Loterbol Bruin | Café-Brouwerij Loterbol

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Loterbol BruinLoterbol Bruin
Very Good
78 Ratings
Loterbol BruinLoterbol Bruin

Brewed by:
Café-Brouwerij Loterbol

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 12-24-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 78 |  Reviews: 67
Reviews by Morningstorm:
Photo of Morningstorm
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This is a thick, dungy brown in color with some big carbonation. The head came up nicely on an easy pour, showed retention, and left some good lacing on the inside of my Chimay glass.

Smell – This has a very unique nose. I first get a subtle wisp of hops. Just a bit. Then the real aroma comes on.

Oh, is this complex. There’s a light nut of some kind then some dark spicing. I get a whiff of licorice, some alcohol, then the big malts, which make up the bulk of the nose and are what I call roasty/toasty. The main ride seems to be this very complex malt, which I can’t begin to pick apart, light alcohol, and light nuts. It’s almost like a liqueur kind of scent, like Amaretto or Crème de Noyaux.

Taste – This one comes together beautifully. The malts really pick things up. I was worried that the complex nature of this beer would lack for leadership, but this clearly is a BSDA. The light nuts and dark fruits come out as well. There’s a small balancing hop bitterness – it’s just at the very end – and a perfect warming sensation of alcohol.

Mouthfeel – This is between medium and full in the body. The many different flavors keep the salivary glands active and the richness of the ingredients gives this one an incredibly smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability – This is on a whole nother level. It’s an amazing divergence from the norm while still staying true to the style. Drinkability? If this one doesn’t tickle your palate you’re dead.

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Photo of Todd
4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz brown bottle. Pours a deep, dark brown colored beer with shades of ruby around the edges. Fizzling head produces a tan foam that settles a thin, coating lace, with decent retention.

A bit barnyard in places, with a deep malty nose of sugary wort, soft black pepper, herbal, hint of tobacco.

Smooth, with a carbonation that lifts and provides a creamy palate. Slightly chewy with a sweet toffee flavor that's steeped in candi / sugary notes. Hints of carob and sweet, juicy dark grapes amongst the maltiness. Herbally hops, with a leafy feel. Pronounced peppery notes follow, and wakens the senses. Bone dry in the finish, with an ashy feel on the palate and a faint and lingering tobacco soaked in malty sweetness.

This was an aged bottle pulled from my cellar. Delicious, though I'd love to get my hands on a fresh sample for comparison.

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Photo of pat61
4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Some mild tart on the also some fruit – tending towards raisin. It pours opaque chestnut brown with an off-white ½” foam cap. Dark dried fruit on the palate - primarily some raisins with a balance of sweetness and light tartness in the background. Not much in the way of bitterness. Some alcohol, some caramel a hint of chocolate and a suspicion of sherry or port. Medium to a little less than medium for carbonation. Body medium to full.

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Photo of mattfancett
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%

Photo of daftafne
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bought this for ten dollars at keg liquors in new albany, in.

Poured into an 8 oz tulip, an inch of light tan head formed and subsided leaving a good amount of lacing. Mahogany color with haze from yeast/sediment. Smells of raisin, apple, cinnamon, vanilla, sugars. Smells sweeter than it tastes - it is just a bit sweet with the hops, sour apple, roasted malt, spices, dominating the flavor profile. Nice bitter finish, alcohol fairly prominent. Medium body with good carbonation. Not sticky and an overall pleasant mouthfeel. One of these is probably enough per drinking session due to high alcohol content and fairly full body. Overall a delicious bruin worth trying!

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting beer. BB July 06.

Pours very dark with deep ruby highlights. The nose is nice and malty with good spice flavors. Smell shouts belgian. Dark fruit smells rise out of the frothy head. Taste is first very malty, some good dark fruit flavors through the middle of this very rich brew. sort of a deep malt presence, tastes some very slight almost eisbockishness. Or maybe doppelbock wort. Caramel is in here. kind of reminds me (slightly) of la choulette ambree. This is a very malt driven brew, but there is a little bitter hop bite on the finish, and the fruit flavors lighten and linger on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is just a slice thinner than I would like for the style. Drinkability is good, but nothing abnormally fantasmical. Great beer, has a unique flavor to it, it tastes, like, belgerman.

