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

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Ratings: 78 |  Reviews: 67
Photo of dherling
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
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 +1.3%
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 +5.8%
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 -20.2%
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 -8.8%
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 +2.8%
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 +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 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 paterlodie
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
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 +4.5%
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 +10.1%
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 czechsaaz
4.79/5  rDev +20.7%
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 +4.5%
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 +10.3%
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 -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 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 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 PorterLambic
3.73/5  rDev -6%
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 -1.3%
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 +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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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 crookedhalo
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
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 +9.1%
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 PopeJonPaul
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
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 +12.8%
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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Loterbol Bruin from Café-Brouwerij Loterbol
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 78 ratings
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