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St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,623 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,623
Hads: 8,659
Avg: 4.42
pDev: 9.5%
Wants: 645
Gots: 1,994 | FT: 50
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (12) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Abt 12 Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,623 | Hads: 8,659
Photo of walleye
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

from the bottle. pored brown with light tan head some real nice lacing. aroma, citrus, yeast, malts, chocolte, molasses, dark cherries, and other dark fruits and alcohol. flavor, wow the balance of chocolate, cherries, grape, and malts were right on the the way the alcohol came out was nice. and had a nice dry finish.

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Photo of pbr85
4.31/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beauty from a 12 ounce bottle into a chalis.

Appearance: Nut brown color with a nice off white head. The lacing is pretty good. The head stays at about a quarter inch throughout, giving it a beautiful look.

Smell: Fruits and a champagny scent dominate

Taste: Alcohol hits first, followed by sweet fruity malts everywhere. This beer is very complex; fruity flavors and slight hints of grapefruit.

Mouthfeel: Wow, so smooth. Mouthfeel was my favorite part of the beer, its like the equivalent to a tongue massage. Carbonation is perfect.

Drinkability: Though the alcohol content (and the price) would limit me to 2 or 3 in a night, I would probably never drink more than one of these for fear that I might not appreciate the second or third or tenth.

Notes: If you like sweeter beers, try this, you will love it more than your wife.

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Photo of bitterdestroyer
3.4/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

man, i'm a lil bummed. i really didn't feel like this one lived up to the accolades. now don't get me wrong, i'm not saying this beer was bad, far from it. i guess i was just expecting something more.

appearance: nice deep brown. pefect head reminiscent to a guiness. not as much lacing as i woulda figured.

smell: nice nutty, chocolatey, slight spice. par for the course for a quad.

taste: fruity, and full. hint of plums, raisins, hops, chocolate, hint of alcohol. again... par for the course. not bad by any means, but no surprises here.

mouthfeel: silky smooth. alcohol seems more apparent as it warms. just the right amount of carbonation. crisp snap at the end.

drinkability: surprisingly i could do more than one 750 of this in a nite, although the abv is pretty high.

overall: like i said i didn't cream my slacks over it, but wouldn'r exactly turn one away either.

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Photo of andjusticeforale
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Out of a 750ml, split with a friend; it poured nice dark brown with a golden tinge , just like every big belgian should be. There was a a nice tan head that looked stoutish down into the Duvel tulip. It was lighter in color and more filtered than I expected.

The taste was intriguing but not as complex as the hype would have you believe; to me this is infinitely smooth and perfect at masking the taste of alcohol and also, nice and dried fruit/plum astringent in the finish;There was remarkable balance as well, with the taste remaining controlled and tight but stilll verging on port wine at times, bittersweet at other times.

So, it gets great marks for taste and drinkability, but the overall depth makes it miss the perfect mark, I must be a sucker for a less polished package when it comes to the filtering and flavor profile; I wouldn't possbly turn one down however...

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Photo of kingjames1
4.88/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark ruby, with a thick cocoa-tinged head that eventually dissipates leaving a consistent lacing. Smells wonderful, bready yeasts, chocolaty malts, and spice --- mmmm. Taste: does it get any better than this? Rum-drenched raisins, and good, dense (European) bread, brandy and sweet cherries, strong port and dark chocolate. Fantastic! Great carbonation, making it very drinkable for the abv, though one is enough, thank you. Overall, you can't beat this one with a stick. Those crazy Trappist monks know what they're doing!

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Photo of jslot38
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a beautiful deep rich mahogany. Elegant and frothy head, off white with hints of tan. Lacing held nicely throughout the sitting.

Smell: Notes of deep dried fruit. Hints of toasted bread... with a dab of honey on the top. Alcohol wafts through the complexities of this appealing smell. However, what truly lures me to the smell is the dried raisins and toffee combination. Mild phenols are noticable.

Taste: Bliss. The complexities from the smell carry right over to the taste. With a mild sense of alcohol. Up front there is a slight hint of roasted malts with a very small note of walnut and other deep and dark roasted nuts. Next comes the sweetness of dried fruits with paltry lingerings of mustic toffee covered raisins.

