St. Bernardus Witbier | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

660 Reviews
St. Bernardus WitbierSt. Bernardus Witbier

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 01-06-2003

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Reviews: 660 | Ratings: 1,528
Photo of Sammy
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mild easy drinking krystal wheat with lots of little bubbles. Very popular with my mates. Beautiful white milkshake. Some complementary spices without being too banana. Bit astringent bitter. Lemony, peppery, quenching. Malts, smooth. Light-medium mouthfeel.

Was nice on tap 5 months later in Florida. More grapefruit and orange zest and corriander noticed. Great appearance.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy basic yellow with a decent white head.

Nose is wonderfully perfumy and with assertive honey character. Lovely.

Mouthfeel is thin/medium but with a nice character; high quality "feeling" in the mouth. A bit thin but "clean;" very "consumer friendly."

Flavors of honey with a light fresh white bread yeast character and flavor. Pleasant, inviting and very drinkable.

Light bitter hop finish.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 11/29/13.

Pours a murky butter yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks and dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, wheat, spices, yeast, and a perfume-like citrus aroma. Taste is much the same with a mild spice finish that lingers after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a great smell that is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

maybe im missing something here BA, but this just doesnt blow my mind. it looks the part of a world class beer, huge foaming white head resting forever on top of a just slightly hazy very pale summery yellow body with lots of little bubbles rising eagerly to the surface. it also leaves beautiful patchy thick white lacing on the sides of my tulip as i drink this. its really pretty. the nose though does not match the looks, it smells faintly like lemon peel, but all i can really ascertain from the smell is a pretty standard belgian yeast, light and a little fruity. its a little stinky, like maybe mine isnt the freshest bottle, but still, it just doesnt smell all that great. the flavor is nice, its very very light. a nice wheat malt profile with some grassy notes plays against just a touch of bitter lemon and the doughy yeast. its in fine balance, but its not a very bold flavor, well made yes, but almost boring. the feel is fine, light in body, made heavier by the suds on top and the yeast sediment, and the carbonation is quite active and fizzy. overall a nice beer, but im not sure id score it quite as high as the masses have here.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

St. Bernardus really puts out some great beers. This one is probably one of the better Wit's on the market. This beer pours out as an opaque yellow color with a big white foamy head. The aroma is very lively, some big time citrus coming through on the nose. There is also a good amount of yeast there too. The taste of this beer is semi-sweet, citrusy upfront and fades to a bread like softness in the after taste. The mouthfeel is pretty smooth but it also has a few bubbles in there that like to dance on your taste buds.

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Photo of metter98
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: It poured light pale yellow in color and is extremely cloudy in color. The head was bright white and one finger high; it quickly died down but a thin layer of bubbles continually covered the surface.
S: The smell is rather complex and has aromas of coriander, orange peels, wheat and yeast.
T: The taste is very similar to the aroma and also has some notes of apples in the flavors.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate, tart and very refreshing.
D: This is a perfect summer beer that's thirst quenching and also packs in a lot of interesting flavors.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Of all the Belgian white ales that infiltrate the market, St. Bermardus ignores the popular overkill that the floral-heavy coriander and the highly fruity orange peel provides. Instead, this witbier oozes with authentic Belgian character with subtle hints of spice and fruit for effect, not distraction.

But as with most other witbiers, St. Bernardus' version portrays a heavy haze that darkens the straw hue, resulting in a goldenrod coloration in the end. A medium-thin yet dense sheet of stark white foam skirts the surface evenly and confidently. Its high rate of retention and intricate lacing patterns set it apart.

Compared to other witbiers, the aromas here seem less witbier-ish and more geared toward golden or blonde ales, but as the beer warms, a wonderful and wholesome floral presence emerges and captures with it the scent of dried orange peel, coriander, apple, and lemon. Spicy white pepper and acidic white wine weave into a sweeter scent of honeysuckle for an appetizing and inviting overall aroma.

But its the taste of dry wheat, and crackery pilsn malt that set up a creamy and crisp interplay- from which all the decorative spices come to life a begin to charm the taste buds. Soft candyish sweetness seems to ground the spices of freshly grated white pepper, cumin, curacao, and lemon peel. A middle palate of fruit and spice balance begins with tart green apples and dried lemons and end with the peppery dryness of champagne. Mild hopping of lemon pepper taste or sassafras-flavored hops lurk in the background and simply become another complex element to consider, and that doesn't over pronounce itself.

