Augustijn Donker Brune
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Augustijn Donker BruneAugustijn Donker Brune
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Ranked #88
Ranked #27,007
3.8 | pDev: 10.26%
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Very Good
Augustijn Donker BruneAugustijn Donker Brune
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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 235 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of quadmad
quadmad from Canada

3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Server at 9 Celsius. 9 month old bottle from the LCBO. Aggressive pour into a chalice yielded a 1 finger caramel coloured

head. Only lasted a few minutes but left fine lacing. Dark amber colour. A fine brew from Brouwerij Van Steenberge.

Apr 20, 2020
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octortus from Canada

3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330 mL Bottle. ABV 8%.
Appearance: Reddish brown, less than half a finger of light beige head which dissipates quickly, Soft carbonation, Good clarity.
Aroma: Banana, Prune, Caramel, Bready malt, Pear, Apple, Slightly nutty, Slight brown sugar, Very nicely integrated, Complex.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, Soft carbonation, Dry finish, Well hidden alcohol (only slight warming, which I enjoy).
Flavour: Caramel, Bready malt, Raisin, Brown sugar, Slight pear, Slight apple, Well integrated, Complex.
Overall: I thought this beer fit its style well. There is probably room for improvement with appearance (head and retention), though I didn't have a very aggressive pour. It won't knock your socks off but I'd definitely enjoy this again!

Review: 87

Nov 24, 2019
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FLima from Brazil

3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Brown copper color with a thick thin head.
Aroma with notes of prune, candied sugar, a bit of cocoa and menthol.
Sweet flavor with notes of candied sugar, caramels, cloves, banana, chocolate and spices. Dry aftertaste with a mild bitterness and a sugary finish.
Medium body with somewhat mouth fulfilling carbonation, despite having small bubbles. Hard to believe this is 8% abv.
Chocolatey and sugary Dubbel that was just partially offset by an erratic spicy touch.

Oct 08, 2019
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JonnoWillsteed from England

3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L- Pours ultra-dark chestnut, clear, though it's well rested and there is slight sediment left in the bottom of the bottle. 2Cm pillowy pale tan head slowly receding. [Holds very well and later, now 1/2 way through forms lacing down the sides of the glass].
S- Quite gentle, but deep, toasty and slightly rich.
T- ...follows the smell, but the flavour goes into a deep puddingy richness. Hints of dark crystallised fruits, and faint aromatic spices.
M- Nothing out of place with this one. A 'winter warmer' kind of beer to slowly sup or to accompany dessert.
O- Very nice. A good example of a darker Belgian monastic beer.
BB: 06/12/2020. 330ml bottle bought in the UK from BeersOfEurope.

Apr 29, 2019
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OlaB from Norway

3.64/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark reddish-brown color with a medium beige top that dissolves rather fast and leaves some decent lacings. Aroma is of dark matured fruits,raisins,caramel,toast and tofee.
The taste is sweet with notes of dark and dried fruits ,while is malty in the back with a presence of toast and caramel. The sweetness is a little to much. The finish has some bitterness ,while the aftertaste has a decent lenght and strength. Mouthfeel is smooth and soft while a little flat. Medium carbonation with a medium body.
A decent and drinkable dark ale, but lacks a little to stand out.

Jul 21, 2018
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cyrenaica from Canada

3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle
7.0% ABV
Best Before: July 11, 2013
Main/Bronte LCBO Outlet (Milton, Ontario, Canada)
November 17, 2011
The beer poured a translucent reddish-brown coloured that shimmered nicely in front of a light. The head was tan, started out an 1" in thickness, but quickly died. The aroma was dark fruits, caramel malt, spices, and yeast. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with medium carbonation. The flavour was caramel, yeast, weak hints of molasses, and nuts. I enjoyed it a great deal. Too bad only one comes in the box.

Mar 28, 2018
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Beerbuds from Canada

3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle in a variety pack. Easy drinking. Got a little bit of that alcohal taste but not bad for the high abv. Pretty carbonated. Overall I enjoyed it but I wouldn't say it was anything special.

Dec 18, 2017
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Rukeli76 from Canada

3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle that's been ageing at least a year. Served in a tulip at just below cellar temperature.

Nice auburn red colour. Big four-inch head dissipates within a minute. Some lacing.

Aroma is weak dried fruit.

More of that dried fruit: raisins, cherries, a little bit of apricot. Just a little bit of spicy yeast. This is an older bottle, so the slightly excessive sweetness and booziness I've noticed in the past has mellowed quite a bit.

