1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12

Educational use only; do not reuse.

8,120 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,120
Reviews: 2,591
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 539
Gots: 1,567 | FT: 45
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (12) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Abt 12 Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,120 | Reviews: 2,591 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of olimpia84
4.07/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap, served on a Tulip.

A: dark brown body with red glowing tones and a outer rim coffee colored head. Some lacing present.

S: complex aromas that are hard to describe and include sweet floral tones, malts, caramel, spicy tones, and peaches.

T: also complex; starts with a watery feel that moves into a floral and sweet malts presence on the palate combined with yeast, mild coffee and dark cherries. Ends with a hoppy note.

M: medium body, low carbonation. ABV is well disguised.

O: this a complex but good tasty sipper beer, so make sure you enjoy it slowly.

Photo of Bigbadbudman
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I hate the phrase complex for beer BUT, this beer is that. But a very smooth finish I love this beer. I wish to I could find this beer in a bottle. I live in central FL and other than the WOB that just opened we're very limited on great beer variety.

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

Reviewed from notes. 750ml corked and caged bottle.

A - Dark dark brown in color with a thick thick white head. Good retention, actually quite amazing retention and lacing. Abt 12 is unreal already.

S - Smells of fruit, spice, belgian yeast, theres a wood characteristic there.

T - Holy crap, it has the normal but wonderful raisin sort of taste to it. You can taste all the Belgian qualities of this beer. I mean its quite complex and so good. The malty sweetness is well balanced. Theres some caramel to it as well.

M - Thick, rich, elegant. Its a little over medium bodied. Really its pretty perfect.

O - Its just ludacris good. I mean its hard to make a better beer than this. Its so balanced and well done. God bless teh monks.

Photo of bramsdell
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into imp pint glass. Yeah, it isn't optimal, but I don't have a chalice (yet).

A: Dark brown body that reveals a beautiful dark ruby when held up to light. The head is very large for a beer of this color and, while it does recede, remains at least 1.5cm throughout.

S: Fruity and spicy. I would say that the predominant aroma is the spiciness, but there are very full notes of both raisins and malt. This ups the sweetness of the aroma, overall, making for a great balance for the spicy smell. Finally, there is a bit of boozy bite in the smell, which balances the spice and sweet very well.

T: The order of notes changes. First is the raisin flavors, followed by the malt sweetness. This is a quad, of course it will be sweet, but this is a thick, full sweetness that is fruity and malty in nearly equal parts. The spices are noticed as the sweet flavors begin to reside, providing a bit of a biting contrast to such sweetness. Combine this spiciness with the bit of alcohol at the very back end, and you have a wonderfully balanced beer without any remarkable hop notes.

M: Thick, fully, sweet. It's awesome. It feels like a very light, slightly bubbly, syrup, but in the best of ways. Truly a beer to be sipped and enjoyed.

O: Awesome. Not quite Rochefort 10, but one of the best and most flavorful beers I have encountered.

Photo of eat
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay chalice, my closest glassware to the St. Bernardus chalice. Hazy oak-brown body with a good cover of cream-white head. The etching at the bottom of the glass is forming a slowly-bubbling island of head in the middle. Nice to see the etching actually doing its job, great retention.

Lots of yeast on the nose along with bread, light spices (coriander, nutmeg), astringent minerals, tons of fruit (fig, raisin, pear) and a hint of alcohol.

Very malty but perfectly balanced with earthy hops. Lots of dark fruit and caramel up front, figs and raisins; lightly-roasted malt, yeast and an alcohol bite in the middle; cocoa and dry spices (coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg) toward the finish. As complex and packed with flavour as it is well-balanced. I'm sure I would be rating this a perfect 5 with the right amount of age on it.

This one fits right in with other trappist-style ales with its near-perfect mouthfeel. Full, creamy medium body with moderate carbonation.

It's easy to see why this one is regarded as being among the top few Belgian quadrupels; I would need to try it alongside Rochefort 10 to remember which I prefer. Extremely drinkable for its strength, I could happily finish this whole bottle to myself. This stuff must age incredibly well.

Photo of Kbogac
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay chalice. Dark brown with a thick inch of foam that seems to last forever. When I first put the glass to my nose all I could smell was green apple, wonderful. The taste is just amazing. Carmel, dark fruit some green apple. Had to describe. Mouthfeel is medium with lots of carbonation. Halfway through the glass and there's still a quarter inch of foam. This may be one of the best beers I've ever had. Simply amazing.

Photo of IPA35
4.32/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown with a small off-white head. The head disappears quick and when it does there will be something like a carbonation fountain/vulcano at the centre of the beer. Which is really wierd as I have never seen it before. (Kasteel glass.)

The first thing I notice in the smell is the alcohol. It is quite appearant. dark fruit, caramel, banana and dark malts.

Taste starts out a little sour then the malts kick in and give it a bit of a bready flavour. The sweetness and tartness stay. Dark fruits, some hops not much. Very complex and I find it hard to describe the flavours of this one. Tasty though. Spicey and slightly alcoholic.

