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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.
very good

136 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 136
Reviews: 97
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 15.25%
Wants: 5
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Sterkens N.V. visit their website

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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 97 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of geetlord
1.99/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

this beer poured almost completely without a head. As there was so little carbonantion essentialy no aromas were released. Teh taste was predominantly of alcohol, with some very mild hints of other flavors appearing sporadicaly on my tounge. The lack of carbonantion makes the mouthfeel watery and seriously reduces the flavors experienced, overall I was not impressed by this beer.

Photo of KyleVick4
1.52/5  rDev -60.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

16 oz swing top

A: Pours a dark golden color with virtually no head. It creates large bubbles that are clear giving it more of the appearance of swamp water froth rather than head. Not to pleasing. Nothing spectacular about it one way or the other. Actually this is a pretty ugly beer.

S: Strong alcohol up front, with a spicyness in the back. The alcohol dominates this and I cant tell much more. Not impressed.

T: Bah. The distracting burn of the alcohol takes off from the actual taste. When I do taste somthing it comes in at spicy notes and fruit. Really disappointed though...

M: This has a lack of mouthfeel. Its so thick from the alcohol that it kills the mouthfeel. Just kinda sits on my mouth and feels like mouthwash... Lightly carbonated mouthwash...

D: Im trying. Giving it a second, third fouth and fifth chaces. I just dont like this beer. I actually may hate this beer. It looks bad, has terrible smell lacks taste and makes me want to spit when it is in my mouth. In summary its not to drinkable. Actually I think I am going to sadly dump the rest right now

On a positive note, I am pumped about using this bottle for my homebrews!

Photo of gunnerman
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Just picked this brew up last weekend, served in a nice bottle.
Apperance is of a light amber color with little head and somewhat decent lacing on mug. Smell is of fruit and strong malt, taste is very fruity with a creamy aftertaste to it, very good indeed. The drinkability is very good, goes down smooth and leaves that little alchol burn, very fruity and I would probably drink again.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of 1759dallas
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Waited until my second bottle to review. The first time I had this beer it was flat. There was no head and not a bubble in it. I still liked the flavor but wasn't sure if I'd get it again. On to bottle number two a year later. Poured with good carbonation and wasn't flat at all. Has a nice smooth feel and taste. Not a very strong alcohol burn unlike bottle 1. A sweetish aftertaste with a hint of hops finished the drink off nicely. Not a super big beer, but still very good. Only drawback for me is the smell. It smells metallic, almost coppery and puts the experience off a bit. Since its retired I'm sure this is the last tasting I'll get. Glad it was so much better than the first.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
2.99/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: No "psst!" when I opened the bottle. The beer poured a totally stagnant murky reddish brown color.

Aroma: Some plum and raisin aromatics along with some sweet caramel presence. There are some toasty malts there along with what smells like Melanoidins. A bit of a papery aroma.

Taste: Really tangy and fruity. This can't be right. It has some sweetness that you notice, but the tangy...almost mouth puckering flavor is the dominant force. There is some nuttiness here along with some mild oxidized flavors. Bummer!

Opinion: Well, I must have gotten hold of one that had a leaky cap or something. I imagine that it is pretty hard to make a stone bottle with a tight enough tolerance on the cap as not to have one leak once in a while. I am sad to see that this beer is retired as I would have liked to have given it another shot...but I guess not. Oh well.

Photo of Zorro
4.82/5  rDev +24.5%
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.

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

yeah, yeah, the bottle. just means heavier bag to carry downstairs when i bring my empties out for recycling... aww hell ill probably just give it to one of my homebrewing friends.

fyi, that bottle holds 16oz.

a clear orange brew with a dense syrupy quality. not much head. big airy bubbles inspired by a hard pour, thats it. BE WARNED though, this bottle had lots and lots of chunky sediment.. to the point of grossness. and i dont mind sediment, but this was a yeast cake. aroma is very nice, a good balance between sweet fruity maltiness and hot spiciness. plums, licorice, and some brown sugar. flavor is confusing but has potential. first off, this thing is hot like jet fuel. this hides some of the subtler flavors that i think are there, but allows striking notes of black pepper, candy corn, peach and vanilla to shine. light and goes down smooth, texturally... just so damn hot. this beer should have been 'grand reserve'd for another 5 years. another bottle perhaps? at $6, why not.

