Petrus Winterbier - De Brabandere

Not Rated.
Petrus WinterbierPetrus Winterbier

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143 Reviews

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Reviews: 143
Hads: 196
Avg: 3.56
pDev: 14.04%
Wants: 4
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
De Brabandere visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Dark Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-23-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 143 | Hads: 196
Photo of BeerImmediately
4.02/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml into Petrus stemware at 45 degrees.

Pours with a HUGE beige head over a very deep amber colored body, with a ton of carbonation flowing up.

Aromas of candy sugar, allspice, rich fruits (dates and cherry), and plenty of sweetness - caramel malts and molasses-like quality as it warms. Smells thick.

Comes across a bit 'cloudy' on the palate... flavors are considerably different than the aromas - root beer, red grapes, and a slight citric tang. Slight floral/herbal twang. Final finish is actually pretty bitter.

Incredibly tight & dry - almost biting, if that's possible for the style. Carbonation was a bit over the top, though, which brings it just under a 4 in my book.

I have to score this one pretty high on drinkability, although I don't have a lot of experience in this Belgian Dark Ale style (BSDA yes... BDA, no).

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Photo of megahurts4
3.15/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Petrus Winter Ale

Appearance: Cloudy dark orange, little lacing, and a large head.

Smell: Malts, alcohol, and slight yeast.

Taste: Yeast, malts, slight dark fruit, and very subtle Belgian sweetness (honey).

Mouthfeel: Medium and slightly watery.

This is ok. I didn't expect much out of a $5 beer including glass. It is brewed by Bavik and isn't all that bad. It is definitely a Belgian ale. It is slightly watery, but decent flavored.

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Photo of crossovert
3.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Labeled as Petrus Winter Ale. 750 ml corked, caged, and gold foiled brown bottle. I don't know what vintage it is.

Pours a pretty clear brownish read with an active white head that recedes quickly to some okay lacing.

The smell is estery, fruity, and alcoholic, but it smells great, definitely a winter beer, though im enjoying it in the summer.

The taste is fruit to the max. There is hints of grape and toffee as well, but overall it is smooth and decadent. The mouthfeel is a bit overcarbonated and watery though, it happens in Petrus beers.

This is a great beer that paired well with Jamaican beef brisket, fontina/garganzola cheese veggie pizza, and spicy rum black beans.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love those beer gift sets at the liquor store, especially now that the holidays are over and it becomes possible to score some sweet stuff at a bargain price. Case in point, the Petrus Winter Ale set consisting of a 750ML corked and caged bottle of beer and a gorgeous goblet (it's got an amazing sound when you flick it with a fingernail).

Petrus Winter Ale pours a stiff couple fingers of loose foam over a cloudy brown brew. Carbonation is steady and moderate, and the nose is grain hulls, a little yeast funk and a tang of alcohol. Flavor is mild wheat cracker up front with notes of dried fruit giving over to a likewise restrained herbal hop.Mouthfeel is smooth and fairly light, finishing semi dry. Very light and crisp for a holiday offering, it makes a nice change from the heavier fare that often characterizes the winter warmer/holiday ale style. Well worth a try and the goblet is just fabulous!

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Photo of spointon
3.31/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I poured this one from a 750ml corked/caged brown bottle into my tall stemmed Petrus flute glass.

A= This ale poured an amber/red color with good clarity and a 1.5", loose, off-white head. The head dropped slowly to a 1/4" cap and left some sticky lace behind.

S= Unquestionable Belgian yeast aroma. Slightly musty yeast & fruity esters coupled with a light dose of malt. Faint unidentifiable spices.

T= Everything detected in the nose plus a few other things. Some light phenolic rolling around the yeasty funk and the estery fruit. The spiciness was sort of disjointed and served as a distraction really. Finished fairly dry.

MF= Medium bodied with a crisp high carbonation. This is just what a Belgian ale of this sort shoud be like.

D= This was an OK beer. There seemed to be too many flavors that just didn;t meld together properly. Sort of a disappointment from Petrus, especially considering that its meant to be a winter/holiday ale.

