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

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BA SCORE
86
very good
97 Reviews
THE BROS
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St. Sebastiaan Grande ReserveSt. Sebastiaan Grande Reserve
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.
Belgium
sterkensbrew.be

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
97
Ratings:
145
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
18.44%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
10
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 145
Photo of oberon
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep golden with chunks and floaties swirling about with a big fluffy head that leaves a nice amount of lace,yeasty,spicey aromas with some green apple in there but it is pretty light for a big beer.Spicey and yeasty up front with some underlying tropical fruit,finishes pretty sweet with the alcohol flavor slowly kreeping up as it warms.Not one of the best Belgian strong pale ales I have had but still a decent brew none the less.

 441 characters

Photo of dgallina
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

No freshness date. Pours a clear golden-amber with small white head and light lacing. Smells strongly of grain & malts, some sweet fruits, and spicy alcohol. Flavor begins with sweet grainy malts and develops into very powerful solvent-like alcohols and slight spicing. Slight carbonation; feels fairly light in the mouth for the strength.

Easy to drink considering the ABV, but overall a brutish, unsubtle, beast of a strong pale ale. Perhaps my sample was mishandled, but this is not something I'll be returning to when there are *far* better examples out there.

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Photo of Billolick
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Style points go out for the classy bottle that this one comes in. Pours a hazy light golden with a slight green apple tint. Leaves tons of fine wispy lacing and sheeting. Nose is a soft sweet, fruity spicy blend. Soft mouthfeel, notes of melon, honey, pepper, alcohol evident. Tasty, strong, sharp and crisp. Lovely creation in brewing. get some of this stuff and enjoy.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice clear medium golden. The head was very low and did not want to form. The head that did form was low and barley sustained itself at the edges of the surface and tried to lace the glass.

The aroma was spicy with a peppery yeast aroma that was a bit sulphury.

The flavor was nicely accomplished with a belgian candy sugar caramelization present and nice belgian yeast spiciness that contributed complexity to the beer. The sweetness in the flavor is well balanced by bittering.

The finish was just dry with nice bittering and spice that lasted well into the aftertaste. The body was medium or just a bit more and well done.

16 ounce ceramic bottle with cap and swing top as pictured. With more head retention and better aroma this beer would be truly world class, but the head retention was less than stellar and the aroma did not measure up to the flavor.

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Photo of Sixpack595
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber with almost no head. Carbonation is nearly non-existant, no head and flat mouthfeel. Sweet malty aroma with a spicy touch. Flavor is candy sweet with citrus and malt dominating. Quick hop bite at the end keeps things balanced and somewhat dry. Mouthfeel was a bit thin and flat. Not a bad beer by any definition, but still disapointing. With more carbonation it may improve quite a bit, but as it stands its not worth a second look.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz ceramic bottle.

Frothy and rocky white head that slides to the sides after a few moments. Very condensed lacing throughout the glass. A hazy, golden-light orange in color.

A candy sweetness; vanilla and some slight fruit aromas: apple and raspberry. Accompanied by a faint alcohol aroma as well.

Candied-sugar, vanilla sweetness drives this ale. A very faint apple and raspberry fruitiness. Rather bland in terms of flavor after the sweetness. Alcohol flavor in the aftertaste.

Light on the palate; a bit thin and somewhat watery. A smooth candied coating and low in carbonation.

Although very faint in detection, the 10% abv is a deterrent in terms of drinkability. The sweetness of this ale is also a preventative in having more than one. My expectations were too high going into this one. It was nice to try, and I'll definitely try some of their other ales, but one try for this one is all I need.

 922 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark honey colored brew in the goblet with a small head that lingered.
Smell of malt, oak and a faint fruitiness.
Taste was malty, oakey, alcohol (noticeable but not overpowering) and some fruit at the end which became more noticeable as it warmed. Nicely complex as one might expect.
Medium body, smooth, lightly effervescent. Very drinkable, the only restrain being the ABV. Definitely a fine brew.

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Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour a clear deep amber, the head is mediorce, the lace spare, the color off white. Nose is malt, citrus tones, light hints of bubble gum. Front is malt, sweet, the top is medium, the finish is acerbic, dry, the 10% ABV, is felt in the "Tummy" and the long lasting alcohol bitter aftertaste. "Works for me!", as I like my beers pungent and brawny. Ranks #504 on my current 1000 beer master list.

