Petrus Speciale Ale - De Brabandere

Not Rated.
Petrus Speciale AlePetrus Speciale Ale

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105 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 105
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.21
pDev: 14.95%
Wants: 0
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
De Brabandere visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dsa7783 on 01-14-2008

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 58
Reviews by cjgiant:
Photo of cjgiant
3.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle says this is an "amber colored top-fermenting beer", so I was looking at it tasting more like a lager, perhaps. With the low rating I wasn't expecting much. I was nicely surprised, but that doesn't mean I was impressed.

A: I get a dark golden beer, not an amber, but it is quite clear and produces nice carbonation.
S: malty nose, some hay, apple
T/M: similar to the nose, light bitterness, but refreshing. While it's far from a heavy beer, there is a little more body to it than I expected.
O: I think this beer would be a good replacement for any time you might otherwise consider a pilsner, say a cookout on a warm summer night. However, even saying that, there are likely better and cheaper options for that too.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
2.56/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a hazy orange-amber color with a small white head. The aroma is full of biscuit malt with some Belgian yeast and a little bit of cooked vegetable notes. The flavor is similar. I get some iced tea notes, as well as a little bit of toffee and biscuit notes. There is a slight metallic character to the flavor as well as some grassy notes. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Photo of jondeelee
3.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bears a lovely fruity bouquet, ripe with strawberries, peaches, apricots, and white grape, and bearing more than a passing strong resemblance in this fashion to a sparkling, extra-sugary champagne, or perhaps a high-quality wine cooler. Small hints of toasted grains beneath the fruity notes remind that this is still, however, a beer.

On the tongue, the brew takes a surprising turn and comes across as largely sour, the fruity notes from the nose almost disappearing beneath a fermented apple cider chorus. Hints of apple cider vinegar are present, as well as a good smattering of bitter hops. Sugars and light fruit esters bubble around, bringing the sweetness up to a level to help counter the sourness, and a good thread of lightly toasted grains finishes off the mouthful. The aftertaste is largely cidery, with hints of fruits.

Overall, this is a good-quality beer, but doesn't compare to Petrus' other offerings, and seems overly-dominated by sour flavors. A better mix of sugars would have done this brew wonders.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- The clear deep caramel body has a lumpy beige head with some micocarbonation racing around like cross town traffic.

S- The dry spice and mineral notes have a dry caramel malt hint to the finish but it stays pretty clean.

T- The dry carbonic acid note gives way to dry caramel malt and a flint hint in the finish. Some sulfur taste comes through in the finish aswell.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a gentle fizz but no alcohol heat.

O- The dry caramel malt flavor is overpowered by the fizz taste and the spice might be a big coriander flavor but it almost taste a little metallic. As it opens the caramel flavor grows and the spice gets softer which makes it taste better.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.2/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a coppery color with a firm soapy head. The brew has a slight haze that makes it slightly opaque.

The smell has a slight cider scent to it with fruity esters of apples and pears. There is a slight solvent scent but nothing terrific. I would expect something larger in the nose for a Belgian strong ale.

Taste is mediocre. There is a light crisp apple flavor but everything else is weak. There is a biscuty malt flavor but its tired and a little stale.

A strong carbonation is the best part to this beer. In fact there isn't a whole lot to describe about this drinking experience. The beer is light for the style in every way. A lower scent and a next to nothing taste. I would pass if offered again.

Photo of Mar02x
2.91/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - A nice light brown beer with a tiny carbonation bubble in the fluid, the head is white and fluffy. Overall; it is nice to watch.

S - A prickly Pilsener scent.

T - Carbonated water with a slight Pilsener taste! IN the depth there is some malt syrup leftover, but really nothing more.

M - The carbonation is good and the bitterness OK, but overall nothing special.

O - Maybe a nice thirst quencher on a sunny day!?

Photo of emsroth
2.36/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle from sampler

App: Solid amber with a slight cloudiness. Fluffy white head.

