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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.

7,386 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,386
Reviews: 2,500
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 422
Gots: 1,105 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Abt 12 Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,386 | Reviews: 2,500 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Daniellobo
4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice Belgium quad, top range for the style.

Presentation: 750 ml. corked bottle. Old fashion front label design with the image of a smiling monk holding a glass of the brew. Lengthy note on the back with historic touches covering the main characteristics of the beer, including some general serving indications. The label indicates to "see top" for freshness date but the top (cork, cover, neck...) is absent of any date. Shows only Alc. by Vol. (10%) Poured into a snifter.

A - Deep brown with ruby edges with a frothy head, with great retention and a rather nice lace on the glass.

S - Malt sweetness, Belgium yeast tones over dark fruits and a sugary sense.

T - Assertive malty sweet malty flavor with a fruity range and a tad of spices. Alcohol booziness only emerges as it warms up.

M - High carbonation for a medium body that works rather smoothly, with even a creamy feel under the tingly bubbly texture.

D - It is rather drinkable, a great sipper, although it does not feel like a tremendously complex or layered quad.

Notes: A very nice quad/dubbel, and somewhat underrated? Mmmm, lacks a minor kick to make it a total favorite but there is not a trace of displeasure in drinking this one.

Daniellobo, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of jdhilt
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours with a three-finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Cloudy brown/amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is raisin/caramel. Starts sweet has a raisin/caramel flavor, mellow finish; better as it warms, hints of alcohol. Part of a gift 4-pak that was $17.00 from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, ME. Best before date of Aug 13, 2014 - I couldn't wait!

jdhilt, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of wknight167
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Apearance - Pours a murky dark mohagany with a 2 finger light brown cloud like head, good lacing.

Nose- Dark fruits, yeasty spiciness (predominately clove) and tons of caramel.

Palate- A raisiny sweetness is the first thing that hits. Cherries and figs are easily picked out of the stone fruits. The Belgian yeast twang cannot be missed and closely mimics the nose. Caramel is apparent along with the alcoholic warming.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied, high, creamy carbonation.

Drinkability- It would take me some time to finish a few of these, but time well spent

wknight167, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of littlebibs
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this awesome Quad on tap at the new "Grill next door" in
Haverhill, Ma. next door to the Dalton family "One Stop" where
they've been known for years for carrying some of the best beer selections in the area. Having 36 beers on tap is like walking into
a candy store. St. Bernardus Abt 12 is on tap and sold in the store
but getting this on tap was more than a treat. This is silky, mysterious, dark
delicious brew that is hard to compare anything to as it is in a class all its own. At 10.50% you need to go easy on this but I could easily drink a growler of this beauty. Mixing a well balanced
carbonation with sweet dark spicey clove and slightly dry end to finish makes this one of my new favorites at the bar, thanks Matt Lonardo, co-owner for this find!

littlebibs, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of Duhast500
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The color is a dark black with about two fingers of brownish foamy head. some lacing of the glass.

The smell is sweet but a bit musky, gives me visions of trees or leaves falling. A hard core flavor apple and a little bit of clove.

The taste is malty with some dried fruits. There is some pear flavor mixed with a bit of a creamy/sugary flavor that gives out a great Belgian flavor.

The feel is a but medium bodies and goes down well.

Duhast500, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of bskrtz
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle served in <official> St. Bernardus beer glass, at approx. 43 degrees

A) Muddy & murky. Lots of suspended, fine carbonation fighting its way to the top. Brown shoe in color with little light passing through

S) Like a fine cognac, you immediately note this is superior. Sweet, musty, baked bread, licorice, brown sugar & root beer

T) Wow. Creamy caramel & toffee, sweet malt, dried plums, figs with hint of sweet orange citrus. High alcohol contect is apparent but not over powering. A very complex & smooth dark brune.

M) Ample carbonation -- just perfect & actually feels mild, yet yields in excess of 10% ABV. This is strong stuff but so smooth. Warms but does not burn... a finely crafted Quad.

