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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.

2,614 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,614
Hads: 8,592
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 8.39%
Wants: 631
Gots: 1,924 | FT: 52
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: 2,614 | Hads: 8,592
Photo of Gobearswalter34
4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A huge, foamy, off-white head. Pours a very hazy, thick, reddish-brown. Smell of funky fruit with a definite malty backing. Taste, Carmel malt, dark fruit of many kinds. As warms, notes of chocolate. A thinner mouthfeel than expected would allow for many drinks. A warm sensation down the palate and down the hatch in which alcohol shows up. I'm not huge on quads, but enjoyed. (383 characters)

Photo of neurobot01
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml c&c bottle best-by dated 7/10/18 into a Burgundy goblet at cellar temp. Bottle opens with a massive *pop*. Allowed to warm; consumed as part of the mass online tasting on this date.

Look: pours about the color of Coke, only about 100x more beautiful, like if Coke were made by monks. Luxurious offwhite head, decent lacing.

Smell: bread pudding, brandy, figs, caramel, wheat ale, candi sugar, nutmeg.

Taste: just fantastic. Sweet up front, but with a pronounced savory aspect, like chocolate-covered bacon. I get maple syrup, vanilla, brandy, figs, molasses... There's a hint of bitterness, but it really just tempers the sweetness, and isn't at all unpleasant. Starting from cellar temp (54F in this case), I'm not picking up any major changes as it warms, although the relative balance of the elements does change a bit.

Feel: a bit fizzy, light to medium, dryish finish. I think I'd actually like this better with about 10% less carbonation.

Overall: for all intents and purposes, this was my first time with this beer, and boy am I glad I finally had an opportunity to drink it. Beers like this are why the BA old-timers just laugh when all the new kids are killing themselves chasing the newest whale. (1,217 characters)

Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a chalice from a bottle less than a year old. Aroma is sweet with notes of fig, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Taste is initially sweet and a little bitter, this is followed by dried fruit (figs, raisins). The finish is creamy with a some alcohol warmth. Afterwards there is a lingering taste of dried fruit and carmel. The mouth feel is fantastic; bold, rich, yet creamy and smooth. You can tell it has some alcohol but there isn't ever an alcohol "bite". This is a rich complex beer worth trying. I would image it only gets better with a little age. (554 characters)

Photo of MUTINY
3.96/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle into a Belgian-style tulip.

A: Pours a surprisingly clear brown/amber with 1/2" white/khaki head that lingers. The retention on this brew is unreal, among the best I've ever seen. Lacing is nonexistent.

S: Nuttiness, slight booze, caramel. Roastiness. What I'd first taken as oat bread but now see clearly as pumpernickel. Some pitted fruit as well.

T: Quite boozy. Pitted fruits, what I'd call roasted caramel & then more booze through the mid-palate. The finish is off-sweet with candied fruit balanced out with yet more booze.

M: Carb is higher than expected. The body has a rich, yet light & delicate feel. Much like a fine Italian red wine.

O: This is a truly deep, moving experience to consume. Glad that I did. (751 characters)

Photo of Buck89
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful reddish brown hue poured into a snifter. This one is a 2013 brew. Thick light tan head that stays with you for awhile. Light to moderate lacing. Aroma full of red and black cherries and some earthy tones. The taste is complex as expected: cherries and plum followed by sweet malt/caramel followed by tobacco and earthy estery notes. I felt a great warming at the end of the dry finish, gently reminding me that this is a big beer. The feel and carbonation is light to medium and a perfect vehicle for the experience. Just beautiful (541 characters)

Photo of Apellonious
4.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 bottle best by Jan 16 2019 poured into a tulip glass.

A - Murky, dark brown with ruby highlights. Two finger clear white head that moves to a half finger lace. Active carbonation on the pour, and visible sediment in the glass.

S - Grape, fig, booze, clove/spice

T - I must have a palate problem. Having a hard time picking things out at first. Clove, banana and grape qualities, toasted malt. Opens up more as it gets warm (I let it sit at 20m at room temp, maybe it should have been longer)

M - Almost has a champagne/white wine feel to it. Carbonation is high, sits medium light in the mouth, and finished dry.

