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

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: 275
Photo of Mitchster
2.28/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Stubby 11.2 oz bottle. 8% ABV. Pours out to a clear dark burgandy, forming a very creamy light tan, pillowy white head with superior retention and lacing. The head on this bugger is just amazing, like a nitro tap. The aroma is first of caramelized sugar which if an English brown. There is a distant toasted grassiness and minimal cloves. There is no phenolic esters that I would expect for a Belgian Brown Abbey Ale. Mouthfeel is lightly syrupy and ruddy in the middle to end. Medium-dense body. The taste is rather indistinct...there is way too much caramelized sugar...simple sugar. Bananas are minimal...there is only mild clove esters towards the finish. The aftertaste is of ruddy oxidized cardboard and dirty pennies.

This is a really bad dubble...actually one of the worst I've had. Boo. Pass on this one.

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Photo of WorldWideStout
2.76/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Fairly dark brown, with a fluffy quite white head that stays around for awhile.

S: Not getting a lot. Yeast, some fruit, and a bit of sourness.

T: Yeasty spices are prominent throughout, with sourness coming in about halfway through. Aftertaste is an unfortunate metallic bitterness.

M: Fine.

D: I drank about half of this and then drainpoured it. Best by date was a year from now, so I'm not sure if I got a bad bottle or not, but I was not happy with this one.

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Photo of theo692
2.89/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased from Beermania in Brussels. Poured into Chimay goblet. Really wonderful color, though the head was thin and short lived. Color was a reassuringly consistent bronze. Taste was light and fruity, but then fell off almost immediately. Second and third sips felt weak and flat. I may have chilled it too much, but even after letting it warm to something closer to room temperature, the character was the same. Sad to say that I wound up pouring half of it out. Am hoping that my next review will have better results.

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Photo of windigo32
2.96/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had this served in a Duval goblet.

A:: Poured a very dark brown, almost black, with a layer of head that turned to lacing on the top after a short time.

S: The smell was sweet. There was a light hint of cinnamon and anise. There was also a slight hint of coffee. It was difficult discerning a smell from the width of the goblet's mouth.

T: Taste was slightly malty. There was a hint of caramel and a very slight note of roasted nuts.

M: The carbonation was a bit on the heavy side. Despite this, the beer still had a light feel to it. It didnt feel like it should be as dark as it is.

D: I found it drinkable, but I didnt find a flavor profile that really begged for more.

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Photo of stcules
3.09/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber red color, quite dark, and quite hazy too, with some particles wandering in the beer. Beige foam, average compactness, not too much, not very persistent.
The smell is malty, biscuit, and maybe a very light smoked note? Yeast, blueberry, plums. Dark fruit, with a background floreal.
In the taste, on a good malt carpet, there is a fresh fruitiness, with berry fruit, and notes of tropical fruits. A slight spicy. Camomile flowers?
Medium body, fruity aftertaste, of dark fruit.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.12/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Dayton, Oh AleFest:This beer had a small sized tan head that consisted of mostly lasting fine sized bubbles.The body was cloudy with no carbonation observed.The hue of this beer was brown with a nose of malts and some hops.The flavor was acidic and bitter which had a lingering effect to it.The mouthfeel was very tingly, thin, watery and light bodied.There was good lacing with this beer.

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Photo of corby112
3.21/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown almost black color with a very slim head that quickly dissapears, generating not lacing. Had a strong nectar/ grape aroma. This beer taste more like a wine than a beer with not enough maltiness to balance out the sweet vinuous character.

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Photo of TPSReports
3.3/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown color out of the large corked and caged bottle at 48 degrees.

A slight white head forms with lasting lacing. There are a few yeasties for the eyes.

Smells of freshly cut hay with a hint of fruit.
A moderate carbonation tingles in the mouth.

The beer doesn't seem very complex -- there is a slight alcohol warmth in the finish. Little Hops. Little Malt. Not all that much here. Easy to drink though.


 440 characters

Photo of mjc410
3.3/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I actually thought this was a sour brown, not a dubbel...

