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Grottenbier - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.

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

265 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 265
Reviews: 202
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.26%
Wants: 21
Gots: 9 | 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
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Ratings: 265 | Reviews: 202 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pin
3/5  rDev -20.4%

pin, Oct 09, 2012
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.

Filosoof, Sep 29, 2012
Photo of Molson2000
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Molson2000, Sep 11, 2012
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.

rarbring, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of Jose9e
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Jose9e, Jul 30, 2012
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.

IronDjinn, Jun 28, 2012
Photo of samEBC
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

samEBC, Jun 09, 2012
Photo of PhillyStyle
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

PhillyStyle, Jun 02, 2012
Photo of theminutemen
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

theminutemen, May 20, 2012
Photo of Harkrank
3/5  rDev -20.4%

Harkrank, May 13, 2012
Photo of hays99
4/5  rDev +6.1%

hays99, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of whartontallboy
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

whartontallboy, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -20.4%

ygtbsm94, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of RedFox
3/5  rDev -20.4%

RedFox, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of GreenMountainBoy
4/5  rDev +6.1%

GreenMountainBoy, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of jophish17
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

jophish17, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of azorie
4/5  rDev +6.1%

azorie, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of rekel
5/5  rDev +32.6%

rekel, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 25, 2011
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.

LittleCreature, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of p1lsen
4/5  rDev +6.1%

p1lsen, Nov 15, 2011
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.

dansmcd, Nov 06, 2011
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.

Squelch, Oct 25, 2011
Photo of Evil_Pidde
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This beer is hazy brown with lots of red hues. A pale brown head slowly sets into nice lacings.

S: Sweet malt, some caramell. Yeast, very Belgian, a bit sour. Flowers and spices. Some fresh fruits, manily green apples.

T: Sweet at first, then dry. There's spices and yeast. Some dark dried fruits, but also fresh green apples. Sour.

M: Dry and bitter long aftertaste. Body is medium to full while the carbonation is light to medium.

O: Nice and well balanced.

Evil_Pidde, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of Crittervision
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Split a 750ml from 1992 a few ways on 12 August 2011 at Kulminator. 

Watery brown body with a thin, quickly disappearing head that matche...d the natural paper color on the label. 

Smell is quite nice. Heavy on the cocoa, some peppercorn, and a lot of tobacco sweetness. 

Taste is syrupy sweet, but also green vegetables. Caramel. Mild alcohol. 

Mouthfeel is light and thin. 

Crittervision, Aug 29, 2011
Grottenbier from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
85 out of 100 based on 265 ratings.