Petrus Winterbier
De Brabandere

Petrus WinterbierPetrus Winterbier
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Brown Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #84
Ranked #41,998
3.62 | pDev: 13.54%
De Brabandere
Petrus WinterbierPetrus Winterbier
View: Beers
Reviews: 144 | Ratings: 200 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.79/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On-tap 3/6/2015 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a reddish brown color, with a medium off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains dark fruit, nutmeg, ginger, brown sugar, Belgian yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of brown sugar, dark fruit and caramel. There’s also some spice but less than you get in the smell. Then some breadiness comes in from Belgian yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. The hops presence is very mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is sweet and slightly bready.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid beer to drink for while if you’re in the mood for the style.

Mar 07, 2015
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superspak from Michigan

3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 1/21/2012. Pours hazy deep orange/copper color with a 2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of golden raisin, plum, lemon, pear, apple, white grape, white pepper, clove, candi sugar, light caramel, bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with solid strength. Taste of golden raisin, plum, lemon, pear, apple, white grape, white pepper, clove, candi sugar, light caramel, bread, herbal, grass, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Good amount of earthy yeast spice on the finish; with lingering notes of golden raisin, plum, lemon, pear, apple, white grape, pepper, clove, candi sugar, bread, light caramel, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish. Nice complexity and solid robustness of fruity/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with a nice malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice Belgian dark ale. All around good complexity, balance, and solid robustness of fruity/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Sep 06, 2014
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TruePerception from California

3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Alright, time to christen the new beer chalice!

Petrus Winter Ale. 6.5% ABV.

Appearance: Nice, heavy pop, followed by a good amount of haze. Certainly no skimping on the head. About 2 and a half fingers. Only a slight lacing, and doesn't really hold. Orange amber with hints of yellow.

Smell: Lighter malty smell, with decent amount of sour, cherry funk.

Taste/Moutfeel: More dry funk on the palate. Bit of leather. Maybe some barnyard. Some dry plum notes. Apricot skin dryness. Only a mild acidity.

Certainly the weakest offering I've had from Petrus, so far, but still fairly good. Doesn't have any overwhelming flavors, so probably a pretty decent session beer (if a tiny bit strong for such a purpose). When you factor in the free chalice, a fantastic deal at $9!

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Petrus chalice.

Nov 12, 2013
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at the bottle share held at Chloe's inside Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear honey orange with a foamy khkai head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, fruit, and cider. Taste is much the same with a honey flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that has a lot of honey qualities going on.

Apr 05, 2013
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damndirtyape from Ohio

4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl pour in a chalice at La Trappe, San Francisco.

Appearance: Brown/copper/amber clear beer, with an initial rocky light tan head upon pouring that died down to a thin 1/8" foam across the top with plenty of lacing in strands and sheets all over the glass. Great looking beer.

Smell: Malty, molasses, burnt sugar, with something spicy at the end. Hard to pick it out - maybe nutmeg, maybe cinnamon. I could not tell.

Taste: Rich and malty, but smooth. Nice roasted malts, burn sugar, molasses, winter cookie spice at the end. Again, I could not tell if it was cinnamon, nutmeg, or both. Not really strong spice, more like a complimentary one.

Mouthfeel: Nice thickness. A bit chewy and sticky on the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: Oh wow - an amazing good winter beer. Like a combination of a Belgian dark ale and an American spiced winter warmer. Dangerously drinkable - this one tempted me into another one rather than trying yet another beer from the wider La Trappe menu. A great winter beer.

Jan 27, 2013
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Ryan011235 from Ohio

2.58/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Bell's tulip on 9/5/12

The appearance is a very dark brown with hues of copper worked in. the head rises quickly to just under three fingers prior to receding steadily. thin, fizzy head. No lace.

The aroma is has tangy, dark fruit notes and something of a tart smell - dark cherry, plum and apple butter. Soapy, earthy and bready overtones. After a short while, the aromas condense and become a little less jarring.

