Petrus Speciale | De Brabandere

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Petrus SpecialePetrus Speciale

Brewed by:
De Brabandere
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-05-2002

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Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 60
Photo of beerthulhu
3.32/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a medium orange with some amber hues topped off by an off-white heads that lacked both retention and lacing.

S: slightly fruity and yeasty with some light floral scents.

T: The initial flavor was malty with some citrus and fruit (pears). There was a nice dry hoppiness and malting in the beginning which soon gave way to a fade and finish of sweet oranges. Overall the taste was very clean and smooth from start to finish.

M: a tad thin with strong carbonation.

D: Take it or leave it. Ok drinkability but really nothing speciale.

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Photo of fisherman34
2.78/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottled sample via trade. Dark gold in colour, mith moderate (yet spritzy) carbonation. Aromas are of stale malts, sour fruit, and damp earth. Flavors are of both stewed and sour fruits, light caramel, chalk, and black pepper. Very light bodied... as if it's hardly even there. Overall, it's average at best. This bottle might be a little old,

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Photo of corby112
2.94/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden yellow color with a lot of visible carbonation and a thick white foamy head. The aroma consists of a mix of pilsner malts, delicate floral hops and crisp light fruit. Easy to drink with decently balanced crisp hoppiness, light fruit(grape, apple, etc.) and pilsner malt flavors.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.43/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured the bottle into a Val Dieu chalice glass. It has a medium amber color with a small white head. It smells mostly of malt, with a light caramel touch. Pretty uninteresting flavor: malt, a tad grainy, with some noble hop flavor and medium bitterness. Could easily be a generic amber at any generic brewpub in the US.

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Photo of jwc215
3.28/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into glass chalice:

Pours hazed amber with a foamy, off-white head that thins and stays around for the duration. Trailing lace slides down the glass.

The smell is earthy, with grainy, slightly carmelized, notes. A hint of coriander and lemon peel is there, albeit very subtly.

The taste is of carmelized grain with earthy notes. Malt-accented with earthy hop bitterness. "Belgian" does not really come to mind, though there is a faint touch of coriander and lemon zest. Some metallic notes come through in a bitterish finish.

Something acidic/slightly metallic in the aftertaste with a body that borders weak, but has a touch of creaminess. It does go down pretty easily and is not as bad as my description may sound, but it lacks the flair of a Belgian Dark Ale - English Ale (Bitter?) comes to mind - though it doesn't really fit there either, as there is some touch of coriander...Regardless of style, it's nothing "special".

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Photo of RblWthACoz
2.82/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Almost clear amber with minimal head. Hop presence on the nose with a bitter tone. Smells like an IPA to me. Flavor is almost washed out, bordering on watery...perhaps not bordering. Two toes might have already crossed the line. Feel is thin. Not very drinkable at all due to the fact that it has no punch or anything unique or interesting about it. This is the 4th I have tried from the Petrus 6-pack, and it is by far my least favorite. Why exactly is it labeled "Speciale" again? I am hoping the last two from the six pack are in a different league.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sorry but this following comment is in french :

Appearance : bière de fermentation haute, robe ambrée
Smell : arômes fruités
Taste and mouthfeel : bien maltée, notes de coriandre, finale houblonnée
Drinkability : une bière correcte dans le style Belgian ale (pas dark!)

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Photo of brentk56
2.96/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey color with a decent head that does deposit splashes of lace

Smell: Very little to speak of other than a vague bready aroma

Taste: Starts out with a bready flavor that is joined by a hint of sweet and sour lemon by mid-palate; after the swallow, the lemon flavor hangs around but the finish is dry, although there is a lingering sweetness that shows up very late

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: Not a bad brew but so totally lacking compared to other Belgians it gets marked down in comparison

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Photo of jettjon
3.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From an 11.2 oz bottle from a 6-bottle multipack, no freshness date. Into my Sam Adams glass (thanks, guys!), it’s a hazy light reddish brown color with a small amount of carbonation being coaxed up by the laser etching. Big creamy tan-white head fades slowly to a thick cap and lots of lace. Nose of subdued semi-sweet malt and slight citrus hops. Earthy malts on the palate and again some faint citrus hops. Very underwhelming. Mouth is perhaps a touch overcarbonated, kind of like a pointless fizzbomb that doesn’t really complement the flavor. Surprisingly thin and muddled on the tonge, it quickly fades from the palate and memory. Drinkability? Forget it; I’m not wasting my time on another, much less at $6-plus per bottle from the multipack sampler.

