St. Bernardus Tripel | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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St. Bernardus TripelSt. Bernardus Tripel
3,200 Ratings
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

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Ratings: 3,200 |  Reviews: 1,288
Photo of billab914
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Pumking chalice. It poured a hazy, pale, golden straw color with a bubbly head to it that settled out pretty quickly.

The aroma has a nice mix of pale, grainy and toasted malts along with a lemon zesty citrus. The Belgian yeast also comes through nicely with some fruity, spicy characteristics. Everything comes together very well in the aroma and feels pretty well balanced.

The taste mixes the lemony citrus nicely with fruity and spiciness of the Belgian yeast. It finishes a bit on the dry side with just a bit of bitterness. The flavors are excellently balanced and all of them get to come through at one time or another. Very nice tasting beer.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation is very high with an almost champagne like bubbly quality. Drinkability is good, it was a very flavorful and well balanced beer overall and a fantastic example of the style.

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Photo of r0nyn
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into my DFH snifter.

Pours a hazy, orangeish yellow with a big fat white head that recedes slowly. Leaves quite a bit of sticky lacing that coats the inside of the glass. Bits of yeast gunk can be seen floating around, as well as some bubbly carbonation rising up to the top. Smell is full of yeast and fruity esters, with quite a bit of citrus rind and phenols. Some tartness, but not quite sour. After a few deep sniffs, the alcohol can just barely be detected along with some faint bubblegum sweetness.

Yeasty malts greet the palate to start and permeate the entire sip. Notes of banana, cloves and citrus fruits follow, providing a unique contrast to the initial maltiness. There's the bubblegum snap from the nose, followed by a definite breadiness that lingers into the aftertaste. Bitterness is extremely subdued and the hops are almost non-extant. Alcohol is masked very well, though it does peek through as the brew warms. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with minimal carbonation and a chewy texture from the yeast and breadiness. Finish is suitably dry, leaving you wanting more of it.

Drinkability is amazing with this brew. The breadiness coupled with the sweet fruit flavorings and pleasantly chewy mouthfeel make this tripel incredibly easy to quaff. It tastes almost like a slightly boozier version of a hefeweizen, which is one of my all-time favorite styles of beer. St Bernardus really has a dandy of a drink in this. It has done what I thought impossible and knocked off the venerable La Fin du Monde as my favorite tripel. Cheers to those merry monks who really know how to brew!

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Photo of Brent
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For such a well-regarded beer, I must admit my expectations were a bit high and, unfortunately, not met. Poured slightly hazy amber-tinged gold, with lively sharp carbonation and a short-lived head. Bright in the mouth with prickly carbonation. Flavor profile was a bit flat and one-dimensional with apple notes. Lacking the peppery and phenolic notes I associate with the best examples of the style.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours the standard golden amber color with a thin light white head.

S-notes of belgian yeast come in up front as some lightly tart lemon and notes of sweet apricot come in next. spicy phenols and notes of alcohol are present with a light herbal hop presence.

T-the taste is rather good, subtle yeast blends with tart lemon, some sweet golden fruit in there as well. hints of alcohol and phenol add a fair bit of spice to it as a night herbal hop presence with light bitterness rounds it off.

M-medium body has an agressive carbonation making it rather prickly throughout. a slightly dry finish is clean and somewhat crisp.

D-this is full of flavor that is well integrated and balanced. tasty tripel that has everything you want to see. a more dry finish and stronger malt presence to balance may help, but still very solid!

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Photo of grittybrews
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy yellow-amber into a tulip with a couple fingers of bright white head and lots of tight lacing. Strong aroma of peppery spice and banana with a hint of apple/pear.

Ample carbonation and a light, dry mouthfeel. Banana and clove up front followed sweet biscuit and a lingering pepper finish with just a hint of hop bitterness. Alcohol is well-masked and the flavors are nicely complex, but this one was just a touch on the sweet side for my palate.

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Photo of haazer
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay goblet at the East End Alehouse down the road.

A- Cloudy apple cider like appearance. Pale yellow sediment at the bottom of the glass. Leaves a little bit of lacing, not too much. Head is less than impressive, tan in color.

S- Smells like apple cider or apple juice, and slightly tart.

T- Perfect balance in the taste. Good amount of yeast, mixed with an apple flavor. I usually shun anything apple flavored but this works. Slightly puckering. Definetly fruity flavors throughout. The smallest detection of hop flavor but there is some. Alcohol is masked well.

M- Every ounce of this beer completely absorbs your taste buds, seems to really sink in. Slightly dry although still refreshing. Alcohol begins to warm body towards the end of the glass.

D- Could drink many of these. A superb tasting beer. St. Bernardus has been good so far, the Abt 12 is better IMO, but this is worth trying.

