Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Bruin (Red Cap)
De Brabandere

Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Bruin (Red Cap)Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Bruin (Red Cap)
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Style:
Flanders Oud Bruin
Ranked #89
ABV:
7%
Score:
85
Ranked #39,418
Avg:
3.6 | pDev: 12.5%
Reviews:
47
Ratings:
66
From:
De Brabandere
 
Belgium
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  3
Gots
  2
SCORE
85
Very Good
Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Bruin (Red Cap)Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Bruin (Red Cap)
Notes:
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Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 66
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This bottle of Pilaarbijter has been standing quiet and still in my beer fridge for several months now, but that didn't stop the instantaneous creation of a foam fountain all over my desktop despite my best efforts to control it. Even now, a growing thumb of brown foam is oozing out of the top of the bottle, even though the bottle is less than half full.

Warm, glowing red-orange-bronze topped by a now barely evident, unsticky cap of golden tan foam. Carefully pouring a few more fingers of beer into the glass results in three times as much froth as beer. The liquid from the bottom half of the bottle murks things up nicely so that it's now close to opaque. Despite the mess, this is a pretty good looking ale.

Pilaarbijter smells like what it is. Allow me to clarify: it smells like a Flanders Oud Bruin. Why the label says Tripel Ale is beyond me. Sour fruit is the obvious olfactory focal point. Spiced, tart apples and pears comes closest if specifics are needed. There's also a certain musty, phenolic, could-only-be-Belgian quality that gives it authenticity.

The beer isn't so wonderful on the palate, although it's still a decent example of the style. At least there's plenty of brown/bruin flavor, for whatever that's worth. It's heavily toasted malty with a pleasing earthiness and unsubtle tea-like notes. While there isn't as much sour fruitiness as anticipated, clove-spiced apples still come to mind. The yeasty spiciness becomes more noticeable with warming, and sweet and bitter fight to a virtual draw.

The biggest problem is the mouthfeel. It's too insubstantial and way too fizzy (like I couldn't have predicted that). What those qualities lead to is an instant tongue annoyance as soon as beer enters mouth. Once the bubbles exhaust themselves, a few seconds at most, the flavor structure collapses and the finish is at hand. That isn't exactly a recipe for enjoyment of what seems like a respectably deep flavor profile.

Pilaarbijter looks like it translates to 'pillar biter'. That can't be right, I thought, until I spotted the obviously anguished character munching on a pillar right there on the label. Those wacky Belgians. This is an okay version a Flanders Oud Bruin (and not an entirely accurate one in the end), but that's where it begins and ends. Here's hoping the brass-capped version is more to my liking. And less explosive.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Umbra
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Didn't have the pouring issues with this one that I've seen in other reviews. This was the other half of a free four pack of the pilar biters. Cloudy light brown with thick tan head. Great retention and lacing. Acidic caramel aroma that comes back in the flavor. Sweet sour mix was nice, though I would've liked it to swing one way or the other a bit more. Nice caramel apple feeling afterwards, so I think that I'll save the other bottle for later in the fall. Tart and hearty, it came off as medium bodied and finished clean. Drinkability was up there a bit.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sorry but this following comment is in french :

Appearance : bière brune de fermentation haute, robe brun-rouge, la mousse s'éfface vite, effervescence moyenne
Smell : arômes de café et de caramel
Taste and mouthfeel : mince en bouche, légérement piquante
Drinkability : une bière d'abbaye correcte dans le style Belgian dubbel

 335 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Graham5161986
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a cloudy, very dark reddish brown with a 3 finger, rocky off-white head that has great staying power. Leaves a patchy lace.

S: tart fruitiness, ripe cherries and a touch of brown sugar malt. A bit of cotton candy as well.

T: nice ripened, tart fruit flavour with a warming alcohol sensation, slight floral hoppiness with a sweet touch of yeast on the finish.

M:light and very crisp, well-carbonated and a smooth, dry, tart finish.

D: This is a nice and interesting beer. The colour is fantastic and tartness of the fruit really makes it an enjoyable beer to sip. The alcohol is well hidden and provides for the slightest of warming sensations as the beer slides down your throat. I would buy this beer again - I would also like to try their blonde.

