St. Bernardus Witbier - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
St. Bernardus WitbierSt. Bernardus Witbier

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

624 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 624
Hads: 1,386
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.39%
Wants: 272
Gots: 135 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Witbier Alström Bros
Reviews: 624 | Hads: 1,386
Photo of DaveBar
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

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 (468 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
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. (1,976 characters)

Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.86/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (381 characters)

Photo of barczar
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy lemon with a modest ivory head. Orange zest, clove, wheat, lemon, coriander, and floral hops form the very strong aroma. Banana emerges late. Flavor is slightly more subdued, with citrus leading, and becoming bready and toasted mid palate. Citrus notes strengthen in subsequent sips, dominating the profile.

Delicious take on the style. I love the bready malt presence, and the fact that it's not bubblegum or banana laden until the finish. (455 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.31/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle dated 13 03 15 at 45 degrees into flute
Aroma of spice
Head small (2 cm), white, frothy, slowly diminishing to 3 mm ring with 1 mm layer
Lacing- none
Body light yellow, cloudy
Flavor begins with yeast and spice; no alcohol, no malt, no hops, no diacetyl. Flavor dies with yeast, leaving a sour aftertaste.
Palate light to medium, watery, lively carbonation.

Nothing special; I would have guessed a Belgium IPA, not a wit. (430 characters)

Photo of kisthekids
4.94/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a hazy straw yellow into a tulip glass. Head was about 1 finger but dissipated quickly.

S - Smells like your average witbier.... citrusy and wheaty. Very enticing, while at the same time reminding of lesser beers of its type.

T - Wow! Tart, lemon citrus, wheat, clove, and other spices come to mind. This is exactly what I want out of a beer. Simple, light, easy to drink, yet full of great flavor. This does not taste watered-down by any means. It's just a perfect balance. I imagine it goes well with most food.

M - Light, and refreshing, pleasant carbonation. Finishes smooth with nice carbonation, and just the subtlest hint of bitterness.

O - This is the best witbier I've had (I've had Hoegaarden, Alagash, Blance De Chamby, Hitachino.. etc), and this style is really one of the best, in my opinion. I think this beer is a bit underrated and deserves more attention on BA. (893 characters)

Photo of JaimeLondon
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Great wit beer of an opaque and pale ocher color. Nice, big and dense foam.
Smell is made basically of wheat malt, it's also a bit saucy and herbal. A bit of banana too.
Taste is similar. The highlights are the herbal notes, could feel even some basil. It's is possible to feel other fruit notes too, like papaya.
Mouthfeel is the best thing here. Great body and big carbonation. (379 characters)

Photo of JTuomi
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

33cl bottle (07 08 15) into a tumbler. Hazy straw color, big foamy head, good retention, effervescent carbonation. Held a one finger head. Smell has tart wheat and belgian yeast, citrusy notes. Taste is light, slightly tart wheat with yeasty aftertaste.
Medium-light body, stingy medium carbonation, slightly watery mouthfeel. Very drinkable and refreshing, a really nice brew for hot summer days. Would have again. (415 characters)

Photo of benfons
3.61/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: hazy golden colour, nice big head

S: citrus (lemon, orange), hints of coriander

T: rather sweet, citrus, peppery notes, some hops in the finish

M: medium body, little carbonation,

O: good witbier, although for me not as great as the majority think (255 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet glass. Best by date of 19-08-14.

Appearance: Pours a very hazy straw yellowish orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of white head that quickly fades into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A yeasty, fruity, and fairly spicy Belgian wheat aroma with good hints of orange and coriander. Belgian yeast with upfront hints of coriander, white pepper, and clove. Lots of wheat along with hints of straw, grains, and cracker. Fruit hints of orange, lemon, and green apple. Sweet hints of Belgian candied sugar and honey. Subtle earthy hops. A very good wheaty aroma.

