Grotten Flemish Ale | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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Grotten Flemish AleGrotten Flemish Ale
Very Good
73 Ratings
Grotten Flemish AleGrotten Flemish Ale

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A "Blond" from Pierre Celis, brewed at Brouwerij St. Bernardus.

No longer available in the US.

Added by Todd on 05-08-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 73 |  Reviews: 63
Photo of Jacobier10
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 ml bottle with no date. Purchased circa 2008/2009 by Ethan and cellared since then.

Bottle opens with a loud "POP!" and the first pour is clear, amber in color with a thick, creamy, white head that shows good retention. Fruity, earthy, and herbal aroma. A noticeable amount of cardboard and sherry, most likely the result of oxidation. These carry over to the flavor as well, but I am not going to dock it in the ratings for being 7+ years old. There is enough of a fruity presence to keep it drinkable. The finish is dry and a little spicy. Medium bodied and slightly warming. Carbonation was great, even after all these years.

Grotten Flemish Ale withstood the test of time fairly well. The bottle was probably past its prime at this point, but the quality in the brewing is still evident.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of desint
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of jdawg80
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass; 11/23/2009 dating on the bottom of the bottle(best before date?). Pours lightly hazy and cloudy golden orange color with a nice 2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of pear, apple, grape, floral, pepper, clove, herbal, caramel, honey, biscuit, and herbal earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of fruity/spicy/floral notes with malt sweetness; and good strength. Taste of pear, apple, grape, floral, pepper, clove, herbal, caramel, honey, biscuit, and herbal earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, floral, pepper, herbal, light clove, caramel, honey, bread, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and fruity/spicy esters; with a good malt/spiciness balance and no cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a slick and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian strong pale. Very nice balance and complexity of fruity/spicy flavors with malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on. This was probably quite old given the caramelized maltiness from age, but it held up very well. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of PEIhop
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of WynnO
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of theminutemen
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of GreenMountainBoy
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of HardTarget
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Held for about 3-4 years, opened and reviewed to honor the passing of this giant, R.I.P. Pierre.

Appearance: Golden glass holds a tight white head that clings to the side in clumpy tidemarks.

Smell: Mild Belgian yeast, earthy grain and a rosy floral smell. Slight wet cork note that doesn't spoil the party at all.

Taste: Some tropical fruit, a bit of banana, mango, and lemon peel. Very soft flavor profile, easy drinking but plenty of things going on.

Mouthfeel: Almost creamy feel in a light body, tough trick to pull off. A bit of prickle from the carbonation and a lingering coat in the mouth.

Overall: Lots of bias here, but this is a great beer to spend the afternoon with. Light enough not to fill you up, flavorful enough to keep you interested. A finely crafted beer from one of the best minds in brewing. We'll miss you and your beers Pierre.

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Photo of Shakujin
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had @Delirium Cafe Reserve Tokyo in 750ml bottle

Appearance: cloudy, glowing yellow. pours with fluffy almost whip cream like head

Smell: yeasty, bready, with strong herbal notes

Taste: similar to smell, the herbal taste really stands out. sort of like almond, black liquorish, and sweet grapes combined. Very unique flavor. Carbonation and bitterness are there but non obtrusive

Mouthfeel: med light.

Drinkability/ Overall: interesting beer with a great story behind it and a quite unique taste. A great beer to try and have a chat over, but not a go to beer

 566 characters

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle tried 12 Sep 2007.

Large white/yellow head. Well carbonated. Slightly cloudy golden yellow color. Smells sweet, yeasty, wheaty, with a touch of bubblegum. Starts with some caramel and apricot fruitiness. Fairly sweet and yeasty throughout. Finish is sweet sour. Medium body.

A says 'tastes like a Belgian beer' (guess that is good)...

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle without a discernable freshness date, I picked this up last year so it is most likely a 2009 vintage, maybe 2008. Pours a very clear (initially) golden color with a large, fluffy white foam that collapses slowly and leaves some spotty lacing on the glass.

Nose is actually quite similar to a Duvel, chalky Smatees candy, lightly fruity Belgian yeast and a smattering of grassy hops. Has a bit more bready yeast character and a bigger malt presence.

Taste is quite unique however, as the yeast and alcohol smack you around a bit up front. Crackery malt comes on in the middle with some definite sweetness, cheap halloween candy and honey. Bittering finish hints at a fair amount of hopping and is accentuated a bit by an alcohol drying effect. I was afraid I hadn't "grotten" around to this beer fast enough as it sat in my DBF for about 6 months. Still seems to taste great though, and is a worthwhile and unique Belgian beer experience.

