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St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

6,970 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,970
Reviews: 2,469
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 379
Gots: 920 | FT: 34
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website
Belgium

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)
View: Beers (12) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,970 | Reviews: 2,469 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Carbonation stung my tongue yet I loved it. Beyond anything I have ever drunk of any refreshment. Like cold spring water on a hot day.
Beautiful dark unique color with some doughy pieces. Complex wonderful taste of nuts, sweet malt, spices, dark fruit, cream.

Had another bottle 21 months later, wonderful finish spicey finish. Nice head and lace. The taste depends on where you put it on the tongue. Satisfying.

6.5 years later and good complexity, still aggressive carbonation.
7.3 years later and just yeasty and sweetish.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2004 02:59:43 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a very close 2nd to the Val-Dieu Grand Cru as far as quadrupels that I've tried go. Its a treat every time I've had it.

The beer pours a dark brown, darker than most of the quadrupels that I've had. Hazy and there are noticeable chunks of yeast floating around in there. Thats the only negative on the appearace. The head is rather tall and fluffy and tan. Lots of carbonation.

The smell is of yeast and malt. Not real complex, actually very simple. That yeast and the dark malts are both very strong. This is a very aromatic beer. A bit sweeter and richer than the 60th anniversary version. There is a little alcohol smell at warmer temps but its not distracting in the least. Can't detect a lot of spices unless I'm confusing them with the yeast in the beer.

The taste is sweet with some bitterness. The yeast chunks floating around probably contribute to this. Some dark fruit flavors come out with a small hint of roasted malt (very small hint). Sugary for sure but can't tell if thats candi sugar or just a lot of malt.

Its too bad that these bottles are so small because this is something I'd like to drink by the pint.

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2008 21:49:39 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark brown color with a big 3 inch light brown head that fades to a thin cap. Broken rings of lace mark the glass on the drink down. There is some sediment floating around in the beer. Smells of dark fruits, some malty bread, and spices. Taste is very much like the smell with the dark ripe fruits, bready malts, spices (clove/cinnamon), and some yeast flavors. There is a good level of carbonation in this one with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. This makes the beer very smooth and easy to drink. Overall, this is a very good quad with a very nice smell and taste. Definitely deserves its spot in the top 5 of the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2011 02:47:07 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

11-14-2011 21:03:46 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

G: Poured into a Chimay goblet.

A: Dark brown color with a slight haziness to it. Very nice lacing.

S: Plenty of yeast leaving behind spices and lots of dark fruit.

T: Lots of sweet malt backed up by undeniable Belgian yeast; some alcohol is present in the taste.

M: Very smooth and heavy-bodied. Fairly low carbonation.

D: Fairly drinkable; definitely a sipper. Not everything fits together perfectly, but a very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2009 00:07:47 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Glazed persimmon orange with a fine sprinkling of yeast drifting downward against the tide of uprushing carbonation. The wheat toast colored crown is a firmly creamy, rocky, sticky masterpiece of the sort that only Belgians seem able to create. What a fantastic way to start.

Does Brouwerij St. Bernardus (and do other Belgian breweries) recognize the quadrupel style, or do they consider Abt 12 to be a high-ABV dubbel? The silk-screened label on the 750 indicates that this ale is 'brewed in the classic Dubbel style'.

The aroma isn't as dark as some... or as dark as expected. There's more steely caramel, earth and toast than anything even remotely resembling chocolate or roasted malt. It's also more medium fruity than dark fruity. A wonderful clove-and-pepper yeast-derived spiciness pulls it all together in beautiful fashion.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 easily deserves its reputation as one of the world's finest beers. It delivers the same seamless quality, mind-boggling complexity and compulsive drinkability as the rest of their outstanding lineup. Along with Brouwerij Het Anker, these guys are my favorite Belgian brewery.

This flagship ale really does taste more like a BSDA or a big dubbel than most quadrupels. Specifics include well-toasted brown bread, steely caramel, unsweet figs, earthy tobacco, ground clove and black pepper. What was a solid 4.5 during the first few ounces is now a much-deserved 5.0 as the middle of the bottle is breached.

Warming brings greater flavor intensity, several more flavor facets, and a more complete melding of flavors. We're now talking 'gold standard' for the style. My tongue registers the ABV as 8.5% while my brain is beginning to feel the Full Monty. Time to start sipping rather than greedily gulping.

