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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.

7,377 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,377
Reviews: 2,499
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 421
Gots: 1,102 | 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: 7,377 | Reviews: 2,499 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served out of a bottle with the date of 04-04-18 on it.

A - Pours a hazy brown with a two finger of white khaki head with great lacing.

S - Smooth maltiness comes to mind on first smell. With the characteristics of caramel, fig, grapes, raisins and an overall sweetness. Very smooth and pleasant.

T - Follows the nose really well. Caramel malt, figs, grapes, sweetness, alcohol (rum) shows as it warms. An overall well blended beer.

M - This is thick, fluffy soft and it has a high carbonation bite with a slight alcohol burn on the back end.

O - An overall great quad. Not my favorite style of beer in yet I really enjoy this one. Its mouth feel is unique and very appealing. My wife liked this one surprisingly since this is the first Quad she ever liked. A must have for any beer connoisseur, cheers!

DrinkMoreBigBeers, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of RocketCityVol
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a 16 oz. snifter.

A: dark brown and translucent amber.
S: cherries, plums, moscato, and nut aromas.
T: cherries and plum dominate with a nutty finish(possibly almonds).
M: light to medium bodied.
O: great Trappist ale. It has a good fruity flavor.

RocketCityVol, Jun 29, 2014
Photo of deereless
4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Head dropped quick quickly, deep rust to dark brown in color, looks a little flaccid – 3.75, S: Nose is dry and chalky with a candied pineapple aroma, some dry cherries and faint figs, subtle sweetness from some fragrant malts and minor sourdough bread – 4.25, T: Extremely dry and with medium alcohol burn, significant candied sugar which provides defined sweetness, prunes, figs and cloves, touch of carob, lots going on in this beer – 4.50, M: Medium mouthfeel with a dry effervescence, sharp tongue – 4.00, D: Very complex, extremely drinkable for a 10% beer - 4.25

deereless, May 24, 2013
Photo of RefillMyglass
4.32/5  rDev -3.4%

RefillMyglass, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of SteveCarrozza
4.32/5  rDev -3.4%

SteveCarrozza, Monday at 03:22 AM
Photo of mjacquard
4.32/5  rDev -3.4%

mjacquard, Tuesday at 05:24 AM
Photo of tuckevalastin
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark reddish orange. Cloudy with a large foamy tan head.

S: Some sweet fruitiness as well as toasty malt. A very earthy feel.

T: Dark fruits are most noticable and work well with some spiciness. A bit of brown sugar/chocolate sweetness. The alcohol comes through but doesn't overpower.

M: Medium bodied with lots of cabonation. A bit spice and the alcohol is apparent.

D: Pretty drinkable for 10%

Overall this is a great belgian that is thankfully not too hard to find

tuckevalastin, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of CloudStrife
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz poured very slowly into a standard Chimay goblet. Before pouring the beer fizzled up to a solid 1/2" cone above the bottle. 09 11 16 dating.

A: Reddish copper in body with a dense 1 finger creamish white head. Tons of carbonation is visible sprinting to the surface. Head lasts the entire glass leaving a coating of lace.

S: First I get some a sweet raisin or fig, some mild apple. Carmel and roasted malt

T: Quite complex, this beer has a hint of brown sugar sweetness, a great belgian yeast, a great roasted malt body and a nice reminder it has some alcohol.

M: Great creamy mouthfeel. Full bodied with a pleasant carbonation that makes it easy to drink. Very warming.

Overall I am impressed with it, I went in with some doubts but the richness and complexity is great. Everyone needs to have this beer at least once.

CloudStrife, Jun 07, 2012
Photo of biboergosum
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle. I was weirdly introduced to this offering by an ersatz English football hooligan colleague at an office Friday@4 beerfest a few years ago - who knew?

This beer pours a dark muddy brown colour, with some violently eddying sediment, a slight reddish tint, and two broad fingers of fine foamy pale beige head, which leaves some solid streaks of roaming lace around the glass as it duly recedes.

It smells of mildly sweet caramel malt, dark distinct fruit, a soft yeastiness, and alcohol-soaked demerara sugar. The taste is sweet, dark sugary caramel/toffee malt, a bit of raw cocoa, some ethereal spicing, and subtle, but well balancing earthy, leafy hops. Little to no booze warming, quelle surprise.

The carbonation is there, but quite sedate, the body medium-full in weight, smooth, and clean. It finishes off-dry, but only minimally so - the malt is present and accounted for, but well tempered by an unobtrusive dryness.

A beer with a whole lot going for it, lots to discuss, dissect, yet I find myself just wanting to sit back and sip it, sip it, and...oh shit, there it goes.

biboergosum, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of RomanW70
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Doured Dark Brown with a good head. Aroma of cherries and raisins. Taste similar with a great deal of complexity with notes of dark, fruit, red wine, and funk. Has an excellent mouth feel. Med-high carbonation. Very complex. Strong biitter finish. Excellent Beer

RomanW70, Jun 01, 2008
Photo of Roguer
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A - Nut brown pour, leading to a dark, not-quite-perfectly-opaque appearance in the glass, shot through with garnet hue. One full finger of beautiful, thick, cream head, that sticks prodigiously to the sides of the glass. The head lingers for a long, long time.