D) St. Bernardus consistently produces a quality product. ABT 12 is in a class of its own. This is a fine beer -- but beware it's strong. A wonderful selection; a real treat.

bskrtz, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of ThaCreep
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Fruity nose and rather complex mingling red fruit, grapes, plums and also a delicious smell of brown sugar. The entry in the mouth is a drought of toast, only then the flavors of fruit soaked in alcohol and coconut are emerging. Finish of roasted malt. The alcoholic strength is not quickly discernable, which makes this beer a compromise gentle enough for "style quadrupel"

ThaCreep, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of cnally
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a big bottle, to share of course.

the appearance is a cloudy dirty brown, slightly copperish. the head rises well, and remains as a ghostly dusting on the surface.

the aroma is about as good as you are gonna get. figs, currants, raisins, very yeasty but a wonderfully spicy type.

the flavor is highly malty, with fruity undercurrents of cherry, fig, and just a tint of nuttiness towards the finish. the finish is alcoholic, but tuned down and far from burning hot.

the mouthfeel is velvety, creamy, well balanced but a little sticky.

this is transcendant. delicious. I can't get enough. the world needs this beer.

cnally, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of cbarrett4
4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Deschutes tulip glass.

Gorgeous caramel color with a persistent tan tinged head that slowly evolves to a thick lace. The aromas are powerful and well delineated focused on spices, nuts, and dried fruits. The flavor follows up on the nose with some nutty notes added to the spice, dried fruit (like dried figs, prunes, currants). Great texture and lovely balance. Hints of sweetness. The only thing keeping it from a 5 on mouthfeel was that I hoped for a touch more astringency. Very smooth and drinkable. The alcohol is well masked by the powerful flavors.

Overall one of my favorite beers of all time.

cbarrett4, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of Minotaur
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've it on tap and in bottle; this is reviewed at the time drinking a bottle.

Deep deep mahogany with a half inch head that endures. You could draw a monk face in it. Dense and almost opaque except at the very edge.

The aroma is fruity, prune, yeasty almost sour but with a constant candi-sugar malt aroma. The tang of the hops balances the massive malt.

Woodsy, bourbon, seep sugar flavor. But despite the darkness and depth the slight bit of sour bitterness hits th back of the tongue and balances. There is a hint of grape, apple and raisin. The bitterness increases down the chalice and as the beer warms. Bread and yeast come through with just the slightest hint of stray funkiness. Despite the heavy weight nature of the twelve there is little predominant alcohol aftertaste. But it is warming like a liquer. There is a hint of the bitterness taking over the malts towards the end of the glass but with this level of malt it could easily become syrup.

The mouthfeel is smooth but not thick. The carbonation seems to offset the overall smoothness a tiny bit. On draft I recall the flavors melding with a little less carbonation.

The head, nose and lacing remains strong through out the goblet. All the sensory impact of this beer lends it to be very drinkable. Dare I say, addictive.

Minotaur, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of Schmaltzy
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into Chimay Tulip.

A- Awesome dark brown leather that is murky, the head is off white/tan color that is there the entire time while I am drinking this beer just the best beer I have ever seen. Thick lacy foam that coats the glass to the last drop.... AWESOME

S- Great baking spices, cloves, the belgian yeast just jumps out at you, roasted chestnuts/walnuts, dark candied fruits, cherries. Too much, want to smell this all day.

T- Baking spices/cloves right away, belgian yeast is delicious, candied fruits, dates, cherries, and those roasted nuts followed by some nice light cocoa notes. Everything in the smell is followed in the taste, very good.

M- Still plenty of carbonation in this bad boy, almost too much, but it is a very nice fine carbonation that tingles your tounge showing its aging potential. You can't even tell that this has any alcohol in it, very well hidden.

D- Very nice, just starting to feel some of the effects of the alcohol that is lurking within this one.

I have one more 750ml bottle that I will keep for 10 years before I open, I really want to see how this ages.

Schmaltzy, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of hrking
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an awesome brew even better if you let one age a few years. Along this lines of a Westy and Chimay grand reserve..Great raisin dark fruit flavor. Slight alcohol presence but overall a Belgian classic. As this bad boy warms the flavors seem to get more interesting as well. Nice easy malt back bone with the classic Belgian yeast flavor! great brew for sure..

hrking, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of MOB210SA
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured fairly large bubbly light brown tan head. Receeds but maintains well. Nice lacing. Deep brown, like dark brown sugar. Medium darkness.

Sweet caramel with sweet dark fruits.

Smooth with a clean mouthfeel with clean finish. Bubbly and silky. Not alcoholic at all.

nothing spectacular about the drinkability that would make it the extra point. but really good..

