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St. Bernardus Tripel | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,250 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,250
Ratings:
3,043
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
14.42%
 
 
Wants:
231
Gots:
437
For Trade:
4
St. Bernardus TripelSt. Bernardus Tripel
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Belgium | website

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-07-2001

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,250 | Ratings: 3,043
Photo of Mdez
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this at a kiosk (Kiosk #25) outside of Luquillo, Puerto Rico. It was one of several great beers they had down there.

Had it straight from the bottle (they only had plastic 6-oz cups), so I couldn't really judge the appearance aside from me holding the bottle in my hand...which did look pretty good.

It smelled great, but tasted even better with a great mouthfeel, but this was all expected because of the brewer's reputation.

It was a very good beer, but note necessarily the best Tripel I've ever had; it's close to the top, but not the best.

I'me very glad I found this to try!

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Photo of markman
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

St. Bernardus Tripel: 11.2 oz bottle, best before 31-12-06, 57 º F:

Crystal clear gold with a nice frothy white head…a promise of beautimus lacing. But the aroma hits before the eyes can take it all in. Yeast, ginger, maybe even some pineapple. Creamy smooth on the tongue, and then there it is…the ginger again. Malt steps up to fill in with some subtly sweet tropical fruitiness. Finishes with a dry-fruity-malty-lightly-hopped flavor that sticks around for a while. This is one hell of a tripel and, unlike many it’s contemporaries, at 7.5% it is dangerously drinkable.

Cheers...

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Photo of jamesdergen
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a rich, cloudy, golden color with a big foamy off-white head. Some darker colored sediment poured out at the end.

Smell: Big, sweet, fruity aromas with green apples, honey and some floral notes as well. Awesome!

Taste: Huge fruity flavors up front, following the nose with the apple flavors and some spicy hop notes in the background. Richer yeasty, malty flavors linger in the background. Awesomely complex and perfectly balanced.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Pretty well carbonated, but not overwhelmingly so. Very rich, but still very smooth and drinkable. Goes down easy, maybe a bit too easy...

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Photo of AMo
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

St. Bernardus Tripel pours a golden, peachish, orange with a nice fluffy head. The smell is good, medium to strong with malt and fruit like aromas. Its taste is good and unique, sporting a crisp floral like taste. Mouthfeel is light with a medium carbonation. The carbonation gives a kind of airy bubbly feel. Overall the drinkability of this beer is really good. It packs a good subltle kick with a well blended taste and smooth feel. I found it to get better at mid glass, but still it was nice the whole way through.

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Photo of instrumentality
3.56/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the third chapter in my St. Bernardus exploration. I'm not a big Tripel fan (I prefer quadrupels and, to a lesser extent, dubbels), but I will attempt to judge to style, and hopefully I'll be presently surprised.

My gradually evolving method of reviewing is generally to observe my beer when it comes out of the bottle, write down my observations while it breathes for 5 or 10 minutes or so, and then do the majority of my writing during the first several sips. Then I let it sit and warm up for a bit longer and if anything significant changes, I'll make a note of that as well. I've noticed that a lot of beers didn't really do it for me straight out of the wine cooler (even though I try to keep them at around 50 degrees), but as they warm, it becomes a whole new experience.

We'll see how it goes...

I used my trusty Stone RIS tulip glass for this; my receptable of choice of late.

This one poured a cloudy gold to copper. I think I got a little too excited when pouring it, because I noticed the liquid was thicker and darker at the end, no doubt caused by sediment escaping the bottle. However, it's so murky in there that it's hard to tell. The head filled nearly half the glass, a beautiful, white fluffy masterpiece. By the time I wrote the first paragraph of this review, however, that head had settled to mere lace, with scattered bits of froth clinging to the sides all the way up to the lip.

A little swirl and sniff and...phenols. The first thought that came to my mind was "band aids." Another sniff and I picked up some fruity sweetness, some pepper, maybe a hint of sour citrus, and the slightest suggestion of pine.

First sip: noticeable alcohol burning to start, then a sweet tangerine flavor, then maltiness, and a mostly clean finish that's mildly sweet and a bit peppery and resiny.

These qualities remained constant through the next several sips.

After giving my palate a breather, I took in a small sip and let it roll around on my tongue. I could feel my entire mouth pulsating from the burn of the alcohol combined with the carbonation, but once this subsided, the most noticeable new effect was a sweet carob-like coating penetrating the tip of my tongue.

