St. Sebastiaan Dark | Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.

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BA SCORE
87
very good
128 Reviews
St. Sebastiaan DarkSt. Sebastiaan Dark
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.
Belgium | website

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-30-2000

BEER STATS
Reviews:
128
Ratings:
204
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
18.39%
 
 
Wants:
20
Gots:
22
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 128 | Ratings: 204
Photo of teromous
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, the bottle is very cool. I won't base my review of the appearance including the bottle...but it will be a keeper.

A: The beer has a very nice brown color. It's hard to describe, but it has a sort of "soft brown" appearance as it's poured. In the glass it appears very dark brown, with lighter shades at the bottom. The head is perfect. It's a light shade of tan, with lots of creamy foam that sticks to the side of the glass.

S: It smells wonderful. There's a sweet candy-like scent to the beer, like vanilla and strawberry taffy. I get the strong smell of figs, instantly. It has a distinctly Belgian scent...completely unmistakable.

T: It has a very light fruit taste to it, like raisins and even some plum. The malt character is very light, but just enough sweetness.

M: It has a nice pleasant mouthfeel. The body is light, hinting at medium. Nicely carbonated.

O: Overall I think this is a really nice beer. It has a very light character. I would drink it again and would recommend it. It would go well with a number of dishes, such as a lightly seasoned steak or a light dessert desert.

 1,107 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fills a St. Bernardus challis clear, dark copper with garnet highlights and a creamy champagne head of about one inch that slowly settles, never fully dissipating. Puts up a film with each sip but no lacing.

This has a sweet/tart cherry and cranberry aroma with fresh fig and dates. Subtle green apples linger in the background.

Flavors are all rather subtle and pleasant; however, I am accustomed to bolder dubbels. Tartness follows cranberry flavors. Applesauce comes out with warmth. This one would easily rate higher were it not for the style guidelines.

Softly carbonated with a silky texture. Medium body, this one is fairly dry.

St. Sebastiaan is very approachable as a good, relaxing beer. It would also work well with mild foods.

 742 characters

Photo of nickthetick
4.95/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: pours an almost opaque black-brown with some mahogany tints that shine through when held to the light in a DFH signature glass. It opened with an amazing burst and the head matches the sound, big (almost three fingers) and tan. The head hangs and drops slightly each time your lips hit it and leaves beautiful lacing.

S: absolutely gorgeous. Woody, oak like, cherries, dates, figs, plums, raisins, yeasty, bananas, some pears, and light lemon notes. Licorice, anise, cardamon, clove, cinnamon, caramel and sweet dark brown sugar.

T: matches well with the nose, the oaky and dark fruit flavors are right up front. The fruits make the transfer into the spicy by mingling and creating an altogether new flavor with a side of the sweeter lighter fruits and candies. Bananas make a an appearance throughout the beer and a bit of lemon is left on the tongue.

MF: a tad chewy, but great effervescence, not at all warm but just slightly dry on the finish.

O: just the perfect beer, it was a christmas present from last year and after sitting there for so long I thought I should probably drink this. I'm so very glad I finally did. This is by far one of, if not, the best dubbel I've ever had.

 1,196 characters

Photo of raznug
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It pours a black in color with some red highlights it is light enough that I can still see light through it. The beer is topped with almost an inch of tannish head in the snifter.
Smell: The main aroma in this beer is malt with yeast character not too far behind, a small amount of spice notes are way in the back to keep that Belgian style in your head.
Taste: Carbonation hits the palate first followed by a little malt flavor and some of the spices that were in the nose. I was expecting some yeasty flavors but none are present.
Mouthfeel: St. Sebastiaan is on the thin side which really doesn’t let the flavors stick to the tongue like I would hope but it makes it very easy to drink.

 704 characters

Photo of Phocion
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml capped, swing-top ceramic bottle poured into a goblet. Date of 08/01/14 on the bottle. Dark mahogany body with a thin crown of large bubbles, but absolutely no actual head to speak of.

Aroma is of alcohol, molasses, caramel, chocolate, toasted nutty malts, and dark fruits (dark cherries, plums).

Flavor is very fruity, including just a touch of sour cherries. A bit woody and definitely a good dose of caramel malts, but not cloying, and in fact a rather dry and vinous finish.

Medium-bodied with medium carbonation, and just a slight alcoholic warming presence.

The slight tartness definitely holds the sweet malts in check. Overall, not too bad but I've definitely had better Belgian dubbels.

 706 characters

Photo of Amalak
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, first off, the bottle is fantastic. It's very, very dark red/brown with bubbles tracing the glass and a massive foamy head that leaves a good deal of lacing. It has a malt and soapy scent to it.

