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

Not Rated.
Val-Dieu BruneVal-Dieu Brune

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

216 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 216
Reviews: 165
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 10
Gots: 3 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-20-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 216 | Reviews: 165 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of asabreed

New York

4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cl. bottle into the Val-Dieu oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Beautiful dark amber color, with lots of bubbles that show through if you glance hard. It's so dark red it almost looks like blood, and it's very attractive. Head curls up nicely around the edges of the glass. Lacing's good but not too clumpy, which makes it fade upon swirls to kick the recharge into action.

Smell: A crazy mesh between dark fruit and semi-sweet chocolate. Not burnt or toasted, it lets the essence of the chocolate aromas come out, and the mix with the dark fruit is pretty wonderful. Also some mild phenols, some slight hop bitterness, and a bit of vanilla. Great stuff.

Taste: Comes through well from the aromas, first into dark fruit, then the chocolate lingering before the finish, which is the meld of both, then a tingue of quelled hops to mellow out all the flavors lingering on the palate. A long finish, quality balance, and stellar flavors make this near perfect in my book.

Mouthfeel: Creamy as all hell without feeling cloying or thick, even though the body is pretty moderate. Carbonation comes through in the end to boost the creaminess a bit more.

Drinkability: Hell yes I can have another, and maybe another. The alcohol presence is hardly felt, and when it is it works well and is never even close to overdone. One of my favorite Dubbel's now. No punches are pulled with having everything over the top, but it's extremely well balanced and dangerously drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2006 03:58:39 | More by asabreed
Photo of scooter231

New York

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

Pours a deep, dark color with veeery frothy off-white head that sticks around for quite a while. Foofy looking. Fluffy. Smell is loaded with coffee, a bitterness to it, with a red-wine alcoholic twinge in the background accompanied by subtle notes of vanilla.

Taste is like wine-laced coffee, a roasted coffee. Alcohol isn't too overwhelming, but definitely present. Mouthfeel is slick and a bit tooo oily for me. Overall tasty, but far too sweet near the finish and alcoholic to drink a lot of. A bit out of balance, this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2005 05:28:08 | More by scooter231
Photo of andjusticeforale


4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured from a 750ml bottle smooth and greasy into a chalice, with a medium rust color and white yeasty head which slowly dissipated.

The immediate smell that hits you is a lemony-citrus nose, mixed with a sharp yeast and must smell.

Upon first taste, the mouth feel is medium and excellent. There is a slick-greasiness and the liquid breaks up quickly and slides down easily as you drink. The initial taste is a twangy banana clove with a polished feeling to it. A citrusy -must envelopes the whole taste and the finish is a pleasantly malty sweetness, and a bready dryness.

As I sat back and drank this, I got a feel that this was the table beer for a belgian monastery; not a grande reserve complex celebratory brew or seasonal feast beer. But this was an ale that was to eat supper with; to drink for sustenance and every-day fulfillment. That being said; this was absolutely superb; fantastically drinkable. The only detractor at all was some of the citrus or funky yeast twang; but as the glass warms and oxygenates, that, as well, is forgiven.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2005 13:27:44 | More by andjusticeforale
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Belgian stubbie with a cap, best before August 06.

I think the style is closer to a Flanders Oud Bruin! (The bergundies of Belgium).

A: Ruby brown, off-white head, leaves some nice lace... as a Belgian should!

S: Woody, lactic-sour, wine-like smell. A little fruity (grape, cherry?).

T: Still some residual malt sweetness (bready, with a little caramel), balanced by a faint lactic sourness. Not nearly as sour or dry as most. A little raisin, prune, fig... typical flavour. A little mocha flavour, but not really any perceptable bitterness.

M: Light to moderate body, slightly acidic mouthfeel. Moderate to high carbonation.

D: Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2005 03:20:56 | More by Derek
Photo of DogFood11


3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

stubby 11.2

Appearance: near perfection. Brown with huge mountainous head that laces all the way down and leaves chunky goodness.

chocolate, sweet, some bread and even a slight toasted smell.

Taste: Smooth and what you would expect from a dubbel. This one had a fairly bitter and crispness that I enjoyed with a mild carbonation made for a nice mix.