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

Well, the bottle is quite simply bad ass. It comes in a heavy ceramic 16 oz bottle with a unneeded swing top. It pours a golden amber with a mild head. The aroma has hint of honey and booze. At 10% it is awfully mild and drinkable. Really it kind of tastes like an amped up pilsner with a hint of candi sugar. This one isn't worth seeking out; but if you impulse buy it because of the bottle you will not be disappointed.

Photo of ppoitras
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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

The first thing I have to note about this beer is the presentation. A beautiful gray ceramic bottle with a flip top. Pours out a cloudy orange, amber color with a small head that does not last. The lable on this beer says it is brewed once a year.

The smell is a bit metallic with hints of malt and something citrus. The taste is much more smooth. A sold malt backbone with some citrus notes and candie sugar coming through. A tiny bit of dry hoppyness in the finish. The 10% alcohol is very well hidden.

Overall a good beer. Nothing mind blowing but well made.

Photo of yen157
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber brew with decent white lasted head but some clinging lace. Nose presents some honey, baked apples, and slick, sweet malt. Beer warms the throat on the way down. 10% come through with some spiciness and alcoholic warmth, but no bite. Moderately fruity, sweet malt presence, and just enough hops to keep things from getting out of whack. Carbonation is light and body is slick and full. Almost an oily feel on the tongue. Great mouth feel! I was a little turned off by the packaging which comes across as gimmicky, but this is a very solid beer.

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.15/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was a yellow beer with a one-finger head, and floaters abounded.

The aroma was of rich light malts and apples... not too tart, not too sweet, more of a Cortland than a Mac or Delicious.

The taste was malty, with a slight sweetness and fruitiness... definitely less fruitiness than the aroma would lead one to expect. It was also somewhat flat and subdued, compared to others of the style I have had.

Not what I expected from a "Grand Reserve"... I will not get it again, and it may be some time before I try others from this brewery.

Photo of allengarvin
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Photo of oberon
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Photo of dgallina
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

No freshness date. Pours a clear golden-amber with small white head and light lacing. Smells strongly of grain & malts, some sweet fruits, and spicy alcohol. Flavor begins with sweet grainy malts and develops into very powerful solvent-like alcohols and slight spicing. Slight carbonation; feels fairly light in the mouth for the strength.

Easy to drink considering the ABV, but overall a brutish, unsubtle, beast of a strong pale ale. Perhaps my sample was mishandled, but this is not something I'll be returning to when there are *far* better examples out there.

Photo of Billolick
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of Sixpack595
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber with almost no head. Carbonation is nearly non-existant, no head and flat mouthfeel. Sweet malty aroma with a spicy touch. Flavor is candy sweet with citrus and malt dominating. Quick hop bite at the end keeps things balanced and somewhat dry. Mouthfeel was a bit thin and flat. Not a bad beer by any definition, but still disapointing. With more carbonation it may improve quite a bit, but as it stands its not worth a second look.

Photo of NEhophead
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz ceramic bottle.

Frothy and rocky white head that slides to the sides after a few moments. Very condensed lacing throughout the glass. A hazy, golden-light orange in color.

A candy sweetness; vanilla and some slight fruit aromas: apple and raspberry. Accompanied by a faint alcohol aroma as well.

Candied-sugar, vanilla sweetness drives this ale. A very faint apple and raspberry fruitiness. Rather bland in terms of flavor after the sweetness. Alcohol flavor in the aftertaste.

Light on the palate; a bit thin and somewhat watery. A smooth candied coating and low in carbonation.

Although very faint in detection, the 10% abv is a deterrent in terms of drinkability. The sweetness of this ale is also a preventative in having more than one. My expectations were too high going into this one. It was nice to try, and I'll definitely try some of their other ales, but one try for this one is all I need.

Photo of PorterLambic
4.11/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark honey colored brew in the goblet with a small head that lingered.
Smell of malt, oak and a faint fruitiness.
Taste was malty, oakey, alcohol (noticeable but not overpowering) and some fruit at the end which became more noticeable as it warmed. Nicely complex as one might expect.
Medium body, smooth, lightly effervescent. Very drinkable, the only restrain being the ABV. Definitely a fine brew.

Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of SilentSabre
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Photo of kbub6f
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

St. Sebastiaan Grande Reserve from Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.