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Photo of drpimento
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hmm, pretty nice. Poured with a nice foamy, frothy off white head with lots of lace. Color is dirty copperish amber. Aroma is funky nice with some malt, sour, skanky belly button, old cheese, and something else I can't stick my nose in. Flavor's all a that and more. This one is slightly more sour than sweet which makes it so drinkable. Some caramel. Body is good although carbonation seems a tad strong. Good beer!

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a snifter.

Hazed rusty/amber color with a huge off-white head of bubbly foam that left a good amount of lacing.
The smell is full of dark fruits and yeast.
The taste is a little tart upfront with sweeter flavors of dates and raisin coming in before finishing dry and tart.
Medium bodied with good carbonation.
Goes down smooth and easy.

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into a tulip,pretty good head retention and lacing. smell has some lemon rind,sweetarts,somewhat sour,slightly spicy.

taste is fairly tart,fruity,spicy,finishes a bit dry.very nice amount of acidity to balance out the fruity flavor.

very lively carbonation fits well i think with this style.light bodied.if this was a bit cheaper i'd pick it up more.

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Photo of brownbeer
3.22/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours orange with gold highlights around the edges and a fluffy white head

Estery nose, spicy yeast with apple and banana notes.

Body is light with apple, plum, and mild, dried fruit notes.

Lacks depth and character, not really the best example of a Belgian winter warmer.

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Photo of srroos
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle (cellared from 2007) into a tulip glass. Hazy amber-brown with a very large, fluffy, off-white head. Smells like green apples and yeast. Taste is primarily tart apples, followed by some malty sweetness, finishing with just a bit of bitterness and yeast. Highly carbonated and medium bodied. The tartness makes the mouth water after every sip. Very smooth and drinkable. Delicious!

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Photo of homebrew311
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a Petrus tulip(?) at Durty Nellies.

A: pours a dark brownish red with some hues of purple and ruby. Virtually no head, light passes through

S: I pick up some diacetyl on the front followed by faint grapes and raisins. A slight hint of candi sugar and spicy belgian yeast

T: Again, a very slight hint of buttery diacetyl on the front. Nothing offensive or over powering, but certainly unique. Mid palate, there is a lot of malty sweetness in the form of red grapes. Slight tartness. Everything seems mild here. Nice flavor, but certainly not in your face by any means.

MF: Thin body, slightly water, low carbonation, sight stickiness

D: This is extremely drinkable for a dark Belgian ale, dangerously drinkable for a abv over 6%. For me though, this is simply too lacking in flavor to consider it a top notch Belgian brew.

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Photo of popery
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lively Belgian with a pleasant profile. This beer pours a muted amber-brown with a puffy, frothy head. There's some haze as I get closer to the bottom of the bottle, but it's just from the yeast cake being disturbed a bit. The aroma has a phenol, band-aid quality with touches of sweet cherries, spices and lightly caramelized sugar. The flavor is more successful, dry and lightly sour from a pleasant Belgian yeast. The beer is nice and light on the palate. There just isn't enough going on for a higher score.

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Photo of Travlr
3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I assume that they call it a "winter" beer so you'll keep drinking it after Christmas. Thin brown with scant tan head. Thinner and plainer than most Christmas ales, although I did like the cinnamon aroma. Little bitterness and not enough complexity.

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Photo of Grabbin2nd
3.11/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From Notes: 3/3/09
Petrus Brouwerij Bavik
Winter Ale
6.5% abv.
Corked and Caged 750

Appearance= Slow pour into New Belgium Snifter yields a massive white head. Golden body.

Smell= Mild, apples and oranges? Big yeast to it.

Taste= Good taste. It's kinda like an apple juice/ Beer

Mouthfeel= On the thin side and very high on carbonation

Drinkability= Decent. Once again, it's like drinking an apple juice/ beer or something. Not bad, just not my thing.

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Photo of ccrida
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle poured into my Petrus chalice, IIRC, it's from last winter, dug out of the cellar for a night cap. Huge head on the first pour, but subsequent pours were more manageable. Murky chestnut, off-white, creamy foam with long last leaving light lace.

