St. Bernardus

ST. BERNARDUS BREWERY

Founded in 1946 in Watou, West Flanders, Belgium, St. Bernardus is the commercial name for the beer that is produced outside the walls of the abbey. Since these beers are produced outside the walls, they do not have the official Trappist label on their beers. However, monks played and still play a role in the brewing process.

www.sintbernardus.be/?l=en

Year-Round/Seasonals:

ABT 12: 100 Points

Crown Jewel

This Quad is available year-round in 11.2 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “A dark ivory coloured beer with a high fermentation. The show piece of the brewery. Thanks to its soft and unconditionally genuine aroma, the beer can be smoothly tasted. The Abt has a very fruity flavour.”

My Description: This Quad is world-class. It has a nice sized, tan color head with a retention that lasts the whole way and produces some great lacing. The aroma is marvelous and complex with notes of sweet candi sugar, bananas, and dark fruits like cherry, raisins, figs. You will also smell some of the alcohol but that only adds to the beauty. It is medium/full bodied with an average carbonation level and nice creamy mouthfeel. The thing you will notice most is how smooth this beer is considering how strong it is. Up front you will taste dark fruits like raisins and cherries, there is also a touch of banana and some bisquity-like malt. The aftertaste is semi-sweet with an apparent clove flavor and a touch of bitterness. The alcohol will warm your body while providing only a slight taste to the overall complexity of this beer. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with raspberry cheesecake, dark chocolate, or roasted duck.

ABV: 10% Color: Dark Brown/Purple Hues Sweetness: 4.5/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10

CHRISTMAS ALE: 95 Points

It's a Belgian Christmas

It’s a Belgian Christmas

This Belgian Style Quadruple is released seasonally in 330 ml. bottles and 750 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “St.Bernardus Christmas Ale is a dark seasonal brewed in the classic ‘Quadrupel’ style of Belgium’s best Abbey Ales. (10,0 % ABV) Similar to all the beers from our brewery, it greets the drinker with the signature aroma of the St.Bernardus house yeast strain (in use since 1946!) Rivaling the complexity of the St.Bernardus Abt 12, St.Bernardus Christmas Ale offers a spicy, mint-like flavor profile exuding the tastes of warming alcohol, fermented molasses, apricots, licorice and marzipan that are highlighted by the perfect balance of brewing sugars.”

My Description: Though it is not as great as ABT 12, this beer is an excellent alternative when looking for a different Quadruple option.  It pours a very large, light beige colored head that seriously lasts forever and leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma has notes of yeast spices and dark fruits along with hints of turbonado sugar. The beers aroma is pleasant and welcoming. Christmas Ale is roughly full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is complex and warming. There are notes of biscuit malt and toffee, cinnamon and other spices, bananas and apricots, and a touch of alcohol. The aftertaste is minimally bitter with lingering dark fruit notes like raisins and cherries along with a hint of licorice. This beer is smooth and flavorful and a great treat for the holidays. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with baked ham, spicy sausage, or pungent cheeses.

ABV: 10%  Color: Mahogany  Sweetness: 3.5/10  Bitterness: 2/10

PATER 6: 95 Points

You’ll smile like the monk

This Dubbel is available year-round in 11.2 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “This name became a reference. This beer is mostly pointed out with its product name: “a Paterke”. This “Paterke” is a chestnut coloured dark beer with a high fermentation and a full taste.”

My Description: This Dubbel is nothing short of heavenly; it’s a perfect representation of the style, it has a delicious taste, and it makes you wish you bought a case. It has a good sized milky head that is off-white in color. The level of retention is marvelous as well as the lacing that is left behind for a Dubbel. The aroma has a nice Belgian dark candi base with notes of caramel malt, dates, raisins, and other dark fruits. It is roughly medium bodied with a higher carbonation level and a crisp, semi-dry finish. Up front the flavors include some malty sweetness, almost bisquity, and some dark fruits like raisins. The alcohol is slightly warming and the flavor is nicely hidden. The aftertaste has a nice and subtle spice note with a hint of bitterness. The beer has a creamy texture and really enjoyable. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with strawberry cheesecake, rosemary lamb chops, or juicy beef tips.

