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St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,367 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,367
Reviews: 2,498
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 420
Gots: 1,099 | FT: 36
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,367 | Reviews: 2,498 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of timtim
4.47/5  rDev 0%

hazy reddish brown with a just barely off white head. retention and lace are good as well. nose is of fruit, plum, raisin, malt and faint hop. georgeous. taste is complex and well balanced mix of nose and more. great medium full body that is not nearly as prickly as most of its competitors. i've had this one on tap and in 330ml and 750ml bottles. it never ceases to amaze me. this brewery is one of my favorites, and definitely holds its own against the top dogs. i'll have another!!

timtim, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of Tilley4
4.47/5  rDev 0%

Finally getting a shot to try this much adored brew..

Pours into my Orval goblet a murky reddish brown with a nice thick persistent head... Swirling laces the glass in sheets..

Lovely aromas of Belgian sugars, yeast, bananas, cinnamon, perhaps a touch of hops.. Very complex...its something different with every inhalation... Whatever it is, it works... Smelling this makes me wish I lived in Belgium...

Lush velvety palate of sweet candied toffee maltiness blended perfectly with a raisin/fig aspect along with some banana and cinnamon as well as just a touch of booze but not enough to really tell... Very nicely brewed and put together... Its like a Christmas pudding but in a goblet.

I loved this brew and won't ever pass it up again. We don't get this one in TN anymore but my ventures to places that do will always find me picking this up. Its a masterpiece...

Tilley4, Nov 18, 2010
Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.47/5  rDev 0%

Poured a cloudy dark brown color with a light tan head what had uneven bubbles. The head was about two fingers thick and had good retention as well as it lefe lace after every sip.
The aroma was very delicious with a rich dark spicyness that reminded me of a holiday plumb sauce i had once made.
The flavor begins with a rich malt sweetness that is hiding a spicy almost fruity flavor that finishes very dry and clean. This ale is way too drinkable for the alcohol content. Overall an excellent example of the style.

RenoZymurgist, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.47/5  rDev 0%

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a tulip glass.

A: Pours very dark grayish brown with hints of amber. two-finger off-white head with great retention eventually becoming very rocky leaving just a small amount of lacing.

S: Strong smell of nuts, Belgian yeast and various fruits.

T: Very complex and bold flavor of apples, pears, berries, and figs complemented by a nutty and yeast taste. Leaves a very strong taste in your mouth that's quite pleasing. It's very rare that a beer keeps a smile on my face for the entire drink, this was just amazing.

Overall: The feel was nothing out of the ordinary for the style but the drinkability was amazing for the alcohol content...It barely even came out. One of the most exceptional beers I've ever had...and I was lucky enough to get a 4-pack for only $4.99!!!

AdmiralDiaz, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of patpbr
4.47/5  rDev 0%

this beer poured dark brown color with a nice head on the pour. not really good with the smell of brews.

nice malt flavors with fruit and vanilla taste

warm and smooth, with a good amount of carbonation

overall just a great beer that makes me want to keep trying the abbey ales

patpbr, Nov 27, 2007
Photo of dgilks
4.47/5  rDev 0%

Dark hazy brown with ruby highlights. A medium sized light tan head dissipates after a short time.

Rich, nutty notes combine with raisins, clove and spice. Nice.

Rich, bready, toasty malts play with a nice understated phenol profile. There are some mild stonefruit and apple notes as well. Alcohol is well hidden.

Medium body with moderate carbonation.

A lovely beer. Loaded with a delicate balance of flavours. Very nice.

dgilks, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of rajendra82
4.47/5  rDev 0%

Blood red pour with a beautiful towering foamy head fed by an onrush of ultra fine bubbles that are like champagne. The head is immortal. The aroma is sweet cherries with the uniquely earthy Belgian yeast strain. The taste at first sip is an explosively spicy alcohol. After that initial attack, other flavors start to emerge. The most notable of these is a lingering hop bitterness that is much stronger than most other beers that fall under the broad umbrella of Belgian styles. The bitterness is not overpowering in any way, and allows the fruitiness of the malt to open up in the background. I imagine as this fresh beer settles down, the character would become more malty and complex, and thanks to the new Georgia law allowing this elixir to enter our fair state, I can find out how it will age without much problem. This beer packs a heck of a punch at 10% ABV. After the 330 ml bottle is downed, there is a fire in the belly that radiates out to the extremities. Very drinkable, even at this potency. I WILL be having more.

rajendra82, Jul 02, 2004
Photo of jxhowell
4.47/5  rDev 0%

Poured a garnet color with an off-white foamy 1 finger head

Initially aromas of bread and yeast fill the nose. As the head slowly fades you begin to smell ripe fruit, brown sugar and spiced rum

Initially clove and spice esters, rich ripe fruits such as plums and dates with a slight drying sour aftertaste

Effervescent with rich full body that lingers near the middle of the tongue and slowly covers you entire tongue with bubbles and ends with a slight dry finish.

