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St. Bernardus Tripel - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
St. Bernardus TripelSt. Bernardus Tripel

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2,693 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,693
Reviews: 1,195
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 193
Gots: 259 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website

Style | ABV
Tripel |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-07-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,693 | Reviews: 1,195 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jsanford
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay chalice

A - Hazy gold with a velvety white head. Great retention and lacing.

S - Banana, pear, candi sugar and yeast

T - Sweet bready malts dominate with more banana, some melon and a bit of white pepper spiciness in the finish.

M - Medium-full body with heavy carbonation. Slick and creamy.

D - Glass went quickly, solid beer, like every other St. Bernardus brew.

Photo of MbpBugeye
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ive had this before, but I picked one up again to review it. 26 03 12 on the back. Im guessing that's a best by date.

A- Nice billowy white head with rocky lacing. A pretty hazy pale, dirty gold colored beer has a few chunks of sediment floating around in it.

S- A musky earthy spiciness is the dominate aroma. It lies over golden raisins, a cinnamony spice, a bran flake maltiness, and some dates. The fruit smells are a deeper than I expected but it makes for a really good smelling and unique tripel.

T- Dates and raisins and apricots. More bran flake maltiness and cinnamony spices. It tastes like a cereal.

M- Fuller bodied with a tamed carbonation. Slightly slick, slightly crisp.

D- A pretty darn good tripel. Not the best but well deserving of its ranks in our top beers list.

4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle, open as a gusher. It made it into my snifter.
A: The hazy golden body is very classic for the style. The white head holds well and is a fluffy layer on the top. Waves of lace are left behind.
S: Notes of candy sugar and flowers on the aroma. Not a overly powerful aroma, but a very good balance.
T/M: Medium body, with a nice creamy mouthfeel. Undertones of hops and a good malt forward taste. Overall a very floral taste, with a subtle spice. Notes of sour on the front, with a laid back spice on the finish.
D: I see this as a brew that hides the ABV very well, nice notes and a great overall drinkability. I would consider this one of the many of the style to be represented well.

Photo of djmichaelk
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle into a goblet.

A - Pours a pale, cloudy straw-yellow, with a huge, pillowy four-finger head that overflows the goblet. Oops. But about as good as a beer of this style can look.

S - Very surprised that I don't see more mentions of banana in other reviews, as it dominates the nose here. Biscuit, banana, and maybe some melon.

T - Yeastiness -- pound cake and bananas, hints of sweet melons, and candied fruit. Maybe some alcohol around the edges, but not much. Restrained and elegant.

M - Full bodied, slightly dry, and nicely carbonated.

D - The ABV makes this one more drinkable than some of its peers. I love the flavor, and could probably go through a few more of these.

O - Very, very nice. I've been passing on tripels for the past few months but lately have been on kind of a tripel bender (get it?) lately. This is an excellent example of the style, and makes me want to have A LOT more.

Photo of aerozeppl
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Fairly dark yellow color. Had that nice looking pour for a tripel. At least 3 fingers of white head with a nice amount of lacing. Quite a bit of visible carbonation.

S: The smell has a ton of esters up front. Little bit of apple. Pear. Little bit of candied sugar. Little bit musty as well. Not as bright a nose as I like to see for the style.

T: Lots of sweetness up front. Tons of esters. Quite malty. Comes across as dense bread. Not enough fruit to balance it out. The flavor is quite heavy.

M: Again heavier than I care for the style and the carbonation was lacking a little bit.

D: I have not had this one in a few years and I was not that impressed. Much better examples of tripels out there though this is still a good beer.

Photo of arturorg
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Unibroue tulip

A: Golden with a white frothy head leaving traces in the wall as it retreats. Almost no visible carbonation.

S: Citrusy, hoppy, sweet, bread.

T: Same citrus and bitterness I got from the smell that leaves a coat in the mouth, a tad watery for my taste.

Overall a very good beer from people that have been doing this for a long time.

Photo of Jwale73
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle served in my ST tulip. Best before end 08 02 13 indicated on the back label. Pours a burnished, golden-orange with a creamy/frothy 2.75 inch head. Clarity is semi-hazy, with tiny bubbles effervescing in solution from the stem to cap. Head exhibits excellent retention, eventually settling into a 3/4 inch cap that is refreshed with a swirl. Delicate strands of lacing are exposed and adhere to the side of the glass during the tasting. Nose reveals light citrus fruit (perhaps some apricot), cloves, a spicy/peppery quality and a suggestion of candi sugar and honey. Taste follows nose - a little grassy and the herbal quality is less spicy than suggested by the nose. There's also a slightly stale yeast flavor that comes out towards the back and somewhat quashes the sweetness that presents in the middle. Light fruit is more rounded and less citrus-centric. Mouthfeel is light-medium, with a slightly scaly carbonation and a finish that falls a little short of semi-dry. A very nice and well-balanced tripel. This tends to be a hit or miss style for me, but this is definitely a hit in my opinion.

