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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.

6,965 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,965
Reviews: 2,469
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 380
Gots: 917 | 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)
View: Beers (12) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,965 | Reviews: 2,469 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SubpoenaDeuces


4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

St Bernardus, Abt. 12, Quad 12%

A: Nice deep almost milky caramel countenance, solid lacing, tiny tiny microscopic bubbles that linger long after you drink and a mirror shine to it without any middle carbonation to speak of.

S: You can hear the groans from the anticipationists a mile away, guess what it smells like? Yes, deep boozy figs, raisins, dates, and a nice malty back bone. If it didn’t, would it really be an exceptional Quad? Maybe but do rhetorical questions still perform well in a global economy? We shall see.

T: This has a nice syrupy quality that is abated by the tiny bubbles that pump up the palate mildly. I don’t want to take deep swallows of this by any means but, it is a great beer to sip on if only a 10oz pour were provided. I don’t want to say that you can’t opt for the old 3 Liter chestnut that we have all seen, however, I will opine that you have demons that you are chasing that the public remains aware of.

M: Again, this has a decent coating lying somewhere between the crazy OG of an imperial stout, that hates you, and a loving DIPA that lingers for a bit too long after dinner parties. This is perfect if you want to brandish a huge corked masterpiece and impress a “boss” languidly. “CORKS IN BEER WELL I NEVER!” the Applebees hostess exclaims as a cork rickochets against a picture of a a tube filled with ice cream.

D: This, somehow, is incredibly drinkable. On paper it seems like a swimming pool in the front yard: things all out of place, problems abound; however this just works. It seems like someone dropped off their idiot savant cousin who decided not to drop a duke in my sink and instead arranged everything amiably. As thick and alcoholic as this is, I still feel this is an everyman[sic woman] beer that is simply delicious.

Narrative: “GOD DAMNIT IT, EVERY holiday” “Hey Steve, lower your voice” “OK, every holiday party he does this” Their eyes surveyed the Christmas party and noted several women at the beckon call of a single aged man with a clear graying cul de sac. “HOW DOES HE DO IT!” Steve exclaimed in exasperation. “Come on man, he wears a bold orange robe to parties, talks to women like he’s been drinking 12% beer all day and all night, and performs mild miracles; how do you not love him?” The two watched from their sulking position as old Abby 12 pulled a bottle of Svedka from his robe sleeve. “OK COME ON THAT ISNT EVEN GOOD VODKA!” Both guffawed in disbelief as he chastely rebuffed a woman’s advances and deftly cited passages from the book of Ruth. “RUTH! COME ON WHO KNOWS RUTH!” Steven bemoaned.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 09:19:35 | More by SubpoenaDeuces
Photo of huhl23


4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a DFH snifter.

A deep brown, hazy brew with a great head that lasted and excellent lacing.

You could really smell the fruits, plums and raisins seemed to stand out most. A spicy malt backbone, yeast and alcohol rounded out what is a really nice smelling brew.

Tasted of spices, notably cloves and pepper, a pinch of anise, plenty of sweet molasses and brown sugar, dark fruits, and yeast. The alcohol was not as well masked as some quads and was evident in the flavor.

Mouthfeel was rich, full bodied, slick, with fairly tangy carbonation for a quad and a powerful alcohol warming. Liked this one a bit better than the Rochefort 10 which are the only two quad's I've ever had. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2011 15:43:38 | More by huhl23
Photo of BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany-reddy-brown with a nice white head that explodes in the typical Belgian fashion. Malts, candi sugar and dried fruit in the nose.

Sweet, dried fruit and malt taste. Noticeable but pleasant alcohol. Hidden chocolate, plums and wine. Quite nice, rich and well-blended flavour.

Smooth, thick body with low carbonation despite the vigorous head. The only detractor is the ABV. The 10% is well hidden, but it still makes it presence known.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2011 05:25:07 | More by BDTyre
Photo of ChugginOil


4.05/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally got around to trying this beer.
Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a Maudite snifter.

The appearance is a light amber/brown color that settles an opaque reddish/brown. 3 fingers of white head sits for quite awhile. Bubbly lacing.
The nose is sweet/bready and has a dense amount of dark, fig-like fruits to it.
The taste is clean and malty. Sweet fig and plum are noticed the most here amongst some unpleasant metallic tastes. Maybe i should let it warm a bit more. Ah yes, after another couple sips and an amp in temps, this brew is tasting much better. The sweet breadiness goes quite well with the dark fruits presented. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and has a smooth finish.

