Petrus Winter #9
De Brabandere

Petrus Winter #9Petrus Winter #9
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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #119
Ranked #14,415
3.91 | pDev: 10.74%
De Brabandere
Very Good
Petrus Winter #9Petrus Winter #9
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Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 182 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of biegaman
biegaman from Canada

3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

You can leave those shovels in the garage, looks like it's going to be a dry winter. Petrus Winter #9 has just a minor dusting of snow; there's not enough of the white stuff to even really call it a 'head'. The fig coloured body has a twilight kind of complexion: dark but with some visibility still possible and twinkles of soft amber light peeking through.

Most Belgian Strong Dark Ales have flashy, flamboyant yeast but this isn't one of the really loud ones. There's still the perfumy baking spice but it's nowhere enough to make you sneeze, or even cover up the caramelly sweetness of the malt. Just because it's mild in intensity doesn't make it mild in complexity - it's an elaborate blend of clove, ginger, nutmeg and mace.

Belgian brewers use something called 'candi sugar' which is basically what it sounds like - a deliciously sweet source of additional fermentable sugars. Though it's derived from beets there's nothing vegetal or earthy about it. On the contrary, it accentuates richer, deeper fruit flavours and enhances the crystallized, caramelized qualities of the malt.

It certainly had a hand in bringing about the toffee brittle and toasted nut undertones of Petrus #9. Fruitcake flavours factor heavily, with all the usual suspects (prunes, dates, raisins and figs) present and accounted for. That pumpkin pie spice blend continues to dominate, though the finish balances all three elements and adds a delightful orange zest note.

Petrus Winter #9 is a typically sweet, spicy Belgian Dark but its simplistic flavour profile and lighter body make it better suited to the social atmosphere of a work Christmas party as opposed to late-night reflective drinking by the fireplace. A good introductory example to the style, it lacks the intricacy and magnitude to earn a top score but is still a pleasant little number.

Dec 23, 2016
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Pundit_of_Potability from Indiana

4.46/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A wonderful head with a bit of lacing, this dark brown ale is wonderfully fruity, as is the smell. Strong hints of malts, persimmon, figs and plum....Just right for the season. Finishes a little tart. Just enough spice and a note of cinnamon in there too. Well done! Medium carbonation, so it finishes creamy and damp with minimal sizzle alongside the spices.
Though this would be better with more carbonation and more body (it is a tad thin) this is still distinctly potable.

Dec 22, 2016
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AlarmClock314 from Wisconsin

3.59/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

25.4oz bottle, cork top, no date. Pours clear copper with a medium sized off-tan head; some lacing left on the glass. Smells of tart dark fruit, cherry, malt, and honey; good intensity. The taste follows closely with cherry, dark fruit, malt, and lemon peel, but is pretty weak. Some tart and sourness in the aftertaste. Thin body and average, prickly carbonation. Overall, it's passable for the style, but really needs a heavier flavor and body.

Jan 29, 2016
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taxandbeerguy from Canada

3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

750 ml cork and cage bottle. Served at cellar temperature into a tulip. Been sitting on this for a couple of months, seemed like the final Sunday of the NFL season was a good time to crack this. Purchased from the LCBO for about $10. Best before July 2016.

Appearance - pours a clear dark ruby coloured beer with some visible carbonation. A nice finger of ivory head is poured but the retention leaves something to be desired. Not much in the way of lacing either.

Smell - massive malt aroma, tons of dark fruit like dates and figs with raisins in a supporting role. Plenty of spices with hints of cinnamon and ginger as well as vanilla making prominent appearances. Smells like Christmas fruitcake.

Taste - plenty of malt, caramel and butterscotch combo being most prominent, mild bitterness kicks in with fruity flavours like dates, raisins and figs. Quite yummy.

Mouthfeel - reasonably fully bodied, but a little thinner than expected, while at the same time being syrupy on the finish. Dry as well. Carbonation is low.

Overall - a yummy and great smelling Belgian dark ale, but the low carbonation and thin yet syrupy mouthfeel, make this not quite as good as it otherwise would be. Still Petrus #9 is a well crafted and highly enjoyable seasonal Christmas beer.

Jan 03, 2016
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CAMRAhardliner from Canada

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours red amber with a sticky, patchy head that doesn't last long. Plums, raisins, bran, brown sugar in the nose. Rich dark malts, christmas cake, molasses, cherry in the first sip. Bit of booze spice in the back. Hops only provide a bit of bitterness in the fruity, medium dry finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied and thick with a creamy, high carbonation.