S - Prunes, nuts, cherries, super dark fruit in general. There's an underlying hint of Belgian yeast and a wine-like alcohol whiff. Toffee. Just a super complex nose.

T - Everything represented in the nose comes through in the flavor, starting with nuts, cherries, and prunes. There is a not insignificant alcohol presence. This is not as sweet as other quads, with an enhanced pecan or walnut profile. Wheat malts and toast. So much going on in every sip.

M - Full mouthfeel, extremely foamy if it sits or chews. Slight sting. Well-balanced and complex. Noticeable alcohol warmth down my throat and into my chest, but not unpleasant.

O - It's inevitable that the big quads will be pit against each other. So, how does this rank? As far as craftsmanship, it does not lag Roche 8 at all. As to the flavor profile, however, there is a definite difference. This is the least sweet quad I've ever had (aroma notwithstanding). All dubs and quads come across as a little nutty to me, but this one perhaps the most. It also has the most noticeable alcohol presence.

None of this makes St. B 12 a bad beer or worse quad. Perhaps not as perfect for my personal palate, and perhaps not for yours (there's only one obvious way to find out). In fact, it's a fantastic beer. I'd love to have one aged.

Poured into a Chimay goblet.

Thanks to BigJon for the trade!

Roguer, Jul 09, 2013
Photo of Alieniloquium
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the House of Brews. Served in a Chimay goblet.

Appearance - A little on the murky side. Brownish red with a nice khaki head on arrival. Retains well and even leaves some lacing.

Smell - Caramel dominates with some dark fruits. An earthy nuttiness separates this from other quads.

Taste - Sweet at first and briefly seems like it won't go anywhere interesting. Nice dark fruit flavor comes through keeping it interesting. That nuttiness comes back in the end.

Mouthfeel - Almost boozy. Not quite as dry as I'd like for a quad. Threatens to be oversweet but never is.

Overall - A great standard to have readily available. It's a shame how often I overlook this in exchange for an inferior beer I've never had.

Alieniloquium, Apr 19, 2013
Photo of Mandrake
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep drown, nearly opaque and with reddish hints when held up to the light. Head is thin and not quite as large as I'd expected, dissipating rather quickly and leaving some lacing. Smell is deep and complex, cloves and pepper; raisin, plum, and currants; a whiff of brandy and a touch of caramel, with yeast and bread mixed in for good measure. Taste is similar, dark fruits and spices leading the charge with rich breadiness underpinning it all. Earthiness and a bit of butter(?) as well, with the alcohol evident in the finish. Mouthfeel is a touch thin and a bit watery, though still good, and drinkability is good. A slight disappointment for me, it's very good but doesn't bowl me over the way I'd hoped it would.

Mandrake, Nov 21, 2007
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark murky brown with tons of creamy head that lasts until the last sip.

S - Rich and fruity, complex aroma of raisins, currants, plums and port.

T - Toasted sweet malt flavor intertwined with dark fruit richness and a luxuriant port essence.

M - Very thick and glutinous with subtle carbonation that balances the viscous feel of the ale on the tongue.

D - A very drinkable brew. I am exceedingly partial to Belgian ales and this one is impressive.

CDBeerDisappear, Jan 30, 2006
Photo of beerthulhu
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark burgundy red with a huge foamy, dirty white head that was mostly lasting leaving a sticky lacing.

S: On the nose was some fresh dark fruit (raisins, plums) and some spicy alcohol hints.

T: Big bready palate with a nice sweet roastedness. There is some fresh bananas and very rich chocolate notes rounding out the flavor along with some molasses and alcohol warming. Very fruity with some raisinbread, dark molassess and light chocolate notes.

M: The mouthful is surprising light, and smooth with deep rich chocolate notes lingering on the tongue.

D: Incredible drinkability especially for its abv. Definitly a rich experience and recommend.

beerthulhu, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of tattooedtolley
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Beautiful mahogany brown in the light.

Aroma: Complex as hell, as expected with a quad, I won't sit here and attempt to pick it all out but right off the bat I'm getting a very bready/yeasty smell followed by a sweet dark fruitiness and a touch of spice.

Taste: Again very complex, probably too complex for this hophead to really appreciate but I like it. Hops are there, malt is there, yes its beer but man is it out of this world with other flavors. As it warms the other flavors become much more apparent. Its delicious even though I do it no justice in words.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Crispness is there but subtle, a light champagne fizz.

Drinkability: Huge beer here so don't get carried away but for its abv, its incredibly drinkable.

tattooedtolley, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of wedge
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep reddish brown hue with a beautiful tight, frothy tan head that sticks to the glass in small patches. Aromas are deep and richly fruity - very dark and soft - sweet and lightly bready with a bit of spice. Taste is equally as soft but very layered...malty, rich, and smooth with a dark, raisin-like fruitiness. A woody hint here and there. Dry, fruity, near-musty yeast quality. Creamy mouthfeel floats around easily in the mouth.

