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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.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

6,857 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,857
Reviews: 2,465
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 369
Gots: 880 | FT: 35
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website
Belgium

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: 6,857 | Reviews: 2,465 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bismarksays
bismarksays

Iowa

4.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It was served to me with a nice finger of head which lingered above the beer which had a dark brown almost chocolate like color. The nose was spicy (clove?) with hints of sweet fruit (raisin and plum perhaps). The taste is both biscuity, spicy, and sweet all at once. Although there is an alcohol presence, it is not over the top, but rather soothing and warming. This is a thick, strong, sweet beer that if you are not careful, could turn into a session beer and lead to questions of what went on the night before. One thing you will not have to question, however, is whether or not this beer is worth its price.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2009 18:19:14 | More by bismarksays
Photo of timrosenblatt
timrosenblatt

Florida

4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Looks awesome. I can't see anything on the other side of my glass. I bet I could safely look at a solar eclipse through this.

It smells sweet. I don't know what it smells like, but I wish I could buy a Glade scent packet with St Bernardus for my living room.

It's nice and tasty. The sweet is there, with some kind of spicy something that comes in halfway through the drink, and stays in my mouth. Someone else said cloves...yeah.

It's too thick to drink on a hot Florida summer day, but right now it is December, and it's down to at least 60 at night.

I gave it a 4 on drinkability, just because I don't think this could be drunk over the course of a whole evening. Then again, I only really need one or two.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2009 03:46:27 | More by timrosenblatt
Photo of lisaode
lisaode

Colorado

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

1 PT bottle poured into a snifter glass

Pretty dark, opaque even. Nice creamy head that still clung to the rim after the glass was empty.

Smelled the yeast and was a bit sweet. Smell was not overwhelming, but still strong.

I taste a lot of cloves and alcohol. Very strong. Kind of a light fruity licorice aftertaste.

Lots of carbonation and a bit tart. Left me smacking my tongue to the roof of my mouth.

I started drinking this after dinner and then went to play Wii, but found that the beer took more of a break because it needed my full attention to drink. There was no way I could gulp this down quickly.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2009 22:18:37 | More by lisaode
Photo of MbpBugeye
MbpBugeye

Ohio

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

Drinking this at slightly below room temperature. Poured into a big thick chalice.

A- Loud fizzy off white head grows and fades quickly. My roommate said "It looks like murky creek water" Shes actually kinda right. Its a muddy garnet colored beer. Despite the cloudiness there are lots of floaty pieces yeast visible in suspension. No head left so that means no lacing either.

S- Big malty aroma. Sourdough, raisins, bread pudding. This is a really great smelling beer.

T- Clove and an almost wine like presence of grape and raisin. Some alcohol astringency on the back end right after a sourdoughy biscuit malt bill.

M- Bubbly and prickly carbonation, full body, finishes dry.

D- The alcohol is there slightly, this is a pretty warming beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2009 23:44:21 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of billyshears
billyshears

Maryland

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

Poured into Chimay goblet
A: finger solid head, very dark cloudy amber :
S: grapes/raisins take forefront similar to a wine even; biscuity malts become apparent as it warms
T: Some darker fruits (figs, prunes) come into play with the grapes/raisins. Solid bready malt backbone that mixes well with the medicinal characteristics.
M: Fantastic creaminess to it.
D: Stop to savor.

I'm not sure why it took me so long to find this. Up there with the legit Trappists.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2009 20:50:04 | More by billyshears
Photo of californiakulak
californiakulak

California

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

I poured a bottle of this beer into my New Begium glass.

A. Poured a dark brown. Lots of bubbles form the carbonation. Good head that stayed intact for several minutes.

S. Rich fruity smell. Liked dryed dark fruits. Some spices were present as well.

T. This one is good. Somewhat sweet and fruity. Rasins, plums and maybe, just maybe a little apple. I also tasted some molasses.

M. Very carbonated and full bodied. A slightly dry finish. A lovely alcohol warming finish.

D. Like most quadtruples it hides the alcohol well. I could drink several of these without much trouble. The cost is high though so one at a time will have to do.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 18:10:26 | More by californiakulak
Photo of portia99
portia99

Massachusetts

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

11.2oz bottle poured into a Bruery tulip glass.

A - Pours a dark, hazy/yeasty brown, pretty much opaque even when held to a light. Three fingers of creamy tan head forms, loses a couple of fingers quickly with one clinging on for a good long time. Some sparse but stubborn lacing is left on the glass.

S - Very yeasty smelling, a bit of spice, maybe cloves, some sweet fruity smells, and some spicy hops in the aroma. Not as "Belgian" as I expected to get in the aroma. Still smells good, just a bit lower in strength than I expected to get.

