Loterbol Bruin | Café-Brouwerij Loterbol

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

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Reviews: 67 | Ratings: 78
Photo of pat61
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
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 Slatetank
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%

I enjoyed this at Delices et Caprices in Brussels - poured chilled from the bottle in a glass.

The color is hazed dark amber with thick foam of white with sporadic lace stickage and good retention with fine bead. The smell has a hint of floral with nutty and lightly yeasty esters with wheat malt aroma w/ subtle alcohol and mild earthiness in the yeast which dominates. The feel is pretty light in body wiht mild sweetness and gentle toasted texture with medium high carbonation with slight alcohol impact with earthy dry finish.

The taste has a moderately earthy grainy flavor with toasted husky and mild biscuit-like taste with medium high alcohol in the taste and gentle herbal accent with mild grainy flavor continuing and hint of honey-like sweetness from the malt and light yeast spice with subtle alcohol until the finish which is mostly dry. This is a very good belgian but probably my least favorite of the evening -pretty strong yet worth a try.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle was poured into a tulip glass. Best before December of 2008, but seems like most other reviewers don't mind reviewing the beer even though it is past it's end date. Her we go folks.

Appearance: This beer poured a crazy ass puffy head that took several additional pours to get a decent amount of beer in the glass. It is a dark crimson color with some clarity when held up to the light and plenty of bubbles rising up through the center of the glass. Awesome to see a beer hold up well after so many years.

Smell: super caramel malts, dark fruit aromas, but really not picking up much after that.

Taste: caramel malts, cherries, dark fruits like plums and raisins, interestingly I get a touch flavor too, and a very tasty brew.

Mouthfeel: full bodied, medium carbonation, smooth, some creaminess, a little dry, and easy to drink.

Overall: For a beer that was best before December 2008, this bad boy held up well with time. I guess it aged well in the store and now it will age well in my tummy too. MMM, MMM delicious.

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Photo of Absumaster
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 750 mL bottle, just for my self.. This bottle pours a brown, red hued beer with a big head that falls apart into soapy bubbles.

Smell is perfumy with hints of all kinds of fruits, sweet cherries, strawberries, figs, dates and tobacco, maybe a hint of bees wax. Through this a little sulfur shines through. A wonderful sniffer beer.

Taste is soft. There are tastes of caramel malt, cacao, chocolate, a whiff of alcohol and maybe a little solvent. The yeast adds a lot of flavors, which are very interesting. The moutfeel is smooth, but after swallowing the beer leaves a nice warming feeling. Just a little prickly from the carbonation and alcohol.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: rich dark brown hue with a ruby tinge when held up to the light. Head is three thick fingers of frothy light-tan foam. Very nice.

Smell: sweet and fruity aroma. I'm getting pears, plums and something akin to a tart strawberry. Very interesting; I like it.

Taste: rich malt flavor with a lot of depth. Sweet malt base malt starts it off and finishes with a very smooth chocolate character; the fruitiness remains throughout much like in the aroma. There is a little bit of tartness and perhaps some over-attenuation, but basically it's a very, very tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a huge carbonation and concomitant creaminess. The effect is magnificent.

Overall: this is a highly satisfying dark Belgian ale. I would love to be able to quaff this right from the source.

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Photo of mrfrancis
2.68/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a dark brownish amber with a thick khaki head. It looks appealing, especially when held up to the light.

S: The expected aromas of dark candy sugar, toffee, dark chocolate, coffee, and heavy cream are present. Notes of resinous hops peek through
upon further investigation.

T: Starts off sweet and rich with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, toffee, vanilla bean, candy sugar, and heavy cream. The taste becomes noticeably more bitter just before the fade with spicy, resinous hops, warming alcohol, and an odd, unwelcome burnt flavor creating a distracting and discordant contrast with the earlier sweet sensations.

M: Medium-to-full bodied with a thick, somewhat sticky feel to it. Definitely not a mouthfeel to write home about in my opinion.

