St. Bernardus Tripel

As with most Abbey beers, there’s a lot of history behind St. Bernardus. Basically, this is as close to being a Trappist beer as you can get… without officially being called a Trappist. In fact, St. Bernardus was considered to be one until 1992 when the other 7 elite Trappist Monasteries decided that beers could only be considered Trappist if they were brewed within the walls of a Trappist Monastery.

To get even more in depth, St. Bernardus is like an alternate version of the Trappist beer Westvleteren. In 1945, the St. Sixtus Monastery (where Westvleteren was originally and continues to be brewed) decided to stop selling its beer to the general public, but granted a license to the “Refuge Notre Dame de St.Bernard” to brew their brand of beer. Then in 1992, Westvleteren could only continue to be brewed as an official Trappist product at St. Sixtus since it is a Trappist Monastery and St. Bernardus is not. Thus the St. Bernardus beer came to be. They continued making beer, but under a different name… making it similar, but not nearly as pristine as the much sought-after Westvletern.

Anyway, aside from all that, having been a big fan of the St. Bernardus Abt 12 (which occasionally resurfaces at the LCBO), I was shocked to discover that Chester’s has the Abt AND the Tripel in stock. I can’t believe I had overlooked both of these beers the last few times I had been there. After Conan disappointed me with his sour brown ale, like a special birthday treat, I was browsing the menu and came across: ST. BERNARDUS TRIPLE … $8.65. Sold.

That may seem like a lot for a 330 ML bottle, and it is, but for something that is basically not available anywhere else in Ontraio… I’ll make an exception. And I’m glad I did because this beer is delicious. Unlike evil Conan, this happy monk delivers everything I was hoping for. While the Abt has a reddish colour, the Tripel is golden in colour. It is extremely bold for a beer that is 8%. I originally thought it was stronger than the Abt which is 10.5%. It doesn’t have quite as complex of an aroma or taste as the Abt, but it has a very pleasant malt flavour. It’s refreshing, it’s sweet, and it’s delicious. Highly recommended… that is, if you’ve already had the Abt.



One Response

  1. They have this in the Bier Market in Toronto, but its probably more than $8.65. That’s also awesome that they gave you the correct glass for the beer. I’d try to steal that one, that’s for sure. Let’s all hope that the LCBO gifts us with another helping of the friendly pointing monk!

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