The taste is rather interesting and not at all what I expected based on the aroma. The flavor is actually fairly robust with mildly spiced bread and dark grains, layered upon which are dark fruit notes - raisin, plum, fig, and some nippy apple, too. I'm pleased that tartness isn't an issue.

The body is medium with some slickness. Carbonation is very high and is frustrating as it interferes with the flavors. It takes some effort to swirl out the carbonation, but it's worth it in the long run. Fruit cake residuals linger.

This is far from the greatest beer I've had, but it's enjoyable enough to finish of the 750ml. I don't know as that I'd pay the full $7.99 price for it, but the sale price of $3.99 is more enticing. It does become a bit strange by the end of the bottle, though.

Sep 06, 2012
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impending from California

2.78/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2


750ml into a tulip. Pours a crystal clear amber garnet, cream colored head started tall but receded fairly quick, ok lacing.

Aroma is rich in spices with a vinous phenolic overtone.

Flavor begins nice then collapses into mediocrity, undefined and bland. Potential is obvious. Plums and honey. The aftertaste is vaporous, evaporates with little residue, near zero bitter, no dry. Medium bodied mouthfeel. Double everything this might be splendid.

Feb 12, 2012
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LiquidAmber from Washington

3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a cloudy bright orange amber. Massive white head with medium bubbles dissipated slowly, originally filling half the glass. Mild aroma of sweet malt and spices with a slightly mineral component. Flavor is a light sweet and caramel malt and light fruit dominated by apple. A slight buttery diacetyl flavor. Finish is somewhat dry and spicy, although the spices are nondescript. Light to medium bodied which is surprising considering the healthy head on this ale. Not very assertive flavors, but pleasant to drink. A nice but not outstanding winter Belgian. .

Jan 31, 2012
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Stinkypuss from Pennsylvania

3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Petrus Winterbier

Pours a dark brown, not so clear. Pillowy off white froth. Aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpernickel bread and alittle floral. In the taste, a nice brown ale base with more bready character, small cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and coriander round out the spice profile. Some mineral aspects, tiny bit tart and very mild bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and creamy. Overall, not a bad winter offering, lots of spices, but short of noteworthy.

Jan 04, 2012
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IronCitySteve from Pennsylvania

3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a brownish orange color with some amber hues around the edges. Provides a small off white foam head with moderate retention. Not much in the way of lacing.

S: A decent amount of caramel malt, ginger snaps, nutmeg and cinnamon. It gives off a christmas vibe.

T: Starts off with some malt character, mostly caramel, ginger snaps and brown sugar. In the middle the spices come to the forefront and give it a x-mas feel. On the back end the malt characeter comes thru more.

M: A little thin but leaves a mostly creamy feel on the palate.

O: Not my favorite of Belgians, but still a beer that is good in the winter. Slightly warming feel. Worthy of a try.

Dec 31, 2011
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KTCamm from New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a champagne bottle into a Duvel glass.

Pours reddish brown with huge amounts of white foam. Long lasting, and leaves a big island in the middle. Cherries, plums, raisins in the nose. Cinamon/nutmeg too. Taste is full of fruit with a bold malt taste. Spices in the mix and hints of a sour finish. Just a hint of hop at the end. Really tasty, love the sour finish.

Dec 29, 2011
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TheBeerAlmanac from Kentucky

3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a deep golden yellow, settling into a much darker, caramel brown with a hazy purplish tint.  Head is abundant and dense with creme colored foam.  

S: Aroma is spot on like a Fruit Roll-Up.  I can't make it any more definitive.  

T/M: Flavor is surprisingly light for a beer so dark.  A medium to high amount of carbonation leads way to light plum, blackberry and sugar sweetness (including that Fruit Roll-Up trait) and is slightly bitter throughout leaving a bit in the aftertaste.  

It's not exactly a winter warmer, but it's nice.

Dec 26, 2011
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, deep copper hue. It had a one-finger, off-white head of bubbly foam that left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled of dried fruits and some spicy notes.

T - Good spicy flavor with a nice dried fruit flavor - raisin and plum. Nice bready malt backbone.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a very good Belgian beer. Another very good offering from Petrus.

