Bacchus | Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
83
good
206 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BacchusBacchus
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
Belgium | website

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 09-12-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
206
Ratings:
535
Avg:
3.66
pDev:
20.49%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
53
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 206 | Ratings: 535
Photo of ClavisAurea
4.09/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap served in a short wine glass at fridge temps.

Appearance: reddish brown, light off white head of small bubbles, very clear

Nose: cherries, wild yeast sour smell, faint raspberries

Taste: sour funk, sour cherries, dried red fruits, lactic mouthfeel, light mouthfeel

I really enjoyed this one. I need to drink more sours. Fantastic job!

 345 characters

Photo of Wanne
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is between bordeaux-red and brown, with a white head that rapidly vanishes. Aroma of red fruits, which also reappears in the taste. This, in combination with a medium sour taste, gives the beer a winey taste. Love the beer, love the style of beer.

 258 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

After visiting Russian River and loving their sours I now find myself gravitating in that direction. Seeking out sours I am even more convinced that RR does them right, having said that this is a pretty decent sour, abiet quite different but still darn tasty.

 259 characters

Photo of cambabeer
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%

I actually don't usually like sours, but this one was pretty good. More drinkable than I expected it to be and didn't completely destroy the palate. Malt brings some sweetness and the sour taste that is there is more of a citruc sour and not a vinegar one that I expected.

 272 characters

Photo of goochpunch
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%

Pours out a deep brown with red hues. Smells of caramel malts with a very subdued barrel/sour nose. Flavor has a sour twang, but not a very strong vinegar/barrel character as one would expect from this style. A bit one note. Malt tastes of general "sweet." Mouthfeel is light and prickly. This isn't bad, but really lacking in many ways.

 343 characters

Photo of constantine_272
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with a deep haze. A cross between dark muddy water and black tea. Viscous sticky dotted tan foam. Low carbonation.

S: Slightly sour black cherry and prunes. Earthy. Rich brown leather and wet wood chips. Tangy and slightly lactic.

T: Starts off cool, watery and refreshing. Rich tanginess of cherries, cranberry and pomegranate. More dark salty chocolate and sour raspberry comes through. Slight mild fruit sweetness finishes long with a little tingle.

M: Thin light and refreshing. The tanginess finishes the beer clean. Very mild sweet dryness finishes.

O: I really liked this one. The mix of slight sour, dark fruit and rich earthiness really worked well together. This beer had a lot of flavor, but in a well rounded way unlike other beers that just try to be the most sour or the most roasty.

 815 characters

Photo of ryannosaurus
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

12.7oz bottle poured to tulip

Nice deep brown color, fairly opaque. 1 finger of well tanned head lays over quickly, but a decent lace of bubbles persists

Aroma is strongly barnyard: bit of horse, bit of runoff from the horse. That dissipates as it breathes to a mild tang with some brown sugar / molasses notes

Taste has some sour and a bit of oak, Nice, but not particularly memorable

Good carbonation with a fairly thing body, pretty lively brew on the tongue

Very nice polite likable brown, perhaps a nice mild springboard if you were introducing someone to belgian sours. For my own purposes, there are some better examples I'd reach for over Bacchus

 659 characters

Photo of TongoRad
3.37/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is not the best looking beer- kind of a murky brown with a quickly disappearing head. Appearances aren't everything, though, especially in this corner of the beer world. The aroma is very mellow, but I get dried fruits, a touch of leather, dark brown sugar, and an overall Orange Brandy quality (kind of like Cointreau). It could definitely use some more punch, but is pleasant nonetheless.

The palate is kind of the same way- needs a little zip. There is a definite sour presence, but it only goes to 7. The flavors are more earthy, and the dark sugar dominates. The balance and mouthfeel are right where they should be, and it's quite easy to drink, but would be helped by some more complexity of flavors. The key word seems to be 'pleasant', where 'memorable' is unfortunately what the price commands. Under the right circumstances I could see knocking a few back, though.

 881 characters

Photo of MonkeyDunk
4.16/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12.7 oz bottle, bottled on 2/14/2012, drunk on 6/20/2014 (2+ years old).

A: Poured a root beer brown.

S: Nose of banana, orange peel, leather. Funkdified.

T: Flavor is banana, sour orange and grapefruit, plums, jasmine flowers, then as it warms in my mouth it changes to leather and meat. Lightly sweet and low bitterness. Excellent--complex, unique yet smooth and quite balanced.

M: Champagne bubbles in the mouth, giving it a creamy, velvety mouthfeel, but it's not viscous. Dry finish, sour lingers.

Overall one of the best flemish reds I've had (and I've been tasting a number of them lately), can't wait to introduce this one to friends.

 648 characters

Photo of Badger6
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12.7 fl oz bottle, bottled on February 14, 2012. Sampled on March 30, 2014. Over 2 years old.

A: Hazy reddish tinted brown body with a minimal tan head that vanished completely, leaving a small ring of bubbles at the glass edge.

