1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Grottenbier - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.

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

267 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 267
Reviews: 202
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.26%
Wants: 21
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Dark Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
From Pierre Celis, brewed at Brouwerij St. Bernardus.

(Beer added by: Todd on 09-19-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Grottenbier Alström Bros
Ratings: 267 | Reviews: 202 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mtbdonn
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of peagasus
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of pin
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of Filosoof
4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grottenbier is a special one. But in a very delicate way.

A: If someone says the top disappears quickly, he has to take a clean glass. The top is great. Brandy colour, with a touch of red in it. The top is vanilla coloured.

S: there's something special in the smell (oak or wine) , tiny liquorice , old wood, vanilla, cherry, tart apple, light malts;

T: the taste has it's own style; reminds me a bit of Gulden Draak Quadruple 4000. (The colour also); the beer uses your mouth completely, starting a bit thin, but than coming through with a round creamy bite, ending with a very nice balancede bitterishness, cleaning the mouth;

M: alcohol is perfect, wel carbonated, good drinkability;

O: amber beers won't be my number one, but in it's style it's maybe one of the best.

Photo of Molson2000
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of rarbring
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clouded reddish brown beer, an off-white head with little lacing and small curtains.

Smelling of yeast, vinegar and spices. Clove.

Starts with sweet bread, raisins, bitter oranges and some yeast.

Medium low carbonation, soft texture, medium body.

A nice sourish brew. Should be good with cave matured cheese.

Photo of Jose9e
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of IronDjinn
2.25/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to Jim at Sherbrooke for the sample. From a 330 ml brown bottle. Pours out a dark hazed amber hue, bright cherry wood highlights when held to light. Tight creamy light beige head that settles to a thin cap.

Dry mild toasty grains on the nose, punctuated with a curious sourness. Mild sweet caramel pokes through from time to time, along with some yeasty spice.

Dry husky grains up front in the flavour, cereal-like character to it, followed by very mild esters, and finishing with a dry vegetal astringency and some rounded grainy tartness. Some dry wafery caramel is drawn out the more it warms, however does not really add anything to the overall profile. Flavour is disjointed for the most part, no cohesion.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, texture is dry and somewhat astringent, papery even, with moderate carbonation.

This is an odd one indeed, the best before states it's good until Jan. of 2013, however there are already oxidization issues creeping into it, amongst other issues. Seems to me this is not aging well, especially given the ingredients list on the back label--not living up to its potential. Happy at the chance to try such a rare beer, however based on my sample I wouldn't recommend bending over backwards to procure one. Disappointing indeed from St. Bernardus, who tend to be exemplar with whatever they produce.

Photo of samEBC
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of PhillyStyle
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of theminutemen
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Harkrank
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of hays99
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of whartontallboy
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of RedFox
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Photo of GreenMountainBoy
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of jophish17
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of azorie
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of rekel
5/5  rDev +32.6%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of LittleCreature
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 3.5
Pours a finger of loose beige head that quickly recedes to a thin layer and leaves no lacing. Body is a deep, clear reddish brown.

Smell - 4.0
Attractive aroma of caramel, ginger, cherry syrup and mixed spices.

Taste - 3.5
Obviously spiced, but done so with a degree of restraint that keeps it drinkable. Starts sweetish, little malt or hop character (or bitterness), it is the yeast and spices that lead the way. Cherry syrup, clove, ginger, allspice, burnt sugar and warming alcohol in the dry finish.

Mouthfeel - 4.0
Highly carbonated, as is the Belgian norm. Light bodied, somewhat asprin-like, yet almost creamy at the same time.

Overall - 4.0
I'd suggest serving this beer in a tulip glass, rather than the wide goblet I chose, where it seemed to get a little lost. One of the late, great Michael Jackson's favourite beers before he died. I have to wonder whether the recipe has changed, as while this certainly qualifies as a good beer, to me, it falls well short of greatness.

Photo of p1lsen
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of dansmcd
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Ruby/burgundy hue beneath one finger of fizzy head.

S - Bread, yeasty, Granny Smith apples.

T - Fresh brown bread, white wine and spices. Tart green apples.

M - Smooth moderate body, moderate carbonation.

O - A good belgian style dark ale. Not a life-changer but I could certainly go for another.

Photo of Squelch
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown. Off white head. Nice lacing.

Smell: Sweetness dominates the aroma.

Taste: Slightly sour. Sweetness still dominates. Bitterness non existent. Slight roasty flavors.

Mouthfeel: Finishes dry. Light bodied.

Overall: A drinkable beer. Needs more hops to balance it out.

Grottenbier from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
85 out of 100 based on 267 ratings.