St. Bernardus Extra 4 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

very good
74 Reviews
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St. Bernardus Extra 4St. Bernardus Extra 4

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by dwagner003 on 02-05-2014

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Reviews: 74 | Ratings: 347
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV "St. Bernardus Extra 4"
33 cl brown glass bottle
$5.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: Just getting back to finish up my St. Bernardus reviews, it's not like I haven't had this one many times before. It might be my favorite St. Bernardus in terms of simple drinkability. I could probably drink 8 of these in a row rather easily. But, given the price, that's not an option; I'd rather take the stronger versions when it comes down to money because they all cost roughly the same unless you're buying it by the case, which I cannot afford. Back on track, beautiful pour with a massive head of rocky white brought up over a slightly hazy gold with a brass cast. Excellent head retention due in part to its fine-bubbled gently effervescent carbonation, and very good lacing. The aroma is sweetish with notes of warm honey-drizzled doughy bread, dried apricots, peach, flowers, vanilla, banana, light herbs, yeast, and a dusting of light spice - it's not a bold aroma, but if you look it is complex. The flavor follows with some cereal character (mainly oats and wheat), a greater herbal presence, a hint of lemon, and some more pronounced yeasty spiciness . It's moderately bitter, and despite the sweetness of the malt upfront it finishes dry with residual herbs, flowers, light spice, and a spritz of lemon. It's remarkably drinkable, and at 4.8% ABV it's just a touch weaker than Budweiser. Medium-light in body and slightly creamy with a median, seemingly natural-fine-bubbled carbonation. Subtle, and supple - yet completely fulfilling in flavor! I'd often thought that "La Fin Du Monde" from Unibroue might be my "deserted island beer", but I'd forgotten about this one.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear golden color ale with a large pure white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of residual sugar with some peppery yeast notes. Taste is a great mix of residual candi sugar with some peppery and spicy yeast notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. Easy drinking with just enough complexity.

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Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cellered for a year and a half since my visit to Belgium and the tour of this excellent brewery. Brought from the shop afterwards. Pours a hazy golden colour with a white head. Aroma has spicy Belgian yeast, pale malts, citrus, fruits & hints of sweet caramel. Moderate carbonation. Tastes follows the same lines as the aroma with banana. A moderate dry bitter finish. A outstanding abbey ale.

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Photo of josanguapo
3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From Beergium. In La Trappe chalice. Playing Blackwell Legacy. Dry, with notes that reminds me pear and apple cider, a profile that bores me a bit, but with good body for such a low abv.

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Photo of Marius
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at home. Clear light pale yellow with a tall white head. Notes of flowery hops, citrus, honey, light passion fruit, yeast, bread, spices. Medium body, medium carbonation and a crisp bitter-sweet finish.

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Photo of vainosuomi
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look: hazy light tan, minimal white head
Smell: quite fruity—crisp apple, Belgian yeast, pear, no discernible hops, light pale malt sweetness.
Taste: again fruit forward like nose, slight citrusy and spicy hops, bright and relatively sweet. Dry and mildly bitter finish make the hops more apparent
Feel: Crisp, smooth, moderate carbonation, medium/light body.

Overall: a very solid Belgian pale ale, but I don't see myself getting it much in the future as I prefer Duvel which is generally more available.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - This is what a pale should look like, with a light yellow golden hue, clear, with a bright white head, persistent, with tensile lacing.

S - Quiet nose, with lots of pear and apple notes, a bit of spun sugar, and an earthy quality buried below.

T - Opens with fruits, pear flesh and white grapes, middle introduces some minerality, and the close is quiet and mildly acidic, with a spicy, bitter bite.

M - Not too thin, a very easy drinker, with moderate carbonation, a hint of drying.

O - Such a change of pace from the typical Belgian Pale, this is a beautiful example with subtle flavor and feel. I need to get more of these.

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Photo of scootny
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A $20.00 four pack of top notch brew. Brown bottle. Quite pale really. A straw with a light cloudiness that is barely perceptible. A decent head with a two fingered head that stays for a few minutes before fading into a light covering that remains throughout the drinking. Nose has lots of bread and a healthy serving of Belgian funk. Notes of honey and light lemon that gives a wheat like twang. Light fruits mix in, with green apple and hint of grape. Taste is a winner. Sweet malt and doughy white dinner rolls the honey from the nose flourishing for a moment, then subsumed into the mixture of malt and light apples. Mild lemon. A bit of soap and then the hops begin to come on. Tea leaf bitterness builds on a firm spiciness that has light clove and herbal dryness in the finish. Quite clean with a hint of mint adding to the dry quenching quality of the swallow and lingering light hop oiliness. Feel is crisp and dry with a velvety light creaminess. Quenching and refreshing. An excellent version of this style . If it weren't so expensive I'd keep it around As it is a great ale for special times with friends who can appreciate such a well constructed beer.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear straw color with white head. Aroma is really floral and slightly spicy from the yeast. Taste starts grainy and continues with some floral/tea notes. Really light body and crisp carbonation. Overall it's really easy to drink and refreshing.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Extra 4 looks like a wit and the aromas approach that style.
But, the taste is more pale primarily because the hop usage is modestly in pale ale territory.
Yet, Extra 4 complements my food. What more can I ask ? (Its recipe is derived from the
I've now Had all the brews from St. Bernardus that have any reasonable distribution in Chicago.
I probably would go back to all the others before I went back to Extra 4. That is not a knock, just a preference.
1/30/17 Had again with garlicky food. Works well. Clearly a table ale. Enough tang on the tongue so the food penetrates also.

