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Hoegaarden Speciale - Brouwerij van Hoegaarden

Not Rated.
Hoegaarden SpecialeHoegaarden Speciale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

34 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 34
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.88%
Wants: 12
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij van Hoegaarden visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Witbier |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-05-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 34 | Reviews: 28 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by flyingpig:
Photo of flyingpig
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

250ml bottle from Beers of Europe website (£1.89):
Slightly hazy, light amber a 2cm, foamy white head that holds well & shows signs of carbonation.

Clove & wheat initially followed by some clove and a little orange. A few citrus notes along with some spice and a touch of yeast also make an appearance.

Clove & hints of coridander upfront with some orange coming through and a little spice. There is some citrus as well and this one does a fairly good job of mirroring the nose. There is spice and various fruits with a slightly sour taste towards the end.

Smooth for the most part with some spice on top of a medium body and good, solid carbonation that gives the beer a nice kick.

Quite a nice beer but very similar to Hoegaarden itself, to be honest I can't tell what the difference is meant to be and am questioning whether this is a gimmick or not. Regardless this one is an enjoyable beer that runs the original very close & is a touch stronger in taste.

flyingpig, Nov 18, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of rastaman
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very nice brew, deeper yellow and even hazier than their regular white, smooth citrusy and spicy, decent body and decent flavour, highly enjoyable. Would maybe drink this over regular Hoegaarden.

rastaman, Jul 05, 2002
Photo of ggaughan
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

25 cl bottle sampled on 7 April 2008. This beer is pretty easily available in Luxembourg supermarkets. I forget which one I picked it up at.

Beer poured a cloudy golden color with some floating particles in the body. There was a sold but not thick head. Leaves a lasting ring on the glass edge. The nose had some decent wheat and citrus tones. The taste was a bit peppery and accompanied by a wheat taste, along with a bit of earthiness and citrus. Slight hop presence on the back end. Easy to drink and a decent beer overall.

ggaughan, May 31, 2008
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

250 ml. A whitish colour with lots of creamy foam. Strong on the wheat and some spices, it gives a sharp sourish wheat. Normally I despise this style when it goes milk sour, but this one I liked. For what it wants to accomplish, I think it succeeded. Interesting.
I can see why you love or hate this one.

Sammy, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of sfprint
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

exp 8/25/12

A: Hazy, pretty bright orangy yellow. Basically no head, and just a few sporadic bubbles jumping to the top. Poured without the yeast at the bottom.

S: Like a solid wit, I don't have this side by side a standard Hoegaarden, but I feel it's pretty similar. Orange citrus yeast, sweet, refreshing and inviting.

T: Not as sweet as the nose, generally more sedated than the nose, nothing negative, not bitter at all, a hair of sourness, not as bright as a standard hoegaarden. It's good, but doesn't take your breath away.

Edit: But wait, as I'm nearing the bottom of the glass, a sort of childrens, fruity medicinal flavor enters. Interesting.

M: More of a sense of pushing outward, but not carbonation pops felt. Nice.

O: Very decent wit.

sfprint, May 28, 2012
Photo of Filosoof
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

As a big lover of the famous Hoegaarden whitebeer I was interested whether this Speciale wheatbeer would have an own style or that it would be something the same (or worse) than the orginal. I'm quite suprised that this beer is something completely different - and of great quality!

L: the looks are quite bad; no retention;
S: comes close to the origal, but with more depth, real lemon smell;
T: the taste is really interesting and suprising; it doesn't look like any other Belgian whitebeers or German Weisener; spiciness, tiny orange, honey;
M: this is absolutely great; perfect alcohol, very drinkable; nice, bit dry finish and aftertaste;
O: could drink this one almost as often as the famous brother; if that one's sold out, I will fill my evening with this one!

Filosoof, Nov 24, 2012
Photo of Rickus
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Rickus, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

19th Oct 2012: bottle in 't Puur Genot, a strange irish type bar in Diest. Noticed the advertising card on the table when we poured into the pub from it's outside area when the rain started: decided to risk one.

