Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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Ranked #6
Ranked #1,153
4.26 | pDev: 9.15%
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Reviews: 1,345 | Ratings: 3,367 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Todd
Todd from California

4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 33cl brown bottle with a very jolly looking monk holding a glass of St. Bernardus Abbey Ale. No freshness/bottled on date. "Brewed with only classic ingredients. Barley malt, hops, candy sugar, yeast and water. No additives."

Appearance: Slightly cloudy (from the yeast) burnt orange with a creamy white head. Levels to a nice lace and sticks to the glass.

Smell: Fruity, hints of apricot, and sweet toffee in the nose.

Taste: Extremely smooth and creamy in its mouthfeel. Almost chewy. Body is full, without being heavy. There's an upfront light lemon hop bitterness that mingles with an apricot-like fruit character (very refreshing, uplifting) that then gives way to a sweet, buttery toffee/caramel flavour that is unlike anything I've ever encountered before. In the background I get that burnt sugar flavour from caramalized sugar and a delicate toasted malt profile. An estery/alcohol presence is hidden, but noticeable, especially as the beer warms (and it warms your head). Finishes slighty bready/dry.

Notes: Simply put, this is an amazing Belgian Tripel. Crafted to perfection. Talking too much about it belittles its greatness. Just buy some and enjoy. 7.5%abv.

Jan 07, 2001
Photo of Jason
Jason from Massachusetts

3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl slender brown bottle with a “consume before end of 2004” freshness date on the side of the label.

Appearance: Hazy pale amber, darker than a lot of tripels I have had and the lace is just ok as it leave only a ring.

Smell: Faint whiff of alcohol, fruit and solvent but mostly toned down. Touch of tropical fruit as well in the nose.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Nicely layered and infused carbonation, fluffy moderate body that goes creamy underneath the crispness. Solid dry malt character, phenols are present with waves of herbal flavour and the sweet and spicy alcohol delivers some fruitiness to the taste buds. Chalky yeast. Undertone of hops show a tired bitterness but all of the other flavours pick up the slack to keep things in balance.

Drinkability & Notes: Hmm … not exactly what I expected or even what I see a tripel as but there is no doubt this is a good beer. Nothing earth shattering, just good.

Jan 30, 2003
More User Reviews:
Photo of davidperez
davidperez from Mexico

5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best before 07/08/16

Served in a St. Bernardus chalice, it pours a beautiful amber orange of a golden hue, slightly hazy. It forms a one-finger head, white and foamy, with some retention. The head wanes until it becomes a thin layer of foam, which never truly disappears.
Beautiful lacing.

What a delicious bouquet.
Huge banana and bubblegum esters, caramel, honey, slight fruit as in peach, green apple skin, lemon, creamy and biscuity, a note of spiciness, floral scent.
Truly, truly scrumptious.

Lovable expressive carbonation.
It begins perfectly balanced, and both the sweetness and the bitterness are strong and discernable. Gradually, sweetness prevails, and in doing so, the notes reveal themselves.
Caramel, honey, floral note. Huge malty sweetness, biscuit. Lemon, underripe peach, apple, tamed orange zest, banana, coriander seeds, clove and white pepper.
The aftertaste has a huge herbal note that leaves a very refreshing feeling, like an iced tea; it is predominantly sweet, and oh so long.
I was fortunate enough to taste this quite chilled and then looking at the bottle to see that it was indeed the proper tasting temperature recommended by the brewery.
Medium to light body, so smooth and refreshing.
Long after this beer has gone, I still feel the herbal, floral note in my mouth, a freshening sensation, and that balance tilting towards sweetness.

This is the kind of beer that reassures you that wine can't beat beer.
Superlative tripel.

Jun 23, 2016
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Carbonated honey with lemonade borders. The crown of foam, as expected, was massive before the first few ounces left the bottle. It's an especially regal shade of alabaster and is smoothy creamy rather than firmly rocky. Shotgun-blasted sheets of Belgian lace stick with authority. I love the look after a second pour adds a smattering of yeast to the glass.

The nose is all kinds of wonderful. Having said that, I'm not tempted to go with the big number. It's chock full of golden orchard fruit and has an ideal amount of yeasty spiciness. Just as I suspected, even a few degrees of warming opens things up beautifully.

Simply put, St. Bernardus Tripel is world-class. It doesn't happen often, but there's nothing about the flavor profile that I would change. It's as if the monks tweaked the recipe over hundreds of years until it was a model of perfectly balanced perfection. Actually, that's probably exactly what happened.

