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Notes on beers brewed by

Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Braupakt 2024


When I first heard about this beer I was excited. How could one not be? A collaboration between these two? It has to be great, right? Right?? Of course, I've seen enough collaborations between two high-powered, well-respected breweries to know that expectations can often be raised to such a level that there is no way on Earth that they could ever be met. Is that the fault of the consumer? Sure, but in my experience that has been a fact of life. All too often these high-profile, 'matches made...

St. Bernardus 75th Anniversary

St. Bernardus
75th Anniversary

Bottle No: 1845 (out of 11,000) Never thought I would get a chance to try this, as very little probably made it to the USA and it sold out online pretty quickly too. This is not a gentle Tripel. It's aggressive, and has a drying, warming feel about it that makes it feel like a special beer. In that regard I think that St. Bernardus has achieved what they set out to do. Every bit of the 8.7% feels like it's there, which is another way of saying that it feels well over 8.7, and more like a...

St. Bernardus EXTRA 4

St. Bernardus

Had this many times prior to today. Pale lemon body with some chill haze. Nice head, well retained and fluffy. Good lace. Nose offers a surprising citrus hoppy note. Tastes follow suit with a pleasing, rounded creaminess that I just wasn't expecting. It's lightly spicy and a little grassy which manifests itself as a persistent, light, hop note. Again not quite what I was expecting. It's really quite 'green' and has me reminiscing about a fresh hop beer - AGAIN, odd and not as anticipated....

St. Bernardus Abt 12 Oak Aged

St. Bernardus Abt 12
Oak Aged

750 mL bottle. That distinct, dirty brown pour that I’m used to. Decent head especially considering the ABV. The best part of the appearance of the beer is thin, creamy film that persists throughout the drink. A little lace too. Alcohol feels a long way away from the 11.0 %. The beer has wave after wave of dry plums, with a higher than expected, tricky carbonation. The taste is a little drier than I was expecting, which I suppose is the oak, but that detracts a little from the normal Quad...

Watou Tokyo


I originally drank this at the Brick Store on draught. This review is mainly from my experience with the 750 mL corked & caged bottle, with a nod to that original draught offering as well. This beer was brewed to commemorate the opening of the St. Bernardus bar in Tokyo. Seems like an odd project to me, but hey, Tokyo's gain I guess! According to the rear label, this is a one off batch that was brewed on Feb 3rd and 4th, 2012. I...

Grotten Flemish Ale

Grotten Flemish Ale

$8.99 at Brawley's, Charlotte, NA, USA. Corked & Caged 750 mL. Since this said "Flanders Ale" on the bottle, I was wondering if this was going to be a Flemish Sour/Red style - Mike put me right. Poured into the Duvel tulip (seemed appropriate), the head is initially big, but slips away somewhat disappointingly but leaving some lace. Very yeasty nose with an element of tart fruit. The yeast is replicated in the taste, but the tartness is not. Simple mouthfeel and a pretty average Belgian Pale...

Grotten Flemish Ale

Grotten Brown (Pierre Celis Signature)

$6.99, Tower on Buford, Atlanta, GA, USA. Poured into the Abbaye du Val Dieu chalice. Mid brown/orange body with plenty of carbonation. Slight murkiness. Lots of fine bubbles form a thin film on the surface and the lace is very labile. Dark grape skins and other yeasty, semi-sweet fruits present. Hop bitterness is apparent up front and the sweetness and malts are definitely muted. Carbonation livens up in the mouth to create a full feel. Finishes quite bitter, with a hint of burned molasses....

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale

Notes added 01/21/22 33 cl bottle (pictured) imported from Belgian Happiness. Still that relatively unattractive color, although this bottle has a little more chestnut and less of the Dubbel dirty brown. A lot less prickly than the 750 mL experience from 15 years ago! Tastes are still the same delicious dark fruit and wave after wave of slightly drying alcohol with a paradoxically sweet fruit. In short, it’s complex, and so much more than the beer I originally thought it was. A beer that with...

