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St. Stefanus - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
St. StefanusSt. Stefanus

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

206 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 206
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 10.38%
Wants: 9
Gots: 21 | FT: 1
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Fux on 03-08-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 206 | Reviews: 62 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tsalou
5/5  rDev +26.6%

tsalou, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of JimmyCop
5/5  rDev +26.6%

JimmyCop, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of Peyton5410
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Peyton5410, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of EricaWestfahl
5/5  rDev +26.6%

EricaWestfahl, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of rcmooney
4.81/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Beer came in a beautiful corked bottle (1 pint, 9.4 fl oz) dated 7-2012 cellar release and I am drinking it on 1/19/13. I bought two bottles. One to try now and another to try in 18 months as the bottle suggests the beer ages well and will turn from a straw gold that is fresh and fruity in flavor to a black ale that is complex and aromatic.

A- honey, spicy, earthy, fennel, slightly sweet, esters

A- Let out a crisp loud noise followed by a chimney of carbonation coming out the nose. The beer poured a medium golden color that is slightly clear followed by a large, white head with good retention at 6-7 months old and cellared in the dark at 55 degrees for about a month.

T- a nice sweetness like sucking on a honey suckle, malt presence, very low hop bitterness

M- medium body and strength, very dry and lasting finish

Overall: I really enjoy this beer and it gets better and more complex with each taste. A moderate strength Belgian Blonde with the subtle Belgian complexity that I love in Belgian strong ales. A slightly sweet flavor with a lingering dry finish. One of my new favorites, although I am bias given that Belgian strong Trappist and Abbey ales are without a doubt my favorite styles of beer. emp

rcmooney, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of CGPeltier
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

CGPeltier, Aug 14, 2014
Photo of grahamboudreaux
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

grahamboudreaux, Jan 31, 2014
Photo of eskybassplr
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

eskybassplr, May 13, 2013
Photo of cowboy83
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

cowboy83, Aug 15, 2013
Photo of Bp123
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

Bp123, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of Damian
4.7/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Drank from an 11.2 fl oz bottle
Cellar Release: 4-2012
Served in a goblet
Thanks to Neil and Joyce for this thoughtful gift.

Pretty slick bottle graphics. It appears that the monks got their hands on the latest version of Photoshop. The beer maturation chart on the label may seem a bit kitschy, but for newbies this info might actually be helpful.

As for the beer, it poured a hazy amber color. A super bubbly and fluffy, one-finger tall, off-white crown topped the liquid. Patchy streaks of lacing coated the glass. The head faded to a lasting cap of froth.

The aroma was really interesting. Super wine-y and rather sweet. This reminded me a lot of a riesling. Muscat grape notes came through strong. Slightly musty. Lots of fruity esters and strong Belgian yeast notes. Spicy and phenolic. Somewhat smoky. A touch of citrus appeared as well.

The flavor profile was stellar. It was similar to the nose in many regards, but perhaps slightly more punchy and complex. Again, the white wine qualities were quite evident. Rich and complex with a stiff, pale malt base. There was a strong Belgian yeast presence. Super phenolic and spicy with clove and coriander notes dominating. Hint of citrus. Touch of smoke as well. A bit of alcohol warmth came through on the crisp, peppery, off-dry finish. Overall, really interesting and dangerously quaffable.

The mouthfeel was simply flawless. Super fluffy and plush on the palate with a fine yet intense carbonation. While the beer was highly effervescent, the liquid quickly settled on the palate and became amazingly creamy and smooth.

I never heard of this beer until I received it as a gift from my girlfriend's parents, and I am very thankful that they picked this up for me. St. Stefanus ranks up there with some of the most interesting and complex Belgian beers I have ever tried. While I could have opted for the "fresh & fruity" flavors of a younger bottle, I am grateful that I carried this out the full 18 months to get something that was truly "complex & aromatic." Sure, you too can laugh at some of the marketing gimmicks on the bottle but, in the end, this beer is no joke.

