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Palm / Palm Speciale | Brouwerij Palm NV

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Palm / Palm SpecialePalm / Palm Speciale

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Palm NV
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
ABV 5.1 to 5.4%

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-04-2002

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Reviews: 283 | Ratings: 1,029
Photo of Beginner2
3.73/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I don't know what is going on with these ratings, but this ale is better than a 3.3 average.
I had a 4 pack over a year and they were all good beers.
Nicely malty, the yeast imparts an orangey-flavor and aroma, slightly bitter.

Reviewed in Roger Protz' CAMRA classic "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"

MJ's 1999 "Guide" didn't rate it, but said "Palm ale has a bright, amber color, a light to medium body, a fruity, bittersweet aroma and a tart finish."
MJ's Great Beers" talks almost 4 pages about Palm's process, personalities and business.

Palm Speciale is listed on the "1001" and deserves to be there if only to counter such a harsh average rating by you guys.

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Photo of MadScientist
3.78/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

S: A Pilsner malt dominated nose with some toasty, biscuity notes. A low earthy hops aroma.

L: A light copper colored beer with excellent clarity. The head is made of rocky white bubbles that leave a fine but parse lacing on the glass.

T: Toasty malt flavors dominate while bringing little sweetness to the flavor. against the medium low hops bitterness the balance is slightly bitter. Light Belgian yeast character that is mostly a light peppery spice.

M: A medium-light bodied beer with a medium-strong level of carbonation.

O: Sort of like a British bitter only brewed with Belgian yeast and Pilsner malt.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.77/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Light amber colored beer, 1/3" white head, average retention. Some toasted pale malts, not much in the way of hops or yeast from this one to stand out.

Taste was super mild, mild carbonation, mild malt, mild hopping. Almost watery thin. I can't really see who would want this, doesn't do what belgian or American pale ales should be doing. At least no off flavors.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
2.03/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Pours copper in color. An average sized white head sits atop the beer. Aroma of a mild belgian yeast strain. The flavor is minimal and plain. Very boring. It tastes like tonic water, with a touch of malt sweetness in the middle, followed by a dry iron-like aftertaste. I don't like it. It tastes far more like a cheap mediocre pilsener than it does a belgian pale ale. Easy to drink because it's thin and fizzy, but other than this beer has nothing going for it.

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Photo of Tomais
2.6/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Edit// I see this bottle is a week before sell-by date - others report it pouring a big head - not here. Might be the reason the score so bad.

Deep amber, almost no head - when I pour from a bit of a height, head appears and disappears immediately, it's like red lemonade.

Smell initially a nice beery smell, then nothing much - a touch of malt.

Mouthfeel reminds me again of lemonade, big bubbles, light.

Taste very disappointing, slightly sweet ... it's hard to get anything out of this, the over carbonated mouthfeel distracts, the taste isnt enough. It's very easy to drink (think lemonade again) might be nice on a summer day.

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Photo of BodiesLexus
3.12/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Really an awful beer. Has a smidge of 'brightness' or 'lightness', but it fails in so many ways. Especially in labeling itself as some kind of noteworthy Belgian 'craft ale'. Stella or HineyLite is so much more worth your bad-beer dollars than this.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
1.43/5  rDev -56.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Uncensored review, children under 18, you may not want to read this.
This was poured into a flared tulip.
The appearance was a semi-clear red color with one finger of foamy white head. Light somewhat speckled lacing slides into the beer in a messy sort of way.
The smell has some burnt biscuits and some caramel that seems sour with some funky earthy thing going on (is this old? have I been "punked?" "Aw, come on guys, wait up, where's the beef?"). Yeah, I think the reader gets what I'm throwing down, I'm not thrilled with this. Hmmm...proceeding for the sake of the review...
The taste was basically the same "where's the punchline," Bubba, no really, Bubba, this ain't funny. Just waiting for someone to throw an online rotten egg to me, well, yeah, that sour caramel thing pouncing on my taste buds saying in an Eddie Murphy voice, "boy, you ain't punked, this is how I taste and if you ain't likin' it, tough crap." Ugh, ya know, I'm not diggin' the graininess in this one.
The mouthfeel that graininess comes back full throttle and slap happy as it takes my tongue and says "boy, I'm gonna make you my (fill-in-the-blank)." Yeah, it sure does. Damn graininess doesn't seem to want to let up as my tongue gets a harshness slapped by a bit too much grains. Light to medium bodied, I'm thinking on this one.
Overall, alright, so here we are, wasn't sure if I could make it this far on this one, but the smell is pretty foul, the taste can't hold up and the feel is just overly harsh. Apologies to those who love this and think it's the bees knees. Me, I do like a lot of Belgian styled ales, but this one, yeah, I can't stand behind it to endorse it for anyone. If this is a Belgian pale ale, then I am Mickey Mouse.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

