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St. Stefanus - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

St. StefanusSt. Stefanus

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

157 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 157
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 10.74%


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)
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Ratings: 157 | Reviews: 54 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of philbe311
philbe311

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
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...

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2013 02:28:15 | More by philbe311
Photo of scottbrew4u
scottbrew4u

Pennsylvania

3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2013 21:12:26 | More by scottbrew4u
Photo of mick303
mick303

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Celler Release (8-12) so its been maturing about 8 and a bit months more. Poured into a wine glass there was a crowning head of pillowy soft white head with really good retention and lacing. Colour is dark for a blonde, more of a honey caramel brown, with a lot of visible carbonation. 4

S- malty notes and some aged fruitiness, cherries, lemon, also some definite strong yeasty farmy aspects. A bit of a light spice prickle, still some estery minerally florals, some caramel malt, but the yeast is the star, giving a bracing yet complex aroma character. 4

T- initial cloying malty sweetness, leading to some aged lemon, roast ham, toffee notes. A full yeast grip to it, straw, sour cherries, faint farm notes. Some residual malty sweetness and a blackberry note. A bit of a malty biscuit and also plummy notes, some roughness toward the end though. Finishes clean and drying. Some interesting complexities hidden in an allround tasty beer. 4

M - lots of soft carbonation, only a moderate slick body, with a bit of oiliness on the finish. But a surprisingly light and drinkable example of this style. Yet a bit cloying. 3.75

An interesting beer, it looks and smells very good. A decent yeast influence, yet short of fully embracing it. It tastes very nice as well, but I think the standard for potential complexity in this style is a bit lacking here. A bit heavy on malty sweetness, and I might have liked some more hops coming through. It has quite an interesting flavour with some complex notes, but the balance doesn't keep up for me to might have rated it higher. Really glad I tried this though, and its an allround pretty solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2013 17:04:53 | More by mick303
Photo of Strix
Strix

Wisconsin

3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark-yellow with lots of tiny bubbles, huge lingering head.

Aroma of light fruit, mild bready yeast

Sweet grains punctuated by green apple, coriander, black pepper. Crisp, but not flavorful.

Delightful bubbly mouthfeel.

Certainly pleasant, but seemed to lose flavor the longer it sat. Didn't quite live up to my expectations.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2013 03:03:12 | More by Strix
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74

Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2013 21:51:14 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2013 04:32:03 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of Cylinsier
Cylinsier

Pennsylvania

4.36/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2013 22:44:38 | More by Cylinsier
Photo of rcmooney
rcmooney

Arkansas

4.81/5  rDev +23%
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

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2013 02:45:21 | More by rcmooney
Photo of DenverLogan
DenverLogan

Colorado

4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2013 05:17:05 | More by DenverLogan
Photo of hops4life
hops4life

Connecticut

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Could be a blonde with some tripel aspirations. Very good look, aroma, and head. A little dry in the taste department. While not mind-bendingly good, it is an extremely good blonde. The packaging and price set up higher expectations, but if you put this in a Leffe bottle your jaw would drop. Very nice. Will keep an eye on this brewer and importer.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 02:22:43 | More by hops4life
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2012 21:36:56 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of warrenout330
warrenout330

Ohio

3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml pour, swirled in bottle to break up yeast

A- pours a hazy golden amber color... decent sized head.... turns to a thick ring around the beer.... light streaks of lace

S- whiffs of sour apple's, light earthyness, slight grass ... litter bit of pear

T- faint sour apple... light grain and yeasty. A tad tartness in the finish

M- medium bodied, above average carbonation makes it almost buttery. Lingering dryness for a clean up

O- I don't know? I wanna like it, but it lacks complexity. I know who imports this and the idea behind this beer from these "macro" giants.... but I'm just not buying it.... don't be fooled, because that's what they're exactly trying to do...

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 06:47:02 | More by warrenout330
Photo of pweis909
pweis909

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 01:05:04 | More by pweis909
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2012 20:04:16 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of pleasewearpants
pleasewearpants

California

2.63/5  rDev -32.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2012 01:55:13 | More by pleasewearpants
Photo of JimTeal
JimTeal

Nevada

4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2012 23:35:45 | More by JimTeal
Photo of AmitC
AmitC

Indiana

4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had it at a tasting event. Poured from a 750ml bottle. The packaging date marked on the bottle was 4/12. So it was 6 months old. Bottle had a description of its complexity and flavor profile with age, with it being most complex after 18 months from packaging. So i had it when it was still on the younger side.

