1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

6,988 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,988
Reviews: 2,469
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 380
Gots: 931 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Abt 12 Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,988 | Reviews: 2,469 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stephens101
stephens101

Oklahoma

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a raspberry brownish color with yeasties floating around. A huge fluffy tan head sticks around for a while, finally leaving a nice consistent lacing all around. Smell is complex with a panoply of dark fruits, big malts, grain, nectar, and sugary sweetness. Tastes a bit tart and not as complex as the aroma, but still quite tasty. Raisins, breads and slight hops finish things off. Alcohol is well-hidden. Mouth-feel is medium to full-bodied. Carbonation is excellent. Another great addition to the consistently great St. Bernardus lineup.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2008 19:01:32 | More by stephens101
Photo of atrus138
atrus138

Kentucky

4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown, hazy to the point of opaqueness. Huge, fluffy off-white head that leaves lacing plastered all over my chalice. Most excellent. Nose consists of a delicious malt background of sweet bread and caramel. Ripe dark fruits are also present. Hugely complex and potent. Taste is incredibly sweet. It almost tastes like a wholesome candy. Bread, fruit, and spices are all present in just the right amounts. This feels great - very smooth. Medium bodied. A must-have for beer lovers!

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2008 06:34:41 | More by atrus138
Photo of MerkinMan
MerkinMan

Georgia

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

Served on draft in a wide red wine style glass.

Color was dark brown and opaque with plenty of head.

Malty smell with small hints of fruit and yeast.

The mouthfeel was quite airy and silky.

Taste was out of this world with fruity / raisiny tones.

I probably would not drink much more than one of these at a time, but excellent nonetheless.

I would recommend this to people, like me, who do not really care for Belgian Blondes because this is quite different. A real surprise.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2008 01:03:13 | More by MerkinMan
Photo of ruckzuck
ruckzuck

Georgia

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

The classic! Like the DFH 60 Minute I reviewed earlier this evening, Abt 12 is one of those beers I used to drink weekly and have taken a break from recently. Getting back into things this evening! Poured into my Chimay chalice.

A - lovely dark brown color with hints of red when held up to light, nice off-white head

S - dark fruit, caramel, spiciness

T - raisons, figs, spicy alcohol taste, a bit of caramel

M - medium bodied, great carbonation

D - well of course this is great! It's Abt 12! I can easily polish off a 750 mL of this provided I'm not too full when I begin. Of course I'll be drinking this again. If you haven't had it yet (and I assume your excuse would be that it's not sold in your area) get on it!

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2008 03:38:03 | More by ruckzuck
Photo of timtim
timtim

District of Columbia

4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

hazy reddish brown with a just barely off white head. retention and lace are good as well. nose is of fruit, plum, raisin, malt and faint hop. georgeous. taste is complex and well balanced mix of nose and more. great medium full body that is not nearly as prickly as most of its competitors. i've had this one on tap and in 330ml and 750ml bottles. it never ceases to amaze me. this brewery is one of my favorites, and definitely holds its own against the top dogs. i'll have another!!

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2008 23:31:59 | More by timtim
Photo of ROMER79
ROMER79

Pennsylvania

4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well if you live anywhere near Philadelphia there is a great little spot in Center City called Jose Pistolas. They have this on tap and it may be a permanent beer there.

It poured a very earthy brown with hints of red swirling throughout. A nice tan/red head that disappears in after a few sips. I have had this in a bottle as well and I feel that if you can get it on tap, especially at a place that has it at the right temp. you can smell the aromas of fruit, caramel, and clove right away as well as the alcohol. In the taste you can pick up raisins, caramel, lemon/citrus, clove, and possibly berries. It is very delicious and refreshing on the way down. When it strikes your palate you can really appreciate the flavors in this beer. It is a tremendous balance of everything. An easy beer to drink not heavy in carbonation and no very filling, just high in alcohol content.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2008 21:21:55 | More by ROMER79
Photo of SurlyDuff
SurlyDuff

Oregon

4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Caged and corked bomber. Pours a rich earthy/mahogany brown into my chalice. Light tan head that receded fairly quickly.

Raisins and burnt caramel hit the nose first. Possibly some ripe melon in there too.

Didn't let this one sit out long enough. At (or close to) fridge temperature the flavors and armoa was a good deal muted.

A swirl of my chalice broght things to life, as did the gradual warming up of temperature.

