St. Bernardus Extra 4

My latest guilty pleasure is “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” It’s totally mindless, but it passes the time. Let’s talk about today’s beer, which is one of the few offerings from St. Bernardus that I’ve never had.


ABV: 4.8%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to, “Back to the roots: in the summer of 2014, Brewery St. Bernardus will bring one of their oldest beers back to the market. When the brewery was founded in 1946 to brew and commercialize the beers of the Trappist Monks of Westvleteren, the brewery received 4 recipes from them: Abt 12, Prior 8, Pater 6, and Extra 4. In the 70′s this ‘Enkel’ or ‘Singel’ style got out of fashion and the production of the Exra 4 was discontinued. In origin, the Extra 4 was brewed by Monks for their own consumption in Belgium, but this beer seldom sold in Belgium or abroad.”

Random: I cannot wait to leave California. The traffic is way too much.

The beer poured with a four finger, white head. It dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body of the beer was slightly cloudy with a lot of carbonation visible. The color was a bright yellow. On the nose, I picked up a lot of yeast, banana and clove. It had some coriander as well. The taste started with a lot of lemon notes, but it wasn’t overly tart. It had a lot of yeast as well with lemon zest and light spice. The body was thick for the style with intense carbonation. The finish was lengthy with lemon zest. A single bottle of this was $6 ($.50 per ounce), which was not cheap, but well worth the price tag. I enjoyed this beer a lot. I didn’t expect anything less from this brewery.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

St. Bernardus Christmas Ale

Here’s a beer that I haven’t tried from my favorite Trappist brewery. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 10%

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “St.Bernardus Christmas Ale is a dark seasonal brewed in the classic ‘Quadrupel’ style of Belgium’s best Abbey Ales. (10.0 % ABV) Similar to all the beers from our brewery, it greets the drinker with the signature aroma of the St. Bernardus house yeast strain (in use since 1946!). Rivaling the complexity of the St. Bernardus Abt 12, St. Bernardus Christmas Ale offers a spicy, mint-like flavor profile exuding the tastes of warming alcohol, fermented molasses, apricots, licorice and marzipan that are highlighted by the perfect balance of brewing sugars. The perfect companion to enjoy a (cold?) winter evening, with or without the company of your friends!”

Random: I really enjoy big Belgian beers in the winter. They just taste better.

This beer poured with a three finger, slightly off white head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing. The body was a hazy, dark brown color. Due to how dark the beer was, I was unable to see how much carbonation the beer had. The nose was filled with dark fruit and intense sweetness with brown sugar and molasses. Fruitcake came through as well. The taste was intense, but worked for a Christmas beer. It had generous sweetness with raisins, dates, brown sugar, cinnamon and molasses. It was almost like liquid fruitcake. Alcohol warming was present on the end of the sip, but nothing as intense as the 10% ABV. The body was thick and chewy with very intense carbonation, teetering on too much, but it worked for this beer. The finish was long with booze and brown sugar. This beer was absolutely outstanding, even at $11.99 for a bomber, which breaks down to $.55 per ounce. If you still see it at stores, definitely grab one. You won’t be sorry.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

St. Bernardus Pater 6

So, I found out yesterday that one of the guys that I used to work with passed away. He had pancreatic cancer and was diagnosed less than a year ago. It’s really sad and I’ve been thinking about it a lot. He was only in his early 40s. Anyways, now that I’m done depressing you, onto the beer.


ABV: 6.7%

Style: Dubbel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “St. Bernardus Pater 6 is a traditional abbey style dubbel, chestnut in color, very fruity with notes of melon and very fresh banana, finishing with slight bitterness. Delightfully easy to drink. (6.7% ABV) One of the original recipes from the days of license-brewing for the Trappist monks of Westvleteren.”

Random: It finally feels like Spring now. It’s quite exciting. I’m done with the cold weather. I’m hoping that it doesn’t turn cold again this week.

This one poured with a full finger of borderline brown colored head. It dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy dark brown color with heavy carbonation visible throughout. The nose had some alcohol and raisins primarily. It was very nice. The taste was very bready with raisins, dates and nuts. There was some lemon bitterness present as well. I also got some vanilla. The finish was clean with cashew nuts and quite swift. This was an outstanding, dangerously drinkable dubbel. Yet again, another great beer from the drunken monk. If you see this one, grab a bottle or two of it, you definitely won’t be disappointed.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

St. Bernardus Prior 8

Yet another Belgian from my gift set stash. You want to talk about a brewery that can do no wrong? It’s this one. Every single beer that I’ve had from them is knock your socks off good. I’m hoping that this beer continues the trend…

ABV: 8%

Style: Dubbel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “St.Bernardus Prior 8 is a traditional abbey ale brewed in the classic ‘Dubbel’ style of Belgium’s Best Abbey Ales. It has a ruby to purple color, smooth, creamy richness of texture that is almost oily, and a malt-fruit complexity reminiscent of coconut. (8% alc. vol.)
It finds the perfect balance between sweet, bitter and malty tastes. One of the original recipes from the days of license-brewing for the Trappist monks of Westvleteren”

Random: The cat finally woke up. What a life.

