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 Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy orange with some head, and significant lace. Yeast and alcohol in aroma, not too much there. Taste is yeast, rather plain Belgium. A bit astringent and alcohol in mouthfeel.Mild spice. Finishable and moderately satisfying. Drying aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel.

 266 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of metter98
3.19/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +21.8%
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 zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very cloudy apricot with a frothy head that fritters away to a film and leaves a prong or two of lace

Smell: Modest tart fruit (green apple and sour cherry) with hints of spice cake spices (clove, cinnamon and allspice); would be really nice if more pronounced

Taste: Starts out with a slightly biscuity sweet malty flavor that is complemented by some green apple and sour cherry elements - both very subtle; foams in the mouth by mid-palate, making it difficult to taste the flavor progressions; after the swallow, some of the sour elements come through, with a woody, caramelized aspect that is actually quite pleasing

Mouthfeel: Light and incredibly frothy; with a foamy mouthfeel (even with little head) that makes it difficult to taste - note to self: swallow quickly before it foams

Drinkability: Where to begin? There is something very nice about this beer that I really want to like, drawing on some of the better elements of other Petrus beers; however, the foamy tendencies as well as the understated flavor profile dilute the beer's potential; this could be extraordinary if the flaws were removed

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

 1,604 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: An amber-colored beer with quite a bit of haze. It pours rather foamy, but settles down soon enough and eventually settles to a small cap.

Smell: Grainy, fruity and citric. A bit tart, but not overwhelmingly so.

Taste/mouthfeel: Fruity at first, making me think of sour green apples or lemons. It's on the dry side, and a bit milder than I was expecting. It's not terribly heavy and the finish is brief and pretty clean, making it very drinkable. This is a pleasant winter beer, nothing exceptional perhaps, but nice.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.41/5  rDev +23.5%
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 zestar
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.79/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of krome
4.5/5  rDev +26.1%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is, without a doubt, the most carbonated beer I've ever had. Upon popping the cap, Mt. Vesuvius erupted from the top of the bottle, flooded my desktop and soaked the coaster. Even now, several minutes later (5 minutes and counting), I can see furious, uprushing carbonation in the beer as light brown foam continues to ooze from the top of the bottle and run down the side. If left to its own devices, it looks as though fully half the bottle could be lost unless I pour, so pour I will.

A gentle pour results in more head than beer. Lucent orange-bronze with an infusion of red. Bubbles continue to rush upwards as if they can't wait to meet their doom and become part of the atmosphere. The huge, ecru colored head tries to be rocky, but is too soft to pull it off. Minimal lace.

Winterbier's nose is of sour fruit (green apples), indeterminate spice (slightly clovish) and Belgian yeast. The flavor is okay, but is really nothing special. Like the nose, I'm reminded of spiced, tart fruit. Pungent clove appears at the midway point and increasingly dominates through the finish. Unfortunately, less than adequately masked alcohol plays a role as well. The light-medium mouthfeel is made even lighter by the still ridiculous amount of gas.

What makes Petrus Winterbier a winter beer isn't immediately obvious. It tastes like a Belgian dark ale and not an especially noteworthy one. I have little doubt that if it had been more appropriately carbonated, it would have been a much better beer. As is, I'll shed no tears over what was lost on my desktop.

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Photo of Jason
3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

8.4 oz slender brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Turbid reddish beige appearance from a loose flaky yeast at the bottom of the bottle, head retention is just fin and dandy with some stickage here and there.

Smell: The aroma suggests lemon icing, faint cookie like malt and a weathered yeast.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Ample crispness within the sturdy medium body, dry palate with fruitiness abound. Hints of bubble gum and a dry herbal phenol with a lax hop by the waist side.

Drinkability & Notes: Nothing special but still tasty, at least the six pack came with a cool wooden bottle opener. I was expecting a more flamboyant brew ...

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large Belgian brown bomber, caged and corked. I could not understand the numbers that were printed on the label (freshness info?) Pours darker amber, with a moderate reddish hue. Lively carbonation initially (pour with care) resulting in a loose and active head, that calms down and then lives a thick outer ring. The lacing is slippery and thick. Fruity/spiced nose, interesting and different. Zesty, slightly sour brown ale. Dark fruits, blackberry life saveresque. Perhaps some light winter spicing. Sweet/sour/spiced. Interesting and tasty brew, perhaps festive is the best way to describe it. I enjoyed this one, if you appreciate the variety and eccentricity of Belgian brewing this one is worth a try

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber nut brown with an off white cream head leaves behind fine Belgian style lacing. Aroma: Candi sugar, ripened fruit undertones with a sweet malt this is nice and slightly more subtle than most Belgian Xmas ales. Taste: Sweet candi sugar jumps out once again, upront slight toasted malts fruit soaked in alcohol very tasty. Mouthfeel: Medium-light body nice strong carbonation. Drinkability: Nice and easy going Christmas ale but solid enough to be memorable to me.

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Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
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. .

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly clouded amber with some head. Nose is malty...and at first I thought I got a whiff of something like burnt toast. Basically this one has the aroma of a strong and very sweet Belgian. Flavor is strong with a syrupy sweetness. Borders on too much. Though the following sips seem to be more tolerable. Caramel tone is heavy as well. Feel is slightly syrupy, though not a lot of carbonation - but a bit above the average. Very drinkable as it is smoother as you go on. I could easily go for a few of these if I was sitting and relaxing in the cold winter.

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Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +12%
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 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 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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Petrus Winterbier from De Brabandere
Beer rating: 3.57 out of 5 with 198 ratings