St. Stefanus - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
St. StefanusSt. Stefanus

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BA SCORE
87
very good

71 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 71
Hads: 257
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 10.31%
Wants: 14
Gots: 43 | 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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Reviews: 71 | Hads: 257
Photo of RickS95
4.39/5  rDev +13.1%
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. (1,311 characters)

Photo of Scrapss
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber to a turbinator.

A: light gold/dark straw with a big rocky two finger head that dissipates to a thick disk with slight soapy lacing. hazy.

S: Aromatic fruits like mango, apricots and oranges. medicine. slight aromatic hydrocarbons. slight musty funk.

T: The taste definitely follows the nose. Slight bitter orange, very indistinct sour. Spicy yeasty bread.

M: creamy due to moderate carbonation. bitter melon/orange/apricot finish with sharp punch to smooth tailout. not very boozy for 7.0 % rating. Satisfying and slight lingering of bitter ultimate finish. Crisp finish.

O: very nice brew. I feel that complexity might be lacking, however it is very very drinkable. I would not turn this down if offered a quaff. (742 characters)

Photo of MCDuhamel
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
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. (397 characters)

Photo of REDAMI
4.19/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 11.2oz bottle into Chimay goblet.

A - Medium amber, pours clear...until you swirl the bottle to get the yeast. Small, moderately laced, white head.

S - Sweet, malt, mango, almost tropical.

T - Hawaiian bread, hint of tropical fruit, mild spice, slight metallic notes, banana bread esters.

M - Sharp carbonation, slick sweetness. Pleasant finish.

A beautiful bottle entices you to pick it up. The beer inside is a nice golden ale; closer to a tripel than the hop forward BSPA it is called. (505 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.21/5  rDev -17.3%
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. (395 characters)

Photo of Teleweizen2
3.31/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A - pours a slightly hazy marigold. Two fingers of tightly packed white foam with great retention. Settles at under a fingers worth. Leaves chunks of thick lacing on the glass.

S - classic belgian golden ale aroma. The yeast character is highly intense. Bubblegum and granulated sugar are abundant while notes of apples, pears and white grapes fight for attention. Notes of white pepper in the backround.

T - flavors are bit muted up front. Some slight bready notes not much else. Fruity and peppery notes enter mid palate. Mostly white grapes and apples. Finish is soft yet peppery.

M - medium bodied. Texture is slightly watery. High carbonation.

O - great look and nose but this ale comes up short in taste. Despite having the classic belgian pale ale aroma, the flavors just aren't there. (796 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
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. (593 characters)

Photo of hreb
3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (657 characters)

Photo of Radome
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a wine glass.

A - Medium gold color; just a bit of haze. Head is white and thick and made of tiny, creamy bubbles. It is persistent and builds impressive cascades of lacing when the glass is tipped.

S - Classic Belgian pale ale aromas. Bready, grainy malt. No hops evident. Yeast shows as low black pepper and bubblegum. Just a tiny bit of alcohol aroma. Very clean, but not overly complex.

T - Taste is balanced between earthy, gentle hops and grainy Pilsner malt. There is some lemon-like tartness and black pepper, likely from the yeast, which are softened by light sugar sweetness. The hops bitterness is low to medium. Very clean and well-made.

M - Light body. Low to moderate, smooth carbonation. No alcohol burn.

O - This is a great beer. Very drinkable but full of all the right BPA flavors and aromas. All it lacks in my view is a bit more body and complexity, but that is splitting hairs. (937 characters)

Photo of wedge
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (724 characters)

Photo of tastybeer
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (559 characters)

Photo of GJ40
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (624 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
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. (1,071 characters)

Photo of katan
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a dark golden color. Fairly opaque, thick looking. Strong pearly white head but it is breaking down quickly.

S - A mostly yeasty nose, lots of esters and a bit of white pepper background. Pulls the Belgian card, no doubt.

T - Starts off smooth and sweet, just a little pilsner sweetness. Turns to esters quickly, breaking in with frutiness. Finishes clean and smooth with just a little of the citrus flavors hanging on. Turns very dry in the finish.

M - Moderate body and a strong carbonation. Very champaign like. A little sweetness, but not much alcohol warmth.

O/D - A nice nd easy drinking belgian.. Alcohol is up there but managable. Heavy from all the carbonation. Fits the summer beer to a tee. (717 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.88/5  rDev 0%
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. (792 characters)

Photo of brewcrew76
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (415 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (850 characters)

Photo of philbe311
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
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... (1,532 characters)

Photo of scottbrew4u
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
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. (781 characters)

Photo of mick303
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (1,644 characters)

Photo of Strix
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (335 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (666 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (263 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
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. (593 characters)

Photo of rcmooney
4.83/5  rDev +24.5%
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 (1,221 characters)

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St. Stefanus from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.