St. Bernardus Tripel - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
St. Bernardus TripelSt. Bernardus Tripel

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,212 Reviews
THE BROS
96
world-class

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Reviews: 1,212
Hads: 2,861
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 8.51%
Wants: 209
Gots: 325 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website
Belgium

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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,212 | Hads: 2,861
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first Belgian beer in India. Found it at Take 5 restaurant in Bangalore on 100 ft. street.
Keep in mind, this is like finding a gold nugget in a pile of poo. So I enjoyed it!
Nice pour, although in an Orval glass, but who cares at this point. Hazy light orange/golden color with rather thin head (due to wide glass I bet). Slick look to it, not a whole lot of cling to the glass.
Coriander and orange peel dominate the nose. Some slight bready yeast and sweet malt come through as well.
Taste follows nose. Coriander spice and orange peel. Some other citrus flavors and soft banana hints.
Good feel to it. Nice slight bite, clean finish. Went well with steak.
and grilled veggies. (684 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass at Pizza Paradiso Dupont DC.

A classic foam white rock hard head but not building so much off the pour perhaps about two fingers. A dull yellow that is cloudy for the body but nice looking none the least.

Bouquet is an immediate dankness and yeast, but not much else it seems to be going on. Looking for something bold, or impressive and it's just not here. Good but kind of ordinary.

Taste and feel improves. Big sense of chewy bread, with an incredibly dense body. The beer feels like it has "girth" to me, it seems so large and bold but not overpowering or difficult to drink. It's a classic tripel density yeast feeling but the feel on this is so incredilbly dense even with a nice crisp snap on the finish it's kind of shocking.

Regardless of nose, it's still a fantastic brew. Wonderful tasting very unique and crushing feel beer. Delicious. (893 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter, foamy white head sticks around. Murky gold in appearance. Spotty lacing.

Big time juicy fruit aromas. Malty whiffs. Freshly cut hay.

Taste is very balanced. Tart green apple upfront. Tangy and has a nice belgian twang from the yeast. Has a mild spice componant, coupled with carmelized brown sugar. Hop is herbal and leafy, touch of lemon.

Full bodied and adheres to the palate. This beer is becoming a part of me. Finishes semi dry with a lingering sweet boozy note.

This one sure does drink well. Every sip makes me want to take another. Its fairly strong, but its not overpowering. Complex, yet mellow. Good brew here. (669 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It took THIS long to try St. Bernardus Tripel? What in the world is going on? Well, the chance is here, splitting a 330 ml bottle with my cousin. On to the beer;

We're looking at an amber golden color with some cloudiness and a long lasting, puffy soapy head. Aroma...different at first. Sage and wildflowers notes rise out with a sweet, sugary crust. Warming allows canteloupe and apricot to appear, which helps boost the overall impression of the nose.

An interesting blend of flavors. Surprisingly complex, let me sort out the flavors I'm getting: honey, white pepper, canteloupe, wildflowers, and some phenol action. This beer dries up on the palate in a snap. The carbonation give the palate a massage with its bubbles. The alcohol is barely traceable.

Ok, so I expected a little more, but I'll leave this one being satisfied. (836 characters)

Photo of tempest
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle served in a goblet.

I'm not impressed. Let me count the ways...

The aroma and flavor are just basic bready sweetness with a big of yeast and tiny touch of hops. Yes, this beer is smooth and really hides the alcohol, but I find the flavor bland and uninspiring. I had no problem taking my time with this one and probably won't return to it. There are better tripels out there.

UPDATE: 11/8/08 on-tap at Lee Gribbons in Emmaus, PA.
A much more impressive beer this time around. It was a touch on the thick side, for the style, but there was a great range of phenols. I mean this beer was spicy, damn. There were also mellow banana and subtle clove, matched with a sizeable hops bite of herbal lemon and citrus rind. Yum. Very tasty, but I might have trouble drinking a few of these. (790 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy golden with a quickly dissappearing head.