Cloudy, murky and misty: once I'd cleaned the glass I poured the beer in, it too was cloudy, murky and misty. No head to talk of, just a few bubbles exploding on the surface.

Usual Hoegaarden lemony/orangey/citrusy notes: whats special about this speciale then? certainly not the smell.

Tasted very simular too (as the normal brew): they may have added some sweeter fruit syrup into the brew to make it less tart and refreshing, would like to compare side by side with the original Hoegaarden.

Not unpleasant, but not great either: a kind of sweeter less fizzy Hoegaarden in my eyes.

BlackHaddock, Oct 30, 2012
Photo of ThaCreep
2.8/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nose smells of wheat but also the traditional Witbier fruity apricot-peach in a way. The mouth is warmer than the classic Hoegaarden and there sees a strong aspect syrupy not always really nice with the aforementioned fruit and slight nutty palate. Finish softer but also more syrup and unfortunately less refreshing.

ThaCreep, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of weeare138
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to hopdog for this…
Appears a hazy light gold with a small white film and collar that slowly fades.
Smell is of wheat, yeast, and coriander.
Taste is of the same aromas…perhaps a slight step back though.
Mouthfeel is watery with mild yeast and corn syrup blending around in the mix.

weeare138, Mar 31, 2006
Photo of Anatole
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Anatole, Sep 19, 2013
Photo of Absumaster
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A murky yellow beer with a thock, stable head.

Smell has lots of wheat and a little musty grains, perfumy and old orange zest and a little chewing gum. Some off-flavors, but nothing too disturbing.

Taste has wheat and grains, with the yeast providing the phenols that are typical for a witbier. The spices are subtle, but can be tasted very easily. There is the orange peel that has gone a little stale and the coriander is perfumy. Mouthfeel is pretty dry and slightly sticky.

Absumaster, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

ygtbsm94, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of ernie
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not exactly a turbocharged version of original Hoe, but a smart try to emphasize on its cloudiness, spiciness and fruity character.

Same color as Original White Ale, but more cloudy. Carbonation level, head and lace identical.

Smell is stronger, spicier, very interesting. I prefer the aroma of 'regular' Hoe.

Taste is pretty much the same - complex, fruity, yeasty, spicey, with noticeable orange peel, lemon & coriander. Mouthfeel is heavier and finish too sour.

Probably an answer to those who claim that Original White Ale have lost its character. The claim is wrong, but here's a welcome addition to brewery's range. Cheers!

ernie, Jul 07, 2006
Photo of weissbierdrinker
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy tan color with an off white head that leaves some lacing around the glass.

Smell has yeast, bread, some floral notes.

Taste starts out with some yeast up front which then changes to a floral spice, has some bread flavor, some hints of orange, finishes with more yeast. Wish I had more than a 25cl bottle of this to review with. It's like a tease of what regular Hoegaarden could be.

I really enjoyed this beer and wish I had bought more. I don't if it's just me or not but Hoegaarden original has been really crap lately, this is what they should be selling in the huge 66cl bottles.

weissbierdrinker, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of atis
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very pale yellow with large white head that quickly subsides. Aroma is sweet lemon and yeast.

Taste is fruity spice, wheat and very light bitterness. The beer becomes sweeter towards the end and light warming feel sets in during the faint citrusy aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium-full with moderate carbonation.

Speciale is rather drinkable, but seemed a bit too sweet at the end of the glass.

atis, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of deeplennon
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from one of those cute 8.4 bottles Scaldis (Bush) uses for their full line and others occasionally use for special or exceptionally strong brews.

Anybody familiar with Hoegaarden would approach this beer expecting a suped up version of said classic. That is exactly what they'll be getting.

The Orange zest is there in abundance and the body is very similar to the original. The extra alcohol, in my opinion, makes it taste less 'cheap' than the original. As indeed overall it tastes considerably less mass produced. Color is decidedly less yellow than the original, more of an orange.

Still inferior to St Bernardus Wit, but if you're looking for a wit with a little less intensity of flavor than that one, you'd do well with a Speciale.

deeplennon, Jul 24, 2007
Photo of seanyfo
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

25cl bottle poured into 30cl tulip.

