1. One Hundred Mags (Rule). Check out the sneak peek of BeerAdvocate magazine #100, plus some of the changes coming your way.

St. Sebastiaan Grande Reserve - Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.

Not Rated.
St. Sebastiaan Grande ReserveSt. Sebastiaan Grande Reserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

137 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 137
Reviews: 97
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 15.25%
Wants: 5
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Sterkens N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-20-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (17) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 137 | Reviews: 97
Photo of REDAMI
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 16oz bottle into Chimay goblet.

L - Pours clear unless bottle swished to loosen sediment. Orange/tan in color with thin white head.

S - Mandarin orange, stewed apricots, slight hint of mango.

T - Sweet malt, tons of apricot, faint bitterness and slightly spicy yeast in the finish.

F - Medium body with crisp carbonation.

Well balanced, fruit-forward, golden ale. Warming and refreshing at the same time.

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce ceramic bottle into tulip glass, best before 4/12/2017. Pours slightly hazy golden orange color with a 2 finger fairly dense and fluffy white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon zest, orange peel, apricot, pear, apple, light banana, clove, pepper, honey, biscuit, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, earthy hops, and pale malt sweetness; with solid strength. Taste of lemon zest, orange peel, apricot, pear, apple, light banana, clove, pepper, honey, biscuit, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of earthy yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon/orange zest, apricot, pear, apple, light banana, clove, pepper, honey, bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and balance and fruity/spicy yeast, pale malt, and earthy hop flavors; with a crisp malt/yeast spice balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and fairly prickly/dry mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming well after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Belgian strong pale ale. All around good complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, pale malt, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of BierJager89
4.49/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden/Amber with a white head.

S: Notes of orange in the nose.

T: A bit of citrus and a lot of honey in the taste. No taste of alcohol, which I expected at 10% abv (though this was 700 or so beers ago for me) .

M: Smooth, medium bodied.

O: I loved this at the time, but it's been quite a while, so I hope to soon re-review it. I had this beer probably 3 years ago, only a hundred or so beers into my journey (now close to 850).

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer pours a nice lightly hazed orange amber color with a two finger billowy white head. The head has a fantastic level of retention, slowly fading to leave some great levels of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is strongest of a sweet biscuit malt smell being a mix of toasted Belgian malt smells mixed with some sweeter caramel and bubblegum like aromas. Along with these aromas are some other fruitier notes of a lighter fruit variety. Apple, pear, apricot and citrus are all there and are joined by a bit of a banana smell brought along by a yeasty smell. Along with these aromas are some very light alcohol/boozy smells and a little bit of coriander and clove.

Taste – The taste begins with somewhat fruity and biscuity taste. The fruit is a mix of apricot, pear, grape and banana which overall bring a moderate level of sweetness to the brew. The fruity flavors remain throughout the taste, but the sweetness associated with them seems to lessen as the biscuit takes on a slightly grainier flavor and some more bitter lemon and a bit of grassy and hay come to the tongue. Toward the end however, the sweeter flavors seem to kick back in with a bit of a honey and caramel coming to the tongue. Along with these sweeter flavors, so too comes some spice of clove and coriander, and with a little bit of a alcohol taste, the brew ends up leaving a somewhat warming and grainier biscuity fruited flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the medium side for a brew of 10 % abv. with a carbonation level that is average as well. Overall the body and carbonation are rather decent for the brew’s style, although a slightly higher carbonation may have been a bit better for the slightly grainy biscuit and lighter fruit flavors of the brew.

Overall – An alright Belgian Strong Pale ale, but at almost $8.50 for the smallish (16 oz?) ceramic gasket resalable bottle (which is pretty cool) it is rather overpriced. A good one to try, but not worth going back to again, as there are better (and far less pricy) Belgian strong pale’s out there.

Photo of Jdbateman83
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Expensive, but well worth it. This beer is smooth, complex, easy To drink, good on a warm or cold day. Light spices and malt, very very smooth yet rich taste, hard to describe. Very unique bottle as well. Wonderfull color easy to pour. St. Sebastian is one of my favorites.

