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

Not Rated.
Val-Dieu BruneVal-Dieu Brune

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222 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 222
Reviews: 166
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 10
Gots: 4 | 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: 222 | Reviews: 166 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of goochpunch
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The cork says "Val-Dieu 05/05." Almost a year old.

Pours out looking like suede leather with a miniscule, but very frothy, white head. Some pleasant lace is found. Very low carbonation. Aromas are spicy and smell richly of fruits: banana, grapes, pears. Theres a soft sweetness in the nose that reminds me of fruit-filled pastries. Slight alcohol plays well with all that I'm smelling. I don't get nearly as much yeasty spice from the taste as I did with the aromas, which is good. I'm not too fond of overly phenolic dubbels. Tastes very much like that pastry scent I got earlier. Like fruit-filled sweetbread. Also tastes strongly of grapes; not so much vinous as of the unfermented juice. The alcohol is present enough to offer some sort of balance to the sweet, as I really don't pick up anything in the way of hops. The mouthfeel, as the visual lack of carbonation would suggest, is very mellow but seems kind of light. This abbey goes down quick, but sits a bit heavy on the stomach, although this is working as a nice digestif.

goochpunch, Apr 29, 2006
Photo of TheBungyo
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If I was forced to use one word to sum up this beer I'd use adequate. Not average as that implies toeing the minimalist line. This is good, though nothing to remember. Pour is nice, murky brown with a minor white head. nose is floral, with white grapes and sugar. Nothing to do a double take over. Taste is pretty good ... brown sugar, caramel, rose petals, and sugar mixed with spices. Good but not one you'll search for when looking for a good belgian. Mouthfeel is again, servicable. I could have another but wouldn't be sad if the answer was "none left". Decent brew that makes little impression.

TheBungyo, Apr 23, 2006
Photo of GClarkage
4.53/5  rDev +13%
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.

GClarkage, Apr 14, 2006
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

oberon, Mar 01, 2006
Photo of WetCoaster
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A lovely glowing deep amber/oxblood with a slighty off-white, fizzy dense head. Great lacing.

Smell: Very powerful aroma of dark malt, sugar, cola, caramel, apple cider, muscat/port grapiness, yeast spice, and a bit of damp moss. Good stuff.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Oh, this is a nice one. Sweet, chewy and tangy up front with sticky caramel malt and a tart, vinous fruitiness. Dries with a slightly hoppy bite and a sugar sourness. The mouthfeel is great; it has weight, but it's pleasantly crisp and lively.

Drinkability: Quite good. A bit sweet (but what dubbel isn't?) but very robust, balanced and controlled. A solid offering from this somewhat obscure brewer.

WetCoaster, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of AlexJ
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another nice surprise from Val-Dieu, this dubbel pours out deep russett brown with an attractive crimson cast when held aloft. Vigorous carbonation produces a frothy 2 fingers of near-white merangue that behaves well and leaves delicate patches of lace.

Aroma is somewhat subdued, with a caramelized toffee and powdery cocoa note leading to musty grape, cherry, and over-ripe orchard fruits.

Flavor is better than the nose would lead you to believe. Semisweet roasted malts and fruit nuances of red grape and rotting cherry are balanced by musty concrete and mineral notes with a well hopped finish that is nearly dry. Not as complex as i hoped for but supremely drinkable.

Body hovers just below medium, with a sticky mouthfeel and expansive, bubbly texture. No trace of the 8% abv, rather high for this style. Again, very easy to put down a 750 meself. Would pair nicely with a burger or game.

AlexJ, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of asabreed
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.

asabreed, Jan 20, 2006
Photo of scooter231
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.

scooter231, Dec 06, 2005
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.

andjusticeforale, Nov 30, 2005
Photo of Derek
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.

Derek, Nov 20, 2005
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.

DogFood11, Nov 10, 2005
Photo of brentk56
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

brentk56, Oct 31, 2005
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.

Paddez, Aug 21, 2005
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.


TPSReports, Jul 23, 2005
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.

stcules, Jun 19, 2005
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.

Andreji, Jun 01, 2005
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.

Mitchster, Apr 23, 2005
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.

HardTarget, Apr 02, 2005
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!

Bierschenker, Apr 01, 2005
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.

ypsifly, Mar 30, 2005
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.

paterlodie, Feb 22, 2005
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.

GuinnessSmurf, Feb 14, 2005
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.

Dukeofearl, Feb 14, 2005
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).

BrewMaster, Feb 13, 2005
Photo of Sammy
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.

Sammy, Feb 06, 2005
Val-Dieu Brune from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
90 out of 100 based on 222 ratings.