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Pelforth Brune | Brasserie Heineken

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Pelforth BrunePelforth Brune

Brewed by:
Brasserie Heineken

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerResearcher on 03-24-2003

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Reviews: 52 | Ratings: 130
Photo of NightINgale
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Small 25cl/250ml bottle brought to me from France

A - Pours a clear brown body, with a pretty nice caramel-coloured head. The lacing is quite nice and the head retention is decent.

S - The aroma isn't particularly intense: a touch of caramel, some bread, and a faint hint of chocolate.

T - Starts out malty and sweet, with caramel and dark chocolate notes and some toasted bread. Then you get more sweetness and some hop bitterness. There is also a slight nuttiness to it and a little bit of that grainy macro taste (it is brewed by Heineken after all). The after-taste is bready, somewhat bitter and a little sweet. Overall, this is rather tasty.

M - Medium body to it. The alcohol shows quite a lot, which is a bit disappointing, considering it's 6.5% and not 8-10%.

O - This was a little better than I expected. I would call it a cross between a brown ale and a doppelbock, though it is a little more generic-tasting than some better examples of those styles. This beer has enough body and drinks pretty well, but the taste of alcohol gets in the way a little bit.

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Photo of EatsTacos
3.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a fizzy dark brown with a soft light head. The head dissappeared pretty quickly. Not much lacing to speak of.

The aroma is quite sweet smelling, almost totally dominated by malt.

Sweet tasting, some slightly roasted malt character, without any real bitterness or hop profile. I like my EBAs to have a roasted nut flavour which I don't find here.

Highly carbonated and pretty thin bodied.

 397 characters

Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle served in a pokal glass.

A: Pours a dark amber color forming a big creamy and bubbled beige head. Good retention and some soapy and persistent lacings formed and left in the glass

S: Sweet caramel in the nose. Strong notes of caramel malts, roasted malts, toffee, flowery hops. A bit fruity and a bit bready too

T: Slightly sweet upfront. Toffee, caramel malts, crystal malts, roasted malts. Citrus Heineken-style hops. Good hops bitterness in the end

M: Light body. Good carbonation. Roasted malts (slightly sweet) aftertaste

O: Good drinkability. Quite nice for a French beer

 595 characters

Photo of Arithmeticus
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured chilled in ale glass, imbibed and discussed with buzzlitebier

A: dark amber, good head, small carb bubbles, lacing-conducive
S: sour smell, not much else
T: malty; Euro dark/strong (and resembling something between a porter and Scotch ale); few hops; simple, straightforward flavor; bit of fig and plum

Not bad, but not great.

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Photo of Ant777uk
3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Could this be the first ever French beer I like..? I am not sure why they cannot make good beer, considering they are next to Belgium, speak the same main language, have much more space to grow things, and have many more people...

Beautiful brown ruby colour. Good head that goes down quite fast.

Aroma is quite unique. Very bready and yeasty.

Usually I am not a huge fan of Belgian browns, though this French one actually has a full, balanced flavour, quite chocaletey and camarelly, and goes down well. Kind of like a Rolo.

Needs to be a bit stronger with more hops, to be truly good. Great effort though from France, will certainly order this when I have no Belgian options or Guinness.

I drank from the fridge, perhaps it is different at room temperuture.

20 minutes later:
As it warms up, it tastes less watery, and improves considerably. Definitely drink this after at least half and hour from the fridge.

So yes, this and Gavroche are the only 2 French beers I like. Plus there are some really good organic ones...

As it warms more, it improves. Try at room temparuture, assuming you are not the devil, an escimo or a scorpion...

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Photo of Joss
3.46/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Nice bitterhop and caramel nose.

Appareance: Lovely chestnut brown color , low but stable head.

Taste: Sweet dark malt flavors, a bit too dominating perhaps. A bit more balance would have done wonders.

Mouthfeel: Smooth velvety texture, rich body.

Quite nice Dunkel, a lucky find in Strassbourg.

 314 characters

Photo of wl0307
3.46/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased in a shop near Gare du Nord, Paris, just before jumping onto a Eurostar train back to the UK. Coming in a 500ml can, BB 11/2014, served lightly chilled in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: pours a dark ruby brown colour, coming with a dark beige foamy head and fairly light carbonation.
S: jammy and caramel malty upfront, coming with preserved berries, raisins, sweet root herbs, brown-bready and chocolaty malts as in a dark lager. Between the maltiness and fruitiness, a light trace of acidity is clearly felt.
T: quite sharp at first, the foretaste is lightly gristy, hazelnut-ish, slightly chocolaty, leaving the sugary impact and mild acidity lagging behind. In the aftertaste, the prune/preserved-berry-ish fruitiness catches up, but soon gives way to a lightly bitter, herbal but at the same time rather clean mouthfeel lingering in the end.
M&O: refreshing but in general medium-bodied, coming always with a sugary palate but at the end of each sip it is the subtle bitterness and a clean-ish mouthfeel that balances off the sugary feel upfront. All in all, not too bad, I’m glad this can of beer brought back from Paris doesn’t disappoint. Would I ever call it an “English Brown Ale” though? Not a chance.

