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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.

2,648 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,648
Hads: 8,757
Avg: 4.42
pDev: 17.42%
Wants: 667
Gots: 2,070 | FT: 49
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: 2,648 | Hads: 8,757
Photo of goodbyeohio
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

from a 750 into a oversized chalice

appears quite dark brown with a retentive, tight head that leaves even but thin lacing. appealing to look at.

aroma is very fruity, detecting bananas, apples, plums, and some spice. malt is evident but not overpowering. so similar to the westy 12 in look and smell.

enters the mouth with a peppy dose of fizz on the tongue, followed by a numbing alcohol sensation on the tongue that erupts with dark, rich flavors. plums and caramel are smooth here, and the brew continues toward the stomach with a mild warming which reminds you that you are INDEED in the presence of greatness.

probably my 10-20th bottle lifetime of this stuff and i will not stop consuming it. never tried it (or westy 12) aged significantly, and that will be my next step in its appreciation. look forward to it.

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Photo of MediocreatBest
3.54/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

as i watched it fall from bottle to glass it was brown, but it sits a very dark deep brown, almost black in the glass. the greatest highlight of this beer for me was watching the head sit a good thumbs liength above the top of the glass with out any of it running down the sides, it jsut sat there happy as could be, pillowing above the glass, providing quite a sight. it has a murky brown color as it lessens in the glass and more light is allowed to pass through. i smell grass, malty sweetness, pepper, alcohol, and pears. tastespeppery, wet horsblanket taste that is oh so popular this year, wiht an aftertaste of booze and pepper. bubbly at first which seems to fade somewhat quickly perhaps i swirled it in the glass to many times. also hints of fruit (peas, current, depnding on the sip) and grassy ntoes blending together with the horse blanket taste. surprisingly light in the mouth, and very drinkable, but as i have been rereading some of my reviews lately, i think everything is drinkable, it seems that i would almost always take another. but this doesnt lend much in the way of the 10% abv, or overbearing tastes of some belgians.

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Photo of Erniek
4.83/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this ale on tap at The Map Room in Chicago recently. What I anticipated before hand was enhanced two fold after tasting this brew. It was served in the proper brewery glass and had such a nice head on it that I had to look at it for a while before finally lifting the glass for a sip. Presentation is really important to fulfilling desire and I think that this was one of the best looking beers I have had served to me ever. When I took that first sip I knew that this was something to be savored for a while. Nice rounded malt sweetness and smooth strength. Creamy sweet soft and chewy. Nice lingering aftertaste, like sucking on a piece of candy. WOW.

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Photo of bruachan
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

from arrowine

damn purdy deep mahogany with fine, fluffy head that falls but leaves some lacing behind

very pungent. dried fruit and bready yeast with some spice (clove?)

i couldn't really put my finger on what hit me first. something fruity, but not tropical. some more of the same spice (again, clove i think). very smooth and creamy. nicely warming from the unkahol, but it isn't at all offensive

not quite thick, but definitely a quad in texture. babybutt smooth

no problem drinking several of these. not even a little

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

Paid $13.99 for the 4-piece sampler with 'sniffer' glass...

The beer pours a dark brown color, like a belgain strong dark ale, with a medium sized white head, very good retention and a few nice lacing effects. The aromas are everywhere with this one, smells like a nice mixed bag of malts, with a few spice and fruit touches as well.

The taste is medium-body, tastes very sweet like brown sugar. The malt tastes are everywhere as well and the spice is less so in the taste. The slight alcohol taste actually feels good in this case, especially during the winter, which is the best time to drink strong belgians with stouts and porters. The mouthfeel is quite fascinating, for as heavy the alcohol is in this one, the body is moderate and the palette has no issues. The delivery is almost perfect but the sweet brown sugary taste affects the delivery. The drinkability is very solid, at 10% it's amazing compared to Gulden Draak, however I could not see myself drinking more than one of these in any one session.

Final Thought: Belgian ales are still new to me, but through time I may appreciate them more, and review this one again. Big ups to the Prior 8 from this brewery.

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Photo of paterlodie
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Humm alway's a good beer and my closer for tonight. Had quiet some different styles today but quadruppel is always something else. Presance is more then ok and head is overwelming staying long. Smell of ripe fruit( apricot) and flowers do you remind that this is from near westvleteren. Nice combination of everything that your tung& nose can detect in this brew. Sweetfruity, fullmalty and a subtile bitter seem to dominate so. Just to say, what a mouthfull there is in every tiny litle sip. One of the better beers you can get in Belgium, one thats in my cellar permantly however once in a while a botle gets renewed, what a pleasance!

