St. Sebastiaan Grande Reserve | Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.

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St. Sebastiaan Grande ReserveSt. Sebastiaan Grande Reserve
Very Good
148 Ratings
St. Sebastiaan Grande ReserveSt. Sebastiaan Grande Reserve

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-20-2001

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Ratings: 148 |  Reviews: 97
Photo of BucBasil
3.32/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Poured from the awesome 16oz ceramic bottle with a handy swingtop into a tulip glass. The beer is a hazy orange with a strong 3 finger offwhite head.

Smell: Nice light fruits at first glance - crisp apples and pears - as well as a refreshing citrus aroma.

Taste: Starts off a bit flat... A bland, slightly sweet note introduces the tongue to the brew, which is slightly offputting. Thankfully that is followed up by a nice honey note, as well as some light fruit, notably an interesting apricot taste. Finish is subtle with a hint of Belgian yeast.

Notes: Slightly disappointing. I don't know how a beer with such a great aroma can taste so bland. Granted, there are a lot of good things about this beer too, but not enough to make me want to buy it again.

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Photo of dirtsocks
3.42/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer came in a ceramic bottle, it pours with a nice big white head and has a constant bubble. The smell is a bit fruity and has some earthy smells. The taste of alchol kind of overpowers the natural flavors. This beer is ok but is not on the same level as some belgian ales(chimay) overall this was a good buy, but the cool bottle might have been part of that. :)

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Photo of jjayjaye
3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Retired? A 16oz resealable porcelain dated 12/01/11.Pours a slightly hazy (sediment) golden amber with a big off white head that leaves a good amount of lacing in place. The smell is fruity over an earthy yeast aroma. The taste is reasonable but reserved; a slightly tart lemony flavor. The initial carbonated tingle in the mouth feel tapers off rather quickly. The flavor and mouth both finish dry and clean so quickly that I'm going back rapidly to consider it, which might be dangerous being that it's clocking in at 10%. I'm having a hard time believing that was 10%...well hidden to say the least.

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Photo of russpowell
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Retired?? Oh well this seems to be trend with my & Belgian beers lately. Date code of 15/15/11

Pours bronze/amber with 1+ finger of off white head. Hazed up up a little a the end, probably sediment. Zero head retention & lacing

S: Perfumy hops, pineapple, honey

T: Dryness, lemons & grapefruit & some apple skin up front. Once this warms I get dryness, dates, figs, honey & more citric hops. Finishes dry, with lemony, pineapple & date notes, plus boozey warmth

MF: Slick, with stickiness at the very end, with moderate carbonation & medium body

Drinks really easy for the ABV & style. A pretty good example of the style, albeit a little fruittier than, say Duvel. Shame this is retired. I'm not sure how well this would hold up four years from now though

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Photo of mithrascruor
2.81/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

16 oz. bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber-peach color. Unfortunately there is basically no head. Just a few moderately large bubbles around the edge of the glass. Little to no visible carbonation.

Smell: Quite a bit of apricot in the aroma, together with malts and a bit of grain.

Taste: The flavor seems to generally be a combination of fruits, malts, and grains. Nothing is very distinct or impressive; it lacks any complexity. A bit of hops and some alcohol in the finish and aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and medium-bodied, but almost flat. Very little "feel" to it.

Drinkability: The alcohol is noticable, but not really oppressive. It's hardly an interesting drink. I don't feel inspired to finish it, which is rare for me.

This beer was quite a disappointment. It seems to lack any life whatsoever. I'll curious if the other St. Sebastiaan beers are this uninteresting. Not recommended.

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Photo of Cascadia
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a great clay bottle, love these things.

Apperance- good color, golden amber with a nice two-finger head that sits nicely.

Smell- nice citrus notes and good floral nose, green apples in there too.

Taste and Mouthfeel- Good carbination, nice flavor, a little less complex then I thought it would be, but very clean and crisp. Refreshing. Suprisingly little yeast coming though. Dry finish. Great ballence with bitterness and malt, spot on.

