St. Stefanus Grand Cru | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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St. Stefanus Grand CruSt. Stefanus Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by OWSLEY069 on 11-23-2012

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Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 50
Photo of Bruno74200
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 vintage.
Not bad at all. A lot of honey. Some herbal presence. Fruity with pineapple mostly. Good mouthfeel. Seems like it's oak aged. Not bad stuff at all. A bit sweet but quite balanced.

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Photo of kojevergas
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

BOTTLE: Purchased at a Monoprix in Nice. 75cl. Best before: 23/02/18. Lotto: 2310. Green foil-ed over hood-and-wire cap over a cork. Brown glass.

Regrettably brief notes below given a less-than-ideal review environment:

9% ABV.

Serve cold into a dimpled mug.

HEAD: ~5cm off-white head. Somewhat thin. Retention is above average - ~4-5 minutes. Leaves no lacing as it recedes. Fluffy.

BODY: Translucent transparent pale copper. No yeast/lees/sediment is visible within.

Standard appearance for the style, with no unique or special characteristics.

AROMA: Lemon. Wheat. Soft floral hop notes. Clean barley.

Aromatic intensity is quite mild/light.

TASTE: Clean barley. Wheat. Mild floral hop character. Noticeable alcohol warmth.

Not the most balanced or complex beer in the style that I've tried, but somewhat pleasant - though I do wish it weren't so boozy. Poor depth of flavour. Average flavour duration and intensity.

Not a gestalt whole of a beer.

TEXTURE: Crisply overcarbonated - even bitingly so. Smooth, wet, medium-bodied. Sharp.

There's no harmony of texture and taste here. They really need to tone down that carbonation.

OVERALL: Not the stellar brew I've come to hop for from the brewery behind my favourite Tripel, but drinkable for its high ABV and certainly enjoyable. I'm glad this is available in supermarkets across France, but it's far from a great Belgian ale and I wouldn't purchase it again. It'll get you drunk...


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Photo of Dikfour
3.31/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

L: Orange tan in color. Plethora of thick billowing head slowly dissipates. Lively carbonation.

S: Booze. Some wheat and flowery esters though light.

T: floral, sweet, a little boozey. Even a little oak. Pretty approachable entry level Belgian Strong.

F: A little light of perfect. Great bubbles. Alcohol dances on the gums. Near perfect body.

O: An excellent first Belgian Strong. Hits most of the tent poles and doesn't dissapoint. Pretty average all around. Would recommend to people looking to get into beer.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.04/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

the grand cru i think is superior to the other one, i really liked this. its fuller and richer, a little less sweet after the middle, and carbonated beautifully. it has elements of a belgian pale, and elements of a tripel. i was surprised by its pale color, i have come to expect belgian strong darks as grand cru beers. hazy and heady, smells floral and brightly belgian in its yeast complexion. herbal and sweet on the first sip, the yeast is awesome. i think time has done this well, its not as sweet as expected, and actually drinks a little easier than it should for how strong it is, with the booze all masked by the grain layers and interesting spicy yeast. maybe not the most dynamic beer in the world, but its soft and approachable, and feels like a regal drinking experience all the way. it was an awesome companion to some soy marinated grilled elk steaks, and i suspect its quite versatile with other foods as well. not sure why these beers dont get a little more attention from the beer geeks, but i suppose thats all belgian beer that isnt lambic these days. oh well, more for me...

edit: this ages really nicely. just had a 2013 vintage bottle and it was outstanding. like a drier tripel, the yeast has done a great job cleaning it up, there isnt a trace of the alcohol, and it was even refreshing for a beer of this strength. very underappreciated out there...

edit: just cracked another 2013 (almost 4 years old now) and its even better still with a beautiful fruity yeast complexion and approaching actually being dry in the finish. if you tried this awhile back or when it was fresh, try it with a few years on it. what a beauty this is now!

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Photo of davebarnes
4.24/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I loved it.
February 2013 release drunk in July 2015.
Best Coors beer ever.
Went very well with pretzels and Cheezits™.
Sat on my front patio and really enjoyed it.

Aroma - rich, yeasty
Color - yellow brown cloudy
Mouth feel - rolls around nicely
Taste - some sweetness, some tartness (sour)

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a hazy golden orange with a thick creamy 2 finger head that lasted. Aroma of stone fruit and yeast. Taste of plum, maybe strawberry... very complex and interesting.

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Photo of EMV
4.04/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber dated 2012 into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a pale semi-opaque golden color. Ample creamy white head falls rapidly and laces the glass.

S: Yeast and spices, lemon zest, and some boozy tones.

T/F: Modestly sweet, lemon flavor gives it an almost shandy touch with some coriander and spice. Yeasts and banana tones but the citrus dominates. Alcoholic warmth for sure. Not much of a hop presence until the very end. Fairly carbonated and a bit frisky on the palate.

O: Not a bad brew and definitely a warm weather beer. It doesn't hide it's 9% ABV all that well but is nice and refreshing. Puts me in mind of a belgian/shandy mix.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.02/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very rough around the edges... Hints of yeast and lemon but lots of booze and something I'm not enjoying seem to dominate here.... This one becomes a choir to get though..

