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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.

2,646 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,646
Hads: 8,743
Avg: 4.42
pDev: 17.42%
Wants: 668
Gots: 2,058 | 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: 2,646 | Hads: 8,743
Photo of Barracudas
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A classic from a classic brewery. What is there to say that has already been said. A beer to have on any special occasion. I would highly recommend it!

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Photo of muchos
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L - Auburn to reddish with a big frothy head, disappearing to almost nothing in 10 minutes or so.
S - Not much, mostly funky and tart, like faint under-ripe banana. A little apple/pear and more banana as it warmed.
T - More spicy than the aroma, some cloviness. Not much else right out of the fridge. But as it got warmer it really blossomed. More sweetness, bitterness, tartness. Like a hint of tart cherry, bread crust. Surprisingly bitter after taste.
F - Not as heavy as I expected. Damn near refreshing. Ample carbonation.
O - Highly rated, and rightly so.

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Photo of Flyjetz
3.61/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

It's a good beer but I was underwhelmed based on the high rating. 10% abv is not noticed in the taste but you'll feel it kick in pretty quickly. I'd try it again.

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Photo of Two-Guys-Drinking-Beer
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is AMAZING **as a warning** it's a big ABV beer, and it packs a huge punch. The corked top makes it just that much beer, don't try to pry off the cork when you've been drinking otherwise there may be some spillage :). Check out our review on the Two Guys Drinking Beer podcast.

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Photo of plaidowl
4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I can describe this beer as seeming heavy and light, rich and refreshing, simultaneously. There's rich complexity to the malty flavor, yet it's crisp and clean, leaving just a hint of bitterness that fades quickly. Like the other reviewers have said, the alcohol content does not emerge into the flavor. The color is the beautiful mahogany red of other beers that sit a bit heavier and satisfy sooner than this one does; I can drink more of this beautiful beer than other darker offerings. The aroma is slight, but pleasant, and the head foams up quite a bit, initially, but quickly recedes. And, even though it has a low carbonation, it resists feeling flat, even when left unattended for a time. And it tastes as good when ice cold as it does when nearing room temperature; that's a multifaceted, quality brew! And you can pop the cork like champagne!

Recommend pairing it with beef and chocolate.

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Photo of Beersmuggler
2/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was not a fan of this one at all. I am not a huge fan of quadruples so I should not have been surprised that I did not like this. I would not recommend it.

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Photo of Jimlikesbeer
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Large thick head. Foamed right out of the bottle when opened. Very smooth Quad. This is really good. No strange after taste. Of St. Bernardus Abbey, this is definitely my favorite

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Photo of khmel
4.69/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Dark brown with reddish-carmel hues, mostly opaque. Huge, thick, creamy foam head with insane retention.

S: Sweet fruits, cherry, leather.

T: Sweet malt up front, lots of complex flavor, slight hops in the middle.

M: Incredibly smooth!!! Creamy, rich, full-bodied. One can't feel the alcohol, low carbonation, dry finish.

This is a superb quad! Definitely worth enjoying more than once!

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a small bottle into a chalice glass.

Pours deep dark brown with a fizzy bubbly head that retains for a bit. Smells like a dark sugar palate. Brown sugar, dates, demerara, nutty caramel. Tastes like dark fruits, figs, dates, slight nuttiness, a faint spice palate of nutmeg, anise, allspice, but a slightly metallic flavor towards the finish disrupts. Tastes better and more flavorful as it warms. Quite a bit fizzier and thinner on the palate than I expected, especially for a quad. Very drinkable- a quad that isn't necessarily a sipper. Alcohol hidden very well. I will definitely revisit this time and time again, especially around the holidays.

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Photo of mrjez
4.36/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Fresh bottle from Craft Beer Base.
L: pours a very dark red, mahogany, with a huge fluffy tan head that takes ages to settle and leaves nice lacing.
S: a champagne whiff, with dark fruits and citrus beneath.
T: Rich and complex, slightly boozy. Made to be sipped.
F: awesome mouthfeel, creamy at the start, full-bodied, nicely carbonated, and a lovely warmth running long.
O: World-class, delicious, a wonderful quad.

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Photo of jancona
4.09/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful mahogany with khaki foam and nice lacing.
Smells a bit of mineral water and cola
Taste has a subtle cola flavor with brown sugar, dates, and a hint of molasses. Hides the high abv perfectly
I love the carbonated feel, smooth and creamy, no syrupy feel at all
A legendary quad.

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Photo of bilbobrewer
3.77/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

33cl btl purchased at grocery store in Brussels.
BB 04/29/2019
Served chilled in tulip.

Pours opaque brown. Like a (well filtered) homebrew, there's just a few 'meatier' brown drops at the end of the pour.
Head is short-lived.....virtually all gone in a few seconds.
Taste is thick, syrupy sweet malt. Resiny on the tongue, dry on the throat.
As only the second quad I've had (Trappist 10 being the other) I'm apparently just not a fan of something THIS sweet. Diabetes in a bottle.
Maybe call this one a "dessert beer".....but I don't drink beer with dessert.

I'm afraid this is a "quadrupel bypass" for me....Forgive me Father, for such a terrible pun.

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Photo of Usma689
4.86/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I have been drinking around St Bernardus and other tops rated beers.... and finally went and got one.


I love Belgiaum style. Lived in Germany ( Uk, ... ) Drank a lot of beer. Gravitated toward Belgium style.

Drink Ommegang .... almost daily.... should I post that?!?! Started with Chimay... detour with and frequent returns to Unibroue .... But Live with Ommegang.

This St B was far beyond what I expected. I will have to find the Westy now.... I would have rated it a 5... but it was so much better than what I thought was great.... Now I'm not sure what lies out there!

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.84/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Served at Bistro Montage in a chalice on our super expensive dinner for the year.