Grotten Flemish Ale

St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary “Special Edition”)

Corked & caged in the commemorative tin, $10.99 Green's, Ponce de Leon, Atlanta, GA, USA. Huge billowing, fluffy head with tons of lace. Great pour. A little drab on the color side of things, a dark brown with a little haze and cloudiness. Colossal aromas fill the nose in the Duvel tulip. Yeast fruits dominate. Big estery mouthfeel and huge Belgian yeast presence. A little hoppier than the regular Abt 12 and in that respect it reminds me a little of Houblon Chouffe. Complex sugars at first...

Watou Tripel

Watou Tripel

Additional notes and pictured from 06/04/23 Wow, my notes below are pretty scathing from almost exactly 18 years ago! I still don't think this beer is a great example of the style, and I still don't really love it, but it's better than that first 'review' would have me believe. Pour is slightly on the darker orange side of things, and it pours better than previously. Also its not as thin as I first recorded, nor is it as sickly sweet. Now feels a lot maltier than before. Original notes...

St. Bernardus Pater 6

St. Bernardus
Pater 6

Additional notes 04/15/23 (pictured): Best Before 08 07 23 - Honestly, head isn't great. This always feels to me like a cross between a Dubbel and something more. I'm not a huge fan of Dubbels in general, but this one bites less so there must be something about it. Good depth and richness in the beer with a smooth experience that lingers on the tongue. Original Notes 05/13/05: Well, given the very high standards set by the brewery, this is not their best beer, but nevertheless a solid effort....

Grotten Flemish Ale


Poured into the St. Bernardus Chalice with a mid-dark brown body, a fantastic looking half-inch creamy, dense head with excellent lacing that fades to a stout-like, spotty and creamy film. Carbonation is very nice with miniscule bubbles making up the head. A damn good looking beer. Lots of balance with malts and hops competing for the palate's attention, but not as complex as it first appears. Actually a distinct lack of fruitiness, but some definite dark, dry and bitter highlights especially...

St. Bernardus Witbier

St. Bernardus

Picture from 04/15/23 Pierre Celis Signature Edition 12/22/07: 4.5, 3.5, 4.0, 4.0, 4.0 B+ 4 Deliberately added as a new entry to the BA database to reflect the Pierre Celis Signature Edition for the Wit. 750 mL, corked & caged. $8.99 Arbor Place Beverage, Douglasville, GA, USA. Classic, cloudy, washed out lemon colored pour with a huge head and broken lace on the glass. Looks good. Aroma is very funky and tart, and is a cross between a good old fashioned West Country...

St. Bernardus Prior 8

St. Bernardus
Prior 8

Pictured 04/15/23 Notes added 08/07/21 Best Before 04/10/21. Dubbels are what they are for me. Considering the notes below, these days I get a lot less alcohol from Prior 8 than I apparently used to. The bread malt of course is still the dominant feature, and the beer still has an infinitely more attractive head than body. More fruit than I remember in recent years, and additional sweetness than I’ve recorded in the past. Finishes smooth. A better beer than I generally give it credit for, but...

St. Bernardus Abt 12

St. Bernardus Abt 12

Additional notes: 08/06 19/01/11. $3.29. Original Review 07/01/04 $2.99 Greens Beverage, Atlanta, GA, USA July 1st 2004, First day of higher ABV beers being legally sold in GA! I often fail to pick up and identify fruity aromas in general, but with this beer it's all ripe bananas and pears with a faint alcohol tinge. Yeasty bread too. The breadiness of the beer continues well into the taste and it dominates rather than the Belgian yeast strain and candy elements that sometimes ride high in...

St. Bernardus Tripel

St. Bernardus

Pictured 04/15/23 Notes added 06/29/2021 Looking back on the initial review, it's odd that the color was described that way in 2014. The latest bottle (and I've had this countless times), gives a lovely, typically golden body underneath that amazingly rocky head. Dry hop element still pushes back on the classic Tripel notes for me. Alcohol solvent remains present. Original notes 07/01/2014 Most recently $8.50 at Taco Mac in Douglasville, GA (for the 33cL bottle) $2.95 (Small bottle) Green's...