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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.

7,552 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,552
Reviews: 2,516
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 448
Gots: 1,171 | 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: 7,552 | Reviews: 2,516 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hoptualBrew
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber of this classic poured into a big wine glass. Cant believe it took me this long to give this beer a try.

Deep & dark thick amber brown - like a raisin. Huge light khaki head with fine little mini carb bubbles.

Smells very boozy & alot of dark fruits and malts. The only thing I can relate it to is soaking raisins and plums in liquor & mashing it with brown sugar. Smells really good.

Wow! With each sip my tongue plays host to an orgy of intense flavors. Up front, along with a prickly carbonation that awakens the palate, are the dark fruits - raisins, plum, grape. The brown sugar candy & nutty like sweetness remains throughout. Booze takes a strong stance starting midway back, especially on the aftertaste - a nice warming alcohol burn.

This quad weighs in pretty nicely on the body (7/10) matched equally by the carbonation. It is nearly champagne-like in that sense.

I can see why this is a classic & at $8.99 - $1.00 (coupon) = $7.99 from Total Wine & More, I highly recommend it. Hall of Fame Beer in my opinion.

hoptualBrew, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of avaldivia
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Tap Room in the Coddingtown Whole Foods in Santa Rosa.

A: Dark brown with a slight red hue. Decent head about an inch thick but it fades quickly. Little lacing.

S: Fruit. No hop character. Nice yeast scent that adds just a but of funk. Biscuity. Different from what I expected.

T: Fruit again. This time I get a sweet fig taste. Really good malt bill. Perfectly balanced. Definitely get a bit of alcohol.

M: Medium bodied. Good carbonation. A bit of an alcohol burn, but in a pleasant way.

O: I have only tried two Quads so perhaps it is too soon for me to say that Iove this style, but I love this style. Great flavors. Something I would order again without a second thought.

avaldivia, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of perrymarcus
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle served in a st bernardus oversized wineglass.

pours a murky russet brown/mahogany tone with yeilding a big foamy 2 finger head. very nice retention and lacing. pretty much exactly what i'd expect from a good quad.

nice, aromatic nose is lead by big dark fruit notes with elements of yeast, caramel, and spice in there too.

flavor follows, probably exceeds the flavor. raisin, fig, plum, with a big malty presence. secondary notes of the spice, carmel/toffee, and belgian yeast. medium-full in the mouth with adequate carbonation.

in the final analysis the abt 12 is not only one of my favorite quads, it's probably a top-ten (ok, maybe 20) candidate for favorite beer. still think it falls short of the likes of rochefort 10, and probably pannepot old fisherman's.

perrymarcus, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of tlazaroff
4.13/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Took this out of the fridge 20 minutes before drinking.

A: Pours out a somewhat opaque brown with a thin off-white head that fades fast.

S: I get loads of dark fruit such as plum, raisin, and fig. I can smell caramel, toffee, and it is quite yeasty too.

T: All those wonderful scents are present in the taste too. This beer actually tastes exactly as you think it would based on the smell. Alcohol hides moderately well, it's defiantly there, I like it a lot.

M: Surprisingly its a bit on the thinner side of a medium body. Loads of carbonation though, if you swish it in your mouth you get all foam.

D: Oh, quite low. This is 10% after all.

tlazaroff, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of ditmier
3.98/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Bottle in my hotel room in DC - Pours a hazy dk amber with a large sandy head...aroma is dark and fruity, raisin, figgy, sweet caramel and very light spice...the particles in the lacing left on my glass looks like cinnamon to the point where I almost taste it...aroma is similar, dark and doughy malt, dried fruit, yeast and vanilla, light alcohol bite...holds its own against any quad as far as I’m concerned...

ditmier, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of cjacobsen
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to sweemzander for sharing this one

(A) Pours red. Plum dirty brown. Produces a decent head but that is short lived.

(S) Grapes, yeast and some biscuit. Kind of sweet and a bit fruity.

(T) There is NO trace of alcohol. I'm shocked. There are definitely some dark fruits, dark malt, maybe some carafa or higher color grade medium malts. Some raisin.

(M) Very smooth, oily, medium body.

(O) Definite different from American quads. Very good stuff.

cjacobsen, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of SkiBum22
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 brown with a a thick tannish white head.

S - Dried fruits, lots of sweet malts, maybe some anise, yeasty aromas

T - Raisons, Figs, and some cherry. Alcohol is present but not overwhelming.

M - Medium mouthfeel, well carbonated, smooth, clean finish.

O - This is a great quad, right behind Rochefort 10.

