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Verboden Vrucht / Fruit Defendu (Forbidden Fruit) | Brouwerij van Hoegaarden

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BA SCORE
87
very good
148 Reviews
Verboden Vrucht  / Fruit Defendu (Forbidden Fruit)Verboden Vrucht  / Fruit Defendu (Forbidden Fruit)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij van Hoegaarden
Belgium
hoegaarden.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-22-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
148
Ratings:
249
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
13.66%
 
 
Wants:
21
Gots:
37
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 249
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: “Well bless my little cotton socks”. Quite literally. After having supped a fresh Hoegaarden ‘Forbidden Fruit’ in Belgium during my recent 2004 Easter tour, I was reminded just how much I used to love this spicy malty dark beer, and especially its cheeky glass. One of the first Belgium Darks that I ever tried - and I loved it then as I love it now. So I bought one from the back-street dive Bar I was in. Having explained my love for this beer, the owner of the rather average bar asked me if I fancied some “aged” examples of the beer “before it had changed”, his words not mine. I duly obliged. One of the bottles was stuffed in a thick walking sock and it made its way Stateside. I wanted to save it longer but I gave in to my carnal desires tonight. Like the BA database picture but with a foil covered crown cap. Smudged Best Before Date that most certainly looks like 99, but could well be 98 or even 96!!

Appearance: Poured exceptionally clear from the bottle that had lived in my fridge upright for 6 weeks. Dark amber, rich Alder and Cherry wood body with a ruby searchlight pan when back lit. The head is cream in color and creamy in texture. Not bad for a beer that is at least 5 years old. Served in a Westvleteren goblet – oooh, I have sinned I am sure!! Super fine bubble carbonation, excellent conditioning, a few streamers and a marvelous head retention all help to establish a seriously fucking impressive presentation from this mature Belgium mainstay. The last 'top-up' pour dislodged some yeasty sediment, whispy in nature as most of the solids stayed firmly glued to the base of the bottle it seems - still the sediment that was raised from the dead was ghost like in the glass.

Nose: My oh my!! Superb fruity tangy odors, acidic orange and lemon zest with some sharp grapefruit. Toasted malts, coriander, lots of coriander, spices, peppers, more coriander, herbs and some thick yeast. Slight vinegar hints in the back end. Is the beer turning? Maybe!? Maybe Not!? It could well be a part of the aged character of this offering for I am not sure that I ever had a Forbidden Fruit this old, so who knows? This smells bloody good. Holy Fucking Shite - this aroma should be available for Glade Plug-Ins!!!!

Taste: The odors are a taste of things to come. The tastes are a mélange of complex interactions betweens the toasted malts, aged hops, dark fruits, herbs, peppery spices, zesty citric rinds and yeasts – all mixed into an emulsion that is backed with a high alcohol common denominator. The aged character of this imparts a mature balanced ecosystem of flavors that is really prevalent when compared to the more mixed up fresh version that I drank in Belgium. Mildy warming when swallowed, but highly satisfying.

Mouthfeel: The super-fine carbonation is a Jacuzzi delight; it softens the malts, edges the aged hops and accentuates the fruity and acidic citric zestiness of this majestic Belgium Strong Dark Ale.

Drinkability: I thoroughly enjoyed this one, can you tell?, I am not sure if I will ever get to drink an aged example of this one again, and even if I do, I am not sure if the "modern version" can withstand such aging. That said, this example was a damn fine brew indeed.

Overall: Along with Hoegaarden Speciale and Grand Cru, this is (was?) one of those Belgium beers that is always a staple fall-back for me when presented with the usual “boring” Interbrew beer list. It appears in the most unlikely of situations, bars and Cafés all over Belgium and will rescue you when presented with macro IB drabness. From a macro stable, yet, when called upon to provide some flavor and excitement amidst a Sea of generic blandness, it seems that it never fails in its duties. Technically, it can be deemed a “macro”, it is. But I will say this, fresh, it is always a solid beer that never disappoints – but aged, Holy Shite! that’s when this *really* gets chance to reveal its “Forbidden Fruits” to you.

