Van Twee (w/ John Mallett) | De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)

very good
132 Reviews
Read the review
Van Twee (w/ John Mallett)Van Twee (w/ John Mallett)

Brewed by:
De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by memyselfandi on 08-01-2009

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 132 | Ratings: 165
Photo of fear025
3.56/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma:Sour cherries and acrid harshness.

Appearance:Brown and opaque. Nice tan head with amazing retention.

Taste:The foretaste of this one is a bright sour cherry flavor. In the midtaste, there are some metallic off flavors. This persists through the aftertaste. After a few sips, this off flavor fades a bit, but not completely.

Mouthfeel:Medium body with lots of sour astringency.

Drinkability:This is a good sour cherry Belgian beer, although I'm not sure spending a year in my cellar improved it at all.

 512 characters

Photo of burnheartsMKE
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This guy kept changing as we drank. From nose to mouth to tongue to mid-tongue to back tongue to throat to belly, it just kept evolving. A really creative and well-put-together collaboration between two unique and experimental brewers. Reminded me a little of New Glarus' Unplugged: Olde English Porter if the sourness came from cherries. Chocolate, fruit sours & burnt spices made this something I'd love to meet again.

 420 characters

Photo of jwinship83
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i found this bottle while going through my cellar not long ago. probably the first lost and found bottle ive ever had. i was excited to pick this up when it first came out, i cant believe i forgot about it. 750ml corked and caged bottle drank from my chimay chalice.

A- this one pours out a cola colored dark brown body with a little bit of ruby red highlights coming through the sides of the glass. there is a full finger of very active khaki colored head on top that is very quick to fizzle away. little to nothing gets left behind as far as lacing goes.

S- the first thing im able to pick out in the nose are brown sugar and sweet caramel malts. after that i get a little bit of chocolate and some faint cherry notes. the cherries seem out of place in a beer like this, but it doesnt strike me as off-putting. light funky notes as well. very different smelling.

T- the taste starts off similar to the nose. i immediately pick up on some brown sugar and sweet caramel malts. maybe a bit of molasses also. there is a light sourness amongst the lightly roasted malts and chocolate in the middle. there is a definite cherry presence in the end. once again, this seems out of place but i find myself enjoying it.

M- light bodied and highly carbonated. no trace of the alcohol. pretty dry finish from the wild bacteria.

D- the cherry juice in here is an odd addition that works very well. maybe it was the year or so in the cellar, but this one came together quite nicely. you can tell that there is american influence on this classic belgian style. a true collaboration. im going to try to dig another one of these uo soon to see how it progresses in the cellar.

 1,670 characters

Photo of axeman9182
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, poured into my Duvel tulip.

Van Twee pours a very deep, rich color. It's almost black, but there's at least a slight suggestion of plum purple. There's about two and a half fingers of frothy khaki foam topping the beer. Lacing and retention are decent, but a bit underwhelming for a Belgian. The nose is pretty solid. Lots of cherries with a sour twang, and a surprisingly mild funky leathery aroma from the brett. There's a lot more to Van Twee though, as sips bring additional notes of milk chocolate and plums. Everything advertised on the bottle really shines through, with the exception of the Nelson Sauvin hops. The body is pretty solid, suitably rich for a dark Belgian ale. The carbonation though is a bit loose and lazy, it lacks definition. It almost leaves the beer feeling too chewy, which seems a bit out of place. All in all though, Van Twee is a very well done amalgamation of a lot of tasty ingredients, and despite the somewhat hefty price tag I'll be tempted to pick up some more bottles.

 1,022 characters

Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Tried at Sexual Chocolate 2011.
Pours a dark brown color with ruby highlights and thin brownish white head and a little lacing. Smells of a ton of tartness and cherry, not much else. Tastes of cherries, belgian yeast, and good hops and malt flavor. Mouthfeel is medium with a little carbonation. Drinkability is low.

 317 characters

Photo of Urbancaver
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opened as part of the Bell's 25th Anniversary Tasting
Reviewed off notes

Appearance- Pours almost maroon with minimal head. a bit of yeast trailing in the bottom of the bottle

Smell- smells of tart cherries. Smells a lot better than a year ago when I first had it

Taste- Cherries, belgian yeast... very odd combination

Mouthfeel- low carbonation, thick and a pretty good feel on the tongue

Drinkability- too much to be very drinkable. The cherries and yeast and other flavours blend fairly well (certainly better than when it was fresh) but overall not one of my favourites

 578 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours red with very little head. Clear though with a few bits of sediment floating/sitting in it.
Smell is cherry and malt with a slightly sour note.
Taste is sour, tart cherry with a strong malt backbone. Slight hop note.
Tart with a medium/high effervescence. Light/medium body, slightly watery finish. Aftertaste doesn't last very long sadly. A pretty good beer overall.