In a small goblet, forms a little glass ring of light tan bubbles over a dark ruby/brown body. The nose is full of slight tart cherries, caramel, and berries. Taste is mildly sour, with a bit of an alcoholic taste. The flavors in the nose show up in the taste, but to a lesser extent. The mouth is light, with adequate carbonation. A mild, sour dubbel.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.36/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a rich brown and dark purple color with a small ring of head. A few extra bubbles have congregated in the middle.

Smell: Sugary, fruity odor mixed with Rum-type alcohol smell.

Taste: Comes on very sweet with a hint of that tangy, sour fermented fruit flavor. After the intitial sweet, there is a darker, caramel presence that takes over.

Mouthfeel: The body is very round and it takes your whole mouth to enjoy this beer. But the aftertaste is not as long as I'd have liked to have seen.

Drinkability: This is a beer worth trying and perhaps having again with the right meal. Overall, its slightly above average.

 644 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Val-Dieu! just doesn't resound as well as Mon Dieu! does it? Oh well, this stuff pours a somewhat dingy brown topped by a finger of cream foam and populated by some minor floaties. The nose comprises caramel, toffee, light cardboard, light walnut, and light white bread. The taste holds notes of caramel, light dark fruits, light cardboard, and a touch of rye bread. Methinks oxidation has gotten to this, but it's not in the usual way, so that's questionable at this point. Still, it ain't half bad. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, a pretty good dubbel, but nothing close to exceptional or special.

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Photo of KajII
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Trappist glass]

Poured a medium brown with a large rocky off white head that was mostly lasting and had excellent lacing. The aroma was of toasted malts, a leathery yeast and a slight herbal hop with notes of molasses and coffee. It tasted lighty sweet and sour at first and ended slightly bitter with a strong hint of coffee and a slight alcohol finish that lasted a short time on the palate. Mouthfeel was medium in body and oily in texture with a flat carbonation. Overall a tasty abbey ale.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked this up on a whim from Gary's Liquor in the OC (Oak Creek, WI). I didn't know exactly what to expect, although I was anticipating an abbey dubbel that would be spiced with coriander and clove. Instead, I got a beer that redder in color than I anticipated (it is called a brown on the label), more earthy and cherry-ish in flavor than I thought, and to be honest I really enjoyed this beer a good bit more than I thought I would.

 437 characters

Photo of danend
3.46/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma : Some spicy alcohol. Figs, bread, nutty and toasty notes. Some phenolic spiciness, but not extreme. A slight honey like sweetness. A little lacking in complexity for a brune.

Appearance : Brilliant mahogany. A nice tan head that lingers forever.

Flavor : Nutty, malty and alcoholic sweetness. A slight chocolate flavor with grapes and figs very faintly in the finish.

Mouthfeel : Warming on the swallow. Finishes a touch on the sweet side, nice carbonation.

Overall : A very drinkable brune. if they kicked up the aroma on this beer it would be all the better. A great all around beer, but not one I'll dream about on my deathbed.

 641 characters

Photo of EvilKeith
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy, hazy rich amber color with suspended fine particles. The head is tan in color and has the consistency of meringue. The lace was simply amazing. It was almost as if the sides of the glass had a head of their own, wow!

The smell is a sweet mix of caramel and rum with earthy nutty notes and the faintest trace of spicy hops.

Taste was more reserved than I expected for a Dubbel. It did have a walnut-like twang at the back of the tongue and a spicy dry finish.

Medium-light body. Moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel was a bit thin to me.

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Photo of bigdeuce
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown that you cannot penetrate. Leaves nice lacing and pours pillowy head which follows your sips down the tulip. Smells of peaches, apricots, and pears. Taste is very fruity. Twingy pears and apricots pleasure the taste buds. Very warming..nice fall-winter brew. Pretty drinkable, although high in alcohol. Does have a slight alcohol taste that can be perceived as unpleasant. Is very sour as well. A decent overall dubbel.

 443 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark crimson-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruit, alcohol, and slight smoke aromas. Taste is much the same with smoke and dark fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of smoke bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is fairly tasty but the smoke presence I am getting is unexpected for the style.

