Brugge Brasserie

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Brown Ale - Belgian Dark
3.8 | pDev: 12.11%
Brugge Brasserie
Indiana, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 68 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Kurmaraja
Kurmaraja from California

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark chocolate and plums. Not a lot of yeast character nor is there much head and lacing. Solid, tasty beer but lacking the depth of a true Belgian beer.

Oct 18, 2015
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Beric from Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving: On tap, tulip
Served: 10 May 2014

Appearance: Pitch black with an off-white, tannish head that leaves a ring of foam clinging around the sides of the glass. No lacing, likely due to the ABV.

Smell: Assertions of overripe banana and roasted coffee.

Taste: Much like the nose. The taste was very smooth for a style that is easy to modify and mess up. I liked the softness from the overripe banana flavors combined with the confident assertion of some roasted malt flavors. In all through, the flavor profile in my opinion, was dominated by the overripe banana qualities.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and silky. Very big bodied.

Overall: I might actually prefer this to the much higher acclaimed Tripel. This beer was very much to-style and was fantastically brewed. This one tastes a lot like Trois Pistoles.

May 13, 2014
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Sean9689 from Illinois

3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Brugge.

A - Pours black, cream-colored head, thin collar.

S - Malty and yeasty, pretty sweet with light roast.

T - Roasted malts, light sugary sweetness, some chalky notes.

M - Light, good carbonation, roasty clean finish.

O - An average Dark Ale, at best. I'd probably give this another try, but if there's a sour on-tap, I'm going for that.

Feb 20, 2012
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ZombiesAteMyDog from Indiana

4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A – A nearly black body with no lacing and only a slight, off-white head. Does not appear too thin, which is a nice plus.

S – Chocolate malt, caramelized sugar, and maybe a bit of spiced plum?

T – Sweet… Molasses and slightly charred fruit.

M – Medium body. Very smooth with little to no alcohol detection.

0 – Another nice brew from Brugge. Not my personal favorite from them, but I liked it for a style that I am always hit or miss on.

Feb 04, 2012
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Thorpe429 from Illinois

3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Brugge Brasserie last weekend. Served in a tulip.

Poured near black with a good off-white/light tan head and some good lacing. The nice brought a bit of yeast plus a large amount of roasted malt. The flavor was mostly all roast with some light dark-fruit character. Interesting, but not all that enjoyable. There was some creaminess to the feel, though mostly dry roast. Overall, this was far too dominated by bitter roasted malt.

Sep 28, 2011
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secondtooth from Indiana

3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black in appearance, with heavy carbonation. No lace.

Nose is chocolatey malts, some burnt tones. Appealing and different.

Taste is very sweet, and almost fruity. I get a distinct alcohol burn, as well. Some burnt maltiness. Nice mix.

Not bad at all, and definitely a Belgian-style brew with character.

Aug 12, 2011
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glid02 from Georgia

3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by Joe - much obliged!

Pours one shade from black with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of roasted malts with mild amounts of char and dark molasses. Also present are a good deal of indistinct tart fruits that have a minor salty quality.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lightly roasted malt flavors kick things off with hints of deeper char and are quickly overtaken by tart dark fruits and green apples with a somewhat salty quality, similar to the aroma. These flavors carry through to a mildly tart and bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's got a decent thickness with overactive carbonation.

Drinkability is not that great. I didn't have the easiest time finishing my glass and would not have another.

Overall this seemed to be infected but even through the off-flavors it seemed to be a one-dimensional beer.

Aug 01, 2010
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wisrarebeer from Wisconsin

4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle brought back from Indy -- thanks Jason.

A: jet black
S: too cloying, a bit of diacetyl, no real Belgium character at all
T: sweet, thin, a hint of Belgian candy sugar possibly but not much better than an average homebrew, almost like a weak stout
M: too gassy, sweet
D: what do you do when you have a 750ml and a mediocre beer? Pour it...

Apr 24, 2010
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ThaBobfather from Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

*Notes from Tasting in Terre Haute*

Pours much like its name-purely black-thin ring of light tan head.
Smell is highly malted-solid dark spice with some toasted quality.
Taste is flavorful-well malted-sweet profile with some good bready grain and hop notes.
Finish is solid-a wet palate with sweet-dark flavor throughout the after-taste.
Drinks very well-smooth with no over-powering booze flavor.

Mar 10, 2010
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Brettster from Indiana

3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this in Broad Ripple, Indiana. This was served black with a thin white head that fizzled down to a white lace around the glass. It smells of hints of fruit and roasted malts. Tastes slightly roasted and hints of chocolate and fruit. Very drinkable.

Nov 29, 2009
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biggred1 from Indiana

4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with rosewood highlights and a dark sand colored head that settles nicely to a dense fizz leaving sliding lace on the glass. The nose is nice and complex, dark fruit and chocolate with oaky vanilla and just a whiff of something like olive brine. Nice roasted maltiness with semisweet chocolate, belgian yeast and raisin with a charred bitterness in the finish. Chalky, medium mouthfeel. A fine ale.