 374 characters

Photo of DovaliHops
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a medium off-white head that diminishes quickly. Aroma is very unique...unlike any beer I've had before. I get a little bit of funkiness from the Brett with a bit of sour cherry aroma. I also get a lot of chocolate and roasted malts as well. Very delightful and unique aroma. Taste is just as unique. The cherries definitely make themselves noticeable! Not as tart as was expecting and hoping for, but very mellow and well balanced. The sweet cherries blend well with the plentiful chocolate and roasted malts. A bit of "sour grape flavor" at the end, but not sour. The delicious yeasts used in this beer make it one of a kind and extremely complex. Mouthfeel is rich and smooth, but not to thick for this style. Well carbonated with a nice little bite at the end. Drinkability is fairly high for how rich this beer is. Interesting collaboration that is definitely worth trying!

 902 characters

Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Dark brown, opaque, not quite black but not a hint of light shines through. Foamy mocha head has huge retention and sheets of lacing.

S-Slightly sour with a bit of roasted malt lingering in the background. Maybe some dark fruit and a hint of sweetness.

T-I get a hint of sour cherry in the front with some light roastiness. A bit sweet in the very back, almost like a foamy root beer flavor.

M-Light to medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

D-Really tasty and delicious.


 480 characters

Photo of BretSikkink
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color with a solid cap of tan-brown head. Good sized bubbles, but fairly tight. Nicely done. Brightly fruity and slightly Brett-y on the nose. Good power even with the foam topper. Some chalky malt notes as well for balance.

I'm definitely impressed with the depth and complexity of the flavor as well as the overall balance. On one side are pear and apple notes that are quite prominent and accentuate the lightly musty funk of the Brett. Van Twee also pulls from the dark fruit and candi sugar end of the spectrum, with the dark bitter cherries in prominent placement. I was thinking something was interesting about it in the finish as well, and the prominent notation on the bottle about Nelson Sauvin hops makes sense. Vinous, herbal note that also emerges in the nose as it warms.

Great drinkability, as the body is relatively light and the flavors quite interesting. The mouthfeel could use some work, however, and the creamy factor of the dubbel just isn't there. No big deal, but a little thin. Try this if any of your beer interests are in the crosshairs of this one: big and dark, funky yeasts and fruit juices, American craft and Belgian micro.

 1,170 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #34 (Nov 2009):

Hybrid of the Porter and Dubbel styles with sour cherry juice and Brettanomyces added to the secondary fermentation. Funky and extreme!!

Wow, the Porter side made sure this beer was dark. Good lacing all around. Some tart- ness from the cherries and yeast with some charred malt and musty Brett action going on as well. Fluffy crispness, moderately dry body. At first taste, this beer comes off a little brash with a clash of tartness from the cherries and Brett with the roasted grain flavor that wields a dry charred character. Brett comes across with its funk: horse blanket and wet leather, both of which stay mild. Add the cherry juice to the mix, and there is almost a cherry grove note there. The burnt grain flavor lets off a bit ... or at least our palates are be- coming used to the contrast here. Finishes relatively dry with a linger of tartness and char.

Super complex, a slow sipper and something you need to share with a friend or two. A treat bottle, though it would be fun to see how this cellars as well.

 1,081 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Picked up at Rick's in Alexandria.

Pours a fairly-dark brown color with perhaps a bit of crimson in there. The head is tan with some fairly good retention and lace. The nose is attractive, with some nice notes of dark fruits, darker malt, cherries, and a bit of yeast. The taste is similar and melds everything together quite well. Good feel and body; this is much better than the other collaboration versions that I've encountered.

 454 characters

Photo of kiddynamite920
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very dark brown with a very nice looking light brown head. Thick and clumpy lacing is beginning early. As the head thins, the lacing thins.

S: Glorious Brett. Super tart cherries with some dark sweet cherries. The Brett keeps the aroma super crisp and citrusy. Some spice of clove and anise. The Michigan cherries really are splendid in this. Funky yeast with tart cherries is certainly a match made in heaven. The funkiness isn't necessarily to the barnyard extent, but it is funky for sure.

T: Was expecting a puckering beer from what I picked up on the aroma. Instead I found not-so-tart cherries, even some dark malts and bitter hops. Citrus and grassiness come from the yeast, followed by some funk and barnyard. There are some caramel notes and a brown sugar type taste. Very complex beer.

M: Great carbonation, body is very delicate yet doesn't fall short. Very crisp and refreshing, was expecting something dark and heavy. Suppose this is a bit off the style that it is categorized as, but cant fault it for that. This beer is fantastic.

D: This beer would go as well with any beer dinner as any of the RR sours. Exceptional beer, and a fantastic collaboration. Thank Jeebus for tart Michigan cherries and fantastic funky yeast. Will definitely be picking up more of this if the opportunity presents itself. The price tag is high, nearing $20 for 750 ml, but it is definitely worth it.