MOB210SA, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of cpetrone84
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a big thin bubbly tan head that dissipates rather quicly and leaves a light lacing on the glass. the color is a deep red with a touch of brown and a light haze

S-the smell is very sweet with sour apple, clove, dark fruits of plum and fig with a touch of dark cherries

T-the clove comes in first followed by the sweet dark fruits, lots of cherry, plum and fig. very tasty

M-this is so smooth with a perfect medium body, the right amount of carbonation, and a slick mouthfeel. excellent!

D-this is so smooth and sweet with huge fruit flavor, an amazing mouthfeel and huge alcohol that is not present at all!

cpetrone84, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of ruckus232
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 Ounce brown bottle poured into a goblet

Appearance: Hazy brown in color with a tan head and tons of lacing left on the glass

Smell: Malty sweetness with a slight fruit/flowery smell to it.

Taste: Nice sweetness to it but very good in the amount with a slightly toasted taste. Even though the abv is really high there is very little taste of it.

ruckus232, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of BigMike
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of this as a christmas present.

Poured into a tulip.

Deep, dark blood red in color with a huge almost 4 finger head that stays around a long time and leaves tremendous lacing.

Smell is spicey like cloves and pepper, belgian yeast nutty and dark fruits.

Taste is dark dried fruits. Dates, plums, nuts. Chocolate, spicey yeast, cloves.

Mouthfeel is very lively. Tingles the tongue with lots of carbonation. The bottle says you can age up to 15 years and i'm sure it could do nothing but improve this one.

Drinkability, this one is a sipper for sure. The 10%abv snuck up on me halfway through the 25.4 oz. bottle.

Merry Christmas!

BigMike, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of Pahn
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

1 pt 9.4 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Careful pour yields a fizzy 1 inch head that dissipates slowly. Color is a deep reddish brown. Bits of yeast sediment present. Spotty lacing.

Smell: Full-bodied smell of Belgian yeast, clove, grass, leather, raisin, some phenol. More going on than I can get in one whiff, and stays strong throughout. The smell says: you're about to taste a strong Belgian ale.

Taste: Even bigger than the smell. Starts smooth and creamy with mild esters and grassiness, then explodes into a spicy, hoppy assault of flavor. All the elements present in the aroma and more (banana, caramel, various other spices and fruits) make themselves known as the flavor intensifies then transitions into a long, alcohol warm finish that lasts a good 60 seconds or more. This beer is clearly meant to be sipped and savored. Despite the spice and complexity, the beer retains a pleasant sweetness from start to finish. The flavor doesn't stop; this is a perfected quad.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy with prickly carbonation and drawn out alcohol warmth.

Drinkability: This isn't a beer to pound, obviously, but I could sip it indefinitely.


Why did I wait so long to try this renowned quad? Everything about this beer is beautiful. I like Trappistes Rochefort 10 a bit better... mainly due to some differences in the taste and mouthfeel, but really both are perfection. There is nothing about this beer that disappoints. It's the kind of beer where, if you don't like it, you need to ask yourself what you were doing drinking a quadrupel in the first place. It is an exemplary quad.

Final note: not that I need to say this (as it's written on the bottle), but this beer is *begging* to be aged. Huge complexity right off the shelf plus strong carbonation plus high ABV plus a bigger hoppiness than most Belgian strong ales equals this beer couldn't be anything but amazing with a few years of age on it.

Pahn, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of rhenning
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Monk's, Philadelphia PA. Served in a tulip.

Dark brown with hints of mahogany showing through. Two fingers of medium tan head with staying power and dots of lacing. Medium bodied with a silky mouthfeel. Nose of malt, yeast, and dare I say banana nut bread... Initial taste of brown sugar, yeast, allspice, mid-palate alcohol with finish of hops and dark chocolate. Malt flavor throughout. Nothing about this beer is offensive. Very nicely balanced and looks great in the glass. Drinkability is def. better than average for this ABV but not for sessioning. High marks!

rhenning, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of ryanonline
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours dark brown with a bubbly off white head, good lacing.

smells of cherries and yeast, a little fig and lots of candy sugar. a little boozey.

taste is more yeasty, much less sweet, but malty. very much boozey.

mouthfeel is very prickly, and brisk.

a lil heavy, but good.

i remember this being a lil better the first time i had it, maybe i'm not remembering correctly.

ryanonline, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of Dawkfan
4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Everytime I look at this beer and see the smiling monk staring at me with that delicious looking beer in his hand, I can't help but get excited. This is my favorite looking label to date, and I know what's inside is even better.