Taste: Like the smell, a fruity, yeasty, and spicy Belgian wheat driven taste with good notes of coriander and citrus. Upfront Belgian yeast with lots of coriander along with some white pepper and clove. Wheat along with some hints of grains, straw, and cracker. Fruit notes of orange, lemon, and green apples. Sweet notes of candied sugar and some honey. Slight background presence of herbal hops. A very solid wheat forward taste.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Crisp, fruity, and slightly tart. Very smooth with a drying finish.

Overall: A great Belgian Witbier. Very good mix of yeast, coriander, and fruit flavors. One of the best for the style. (1,367 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Sampling a fresh corked and caged 750 at cellar temp poured into a tulip snifter.
This was a gift from my friend Robbie who is helping get our house ready for sale. thanks!

the beer pours a slightly hazy gold color with fluffy bleached white head foaming up 4 cm even with a gentle pour. The head recedes slowly leaving windowpane lattice on my glass. there is a sturdy surface layer of foam throughout my sampling.

Aroma is some grainy malt and a bit of citrus. A little bit of bready yeast and maybe slightly tart lemon. Appealing and just a little funky nose.

First sip reveals an average to light body with fine tingly carbonation that tickles my palate on each sip.
Flavor is some sweet tangy wheat malt and abit of lemon citrus that is stronger on the finish. I also get some bready yeast and a bit of a funky tart character. At the end of the bottle the yeast dregs make the beer sweeter and almost fruity like white grapes or pears.

This is a crisp enjoyable beer and I dont taste the 5.5% anywhere. A very nice beer that I am glad I had a chance to try. Worthy if you like Wit beers. (1,097 characters)

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: puffy dome head on pour, fades to near nothing... pretty darn cloudy, moonlight yellow... meager lacing

S: heavy floral scent, heavy on coriander, not much else... mild undercurrent of cookie-dough-y wheat... overall quite pungent

T: up front - fairly bitter coriander seed - fades midway, giving way to the orange peel, then rises back up in the finish... the orange peel emerges past midway and lingers large in the aftertaste... solid, moist brioche wheat core... overall, excellent taste - bold, pungent, complex, shifting

M: fairly light-bodied, stays up front on the palate... dry, fleece-soft, quiet... late sourish bite/tang

O: quite fine overall... bold spicing... balanced enough, though it could use a touch more body and malt flavor... maybe a bit too sharp and dry (784 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml Bottle from the Total Wine Palm Desert CA for $5

Appearance - Gold colour with a large size fizzy/frothy white head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Cloves, lemons, breads/grains

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste oranges, cloves and lemons. There is also some breads/grains and a bubblegum/banana flavour.

Overall - Pricey but an above average wit for sure. It has a perfect balance of flavours and a great mouthfeel. (582 characters)

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a New Belgium snifter. The beer pours out a cloudy pale orange with about a finger and a half of dense white foam that retains pretty well. The nose, while faint, is grainy and spicy, not sweet like many beers of this style. There is a hint of breadiness, but mostly I get soda crackers and white pepper.

The beer has a predominantly sweet flavor with a hint of tartness and some fruity accents. Bready, honey-like wheat notes up front are quickly joined by oranges, lemons, and some coriander, squelching the sweetness and balancing the flavor. On the back of the palate the flavor dries out and a slight tartness rings through, bringing a tea-like character to the beer as well as adding to the drinkability and thirst-quenching qualities. Really pleasant to drink.

A delightful witbier, but a little pricey to drink regularly, It's a pity, since beers like this are made to be sessioned in the summertime. Very glad I tried it and will likely revisit when the mercury rises, cost notwithstanding. (1,027 characters)

Photo of youknowmyname
3.79/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Odor: Pepper and cloves.

Pour: light Milky orange, Unfiltered, Decent head, Laces the glass well. Served in a chalis

Taste: Dry Pepper. Can taste faint citrus that changes into a heavy yeast aftertaste. Most Witbeirs have a sweeter citrus taste, this does not. Rather than the pulp of citrus fruits this tastes like the peel. Not a bad thing, but different from most witbeirs I have had. Light carbination with a very dry finish. (433 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Hazy opaque golden with a white head.

