St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
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Ratings: 6,386 | Reviews: 2,444 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Duke:
British Columbia (Canada)
4.53/5 rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Appearance: Abt 12 pours a cloudy dark-red raisin colour, complete with a big, fluffy, white head that shrinks quickly and audibly down to a thin cap.
Smell: I smell lots of bread, along with the usual quadrupel dark fruits - in this case the raisins are very distinct - and there's a healthy dose of booze here too.
Taste: Abt 12 tastes quite sweet. I think I got liquorice at the start. The brown sugar is eminent, and the figs are there too. I don't taste the raisins, but at the back I do get a general sense of the slight bitters of dark dried fruits, and the sweet excesses of Grandma's naughty Christmas cake.
Mouthfeel: The beer feels very big and full, and the carbonation is healthy too, drawing from me belches and smiles aplenty as I look forward to bringing the glass back to my appreciating mouth.
Overall: This was the beer that introduced me to quadrupels. I think I have it ranked ever so slightly behind the Rochefort Trappistes 10 and comfortably behind the Westvleteren 12, but that's because those beers are phenomenal. The Trappist quads set a ridiculous standard, and Abt 12 is a brilliant beer.
Serving type: bottle
03-22-2012 05:50:53 | More by Duke
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.