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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.

7,432 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,432
Reviews: 2,503
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 428
Gots: 1,125 | 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: 7,432 | Reviews: 2,503 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kromes
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A hazy dark brown with an off-white/tan colored head. The head stands up for quite a while and laces the glass.

S: there are some bready yeast, alcohol, clove, and molasses aromas

T: A very unique flavor that is really held up by the alcohol flavor and feel. There are some clove spice flavors and some raisins and dark cherry, and some yeast. The finish is not too bitter, but rather sweet and I'm getting some tropical fruit, coconut flavors on my tongue in the aftertaste for some odd reason.

M: Seems to be highly carbonated. This adds a real spice to the beer that accentuates the alcohol spice on the tongue.

D: One of my favorites. It's a very comfortable beer to go back to again and again.

Kromes, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2oz bottle served in a St. Bernardus chalice.

Murky brown color with a creamy beige head that remained as a layer and left a bit of lacing.
The aroma is dates, raisins and a touch of yeast.
The taste is pretty darn good, dark fruit sweetness with some yeastiness and a dry finish.
Medium/Full bodied with very good carbonation.
Oh, it's just so good!

JoeyBeerBelly, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of punkrkr27
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogony with a fair bit of sediment and a giant frothy off white head. Smells of bubblegum, bananna, and a slight sweet mustiness. Flavor is nutty, sweet, a bit astringent, finishing with a bananna clove flavor. Very alcoholic on the finish. Mouthfeel is a little thin and quite carbonated. A really tasty beer but I still much prefer Rochefort or even La Trappe.

punkrkr27, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of jgasparine
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured from the tap with a thick off-white head, which was well-retained and exhibited some fabulous lacing. The body was a slightly cloudy ruby-tinged aged copper color. No carbonation was visible from the sides of the glass.

S- Smells like a beef and gravy Milkbone!! Thick bready malts and Belgian yeast aromatics dominate the nose with lesser aromas of burnt candy sugar, dried dark druit and the *faintest* traces of stale low-alpha hops.

T- A wonderful replicate of the nose, with a fantastic lingering finish that echoes all the little nuances found throughout the drink. The bready artisanal malts and Belgian yeast flavors are dominant, but there is a ton of nuance here ranging from candy sugar to cocoa to dried dark fruit to some faint stale hops. Incredibly delicious and incredibly complex.

M- A nice firm, creamy body with a metaphoric "velvet blanket" of soft carbonation.

D- Goes down so smooth, and the alcohol never makes its presence known. The mere fact that it exceeds 10% ABV is the only reason it doesn't score a perfect '5' in the Drinkability department!

jgasparine, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of Mistofminn
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've never been the worlds biggest fan of Dubbels or Quads for some reason. I bought a bottle of this nearly a year ago and haven't thought about opening it until the other night, when I did just that. Caged and corked 750 ml bottle split with some reluctant friends.

Pours a dark, coca-cola color with a huge tan three finger cap. Retention of the head is decent, and it leaves some nice lacing. Surprised by the intensity of the carbonation.

The nose is really fruity, more so than I ever imagined. I get a weird strawberry like aroma, and it looks like other reviewers are picking up the same. Sweet and bready malts up front, with a spicey character, and a light hop aroma.

Dark fruits dominate the taste, and that odd strawberry aroma isn't in the taste. Sour raisins, dates and prunes, sweet and doughy malts and a lingering spiceyness. Very Belgian and very malty.

Medium to heavy bodied, with a smooth and crisp texture. Carbonation is a bit high, but I don't think it takes away from the taste at all. Alcohol is totally hidden, making drinkability great.

A world class Quad for sure, there is no doubt about that. The only question is, would I like this or Westy 12 better. Only time will tell. Gotta get me a bottle of that first though...

Mistofminn, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of eljefe21
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Soft tan head bubbles off of a dark brown cola colored brew. Carbonation grips to the glass in the body of the beer as well as in the thick, impressive, coating lacing.

S: Rock candy sweetness mixed with a bit of sour yeast. Not the most aromatic beer, but what is there hints to something good.

T: An amazing rock candy, plum and raisiny sweetness. What this beer lacks in the nose is made up on the tongue. The taste melts in the middle of the mouth and lingers to perfection.

M: Nice carbonation lifts some of the flavor off the tongue and keeps this from felling too heavy. Body is fairly heavy, but lightened by the carbonation.

D: This is the second time I've had this and am way more impressed this time. Maybe it's because the winter suits this better than the summer. I would think this would be okay in warm weather, but it's an awesome middle of a blizzard brew.

Served: in a tulip glass.

Review from notes taken on: 12/19/09.

eljefe21, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of Long813
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dated: 12-07-11
Purchased at Pub Italia

G: Chalice

A: Dark and hazy reddish-brown body with one finger of white head with moderate retention. Left great lacing.