Smell is a bit soapy, there's some nice cinnamon and prune notes though

Taste has a nice sweetness, more of the bread pudding then soap from the nose, some leafy hops, has a bit of an older beer flavor that I like, rounded out and softened.

Mouthfeel is pretty carbonated, soft though, medium light bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good, a nice little BDA. A bit light for a noel, and I can see how the soap notes might be too much for people...I'd be curious to know if they were stronger or less so when it was first bottled, probably about 1.5 years ago.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A massive, foamy white head full of dense carbonation bubbles erupts from the walnut brown body leaving a faint lacing in its trail and thing layer lasting throughout the beer.

Smells of big yeast & carbonation, brown/candied sugar, & sweet fruit.

Immediate flavor of sugar and dark fruit, but there is also an underlying, deep sour note and also bread like quality. The sour flavor becomes more and more pronounced the further into the beer you get.

A bit heavy on the carbonation, yet very fluid & on the lighter side in body with a very different palate feel than I expected.

This is an easy to drink beer, although not the best Belgian dark I have sampled, quite enjoyable. Not what I was expecting based on it being a Belgian dark/winter ale style brew, but respectable in its own way.

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Photo of wl0307
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 1st beer on my 2008-9 Belgian Winter Ale tasting "panel". At 7%abv., it comes in a 330ml slim brown glass bottle, with no freshness info. printed on the label or bottle; served lightly chilled in Hapkin's tulip-shaped sniffer.

A: dark copper or reddish brown, murky with lively fizziness; the dark beige head builds up slowly and patiently to a huge soufflé head and lingers well, leaving uneven lacing as it goes.
S: sour apples and a touch of oxidised juicy sweet pears are quite the most noticeable (a bit like a rich British premium bitter), the yeastiness gives out sour-funky notes, while candy-ish malt sweetness comes rather timid, seemingly suppressed by the thick froth along with any potential aroma. A swirl breaks up the stalemate and levels the maltiness up with an aromatic estery fruity hint, arriving at a rough balance b/w the sweet side and the sour.
T: pretty delicious and difficult to compare with other Belgian ales - a lightly yeasty amber malt entry comes rather warming and compact, backed by moderate brown sugary sweetness and fruit-estery aroma; the flavour stays exactly this way, until a mixed fruity aftertaste (like cherry water, plums, aromatic apples...?!) expands with a wee bit of warming alcohol. Neither bitter, sour nor cloying, the main theme seems to be just delicious amber malts and beautiful esters, throughout the drink...
M&D: despite the fizzy outlook, the mouthfeel comes much milder and retains a refreshing level at best; all in all, this medium-bodied amber ale is perhaps the lightest and least complex I've come across for a Belgian winter ale, and remarkably so IMO as a quaffable ale in winter.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.59/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle tried 19 Jan 2008.

Pours with a huge head that fills the glass, leaving a scant 1/4" of beer at the bottom. What beer there is, is well carbonated. Cloudy deep golden color. Aroma is of yeast, ethanol, slightly musty, like dry champagne. Flavors are light but pleasing, caramel, white grapes and apples. Reminiscent of dry champagne, particulary because of the effervescent carbonation. Doesn't seem particularly wintery. Light body but still somewhat chewy.

Head lasts longer than the beer, remaining in the glass for several hours after the last sip.

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large Belgian brown bomber, caged and corked. I could not understand the numbers that were printed on the label (freshness info?) Pours darker amber, with a moderate reddish hue. Lively carbonation initially (pour with care) resulting in a loose and active head, that calms down and then lives a thick outer ring. The lacing is slippery and thick. Fruity/spiced nose, interesting and different. Zesty, slightly sour brown ale. Dark fruits, blackberry life saveresque. Perhaps some light winter spicing. Sweet/sour/spiced. Interesting and tasty brew, perhaps festive is the best way to describe it. I enjoyed this one, if you appreciate the variety and eccentricity of Belgian brewing this one is worth a try

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Photo of dannypo
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color with a slight haze. Large head with large bubbles.

