St. Sebastiaan Grand Cru - Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.
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Ratings: 27 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
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3.83/5 rDev +2.7%
500ml swing-top ceramic bottle - 7.6% ABV in this particular offering, and part of a gift set alongside the Dark.
This beer pours a slightly hazy, medium golden straw colour, with a teeming amount of puffy, and thinly foamy eggshell white head, which settles very slowly, eventually leaving some random streaks of sudsy lace around the thoughtfully included St. Sebastiaan tulip glass.
It smells of peppy, almost funky yeast, bready wheat and pale malt, stale citrus pith, a bit of weakly spicy clove, some middling metallic alcohol notes, and subtle earthy, weedy hops. The taste is more zingy wheat malt, booze-soaked bready pale malt, candy sugar, some attendant citrus and applesauce fruitiness sweetening things to a further degree, and a meek drying, leafy hoppiness.
The carbonation is moderate, and just a bit noticeably zingy in its barely-tempered frothiness, the body a stocky medium weight, and a tad astringent in its smoothness - booze trumping sugar, it would seem. It finishes airy and warming, the whole experience starting to blend into a straight spiced wheat graininess.
A decent enough BSPA, overall, though having obtained this bottle via the St. Sebastiaan gift pack during the Yuletide, I can't help but pontificate on the tasting notes on the back of the packaging: "...just a little bit naughty. Meant for the spoiled beer drinker." I love the dichotomy of this saucy and assuming text, and the rendering of a holy man pouring a beer right above it. Spoil me good and rotten, Pater!
02-20-2011 00:21:33 | More by biboergosum
3.15/5 rDev -15.5%
First: this bottle was a 7.6%?!! My uncle Peter shared this beer with me, so eternal thanks Peter.
A - It looks like a Pilsener! A bright yellow fluid with a white topping.
S - The smell is fresh and contains grain and malts.
T - Again; fresh and malty.
M - A medium carbonation and a light creaminess.
O - Not bad at all, although I think it is better and nicer to drink this beer in the summer. And for a Grand Cru I expected something more.
12-06-2011 18:27:28 | More by Mar02x
4.5/5 rDev +20.6%
16 ounce flip top ceramic bottle. These are good to have around in case you crack open a big beer and do not feel like finishing it in one sitting.
A: Golden yellow
S: fruit, cotton candy, booze
T: I picked up on brandy and dates, which I associate with a quad, but I also tasted wildflower honey. It was a good balance.
M: medium carbonation
O: I love this style of beer, and this is a solid contribution. It is pricey for just a pint, but it is a fantastic brew and well worth it. The alcohol, at 10 %, sneaks up on you so all you need is one.
I’ll have another.
06-18-2012 17:16:55 | More by XicanoBeerRun
3.85/5 rDev +3.2%
Review from 10/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a clear orange amber with a thick off-white head and lacing. Medium bodied. Light malt, fruit and sour aroma. Sweet malt light fruit, mild Belgian spicing and some floral flavors. Somewhat sweet/sour flavor. Finishes dry. I kind of like this. A bit more character on the finish and this would be quite nice.
07-15-2012 03:21:52 | More by LiquidAmber
4/5 rDev +7.2%
750 mL bottle with a best by stamp of 19/03/11. Pours a fairly clear, light gold color with some suspended floatie particles...they dont even move, it's like something stuck in Jell-o. Foam is thick and frothy, fading quickly and leaves some decent lacing on the glass. Good looker, except for the floaties.
Nose is heavily influenced by the yeast, light fruits galore and a white bread loaf. Green apples, mangoes, pizza dough and golden raisins. Interesting, for sure.
Taste is quite nice, not an over the top grand cru. Has all the typical flavors I think of in the style...fruity yeast esters, perhaps some coriander, bit of spicy hops...but somehow mellow. The floaties are not palpable on the palate, thank the lord! Was not expecting much from this one as it was on sale for $5, but a very pleasant surprise indeed! Well worth checking out.
03-17-2010 13:10:18 | More by twiggamortis420
3.7/5 rDev -0.8%
Best By Date is 24/08/08
Pours with a minimal head and a rather urine-like-looking body.
The smell is better, though. Sweet malt and some fruity esters.
Taste is clean and smooth. Suprisingly little taste for a grand cru. A bit of spiciness at the end, with a bit of alcohol warming. Nice finish. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, but it needs more bubbles! Very drinkable, and well-hidden alcohol. Needs more head and bubbles!
06-07-2006 05:39:37 | More by DaveFL1976
4/5 rDev +7.2%
Pours a hazy yellow color with a an off white head. In the aroma, dry candy sugar and a small note of bananas. In the taste, dry banana, notes of spice, and light carbonation. A small bite and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry banana and a note of spice in the aftertaste. Almost like a bold hefe, with a the banana and spice.
