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St. Sebastiaan Dark - Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.

Not Rated.
St. Sebastiaan DarkSt. Sebastiaan Dark

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

189 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 189
Reviews: 125
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 14.95%
Wants: 15
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Sterkens N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-30-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 189 | Reviews: 125 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ikantspel:
Photo of ikantspel
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz bottle served into a duvel tulip

best by date of 01.07.2016

pours a lurking dark brown color with a modest foamy head that leaves behind a nice lacing

heavy dark fruits, heavy toasted malts, oak aged smell, and some brown sugar in the smell. could pass as a quad

follows the nose, but was surprised to find a hint of citrus in there as well

mouthfeel as pretty light considering the style

ikantspel, Jan 29, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Dark and hazy body covered by a good head that laced the glass.

Smell – The toasty malt aroma carries the show here. I can pick up a little apricot and sugar, but mostly it’s the toasted scent.

Taste – The dark malt comes out in the flavor big time. It’s a little less refined and complex than I’d prefer, but good nevertheless. The sweetness is bigger than in the nose. The apricot taste is there again along with the brown sugar. The aftertaste is so sugary it’s almost palatable.

Mouthfeel – The carbonation is a little lighter than I expected, but it was a good, medium-bodied Abbey Trippel. I couldn’t pick up any alcohol sensations.

Drinkability – This went down fairly well. The aftertaste though was a little dry, so I’m thinking maybe more hops than needed for the style? Overall, a good ale, but at 7.99 for a 16 oz bottle it's a stretch.

RoyalT, Sep 20, 2003
Photo of theParish
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%

theParish, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #66 (July 2012):

LOOK: Clear, brownish garnet, decent head

SMELL: Sweet, cotton candy, booze-soaked raisins, caramel, slightly bready, ripe fruit, grape confections

TASTE: Sublimely smooth, creamy, medium body; sweet, candied fruit, grape skin, dried grass, meek hopping, sage, yeast, estery alcohol, walnuts; dry, cracker-like finish

Ceramic flip-top bottles? That is some old-school packing. All in all, we are pretty happy with this brew, clearly a benchmark for the style. Happy as well to see this brand come around again to the US, bringing back memories of some of our initial explorations into Belgian beer.

BeerAdvocate, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Capped 16 oz ceramic flip top bottle with a paper label, no freshness date.

Appearance: Cloudy brownish brick red colour, lovely lace of a light tan tint.

Smell: Soft roasted character with hints of wood, earth (from the yeast) and toasted bread, slight fruity aroma of scalded raisins and a steel like crystal malt also.

Taste: A bit fullish in the body with a semi crisp carbonation to make for a lively and creamy mouth feel. Malt is on top with a faint chewiness, dark fruitiness mixes with a steely crystal malt trait that shows off the sweetness of this dark brew. Hop bitterness is indistinguishable though there is a slight twang in the flavour. Alcohol is a tad prickly and warms the mouth and throat. Mild earthy, nutty and roasted flavours circle around throughout the palate to add to the confused complexity.

Notes: Relatively sweet brew with odd complexities that are well drawn out all over the palate. A beer that is worth the experience alone and for a brew I would embrace again.

Jason, Dec 30, 2000
Photo of Billolick
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large glass bottle (differant then whats shown above), caged and corked. Opened with a lot of energy, the cork went flying! Pours the typical Dubbel dark brown, clear with a noisy tan head, with medium sized bubbles and moderate retention. lacing was blotchy but generally unimpressive. Nose of vanilla, cola, toffee. This is a pretty drinkable dubbel, perhaps its on the lighter side of the spectrum for the style. More cola, caramel and sweet candi sugars. Smooth finish, adds up to a tasty and drinkable sipper. Worth a try if you like the style.