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Photo of scott451
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. A slightly cloudy greyish light amber with a one finger off white head. The head diminishes to a thin layer. Moderate lacing.

Fruity malts, phenols in the smell. A big flavour burst in the taste. Well hidden sweetness. Spicy fruit esters. Complex and changing as it warms. A slightly dry bitter finish.

The mouthfeel is of a fairly light body with good carbonation. It went down pretty easy. ABV is well hidden. I could well go for another. A solid triple.

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

Poured into a Chimay chalice

A - Hazy gold with a velvety white head. Great retention and lacing.

S - Banana, pear, candi sugar and yeast

T - Sweet bready malts dominate with more banana, some melon and a bit of white pepper spiciness in the finish.

M - Medium-full body with heavy carbonation. Slick and creamy.

D - Glass went quickly, solid beer, like every other St. Bernardus brew.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ive had this before, but I picked one up again to review it. 26 03 12 on the back. Im guessing that's a best by date.

A- Nice billowy white head with rocky lacing. A pretty hazy pale, dirty gold colored beer has a few chunks of sediment floating around in it.

S- A musky earthy spiciness is the dominate aroma. It lies over golden raisins, a cinnamony spice, a bran flake maltiness, and some dates. The fruit smells are a deeper than I expected but it makes for a really good smelling and unique tripel.

T- Dates and raisins and apricots. More bran flake maltiness and cinnamony spices. It tastes like a cereal.

M- Fuller bodied with a tamed carbonation. Slightly slick, slightly crisp.

D- A pretty darn good tripel. Not the best but well deserving of its ranks in our top beers list.

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4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle, open as a gusher. It made it into my snifter.
A: The hazy golden body is very classic for the style. The white head holds well and is a fluffy layer on the top. Waves of lace are left behind.
S: Notes of candy sugar and flowers on the aroma. Not a overly powerful aroma, but a very good balance.
T/M: Medium body, with a nice creamy mouthfeel. Undertones of hops and a good malt forward taste. Overall a very floral taste, with a subtle spice. Notes of sour on the front, with a laid back spice on the finish.
D: I see this as a brew that hides the ABV very well, nice notes and a great overall drinkability. I would consider this one of the many of the style to be represented well.

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Photo of djmichaelk
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle into a goblet.

A - Pours a pale, cloudy straw-yellow, with a huge, pillowy four-finger head that overflows the goblet. Oops. But about as good as a beer of this style can look.

S - Very surprised that I don't see more mentions of banana in other reviews, as it dominates the nose here. Biscuit, banana, and maybe some melon.

T - Yeastiness -- pound cake and bananas, hints of sweet melons, and candied fruit. Maybe some alcohol around the edges, but not much. Restrained and elegant.

M - Full bodied, slightly dry, and nicely carbonated.

D - The ABV makes this one more drinkable than some of its peers. I love the flavor, and could probably go through a few more of these.

O - Very, very nice. I've been passing on tripels for the past few months but lately have been on kind of a tripel bender (get it?) lately. This is an excellent example of the style, and makes me want to have A LOT more.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Fairly dark yellow color. Had that nice looking pour for a tripel. At least 3 fingers of white head with a nice amount of lacing. Quite a bit of visible carbonation.

S: The smell has a ton of esters up front. Little bit of apple. Pear. Little bit of candied sugar. Little bit musty as well. Not as bright a nose as I like to see for the style.

T: Lots of sweetness up front. Tons of esters. Quite malty. Comes across as dense bread. Not enough fruit to balance it out. The flavor is quite heavy.

M: Again heavier than I care for the style and the carbonation was lacking a little bit.

D: I have not had this one in a few years and I was not that impressed. Much better examples of tripels out there though this is still a good beer.

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Photo of arturorg
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Unibroue tulip

A: Golden with a white frothy head leaving traces in the wall as it retreats. Almost no visible carbonation.

S: Citrusy, hoppy, sweet, bread.

T: Same citrus and bitterness I got from the smell that leaves a coat in the mouth, a tad watery for my taste.

Overall a very good beer from people that have been doing this for a long time.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle served in my ST tulip. Best before end 08 02 13 indicated on the back label. Pours a burnished, golden-orange with a creamy/frothy 2.75 inch head. Clarity is semi-hazy, with tiny bubbles effervescing in solution from the stem to cap. Head exhibits excellent retention, eventually settling into a 3/4 inch cap that is refreshed with a swirl. Delicate strands of lacing are exposed and adhere to the side of the glass during the tasting. Nose reveals light citrus fruit (perhaps some apricot), cloves, a spicy/peppery quality and a suggestion of candi sugar and honey. Taste follows nose - a little grassy and the herbal quality is less spicy than suggested by the nose. There's also a slightly stale yeast flavor that comes out towards the back and somewhat quashes the sweetness that presents in the middle. Light fruit is more rounded and less citrus-centric. Mouthfeel is light-medium, with a slightly scaly carbonation and a finish that falls a little short of semi-dry. A very nice and well-balanced tripel. This tends to be a hit or miss style for me, but this is definitely a hit in my opinion.

