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Verboden Vrucht / Fruit Defendu (Forbidden Fruit) - Brouwerij van Hoegaarden

Not Rated.
Verboden Vrucht  / Fruit Defendu (Forbidden Fruit)Verboden Vrucht  / Fruit Defendu (Forbidden Fruit)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

145 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 145
Hads: 237
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 13.66%
Wants: 15
Gots: 33 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij van Hoegaarden visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-22-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (11) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Verboden Vrucht  / Fruit Defendu (Forbidden Fruit) Alström Bros
Reviews: 145 | Hads: 237
Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single bottle from the Bier Markt in downtown Toronto.

Poured into a Unibroue snifter, which I found very appropriate, considering the bottle label reminds me of something Unibroue or Dieu du Ciel would do themselves (or perhaps its the other way round?) A dark, ruddy amber brew, the colour of which reminded me a great deal of black cherries. A fluffy, off-white head sat on top like a generous dollop of ice cream. Good retention on this, lovely lacing as well.

The nose is absolutely invigorating. Plum brandy, black currant, raisins, grape, sugar, only a mild yeastiness. While hardly wallowing in complexity, it certainly is mouthwatering.

The tastes are quite similar as are found in the nose. In addition to black currant and raisin, I'm also picking up sherry, a bit of chocolate and malt. Very tasty indeed. Except for the sweet wine/sherry flavors, the alcohol is marvelously difficult to detect.

Forbidden Fruit is undoubtedly sweet, almost cloyingly so, but it works tremendously well as a dessert beer. More than a bottle at a time would be far too much, but a nice snifter enjoyed with cheese or cake would be excellent. In my case, since it possessed so many similarities to a sweet port or a sherry, some Stilton cheese and crackers cut through the sweetness brilliantly, making for a great food pairing.

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Photo of beerdrifter
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at my favorite Belgian super market. Cloudy rusty brown pour with big two finger head, nice lacing and decent retention. Spicy dark fruits and sweet malts dominate the nose with a hint of metal and cherries. The taste starts off as a pretty typical Belgian bruin, but gets more complex with a nice slightly sour fruitiness. Also getting some caramel, prunes, rasins, bread, and a touch of metal. You definitely have to let this open up a bit. It was a bit fizzy at first, but really smoothed out as it warmed. The alcohol is fairly well hidden, but it's still a little bit boozey. I'm usually not a fan of sweet beers, but this one pulls it off nicely without crushing the drinkability. Very unique and tasty!

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Photo of atis
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours murky dark brown with large almost white head and sticky and generous lacing. Aroma is sweet caramel malt with dried fruit, spice and a touch of alcohol.

Taste is rich and complex - gentle malt, caramel, mild spices, fruity alcohol and yeast - quite subtle and nothing in excess. Mouthfeel is soft creamy with pleasant warming feeling, slightly prickly carbonation.

The perfect brew for snowy, cold and dark winter evening to be sitting inside and enjoying nice flavours of Verboden Vrucht.

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Photo of StephenRich
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Chambic
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This review is on a 10-year-old bottle. Preceding the "Best by" date of 03.07.00 is the Flemish phrase, "Tenminste houdbaar tot ende," along with its French counterpart, "À consommer de préférence avant."

A: deep, dark ruby

S: dark, ripe fruit and toffee

T: the fruit seems more pronounced, probably from the age, but not in a bad way

M: airy and fluffy, it floats over the tongue like heaven

D: pretty good after some serious aging

Notes from 02.14.10 at Akkurat in Stockholm

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Photo of benfons
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle ABV 8,5

A: Orange-brown with a medium that head that sacks pretty fast, but leaves a decent amount.

S: Fruits: mainly cherries, but also berries and apple. Some spices.

T: The fruits and spices return, but there's also a slight coffee flavour.

M/D: A bit soapy, alcohol level is correct and carbonation is ok. Obviuosly it's a heavy beer but it's really drinkable.

