Verboden Vrucht / Fruit Defendu (Forbidden Fruit) - Brouwerij van Hoegaarden
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Ratings: 206 | Reviews: 142 | Display Reviews Only:
4.9/5 rDev +26.9%
This is the second time I am trying the Forbidden Fruit, this time a full bottle; the last time
I shared a bottle with Keith. The Forbidden Fruit is my entry into my favourite Belgian style,
the Belgian Strong Dark Ales. After quite a while venturing into the world of Belgian Strong
Dark Ales, I would probably drop the rating for Hoegaarden Forbidden Fruit down to 9.5. After
tasting many of the great Belgian Dark Ales, I guess my taste buds have matured quite a bit!
Anyway this fruity ale pours out a dark red brown with a mild creamy head with pretty good
retention. It smells strongly of cherries, berries and some dark fruit and a subtle nice yeasty
smell. It was heavy on the fruits in terms of taste as well; pretty unique compared to a number
of the dark ales. Cherries and berries as usual with a few other dark fruits like plums was
in the taste. Nice aroma from the smell to the taste; really good. The finish was very slightly
bitter but not at all disturbing. Also well masqueraded is the alcohol and there was not a hint
of alcoholic taste in this beer though the strength along with the nicely balanced subtle bitter
finish gives is great character for such an ale. Very fruity yet full of unique character due
to a masterfully crafted balance. The body was between medium to full body but I felt it could
have been better off with a thicker body. Almost no carbonation and very smooth mouth feel and
it also smoothly runs down my throat. A full score for drinkability for certain! The after taste
was again Cherries and berries (and perhaps plums) and I could really appreciate this
fruitiness. One of the most drinkable strong Belgian dark ales which is fruity tasty, sweet and
well-balanced; a Hoegaarden masterpiece and one of my favourite beers.
07-02-2007 18:00:47 | More by basica
4.68/5 rDev +21.2%
Found this in the middle of the shelves at a supermarket in La Cruz near the border of Costa Rica and Nicuragua. 7oz bottle if I recollect correctly, as I was more than happy to have a real Belgian after knockin' down local lagers.
A: Poured dark red and brown creamy head into mini pint glass provided by the villa. big tough head breaking into big circles and impressive lacing with long strands sinking down vertically.
S: Nose is full of dark fruit(cherry/berry) and yeast
T: Sweet and suculent. Bitterness blunted by the sweetmalts and hops and balancing out perfectly with each finish.
M: Rather thick at first then moving to smooth medium and the carbonation fading away after five minutes or so.
D: One of the best beers I've had and made me smile wide and high. Very fruity and interesting take on the style, Hoegaarden has done well ont his one.
07-05-2008 02:37:15 | More by Brianmerrilyn
4.6/5 rDev +19.2%
Color is a very deep, dark brownish gold color with a fluffy styrofoamed, light cream colored head that grew to about an inch high after a fairly slow pour. Impressive. Takes forever to settle down to a solid hazy creamed top always present with drippy ink blot lace.
Smell is super spiced and fruity, lots of orange and lemon peels. Extremely wafting and strong. Spiced to the hilt with corriander and white pepper with a smokey musky yeast underlay and a alcohol reminscent of rubbing alcohol or cleaner. Hugely strong aroma! Oh yeah! Although the aroma mellows out as it warms.
Taste is mild, mellow, and balanced well between dulled orange and lemon with a touch of banana and unripe mango mixing with spices of corriander, pepper, slight cinnamon, clove, yeast, herbal hops and a dry crisping finish grabbing a bit more lingering qualities with fruit peels and spice. Feel is smooth, lightly creamy, and quite full, finishing a bit milder and with a crispy lingering of slight hop bite and dull tangy orangey fruit.
What a lovely beer, incredibly enjoyable, a soothing ale with just the right bite and character.
Oh thank you sooo much Mr. jeffboo!!
10-17-2003 00:49:40 | More by tavernjef
4.53/5 rDev +17.4%
Poured this one into a Chimay chalice. This is quite a bubbly bottle conditioned brew, with lots of yeast left on the bottom of the bottle. Lots of carbonation with a beautiful 2 finger thick head. The body is very hazy with hints of golden amber on the edges of the glass.
