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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
86
very good

97 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 97
Hads: 138
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 6
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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 97 | Hads: 138
Photo of Zorro
4.82/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy light brown ale with a fair white head. This looks exactly like apple cider.

Smell is a little sweet with a big fruity scent. Apples, spice, pine and a whiff of brandy are in this.

Taste is mildly sweet and very spicy in the first sip. Flavor of brown sugar and pineapple are dominant at first. Noticeable alcohol flavor but it isn't very strong. Cinnamon stick, allspice, mace, cloves, ginger, malt, and powdery yeast are all in the flavor of this one. Very quickly the sweetness disappears and leaves only spice in your glass. At the end it tastes a LOT like a spiced rum drink, and that isn't a bad thing at all.

Mouthfeel is very good, perfect in fact.

OK this was an excellent beer experience. If it has a defect it would be the color and intensity of the flavor. I absolutely enjoyed this, the bottle cost $11 and it was worth it! Strange that this is listed as retired, every little shop in Solvang California sells this stuff. I neglected trying this for more than a year because of the bottle, I thought it was just a gimmick to sell second rate Belgian beer. (1,095 characters)

Photo of Fatheranderson
4.8/5  rDev +25.3%
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. (1,166 characters)

Photo of drperm
4.8/5  rDev +25.3%
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. (1,095 characters)

Photo of StaveHooks
4.59/5  rDev +19.8%
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. (806 characters)

Photo of Gehrig
4.53/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy orange body with muddy brown highlights yields dense lacing and ornate rings--tremendous. Fine aromas emanate forth--primarily fruit (grape, apple, berry) but also spice--coriander, a hint of ginger. Already I'm very impressed.

The taste is full and complex but a bit restrained, however, nonetheless wonderful. Lots of fruit--grape especially but lots of apple (not too sour), cherry, and some apricot in the finish. The spice is subtle but certainly present. Excellent BSPA.

The mouthfeel brings is home in fine fashion, so very Belgian--smooth, amply effervescent, full and never thin. This is what BSPA is supposed to be. Just terrific.

This really surprised me. I'm so glad I stopped into Friar Tuck for this and others--an accidentally Belgian trip to the shop with others to follow. Better than expected--always the best kind of reviews to write. Highly recommended. (883 characters)

Photo of SilentSabre
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Everything about this ale is absolutley fantastic. The pottery-like crockery style bottle is very interesting. The ale itself pours a slightly cloudy orange with almost no head. Only a thin, hazy sheet of tiny bubbles covers the top with light delicate lacing around the sides. The smell is quite sweet and spicy with clove like accents. In fact, the appearance, smell and taste are tremendously similar to a hefeweisen. What is not similar to a hefe, is the strength of this ale. One can certainly tell, and quickly, that this a 10%abv.
With almost a total lack of any carbonation, St. Sebastiaan's Grand Reserve goes down smooth. It's just really heavy and really filling. Easy to drink, if you're only drinking one.
I highly recommend this ale to anyone who fancies the hefe style unfiltered wheat type brews. (816 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.49/5  rDev +17.2%
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). (435 characters)

Photo of ADR
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Just slightly hazy light yellow-amber, yellowish head that's mostly skim. Yeasty aroma, with some dried and deep fruit smells. Full body, impression is similar to a Doppelbock in stickiness and heartiness. Sweet toffee, elements of dried citron, and a touch of diacetyl (really?). A little pepper and clove in the mid mouth, hops do a fine balancing job. There was a lot unexpected in the flavor profile but I loved it, satisfying brew here. Another cool crock, this one was a 16 oz swing top. (498 characters)

Photo of thekanna
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a strong gold color which settles into a nice orange-amber. About one finger of white head.

S: Belgian yeasts, spices; some faint apples, pears, and citrus fruits; somewhat like the smell of Westmalle Tripel. Floral aromas further liven it up and give it a sense of freshness.

T: Belgian yeasts with some strong peppercorns, coriander, citrus fruits, and pears. Candi sugar is present which gives it a nice sweetness, and spice definitely rounds it out.

M: Nice carbonated juiciness.

D: This is frankly one of the beer Belgian Strong Pale Ales I've had in a while. They seemed to have nailed down everything I love about the style perfectly. (658 characters)

Photo of midnite2sixman
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a ceramic/stoneware bottle at Butch's in Holland, MI.

Poured during sunset turns into a nice hazy orange in my tulip glass. Globby lacing scattered throughout.

Nose: Rock candy, apples, citrus and spice, maybe how bout apple flavored bubble gum.

Taste: More of the citrusy apple, think of chewing on a piece of pink bubble gum while eating a slice of granny smith apple.

Mouthfeel: Surpisingly light, not too much carbonation, sweet finish.

Drinkability: I don't drink a lot of belgian's any more, i'll say, but i must stress that this beer is quite worth the money. Make sure it is consumed in the proper setting.

A Belgian benchmark.

Hot damn! (667 characters)

Photo of REDAMI
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
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. (423 characters)

Photo of claireoakhammer
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
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! (261 characters)

Photo of impending
4.34/5  rDev +13.3%
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 (517 characters)

Photo of kbub6f
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small, creamy-white, ultra-fine head. Fine, fine sheets of tiny spots of lacing. Clear orange beer. Wasn't expecting that. Sweet caramel in the nose. Some milk. Spicy front: pepper, alcohol and lots of fruit. Dark-tasting malt, almost sour. Nice. Very bitter, grainsy finish. Some fruit. D-licious! Malty, spicy, grainsy, not too sweet. Beauty. (344 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Orangish-brown body with a nice head that laced the glass.

