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Judges Rating: 
24 / 24
5 / 6
37 / 40
10 / 10
Overall Impression: 
19 / 20

A recent addition to the brewery’s lineup, the St. Bernardus Witbier is a wonderful example of a style that nearly went extinct. Developed in cooperation with Pierre Celis, who almost single-handedly resurrected witbier, the St. Bernardus take on this timeless style evinces all the intriguing aromas and flavors of the classics. Rife with notes of herbs, spices, and citrus fruit, as well as soft and pillowy malt, this beer is at once complex yet very approachable. Tangy orange peel and lemon notes sit hand in glove with aromas of fresh black pepper, thyme, and marjoram, all delicately balanced with faint, candy-like malt sweetness. Tim had high praise for the inviting essence of sweet lavender, lime, and verbena and how they played a “vivid counterpoint” to the subtle malty sweetness. Rick enjoyed the perfumed hints of coriander and the faint spiciness of the wheat riding underneath, commenting that the aromas, while integrated, were “bright and refreshing.” Not unexpectedly, this beer rests in the glass showing a cloudy, pale yellow hue, shot through with almost milky streaks of white, and is topped by a billowing, velvety white head. Subdued flavors of lemon, confectioner’s sugar, and peppercorns drift over a silky smooth base of sweet, faintly caramel malt. Tom felt the hop bitterness was just a tad rough. He was intrigued by the silky mouthfeel and unexpectedly crisp, dry finish. The “sharp stab of lemony zest” and “unctuous creamy nougat” took Lee by surprise. Elegant and refined, St. Bernardus Witbier is a highly quaffable brew for those sweltering summer days.