Its been awhile since I first tried a Leffe. It was some years ago, and Bob the Brit had turned me on to the Abbey Ales and their close, but expensive cousins the Trappist Ales.
You probably know this, but its worth repeating the difference. Trappist ales are brewed at Monasteries run by monks. These beers are used to fund their operations, and if memory serves me correctly, there are only 7 Trappist Ale ‘brands’.
Leffe, is considered an ‘Abbey Ale’. The beers are similar, but they are brewed by breweries associated with a particular abbey. Its an important distinction, especially to the Trappists. Leffe is now owned by InBev, but the beer itself has been brewed for many years. Centuries actually.
I was happy to try Leffe Brune because I only ever saw Leffe Blonde on the shelves. As a matter of fact, when I rang out my sixer of Brune, they had to look up the price because it wan’t in the system yet! Maybe it was a happy accident that I was able to get it at all. I’m hoping its a regular stocked item though, now that I’ve tried it.
So, maybe you’re wondering about the beer? Well, I looked back at Bob the Brit’s wonderful, and in-depth review of all the Leffe offerings, and thought I’d just copy and paste his take of the Brune. He gave it 4 stars, as would I, and describes it much better than I ever could.
Moving on to Leffe Brune, again at 6.2%, you notice that the head is a latte coffee colour, and doesn’t last as long as the Blonde, but it still leaves a respectable lacing down the glass.
Leffe Brune is full bodied, close to a Stout or a Porter, but not too heavy, veryquaffable. (Terry Pratchett – one of my favourite authors – describes quaffing as ‘a lot like drinking, but your ears can get wet’.) The flavour of the Brune is altogether richer, fuller, slightly sweet, but ultimately satisfying there are notes of dark treacle, and chocolate, and a hint of coffee, but it’s not too sweet. Against these ales, most lagers and British ales pale (no pun intended) by comparison.
Other tasters have argued between Leffe Radieuese and Leffe Triple (see below) as being among the worlds best beers, I would add that if you’re lucky enough to find it on draught, Leffe Brune is one of the world’s best draught beers.