clove and banana. Figuring out the flavours is hard in this beer, it's got a lot going on.

M: Smooth and thick, rich, creamy, full-bodied, slighty medicinal and phenolic as well, got a light feel of band-aids on a couple sips, but overall, very good.

D: This is a really good beer, very tasty on-tap, surprised me a little bit of how good it was, I'll definitely order this again, a great brown beer.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown 33cl bottle obtained from the brewery in 2008. No best by date to be found on the bottle or labels, but I know the beer is at least 14 months old.

Today I am celebrating Grimsby Towns win at Bury and the fact England are going to win the fifth Test against Australia and win back the Ashes. I am also pleased to have mown the lawns and re-felted my shed roof today, I deserve a decent beer!

The beer was poured (sediment and all) into an 'Augustijn' badged chalice. Looked dark brown at first, but held up to the sun it showed its true colour, a dark redwood tree reddy brown. The sediment hung within the body, suspended, floating as in space, only visible when held up to the sunlight. On top sat a cream coloured soft foaming head. The head shrunk but stayed, strong lacing clung to the glass as the beer level reduced, this beer was in good order.

Sweet and sour aroma, almost fruity (mostly cherry like) smell too. The smell got more sour as the beer warmed, the taste didn't, although a slight bitterness did appear towards the end of the tasting.

Plums, Victoria Plums came to mind as I sarted to sip the beer, then rich fruit cake soaked in Port.

This is very drinkable, the 8% is evident straight away, but because of its richness and fullness of body, the alcohol doesn't take over and ruin the experience.

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Photo of Zorro
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light brown brew.

Smell is sweet and fruity with an edge spice and a bit of sourness.

Taste is barely sweet and spicy with bit of lactic acid sourness. Spice and fruit flavors. Lot of black pepper flavor here.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Drinkable but unremarkable. I see TheLongBeachBum comments and I might have gotten a bottle with a bad air seal or something. I will have to try another bottle from a different store.

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

Pours with a five-fingered plus faint brown,thick head that fades slowly and leaves thick lace. Pour this one very slowly. Good carbonation. A deep red-brown color. Nose is malty/alcohol with raisins. Starts sweet and malty, finishes smooth and roasty.

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

Poured from 330mL bottle into my Val-Dieu chalice. I can't really read the best-by date, but judging by the wear on the label and the dates on the other beers in this gift pack, it was probably sometime in '08 or '09. This means it's either quite past due or is simply well-aged. Let's find out!

Appearance: body is a rich, hazy amber-brown with a good depth of hue. Head is a solid finger of creamy ivory foam. Looks good to me.

Smell: nice malty aroma with a fair bit of biscuit and a backup choir of plums, cherries and alcohol. Not bad, but it trends towards some of my less-favorite characteristics in the dubbel aroma.

Taste: nowhere near the biscuit in the flavor as in the aroma; likewise nor so much alcohol. Flavor starts off mild, and then a crescendo of cherry, plum, raisin, dates and general dankness builds and then, just as quickly, fades away; toward the end, the alcohol warmth once again makes itself known. A very dynamic and tasty dubbel.

Mouthfeel: like the Val-Dieu pale I just sampled, the Brune has a massive creaminess wrought, no doubt, by its substantial-yet-not-too-heavy body and its Brobdingnagian carbonation. Some dislike so much carb; in a bottle-conditioned Belgian, I can't seem to get enough of it.

Drinkability: a solidly drinkable dubbel. I could easily go on quaffing this all night.

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Photo of corby112
3.21/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown almost black color with a very slim head that quickly dissapears, generating not lacing. Had a strong nectar/ grape aroma. This beer taste more like a wine than a beer with not enough maltiness to balance out the sweet vinuous character.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark mahogany red with tons of huge chunky floaties lazily floating in the glass.

S: Very soft roasted malt and caramel is evident on the nose, very subtle.

T: It truly is the flavor of this beer that makes it one of the better browns I've ever tasted. There is a slight alcohol detection from the 8% but is very well balanced. The beer slides down the throat nicely from the extremely smooth palate with some rich brown sugar and sweet caramel bread notes highlighting the flavor on the way down. Silky smooth texture, rich caramel and a soft roasted nuttiness makes this a prime example per style

M: The palate is very smooth, silky, and slick on the tongue with a creamy caramel texture and soft roasted malting.

D: great drinkability factor. Very rich and highly recommended.

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Val-Dieu Brune from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
90 out of 100 based on 169 ratings.