Smells of bubblegum and apples with a slight whiff of hops.

Wonderful bubblegum taste that fades to hop crispness and then to a waxy, but pleasant finish.

Mouthfeel is crisp but with a nice body.

Very drinkable. The yeast adds interest and the crispness and medium carbonation make it refreshing. (368 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a cloudy golden yellow with a foamy white head. Aroma of white fruits such as apple, grape, and pear. Also, strong alcohol and spice presence. Pretty carbonated at first but becomes intense as it warms. Nice balance of fruitines, maltiness, alcohol, and slight hops. Very crisp enjoyable tripel. (324 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a glowing orange/amber with a solid 1 finger white head that lasts for a few minutes and fades into a soapy white film and collar. Lots of sticky lacing.
Smell is of delicate pear, vanilla, and fruit coctail, making for the classic tripel aroma.
Taste is the same as the wonderful aromas with a classic taste.
Mouthfeel is smooth with a mild fruit and alcohol bite.
Drinkability is decent. Slight alcohol presence keeps it from being better than just good. (468 characters)

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

Absolutely gushing when uncapped, saved and poured into a tulip. Head bubbles bombastically at the start, but crackles itself out to just a half-centimetre of white large-bubbles. Lots and lots of carbonation through the slightly hazy deep golden coloured body. Looks decent, but not stellar.

Nose is ripe and rank with Belgian nuances. Hints of spice, yeast, orange peel, organics. Sweet, but with a backing aroma of something meatier to blend it all together. Yes, there's something complete about the nose, all the Belgian elements integrated together perfectly.

Taste is smoother and more gentle than I expected, none of the phenolics you often get. Light apple pastry softness on the front, with hints of spice coming forward on the back, and just a little upsurge in booze at the end - it's extremely subtle though, and just gives a quick sweep to cleanse the palate. Palate is extremely smooth but light, and while the carbonation seemed omnipotent when looking at it, it merely dances softly in the mouth.

Such a smooth and supple tripel. It's such a lightly done one, with everything so well integrated that I feel like many of the other examples just don't get it. Beautiful stuff. (1,194 characters)

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

Pours a very mildly hazy gold with a puffy white head.

Smell sweet and spicy. Clean scent of ripe banana, cinnamon and cloves. Pleasant scent of honey, coriander and flowers. Alcohol carries a pleasant scent of black pepper and pipe tobacco.

Taste is sweet and fruity. Tasty honey and brown sugar dominate at first, then the spice gets stronger. Coriander is up front in the spice flavor. Nicely balanced flavor that doesn't let anyone aspect take over Mild acid shows up in the finish.

Mouthfeel is good, creamy without getting choking.

Excellent drinkability. I would drink this every night if I could find it and afford it! Probably THE example of what a Tripel should be. (687 characters)

Photo of wl0307
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Revisited 1.5 years since my last encounter, this bottle's BB date is 21/06/10, served lightly-chilled in Tripel Karmeliet's branded long-stemmed, tulip-shaped goblet.

A: dark orangey amber hue coming with light haze, abundant but fine carbonation, and a well-lasting off-white spongey froth.
S: perfumy fruit-esters abound, coupled with melted sweet orangey candy, vanilla-ish sweetness, fig paste, pale prunes, a touch of phenol (especially after a swirl), and an light touch of Chinese green-bean paste (the typical work of esters in this type of ale). All in all, the nose is soothing and pleasant, but alas not very complex due to the sweetness on the balance.
T: it seems to be very sweet on the foretaste with estery notes developing closely with a pronounced candy-ish sweet edge; luckily, a citric sour taste grows from the back of the palate to balance off the sweet edge, when a complex aftertaste takes over, featuring more tangy fruits, sour banana esters, vanilla-ish aromatic sweetness, lightly sweet Chinese green-bean paste, pale prune paste, and an everlasting edge of citric bitterness of good quality hops. Not as dry as many other Tripels I've had, but the fruity and yeasty finish is of really good quality as well.
M&D: like my previous bottle, the palate is absolutely soft with a key fizzy bite in the middle, while alc. is just attenuated at most. This fruity Tripel is not a very complex and dry example, but nevertheless an easy-drinking one.

