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Val-Dieu Brune | Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu

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176 Reviews
Val-Dieu BruneVal-Dieu Brune

Brewed by:
Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 01-20-2002

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Reviews: 176 | Ratings: 272
Photo of Dukeofearl
4.97/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this last night on the hand pump tap at Lucky Baldwin's annual Belgian beer festival, and I just cannot believe how good it was. I have had this out of the bottle a few times, and really liked it, but this was out of this world. I watched the beer maid pump about a dozen times to fill up the 33 cl glass, pausing to let the huge head drop off before pumping in some more, then I let it sit a while to let the massive head drop down.

I then drank some expecting a good beer, but wow. This was a dessert in a glass. No hops I could find, but I wasn't looking for them. The aroma was intense from the pumping action, the taste just burst through with malty roasty goodness- chocolate and dark candied fruits. Not too rich, though, just filling and pleasing, each sip getting better than the one before it. Just an incredible experience, an incredible beer experience. I was really sad when I finished this one, because I knew I wouldn't find anything else I liked as much afterward.

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Photo of k75
4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

medium brown draught, smallish head

medium - light body

complex palate of a little smoke, cigar wrapper and subtle cabernet

truly enjoyable finish with flavors lingeringly sweet and sticky

very highly drinkable, better as it warms to 50 degrees

a subtle masterwork

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Photo of jazztoloc
4.63/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a wine glass from a 330 ml stubby bottle.

A: Dark ambar looking, you can see the sediment at the bottom of the glass. Cloudy.

S: Light aroma of fermented fruit and some alcohol blended into a nice and complex smell.

T: Medium alcohol, seetness with a nice bitter finish. Very crisp.

M: Medium carbonation, medium bodied.

D: Very high in drinkability, this is a beer anybody could get used to have. The balance in this beer is awesome.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.57/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this at Bert's Bierhuis in Utrecht.

From a bottle into a chalice.

APPEARANCE: Pours a thick tight looking 2 finger slightly reddish off-white head with excellent retention. Medium carbonation evident in the form of really tiny bubbles. Very dark brown or even bistre brown in color. A healthy foam cap remains and leaves some nice lacing down the glass. Looks great, but needs a little more lacing to make it a perfect score.

SMELL: Very bold nose of caramel malt and dark fruits, mostly prunes, dates, cherries and dark grapes. Yeasty spicy notes as well, cloves mostly. Cool nose, slightly wine-like with a strong grape presence. Excellent for the style.

TASTE: Caramel malt again with some dark fruits through the middle, cherries and dark grapes mostly. Mild notes of spicy Belgian yeast, cloves, and some spicy alcohol at the finish. Spicy aftertaste has some sweet sugar, an alcohol punch, and some slight hop bitterness to balance it out. Very nice indeed.

PALATE: Medium-full body with medium carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating. A little burn at the back of the throat at the end.

OVERALL: An absolutely phenomenal double. This one ranks up there with the best doubles in Belgium. If you're a fan of the style, make sure to pick this one up if you see it. Recommended.

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Photo of edkorganisation
4.56/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Aftertaste of this a bit hazy brown or maybe closer to dark golden colored beer is especially light, which I really liked. While I am new to this style, so far there are few beers I've tasted that had such an enjoyable aftertaste.
Smells a bit like champagne or white wine, has a nice looking foam which disappears very slow comparing to many other beers. Overall very light, so as the 8 degree alcohol within this one which is close to unnoticeable.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

04/14/06- Purchased at Plumpjack's in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz stubby bottle. Best by date notched on the side of the label. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep brown in color, maybe even getting into the black territory. Large 2 inch head. Rose to about the top of my glass, which is quite a feat with a Duvel glass. Thick and pock market white head. Close to a whipped cream texture. 1/2 inch remains throughout. Thick chunk lacing left on the inside of my glass. Textbook!

Smell- Deep dark roasted malt, touch of dark chocolate. Cloves and other spices combine with a winelike scent.

Taste- Light alcohol in the taste. Vinous in taste and feel. Grapes and plums mostly. Cloves and maybe a light touch or corriander. Cola like as well. Quite delicious.

Mouthfeel- Thick and a touch sugary. Well, ok, more than just a touch sugary. Middle of the road carbonation.

