Palm / Palm Speciale | Brouwerij Palm NV

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Palm / Palm SpecialePalm / Palm Speciale

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Palm NV

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
ABV 5.1 to 5.4%

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-04-2002

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Reviews: 291 | Ratings: 1,071
Photo of monkbrewed
1.43/5  rDev -56.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

Another Inbev disaster. Had this on-tap at an American wood-fired pizza venue. Decent amber color, but ultra-thin tasting. Nothing Belgian about this. No odor or nose to speak of either. I kept wanting a hint of flavor- but practically no grain and no hopping evident. Watery mouthfeel too. As the menu had no prices for drinks, I had to ask the waitress what I was paying for this beer- hoping it wasn't a $6 pint- she assured me it was only $3. You get what you pay for and I won't make the mistake of ordering this again. As a fan of Belgian beers from Gulden Draak to Maredsou to Kwak, this beer delivered nothing of the character or malty goodness of those- a bit of research online shows this to be another Inbev disaster which means to find it on-tap at a mainstream bar means this is Budweiser product. This one is to be avoided.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
1.43/5  rDev -56.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Uncensored review, children under 18, you may not want to read this.
This was poured into a flared tulip.
The appearance was a semi-clear red color with one finger of foamy white head. Light somewhat speckled lacing slides into the beer in a messy sort of way.
The smell has some burnt biscuits and some caramel that seems sour with some funky earthy thing going on (is this old? have I been "punked?" "Aw, come on guys, wait up, where's the beef?"). Yeah, I think the reader gets what I'm throwing down, I'm not thrilled with this. Hmmm...proceeding for the sake of the review...
The taste was basically the same "where's the punchline," Bubba, no really, Bubba, this ain't funny. Just waiting for someone to throw an online rotten egg to me, well, yeah, that sour caramel thing pouncing on my taste buds saying in an Eddie Murphy voice, "boy, you ain't punked, this is how I taste and if you ain't likin' it, tough crap." Ugh, ya know, I'm not diggin' the graininess in this one.
The mouthfeel that graininess comes back full throttle and slap happy as it takes my tongue and says "boy, I'm gonna make you my (fill-in-the-blank)." Yeah, it sure does. Damn graininess doesn't seem to want to let up as my tongue gets a harshness slapped by a bit too much grains. Light to medium bodied, I'm thinking on this one.
Overall, alright, so here we are, wasn't sure if I could make it this far on this one, but the smell is pretty foul, the taste can't hold up and the feel is just overly harsh. Apologies to those who love this and think it's the bees knees. Me, I do like a lot of Belgian styled ales, but this one, yeah, I can't stand behind it to endorse it for anyone. If this is a Belgian pale ale, then I am Mickey Mouse.

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Photo of brewcnc
1.58/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.5

At least it looks pretty in the glass. Had it in Holland at my hotel ( very limited selection).
The body and flavor are thin and lifeless. Head dissipates quickly , Arroma has a touch of biscuit but overall an insipid beer. Why would they do this to water?

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Photo of Avagadro
1.81/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A: Pours a nice copper color with a thin foamy head, and moderate lacing emanating from the laser etching on my glass.

S: Aroma is very thin, with a noticeable hint of creamed corn. Instead of an esterful presentation of fruit and spices, I am dealt a mess of overcooked veggies and cardboard.

T: Low flavor, to appeal to the masses, with plenty of cardboard and corn to go around. Not only is it not flavorful, it is offensive.

M: watery and lifeless...

O: A pathetic brew that doesn't deserve to associate itself with its great country. At least Stella, while light, is well composed. This brew is a mess.

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Photo of CoalPorter
1.86/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Half pour into a Palm goblet

A - clear light amber color, with a single finger of white head with large bubbles, no lacing at all

S - slightly skunky, smells like a Heineken or other euro-import-lager. Malty sweetness underneath with a slight hint of burnt grain.

T - empty at first, leading into a wallop of lightly sticky malt with almost no hops at all. Tastes like amstel light.

M - thin and watery

O - Forgettable and pedestrian, could give Belgian beer a bad name (Disclaimer, I expect any country/brewery/brewer is capable of making both awesome and terrible beers, but given the pedestal "Belgians" are put on this was a big dissapointment.)

