Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

St. Bernardus Tripel | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,258 Reviews
St. Bernardus TripelSt. Bernardus Tripel

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-07-2001

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,258 | Ratings: 3,087
Photo of JohnL9013
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an average head with a deep, cloudy, golden appearance, indeed, cloudier than I expected.

S: The smell is light, but fresh. Slight hop essense along with detectable fruit of some sort.

T: This is my first tripel and I can't believe how good this tastes. Firstly, the freshness is exceptional. Whatever bottle conditioning they're doing is working wonders. The taste is just very, very complex. It's not over the top, but it's just totally, totally balanced between fruit (berry) flavors, malt flavors, and hop flavors. I've never had a more flatline beer in my life where literally nothing pops out but there's so much going on. Very enjoyable.

M: Exceptional. Low carbonation, very smooth, very pleasant to taste.

D: Extremely drinkable but it is a high %age of alcohol, so please beware and don't try to drink more than one!

I'm new to this style, but I liked this a lot!

 887 characters

Photo of srv33
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bright cloudy golden pour, huge bright white head great lacing, creamy head. Superfine bubbles on head - almost like whip cream, never seen a beer like this before. Smell of apricot and sourdough most prominent. My first Trappist beer. Fantastic thick mouthfeel, balanced sweet fruit and fig, with a bit of vanilla and molasses, and almond. Hard to find, though would absolutely drink again.

 391 characters

Photo of kingjames1
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've tried other Tripels and have enjoyed them all, but this is almost flawless. Pours beautifully - a hazy gold with an enormous, frothy, dense head. Smells sweet, fruity, yeasty, spicy, and a little doughy. Taste is amazing. Apricots, citrus, bananas, cloves, spice, pepper, and even some caramel and yellow-cake batter (wa?). The alcohol is also there, but it is nice and works well with it.

Mouthful is great, well carbonated, yet creamy. This IS liquid bread! Increadible (were all monks alcoholics?). Highly recommended, and the best of this style that I've had (superior to Westmalle in my opinion).

 610 characters

Photo of Mdez
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this at a kiosk (Kiosk #25) outside of Luquillo, Puerto Rico. It was one of several great beers they had down there.

Had it straight from the bottle (they only had plastic 6-oz cups), so I couldn't really judge the appearance aside from me holding the bottle in my hand...which did look pretty good.

It smelled great, but tasted even better with a great mouthfeel, but this was all expected because of the brewer's reputation.

It was a very good beer, but note necessarily the best Tripel I've ever had; it's close to the top, but not the best.

I'me very glad I found this to try!

 588 characters

Photo of markman
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

St. Bernardus Tripel: 11.2 oz bottle, best before 31-12-06, 57 º F:

Crystal clear gold with a nice frothy white head…a promise of beautimus lacing. But the aroma hits before the eyes can take it all in. Yeast, ginger, maybe even some pineapple. Creamy smooth on the tongue, and then there it is…the ginger again. Malt steps up to fill in with some subtly sweet tropical fruitiness. Finishes with a dry-fruity-malty-lightly-hopped flavor that sticks around for a while. This is one hell of a tripel and, unlike many it’s contemporaries, at 7.5% it is dangerously drinkable.


 592 characters

Photo of jamesdergen
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a rich, cloudy, golden color with a big foamy off-white head. Some darker colored sediment poured out at the end.

Smell: Big, sweet, fruity aromas with green apples, honey and some floral notes as well. Awesome!

Taste: Huge fruity flavors up front, following the nose with the apple flavors and some spicy hop notes in the background. Richer yeasty, malty flavors linger in the background. Awesomely complex and perfectly balanced.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Pretty well carbonated, but not overwhelmingly so. Very rich, but still very smooth and drinkable. Goes down easy, maybe a bit too easy...

 621 characters

Photo of AMo
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

St. Bernardus Tripel pours a golden, peachish, orange with a nice fluffy head. The smell is good, medium to strong with malt and fruit like aromas. Its taste is good and unique, sporting a crisp floral like taste. Mouthfeel is light with a medium carbonation. The carbonation gives a kind of airy bubbly feel. Overall the drinkability of this beer is really good. It packs a good subltle kick with a well blended taste and smooth feel. I found it to get better at mid glass, but still it was nice the whole way through.

 519 characters

Photo of instrumentality
3.56/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the third chapter in my St. Bernardus exploration. I'm not a big Tripel fan (I prefer quadrupels and, to a lesser extent, dubbels), but I will attempt to judge to style, and hopefully I'll be presently surprised.