T - Where the aroma is a bit subdued - the taste does not follow suit. Flavors jump out of this beer. Lots of bubble gum, cloves, yeast and alcohol, maybe some anise in there too. Alcohol is a bit hot, but I find that to be the case frequently in quads. Very good flavors overall.

M - Full bodied and loaded with carbonation. Carbonation gives a very prickly and almost foamy feel in the mouth. Something other than carbonation is leaving a tingly feeling on my tongue well after the swallow - some kinda spice? Interesting...also this beer leaves my mouth literally watering...something just causes the saliva to flow - almost the same effect as hot peppers...unusual - can't recall another beer with this effect.

D - Quads in general are tough for me in the drinkability category. Lots of alcohol that tends to be on the hot side...not at all subtle. This is no exception. Definitely a sipper. Has good flavor and aroma and is a really pretty beer, but one is definitely enough in a sitting. Very good, but tough to drink a lot of.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 02:59:09 | More by portia99
Photo of Liverpool08
Liverpool08

Massachusetts

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

Pours a deep muddy ruby brown, with a nice tan/off white head. Aroma of dried fruits, rasins, oranges, and cherries. Also a nice malty aroma. Taste is just what you would expect. A malty smoothness followed by dark cherries and fig sweetness. Although it has a high ABV its very well hidden and makes this a real nice multi-sipper if you take your time. Make sure to let it warm a little as this will really bring out the great flavors of this beer!!

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2009 00:13:12 | More by Liverpool08
Photo of MetalHopHead6
MetalHopHead6

Virginia

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

St. Bernardus Abt 12 poured muddy brown with very little head. It left nice rings of sticky lace.

The smell and taste were fruity, sweet, and full of alcohol, like cherries and orange slices soaked in booze. The feel was smooth with a touch of bitterness. The high ABV provides a nice warmth. This ale is a sweet and warming sipper.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2009 20:45:11 | More by MetalHopHead6
Photo of WoogityBoogity
WoogityBoogity

Florida

4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown color, hazy body. Off-white tan head with high retention.

S - Complex malt and dark fruit esters. Phenolic characters uncharacteristic compared to other Quads. Faint hop aroma.

T - Malt complexity soon overwhelmed by fig and dark fruit palate overload. Phenolic profile of various herbs and spices unique to Abt 12's nostalgia. Well balanced with a dry finish of intense flavors and palate overload.

M - Creamy body with high carbonation. Warming from ABV is subdued by matured palate.

D - What many consider one of the quintessential beers, and quite possibly the closest thing to Westveterlan 12.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2009 06:17:48 | More by WoogityBoogity
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy deep brown with a huge off white head that slowly dissipates to a cap as it sticks itself all over my glass. Smells of dark fruits raisins prunes fig come to mind. Also has a sweet dark sugar and molasses aroma as well. Twinge of alcohol evident too. Taste is sweet with dark fruits, molasses, brown bread, melanoidin and alcohol. Carbonation is high, mouthfeel is full and sticky sweet, body is thick. I liked this one, but I thought the alcohol was a little to present. Good, but maybe needs some age to mellow it out a bit. I also would have liked a bit less carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2009 05:57:58 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of trbergman
trbergman

Illinois

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

330mL bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Deep chestnut with two fingers of ecru head.

S - Rich, dark, and fruity. Raisin, fig, and prune, with hazelnut and cocoa. Wonderfully intense and lush.

T - Black bread, caramel, browned apples, raisins, and fig. There's also a nutty quality from the yeast. There's a lovely molasses-tinged sweetness that never manages to become cloying. Little hop flavor - what there is tends toward the earthy side - and mild to moderate hop bitterness. A touch of warming alcohol isn't surprising or unwelcome in a beer of this heft. Despite all this, the beer manages to pull off an airy, ethereal presence on the palate.

M - Full, rich, and creamy. Perfect.

D - Delicious - great from start to finish. A classic, and a must try.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2009 05:20:01 | More by trbergman
Photo of BedetheVenerable
BedetheVenerable

Missouri

4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Snifter, poured on tap; thanks to Stanford at Sycamore for the sample on the house (and the first couple of glasses out of the keg)...much appreciated!!

Appearance: Dark hazy walnut beer with a nice light tan cap with good retention

Smell: Sweet cotton candy, dried cherries, and light candied fruit...some slight Belgian yeastiness in the background...overall, "sweet", "soft", and "fruity" are the three best adjectives for this beer's aroma.

