St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
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Ratings: 7,192 | Reviews: 2,480 | Display Reviews Only:
4.9/5 rDev +9.6%
What else can be said about one of the best beers in the world IMHO? Beautiful 2 finger head and luscious smells of dark fruits are present. Taste is of raisins, plums and figs and is so ridiculously drinkable. The ABV is hidden so perfectly. This is one of the great ones for sure. I have had this beer so many times and it never, ever gets old! AMAZING!!!
05-29-2009 03:44:40 | More by dublife1
5/5 rDev +11.9%
opaque brown with a nice tan head.watch the brussels lace!
smells like yeast,hops,cloves, a bit of pepper.tastes like heavenly nectar!
peppery at first. alcohol, yeasty, light hops.
perfect mouthfeel.alcohol effect is warming as hell!
awesome drinkability, even though i know better.
this beer just has the best smell and appearance to me. you cannot go wrong with a st b abt 12!
05-29-2009 02:24:01 | More by stbfan
4.3/5 rDev -3.8%
Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip.
Appearance: A dark, thick brown color, with no translucence. A thick, creamy head forms from the outset. A very elegant, soft tan head remains, leaving a smattering of lace around the glass.
Smell: Various dark fruits and a little bit of alcohol are noticeable. A nice strong aroma.
Taste: Figs, raisins, and plums are all equally weighted strong flavors. Hints of toffee, red grapes, and various spices also work their way in. After the initial flavor push, the sweetness really kicks in and carries through the slightly alcohol flavored ending. Leaves a sweet residue. Nothing held back here.
Mouthfeel: Average carbonation, and there is a creamy and syrupy feel. Even though this is an intense beer, it still retains some lighter qualities.
Drinkability: Definitely a very nice flavor, but a little strong, maybe even a little bit sweet to get through that many. I might have to rotate to something in to complement it.
05-26-2009 02:49:14 | More by KickInTheChalice
5/5 rDev +11.9%
The Trappist, In Oakland On Draft.
This is a big bold wonderfull beer. 10.5% ABV so it is a good cold day beer.
This is one of the best beers I have ever had. The Trappist knows how to server beer, so the glass-ware was perfect, and the temp was good.
Appearance: Dark Amber, white head, about 1 inch of head in the Chalice. The head retains for quit a while, but almost no retention.
Nose: Ripe fruit, evedence of raisins, plumbs and figs. some type of spice is evedent but hard to distinguish. Very enjoyable nose, that is complex
Taste: Bold, complex like the nose, fruity but not sweet, or not too sweet. Lots of spice here, raisin and plumb with the sense of cloves.
After taste is slightly alcoholic (dude its 10%) and sweet. That lingers.
THis is an excellent beer with strong cheese or salami!
Overall: If you like big bold ass kickers, this is great.
This beer in in my top 5 of all time.
05-25-2009 22:54:22 | More by xmorgan
4.55/5 rDev +1.8%
A: Pours dark brown, tan, creamy head that hangs around. Nice lace windows.
S: Very fruity. Prunes, raisins.
T: Malty, sweet fruits-pears, raisins, maybe purple grapes. Toffee. Spicy with cloves, corrinder towards the middle. Ends with a nice alocohol burn. Light, but there.
M: Medium, coats mouth in sweetness.
D: Again, these higher ABV beers take a hit here with me. Easy to drink, but, just can't do it without falling down!
05-25-2009 14:05:08 | More by KI9A
4.1/5 rDev -8.3%
Got this at the bottle shop down the road.
From a bottle into a St. Bernardus Chalice.
Note: Part of the Quad Showdown, including Rochefort 10, St. Bernardus 12 and Westvleteren 12, in that order.
APPEARANCE: Pours a 1+ finger medium thick off-white / tan head with good retention. Colour is an opaque auburn or raw umber brown with a decent amount of carbonation evident. Head has good retention and eventually fades to a nice film cap, which remains the entire time, but leaves minimal to no lace down the glass.
SMELL: A very fruity nose of raisins, grapes, plumbs and dates. Lots of dark fruits. A slight hint of spicy cloves, but it's all about the dark fruits here. The nose could be a bit spicier, and perhaps a little bolder as well, but the fruitiness is nice in and of itself.
TASTE: Very bold flavours here. Very fruity as well. Raisins and dark grapes mostly, with some dates and prunes, like the nose advertised. More spices than in the nose, with cloves and coriander evident, along side touches of caramel malt. Some spicy alcohol at the end as well, but very well hidden for the ABV. Aftertaste is fruity, spicy and alcoholic, as is relatively long lasting. A touch of bitter sweetness at the end. Very nice profile and is more impressive than the nose.
PALATE: Medium-thin body and a bit light on the palate. Not quite as creamy as others in the style, but smooth going down with not bite, surprisingly. Finishes slightly mouth coating as well. Fine, but needs to be a little thicker and creamer for top marks here.
OVERALL: A very tasty treat, but the feel kept it back a little bit. A thicker feel would get this one over the hump. As part of the Quad Showdown, this one was comparable to the the Westvleteren 12, but both were well behind the Rochefort 10. Though this is a good beer and I'd definitely have it again, I find it is overrated and, in the end, more hype than substance.
05-25-2009 08:04:17 | More by Jeffo
4.5/5 rDev +0.7%
330ml brown dated bottle poured into a Bernardus chalice.
A: A deep hazed brown that leaves no light penetration, topped with cream colored clingy head.
S: Sweet malty goodness. Dark fruits, especially raisin, do well to mask the alcohol.
T/M: Sweet ripe berries and raisins with a spicy backdrop. The alcohol builds up slowly and crescendos with a faint medicinal improve. Nice heavier bodied quad with a surprisingly creamy texture for all the carbonation.
05-25-2009 00:40:29 | More by FleeVT
4.58/5 rDev +2.5%
750 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip
Deep brownish red body. Initially a massive 3-finger fluffy cream-colored head develops. After a minute or so, it recedes to a thick skim that sticks around til the end of the bottle without so much as a swirl needed. Lacing varies between clumpy, crackly and creamy, although I'd love to see a little more. Looks like the 'big boy' beer that it is.
Wonderfully complex nose. How many fruit smells can possibly fit in one beer? I pick up cherries, raisins, figs, peaches, apples, oranges, plums and grapes. Aside from the fruits, there's plentiful Belgian yeast, cloves plus other spices I can't seem to identify. Maybe a little charred wood in there, too? I spent a good five minutes smelling it over and over before I ever tasted, and I still am not doing it justice. The aromas are dancing around in my mouth and throat. I can already taste it before I even take a sip.
Tastes every bit as good as it smells, perhaps even better. I taste pretty much everything I smelled, plus tobacco, leather, bananas, sourdough bread, maybe even apricots and some vague earthiness. I feel like I could have a bottle a week and still keep finding new subtle flavors. It's sweet, it's sour, it's boozy, it's smooth, it's fruity, it's spicy. Great stuff.
Nice feel. Hits the tongue silky smooth, yet froths up and makes the deliciousness rain down all over the tongue, palate, and halfway down the throat (seriously, seems like I can taste it even in my throat). Incredibly long finish, the kind that makes you want to keep chewing and smacking your lips to see what else you can taste even after you've swallowed.
Overall impression: Awesome beer fresh. Very much looking forward to trying this aged.
05-24-2009 19:29:02 | More by PDXHops
4.2/5 rDev -6%
Deep, lightly hazy dark brown, with a frothy, but surprisingly loose-bubbled head of beige foam. Lacing is excellent though. Shame the head looks so weak. Otherwise very nice.
Very powerful rich, sweet nose, full of dried fruit, vanilla caramel and some spicy alcohol. Very pleasant indeed.
Very smooth and rich palate. Sweet, with lots of malt and a pleasant phenolic alcohol, which stays spicy and warm under everything. Notes of liquorice noticeable. Very smooth and sippable.
All things considered, it's not a huge and boisterous Belgian bomb, but it's tight, accurate and true to style. Very, very easy to drink for what it is. I could drink it all night, which is quite an amazing property for such a strong beer.
05-24-2009 02:59:30 | More by lacqueredmouse
4.4/5 rDev -1.6%
Another incredible beer I got in a great trade with BeerLovinGrl...
This one is a deep brown that, when held up to light, had highlights of...lighter brown. I let it sit for a few minutes and when the just off-white head dissipates, it's to about two fingers of tight foam. Lacing is almost relentless. There's no carbonation seen, but it's beautiful nonetheless.
The smell is rich, pure, sweet malt with cloves and some complex fruit notes. There's a noticeable but gentle and unbecoming alcohol notes with some molasses undertones. I also get some honey and a biscuity smell as well.
The taste follows suit almost perfectly. There a slightly more evident note of dark fruits (plum and raisin, most noticeably) and alcohol is very well hidden in flavor while very evident in its immediate warming effect. Otherwise, cloves hit the tongue first with a powerful malt overtone giving way to ripe dark fruits and a gentle peppery bite. There's a nice buttery note and alcohol is most evident in the finish. Brown sugar and molasses add to the complexity.
The body on this one is moderate to full and it's incredibly smooth and creamy. Very nice.
This is a very fine brew and one everyone needs to try. High ABV lowers drinkability just slightly.
05-22-2009 22:01:44 | More by Brenden
4.4/5 rDev -1.6%
Poured from a bottle in to my Chimey Goblet. Pours a very amber brown with lots of clouds spinning in the glass. Sediment floats all around in this brew, just looking at it you know it has allot of flavor to it. The head forms with out even trying and releases a great set of smells that are greatly respected. Lots of dark fruits hit the nose, figs, raisans and others. Dark Alcohol molassas smell aswell hits the nose possibly from the malt. The taste is also very refreashing one thing I noticed of the bat was the beer did not seem 10.5 alc and more of a 5. alc. The flavors in this beer mask the alcohol amount very well but are still present and help lift the flavors. Again dark fruits with molassas and a bit of spice to it. Everything is balanced in this brew exceptionaly well. The flavor is not overly complex were I need to sit, relax, and reflect but one that I can continue to do what im doing and drink. The mouthfeel is very good and the carbonation is perfectly matched. The carbonation lifts the flavors to your pallet with ease and does not dmg your taste buds in anyway. Drinkability is good due to the taste and smoothness this brew carries. The alcohol level is 10.5% and it will sneek up on you. Love this beer and will continue to stock it.
05-22-2009 17:13:38 | More by BZero007
4.33/5 rDev -3.1%
Looks like I'm the 1,371st person to review this. I don't know if I can add anything new to the discussion, but I'll try. Abt 12 was poured into my St Bernardus chalice, which seemed the proper thing to do.
A: Deep copper with nice clarity given the bottle conditioning. Carbonation is quite active. Fluffy cream cap has a bit of a reddish tint to it. Head retention is very nice, but very little lace is left behind.
S: I think I could smell this beer from a mile away. As it exited the bottle, I was greeted by a rush of dried fruits. Raisins, prunes, currants and raspberries all came through. All that fruit mixes with a heavy dose of alcohol to to create a very vinous overall aroma. There's a bit of pepper and clove in the back that helps keep things balanced.
T: Very wine like. The dark fruits and alcohol make this drink like a fine red. If it weren't for the carbonation tingling on my tongue, I could almost be convinced this wasn't beer. Hop flavor is very low, as the fruit and alcohol take center stage. Finishes dry and tart, with a heavy warmth going down.
M: The body on this feels lighter than the beer's strength made me think it would be. It's somewhat syrupy, but not overly so. Carbonation feels just right.
D: This is one fine beer. I was through my little bottle in what felt like no time. I'm really happy I finally tried Abt 12.
05-22-2009 16:32:13 | More by Rayek
4.7/5 rDev +5.1%
Poured from a 12oz bottle into the appropriate St. Bernardus chalice.