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Photo of zerk
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber brown, with a thin but persistent white head that leaves sheets of lace. Aroma is fruity and sweet, with burnt caramel, sour apples, and vanilla. Flavor begins with caramel and toffee, with some apple and vanilla... finishing somewhat metallic. It's on the thin side, and has prickly mouthfeel. This is not my favorite dubbel, but is a solid beer nonetheless.

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Photo of khiasmus
3.55/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark brown with four fingers of frothy, beautiful head when poured into my Allagash glass. Laces down the sides in cloud fashion. There's a very faint haze when held up to the light, but it's remarkably clear for the amount of yeast that I just poured.

S- malty, with lots of phenolics: clove, pepper, the yeast is evident... Some nuttiness, a hint of barley, wheat bread, maybe even a faint hint of metal. Balance in the nose is some faint citrus from the hops.

T- Initially honey- sweet, followed quickly by a metallic flavor, and that of a light cereal. An aftertaste of honey and metal, but it's not bad... It's actually quite good.

M- A bit watery for a dubbel. Low carbonation... overall a boring mouthfeel with a long, smooth finish.

D- It's good. I could have a couple... but not for the four bucks I paid for this twelver. There are much better dubbels out there.

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Photo of brentk56
3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy ice tea brown body with a decent creamy head that never quits and leaves lots of lacing

Smell: Yeasty, brown bready, with a dash of unsweetened chocolate

Taste: Starts out with a slightly sweet bready profile and some nicely balanced bitterness joins at mid-palate; finishes consistent with the balanced flavors and some alcoholic warmth

Mouthfeel: A touch light for a dubbel with plenty of carbonation

Drinkability: Decent, but I feel it is lacking a bit of sweetness and complexity to be among the very best dubbels

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Photo of mscudder
3.59/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a snifter. Really love Belgium browns so here we go!

EDIT: Located on the cork was "Val-Dieu 2/11" Assuming this is the bottle date it may account for my dissatisfaction.

A - A deep dark brown which I would nearly define as black. Poured no head whatsoever, thus leading to no lace nor retention.

S - Some dark fruits, toasted malts, caramel and spicy hops. Nice!

T - Fairly large beer with roasted flavors with a complimentary sweetness almost completely throughout. Finishes with a bit of warmth from the ABV and some hop bitterness. I cannot seem to identify a bottle date but it tastes as if it may be a bit beyond age, leading a loss of balance.

M -A nice full-medium bodied brown. As fore-mentioned, there is a bit of bitterness on the back end, against my liking.

O - This is a fair brown that was below what I anticipated. It may just be the bottle I received, but this is far from the better Dubbel's I have come across.

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Photo of Absumaster
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark ruby/brown beer with a small head and some nice glass sticking foam.

Smell was nutty and smoky, almost meaty with a caramellic and roasted smell. Like a good dubbel.

Taste slightly acidic and (malt) bitter with the roastness of chocolate malt. The beer is creamy with some caramellic notes. It is sticky on my lips. The carbonation is a bit too much, every sip I have a mouth full of foam.

Not the best dubbel I ever had, but decent.

 450 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a leathery brown with a good head and great lacing.
Smell is smoky, malty with a note of fruit in the background.
Taste is malty, a light smokiness, alcohol and a hint of fruit (apple?).
Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, warming, with a medium body.
Drinkability is high

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Photo of drseamus
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good red/brown bodied beer. There was a bit of head as I was pouring but it disappeared quickly leaving no trace of its presence. Nice malty aroma. There is a bit of spice in there and some breadiness. The flavor is sweet and malty with that same bit of spice, but it is a bit think and lacks the intensity that I'd like. The spice seems to take over as the beer warms up. The body is also not quite where it should be. It is fairly light for a dubbel. A decent beer all around, but not among my favorite dubbels.

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Photo of taigor
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into regular glass.

A - Poured slightly transparent deep brown color with medium head that dissipated slowly leaving signifficant lacing.

S - Mostly malts and bready yeast.

T - Slightly sweet followed by bready and yeasty taste.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D - Very good and easy going dubbel. Would like to have more in the future.

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Val-Dieu Brune from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
4.02 out of 5 based on 275 ratings.
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