Drinkability- If easier found this would be one of my go to Dubbels. Worth the $4 I paid for it.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Corked and caged brown 750 ml bomber with 05/05 on the cork, 8% abv listed and glass suggestion in silhouette, in short, everything I could want from a label.
Aroma: A candy sweet grape with a hint of Belgian yeast. Undertones of malt and grain
Appearance: Semi-opaque brown glass with a fair cover of cream that laces like a bored grandmother.
Flavor: Gentle. Not mild, the taste is full dark fruit and malt with just a hint of hop spice; it is just so well blended and complete as to give a calming taste. No harsh edges, round, full, gentle. It also has some vinous qualities, somewhat like red wine that leads me to think of steak, obviously a flavor association.
Mouthfeel: Very smooth, low level of carbonation but just right for maximum effect.
Overall Impression: BA Pegasus found a great deal on a case of this and I bought in; Very happy for the investment. This has been my "house beer" for about a month and I've enjoyed every bottle. The flavor is subtle and enjoyable, easy on the eyes and nose and I find in massively drinkable. It hides its 8% completely. If you like Belgian beer, I can't recommend this one strongly enough.

Re-visited in July 2009, same batch (05/05).
Aged just wonderfully. Same gentle but full flavor. The yeast element has faded out a bit replaced by a bit of cork, but no papery oxidation. Can't say that it's gotten better, but certainly held up nicely.

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Photo of asabreed
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cl. bottle into the Val-Dieu oversized wine glass.

Appearance: Beautiful dark amber color, with lots of bubbles that show through if you glance hard. It's so dark red it almost looks like blood, and it's very attractive. Head curls up nicely around the edges of the glass. Lacing's good but not too clumpy, which makes it fade upon swirls to kick the recharge into action.

Smell: A crazy mesh between dark fruit and semi-sweet chocolate. Not burnt or toasted, it lets the essence of the chocolate aromas come out, and the mix with the dark fruit is pretty wonderful. Also some mild phenols, some slight hop bitterness, and a bit of vanilla. Great stuff.

Taste: Comes through well from the aromas, first into dark fruit, then the chocolate lingering before the finish, which is the meld of both, then a tingue of quelled hops to mellow out all the flavors lingering on the palate. A long finish, quality balance, and stellar flavors make this near perfect in my book.

Mouthfeel: Creamy as all hell without feeling cloying or thick, even though the body is pretty moderate. Carbonation comes through in the end to boost the creaminess a bit more.

Drinkability: Hell yes I can have another, and maybe another. The alcohol presence is hardly felt, and when it is it works well and is never even close to overdone. One of my favorite Dubbel's now. No punches are pulled with having everything over the top, but it's extremely well balanced and dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep brown color with massive slightly off-white puffy head.
Smell is outstanding, with strong notes of roasted malt and deey rich ripe dark fruit.
Taste is as good as the smell with a nice roasted malt dominating, combined with some coffe notes.
Finishes rich and creamy.
Perfect drinkability. The 8% alcohol is completely hidden. What a great beer.

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Photo of giblet
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this is a nice smooth brown beer. poured nice into me glass with about two inches of head. steady carbonation and rich smell. the aroma of fruits, roasted malt and yeast. the taste was the same and finished nice and smooth. very nice lacing down the whole way. i am glad i bought four of these and with two left to enjoy i will savor each sip.

good beer. suckem up and movem out.


p.s. i found that this had a best by date of 13 months ago. i am guessing that it was kept in a good place and is likely to be a style of beer that ages well.

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Photo of AaronRed
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Robust, and rich. Darker than a typical brown ale, but creamy with a rocky head that sticks for the duration. Good carbination. Yeast definetely present, but not dominating. Overall a wonderful beer, to be enjoyed on a cold winter night.

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Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a chalice.

Pours a chestnut brown with a nice creamy white head. Leaves some good icing like lace around my glass.

Smells very nice. One of those beers I actually said, "Wow! Nice nose." Dark fruits and molasses like sweetness.

Taste is just a good as the nose. Candi sugars, molasses, some apricot and just a hint of heat. Subtle yet flavorful.