A: Pours a murky, rusty brown body with a thin, creamy beige head; head is only about a cm thick and quickly dissipates to a ring of lacing. Body is nearly opaque to light as there are only faint, dark amber highlights that appear near the bottom of the chalice. A lot of sediment in the body. Good lacing throughout the glass.
S: Wow! First note reminds me a lot of brandy - sweet and with a nice, spicy alcohol punch. Plenty of dark fruits - prunes and raisins. A good dose of Belgian spiciness as well. Then there is the obvious alcohol note underneath the fruity sweetness and it carries a noticeable medicinal quality. Malts come in the back door and add layers of complexities to the sweet aroma of this quad - honey, a light, fresh biscuit aroma round out the nose.
T: Ridiculously complex and enjoyable. Where to start? Dark fruits up front with an initial wave of sweetness: raisins, prune juice, plums, very sugary up front. Caramel sweetness follows the fruit. The alcohol peaks here with a spicy, peppery and slightly medicinal/band-aid taste which quickly disappears beneath the encroaching malts. Mid sip the malts come into the dance as a fresh, doughy biscuit flavors melds with a hint of fresh clover honey. Then a slightly drier, grainy wheat flavor arises and carries a nutty, buttery taste well into the finish.
M: Medium carbonation provides enough of a refreshing tingle to lend a crisp edge to this quad; otherwise, the mouthfeel is smooth and velvety delivering its complexities to the palate in a slick, pleasing experience.
D: High ABV, but this beer's sweetness and complexities make it so enjoyable that another bottle is not out of the question. Decadent, sweet, delicious. Highly drinkable even if the booze hits you fairly strongly towards the end.
This is my first quad and it is a beauty. I don't have access to Westy 12, but I can get the Abt 12 easily and for a reasonable price, and this is a great Belgian ale for the price. Complex, delicious and it will give you a huge buzz. Definitely deserving of one of the best ratings on BA.
05-22-2009 03:38:23 | More by Buschyfor3
3.68/5 rDev -17.7%
11.2 oz into a pint
A- Pours a dark hazy red to brown color. Very thick looking - lots of floaties. Head formation is very vigorous and mocha in color. Well retained - hanging around at 2cm
S- At earthy, yeasty, and sweet nose. Almost like bread. Some phenolic undertones in there as well.
T - Starts off with some sweetness, malt forward biting. Strong yeast notes build mid-stream - edgy. Finishes with a sour bite with a balancing sweetness. A bready aftertaste sits on the tongue.
M - Biting carbonation - certainly a quad. Very think from all the sugars and other unfermentables.
D - Moderate to low drinkability. Sweetness is palette wearing and the high carbonation is very filling. And watch out after drinking a few of these.
An okay beer - guess I've come to the conclusion that quads aren't my beer.
05-22-2009 03:33:34 | More by katan
3.63/5 rDev -18.8%
I've had this beer several times before out of the bottle and loved it, but off the tap is a different story. Had it at Tapwerks in Oklahoma City.
A - Good. It looks the same as out of the bottle. I don't see the point in elaborating since if you're reading this you probably know what it looks like out of the bottle.
S - This was a huge, bad difference. Very strong phenolic smell that other reviewers are calling 'rasin cola' that I couldn't place. I gave it to my friend with quite a sensitive sniffer who hit it dead on - urinal cake. Blegggh. Yuck! Ptooey. Gross. Well that ruined it for me. Yeah, this beer really needs time to age. Why can't they let the kegs age too before shipping them out? Oh well, too bad for them...they are wasting all their hard work! I will only take this beer in the bottle from now on.
T - The actual taste was good. Tastes like it does out of the bottle. Maybe a bit *fresher* but for this kind of beer that's not better, just different. Depends on what you like.
M - Similar to out of the bottle but the carbination was a lot mellower. Meh. Has that same weird texture that manages to be both thin and syrupy at the same time as other heavy belgians.
D - I finished the glass no problems, putting the thoughts of urinal cakes out of my mind. It's still a good beer, just give it time to grow up guys! It's a stinky child.