In the end I thought this was an average to slightly above average Dubbel. I enjoyed the smoothness of the mouthfeel. Alcohol was subtle. Well put together brew. The best part was that the label said brown and it tasted brown, if that makes any kind of sense.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2005 05:24:03 | More by DogFood11
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2005 01:21:06 | More by brentk56
Photo of Paddez


3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at the cultuur & folklore festival in Wijnandsrade

This beer poured a cloudy dark brew with a nice big head that lasts quite a while. Excellent lacing.
Aroma is malty, fruity and caramelly with some faint yeasty/barnyard aroma's. Taste has yet again some woody flavours. Other than that there are lots of fruity and roasty flavours going around. Slightly sweet, but not unpleasantly so . Excellent mouthfeel.

A good dubbel. And although there are better beers available in this style, this one is still well-worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2005 17:05:56 | More by Paddez
Photo of TPSReports


3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown color out of the large corked and caged bottle at 48 degrees.

A slight white head forms with lasting lacing. There are a few yeasties for the eyes.

Smells of freshly cut hay with a hint of fruit.
A moderate carbonation tingles in the mouth.

The beer doesn't seem very complex -- there is a slight alcohol warmth in the finish. Little Hops. Little Malt. Not all that much here. Easy to drink though.


Serving type: bottle

07-23-2005 00:00:57 | More by TPSReports
Photo of stcules


3.08/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber red color, quite dark, and quite hazy too, with some particles wandering in the beer. Beige foam, average compactness, not too much, not very persistent.
The smell is malty, biscuit, and maybe a very light smoked note? Yeast, blueberry, plums. Dark fruit, with a background floreal.
In the taste, on a good malt carpet, there is a fresh fruitiness, with berry fruit, and notes of tropical fruits. A slight spicy. Camomile flowers?
Medium body, fruity aftertaste, of dark fruit.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2005 17:28:28 | More by stcules
Photo of Andreji


4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

one recent purchase @ kase and keg in FL.

the pour is quite a contrast. on the one hand, a clearly dark and opaque brown body. no brightness, just deep brown. on the other hand, quite a bright white head, medium retention that seems a bit like a whipped cream on top of chocolate.

The smell i didn't quite define, but i liked it. mostly sweet, fruity and alcoholey.

the taste was a bit bland at first but there was plenty of red fruits in there. the alcohol also strikes, the hoppyness being rather scarce at the end, but balances the softness of the beer. a slight, candy-like aftertaste was perhaps the most interesting part.

Thick bodied. the alcohol is very noticeable but never overwhelming, fitting properly with what isn't too strong of a beer either. Quite pleasant either way.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2005 02:12:35 | More by Andreji
Photo of Mitchster


2.25/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Stubby 11.2 oz bottle. 8% ABV. Pours out to a clear dark burgandy, forming a very creamy light tan, pillowy white head with superior retention and lacing. The head on this bugger is just amazing, like a nitro tap. The aroma is first of caramelized sugar which if off-putting..like an English brown. There is a distant toasted grassiness and minimal cloves. There is no phenolic esters that I would expect for a Belgian Brown Abbey Ale. Mouthfeel is lightly syrupy and ruddy in the middle to end. Medium-dense body. The taste is rather indistinct...there is way too much caramelized sugar...simple sugar. Bananas are minimal...there is only mild clove esters towards the finish. The aftertaste is of ruddy oxidized cardboard and dirty pennies.

This is a really bad dubble...actually one of the worst I've had. Boo. Pass on this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2005 00:13:29 | More by Mitchster
Photo of HardTarget


4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Corked and caged brown 750 ml bomber with 05/05 on the cork, 8% abv listed and glass suggestion in silhouette, in short, everything I could want from a label.
Aroma: A candy sweet grape with a hint of Belgian yeast. Undertones of malt and grain
Appearance: Semi-opaque brown glass with a fair cover of cream that laces like a bored grandmother.
Flavor: Gentle. Not mild, the taste is full dark fruit and malt with just a hint of hop spice; it is just so well blended and complete as to give a calming taste. No harsh edges, round, full, gentle. It also has some vinous qualities, somewhat like red wine that leads me to think of steak, obviously a flavor association.
Mouthfeel: Very smooth, low level of carbonation but just right for maximum effect.
Overall Impression: BA Pegasus found a great deal on a case of this and I bought in; Very happy for the investment. This has been my "house beer" for about a month and I've enjoyed every bottle. The flavor is subtle and enjoyable, easy on the eyes and nose and I find in massively drinkable. It hides its 8% completely. If you like Belgian beer, I can't recommend this one strongly enough.

