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St. Stefanus - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
St. StefanusSt. Stefanus

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

245 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 245
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 10.94%
Wants: 12
Gots: 36 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Fux on 03-08-2012

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 245 | Reviews: 68
Reviews by WoodBrew:
More User Reviews:
Photo of pat61
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bread, fruit, biscuit on the nose. It pours brilliant gold with a slight copper tint under a lacy, 2” pillowy head. The initial palate offers an array of fruit – peach and tropical light fruits with some over ripeness. A light sweetness form the malt hinting at bubble gum balances an earthy hop bitterness on the finish. Mdeium full body ahnd medium carbonation.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
cellar release 4/2012

A- This beer pours a thick 3/4 full glass of off-white head even with a very gentle pour. Eventually the clear orange body comes up with strands of racing microbubbles.

S- A mineral and club soda aroma has a nice full yeasty aroma with some fruity characteristics.

T- The dry slightly fruity yeast reminds me of Orval yeast with a nice soft green note in the finish and a dry banana ester coming through as the beer opens. There is a light white bread flavor underneath and some hints of more yeast character as it opens but it stays subtle even though it has some nice complexity.

M- The light mouthfeel has a more full tight fizz but no alcohol noticed. And there is a nice crisp texture in the finish.

O- This beer is very sessionable with a nice flavor and depth to the yeast profile with some soft support from the malt. I'm not sure aging it would help any, as the bottle suggest, but I could be wrong.

Photo of tastybeer
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Light and glowing, slightly amber gold. Head is nicely bubbly and good in size. Holds a 1/4 inch once faded. Lace is straggely and blotchy.

S: Aroma is spicy, flowery, bright with lemon, and there's plenty of cookies plus crackers.

T: Spice at the front here also. Sweet sugar cookies with lemon, soft candy orange, cream, apples... A variety of well organized flavors.

M: Texture is pronounced syrup with tingly carbonation. This has a fullness to it but its very easy to drink.

O: Quite a lot of interesting and enjoyable things going on here. Score.

Photo of hreb
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750mL cork-topped bottle of St. Stefanus Blonde, cellar release 8-2012. served in Chimay chalice glass. beer pours golden yellow with a medium white head, just shy of crystal clear, and big bubbles rising towards the surface. Aroma is bright and sweet, and very much like cider. Taste is mild and brings traditional Beligan Blonde flavors, but doesn't wow me. Hoppy bitterness complements yeasty earthiness. Pretty dry though, I don't get caramel flavors as much of a highly attenuated / low final gravity ale. In the back there are subtler flavors of clove and grass.

overall: Enjoyable, but there is nothing to keep me coming back to this particular BPA.

Photo of RickS95
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Blonde/pale ale...whatever. Looks like either. Similar to an American pale ale, just a spit lighter, a bit clearer, and with some floaties in it. Regardless, it's nice looking with a contrasting bright white head. The head isn't huge and doesn't last long, but the contrast it provides is welcome and it leaves behind a thin lace.

Nose is pleasant as it melds citrus, spicy pepper, and floral notes. If you take a big whiff, you'll pick up some alcohol and other esters, but overall, the nose is very Belgian.

Great taste. The Belgian yeast is amazing as it provides everything the nose picked up. It's bursting with flavor with pale malts and the yeast completely overwhelming the hops.

Not sure if they used champagne yeast (they used three different kinds of yeast), but it feels like it with its light, airy, carbonated feel up front. The spicy white pepper takes notice mid sip before the carbonation spikes the sides of your tongue in the swallow. Light to medium bodied, despite the 7% ABV. Dry crisp finish.

Overall, this was a pretty amazing beer. It's bursting with Belgian flavors and shows what a difference there is between a good Belgian pale ale and what Americans have done to the same style...no necessarily better or worse, just incredibly different. This is a great example of the style.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.21/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottled 8/2012. Opened 8/2013
Poured a finger of foamy head on a almost clear, medium straw colored body. Looks great.
The aroma is mild overall. Slight dry grain and fruit smell.
The taste has a mild bitterness and a touch of apple with some fizzy texture. No real depth.
The carbonation is moderate with a crisp body.
A bit of a disappointment. A nice fizzy drink but no real flavor to aroma.

