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Loterbol Bruin | Café-Brouwerij Loterbol

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very good
67 Reviews
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 henrysunset
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very Dark and clear (unhazy) but with suspended sediment. nice sized head of tan.

Scent is alcohol, wood, dark malt.

taste is dark, thick relatively little short term aftertaste and a tail flavor of chocolate and roast.

Mouthfeel is smooth and rich. i enjoy it but don't absolutely love it.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
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 chinabeergeek
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

split a case with friends, bought directly from the importer here in beijing.

330ml bottle poured into tulip. "best by" date is may 2009. the importer's label also lists the actual brew date of may 2007.

dark cola color, almost clear as it decants easily, leaving behind most of the yeast. two-finger head slowly fades to a constant thin layer. nice lacing.

herbal aroma, almost minty. plus a subtle amalgam of holiday spices, before you then pick out the caramel and toffee.

flavor has phenolic notes upfront, along with the herbal, and again near-mint character. hint of spice, but more approaching vanilla. dried fruit sweetness and malt character are balanced by a pretty bold hop bitterness (which in turn seem tied to the aforementioned herbal notes), itself contributing to a very dry coffee-like finish, with slight touch of acidity. grassy, herbal notes in the aftertaste

not too thin. maybe a slight astringency. moderate carbonation provides body and lift.

i'm glad i got a bunch of these.

ps - 8% abv is nicely hidden. watch out!

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Photo of dreadnatty08
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark mahogany color with just a slight light highlight at the bottom of the glass and plentiful tan, sticky head. Aromas are bursting with dark, dropping tart fruits, spicy alcohol, and a nice lacto note. On the palate, it's not an exceptionally big bodied Belgian. The rich, malt and yeast dominated flavors, toasty, bready ring high with dark fruits and a light chocolate note. The finish is quite dry with a firm hoppy bitterness not really seen in other BSDAs. It's a very drinkably beer at 8% with just a nice belly warming alcohol but absolutely no burn. A great brew to enjoy on this unseasonably cool day.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
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 dsa7783
4.31/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ML green, Belgian bottle purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield for $10.99...
The appearance was truly exceptional - even a slow, steady pour resulted in a massive, huge foamy head that slowly receded and left an incredible amount of lacing around the edge of the glass... Deep purple, crimson, ruby-red hue...
Sweet, malty aroma rendolent of dehydrated fruits, figs, and prunes...
Sweet, caramel and vanilla taste accompanied by notes of dates, dark fruits, chewy malts, and a slight tinge of vanilla...
A very authentic, high-quality, substantial beer bursting with character, taste, and flavor...
Good, creamy, rich, thick mouthfeel and an equally good level of drinkability make this a pleasure to enjoy...
Good stuff...

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy off-brown color with generous, tight head that is also a brownish colour.

Nose is very complex with citrus zest, estery notes, and fresh baked white bread crust.

On the palate is a pleasant sweet n sour flavor with more of the pleasant bready taste, mixed fruit, and a tangy spice on the finish.

Finish is medium to long and somewhat sour, in a good way.

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Photo of emerge077
3.9/5  rDev -1%
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 BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cherry caramel with bright orange and amber edges, murky russet after the final pour. The Belgianesque cap (which translates as 'amazing') is golden ecru in color and is as whipped creamy as any I've seen. It's also incredibly sticky, as evidenced by the thick bridges of foam that connect cap and glass, leaving a great array of lace when they eventually break. This is a fantastic looking beer.

The nose is merely good. It's brown malty and somewhat dark fruity, with less spiciness than I'm used to in a beer of this style. I love what I smell, it's just that more power would probably have provided the complexity that I'm looking for.

My first mouthful was interesting to say the least. The first few seconds were enjoyable, if simple and unexiciting. As my taste buds got used to what they were being bathed in, the darker flavors came on with a rush. Black malt, anise, blackstrap molasses and raisin puree... these are a few of my favorite things.

Unlike the nose, the flavor is incredibly spicy. Along with the usual clove is something that I don't taste very often: black pepper. I can tell that very little candi sugar was used because there's much more bitterness than sweetness. I like sweet BSDAs, I like tangy BSDAs, and I like this bitter BSDA. Simply put, I like BSDAs in all shapes and sizes. I have little doubt that this bottle of Loterbol Bruin would have lasted well beyond the 'best by' date of January '08.

The mouthfeel is a fraction too light and a fraction too undercarbonated to be considered special. It gains some amount of girth with time and warming, but it also begins to lose what little carbonation it had to begin with. How was that beautiful, massive head created, I wonder?

Loterbol Bruin is an intense, black-hearted, black peppery humdinger of a BSDA. If you like Belgian beer and if you like sensory overload, then by all means, give this one a whirl. It isn't that easy to find, but it's definitely worth the effort.

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Photo of aleyeast
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a goblet, shoulod have been a tulip, but I was lazy.

says best before 11/05, not sure if that is bottle on?

Brownish Red in color, nice deep color with a thin head that disappates to cover

Brown sugar caramel fruit on the nose, with a little alcohol burn.

No burn on the taste, similiar flavors of caramel, nutty and fruity on the flavors, but malt is dominant. warms nicely and the brown sugar comes out.

Fairly easy drinking at 8%

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Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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 Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into my Delerium Tremens chalice, a Belgian Beer Fest leftover, imported by the Shelton Bros. Fresh stuff? BBF was Oct '06, and the label says best-before end of Apr '05. Nice.... Other label oddities, besides the 2 jolly gents who look dressed for some sort of Carnivale, are the descriptions of this Belgian Strong Dark in other languages... In German it says "Helles Starkbier". Helles? Ya, right!! And in Italian "Doppio Malto". Double malt? I've seen that description on Doppelbock labels... Anyhow...

