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 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....

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...

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

Not bad, but way too sweet for a Tripel in my opinion. This is coming from a man who generally likes malty, sweet beers, but this seemed to abandon the style slightly. Golden hue, but huge amounts of nasty looking yeasty sediment still entered the glass despite the careful pour. Not good looking stuff either, it sort of half floated, half sank, quite unappetizing. A bit thin, a bit too orange orverall. Head was not thick enough, and was lost way too soon and was really quite poor. No billowing...

St. Bernardus Pater 6

Well, given the very high standards set by the brewery, this is not their best beer, but nevertheless a solid effort. Has that somewhat unattractive, drab brown appearance that I find a little disappointing. Some samll head and a little lacing, but neither of any great substance. Overall the experience I got was of one of muted fruitiness, and a very upfront dry character. Neither of which were offensive, but both of which I felt were a slight let-down. Mouthfeel was probably the best part,...

Grottenbier

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

=== Subsequent Review of 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

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 I’ve know that...

St. Bernardus Tripel

Notes added 06/29/2021 (pictured) 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 Beverage,...

St. Bernardus Abt 12

Updates Review: 08/06. Second review has a date of 19/01/11. $3.29. Original Review 07/04: $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...