O - Admittedly, I have not drank many quads to compare, and will probably come back to this one, but I was a touch underwhelmed based on the hype. Still a very tasty beer (maybe too young at 18 months?), and there is always a question of how/where it has been stored up until this point, but it's worth a go, just prepare for pricey. (965 characters)

Photo of gcrfire3
4.91/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is the best tasting beer I've had. I saw this on the shelf (4pk) and although it was relatively expensive ($20.99/4pk). The beer I had was bottled in 2013, so it had a couple years on it already. I had to see if the taste lived up to the hype. I was not disappointed at all! Highly recommend you go for it if you're on the fence about trying/buying this. The three I have left will be saved for sharing with friends! If Westy 12 is better than this (their supposedly the same recipe...right?) than I can't wait to try that as well. (543 characters)

Photo of _cr1992_
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is the best!!!!! Loved everything about it. From the way it was presented to me down to swallowing this beer. It is very delicious and would highly recommend it to everyone. Glad my awesome bartender showed me it. (225 characters)

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.51/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed from a growler from Eight Ball Brewing company via The Party Source.
This true treat on tap pours a lightly cloudy brownish red with a modest off white head of foam that fades to a thin ring and nice light lacing. The nose is of figs, raisins, heavy Belgian candy sugars, leather, tobacco, and moderately strong alcohol. Flavors surpass the nose with sweet candy sugars and caramel notes that fade to a raisin and fig flavor profile that is warming on the back, yet well hidden considering the ABV. Mouth feel is lively with carbonation, slick, and ends with a Belgian candy sugar note like a light molasses. Exceptional. Begs for a warm fire in winter....works exceptionally well in the air conditioning away from the heat of summer.

At 20 dollars a growler I feel privileged to enjoy such a wondrous treat considering the cost of a bottle.

A favorite to be certain, worthy of the praise that is heaped upon it.

Cheers (938 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, deep, dark, mahogany color, with two full fingers of white-colored head that slowly dissolved away into a lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic, with lots of complex, rich, earthy, aromas of bready, toasted malt, which imparts aromas of freshly baked French baguettes. There are also notes of candied sugar, toffee, dark molasses, lots of dried stone fruit, such as raisins, prunes and dates. I also get notes of funky, spicy, Belgian yeast, which imparts notes of saddle leather, clove, and interestingly, a touch of dark chocolate. Smells awesome!

Taste: Wow! Just…wow! Delicious! Earthy, rich, amazing. Lots of bready, toasted malt up front, followed by some nuttiness and candied sugar, toffee and dark molasses-like sweetness. There are lots of deep, fruity flavors of dried stone fruit, such as raisins, prunes and dates. I also get notes of funky, spicy, Belgian yeast, which imparts notes of clove, and as stated earlier, a touch of dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Slightly chewy and smooth as there is very little carbonation. With an ABV of 10%, there is practically no alcohol on the palate. It’s amazing how well masked the alcohol is. This beer could be…no, check that, it is a dangerous beer in that its incredibly easy to drink, like three or four of them, and not taste or feel the alcohol…that is until you try to stand up and fall on your ass!

Overall: This is an outstanding beer! Malty, fruity, spicy, earthy, rich, complex and utterly amazing. As with all of the other beers from St. Bernardus, this is very, highly recommended! (1,706 characters)

Photo of -Rick
3.53/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I try and enjoy Quads, but they just do not do it for me. For what it's worth (not much since I am not a quad fan) this was one of the better ones I have tried. (160 characters)

Photo of heytomcat
4.05/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Quads always seem a bit heavy for me. I'm more of a Tripel kind of guy. Nonetheless, this is a tasty beer if you just want a few. A little too sweet for me. (160 characters)

Photo of oldn00b
4.81/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Edited slightly from prior review. Having this again now, most seems the same except the head retention is much better than last time for some reason - pillowy froth sticks around for a long time. Pours a very dark amber.

Nose is light and sweet, lots of fruit jumps out like plum for me.

Flavor and mouthfeel are about perfect for this beer. Finishes with a lot of dried fruit like raisin and prune.

It is absolutely wonderful all around. (445 characters)

Photo of Adamanton
4.84/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a growler into a goblet with little to no head. Smells sweet. Dark fruit lots of plum. Tastes like it smells with rich malty goodness and zero bitterness. Then comes the boozy bunch off the backside. Sit down, sip, and enjoy every drop. Damn near a 5. (263 characters)

Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the bottle, it is an extremely fizzy pour into the glass. This beer is dark in color and in really big in flavor. Dangerously easy to drink - warning! (157 characters)

Photo of MA_hops
4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Another superb Quad…not as good as Westy 12, but still a very good beer!
A: Dark brown with perhaps a tint of a darkish shade of amber at the base of the glass. Has a thin, white, highly carbonated head. Carbonation is on par with a soda.
S: Grapes, faint raisin, white wine, a hint of sweetness.
T: Not as sweet as Westy 12…could taste grape, raisin, some caramel like sweetness.
M: Medium body, somewhat bitter, fairly carbonated overall.
O: A solid Quad! Very good! (474 characters)