Poured a deep, dark chestnut-brown hue. Was clear, for now, as I left a substantial amount of sediment in the flasche (swirled in near the end). Head was a frothy, creamy, tan mass, steady at 1" for a bit, then receding slowly and leaving a lace trail behind. Looking good! Loter has a lovely nose, with a nice, DBock-like sweetness and some dark fruit notes. The body is a solid medium, with decent smoothness on the tongue from start to end.

Flavor has a brown sugary semi-sweetness, though not quite as sweet as the aroma suggests. Yummy dark fruit flavors abound, with some raisin and prune coming through. There is also present a slightly burnt, bitter edge to it, though it doesn't detract too much from the overall flavor. Finish is a tad dry, yet the dark fruit lingers a bit. No noticeable after-effects of the 8% abv. Rather liked it, and wished it was a 750ml bottle and not 330ml...


overall: 4.1
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


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Photo of dgallina
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
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 +2%
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 dherling
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured out a deep brown color with a massive fizzy tan head with good lacing. The nose has caramel, chocolate, fudge, with a slightly fruity edge. A candy store? Weird. The taste starts malty sweet, butterscotch and chocolate with some bitterness on the finish. Mouthfeel is good, medium carbonation, creamy long finish.

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Photo of Suds
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a dark brown color. The head is thick and foamy, nice lace, and the liquid has notable small bits of yeast in suspension. The smell is pretty nice…Belgian malts, sugar, a little phenolic spiciness, some horseblanket quality, and a little earthy yeast. I love those smells in combination, it’s something that you never get tired of smelling. The taste has similar qualities, with a notable caramized sugar flavor in the front. There’s a little bitterness for balance. Fairly full and satisfying mouthfeel. On the downside, there’s not as much of the ripe fruit and warming qualities that I appreciate in most Belgian dark ales. They’re present, just a little more restrained than necessary. This is a well made but modest brew.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice a clear deep dark amber brown with a tan head which rose slighly and fell to lace the glass.

The aroma was strong, strong malt and dark caramel when first opened. As the head made it's final retreat the aroma became dark caramel with a phenolic Belgian yeast spice. The alcohol in the aroma on this one was strong and prevalent. Some dark fruit presence of raisins and prunes was notable.

The flavor was nicely malty with a dark caramel and muted Belgian yeast spice that was quite peppery. The dark fruits, again raisins and prunes, were notable but muted and added complexity to the flavor rather than being presented as a strong characteristic. Some alcohol was present in the flavor and set off the phenolic and peppery spice of the yeast.

The finish was dry with a bit of lasting chocolate (very dry) and pepper spice into the aftertaste. The body was medium full with a moderate carbonation level. The alcohol warming after consumption was fairly high. A pretty darn good Belgian Strong Dark, the flavors were complex and interesting rather than being prominent and overpowering.

11.2 ounce very full bottle.

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Photo of
3.17/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11-12oz. bottle. Poured a cloudy brown color, slightly coppery at the edges. Large, light tan head. Aroma was mainly sweet (fruit/melon) with a bread-yeast scent as well. Taste was roasted/burnt toast, pepper, sweet in the middle, fairly strong alcohol notes and a mild hop finish. Body was medium, carbonation was same. Alcohol warming started immediately as did the drying. Overall, an interesting and complex beer, which was not really to my taste. I prefer more of a hop presence and less sweet.

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Photo of dogfooddog
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

beer pours with very large head, half of glass is head.

smells like dark fruits, a bit sweet maltiness. a bit sweeter than most belgian dubbels/brunes.

taste is odd. seems hoppy-bitter, the malt becomes almost a background taste. there may be a slight metallic hint as well, but so faint it might be a taste i am confusing.

drinkable bruin, no reason to avoid it.

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Photo of Iguana
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well the interesting label on this one begged for a try.

Appearence - Poured a deep brown with a nice frothy 2 inch head that receded into a nice creamy head. So far so good.

Smell - Not quite what I was expecting, sour cherryish, with a strong dark sweet malt smell, kinda different.

Taste - Starts quite sweet and rich and then gets bitter fairly quick. The sweetness is magnified as the beer warms up in my goblet. Overall its really nice.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, rich, syrupy. I think that it could be a bit better, but no complaints.

Drinkability - Really solid beer, could drink a few in a night and be quite festively buzzed like the 2 guys on the label. Although I wouldnt be wearing the goofy red cape like them.

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Photo of Todd
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
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 Jredner
3.29/5  rDev -16.5%
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 paterlodie
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BB jul-06. Nice and ultratick lightbrown head and a dark brown beercollor. Nose is very spicy, gives good hopiness and has a very nice sweet candy/caramellic nose with it. Taste is thick, burnt, sweet and quiet bitter. Did need a couple of sips but then this brew showed it's good side and got more and more tasty and bitterness gets less present as in the beginning it was totaly dominating taste. Caramel and maltyness complement the taste as there is also quiet some alcohol present. Nice carbonisation makes mouthfeel good and yes I really enjoyed this one and IMO a solid choise.

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Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy cola brown color with a typically frothy Belgian head that leaves plenty of lacing behind

Smell: Surprising bouquet of tobacco and mocha; biscuity with a touch of licorice

Taste: Starts out with mocha and unsweetened chocolate flavors that are joined, mid-palate, by a bitter herbal flavor that reminds me of Chinotto; a touch of residual sweetness in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with lots of carbonation

Drinkability: Interesting flavors and I particularly like the bitter herbal element

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.37/5  rDev +10.9%
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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Loterbol Bruin from Café-Brouwerij Loterbol
3.94 out of 5 based on 78 ratings.
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