Overall, very drinkable and refreshing. Worth the purchase. As far as Belgian Strong Pales go, this is a great representative and a good place to start exploring the style from as a zero point.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like the best buy date is 12/01/11…I’m assuming that’s what this date is on the back of the bottle.

A: Extremely low carbonation, no activity inside the glass and only a minor wisp of white scattered bubbles float on top. The body itself is clean, a vibrant golden tangerine hue.

S: Medicinal herbs, bubble gum, camphor, honey and yeast.

T: Starts fruity of the likes of kiwi, green apple, old lemon juice and honeydew melon. Very nectar like, as if flowers were juiced in the process of making this beer. A lot of honey as well, floral and spicy. Quite sweet this beer is, reminiscent of chewing on a fresh cane of sugar. Finishes mildly bitter with dirty aspects to it and a long honey finish.

M: Medium body, smooth and syrupy.

D: Not bad, but nothing truly remarkable either. Definitely drinkable but not memorable.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
2.93/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: Orange/amber with a small foamy head. Decent lacing.

Smell: Candy sugar and bubblegum. Apples and some faint hops.

Taste: Malty and sweet apples. Some mild hops to balance out the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Nothing really going on here. Seems rather flat.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, but nothing really stands out.

"Grand Reserve"? Not to sure that it means much here. And what's the deal with "Top Fermented Abbey Ale"? Seems like the marketing department went tautological.

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Photo of coalcracker
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at Arena Bar and Grille, Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Appearance: Poured out of a very cool ceramic bottle. Golden color with ample head and good lacing thereafter.
Smell: Sweet, mild fruity esters.
Taste: The taste mirrors the smell, but to a larger degree. Sweet yet spicy with mild alcohol punch. Very crisp and clean finish.
Mouthfeel: Full-body with carbonated, alcohol kick, though not intrusive.
Drinkability: At 10% ABV, not a drink to slam...that said, the alcohol is not the dominant factor here- very quaffable.

Overall: Great Belgian beer. Too bad it was only a limited release...

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Photo of emerge077
2.88/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hazy orange pour, yeast particles, minimal head. Smells artificially sweet, some musty grain.

Sweet with some tartness upfront, yeast and candi sugar seem to be the main component to this. Vague fruit that doesn't really have a physical comparison. Odd vegetal flavors barely mask the unpleasant booziness. Drying finish due to the ABV.

Most likely past it's prime, but reviewed since I won't see it around again.
Vintage bottle, located on a dusty shelf in the Chicagoland area.

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Photo of clickpush
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour: 16oz bottle to tulip glass. A huge two and a half finger tan head takes form over a clear amber body. Ample amounts of visible bubbles stream throughout. Head eventually melts to a webbed glass and nice lacings.

Nose: Tart sugars like sour candies or Skittles. Peaches. Malt... not very interesting.

Mouth: Sweeter up front with fruit presence, namely peaches and berries. Finish is complex with toasted malts, spicy yeast, and a wheat flavor that doesn't appear until after swallowing. Strong carbonation slams these flavors into your tongue in an enjoyable montage of brewerama.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a tangerine orange that is fairly hazy. Even with a careful pour into my chalice glass there was still foam filling halfthe glass. Quickly died down to about a half a finger depth. Lots of sponged lace. Nose is peppery and spicey with only some slight hints of alcohol.

Flavor is nicely balanced with the sweet malts that taste like sugar cane. Some mild spices and pepper. Finishes very sweet. Alcohol is nicely masked but it snuck up on me with an annoying kick. The pepper flavor lingers on the top of the tongue too. Very full body that gets a tad sticky as the beer warms.

Neat bottle. May even be a keeper.

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Photo of geetlord
1.99/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

this beer poured almost completely without a head. As there was so little carbonantion essentialy no aromas were released. Teh taste was predominantly of alcohol, with some very mild hints of other flavors appearing sporadicaly on my tounge. The lack of carbonantion makes the mouthfeel watery and seriously reduces the flavors experienced, overall I was not impressed by this beer.

