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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
Reviews: 126 | Hads: 200
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours with a whole bunch of carbonation (contrary to the Grand Reserve that I tried from this same brewery). There are so many bubbles rising that it is going to be a while before I am going to know if it is clear or not. There is an inch head of pillowy tan foam that is being held up by a whole bunch of bubbles rising. Over 5 minutes later, the beer still has a huge head that is well over a half-inch high. There is quite a bit of lacing left on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: There is a sweet grainy aroma that is the biggest player behind the foam. There is a bit of roast apparent as well as a bit of a dry note that smells like it may be the beginnings of the onset of oxidation. There is a rich dark toffee like aroma in there as you get deep into it, and the beer warms a touch.

Taste: Rich caramel sweetness hits your palate at first, but then the carbonation starts to do its thing. The graininess is apparent, but the beer is pretty well attenuated and slightly dry along with the carbonation and roast...so it ends up being pretty dry on the palate in the long run. The alcohol is minimal, and is barely noticeable. The beer is still balanced toward the sweet even though it is so dry. There is a bit of a residual molasses-like syrup left on the back of the throat that comes out as the carbonation settles, and as the beer warms a bit. I got into a phone conversation that lasted longer than I expected, so I am coming back to this beer pretty warm. It really benefits from warming up a bit and breathing. The body is not quite as light as I initially thought. The beer gets a bit more spicy as you drink it warmer.

Opinion: I am really enjoying this beer. I like how the flavor profile has changed as it warms, and it is turning out very refreshing and flavorful. There may be a hint of oxidation here, but it only adds complexity as the flavors come out of the warmer beer. I would definitely drink this one again.

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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 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 BeerResearcher
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Unique 16oz porcelain-style jug with flip top lid. No freshness date.
It pours a dark orange-hued teak with a slow fading beige head.
The sweet malt aroma is tinged with earthy and woody smells. An aroma reminiscent of pear brandy rises up. Just a hint of chocolate is noticed.
The substantial malt body contains tastes of honey, milk chocolate and a mild taste of prunes.
A mellow taste of sweet lemons and a faint metallic tang break free from the nearly syrupy sweetness and establish a path of their own.
A light taste of herbs and breath of alcohol round things out.
This is a brew that balances and improves throughout.

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Photo of impending
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz says the label (peculiar) into a tulip. Pours a dark bronze, no light passes through the glass. Decent dense towering head, nice lacing.

Spicy aroma of coriander, ginger and cloves nearly mask anything below. A clean, upbeat happy scent !

Taste has a surprising molasses smack, raisins plucked from a soft molasses cookie. Dark crusty bread underlies it all. Finishes sweet. Medium bodied creamy yet prickly mouthfeel.

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Photo of BeerManDan
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured it was very dark brown in color with a fair amount of medium tan foam and a fair amout of lace on the side of the glass.
The taste of toasty toffee with a caramel nose with layers of soft malts and hops. A big beer without being overly heavy. Extremely well-balanced.

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Photo of KajII
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Suggested Glassware: Trappist Glass]

The pour was a murky dark brown with a slight reddish hue and an average (1-2 finger) light brown creamy head, which reduced down to a medium film and collar with excellent sheeting of lacing.

The aroma was strong of a musty Belgian yeast and a toasted grain malt with notes of toffee, dark fruit (dates and figs) and a mild medicinal odor.

The taste was a tad sweet with a nice malty feel, a hint of toffee and a slight chocolate presence from the start, becoming ever so lightly bitter with a good sweet yeast taste and a note of dark fruit and a slight medicinal flavor right at the end. The flavor lasted an average duration following the swallow, with a dry, bitter and slightly fruity taste left lying on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was medium in body with a dry, creamy texture and a ticklish carbonation.

Overall this was a decent enough Dubbel, which was rich and creamy and had a nice bold yeasty taste. Although I did think it was a bit over carbonated, it did still possess a smooth and satisfying drinkability...


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Photo of Naerhu
2.73/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: brown sudsy, opaque, but without floaties. Above average lacing.

Aroma: Cola, earth, a type of woody aroma that I am not used to tasting.

Taste: There is not intensity or raison d'etre here. This is simply a volcanic earthy brew without hops.

Mouthfeel: round, twangy and a tad rough.

Drinkability: This is about as exciting as watching paint dry.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew is a murky brown color, with a excellent tan head. The scent is malty, with some fruits and possibly a little alcohol spice. The taste has a nice chewy malt backbone, with hops and dark fruits intermingling. Nice mouthfeel. Not a bad beer at all.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with reddish hints. Off-white head is a thin film, but with thicker and more constant bubbles at the edges.

Smell: Rich coffee-caramel-chocolate-alcohol aroma. Nice sugarly roasted malts.

