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St. Bernardus Witbier - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

St. Bernardus WitbierSt. Bernardus Witbier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,042 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1042
Reviews: 589
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.03%

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website

Style | ABV
Witbier |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 01-06-2003)
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Ratings: 1,042 | Reviews: 589 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beer reviewed while sitting at the huge round table in the guests lounge during our stay at the Brouwershuys (brewers house), the brewery owned B&B. The fridge is full of beer and is included in the cost of staying, so drink as much or little as you wish. My wife and I had five beers between us and were told off for not having more (I hadn't the cheek to ask if I could take some home.).

Anyway my bottle of Wit was fresh and lovely. Not my favourite style by a long way, but it was in the fridge and had to be reviewed because I hadn't had it before!

Cloudy, light orange/yellowish white witha bright white head on top.

The smells in gave off reminded me of grapefruits and citrus fruits in general, coriander and wheat added to the aroma.

Tingles the tongue and a drier aftertaste. The coriander in the smell takes over in the taste, with the citrus fruits battling to compete, nice mix.

This was drank on a cold windy day, the lounge was however warm and is very well appointed, beautiful paintings and ornaments. An ideal place to review beers from the brewery next door and highly recommended for a stay.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2009 09:55:10 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy gold with a white head that doesn't stay around long at all. Nose is a touch of orange with that hearty witbier fragrance and some yeast thrown in the mix. Flavor is great and thick with a heavy citrus/orange flavor that has a strong touch of spice there as well. Feel is nice with a decent level of carbonation. Way too drinkable. I want to be able to sip and savor this one, but it is so smooth and easy to drink that it's easy to just go through one extremely quickly.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 21:24:37 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek


4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Golden orange cloudy hue with a pleasant off white creamy textured foamy head leaves behind thick evenly strung patches of lacing. Aroma: Sweet spicy notes flow through the air, swirling sharp malted wheat sweetness with peppery spice, coriander, cloves, and some juicy fruit tones not overly citrus but nice tones. Taste: Creamy uniform flavor with a bready sweentess, clove and spice finish with a touch of citrus and pear juice like tones, awesome. Mouthfeel: Light bodied very creamy texture, perfect carbonation levels. Drinkability: Amazingly good the best witbier I have tasted hands down, I fell in love could buy a case if the price was right.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2004 19:10:20 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy pale ornage color with a thick 2 inch head. Light lacing developed through the drink. The aroma is mellower than some other witbiers, as some corinader and citrus tones are noticeable but not up front enough. The flavor is slightly tangy. Coriander, orange zest, light bitterness, and other spices are well balanced. Some yeast was also there but was barely detectable.

Mouthfeel is light and refreshing with a relatively clean aftertaste. Extremely drinkable as the flavors are not as overpowering as some other witbiers so several of these can be quaffed without getting tired of the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2004 21:14:55 | More by Gavage
Photo of smcolw


3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Near white, big-bubbled head that leaves streaky lace on the glass. The liquid is appropriately cloudy and has an orange hue to an otherwise yellow color.

Clean and crisp smell that is strangely reminiscent of a very dry mead. Relatively light wheat aroma.

Very dry start. Quite tart without being lip-puckering. Smooth body that leaves a coating similar to milk after the swallow. The carbonation is similar to a cheap champagne. No typical wheat flavors here.

I'm struggling with this one. I love originality and this Wit is quite different from most. There's something that puts this beer over the line to "odd". I wouldn't be reaching for another, but I am glad I tried this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2009 19:12:35 | More by smcolw
Photo of Halcyondays


3.63/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a cloudy dark yellow, seems a shade darker than an average white beer. Small white head leaving extensive lacing.

S: Orange peel tends to dominate the sweet smell, rose petals, hint of pepper.

T: Contradictory to the smell, the taste is much more yeasty and bitter. Coriander and pepper is quite evident, similar to Allagash White. A solid flavour and true to style though I like my wits a bit sweeter with orange or sugar.