Pours with small head which fades with time. Color is golden and the ale is a lot clear. Mild carbonation.

Smell is prominently fruity and has a good mild nose. Smell definitely is complex in terms of no clear fruit bias.

Tastes slightly sweet No hops discernible either in smell or in taste. Fruity, somewhat watered down honey like taste. Alcohol intensity is not at all felt.

Mouth feel. Medium to light bodied. Very easy on palate. Smooth as hell. One of the smoothest beers i have ever had. Easy to drink. I can have it all day only if it costed less than 12 bucks.

Excellent brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2012 23:33:49 | More by AmitC
Photo of JackieTH
JackieTH

Minnesota

3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Rob for sharing this bottle.

Poured with two fingers of fluffy head. Nose is very mild, some crackers perhaps. Not much there. Taste is zippy with big carbonation, when this yields, then some underlying cloves and bananas, sweet fruit esters. Not too bad, but not a great deal of flavor. Too light on the flavor and nose.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2012 16:30:38 | More by JackieTH
Photo of pixieskid
pixieskid

Germany

3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into the matching goblet; standard orange hue with a 1 finger white head...excellent retention, lasting forever really with nice lacing.

Nose; pretty muted but notes honey, grains, and a touch of floral hops come through.

Taste; soft sweetness upfront (caramel and honey), some corriander, and mild floral/citrus hop presence in the finish. Honestly, that's about it for the taste. Pretty one dimensional, yet it is well balanced and quite drinkable.

Mouthfeel; soft and delicate with a mild carbonation.

Overall; well balanced and tasty but lacking real character separating from the rest in the style...

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2012 20:24:10 | More by pixieskid
Photo of WastingFreetime
WastingFreetime

Wisconsin

3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"Cellar Release" 750ml bottle dated April 2012. I'm operating under the assumption that this is a bottling date and not a BB date.

Pours out a very transparent golden straw color with a flash head and only minimal lacing. It could have used a lot more retention time to stack up to the other greats already on the market, to be honest. Lighter side of medium body and carbonation levels.

Smells of cereal grains and a grand medley of stone fruit esters (plums, pears, some light cherries, etc.) blended with a medium strength white grape juice and belgian bubblegum yeast character, with a tinge of alcohol heat and candi sugar in the background. The flavor follows suit but with less complexity to the spectrum of fruity esters on the tongue than in the nose. It also gains a touch of honeyed breadiness in the midsip as the glass warms up, and doesn't quite get as dry as I normally prefer my BSPAs. It's not big enough an issue to call a flaw, it's more like a higher-than-typical sweetness variation. I'd recommend trying this one if you prefer sweeter-balanced BSPAS with boldly fruity noses.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2012 20:25:15 | More by WastingFreetime
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2012 12:51:32 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.95/5  rDev +1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2012 04:17:28 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of aasher
aasher

Indiana

3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2012 03:02:19 | More by aasher
Photo of davey101
davey101

Connecticut

3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Cellar release 4-2012. Stubby 11.2 oz bottle into a goblet. Interesting "Ed Hardy" styled bottle cap.

A - Golden amber body. Fluffy one finger off white head. Great lacing.

S - Spicy Belgian yeast, banana, lemons, grass and hay, a touch of alcohol.

T - Not very BSPA like actually. I'm getting a lot of bready malts with just a touch of spicy yeast, lemons, and skunkiness. Finishes dry with a lingering hop presence and sweetness. Mouth feel is medium bodied with some lively carbonation.

O - Below average BSPA. The taste is somewhat skunky and hoppy and lacking that great Belgian spice and ester magic that makes up a great BSPA. Worth a try but not worth a revisit.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2012 00:41:59 | More by davey101
Photo of impending
impending

California

3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

B

750ml into a tulip. Pours a slightly hazed mid toned golden orange, dense cream colored head retains fed by exuberant carbonation, nice lacing.

Aroma is spices and clean fruits, no low notes. Yeasty. Unripened apricots, dry sweet grass, orange rind and a dab of camphor.

Fairly sweet, particularly in the finish when it sits besides a tiny bitter. Again some apricot but now with a touch of mango. The phenolic taste echo lingers subtly for a while. Doesn't have the complexity of the scent. Grainy medium to full bodied lively mouthfeel.
cheers
jd

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2012 05:24:16 | More by impending
St. Stefanus from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
88 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.