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St. Bernardus Tokyo

overall
89
96
style
Brewed by St. Bernardus Brouwerij
Style: Belgian Ale
Watou, Belgium

bottling
unknown

on tap
available

distribution
unknown

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RATINGS: 205   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.5/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 180   ABV: 6%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
A unique, single batch created for the opening of the St Bernardus pub in Tokyo. Intensely cloudy, unspiced wheat ale brewed with the use of malted wheat. The specific yeast strain of St Bernardus and the Golden and Magnum hops from our own hop fields.


3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Alengrin (4262) - BELGIUM - JAN 29, 2016
One-off by Sint-Bernardus made exactly four years ago for the opening of their Tokyo brasserie, which highlights Belgian beer culture. Vintage 75 cl bottle with both English and Japanese text, bought from a private collector. Bottle opens under a lot of pressure but no gushing. Moussy, regular, crackling, egg-white head, still quite stable in spite of the beer’s age, yet eventually dissolving almost completely; warm lightly orangey peach blonde colour, equally hazy from the start, looking more and more cloudy in the end with chunks of dark, dead yeast at the bottom of the bottle, forming a grainy sediment in the end. Aroma expectedly has unmistakable ’rusty’ malt oxidation but not (yet) too overpowering; other impressions include ripe pear, straw, orange peel, old cake, iron, apple sauce, powder sugar, baked banana and banana bread, gooseberry, field flowers, wet cardboard, soapy wheat, cooked sweet potato, damp leaves, bread dough, old white pepper, a faint hint of candied lemon and perhaps a subtle touch of coriander; adding more of the deposit renders the nose more bready and yeasty, with a touch of fried egg. Fruity onset, sweet apple, gooseberry and some banana countered by a very soft sourishness, soft carbo tingling on the tongue very gently (in fact too gently - undercarbonated, but this is probably due to its age), lean and supple mouthfeel, very soft, bready and lightly biscuity malt sweetness with indeed some soapy and very lightly sourish wheat, a bit more obvious in the finish, where the soapiness is accentuated further by the coriander, though in all this feature does remain fairly subtle. Hops are nothing more than an invisible background structure but hardly provide any bitterness at all; very ’Belgian’ yeasty phenols retronasally, clove-like, as well as a faint floral hop suggestion. Finish ends yeasty, a bit powdery even, with juicy malt sweetness continuing along with the sourish wheat and lingering sweet ester effects (sweet apple and banana). This probably wasn’t worth either the search or the price, but I’m glad I tasted it nevertheless: it is a bit different from the Hoegaarden witbier standard, more a classic ’tarwedubbel’ in fact, with a bit more body (though starting to get a bit thinned out by age again), less emphasis on coriander and curaçao, a soft and ’fluffy’ mouthfeel due to the use of malted wheat rather than raw wheat; yet after precisely four years of cellaring, it is clearly past its prime and has most likely lost some of the refreshing features typically associated with the style. Far from my favorite Sint-Bernardus beer, was probably better when fresh from tap, but it would never have been my favorite from this brewery anyway, I suspect: too sweet and one-sided. Not intended for ageing, clearly, but it did get notably better deeper into the bottle.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 12, 2015
Draft at Kraftwork in Philadelphia, PA. Pours a hazy dark golden yellow color with a 1.5 finger, frothy white head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Streaks of soapy lace left behind. Slightly zesty aroma that’s dominated by bready yeast and banana character. There’s some pepper, coriander and clove but the bubblegum, banana and bread notes overpower things a bit. Decent citrus presence with lemon juice/rind but I wish it was a bit more prominent. Full bodied and more complex than expected. Strong zesty spice presence up front with lots of ginger, pepper and coriander flavor. This is countered by bready yeast, bubblegum and banana flavors. Citrus acidity in the finish with strong lemon juice and lemon zest flavor. Dry, slightly tart finish. Very nicely balanced, refreshing and extremely quaffable. Spice presence is really nice providing lots of zest to balance the yeast and citrus. Seems like there’s a strong ginger character but it’s probably just coriander. Really crisp and refreshing and complimented nicely by the citrus acid. Bready yeast adds fullness to the body and banana flavors round things out. Really nice example of the style.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
gunnfryd (13920) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - SEP 15, 2015
KRS 280315. Deep golden colour with an off-white head. Aroma is sugar, fruit, toffee, malt, banana. Flavour is sugar, malt, wheat, honey, flower, yeast, fruit, toffee, banana. Nice beer.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Habanero (3864) - Tranbjerg, DENMARK - APR 16, 2015
Bottled. Pours, hazy pale yellow with an average white head. Aroma of yeast, wheat, spices and banana. Sweet flavor that ends up more dry. Light bodied, watery to oily texture and average carbonation. A nice Wheat. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Geokkjer (7262) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - MAR 28, 2015
Bottle. Pours golden with an off-white head. Aroma of malt, toffee, fruitiness, some floral notes and wheat. Flavor is sweet and fruity with some wheat, some herbs and floral notes. Medium body, average carbonation.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
yngwie (16389) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - MAR 28, 2015
Bottle, 75cl corked. Almost clear in the glass, golden in color and with a small, dense, white head. The aroma is quite sweetish and sugary, fruity and with some toffee-ish hints. It’s quite nicely carbonated, full to medium bodied and semi-dry. Fruity and malty flavor with banana hints, a generic fruityness, toffee, honey, flowery notes and some bitterness. Lasting finish with fruityness, some white sugar and toffee notes. Quite nice and tasteful this one, although a bit sweetish. 150328

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Meilby (10775) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - MAR 28, 2015
Bottle 750ml @ Geokkjer
Pours slightly hazy golden with a white head. Aroma has notes of malt, wheat, yeast and hint of banana and floral. Taste is medium sweet and light bitter with a long malty and yeasty finish. Body is medium, texture is oily, carbonation is soft.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
AirForceHops (5877) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - MAR 9, 2015
750 ml right now and also had on draft back when it was released. (Forgotten about bottle in my cellar) The bottle obviously doesn’t fair as well. Cloudy gold with lots of bubbly carbonation. Aroma shows me moderate Belgian yeast with a zesty character, light floral ness, with light clove. The flavor has dried flowers with a strong chewy yeast presence. Grain and pepper round out the flavor. It clearly has some oxidation in the flavor and I really didn’t intend to hold it this amount of time. That said, still rather drinkable.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
PriorL (3066) - Gent, BELGIUM - FEB 22, 2015
Bottle at first S&G tasting of the new semester. APPEARANCE: clear blond beer, small stable white head. NOSE: grains, fruity. TASTE: grains, fruity. Allround decent beer, happy to have drunk this again.

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
GarrettB (1392) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 1, 2014
May 3rd, 2013 - The Tokyo Watou combines all of my favorite things - Japan and Belgian brews. The bottle and label make excellent shelf decor, but the beer itself is a bit of a let down. Like the regular pure-Belgian Watou, the body is hazy and straw gold, with a thick, white corky top. The aroma is hard to pry from the surface, but the taste is light and sweet. The semi-fruity flavor of yeast blends with the rich base of cracked wheat is good, true, but not deep or complex. In that sense, it is a let down, but only because by design it combines so many of my favorite things.


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