Grotten Brown (Pierre Celis Signature) | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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Grotten Brown (Pierre Celis Signature)Grotten Brown (Pierre Celis Signature)
Very Good
79 Ratings
Grotten Brown (Pierre Celis Signature)Grotten Brown (Pierre Celis Signature)

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerBeing on 12-30-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 79 |  Reviews: 70
Photo of Hellpop65
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of pknyc
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 11/22/2010 date on the bottom. Pours lightly cloudy light reddish brown color with a nice 2-3 finger fluffy light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass; with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of pear, raisin, apple, pepper, clove, floral, candi sugar, brown bread, light caramel, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy esters with light-moderate malt balance. Taste of pear, apple, raisin, clove, pepper, floral, candi sugar, brown bread, light caramel, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, clove, pepper, candi sugar, brown bread, light caramel, floral, and earthiness on the finish for a bit. Excellent balance and complexity of fruity/spicy esters with moderate bready malt balance; with a great spicy ester balance with malt; and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a smooth, crisp, and moderately prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Belgian dark ale! All around great balance and complexity of malt and yeast flavors; very smooth and crisp to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of uturn
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of Kahlerbock
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of kegger22
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Brouwerij's Grotten Brown is a Belgian strong dark ale that poured a warm, light brown in color with a generous, three-finger head of foamy beige that displayed good retention.

The aroma was of figs and that mildewed scent that I often associate with Belgians.

Grotten Brown tasted like candied, overripe pears. Absolutely no hops to be found, this was apparently an aged beer when I bought it. But the aging doesn't detract, it just makes it different. Now sweet and malty, a little bit of caramel drizzled over that old pear.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation still.

Drinkability was very good, a whole bomber going down nicely. It's a shame that I have only discovered this beer after it has been retired. I would liked to have tried it fresh for comparison.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml caged and corked bottle. I'd guess this bottle is 2-3 years old, maybe older. There wasn't any date information on the bottle so I can't say for sure how old it is. Served in a St. Bernardus chalice, the beer pours a reddish/brown color with about a half inch creamy tan head. Head retention is excellent, and there's a good amount of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is dark fruit (cherries, figs), caramel, green apples, and peppery spice. The brew tastes like dark fruit (raisins, cherries), peppery spice, candi sugar, grain, and a little bit of tart green apple. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and has good carbonation. Overall I think it's a good brew, I didn't have any problems finishing the bottle. If I ever came across this beer again I'd probably buy it.

 784 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours brown with some floaties, and a huge head with some lacing. Smells yeasty and slightly grainy up-front, followed by a brown bread maltiness. Aging has killed the hops, but has accentuated a delicious creamy brown bread flavor. There is still a slight resonance of hop bitterness, and a touch of grainy sourness. Still very nice. Very smooth and creamy in the mouth, with a bit of a bitter snap on the finish. Still lovely.

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Photo of elricorico
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From notes dating way back to my May Vegas trip:

Medium to light brown, slightly hazed. Big beige head on fairly quick pour, falls steadily but leaves sticky lacing. With each subsequent pour the head lasts longer.

Aroma is immediately tart and slightly sour. There is a cherry richness and something that brings red apples to mind. Funkiness develops as it warms.

Somewhat sharp tartness on the tip of the tongue. Some cherry flavours follow, filled out with a mix of apple, melon and candy sugar. Some yeast mustiness. A little herbal/medicinal hop flavour if you look for it.

Aside from some carbonation bite on the tip of the tongue, the mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Quite nice.

The complexity and balance mike this a winner. I can barely put down the glass long enough to scribble these notes.

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

25.9 oz brown bottle. No freshness date listed. Poured into an Orval goblet.
It pours an auburn, leathery tan color with a fast-fading beige head. Not much lacing to make a big deal about.
A very complex range of aromas from horse barn, leather, tobacco, malt, fig, fresh flowers (at a distance) resinous hop and a whiff of dark rum meld well together.
A velvety slightly sweet malty body carries tastes of caramel, plum, bran flakes, brown sugar, lemon zest, orange peel, herbs and light rum (in that order). There's a slightly off-putting astringent edginess to the mouthfeel, though not entirely a bad thing.
I would LOVE to see this "Signature Selection" come back for another go-round. I would cellar many and drink more.
Thanks Genaro!

