Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Leffe Brune

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20Chad9976 (1511) - Orlando, Florida, USA - DEC 9, 2015
It’s hard to believe that the world’s largest beer conglomerate can actually get niche, Old World styles right. Leffe Brune was originally brewed by Abbaye de Leffe, but that brand is owned by AB-InBev; so who knows if it’s still being brewed at the same place it traditionally has been, or if it’s made in an ABI facility. 

I poured an 11.2oz bottle into a wine glass. It had a best before date of 6/10/16 and cost $1.99 ($0.18 per ounce). Thanks to Mike for this bottle!

Appearance: Seemingly brown in color, though actually a deep shade of burgundy. Carbonation can be seen within. There is no sediment (this doesn’t appear to be bottle-conditioned). Pours to a large, white, foamy head which laces and retains quite well.

Smell: Sweet dark malts not unlike that of an English brown ale, though the Belgian yeast esters are prominent and create for a lovely floral and fruit scent.

Taste: This beer is marketed as Belgian brown ale, though that’s not really a major recognized style. It’s not quite a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, nor an Abbey Dubbel. It has the sweetness and flavors commonly found in British brews of the sort. Caramel, toffee, raisin, a touch of rum are all found in here. The yeast gives it a little bit of banana and also some peppery character on the back end. There’s even a hint of smoke, but it comes across almost as dark chocolate. All these flavors seem to be authentic; I’m not detecting anything faux and/or cloying. Overall, it’s quite delectable.

Drinkability: At only 6.5% ABV, Leffe Brune is fairly light for such a complex and robust Belgian brew. I do notice a mild alcohol presence in the form of flavor and warmth, but it’s not distracting. The mouthfeel is a bit thinner and less carbonated than I expected; however, I appreciate that it’s comfortable in the mouth and smooth on the throat. A mild sweetness lingers on the palate. Though there are many beers out there that are even sweeter, this is a liquid dessert.

RATING: 9/10

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