This may be the fruitiest tripel in existence. Each sip delivers a controlled explosion of buttery pears and crisp apples, sun-ripened melon and juicy pineapple. Honeyed pale malt anchors the bottom end with authority. Wrapping it all up in a neat little bow is a perfect (there's that word again) amount of clove and white pepper spiciness. It looks like Tripel Karmeliet has some competition at the top of my 'most favored tripels' list.

How can so many flavors and so many flavor sensations be present at once and how can they work so well together? Tripel is sweet and tangy and bitter and fruit and spicy... all at once. A well-crafted tripel is almost as pleasing to my taste buds as a hugely hoppy DIPA. And this is *definitely* a well-crafted tripel.

The mouthfeel falls a fraction short of perfection. It's medium for the style, with an admirable amount of silky smoothness, but it doesn't quite reach that state of effortlessly creamy expansiveness that is otherwise known as mouthfeel bliss.

Brouwerij St. Bernardus has never let me down. I've enjoyed each and every one of their creations and am especially thrilled with Tripel. It's on my short list of the world's best beers, no matter the style. I plan to stock up whenever the opportunity presents itself. Only next time I'm going for the 750s.

Nov 28, 2007
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT from Ohio

3.67/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – The bottle blew up when I popped it but then poured with almost no head. I didn’t get that. The body was light orange in color.

Smell – Strong orange syrup aroma with a touch of yeast and some summer fruits.

Taste – This yeast is subdued at the taste. The fruits are light summer such as melons, with a tangy compliment that’s almost like a sprig of lemon. There’s also some traditional Belgian spicing to this one.

Mouthfeel – Big carbonation and medium in the body.

Drinkability – This wasn’t bad, but certainly not worth picking up again.

Nov 11, 2003
Photo of The_Bujon
The_Bujon from Ireland

4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love the look of this brew, while the head does slip away fairly speedily, the body with its thick haze and the sediment suspended looks like deep space.

Aroma is gentle and appealing, quite fruity notes for a tripel.

Taste and feel gain good marks too, a great mix of fresh and malty fruits, very drinkable, and a perfect 8% abv.

This is one of the best tripels for sure, but it is the keenest contested of all the Belgian styles.

Do yourself a favour and get a few of these in, each one grows better than the previous.

Apr 30, 2017
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

on tap at the bull and bush, they have really put in a lot of guest taps recently, including a lot of higher end belgian stuff, very cool. this is one of the classics, a great example of the style, and one of my personal favorites because of its relative lack of sweetness compared to its peers. hazy and very pale straw in color, with a smaller head than i was hoping for, but still close to an inch of lasting white airy foam. it smells floral from the yeast, like little white and purple meadow flowers, and a rather high dose of oats along with the wheat and barley in the grain bill. lots of body and just a touch of residual sugar. long grainy start turns into a dry yeasty finish, classic belgian yeast fruit esters pop all over the place, and prickly carbonation makes the 8% abv feel dangerously light. its a classic recipe, a classic yeast strain, and a real artisan product that is rooted in tradition and timeless in flavor. this is one of my favorites because of its dryness. it doesnt sacrifice any body to get there either. light fruitiness is left on the tongue after the swallow, and a 750ml of this would not be too much for me in a sitting.

edit: the bottle is even better, brightly effervescent to an almost absurd level, dry as can be for the style, crazy drinkable and just jovial and happy on the tongue. increasing the feel score here, it must benefit considerably from the bottle conditioning. really a treat to drink on!

Mar 05, 2014
Photo of Beergeeknut
Beergeeknut from Washington

4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden with a bright white head that is about one finger thick.

Aroma: Pear, golden raisins, green apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, yeasty and a light dryness in the nose.

Taste: Golden raisins, pear, nutmeg, yeasty, coriander, allspice, green apple, cinnamon. A very crisp mouthfeel with a good dry finish.

Notes: A top notch Tripel so nice and dry and a good one to pick up. Cheers.

Jan 17, 2016
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe from Michigan

3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a bruised-apricot color with lots of dim, gold highlights - completely opaque and cloudy. Little, tiny buts of sediment hang suspended in the beer as if they were sitting in glycerin. Volatile as all hell, the head far outsizes the actual amount of beer in the glass as it towers over the top of the glass; off-white, foamy, and frothy as can be.