I am not sure if it is my age, rose-tinted beer glasses or altering tastes, but I have to say that sadly this great beer may well be getting dumbed down, for it seems to me like the “Spicy Ooomph” that it had when I first tasted it some 10 years ago, seems to have disappeared from recent fresh versions that I have imbibed. Still, it is most definitely still present in older (or aged) versions [like this one] and should be sought out.

Superb! Oooh, I fancy playing "Hide the Leaf" with Eve now……

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Photo of Boto
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle: This one poured a fairly clear dark amber color. There was a fairly large off white head to it, that lingers a bit. A touch of lacing. The aroma is quite nice. There are yeasty notes, fruits some caramel malt, spices. Just a pleasant thing to smell. The taste is quite complex. Interesting fruity tastes, but they are all in the background. Medium body, with a bit of caramel and a hint of bitterness in the aftertaste. Very strong, but no real sensation of a strong alcohol taste. Another excellent Belgian. I would definitely try and find this again!

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Photo of tpd975
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This bottle came from my Westvleteren guy in Brugge Belgium. He threw it in with the proper glass in a deal I made with him for some Westy.

A: I love the bottle with a nude Adam and Eve along with all the French writing and foil…Pretty Cool. Pours with a tall light head that recedes nicely. It is a wonderful reddish brown color, very pretty actually. There are lot of floaters, and little to no lace.

S: Nice sweet fruits. Notes of Strawberry, Cherries, and maybe even a little mine apple. Nice Maltiness about it as well. Pretty Nice.

T: Nice caramel malty yeasty sweetness up front. Some fruits and a bit of sourness as well. There is a hint of spice also, clove maybe?

M: Light and bubbly.

D: One bottle is enough for me.

Overall: Something different, but not the best beer out there. It was nice that it came all the way from Belgium with the proper glass but I would not pay to have it shipped again. If available locally I would give it another go around though

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Photo of mdagnew
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml Bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast...

Poured a dark red / amber colour... Big, slightly off white, head faded to nice layer....

Aroma - Quite sweet, fruity, (cherries, blackcurrents, strawberries), spicy, slight salty notes, some nuttiness...

Taste – Quite sweet, malty, yeasty notes, fruitiness (banana ?), some sourness, slight liquorice...

Feel - Quite sharp - med carbonation.. medium body....

Overall - A pretty good beer.... recommended...

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Photo of patre_tim
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Half way between dark brown and golden, as though sprite and coke were mixed. Cloudy, no apparent carbonation. 2 fingers of off white head, almost white with a dirty touch of brown watercolour lightly washed in. Great lacing.

S: Smokey, dark fruits, Belgian yeasts much like North American versions of Belgian style yeasts. I am reminded of Unibroue, especially the dark Belgians like La Terrible and 17. Acidic fruit. Pheonols. Some alcohol.

T: Totally follows the nose, but smooth and complex moreso than I expected. Smokey, La Terrible is totally coming to mind, Belgian yeasts like the ones used in North American stains, a hit of fruitiness, then it rounds off. Alcohol present, at 8.5% its well hidden. Pheonols there, especially come in at the end and linger.

M: Medium to heavy, leaning into heavy body but complex, medium amount of foamy bubbles in carbonation.

O: Great Belgian beer, well reminded of Unibroue here in China so I am happy. Complex and unique for what’s available to me, so I would like to try it again. Great by itself.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer arrived on the table very lightly hazy and deep amber with an off-white frothy head which lasted long and laced the glass.

The aroma was fruity with a storng dark caramel character and a very light bit of DMS. The fruity presence contained a light banana.

The flavor was that of dark fruits with deep caramelization. The flavor was fruity and estery with a spicy presence. The dark fruits were raisins and prunes and were coupled to a light spice that stayed long in the flavor.

The finish was dry with a dark fruity character lasting long with a bit of spice into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a moderate carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel. A very nicely done Belgian Strong Dark.

Bottle served in proper glassware at Cafe Vlissinghe in Brugge on 9/13/06.

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Photo of bobsy
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank at Cirio in Brussels.

Awesome glass and a great appearance - a mahogany as rich as fine panelling, with a voluminous head that lasts and laces well. Sweet, fruity aroma, with a strong back end of alcohol. It smells for all the world like a brute of a beer. Pleasant fruit flavour is somewhat steamrollered by a fusel element and brutish alcohol. Decent berry notes at the start, mixed in with raisin and spice. The alcohol really begins to assert itself in a lightly drying, but heavily warming, finish. Full mouthfeel, with restrained carbonation, though it never becomes cloying. Its a decent stab at the strong dark style, but its just a touch too boozy. If you have a bottle I recommend aging it to see if it mellows out.