Photo of pleasewearpants
2.58/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ahh St. Stefanus. The patron saint of graphic design right? Aroma is green apple, vegetal, cooked corn. Mild notes of yeast and bread. Flavor is typical. Bit of sweetness followed by an unpleasant bitter finish. Cant help but think this is a purely boardroom driven beer. Nice labels bad beer.

Photo of puboflyons
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From the corked, caged bottle hand dated 7-2012. Sampled on June 19, 2014.

Cloudy copper-amber brown pour leading up a full cream colored head that sits delicately on top.

Lovely Belgian aromas of toasted biscuits, toasted malts, yeast, spice, pepper, but basically no outward hop sensation. Just enticing.

The body is full.

A bit more spicy pepper characteristics playing off the malts and yeast in the flavor. Pleasant sipping beer.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a large fading head.
Nose shows doughy Belgian yeast, soft spicy phenols, caramel and candi notes.
More doughy notes as flavours along with caramel and more candi sugar characters. A little cloying.
Carbonation seems a tad excessive.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml caged and corked bottle, 4-2012 Cellar Release. Served in a Unibroue tulip, the beer pours a hazy dark gold color with about an inch and a half off-white head. Head retention is good, and there's a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like orange and lemon peel, peppery spice, herbs, root beer, and some green apple. It tastes like cloves, peppery spice, orange and lemon peel, bubblegum, tangerines, pears, and a bit of licorice and apple. Very yeasty. Mouthfeel/body is medium, with a good amount of soft carbonation that makes this easy to drink. I liked this brew, certainly worth trying if you've never had it before. $11.99 a bottle.

Photo of philbe311
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A bottle does not make a beer, but this is a pretty wicked bottle... Dated 4-2012...

A - An audibly fizzy active pour that yields three plus fingers worth of airy crisp off-white colored head comprised of huge chunky bubbles... Decent retention gives way to a fluffy delectable frothy lacing and moderate to thick collar... A light to moderate bit of carbonation which is a mix of sluggish and rapid... There is a slight haziness that lingers in this pale gold colored offering... A slight bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - Golden raisins... Pear... Apple... A kiss of honey... Some candied sugar notes... Very light Belgian yeastiness... Apricots... Perhaps even some light peachy notes... Well rounded and quite complex... A very nice aroma... Each whiff reveals a new dimension...

T - A mix of over ripened sweet fruits... Apple... Pears... Banana... White grapes... Golden Raisins... Apricot... Peaches... Tangerine... There is also some very subtle Belgian yeast component mixed with a slight spiciness... Some rich doughy undertones... A very light bitter astringency on the finish that lingers for a bit...

M - Medium bodied sturdy... Perfect level of slightly prickly carbonation... A bit sticky... Sleek... Smooth... Sophisticated and refined... Goes down easily sip after sip...

D - A very nice Belgian Strong Pale Ale... I would gladly revisit and can recommend without hesitation... I only wish this one were a bit more widely available... Lots of character and depth in every facets... Truly enjoyable...

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.
7% ABV, Cellar Release: 1-2012, 8°C, "maturation calendar" on side, Best Before: 03/11/13 on back label.

A - A steady stream of strong carbonation billows from the glass' etching, through the vibrantly clear golden yellow beer, to the effervescent and pillowy egg shell-colored head. Gobs of lace decorate the glass in a whole-y Swiss cheese pattern.

S - Giant fruit esters erupt from this fresh Belgian yeast-laden beer! Sweet orange peel citrus masks, ever-so-slightly, a dribble of white grape juice while earthy clay and white pepper spice follow through. Pilsner malt adds plenty of sweetness to the aroma as alcohol finishes out gently. Abounding aromatics make this one hell of a great smelling beer!

T - Sweet pilsner malt is traded for an unpleasant grainy pale malt as the explosive yeast esters fade to the background. Apricot hints come out and white pepper is still pretty strong, but the finish is very dry and almost metallic tasting.

M - Strong carbonation should come as no surprise, making this a perfect beer to pair with some cheese as it'll scrub your tongue nicely. Medium-bodied and leaning towards the sweet size, hops never enter the picture; instead, the beer is balanced by an overwhelming dryness along the finish that lingers for quite a bit.

