1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pelforth Brune - Brasserie Heineken

Not Rated.
Pelforth BrunePelforth Brune

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

92 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 92
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 15.38%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Heineken visit their website
France

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerResearcher on 03-24-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 92 | Reviews: 48 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle served in a pokal glass.

A: Pours a dark amber color forming a big creamy and bubbled beige head. Good retention and some soapy and persistent lacings formed and left in the glass

S: Sweet caramel in the nose. Strong notes of caramel malts, roasted malts, toffee, flowery hops. A bit fruity and a bit bready too

T: Slightly sweet upfront. Toffee, caramel malts, crystal malts, roasted malts. Citrus Heineken-style hops. Good hops bitterness in the end

M: Light body. Good carbonation. Roasted malts (slightly sweet) aftertaste

O: Good drinkability. Quite nice for a French beer

eduardolinhalis, Oct 17, 2013
Photo of TheSarge
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised not to see this beer rated a little higher. Well, here's my take on it.

The pour produces massive amounts of sticky and tight milky tan head. The body is dark amber and color, and is quite clear. Head retention lasts a good while, and eventually dissipates into a fine ring.

The aromas are faint, but detectable. I notice hints of toasty malt, which are somewhat sweet and chocolaty. There is also a faint hoppy/metallic presence here too.

This tastes sweet with toffee and cola like flavors.

The overall mouth feel is a little syrupy and oily.

This is one of the finer brown ales that I've ever had. It makes a decent cold weather beer, with its complexity and warming effects.

TheSarge, May 06, 2008
Photo of pin
3/5  rDev -14.5%

pin, May 16, 2012
Photo of BeerResearcher
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is an unusual Brune (brown) ale. Heavy brown in color with a thick, almost syrupy malt. A trace of chocolate and caramel can be detected. Higher quantity of hops than what is normally expected in the brown ale family. The aroma is sweet with noticeable hop and some alcohol scent. The hops have a tea-like and mild citrus bitterness. It's a well-made brew with lots of separate flavors to ponder. Great beige head. The alcohol kick is sneaky. Overly expensive!

BeerResearcher, Mar 24, 2003
Photo of BKotch
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

BKotch, Sep 28, 2014
Photo of Beertracker
3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pelforth Brune pours up with ample carbonation that creates a small, brief tannish-white head that tops the bright reddish-chestnut brown body. The grainy malt aroma shows some candied nut character e.g. pralines, peanut brittle, turtles, etc... with hints of chocolate, caramel, and coffee. Some fruitiness. Maybe a hint of diacetyl? The flavor starts off with a caramel sweetness that gives way to a toasted biscuity character. Mild chocolate roastiness. The bittersweet finish is a touch cloying with some warmth. Medium bodied with a moderate creaminess & textured sharpness. Pelforth Brune is a mild, satisfying beer that would pair nicely with some Coq à la bière or Duck à l'Orange.

CHEERS! Beertracker

Beertracker, Mar 26, 2008
Photo of magictacosinus
3.45/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Dutch pint glass somewhere in Paris out of a bottle.

Pours a brownish color with some light carbonation. Maintains a ring throughout the sitting at the top of the glass. Contains an unfiltered look, but overall looks pretty decent.

Smells very grainy and malty, as expected. There's some notes sweetness around the edges, and other notes of bitterness. Kind of a clash between coffee beans, dark bread, and dark fruit. Mainly, however, this is far more on the breadier side than anything else. For an unfiltered beer, it definitely smells funkier than I expected.

Taste manages to be pretty grainy and malty as it smells, but far more on the bitter side than the sweet side. Interesting, as darker beers tend to be sweeter on premise alone. However, this holds up quite well in its apparent double malted result. The alcohol is barely noticeable, and it retains a smoky, woody taste that keeps it interesting. Manages to stay creamy enough, and the interesting variation of bitterness and smokiness makes it a very drinkable beer.

While not the most impressive brown ale I've had, this holds up well, especially in terms of flavor and drinkability. While at times it can be kind of brittle, it manages to be bitter and funky enough to hold long enough interest to drink several times throughout the evening.

magictacosinus, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of NightINgale
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Small 25cl/250ml bottle brought to me from France

A - Pours a clear brown body, with a pretty nice caramel-coloured head. The lacing is quite nice and the head retention is decent.

S - The aroma isn't particularly intense: a touch of caramel, some bread, and a faint hint of chocolate.

T - Starts out malty and sweet, with caramel and dark chocolate notes and some toasted bread. Then you get more sweetness and some hop bitterness. There is also a slight nuttiness to it and a little bit of that grainy macro taste (it is brewed by Heineken after all). The after-taste is bready, somewhat bitter and a little sweet. Overall, this is rather tasty.

M - Medium body to it. The alcohol shows quite a lot, which is a bit disappointing, considering it's 6.5% and not 8-10%.

O - This was a little better than I expected. I would call it a cross between a brown ale and a doppelbock, though it is a little more generic-tasting than some better examples of those styles. This beer has enough body and drinks pretty well, but the taste of alcohol gets in the way a little bit.

