Petrus Winterbier | De Brabandere

197 Ratings
Read the review
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 197 |  Reviews: 144
Photo of Sammy
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
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 KroMagnon
3.76/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very carbonated, foamed up some in the bottle and has a large head, but as it dissipates it leaves a little lace and is very rocky (and long-lasting too). The color is kind of pale copper. The aroma is a bit odd - I get a faint cheesy (!) smell, a llittle bit of perfumey esters, but it doesn't hit you over the head and I don't pick up a lot of malt either - maybe a hint. The flavor is good, though, with sweet maltiness dominating, kind of light on body and a little spritzy still, some light fruitiness and a definite alcohol warmth to the beer. Not overwhelming but solid.

 577 characters

Photo of jaluria
3.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Spotted this in my local store in passing and was excited to try another beer from Petrus because I'm a fan of their Trappist-style ales.

Poured a dark, cloudy, amber color with an off-white head that didn't move an inch for several minutes leaving behind rings of lace. A 1/6-inch head remained throughout the session. Aromas of caramel, hops, and grass were apparent to me. The hops were right upfront with a sweet, fruity finish that left my mouth dry and sticky. A bit strong in the aftertaste with a bread-like texture that really reduced its drinkability. Overall, this is a good tasting beer, but there are areas for improvement.

 639 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Ortino's Northside...
Appears a dark copper with a fluffy, 2 finger tan head that slowly fades. Mild lacing is left along the glass.
Smell is of lightly spiced caramel, raisins, and vanilla.
Taste is of the same aromas with perhaps just a bit more coming through that reminds me of apple juice.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, pretty smooth, and dry.

 358 characters

Photo of JISurfer
3.27/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The head on this thing was crazy big. It started foaming, the instant it hit the glass. It kind of got a little annoying, but it looked so pretty. The smell wasn't very strong, so you really had to strain to smell anything. What I got was some spices, mixed with fruit, and alcohol. The taste wasn't too bad though. I got tastes of spices up front, with a caramel malt, a little honey, and some alcohol. Overall it was a fairly good beer except for a few little rough patches. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to try different winter beers.

 553 characters

Photo of CharlesRiver
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 fl oz bottle with a sledding Santa on the label. Pours out an amber-brown with a small, tan head that seems to last. Smell is not much to speak of. Malty with hints of something spicy. Something a bit citrusy or tart is hidden in the background as well.

The taste is some what lacking. Very little carbonation. Starts off malty and ends with somethign a bit metallic? Hints of apple. At points it kind of goes to cardboard but then turns around with some minimal hop flavors. Ends with a slight bitterness that for me is it's saving grace.

Overall a beer that I am glad that I tried. Very small, hidden flavors are all around. At times it doesn't meld well together.

 677 characters

Photo of kmcnair
3.35/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle. Pours a garnet color and makes a bone hued head that flows over the top of my Petrus goblet. Head is long lasting and leaves quite a bit of lacing on my glass. Aroma is loaded up on dark dried fruits and sweet caramel malts. Flavor is slightly bitter and peppery, has some notes of raisin and fig, lightly sweet, and a hint of chocolate. Mouthfeel is light to medium and opens with some spicy carbonation, has a slightly dry finish. This isn't bad, but I had higher expectations for it.

 501 characters

Photo of paterlodie
2.63/5  rDev -26.1%
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.

 589 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours an even, murky red color. not much head, just a bleak bubbly crown. aroma is metallic and nutty reminiscent of a brown. some malty sugars bring this into belgian aroma.. mildly. not at all what i expect from a belgie noel (which is HUGENESS)... mouthfeel is pleasant in a medium way. big on carbonation and spry despite its age (1 yr). smooth and creamy sugar evolution from belgian malts evoke brown sugar and very light fruits. not at all bad, and probably one of the best petrus beer out there. unfortunately, their best doesn't measure up to what's available out there in belgium. still, a drinkable and enjoyable beer. not at all a winter, closer to a dubbel.... try it for shots and goggles.

 703 characters

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!

 862 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.47/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25cl bottle from somewhere local. Red foiled cap. Has "11/04" written on the bottom in silver ink, not sure if that can be trusted or not, but noted here for completeness.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed minimal 1/4" beige head. Beer was translucent dark copper, with tons of particulate matter which is suspended and does not settle (and I decanted carefully). Head settles at half height, and lacing is average to good. Aroma is lightly of spicing and sweetness, but lacking here for a Belgian. Taste is lightly spicy malts, with delicate hopping and a crisp, dry finish. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, and drinkability is good as well. Expected much better, even though I will admit the bar was probably set high.

 728 characters

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.

 635 characters

Photo of ybnorml
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clean copper/orange beer. Has a big beige head,with some lace. The aroma has at first a fruity sweetness which becomes more of a malty sweetness and there is strong sour note in the background. The flavor starts of with a smooth maltiness that flows right into a light sour note. This all finishes with a nice spicey peppery bite on the end.

 343 characters

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.

 489 characters

Photo of Tballz420
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew is a dull brown color, thick and murky. Bubbly cream colored head on the top. Nose is fruit notes. Caramel sweetness along with bready malt. Lots of fruit tones, slight hop backbone. Alcohol becomes more apparent with some warmth. Somewhat thinner mouthfeel. Nothing amazing, but not the end of the world.

 315 characters

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.

 704 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.35/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

 1,567 characters

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

 1,147 characters

Photo of rkhaze
3.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright red/amber with a big active foamy tan head. Lots of carbonation. The head got rocky as it fell.
Smells of sweet malt, ripe fruit, spice and a lemony yeast aroma.
Tastes of bready sweet malt, ripe fruit lightly soaked in brandy, a tad of brown sugar and baking spices. Dry, tart yeasty finish. Decent flavors but they were all a little muted.
Light bodied with a clean mouthfeel and stinging carbonation.
Not what I expected from a winter beer. A little on the light side.
Not horrible, but nothing special either.

 533 characters

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:)

 1,024 characters

Photo of bigbubba
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer exploded out of the bottle as if it was a shaken bottle of champaign. What ended up in the glass was a nice reddish amber with a huge light tan head. The smell is spicy and wine like. The taste is very mild, there isn't a lot of flavor. It is highly carbonated. The mouthfeel is pretty good. Overall it's pretty good but I wouldn't buy it often.

 355 characters

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!

 534 characters

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent light brown-slight copper color with a pretty white, medium-sized head. Aroma is sweetish with a lightly raosted malt and gentle spiciness. The aroma is soft and gentle compared to many winter offerings. Flavor follows through from the aroma- no big surprises, nice winter spice touch, but everything soft and gentle. Good, but hard to find anything that really grabs me.

 391 characters

Photo of IrishRedRock
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle. ABV on label is 7%.

Insanely carbonated, it started flowing from the bottle as soon as I removed the cap. Musty, yeasty aroma is quite potent from the copper colored brew. Notes of clove and cinnamon are present as well. Head is beautiful -a huge pillow of foam- and retains perfectly.
Fruity and slightly spicy in flavor, with a lot of lemon citrus to it. Alcohol is very noticeable, though not overdone, and begins to warm the body very quickly. This tastes much more like a lighter Belgian ale than the darker brew it actually is. I'm not blown away or anything, but it's pretty tasty.

 610 characters

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.

 297 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.