Nov 20, 2009
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bruachan from Massachusetts

3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark but black? Head fizzled

Yeast smells the same as that of the Trippel. similar spice profile, too. touch of molasses

Tons of chocolate flavors--like a dessert stout without the viscosity. interesting interplay between chocolate and spice, which is nonetheless diminished

Not "lazy" to add same yeast to a different grain bill but the yeast could perhaps get more out of a deeper malt profile. this one is sweet with a bitterness but lacking in midrange roasting depth: caramel? Even a little lager character (vienna, munich...mmm) would go a long way. Touch of blackcurrant at the finish

Nov 09, 2009
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ckeegan04 from Texas

2.94/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown with brighter shades whne held up to light. Head is big and foamy with a medium brown shade. Very inviting looking beer, too bad it did not hold up after first glance.

S - Very earthy aroma with some spice and a distinct hint of sour grapes. Some clove comes through in the spiciness. The over-ripened dark fruit aroma just becomes stronger as the beer warms and is not very pleasant. It does not come across as a smell from a beer gone bad, it just is not very inviting.

T - The same taste of over-ripened grapes, cherries and figs is the dominant taste. They bready earthiness provides a touch of balance but not enough. There are hints of spice as well. A little bit of yeast sneaks into the nose as well.

M/D - Medium bodied with a very vigorous carbonation. Very lively on the tongue. Overall a good feel but the taste just is not very good which bring the drinkability down a few notches.

Nov 01, 2009
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Oxymoron from Colorado

3.42/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Sampled at Broad Ripple. The beer arrived a lighter shade of black (what). More along the lines of a Schwartz. The server said that this beer a stout beer, but after the nose and taste, not even close. A light off-white to almost tan color head but limited retention and lacing.

The nose is limited overall. Some lighter malt notes with a light hint of chocolate. Some bready and a light nutty thing that mixes oddly. Some yeast notes but mostly clean. Some esters, a light plum and (don't laugh) horseradish. Some minor wood pulp and alcohol but for the most part clean.

The taste is a bit more descript. The malt come out a bit more with come caramel and light chocolate. Some roast notes and a touch of vanilla as well. Finishes a bit dry, would like to see some lingering sweetness. There is a light molasses taste in the finish as well. The yeast is light as well. Some generic yeast notes and a light ester. Would have liked more depth for BDS.

The body is limited. A bit wispy and limited in the finish. The carbonation is limited as well. Overall a beer that doesn't quite fit style, but overall would like a bit more depth.

Oct 02, 2009
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mynie from Maryland

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very nice, excessively dark pour. Like a black rye. Not a stout, quite, but still darker than a porter. At any rate it's darker than your average Belgian Dark.

Smells zippy, ashen yeast, fruity and sour. Not the most complex or intense of blends, but nice and lively. Nothing off putting.

Tastes as it smells. Medium strength blend Belgian flavors cohering into something akin to a fruit and bread basket with earthen undertones. Not quite the full package that I look for in a nice, solid Belgian, but for a midwestern attempt a Belgian it's pretty good.

Sep 03, 2009
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taylorhamrick from South Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown color, not quite black, but very dark, it's very hard to tell the difference once it's in a glass - but as you pour the color is easier to judge. The head is incredibly big, I mean 3 inches or so, and very fluffy, cavernous, rocky, kindof a tan color. It moves around, collapses a bit, really looks nice. The smell has a bit of easters, kind of some dark fruits - plums, cherries, etc, maybe a tiny bit of tartness. Then there's a nice chocolatey smell, mixed in with a tiny bit of grassiness. Overall though, the smell kind of lacks the depth that the taste has - but the smell is still pretty good. When I taste it, I first get this creamy, chocolate syrup kind of taste. Really nice, but that sort of fades back into a kind of deep, leafy, earthy tobacco flavor. There a nice caramelly flavor, like cola, but it's missing some roastiness. I'm pretty sure there's something other than malted barley in here, just from the taste. There are so many different bready, grainy flavors in here - though it kind of lacks a bready density. The cocoa returns in the finish. The body I think meets my expectation, but I wish it were fuller. The carbonation is a little prickly too, and the rush of bubbles makes the slightly thin body a bit more obvious. Still, I think it fits the style to some degree. This is an enjoyable beer - lots of depth, but nothing offensive. The carbonation slowed me down a bit, but I enjoyed drinking it. I think the ABV here might slow me down in a bit, but at this point everything is going smoothly. Definitely a nice belgian dark - a bit more body would really make this impressive.

Aug 21, 2009
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours black with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both OK. It smells like dark fruit (grapes, plums, raisins), bittersweet chocolate, and a bit of sour apple. The taste is similar to the aroma. There's bittersweet chocolate, bread, dark fruit, yeast, and tart apples that are noticable in this brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and has good carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and very easy to drink. I think this is a good brew, I liked it. This is the first Brugge beer I've tried, and I'll definitely have to try their other ones now.

Jul 18, 2009
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erz316 from Indiana

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1pt 9.4floz bottle into duvel tulip. loving the fat cat on the bottle.