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Photo of drabmuh
1.89/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer is gross.

Beer is yellow and clear with a lazy thin head of small white bubbles, no lacing, moderate to low carbonation...

Beer has a corny aroma...yuck.

Beer is thin and grainy and sweet. It finishes with this slight acidity and huskiness then the whole thing goes to hell. There is a HUGE aftertaste that is 100% boiled corn. This was HORRID.

 358 characters

Photo of His_Royal_Hoppiness
2/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This dismal 'ale' was the only alternative to Heineken in Amsterdam airport - watery and tasteless - borderline drinkable, but would choose pretty much anything Belgian over this.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
2.03/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle poured into a Trois Pistoles goblet. Back label stamped 03-22-2012. Since this is a negative review, I will also say that the batch seems to be 3.23 08:55. Got it at Hendershot's Coffee in Athens, GA.

Appearance - Light clear copper amber body. Small white head with decent retention.

Smell - Mostly corn. Almost no hop presence, especially for a pale ale. Nutty with some banana. Smooth with no off smells.

Taste - Boozy and astringent. Reminds me of what I remembered Budweiser used to taste like when I was little and tried a sip for the first time. Aftertaste is a bit copper or metallic.

Mouthfeel - Astringency is offputting on the first sip, but on subsequent sips starts to mellow out a bit.

Overall Drinkability - This beer is really strange. I really want to like it. It has some different qualities that make me like it, but on the other hand the off-characters are so prominent that I can't help but admit I can't enjoy it. It's really a chore to drink, and I would really never again try this in my life. But it's definitely interesting. It's entirely possible I just got a skunked bottle, because based on the other reviews, it doesn't seem like I'm supposed to be getting what I am.

 1,214 characters

Photo of jp32
2.03/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Pours copper in color. An average sized white head sits atop the beer. Aroma of a mild belgian yeast strain. The flavor is minimal and plain. Very boring. It tastes like tonic water, with a touch of malt sweetness in the middle, followed by a dry iron-like aftertaste. I don't like it. It tastes far more like a cheap mediocre pilsener than it does a belgian pale ale. Easy to drink because it's thin and fizzy, but other than this beer has nothing going for it.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
2.06/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours amber with a large, lasting, white head.
Nose shows grassy hops, spicy notes and faint honey. Pretty boring.
Flavours include hay and bready malt alongside faint fruity and spicy hops. Again, nothing interesting..
Could use less carbonation.

 250 characters

Photo of Mitchster
2.16/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Part of a mixed 12 pack called "Belgium's finest" for $19.99 @ Bevco. 11.2oz bottle labelled "Speciale Belge Ale. ...the complexity of an ale, brewed to be refreshing like a pilsner or lager." BBF 9-10-2013. Pours out to a brilliantly clear, apparently filtered, very pale caramel, forming a modest white head with ok retention and some lacing. Carbonation is moderately brisk, ~3.0 carbs. The aroma doesn't have much to describe...a little malt, a little corn (adjuncts or DMS), a faint whiff of fruity esters, and no appreciable hop aroma. The mouthfeel is crisp, clean, lightly acidic, with a medium-light body. The taste recaps the aroma...not much of anything, but it has a "beer-like flavor" with a touch of caramel (crystal malt) and fruit esters. Mild bitterness. Tastes like a domestic malt really does.

A beer that could only be dreamed up in a lab after copious tasting panels and adjustments to ensure that it appeals to the market...which is to say...a lame market. Not something that I would ever buy, but hey, this is "the finest of Belgium". Ummm, ok. Not much above a drain-pour unless it's ice-cold.

 1,130 characters

Photo of YumaLaowai
2.17/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I ordered the palm because I wanted a carribean drink and all they Had was Red Stripe so I went for the Belgium beer that had a palm on it hoping for the best. What I got was thus ultra sweet beer that I would just have to say, was made for the ladies.

 252 characters

Photo of BogleHill
2.18/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Got a six pack of this - came in a cardboard box. The label I have looks similar, but reads "Belgium's Amber Beer" instead of "special". It pours out rather nice looking light amber, with good carbonation. The aroma is average. However, the flavor was highly metallic. I have had this problem with other Belgium brews (Stella). Too bad - I was more hopeful this would be nice, but it was not at all.

