PICK YOUR POISON: Kataklysm’s St. Tabarnak

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Bands, festivals and the lot are releasing branded booze by the dozens these days. GRIMM makes it its mission to get to the bottom (of the bottle) of this trend with insightful reviews and extra background. So sit back, PICK YOUR POISON, and discover all you need to know about your favorite band’s alcoholic brands!

Poison Fact Sheet

  • Poison Name: St. Tabarnak
  • Poison Style: Beer – Blond Ale / Belgian Blonde
  • ABV: 6,66%
  • IBU: 25
(ABV = Alcohol By Volume; IBU = International Bittering Units)


The St. Tabarnak pours with a strong white head. The aroma is malty and reminds of the old Jupiler Tauro. A strong pale lager I rather miss these days. The taste is equally malty and delivers medium body with lots of grains. I am missing the regular lighter flavors of fruits that accompany a typical Belgian blonde. In summary, I would describe the St. Tabarnak as a fuller and stronger, but less refreshing lager beer. A strange choice for a Canadian metal band considering the wide variety of styles available in our country.


You recognize this beer is dedicated to the Canadian death metallers by its name at the top of the grey label. The choice of St. Tabarnak is somewhat confusing at first, but the commercial description sheds more light on the issue:

Tabarnak, derivative sland of the holy word “Tabernacle” from the Catholic Church, is commonly used as a swear word by French-speaking Quebecers. The word is used as an interjection to express the intensity of an emotion, most commonly anger or astonishment, but can also take shape as a noun.

I am a bit harsh on the packaging since I was expecting a much more visual artwork for a beer of a band that has always delivered stunning album art. Instead we have an almost prudish artwork more in line with the catholic origin of the name.

Overall, I think this beer is decent, but it feels like a missed opportunity on both the side of the band as well as the brewery to stand out. Kataklysm is one of the first internationally known metal bands to choose a real beer country to produce its own beer. However, instead of releasing an intense beer with an attractive artwork, the end result is a rather bland beer that will not be taking the world by storm anytime soon. Only its 6,66% ABV feels truly metal.

Want to taste for yourself? Head over to the brewery’s website or the Hopduvel in Gent to grab a few bottles.

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