Loterbol Bruin | Café-Brouwerij Loterbol

Loterbol BruinLoterbol Bruin
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
Photo of K7M
4.87/5  rDev +22.7%
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 -10.3%
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 +9.1%
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 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 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 belgbeerdrinker
3.32/5  rDev -16.4%
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%
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 +15.4%
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 +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 wl0307
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
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 -10.3%
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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Photo of henrysunset
3.77/5  rDev -5%
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 +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 chinabeergeek
4.13/5  rDev +4%
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%
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 +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 dsa7783
4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
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 +3.8%
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 -1.8%
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 BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
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 +7.8%
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 +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 Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
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 -0.3%
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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Loterbol Bruin from Café-Brouwerij Loterbol
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 78 ratings
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