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Grottenbier - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
GrottenbierGrottenbier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

260 Ratings
THE BROS
62
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 260
Reviews: 202
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 13.23%
Wants: 20
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website
Belgium

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: 260 | Reviews: 202 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IronDjinn
IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

2.25/5  rDev -40.5%

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.

06-28-2012 06:51:31 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of samEBC
samEBC

Belgium

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

06-09-2012 21:29:42 | More by samEBC
Photo of PhillyStyle
PhillyStyle

Georgia

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

06-02-2012 19:29:42 | More by PhillyStyle
Photo of theminutemen
theminutemen

Missouri

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

05-20-2012 02:48:17 | More by theminutemen
Photo of Harkrank
Harkrank

Sweden

3/5  rDev -20.6%

05-13-2012 07:46:13 | More by Harkrank
Photo of hays99
hays99

Kansas

4/5  rDev +5.8%

03-08-2012 16:16:09 | More by hays99
Photo of whartontallboy
whartontallboy

New York

3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

01-15-2012 04:10:21 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3/5  rDev -20.6%

01-12-2012 06:30:48 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of RedFox
RedFox

Denmark

3/5  rDev -20.6%

01-01-2012 17:05:31 | More by RedFox
Photo of GreenMountainBoy
GreenMountainBoy

Vermont

4/5  rDev +5.8%

12-15-2011 00:24:50 | More by GreenMountainBoy
Photo of jophish17
jophish17

Georgia

3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

12-06-2011 17:47:49 | More by jophish17
Photo of azorie
azorie

Florida

4/5  rDev +5.8%

12-03-2011 16:09:20 | More by azorie
Photo of rekel
rekel

Netherlands

5/5  rDev +32.3%

12-01-2011 23:27:14 | More by rekel
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +5.8%

11-25-2011 13:41:34 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of LittleCreature
LittleCreature

Australia

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

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.

11-17-2011 06:16:09 | More by LittleCreature
Photo of p1lsen
p1lsen

Illinois

4/5  rDev +5.8%

11-15-2011 06:46:55 | More by p1lsen
Photo of dansmcd
dansmcd

Australia

3.65/5  rDev -3.4%

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.

11-06-2011 14:21:17 | More by dansmcd
Photo of Squelch
Squelch

United Kingdom (England)

3.35/5  rDev -11.4%

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.

10-25-2011 19:10:11 | More by Squelch
Photo of Evil_Pidde
Evil_Pidde

Sweden

4/5  rDev +5.8%

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.

10-17-2011 17:20:10 | More by Evil_Pidde
Photo of Crittervision
Crittervision

North Carolina

3.03/5  rDev -19.8%

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. 

08-29-2011 19:09:54 | More by Crittervision
Photo of rvdoorn
rvdoorn

Netherlands

4.33/5  rDev +14.6%

Look: The beer pours reddish amber color, with a light brown head, which leaves a nice lacing.
Smell: Malts, flowers, caramel, spicy clove, cinnamon, pepper, nuts and fresh apple
Taste: Malts, clove and yeast. Some light caramel and pepper. Sour apples and nutty. This beer overall is very dry, with a bitter crispy pepper alcohol in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: medium body,high carbonation
Overall: Quite complex brew, very sharp and spicy. I like it, but not too often

07-16-2011 14:37:37 | More by rvdoorn
Photo of czfreeman
czfreeman

California

4.43/5  rDev +17.2%

Bought at De Honte, Cadznd.
Pours a highly carbonated murky dark brown color. Foamy tanhead settles slowly. Great for BDA apperance.
Smells of cherry, musty yeast,oak, wet leaves, cloves, nutmeg, dried fig, apple, yeast, and a nice finish of sour fruit make the nose much more complex and interesting than anticipated
Flavors of sour apple,cherry, yeast, lambic-like bacteria sour notes, pepper, nutmeg, sour wood, oak, spicy overall, nice touch of yeast marries perfect with the light creaminess form the yest.
The body is highly carbonated, well balanced and very drinkable. Beautifully balanced, one of the best BDA's I've ever enjoyed

05-16-2011 19:37:07 | More by czfreeman
Photo of tbeckett
tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.33/5  rDev -11.9%

On tap at Cafe Belgique in Amsterdam. From notes.

A - Poured a cloudy/hazy dark brown. Beautiful two finger head that leaves thick rings of lacing caked on the glass. Head retention in the form of a thin film.

S - A little sour cherry. Fairly mild. Woodiness obvious. Started weak but improved and became stronger.

T - Yeasty. Plum with some sour notes and oakiness. Obvious candi sugar sweetness. Quaite oaky or woody.

M - Medium body with nice light carbonation. Slightly sour finish.

O/D - Probably a good intro to more sour beers. Not the best example of something venturing in these waters but a decent beer and worth a try if you want something with a slight sour note that is quite refreshing.

05-09-2011 21:38:37 | More by tbeckett
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate

New York

3.63/5  rDev -4%

Pours amber brown with piles of rocky off white foam that rings nicely. Bright mint-kola nose with some soil and wax - but pretty shallow. Big over ripe banana in the lead then clove, a phenol hit and spicy hops. Med-thin, fizzy, no heat.

Entry-level Belg brown. Too lively to quaff, and no complexity, but easy enough otherwise.

04-01-2011 18:49:23 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of atis
atis

Finland

4.05/5  rDev +7.1%

750 ml bottle

Pours dark brown with off-white large rocky head that slowly dissipates, leaving some foamy patches on the surface. Aroma is spicy yeast, some sweet malt.

Taste is an exciting combination of spicy Belgian yeast, bready malt with hints of dark fruit, herbal bitterness with citrus in the finish and slowly increasing sweet aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light medium.

Certainly an interesting beer. Very unusual and memorable taste, but I am not sure if I would like to drink it very often.

03-13-2011 07:01:15 | More by atis
Grottenbier from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
85 out of 100 based on 260 ratings.