Aroma is very fruity and wine like, including lots of ester fragrances of cherries and a mild malty backbone.
The taste is quite unique. The cherry qualities are there, but a faint vanilla follow-up occurs towards the end.
A full bodied brew, but quite refreshing. There is a slight boozy warmness; however, this doesn't keep the brew from leaving the palate wet.
This is one complex brew, and quite enjoyable. My wife even liked it and I'd buy this again anytime.
06-07-2009 06:55:49 | More by TheSarge
4.5/5 rDev +16.6%
Presentation: Well bless my little cotton socks. Quite literally. After having supped a fresh Hoegaarden Forbidden Fruit in Belgium during my recent 2004 Easter tour, I was reminded just how much I used to love this spicy malty dark beer, and especially its cheeky glass. One of the first Belgium Darks that I ever tried - and I loved it then as I love it now. So I bought one from the back-street dive Bar I was in. Having explained my love for this beer, the owner of the rather average bar asked me if I fancied some aged examples of the beer before it had changed, his words not mine. I duly obliged. One of the bottles was stuffed in a thick walking sock and it made its way Stateside. I wanted to save it longer but I gave in to my carnal desires tonight. Like the BA database picture but with a foil covered crown cap. Smudged Best Before Date that most certainly looks like 99, but could well be 98 or even 96!!
Appearance: Poured exceptionally clear from the bottle that had lived in my fridge upright for 6 weeks. Dark amber, rich Alder and Cherry wood body with a ruby searchlight pan when back lit. The head is cream in color and creamy in texture. Not bad for a beer that is at least 5 years old. Served in a Westvleteren goblet oooh, I have sinned I am sure!! Super fine bubble carbonation, excellent conditioning, a few streamers and a marvelous head retention all help to establish a seriously fucking impressive presentation from this mature Belgium mainstay. The last 'top-up' pour dislodged some yeasty sediment, whispy in nature as most of the solids stayed firmly glued to the base of the bottle it seems - still the sediment that was raised from the dead was ghost like in the glass.
Nose: My oh my!! Superb fruity tangy odors, acidic orange and lemon zest with some sharp grapefruit. Toasted malts, coriander, lots of coriander, spices, peppers, more coriander, herbs and some thick yeast. Slight vinegar hints in the back end. Is the beer turning? Maybe!? Maybe Not!? It could well be a part of the aged character of this offering for I am not sure that I ever had a Forbidden Fruit this old, so who knows? This smells bloody good. Holy Fucking Shite - this aroma should be available for Glade Plug-Ins!!!!
Taste: The odors are a taste of things to come. The tastes are a mélange of complex interactions betweens the toasted malts, aged hops, dark fruits, herbs, peppery spices, zesty citric rinds and yeasts all mixed into an emulsion that is backed with a high alcohol common denominator. The aged character of this imparts a mature balanced ecosystem of flavors that is really prevalent when compared to the more mixed up fresh version that I drank in Belgium. Mildy warming when swallowed, but highly satisfying.
Mouthfeel: The super-fine carbonation is a Jacuzzi delight; it softens the malts, edges the aged hops and accentuates the fruity and acidic citric zestiness of this majestic Belgium Strong Dark Ale.
Drinkability: I thoroughly enjoyed this one, can you tell?, I am not sure if I will ever get to drink an aged example of this one again, and even if I do, I am not sure if the "modern version" can withstand such aging. That said, this example was a damn fine brew indeed.
Overall: Along with Hoegaarden Speciale and Grand Cru, this is (was?) one of those Belgium beers that is always a staple fall-back for me when presented with the usual boring Interbrew beer list. It appears in the most unlikely of situations, bars and Cafés all over Belgium and will rescue you when presented with macro IB drabness. From a macro stable, yet, when called upon to provide some flavor and excitement amidst a Sea of generic blandness, it seems that it never fails in its duties. Technically, it can be deemed a macro, it is. But I will say this, fresh, it is always a solid beer that never disappoints but aged, Holy Shite! thats when this *really* gets chance to reveal its Forbidden Fruits to you.