Rich and enjoyable like a decadent dessert. Perfect for the style but definitely too rich to be a session beer.

This is my favorite Belgian Quadrupel and in my opinion even compares with more exotic and rare versions of the style only available in Belgium. It's even more enjoyable with age and at 10.5% ABV it can age for quite some time with no adverse effects.

jxhowell, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of Libationguy
4.46/5  rDev -0.2%

Light brown color with orange and reddish hues. Tan 2-finger pillowy head that carries medium+ retention and sticky lacing.

Brown bread, molasses, cola, nutmeg, light brown sugar, white pepper and a mild earthiness.

Rich on the palate: root beer and sassafras, dark rich malt, molasses, brown sugar, cardamon, white pepper, light caramel and toffee. There is a little sweetness here, but not nearly as much as the descriptors would indicate.

Medium+ bodied with the alcohol really nicely integrated into the beer. Rich texture with a slight sweetness. The long finish is really nicely balanced.


Libationguy, Aug 21, 2013
Photo of KYGunner
4.46/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured a reddish, mahogany color that moved into the head and gave it an almost purple look.

Smell was full of bready malt, dried grape, raisin, date, and plum like fragrance.

The tastes follow the nose with bread, malts and raisin. Touches of apple and fleeting citrus are towards the back.

Old world taste but oh so good!

KYGunner, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of oberon
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

Pours a deep brown with some deep red hue with a big creamy head leaving nice sheets of lace behind,aromas of dark sweet cherries and some smoke along with a some spice very appetizing.Silky smooth mouthfeel, creamy and not to heavy goes down with ease,what can you say complex and great some spiced cherries and spice along with some raisin with a faint smokiness the alcolhol shows itself more as it warms.Just an awesome beer have sampled many times was great to aquire a bottle,worthy of its high marks awesome.

oberon, Apr 16, 2005
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

I decided to pop open my lone bottle of this revered brew and it pours from the bottle a deep opaque brown with a big fluffly off white head. Damn...it looks good in the glass that's for sure. The smell is of dark candied fruit, cloves, figs, prunes, raisins....subtle yet at the same time complex. Alcohol floats in and out as well.

The first sip is a very nice mix of earthy flavors, a malty delight. Notes of candied fruit, raisins, some nutty tones as well. This is just a downright tasty brew...each sip begs you to take another...and so on. Alcohol is almost non-existant in the taste.

Mouthfeel is good as well, this has a good body to it...but just a tad too much carbonation for my taste. The drinkability is excellent as each sip seems different from the last and it keeps you wanting to come back for more. A very good brew that I hope to try on tap sometime as well...seek this one out.

orbitalr0x, Oct 13, 2004
Photo of twi1609372
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

WOW This was reccomended to me by the bartender at yard hose, and i;n glad i accepted. this was a great beer. full flavor and body, but not overpowering or overlingering on the palete. this is a drinking beer, this is not mich ultra or coors ligh where downing a pitcher in under 5 mins is condsidered enjoyment, ie to get a ton of alcohol in your system. this beer though is unique with it's 10.5% alcohol, you dont need to down massive quantities to feel relaxed, this isnt a football party beer, it's a beer to grab after a long days work and let yourself unwind and relax.

twi1609372, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of slk22
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

Pours cola brown with heavy turbidity and a large cream-colored head. Beautiful and very inviting. Aroma jumps right out of the glass. Huge complexity here, but I am clearly getting raisins, plum, cherry, amaretto, fresh-baked bread, and a hint of alcohol. Flavor is complex as well. Sweet and fruity up front with unripe cherry, amaretto, and caramel malt. Alcohol is definitely noticeable at the beginning and in the finish, but not offensive, and gives an immediate warming feeling that is quite pleasant. I'm not a big fan of alcohol flavor, but this is quite enjoyable. Carbonation is high tickling the tongue and body is medium. Overall, a delicious beer. I would have several if not for the high ABV.

slk22, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of Jorge
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

22oz serving

A-- Thick, foamy persistent head; a deep, dark chocolatey brown.