I bring this one to my nose and pick up much of what I expected from any decent tripel - lots of fruity, mildly earthy esters, faint banana, lemon and citrus zest, orange peel, spices, clove, and a raw Belgian yeast aroma, highly akin to bubblegum. As far as the aroma goes, this is definitely one of the more balanced tripels I've had. No smell is competing with another too much, and all of them collide at once to form a nice, meshed aroma. Alcohol provide a bit of a warmth, but nothing hot or troublesome.

The taste hits first with a nice collection of mellow fruits - some plums, mangoes, grape skins, light banana. The fruit comes with a nice sweetness that simply feels more mellow and laid back, rather than abrasive and in your face. A light dusting of sugar seems to cover everything. Some spices adhere well to the fruits, mainly clove and a bit of orange peel, followed by a nice mix of bread, butter, and gum - that Belgian yeast sure does wonders. Hop character is subdued but slightly leafy and herbal when it shows itself.

At first, I was getting a slightly undesirable aftertaste - something along the lines of cardboard, or wet, moldy wood. Left a bad taste in my mouth long after the beer was gone. As it started to warm, the fruit and malt sweetness got a bit stronger and this weird aftertaste vanished (or at least masked), so luckily I was able to enjoy the second half of my beer. Not sure what that was all about, but it least it only lasted for half the beer. Alcohol phenol flavors came out a little but upon warming, but didn't harm the beer in any way. Medium bodied with a light mouth feel thanks to aggressive carbonation.

Pretty good tripel, and it would be a great tripel if it wasn't for that strange moldy flavor I was getting at first. Good think it eventually recessed and went away. The second half was wonderful - if only the entire timeline went that way. Overall, still very good.

Feb 22, 2013
Photo of LagerCognoscenti
LagerCognoscenti from England

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

App: Cloudy, pale amber with big head and lacing and strong carbonation visible

Aroma: Malty and Belgian yeast. easty with notes of banana and apple. A good typical Belgian pale or tripel smell.

Taste: Sweet malt and Belgian yeast. A sweet tasting beer with hints of toffee. There is also an interesting peppery taste here.

Mouthfeel: Medium and somewhat frothy.

Overall: A good Belgian tripel. Didn't seem to quite have the "wow" factor of a Westmalle or Karmeliet but not significantly inferior and well worth a try for fans of those beers.


Sep 03, 2014
Photo of M_chav
M_chav from New Mexico

3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L- pours a light yellow with 2 inch forming head.
S - grass, lemons, pear, smells creamy
T - So this is not at all my favorite style of beer but this is definitely a creamy triple - completely covered alcohol and really smooth. I get banana bread with heavy creamer baked into the little noted yeast. This is not what I would call a classic belgian triple because it's so good!
F - Like mentioned above, this is creamy good, great balance
O - this may have opened my eyes to the style I never thought I could enjoy. a very good beer

Jul 27, 2015
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an extremely clear medium to dark gold color with a massive thick, billowy white creamy head. Lot of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass and an abundance of sprightly carbonation.

S - The nose is hit with a massive wall of musty, aromatic pears, white grape skin, some yeast, straw, delicate spice, and some pepper. An overall very dry aroma - smells amazing.

T - Lemon, pepper, spice, some banana esters, pear, citrus, and a lingering peppery lemon spice with some earthy, spicy bitterness. Very crisp.

M - Rather full bodied for a Tripel but it works perfectly.

O - This beer is just fantastic. After reviewing over 3,300 beers, how did this ever elude me? Was certainly familiar with the beer, evidently I never had it before when I thought I did. A timeless Classic - recommended.

Jan 10, 2018
Photo of jed
jed from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Comes in a thin, brown bottle with the famous St. Bernadus smiling monk. Green label with no bottling date, "Best before the end of 2004" written in various languages. 33 cl poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a warm, cloudy orange color that's almost opaque. The head is about one finger thick, a very clean white. Oddly enough, it slides down the glass leaving barely any lacing.

Smell: Warm fruit aromas, apricots and bananas, paired with some spicy cloves and a hint of restrained alcohol.

Taste: The flavor on this one is all about subtlety and restraint. Mouth is typical "Belgian" taste of sweet yeast, combined here with lemon and some hop bitterness. The citrus flavor is balanced with cloves and peppers, and some banana. The most prominent flavor is the contrast between the initial lemon bite and the contrasting cloves and fruit sweetness, which works together nicely. Alcohol is barely noticeable. Finish is slightly dry thanks to the lemon and some cinnamon. The beer leaves behind an aftertaste of grain mixed with apple and banana. As this beer warms, it also leaves a strange yeast flavor that lingers in the mouth, but it's still tasty.