Some boozy warmth on the finish.

A decent but nondescript Belgian dark ale. I think it's benefited greatly from a bit of ageing.

Oct 28, 2016
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TheHammer from Canada

4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Poured with a finger of head that did manage to stick around for a decent while, and produced a small amount of lace. The body is a deep brown that turns crimson when held up to the light, revealing ample carbonation.

Smell: I smell a mixture of sweet toffee and molasses...and that's about it. There is a little bit of grape and plum yeast somewhere in the background, but it's hard to make out. Nothing wrong with it, just a little tame and warming helped it out a bit, but not overly so.

Taste: It starts with a mild milk chocolate and caramel malt with touches of cherries that turns into a more robust sweet molasses, plum and fig notes that turns to a light dusting of bitter earthiness that dusts the beer clean. Very nice stuff here.

Mouthfeel: A very good blending of flavours, ample carbonation that helps out all but the end of the beer, the right dusting of hops that prevents the mild caramel aftertaste from cloying excessively. It's close to perfect, but it's a catch 22 as to how to it could achieve perfection. On one end, a bit more hop would help the end of the beer but might cleanse the palate too well, leaving no aftertaste, but on the other, letting it slide I'm sure would give the aftertaste more punch, but likely lead to cloying. Good none the less.

Drinkability: Very easy to imbibe, and it certainly hides its high alcohol content well. Light bodied except in flavour and leaves the carbonation for the mouthfeel, not in your gut. A little bit on the sweet side for a regular drinker and not quite sweet enough for a desert beer, but solid none the less.

Final Thoughts: This beer comes through where it matters most, it might not be the prettiest thing to look at, and the smell might be lacklustre but everything else came out to play on this one. I'd happily try it again (and certainly over the Blonde) and for some reason, reminded me of Bruegel that I also had from this brewery. Two thumbs up.

Dec 28, 2015
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superspak from Michigan

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into chalice, no bottle dating. Pours slightly hazy ruby red/copper color with a 1 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, pepper, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, light nuttiness, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of fruity/spicy/earthy yeast and dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, pepper, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, light nuttiness, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of peppery yeast spiciness and slight tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, pepper, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy/earthy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice dubbel style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy/earthy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

Aug 15, 2015
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captaincoffee from Virginia

3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bought on recent road trip to Belgium; says 8% vs the 7% listed here.
Pours a deep reddish-brown with a thick sticky head. Nose is a nice malty/caramel with a nice balance of Belgian yeast character. Taste didn't work as well. I felt it was cloying, overly sweet, and lacking depth. Flavor profile opened up as it warmed, but did not help the sweet/cloying feeling. Finish turned a bit skunky. Overall, not something I'd go back to.

Jul 08, 2015
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PlutonowyManiek from Belgium

2.78/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

Beige head, fine and durable.
The aroma and taste is very delicate notes of wild berries and a minimum of caramel, all though not enough clear.
Low saturation. Augustijn Donker is too watery and without a body. Gentian very short, like as Napalm Death song "You Suffer (, and no more.
Alcohol completely undetectable. Beer is drunk very easily, but without much commitment. This Augustijn is "medium".

Mar 16, 2015
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thehyperduck from Canada

4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle from a sampler picked up at the LCBO a few months back; listed at 8% abv. Best before April 29 2016, and served at cellar temperature.

Pours a murky burgundy-copper hue, generating one finger of fluffy, light beige-coloured head at the surface. It lasts for five minutes or so, eventually wilting into a filmy cap and narrow, creamy collar that doesn't generate much lace. The aroma is pleasant, but relatively subdued - bready malts and yeast are detectable, with hints of plum, chocolate raisin and a touch of spicy clove and cinnamon.

This is actually a very nice Belgian dark ale. More bready malt notes come through in force, accompanied with sweet flavours of molasses, candi sugar, and even a hint of cocoa. Dark fruit is also quite prominent - mostly prune and raisin, and maybe a bit of fig. There is also an enjoyable, earthy, somewhat herbal bitterness near the finish, providing a counterweight to the sweetness. Clove spiciness and a touch of dark chocolate tie things up nicely, followed with a mildly boozy-sweet aftertaste. On the heftier side of medium-bodied - approaching full, with assertive carbonation that prickles the palate, yet a paradoxically smooth mouthfeel that feels almost luxurious in the mouth.