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Photo of safaricook
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured in a chalice.

Dark amber lots of carb, clear, one finger offwhite head, good retention and lacing
Smell of yeast, tart and sweet, caramel malts with sour banana
Some sweet bready malts, Ends very dry and only slightly bitter, more like peppery, aftertaste is a minor turnoff
Highly carbonated and accordingly a fluffy to tickling feel, after some time all harshness is gone and it is just fluffy and gorgous, warming alcohol, medium body
Highly enjoyable beer in the tradition of belgian strong dark ales like a St. Bernardus Prior or a Rochefort 8. Lacks a bit of complexity to be rated at the same level, though.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Awesome label: Adam cheers-ing Eve in the Garden.
Gorgeous pour: gold at the edges transitions to an amber-orange, translucent body. A 1" thick velvety, khaki head recedes slowly, leaving spackles of lacing. A very Belgium aroma: fruity, yeasty notes with hints of pepper, barley, and other spices.

Taste is of spicy hop notes alongside fruit yeast esters of apple and pear. Some alcohol warms through as well. Let this beer warm up and lose some of its carbonation. Big difference after 10 minutes. Once calm, it gives way to a smooth, medium body with a hint of a boozy bite. Goes great with Gouda cheese. Overall, it's not a bad Belgium ale...not bad at all, in fact. Give it a try.

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Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: dark amber color, thick foamy head settles to good layer
s: sweet malts and fruits, spices
t: sweet malts hit right away, hints of yeast, fruits like banana, slight tartness, and almost medicinal spices
m: medium carbonation, pretty good balance, medium body
d: didn't knock my socks off, but actually a pretty good beer from the big guys, certainly one of their better. worth a try

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sorry but this following comment is in french :

Appearance : bière brune de fermentation haute, robe rouge-brun
Smell : arôme épicé de zeste d'orange, de curaçao et de coriandre
Taste and mouthfeel : notes de café et de caramel, riche et voluptueuse, une finale séche
Drinkability : une bonne bière dans le style Belgian strong dark ale

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Photo of josanguapo
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

From elcervecero. In Teku glass. Playing South Park The Stick of Truth. Paired with Valdevegon Cheese & vread crumbs. Pleasant dark fruits taste. not as much as in the best implementations of the style but more quickly drinkable. Dark fruits less noticeable in aroma

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Photo of Absumaster
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is amber brown colored and has little carbonation and a small head.
Smell was caramellic and yeasty with some sharp foeselalcohols and candy sugar.
Taste was alcoholic and warming. The caramellic and candy base is solid. On top is a slight bitter and the Belgian flavors. There is really not much more I can say about this beer, as the beer is not overly complex. A decent beer though and a good "newbie"beer.

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Photo of Globetrotter
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I found this little gem at the UN Commissary in Vienna. Brown 33cl bottle with an elongated neck and a gold and white label featuring a renaissance-style painting of Adam and Eve enjoying chalices of beer in the Garden of Eden. No specific ingredient info. Best before 11/07/08, I opened it on 10/3/06.

Pours a cloudy reddish brown cola hue under a thick beige one finger head that lasts forever and leaves sheets of lace. The nose is strong and full of fruit and spice: apples, plums, coriander and tea. The mouth is extremely prickly and fairly light, yet somehow sticky. The taste is fairly sweet and quite fruity. Very complex, actually, with spices blending nicely to form a symphony for the tongue. There is a touch of bitter lurking throughout, becoming more pronounced as the other flavors fade, but never actually getting strong. A pleasant experience.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 330ml bottle. Dark amber copper color with off white head. Aroma is fruity, dark fruits, berries, citrus fruits, malty caramel, spicy yeasty. Taste like aroma. Medium Body with soft carbonation. Nice.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a snifter glass.