 1,409 characters

Photo of wedgie9
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from a 750mL bottle at Lush Roscoe. Pours an almost black purple color with a hint of red shining through. The head is slightly off-white, pours thick but then recedes to decent lacing. The nose is cherries and charred meat with brett and milk chocolate. Flavor starts off dusty with the charred meats and brett up front, transitioning into cherries and then a dark roasted malt chocolate finish. The body is somewhat thick and oily with average carbonation and a nice roasted finish with cherries. This beer is very enjoyable and easy to drink.

 552 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown with a lovely creamy head that sticks around. Very nice aromas of ripe sour cherries, some tangy malt, and some yeasty notes. The taste is a bit more muted, but exhibits some nice, albeit lighter cherry, some bready notes, and a bit of citrus. Starts a little bold in the mouth, but as it opens up, it loses steam and becomes almost watery. It is easy to drink, but it could use a little more concentration of power. This could have been a great beer, but it's merely good.

 495 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle pours a dark brown color with some ruby highlights. Fairly small, tan foam fades at an average clip and leaves plenty of lacing.

Nose is chocolate covered raisins and cherry yogurt...Interesting...and good. Dont get a whole lot of brett, but still complex with lots of other dark fruits and a touch of bready yeast - almost trappist like.

Mmmm, taste provides many layers to unfold. Lots of tart cherries, dark chocolate and light fruits - maybe even kiwi. I like the fact it is not sweet, dark malts do a nice balancing act with the brett and cherries. Even a little grassy hops poke through at the very end. Drying tartness and acidity leave a lasting impression on the finish. This seems like a bold experiment, but De Proef and Bell's have pulled it off with flying colors here. The ingredients have magically blended together almost perfectly. Even at the steep $18 price tag, I would consider buying this again.

 933 characters

Photo of emmasdad
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally a Bell's beer available for purchase here in Denver. This one poured out of the corked and caged 750 a nice medium brown color, with a healthy finger of light brown foam. A nice tartness leaps from the glass, a little barnyard funk, sour cherry and light brown sugar. Tasting it, I get more bretty tartness, fresh cherries, vanilla and a little spice.

 359 characters

Photo of kzoobrew
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review input from notes, enjoyed 02/15/10.

Deep brown with cherry stained highlights. Healthy three finger head, creamy very tight bubbles. Head is the color of vanilla pudding. Recedes slowly leaving plenty of moth eaten lacing.

Aroma is full and complex. Sweet fruit, barnyard funk and spice. Fruit smell consists mostly of tart Michigan cherries. Barnyard aroma is probably the most dominate. Musty and rustic. Peppery spiciness. The aroma is not as scattered as a Jolly Pumpkin brew (closest comparison I could think of), Van Twee is more refined.

Tart cherry flavor hits the tongue first. Dark chocolate follows up immediately. Light musty, leathery flavor underneath. The brett influence is well noted but not dominate. Grape and banana flavors are picked up through out but not in every sip. Clove flavor hits towards the back of the palate.

Medium to full bodied. Rather dry with a lingering sweetness. Carbonation is higher than expected, keeps beer light and smooth.

Very enjoyable and quite drinkable. Pleasant complexity, interesting combination of flavors with out being over bearing.

 1,103 characters

Photo of nobes341
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A very nice dark ruby. Poured from the bottle with a 1 or 2cm of big bubbled head that fades slowly.

S: Huge cherries initially float easily from my glass as it sits 2 feet away from me. Some funky, fruity notes are also apparent. A mild raisiny aroma is also there hanging out. There's also a slightly medicinal scent in the background somewhere that I can't hone in on.

T: Cherries hog the palette right away. Followed shortly after by a very mild alcoholic warming. It isn't intrusive, it just pops in for a moment and stays there under the sheets. There's also some caramel malts present and a touch of roastiness on the malt back. The medicinal (off?) flavor comes in slightly after a few sip, slurp, gulp combinations. [Maybe a stronger presence of Ethyl Phenol?] It's a slightly Chloraseptic flavor that isn't necessarily off putting. It's scary to read "medicinal" when describing a beer's taste, but it's not "bad" in this instance.

M: Highly effervescent, swishing it around in your mouth releases a lot of carbonation. Medium to full body, but not so heavy that it feels like a big beer.

D: Very drinkable beer. It isn't so complex that you have to wait for it to "finish" before you take another sip and not so simple that you keep going back to maintain that "tongue high". It just does its job.

Overall: Try this beer. If you're trying to decide between Monstre Rouge (another De Proef collaboration) and Van Twee, go for the Monstre Rouge, but this one is definitely worthy to sit on the shelf next to it. If you're a fan of the cherry blended style of beers (For instance, Unibroue's Quelque Chose), you will enjoy this beer.

