St. Stefanus Blonde
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

St. Stefanus BlondeSt. Stefanus Blonde
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Style:
Strong Ale - Belgian Pale
Ranked #62
ABV:
7%
Score:
88
Ranked #12,200
Avg:
3.93 | pDev: 10.43%
Reviews:
89
Ratings:
318
From:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
 
Belgium
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  14
Gots
  76
SCORE
88
Very Good
St. Stefanus BlondeSt. Stefanus Blonde
Notes:
View: Beers
Reviews: 89 | Ratings: 318 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Richard-Appleyard
Richard-Appleyard

4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Lovely strong pale ale (blonde) weighing in a 7%. Deep golden color, dry on the palate (not as sweet as other strong ales.) Slightly bitter after taste. Refreshing with a full body.

Dec 27, 2019
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Beginner2 from Illinois

4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I am always thrilled to find a new ale from the Belgian brewer for whom I have the most BA ratings.
I am particularly thrilled to find St. Stefanus because this Blonde is particularly well-crafted.
Looks totally inviting, clear and fluffy. Smells pretty good with the Belgian yeast really working up the tree fruit. Tastes follow and is balanced expertly. Here and there I get too much dryness from the hops, but the fruit comes back in.

Having had 19 beers from Van Steenberge (and many, many, many repeats of my favorites), I thought it was time to do some research. Their website is excellent, but not too informative. So I Googled them and came up with this excellent article that I share with you now. Cheers !
https://belgium.beertourism.com/belgian-breweries/brouwerij-van-steenberge

May 18, 2019
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Spike from England

4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml grenade-style bottle.
L: Clear, golden, some carbonation, one-finger of white, creamy, long-lasting head.
S: Rich, spicy, yeasty aroma. Alcohol is completely hidden.
T: Abundant glorious, lemony, Belgian yeast. Alcohol not obvious.
F: Foaming, sharp, dry, mouthfeel. Puckeringly lovely.
O: Excellent Belgian abbey beer (from SABMiller).

Nov 06, 2018
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
JonnoWillsteed from England

3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L. Pours almost perfectly clear, just the tiniest hint of haze. 1Cm white head.
S. Mmm, nice, meaty, leathery fragrance.
T. Fresh, zesty, into a meaty middle, and a clean and hoppy-on-the-tongue end. Very nice path of flavours from start to finish.
F. I wouldn't have guessed it's 7%, maybe 5.8%, that subtlety is probably a good thing as a naked 7% can be a blunt weapon. The balance is so good this could easily be drunk as a refreshing beer on a hot day.
O. Bought from Waitrose London. 330ml bottle. BB 05/04/20. This is very nice, certainly the best beer I've had this evening vs the others which have all been OTT hop-bombs. This is a very mellow way to wind down at the end of an evening. If you're trying it too, then cheers/skol! :)

Aug 09, 2018
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. "St. Stefanus Blonde"
33 cl brown glass bottle, "BEST BEFORE: 0418 05/04/20" and sampled on 22 Jun 2018
2,78€ @ Monop', 5 Place de Dublin, Paris, FR

Notes via stream of consciousness: I had a feeling based on the shape of the bottle that this was a Van Steenberge beer. Let's hope it's one of their better ones. It looks good in the glass. It's slightly hazy, deep golden, and displays plenty of tiny bubbles racing towards the surface. The head has been quite good so far, and I've still got a half inch of creamy bright white foam waiting for me. In the nose it's got some sweet malt, clove, and light spice. Let's see how the flavor compares... pretty much spot on. I'm getting some fruit, soft dark raisin, some apple, and maybe a light hint of banana. The malt is sweetish but not "sweet" and it's nicely balanced by a stiff bitterness. The spiciness is much stronger than I thought it would be based on the aroma, and it has a black pepper characteristic to it. That hits you strongest in the finish where it's quite dry with some residual bitterness and perhaps a flicker of alcohol. It's medium in body and effervescently crisp but without too much carbonic bite. Looking back the head is still almost a solid surface covering, there are some cracks, and the lacing is thick and covers most of the glass in large patches. Overall it's a good, strong, blonde Abbey-style ale at a good price. It could be a little more complex but it's certainly not boring. Nicely done.
Review# 6,082

Jun 22, 2018
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jazzyjeff13 from England

4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 330ml bottle with a BB of Oct 2018. Release date of Jan 2017. Purchased a while back from Waitrose. Described on the label as a blonde abbey beer fermented with three yeast strains and refermented in the bottle. Named after Sint Stefanus, an Augustinian order from Ghent.

