St. Bernardus Witbier | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
659 Reviews
St. Bernardus WitbierSt. Bernardus Witbier
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Belgium
sintbernardus.be

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
659
Ratings:
1,524
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
11.08%
 
 
Wants:
337
Gots:
191
For Trade:
1
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Reviews: 659 | Ratings: 1,524
Photo of mikesgroove
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got to crack open one of these gems tonight when I got home from Asheville(reviews on that trip forthcoming)

A - Poured a very hazy, whitish yellow, very pale and cloudy. Huge white head never fully faded and tons of clingy lace down the sides of the glass. Some visible carbonation.

S - very light, lots of yeast asnd some light fruit, little grain, and a touch of hops.

T - Lots of yeast and light fruits, some peach and pear. Very light taste, awesome hot summer day flavor.

M - rich and creamy, very nice consistency and feel. Great carbonation.

D - Could put down a ton, really easy drinker and a great belgian.

Overall I was really impressed by this, a totally classic beer and a great sumemr release. Will have to save one for the lawn mow tomorrow.

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Photo of russpowell
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed ina Hoegaarten wit tumbler.

Pours a hazed straw color with a finger of pearl colored head. average head retention & lacing

S: Cooked cereal, some grassyness

T: Lemons, tangerines & white grapes & coriander up front. White pepper & lemons & more grapes as this warms. Finishes a bit grainy, with some more cooked cereal, appleskins & white pepper

MF: Light/medium bodied with low carbonation

Drinks pretty easy, a nice summer time quencher, but give me the old Celis white from Texas any day! I took great care with this one so I don't think this suffered on my end, expected more

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Photo of smcolw
3.72/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Near white, big-bubbled head that leaves streaky lace on the glass. The liquid is appropriately cloudy and has an orange hue to an otherwise yellow color.

Clean and crisp smell that is strangely reminiscent of a very dry mead. Relatively light wheat aroma.

Very dry start. Quite tart without being lip-puckering. Smooth body that leaves a coating similar to milk after the swallow. The carbonation is similar to a cheap champagne. No typical wheat flavors here.

I'm struggling with this one. I love originality and this Wit is quite different from most. There's something that puts this beer over the line to "odd". I wouldn't be reaching for another, but I am glad I tried this one.

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

33 cl brown bottle with a freshness date on the label.

Appearance: A godly white lace with the usual cloudy beige colour.

Smell: Runnings of coriander and citric zest with a softness of malt and yeast.

Taste: Spicy clove right up front, ghost like pine or spruce … could be anise and an earthy mix from the yeast. Hopping is hidden for the most part. Dry malt and grain, tartness grows middle to end with a lemon meringue flavour. Chalky yeast and a stalled tartness give the finish.

Mouthfeel: Relentless crisp carbonation that has ending wakes of smoothness in the light to moderate body.

Drinkability & Notes: Overly quenching. Quite an exciting brew, top of the list for me … just what I have always wanted in a witbier.

Thanks to D & V International for the sample. http://www.specialtybeer.com/

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a St. Bernardus goblet.

Pours a hazy golden straw with a healthy but quickly-fading white head that leaves very little lacing behind. The smell is a subtle melange of wheat, coriander, lemongrass, and a bit of bread. The taste follows nicely, including the subtlety: a tasty collaberation of coriander, wheat, clove, lemon zest, and even a hint of spice in the back. The body is medium at best, has a good amount of effervescent carbonation, and does not malinger, all the makings of a highly drinkable wit.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by jayhawk73. Thanks Jeff!

Currently the #1 witbier.

The beer is hazy yellow with a thick, dense white cap. Plenty of lacing is left on the snifter. The aroma brings wheat, coriander, orange peel, yeast, lemons. Delicious flavor. Slightly tart lemons, with hints of Belgian yeast and a mild spice character. Everything is integrated beautifully. Really easy to drink, full of flavor. The body is light to medium, with moderate carbonation, and smooth on the palate. I definitely recommend this beer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Golden orange cloudy hue with a pleasant off white creamy textured foamy head leaves behind thick evenly strung patches of lacing. Aroma: Sweet spicy notes flow through the air, swirling sharp malted wheat sweetness with peppery spice, coriander, cloves, and some juicy fruit tones not overly citrus but nice tones. Taste: Creamy uniform flavor with a bready sweentess, clove and spice finish with a touch of citrus and pear juice like tones, awesome. Mouthfeel: Light bodied very creamy texture, perfect carbonation levels. Drinkability: Amazingly good the best witbier I have tasted hands down, I fell in love could buy a case if the price was right.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy gold with a white head that doesn't stay around long at all. Nose is a touch of orange with that hearty witbier fragrance and some yeast thrown in the mix. Flavor is great and thick with a heavy citrus/orange flavor that has a strong touch of spice there as well. Feel is nice with a decent level of carbonation. Way too drinkable. I want to be able to sip and savor this one, but it is so smooth and easy to drink that it's easy to just go through one extremely quickly.

