Solitude | Brewery Vivant

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Brewed by:
Brewery Vivant
Michigan, United States

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by gordavidson on 05-11-2011

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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 199
Photo of woodychandler
4.73/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I suddenly feel so alone, thanks to the great GrappyPunk. He sent this to me and upon Cracking it open, I donned my monk's robe, went into solitude and contacted Superman to see if I could join him in his Fortress for the duration. He flew right over and this review comes to you from Superman's Fortress of Solitude (which surprisingly has Internet access, rendering it not completely solitudinous). Thanks, Supes!

From the CAN: "WHY USE CANS? We set out to build a sustainable brewery and found through our research that cans are a better option than bottles. Cans are much lighter in weight, contain more recycled content, are able to be up-cycled, and use less energy to produce. The canning line also has a much smaller footprint than a bottling line."; "If this was not enough, cans provide better protection from flavor degenerating oxygen and hop flavor robbing sunlight. This is the best package we can provide to bring our beer to you, tasting the way the brewer intended it. Enjoy."; "Belgian tradition. Local mission."; "ABBEY STYLE ALE Monks have been brewing beer in Belgium for centuries. Their beers have been some of the most sought after in the world. Solitude is made in the tradition of the famous brewing monks of the Abbeys of Belgium. This beer is deep mahogany in color, malt forward with hints of caramel, pear & raisin. [In italics] - Rule 48 of St. Benedict: for then are they monks in truth, if they live by the work of their hands".; "COMPLIMENTARY FOODS Hearty stews, yeasty breads, Gruyere or Manchego cheese. Visit our website for more."; "GLASSWARE Chalice, or other wide mouth glass lets the maltiness come through."

When I was just a wee lad, purple was my favorite color. My parents bought me the "Harold and the Purple Crayon" books for me and even an early birthday cake had purple icing! I seem to have come full circle as a pseudo-fake monk, drinking an Abbey-style Ale that uses purple as its defining color. I have a bit (but not by much) more hair than the monk on the CAN and my beard is longer, plus I refuse to commit sacrilege by wearing a cross as an avowed Buddhist, but this beer seems to speak to me.

Speaking of your beer "speaking" to you, when was the last time any of you listened to what your beer had to say? This is the majesty of the Crack & Glug from a CAN - the auditory nature of such an event. It is Zen-like at times and CAN only happen with CANned beers.

The Crack & Glug in this instance was heavenly, producing two rocky fingers of deep-tan head with moderate retention. The inherent carbonation allowed the head to lead a rich, full life before moving on into the atmosphere. The color was more truth in advertising, although I might have said "garnet" or "ruby" as opposed to "mahogany", but the NE-quality clarity rendered it one to drop me to my knees in prayer for more such beautifully rendered beers. It was like a liquid Illuminated Manuscript. The nose was, indeed, malty, but with an earthen quality, like tobacco. The mouthfeel was full, rich and creamy with a slightly astringent sweetness, like a combination of tobacco and anise, on the tongue. I began to hear harps and trumpets in mine ears! I have to say that as it warmed, the earthy qualities really began to come out and I was reminded of a few earthy women in my life who would have really dug this sort of thing. They are the ones who are not hung up on body hair, shower or bathe only occasionally, belch and fart with the best of men and appeal to a certain segment of the male culture. I partook of them routinely until I donned the cloth and now I partake of them regularly as nothing seems to get them off like debauching a Brother. Finish was semi-sweet and I get where they are coming from with raisin and caramel but pear simply continues to elude me. I really liked this beer and would put it in my cooler any time of year, but especially if I were headed to a nude beach avec les maitresses du moine (with the monk's mistresses).

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Photo of FosterJM
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

689th Review on BA
Can to Chalice
16 oz

Thanks to Kzoobrew for this one

App- A deep brown with a one finger head, no cling, no lace on this one. Very nice coloring.

Smell- A bit thin but along the lines with some malt, a little roast, a little yeast and some soft caramel notes

Taste- A lighter beer in the style with the profile there but with a slightly watery thin profile. Malt forward with a little spice and raisin.