Favors of raisins, caramel, tea leaves, lemon at first. Spicy clove hits towards the finish. There is also some dough there...cake, cookies?

Carbonation is vigorous, which surprised me dispite the quickly dissapating head. Tingly bubbles around the mouth.

Very good one to sit back and sip for the night. There's a reason why this is one of the most popular Belgian Quads.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2008 00:23:50 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of plaztikjezuz
plaztikjezuz

Michigan

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a hazy mahogany (must have unsettled the yeas in transport, darn) with a tan head that is about an inch thick and slowly falls into a firm sheet covering the top of the beer.
the aroma is very rich and fruity, raisins, hint of clove, bananas and alcohol.
the flavor is light on the palate, fruity, some caramelization, firm bitterness for a belgian, some spiciness, lingering maltiness a graininess like in pilsners.
this is an awesome beer easy drinking and high octane which can be a scary combo.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2008 06:02:25 | More by plaztikjezuz
Photo of jwolfie70
jwolfie70

California

4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had via bottle, poured into an oversized wine glass. Pours a dark brown. Smells of fig, sweet molasses, and roasted malt. Taste is sweet, but not cloying. The Belgium gumball tasting yeast is present, but is accompanied by the complex darker sweetness of the roasted malt. A great beer, and a good example of the quad style.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2008 02:51:39 | More by jwolfie70
Photo of IBUnit63
IBUnit63

Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours like a loaf of hearty whole-grain or pumpernickel from a 750 into an Ommegang goblet - head has a meringue-like consistency. Nice, light/moderate carbonation. Essence of pine, nutmeg and sweeter spice flavors with moderate hop presence. This tastes like a quintessential Belgian. Deep, soulful yeast/malt presence with well-balanced sweetness, hop and alcohol presence. As time passes it provides the warming feeling of Thanksgiving dinner with even a hint of sweet potatoes and roasted carrots (I know, now I'm really full of $#!+ - maybe it's the power of suggestion). The carbonation is moderate, inoffensive and pleasant. This is all-encompassing, powerful wonderful stuff. Coats the mouth like a warm, almost-savory dessert and has the warming power of spiked hot chocolate in a ski lodge. For all its power it drinks very easily. Splendid effort.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2008 11:50:12 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark burgundy red with a huge foamy, dirty white head that was mostly lasting leaving a sticky lacing.

S: On the nose was some fresh dark fruit (raisins, plums) and some spicy alcohol hints.

T: Big bready palate with a nice sweet roastedness. There is some fresh bananas and very rich chocolate notes rounding out the flavor along with some molasses and alcohol warming. Very fruity with some raisinbread, dark molassess and light chocolate notes.

M: The mouthful is surprising light, and smooth with deep rich chocolate notes lingering on the tongue.

D: Incredible drinkability especially for its abv. Definitly a rich experience and recommend.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2008 00:06:06 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of wingman14
wingman14

Ohio

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

Pours a dark misty brown with a big bubbly tan head that sticks around all the way till the last sip. The smell is sweet and yeasty with spices, maybe cinnamon, very complex and interesting. The taste follows suit, complex, big, and good. Starts sweet with the kick of spices followed. Finishes dry with the high ABV being very noticable, but not taking away the flavor. This one has medium body with a good deal of carbonation, but still a smooth body. This is definitely a sipping beer considering the big flavor and high ABV. A beer definitely worth checking out.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2008 02:51:46 | More by wingman14
Photo of BMan1113VR
BMan1113VR

California

4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful. Pours dark brownish with a red tinge with a large, creamy, kahki head that stays for the duration. Excellent lacing. Smell is extremely strong, good, but very complex. Aroma has heavy yeast notes, with undertones of pine, chocolate malts, and apple, cinnamon and ginger and many fruits that I cannot put my finger on. Alcohol is appereant in the aroma. Flavor is great and continues on for a long long time. The aftertaste has a hint of sweetened Marmite, which shows the yeast in this beer. Creamy body with lively carbonation and an alcoholic aftertaste, this beverage was a pleasure to drink, and I cannot wait to taste the bottle of Abt 12 SE that I was able to get a hold of!

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2008 16:25:38 | More by BMan1113VR
Photo of iasanlee
iasanlee

Nebraska

4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a hazy dark amber brown with 1 finger of quick to disappear head. Very little lacing, but not non-existent.