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Photo of Sammy
2.88/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Looked like a barleywine with yeast, lace. A huge initial head. Expirey the next month. Aroma of alcohol, with malt and yeast. Taste: burnt through and through. Burnt yeast, burnt barley, some chocolate malt, yeast, sediminent of burnt particles. Doesn't work for me.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Immense thanks to ShogoKawada for this one. Best before March, 2010 supposedly.

Poured from a 330mL bottle, yeast and all, into my Bruery tulip.

Opaque bole body with a rocky wheat colored head that settles rapidly to a half-finger of light cream. Rich albeit thin lacing.

Melanoidin in droves in the nose - pastry crusts, demerara sugar, rich lightly roasted malt - along with a touch of winter spice (nutmeg? clove?) and loam.

The palate entry is impressive as it is only lightly sweet, the focus instead is more on the depth of malt accompanied by a mild wheat-like bitterness from hops and some further spice and complexity contributed by the yeast. Cinnamon, toffee, faint cloves, a little banana - this is so delicious and well balanced that I've almost drained the glass before I can analyze the profile any further. Lightly peppery, dry, and bready finish. Fantastic.

Nice middle-weight mouthfeel, although the carbonation is maybe a little low.

Lacks a little complexity compared to the pinnacles of the style - and some may find it a little too malt-forward perhaps, but such nit-picking is really out of place for such an enjoyable brew. A shame this isn't more widely available.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Loterbol Bruin delivers a huge head of rocky tan foam that holds exceptionally well and leaves impressive lacing throughout the entire goblet. Carefully poured (and it almost needs to be to keep the head from rising out of the glass), its deep mahogany body is quite clear and reveals reddish-chestnut glints at the base and sides of the glass. The nose is somewhat restrained as the massive head holds in the aromas; but it does reveal some softly sweet, cocoa-ish and toffee-like malt; some grassy and floral hops; and a light touch of spiciness that leaves it quite inviting. The body is medium; and it's very fine-bubbled, natural carbonation initially bristles on the tongue. The same sweetish, caramel and cocoa-like malt that's found in the nose is present right up-front in the flavor. It becomes more chocolatey as it crosses the palate and then some bright fruit appears just before the swallow. Bold bitterness and leafy, grassy, and floral hop flavors rise up mightily in the swallow, giving some indication of how much malt is really in there that it needs to be so solidly balanced. Dry and lingering with hops, a swirl of spiciness, and a cusp of roastiness; you're left craving another sip of the entirely opposite, rich and sweet nectar that just slipped away from your tastebuds so readily. Impressive! Its alcohol may cut down on the number of servings that you can actually have in a row, but the desire to have more than a few remains. A very well done beer that teeters on going overboard in some ways but always remains solidly in check. The alcohol never becomes more than just noticeable; and it remains balanced to the end. Certainly worth trying for those who like a little bit of hops in their Belgian specialties.

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Photo of Brandt
4.82/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this beer poured out an opaque dark brown color with a one finger head that was light tan in color.

the smell was rich caramelized sugars and a rasin and toffee sweetness. there was some fruity esters in there and an aroma that reminds of almost creme brule with a touch of musty yeast character that is reminescent of a wet log in a dank forest.

the taste is stong rich caramels and toffees with some dark dried fruits including plum but not really fig. this is just plain wonderful and has a light hip bitterness that follows the beer out.

this beer finished out semi dry and a medium to full bodied brown with a nuttiness that lingers on the palate reminding me of walnut as well as a warm boozeyness. this was a wonderful beer to be able to get since its not all too common and i would not hesitate to get another, absolutely devine!

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Photo of dgallina
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml slim brown bottle notched best-before November 2005. Sampled January 2007.