This big bottle must be fairly fresh (estimated age is barely more than one year) because a surprising amount of hop bitterness is still present. Sweeter would be fine, but I like it just the way it is. Aging this beauty for 15 years, as the label suggests is possible, doesn't seem like such a great idea.

The body/mouthfeel isn't far from perfection. It's lighter than most triple-digit ABV ales, but heavier probably wouldn't have worked as well. The smooth-edged creaminess can't be faulted. Nor can the ideal amount and well-integrated feel of the carbonation.

Abt 12 is a true classic that deserves mention whenever the topic turns to the best beers on the planet. Even though Tripel is the finest ale that St. Bernardus has to offer, this big brew isn't far behind. It's also better (and more widely available) than either Trappistes Rochefort 10 or Westveleteren 12.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2010 14:46:20 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very dark mahogany in color and yeast particles are visible floating in suspension. It poured with a finger high white head and has a light amount of carbonation. It has good head retention properties and a thin layer of bubbles consistently covered the surface.
S: There are aromas of dark fruits, spices and yeast in the nose.
T: The taste is very complex and like the smell it has flavors of dark fruits, spices and yeast along with a slight amount of malty sweetness. There is a slight amount of bitterness from the hops in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some warming sensations from the alcohol.
D: This is a beer that needs to be slowly sipped given its alcohol content. It tastes like it is strong, but the alcohol presence does not detract from the drinkability. For the most part, the alcohol is masked from the taste.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2010 04:09:17 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark caramel brown hazy color with a creamy head and lots of lacing

Smell: Ripe dark fruits and bananas; brown sugar and alcohol

Taste: Starts out somewhat sweet and clove-like and is followed by a bit of hoppy bitterness and alcoholic warmth; some chocolate and cherry flavors, mid-palate; bitter rum raisin finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but light and fizzy on the tongue

Drinkability: A wonderful sipper by the fire

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2005 01:48:19 | More by brentk56
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep brown with a huge head and laced up the whole bottle. Smell was very complex. Malty, berry, fruity smell. A tiny bit of alcohol, very strong smell. Taste was the smae, Very very complex, every sip gave a different flavor it seemed, simply wonderful. Very drinkable too. This was my first try of this wonderful brew and I must say it completly lived up to the hype. This was really really wonderful to drink, and really seemed to get better each time I sipped!

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2006 23:48:03 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

5/5  rDev +11.9%

12-14-2011 17:04:08 | More by nmann08
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a slightly hazy brown colored beer with what can only be describe as huge foamy super resistant head (do I need to mention perfect carbonation). Aroma is quite complex with some great roastiness and some strange mix of spices. Great roasty taste with a side of spiced plums. I could not detect any alcohol, which is quite a wonder at 10%. Wow, I’m now glad I bought quite a few so that I can cellar some.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2004 20:10:40 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

With ultimate succulent sweetness, robust wine-like tartness, and a gauntlet of flavors that reach the taste buds from multiple angles and with an array of characteristics, this is an epic beer for the ages!

Delivered in a wide lipped, oversized bulb of a wine glass, adorned with the brewery's logo, this is the glass that deserves the beverage. The russet brown beer with burgundy hues carries a mild haze with a deep sheen. Tightly knit head character gives early impressions of thick blanket, yet late impressions are of a rich espresso-like creme. Fantastic retention and a generous allocation of sticky lace leaves intricate lacing patterns on the glass. A most inviting beer.

Rich berry-like aromas are tart, savory, and vibrant. Backed by the succulent sweet notion of cotton candy, caramelized sugars, vinous wine-like character, orange peel, corriander, and grape, this classy ale courts the nose with pin-point seductive response.

Flavors are much more concentrated than the somewhat tame nose suggests. Richly underplayed malts give a nondescript sweetness to the beer that when combined with alcohol delivers a deceptively light powdered sugar sweetness, slight chocolate, brown sugar, and elegant strength. Yeasty esters of grape, plumb, cherry, dates, figs, licorice, and apples all feed into the fruity complexities. Spicy notes replace hop bitterness with mellow white and black peppercorns, light smoke, and alspice with alcohol. Vibrant and bright, but not without the needed aged notes to suggest maturity, this fresh version satisfies just fine.