On tap at Old MIll in Austin, MN
I was surprised how light this is, both in taste and feel. Nearly watery. Really lacking any distinction that would make it a Belgian Pale Ale. Way too close to European lager. No sense of spiciness in interesting aroma's or flavors. I was rather disappointed in this. Looks good. Clean and refreshing.

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Photo of jhartley
2.67/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Had this on tap at EPCOT Food & Wine from the Belgium kiosk; part of the offered beer flight.
Kind of dark for a Pale Ale nice amount of head on this one though.
Smells a lot like a a cheap macro lager with a lot of dry grain.
Taste isn't much better than the aroma, while drinking this I am again reminded of a cheap lager. Sweet grain like taste.
Dry finish.
Not a very good beer at all, would definitely pass on this one again.

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Photo of rdilauro
2.87/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I think at this time of year with hot summer days, a Belgium style ale can be very refreshing. I have stayed away from my Stout and DIPAs for now.
This had the typical funky Belgium aroma, which started from the moment I opened the bottle, poured the glass, drank my first sip, more so and then till the end.
This ale was a bit darker than some of the Belgiums I have had recently. It had the color but not the body of a Quad or anything like this.
Drinkable, enjoyable for the summer

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Photo of ArchimedesSox
3.91/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Clear copper color, 1/2 inch white head that hangs around a while, decent lacing

S: Sweet malts mostly, a little bit of hops in the background

T: Really sweet, I maybe get some banana and bubblegum in there I suspect from the Belgian yeast, slight hop bitterness at the end

M: Light to medium

O: I really like this beer. I tend to favor a sweeter, maltier beer with a good yeast character and this beer is exactly that. I will definitely give this a try in the future.

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Photo of Damian
2.75/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Drank from a 330ml/11.2 fl.oz. bottle
Best before 09.08.15
Served in a tulip

The beer poured a crystal clear, dark amber color and was topped by a frothy, one finger tall, eggshell colored crown that quickly fell to a thin film. Streaky, spotty lacing clung to the glass.

Not much happening in the aroma. There was a dry, crisp, powdery yeastiness. Some biscuity malts were noticeable. Slightly buttery. This reminded me a lot of a Euro pale lager.

The taste was quite similar to the nose and just as disappointing. Crisp and dry with some caramel and biscuity malts. A touch nutty in the center. Earthy hop notes appeared in the finish and left a lingering bitterness on my palate.

The mouthfeel was respectable. It was medium bodied for the style and contained a snappy, bubbly effervescence. The liquid turned fairly smooth and frothy on the palate.

Calling this beer a Belgian pale ale seems to be a bit strange, as it has more in common with a typical Euro lager than any sort of Belgian beer I have ever tried. Perhaps this is Belgium's interpretation of a lawnmower beer.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours brilliant tea colored amber under a thin white foam collar.
S: Has an earthy malt nose with some fruit.
T: Initial soft malty sweetness with some biscuit and some bubblegum-candi sweetness in the middle, light hops, no clove or banana. Finishes with a touch of sweetness – drier in the middle with a slight tart note.
F: Medium to medium light body and medium to a little above carbonation.
O: Flavorful, innofensive and easy to drink

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Photo of KinkyEconomist
4.05/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very very similar to Leffe Brune Belgian Ale- Which is a good thing.

Look: A deep brown with a shallow (perhaps 1cm) head.

Smell: A little spice, a little wheat. definitely a pungent alcohol smell.

Taste: A vague sweetness that gently tapers off into a lightly spiced wheat taste. A slightly strange after-taste I couldn't put my finger on.

Feel: The carbonation could be a bit better, as it felt a little "heavy" for an ale.

Overall: If you can't get a Leffe, this is a swell Belgian Ale!