 1,236 characters

Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
3.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a pounder can into a shaker pint.

Nice amber color and very clear. Thin head.

Lots of caramel malt in the aroma. Not much in way of hops.

Taste is very malty lots of malt syrup taste to it.

Beer really falls apart in the taste. To bad.

 254 characters

Photo of magictacosinus
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Dutch pint glass somewhere in Paris out of a bottle.

Pours a brownish color with some light carbonation. Maintains a ring throughout the sitting at the top of the glass. Contains an unfiltered look, but overall looks pretty decent.

Smells very grainy and malty, as expected. There's some notes sweetness around the edges, and other notes of bitterness. Kind of a clash between coffee beans, dark bread, and dark fruit. Mainly, however, this is far more on the breadier side than anything else. For an unfiltered beer, it definitely smells funkier than I expected.

Taste manages to be pretty grainy and malty as it smells, but far more on the bitter side than the sweet side. Interesting, as darker beers tend to be sweeter on premise alone. However, this holds up quite well in its apparent double malted result. The alcohol is barely noticeable, and it retains a smoky, woody taste that keeps it interesting. Manages to stay creamy enough, and the interesting variation of bitterness and smokiness makes it a very drinkable beer.

While not the most impressive brown ale I've had, this holds up well, especially in terms of flavor and drinkability. While at times it can be kind of brittle, it manages to be bitter and funky enough to hold long enough interest to drink several times throughout the evening.

 1,325 characters

Photo of stingrayvr6
3.4/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Malty and floral aroma. Hints of caramel. Cream colored head that dissipated quickly. Strong carbonation, malty and slightly citrusy taste, also with a bitter creamy finish, caramel present in the finish. Not a bad brown ale, nothing too complex or special, but great mouthfeel and very drinkable. Not special but quite good and simple.

 362 characters

Photo of jspruit
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this 25cL bottle from family taking a trip to France-enjoyed it in Ireland.
Smells fine, but nothing spectacular, and a bit sweet like raisins and caramel.
Has a little more than a finger light tan head on a brown body that appears a bit like a cola. There is a fair amount of carbonation too that dissipates quickly as the drink goes down.
Tastes sweet with caramel, raisins, malts, and a bit light chocolate too.
It is nicely balanced but not too filling. Goes down smooth and has a slightly dry sweet finish.
A nice brown ale, but nothing spectacular. I'd be interested in trying their other beers before coming back to this one again.

 647 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.34/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice bottle with a great top. Coffee with caramel base. Very little head. Great color. Bright red hues, deep ruby. Needs more coffee and a bit more caramel. Very MILD! Sweetish with a mildly bitter finish. Drinkability and appearance are tops, the rest is dull.

 261 characters

Photo of Beertracker
3.3/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pelforth Brune pours up with ample carbonation that creates a small, brief tannish-white head that tops the bright reddish-chestnut brown body. The grainy malt aroma shows some candied nut character e.g. pralines, peanut brittle, turtles, etc... with hints of chocolate, caramel, and coffee. Some fruitiness. Maybe a hint of diacetyl? The flavor starts off with a caramel sweetness that gives way to a toasted biscuity character. Mild chocolate roastiness. The bittersweet finish is a touch cloying with some warmth. Medium bodied with a moderate creaminess & textured sharpness. Pelforth Brune is a mild, satisfying beer that would pair nicely with some Coq à la bière or Duck à l'Orange.

CHEERS! Beertracker

 713 characters

Photo of VoodooBrew
3.3/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

250 ml bottle poured into a chalice. This bottle came to me via France.

Hints of cereal malt on the nose are revealed more fully in the flavor, which also adds caramel and honey notes. The finish is long and sweet, perhaps a touch too sweet. An average to slightly above-average beer.

 287 characters

Photo of rarbring
3.21/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A clear chestnut brown brew with small bubbles, a warm yellow-white high head that leaves little lacing, but good curtains.

Smelling malty, molasses, fudge and syrup.

A sweet brown bread ("vörtbröd") and porridge start, brown syrup. A hint of oranges.

Little carbonation, soft and thick texture, a big body and a slightly dry finish.

A malt bomb, a bit too much maybe.

 374 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
3.2/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle at Le Carrousel cafe in Paris. Murky dark brown color with a thin beige head and thin slippery lacing. The aroma is very malty. Syrupy body with a strong malt flavor that is borderline malt liquor. The finish is cloyingly sweet. Probably the best French beer I have tried thus far, but still not great.