Taste: Lots of spicy/fruity Belgian yeast, vibrant fruitiness, light candy sugar notes, and a touch of cinnamon round this out. This is sweet and mellow to the extreme; you have NO idea you're drinking a 10%+ beer. The flavors meld together to form more of a broad picture than jumping out at you individually. Also, the malt seems a bit more subdued than I remember it being in the bottled version. Bliss.

Mouthfeel: On the light side of medium-bodied; supremely drinkable, which is even more remarkable considering the abv

Drinkability: High

Conclusion: This is crazy soft, supple, fruity, and delicious. Glad I got to try it on tap!.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2009 03:50:19 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of Axic10
Axic10

New Jersey

4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Chimay goblet. This was a gusher when I opened it up.

Appearance: Poured with an inch of head, which may or may not be due to the bottle being a gusher as noted above. Color is a dark ruby, which looks amazing.

Smell: Hints of candied fruit and spices. Smells a little boozy, but not overly powerful.

Taste: AMAZING. The above mentioned fruit really comes through with this. I'm also picking up spices and malt. Very balanced.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth on my tongue.

Drinkability: I had high hopes going into tasting this beer and it did not disappoint. I will definitely be buying more to drink and some to age to see what other aromas and flavors come out of some age.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2009 00:16:19 | More by Axic10
Photo of WeedKing4
WeedKing4

Ontario (Canada)

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

Bottle pours a dark ruby brown with a decent amount of carbination. Smell and taste is of dark fruits, with a nice malt background in it too. The alc.% is so goddamn well hidden, its insane. This was very easy to drink, and I probably drank it too fast! I couldn't help myself. I really enjoyed this beer a lot. Another one on the top list I was glad to get my hands on.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2009 17:14:19 | More by WeedKing4
Photo of scootny
scootny

New York

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

I unfortunately had the 60th anniversary before this one so I am tainted by what may be the best quad this side of a Westy 12. That being said this is one hellova beer. A ruddy brown fluid with garnet hues and bit in susupension. The light tan head leaves tons thick lace and never full goes away.

Smell is rich and fruity with a deep caramel malt and notes of chocolate and coffee. Dark fruits abound and each sniff reveals lovely layers of complex blending. A burgundy like undertone flows subtly through.

Taste is a continuation of the nose. Dark malty sweetness and mocha. Intense fruitiness. Belgian yeastiness brings an overripe banana into the fold. A tannic component shows up and flexes, especially in the finish. It leaves a leather like dryness on the palate. Burgundy and alcoholic heat gently fold in on the edges of your tongue. Feel is velvety with a lightly creamy carbonation. While the OG carries some weight the fluid is supple as it flows around the mouth.

Drinkability is quite good for the abv. A good all night sipper that goes down easier than it should.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2009 03:05:54 | More by scootny
Photo of beerwolf77
beerwolf77

Wisconsin

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

Poured into my chimay goblet the beer is dark chocolate brown with a full inch of tan head. A slippery lace ring is left around the rim after some warming and settling.

The aroma is pure candied dark fruits, fresh bread dough, cocoa, spices and a slight boozy tone that makes my mouth water.

The flavor is a super smooth mix of malt, candied fruit, cinnamon toast, citrus, slight chocolate, and a kiss of hops. WOW!

The feel rich and smooth. Has some bite to it with above average carbonation.

Overall this a fantastic beer. I can see why it gets so much praise. Like liquid big boy candy.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2009 02:57:40 | More by beerwolf77
Photo of Westsidebuddha
Westsidebuddha

California

4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at 7-11 at Highland Park, Calif.

Poured a dark brown color with a nice head. The smell of raisins instantly hits my nose. Nice slight nutty flavor on the first taste. Can taste the alchohol in the mouthfeel but not overwhelming. Good drinkability all around. Definitely good on a cold winter night. Could drink another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2009 09:15:36 | More by Westsidebuddha
Photo of slk22
slk22

Maryland

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

Pours cola brown with heavy turbidity and a large cream-colored head. Beautiful and very inviting. Aroma jumps right out of the glass. Huge complexity here, but I am clearly getting raisins, plum, cherry, amaretto, fresh-baked bread, and a hint of alcohol. Flavor is complex as well. Sweet and fruity up front with unripe cherry, amaretto, and caramel malt. Alcohol is definitely noticeable at the beginning and in the finish, but not offensive, and gives an immediate warming feeling that is quite pleasant. I'm not a big fan of alcohol flavor, but this is quite enjoyable. Carbonation is high tickling the tongue and body is medium. Overall, a delicious beer. I would have several if not for the high ABV.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2009 03:10:44 | More by slk22
Photo of flagmantho
flagmantho

Washington

4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: highly opaque dark tawny brown. Enormous four-finger head which, while very nice, will make this difficult to drink.

