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St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

6,368 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6368
Reviews: 2442
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website

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: 6,368 | Reviews: 2,442 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Copernicus


4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a 330 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: This slips into the glass in a nutty brown with a cloudy haze, like chestnuts. It forms an aggressive head of creamy, off-white foam at two fingers. It leaves a tightly woven lace.

S: Right up front there are dark dried fruits: figs, dates, prunes, and raisins. There are some light phenols suggesting cooling winter spices like nutmeg and cardamom. In the background is a sturdy malt presence with light roastiness and a hint of caramel. The hops are spicy but mild.

T: Spicy. Pow! Lots of toasty roasty malt here, followed by spicy, earthy yeast. It hints at dark bread, milk chocolate, toffee, and light or blonde roast coffee. There is absolutely no sourness of tartness here. The alcohol is definitely present, but it contributes a welcome, fiery snap. Everything is then rounded off by a deep and rich earthy molasses sweetness and then finishes with a pleasant bitterness.

M: There is potent alcohol here (no hiding that!), but it's accentuated by flirtatious carbonation and then alleviated by the medium body and the slick, oily finish.

O: The is a damned fine beer for a rainy Bay day. The Apt 12 is more "Christmasy" than most holiday ales. But that's the way these things seem to go. Alas, a fine fine ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 19:40:33 | More by Copernicus
Photo of RoboNix


4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - dark brown with reddish highlights. Hazy, as expected from a bottle conditioned beer and within style guidelines. Significant perlage. Abundant, foamy, moderately persistent off-white head. Perfect.

Aroma - esters, caramel, cherry, prune. Slight hot alcohol. Maybe a whiff of spice. No hops.

Taste - complex, but overall harmonious. Dark fruits: raisin, cherry, prune, fig. Belgian caramel. Very slight umami. Pleasantly dry throughout. Surprising amount of bittering evident in late mid-palate to finish. Not as long a finisher as expected based on complexity and depth of flavors.

Mouthfeel - borderline harsh carbonation. Medium-heavy body.

Overall - world class beer and excellent example of style. Only non-quibbling fault is the carbonation making the mouthfeel a bit uncomfortable. Dry for an Abbey quad.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 09:12:26 | More by RoboNix
Photo of MartzMimic


4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish brown with a bubbly milk chocolate head that dissipates quickly. Very little lacing. Smells of dark fruits, tobacco, bread and malt. Plum, raisin, malt and caramel taste. Alcohol is very pronounced. Medium mouth with a fair amount of carbonation. I prefer the Rochefort 10 by a slight margin, but this is an excellent quad.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 03:18:10 | More by MartzMimic
Photo of cxr1037


4.95/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I had this lovely quad a few nights back and took some notes:

APPEARANCE: Dark, almost black body that demonstrates a reddish hue when held up to light. Strong, thick head. Sediment floating around inside the bottle.

AROMA: The aroma is fantastic on this beer. There's dark fruits, like plum, raisin, fig. Sweet, caramel malts. I also detected brown sugar and a little bit of cinnamon. There's also a whiff of alcohol in there - at 10% it was expected.

TASTE: What a great, complex taste, with just about all elements of the nose showing strong. The malts offer a sweet caramel breadiness that's well complemented by the plum, raisin, and fig, as well as a little bit of banana. Brown sugar is also noticeable, with a trace amount of chocolate mixed in as well.

MOUTHFEEL: No surprises. Thick and heavy, with alcoholic warming. Also somewhat creamy. Where I think this beer shines is that despite the sweetness, it's never syrupy or sickly.

OVERALL: People who've had both tell me that Westvleteren XII is marginally better than Abt 12. I haven't had Westy, so for now, Abt 12 is my favorite quad. I feel like I should have more quads before giving this a 100, but I think it's the perfect example of the style.


Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 01:36:40 | More by cxr1037
Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers


4.31/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served out of a bottle with the date of 04-04-18 on it.

A - Pours a hazy brown with a two finger of white khaki head with great lacing.

S - Smooth maltiness comes to mind on first smell. With the characteristics of caramel, fig, grapes, raisins and an overall sweetness. Very smooth and pleasant.

T - Follows the nose really well. Caramel malt, figs, grapes, sweetness, alcohol (rum) shows as it warms. An overall well blended beer.

M - This is thick, fluffy soft and it has a high carbonation bite with a slight alcohol burn on the back end.

O - An overall great quad. Not my favorite style of beer in yet I really enjoy this one. Its mouth feel is unique and very appealing. My wife liked this one surprisingly since this is the first Quad she ever liked. A must have for any beer connoisseur, cheers!