I'd say this fits the site's description of the style, and vs. other Tripels I've tried, it's more complex than the normal crisp, bubbly, champagny kind of sensation I've gotten in the past. However, I'm not all that fond of it, primarily because the alcohol stands out too much and subdues what appear to be some tasty flavors underneath.

Of course, the same thing has happened to me before with the Abt., which, at its best, is one of my all-time favorite beers, so the Tripel definitely deserves another shot, probably after a little bit of hibernation.

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Photo of Kbogac
3.74/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 into a Chimay chalice. Cloudy dark yellow with a lose foam. About a half inch. Dissipates quick to a film. The first smell is heavy apple cider after a little warming it reminds me of canned fruit cocktail. Taste is very fruity. Pineapple, citrus, apple and a few others I can't define. Slight alcohol finish. Lots of carbonation with a lighter mouthfeel. Good Tripel but not one of my favorites.

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Photo of Paddez
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, golden brew. Quite a bit of sediment on the bottom of the bottle.
The smell is doughy, yeasty with a spicy and fruity undertone.
The taste isn't that of classic tripel. It's sour & sweet at the same time and fruity (lemon, apple, ...) with a strange underlaying flavour. Dry finish.
The yeast plays a big role in this brew.
Medium body, thinner than I expected. Lively carbonation. The acohol is pretty apparent for a brew that's only 7,5%

This was an unusual tripel, and one that I did not quite fully understand. A solid and enjoyable brew, but in my opinion not among the best in this style.

Imho, the St. Bernardus beers are a bit overhyped. Sure, they're all pretty solid beers, but maybe not as good as some others.

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Photo of Jaynuze
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Yowza! This is one of the best Tripels I've tasted in a while ... maybe the best.
It pours a beautiful cloudy gold with a thick creamy head. Does the head ever leave? St B always seems to have one of the thickest/creamiest heads on a beer that I've ever seen. You've got to see it to believe it.
The nose is much stronger than most of St B's varieties with hints of fruit, citrus, herbs, butter, and butter scotch that intensify as you make your way down the shaker glass. Though it sounds intense, it finishes very nicely without the sugary finish most Tripels seem to have (at least the US varietals).
It has a thin mouthfeel, but it doesn't detract from it's taste or finish at all. I could probably drink this all night ... though I'd be afraid what I'd look like at the finish line. The subtle 8% ABV can sneak up on you with this puppy.

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Photo of Agent1
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

And so we begin, Het Kapittel.

Appearance - Quite a strong, deep golden color. Slightly hazy. Nice head, but not nearly as much on this ale as you might typically find on the Abt 12. Creamy and white. Good retention, though! Impressive lacing, too.

Smell - Surprisingly, one of the most prominent aromas seems to be alcohol. Grassy hops are noticeable. Nice, fresh buttery bread and yeast. Rosewater, honey, even subtle lemon/ citrus notes. Lots of floral accents with complex spices and dry hops.

Taste - Vanilla bean, banana, Belgian candi sugar, flowers and herbs (banana leaves), dry Saaz pilsner hops, fresh bread or vanilla cookies, honey, cloves and a tangerine finish. Slightly sour and yeasty. Very well balanced. This is where this beer stands out.

Mouthfeel - Leaves your tongue buzzing. Very tart due to the complex Belgian dry-hops, yet all the candi sugars keep the dry hops on the tongue relaxed and balanced. You can feel this trigger all areas of the mouth. Leaves a nice sugary coating on the mouth with a warm alcohol sensation.

Overall - A fantastic Tripel. More on the sweet side compared to giants like Westmalle, Koningshoeven (although Koningshoeven is quite similar in sweetness) or Chimay, but nonetheless, incredibly complex and precise. Dry, sweet and fruity, yet elements of sourness make this beer very enjoyable. There is an amazing breadth to this beer. Clearly, a carefully crafted Tripel!

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Photo of ChrisWashington
3.99/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle.

A: Cloudy dark yellow in color. Large head at pour that settled into a lingering foam throughout drinking.

S: Smell is complex with a slight sour scent. Do I smell something like incense or herbs?

T: Taste is slightly bitter and sour, but not overpowering. No real remaining aftertaste.

M: This beer nips ever so slightly at the tongue. You can feel the carbonation long after you can see it.

D: This beer is very drinkable, although I don't think I'd want more than a couple in a row with the alcohol content at 8%.

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Photo of adowney523
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a Belgian-style chalice.

The color is golden-brown with lots of floating sediment. There is moderate carbonation and a quickly-fading head with good lacing.

Smell is a toasty, bready aroma.