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Photo of akenethon
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: looks like dunkelweizen, but not so much foam
S: smell of hops and a little bit alcohol, hint of milk chocholate
T: somewhat nutty and aromatic taste, slightly sweet. light bitter aftertaste
M: light mouthfeel, not so full and creamy.
D: drinkable, but not exceptional

In general, this is a good beer but the taste is somewhat deviod of character. Similar to leffe blonde in that it reminds me of that "beer for masses" taste belgian style. For this style and at this price level and availability I would rather go for leffe brown, but this is not an average beer either.

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Photo of EPICAC
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a cloudy, reddish brown, and is topped by a fluffy, beige head that had small flecks in it, and left decent lace. The aroma is quite varied. There are notes of cherry, dark fruit, caramel, and slight notes of medicinal phenols.

This beer is well attenuated upfront, but quickly moves into a sweet center with notes of cherry and dark fruit. The finish was slightly medicinal. This beer is medium-bodied, well carbonated, and slightly dry in the finish.

Overall this beer was decent, a bit sweet overall.

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Photo of CaptainPiret
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 33cl into a Verboden Vrucht glass I picked up at the Hoegaarden brewery (I recommend taking the self-guided tour if you're out there ... it's cheap and finishes with a glass and beer of your choice).

Cloudy, dark maroon color, but didn't seem to be very aromatic (though I have a slight cold). Tastes of fig with a slight fruity sweetness that gives way to bitter finish -- the alcohol is noticeable here.

Really, really like this beer. I wish it was as readily available in the states as Hoegaarden is.

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Photo of ThaCreep
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brownish red tints. The nut and caramel are present on the nose but feels like slightly acid and trace amounts of candied fruit. The mouth is full of spice to the way the range Hoegaarden. It is coupled with a good spicy bitterness and assertive in the finish. A stout strong in attack but then more soothing but that spotlights spices.

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Photo of biegaman
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This 'Forbidden Fruit' looks like it was freshly pulled out of the ground - it's tone is muddy, its complexion dirty and its colour an earthy brown. It looks more like a potato than any fruit I can think of (mostly this is because of all the yeasty specs). Its head pops out the glass like a giant cranium, its domed shape and lined pattern just like the human brain.

The aroma harmonizes sweet, caramelly malts and fragrant, over-ripened fruit. This smells like it could be the ultimate holiday log cake: it has a heroic amount of dark toffee, rum raisin, holiday spices and dried dark fruits. In fact, I may never have had a holiday log cake that tasted as good as this smells. My nose rolls around in this like a pig in mud.

Much of what we taste actually comes from our sense of smell, it stands to reason that this beer tastes very much the same as it smells. The dark, spiced fruit and dark toffee malts are both flavours I like and they taste even better concurrently than they do consecutively. The alcohol is neutralized by all this malty flavour.

The brewer called on his malts (rather than the yeast) to derive the bulk of this beer's flavour, a decision that suits me just fine. Some Belgian ales can be a little over-reliant on their yeast and it can make for thin or slightly superficial flavour. This beer has a deep and profound flavour that, so it turns out, has been able to stand up to the test of time.

Forbidden Fruit, Verboden Vrucht, Fruit Defendu - call it whatever you want - this is pretty good (or goed or bon) beer - and I'm not just saying that because the importers in this province have seemingly forbid me from obtaining more of it. Belgium is a beer drinker's Garden of Eden and this may not be its sweetest fruit but it's still quite an indulgence.

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Photo of dgilks
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich, sweet malty aroma with notes of raisin, fig and christmas spice. A touch of alcohol. Quite nice.

Mostly clear with a few yeast particles. Orangey-red colour with a big, light tan head. It looks good.

Big fruity flavour with some spritzy citrus notes, lots of alcohol and some dried fruit. A touch of licorice too. It's interesting. A play on the classic witbier flavours whilst playing at the idea of a stronger darker ale. The alcohol is a bit of a let down.

Medium-full body with lots and lots of carbonation. The carbonation is a little high for my liking but the whole isn't too bad.

On the whole, a nicely flavoured strong Belgian ale with some interesting notes thanks to the wheat and the yeast.

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Photo of RuudJH
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a SA perfect pint. Either Fosters is no longer distributing it here (What I have heard) or Hoegaarden is no longer making. 18/9/09 expiration date on it.

A-- A dark rust color with a lot of floaties in the pour. Got a off white 2 finger head that kept its retention and had a sticky lacing to the glass. Does not seem to have a lot of carbonation to this.

S-- Dark fruits seem to dominate this, with some fig as well. Fairly malty and a bit of spice to this. Some alcohol smell to this, bigger as it gets warmer and the fruit character drops more.

T-- Cherries, fig, a little bit of bread, do get a alcohol taste as well.

M-- Do get a tart taste in my mouth. A lot of cherries. Longer it sits the bigger the alcohol taste becomes. Also the beer does take a lot more of a sweat bread quality. Kind of like raisin bread, or that the raisin taste becomes more apparent. Has a dry finish and leaves a decent tannin like quality on my teeth. Chewy like from the alcohol. More it warms the alcohol is apparent and pretty forward.

D-- Not bad. Like how it goes from cherries to fig, raisin, and bread. Not overpowering on the ABV but I think better a little colder as the ABV is kept down and the cherries taste is more apparent. Shame is that both the Grand Cru and this beer are not being sent here any more and we are stuck the the regular version of Hoegaarden. Good drinkable beer and has a good character to it.

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Photo of juju7
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Seeing as they're not making this anymore I grabbed a bunch when I saw them the other day. Always liked the ol Fruit. Ths one poured a dream, you shoulda seen it, looked like a photo from a beer book. Billowy head sticking out of the glass all proud and boastful, very cool. Lacing coated the glass all the way to the end. An attractive fig, dried fruits, cinnamon, spicy fruit nose. Follows through with similar flavours on the palate with a little hint of the alcohol but not much. Nice and chewy with an extended finish. A good beer and one that will be missed.

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Photo of ccrida
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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...

Drinkability is

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Photo of Viggo
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle at the Biermarkt.

Pours a cloudy dark brown, some orange highlights, medium sized off white head forms, quickly settles down to a thin ring around the glass, a few lace spots stick, some chunky proteins floating around.

Smell is neat, very fruity, some caramel, lightly funky, wheat, yeast, iron, raisin, slightly oxidized, alcohol, more fruit, cherries, pretty decent.

Taste is similar, very sweet and fruity up front, caramel, some bready malt, raisin, oxidation, lightly earthy, a bit of sour fruit funkiness.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium to high carbonation, alcohol is well hidden. Maybe a little oxidized but I remember when they brought these in. Assuming its the same batch they got it has aged pretty well.

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Photo of bobsy
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank at Cirio in Brussels.

Awesome glass and a great appearance - a mahogany as rich as fine panelling, with a voluminous head that lasts and laces well. Sweet, fruity aroma, with a strong back end of alcohol. It smells for all the world like a brute of a beer. Pleasant fruit flavour is somewhat steamrollered by a fusel element and brutish alcohol. Decent berry notes at the start, mixed in with raisin and spice. The alcohol really begins to assert itself in a lightly drying, but heavily warming, finish. Full mouthfeel, with restrained carbonation, though it never becomes cloying. Its a decent stab at the strong dark style, but its just a touch too boozy. If you have a bottle I recommend aging it to see if it mellows out.

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Photo of weissbierdrinker
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red color with a thick light tan head that leaves almost solid lacing around the glass.
Smell is very fruity. Hints of plumbs and berries. Smells very sweet.
Taste is sweet and fruity with bites of alcohol. Lots of flavors in this beer and very hard to depict. It's very complex with a medium body to it. The finish is a bit sweet.

A very good and complex beer, a must drink. Don't drink to cold.

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Photo of DV8HARD
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I served it into a Pilsener glass from the bottle. I actually wasn't going try this beer, I asked a friend who was going to the liquor store to get me another beer but, she mistakenly brought this one. Nevertheless, I'm glad she did.

Again, like other high content Belgian beers this one started bursting in bubbles after I opened it. The head has a very nice light brown color. The beer it self is also brown but, dark and hazy. It didn't stick as much as I thought it would.

