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

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65 Ratings
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Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Bruin (Red Cap)Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Bruin (Red Cap)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
De Brabandere
Belgium
bavik.be

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-18-2004

BEER STATS
Ratings:
65
Reviews:
47
Avg:
3.58
pDev:
12.57%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
2
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 65 |  Reviews: 47
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.11/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours out a lightly hazed, brown body with a tall, foamy, off-white head. I wasn't particularly thrilled with the Bavik Blonde, so I'm having trouble mustering up much enthusiasm for the Bruin iteration.

Smell: The base of malts presents gives off wafts of toast and brown sugar, which is fine and all, but it just doesn't grab me. Secondary notes of overripe fruit and alcohol mist.

Taste: Simple, humble brown malts with some tastes of toasted grains, nuts, and brown sugar. Dark, lightly sour fruitiness present. Earthy, spicy hops with no more than a light bitterness. Mild trace of alcohol. Plain, tempered flavors of sugar, spice, booze, and fruit until you hit the altogether crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: A step up from it's blonde brother, but that's not saying too terribly much. Some might say you can't even begin to spell bruin without "ruin".

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Photo of katan
3.21/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz into a bottle

A - Pours a dark brown, to almost a red amber color. Extremely hazy. Head formation extremely strong, leaves behind a 1/2" head. Dirty white in color.

S - An orangish, sour, and almost acidic note on the nose. Very potent belgian notes here, with some yeasty backdrop.

T - Starts with that orange almost oxidized note - sour, acidic like orange juice. Mid-stream starts to show some sweetness and lots of buttery esters. No hops to be found. Some bready yeast bite starts to show in the aftertaste. Seems to have the hint of champagne instead of beer.

M - Moderate beer body, but certainly a potent carbonation profile. Little retained sensation on the tongue.

D - Moderate to low drinkability - highly filling with all the carbonation. ABV is OK, but a hair difficult. Lastly, the flavors just do get a bit old.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sandwiched this one in between a dubbel and a quad thinking it was a triple...silly me, trusting the label. Pours a reddish-brown hue with a thick, pillowy light tan head. Fairly line-bubbled foam fades a bit fast to a nice sheen and leaves a wall of lace on the glass. Unusually dark for a triple, but now that I see it classified as a Oud Bruin here, many more things about this one make a bit more sense.

On the nose I get green olives, sugary alcohol, strawberry/cherry bubblegum and some black pepper. A pretty complex and unique smelling beer.

Kinda thin feeling and pretty fruity in the mouth. Surprisingly malty and bready. Taste is not as complex as the smell and I wish the yeast gave the brew a bit more character. Overall I was a bit disappointed with this one, but then again, I was expecting a tripel.

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Photo of janubio
3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one pours an enormous head that last for a big while.
Dark cloudy brown colour
Smell of dark fruits, raisins, cherries, chocolate and some wet earth. Rough earthy flavour, taste of fruits, specially cherries, with caramel notes and spices. Interesting, but there's something that it lacks that I can really define. Have to try another one.

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Photo of drpimento
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a big, big frothy, foamy tan head. Didn't decant and it had lots of yeastoids. Color is a dark hazy brown. Aroma was light, malty, yeasty, and a bit fruity. Flavor was similar but with lots of caramel and toffee. Champagnesque carbonation. Yeasty, taffy, bittersweet finish. Not bad. Could easily drink more.

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Photo of JBogan
2.97/5  rDev -17%
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 Graham5161986
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
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 kimcgolf
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours to a hazy reddish brown color that with a light tan head that explodes out of the glass, but then quickly settles down to a skim through mid-glass.

Aroma is a tad muted, but is mostly a mix of hoppy citrus fruits and malty sour dark fruits. Mouthfeel is tangy-sweet, alomost like a dumbed down Flemish Sour. Flavor follows the fuit theme, and the finish is a fairloy confusing mix of smooth dark ale and the wackiness of a Flemish Sour.

An interesting beer.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.03/5  rDev -15.4%
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 canucklehead
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Opaque brown with a big head this beer smells a bit like a dunkel. The taste is moderate with a semi sweet mid changing to a drier finish. A nice brown that is easy drinking but really very complex. I like it but it is not beer to stick in the memory.