A - the beer actually begins to overflow when the bottle is just opened and is sitting there. needless to say there is a big ol head, light brown in colour, and it is comprise of various sized bubbles; the bigger ones are in the middle with the small up top and medium ones being formed on the bottom by the scoring of the 'D' on the bottom. colour is dark, dark brown, no wait... definitely is black, especially when contrasting the light brown/tan colour of the head to the body. head settles down eventually.

S - smells of dark, unsweet, chocolate. maybe a bit of molasses, and some booze.

T - this beer tastes confused, many notes in this one. initial taste is slightly bitter; malts and booze a slightly sweet, like raisin, but mildly burning flavour. the finish is more of the same experienced in the initial tasting, maybe a bit more chocolate malty with a slight pinch of booze at the end. there is a slight, but distinctive sourness that is off putting. the after taste is distinctively malty not much else.

MF&D - I have never had a world class belgian dark ale, but I do not imagine that it would be this carbonated, though I can imagine the body being about this thickness.

Jul 12, 2009
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dpasotti from Indiana

2.78/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from bottle into chalice with a small head that fades to a ring quickly. Dark tobacco in color. Opaque through the center of the glass but thin-looking towards the outside; looks very nice.

Smells like dark fruits (grapes), chocolate, and alcohol, respectively. The taste is similar, but dominated by a red wine/chocolate sourness. Like a porter mixed with a chianti. I feel bombarded with sour grapes and coffee. It is definitely interesting, but I think the dark fruit and bitter malt combination gives a sour taste that takes away from the drinkability.

I am a big fan of Brugge, but overall I was disappointed with this. It's a decent beer that is complex enough I would be willing to try again.

Jul 07, 2009
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Monkeyknife from Missouri

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle the color of root beer with a thin beige head fading to a whisper around the edges.

Aroma of sweet malts, plums, raisins, and red wine.

Whoa! That first sip was really tart. Not expecting that. Tastes of dark fruit, caramel malts, and sour red wine. The taste of red wine with a bit of chocolate lingers through the finish.

Lighter bodied, tart and dry, with a sharp carbonation.

Much more sour than expected from a Belgian dark.

Mar 01, 2009
SPLITGRIN from Kentucky

3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had this beer a couple of times on tap but now its time for a proper review.

Two fingers of even tan foam head has nice retention leaving almost no lace as it slowly fades. Body holds very true to the beers name and is a stout like blackness. Bose shows a evident use of a yeast strain with a Belgian feel. Some mineral based malt and dark fruit are on the nose also. A big dose of yeasty, bready darkness enters the mouth with first sip. There is a slight hint of tartness that rides on the back of a dry consistant bitter feel that carries this brew. This is a very pleasant and unique combination. Adds a crispness to the mouthfeel while having a nice dry bitter darkness throughout. Super smooth and oh so easy to drink. I would guess the alchol to be around 6 or 7%. This brew is much better on tap I must say.

Dec 20, 2008
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seaoflament from California

2.36/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Got this one as an extra in a recent trade with SPLITGRIN, thanks buddy!

Pours a cola color with a fizzy inch of foam that quickly dies down to a ring.

A bit of a sour aroma with notes of vanilla, cola, wood, and a bit of dark fruits. A bit of alcohol too. Not the greatest smell I would have to say, doesn't really make my mouthwater. There's also some caramel and toast.

Fizzy taste, thin, some toast, faint dry fruits, and a bit of alcohol. Kind of stale in the finish. Not much to speak of really. Mostly carbonation in the finish, is that even possible?

Very thin mouthfeel, feels overcarbonated but I think it's just the lack of flavor.

Just didn't do it for me.

Nov 11, 2008
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tmoneyba from Ohio

3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft in snifter at brewpub. Poured hazy brown color with an average fizzy off-white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate toasted sweet malty and small alcohol aroma. Medium body with a slick texture. Medium spicy sweet flavor with a medium sweet finish of moderate duration. Complex drinkable brew.

Nov 02, 2008
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roadhouse from Florida

2.52/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured from a 750 ml bottle (probably one of the coolest ever) into a snifter.

Appears nearly black except for some mahogany highlights. One inch light tan head that sinks to a thin cap and remains to leave some decent lacing.

Aroma is quite vinous, notes of dark fruit - plum in particular, chocolate, but there's also a weird funk to it that puts me off. The best way to describe it is ashy.

The taste is slightly better. More dark fruit and chocolate tastes. Pretty vinous still, kind of reminds me of drinking a dark wine. The ashy taste is still there but it's more in the background.

Mouthfeel is good - medium bodied, goes down smooth and easy.

Really disappointed with this one - I just couldn't get over that weird ashy taste. At least I got this badass bottle.

Oct 28, 2008
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SirSketch from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Large might brown head that clears quickly to a ring. Black as night. Visible bubbles breaking the surface from carbonation. Really beautiful.

S - Huge amount of plum, raisins, and other dark fruits. Very much like a red wine or port. Some caramel as well. Really complex.

T - Heavy grape and raisins. Seriously almost tastes like a red wine (too much for my liking). Mild bitterness creeps in. Alcohol present as well.

M/D - Surprisingly light bodied and some carbonation. I've had this on tap before and it was much better than in the bottle.

Sep 27, 2008
Black from Brugge Brasserie
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 68 ratings