O - This beer loses track somewhere between the aroma and flavor, changing drastically. The first sip was quite distasteful as it finished out with a metallic-like dryness, but after a few further sips, it became more drinkable. It's aggressive and inviting aroma is near perfection, it's just the flavor that doesn't quite follow in the footsteps. I'd imagine that this beer with it's fruity, earthy, and spice characteristics would be a good beer to pair with a handful of different cheeses and explore their interactions.

Photo of wedge
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Cellar Release: 4 - 2012

Picked this 750 up on a whim for the low, low price of $3.99.

Clear gold, a nice, richly creamy head rests atop. Spicy yeast, apple, pale cookie-like malts, honey, clove, lemon, perfume-y floral notes, and light dried banana. Sweet malt, juicy apple, plenty of yeast, slight coriander, ripe banana...spicy and crisp. Dry, medium body, with some creaminess.

A lot better than expected. Honestly, I had never heard of this particular Van Steenberge beer, but I needed to meet the minimum for using a credit card at a local convenience store and this caught my eye. Glad I did...really decent stuff, especially considering what I got it for. I'd like to try a slightly younger bottle for comparison.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium burnished golden amber with a one finger white head with great retention and lots of lacing. Nice aroma of light stone fruit, Belgian yeast, caramel malt, clove. Flavor follows, with caramel malt, stone fruit and light citrus, clove, hints of banana, starts semi-sweet, but finishes dry with a bit of astringency from the clove. Medium bodied with active carbonation. A nicely made Belgian pale ale with good fruit and light malt flavors, good transition to the dry finish, perhaps a bit astringent in the finish. A crisp, tasty Belgian froma brewery that makes some of my favorite ales (Piraat and Gulden Draak). Always a pleasure.

Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear dark yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high off white head that died down, leaving a pillow of bubbles in the center of the glass, a thick collar around the edge, and a thin head in between.
S: Moderate aromas of candi sugars are present in the nose along with notes of pale malts and hints of fruity yeast.
T: While the taste has sweet flavors of candi sugars, there are a lot more fruity flavors
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seemed a lot sweeter compared to most of the other beers I've had in the style and didn't have any spicy flavors. It was also rather drinkable because it managed to mask any traces of alcohol from the taste.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

33cl Bottle: best before 21 Feb 2014, poured into the correct glass (a goblet/chalice) at ‘The Last Drop Inn’, Bolton on 8 Sep 2012 by myself: I didn’t trust the staff!

This was on the bars ‘Boutique Beer List’ and although a bit expensive, it caught my eye. The posh bottle even had a cellar date (5/12) on it, so this was young when I got it.

Deep golden to light amber body, sediment remained in the bottle, nice head even with the steady pour I gave it.

Malts, yeast and mixed fruit in the nose: this carried on into the taste, semi-sweet malty molasses being the prominent flavour. As the beer warmed a little it became a bit metallic in its mouth feel and although I enjoyed the first three quarters of the beer I struggled with the last few sips.

Photo of JimTeal
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a classic don't judge the beer by the label. This is an extremely cool label for an above average Belgian brew, but still it is "just" very good. The beer experience with this St Stefanus is way above average, tastes clean with just a touch of sweet. Nice finish, I didn't get any bitterness, but I did pick up some citrus tones. I recommend this brew to all who are working the Belgian blond beer experience. The color is classic clear but just a hint of haze (now figure that one out for yourself) so it's fun to see and enjoy. But not to be blinded by beer snobness, the label is so cool, it almost looks like one of the monks prepared this bottle just for me. My standard for Belgian aged blonds is very high indeed, so a 4.0 means enjoy this one for the beer, but save the label.

Photo of FriarMickOnThePlateau
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cellar release Oct 2012, consumed March 2015. The taste was perfect once the giganto head subsided. The head lasted as long as the beer. Great lacing... however a bit over done. Really the only thing I can fault it for along with the haze, blonds should be clearer. Overall, this is a very clean and creamy blond and well worth the wait.

Photo of aasher
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, sharp graphics on the bottle and very classy.