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 23:57:24 | More by DrinkMoreBigBeers
Photo of flyingpig

United Kingdom (Scotland)

4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle from Beers of Europe website (£3.19):
Murky to caramel brown with a thumb sized, bubbly head that holds well. Lots of visible carbonation too.

Rich and complex with good balance between a whole host of dark fruits, sugar, sweet malts and spices plus some grapes, figs, yeast and even some banana. Some light alcohol rounds things off.

Very sweet and filled with sugar upfront, the beer is loaded with sweet fruits that includes some banana and figs along with a touch of apple and grape. There is some Belgian yeast in there too and a touch more alcohol than the nose had suggested but it is still lighter than you would expect going in. The beer is rounded off with some further fruit flavours and an intensely sweet taste.

Smooth and crisp on the tongue with medium body and a well carbonated feel to it. There is a huge amount of sweetness from start to finish with only faint hints of alcohol in places. Great balance & it goes down well.

Very sweet and highly drinkable with a great combination of fruits all balancing with each other very well indeed and combining to give a solid, highly drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2014 01:23:48 | More by flyingpig
Photo of LVituri


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

Com certeza um dos grandes rótulos não trapistas da Bélgica. Levo em consideração duas maneiras de degustá-la. Na garrafa ela possui um sabor mais forte e marcante. Na pressão ela é mais aromática e equilibrada, não há defeitos, não sinto que tenha o que criticar ou apontar como não cumprido. Um rótulo sensacional.

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2014 13:42:32 | More by LVituri
Photo of utopiajane

New York

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy honey brown with sediment you can see. It has a crimson bush deep int he beer and while it's hazed it lets light shine through. Off, off white, almost tan head of foam that looks like it will last but doesn't. Leaves sheets of soapy lace to look at as they fall back into the glass.

Nose has a bit of alcohol on it. I bring it up first because it's a bit sharp . medicinal. Nose is clove, ripe fruit. Plum and fig. fresh and alive. Waves of sweetness from malt and a light brown sugar. Cake like malt. Buttery, juicy earthy too. The yeast is powdery and dry and promises some lightness. Nothing burnt, nothing roasted just as it should be. It's comforting.

Taste is complex and rich. It unfolds and becomes so many things. It starts with fresh plum and fig, then becomes dried prune and raisin. then there is a touch of tart cherry. The yeast stays soft and dry and keeps things light and uplifted. The carbonation is effervescent and while that's true this beer is creamy. CREAMY. The fruits are sweet and resilent and the alcohol has a touch of dryness, a touch of spice and a bit of pepper and bitter to impart to the finish.

The finish is sweet and warming and by the time you finish this glass the alcohol is sweet not sharp. It has won you over with flavors that surrounded it. The fruit danced on the palate, the malt richness was cake like and light. The spice intriguing. I will have another even though I said I wouldn't at first.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 00:07:55 | More by utopiajane
Photo of WGO

United Kingdom (England)

4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown body with a light tan head. Head fades slowly but doesn't quite disappear, being maintained by a steady stream of bubbles. Head clings to the glass and doesn't let go.
Wine like aromas smells quite sweet and malty.
Taste is of warm, sweet alcohol. A little bitterness towards the end.
Very smooth and slick but well carbonated.
Overall a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 22:00:53 | More by WGO
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.24/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750ml bottle, best before 21.06.18.

A gloomy, dark amber body, thick foam, retention great but would have expected more lacing. Aroma has pears, figs and brown sugar. Flavor is rich, candied fruit, warming plums. Carbonation is spot on and not overdone like some Belgian ales are. Glad i can get this locally.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2014 18:40:22 | More by papat444
Photo of Or80rowley


4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Once I start on a pint, I can't stop

A. Brown to red color, slightly opaque, one finger head off white color

S. Bread, yeast, raisin, fig, malt, hint of something sweet

T. Sweet, raisin, fig, brown sugar, finishing with nice malty grain flavor that is Devine! Alc. is present, but I don't get 10% alc. hides it very well

M. Nice carbonation, smooth clean finish

O. Top notch Ale

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 21:19:47 | More by Or80rowley
Photo of rgturtle


3.85/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Poured not so opaque; more brick-colored than brown, with a 1/4-inch head, little lacing.
S - Somewhat yeasty, with a bit of alcohol.
T - Not quite as yeasty as it was on the nose; somewhat sweet.
M - More syrupy than I expected given how it poured.
O - Good solid beer for a nearly-sub-zero New England night, but not as world-class as I'd expected it to be.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 01:25:00 | More by rgturtle
Photo of Moheban


3.84/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Chimay chalice on 12/30/13

A: beatuiful tan head that lasted throughout the tasting. Nice dark ruby color.