Overall, this was one tasty beer. Very easy drinking. The bottle went by way to quickly. Highly recommended.

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Photo of faernt
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been drinking this beer for years. I opened this one to find it to be a fresh batch brewed in 10.07. It's 12.07 now...the delights of the global economy abound. There seems to be a lot going on in this freshie. The sourness and sweetness are competing for my attention. The head is tight bubbled and persistent: maintaining a creamy lace down the side of the glass and a solid skim of pillowy head across the surface of this deeply brown beer.

I've spent too much time deliberating over the age of a beer. l'm overgeeked! "Is it at its best now?" Geez! what a pain! This is fresh stuff and it's really good. It's great to have something out of the kettle and great to taste. I feel liberated from the annoying deliberation of appropriateness. Drink it now. This is good (really good) fresh. No waiting is required.

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Photo of mgironta
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a rich, dark brown with a two finger off white head that dissipates rather quickly. There is a decent amount of lacing left on the interior glass. On the nose, I get some malt and coffee. On the next sniff, I get some chocolate on it and a hint of smoke. This is one of the more complex noses that I’ve had on a beer. On first sip, there’s a decent amount of sweetness to this brew with a very subtle hint of bitterness. I get dates, some coffee notes and chocolate. I also get a bit of brown sugar. There is a lot going on with this beer. The alcohol, despite being pretty high for 8%, is completely hidden. There is also moderate carbonation on this brew. I also thought that this was going to a heavy beer due to the color, but this is a lot lighter than I thought it would be. The finish on the brew is mildly bitter and lingers. This is an awesome beer that is full of complexities and nuances. I will definitely be trying more Belgians if they’re at all like this.

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Photo of ellman
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Appearance: This one came in a short stumping 11.2 oz bottle Thw pour was dark brown with a tan dence head that thined out to a nice trimming of lace.

The Smell: Starts sweet then comes fruit and yeast.

The Taste: Malty sweetness with hint of fruit and yeast

The Mouthfeel: The is a medium body beer.

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Photo of frank4sail
4.46/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sweet and big time yeasty smell (candi sugar?). Very deep dark red color with a thick beige head. Lots of carbonation. Sweet complex taste with a nice bitter finish. Quite dry. Slight alcohol notes left on the tongue. You can tell that this is fermented with an established pedigree yeast that commands respect from the drinker. Medium body to the brew but very smooth. Can you tell that I like it?

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Photo of Dentist666
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%

Poured into snifter.
Hazy brown beer with nice beige head, excellent retention. Smell of hazelnuts, dark fruits, toffee, smoke. Flavour of dark fruits, candy sugar, yeasts, smoke notes, very complex, balance between sweetness, sourness and bitterness. Medium bodied, slightly alcoholic brew. Magnificent!

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Photo of avalon07
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark brown, opaque appearance. Gave a quarter inch head.

Had a bready smell, with a predominant nuttiness. It gives a pretty strong, yet somewhat sweet aroma.

The nutty quality of this beer comes through the most. Also evident is the yeast and some mild dark fruits. Very tasty.

Had a decent mouthfeel. Not overly carbonated, but still had a nice bite to it.

If you like brown ales this is one of the better examples of this style. It's definitely a drinkable beer.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep brown that is nearly opaque. White head has micro sized bubbles that leave a sexy lace.

Nose is alive! Plenty of fresh baked goods, yeasty/estery notes, and vanilla icing.

Palate is sweet roasted malts, brownie, brown sugar, cola, and candy sugar. Very mellow, sweet, and hard to find a flaw.

Finish is medium long and rather sweet. More cola on the finish. Very nice.

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Photo of keithmurray
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ML bottle poured into a chalice

beer pours a dark brown colour with a light brown fluffy head that lingers long

smells are of currants, black licorice, brown sugar, plums raisins and blackberries

taste is a bit similar to the nose, belgian candi sugar is prominent, raisins, currants, figs and dates

mouthfeel - heavily carbonated, but the brew slides down pretty smooth

this one is very drinkable for a 8% beer, may or may not finish this during the Final Four. This is a dubbel that I was pleased with at for the price (8.99) it is good value. would revisit this easily

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at Naja's Place in Redondo, just a few miles west of the 405,

A: Pours a mild, cloudy brown, with a thick, off-white head, leaving nice lacing in the tulip-shaped Sam Adams Black Lager glass it was served in.