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Photo of KyleVick4
1.52/5  rDev -60.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

16 oz swing top

A: Pours a dark golden color with virtually no head. It creates large bubbles that are clear giving it more of the appearance of swamp water froth rather than head. Not to pleasing. Nothing spectacular about it one way or the other. Actually this is a pretty ugly beer.

S: Strong alcohol up front, with a spicyness in the back. The alcohol dominates this and I cant tell much more. Not impressed.

T: Bah. The distracting burn of the alcohol takes off from the actual taste. When I do taste somthing it comes in at spicy notes and fruit. Really disappointed though...

M: This has a lack of mouthfeel. Its so thick from the alcohol that it kills the mouthfeel. Just kinda sits on my mouth and feels like mouthwash... Lightly carbonated mouthwash...

D: Im trying. Giving it a second, third fouth and fifth chaces. I just dont like this beer. I actually may hate this beer. It looks bad, has terrible smell lacks taste and makes me want to spit when it is in my mouth. In summary its not to drinkable. Actually I think I am going to sadly dump the rest right now

On a positive note, I am pumped about using this bottle for my homebrews!

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Photo of gunnerman
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Just picked this brew up last weekend, served in a nice bottle.
Apperance is of a light amber color with little head and somewhat decent lacing on mug. Smell is of fruit and strong malt, taste is very fruity with a creamy aftertaste to it, very good indeed. The drinkability is very good, goes down smooth and leaves that little alchol burn, very fruity and I would probably drink again.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz ceramic like bottle into my Leffe Goblet.

Appearance- Poured a fizzy head only a couple of millimeters thick which eventually recedes to a ring around the beer foam with a little film in the middle. Colro is a pale orange peel color mingled with a lot of sediment. If there was any lacing, I couldn't see it with all the debris.

Smell- Just a gneral, sweet, sugary fruit. Couldn't put a specific on any of this beers rather subdued smells.

Taste- I find the abundant flavor of vanilla to be very surprising after having as many Belgian pale ales as I've had. Vanilla mixed with vanilla and honey. A few earthy notes here and there, but mostly sweet. Not barlyer wine sweet just to clarify. But a candi sweet beer.

Mouthfeel- A good overall general sweetness. A medium amount of carbonatio felt on the sides if the tongue.

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Photo of 1759dallas
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Waited until my second bottle to review. The first time I had this beer it was flat. There was no head and not a bubble in it. I still liked the flavor but wasn't sure if I'd get it again. On to bottle number two a year later. Poured with good carbonation and wasn't flat at all. Has a nice smooth feel and taste. Not a very strong alcohol burn unlike bottle 1. A sweetish aftertaste with a hint of hops finished the drink off nicely. Not a super big beer, but still very good. Only drawback for me is the smell. It smells metallic, almost coppery and puts the experience off a bit. Since its retired I'm sure this is the last tasting I'll get. Glad it was so much better than the first.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
2.99/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: No "psst!" when I opened the bottle. The beer poured a totally stagnant murky reddish brown color.

Aroma: Some plum and raisin aromatics along with some sweet caramel presence. There are some toasty malts there along with what smells like Melanoidins. A bit of a papery aroma.

Taste: Really tangy and fruity. This can't be right. It has some sweetness that you notice, but the tangy...almost mouth puckering flavor is the dominant force. There is some nuttiness here along with some mild oxidized flavors. Bummer!

Opinion: Well, I must have gotten hold of one that had a leaky cap or something. I imagine that it is pretty hard to make a stone bottle with a tight enough tolerance on the cap as not to have one leak once in a while. I am sad to see that this beer is retired as I would have liked to have given it another shot...but I guess not. Oh well.

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Photo of Zorro
4.82/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy light brown ale with a fair white head. This looks exactly like apple cider.

Smell is a little sweet with a big fruity scent. Apples, spice, pine and a whiff of brandy are in this.

Taste is mildly sweet and very spicy in the first sip. Flavor of brown sugar and pineapple are dominant at first. Noticeable alcohol flavor but it isn't very strong. Cinnamon stick, allspice, mace, cloves, ginger, malt, and powdery yeast are all in the flavor of this one. Very quickly the sweetness disappears and leaves only spice in your glass. At the end it tastes a LOT like a spiced rum drink, and that isn't a bad thing at all.