Smell: Caramel apples, honey malt, herbal hops.

Taste: Caramel-like sweetness. Definitely some bread, maybe that bread is slightly toasted. Slight mineral/sour end.

Medium body but it feels so thin.

NOTE: The Petrus family of beers has been very disappointing. All of them are very watery in flavor with thin bodies.

Photo of tweeder263
3.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out a medium amber brew with a fluffy one finger head. Low to medium carbonation. Smell of typical belgian,yeasty,estery,semisweet smelling.No hop smell at all. Taste is dry,slightly tart,a tiny bit watery,not terrible but not outstanding either. Thin mouthfeel. It is a drinkable brew nonetheless,,just not exciting.

Photo of russpowell
2.83/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Got this as part of 6 beer gift pack....

Pours amber & effervescent with 3+ fingers of tan head. Very good lacing & average head retention

S: Breadyness & apples, perfumy hops

T: Pears, woody & hops & a hint of cardboard & some apple juice up front. Pears, dryness & woody hops as this warms, plus apple sauce. Finishes with apple sauce & some woody hoppyness

MF: Thinnish body, slightly over carbonated. Thickens up as this warms

This the second beer from this sampler I've tried, so far I am not feeling this. This is a disappointing Belgian Pale Ale at best

Photo of HalfFull
3.33/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Speciale opens with a confident pffft yet without the flood of carbonation I experienced with the Dubbel and Tripel. And that's a good start. Poured into a wine glass, Speciale is a dark golden amber in color and sports a half inch of whitish foam. Decent retention and lacing follow.

Nose is full of citrus and currants, overripe summer fruit, yeast and malt and is a bit odd and deep, yet intriguing for the style. Flavor follows the deep notes and offers a malty and earthy flavor with sweet clove notes and a nice and rich yeast spice finish.

Nice feel with a full carbonation. Rich for the style and more reminiscent of Bavarian Dunkel with some age on it. Interesting.

Date code 39356??

Photo of KTCamm
3.75/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours dark amber, black thrown through, with very fizzy white foam. Lacing all over. Apple cider nose - tart. Taste is a mellow ale, some latent tart/souring. Fast finish - off a cliff buzzy carbonation. If you really look for it there is some hop bite at the end. But otherwise an even keeled ale with some creativity mixed in.

Photo of CrazyDavros
2.42/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark amber with a small fading head.
Nose shows big doughy Belgain yeast and associated soft phenols, along with a fair whack of caramel, some faint green apple and a stale, cardboard character.
Flavours are pretty poor, lots of grainy malt with dominant metallic characters.
Way too much carbonation.

Photo of smakawhat
3.2/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

An extremely weak and soapy shampoo like white head that falls fairly quickly onto a crystal clear bronze body. Glass has lots of large cola like bubbles stuck to it, and there is a good amount of fast rising carbonation coming from the body. Some slight lacing on the glass as well.

Mild grainy malts, and sweet green apple smelling. Kind of a sense of wet and slight syrup coming.

Taste brings some light sugar and honey, but a simple malt bit of crispness. Finish comes of sweet, but even a little crisp, some airy malts. Taste on the palate is a bit fleeting and just doesn't really stick around much. Mouthfeel is not too bad, slight gaseous and carbonated a bit, fleeting bitter hop with no distinction.

Overall pretty easy drinking if kind of pedestrian and sort of boring. At least it's not awful, but doesn't really do so much for me. Meh... pass.

Photo of Bierguy5
4/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz., 5.5 % ABV. Pours a cloudy amber color, with a white foamy head. Good head retention.

Nice fruity aroma, mainly citrus and apples. A few subtle spices in the background.

Lots of fruit up front, with a good amount of sweetness. Some earthy hops help to balance the malt. Lingering apple flavor.

Light body, with lots of carbonation, making it seem almost frothy. Very easy to drink. Simple, but nice.