S- Slightly medicinal. Floral and sweetness of dark sugars. Alcohol is noticable.

T- Sweet nutty malt is first. Cantaloupe is here, and caramelized brown sugar. Rum soaked raisins.

M- Medium to thick in body, with maybe a touch more carbonation than I like.

D- Boozy, but good. I would drink a few if I had no where to drive in the next 12 hours.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2008 06:48:03 | More by iasanlee
Photo of rye726
rye726

Colorado

4.78/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brown color with redwood hues. Creamy tan head with good retention and lace.

Dark complex fruits, nuts, bready malts, Belgian yeast and floral earthy hops.

A hugely complex malt presence is balanced by bitter musky hops. Also caramel, butter cocoa, carmelized browns sugar, dark fruits, and nutty bread.

Silky and satisfying body with crisp carbonation.

One of my favorite examples of a true monk ale. Pairs well with most anyhing and can be enjoyed any time of year.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2008 04:38:54 | More by rye726
Photo of RenoZymurgist
RenoZymurgist

Nevada

4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a cloudy dark brown color with a light tan head what had uneven bubbles. The head was about two fingers thick and had good retention as well as it lefe lace after every sip.
The aroma was very delicious with a rich dark spicyness that reminded me of a holiday plumb sauce i had once made.
The flavor begins with a rich malt sweetness that is hiding a spicy almost fruity flavor that finishes very dry and clean. This ale is way too drinkable for the alcohol content. Overall an excellent example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2008 21:39:43 | More by RenoZymurgist
Photo of cartdan
cartdan

Alabama

4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a deep rusty brown, slightly murky, with a thick light tan color head that stays forever. The aroma is very sweet, with a little fruit in the background, but not much noticeable spice. No noticeable hop aroma. The taste is once again very sweet, maybe overly sweet - at least more than I expected. Very earthy with a lot of subtle spices - so subtle that I can't pick out any in particular, but I can definitely tell they are there (strange). It is a full bodied beer, a bit creamy, with a good amount of alcohol warmth coming through as I drink it. Lacing still hanging on the glass long after the beer is gone...

Overall, it was very nice experience. Definitely worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2008 20:29:03 | More by cartdan
Photo of younger35
younger35

Minnesota

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

Picked up this 11.2 ounce bottle up at Bottleworks in Seattle. This is my first St. Bernardus brew and I'm excited to try it. Drank from my new Stone India Pale Ale specialty flute. Bottle dated 09 08 12 (assuming best before date).

Appearance- Pours a dark brown amber with a huge 3 finger, super rich and creamy light tan head. Recedes fairly slowly leaving a decent cap and collar that eventually fades away to nothing. A bit of lacing is left at the start but after that, none.
Smell- Loads of dirty spicy yeast that give that familiar Belgium nose. Notes of vanilla and light oak are definitely present. Caramel is lightly sweet in the background along with plenty of alcohol.
Taste- The alcohol is a bit more present than I'm used to in these Trappist brews (not necessarily a bad thing, it's just the first thing I noticed). Plenty of toffee to start and a light vanilla oak add a bit more sweetness. Plums, raisins and figs add a bit of dark fruit. Light bitterness is just enough to cut into some of the sweetness to leave this thing super balanced (what kind of hops do these monks use anyway?). Finishes semi nutty with a light lingering vanilla.
Mouthfeel- Rich and creamy with a very nice full body and really aggressive sharp carbonation.
Drinkability- Pretty damn good brew. For the most part the alcohol is hidden well and it's extremely well balanced. I haven't gotten to try all the Trappist brews yet but this one is on par with the ones I have had. These monks know what they're doing!

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2008 00:59:41 | More by younger35
Photo of trkerrigan
trkerrigan

Massachusetts

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

This is one the best beers I have ever sampled.