Mouth- Medium bodied but light and medium carbonated. Leasves a bit of yeasty caramel after taste.

Drink- A nice little beer from the midwest. Not a stunner by any means but still rather tasty. It was a big box from Kzoobrew and trying to get through them all.

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Photo of ebby82
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this as part of a sampler. It came in a miniature 5 oz tulip glass. There was no head when the beer arrived at my table.

It appears dark, plum like in color.

The aroma is of plum or raisin, malt, and unspecified sweetness.

The taste is of dark fruit up front, with a pronounced smokiness in the back. It almost tastes like they used smoked malt, although according to the website they do not. However, the smokiness adds an interesting complexity to the beer, without overwhelming the tastebuds.

Good mouthfeel, very smooth and easy to drink.

Overall, a really good, interesting take on a Belgian Dark, and less alcoholic than many of the same style.

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Photo of ssimpson89
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single from Butler's Pantry, Saugatuck, MI

Pours a cola color with creamy, frothy head. Aromas of prune and toffee.

Tastes a bit like it smells. Dark fruits and burnt sugar providing some sweetness. Higher level of carbonation than I was expecting for the style. Creamy upfront with a dry finish.

I enjoyed it well enough. It made me think Dubbel "light".

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Photo of GRPunk
3.14/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

16 oz. can spread out over two pours into a Duvel tulip.

A- A careful pour created a dense, 1-finger tan head that drops pretty quickly to a fully covering film. Lacing sticks around for a while before eventually falling back into the body. The dark, mahogany body is clean enough to showcase moderate carbonation.

S- Wonderfully complex. At first I got a lot of spice (mostly pepper), and fruit (apple/pear/plum) with an underlying hint of smoke. With a little warmth, a raisin-like sweetness came through. There was no way to know what is going to come from the flavor.

T- Whoa. There's a lot of smoke up front and many great things through the middle (following the fruit and spice suggested by the aroma and some dark, bready flavor). Then there is this terrible finish. It's not so much smoke as stale cigarette. I generally like the smoke associated with a Scotch ale or even a smoked beer, but this is something altogether different. I'm trying to find a positive description (campfire, woody?), but I just can't.

M- Moderate carbonation. Moderate-light body. Quite dry.

O- Vivant is wildly hit or miss for me. For all this beer has going for it, I found it difficult to get past the unpeasant cigarette-like flavor.

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Photo of weizenbob
4.4/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

"Belgian beer in a can!?" exclaimed my local bottle shop owner. It's true! This 16 ounce can was purchased at Shop-N-Save in Ludington, MI and poured into a large wine goblet. There is no freshness date on the can. A horizontal pour manifests a foamy finger of khaki tinted head. Head retention is moderate to low, but there is a nice thick ring of fluffy lacing that forms around the rim of the glass. Active carbonation is visible through the glass, continually renewing the lacing. The brew is an extremely deep amber hue, yet maintains a good amount of translucence. It is very pretty.

The scent is giving off all kinds of rich candy aromas such as toffee, caramel and chocolate, not to mention the authentic smelling candy sugar-fueled alcohol. Traces of raisin and a little funk round out the scent load. It's an overload on the nose.

Brewery Vivant got a lot right with the flavor of this "Abbey-Style" ale. The initial taste to strike the tongue is earthy, woody smoke. Not far behind is the taste of caramelized sugar. A touch of green apple is nice. It finishes surprisingly clean with a touch of smoke in the nose. Though the brew is a little smoke-forward, this remains a pretty well balanced pint. That's no small feat considering the amount of flavor they packed in.

The body is surprisingly light, but the carbonation is fairly low, so Solitude ends up with a nice smooth feel. I'm actually impressed that a beer this rich in flavor can be so light in the mouth. I tend to not enjoy heavy beer as much in the summer months, and this is really tickling me in all the right places on a late-June afternoon. (I'm getting tired of drinking wheat beers!)