Smell: the first thing I notice is that it is quite grainy. There are some fruit aromas, notably plum, but mostly grain. As it warms, I get more of the nice fruit aromas than grain; it's good, but aroma is Abt 12's weak point for me.

Taste: malty, grainy and full of dark fruity flavors. I'm glad to say it is significantly better than the aroma, but, frankly, that wouldn't take much. Fruit concentration is plums and raisins. As the beer warms the fruit complexity gets much broader and deeper: I get some pear, some cherry; really, it's quite delicious.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a fantastic carbonation. It is supple and velvety; perfectly divine. I love it.

Drinkability: a nice flavor profile combined with an out-of-this-world texture make this a deceptively drinkable beer, despite its incredible ABV. I enjoy it quite a lot.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2009 01:18:53 | More by flagmantho
Photo of eduardolinhalis
eduardolinhalis

Switzerland

4.95/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330ml bottle served in a Westvleteren chalice.

A: Pours a dark amber almost brown color forming a creamy and very persistent beige head. A lot of lacings are formed and left in the glass

S: Sweet, fruity and very malty. Strong notes of dark fruits (plums and raisins), caramel malts, roasted malts, candy sugar, vanilla, brown bread and liquor. Very bready and earthy Belgian yeasts. A bit of alcohol can be felt too

T: Very complex. Again, sweet, malty and very fruity. Strong notes of dark fruits, candy sugar, caramel, caramel malts, roasted malts, brown bread, earthy Belgian yeasts. Finish is slightly bitter

M: Full creamy and molasses body. Good carbonation. Sweet and malty aftertaste

O: Excellent drinkability! A Belgian Quad masterpiece

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 20:46:26 | More by eduardolinhalis
Photo of wyattshotmaker
wyattshotmaker

Ohio

3.98/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into a tulip,nice ruby brown with a nice persistent head.nice lacing. nose has medicinal phenols, dark fruit,clove,yeast spice, bit of alcohol.

dark fruit,molasses,peppery,medicinal phenolic taste,heat from the alcohol in the finish.overall pretty sweet.pretty interesting.

somewhat light bodied for how big this beer is.not sure if this is what i pictured the cousin of the best beer in the world as.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2009 04:58:39 | More by wyattshotmaker
Photo of brownbeer
brownbeer

Missouri

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

Deep brown with some reddish hues around the edges with a thin, but lasting, tan head.

The aroma is compact with raisin, alcohol, and a Belgian yeast breadiness.

Light caramel and raisin are recognizable. It's all a bit restrained really. It doesn't seem like there would be enough flavor to hide the alcohol as well as it does.

Malty and smooth with a firm bottle conditioned carbonation.

Sometimes less is more.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2009 03:26:11 | More by brownbeer
Photo of JVEyck309
JVEyck309

New Jersey

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

11.2 oz bottle poured into chalice - velvet/suede looking rich brown with ruby hues in the light head falls quickly into patchy lacing- sweet malts dark fruits a tad vanilla and whatever else - tastes as good as always, a very special brew to indulge in, a classic quad. sweet delicious beer! Mouth has just the right amount of carbonation and alcohol is slowly warming, not too hot considering the abv. This is up there with the bests.. cheers

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2009 02:25:13 | More by JVEyck309
Photo of davod23
davod23

California

4.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into an oversized wine glass.

It's a deep, ruby-tinged brown color, quite murky. A big, billowing off-white head quickly forms. It sticks around a while as a thin cap, but by the end of the glass is gone, save for a few wisps of cirrus clouds on the surface. Only a bit of lacing remains.

I love the smell of this beer. This is actually the beer that really got me started on craft beer. Thus, it is very nostalgic for me. I will attempt to be as impartial as possible. The aroma is beautiful and complex, with raisins, prunes, figs, sweet malt, and a bit of alcohol shining through. It's very similar to Westy 12, but brighter and more explicitly fruity.

Taste followed the nose. Sweet dark fruits, rum-soaked raisins, some noticeable boozy heat (that does not detract).

The mouthfeel starts off just a little too carbonated for my liking, which reduces the score just a notch. But about halfway through the beer, it's perfect. Thick, chewy, full, it dances on your palate.

Drinkability is fantastic for the style. If I didn't have to work in the morning, I might go have one or two more. But this beer is quite strong, and I see that as being potentially dangerous.

Wonderful beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2009 05:20:11 | More by davod23
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 6,857 ratings.