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Photo of morimech
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cloudy golden color with a large head that quickly settled. Aroma is mostly Belgian yeast fruity esters. Notes of pears, grapes, bananas, honey, and apples. Flavor is bready and slightly sweet with a finish of yeast esters. Notes of cloves and bananas as almost a wheat beer. Light body and moderately carbonated. Easy to drink.

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Photo of davidperez
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a St. Bernardus chalice, it pours a bright and deep yellow, slightly murky. It develops a two-finger head, very creamy and foamy, with magnificent retention. After some minutes the head diminishes to a one-finger head and it doesn't seem that it will diminish any further.
Very nice, superlative lacing.

The bouquet is assertive.
Lots of white bread, sweet malts and honey sweetness, banana, citrusy as in lemon, a wheat-like note, and slight spiciness.
The head isn't going anywhere.

Balanced flavor, much more than other belgian pale ales; this struggles to finally tilt towards sweetness.
Nice and high carbonation upfront, followed closely by honey, banana, lemon, malts, slight herbal note, some wheat, assertive spiciness as in clove, and afterwards a hoppy bitterness.
The aftertaste is long, slightly bittersweet but with stronger sweetness, which it fades until it finally becomes dry. The last sensation in your mouth is that of dryness.
Medium plus body, extra smooth.

Best lacing I've ever seen, it looks as circular brush strokes of a foamy white painting. Best head retention I've seen too, perhaps even beating some hefeweizens.

Very nice beer.

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Photo of stephens101
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Hazy, yellow-orange in color. The off-white froth settles into a skinny sheet. Smells of malt and ripened fruits (orange, pear, melon). Tastes of more fruit with a beer bread core and faint spice in the finish. Very light in body as expected.

Why the hell not?

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Photo of mactrail
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Public House in La Jolla, Calif. They describe this as a "Belgian Abbey Pale Ale." It's a pale golden brew with a substantial pile of foam in the St. Bernardus globe. Wheaty and zesty. Such a sudsy and appealing brew.

Lots of yeasty taste and a bitter aftertaste. A nice touch of hoppy aromatics with a mineral edge. Extremely drinkable and a lot of flavor for the modest alcohol content.

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Photo of Vixie
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden color with a large white head that stays around for a bit.It leaves quite a bit of lacing on the sides on the glass as the head reduces down.

Smell is floral sweet with hints of citrus and yeast. Reminds me a bit of outdoors in the spring.

Bit of Belgian yeast funk up front. It is a bit fruity, some apple with a hint of citrus. It has a very dry finish, leaving a little bitterness from the hops.

Nothing too outstanding from the feel, does leave my mouth feeling a touch dry.

A pretty decent beer, but nothing too outstanding. It is very much like a saison, which is a style I do like. It has a very Belgian character to it, and although not the best example I've ever had, still a pretty solid beer.

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Photo of CHickman
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy light yellow color with active carbonation racing up the brew to a 3 finger bright white frothy head which was full of bubble of all sizes, dissipating not fast but on the slower side with the bubbles popping and leaving minimal spotty lacing.

Smells of barnyard funk, old basement must, lemon zest, toasted grains, biscuit, clove, spices like pepper and coriander, dry floral hops and chalky yeast. It's more funk then traditional Belgian with the candied sugar and smells just alright to me.

Tastes similar to the aroma but thankfully there is more hoppy sweetness, light candied sugar, caramel and Belgian yeast which tones down the funk and musty aspects. The flavor is a lot more earthy with grass, sticks, cracked wheat and citrus hops to go along with tea leaf and spices including pepper, coriander and a dash of cinnamon. Mild bitterness mixed with toasted grains give it real nice balance and completely hide the low ABV.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery with a light to medium body, very mellow carbonation and a slightly bitter finish that trails off earthy and grainy. Sweetness is mild and much better and more assertive in the flavor than the aroma. Overall a nice light Belgian Pale Ale. This would make a great into beer to the Belgian style.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

11.2 ounce bottle poured into a rastal glass. Best before end 15/04/16.

A: Pours a cloudy honey orange with a bright white creamy head, lots of carbonation, decent amount of lacing, and some good head retention.

A: Bread, biscuits, malts, honey, green apple, smells pretty sweet.