 399 characters

Photo of SilentSabre
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Everything about this ale is absolutley fantastic. The pottery-like crockery style bottle is very interesting. The ale itself pours a slightly cloudy orange with almost no head. Only a thin, hazy sheet of tiny bubbles covers the top with light delicate lacing around the sides. The smell is quite sweet and spicy with clove like accents. In fact, the appearance, smell and taste are tremendously similar to a hefeweisen. What is not similar to a hefe, is the strength of this ale. One can certainly tell, and quickly, that this a 10%abv.
With almost a total lack of any carbonation, St. Sebastiaan's Grand Reserve goes down smooth. It's just really heavy and really filling. Easy to drink, if you're only drinking one.
I highly recommend this ale to anyone who fancies the hefe style unfiltered wheat type brews.

 816 characters

Photo of kbub6f
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small, creamy-white, ultra-fine head. Fine, fine sheets of tiny spots of lacing. Clear orange beer. Wasn't expecting that. Sweet caramel in the nose. Some milk. Spicy front: pepper, alcohol and lots of fruit. Dark-tasting malt, almost sour. Nice. Very bitter, grainsy finish. Some fruit. D-licious! Malty, spicy, grainsy, not too sweet. Beauty.

 344 characters

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

The beer pours a true gold color with a lacey off-white head. The aroma is good. It has a strong alcohol scent, accompanied by Belgian pale ale malts and fruity Belgian yeast; very nice. The taste is good. It has a pretty basic malt structure with some fruity yeast and a dry, warm finish. It has a nice flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine brew. It goes down easy with pleasure.

 438 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange-gold color, it is very low on carbonation; it barely summons a week wispy white head. Aromas of oxidation immediately waft from my glass as I pour this beer. The aroma is indeed dominated by notes of oxidation; sherry, wet cardboard. Perhaps there is a hint of alcohol in the nose as well as a bit of sweetness. Fairly light beer on the palate. There are some flavors of orange and perhaps some raisin. The oxidation is not nearly so dominant in the, and as it warms up I get a certain spiciness to it. flavor of this beer, but it is here as well. This beer ends with a bit of vegetal astringency that is not quite off-putting. Not a great beer, I certainly expected more from something titled a Grand Reserve.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poura light copper with gold highlights. Small white head vanishes quickly but leaves lots of thick, sticky lace on the side of the glass.
Aroma of dark fruits, yeast, wheat bread, banana, apple and cloves.
Flavors of sweet and citrus fruits, medium malt, some yeast and some clove notes. Virtually no bitterness and finish has a little spicy alcohol kick.
Mouthfeel doesn't have much liveliness as I would expect for the style and finish is somewhat shorter than I would like for the style. Very drinkable beer though.

 523 characters

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

Auburn-infused golden hued with a large bubbled head that wastes itself away in a matter of minutes.
Sugarcane, ginger, honeyed apricots and sweet melons on the nose.
The taste progresses through distinct stages. Flows through the mouth with a honey-drenched cantaloupe sensation immediately. Spicing invades. Peppery and savory. Fruit returns via lightly scorched pineapples. Spicing appears again, but more intense. Still light herbal, leafy and peppery, but it wipes the mouth clean of any sweetness. Continuing this wet-dry / sweet-bitter cycle, raw sugar begins to develops, coupling with something that hints at orange juice. However, the hopping does not allow it to come to fruition, as it sweeps down, and rinses the palate clean. Almost out of spite, a light honeyed sensation develops post-swallow.
Alcohol is of little notice for a 10% brew, but shows up on occasion by way of vodka hues.
Meaty bodied, just shy of full with stunted carbonation.
The drying qualities are both a savior and a distraction. This one seems to be pulling in two different directions. The end result is tasty and very drinkable, but I have the impression that this could have been even more. I'm just not sure what.
Nice brew, regardless. Nice bottle too.

 1,251 characters

Photo of HardTarget
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The same great flip-top ceramic bottle as the other St. Sebastiaan beers have.
Aroma: Dominated by the banana like smell I associate with the Weihenstephan yeast strain, on top of a fairly heavy malt sweetness.
Appearance: Clear straw color with a fluffy head that collared and laced.
Taste: Same as the smell, yeast really comes through a heavy malt, but not cloying. There is a significant alcohol burn in the aftertaste, but no hop bitterness noted. There is also a spicy, peppery bite.
Mouthfeel: Thick a touch heavy.
Overall: A good beer, but a bit out of style by my read. The lack of head, lacing took points off, and the mouthfeel is a bit heavy for the style. I also found it had a hard time hiding the substantial alcohol level. While that isn't a deal breaker, it took some points off my review. This is a good beer, rich, well made, fulfilling. It's a bit heavy for consistency drinkability, but a good treat now and then.

