Petrus Winterbier | De Brabandere

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Petrus WinterbierPetrus Winterbier

Brewed by:
De Brabandere

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-23-2002

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Reviews: 144 | Ratings: 197
Photo of putnam
4.47/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Red caramel amber colored. Sure cream-colored cream on top.
Hushed, almost still aromatics are doughy and pulpy. Brown breads, vanilla, raisins and sweet spices are just barely there. In the mouth it's creamy with wooly tannins. Ripe red berries, black pepper, and starchy spice husks occupy the broad texture beautifully. Vigorous, fine fizz provides an equal amount of structure as the nutty, tangy bitter extractions. It's bone dry -- a surprise considering all of the sweet aromatics.

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Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a translucent deep ruby color with a mastodonic head, creamy in texture and a bright light tan color with the lace forming a tight sealing sheet that smothers the glass. The nose is vanilla sweet, with a thick malt presence, also a bit of over ripe banana noticed, a very pleasing and a bodement of things to come. Front is ambrosial, rich in malt with a middling top, that leads to a strikingly acidic finish, hops are personable in their spicy bite, desert dry aftertaste that lingers long on the palate, a perfect end of the evening beer, and as a beer I salute all “Beer Lovers” where ever you are on this Thanksgiving Eve in 2003, hopefully next year at this time we can give thanks for “World Peace”, a dream but it is my wish today.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.41/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Carefully poured it's only slightly hazy; although it's difficult to keep from disturbing the sediment and allowing flakes of particulate to come into play (how old are these bottles?). Its thin white head drops readily but it maintains a creamy collar throughout the goblet. Lacing is limited. The aroma is malty and cake-like with a sugary note of vanilla and a touch of mild spice. It's alcohol becomes apparent as it warms. It's creamy and smooth in the mouth due to its medium body and very fine, natural carbonation. There's more fruit (cherry, raisin) in the flavor than the nose indicates; and the vanilla remains, along with some light caramel and rum. It's exceptionally well-balanced by a restrained bitterness, and the finish is simply a long dissolving of the flavor already present in the mouth as a drying bitterness slowly rises. Rich, malty, fruity, exciting. Quite a remarkable beer!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours with a very froathy, strongly efforvescent appearance of amber, rust, and brown colored haze. Firm, but light aromas of apples, with a white grape, vineous, zinfindale quality. A follow up of confectionate maltiness, lightly-tart berries, and a mild fruitcake scent permiates the wine-like qualities. Flavors closely mimic the aromas while placing emphasis on the malt sweetness and body, and the yeasty spiciness. The berry-like attributes shine more and more as the beer warms. The beer is soft and nearly evaporates as it hits the mouth. The carbonation lifts the beer without any bite or astringency. Acidic throughout, which leads to a clean, refreshing spicy finish. This beer is more akin to Belgian Ambers with little hint of it being more wintery than any other beer. Still quite nice and palatable.

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Photo of adamette
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle with a double label on the front of it stating "Petrus Winter Ale" into a clean, clear glass. Had purchased this bottle in a gift pack with a free glass from Beverage Warehouse on Mayfield Road in Cleveland a month or so ago. I checked the Bavik Website and it appears that "Winterbier" and "Winter Ale" are the same product.

A Pours a hazy orange golden brown with a decent one inch head. Nice look.

S Quite nice malt smell with maybe some cinnamon, honey. No bitterness, nice and inviting.

T Really nice sweet malt, cinnamon and honey continued into the taste and were welcome with some additional citrus. Very little to no bitterness. I am pleasantly suprised by this beer.

M Moderate with big, interesting tastes and medium ABV level.

D Really good, interesting. Had me coming back for more.

Notes: My first of the Petrus beers, I bought almost all of them at beers of the world in Rochester before finding this Winter Ale here in Cleveland. I have yet to sample those other ones but this may be the best winter ale that I have had.

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Photo of Viking
4.2/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fairly clear coppery-amber brew. Small head, but solid retention. I wasn't paying enough attention, and poured this quite vigorously, dumping in huge, chunky yeast-floaties. No big deal, though. Smell of tart apples and cherries with raisin in a rich and sweet caramel malt base. Taste not nearly as tart as I expected, based on the smell. Flavor dominated by smooth, creamy caramel with subdued hints of fruit. Very smooth, almost velvety mouthfeel. Excellent brew, but the 8.4 oz bottle is entirely too small.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.15/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

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Photo of shapudding
4.12/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light amber or dark iced tea color with tons and tons and tons, have I mentioned tons? of chunky protein/wheat floating thickly throughout, some finally resting on the bottom of the glass. Bit of white head on top. No dating on this bottle that the cute irishboy had pulled from the celler.... hmmm....
Scents of cider. Highly carbinated. Champagnelike mouthfeel. Vineous taste, chardonnay and grapey, alcohol is there but not overly present. Tastes more like a cider...
As disturbing looking as this one poured, it was darn good!