S: Strong citrus fruity aromas, some strawberry, sweet malts and yeast-bready notes. There is also some spiciness that crawls behind which is hard to pick out individual spices.

T: Caramel, cloves, combination of citrus fruits. Very multi-dimensional in flavour. Mixed well together and ends off with some breadiness.

M: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. Very smooth and creamy in the mouth and leaves a sweet fruity finish. I didn't notice any alcohol notes during the drink which is good.

D: What a great beer. I hope to purchase this again and enjoy it outside of a bar to get the full effect. This lived up to the hype.

Long813, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of cbros
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type- 11.6 ounce bottle poured into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A- Pours a deep amber color with no visible carbonation activity after the pour. A nice two finger white lace that sticks around pretty much throughout. A nice cling to the glass after the pour as well.

S- Sweet malty smell.

T- The sweet malty flavor comes out again in the taste. The malty flavor hides the strength of this beer, the only hints you get that this has a double digit ABV is the subtle alcohol taste you get at the very end of the. That combination could be a problem if someone where to drink too many of these. Overall a very easy drinking beer.

This is my final beer that I bought in a St. Bernardus gift pack. I am not a huge fan of the malt bomb beers but this is not that bad. Something that I would have again as a change up from the hoppy IPA's that I usually favor.

cbros, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a tulip. 10% ABV, 52-56 F, Best before end 26 03 13.

A - Like with the 6 and 8, the 12 pours an unattractive muddy brown amber color. The head is effervescent and pops up right away to diminish to a thin ring. It left bits of lace around the glass though. More legs than anything.

S - The boozy nose has a lot of fruity phenols to it. Almost like fake strawberry (syrup) with real, juicy mango. Toasted malts linger behind with an almost rye bread characteristic. Hints of coffee and raisins can be found also. The aroma is deep.

T - While the flavor is as boozy as the nose lets on, it's got a lot more malt presence. A big malt base has a lot of breadiness to it with notes of raisin, chocolate, and coffee while the alcohol slowly creeps in with it's fruity flavors in tow. Mango and strawberries again. No hops found in this beer.

M - A bit overcarbonated, it leaves the 12 somewhat crisp with a minute sting to the throat as it goes down. Full-bodied, it's a rich brew with a moderately thick presence, not syrupy though. Overall, it's sweet with a light dry finish and a warm boozy end to boot.

D - A great quad with awesome complexities. Just a question though. If the 6 and 8 had 6 and 8% ABV respectively, why is 12 named 12 despite the fact it only has 10% ABV? Anyway, its a really enjoyable quad that I could sip for a while.

BeerFMAndy, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of Brabander
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After i had the Westy 12 and the Rochefort 10 i had this one again. Many years ago i had this one once but i can't remember much about it.

Poured the abt in a Westvleteren chalice. When i compare it with the Westy 12 i notice that the head is not as firm as the head from the Westy. The colour is also a bit lighter.

The first sip was ok but not as good as the Westy. After that first sip my taste became better and i drank the abt with a lot of pleasure.

The alcohol is strong in this one. After i had finished the bottle i felt the alcohol in my body (and head).

This is a VERY good quadrupel but i can't match the Westy 12 and the Rochefort 10. I have a second bottle which i will drink in a few weeks to see if my comment is still the same.

Brabander, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of jbowers56
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A husky kind of redish brown colour. Obviously very murky. The head was suprisingly large - nearly 3 fingers of beige head. Looks enticing.

Deeply complex nose. Lots of fruitiness, some clove, huge malty sweetness but not as sweet smelling as other quads I have had (a good thing in this case). The sweetness is more caramel than dark toffee or rich pudding. Stuff sniffing around, imma dive in to this bad boy!!

Impressive flavour. Again, heaps of the fruitiness and clove. Definite caramel and light toffee flavours. Get that belgian yeast taste near the end followed by a boozy finish. Fine for the alcohol level and style though. On a side note, the sweet boozy alcohol warmth lasts for ages. I'd love to curl up next to a fire on a cold night with one of these :)

Mouthfeel is great. I'm going to go out there and say, for the style the mouthfeel is perfect. So full, but never cloying or syrupy. Carbonation is spot on.

Drinkability is thankfully not outrageously high, or I would be on the floor. That being said, you are left wanting more.

jbowers56, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of irishking1977
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Ruby brown and amber hues along with a resilient tan/white head. Yeast floaties also present due to the fact that, regardless of beer etiquette, I wanted to pour the entire bottle into the glass.

S: A combination of so many things. Malt and yeast funk with some caramel sweetness.

T: This is one of those great beers that's hard to explain. Sweet with a combination of malt, yeast funk, and some dark fruit such as raisins and black cherry.

M: Smooth. Rich. Creamy. Perfect balance.