This beer has been a really positive experience for me. It tastes rich, but feels light. The 6% ABV is virtually hidden on the tongue. At $2.50 a pint, it's not exactly a bargain, but then again, imported Trappist ales would have cost me at least twice as much; so I have nothing to complain about. Plus this was brewed and bottled about a hundred miles from my home, so I can be pretty certain that this is fresher than any authentic Belgian brew that I could find at the bottle shop. I will certainly be buying more of this.


The Two-Schlitz scale: (reference my profile for an explanation)
I'd heartily hand over two Schlitz Tallboys for a canned pint of Solitude. I'd call that a bargain.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.22/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Head pours soapy off-white and dissipates quickly. Brew is dark blood red with lots of brown and reds. Pour is quite thin and build heavy head. Nice clear brew with subtle bubbles.

S - Slight Belgian yeast funk... Lots of Belgian banana. Very clovey and fruitful. Slight cherry and tart scent too.

T - Quite watery. Disappointing. Not what the scent represented. Lots of light fruit tones... Cherry, banana, orange, lime, pear... I was really looking forward to this brew, so needless to say, I'm a little put out.

M - Very light. Overly carbonated and quite basic. No bitterness and no heat. Hard to chew.

O - A disappointing brew. I wouldn't go out of my way to buy or find this one. A brew all over the board. iffy.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - a dark chestnut color in appearance with some ruby red highlights. The head on this is almost two inches thick and fades to a thin ring around the glass. Mysterious and enticing.

Aroma - cherries and baked apples along with honey and burnt sugar. Lots of what they tend to refer to as "stewed fruits" and definitely raising and prunes. Condensed fruit basically. I quite like the aroma as it spells out complexity when it comes to taste.

Taste - sweet and juicy and light on the tongue. Lots of those burnt sugar and dark fruit flavors, definitely the cherries and the raisins. Lots of flavors to digest both metaphorically and physically. Not overly sweet with some very nice malty undertones and semi-dry finish.

Overall - personally, I really enjoyed this beer (and yes I have been to Belgium, twice). I loved the dark fruit flavors and the complexity of a beer that doesn't feel overly heavy on the palate. It wasn't cloyingly sweet and it was certainly something new out of a can for me. It tasted very fresh and was surprisingly thirst quenching.

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. I need to get out to Brewery Vivant some day and try the rest of their beers on tap. A big "cheers" goes out to Another6Pack for this and other midwestern canned craft goodness!

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Photo of brc
2.48/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into the recommended goblet. A thin head stayed for a second or two, then settled to a skim. The liquid is brown and quite clear, with plenty of bubbles.

Smell and taste are both rather subtle. Raisins and a hint of chocolate in the finish. Dry, rather than sweet.

The mouthfeel is thin and watery for a dubbel. The carbonation helps somewhat, but some creaminess would be better.

I'd probably be happy drinking this from the can while fishing, but otherwise I'll pass on this in the future.

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Photo of Wadsey
2.78/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Brewery Vivant Solitude

Consumed from a New Belgium tulip. 

A: Pours deep, clear ruby with no appreciable head, lacing, or effervescence. Agitation fails to resurrect any foam. 

S: Some clove and faint raisins.  Then dark bread/grains. 

T: Tongue follows nose fairly closely. Additional elements include hard/mineral water, white pepper, and steely caramel. More bitterness than expected for style. Cloves and pepper dominate finish. 

M: Medium-light body with light carbonation. Low abv so no warming present. 

O: Brewery Vivant's Solitude is a decent stab at the style considering it is American and a newly launched brewery. Nonetheless, this beer falls short of the better representations. 

Thanks to hurfer for the assist. 

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Photo of gordavidson
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a clear ruby red with some brown highlights. The light brown head is splotchy but creamy.

S- Tobacco, brown sugar, walnuts, and oats. Very unique to say the least.

T- Nutty with some cocoa, tobacco, and molasses. A bit sweet and smoky, and everything blends nicely together.

M- A little on the thin and under-carbonated side.

O- Overall, this is a very unique beer that grows on me the more I get into it.

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Solitude from Brewery Vivant
3.62 out of 5 based on 199 ratings.
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