I am not sure if it is my age, rose-tinted beer glasses or altering tastes, but I have to say that sadly this great beer may well be getting dumbed down, for it seems to me like the Spicy Ooomph that it had when I first tasted it some 10 years ago, seems to have disappeared from recent fresh versions that I have imbibed. Still, it is most definitely still present in older (or aged) versions [like this one] and should be sought out.
Superb! Oooh, I fancy playing "Hide the Leaf" with Eve now
06-06-2004 05:09:01 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.5/5 rDev +16.6%
From a brown bottle with a artistic painting of mostly naked people.
In a word, wow. Pours a somewhat unatractive poopy brown, the only negative. But head is dark white and consistant the whole way down. Taste is awesome! Deep and bold, hoppy and sweet, flavors evolve and roll over as you enjoy. Would go really well with a heavy, meaty meal. And the 8.8% alcohol content ensures it gives you a good kick in the pants! Highly recomended.
11-07-2003 20:13:29 | More by RocketWidget
4.47/5 rDev +15.8%
Nice label on the bottle.
'Beer from dark malts, flavoured with herbs', bottle conditioned.
Copper to brown colour, cloudy, with a huge head, nice lacing.
Smell + taste is, next to the malt, of clove, koriander. Very fresh, hardly any bitterness, but no fruity sweetness either. it's clean and slightly dry in the aftertaste. The alcohol is well masked. The mouthfeel is full and chewy.
Very interesting beer. It's warming.
03-06-2010 15:36:56 | More by RuudJH
4.47/5 rDev +15.8%
I thought I'd reviewed this already, but apparently I haven't, so here we go -- this is from a bottle brought back from a recent trip to Belgium.
Dark brown: stained wood or light cola in color. And the head just won't die. Exotic, epicurean nose: fresh cut figs, dark brown sugar, candied orange peel, alcohol, and yeast. Following nicely, a slow, easy sipping combination of estery flavors -- sweet, ripe fruit to the "nth" degree -- form a sugary swirl of rich flavors with raisin and mild cinnamon/nutmeg. Finish lingers with the sensation of the bitter part of a package of mixed greens. I think the yeast gives this some body where the alcohol would have you dismiss it as a slightly thin booze-bomb. Great big beer.
10-03-2004 14:07:40 | More by marburg
4.45/5 rDev +15.3%
33cl bottle: This one poured a fairly clear dark amber color. There was a fairly large off white head to it, that lingers a bit. A touch of lacing. The aroma is quite nice. There are yeasty notes, fruits some caramel malt, spices. Just a pleasant thing to smell. The taste is quite complex. Interesting fruity tastes, but they are all in the background. Medium body, with a bit of caramel and a hint of bitterness in the aftertaste. Very strong, but no real sensation of a strong alcohol taste. Another excellent Belgian. I would definitely try and find this again!
07-14-2005 23:53:08 | More by Boto
4.44/5 rDev +15%
A: amber / brown & foggy. Tan head, nice lacing.
S: Sweet, Toffee, dark fruits, dough, belgian yeast and spices.
T: Very smooth and surprisingly fresh followed by the flavors the nose suggests.
M: Creamy, smooth with a medium dry and slightly spicy finish. Medium carbonation.
O: A very well balanced beer. Lovely and complex flavors without making it heavy at all, quite an accomplishment. Great beer!
02-12-2013 21:51:41 | More by Arno
4.4/5 rDev +14%
Again, one of those most elusive beers that I thought I'd never get to try. Nevertheless, here I am -- here it is... I'm going to drink it!
Pours a surprisingly dark beer (always thought is was blonde -- who knew?), that has a medium brown opaque-ness along with a muddy, murky dull-ness that picks up highlights of orange, rust, and copper. Medium head formation that reduced to a dainty sheet of froath and held firm. Aromas are very spicy and fruity (more of what I originally expected) but with a toasty, amber maltiness that was a surprise. Flavors of orange zest, peaches, pears, appricots, and lemons leaped out in front of any toasty German Dunkel-like maltiness. The dichademy of it all never resonated with me, leaving me wanting better balance and more medled-ness. The texture was as silky-smooth as the Witbier, but with a bit more abrasive carbonation (which remained quite high from the on-set). Finishes with a slightly-dirty, toasty, citrus flavor that cleaned up in a hurry and ultimately became quite crisp and refreshing. Certainly a good beer, it was just all over the place. Again, thanks to Clvand0.
