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.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 73 |  Reviews: 63
Photo of Onslow
2.94/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

had in celebration for Manchester United's glorious VICTORY!! quite spritzy, seems aged- not really in a good way ... musty, dust, honey aroma's ... "the firetrucks will have to wait their turn" .. light hazy yellow-orange .. the mouthfeel makes it quite drinkable, but most will find it thin... not worth the jackson...

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Photo of desint
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of WynnO
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.08/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 4/22/2007 (25.4oz bottle,BB18/09/09):

Pours a cloudy golden yellow color. Very fizzy, with a smallish foamy head, good lacing, lasting. Good sweet strong sugary aroma. A lot like Belgian Ales, but more sweet smelling. Sourish taste, a little more mellow on the tongue on the aftertaste. A lot like the Belgian but only the bitter part. Flowery. Interesting, but not as good as a regular Belgian ale. More mellow.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.16/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Bu11zeye: Poured a deep orangey color ale with a nice big foamy head with good retention and some great lacing. Aroma of sweet malt is dominating with a light yeasty note. Taste is also dominated by some quiet sweet malt with light yeasty dry finish. Body is a bit oily and cloying with light alcohol being perceptible and some great carbonation. Definitely lacking complexity and a bit too sweet for my palate but then again I had high expectation from that brewer.

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Photo of lhaqq
3.52/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a semi-opaque particley brown body with a light tan, slightly orange head with great retention. Stays at about 3mm throughout.
S: Belgian yeast and some spices, tomato juice. Non-sweet milk chocolate, and a bit of licorice.
T: Again, fairly heavy on the Belgian yeast. The dulled milk chocolate also comes through. Some figs, without out the sour twang, that turn into a slightly sour cherry flavor.
M: Creamy and decently thick but still more watery than was expecting. I think this might be more flavor than mouthfeel though.
D: Not too high an abv to be masking. Can get through a 750 fine.

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Photo of emerge077
3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In the looks and aroma dept., this ain't so great.

Pours a clear orange into an Oerbier tulip glass. Some initial white foam, aromas of candi sugar and coriander. Stale grainy aroma, despite a recent arrival to US shores.

Taste is nice, big compared to some lackluster Belgian Pales. Apricot, banana, and cereal grain. Mouthfeel is bubbly and full, comparable to Celis grand cru from MI. A bit bigger than it's US counterparts, but not that different.

One 750 is something of a chore after trying a couple different beers. Not much here to indicate it's Flemish provenance...

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Photo of Beerzebub
3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, served in a big wine glass at 57 F/ 14 C.

Bright crystal clear gold, big eggshell head, solid lace. Later glasses pick up some haze.

Smells like lime, peach, white pepper, dough, earth, coriander. Quite aromatic, very nice.

Tastes like lime, banana, peach, a bit of orange, plenty of peppery spice, sweet doughy malt, some earthy cheesy yeastiness, and mild coriander. Not much hop character or bitterness, but the spice and earthiness help balance the sweetness.

A bit too fizzy, even with plenty of swirling. Reasonably drinkable.

Not a bad beer at all, but not really my cup of tea. Reminds me a bit of La Chouffe, if I recall, minus some coriander.

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Photo of bruachan
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

super heady (i'd stored it a little warm) and a clear golden underneath

from the fuzz erupts spicy goldenness and noble hops. sweet n' spicy

hoppy flavoring. not bitterness, but the middle and late additions are substantial. malt flavors are subdued but detectable: light, clear pils malts hide under the hoppi-spiciness. the finish is actually unremarkable, and the mouthfeel a little flimsy (though somehow coating)

you know, in's not all that spicy. i guess i just expected it to be. spicy, yes, but it's no chouffe

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Photo of kajerm
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark gold with a decent white head and good lacing; surprisingly clear for the yeasty, estery smell.

The aroma is yeasty as hell, with strong banana character and a background of light malts. My notes have me smelling something vaguely Bretty, but I'm not sure this is actually a farmhouse beer.

Tastes exaclty like it smells, almost completely dominated by yeast and esters, with a surprising dry finish. This is probably the first time I've noticed tannins in beer-- pretty interesting.

The mouthfeel is light, maybe a little too light.

A solid beer, but the dryness and over-the-top esters hurt drinkability a little.

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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 mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased this one a while ago and literally just never got around to trying it. Last night I figured it would go good with dinner, and in my never-ending effort to clean out the fridge, I plunked this one down and checked it out. Very nice looking bottle with a good cork and cage. Some sediment laying on the bottom. Served the 750ml into a Chimay Goblet at a slightly chilled temperature.

Appearance - It poured out a bright golden yellow, with a deep haze and cloudiness to it. Lots of suspended particles were floating around throughout( I took a previous reviewers advice and made sure I blended in the sedimentation). A nice three inch white frothy head of foam then rose up over the top of it, and then started to slightly crater and become a tad rocky before finally settling down to jus a thin film across the top that lasted throughout the rest of the session. A nice amount of side glass lace then came down through it. Lots of carbonation was visible throughout the session and it had a very nice, lively overall look.

Smell - The aroma was light, a bit too light at first. A nice touch of banana and lighter fruits permeating though at the beginning, really setting the table so to speak. I let it warm up a touch and the aroma did get a little bit stronger, with some light smells of hay, and grass coming through fairly well now. Still though a banana and apricot like smell was the dominating force here.