The aroma is of spicy hops, lemons that sre just begining to go bad and a hint of flowery hand soap.. It doesn't sound great but it really works.

Taste is of bready malt, a slight lactic sourness. There is some green apple in there as well.

The mouthfeel is where this beer suffered. The carbonation almost burns my mouth. It covers the complexities of this beer.

Very drinkable. Especially after swirling some of the carbonation out.

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Photo of westweasel
3.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Petrus tulip glass (it came as a Christmas gift set).

Aroma: Bready, some peppery spice, caramel

Appearance: Very effervescent. A dark copper color that is somewhat hazy, with a mountain of thick, beige head. Constant flow of bubbles from the bottom of the glass.

Taste: Bready, light caramel and toffee, with some clove and pepper. Pretty close to the smell.

MF: Fairly thin, high carbonation, and fairly dry finish.

Drinkability: Pretty drinkable and refreshing. Pretty nice.

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Photo of gpogo
3.77/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark amber with a ruby tint. Very lively carbonation. After the initial pour the head was very large and off-white. It dissipated into a foamy covering and leaves a nice sparse lacing.

A- Light sweet malt aroma and an almost sour aroma. I was not expecting a sour beer. The sourness is very light. As it warms I smell a light chocolate taste.

T- Malty backbone, however there is a definite lactic sourness on top. I'm not sure whether this is a large use of sour malt or a sour beer from the lightness of sour. I also notice a slightly phenolic(metallic) taste. The backing malt is interesting and makes me wonder if the sourness was unexpected, chocolate malt and a very light roasted malt covered in sourness.

M- Medium bodied with high carbonation.

D- I'm still conflicted whether this was meant to be a sour beer. That said I really enjoyed this as a sour beer, I found the chocolate malts to be odd in said sour beer. However this turned into a great introduction to sour beers for my roommate. I'd recommend giving it a try. My bottle was from the 2007-2008 winter, I wonder if a 2008-2009 Winter Ale is sour as well or if this is something that has developed more throughout the cellaring.

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Photo of peabody
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out like dark Ice tea with lots of small off-white bubbles. Very carbonated. Watch out opening this one, the cork will put your eye out.
Smels like sour grape leaves and apple peel. Slight lemony aroma.
Taste is bubbly raspberry and bitter peach along with the lemon zest. Not a sour beer but not a normal winter ale either.
Leaves the palate dry after the initial bubbles and flavor wear off.
I bought this at Roof Brothers Liquors in Paducah, Ky. Kane says it's a red ale but I don't know.

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Photo of adamette
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle with a double label on the front of it stating "Petrus Winter Ale" into a clean, clear glass. Had purchased this bottle in a gift pack with a free glass from Beverage Warehouse on Mayfield Road in Cleveland a month or so ago. I checked the Bavik Website and it appears that "Winterbier" and "Winter Ale" are the same product.

A Pours a hazy orange golden brown with a decent one inch head. Nice look.

S Quite nice malt smell with maybe some cinnamon, honey. No bitterness, nice and inviting.

T Really nice sweet malt, cinnamon and honey continued into the taste and were welcome with some additional citrus. Very little to no bitterness. I am pleasantly suprised by this beer.

M Moderate with big, interesting tastes and medium ABV level.

D Really good, interesting. Had me coming back for more.

Notes: My first of the Petrus beers, I bought almost all of them at beers of the world in Rochester before finding this Winter Ale here in Cleveland. I have yet to sample those other ones but this may be the best winter ale that I have had.

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Photo of Gmann
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a 750ml corked and caged bottle. The BDA pours a clear honey brown color with an airy egg shell colored head that settled into a light cap. The aroma is light, some vinous attributes, sweet overall. The taste is sweet toasted malt, similar to an amber ale, has a lemony tartness and a subtle earthy spice. The feel is fairly light, tons of carbonation, finishes tart and sweet. A medicore BDA, no outstanding flavors, a tad over-carbonated. Basically bought it for the glass.

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Petrus Winterbier from De Brabandere
81 out of 100 based on 143 ratings.