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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.

8,120 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,120
Reviews: 2,591
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 539
Gots: 1,568 | FT: 45
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,120 | Reviews: 2,591 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of belljt33
4/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of brocktune
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of sephyrott
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of ikats
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one need an introduction. Today I decided to stop by my favorite spot (The Collins Bar in New York) after work. I was looking for a pint or two of something with a lot of character, something to savor. A good stout perhaps. When I got to the place and reviewed current offerings, a line jumped out: "Belgian: St. Bernardus 12". Sounds good, I thought. And I'll tell you, I was not prepared for this ale. It was pure perfection in a glass!!! I couldn't stay for long, so from the bar straight to the nearest beer store I went. Picked up a couple of bottles which I am savoring right this minute.

Appearance: Dark brown color. Wonderful off-white head of significant size that leaves behind nice lacing.

Aroma: Maybe it's the picture of a monk on the bottle, but "heavenly" comes to mind. Sweet smells mix with hints of sour fruits. The aroma seems familiar, yet it is a challenge to identify all the components of this wonderful bouquet.

Taste: Maltiness and yeast, fruits and caramel, it's all there. Alcohol is there too, but it works with, not against, the richness of this ale. I think this is the first ale were alcohol taste was complimenting the rest. Makes me feel bad that I do not have enough experience describing all the intricacies of abbey ales. Well, this is not the last time I am drinking this ale, so I'll come back to it.

A noble drink. I think I am in love!!!

This abbey ale is presented in 11.2 oz brown bottle that lists both "best before" date and suggested serving temperature. Cheers to that!

Photo of Dajtai007
4/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Kshock
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of Schmaltzy
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into Chimay Tulip.

A- Awesome dark brown leather that is murky, the head is off white/tan color that is there the entire time while I am drinking this beer just the best beer I have ever seen. Thick lacy foam that coats the glass to the last drop.... AWESOME

S- Great baking spices, cloves, the belgian yeast just jumps out at you, roasted chestnuts/walnuts, dark candied fruits, cherries. Too much, want to smell this all day.

T- Baking spices/cloves right away, belgian yeast is delicious, candied fruits, dates, cherries, and those roasted nuts followed by some nice light cocoa notes. Everything in the smell is followed in the taste, very good.

M- Still plenty of carbonation in this bad boy, almost too much, but it is a very nice fine carbonation that tingles your tounge showing its aging potential. You can't even tell that this has any alcohol in it, very well hidden.

D- Very nice, just starting to feel some of the effects of the alcohol that is lurking within this one.

I have one more 750ml bottle that I will keep for 10 years before I open, I really want to see how this ages.

Photo of boss302
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

.33l bottle, chilled to 56F, date on label: 13 08 14.

History of St Bernardus. St Bernardus used to brew for St Sixtus (aka Westvleteren) from 1946 to 1992. According to "Brew like a Monk" by Stan Hieronymus, they claim to brew the same way they did for St Sixtus. I have a Westvleteren 12 from "Keith" from Cedar Grove, Fl. I have done a back to back tasting to compare the two and have updated this review below the original on 5/12/2010

05-12-2010 Original review

A dark color, but when held to the light it appears a deep deep red. Thick creamy head, but didn't last long as it settleed down to a nice even layer that was supported by a continuous flow of bubbles from the bottom of the glass. The glass ended with a shot of beer and the remainder of the head, quite nice.

S sweet raisiny smell, no hop odor was noticeable. Very clean.

T high carbonation bite, sweet fruity caramel flavor that sticks to the back corners of my mouth. Reminds me of dark dried fruit, very complex flavors, even, well balanced, no one flavor dominates. Quite nice.

M full body, very nice feel. There is a hint to the alcohol in the warm atertaste, but otherwise its undetectable.

D overall a nice beer. Might be hard to drink more than a few, it's high in alcohol and pretty heavy.

12-28-2010 Review after a Westy12

Abt12, 13 08 14. Tasting with Westvleteren12 and Rochefort 10. 350ml bottle.

A Dark chestnut, thick course head, a nice looking beer. Of the 3 beers Westvleteren12, Abt12 and Rochefort, the Abt12 and Westy are the closest in color. 4.5 same as original review.

S Plums, apricot, and licorice aroma. Fruit is up front, but not as prominent as it is in the Westy. 4.5 lower than original (5.0).

T Fruit is present in the taste as well, but not as much as the westy 12.  Not as clean and a bit rougher compared to the Westy. Overall a very good beer, but for me it comes in a 2nd place. 4.5 same as original review.

M As with the other Belgian big beers, the mouthfeel is thick and substantive. Carbonation is good, in fact better than the Westy. 4.5 same as original review.

D A good beer, but with the high alcohol, you won't be having too many. Good to have a few in the frig for sipping. 4.5 higher than original review (4.0).

Photo of mjenkins5
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of GrabMeAnAbbey
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of BeerForHokie
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of yspiff
3.75/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of Rosquin
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Cosmic_Chieftain
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of westweasel
3.85/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle from Schneid - Thanks!

The appearance was a hazy dark amber with a gigantic three-inch off-white head. This was poured into a large wineglass (closest thing we had to a goblet).

The aroma was caramel, alcohol, and lemons. The taste was similar, with mostly a caramel and a lemon flavor.

The mouthfeel was excellent - nice and full with a smooth finish.

The drinkability was very good. It would not be hard to keep drinking this. I'm guessing this beer would taste even better with age. I would bet that the lemon character would get smoother and rounder over time.

Photo of jeffjfindley
3.95/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly ruddy brown, very murky. Extraordinary carbonation is visible as it appears to be raining upwards around the perimeter of the glass. The head is antique white, and with the delicious appearance of ice cream. Aroma is flowery, powdered sugar and tart berries. Taste starts out very subtle and enticing, slight dark chocolate and fresh fruit note take a turn to sour turn after a couple of seconds. The sourness lingers on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel follows about the same trajectory, beginning supernaturally smooth, ending a little dry and frankly somewhat acidic. This is damn good, I just expected more.

Photo of IPA35
4.32/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown with a small off-white head. The head disappears quick and when it does there will be something like a carbonation fountain/vulcano at the centre of the beer. Which is really wierd as I have never seen it before. (Kasteel glass.)

The first thing I notice in the smell is the alcohol. It is quite appearant. dark fruit, caramel, banana and dark malts.

Taste starts out a little sour then the malts kick in and give it a bit of a bready flavour. The sweetness and tartness stay. Dark fruits, some hops not much. Very complex and I find it hard to describe the flavours of this one. Tasty though. Spicey and slightly alcoholic.

Mouthfeel is medium and plenty of carbonation.

Nice drink overall but I have had better.

Photo of mrzazz
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of bcoyle
4/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Oliversarmy1085
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of Heady978
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of CheftoDeath
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of timtheenchanta
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy brown drink with carbonation bubbles rising the entire time. Very large off-white head that stays throughout the drink. Tons of lacing. Nose of sweet ripened fruit, yeast, and clove cigarettes. Very sweet smell. More clove in the taste along with afore mentioned sweet fruit and strong alcohol taste that is present but not overpowering and that doesn't take away from the rest of the flavors. As soon as you swallow, the wave of warm strong alcohol taste and feel hit hard. It's not a bad thing at all. Mmm that feels good. Creamy feel to this beer with a smooth but strong finish. I'm not sure I could have more than one or two of these in a night simply because of the alcohol content. If I could I would though! Great beer. Go pick this one up.

Photo of Mag00n
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of meich75
5/5  rDev +11.9%

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 8,120 ratings.