St. Bernardus Tripel - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
St. Bernardus TripelSt. Bernardus Tripel

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

2,643 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,643
Reviews: 1,183
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.41%
Wants: 187
Gots: 236 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Tripel |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-07-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,643 | Reviews: 1,183 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of currysmegs
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

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4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

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4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

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4.25/5  rDev 0%

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4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of spoony
4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes.

From a 330 ml bottle (best by May 29, 2015) into a tulip.

A-The brew pours with an impressive three-finger head of nearly-white foam. The beer is clear and nicely golden in color.

S-The smell is an archetypical mix of banana and clove. This is not a bad thing, just not the most impressive scent. I also smell white pepper, sweet candy sugar, and a whiff of herbal hops.

T-The taste is estery, sweet, yeast up front with an herbal, grassy finish. Things are more doughy and bready up front, but there is a mild bitterness on the end. Again, right in line for the style. Taste doesn't stray far from the smell.

M-The mouthfeel is typically old world, which is to say the carbonation pairs well with the flavors and the heft is medium.

O-There are better tripels and there are worse tripels, but if I had to describe all of the characteristics that make a tripel a tripel, this would be a good brew to use. There is a nice balance between sweet, sugary yeast flavors and more herbal grassy flavors that keep this beer drinkable. Feel, as usual for a true Belgian, is great.

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3.5/5  rDev -17.6%

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4.25/5  rDev 0%

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4/5  rDev -5.9%

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4/5  rDev -5.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of rickyleepotts
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Last night we went to a beer class at Total Wine & More in Scottsdale. The class was sold out, and they were pouring Belgian beers. I am talking GOOD Belgian beers. We did a few American beers, but all were Belgian style. We did a dubbel, a tripel, a sour, a wit… we covered it all. We even did a quad. We did the St. Bernardus Abt 12, which is one of the best beers in the world and uses the same recipe as the Westvleteren. I have actually tried the Abt 12 next to the Westvleteren, and the Abt 12 is a better beer. But it was fun drinking all these Belgian beers, and trying some styles that I hadn't had in a while. My favorite was the bonus beer, an IPA. They always do a prelude to the next beer class, and the next beer class is on styles. We did the Ballast Point Sculpin IPA. If you haven't had this, and like hops, get some. It's amazing!

Today we are doing another St. Bernardus beer. The tripel has been sitting in the fridge and is just begging to be consumed. I also didn't want to do a bomber as we are going out tonight to continue celebrating Arizona Beer Week. We are headed to Chandler for some Black Note. The keg that was to be at the strong beer festival is being tapped tonight, and we have to try it again. We had it last year at the Beer Sellar, and I think about it all the time! Sadly, the Beer Sellar has closed. Not sure what happened, but we shared many great pints in that bar.

Let's pop the bottle on the St. Bernardus Tripel.

In the Glass: Not sure why, but this beer has a MASSIVE head. That's not a bad thing, because I usually take a few minutes to begin drinking the beer. The beer is also a nice gold color in the glass. It looks clean, healthy, and delicious! I didn't realize, until last night's beer class, that a lot of the breweries in Belgium own the rights to yeast strains. So the yeast being used in this beer won't be found in any other beers.

Nose: At first, I had some citrus flavors but then the yeast really takes over. It smells like straw. Wet straw, really. I haven't had a lot of tripels, but this one is highly rated on BeerAdvocate. The bros give it a 97… which is pretty high. But this is a brewery that makes good beers on a consistent basis. I am sure the flavor will top the aroma on this one.

Flavor: This is a little too cold, but the beer still produces some very nice flavors. At first, the bubbles attack the palate but they mellow out toward the back of the tongue. Then, as you swallow, sweetness kicks in and the finish is long, satisfying, and drying. I really like how Belgian beers just taste better overall compared to American beers. The mouthfeel is thicker, the flavor is more pronounced, and the aftertaste usually lasts longer and is full of flavor. This is no exception.

Mouthfeel: At first, there are a ton of bubbles on the front of the tongue. Those quickly leave the mouthfeel leaving a very full bodied and balanced finish. The swallow is where the majority of the flavor comes from, and every time I swallow the flavor is as powerful as it was when I first swallowed the beer. (I just burped, but it wasn't beer… it was lunch. Moving on!) This is a smaller bottle, not quite 12 ounces. I don't have much left, so I am going to leave what is left and see what the room does to it. I am sure this will open up as it sits there.

Aftertaste: Sweetness creeps in toward the finish, and it hangs on for a few minutes. Then dryness, the more you swallow, really takes over. I like this beer by itself, but I am sure this would pair well with food. Not sure what foods, but this is definitely a food beer. I bet this would taste amazing at the brewery in Belgium. Beers usually taste better served in their glassware in the country it was brewed! Guess we need to go back to Belgium.

This is another great example from St. Bernardus, and beers like this will leave me ordering a triel the next time we go out. (Speaking of that, I had a dry hopped tripel last night. It was from New Belgium and was served on cask. It was at Flanny's, a bar that I hate. Last night we had an equally horrible experience as we did the first time we went. Good thing the beer was delicious! I also had a smoked IPA on cask. Yummy!)

Photo of tectactoe
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a bruised-apricot color with lots of dim, gold highlights - completely opaque and cloudy. Little, tiny buts of sediment hang suspended in the beer as if they were sitting in glycerin. Volatile as all hell, the head far outsizes the actual amount of beer in the glass as it towers over the top of the glass; off-white, foamy, and frothy as can be.

I bring this one to my nose and pick up much of what I expected from any decent tripel - lots of fruity, mildly earthy esters, faint banana, lemon and citrus zest, orange peel, spices, clove, and a raw Belgian yeast aroma, highly akin to bubblegum. As far as the aroma goes, this is definitely one of the more balanced tripels I've had. No smell is competing with another too much, and all of them collide at once to form a nice, meshed aroma. Alcohol provide a bit of a warmth, but nothing hot or troublesome.

The taste hits first with a nice collection of mellow fruits - some plums, mangoes, grape skins, light banana. The fruit comes with a nice sweetness that simply feels more mellow and laid back, rather than abrasive and in your face. A light dusting of sugar seems to cover everything. Some spices adhere well to the fruits, mainly clove and a bit of orange peel, followed by a nice mix of bread, butter, and gum - that Belgian yeast sure does wonders. Hop character is subdued but slightly leafy and herbal when it shows itself.

At first, I was getting a slightly undesirable aftertaste - something along the lines of cardboard, or wet, moldy wood. Left a bad taste in my mouth long after the beer was gone. As it started to warm, the fruit and malt sweetness got a bit stronger and this weird aftertaste vanished (or at least masked), so luckily I was able to enjoy the second half of my beer. Not sure what that was all about, but it least it only lasted for half the beer. Alcohol phenol flavors came out a little but upon warming, but didn't harm the beer in any way. Medium bodied with a light mouth feel thanks to aggressive carbonation.

Pretty good tripel, and it would be a great tripel if it wasn't for that strange moldy flavor I was getting at first. Good think it eventually recessed and went away. The second half was wonderful - if only the entire timeline went that way. Overall, still very good.

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St. Bernardus Tripel from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
95 out of 100 based on 2,643 ratings.