Final Grade: 4.15, an A-. I am really enjoying my glass of Augustijn Brune, as it hits pretty much all of the major notes that I expect from this style, in addition to tasting quite excellent. Rich tasting and full-bodied; an excellent inclusion in this Van Steenberge sampler. A very good quality ale, though not quite on the same level as some of the better Belgian-style dark ales I've had over the years. Still, that's impressive company, indeed.

Jan 24, 2015
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DaveBar from Canada

3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Purchased in a mixed 6pk for around $13.00 good deal! Served at 4deg C in a draught glass.

A- Opens well and pours a nice head that stays for a couple of minutes. VERY dark and almost brown

S- Nice malt here.

T- Very good. A bit thin though. Good malt

M- Dry and tart. Very carbonated

O- Very good. Overall a good beer. Would drink again

Food Pairing

This good beer went well with...... Pirogues. Nice potato/cheese filling served with onions and melted butter.


Nov 02, 2014
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polloenfuego from Canada

3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 330 ml bottle into a snifter.

Pours a deep brown ruby with a small 2 finger head that slowly breaks down leaving a thin foam that would be a struggle to call lacing.

Smells were dark fruits, yeasts and malts. Taste was very similar to smell with a bit more spice on the tongue.
Medium body and smooth mouth feel.

A nice beer, but no real wow here. This was part of a mixed 6 pack of Belgian ales and to this point this is perhaps the one I am least enthused about. I am holding out hope for the last two.

Dec 01, 2013
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taxandbeerguy from Canada

4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle as part of the Belgian Van Steenberge winter feature at LCBO. for $18.95 CDN per six bottles. Beer review 2 of 6 in this mini-series. Also bottle read 8.0% ABV as opposed to the 7.0% listed here. Served fairly cold (left out for about 10 minutes prior to opening) into oversized wine glass

Appearance - Nice clear dark red / honey brown / roan color/ Beer poured 1 finger of off-white head that dissipated fairly quickly, however a nice soap thin layer of cream was left on top.

Smell - Really nice. Dark chocolate, candied fruit specifically cherry and plum, and overall very festive smelling. Little bit of the funky Belgian yeasts. Reminiscent of a Christmas Bakery less all the bread.

Taste - Very much like the nose, cherry and chocolate dominate with a slight dark bitter chocolate aftertaste. Considerable sweetness to this brew but just enough bitter flavors to offset this and it isn't cloying. Also picked up a little bit of other dark fruits and some caramel in there.

Mouthfeel - Rich, decadent and full tasting. Medium carbonation. Flavor coated the mouth nicely.

Overall - Really nice. Pleasantly surprised after being let down a little bit by the blonde. Because of the sweetness and use of cherries and chocolates was reminiscent of a cross between a Belgian Dark Ale and a Dubbel. Very fine stuff indeed.

Nov 03, 2013
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magictacosinus from California

4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 11.2 stubbed bottle into a Chimay goblet. Accidentally aged in my cellar after purchasing the Van Steenberge gift pack last December. With all things considered, this may be nearly a year old.

Pours an excellent reddish plum color (the classic dubbel appearance) with tons of carbonation and a frothy, bubbly head that rises to the top about 3 fingers high. Yeasty brown droplets coat the top, and some cloudiness (although little sediment) hangs around. Head retention is very good - even 30 minutes later there was a half finger of froth that never seemed go recede in any shape or form. Lots of bubbles glide to the top. Lacing is splattered about in tiny droplets, but it could be better. Top stuff here for sure.

The aroma contains vivid notes of dark cherries, plums, blackberries, old, bruised apples, and spicy notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. The yeast really is the star of the show here, providing an undeniable funkiness resembling green apples and a nutty mustiness. There's a slight sweetness from the malts and booze at hand, giving off strong notes of caramel and brown sugar, and maybe a bit of molasses in the process. Dried, old hops linger around to leave behind a grassy, herbal flavor. Very well integrated stuff - a year of aging, as is always the case of well made Belgian darks, has down wonders for this.

The flavor is a yeasty, malty sweetened blast of fruit and spices with a touch of sweetness from the booze. If the green apple yeasty aroma wasn't already something noticeable in the aroma, right here it appears to be the predominant flavor here. Somehow - even if it may be an off flavor - it works, as it melds with the caramel and nutty, slightly peppery spices to produce a caramel candy apple profile overall. Clove and nutmeg are still the most predominant spices, but the caramel apple profile is very appealing to me, especially as it melds with the sharp booze and bitterness from the dark grains instead of a cloying sweetness. Creamy, well carbonated, and syrupy albeit with a bit of bite. Not difficult to drink at all, except for the high amount of alcohol. Drinks terrifically well.

I'm surprised with how much I liked this, but suffice to say the flavor does not match the complexity of the aroma at all, and the caramel/apple/clove combo becomes a bit too one-dimension in the long run. Nevertheless, this is a solid offering from a brewery that seems to throw me back and forth, and I wouldn't mind experimenting with aging a few more of their dark beers (which I am, such as Gulden Draak). Recommended.

Sep 02, 2013
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chinchill from South Carolina

4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 33 cl bottle into a Corendonk snifter.
A: Pours dark reddish-brown with 1/2 inch light tan head. Excellent retention and a nice coat of lacing left on the glass with each tip.
S: Lightly sweet and very fruity with some bready malt.
T: Flavorful with sweet and bitter in about equal measure. Nicely fruity with dark fruit (raisins, figs), plums, caramel, dark bread, molasses, and light spices.
M: Medium-full body. Very smooth. Soft, medium carbonation.
O: Excellent but short of world class.

Jul 12, 2013
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rrski198 from Georgia

3.31/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: Brilliant orange and light brown color. Quite impressive. The head came and went so quick, it was off white.

S: Great roasted caramel scent. Slight alcohol spiciness. Dark fruits, plum and raisin.

T: metallic, roasted caramel malt. Again for only 7%, the alcohol is prevalent.

M: watery, slight hop bitterness. For me the metallic flavor lingers to long and the beer leaves me wanting more dried fruit and malt.

O: nothing I would club baby seals to find again. Glad I tried it, but it was not amazing.

Jun 01, 2013
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NilocRellim from Minnesota

3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured from a bottle.

Beer poured a murky brown colour. Very light aroma of chocolate malt and slightly figgy. Tasted sweet belgian yeasts with a little malt. Not bad, but not much to it. Very drinkable, especially for an 8% abv.

Would I buy this beer again? Probably not, but maybe...

Apr 25, 2013
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mwilbur from Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 33 cL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a coppery-brown with 1/2 inch light tan head. Decent retention. Faint lacing.
S: Sweet caramel malt, figs (and other dark dried fruit), clove, cinnamon, bready yeast, and a hint of cola.
T: Nice strong dark dried fruit (raisins, figs), caramel malt backbone, molasses, hint of heavy cream, and fairly predominant spices (clove, cinnamon).
M: Sweet with a strong body. ABV lends itself to fortifying the body and yet the beer ends up drinking easier than the 7% would suggest.
D: A nice drinking brew. Solid for style.

Apr 21, 2013
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TheSixthRing from California

3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours cloudy brown with a slightly orange tint. The head is light sandstone in color, near 2 fingers thick and shows good retention.

Smell - Caramelized sugar, hints of raisin, toffee and bread rounds out the aroma.

Taste - Follows the nose. Moderate caramel and toffee notes complimented by lesser dark fruit character. Moderately bready. Fairly straight forward, finishing in much the same way it starts.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body with soft, bubbly carbonation. Goes down smooth and easy.

Overall - Nice, well-rounded Belgian dark. Sweet, but not overtly so, allowing for a nice, drinkable and approachable brew. I could definitely stand to drink another one.

Feb 18, 2013
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Hunter from Arizona

4.29/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark, brown-red ruby color. Very small head of light foam, lovely tracing but little staying power.

Smell: Wood, earth, sweetgrass, malts.

Taste: Much lighter than I would have expected. Cereals, cocoa, spice, light smoke.

Mouthfeel: Light, gentle heat from the alcohol, clean.

Overall: Another hit from this brewery. the Belgians know what they are doing. I can see pairing this with cured meats, heavy cheeses, pears, and blackberries. A lovely thing.

Feb 08, 2013
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ckollias from Maryland

4.37/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this 11.2oz stubby bottle out of a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark, slightly hazy, amber hue with a huge, fizzy, white head that lasts forever and slowly dissipates down the side of the glass ending in a huge lace.

S: Strong dark fruit aroma with a Belgian yeast background.

T: Smooth slightly sweet and tart with a dark fruit flavor mixed with some caramel on the dry sweet side.

M: Medium body and high carbonation.

O: Excellent Belgian dark ale.

Feb 05, 2013
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cliff1066 from Virginia

3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Listed on label as 8% ABV from a 11.2 fl.oz. bottle. Pours golden color with a small head. Aroma is sweet-sour indicative of a Belgian yeast, with after taste of fruit and toffee notes. Lots of carbonation, a spicy taste complemented by a sweet bitter finish.

Jan 12, 2013
Augustijn Donker Brune from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 235 ratings