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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

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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
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Reviews: 2,623 | Hads: 8,659
Photo of D-Rock
4.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a pint cork and cage bottle into a tall tulip style glass.

Look: First impression as I slosh the beer into the glass is the voluminous off white/tan head that foams up, taking up about a quarter of the glass. The beer itself is a deep tan to brown with ruby red tinge. Carbonation bubbles constantly stream towards the surface while flecks of lacing cling delicately to the sides of the glass as the head slowly settles, never going away completely. Skipping ahead, in the final pour of the bottle a lot of yeasty sediment clouds the brew making it nearly opaque.

Smell: The smell belies the look here with a dusty odor, slightly musty and somewhat leaning towards clove. A hint of booziness accompanies it all.

Taste: As soon as the beer hits the mouth the taste opens up with a dry-grain cracker flavor immediately melting into sweet sweet maltiness. Undercurrents of sweet honey mingle with the malt character. The finish is dry and smooth and fades back into dry cracker. The flavor is big and bold and the alcohol is present but resides in the background dancing about the very sweet malt. Each sip invites another and leaves me puzzling over the flavors.

Feel: The carbonation is high but the mouthfeel is silky smooth, velvety even. The high malt character and 10 % ABV makes for a heady ale with some real heft to it. There is something irresistible to the feel here and I cant help but take another sip and mull it over.

Overall: This is a big, bold and unapologetic brew, heavy, malty and sweet, there is a lot of complex scent and flavor going on here. The phenolic character plays a big role and forms the backbone of this powerful complex brew, the malt fills out the body of the beer in an exceptional synergy of flavor. This is one of the big ones, a classic Belgian ale and a timeless style.

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L : dark brown with a good white head
S : Lots of fruits : pear and banana mainly
T : firstly the pear then raisin , really complex taste that wonders around for quite some time
F : really smooth eventhough it's really alcoholic
O: an incredible beer, really complex. One of the best in the world

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Photo of James954
3.69/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L: Nice Murky nut brown...there is a TON OF SEDIMENT that is suspended throughout the drink.
S: Nice apple/pear/light brown sugar
T: Rich malt and mix of dark and light fruit with a dry finish to boot!
F: good carbonation with a mouthfeel between syrupy and effervescent.

Overall: Sediment bugs me with beer. But this is still as good one and has a unique style that I haven't come across...Like a super nut-brown ale.

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Photo of Obbi
4.69/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look - mostly opaque, chocolatey.
Smell - A little musty and upfront with the threat of its malts, but overall a very appetizing classic aroma.
Taste - I'm not a huge fan of Abbey Ales, but this was delicious. Very flavorful.
Feel - Extremely smooth for a 10% ABV.
Overall - Recommended if you see it.

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Photo of muchos
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L - Auburn to reddish with a big frothy head, disappearing to almost nothing in 10 minutes or so.
S - Not much, mostly funky and tart, like faint under-ripe banana. A little apple/pear and more banana as it warmed.
T - More spicy than the aroma, some cloviness. Not much else right out of the fridge. But as it got warmer it really blossomed. More sweetness, bitterness, tartness. Like a hint of tart cherry, bread crust. Surprisingly bitter after taste.
F - Not as heavy as I expected. Damn near refreshing. Ample carbonation.
O - Highly rated, and rightly so.

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Photo of Flyjetz
3.61/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

It's a good beer but I was underwhelmed based on the high rating. 10% abv is not noticed in the taste but you'll feel it kick in pretty quickly. I'd try it again.

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Photo of Two-Guys-Drinking-Beer
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is AMAZING **as a warning** it's a big ABV beer, and it packs a huge punch. The corked top makes it just that much beer, don't try to pry off the cork when you've been drinking otherwise there may be some spillage :). Check out our review on the Two Guys Drinking Beer podcast.

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Photo of plaidowl
4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I can describe this beer as seeming heavy and light, rich and refreshing, simultaneously. There's rich complexity to the malty flavor, yet it's crisp and clean, leaving just a hint of bitterness that fades quickly. Like the other reviewers have said, the alcohol content does not emerge into the flavor. The color is the beautiful mahogany red of other beers that sit a bit heavier and satisfy sooner than this one does; I can drink more of this beautiful beer than other darker offerings. The aroma is slight, but pleasant, and the head foams up quite a bit, initially, but quickly recedes. And, even though it has a low carbonation, it resists feeling flat, even when left unattended for a time. And it tastes as good when ice cold as it does when nearing room temperature; that's a multifaceted, quality brew! And you can pop the cork like champagne!

Recommend pairing it with beef and chocolate.

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Photo of Beersmuggler
2/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was not a fan of this one at all. I am not a huge fan of quadruples so I should not have been surprised that I did not like this. I would not recommend it.

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Photo of Jimlikesbeer
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Large thick head. Foamed right out of the bottle when opened. Very smooth Quad. This is really good. No strange after taste. Of St. Bernardus Abbey, this is definitely my favorite

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Photo of khmel
4.69/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Dark brown with reddish-carmel hues, mostly opaque. Huge, thick, creamy foam head with insane retention.

S: Sweet fruits, cherry, leather.

T: Sweet malt up front, lots of complex flavor, slight hops in the middle.

M: Incredibly smooth!!! Creamy, rich, full-bodied. One can't feel the alcohol, low carbonation, dry finish.

This is a superb quad! Definitely worth enjoying more than once!

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a small bottle into a chalice glass.