Light and zesty in body, the beer is lead by a highly carbonated spritziness of sparkling white wine. But it's the creamy malts that keeps the textures from absolute dryness. Light on residual sweetness, the dry fruit flavor delves into the peppery spice, alcoholic warmth, and sharp acidity to heighten the sense of dryness in finish.

Don't get me wrong, this witbier celebrates well the attributes of coriander and curacao orange peel, but the story of the beer isn't about the spices. It's about the quality of the beer underneath.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle. The best before markings on the label were just a tad confusing - "2006 11". I was concerned until I figured this actually means June 20, 2011. Oh, those wacky European date formats!

This beer pours a damned-near opaque, cloudy yellow straw, um, 'hue', with three fingers of puffy, ebullient, and tightly foamy off-white head, which settles none too quickly, eventually leaving a nice paint job of layered bleeding webbed lace around the glass.

It smells of dry grainy wheat malt, black pepper, nutmeg and clove spice, earthy yeast, and soft lemon zest. The taste is quite in line with the aroma - semi-sweet wheat grain, mild lemon citrus notes, a touch of acidic apple core, middling yeast, and soft spice - mostly just subtle clove/coriander and aerosol black pepper.

The carbonation is a bit on the strong side, providing a tight, slightly fizzy frothiness throughout, the body medium-light in weight, weirdly smooth, and even a little chalky. It finishes clean, grainy, yeasty and mostly dry.

A complex, cheekily understated, and at the same time, solid example of the style. The old world leanings toward nuance over intensity practically leap out of the glass, but really don't, y'know? Easy to drink, and for the style, strangely compelling, in the sense of making me actually consider acquiring/opening/borrowing another.

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Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy straw color with a frothy head that retains and laces reasonably well

Smell: Peppery phenols with plenty of coriander and orange peel aromatics; banana esters, too

Taste: Starts out with a banana bread and coriander flavor that adds some clove, pepper and orange peel by mid-palate; after the swallow, the peppery spice flavor profile builds and blends through the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and creamy with a prickly carbonation

Drinkability: About as good as it gets for a wit; very nice

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

Appearance: A completely hazy and opaque straw-colored beer. Pours with a sticky 2-inch head that falls into a quarter-inch. Head retention is very good.

Smell: Sour and yeasty; grapefruit, lemon, a bit of citrus rind.

Taste: Begins with a hint of bready sweetness before becoming more tart and spicy. Lemon juice and rind flavors lead to a dry and tart finish.

Mouthfeel: Heavily carbonated and crisp on the tongue. Lies on the heavier side of light-bodied.

Notes: A good, solid wit. More tart than most with less banana and more citrus.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.3/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

33cl bottle served into a St. Bernardus Goblet. Reviewed from notes.

A: No head at all. Cloudy non-transparent lemon-yellow colour.

Sm: Lemon citrus ester hops are muted by present. Aroma is mild in strength.

T: Muted lemon-orange esters and bland barley. Very muted and simple for a witbier. Where's the flavour? Badly built and of mediocre balance.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Far too wet; borderline watery.

Dr: Easy to drink, but of poor quality. ABV is average. Nothing special here.

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Photo of emerge077
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Small 11.2oz. bottle, says "serve at 36º-42º".

Hazy apricot pour, one finger of head that remains for awhile. Smells of delicate orange and garden aroma with some wheat. Taste follows the profile of the aroma, very light & dull orange blends with a smooth wheaty taste. Muted spice balances out the citrus, very well done. Wheat becomes more pronounced as it warms.

The smoothness is what stands out, making it a perfect session candidate. The subtlety of spicing in the flavor is unique as well. A benchmark Witbier, among the best.

Edit: My review for "Pierre Celis Signature" was apparently lost when the listings were merged. That bottle was extraordinarily bad, chalky vitamins and expired orange juice bad. That was around a 2.9, just for reference, not applied to score here.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a hazy white tinted golden ale with a small bubbly white head with just better then average retention. Aroma of coriander and wheat is quite dominant. Taste is also dominated by the wheat and coriander with an above average body. Very good for a style that often produce boring beers but definitely not the best from this brewery.

