1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

St. Bernardus Witbier - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
St. Bernardus WitbierSt. Bernardus Witbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,339 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,339
Reviews: 621
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.3%
Wants: 249
Gots: 117 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Witbier |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 01-06-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (12) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 1,339 | Reviews: 621
Photo of damndirtyape
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL corked and caged bottle, no date I could find. Shared with others and served in an Innis & Gunn Tulip/stemmed glass.

Appearance: Cloudy glowing golden-white. Initial thick head that died back to a thin white foam across the top, some islands of lacing.

Smell: Hint of yeast, clean, mild hint of grain and spice.

Taste: Clean grain, wheat tang, hint of coriander and citrus peel, hint of banana and cloves, and just a barest amount of noble hops at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Lively carbonation that scrubs the palate clean, but not fizzy. Nice thickness under the carbonation.

Overall / Drinkability: Full flavored, very pleasant as one would expect of a proper Wit. Refreshing and I will definitely have again. Very easy to drink plenty of.

Photo of SebD
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a beautiful hazy golden/yellow color to it. It has a nice thick white head that dies down slowly and leaves little lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of orange, lemon, coriander, apples, light wheat, Belgian yeast and light spices.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some orange/lemon notes upfront, loads of coriander, light green apple, some wheat, Belgian yeast and light spices (cloves /black pepper).

Mouthfeel: It has a med-high carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by great flavors and aromas. Quite possibly the best Witbier I've had to date.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of jetpilot12
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The overall quality of the beer was astonishing. I had a tangerine taste after every sip, hands-down one of the best Wit beer's I've ever had.

Photo of TheHammer
4.61/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Holy crap! That's a lot of carbonation. A generous pour produced three and a half fingers worth, but it doesn't stop there as the cloudy brass body has so much carbonation that the bubbles seem to be bouncing off each other going haywire as they reach the head. Ample lacing and retained throughout. I have to say I'm impressed, but uhh maybe dial it back a peg.

Smell: A lot of coriander and a lot of lemon citrus on this one. There is a faint note of black pepper in the background but it is very subdued. Warming doesn't help or hinder the smell in any real fashion.

Taste: As expected the spicy coriander permeates the entire beer, although it starts out in the background at the start has very tart citrus of which lemon is dominant but grapefruit and orange notes are present, with even a slight gum hint. The spicier elements then take centre stage as they come forward, as the coriander is suddenly backed by cloves, black pepper and a banana note. The two parties then get together and mesh together with a slight grapefruit kick that I assume some form of hops is causing ending with a sublime experience.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation helps out the entire beer, and despite is appearing out of control it gives the beer a frothy, foamy texture. The transitioning is a little odd but it works well. The let down here is the aftertaste, which apart from a slight faded note of coriander is all but not existent.

Drinkability: The beer is very refreshing, but the high carbonation leaves a bit of a bloated feeling after the beer is gone. It's also a bit heavier then you would expect from a Wit, but not excessively so as I'd say it's fairly medium bodied. That said, the sudsiness and mild aftertaste could leave me drinking this all night.

Final Thoughts: With this beer, it all comes back to two things, the coriander and the carbonation. If you don't like either of those things, this isn't for you. However, I don't know anyone who is anti-coriander or carbonation so yeah. For me this beer screams to have a peppery steak to go with it, that or a nice pair of pork chops. All in all, exceptional stuff. Two thumbs up.

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

On tap at Brasserie V in Madison, WI. Served in the proper glassware 4/2/2015.

A- Hazy yellow-golden body, one finger white head, lots of thick rings of lacing, nice retention time.

S- Mildly spicy coriander, almost a bit fruity as far as orange and melons go, nice mineral aroma. Wheat, cloves.

F- Very nice spicy mineral flavour, coriander, wheat, mild fruity lemon, pepper, a bit of pear. Very nice complexity.

M- Medium bodied, substantial but not overwhelmingly so, very easy to drink with nice carbonation. Great one to drink on a hot day, I'd have to say. Plenty of mild fruit and spices on the finish.

O- Very nice wit, one of the better ones I've had. Pretty much true to the style.