S: Nice orange-forward fruitiness over nutmeg, cloves and cardamom undertones.

T: Tart lemon, orange, cloves, nutmeg and cardamom. Typical flavors of a Witbier: akin to a saison, but more fruity and less spicy.

M: Saison-like mouthfeel, somewhat harsh and light bodied.

O: Definitely recommended. One of my favorites from the brewery, typical of the style, but delicious. (416 characters)

Photo of wedge
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Cloudy, sunny peach color capped by a slender creamy white head. Aromas of cracked wheat, fresh oranges, creamy vanilla sweetness, light on the spice, with some smooth, well-integrated coriander. Citrusy, lightly spiced flavor with a notable wheat-y twang, a touch of clove, and some yeast. Dry, textured mouthfeel, with a slight lingering tanginess that makes for a refreshing, easy-drinking wit. A well-crafted wit from St. Bernardus, which comes as no surprise. (464 characters)

Photo of flyingpig
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

330ml Bottle from Beers of Europe website (£1.79):
Cloudy golden yellow with a huge, foamy white head that seems to get bigger as it settles and opens up. Retention is great & there is nice lacing too.

Fruity with some wheat and yeast coming through. Lots of citrus and some coriander too. Very slightly sour and with some orange as well.

Wheat & some light wheat and coriander with light citrus and lemon. The beer is quite sweet and fruity with a pleasant taste that is very much what I'd been expecting from this one.

Smooth and light medium bodied without seeming thin or watery. There was strong carbonation to give the beer a lively and quite refreshing feel.

A nice tasting beer, that smooth and very fruity with a good, refreshing finish. It went down very well and was exactly what I've come to expect from a good example of the style. Simple with a good balance but pulled off well. (897 characters)

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 330 ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. This brew is allegedly quite close to Pierre Celis' original Hoegaarden recipe and is widely regarded as a decent stab at what genuine witbier used to taste like before the style became industrialized and relatively insipid. This sort of snobbery aside, I do see what the critics mean. St. Bernardus wit is a milky banana yellow hue, super cloudy and infused with particulate material from yeast. Aroma is correspondingly yeasty, sweet, citrusy, and spicy with a touch of Belgian funk and a decent burst of clove phenolics. Few North American wits smell like this. Palate features Indian round coriander seed, lemony and slightly tannic but not overpowering, orange rind, sweet grainy malt that combines with the citrus to evoke lemon meringue pie, and a surprisingly rich earthy spice that prevents things from being too sweet. Dry and woody in fact, with sour apple notes and a touch of butterscotch in the finish. Nicely carbonated (which is to say highly so). Should this be deemed the witbier Platonic ideal? Quite possibly, although dare I say that I prefer the more aggressive Unibroue yeast in Blanche de Chambly? Its almost a dead heat between these two. In the St. Bernardus Trappist influenced take reviewed here, everything is truly in its right place and the overall effect is earthy, spicy, dry, and as well-calibrated as a Swiss watch. Precise and technically proficient but still a work of art in the Belgian beer sense. (1,488 characters)

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy pale yellow with a big off-white head that is dirtied with some yeast. The amazing thing is that the head is big but incredibly delicate. It is as if it could collapse on its own weight. Never seen a head like this before. Decent lace is a result.

Yeast, sweet wheat, some coriander and white pepper. Great nose.

Yeasty flavors, sweet grain, a little lemon, a little lemon rind bitterness, some spice. Clean flavors, nice malt finish with mild bitterness.

Light bodied, nice carbonation.

What to say here…just try this. Looked at this one for years and never grabbed one. Wow, do I feel like a dummy. (619 characters)

Photo of mmva321
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet.

A: Beautiful in its simplicity. A very consistent, cloudy body that's a beautiful amber that seems deep. A pale white head tops it off. It is bubbly and dissipates leaving a thin film on top.

S: A beautifully classic witbier smell. Strong aromas of coriander and orange pop up over a well balanced base of spicy malts and hearty wheat. Extremely well balanced, I only wish it were stronger.