* Tasting Date: 22/07/07
BB 15/09/08, served lightly-chilled in a large bulb wine glass.
4 A: dark teaish-amber hue, coming with a puffy white froth with good retention, then retreating to a thin velvet and even sheets of lacing; the semi-lively carbonation softens in its own time.
4 S: sticky-sweet orangey citrus fruits, caramely malts, Goldings fruity hops, cane sugar, plus lots of fruit-esters consisting of mainly figs, white dates, and faint bananas; a weaker touch of sweet prunes also stays behind. Overall, the nose is very fragrant in fruit-esters and dense in its maltiness, but never OTT.
4 T: bitter-sweet, mildly caramely+cane-sugary+bready malts come hand in hand with a flow of exotic yeasty touch like Chinese-green-bean paste; also at presence is a mildly bitter-sour touch of sweet prunes, as it appears on the nose. The maltiness, as it develops, is well-balanced with plenty of yeasts and a mild touch of sourness. The finish turns mildly dry with (a little spicy) hops creeping up and thus not falling sticky like some other Tripels do, although the residual sourness of malts at the rear of the tongue is not quite my cup of tea.
4.5 M&4.5 D: med-bodied, quite fluffy on the palate and pretty soft overall, and I wonder where the alc. is gone?! This is a good quality, well-balanced, and yet moderately-flavoured Tripel, with plenty of yeasty elements to entertain the palate and nose. It's less fruity and sweet on the palate than on the aroma, and that's a good thing to me! Another solid Abbey Ale, and, be warned, it is highly quaffable! (3,040 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have had this on tap on several occasions here in Baltimore. While always good, there does seem to be considerable variation in the quality of the beer, perhaps based on how long the beer has been on the gas. In any event, had this beer on tap at Mahaffey's yesterday. I believe it was tapped at least several days ago.

The beer pours a hazy golden peach color with very good head retention and excellent lacing. On the nose I get a hint of citrus, honey and gingerale. The beer smells pretty good, but tastes even better. I get some moderate sweetness initially, but the beer finishes with considerable hoppy bitterness, leading to a pretty dry flavor profile. Nevertheless, there are attractive flavors of melon, apple, orange citrus and honey. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light and the beer is remarkably drinkable for the 8% abv. The alcohol is very well disguised in this beer, and this is one of the easier to drink tripels I've come across.

Perhaps not spectacular, but a very nice beer nonetheless. (1,006 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A lovely concentrate of orange tones with a squirt of lemon; pour it into a jar and try telling someone it's not marmalade - they won't believe you. With a little brightness behind you'll observe the hundreds of bubbles that vivaciously kick off the bottom each second. As result, the complexion gives air of a snow blizzard. It's been some time now and this carbonation continues to subsist and contribute profusely to the puffy, spotlessly white head.

I can't say for sure but it would seem like this brewery uses the same yeast strain for all their beers. Granted, it's a marvelous culture (see: St. Bernardus Abt 12) but I find it much better suited to darker beers. This has fruits but they don't match the colour of the beer; tripels should conjure to mind summer flowers and orchard fruits but in this I smell raisins, rye bread and stewed prunes. Despite a hint of vanilla, I'm not blown away by esters or phenols.

The taste steers us back on track with a big, hunky body of malt. This may be a delicate Belgian Tripel but it's just about as malty as any English bitter. It has a stiff, crisp toastiness and stale bready graininess but it's coated in the sticky, sweet sugars of boiled malts. It often feels grassy and earthy, like you're chewing on hay. And despite all the malt, it still senses a little light-bodied and a bit short on flavour, or something...

