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St. Stefanus - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
St. StefanusSt. Stefanus

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

73 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 73
Hads: 262
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 5.43%
Wants: 14
Gots: 46 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 73 | Hads: 262
Photo of Cylinsier
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
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. (593 characters)

Photo of rcmooney
4.83/5  rDev +24.8%
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 (1,221 characters)

Photo of DenverLogan
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
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. (1,467 characters)

Photo of hops4life
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (349 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
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. (965 characters)

Photo of warrenout330
3.33/5  rDev -14%
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... (678 characters)

Photo of pweis909
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
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. (691 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
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. (726 characters)

Photo of pleasewearpants
2.58/5  rDev -33.3%
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. (293 characters)

Photo of JimTeal
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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. (792 characters)

Photo of AmitC
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (904 characters)

Photo of JackieTH
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
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. (333 characters)

Photo of pixieskid
3.19/5  rDev -17.6%
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... (616 characters)

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
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. (1,099 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
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. (766 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (421 characters)

Photo of aasher
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
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. (688 characters)

Photo of davey101
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
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. (674 characters)

Photo of impending
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
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 (553 characters)

Photo of dooger
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great feel, nice taste. Good drink. The aroma does not do the taste justice. Good deep flavor but not overwhelming. Very good looking blonde beer, keeps head, and does not flat when sitting. Cant beat the lasting taste. Drink it cold. Better bite up front, then smooth at the end. (280 characters)

Photo of mrsheeps
3.87/5  rDev 0%
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 (740 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.6/5  rDev -7%
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. (1,844 characters)

Photo of Fux
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear golden color with a 2 fingers fizzy head that turns quickly into a thin film

S: Smell is fruity esters, yellow fruits (peach, banana), citruses, yeasts.

T: Sweet caramel malts make a good balance to the hoppy character of this beer. Quite big alcohol presence and lots of residual sugar. Dry aftertaste.

M: Light bodied with a huge carbonation. Easy to drink despite the alcohol presence.

O: The brewer advises to compare the evolutions of this beer from 3 to 18 months of maturation. This one has been drunk young (3 months) and is pleasantly hoppy and fruity. Should age well given the sweetness and yeastiness. (634 characters)

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St. Stefanus from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.