St. Bernardus Tripel | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

3,127 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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Reviews: 1,268 | Ratings: 3,127
Photo of twelvsies
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

After hearing a busy buzz about this beer I was glad to finally stumble upon it at D's in Pittsburgh. Steel City, baby. Great hazy orange amber tone to this beer with a rocky head that sticks around for a while. Nice. This beer is sitting maybe two feet from my nose and I can smell it clearly. Total yeasty spicy bready smell. Very "Belgian". Sweet light malts. Taste is fabulous. Much as the smell suggests, which is good. Yeasty sweetened esters up front with a freshly baked bread follow up. I think the merry monk on the label and I would be great pals. Great floral grassy notes to this beer, although not particularly "hoppy" in the American sense. A totally different interpretation of hops and malt here. And a tiny tad of bitterness at the end. Just enough to get your attention. Subtle is the word. But not wussy. Definately not. Very abundant flavor. Complex. Extremely cake-like. Very smooth and very light floaty mouthfeel. You can certainly taste the authenticity in this beer. An extremely drinkable beer, very easy going down. This is a cream of the crop beer from Belgium. Drink up chums.

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Photo of bonbright7
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After trying this is a bottle last night, I knew I had to make a valiant effort to find this on draft. I had heard that the nearest Belgian cafe in Garden City, about 20 miles to the southwest, had this in its rotation, so i made a trip to find this majestic tripel.

I found Waterzooi be a warm welcome home to the Europe I left last summer after my brother's wedding in Lyon, France. Among the neatly arranged taps was the smiling monk waiting for me..

The pretty bartender poured me a healthy goblet full of the butter colored ale, which led to the first taste without a was amazingly good. It was even greater than I had anticipated as I watched the rings of lacey foam decline into the glass.

The malty triple had more great tastes than Sybil had personalities.
I had the bizarre impression of bananas and milk shakes while I couldn't detect the alcohol at all.

I thought this ale would be great with broiled duck or just by itself in the company of friends.

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Photo of KingSlayer
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

350 ml bottle.
A: pours a golden hazy untranslucent liquid, 2 and a half fingers of white creamy head, medium retention, good lacing, persistent top white ring.

S: delicious! sweet pear and pineapple juice, fresh bread, vainilla, dash of cinnamon. very fruity and malty.

T: rich sweet alcoholic fruit juices, malty, almost no bitterness present, but not an overwhelming sweetness.

M: medium to full body, definitely feels like a high density brew, medium alcoholic bite to the palate, nice adequate carbonation.

O: strong brew, very fruity and on the sweet side, complex rich palate and nose, i loved it.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

[4.95 IIRC at Downtown Wine and Spirits in Somerville, MA. Best before January 30th, 2009.]

Pours a hazy pale gold with a stupifying angelic head that lasts and laces tightly. The aroma has a lot going on. Plums are the dominant fruit to me, with cotton candy, bubble gum, and yeast mixing in a bit. Pepper and cloves keep it from being too candy-like. Sweet at first, this is very soft on the mouth. Doughy with a lingering hop tingle and sparkles of lemonpepper. Absolutely perfect feel. Seamless. This is heavenly nectar.

This beer reminded me of how Schumann described the music of Chopin: "Guns buried in flowers." This is a light colored, fluffy, flowery beer that secretly has powerful aroma, flavor, and alcohol.

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Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz. bottle with with best before date of 9-7-07.

Poured a cloudy orangish-dark straw. I must have disturbed the yeast during transportation. Big chunky head.

Smelled very fruity. Apricot, buttery, spicy. Sweet and lots of bread qualities, vanilla later.

While in the mouth, malt and hops, in fact more hops than I'm accustomed to in a Belgian beer, but that is not a bad thing at all. On the contrary it added alot to the drinkability. The finish is where things got really interesting. Vanilla, cookie dough, lemon, apricot. Spicy with a great tartness. Again, hoppier than others, and I like it. Hell, I love it.

This beer went away too quickly.

As Pierre Rajotte notes in Belgian Ale, "Trying to classify Belgian styles is like attempting to impose guidelines on the Belgian brewmaster's creativity."

The king of tripels!

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Photo of maddamish
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Short review here:

Spices abound in this beer. You have a bit of orange and lemon citrus mixed with spice and a bit of pepper notes. The head was thick and creamy but quickly disappeared and turned into minimal lacing. The spice notes dominate in the nose.