Taste: Has a sweeter aroma of creamed coffee, roasted malts, and a bit of cholcolate and caramel. Slight bit of dark fruits in the finish, and a light bittersweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A bit ligher-bodied than I would expect, or a bit watery/thin. Still nicely smooth with a mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Good amount of alcohol and the taste is not overpowering. Easy to drink.

An enjoyable Dubbel, but not quite as exciting as I was hoping for. Still, I recall the price being pretty good and would recommend it for fans of Belgian beers.

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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 kbub6f
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Head is big, dense, yellowy-cream-colored, uneven. Nice. Beer is red/brown and a little hazy. There's a nice, sweet, toffee, bready, yeasty smell. Wow. Nice toffee leads to a deep, deep malt, some chocolate and a little fruit. Very creamy. Finishes bready with some alcohol and fruit. Great. This is a great, creamy, not-too-sweet beer.

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Photo of Jredner
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
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.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass.

Look - dark brown/black with about two and a half fingers' worth of frothy khaki-colored foam that dissipates somewhat slowly.

Smell - pretty malty-smelling, as the type would suggest. But it also seems like there's something like a caramel syrup, which of course can't be the case with the purity law and all.

Taste - malty indeed, but it has a different taste than I was expecting. It tastes more like a dark or roasted German Pilsner. Interesting choice of barleys. Not much of an aftertaste except for the grains.

Mouthfeel - very well-balanced, pretty close to perfectly between the watery and/or creamy sides.

Overall - not a bad brew at all! Very interesting to taste, and given the purity law, pretty amazing in the quality and complexity involved.

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Photo of DavidST
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a pint ceramic bottle into a tulip glass, best before 08/29/2016. This pours a dark brown almost black with a massive tan head which dissapates in a few minutes to a thin film. The smell is mostly malty, dark fruits, coco. The feel is mediumish high carbonination. The taste is okay, lighter than expected, you get some brown sugar, plum, coco, light malts.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours to a ruby-brown color with a thick, chunky tan head. The aroma is fruity, with some medicinal characteristics. The flavor is sweet at the beginning, it then flows to a fruity medicinal flavor. This beer finishes off dry, and somewhat bitter; a bit astringent too. It is medium-full in body, not to bad on the ease of drinking. This one was better than I expected.

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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 barefootbrewer
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very dark brown with a thick persistent head. It exhibited excellent lacing when I swirled the glass. The aroma is mostly sour with some malt undertones. The taste is quite malty with some hints of sourness and perhaps chocolate. The mouthfeel is full but shy of chewy. This is an interesting and complex brew that works well.

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Photo of XicanoBeerRun
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fantastic heavy ceramic bottle. Dark cola-like head with large abundant bubbles. Head faded fast. A lot of carbonation rolls around the mouth. Needs to warm up a bit. Tastes sweet and is more complex than other dubbels I have had. I did not pick up on bubble gum notes as I have in other dubbels, which was nice. It was a good dubbel, but dubels are not my thing.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a nice looking ceramic bottle into some snifters. Nice looking dark brown color, nice ruby hues when held to some light. There were some serious floaters in our glasses, but the beer was not cloudy at all. I got a rock solid tan head that did not quit. Lacing abounds.

Aroma is bready, with some yeast esters and a nice ripe fruit character. Some light hop spice in the background. Taste is big on bready malt and has hints of over-ripe apples, dates and raisins. Nice dark fruit complexity to this beer.

This dubbel has good body, not real heavy and not showing much carbonation in the feel. It's easy to sip this one again and again.

This beer does not rank up there with the Trappist versions of the style that I have had, but still is very nice.

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Photo of dmamiano
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was a gift from a friend. The bottle alone was worth the price of admission.
Poured a dark mahogany with a thick, tan head that resembled whipped cream floating on coffee.
Smell was sweet, malty absolutely no hops detected. The tell tale Belgian yeastiness all over the nostrils.
Taste was big, malty. yeasty and funky. Belgianesque in the taste. Ripe fruits, raisins and plums come to mind.
Very enjoyable sipper.

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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 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 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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Photo of theboozecruise
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a ceramic? bottle into a Chimay goblet, dark brown body with a 2-finger or so creamy head. The head slowly dissipated leaving lacing around the rim of the glass. The bottle has a neat flip-top as well as the normal bottle-top. I guess this would help keep it fresh if I wanted to drink some now and save the rest for later, but it's only a pint, so it's kinda wasted! If it was a liter bottle, then I could definitely see pouring a goblet and then saving the rest for a later time.

Very fruity alcoholic aroma, hints of berries and a subtle bit of spice. Raisins.

The taste is more of the same, nothing too varied from what I smelled... very clean aftertaste. I'm betting this one gets even better as it warms up even more... very little bitterness at any point in each sip.

A solid Belgian ale, but leaves a little to be desired.

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