S: Distinctly tart in the aroma. Cherries, wet grains, leather.

T: Follows the nose. Tart flavor is more pronounced. Sour cherry notes are clear, accompanied by some other tart fruits and hints of caramel sweetness. Finishes cleanly and dry.

M: Medium body, almost carbonation. Dry on the palate.

O: The bottle recommends a temperature of 41°F, a temperature some might think is too cold for a specialty beer. Absolutely sample it at this flavor, as it really allows the tartness of this beer to shine. It is funky in flavor, but this is part of the character, and actually quite enjoyable.

 839 characters

Photo of Goalcam
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I recently bought several different Belgians to try out after a trip to Brussels. This one is good quality Belgian Dark Ale. Has subtle tastes of spices with minor after taste. It works well with charcuterie and cheeses. It's a good overall beer but I wish it had more flavor. But does not stand out and for the price you can find better brews.

 344 characters

Photo of Immortale25
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Bier Garden Asheville. Served in a Bacchus pint glass.

A- Pours a reddish medium brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains decently before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a thick ring behind.

S- Vinegary aroma with some hints of cherry and other dark fruit.

T- Mildly tart cherry flavor with not as much vinegar as in the aroma. Slightly glassy and a bit watery.

M- A bit dry with a very slight pucker. Medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- Lacks character. Needs to be more sour or at least have more fruit flavor.

 653 characters

Photo of StaveHooks
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7oz dark green bottle served in Westy12 chalice.

A - Clear ruby/brown color with a feeble tan head that vanishes completely.

S - Wet grain, oxidation, cherries, apple cider vinegar when warmed, old caramel, musty leather, sharp.

T - Follows the nose with the exception of more tartness. Wet grains, cherry syrup, it's sweet but tart like SweetTart candies. Apple cider vinegar, lactic sourness. As the beer warms it increases in tartness. Notions of caramel and tart fruit. Finishes, dry and lactic.

M- Medium body, low carbonation, slightly syrupy,

Heavily oxidized and not very tasty when cold but has good tartness when warmed up. Do not drink this cold! It transforms from tasting like a mistake to a snappy, apple cider vinegar sourness that bites with sharpness and still has sweetness to round it out. Glad I let it warm up.

 840 characters

Photo of charlzm
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Consumed February 14th, 2014 from a 12.7 ounce bottle labeled "Bottled on 02/14/2012". I had it on its second birthday! Beer was poured into tulip glass.

Dark/medium brown fluid with beautiful garnet highlights. A fizzy one finger head formed and dissipated into nothing at all within about one minute.

Aroma is sour cherries.

Flavor: sour cherries (surprise!), somewhat woody and richly malty: nutty. Very low bitterness. Well-balanced between tart and sweet, with neither flavor character dominating. Cheesy funk is a grace note in the background.

Unremarkable mouthfeel.

Nicely executed and easy to drink. We'll meet again...

 634 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Usual wrapped, cork and caged 37.5cl bottle: opened in De Kuppe, Brugge on 31st Jan 2014.

Pours a murky brown with a red hue here and there, the head a thin covering of off-white.

Off wine aroma with some sour cherry hints: not as powerful as I expected though, nor as acidic or sour.

The taste is tart though, mixed old fruit barrel feel to the flavour, woody, earthy and with an overriding semi-sourness from the fruitiness.

A beer I've been meaning to try on my last three or four visits to Belgium, glad I made the effort to finally buy one.

 549 characters

Photo of buzzardman
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Aroma: Nice funky smells itch hint of fruit which drops away as quickly as the head.

Appearance: Clear Reddish brown. Head builds then falls quickly to nothing.

Flavor: light tartness, fizzy like sparkling cranberry, background malt.

Mouthfeel: Dry slightly tart. Very thin light body.

Overall: My First Flanders red. Not bad but not much to it. Very fruity cranberry taste not much on the sour side like the first smell would suggest. Don't think id buy again.
12.7oz bottle $6.99

 490 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The beer is a rusty brown hue. Initially, there is a small head but this quickly fades to nil, giving a still appearance. The aroma brings sweet and sour cherry, musty basement, vinegar. Tart fruit, cranberry, raisins. Perhaps more sweet than sour. Apple juice and maraschino cherries. Low carbonation with a sugary finish. This was just ok.

 341 characters

Photo of VincentFrey
2.94/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pour / Appearance: Muddy brown, with heavy carbonation. Almost overflowed the bottle, but poured better. No real head or lacing to speak of once the initial bubbles fade. Not a pretty beer at all, and much more fitting to the oud bruin style than I was expecting from the red mug being held by the fellow on the bottle. Worth noting is that this is aged from 9/30/11.

Aroma: Vinegar, cherries, and lactic. All there at once and intermingled. It's complex to pick out some of the individual notes, but nothing entirely great. As muddled as the coloration. The time in the bottle doesn't seem to have done it a ton of good anywhere but carb from wild yeasts.