A cloudy haze the color of wheat bread. Aroma was full of grapefruit and plum. Taste had grapefruit, date, maybe some lemon. Very strong body and had to be taken in fairly small swallows. This beer is just amazing! It has a prominent presence and intensity, not one to be trifled with.

If you want some fun with this beer, have a person who has been drinking wine all night try it and watch the expression ton their face.

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Photo of Clintbeerwood
4.84/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Exceptional crisp taste complimenting the cloudy hazy pour with an amazing smell. Nice light refreshing strong taste hints of spices are on point. Love this quad.

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Photo of mschrei
4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into wine goblet. Love the look-dark, cloudy, murky bottom. Great long lasting carbonation. Can't quite describe the nose but I like it. Taste was thin when cold-there were moments when it felt watery and it was the lightest 10% abv beer ever, but it developed as it warmed. Rich, tasty, mouth filling. Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of DeFaz
4.57/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't drink a lot of quads, but it's not hard to tell that this one is special. Raisins and anise and other fruit in the wonderful smell and taste. Mouthfeel is smooth and moderately carbonated, and the alcohol is concealed well. Simply a beautiful sipper beer that would go well with dessert. Worth the price.

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Photo of alexanderplatz
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It seems natural to compare St. Bernardus Abt 12 to Rochefort 10, which is my favorite Belgian quad. St. Bernardus Abt 12 is certainly an excellent beer. It is somewhat drier and perhaps a touch hoppier than Rochefort 10. Anyone who is a fan of Rochefort should give this one a try as well.

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Photo of Mikus
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep reddish brown pour at friendly tap room. Aromas of dark fruit, spicy yet refined Belgian yeast with banana and clove. Thus tasted the pure essence of balance. Dark fruits and raisins galore. Delicious! Clean dry finish with some residual sweetness and yeast notes. A lesson in balance.

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Photo of M_J_Z
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of my all-time favorites! This beer never disappoints either on draft or from the bottle. It's exceptionally well-made and has great value and availability. If you're new to Belgian quadrupels, this is among the first you should try. It's excellent. There isn't much that I could say that hasn't been said in the countless glowing reviews here and elsewhere.

I just had this on draft last week and loved it as much as I ever have. It's timeless.

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Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Pours brilliant chestnut topped with a clingy 2” moussey tan tinted white foam cap.
S: Prune, dried fig, raisin, fruit cake, and anise
T: Prune then a hint of cocoa and caramel, a very moist dark molasses bown sugar spice cake type flavor with most of the sweetness fermented out. Long lingering spice and dark sugar tastes. Some alcohol warming and pepper on the finish
F: Creamy fine soft carbonation, medium body.
O: a true classic.

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Photo of tmbgnicu
4.62/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An exceptional quad and one of the best beers in the world....and it's sitting on your local craft beer store's shelf right now! Dark, sweet, with raisin notes and maybe some peach? Carbonation is a little high, but it works to tie the experience together.

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Photo of Rothobinide
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional quad. I had this side-by-side with Westvleteren 12 for some context, as they are allegedly based upon the same recipe. The Westy bested this one, however, I still recognized it as a world-class example of its style. Rich and malty, with plenty of dark, stone fruit in the aroma and flavor. The carbonation levels were a tad bit high, this was a 2014 bottling.

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Photo of MrDell
4.89/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


St. Bernardus Abt 12 - bottled 12.03.14 (Almost 18 months old)

Appearance: Very dark brown, almost black. Very deep red tinge when held up to light. Creamy cappuccino coloured head, starts off at 2 fingers then drops off to just keeping beer completely covered. Leaves lacing on side of glass been drinking from. Lively, noisy carbonation that pushes the beer around the glass, moving the head.

Aroma: Vanilla, ripe banana, alcohol, Christmas pudding, sherry, candy floss, toffee apple, chocolate, alcohol, damp wood in forest, dark fruit, sweet candy,

Taste: Figs, slightly metallic, alcohol, sweet.
- Going to let sit to increase temperature and release more flavours.
As its warming up the metallic taste has gone and has developed a lovely big hit of black licorice along with all of the flavours that are present in the aroma. Beer has really come alive now it’s a little warmer. Bottle suggests 8-12 deg.C. Checked with thermometer, temperature now 18 deg.C.very enjoyable at this temperature. Strong taste of bananas in the middle from the yeast. Can feel a little alcohol burn in the finish now, but in a nice warming way and a brandy taste which fades out slowly. Beer now at 20 deg. C. and tasting fantastic.

Mouth feel: Smooth, think and creamy. Full bodied with lively, prickly carbonation. Dry in the finish.

Overall: A fantastic quadruple from Belgium, one of my favourite beers yet. 10/10.

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Photo of Tele
4.53/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: Bottle
Consumed: 7.21.15

A: 4.5 Pretty standard looking quad. Fairly hazy, reddish brown with a lacy, light tan head.

S: 4.5 Textbook quad right off the bat with lost esters, mostly bringing roasted banana and clove. Some salted caramel works its way in as well followed by toffee and dried cherries.

T: 4.5 While the nose is a touch muted and pretty standard for a quad, the flavor is where things really open up. It has the same qualities as the nose (as do most good quads), but there’s also a darker, earthy component that really compliments the sweeter, caramelized flavors. It’s endlessly complex making it a joy to drink. The only flaw is that it’s a touch boozy on the finish.

M: 4.75 Great body and perfect carbonation with a slightly tannic finish.

O: 4.5 One of my favorite quads, right up there with Chimay and Rochefort and maybe even a bit better. Perhaps my favorite quality of this beer is how much it develops as it warms, much like a great stout; excellent right out of the fridge, but gets better every minute.

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
98 out of 100 based on 2,646 ratings.