Overall: A very mediocre “Belgian Dark.” Don’t waste your time or money! Special Ale? Give me a *** break.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
3.5/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a cloudy brown color with a thick white head – tight bubbles and nice lacing. The aroma is initially spicy with the smell of malt noticeable after a moment. The taste is spicy and sour at first sip followed by some slight malt and hop flavors. The mouthfeel is thin to medium. I’d consider this a drinkable beer – would be a nice change on occasion.

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Photo of PlaywrightSam
2.83/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle into tulip glass. A: Very hazy amber-brown, decent amount of head that whittles down to a thin caked on layer. S: Some earthy malt up front, the hops are a bit of an afterthought. T: A little thin at the start, then the malt makes an entrance with some vaguely citrusy hops...I'm having a hard time quanitifying it because it's pretty passive all around. Very average character. M: Coarse, tiny little bubbles, a tad sticky. D: I'm not really completely over the moon about this one, but then again it's by no means abhorrent. With it's overall subdued character I could definitely drink a few of them, but nothing in particular is compelling me to do so.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.09/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Clear golden bronze color with a nice full light tan head and light carbonation that leaves nice lace sheets. Light malt, light spice, and light plastic (?) aromas. Similar flavors with a balance that's just a bit off ... plasticized. Medium bodied with a dry malty finish.

Not sure I'd have again.

Per Label and BB website: 5.5% ABV

Tasted: 04/30/07

($21.99 / 11.2 oz. mixed 6-pack Petrus Sampler)

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Photo of afinepilsner
3.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 oz brown bottle

Petrus Speciale Ale was a golden amber color and a little hazy. It had a large white head with decent retention and left some lace behind. The aroma was light malt and hops. The taste was light malt and a little spice with a dry bitterness. It was medium-light in body with plenty of carbonation. Drinkability was average. This beer was a bit of a letdown and definitely not worth the three bucks I paid for the bottle.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.35/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A - Amber brew with a gold tint and moderate haziness. Medium head. Thin ring of dense lacing.

S - A delightful aroma typical of a oud bruin - sour cherries, with some faint mulling spice and faint caramel malt.

T - Faint. Seltzer watter, very mild caramel malt and fainter cherries. Almost no flavor at all. Aftertaste is empty.

M - Harsh from high carbonation. Drying on the gums. Not refreshing and thin.

D - Ugh. I passed this one off to a friend halfway through. It is not worht having. I have had other Pertrus (Bavik) beers that I would recommend. This one is far short of speciale.

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Photo of oelergud
3.32/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear orange copper body with low carbonation. White medium bubbled head, decent retention and good lace.
Sweet mild clover honey like scent, wheat, grain and abit of almond.
Abit of an odd taste. Sour and green banana flavor. Sweet and hydrating aftertaste but still with a sour base.
Medium mouthfeel, very dry finish.
Not what I expected from a Belgian dark but it's ok.


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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.71/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had an 11.2oz bottle with dinner at Chambar. It was served in a Petrus goblet, nice touch. Based on appearance I wouldn't really classify this as a Belgian Dark Ale, it was more a light tawny amber color, closer to a Belgian Pale Ale. Maybe it'll change on BA in the future.

I agree with a lot of the previous comments, I was a little let down after trying the beer. I was excited to see a Speciale, thinking it would be even better than their other offerings, but it was kind of mediocre, just slightly above average maybe.

The appearance was actually really good, lots of sticky white foam with clumpy lacing on the glass. The smell is not so strong, you can detect a Belgiany yeast in the aroma but barely. Not unlike the aroma of Kwak to my recollection. The flavor was also not strong. Actually it was not bad (a little 1-dimensional) but you're expecting more when you see it's their Speciale.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly hazy medium amber-golden color with abundant white puffy head. Very good retention.
Smell is significant for summer fruits with some light notes of candy sugar and yeast.
Smell is also summer fruity with a firm hoppy bitterness at the ending.
Pleasant long-lasting taste.
Easy to drink. Nice summer beer. An enjoyable surprise.

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Photo of Talisker
2.83/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A thoroughly average beer. Pours promisingly from an 11.2oz bottle (mine is marked 5.5%abv) into a Duvel tulip. Attractive deep hazy gold, three finger head that lingers and laces nicely. Aroma is unassertive, but malty with perhaps a promise of some sourness.

Unfortunately it's downhill from there, with a bland malty flavor - a thin steeliness reminscent of a lager even - and no hop personality. Finish is fine for a light ale, and certainly nothing offensive to put you off subsequent drinks. Just nothing to draw you back in, either.

Not *bad*, but ultimately a disappointment.