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Photo of zeff80
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours out a cloudy, orange color with a small head that leaves a little lacing.

S - It smelled fruity and yeasty. It really smelled like apple.

T - It was quite sweet and the fruit flavor reminded me of apples and pears. It was also very yeasty and wheat-tasting.

M - It was cirsp and light-bodied.

D - I really love this beer. The different fruit flavors are really amazing.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy light yellow with a nice white head. Decent amount of lacing. Smell is light wheat with a bit of sweetness. Some clove character and a bit of spice. Taste is similar, although nothing stands out too much. Somewhat bland compared with the nose. Much of the taste component is dominated by the mouthfeel, which is quite nice and refreshing. A very easy-drinking beverage.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 ounce bottle into signature chalice, best by 7/11/2012. Pours extremely hazy golden straw color with a nice 1 finger fairly dense white head with good retention that reduces to a thin cap. Some fairly nice lacing clinging on the glass. Aromas of pepper, lemon zest, orange, coriander, grass, bread, wheat, and yeast spices. Nice and well balanced aromas with decent strength. Taste of big pepper, coriander, lemon, orange, bread, lightly tart grain, and yeast spices. No bitterness; with lingering notes of citrus, bread, tart grain, and spices on the finish for a bit. Very nicely balanced flavors, without cloying sweetness. Fairly dry finish. Medium body and carbonation; with a fairly creamy and very smooth mouthfeel. Pretty much no alcohol presence as expected at 5.5%. Overall this is a super smooth, balanced, and very enjoyable witbier; as I would have hoped. Unfortunately it is a bit difficult to find unlike the rest of the lineup.

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Photo of nickfl
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - One and a half fingers of frothy, white foam on top of a hazy, yellow-orange body. As the head settles, it leaves a thick ring of foam clinging to the walls of the glass.

S - A yeasty, spicy aroma of coriander, lavender, black pepper, and wheat.

T - Spicy wheat up front, along with pepper and coriander. The spices linger into the finish along with some musty yeast notes and a hint of earthy hops.

M - Very high carbonation, medium body, and a dry finish.

D - Easily drinkable, this could be a great session beer if the carbonation was a bit lower. The flavors are well balanced and nice for the style, though not as bright and smooth as some other witbiers I have had.

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Photo of oberon
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy peachy yeallow with a nice two fingeredhead that settles nicely,aroma is on the spicey side of coriander even a touch of vanilla in there and some toned down citruisy notes.If its possible for a wit to have a creamy mouthfeel this one has it very smooth and easy to drink.Taste is a nice combination of citrius and coriander spice not tart but enough citruis flavor to make it refreshing.A top notch wit I would think world class my first ST Bernardus beer what have I been waiting for if the whole line is as good as this.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

St. Bernardus delivers the typical witbier appearance with a hazy yellow-orange body topped by a bright-white head of creamy foam. The head retention is excellent and it leaves some nice lace throughout the goblet. It's lightly floral nose is more delicate than many examples, but it still delivers all of the appropriate components including a soft note of coriander and a mildly zesty citrus peel that's both a little bit lemony and a little bit orange-ish. Somewhere in there, there's also an uncommon note of spruce that's really intriguing (but not strong enough to really garner attention). Some gently sweet malt also creeps its way into the nose as it warms. The body is light and it's very fine and gently effervescent carbonation tingles the tongue before warming to become lightly creamy. In the flavor, soft coriander appears up-front wrapped in a thin and silky veil of lightly sweet malt. It makes a suggestion of tartness but never really delivers it; and in this way it seems to fall into a middleground between the commonly sweeter versions and the more acidic interperetations. It finishes dry with a note of dull (chalky?) lemon, some gentle clove, and a lingering sweet note that's very mild but almost candyish in nature. Very refreshing; and quite interesting in it's subtle complexities. This is a must try for fans of the witbier style. Worth seeking out!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap 8/26/07 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in an over-sized wine glass.