Over 10% abv with absolutely no hint of alcohol, mouthfeel is exceptionally smooth. The taste is nothing short of amazing. My palate is way too dumb to even grasp the complexity. For all the adjectives that I could try and conjure up to explain this brew; I know they would just fall short to describe how great this beer really is. The St. Bernardus Abt 12 is a must try period.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2008 02:11:52 | More by trkerrigan
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783

New Jersey

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

This is without a doubt the finest St. Bernardus beer that I have yet sampled, and probably one of the best beers in the world, in my opinion... Copped a single, 12 oz bottle from Gary's in Madison... Absolutely incredible pour and appearance with a gigantic foamy, frothy, five-finger head that had incredible staying power and floated aloft a dark-brown, nutty hue... Smell was fresh and intense, with deep caramel and toffee notes... Smell was beyond terfiffic... rich, deep, intense, satisfying, and creamy... replete with candied brown sugars, malts, slight vanilla, and other flavors that are intricate and difficult to describe... a wonderful conglomeration of pure malty goodness that stuck to the mouth long after the first sip... one of the top Belgian beers, for sure... Great creamy and rich mouthfeel... drinkabliity only took a hit because of the hefty 10.5% ABV, which, by the way, is nearly impossible to detect - masked by a interwoven cornucopia of toffee, malts, and fig flavors that pack a punch... Outstanding beer... Definintely recommended...

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2008 22:12:19 | More by dsa7783
Photo of Squaretooth
Squaretooth

Nebraska

4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first thing I noticed when I opened this 750ml bottle was the wonderfully complex smell that wafted up. With a mellow fruity apple scent that is almost indescribable, I could hardly wait to pour this. When I did pour it, an amazingly thick full head was realized. If anyone has ever baked before, it looks exactly like a yeast that is proofed. It is just that thick. It takes awhile before the head settles with broken spotty lacing that runs all the way down the side of the Lindemans Cuvee Rene glass I used. It's best to let this warm up a little if refrigerated. You really don't want to lose any of the flavor I'll be describing.

The liquid itself is an opaque, nearly light proof purplish brown color. It reminds me of an old apple cider I used to drink years ago.

Tastewise, this is as good as it gets for a Belgian ale. Very complex, not overly carbonated, with a light apple flavor that is the perfect balance between sweet and sour. At 11% ABV this will definitely warm you up and take the chill out of your bones on a cold winter's night, yet the alcohol isn't overpowering and barely noticeable. Just how on earth they do that is beyond me.

The mouthfeel is slightly bitter with just a hint of a bite to it.on the tip of your tongue
I can't say enough about this 60th anniversary edition. The Belgian ales are certainly the best in the world and this would rank among the top of those.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2008 17:17:10 | More by Squaretooth
Photo of watchnerd
watchnerd

California

4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at District on Townsend in SoMa in San Francisco.

Served in a tulip glass by the waiter. Decent foam head, glass too sort to tell about lacing, aroma of spicy rasisins and wheat, and smooth finish.

I've had this from bottle bfore and, while good, it wasn't nearly this great. Get it on tap if you can!

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2008 07:28:13 | More by watchnerd
Photo of AMo
AMo

Missouri

4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

St. Bernardus Abt 12 pours a deep dark brown with a large one inch head. The smell is mild, but very pleasant of fruit like aromas. Fruit and malts are most evident in the taste, but the big wow for this beer is its exceptionally silky and airy smooth mouthfeel. This is just simply a great and fun beer to drink. Part of what makes the drinkability so enjoyable is the pleasant little chest tingle accompanied after every sip.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2008 23:55:00 | More by AMo
Photo of Yvaithe
Yvaithe

New York

5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Went to my distributor a few days before Christmas hoping to land a few bottles of Chimay Blue. Just so happened that someone snagged the last of them. The owner suggested this heavenly nectar. Pours a wonderful deep brown, the smell is amazing. I found myself taking a sniff before every sip. The taste just knocked me out. I had never tasted anything like this and I wanted more. Suffice to say, I have 3 packs in my fridge now. An amazing ale that needs to be tried by any Beer lover!!

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2008 14:30:25 | More by Yvaithe
Photo of Gmann
Gmann

New York

4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a chestnut brown color with a tight and explosive light tan head that left some nice curtain lacing when it dissipated. The smell is of clove, light banana and bubblegum. Belgian candi sugar moves in bringing some fruity esters with it. Big bold flavor, sweet. The taste hits you with clove and other spice, followed by candi sugar, light roasted malt, and some dark fruit esters. The feel is moderate to well bodied with very fizzy carbonation. Would have given the feel a 5 but the carbonation is a bit much. There is a nice balance between the sweet, spice, and roasted characteristics. Though it does lean on the sweet side. There is a bit of a belly burn due to the 10.5ABV. A very flavorful brew, perhaps a tad to fizzy and sweet. I look forward to cellaring one of these to see if the carbonation settles down.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2008 04:30:07 | More by Gmann
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 6,988 ratings.