Photo of bmwats
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 16 oz bottle, into a footed tulip.

A: Dark golden hue. Pours a 2 finger, bubbly, white head. Settles pretty quickly, but not completely. Some slight, spotty lacing.

S: Yeast, apricot, and honey.

T: A little yeast, fresh tea leaf, orange pith.

M: Lightly sweet, and a little syrupy. Very well-balanced. The strength is deceptive. Bitter finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Nice color, big head, and some fair lacing. Nose is a pleasant combination of yeast, fruit, and honey. Yeasty with some distinct fruit notes, and fresh tea. Very well-balanced construction. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ceramic type bottle with grolsch style lid. Pours a cloudy yellow/tan color with a very large, lasting head and sticky lacing.

Aroma is fruity, spicy, with clove and banana, citrus, a little hops and some biscuit malt.

Flavor is tasty, it's got tons of spiciness, with clove, coriander, pepper notes, banana and bubblegum, and some funk.

Body is pretty thick with plenty of carbonation and slightly noticeable EtOH.

Overall it's tasty. A nice Belgian Strong Pale that fits the style nicely.

Photo of srandycarter
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear straw, stark white head, tight bubbles, not much cling.

S - Light juicy fruit, malt.

T - Fruitiness and esters more prominent, bittered nicely.

M - Light body, good carb and balance. The alcohol is well hidden.

D - An enjoyable beer. Would try again.

Photo of StaveHooks
4.59/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle code: 04/07/16
16oz. poured into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip.

A - Pours a hazed apricot with a fluffy white head that holds great retention. Nice horizontal lacing left behind.

S - Tropical fruit esters, pineapple, green apple skins, green mango, orange, peach, cotton candy, banana taffy, grassy hops, sweet malt in the background.

T - Very fruity, pineapple, papaya, lemon honey, biscuit malt resides underneath a grassy hops. Earthy strawberries come out as it warms.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, slick feel, finishes semi dry.

The best aroma I've come across from A BSPA. It couldn't be more perfect. The flavors come across the palate very straightforward but very tasty.
One of the best examples of the style I've come across.
This beer drinks like a 7.00ABV. Highly recommended.

Photo of drperm
4.8/5  rDev +24%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If you enjoy a good Tripel, or beers in the Duvel line (Strong Goldens and Strong Pales), this one is sure to please.

Even before getting it in the glass, I predicted that I was in for a treat: the ceramic bottle with the swivel Grolsch-style top is an eye pleaser and a souvenir keeper as well.

In the glass, it's sheer beauty: rich golden colour and hazy, it pours like liquid pirate treasure.

On the nose, it's a melange of Belgian goodness: coriander, vanilla, maple, nutmeg, hay, chamomile, and biscuit.
The flavor is seamless from the nose and picks up where the aroma leaves off: smooth, rich, and creamy, belying the 10% tag it carries. Honestly, it could be a little richer and I wouldn't complain.

The mouthfeel is the definition of smooth. There's always the risk of a beer of this profile having a too-sweet finish, but this one is meticulously balanced.

Overall, a capital winner. Especially for the price of the bottle, I'm wishing I had bought a case of this stuff. It's great on its own, and a perfect complement to everything from rich cheeses to pancakes with maple syrup.

Photo of Drinkerofales
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy golden honey with a big dirty white head that dissipates rather quickly to leave some lacing.

Smell is Belgian yeast, and nutty bready malt. A light peppery smell is in the back ground.

Taste is yeasty tang, spice, a hint of citrus on the end accompanied with booze. This lessens with warmth.

Feel is smooth, carbonation makes it glide, but the finish bites you back and is a little tough. This effect also lessens with warmth.

A fine beer, just remember to drink it 20 minutes out of the fridge.

DOA

Photo of SLeffler27
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazy, golden amber with energetic carbonation. A big, puffy, off-white head turns creamy as it settles, but never drops below half an inch. Big patches of lace are left behind on a Unibroue tulip glass.

There is some cedar and lemon with undertones of peach and spice. Yeast and funk are evident. Overall, the aroma is much fresher than anticipated.