 1,649 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Chestnut with ruby and gold accents along the bottom edge of the glass and a massively creamy (later rocky) crown of khaki colored froth filling the upper two-thirds of the glass. This American-Belgian hybrid has a head that is 100% Belgian. Gorgeous sheets of sticky lace are icing on the cake.

One doesn't often see Brettanomyces used in dark beer. It works, though, because the farmyard funk isn't so powerful that it covers up the roasted-chocolate malt or the sour cherry juice. It's a great balancing act so far. Let's see if it holds on the palate.

The brewers (John Mallett of Bell's and Dirk Naudts of de Proef Brouwerij) consider Van Twee 'a mashup of the porter and dubbel styles'. Looks like we have to toss wild ale in there as well. I think it tastes like a cherry porter with a moderate Brett influence. It doesn't have the dark fruitiness or the Belgian yeast esteriness to be dubbel-like.

The ingredients include sour cherry juice and sugar beets from Michigan, Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand, and dark candi sugar and Brett from Belgium. The first and last of those are the only ones that are appreciated. Sweet-bitter-tart are balanced on a razor's edge, which keeps palate fatigue to a minimum and enhances drinkability.

Although the appearance is classic Belgian ale, the mouthfeel is not. It's thinner than it should be and lacks the luscious creaminess that was expected. Laid back bubbles are preferable to overcarbonation, which often happens with bottle-conditioned beer.

Van Twee (For Two) Belgian Ale is a well-crafted brew that is unlike anything I've ever tasted. It didn't blow me away, but it was well worth the purchase price. If you're lucky enough to run across a bottle, it's still a damn good drinker if you're fond of fruity funky dark ales.

 1,790 characters

Photo of nickd717
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Based on the comments of several haters, I expected this one to be a train wreck. Not so at all.

Pours a dark ruddy brown color with a large lasting tan head.

Roasty and dark chocolatey aroma with slight brett a little fruitiness.

Flavor is almost like a slightly tart cherry stout. Very roasty with charcoal and bitter dark chocolate, along with Belgian notes and brett.

Medium-light body with high carbonation from the wild yeast.

Surprisingly solid stuff. Would drink this again, no question.

 500 characters

Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle, thanks to hoppymeal for the hookup a while ago!

Pours a lightly hazy dark brown, some orange highlights, very thick light tan head forms and settles down to a big layer and ring around the glass, good retention, drops some decent lacing.

Smell is interesting, a bit of sweet and sour up front, lightly funky, biscuit, light spice, rosemary, some wood, a bit of caramel sweetness, very fruity, some wood, pretty interesting.

Taste is similar, interesting fruity sourness up front, caramel, a bit of funky barnyard, neat spice combo, lightly biscuit, a bit of oak, rosemary again, lightly sour and acidic finish, pretty neat.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, goes down pretty smooth. Interesting and lightly funky BSDA, not bad. Thanks Derek!

 792 characters

Photo of tpd975
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been sitting on this one for a bit. Popped it open and wondered to my self why I had not drank it before now.

A: Pours a nice deep brown with evil shades of red showing through. The head is nice and tall, tan in color with a tint of red in it is well. Very nice retention and nice Belgian lace all the way down the glass.

S: Much much cherry in the aroma. Mostly tart with hints of candy sweetness beneath. Mild chocolate notes and a dash of roast.

T: Nice tart cherry juice up front. Not puckering tart, just a mild tartness. Hints of dark fruits and chocolate. Simple yet tasty.

M: Medium in body, rather lively carbonation. Zippy on the back end.

D: Good, nice light refreshing brew with just enough tartness to provide a nice lingering fruity tartness.

 761 characters

Photo of bobsy
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Russ (I think?) - thanks man!

Pours a deep brown with a finger of tan head. Good retention and lacing. Tart cherries and grapes in the nose, mixing with brown sugar, light, dry funk and earth. Interesting, and I'm liking the funk presence in this one. Flavour is good for the style, with lots of dark fruit (mostly in the form of cherries and raisins), balanced by an earthy funkiness that provides a bit more complexity than your standard Belgian dark ale. Good grainy backdrop and a moderate sweetness. Medium body and carbonation.

A good effort for a style that usually underwhelms.

 604 characters

Photo of Derek
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with a light tan head, good retention, excellent lacing.

S: Light tart/funk immediately obvious, dark fruit & brown sugar.

T: The De Proef funk is upfront, but not overbearing. Some nice dark fruit, grainy biscuit, spice & brown sugar.

M: Well-attenuated, smooth, moderate body definitely has some acidity.

D: A decent drinker, though a little funky for a Belgian Dark.

 382 characters

Van Twee (w/ John Mallett) from De Proefbrouwerij (bvba Andelot)
3.96 out of 5 based on 165 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.