Taste: Cherry and cranberry. Almost sickeningly sweet, actually, until a big lactic punch on the tongue. Still, so softened by fruit, it's not much to speak of. Is this secretly a kriek or any kind of fruited red? Apparently, after a little research, they also make a Bacchus Frambozen but no labeling here indicates I got the wrong bottle. Hrm. Basically, this is not at all what I expect from an oud bruin and worse for it.

Overall: I don't really care for it, but it's not bad. It's probably quite good for someone just getting into oud bruin or sours in general, and it's got less vinegar than a lot of the style (that said, the lack of acidity predicates this).

Bottom Line: I won't be buying again, but you might like it if you enjoy krieks, frambois, any sort of fruited lambic or oud bruin. I'm not entirely sure what I paid, but I'm sure it'd covered the cost of a 750ml of Rodenbach Grand Cru or a 4pk of Festina Peche. Rather have either of those.

 1,619 characters

Photo of MrBoz21
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Poured with ½ inch tan foam, settles into persistent tan cap. Thick lacing runs down side of glass, but does not stick. Dark caramel color, 75% opaque. Moderately effervescent.
Aroma – plum wine and raison and cherry.
Taste: Mild tanginess, cherry tart, not sweet – some sour apple… flavor rests on tip of tongue, but dissipates in mid mouth. Finishes dry.
Mouthfeel: Dry and champagn-like tingly.
A very refreshing and balanced but lacks depth.

 465 characters

Photo of deschutes_fan
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

375mL bottle dated 02/28/12

- Pours a deep chestnut brown, minimal foam but some carbonation.

- Smells of nice fruit, funk, vinegar tart... like a good belgium oud bruin should.

- Taste is mostly a mild cherry tart with some malt and maybe hints of oak. Flavor profile is straight forward and pleasant.

- Overall a decent oud bruin, nothing offensive and nothing too special. Lacking complexity and I was hoping for more of a sour punch, as the nose was hinting it could have. At the price of $7/375mL, I would choose Rodenbach Grand Cru instead, everytime.

 561 characters

Photo of Goldfish19
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12.7oz bottle

Bottled on: 04/14/09

This has been sitting in my fridge since the beginning of 2011. Bacchus pours reddish brown in color with an almost nonexistent head. The aroma is made up predominantly of sour cherries. I can make out a slight vinegary/musty oak aroma, but it's faint. However, this becomes more apparent as the beer warms up.

By what the smell indicated, I thought I would get more of a tartness in the flavor, but it was mild at best; finishes dry.

Overall: Is Bacchus a watered down version of what a true flanders oud bruin should be? Possibly, but it works here, especially for a beer at 4.5% ABV.

 627 characters

Photo of snaotheus
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle split between 5oz sampler glasses (for comparison with Rodenbach Grand Cru). Bottled On date is 110705.

Pours cloudy, brown, very small head. Some carbonation. Smell is tart, fruity, very nice.

Taste is tart, but not heavily. Fruity, maybe cherry, fairly mild.

Mouthfeel is dry and smooth. Overall, this is a pretty darn good beer.

In comparison, the Grand Cru seems sweeter and fruitier and brighter in terms of flavor -- it just seems to have more going on.

 476 characters

Photo of Murrhey
3.31/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12.7oz standard pressure-cap bottle into a goblet in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- One-finger khaki-colored head with active, fat carbonation. Boils down to no head. Nearly black body with no clarity. Meh looking beer.

S- Tart, wooden notes. Slightly sour with a caramel malt.

T- Tart and tasty. Cherries and some fleshy fruits. Belgian notes. Sour and reasonably well balanced.

M- Some fizzy carbonation, slight dry finish. Clean.

O- Definitely not the best sour, but the taste is quite nice. Appearance and smell are both disappointing.

 579 characters

Photo of TruePerception
3.99/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)

Castle Brewery Van Honsebrouck's Bacchus: Flemish red, a finger of lopsided (?) head, fades quickly; mid-dark reddish brown; Smell: pretty good amount of tartaric, raisin; Taste/Mouthfeel: nicely active carbonation, moderate tartaric, black cherry, kinda dry; good; 4.5% ABV.

Poured into a pint glass.

 352 characters

Photo of Filosoof
4.32/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The best Van Honsebrouck I know. It comes very near to Rodenbach and Liefmans. The nose is even better. The taste is a bit less pronounced.

L: good top; chestnut brown colour, caramel, lasting foam of big and small bubbles;
S: great funk and tartness; reminds of gueuzes;
T: round, nice sour, wood and nuts, touch of wine;
M: I like strong beers, but in it's style this is very refreshing, only 4,5%! Start and after: perfect. Then a bit hollow, but ending very nice; great drinkability; not too sour;
O: you could wake me at night to drink one.

 546 characters

Bacchus from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
83 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe