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Grotten Flemish Ale - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
Grotten Flemish AleGrotten Flemish Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

72 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 72
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 4
pDev: 10.75%
Wants: 12
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
A "Blond" from Pierre Celis, brewed at Brouwerij St. Bernardus.

(Beer added by: Todd on 05-08-2006)
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 62 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a word, herbal with citrus astringency that softens as you drink it. A good drinking Belgian, though not complex and possibly below average for this brewery. Big head and perfumey.Lemon and pumpkin spices. This may improve with age but I wouldn't particularly seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2006 03:30:53 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"What a man says drunk he has thought sober."

--Flemish proverb

Sparkling lemon with pretty close to Champagne-like carbonation that has rapidly created and is sustaining a beautiful, Belgianesque head. The soft, fluffy, sticky foam is alabaster in color and is in the process of icing the glass with extensive sheets of sudsy lace. Liquid lemon meringue pie.

At the risk of overusing the word 'lemon', the aroma is bright and lemony. That's only the third most prominent fruit, however, since fresh pears and apples are first in line. I'm fine with the fact that yeasty spiciness is in the background. There's a bit of a summery saison vibe to this BSPA so far.

Simply put, Brouwerij St. Bernardus is incapable of brewing less than outstanding beer. Grotten Flemish Ale may not get the attention that some of their other offerings do, but it's a delicious creation in its own right. Even though that saison-like character is present on the palate as well, it still tastes more like a straightforward Belgian pale ale.

Specific flavors include yeasty French bread, pear nectar, freshly zested lemons and an intriguing herbal spiciness that is more than clove-like. Let's go with cardamom and maybe a pinch of nutmeg. This highly drinkable ale has hidden charms that are being revealed as I continue to sip and savor into the middle portion of the '750'.

An ABV of 7.7% is low enough that alcohol plays no part in terms of flavor. It also allows one to drain the entire bottle without worrying about becoming falling-down drunk. This brew would be an ideal accompaniment to a ploughman's lunch under a big ol' shade tree on a lazy summer day.

Although the mouthfeel falls short of spectacular, it still easily qualifies as good. It's light-medium and lacks the creamy voluminousness that the best versions bring to the table. A little tweaking here and legendary status just might be conferred.

Grotten Flemish Ale is exceptionally well-crafted beer that I could drink on a regular basis if I was lucky enough to have easy access. Anyone who enjoys BSPAs in particular and Belgian beer in general should find a lot to love. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2008 21:09:47 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased this one a while ago and literally just never got around to trying it. Last night I figured it would go good with dinner, and in my never-ending effort to clean out the fridge, I plunked this one down and checked it out. Very nice looking bottle with a good cork and cage. Some sediment laying on the bottom. Served the 750ml into a Chimay Goblet at a slightly chilled temperature.

Appearance - It poured out a bright golden yellow, with a deep haze and cloudiness to it. Lots of suspended particles were floating around throughout( I took a previous reviewers advice and made sure I blended in the sedimentation). A nice three inch white frothy head of foam then rose up over the top of it, and then started to slightly crater and become a tad rocky before finally settling down to jus a thin film across the top that lasted throughout the rest of the session. A nice amount of side glass lace then came down through it. Lots of carbonation was visible throughout the session and it had a very nice, lively overall look.

Smell - The aroma was light, a bit too light at first. A nice touch of banana and lighter fruits permeating though at the beginning, really setting the table so to speak. I let it warm up a touch and the aroma did get a little bit stronger, with some light smells of hay, and grass coming through fairly well now. Still though a banana and apricot like smell was the dominating force here.

Taste - The flavor followed suit as well, really just being dominated by light grains and banana like flavor. Light hints of apricot and a slightly sour back taste were all easily discernable. Not a touch of alcohol in the flavor which was nice, as at over 7% it is usually a little it detected, especially on the lighter profiles. Finish was light and quick, refreshing without much of a long lingering flavor though. To be honest a little bland, but good for a blond.