Taste - The flavor followed suit as well, really just being dominated by light grains and banana like flavor. Light hints of apricot and a slightly sour back taste were all easily discernable. Not a touch of alcohol in the flavor which was nice, as at over 7% it is usually a little it detected, especially on the lighter profiles. Finish was light and quick, refreshing without much of a long lingering flavor though. To be honest a little bland, but good for a blond.

Mouthfeel - This was highly carbonated, though not explosively so, just a nice bit of rushing bubbles throughout. Played very well on the tongue letting the flavors dive in and out quite well. Decent feel and very light body.

Drinkability - it was a good session ale, as the alcohol was nowhere to be found and the smooth refreshing taste was very nice as well. The flavor was a bit too light, but I could easily have thrown down another, just not sure if it is really my thing.

Overall this was pretty good for a Blonde ale, one of my least favorite styles. I imagined it could have been worse. Not terrible by any means though. I could drink it again though I do not think I would pay for this one again.

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

Grotten Flemish Ale poured slightly cloudy straw yellow topped by a bright white head. A good deal of lacing was left behind on the glass. Aroma had notes of banana, orange peel, pepper and lemon. Flavor consisted of a slight citrus taste, malty sweetness, a touch of bitterness and a little spice. Medium-light in body and highly carbonated.

Solid and balanced beer.

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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 Psilo707
3.71/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A very pear, opaque color when poured into a mug. A frothy head forms and the lacing slowly dissipates along the sides in a uniform fashion. The smell is one of a strong beer in general - actually probably the lowest point of the brew, but still fairly decent. The taste is very herbally strong, and the alcohol is slightly present. Some fruits and nuts in there but exact tastes are not discernable. Mouthfeel is really solid, and it tends to lay heavily on the tongue with a nice feel. Drinkability is decent although I think the overly abundant alcohol aftertaste might get in the way a bit.

Overall, a very good Belgian Ale, and I would generally recommend this to most drinkers.

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Photo of russpowell
3.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle pours straw/honey colored with 2 fingers of rocky eggsell colored head. Insane lacing & head retention

S: Spice, esthery notes, lemons & coriander

T: Tart malt, lemons, coriander, breadyness & phenolics up front. Then grapefruit & lemon hops. Finishes with phenolics & lemon hops

MF: Low carbonation, medium bodied & pretty smooth

Drinks slow; too phenolic for this reporters taste

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Photo of roblowther
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, just as impressive looking as its cousin. Let's hope I like this one better. Pours a very pale, cloudy yellow with a dense, smooth head that leaves nice lacing. Smells of lemons and bananas and a note of peppermint. Taste little resembles the smell, which is a neat trick. Rich malt and candi sugar are followed by a note of pepper, with a crisp finish and a slightly sour aftertaste, reminding me of lemongrass. A pleasant beer, not as complex as I would expect. Mouthfeel is silky and well-carbonated, just the way I like it. Drinkable? Yes, I'd say. The sour finish is a bit off-putting but all in all, one I would drink again. Its a bit overpriced for what you get, though.

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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 rhoadsrage
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a chalice)

A- On the first pour, although gentle, the glass filled with nothing but head. As the mosey eggshell colored head began to melt back into a lightly hazy golden yellow body with a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- The soft smell of yeasty perfume had a dry quality to it with a faint hint of green herbal notes in the background.

T- The light smooth taste of pale wheat has some light fruity qualities and a soft yeast flavor to it. There was a slight cola note to the malt with a hint of dried apricots coming through as the beer warms. The soft green note at the finish doesn't have any distinct hop qualities to it.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a tight fizz finish that cleans it up.

D- This beer is very filling and could be a meal with a smooth creamy taste but not a lot of depth or interest in the smell or taste.

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Photo of msgraves
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grotten Flemish Ale appeared an unfiltered, golden-orange color with a dense, long-lasting and creamy head.

This beer smelled heavily spiced. Lots of coriander, citrus, and graininess.

Tasted of clove, coriander, and ginger over some banana fruitiness with wheat grain and lime/citrus notes.

Medium bodied with moderate wheat character in the finish, a decent brew.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Never seen this before – nice to be able to pick it up at a beer drive-thru!

A wild billowing head exists atop a dull golden body. Ridiculous cling.

Nose is phenolic, cracked pepper, clove, and general yeastiness. Falls in line with much of the Bernardus line. Attractive.

Taste is saison-y minus the funk: wisps and threads of alternating minerals, dryness, earth. Rather a stock Bernardus, really supertasty, still, too pricey for all-the-time consumption. Seems to lack some distinction.

MF: One of the slinkier Belgians on the tongue. Drinkability suffers just from the sense that I’d be more inclined to sack another single from the Bernardus line.

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Photo of hiikeeba
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours up a cloudy golden amber with a huge creamy head.

S - Malty with a slightly sour aroma. Definite honey notes. And a bit of pear aroma.

T - Bready/biscuity malt flavor with a slight tang. Subtle hop flavor with come citrus and herbal notes. Tart finish.

M - Full mouthfeel with good carbonation.

D - Not sure how much I like this. I can't find any faults, but I find it hard to finish the glass. It's almost unpleasant.

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