St. Bernardus

St. Bernardus Tripel

Beer No. 33 – St. Bernardus Tripel

Historical context, like many things, can be good in moderation. I’m most definitely interested in partaking of this bottle-conditioned beaut right here, today. But I also believe it’s worth pointing out that, at least according to scholars at the brouwerij, the St. Bernardus family of beers owes its stellar foundation to ancient rainfall, buried 150 meters below ground, and the canonized tears of Jeanne d’Arc.

STYLE: Belgian Tripel

ABV: 8%

LOOK: Pours a hazy, amber-orange base that won’t win any beauty contests. Not that it really matters because the head is to die for. Literally, when the world finally tires of this beer vivant’s act, I want to be buried in this shit. It’s a two-finger foam pillow, so flat, so inviting.

NOSE: It’s Belgian, yeah, but should I be getting more? Marshmallows, yes, and some citrus rind too … maybe lemon, probably orange.

MOUTH: Fuck yeah. Powdered sugar, clove, apricot, Fruit Stripes, pineapple upside down cake. Restrained Belgian yeast. If it weren’t for the excellent head it might be a little light. But all together the weight, it’s perfect. Not to sip, not to chug, just to enjoy.

Beeradvocate Rating: 94

Hayward Abbey Rating: 94

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St. Bernardus Abt 12

Beer No. 5 – St. Bernardus Abt 12

You can read a lot about what the “Abt” means, most of it wrong, not that it really matters. This is a beer that warms the cockles of the heart. Maybe, as Denis Leary suggests, below the cockles, maybe in the sub-cockle area. Maybe in the liver (10% ABV, yes please). Maybe in the kidneys (eh). Maybe even in the colon (let’s hope not), we don’t know.

STYLE: Belgian Quad

ABV: 10%

LOOK: Woody brown, with a creamy, stately head that looks like someone whipped up some cinnamon crema and dolloped it right on top. Above average lacing, but the retention is softer than expected. Massive, three-finger head. Maybe a product of the glassware? It quickly overwhelmed my pink-elephant tulip hybrid, suggesting that I should have gone with a more traditional, wide-mouth goblet.

NOSE: Baby powder, tart fruit, woody herbs. Definitely bark.

MOUTH: Apple cider, dry caramel, rose water, faint cotton candy. The starchy component seals the deal. Toast and rum cake, world class.

Beeradvocate Rating: 98

Hayward Abbey Rating: 97