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Photo of mkopera24
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty strong Belgian Ale. The lacing on this is excellent. A very dark brown. When held up to the light, it barely passes through. Very dark. The smell has hints of green apple. Very sweet smelling. The taste contained a variety of flavors. At first a malty nutty taste. The aftertaste contained hints of bannanas. Very foamy feeling in your mouth. Quite filling. Very good try for anyone interested in trying some of the best of the best. Would highly recommend.

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Photo of Citadel82
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a wonderful sipper, like a very complex cabernet this brew has so much depth and complexity.

Pours a cloudy brown with a short lived thin head that leaves some lace on my apparently not to clean glass.

Aroma of brown sugar, cloves and a whiff of alcohol

Cloves and spices, malt, cake, dried fruit ,ripe fruit, sugar, alcohol, not neccessarily in that order and not the same from sip to sip. Warmer is better.

Wonderful on the tounge and cheeks, lots of fine carbonation waiting to be roused with a gentle swish of the toungue.

Very drinkable on a cool night when something special is called for.

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

I did not think this was a trappist beer; it says "St. Bernardus - Belgium Trappistenwig, 23" on the bottom of the label. Difficult to find this beer, found a 4 pk at Whole Foods.
Pours a dark rich chocolate black and is not translucent with a three inch head that dissipated with lacing around the inside of the glass.
Very evident rich smell of a cookie roasted molasses malt with a perfume resin, slightly lemon, hop aroma.
The taste pronounces the smell with a moderate, slightly cookie, lightly bready, roasted molasses malt; moderate, slightly grapefruity, herb resin hops; a light horseblanket doughy yeast; and hints of the following: tawny port, slight toffee, brown sugar, licorice, and cola into the smooth finish.
Mouthfeel is one of the smoothess medium to full bodied beer I've ever had, the texture has a creamy dry feel, the carbonation is lively and soft, and the hops has a metallic piercing into the finish.
Drinkability is perfect for this type of style, look out for the ten percent.

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Photo of neonbrown82
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had a craving for this beer for quite some time. As I drank this beer I consulted my review, and as it was one of the first beers I reviewed for this site, my palate lacked the sophistication necessary to explain the pure bliss of this beverage. The first time I reviewed this beer I gave it a 4.9, but I believe now that is well deserving of the extra tenth.

The beer poured into my St. Bernardus chalice to a very dark nutty brown color with a massive dimpled foam cap that sticks around throughout the entire glass. This beer necessitates an extra category: sound. Sounds like a bowl of rice krispees, but the carbonation does not produce a harsh mouthfeel.

The smell is very sweet due to a quadruple dose of caramelized malts and fermentable sugars (belgian dark candi sugar, caramel, molasses, honey?). The high alcohol content is also noticable through the smell.

The beer provides an initial taste of all kinds of specialty sugars and spices, and as the liquid is passed from the tip to the mid-section of your tongue, the caramelized malts begin to grab hold of your senses. Finally, the finish shows a tiny bite of low AA noble hops, but just enough to balance out the sweetness.

Seems to be slightly astringent. Some aging would probably do her well, but as I said, I have had a craving for this beer for far too long to wait for a cellared product. The astringency is not overbearing though, nor is the alcohol or the sweetness. The mouthfeel is full and a bit creamy, and the foam is a bit metallic tasting (maybe from the minerals in the well water?)

Very heavenly. I may be a heathen bastard, but I believe that there must be some divine force responsible for this fine beverage. When I drink this beer, I seem to transcend beyond the normal state of drunkenness or sobriety. I only wish I could drink nothing but beers of this quality or higher (I'll have to be the judge of whether Westy is better than this or not, but I really don't see how it can get any better) without taking a huge hit on my pocket book just to drink a beer or two from day to day. It goes without saying that this is very highly drinkable, even though the ABV is quite high. If you haven't ingested this holy nectar, you are a sinner and likely going to hell, regardless if you (like me) don't believe in any religion.

In tradition of the holy bible, I hereby damn John's Grocery in Iowa City for tempting me with this forbidden fruit. Anything as good as a fine Belgian beer has got to be a sin.

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Photo of Hhawk06
4.43/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Redbones, the fine Somerville establishment, very reasonably priced I might add. The body was a dark, caramel brown with little head, perhaps it dissipated as it was filled to the brim. The nose is figgy and/or raisin? Nice. My first thought is wow, what a taste explosion. Then I immediately notice the syrupy, full mouthfeel. This is quite obviously a world class beer. I find there are a bunch of flavors vying for number one here; brandy/raisin/fig/and a candy sweetness. The finish is fantastic, wonderfully quenching with an incredible penetrating sweetness that forever lingers. Tremendous beer, I can see what all the fuss is about.

