St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
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Ratings: 6,386 | Reviews: 2,444 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Paddez:
4.85/5 rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
I know I wasn't impressed when I had this about a year ago. So I thought I'd give it another try yesterday and picked it up at my local supermarket. I must have gotten a bad bottle before, cause man is this stuff tasty!
Appearance: Poured into my rochefort glass. Pours a very dark caramelly, brown brew with a medium sized, tan head that produces some lacing but immediately begins to slowly fade away.
The brew itself is hazy and thick.
Smell: Brown sugar, caramel & chocolate, sweet (slightly over-)ripe fruits (mainly banana but also: apples, plums, cherries, ?), vinous notes, malts. Sweet, delicious and incredibly complex.
Taste: Caramelly sweet and fruity with roasted malts and quite some "gluhwein-aspects" (clove, ginger?, ...). Bitter chocolate and hoppy flavours bring some dry notes to the brew. Drool.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, the beer is smooth and creamy. The carbonation is spot on for this kind of beer. The alcohol warms the throat and stomach, leaving you with a confortable and snuggy feeling.
Drinkabillity: The drinkabillity is great for the high alchol percentage but the complexness and richness of this beer demand a lot of your attention, I think having more than one of these could prove to be an exhausting experience, at least for me.
Final thoughts: This is without a doubt an exceptional beer. As with all quadrupels I've had so far though; the serving temperature is a very delicate thing and could have a great impact on the smell, taste and mouthfeel. Not having had the Westvleteren 12 yet, I'd say this beer is only outclassed by the Rochefort 10 in its style, wich is a little more full, round and bold still. Nevertheless though, this brew is close to perfection and great in its own ways. World Class!
Serving type: bottle
03-08-2005 18:13:35 | More by Paddez
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.