Photo of Anthony1
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

formed 2" of dense, creamy, slightly off-white head over the light golden-honey hued brew. Head shows great staying power, and lacing is amazingly hearty and plentiful. Aroma is a bit spicy, in that expected Belgian way, with yeasty, slightly malty undercurrents. Taste is upfront delicately fruity, following with hearty malt character, and only the slightest hint of the alcohol we know all tripels have. Mouthfeel and drinkabilty are both excellent.

Photo of maleman
3.45/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into an SA glass (sorry, the closest thing I had to a chalice!). Poured mid-amber with a bubbly three-finger head with oily lacing. No freshness dating noted on bottle.

S - Superior malty smell, along with some spice..clove, maybe?

T - Yep, it was clove! But it's not overbearing. A bit of pepper in the aftertaste.

M - medium-bodied, you can sense the alcohol. Very good carbonation. I get the taste in the rear center of my mouth.

D - I once thought that Trappist Ales were the best beers available. As I get older the IPA's and the darker stuff has more appeal to me. Not bad, though...would drink again.

Photo of scottfrie
3.96/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle into Chimay goblet.

A: A slow pour still yielded an expected crazy big fluffy off-white head that took forever to reduce into a dense film over the hazy honey-peach colored liquid. A solid sheet of lace was left around the entire glass.
S: Notes of ripe golden fruits, peach, apple and some peppery spices.
T: Very fruity and smooth. Not as spicy as I was expecting, but a fair amount of white pepper is present, especially in the finish. Not as much clove as other tripels, nor as much yeast flavor. Very fruity.
M: The alcohol is pretty noticeable in the beer. It isn't hot or uncomfortable, but there is pleasant warmth to the finish. Full bodied and extremely smooth mouthfeel. This is heaven to my palate. Finish is a tad dry but not so much so.
D: Not my favorite tripel, but definitely a great beer. Delicious and fairly easy to drink.

Photo of kwjd
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Once the cork was popped, there was a huge gush. I had to do a mad rush to try and save as much as possible. Once poured, it was a light cloudy orange colour with huge white head and a little bit of lacing. Smells of sweet bubblegum and Belgian yeast with some spices. Flavour is much of the same, little bit of bitterness too, but quite sweet. Carbonation is a bit over-the-top, as evidenced by the gushing.

Photo of drabmuh
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my DFH snifter, I can't find my St. B glass...grrr.

Beer is amber and hazy. Forms a HUGE head that falls away to one finder and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is high and steady. Looks awesome.

Oh sweet Jesus, it smells like awesome. Write awesome on a piece of paper and then smell it, that's what this is. Its estery and sweet with a level of great yeastiness (that's a word according to google). Its perfect.

Creamy medium bodied beer with a dry finish. The forward is mildly sweet. The midpalate is moderately sweet and estery. The yeast character is lower than you'd expect. This beer is awesome. One of the best tripels I've ever had.

Photo of StephenRich
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Belgian Tripels and Wheat Beers from around the world cover a huge range of strength, spice, and character. Before you enter the world of real beer wheat beers appear to be a one dimensional drink destined for the summer when you need a crisp cool refreshment. Soon though, when you begin to immerse yourself in real beer, you find wheat beers and Tripels from around the globe with varying power and unique complex characteristics.

All of a sudden, the easy drinking (somewhat bland) wheat beers you have become accustomed to erupt with a new fervor for life. Well, truth be told, like so many classic beer styles, rich and exciting wheat beers and tripels have existed long before the generic versions of mass produced commercial versions.

St. Barnardus was one of the first breweries to introduce me to a proper Tripel with their own - It is not available in Ontario, so every time I go to the U.S. I make sure I grab a bottle... or three.

The Abbey Brewery St. Bernardus opened in 1946 in the West Flanders of Belgium. Like most Abbey breweries, St. Bernarbus prides themselves on using only the finest local ingredients, and water pumped from their own artisnal wells. The brewing process includes three months of ageing, then bottle conditioning giving each beer exceptional life and deep character.

