St. Bernardus Tripel | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
1,257 Reviews
St. Bernardus TripelSt. Bernardus Tripel
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Belgium | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,257
Ratings:
3,083
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
14.42%
 
 
Wants:
239
Gots:
442
For Trade:
4
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Reviews: 1,257 | Ratings: 3,083
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.

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Photo of jmc44
3.67/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly cloudy amber-golden color; light, thin white head that dissipates quickly and leaves minimal lacing.

The aroma is light, with hints of alcohol, fruit, and a slight note of spice.

Taste is initially fruity, with banana and berry, followed by a slight hop spiciness. The bitter character comes through surprisingly stong compared to other tripels, and the spice character with the fruit is a bit awkward. The flavors do meld together better as the beer warms.

Smooth, medium bodied beer, which is fairly drinkable despite its abv.

Not a bad beer, but IMHO not the best tripel out there. Actually a bit disappointing from their fantastic ABT 12, but still solid in its own right and worth a try.

 721 characters

Photo of chalsk
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma of grapefruit hints of hops. Pours a nice amber golden haze. Very lively beer. Nice medium head. A very doughy tripel. Different from any other tripel I have had. Has notes of banana and even bubblegum, which is a first for me with beers. A creamy beer that has some bitter on the backend. A delicious brew. But not of the level of the Chimay, Chouffe, or Tripel Karmeliet.

 379 characters

Photo of cooter
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A tiny-bubbled frothy head with outstanding lacing that produces a thick netting along the glass. Thick foam, starting from 1.5 inches and now down to one-half. Smells powerfully of kiwi and banana. Other scents include gentle hops and generic malts, tulip, and that fake cherry smell that candies have. When swirled and deeply inhaled, there is alcohol present.

Smoother than I thought possible. Phenomenal foam/beer interaction. Feels like drinking a carbonated pillow. Goes right to my head. Getting some strawberry scent and taste, a vodka or whiskey flavor, and an aftertaste very reminiscent of peaty scotch. Melon, canteloupe, slight raspberry in the taste. Well carbonated.

Exceptional. Wondrous. True artistry.

 725 characters

Photo of OldYoda
4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip - pours a honey gold color with a nice one finger head and leaves sheets of lacing.

Smell is subdued - I get malt and a lingering whiff of alcohol. Nothing overpowering or out of balance at all - very inviting.

Taste is outstanding. An exceptionally well balanced beer.

Drinkability is wonderful even at this ABV. A couple of these would be no problem in an evening, although they would undoubtedly sneak up on you.

All in all, this is an outstanding beer. This is all about balance and knowing your craft. In my mind, this is what the art of brewing is all about - this is world class.

 631 characters

Photo of wd40
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle served in a Chimay chalice

Soft and creamy carbonation and mouthfeel. Tons of lace. Has the typical yeasty fruity aroma of a tripel, but with some balance and subtlety. The taste is very sweet and fruity with peach and perhaps mandarins undertones. There is also a creamy hint of vanilla in the finish.

An exceptional tripel.

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Photo of gustogasmic
3.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, rich gold with intensely swirly carbonation, leading to a weightless 3" white head. Very nice lacing- even and in small clumps.

I have to pull hard to get much odor- it's a distinctly yeasty banana-bread.

the taste is wonderful and subdued- a balanced light banana, candy sugar, and light wheat bread.

mouthfeel is sublime. The carbonation folds out beautifully, and leaves a nice tingle on the tongue and a dryness, despite the creamy feel of the initial sip.

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

Pours a golden orange, topped with fluffy white froth, thick with yeast (with the bulk of the lees left in the bottle). Nice.

Sweet malt, citrus and spices. A touch of hops as well. Yeasty. Yummy.

Rich and spicy, with a nice honeyed sweetness. A good balance, with a touch of bitterness on the back end. Tasty.

Lively on the palate, with a very dry finish.

Excellent, if not outstanding. I won't turn this down anytime soon. I haven't been drinking many Belgians recently....maybe I should pick up a few more!