Billolick, Mar 06, 2006
Photo of henryclay_
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

henryclay_, May 15, 2014
Photo of Byeast
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown/ brick color , with a tan , creamy head that left a sticky lace. The aroma is earthy , some spice , tinge of dark fruit , bit of metallic aroma. The taste is fairly complex , with a lively carbonation. Chewy , sweet , caramel maltiness at first , then some dark fruit , tinge of steely crystal malt , some earthy spice , and maybe a small bit of bitter hops to balance. The mouthfeel is a bit chewy and creamy from the carbonation. Definatly a drinkable dubbel. Imo, this one is on the earthier side.

Byeast, Oct 13, 2006
Photo of Libationguy
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a tan head that has a fine texture and long retention.

Cherry and lime lifesavers (I know how crazy that sounds), sweet malt, brown bread, raisins, cinnamon, tangerine.

Brown bread and raisins repeat on the palate with earthy notes and dates.

Medium bodied, but has a relatively light mouthfeel in relation to the nose and appearance.

Moderate bitterness in the finish.

Libationguy, Aug 20, 2013
Photo of ADR
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, hazy cinnamon brown with a big dark tan head that laces intensely. Cotton candy aromas with some pear smells. Very malty tastes, spicy pumpkin, some fruit, and a nice smooth mouthfeel. No sense of overt hops to my tongue, the beer finishes smoothly with some ester sense and a touch of acidity on the back of the mouth. Nice beer, could be a little more complex, but I tend to like the entire Sterkens line. Like other St. Sebastiaans, a cool swing top crock, this one is dark brown.

ADR, Dec 08, 2002
Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml brown ceramic swing-top bottle. Definitely not amongst the cheaper brews available around here, even for Belgians...

This beer pours a clear, dark reddish cola colour, with two fingers of tight foamy pale beige head, which settles evenly, leaving some sparse peninsular lace around the glass. It smells of yeasty, somewhat fruity malt, and a tart vinous aroma. The taste is bready, kind of toasted malt, a sweet root-like character - cola or root beer seem apt in comparison - and a soft earthy yeastiness. The carbonation is a bit on the strong side, the body light, but otherwise solid. It finishes on the sweet side - malt and yeast in equal measure.

A nicely balanced, evenly tempered dubbel. Lots going on, with nothing getting too big for its britches.

biboergosum, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of MrVonzipper
4/5  rDev +3.1%

MrVonzipper, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of SMark
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was poured from a 16 ounce ceramic bottle at 48º. There was no head to speak of and the pour appeared to be quite limpid. The beer was dark brown and several larger bubbles appeared at the top instead of a head.

The aroma had a briny somewhat syrupy smell but I would not say it was offending.

There was kind of a light coffee, caramel taste that needed to warm up a little more to give it some body. I will take my time to see if it improves.

This was not producing the anticipated flavors and aromas I was hoping for hence the time spent in the mouth was short lived also. It is still growing on me.

Although a little disappointed with this beer I was not completely dissatisfied. It is getting better as it warms and requires sipping at slower intervals. Enjoy slowly and limit your intake.

SMark, Nov 27, 2007
Photo of QXSTER1
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cool ceramic bottle with a resealable cap hides a hazy, ruby brown ale that pours a tan, rocky head that holds well. Nose is of plums, raisins and alcohol. Taste reminded me of plum wine initially and went to some dark fruit spiciness. Hops balance the brew but are not in the forefront, providing a dryish finish but not contributing any flavor other than an astringency. Very nice dubbel with typical Belgian yeastiness complexities.

QXSTER1, Nov 10, 2002
Photo of mattfancett
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%

mattfancett, Sep 02, 2014
Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful very dark brown. Smell of toffee and roast and alcohol. A hint of sourness and dryness and sweetness, yet none of the above. Complex in every sip, yet simple and very drinkable. Very much liked.A surprise at Volo Cafe. Outstanding earthenware bomber that my drinking buddy kept for his wife.