My gradually evolving method of reviewing is generally to observe my beer when it comes out of the bottle, write down my observations while it breathes for 5 or 10 minutes or so, and then do the majority of my writing during the first several sips. Then I let it sit and warm up for a bit longer and if anything significant changes, I'll make a note of that as well. I've noticed that a lot of beers didn't really do it for me straight out of the wine cooler (even though I try to keep them at around 50 degrees), but as they warm, it becomes a whole new experience.

We'll see how it goes...

I used my trusty Stone RIS tulip glass for this; my receptable of choice of late.

This one poured a cloudy gold to copper. I think I got a little too excited when pouring it, because I noticed the liquid was thicker and darker at the end, no doubt caused by sediment escaping the bottle. However, it's so murky in there that it's hard to tell. The head filled nearly half the glass, a beautiful, white fluffy masterpiece. By the time I wrote the first paragraph of this review, however, that head had settled to mere lace, with scattered bits of froth clinging to the sides all the way up to the lip.

A little swirl and sniff and...phenols. The first thought that came to my mind was "band aids." Another sniff and I picked up some fruity sweetness, some pepper, maybe a hint of sour citrus, and the slightest suggestion of pine.

First sip: noticeable alcohol burning to start, then a sweet tangerine flavor, then maltiness, and a mostly clean finish that's mildly sweet and a bit peppery and resiny.

These qualities remained constant through the next several sips.

After giving my palate a breather, I took in a small sip and let it roll around on my tongue. I could feel my entire mouth pulsating from the burn of the alcohol combined with the carbonation, but once this subsided, the most noticeable new effect was a sweet carob-like coating penetrating the tip of my tongue.

I'd say this fits the site's description of the style, and vs. other Tripels I've tried, it's more complex than the normal crisp, bubbly, champagny kind of sensation I've gotten in the past. However, I'm not all that fond of it, primarily because the alcohol stands out too much and subdues what appear to be some tasty flavors underneath.

Of course, the same thing has happened to me before with the Abt., which, at its best, is one of my all-time favorite beers, so the Tripel definitely deserves another shot, probably after a little bit of hibernation.

 2,779 characters

Photo of Kbogac
3.74/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 into a Chimay chalice. Cloudy dark yellow with a lose foam. About a half inch. Dissipates quick to a film. The first smell is heavy apple cider after a little warming it reminds me of canned fruit cocktail. Taste is very fruity. Pineapple, citrus, apple and a few others I can't define. Slight alcohol finish. Lots of carbonation with a lighter mouthfeel. Good Tripel but not one of my favorites.

 414 characters

Photo of Paddez
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, golden brew. Quite a bit of sediment on the bottom of the bottle.
The smell is doughy, yeasty with a spicy and fruity undertone.
The taste isn't that of classic tripel. It's sour & sweet at the same time and fruity (lemon, apple, ...) with a strange underlaying flavour. Dry finish.
The yeast plays a big role in this brew.
Medium body, thinner than I expected. Lively carbonation. The acohol is pretty apparent for a brew that's only 7,5%

This was an unusual tripel, and one that I did not quite fully understand. A solid and enjoyable brew, but in my opinion not among the best in this style.

Imho, the St. Bernardus beers are a bit overhyped. Sure, they're all pretty solid beers, but maybe not as good as some others.

 745 characters

Photo of Jaynuze
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Yowza! This is one of the best Tripels I've tasted in a while ... maybe the best.
It pours a beautiful cloudy gold with a thick creamy head. Does the head ever leave? St B always seems to have one of the thickest/creamiest heads on a beer that I've ever seen. You've got to see it to believe it.
The nose is much stronger than most of St B's varieties with hints of fruit, citrus, herbs, butter, and butter scotch that intensify as you make your way down the shaker glass. Though it sounds intense, it finishes very nicely without the sugary finish most Tripels seem to have (at least the US varietals).
It has a thin mouthfeel, but it doesn't detract from it's taste or finish at all. I could probably drink this all night ... though I'd be afraid what I'd look like at the finish line. The subtle 8% ABV can sneak up on you with this puppy.

 846 characters

Photo of Agent1
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

And so we begin, Het Kapittel.

Appearance - Quite a strong, deep golden color. Slightly hazy. Nice head, but not nearly as much on this ale as you might typically find on the Abt 12. Creamy and white. Good retention, though! Impressive lacing, too.

Smell - Surprisingly, one of the most prominent aromas seems to be alcohol. Grassy hops are noticeable. Nice, fresh buttery bread and yeast. Rosewater, honey, even subtle lemon/ citrus notes. Lots of floral accents with complex spices and dry hops.