D: This one is not meant to quaff in large amounts. Of course, the price of it alone probably won't allow it anyway, unless you're Donald Trump. Good stuff to sip and enjoy with dark chocolate or sharp cheese.

irishking1977, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I opened this bottle, and immediately foam started coming out the top, non stop, so i had to pour it into the glass pretty quickly.
poured a dark brown with a sticky off-white head.
smell is malty and of dried fruits.
tastes of clove and malts, basically no alcohol taste but the alcohol warms me as it goes down.
the mouthfeel is top-notch. smooth and a little creamy with an perfect amount of carbonation.
this is a beer i can enjoy all night.

JordonHoltzman, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of WorldWideStout
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle (only 10% abv) poured into a snifter.

A: Dark, murky brown that lightens near the top. Has a lovely two-finger head that lasts for a minute or two. Excellent lacing.

S: Lots of cherries, but in a sweeter way than 3 Philosophers. I get an almost maraschino cherry scent right away, and then some dark cherries come in behind. Perhaps some red currants as well. A delight for the olfactory system.

T: Cherries again, but mostly of the dark variety. Taste doesn't change that much for me through the sip, stays pretty consistent and fades a bit. Doesn't have the somewhat bitter aftertaste of the 3 Philosopher's which is nice.

M: A bit lighter than what I was expecting, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Carbonation is right where it should be.

D: Quite high. I could easily polish off another.

The smell was the highlight of this brew for me. Would have liked to give it a 4.75 and the taste a 4.25, so I compromised on my scores. Taste was real good, though not quite as complex as I thought it would be. I'm sure it will be even more delightful with a few years of age in it.

WorldWideStout, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of bernardus1212
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW WOW WOW WOW. This is always my favorite beer. Poured from tap into a proper bernardus glass. Medium brown body with off white head. THe flavors and textures are immaculate. it makes you go back in for another sip right away. I only hope one day I can go visit the monstary.

bernardus1212, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a cloudy dark mahogany color without much head to speak of.

S: Good but not great aromas of sweet malt, caramel, and yeast. There might be a touch of alcohol as well.

T: I was a bit let down by the aroma, but the flavor does quite well to redeem itself. A slight warming feel of alcohol goes well with some dark fruits and sweet, caramel malt. The yeast is not as quite prominent as many other Belgian beers.

M: Even with the high level of carbonation, the body is still quite full.

D: The alcohol makes itself known more in terms of the subtle warmth it provides the beer but isn't aggressive by any means. The flavors are sweet but balanced and are helped out by the carbonation.

womencantsail, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of elgiacomo
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jul 25, 2009

12oz bottle for this review. Pours brown with a big frothy off-white head that lasts the duration of the glass and leaves lots of beautiful sticky lacing.

Sweet bready, yeasty aroma with some alcohol.

Flavor is rich and complex. Yeasty, bready, with some spice, fruity notes, and a bit of alcohol. Alcohol is relatively well hidden considering it's sitting at 10.5%, but it's still there.

Mouthfeel is amazing, rich, creamy and smooth, low carbonation with a flavorful finish.

An amazing, delicious brew that is one of my favorites. Wish I could afford to drink this regularly. Oh, and this monk packs a punch!

elgiacomo, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of tjd112
4.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation - Tapped into goblet

Appearance - Very dark brown colour with extremely small head

Smell/Taste - A lot like cherry cake, very biscuity and malt forward

Mouthfeel - Heavy bodied with a somewhat dry finish

Drinkability - Must be nursed

Overall - A great intro to Quadrupels

tjd112, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of alpinebryant
3.95/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Chimay Goblet at Tapwerks in OKC

Poured a hazy brown/ tan color with a minor head of white lacing mostly.
Smelled of nice cakey yeast, fresh bread, biscuits

Tasted very similar to aroma, a great biscuit flavor, some caramel flavors, some alchohol, but I sipped this one slowly and let it warm a bit in my mouth before drinking and I don't think the booze was as noticeable as some others have said.

Overall not too much carbonation - but seemed on point for the style - a good quad and one that would recommend at that.

alpinebryant, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of Daktyls
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one in the St. Bernardus winter sampler pack. Drank it out of the goblet-esque glass that was in the pack.

A: Very dark, lace froth left on the glass edges, poured with only a little bit of head.

S: Smelled a little bit like red velvet cake, faintly sweet, and almost cakey.

T: Fairly sweet, not very bitter, I detected some fruitiness, with cherries being the most predominant.

M: Light carbonation and creamy, somewhat velvety.

D: Would definitely have another, very drinkable.

Daktyls, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of Bisho
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good quad but unfortunately not quite near the top of the class like The Rochefort 10 or Gouden Carolus Emperor Blue.

The flavor is good but the alcohol is overpowering and always present which is a little distracting.
I do prefer this one slightly chilled as there is a little too much alcohol burn which spoils the drinkability when it warms.

Note: Do not believe the hype that this is the same beer as Westvleteren 12. It may be of the same recipe but is not of the same class!

Bisho, Jan 07, 2010
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
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,432 ratings.