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Photo of IntriqKen
2.66/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy medium orange amber with a nice 2 finger white head that very slowly melts to a craggy, very sticky white lacing.
Aromas are Belgium yeast, Orange, and Lemon.
Flavor is disappointingly lacking in dimension. Sharp citrus flavors that border mostly on lemon with only a hint of sweet malt and little else for me...maybe a little spice.
Mouthfeel is too bubbly with sharp carbonation.
Aftertaste is clean and fresh, but still lacking in dimension.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.11/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Amberish orange with lemon peel edges and an enthusiastic amount of carbonation. The cream colored cap is large, softly sticky and rocky; in other words, a typically wonderful looking Belgian ale lid. What lace appears on the glass is delicate and melty rather than thick and soon to be crusty. A good look.

The nose smells like blonde malt with just a touch of spicy hops. There's nothing wrong with it exactly, but it certainly doesn't have anything interesting to add. Actually, the beer smells like a slightly better than average Euro pale lager... which, of course, makes it no better than an average Belgian pale ale. Ignore the style listed above.

I'm sorry to report that there's nothing even remotely special about Petrus Speciale. It tastes like it smells unfortunately. This beer is in dire need of a flavor hook, something to give it even the faintest outlines of a personality. Winning the trophy for 'the Belgian pale ale that most resembles a Euro pale lager' just doesn't get it done.

As in the nose, untoasted grain and noble hops (now relatively balanced) make up the flavor profile. It's mildly sweet early and moderately bitter late, with nothing of interest happening in between. There isn't even a Belgian yeast strain, that's recognizable as such, to give a hint of complexity. I've changed my mind. Speciale should be classified as an EPL, not a BPA as I originally thought. The fact that it's an ale, not a lager, might pose a problem however.

The mouthfeel is actually the best part about this experience (other than the appearance). It's firmly medium with a smooth, solid feel throughout each mouthful and throughout all 11.2 ounces. It would have been even more enjoyable with more competent cargo.

Petrus Speciale is brewed in Belgium, but doesn't taste like it; something that is pretty rare in my experience. Four packs hit Des Moines sometime in the past year, a development that I was initially excited about. After having tasted it, I'm excited no longer.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.04/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Be carefull on the pour as this can get away from you in a hurry. Huge rocky white head that seems to pick up steam as time goes on. Tons of fine carbonation inside a light copper body. Looks like a pale ale to my eyes.

Smell is of spices. Soft malts are relegated to the backdrop at best as the jist of this beer is an array of spices and a bit of a peppered middle. Towards the end the beer is light, wet and thin. Aftertaste lingers and turns towards a vinous angle as time went by. She's a beaut' to look at but there's not much under the hood.

This is far from a belgian dark ale. I will notify the beerfly for a change. Upside: Looks, innoffensive. Downside: Lack of depth, boring.

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Photo of geexploitation
3.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Petrus Speciale Ale pours a pretty, subdued rust color with a delicate lacy head. Aromas are fairly fruity, with apples, plums, and some citrus notes present. On the palate, though, things flatten out a bit, with little of the interesting fruits in the nose making their way into the body. Some sourness is in there, kind of like you get in some English pale ales. Mild sweetness. Mouthfeel is a touch on the thin side, not unpleasantly so, but the mouthfeel adds to the "where's the beef?" feeling I get from this one. Overall, an unoffensive Belgian that also lacks character.

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Photo of Absumaster
3.67/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a golden color with a creamy head which is sticking to the glass.

Smell is malty with some cork and wood, like it has been aged on oak or something. Also some hops com through.

Taste is slightly acidic and dry. A slight bitterness and dry aftertaste mark this beer. Again the wood comes through, and I think this inhibits drinkability a little bit. Overall a good beer, which I would review as a blond or belgian pale ale, not as a dark ale. Who made that up?

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Photo of cbl2
2.83/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

$3.50 11.2 oz. 6.50% No best by date, but coded 38600.


Pours a clear orange brown with over an inch of foamy white head that takes a few moments to settle leaving behind some spectacular lacing.


Some hints of yeast with some vibrant fresh citrus notes (orange mainly).


Odd, stale funky mouthfeel with a flavor combination of orange peel and sweaty gym socks. This is by far the worst of the Petrus lineup, yet they choose to call it "Speciale"? If that's not irony, I don't know what is.

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Photo of peabody
2.7/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours out like weak iced tea. Slight orange tint and pretty clear.
The head is white and 1 finger with lots of larger bubbles.
the smell is very subtle. Orange peel and yeast with just a slight fruity aroma.
Dirty flavors abound here. Can't discern what dirt though.
Taste like there is something wrong with the beer. This could be a bad batch.
Mouthfeel is clean but there is nothing here.

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Petrus Speciale from De Brabandere
77 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.
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