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

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175 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: 175 | Ratings: 270
Photo of brewdenver
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good lacing and fingers around glass. Dark brown in color. with a low head. Head is a oatmeal cream color. Rustic oak smell; strong with subtle esters of alcohol and belgian hops. Subtle taste not too strong in any one area. A slight sourness but very very subtle. My palette can't really put a finger on the taste of this but I like it. there are a lot of complexities going on with this beer but somehow it remains subtle. Carbonation is nice. Right in between. A very good beer. Too bad I bought it in a box set and have not seen this anywhere else. The tripel seems to have even better reviews can't wait to try that.

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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 RedBrewer83
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into goblet...

A: Pours a dark amber hue with a frothy two finger tan head.

S: Nice aromas of rich caramel malt, bready yeast profile and faint spice.

T: Follows the nose, rich malt upfront followed by the yeast profile full of toasted bread and sweet caramel and just the right amount of spice on the finish.

M: Incredibly smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation, a dry finish and the 8% is so well hidden.

D: Goes down super smooth and a great balance of flavor. Perfect for a chilly night!

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

750 ml bottle with cork and cage served cold into a goblet.

The Val-Dieu Brown has a beautiful redish hue with good clarity. The head is thick and long-lasting with nice lacing as it settles.

Aroma is soft and malty with a mild bready yeast. There is a little caramel and spice to go along with it.

Flavor is much the same with a caramel-toffee sweetness and warming winter spice overtones. The yeast is probably the dominant unique flavor here but rich malts make the base.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with appropriate carbonation.

Overall a very good dubbel although still not one of the best. A good value and worth a try if you're into the style.

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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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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 RuudJH
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fresh smell of yeast, caramel and dark stewed fruits.
Taste similar: quite sweet and sour. Malts in the background, with coffee and nuts.
Mouthfeel is smooth and mellow. Bitterness in the aftertaste, with coffee and chocolate covered nutts.
Not a bad brew at all. It's drinkable, meant for wet cold fall evenings. Nice example of the style.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear dark burgundy color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet fruit ester and candi sugar is quite enticing and enjoyable. Taste is a proper mix between some candi sugar with notes of fruity ester and a medium sweet malt backbone. Body is a bit light for style with great carbonation and light creamy texture which is quite good with no apparent alcohol. Very nice for the style and something I wouldn't mind drinking more often.

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

11.2 ounce bottle emptied into my trusty St Bernardus Watou glass challis

A) Dark chestnut brown, hazy & dense with yeasties. Small lacy biege head, moderate carbonation

S) Sweet & sour mash, root beer, licorice, bread pudding

T) Very complex mix of sweet figs, raisons, dates, apricot & banana with muted espresso and burnt chocolate. There is a lot happening here.

M) Lively with ample carbonation. Alcohol is well hidden but apparent after it's gone...

D) Very good beer; classic Belgian Dubbel

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

Dark russet red with apricot accents and a beautiful crown of khaki colored foam that is classic Belgian ale. Fine yeast can be seen drifting downwards and fine bubbles can be seen blipping upwards, while sheets of tattered lace are beginning to be laid down.

Speaking of classic, the aroma is classic dubbel. It features medium-dark fruit (mostly medium) and has a pleasing amount of yeast estery clove spiciness. Good things are expected on the palate.

Like all Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu ales, Brune is good beer. It does nothing out of the ordinary, it just does everything that it's supposed to do exactly right. If even a little improvement occurs with warming, a 4.5 for taste might be in order.

Specifics include brown bread covered with fruit marmalade, ripe figs, sticky dates, hints of earthy tobacco and toasted pecans. That makes it sound like the beer is overly sweet, but it isn't. There's enough bitterness to keep things in relative balance, which improves drinkability even more.

The mouthfeel, while pleasant, isn't up to the usual standards for beer from this country. It could use a little more heft and it could be more expansively creamy. That might be nitpicking, but Belgians are the best mouthfeel brewers in the world, so I use slightly different standards for their products.