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Photo of tdm168
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow with a ton of dense white head that has great retention. The nose has notes of grass, straw, and yeast with some faint orange peel and lemony citrus. The taste is wheat, straw, yeast, faint coriander, orange, and lemon. Light bodied and lightly carbonated.

This is an easy drinking witbier. It's not very complex, but it's well balanced.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Pizza Paradiso Dupont DC into a tulip glass.

Gorgeous uniform hard white head all foamy/soapy looking. Sits on a glowing orb of lemon yellow with gray hues, for a cloudy body. Leaves lots of sticky lacing while drinking and has lots of tiny carbs from the bottom hard to see though.

The first thing I get off this beer is a big grass, almost hoppy, and burnt clove sense. The nose finishes off with a little bit of lemon juice.

Taste is all light banana, some chewy wheat in the palate, with a a slow tasting finish of wet watered and clove sense in that order. The body seems a bit watery, but it's very balanced.

Overall though this really reminds me more of a Hefeweizen but it's almost like a cross hybrid, interesting. Easy drinking no problem.

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Photo of jwc215
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle, best before 13 09 10:

Pours clouded (even as it pours/before bottom is swirled and poured) soft yellow - nearly white. A large fluffy head descends slowly and stays, leaving lacing.

The smell is of coriander, orange peel and some bubblegum, somewhat perfumy/medicinal.

The taste is of coriander (pretty aggressively, making it peppery) with orange peel. Medicinal/perfumy, but not overly so. Finishes with a spicy dryness.

It is appropriately light-bodied. Carbonation is almost too much, making a foamy texture on the palate. A tingly sensation sticks.

A better feel would make this even more refreshing.

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

Appearance: absolutely hazed, faint yellow, slim white head.

Aroma: spice hits first, then soft fruit, pear and citrus, orange, pineapple?, lemon...

Taste: exceptionally smooth, exquisitely soft, a definite joy in the mouth. Coriander taste is consistent throughout and dominates the more delicately played fruit component. Light and utterly downable, yet with significan yeast in the texture to secure it as medium bodied, and so flavorful, it causes one to pause and luxuriate in it's splendor.
A brilliant summertime brew, and would be a great dinner beer, as well...you could toss back a pitcher of it, washing down hot, hearty food!
An exceptional wit!

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Photo of Billolick
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was glad to find this one on tap at the new lower NYC spot, Villedge Public House. Poured cloudy light staw. Leaves classy looking Belgian lacing, left behind from the light fluffy white head. Nose is of powdered sugar and wheat. This a fruity, slightly sweet beer,"creamcicle" notes, light spice, more fresh fruit. Tasty and refreshing, nice to enjoy fresh on tap.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

04/21/05- On tap at the Toronado during Belgian Beer Month

Presentation- Via the tap into a tulip glass.

Appearance- Cloudy yellow pour with a small head and nice lacing.

Smell- Not a huge scented beer. Had to really sniff at this one to get at it. Mostly the norm of spices and corriander. Maybe a bit of another fruity scent.

Taste- Nice and sweet, flavors or corriander. pepper and other spices. Maybe a bit of orange flavoring. Very thirst quenching.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation leaving a nice sweet taste in the mouth.

Drinkability- This is right up there with Hoegaarden, if not better. Wish it was summer and it was hot outside because I could drink this bad boy all day. Top notch!

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

Beer is served in a St. B goblet. Getting tipsy tonight. Beer is yellow and hazy. Head is white and leaves a little lacing on the glass. Carbonation is minimal.

Aroma is sweet and has some nice spice to it. Very good. Awesome, kind of citrusy.

Beer is thin and slightly dry. Spiciness is minimal overall a good beer. Its mildly sweet and has a wheaty graininess at the back end. Creamy mouthfeel. Very nice overall. Highly drinkable, I love Watou a lot.

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Photo of Gavage
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy pale ornage color with a thick 2 inch head. Light lacing developed through the drink. The aroma is mellower than some other witbiers, as some corinader and citrus tones are noticeable but not up front enough. The flavor is slightly tangy. Coriander, orange zest, light bitterness, and other spices are well balanced. Some yeast was also there but was barely detectable.

Mouthfeel is light and refreshing with a relatively clean aftertaste. Extremely drinkable as the flavors are not as overpowering as some other witbiers so several of these can be quaffed without getting tired of the style.

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Photo of tempest
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a chalice at the Steelgaarden.

I love the irony that from a distance this label vaguely resembles a silver Coors bottle. Anyways, not much head retention, but the body is still a nice hazy yellow once the yeast gets dumped in. I actually found a big difference in flavor and aroma (in a good way) by adding the yeast here. The fruit flavors of orange, peach, and apricot that dominate the got richer and the spicy aroma grew with more earthy notes. Overall, this wit is on the thicker, juicier side of the style, as opposed to lighter, crisper drinking ones, but it's still a very fine beer.

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

Review from 3/2011 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a slightly cloudy yellow orange amber. Moderate white head, and lacing, lasted nicely. Wheat and light belgian spice aroma. Citrus and light wheat flavors up front with a bit of sour and astringent bitterness quickly followed by the spices and light fruit. I liked the start and finish, but the middle was a bit sharp and dry for me. Interesting for a change, but I'll more likely return to the double and triple.