A--Subtle chocolate odor, toasted hops, slightly woody.

T--Biscuity malt w/ late hops typical of the style.

M--Heavy, slightly bitter on the tongue.

D--A tasty, well-balanced, but eminently drinkable beer; while not overpowering in taste or aroma, it is remarkably good.

Jorge, Jun 16, 2008
Photo of mdaschaf
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

A big thanks to DmanGTR for sending this in my very first trade! Now consuming it for my one year anniversary on BA!

750 ml bottle poured into a DFH signature glass

A: Pours a ruby/brown color, slightly hazy with one finger of off white head. Great retention, lasting for the entire time I drank this beer. Left some very pretty lacing down the sides.

S: Lots of dark fruits, some cherries, plums, and some bruised apples. Also a little bit of vanilla and a little bit of spice.

T: Nice darker fruit flavor, raisins, a little bit of cherry, some yeast, and a little bit of spice. As it warms an apple flavor develops.

M: Medium bodied, but slightly lighter than expected. Nice carbonation.

O: Really good beer, very impressed. This is my first quad and I think it will be a style that I seek out more. Really easy drinking.

mdaschaf, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of BennyL1
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

11.2 oz bottle into St. Bernardus chalice

A - Pours a wonderful deep brown color. A fingers worth of creamy head forms at the top of the glass inviting you to dive into this beer.

S - Wow, just so much going on here. Deep aromas of dark fruits, yeast, caramel, alcohol, nuts, and even hints of vanilla. It seems like when I stick my nose farther into the glass I get more and more from it.

T - There is a reason why this is considered among one of the top beers in the world. Defintetly getting alot of the fruits here with a nice warming aspect coming from the alcohol. Hints of caramel and the yeast in there too.

M - Full bodied and very creamy. Great amount of carbonation.

D - I will be picking this up in the future for sure. Everything has been said already about this beer and it is all true. Its beers like this that make me want to try as much as I can. Truly one of the best out there

BennyL1, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of jbowers56
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

A husky kind of redish brown colour. Obviously very murky. The head was suprisingly large - nearly 3 fingers of beige head. Looks enticing.

Deeply complex nose. Lots of fruitiness, some clove, huge malty sweetness but not as sweet smelling as other quads I have had (a good thing in this case). The sweetness is more caramel than dark toffee or rich pudding. Stuff sniffing around, imma dive in to this bad boy!!

Impressive flavour. Again, heaps of the fruitiness and clove. Definite caramel and light toffee flavours. Get that belgian yeast taste near the end followed by a boozy finish. Fine for the alcohol level and style though. On a side note, the sweet boozy alcohol warmth lasts for ages. I'd love to curl up next to a fire on a cold night with one of these :)

Mouthfeel is great. I'm going to go out there and say, for the style the mouthfeel is perfect. So full, but never cloying or syrupy. Carbonation is spot on.

Drinkability is thankfully not outrageously high, or I would be on the floor. That being said, you are left wanting more.

jbowers56, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of MiScusi
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena, dense off white head as you would expect which sticks around for a bit on top of thick dark brown body. The aroma shoots out of the glass and stuns your senses as your nose approaches the glass for a whiff. Lots of prunes, and sour yeast with a tad bit of alcohol to it. The taste contains lots of dark malts and fruit. A small amount of chocolate in the finish was detectable with the grape fruit and alcohol, which is slightly present.

MiScusi, Aug 13, 2006
Photo of eat
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

Poured into a Chimay chalice, my closest glassware to the St. Bernardus chalice. Hazy oak-brown body with a good cover of cream-white head. The etching at the bottom of the glass is forming a slowly-bubbling island of head in the middle. Nice to see the etching actually doing its job, great retention.

Lots of yeast on the nose along with bread, light spices (coriander, nutmeg), astringent minerals, tons of fruit (fig, raisin, pear) and a hint of alcohol.