Mouthfeel is very good, perfect in fact.

OK this was an excellent beer experience. If it has a defect it would be the color and intensity of the flavor. I absolutely enjoyed this, the bottle cost $11 and it was worth it! Strange that this is listed as retired, every little shop in Solvang California sells this stuff. I neglected trying this for more than a year because of the bottle, I thought it was just a gimmick to sell second rate Belgian beer.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

yeah, yeah, the bottle. just means heavier bag to carry downstairs when i bring my empties out for recycling... aww hell ill probably just give it to one of my homebrewing friends.

fyi, that bottle holds 16oz.

a clear orange brew with a dense syrupy quality. not much head. big airy bubbles inspired by a hard pour, thats it. BE WARNED though, this bottle had lots and lots of chunky sediment.. to the point of grossness. and i dont mind sediment, but this was a yeast cake. aroma is very nice, a good balance between sweet fruity maltiness and hot spiciness. plums, licorice, and some brown sugar. flavor is confusing but has potential. first off, this thing is hot like jet fuel. this hides some of the subtler flavors that i think are there, but allows striking notes of black pepper, candy corn, peach and vanilla to shine. light and goes down smooth, texturally... just so damn hot. this beer should have been 'grand reserve'd for another 5 years. another bottle perhaps? at $6, why not.

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Photo of swamiswamu
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, the bottle is quite simply bad ass. It comes in a heavy ceramic 16 oz bottle with a unneeded swing top. It pours a golden amber with a mild head. The aroma has hint of honey and booze. At 10% it is awfully mild and drinkable. Really it kind of tastes like an amped up pilsner with a hint of candi sugar. This one isn't worth seeking out; but if you impulse buy it because of the bottle you will not be disappointed.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz bottle purchased at Domaney's Wines & Liquors, Great Barrington, MA. Nice ceramic bottle with flip-top cover to use after cracking the bottle cap open.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 3/4" beige head over the light amber brew, with floaties present. Head is frothy and holds on strong, probably due to rigorous carbonation, with nice heavy lacing. Aroma is sweet malts, with spicy notes, and maybe a tad of veggie. Flavor is spicy yet sweet pale malts, closing with a slight warming. Mouthfeel is good, creamy, possibly seems a bit thin, with excellent drinkability. Can't believe this is 10%abv, could be dangerously good.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first thing I have to note about this beer is the presentation. A beautiful gray ceramic bottle with a flip top. Pours out a cloudy orange, amber color with a small head that does not last. The lable on this beer says it is brewed once a year.

The smell is a bit metallic with hints of malt and something citrus. The taste is much more smooth. A sold malt backbone with some citrus notes and candie sugar coming through. A tiny bit of dry hoppyness in the finish. The 10% alcohol is very well hidden.

Overall a good beer. Nothing mind blowing but well made.

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Photo of yen157
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber brew with decent white lasted head but some clinging lace. Nose presents some honey, baked apples, and slick, sweet malt. Beer warms the throat on the way down. 10% come through with some spiciness and alcoholic warmth, but no bite. Moderately fruity, sweet malt presence, and just enough hops to keep things from getting out of whack. Carbonation is light and body is slick and full. Almost an oily feel on the tongue. Great mouth feel! I was a little turned off by the packaging which comes across as gimmicky, but this is a very solid beer.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.15/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was a yellow beer with a one-finger head, and floaters abounded.

The aroma was of rich light malts and apples... not too tart, not too sweet, more of a Cortland than a Mac or Delicious.

The taste was malty, with a slight sweetness and fruitiness... definitely less fruitiness than the aroma would lead one to expect. It was also somewhat flat and subdued, compared to others of the style I have had.

Not what I expected from a "Grand Reserve"... I will not get it again, and it may be some time before I try others from this brewery.

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St. Sebastiaan Grande Reserve from Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 148 ratings
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