S: Nice smell of malt and sugar, molasses.

T: Very tasty, tastes of rum and brandy, the rum more so, with a thick malt current, backed with dark fruit and prunes. Raisins also play a heavy part. The beer is very yeasty and quite estery, with a slight hint of clove and banana. Figuring out the flavours is hard in this beer, it's got a lot going on.

M: Smooth and thick, rich, creamy, full-bodied, slighty medicinal and phenolic as well, got a light feel of band-aids on a couple sips, but overall, very good.

D: This is a really good beer, very tasty on-tap, surprised me a little bit of how good it was, I'll definitely order this again, a great brown beer.

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Photo of kjyost
4.39/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle purchased at the MLCC. Bottle BB 09/02/2012. Poured into a Duvel tulip. Served around 8-10C

A: Unfortunately flakes of heavily flocculated yeast made it into the beer, but save that it is a perfectly normal Dubbel. A rich reddish brown that is clear with a finger and a half of head that descended quickly, leaving lacing as it drops.

S: Aromas are stronger than expected, but appreciated. It smells great for its style, with a bit of burnt sugar and sour cherries coming through at different times.

T/M: A very thick body with some residual sweetness plays nicely. Lots of berries, predominantly cherries, then it morphs into raisins, comes across the palate lingering and sticking there wonderfully. A very enjoyable brew, although the carbonation comes off as a little low.

D: Must slow down. This is 8%...

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Photo of al885
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

my first beer review:

Val-Dieu Brown in chimay chalice best before 8/28/08 on bottle.

Appearance: poured with a one-finger off-white head. real dark, looks like coca cola. Head retained well, leaving lacing yet minimal.

Smell: smells roasty and nutty to me, very sweet scents.

Taste: Definite nutty taste, at 8% abv I hardly taste the alcohol in it.

Mouth: smooth and heavy

Drinkability: at 8% it is a slow drink. If i had more i would have a couple, but that would span throughout the night.

I enjoyed this beer

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 fluid ounce Duvelian style brown glass stubby with a caramel brown crown cap. Simple but effective generic style label that lists this in English as the ‘Brown’, thankfully the crown cap retains the word Brune. Listed as 8.0% ABV with a nicked reverse label freshness date of July 2006.

Appearance: Lovely looking expansive cream colored head that fills my Goblet with a thick, rich and creamy 1” deep head that has excellent staying powers. The dark brown body is no surprise but the lovely clear mahogany hue is not, this brew shines in the glass. Time leaves a rocky surface and some thick clumpy lacing on the sides of the glass. Fine bubbles stick tightly together to form the smooth conditioning.

Nose: Dark toasted malts mingle with some roast coffee grains. Light milk chocolate whiffs that have a creamy milky essence. In the back end the clean alcohols make way for some phenolic compounds. A nice toasty nose for a cold night.

Taste: Toasted grain malts intersperse with roasted coffee and a milk chocolate middle. Some bitterness in the latter third but this soon rescinds with the sweeter malts taking over the finish. Warming body in the swallow releases the mildest of phenols but it is never enough to detract from this beautifully balanced Brune.

Mouthfeel: Thick feel to the toasty chocolate malts. Smooth and creamy with a nice warming kick in the back end. Lovely mouthfeel, almost perfect.

Drinkability: It may be 8% but this one is easily drinkable, lovely thick rich tastes and an equally impressive presentation and feel in the mouth. I wish that I had a 750ml of this; it would be easily put down if I did!

Overall: A very nice exceptionally clean and well balanced Brune. Solid and totally dependable and extremely well put together.


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Photo of A380
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark cloudy colour with lots of bubbles (strongly carbonated) and a very nice creamy tan head with amazing lacing. initial smell is quite weak, not very strong. dark roasts and alcohol with toffee, taste is quite the same with a hint of added yeast. very refreshing. this is the second bier i have had by val dieu and i can honestly say that these beers are two of the finest beers i have ever tried.

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Val-Dieu Brune from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
4.02 out of 5 based on 272 ratings.
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