Tilburg's Dutch Brown Ale | Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven B.V.

very good
435 Ratings
Tilburg's Dutch Brown AleTilburg's Dutch Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven B.V.

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-19-2003

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 435 |  Reviews: 276
Photo of zachgroves
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of bkilpatr
4.01/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a Chimay glass. 09/05/08.

Pours a clear, deep ruby-brownish color with a thin half finger of tan head. The head dropped to a thin layer quickly. Aroma is nutty with caramel, toffee, chocolate, and dark fruits (raisin, fig, date).

Taste is a bunch of nuttiness with plenty of toffee and caramel. Lots of sweet malt and a yeasty breadlike/biscuit taste. The dark fruits from the aroma are less pronounced in the taste, but still there. Some cherry in the taste as well. A bit on the sweet side.

Feel is medium body with plenty of carbonation. It's kinda smooth yet a bit watery. Drinkability is very good. It's not heavy at all and the alcohol is low enough to make it sessionable if it weren't for the sweetness.

Pretty good, though it seems more like a brown ale (as the label suggests) than a Belgian strong dark.

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Photo of rustymoore
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber, purplish color with light to medium head and little to no lacing. Smells of fresh fruit and caramel and a hint of a nutty scent. Tastes much of the same...I taste strawberry and grape in the mix along with all of the standard brown ale fair. Very smooth...goes down easy. Unlike some of the other reviews, I could drink a few of these easily. Depending on your taste, if you can't deal with a fruity, sweet ale then stay away from this one.

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Photo of kamiller
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark reddish brown with a one finger off white head, leaves a nice lacing.

Smell: Malty and sweet

Taste: Like the smell, malty and sweet, a little bit of bitterness in the finish

Mouth-feel: surprisingly light, mild carbonation

Drinkability: I could drink a few of these in a sitting.

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Photo of Frosty80
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: pours medium golden-brown. sits clear ruby with brown highlights with a two-finger, creamy, cola-colored head. doesnt last too long. no lacing

Smell: lots of dark fruit (like raisins and plums), mellow spicy yeast character along with some breadiness.

Taste: dark fruits and breadiness with some spicy yeast character in a somewhat dry bath. very low bitterness and hop flavor. finish is fairly dry and balanced. just a slight toasted presence throughout

Mouthfeel: full-medium body with good amount of carbonation

Notes: great belgian-style dubbel-like ale with relatively low alcohol

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Photo of TrappistJohnMD
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark mahogany. One fingered very light tan head with lots of lacing.

Smells of ripe fruit and breadiness.

Taste is sweet with ripe fruit and a little nuttiness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall this was a pleasant surprise. Very good and easy to drink.

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Photo of CPeterson
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A -- A dark garnet brown brew that pours to a three finger khaki head and recedes into a thin skim, leaving spots of lacing.

S -- Candied apples, plum and dark berries, backed by a light earthy caramel tone.

T -- Plum and grape, almost nutty like almond butter, toasted malt character with an essence of toffee and some bready qualities. Seems a little sour and slightly bitter on the finish.

M -- Medium bodied, moderately carbonated, a little dry on the end.

D -- Very interesting, and very nice. I would recommend this brew to anyone looking for something that is decidedly different.

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Photo of ncfranklin
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a snifter.

A : Pours a lovely rich dark brown with just hints of copper in it, along with a small fizzy tan head that fades to a rim quickly. Looks pretty good with that copper tone in it, not murky or muddy.

S : Chocolate hits the nose with notes of caramel. By smell alone I'd expect this brew to be sweet and malty all the way through. Not very powerful, but a good smell.

T : Powerful mocha tastes right up front and center that carries all the way through. Very rich, all the way too swallow it keeps the same flavor. This one isn't complex.

M : Medium to heavy body. Leaves a nice, rich lathery feel in the mouth. No dry end on swallow.

D : I like it! The slightly heavy body keeps me to two at the most, but it is damn refreshing and enjoyable.

This one is for the simple folks that just want a rich tasting brown ale without complexity. Very enjoyable. I am curious at the label of being a "Belgian Dark Ale" when this is very much in the style of English Brown's. Not that it's a bad thing.

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Photo of virtualshock
4.04/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - The color is a dark amber. It pours with quite a bit of carbonation. The head is a dark tan and pretty thick.

S - The smell is very pronounced. It took me a while to place the smell but it is like grape candy(now and laters). I enjoy the smell very much.

T - Tastes malty and sweet with a carbonation kick. The hop balance is not bad. I think the grape or fruitiness comes through as a flavor component.

M - The mouthfeel is light with bubbly carbonation. This beer is not heavy at all.

D - I like this beer a lot. I think I could drink a few no problem.

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Photo of Todd
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful deep, dark, shimmering crimson hued beer topped with a slightly off-white thick head and retreating lacing and stick.

Big candied grape lollipop-like and soft chocolate/toffee Tootsie roll-like aroma ... hey a Tootsie Roll Pop! - quite sugary overall. Crazy, but very appealing.

