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 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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Photo of dirtsocks
3.42/5  rDev -10.9%
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 -8.6%
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 +7.6%
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 -26.8%
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%
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 -5.7%
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 -23.7%
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 +9.4%
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%
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 +2.3%
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 +1%
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 -48.2%
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 -60.4%
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 -3.6%
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 +0.3%
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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St. Sebastiaan Grande Reserve from Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.
3.84 out of 5 based on 147 ratings.
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