This is a great Belgian Dark Ale. Lots of malt depth without being too sweet. I highly recommend this.

Jan 01, 2016
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andrenaline from Canada

3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark amber, thin layer of head with some retention and lacing. Nose is loaded with spices, cinnamon, nutmeg and hints of candied apple and burnt caramel. Flavours on the tongue are much the same, spices up front with dark fruit lingering on the palette. A delicious winter ale that strikes a nice balance between spice and classic dark Belgian brew. Christmas cake in a bottle with the booze well hidden. I'll grab another one for sure.

Dec 29, 2015
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russpowell from Arkansas

3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an effervescent orange, some floaties a finger of cream colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Orchard fruit, light & dark, candied orange & figs, some booze notes once warm

T: Candied orange, peaches, pear, cinnamon, candi sugar & bready sweetness & just a bit of port up front. Some sour & sweet cherry notes, tangerine & candi sugar dryness as this warms, some figgy notes, a little leafy hop as well, subtle boozeyness. Finishes with Maderia, figs & cherry, plus a little cinnamon & treacle

MF: Medium body, slight carbonation, pretty warming

Well done, nice beer to drink this time of year as the days turn shorter & colder. Complex, but not overly so

Dec 06, 2015
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thehyperduck from Canada

3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL cork-and-cage bottle procured from the local LCBO. With the first snowfall of the season now well underway, tonight seemed like as good an opportunity as any to crack this one open. Best before July 31 2016 and served slightly chilled.

An aggressive pour reveals this winter ale's deep, ruby-red chestnut colour, while simultaneously highlighting its unfortunate inability to produce much of a head at all. I wasn't gentle, but still wound up with only about a half-cm of beige-coloured foam, which quickly faded over the next sixty seconds or so. Minimal lace; a bubbly collar is the only real remnant. Not a looker by this style's standards, but I'm loving the aroma - overripe, bruised banana, toffee and bread pudding come to mind immediately, with added nuances of fig, prune and black cherry. Mild accents of cinnamon, vanilla, and clove provide even more depth, as do toasted malts and a touch of ethanol. This one just smells lovely.

A nice winter ale, which features restrained spices and a rich, malt-forward flavour profile. Toffee, bready malts and brown sugar sweetness meld beautifully with the big notes of overripe banana, suggesting a sort of banana bread vibe initially. Once the dark fruit flavours of raisin, fig and cherry start to come through, it takes on more of a Christmas/plum pudding feel. The fruits are soon joined by hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove at the finish, featured alongside some nice herbal notes and light boozy sweetness that hangs on into the aftertaste. Medium-bodied - feels a little thinner than it should, honestly - but that's not a deal breaker. The carbonation levels are moderately intense; softer and less prickly than some examples of this style, with a smooth, somewhat syrupy quality to the feel. The alcohol is noticeable, but integrates well.

Final Grade: 3.97, a worthy B+. Petrus Winter #9 is a solid holiday selection. The potent dark fruit flavours and subtle spice additions combine together well, giving this strong Belgian-style winter ale a good, approachable character that I expect many BAs to find highly agreeable. Not a perfect beer by any means - the mouthfeel and appearance are not what I prefer in this style - but it's still a yummy chest-warmer of a beer that is highly suitable for the colder months. Recommended; probably not worth cellaring given the expiry date, but I may pick up a second bottle to enjoy in Jan/Feb.

Nov 22, 2015
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Cramshawbar from Canada

3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hints of cloves and raisin, framed in light sourness, this Belgian ale tries but fails to play with the big boys. Despite the strength, it tastes watery and surprisingly underwhelming.
Try once, just to say you have.

Nov 15, 2015
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metter98 from New York

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear but very dark brownish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation along with some small yeast particles, which rise up and fall down like a lava lamp. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of sweet, clumpy yeast are present in the nose.
T: The taste is somewhat sweet and has lots of flavors of yeast chunks along with notes of dark fruits.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has just under a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is rather drinkable for its strength because it does a good job at hiding most of its alcohol. The only thing that is a little detracting is the amount of sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

Oct 24, 2015
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Bitterbill from Wyoming

4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Clear mahogany brew with a great head of foam and lacing.

Smells very malt forward with caramel and fruity with raisins and plums. Some spice that I notice. ..nutmeg.

Tastes exactly like it smells. Super smooth, no intrusion by the alcohol. Kinda reminds me of an aged English Old Ale or Barleywine.

