St.Bernardus has been celebrating their 75 Years Anniversary since last year and they have now reached “the final element in our celebration of our brewery’s 75th anniversary. In honour of the occasion, our brewers have created a festive ‘tripel style’ birthday beer. This beer will be sold in an extremely limited edition of 11,000 bottles, and only as 75cl. Every bottle is marked with its own, unique number!”

Santa’s Pint Glass – Day 21

I am accustomed to the big Belgian bottle of St. Bernardus Christmas Ale so it took some getting used to it being in a twelve ounce can.

Here is how the brewery describes this Quad, “St.Bernardus Christmas Ale is an intensely dark beer with a full, yet slightly fruity flavour, overflowing with the tastes of winter and zesty seasonal aromas. Aniseed notes are complemented by hints of creamy caramel and fire-roasted chestnuts. This zestiness shows no signes of abating, pushing through to a magnificent finish of dried fruits and chocolate.”

Will the can compare to that? And will my comparison bottle taste similar, let’s get to the results…

A little toffee, a little fruit. Bang on fruitcake with this. There is a nice bite to it as well. It is too light for chocolate and roasted nuts aren’t there for me but has a zest and a malt backbone to it that means it could easily pair with practically any food course from salad to turkey to dessert. Just lovely.

St. Bernardus

I am a sucker for a brewery history book. Even when that book is also filled with recipes (beer and/or food) and other miscellany.

“This book offers you a unique look behind the scenes of St.Bernardus: from the rich history to the brewing process and the recently renovated visitor centre. In addition, you will be served various national and international recipes and cocktails by various top and starred chefs, in which the beers of St.Bernardus play the leading role.”

Obviously this book will not be an exhaustive bit of research, but I am adding it to my want to read list

A Sour Saint

A month of two back, I had the St. Bernardus ABT 12 and it was solid as ever, now I learn that a sour version is on the way. I will have to research to see if this is just new to us or new in amount being made or sold but either way, I hope to see this on store shelves. Hopefully in a smaller format bottle.

Cans for Bernie

I was a bit floored when I saw that Rodenbach had gone to putting some of their beer into cans so the news that St. Bernardus was packaging their Wit into 12oz containers didn’t have the same surprise.

Hopefully, the Belgian wit cans will be in supply. Still have not seen Rodenbach cans in the buying wild as of yet.

Kris Kringle – Day 27

If someone asks, “So, what does a Belgian Christmas ale taste like?” Hand them this…


“St. Bernardus Christmas Ale is the youngest descendant in the illustrious family of delicious Abbey Ales by Brewery St. Bernardus. This specialty beer of 10% alc. vol. is characterized by its deep dark colour, with a creamy, thick head and a full, almost velvety taste with a fruity nose. It’s a seasonal ale, brewed annually for the holiday season. The long winter nights are perfect moments to savour this ale with or without friends and to enjoy its unique, complex taste and after-taste.”

Tasting notes

Here are my notes from my tasting at 55 Degree Wine & Beer Store and from BJ’s.

The Foret really was alcohol from aroma to taste. Kind of tinny and not as complex as Saison Dupont which is the gold standard for Saisons. Between the two, I would always go for Dupont.

Ahh! St. Bernardus. Their Wit is the gold standard in this category. Sparkling. Effervescent. Tasted like oranges. Pitch perfect. In comparison, I also had BJ’s seasonal Nit Wit. Great name. Mediocre beer. Not much flavor. Just sort of sat there. Unfortunately, that is pretty much the same review I could give for every BJ’s beer. Nothing remarkable.

The McChouffe Brown was good. Nice and solid. Not much aroma. Nice earthy flavor though. A little chewier than most browns.

Mission IPA. I saw that it was made in San Diego and thought HOP BOMB! But this is restrained. You can really smell the hops but when you take a drink, it is a balance of malt and hops. Very nice.

Lastly, the St. Peters Old Style Porter. Very nice Porter. I liked it. Nice and drinkable. Not too smoky but not too light either. Another balanced beer.

Christmas in May

In my travels this week, I came across a deal to good to pass up. A nice big bottle of St. Bernardus Christmas Ale on sale! $9.99 to be exact. So I snapped it up.
This doesn’t quite fill the winter warmer category but it does carry an alcohol punch to it. Surprisingly light and malty with a touch of spice to it. Personally, this would go great with turkey and cranberry and stuffing. But make sure to share it will catch up with you.