Mouthfeel: Slick and while comlex nothing overwhelms the palate. Your tongue will beg for more, as your mouth will not at be turned off by this beer. Perfect amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: At 10% this noble brew tests your drinking stamina. I love this test. Don't mind the fact that I'd be tipsy after a few, its well worth it, as its just a sign of the pure bliss your body will be feeling.

Notes: Honestly, this beer is worth the $13.50 for 4 12oz bottles. Would make the purchase again in a hearbeat. Feeling that the only way this beer could improve would be to enjoy it in its home country. Also, with a shelf life of years, I would absolutly love to let one of these age. Would suggest following serving instructions and serving this beer at a warmer temperature, agitation also brings out hidden complexities that may not be at first noticed.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer came in a tulip glass with a meringue head that fell to a ring around the edge. The color was dark black with a ruby red glow.

Smelled of prunes, brown sugar, bread dough and smooth alcohol.

Tasted like red grapes, red wine with a smooth alcohol and spicy yeast flavor that finished smooth and sweet like molasses and caramel. Very nice.

The mouth feel was thin with little carbonation that worked well with the flavors.

I was really stunned by the alcohol in this beer. It was prominent, but not at all overpowering. It added a flavor all of its own that blended in well with the rest of the flavors. This is a well done beer.

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Photo of clabaugh
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy cherrywood color with an abundant, luxurious head of off-white intermixed with tan. Head retention is excellent, and lacing is thick and durable.

Smell: Sweet caramel and honey malts emerge instantly. Citrusy hops reveal scents of fruit, perhaps mango. The alcohol is discernable in the aroma, with all components coming together to produce an inviting scent.

Taste: A backbone of sweet malts and fruit predominate. Again I'm reminded of mango, a sweet, succulent fruit flavor giving way to a mildly hoppy, but not bitter, finish. Intensely pleasing. A lot of complex sweetness; there are some hints of brown sugar. Delicious.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, aptly carbonated, and slightly numbing due to the 10% abv. Wonderful sensations.

Drinkability: The flavor is addicting. The only thing that prevents one from downing beer after beer is the alcohol content. Absolutely bliss when you're drinking it. What a beer should be.

Notes: This beer experience was unique. St. Bernardus Abt 12 has the power to relax you body and mind after only about half a beer. It is an absolute pleasure to partake of this masterpiece.

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Photo of counselor
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a truly great beer that defines the style. Pours a dark brown with a nice head. There are smells of dark sugary fruit, bread, nuts & leather. The mouthfeel is full and coats the tongue with fine bubbles and deep malt texture. The flavors from the malts and yeast dominate bring out flavors of nuts, plums, figs, cherry and fresh baked bread. Broad yeast profile imparting flavors of spice, nutmeg & vanilla. There is almost no hint of the alcohol in this beer. I had some biting Pecorino Romano cheese that really set off the flavors of this beer and made them new with each sip. Buy and enjoy this beer

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Photo of ggroller
4.57/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been wanting to try this beer for a long, long time. Finally, the moment has arrived.

Deep, dark walnut, almost balck in color. Very carbonated. A very loosely bubbled head at first retreats to a silky smooth membrane atop the beer.

Super complex nose. Apples, pears, cinammon, sherry, bubblegum, candy.

Tastes like port wine, brown sugar, cinammon. The alchohol shows a bit but it's not over powering.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, alchoholic, carbonated.

A big daddy, a fireside sipper.

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Photo of trumick
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark brown with a huge frothy tan head and lots of lacing all the way around the glass until the glass was empty.

Scent is of sweet malts dark fruits, but the alcohol is king here.

Taste is huge malt character, dark fruits, molasses and alcohol. I can only pick up the hops in the finish which is dry and quite bitter. The bitterness lasts for a while after each sip. The taste is almost wine-like; fruitier than I would expect, but very solid.

Mouthfeel is definately full bodied, and smooth with lots of carbination of the small bubble variety, very nice.

Drinkability is above average for this huge beer. I could sip (and I do mean sip slowly) all night long..

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Photo of Realale
4.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brownish with some burgundy highlights. Lovely light cocoa head hangs tight throughout leaving nice, if chunky lacing.

Nose is quite fruity initially, with a hearty dose of dried cherry, prune and raisin notes, more than ably supported by rich, yeasty fresh-baked dark bread. Some initial spicy hopiness seems to dissipate as the chalice warms. Malt continues to increase, though the dried fruits always provide the top notes.

Thinner than expected, but hides the alcohol better than the examples of Westy 12 I've had. Good intensity on the palate with both the dark, dried fruit notes and the dark bready malt taking their expected places at the front of the line. There's some good yeastiness as well, but it's subdued. Quite well-balanced and restrained, though a touch sweet. Definitely more my style than Westy 12.

Length is rather remarkable, with the intensity of flavor continuing throughout. Mouthfeel is nice, with a relatively low carbonation letting the weight of the malt give a really rounded, velvety impression. Sweetness rounds it out nicely. Perilously drinkable for what it is, and a favorite of the style for me.

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Photo of Applesauce1
3.68/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought my first quadrupel ever at the From the Vine Beer Store in Lewis Center, Ohio.
Poured into my buddy's stein and got almost a 2 inch head (probably from sitting on its side while I was driving).
Color: dark copper
Smell: grape juice with maybe some bitter apple cider
Taste: good, but nothing outstanding (a little too strong for my liking); it wasn't as strong as a barleywine though; also i noticed a wine type flavor

Overall, this is a good beer, as some of buddy's took sips and enjoyed it. It might take a little while for me to get used to this style, so I'll try some more quadrupels in the future.

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Photo of akorsak
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am drinking from a 750mL bottle in a Watou chalice.

Appearance: This is a dark ale, very hazy and ruby in color (when held up to light). There is also a nice smattering of yeast particles, as I did not filter the last few ounces.

Smell: A very heady smell, I can detect the high alcohol content. I also can clearly smell the malts used in the brew, imparting a wonderful scent that I just can't place.

Taste: Wow! The taste is incredible. I think that I detect some raisiny tastes that mix well with the malts and alcohol. A truly divine brew.

Mouthfeel: The high alcohol sterilizes the mouth a bit. There is a nice mixture of flavors that sit nicely on the palate.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. It fits nicely into the quad family, not too malty but not too high in alcohol taste.

I highly recommend this beer, especially from the 750mL corked and caged bottles (nice screen printing on the bottles too) and it sits firmly in my top five beers list.

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Photo of fisherman34
4.07/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown in colour with fairly strong carbonation. Aromatic notes of red berries, caramel malt, raisin, and nutmeg. The sweet caramel elements become more eveident in the flavor, along with additional notes of very mild toasted oak, vanilla, plums, and other dark fruit. Not a great deal of alcohol presence. Complex, yet easy drinking. I was expecting to get blown away by this beer, and was a little disappointed that I wasn’t, but this was still a pretty darn good.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 20 ounce wine gobblet.

Appearance: This beer pours a dark brown with a half inch head of off whiteness. Lacing clings to the glass in splashes.

Smell: This beer smells of clove spicyness and waves of malty fruity sweetness.

Taste: This is just bliss in a glass. The beer has strong clove intial taste. The next thing you taste is waves upon waves of malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Very full bodied not so carbonated beer.

Drinkability: This beer is just fantastic. Although high in alcohol it does not interfere with the taste and is smooth.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.68/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The one thing that struck me most about this splendid beer was its maximal smoothness and impressive drinkability. I did not find it to be particularly complicated or interesting and yet I didn’t mind this in the slightest. St. Bernie’s 12 just tastes so good that I don’t care if its not much more than boat loads of sweet rich malts. To me, this is just about a perfect beer. It is meant for consumption, it gives a great buzz, it is strong yet excessively drinkable. I love it and will make it a point to drink it en mass whenever I am given the opportunity.

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Photo of EmoBeerGuy
4.68/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say about this one? Thank god its on tap at the Publick House. This is my old stand by there and you really can't go wrong with it. An amazing, sweet Belgian bruin. A reminder of what good beer is all about. I will be seeing this beer again soon.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.04/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a dark brown color with a medium size white creamy head. The lacing is outstaning. The aroma is of spices and caramel, but is rather faint. The taste is nice and spicy with a solid malt backbone. The mouthfeel is meium-full bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a good brew, worth havin again.