Overall, this is another great example of a Quad and I will be revisiting this brew in the upcoming colder months of winter. Just not much of a summer brew here.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2011 04:38:19 | More by ChugginOil
Photo of MadCat

New Jersey

4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a good tan head that lasts, and leaves good lacing

Smell: Very bready smell at first, then it turns into some Belgian yeast funk, sweet malts, and a hint of cloves.

Taste: Plums, sweet bready malts, cherries, hints of cloves, some earthiness, and a little grape.

Mouthfeel: Full body, good smooth carbonation, creamy feel

Overall: A very good quad, I personally feel it is way better than Rochefort 10. I wouldn't change a thing about it.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 23:09:35 | More by MadCat
Photo of K9AleingPiss


3.93/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is better than the label...once poured into my glass the dark flavorful color entices the senses. The smell was more of an odor unfortuantely almost medicinal,wont be coughing tonight. Thankfully the taste is better than the smell,a nice vibrant tingling,as I tippled. Should have a ninja on the label....thought this beer was kinda dead..but then "pow"..nice malty,breads..and fruits with a good balance of tangy hops and alcohol. Almost makes me want to become a monk and move to Belgium. To me this is a seasonal taste,however,better in front of a fire, and snow outside. Its 104 degrees outside right now so maybe i should have waited and reviewed this @ winter.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 01:27:31 | More by K9AleingPiss
Photo of Ruger


4.78/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown with a a thick tannish white head.

S - Bread and dark fruits it's really sweet smelling and not as much booze as I expected.

T - I started drinking it while it was pretty cold, which is what I like to do with most beers, to see how flavors progress as they warm. And as this beer warmed the flavors just really came out caramel, dark fruits, brown sugar and bread to just name a few.

M - Perfect mouthfeel extremely smooth and the carbonation was not overwhelming, just a little on the watery side but when drinking on a warm summer night I'm not going to complain it was amazing.

O - I would really like to try this beer with some age.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 19:06:47 | More by Ruger
Photo of adman08


4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a rich, deep, cloudy mahogany. Lots of very fluffy off white head that leaves nice lacing.
S-The aromas are fairly light but I get hints of vanilla, strong alcohol, maybe a little anise.
T-Rich flavors of vanilla, a hint of anise and a hint of spice but mostly a very sweet vanilla flavor. Strong presence of molasses.
M-Very thick and rich. Lots of carbonation. A sweet beer.
Overall, an outstanding Belgian ale. Very rich, dark, sweet flavors. The vanilla really stands out but I get hints of anise/licorice. Another example of a very strong Belgian ale that is way too easy to drink. Delicious!

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2011 02:17:44 | More by adman08
Photo of etkndr


4.13/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - dark brown with a nice off white, 2 1/2 finger head. a huge amount of lacing left on the glass.

s - i catch some grapes, alcohol, caramel. very spicy.

t - grapes, yeast, maybe some apple, clove. sweetness grows then turns to a very slight bitterness near the end. extremely well balanced.

m - medium, some nice prickly carbonation.

o - a very nice example of the style, as well as a great beer in general. not a session beer by any means, but a wonderful beer to sip on and enjoy the complex flavor. i have three more bottles of this that i am planning to age for a couple of years.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2011 04:46:54 | More by etkndr
Photo of brewskifan55


4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

To Mike at Four Winds in Pensacola: thanks for suggesting this fine Quad!

Poured into a Chimay goblet from 22 oz bottle.

A: Dark brown to red in color; one finger head with staying power. Slight lacing to glass

S: malt, caramel, figs, dates, brown sugar. Mmmm, can I just sit here and keep smelling?

T: Drunk at several temps; cool to warm. The longer you wait, the more complex and exciting the taste. Caramel and malts hug your senses. Like drinking a symphony that just gets better with each note.

Mouthfeel: thick and sweet. You just want to let this baby roll around on your tongue.

Overall: Wish I could afford this one every weekend. Truly one of the top tastes in beers. A sit down, sip and enjoy experience. This is what drinking beer is all about.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2011 16:44:56 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of Seanstoppable

Nova Scotia (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before date of Feb 9th, 2015.

Pours a very deep, dark red with plenty of thick white head. Head has long lasting staying power, and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

Nose is much lighter than I expected. Slightly sweet, with some caramel and maybe a hint of plum.

While the nose might have been light, the body certainly is not. Initial tastes are raisins and plums. Some mild caramel malts. Maybe a hint of alcohol, but I certainly would not guess this was 10%. A bit of spice, along the lines of black pepper, towards the end. All this gets better as it warms up.