Pours very cloudy (chunky really) dark brown with a creamy head and thick lace. Smells malty, nutty, and toasty with a spicy sour medicinal edge. The flavors are well-blended and a bit muted due to the long aging.. Nutty malts, sour medicinal grape notes, and quite a bit of butterscotch on the tongue. Some carob and tobacco notes as well. Great mouth feel. Creamy yet well-carbonated and easy-drinking despite the relative strength. I'd be interested in trying a fresh sample of this beer.

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Photo of Gmann
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown ruby color with a decent light brown head, left some lacing as it dissipated. The smell is of sweet figs, caramel malt. The taste is initially of figs, slightly spicy, finishes with a coffee/chocolate flavor. Moderate mouthfeel, creamy, well carbonated. Reminds me more of a Dubbel than a Belgian SDA. I could drink a few of these.

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Photo of emerge077
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

BBD: Jan. '08

Pours into a BFM chalice a ruddy brown with a finger of tan foam. Toffee and yeast esters in the nose. Full, unfiltered body, super malty and drying in the finish. Toffee, cocoa powder, mild spice, with a residual herbal and roasty taste. This ale was described as being dry-hopped. Overall, fairly rich with some depth, well balanced, but not mindblowing. ABV was well hidden, but finishing one was enough for me.

Paid way too much for this ($12) at the Bluebird, a pricey new spot in Chicago.

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Photo of Jredner
3.29/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is disapointingly cola-like. Deep brown color with a huge fluffy mocha head. Earthy malts. Has a loamy, musty quality to it. Some sweetness in the finish...not unlike sweetbreads..definitely a hearty sweetness unlike the sugary sweetness of many Belgians. Feels like a kicked up brown/amber ale hybrid. Doesn’t really wow me, but is curiously drinkable.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a short-term holding at the local beer store, apparently it didn't sell well, because they marked it down from $4.99 per bottle to $0.99 per bottle. I grabbed one of the last several at this price, and tomorrow I'll be going back to see if they have any more!

Pours a rich, cola colored brown in a Corsendonk tulip, with a big frothy tan head that causally settles, leaving lots of Brussels lace on the side of the glass. Very nice to look at. LOTS of heavy dark brown chunky yeast clumps at the bottom of the bottle.

Aroma, rich. A lot going on. First note is semi-sweet, chocolatey/raisiny, but that quickly passes to something more- medicine like in some ways, alcohol presence, and something that's pleasant, but I can't place.

Flavor starts very nice, a bit of hop bite, there's that medicine aroma, and a flush of alcohol at the end. Definite strong Belgian dark ale, a little more astringent than I care for. Some sweetness (candied cherries) in the mix. Nicely balanced. It also got better as the beer breathed some more and reached closer to room temp. This is a good beer, the alcohol profile is stronger than I usually enjoy, but worth the price!

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Photo of PEBKAC
4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Post-It edition.

BB: December 08
Too long? I hope not.

Once I take a hearty sip, the fatty wine glass quickly gets replaced by my everyday pint. It just drinks better.

Inches of stiff cream-colored craters that take their time settling out. A sort of mahogany color. Cloudy, but so far pretty decently decanted. I can't hold off the sediment for long though.

Macerated raisins, maple syrup, concord grape juice, & light resiny/herbal hops.

Maple syrup, prune juice, cola, & smoke. Some muted earthy & rindy hops that linger. Hint of clove. A twinge of newspaper that is totally my fault for sitting on this. Full gulps of dark cherry. Barely a touch tart. A satisfied smile.

Surprisingly less thick then I assumed it would be. Frothy, with moderate carbonation. Disturbed yeast makes it just a bit dirty. Alcohol is intertwined & never gets hot or isolated.

This empty glass is just as heavy as some still full in my fridge. A very nice brew. :)

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearence: Pours a deep dark glowing copper with a thin, creamy off-white. Semi-hazy with some yeast sediment.

