Vleteren Dark Old Strong Ale | Brouwerij Deca Services NV

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Vleteren Dark Old Strong AleVleteren Dark Old Strong Ale
21 Ratings
Vleteren Dark Old Strong AleVleteren Dark Old Strong Ale

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Deca Services NV

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jophish17 on 10-12-2008

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 21 |  Reviews: 8
Reviews by SmokinSmyth:
Photo of SmokinSmyth
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, with a rich head and plenty of lacing. The head remains throughout the entire time.

The aroma is very malty and syrupy.

Taste is also malty and caramel with a bit of raisin towards the end of the swallow.

Mouthfeel is slightly better than average.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of JMS1512
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of mentaltraveller
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of mattfancett
2.9/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of desint
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of eric5bellies
4.37/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a deep clear dark brown. Head clears quickly

S - Rich fig and plum with bread, slightly vinous

T - Vinous comes through, reminds me of a very mild Rodenbach. The malt is smooth as well as the dark fruits.

M - Medium body and low carbonation

O - A very well shaped brew. Recommended

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Photo of Anatole
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of davey101
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best by January, 2013...oops. 33cl bottle into a Chimay goblet. Thanks to Doug for this mysterious rarity.

A - Pours a super hazy dirty brown body that is almost scary to hold up to the light. Two fingers worth of dense and creamy light khaki foam. The foam just hangs around forever with a ridiculous amount of lacing and retention to back it up.

S - Decent aroma of dark fruits and spices. Lighter notes of caramel apple and bready malts.

T - Malts, spices, ripe apple, caramel and dark fruits. Its decent enough but there is on odd almost corn/adjunct sweetness on the very end. I'm not sure if it's oxidation creeping in or what, but it is not great. Thankfully it has that great velvety and well carbonated quad/BSDA mouth feel to it.

O - I guess this one isn't distributed to the US? It's decent enough, but its just lacking compared to the other big Belgian names.

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Photo of Walbert_Neto
3.49/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of lmaduells
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

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

Photo of samEBC
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of jophish17
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

33cL bottle purchased through Belgian Shop

Aroma: a nice plum-filled aroma with a bit of sour apple

Appearance: A really dark amber body that lets a little bit of light through, along with a big, fluffy, carbonation-charged head that sticks to the glass fairly well

Taste: Caramel malts stand out with some more of a plum and raisin character. Not as sweet as most BSDAs nor as dynamic

Feel: a nice warming feel that dries out the mouth.. a bit too thin for my preference though

Drinkability: it actually goes down really easily, perhaps because the alcohol doesn't show up

An ok beer that I pretty much only bought because I had never seen it, but it isn't really worth seeking out when there are so many strong dark ales that are better out there

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.19/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of woosterbill
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle into a goblet at a café in Leuven (the one on the north side of the Cathedral; I forget its name); listed on the menu as being brewed by De Struise. Huh.

A: Cloudy red-brown body with an inch of dense, creamy tan head. Great retention and lacing. Lovely.

S: Typical, wonderful BSDA: spicy malt, raisins, currants, chocolate, plums. Very smooth.

T: Dark fruits dominate, with some sweet bready malt adding body ahead of a spicy, somewhat earthy, bitter finish. plenty of raisins, clove, cake, and toffee. Light alcohol, well within expected tolerances for 8%. Wonderful.

M: Sharp, lively medium body; tons of carbonation that starts prickly and softens out eventually. Ok.

O: I ordered this since it was listed as a Struise beer, and was a little pissed when I saw that it wasn't. Once I poured it and took a sip, though, I completely stopped caring. This is just a great, complex, and drinkable BSDA. Well worth trying.


 946 characters

Photo of wl0307
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from the expensive, Belgium-based "Belgian Shop"; coming in a 330ml slim brown bottle; BB 03/2011, served lightly-chilled in Westmalle's broad-rimmed chalice.