A: Pours a deep amber to brown color with many brown particles floating around. Forms a big bubble tan head when poured. Good retention and many lacings formed and left. A thin layer lasts for long on the top

S: Great nose. Sweet, bready and quite spicy. Notes of toffee, caramel malts, dark fruits like plums and raisins. Brown bread, Belgian yeasts, cloves, wheat

T: Follows the nose. Sweet caramel malts upfront followed by a quite fruity and spicy taste. Notes of plums and raisins. Earthy and bready yeasts. Notes of wheat and cloves. Extremely Belgian Ale. Final is slightly bitter

M: Heavy creamy and a bit molasses body. Medium carbonation. Sweet, bready and slightly bitter aftertaste

O: Excellent Dark Ale. I've had it many times in the past and I hope that I will have it many time in the future too :)

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Photo of TheSarge
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this one into a Chimay chalice. This is quite a bubbly bottle conditioned brew, with lots of yeast left on the bottom of the bottle. Lots of carbonation with a beautiful 2 finger thick head. The body is very hazy with hints of golden amber on the edges of the glass.

Aroma is very fruity and wine like, including lots of ester fragrances of cherries and a mild malty backbone.

The taste is quite unique. The cherry qualities are there, but a faint vanilla follow-up occurs towards the end.

A full bodied brew, but quite refreshing. There is a slight boozy warmness; however, this doesn't keep the brew from leaving the palate wet.

This is one complex brew, and quite enjoyable. My wife even liked it and I'd buy this again anytime.

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Photo of eric5bellies
4.11/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from my Gulden Draak Tulip. Always nice to revisit old favorites.

A - Pours a red/ruby Brown colour with a two fingered off White head that retains well and laces.

S - Spicy dark fruits and cherries

T - Nice dark fruit notes, with some spice. A little sour mid palate. The end has plenty of fig raisins etc with a decent helping of yeast. A touch boozy on the finish.

M - Medium body and fullish carbonation.

O - I used to drink a lot of this stuff but hadn't had one for around 6 years. I wasn't disappointed. This is a rich brew that offers plenty.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Goblet
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
BEST BEFORE: 19/09/09

Nice, dark-ish copper color with a ruby tint. One-finger head of creamy white foam that leaves a nice layer of cream floating atop the liquid. Lacing is okay.

Smells like booze infused dark fruits. Cherries, mostly, with some plums and peaches thrown in. Some nice caramel malt notes. Butterey brown sugar. Hints of light spiciness.

Dark fruits that have been lightly dipped in a butterey-sugar glaze. Plums are the dominant ones, here. Nice hints of toasted malts, way in the background.
This is actually a very well-balanced beer. I expected it to be more fruity, honestly. I am pleasantly surprised.

Medium body. Nice and creamy, which benefits the style. Smooth.

Very drinkable. Give me a six-pack of these and I'll show you. It's just tasty.

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Photo of russwbeck
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very hazy red-brown color with a few fingers of light brown head. Great lacing and retention. The label gives this beer a bonus in my book!

S: The aroma is distinctively Belgian, like a dubbel, but with some notes of sweet, light fruit--apples I would assume. Spicy and sweet. The alcohol is masked well.

T: The taste doesn't bring about any surprises, but it is quite nice. Much more apple I would say, but with a rich, dark fruit underbelly. The spices are toned down, but the fruits are very refreshing.

MF: A nice twinge of carbonation rests on the palate. The body is light. This is really drinkable, nicely balanced, and without a note of alcohol. Crisp and refreshing.

O: This was exactly what I wanted it to be. Fruity, Belgian, and a perfect compliment to m dinner. I would get it again.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single bottle from the Bier Markt in downtown Toronto.

Poured into a Unibroue snifter, which I found very appropriate, considering the bottle label reminds me of something Unibroue or Dieu du Ciel would do themselves (or perhaps its the other way round?) A dark, ruddy amber brew, the colour of which reminded me a great deal of black cherries. A fluffy, off-white head sat on top like a generous dollop of ice cream. Good retention on this, lovely lacing as well.

The nose is absolutely invigorating. Plum brandy, black currant, raisins, grape, sugar, only a mild yeastiness. While hardly wallowing in complexity, it certainly is mouthwatering.

The tastes are quite similar as are found in the nose. In addition to black currant and raisin, I'm also picking up sherry, a bit of chocolate and malt. Very tasty indeed. Except for the sweet wine/sherry flavors, the alcohol is marvelously difficult to detect.