 939 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Orangish-brown body with a nice head that laced the glass.

Smell – There’s a nice, light, spicy fruit aroma from this one. The melons, peaches, oranges, and apricots are touched off with a bit of coriander and cinnamon. The (very) lightly toasted malt backbone is present as well, but this is all about the fruit.

Taste – This is big flavor. The multitude of spices are out in force, deeply soaked in the light fruits from the nose along with cranberry and apple juice. The malt fades a bit at the tongue.

Mouthfeel – This is lightly carbonated and medium-bodied. The alcohol is there, but comes out more like a light, fruity mixed drink that’s been spiced with white rum.

Drinkability – This one is big on the melons and (especially) peaches, similar to its “Golden” cousin, which makes it go down smooth.

Update – I first rated this in 2003. Oh, Lawdy, have I been a BA that long? Anyway, here we are four years later and it tastes almost exactly the same. If nothing else we have to award points for consistency. Nice job, Sterkens!

 1,063 characters

Photo of truthbrew
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this back a couple years ago and remembered it as a favorite then. Now with much more experience behind me, I try it again.

Exceptional crystal clear view with a white rocky head. Aroma is quite fruity without a lot of sweet. Nice full mouthfeel, malty malty without the feeling that this beer is 10,0%. Starts light and malty but turns very warming by the time it leaves the back of your tongue.

Strange it's served in a 16oz crock/swingtop but only is capped. :-/
This beer deserves to be corked and aged, that is my only complaint.

(I bought a case [12x16oz] of this brew after reviewing this)

 612 characters

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

Appearnce: lovely, light peachy color, with a firm, proud, creamy head.
Aroma: big on the citrus!, though sweet, and loaded with fruit (grapefruit, peach, orange), rich, sweet, yet sour.
Very well-rounded fruit overall, altogether a mellow brew, perfectly integrated, but acking in any complexity.
Tasty texture, full-bodied, luscious yeast element, very delicious and easily drunk down.
But, however, the trouble is that I have reservations about exactly how Grande this might suppose itself to be. I've had it many times over the years, and remember a better, more transendent experience than this. A representative from the importer/distributor revealed to me that the brewer had purposefully cut back on the recipe and "farmed out" the brewing to cut back on costs, making it far less dramatic in flavor. Such a shame, nothing Grande about it. But, despite that, a nice ale, anyway.

 890 characters

Photo of assurbanipaul
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Light, clear and bright orange in color with a medium head and thin lacing. The aroma is floral and citrus, specifically oranges. The taste is very light on the palate, fruity and finishes honey sweet.

There is almost no trace of alcohol in the taste, a credit to the brewer with a content this high.

 303 characters

Photo of worldsbeer
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a very nice amber golden color in to my goblet. Head is medium but not huge...disapates somewhat quickly. Aromas of fruity esters and honey...rose? Initial sips of this nectar nice carmel notes, honey, and good use of bittering hops...perhaps Hallertau. Body is med and has a wonderful lingering flavor. Great beer from Sterkins...but my favorite still from their is their Porter.

 391 characters

Photo of ADR
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Just slightly hazy light yellow-amber, yellowish head that's mostly skim. Yeasty aroma, with some dried and deep fruit smells. Full body, impression is similar to a Doppelbock in stickiness and heartiness. Sweet toffee, elements of dried citron, and a touch of diacetyl (really?). A little pepper and clove in the mid mouth, hops do a fine balancing job. There was a lot unexpected in the flavor profile but I loved it, satisfying brew here. Another cool crock, this one was a 16 oz swing top.

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Photo of BKotch
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presented in a 16-ounce crock with a bottle cap, not a cork, and a wired stopper. Poured a clear orangey-gold with broadly dispersed bubbles but virtually no head. The nose and palate are fruity and sweet, reminding me of peaches and pears. There is a slight bit of dryness to balance the sweetness -- just a bit, mind you. The mouth feel was decidedly syrupy. Also very pricey at $7.20 for 16 ounces.

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St. Sebastiaan Grande Reserve from Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.
3.85 out of 5 based on 145 ratings.
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