Archive for the 'St. Bernardus' category
Frankly, I’m surprised I haven’t seen this beer before now. I’ve had a solid selection of St. Bernardus brews, and they’re readily available in my area of the country. However, I first saw this little gem on the shelves in Seattle a couple of days ago. And, being as I’m a big fan of the Belgian witbier varieties, I simply had to give it go.
This beer pours a rather odd hue, really. It’s an almost swampy looking dull shade of golden/brown. Honestly, it looks like some sorta weird fruit juice that you might find in the organics section of Whole Foods. Also, the head is almost nonexistent and the aroma is lightly citrus – not terribly sweet, but also not displeasing. Actually, the aroma is probably the best aspect of this beer thus far – subdued with hints of citrus and a bit of bite. In the mouth, this beer isn’t bad, but it is a bit disappointing. There is a decent carbonation bite and there are light hints of citrus and sweetness. But, beyond that, this beer is terribly simple. It’s lacking in spice tones and it tastes like the fermentation might have even been a bit off. Basically, it’s just a really run-of-the-mill witbier that tastes like something that many homebrewers could crank out in the basement. Granted, this would be a GOOD batch of homebrew if I were to have made it. But, since St. Bernardus has made some really blockbuster beers in the past, and since this 10 ouncer cost me $4, I really expected something special. So, this will certainly be the last time I drink this particular variety from St. B. However, they still have an overall winning record, so I’ll just put this away and pretend it never happened.
In my humble opinion, Pierre Celis can do no wrong. This is my third brew from this guy – from three different varieties – and all of them have been exceptional. This particular beer pours a light golden and smells unique – I can’t quite place it. There is a bit of sourness, and it smells rather ‘wild’. In the mouth, the beer initially tastes a little ‘wild’, as well, but quickly mellows into a malty flavor that coats the mouth – ‘taming the beast’, if you will. There is an apparent complexity, but it is appropriately mellowed by the heavy malt base, and I think it makes this beer very palatable for a number of tastes. I like.
This is a belgian cave-aged ale and it is sensational. Pierre Celis combines the spicy, citrusy, fruity flavor of the dubbel abbey ales with the wheat-stlye refreshing crispness that I have come to know and love. How’s that for a gross misuse of adjectives…It is unfiltered and it shows as it pours a very cloudy amber color. Like I said it is very light and crisp as it crosses the lips but it then thickens toward the back of the throat and eventually ends by warming the stomach. The Grotten weighs in at 6.7% abv and 100% satisfaction. I would say it is in my top 5, however, since I have had so many different beers in the past year I don’t actually know what the other 4 would be. This would involve considerable research and quite frankly I don’t care that much. That being said I highly recommend the Gotten Brown and am quite certain I will buy it again and again.
The St. Bernardus Abt 12 is a delightful brew, with wonderful color and accents. It pours beautifully, with a rosy, auburn color and sweet flavorful scent emanating from the bottle. Each taste possesses a rich flavor, full of spice and fruit. It has the highest alcohol content (10.5 abv) of any of the St. Bernardus beers, but the alcohol flavor is not heavily present in the taste of the beer. The Abt 12 possesses a smooth, drinkable taste, and one could easily imbibe several of these in one sitting. Of course, if one were to imbibe several of these, it would probably end up being a short evening.
Overall, this is an excellent beer, and the happy little monk on the label should be more than pleased at the job he has done. At a respectable price ($2.50/beer; $10/four pack) this beer could easily be enjoyed for several nights.