Taste - Vanilla bean, banana, Belgian candi sugar, flowers and herbs (banana leaves), dry Saaz pilsner hops, fresh bread or vanilla cookies, honey, cloves and a tangerine finish. Slightly sour and yeasty. Very well balanced. This is where this beer stands out.

Mouthfeel - Leaves your tongue buzzing. Very tart due to the complex Belgian dry-hops, yet all the candi sugars keep the dry hops on the tongue relaxed and balanced. You can feel this trigger all areas of the mouth. Leaves a nice sugary coating on the mouth with a warm alcohol sensation.

Overall - A fantastic Tripel. More on the sweet side compared to giants like Westmalle, Koningshoeven (although Koningshoeven is quite similar in sweetness) or Chimay, but nonetheless, incredibly complex and precise. Dry, sweet and fruity, yet elements of sourness make this beer very enjoyable. There is an amazing breadth to this beer. Clearly, a carefully crafted Tripel!

 1,427 characters

Photo of ChrisWashington
3.99/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle.

A: Cloudy dark yellow in color. Large head at pour that settled into a lingering foam throughout drinking.

S: Smell is complex with a slight sour scent. Do I smell something like incense or herbs?

T: Taste is slightly bitter and sour, but not overpowering. No real remaining aftertaste.

M: This beer nips ever so slightly at the tongue. You can feel the carbonation long after you can see it.

D: This beer is very drinkable, although I don't think I'd want more than a couple in a row with the alcohol content at 8%.

 544 characters

Photo of adowney523
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a Belgian-style chalice.

The color is golden-brown with lots of floating sediment. There is moderate carbonation and a quickly-fading head with good lacing.

Smell is a toasty, bready aroma.

Taste is very smooth, yet complex; the alcohol is barely noticable. There is a candy sweetness along with medicinal phenols and the bready malt taste up front. This fades to a noticable, but slightly alcohol warmth at the finish with faint hops.

This went down exceptional well with my roast duck. An excellent tripel.

 552 characters

Photo of bobbyc881
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden & cloudy. Fluffy head stick around for a long time... as well as all along the sides of the glass. Fruity nose... citric fruits... apricots.

Taste is outstanding. Smooth and sweet flavors that end spicy and dry. Unbelievably smooth. Creamy mouthfeel, moderate carbonation that's somewhat prickly. Highly drinkable... barely noticeable alcohol. Not much more to say, really. This beer deserves it's high rating, no doubt.

 436 characters

Photo of Ryan_Graham
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Huge Head almost four fingers at first. Amber golden color. Consistent lacing.

S: Rich and deep. Malt and hops come through. Citrusy notes.

T: The alcohol really comes through. I was a little disappointed by the taste. At $6 a bottle, I was expecting something more. It starts off very smooth and sweet and ends bitter. Don't get me wrong, it's worth tasting. I was just hoping for something more from a beer rated so highly.

M: Goes down smooth. You can barely taste the carbonation. Aftertaste hangs on the back of the tongue.

O: Great beer? Yes. World class beer? Ehhh maybe. I can tell a lot of work went into making this beer. I really enjoyed everything about this beer other than the aftertaste.

 710 characters

Photo of Kudashov
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With the Housemartins " Five Get Over Excited " on the Hi-Fi . I am about to crack into this capped , caged , and corked bottle with the Col. Meril Stubing from the Love Boat on the front . He - the monk on front , reminds me of Brother Rich who was my English teacher at the Franciscan Friar school which will remain nameless . Poured into my Rapscallion snifter the head is large and the golden color is murky . Glowing gold when held to the light . 2 finger head has reduced to a thin head with some lacing . Smells of honey and banana . The mouthfell is pleasant and the carbonation is smooth . This is the 2nd brew from St. Bernardus that I have tried , and just like the ABT 12 worth the time and money .

 710 characters

Photo of Bumpon10s
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a very light and hazy gold, kind of odd if you ask me. A champagne white head grows then falls quickly with tiny lacing.

S - Smells very light, not giving off a lot, I'm starting to think I got an odd bottle.

T - Ok, now the taste is redeeming. Sweet and bitter are fighting back and forth trying to make their presence known on my tongue. I'm getting fruits and spices, lots of pear, very nice.

M - Hits the mouth very, very sharp with it's carbonation with a touch of the alcohol. Not what I'm used to, but I like it.

D - I can see myself getting this again, the ABV is very high, and you sure can't taste it. This is a very good tripel although at first I didn't think it was.

