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

very good
282 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: 282 |  Reviews: 179
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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Photo of techdiver
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, dark, dense brown with a decent head that dissipated all too quickly. Nose is of malt and fruit. Taste is malty sweet leading to a dry fruity finish. Medium-bodied and good carbonation, feels good in the mouth. A very drinkable Belgian, could easily have a few.

 275 characters

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

This beer poured a dark brown color with a huge head. The smell is very malty and caramel like. The taste is strong of malt with a touch of coffee and a bit of a sour aftertaste. The mouthfeel is heavy but balanced with high carbonation that gives an interesting sensation in the mouth. I'd never heard of this beer before today, but must say I'm very pleased and will be looking for another soon.

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

This one's been in my fridge for four years. Served into a Chimay chalice. Still well carbonated, the cork comes out with a pop and it pours a dark brown with a firm tan head. Nose is malty with fruit notes like apricot, and a subtle spiciness underneath it. Malt is lighter in the flavor than the nose, but pleasantly bready; tart fruity notes amount, apricot and peach like to my tongue; bitterness is on the low side but a light acidity balances the sweetness in the finish. Body feels surprisingly light and crisp.

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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.

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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 geexploitation
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very pretty beer. It pours with a delicate eggshell head that sticks and sticks, and a body of layered, gradually deepening mahogany. Heavily phenolic nose with some dates and clove in the background. On the palate, slight, light sweetness up front, nuttiness in the mid-palate, and slightly sour fruits toward the end. The finish is grainy like some scotch whiskies. Lightness in mouthfeel is sustained throughout. Very drinkable, with light, not syrupy flavors and not too much ABV.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle. Left a one finger head that had good retention and left some excellent lacing. Body was a solid garnett. Looks great.

Smell - buttery diacetyl, some plums, dried dark fruits, dark bread, hint of spicy alcohol.

Taste - same as the smell. Plums, dates, figs, raisins, raisin bread bread, dark bread, all washed through with buttery diacetyl. Some spicy alcohol comes on at the end, and actually, the alcohol is mostly well hidden throughout.

Mouthfeel - medium to thin bodied, smooth, a little slick, surprisingly fizzy (not obnoxiously so, but surprising nonetheless), resulting in a moderate level (rather than a low level ) of carbonation.

Drinkability - this is good, and I'd have one more in any given session, but it's not really a session beer, and anyway, high abv would limit drinkability.

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Photo of expatsteve
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Mahogany, with lights suds but no head. No visibility, and low viscosity.

Aroma: Not particularly aromatic, though raisins and green apple malt suggestions are detectable.

Taste: Solid beer, with raisins, almonds, apricots and coffee notes. Middle palate toffee notes, and stronger apricots in the finish. Malty, bready finish warms and refreshes. Alcohol is perfectly balanced, and hard to detect.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation and smooth finish; no astringency adds to unexpected velvet/cream finish.

Drinkability: Very drinkable beer, though not as complex and full-flavored as some other belgians I've drunk recently. Slightly lighter flavor might make this good summer drinking or alternately commend this to those people who like craft brews but not big beers.

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Photo of Budlum
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from an 11.2 oz. bottle in to a Val Dieu chalice. Pours energetically with 0.75 inches of foamy, off-white head which tapers off to a thin layer lasting for the entire drink. Not surprisingly, the body is a rich brown color.

Initial smells are sweet and earthy. It took a few moments to put my finger on it but, the smell is exactly that of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on freshly baked wheat bread. This sandwich would consist of Welch's grape jelly and Smucker's all natural peanut butter. Who says you can be too old? This sounds outlandish and I smelled many times to ensure I'm not a complete loon. But, the smell of this beer and that exact sandwich are one in the same. That said, the aroma is very nutty and filled with an appropriate amount of yeast. Alochol is noticeable after a few minutes.

The most noticeable flavors are roasted nuts and a lightly roasted malt. The finish gives way to tastes of raisins and dates. The alochol taste is very subdued given the moderately high ABV. I wish I had more of this to try as there is a myriad of flavors that I cannot put my finger on.

This is enjoyable to drink with a slick and creamy mouthfeel not typically characteristic to this style. A unique Belgian brown second only to Leffe Brune in my opinion. Certainly worth buying / trying a few given the opportunity.

 1,346 characters

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

 279 characters

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

Poured from a small stub bottle, this beer has a massive quilt-like head. Thick and off-white, the head leaves an enchanting lace. The color of the liquid is a deep mahogany. Small bits of yeast float happily in the brew, but there really isn’t any ‘cloudiness’. The aroma is intense and multi-dimensional: lots of fruit and yeast, spicy phenols and a little sugar, caramel and fresh dark bread. The smell has a bit of alcohol in the mix as well. The taste is malty and sweet, with a thick, doughy quality. Nice bitterness to balance, with lots of carbonation. The beer is just a little slick on the tongue. Medium-full body, soft, and with fair complexity, this is a satisfying beer.

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

33 cl stubby bottle. Best before 24/02/07.

