Leffe Vieille Cuvée | Abbaye de Leffe S.A.

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Leffe Vieille CuvéeLeffe Vieille Cuvée

Brewed by:
Abbaye de Leffe S.A.

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mitchster on 08-17-2002

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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 109
Photo of Daniellobo
2.71/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Quite a mediocre offering, somewhere between a pretentious profile and low quality boredom.

Presentation: 33 cl capped bottle. Leffe branding with purple distinguishing touches, main label in yellow with abbey drawing and purple ribbons with name of the brew. Back label offers a one liner noting authenticity and succinct tasting notes. Shows best by date (20/02/12), and Alc. by Vol. (8.2%). Served in a tulip glass.

A - Deep amber pour with a generous frothy head, good retention, fair surface memory and lacing. Things do go down from here...

S - Sweet and yeasty nose, monochord and a bit perfunctory. Fades quickly with the tiniest of fruity touches.

T - Taste is that of a bizarre brew that tries to hint a complex profile but that is nowhere near it. There is a generic yeasty sense and under all the boring texture a couple of touches of dark fruit, hint of caramel that is sustained. Light push from the hops, with a weak bitter impulse that fail to revive the flavor instead are held by the now lightly tingly carbonation. Flavor fades... Leaves one with a malty sense, with that lingering bitterness. Like under all the forgettable layering it could be an old ale, a wee heavy even, but can't by a broad distance...

M - Initial flat sense but... The carbonation is there emerging over a deceptive medium body, slightly watery at points and with a tiny sirupy point later on with a clear tingly carbonated uplift over an emerging boozy finish.

D - Flavor comes last to the palate... What an strange rhythm, when it does the brew has given quite a mediocre impression and the range in the palate is not enticing at all. Hefty without any quality that makes it really desirable.

Notes: I really was not expecting much from this offering but surely a bit more than this. Any of their regular macro offerings, the blonde or particularly the bruin, is better than this far from mediocre attempt at an old Belgium ale.

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Photo of descartes
2.8/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 33 cl bottle.

Appearance: A redish brown with a nice quarter inch of white head.
Smell: Grape smell with a sharp alcoholic smell as well as a hint of hops.
Taste: Really strong hops taste, strong bodied but otherwise very muddled spicy and sour flavor. Uggh strong but something is wrong, cann't quite put my finger on it.

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Photo of titvs
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Review based on the BJCP2008 guidelines (style 18E). Bottle 33 cl - Batch 49 03:05 AROMA: sweet malty and caramely background with peppey alcohols. Some faint dried fruits (raisins and some plums). no hop aromas or other additions. APPEARANCE: deep amber color and translucent. large and dense moussy head with ivory color. average retention with some lacing. TASTE: sweet malty profile without much complexity. some bread notes and medium-low bitterness. finishes medium-dry. PALATE: medium-low body with average carbonation. OVERALL: yet another average Belgian Strong Ale that faces tough competition.

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Photo of dgilks
3.13/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Quite a robust aroma but it isn't great. I'm getting some light phenolics and esters but the dominant note is underattenuated, sweet, sickly malt.

Moderately dark amber colour with a big, fluffy off white head. Good retention.

The flavour is better than the aroma. Moderately sweet with a good phenolic note. A hint of spicy alcohol and chocolate comes through. Just a slightly tart edge and note of dried fruit.

Medium light body with moderately high carbonation.

An okay example of a Dark Belgian Ale. Unfortunately, it is nowhere near the quality of a good Trappist example.

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Photo of rastaman
3.16/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Quite good, but sweeter than i would like, and not overly complex, has a sort of toffee and slightly spicy flavour, reminded me of a less characterfull (is that word?) version of Kwak, very enjoyable in the end.

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Photo of lmaduells
3.29/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Commercial beers typically you can find in a department store products Leffe usually not cheat. No beer was a great product at a good price, offers a beer t extraudinaria not drink but it can catch you without mental intoxication (which happens with Spanish industrial beers !!)