Dec 12, 2011
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mrfrancis from Kentucky

3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy, orange-tinted amber with a fizzy khaki head. Neither the head retention nor the lacing are all that great, but this beer has a unique appearance.

S: Very spicy and yeasty on the nose with fruitcake, gingerbread, and Christmas spice scents.

T: Opens tart and malty with notes of raisins, figs, citrus, gingerbread, Christmas spices, and pungent yeast. The finish is pungent and heavy with robust spice and yeast notes.

M: Medium-bodied and spritzy. The carbonation is very active. Honestly, it makes this beer rather difficult to drink.

O: This is an interesting ale, but could display better balance. I like it, but would not go out of my way to buy it again.

Nov 03, 2011
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Rifugium from North Dakota

3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at the Pour House, Westmont, NJ

Pours a light bronzed orange with noticeable carbonation and a frothy white head that dissipates to a thin layer of bubbles. Malty aroma, fruitcake. Sweet malts in the taste, light sugar, fruitcake, and sour fruits and citrus zest. A little loss of flavor due to the carbonation level. Light-medium mouthfeel, a bit soda-ish; nice but I wouldn't go out of my way to drink it again.

May 27, 2011
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biggred1 from Indiana

3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a fancy Belgian glass that came with it. Hazy amber with blonde highlights around the edges when backlit and a big fizzy khaki head that leaves sheets of lace on the glass. Sugar cookie and dark fruit with some mild Belgian yeast funkiness. Delicious holiday spice and raisin with tart green apple and rye breadiness. After several minutes of warming and adding the last of the bottle to the glass I've bumped the flavor score a little higher. A little more flavor concentration would really make this one special. Medium bodied and highly carbonated. A fine ale but not one of the truly great examples of the style.

Mar 01, 2011
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bmwats from Louisiana

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle, into my Petrus oversized flute.

A: Dark golden / light amber cloudy hue. Pours about a 2 finger, foamy, white head. Settles slowly. Leaves a little blanket of bubbly foam on the surface when it's all said and done. No lacing to speak of.

S: Woody malt tone. Nutshells, maybe a little bay leaf in there, too. Seems like a little caramel and some oak.

T: Woody, malty. Strong, peaty alcohol flavor. Has a touch of some sweet and spice in there.

M: Grainy... almost coarse, for lack of a better adjective. Has almost a washed-out texture. Pungent, dry finish.

D: Sip and enjoy. Despite a feel that's not my favorite, an enjoyable drink.

Atmosphere is good. Appearance is pretty decent. Nice color and a good, solid foamy head. Nose is a nice woody grain with a hint of sweet. Nice balance. Has a very woody flavor profile, and strong alcohol. Overall, This is a pretty good quaff.

Feb 05, 2011
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metter98 from New York

3.19/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear brownish amber in color and has a high amount of carbonation. It poured with a two finger high beige head that has excellent retention properties.
S: There are metallic aromas of cherries and yeast in the nose.
T: The taste is also metallic and has flavors of caramel and dark fruits along with some hints of spices.
M: It feels light-bodied and watery on the palate with a very high amount of carbonation.
D: The beer isn't difficult to drink but would be a little more palatable if it had a bigger body and lacked the metallic smell and taste.

Jan 22, 2011
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FreshHawk from Illinois

3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Glowing apricot color with a large, rocky, foamy, frothy white head. Decent retention but only sparse patchy lace left.

S - Strong tart fruit and spice (clove, cinnamon, all spice, etc.) aroma with a faint alcohol and maybe phenol aroma. Hints of caramel and bready malt.

T - Like the nose, there is plenty of tart fruit. Green apple and sour/tart cherry are strongest. Some lemon zest as well. Spice also quite strong throughout with christmasy cooking spices. A little bit of sweet maltiness in the background. Alcohol is much more present than the 6.5% would suggest.

M - Lighter side of medium body with a bit above average carbonation. A touch too thin. Zesty feel.

D - A little too much spice and tartness compared to the maltiness for me given the style. Enjoyable in small doses.