Re-visited in July 2009, same batch (05/05).
Aged just wonderfully. Same gentle but full flavor. The yeast element has faded out a bit replaced by a bit of cork, but no papery oxidation. Can't say that it's gotten better, but certainly held up nicely.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2005 02:22:25 | More by HardTarget
Photo of Bierschenker


3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was able to steal an original Val-dieu glass at the social meeting centre of the French speaking community in Voeren. And now that I'm back home I have the oppertunity to taste this beer out of it's own glass. When I left Voeren I had two bottles of Brune, Triple and Blonde. But by the time I got home only the Brune survived the trip.
This beers shows a darkish, copper colour. The first taste gave me the same experience as with the Blone and Triple, a rusty iron taste. This always makes way for a sour and malt taste thats reminds me of dark choclate and roasted coffee beans. The aftertaste gave me some faint reminders of citrus and mild spices. This beer is carbonised mild. The taste is very complex and it is one of my newly discovered favourites.

Ut vivat, crescat, floreat!

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2005 00:13:19 | More by Bierschenker
Photo of ypsifly


4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Caged 25.4oz with no dates.

Deep amber brown with a two finger head of light tan that clings to the sides of the Val-Dieu chalice. Lots of lacework.

Smells of sweet malts, caramel and slightly citric hops with a hint of alcohol. I keep sniffing and salivating, very nice.

The malts really stand out in the taste. More so than the hops and slight twinge of alcohol. The alcohol note isn't something that I normally enjoy, but it seems to fit in here.

The mouthfeel is moderate-full. The carbonation tickles the tongue just a wee bit towards the finish. Goes down easy and is drinkable for a high abv.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2005 04:25:11 | More by ypsifly
Photo of paterlodie


4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before 15-06-06 so well in time. Pours out great with freat and lasting head thats thick and creamy. Darkbrown beercolor and quiet clear make it a good presentation. Nose is caramel/sweet malty, litle spicy and smells quiet alcoholic for a brune/dubbel.
Taste is good and strong too; dark caramelmalt taste, sweet, full and litle spicy make it a complex taste thats balanced and I can apriciate. Mouthfeel is as good as the taste and drinkability is also good if you want to enjoy and not just booze. Good brew that I can recomend.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2005 15:43:45 | More by paterlodie
Photo of GuinnessSmurf


3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a rich brown and dark purple color with a small ring of head. A few extra bubbles have congregated in the middle.

Smell: Sugary, fruity odor mixed with Rum-type alcohol smell.

Taste: Comes on very sweet with a hint of that tangy, sour fermented fruit flavor. After the intitial sweet, there is a darker, caramel presence that takes over.

Mouthfeel: The body is very round and it takes your whole mouth to enjoy this beer. But the aftertaste is not as long as I'd have liked to have seen.

Drinkability: This is a beer worth trying and perhaps having again with the right meal. Overall, its slightly above average.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2005 08:39:48 | More by GuinnessSmurf
Photo of Dukeofearl


4.97/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this last night on the hand pump tap at Lucky Baldwin's annual Belgian beer festival, and I just cannot believe how good it was. I have had this out of the bottle a few times, and really liked it, but this was out of this world. I watched the beer maid pump about a dozen times to fill up the 33 cl glass, pausing to let the huge head drop off before pumping in some more, then I let it sit a while to let the massive head drop down.

I then drank some expecting a good beer, but wow. This was a dessert in a glass. No hops I could find, but I wasn't looking for them. The aroma was intense from the pumping action, the taste just burst through with malty roasty goodness- chocolate and dark candied fruits. Not too rich, though, just filling and pleasing, each sip getting better than the one before it. Just an incredible experience, an incredible beer experience. I was really sad when I finished this one, because I knew I wouldn't find anything else I liked as much afterward.

Serving type: on-tap

02-14-2005 04:37:37 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of BrewMaster


4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: I had this beer on the hand pump at Lucky Baldwin's Belgian Beer Festival tonight. Served in a Chimay chalice, the beer is dark brown with a whipped and creamy head on top. Excellent head retention from this beer as would be expected from the hand pump.