It's very high in alcohol. There's a maltyness that pervades throughout and a dark fruit taste of grape. Thick and very heavy, yet smooth in short doses. Interesting.

 368 characters

Photo of atlason
3.39/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from clay bottle into tulip.

A: Dark brown, small head with small amount of lacing. The white head does make a pretty contrast to the dark brown beer.

S: Roasted coffee, sweet barley. Fairly straightforward but pleasant. Some Belgian yeast character.

T: Smooth yeast profile gives a full flavor to this dark ale. Feels like gliding over the dark depths of the roasted malts.

M: Low to medium carbonation provides barly enough balance for the medium attenuated beer. Pretty drinkable.

 494 characters

Photo of taigor
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from ceramic bottle into chalice glass.

A - Poured dark brown non-transparent color with big head that very slowly dissipated leaving lots of lacing around the glass.

S - Lots of yeast, malts, figs and nuts. Very Belgian like smell.

T - Very bready and yeasty with sweet malts and dark fruits and a nutty dry finish.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation.

O - Very good dubbel that I highly recommend.

 415 characters

Photo of foogerd
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dirty brown body with a caramel colored one inch thick head. Looks like coke.

S- Dried candied figs, some cinnamon, dark breads, a bit of metal in the mix.

T- Malt bready bomb with dark fruits.

M- Thick and a bit chewy.

O- Good Dubbels, not worth the 12 bucks. Drinkability is certaintly high.

 300 characters

Photo of hoser
2.71/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bottle that have been abused a bit but this beer has a thin metallic body to it that is not the pleasing and more fusels than this reviewer like in Belgian Dubble. Thankfully big ass porcelain bottle was gift. Becoming more drinkable as it warms up but not enough for me to change my numbers. Definitely not the first dubble I would reach for but definitely not the last.

 373 characters

Photo of feylure
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this little number at a restaurant that was more wine oriented.

Poured a nice dark, unclouded brown with decent amount of carbonation. I'll have to steal the bottle away from the waiter next time because he clearly didn't know how to pour a beer.

Smell was sweet, malty and lightly spicy.

Taste had a completely full mouthfeel with dark, almost roasty overtones. The taste wasn't too complex, and the carbonation struck me as a bit much.

Overall, this is an ok beer. I won't be getting it again because I didn't find it to be as good as the packaging might suggest.

 573 characters

Photo of spree92
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 500ml bottle. Fluffy white head topped the off black beer. Dried fruit and apple are in both smell and taste. Hardly no carbonation makes this easy to drink. A lighter dubbel than I am used to. Still a solid beer and well worth the price paid.

 255 characters

Photo of impending
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz says the label (peculiar) into a tulip. Pours a dark bronze, no light passes through the glass. Decent dense towering head, nice lacing.

Spicy aroma of coriander, ginger and cloves nearly mask anything below. A clean, upbeat happy scent !

Taste has a surprising molasses smack, raisins plucked from a soft molasses cookie. Dark crusty bread underlies it all. Finishes sweet. Medium bodied creamy yet prickly mouthfeel.
cheers
jd

 436 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has a strong, malty aroma with a spicy undertone and a hint of apple. It pours a semi-transparent mahogany with a thin and not too persistent light tan head. Flavor is malty with an undertone of apple and a hint of caramel. Texture is smooth yet subtly fizzy, and it leaves a fairly persistent soft tingle and just a whisper of sweetness.

 338 characters

Photo of jizdepski
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

served in a goblet, bottle was non chilled, served around 60 degrees. murky brown with hints of reddish mahongany. whitish tan head...a little sticky. has clove spice on the nose, also something that reminds me of green bananas. notes of chocolate and raisin in there. tastes like clove up front, with the raisiny fruit taste, also some faint chocolate, and black cherries. spicy and sweet, not bitter at all. mentholy finish (alcohol and clove). full bodied but not assertive; has a very full mouthfeel without being overly carbonated. lays down quite smooth. drinkability very good for the style. worth a go.

 610 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml brown ceramic swing-top bottle. Definitely not amongst the cheaper brews available around here, even for Belgians...

This beer pours a clear, dark reddish cola colour, with two fingers of tight foamy pale beige head, which settles evenly, leaving some sparse peninsular lace around the glass. It smells of yeasty, somewhat fruity malt, and a tart vinous aroma. The taste is bready, kind of toasted malt, a sweet root-like character - cola or root beer seem apt in comparison - and a soft earthy yeastiness. The carbonation is a bit on the strong side, the body light, but otherwise solid. It finishes on the sweet side - malt and yeast in equal measure.

A nicely balanced, evenly tempered dubbel. Lots going on, with nothing getting too big for its britches.

