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

very good
278 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 278 |  Reviews: 177
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.

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Photo of StoutPiper
3.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

It's black, and looks heartier than it is. If Great Lakes' Dortmuder Gold and a porter had a baby, this would be it.

Like all of this Abbey's brews, the smell on this one is extremely understated. but it looks beautiful in the snifter from the same gift box. the head was about an inch thick, with big bubbles; it took awhile to dissapear.

I opened it about five minutes ago, and the first thing i thought of upon smelling/tasting was Meijer's spiced rum. This, however, is not extremely accurate.

After ameliorating for several minutes the progression of sipping this beer went as follows: The smell is all roasted nuts, the taste is completely dark chocolate, which is extremely pleasant. Then i realize that (like every other beer brewed by this abbey ) it is way too strong on the tongue. Overcarbonation is a huge drawback of this brewery, and if they could get past that, i think they would really be able to contend for one of the best classic belgian abbey-brewers.

Overall, out of the three beers in the gift set (blonde,tripel, and brown) this is the best, and most complex. Worth a taste, I'm sure you will enjoy!

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark ruby with minimal off white head. If you pour the whole bottle in (sediment and all), you get a cloudy ruby (and the nose is noticeably more yeasty). Nose is a cross of old grape skins and cherries with a syrup edge. Flavor is pretty interesting. Starts off tangy and almost bitter in a way. Constant sweet tone with a doughy edge to it towards the tail end. With all the sediment in there, the subtle changes are less noticeable and it tends to stay an even, slightly caramel brew. Feel has a great level of carbonation on it. Pretty drinkable, though that 8% will get to ya quick.

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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 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 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.

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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 sleazo
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark chocolate brown with a nice beige head. Good retention, decent lacing.

S-light aroma, slightly roasted malt quality here.

T-Slightly bitter with a powdered cocoa quality. The cocoa is pronounced, but this does not have the typical sweetness I associate with dubbels. As it warms, hints on rum soaked raisins and cola peek through.

M-Medium bodied with a mild yet pleasant carbonation.

D-This was not what i was expecting. This is dangerously good. not really sweet, it was more bitter with high quality cocoa beingn the dominant flavour. Very nicely done.

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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 basica
3.71/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this brune dubbel from Brussel Sprouts the day before yesterday, to go. I like the label; it is this nice lake and a city on the backdrop. I served this dubbel in my Hoegaarden Forbidden
Fruit chalice. This beer pours out dark ruby brown with a thick creamy and durable head quite a looker; it smells grassy yeasty with some floral notes; quite different from many brune beers I have tried. The taste was kind of like the belgian blonds more than a typical brune; it was yeasty
but the yeast taste was not as strong and stinggy like many belgian blonds. Dark malts and very subtle sweetness in addition to a slight breadiness was detected as it moves into a grassy yeasty taste on the finish which is reminiscent of the initial smell; the finish was also very slightly bitter. I did not think I detected much of fruits in the taste but in the after taste I believe I pick up plums and grapes with some breadiness; a little fruity aroma on the nose as well. Beer was of a moderage body with a sufficiently high carbonation level; it was smooth but instead of creamy smooth which was what it looked to be; it was more of the watery smooth. It was a relatively refreshing compared to many of the belgian brunes as well. On the whole, I find that this beer was more like a blond than a brune though every inch of it looks like a brune. Quite interesting though I would have preferred it more like a brune.

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Photo of Sconnie
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at the Brasserie V in Madison, WI, a new restaurant and tap room. Really a great place, a constant rotation of 15 beers on tap, most of them Belgian imports. Served in it's own goblet, this beer was a lighter brown color, and smelt of coffee and roasted malt overtones. A solid Belgian yeast taste with a bit more of a roasty character than other Dubbel's I've had. A very solid beer, but at 8% it's not a session beer. Very tasty.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful beer. 750ml bottle served in a goblet. Dark red/brown in color with a thick head that retains very well. Dark fruit, chocolate, and caramel in the aroma. Very yeasty and malty taste, with the fruits and a little coffee also. A real mouthful, but a great beer to savor. Alcohol not noticeable.