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a hazy apple-cider-esque hue with a billowy and firm cream-colored three-finger head. Decent retention, leaving a permanent ring atop the glass and sheets of cakey lacing down the glass.

estery belgian qualities mixed with some subtle fruit and spice. apples, pears, lemon. straw, lemongrass, pale malt.

flavor is fairly subdued. a touch tart up front with a bit of belgian yeast, a bit of fruit - apples and pears - and some malt hiding underneath. a bit of whole wheat toast with some sweet and sour notes. A bit bland, a bit stale, and a bit funky. Not awful, but not memorable.

mouthfeel is alright, a bit slick, with some ample carbonation. The carbonation is a bit soft - not as crisp as anticipated... smooth on the whole. again, nothing incredibly memorable. a b it lackluster. tart and sweet on the palette.

All in all, a fairly lackluster brew. there are a few pleasant notes... some nice fruit and tart notes. but all in all, it's fairly unimpressive and forgettable. I'm not even finished with it, and I've practically forgotten about it. A disappointing brew from Petrus... not really worth seeking out.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown 33cl bottle, just past its best before date and poured into my huge 'Judas' tulip glass.

Everything and anything looks good in this glass, the body was a bright amber more than a golden colour. A large white head on top mostly made up of big bubbles. Good lacing as the head thinned out during the tasting.

Typical Belgian ale aroma, yeast and hops with a mixed fruit type over smell.

Dry and refreshing taste and feel to it, the hops and yeast mentioned in the aroma are well represented in the flavours too.

The 5.5% alcohol sits pleasantly within the beer, a little more 'umph' wouldn't go amiss though. A little too fizzy for a good Pale Ale for me.

This is the second beer in the Petrus range I've reviewed, a few more to come from my stash, hope they start to get more interesting.

Photo of Badger6
3.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 355 mL bottle into a tulip. I cannot tell what the beer's age is, but based on my experience, perhaps its past its prime? No idea.

A: Hazy brown body, some carbonation is visible but it's not really visible, and a lot of suspended 'stuff.'

S: Has a sweet but clean smell, like drying apples and caramel.

T: Slightly sweet flavor, dry caramel malts, hints of apples. The carbonation is gentle, but it seems to interfere with the base malt flavors, never letting them fully expand on the palate. There is a hint of something metallic or sulfurous, not strong or distinct, but it is in the taste. Clean finish.

M: Medium to heavy moth feel, gently carbonated, no distinct alcoholic feel on the tongue.

O: The carbonation interferes with the flavors of the malt in the front. Then there is a metallic or sulfurous flavor note that comes in and begins to mess with the middle and finish. As the beer warms a bit things get better, but not by much. This is drinkable, but not awesome.

Photo of ThaCreep
2.56/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Moderately malty nose compared to other models of this kind, one feels as coriander and citrus. Body creamy enough, she does some minimal flavor and finish, which mixes both the cheese, crust and roots, is not very pleasant. A mediocre Speciale Pale...

Photo of biggred1
3.88/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden copper with a big fizzy white head that leaves sliding lace on the glass. Smells of citrus and fruity belgian yeast. Tastes of sweet fruity candy and tart citrus. Lighter bodied and highly carbonated, this isn't the most impressive belgian pale out there but is a nice quaffer anyway.

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Look: Copper color with 1/2 inch tan foamy head and ok retention

Smell: Bready yeast and caramel malt with some raisin in the background

Taste: Caramel malt and hints of dark fruits but it is so faint that I am pressed to say there is not much at all going on here

Mouthfeel: Medium body and high carbonation

Overall: For a Belgian beer this one has no flavor what so ever not what I have come to expect. I am extremely let down by this beer

Photo of Zorro
3.77/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber colored ale with a medium sized off-white colored head.

