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: 289 | Ratings: 1,061
Photo of CHickman
3.25/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber in color with a 1/4 inch off white creamy head that faded rather quickly; decent lacing that left spotty foam on the glass.

Smells malty, grassy and slightly spicy and was on the bland side.

Tastes of light malt, spice, grains, perhaps yeast or hay or corn, grass, a hint of citrus, light hops, a touch of caramel and some very mild spices. Good, but a bit dull for a Belgian even though it's an amber ale. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I remember this tasting better in the past when I've drank it. Maybe it's the type of beer that should be served very cold.

Mouthfeel was light and crisp, on the smooth side, with very high carbonation. The feel was so light that it is almost watery, but still has a little body to make it enjoyable.

High drinkability as this goes down very easy, but the flavor is not very exciting at all. The kind of beer I could drink all night. I have mixed feelings about this beer because it was good, but just so average that it was a let down. I will drink this again since it's quite easy to drink and refreshing.

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.85/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured a bright orange with brilliant clarity and a weakly forming head that collapses almost instantaneously before you can distinguish its color. A light show of carbonation rises at a moderate pace. No appreciable lacing.

S: Dried corn on the cobb and cereal grains are present on the nose which gives way to a soft showing of fresh orange peels. A light hop spiciness comes through but overall the general perception is much like the visual, mundane.

T: The flavor was sweet and sugary right from the start, almost to the point of being overbearing. Make sure you have your glucose meter handy. Sugary cereal grains along with a hop spiciness of orangey-citrus notes are present with a light flowery hopping closing things out. Beyond the initial sugar shock this does become a bit more manageable, though maybe I was just in diabetic shock and couldn't tell the difference, much as you can only get so wet jumping into water.

M: A nice tingle of carbonation is present around the tongue's edges despite its calm demeanor. Light bodied but becomes washy the longer you hold it. Only keeps going down hill from here.

D: Limited drinkability, and limited appeal, one would definitely be my limit here, and I struggled even with that. Comes off as a macro attempt at a craft beer rather a true Belgian. This is what I would consider the BMC of Belgium. I would pass on this. A perfect example of mediocrity all around.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - It pours an amber hue with not so much of a tan fizzy head.

S - Smell is caramel and buttery bread with an English style mild hop.

T - Not spectacular or exciting, but a solid brew that is very easy to drink. Like a Brit pub session brew, perhaps (not that I'm an expert on anything British). Taste is similar to the nose; its main feature is mildness.

M - Good feel, medium-bodied with good carbonation.

D - Quite drinkable, but far from extraordinary.

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Photo of lester619
3.59/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright and clear deep gold to amber in color. Big thick bright white foamy head. Not much comes through in the smell. Pretty bland. Very nice crisp and balanced flavors. Slightly fruity and citric mixed with a clean bitter hoppy finish. A good malty base holds everything together nicely. This is a very likable beer. Belgian beers intimidate me a little because of all the different exotic ways they can go. This is just a very nice, simple tasting beer. Simple in a good way. I call it beer flavored beer. I like it.

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Photo of BarryNL
4.06/5  rDev +23%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Excellent - clear copper coloured beer with a super fluffy Belgian style head which never seems to fade and laces all down the glass.

S: Fairly bland - some nice aroma from the crystal malt - no real hop detectable.

T: Fairly well balanced - starts with some sweetness of crystal malt and finishes with a clean bitterness. A refreshing beer.

M: Typical big fluffy Belgian beer with fairly high carbonation, but no harshness.

D: Inoffensive, and very drinkable. You could easily drink it all night, but you might get bored of it before long.

I've edited this review to increase the scores after having the canned version. There seems to be more flavour and more aroma when this beer comes from a can - it probably deserves this higher score for the on-tap version too, strange that it always seems to me a little less impressive in the bottle.

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Photo of Brabander
3.85/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I always had a weakness for this ambercoloured beer. It has been in Holland for many many years. Drank this beer in a pizzeria. I know that this kind of beer in combination with penne gorgonzola is a bit odd, but hey when i have the choice between Heineken and Palm?

Poured in a Heineken glass (and that's as far as i go with Heineken!) the head is very nice broken white. The beer is amber with a nice smell, a malty king of smell.

Good mouthfeel tastes a bit dry. This is a drinkable beer, especial with hot summer nights.

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Photo of crossovert
3.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle. "Belgium's Amber Beer"

Pours into my tulip with a large bright white head that recedes decently slowly but doesn't leave much lacing. The beer is crystal clear amber, the epitome of an amber colored beer.

The smell is definitely underwhelming, it has a light hoppiness, light malt, and some yeasty spice.