Mouthfeel is medium and plenty of carbonation.

Nice drink overall but I have had better.

Photo of Hoptometrist
3.43/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap into a snifter at Bier Markt

A- Poured a dark brown and red color with a ring of lace that left no head

S- Smelled like grape soda

T- Prominent grape soda flavor, cherry, some raisin, and some alcohol coming through

M- Sticky, full-bodied beer, low carbonation as expected

O- A sipper for sure. The grape soda flavor and aroma was pretty surprising for me and not quite what I expected.

Photo of Vixie
4.23/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour this one slowly, it forms a large tan head. Looks a bit brown at first, but when held to the light is a really nice deep ruby red. I can see a lot of bubble coming up from the D in the bottom of my Duvel glass.

Heavy malt smell at first. but then I can detect fruit, kind of a raisin or dried fruit smell.

Nicely complex flavor here. I kind taste a lot of different things here. There's fruit, a bit of toffee, Be;gian candy sugar. pepper, and coriander. Finishes with a nice spicy warmth. Really nice blend here.

Goes down silky smooth, and has a nice fullness to it. Very solid as well, there is no doubt this is a serious beer.

Simply put, this is a great beer. Very flavorful, and goes down easy. I may have a new top 5 favorite, this is a wonderful beer.

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

A - Huge foam dying down to suds. Doesn't cling much to the glass.

S - Bread, bannanas and caramel, with some dark fruits.

T - Similar to the smell. Plenty of alcohol, but not the major taste. Medium yeast character.

M - Light carb. Thick body.

O - Good "Dubbel" as described on the bottle with plenty of flavor, I don't think (despite the alcohol content) that this is a quad.

Photo of codysjb
4.27/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft, served in a St. Bernardus Chalice. A dark non-transparent color, not black more of a dark brown and doesn’t have the consistency that the other quads I’ve tried have had. Much less viscous than the other quads I’ve had which really surprised me as I expected this to be very heavy and it turned out much lighter. Tastes like a dark Belgium, with smells of fruit (figs) and some dark malt. Mouthful was pleasant and warm; alcohol taste isn’t overpowering but adds a complexity. Overall a good beer, not as tasty as Rochefort 10 or the other quads I’ve had but a solid Belgian none the less.

Photo of vobr0002
3.81/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- brownish red color with 2 finger head that last for a long time.

S- malty with a hint of fruit in their too.

T- malty, nutty, fruity kind of cherry maybe? Lots of flavor going on. A mild alcohol burn too but not bad for 10%

M- high carbonation and thicker mouth feel.

O- good beer. Not quite as good as I thought it would be from all the hype, but still alright.

Photo of TVolt1
3.83/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Finger width of creamy head. Good amber/red color to it with good clarity. Nice looking beer.

S: The small actually burns my eyes. The alcohol smell is very strong and makes it hard to smell anything else. I do smell a little bit of malts as well as.

T: Good mild, toasty, roasty beer. Has a slight taste similar to a stout but milder and with some hoppy tastes as the end.

M: Medium-thick mouthfeel which i think is appropriate for this type of beer. Low carbed.

O: Overall, this is a good beer. Nothing too exciting but I would have another if the opportunity presented itself, I would have it. Wouldn't go out of my way to buy it again though.

Photo of Mar02x
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite beers. Almost the same as the Westvleteren 12 but so much more easy to get.

A - A nice brown beer with a cloudy off-white head. The head turned into a cozy fluffy whole.

S - Slightly sweet beer with fruity and nutty notes and as a whole balanced with the bitterness and the alcohol contend.

T - Nice nutty flavor blended with fruit, candy and a hint of lemon. Nice complex and very drinkable.

M - An average carbon dioxide content but full of flavor. At the end you have a slightly bitter finish with the alcohol heat, but again completely in balance.

O - A beautiful good beer, good every time. This beer I keep standard on stock.

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

Burnt sienna with about an inch of head. Great retention as you drink. The aroma reveals malty brown sugar notes with raisins and musky fruit. The flavor is sweet and bready, with the 10% alcohol content well-hidden. Unlike many Quads - this one seems to be a drinkable 'crowd pleaser,' so bonus points. The bubbly mouthfeel is not very heavy or earthy. A staple in my fridge.

Photo of aorloski
4.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- A medium brown, tight white bubbles, incredibly carbonated.

S- Raisins, dates, prunes, dark fruits and a little brown sugar.

T- Good god, amazing, Big Raisins in the front, dark fruits, plums, dates, prunes, a touch of burnt or brown sugar, definitely follows the nose. carbonation is very tingly but does not overpower. Incredible

M- smooth, bubbly, a little thin but true to the style

O- A quintessential belgian quad, incredibly drinkable, i wish i could have cases and cases of this stuff, it is easily enjoyed at any time of the day and easily one of my top 10 favorite beers, it also helps that it is pretty widely available.

