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

very good
147 Ratings
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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: 147 |  Reviews: 97
Photo of zeff80
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, orange/copper color with a very foamy, thick, three-finger head. It left sticky patches of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled earthy and of dried fruits - apple and some pear.

T - Very tasty Belgian ale with biscuity malts, dried fruits (mostly apple) and a spicy yeast kick.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth finish. A medium bodied ale with a warm alcohol presence.

D - This is a pretty good Belgian brew. A bit steep on the price but still good.

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Photo of thekanna
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a strong gold color which settles into a nice orange-amber. About one finger of white head.

S: Belgian yeasts, spices; some faint apples, pears, and citrus fruits; somewhat like the smell of Westmalle Tripel. Floral aromas further liven it up and give it a sense of freshness.

T: Belgian yeasts with some strong peppercorns, coriander, citrus fruits, and pears. Candi sugar is present which gives it a nice sweetness, and spice definitely rounds it out.

M: Nice carbonated juiciness.

D: This is frankly one of the beer Belgian Strong Pale Ales I've had in a while. They seemed to have nailed down everything I love about the style perfectly.

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Photo of bminor7
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz bottle from Hoosick Beverage. Date is 9/11/11 on the back.

I remember having this and a couple other of the St Sebastiaan beers back in college. One of them made me feel high. I don't think this is that one.

A - pours a really interesting amber with touch of orange. some hiss when bottle opened, a good sign. light carbonation but good lacing. no extra bubbles in my duvel glass with an etched D in the bottom.

S - faint...smells almost like a tripel but everything is subdued. mainly spice and some malt. yeast is calmed.

T - agree with a previous reviewer who mentioned bubble gum. It has that same sticky sweetness. Apple. Bready malts. Some hops in there too. Mine had a strong tinge of iron, metallic flavor. this took away from the experience a little. I dont remember that flavor when I last had this. Probably just this bottle.

M - just syrupy enough for the style.

D - not bad! most beers of this caliber suffer from the complexity but this is toned back some. that said, it could use a little more complexity to push it in the A tier.

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Photo of midnite2sixman
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a ceramic/stoneware bottle at Butch's in Holland, MI.

Poured during sunset turns into a nice hazy orange in my tulip glass. Globby lacing scattered throughout.

Nose: Rock candy, apples, citrus and spice, maybe how bout apple flavored bubble gum.

Taste: More of the citrusy apple, think of chewing on a piece of pink bubble gum while eating a slice of granny smith apple.

Mouthfeel: Surpisingly light, not too much carbonation, sweet finish.

Drinkability: I don't drink a lot of belgian's any more, i'll say, but i must stress that this beer is quite worth the money. Make sure it is consumed in the proper setting.

A Belgian benchmark.

Hot damn!

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Photo of theopholis
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Fairly clear golden/amber. Looks like apple cider. Almost no head. No lacing.

Smell - Smell is quite subdued. What I do get is floral, malty, slightly fruity and a hint of spiciness.

Taste - Interesting. Light fruits up front (yellow apple, pear) with light spices. Flavor is quite subdued. Has a very interesting after-taste that I can't describe at all. There was no hiss when I opened the bottle, so it may be slightly oxidized.

Mouthfeel - Low carbonation. Medium mouthfeel. Very slick.

D - Pleasant, but not outstanding.

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Photo of sjclay00
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer says retired however I just drank a bottle today with the best by date being 12/01/11 from Oliver T's in Grand Blanc Michigan.

T- Mild somewhat smooth. I was suprised the ABV was 10%.
A- A darker blonde with a few yeast sediments floating. Nice head but did not stay very long.
S- Had a hard time detecting much smell. Fruity like. No hop smell present.
M- Crisp, thin, smooth. Carbonation was present

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Photo of Dulliwhig
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I guess this beer came out of retirement (and I am glad it did!) I bought the 16 ounce ceramic bottle with the grolsch style replaceable cap. I poured this into a wine glass.

A - golden and hazy with sands of yeast that settle around the bottom of the glass. Decent off white head that laces a bit.

S - yeasty aroma, floral and spicy, a bit of fruit - not overwhelmingly powerful.

T - the first thing that hits me in the mouth is apples and maybe peach, spices and yeast are in there too. The flavor is good, but I would describe it as mild. It's amazing that you don't taste the alcohol more.

M - crisp and carbonated to exactly where I would want this beer to be.

D - this goes down very easy, you cannot detect the high ABV.

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Photo of bbarrows
3.47/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a chalice at ~50deg F.