 701 characters

Photo of DUBinMIA
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass from a growler at 45 *f. Poured gently onto side and ended up with a huge 1 1/2in white head. Head subsided and stayed with about a 1/4 in layer. Highly carbonated and translucent gold/orange color.

Mainly citrus and malt were prevalent in the aroma with a hint of yeast.

Taste is good. Malt is the dominate flavor with slight hop notes towards the finish. Also, a sort of dry finish comes to light but it might be carbonation just overwhelming the taste. Noticeable yeast flavor towards the end. Very complex.

Mouth-feel was normal. Possibly lighter than what I expected.

Overall a good beer, however, not my favorite from my favorite breweries!!!

 677 characters

Photo of bilbobrewer
4.66/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

33cl bottle purchased at Brussels grocery store
BB 12 June 2017
Served chilled and poured in a tulip.

Pours hazy, soft golden. Modest head that thins off.

Taste is yeast-driven, some maltiness lingering afterwards. A hint of sweetness in the taste, but deceptive....lots at the front of the tongue, but it doesn't transfer to the rest fo the mouth. I find this a very different progression from other Tripels, which makes it a more interesting beer. Dryness and resins kick in about a minute later.

Very nice. My St. Bernardus pick....'the green one'.

 559 characters

Photo of wescj
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an opaque, golden color with a half-inch head, probably the result of a timid pour into the chalice. Head hangs around for a while, and then reduces to some foamy islands and an outer ring which hangs a nice lace. Little yeast particles are suspended as far as I can see into the hazy, honey amber.

S: Very fragrant, very nice. Spice and citrus fruit are the melody, alcohol the harmony.

T: What you would expect from the smell: fruity, malty, yeast and spice. A bit of sugar. Well played, overall.

M: Carbonation is very soft. Medium bodied beer, overall.

D: Easy going, despite 8% ABV. I'm reviewing a 330ml, which is enough to leave me content, though I've had the 750ml before and it went down just as easy. Overall, a good pick.

 747 characters

Photo of sureshot08
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy light amber color with a white head that retains a thin layer. Some yeast sediment.

Smell: Wheat, Belgian spices, banana, candy sugar, apricot

Taste: Fruity with some caramel tones, dry finish, crisp, classic Beligan spice flavor

Mouthfeel: High carbonation but coats the palate well

Overall: Great beer. On par with the trappist tripels I have had.

 378 characters

Photo of bceaglejoe
4.87/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured a translucent (cloudy) orange-amber color into a tulip glass. A rapidly rising head immediately sprang up, and retention was great throughout the drinking of this beer. It showed a rather high amount of carbonation right off the bat. The scent was one that blended grapes and red wine, with slight floral (rose) hints. There was a heavy malt presence in the scent, and it enveloped my nose. This could be one of the best beer aromas I've ever encountered.

Tasting: A slightly citric flavor came across on the front, followed by sweet malty characteristics, finally concluded by the warmth of alcohol. It was a sweet, sipping beer with a virtually nonexistent hop profile. There was a strong bread-y aftertaste as well that lingered in my mouth. The beer itself had a medium body. It was wonderfully complex in that every flavor that I had expected from the style came across. There are some beers that I've seen that use an overpowering hop presence to mask imperfections in the beer, but this beer blended all its elements extremely well. There was no harshness on the tongue, despite the high alcohol content. It rolled across very easily. This beer gets better as it gets a little warmer, too.

This beer is highly drinkable as a sipping beer, ideal for a wine and cheese hour or for dinner. The higher alcohol content may catch some by surprise, mainly because it is so well hidden by the flavors. At $3.99 per 11.2oz bottle (where I found it), this beer is meant for special occasions (or tastings at home, where I reviewed it). Definitely one of the best that I've ever tasted.

 1,609 characters

Photo of Stonebreaker
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A gorgeous beer, orange and cloudy with a thick mediumly dense head. With enough lacing to tell you this one has a healthy serving of the aromatic, fruity hops.

Smell: Can't really judge as I'm barbequeing

Taste: Delicious, fruity, tangy, a tad sweet but very good I'll have to try it with some spicy shrimp, or some of my grilled chicken later.

Mouthfeel: Perfect for the style, bubbly and thick.

Drinkability: Beware the good stuff.

 450 characters

Photo of GoodKnight1220
3.6/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle to a glass.

Look is a faint and cloudy yellow. Big head with good lacing.

Smells of heavy wheat and fruit.

I can't pinpoint the taste but it is spicey and a little fruity (maybe bananas).

Very carbonated and crisp.

Could drink, but might burp it up for a week.

 289 characters

St. Bernardus Tripel from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.23 out of 5 based on 3,087 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!