not often you see a new beer from an Abbey-style brewery release a new
product. St. Bernardus Extra 4 seems to be capitalizing on the trend
towards lower ABV beers but it is by no means a session IPA or in any
way American-style. What is is a tasty, refined, easy and fun to drink
I poured an 11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 4/16/15 and cost $5.99 ($0.53 per ounce).
Appearance: Mostly clear body with a lemon rind yellow hue with plenty
of effervescence visible. Pours to a large, bright white, frothy head
which laces and retains quite well.
Smell: Classic Belgian yeast esters with strong floral notes and an underlying citrus note.
Taste: For such a simple palette, this beer is remarkably enjoyable. The
yeast is accounting for most of the flavor, though. Like the aroma the
taste of lemon rind and a bouquet of flowers is what I taste here.
Fairly light throughout the first half with a lovely zesty flavor on the
finish. A bit sweet with a candy-like flavor, though I think that’s
typical of the St. Bernardus house yeast. Not especially bitter – just a
quick dry sensation at the apex. Otherwise the base malts dominate –
presumably pilsner and wheat with a touch of specialty malt. Delectable
and enjoyable for sure, this is what a Belgian light beer should be.
Drinkability: It’s weird seeing an Abbey ale with such a light alcohol
content of only 4.8% ABV. St. Bernardus Extra 4 has quite a lot of
character for such a sessionable body. The mouthfeel is light, but
always crisp; yet the carbonation is never an impediment. Refreshing
while crossing the tongue and it finishes almost completely clean. This
is even strong and complex enough to stand up to the right kind of meal.
I only wish the price was reasonable.