St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
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Ratings: 6,394 | Reviews: 2,444 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by SpruceMoose:
4.55/5 rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
When it comes to Belgian beers, most of us see it as, mainly, a dichotomy between Trappist beers and Abbey beers. We love our Chimay and La Trappe, but also our Leffe. However, one of the more legendary examples of Abbey brewing brilliance, the St. Bernardus Abt 12, adds heavy weight to the argument between the two produces of beer as to who should be revered as the greatest producer of quality Belgian beer. Who would've thought that beer could be so divided by religion?
Serving Type: 330 ml bottle, along with its characteristic smiling bishop, poured slowly into a Grimbergen goblet.
Appearance: The slow pour produces a thick head, neither white nor cream, which retains itself with remarkable precision. Beneath it the body sports a deep copper or ruby red colour. Bubbles can be seen quickly rising beneath the head that cling to the glass and add to this beer's remarkable appeal.
Smell: Aromas of fruit, honey, toffee, caramel, nuttiness, chocolate and darker malts enchant the senses. Bewdeful.
Taste: Toffee and bittering hops are immediately noticeable, followed by an even sweeter malt finish. The head is delightfully creamy and an absolute pleasure to sip through. The alcohol is not well masked with a booziness noticeable after the swallow, although the 10% ABV strength enables me to forgive Brouwerij St. Bernardus for this very minor flaw.
Mouthfeel: Bold and dense; everything you'd expect from a Belgian abbey ale. The soft, marshmallow texture of the head contrasts beautifully to the thickness of the body. Carbonation is consistent and not overwhelming.
Overall: An absolute treat for quadruppel aficionados or even those who are mildly interested in delving deeper into the Belgian beer scene. St. Bernardus serves as a brilliant winter warmer on those cold nights with its robust taste and glowing warmth. I would actively seek this out again, for having just one of these would be akin to the highest of sins and would probably result in me being tried in front of some Benedictine court for my gross blasphemy. Oh well - at least they'd have good beer for me there.
Serving type: bottle
05-19-2013 11:03:17 | More by SpruceMoose
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 6,394 ratings.