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle conditioned. A rich orange-amber hue with some floating sediment and great carbonation. Yields a huge head of creamy white foam with good retention; this slowly reduces to a patchy surface layer. Some lacing.

S: Aroma of fruity Belgian yeast with hints of yeast esters, banana, clove, mild bubblegum, subtle spice, earthiness, sweet malt and faint leafiness. A twinge of marzipan and booze hover in the background. Very nice.

T: Tastes of fruity yeast esters with notes of banana, bubblegum, clove, spice, earthiness, sweet malt, faint grain and mild leafiness. A hint of alcohol in the background. Somewhat sweet, followed by a delicate bitterness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and dry, with lively carbonation and good body. Creamy and pleasantly textured. Aftertaste of fruity yeast, esters, banana, clove, spice, earthiness, mild leafiness and sweet malt.

O: This is really good, a complex Belgian beer that satisfies the senses. Looks fantastic, while the aroma and flavour are replete with fruity yeast, spice, sweet malt and earthiness. Lovely body. Goes down a treat - well worth sampling.

May 17, 2018
Photo of joflondon
joflondon from England

3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from glass bottle into standard pint glass from fridge.

Orange but clear in colour, a few bubbles that died away quickly, one finger of frothy head.

Smells very Belgian, malty with a hint of spice and citrus.

Slightly underwhelming. Definitely malt, and grapefruit, but not too much else. Feels like it is trying to be both sweet and bitter at the same time... maybe deliberate of the brewer?

Level of carbonation is just right, and quite a nice aftertaste.

I do like this beer, would drink again. Just not quite as flavoursome as I was expecting. Toes quite a delicate balance between sweet and bitter but not sure if this is what it’s meant to do or not.

I drank with a spicy peanut curry dish.

Mar 09, 2018
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The_Bujon from Ireland

4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Westmalle Chalice, nearest thing I could find.

Looks impressive on first settle, lovely semi hazy body with creamy head, which does stick around for a few slugs.

Aroma is actually quite alcoholic despite it not being overly strong. A touch of malt.

Taste is similar, malt is the overwhelming element, mixed with a bit of spiced fruit.

Feel is a little disappointing, too much effervescence and artificial sweetness leaves a dry tart tongue.

Overall, another very good that could have been excetional. Another Belgian which is borderline awesome, think I may be getting a little picky in my quest for the best!

That said still a million miles better than most craft beers available......think of tit this way, if a craft hoppy IPA get 4/5, then this would be 5!

Oct 04, 2017
Photo of saboliver
saboliver from England

4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

First review:
Cellar release, June 2017. Opened in September (3 months). Amber/warm gold with a fairly dense head of medium depth. Fruity, malty notes. Sweet, full-bodied taste, with practically no bitterness and rich tangerine overtones alongside biscuity malt and perhaps toast. Relatively low carbonation for the style, making it ideal for my taste, though still a little too much 'froth'.

Second review (blind to the first):
Cellar release, August 2017. Opened in February (6 months). Orange-gold. Modest head with relatively dense bubbles. Somewhat fruity, classically Belgian with clear yeasty notes. Sweet and generally fruity flavour with a citrus element, a touch of molasses practically no bitterness. Very tasty. Thin but slightly smoky aftertaste, reminiscent of kippers (without the fishy element!) Moderate carbonation with a smooth mouth feel.

Sep 16, 2017
Photo of Shanex
Shanex from France

4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I purchased the 33cl bottle in my local mall here in northern France do.

Poured into a St Feuillien chalice, pouring a massive head fading faster than Duvel and the likes.

Smells like Belgian yeast, some fruity notes, well balanced.

Overall this is a great beer that I'd purchase again since it's fairly available for us lucky to live south of Belgium, cheers!

Jul 13, 2017
Photo of Ant777uk
Ant777uk from England

2.73/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.25

Wow, it's signed on the bottle in ink, for when it came out of the cave.

This is definitely not Fosters.

Anno 1295

Perfect look, perfect head, not too bubbly.

Aroma, not that fruity, though very musky. Berries are prevelant, subtely.

Feel is a bit too frothy, though it was the first sip.

2nd sip also too frothy.

The taste unfortunately is not like a good Belgian beer. It's quite weak. A bit of a let down.

Lots of potential, the look and aroma and bottle are all great. Though not much taste. Mildly citrussy, too fizzy, not enough bitterness or sweetness. It is uninspiring and forgettable.

