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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 176 | Ratings: 275
Photo of mickeymac
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's it's brown with just a trace of red when held to the light. The off-white head sits on top like whipped cream. Every time the glass moves, waves of foam work their way up the side of the glass. An earthy smell and aroma are backed by a sugary rush that has undertones of banana and other fruit but is mainly just pure unadulterated sweetness. This seems a bit of a strange combination, but it all comes together very nicely. The mouthfeel is reminiscent of a milk shake. This is one fine beer.

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Photo of merlin48
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

11.9 oz bottle pours into a goblet a garnet brown color with a tan head that has moderate retention before falling into sheets of lace. Aroma is of toffee and molasses, with lots of fruity florals(banana), and a hint of alcohol. Mouthfeel has active carbonation and is medium bodied. Taste is toffee banana served on fresh baked bread. Alcohol is well concealed here. Pleasant fruity, candy, maltiness sustains all the way through, without any bitterness or distractions. Very enjoyable with a Belgian cheese plate sampler. Finish is slightly dry with a green apple aftertaste. Very versatile brew and nicely balanced.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lush deep brown (touch of red) color with a thick tan colored head. Aromas of dark malts, yeast, candi sugar and some complex esters. Sweet malt texture turning to a slightly sour taste in the finish and a dryness perhaps from some bittering hops. A little raisiny and thin, but overall, a good Belgian brown. I sampled this one from the 33 cl, hopefully the 75 cl one I have is even better.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, corked/caged.

The head is medium-sized in my tulip glass. It's dense, stable, off-white and leaves lots of sticky, thick & sheety lacing. Beer is a clear, dark, red/brown with tons of carbonation. Smell is nutty, with fruit and some dark malt. Front is spicy with loads of fruit. The milky, sweet, lightish middle dies off with grains and alcohol. There's a very nice, bready aftertaste. This beer is very, very drinkable. Tasty, light, fresh, fruity, nutty. Yum.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer looks magnificent in the glass. Rocky head, crystal clear yet dark reddish brown. From there it starts to stray. The aroma is alcohol with slightly sour fruity notes.

The flavor is fruity that lingers long into the aftertaste. The malt flavor reminds me of amber malt or biscuit malt. The body is a little thin maybe due to the higher alcohol. The drinkability is what I have to give the lowest. It just isn't there for me.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ah shit, all over my laptop. This is one fiesty beer, I left it puking its guts in the sink for a minute before I decided to just pour it in my chalice. That's better. So what do we have here? A Belgian that doesn't hold its head, oh man. Yeah its definitely brown, pretty dark brown and a little cloudy, but I don't think I would want a clear Belgian. I smell alcoholic raisins, mellowed by a light coffee aroma. It really feels like soft fleece on the tongue, not quite like a nitro stout, but damn close. The taste is hard to describe. There is definitely some alcohol in the aftertaste. Definitely a lot of malt, not much hops that I can detect. Maybe just a little bittering from some hops, not sure. I just can't put a finger on the taste, it's kind of like a brown ale,on steroids, strong and complex.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Thick, dark brown effervescent body with a nice head.

Smell – Bready with compliments of light chocolate and maple. There are also come dates, plums, good tobacco, and fruits.

Taste – This is very well rounded. The chocolate malt comes out more in the taste, with the yeast still very much present and a tinge of alcohol to carry things along. The sugars are prominent as well, and everything is effectively blended for optimal smoothness.

Mouthfeel – Good carbonation and very smooth. This medium to full-bodied ale is thick and chewy.

Drinkability – This is a wonderful ale that went down quite well.

Update – I rated this a couple of months after first joining the site in 2003. I thought it would be interesting to re-rate it with a 2004 vintage after having reviewed over 200 Belgian Ales.

I thought this beer was good, but it didn’t blow me away like it did when I first had it. It might have been that the vintages were different or, more likely, that I’ve just developed a more refined palate. Either way, I lowered a couple of the scores a little bit and actually raised the Smell by half a point. It’s still overall a 4.0+ beer that I will definitely seek out and buy again.

