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St. Sebastiaan Dark - Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.

Not Rated.
St. Sebastiaan DarkSt. Sebastiaan Dark

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

126 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 126
Hads: 200
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 18.39%
Wants: 19
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Sterkens N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-30-2000

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (17) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Sebastiaan Dark Alström Bros
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Reviews: 126 | Hads: 200
Photo of AtrumAnimus
5/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml Corked bottle:

WOW! Highly carbonated - Cracked the plastic on my kitchen light when the cork came off! Scared the crap out of the dogs too - they disappeared and are hiding in the bedroom!

Started pouring and the nose was so prevalent that I can smell it immediately from 2 feet away. It pours a beautiful caramel color with a fantastic thick and lively head that is lasting for a very long time. It creeps down the glass faster than it does in the center leaving a flat topped peak behind. This eventually falls to about a 1/2 inch stable head. The beer is moderately effervescent and slowly bubbles like champagne.

The nose is spicy laced with hops and trailed with fine beautiful malt that reminds me of cranberries. The taste is smooth malt with bitter hops and a nice bit of spice to follow and erupts with a pleasant and enjoyable alcohol warmth in the gut. (I just gave blood so this should hit my head pretty damn hard) the flavors are complex and so well balanced I think I have found a new favorite in my Belgian ales. The mouthfeel is soft and pillowy. The after taste fades to sweet malt that is just the bomb.

I absolutely love this beer.

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Photo of nickthetick
4.95/5  rDev +28.2%
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.

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Photo of CBFanWish
4.87/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

There is something specail in every bottle of St. Sebastiaan Dark. It's a beer that makes itself known as a quality beer that goes above and beyond what our normal expectations of a beer should be.
Caramel colour with a fizzy head. Malty with a ton of fruity flavours ranging from banana to apple. Fantastic.

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Photo of Stonepot
4.85/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On a rainy night while my little one sleeps gently in his crib, I search frantically through the entanglement of kitchen wares I call a top drawer, and after many guffaws and sighs I finally procure my bottle opener, sit down on the terrace and crack open one of the finest brews I have ever had. Life is glorious.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.77/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cherry wood/ruby in color with a very thin, lacy, off-white head. The aroma is yeasty and bready, with some light sour notes. Flavor starts off smooth and sweet, dominated by a rich but unoppressive maltiness. It soon develops a bready character, with perhaps a light spicy cinnamon note. Diacteyl, butterscotch character is also apparent mid-palate, but not at all out of place. Finishes with a restrained hop bitterness and a lightly chocolatey, nutty aftertaste. Medium-full body. Really a terrific beer -- very complex but eminently drinkable.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.7/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark garnet color, somewhere between eggplant and maroon, with a huge, rocky, creamy tan head. Aroma is soft, sweet, nutty, with notes of toffee, butterscotch and dates. Smooth palate, with a generous, gorgeous, tingly mouthful of hops, abundant in flavor. Excellent body and texture, extemely fruity, too. Like a big, sparkling, delicious boozy fruit punch. I caught this on sale for $4.99 a 750 ml, which is a bargain and then some. A reliably tasy Belgian brew.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.68/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark brown, somewhat hazy, with light tan head that retains well.

Nose has raisins, pipe tobacco, and steel/metallic elements.

Palate has an off-caramel taste, mineral-y flavors, good carbonation, smooth body, and raisins on the finish.

There's also a musty cave flavor that is hard to describe. Very pleasing.

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Photo of Lexiconical
4.54/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There may not be much variety in the taste, but this is one of the most friendly dark beers you'll find. Goes extremely well with food. Comforting, nutty flavor, pleasant smell, great mouthfeel, and pleasant appearance. Well worth the world class rating it gets from the bros. If you drink this while not eating YMMV.

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Photo of inebrius
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A creamy alpine cap clings heartily above a hazy burnt umber. Aroma is implicative of an Autumn hike in the Northwoods while eating a caramel coated Red Delicious. Bring this to your lips and be strafed by a dozen flavors bouncing around your oral cavity like little rubber meatballs. Honey sweet...no...potting soil...wait...leafy greens, aluminum foil, walnuts, Listerine, capers, stop.

A quality Pils like finish makes this bubbly brew quite memorable. If you like your Dubbels more earthy and less sweet, give this one a try.