06-01-2012 19:57:41 | More by OWSLEY069
2.2/5 rDev -41%
A: Pours a light golden/yellow color. A two finger white head forms, but dissipates to a ring fast. Not much lace to speak of.
S: This is fairly pungent. I am not that impressed. Bananas, clove, spiciness. Lots of yeast in the nose. An odd perfume aroma. It just does not do much for me.
T: Tart and fruity. Lots of banana and citrus fruits. Maybe too much spiciness and yeast. Old and musky cloths (if that makes since). Not for me.
M/D: Light to medium body. Way, over carbonated and watery. Some alcohol burn. Mix that with the spiciness and over carbonation, this is a little harder to drink than I would like.
Not even close to one of the better Strong Pale Ales I have had. For the price tag, this is not something I will get again. I would not recommend this.
01-31-2009 00:59:57 | More by champ103
3.58/5 rDev -4%
a belgian strong pale ale made licensed by sterkens brewery, from a trappist manstery registered recipe; a beer stron in all extension of its word, pale yelow color, low in carbonation, no lacing, its bottle is exceptional, try with cheese, drink in a goblet or in a trophy cup; 85% recommended.
10-19-2005 18:26:02 | More by tesguino
4/5 rDev +7.2%
Got the bottle because it looked cool and I figure I could recycle for some home brew! Picked it up at Al Campo for about $6.50, certainly not a bargain when you can get Chimay for about the same but the bottle is cool. Pours a rich golden with about 1 inch of fluffy foam. Smell is good, plenty of yeasty wheaty banana peel smell. Taste is warm and slightly sweet with more fruit like pear and banana. Mouthfeel is light to medium body, slightly carbonated and warming from the alcohol. Drinkability is good but at 9% ABV try to take it slow.
12-03-2010 18:48:29 | More by jhtipton
3.38/5 rDev -9.4%
50 cl ceramic bottle. Very pale golden colour, similar to a belgian white beer. Small head and no lace. Aroma of flowers, citirus, fruits and spice, but I can't tell which and no one of them is strong.
Silky flavour and taste of citrus, flowers, some honey and fruits. I expected a little more from this one than it really offers.
09-03-2007 19:45:56 | More by janubio
3.53/5 rDev -5.4%
Cloudy lemon with rocky bone white head. Melon, some wax and buttermilk biscuit on the nose.
Unripe nectarines, a bit of wax, some candy sugar and spicy hops to end.
Fruity end and a yeasty tang. Light, smooth, and round.
"Grand" nothing. Totally average Belgian blonde. Starting to suspect this is a nondescript label of Duvel's.
06-19-2012 14:52:35 | More by StJamesGate
3.7/5 rDev -0.8%
A - Foamy puffy clouds of white head left a little bit of faint lacing. It has a slightly cloudy apple cider vinegar color body. The most noticeable selling point is the nice grey resealable porcelain bottle. Very pretty but I fear a great portion of the price of this beer.
S - A bit sour. Very yeasty. Weisen / witbier yeast smells. Some lemon peel a bit of banana peel / ether smell, and lastly a fresh hay smell
T - Some yeasty stale initial flavors but very pretty strong sweet sugary aftertaste. Also after warming I poured the remained of the bottle and all the yeasty goobers into the glass, and that improved the flavor noticeably. It was a sweet fruity flowery ester-filled beer.
M - A bit fizzy on the tounge, but smooth and sweet and chewy like cake frosting.
D - Not bad at all. Pleasant yeasty, sweet. But sadly overpriced. Can't afford to have it again soon.
06-09-2010 13:35:56 | More by jeranbrews
4.18/5 rDev +12.1%
Even though the head and appearance are average and the aroma is very similar to other light colored Belgium beers (like Duvel) the surprising factor is the taste. It's slightly sweet but well balanced with very little to no alcohol burn. This is best enjoyed with a high quality meal and it would be interesting to sample with various aged cheeses.
04-02-2009 02:00:34 | More by kellywilson50
2.9/5 rDev -22.3%
This is a pretty challenging beer. It's spicy, sweet and fruity. The bottle I got was pretty oxidized as well. I still enjoyed some of the beer. I just couldn't finish the glass. It was a bit tough to get through. I think I'd pass it up next time.
05-31-2008 23:17:55 | More by TheEremite
4/5 rDev +7.2%
750 ml caged and corked bottle poured into a tulip.
Pours a lightly hazy straw-yellow golden color with a thin white head. It has decent retention and leaves a little bit of lacing here and there.
The aroma is big on the Belgian yeast, and you can tell this is a Belgian Pale Ale right away. Floral and fruity, with spices and a little tinge of alcohol.
The taste is similar, with a more defined maltiness. Alcohol comes out a little more in the taste. Floral and spicey, with a nice fruitiness. Pretty good actually, and fairly complex.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe on the lighter side. Pretty high carbonation, which for me atleast is a turn off. High carbonation is fine, but if your going to go that route, I prefer fine bubbles as opposed to the kind you would find in soda. Drinkability is ok, I wont have a problem finishing this 750 ml myself.