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Photo of jed
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

 1,764 characters

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

Look: Opaque light golden/tan color, frothy off-white head
Smell: bready malts and yeast, little bit of banana and maybe some other fruits,
Taste: Sweet malts and yeast, apple, little bit of spice, citrus (maybe the hops?). Overall pretty sweet, with some sour apple/citrus. Slightly bitter and sour finish.
Feel: Crisp carbonation, medium-bodied
Overall a high quality tripel.

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Photo of bigman147
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Apperance: Pours a cloudy orangish hue with a soft puffy head. Head slowly fades with a persistent head. Nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Fruity aroma of apple cider and maybe pears. Slightly grassy herbal character. Hint of warm alcohol with a slight black peppery spice.

Taste: Fruity spice. Taste of apples prevails with a smooth grainy character. Hop notes are sedated and bitterness is minimal. Alcohol is mild and surprising not really overly present considering this 8% ABV. Pale malts and possibly malted wheat.

Mouthfeel: Fair body with a slight citrus acidity that helps cleanse the palate. Carbonation is strong and supports the fruity acidity nicely. Overall, well balanced.

Drinkability: Maybe my only complaint of which some of it can be my own fault. Alot of the yeast poured out into the glass and caused a hazy mess on top of a large amount of floaters. This detracted from the overall appearance and in that the drinkability (I wouldn't feel comfortable drinking that much floating yeast. The yeast never settled either. Overall though its high alcohol and high in flavor and aromas. Worth a try.

 1,129 characters

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

Poured from the bottle into a chalice. A very nice hazy gold color with a big pure white head with lots of bubbles. The head lasts.
I can definitely smell the yeast and some hints of fruit.
Highly carbonated, more than I expected but not out of line for the style. A nice silky mouthfeel.
The taste is smooth and subtle. Milder than Westmalle Tripel or La Fin du Monde but all the right parts are there for you to enjoy. While this wasn't my all time favorite the first time around it's still a very high quality beer. I have another bottle that I'll open soon and enjoy. If you like your Tripels with strong flavor maybe this isn't for you but it's going to please a lot of people.

 682 characters

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

Review #1000! I'll do my best.

Poured into a Chimay chalice...

A - Pours with an inch of snow-white head and a bouquet of lace. Moderate head retention that lasts through roughly half the experience. Golden opaque tone.

S - Strong and complex floral notes with characteristic Belgian spices ever-present. Slight hop bitterness, but the malty sweetness, that Tripels are famous for, balances the aromas out nicely.

T - The floral facet of this ale is present in the taste as well and the distinct Belgian spices are much more pronounced. The unique bottle-fermented yeast strain that Abbey Ales are celebrated for provides a solid backbone for this dessert-like beer.

M - The complex spices involved provide most of the lingering aftertaste that Belgian beer connoisseurs crave along with the supporting characteristic Belgian yeast. Some fruit lingers as well...mainly peach and maybe some raisin.

O - St. Bernardus satiates yet again! Aside from this Tripel, I've also had their Quad (Abt. 12), which is my favorite beer of all time. This beer comes close and is a perfect Tripel, in my opinion, followed by Unibroue's La Fin Du Monde. Highly recommended for those that appreciate sweeter dessert-style beers.

 1,216 characters

Photo of VMWhelan
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a chalice.

Pours a darker orange color with a 2 finger frothy white head with good retention. Great lacing.

Aroma is funky, very yeasty, and bready. Almost thought I picked up tomatoes at first but that has since subsided. A bit of alcohol in the nose.

Taste is quite fruity and yeasty with some spice to it. Banana, lemon and clove are there as well. Gets better as it warms up.

Mouthfeel is medium and creamy with a good bit of carbonation but its not overly carbonated.

Drinkability is high. Glass was empty before I knew it.

 566 characters

Photo of DPFRD
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured into Chimay Chalice

A- Cloudy deep golden hue, nice creamy head with some decent lacing when it froths down.

S- Sweet fruity characteristics in the nose. Some hints of the malts and a little of the yeast shine through.

T- The sweet fruity notes expand on your palette in the front, followed by some yeast and a little bitterness. The booze is barely detectable, but there when you look for it. Very nice balance of flavors.

M- Medium bodied, kind of creamy, decent carbonation.

