Tuesday, June 03, 2008

BOW DOWN BEFORE SAINT BERNARDUS

Of the 8 beers brewed by BROWERIJ SINT BERNARD in Watou, Belgium (known as ST. BERNARDUS to you and me), I’ve still got two to conquer. I keep forgetting to pick up the PATER 6 and the WATOU TRIPEL – but in time these too will be conquered. As many told me when I embarked on my beer mania and started this blog a few years ago, ST. BERNARDUS are among the kingpins of Belgian brewing. I got a few flabbergasted comments when I rated the ABT 12 a mere 6.5/10, and hey, given how much I’ve loved all of the subsequent beers from them that I’ve ingested, I guess I’m a little taken aback myself. Here’s how the six I’ve tried stack up:

GROTTEN BROWN 10/10
ST. BERNARDUS PRIOR 8 9/10
ST. BERNARDUS TRIPEL 9/10
ST. BERNARDUS 2007 CHRISTMAS ALE 8/10
ST. BERNARDUS WIT 7.5/10
ST. BERNARDUS ABT 12 6.5/10

That’s’ a pretty stellar set of scores, wouldn’t you say? As my palate adjusts more to intense, flavorful Belgian ale, I expect that revisiting some of these might even bump ‘em higher – the point being that all of the beers from this “browerij” are unique, complex and delicious. Let’s isolate one of them: ST. BERNARDUS PRIOR 8. I had my second bottle of this not too long ago, and it was fantastic. Dark, malty and bursting with fruit, this beer had this overwhelming “tang” that I couldn’t shake even fifteen minutes after completion – nor did I want to. The fruits were lighter, like those you might find in a tripel: tastes of grapes and apricots, mixed with a little fig & date action. The 8% ABV was a nice blancer between the sweet and the sour flavors, and overall this thing just soars. I went with a 9/10. On to the “PATER 6”!

1 comment:

Christopher said...

ABT 12 6.5/10???????
YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME