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St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12

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2,614 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,614
Hads: 8,586
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 8.39%
Wants: 631
Gots: 1,917 | FT: 51
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (12) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,614 | Hads: 8,586
Photo of Beersmuggler
2/5  rDev -54.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was not a fan of this one at all. I am not a huge fan of quadruples so I should not have been surprised that I did not like this. I would not recommend it. (158 characters)

Photo of Jimlikesbeer
4.74/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Large thick head. Foamed right out of the bottle when opened. Very smooth Quad. This is really good. No strange after taste. Of St. Bernardus Abbey, this is definitely my favorite (179 characters)

Photo of khmel
4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Dark brown with reddish-carmel hues, mostly opaque. Huge, thick, creamy foam head with insane retention.

S: Sweet fruits, cherry, leather.

T: Sweet malt up front, lots of complex flavor, slight hops in the middle.

M: Incredibly smooth!!! Creamy, rich, full-bodied. One can't feel the alcohol, low carbonation, dry finish.

This is a superb quad! Definitely worth enjoying more than once! (394 characters)

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a small bottle into a chalice glass.

Pours deep dark brown with a fizzy bubbly head that retains for a bit. Smells like a dark sugar palate. Brown sugar, dates, demerara, nutty caramel. Tastes like dark fruits, figs, dates, slight nuttiness, a faint spice palate of nutmeg, anise, allspice, but a slightly metallic flavor towards the finish disrupts. Tastes better and more flavorful as it warms. Quite a bit fizzier and thinner on the palate than I expected, especially for a quad. Very drinkable- a quad that isn't necessarily a sipper. Alcohol hidden very well. I will definitely revisit this time and time again, especially around the holidays. (669 characters)

Photo of mrjez
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh bottle from Craft Beer Base.
L: pours a very dark red, mahogany, with a huge fluffy tan head that takes ages to settle and leaves nice lacing.
S: a champagne whiff, with dark fruits and citrus beneath.
T: Rich and complex, slightly boozy. Made to be sipped.
F: awesome mouthfeel, creamy at the start, full-bodied, nicely carbonated, and a lovely warmth running long.
O: World-class, delicious, a wonderful quad. (422 characters)

Photo of jancona
4.09/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful mahogany with khaki foam and nice lacing.
Smells a bit of mineral water and cola
Taste has a subtle cola flavor with brown sugar, dates, and a hint of molasses. Hides the high abv perfectly
I love the carbonated feel, smooth and creamy, no syrupy feel at all
A legendary quad. (295 characters)

Photo of bilbobrewer
3.77/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

33cl btl purchased at grocery store in Brussels.
BB 04/29/2019
Served chilled in tulip.

Pours opaque brown. Like a (well filtered) homebrew, there's just a few 'meatier' brown drops at the end of the pour.
Head is short-lived.....virtually all gone in a few seconds.
Taste is thick, syrupy sweet malt. Resiny on the tongue, dry on the throat.
As only the second quad I've had (Trappist 10 being the other) I'm apparently just not a fan of something THIS sweet. Diabetes in a bottle.
Maybe call this one a "dessert beer".....but I don't drink beer with dessert.

I'm afraid this is a "quadrupel bypass" for me....Forgive me Father, for such a terrible pun. (673 characters)

Photo of Usma689
4.86/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I have been drinking around St Bernardus and other tops rated beers.... and finally went and got one.


I love Belgiaum style. Lived in Germany ( Uk, ... ) Drank a lot of beer. Gravitated toward Belgium style.

Drink Ommegang .... almost daily.... should I post that?!?! Started with Chimay... detour with and frequent returns to Unibroue .... But Live with Ommegang.

This St B was far beyond what I expected. I will have to find the Westy now.... I would have rated it a 5... but it was so much better than what I thought was great.... Now I'm not sure what lies out there! (598 characters)

Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.84/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Served at Bistro Montage in a chalice on our super expensive dinner for the year.