T: Outstanding flavors here. Coriander and orange and lemon and wheat are all balanced to near perfection. It strikes me as a great, classic witbier taste done without surprises but is simply better made than others.

M: Almost perfect. It has a great amount of carbonation. The thin body just has a bit more weight to it that really enhances the experience. It's perfect right away, but is just a little bit too watery on the finish. It still leaves some great lingering flavors in your mouth though. Excellent.

O: At once highly refined and well crafted but also free from pretension in its simplicity, this is a witbier done right, and a great go to for a light beer when you don't necessarily need the extreme boldness of other styles. (1,157 characters)

Photo of FLima
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy amber orange color with a thick head with medium retention and leaving some laces.
Slightly sour aroma with notes of banana and coriander.
Flavor of bananas, elegantly spiced, fresh orange-lemon, bubblegum and a hint of tartness and salt. Mildly dry aftertaste.
Full body with appropriate carbonation, a bit effervescent.
Perfect executed wit, very smooth and packed with assertive flavors. (395 characters)

Photo of tkelley
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

330 mo bottle poured into my Nightshift tulip. Fizzed up when I opened the bottle but not too badly.

A - very nice body color, almost lemony. Very hazy and opaque. Not as much head as. Expected. Died down quickly.

N - smells of citrus, primarily lemon. Yeasty too with notes of of coriander.

T - yeasty, lemony, and spices (coriander). Very refreshing. A little bit of booze taste, surprising because t is only 5.5%.

M - fizzy. Pleasant aftertaste.

O - really good. Brings elements of a Belgian abbey ale to the witbier game. Cheers! (539 characters)

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed out of a brown 330 mL bottle with the only indication of date being a "best by" date of 2015, but I have no idea what St. Bernardus uses for their lead time between bottling and best by. The bottle conditioning may be giving this one a long shelf-life. Poured into a 16 oz nonic style tumbler.

Appearance - Pretty much your prototypical-looking witbier, with a body that is substantially hazy and the color of golden yellow straw, with sunny highlights where the light shines through the most. Atop the body sits a rocky two finger stark white head, that slowly starts to dissipate, leaving what looks like foamy swiss cheese as the larger bubbles start to burst. Sticky, moderate lacing.

Smell - Spicy wheat grain and lemon zest are the predominant characteristics here, with a healthy dose of generically fruity phenols giving it a bit of depth. Some faint sweetness as well, presumably from the yeast.

Taste - The coriander and orange peel make their presence known here, but there is also a slightly sourish element that is often noticeable in witbiers, but on a much more subdued level than this one. Zesty and assertive to the taste buds. By no means would I call this beer "Sour", but the bit of tartness from the grain and lemony characteristics makes for a very complex and flavorful wit. This is definitely up there in taste as far as the style goes.

Mouthfeel - A little less creamy/round than wits I've had in the past, making it feel a little bit thin of body, but with amply moderate carbonation. Semi-dry finish.

Overall, this is a fantastic example of the style. The spices are very much present, but they don't overwhelm the simpler grain characteristics, giving it nice drinkability. I also personally like the slightly tart element to the beer, because it makes it nice and refreshing. Would definitely buy again in a 4-pack now that I've had it. (1,878 characters)

Photo of Das_Reh
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a weizen glass

A = very dense and cloudy; an opaque, milky yellow beer with a thick fluffy white crown

S = typical wit aromas of citrus, coriander, wheaty and yeasty, albeit a bit subdued... perhaps I'm drinking it too cold?

T = Tangy and wheaty, the coriander isn't as pronounced as I was expecting, very citrusy with a lemony tartness. This beer is subtle, and one I'll have to try again and savor as I don't think I allowed myself to -really- enjoy the nuances in this brew.

M = creamy and soft, perfect carbonation

O = One of the best beers I've ever had, but too expensive to enjoy often. (630 characters)

St. Bernardus Witbier from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
92 out of 100 based on 624 ratings.