One of the very few quads I have tried, but right now one of the best. I have a few bottles aging and I look forward to popping them open in a few years.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2011 01:51:12 | More by Seanstoppable
Photo of mikul93


4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Pours a dark brown, small head that dissipated quickly, but I didn't pour very hard. Typical looking quad.

S Sweet malt, spices, figs and caramel.

T Fantastic beer. So much going on. Plums, figs, slight banana and the sweet malt. Mmmmm so so good.

M Just great! A little dry, nice carbonation, clean aftertaste. Not to thick.

O This is one of my favorite beers that I have had. It's just a delicious, smooth and complex beer and it's available all year round.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2011 03:34:09 | More by mikul93
Photo of SWMeyer4141


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

Poured into a Snifter...

Best by 01/15

Appearance-Murky, muddy brown. Off white, almost a light brown 2 finger head with decent retention.

Smell-Lots of dark fruits, spice, and alcohol.

Taste-Raisons, Figs, and some cherry. Spices are of the likes of coriander, black pepper. Alcohol is lets you know it's there. Lots of yeast and lots of carbonation. Very nice flavors.

Mouthfeel-Prickly on the tongue, a shit ton of carbonation. Full bodied. Carbonation acts as a great palate cleanser, just a little too much for me. Would love to try one aged a couple years.

Overall-Much better now then it was a few years ago when I tried it last, didn't really understand this beer before. The only thing I wish is for the carbonation to not be so strong.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2011 23:36:34 | More by SWMeyer4141
Photo of OPWN3NTSL4Y3R


5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Duvel glass tulip

A- Dark murky deep reddish/brown color, off white 2 finger head that dissipates slowly leaving some beautiful lace

S- Dried fruits (raisins, figs, dates, prunes) lots of sweet malts, slight spicy undertones (cloves, anise, allspice) yeasty aromas

T- Incredibly complex waves of ripe dark fruits, caramel, Belgian yeast, ripe bananas, fruit cake

M- Full bodied, well balanced, good bottle conditioned carbonation, smooth creamy mouth feel with a hint of warming alcohol

O- This is a BIG beer, perfect example of a Belgian Quadrupel, a sipper meant to be enjoyed at 50-55 F, incredible aromas emanate throughout

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2011 23:15:26 | More by OPWN3NTSL4Y3R
Photo of DavidST


4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a goblet, some numbers on the back but not a discernible date.

Pours a hazy dark tea like color (or a dirty brown red), light brown head which quickly goes away. The smell is good mostly sweet dark fruity yeast esters, and rich malt. Feel is medium thickness lots of tingly carbonation. Taste is excellent a sweet malty / fruit blend on the tongue, but plenty of dryness on the way down and it finishes with a slight alcohol burn. Overall another excellent beer, I feel lucky that I bought a 4 pack and have 3 more of these babies left!

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2011 22:34:01 | More by DavidST
Photo of Chriscrundwell12


4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Westvleterren chalice. Split with the wife.

A- Very nice carbonation, one finger beige head, dissipates quickly, dark brown/orange color, big bubbly lacing.
S- Smell is delicious, dark fruits (plums, raisins, cherries) brown sugar, sweet caramel, malt.
T- Very complex beer, dark fruits, brown sugar almost candy like, caramel, plums, raisins, very sweet but not off putting, alcohol is present but not overpowering, really enjoyable.
M- Medium mouthfeel, well carbonated, smooth, clean finish.
O- What can I say that has not already been said, big complex world class beer, always a pleasure to drink and share with others.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2011 05:59:23 | More by Chriscrundwell12
Photo of pauljmccain


4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice frothy head with a bit of color. Very fine carbonation as expected. Good lacing. Average for style.

S- Outstanding! This is the strongest point for this one, in my opinion. Malty and sweet with many wonderful scents coming through, including yeast, which was unexpected. I wonder what strain this is, I would love to brew something with it.

T- A bit harsh compared to some other quads but still good. See other reviews for flavors etc.

M- Nice on the palate. Somewhat heavy carbonation keeps the sweetness from lingering too long.

O- A great example of the style, but nothing extraordinary. I need to compare it side-by-side to rochefort 10, which I may do right now... I'd have another though :)

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2011 23:29:27 | More by pauljmccain
Photo of kylehay2004


3.35/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: very thick and foamy head. Amber color.

S: grape and dark fruit. Sweet

T: sweet toffee and dark fruit taste. Chocolate and caramel notes.

M: moderate carbonation. Thick and oily.