 399 characters

Photo of q33jeff
2.2/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25


AROMA: Very Light grains
LOOK: Yellow, a hint of orange.
TASTE: Yeasty sugars. Grains. Yeast, but no Wang.
FEEL: Medium body. Mellow, but a bit flat

I've had worse.

 191 characters

Photo of impending
2.22/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

33cl into a tulip. Pours a crystal clear, filtered, copper amber, minor dense cream colored head lasted briefly, minor lacing.

Aroma is weak as if diluted, slightly sweet, slightly fruity.

Taste lacks any sweetness, any definition, nothing identifiable. Amazingly bland. Does not improve with warmth. Lagerish
Light to medium bodied lively mouthfeel.

 362 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
2.23/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I picked up a bottle of Palm's Palm Speciale last week for $1.69 at The Lager Mill. I've seen this beer around a lot, but I've always overlooked it for some reason, so i decided to finally give it a try, so lets see how it goes. Best by June 20th 2013. Poured from a brown 11.2oz bottle into a Belgian tulip.

A- The label looks ok, it got a clean classic look to it, but it's not that eye catching. It poured a darker golden yellow color that took on an amber hue when held to the light with a finger and a half of slightly off white head that quickly died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and left some patchy lacing behind. This was an ok looking beer, nothing really stuck out as being well done, but it wasn't bad either.

S- The aroma starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by some malts that impart a stale caramel malt aroma along with some grainy and bready aromas. Up next comes a metallic like aroma followed by a pretty noticeable skunky aroma. I also get some orange zest towards the end and a little bit of Belgian yeast. This beer had a pretty disappointing aroma, the malts smelled stale and the metallic and skunky aromas were unwanted.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts out with a lower amount of medium sweetness followed by some malts that impart some stale malt flavors along with grainy and bready flavors. After that comes a pretty heavy metallic flavor followed by a medium skunky flavor that wasn't as bad as the aroma led me to believe. On the finish I get a slight bit of Belgian yeast followed by a light amount of bitterness with a grainy and metallic aftertaste that was slightly skunky. This beer didn't taste good, the Belgian Pale Ale flavors didn't show up as nicely as I would like and there were far too many off flavors.

M- Smooth, sharp, crisp, on the lighter side of being medium bodied, with a higher amount of prickly carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice and it seemed to be fairly true to style.

Overall I thought this beer was pretty disappointing and I don't think it's a good example of the style, the Belgian Pale Ale aspects that I like about this style were on the light side and there were just too many off flavors for this to be a decent beer. This beer had ok drinkability, it went down smooth and the body was on the lighter side, but the flavor didn't hold my attention and I was over it after the first couple sips, if I had to I could drink a few of these, but there's nothing about this beer that makes me want to grab another, so one is more than enough for me. What I liked the most about this beer was the mouthfeel, it was the only aspect of this beer that I thought was fairly true to style. What I liked the least about this beer was the flavor and aroma, they both weren't good with too many off flavors and aromas. I wouldn't buy this beer again, it's pretty easy to find a much better Belgian Pale Ale, it was pretty inexpensive and now I know why, not recommended to anyone. All in all I was pretty let down with beer, it wasn't what I expected and the added metallic and skunky flavors and aromas really hurt this beer. This was my first experience with Palm and it made for a poor first impression, I'm still down to try more of their brews, but after this one I for sure won't be in a hurry to. So far this is my least favorite Belgian beer, it needs a lot of work.

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Photo of oline73
2.34/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I had this on-tap at the Frisco Taphouse poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours close to clear amber color with not much head at all.

Smell: It hardly smells at all. There is some malt and a hint of grape that isn't pleasing.

Taste: There is a good amount of toasty malt. I'm picking up the grape that I found in the smell. I'm not a huge fan of that flavor in this beer.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thin side of medium. There is a mild amount of carbonation with a somewhat slick finish.

Overall: This beer just isn't my favorite. I was told to compare it to fat tire by a representative, and it falls a bit short. The grape flavor and smell kept bugging me.

 671 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.35/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle served into a generic pilsner glass in Antwerp, Belgium in June 2011. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a one finger head of no cream, bad thickness, and crappy retention. Colour is a semitransparent gold-amber.