05-21-2009 20:02:18 | More by ericduran
4.22/5 rDev -5.6%
Served into a Chimay chalice from a bottle
A: Dark in color with a sticky one and a half inch head. Poured carefully which kept most of the yeast in the bottle.
S: Lots of dark fruit and a bit of spice on the nose. It smells like raisins or maybe prunes.
T: The taste is a lot like the smell. I get a mainly dark fruit and spices. A bit of pepper too with a bit of warming alcohol. It is sweet, but not too sweet. A very delicious quad.
M: A full mouthfeel that I find somewhat lush. It has the right amount of carbination for the style; a little prickly but not overwhelming.
D: I really enjoy this beer and find it to be very drinkable. It is definately a sipper at nearly 11% abv, but I would not put it past me to have two in a sitting.
Notes: I recently had this on tap and found I preferred it from the bottle. From the tap the alcohol seemed to be more assertive. This is quickly becoming my go-to beer when I am in the mood for a big Belgian.
05-19-2009 03:00:31 | More by jcpaulun
4.65/5 rDev +4%
Pours a deep brown color with a creamy brown head and a good bit of lacing.
Smells of rich dark fruit and cloves.
Taste starts off with strong notes of dark fruit and spices. Hints of vanilla and brown sugar make an appearance along with just a light touch of alcohol in the finish.
Full bodied, maybe a little more carbonation than I would like to see.
This is about as drinkable as it can get at 10.5%. A slight burn in the finish is the only indication I found of a high ABV, it is really masked quite nicely.
05-18-2009 21:01:00 | More by Vengeance526
4.6/5 rDev +2.9%
Poured from a 750ml into a St. Bernardus chalice.
Pours a dark brown with a light brown head that is very creamy. Good lacing and lasting power of the head.
Aroma of dark fruits, malts. Some dark wood aroma in there.
Taste is of dark fruits [raisins, plums], malt, vanilla, baked apples. Has a sweetness to it and quite complex.
Mouthfeel is medium+ bodied and quite cleansing.
Overall, just an amazing brew. Very complex and soothing. Hides the alcohol very well. Glad I've got some more in storage.
05-17-2009 17:37:38 | More by atigerlife
4.5/5 rDev +0.7%
The back label of the 330 ml bottle says the beer is best by 26-08-13.
Aroma - Dark fruits like cherries and raisins.
Appearance - Poured a dark red and produced a nice light tan head.
Taste - A hint of spice near the beginning giving way to a malty sweet profile hiding just the smallest amount of discernible alcohol. Even as this beer warms the flavor profile stays pretty consistent.
Mouthfeel - A medium body carried by a ton of carbonation. A really good mouthfeel.
Drinkability - Amazingly drinkable for 10.5%. The spice really helps from being overwhelmed by the sweetness.
05-17-2009 15:54:20 | More by jwhawkins81
4.47/5 rDev 0%
A: In a St. Bernardus chalice, it shows a pale burgundy with brown undertones. A hearty 3" head collapses to a compact disk, leaving thick lace down the side of the glass.
S: A complex aroma, cherries, hard candy, traces of clove.
T: It just tastes so good, with flavors of brandy and candy, but it's not namby-pamby. There's a smoothness balanced by a slight alcohol tinge. Then there's the tart and acidic flavor that my wife identifies as grape Kool-Aid.
M: It feels dense, but not viscous, and the carbonation keeps things moving on your palate.
D: This beer is so delicious that it's hard to drink slowly. Even though I know it's 10% ABV, it's hard not to rush through one of these and order another.
Notes: My wife's favorite beer of all times. Her question: "how could you not love it?" I love the monk on the bottle. He seems to be simultaneously absolving you from your sins while leading you into temptation.
05-14-2009 15:44:55 | More by Maction
4.6/5 rDev +2.9%
11.2 oz bottle poured into a goblet.
4.0 A: Murky dark brown color. Two fingers of frothy off-white head with average retention and minimal lacing.
4.0 S: Dark fruits including plum and raisin. Slight graininess. Nuts, caramel, and some mild peppery spiciness.
5.0 T: I wasn't really too impressed with this beer until I tasted it. It is incredible. Flavors are much like the smell, just in overdrive. Plum, raisin, tobacco and a touch of over-ripe banana. Not as nutty, but lots of caramel and touches of pepper and clove.
