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St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,859 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,859
Reviews: 2,541
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 496
Gots: 1,315 | FT: 35
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,859 | Reviews: 2,541 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thesquire
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of mmikey8
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of CDW
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

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

I have been to Belgium 5 times now and I often visit my friend in the town of Poperinge, just East of Watou were the St. Bernardus Brewery lies. Interestingly, when the Brouwerij Westvleteren Monastery needed to update its facility, it gave St. Bernardus the recipes to its beers, including the 12, so that production would continue. After the update, St. Bernardus's 12 recipe seemed to change to match that of Westvleteren's holy grail of a beer. In addition, the bottles are exactly the same size and shape, the only difference being that St. Bernardus has a label. When speaking to the locals, they will tell you that the only difference in the beers now besides commercial availability is the water source, which gives Westvleteren its claim to fame.

A - Dark, carmel color

S - Sweet, malty, and vanilla overtones

T - Almost perfect

M - Full, bubbly

O - A great beer that almost compares to the Westvleteren 12

Photo of seldomsthirsty
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of jnance34
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of Larrydoherty
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of BeerBucks
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Keith_R
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of Zach136
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Quad Of Fame Blind Tasting

Best before 15.04.17

A - Light amber, great head and decent lacing.

S - Green apples, bread, bourbon and grapes.

T - Mixed dark fruits, apples, grapes, dates and a caramel finish. Hides the alcohol well. Definitely one of the more fruity of the four.

M - Leans to the dry side, and probably the most refreshing.

O - This was just a hair behind the Rochfort, It was really a toss up between the two.

Photo of jchlan109
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of TastyIsBeer
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of emdawg
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of indie81
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of 1Nrwyscotch
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A. It pours a deep red almost maroon color with a thick off white head. The head lasts but does not leave lacing.

S. It smells of sweet dark fruits followed by some caramel and chocolate.

T. It tastes fairly sweet with the dark fruit on initial taste followed by caramel and toffee. There is a lot going on but it is very well balanced and you just get a little warmth on the finish from the alcohol. As my glass warmed I started to get some spice coming through and I probably should have let it sit a little while before drinking but it smelled delicious and I wanted to try it.

M. It has a medium body with some carbonation present

O. This is a delicious balanced Quad and I cant wait to have some more.

Photo of Hellyeahimdrinking
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of mullenite
4/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Shoo65
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

About time I review this. 11.2 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a very dark reddish brown color. The head is a four finger light tan color. Rather than recede in a generic manner, the head merely loses texture before only collapsing partially. There is a LOT of lacing on the glass - not the ringed lacing of a good IPA, but spotty with large clumps.

S: Lots of caramel malts, stewed dark fruits (like fig, plum, and raisin), lighter fruit esters (pear, apple), and a hint of chocolate. Perhaps not as enchantingly nuanced as Rochefort 10, but still wondrously aromatic. Nicely bready.

T: The very first sip is loaded with chocolate, caramel, and dark fruit. After a few more sips, a balanced sensation of pears and phenols pop up on the finish along side faint alcohol warmth. I can also pick up a touch of raspberry and leafy tobacco as well, and the aftertaste has a bit of a milky cream flavor that is immensely enjoyable. It takes a while, but eventually, a spiced sensation of subtle nutmeg and cinnamon on the palate will show itself a little more than half way down the glass. Quite complex, but a little less so than Rochefort 10 - which is a moot point at the end of the day. This still has top caliber balance and craftsmanship.

M: Not perfectly delicate, but the body's thickness is perfect. There's just enough of a cleanliness to the finish to encourage one to drink this faster. The booze manifests as a slight warmth on the tongue and stomach - but because of its balance, it just works in concert with the whole experience.

O: It might be one of the more drinkable and balanced quads I've ever had. 'Course, I've never had Westy 12, but Hell, doesn't Westy 12 have a very, VERY similar recipe to this? Ah well, that doesn't matter, because it's every bit as mindblowing as I hoped.

Photo of fourize
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of swetsastonic
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of TThurling
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of augustgarage
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before November 26, 2013 (making this an '08 vintage I think). Poured from a caged-and-corked 750mL bottle into my Westvleteren goblet. Served lightly chilled.

Something of a slow-gusher, requiring frequent re-fills (not that I'm complaining). The liquid is a rosewood/carmine body with crimson highlights, suffused by dark tiny particles of sediment and capped by a thin persistent beige head. Superior retention; ornate delicate arcs of lacing swim in a sea of viscous tears.

Delicate but complex and lovely aroma reveals some oxidation with pleasing notes of port, demerara sugar, leather, tobacco, and deep bready malt and yeast elements. Very low floral notes (roses, violets), treacle, and toast.

Time has married all the flavors into something greater than the sum of their parts, but teasing apart the different tastes is difficult. Perfect integration of stewed fruits, leaf litter, biscuit dough, breakfast tea, fresh cream, and on and on. Alcohol is toned down and contributes additional body and flavor, but the heat is completely tamed now. Medium-finish with enough dryness to draw you back for another sip. Pretty close to perfection.

Creamy, soft, slighly oily mouth-feel. Still fully carbonated...you could probably cellar this for a decade without it going completely flat.

A superb ale; while not my very favorite quad per-se, it is more widely available than the very few examples I might prefer.

Photo of BradMacMullin
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of Epest87
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,859 ratings.