Pours a hazy orange-brown with moderate off-white head; good lacings. The nose is slightly tart, vinous, with a little spice. The palate opens fruity, again vinous, then a good dose of spice drops mid-palate, fading seamlessly into a sturdy alcohol presence. A tartness (re)emerges in the finish, mingling with dark fruit, more spice, and alcohol as the palate dries out rather rapidly -- ensuring that each sip is followed not too long after by another.

Yet another complex, rewarding beer brewed in the great Belgian style. Methinks they're on to something...

** Some info on Val-Dieu for those interested (from Stan Hieronymus' "Brew Like a Monk"):

"Brewing returned to the abbey grounds in 1996... making this the only non-Trappist monastery in Belgium where beer is produced. However, no monks brew; in fact none live at Val-Dieu. Christian families, who offer the grounds as a place for retreat, manage the complex."

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

Appearance: Clear deep amber in color with a small scattering of white foam on the surface, a modest ring of foam at the glass walls, and thick, glass-coating lace. The carbonation is slight.

Aroma: Sweet molasses-like notes dominate, with a distinctly spicy, earthy character, toasted grains, bread notes, and sweet alcohol.

Taste: Opens with an earthy, spicy note, which defines the taste from start to finish. Intermingled are notes of dark bread, nuts, phenolic alcohol, and subtle bitter chocolate notes. Finishes dry with a lingering mild herbal bitterness.

Mouth feel: Full, smooth, very soft, with slight carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A very competent example of the style, well made, quite drinkable, and a good value.

Presentation: Packaged in a 22 ounce brown glass bomber with a cork and cage closure, served in a Belgian chalice.

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

Pours a dark mohagony with ruby highlights. There's a one inch head that fades slowly to a thin cap, which never disappears, leaving behind a thick webbing of lace.

Smell; this smells very strongly of plums and caramel malts. There's a bit of a vinous quality, with some grapes and a bit of alcohol. As this warms some breadiness, and spices start to come out.

Taste; starts off with dark roasted malts, choclate and caramel, and just a bit on the sugary side. The dark fruits come out nicely, but melds well with the little bit of alcohol that comes through. There's a bit of spices, with some corriander and maybe some cloves, with a little hop bitterness thrown into the mix. Mouthfeel is medum bodied.. Even with the sweetness the drinkablitly is pretty high on this one.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The cork says "Val-Dieu 05/05." Almost a year old.

Pours out looking like suede leather with a miniscule, but very frothy, white head. Some pleasant lace is found. Very low carbonation. Aromas are spicy and smell richly of fruits: banana, grapes, pears. Theres a soft sweetness in the nose that reminds me of fruit-filled pastries. Slight alcohol plays well with all that I'm smelling. I don't get nearly as much yeasty spice from the taste as I did with the aromas, which is good. I'm not too fond of overly phenolic dubbels. Tastes very much like that pastry scent I got earlier. Like fruit-filled sweetbread. Also tastes strongly of grapes; not so much vinous as of the unfermented juice. The alcohol is present enough to offer some sort of balance to the sweet, as I really don't pick up anything in the way of hops. The mouthfeel, as the visual lack of carbonation would suggest, is very mellow but seems kind of light. This abbey goes down quick, but sits a bit heavy on the stomach, although this is working as a nice digestif.

 1,037 characters

Photo of TheBungyo
3.76/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If I was forced to use one word to sum up this beer I'd use adequate. Not average as that implies toeing the minimalist line. This is good, though nothing to remember. Pour is nice, murky brown with a minor white head. nose is floral, with white grapes and sugar. Nothing to do a double take over. Taste is pretty good ... brown sugar, caramel, rose petals, and sugar mixed with spices. Good but not one you'll search for when looking for a good belgian. Mouthfeel is again, servicable. I could have another but wouldn't be sad if the answer was "none left". Decent brew that makes little impression.

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

Poured a deep slightly hazy amber with a few small floaties swirling around with a big fluffy white head that leaves sheets of lace behind as it settles into a creamy froth.Aromas are spiced like that of cinnamon and phenolic clove a touch of sweet cookie dough as well.A smooth creamy-like mouthfeel lends well to the rich flavors of this beer somewhat clovey and light sweet a touch of semisweet chocolate but not overbearing finishing with a slight dryness.Not a bad dubbel I dont drink many of this style,this one I enjoyed.

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Photo of WetCoaster
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A lovely glowing deep amber/oxblood with a slighty off-white, fizzy dense head. Great lacing.

Smell: Very powerful aroma of dark malt, sugar, cola, caramel, apple cider, muscat/port grapiness, yeast spice, and a bit of damp moss. Good stuff.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Oh, this is a nice one. Sweet, chewy and tangy up front with sticky caramel malt and a tart, vinous fruitiness. Dries with a slightly hoppy bite and a sugar sourness. The mouthfeel is great; it has weight, but it's pleasantly crisp and lively.

Drinkability: Quite good. A bit sweet (but what dubbel isn't?) but very robust, balanced and controlled. A solid offering from this somewhat obscure brewer.

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Val-Dieu Brune from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
4.02 out of 5 based on 282 ratings.
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