4.5 M: Medium-heavy body. Bubbly carbonation and perhaps a tad too bubbly. Smooth finish with the alcohol hidden really well.
4.5 D: This is one hell of a tasty beer.
05-14-2009 02:22:30 | More by DavoleBomb
4.47/5 rDev 0%
Pours hazy deep chestnut brown with a monster latte-colored head. As I finished the pour, gobs of thick foam were still coming out of the bottle. Head retention is stellar, renewing itself with tiny rising bubbles after every sip. Maintains a half inch of rocky foam all the way to the last sip with thick, sticky lacing.
Has an aroma of spiced fruit (black cherries), nuts, bread, and alcohol.
Flavor is a perfect blend of all of the above. Alcohol is very noticeable, but warming and welcome. Finishes sweet and fruity, also has a mild earthy, herbal quality.
Mouthfeel is thick and full; smooth and creamy.
This isn't something to drink hastily. Give yourself plenty of time to relax and enjoy the complexities.
I would love to cellar some of this to see how it changes.
05-12-2009 22:05:52 | More by Hoagie1973
4/5 rDev -10.5%
33cl bottle at De Wildeman, Amsterdam. Dark, murky brown with a big tan head that lasts a good bit. Aroma is really malty with ripe fruit, brown sugar sweetness and some alcohol. The flavor is very sweet - the sweetest of the quads that I've had. It's a nice sweetness though; not cloying. Very good as a dessert drink. I think that the sweetness does suppress other flavor qualities though. Thick with smooth carbonation and a slightly sticky finish. Very nice, but not as elegant as Rochefort, or a drinkable as Westy. Had it a just below room temp at De Wildeman, and tried it the next day on draught at Gollem, which served it much colder, and I have to say that it was much better warmer.
05-11-2009 19:08:57 | More by bulletrain76
4.05/5 rDev -9.4%
11.2oz bottle. Pours orangey brown with a lot of sediment. Nice off-white head that sticks around and leaves some lacing. Smells incredibly sweet, with banana, brown sugar, spice, and a slight bit of alcohol warmth. Tastes of banana, brown sugar, and slightly toasty malt. Some bitterness and a good bit of alcohol burn. Feel is nice and velvety, without being syrupy. Slight warmth. Pretty nice overall. At least better than the oxidized Westvleteren I'm drinking it with.
05-10-2009 00:18:30 | More by philipquarles
4.38/5 rDev -2%
The look of this less than a year old beauty (if I interpret the best by date correctly-put two others into the cellar for future comparison) is deep cloudy nearly opaque brown, with a dark beige shaving-cream-thick head that lasts, and fades slowly to an inch, leaving ample continents of lather-like lace.
Smell is an amazing blend of yeast, alcohol, spice (coriander? cardamom?), biscuit, toffee, raisin, cherry, peach brandy, and just a hint of herb and citrus. The complexity is astounding. Each sniff brings a differing wave of fragrance that sets my taste buds to alert.
The sip starts with yeast, caramel, and warm alcohol that seems to coddle my tongue as it introduces incredible amounts of brilliant flavor to the sip. The fruit and spice aromas of the nose now roll like a wave of delicious flavor across thankful taste buds. Peach, pear, raisin, currant, spice, a sweet backdrop, a bitter edge, an earthy undertone, all balanced into a sip that won't peak, a finish that doesn't end, like a wave that refuses to break. I'm mostly through the glass now. It has warmed near to room temp. and the alcohol has not become dominant, but all the other flavors have grown more pronounced, more delicious.
Mouthfeel is superb as well. It is like carbonated heaven upon the palate, cheeks, and tongue.
Drinkability ought to be judged within the style, and it is a solidly drinkable quad. I'd put it up against most dubbels and tripels I've tasted.
05-09-2009 21:21:21 | More by cavedave
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,192 ratings.