Ultra Brune
Brasserie Scassenes

Ultra BruneUltra Brune
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Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #186
Ranked #19,660
3.87 | pDev: 10.08%
Brasserie Scassenes
Very Good
Ultra BruneUltra Brune
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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 60
Photo of Underrower
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Celebrator but with better hidden alcohol even though Ultra Brune has more alcohol. Unbelievably well hidden alcholol. Same smell as Ayinger's Celebrator. Taste is remarkably similar (just no booze). Who knew a dopplebok came as a quad. A feat of beer engineering. I have always called Celebrator my dark mistress but she has been out darked and out mistresseded. CHEERS!

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Photo of patre_tim
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Medium to dark brown with an amber tinge, many dark floating particles of yeast, with a beige head that is huge. The bottle was a gusher without any prior agitation.

S: Caramel, dark fruits, Belgian yeasts, some snow, some cherries, a little banana.

T: Memories of Chimay or a nice solid Belgian dubbel, dark fruits, cherries, not overly sweet, well balanced and smooth, no defects.

M: Smooth medium body, medium carbonation after the gusher.

O: Very nice, very smooth balanced Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Really hides the 10% alcohol VERY well. My first from this brewery. I love the style and the fact I’ve never heard of this brewery, and now I am enjoying a great beer from them. Feels like I’m visiting Belgium! Brewed Jan 14th 2013, drank on Oct 26 2013.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 8 oz glass.

A- Pours brown with a 1 finger tan head. No lacing remains on the glass.

S- Sweet cherries and brown sugar.

T- Very similar to nose. Sweet brown sugar followed closely by cherries and dark fruits.

M- Medium body and carbonation. Slick feel.

O- Decent for the style. Nice sweet change of pace kind of beer.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a chalice.

A: Pours a deep ruby color with a 1 finger off white head. Perhaps I poured too much as there is a lot of sediment floating in the body.

S: Very sweet smell of raisin and other dark fruits. Alcohol and almost bourbony like qualities. Roasty sweet malts as well. Molasses, carmel, toffee are all present.

T: Sweet roasted malts up front with a yeasty after taste. Carmely sweet. Reminds me of a dopplebock on steroids. Slightly too sweet and one-dimensional for me.

M: Fairly easy to put back, booze is well hidden. Warming. A little syrupy.

Overall an interesting beer that is a little too sweet for me. This was on sale so I figure it might be fairly old.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown with very subtle ruby highlights and a creamy, compact beige head.

S: Aromas of milk chocolate, candy sugar, caramel, raisins, and figs are immediately evident. There is a bit of an alcohol scent as well, but nothing too off-putting.

T: This ale definitely leans toward the sweeter end of the spectrum, with notes of heavy cream, milk chocolate, candy sugar, caramel, plums, raisins, figs, and anise on the palate. The finish is silky and long with notes of cream, chocolate, and candy sugar mingling with a hint of jam-like fruitiness.

M: Full bodied, creamy, and silky in the mouth. Carbonation is rather subtle. The alcohol is not all that noticeable.

O: This is a nice Belgian strong dark ale that is just a little too sweet for its own good. Still, I can see myself buying this one again. Overall, I would have no problem recommending this ale to fans of sweeter beers.

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Photo of mandolinhomebrew
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from Belgian stubby style .33 liter bottle into Duvel tulip.

A - very dark brown with red hues when held towards light. big poofy tan head, lots of carbonation

S - a bit sweet & fruity (particularly on the fig & raisin direction), medium to dark caramel, for 10% the alcohol is definitely not blasting out of the glass.. detectable but well hidden

T - follows the smell for me, but is always slightly changing from sip to sip as it warms in the glass. it's on the sweet side, but not cloyingly so. caramel and fruits (again in the fig & raisin direction for me) take the stage, but there is a slight, slight hint of roastiness. alcohol is more apparent in the finish, but really well hidden for 10%. bitterness is fairly low and i can't detect any hop character in terms of flavor or aroma.

M - it's really well carbonated, even after a half hour in the glass. mouthfeel is what i would call medium.

O - imho it's a well made Belgian strong dark ale. if you've had a fair share of examples of the style, then you're not in for any surprises here. very very drinkable for 10% though.. which is not always the case.