Photo of HamdenHector
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: cloudy; medium gold in color; 1+ finger white head that receded to a thin cap; almost no lacing;

S: orange peel, with coriander right behind it; a hint of bready malt, black pepper, and tartness in the background;

T: follows the nose; right from the start, orange is most prominent, but coriander is also very noticeable; very light bitterness on the finish;

M; light bodied; moderate carbonation; no dryness on the finish;

O: very refreshing and enjoyable;

Photo of abcdmichel
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice taste, on light lemon. Excellent for aperitive. A must to try for wit bier fans!

Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.81/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a tulip at approximately 40 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a very cloudy pale straw gold, and forms a two-finger white head that dies quickly to about half a finger, then lingers for a bit. Occasional decent-sized bubbles of carbonation can be seen rising from the bottom of the glass. While there is lacing at first, it eventually dies to small patches as the head evaporates to a broken ring.

Smell: Sour citrus mingles with an interesting sort of musty funk as the aroma wafts out of the glass. There are some faint hints of green grape and pear in the scent, a touch of spice, and something vaguely like mildewed bubblegum.

Taste: Tart citrus opens the flavor profile in a rush of orange and lemon, shot through with various spices - some clove and coriander, a touch of pepper. As it moves along the palate, notes of pear and banana appear, though beneath the citrus. The finish leaves behind the citrus flavors, with a sour and mildly funky edge to them, akin to if a sample of mold from bleu cheese were never introduced to any cheese, but made to grow on the oranges and lemons instead.

Mouthfeel: Light and drinkable, with significant sparkly, sharp carbonation.

Overall: That's a darned good witbier, verging into sour territory just a touch while retaining the complexities of phenols and esters one would want in a wit. If I could find this for under $5 a bottle, I'd make it a regular in my fridge. Even at that price, for the way this approaches the realm of a sour beer, it'll make repeat appearances.

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a St. Bernardus glass.

Look: A murky rusty straw yellow colored body sits under a white head. A wisp of film remains while there is light watery lacing that does not remain on the glass.

Aroma: A little bit of wheat grain and breadiness gives way to banana, coriander, apples, tart cherry, citrus peel, and some white pepper.

Taste: Much like the aroma, but tart fruits and tanginess really dominate. Starts with grains and bread and then gets crushed by tart cherries, crisp apples, softer sweet banana tones, and coriander and peppery spice in the finish. Citrus notes abound as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light in body, dry and tangy.

Overall: Tons of flavor and a lot of tanginess, a very nice witbier.

Photo of sjccmd
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy yellow with a thick white head. Decent lacing. Creamy appearance.

Smells of coriander, chamomile, with somewhat citrusy fruits, bubblegum, and some clove. Excellent spicing balanced with yeast character. Hop aroma is low, possibly spicy/fruity noble hops. More likely Styrian Goldings than Saaz. Sweet graham cracker malt.

Taste follows the nose. Very fruity with honey and spices. Apples, but not cider. Grassy hop character. Bubblegum and clove, but balanced. Complex but not heavy.

Thick and full mouthfeel without being cloying. Silky with medium low carbonation. Very nice.

Excellent example of a wit. Bigger and more complex than Hoegaarden, but just as refreshing.

Photo of interzen
4.56/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

330ml bottle poured into a Troubadour tulip glass

Look: Typical witbier - cloudy, golden yellow with a puffy, off-white head which diminishes to a foamy cap with little lacing in evidence.

Smell: Again, pretty much a typical witbier smell - oranges, lemons and coriander with a fainty wheaty, yeastiness in the background. The lemon aromas are more pronounced on the beer has warmed up a bit.

Taste: POW! Fruit and wheat - there's a massive hit of citrus and coriander with some lingering wheat and spice notes. Quite a dry wheat and malt finish with hints of lemon. Definitely a cut above your average wit.

Feel: Manages to be full and light at the same time - difficult to explain but despite the cloudy appearance it's not at all heavy going. Carbonation isn't quite as aggressive as some suggest but it's still there and adds to the refreshing feel, IMO.

Overall: I like witbiers in general, and the products of St. Bernardus in particular so this was bound to be a winner for me, and it doesn't disappoint - if your idea of a good witbier stops at Hoegaarden or Blue Moon then you owe it to yourself and your palate to check this out; it's in a completely different league.

Photo of Grayson
4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Novice tongue weighing in.