O: This beer starts off strong, but falls apart on the finish. It's simply too heavy-handed and overbearing, and the way in which it flits between sweet and bitter is distracting. Perhaps I got a bad bottle...

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

Poured into a Swiss wine snifter at cellar temp.

The body of this beer is crystal clear and deep, dark crimson. The head is eager and light tan, and looks soft and pillowy.

The nose displays a definite vinous character, but with a dryer malt-base as opposed to grape. I don't detect hops, but I do smell a bit of dry dark sugar and a hint of sour apple.

The flavor is very interesting and layered. I was expecting something on the sweeter heavy side but instead this isn't a malt bomb or caramel sipper. I would guess that a substantial amount of highly fermentable dark sugar was added to this beer, and that accounts for the drier character and almost wine-like vinous notes. I have tasted something like this in long-aged English barelywines of a much higher ABV. There is some malt present here, mostly pale but some from the chocolate-roast range adding a slightly chocolaty/cocca/caramel bitterness. Old dusty dried figs are detected (as odd as this sounds this is an awesome flavor). Additional notes of leather, age old hops, and a kiss of musty wood grace this nuanced flavor.

The mouthfeel is medium in body and well carbonated, but not harshly so.

Conclusion: I bought this hoping it would be a flanders style brown (the label says bruin, which I thought might indicate "Oud Bruin"). When I looked it up and found that it was a Belgian Strong Dark Ale I was disappointed, and figured it would be another semi-interesting offering in this popular style. I am very impressed however, as this is a step above the usual. The flavor is complex and layered, and needs sipping through additional bottles to comprehend fully.

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Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl bottle, best before May 2010. Poured into a goblet, this brew appears a murky brown color with 2 fingers of creamy khaki head. The cap holds with solid retention that slowly fades leaving patches of lacework on the glass.

The smell of this brew includes sweet Belgian candy sugar, brown sugar, raisins, plums, chocolate, light spiced aspect, citrus and tangy alcohol. Faint herbal hops keep the sweet smelling aspect of this brew in check.

The taste is sweet Belgian candy sugar initially mixed with some toffee and caramel malt. A solid presence of 8% alcohol is felt with herbal hops to balance. Faint chocolate malt with a light musty aspect. Spicy Belgian yeast throughout yet dry on the finish with a crisp light candy flavoring. Nice balance of candy sweetness to herbal hop bitterness.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. Big alcohol warmth yet balanced very well. A fine example of the style. The best before date seemingly means nothing here, it could have been aged for several more years I feel without I'll effect.

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Photo of Rayek
4.19/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Tulip.

A: Murky chestnut brown, with a fair amount of yeast despite a gentle pour. A huge cream cap slowly, but surely settles to a patchwork quilt of foam. Leaves intermittent chunks of lace.

S: Vinous and slightly spicy. Dark fruits in the form of raspberry, raisin, prune and a lot of strawberry are out first. Some pepper and clove sit behind. Alcohol brings a light tingle to the nostrils.

T: The dark fruits from the nose sweep quickly into the initial flavor. A pepper and clove spiciness comes on quickly and provides a greater bite than the nose would indicate. Alcohol adds a light warmth going down. A mild sourness hits at the very end.

M: The medium body is slightly doughy and has soft, yet vigorous carbonation.

D: This is a nice Belgian Strong Dark that drinks lighter than it is. I was through my bottle quite quickly for a beer this strong. An excellent overall pickup. Definitely a beer to serve on the warm side, as mine got better and better as it lost its cool.

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Photo of Brabander
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer in Café the Beer Circus in Brussels. I met the Allstrom Bros and UncleJimbo there and we drank a few beers together.

Poured by the bartender in a original glass the beer looks very darkbrown with a nice broken white head. Can't really say if there was carbonation, i forgot to look.

Burned malt and some spices give this beer it's unique taste. I had better browns than this one but it was ok to drink.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

sent a few of these out, figured I'd pick one up for myself. Supposedly only 600 cases of this are produced a year and only 60 of those reach the US. 33cl bottle into White Birch flute.