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Photo of Phatz
4.14/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An absolutely terrific experience and a true surprise. I wasn't really looking for a great dubbel, just an interesting beer I hadn't had yet and this beer fell into my lap and to my surprise it is spectacular.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful dark opaque ruddy brown color with an ivory head that retains a frothy cap on the beer that lasts the duration. The massive lacing lined the walls of my goblet. Gorgeous.

Smell: Dark fruits, toasted bread, plum chocolate, dark malts and hint of whipped banana.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Yeasty and fruity, and totally crammed with heavy rich dark malts and a old ripe fruit and chocolate attribute that blends some apricot and hint of tobacco smokiness and raisin with a pleasant warmth, but still masks the alcohol bite with its smooth and creamy body. It is big. More than medium but not much more and malty with a long lingering malty fruit aftertaste.

Drinkability: As drinkable as any double. I would drink a few and go to bed. Very nice.

Hope this is helpful.

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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.

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

The beer poured a nice dark brown with a decent head that was mostly lasting. The aroma was malty with loads of dried fruits. The taste was greatly complex featuring dried fruits, molasses, coffee with some roasted malt and chocolate as well. The beer was medium bodied and the alcohol was not too strong at all. This was a very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a chalice, a dark brown color with flecks of red. It had a pillowy, off-white, two-finger head that left very nice lace.

S - It smelled of tons of malt. Also, dried fruit and nut aromas were present.

T - It tasted nutty and spicy. The malt flavor was not as strong as it smelled. There was also a fruit-like taste.

M - It was crisp and warm on the tongue. A medium to heavy-bodied beer.

D - A very good dubbel. This was the first I've had from Val-Dieu and it is yet another good Belgian beer.

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Photo of Stimack
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gave this brew a try last evening and was not disappointed. Brew was poured into a Duval glass and had a nice reddish brown color with a thick tan head that had great retention, actually had a head the entire time, and left sheets of lace down the side if the glass. Aroma’s of toasted and roasted malts/grains are noticeable right away but also tend to have a sweet smell while also picking up some darker scents almost like fresh ground coffee. This is a fantastic aromatic brew. The taste is very inviting, very smooth with a sweet taste upfront that seems to have some brown sugar properties. The malts really seem to give it a good roasted flavor that tends to be quite robust giving it a darker feel. At the end, hops are slightly noticeable and give it great balance. This is a fantastic brew and I really wish I would have tried it a long time ago. This one is a keeper.

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Photo of ojiikun
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

As many a reviewer have said before me - this is basically a coke/pepsi colour, if not a hair lighter. It poured from the 750 with full but controlled head into my corsendonk chalice; relatively clear at first but foggier as I neared the bottom and the near quarter inch of yeast waiting for me. The brilliant thing about this brew is that the head never quite disappears. A perfect little farm of bubbles stays alive well until the end of the bottle. The lace is equally incredible. Each sip leaves a huge trail from lip to liquid.

The initial smell is a perfect balance of savoury and sweet: it's basically fruitcake - malts, brandy, rum, candi fruits, anise, and bright clove. As things warm a bit you get boozey coffee liquor, spiked with more than just a little vanilla. Once it really warms, the brilliance fades into only slightly more mundane dark breads and german yeasts.

Taste is surprisingly clean of cola and cocktail bitters. As it warms and the yeast get dredged the sweetness opens up, but it becomes more of a "malt and hops" kind of beer. The spice becomes more pronounced but moves towards nutmeg. When downright room temperature, you even get some nice deep, musty malts that aren't at all moldy. At the very end you get beautifully defined bananna esters underneath the yeast.

The balance of carbonation in this beer is astonishing. Never overdone and explosive but persistantly feisty. Every sip is a fresh-popped bottle. Take with this the fact that it smells amazing for being reasonable light on the tongue and you've got a refreshing but spicy draught. If you're fond of sticky malts or cask flavours, you'll be put out, but that aside the balance of taste and body is really quite good. More 'fruit juice' or 'pot of black coffee' than 'motor oil' or 'cookie dough'.

Most of all this beer has a blindingly good smell that changes from start to finish but stays amazing. This with the mouthfeel makes this a real champagne. Come to think of it, I might have to break out my chisel to remove the dried lace from my glass. True, the taste could be fuller-bodied and the smell could hold up better at warmth against the malts, but really, this is what Belgian browns are all about.