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Photo of moocey
3.58/5  rDev -19%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I had one of these on tab at the Brick Store in Atlanta a few months ago at the beginning of my BeerAdvocacy. Since then, my beer experience has grown by leaps and bounds. So I had to buy a bottle and try it again.

Appearance - Pours a deep, dark brown with a head that refuses to leave. I haven't ever had a beer with such good head retention that I wished the head would calm down a bit.

Smell - Alcohol, lots and lots and lots of alcohol. Some malt comes through.... I don't find it pleasant.

Taste - Big blast of malt and alcohol. Subtle fruityness of either rasins, plums... something along those lines. I think it may be spicy, but I'm not sure. It's slightly sweet up front but dry at the end. The taste of this beer is completey foreign to me; like nothing else I've had. Don't taste any hops at all.

Mouthfeel - Like sipping on a can of liquid malt extract. Just what I want from this beer.

Drinkability - It is what it is.

Wow. This beer tastes good, but I wasn't in the mood for it at all. Come to think of it, I haven't been in the mood for Malty-and-Not-Hoppy beer in a while. In time, when I drift back over to the other end of the spectrum, I'll be enjoying the heck out of some St. Bernardus ABT12

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

Sweet Jesus, this is a fine beer.

Pours a deep, reddish brown, lifting a delightfully abundant off-white head. As the head settles (which takes ages...) it forms delightful dimples. I also notice specks of brown on it - I don't know if these are chunks of yeast or what, but they make me think of one thing - grated nutmeg on eggnog.

Smells of big malt and fruit. Sour apple, yeastiness, cinnamon. Is this beer *really* not spiced?

Tastes more glorious than anything else. Big, wintery, spicy fruit. Cinnamon and nutmeg and clove and apple - like apple pie in a glass. Frothy, estery caramel goodness. Chewy and malty to no end.

As for the mouthfeel, it's honestly quite like drinking heavy cream. Feels like frothy espresso. Caramely-apple-pie-flavored frothy espresso.

A damn good beer. Few beers would elicit a "perfect 5" from me, but this one pulled it off. Without a doubt, my current favorite beer.

*Note: Also, it's *damn* drinkable for a quadrupel.

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Photo of Billolick
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap, (gotta love the Blind Tiger!) This gem poured dark brown, and murky. minimal head, but leaves well developed lacing. Multiple layers of flavor going on here, fruity, malty, yeasty. complex and intriguing, warrming but not overpowering in strength, body or flavor. the genius here is that its so drinkable. seek out savor and enjoy.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.73/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearence: Pours a dark reddish brown with a nice, fizzy beige head. Head leaves great lacing.

Smell: The aroma is very much like a red wine, with fruity and caramel notes. The alcohol comes on a bit too strong.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The beginning of this taste journey is all about the malts. Sweet and juicy with a great caramel taste. The middle is completely balanced between malts and hops. And it ends with a great hop flavor with a still nicely balanced flavor. This is a phenomenal tasting beer, unique from all others I've ever had. The mouthfeel is superb, slick and creamy at the same time.

Drinkability and Overall: This is one of those beers that changed my life. First Storm King, then Westvleteren 12, now this. I'm still new to Trappist brews but I know I already love it. For me, the mouthfeel of this beer is the best part. I can't believe how great it feels - that is what makes me want to have another. This is a phenomenal beer. Seek and ye shall find the best of beers.

I'm am forevever in debt to a great man, GClarkage. Thank you my friend, I owe you for this one.

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Photo of stcules
3.65/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown monk color, clear, but with some floating yeast. Brown head, not too thick, but with beautiful laces.
Fruity smell (quince, plum), yeast and breadcrust (light). Vegetables and cooke bitter roots. Maybe some solvent?
The taste is warm and alcoholic (maybe too alcoholic); plums and cocoa, bitter roots, raisins and candy fruits.
Good body.
The aftertaste is on warm tones again; toffee, caramel, and sharp cocoa. Cinnamon hints. Alcohol less evident.
Tastes and smells are variables quickly during the tasting.

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Photo of ZAP
4.97/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy, muddy mahogany...great nose...big cookie doughalso some sweet fruits....perhaps watermelon..also black cherries...plums..a hint of molasses as well..Body is rich and eloquent...spicy alcohol evident but it fits nicely with the rich flavors...carbonation is jacked up...that fits nicely too...flavors are sweet dark fruit maltiness acented wit ha candy sugar like sweetness...finishes creamy and smooth...as I drink this I realize this is the big dog...this is a true heavy hitter....I am in possession of a fantastic beverage...better than any of the Westy stuff I've had which is saying something and the best of the 3 I've had from this brewery....