01-23-2008 19:48:18 | More by BEERchitect
4.38/5 rDev +13.5%
Deep deep red going on cloudy brown. Fat head that just keeps on keeping on.
Wow! Complex nose. Mint, cloves, dark fruit, peel and even a hint of chocolate.
On this most complex of palates; Toffee, burnt caramel, slight butter, dried fruit (elderberries, currants), pepper, tart peel, anise and what appears to be some slight oakiness (bizarre!). Long aftertaste of strong tasty coffee. Hard alcohol hit at the end reminds you exactly what you are drinking. After about a minute, the after taste feels just like that of a smooth deep red wine. This stuff is really out there.
Complex is an understatement. Enjoy!
10-30-2003 10:59:31 | More by koolk
4.38/5 rDev +13.5%
Brought to the states by a friend of mine. 33cl bottle poured into Belgian style chalis. Huge malty Belgian aroma wafting from glass. Beautiful dark amber color, slight haze. Poured nice head, big bubbles, like egg whites when you whip them to stiff peaks. Wonderful flavor, malt, dark fruit, sweet caramel, no hops (as expected). Very nice beer. What a treat! Wish I could get it here.
01-09-2006 01:18:40 | More by imrichbeeeatch
New Zealand (Aotearoa)
4.33/5 rDev +12.2%
This is one of my favourite beers.
Appearance is a delightful amber brown, and there is some *texture* to it. It fairly sparkles in the daylight!
Smell is good. You can notice the fruit esters and aromatics wafting from the beer - but they are balanced. Not overpowering or overdone. The scent has character. It smells like beer, but good beer.
Taste is what beer is all about, and this one doesn't disappoint. A complex mix of yeasts, malt, fruits, caramels and a solid jolt of ethanol. I think the alcohol is a solid contributor to this beers taste - as it provides a nice base for all of the other flavours to perfuse through. You can spend a lot of time getting lost in these flavours. And a lot of time working your way through them all.
There is a bit too much bitterness in the aftertaste - but the main event compensates for this.
Mouthfeel is good, silky and satisfying.
Finally, the serving of this beer is always a bit of an event. The bottle has naked people on it. The special glass it is regularly served in has naked people on it. The coaster has naked people on it.
I can take a hint. Drink this with someone you love. Or want to...
Buy this beer.
08-25-2006 09:27:27 | More by btmo
4.3/5 rDev +11.4%
The beer arrived on the table very lightly hazy and deep amber with an off-white frothy head which lasted long and laced the glass.
The aroma was fruity with a storng dark caramel character and a very light bit of DMS. The fruity presence contained a light banana.
The flavor was that of dark fruits with deep caramelization. The flavor was fruity and estery with a spicy presence. The dark fruits were raisins and prunes and were coupled to a light spice that stayed long in the flavor.
The finish was dry with a dark fruity character lasting long with a bit of spice into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a moderate carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel. A very nicely done Belgian Strong Dark.
Bottle served in proper glassware at Cafe Vlissinghe in Brugge on 9/13/06.
09-20-2006 21:57:17 | More by GCBrewingCo
4.28/5 rDev +10.9%
Brought to you by the makers of Hoegaarden,a Benlgian beer with more life and character than I have ever experienced in a Hoegaarden. De Verboden Vrucht translates to the forbidden fruit, as it is well depicted on the beers label. I ran into this beer accidentally yesterday when out for lunch with friend. The beer menu listed many delicious brews, but this was shown to be one of the last few bottles that they had, and I also hadn't heard of the beer before.
Its description in the menu as a Spicy Belgian Brown ale at 8.5% abv was enough to coerce me into trying it, plus I thought it would go well with my braised beef shank lunch.
The bottle also has a best before date listed on the back as March 2008; as a bottle conditioned beer, I expect this was a bottle at least older than 2007, perhaps even back to 2005. Just my luck!