Taste wise, it is very fruity and complex. I got a hint of prune which seemed unusual. I don't like how the alcohol masks the taste of the beer in these strong Ales.

I would recommend this beer.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a burnished orange colour with a lot of haze and floaties in the glass. Beige, sticky head with a few large bubbles, clings to the glass beautifully. Lacing is just as nice, maybe a bit less sticky. Powerful good.

Nose is insanely fruity with very, very sweet strawberry and blackcurrant aromas, a tangy tartness as well, almost like sherbet. A very light woodiness and a hint of grain, but it's dominated almost entirely by that fruit. Pleasant indeed, but maybe a bit too sweet. I would love my fruit bowl to smell like this instead of like rotting carbon matter and fly shit, but beer is something I like a bit more grounded.

Taste is a lot more musty, with a distinct bitterness coming through on the mid. Front is still dominated by that pleasant berry fruit, but the mid ventures into phenolic and oak resin territory, with a fair boozey character as well and a light carbolic tart edge. Lots of character throughout the palate though, with tart socialising with dank, and slightly roasted breaking bread with syrupy sweet. Overall it's a bit of a hodge-podge with no distinct profile, but it's definitely a swinger's party for flavours and I love what's nude hot-tubbing in my mouth.

Feel is slick but syrupy with a lot of texture from the yeast and a really delightful pang of alcohol just at the back. This is quite a tasty gang-bang, and I look forward to seeing the video going viral on my favourite beer-porn channel.

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Photo of TubaManJack
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An interesting 330ml bottle with some classical Renaissance artwork. Poured into a sniffer. A best by date of Sept 2009.

Appearance- Quite a gusher. Once the top was propped the hiss of carbonation turned into a tan bubbling monster. Apparently I had upset the beer gods despite not shaking/dropping/offending the bottle. A quick pour limited the amount of beer split on the table. After the initial furry stopped I slowly poured the rest of the beer. The deep amber brown body was topped with a tan head of large bubbles and a fair amount of carbonation was present in the body.
Smell- A full nose of malt, yeast/traditional bottle conditioning, and dried sweet fruit. Yes Marmite, a tasty yeast spread. A fair dose of dates, raisins, and prunes. Although there are not strong aromas they are present to the same extent as the lime/lemon in Sprite.
Taste- A fair bit of sweetness mixed with a strong bitter malt base. A calamity of tastes. The taste is similar to the nose with a fair bit of dried fruit and dark roasted malts
Mouthfeel-A full medium body. A very smooth body. Proper carbonation
Drinkability- Pretty good, although not really my cup of tea. Its a good brew but it just didn't work for me. Pick up a bottle when it goes on sale.

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Photo of TheSarge
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of lamarr04
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown with big fluffy off-white head. Leaves big patches of lacing down the glass.

S: Nose is lots of big ripe fruit. Followed by some yeast sourness.

T: Wow. Very complex brew. Lots of sweetness from the malt yeast sourness towards the back. Some earthy notes underneath as well as some coriander.

M: Smooth full mouthfeel. Medium body with light carbonation and a slick finish.

D: I dunno. You would think a strong complex beer like this would be a sipper, but this one is not. I bought four for a pretty good price. May go back to get some more.

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Photo of SleepyMonk
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled 33cl bottle poured into a tulip glass

Pours very dark with sediment sinking to the bottom of the glass. Holds a reasonable amount of head and sticky lacing.

Aroma is thick with dark fruits however it is a little subtle compared to similar beers.

It is the taste where this beer makes its mark. A complex palate soaked with those "fruits of the forest" or "Black Forest Cake" like characteristics. Creamy chocolate an malt hide below the surface of all that dark fruit and a mild degree of herbal spice with an emphasis on coriander sits comfortable amongst the dominant flavors.

The massive introduction of fruit eventually gives way to a sticky aftertaste and a very warm finish.

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Verboden Vrucht / Fruit Defendu (Forbidden Fruit) from Brouwerij van Hoegaarden
87 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.