M: Soft mouthfeel with a strong bite of carbonation. Light-bodied, mild acidity.

D: A good wit from the St. Bernardus guys. Pricey for what it is, but a beer I could definitely have again. Quite easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2008 00:24:54 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

maybe im missing something here BA, but this just doesnt blow my mind. it looks the part of a world class beer, huge foaming white head resting forever on top of a just slightly hazy very pale summery yellow body with lots of little bubbles rising eagerly to the surface. it also leaves beautiful patchy thick white lacing on the sides of my tulip as i drink this. its really pretty. the nose though does not match the looks, it smells faintly like lemon peel, but all i can really ascertain from the smell is a pretty standard belgian yeast, light and a little fruity. its a little stinky, like maybe mine isnt the freshest bottle, but still, it just doesnt smell all that great. the flavor is nice, its very very light. a nice wheat malt profile with some grassy notes plays against just a touch of bitter lemon and the doughy yeast. its in fine balance, but its not a very bold flavor, well made yes, but almost boring. the feel is fine, light in body, made heavier by the suds on top and the yeast sediment, and the carbonation is quite active and fizzy. overall a nice beer, but im not sure id score it quite as high as the masses have here.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2012 01:57:53 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of tempest


3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a chalice at the Steelgaarden.

I love the irony that from a distance this label vaguely resembles a silver Coors bottle. Anyways, not much head retention, but the body is still a nice hazy yellow once the yeast gets dumped in. I actually found a big difference in flavor and aroma (in a good way) by adding the yeast here. The fruit flavors of orange, peach, and apricot that dominate the got richer and the spicy aroma grew with more earthy notes. Overall, this wit is on the thicker, juicier side of the style, as opposed to lighter, crisper drinking ones, but it's still a very fine beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2008 13:23:34 | More by tempest
Photo of kojevergas


2.33/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

33cl bottle served into a St. Bernardus Goblet. Reviewed from notes.

A: No head at all. Cloudy non-transparent lemon-yellow colour.

Sm: Lemon citrus ester hops are muted by present. Aroma is mild in strength.

T: Muted lemon-orange esters and bland barley. Very muted and simple for a witbier. Where's the flavour? Badly built and of mediocre balance.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Far too wet; borderline watery.

Dr: Easy to drink, but of poor quality. ABV is average. Nothing special here.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 05:13:03 | More by kojevergas
Photo of akorsak


3.4/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The ale is a hazy orange color with a moderate head.

S: The ale has a strong peppery coriander nose.

T: The taste is a letdown. There is a strong metallic (not oxidized, mind you) flavor that dominates the ale. Hints of spice pop up from time to time, but not in enough concentration or frequency to make a difference.

M: The spices help out, but can't salvage the flavor. The taste drops off significantly from the nose.

D: St. Bernardus shines when making abbey ales. It seems as though they struggle when it comes to other belgian styles.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2006 14:45:06 | More by akorsak
Photo of Rifugium


4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA

This is undoubtedly the smoothest and best witbier I've ever had. Poured into a chalice, a cloudy, pale, bronzed yellow-orange with a beautiful head of delicate white bubbles that retained pretty much throughout the session and left some nice lacing. Biscuity aroma, Belgian yeast, sugar and spice, and citrus zest. Very bready and earthy taste, and very complex and full-flavored for a witbier. Flavors of yeast, sugar, lemon, pear, banana, corriander, pepper, all wrapped in an incredibly smooth package that you just don't get from a typical wit. Probably the only wit that I've had that I'd call medium-bodied, with full flavor and rich texture, and definitely easily drinkable, but to be savored.