When all is said and done, this beer is at least as good as Triple and Blond. Only Winter (also known as Grand Cru) is superior. If you have a hankering for a classic Belgian dubbel, Val-Dieu Brune will scratch that itch will no trouble at all.

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Photo of daledeee
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. This is a stubble 11.2 bottle

Poured a dark brown with some chunkies. Head is near white with excellent lacing.

Nose is not very strong but has the dark fruit going on.

Taste is really nice with dark cherries, figs, plums. This beer is slightly sweet.

Mouth feel is about right with some carbonation and not as watery as some other dubbels I have had.

Alcohol is hidden and this is very drinkable. One of the better dubbels I have had.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Stubby little 11.2 oz bottle from Pints O Plenty for $4.

Appearance: Damn fine looking dubbel with a clear brown body that looks ruby red in the light. Slightly off-white head starts thick and rocky, then slowly fades down but never disappears. Leaves some good looking "Belgian lace."

Smell: Raisins and spice. Rich smelling malt and bready smelling yeast. Some hot smelling alcohol.

Taste: Brandy soaked dates and raisins. Very hot and boozy-- too much so. On the finish, the booziness fades fast and the aftertaste is sweet, fruity, and bready.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel through the middle-- feels thinned out by the alcohol. The fullness left with the aftertaste is almost chewy, more like you swallowed food rather than beer.

Drinkability: Close to being really good, but just too much alcohol flavor there. There are definitely better dubbels out there.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 330mL bottle into my Val-Dieu chalice. I can't really read the best-by date, but judging by the wear on the label and the dates on the other beers in this gift pack, it was probably sometime in '08 or '09. This means it's either quite past due or is simply well-aged. Let's find out!

Appearance: body is a rich, hazy amber-brown with a good depth of hue. Head is a solid finger of creamy ivory foam. Looks good to me.

Smell: nice malty aroma with a fair bit of biscuit and a backup choir of plums, cherries and alcohol. Not bad, but it trends towards some of my less-favorite characteristics in the dubbel aroma.

Taste: nowhere near the biscuit in the flavor as in the aroma; likewise nor so much alcohol. Flavor starts off mild, and then a crescendo of cherry, plum, raisin, dates and general dankness builds and then, just as quickly, fades away; toward the end, the alcohol warmth once again makes itself known. A very dynamic and tasty dubbel.

Mouthfeel: like the Val-Dieu pale I just sampled, the Brune has a massive creaminess wrought, no doubt, by its substantial-yet-not-too-heavy body and its Brobdingnagian carbonation. Some dislike so much carb; in a bottle-conditioned Belgian, I can't seem to get enough of it.

Drinkability: a solidly drinkable dubbel. I could easily go on quaffing this all night.

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Photo of mralphabet
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Poured dark reddish-brown in color, with big off white head, about 2 fingers worth.... wonderful lacing.

S: I'm getting sweet malt, a little on the smokey side, coco and toffee mixed in... very nice.

T: Taste is following the smell.... I'm getting a little more toffee right up front.... just a touch of coco and sweet smokey malt. very little hops here. Finish is a little dry and very little after taste.

M: Medium bodied, with a good touch of carbonation... Little sharp at first but mellows as it warms.

D: Very drinkable, but I'd say one or two will do it... Sit back and enjoy this one.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Ruddy, chestnut borwn color. Poured a 1 finger tan head that dissipated to an even skim. Lacing washed down the sides of the glass.

S: Like chocolate-covered sweet fruit. Earthy; oak and wet wood.

T: Caramel and dark fruit up front. Chocolate and candi sugar with a little charred wood. Alcohol burn and a lingering bitter to cut the sweetness.

M: Light body. Low carbonation. Sweet but dry. The carbonation seemed low as the middle was a little coating and the bitter lingered.

