Brewed by Gulpener Bierbrouwerij
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Gulpen, Netherlands


on tap

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RATINGS: 136   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.14/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
A royal Special top-fermenting beer for a heart-warming wintery day...

New recipe, ingredients: water, malt - barley, wheat, hops, spices. NOTE: 2008 is actually released in the winter 2008/2009.

bonkiedeaap's rating

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
bonkiedeaap (644) - Leerdam, - DEC 10, 2013
Bought a bottle at the Albert Heijn in Gorinchem. The beer is brown colored with a red glow, the head is a dissapears quickly and the CO2 level is a little low. In the aroma tones of liquorice and juniper berries. The taste is full and rich with tones of drop and laurel. The finish is long and has a full-bodied taste. I miss the warmth of the alcohol, which I aspect in a winter beer. Further it’s a nice one.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
Alengrin (4604) - BELGIUM - MAR 19, 2016
Gulpener’s winter ale, apparently in its second emanation. ’Papery’ lacing, thick, frothy, pale greyish beige, stable head over a clear, dark ruby red brown coloured beer. Straightforward aroma of damp cloth (as always with this brewery lately), coriander seed, stewed beef, roasted walnut, toast, caramel, jute bags, soggy breakfast cereals, iron, biscuit, milk chocolate bars, dried banana, butterscotch, chicken soup and, unsurprisingly, the cooked smell of pasteurization (why?). Rounded, clean, sweet onset of raisin, brown sugar, baked banana with a dash of blackberry sourishness; medium carbo, supple and slick mouthfeel, with a slight metallic ’zing’, feeling very industrial. Thoroughly caramelly malt sweetness (and dull chicken food corn sweetishness!) ensues while the dried fruit and brown sugar sweetness continue - expectedly resulting in a notably sweet middle phase. Retronasal soapy coriander shows up but manages to remain fairly subtle in spite of my expectations; finish also adds a splash of wry, gin-like alcohol and slightly peppery, herbal, tea bag-like and softly bittering hoppiness, but primarily ends malt and brown sugar sweet. Simple, straightforward and cliché: this is obviously a redundant beer, since there are many more comparable (and sometimes much better) examples of this particular style in Belgium. The coriander, though playing an important role here, did not bother me as much as the lager-like ’damp cloth’ odour, something it shares with many other Gulpener beers including their standard lager. One for the uneducated masses, too sweet, too simple and very stereotypical. Gulpener was relatively interesting ten years ago, before the Netherlands experienced an incredible craft beer revolution, but clearly this brewery urgently has to come up with something more exciting if they want to survive in a quickly shifting Dutch beer landscape.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
tderoeck (8219) - Gent, BELGIUM - MAR 11, 2016
3/III/16 - 33cl bottle @ home - BB: XII/2016 (2016-249) Thanks to Anniek and Bart for the bottle!

Clear red brown beer, big creamy beige head, pretty stable, adhesive, leaving a nice lacing in the glass. Aroma: ripe banana, lots of chocolate, caramel, bit sweet, malty, grains, little spicy. MF: ok carbon, medium body. Taste: malty start, lots of chocolate, caramel, bit sweet. Aftertaste: lots of dark chocolate, malty, some mocha, sourish, little bitter, alcohol touch, bit spicy. Surprised at the low scores. I didn’t think this was so bad...

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
MBlessing (906) - Württemberg, GERMANY - MAR 2, 2016
Schönes klares Kastanien braun mit schönem schaum, Geruch malzig würzig Karamell lakritz, kräftig würziger Geschmack Salbei leicht wie ein husten Bonbon Karamell und lakritz und schön herber Abgang

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
DrNosha (1734) - Baden Württemberg, GERMANY - MAR 2, 2016
Aus der Flasche. Kräftige kastanienfarbe mit beigem Schaum. Kräuter und Kastanienhonig in der Nase. Antrunk Kräuter und Gewürze. Kardamon, Salbei. Bitterer Abgang.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
Vili (245) - FINLAND - FEB 24, 2016
33cl bottle. Clear, dark brown pour with minimal, off-white head, some lacing. Aromas of dark bread, licorice and nuts. Taste is sweet, malty sweet, dry and little bitter. Low cabonation, oily palate. Aftertaste is alcohol mixed with burned toast. Strange stuff, me no like.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
McSherman (564) - North Rhine-Westphalia, GERMANY - FEB 9, 2016
Das Bronze-rote Winterbier wird mit Süßholz und Wacholderbeeren gebraut. Der Geruch ist süßlich, malzig mit Aromen von Lakritz, Karamell und etwas Kakao und ist sehr einladend. Geschmacklich sind dann auch die zugesetzten Zutaten erkennbar: die Wacholderbeeren sind leicht würzig und nicht aufdringlich, das Süßholz wirkt erfrischend, vielleicht eine Spur zu viel für das mit 8,5% doch recht starke Bier. Ansonsten fehlt dem Bier etwas Tiefe und bleibt etwas hinter den Erwartungen. Interessantes Bier, aber eher zum einmaligen Probieren, denn zum Vorratskauf.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
hamilton_w (249) - - FEB 5, 2016
Caramel aroma. Ruby color. Thin but lasting head. First touch is sweet, then with a hint of roasted bitterness. Medium body.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
mariuspoenari (1692) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - FEB 3, 2016
33cl bottle. Dark ruby pour, clear with a tan head. Smells like caramel and boiled corn. Bitter-sweet with a rough alcohol and a green beer feeling. Not too good.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 9/20
R4N5H (838) - NETHERLANDS - JAN 31, 2016
Clear reddish brown colour with a beige head. Aroma of caramel, malt and spices. Full body and soft carbonation. Sweet taste which lingers. Malt, toffee, dark fruits, some bitterness but a sweet finish. Lovely appearance, good lacing, but let down by the rest.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
hesiodus (54) - Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS - JAN 13, 2016
sweet, caramel, wood/smoke,iron red/brown, with minimal head taste is not convincing, thin, soft,

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