You should have seen the sediment dancing in this beer. Wow. It was poured for me appropriately in a wide chalice, and before it was even handed to me I could see the specks of sediment plastered throughout the entire beer! I know some may think its gross, but to me it just shows more rich and deep flavor complexity.
The beer itself was a deep hazy brown. It had shades of burnt amber touching the edges, but it most closely resembled and old brown brick. There was nothing modern about this beer; it was muddy and completely opaque - it was old world, just the way I wanted it. A nice frothy one inch head build atop the beer an a medium dense tan to cream colored foam with streaks of dust (sediment) lined everywhere throughout it.
The nose was quite delectable - mellow sweet touches of caramel malt, hints of earth, yeast and soft dark fruit. It showed traces of mulled spices, dried fruit, lightly roasted malt, and a warm funk which I can only describe as age. There really was a lot of character pouring out from this beer. It did not tell me that it was brewed in a state of the art facility and pasteurized to remain clean. It shouted "I was crafted by some old man's hands and remain in this bottle the way I came out of the fermenter". Awesome.
Thankfully it was served to me at the proper temperature at cellar around 12C (54F). Cold would have muted to many flavors. This beer was ready to be enjoyed! I opened my palate to it, and it poured over me gently and wrapped its grip around my entire mouth. Soft earthy malts, caramel and biscuit, faint traces of yeast an funk, mashed bananas, and mulled spices gently - and I mean very gently - washed over my tongue and caressed my cheeks. It was so elegant right away completely taking me by surprise. I was expecting something sharper, but this beer has minimal carbonation by now, is soft and delicate, and glides so effortlessly on the palate.
As I focused, cherries and figs begin to arise, so does notes of red grapes without the peel, more earth, hay field, soft malts, creamy toffee and almost vanilla. It was soft and soothing with sweet and savory characteristics. The mouthfeel was perfect for this beer. It felt authentic. I really did feel like an old man who had been brewing since the '60s made this in a field in his back yard.
The finish was softly dry, a touch quenching and very appetizing. Hope were only lightly noticeable with a soft and delicate herbal and slightly floral waft hidden under the malt. A touch of bitter came in towards the end, but was very mild. It was an excellent match for the umami sweet and savory flavors of the beef. Really overall a fantastic example of old world brewing at its best. Fully complex with no regard for modern tastes, just pure and unadulterated flavor boating from real malts, real hops, and real yeast. I will be hunting for more of these bottles.
08-22-2010 18:37:50 | More by StephenRich
4.28/5 rDev +10.9%
A: Very hazy red-brown color with a few fingers of light brown head. Great lacing and retention. The label gives this beer a bonus in my book!
S: The aroma is distinctively Belgian, like a dubbel, but with some notes of sweet, light fruit--apples I would assume. Spicy and sweet. The alcohol is masked well.
T: The taste doesn't bring about any surprises, but it is quite nice. Much more apple I would say, but with a rich, dark fruit underbelly. The spices are toned down, but the fruits are very refreshing.
MF: A nice twinge of carbonation rests on the palate. The body is light. This is really drinkable, nicely balanced, and without a note of alcohol. Crisp and refreshing.
O: This was exactly what I wanted it to be. Fruity, Belgian, and a perfect compliment to m dinner. I would get it again.
07-15-2012 02:20:25 | More by russwbeck
4.28/5 rDev +10.9%
33cl bottle served in the matching stemware at Herberg Vlissinghe, the oldest bar in Bruges. Verboden Vrucht is a murky chestnut with a small, off-white head leaving nice lace.
Smell is nice, strong dark candi syrup, raisins and brown sugar.
Taste is malty bruin, a bit of astringent roastiness, clean and smooth, with a nice lingering sweetness as it opens up. Nothing monumental, but a very nice strong bruin.
Mouthfeel is dry and crisp, but very creamy when swished, with a medium-light body.
Drinkability is good, a tasty, digestible beer. Nothing really special, but I'm glad I got to try it. I liked the logo on the glass, my wife prodded me to buy one at Bier Temple the next day, but for some reason I passed...
10-22-2009 03:52:22 | More by ccrida
Verboden Vrucht / Fruit Defendu (Forbidden Fruit) from Brouwerij van Hoegaarden
87 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.