T: First impression is that this is very smooth, balanced, and easy drinking. Up front there is bread notes, malts, touch of honey, some spice like cloves, dry finish, aftertaste is of more spice, hint of fruits like green apples and pears, very complex with some depth, very tasty.

M: Light, fluffy, lots of carbonation, dry finish.

O: This is a really good beer, I could probably drink quite a few of these. A solid Belgian pale ale. Extra 4 has lots of flavor, it's complex, balanced, lots going, it's very sessionable.

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Photo of Tone
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, golden color. One inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of Belgian yeast, hops, sweet malt, slight alcohol, slight earthy malt, and a hint of floral. Fits the style of a Belgian Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, pale malt, Belgian yeast, slight hop, hint of alcohol, slight bread dough, hint of citrus, and a hint of earthy malt. Overall, great appearance, good aroma, body, and blend.

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Photo of avalon07
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a pale yellow color and a hazy texture. There was a big, foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A decent aroma of Belgian yeast, fruit, and hops.

T: Tasted of light hops, a big shot of Belgian yeast, some apples and even a little citrus mingled in as well. This was a pretty good flavor, but it wasn't overly complex or multi-dimensional. Still, it was lively and sweet.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth, yet vibrant finish. Medium-bodied.

O: St. Bernardus Extra 4 is a solid, generally well done beer. Not a standout BPA, but worth a look. nonetheless.

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Photo of jsoneff
4.85/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Gorgeous clear golden color, very light smell, initial taste of hoppy fruit, followed by a rich body, and a unique malty aftertaste. I can clearly see why the monks enjoy this as their everyday beer, it is incredibly drinkable and if I could afford it, this would be the first beer on tap in my tasting room.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy pale golden yellow in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and moderate lemon yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy light beige head that reduces to a small patch of medium thick film surrounded by a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Slightly more than moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of that distinctive Belgian yeast, pale malts, and grassy hops. Hints of candi sugar sweetness and a touch of light fruit (green apple).

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of pale malts with a hint of candi sugar sweetness and just a touch of light fruit (green apple). That is quickly overtaken by the distinctive flavor of Belgian yeast with just a hint of spiciness. Finally there are light flavors of grassy hops with a light amount of bitterness which fades away pretty quickly.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish

O: Pretty easy to drink and almost sessionable - a very distinctive Belgian yeast flavor + aroma (I'm assuming this is the St. Bernardus house yeast). Enjoyable and worth grabbing.

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Photo of kylesobrien
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I've been meaning to try brewing something like a patersbier, so I picked this one up to get a sense of what a Belgian "single" (as if such an official style exists) tastes like.

Pours brilliantly clear, a shade of golden yellow, with a nice cap of white foam and some lacing around the top of the glass. Scent is hoppy, not too yeasty, with a vaguely medicinal aroma. Appearance is nearly identical to some pale lagers I've enjoyed in the past. Mouthfeel is light, but not watery, with apparent carbonation that gives the beer a nice bite.

Initial taste is fairly hoppy, but not overly bitter; some spicy and fruity character from the yeast, but pretty smooth, clean, and refreshing. Maybe I'm imagining things, but the finish is occasionally odd -- in taste and texture, sort of like licking an envelope.

Overall, a fairly decent, pleasant-tasting lower alcohol brew, though I suppose that's actually relative to other Belgian beers. I wouldn't go out of my way to buy a bottle again, but it's neat to experience something akin to what Trappist monks enjoy on special occasions.

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Photo of jmasher85
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured this one into - what else? - a St. Bernardus tulip glass. Hazy pastel gold with a lot of foam and a ton of sediment. Nose was wheat, bananas, clover, and only a hint of yeasty funk. Taste is similar - also very mild, very smooth and light. A hint sweet, and finishes semi-dry. A perfect beer to offer folks who want a better, grown-up version of Stella, or want a classy, versatile dinner beer that could pair with any of the same foods as a white wine - chicken, potatoes, even Indian/Asian food.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is pale golden yellow with a tight white head and some retention. Nose is lemon, bubble gum, doughy malt, light dusty cob web. Super aggressive carb, tons of grainy cracker, lighter bubble gum flavor, hints of dusty brett, really light body and a dry finish.

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Photo of breadwinner
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I like this beer...but it also kinda had me wishing for a straight up Belgian pale ale a la Antigoon or Affligem. I know, I know, that's not the style, but this one just...well, maybe I need a few more to really get it. Little bit of honey sweetness in the nose, touch of apple perhaps, fairly subdued if pleasant. Palate is crisp, a few rogue phenols popping up for a bit of spice/bitterness along with some hops. Lightest touch of yeast (and only after I dumped the dregs in after about half the glass) and maybe some very light citrusy/herbal notes. It's light and easy drinking, and probably a touch better, even if subtler, than Chimay Doree, but it still came off as lacking enough distinctive character to really elevate it. Good summer drinker though.

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St. Bernardus Extra 4 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.01 out of 5 based on 347 ratings.
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