S: dissapointed with the smell because the yeast odor really predominated from the moment I opened the bottle. I get nothing but bready yeast on the nose.

T: taste doesn't match the nose thankfully. The taste is complex, dark fruits, Booze is well masked.

M: rich and creamy

O: point for rochfort 10... Sorry bernie

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 05:08:40 | More by Moheban
Photo of DaveBar

Ontario (Canada)

4.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased at the LCBO in November for just under $9.00/ea CAD for a 750ml bottle..

A- Excellent! Pops hard with a TON of carbonation. Very healthy 1.5" head that trims down to a light film within a couple of minutes

S- Caramel. Yeasty. Hint of clove. Sickly sweet

T- Not sweet! LOL. VERY flavorful. A lot going on however I can tell this quad has had no time at all to mature. Super foamy, super young tasting, malty, too nutty- nutmeg, cinnamon. Everything is separated...

M- Very creamy but with a HIGH alcohol nip.

O- Very good. Looking forward to what a few years has to offer to this

Food Paring....

This wonderful young sample paired so well with... Curried Goat! I made a curried goat with a madras curry that paired very well. The heat was cut down a touch with this quad and left a pleasant aftertaste.

Thx for reading.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 21:14:10 | More by DaveBar
Photo of Amgarnier


4.99/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: very dark red with a thick white head resting on top. This slowly diminishes to bubbles that stay on top. The head sticks to the glass leaving nice lacing.

S: Sweet malty overwhelms with a backbone of dark fruit with a slight yeasty smell.

T: The big beer leads to strong sweetness, that is mellowed by some dark fruits almost like raisins, the hops are well hidden. The aftertaste keeps it's sweet flavor.

M: medium carbonation with a thicker body. The alcohol is warm but not hot. Leaves a dry a finish.

O: A deliciously sweet beer perfect for the style. A go to beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 03:40:03 | More by Amgarnier
Photo of sommersb


4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tasted On: 12-26-2013
Freshness: Best by 08-31-2018
Packaging: 330ml brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Wellington
Purchased: Received as a gift

Appearance: Huge creamy tan head sits on a dark brown ale, like a cola in color. Both lace and head retention are excellent.

Smell: Complex aromas start with rich, sweet malts, with dark fruit, spices and brown sugar.

Taste: As expected, the taste is malt-dominated, with brown bread and caramel sweetness, followed then by fruitiness of figs and raisins, then of bittersweet chocolates. Little in the way of hop characteristics.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, with a creamy body. The finish is just as in the taste, with lingering sweetness of malts and some pleasing alcohol warmth.

Overall: A real treat of a beer; this one is to be slowly savored and appreciated.

Thanks to Billy for this one!

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 07:11:23 | More by sommersb
Photo of Lungman


4.11/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Super hyped up beer here. Expecting a mouth oragasim. Looks nice and dark. Smells like toffee, coffee, and vanilla. Super carbonated. I like that, but no so much in this style. I like high carbonation in a saison, but weird here. Abv well hidden. Not to complex. Kinda disappointed. Oh well, back to IPA's.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 07:00:08 | More by Lungman
Photo of don1481


4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle poured into a glass. Merry Christmas to me! Cannot believe I found this near South Padre Island, TX at the local HEB.

Appearance: pours dark Brown with a little bit of foam that lingers and a fair amount of carbonation. Don't see any cloudiness or particles in this pour.

Smell: smells sweet. Like molasses mixed with toffee mixed with a dash of chocolate, vanilla, and heaven. Definitely a dash of heaven in the smell.

Taste: sweet, for sure. Get some of the molasses notes and some brown sugar and chocolate. Oh, and a hint of boozy. But its well hidden under the other flavors.

Mouthfeel: its like lots of little bubbles hitting your tongue. Not sticky at all. Pretty clean in my mouth.

Overall: super drinkable. This is so good, its dangerous. These big bottles can easily disappear. World class, hands down.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2013 01:20:54 | More by don1481
Photo of fourstringer


4.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a Brewers Art goblet. Moderate hand. 29.04.13 stamped on the top.

A: Hazy, dark iced-tea brown with 1/2 finger of sudsy off white head. Ok retention. Minimal lacing.

S: Fruity and inviting Belgian yeast with notes of grape, light banana, berry. Sweet vinous quality. Port wine. Raisin & toffee make an appearance. Slight spice.