This beer pours a light bodied, very highly carbonated bright light gold in color with a two finger white head that dissipated within a minute or two. It is very effervescent and appears as if it may be a little too carbonated. The nose is light, features pale malty sweetness, and a moderate amount of that Belgian bubblegum like yeast. The flavors follow suit. There is definitely more of that bubblegum, banana aspect going on. The flavors aren't bad, definitely on par for the style. It drinks light and with a lot of carbonation. It's a little spritzy. Overall this is a decent beer and a good representation of the style.

Photo of utfiero
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Color- deep honey. Full head.

Aroma- spice, hint of apricot, and honey.

Taste- Starts floral with mild wheatiness in mid-body then finishing with a mildly hoppy crispness. Release 7-2012.

Poured from a corked 750 ml bottle into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted Jan. 2013.

Photo of scottbrew4u
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours into chalice a slightly hazy blonde color with a light orange tinge and a bubbly white head that settles at a relatively quick rate.

S: Some fresh and lightly roasted malt aromas and a touch of honey with some fresh apricot. Light and flowery hop aromas and light phenolics from the yeast round out the aroma.

T: Honey kissed apricots with a pleasant fresh bread flavor from the grains and from the belgian yeast. Light floral and spice from the hops give the beer more balance and drinkability.

M: Light to medium body with bubbly carbonation and mellow alcohol.

D: Interesting but not too complex. This beer got better as you got half way down the glass. It is refreshing with a somewhat sweet aftertaste but not cloying. Worth a try if you have not had this before.

Photo of MCDuhamel
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a corked and caged 750 ml into a chalice. Gentle pour builds a one inch creamy head, which fades to a soapy cap. No lacing. The beer is a mostly clear mid-amber. The nose shows sour apple and apricot, with a bit of mustiness. Apricot, green apple, white grape, and a little toffee feature, with some hop bitterness in the finish. Spritzy, light-medium mouthfeel. Nicely drinkable beer.

Photo of pweis909
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am liking this beer. It is what I want from a Belgian blond.

It is golden yellow, translucent, initially with a 3/4 inch foamy head that recedes to a persistent 1/4 inch head. The beer has a delicate aroma that reminds me of pear, perhaps tend a little toward apple, with a slight amount of hazelnut hiding in the background. The flavor has a cereal graininess that stops short of being sweet, and the hazelnut of the aroma is elevated just when the beer is swallowed. There is also a very slight clovey spiciness from the yeasts phenol contriibution. In the mouth the beer is prickly and light-bodied. It is not filling, but at 7% ABV, I suspect it is less drinkable then I think it is.

Photo of mrsheeps
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A) golden yellow, hazy, moderate carbonation
S) aggressive aroma chock full of fruit esters, green apples, oranges, spice; some malt and yeast, though a bit overpowered by the esters
T) first, and most importantly, the taste significantly improves as the beer approaches room temperature - what starts as overly hoppy/bitter (for the style and/or my taste for the style) finishes with what the aroma promised but failed to deliver upfront: sweet fruits, malt, yeast, and spice
M) some alcohol in the finish, which got more subtle as the beer warmed; light, creamy, and dry; fairly easy to drink despite alcohol presence... I'm done already?!?
O) fairly good, but far from outstanding; P.S. I could see this being described as a Light Tripel

Photo of LagerCognoscenti
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

St stefanus

St Stefanus has a nice cloudy amber appearance with a healthy , vigorous stream of carbonation rushing up the centre of my Duvel tulip glass. The head starts off big but recedes gradually. Excellent lacing.

The aroma is dominated by slightly funky Belgian yeast. Caramel, banana and white grapes are all suggested. Every time you go for a sip you breathe in that inviting aroma beforehand and detect something slightly different from the last time.

The taste is of yeasty goodness. Slight suggestion of marmalade. A rich, spicy, sweet, complex taste with a bit of bitterness making it very well balanced dry finish. Excellent tasting beer!

Overall, a really enjoyable spicy, yeasty dry Belgian beer. Amazing to me that it's only 7% as it tastes more like an 8% or above Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

My level of enjoyment of this beer was right up there with a Duvel, Delirium Tremens or Brigand.

My percentage rating would be 94/100.

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St. Stefanus from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
88 out of 100 based on 245 ratings.