Photo of eslemarc
3.6/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a very deep amber/brown color, quite cloudy, one finger tightly packed beige colored head. Some carbonation is visible running along the glass. Head falls leaving sporadic lacing. Some sediment in suspension.

The nose smeels very rich with dark fruits and fig. There are hints of the yeast that come out as well. Some sweet breadiness that is very welcoming. Wonderful dark fruity complexity.

The mouthfeel is highly cabonated, slightly tart, and a big Belgian flavor from the yeast. It is a tad watery, very warming, and very filling. The sweetness actually makes my mouth water as I drink it. Very good, but not great.

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

330mL bottle (best by 1/13/2016) poured into a St. Bernardus chalice. Crystal-clear mahogany color with a 1-finger light tan head that crackles nicely.

Aroma is dark sweet malt and a hint of brown sugar.

Taste is dark, sweet, and fruity - maybe a click too sweet. Booze pretty prominent.

Overall, a good quad but others are better.

(Note: This tasting was done immediately after a side-by-side between Westvleteren 12 and Rochefort 10; this beer had a decidedly more impressive head but was less impressive on the aroma/taste than that other two.)

Photo of julian89
4.13/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my 3rd on the St. Bernardus tour I'm doing at home this week.

Appearance - dark brown in color, very nice head that stays a bit. Lots of carbonation.

Smell- Sweet malty smell, raisins and cherries strong and clean.

Taste- Automatically it is a strong malty, sweet fruit taste. Much cherry and raisin taste. The alcohol content (10%) is hardly noticed. Fantastic sweet brew.

Mouth feel- Very carbonated, either an emulsifier was added in secondary, or St. Bernardus is very good at carbonation. Full bodies smooth flow.

Overall - A great strong brew. Typical smooth fruity Belgian. Favorite of the St. Bernardus as of yet.

Photo of peacebone116
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had a glass of this at the Trappist in Oak town.

A: Dark brown body, almost purple due to the low lighting in the joint. Very full white head that lasts a little while, complimented with clinging lace. Carbonation is visibly present.

S: Malt dominates the nose: Initial scent of cherries mostly with other dark fruit aromas follow; grapes & raisins; very sweet.

T/M: The sweet, complex, malt hits the pallet first, dominated by cherries. The tastes shift quickly as the beer moves around on my tongue--there is a grape quality, and a tongue numbing anise flavor that really coats the mouth and lingers along with a bit of the alcohol's heat. The beer is incredibly smooth and creamy, despite the carbonation evident in its appearance.

Overall, this is one heck of a rich beer. I understand why this is such a classic brew, and I was very happy to try this one. Quads are not typically a style I seek out, but this beer's gorgeous complexity is something to behold; I recommend every beer lover try this example of excellent craftsmanship.

Photo of treque
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: very dark copper in color, some ruby hues, looks clear but semi hazy, the head is amazing a two finger off-white head, with excelent retention,

S: very complex, belgian yeast, some roast, chocolate notes, malty sweetness, raisins, some alchohol presence

T: complex, maty sweetness, toast and chocolate, moderately dry on the finish, throat warming, medium full bodied beer

Photo of ikantspel
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first quad.

Pours a midnight brown. More carbonated than I expected.

Smell is interesting. Yeasty with slight alcohol and dark fruits.

Taste not too different from the smell except for a caramel/coffe aftertaste. Would love to cellar this and taste the different complexities. Overall not a bad start

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

2006 vintage in an 11.2 oz. bottle

A. Pours a hazy brown with tons of large yeast clumps in suspension with a two and a half finger fairly large bubble head that leaves only a few clumps of residual lacing as it receeds.

S. Caramel malt with lots of dark fruit character - figs and raisins largely. Some sweet breadiness and butter there as well. Some fruity banana ester sweetness in there as well.

T. Dark fruits with notes of caramel, dark roasted notes, and a touch of the banana that comes through in the smell.

M. Fills the mouth with lots of large bubbles - more carbonated than I'd like.

D. Pleasant and complex. As it warms the carbonation dies down a bit and complexities come out on the nose and on the tongue. Quite good.

Photo of derekmorris7
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A > Great beer..I really mean a great one. Dark mahogany but a little light can get through. Not as deep dark as Guiness but so rich looking. Mahogany on the dark side would best describe.

S > Nice notes of malt and caramel very sutle alcohol sent too

T > Taste wins it all in my mind. This 12 is a winner all the way. Too good to describe and its not hard to drink at all despite the high ABV

M > Smooth finish and great cling

O > I have to say this and the Rochefort's 10 and 8 are my Kings of the Suds!!!

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

Into a St. Bernardus goblet from a 750ml bottle this is a deep mahogany brew. I half inch head rises and quickly dissipates to a small island leaving no lacing on the glass.

The nose is of figs, cellar dust, and molasses laden sugars. These odors continue onto the palette while adding notes of spice and clove. Mouthfeel is a full robust body with enough attenuation to keep it from being cloying. Overall this is an outstanding beer that warrants plenty of time to contemplate. Unless your liver is well trained don't open the 750 alone.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 8,120 ratings.