D: Good balance for all the big flavors. Masks the abv fairly well.

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Photo of cakirkl
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Dark ruby brown with a two finger fairly dense off-white head. A few clumps of lacing stick around.

S - Smells of bright fruit, some brown sugar, prunes.

T - Brown sugar, toffee, roasted malts dominate the flavor. This is a much bigger flavor than the Westmalle Dubbel I had a few nights ago.

M - The carbonation is a bit much for me on this one. Slightly light on the thickness of it.

D - Light alcohol on the backend makes this one a sipper, but good none-the-less.

Buy it!

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Photo of godfathermg57
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into westmalle chalice.

A: pours deep red brown with off-white head..
S: malty as well as a bit sweet.
T: certainly a Belgian style ale, malty, as well as sweet. Alcohol content gives a warming sensation
M: creamy
D: fairly drinkable and pleasant

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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 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 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 Rayek
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Val-Dieu glass.

A: Pours a deep chestnut brown, with nice clarity for being bottle conditioned. A small yet dense cream cap has very nice retention and leaves patches of lace.

S: Chocolate covered raspberries pretty much sums it up. The chocolate aroma leans toward the dark side with its bittersweet smell. There's a light sourdough note in the background.

T: Lots of chocolate and dark fruit out front. Bittersweet baker's chocolate and raspberries dominate. They're joined by a slight candy sugar sweetness. Bitterness is just enough to balance the sweetness. If dry was a flavor, that would pretty much describe the role of the hops. Gets a touch astringent toward the end before finishing rather clean. The 8% ABV is completely masked.

M: The body is dry and quite light for this much alcohol. But that's pretty much par for the course with many Belgians. The carbonation feels just a touch low.

D: I was through my bottle in a flash. This beer goes down easy and the alcohol is so well hidden that the beer's strength can't be felt until a warm feeling hits at the end of the glass. A very nicely put together beer.

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

poured into duvel tulip.

A: pours deep brown with a off white finger and a half head that fell to a nice thin layer.
S: earthy and bready sweet malt, slight bit of yeast.
T: sweet cookie like malt, little yeast from my over pour
M: smooth carbonation, creamy
D: good, easy sipper

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

Live review. Poured from the stubby dark brown 11.2 oz. bottle that I bought, along with the cool thick walled snifter with a very nice gold and blue "Val-Dieu" label on the side of it and two other Val-Dieu beers as a part of a gift set from Reider's Market in Painesville yesterday for $9.99. Since about $3.33 per beer is close to a reasonable price one really gets the cool snifter free. "Best by" date of 07/07/11. Again, as with the Blonde (or is it Blond?), the cap disagrees with the label on the same beer. The cap lists "Brune" but the label announces "Brown" as the name. I realize that both of these words mean the same thing but I thought that it was interesting.

A Light brown creamy head that leaves a nice, curtain type lacing over a really great looking dark brown body that glows a dark dark brown, mahogany in front of direct light. I really like the look of this dubbel, a mature, craft beer appearance created by brewers with a passion for their beer. 5.0

S More of a muted smell than I had expected of some sweet malt and some barley husks and it is devoid of a significant hop presence to me. The smell is just not as strong as I thought that it might be. 3.5

T Medium roast malt and roasted it is. I can taste the roasting in the beer and it strikes me as a beer that is more of an English Brown Ale than a dubbel. Anyway, I really like the taste (whatever the style). 4.0

M Nice and smooth and creamy like some of the best English Brown Ales. Really, the appearance of the head gave me a clue as to what the feel would likely be and the actual feel did not dissapoint. 4.5

D Good indeed. I found the bottom of the Val-Dieu snifter within a few minutes. 4.5

Notes: I was pleasantly surprised by this beer which strikes me as an English Brown Ale but not the dubbel that it has been assigned.

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Val-Dieu Brune from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
4.02 out of 5 based on 270 ratings.
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