Very malty but perfectly balanced with earthy hops. Lots of dark fruit and caramel up front, figs and raisins; lightly-roasted malt, yeast and an alcohol bite in the middle; cocoa and dry spices (coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg) toward the finish. As complex and packed with flavour as it is well-balanced. I'm sure I would be rating this a perfect 5 with the right amount of age on it.

This one fits right in with other trappist-style ales with its near-perfect mouthfeel. Full, creamy medium body with moderate carbonation.

It's easy to see why this one is regarded as being among the top few Belgian quadrupels; I would need to try it alongside Rochefort 10 to remember which I prefer. Extremely drinkable for its strength, I could happily finish this whole bottle to myself. This stuff must age incredibly well.

eat, Oct 17, 2011
Photo of angrybabboon
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

Consumed 9/13/12

Appearance: Murky, cloudy brown - large, fluffy, creamy off-white head, sticks around indefinitely - leaves some rocky lacing

Smell: Spicy Belgian yeast and rich malts - clove, bananas, and some straight-up yeasty funk - candi sugar, caramel, cooked malts, and tons of dark fruits - figs, plums, dates, pretty much the range of dark fruits - molasses-like sweetness, but with a lot of dryness, phenols become more apparent as it warms up

Taste: Exactly what one would expect in the style - chewy, cooked malts - like a dark, spiced bread - Belgian yeast is prominent, but perhaps not as intense as some others of the style - lots of spicy yeast, clove, banana esters - lots of dark fruits, like figs, dates, raisins - some tartness, phenols, and some hints of chocolate - some alcohol

Mouthfeel: On the light side of full due to the carbonation - highly carbonated, works well, smooth, a nice sipper

Overall: Pretty much my standard for the style

I've had this at least 4 times in the past, and I don't quite understand why I never gave it a full review. For me, this sets the bar for quads. It's very tasty, and it's easy to get. No, it's got as good as Westy 12, but it's really one of the best.

angrybabboon, Sep 13, 2012
Photo of Proteus93
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

A: A murky, deep walnut - light chestnut brown, with a fabulous creamy head. The lace sticks to the sides of the glass like a champ on this one. Very nice.

S: Deep, malty aromas... touches of fruits. Quite a pleasant, rich scent.

T: Some rich, dark fruits, coupled with the lovely malts. The slightest bit buttery, and tasty.

M + D: A very smooth abbey ale, with a nice, full body. With a bit of a liberal gulp from a goblet, it fills the mouth and goes down with a little added warmth. Quite excellent.

Proteus93, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of ThickNStout
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

750mL bottle from Total Wine (Kennesaw, GA). 10.49. Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours deep mahogany with a foamy three fingers of head that leaves big sheets of pretty lace.

Smells of cherry pits, brown sugar, caramel and a hint of yeast.

Tastes of sour cherries, caramel, toffee, grapes, yeast, brown sugar, nuts and a healthy dose of booze with a good balancing bitterness. Lots of great stuff happening with no one flavor getting out of control.

Nice creamy medium full body with light carbonation. Long dry, almost wine-like aftertaste.

A fantastic quad. Well balanced with an abundance a great flavors. I'll definately be enjoying this again in the future.

ThickNStout, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of jlmarshall
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

A - A beautiful beer the color of night, with a half inch sandlewood head that sticks around like sticky lace on my glass.

S - Wow. Sweet grains. Very malty smell with late autumn fruits. The yeast is very noticeable. Some spices like nutmeg. A little nutty. Maybe like almonds or pecans.

M - This a sticky, full beer. Maybe not as thick as expected, but nice. Nice carbonation, and slightly warm.

T - Amazing. The malted grain is most noticeable taste, but there's a lot too it. Slight fruitiness like raisins. Quite sweet like dark sugars. Not incredibly heavy on the alcohol.

D - I wish I could drink this all the time, but at 10, I'm afraid more than two would put me out.

jlmarshall, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of oline73
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a mildly cloudy reddish amber with a finger of fluffy off white head. Great retention and nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet with Begian spice. Some dark fruit and mild brown sugar. Some warm alcohol.

Taste: Super smooth and complex. Belgian spice is dominant, but not too overpowering. A mild sweetness with some dark fruit. The finish has the spice notes along with some warm alcohol and a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very smooth carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: Really great beer. Unbelievably smooth in the smell and the taste. Not anything comes to mind that I would want to change.

oline73, Sep 11, 2011
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,367 ratings.