Taste is very smooth, yet complex; the alcohol is barely noticable. There is a candy sweetness along with medicinal phenols and the bready malt taste up front. This fades to a noticable, but slightly alcohol warmth at the finish with faint hops.

This went down exceptional well with my roast duck. An excellent tripel.

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Photo of bobbyc881
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden & cloudy. Fluffy head stick around for a long time... as well as all along the sides of the glass. Fruity nose... citric fruits... apricots.

Taste is outstanding. Smooth and sweet flavors that end spicy and dry. Unbelievably smooth. Creamy mouthfeel, moderate carbonation that's somewhat prickly. Highly drinkable... barely noticeable alcohol. Not much more to say, really. This beer deserves it's high rating, no doubt.

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Photo of Ryan_Graham
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Huge Head almost four fingers at first. Amber golden color. Consistent lacing.

S: Rich and deep. Malt and hops come through. Citrusy notes.

T: The alcohol really comes through. I was a little disappointed by the taste. At $6 a bottle, I was expecting something more. It starts off very smooth and sweet and ends bitter. Don't get me wrong, it's worth tasting. I was just hoping for something more from a beer rated so highly.

M: Goes down smooth. You can barely taste the carbonation. Aftertaste hangs on the back of the tongue.

O: Great beer? Yes. World class beer? Ehhh maybe. I can tell a lot of work went into making this beer. I really enjoyed everything about this beer other than the aftertaste.

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Photo of Kudashov
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With the Housemartins " Five Get Over Excited " on the Hi-Fi . I am about to crack into this capped , caged , and corked bottle with the Col. Meril Stubing from the Love Boat on the front . He - the monk on front , reminds me of Brother Rich who was my English teacher at the Franciscan Friar school which will remain nameless . Poured into my Rapscallion snifter the head is large and the golden color is murky . Glowing gold when held to the light . 2 finger head has reduced to a thin head with some lacing . Smells of honey and banana . The mouthfell is pleasant and the carbonation is smooth . This is the 2nd brew from St. Bernardus that I have tried , and just like the ABT 12 worth the time and money .

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Photo of Bumpon10s
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a very light and hazy gold, kind of odd if you ask me. A champagne white head grows then falls quickly with tiny lacing.

S - Smells very light, not giving off a lot, I'm starting to think I got an odd bottle.

T - Ok, now the taste is redeeming. Sweet and bitter are fighting back and forth trying to make their presence known on my tongue. I'm getting fruits and spices, lots of pear, very nice.

M - Hits the mouth very, very sharp with it's carbonation with a touch of the alcohol. Not what I'm used to, but I like it.

D - I can see myself getting this again, the ABV is very high, and you sure can't taste it. This is a very good tripel although at first I didn't think it was.

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Photo of DUBinMIA
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass from a growler at 45 *f. Poured gently onto side and ended up with a huge 1 1/2in white head. Head subsided and stayed with about a 1/4 in layer. Highly carbonated and translucent gold/orange color.

Mainly citrus and malt were prevalent in the aroma with a hint of yeast.

Taste is good. Malt is the dominate flavor with slight hop notes towards the finish. Also, a sort of dry finish comes to light but it might be carbonation just overwhelming the taste. Noticeable yeast flavor towards the end. Very complex.

Mouth-feel was normal. Possibly lighter than what I expected.

Overall a good beer, however, not my favorite from my favorite breweries!!!

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Photo of wescj
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an opaque, golden color with a half-inch head, probably the result of a timid pour into the chalice. Head hangs around for a while, and then reduces to some foamy islands and an outer ring which hangs a nice lace. Little yeast particles are suspended as far as I can see into the hazy, honey amber.

S: Very fragrant, very nice. Spice and citrus fruit are the melody, alcohol the harmony.

T: What you would expect from the smell: fruity, malty, yeast and spice. A bit of sugar. Well played, overall.

M: Carbonation is very soft. Medium bodied beer, overall.

D: Easy going, despite 8% ABV. I'm reviewing a 330ml, which is enough to leave me content, though I've had the 750ml before and it went down just as easy. Overall, a good pick.

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Photo of sureshot08
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy light amber color with a white head that retains a thin layer. Some yeast sediment.

Smell: Wheat, Belgian spices, banana, candy sugar, apricot

Taste: Fruity with some caramel tones, dry finish, crisp, classic Beligan spice flavor

Mouthfeel: High carbonation but coats the palate well

Overall: Great beer. On par with the trappist tripels I have had.