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Photo of JBogan
2.97/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a cloudy dark amber with a large tan head. Lots of carbonation here.

Smell of raisin, perhaps a little coffee as well. Alcohol was present but mild.

Tasted the alcohol more than I was expecting, along with dark fruits and a bit of what seemed like tobacco.

Mouthfeel was somewhat thick, maybe overly so for my taste.

Not the most drinkable beer. I was a little disappointed with this, hoping for maybe a bit more balanced flavor.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at La Trappe, San Francisco. Served in a 25 cl Tulip Glass.

Appearance: Ruby-red to brown clear beer, with a light tan 1/4" dense head. Lots of persistent lacing all over the glass.

Smell: Slightly musty, oak, some vanilla.

Taste: Roasted malt mixed in with some woody/oak flavors, sweet malt (again a hint of vanilla) and some sourness at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth at first, but lingers a bit sticky on the teeth. Nice thickness and light carbonation.

Overall / Drinkability: Nice looking beer, but with my first few sips I wasn't sure. However, as I drank more of it, it grew on me and I ended up having another glass. While I ended up sipping on it over the dinner, I found by the end of the first glass I could have easily downed it and definitely wanted another glass to savor a bit more. So drinkable in regards to the fact that you want to enjoy it, slowly, over a longer period than a 25 cl glass can provide.

 936 characters

Photo of Brabander
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good and honest brown old Flanders. I bought this one in Gent a few weeks ago. This is an old style beer and i loved it.

Poured in my Struise glass the beer itself is darkred to brown. Big big broken white head with some carbonation.

Good and sweet smell. Tasted some sugar, burned malt and very faint the yeast.

A very nice and drinkable beer!

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Photo of nandika
4.75/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of mattfancett
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of mrfrancis
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of kojevergas
2.68/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Cafe Samson in Nijmegen, Holland into a Bier van het moment tulip. Reviewed live.

A: Two finger slight tan head of nice cream, fair thickness, and average (~2.5 minute) retention. Colour is a semitransparent dark amber. Not at all brown in colour.

Sm: Amber malts is all me broken nose can pick up per the light strength of the aroma. All apologies, lads.

T: Amber malts, caramelized malt, and a bit of cream. Some bittering hops on the climax. Very simple. Not really bold and certainly not complex. A bit disappointing. Badly built and poorly balanced.

Mf: Too coarse. Wet. Very generic and not tailored to the flavours of the body.

Dr: Hides its relatively high ABV well, but is lacking in quality and even drinkability on account of the unwarranted coarseness. The price isn't bad in Holland, but it's still a beer I wouldn't havve again. It's very generic, but I wouldn't call it bad. Maybe fans of the style would appreciate it.

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Photo of mc4z
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Curt3
4.57/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of LSUPT
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of brandon911
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this baby into a goblet and it came out highly carbonated (as expected) sporting a nice white head. The nose was very wine like with apples, honey, and berries.

The taste is quite malty and fruity sweet up front (apples and dark cherries), then becomes dry juniper on the finish. The taste of this beer is quite good, but the finish is a little drab.

I enjoyed this beer quite a bit, but one can easily find beers of this style with quite a bit more substance. There's certainly nothing wrong with it, but I don't think I'd seek it out. There are better ales of this style that are more plentiful in this neck of the woods.

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Photo of TheBeerWatcher
3.12/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pilaarbijter Bruin has a hazy, orange brown color with lots of floaties. The creamy head is beige and abundant. It slowly leaves a nice lacing on the elegant Pilaarbijter glass.

The aroma is dominated by roasted malts with a touch of tart and spicyness (cloves). Not really complex but not bad.

Tasting the beer is not surprising at all: more roasted malts, sweetness upfront and some bitterness in the rather long aftertaste. The syruppy mouthfeel and roasted taste make me think of a stout, certainly considering the very low level of carbonation.

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Photo of rekel
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of petluo
3/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Marius
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of arkanu
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of leitmotif
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of dcmchew
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%

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Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Bruin (Red Cap) from De Brabandere
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 66 ratings