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Photo of barknee
3.24/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

25.4 Oz bottle with a cellar release date of Nov. 2012...Pours a 14 karat hazy gold with a spongy white head and ample lacing. The nose is soft and subdued with essence of white bread and shallow citric elements. The palate is moderately dry with a hint of sugar and a latent touch of lemon zest. Overall an EZ going and EZ drinking brew that has a farmhouse style. Definitely throttled back in weight, and would be enjoyable for those who don't enjoy the rather full scale, over the top versions out there. The 9% is well buried under the flavors. It likely has softened up significantly during its 30 months in the bottle. Though certainly not a very complex brew it's still quite a quaffer.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%

Pours a five-finger cream head that lasts forever leaving a very good lace. Crystal clear pale amber color. Very good carbonation and medium bodied. Sweet grass & lemon nose and flavor is tart fruit, spicy, slightly tart finish. Bottled 10-2012, $11.99 for a caged & corked 750ml bottle from Bert's Better Beers Hooksett, NH

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.04/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

75 cl

Pours a light grassy gold, slightly hazy, with two coarse inches of fluffy white head. Head dissipates slowly to a froth.

Smells of white wine, grassy malts, bretty yeast and coriander.

Tastes of white wine, bretty yeast, grassy malts, some mild citrus, a hint of fruity hop, and a bit of spice like coriander or lemongrass.

Full body with fluffy carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

Pretty great pale Belgian, very tasty and nice body like you would expect. I've had a few better for sure, but this one is definitely worth a try and goes down easy. Hides its strength fairly well.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Fairly clear golden yellow with a thick cap of white foam that leaves a thin nice layer of foam behind.

S - Yeast esters, lemon, light bready malts with some fruity sweetness.

T - Fairly sweet with yeasty esters, candi sugar, earthy, honey, white grape juice and a weird fruit salad flavor.

M - Medium body and well carbonated. Finishes dry for how sweet it tastes.

D - Decent but I would not go out of my way to try it.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
2.97/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Great pop of the cork. Good pour - 3F of tightly bubbled white head over slightly cloudy pale yellow body. Tons of carbonation. Not so much lacing.

Lots of light, tart aromas - lemons, lime zest, light breadiness.

Thinner than expected on the palate, for a 9% Grand Cru. Lots of carbonation may have thinned things out? Quite effervescent. Flavors lead with the aromas - small tree fruits, mostly bitter. Some white grape - slight vinous quality. Would have liked more sweet.

Overall, meh. Was hoping for a richer experience. Not bad, just not worth the $$$.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle I brought to share during the Churchill's weekend festivities.

Cellar release 4-2012.

Pours a hazy yellow with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, fruit, grape juice, spices, and yeast. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some solid aromas and flavors.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

St. Stefanus Grand Cru
Van Steenberge

LOOK: Corked and caged, etched and hand signed 22oz bomber. Pours a clear light gold with a soapy white froth. Leaves behind a bit of lace on the glass.

SMELL: Banana and candi sugar leads to a sweet smelling nose. Pale malts and noble hop aromas are also evident.

TASTE: More candy sugar and banana flavored yeast notes. Mild grassy hops do a fair job at balancing, but the brew finishes lightly dry with a saccharine like sweetness. Hides the alcohol well. Some flavor of fresh red apple emerges. Honey like malt flavor, and no doubt alot of malt was used in the making of this beer.

FEEL: Medium to full bodied, well carbonated, and there is a small dryness.

OVERALL: Straight forward Belgian strong golden ale, could fit the bill as a triple or abbey blonde. A bit sweet, but its tasty, fun and easy to drink. I would recommend putting a bottle or two in the cellar for a good few years.

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Photo of Gavage
3.66/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on 10 2012 - stamped on label.

Appearance: pours a crystal clear golden yellow color with a one inch head that lasts a long time. Thick lace paints the glass.

Smell: Belgian yeast, light lemon,and a bit of fruit sweetness comes through to the nose.

Taste: moderate malt profile with grass, yeast, pepper, pear, and a bit of earthiness. Bitterness is moderate and alcohol is slightly noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp throughout. Short lived aftertaste.

Overall: easy drinking beer here. Nice flavors but a bit of a milder grand cru compared to others in the style. Worthy of a try.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 750 ml caged and corked bottle dated 10-2012 and signed in pen by the brewmaster. Sampled on December 21, 2012

How can I in little New Hampshire be one of the first people to review this beer from far away Belgium? But I don't really care because it pours a cloudy straw yellow with a goodly amount of carbonation leading up to a tremendous soft, puffy white head that sits on top the entire time.

In the nose there are Belgian pale malts and sugars, yeast, a hint of grapefruit citrus, a dash of pepper, and bread.

The body falls into the medium range with a slight astringency.

The taste is much like the aroma with Belgian malts, yeast, and sugar at first followed promptly by grapefruit and a short-lasting low bitterness on the tail end. More like a zingy Belgian pale than a Strong Ale but delightful all the same.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear light orange glow with a billowing bright white head that raises high above the glass. Shows no signs of dieing. Smells of fruity pebbles, very grassy and hay like, a bit of barnyard. a little funky

Very crisp clean flavor, tastes better than it smells but it is a little bland for such a big beer. Lively carbonation medium body, bright apple tart sweetness with very good balance on the back end. Pretty good and extremely clean for the style.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly hazy deep yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, candy sugar, floral, and yeasty notes. In the taste, dryer candy sugar, and quite floral. A small carbonation like bite, and a lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry candy sugar presence and floral notes in the aftertaste. Nice, although the candy sugar starts to be too much.

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St. Stefanus Grand Cru from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
3.65 out of 5 based on 50 ratings.
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