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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.

2,622 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,622
Hads: 8,654
Avg: 4.42
pDev: 17.19%
Wants: 644
Gots: 1,988 | FT: 51
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: 2,622 | Hads: 8,654
Photo of souvenirs
4.33/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of TheVillageIdiot
4.46/5  rDev +0.9%
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%.

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Photo of PorterPro125
4.69/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of farrago
4.36/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of ordybill
4.99/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

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Photo of ds47uk
4.62/5  rDev +4.5%
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!!

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Photo of kbwalters
4.21/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of madelfonatree
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of dukeandduke
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

3/31/15 (Bottle) - Very dark brown pour, generous thick tan head. Aromas included malts, fruits, raisins and spices. Incredibly smooth to drink, light carbonation, beer went down easy despite the heavy ABV, though you did feel it later.Well balanced taste of malts, hops and flavor. Right amount of "wrong", sweet and firm. Overall an excellent beer, one of the best I ever had.

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Photo of LyJK
4.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First of my big three, definitely worth a try. It has light notes on the nose and goes down smooth winter or summer. Not quite as full bodied as the Rochefort, but still a complex taste for the feel.

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Photo of RossiDaMan
4.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This was my first quad ever. Very smooth for a 10%'er. My biggest takeaway was from the mouthfeel. I loved the level of carbonation which is best described as a delicious ale infused alka seltzer. Great smooth flavors with little to no aftertaste. I'll recommend this one and will definitely quad again.

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Photo of drmeto
4.89/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

-caramel,plums,raisins,dates,banana,spices,slightly bready
-Follows the nose
-alcohol well hidden
-high carbonation
-full body
World class Quad

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

I took a nice vacation to Belgium and got to try a bunch of beers while I was there. I went to a small pub in Bruges and the bartender recommended this. I wasn't disappointed at all. Best beer I had the entire trip and contender for the best beer I've ever had. Amazing.

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

Poured from 12 oz bottle

L - slightly murky rust brown with 1 inch off white head
S - Bubblegum yeast with hints of caramel and dried fruit
T - More dried fruit with dark caramel and a firmly bitter finish
F - light body with prickly carb

Overall the gold standard belgian quad for me. An extremely well made and consistent beer that is easily available whenever I feel like it. Every beer guy needs to have tried this more than once.

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Photo of jellikit
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brown. Light tan, thick head. Sticky lacing.
Smell: licorice. Cloves and spices from Belgian yeast. Light in ester.
Taste: medium malt. Dark cherry fruit leather. Light ester. Light cloves and spices.
Mouthfeel: light carbonation. Big body. Sweet.
Overall: balanced very well between malts, esters and booze. Dangerous in the fact that I can not tell this is a 10% beer. Will buy again.

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Photo of Adrock123
4.63/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Understated Quad, especially given the 10% ABV. Very mellow on the palate, which says a lot for the complexity of this beer. Subtle raisin taste, perfect finish, not too sweet like most Quads.

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Photo of Vogey77
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

My 250 rated beer, dont often write reviews but thought I would for the milestone.

Pours a chestnut brown white thick white head, roughly 3 fingers length. Fruity smell typical of many Belgians. Raisan and fruit notes again with the taste. Very smooth for the alcohol content. Cannot taste the alcohol at all. Very impressed and see why this beer has its high rating. Leaves me wanting to explore other Quad style Belgians.

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Photo of leitmotif
3.47/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just an overhyped beer that doesn't do the job. High alcohol feel and an overall dissapointment.
I drank it at the right temperature in the right glass and with the right mood.
I guess the yeast just didn't do the job well for me.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.62/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I decided to do a quad night of the big three and see if I could tell if there was a difference. Hmm...

Appearance: Dark chestnut brown with some reddish notes in there but not completely opaque. The head is of light small white bubbles that linger throughout the pour.

Aroma: Ripe dark fruits, grapes, plums and other northern European fruits, possibly some blackberries notes in there as well or perhaps black raspberries.

Taste: Has some vinous notes with a slight tinge of yeast esters going on. I detect more of the clove and banana notes from the more readily available Belgian beers than in the Westy 12. The mouthfeel is also not quite as clean as in the Westy 12, which to me deducts some points.

Overall: Amazing beer, and considering you can get this one at most bottle shops pretty easily and not all that pricey and the fact that Westy 12 is so hard to come by (I am totally happy I had the opportunity to try it and if I ever find myself in Belgium, I will be heading there for sure!) this one is a dead heat in my opinion. I will say that I did enjoy the Westy a little bit more due to the clean flavor and finish and to me that is becoming a majorly important component of a quality beer. But, this is a very well made beer and do not discount it because its more available, there is only a minor difference in quality that I can detect, but it is worthy of note.

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Photo of JTValentine
4.77/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is a fabulous beer. Very malty front. More sweet and a bit heavy for everyday drinking. But oh my if you have time to enjoy it you can do no wrong!

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Photo of oregonduck
3.74/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried a fresh bottle vs. a bottle aged over 1 year. The difference was very noticeable. The bouquet on the aged bottle was much nicer, very complex and rich and you could smell vanilla and brown sugar. The taste of the aged bottle wasn't quite as nice as the smell or as good I would have hoped for. Still has a bit of harshness to it but has more caramel like flavors and is more refined than the fresh bottle. The fresh bottle doesn't have the complex vanilla bouquet, but more the typical Belgian banana smell. The taste of the fresh bottle is more tart. Overall I wasn't nearly as impressed by this one as I thought I would be. The aged bottle was noticeably better, but still didn't blow me away or live up to the hype of the high scores. WNBA.

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

I would review this but it's the staple of the style really. It's the have to have to say you know the style. If you drink old world beer, you've had this. Nuff said.

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Photo of JaimeLondon
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Quad of a reddish brown color and a light foam.
Smell is condimented, taste has nice tones with a neutral ending.
In the head: yeasty tones, candy and condiments. Taste is deliciously sweet, with tones of yeast, candy and red fruits.
Nice feel, almost impossible to taste the alcohol even as a 10%!

P.S.: This beer is WAY better when it warms a bit.

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

I am simply overwhelmed with quality of this true Belgian classic. Thick persistent foam, beautiful color and thick smooth mouthfeel with little carbonation. The flavor/nose profile - WOW! Raisins, dried fruit, banana, clove, sourdough bread, grass and even soy sauce!! The flavors are developed- clear, bold assertive. I'm going to dream about this one.

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Photo of ludachris
4.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Garnet red with plenty of haze. A thick puck of light tan head shows great retention. Wide and sticky legs of lace rim the sides of the glass. It's a hardy, deep looking beer.

The nose really takes its time opening up as it warms. There's a rich vinous quality to it. Sour cherries and sweet booze drenched raisins. Ripe plums and dusty chocolate. There's a surprisingly lively ripe berry character that's really amplified by its alcohol level. Its very intriguing and complex as it slowly unravels.

There's a sweet phenolic tinge to its alcohol character that paints the entire palate. On top there's the same ripe berry and raisins. Sticky toffee sits in the center. There's a lot more caramel and bread. The richness from the nose carries over into the taste and it lingers.

Full bodied, slick and residual. Its drinkability is worth noting at 10% ABV. An excellent, unobtrusive level of carbonation.

This reminded me of how complex a beer can be. I loved how it gradually transformed as it got warmer. There's plenty of flavors that kept my interest until I finished the bottle. I'm still learning to love the style but this is fantastic stuff.

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
98 out of 100 based on 2,622 ratings.