St. Stefanus - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
St. StefanusSt. Stefanus

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BA SCORE
88
very good

253 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 253
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 10.91%
Wants: 14
Gots: 41 | 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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Ratings: 253 | Reviews: 72
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cellar Release: 4-2012.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy orange-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of grain, fruit, alcohol. Taste is of grain, fruit, yeast, slight spice, and alcohol. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is quite tasty and easy to drink.

Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
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 ChainGangGuy
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Now that is the coolest bottle cap ever. Ever.

I can't remember the last time I tried a Belgian-brewed ale. This is a nice one. Nice yeast tones with a good level of sweetness. Carbonation is a but aggressive. No matter though; another nice brew from Steenberge.

Photo of mactrail
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Color is an attractive light amber with a sturdy foam. This one pours in a well-behaved manner and forms a tapestry of lacing in the deep-dish Orval chalice. Very prickly and frothy in the mouth.

This is so remarkably dry, it seems to be a showcase for Belgian yeast as it swims upstream to spawn. The fruit that must have been here two years ago has left hardly a trace. The grainy straw is the main flavor, with the bitterish almost perfumey yeast taking over. Hints of oregano. Nothing like alcohol taste.

Now I'm curious to try a fresh bottle. I don't think this argues so well for aging. From the 750 ml corked, caged bottle dated 7-2012 and purchased at Grapevine Liquor in Denver.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
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 Mebuzzard
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Kind of a sporadic rating on this one, but it was damn easy drinking. A 750ml didn't last long at ALL.

Poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter thing. Copper/gold pour. some haze. Nice big white head, settled to a thick collar.

Aroma was light. Some yeast spice and banana....like tropical fresh banana I had in India. Soft. Some white pepper. Biscuit malt.

Flavor was a bit more structured than the nose, but it, too, was rather gentle. Which is not a bad thing, and probably better than I rated it. The flavors of banana and clove mingled well. A soft but noticeable hop zip was there. Biscuit, almost uncooked, was throughout. White pepper in the end. A slight touch of booze.

But really, this beer drank like a session. Really felt nice and went down like a $2 hooker...I'm guessing.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
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 Axnjxn
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle into a snifter. "cellar release 4-2012" stamped on the bottle

Pours a darker copper color with a 2 inch white head. extremely fizzy, bubbles shoot from the bottom to the top and seem to make the head even larger as it lingers in the glass for a bit.

sweet honey aroma on the nose. yeasty and bready as well.

taste is pretty great. sweet and fizzy, like drinking an extremely carbonated soda. classic belgian yeasts show through on the finish. tad of bitterness on the back end. this is a very complex beer that will change drastically depending on how long you age it. lighter side of medium bodied with high carbonation. this isnt something you chug down, but honestly you could if you wanted to. its quite easy to drink.

overall picked this up on a whim as it was extremely cheap, and am thoroughly impressed. glad i got a 4 pack.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.06/5  rDev +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 aasher
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
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 Bitterbill
3.54/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle around $10 and bottled April 2012.

A- a good pop when I removed the cork, it pours a clear 24k gold, has a 2 finger head of foam, leaves some good lacing in the glass.

S- smells yeasty, somewhat spicy with some notes of pepper, light clove, more wheaty than anything.

T- lots of wheat and yeast up front, some pepper and again, light note of clove. Earthy malt overall and no real bitterness that I can taste.

M- medium bodied with lots of carbonation. Too much carbonation in my book for the style.

O- a decent brew, no more, no less. I'm not sure if it is worth the bucks.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.06/5  rDev +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 puboflyons
3.94/5  rDev 0%
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 ccrida
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, Cellar Release date 8-2012. Poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, St. Stefanus is hazy, dull dark gold. The huge, frothy white head has medium-sized bubbles and is fairly slow to settle, leaving rocky foam and pockmarked lace.

Smell is pithy, some what chalky minerality with light tropical fruit reminiscent of a saison, which I love. A touch of over-ripe banana, caramel, bananas foster, but it's a distant secondary note. I'm sure it will grow pronounced with time, as this is only 11 months old from release. I like it here.

Taste is similar, this really has a nice pith too it, but the banana is more pronounced than the nose. A little oxidized, the esters are stronger and more over-ripe. Still nice clean maltiness.

Mouthfeel is on the dry side, with full but soft effervescence. Medium light.

Drinkability is pretty good, it's a solid Belgian blonde, but I wish I had had it on the fresh side, and the mineral notes hint at what would probably be right in my sweet spot of fantastic beer closer upon release. Still quite good now however.

Photo of dgilks
3.69/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear golden colour with a small fluffy white head. Good head retention.

Slightly aromatic. Clove and touches of coriander. Mild citrus and banana. Malt is evident but not overpowering.

Interesting balance of yeast character and bitterness. Good banana and clove notes. Coriander. The bitterness finishes well.

Medium body with moderately-high carbonation. Okay.

A solid beer but it does not live up to my expectations. Good flavour but it doesn't shine in any particular way.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
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 CrazyDavros
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
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 Fatehunter
3.21/5  rDev -18.5%
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 wedge
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
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 pat61
4.44/5  rDev +12.7%
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 philbe311
3.98/5  rDev +1%
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 thierrynantes
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from Bières d'Ailleurs, and tasted in 2014.

Appearance : golden color, with white foam head.
Smell : fruity and malty aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : fruity and spicy flavors, moderate bitter finish.
Overall : a good beer in the style Belgian Ale.

Photo of GJ40
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 750ml bottle in a Duvel glass. Like a few before me, I picked one up for $3.99 at Triangle Wine (and then went back for a couple more).

A - Golden and clear with a fluffy white head that sticks around for a while. A nice steady rise of bubbles from the center of the glass. Great lacing! Very inviting.

S - Spicy and fruity with subtle notes of black pepper, lemon, orange and peach.

T - Crisp and dry with a nice fruity / spicy balance and the slightest hint of sweetness in the finish.

M - A moderate consistency but feels light due to the high carbonation.

O - A solid beer and a steal at $3.99/750ml.

Photo of brewcrew76
3.72/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

7-2012 Vintage

A - Orange, copper color with an inch or two of fluffy white head that leaves behind a good amount of foam until the beer is finished.

S - Mineral aroma with green apple, pear, yeasty esters, fruity, slightly sweet.

T - Light mineral taste, fruity, green apple, herbal, sweet graham cracker, yeasty esters.

M - Well carbonated and crisp.

D - Pleasant but I seemed to lose interest as I drank it.

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St. Stefanus from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
88 out of 100 based on 253 ratings.