This was a great beer and was very happy I was able to score this at the Acme on Market street in Akron because it was off the shelves and gone the next week.

Notes: There was a price check at the register and the bag boy was sent to check it out. He came back and said $5.00. I almost asked him to go back and get me three more. I didn't know what the price was and was prepared to pay more. I suspect it was more expensive than that but I am not going to argue with him.

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Photo of jlandis
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I bought a 4pack gift set with the 6,8,12,Tripel and a St. Bernardus chalice. This is the first of the set that I'm tasting.

The beer pours a hazy light orange/copper color with a thin white head that slowly fades to a small ring. The nose is full of spice, orange peel, lemon zest, and a sharp Belgian yeast. The flavor consists of sweet pale malt followed by spices then onto the orange and lemon zest. The flavor finishes with the classic tart and slightly funky Belgian yeast. The body is thick and creamy with slight carbonation.

This is what every Belgian Tripel should aspire to taste like. Fantastic, complex, and well balanced. Once again the monks show us how to brew a well crafted beer.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

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Photo of mynie
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful gold necklace gold with a big champagne sparkly white head.

Wonderful Rainbow! Smells like very crisp melon, pineapple, honey, and sugar.

Tastes even better than it smells. Zesty allspice and light ginger up front, moving into a subdued honey mixed with prominent cantalope, ending finally on a spicy mixture of fruit and yeast. Rarely is such complexity so pleasant, so easily drinkable.

This would be a great crossover beer.

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Photo of Stephen63
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Managed to create a full inch of foam in this lively pour. Misty gold body.

S - Citrus fruitiness with sweet caramel. Lovely.

T - Complex and a bit of a struggle to identify everything going on here. Initial sweetness gives way to hoppy and bitterness in the finish. Excellent.

M- Incredibly smooth, velvelty on the tongue.

D - With all good tripels the alcohol creeps almost unnoticed. Can't have too many but really enjoys those that you do.

A great tripel.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.77/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

APP- This beer was the classic glowing gold color that I expect tripel to be. Only a very slight haze, with a noisey, foamy white head that fell quickly and left a little lace.

AROMA- Fresh grain, spice, very floral, low malty sweetness, orange zest, white grape, pear... I could go on, very complex but delicate and in balace. Nothing more than moderate in intensity.

TASTE- Firmly malty but well attenuated base with light grahm cracker character. Low level detectable noble hop flavor and minimal bitterness combine with complex spicey character to balance. I could swear I caught a hint of banana but difficult to latch onto. Esters are very low in the mix.

MOUTHFEEL- Appropriately dryish but maintains medium-light body . High carbonation is appropriate but has more of a fizzy/ stingy character and not so much the mouth-filling creaminess I'd like.

OVERALL- One of the more complex tripels I've had and by far the best St. Bernanrdus beer I've had. Very dangerous in its drinkability.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.77/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a St. Bernardus chalice. Moderate head quickly fades into a hazy golden body leaving thin, soapy lacing on the glass. Lovely aroma consists mainly of some banana, apricot and sweet malts. Taste, upon warming, is malty sweet, slight clove, some mild citrus, mild hops, juicy and just plain delicious. One of the benchmarks by which all tripels should be measured. Insane masking of ABV, can't taste one bit of it. Awesome brew in every way, shape and form.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.77/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

After falling in love with the ABT12, I decided I would try other St. Bernadus products. I quite enjoyed this one, though I don't think on quite the same level. Nonetheless it was still worth it, because I am savouring every last drop. It poured to a dark golden color with a thick white foam. The head retention was excellent. The beer almost seemed to fizz like a soda, regenerating the head. The smell is like a bouquet of flowers with some citrusy aromas. The taste is not quite as harsh as the quadrupel ABT12, and the mouthfeel revealed all kinds of complex fruity and floral flavors. The ABV is also quite lower thus allowing for a greater drinkability. On second thought, maybe I do like this better than the ABT12. I will definately buy more, as well as other selections by St. Bernadus.

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Photo of viejolander
4.77/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A friend of mine brought back a couple Westvleteren 12's from his trip to Belgium, so we sampled it side-by-side with the St. Bernardus Tripel (said to be a close approximation). Okay, so the West-V 12 was better, but not by a huge margin, and you don't have to fly to Belgium to get the St. B Tripel! (A quick trip to BevMo will do!)