A very soft, complex, delicious ale. Let it warm up to get the best experience. I feel like I need another glass to fully grasp this beer, but unfortunately, I'm fresh out. Perhaps a side-by-side with the 60th anniversary soon? Very soon I think.

wedge, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of HoustonTX
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has some of the craziest carbonation/head swelling I've ever seen. A sickly untamed head off-white in color with crystal infused flakes. It grew quickly from about a half inch, to well over two. The carbonation pressing upwards maintained and multiplied the head at the same time. Definitely the most out of control head I've seen, especially since I poured it way under the suggested temperature limit. Anyways onto the body. Dark ruby in color with about a 35% visibility rate.

Aromas of figs, prunes, raisins, a hint of menthol, alcohol, and a sweet succulent herbal note. All pressed against an extremely potent malt influx.

Loads of complexity from the initial sip. Sweet and yeasty upfront with a Belgian candied sugar edge. Sweet notes include, cherries, green grapes, peeled raisins, candied sugar, and hollowed out honey combs. Malt balances presents itself midway through the sip. Combined with the yeast complexity, the malt provides a dry earthy tantalizing flavor that rounds out, and invites you to take another sip. Sweet, juicy, succulent, and complex.

Surprisingly perfect mouthfeel for this style. Although it may just be a bit too thin. Still feels right though, and definitely helps the drinkability.

A masterfully crafted Quad, and one of the more complex beers I've tasted to date. A solid testament of why Belgians have the best beers in the world.


HoustonTX, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of Silenus89
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.2oz bottle to chalice

A. Hazy brown color with off white head, good lacing

S. Complex Belgium malts and a little fruity

T. Sweet malts at first then fruits like apples and peach. Very smooth and creamy

M. Medium mouth feel, can barley taste the alcohol and goes down smooth

D. Such an easy beer to drink at 10.5%. I love it!

Silenus89, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of gameface23
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an older bottle that I've been saving in my fridge for a year or so. Pours a murky, prune juice brown with bits of sediment floating throughout and a brown head. The smell was of dark fruits and strong notes of brown sugar/molasses. The taste was similar, with a nice mouthfeel. I was expecting more of an alcohol presence, but it was really rounded and smooth. Drinkability was good: I finished the entire 750 mL without any hesitation.

gameface23, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of SmokinSmyth
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark, absolutely impossible to see any light on the other side of the glass. Produces a large white head, which hangs around for a little while, and leaves some minimal lacing.

It smells very good, very malty, more like a traditional dark beer than many of the Belgian beers.

Taste is excellent, leaving a warmth as it makes it way down the throat. Fruity flavor.

Feels good in the mouth, and drinks easy for a 10% ABV, so beware!

SmokinSmyth, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of JLeege
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle ~ Poured into the branded goblet
Date stamp of 8/7/15 ~ Relatively fresh

Appearance- Pours a very deep amber/brown color with a one finger off white creamy head. A small layer is permenantly a top the beer.

Smell- Dark fruits, mainly raison. Spicy belgian yeast. Clove. Earthy.

Taste- Yummy, ya I said it. At this stage in the beers life the darker fruits are the main act. More dried raison like than vinous grape; cherry, fig, dates. Some light brown sugar and licorice. The belgian yeast shines at the back end. Adds some spicyness and complexity.

Mouthfeel- Medium to full sided body. Good carbonation, a tad prickly, but smooth overall.

Overall- Quite tasty now, should get even better and more complex with a few years on it, time to throw some in the cellar. At about 10% this is almost too easy to drink!

JLeege, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of baiser
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful hazy brown body, with mahogany red highlights, and a creamy head, gorgeous lacing. Aromas of cloves, spices, fruit and malt. Taste was amazing. Cloves, rich sugar, dark fruits, tremendous malt backbone, and hops to balance. Alcohol is hidden behind the sweetness and phenols. Smooth and full bodied, creamy as anything I've ever had. Great beer to sip after dinner.

baiser, Feb 12, 2005
Photo of cdizinno
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured into a tulip glass from a brown bottle with best by date of 22 01 14 (maybe I'm drinking this too soon?). Says 10%, not 10.5% as stated on the site's description, but don't let it fool you as I'd say it's more than enough where you only need a couple of these at any one sitting.

A: Hazy brown color with tan head and medium lacing.

S: Spices and malt sweetness are heavy with alcohol phenols.

T&M: Clove and brown sugar sweetness is the first flavor you taste. Some cake like malty qualities. and some buttery and phenolic flavors are present. Alcohol is there a little bit. Finishes sweet and warming with heavy carbonated mouthfeel.

This is probably the best dark abbey I've tasted. I prefer tripels but this is nice.

cdizinno, Aug 04, 2009
Photo of gatornation
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a hazy dark ruby color with a creamy 1-2 finger head with a beige ring and clinging lace on the glass best by 070514..the smell was great it was plum fig clove spice and other fruits mixed with some sweet malts..the taste was very good it was plum pears and apples with cinnamon and nutmeg some raisins and bananas some bready tastes with caramel and malts..it was sweet and bready and malty with a clove/ yeast finish very well balanced with a trace of alcohol burn it is well hidden.. my 330 ml bottle went down fast

gatornation, Jan 23, 2010
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,377 ratings.