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Photo of drseamus
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2001 bottle provided by aerozeppl and avryle.

A: Chestnut body with almost no head. Looks as expected for a 9 year old beer. Amazingly, there is visible carbonation.

S: Sweet caramel and maple syrup. Good pungent aroma.

T: Good god. This held up like a champ. Nice caramel and dark fruit sweetness. Very good balance.

M: Smooth as silk. For only 6.9% ABV it held up like a champ.

D: Phenomonal.

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Photo of jhtipton
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Almost threw my back out picking up the 500ml bottle. I do love the presentation! I will probably recycle the heavy ceramic bottle for my next homebrew. Appearance is a nice dark brown with some decent lacing. A rich brownish head. Smell is sweet with some hints of yeast, malt, and bananas,and raisin coke. Taste is like honey raisins and brown bread, Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Drinkability is great but since 500ml is twice the price of chimay blue, it's hard to keep picking it up, unless, of course, I need more bottles for recycling!

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep mahogany in color with a two-finger thick head that just lingers. Very fine carbonation with great lacing on the glass.

S: There's alot going on in the boquet of this brew. Slightly spicy, with notes of fig and candied fruits. Nice malt backbone of bread and toffee.

T: Flavors are very complex. Fruity, with notes of citrus peel, fig, and rasin, along with spice, toast, and caramel. The hops make their presence known only in the backround, giving the beer a pleasant dry finish.

M: Mouthfeel is good, although I would have expected just a bit more viscosity from this brew. The finish is good, but relatively short-lived.

D: A great example of how unique this style can be. Definitely one I will be re-visiting in the near future. This stuff is dece!

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Photo of mwagner1018
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep dark amber cherry color, showing that hint of red, nice 1 finger of creamy caramel head on top, poured into my Chimay goblet. Nice cap lingering that remains through the glass, light to no lacing.

S- Yeast, bready, sweet malt, with a hint of pumpernickel and rye, chocolate and toasted note.

T- Complex with a nice crisp mild bitterness, medium alcohol warmth, toasted, nice sweet malt, some slight candi and definite deep raisin and prune. As it warms up the flavors really shine through on several dimensions... molasses, butternut, slight parsnip, and mild spice.

M- Medium balance, slight residual sweetness, crisp, well carbonated, delivers well with a nice chew to it.

D- Really nice drinkable beer, nice depth of character, fills me with desire for another one, complex, a really great beer that very accurately depicts the style.

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Photo of irisier
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 16 fl oz brown flip top bottle.

Appearance: Reddish brown with even tan head.

Smell: Sweet and somewhat fruity. apples and maybe raisins. A bit of bready flavors as well as some dark maltiness.

Taste: Malty and somewhat bready. Faint candy type flavors like butterscotch or tofee. Roasty but without astringency. Still somewhat bitter and a little earthy. Maybe a bit nutty at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with high carbonation.

Impressions: Pretty good. Toasty and sweet with a unique aroma and taste. This would be a good beer for those inexperienced with Belgian beers. Love the earthiness.

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Photo of teromous
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, the bottle is very cool. I won't base my review of the appearance including the bottle...but it will be a keeper.

A: The beer has a very nice brown color. It's hard to describe, but it has a sort of "soft brown" appearance as it's poured. In the glass it appears very dark brown, with lighter shades at the bottom. The head is perfect. It's a light shade of tan, with lots of creamy foam that sticks to the side of the glass.

S: It smells wonderful. There's a sweet candy-like scent to the beer, like vanilla and strawberry taffy. I get the strong smell of figs, instantly. It has a distinctly Belgian scent...completely unmistakable.

T: It has a very light fruit taste to it, like raisins and even some plum. The malt character is very light, but just enough sweetness.

M: It has a nice pleasant mouthfeel. The body is light, hinting at medium. Nicely carbonated.

O: Overall I think this is a really nice beer. It has a very light character. I would drink it again and would recommend it. It would go well with a number of dishes, such as a lightly seasoned steak or a light dessert desert.

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Photo of lpayette
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice dark brownish red. About two fingers of head with some lacing. A good looking beer overall.

The aroma is surprisingly medicinal and herbal. Dark belgian candy sugar is pretty evident as well. Beneath these three main components lies a strong and sweet malty backbone that is perfectly and subtly balanced with some low alpha acid hop. Almost a hint of licorice... but I think it's mostly the medicinal notes creating a similar smell.

