Petrus Winterbier | De Brabandere

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Petrus WinterbierPetrus Winterbier
198 Ratings
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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Ratings: 198 |  Reviews: 144
Photo of stacey14
1.26/5  rDev -64.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I thought that this tasted like a Belgian fat tire. It was almost difficult to finish the bottle and I did so while holding my nose (literally). The taste was kind of sour, and also somewhat reminiscent of dirty feet. The color was light golden yellow without much head, definitely not what I was looking for in a Belgian dark/winterbier.

I spent $1.99 on the sixpack and really the only thing worth the money was the wooden bottle opener that came with it.

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Photo of BGsWo22
1.5/5  rDev -58%

Photo of jim102864
1.79/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I hate to do this, but I'm about to kill this beer. Petrus is one of my favorite Belgian makes, so it breaks my heart to have to shell this one.

This experience started off with a bang as the corked and caged bottle shot off it's cork when I opened it. Something that's never happened before. Unfortunately, that was about the only excitement this brew offered.

The appearance was copper brown with a bubbly head and some carbonation which was a nice introduction.

The nose, however, was an indicator of bad things to come. A metallic odor with tinny characteristics eminated from my glass - my first hint that this was a skunked beer.

Lousy aroma and all, I still gave it a try. More tin. More metal. More dissapointment. A total disaster.

While bother discussing mouthfeel and drinkability? My review speaks for itself.

I am a major Petrus Brune fan and buy it whenever I can, so this was a colossal disappointment. Still, I will have to give this a second chance somtime down the road.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
1.9/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This one pours a nice golden brown with lots of big chunks of yeast. Not much head. Smells yeasty sour but pleasant.

Taste is really really sour and not in a good way. Bad yeast and skunky flavors. Fruity as well but with a really stale aftertaste. Medium bodied but with that oxidized aftertaste.

I would like to think that this is just an old, poorly cared-for bottle. A pleasant experience this beer was not. Uck.

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Photo of stcules
2.06/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Mahogany red color. Beige head, quite compact, and tall, but not very long.
Quite light smell, with malt and red fruit. Rape notes.
Same for the taste. Very light maltiness, some caramel, raisins, and red fruit.
Not very tasty.
And a little too carbonated, too.
Not satisfaying.

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Photo of TastyTaste
2.34/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Clear copper color, huge head that volcanoes out of the glass.

Smell: Yeasty and fairly sour, funky and dry. Not really what I am looking for in the style.

Taste: Sour and metallic. Much yeast, very tart. Definitely off for the style.

Drinkability: Disappointing for the style, not a very good Winter offering.

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Photo of watermelonman
2.44/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This poured to an amber and red color with a medium head. Lace is minor.

The smell is a poor mix of spice and caramel. The taste has more of the caramel and malt flavor and less of the spice. Some yeast funk is in there too. The mouthfeel is too light. Drinkability suffers with the flavor.

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Photo of isualum12
2.52/5  rDev -29.4%
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.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.58/5  rDev -27.7%
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.

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Photo of paterlodie
2.63/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

BB 02-10-06. Overwelming presentation with excessive gushing. What I cought in my glas had a very instable head soon completly gone. With it a brownamber beercollor and showing lots of haze. Nose is sour caramellic maltjuice with lots of alcohol. Taste is also very strongly alcoholic and very phenolic quiet spiced with pepper and cinnamon probably. Moderate bitterness and a overal dry carracter. Not exactly balanced mouthfeel and can't think it was ment to taste like this. Drinkable but was hard to get a good amount in the glass with this fontin comming out while opening the bottle.

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Photo of 49degrees
2.69/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I picked up a number of Petrus beers recently during a visit to the US and sadly, haven't been impressed by anything I've tackled yet. My first drink, their Winterbier was served in their standard 8.4oz bottles and is labelled with a 6.5%abv rating.

On the pour, it was a thick, murky brown color with extensive yeast sediment throughout the glass. Even after leaving the glass sit for more than 10 minutes, the yeast still remained suspended throughout the glass. Needless to say I wasn't impressed. It did have a 1/2" white head that quickly flattened out to a thin foamy coverage of the surface with a moderate off white collar. As I drank it, there was a moderate amount of lacing surrounding the glass.

Aroma wise, this one failed to live up to past experiences with dark Belgian brews. Very sweet with hard hits of roasted, toasted scents. Sadly it also delivers a somewhat funky hint that threw me off guard for a Belgian beer. Hmmmm.

Taste wise, it failed to do anything and all that yeast sedminent throughout the glass further killed any possible enjoyment that could have been gathered from this. A very roasted malty flavor, slight fruity hints but overwhelming amounts of yeast.

For a winter styled ale, this brew really lacks a lot of hearty characteristics to give it the enjoyable palette one would hope to have in its presentation. Disappointing all the way around.

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Photo of impending
2.78/5  rDev -22.1%
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.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.82/5  rDev -21%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up 3 Bavik beers from the Petrus range tonight.
The last of these is the Petrus Winterbeer, listed as 6.5% ABV and comes in a small 8.4 fl.oz. bottle with a Christmas red foil cap and a label that has a picture of a very jovial Santa on it. Is everyone jovial on Petrus Labels?
The body of the beer looked awful, poured with an intense amount of floaties, almost looked “past it”. Huge flakes of “dandruffian” yeast particles cascaded as the beer was poured carefully. Left to settle the huge tuna fish chunks of residual particulate matter formed an impressive carpet at the base of the glass but the buggers were damned persistent and floated easily at the merest movement. Some time later I decanted the settled beer and rescued an appreciable volume of beer free of the trespassing solids from the “floater” tribe.

“Hmm, I do not think I am going to enjoy this beer”, I thought to myself. I can predict the future it seems.

Reasonable carbonation and a not too offensive nose revealed that this beer was probably still drinkable – well technically speaking anyway. Nose was sour, like a Flemish Red Ale, if it was an English beer it would have been binned at this point - but it is acceptable in a Belgium beer – so I persisted.
Wish I had not. A very average beer, tastes are rather mixed, thin, bland and somewhat muddled. A “dirgy” malt start, a “spatty” middle and a “gangy” end. Is this supposed to be spiced?? Not Sure. A Xmas Beer – Nahhh! Surely Not. A rather confusing weak tasting beer that leaves a spattered beery residue of nothingness.

At the risk of sounding like a complete “know-it-all”, which I am not – this is a quite poor Belgium WinterBeer IMVHO. It lacks complexity, depth, character and SPICE!!!. Those little annoying floating yeasty bastards do not help either. Yeast chunks only do one thing for me, and I am not talking about making my hair shiny.
Very Average – and not worth the money to be brutally honest.

Instead; get one from Dubuisson (Scaldis), De Dolle, Achouffe…..

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Photo of StoutBulldog
2.87/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I am a sucker for Santa Claus so I picked up a few bottle of Petrus Winterbier when I saw the jolly old guy on a sled on the label. Nothing remarkable or bad about the head or appearance...just kind "was". Wait, I take that back -- there was a lot of carbonation. It smelled of sweet vingar and not too much else. Not surprisingly, the taste of vingar was apparent and I was sort of stuck on that. It was also quite thin and watery. I kept sipping hoping to enjoy the next sip a little more but I really didn't. Despite the carbonation, it left me flat. It was not aweful but just not as satisfying as I would have hoped.

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Photo of jwc215
2.91/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours hazed brown with a foamy head that is very briefly rocky, before descending to a thin cover. Vanishing lacing temporarily appears on the glass.

The smell is sour - like an old wine that has turned borderline vinegar. Some faint caramel and doughy yeast in the back.

The taste is sweet and sour - a characteristic that I have found in other offerings of this line. This is not my problem with this beer, though. The problem is that other than some caramel and a blandish yeast, not much else is going on.

A bit watery - not really what I expect from the style, from Belgium, or from a "winter beer".

A rather bland Belgian Dark Ale that is not so wintery except maybe for some warming alcohol that creeps up.

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
2.95/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The wife picked this up for me. I was none to impressed by anything but the bottle. Something about a fat man on a sled. Some earthiness and hops, but overall, not a very exciting ale. It did have a little "tart" sting to t, but just non-eventful.

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Photo of Mustard
2.99/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 8.4 oz brown bottle with no "bottled on" or "best before" date; purchased as part of a ten beer sampler pack from the West LA Whole Foods on National and Barrington; picture of a sleigh-riding Santa on the label -- clearly he's bringing this beer to those who've been naughty.

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear, dark copper; large, rocky head; light, scattered lacing; decent head retetnion.

Aroma: Largely of sugary malts and clove-like spiciness.

Taste: Bland; slight tartness upfront; dry, grainy finish; light fruit notes.

Comments: Aroma teased, taste punished.

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Photo of beckje01
3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Dark amber color with lots of activity and a big tan head.

S- slight sour smell some coriander? in there as well?

T- Creamy taste a slight sour but not really. And no hint of spice at all...

M- Lots of activity, not sure if it's a good or bad thing.

D- Very drinkable nothing really off putting just not really on target.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.03/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at Lucky Baldwin's Christmas beer special and served in a chalice. Had a murky, muddy brown color, lots of particulates in suspension and a dense, creamy tan head. Kinda looked like creek water; not too appealing.
The nose had the aromas of dusty malts, dried fruits - dates and raisins - and mummified yeast. If Coors can taut "cold" as a taste then I can go with "dry" as a smell. Noticeably absent was any hint of spices. None, nada, zip, zilch, zero.
Taste is said to be based on what you can smell. Based on this beer, that is a truism. Petrus Winterbier had a dry toasted malt flavor up front along with a dose of maple-dipped cereal and light nuttiness. Then a moderate fruitcake-inspired sweetness briefly surfaced. Lastly, buried among the desert-like yeast taste was a hint of flat herbal hops bittering. Again, no spice flavors on the radar. The feel was, you guessed it, dry, medium-light, and lacking all that much vitality.
Overall, this was a pretty big disappointment. Petrus Winterbier was one-dimensional and pretty listless. With all the other Christmas beers available, I won't be back for another one of these again.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.05/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hazed pale crimson, under a thick, full creamy head.

Nose spills out lots of fruit, grape, cherry, plum, spice, and that typical musty Belgian yeast aroma.

Taste: nice at first, then an onslaught of carbonation. Big, sour cherry blast, that fades some, but the fizz is a bit too much. No, make that way too much, it persists with sip after sip, like some spritzy fruit Zotz...remember Zotz?

Thinnish body, neglible finish...not liking this one, though the promise was there at the start, the contents revolted against any pleasure I'd find in the drinking.


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Photo of aaronh
3.06/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beautiful dark amber beer that casts a deep ruby glow when held up to the light. This beer is topped by a voluminous cream colored head that seems to hold indefinately. Aroma is a bit spicy with a yeast aroma that is typical of belgian-styled beers. Decent phenols and such, but nothing noteworthy. The flavor is actually very clean and rather mild. A good dose of what tastes like coriander is present throughout, and there's a touch of dry sweetness on the finish. Otherwise, it's just a typical, dry belgian-styled ale. Perhaps a bit more hoppy than most as well. This beer looks nice, but otherwise is just a typical ale in holidy garb.

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Photo of Travlr
3.08/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I assume that they call it a "winter" beer so you'll keep drinking it after Christmas. Thin brown with scant tan head. Thinner and plainer than most Christmas ales, although I did like the cinnamon aroma. Little bitterness and not enough complexity.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.1/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium orange color. Medium head. Aroma is malty and yeasty, with a touch of caramel sweetness. A medium bodied ale. Yeasty and slightly fruity. It not very spicy especially for a Belgian. Malts are mild, slightly sweet and a touch applish. Kind of tart. Very drinkable, but kind of mild and not very interesting. Very un-Belgian like. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of filabrazilia
3.1/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This 2003 release is a hazy orange copper color with limited clarity. A small thin head sits atop this beer. Minimal lacing.

Aroma - a fruity nose with citrus notes (lemon and orange) that is typical of a Belgian ale yeast.

Taste - There was very little flavor contained in this beer. I would consider this a mild Belgian ale.

Mouthfeel - This beer is thin and carbonated in the mouth. There is very little body contained in that bottle.

Drinkability - You could drink this beer all day, but why?

There are far better Belgian beers that I would recommend over this one. This would probably be a good beer to introduce to the bland beer drinking masses. Come to think of it, share this beer with the uninitiated, they would really enjoy it. While I didn't hate this beer, I just found it to be plain. It's not bad, it's not good, it's simply average.

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Photo of Grabbin2nd
3.11/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From Notes: 3/3/09
Petrus Brouwerij Bavik
Winter Ale
6.5% abv.
Corked and Caged 750

Appearance= Slow pour into New Belgium Snifter yields a massive white head. Golden body.

Smell= Mild, apples and oranges? Big yeast to it.

Taste= Good taste. It's kinda like an apple juice/ Beer

Mouthfeel= On the thin side and very high on carbonation

Drinkability= Decent. Once again, it's like drinking an apple juice/ beer or something. Not bad, just not my thing.

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Petrus Winterbier from De Brabandere
Beer rating: 3.57 out of 5 with 198 ratings