ABV: 6.7% Color: Hazy Brown/Red Hues Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10

PRIOR 8: 92 Points

Dessert Beer

This Dubbel is available year-round in 11.2 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “This noble delicious beer with a high fermentation has a ruby purple colour with a full malty and fruity taste. This beer has a beautiful round froth due to the second fermentation with a taste that creates a perfect balance between sweet and sour.”

My Description: Prior 8 would make a great dessert beer or one that you should sip while enjoying the fire. It has a decent, light tan colored head that fades to a film quick but holds the rest of the way. The aroma smells fresh with fragrant notes of grain, sweet caramel malt, and dark fruits like plums and raisins. It is medium/full bodied with a higher carbonation level and a crisp finish. Up front you will taste complex flavors of dark fruits like cherry and plum, a malty sweetness, and candi sugar. The alcohol is apparent and you will taste and feel it. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a touch of clove. It is best served around 55°F and pairs nicely with dark chocolate, roasted duck, or cherry pie.

ABV: 8% Color: Dark Brown/Purple Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10

ST. BERNARDUS TRIPEL: 99 Points

Masterpiece

This tripel is available year-round in 11.2 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “This beer, with high fermentation, has a pale amber colour and a flowery, fruity taste with a harmonious balance between sweet and sour. This beer has a thick and vivid froth and strikes by its balanced taste with a delicate bitterness.”

My Description: This beer was so good that I thought about becoming a monk just so I could drink it all the time. It has a very nice, white colored head with an amazing retention level that lasts the whole way producing some good lacing. The aroma smells fresh and inviting with fragrant notes of Belgian candi sugar, a touch of clove, and some light fruits. Overall, the aroma is slightly complex just like the rest of the beer. It is roughly medium/full bodied with a higher carbonation level and a dry finish. Up front, flavors include some candi sugar, grainy/bready, and a touch of spice. It has a beautiful sweet aftertaste with a touch of bitterness that balances everything out perfectly. The alcohol is nicely hidden and you can barely taste it. This beer is delicious and best served around 48°F and pairs nicely with scallops, coconut shrimp, or bistro salads.

ABV: 8% Color: Hazy Orange Sweetness: 3.5/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10

WATOU TRIPEL: 97 Points

I want to live in Watou!

This tripel is available year-round in 11.2 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “The flavour of this beer is pleasantly soft and is characterized by a delicate bitterness where the balance between malt and hop is based upon a fruity orange taste with a straight fresh after taste.”

My Description: Named after the city in which it was brewed, Watou is a delicious example of a tripel. It has a good sized, white colored head that retains nicely while producing some good lacing. The aroma smells great with complex fragrant notes of syrupy candy sweetness, light fruit, a touch of spice among other smells. The beer is medium bodied, it has a slightly higher carbonation level, and a crisp dry finish. Up front you will taste some candy sweetness, apples, cloves, and other light fruits which transitions into a slightly bitter aftertaste with a floral flavor. The beer has a creamy texture and is sure to please. It is best served around 48°F and pairs nicely with grilled white fish, fried chicken salad, or a fruit tart.

ABV: 7.5% Color: Hazy Dark Blonde Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2.5/10

WIT: 96 Points

Great Witbier

This Witbier is available year-round in 11.2 oz. bottles.

Brewers Description: “This traditional Witbier has been developed in cooperation with Master Brewer Pierre Celis, the Godfather of Hoegaarden and Celis White. This beer as well has a second fermentation in the bottle, giving this beer its specific taste.”

My Description: This beer tastes like the perfect example of a true Belgian Witbier, if you don’t like this then you probably don’t like Witbiers. It has a decent white colored head with a good retention level but some sub-par lacing. The aroma smells divine with fragrant notes of Belgian yeast, cloves, citrus, and some coriander. It is medium bodied with a high carbonation level. The beer is smooth, crisp, with a slightly dry finish. Up front you will taste some clove spice, an apparent citrus zest, wheat grain and coriander. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and refreshing. It is best served around 40°F and pairs nicely with salads, coconut shrimp, or grilled chicken.

ABV: 5.5%  Color: Hazy Straw  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 1.5/10