A- Nice pour, root beer brown with a thick, oatmeal-pancake head that laces and stays with the best of them. I'm left with two fingers of rocky mtn head... very nice.

S- Malt! Tangy dark fruit, a bit of peppercorn, faint overripe strawberries.

T- Very interesting. Faint medicinal/cola notes.. a hint of chocolate and a hint of chalkiness.. Plums, raisins, and Braeburn apples. Really several layers here.. you need a fine-tooth comb to get through this beer. Very tasty.

M- Slightly chalky/bitter, very malty... flavorful doesn't begin to describe it. ABV is nowhere to be found.

D- Moderately high... can't knock the price or the availability (to me, at least). I'll be buying more of this... thanks, Nikki's! You really are the best store around!

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Photo of augustgarage
4.44/5  rDev +12.7%
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 ktrillionaire
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is quite old; it says it is best by 2005, which likely means it was bottled in 2003 or earlier.

A - It pours an unremarkable chestnut-brown hue with a small cap of foam. Surprised that it even looks this good.

S - It smells vaguely malty with some chocolate sweetness and a little strange citric nuance. It belies a very strange, full and complex palette.

T - This beer tastes much more intense than it smells, and as such is delicious. It tastes like chocolate soda, with a large amount of toffeeish malt and a lemon-lime finish. These strange flavors are very well-balanced and are complemented by a slight assertion of booziness. There is much in common here with soda, but its just bursting with character. This is one of the best old beers I've had; time was a friend to this one.

M - Fairly medium-bodied, perhaps lighter than medium. Still retains effervescence.

D - Awesome. I'd like to compare it with a non-ancient example, because I have no idea what this beer tasted like when it was fresh.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a haze, dark mahogany-hued body with a large, foam-riddled, beige head.

Smell: Scents of the brown malt variety, including notable notes of caramel, light roast, and, upon slight warmth, cocoa. Child-sized handful of dehydrated fruits and licorice-flavored jellybeans splashed with alcohol and dried herbs.

Taste: Hearty brown malts that begins sweet, but this is knocked out by some spicy licorice and tobacco tones and peppery alcohol hints. Fruity tastes of dried cherries and raisins. Late-arriving hint of cocoa powder. Slight hop bitterness mingled amidst the spiciness. Spicy, dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Fairly good bruin here, it presents a decent mixture of flavors and goes down with relative ease.

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Photo of K7M
4.87/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer that I would love to be able to have on a regular basis, unfortunately from what I understand less than 60 cases per year enter the USA. Too bad for those of us who have experienced it.

Pours with a great head and fragrance. Superb color and flavor, lots of sediment which is not detrimental in this case. Complex flavor, sorry I cannot describe in great detail, I simply am not a wordsmith. I know when I enjoy the Beer I am drinking and I know when I don't, doesn't mean it is bad or great Beer, simply that it tastes great to me. I tend to like dark beers, especially Bocks and I also like heavy wheat Beers. This Beer will be enjoyable to those who appreciate Bocks and Weizens.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Given to me as a gift (thanks Todd). Best by date of 4/05, so let's see if age has been hard on this. With 8% abv it should hold up for a little.
Real malty aroma with slight spicy and some sourness, possible a staleness (slightly cardboard - but not overpowering). Reasonable complex and consistently prominent.
Nice steady firm dark head. Really a dark beer with reddish brown in light, but rather dense in appearance. Heck of a yeast sample at bottom of bottle.
Well blended flavors dominated by malt, mostly rich and dark without passing to roast. Minimal sweetness and unfortunately holding enough staleness to distract some. Lacking dark fruit and not holding much yeasty spiciness. Mild alcohol with some slight heat. Very extended taste laying on the tongue that seems to still possess a mild hop bitterness. Nice little flavors show up now and then (such as the chocolate taste I just got), but overall they are few and far between.
Nice rich and full body with carbonation present and enhancing very nicely.
A little unfair for drinkability since this bottle is past prime. Some nice aspects peak my interest. I need to try a fresher bottle.