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.32/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a deep burgundy and brown color ale with a great big foamy head with some good retention and some lacing. Aroma of candi sugar with some nice Belgian malt. Taste was to be honest a little bit disappointing with a watery body and a unrefined sugar taste that didn’t do much for me. The body is watery with some great carbonation and a nice creamy texture. I’m not the biggest fan of this brewery but I have to admit that this beer featured some great characteristics but lack some cohesion and a malt profile to hold the whole thing together.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mediciney copper colour, quite metallic really. Head is generous, nice and fluffy, sinks slowly but leaves nice webs of lace. Clear body showing lots of light carbonation. Great head and lace; pretty decent overall.

Smell is very fruity, with apricot and plum edges, a hint of apple and that classic musty Belgian yeast overlain. Actually very jammy. Seems a bit saccharine, fruit-wise but otherwise nice.

Taste is a bit lacking really. Lots of fruity sweetness at first, with that apricot and deep rich plum but degenerates into weak sweetness late-mid after quite an earthy malt note mid-palate, with a touch of brown sugar. Feels a bit overly sweet, like it's a bit old and the non-malt characters are diminished. They're still there; just underplayed. Spice comes through on the back, quite piquant with a touch of tobacco and some spicy alcohol on the very back. Yeah, it's alright, just lacking and a bit oversweet in the critical places.

Mouthfeel is decent. Very full but a touch of carbonation texture - just a whisper, it just adds texture to an otherwise flat palate and it's thick enough to pad the tongue.

Not bad overall but I feel it could be better, could have been better, even, once, but it's not its former glorious self.

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a Leffe branded chalice.

A: The body is coppery to red and crystalline. The head is white but has no retention at all nor lacing. Sad foam is sad.
S: The aroma is a weird belgian combination of malts and yeast. It has two big profiles here that, for me, they don't match as well as in the Leffe Blond or Leffe Brune.
T: The taste is not my kind because there too many things trying to get my full attention here. Malts is one, yeast is another and alcohol is the third one. If in the aroma the barley/belgian yeast was not my thing, with tons of alcoholic tones it's even worse. But don't you even think that this is a bad taste. It's good as well but not as great as I wanted it to be.
M: The mouthfeel is medium to high even when there's no head to show that this beer has some carbonation on it.
O: One of my missing Leffes is now checked. Not my favorite. For me, Leffe Blond will always be the best cheapest craft beer you can get.

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Photo of jarmby1711
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

In general higher alcohol beers so far for me have just been too strong , and this is no exception
The colour is teak to deep brown and the large head was loose and persistent There was litle bead.
The smell had a lot of clove like spiciness and plenty of alcohol.
The taste was dominated by the alcohol ( which I dont particul;arly enjoy ) however there was some fruitiness in there which I thgink was bananaish.
It was well balanced and smooth to oily
Always hard to judge a beer when ou realise that the style just doesnt suit.
For me a novelty but hard to think about trying again.

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Photo of Naerhu
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark, dark amber with off-white clotted lacing.
Dark bread and tree bark.
Honey flavor, w/o being overly sweet. Complex variations on dark malt and dried fruit (past expiration date dried fruit). Baroque in complexity. Roses. Nice rich mouth feel.
For all of that it just does not add up to a drink I will be reaching for again.

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Photo of vancurly
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Burnt orange, brown. Beige head.

Nose first of fresh hops, then some complex malts. Even an earthy hint of mushroom or somesuch....

Flavour is spicy. Some yeasty phenolics, fruity candy hints. Lolly shop.

Foamy mouthfeel, with good malt body that balances the bitterness that comes out.

I reviewed this in parallel with the Radieuse... this is not as harsh, and more approachable.

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Photo of rvdoorn
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought this bier in Brussels and brought it back home. Poured into a Westvleteren glass. The beer pours a clear deep copper-brown color, with a cappuccino-cream-color head, that disappeared fast into a very long lasting lacing.