This beer should be served cool between 8 to 12C (45 - 54F) and should be poured into a wide goblet to best release the aromas and spicy qualities. It is 8.0% abv, and does vary occasionally from year to year.

I prefer the 750ml bottles because they are corked, beautiful, nicer to age, and most of all, best for sharing. The Tripel does also come in a capped 330ml bottle. Like most of their beers, the bottle depicts a very jovial monk holding a goblet of his very own beer - I bet he is having a lot of fun right now living on this delicious stuff!

One thing I noticed before even pouring the beer was that the bottle was filled with thick flaky sediment (yeast left over from the bottle conditioning). This could easily turn some people away, but I love the earthy funk and real qualities that the sediment adds to beers. It also makes me want to store several bottles for many years, but right now, I'd rather drink it. The Tripel pours with life and excitement lifting a pillowy head immediately. I poured this in two stages so to build a nice dense head, and capture all the aromas that the beer has to offer.

Soon I had a beautiful hazy, golden orange beer glimmering with amber and fire. The head was full and large close to an inch and a half above the beer; it was pale white, but glowing with a slight orange reflecting off the beer itself. Through the haze I could see the sediment resting at the bottom of the glass. MMMMmmmm...

The nose is classic Belgian Tripel emanating spices, earth, yeast, blond malts, banana, peaches, herbs, ginger, coriander, and more. It is richly complex, tartly sweet, and seemingly very quenching.

First the St. Bernardus gets into your palate with spine tingling effervescence and powerfully aromatic flavors. The first sweep is floral spices and lightly sweet malts - these are instantly balanced with earth, spice, and ripe fruit tartness. The mouthfeel is very powerfully carbonated, but natural and soothing. Bubbles are very delicate and compact, but they explode with flavor sensations as they flow across your cheeks.

Light malt sweetness becomes creamy, especially as the beer warms a touch, but still a light tart fruit flavor from bananas, grapefruit, and pineapple are quite prominent and are influenced by the beer's champagne like quality. It has a smooth backbone though of vanilla and sesame which takes a very seasoned palate to find; but once you do it brings additional layers to the beer, and tones down the spice. It is crisp to the finish with dry yeast, and a snappy refreshing end. It is supremely quenching, and very very appetizing.

It does show a lot of tart, and almost sour aspects which will drive some people away, however if your plate is more attuned, or if you naturally enjoy this type of flavor you will absolutely adore this beer. It is a great aperitif, and would also pair well with stronger vegetables like asparagus or artichoke, and hummus or similar middle eastern spreads would also be perfect for this magnificent Abbey Tripel.

Photo of nickd717
3.61/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review transcribed from February 2009 notes.

Bottle poured a hazy golden color with a big white head.

Yeasty and malty aroma with sour apple and candi sugar.

Flavor is more of the same, sweet malt and sour fruits, maybe some spices. This had some similar sour/funky flavor to their Abt 12 that I can't quite put my finger on. Taste is yeasty with some funk and green apple-like flavors.

Lively carbonation with medium body.

It's good but not as drinkable as others in the style. Man I am just not a huge fan of St. Bernardus relative to the whoever has been driving their ratings way up. This tripel is good but not great.

Photo of juju7
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally got around to one of these. Worth the wait. Sexy looking bugger - massive, evenly spread head and very smart lacing. The tripel to end all tripels. Great nose of banana, orange rind, nutmeg and yeasty goodness. Mouthfeel is full and luscious. On the palate the phenols come out to play along with the hops. Toffee brittle comes to mind. The bitter sweet finish is simply boneriffic. Primo.

Photo of metter98
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured cloudy dark yellow in color with a finger high creamy white head that has excellent retention properties. A moderate amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: There are moderate aromas of light fruits and spices in the nose along with some hints of alcohol. Smells of bananas and pears stand out in particular.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but the flavors of spices are a bit stronger and there is a mild amount of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer wasn't too difficult to drink considering its alcohol content, which is well hidden. I will definitely try this one again as it is one of the best representations of the style.

Photo of punkrkr27
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy pale gold with a huge foamy white head. Very complex aroma with a warm sweet yeastiness, flowery aromatic hops, bubblegum and some slight spice. Classic Belgian yeast flavors upfront with lots of banana/bubblegum esters, a little bit of honey, fairly strong alcohol and golden raisins. Nice creamy medium body with lots of soft carbonation.

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle exploded out the top when opened. Poured from 12oz bottle into Orval Chalice.