Serving type: on-tap

06-28-2011 11:29:53 | More by Rifugium
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was glad to find this one on tap at the new lower NYC spot, Villedge Public House. Poured cloudy light staw. Leaves classy looking Belgian lacing, left behind from the light fluffy white head. Nose is of powdered sugar and wheat. This a fruity, slightly sweet beer,"creamcicle" notes, light spice, more fresh fruit. Tasty and refreshing, nice to enjoy fresh on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2006 16:33:01 | More by Billolick
Photo of rhoadsrage


3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer pours a super thick head of snow white that last and last pushing up above the glass but still holding form. The butterscotch colored body is hazy with a strong carb of micro bubbles boiling away.

S- This beer has a soft soapy smell of yeast with a note of sour bread starter and a hint of lemon and banana.

T- This beer has a dry dough and white bread flavor with a light dry spice note with hints of coriander. There is a nice tiny hop bite in the finish that is green and herbal. As the beer warms there is a note of dried corn that comes through before the hops and a light cola hint in the begining of the taste.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel that is supported with that thick head but the finish has a tight little fizz.

D- This beer has a good crisp refreshing flavor and a nice little hop taste to balance it, but it is very filling and feels like a meal in a glass.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2007 17:40:58 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of lacqueredmouse


4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured, swirled, poured, swirled, poured into the glass to extract as much of the yeasty goodness as possible. My reward is indeed and immensely cloudy and opaque beer, light straw yellow in colour, with a filmy and fine-bubbled white head. Carbonation streams in tiny bubbles up the edge of the glass, and the body looks like it's got some pleasant heft to it. The colour is slightly dull, but otherwise it's a great looking wit.

Nose is lovely, with sweet orange and lilting pepper spice and a smooth almost creamy vanilla undertone that is cut and set off by the citric twang. Round Belgian yeast complements everything and connects it all together. An absolutely superlative witbier nose. Quite marvellous.

Taste is also good, but lighter, as it should be. Here the creaminess disappears, leaving a rather crisp and very light-bodied affair, laced with spicy orange and a touch of bicarbonate. Mouthfeel is light and ephemeral, leaving little in its passing but refreshment.

Exceptionally good witbier, and indeed one of the pinnacles of the style. Refreshing, fragrant, crisp and drinkable. You can't ask for anything more.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2011 06:57:09 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a one-finger white head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Cloudy light amber color with some yeast left in the bottle. Light bodied and medium carbonation. Nose is a sweet malt and yeasty . Starts with a distinct wheat/yeast flavor, finishes clean. Very good wheat. $3.90 for a 330ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2005 23:43:29 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Jason


4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33 cl brown bottle with a freshness date on the label.

Appearance: A godly white lace with the usual cloudy beige colour.

Smell: Runnings of coriander and citric zest with a softness of malt and yeast.

Taste: Spicy clove right up front, ghost like pine or spruce … could be anise and an earthy mix from the yeast. Hopping is hidden for the most part. Dry malt and grain, tartness grows middle to end with a lemon meringue flavour. Chalky yeast and a stalled tartness give the finish.

Mouthfeel: Relentless crisp carbonation that has ending wakes of smoothness in the light to moderate body.

Drinkability & Notes: Overly quenching. Quite an exciting brew, top of the list for me … just what I have always wanted in a witbier.

Thanks to D & V International for the sample. http://www.specialtybeer.com/

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2003 19:39:31 | More by Jason
Photo of Zorro


4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled through "I Want That" BIF 2 and mikesgroove.

An extremely cloudy pale yellow colored ale with a monumental snow-white head, could be paler but a great looking witbier.

Intensely aromatic beer with a strong hard apple cider from the moment the cap is popped. Sweet and tart apple aroma with a lot of powdery yeast. The usual coriander is present and bits of pepper, vanilla and orange zest for spice too.

The flavor begins sweet very malty and thick with a spice cookie dough aftertaste. Very strong wheat malt flavor it is almost chewable in this respect. Good spice flavor without being overpowering like some beers of the type. I have the impression I am drinking an apple spice cookie. The aftertaste is all cookies and spice. Mostly I taste malt, coriander, orange, vanilla and a little apple.

