St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 6,386 | Reviews: 2,444 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by DougT:
5/5 rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Poured slowly into a St. Bernardus Watou snifter. Bottle dated 23 05 17.
Color a dark, root beer brown. Gentle pour resulted in 1 finger tan head with lots of lace. Settled into a light layer of foam that last the whole drinking time. Even a gentle pour I still got some yeast in suspension but it's so dark you really have to look hard to see it.
Smells of yeast and dark fruits. Dark bread, raisins, figs, dates and a little bit of spices. But not an overwhelming smell, very pleasant and constrained. Makes my mouth water and stomach grumble.
Tastes is very complex. Starts with a malty sweet flavor like beer made with raisins or prunes, then moves to notes of spices and figs or dates. Hops are hardly present, but there are some bitter notes in the finish to let you know it's there. Alcohol is hardly noticeable in the taste, even at 10%, but the kick is there even after a few sips. Gets even better as it warms. The flavors start to merry together and become a flavor that defines Belgian Abbey Quad Ale.
Mouthfeel is amazing. This beer involves every sense in your entire head all at the same time. Effervescence tingles the lips and tongue helping hide the alcohol. Flavors dance across the whole tongue. Even the cheeks get involved as they react to what they perceive as food. Smell up front is enhanced by smells that enter from the throat and develop the complexities of the aftertaste. After 1/2 a glass the sensatin is like you are sitting in a vat at the old Abbey. Wholly engaged.
The cheesy Happy Monk label does not do justice to the sophistication of this brew. This beer elevates the art to levels seldom achieved. This stuff is wonderful. Very easily my favorite beer. Worth every penny.
I would love to save some to see what it's like after a few years, but I'll never make it. It's too good to leave on the self! Maybe if I gave some to my son he could hide it at his house for a couple years...
I had 3/4 the glass writing this. I now have a warm glow and a huge smile. I love this stuff!
Serving type: bottle
06-06-2012 03:08:28 | More by DougT
More User Reviews:
4.4/5 rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Enjoyed out of an 330 mL bottle with a date stamped on the back label that can only be a 'best by' date, given the fact that it occurs in the future: 1/23/2018. Poured into a Boulevard Smokestack Series chalice.
Appearance - One of the most beautiful beers I've ever seen, with the body a steady gradient from dark brown/mahogany at the top, where the density of the liquid and the proximity of the head keeps it bathed in shadow, all the way down to a reddish/lighter mahogany at the bottom, narrower end of the glass, that allows light to filter through. Some darker freckles of sediment float in suspension as a cacophony of carbonation bubbles rise to the top, replenishing a one-finger khaki head that resembles Lorraine Swiss. Retention is excellent, due to the continuous flow of bubbles from the bottom, and as I drink it down, there are sparse but noticeable rings of sticky lace adorning the sides of the chalice.
Smell - This one tends more towards the sweeter dark fruit notes of fig and date rather than raisin and plum, which I like. Alongside the subtle fruit there is a caramel-like sweetness that gives the impression of candied fruits. Subtle roasted malt is gentle and any sense of chocolate is more cocoa powder than bakers chocolate. But the primary components of this one are dark fruit and subtle spice, like clove and nutmeg. This would be a fantastic winter beer, but it's not overpowering.
Taste - Delivering on the promise of the aroma, the moderately-dark fruits are front and center, with figs, candied dates and the sweetness of hazelnut. Yeasty phenolic spice is present again as well, with clove and faint cinnamon. It's wonderfully delicate in spite of the richer notes of molasses and brown sugar, and it's hard not to be reminded of the famous Westy 12, although perhaps a slightly simpler take on the style. I get a lot of similar aromas, but not nearly the number of flavor impressions as I did from that one. Not really a problem as this one is good enough to be breathing down the neck of its label-less counterpart.
Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied and moderate-to-high carbonation, providing a wonderful effervescent counterpoint to the richer flavors therein. Finish is slightly sweet with minimal bitterness.
Overall, a wonderful beer, and while I'd choose Westy if all else was equal, the simple truth is that this one is much, much easier to obtain. Given that, it's more than an acceptable substitute--the difference in difficulty obtaining Westy 12 is not inversely proportional to the difference in the experience of drinking it.
Serving type: bottle
04-22-2014 20:52:56 | More by LambicPentameter
4.54/5 rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Serving type: bottle, poured into pub glass.
A- dark brown, Carmel color with nice white head.
S- spices, fruit, nut malts.
T- very good, like the nose got some spices, raisins, plum, buttery Carmel, nuts, vanilla, nice sweetness and bitterness to balance it out.
M- good, creamy and full-bodied
O- This is a great beer to have and remarkably easy to find. Definitely a good go-to beer for special occasions and just sitting back and relaxing.
Serving type: bottle
04-22-2014 01:37:54 | More by hbensinger
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 6,386 ratings.