Overall, a fairly underrated Belgian ale if you ask me. It's nothing special, but it's decent none the less. I wasn't really that impressed, but it earned the score I'm giving it. I haven't seen this bottle many places (only at Heritage so far) and I don't think I'll be getting it again.
12-11-2009 04:03:32 | More by Mistofminn
3.88/5 rDev +4%
A new Sterkens beer... similar logo to the Grand Reserve, but a different beer, it seems. It came in a 750ml bottle, packaged inside a long metal tin.
This has a very pale straw color with a light dusting of foam on top. The nose is sweet, very fruity (rather peachy) and honey-like. The taste is quite decent. The sweet fruitiness continues, but combined with a spicy clove character and a pleasant tartness that helped make things more interesting. Mouthfeel is moderately spritzy.
Sterkens has a lot of mediocre beers, and while this one isn't great, it's above their standard cut.
02-05-2009 01:41:29 | More by allengarvin
4.45/5 rDev +19.3%
Firstly must point out that the label states this as 7.6% rather than the 9% listed above.
Poured from a 75cl bottle into a chalice.
A - Lovely rich golden coloured ale. Small head with an assortment of carbonation bubbles.
S - Straight out of the bottle this one was very promising. In the glass it's slightly sweet at first but also quite solid without being overpowering. Malty with strong hop-flower aromas and some sugary notes verging on aniseed.
T - More delicate on the palate than expected, quite subdued compared to other Grand Cru beers but still notably spicy. Distinctly bright hop flavours and a subtle malt background combine with a mildly bitter bread-like aftertaste with just a hint of that aniseed/mint from the aroma.
M - Quite vibrant on the tongue initially but subsiding as the malt coating develops. Carbonation is still fairly strong but not as noticeable while drinking.
O - After drinking quite a bit of Hoegaarden Grand Cru lately I was keen to try another example of this sub-style. This is very different to the Hoegaarden but thankfully still thoroughly enjoyable. The scent as soon as I removed the cork was outstanding; the complex array of aromas and tastes serves this beer well. If you can look past the dodgy label this one is well worth further investigation.
01-06-2012 09:51:33 | More by xylophonica
3.8/5 rDev +1.9%
This tastes exactly like the St. Denise, which I reviewed just a bottle or two ago. This one's a bigger bottle, and I wouldn't hit on any bloke with that bald-pate haircut. Though I might wear a tunic or a frock and race around smacking mothers, shaking infants -- in short, being holy.
Citrus. It is the one 'note' cited again and again for all these beers. They sell them in Italy because the Italians -- the lush ones -- may yet put two and two together and pay slightly more for the bigger bang than their Morettis. Citrus. Are we in the tropics? Have I Moorish blood? --Did I spend Tuesdays with Morrie?
The operative question here is: how on earth did I come by this beer? --Is it a beer? Or a special category of drink: faux-Belgian-beer-for-Italians?
It's golden. And it gives me that fragile delirium that I crave, which I suppose puts me in the category of those saints who used to suck on stained opium pipes back in the days when Empire meant something for Britain. I don't like British twats and their stale class distinctions -- but there was a time when they were the apex, the tip-top-top of the food pyramid, and you could go to London for forty cents and slash all the best hookers --
But I digress. Another sip. Tastes just like the last twenty. I don't see how 'citrus' is a fit with Belgian beers at all. Time to go listen to a few funeral dirges.
10-11-2012 19:29:41 | More by amendt
3.03/5 rDev -18.8%
Appearance: Pours a clear, bright, straw-colored body with a thin, white head.
Smell: Slight maltiness paired with notes of flowers, stale spices, booze, and a fair whiff of yeast.
Taste: Soft pale maltiness with sweet tastes of table sugar and honey. Encroaching alcohol character nearly from the get-go. A tad phenolic. Herbal, floral hop character with a medium-low bitterness. Touch of spice. Drying, effervescent finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Highly carbonated.
Drinkability: Pass. At best, it's a mediocre Belgian Strong, but, then again, I've never been impressed by the St. Sebastiaan line.
03-30-2009 03:18:55 | More by ChainGangGuy
4.4/5 rDev +18%
Poured from 750 into my Duvel tulip.
About a two finger white head on initial pour, sitting on a pale straw transparent body. Nose is a little fruity with some pale malts, mild hops. Head dies down after awhile to a thin coat on the body, modest lacing on the glass in thick sheets. Taste is yummy Duvel like flavors, a little sweeter, a little fruitier, just as carbonated if not more. Belgian hop presence is a little stronger too on the back of the tongue. Letting the other half sit out to warm up some. This is a pretty tasty BSPA.
02-19-2009 04:05:15 | More by ballewblake
St. Sebastiaan Grand Cru from Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.
84 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.