NightINgale, May 29, 2012
Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +14%

beerhunter13, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of stevoj
5/5  rDev +42.5%

stevoj, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of Arithmeticus
3.46/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured chilled in ale glass, imbibed and discussed with buzzlitebier

A: dark amber, good head, small carb bubbles, lacing-conducive
S: sour smell, not much else
T: malty; Euro dark/strong (and resembling something between a porter and Scotch ale); few hops; simple, straightforward flavor; bit of fig and plum

Not bad, but not great.

Arithmeticus, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of videofrog
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

videofrog, Jun 26, 2013
Photo of atis
2.93/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours clear dark brown with large tan rocky head that fades rather fast, some patchy lacing. Aroma is low toasted malt, some nuts.

Taste is stronger roasted bready malt, slightly sweetish, alcohol is rather evident, especially towards the end of the glass. Dry finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium, medium carbonation.

Overall, average Brown Ale.

atis, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of Radome
3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 65 cl Grolsch-top bottle into a goblet.

A - Medium brownish red or even burgundy color. Crystal clear. Off-white head is made of tiny bubbles; initially fluffy and thick and then a thin coating.

S - Muted graham cracker malt notes; faint floral hops. Maybe a hint of prunes and brown sugar. No off-notes; very clean, but not overly complex.

T - Clean and balanced blend of dark malt and gentle hops flavors. Soft and gentle all around; little complexity. Some brown sugar; some grainy notes like pilsner malt. Alcohol flavor shows up late in the palate.

M - Medium body. Low but smooth carbonation. Faint alcohol presence. Low hops bitterness. Slight mouth-coating sweetness.

O - Soft and gentle and easy to drink. Not overly complex, but nothing offensive either. For me this is a good beer (and well worth trying), but not great.

Radome, May 25, 2013
Photo of Sspeer1
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Sspeer1, Sep 19, 2014
Photo of harsley
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this to be sweet release in France. Being so close to Belgium I figured there would be a ton of good beer but they just don't seem to drink a lot of it. I asked once and the waiter said "no, we have French beers" and brought me a Kronenbourg 1664...

I was happy with this. It poured a dark brown with a huge head so it took two pours to get it all from the bottle. Smelled of malt, caramel and some yeastyness. Tasted nice with malt and toasted flavors and some phenols from the yeast. Went down smooth and I had another.

I drank mostly wine in France but if I needed a beer this was my go to when I could find it. Perfect for the Fall which was when I was there.

harsley, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of sfprint
4.08/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

A: Fairly dark brown, but not Guiness dark. Almost no head.

S: Smokey and heavy, but there's also a listerin tinge to it. Unique for sure. Very Porter-like.

T: Porter-like but lighter. Quite pleasent, like a cross between an amber and a porter. Very pleasing flavor.

M: Nothing special and barely carbonated.

O. Really excellent beer. Best of both porter and amber worlds.

sfprint, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of warpedrevolution
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

warpedrevolution, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of heerboth
2.25/5  rDev -35.9%

heerboth, May 18, 2014
Photo of khiasmus
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Beautiful mahogany with a single finger of light tan head that, sadly, dissipates quickly.

S- Malt. Tons. And a bit of grain, not much else. Good and to style. Very faint hop aroma.

T- Initially rich and malty, with a good bit of roastiness following quickly. No hop balance, but a hint of roasty bitterness to balance the malt. Has a distinct grain flavor, like that of grains being steeped for brewing. A hint of mild cigar tobacco, and a bit of caramel.

M- Creamy, chewy, fairly highly carbonated. An almost perfect mouthfeel for the style.

D- Quite good. An excellent high-end session beer. Recommended.

khiasmus, Oct 23, 2007
Photo of tjd25
3.03/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I don't know how I feel about the "good for a French beer" comment in the previous review...

Pelforth was apparently the first "brown beer" introduced in France back in the days. The beer was initally called Pelforth 43 because PELican was the name of the brewery, because the beer was FORTe (strong in French) and the TH is from thames, like they got ingredients from London, but I forgot the exact story. 43 was from the number of kilograms of malts used in the brewing process (for every hectoliter I believe), far higher than for other beers at the time. They changed the name to just Pelforth after the war cuz 43 sounded too much like the years of war.

The head was dense and foamy and didn't fade too quickly. The body had a nice dark mahogany color. The smell was malty, nicely nutty and slightly sweet. The taste is extremely malty and the roasted coffee aspect was a bit over the top for me.It has some character, but it's kind of harsh on the palate. Similar to the Adelscott brewed by Fischer. Quite chewy, with hints of sourness too. Mouthfeel is creamy at first, and a bit sweet and soda-like after, although the beer is not overly carbonated. Not quite drinkable. Not (too) bad, but I probably wouldn't buy it again.

tjd25, Aug 29, 2004
Photo of jonb5
4/5  rDev +14%

jonb5, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of ThaCreep
2.85/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Roasted malt nose but no other noticeable flavor. The mouth is still highly diluted and it feels like to drink flavored water, slightly bitter. This bitterness is also to forget unless you like the artificiality. Not really tasty and little to enjoy. In the same style of beer, the English models are light years away.

ThaCreep, Aug 08, 2011
Photo of Bobhoya
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Bobhoya, Aug 24, 2012
Photo of rale
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

rale, Apr 22, 2012
Pelforth Brune from Brasserie Heineken
80 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.