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Photo of BravoTwo
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice darker dubbel colored beer, with small head and little retention. Dark candy sugar brown.

S - Sweet with a slight hint of spice notes and a "twang" of a little bit of sourness.

T - Good here, and nice spice notes for winter brew. Definitely can taste the "seasonal" nature of the beer, and also a slight sourness right at the end.

M - Medium mouthfeel, light carbonation. Smooth.

D - Easy drinker, especially on a colder day this could go down very easily.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2004 Edition, bottle # 37861, 11.2 oz bottle. 7% ABV.

Unfiltered, but pours to a very clear dark brown amber, forming a meringue beige head with very good retention and excellent lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma is very nice with lots of bananas and cloves, some tart phenolics, and ripe fruits (apple, pineapple, kiwi). Mouthfeel is flittering and explodes upon the tongue with a light body. Tastes like a typical dubble with notes of moldy wood, amber malts, lightly roasted and toasted malts, lots of cloves, black magic marker and phenols. Spicy stuff. Metal is noticeable in the middle and mellows towards the finish, but leaves an oxidized twang upon the back of the tongue. Touches of oaky wine in the finish, and bitterness is very mild, relying upon the yeast for balance.

A decent beer, but not quite as special as Bavik would like you to think with the christmas packaging promotion. A run of the mill double, not worth the extra price. Save yer money and go get yourself a 6'er of New Belgium Abbey:)

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Photo of rrwiltse
4.08/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was very excited to find Petrus Winterbeer, being a huge fan of their Aged Pale. This is a good beer, though a bit of a let down after the Aged Pale. It does have some similarities to the Pale--one hell of a foamy head and incredibly bubbly. Be careful when you pour this one! The very bubbly head takes quite a while to go down, and sticks to the side.

I poured from the bottle into a Belgian glass. The beer is a deep amber color, and unbelievably bubbly. You can watch the bubbles shoot to the top the whole time you drink it! The aroma is clean and refreshing, but very understated. The first sips are slightly malty, perhaps a bit oaky????, and you are left with a slightly hoppy (very slight!) and VERY dry tingle on the tongue. This beer tastes much lighter than you'd expect--for a winter beer, it is very light. A year round drinker, if you ask me!

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.07/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark amber with white head. Micro sized bubbles retain well.

Nose has a pleasant funky baked dessert component. Reminds me of dark german chocolate cake with raspberry filling. Glazed donuts too.

Palate is raisin like, sweet, juicyfruit gum, and a nice sourness in the mix.

Finish is sweet and sour.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.06/5  rDev +14%
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.

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Photo of Sixpack595
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bronze in color with a good deal of tan head that recedes a bit faster than I expected.Aroma is very sweet and I expected (wrong) a syrupy brew. Spicey with a prickly, but just shy of medium mouthfeel. Not a very complex beer, but still very tastey. The sixxer comes with a nice bottle opener too.

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

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Photo of John_M
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a rich dark, copper amber color, with excellent head retention and decent lacing. On the nose there's cherry and fuji apple, but with some underlying lemon citrus tartness (as I've learned by now, hardly a surprise when it comes to Petrus beers). On the palate there are very nice flavors of cherry and light chocolate, intermixed with some more tart citrus and vanilla. The beer is medium bodied, but has a nice soft mouthfeel. The beer is pretty drinkable, with the abv. well disguised.

Very nice beer. A bit more flavor would be nice, but otherwise no complaints.

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Photo of Wildman
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the first I've seen this beer in Ohio, since they had a thing about Santa Claus on beer bottles, especially if they are holding a beer like this one. This beer poured a medium light clear amber color and formed a very foamy off white head that coated the glass with lace as it subsided. A heavy amount of carbonation is present, probably why the cork exploded off. The aroma is of candy, cherries and lightly of malt and yeast. The flavor is of malt, chocolate and cherries. The body is medium light and the finish sweet yet tart. I didn't find it as sour as some others, but this may be due to this year's vintage, or my natural tolerance/affinity for sour candy.

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Photo of Wonka
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8.4 fl. oz.
Alc. 6.5% by Vol.

Appearance – red/orange body; white head is marginal; lace is sparse; massive amount of sediment globules

Smell – massively fruity; raisins, a bit spicy and a light caramel

Taste – fruity; yeasty; nice balance; aftertaste is fruity and a bit tinny

Mouthfeel – medium bodied with leveled carbonation; desert dry and crisp

Drinkability – holding the particulates at the bottom of the glass became a sort of recreation; the dryness holds the palate back

This was an ‘older’ bottle (maybe 2 years) according to the store rep. Beyond the particulate juggle, Winterbier was enjoyable.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.02/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml into Petrus stemware at 45 degrees.

Pours with a HUGE beige head over a very deep amber colored body, with a ton of carbonation flowing up.

Aromas of candy sugar, allspice, rich fruits (dates and cherry), and plenty of sweetness - caramel malts and molasses-like quality as it warms. Smells thick.

Comes across a bit 'cloudy' on the palate... flavors are considerably different than the aromas - root beer, red grapes, and a slight citric tang. Slight floral/herbal twang. Final finish is actually pretty bitter.

Incredibly tight & dry - almost biting, if that's possible for the style. Carbonation was a bit over the top, though, which brings it just under a 4 in my book.

I have to score this one pretty high on drinkability, although I don't have a lot of experience in this Belgian Dark Ale style (BSDA yes... BDA, no).

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Petrus winter pours a brown/ruby color with a persistent head. Be aware of the cork and the fizz when opening, i almost broke the light fixture on my ceiling, and soaked my carpet the first time i opened one of these. the first thing i notice is the intense carbonation not too common in belgian winters. after recooping from the first sip i took a second, fizzy at first, then flemish sour red ale flavors start to dominate,but without the strong sour taste. this was a nice experience to smell and taste the vinous flavors without puckering my lips on the first ten drinks, and with carbonation which is almost non existent in alot of flemish reds. the finish is slightly hoppy. not a great winter warming effect, but a great afternoon refresher ( relatively speaking) interesting to say the least. Not what i expected from a belgian winter, but still quite good. beware the cork! it is a missile!

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Photo of peabody
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out like dark Ice tea with lots of small off-white bubbles. Very carbonated. Watch out opening this one, the cork will put your eye out.
Smels like sour grape leaves and apple peel. Slight lemony aroma.
Taste is bubbly raspberry and bitter peach along with the lemon zest. Not a sour beer but not a normal winter ale either.
Leaves the palate dry after the initial bubbles and flavor wear off.
I bought this at Roof Brothers Liquors in Paducah, Ky. Kane says it's a red ale but I don't know.

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a murky ice-tea brown. Aroma was a crisp white wine. Fairly light in flavor - grape-like white wine up front, quickly fading into a mildly bitter and dry finish. Not much middle to this beer - it zips from start to finish and is gone. It is deceptively easy to drink. Stacked up against other Belgian beers, it does not have much depth and falls short, but, for some darn reason, I like it anyway. Is there such a thing as a Belgian "lawnmower beer?"

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Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

01/21/05- Purchased at Plumpjack Wines and Spirit's in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with santa sledding on the label. Poured into my Duvel glass. Code of #37861 on back label.

Appearance- Light brown-amber pour with a gigantic frothy head and light lacing.

Smell- Heavy fruity scents. Almost vinous. Grape and citrus scents.

Taste- Raisins, fruitcake and maybe a bit of oaky taste too it. Right on the border of where it crosses over to the sweet side.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation and a medium mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Wish the abv was a tad more so it would cross over to the sweet side, but as it is, it's a pretty good winter beer. Was about what I was expecting.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a snifter.

Hazed rusty/amber color with a huge off-white head of bubbly foam that left a good amount of lacing.
The smell is full of dark fruits and yeast.
The taste is a little tart upfront with sweeter flavors of dates and raisin coming in before finishing dry and tart.
Medium bodied with good carbonation.
Goes down smooth and easy.

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Photo of beergeek279
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 11.2 oz. bottle. The color was a dark amber, with a nice foam on it. The smell was malt sweetness. The taste was a tangyness, and a bit of malt sweet. Mouthfeel was smooth. Drinkability-wise, could have a few.

A good beer, though not amongst the best of the holiday season. Still, if I saw it, I might have it again.

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Petrus Winterbier from De Brabandere
3.56 out of 5 based on 197 ratings.
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