Leffe Brune / Brown | Abbaye de Leffe S.A.

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Leffe Brune / BrownLeffe Brune / Brown

Brewed by:
Abbaye de Leffe S.A.

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-25-2001

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Reviews: 525 | Ratings: 1,815
Photo of dcoux09
1.33/5  rDev -65.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I never heard of Leffe until I was at a party and one of my good friends was drinking it. Traded away a Gritty McDuff's pale ale for one and boy did I regret it. Smelt it and it smelled very bitter for a beer, especially a Belgian one. Poured nicely with a cream white head, which gave it some potential. I tasted it and my first reaction was to check the bottle if it was expired. It was very bitter and sour... possibly too much hops. Had another sip and left it in the sink. If you were to try, it would take a while to drink another one after the first.

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Photo of DenzelShawnG
1.66/5  rDev -56.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

This might be the oddest beer i've ever tasted. It caught my eye while passing through the supermarket and I had high hopes.

The good thing I can say about Leffe Brune/Brown is that it ours well and gives you a nice thick head atop your beer.

Leffe Brown had a caramel/malt smell but not in an appealing way. I found myself shying away from smelling it again. As for the taste it's like a sweet caramel brown ale but it just failed. I couldn't even finish it, and that's really saying something. I got maybe a quarter through it and said it taste too bad for me to want to finish. I'm stuck with five left so maybe the second time around I'll enjoy it more but this beer was awful.

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Photo of ernie
2.07/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I've tasted this ale more than 40 times in different places and on various occasions, not to count consuming bottled Leffe at home. Must admit that I gradually developed strong dislike for this particular Dark.

It looks good, yeah - very dark brown with proper head, lace and everything. It smells wonderful - roasted malts, black fruit, yeasts and dry herbs. But it's the taste that disappoints me: always too sweet, too heavy, free of any sophistication, with a sticky mouthfeel and unpleasant finish.

This ale, packed with sugar, maybe a good restorative for those who remained unconscious for a long time. Conscious drinker must have something else.

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Photo of cratez
2.13/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Leffe Blonde is a pleasant and complex beer but this is nothing of the sort.

Appearance: promising. Pours with a thick head and robust, brown body. Lacing is excellent. Makes you want to drink the beer.

Smell: fruity with a dry, wine-like aroma. However, the smell is the calm before the nasty, bitter storm.

Taste is awful. A thick and musty wine flavour with hints of fruit. There is no "sweet caramel" to speak of (as the label suggests). The dry, bitter finish and high carbonation accentuate an unpleasant aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: also terrible. The head on this beer is too thick and carbonated and therefore tough to get through. The aftertaste is painfully dry. This beer can best be described as bitter and bloated.

Drinkability: the review says it all.

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Photo of Minkybut
2.32/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Once again with Leffe. I have never tried this brown so I was hoping it was better than the blond. NOPE. Poured at 40 degrees, beer was very pretty I must admit with a giant head. Mahogany color mmmI thought. But as soon as I smelled it I knew it was that same sour beer we hate. Don't understand it either My wife spent a year in Holland and loved this beer on tap. When she got back here to Va. we started buying it and first sip she took was yuk! And we have tried several times hoping it was just a bad or old beer. I don't know maybe the export product is not the same as the beer overseas. Don't matter I will never again waste money to try it anymore unless we find it on tap.

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Photo of TheMcCollums
2.48/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Was excited to give this two-year-old Leffe a try! It poured a medium dark amber color with little to no head, but that may have been because I was pouring from a day-old growler and this doesn't seem to be a very carbonated beer in the first place. The nose is sweet, almost raisin-y, and has the tiniest hint of nuttiness...the previous reviewer who mentioned root beer was spot-on. The taste of the beer was surprisingly sweet, almost unappealingly so at first, and none of the nuttiness in the nose translated onto the palate. It had a perfectly fine but not exceptional mouthfeel. The finish was fast and slightly sour. I was bummed I wasn't enjoying it more as a sipping beer, and after some pondering decided to pair it with a few mild and sweet-ish cheeses (havarti, mild cheddar, and some of Sargento's New Zealander). That made a huge difference...the sweetness calmed down and more nuttiness and yeastiness popped out, and I even poured a second small glass. I think this is an ok beer, and I might seek it out if I was looking for something to serve with a cheese plate or other sweet/savory appetizers. Probably won't buy again, though.

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Photo of cheesepuffs
2.5/5  rDev -34.4%

I gave this beer a 2.5 because I'm not yet familiar enough with the style. I would have given it an even lower score if I had more to compare it to, and if it didn't have such phenomenal lacing on the glass.

For me, I couldn't get past the sickening sweetness. This beer reminds me of a Polish baltic porter called Black Boss, which reminds me of that "Sugar In The Raw" natural cane sugar you put in coffee. The sugary profile masked near everything else for me and I actually poured most of this one down the drain. This is my 187th beer and the only other drain pour on my watch was Miller Fortune. Maybe I'm just getting pickier.