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Photo of Anthony1
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

formed 2" of dense, creamy, slightly off-white head over the light golden-honey hued brew. Head shows great staying power, and lacing is amazingly hearty and plentiful. Aroma is a bit spicy, in that expected Belgian way, with yeasty, slightly malty undercurrents. Taste is upfront delicately fruity, following with hearty malt character, and only the slightest hint of the alcohol we know all tripels have. Mouthfeel and drinkabilty are both excellent.

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Photo of maleman
3.45/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into an SA glass (sorry, the closest thing I had to a chalice!). Poured mid-amber with a bubbly three-finger head with oily lacing. No freshness dating noted on bottle.

S - Superior malty smell, along with some spice..clove, maybe?

T - Yep, it was clove! But it's not overbearing. A bit of pepper in the aftertaste.

M - medium-bodied, you can sense the alcohol. Very good carbonation. I get the taste in the rear center of my mouth.

D - I once thought that Trappist Ales were the best beers available. As I get older the IPA's and the darker stuff has more appeal to me. Not bad, though...would drink again.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.96/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle into Chimay goblet.

A: A slow pour still yielded an expected crazy big fluffy off-white head that took forever to reduce into a dense film over the hazy honey-peach colored liquid. A solid sheet of lace was left around the entire glass.
S: Notes of ripe golden fruits, peach, apple and some peppery spices.
T: Very fruity and smooth. Not as spicy as I was expecting, but a fair amount of white pepper is present, especially in the finish. Not as much clove as other tripels, nor as much yeast flavor. Very fruity.
M: The alcohol is pretty noticeable in the beer. It isn't hot or uncomfortable, but there is pleasant warmth to the finish. Full bodied and extremely smooth mouthfeel. This is heaven to my palate. Finish is a tad dry but not so much so.
D: Not my favorite tripel, but definitely a great beer. Delicious and fairly easy to drink.

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Photo of kwjd
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Once the cork was popped, there was a huge gush. I had to do a mad rush to try and save as much as possible. Once poured, it was a light cloudy orange colour with huge white head and a little bit of lacing. Smells of sweet bubblegum and Belgian yeast with some spices. Flavour is much of the same, little bit of bitterness too, but quite sweet. Carbonation is a bit over-the-top, as evidenced by the gushing.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my DFH snifter, I can't find my St. B glass...grrr.

Beer is amber and hazy. Forms a HUGE head that falls away to one finder and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is high and steady. Looks awesome.

Oh sweet Jesus, it smells like awesome. Write awesome on a piece of paper and then smell it, that's what this is. Its estery and sweet with a level of great yeastiness (that's a word according to google). Its perfect.

Creamy medium bodied beer with a dry finish. The forward is mildly sweet. The midpalate is moderately sweet and estery. The yeast character is lower than you'd expect. This beer is awesome. One of the best tripels I've ever had.

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Photo of StephenRich
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Belgian Tripels and Wheat Beers from around the world cover a huge range of strength, spice, and character. Before you enter the world of real beer wheat beers appear to be a one dimensional drink destined for the summer when you need a crisp cool refreshment. Soon though, when you begin to immerse yourself in real beer, you find wheat beers and Tripels from around the globe with varying power and unique complex characteristics.

All of a sudden, the easy drinking (somewhat bland) wheat beers you have become accustomed to erupt with a new fervor for life. Well, truth be told, like so many classic beer styles, rich and exciting wheat beers and tripels have existed long before the generic versions of mass produced commercial versions.

St. Barnardus was one of the first breweries to introduce me to a proper Tripel with their own - It is not available in Ontario, so every time I go to the U.S. I make sure I grab a bottle... or three.

The Abbey Brewery St. Bernardus opened in 1946 in the West Flanders of Belgium. Like most Abbey breweries, St. Bernarbus prides themselves on using only the finest local ingredients, and water pumped from their own artisnal wells. The brewing process includes three months of ageing, then bottle conditioning giving each beer exceptional life and deep character.

This beer should be served cool between 8 to 12C (45 - 54F) and should be poured into a wide goblet to best release the aromas and spicy qualities. It is 8.0% abv, and does vary occasionally from year to year.

I prefer the 750ml bottles because they are corked, beautiful, nicer to age, and most of all, best for sharing. The Tripel does also come in a capped 330ml bottle. Like most of their beers, the bottle depicts a very jovial monk holding a goblet of his very own beer - I bet he is having a lot of fun right now living on this delicious stuff!