So, this is my favorite "accessible from the OC" beer at the moment... Just finished one off with some cheese and crackers, what a great way to start the weekend!

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Photo of ryrust5301
4.77/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a brown 12oz. bottle with a green label and green cap into a wine glass. 2006 vintage. Love the monk on the front giving you a little wink before you consume this beast of a tripel.

Apperance - Pours a cloudy dark gold with a 2 finger tight compact white head. Lacing clings beautifully to the glass.

Smell - Malty and a little spice. Lemon, grapefruit, and a touch of vanilla. Citrus fruit is definitely present

Taste & Mouthfeel - I thin layer of white bubbles lays over the top of the beer. As you tilt the glass to drink, waterfalls of bubbles cascade down the glass. Carbonated and crisp on the tongue at first taste. Sweet almost buttery taste. Fruitiness maybe some lemon, orange and grapefruit? Some honey and vanilla to account for the sweetness? Got even more bad ass as it warmed.

Drinkability - The best tripel i've had yet. Alcohol is well hidden, which helps add to the full body of this mothers milk.

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Photo of Bobo77
4.77/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I haven't had a Tripel in years. Found this one at Lukas Licquors in Ellisville, MO.

Poured a golden, lighter than expected, tan color with a beautiful thick, creamy, long lasting head.

Very fragrant, sweet and fruity scent, almost honey-like with a hint of spice.

Astonishingly rich, sweet, and malty flavor. Finishes much cleaner than I ever imagined. Alchohol is there but, barely makes its flavor known. It seems to me that in these higher alcohol beers that the key is to make the taste of the alcohol as unnoticable as possible. If this is the case then this beer does a superb job.

Some of my past involving Belgian Ales:
I tried some Belgian Ales about 5 years ago. At that time I totally disrespected beer. I tried to chug any that was put in front of me in order to become intoxicated. Needless to say I was greatly missing out on the enjoyment of beers such as this. One must sip a Belgian Tripel to enjoy the complexities and find all the little subtleties therein. I am so glad that I started respecting beer and was able to discover a new world of good beer such as this one. Thank you Beer Advocate.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.76/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml corked/caged bottle.

There is a big, cream-colored, coarse, noisy head that dies slowly in the tulip glass, leaving psycho amounts of sticky, thick, lacy lacing. The liquid is slightly hazy, deep orange/gold and is saturated with hyperactive carbonation. Hm. Nose is just a touch fishy. Lots of alcohol and Belgian spice. Just a little dust. Wow. Major butter in the spicy, tangy front. The malty, thick middle adds generous fruit to the butter. Finish is fresh, dry, with alcohol and apples. This is one fantastic, fruity, buttery beer. Wow.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.76/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz. slender Belgian bottle with 30/01/09 on the back label; sampled November '08. Pours a gorgeous bright honey color with lots and lots of carbonation, capped with a bone-white fine-bubbled head that deposits loads of lacing on the glass. That's an easy five for appearance. The aroma takes a while to open up, but when it does there's a good dollop of orange, yeast and perhaps a touch of honey. Simple, but delicious. Similar on the palate - a little floral, a little fruity, with orange, spicy yeast, perhaps some honey, sweet and nutty malts, a faint breath of alcohol and a touch of spicy, mildly bitter hops. All of this on top of a lively, full and creamy, yet smooth body that has a lightly chalky yeast dryness. This is an amazing beer. So flavorful, yet delicate; complex and layered, but somehow simple. It's on the low end of the ABV scale for a tripel, but I like it that way because it is so damn drinkable that one small bottle is nowhere near enough to slake my thirst for this brew.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: pours hazy gold (SRM 5) with rapidly rising bubbles under a 3.5" mousse-like off-white foam column that lasts over 5 minutes and produces Gothic cathedral window lace.

S: Belgian yeast fruit and spice aromas with a hint of light white toast to bread crumb. A light swirl releases pear aromas with a hint of bubble gum.

T: very creamy palate transporting yeasty fruit flavors over the tongue and traces of marshmallow. A very moderate bitterness provides balance at the end. It is mildly sweet and the flavors grow in depth and interest as it warms.

F: the body is medium which is light for such a big beer and the carbonation is medium high.

O: St. Bernardus is a delight in both flavor and texture. It is a real value considering the quality of the beer.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had a craving for some tripel today and decided to try the best example I've never had. At least according to this website.