Mouthfeel - This was highly carbonated, though not explosively so, just a nice bit of rushing bubbles throughout. Played very well on the tongue letting the flavors dive in and out quite well. Decent feel and very light body.

Drinkability - it was a good session ale, as the alcohol was nowhere to be found and the smooth refreshing taste was very nice as well. The flavor was a bit too light, but I could easily have thrown down another, just not sure if it is really my thing.

Overall this was pretty good for a Blonde ale, one of my least favorite styles. I imagined it could have been worse. Not terrible by any means though. I could drink it again though I do not think I would pay for this one again.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2008 23:37:24 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.13/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Bu11zeye: Poured a deep orangey color ale with a nice big foamy head with good retention and some great lacing. Aroma of sweet malt is dominating with a light yeasty note. Taste is also dominated by some quiet sweet malt with light yeasty dry finish. Body is a bit oily and cloying with light alcohol being perceptible and some great carbonation. Definitely lacking complexity and a bit too sweet for my palate but then again I had high expectation from that brewer.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2007 14:25:11 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In the looks and aroma dept., this ain't so great.

Pours a clear orange into an Oerbier tulip glass. Some initial white foam, aromas of candi sugar and coriander. Stale grainy aroma, despite a recent arrival to US shores.

Taste is nice, big compared to some lackluster Belgian Pales. Apricot, banana, and cereal grain. Mouthfeel is bubbly and full, comparable to Celis grand cru from MI. A bit bigger than it's US counterparts, but not that different.

One 750 is something of a chore after trying a couple different beers. Not much here to indicate it's Flemish provenance...

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2007 05:45:40 | More by emerge077
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy yellow with a tight cap of white foam.

Smell: A pleasant fruit medley of banana, peach and apricot. Grain and faint hops underneath.

Taste & mouthfeel: Wheat and spice, a touch of banana, slight fruity sweetness. Husky grain and bitter herbal hops follow in the intensely dry finish, with a slight sourness residing beneath. Body is medium/light, crisp on the tongue. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2008 17:10:52 | More by largadeer
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle pours straw/honey colored with 2 fingers of rocky eggsell colored head. Insane lacing & head retention

S: Spice, esthery notes, lemons & coriander

T: Tart malt, lemons, coriander, breadyness & phenolics up front. Then grapefruit & lemon hops. Finishes with phenolics & lemon hops

MF: Low carbonation, medium bodied & pretty smooth

Drinks slow; too phenolic for this reporters taste

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2007 05:37:22 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale malt scent along with a spicey/earthy Belgian yeast aroma. The taste is good. It has a crisp and refreshing pale malt flavor that is only slightly tart. It's more earthy with a peppery spice in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is not at all what I expected. It's not a super tart beer. It more of a Belgian Strong instead with just a hint of sourness.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2008 20:28:10 | More by WesWes
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +25%

11-25-2011 21:07:51 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a clear light orange color with a 1" head.

Smell: yeast, light pepper spice, and some grassiness are easily detectable by the nose.

Taste: slightly grainy malt base with some heavy yeast flavors. Pepper spice, honey, and slightly sour green grapes round it out. Bitterness is up front and balancing for the sweetness here. Alcohol is slightly noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp to start, smoother and dry at the finish. Aftertaste is long as the yeast spiciness lingers in the mouth a while.

Drinkability: slow sipping and somewhat refreshing beer on a hot day. Easy to drink this one buit more than two or three glasses may be enough in a session.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2009 19:49:11 | More by Gavage
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat cloudy golden yellow color with some ripe banana hues and a two finger foamy white head that lingers for a while before settling into a lasting ring that leaves spotty lacing. Visible carbonation bubbling up.

Estery crisp golden fruit aroma with hints of apple and pear as well as some bready yeast, spicy zesty pepper, and citrus lemon peel.