T: Sweet malty fruit and slight spice kick it off with a gradual transition to a light European hop bitterness and tasty roasted malt notes. Finishes semi-dry with elements of dark chocolate, mocha, dried dark fruit. Cherry and raisin feature more predominantly as it warms. Caramel and toffee. Rum cake. Alcohol is present, but light - especially for 10% ABV.

M: Moderate carbonation with very smooth effervescence and moderate body. Nice texture on the palate.

O: Expertly crafted. Flavors and scents are cohesive and well integrated, yet individual characteristics take turns jumping to the forefront. Complex for sure. Each sip seems to reveal new layers. Highly drinkable. Watch yourself with this one - definitely got on top of me...


Serving type: bottle

12-21-2013 07:06:45 | More by fourstringer
Photo of Axnjxn

North Carolina

4.16/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

draft at beer study in chapel hill. into a snifter.

pours a dark brown with a nice inch thick head. the smell is big on dark fruits - grapes, plums etc. the taste holds true and at first is dominated by figs/plums and then the booziness hits you on the back end. its very solid for the style..though this isnt one of my favorite styles by any means. medium bodied with mild carbonation.

overall its better than westy 12, but still not one of my favorite beers. above average!

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2013 01:53:23 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of krustster


4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It's widely known that this is good so I'll keep my review brief.

Appearance is actually kind of gross. The head is a bunch of giant bubbles like a sink full of dish soap, which quickly pop and leave a sickly bit of swirling foam on the top. The beer itself is a cloudy dark brown. As a beer fan I know this is still probably going to be good, but I had a few moments of doubt as I was pouring it. A pretty large amount of chunky sediment on the bottom as well. I know it won't affect the taste, but it really does look kind of nasty overall.

Smell is where things turn around. Incredibly rich, bread/pastry aromas, toffee/caramel, with a hint of "dark fruits". Slightly present is a touch of alcohol heat. Amazingly sweet, almost candy-like aroma. I was a little grossed out on pouring this, but once I sniffed it I was hooked.

Taste is more of the same. Hearty bread and biscuit tastes, maple syrup, caramel, some fruit. It almost tastes like a cake donut in liquid form. There's a moderate burn which feels totally appropriate and balanced given the sweet, desert-like quality. I would give this a 5 but technically it was not quite as good as Rochefort 10, so I have to mark it down slightly. But really, this is an amazingly delicious treat.

Mouth feel is creamy, almost like a shake. Just enough carbonation to give a bit of bite on the entry. Again, super rich without being too thick, and dare I say it, decadent.

Overall this one is a classic for a reason. If you haven't tried it before, you're doing yourself a disservice. I waited years to buy it due to the price. It was worth every penny!

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 00:03:13 | More by krustster
Photo of Blake12


4.94/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Its hard to imagine a better beer. You expect a higher alcohol taste for the higher alcohol content but that is not the case with this beer. Very, very smooth taste. There hasn't been a person that I have turned on to this beer that hasn't loved it. I would recommend this beer to anyone.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2013 05:23:37 | More by Blake12
Photo of MrShake


4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I tried this beer for the first time shortly after trying my first Westy 12. Purchased at the same time.

It rates slightly lower than the westy, but I can get this any time I want.

The sweet, carmel and dark fruit flavors are FANTASTIC, and a pleasant alcohol warmth back it up. I have had the occasional sediment in the bottle, but even that doesn't ruin the experiance of this VERY well brewed Quad!

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2013 15:03:31 | More by MrShake
Photo of byronic

Ontario (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle served into a chalice.

A: A nice dark brown with quite a bit of carbonation. A thin head that slowly dissapates into small circles. Pours nice and clear, very alive and inviting!

S: Smells delicious, dark and sweet.

T: Rich caramel and spice, lingering sweetness in the after taste

M: Smooth but heavy, nicely carbonated

O: As my first quad, I Would definitely have this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2013 12:19:38 | More by byronic
Photo of ilikebeer03


4.11/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into snifter.

A: Pours a nice, thick, (eggshell?) white head. Pretty solid retention. Eventually fades into a pretty nice ring around the glass with some residual hanging out around the middle. Not too much lacing.

S: smells of dark fruit, bubblegummy yeast.

T: delicious. I don't drink too many belgians so I'm not as familiar with the style as others. I get a lot of dark fruit, candy sugar, bubblegum-y from the yeast. caramel. A very complex beer. Maybe toffee? I can't quite place it. anyway, it's good.

M: pretty thin (as is typical for the style) / good carbonation

O: delicious. Would buy again (especially because I found it priced at $1.79!!)

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 02:07:06 | More by ilikebeer03
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 6,368 ratings.