Smell: The smell is super sweet and strong, hug spice and alcohol notes, with some fruit aromas thrown in there for fun.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Smooth and complex, with a huge phenolic alcohol presence. Warms the whole way down. After the first few sips you start to notice the other flavors coming out. Fruits, caramel, candi sugar, and more. Each sip brings about new flavors and nuances, while still maintaining balance. The mouthfeel is sticky and chewy.

Drinkability and Overall: A very interesting Belgian beer, that's truly unique to itself. I really enjoyed this one, and while I couldn't drink it all day everyday, I really wish I had another to drink. Recommended!!

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Photo of UniversitateaDeBere
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of billyshears
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge pillow-y tan head, dark brown (close to seal brown). Hops and nuttyness take charge along with some dark fruits and yeast. Malt is nice but not really upfront. Good smooth mouthfeel with passable carbonation.
It's a bit different take on the BDSA; not as sweet but makes up for it with a great hop profile. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Picked this up cause I liked the label and was not let down.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at spuyten. Deep brown hue, big sticky off-white head, mostly diminishing. Appealing malty aroma, mostly caramel and especially brown chocolate flavors. Nutty and smoky palate, firecamp-like. Mild yeast acidity, soft bitter aftertaste. Generous flavors, smooth round mouthfeel with fitting light-medium carbonation. One you smell for a while. I never thought this were 10% before reaching this page... I’d never suspect above 7. Great job.

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Photo of papat444
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Flashback #254

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Freshness date December 2008. Poured into Ommegang chalice.

Solid cherrywood body with rustic character. Bready 2-finger head with muffin tunnels and good lacing. Moderate carbonation and very slight occurrence of yeast particles.

Nice sourness with spice compnent of ginger, cloves and sour bready yeast. Starts off a little soapy but quickly opens up to style.

The sourness is enjoyable up against a charred malt component. Carbonation becomes more apparent and cuts through the thickness well, but maybe a little too well as I'm getting a slight bicarb feel along with the hearty natural flavor of yeast, malt and earth. Hop bitterness is grassy as well as earthy.

Carbonation contrasted with the thick back of the offering is very well-done. I like the disjointed balance quite a bit. Good, even sour finish.

Nice sipper for a nightcap. Very meaty and enjoyable while the carbonation keeps it clean.

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Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a Loterbol tulip.

A: Pours a dark opaque brown that shows off ruby highlights when held up to a light. Marshmallow-y one finger head that retains forever.

S: Aromas of roasted malt and a faint caramel and cherry combination.

T: Roasted malt and tangy fruit in the forefront. As the tangy fruit fades the following flavors come out to play. Bitter chocolate, hazelnut, plums, raisins, cashews, fudge brownies, and a small amount of hops. A pleasant nutty finish.

M: Mouthfeel is oily and chewy but not syrupy.

D: Very interesting mix of flavors. Roasted malt, restrained sweetness, mild tang, and that excellent nutty quality that lends an enexpected layer to this beer. Hard to find and a little spendy but well worth a try. I liked this and the Blonde enough to seek out a Br. Duysters "Loterbol" tulip glass (which is no easy feat!)

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Photo of wyllder
4.46/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at The Moan and Dove in Amherst, MA.


This pours a deep ruby brown with a massive 1-1/2 inch, pocked fizzey beige head that isn't going anywhere until you make it. Carbonation is evident as little bubbles make their way up through the glass.

The nose is a tantalizingly interesting combination of caramel, and--if memory serves--chocolate pop rocks or tootsie roll with a slightly fruity edge. I've never smelled anything like this in a beer before, but it smells absolutely delicious.

Taste doesn't disappoint either. First you have all the head to deal with. It almost tingles in your mouth as it hits you with that effervescent tootsie roll flavor. You don't want to scrape the head off of this, as it's a treat in and of itself. From there the same flavors follow though on the palate with hints of mitigating bitterness interwoven perfectly.

Mouthfeel is good and drinkability is very good for a beer that's 8% abv.

This one came out of nowhere to instantly become one of my favorites, and I love it when that happens.


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Loterbol Bruin from Café-Brouwerij Loterbol
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 78 ratings