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Photo of corby112
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat cloudy golden yellow color with some ripe banana hues and a two finger foamy white head that lingers for a while before settling into a lasting ring that leaves spotty lacing. Visible carbonation bubbling up.

Estery crisp golden fruit aroma with hints of apple and pear as well as some bready yeast, spicy zesty pepper, and citrus lemon peel.

Pretty carbonated up front with a clean bready yeasty medium body. Estery fruit notes, mostly apple and pear, along with some ripe banana notes, creaminess, alcohol warmth and a dry finish.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle w cork and cage. no date found. tasted in early/mid may 2009.

deep golden straw, almost gem clear, but some flakes of yeast, esp in later pours. massive head of large-bubbled foam, fades very slowly to constant thin layer. great lacing.

aroma: white grape and pear, hint of white bread, herbal hops and spicy phenols. trace of yeasty belgian character, not quite "funk".

taste: again, light white grape and pear, more white bread, but a bit watery. similar grassy and herbal hops (mild to moderate bitterness) with spice and phenols in back. peach notes? however, there is this strong metallic and mineral undertone, especially coming out in the finish and aftertaste. actually a bit distracting...

feel: a bit thin and watery, though smooth. all this is overshadowed again by that weird metallic character. tingly, moderate carbonation can give a hint of body.

very weird...

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Photo of Gavage
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a clear light orange color with a 1" head.

Smell: yeast, light pepper spice, and some grassiness are easily detectable by the nose.

Taste: slightly grainy malt base with some heavy yeast flavors. Pepper spice, honey, and slightly sour green grapes round it out. Bitterness is up front and balancing for the sweetness here. Alcohol is slightly noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp to start, smoother and dry at the finish. Aftertaste is long as the yeast spiciness lingers in the mouth a while.

Drinkability: slow sipping and somewhat refreshing beer on a hot day. Easy to drink this one buit more than two or three glasses may be enough in a session.

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Photo of HalfFull
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Belgian snifter of sorts. Pours a clear golden in color with a white sticky head. Good retention and just a bit of haze.

Smell is light and clean. Apple and pear on the nose and with a champagne like feel.

Taste follows suit. Very light and a touch of fruit. Quite perky and bubbly, reminiscent of a Flanders brew. Not sour at all however. Closer to an Affligem Blonde than a Duvel. Not a lot of sweetness and with a light Belgian yeast nose. Alcohol is well hidden and adds another stake to Duvel's coffin.

A nice brew. Belgian Blonde would be a more apt description.

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

5oz pour at the Flying Saucer Tri-Beer Belgian tasting served in a tulip glass a hazy bubbly straw yellow with a decent off-white head. Aroma is loads of sweet fruits. The taste is a decent amount of very tart sweet fruits with hints of citrus hops. The body is slightly heavy with loads of sweetness. This is a very enjoyable brew to say the least.

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Photo of Nickls
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured with frothy, foamy white head with good retention. Lightly hazy orangey-yellow color that's vibrant

S - Yeasty; orange and citrus aromas; some grassiness as well

T - A bit flowery; yeastiness comes in mildly; citrus fruit. Pretty nice

M - A bit chalky for me; very vibrant carbonation. Thinner body overall, though

D - Really drinkable, with some nice layers of complexity, but refreshing and at a very reasonable abv

Overall, certainly worth a look and I found it pretty darn good.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grotten Flemish Ale is the product of Brouwerij St. Bernard so expectations are high, and, in the end, met. This glossy brew pours a hazy golden color, tinged with orange. A nice lively cap of foam announces the carbonation therein.

Very nimble on the palate, as it flows across the contours. Lightly toasted malt with an orchard fruitiness greets the taste buds. A subtle sourness mixes in. Toward the end, a clove spiciness balances the initial sweetness, bringing everything together. An earthy character pervades it all.

This is a quality beer, a "Unique Belgian Ale" indeed.

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

A: poured from a bomber into a Bavarian style beer mug. Big cream head atop a pale golden liquid.

S: pale malts, floral hoppy aroma, banana esters

T: crisp malty taste, hides the nearly 8% ABV very well

M: slightly above average ale fizz. Not as interesting as Duvel or Delirium.

D: nice beer, great example of the style, but not world class like many are rating

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Photo of JBogan
4.26/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful bright golden color with a large and creamy white head which left excellent lacing. Very inviting looking beer.

Smelled of banana and spices, almost like a Wit with a little something extra.

Tasted very similar to the aroma. Excellent balance but perhaps just a step below the best of it's style.

Mouthfeel was superb. Very smooth and creamy, with just the right amount of carbonation. Really nice in the mouth.

I'd happily drink this one again. It is very refreshing, well balanced, and goes well with almost anything or just by itself.

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Grotten Flemish Ale from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 73 ratings