Spéciale Belge | Brasserie Dupont sprl

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Spéciale BelgeSpéciale Belge
48 Ratings
Spéciale BelgeSpéciale Belge

Brewed by:
Brasserie Dupont sprl

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.75%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rfgetz on 06-04-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 48 |  Reviews: 18
Photo of bobv
3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of CharlesK
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jim_carignan
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of Griffith
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of mick303
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of MusicaleMike
2.55/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2.5

Brewed specifically for Philly Beer Week 2012 with Olivier Dedeycker (Brasserie Dupont), Chris "Lappy" LaPierre (Iron Hill Brewing) and Tom Peters (Monk's Cafe). Dedeycker went through old family brewery journals and found a recipe that he wanted to try out, called "Special belge" which had its heyday in the 1930s. For this new iteration, the three brewers added some smoked pilsner malt from a local, reputable "malterie."

Served in a stemmed glass, Dupont Special Belge possesses a certain radiance, showing off a deep amber body that dances with carbonation, easily lifting the cream-colored foamy head up and up. Very lively carbonation is certainly appreciated for the saison style. The body itself is quite hazy, but that might clear up as it warms. There is certainly a lot of sediment at the bottom of the bottle, but I was careful to not add any of that to the glass.

The initial whiff had me worried. It was filled with the scent of green apple, or acetaldehyde. Deeper in the aroma, I pull out light smokiness.

The initial perception of this beer is a quick hit of acidity on a effervescent medium bodied beer. As it rolls across the tongue, the smoked pilsen malt stands out, as well as a return of that dreaded green apple! The finish is on the drier side, and there is a mild, lingering smokiness in the aftertaste. There is a light sourness to this beer, which I know does not belong here. I find the body and carbonation level to be right on, but the taste is not where it should be. That smoked portion is great, while the light tartness throughout and the acetaldehyde detract from the beer.

It's quite unfortunate that this beer is flawed. The green apple thing doesn't actually bother me all that much, and I quite enjoyed drinking this beer. I loved the smokiness, the light tartness, the effervescence, and the appearance. But knowing what I do, I feel like this beer was rushed out the door to get it to Philadelphia in time for PBW'12. That is most likely what happened in this scenario....and so, for being a flawed beer, it gets a bad score.

 2,073 characters

Photo of ste5venla
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of InspectorBob
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of BeerNDoggerel
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of BartMcStout
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of samEBC
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of jibbyvonjibb
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amber color. Caramel, butterscotch. Signature Dupont barnyard funk. Light smoked character. Plums. Refreshing acidity. Dry with a touch of caramel sweetness. High carbonation. Overall, a delicious, highly drinkable beer. I may even prefer it to the original Dupont, but I'd prefer to have both as an option.

 307 characters

Photo of Haybeerman
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of mportnoy
2.5/5  rDev -32.2%

Photo of impending
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


750ml into a tulip. Pours a crystal clear deep amber copper, dense orange cream colored head thick as lather, clumping froth as it recedes. gorgeous

Pleasant aroma of yeasty sweet goodness atop a honey mustiness that is shy of old sock. Nice phenolic backbone.

Flavor is full of honey and unsweetened apricots. Very little dry, little bitter becomes apparent only with warmth. The musty in the scent lacks presence in the flavor until room temp. Medium bodied lively creamy mouthfeel.

 501 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Iron Hill Chestnut Hill. Pours a medium amber color with a good off-white head and some heavy lacing on the way down. The nose is a bit bready with some hop dryness. Very light pepper. A bit leafy. Light pepper and floral. Very slight bubblegum. Light body; dry finish. More malty than I expected, though still fairly dry. Really interesting all around.

 363 characters

Photo of Boilerfood
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of popery
3.15/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cork popped off hard but the beer didn't foam up at all, which I found interesting. Pours a rich amber with a medium white head - dissipates fairly quickly. Transparent, maybe a little haze. It's a nice looking beer but nothing special for a Belgian-style ale. Aroma has more sweet caramel and Belgian fruitiness than expected. It's a mix of sugar cane, caramel, raisins, dates, apricots and a bit of band-aid. It's just a bit sweet and simple. The taste goes even further in that direction. Too much caramel sweetness, not enough complexity. There's a light bitter note, grape skins. An odd vegetal note. Chewy in a not altogether pleasant way. Too boozy for 5.75% abv. This isn't a bad beer. It's just simple and too sweet for my taste. I can't quite put my finger on what exactly I don't like about this beer, and I may simply have had my expectations set a bit too high for an interesting sounding new bottle from Dupont.

 925 characters

Photo of rolltide8425
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of elNopalero
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a fun time the night I tasted this. It was a mystery beer from the boards and those in my party shared in trying to guess which of the beers on tap it was. Here’s to blind tastings!

From my notes:

This poured a light amber-golden color with tight foam. It had a barley tea-like aroma, honeyed and with some barley sweetness. Light and estery. Orange blossoms, honey and a light barley note came across in the flavor, balanced by an orangey-hop note.

 459 characters

Photo of ToasterChef
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A cellar temperature bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.

A very large white head fills the top half of the glass. Below is a clear, golden brown liquid with a good amount of tiny rising bubbles. Pretty good lacing remains behind.

The beer has a interesting spiced candi sugar aroma. It is more complex that a standard sugary smell. Also mixed in is a touch of smoke.

The beer is very tasty. Toffee and caramel malts are the strongest flavors, although there is a bit of smokiness. There are some spices, probably provided by the yeast. I don't know if I could identify them specifically, but the importer's website sayd that there are notes of clove, and I can agree with that claim.

Medium body with plenty of carbonation. It is a dry beer without much coating or stickiness.

This is a very enjoyable Belgian ale. It's unlike other beers I've had from that great beer-producing nation. I highly recommend it.

 915 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Lemme preface things by saying I will always try a new offering from DuPont. Wait, an avowed ticker admitting to trying all sorts o' new things? Yeah, I know, but DuPont offerings are more highly-regarded in my head than others. Just sayin'...

This stuff pours a clear golden-amber topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises wheat, straw, Belgian yeast, a pinch of black pepper, and a faint hint of singed toothpicks. The taste brings in more of the same, with the spicy yeast and straightforward grains really working well together, cooperating, neither seizing full power over the other. A relatively sharp (for the style, anyway) stabbing of earthy hops comes in at times, a touch boisterously, but never making too much of a nuisance of itself. Near the finish comes rushing a stronger bit of smoke, a darker version of the usual beech, which lingers for a bit through the finish, but somehow without detracting from the rest of the proceedings. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a very nice brew: the smoke adds a healthy bit of complexity to an already customarily active Belgian beer without forcing me to remember this bottle as holding a smoky beer. Good times, as expected.

 1,285 characters

Photo of tobelerone
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pinocchio's, Media, Pa. Review from notes. Collaboration with Iron Hill 2012.

Pours a shimmering, nearly clear orange color with a small off-white head that settles quickly, leaving creamy sheets of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Prominent trademark Dupont yeast character pops out of the glass in the aroma. Citrusy hops blend well with the spicy yeast notes and lots of fruity esters. Aspects of caramel and dark fruit; black pepper; grass, grainy and lightly toasted malt. Semi-dry finish, both caramel sweetness and hoppy bitterness lingering just a touch in the aftertaste.

Medium-light bodied, crisply carbonated. Pretty darn tasty, methinks.

 664 characters

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Spéciale Belge from Brasserie Dupont sprl
Beer rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 48 ratings