SkiBum22, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of Billcr222
4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite brew. I've had this many times and it never fails, not much else to be said that hasn't already. Buy this if you haven't yet.
Had this in a 750 poured into snifter.
The appearance is inviting, a gorgeous dark brown/ red and a thick lacing that doesn't go away until the brew does.
The smell is does a fantastic job pulling you in before you drink, it is not overly fruity, but it is memorable.
The taste is excellent with dark fruits and a gentle sweetness.
Creamy and perfectly smooth, this beer just goes down easy.
Overall anA+ from me.

Billcr222, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of stevenstofen
4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into my Duvvel tulip.

A - Nothing short of beautiful here. A gorgeous hazy-brown-amber color. An off-white, 2 1/2 finger head with long-lasting retention. It was there through the entire experience. Tons of lacing from each sip.

S - Probably my favorite part of this beer. I could just pour a glass to smell. Tons of dark fruits and spicy goodness. Cherry, plum, figs, and raisins. Obviously the belgian yeasts are there. A little alcohol as well.

T - Freshness. The first thing i am tasting is just the beer's pureness. I wonder if it has anything to do with the well water that they use to brew it. Much like the smell, I am getting a lot of darker fruits: Cherry, Plum, Raisins, Blackberry. The alcohol is there but that is to be expected for a 10%ABV brew.

MF - Medium-full bodied brew. Extremely smooth. Certainly a warming beer; it would probably be even more fantastic in the fall or winter.

O - A FANTASTIC beer. My favorite quad to date. I guess I'll have to try Westy 12 and see if that one takes the title.

stevenstofen, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of Krakistophales
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours plum colored with a massive 2 finger off white head that doesn't go away

S: Dark fruits, plenty of winter/mulled wine spices, a banana bread sweetness, hint of rock candy

T: Cherries, plums, and raisins up front, followed by a spicy and yeasty middle taste, finished with some banana bread and residual spice taste

O: This is a great quad, but I still think rochefort 10 reigns supreme in this category.

Krakistophales, Aug 09, 2011
Photo of shortbus7
4.13/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice from a 11.2 oz bottle.

A: Dark brown with a hint of red. Thin lacing that stayed throughout the entire glass.

A: Slight smell of alcohol as well as fruits (figs and grapes). I also get a bit of licorice in this one.

M: Spectacular. Silky smooth and slightly viscous.

T: Absolutely amazing. The fruits from come through but do not overpower the taste. Just the right amount of sweetness and the carbonation is dead on. Ends with alcohol, but does not ruin the flavor.

O: This is a spectacular beer. I suggest everybody should try this one. This is a great example of a quad.

shortbus7, Aug 07, 2011
Photo of dahlen22
4.88/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this many times in the bottle and recently had it on tap at Isaac Newtons in Newtown, PA. Just a regular tap (not nitro) but I had to say that so I could review this again...

Appearance: Dark brown with not much head at all.

Aroma: Dark fruits and some malts.

Taste: WOW!! This beer is great in the bottle and is exceptional on tap. It is smooth with dark fruits (especially grapes, slight hint of raisons and figs as well, but not too much fruits to ruin the smooth malts that follow. The 12% is SO well hidden that this beer should come with a warning. At $9.00 a glass, I forced myself to stop at three, but I could drink this all night. It pairs well with spicy food (in my opinion), but does so well just by itself.

Overall: This is in my top 3 beer list of all time and is a cant-miss. The bottles are easier to find and are well worth the $11.00 price, but if you can find this on tap, this is a brilliant beer. Cheers!!

dahlen22, Aug 03, 2011
Photo of BurgerJones
4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Chimay goblet and served with balsamic-glazed steak.

Earthy brown color with thick white head that laced the glass and dissipated after a while.

Aroma and Taste both figs, raisins, mild winter spices, pleasingly warming alcohol that was never bitter.

Surprisingly crisp and dry given those flavors, just sweet enough to not be cloying. Carbonation was just enough.

Overall, just fantastic. Better than my high expectations.

BurgerJones, Aug 02, 2011
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.

SubpoenaDeuces, Jul 28, 2011
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.

huhl23, Jul 20, 2011
Photo of BDTyre
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.

BDTyre, Jul 20, 2011
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.

ChugginOil, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of MadCat
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.

MadCat, Jul 19, 2011
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.

K9AleingPiss, Jul 18, 2011
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.

Ruger, Jul 16, 2011
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!

adman08, Jul 14, 2011
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.

etkndr, Jul 12, 2011
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.

brewskifan55, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of Seanstoppable
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.

Seanstoppable, Jul 10, 2011
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.

mikul93, Jul 09, 2011
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,552 ratings.