 251 characters

Photo of Derek
3.22/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in the brewery glass at Smokeless Joe's.

A: Deep amber-brown; off-white head, no retention or lace.

S: Dark fruit and spice, with slight hints of funk from the yeast.

T: Raisins, spice, brown sugar, caramel, cider, hints of phenols; modest bitterness. The slight sourness makes it seem like its more 'off' than an actual Flanders oud bruin.

M: Moderate body has some residual sugar, but the finish is still slightly dry.

D: Approachable, but not engaging.

 477 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled @ Palm Tavern in Milwaukee.

Two bottles were tasted, and both had excessive carbonation. The first bottle cascaded foam from the bottle for a good minute or two. The second was opened very slowly, and was poured immediately over the glass.

The color was a deep crimson brown, creamy foam formed an irregular surface. Smell was dark malt, slightly musty/sweet.

Taste was creamy, malty and balanced. Some pepper, caramel, dark fruit and earthy flavors. Not especially sour or even tart. Very smooth going down, quite drinkable.

This was a nice overall Belgian Brune, with more Dubbel characterisics than Oud Bruin.

 635 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.76/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lot of lace, with a big soapy head on cloudy brown. Served in the matching glass by the brewery, at Smokeless Joe's. A sharp aroma, something in the sour Flemish that stings the nose bit it's not very high ABV. chocolate malts, it's malty with a carmel and citrus Coco-Cola aftertaste, but with added spice, and then..a flemish sour finish. Or, like a Belgian yeasty dunkel.

 374 characters

Photo of rallison
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a mini Chimay goblet at Lucky Baldwin's.

Smell has some of the funky sourness - nice little hint as to what you're in for. Taste definitely has tartness, but is more subtle than a Duchesse, for example. Has certain oakey quality. Earthy flavors, with some caramel malts to balance it. Mouthfeel is pretty well carbonated, although not entirely satisfying - could use a little more body or something. Drinkability is good.

This is a nice, but not exceptional, example of the style. I'd take another glass of it if offered, but might not buy it again. Still, I can recommend this.

 595 characters

Photo of jdhilt
4.32/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Explodes out of bottle, took 5 minutes to pour, fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Murky amber color, ton of yeast in bottom of bottle. Strong carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Raisin nose. Flavor is sweet and sour raisins, smooth easy to drink, this small bottle is not enough. $3.19 for a 330ml bottle from John's Market Place Tigard, Or.

 356 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.26/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl brown bottle with red cap, best before 06/2009, drank 12/2006.

Maybe I should have left this for a year or two, because it wasn't as good as I was expecting.

Poured into my 'Straffe Hendrik' bowl glass, its Redwood brown colour sparkled in the light, the half inch thick off white head slowly fell away even though the bubbles kept on coming.

Sour, vinagerous, acidic aroma, not the normal beer smell what-so-ever. As the beer warmed a little, a sweeter scent came forth, cooking apples.

The taste brings you back to what you wanted, a good Belgian Brown. Tart and strong, with a bite to the throat, made me burp, which makes me think I should have drank it at a later date (like 2008).

Even though I enjoyed this beer, I think an older one would be a whole lot better.

 789 characters

Photo of Jredner
3.29/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The aroma holds sweet candy sugar and fruit notes with a rich sweet maltiness and mild dirt/dust notes. The body is a cloudy and ruddy brown and holds a massive three finger thick tan head that is both bubbly and diminishing. Low intensity flavor on the initial sip. There are some muted apple notes and mild fruit peel tinged sweetness. It feels spent like it once had flavor and couldn’t hold onto it. The carbonation is tongue tingling, but not out of control and the lacing is non existent with foam left from sips quickly sliding down the inside of the glass. Ho-hum.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.04/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Red cap 11.2oz bottle of Pilaarbijter with a picture of a crazy guy biting a pole on the label, to which I'm not even going to comment. Pours into my tulip glass a murky dark brown with some red streaks. A big arid bubbly light tan head shoots up and then leaves as quickly as it came. Aromas begin with dark, sour fruits right off the bat along with a brown sugar, caramel sweetness. A bit of mustiness is there with a hint of oxidation. Big yeast tones and a touch of dark cherry. Quite a nice aroma.