Sammy, Apr 20, 2005
Photo of WoodBrew
3.29/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I'm not a huge fan of Belgian Darks, but this was certainly worth a try and its in a cool bottle. The beer poured a cloudy dark amber with reddish hue. The scent had Belgian sugar, peat and slight roast. The taste was most Belgian leaning with touches of toffee and earth. The mouthfeel was medium in body with not much carbonation. Overall this is a decent beer and worth a try for those that enjoy dark Belgians.

WoodBrew, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of russpowell
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had date code of 28/5/11 wouldn't reccomend holding it that long. I had one crock or whatever you call faux ceramic bottled explode in my car, hairline crack in the bottle? At least they (Powers Liqour Mart) let me get a another in exchange

Poured mahogany (orangey red when held to an intense light) with 1.5 fingers of tan headGood head retention & average lacing

S: Plummy & chocolate scents

T: Some choclatey, fruity & herbal hop notes up front. Slight hints of oakyness, iron & raisins as this warms. Finishes bready & fruitty

MF: Medium bodied with some stickyness & low carbonation

Drinks easy, a nice clean tasting, unassuming Dubbel

russpowell, Sep 14, 2007
Photo of bditty187
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bronze hue with tawny-reddish highlights, appealing visually, unfortunately the bubbly off-white head didn’t comply, it faded quickly from the zenith of a finger. Disorganized head remnants tried to cap the beer, it did not. Sparse lacing. The nose was pleasant and typical of a Belgium Dubbel. Soft toasty malts with good amounts of bread, yeast too, the fruitiness is secondary, apples and raisins, distant earthy-spiciness. I prefer more potency but it was still inviting. I found the palate to be exceedingly dry, which I really enjoyed. This is not the most challenging Dubbel I’ve run across. By know means is this simple tasting, stark crystal malts upfront, cleaner than need be, in the middle there is a mildly toothy alcohol bite mixed with a subtle hops spiciness, followed quickly by a note of fruitiness. The finish is lightly peppery, malty but clean and slick. The carbonation is almost completely absent, which is nice, medium body. Respectable mouthfeel. I think this is too easy to drink. I want to have to sip my “good beers.” I forked out $9.00 for a 16-ounce ceramic jug here in Omaha. It is far too costly to drink again; especially considering it was not that outstanding… a solid offering.

bditty187, Nov 18, 2003
Photo of trioxin
1/5  rDev -74.2%

trioxin, May 05, 2012
Photo of nickthetick
4.95/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: pours an almost opaque black-brown with some mahogany tints that shine through when held to the light in a DFH signature glass. It opened with an amazing burst and the head matches the sound, big (almost three fingers) and tan. The head hangs and drops slightly each time your lips hit it and leaves beautiful lacing.

S: absolutely gorgeous. Woody, oak like, cherries, dates, figs, plums, raisins, yeasty, bananas, some pears, and light lemon notes. Licorice, anise, cardamon, clove, cinnamon, caramel and sweet dark brown sugar.

T: matches well with the nose, the oaky and dark fruit flavors are right up front. The fruits make the transfer into the spicy by mingling and creating an altogether new flavor with a side of the sweeter lighter fruits and candies. Bananas make a an appearance throughout the beer and a bit of lemon is left on the tongue.

MF: a tad chewy, but great effervescence, not at all warm but just slightly dry on the finish.

O: just the perfect beer, it was a christmas present from last year and after sitting there for so long I thought I should probably drink this. I'm so very glad I finally did. This is by far one of, if not, the best dubbel I've ever had.

nickthetick, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of Segelstrom
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Segelstrom, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of Jredner
3.05/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ruby colored with a nice frothy tan head. Dried fruit and malt sweetness as well as alcohol in the aroma. Flavor profile included dried cherries and prunes, malt and too little spice to provide any oomph to the melange of sweet malt and fruit. Decent, but not something I’d look for again.

Jredner, Mar 06, 2006
Photo of MSCUSN
4.5/5  rDev +16%

MSCUSN, May 07, 2014
Photo of cantfindme
4/5  rDev +3.1%

cantfindme, Dec 10, 2011
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St. Sebastiaan Dark from Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 189 ratings.