A- Explosive 4 finger head with excellent retention and lacing. Cloudy pale yellow

S- Oranges, coriander, some bready malts, citrus, vanilla

T- As in the tastes, lots of orange and coriander, some passionfruit. Sweet citrus finish.

M- Spritzy, light

D- Very drinkable, much more flavoursome than the original but without the alcohol kick of the grand cru. Super!

seanyfo, Mar 01, 2008
Photo of haz77
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy gold, with a finger of creamy white head. Small bubbles of carbonation keep it solidly in place.

S - Pronounced clove, citrus, wheat, mixed spice.

T - Initial clean citrus flavour. Clove appears towards the middle and slowly builds all the way to the finish. It's flavour remains in the aftertaste, along with bubblegum and wheat.

M - Medium, crisp, refreshing, creamy body. Soft carbonation.

D - Tasty beer with an impressive mouthfeel. Unsurprisingly, very easy to consume.

haz77, Aug 26, 2007
Photo of bark
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The colour is gold-yellow-orange; the liquid is a bit hazy (the beer is bottle conditioned). The finger thick foam quickly sinks down to a thick white lid, leaving no lacing.

The smell is sour-yeasty, like a wit is supposed to be. There are notes of citric fruits (oranges, bitter oranges, lemons) and a mild earthy touch.

The taste is a lot bitterer than the witbiers I have reviewed so far. It is much dryer than I had expected, too. Earthy notes of yeast blends with fruity flavours of apricots, orange peels and green grapes. There are sour “wheat notes”, too. The aftertaste got some passing sweetness, some mild bitter flavours as well as a dry note of sour candy.

The carbonation is mild – the liquid is thick, almost like syrup.

I cannot really understand the point of this beer – it’s like someone had mixed the standard Hoegaarden wit with a lager beer.

bark, Dec 01, 2007
Photo of mrjez
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

mrjez, Jun 30, 2014
Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alas. We come to the third and final installment of this seasons Hoegaarden family brews.

Pours a fully clouded brown hued orange. Thin white head that falls fast. Nose is earthy, doughy, floral tones. Flavor brings much of the same. Leans on the earthy side over anything else. Hints of biting citrus are there as well. Feel is thick and smooth on liquid. Carbonation is lower but slightly biting. I like this one. Quite earthy, but with nice subtle characteristics balancing it out.

RblWthACoz, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of SheepNutz
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

25cL bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a hazy pale yellow color with two fingers of head that die off quickly. There's a little bit of lacing. The smell is fantastic. It's a lot more spicy than the regular Hoegaarden. Lots of pepper and some lemon in the background. Great wheat and yeast aromas as well. The taste is fairly spicy as well. Nice citrus taste as well. A kinda weird finish that I can't pick up. The mouthfeel is decently thick and smooth. The drinkability is great. A tasty witbier. Thanks to Chris for sharing!

SheepNutz, Nov 23, 2005
Photo of darklordlager
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

25cl bottle obtained at "The Cave" on Great Western Rd. in Glasgow. Expiration date of 2 10 09.

Pours a semi-cloudy tangerine colour, with minimal head-even with a vigorous pour.

Smell is sour wheat, some citrus, and lots of orange. Flowery character lingers in the background.
Taste is fruity citrus up front, some spice in the middle that fades into an acidic fruitiness with a sourness lingering.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, leaving a chalky feeling on the palate.

Drinkability is pretty good. Not the most interesting beer in the world...

darklordlager, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of Toddv29424
4.78/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I am a little biased... Hoegaarden is my favorite beer, so to find this on the shelves was an absolute treat. It pours a cloudy gold color, and smells a little more pungent than regular Hoegaarden, and more than other witbiers. The head depends on the pour... a direct pour will yeald a large foamy head while a tilted pour will yeald a small-moderale sized head. The lacing on the glass is very intricate regaurdless of the pouring style. The taste is similar to other special summer witbiers, although it is much sweeter than many I have tasted. Member JETSBEER was correct in saying if you like regular Hoegaarden, then you will love this beer!

Toddv29424, Mar 08, 2005
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Hoegaarden Speciale from Brouwerij van Hoegaarden
86 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.