Forbidden Fruit is undoubtedly sweet, almost cloyingly so, but it works tremendously well as a dessert beer. More than a bottle at a time would be far too much, but a nice snifter enjoyed with cheese or cake would be excellent. In my case, since it possessed so many similarities to a sweet port or a sherry, some Stilton cheese and crackers cut through the sweetness brilliantly, making for a great food pairing.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ingredients: malt, hop, yeast
Funky cool design no the bottle.
Slightly off white head that leaves attractive lacing. The darkest red body, malty, fruity nose, sweetness on a light bodied and light bitterness. The flavor is an attractive over-ripe fruit, like a when a pear is past its prime, a little too mushy, yet still really good.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally, after being tempted by a woman who was tempted by a serpent, I've got my hands on a new Hoegaarden beer, which ironically is named Verboden Vrucht or "Forbidden Fruit". Well naming a beer Verboden Vrucht is one way of giving your brew big shoes to fill. Time and time again brewers have been writing cheques with grandiose names that their brews can't cash with flavour... well only one other beer springs to mind at this time: Mad Brewers Garden De Paradisi. Anyway I hope this won't be another cautionary tale for me, I'm so sick of those guys.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Cloudy copper body with yeast chunks of various sizes floating around having sex and stuff (I'm sure that's how yeast works) with a creamy beige foam hanging around, doing its thing.

S: Heady raisin, overripe pear and plum on the nose. This is followed by some buttery diacetyl, a toffee malt base and honey... it's a sugar bomb then, oh well, may as well tuck in.

T: Surprisingly it's not a sugar bomb but a well-crafted Belgian Strong Dark Ale, with already above noted flavours (raisin, overripe pear/plum, big diacetyl, toffee and honey) and some added hints of Saison tartness, a long dry and slight medicinal bitter herb finish. Everything is in check and there is some good complexity going on, I'm won over now.

M: Medium bodied with a creamy carbonation.

D: Overall this is a decent drop... unfortunately it is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale which means it is stacked up against the likes of: Chimay Blue/Gulden Draak/Gouden Carolus Classic - all of which are better brews. It's a tough country to compete in then and for this reason I feel sympathy for any brewer that decides to pitch up their tent pegs there, however for the average beer lover like myself it is a paradise of tongue-awe inspiring Ales, à votre santé!

Food match: As I drained the glass that diacetyl really came to the fore, as such with a brew as buttery as this would complement creamy dishes and cheeses, continental chicken, duck or lobster thermidor are your best bets.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle best-by date: 9/7/05

Appearance: a ruddy reddish brown/copper color, quite cloudy, HUGE layer of sudsy light tan head that sits like egg-white on the glass, lace, retention is impressive

Aroma: wheat bread, clove, touch of banana, yeast, alcohol, hint of cinnamon

Flavor: fruity and malty sweetness surrounded by clovey phenolics, light spices (perhaps the standard dried orange and coriander), yeast, and a bit of grain; a touch of iron in the aftertaste; slightly sweet finish

Mouthfeel: medium body, sparkling carbonation, some alcohol warmth but no burn

Overall Impression: Definitely the better of the Hoegaarden line that I have tried so far, Grand Cru coming second (though I have yet to try the Speciale). Amazingly easy to drink, despite its 8.5% abv.

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Photo of ATPete
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle purchased at a bodega in Brussels, Belgium.

*the label reads 8.5% alcohol, BA has it listed at 9...

A- Hazy orange amber, some floaties, not much of a head.

S- Enormous nose to this one, tons of fruit; cherries, peaches, raisons, and lots of spice, nutmeg, all spice and other belgian spices.

T- Dominately malts, no solid hop character, more fruit notes like that mentioned in the nose, slightly tart, some cinnamon and more spice pokes through, nice after taste, the high alcohol works wonders with the general taste of this brew from Hoegaarden.

M- Medium to heavy mouthfeel, some tannin and pretty warming due to the 8.5%

D- the overall complexity is amazing! this is something i would grab a bunch of for maturing purposes...

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Verboden Vrucht / Fruit Defendu (Forbidden Fruit) from Brouwerij van Hoegaarden
3.88 out of 5 based on 249 ratings.
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