Rich and succulent, the first sips give a medium creamy notion but a dense weight to the tengemental senses before making a procession across mid palate and marching toward sweet warmth, semi-sweet finish, and a sultry aftertaste of fruit, alcohol, and whimsy sweetness.

This is a masterfully crafted ale that seduces the seneses with each and every sip. Keeping stride with the Westvleterens and Rocheforts, this beer plays no such second fiddel.

Serving type: on-tap

10-07-2005 17:52:02 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a cloudy dark mahogany color without much head to speak of.

S: Good but not great aromas of sweet malt, caramel, and yeast. There might be a touch of alcohol as well.

T: I was a bit let down by the aroma, but the flavor does quite well to redeem itself. A slight warming feel of alcohol goes well with some dark fruits and sweet, caramel malt. The yeast is not as quite prominent as many other Belgian beers.

M: Even with the high level of carbonation, the body is still quite full.

D: The alcohol makes itself known more in terms of the subtle warmth it provides the beer but isn't aggressive by any means. The flavors are sweet but balanced and are helped out by the carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 00:19:47 | More by womencantsail
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -16.1%

04-16-2012 13:59:37 | More by acurtis
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

5/5  rDev +11.9%

12-06-2011 18:50:35 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best Before: 12 07 12.

Appearance: Pours a near opaque, dark brown body with a full, cascading, and lasting, ivory-colored head. Sea foam lacing on the way down.

Smell: Aromatic blend of stewed, spiced fruit, liqueur, and chopped up chocolate cookies and candy bars.

Taste: First and foremost, it's fruity, tasting of golden raisins, plum juice, and candied figs. Then you get some maltiness, mainly dark chocolate and nutty caramel. Hit of dark candi sugar. Not really much in the way of hops here. Touch of clove and nutmeg. Sip of creme de cocoa. Maybe a bit of fresh, oily orange zest. Finishes malty, sweet, and rather warming.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Moderately carbonated.

Drinkability: Paired very well with some Pinback mp3's (particularly "Tripoli" and "Seville"). Full of flavor, rich complexities, and yet it's easily accessible and generally readily available from coast to coast. What's not the like? Although, I will say, I dug that 'Special Edition' a bit more. That's just me, though!

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2008 05:44:00 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -21.7%

01-12-2012 06:31:49 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

08-18-2013 14:07:24 | More by jaydoc
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

11-17-2011 03:19:25 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

5/5  rDev +11.9%

11-15-2011 05:21:57 | More by spycow
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

3.35/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: very thick and foamy head. Amber color.

S: grape and dark fruit. Sweet

T: sweet toffee and dark fruit taste. Chocolate and caramel notes.

M: moderate carbonation. Thick and oily.

O: too fruity for my taste but seems to be on par for a quad. Had to search for the beer taste in this one. Probably won't be going back to this one.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 18:25:21 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2005 23:14:14 | More by oberon
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

5/5  rDev +11.9%

11-23-2011 21:07:27 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I liked this beer quite a bit but in all honest I must say that the La Trappe and the Rochefort 10 still remain higher on my favorites list. This beer poured out as a medium color of brown, the head was a bit fizzy and doesn't leave behind on the glass. The smell of the beer has a bit of alcohol on the nose followed by the dark fruits and yeast. The taste of the beer is good but I find it less pleasing than the two Quad's I mentioned before. The mouthfeel is medium but remains kind of thin too. Decent amount of carbonation, overall I think this beer is worthy of trying. I would love to do a sampling party of Quad's to see how they hold up against each other.

Just had on tap the other night and it was sensational. Very enjoyable brew. It's right up there with La Trappe, Rochefort, and Achel.

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2011 14:56:35 | More by Knapp85
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a St. Bernardus chalice.

Pours a very dark brown, with lighter walnut tinges along the edges. The finger-thick head half dies, leaving a lovely creamy remainder that laces very well. The aroma is sweet and tangy, with a nice, effervescent fruitiness dominating. The taste corroborates the nose, with those fruits coming back with a sweet vengeance (those lovely malts!), including a hint of molasses/maple syrup all the way in the back. The body is a heavy medium, but does not sit poorly; rather it stands at attention, saluting, declaring itself, but not overpowering.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2010 06:25:42 | More by TMoney2591
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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 6,970 ratings.