Pepe Nero Belgian Style Ale | Goose Island Beer Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Pepe Nero Belgian Style AlePepe Nero Belgian Style Ale
Very Good
1,803 Ratings
Pepe Nero Belgian Style AlePepe Nero Belgian Style Ale

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: Belgian Saison

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Belgian style Farmhouse Ale brewed with peppercorns.

Mahogany color, black pepper aroma, roasted malt and spice flavor, creamy body.

Added by adamette on 03-30-2010

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 1,803 |  Reviews: 512
Photo of dafla67
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kemoarps
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead tulip.

Deep borderline colour like cold brew coffee. Fuzzy head the off brown/white of almond meat. Doesn't swell up much, but doesn't fade away either.

Nose is dark complexity. Dark sour cherries and molasses. Hints of plum around the edges with other fruity components, but I keep coming back to that deep rich molasses, which I was not really expecting, and which I'm quite enjoying.

Flavour carries the same interesting complexity that is headed up by a rich sweet molasses and flanked by various dark fruits. Pleasantly surprising.

Body is relatively thin, and it carries heavy carbonation. Very easy drinking.

I was wary of this one as it had been sitting in my 'cellar' from very early on in my 'cellaring' (collecting) of beers. At a lower abv in particular I was worried it wouldn't hold up. I am extremely pleasantly surprised, and in a different universe would gladly seek it out again.

 945 characters

Photo of Beerbuddha
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Keepnitrl
3.59/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75


4 characters

Photo of AyatollahGold
4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle. Beautiful finger and a half of light tan/khaki colored head. Great head retention. Dark brown beer. Mahagohny.
Nose is kind of sour with some nuttiness with a deep breath. A lot of nuttiness.
Taste is a very nice nuttiness and very nice malts. Roastiness that plays well with the nut notes.
The feeling is perfectly carbonated. Even after 7 years.
Overall, this beer held up amazing. Very good.

 411 characters

Photo of 1971bernat
5/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

Photo of Libeertarian
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From notes taken 05/14/17:

Bottled March 2013. The fact that it has been aged but has a lower ABV might play a roll in diminished flavors compared to a fresh tasting, but I can scarcely complain at this clearly well-made and well-keeping beer. It was already well over a year old when I purchased it, so maybe that was when I should have had it, but no regrets.

Pitch black. Held up to direct light, reddish, semi-clear with an evident chunky haze. Head is a fine and thin toasty tan, very delicate and even foam but with great retention. Smells like charcoal and faint vinegar and paint thinner, the barest hint of earthy spices that would remind me of a Saison. First sip and I was ready to call it a regular Irish Dry Stout, second I caught more of that balsamic vinegar and dark fruit (distinctly plums and/or cherries) vibe seen in certain other dark Belgians, and it’s not overdone at all, strongest in the middle between sloshes. All throughout there’s a smoke and roast quality that blends toward the finish with a subtle earthiness and metallic bitterness. Spices are kept to a minimum, perhaps lost in the balance, but I can see how peppercorns especially could go mostly undetected in something like this without teasing them out. They are at their zenith in retro-olfaction before, during, and after the finish, but that’s standard for many beers so I don’t associate it with this style, or even always peppercorn as an ingredient (alcohol, certain hops, and rye can all lead to this sensation as well). Smaller sips that you can aerate with you get more tartness and fruit, larger gulps that immediately hit the back of the mouth you get more roast and smoke and hops. Full bodied, smooth, abundant squishy and velvety carbonation, fairly astringent. Overall, a pleasant surprise even though I was in the mood for something more typical.

 1,860 characters

Photo of Vidblain
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dragginballs76
4.04/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours thin cola like color with thick never ending tan head. Big sheets of lacing around the glass.

Aroma - The Belgian yeast and light spice stand out to me first. There are also very nice aromas of raisin fig and plum and a very light caramel.

Taste - Nice caramel and dark fruit are up front with a nice light funk on the finish. The spices come in about mid way and there is also a light chocolate taste as it warms.

Feel - Light side of medium higher than normal carbonation and a light slick feel on the finish.

Overall - I am really impressed with this one, great flavors and very easy drinking.

 621 characters

Photo of xiaoxiong623
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of singletary
3.86/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 2013 bootle that pours a deep dark color with a small tan head that leaves quickly. The smell is dark fruits raisin I think. The taste is dark fruits with the pepercorn coining in on the backend. The feel is thick but drinkable. Overall a nice offering.