The mouthfeel is a subjective thing it is VERY thick for the style and some may see this as a defect in this beer. I don't but it should be mentioned that this is no light wheat beer made for hot summer days. This is very thick and much like drinking cookie dough.

A super drinkable beer I wish I had a growler more of this rather than about two more swallows. Best and most refined Belgian Witbier I have had yet. An extremely desirable beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2007 04:55:50 | More by Zorro
Photo of Wasatch


4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy yellow color with some brown from the yeast, nice carbonation, nice small creamy white head, some nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, yeasty, slightly spicy, floral. The taste is slightly sweet at the beginning then the yeast kicks in, slight spice, with some floral tones. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is an awesome Witbier, one of the best I've had to date.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2007 00:31:26 | More by Wasatch
Photo of corby112


3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark hazy golden yellowish brown head with some ripe banana and honey mustard hues and a half finger foam head that quickly fades into a lasting ring. Minimal lacing.

Crisp citrus aroma with hints of orange and lemon peel with some spicy corriander and zesty pepper.

Soft carbonation up front making it crisp and smooth with a nice balance of citrus and spice notes. Slightly bready/yeasty with hints of orange and lemon peel, corriander, ripe banana and peppery lemon zest. Very drinkable with a sweet dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2009 06:45:46 | More by corby112
Photo of DoubleJ


4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Back Abbey, on to the beer:

A creamy and bubbly head rests on top this morning sunrise colored beer. Body is mildly cloudy. It's a soft beer to the nose and palate; spices are minor and melded in nicely to the fruity taste of orange and pear. Hints of yeast too. Light on the palate with low carbonation; a good choice for a warm summer day.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2008 01:45:33 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BB 28/06/10, served chilled in De Dolle Oerbier's long-stemmed goblet. On the top of the front label bears "Pierre Celis Signature Selection".

A: serving it cloudy, it ends up in the glass a murky light chestnut brown hue, coming with a very creamy and tight off-white froth settling slowly and leaving tight lacing behind, while the carbonation comes semi-lively but never too much.
S: marvellous, like a Belgian pale ale mixed with a witbier, for the estery fig-jam, white dates and an exotic edge of Taiwanese aiyu-jelly (a hint usually coming with Belgian pale) comes in abundance, in addition to faint dustiness, sweet citrus notes of hops, thin wheat-malts and coriander seeds. Overall, complicated and well-integrated.
T: utterly delicious and refreshing - the light malty and wheat-ish entry is skirted by a lovely mixture of dried white dates, melted crystal sugar, zesty citrus, and complicated spicy undertones of coriander seeds and maybe white pepper. Rather aromatic-powdery (like mashed lentils or Chinese green beans actually) in the finish with a fine bitter edge of hops... simply lip-smacking and even more-ish in a sense.
M&D: the attenuated but incredibly refreshing carbonation underlines the delicious profile and a full body just perfectly, keeping the palate intact throughout the drink, never going thin. At 5.5%abv., the body is 110% full as evinced by a solid malty+sugary backbone, while the spicy-yeast and lightly bitter edge helps to ensure a perfect balance. All in all, one of the best witbiers I've luckily tasted!

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2009 18:17:16 | More by wl0307
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yellow Bartlett pear with a very pallid and pasty complexion. I expect witbiers to be cloudy, but colour this dulled and clarity this foggy make for a very worn out looking appearance. Even the head is no more than a tattered and depleted ring. It seems that only the bright afternoon sunshine is capable of bringing any liveliness into this beer.

The bouquet is full of wonderful aromatics. Although only the two traditional spices were used - ground coriander seeds and dried Curaçao orange peels - it would be quite understandable for someone to perhaps note on hints of grains of paradise, black pepper, chamomile, cumin, mustard seed, mushy bananas and/or any number of citrus zests.