Smooth and very creamy on the palate, with a foaming feel. Malt sweetness is moderate, but pronounced with a light sugary character, beery and grape flavors and a slight toasty and toffee flavor smooth around with suggestions of nugget. Cocoa in the back. Some breadiness in the grain, hint of sourness soaks into a low hop character and bitterness. Finish goes dry, powdery, and more-ish.

A very nice drink. The play on sugar is almost overwhelming, but the results make it quite unique, interesting and appealing in a non-beer way ... if that makes any sense.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2011 review first, followed by an updated 2017 one:

Pours a pleasant amber/red with a huge head of foam, yet virtually no lace.

Aroma of brown sugar, candy malts, with a hint of spicy fruit.

The flavor is sweet, with hints of raisin and toffee. Not the usual brown ale!

Tilburg's is an old favorite of mine, and this repeat tasting (for review purposes) proves this is an easy-to-drink and unique brown ale with an unusual character, worthy of a taste even for those not into beer, per se.

Extra points for the awesome and surreal Bosch artwork on the bottle.

Once my favorite beer of all-time. New review from May 2017:

Appearance: Hazy dark brown, with a nearly black appearance. Fair head of tan suds and little to no lace.

Aroma: Raisins, dark fruit, molasses. Unique and not bad.

Taste: Sweet up front, with a definite Belgian candi sugar taste alongside complex notes of more dried fruit, raisins, and a bit of roastiness. Maybe not the greatest brown ale of all-time, but certainly a unique and legendary brew I’d gladly revisit anytime.

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Photo of SirSketch
4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Beige head with little retention. Deep mahogany color and had some murkiness to it.

S - There isn't much aroma to this beer. Slight malt smells and some fruity notes.

T - The taste of this dutch brown ale was what really stood out to me. The malt used left a wonderful sweetness on the tip of my tongue. It also had nutty and butterscotch facets to it. Nice, long lasting aftertaste, too!

M/D - Medium amount of carbonation and medium body, just perfect for the style. I could drink this beer all night.

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Photo of sprucetip
4.07/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes. A bit darker brown than tea, tall fizzy tan head falls fast. Clear and active, with reddish highlights.

Spicy yeast and vaguely of roasted grain with faint sourness. Malty sweetness is the platform for above.

Like the nose, malty sweet base with light spicy, roasty, and sour notes. Mild bitterness too.

A faint bite, medium body feels bigger than it is, luscious texture, finishes clean.

Goes down way too easy. Has the flavor of a much bigger brew. Dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of Byeast
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

With an agressive pour , the head on this ale was massive and lasted as 2 inches of off-white , ice cream float like froth, with nice stick lacing. The color was deep brown/auburn. Taken to the nose , aromas are mildly sweet , slight candied dark fruit , bit of nuttiness , faint pear , and yeast. The taste is very smooth and also on the sweeter side. Some more dark fruit and darker malt flavors , grape , and yeast. The mouthfeel is very smooth. I found this Belgian Dark Ale to be very interesting and drinkable. It's very different... creamy.

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Photo of CultureJamMN
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep amber with crimson edges. In a pint glass this beer has fantastic head, three fingers at least, fades to about 1 finger by the bottom. Lacing is wonderful.

The smell is roasted and malty but with fruits, largely dark fruits like blackberry and maybe even loganberry. There is a sweet smell as well that comes on with maybe coccoa and buttery toffee.

The taste is sweet and malty, the berry undertones are a bit more pronounced than in the smell. There is also a pancakes and syrup thing, but it's very subdued... pleasant.

This beer seemed a tad overcarbonated, but that faded further down the glass. Mouthfeel was thinish, but not unsubstantial. Leaves the mouth a bit dry, but not parched.

All in all, a great brown ale if you are drinking a few pints. This could be a nice session beer in April or maybe even May. Among the best in class for the pricepoint.

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Photo of macpapi
4.09/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had never even heard of this beer. Picked up a single 11.2 oz bottle on a whim, and gave it a try. I am pleasantly surprised.

Tilburg is a realtively dark brown color, with a half inch tannish head. Much like one would expect from a brown ale. The smell is very impressive. First comes malty aromas, later mixed with a strong fruit presence. I noticed plums, raisins and apple. This sweetness is followed by more, in the form of caramel. There is little hop presence noticeable. Very typical of a dark Belgian in terms of fruity aromas. The taste is also quite well done. Hints of multiple fruits--grape, plums, raisins--give it a nice, deep quality. Maltiness is also quite present. There is a bit of an aftertaste, but overall, this is a very smooth tasting brew. Substantial and full on the palate. There is little carbonation to speak of and a hint of yeast remains on the tongue.

This was a good find. It is an impressive beer. Sweet, smooth and tasty. Very drinkable and worth trying.

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Photo of bcolflesh
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a beer trade - drank after mowing the lawn.

Cool looking bottle has a demon image from the third panel of Hieronymus Bosch's "The Garden of Earthly Delights" triptych.

Tasty and smooth drinking - no annoying aftertaste - I liked it. Probably really good with some cheese and pretzels.

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Photo of dstc
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown color with a ruby tint. Nice tan head falls to just about nothing. Thinnest of lace.