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Photo of atr2605
3.42/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a very dark brown with a tan head with about average retention that clings to the glass. Lots of floating debris hanging in suspension
S-Sweet malt, plums, figs, raisins, low hop aroma
T- More of the same in the flavor, with the plum flavor being dominate, leading into a bit of a molasses taste and ends with the hop bitterness and a sweet dark cherry flavor in the finish. Alcohol is fairly well hidden
M-medium bodied
O-Not bad, not great. there are better examples of the style but still a nice beer.

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Photo of skandha
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: prettily dark with a distracting amount of floating detritus; settled in the glass it looked like a heavy fountain root beer with a handful of kitty litter dropped in.

Smell: overripe fig fruits, and a pungent, grainy scent that reminded me of horse oats left to sit in the hot sun.

Taste: very raisiny and forwardly sweet. Finish is smooth and a little port-wine syrupy. 10.0% ABV is hidden with stealth..

Mouthfeel: mild carbonation, and the deliberate sweetness is not too evidently thick on the tongue.

Overall: pleasant dessert-type beer, but I certainly wouldn't want to drink more than one. Lacks any counter-structural depth or bitterness to make it more than just a sweet digestif.

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Photo of number1bum
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-dark brown, darker in the glass than when being poured, with three fingers of tan head. Head is pretty creamy and keeps pretty well; almost has a slightly reddish tinge to it as well. Lots of floaties settle to the bottom.

Smell is very sweet with big doses of dark candi sugar and raisins. Has some dark caramel as well. Also figs and prunes, very fruity. It's somewhat one-dimensional but smells pretty good.

Taste, luckily, is not as sweet as the nose was. I was worried this was going to be a syrupy mess. It's still sweet but the fruit flavors are more pronounced - figs, dates, prunes, raisins. Still a lot of sugars going on here, caramel and dark candi sugar. There is a subtle woodiness in the finish that gives just a touch of contrasting flavor. I'd even call it a smokiness. Good flavor, and reasonably well balanced.

Mouthfeel is on the plus side of medium bodied but is not as full as you'd expect at 10%. Not super creamy either, with above average carbonation. Overall I'd say the body is off and this is a touch over carbonated.

This is pretty good, nothing spectacular but a nice drinker. It's relatively simple, fruity and sweet. No alcohol is really present. Not too shabby.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: incredible deep rocky head and I only poured half a bottle!, near opaque deep, dark rosey color
S: medium nose, musty, earthy character, charred and/or burnt licorice, interesting, reminded me a bit of a deep chocolate pudding
T: very nice, well-balanced, no unusual or outstanding flavors but just a well-made dark ale, roasted malt, smattering of hop finish but more malt base, treacle-toffee finish
M: creamy and velvety, very well balanced
D: very drinkable for ABV, smooth

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Photo of lightindarkness
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750mL bottle into a large Brother Thelonious chalice. Cork had a best-by date of "7-12-20_0" - likely not july of 2020, but rather the cage rubbed off the marking, so I'm not sure what to make of it.

Very little action with the cork, and only some light carbonation shows initially in the pour. More builds eventually and leaves a fine film of dens tiny bubbled foam, which makes for some attractive but sparse lace. Beer is dark murky brown, as expected, lightly dusty in appearance with some clarity.

Nose presents very nice dense aromas of lightly boozy fig and raisin with some fresh baked heavy whole grain bread.

Taste really reflects the nose quite well, grainy dough giving way to dark smooth fruits capped with just a hint of syrupy sweetness and faint influence of alcohol. Flavor decays for a nice prolonged period, with some deep overripe fruit sweetness and lingering doughiness. Heavy and a bit sweet, but not bad.

Feel is fairly standard, though seems to lack the active carbonation that lightens up others of the same style. Present carbonation is faint and tight with finely formed bubbles, making it soft, but only mildly so. Comes across as dense and on the fuller side, though still medium bodied.

Overall this is quite tasty. Heavy and well laden with all the dark fruit and dough one might expect. Seems full in sweetness, not overly so, but perhaps not as dry with grain balance as some. I could easily go to this beer to satisfy a craving for a big dark belgian ale, but in drinking much of it, abv and richness become an inhibitor.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Ultra Bruin pours a murky brown with some chunks of yeast hanging in suspension. Short livid head and no lacing.

Smell: Bready malts, soft fruit, alittle bit musty.

Taste: Raisin and fig notes, just a bit of green apple too. Yeasty, tangy, hop profile is on the minimal side, only there to provide traces of bitterness to round out the beer. Malty, fruity, definitely strong too but the alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a good level of carbonation and a chalky finish.