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Photo of jmhart
3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL poured into a goblet.

A- Pours deep brown, almost mahogany, but clear. Thick bubbly head, tan in color, one finger thick with moderate pour. Leaves a nice lace. The head is fizzy, large air bubbles. Almost more like soda than beer.

S- Roasted almond, hits of brown fruits but not as many as you would expect. Overall, not nearly as aromatic as I would have liked. Alcohol is present in the smell with a small bite.

T- Initially the taste is hard to describe. No flavors stand out, but there's a nice mix. Malt, sugar, nuts, brown fruits all pretty evenly balanced. The flavor is good, but not exceptional.

M- Medium bodied...lighter than expected. Big bite, either from alcohol or carbonation, but more than likely both. It really dances on your tongue.

D- I really enjoyed the beer. It was easy drinking, with a good flavor. Nothing really stood out, but that was nice because there was nothing to get tired of.

Overall, while a fairly average beer for the style, I really enjoyed it, would recommend it, and would buy it again. It was tasty, easy drinking. This beer is good and would be good for your average day. Hard to describe my sentiment here, but hopefully it's come through.

 1,201 characters

Photo of tdawgydog
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice deep murky golden color kinda like your favorite Belgian Wit and Belgian ale had a mix up at the brewery. A great two to three finger head when first poured subsides and leaves a nice lacing.

S - Stinks of barrel aging... in a good way. I've had my bottle cellared for nearly a year. There is a slight scent of alcohol in the nose.

T - A well done Belgian ale. I have to admin that I was originally drawn to this by the "Pierre Celis" stamp of approval. I see this beer has been retired so I guess I better enjoy what's left in the bottle.

D - Goes down smooth. The 7.7 ABV is not very noticeable. I've been laying off the brew lately (trying to shed a few lbs) and I can certainly feel it now that I'm toward the end of the bottle.

M - Great body, I was concerned that I had let this beer hang around too long but it certainly hasn't lost anything with age. The carbonation is perfect and only adds to the almost perfect head on the beer upon pouring.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky deep brown, with a crackling head of beige foam which is monumental at first, but which slips to a pillowy sludge on the top, leaving great slicks of lacing down the side of the glass. All up a pretty damn good looking Belgian.

Quite sweet on the nose. Lots of round caramel notes and a smooth lacing of vanilla. Not a huge amount of Belgian spice notes (especially as the ingredients list "épices"). Not bad though.

Similar on the palate, but perhaps a little more subdued. Vanilla again is prominent, with some round Belgian yeast notes. But it tapers out abruptly near the end, leaving very little after palate. Feels slightly too thin, or not full and complex enough. Round palate until the abrupt ending, at least.

Still, it's very drinkable and smooth, and a very decent drop of beer. Even though 6.7% is the low end of the spectrum for this style of Belgian ale, it can pack a punch, but this one stays smooth, and manageable all the way through. A very nice drop, glad I managed to try it.

 1,015 characters

Photo of washburnkid
3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pulled the last of these off the shelves at Frank's in Visalia. So glad I had the opportunity to try it!

A: Ruby and caramel brown hues with a small beige head that doesn't do much to linger or lace.
S: Straight up sour and fruity, reminiscent of green apple. Nice spiciness as well.
T: Fresh grain and wheat flavors, subtly sour and dirty, making it reminiscent of a farmhouse ale. The expected candied sugar malt sweetness is there. An interesting combination of flavor profiles, but it works very well.
M/D: Lighter body but a ton of residuals left on the palate. Sad to see this one go! I'm glad we picked up a bottle.

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Photo of jera1350
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lovely belgianesque look. Deep ruby brown color with a thick and fluffy tan head atop.

Sweet, bready, fruity. Some citric zest to it. Smells complex.