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Photo of Jwaks
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving : Big ol' corked and caged 750ml bottle

With the looks that would put any macro lager to shame, this big, bold ruddy brown ale sports healthy carobonation, a cap of dense patchy beige foam and loads of stickly lacing. The color suggests a rich bready flavor and texture while the head says, I'm sweet with just the right balance, try me!

Who left the sourdough and pumpernickel bread out to ferment? Wow, this is very bready and well posied on the nose. Layered behind strong and refind bready malt aromas lie delictable hop bitters, spicy yeast, carob, solvents, and a bit of cocoa butter.

Mild and reticent on the palate, this brew opens up with buttery smooth dark bready malts that cling to the taste buds from the start to a nice creamy finish. Some solvents, restrained hop bitters and a bit of carob peak through on the bigger mid palate slowly giving away to tasty bitter yeast, buttery phenols to an ever evolving aftertaste with hints of hop bitters and creamy, sweetened cocoa butter. Wonderful, sublte and balanced layers of flavor neatly hide a respectable helping of warming alcohol.

Great balance, mild flavors and a buttery smooth body add to a great medium to full body, fine mouthfeel and high drinkability.

This nifty dubbel may not garner the same affected interest as Westy 8 or St. Bernardus Prior 8 but it is definitely a very suble, tasty and laudable example of a true Belgian dubbel.


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Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a La Chouffe tulip.

A: Lovely clear ruby-brown color with a white, one finger head. As the head recedes it leaves a copious amount of lace on the glass.

S: Bready malt aromas mixed with roasted coffee with a hint of dark fruit and toffee.

T: Strong flavors of roasted malt. Coffee, baked bread, plums, unsweetened chocolate, with a surprising sting of spicy hops. Excellent bitter finish of hops and roasted malt.

M: Chewy, medium bodied, and very satisfying. The clarity of this had me fooled into expecting it to be thin and watery.

D: Excellent interplay between the flavors and aromas. The alcohol presence is felt but it's not intrusive. Very nice balance. The roasted flavors make this a very interesting Dubbel.

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Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: good-looking ruby color with full head to start and settling to decent thickness and good lacing already, good bubbly activity
s: malty, grape aromas
t: yep, malty taste with good spice and a nice warm alcohol finish
m: medium to full body with decent cabonation. the alcohol is felt more than tasted - definite plus.
d: smooth & easy to drink. lots more going on in this beer than i've noted here, but definitely worth another round or two to find more.

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Photo of tommy78
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this out of a bottle. Immediately noticed a dark brown colour with a thin white head. The aroma was surprisingly average; I would have expected a stronger smoky smell. As for the taste, it was a good kind of bitter. It had an intense level of carbonation. It was so strong that I nearly coughed. The mouthfeel was very smooth. Considering it was 8% ABV, one could not notice it. I would be able to a few in one sitting. I would have it again.

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Photo of jettjon
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 750ml bottle, cork dated 10/07. Decants with an explosive pop sending the cork flying across the room. Nice start. Into the cervoise a medium mahogany brown with numerous, Champaign-like bubbles. Heavy, thick brown-tan head with a slow fade to a spotty cap, leaving generous lace. A most attractive beer. Nose is bready with a light alcohol scent, strong grape presence and perhaps some plum, or cherry. Taste is a sweet & sour apricot or more accurately, cherry flavor up front, a definite alcohol burn, fading to a bready yeast. Very complex flavor overall, heavy with dark fruit and a tea-like hops presence. Flavor can become muddled after awhile but returns after a break from the experience. Mouth is heavy and viscous, semi-creamy with light carbonation. Drinkability is excellent; this is a flavorful yet light brew.

Overall: A really good Dubbel, a bit underwhelming on the finish or for long-term drinking, but quite good overall. Recommended.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in my Val-Dieu chalice, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch off-white head. It smells like dark fruit, caramel and sweet malt. It tastes like caramel, nuts, dark fruit, and then has a slight fruity sour finish. The mouthfeel is medium, with it being a bit slick and creamy at the same time. Carbonation is moderate, not too high. Drinkability is pretty good, it's easy to drink and the 8% ABV is well hidden but catches up to you after a while. Overall I think it's a good beer, I'd drink it again.

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Val-Dieu Brune from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
4.02 out of 5 based on 278 ratings.
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