The taste and mouthfeel far exceeded my expectations. It's rich and malty with a medium body. Perfectly balanced to be a little bit on the sweet side. just a little bit. Suggestions of raisins- chocolate covered ones. Raisinettes you might say. This is so smooth and enjoyable.

This style is always hit or miss with me. This is a great example of the style. Probably my favorite to date. If I remember correctly, this can be had for a very decent price too, especially considering the cool ceramic, swing-top bottle it comes in.

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Photo of QXSTER1
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.36/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer is in very cool looking ceramic bottle with flip stopper for after cap is opened. Poured into DFH goblet. Intial pour created nice thick 3 inch ivory colored head on top of dark copper beer. Smell is slightly sweet and maltly-no hops detected. Taste hints of carmel, with creamy feel, and improved as it warmed. Beer retained a half inch head throughout consumption. The excellcent smooth taste made for high drinkability. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Wildman
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a very dark amber color and formed a nice very light tan bubbly head that subsided quickly and left some lace. The aroma was of malt and fruit, very sweet. The flavor was of malt, fruit and some spice. The body was a medium and the finish had elements of both the fruit and the spice. The alcohol was detectable, but not distracting.

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Photo of ADR
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of Rayek
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy walnut colored beer with minimal carbonation. Rocky cream head has amazing retention and leaves a heavy lace.

S: There's a lot going on here. Cinnamon, clove and coriander hit me first. Oranges, lemons and apples come in from behind. Heavy spices dominate the fruit aromas.

T: Very complex. Definitely a beer to savor, as each sip reveals a new flavor. The coriander, clove and cinnamon aromas combine in the mouth to create a spicy bitterness. Sweetness comes in the form of cherry, apple and orange flavors. Yeast adds a biscuit quality. Finishes very dry and tart.

M: Medium body feels sticky. Carbonation is a touch low and leaves the beer with a slight watery character.

D: This was on sale and I couldn't pass up the super cool stone bottle. I'm very glad I grabbed this. Perhaps too pricey to buy more than once a year, but well worth the investment.

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Photo of travolta
4.26/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance: Cranberry red up to the light. The lacing is very nice. Very defined rings grasp my glass. The head is tan with a foamy texture. It has nice retention.

Nose: Sweet raisins, malt. Very nice, but mild aroma. Carmel. Crackers.

Taste: Sweet at first, the texture is thin at first but builds a syrupy character. There is a certain aftertaste I cannot pinpoint. It lingers. There is a certain viscocity I get in my mouth after I drink orangejuice, I get it a bit with this brew as well.

Notes: The bottle is very interesting. I was excited to drink this based on the bottle alone. I was not let down, I highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of LumpyGuitar
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


When I first opened the ceramic bottle there was alot of froth, and when I poured it the head was small and mostly nonexistent. Color was a dark brown.

Smell is sweet, smells like Dubbel. Sort of smells like warm brown sugar.

Taste is sweet, a bit fruity, again with the hints of sugar and carmel, good flavor.

Mouthfeel is better than I expected, very smooth, light, and no lingering aftertaste.

Drinkability here is a high for me. If it wasn't 10 dollars a bottle here I'd say I might try it as a session beer but then again I feel that it's too rich to do it well.

Bottom line : Buy a few.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a mysterious gloomy red grape with a grayish yellow head that left some spots of lace.

Smells of dry ashy chocolate with wisps of dark fruits and faint hints of alcohol.

The taste starts an oaky dry and then picks up a faint smoky molasses and then returns to the oak, taking on a dry doughy yeast and a slight aromatic cedar.

The mouth feel is light, dry and very clean with a sparse tiny carbonation.

This beer is so faint, I think that it would be best saved to be paired with a meal so that the flavors of the meal could take prominence over this brew’s mild and timid nature.

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Photo of janubio
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 cl ceramic bottle. Dark brown colour aond no head at all. At first I thought it was going to be bad from travel, but no. Delicious aroma of pears, peaches, dark fruits and chocolate. How can this be made according to the German purity law? Sweet silky flavor, but a lighter body than expected. Taste of fruits, again peaches, port wine, spices, and chocolate. It's great, the only weakness is the shy body.

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St. Sebastiaan Dark from Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.