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


on tap


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RATINGS: 146   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.12/5   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.

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   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Pongauer (84) - Maassluis, NETHERLANDS - JAN 6, 2017
a very watery winterbeer. not really on par with the other big brewers who offer winterbeer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Gaelic (173) - Rotterdam, NETHERLANDS - JAN 1, 2017
Ruby red with a cream brown head. Lots of smell of caramel, a bit too much for me. I would prefer it more with less carmel. Soft bitters.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Icedwarf (1474) - Etten-Leur, NETHERLANDS - DEC 29, 2016
Robijnrood bier met weinig schum. Smaak is licht bitter en zoet met iets van karamel en drop. Gewoon een goed en degelijk winterbier.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
EvNa (225) - NETHERLANDS - DEC 25, 2016
UPDATED: DEC 25, 2016 Bottle. Color: Ruby to chestnut brown, fast disappearing beige head. Taste: Sweet malts, spices, cinnamon, licorice. Hints of chocolate. Finish is tending more to the bitter side. Medium body, soft carbonation. Nice winter warmer.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
gyhallmanti (385) - Groningen, NETHERLANDS - DEC 9, 2016
33cl bottle at home. Pours a clear dark brown colour with no head. Aroma of spices, malts, red fruit, caramel, grain. Taste is sweet, soft bitter with a soft bitter finish. Notes of raisins, red fruits, caramel, malts, grainy, chocolate. Texture is watery to oily, medium bodied with flat carbonation.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Bijl (445) - NETHERLANDS - MAR 30, 2016
UPDATED: DEC 31, 2016 Amber donkerood helder bier. Creme schuimkraag die goed begind maar later geheel weg is. Ook geen laagje. Je ruikr direct karamel, ook iets donker fruitigs. En een lichte kruidigheid.De smaak, zoals de geur doet verwachten, is karamelzoet licht kruidig en licht bitter. Wat alcohol verwarming op het einde en licht geroosterde mout. Medium body.... Zoet en plakkerig mondgevoel.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Inoven (522) - Oirschot, NETHERLANDS - MAR 26, 2016
Flesje (30 cl). Robijnrood tot bruin bier met redelijk stevige, licht beige schuimkraag. Het aroma verraadt de caramelsmaak al. In de smaak komt ook het fruit naar boven. De caramelsmaak blijft lang hangen.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
SimonBlok (426) - GRONINGEN, NETHERLANDS - MAR 19, 2016
33 cl bottle at home. Pours clear brown with low off-white head. Aroma: juniper, skunky, plastic. Taste: Medium sweetness with medium bitterness. Notes of spices, licorice, caramel. Texture is oily with low carbonation.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
Alengrin (5006) - BELGIUM - MAR 19, 2016
Gulpeners 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 clich: 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 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
blackisle (2358) - IJburg, NETHERLANDS - MAR 13, 2016
Bottle 30cl. [160312] @friends birthday party, thanks Arjen! Poured into a chalice. Deep ruby brown, small foamy tan head, mostly diminishing, light lacing; aroma roasted malts, caramel, licorice, dried dark fruits, hints of juniper and bay leaf; taste is light heavy sweet and slightly bitter, malty, toffee, raisins, dates, licorice, average to long duration, sweetbitter finish, spicy notes joined by some alcohol; full-bodied, creamy texture, soft carbonation; wonderfull warming winterbeer.
Earlier Rating: 1/10/2014 Total Score: 3.8
Sweet malty nose, vinous, brown sugar, fruit syrup, bread, herbs, cloves; clear deep amberbrown, average frothy tan head, slowly diminishing, good lacing; taste light heavy sweet and medium bitter, roasted malts, licorice; full body, creamy texture, soft carbonation, smooth sweetbitter aftertaste with laurel and licorice in the finish. Retasted 151021 same score (bottle 30cl from the brewery).

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