A- A 330ml bottle poured into my Trappistes Rochefort chalice reveals a dark brown body with some reddish-orange hues when held up to a light, some suspended floaties as well. 2 fingers of creamy tan head that slowly fades to leave a fairly thick layer on top. The chalice is coated with lots of lushy lace.

S- I absolutely love the smell of this, so complex and warming. Rum soaked raisins, plum, fig, lots of dark fruit. There's some spice in here as well, most noticeable is the clove. A little bready & yeasty. Candied sugar, bubblegum and a touch of the alcohol round this one out.

T- Again, loads of dark fruit, sweet malt, belgian spice, and candied sugar. This does finish fairly warm from the booze. Really complex, I can't do it justice.

M- A rich creamy and smooth full bodied abbey ale. It sticks to the mouth long after it's gone.

D- You sip this not because you have to but rather you do because you want to savor every last drop of this heavenly goodness. This is the beer that made the lightbulb turn on when I started trying different styles at the beginning of my craft beer journey. I still think it's the best of all the quads I've tried, but I haven't yet had a Westy 12.

Dawkfan, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of sevenredrabbits
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: poured into goblet. medium-dark brown. burnt sienna. head was massive and foam-like. lasted for what seemed like the entire drink. lots of hanging foam.

smell : cherries, plums.

taste : cherries, almonds, maybe vanilla.

mouthfeel : pretty nice. bites slightly at sides of tongue. alcohol masked beautifully.

drinkability : buy 4 bottles. cellar two and share two immediately with friends. this is pretty special.

sevenredrabbits, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of NicholasCasber
4.78/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was stored for roughly two years.

A: This, when poured into a pint glass, produced some nice head, roughly 1-1 1/2 inch head, with steady head through out the drink which lead to outstanding lacing. The beer color itself was a nice muddy brown, with a fair bit of bottle yeast.

S: The smell of the beer was very aromatic to say the least. The smell of fruits was very present, but there was an overwhelming, a good overwhelming smell of hops.

T: This beer was outstanding. I didn't want my drink to end, but wanted to drink more and more of it. The taste itself was warming to my tongue, with a sort of citrus aftertaste that softened to a nice relaxed, almost vanilla flavor.

M: The mouthfeel was fullbodied and perfect for consumption.

D: If this beer wasn't so expensive per bottle (5.00 for a 11.2 FL OZ), I'd be all over this like white on rice. However, because of the price, I'd have to rate it slightly below exceptional, however since this is one of the lowest parts of the scale, I felt that it was more than alright to do so.

Overall, this beer is outstanding, with out a doubt. I found myself taking smaller drinks each time to try and savor the flavor and to push myself to find new flavor notes. I'd highly suggest this beer to anyone. Cheers.

NicholasCasber, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of beveritt
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a Duvel chalice. Label depicts a very merry monk holding up a glass of beer. Drink by end of 2005. Pulled from by cellar and served at cellar temp (60).

Appearance: Pours with 1 finger of light tan head. This settles ever so slightly, eventually collapsing to half its original height. Tremendous staying power. Almost complete lacing coverage as you tip the glass, very nice. The beer itself is an extremely dark, muddy brown; almost black. Fair amount of sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Strong notes of cherries with undertones of yeast.

Taste: Dark cherry upfront blends into sweet candy sugar. Hints of cinnamon in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation level. Body is thick with an amazingly creamy feel.

Drinkability: Wow, no wonder this is one of the top beers. Amazing flavors, well blended, and backed by great b

beveritt, Dec 19, 2009
Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer pours dark brown with a red tone in the bottom of the glass. A long-lasting light brown rich head that leaves lacings when it dissipates.

S: A little light in the smell for a quad, but lots of sweet malt. A nice mix of bitter and floral hops - lots of dark fruits. Complex.

T: Malty, very malty - sweet, but not to sweet. Some yeast and faint alcohol with spices. A very complex and well balanced beer. Again both floral and bitter hops.

M: A really long after-taste with a creamy sence and both bitter and sweet. Full bodied and medium carbonation.

D: Well, you almost never can't go wrong with a quad - and this beer is no exception. A really nice and complex beer.

Evil_Pidde, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of woodychandler
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A half finger's worth of light-tan head with decent retention. Color was a deep brown with ruby highlights. Nose was dried dark fruits (prunes, raisins, blackberries). Mouthfeel was full with some heat and a fruity sweetness. Finish was juicy, sweet, raisiny. Why did I let The Chauffeur talk me into this? Too good to be true.

woodychandler, Dec 15, 2009
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,386 ratings.