Sm: Very light aroma of barley is all me broken nose picks up; all apologies, lads.

T: Simple moderately full-bodied barley foundation with cream, hops, and slight caramelized malt. Balanced well. Built alright.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with decent coarseness on the climax. Partially complementary of the flavours of the body.

Dr: Too simple even for its low price. Easy to drink but a poor quality brew. I wouldn't get it again.


 656 characters

Photo of silentjay
2.43/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

pours more copper than amber with a small head that recedes quickly to a film, but laces well.

aroma is first of raisins and bread. some fruit, but the aroma is not too strong.

taste is a bit metallic. buttery bread is most dominant followed by the fruit flavors and maybe a hint of lemon. not much here.

light bodied with relatively ample carbonation. definitely not expertly bottle-conditioned like many belgian beers.

off flavors dominate in this one. not very flavorful, but metallic, medicinal and with some diacetyl. some raisin, fruity and bready flavors struggle for respect, but ultimately fall short.

Will not revisit.

 635 characters

Photo of goochflies
2.5/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Standard Belgium Ale lacking imagination. Bready, seedy with almost no hops aroma. 1 finger white head that dissipates slowly with no lacing. Lovely amber color. Medium body with oily finish. Very lager like with very little hops bitterness. Gets a bit more complex aroma if you let it warm up a little.

 303 characters

Photo of stcules
2.5/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Resolute and clean amber color, beige foam, sticking.
A light malt in the smell, with hint of lightly roasted. Candy sugar, hazelnuts.
Sweet caramel in the taste, but not heavy, with candy sugar. And a fruity notes, that can be tropical. Some bitterness.
Medium-light body.
Swett and lightly roasted aftertaste, with some bitterness. Well balanced. Even a fruity note, and a light vanilla.

 393 characters

Photo of chinabeergeek
2.51/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

from morel's in beijing

330ml bottle. importer's label has date of may 2008, with a "best by" of 1 year later. poured into tulip.

clear, golden, dark straw, with copper tones. decent head, but soon fades to wisps and a sudsy ring. splotchy lacing tends not to stick.

light sulfurous aroma, weak hop grassiness. faintest trace of esters and phenols. smells like a generic pale lager, frankly.

taste also follows. seems like a pale lager or generic pils with a hint of ale quality. backend starts with touch of acidity, then a dry bitterness and faintly phenolic finish.

only slightly watery, but its texture feels grainy. fizzy carbonation.

wtf is this crap?

 663 characters

Photo of socon67
2.55/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Saw this on tap at Wild Wings and figured, why not?

A - Amber pour, mild carbonation, no lacing. Is this really a belgian pale? Looks like an amber, but hey.

S - Smells sweet of fruit. A little bit of malty sweetness is present.

T - This just isnn't doing it for me. There is a residual sweet flavor, but I'm used to a belgian pale to have *some* tartness and yeasty component. This has none. I know its a macro generic, but it would be a poor example of an american amber.

M - Smooth, light bodied, and pleasant drinker. Clearly the best quality of this beer.

O - This is a trainwreck that is okay at best, but there has to be better options. Don't expect much.

 668 characters

Photo of Lemke10
2.58/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This pours a clear, amber color with minimal head. The aroma is a cross between a grassy adjunct lager and a pilsner. The taste is a god awful grainy, grass flavor that tastes very similar to Red Dog. Thin texture, very little flavor, and cheap taste does not make this beer very desirable. I tried it once but never again.

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Photo of Tomais
2.6/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Edit// I see this bottle is a week before sell-by date - others report it pouring a big head - not here. Might be the reason the score so bad.

Deep amber, almost no head - when I pour from a bit of a height, head appears and disappears immediately, it's like red lemonade.

Smell initially a nice beery smell, then nothing much - a touch of malt.

Mouthfeel reminds me again of lemonade, big bubbles, light.

Taste very disappointing, slightly sweet ... it's hard to get anything out of this, the over carbonated mouthfeel distracts, the taste isnt enough. It's very easy to drink (think lemonade again) might be nice on a summer day.

 635 characters

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Palm / Palm Speciale from Brouwerij Palm NV
3.3 out of 5 based on 1,071 ratings.
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