Pretty carbonated up front with a clean bready yeasty medium body. Estery fruit notes, mostly apple and pear, along with some ripe banana notes, creaminess, alcohol warmth and a dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2009 07:19:32 | More by corby112
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

4/5  rDev 0%

01-09-2012 04:10:40 | More by imperialking
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large typical Belgian bottle, caged and corked and no freshness/brewing date/best before dating :-(, anyway, this one pours chill hazed cloudy, light apricot, bubbles rising under and loooong lasting nice, tiny bubble eggshell head, plenty of sheeting and sticky lace. I allowed this one to warm up outside of my house, (its about 50 degrees outside) Nose is of plentiful fruit and a hint of gentle spice in the rear. Complex and flavorful, plenty of ripe tropical fruit, bananas, melon, tangerine, some "soapy" notes and then a dose of coriander and pepper, nice. Pleasant offering, would work great with a summer lunch of salads, cheese etc or likely would cut through and compliment Thai or BBQ dishes. Well worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2008 15:46:00 | More by Billolick
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a chalice)

A- On the first pour, although gentle, the glass filled with nothing but head. As the mosey eggshell colored head began to melt back into a lightly hazy golden yellow body with a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- The soft smell of yeasty perfume had a dry quality to it with a faint hint of green herbal notes in the background.

T- The light smooth taste of pale wheat has some light fruity qualities and a soft yeast flavor to it. There was a slight cola note to the malt with a hint of dried apricots coming through as the beer warms. The soft green note at the finish doesn't have any distinct hop qualities to it.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a tight fizz finish that cleans it up.

D- This beer is very filling and could be a meal with a smooth creamy taste but not a lot of depth or interest in the smell or taste.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2008 19:40:02 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass; 11/23/2009 dating on the bottom of the bottle(best before date?). Pours lightly hazy and cloudy golden orange color with a nice 2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of pear, apple, grape, floral, pepper, clove, herbal, caramel, honey, biscuit, and herbal earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of fruity/spicy/floral notes with malt sweetness; and good strength. Taste of pear, apple, grape, floral, pepper, clove, herbal, caramel, honey, biscuit, and herbal earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, floral, pepper, herbal, light clove, caramel, honey, bread, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and fruity/spicy esters; with a good malt/spiciness balance and no cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a slick and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian strong pale. Very nice balance and complexity of fruity/spicy flavors with malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on. This was probably quite old given the caramelized maltiness from age, but it held up very well. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2013 05:26:22 | More by superspak
Photo of PEIhop
PEIhop

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

11-22-2012 18:34:55 | More by PEIhop
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

4.6/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Awesome, a new beer from St Bernardus made it to my local shelves. Grotten Flemish comes in big (1pt 9.4oz) bottles for $8.99 locally. I bought it tonight and it immediately moved to number one on deck.

The beer was beautiful, mostly clear and pale yellow except for the yeasties floating around, massively thick head which formed beautiful solid-looking lace on the glass. The aroma was floral and yeastie, kind of like St Bernardus Tripel but a little less agressive.

The flavor was malty and bready with a slightly bitter after-taste. Thicker mouthfeel than expected from the light color too.

Awesome awesome Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2007 02:09:09 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle without a discernable freshness date, I picked this up last year so it is most likely a 2009 vintage, maybe 2008. Pours a very clear (initially) golden color with a large, fluffy white foam that collapses slowly and leaves some spotty lacing on the glass.

Nose is actually quite similar to a Duvel, chalky Smatees candy, lightly fruity Belgian yeast and a smattering of grassy hops. Has a bit more bready yeast character and a bigger malt presence.