Smell – There’s a nice, light, spicy fruit aroma from this one. The melons, peaches, oranges, and apricots are touched off with a bit of coriander and cinnamon. The (very) lightly toasted malt backbone is present as well, but this is all about the fruit.

Taste – This is big flavor. The multitude of spices are out in force, deeply soaked in the light fruits from the nose along with cranberry and apple juice. The malt fades a bit at the tongue.

Mouthfeel – This is lightly carbonated and medium-bodied. The alcohol is there, but comes out more like a light, fruity mixed drink that’s been spiced with white rum.

Drinkability – This one is big on the melons and (especially) peaches, similar to its “Golden” cousin, which makes it go down smooth.

Update – I first rated this in 2003. Oh, Lawdy, have I been a BA that long? Anyway, here we are four years later and it tastes almost exactly the same. If nothing else we have to award points for consistency. Nice job, Sterkens! (1,063 characters)

Photo of scootny
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a case I bought last year. Best before 2011. Ceramic resealable bottle suitable for homebrewing. No problem there only six left. This beer has cellared beautifully. A clear golden amber fluid that produces a large creamy head. Though it fades quickly it leaves good lacing. Some bubbling going on. Subsequent pours add yeast and cloudiness and better head retention.

Smell is honey, grape and apples. Light Belgian yeast funkiness. Clean malt sweetness.

Taste is just smooth. Honeyed malt and candy sugar. Sweet white grapes and apples. Yeast adds a bit of nuttiness. Finish is more smooth tastes. A bit short of crisp it is still dry. Hops are super mild. Clean with a light green apple sourness. Sweet rolls linger in the mouth. Alcohol is just peaking around the corners from time to time, never draws attention to itself.

Feel is cream and velvet. Delightful

Way to easy to drink a couple of these.

I gave some away and traded others. Now I'm holding on to the rest for a special time in a few years. Maybe I can find another case. If you can get some of this stuff grab it. Just a very good sneaky strong Belgian pale ale. (1,139 characters)

Photo of allengarvin
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very cloudy amber color, with a film of thin foam on top.

Aroma: Vanilla, sweet honey, ripe apple aroma.

Flavor: Burst of fruit (peach? apple? big estery flavor in any case), very spicy yeast character and noticibly peppery alcohol on the sides of the tongue. No hop flavor than I can find (though it's hard to sift through the many flavors), but bitterness comes out at the end, along with some sourness, for a tart, pungent finish.

Body: Very tannic mouthfeel, full bodied, but still somewhat light for a 10% beer.

Other Sterkens beers I've tried have been fairly uninteresting, but this beer is excellent. (632 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Style points go out for the classy bottle that this one comes in. Pours a hazy light golden with a slight green apple tint. Leaves tons of fine wispy lacing and sheeting. Nose is a soft sweet, fruity spicy blend. Soft mouthfeel, notes of melon, honey, pepper, alcohol evident. Tasty, strong, sharp and crisp. Lovely creation in brewing. get some of this stuff and enjoy. (370 characters)

Photo of MichaelGreene
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This beer is GREAT, in the bottle. I didnt even pour it into a glass. I just drank it from the jug. How great can one beer be. Sweet honey and molasses. Figs and dates. Super malty, no hop. Just sweet, beautiful aftertaste, perfect mouthfeel, smooth and creamy. This is one of those beers. I will buy a case of this. (316 characters)

Photo of theboozecruise
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hmmm, interesting to find this one retired, I found some on the shelves locally yesterday. Very cool 16.9 oz. bottle with both a standard cap and the plunger variety to keep it sealed between pours.

Poured a golden amber hue with a one finger or so head, left a little lacing but not much.

The smell and taste were as expected for the style, spices, a little fruit, somewhat malty... very nice.

Far from my favorite Belgian ale but I'm certainly not disappointed... plus the 10.00% abv is exceptionally sneaky, making this very dangerously drinkable! (554 characters)

Photo of Jdbateman83
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
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. (273 characters)

Photo of trackstar1043
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a beautiful hazy golden orange with 2 in of off white rocky head and extremely sticky lacing leaving visiable rings after each great drink.

S - A strong aroma fo wheat, bitter hops, sweet carmel and a citrus fruits.

T - Similar to the nose, with a great balance of bitterness and malty sweetness.

M - Med bodied with lively carbonation and a clean refreshing finish.

D - Very easy to drink and great for a warm summer night. (438 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, orange/copper color with a very foamy, thick, three-finger head. It left sticky patches of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled earthy and of dried fruits - apple and some pear.

T - Very tasty Belgian ale with biscuity malts, dried fruits (mostly apple) and a spicy yeast kick.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth finish. A medium bodied ale with a warm alcohol presence.

D - This is a pretty good Belgian brew. A bit steep on the price but still good. (477 characters)

Photo of coalcracker
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at Arena Bar and Grille, Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Appearance: Poured out of a very cool ceramic bottle. Golden color with ample head and good lacing thereafter.
Smell: Sweet, mild fruity esters.
Taste: The taste mirrors the smell, but to a larger degree. Sweet yet spicy with mild alcohol punch. Very crisp and clean finish.
Mouthfeel: Full-body with carbonated, alcohol kick, though not intrusive.
Drinkability: At 10% ABV, not a drink to slam...that said, the alcohol is not the dominant factor here- very quaffable.

Overall: Great Belgian beer. Too bad it was only a limited release... (593 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
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. (778 characters)

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St. Sebastiaan Grande Reserve from Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.