O- I think St. Bernardus is a class act, the king of the secular brewers that brew abbey style beers. This beer lives up to it. It is definitely one of the finest tripels out there and has a one up on La Trappe's tripel in my ranking book. This is a regular in my tripel line up and should be in yours. Not to strong, not to heavy or sweet, just good, and a nice beer to knock a few down.

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Photo of BeerLover729
3.21/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Golden orange color beer with a bubbly, frothy head that never dissipates.
S: Green apple juice, alcohol.
T: Distinct ester presence of tart fruits, cloves. Very mellow diacetyl caramel upon warming. Potentially, there is a detectable coriander spice. Noticeable husky flavors that seem harsh and astringent like. An on the dryer side tripel with light phenolic properties.
M: Crisp, light medium body with a vigorous sharp carbonation that helps take away from husky harshness.
D: Cloyingness from the astringent like after taste gives this beer average drinkablility.

Notes: The pronounced harsh flavors I experienced in this beer can perhaps be due to a bad bottle.

 674 characters

Photo of esv
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 FL oz. $4.29
There was a "Best Before End" of FL 25 01 10

A) White head. Head falls down the side of the glass. Slight cloudiness with floating chunks of yeast (I think my bottle had been continually jostled being temporarily stored in the door of a small hotel-fridge). Pink in the heart of the beer.

S) Big-time Apple Cider. Spicy notes and a twinge of sour in the nose.

F) Apples. Hint of cotton candy. Yeasty. Bready. A balanced beer for the most part. Sweet up front and bitter in the end. Neither seemed to dominate.
It was apply cidery for me through the end

M) High Carbonation. Medium Mouthfeel. Quite drinkable.

 631 characters

Photo of TPSReports
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I orded 4 small bottles of this brew for my first experience into fine Belgian ales.

I was not overly impressed with bottle number 1, but the brew has grown on me. I few days later, I tried bottle 2 and was impressed.

It pours with a nice golden color into my chalice, with a clean white head.

The aroma is slighly hoppy with an alcohol tint.

The taste is rather mild, given the color and aroma, but tasty. Not one of my favorites, but I will keep a few in the cellar to try as they age a bit.

 505 characters

Photo of SQNfan
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep golden in color with a tinge of red this poured a very fine thick head that slowly dissipated. The nose was filled with banana, spice, yeast and mineral. In the mouth this is medium-bodied very well-balanced with an enticing mouthfeel that has some richness but is also silky soft. The flavors follow the nose which makes this both a nice beer for the summer, due to the flavors, and the winter with the density. Very enjoyable.

 433 characters

Photo of boogyman
3.63/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Vigorous pour into my St. Bernardus goblet. Good finger of head that seems to be dissipating quickly. Color is of murky dark yellow or light brown. A minute or two after the pour it settles to a light bubbly top that seem to have some staying power.

S- Very light scent on the nose. Ever so slight apricot smells with some yeasty notes. Thats all I got. Bare in mind I did drink a strong IPA before this. Addition: I decided to let this sit and warm up before I start drinking it and now the fruit smells are starting to come out much stronger then before. I am now getting some apple in addition to the apricot.

T- Nose is on the tongue. Apricot apple flavors with some light lemon notes.

M- Super bubbly! Tingle on the tongue is amazing. At 8% ABV, this goes down nice and easy.

D- Overall a nice beer. I don't drink many Tripel's and this one makes me want to change that and start drinking more!

 906 characters

Photo of uberabr
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in a variety pack with a cool St. Bernardus goblet and Pater 6, Prior 8, and Abt 12. A good find!

Frothy white head and good lace. Head dies a little too fast. A light, golden blonde amber. Very murky, well carbonated.

Aroma is a malty lemon-peel. A peppery hay or straw.

Tastes yummy. Sour and a little bitter. A citrusy, malty, sweet aftertaste. The alcohol taste is complemented/masked well. Mouthfeel is excellent, full and bubbly. A very nice beer, although I don't quite see what all the fuss is about.

 530 characters

Photo of rjplumer
4.07/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Gold hazy body with plenty of sediment floating around. Pillow white head at least two fingers worth and stays for a long time.Tangy tart bitter taste. Lemon and bread too.Peppery on the tongue. Creamy feel in the finish.

 221 characters

St. Bernardus Tripel from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.23 out of 5 based on 3,083 ratings.
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