Taste is quite unique however, as the yeast and alcohol smack you around a bit up front. Crackery malt comes on in the middle with some definite sweetness, cheap halloween candy and honey. Bittering finish hints at a fair amount of hopping and is accentuated a bit by an alcohol drying effect. I was afraid I hadn't "grotten" around to this beer fast enough as it sat in my DBF for about 6 months. Still seems to taste great though, and is a worthwhile and unique Belgian beer experience.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2010 23:13:45 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
Hopheadjeffery

Illinois

4/5  rDev 0%

08-03-2013 23:23:42 | More by Hopheadjeffery
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in my Maudite tulip. Poured a hazy honey gold with a one inch fluffy white head that settled into thin skim of foam and ringlets after about a minute. Concentrated ring of foam coalesced around the perimeter of the glass with generous sheets of lacing during the tasting. Scent of fruit and yeast, but difficult to tease out the specific smells (possibly banana, maybe bubblegum). Flavors of banana, candy sugar, pepper and some citrus astringency. Lively, effervescent mouthfeel with some tingle in the mouth and a slightly sour finish. Very enjoyable with lots of complexity.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2008 00:12:59 | More by Jwale73
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A friend was kind enough to share this with me. It had a cloudy yellow color that looked murky and the head was a white sticky pillow. The smell was musty and earthy to me. The flavors tastes yeasty, Belgian, and not much fruit. For some reason I think this would be perfect with some mussels and pomme frites.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2007 14:58:02 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of jophish17
jophish17

Georgia

3/5  rDev -25%

12-06-2011 17:47:45 | More by jophish17
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Hazy orange color with a thick, sticky, white head. Sweet, somewhat malty aroma. Not much there. Nice taste. Yeasty and malty, some pepper in the aftertaste. Bread-like. The carbonation was quite pleasant in the mouth. An enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2007 14:15:31 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of GCBrewingCo
GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the chalice clear golden with a white and frothy head which rose tall and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was earthy with a farmhouse character and a light nose of mint. Some nice spice was present along with a low candylike sweetness. No real alcohol was notable in the aroma, but it was lightly fruity and had a lasting earthy presence which had a bit of grassiness.

The flavor was spicy and lightly grassy with a complex character which contained a dirty earthiness and a subtle sweetness and tons of complexity. The flavor was nicely fruity and had a bit of alcohol flavor which accentuated the spice. There were many spice flavors present, mint, sage, light coriander, and a host of others.

The finish was dry with a lasting spicy character that lasted long and pleasantly into the aftertaste and beyond. The body was medium with a creamy mouthfeel and a nice carbonation level. The beer was extremely complex with a wonderful myriad of flavors and textures. A truly excellent brew.

750 ml corked and bailed bottle. The back of the bottle says:
"Grotten Flemish Ale is a unique ale produced by one of the great Flanders breweries. Pale golden in color with a white, dense foam and a flavor that is soft, creamy and slightly herbal. Aging will reveal new layers of flavor, but Grotten Flemish Ale is eminently drinkable anytime."

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2006 20:34:51 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

4.95/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

$8.99 for a 750ml bottled, corked and caged. 7.7% ABV. Pours to a deeply hazy, near milky pale burnt golden orange, forming a small white head with average retention and lacing. Very minimal carbonation which is odd because the cork was very difficult to remove. The aroma is intense with fruit unlike that I've ever smelled in a beer before...it literally smells like a freshly cut fruit salad of peaches, pears, pineapple, mango and white pepper. The mouthfeel is unlike anything I've tried with this snappy upfront bite, then a crisp bite in the finish which is partly composed of bitterness but also with a watery smoothness which belies it's strength. Dangerously drinkable! The taste is just exceptional...fresh fruit salad sprinkled with lemon pepper and a touch of bitter salad greens. A touch of barnyard, stables and dusty cellar are thrown in for good measure. The belches are delicious, kinda like I just ate a bag of Jolly Ranchers. Bitterness is perfectly balanced..not too strong, not too weak..it just sits right there and is perfect. A testament to the brewing art.

Wow! Just an amazingly well-crafted beer. I rarely score a beer so highly, but this is just mind-blowingly delicious! The 750ml goes down way too easy and I want more! Currently recieving an average rating of 4.1, I think this brew is a sleeper. Not to sound stodgy, but if you have a refined palette, try this one out! It's subtleties may be lost on those unfamiliar with the style. EXCEPTIONALLY FAN-FUCKIN-TASTIC!

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2008 00:56:56 | More by Mitchster
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Grotten Flemish Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
89 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.