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Ultra Brune | Brasserie Scassenes

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Ultra BruneUltra Brune
Very Good
60 Ratings
Ultra BruneUltra Brune

Brewed by:
Brasserie Scassenes

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 05-21-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 60 |  Reviews: 52
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More attitude than the blonde, there is a lot of head on a deep brown body. Medium plus mouthfeel, with a tad of bittersweet cocoa and lots of chocolate malt. Bit of sour finish and strong carbonation. Alcohol catches up to you. Overall satisfying.Thanks Phyl21ca/boutip for the hitchikers.

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Photo of brentk56
3.8/5  rDev -1%
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 Phyl21ca
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep brown color ale with a huge foamy head with some good retention and good lacing. Aroma of sweet malt and light candi sugar is interesting. Taste is dominated by some sweet Belgian malt with some candi sugar. A bit one-dimensional I thought with no spices or yeast overly present. Body was about full with some good carbonation and no alcohol was discernable.

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Photo of dcmchew
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
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 BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
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 Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Bitterbeerface for sharing this at the Lancaster Brewer's club meeting. Poured cool into my La Fin Du Monde tulip.

A - Deep nut brown w/ full tan head that leaves lace w/ decent stickage.

S - Nutty, leafy, earthy w/ tobacco-like woody scents.

M - Roasted nuts and mellow dry yeasty notes. Mellow carbonation w/ light sweetness.

T - Fruity w/ a vinous quality at first w/ husky mellow and dry grainy qualities. A light bready taste mixes well w/ a nutty tobacco and toasted malt element in the finish.

D - A nice malty belgian brown w/ plenty of complex flavor and nice malts in the taste. I consider this very drinkable.

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Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stubby Belgian 11.2 ounce bottle, new graphics and stamped on the cap (!) is Best before dating of 6-11-09 (!!) This brew pours cloudy and murky beer bottle brown in color. With a puffy tan head that leaves classy lacing. Brilliant nutty nose. This a wonderously flavorful, nutty sweet beer, with added notes of mild brandy, raisins, figs, and soft ripe fruits. Smooth and easy drinking, the 10% masterfully blended into the rear of this high quality and dynamicly strong ale. yeasty final pour, seek out this fine brew and enjoy!

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Photo of jwc215
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into glass chalice:

Pours deep brown with a creamy head that became a lasting spotted covering. Some lacing is left along the glass.

The smell is of raspberry, toasted bread and alcohol.

The taste is of tart raspberry backed by sweet caramel. There's a dark grain breadiness. Touches of brown ale-like nuttiness and coffee bean come through to back up the fruitiness. A hint of cocoa also mixes itself into the blend as the drink progresses. Complex and well-balanced among tart, sour, sweet and a touch of bitter.

It's medium to full bodied. Creamy and almost silky smooth, briefly disrupted by a sharp, drying alcohol.

Rich, complex and somewhat unique. It may not be the best that Belgium has to offer, but it is certainly up there!

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
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 Stinkypuss
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
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 Zorro
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled through the efforts of Bross242 and BIF 25.

Best before date of 06/10/09 on the cap.

Well-rested bottle carefully poured into my Duvel Tulip gives me a heavy hazed chestnut brown beer that can pass light but no image through. Very slight tan head formation.

Smell is very fruity and is quite strong before it gets anywhere near my nose. Strong aromas of raisins and prunes with some cherry and apple thrown in the mix. No separate strong sugar scent, but there is a strong odor of black strap molasses. Fairly spicy aroma mostly rides on the alcohol fumes of this beer. Strong fresh black pepper aroma. Noticeable alcohol scent here but it isn't a harsh aroma so much as it is an accent of the smell like a good rum or whiskey. Quite a pleasant smelling example of the style.

Taste is mildly sweet with a clear aftertaste of molasses in the first sip. Fruit flavors that match the scent are the next level of flavors that hit my tongue. In addition to the nose there is a bit of figs and brown sugar to the taste here along with a nice bitterness in the after taste. Somewhat woody and dry in the after taste this is a good choice for a hearty meal with beef or pork as a main course.

Mouthfeel is good, full but not sugary.

A drier easy to drink version of the style that only lacks a bit in flavor to make it world class. Having said that this is a fine example of the style and stellar in the easy to drink department. Well worth your time to try this one.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A careful pour yields a three-finger thick, lightly dirty-tan colored head. The beer is a very dark brown color, but shows a clear, deep red color when held up to the light, you almost can't see through it though because if is so excessively carbonated. The aroma is quite fruit-like; aromas of cherries, prunes, raisins and rich fig note are tempered just a bit by a touch of spice and a meaty maltiness. Dark, candy like malt character, a touch of toasty grain, toffee, musty earth, , some notes of clove, perhaps a touch of ginger, over-ripened fruit (plums) and some metallic oxidized malt character. This has a very rich nose, it just smells thick and sticky. Not bad, but certainly not very dry.