A: A pale golden pour with two fingers of very sticky head that hung around for a while sticking to the edge. Pretty white.
S: Picking up very strong citrus in orange and lemon.
T: It's fruity without being overpowering. Strong banana-ish flavors in the beginning with almost a coffee finish.
MF: Very light to the palate. Very carbonated. Not too offensive.
O: A pretty great beer! A fantastic blend of flavor for a Witbier.

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy straw yellow with a fizzy head that trails the glass. Smells of Belgian wheat with sweet fruits like banana and fresh bread. The taste was very refreshing with light sweet notes finishing with a crisp mint flavor that I enjoyed. Would highly recommend.

Photo of FRANKIE65
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My first venture into the world of St Bernardus, and, I was definitely impressed.
Not going into great detail, suffice to say, a glass of cloudy brilliance.

Photo of kevinlater
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle into goblet. from the st. bernardus mix pack. best before "A 24 06 16", consumed on december 9, 2014

a: super opaque pineapple juice with two fingers of fluffy white head

s: potent wheat and orange, with a huge spice presence (coriander & clove). some banana notes

t: the fruit flavours are so strong that this comes off as a kind of carbonated lemon-orange-banana-pineapple juice. it's delicious. the front end consists of a big pop of the aforementioned fruits, and massive coriander and clove notes. mid-palate exhibits a mildly drying bitterness, touches of bubblegum, and strong wheat & fresh bread flavours. finishes slightly malty and somewhat lemony

m: lively, bubbly carbonation. light-bodied but not watery

o: a killer witbier. huge aroma. loaded with flavour but finishes clean and dry. excellent mouthfeel

Photo of BeerStyx
2.25/5  rDev -45.9%

Did not enjoy too much. The first thing I noticed was a strong iron smell (like a strong mineral smell). Supposed yeast bear, but does not taste like bread. Initial taste is like mineral water (almost no flavour) then it has a "yeast" taste that becomes kinda strong, which was slightly bitter.

Photo of BGDrock
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Appearance: muddy, lemon juice yellow body, with fine white head that trails thick lace; looks like real-deal lemonade

Aroma: coriander, clover, cinnamon, bitter citrus, lemon

Taste & Mouthfeel: herbal, lightly spice and a blend of orange/lemon juice that isn't tart or too sweet; flavour is subdued in general, but strongly satisfying somehow; medium body and proper carbonation with a pleasant, dry finish of lingering citrus and herbal notes; none of the vegetal/tinny aftertaste I sometimes find with a wit; the finish is incredibly clean and clear, fresh - everything is just getting better as I drink

Overall: at first thought it was too light all around, but after several sips flavour builds and it all comes together as a subtle brew not trying too hard - simple and highly drinkable, pure and clean

Photo of ssmack
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle with best before date 06 05 16

A light straw colour and so hazy that it is opaque. Huge 3 inches of fine white head that never went away. Lots of carbonation. Thick globs of lacing with great retention.

An aroma that is tangy at first. Nice Belgian yeast smell. Wheaty. Cloves come out as it warms.

A great smooth taste. Again it's tangy - cloves, orangy, lemony. Lots of subtle spiciness.

A chewy creamy feel with nice carbonation.

Excellent overall.

Photo of WAbeerfiend
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Best by date of 07.08.15.
Poured into a tulip on 05.23.14.

A: 2 1/2 finger head. Very cloudy yellow/orange with yeast.

S: Wheat. Also citrus (orange) and cloves.

T: Egg, wheat, orange are dominant. Cloves are subtle.

M: Very creamy with some carbonation at the end. Chewy.

O: This was interesting to try after trying American wits. It was not crisp and had a much heavier mouthfeel in general. It was good, but not a favorite.

Rating: B

Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

32 oz. Howler.
It's late, so I'm doing an Overall portion on this review. The appearance is world class. Hazy as hell and unfiltered, just how I like it! The aroma has that straw and wheat sweetness with bold spices and subtle fruity yeast notes. The taste is of unfiltered wheat grains and spices (coriander/peppercorns). Faint metallic with a great nobel hop finish. Dry and semi-sweet with lingering peppercorns in the aftertaste.the body is light and refreshing. I can crush this all day long. This brew is recommended.

Photo of DenisKolkin
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%

330 ml bottle served fairly cold into glassware. Purchased for about $3.25 CDN per bottle.

Appearance - hazy bright golden color with yellow hues. Capped by a finger and a half of head, that leaves behind a nice residual lacing.