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Photo of Gavage
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a nice dark brown color with a medium head. The head did last through the drink. There was a slight yeast and sweet aroma, which translated into the flavor components. There seemed to be a hint of chocolate in the aftertaste. This sports an average thickeness, making this extremely drinkable.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a five-fingered plus faint brown,thick head that fades slowly and leaves thick lace. Pour this one very slowly. Good carbonation. A deep red-brown color. Nose is malty/alcohol with raisins. Starts sweet and malty, finishes smooth and roasty.

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Photo of BierReise
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75cl corked bottle.This is one decent dubbel in my opinion. Dark, brown and cloudy with an enormous frothy head and fantastic retention. Aroma is fruity, spicy, sugary and malty. Has a great full body and goes down quite smooth with none of the 8% noticable at all. Flavor although not as complex as others, is a good malty raisiny sweet yummy brew.

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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 francisweizen
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this was a "suprise" beer from my local packie. This beer poured a nice dark brown colour with an off-white head. The aromas were heavy on the malt, with almost no hops in the nose. The taste was heavily malty, musty, a bit alcoholic, and not hoppy at all. The mouthfeel was thick and filling and the drinkability was good as well. All in all, this is a very simple, yet tasty abby-style brown ale. Kind of like a Rochefort 8 or 10 without the "kick"

nice enough though...

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Photo of clvand0
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark brown with a nice sized, thick head (dies flat shortly after) and lots of lacing on the glass. The aroma is malty and sweet. Reminds me slightly of a wheat beer aroma. The flavor is a little sweet and spicy but very smooth. It is very malty in taste and it finished up with a wheat flavor. Pretty decent Belgian Brown.

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

Nice dark brown color with a fluffy white head approx. 3". Head calms down in a few minutes and lacing is consistent throughout the beer. Medium to dark brown with a creamy white head. Traces of light can be seen through the glass, but this is definitely darker than most brown ales I've had. The smell is exceedingly sweet and perfumey. Two of my favorite worlds collide here. Its a cross between an english brown ale and a belgian artisinal. With a nice sweetness that balances perfectly with a mild hoppy bitterness. Aftertaste is sweet. This one stands out for me. Its sweet, its bitter, its Belgian and its good : ).

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Photo of nomad
4.11/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured an oaky brown color with an orange-red glow along the sides. Had a very soft foamy head, a surprising huge amount of carbonation, some slick sliding lace, and left lots of stain.

Smelled of bitter chocolate, smoked hickory, and raisins soaked in wine. Opened to some spice and nut notes. The taste was first of an interesting malt flavor (woody), a raisin and wine presence again, and bitter dark chocolate finish. Refreshing and not overpowering despite its “dark” characteristics, this had a nice personality to it.

A thin mouthfeel, it slides down awful easy and is lightly warming. Well done for a Belgian “brune” but not a commanding presence.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A sample of one of my favorite styles from an as-yet untried brewer...this is always fun!
Color is a deep, dark, gorgeous red, and the head is a thick, full, frothy off-whitish hue. Aroma: jam-packed with with spice, vanilla, cola nuts. (I can't shake off a certain similarity to Coca-Cola, as much as I'd like to!)
Lush and luscious mouthfeel, fueled by tingly, sparkling hops. Aflood with earthy, yeasty feeling, and rich, satisfying malt. Just delicious! Tantalizing on the tongue, with flavor fully realized. This little stubby 11.2 oz. bottle depletes far too briefly!
Much thanks to JohnnyDuvel for helping a BA brother out!