Anyway, if you like ultra sweet beers then go for it, but if you like a brew with balance then this one's not for you. No hop balance here. No bitterness to bring the sweetness down to earth, and that, for me, made it a chore to drink. Not questioning it's quality of ingredients, but the flavor is definitely polarizing.

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Photo of ThaCreep
2.54/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Still that alcohol affects the nose with sweet roasted malt. On the palate, this malt is up, a little sweet and followed by an attack weaklings artificial flavors and especially fat. Not really tastes amazing, just a beer pretty soft on the palate, with few spices and a little power, just a little spice in the finish.

 319 characters

Photo of paterlodie
2.57/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Well pooring it in my favorite trappist glass a first notice was there that this beer has white foam what is not the "normal" dubbels I like. Not to much smell but the the caracteristic "Leffe" geur was in it. The taste was a litle malty but overal sweet and hops was minimised to the low limit a Dubbel can have in my opinion. Only good thing is that you can drink it easily...

 378 characters

Photo of benfons
2.6/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: cola color, thick head with a lot of air in it, (almost cola like once again)

S: little there, something medicinal some spices (maybe coriander), quite sweet

T: very little there, too sweet, something burnt but that's it

M: a little thin, abv is fine

O: not a very good beer, too thin too sweet, below average

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.69/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

It was available next door from my work place on-tap, and for a long time wasn't available in my area, so I ordered a pint of it. On to the beer:

The beer arrived nice and brown, leaving some lacing on the glass as it was consumed. Clean aroma with a touch-up of caramel. THe taste was intersting at first, but more I drank of it, the less interested i was of it. It started sweet and phenolic with a dash of clove. Candied fruits and weak brown sugar were detectable. The finish is the spoiler, which is of bitter astringent pepper.

Where's my dark fruit and/or cocoa flavors? It had some moments, but I ended up dissapointed. At $7 a draft, I won't be doing that again.

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Photo of mschofield
2.73/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown with red highlights, two finger tan head tops it off.
Roasted malt, brown sugar and caramel in the aroma, bready base underneath.
The taste is very sweet, a problem shared by the Blonde, brown sugar and raisin, again the base of the beer is very bready.
It's better in drinkability than the blonde, but that sweetness gets cloying halfway through one, there is no way I could drink another.

 412 characters

Photo of impending
2.74/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5


33cl into a tulip. Pours a copper brune, minor dense head faded slowly, ok lacing.

Scent of yeasty dark fruits, raisins and plum and surprisingly strong banana esters, nice.

Taste contains all the scent hinted but watered down. A hint of zinc in the aftertaste overshadows all that came before. Medium bodied creamy mouthfeel.


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Photo of logicalparadox
2.75/5  rDev -27.8%

You know, the one thing you have to give to Leffe is that their beers have tremendous, impressive heads with enviable retention. Why can't every beer I drink look like this in the glass?

But I wish I were smelling and tasting something else.

This beer is sweet, ever so slightly roasted with a very hidden smokiness, almost of hickory. Not bad by themselves, but the whole is less than the sum of the parts. The sweetness becomes too much, and there's not enough bitterness to accent it. Flavor-wise, there's not much else going on and the mouthfeel is a little on the watery side.

Belgian dark ale? Maybe. It's made in Belgium and it's dark. It's a vague style, to be sure, but to me this beer is flirting with being a big imperial stout, but at the same time is coming close to a black lager. This is not a bad thing in and of itself, but the lack of balance, the high sweetness, and the lack of depth make me shake my head no rather than nod my head yes.

Nah. Get something else.

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Photo of GnomeKing
2.83/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Leffe Brown...dark brown...almost black. The color is nice enough, but the beer looked flat and lifeless in my glass. The taste lived down to the appearance. It was dull, simple, uninvolving...well, let's just sum it up under "bland". That's all I have to say.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
2.86/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Brown 33cl bottle best before 08/2007, drank 04/2007.

Poured into one of my Leffe Goblets.

Good dark mahogany brown, with a firm biege head. Sat on my table next to the bottle, the scene looked like the picture you would see on an advertising board.

Aroma of sweet burnt chocolate malt.

Sweet almost sickly taste, chocolates and caramel. Too sweet for me, this style often does throw up some really sweet brews, this is one of them.

Clings to your teeth and palate, not nice, my tongue kept trying to wash the residue away.

It looks so good, what a pity it doesn't live up to the promise its image paints.

