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Beer Profile

  • Brewery: St. Bernardus Brewery
  • Website:
  • Country: Belgium
  • State:
  • Style: Tripel
  • Malts:
  • Hops:
  • ABV:
  • IBUs:
  • Tasting Notes:
  • Preferred Glass:
  • Food Pairing:
  • PHM Grade: B-

St. Bernardus Tripel

Written by

Its a bachelor weekend for me. Week, actually, as my flip-flop clad wife galavants around California and I sit inside on this sunny, but Chicago-in-January-is-cold-no-matter-how-sunny kind of day. After poking about in the freezer for a minute or two and finding my gourmet lunch of not one, but two Lean Pockets (defeating the purpose of ‘lean,’ I suppose), I went into my ‘cellar’ to choose an accompanying beer. Several of my previous St. Bernardus tastings have happened on Sunday, so I figured his Tripel would be a perfect match for my garlic and chicken pockets of joy.

My initial impression was that the famous St. Bernie’s carbonation was present yet gain. I poured, successfully, a near-perfect pour, which revealed an offwhite head that disappeared as quickly as church-goers on gameday. This left a heavy sheet of lacing, even before I had taken a sip. A bit of an oddity in this brew was the slightly frightening amount of floating bits, dark orange ones, mixed through the apricot colored liquid. They seemed almost like the tannins of a fine wine. The scent was the familiar malts of St. Bernardus. I never thought I’d sample enough beers to know it, but it was there and reminded me of the three previous brews I had enjoyed. Then I sipped. Whoa. This Tripel was light on the sweet and fruity, and heavy on the alcohol. My thought is that its never a good thing when the ABV is the first impression. It forced me to look at the bottle, which revealed a not ridiculous 8%. My second sip was, unfortunately, the same. There were a few other flavors that hid in the shadows, but were so overpowered that I soon forgot their presence. There was a bit of hops in the finish as well. I try to be fair to each beer I try, so I allowed it to warm a bit, munching on my Lean Pocket in the meantime. Boy, was I feeling lean. Although the alcohol seemed to ease off a bit, it still seemed the most prominent feature. It was by no means undrinkable, but compared to the vast world of tripels available, this one would by no means be my first choice.

ABV: 8%

Grade: B-

  1. Thanks for being honest! Next time I will send some Rocco’s to accompany this brew! I bet you grade in one letter better….haha

    Brett — February 2nd, 2010, 11:39 AM
  2. At least…Rocco’s is the finest pairing for any brew.

    Michael — February 2nd, 2010, 2:38 PM
  3. As soon as I read your first impression was alcohol-y, I knew this was doomed for nothing more than a C. Looks to be a redeeming factor or two, though, considering the final grade.

    nick — February 4th, 2010, 6:58 PM
  4. Its true, I’m not much for the alcohol on the forefront. I’d rather sip, not know its there and then realize it when I get off the couch. I felt like it overpowered in this one.

    Michael — February 5th, 2010, 9:12 AM
  5. You’re a classic frog-in-a-pot-on-the stove. The frog doesn’t know it’s getting boiled to death because the heat is subtle. Similarly, you don’t mind the alcohol as long as it only has traces of existence. The only difference is the frog dies whereas you get off the couch and fall on your face.

    I’m waiting for this day. Patiently. Muwahah.

    nick — February 5th, 2010, 11:19 AM
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