Drinkability: A good night cap beer, strong enough to provide a buzz, complex enough to make it worth drinking. I thought this beer was pretty decent, but wonder what it would be like fresh.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-transparent dark russet with a wheat-beige fluffy head that is quite thick, if not too persistent, head. Aroma is fruity and malty and has an undertone of miso. Flavor is rich and malty, somewhat fruity, with a hint of caramel and just a bit of sweetness. Texture is quite fizzy and tingly so it leaves the mouth a-quiver.

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Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 750 ml bottle at Knightly Spirits for $10. Poured a hazy brown with a tan head. At first this beer reminded me of a richer Chimay Blue. In the aroma and initial flavor, there's a big dark berry fruit punch followed by a bourbon-like burst of caramel and toast malt. Overall, the beer is very smooth and easy to drink - definitely worth a try if you dig the style.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.14/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle poured into two giant snifters

Pours dark brown with what looks like suspended bubbles -- very thick looking, medium head on the pour which faded quickly and a few thin tendrils of lacing. Smells almost sickly sweet -- molasses and cherry.

Taste is too sweet (for me) with some sourness that helps balance it a little. Some overripe fruit notes, and quite noticeable alcohol in the flavor.

Mouthfeel is thick and heavy, sticky. Not a very good hot weather beer (if you ask me), but maybe better during the winter months.

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Photo of wl0307
2.73/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is the second time for me to try this ale, a good 5.5 years since my first encounter in Brussels! The beer label has changed since, BB 06/05/10, served only lightly-chilled in Westmalle's broad-rimmmed chalice.

A: pours a dirty-cloudy dark brown hue, coming with rather light but constant streams of carbonation and a dark beige fluffy head settling fast to a rim.
S: the aroma is rather mixed - musty, sour prunes, herbal candy, assertive notes of candy sugar, plus a higher-than-normal level of saltiness from the yeasts. Unbalanced, but not cloying, either.
T: gosh... I'm sure this beer is off-ish or infected, as the astringent sour-saltiness comes at the expense of almost everything else; the taste is metallic, very prune-ish (in an "off-ish" way), salty-sour, with plenty of oxidised-pineapple hints only attributable to unstable yeast sediments in the bottle. At times, the palate can pick up random notes of caramelised sugar, weak maltiness and faint hop elements, but nothing is here to compete with the dominating, pungent yeasty-mess... Fortunately, the finish is quite neutrally-flavoured and, well, tannic and dry, more like the undertones of mixed Chinese dried herbs plus spiced prunes in a sense.
M&D: the palate is loose and not as firm as a 10%abv. beer requires, but at least the carbonation is not too disappointing but light. The messy flavour profile is certainly rendered by a disturbed state of yeastiness in the bottle, and my fond memory of this ale 5.5 years ago could only point in the same direction. Maybe I've had a bad hair day, or this bottle has had a bloody moody year or two!

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Photo of brentk56
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a melted chocolate color with a thick beige head; drapes the sides of the chalice with lace

Smell: Toffee and chocolate malt, with a plummy character as well

Taste: Opens with the plum flavors which are joined by the toffee, malted milk chocolate and a plastic phenolic element by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sweeter flavors predominate, with a honeyed aspect as well, but by the finish, the phenols are joined by an orange peel and burnt wood character

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; feels a bit more like a stout than a Belgian

Drinkability: A unique style, no doubt, but I can't say that it all comes together for me

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Photo of cswhitehorse
3.06/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Ultra Brune poured a real dark brown with 1 finger of foam head. The lacing was there but not overwhelming.

The aroma was spicy with a dark brown sugar coming through. The taste had the similar characteristics but the alcohol was too in the way. I couldn't get past it. It must not of aged very well. It was pretty one dimensional with the ABV taking the show. It was pretty light for the mouth feel and overall wasn't really impressed.

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Photo of stcules
3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very dark brown color, light brown foam, quite fluffy.
At the smell malt, candy sugar, white grapes.
At the taste, and also inthe smell, it is not heavy, despite the 10% ABV.
Malty taste, again candy sugar.
Average body, a lot of caramel in the aftertaste, and a light fruitiness.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rust orange with an infusion of dark coral and edges of polished bronze. This is a great looking beer when backlit with sunshine. The golden beige crown is magnificent as well and proudly upholds the excellence seen whenever fine Belgian ales are poured.

The nose is less dark than most BSDAs. The spotlight is on sour fruit (figs and tart apples rather than raisins) and a moderate amount of phenolic spiciness. If it's more sweet and less tangy than it smells, this could be a pretty good version.