The taste has a huge amount of carmally malt and a subtle bit of hops. It is smooth and well-balanced but nothing notably exciting. It tastes like what most American "Belgian styled" pale ales taste like, easy to drink but unrefined. It is a good session beer but not something "to behold" like many Belgian ales are.

The mouthfeel is very clean and balanced with a nice carbonation.

This may be a macro beer but It does a lot more for me than what Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, or Leffe do.

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Photo of wahhmaster
3.61/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a translucent amber color with a large, foamy white head. The head dissipates slowly and leaves spotty lacing. There are plenty of carbonation bubbles as well.

Smell: Has a sweet, malty smell to it backed by a slight smell of hops. Also has a strange metallic smell to it.

Taste: Starts bitter. Finishes bitter and slightly sweet with a slight yeasty flavor as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a nice amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent beer. Nothing special but not bad. Worth a try if you can find it but don't go out of your way.

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Photo of ThaCreep
3.31/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nose very malty, fruity as well, probably the Orange Curacao. There is also a touch of honey which shall end glass. On the palate, is highly aromatic hops and yeast provides citrus flavors. Finish fairly dry, a little taste of hops and lager in the aftertaste. Beer very sweet and refreshing. It's all.

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Photo of Jesstyr
3.13/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted at Ninety9 Bottles in South Norwalk. Pale ale isn't my style, but this mild version is mildly more palatable, even as it exudes mass production.

Pours a clear golden color with frothy white head that is quite thick. The aroma exudes grainy hops. Flavor has a bit of sweetness, balanced by a sour bitter finish. A bit of pear and other fruits are present, but not with any real strength. Mouthfeel is thin like a mass-produced ale, with light carbonation. Overall this beer is light and easy to drink, but lacks anything to truly draw you in.

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Photo of alexskovan
3.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very clear pale copper color, with a nice off-white head that slowly dropped to a film.

Aroma is very understated, a little malt and hops.

Taste is very smooth, balanced and creamy, with a bitter finish. Nice.

This is a Euro macro but a nice one. Worth a taste.

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Photo of Nucleozoid
3.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well I stopped into a Belgian beer only pub in NYC after work.
At $8 for a tulip glass full I was expecting a lot more from this beer. It looked appealing when it was served with its amber color and creamy two finger head. However, it all kinda went downhill from there. The smell was nothing special - as a matter of fact I could barely smell anything - not much character. The mouthfeel was nice, with medium carbonation - taste was quite boring, with a bit of a metallic finish and an almost cheese-like aftertaste.

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Photo of tigg924
3.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: minimal head, red/brown in color, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: apples and dark fruit...The smell is very faint.

Taste: apples, hay, toasted malt, and a touch of cherry

Mouthfeel: moderately sweet, light bodied, medium/high carbonation

Drinkability: I really enjoyed this beer. A good Belgian pale, I liked the way the fruit and the Belgian spices mixed. Very light, I could have two or three.

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Photo of CharlatanSin
2.68/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at the bar down the block. They just got this recently, and it's nice to see them get a new beer in for the first time (other than this, they only have Brooklyn Lager and Magic Hat #9, both solid but getting repetitive).

The beer is poured into its very own Palm tulip. It pours a light reddish amber, with a half-finger off-white head that recedes quickly. No lacing to speak of.

The smell is...disappointing. There's a bit of yeasty funkiness, so you know it's Belgian. The rest of the smell, though, is a very harsh, metallic graininess. It smells like a cheap lager, to be honest. The taste is even worse. The harsh graininess is present throughout, and it's got a few random fruity flavors that don't really mix at all. It's like they started with a really poor base beer and threw a few random ingredients in to spruce it up without rhyme or reason.

I got through the glass, and then immediately switched back to the Brooklyn Lager. I can live with that.

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Photo of Intelligentsia
3.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice just-darker-than-amber color, with a nice white head that leaves a slight presenece behind. Not exactly lacing, but something, at least.

The nose is just barely reminiscent of a Belgian pine, malt, spice. It's a bit underwhelming, but at least there's a nose at all.

The taste is pleasant, if underwhelming. The taste changes noticeably with warmth. Malt is very prominent, with caramel, a sticky mouthfeel with significant carbonation.

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Photo of jdense
3.77/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pour Farm, New Bedford, MA., 12/15/09.

Light amber, one finger white head, quick dissipation, good lacing. The citrusy ester yeast dominates the nose, with a subtle hop presence on the back end. Taste is pretty citrusy, minimal hops, sweet malts, with a dry finish. Decent carbonation. A nice session ale, but nothing special.

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Photo of Jayli
3.71/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Track 84 in Warwick, RI 11/7/09

A: This beer pours a clear copper color with a one finger of white head. Head recedes quickly leaving nice spotty lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is of belgian yeast, pale malts, and hints of apple.

