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

St. Sebastiaan Grande ReserveSt. Sebastiaan Grande Reserve

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

127 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 127
Reviews: 96
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 15.36%


Brewed by:
Brouwerij Sterkens N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-20-2001)
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Ratings: 127 | Reviews: 96 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear golden color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma consists of sweet Belgian style malt with some fuse alcohol also noticeable. Taste is also somewhat one-dimensional with some discernable alcohol and some overly sweet Belgian style malt. I thought it was lacing some ester or some yeast character too be truly engaging. Not bad but not something I would go out of my way to try again.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2008 13:59:39 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep golden with chunks and floaties swirling about with a big fluffy head that leaves a nice amount of lace,yeasty,spicey aromas with some green apple in there but it is pretty light for a big beer.Spicey and yeasty up front with some underlying tropical fruit,finishes pretty sweet with the alcohol flavor slowly kreeping up as it warms.Not one of the best Belgian strong pale ales I have had but still a decent brew none the less.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2004 23:47:06 | More by oberon
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearnce: lovely, light peachy color, with a firm, proud, creamy head.
Aroma: big on the citrus!, though sweet, and loaded with fruit (grapefruit, peach, orange), rich, sweet, yet sour.
Very well-rounded fruit overall, altogether a mellow brew, perfectly integrated, but acking in any complexity.
Tasty texture, full-bodied, luscious yeast element, very delicious and easily drunk down.
But, however, the trouble is that I have reservations about exactly how Grande this might suppose itself to be. I've had it many times over the years, and remember a better, more transendent experience than this. A representative from the importer/distributor revealed to me that the brewer had purposefully cut back on the recipe and "farmed out" the brewing to cut back on costs, making it far less dramatic in flavor. Such a shame, nothing Grande about it. But, despite that, a nice ale, anyway.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2003 02:37:37 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

2.88/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hazy orange pour, yeast particles, minimal head. Smells artificially sweet, some musty grain.

Sweet with some tartness upfront, yeast and candi sugar seem to be the main component to this. Vague fruit that doesn't really have a physical comparison. Odd vegetal flavors barely mask the unpleasant booziness. Drying finish due to the ABV.

Most likely past it's prime, but reviewed since I won't see it around again.
Vintage bottle, located on a dusty shelf in the Chicagoland area.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2007 02:09:38 | More by emerge077
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Retired?? Oh well this seems to be trend with my & Belgian beers lately. Date code of 15/15/11

Pours bronze/amber with 1+ finger of off white head. Hazed up up a little a the end, probably sediment. Zero head retention & lacing

S: Perfumy hops, pineapple, honey

T: Dryness, lemons & grapefruit & some apple skin up front. Once this warms I get dryness, dates, figs, honey & more citric hops. Finishes dry, with lemony, pineapple & date notes, plus boozey warmth

MF: Slick, with stickiness at the very end, with moderate carbonation & medium body

Drinks really easy for the ABV & style. A pretty good example of the style, albeit a little fruittier than, say Duvel. Shame this is retired. I'm not sure how well this would hold up four years from now though

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2007 03:44:59 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a true gold color with a lacey off-white head. The aroma is good. It has a strong alcohol scent, accompanied by Belgian pale ale malts and fruity Belgian yeast; very nice. The taste is good. It has a pretty basic malt structure with some fruity yeast and a dry, warm finish. It has a nice flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine brew. It goes down easy with pleasure.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2004 00:36:33 | More by WesWes
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2010 03:18:05 | More by zeff80
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange-gold color, it is very low on carbonation; it barely summons a week wispy white head. Aromas of oxidation immediately waft from my glass as I pour this beer. The aroma is indeed dominated by notes of oxidation; sherry, wet cardboard. Perhaps there is a hint of alcohol in the nose as well as a bit of sweetness. Fairly light beer on the palate. There are some flavors of orange and perhaps some raisin. The oxidation is not nearly so dominant in the, and as it warms up I get a certain spiciness to it. flavor of this beer, but it is here as well. This beer ends with a bit of vegetal astringency that is not quite off-putting. Not a great beer, I certainly expected more from something titled a Grand Reserve.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2004 23:28:06 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2004 01:30:14 | More by Billolick
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4.85/5  rDev +26.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2005 02:55:27 | More by Zorro
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz bottle purchased at Domaney's Wines & Liquors, Great Barrington, MA. Nice ceramic bottle with flip-top cover to use after cracking the bottle cap open.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 3/4" beige head over the light amber brew, with floaties present. Head is frothy and holds on strong, probably due to rigorous carbonation, with nice heavy lacing. Aroma is sweet malts, with spicy notes, and maybe a tad of veggie. Flavor is spicy yet sweet pale malts, closing with a slight warming. Mouthfeel is good, creamy, possibly seems a bit thin, with excellent drinkability. Can't believe this is 10%abv, could be dangerously good.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2005 00:41:39 | More by ppoitras
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour a clear deep amber, the head is mediorce, the lace spare, the color off white. Nose is malt, citrus tones, light hints of bubble gum. Front is malt, sweet, the top is medium, the finish is acerbic, dry, the 10% ABV, is felt in the "Tummy" and the long lasting alcohol bitter aftertaste. "Works for me!", as I like my beers pungent and brawny. Ranks #504 on my current 1000 beer master list.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2004 13:24:40 | More by Gusler
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 ounce ceramic bottle into tulip glass, best before 3/27/2014. Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a 2 finger fluffy white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Dense foamy lacing clings on the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of pear, grape, apple, pepper, clove, floral, candi sugar, honey, and earthy yeast spiciness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy esters with malt notes; but pretty muted for a 10% Belgian. Taste of pear, grape, apple, pepper, clove, honey, candi sugar, bread, floral, and earthy yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of light fruits, pepper, clove, honey, candi sugar, bread, and earthy yeast spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy esters and malt flavors; with a nice moderate malt balance with no cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a lightly slick, crisp, and moderately prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good Belgian strong pale ale. Good complexity and balance of flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2013 04:55:02 | More by superspak
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2011 00:51:13 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
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!

