Pater Lieven Bruin
Brouwerij Van den Bossche

Pater Lieven BruinPater Lieven Bruin
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Ranked #52
Ranked #21,136
3.9 | pDev: 11.54%
Brouwerij Van den Bossche
Very Good
Pater Lieven BruinPater Lieven Bruin
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Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 49 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
JonnoWillsteed from England

3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L- Chestnut red, almost clear (minor sediment left in bottle), pours with 2Cm pale tan head. 5mm of head remains 15mins later which is good.
S- Roasty-toasty then an aroma of baked fruit seems to come through.
T- Roasty-toasty also, rich caramel, ... does this have a cherry note in it? There's seems to be something in that vicinity going on. It then shows a rich liquor-ish edge which at 6.5% is unexpected (usually only shows above say 8% IME).
F- To me it's richer/punchier than a typical 6.5%, so this should work well in colder months (like a heavier winter-warmer).
O- My wife and I both found it hard to distinguish elements within the flavour. I got a fruit/cherry? note, she didn't but in one passing comment suggested 'cola-like taste' referencing it's sweet edge. That sweet edge is rising as it warms so I'd suggest serving well chilled and not lingering over-long with this one.
BB: 26/06/21. 330ml bottle bought from BeerofEurope (UK).

Mar 09, 2020
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Jerseyislandbeer from Jersey

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 330ml bottle picked up in Belgium last summer. Pours a hazy brown colour with a beige head. Aromas of caramel, malt and roasted barley with some fruit. Dry taste initially with a nice fruitiness building up. Caramel, Toffee, citrus, raisins, plums and bread, some butterscotch and butter. Finishes dry with a nuttiness & light spicy bitter end

Jul 30, 2016
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Dzu from Russian Federation

4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Dark turbid brown with a little foam head.
S: Dark bread, sweets.
T: Well balanced first taste with notes of raisin.
F: More aggressive long-lasting aftertaste.
O: Very impressive beer! Like it.

Nov 10, 2015
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Dentist666 from Russian Federation

4.11/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter.
Almost opaque dark brown beer with nice beige head, lots of tiny bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Foam lingers for a long time. Aroma of caramel, candy sugar, yeasts, dark fruits, honey-cake, chocolate, nuts. Taste of chocolate and dark fruits, rather straight. Medium body, the beer is drinkable and good.

Sep 23, 2014
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DoubleJ from Wisconsin

4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle purchased in Belgium and consumed in America. On to the beer:

This bruin is dark brown like the color of chocolate. On top sits a creamy head which turns to a layer of creamish lace. The aroma smells yeasty with fennel and a kiss of fudge . Its soft taste is welcomed, brining to the table grapes, toast, figs. It's not a very complex one, however the way the overall flavor works is worth shouting about. Also worthy of a shoutout is the mouthfeel, which is medium bodied and very pleasantly bubbly, yet the beer itself remains like velvet, like it's a double layered beer. As is the case with many Belgian bruins, this is pleasant.

Jul 07, 2013
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drpimento from Wisconsin

4.41/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served with a fine creamy off white to light tan head that lasts and lots of good lace. Very dark almost opaque walnut color. Aroma wasn't to impressive, just good and malty. Flavor is malty, roasty, slightly tart, a hint of cocoa and excellent! Killer body and the carbonation is perfect for this beer. Tiny bit chewy. No hint of alcohol. easy finish. Really drinkable. Session

Jan 27, 2010
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jbonapar from Canada (ON)

3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with a nice foamy head

Toasted Malts with some bready overtones. A slight sweetness

Taste: Crisp with strong toasted flavors. No bitterness at all, however the alcohol is noticeable and adds a spice to the mix. I would say nutty and a hint of dark-chocolate.

I nice Dubble.

Nov 23, 2009
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jrallen34 from Illinois

3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice in Brugges.

It pours a cola brown body with average carbonation and a thin off-white head.

Enjoyable malty aroma with fruits hints.

Well balanced taste that carries yeasty, toffee, and plummy notes. Ends with a decent bittersweet finish.

Jul 22, 2009
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brdc from Wisconsin

3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Small capped bottle poured into a goblet.

Dark brown, reddish highlights, a small but creamy and long lasting tan head. Not a lot of lacing.
Aroma is sweetish, fruity and yeasty. Body is rather thin, and flavors are understated too; yeasty, sweetish and malty, but dissipates in the mouth rather quickly.
Decent at best.