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Photo of JanM
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My expectations on St Bernardus Abt 12 were high, to say the least. I overherad some guys at the bar saying it was number three on best of BA. Respect. The happy monk label on the bottle is pretty low budget but the beer itself is straight from beer-shambala. It poured with a nice dark blue-red color with brownish head that settled down to a finger. The complex flowery smell reminded me of cheap, artificially flavoured soft candy. The taste is actually a lot like traditional Swedish Christmas must but with a lot more alcohol. Some dry hops emerging in the aftertaste, biting the cheeks. Don't try to drink another brand during the same session!

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Photo of PenguinBeerFan
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 11.2 ounce bottle into St Bernardus chalice.

Pours a beautiful deep, dark brown with a gorgeous billowy head that leaves sticky lacing on the glass. Maintains a half inch head through out drinking.

Smell is plum with a hint of brown sugar. Hard to take your nose from the glass.

Taste is immensly complex and satisfying. Malt, yeast, old world hops, brown sugar all combine with faint fruity undertones, certainly some bannana in there. Alcohol is definetely here but not overpowering and warms up the beer nicely. Wow, there is too much here to grasp with just one 11.2 ounce bottle. I'll have to review this one again to get a better grip.

This beer is fantastic, certainly deserving of the praise sung by other BA's. I still think Rochefort 10 is my favorite, but this one makes the short list of best in the world. I plan to come back to it shortly.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful gold-brown with a rich head that settled down after a few minutes but remained throughout as a fine layer.

The smell was fruity with plum notes taking center stage but it was more of a subtle aroma than I expected.

The taste is a mix of fruit, more of the plum and some banana with a faint clove presence. Yum. This is wonderfully balanced brew that does a nice job of warming *and* doesn't let the alcohol interfere with the flavours' symphonic melody. Tis a fine example of a Belgian Quadrupel.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ive been wanting to trying this beer for a long time, especially since learning that many BAs prefer it to the godly nectar that is Westy 12.

It pours a murky deep brown with hints of red. The head is creamy and tan, incredibly dense like all st Bernardus beers tend to be. Lacing is numerous patches and crags. The aroma is bready malts with spices, licorice and a bit of complimentary spicey alcohol. The taste is a complex melieu of thick doughy malts, spices, licorice, plums and peppery alcohol. The mouthfeel is super thick and slightly numbing from the alcohol. The finish is very long and full of malts, alcohol and even a bit of hops.

This is a great beer, full of complex flavors and deceptively smooth for 10 percent. Its worth a try. world class but still no Westy 12.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.78/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

St. Bernardus Abt 12
11.2 oz brown bottle
Black # on the back that reads 27 1009
Served in a St Feuillen goblet

Pours a hazy amber brown color with light tan trails of sticky lacings all over the glass.

Beautiful nose of plums, vanilla and ripe fruit.

Sweet brown sugar flavors blend with a thick malty backbone. Clovey and spicy with it's own unique identity. Dark fruits and syrupy liquid sugars please my palate. I can't think of to many other beers that have such a creamy and complex mouthfeel. Pure quality and brewed to perfection.

The drinkability level is beyond good, not to mention it's 10.0% ABV. Each gentle sip is more enjoyable than the next. A world class beer and clearly recommended. I have had this on tap at The Publick House in Brookline, MA a couple of times and this beer is even more phenomenal on draft. One the best beers I've had.

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Photo of hero27
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap @ the Lava Lounge in Waterloo, Iowa..

To fully appreciate this beer, I think one must really have it on-tap, or, at the very least, in a 750ml bottle. I have previously only had this in the small 11.2oz bottles, and, while it was very good, it was more flavorful on-tap...I have not ruled out that the bottles I had were possibly a bit tainted due to handling/shipping/exposure, etc..

Anyways..that's not important...on to the good stuff. This beer is nothing short of majestic. Always touted as one of the best beers in the world, and now I believe it. Served in a tulip-style glass. Dark brown, rich ruby color with a very large, frothy, immovable head. Yeasty sediment is suspended in the glass and the lacing forms in sheets. Aroma & taste are huge and complex..big brown sugar flavors & rich malts blend perfectly with the subtle and amazing array of spices. Full mouthfeel..little carbonation. The 10% alcohol is hardly even a thought as you're drinking it. Just an outstanding beer, and one every beer lover should enjoy.

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
98 out of 100 based on 2,623 ratings.