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Photo of bceaglejoe
4.87/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured a translucent (cloudy) orange-amber color into a tulip glass. A rapidly rising head immediately sprang up, and retention was great throughout the drinking of this beer. It showed a rather high amount of carbonation right off the bat. The scent was one that blended grapes and red wine, with slight floral (rose) hints. There was a heavy malt presence in the scent, and it enveloped my nose. This could be one of the best beer aromas I've ever encountered.

Tasting: A slightly citric flavor came across on the front, followed by sweet malty characteristics, finally concluded by the warmth of alcohol. It was a sweet, sipping beer with a virtually nonexistent hop profile. There was a strong bread-y aftertaste as well that lingered in my mouth. The beer itself had a medium body. It was wonderfully complex in that every flavor that I had expected from the style came across. There are some beers that I've seen that use an overpowering hop presence to mask imperfections in the beer, but this beer blended all its elements extremely well. There was no harshness on the tongue, despite the high alcohol content. It rolled across very easily. This beer gets better as it gets a little warmer, too.

This beer is highly drinkable as a sipping beer, ideal for a wine and cheese hour or for dinner. The higher alcohol content may catch some by surprise, mainly because it is so well hidden by the flavors. At $3.99 per 11.2oz bottle (where I found it), this beer is meant for special occasions (or tastings at home, where I reviewed it). Definitely one of the best that I've ever tasted.

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Photo of Stonebreaker
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A gorgeous beer, orange and cloudy with a thick mediumly dense head. With enough lacing to tell you this one has a healthy serving of the aromatic, fruity hops.

Smell: Can't really judge as I'm barbequeing

Taste: Delicious, fruity, tangy, a tad sweet but very good I'll have to try it with some spicy shrimp, or some of my grilled chicken later.

Mouthfeel: Perfect for the style, bubbly and thick.

Drinkability: Beware the good stuff.

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Photo of GoodKnight1220
3.6/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle to a glass.

Look is a faint and cloudy yellow. Big head with good lacing.

Smells of heavy wheat and fruit.

I can't pinpoint the taste but it is spicey and a little fruity (maybe bananas).

Very carbonated and crisp.

Could drink, but might burp it up for a week.

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Photo of jmc44
3.67/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly cloudy amber-golden color; light, thin white head that dissipates quickly and leaves minimal lacing.

The aroma is light, with hints of alcohol, fruit, and a slight note of spice.

Taste is initially fruity, with banana and berry, followed by a slight hop spiciness. The bitter character comes through surprisingly stong compared to other tripels, and the spice character with the fruit is a bit awkward. The flavors do meld together better as the beer warms.

Smooth, medium bodied beer, which is fairly drinkable despite its abv.

Not a bad beer, but IMHO not the best tripel out there. Actually a bit disappointing from their fantastic ABT 12, but still solid in its own right and worth a try.

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Photo of chalsk
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma of grapefruit hints of hops. Pours a nice amber golden haze. Very lively beer. Nice medium head. A very doughy tripel. Different from any other tripel I have had. Has notes of banana and even bubblegum, which is a first for me with beers. A creamy beer that has some bitter on the backend. A delicious brew. But not of the level of the Chimay, Chouffe, or Tripel Karmeliet.

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Photo of cooter
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A tiny-bubbled frothy head with outstanding lacing that produces a thick netting along the glass. Thick foam, starting from 1.5 inches and now down to one-half. Smells powerfully of kiwi and banana. Other scents include gentle hops and generic malts, tulip, and that fake cherry smell that candies have. When swirled and deeply inhaled, there is alcohol present.

Smoother than I thought possible. Phenomenal foam/beer interaction. Feels like drinking a carbonated pillow. Goes right to my head. Getting some strawberry scent and taste, a vodka or whiskey flavor, and an aftertaste very reminiscent of peaty scotch. Melon, canteloupe, slight raspberry in the taste. Well carbonated.

Exceptional. Wondrous. True artistry.

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Photo of OldYoda
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip - pours a honey gold color with a nice one finger head and leaves sheets of lacing.

Smell is subdued - I get malt and a lingering whiff of alcohol. Nothing overpowering or out of balance at all - very inviting.

Taste is outstanding. An exceptionally well balanced beer.

Drinkability is wonderful even at this ABV. A couple of these would be no problem in an evening, although they would undoubtedly sneak up on you.

All in all, this is an outstanding beer. This is all about balance and knowing your craft. In my mind, this is what the art of brewing is all about - this is world class.

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St. Bernardus Tripel from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
94 out of 100 based on 1,250 ratings.