A- Dark amber color and clear, with thin layer of white froth

S- Slightly fruity aroma, like cherries.

T- Fruity, notes of cherries and oranges. Slightly tart finish.

M- Well carbonated, felt almost like Champagne. Finished with a tingling feeling.

D- Easy drinking, alcohol content well hidden and the tart/sweet flavors are well balanced.

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Photo of theboozecruise
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hmmm, interesting to find this one retired, I found some on the shelves locally yesterday. Very cool 16.9 oz. bottle with both a standard cap and the plunger variety to keep it sealed between pours.

Poured a golden amber hue with a one finger or so head, left a little lacing but not much.

The smell and taste were as expected for the style, spices, a little fruit, somewhat malty... very nice.

Far from my favorite Belgian ale but I'm certainly not disappointed... plus the 10.00% abv is exceptionally sneaky, making this very dangerously drinkable!

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Photo of scootny
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a case I bought last year. Best before 2011. Ceramic resealable bottle suitable for homebrewing. No problem there only six left. This beer has cellared beautifully. A clear golden amber fluid that produces a large creamy head. Though it fades quickly it leaves good lacing. Some bubbling going on. Subsequent pours add yeast and cloudiness and better head retention.

Smell is honey, grape and apples. Light Belgian yeast funkiness. Clean malt sweetness.

Taste is just smooth. Honeyed malt and candy sugar. Sweet white grapes and apples. Yeast adds a bit of nuttiness. Finish is more smooth tastes. A bit short of crisp it is still dry. Hops are super mild. Clean with a light green apple sourness. Sweet rolls linger in the mouth. Alcohol is just peaking around the corners from time to time, never draws attention to itself.

Feel is cream and velvet. Delightful

Way to easy to drink a couple of these.

I gave some away and traded others. Now I'm holding on to the rest for a special time in a few years. Maybe I can find another case. If you can get some of this stuff grab it. Just a very good sneaky strong Belgian pale ale.

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Photo of midaszero
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best by 9/11/11

A - Clear golden orange with 1 finger of white head

S - Lots of citrus and apple smells

T - Taste like a Belgian gold with some apple laced in. Alchol is hidden pretty well for 10%. Some honey and spice mixed in as well.

M - Medium body, light body, and creamy

D - Very enjoyable and easy to drink.

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Photo of MichaelGreene
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This beer is GREAT, in the bottle. I didnt even pour it into a glass. I just drank it from the jug. How great can one beer be. Sweet honey and molasses. Figs and dates. Super malty, no hop. Just sweet, beautiful aftertaste, perfect mouthfeel, smooth and creamy. This is one of those beers. I will buy a case of this.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear golden color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma consists of sweet Belgian style malt with some fuse alcohol also noticeable. Taste is also somewhat one-dimensional with some discernable alcohol and some overly sweet Belgian style malt. I thought it was lacing some ester or some yeast character too be truly engaging. Not bad but not something I would go out of my way to try again.

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Photo of daythree16
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Really heavy 16 oz. ceramic bottle. Poured into a tulip glass. Nice honey golden color with that big fluffy head that comes with the style.

Smell is a little spicy and wine-like. Fruity esters play a big part in the aroma. Taste is the sweetness of honey and grapes. It's also a bit peppery/spicy.

Mouthfeel is very crisp and medium-bodied. Overall, the flavors are very subdued, and it's not nearly as tasty as others of the style I've had. However, it's decent for sure, and drinkability is very high.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.53/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy orange body with muddy brown highlights yields dense lacing and ornate rings--tremendous. Fine aromas emanate forth--primarily fruit (grape, apple, berry) but also spice--coriander, a hint of ginger. Already I'm very impressed.

The taste is full and complex but a bit restrained, however, nonetheless wonderful. Lots of fruit--grape especially but lots of apple (not too sour), cherry, and some apricot in the finish. The spice is subtle but certainly present. Excellent BSPA.

The mouthfeel brings is home in fine fashion, so very Belgian--smooth, amply effervescent, full and never thin. This is what BSPA is supposed to be. Just terrific.

This really surprised me. I'm so glad I stopped into Friar Tuck for this and others--an accidentally Belgian trip to the shop with others to follow. Better than expected--always the best kind of reviews to write. Highly recommended.

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Photo of atigerlife
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with a small chunky white head. Decent head retention. Sparse carbonation rising.

Aroma of hops, hay and light fruit.

Taste was very sweet. Some honey, cherry, apple. Light hops and malt. Slightly medicinal.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied, creamy and cleansing.