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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 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 cretemixer
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh Yeah! Pours a medium brown with a burnt orange tinge. An average head that fades rather quickly to a thin layer leaving a slight lace ring. Aromas of caramel, toffee, sweet malts. Tastes malty, honey and mollasses are there without being cloyingly sweet--very smooth. Very nice mouthfeel, medium carbonation. The glass was covered with lace by the time I finished. A great beer. While I'll skip the blond next time, I'll save up for this one.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a nice suprise! I stopped at my favorite local "packy", and saw this sitting on the shelf (for the first time). When I removed the wire top from the cork, it exploded! I've never had this happen before. The beer poured (and tasted) a little darker than I expected. The sugary sweetness that is present with so many Belgian beers is quite noticeable here, as is a prominent head and sticky, lasting lace. The taste reminded me a little of Westlverten 8 (only not quite as strong). I would rate this beer in the same category as Corsendonk and Maudite, along with Chimay Red. Very, very good, well worth trying if you like the Belgian style. I will absolutely buy this again. (The second time I tried it, the sweetness was more apparent. Still quite good, but I docked it a little for the sweetness).

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Photo of Gusler
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this beer in a gift pack with a couple other Val Dieu beers and a nice glass, I kind of like those gift packs as it’s nice to have the appropriate glass when sampling these fine beers.

A deep translucent garnet with hints of brown, the head massive in size, creamy in its texture and the lace fine sheets to cover the glass. The aroma of malted or lightly toasted grains reaches you first, then sweet nutlike tones, quite pleasant. Sweet at the front, lots of malt and the top middling in its mouth feel, finish is masterfully hopped, biting in its acidity and the aftertaste quite dry and long lasting. Well worth the sample, gift pack not with standing.

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Photo of purplehops
4.36/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Val-Dieu pours a beautiful chestnut brown with an off-white head that clings to the glass. This is the color brown ale should be! The aroma is very fruity with odors of apple, pear, and grapefruit. There is a faint aroma of hops. The taste starts with a warm rich malty sweetness and subtle carbonation. This is followed by apple and apricot flavors and subtle hints of hops with notes of citrus. The aftertaste is that fruity Belgian yeast flavor with sweet malt flavors lingering in your mouth. The mouthfeel is smooth and enjoyable. Alcohol and hops are noticeable but they take a back seat to the rich malt and fruity yeast flavors and aromas. I'm not a big Brown Ale fan but this beer could turn me into a convert. A Great example of a Brown Ale.

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Photo of marc77
4.16/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The stiff, lively, bumpy off white head rises and escapes the glass, peaks then slowly settles. Intricate lace is left. Deep garnet in hue w/ a light haze. Notes of sweet, heavily caramelized sugar from both dark candi sugar and dark caramel melt in aroma, along w/ buttery chocolate. Fruitiness is typically enticing, consisting of ripe, dark dried fruit akin to prunes and raisins. Light green apple acetaldehyde provides tartness aromawise. Molasses like, caramelized sweetness upfront in flavor. Clove and mellow chocolate malt ensue. The ripe, dark fruitiness mirrors that of the aroma, but sugary, fructose laden dates is perceptible as well. The token hop bitterness lends an overall sweet, but not cloyingly sweet overall impression. Fairly clean esterwise, with only a hint of bubblegum towards the finish. Moderately bodied, w/ a smooth, firmly malty mouthfeel. Finishes mildly phenolic, w/ malt sweetness and hints of peppry alcohol briefly lingering on the palate. Val Dieu is quite a complex and delicious brew. It's quite clean outright in esters, but possesses an superb coupling of mellow dark fruit and chocolate malt.

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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 Jason
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Short stubby 11.2 brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Deep reddish brown, the lace that trails down the side of the glass in magnificent as well as the glowing clarity this brew show when put to light.

Smell: Some chocolaty and definite coffee roasted grain aromas, bit of malt sweetness, breadiness that is close to pumpernickel and mild phenols in the nose to bring more to the table for the nose to play with.

Taste: Crisp with a moderate body that holds well, carbonation is medium to high. Bitter twang from the roasted malts is coupled with a touch of hops and enhanced by the carbonation all at once. Sweetness is underlying add tries to keep the bitterness on an even keel. Maltiness is deep and complex with dark bread, roasted coffee and unsweetened chocolate. Alcoholic esters are tight and keep to a minimum, warmth from the alcohol is a bit slow but works in just fine. Slightly dry finish with vague phenols making themselves noticed.

Notes: Flavourful, sturdy and complex. All about the malt and hops without too much else getting in the way other than the occasional phenolic aroma and flavour.

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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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