Musty and much earthier in flavor than aroma. This is well balanced with sweetness, bitterness, sourness. It has a long, subtle finish of honey that eventually turns sour.

Dry with a medium to full body and tingly carbonation. Alcohol is perceptible, but surprisingly absent for a 10% beer.

St. Sebastiaan improves with warmth, reaching its best with cheese and cured meat. This one lacks the power and complexity I expect for its style.

Photo of Rhettroactive
2.12/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

From 16oz ceramic swingtop to Bruges hybrid glass on 11/8/11
*From notes

A: Fair golden, paleish yellow. a standard pour yields a thick 2.5 finger head. Solid retention and lacing.

S: Wet cardboard.

T: Wet cardboard yet again, with hints of hiney hole.

M: Quite nice, actually. Properly carbonated and creamy.

O: I was simply going to do a "had it" with a D- rating, but I wanted to put the word out that St. Sebastiaan's Grand Reserve is one of the top ten worst beers I've had this year. Purchase and consume at your own risk.

Photo of jayhawk73
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light gold color w/ a one finger white head. Good carbonation and lacing on my snifter. Fairly clear in appearance. There's no doubt this is a BSPA for looks. Nose is mainly Belgian yeast, malt, fruit, spices. It also has an earthy-ness to the nose that takes away from the smell for me. Taste is definitely fruit, spices, yeast and malt. Not my favorite in style, but not bad. Feel is carbonated, slightly syrupy, w/ a nice malt backbone that smooths things out. Overall, this is a good, although not quite great BSPA. Cheers.

Photo of brystmar
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy golden color. Thin white head atop, poor retention. Belgian yeast, sweet malts, spices, & booze in the nose. Taste is smooth and crisp; mostly follows the nose. Medium bodied, lots of carbonation. Mild boozy warmth as it descends. Not spectacular, not bad either.

Photo of jmdrpi
3.31/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

16 oz ceramic bottle with swing top. Best By date of 3/27/14.

clear dark golden in color, with big white head. good head retention and a bit of lacing. fairly subdued nose for a big Belgian Ale, not of the usual yeast aroma.

taste of biscuity pale malts, a little alcohol in the finish. some spiciness. medium body, higher carbonation. works well.

Overall it's alright, but probably not worth the high price tag. I probably wouldn't buy again.

Photo of bskrtz
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 ounce ceramic flip top bottle served cold in glass beer challis

A) Spectacular hazy bronze that glows bright when held to the light. Dense with suspended floaties and yeast sediment. White puffy head turns quickly to lace

S) Baked apple stew. Very sweet with mild alcohol esthers

T) Clean and mildly bitter. Apple cider, citrus & pear blended with sweet honey. Surprizingly refreshing. Alcohol content is high yet muted.

M) Sparkling champaign with fine bottle conditioned carbonation that lasts and lasts.

O) Exceptional example of Pale Belgian Ale. Enjoy (if you can find it).

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz ceramic flip-top bottle pours a very clear gold color with a fluffy, white head. Bubbly and fades at a pretty rapid pace and does not leave much lacing.

Nose is very fruity with some white bread...Yoda thinks strong the yeast is, hrrum? Honeyed grains and alcohol are the secondary aromas I am getting.

Taste is smooth for a 10%'er. The fruit backs off a bit and lets some of the subtle biscuit and grain flavors to come through. Bread dough is there as well as some tropical notes from the alcohol. Mouthfeel is nice and rich, starts zesty and finishes dry and quick. A nice example of a BSPA, little fruitier than a Duvel and definitely less hoppy, but nearly rivals the benchmark of the style in terms of overall enjoyability. This one flies under the radar for sure.

Photo of impending
4.34/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml into a tulip. Pours a hazy orange honey, dense orange tinted head slow to subside, nice lacing.

Strong crisp aroma, seems a meld of a strong pale and a tripel. Lively, clean and complex. Much fruit, much floral and spice. Superb depth.

