St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

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7,873 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,873
Reviews: 2,546
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 495
Gots: 1,341 | FT: 34
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: 7,873 | Reviews: 2,546 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jgurley
4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Second review on one of my favorite beers. Looks great in my quad glass with a creamy tan head and a deep golden brown color. Smell is dark fruit, malty and bright alcohol. Deep rich flavor of dark fruits and banana nut bread, but never approaches being too sweet. Boozy, but nice drinkability. Clean finish with the perfect beery aftertaste. Nice and warm on the belly. Near perfect.

Photo of tclipse
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - very hazy cedar, thumb of head receded to a thin cover leaving lots of consistent lacing
S - big juicy grape and plumb aromas, pleasant spices, and a light sugary sweet hint to finish
T - sugary plumb, brown sugar, clove and other warm spice notes, finishing with some buttery bread and booziness
M - medium to lightish body and super creamy smooth, finishing airy and light with not a touch of the 10% to be found
O - an outstanding example of a brew that is often taken as a challenge and not given its due respect, but this is the real deal, drink this beer!

Photo of srv33
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown, large head on pour, quickly fades though, beautiful lacing and the bubbles are very fine like in their Tripel, which I previously reviewed and loved. Scent is of dark fruit like plums and dates, belgian yeast, and malts. Taste is fantastic, notes of dark fruits, belgian yeast, and a bit of soy. There is a good amount of booziness though but not too much to detract from the well balanced flavor. This is a very very thick, full beer. Mouthfeel is thick, with that booziness and just a bit of very fine carbonation. Overall a fantastic brew, though due to how big of a beer this is, Its definitely one to take slow and enjoy. For those that want something a little crisper and less heavy, their Tripel fits perfectly - and I must say I enjoyed the two about the same overall.

Photo of shawntilldawn
4/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of mike1426
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of hockenbeer
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of M27
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of Dyerseve
4/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Slothrop
3.75/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of mfgreene
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – The beer was served a brownish-red color with only a tiny white head. The head faded very fast to give only a light amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma was a nice mix of fruit, bread and yeast. There were stronger notes of dark fruit, such as prunes and plum, as well as a good yeast cake aroma. These were all balanced by a semi-sweet brown bread and biscuit aroma. Overall it was quite nice.

Taste – The taste starts out with a good shot of fruit and malt. A sweet dark cherry flavor mixed with a biscuit base great the tongue. As the taste moves on other dark frit flavors enter the tongue and are mixed with notes of a yeasty flavor as well as some candied/sugary flavors. All the while a prune flavor accompanied by an alcohol flavor creep into the taste. At the end a somewhat alcohol flavored, dark fruit sweet and lightly bready flavor are left on the tongue. Delicious.

Mouthfeel- the body of the ber was about right for its abv., being on the creamier and thicker side, with a carbonation level that was on the lower side. Both the body and the carbonation accentuated all the dark fruit and malty flavors as well as complemented te warming feel of the alcol quite nicely.

Overall - Rated high for a reason. It has a wonderful taste, aroma, and feel . Delicious.

Photo of botbegone
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of jsapping
4/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of averydylan
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of elafemina
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of Googs
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of KTien
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of ssjkyle
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of rickyleepotts
3.13/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer uses the same recipe as the Westvleteren, and is apparently made by the same people. Or should I say… the same monks. From what I hear, the Westvleteren is only available at the abbey. Well, we just ordered two bottles on eBay. The beer is on the list. We will drink one and cellar the other for a later date. Anyway, Sheryl went to the store earlier tonight and grabbed a bottle of the St. Bernardus Abt 12. I had this beer once… on draft at a bar in Chicago. I might have been drunk that night… but I don’t remember this beer being that impressive. But tonight I am focused and ready to give this quad a go. Time to stop talking and start drinking!

In the Glass: I don’t remember this beer being so dark. It pours a dark brown, almost like liquid chocolate in the glass. When pouring I poured for a head, and a head it has. It’s thick, tan, and leaves a nice healthy lace on the site of the glass. This beer has a lot of expectations, so I am excited to see what she tastes like.

Nose: There is a LOT going on in the nose. It has subtle sweetness with some earthy dirt notes peaking through. It smells like a typical quad, but I haven’t had a lot of quads so I am not an expert by any means. I can’t get over how earthy this smells after a second sniff.

Flavor: The flavor is pretty complex. Now, I will warn you… it won’t knock you off your chair. I mean, it’s 10.5%… so it might, but the flavor won’t. It has a very smooth flavor and you would never know it had that much alcohol. The earthy overtones continue on the palate, and the sweetness peaks through at the end. It sticks around into the aftertaste, but isn’t a barleywine sort of sweet.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is nice. It isn’t very carbonated, and goes down smooth. I wonder if this beer tastes better in Belgium. Maybe I will order one when we are in Belgium this fall. Man, imagine the beers we will drink. Anyway, the mouthfeel is nothing short of nice, and while this isn’t the best beer I have had, I find it hard to believe that the BeerAdvocate “bros” gave this a 100. On that scale, an 85 would make more sense.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is subtly sweet, but the sweetness doesn’t last for long. It quickly fades and leaves the palate begging for more. As much as this beer doesn’t impress, it does leave for an enjoyable beer that you could easily chug. With the complexity of the nose and the different flavors across the palate, I could see a typical beer drinker not liking this. But thinking about the history of the beer, and what this beer is modeled after, it’s hard not to appreciate it.

This is my second time trying this, and before we started drinking we ordered two bottles of the Westvleteren. Apparently this is impossible to get, but we got two bottles for $60. They are on the way! I will be excited to compare the two. I am sure the Westvleteren tastes better at the monastery, but still. The beer is good, but it’s not great. I would have a hard time rating this anything higher than a 3. Sorry guys, but the beer is just OK. Not worth the hype. It seems to be readily available, too.

I wonder what cheese would go with this beer…

Photo of tfsimpkins
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of ajs4bd
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of nyrblue2
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of pitch31
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of travismiller80
5/5  rDev +11.9%

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,873 ratings.