Has a pleasant, sweet malt aroma. Smells very sweet actually, should be good.

Taste is much like the aroma. Full malt taste with a nice sweetness to it. Ends with a very slight bitterness.

Rather full mouthfeel and quite smooth. Low carbonation.

Nice. Like this one. Worth trying.

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Photo of danielocean03
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a pint glass. Appearance is a ruby-hued deep brown, almost garnet in appearance. Two full fingers of thick foamy off-white head slowly dissipate to a sticky oil slick and lacing. Aroma is sweet, smells of honey and dark dried fruit, raisins, caramel, malt, grain. Taste is also sweet, full of caramel and roasted malty goodness, more dark fruit undertones, grain and bread notes follow through to a dry finish, with a slight hint of a bitter hop bite. Mouthfeel is watery, light bodied with low to moderate levels of carbonation, a smooth brew that goes down exceptionally easy. Being paired with a sweet malty aroma and flavor along with the low abv% and light body, this would make for a great session beer. Recommened trying if available, definitely a worthwhile beer, would purchase again.

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Photo of Mitchel
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I first had this beer at the Flying Saucer in San Antonio, TX when they were having ‘mystery beer night’. That is a random bottle of beer for $2 (what a deal). I had never heard of this beer, but to my surprise, I really liked it.

It offers a great claret, amber color with a thick bronzed head. While the head quickly disappears, it leaves an irregular level of head pockets. It has great soft flavors of maple, brown sugar, and a somewhat fruity essence (almost grape). Though, this beer can come off a little sweet.

For you home brewers, Tilburg’s comes in some interesting 11.2 oz. bottles (like most beers of this style) which are unique in themselves and great for recapping.

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Photo of endovelico
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beautiful hazy mahogany color with garnet highlights and a tacit mocha head that holds a bit until it ends up being replaced by some slight lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Now, this is a treat. Medium high in intensity. Smells beautifully and boldly of caramel, chocolate, spices, raisins flaunting at the same time assertive herbal notes reminiscent of Lemon balm and Tilia.

Taste: Medium to medium high in intensity. Chocolate, alcohol, cooked peas, yeasty, caramel, coriander seeds, flowery notes. A bit disappointed considering how gorgeous the aroma is.

Mouthfeel: Medium full bodied. A bit too high of a carbonation for such a brew. Medium to medium low bitterness. Finishes a bit too dry.

Overall: (To style) I'm rating this as a Belgian dark ale or a Dubbel at the very least. Its kind of flat on the tongue and lacks depth. The carbonation is also a bit off, in my opinion. Still a great beer and in my opinion very sessionable.

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Photo of andrewm190
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer. there is a multitude of flavors involved. most notably its malty. I drank this right after having a shiner bock, which i did not enjoy at all, so my opinion may be somewhat scewed. For me, it seems rare that a beer is really tasty and easy to drink. Most beers (darker the better) that i enjoy tend to limit themselves to a few drinks before they become overwhelming and there isn't much point in eating anything else. however, this beer leaves a clean and subtle feeling and is therefor very easy to drink. I would love to try this one out of the tap. Its definately worth a buy.

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Photo of LacquerHead
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at The Friendly Spot in S. Antonio TX.

It was poured into a plastic pint glass. I wasn't feeling pretensions so this didn't bother me. (I could of asked for a regular pint glass, and the bartender would have happily provided me one, but I simply didn't care)

Very dark brown with a 1/2inch bubbly head that settled to a medium lacing.

This was like beer candy!

The smell was like candy mixed with malty beer

The taste was very pleasant. It had a sweet maltiness to it. There were dark fruit flavors - dark cheery cobbler- along with some liquorish. There was a faint hint of hops that added a little dry bitterness.

I drank this outside on a warm night and it was a perfect sipping beer. I could have this for dessert after every meal. Overall, a very interesting beer that I would definitely buy again. (I loved the Bosch character on the tap handle.)

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Photo of Absumaster
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is brewed for the American market, but it was available in my beershop.

Appearance is a deep red/brown color with little head and a steady stream of carbonation.

Smell of molasses, dark malt, roasted and some candisugar. All the darker smells come round.

Taste is caramellic, dark malt, maltbitter, something like vanilla, which is really great. Just a little too much of the roasted flavor. Body is medium and this stuff is very drinkable.
Good stuff from the monks!

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Photo of Pintofbrown
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Two finger khaki head with a decent amount of retention. There is a good bit of puffy lace on the glass too. The body is a very attractive dark chocolate body.

Smell- Very heavy on the caramel and bread malts. There is a slight nuttiness here too. It smells wonderful!

Taste- There is a nice amount of bread malt here. Also some earthy hop notes. Not as sweet on the palate, but a really good drink nonetheless.

Mouth feel- Medium bodied and a smooth drink. It is a good quality beer.

Overall- It is qualified as a dark belgian, and the herbal notes and earthy hops make a case for this. However, there is so much bread and caramel malt that it is very much trying to be a brown. No matter how confused this beer might be, it can't help but be incredibly drinkable.

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Tilburg's Dutch Brown Ale from Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven B.V.
3.75 out of 5 based on 435 ratings.
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