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2003 01:11:11 | More by RoyalT
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz ceramic like bottle into my Leffe Goblet.

Appearance- Poured a fizzy head only a couple of millimeters thick which eventually recedes to a ring around the beer foam with a little film in the middle. Colro is a pale orange peel color mingled with a lot of sediment. If there was any lacing, I couldn't see it with all the debris.

Smell- Just a gneral, sweet, sugary fruit. Couldn't put a specific on any of this beers rather subdued smells.

Taste- I find the abundant flavor of vanilla to be very surprising after having as many Belgian pale ales as I've had. Vanilla mixed with vanilla and honey. A few earthy notes here and there, but mostly sweet. Not barlyer wine sweet just to clarify. But a candi sweet beer.

Mouthfeel- A good overall general sweetness. A medium amount of carbonatio felt on the sides if the tongue.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2006 05:59:09 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of cokes
cokes

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Auburn-infused golden hued with a large bubbled head that wastes itself away in a matter of minutes.
Sugarcane, ginger, honeyed apricots and sweet melons on the nose.
The taste progresses through distinct stages. Flows through the mouth with a honey-drenched cantaloupe sensation immediately. Spicing invades. Peppery and savory. Fruit returns via lightly scorched pineapples. Spicing appears again, but more intense. Still light herbal, leafy and peppery, but it wipes the mouth clean of any sweetness. Continuing this wet-dry / sweet-bitter cycle, raw sugar begins to develops, coupling with something that hints at orange juice. However, the hopping does not allow it to come to fruition, as it sweeps down, and rinses the palate clean. Almost out of spite, a light honeyed sensation develops post-swallow.
Alcohol is of little notice for a 10% brew, but shows up on occasion by way of vodka hues.
Meaty bodied, just shy of full with stunted carbonation.
The drying qualities are both a savior and a distraction. This one seems to be pulling in two different directions. The end result is tasty and very drinkable, but I have the impression that this could have been even more. I'm just not sure what.
Nice brew, regardless. Nice bottle too.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2003 23:37:39 | More by cokes
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a golden yellow. A large white head forms, then recedes to a rim. Plenty of lace left behind.
S: Sugar and yeast aroma with plenty of fruit. Apple's, peaches, banana's, and other citrus fruits.
T: Very tart and sweet. The same fruity flavors that were in the nose.
M/D: Crisp and clean mouthfeel. Lots of harsh carbonation on the tongue. The 10% ABV does not show itself too much, but the carbonation makes it a little hard to drink.

A middle of the road Belgium Ale, nothing more.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2008 22:13:10 | More by champ103
Photo of GCBrewingCo
GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice clear medium golden. The head was very low and did not want to form. The head that did form was low and barley sustained itself at the edges of the surface and tried to lace the glass.

The aroma was spicy with a peppery yeast aroma that was a bit sulphury.

The flavor was nicely accomplished with a belgian candy sugar caramelization present and nice belgian yeast spiciness that contributed complexity to the beer. The sweetness in the flavor is well balanced by bittering.

The finish was just dry with nice bittering and spice that lasted well into the aftertaste. The body was medium or just a bit more and well done.

16 ounce ceramic bottle with cap and swing top as pictured. With more head retention and better aroma this beer would be truly world class, but the head retention was less than stellar and the aroma did not measure up to the flavor.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2004 01:24:03 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 03:12:38 | More by srandycarter
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82

Virginia

3.7/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2014 01:46:57 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2010 01:02:47 | More by scottfrie
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ADR

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2002 08:03:01 | More by ADR
Photo of allengarvin
allengarvin

Texas

4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2005 03:17:41 | More by allengarvin
Photo of HardTarget
HardTarget

Texas

3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The same great flip-top ceramic bottle as the other St. Sebastiaan beers have.
Aroma: Dominated by the banana like smell I associate with the Weihenstephan yeast strain, on top of a fairly heavy malt sweetness.
Appearance: Clear straw color with a fluffy head that collared and laced.
Taste: Same as the smell, yeast really comes through a heavy malt, but not cloying. There is a significant alcohol burn in the aftertaste, but no hop bitterness noted. There is also a spicy, peppery bite.
Mouthfeel: Thick a touch heavy.
Overall: A good beer, but a bit out of style by my read. The lack of head, lacing took points off, and the mouthfeel is a bit heavy for the style. I also found it had a hard time hiding the substantial alcohol level. While that isn't a deal breaker, it took some points off my review. This is a good beer, rich, well made, fulfilling. It's a bit heavy for consistency drinkability, but a good treat now and then.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2003 23:18:05 | More by HardTarget
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St. Sebastiaan Grande Reserve from Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.