The flavour mirrors the aroma move for move. Both are equal parts fruity, floral and grainy. It is lightly sweet with a tart citrus zest that concludes each sip. The spice component can become a little herbal like a strongly steeped tea. It is crisp and dry but always with the tart presence of citrus (notably the Curaçao orange). Simply put: it's a delicious beer.

If this was crafted in the true traditional way, as I'm sure it was, then the grist is probably made up of approximately 50% malt, 45% wheat and 5% oats (Interbrew, who make Hoegaarden, for example, will leave out the oats). I find the oats add just a splash of oily smoothness that seems to only add to the pleasant texture of unmalted winter wheat.

If a beer was ever made for a hot summer day then surely this must be it! Ok, I can think of a few other front runners for that award, so I'll retract my statement. But if there was ever a style of beer made for hot summer days then surely it must be witbiers! And we owe our thanks to Pierre Celis for (re)introducing the world to this wonderful, long forgotten style.

I can't say I noticed much difference - if any - between the regular St. Bernardus Witbier and the Pierre Celis Signature Selection. For all I can tell they are the exact same beer (*note: they are), and in any event, I seem to enjoy them both every bit the same. If I was to toast the legendary Pierre Celis, the Godfather of Witbier, it would certainly be with a glass of this fine ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2009 15:00:02 | More by biegaman
Photo of weeare138


4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a golden haze with a fizzy head that quickly dies. No lacing is left behind in the glass.
Smell is of tons of orange peel and tropical fruit atop a bed of crisp wheat with perhaps a touch of clove in the background.
Taste is of a delicate blend of tropical fruit and orange peel, along with ripe pears, perhaps nearing a tripel style. Maybe conditioned with the tripel yeast?
Mouthfeel is delicately smooth, slightly sweet, and there's an even level amount of carbonation lending to a mild bitterness at the end.
Drinkability is very nice and a peculiar renditioin of a wit. I know that Pierre Celis helped to formulate this but it was a definite turn from the Hoegaarden and Celis White. This was like a cross between a Wit and a Tripel, which made for an interesting but tasty brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2005 16:46:35 | More by weeare138
Photo of Bighuge


4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer has low transparancy. One of the murkiest looking brews I've had. But fitting, yes. Dull gold color. Creamy eggshell colored head with good retention. Nice looking brew. This beer smells like the forest after a quick downpour. Fresh. Musty. Green. Earthy. Spices work nicely on the nose as well. Almost like a sweet orange curacoa and/or nutmeg. Taste reminds me of wet leaves. Musty and herbal. But also sweet and spicy. Sweet orange peel. Lemondrop. A little pepper. Yeasty and bready as well. WOW! The cacophony of flavors here works great. Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated. Body is about medium. Drinkability gets a 5. This beer lasted all of 5 minutes.
This one would challenge Gray's Witbier as my personal favorite.

I've been wanting to try this one for a while. And I thought I'd give it a go today on what might be our last 80+ day here in MN. Thanks Marc77.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2003 01:20:16 | More by Bighuge
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a cloudy straw with gold highlights and was capped off by a foamy 1 finger bright white head that was sticky and clung to the sides of the glass on the way down producing a thin film lacing.

S: The nose was yeasty with musky scents of bananas, lemons, and coriander with some wet wheat grains.

T: much like the nose, yeasty and full of bananas, oranges and lemons with some coriander. A nice creamy whieatiness is detected along with dry lemons producing a nice tartness to the overall palate. There was some sour fruitiness as well (apples, pears) and some cloves and candi-sugar sweetness sneaking in as well.

M: lively from the carbonation which was prickly on the tongue with a light creamy texture finishing crisply.

D: Six pack worthy by all means and a great beer to beat the heat. Nicely fit per style and quenches the thirst. Goes down really nice.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2008 19:05:46 | More by beerthulhu
St. Bernardus Witbier from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
93 out of 100 based on 1,042 ratings.