Pours deep dark brown with a fizzy bubbly head that retains for a bit. Smells like a dark sugar palate. Brown sugar, dates, demerara, nutty caramel. Tastes like dark fruits, figs, dates, slight nuttiness, a faint spice palate of nutmeg, anise, allspice, but a slightly metallic flavor towards the finish disrupts. Tastes better and more flavorful as it warms. Quite a bit fizzier and thinner on the palate than I expected, especially for a quad. Very drinkable- a quad that isn't necessarily a sipper. Alcohol hidden very well. I will definitely revisit this time and time again, especially around the holidays.

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Photo of mrjez
4.43/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh bottle from Craft Beer Base.
L: pours a very dark red, mahogany, with a huge fluffy tan head that takes ages to settle and leaves nice lacing.
S: a champagne whiff, with dark fruits and citrus beneath.
T: Rich and complex, slightly boozy. Made to be sipped.
F: awesome mouthfeel, creamy at the start, full-bodied, nicely carbonated, and a lovely warmth running long.
O: World-class, delicious, a wonderful quad.

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Photo of jancona
4.09/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful mahogany with khaki foam and nice lacing.
Smells a bit of mineral water and cola
Taste has a subtle cola flavor with brown sugar, dates, and a hint of molasses. Hides the high abv perfectly
I love the carbonated feel, smooth and creamy, no syrupy feel at all
A legendary quad.

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Photo of bilbobrewer
3.77/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

33cl btl purchased at grocery store in Brussels.
BB 04/29/2019
Served chilled in tulip.

Pours opaque brown. Like a (well filtered) homebrew, there's just a few 'meatier' brown drops at the end of the pour.
Head is short-lived.....virtually all gone in a few seconds.
Taste is thick, syrupy sweet malt. Resiny on the tongue, dry on the throat.
As only the second quad I've had (Trappist 10 being the other) I'm apparently just not a fan of something THIS sweet. Diabetes in a bottle.
Maybe call this one a "dessert beer".....but I don't drink beer with dessert.

I'm afraid this is a "quadrupel bypass" for me....Forgive me Father, for such a terrible pun.

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Photo of Usma689
4.86/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I have been drinking around St Bernardus and other tops rated beers.... and finally went and got one.


I love Belgiaum style. Lived in Germany ( Uk, ... ) Drank a lot of beer. Gravitated toward Belgium style.

Drink Ommegang .... almost daily.... should I post that?!?! Started with Chimay... detour with and frequent returns to Unibroue .... But Live with Ommegang.

This St B was far beyond what I expected. I will have to find the Westy now.... I would have rated it a 5... but it was so much better than what I thought was great.... Now I'm not sure what lies out there!

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.84/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Served at Bistro Montage in a chalice on our super expensive dinner for the year.

A cloudy haze the color of wheat bread. Aroma was full of grapefruit and plum. Taste had grapefruit, date, maybe some lemon. Very strong body and had to be taken in fairly small swallows. This beer is just amazing! It has a prominent presence and intensity, not one to be trifled with.

If you want some fun with this beer, have a person who has been drinking wine all night try it and watch the expression ton their face.

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Photo of Clintbeerwood
4.84/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Exceptional crisp taste complimenting the cloudy hazy pour with an amazing smell. Nice light refreshing strong taste hints of spices are on point. Love this quad.

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Photo of mschrei
4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into wine goblet. Love the look-dark, cloudy, murky bottom. Great long lasting carbonation. Can't quite describe the nose but I like it. Taste was thin when cold-there were moments when it felt watery and it was the lightest 10% abv beer ever, but it developed as it warmed. Rich, tasty, mouth filling. Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of DeFaz
4.57/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't drink a lot of quads, but it's not hard to tell that this one is special. Raisins and anise and other fruit in the wonderful smell and taste. Mouthfeel is smooth and moderately carbonated, and the alcohol is concealed well. Simply a beautiful sipper beer that would go well with dessert. Worth the price.

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

It seems natural to compare St. Bernardus Abt 12 to Rochefort 10, which is my favorite Belgian quad. St. Bernardus Abt 12 is certainly an excellent beer. It is somewhat drier and perhaps a touch hoppier than Rochefort 10. Anyone who is a fan of Rochefort should give this one a try as well.

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Photo of Mikus
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep reddish brown pour at friendly tap room. Aromas of dark fruit, spicy yet refined Belgian yeast with banana and clove. Thus tasted the pure essence of balance. Dark fruits and raisins galore. Delicious! Clean dry finish with some residual sweetness and yeast notes. A lesson in balance.

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Photo of M_J_Z
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of my all-time favorites! This beer never disappoints either on draft or from the bottle. It's exceptionally well-made and has great value and availability. If you're new to Belgian quadrupels, this is among the first you should try. It's excellent. There isn't much that I could say that hasn't been said in the countless glowing reviews here and elsewhere.

I just had this on draft last week and loved it as much as I ever have. It's timeless.

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Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Pours brilliant chestnut topped with a clingy 2” moussey tan tinted white foam cap.
S: Prune, dried fig, raisin, fruit cake, and anise
T: Prune then a hint of cocoa and caramel, a very moist dark molasses bown sugar spice cake type flavor with most of the sweetness fermented out. Long lingering spice and dark sugar tastes. Some alcohol warming and pepper on the finish
F: Creamy fine soft carbonation, medium body.
O: a true classic.

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Photo of tmbgnicu
4.62/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An exceptional quad and one of the best beers in the world....and it's sitting on your local craft beer store's shelf right now! Dark, sweet, with raisin notes and maybe some peach? Carbonation is a little high, but it works to tie the experience together.

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