Jan 14, 2009
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thierrynantes from France

3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sorry but this following comment is in french :

Appearance : Marron, limpide (sur lie), jolie chapeau beige clair serré et durable.
Smell : Nez doux bien malté, fraîchement aigrelet, fruité aux tons miellés.
Taste and mouthfeel : Saveur valant l'arôme, aigre-douce et bien maltée, aux tons boisés, corsée et très équilibrée, ni amère ni âcre. Plénitude savoureuse et fraîche.
Drinkability : une bonne bière dans le style dubbel

Oct 27, 2007
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roblowther from Texas

4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.5 oz bottle, pours nearly black with a thin light tan head that leaves a bit of lacing. The smell is raisins and licorice, with a sharp note that I can't make my mind up about. Still, it makes my mouth water & I suppose that means it succeeded in its design. The taste is sweet up front, quickly dissolving to a dry carob-like taste. Again fruits and a pleasant nuttiness. Nice. There is a lot of tingle on the tongue but it isn't over-carbonated. The body holds it all together. Just about perfect, I'd say. The drinkability is very good, the sharp finish keeping it a hair shy of ideal but who's splitting those? All in all, a darn nice brew. Darker & more intense than I would expect in a dubbel but there's nothing wrong with that. :)

Jul 23, 2007
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Absumaster from Netherlands

3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark brown color with a big bubbled head and lots of carbonation.

Smell is mildly roasted with spicy notes of the Belgian yeast, covered with caramel and candy sugar. This is how a dubbel should smell.

Taste full of sweet caramel and spicy notes. The spice tastes like clove and maybe some cinnamon. The malt is somewhat sweet and sticky and bosy is medium to thin. A great dubbel, which is very drinkable and mild, yet full of character.

Jun 29, 2007
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joe1510 from Illinois

4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz. Bottle
Sam's Downers Grove

Pater Lieven Bruin pours a dark murky garnet with small floating particles. A white head forms in my goblet and quickly falls to a swirling cap with thick edges. Little bubbling cauldrons form in random areas on the head.

Smells of copious amounts of doughy bread and brown sugar. Bing cherries and mild bittersweet chocolate are in the nose as well. There's a very pronounced sweetness from the brown sugar aroma.

Tastes much like the aroma. Very doughy with a nice complimentary brown sugar sweetness. Some dark fruits play a part too. There's figs and maybe plum, maybe not. I'm surprised at this but there is a really nice soft coffee bean flavor. Finishes with a mild coffee bitterness and tobacco leaf. Unique and tasty.

Medium bodied with a velvety creaminess. Moderate carbonation turns the body frothy on the swallow. Even though it's creamy there's a powdery, gritty mouthfeel that is enjoyable.

Unique flavors keep opening up as I go. Makes me want to keep drinking.

I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. I'm glad I could find this and will be going back when I'm in the mood for a good dubbel at a good price.

Mar 31, 2007
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

335 ml from Belgian Shop. From the onset, an underrated Belgian, not much of a lasting head bt straight brown colour, aroma has licorice, fruit, sweeet malt and lots of yummy sweet yeast. Medium plus mouthfeel, like a milkshake, a bit aggressive carbonation as its fresh. Satisfying.

Jan 15, 2007
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kmcnair from California

3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a sincerely deep brown hue, looks almost black until held up to a light where some red tones shine through. The crown on this beer is tan, huge and long-lasting. Aromas of richly roasted and burnt malts are dominant with some subtle hints of dark fruit. Burnt caramel and bitter chocolate flavors, coffee and figy dark dried fruits, nice complexity and almost like a stout, some lingering brown sugar and milk chocolate sweetness in the finish. Medium bodied and lots of carbonation with a clean dry finish. Nicely done for a dubbel, this is almost a belgian stout.

Apr 03, 2006
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jakester from Pennsylvania

4.29/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this as a single at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. Date on the bottle says "best before end 2002. I'm reviewing this as an aged beer, because it's damn tasty. Poured it off the dregs on the bottom into a Kasteel glass.

Pours a slightly hazy deep mahogany with brown tints. A slight head of beige foam forms on top, then quickly drops. No lacing observed on the glass. Carbonation level looks high.

Aroma is very strong dark fruits like plums and prunes, very estery and caramel-y; smells inviting. Nothing in the way of hops, which is correct. Dark, slightly moldy cherries. Pleasant. As it warms up, you can also detect alcohol.

Flavor is huge caramel-y fruity malt and molasses. Plums, prunes, dates, cherries, all on the sweet side, and kind of cooked down.. Alcohol is definitely there. This beer is very yummy, especially considering its age. Aftertaste is of dark, dried fruit.

Mouthfeel is highly effervescent, but sweet. The finish is amazingly dry for all the sweetness.

I would absolutely buy this again. I'd like to try it newer, but for 3 years old, it's fantastic. Held up very well over the years.

Aug 20, 2005
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ChrisBowers from Virginia

3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a bottle into a chalice glass, slight murky brown. Very lively carbonation. Perhaps a little too lively. Taste is heavy on dark fruits, candy/brown sugar, plums, figs, slight almost dessert like finish. Needed to allow some of the carbonation to dissipate to make it a drinkable beer. A great one to try and I'd probably go back again.

Jul 01, 2005
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theo692 from California

3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 33 cl bottle shipped directly from Brussels. Drinking out of a "Chimay" wide-mouth glass.