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Photo of Andrewharemza
3.94/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can't say anything bad about it it's easy drinking I find it has light bitter aftertaste with grassy notes maybe a little caramel to could drink plenty of these in a session

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Photo of timontheroad
3.43/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark copper/amber color, with a good two-finger head that faded pretty quickly and left little lacing. The aroma was mainly sweet malt, with just a touch of grassy hops and some peppery spice notes. The flavor was pretty close to the smell, with just a hint of spiciness. The mouthfeel was fairly light bodied. Overall, not a bad beer, pretty sessionable.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.74/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in an Ohio State shaker pint glass.

I know I've seen this stuff around plenty of times, but only now have I found a single (small-format) bottle to sample. It pours a clear sunset brass topped by a couple fingers of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises mild Belgian yeast, light sourdough, black pepper, lemon peel, and a touch of grass. The taste brings in more of the same, the sourdough, grass, and lemon peel spotlighted, and the yeast overdoing the spice angle. The aftertaste bristles with random bitterness. Things just don't sit right with me here. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, this beer seems off to me. Too much spice, strange organic flavors clashing with each others (and my tongue), I just don't know if I'll ever even look at this stuff ever again.

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Photo of YumaLaowai
2.17/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I ordered the palm because I wanted a carribean drink and all they Had was Red Stripe so I went for the Belgium beer that had a palm on it hoping for the best. What I got was thus ultra sweet beer that I would just have to say, was made for the ladies.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.68/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I purchased this at Giant Beer Garden and Eatery, enjoyed chilled from the brown bottle with best before date 7/14/15 in a tulip.

The color is dark amber with good clarity and quick dropping white head with fine bead. The smell is very interesting-sweet cherry-like scent with light malt ester with a slight spice note in the yeast ester with gentle toast: interesting and inviting smell. The feel is semi-dry with malt texture and has medium high carbonation with light sweetness and mild spice in the texture with semi-dry finish.

The taste begins with a good malt flavor with light toasted quality with a slightly phenolic yeast with gentle fruitiness and slight spiced flavor with a dry and mildly medicinal taste in the finish. This is a simple amber -no frills yet easy to drink with some Belgian yeast character. I would drink this again, better than most amber ales in my opinion.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.29/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Enjoyed from the bottle in a pint glass, this standard Belgian pale pours a clear light amber with a nice white head that lingers and solid lacing. Rather clean nose of light caramel malts and light mild hops. Flavors are sweet up front with a hair of bittering to the back. A little light bread flavor comes through the aftertaste. Good carbonation makes for a lively effervescent mouth feel. A decent session Belgian pale, but nothing too exciting.

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Photo of His_Royal_Hoppiness
2/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This dismal 'ale' was the only alternative to Heineken in Amsterdam airport - watery and tasteless - borderline drinkable, but would choose pretty much anything Belgian over this.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.69/5  rDev +11.8%

Pours a clear yellow/orange with a fizzy head that doesn't leave trails down the glass. The smell was very clean with some malt and yeast scents but nothing too overpowering. The taste was well balanced between sweet malt and bitter hops with some bread flavors from the yeast. Overall a very decent beer that does everything well enough.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.42/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium bronze amber with a thin patchy white head that leaves a thick ring around the glass and light patchy lacing. Aroma of bready and caramel malt, light overripe stone fruit, Belgian yeast, a hint of toffee. Flavor is a lighter version of the aroma with a similar mixture of flavors, but rather attenuated. Light to medium bodied. Hits all the notes for a Belgian pale, but the flavor is light and rather bland with the semi-sweet malt dominating the fruit flavors despite being light itself. I'll hope this is an old bottle, else this is one of the more underwhelming Belgians I've tasted. Satisfactory, with no off-notes, but nothing I'd ever try again.

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Photo of Alissa2579
4/5  rDev +21.2%

Started enjoying this beer while earning my MBA at the Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, NJ. This is a nice light and refreshing beer with plenty of flavor but not overpowering

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Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
3/5  rDev -9.1%

Appearance – Amber in colour and with a fairly small head and some evidence of light carbonation.
Smell – Palm smells quite like a working farm in summer. There is malt smells earthy notes and some spice
Taste – Taste is also much like the smell. There are the earthy notes hiding behind malts and mild spice.
Mouthfeel – Medium body, with medium to high carbonation
Overall – It tastes quite like I imagine the child of Amstel and Kilkenny would if they could have a child. It feels almost like a beer that has some growing up to do. Not a bad beer at all but at the same time far from the best thing to ever come out of Belgium.

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Palm / Palm Speciale from Brouwerij Palm NV
76 out of 100 based on 283 ratings.