Smell - clove, banana, lemon, orange, coriander. Complex with some yeasty aromas shining through too. Very inviting, especially in summer.

Taste - big bold banana flavor, but melded perfectly with the spices and the orange and coriander. Very complex as some bready flavours come through on the back half and there's almost a mocha-ish conclusion. Just wonderful.

Mouthfeel - well carbonated, lively yet light, alcohol is not perceptible at all, which is pleasant given that this is a heavy hitter as far as wits go.

Overall- quite simply the best wit I've ever had, that's complicated, yet refreshing, flavourful yet eminently drinkable. Recommended for beer lovers of all ages and expertise.

Photo of WeizenMike
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Purchased from the LCBO in a 4 pack of 330 mL bottles. Served in a Hoegaarden glass.

A- A murky, non-translucent golden yellow. A very yeasty looking beer. Good strong wheaty head that leaves lots of lacing.

S- Like the appearance, very yeasty. Coriander and maybe a light hint of banana present.

T- Beautiful taste, one of the most smooth, yet complex of it's style. Coriander and yeast dominate the flavour, however, there is a light banana, floral and citrus taste present throughout the brew.

M- Very smooth. It starts off quite carbonated, however, the carbonation dissipated roughly halfway through the glass.

O- Incredible beer! Definitely my favourite of the style I have tried thus far (and this is probably my second favourite style next to, you guessed it, hefeweizen). Prior to drinking this beer, Blanche de Chambly was my favourite in this style, but this completely blew it out of the water. At its price, its more of a luxury beer rather than an everyday drink, but as a change of pace treat, you can't do much better. An amazing beer that is complex, but at the same time incredibly drinkable. Highly recommended!

Photo of DaveBar
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Purchased at the LCBO as a 4pk 330ml bottle. Served at 4deg C in a tulip glass

A- Opens well and pours an unfiltered high white head. Nice and golden white beer

S- Lots of yeast.

T- Coriander and wheat. Quality brew

M- Very much a white beer.

O- Pretty good but not in the same league as Hoegaarden. Very expensive comparatively speaking as well

Food Pairing

This nice white when well with....... homemade bread that had Feta, black olives and spinach.

Enjoy

Photo of thehyperduck
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

330 mL bottle from a 4-pack picked up at the LCBO; best before March 6 2016 and served slightly chilled.

This beer pours a cloudy straw-yellow colour, the liquid rife with streams of effervescent bubbles. It is topped with just over one finger of fluffy, eggshell white froth that very gradually seeps away, eventually resulting in a dense, creamy cap and collar. Interesting aroma, which includes some wheaty malt sweetness, orange peel, lemon zest and a nice array of yeasty, spicy notes - ranging from coriander, to clove, to peppercorn. It's a pleasant, somewhat floral bouquet, and it strongly suggests that there is a good reason for this beer's high aggregate score...

I am really digging this one - the flavours are a little subtle, but remain complex for the style. Wheat malt sweetness, red apples and banana are detectable at first, with citrusy notes of lemon and orangepeel coming through mid-sip. Mild sugary tartness toward the finish, with the spice notes from the aroma being considerably toned back on the palate - coriander, clove and peppercorn are all noticeable toward the finish, but it is a mixture of citrus, wheat malt and yeast that finishes the profile off. On the lighter side of medium-bodied, with assertive carbonation that weakens noticeably over the course of the glass, offering an increasingly smooth mouthfeel. I can't find anything to complain about, as far as this beer goes, although I prefer my wits to be a little more crisp than this.

Final Grade: 4.55, an outstanding A grade. It took me a few sips to get the hang of what they were going for here, but in the end it's not hard to see why St. Bernardus Witbier is widely considered to be the best commonly-seen example of the style. This beer doesn't seek to overwhelm your senses with a variety of exotic adjuncts or spicy features - it's beautifully balanced, plain delicious and simply a pleasure to drink. A must-try, unless you just aren't a fan of the style to begin with.

Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright hazy golden body with a thick white meringue that lasts and laces.

Floral, spicy, citrus, and wheat.

Lots of the wheat and spice on the flavor which lingers nicely. Has the same floral quality as the aroma. Citrus is light.

Slightly bubbly on the tongue and fairly light bodied.

I think it's rated as the highest witbier and I can see why. Definitely one of the best.

to view more.
St. Bernardus Witbier from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,339 ratings.