Had not tried this beer before, but it came highly recommended from Beermania's owner (who knows his stuff). It pours a little on the light or thin side -- very little head to speak of, and just a faint smell (a hint of chocolate). Truth be told, at this point, I wasn't optimistic. But what a taste! Very full, it reminds me of Chimay Gran Reserve, but with a bit more "burnt" taste at the end, and less of an alcohol tang. I would have like a creamier feel, but there's nothing to argue with here. Aftertaste is minimal, with that roasted hint. A sip easily leads to another, and might leave you wishing it came in a 750 ml bottle instead!

I'm drinking it on its own, as the flavor can sustain itself. Not sure I'd like it so much with food. All around, a very pleasant, drinkable beer.

Mar 05, 2004
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feloniousmonk from Minnesota

3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: a solid brown body, under a mountainous, creamy tan head, slow to settle, and leaving lace.
Aroma: cola, nuts, rum, cream.
Taste: a flood of flavor on first sip, a great wash over the tastebuds, rich, luscious, delicious, and warm. ABV is not given, but feels a touch strong.
Body is full, finish is long-lasting, tasty, nutty.
A fruitiness emerges around the middle and lasts until the end.
One drawback is that it feels a bit...*BURP!*...high on carbonation, perhaps?
Feels a bit like an abbey dubbel, one of my favorite styles, without quite reaching the total flavor and complexity.

Jun 14, 2003
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MJR from Missouri

3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a rich brown with hints of red and orange. A touch of haze in the body. A creamy tan head starts out thick and full, and sticks at a solid cap.

Smell: The aroma is fairly sweet and rich with dark fruit, fig, and carob. There's a hint of a woody character, as well as an earthy, leathery note.

Taste: The flavor is quite laid back and a bit thin. I taste dark fruits, fig, carob, toffee, a touch of leather, and the slightest suggestion of wood. Some phenolics are present. Hint of yeasty mustiness towards the end. The aftertaste is extremely earthy and organic, which takes on almost a dark bread flavor.

Mouthfeel: This brew is incredibly creamy and rich with a wonderfully bottle-conditioned mouthfeel. It's quite velvetly and soft, with the tiny bubbles characteristic of natural carbonation.

Drinkability: Above average. This is a pretty good abbey brown (dubbel), but it suffers a bit from the thinness of flavor. The mouthfeel, however, is stunning and perfect for the style.

Overall, this is a good dubbel, but not a great one.

Jun 12, 2003
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Gusler from Arizona

4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour a quite pleasing deep ruby red with a modest head that is frothy in its texture, the lace nice coating sheets. Sweet black walnut tones hit the nose first, malt and a bit of fusel alcohol also present, quite nice actually, lots of malt at the start, ambrosial with the top middling in its feel to the palate. The acidity slaps the palate to an upright position, the hops tickles the taste buds, and the aftertaste all malt dry, calms you down and sets you up for the next taste.

Jan 06, 2003
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aracauna from Georgia

3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Opaque black with khaki head. Head is thick, lasting and clingy. Aroma is nice roasty malt and chocolate. Flavor isn't as rich as the smell would have you believe. The high carbonation overwhelms the flavor a bit.

Dec 01, 2002
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StevieW from Florida

4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. slender brown bottle. Best before "010403" cleary stamped on the back label.
A deep dark brown shiny color. Head was midly explosive, then settled into a dense rich cover all the way down the beer. Minimal lacing despite a great looking head. Smells are a combination of earthy oak, subtle roasted fruits, and a sweet nutty, slight maple syrup presence. Very complex combination of sweet malt up front, subtle earthy nutmeg and maple tastes. A slight sweet toasted plum, and candied apples sneak by. Very subtle sweet tastes, but very pleasing and appropriate. Light bodied for a dark complex beer, but makes it very easy to drink. Take it slow and think about this one, very complex, interesting, and full flavored belgian beer.

Nov 24, 2002
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Bighuge from Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before end 2003 on label.

The beer pours ruby/brown. Clear. Seems to be Highly carbonated from appearance. Bighuge Rocky light brown head with good staying power. A sweet candied aroma. Light spiciness as well. Very nice sweet aspects on the palate. Almost like a bubblegum or cotton candy likeliness. Some slight biscuit malt tones. Spiciness is present in small quantities. A slight peppery spice. Body is light. Very easy drinking and definitely enjoyable.

Nov 05, 2002
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mzwolinski from California

3.22/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown/ruby with an initially thick, light tan creamy head. The aroma is quite woody, and slightly sour. Upon entering the mouth wood is again the most noticeable flavor, but this gives way to a very creamy, rich and malty mid-palate. Finish is slightly sour, and leaves what strikes me as a rather astringent aftertaste. Medium-full bodied.

Oct 30, 2002
Pater Lieven Bruin from Brouwerij Van den Bossche
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 49 ratings