Smell: Crisp malty aroma with some woody notes as well.

Taste: Flowery and light with a light malty flavor. The flavor does not seem to match the color totally. There are some sour notes and some roastiness indicative of a dark malt. But the flavor is very pale malt in character.

Mouthfeel: Great creaminess that massages the palate. It is a bit thin at the end, even for a beer from a han pump though. I fear that had this beer been from a tap or a bottle it would be a bit thin and watery. The hand pump definately gave this beer and improved texture.

Drinkability: Definately a beer I could consume regularly under these conditions (ie, the hand pump).

Serving type: cask

02-13-2005 05:17:43 | More by BrewMaster
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2005 05:31:50 | More by Sammy
Photo of theo692


2.9/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased from Beermania in Brussels. Poured into Chimay goblet. Really wonderful color, though the head was thin and short lived. Color was a reassuringly consistent bronze. Taste was light and fruity, but then fell off almost immediately. Second and third sips felt weak and flat. I may have chilled it too much, but even after letting it warm to something closer to room temperature, the character was the same. Sad to say that I wound up pouring half of it out. Am hoping that my next review will have better results.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2005 14:40:25 | More by theo692
Photo of Zorro


3.73/5  rDev -7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2005 04:34:44 | More by Zorro
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 fluid ounce Duvelian style brown glass stubby with a caramel brown crown cap. Simple but effective generic style label that lists this in English as the ‘Brown’, thankfully the crown cap retains the word Brune. Listed as 8.0% ABV with a nicked reverse label freshness date of July 2006.

Appearance: Lovely looking expansive cream colored head that fills my Goblet with a thick, rich and creamy 1” deep head that has excellent staying powers. The dark brown body is no surprise but the lovely clear mahogany hue is not, this brew shines in the glass. Time leaves a rocky surface and some thick clumpy lacing on the sides of the glass. Fine bubbles stick tightly together to form the smooth conditioning.

Nose: Dark toasted malts mingle with some roast coffee grains. Light milk chocolate whiffs that have a creamy milky essence. In the back end the clean alcohols make way for some phenolic compounds. A nice toasty nose for a cold night.

Taste: Toasted grain malts intersperse with roasted coffee and a milk chocolate middle. Some bitterness in the latter third but this soon rescinds with the sweeter malts taking over the finish. Warming body in the swallow releases the mildest of phenols but it is never enough to detract from this beautifully balanced Brune.

Mouthfeel: Thick feel to the toasty chocolate malts. Smooth and creamy with a nice warming kick in the back end. Lovely mouthfeel, almost perfect.

Drinkability: It may be 8% but this one is easily drinkable, lovely thick rich tastes and an equally impressive presentation and feel in the mouth. I wish that I had a 750ml of this; it would be easily put down if I did!

Overall: A very nice exceptionally clean and well balanced Brune. Solid and totally dependable and extremely well put together.


Serving type: bottle

01-03-2005 05:38:45 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of PorterLambic


3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a leathery brown with a good head and great lacing.
Smell is smoky, malty with a note of fruit in the background.
Taste is malty, a light smokiness, alcohol and a hint of fruit (apple?).
Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, warming, with a medium body.
Drinkability is high

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2004 19:57:35 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of rajendra82


3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber brown body was a bit hazy. The head was small in size and short lived. The lacing on the side of the glass was thin, but sticky. The aroma was typical dubbel with spices, brown sugar, roasty malt, and cookie dough. The taste was just what the aroma promised with a sweet and spicy front, a dry roasty middle, and mildly bitter aftertaste. Alcohol is strong at 8%, but is not apparent in the flavor profile. This is a nice beer, fitting very nicely among the now crowded rows of Belgian style bottles lining the shelves of Green’s.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2004 02:15:43 | More by rajendra82
Photo of cbl2

New York

3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Note: 11.2 oz bottle.


An opaque deep brown with tinges of orange and a nice inch thick tan head.


Sharp and fruity with a yeasty aroma throughout.


Sharp and biting at first, then warming on the tongue with pear like quality. Finishes slightly bitter, but this is an exceptionally well balanced beer. Very good.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2004 18:40:26 | More by cbl2
Val-Dieu Brune from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
90 out of 100 based on 216 ratings.