And that 'something' is two things actually: esters and phenols. This is lightly fruity in a very under-ripe sense. I suppose I taste a bit of still green pear or crab apple but there isn't anything remotely citruisy or vivid about the taste. Secondly, there's a huge gap where usually a peppery, zesty spice (often clove-like) adds a spicy, fiery dimension to compliment the alcohol and add texture. This is soft and mild without much fruit and spice to fall back on.

No matter how many times I revisit them, I've never been won over by either St. Bernardus tripels (this or the Watou Tripel). I just haven't tasted the spicy, summery, fruity effervescence that I love about Tripels. This is still a pleasurable thing to drink nonetheless and I wouldn't veer anyone away from trying it. But for me personally, I'll probably stick to Westmalle and Karmeliet for my tripels and leave St. Bernardus to the dubbels and quads. (2,300 characters)

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

(Served in a chalice)

A-This beer pours a deep golden hazy body with a slight brown hue. The head is a very creamy smooth off-white that last and last. There is a good carbonation of tiny bubbles and nice lacing with each sip.

S- The soft smell of roses and slight perfume are mixed with notes of bubblegum and pale malt. There is a very faint apple and pear note as it warms.

T- This beer has a spiciness in the initial taste followed by a slightly sweet honey and pale and crystal malt notes with some dryness in the finish. There is a slight carbonic acid taste in the finish.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel but it has a fizzy texture that makes it feel fuller. No alcohol warmth or astringency.

D-This beer has a wonderful aroma but the taste doesn't follow thru with all the complexity. It is still very easy to drink and it drinks pretty quickly. (875 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Will pour a five+ finger white head that fades quickly to a thin layer, leaving some lace. Hazy pale amber color. Honey and fruit nose. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is light honey, yeast and pear. Nice triple. Higher ABV is hidden. $17.00 for a gift pak of four 330ml bottles from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me. (325 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a 750 mL C&C bottle, poured into a Chimay goblet. The ale was cold when I opened it around 1930 this evening. Not it is near room temperature.

Appearance: The ale is a solid, hazy yellow color. Earlier, it was clearer, but there must be some lees giving me a haze. There is a small ring of lace around the glass.

Smell: The aroma of a sweet fruit is the first thing that I notice. I can't place it, but it is definitely sweet and fruity.

Taste: The ale has a slightly spicy pepper undertone. Over top of that is a nice fruity, yeasty softness. And for a tripel, the alcohol is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Spicy and sweet at the same time, excellent in the mouth.

Drinkability: I should have purchased a few more bottles, this is the best tripel I've had. (778 characters)

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

Thanks goes out to sirhc for this brew.

Pours a cloudy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice two-finger plus creamy white head, lots and lots of sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, yeasty, nice touch of cloves/bannanas, slight grapefruit, grassy. The taste is malty, and yeasty for the most part, nice touch of cloves/banannas/grapefruit. This is a tasty tripel, the finish is very smooth. Medium body. Drinkable, another tasty brew from St. Bernardus. (467 characters)

Photo of kscaldef
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before date 03/03/15, poured into a Chimay goblet

A: Slightly cloudy, dark golden. Good sized, dense white head.

S: Yeasty and bready. Spicy & clove notes from the yeast. A bit of a lager-y aroma as well.

T: Light sweetness on the start, but fairly dry overall. Mild apple flavor with a bit of spice. Finishes fairly bitter. Light alcohol contribution. Pleasant, but fairly uninteresting.

M: Strong carbonation. Quite dry in the month. Clean bitterness on the finish that lingers for about 30 seconds.

O: Good, but not exciting me that much. The bitterness seems a little out of balance and detracts for me. (617 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle from Tres Bonne Cuisine on Overland in Boise for $3.25.. Today was my first trip to this store, and I was blown away when I saw this. I never remember seeing St. Bernardus brews in Boise... granted the tripel is the only one they had.. but still fantastic for the Boise BA's.

