Brigand | Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

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217 Ratings

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-12-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 217 |  Reviews: 122
Photo of OWSLEY069
2.05/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a clean deep yellow color with a small white head. In the aroma, a small fruitiness and a small candy sugar presence. In the taste, a small fruitiness and then nothing. A small bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry small fruitiness in the aftertaste. No taste, and what little taste it has, it is a bit too fruity.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.13/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

11.2 ounce bottle - $3.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a hazed, dirty gold body with a smallish, tight, white head.

Smell: Damp hay and straw, some cutting fusel alcohol tones, decaying, moldy peaches, and with a faint but noticed funky, butyric note to it. Just not at all appealing.

Taste: A sweetness of crushed sugar cookies given an extra generous sprinkling of table sugar. Straw-like lightly malted barley. Hint of white peaches, cheap cider. Still quite sweet, then, some hot, astringent alcohol, that underlying unclean funkiness from the nose carrying over. Dirtied, hot finish with a lingering throat burn.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus, fizzly carbonation.

Overall: Brigand is like a Belgian malt liquor.

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Photo of bashiba
2.32/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a cloudy orangish brown with no head at all.

Smell was mostly clove and sour mixing in with strong hints of alcohol.

Taste was a very unusual mix of sour and clove flavors, hints of citrus, pepper, and alcohol come through as well.

Mouthfeel was flat and oily.

Drinkability is poor, not at all what I had imagined, I am hopping this was just an off bottle.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.55/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Notes of pear, spice, and paper...this example may have been a bit oxidized, but came on-tap from a reputable source. Net of my experience with this beer is that it is a below average Belgian strong ale...I'd have been a lot happier with a Duvel.

It was served in a Brigand-branded flute, with a cheesy-looking guy stringing a bow in a logo on the side. Color was a dark straw and head was minimal. Aroma was fairly faint, and was sweet with some cloviness. Flavor was more cloviness, and with some pronounced fruit notes, but I also got a papery taste and mouthfeel that made me think this beer was either sub-par or past its prime.

I would not really recommend this beer - there are too many other great choices in the world, and indeed from Belgium, and yes from Belgium in this same style.

I had this on-tap at Rustico in Alexandria, Virginia.

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Photo of desint
2.75/5  rDev -28%

Photo of stevoj
2.75/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

MEH! Not much going on here, all of the elements of a Belgian ale, but nothing stands out. Decent, but not outstanding. The label lured me in, and then stole my money.

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Photo of siebevl
2.78/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of RoyalT
2.8/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance – The body is a weak-colored orange and the head went down quickly. Not impressed.

Smell – This one smells really flat and uneventful. Whenever you pop a corked bottle you always have to wonder, “Did I just get a bad one?”

Taste – This is dead as a doornail. The Belgian malt base and big spices are there, but nothing else.

Mouthfeel – Flat and disappointing. This is an 8.5 ABV?

Drinkability – Drink this one with your pizza roles or spicy enchiladas.

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Photo of Blakaeris
2.8/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours cloudy apricot color, head is rather thin and dissipates to nothing.
I'm not normally shy about sediment but in this brew it appears as large solid chunks on the bottom.

Smell is sour with a touch of lemony citrus. Cloves make a very strong statement. Alcohol is unmistakable and strong.

Taste is similiar to the nose with the addition of sweet fruit, possibly apricot. Cloves and pepper dominate the taste. This flavor is quite unusual. The finish has a flavor that seems off.

Mouthfeel is very soft. Carbonation is almost non existent.

The unusual flavor detracts from the drinkability of this brew.

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Photo of GClarkage
2.9/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

04/20/08- Had on tap at the Toronado during Belgian Beer Month.

Presentation- Via the tap into a tulip-wine style glass.

Appearance- Fairly clear blonde hued. 1/4 inch white head with very light lace remaining.

Smell- Sweet malty nose which is mildly fruited. Alcholic nose as well.

Taste- At first the sweet and malty flavor is refreshing until the alcohol hits. Very boozy in character. Totally overwhelms the fruit notes and the malty goodness.

Mouthfeel- Really quite watery after the malt aftertaste fades....alcohol dries the tongue.

Drinkability- I'll pass on this one if I see it again. Reminds me of Westmalle Triple, but much less complex.

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Photo of KroMagnon
2.94/5  rDev -23%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Beer poured out with a big-bubble head that dissipated very very fast. Color is an orange-gold; very clear. The aroma is enticing, kind of musty, slightly floral (like roses), and hints of honey and lemon. The flavor is not as complex as expected - you kind of get a hint of malt then it follows with a full alcohol / almost whiskey note, and at the end you get a faint tartness. Mouthfeel is thin; the beer actually seems a tad flat. Overall this is an interesting beer but it lacks the complexity and solidity of the better Belgian Strong Pale Ales and most of the Trappist beers.

