Petrus Winterbier
De Brabandere

Petrus WinterbierPetrus Winterbier
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Belgian Dark Ale
Ranked #94
Ranked #40,327
3.62 | pDev: 13.81%
De Brabandere
Petrus WinterbierPetrus Winterbier
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Reviews: 144 | Ratings: 199
Photo of crookedhalo
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich, orangy brown tint with a big beige to tan head. Malty, spicy and estery sour tones come through in the aroma. Tastes malty and a touch sour and the spices in the beer seem to show up most in the finish. Candied fruit in the finish, too. Nice brew, posesses Oud Bruin qualities and winterbeer qualities, too. Spritzy on the tongue. Maintains a decent lacing. Reasonable ABV (2003s are 7%) makes it drinkable in the longer term.

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Photo of beergeek279
4/5  rDev +10.5%
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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Photo of filabrazilia
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
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 Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +22.1%
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 ViveLaChouffe
1.9/5  rDev -47.5%
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 RoyalT
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Nice, sugary brown color with lots of sediment but a smallish head.

Smell – The yeast is laden with table sugar and maple. There is also a light toastiness to this one but, strangely, no spices.

Taste – The bread comes up distinctive on the tongue along with those wonderful flavors of raw maple, sugar cane (if you’ve ever sucked on plain sugar cane), and very light toast.

Mouthfeel – Lightly carbonated and very smooth due to the emphasis on sugar and maple.

Drinkability – This went down without a hitch.

Update – I tried an ’04 bottle upon the recommendation of a friend, and I did indeed find it to be a better ale. The “no head” bottle from last year actually exploded on me in the ’04 vintage. I got some nice wintertime spices in the nose.

I thought this was a bit light for a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, and said so myself during my ’03 review, but during the style revisions this one was changed to a Belgian Dark Ale. Having said that, it was pretty darn good. I re-rated this bad boy and, overall, the score went from a 3.05 to a solid 4.0.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
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 Mustard
2.99/5  rDev -17.4%
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 NeroFiddled
4.41/5  rDev +21.8%
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 Jason
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
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 bewareOFpenguin
2.95/5  rDev -18.5%
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 49degrees
2.69/5  rDev -25.7%
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 TheLongBeachBum
2.82/5  rDev -22.1%
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 ChicoraBoy
3.41/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma is tart and a little fruity, like cider about to turn. Some earthiness. Bit of sour cherry or vinegar, but some sweetness. Off-white thin foamy head atop a slightly hazy amber-brown liquid. Low soft carbonation and medium watery body. In general the taste is pretty watery. Mild tart/sweet start with a bit of apple cider vinegar. Very subdued flavors. Finishes mildly with a bit of astringency but no bitterness. Mild choke cherry after and leaves taste buds dry. Overall, kind of weak in taste.

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Photo of Jdiddy
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was one of the better Belgians I have tasted in awhile. The iced tea comparisons are true because of the Amber/Copper color. Definite sediment floating about. Nice head that lasts for a bit. Crisp apple/malt flavor. Very drinkable.

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Photo of Viking
4.2/5  rDev +16%
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 MaineBeerMan
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a light brown color a bit cloudy, with a lot of chuncky yeast floaties. A smaller than expected off white head faded to a collar arond the inside of teh glass very quickly.
The smell was quite nice, fairly sweet with a caramel aroma and hints of dark fruit.
Flavor was okay but seemed a bit watered down, caramel with some vanilla hints and a touch of dark fruit.Rather dry finish, considering the sweet flavor.
An okay beer, but a bit underwhelming for a Winter/Christmas beer, especially a Belgian one. Considering the price tag, I won't be having this again.

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +10.5%
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 purplehops
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a golden yellow-orange with a light tan head. The aroma was sweet and warm with hints of orange peel, coriander, and mace in the back ground. I was however disappointed with the taste and body of this beer. It started out with a nice balance of malt, spice, and carbonation. There was even a hint of hop spiciness heading into the finish. But then there was nothing. No after taste or lingering alcohol or spicy warmth. For such a great start it had a disappointing finish. There is plenty of sediment in the bottle, perhaps it needs a little more aging. For a Petrus product I was very disappointed.

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Petrus Winterbier from De Brabandere
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 199 ratings