T: Taste is caramel malts up front, belgian yeasts with pale malts and an apple sweet flavoring in the middle, finish is a touch of hops.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, somewhat oily feel with a dry finish to it.

D: A nicely blnded beer that is low in alcohol, tasty, goes down easily and that one could sit with for a night.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.6/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Heroe's in a 32 ounce mug, after getting frustrated with the Black Tuesday release line. On to the beer:

Despite the style it's labled as, the beer is amber in color with a a tiny bit of head retention and no lace. The nose is fruity, but also "rough grainy". There's enough rusty grain in this beer to make it less interesting to the cunsumer. The same applies in the flavor. Apple skins and fruity esters interest me, the grainy flavor does not. Carbonated well, in the sense there is enough to go around, it's easy going down.

Palm is a recent arrival to Orange County. It's an ale, but shares more characteristics with an industrial amber lager IMO. An easy going beer is what you're going to get here instead of a tasty treat.

Update 3/19/11: Had on-tap a couple times since. Not grainy or rough, more of a fruity flavored beer. I bet that Heroe's was hanging onto the keg for too long when I first tried it, and the (presumably) fresher kegs since have shown this beer's true profile.

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Photo of irishking1977
2.64/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The last six pack at my preferred beer store. Thought I'd give Palm a try since it's from Belgium, and many if not all the Belgium beers I have had, had been decent to excellent.

A: Poured into my Unibroue chalice with a golden, amber hue, with a moderate head that eventually dissipated. Some lacing left on the glass. The appearance met my expectations.

S: Moderate grassy bitterness with a metallic-like scent. Not too appetizing.

T: The smell does not correlate to the taste; while it is not a bad tasting brew, there seems to be something missing. It's just ho hum. This seems to be a run of the mill pale ale.

M: Good balance; not flat and not too carbonated. Pretty, pretty good.

D: This could be considered a session beer, but after awhile, getting past the smell could be difficult.

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Photo of rvdoorn
3.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer very often, as you can buy it in every supermarket in the Netherlands and almost every pub has it on tap. Now it is finally time to review it. I had this beer in an original palm glass. The beer pours a clear amber color with a decent white head which leaves almost no lacing.

Smell: A bit weak. Caramel malts, strong grains and bread, and some floral hops. I also think I smell some citrus fruit.

Taste: Mainly grains and sweet malts, together with some fruits (apple, citrus), caramel, and some mild bitter hops. A bit malty and dry finish.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, medium-light bodied. Very easy to drink

Overall: This is a nice session beer. Not too complex. This beer doesn't cause a taste explosion in the mouth, but has a well balanced taste. Recommendable to start a drinking evening in the pub, or just together with a dinner.

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Photo of MikeRa
3.72/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Here is what I can say about Palm:

A: This ale has a Pale Amber color.

S: I couldn't smell anything from the hops.

T: It has a tart taste that's not too bitter

M: The mouthfull is tangy from the start

D: This beer is a very drinkable ale that I'll drink again.

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Photo of akorsak
3.06/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 330 mL bottle from Al's of Hampden.

A: The Belgian pale ale is, well, a pale amber color. The autumn-looking ale is heavy on brown and yellow notes. A finger of head didn't last. Nor did it lace.

S: The nose is pretty uninspiring, mainly grainy malts that don't have a big selling point.

T: The ale is incredibly sweet, but not from a yeast strain, as you'd expect. Instead, the ale is bready sweet with all the flavor driven by the malts. That's too bad, as it robs the ale of depth. Exotic fruits come out of the body, pineapple and, well that's about it. Close to being good but not there yet. A very sweet finish.

M: The mouthfeel is malty from start to finish. Some more diversity is needed, some yeast or sugars or anything, to improve things.

D: I'll finish my glass but this won't be on my shopping list next time around.

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Photo of tone77
3.11/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has an amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some malts. Taste is also mild, a tad bitter, not a lot of flavor. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a mediocre offering.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.93/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a really nice session beer. As I was told on New Belgium's tour, this beer was the inspiration for Fat Tire. And like Fat Tire, people need to appreciate this beer for what it is trying to be.

Is it very complex? No. Is it a revelation in your mouth? No. But it is a great easy-drinker. Less biscuity than Fat Tire.

Touch of pineapple on the nose. Small amount of caramel followed by slight amount of Belgian yeast esters.

Really nice lacing with a good amber color which matches the body. Not too deep a color.

Very nice "gateway beer."

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Photo of david18
3.25/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A decent amber color beer if that's what you're looking for but a bit of a disapointment if you want something more belgian in character. This beer has good amber color, a pale ale aroma and can be quite drinkable but you don't get the belgian quality you expect from this style.

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Palm / Palm Speciale from Brouwerij Palm NV
3.3 out of 5 based on 1,061 ratings.
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