Overall, a decent beer. Goes down easy. Not a beer I would have too many of due to its rather strong sweetness profile.

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Photo of JeremyK
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet. Amber copper in color with a full cremy head that slowly diminishes through the drink, but lingers. a nose of rich nutmeg and subtle clove. This beer is medium to fuller bodied and very well balanced (hops/bitterness) with a lingering aftertaste. This beer is very drinkable with balanced bitternes that keeps you coming back for more. A restrained belgian beer unlike others.

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Photo of BrewMonkey
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours very clear light caramel color with a slight amount of white head.

Slight bubblegum aroma, dried or candied fruit, some sourness, very little alcohol on the nose.

Strange sweetness combined with peppery sensations on the back of the mouth. Sweet candied fruit taste finishes suprisingly dry. Very mild pleasant sourness. Fairly carbonated, bites a bit. Sweetness becomes very strong at the end, affecting drinkability a bit.

Intersting brew.

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Photo of Onslow
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

... kinda nice, good after a tiring day at work ..." if you label me, you negate me" ... tastes of honey, crunchies, dust, NA mead ... goes down easily, abv is well covered ... light orange-gold with a slight haze ... nothing that will blow you away but an enjoyable kinda tasty beer...

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Photo of homebrewhawk
3.22/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

.5 liter ceramic bottle served in a Duvel tulip. Best by 9/11/11. Poured a pale gold with little to no head. Little carbonation. Sugar and a little clove in the nose. Slightly spicy flavor, medium body. Candy sugar sweetness. A little yeasty in the finish. Some alcohol warmth. Pretty bland for a Belgian beer.

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Photo of trackstar1043
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a beautiful hazy golden orange with 2 in of off white rocky head and extremely sticky lacing leaving visiable rings after each great drink.

S - A strong aroma fo wheat, bitter hops, sweet carmel and a citrus fruits.

T - Similar to the nose, with a great balance of bitterness and malty sweetness.

M - Med bodied with lively carbonation and a clean refreshing finish.

D - Very easy to drink and great for a warm summer night.

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Photo of evilbeefchan
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From the ceramic bottle with stopper, exp date 09/11/11.

Appearance: Pours golden yellow with fairly vigorous head that resembles wet foam. Dissipates to 1/3 of it's full size within 2 minutes, leaves little lacing. Fairly hazy, not sure if this is very tiny sediment as it's all uniform. (Hazy enough that you cannot see your hand through the glass.

Smell: Honey, with touch of grain at the end.

Taste: Hard to identify at first due to harsh carbonation. Once it setles, a crisp sweet honey finishing with a lasting dry hoppy flavor. The alcohol starts to creep up at this point, though.

Mouthfeel: Very carbonated at first pour, once it settles down it gets better.

Drinkability: I had a really hard time with this beer at first. Again, it's worth waiting for things to subside before going in. The carbonation made it difficult to get down, and fills you up very quickly. Once the carbonation eases, it's crisp and fairly refreshing (though at this point the temperature may cause the alcohol to show itself).

I honestly had to take a break before I could finish, as the first taste left a bad impression. This is my first time dealing with a ceramic bottled beer, as well as something calling itself "Grand Reserve," so the initial impressions I had may just be a first time folly. Once the beer had time to come up in temperature (had it in the fridge overnight), it became more drinkable, and actually pretty enjoyable. At $7 for 16oz, it isn't necessarily a bad buy, but still makes it a tough recommendation.

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Photo of champ103
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a golden yellow. A large white head forms, then recedes to a rim. Plenty of lace left behind.
S: Sugar and yeast aroma with plenty of fruit. Apple's, peaches, banana's, and other citrus fruits.
T: Very tart and sweet. The same fruity flavors that were in the nose.
M/D: Crisp and clean mouthfeel. Lots of harsh carbonation on the tongue. The 10% ABV does not show itself too much, but the carbonation makes it a little hard to drink.

A middle of the road Belgium Ale, nothing more.

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Photo of BMan1113VR
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 bottle marked as best by 09/11/11. Aroma is moderate citrus hops with some raisin, pear and champagne and yeast. Pours with absolutely no head whatsoever. Honey colored and a dash hazy. The taste is sweet and fruity, a tad bit of mead flavor. Goes down like cream with very soft carbonation. Not bad and quite potent. I don't think this beer is retired, as I still see it quite often.

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Photo of BucBasil
3.32/5  rDev -13.5%
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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St. Sebastiaan Grande Reserve from Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.
3.84 out of 5 based on 147 ratings.
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