Notes: Decent winter brew, but I wasn't getting as much BSDA flavors as I hoped. Tart fruit and cooking spice dominates with a good amount of alcohol heat. Nice in small doses for a winter night, but not something I necessarily crave.

Jan 16, 2011
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isualum12 from Idaho

2.52/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I found this beer at Boise co-op down in the northend on Eighth street sitting on the endcap of the beer sectioin with the other individual larger bottles. It came 750mL champagne style bottle, corked &caged wrapped in gold foil label inside a large box. I thought it was just an extra large bottle of beer which sold for about $13. I was intrigued with the box and the write up on the beer bud yet never heard of it before. I snagged the bottle and brought it home when. I open the box I was quite surprised to find a glass inside as well. The glass is classic gobbler shape from the Belgian style glass that you would expect to come from a Belgium brewery.

I thought at first it would have a large head but it had almost no header. I'll would say maybe one & 1/2 cm head. It is white head. The beer looked brown-color rolling into a copper color at the bottom of the glass. I poured it directly from the bottle into the Petrue glass which came in the box.

Smells orangey and pruney. My first impression was very sweet and smelled very nice. I enjoyed the smell. My first taste I thought was crazy, I've have never taste anything quite like this before. Very sweet. Lots of carbon. Really citrus labor on the back of your throught. I enjoyed the first taste but I'm not sure of it. I can taste the raisin or prune flavor in there. It's actually burns my nostril on the after taste.

In the end I couldn't handle to much of this beer. I gave it a low drinkablity with a high flavor. Something about it twisted up my stomach within seconds of my first drink. I would really enjoy using this beer to cook with along with pairing it with some different meats.

All in all I wouldn't buy this beer again.

Dec 31, 2010
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL champagne style bottle, corked &caged wrapped in gold label.

poured into pint glass, dark brown with ruby highlights. 2 inch fluffy white head. decent lacing, head stays as a covering until the end.

smells of belgian yeast, a little booze, and fermented fruit. the taste is a sweet malty flavor with some hints of black cherry and plum. slightly tart aftertaste. I was expecting winter spices, but no, basically a standard belgian dark ale.

higher carbonation, but still fairly smooth mouthfeel. good drinkability.

Dec 29, 2010
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Brabander from Netherlands

3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer at the Essen Christmas beer festival, last sunday. I enjoyed this festival because of the wide variety of Christmas beers.

This one came out of the bottle into a tasting glass.

A very dark beer. A nice little head with a top on the beer which disappears fast. Sweet and sour battle with each other. Tasty beer for Christmas!

Dec 23, 2010
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axelroderic from Missouri

3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle

A: Light in color, cloudy appearance. Large white head.

S: Very fruity... similar to apple cider.

T: Fruity, slightly malty; sweet and tart, but not nearly as tart as a good sour.

M: Overly carbonated; awfully light for a dark ale.

D: You could easily drink several of these.

Quite good, certainly not what I expected from a winter ale.

Dec 22, 2010
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jdhilt from New Hampshire

4.06/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a five-finger+ off-white pillowy head that takes forever to fade leaving a good lace. Clear amber color despite a ton of yeast left in bottle. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Apple and malt nose. Flavor is sour apple and yeast, not what I was expecting for a winter ale but not bad. Pricey at $18.00 for a 750ml bottle from a Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, ME.

Dec 17, 2010
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LevitatedEep from California

3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Shared with a friend from 750 ml bottle from my Chimay glass. Towards the end of the bottle I paired it with some Montalban Drunken Goat cheese.

A - Very large head and brown in color...looks very thin like apple cider.

S -Smells very fruity like apple cider...delicious.

T - Very tart...was not expecting this from a winter beer but I am pleasantly surprised. Has a very boozy taste.

M - Very thin and fizzy...does not feel like I am drinking beer...keep thinking it is cider but I am still enjoying this.

D - Goes down pretty easy considering how boozy it tastes.

All in all not my fav but I would try again forsher.

Nov 24, 2010
Petrus Winterbier from De Brabandere
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 200 ratings