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Photo of WesWes
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a cloudy pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry wheat malt scent along with some fruity yeast esters. It appears dry with some light earthy notes. The taste is great. It has a smooth wheat malt flavor that's quite dry, yet fruity. It goes down easy and finishes with some citrus zest. This is a very earthy/yeasty brew. The mouthfeel is perfect. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine wit. Everything these guys brew up is world class. I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Back Abbey, on to the beer:

A creamy and bubbly head rests on top this morning sunrise colored beer. Body is mildly cloudy. It's a soft beer to the nose and palate; spices are minor and melded in nicely to the fruity taste of orange and pear. Hints of yeast too. Light on the palate with low carbonation; a good choice for a warm summer day.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy yellow color with some brown from the yeast, nice carbonation, nice small creamy white head, some nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, yeasty, slightly spicy, floral. The taste is slightly sweet at the beginning then the yeast kicks in, slight spice, with some floral tones. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is an awesome Witbier, one of the best I've had to date.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.66/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy straw color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the wheat with some coriander and lemon notes mixed in. The aroma is a little muddy smelling overall, with nothing really standing out. The flavor is better than the aroma. I get a lot of wheat with some orange peel, coriander and pepper notes. Light, watery mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.91/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

St.Bernardus
Wit

LOOK: Cloudy brew with a bright gold color. Bubbly, sparkling head formed and receded to just a fine covering. No real lace, a small amount of sediment. Looks the part and I included the yeast purposely.

SMELL: Yeasty and wheaty , but the yeast has so much character. Grape, raisin, musty basement and lemon are all very present in a strong aroma. This is perfect to style, and worthy of being Pierre Celis Signature Selection as the bottle proudly states.

TASTE: Juicy flavor of apple, tart grape, orange peel, bit of funk. Tart to the sour glands, but with a depth of dusty malt character. Funk, coriander, and malts adding a balancing sweetness. Very faint herbal and grassy hoppy bitterness. Has a vague, almost smoked flavor, closer to well done toast. Clove and peppercorn emerge later in the flavor profile.

FEEL: Medium to full bodied, with a sour tang. The finish is appetizingly dry and crisp. Champagne like carbonation. A perfect feel on a Belgian classic. It just does not get better than this feel.

OVERALL: Worthy of being named "Best Witbier in the World". Easily the best example of the style I have encountered. The complexity from the yeast alone was great, but the rest of the flavors were also great. Exactly what a Belgian White should be. Seek this out if you enjoy Wheats, Sours, or Belgian Ales. Absolutely phenomenal wit.

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

Yellow Bartlett pear with a very pallid and pasty complexion. I expect witbiers to be cloudy, but colour this dulled and clarity this foggy make for a very worn out looking appearance. Even the head is no more than a tattered and depleted ring. It seems that only the bright afternoon sunshine is capable of bringing any liveliness into this beer.

The bouquet is full of wonderful aromatics. Although only the two traditional spices were used - ground coriander seeds and dried Curaçao orange peels - it would be quite understandable for someone to perhaps note on hints of grains of paradise, black pepper, chamomile, cumin, mustard seed, mushy bananas and/or any number of citrus zests.

The flavour mirrors the aroma move for move. Both are equal parts fruity, floral and grainy. It is lightly sweet with a tart citrus zest that concludes each sip. The spice component can become a little herbal like a strongly steeped tea. It is crisp and dry but always with the tart presence of citrus (notably the Curaçao orange). Simply put: it's a delicious beer.

If this was crafted in the true traditional way, as I'm sure it was, then the grist is probably made up of approximately 50% malt, 45% wheat and 5% oats (Interbrew, who make Hoegaarden, for example, will leave out the oats). I find the oats add just a splash of oily smoothness that seems to only add to the pleasant texture of unmalted winter wheat.

If a beer was ever made for a hot summer day then surely this must be it! Ok, I can think of a few other front runners for that award, so I'll retract my statement. But if there was ever a style of beer made for hot summer days then surely it must be witbiers! And we owe our thanks to Pierre Celis for (re)introducing the world to this wonderful, long forgotten style.

I can't say I noticed much difference - if any - between the regular St. Bernardus Witbier and the Pierre Celis Signature Selection. For all I can tell they are the exact same beer (*note: they are), and in any event, I seem to enjoy them both every bit the same. If I was to toast the legendary Pierre Celis, the Godfather of Witbier, it would certainly be with a glass of this fine ale.

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

Pours a hazy straw color with a white head sitting atop the beer. An aroma of faint citrus, coriander, lemon, and an herbal spiciness are found in the nose. The beer itself is light bodied, and has a slightly acidic, refreshing character to it.. The taste has notes of lemon, grain, and a clean coriander note all mixed together. This is a fairly clean example with perhaps a hint of mustiness. This goes down as a simple, tasty, Summer refresher.

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St. Bernardus Witbier from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.15 out of 5 based on 1,524 ratings.
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