Mouthfeel: As with all St. Bernadus beers, very smooth and creamy. The carbonation is also perfect on this one, present without interfering with the flavor.

Drinkability: For a Trappist Ale, the flavor of this one far outpaces the alcohol content, which makes it extremely drinkable. I could knock these back until I smiled just like the monk.

Can St. Bernadus make a bad beer? Apparently not. While the Tripel isn't as good as the unbeatable, near perfect Abt. 12, it's a formidable beer in its own right. The best tripel I've sampled. Raise a glass to the smiling monk.

Mar 07, 2004
Photo of DaveFL1976
DaveFL1976 from Florida

4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A) Nice, chunky head with a warm, ripe banana color body.
S) Clean, smooth, fruity, a bit of banana and smooth sweet malt at the end.
T) This is the definition of a Triple, in my opinion. Sweet, smooth, with a bit of sourness at the end. Very smooth.
M) Well, but not overly carbonated. Bubbly, but with enough residual sweetness to balance things out. Very nice indeed.
D) This is a darn nice triple. Less bubbly and sticky sweet than Duvel, but a bit less spicy. A very fine beer.

Jul 19, 2007
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sjstraub from Wisconsin

5/5  rDev +17.4%

Nov 17, 2011
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Joecaddie from Delaware

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Jul 25, 2014
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sweemzander from Illinois

4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a tulip. Best by 05/07/13.

(A)- Pours a clear golden color that produced a huge foamy & fluffy white head with great retention behind it. Plenty of lacing as well.

(S)- Rather dry and earthy. Some nice clove and subtle banana/lemon fruits. Alot of yeast elements in the aroma; almost has some biscuit-like nuances.

(T)- A very creamy profile. Some nice banana and lemon with hints of bubblegum. Lots of clove starts to show itself as it warms. Dry and earthy on the finish.

(M)- A nice carbonation level and a great balance to it. Crisp, and refreshing with good fruits and dry yeasty characteristics.

(D)- An excellent triple. Everything I was expecting. Has a nice balance and smoothness. A very clean take on the style without being too earthy or funky.

Dec 07, 2010
Photo of valianes
valianes from Canada (ON)

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Oct 16, 2013
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output01x from Ohio

4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 mL. capped bottle (Best Before 06/14/13) into a chalice.

A strong pour yields a 1-finger off-white head of highly energetic bubbles that pop, burst, and fizz away until only a small island of foam remains, floating in the center of the glass. The body is a hazy, deep golden orange amber with steady streams of ascending carbonation bubbles. Almost no lacing can be seen at any point during consumption.

Bready malts and Belgian yeast aromas combine with just a little spiciness to create a very promising nose. The malts give of notes of buttery biscuits and fresh toast. The yeast, which is the dominant portion of the nose, gives notes of red apples and dark fruits.

Very similar to the nose, bready malts form a strong backbone for the other flavors. Red apples, green grapes, pears, and ripe bananas all come forth along with candi sugar and spices. A slight alcohol warmth is rests on the middle of the tongue and back of the throat.

Medium bodied with excessive carbonation, this beer is a little too drinkable considering its 8% ABV. The body is just right to allow the flavors to operate at full capacity while not being too thick. The carbonation is extremely fizzy at first but does not seem to imprede on the flavors. Refreshing and thirst-quenching, this beer begs to be gulped, not sipped.

Sep 13, 2011
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sd123 from Texas

4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sep 28, 2015
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Sspeer1 from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -6.1%

Sep 14, 2013
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dblyman from Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Mar 05, 2013
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xbrettfavrex from Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

May 04, 2014
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4.24/5  rDev -0.5%

Sep 17, 2014
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Rukeli76 from Canada (ON)

4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a tulip at cellar temperature.

Pours a hazy amber colour. Head dissipates quickly.

Some subdued fresh fruit aroma.

Flavour is dominated by fresh stone fruit. Peaches and apricots. Vinous malt. This is a well-aged bottle, so the candi sugar sweetness and booze have mellowed considerably.

This is a nice but slightly forgettable tripel. I get a couple of these every year when the St. Bernardus Christmas box shows up at the LCBO, but I wouldn't look for it otherwise like I do the quads or dubbels.

Oct 22, 2016
Tripel from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 3367 ratings