O: too fruity for my taste but seems to be on par for a quad. Had to search for the beer taste in this one. Probably won't be going back to this one.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 18:25:21 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of mdvatab


2.85/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 350ml bottle into Chimay chalice
Best before: 231115

Aroma: Spicy yeast, black licorice, and some phenols. Aroma was not as prominent or complex as I'd anticipated...

Appearance: Very foamy, persistent, light tan head. Hazy, translucent, amber-brown body.

Flavor: A noticeable metallic twang appears at first. Dry malty sweetness w/ an almost minty quality. Light apple cider. Interesting flavor profile, but not exactly what I was expecting for the style.

Mouthfeel: Medium body w/ high CO2. Peppery alcohol warmth thru the finish in the mouth and throat. Alcohol creates a bit of a sharp, drying feeling on the tongue.

Overall: I tried this one next to a Trappistes Rochefort 10 to compare the two, and this one definitely lost out. I was expecting slightly different, yet excellent, interpretations of the same style, but this one let me down a bit. I'm suspecting possible issues as a result of poor storage during & after transportation, so I'll give this one another try sometime, and will report back.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2011 16:48:14 | More by mdvatab
Photo of Phillie

Ontario (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 2011-Jan-14:
Serving: 12 oz bottle poured into a Chimay chalice

Appearance - mahogany allowing some light to penetrate, bubbly tan-ish head erupted from the chalice, lacing present but minimal.

Smell - immediate and up front a bouquet of plumbs/figs with undertones of malty sweetness, and a hint of caramelized sugar on the nose.

Taste - exactly how it smells, plumbs/figs/prunes, malts present balanced, alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel - bubbly all over... good amount of carbonation; perfect amount for this style, a well balanced delivery of flavours and alcohol.

Overall - This is one of my favourite quads, never disappoints, a worthy beverage on a cold winter's night.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 14:08:05 | More by Phillie
Photo of thedoubler55

New Jersey

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

A- Pours a dark red almost brown, leaves a slight off white head and almost barely any lacing on mine.

S- Smell of sweet malts, caramel, dark fruits and brown sugar.

T- Taste fantastic, perfect blend, caramel and dark fruits up front with a slight booze taste on the tail end.

M- Smooth, perfectly balanced, good amount of carbonation.

O- This beer is fantastic, this is why I bought a 64oz of it!

Serving type: growler

07-01-2011 13:25:25 | More by thedoubler55
Photo of lakersfan16


4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours brown with a light tan head. Many aromas including fruits, spices and brown sugar. Many fruity flavors in the taste including plums and apples, as well as caramel and cloves. Almost creamy and silky. An excellent overall beer, one of the finest examples of the style.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2011 16:02:37 | More by lakersfan16
Photo of HotHands


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

A - pours a beautiful dark brown with an excellent rocky off-white head. Lacing on glass is impressive.

S - stone fruits, plums, malt.

T - Follows the nose quite well and then extends well beyond that. Plums, figs, brown sugar, a touch of coffee, and dark bread are all married together in one voice. Everything seems to be in its rightful place. Sweetness is well balanced. Finish is a bit of alcohol - not as many hops as most Belgians.

M - prickly carbonation helps balance the sweet malt. Clean finish.

Overall - a classic Belgian and a wonderful beer, especially as it warms up a bit. St. Bernardus knows their stuff.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 03:33:11 | More by HotHands
Photo of ZenAgnostic


4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip.

Appearance - Mohogany brown. Small cream head. Smooth silky lace.

Smell - Dark fruit. Plum. Banana. Sweet.

Taste - Smooth as balls. Strong alcoholic front end. Slightly sweet body. Mild, astringent finish.

Mouthfeel - Smooth. Little to no carbonation. Medium body. Especially frothy when agitated in the mouth.

Overall Drinkability - Sort of like a cross between a quad and a tripel. Body and flavor of a 12. But ABV taste of a tripel. Very good, but still underwelming considering this is compared to Westy 12 sometimes.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2011 20:46:19 | More by ZenAgnostic
Photo of rowingbrewer


4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice brown color with light barely making its way through, there is also a nice fluffy tannish colored head that sticks around for a while. The smell is a a little bit sweeter and less yeasty spiciness than the rochefort 10 i sampled it with. the flavor is a bit sweeter and the dark fruity raisin flavor comes through a bit more, the mouthfeel is slightly fuller than the rochefort, and all around I think this beer is slightly more balanced between alcohol presence, yeast spiciness and sweetness from candied sugars.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2011 17:05:12 | More by rowingbrewer
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 6,965 ratings.