Damian, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of TheFugerIsNow
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

TheFugerIsNow, Jul 25, 2014
Photo of Listers
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Listers, Oct 02, 2012
Photo of snowsurfer422
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

snowsurfer422, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of pweis909
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

pweis909, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of Vylo
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Vylo, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of jongullotti
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

jongullotti, Aug 30, 2013
Photo of ViragS
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

ViragS, Jun 10, 2014
Photo of KateBT
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

KateBT, Jul 15, 2014
Photo of RickS95
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

RickS95, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle - $3.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Cellar Release: 4-2012.

Appearance: Hazy, amber-gold body with two full inches of airy, pillowed, near white head.

Smell: Sweetish aroma of golden syrup dotted with crumpled cookies dusted very lightly with ground spice and housing a conspicuous fruitiness.

Taste: Golden syrup coated barley ushers in a juicy orchard fruitiness of pears, peaches, and Golden Delicious apples. Slightly spicy, herbal touch nudged by the bright carbonation. Sweetish cookie/cracker vibe on the quite crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. High carbonation for a lively mouthfeel.

Overall: A tasty, refreshing, spirited Belgian blonde ale. I enjoyed it quite a bit, actually.

ChainGangGuy, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of DenverLogan
4.39/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Corked bottle puts out a nice pop. Dated April 2012 as a cellar release. Poured in tulip (Scotch Silly) glass. Big head hangs around for awhile...clear gold color.
Aromas of flowers, root beer, other sodas, fennel.
Significant carbonation lasts for a long time.
Flavors of light malt, minerals, anise, powdered sugar, orange zest, sarsaparilla.
Overall a bright, spritzy brew with nice flavors...nothing really overpowering as it should be for a blonde. No rich malts, strong hops or significant alcohol. I get a good deal on this beer and have been through half a dozen bottles by myself. Very nice starter beer for the evening or with various foods or a great sharing brew. Should age well for a year.
2/20/2013 Having another April 2012 bottle...cork went flying far...can't find it in living room! Poured in Stone tulip glass...modest head Same smell as before with a touch of liquorice. Significant carbonation and big mouthfeel. Similar flavor profile with a touch more bitter bite...I'll give it a few minutes...aaaah....5 + minutes later...has opened up another notch. Carbonation mellows a tad and the sweet malts come out, and some light flowery herbs...some resemblance of a ginger-vanilla soda. In my first review I said it would be a nice starter beer for an evening, actually, after having several nice Wild Mountain IPAs I find this a wonderful follow-up. Can work as a final brew with it's powdered sugar tingly carbonated finish. Very tasty and fun.

DenverLogan, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of Cylinsier
4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz, dated April 2012, tasted today.

Pours a slightly hazy orange-lemon gold, half inch coarse white head retains as a film.

Smells of lemon, orange zest, light grassy herbal notes, coriander, bretty yeast and candi sugar.

Tastes mildly citrusy with elements of lemongrass, candi sugar, bananas, coriander and orange peel. Some slighty grassy bitterness in the aftertaste.

Full body with bubbly carbonation on the roof of the mouth and going down.

A really tasty, well-balance strong Belgian ale, lovely aroma and flavor profiles, good body, and highly drinkable. A definite winner.

Cylinsier, Feb 12, 2013
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

rhoadsrage, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of Richardp
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

330cl bottle, cellar release date 5-2013

Poured slowly into Belgian beer bowl glass, slightly cloudy with a very strong head. Highly carbonated, with many small bubbles. Served slightly warmer than suggested 8c (personal preference).

Complex aroma, with honey banana, and slightly sourdough bread hints.

Complex somewhat crisp, and fruity taste, malt and caramel undertones, with a lasting dry yeast finish. Hints of spice, though very background.

Lively mouthfeel, due to carbonation, with a hint of alcohol, and sparkle on the toungue. Lasting coating of sweetness in the mouth augments the aroma.

Overall a complex, light, fruity, beer, with hints of further complexity.

I have another bottle, that is slightly older, and intend to keep it a further 3-4 months, in the hope the spice character develops.

Richardp, Mar 29, 2014
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St. Stefanus from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
88 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.