Unfortunately, I'm stupid. I brought home a 750ml bottle, let it chill about an hour and decided to open it. Of course, it just about exploded and is continuing to slowly over flow the bottle even after I poured a glass.

This beer has more head than any I've had before. It also has yeast sediment floating in it. I attribute both to my inability to let it sit a week and settle down after the bumpy 15 mile trip home.

It has a pale cloudy orange color with huge white head. The bubbles are very large, almost like soap.

A quick swirl brings another inch of head back to the surface. The aroma is spicy and fruity in all the best ways. It really is a treat to smell.

Flavor is really complex and enjoyable. It has the usual banana and clove thing going on. There's also a veritable fruit bowl/spice rack that I can't even begin to describe. All I know is that it is insanely good.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but more than anything it has great effervescent bubbles. So smooth that it never gets in the way, never feels over carbonated, but it stands as one of the defining charcteristics of the beer itself.

Drinkability is great given the alcohol content. It's deep and complex in flavor but it can easily be sipped on a warm sunny evening like tonight without taxing my tastebuds.

Truly a great tripel.

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Photo of BB1313
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

11.2oz bottle poured into a goblet. Pours a beautiful golden yellow, huge frosty white head that sticks around, extremely sticky lacing, and gorgeous retention.. amazing looking brew. Great aromas, lots of crisp apples and pears. FRESH air aromas. The aromas truly match the flavors. More fruit, along with some heavy banana and bubblegum. I'm also sensing a touch of cherry. There's a slight bitterness, giving it a bittersweet aspect. Mouthfeel is superb.. extremely creamy and smooth, PERFECT amount of carbonation. Alcohol goes completely unnoticed.. this is too easy to drink.

This is world-class.. it has just about everything I look for in a tripel.. bravo.

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Photo of MadCat
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

330 ml bottle

Appearance: Beautiful opaque golden color, fluffy white head. Filled the tulip with head. Left great lacing

Smell: Spice, clove, banana, fruit

Taste: Spice, clove, banana, dry malts, fruit, with a buttery toffee type finish to it. Not too dry of a finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body, beautiful Belgian style carbonation

Overall: Amazing. Easily one of my top beers.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my St. B goblet a hazed honey color. What an impressive thick foamy head! nice retention and lacing too.

The scent is of raw honey, and an orchards worth of fruit dominating the scene. Clove and flowery spice are also noted in the forground.

The taste is more sweet than spice, but more bready and yeasty than both. Stong doughy flavor complimented by medicinal clove, flowers and light orchard fruit round out the lingering and delicious flavor.

The feel is creamy on this medium bodied and highly carbonated brew.

The drinkability is exceptional, especially for a (relatively) lower abv. tripel. I liked Karmelet a wee bit more, But i wouldn't hesitate to put this in the same 'world class'

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Photo of stephens101
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy and calming orange into a snifter. Has a fluffy white one-finger head with decent retention, finally leaving a little ring of lacing all around. Creamy and somewhat bready malts float up to the nose just before the grapes and bananas reveal themselves. Smell is perfection. Tastes of oranges, subtle lemons and faint spice with some breadiness mixed in and a very slight bit of syrup left on the lips. Alcohol lurks in the background along with some esters. Both are almost unnoticeable. Is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. I am going out on a limb here and say it's refreshing, which is quite an accomplishment for a beer of this magnitude. That being said, I will treat it with respect. There's a damn good reason the monk on the label is smiling from ear to ear, and I am already looking forward to my next bottle of this fantastic brew.

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Photo of Fugazme
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Absolute great looking beer... hazy... orange/straw in color... Quite nice head... excellent swirl... lots of stickiness. Wonderful cap.

Aroma is right on. Orangey/malty/yeasty/spicy/bready/peachy... tons of smells everywhere. Near perfect.

Great fruitiness upfront, almost tart. Appley and peachy... fades across the palate into a nice malty mix with yeast notes on the backend... followed by a mellow hop/fruity finish. Wow. A nice spicy afterward and some excellent bread-like qualities linger and linger in the mouth. Wow. Balance, balance, balance... Wow.

Palate is bubbly... creamy... a slight alcohol burn. Very nice.

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St. Bernardus Tripel from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.23 out of 5 based on 3,127 ratings.
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