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Photo of belgbeerdrinker
2.86/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a: dark brown color, with long-lasting head that finally dissipates to thin layer, light carbonation
s: yeasty odors
t: yeast taste up-front with a medicinal background & with a slight bitter finish as the medicinal taste lingers too long & harsh
m: medium body with minor evidence of carbonation, not very smooth
d: not the worst belgian dark i've had, but certainly far from many others. would drink it if i was in a pinch for belgian darks, but not otherwise

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Photo of MeisterBurger
2.86/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This isn't a bad looking beer at all. Dark and clear, when held up to the light it's all ruby and crimson, a deep brown and orangey amber. The head is spotty but shows promise initially. Overall there is no denying that it looks like a really well brewed beer.

The initial aroma reminds me of toasted whole wheat bread. It has hints of chocolate and caramel as well. Nice if underwhelming.

The taste is very bready and toasty with underlying notes of chocolate and--surprisingly--there's something of a Dunkelweizen about it. Malty yet dry. Melba toast leaps to mind as I sip it. Medium bitterness, maybe a tad grassy. There's something mildly astringent and plasticy and phenolic about this beer, it's a tad harsh and, while not horrible, it's far from great.

Medium bodied, the carbonation gives an initial bit at first that dies down and reveals the flavors slowly.

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Photo of SleepyMonk
2.88/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chilled brown glass bottle with brown foil wrapped around the neck and cap.

Poured into a Leffe chalice glass it produces 2 fingers of carbonated head that fizzles away quickly with a collar of lacing.

Held to the light the color is a deep tan blended with a red hue. Very reminiscent of a cola.

The aroma is horrendously thin and one needs to drag away deep and often to receive moderate amount of malt and grainy yeast.

Malt and hops on the taste with dry roasted dark fruits also blending in to the palate.

Sweet fruit flavors rise up quickly in the mouth and fall away whilst still maintaing a tactile sticky gum-like feel as the alcohol begins to dry the entire thing up.

Not a great beer when it comes to Belgian standards but a lot better than most commercial mass produced beers out there

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.92/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am really not a fan of Leffe any more. I drank gallons of their brews these last three weeks and they really didn’t do much for me. This one seems to be rather more German than Belgian, like a thicker version of a typical German dark. Carmel and Roasted malts dominate. The color is nice, a dark brown, almost black with a thick white head. The taste and mouthfeel are rather sweet and not very complex. Very dark..

 418 characters

Photo of PlutonowyManiek
2.94/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brownish ruby, clear. Beige foam low on average lasted,
Aroma: gently roasted herbs typical "belgium", light dryness with a hint of dark fruit.
Taste: lightly roasted again, touches of yeast, spices, appear dark fruit, plums, cherries.
Gentian caramel, slightly burnt. High saturation. A little alcohol comes.

 309 characters

Photo of MiScusi
2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe, pours a dark brown with an ok white head. This is what I would call a cloyingly sweet beer. It has a real sweet twang to it, maybe also sweetness added from fruity taste as well. I also felt it had a bit of roasted malt character to it as well but the sweetness stands out more than that. Overall it was just too sweet for me to enjoy.

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Photo of Viggo
2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown with red highlights, huge off white head forms, refuses to leave in a timely manner, nice lacing. Malty and spicy, some yeast, banana, smells almost weisse like. Taste is sweet malt, little spice at the back of the mouth but mostly sweet. Body is quite full so that with the thickness makes this kind of cloying and not very pleasant. High carbonation.

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Photo of titvs
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Review based on the BJCP2008 guidelines (style 18B). Bottle 33 cl - Batch 49 11:37. AROMA: low sweet malt aroma with faint notes of caramel. no hop aromas. some spicy alcohol aromas are present. APPEARANCE: dark amber color and translucent. reddish depth. large ivory head with average retention. some lacing is present. TASTE: notes similar to aromas. dilluted sweet malt background flavour. low bitterness. finishes semi-sweet. PALATE: medium-low body with average carbonation. OVERALL: a mild (aroma and flavour wise), belgian dubbel that lacks more malt derived complexity. a bit on the watery side.

 603 characters

Photo of Conrad
3.05/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had a glass of draft at a froofy fern bar downtown, at $6.00 a glass. The bartender advised me that he was getting to the bottom of the keg, and it may affect some aspects of the beer. He was right.
It was nicely served in Leffe chalice type of glass, with a creamy thick head, almost an inch thick. The colour was like Coca Cola.
Smell: Heavy on the malt, with a sour caramel flavour, and a hint of yeast and some unidentifiable fruit. The lacing was thick and heavy right to the last drop. Very nice.
The taste was the same as the smell. Heavy on the malt, with all of the above.
Mouthfeel: A bit bland or flat, low on carbonation. But maybe this was because it was the last dregs in the keg. It looked good, smelled good, but did not go down as nice as I would like.
Drinkability: No, I would not have another. It looked good, and smelled good, but did not live up to its potential. There are other offerings available.

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Leffe Brune / Brown from Abbaye de Leffe S.A.
3.81 out of 5 based on 1,815 ratings.
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