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

Pours into a goblet a dark, murky apple cider color. Nice lace down the side of the glass. Smells of bread and dark fruits (the goblet really does help with smells especially). Taste is divine, with a malty, dark fruit thing going on that's just outstanding. (The guy who said this was like chocolate-cherry bread was right on.) Mouthfeel's delectable, quite creamy. Alcohol is barely noticeable, rendering this 10% abv brew very drinkable.

This is a gobsmackingly delicious brew, quite possibly the best I've ever had. If you get the chance to try it and don't, you'll regret it.

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

9.4 fl oz bottle (1 pint) for $8.99

deep brown with hints of amber in the right light. large white foaming head that dissapates very slowly, about an inch under the head you can see bubbles stream up to continusly feed it. impressive lace when rolling this one around a goblet.

hard to put into words but very apparent. maybe candied plums could be the right adjective ? or even candied mushrooms (if you can imagine such a thing) as there is definitely an "earthy" tone present.

the head provides a nice float and creaminess across the pallette. the alcohol is apparent on the back end (not harshly however). A grain prescense is left on the tongue along with a slight coffee flavor at the very end.

for a beer with the ABV of 10% this is extremely smooth. This may not be the greatest belgian I have tasted but it holds its own as a very solid beer in every single category when you go to tally up your scores. good stuff.

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

I had a smiliar experience with a brew about eight years ago, called St. Sixtus. While I don't think it was exactly the same beer, the graphic on the bottle was identical.

Anyway, here's a real winner. I dig the tripels and quadrupels, and this one is no exception. This is a big beer, but it's quite balanced and well-presented in all of the right places. At 10%, it really hides the raw alcohol nose well.

Pours very nicely, and the head hangs on. It's lacey and bubbly -- not chunky or rocky. Smell and color are super and the taste is out of this world. You get the dark roasted coffee, the nutty and buttery notes, the dark chocolate ... the works. This is beer that has depth *and* complexity. Highly recommended.

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Photo of tomthumbsblues
4.95/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This gem of a beer pours a dark cloudy brown, so dark and thick you can't see light through it, and produces a huge foamy head which goes down slowly leaving some lacing. Its aroma contains hints of spice, cherries and a red wine character which I liken to a fine Merlot. The taste was the best part of this beer by far. At first you are introduced to a rich coffee and chocolate flavor which later yields to fruitiness. There are also hints of light spicing and roasted malt which comes towards the end. In the mouth this beer had the texture and richness of good coffee. At the same time it was creamy and smooth. The aftertaste left a nice thick coating on the mouth. The only thing I didn't like about this beer was a sense of grittiness in the front of the mouth in the aftertaste, otherwise, this offering was probably the best I've sampled so far. I'd definitely have another!

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Photo of BeerManDan
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color of this Belgium Trappist was, medium dark brown, with a fair amount of light tan foam and no lace. The smell of fruit and malts, with a hint of yeast filled the nose. The taste had a soft fruitiness with just a touch of a sweet/sourness to balance out this Belgium Abbey Ale. The balance of malts, hops and yeast has made this brown ale a very pleasant trappist.

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




This amazing offering was available on-friggin'-tap at one of the true meccas of beer: Anam Cara.

This beer is everything that I remembered and more. Colors are dark, cloudy. Immense and impressive lace nearly overtakes the goblet. Aromas are still a lovely mix of dark fruits, Captain Morgan's spiced rum, and chocolate. Flavor? Yep. Still kick ass. All sorts of dark fruit soaked in rum, yeasty sweetness, and some more chocolate. An avalanche of creamy smoothness implants itself onto your palate. The 10% ABV hides behind the smokescreen of flavor and mouthfeel. Numerous pints of this completely amazing beer could be enjoyed.

I am indebted to SpileDriver for having this gem available on-tap. Simply stellar.

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

Murky brown in color with a foamy tan head. The aroma is malty and bready, with a dark fruit smell. The flavor is bready, malt, and alcoholic. It has a fruity, boozy flavor in the finish. It has a nice sweetness throughout, not overpowering, but just right. It is a bit wine-like in the flavor as well. It is full-bodied and warming. You know this one is strong from the get go. I very nice Belgian, and I am sure I will visit her over and over again. A definite must try.

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

Served on draft in a St. Bernardus chalice. A lovely deep mahogany body with a rocky cream head which stayed throughout the entire (long) drink and left persistent lacing on the glass. Hypnotic dark fruit and spicy alcohol aromas which were nearly intoxicating by themselves. Fantastically complex dark fruit and spice flavors. The alcohol comes through quite clearly, but is carefully blended with the fruits and spices so that a dark, mellow, and delicious vinous quality ensues. Very rounded and creamy body (more creamy and smooth than the bottled version). Very strong, but surprisingly easy-drinking on draft, perhaps because it's smoother than the the bottled variant.

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
98 out of 100 based on 2,648 ratings.