Nice mouthfeel.


Sep 15, 2015
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big fruitcake nose with vanilla, raisins, spice and a hint of tartness. It pours brilliant garnet under a quickly dissipating 1’ off-white foam collar. It enters the palate with creamy vanilla, light chocolate, dark dried fruits, and spice that meld together into a a big foamy fruitcake flavor by the finish. The texture is very creamy and finely bubbled giving the carbonation a softness. Medium to medium full body with above average carbonation.

Mar 10, 2015
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Certainly bigger than "dubbel" but not quite "quad", the flavors of the dark abbey-style beers are well represented and are a little more liberally spiced than the brewery would admit.

Petrus' Winter ale pours with a beautiful garnet and crimson swirl. With highlights catching its haze, a mysterious appearance reels in the nose. Enticed with hard candy and steely caramel sweetness, the senses come to life with toasted malt and candied pecan.

As the fruits of apple, raisin, date, fig, plum and grape swirls into the bready-sweet malt taste, a spicy balance emerges in the forms of peppercorn, cinnamon and slight clove. Together the fruit, spice and malt portrays fruitcake dessert-like properties.

As the medium-full ale dries beautifully, turning from creamy to zesty, its carbonation is propelled by vinous red wine alcohol and a peppery bite to close. Softly simmering warmth and light tangy acidity play out wonderfully in waves of lingering fruit.

Dec 23, 2014
Photo of JLBeaugh

4.05/5  rDev +3.6%

Purchased @ H.E.B. 1 Pint 9.4 Fl oz. Bottle. Red Bottle with standard cork with gold color cage. Price: $10.95

Color: Pours brown-red similar to sun brewed tea. Small khaki colored head. Some retention.

Smell: Banana,Molasses,Nutmeg,Cinnamon,and Gingerbread.

Taste: Molasses,Raisin,Caramel,Cinnamon,Bourbon.

Feel: Light feel, medium carbonation, long warm finish.

Very good overall. Will pickup another bottle.

Nov 19, 2014
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stevoj from Idaho

3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Nice tangy, sour aroma and taste to this winter beer. Not much of a head to speak of, caramel/copper color with faint carbonation. Sour palate, taste of caramel and toffee. No alcohol burn apparent. A real winter warmer.

Nov 15, 2014
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Beautifully packaged in a large red bottle (2013? BB date stamp of July 2015) with gold-colored wire retaining the cork. Served at a starting temperature of about 45F in a Belgian snifter. Modest improvemnt with further aging.

Pours clear and dark; a lovely red-brown color with a small head that displays good retention and coats the glass upon tipping.

Aroma: appealing and faintly sweet and fruity over dark bread.

Flavor: little if any spicing in the winter ale, but some hints of spicing from, I believe, the yeast. Starts lightly sweet and finished mildly bitter. Hints of dark fruits including dried plums and raisins, as well as toffee.

Feel: smooth but a touch too much astringency. Appropriately soft carbonation.

Nov 07, 2014
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BucannonXC5 from California

4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: Draft
Glass: 0.25L (8.5 oz.) glass
From: Blind Lady Ale House in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $4.00 (with progressive Friday)
Purchased: Feb. 21, 2014
Consumed: Feb. 21, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a brownish red, almost mahogany color with 3-to-4 fingers of khaki tan head. Sporadic spots of lacing all around the sides. Average-to-above average retention on the top.

Smelled dark fruits, dark sour cherry, plum, dark raspberry and black cherry first, then got wintery spices - nutmeg, molasses, caramel, gingerbread and cinnamon. What a mix.

Tasted more what I was expecting with the wintry mix. Got nutmeg, cinnamon, gingerbread and molasses. Sour notes were still there with dark grape, bourbon, black cherry and sour cherry.

Medium body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long warming finish.

A very good and unusual winter beer. Would love to try it again.

Feb 23, 2014
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

These were originally marked at $9.99 but giant eagle was clearing them out for $6.99. Belgium Bomber score!

A - Ah nice carbonation a 2+ inch deep mocha head sits atop of a clear cherry brown very dark hue. Slow fizz out rate and decent lacing.
S - Smell is sweet with rum soaked breads, fruity yeasts, and some hard candies. Smell is not very heavy despite the high ABV.
T - Up front I get an oaky cinnamon stick nutmeg flavor that reminds us so of winter. Body is mostly candied sugars and some overripe banana.
M - Not that heavy in fact I would have guessed not over 7%. I really like how the yeast is not very heavy making for easy drinking.