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Photo of billyshears
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
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 Brandt
4.82/5  rDev +22.3%
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 PEBKAC
4.44/5  rDev +12.7%
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 belgbeerdrinker
3.32/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: dark brown color, thick head that remains at 1 finger thick, good lacing
s: mix of sweet malts and tart cherry with hints of pecans
t: moderate malty sweetness balanced with tart fruits on the periphery and the pecan flavor does eventually come through...surprisingly consistent with aromas
m: medium to thick body, light carbonation
d: decent beer, just not too much to miss

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Photo of Nick3
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer has a consume before date (in french) of Dec. '08. Poured into my Kapittel Watou chalice; it quickly forms a 4 finger chocolate head that doesn't die quickly. The head slowly recedes in the center but it maintains it's height around the edge of the glass. A great looking beer to the say the least. Smell is dark fruit, malts, and alcohol. Taste is similar to the nose with a little hops balanced in during the finish. Ample carbonation tees up a smooth tasting beverage. Easy to drink to say the least. The beer wasn't superb, but it was pretty damn good.

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Photo of bskrtz
4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.2 ounce bottle, to open challice. Served cold -- 39 degrees

A) Deep dark brown. Held to the light, I can't see the bulb. Swampy & thick

S) Bitter herbs, fresh flowers, root beer, sweet pastry

T) This is good beer. Not as sweet as many Belgian dark ales, but complex with bitter, unique yeasts and hops. I smell root beer and ginger bread as I sip.

M) Belgians seem to have a consistent effervescent quality, with fine, tight carbonation. This may be due to bottle conditioning.

D) A very drinkable beer. It's strong but I barely taste the alcohol. A real treat -- I think I'll have another.

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Photo of daftafne
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
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 wl0307
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coming in a 330ml slim brown bottle, BB 04/2009, served lightly-chilled in Westmalle's broad-rimmed chalice.

A: deep dark copper hue with slight murkiness, topped with a very well-lasting 0.5cm thick dark beige cappuccino froth
S: sweet black-tea aroma comes with refreshing chocolate malts, licorice and understated sour-sweet prunes. A swirl gives rise to an extra touch of esters like sweetened kidney-bean paste that is not as assertive as many other Belgian dark ales, but all's approachable and integrated on the nose.
T: aromatically dark malty and yeasty upfront, but soon backed by a deepening hop-bitter backbone that shows a marvellous herbal+savoury+spicy mixture featuring licorice powder, pepper cone, spiced dried olives, black-grass jelly, a bitter edge of burned sugar and dry-ish burned malts. Very chewy, dry and unusually bitter in the finish, witnessing really good interaction b/w yeasts and hops, where a "dry-ish sweet" herbal edge as of licorice and aniseed seems to outlast everything else.
M&D: the carbonation is well in control, refreshing but only microscopic fizz is felt on the palate, complementing the evolving structure and deliciously bitter theme just nicely. Overall, this Strong Dark Ale shows less influence of the dark candy sugar than of the copious amount of hops, as the bitterness overall really elevates this estery dark ale to the next, "quaffable", level~~

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Photo of Cunningham26
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- pours a mahogany brown with a good two fingers of small-bubbled foam that left a good white lacing.
S- Boozy, with lots of malts and fruit breaking through. Definite hints of golden raisin, apples, and some spice.
T- Fruit up front, with cloves, spices, toffee, and some really light coffee. Together it made it almost port-like on the palate, but overall pretty good and complicated.
M- Ok, the booziness makes itself apparent for the first third but tapers as the body adjusts.
D- Not really sessionable, but the one I had was interesting, especially once it warmed up.

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Loterbol Bruin from Café-Brouwerij Loterbol
3.94 out of 5 based on 78 ratings.
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