A cloudy haze the color of wheat bread. Aroma was full of grapefruit and plum. Taste had grapefruit, date, maybe some lemon. Very strong body and had to be taken in fairly small swallows. This beer is just amazing! It has a prominent presence and intensity, not one to be trifled with.

If you want some fun with this beer, have a person who has been drinking wine all night try it and watch the expression ton their face. (505 characters)

Photo of Clintbeerwood
4.84/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Exceptional crisp taste complimenting the cloudy hazy pour with an amazing smell. Nice light refreshing strong taste hints of spices are on point. Love this quad. (163 characters)

Photo of mschrei
4.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into wine goblet. Love the look-dark, cloudy, murky bottom. Great long lasting carbonation. Can't quite describe the nose but I like it. Taste was thin when cold-there were moments when it felt watery and it was the lightest 10% abv beer ever, but it developed as it warmed. Rich, tasty, mouth filling. Quite enjoyable. (326 characters)

Photo of DeFaz
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't drink a lot of quads, but it's not hard to tell that this one is special. Raisins and anise and other fruit in the wonderful smell and taste. Mouthfeel is smooth and moderately carbonated, and the alcohol is concealed well. Simply a beautiful sipper beer that would go well with dessert. Worth the price. (313 characters)

Photo of alexanderplatz
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It seems natural to compare St. Bernardus Abt 12 to Rochefort 10, which is my favorite Belgian quad. St. Bernardus Abt 12 is certainly an excellent beer. It is somewhat drier and perhaps a touch hoppier than Rochefort 10. Anyone who is a fan of Rochefort should give this one a try as well. (291 characters)

Photo of Mikus
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep reddish brown pour at friendly tap room. Aromas of dark fruit, spicy yet refined Belgian yeast with banana and clove. Thus tasted the pure essence of balance. Dark fruits and raisins galore. Delicious! Clean dry finish with some residual sweetness and yeast notes. A lesson in balance. (290 characters)

Photo of M_J_Z
4.34/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of my all-time favorites! This beer never disappoints either on draft or from the bottle. It's exceptionally well-made and has great value and availability. If you're new to Belgian quadrupels, this is among the first you should try. It's excellent. There isn't much that I could say that hasn't been said in the countless glowing reviews here and elsewhere.

I just had this on draft last week and loved it as much as I ever have. It's timeless. (450 characters)

Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Pours brilliant chestnut topped with a clingy 2” moussey tan tinted white foam cap.
S: Prune, dried fig, raisin, fruit cake, and anise
T: Prune then a hint of cocoa and caramel, a very moist dark molasses bown sugar spice cake type flavor with most of the sweetness fermented out. Long lingering spice and dark sugar tastes. Some alcohol warming and pepper on the finish
F: Creamy fine soft carbonation, medium body.
O: a true classic. (444 characters)

Photo of tmbgnicu
4.62/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An exceptional quad and one of the best beers in the world....and it's sitting on your local craft beer store's shelf right now! Dark, sweet, with raisin notes and maybe some peach? Carbonation is a little high, but it works to tie the experience together. (262 characters)

Photo of Rothobinide
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional quad. I had this side-by-side with Westvleteren 12 for some context, as they are allegedly based upon the same recipe. The Westy bested this one, however, I still recognized it as a world-class example of its style. Rich and malty, with plenty of dark, stone fruit in the aroma and flavor. The carbonation levels were a tad bit high, this was a 2014 bottling. (371 characters)

Photo of Tele
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: Bottle
Consumed: 7.21.15

A: 4.5 Pretty standard looking quad. Fairly hazy, reddish brown with a lacy, light tan head.

S: 4.5 Textbook quad right off the bat with lost esters, mostly bringing roasted banana and clove. Some salted caramel works its way in as well followed by toffee and dried cherries.

T: 4.5 While the nose is a touch muted and pretty standard for a quad, the flavor is where things really open up. It has the same qualities as the nose (as do most good quads), but there’s also a darker, earthy component that really compliments the sweeter, caramelized flavors. It’s endlessly complex making it a joy to drink. The only flaw is that it’s a touch boozy on the finish.