This brew poured with a finger of off white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy, dark brown color with heavy carbonation. The nose was Belgian yeast, dates, figs and some booze. The flavor was nutty, then the dark fruit came in with figs and then candi sugar as well. The body was on the thicker side with heavy carbonation. The finish was long with yeast and a touch of alcohol warmth. This beer was just outstanding. It could be the best dubbel I’ve had. It was flavorful and well-rounded and had a nice and clean finish. I would definitely have this one again. If you haven’t tried it, get your hands on it immediately.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

St. Bernardus Tripel

I love when I get a good deal on beer. I saw this in a gift set that I assume was left over from Christmas. It was on sale and included the glass with 4 different bottles from the brewery. Sold!  So, what did I think of the first offering…?

ABV: 8%

Style: Tripel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “St.Bernardus Tripel is a traditional abbey ale brewed in the classic “Triple” style of Belgium’s best Abbey Ales. It has a blond to pale amber color with a wonderful head, slightly sweet aroma and the orangey-grassy flavors of hops in the finish. Wonderfully drinkable and surprisingly light (8.0% ABV)”

Random: I love St. Bernardus bottles. The monk always looks happy, probably because he’s bombed.

The glass is quite sexy, isn’t it? Anyways, the body poured with a two finger white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy golden orange color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was just divine. I got peppery cloves with banana and the typical Belgian yeast. Some apricots as well. This was an incredibly fragrant tripel. The taste was just as good. It started with peach and apricot and some pale malt. It transitioned into Belgian yeast, coriander, candi sugar and nutmeg. It finished with some pepper. Needless to say, this was incredibly complex. The body was on the thicker side with appropriate carbonation. The booze was not a factor on this one. The finish was long and peppery. This beer was flat out fantastic. It was everything that I could want in a tripel and I kept grabbing the glass to take another sip. If you haven’t quaffed this one, you need to. It’s my new benchmark on the style.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

St. Bernardus Witbier

Since I was slacking off last night and didn’t review anything, I guess I’ll do two reviews tonight. I’m seriously loving my outdoor tasting spot. I am so happy that it’s almost Friday, although Saturday is going to suck. I also took Monday off as an insurance day in case I can’t bang out my paper in a day. Anyways, the Phils are winning thanks to a Carlos Ruiz HR and a throwing error. And the Yanks are losing to Baltimore. I think I can hear Joe cursing out Phil Hughes from here…

ABV: 5.5%

Style: Witbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This traditional Witbier (Wheat beer) has been developed in cooperation with Master Brewer Pierre Celis, the Godfather of Hoegaarden and Celis White. This beer as well has a second fermentation in the bottle, giving this beer its specific taste (5.5% alcohol content).”

Random: I kinda love the drunken Monk label thing.

The brew pours a cloudy light yellow with a three finger fluffy egg white head. It dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the sides of my Dead Guy pint glass. I think that this was actually my first witbier of the season. The nose was everything I expect of a witbier, lots of citrus, some yeast, clove and I think I even got a hint of banana. On the first sip, I think that this a damn good witbier. It was filled with bright citrus notes (especially lemon) and mild spice with some yeastiness and moderate carbonation. The brew finished with a bit of the citrus that was present throughout. This was all I could ask for from a brew of this style. It was a crisp, bright beer that would go really well on a 70 degree day while I was relaxing outside. I would definitely have this brew again as it was one of the best examples of the style that I’ve had. This is definitely NOTHING like a Blue Moon.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

St. Bernardus Abt 12

This was a brew that I was really excited to try. I went to Stuff Yer Face (one of my favorite haunts) with Chris about a month ago. I saw this one on the beer menu and I had to try it. My biggest problem every time I go there is that I can’t figure out which beer it is that I want. This time, it wasn’t an issue. I’ve heard so much good stuff about this brew that I couldn’t wait any longer.

ABV: 10.5%

Style: Quad

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Water, pumped up from a depth of 150 meter is the basis of all St. Bernardus beers. This water is not only the purest but has also a historical background. Scientists have proved that the water that is pumped up now, is originating from rainfall from the time of Jeanne d’Arc. The water seeped to Watou through a pervious stratum of sand from the St. Omer area in France. After brewing, the beer is maturing in a natural way and subsequently bottled unfiltered. By adding sugar and yeast, the beer gets a second fermentation in the bottle, carbonating the beer in a natural way. This gives the beer a beautiful and large froth.”

Random: I’m all about beer labels and I’m digging the very happy (read: drunk) looking monk on the label of this one.

This brew poured with a one-finger tan head that lingers for a while. The body itself is really dark. It was an inky brown that was really cloudy and almost impossible to see through. The head left significant lacing on the glass. On the nose, I got a lot of yeast notes and then some dark fruits, I’m thinking prunes or dates? This is a complex nose to say the least. On the taste, I got some booze up front and then more dark fruits. I’m starting to think fig instead of prunes on the taste. The brew had some carbonation to it. On the finish, the yeast comes back out to play with some caramel sweetness. The booze definitely gives a warming feeling to the beer, although considering how high the ABV is, it’s not really overwhelming. I really enjoyed this beer. There is so much going on it with it and it’s just a really enjoyable beer. I would definitely have this again, but this is not a beer I could have more than one or two of, because the booze would just knock me on my ass.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0