One thing I noticed before even pouring the beer was that the bottle was filled with thick flaky sediment (yeast left over from the bottle conditioning). This could easily turn some people away, but I love the earthy funk and real qualities that the sediment adds to beers. It also makes me want to store several bottles for many years, but right now, I'd rather drink it. The Tripel pours with life and excitement lifting a pillowy head immediately. I poured this in two stages so to build a nice dense head, and capture all the aromas that the beer has to offer.

Soon I had a beautiful hazy, golden orange beer glimmering with amber and fire. The head was full and large close to an inch and a half above the beer; it was pale white, but glowing with a slight orange reflecting off the beer itself. Through the haze I could see the sediment resting at the bottom of the glass. MMMMmmmm...

The nose is classic Belgian Tripel emanating spices, earth, yeast, blond malts, banana, peaches, herbs, ginger, coriander, and more. It is richly complex, tartly sweet, and seemingly very quenching.

First the St. Bernardus gets into your palate with spine tingling effervescence and powerfully aromatic flavors. The first sweep is floral spices and lightly sweet malts - these are instantly balanced with earth, spice, and ripe fruit tartness. The mouthfeel is very powerfully carbonated, but natural and soothing. Bubbles are very delicate and compact, but they explode with flavor sensations as they flow across your cheeks.

Light malt sweetness becomes creamy, especially as the beer warms a touch, but still a light tart fruit flavor from bananas, grapefruit, and pineapple are quite prominent and are influenced by the beer's champagne like quality. It has a smooth backbone though of vanilla and sesame which takes a very seasoned palate to find; but once you do it brings additional layers to the beer, and tones down the spice. It is crisp to the finish with dry yeast, and a snappy refreshing end. It is supremely quenching, and very very appetizing.

It does show a lot of tart, and almost sour aspects which will drive some people away, however if your plate is more attuned, or if you naturally enjoy this type of flavor you will absolutely adore this beer. It is a great aperitif, and would also pair well with stronger vegetables like asparagus or artichoke, and hummus or similar middle eastern spreads would also be perfect for this magnificent Abbey Tripel.

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Photo of nickd717
3.61/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review transcribed from February 2009 notes.

Bottle poured a hazy golden color with a big white head.

Yeasty and malty aroma with sour apple and candi sugar.

Flavor is more of the same, sweet malt and sour fruits, maybe some spices. This had some similar sour/funky flavor to their Abt 12 that I can't quite put my finger on. Taste is yeasty with some funk and green apple-like flavors.

Lively carbonation with medium body.

It's good but not as drinkable as others in the style. Man I am just not a huge fan of St. Bernardus relative to the whoever has been driving their ratings way up. This tripel is good but not great.

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Photo of juju7
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally got around to one of these. Worth the wait. Sexy looking bugger - massive, evenly spread head and very smart lacing. The tripel to end all tripels. Great nose of banana, orange rind, nutmeg and yeasty goodness. Mouthfeel is full and luscious. On the palate the phenols come out to play along with the hops. Toffee brittle comes to mind. The bitter sweet finish is simply boneriffic. Primo.

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Photo of metter98
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured cloudy dark yellow in color with a finger high creamy white head that has excellent retention properties. A moderate amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: There are moderate aromas of light fruits and spices in the nose along with some hints of alcohol. Smells of bananas and pears stand out in particular.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but the flavors of spices are a bit stronger and there is a mild amount of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer wasn't too difficult to drink considering its alcohol content, which is well hidden. I will definitely try this one again as it is one of the best representations of the style.

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Photo of punkrkr27
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy pale gold with a huge foamy white head. Very complex aroma with a warm sweet yeastiness, flowery aromatic hops, bubblegum and some slight spice. Classic Belgian yeast flavors upfront with lots of banana/bubblegum esters, a little bit of honey, fairly strong alcohol and golden raisins. Nice creamy medium body with lots of soft carbonation.

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Photo of siradmiralnelson
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle exploded out the top when opened. Poured from 12oz bottle into Orval Chalice.

A. Massive carbonation left me with half of the beer that I opened. Poured a half finger of head. Little lacing and retention. Color is hazy golden yellow. Violent opening left lots of suspended sediment.

S. Smell is yeast, bready, light fruit, pears.

T. Taste is probably one of the more delicate and refined Tripels I have had. Yeast, pale malt, light fruit. Just a hint of alcohol. Some hops.

M. Medium bodied. Heavy carbonation. Pretty crisp and dry.

D. This review is the first time ever trying St. B Tripel. It is definitely a well crafted beer, as I would expect nothing less. The initial opening of this beer did not go according to plan, so I will have to do a 2nd take and see how it goes.

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St. Bernardus Tripel from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 3,200 ratings