Smell: very spicy, alcoholic, floral hops, fruity esters (citrus and hints of banana) and yeasty

Taste: similar to the smell, bitter-sweet overall, spicy hops, clear malted barley, a bit too alcoholic, fruity, yeast and some sugar (caramel). Bitter spicy alcoholic aftertaste

Mouthfeel: creamy, watery-bodied, with some sharp medium-high carbonation

Overall: not bad, not good. Still I think it is one of the best Leffe beers on the market. The alcohol however, is too much present in this one.

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Photo of hefevice
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Unfortunately I tasted this after Chimay Blue followed by the white. Leffe does not seem to balance the high alcohol of its strong ales anywhere near as well as others it seems. Looks fantastic, a wonderful clear deep strawberry amber with a good dense head and plenty of lacing. Aroma is a little spicy, a little fruity, with a lot of alcohol apparent. Taste is a more subtle and balanced than the Radieuse but it still finishes very dry and alcoholic. Mouth is light and fluffy, seems to be quite complementary. Wondering whether the Leffe strong ales could do with some secondary fermentation to improve balance.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle at Beer Deluxe. From notes.

A - Poured ruby with decent carbonation. Bright. One finger of off white head. Spotty lace and a half finger of retention.

S - Sugared plums, dark fruit, very sweet, sweet dark fruit.

T - Sugar, dark fruit. One dimensional but nice.

M - Good carbonation, full body and a sweet finish.

O/D - OK. Pretty straight forward but not too shabby. Could use more complexity.

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Photo of rec
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours well, quite similar to the other brews in the Leffe range. A big beige head comes to life quickly, and even when gone presents quality lacing..

Sweet malt, orange, lighter fruits and spice hit the nose up-front.

Herbal spice and sugar cane are evident with first sip, the yeast and a mild citrus also reach the tounge quickly after. Rich malt and nuts are present in the sweet, moist and sour finish.

It's a beer I'll never turn my nose up to, but I still prefer the Brune, and I'm sure it will remain my favourite from Leffe.

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

330ml bottle

A- Ruby brown, maybe a little darker than ruby. Head is big at first but it fades quickly still leaving a decent covering. Good locking but there's close to no lacing

S- Very sweet but good. Prunes are right there along with the sweetness from the malt. I also feel grapes and maybe some more dark fruits hints. Then there are some spicy alcoholic notes (esters?) to bring life

T- Not as sweet as the smell suggests. Of course there's sweetness from the malts but they also have some roasted underlined tones to bring balance. Then dark fruits as the smell suggested, with a spicy alcholic feel to bring some complexity

M- Not a big but still rich body with a lively alcoholic character. A bit too carbonated in my opinion, good on tongue but too fizzy and aggressive on the palate

D. A pleasant sweetness in a not overly complex drink. But of course there that common flaw with Leffe beers (alcohol is highly detectable while swallowing)

This is actually very similar to Leffe Radieuse (the Radieuse being a little better). I can't see the point with making two beers instead of one

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

Saw and bought it for the first time in Lugano, CH.Very dark red tone which seems almost fully opaque but not too dense. the smell is dominated by its sweetness, from the malt, but is also very spicy and inviting. The flavour is a very, very broad and spicy blend that mixes and triggers in your mouth, ranging among several different sensations among which the overwhelming sweetness- excessive, IMHO, dominates and rather renders it overall a bit less gratifying. still, worthy of a repurchase. nice overall.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Abbaye de Leffe will always be in my thoughts as being the first Belgian Abbey beer I ever tried, in Europe 2001, before my taste buds were attuned to anything other than Guinness or Corona (my two favourite beers at the time). I remember trying the Brune and thinking "This is disgustingly overpowering my senses", now I practically snort Quadrupels like they were sherbet powder... not really but you get the point.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a St Feuillien chalice.

A: Deep burgundy clear body with a minimal white lacing for a head.

S: Heavy candi sugar on the nose. Hint of dark fruit aromas mix with medicinal Phenols, bit of a apricot/plum preserve over the top with a hint of Belgian yeast, and a malt base is hiding in there somewhere, but who knows where?