M: 4.75 Great body and perfect carbonation with a slightly tannic finish.

O: 4.5 One of my favorite quads, right up there with Chimay and Rochefort and maybe even a bit better. Perhaps my favorite quality of this beer is how much it develops as it warms, much like a great stout; excellent right out of the fridge, but gets better every minute. (1,056 characters)

Photo of creepinjeeper
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An 11.2 oz bottle poured into a St. Bernardus Watou goblet. (Bottle and glass were part of a gift set. Bottle dated 3/07/17.)
Look - Beer foamed slightly upon opening. Poured into snifter. Slight head that lingered for a minute or two before settling in to lacing. Beer was reddish brown leather in hue. Almost looked like fruit was soaking in it and then removed.
Smell - Mmmm. Lots of raisins, dates, a little stone fruit and some booze. You could anticipate what was coming next. My mouth actually watered for this.
Taste - Again, mmmmm. Raisins, dates, bready malt, slight hint of booze.
Mouthfeel - Nice. Creamy. Carbonation light and does not get in the way. Each sip lingers on the palate.
Overall - This beer blew me away. Absolutely beautiful beer. Can't wait to go deeper into this style. (799 characters)

Photo of TheIPAHunter
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is mahogany brown crowned by 2" of creamy tan head. Retention and lacing are excellent. Smells of fresh kimi dipped in cherry sauce; banana bread wrapped in terry cloth; cloves; and organic cacao powder. Taste follows with a candy-like sweetness that finishes just a tad dry. Pretty drinkable despite the abv, but I could feel the alcohol warming presence almost immediately. A stalwart for the style, and one worthy of seeking. Enjoy. (446 characters)

Photo of RockAZ
4.96/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Brilliant! had four different versions today, but this brief review is of the one listed that I have had many many times but never seemed to get around to reviewing. I do get alcohol woof from this, sorry, I know many of the other reviewers do not,... Dates, stone fruits in general blended deeply with a brisk carbonation. Great with steak, smoked salmon, pungent cheeses and crackers that fight back. Lovely Quad, one of the very best in the style. (450 characters)

Photo of dcotom
4.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 11.2-oz bottle into a tulip glass. Beautiful dark caramel color with a luxurious light tan head. Aroma of roasted malts and an array of spices. Perfectly balanced flavor with just a touch of hop bitterness on the finish, not "boozy" at all despite the high ABV. The bitterness became more pronounced as the beer warmed up in the glass. Probably did a disservice to this by drinking it at slightly above fridge temperature, as it really opened up as it warmed. In summary, two words: simply incredible. (513 characters)

Photo of morris786
4.71/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours very dark amber brownish with a huge foamy head and lots of lacing. The smell is very complex but I smell brandy, dates, and carmel malts. Incredibly appealing smell. The taste is nothing short of incredible. Probably the most complex beer I've had that wasnt also hoppy. Taste is slightly sweet carmel malts, brandy, some maple, dates with just the right detection of alcohol. I really enjoyed the hell out of this beer. (428 characters)

Photo of brother_rebus
4.04/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml. 12/12/13 Bottling date. Explosive uncorking, no gush. Crisp vanilla colored head. Opaque dark amber plum appearance. nose smells of fruited molasses. fig. belgian yeast. very foreword carbonation on the pallet. almost a tart fruit pinch right up front. like an unripened black cherry.
the hops are surprisingly somewhat distinct. despite it being so old. the prototypical belgian yeast taste coats the tastebuds after the tartness. as it warms, it starts to taste bready. as it gets even warmer, (and towards the bottom of the snifter) the collected sediments bring out way more tones of dark fruits; plum, fig, date, currant. as well as caramel, molass, and koff syrup in a good way. hitting some notes of clove, (nutmeg?) and other spices. washes a mellow smooth wash and a warm boozy after breath. (807 characters)

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
98 out of 100 based on 2,614 ratings.