 766 characters

Photo of xodin
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Full, crisp, and dark mahogany body, and plenty of head. Love the presentation in the ceramic bottle. Pleasant, but subtle aroma. Above average taste, smooth from front to back, fruit flavors and hops come out more the longer the taste buds are exposed, some hints of spice linger after swallowing. Silky, yet foamy throughout the mouth, very enjoyable to savor each drink for an extended period.

 396 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ceramic swingtop bottle into a tulip. The beer is a dark but clear brown with ruby highlights. Clarity is excellent, and the head lasting.

Esters are huge on the nose, lending a fruity, berry-like scent. The sweetness accents this and reminds me of dried fruit or fruit preserves. There's a little bit of anise too, and an undertone of whole grain bread, even a touch of rye. The aroma is true to style, but the esters are a bit overwhelming.

It's lighter than expected on the palate, with a blueberry jam flavor up front. Sweetness is moderate, though the fruity yeast character borders on cloying. There's some spiciness, anise, a touch of clove. Soft roasted malt flavors make a brief appearance toward the finish, but this beer is more about the yeast. The body is light, perhaps a bit thin for my liking. Not a bad beer overall, nor a great one.

 852 characters

Photo of jhtipton
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Almost threw my back out picking up the 500ml bottle. I do love the presentation! I will probably recycle the heavy ceramic bottle for my next homebrew. Appearance is a nice dark brown with some decent lacing. A rich brownish head. Smell is sweet with some hints of yeast, malt, and bananas,and raisin coke. Taste is like honey raisins and brown bread, Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Drinkability is great but since 500ml is twice the price of chimay blue, it's hard to keep picking it up, unless, of course, I need more bottles for recycling!

 540 characters

Photo of 4000qtrap
2.48/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Source/Serving: 16oz. bottle, rather old looking but in an opaque ceramic bottle.

Smell: Red grape and raisin cola, caramel darkly toasted nuts, a little smoke and roast,

Taste: Lightly sweet up front, smooth and simple dark malts that go down easy. Light roastiness and smoke mixed with cola (and it even feels fizzy) in the middle. Just the slightest hint at any fruit. The finish has an earthy roastiness to it.... Almost coffee but not quite. Maybe coffee cola. Finish sweetens as it lingers.

Notes: Overall very average. Not very complex and, personally, not fruity enough for me though the smoke/roast is somewhat interesting.

 636 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2001 Caged and corked bottle.

A: Reddish color. With minimal cola colored head.

S: Awesome. Totally musty. Nutty and a little bit of spicy.

T: Almost like cola. I have had a few well aged Belgians and they all sort of take on this character after enough years. Faded malt. Maple syrup. Little dark fruit and a touch of taxed yeast.

M: Great mouthfeel. Well carbonated despite the age.

D: Easy drinking. Had the feeling of an aged beer and that is always ok for me. Dubbels continue to surprise me with how well they age.

 525 characters

Photo of drseamus
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2001 bottle provided by aerozeppl and avryle.

A: Chestnut body with almost no head. Looks as expected for a 9 year old beer. Amazingly, there is visible carbonation.

S: Sweet caramel and maple syrup. Good pungent aroma.

T: Good god. This held up like a champ. Nice caramel and dark fruit sweetness. Very good balance.

M: Smooth as silk. For only 6.9% ABV it held up like a champ.

D: Phenomonal.

 404 characters

Photo of irisier
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 16 fl oz brown flip top bottle.

Appearance: Reddish brown with even tan head.

Smell: Sweet and somewhat fruity. apples and maybe raisins. A bit of bready flavors as well as some dark maltiness.

Taste: Malty and somewhat bready. Faint candy type flavors like butterscotch or tofee. Roasty but without astringency. Still somewhat bitter and a little earthy. Maybe a bit nutty at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with high carbonation.

Impressions: Pretty good. Toasty and sweet with a unique aroma and taste. This would be a good beer for those inexperienced with Belgian beers. Love the earthiness.

 617 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
4.36/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer is in very cool looking ceramic bottle with flip stopper for after cap is opened. Poured into DFH goblet. Intial pour created nice thick 3 inch ivory colored head on top of dark copper beer. Smell is slightly sweet and maltly-no hops detected. Taste hints of carmel, with creamy feel, and improved as it warmed. Beer retained a half inch head throughout consumption. The excellcent smooth taste made for high drinkability. Highly recommended.

 447 characters

Photo of Westsidebuddha
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After sitting in the fridge for about 3 years, I decided to open this bottle (i.e. I ran outta beers). Poured a dark brown color into a small tulip glass. Nice bubbly head and still carbonated. Smell slightly roasted. A light roasty taste with a full mouthfeel. Drinkability is that of drinking at your own pace. A good beer to try at least once.

 346 characters

St. Sebastiaan Dark from Brouwerij Sterkens N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.
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