First sip brings a sweet caramel covered bready maltiness with warm brown sugar and some raisins. Dark fruits weave into the brew with a hit of sourness midway through. Musty, earthy yeast with a touch of woody oak in there as well. Finishes with a nice lingering sweetness on the end. Pretty tasty brew overall.

Mouthfeel is a touch on the lighter side with explosive carbonation that rushes all over the palate with each sip. Overall drinkability is pretty good...I would mind putting back another and the abv is low enough to where that wouldn't be a problem. Bought this on a whim awhile back in Kentucky and I'm glad I did...hopefully I'll run across this one or the gold cap again sometime.

 1,205 characters

Photo of Umbra
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

 560 characters

Photo of dgallina
3.02/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 fluid ounce brown bottle without freshness dating. Labeled as a tripel, but that's doubtful given the color and flavor. Clearly a Flemish brown ale.

Pours hazy dark copper / brown with prodigious tan cream head, very good lace. Doesn't smell of much of anything. Some fleeting sweet malts and perhaps a touch of sour oak. Tastes quite muted. Chewy toasted malt in the center with a lightly tannic wood and iron finish. Medium body, very big carbonation.

A really uneven beer. Looks great but the smell and taste are forgettable. Bavik know how to make decent beer (see the Petrus line for some good examples). They should drop this redundant brand IMHO.

 665 characters

Photo of scottoale
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this for $1.79 at a local liquor store, no freshness date except the 5 digit code on the back label. From the 330ml. brown bottle pours a mahogany-brown with a three-finger tan head. I trickled ( rather than pour) into a tulip glass and the carbonation was off the chart. There was a thick yeast sediment glued to the bottle bottom.

The nose is malty with a spicy, musty, sourness throughout. As it warmed some alcohol comes through with an orange-peel citrus aroma of sweetness.

Sweet, spicy malt followed by a tangy tartness and a yeasty finish. This stuff is mouth puckering with some sizzle on the tongue that comes to a creamy ending.

The body is full, the carbonation is out of control and the flavor is sour (tart) overall. An interesting Belgian that's worth tasting.

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Photo of clvand0
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew spewed beer all over my counter when I opened it. Pours a light brown color with foam all over the place and decent retention and lacing. The aroma is backed by a caramel character with some acidic sourness along with some sour apples. The flavor follows suit very well. Quite tart at first, but also complex once my palate gets used to the sourness. There's a strong backing of toasted malts in this one as well. The body is ok, but it seems to be way overcarbonated and the drinkability is pretty good.

 514 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aaaarg! Beer all over the countertop! ...anytime you open a bottle and the beer errupts from the bottle in a wall of foam, and you waste 3/4 of your beer to over gushing, it doesn't leave a good impression. Ok, now that things have settled down, The beer smells quite wonderful. Solid belgian matured malts, spicy, and sweet; only with a woodsy, musky aroma that sets it apart. Looks ... well flat now. But it has a nice murky brown / rust color with a fine lacing. Tastes sweet with malts and fruitiness, but rounded by spiciness, bold and robust woody, nutty characters. Fruits remind me of over-ripe peaches, pears, kiwis, and dates. The beer is smooth, but flat on the palate. It weakens into the finish. Finishes sweet, spicy, and lightly sugary. A good beer, but I'd like to try one without the volcano impression.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

 2,379 characters

Photo of DogFood11
3.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had no idea what to expect from this brew as this is the first Oud Bruin style that I've had that I know of. Pours a dark brown with a nice cloud like head that settles down to a solid finger and partial lacing. If you just touch your lips to the brew it comes across sour but with a full gulp it becomes balanced. Sour up front then builds into a medium to full bodied caramel/fruity middle. Fascinating on the palate. bubbly carbonation but without the sting. rolling soft texture on the tongue. The sourness lingers in the aftertaste.

I enjoyed this beer although it takes some getting used to.

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Pilaarbijter (Tripel Ale) Bruin (Red Cap) from De Brabandere
3.58 out of 5 based on 65 ratings.
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