A. Massive carbonation left me with half of the beer that I opened. Poured a half finger of head. Little lacing and retention. Color is hazy golden yellow. Violent opening left lots of suspended sediment.

S. Smell is yeast, bready, light fruit, pears.

T. Taste is probably one of the more delicate and refined Tripels I have had. Yeast, pale malt, light fruit. Just a hint of alcohol. Some hops.

M. Medium bodied. Heavy carbonation. Pretty crisp and dry.

D. This review is the first time ever trying St. B Tripel. It is definitely a well crafted beer, as I would expect nothing less. The initial opening of this beer did not go according to plan, so I will have to do a 2nd take and see how it goes.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bit dark with the style with a billowing white head and a bit of lacing. Nice Belgian spice with some fruity aromas. Taste is similar with the addition of some clove. Medium body with good spicing. Drinkability isn't quite as good as many of the stalwarts of the style. Despite a nice taste, it doesn't leave me clamoring for more.

Photo of pitasoup
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours clear yellow, fluffy white head with large bubbles, slow fading and considerable lacing.

S: candi sugar, belgian yeasts, hints of lemon, hay, cloves

T: starts slightly sweet, a touch of honey and biscuit like malts. The first few tastes are nothing to be excited about, but this grows on you quickly. It finishes very spicy. An excellent representation of what i'd expect a tripel to be. Subtle floral hops (probably saaz) become apparent as this warms.

M: the body is light-medium, nothing overwhelming. there isn't much carbonation at the end, despite the significant head.

D: this is extremely drinkable, the alcohol is hidden well. As this warms, more honey, lemon and subtle spices appear. I can easily finish a lot of this quickly, but that would defeat the point.

Photo of impending
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33cl into a tulip. Pours a hazy pale orange straw. White two finger head, spotty lacing remains after each sip.

Tangy light ripe fruits in the scent. Yeast and an expectation of a dry finish, doesn't smell overly sweet.

Taste indeed is not too sweet and finishes dry, finely separated by mild spices. This is a text book balanced brew. The alcohol does not come forward, even when it warms.

St. Bernardus is truly in command of the art of brewing!

Photo of webmanspidey
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into an Ommegang chalice. This is a cloudy golden color, fizzy with about an inch of head. Smell is a sour mix of fruits: pear, peach, and orange with some pepper and cloves mixed in. Taste is a nice mix of pear juice and spices. Alcohol is present but fairly mellow. Mouthfeel is very creamy.

This isn't the best tripel I've had, but it is very good.

Photo of dgm6689
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in- Bottle poured into a snifter

Appearance- Dark golden color. The color reminds me of the color of a caramel candy. during the pour and soon after, the head has significant but after sitting the head died down to thin white line above the top of the beer. Despite this, the retention of the head is very good

Smell- citrusy with sweet tones from the malt. Pretty much what I expected after looking at it.

Taste- For being of relatively high alcohol content, the taste of alcohol is very faint. Instead, a very sweet citrus flavor is what I got. The best way to describe it is a caramel coated orange, if that makes any sense.

Mouthfeel- The mouthfeel is very thin. When drinking this, it kind of sneaks down your throat. I was expecting a more profound feeling but instead I got a more flat one.

Drinkability- Due to the mouthfeel, it is a very drinkable beer. It's on the lighter side, in regards to taste and feel, so I can drink many more of these. Unfortunately, it's higher in alcohol content than most beers, so drinking this for long periods of time could be "interesting."

Photo of beerpirates
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33 cl bottel poured in my karmeliet glasw

A: Creamy 2 finger head with pale orange and slightly hazy color

N: Nose is yeasty with spices, some Belgian malts, a touch of raisiny sugar and alcohol

T: Taste starts with sweet malts and candi sugar with alcohol that fades quickly, a slight raisin and fruity quality but maintains its Belgian quality, some nice bitterness not to much , just perfect,

M: It has a very smooth mouth but thick at the same time, very Nice

Very rich and delicious This is à good example for the Style

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 9/25/2012.
Into my new St. Berdnardus chalice.

Pours a golden color with the slightest of orange, good sized white head that fades at a decent rate, a nice white cap remains on top.

Smell is that distinct aroma of Belgian candied sugar, light banana and clove aroma.

Taste has assertive carbonation yet is soft in the mouth at the same time, the banana and clove are more prominent and meld with the candied sugar nicely, the alcohol is well hidden.

St. Bernardus Tripel from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
94 out of 100 based on 2,693 ratings.