Taste has all the nuances of the nose and adds a pleasant alcohol warmth counter balancing the initial syrupy sweetness. All the hops were just for the scent. Finishes with little bitter or dry, simply fades away rather quickly. Full bodied mouthfeel. Warms well.
cheers
jd

Photo of claireoakhammer
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a - clear, golden color

s - wonderful bready nose, slight smell of alcohol, some tart and fruity notes coming through

t - fruity, bready, subtle and understated, some sharpness, definitely unique

m - full yet almost sparkling

d - totally drinkable. love it!

Photo of mexikrainian
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 oz cellar temp bottle poured into a Samuel Smith tulip.

Appearance: orange-yellow with thick, white foamy head and decent lacing.

Aroma: apples, cider, floral and peppery.

Flavor: acidic, apples, tart and earthy.

Mouthfeel: high carbonation with medium body and dry finish.

Overall impression: reminiscent of cider, though tart and fruity. very drinkable.

Photo of Fatheranderson
4.8/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First thing I have to say: this beer was absolutely excellent. It was the first Belgian produced Strong Ale I've ever tasted and it was definitely one of my top five favorite beers.

Appearance: a smooth, clean golden yellow, rather large and well defined head.

Smell: I distinctly smell apples, with the barest hint of freshly baked bread and flowers. Extremely warm and inviting scent.

Taste: Delicious is the first word that comes to mind. Apples, possibly a little raisin, maybe just a hint of pear, and bread are the predominate tastes, though the tiniest hint of hops is detectable. It might sound strange, but it tastes just like I assume Autumn in a Belgian village would taste like if a season in a village could have a flavor.

Mouthfeel: Lacks carbonation. Reminded me somewhat of Boddington's Pub Ale's mouth feel. That said, it really doesn't detract from the overall presentation of the ale. Also it feels somewhat syrupy which compliments the flavor perfectly.

Drinkability: Exceptional is the only word I can think of. It's amazingly easy to drink and is very refreshing while still complex enough to appeal to even the most discerning beer lover.

Photo of 4000qtrap
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Source/Serving: 16oz. bottle, rather old looking but in an opaque ceramic bottle.

Smell: caramelized pear, musky spice, a wiff of golden raisins. Thick with a blunted, subdued, overlapping notes. Moderately yeasty.

Taste: Slightly stale apple cider, a raisiny roundness and fullness, with a touch of pear/orange and spice. Moderately high sweetness. In the middle there is more apple cider with a significant amount of spicy mineral and orange peel bitterness and still lots of thick, ripe raisin and pear. Fairly stale and earthy overall and a little tart. Interesting overlap of flavors which blend and meld together with a subdued depth of flavor. The finish is quite spicy with sweet pear cider, yeasty but not bready, a hint of caramel and has a very thick, lingering character.

Notes: Subdued deliciousness. Great value.

Photo of scottfrie
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz bottle into Chimay goblet.

A: A slow pour yielded a lively carbonated thick white head that slowly reduced into a fizzy film floating over light orange liquid.
S: Light fruits, green apples, Belgium spices and Belgium yeast, citrus, oranges, roses and other flowers.
T: Light citrus orangey taste with heavy undertones of malt and spices. Yeast notes come through in the finish but are subtle. Notes of green apple juice and raisin bread.
M: Medium bodied that's slick with a touch of syrupiness and a lot of fizzy bubbly carbonation. The alcohol and spices nip at your throat with the last swallow in a good way.
D: This is a very mellow and drinkable Belgium strong pale. It has light flavors that make this beer go down easier than others. It also masks the alcohol content extremely well. Recommended.

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the ceramic bottle into my Duvel goblet.

Appearance: Pours out a bit orange. Nice frothy white head, excellent lacing held up until the end.

Smell: Nice and mellow. A little fruit, a little bread, not too complex.

Taste: A big swig brings out the fruit (but not too sweet). I didn't taste the yeast as much as expected, a nice little tart kick in the taste buds shows up in the middle. The alcohol is hidden well and doesn't take away from the taste.

Mouthfeel: A bit light on the carbonation and a bit sticky, but not bad.

Drinkability: In my book I'd say it is pretty damn sessionable. It isn't expensive, it tastes good and makes me wish I bought at least one more.

to view more.
St. Sebastiaan Grande Reserve from Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 137 ratings.