T: Sweet like "the sugar is hiding the alcohol" type of sweetness, cloys a little. Profile is the sort of thing you would expect grandma to hide in jars to make a delicious jam with; plum, apricot, and medicinal cherry flavours abound... along with things you wouldn't expect grandma to hide in jars to make a delicious jam with; a mild malt base, some yeast, and light herbal hops. Overall the flavour is a mess. It's too driven by saccharine to be enjoyable, and this is coming from someone who loves sugary treats.

M: Mouthfeel ticks the Belgian Strong Dark Ale boxes - mid to heavy, slight oily body with a mid to light carbonation.

D: Maybe one could grow to love this brew? Perhaps it is an acquired taste? What was Leffe thinking? All valid questions. The only answers can come from you (except the last one, that has to come from Leffe). In any case this beer has none of the awesomeness of Gulden Draak, and once again I'm wondering why I bought a Leffe to review, my younger 2001 self was right in thinking "This is disgustingly overpowering my senses"... only not in a good way like a Belgian Strong Ale should.

Food match: Pour this beer into a jar, add pectin. and wait for it to become a delicious jam as grandma always wanted... then bake some scones and whip some cream.

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Photo of Kulrak
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber color with about 3 inches of chunky head that sticks around for a while and laces the glass. Smells estery and yeasty, with hints of cloves and citrus. Tastes very sweet, malty & woody with some estery fruitiness in there. Very tasty. Mouthfeel is heavy and a little creamy, but with a lot of carbonation burn on the tongue. Finishes very cleanly. All in all, a very drinkable beer, once again Leffe hasn't let me down.

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Photo of koolk
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clean red/light purple with a nice creamy head and good carbonation.

A spicy sweet clover aroma heads out first follow by crisp malt and fruity notes. Other deep herbs and spices in a very complex nose.

What a satisfying taste. Dry, slighty tart and bitter with deep flavours that last. Similar spicy fruit flavours with a metallic touch on the aftertaste.

I really enjoy the Leffe range of beers, with this being no exception.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sorry but this following comment is in french :

Appearance : Bière marron orangée, léger trouble, belle mousse onctueuse, mais qui s'aère ensuite, de tenue correcte toutefois.
Smell : Arôme caramélisé avec des nuances liquoreuses.
Taste and mouthfell : Goût moelleux, surtout en 1ere bouche, bon corps, bière assez sucrée.
Drinkability : bonne bière dans le style dark strong ale

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Photo of fugitive
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 330ml. Color deep dark red with medium lasting white head. Aroma malt, sweet, cherries, plum, spicy, alcohol. Taste sweet, malt, alcohol, cherries, plum, orange, sugar, some bitterness. Very lasting taste. I must say that is my favorite Leffe.

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Photo of MTNboy
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A dark red with a thin layer of cream colored head but the lace sticks around is very spread out. The aroma is powerful with malt and fruity. The taste has dark cherry, wood and plum esters. There is a nice full feel with hardly any carbonation. It has a spicy after taste and a lot of warmth.

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Photo of Everydayoff
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a Leffe chalice by freshness date.

Clear ruby brown color, thick off-white head with average retention, it sinks into some perpetual foamy film covering atop while clinging patches of lace appear on the glass side sip by sip. Carbonation seems to be medium to high.

Very interesting; cherries predominate along with other dark fruits in kind of plum and dark berries. There is also sugarcane poking to a nose.

Scorched fruits pronounce fruitiness, sweetness and bitterness through the taste buds where dark malt lays as base. Caramel, molasses, phenol and some spice of alcohol come in late addition which also help to yield long lasting sweet finish together with ester from yeast.

The body is medium to bold, rather rich in texture. The palate contacts with good crispness and fine carbonation, dry finish.

Solid beer with robust fruity character, it would be a long kiss good night to have this before bed.

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Leffe Vieille Cuvée from Abbaye de Leffe S.A.
3.77 out of 5 based on 109 ratings.
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