Light tartness, some bitter hops and sweeter and slightly sour malt. Lots of caramelized sugar, some raisin, prune and touch of lemon zest. Decent complexity.

Carbonation feels soft and creamy once it warms up. Medium bodied.

Solid beer. Quite drinkable. I would call this pretty run of the mill for a belgian. Nothing that stands out either positively or negatively.

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Photo of BevMoAndrew
4.67/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served into a Bruery Tulip glass at about 40 degrees.

Shows a rich mahogany with a thick white froth, great retention, and above average lacing. The nose is soft, complex, but full with aromas of caramel, toffee, raisins, prunes, dutch chocolate, black raspberries, blackberries, vanilla, blueberry waffles, light maple syrup, light dark belgian candy sugar, & subtle banana's foster. Exceptional! The flavor is more pronounced than the nose, but still possesses that same elegance & complexity. All of the characteristics from the nose follow through on the palate with an emphasis on dark fruit esters, a slight yeastiness/subtle earthiness,& dark belgian candy sugar/light molasses. There is a bit of alcohol on the finish, but not unwelcome. The texture is a lighter than I would have desired, but still creamy and adds to it's drinkability. Overall a world glass beer & one that I would highly recommend....damn shame it's retired!

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Photo of corby112
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark cherry chocolate brown color with a 2.5 finger foamy tan head with good retention that slowly fades into a lasting cap. Spotty chunks of soapy lacing.

Spicy peppery aroma with hints of roasted chocolate malt and dark fruit. Raisin, plum and fig stand out. Slight alcohol presence.

Spicy and hoppy up front with a lot of zesty peppery notes which are quickly countered by silky chocolate maltiness with hints of licorice and slightly tart dark fruit(mostly plum, raisin, grape and fig). Slightly creamy body with sweet estery notes balancing out the smooth maltiness. Slightly dry finish.

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Photo of NorCalYeti
2/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

taste- apple, wood

color- amber

clarity- clear, dense

smell- bread, apples, spice, wood, cinnamon

body- hoppy bite, no mid-palete or finish, light-weight, thinned-out

appearance- nice color, small off-white head

overall impression- good beer, i cellared it too long

notes- lost some of its fruit, would have cellared about a year from release. matured in the kanne and valkenburg caverns. this review is for a 2005 vintage tasted in 2008

glassware: tulip

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Photo of thekanna
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a crystal goblet. Dark amber with ruddy hues when held to light. Gorgeous tan head with huge retention that only settles after a long while and leaves patchy lacing down the glass.

S: Strong apple cider aroma; some peppercorns mixed with herbal medicine and nutmeg. Some faint raisin-like fruitiness is also present.

T: Nice tantalizing taste of apple cider with the sugar removed. Slightly spicy with a strong earthy tone and an herbal backing. The unmistakable taste of prunes in the aftertaste; some phenols linger on the tongue.

M: Medium body with fairly strong carbonation which complements the brew well.

D: Nice yet subtle complexities in this beer. Too bad it's retired... I would've loved to be able to find another bottle and analyzer the complexities a little more.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle w cork and cage. no date found. tasted in late may 2009. poured into tulip.

dark ruby amber w dark brown hue. almost clear on first pours, but with some bits of sediment in suspension. 3-finger foamy off-white head, fades to foamy, creamy thin layer. very consistent rings of lacing.

aroma: euro and noble hops w sulfurous (not skunk) and even metallic/ferrous note, both herbal and mineral, with caramelized malts, light raisin fruitiness, and mild licorice and nutmeg notes. grass and hay.

taste: lots of euro hopping, grassy, earthy, herbal and floral, w moderate, crisp bitterness. all this upfront, plus a malty caramel note underneath, but all just seems a bit watered down. faint plum esters and spice w light phenols cleaning up the finish, with more mineral character again, plus hay. relatively dry.

light to medium body, with some astringent notes towards the finish. carbonation is moderate, tingly, but also very creamy and fluffy.

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Grotten Brown (Pierre Celis Signature) from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 79 ratings