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Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Boozy but still classy belgian pale ale.
Jeast, bread and fresh hops. Lots of better belgian pales than this.

110 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of pipinmalikonj
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of whartontallboy
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of OskarL
3/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - A wonderfull head that settles and leaves some lacing. Hazy copper color.

Smell - Apples, citrus, yeast and alcohol.

Taste - Fruity, sweet (some kind of sugar) and a bit dry with sour alcohol. Phenolic taste that makes me think of childhood memories involving band aids... This is to present for me to really enjoy it.

Mouthfeel - A full body whit lots of carbonation.

Drinkability - Quite drinkable considering the abv.

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Photo of impending
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of rderedin
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of s4s
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of jeranbrews
3.02/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A lovely 2 fingers of strong cotton-gauze head eggshell white. Lots of carbonation like a malt liquor beer. A bit of lacing. Slightly cloudy lemon honey color. And what is easily the most awesome LARPS character on the bottle ever. That was the main reason I tried this to be honest.

S - Yeast waves from the bottle, some alcohol aromas. A mild malt smell but mostly bland. Not a bad smell, but not enough character. Very little complexity for a Belgian. Not the enticing medley I was hoping for. Disappointment sets in.

T - Initial flavors not bad. Alcohol, sweet potatoes and yams. Fructose. Some crystal malts or maybe just a handful of hard rock sugar. Mild but crisp. A few masked grassy hop flavors. Aftertaste was just brown sugar. Way too simple. Looking for much more.

M - A bit of alcohol fusil burn, but goes down great. All silk and velvet. Great body.

D - Not bad, but not award winning. Smooth and so easy to drink. It masks the high alcohol skillfully! The bottle is fun to talk about. Buy this one and let is sit in a dark cold closet for a while. Needs a while to really mature and bring out all the complexity and potential it has.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.03/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer bottle (33 cl), tasted in 2001 (top-fermented)
Appearance: amber orange colour, foam snow, well saturated
Taste and mouthfeel: Power alcoholic in the mouth, malty taste
Drinkability: beer close to the correct style barley wine

Review added 11-21-2007, translated from french 1-27-2008.

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Photo of PlutonowyManiek
3.04/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Head strong, but quickly falls but remains to the end. White color.
The aroma is honey, plum and slightly sour.
This Brigand'a taste fried plums, honey, but with less intensity than in the aroma, slightly noticeable alcohol. Gently bitter, sour but not acidity. After heating strongly perceptible alcohol, flavor and fragrances are stronger and deeper.
Alcohol is warming nicely. Brigand is definitely worth your attention.

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Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.06/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Possibly the cheesiest label I've ever seen, but it is original. Best by August 2012.
Pours a light golden color...lots of beads of carbonation rising throughout. At first glance I thought there might be mild haze, but it's totally clear now. Thick, white creamy head, good retention.

S-Granny smith, a bit of malt and light Belgian yeast, alcohol, minerals. As it warms I also pick up slight phenols of spice and plastic.

T-Sweet malt, very boozy on the palate, hints of granny smith and unripe pear, bits of herb, white pepper on a dry finish.

M-Well-carbonated. On the dry side w/considerable booze presence.

D-This brew has a lot going for it, but it is definitely a sipper, and some sips are better than others.

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Photo of beertunes
3.06/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on code on this 750 reads 070418. Poured into 10oz glass and shared with a couple of friends. Poured a clean golden yellow yellow with a tall, fluffy white head that had very good retention but surprisingly low lacing.

The first aroma was a somewhat atypical skunk note (perhaps a result of the green bottle). The expected spice and yeast notes are supported by a nice grain foundation. I also picked up a trace of apple. On the tongue most of those features were also noticeable. The skunk didn't show up and the apple became more pronounced. But mostly this was an average tasting example of one of my favorite styles.

The body was typical for the style, lots of carbonation, slightly sweet, a little sticky and with a dry finish. Drinkability was very good, as I find this style to generally be.

Overall, not a bad beer, but also not an outstanding example of the style. Worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.07/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

Pours a cloudy straw yellow with a white fluffy foam that retains and laces very well. Aroma of Belgian yeast, subtle fruityness and a good helping of earthy, stewed hops. In the taste, mild tartness, green apple, yeasty and bready. Little alcohol taste, small wheat, and semi dry on the finish. Lighter bodied. Overall, a pretty average Belgian, but worth trying.

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Brigand from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 217 ratings