Photo of DevAJ
4.34/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After having Gulden Draak 9000 I was actually somewhat surprised at how dark it was. I was expecting a more golden color and this was more of a deep dark brown (the color of regular Gulden Draak). It was still really good and it had a very large head, but now I'm not sure of the true style standard as this was much closer to classic Gulden Draak in both look and taste. I suppose I'll just have to try more Quads to get it all figured out. (444 characters)

Photo of souvenirs
4.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Biercraft on Cambie Street in Vancouver, BC

Smells of raisin. Tastes sweet, not really boozy. I'm getting raisin, dried figs and plums. Finishes dry. (160 characters)

Photo of TheVillageIdiot
4.46/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This has suddenly become my favorite of these brews. Very nice stuff, would drink it any time. Seem like it would go well with a meat and potatoes meal. AVV according to the label is 10%. (187 characters)

Photo of PorterPro125
4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type: 33 cL (330 mL) Bottle

A- Reddish-Brown hue topped by a bubbly tan 3 finger head that fades fairly quickly to a thin skim.

S- Fruity and Malty. Pear and apple up front along with some darker fruitiness (raisins mostly). Slight hint of alcohol at the end.

T- Follows the nose without as much malt. Pear, apple, raisins, bubblegum, and maybe a hint of molasses. Incredibly crisp taste for a 10% brew.

M- Dense mouth feel. Big body on this brew. Fairly low carbonation that is standard with Belgian Tripels/Quadrupels.

O- As my first Quad, I have to say that I am impressed with what the style has to offer. Even with a giant body, this beer is incredibly easy drinking,even at 10%. Lots of favour to boot. (726 characters)

Photo of farrago
4.36/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crests close to a finger, nice frothy head which settles into an even coating across the surface, tan in color, the lacing acts like a coat of mail and just shimmers down the glass sides. Cloudy amber to light brown colored liquid, more yellow near the surface, very difficult to visually inspect the carbonation level. The nose has a regal compactness to it, molasses, rum raisin ice cream, spiced oranges, cola, clove and bubblegum, green apple, apricot and red cherry fruit interwoven, there is also an element of cigar ash and earthiness, definitely does not overplay sweetness. In the mouth it’s medium-bodied and, again, more dense than fluid and expansive. This said allowing for the big foaminess and softly round carbonated mouth feel. Caramel, bubblegum, banana, clove, anise and a slight pie crust doughiness. The cherry, blackberry, plum fruit takes on a darker complexion here without undue sugariness, hint of fig or date. Mild metallic to earthy qualities, mostly as residue. Given its subtlety, few flavors leap out at you to jot down, what you are most struck by is its balance for the category and its confident persistence without raising its voice. You notice it without it having to work hard for you to do so. (1,233 characters)

Photo of ordybill
4.99/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 355 ML bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- big malt and fruit smell, really good
Appearance- Pours a dark brown with a big tan head. Has a lot of sediment and I let that settle before tasting.
Taste- Incredible flavor, malt, hops and maybe some fruit
Palate- A medium bodied beer with mild carbonation. Excellent creamy texture.
Overall- A world class beer, outstanding. (383 characters)

Photo of ds47uk
4.62/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Why mess about trying to find Westvleteren 12 when you can have this - brewed by the brewery who used to brew WV12. To my taste it is virtually as good and a hell of a lot easier to find!! (188 characters)

Photo of kbwalters
4.21/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured cold into a UK style stout glass. Consumed on 1/3/15.
Look = 4.5 Pours a murky brown with a lot of red highlights with some streaming bubbles. 3 fingers of light brown head, thick with great lace and retention.
Aroma = 4.0 Sweet malt, with notes of caramel and toffee. Acidic and yeasty.
Taste = 4.25 Sweet with a little acid mix in; no bitterness. A little booze. Notes of nuts and dark fruits.
Feel = 4.25 Medium bodied with high carbonation, fizzy, champagne like. Body might be a little light for the style.
Drinkability = 4.25 A little boozy as expected for the style, but still highly drinkable.
Overall = 4.225 Very good beer, great classic quad. Sweet, a little acidic, fizzy and boozy. (708 characters)

Photo of madelfonatree
4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look – Creamy, thick head. Unfiltered dirt clay color.

Smell – Like a sweet lager.

Taste – Toned down alcohol throughout but smooth. Malty.

Feel – Expands in the mouth. Has volume. Sticks around on the tongue.

Overall – The look and feel of this beer make it one of the best. It's a flavorful quad but isn't too sweet. I'm glad I had it on draft. (361 characters)

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
98 out of 100 based on 2,614 ratings.