Ultra Brune isn't great beer. In fact, I'll need to get much deeper into the bottle to decide if it's even good beer. Last time I looked, Belgian strong dark ales shouldn't be this sour. It tastes like a combination BSDA and Flanders oud bruin. Hmmm... viewed in that light, this is actually pretty tasty stuff if you don't mind drinking outside the box.

Specifics include sweet apple cider made with Granny Smiths, sourdough brown bread, fig paste and steely caramel. Sweet and tart complement each other throughout the entire mouthful. Hops try to tighten the finish, but can't quite manage it. Looks like I've gone from confusion and budding disappointment to enthusiasm in the space of the past six ounces.

Given the ABV, it's amazing that alcohol isn't a member of the flavor profile. UB drinks at least three percentage points lower. The mouthfeel isn't great, but it's good enough. It substitutes a little Belgian creaminess for a little American slickness.

Ultra Brune is the best of the three Brasserie d'Ecaussinnes beers that I've had so far. If style guidelines are supremely important to you, look elsewhere. If you enjoy square peg beer that refuses to be jammed into a round hole, give this intriguing Belgian ale a try.

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Photo of Crosling
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Overall, an impressive brew. Aroma shows caramel apple and toast. Flavor has a lot of depth with a unique toast-like malt character not found in a lot of Belgian ales. Hints of caramel and apple as well. While it is unique and one of a kind, it still remains very Belgian. Finish lasts well, with mainly caramel notes and some roast. What an unexpected treat.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark caramel/cola color with a frothy beige head that was fully lasting. Carbonation was moderate-heavy per style with lots of suspended yeast particles.

S: a yeasty aroma with dry chocolate and a slight roasted maltiness.

T: malty with a smooth dark roasted character, sweet chocolate, and a fruity (pears, bananas, & melons) yeasty flavor. There was a nice dark caramelized brown sugar sweetness as well a boozy scotch alcohol presence in the finish as well some dried fruit (prunes). Overall a great Belgian strong dark ale with a soothing, soft roasted character with a semi-sweetness of chocolate to balance things out.

M: light but very flavorful with some dry coffee notes coming through upon warming.

D: The beer drank incredibly smooth for its 10%abv. The soft roasted malting truly highlights this beer with a great yeasty fruitiness and boozy scotch alcohol finish. Truly an incredible drink. Outstanding all around.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany-hued bdoy with a small, off-white head.

Smell: Spiced aroma with notes of dusty caramel, dried fruits, candi sugar, and, just to make sure everyone's clear on this, spice.

Taste: Caramel malts with a dusting of sweet candi sugar. Sourish, raisiny flavor alongside a hit of acidity. Very faint floral hop character, but no real bitterness. Good amount of spice. No more than a hint of that 10%. Warming, drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent lil' not-so-little Belgian Strong.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a corked bottle at Bauer to share with friends on a Saturday evening. Poured into Chimay goblets. There was a two inch head that slowly faded into the light brown colored beer. I am not sure where the "dark ale" description comes from, for I found it to be lighter than most dubbels. Smell was nothing too magnificent, just a hint of spice. Taste was very good, lots of cherry, orange, and cinnamon flavors. For a high abv beer, I didn't notice that one bit, it went down very smooth. Only drawback was that it was a bit thin in the body. Paired with a smoked goat cheese and black pepper salami, it was a nice appetizer before heading out to dinner.

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Photo of Bobzilla
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


C: Chocolate brown, light tan head with a small amount of lacing throughout the glass.

S: A cocoa, caramel, light buttery smell. A hint of some fruitiness after further warming. Raisiny esters are peeking through.

T: Sweet, bitter, with a bite at the finish. There is a bit different taste than the smell implies. The caramel and buttery sweetness isn't very present. There is a bit of a pretzel biscuit flavor hiding beneath the surface. (Maybe bad storage conditions for the bottle?) The ester quality is in the taste, but I can't quite discern what specific fruit is peeking through. The Raisin character, fig, date, dark fruity mix is present mostly at the front of the taste. It finishes with a more bitter character.

M: Very smooth with a tingly finish. (Yes...tingly.) The carbonation seems to be a bit heavier than I'd like on this one, but its not horrible. It seems to diminish the richness of the beer a bit.

D: A bit too heavy for multiples. A nice flavor, but with so much sugar in the beer, it can get a bit heavy by the end of the bottle.

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Ultra Brune from Brasserie Scassenes
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 60 ratings