A: The beer is a light yellow color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, lemon and spices.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with flavors of lemon, coriander, light malts and strong Belgian yeast. There is a very mild hops presence but it is not necessarily missed. The after-taste is slightly bready and a little sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, light body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not filling at all, excellent representation of style and one of the best Witbiers that I have had, it is a nice beer to drink a lot of in an evening.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA

This is undoubtedly the smoothest and best witbier I've ever had. Poured into a chalice, a cloudy, pale, bronzed yellow-orange with a beautiful head of delicate white bubbles that retained pretty much throughout the session and left some nice lacing. Biscuity aroma, Belgian yeast, sugar and spice, and citrus zest. Very bready and earthy taste, and very complex and full-flavored for a witbier. Flavors of yeast, sugar, lemon, pear, banana, corriander, pepper, all wrapped in an incredibly smooth package that you just don't get from a typical wit. Probably the only wit that I've had that I'd call medium-bodied, with full flavor and rich texture, and definitely easily drinkable, but to be savored.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy golden yellow with a two finger foamy white head. The head dissipates over time but never completely disappears, leaving a thin layer of bubbles. A little darker than the other witbiers that I have experienced in my years.

S: Aromas of Belgian yeast funkiness, coriander, spice (clove), and citrus. The smell has almost a sense of touch/feel to it as well because of the effervescence.

T: Flavors of pale malts, lemon, pepper, Belgian yeast, and coriander. Finishes slightly bitter but I would overall describe the taste as light.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Probably the best beer I have had in this style and extremely refreshing. This beer would be awesome on a warm summer evening and I could definitely enjoy many of them.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best Before: 27 07 09.

Appearance: Pours an opaque, dull orange body with a thin, white head.

Smell: Aromatic nose smelling of lemony citrus and sugar-coated baked goods fresh out of the oven.

Taste: Bready malts with a sugary, honey-coated sweetness. Dash of freshly-grated lemon zest. Sip of grapefruit juice. Tangy wheat flavor near the end. Teaspoon of nutmeg. Slight pear fruitiness. Restrained hop bitterness. Tiny blip of sourness. Fruity, bready finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's nice. Certainly heavier and much fuller than I'd ever expected, but still overall nice.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Foggy pastel lemon with a hint of orange. The crown looks great. It's bright white, a bit on the small side thanks to an uncharacteristically (for me) gentle pour and has a upper surface that looks like rough suede. Some lace shows up on the glass, although it isn't sticky enough to last.

The nose is tremendous and contains all of the requisite witbier scents: sunshine bright citrus zest, spicy coriander and wheat. The citrus smells at least as much like lemon as it does like orange. I especially enjoy the room-filling power of the aroma.

The flavor follows suit. This is one of the most aromatic and most fully-flavored witbiers that I've ever had. There's a beautiful balance between the untoasted wheat base (whose flavor contribution is as important as any of the other elements), the now more orangey fruitiness and the coriander. A Belgian yeast cloviness puts it into another flavor gear and, therefore, another league. Delicious.

The beer is noticeably sweeter than most other world-class witbiers, a characteristic that I actually prefer. There's isn't much of a hop presence, as the style dictates. Wits are all about the 'holy triumvirate' (wheat, fruit and spice). I'm glad the monks have paid attention to all three in equal measure.

The mouthfeel can only be described as fantastic. Never before have I tasted a wit with this much mouthfilling fluffiness. The beer expands beautifully in the mouth, a characteristic that I've found in only the very best beers (and wines). It's both full and buoyant, an intriguing sensory paradox that makes each mouthful an absolute treat.

St. Bernardus Witbier is my first Brouwerij St. Bernardus beer and it has impressed me to no end. It instantly jumps to the head of the class and is easily the equal, if not the superior, of Allagash's fine version. I love a good wit and I love the way this one excels in all the ways that matter most. Astoundingly good.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a very hazy yellow, cloudier than most beers I have had, even though I kept the yeast in the bottle. A foamy one finger head formed on top with moderate retention and some decent lacing.

S: Lots of Belgian yeast on the aroma as well as some lemon, a little bit of grainy malt, and some spice.

T: Again, strong Belgian yeast presence. In addition, there was lemon, some spices - including some clove and coriander, and a bready malt on the backbone.

M: Light bodied with medium carbonation. Pretty crisp and very smooth.

O: Quite tasty and incredibly easy drinking, could drink this beer all night without a problem. Nice representation of style.

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St. Bernardus Witbier from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.15 out of 5 based on 1,528 ratings.
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