 255 characters

Photo of Roguer
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2012 bottle reviewed in 2017

Pours a lovely, nutty blackish dark brown, not unlike coffee. Head formation is slight, leaving a thin film of tan foam.

Belgian yeast and spice; dark fruits - raisins and prunes; brown sugar and toffee.

Quite lovely on the palate, perhaps surprisingly. Slightly sweet and peppery, with dark fruit and caramel leading the way. Molasses and licorice emerge on the back half, along with a vegetal, peppery note. Slight hints of oxidation and chocolate.

Refreshing and oily feel.

Really a unique and very drinkable brew.

 552 characters

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

Poured a 2011 vintage bomber into a Stella Artois glass. Meant to be drunk within 5 years but even with an extra year and a half still not a bad brew, one of the better GI offerings outside of Bourbon County. Found this already aged at a bottle shop and due to how old it was discounted @ $5 so thought can't pass it up as this ages well.

Look is of coca cola
Smell is of molasses, prunes, and rum.
Feel is thin but heavy. @ 6% abv it is a slow sipper that is enjoyable with every sip.

Taste is a bit like Blue Chimmay yet not as good but close in certain aspects. Flavors of molasses, raisins, prunes, coffee, chocolate, caramel, and fizzy cola shine through.

 671 characters

Photo of dukeandduke
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1/15/17 (Chicago). 16 oz draft pour into chalice at Goose Island Tap Room ($6). Dark black pour, thin off white lacing. Toasty aroma and taste, accompanied by pepper. Easy drinking, overall good offering.

 204 characters

Photo of Satorn
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of FlussigkeitMut
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of woodychandler
4.09/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The winnowing of the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody is unearthing all sorts of unexpected & forgotten gems! This is a 2012 bottle that had been in my refrigerator forever. I am so excited to finally drink it with its bottling date of 05/22/12.

From the bottle: "Develops in the bottle for up to 5 years. Contains live yeast. A sediment may form."

I Pop!ped the cap & began a gentle pour, in keeping with my New Year's Resolution. Aggro pours from bottles are now (mostly) a thing of the past. I am really coming to embrace a vigorous in-glass swirl since it is much less likely to bungle things up. it was still very carbonated, but it needed some encouragement to raise just over a finger of foamy, fizzy, light-tan head with good retention that slowly fell away to wisps. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity & mahogany highlights. Nose was kind of vinous with a leathery, grape-y/raisin quality and a yeasty mustiness like old newspapers. Mouthfeel was medium with loads of carbonation tingling my tongue. The taste was very fruity, lots of raisin, prune, fig & date plus the leatheriness noted on the nose as well as a slightly oaky woodenness. The last thing that I would have guessed this as being would have been a Saison! I am not generally a fan of Saisons, but this was mighty tasty. Finish was dry, evidence that the yeast had been doing its job all of those years in the bottle. A very nice excursion for this afternoon.

 1,484 characters

Photo of delgotit99
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Beerucee
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I was desiring more peppery taste or spiciness. Not a bitter dark.

66 characters

Photo of Gotti311
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Dharmelink
4.04/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep, dark brown in color with minimal head. Smell is bready and sweet. Surprisingly the peppercorn is not overpowering and is well used to complement the taste. Taste follows aroma with a nice hint of the spice. Mouthfeel is crisp and fuzzy. Very interesting take on a farmhouse ale, which is normally one of my least favorite styles.

 341 characters

Photo of bbcamillo
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of MrOgeliniThirstonIII
4.21/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bomber (2012) Cellared Well

A - Rich dark brown amberish that appears blood orange red in the light with a slight turbid look.

S - Beautiful smell with wonderful Belgian phenol characteristics. Pluot or golden raisin aromas. Milky caramel and maltiness undertones.

T - Palate similar to aromas, strong pluot and/or golden raisin tang. Tons of malty sweetness but the pepper that smacks you at the back end and the stone fruit help balance the complexity.

M - Medium to strong stringency that feels slightly alcoholic. Well coated palate with the fruit to mellow out the slightly alcoholic feel and peppery snap.

Overall, extremely delicious. One of the better GI beers not of the Wild Ale/Bourbon County variations I've had and the opium scented, dark tinted character that complements the Belgian weirdness is very sexy. I would recommend this beer to anyone who can find it rotting on a shelf and let them know to drink it now...

 941 characters

Photo of rsquared59
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Pepe Nero Belgian Style Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 1,803 ratings