Not nearly as sweet as the aroma might have suggested, nor is it as thick as the aroma made it out to be. The beer is sweet, but not overly so and the body is actually fairly light for a beer of this strength. Fruit flavors of ripe, slightly concentrated plums and raisins are noticeable up front, a bit of oxidized malt character then becomes noticeable in the middle (hint of wet cardboard) as does some richly caramelized malt notes, a touch of toffee, ample flavors of browned bread crust, touches of chalky toasted grain. Spice flavors reminiscent of clove and cardamom combine to give this a flavor somewhat akin to Dr. Pepper. Subtle flavors of young ginger, white pepper and even a touch of mint add to the spice notes. The flavors are very much focused on the rich fruit notes with the malt, and to a lesser extent the spice notes playing a supporting role. While not overly heavy, this beer does have some heft and fullness to it, though it is fairly light for a beer of its strength.

An interesting beer, but not nearly as good as I was hoping. A bit too sweet & fruit focused, without a depth and complexity to provide enough balance.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.3/5  rDev +12%
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 jdhilt
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a five-finger light tan head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Almost black with mahogany highlights. Yeast left in bottle. Woody nose. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is sweet caramel and tart at times - complex, clean finish, high ABV is well hidden. $3.25 for a 330ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Coppery brown color with large head that dissipates quickly but leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: Plums with some caramel and cherries are present as well. Bready overtones.

Taste: The caramel and plums present themselves throughout. There seems to be a hint of cinnamon present as well.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and almost silky smooth with minor carbonation. The yeast lingers on the palate.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. The sweetness masks the alcohol nicely.

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Photo of wl0307
2.73/5  rDev -28.9%
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 stcules
3.03/5  rDev -21.1%
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 mrfrancis
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
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 Cyberkedi
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
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 patre_tim
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
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 TheLongBeachBum
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brasserie d’Ecaussinnes: Ultra-Brune.
Strength: 10.0% ABV.
Style: Artisanal Strong Dark Ale / Strong Brown.

Served on Draft; One of 5 x 25cl Glass Samplers (€5 Total).

Tasted at the Farmhouse Café (Sampling Room), during a Brewery Visit to the Brasserie d’Ecaussinnes, on 18th April 2003.

Appearance: A deep, slightly turbid brown color that has some clarity when examined closely. The head is a lovely dark tan color. I remembered saying to my friends that it reminded me of a "stronger" dark Trappist beer with its appearance. Then I was politely reminded that this baby is actually 10%ABV!!

Smell: A strong toffee crisp nose that has pungent caramel sweet malt. A smell of burnt car tires pervades in the end that is somewhat off-putting at first, but like glue, can become addictive if inhaled too often.

Taste: A dark brooding beer. The burnt malts dominate this beer in the beginning, which surprised me, after the nose I was expecting a sweet start. The beer progresses, a caramel middle eventually dumbs down the burnt malts. Some bitterness breaks through at the end. But, it is all to no avail. Akin to having your tongue scalded by a hot-cheese toastie - the “burnt-ness” returns after the beer is swallowed and seems to linger on the palate forever.

Mouthfeel: It is not shy in the mouthfeel department and wrestles with the cheeks. It lets you know that this could replace a meal if you were hungry.

Drinkability: Surprisingly, the 10%ABV in the beer presents no problems whatsoever. The alcohol is not too cleverly disguised by the ever present “burnt” aspect of the beer. Definitely not a session beer.

Overall: A nice attempt at a rarely seen style; a ‘strong’ brown ale. A wholesome offering that is not shy in the taste department. I love leaving my bread in the toaster much longer than I should – it's not proper toast until its black for me. So I like this beer, but others may find the burnt aspect just too much in the end.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from www.belgianshop.com

Poured a deep burgundy red with some brown tinges... Creamy tan head poured quite thick but faded fairly quickly to very light layer... no real lacing...

Aroma - Sweet dark fruits (blackcurrents, cherries, some red grapes, figs), treacle sweetness, caramel maltiness, light nuttiness, some woody notes, leathery, malt / fruit loaf, some aniseed, spicy hops...

Taste – Quite tart vinuous red / dark fruits (definite blackcurrents, grapes, raisins), marsala wine notes, brown sugar / molasses, light vinegary hints, some pepperiness, alcohol (sherry) soaked fruit cake, some saltiness, some light yeastiness, woody. light hop bitterness...

Feel - Quite smooth then some sharpness coming through after.. Medium / full bodied... Pretty drinkable even at 10%...

Overall - A very good and slightly unusual beer - not your typical Belgian dark ale... well worth a try...

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Photo of desint
3/5  rDev -21.9%

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Ultra Brune from Brasserie Scassenes
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 60 ratings
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