 309 characters

Photo of PlutonowyManiek
3.17/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Color: brown ruby ​​red, clear. Fine-bubble foam, beige. Quite durable and decently adorned with glass.
Aroma: Caramel and fruits, cherries, sweet with a slight sourness.
Taste is a copy of flavor with a slight shift in the direction of caramel.
Gentian: only light, stone. Saturation medium, as appropriate for me. Alcohol gently out on the occasion of bitterness over what resembles a tincture of cherries.

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Photo of LarryKemp
3.16/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I bought this litle green bottle of brune while in a grocery store in St. Barths.

I think I detected a bit of skunk when I poured. It was not overpowering and went away quickly. What remained was a faint smell of malt

The beer poured a deep caramel brown. Clear and remarkably few bubbles even though it had an ample off white head that lasted a long time.

The taste was totally malt. Very sweet but without a lot of side notes. No special characteristics.

The mouthfeel was full and bordering on creamy. There was a little carbonation bite on the tongue.

This is a nice beer. Nothing makes it stand out. Next time I am in St. Barths, I probably won't buy more of these to bring home.

 700 characters

Photo of sloejams
3.15/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Seeing it on the shelf and curious, I grabbed a can of this at the local convenience shop in the Bastille area of France. I poured into a wine glass as it was the most appropriate glassware at the flat I was staying. Colorwise and aromawise - everything was fine, basic Belgian brune qualities. The taste was - I guess it tasted like a Heineken maker making a brune. So I wasn't surprised to see that they were the owners of the Marseille brewery. One was enough; Leffe, Affligem and Grimbergen were readily available and much better at this type of beer.

 555 characters

Photo of scottfrie
3.09/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

33cl bottle into matching glass in Paris.

Pours a clear copper color with quarter inch of tan foam. The nose is full of tons of caramel with an almost a soda like caramel scent. Not much else going on, maybe a touch of bread. Slight mint? More caramel and slight bread crust in the flavor with a strange minty and peppery hop finish. Lingering spicy hops in the aftertaste. Flavor is mostly caramel. Medium body, fairly crisp but still sweet. Drying though. One denominational and mediocre at best, but not offensive or necessarily bad.

 537 characters

Photo of drpimento
3.08/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured with a large, foamy, frothy, light tan head and lots of lace. Color is an amber brown. Aroma is malty and dark bread dough. Flavor is about the same plus a little bit of funk. Body is super smooth with light carbonation. Finish is malty, slightly roasty, and sweet. Could do better, could do worse.

 305 characters

Photo of tjd25
3.07/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I don't know how I feel about the "good for a French beer" comment in the previous review...

Pelforth was apparently the first "brown beer" introduced in France back in the days. The beer was initally called Pelforth 43 because PELican was the name of the brewery, because the beer was FORTe (strong in French) and the TH is from thames, like they got ingredients from London, but I forgot the exact story. 43 was from the number of kilograms of malts used in the brewing process (for every hectoliter I believe), far higher than for other beers at the time. They changed the name to just Pelforth after the war cuz 43 sounded too much like the years of war.

The head was dense and foamy and didn't fade too quickly. The body had a nice dark mahogany color. The smell was malty, nicely nutty and slightly sweet. The taste is extremely malty and the roasted coffee aspect was a bit over the top for me.It has some character, but it's kind of harsh on the palate. Similar to the Adelscott brewed by Fischer. Quite chewy, with hints of sourness too. Mouthfeel is creamy at first, and a bit sweet and soda-like after, although the beer is not overly carbonated. Not quite drinkable. Not (too) bad, but I probably wouldn't buy it again.

 1,238 characters

Photo of thierrynantes
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sorry but this following comment is in french :

Appearance : bière spéciale de fermentation basse, robe acajou, mousse crème
Smell : notes caramélisées
Taste and mouthfeel :bouche vivace, bon équilibre sucre amertume
Drinkability : bière correcte mais sans plus

 269 characters

Photo of atis
2.93/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours clear dark brown with large tan rocky head that fades rather fast, some patchy lacing. Aroma is low toasted malt, some nuts.

Taste is stronger roasted bready malt, slightly sweetish, alcohol is rather evident, especially towards the end of the glass. Dry finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium, medium carbonation.

Overall, average Brown Ale.

 345 characters

Photo of ThaCreep
2.86/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Roasted malt nose but no other noticeable flavor. The mouth is still highly diluted and it feels like to drink flavored water, slightly bitter. This bitterness is also to forget unless you like the artificiality. Not really tasty and little to enjoy. In the same style of beer, the English models are light years away.

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Pelforth Brune from Brasserie Heineken
3.48 out of 5 based on 130 ratings.
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