Smell is musky and fruity like peaches on the verge of being over ripe. Aromas of peach, plum, fig, raisin and grapes. Musky wine barrel scent of a wine barrel warehouse full of wine in oak losing ever so slight amounts of volatiles through the wood. Strong oak wood aroma here. I am sure that there are those who don't like the smell of maturing wine in barrels but I sure do and that gives this beer a bit of a plus in the aroma category.

The taste starts out woody and leathery with the taste of some sort of English style hop. Lots of woody flavor like it was stored a long time in a barrel, which it probably was. That's about it this tastes like an old cask English pale ale.

Mouthfeel is good.

Bit of a pain to get, you pretty much have to buy the Petrus boxed six-pack, which set me back $28. Not a bad beer but too bad it isn't that easy to get.

Photo of CHickman
2.58/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours cloudy chestnut brown in color with a 2 finger creamy tan head that faded pretty quickly; decent lacing that slides down the glass.

Smells of sweet malt, caramel, honey, light floral hops, grains, orange peel, apple, rum and dark fruits; pretty tame nose for a Belgian.

Tastes of sweet malt, caramel, rum, honey, light hops, yeast, grains, orange peel, sour apple, raisin and dark fruits like plum; the sweet taste seems to tail off bitter as the coriander, yeast or grains take this beer to a mellow rum like state that finishes dry with a slight pucker. I wasn't crazy about the finish, which had a slight metallic twang combined with a bitterness that took away from the sweet complexities of the flavors up front.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with basically no carbonation that fizzles and medium body.

It's an interesting beer that went down smooth and has some nice complex flavors, but something was a little off for my liking; it's a decent beer that's a little sweet for me personally. This was a let down and not very "speciale" at all.

Photo of Douberd
2.8/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown botle of 30 ml, part of a six pack of Petrus beers. Poured into a tulip glass at home.
One finger of white head, average retention. Light lacing around the glass. Colour of the beer is a deep orange copper one. No activity in the glass.
Aroma is malts, yeast, some fruits like apricots and peach. Not too strong of an aroma, but a pleasant one.
Hmm, taste is weak. Sweet/sour, quite metallic and just some caramelized malts. Slighty bitter aftertaste, with a short finish.
Thin on the body, average carbonation. Only a bt dry on the palate.
Overall, not the best of the Petrus beers I have tasted so far, and certainly the weakest and most forgetable one as it lacks lots of character.

Photo of dsa7783
3.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copped this 11.2 oz bottle as part of a Petrus gift pack from Gary's in Madison... Has a green sticker on the logo with a fat monk with a key and a foamy beer in his hand... logo specifically says "Petrus Speciale Ale", and with a 5.5% ABV, this beer is easily drinkable, although the taste is somewhat bland for the style, and not too appealing... good amber appearance with frothy head, with a citrus, fruity smell... taste complements the aroma, full of citrus, lemon, sweet fruits, with a watery mouthfeel coupled with an easy although somewhat unsatisfying drinkability... recently sampled Petrus Blonde, and that didn't blow me away either... not too big of a fan of these Petrus brews, but this is worth a shot...

Photo of woodychandler
2.51/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I kind of blew it this past winter - The Fridge was selling Petrus gift packs that included five different beers and I dragged my feet until it was too late. Since then, I have managed to find four different ones, of which this will be my first.

From the bottle: "The Key to Heaven"; "Petrus Special is an amber-coloured top fermented ale. This ale's characteristic aroma is a result of the specially selected malt and hop varieties. Petrus Special is brewed according to an age-old recipe. Serve cool (6 - 10 C)."

My pour produced a finger of tawny head with limited retention. Color was a coppery amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a caramel malt sweetness accompanied by an odd lemony citrusiness. Mouthfeel was on the thin side and the taste was equally muted, kind of sweet like caramel, but with a slight bitterness on the tongue. Overall, though, there was nothing terribly special about it. Finish left a watery taste in my mouth, like I had been drinking colored water. Man, I hope that the rest of my inventory is better than this. Yawn!

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Petrus Speciale Ale from De Brabandere
75 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.