Loterbol Bruin | Café-Brouwerij Loterbol

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 67 | Ratings: 78
Photo of czechsaaz
4.79/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big nose of mlats and candi sugar. Lots of yeasty character too, some fruit (dried apricots or plums maybe), a little chocolatey, some honey-like qualities. Pretty rich aromas all around.

Deep brown colored, just barely opaque. Does not appear cloudy but it's dark enough that I can't really tell. Head pours big, but fades to a nice tan foam leaving behind a good amount of lace.

First hit is pretty sweet, then bittering hops kick in and it washes away very rich and malty. Bittering from hops lingers a bit in the aftertaste. (really cool in that it goes sweet, bitter, then sweet again, then slightly bitter across the palate. There's still quite a bit of fruity esters from the yeast and I still get a little chocolate in the flavor. But the malt quality is pretty stellar.

Body is medium big. Carbonation level is appropriate. Not obviously alcoholic in flavor or warmth but the richness suggests the strength.

Wow, really nice rich brown ale. Probably stands up to the classic dubble pretty well. Might have to blind taste this against some of the abbey beers. Thick and filling.

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

11.2oz bottle obtained via trade with LuckySevens82. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed 1 1/2" of thick tan head over the deeply burgundy brew. Head doesn't lose much height over time, and lacing is delicate and prevalent. Aroma is sweet, lightly spiced, with fruitiness as well. Taste starts with the sweetness the nose portended, but quickly the spicing and a roasty malt flavor gain prominence, closing with a bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both good. Nice bruin here.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The owner of my favorite beer store touted this as the "best dubbel" he'd ever had. I can't argue. I'd have to compare head to head with the Westy and Westmalle, but I loved this one. Dark, fruity, and extremely flavorful. Big, foamy head - lots of retention. If you like the Westy, Westmalle, and Rochefort, seek this out. It blew away the (Brasseraie) Abbaye de Rocs Gran Cru I followed it with.

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Photo of Sammy
2.88/5  rDev -26.9%
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 Dukeofearl
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
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 RoyalT
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
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 PorterLambic
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a burnt garnet color with a creamy head and leaves good lace. Smell is sweet, malty, fruit (cherry), peat caramel. Taste is nicely balanced with a sweet maltiness, cherries, caramel, peat and some alcohol. Mouthfeel is fairly smooth, light effervescence, medium/full body. Drinkability is pretty good but not great. A middle of the road Belgian brown ale.

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Photo of waughbrew
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The head on this beer is alive. For the first couple minutes after pouring the beer, the head grows. Then the creamy top pops the bigger bubbles beneath it and on its way down forms the strangest shapes that I have ever seen. Looked a little like a brain for a bit, now it looks like a tortellini sitting on top of the dark murky brown body; this gives off a creepy possessed-swamp vibe. Puts out odors of raisins with the stem still attached, cocoa powder, bananas, and blood. Flavor again has blood, slightly metallic, and flower petals. Definite tootsie roll character. Dry dirty raspberry finish. Thin. Smooth. Intriguing.
Improving more and more as it warms and flattens, for sure one of the cooler brews around.

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Photo of wyllder
4.46/5  rDev +13.2%
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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Photo of Rastacouere
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
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 crookedhalo
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

ABV listed as 8% on this 33 cl bottle dated best before 5/2005. Pours a chestnutty brown with a pillowy light tan head that retains excellently. Chunky particles left in suspension after entire contents of bottle were emptied. Chocolatey and hop aromas paired up with some wet wood and wild, fruity and yeasty smells. Semi-sweet bakers' chocolate and earthy bark purvey the malt and an astringent hop bite and delicate yeast round out a flavor that is one of the dryest browns I've experienced. I'd tried this a few times before and slightly underestimated this beer compared to the blond. I thought the blond was outstanding and the bruin was good, but not as good. I was wrong, the bruin is that good. Leafy and malty and beautiful. One of the better Belgian browns I've had recently.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
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 PopeJonPaul
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Near-black pour with a gargantuan head. Mellow sweet dark chocolate smell, with a bit of licorice. Crazy caramel, hop, raisin, prune, soda flavors. It's almost as if the brewer took the best characteristics of a home-brewed Cola and somehow added hops and transformed it into a beer. Creamy and smooth finish, ultra drinkable, to hell with the ABV. I love this beer - if only I could afford to keep this stuff around the house.

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Photo of silenius
4.48/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a HUGE head that overflowed my glass, twice!

The lace on the glass is the best I've ever seen. 3D lace with the foam sticking out from the side of the glass.

The beer is a murky brown with a bunch of yeasty bits.

Smell is sweet light raisin note with alcohol and dark sweet fruits. Figs and a bright note of lemon candy.

Taste is the lemon candy coated with figs and raisins. Not a lemony beer, but I get that as a core with substantial dark fruits surrounding it. The lemon character comes out as the beer warms. Long bitter finish. Very interesting beer.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with a dry aftertaste.

This is a big boozy beer, so I'd reach for something else next, but will be buying this again. Purchased from Moulefrite at the Wine Discount Center in Chicago.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a five-fingered light brown frothy head that fades slowly and leaves a ton of lace. High carbonation. Cloudy amber color but the yeast stayed in the bottle. Nose is malty with a hint of raisins Starts malty and smooth; finishes on the sweet side with a hint of hops. Medium bodied. $4.10 for a 330ml bottle. The ABV is 8%.

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

pours a lovely dark brown with red accents.A full off white/tan head forms.Listen carefully and hear a snap -crackle-pop.
In the nose there is a definite fruity aspect along with a rich maltiness.On first taste the malt jumps out at you.There is alcohol present in taste and mouthfeel that falls off to reveal to me choclate and anise.There is a rootbeer like flavor in the background,interesting.It doesnt linger long,just begs me to taste again.A full finger of head remains as the bruin warms.
This is very drinkable for something at 8.0. Consistent throughout,a good friendly beer.Nice

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: deep, ruby red that's edging into a woody brown, with just a small head, only a brownish ring around the edges.
Aroma: BAM! OOF! WOW! Licorice, man, like sticking your face into a bag of Twizzlers! Never encountered an aroma like this before, incredibly unique, and there's nothing, honestly, not one thing else I encounter in this olfactory aura, and that's fine.
Taste: mmmm, mellow, nice, that same aniseed taste returns, but in a minor vein, dark and tasty, and utterly unlike any other beer I've ever had. It's got something of a brown ale character, but the flavor profile is dominated by this licorice taste. Medium to full body, nice, medium finish, really tasty, in a most unusual fashion.
Gotta give it props, this is a heckuva unique little beer!

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