A: pours a lightly translucent, dark russet colour with mahogany red glows; the carbonation is semi-lively but full of tiny bubbles, in support of a well-lasting thin beige frothy head.
S: the nose is quite estery and sugary on top of a deep syrupy malt background, slightly like a dark bock in terms of the maltiness even; the jammy, sour-sweet plum preserve, prunes, and sour green apples lie firmly in the background, along with a lightly herbal edge of yeastiness and a tinge of overripe-banana-ish esters. Not terribly complex, pleasant enough, and quite "deep" in the overall impression.
T: sour-sweet fruity as well as Doppelbock-like malty in the foretaste, showing quality brown/Munich malts in the swallow with a delicate edge of toastiness, quickly joined force by a mildly sour & bitter aftertaste suggesting raisins & prunes (faintly), herbal hops, toasted nuts, and a particular type of bitterness not unlike ground Chinese root-herbs plus fresh fennel hearts(!)... The palate turns slightly dry and a bit chewy in the end, where more aromatic toasted-maltiness and dark candy sugar manage to linger for a while.
M&D: soft on the carbonation but still refreshing enough to mediate the alc. strength, this full-bodied and tasty ale has a nice complexity endowed by extra spices and candy sugar, but the consistent integrity also accounts for the overall enjoyment. Well worth a try!

 1,565 characters

Photo of jrfehon33
3.29/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of benfons
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

11.2 oz. Bottle poured into my Duvel tulip. Thanks to Doug (Douglasjamjak), for affording me the opportunity to sample this brew from the brewery where De Struise was born (via contract brewing).

Appearance: Dark reddish brown with a light tan head than builds to about a ½” before receding to a 1/16” cap. Very nice lacing.

Smell: Dark fruit mostly, raisin and plumb. The alcohol is also somewhat noticeable in the aroma.

Taste: Dark fruit mixed with a roasted malt character, flavorful with a bit more alcohol flavor than I expected for an 8% abv beer. There is also a slight metallic flavor. This beer is somewhat reminiscent of Unibroues Maudite.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin more like a double than a SDA.

Overall: A generally good beer. I’m just happy to have had a chance to try this one. I would tend to characterize it as a “decent abbey style double”.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From: Etre Gourmet, Belgium
Glass: St. Bernadus Chalice
Date: Best before February 2013

Deca has an interesting Belgian Strong Dark Ale with their Vleteren Alt, though I'm not sure what the "old" does for the ale. Featuring a distinctly sweet, vinous and grape ester flavor, combined with brown sugar sweetness and notable bitterness from European hops, the beer is far from one-dimensional and is quite satisfying on a cold winter's day. One I would go back to again, if it were locally available.

Pours a fairly substantial, 3cm tall, head of tan bubbles, which has above average retention, lasting a few minutes as it fades to a thin ring around the glass. Lacing is present, leaving some significant splotches and lines lingering on the glass' interior. Body is colored a dark brown-amber, with light bringing out reddish-amber highlights throughout the transparent body. Carbonation is visible, but not particularly numerous or aggressive.

Aroma is vinous, sweetly brown sugar-like, with the mildest hint of Belgian yeast and tartness. Quite nice, very inviting.

An interesting tasting beer, the forefront of Vleteren Alt features the typical grape-like esters and vinous qualities of Belgian Strong Dark Ales, but the back of the palate and aftertaste feature a significant hop bitterness that makes it stand out from others in the style. Front of palate features grape esters, bready malt, and the sweetness of brown sugar. Mid-palate is vinous and grape-like, combined with sweet brown sugar and mild European hop bitterness to yield a pleasing blend. Back of palate notes substantial European hop bitterness with lesser vinous qualities Aftertaste is of sweet brown sugar affixed to a fairly strong European hop bitterness with a slight herbal character.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy in body, with carbonation of medium-low intensity. The result is a mouthfeel that is smooth, does not foam upon the palate, and flows nicely, though perhaps a bit stagnantly due to the lack of carbonation. Closes dryly, with little residual stickiness on the palate, surprising due to its use of brown sugar.

 2,108 characters

Photo of dalecooper
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Vleteren Dark Old Strong Ale from Brouwerij Deca Services NV
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 21 ratings