They obviously put lots of effort in, so I feel sad that it's not better, though I must be honest. many people will be affected by it's image and the fact that it is Belgian, and by it's look. Though it's not as good as it could be

Apr 25, 2016
Photo of OlaB
OlaB from Norway

4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Clear orange color, gives of a medium top of head that disolves rather quickly, Lacings on the glas is decent

S: Caramel ,apples ,grapefruit,banana,yeast and cinnamon, very fresh and fruity smell

T&F: fruits, toast, malt sweetness , hop bitterness in the finishing,,i think the flavour was very good balanced, very fruity taste on it. much of the aroma is also to find in the flavour..Not to sweet and not to bitter highly carbonated, very drinkable.

O: I was suprised over how fresh and enjoyable this beer was . I sure would trie this one again. Very good taste and flavours on this beer. I would like seek out more beers fro brouwerij Van Steenberge

Apr 01, 2016
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Ottoj55 from Wisconsin

3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice golden yellow color with white foam. Smells like pilsner malt, Belgian yeast character. Nice Belgian ale flavor, not aggressive, very similar to an Abbey Ale. Mouthfeel seems a bit dry and light with a crisp finish. Overall a good beer brewed in the vein of Trappist strong ales and trippels.

Mar 29, 2016
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Malt_Man from England

4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temperature from 330ml bottle into Duvel glass.

L) Pale light orange colour, cloudy, fair bit of yeast sediment. 3cm fluffy white head.

S) A fresh, zesty smelling beer. Belgian wit yeast in there, sweet oranges.

T) Fresh citrus flavour, balanced off with brown sugary sweetness. Malty background. Lots of things happening, all balances together nicely.

F) Quite strongly carbonated, a bit of bitterness. No lingering aftertastes.

O) This cost me £2.49 from Tesco supermarket and I have really enjoyed it, recommended.

Mar 24, 2016
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Ciocanelu from Romania

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden color with white head. Aroma has a yeasty banana note and some brown sugar. Taste has also yeast notes like bubblegum, overripe fruits and some sugar sweetness. Body is medium with high carbonation. Overall it's a well made Belgian ale but nothing really special.

Nov 04, 2015
Photo of boggles08
boggles08 from England

4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Cellar release May 2015, brewed February 2015, and consumed October 2015, therefore 8 months of maturity at time of consumption.

According to the explanation on the bottle, the profile at 8 months is expected to be approximately half way between fresh/fruity and complex/aromatic. I used a St Stefanus goblet.

I can confirm this is a great beer, which reminds me of Chimay Grand Reserve although St Stefanus has rice as one of the ingredients, which seems odd.

I paid £2 (US$3) for a 33cl bottle.

This is my first ever review. I hope it helps.

Oct 21, 2015
Photo of qrazvan
qrazvan from Romania

3.37/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Been drinking it 6 months old (3 matured in factory, 3 in bottle afterwards). The taste is pretty complex, so I guess it is recommended to wait even more, as advertised on the bottle. It has an intense yeast taste.

Aug 16, 2015
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

fun beer this one here, dont see it around very often at all, but i think its a very nice belgian pale to golden ale with a lot working in its favor. surprisingly clear for how aggressively the bottle gushed out when i pulled the cork. almost lost an eye. after i mopped up the floor, i poured a few ounces into a globe and watched the off white bubbles rise and spill over the rim. super super active, maybe a little dated, i dont know. it smells nice though, like a sprite or some other lemon lime soda, i get that citric thing, and plenty of generic white sugar sweetness. hints of banana and pink bubblegum to the yeast, coriander maybe too, even a note of rye spice towards the back. its not so complex, but it does have quite a bit going on. a ton of grain and sugar weight though, and as much as i like the feel and yeast complexion, its too sweet to fit the bill. more hops wouldnt help it, although its not hoppy in the least, i think it needs more time with this yeast to ferment down about 10% farther than it has. still, a more than approachable belgian style for those not used to beers like this, and the sweetness isnt offensive because the yeast lingers long too, especially for a clear beer. better than expected. eagerly looking forward to the grand cru in the fridge...

Aug 06, 2015
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matjack85 from Illinois

4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I tried this beer at the Shiroz On The Lake Restaurant in Bloomingdale, IL. It is part of the Hilton's Indian Lakes Resort complex. It was the only beer on their unimpressive beer list that I hadn't had before so I decided to try it. A bit pricey at $8.50 for a 12oz squatty brown bottle, but this is after all, a Hilton. I was impressed with the hand written bottled on date and signature on the front label, but the bottled on date concerned me a bit. It said the beer was released in April of 2012 and it is now August of 2015, so I hope this is one of those beers that gets better with age and not one that's been sitting in their cellar because they don't sell that many.

The beer poured a hazy gold color with a 1-finger white head. The head dissipated in about 45 seconds but it did leave some decent lacing.

The beer had a strong Belgian yeast smell to it followed by some sweet malts and tropical fruit.

The flavor starts out with some sweet malt followed by a variety of fruits - banana, orange, tangerine, pear, and apple. The next layer has Belgian yeast in it along with some spices. My best guess is clove and coriander. The alcohol is also well hidden for a 7.0% abv beer.

Medium bodied with high carbonation, which makes it crisp and refreshing.

This is a well made Belgian ale. My only question is why does it say BLONDE on the label? This isn't a blonde ale at all.

Aug 01, 2015
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doktorhops from Australia

3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

St. Stefanus Blonde, from the same brewery (Brouwerij Van Steenberge) that brought us the mighty Gulden Draak and Piraat, this is going to be a good drop have no doubt. Also a steal from DM’s at $50 for 6 x 750ml corked’n caged bottles, which works out to be 8.3333333333... (ad infinitum) dollars. When you’re getting a $12 750ml bottle of 3 Monts and thinking that is cheap $8.33 is a real find, besides I do love a Belgian Strong Pale Ale (just look at my Beeradvocate.com top 10) so I was eager to wrap my gob around this one.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy amber body with a billowy 3 cm off-white head that soon disintegrates leaving a thin lace covering. I have a bias towards cloudy beers which plays somewhat into my score, take a couple points off if you like a clear beer. 8/10.

S: Pear and apple esters upfront and all over your face, bam! Bready overtones balance this out with hints of cracked pepper and clove adding a touch of spice as well. Overall St. Stefanus has a pleasant aroma leaning more towards sweeter characters, looking forward to the next category. 8/10.

T: Fruity with pear and scrumpy red apple cider notes which lead into the aforementioned bread yeast and a cracked pepper/clove flourish towards the end, which is an even crisp and dry, almost vinous (white wine) tannin-like finish. As it warms some metallic notes become ever-present and distract a little from this delightful brew, too bad St. Stefanus. 7/10.

M: Mid to light, could benefit from more heft, with a tack sharp carbonation. 6/10.

D: If you’re going to compare this to the awe-inspiring Duvel or La Chouffe it will (of course) fall short of greatness. Nonetheless this is a great buy at the price, I would easily spend $10 a 750ml bottle on a brew of this calibre, so don’t mistake St. Stefanus for an average Belgian Strong Pale Ale because it is a decent brew, unfortunately it resides in the style pantheon of the greatest brews. Interestingly I noticed “rice” listed as an ingredient in this beer, anno 1295, European brew? Something is amiss here - I don’t recall hearing about European beers having rice in them back in 1295... or hops even... or anything other than Gruit* in those days. 8/10.

Food match: Cheese platter, obviously, and that old catch-all: Brasserie food.

*Google is your friend.

Jul 31, 2015
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750 ml caged and corked bottle of this "blonde ale" served in a Porter Bar goblet. Bottling date of 7-2012.

Clear copper-amber body with a fizzy head that has limited retention and leaves very little lacing.

The aroma (approaches 4) is notably malt dominant for style, but with fruit and spice notes.

The flavor is yeasty and fruity, like most blondes, and seems to be just marginally more malty/bready than average. It is also a bit less spicy than the average blonde.

Lively carbonation in a near medium body.

Jul 10, 2015
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Uniobrew31 from Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

3 of the 8 bottles I bought exploded as soon as I opened them, cold. The others were so over carbonated that they needed to be set aside for 15 minutes before I could drink them. Once it was at a drinkable level though they were good.

Jun 05, 2015
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BeerMeColorado from Colorado

4.49/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 8-2012 Can't read the brewmaster signature to well...Versele?

Poured a classic Belgian rocky pillowy head with massive carbonation.

Nose of tree fruit and bready yeast. Quite nice.

Taste was great...crisp and clean with similar notes from the aroma. Very enjoyable. Not as boozy as others which was nice.

Apr 27, 2015
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bread, fruit, biscuit on the nose. It pours brilliant gold with a slight copper tint under a lacy, 2” pillowy head. The initial palate offers an array of fruit – peach and tropical light fruits with some over ripeness. A light sweetness form the malt hinting at bubble gum balances an earthy hop bitterness on the finish. Mdeium full body ahnd medium carbonation.

Mar 18, 2015
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FriarMickOnThePlateau from Massachusetts

4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cellar release Oct 2012, consumed March 2015. The taste was perfect once the giganto head subsided. The head lasted as long as the beer. Great lacing... however a bit over done. Really the only thing I can fault it for along with the haze, blonds should be clearer. Overall, this is a very clean and creamy blond and well worth the wait.

Mar 03, 2015
St. Stefanus Blonde from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 318 ratings