Overall 7 bucks well spent this beer is pretty tasty. Wish I would have gotten to it sooner when the spices were more pronounced but its fine the way it is now.

Jan 27, 2014
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Beerswag from California

3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into St. Bernardus Watou chalice
Appearance is Dark Amber/ Mahogany, clear.crisp look, almost transparent yet can't quite penetrate the darkness of the beer. Head is not active or sticky looking. rich looking minimal head, great looking beer for the style. Lacing is spotty and present just like the snow falling on the bottle suggests.
Smell is quite pleasant of candied over-ripe banana, dates. plums, spices of nutmeg and cinnamon, with persimmon, and buiscuits.
Taste is sweet dark fruit, followed by banana which quickly overtaken by nutmeg and warming spices. I get hints of Oak, straw, dark chocolate in the finish. Quite crisp and balanced. Easy sipper/sessionable winter ale. medium-bodied winter ale. Done right.
Overall this one doesn't disappoint. should pair well with gorgonzola/cured meats/winter foods such as browned butter pastas, and winter squash/risotto.

Jan 02, 2014
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ckollias from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this brew out of a growler in a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark brown hue with a thin wispy white lace that leaves no trail.

S: A almost cider like aroma - lots of fruits like plum in the nose.

T: Very sweet and tart dark fruit flavor. Ends in a sweet dry flavor.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

Delicious brew - great flavors and aromas.

Dec 22, 2013
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Eisen from Washington

3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark red with white head that quickly faded into thin lacing. Smells of alcohol and plumbs, slight chocolate and date. Tastes the same with more sugars and heaviness. The poor drinkability is distracting enough to greatly lower its score. Alcohol and malt are not as balanced as they could be; sweet is balanced with only a little less sweet.

Dec 20, 2013
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spense727 from North Carolina

2.82/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Very light head. Not much lasing. Bottle is very festive.

S: Burnt Carmel, not much else there

T: caramel star anise, sweet, A bit metallic.

M: Light mouth feel, heavily carbonated.

O: Not as good as most Petrus. But not bad.

Serving type: bottle

Dec 18, 2013
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the corked, caged 750 ml. bottle. 2013 batch. Sampled on December 1, 2013.

It pours chestnut-mahogany brown with reddish hues and a modest tan head that eventually fades but it does so slowly.

The aroma has all kinds of things going on to make this an inviting beer. Toasted malts, dark malts, dark fruits, fig, date, plum, with spices like clove, nutmeg, and allspice. No alcohol note to speak of.

Medium and smooth body.

The taste is much like the aroma with plenty of dark fruit, malts, and spicy characters. The alcohol is well integrated. As it warms to room temperature it also warms the insides. This is a fine beer and try it slowly.

Dec 01, 2013
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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a chalice.

A: Deep red-orange color. Off-white head settles shortly. Lacing is spotty and minimal.

S: Caramel and bread malt base. Fruitcake. Sweet ripe cherries, red berries, currant, and fig. Big waft of cinnamon. Distinct gingersnap cookies. Nutty and earthy yeast.

T: Gingersnap cookies and lots of cinnamon- almost to the point of Dentyne gum. Fruitcake, bread pudding, cocoa, brown molasses. Currant, red berry, and fig esters are a little cleaner than the nose suggested. Long finish of bready desserts and warming cinnamon.

M: Thick in body. Full and silky. Sharp, cutting carbonation, along with the ample spicing, make for a very crisp feel, creating an interesting textural juxtaposition. Warming alcohol.

O: There is a lot of spicing to this one, but it works. The bold cinnamon flavor has a nice warming effect. It isn't the most complex Belgian Noel-type beer out there, but it hits the mark.

Nov 25, 2013
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mactrail from Washington

3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

Crazy big red-wrapped bottle. Big flavor of gingerbread. Cloves and cinnamon, like a bolder Anchor Christmas beer, but with the distinct Belgian touch. A touch of butter and hot fruitcake in the nose.

The carbonation and mouthfeel are just velvety. Sweet, foamy, creamy, and delicious. Yeasty and dry in the finish, but fruity and sweet for the main event. Honey and graham crackers. Lots of caramel and a whiff of taffy.

This is a little sweeter than I really like, but it's a tasty sipping beer for dessert. From the 500 ml champagne bottle bought at Liticker's Liquor in San Diego.

Jun 16, 2013
Petrus Winter #9 from De Brabandere
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 182 ratings