Poured into my Delirium tulip.. decanted to leave behind most of the yeast.. 2" head that left sheets of lace... Slightly hazy golden brew.

Aroma is pale malts and yeasty fruitiness... white peaches, low apricots and whiffs of strawberry... touches of spice.

Tropical fruit flavors are abound in the flavor.. mango and melon .. and more peach essence... the subtle sweetness ties everything together perfectly.. a little white pepper adds alot of complexity... Viscosity is a solid medium for the style, but it's a creamy medium.

Overall world class hands down. I am sooo happy that I have access to this beer now. Thanks to Barbara at TBC. (933 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle obtained via trade with ManekiNeko. Thanks for the opportunity...

Once uncaged, the cork came loose with nary a pull. Poured into a Rapscallion glass, 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. A must find for the Belgian aficianados. (677 characters)

Photo of beertunes
4.97/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured gently into chalice. A cloudy pour with less than 1 finger of head (this is how I prefer it, more head would have been easily obtained). A light amber/dark yellow color. Very attractive with nice lacing. Very pleasant, welcoming aroma. The taste is pleasantly bold, without being overpowering. As you work through the glass, the fruit flavors become more apparent. Full, enveloping mouthfeel. Extremely drinkable, you could settle in with nice assortment of meats and cheeses and drink several of these very easily. (522 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a cloudy, murky dark orange in color with a two finger almost pure white foamy head. The aromas consist of bready pale malts, a boatload of yeast, citrus, bananas, and cloves. This has a nice spice to it. The flavor is very but in a light manner. It has a lot of yeast and citrus to it and is mildly sweet. It has a lot of flavor for a tripel and the alcohol is very well hidden. This beer drinks as smooth as any tripel that isn't La Fin du Monde. It almost melts in your mouth. I really enjoy this beer. I'm convinced this brewery can do no wrong at this point. I'd highly recommend this one. (611 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from 12/2010 notes. Poured into a St. Bernardus goblet. Pours a cloudy orange amber; thick white head and lots of lacing. Mild aroma of yeast, faint citrus, a bit sour. Light fruit, sweet malt, slight citrus and spicing. No sign of the sourness in the aroma. Finish is very nice light fruit and sweet malt. This is the best tripel I've ever had. This is the beer that got me interested in tripels. Excellent. (415 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a hazy coppery-orange with a huge 3 finger, firm rocky bone white head that was nearly fully lasting. Visible carbonation was strong and vibrant.

S: a soft, sweet yeasty aroma of bananas, cloves, and fresh oranges.

T: yeasty and wheaty with fresh bananas, cloves and a peppery spiciness. A beautiful wheaty palate brings out the spiciness of this beer as well fruitiness (pears). There was a sweet andd spicy caramel orange flavor as well. The spicy hopping was zesty with some light fresh lemon hints. Alcohol of 8.0% is incredibly well hidden with almost no thought what so ever in every sip.

M: full and creamy, lively from the carbonation with a nice tingly sensation of sweet-n-sour oranges with a light citrus sourness in the swallow.

D: Incredibly spicy. Zesty and well rounded. Drank like a dream and probably one of the best per style ive tasted. (872 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Clear golden body with a large white head. Great retention, ok lace.

S: Bright, but soft booze. It sounds like a bit of an oxymoron - the aroma is distinctly alcohol, but it’s sweet rather than harsh on your nose. Honey and coriander round out the bouquet.

T: Sweet malt and wildflower honey. Delicious, chewy, white grape flavor through the first 2/3rds of the profile. Balanced spice on the backend; coriander, white pepper.

M: Nice carbonation with a smooth mouthfeel. Sweet and lightly spicy finish.

O: Sweeter and less boozy than an average triple, but not overly so. The flavors strike a fantastic balance of fruit, spice, malt, and booze. (654 characters)

St. Bernardus Tripel from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
94 out of 100 based on 1,212 ratings.