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St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12

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8,003 Ratings

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Ratings: 8,003
Reviews: 2,567
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 520
Gots: 1,454 | FT: 39
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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,003 | Reviews: 2,567 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ngeunit1
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an opaque ruby-brownish color with a thick two fingers of frothy off-white head. The retention on the head is very good and leaves behind lots of lace on the glass.

S - Aroma is a mix of some dark fruit sweetness and also some more sugar sweetness. Some malt and spices make up a backbone to the nose. Touch of yeast and some lighter fruits.

T - Starts off with some building dark fruit flavors and some deep caramel malts. Little bit of spice in the background. Through the middle some sweeter grape flavor comes through alongside some cherry flavor. The finish has a blend of dark fruit, some roasted malt, and a touch of apple/cherry flavor that lingers nicely.

M - Medium bodied with moderate lively carbonation. Feels really smooth and crisp, even with a lot of flavor hitting the palate. Finish is just a touch dry and very nice.

D - Very drinkable. Lots of flavors that stay really well balanced, and also don't make the beer feel too heavy. The 10.5 abv here really stays in the background and makes it almost a bit dangerous.

Photo of dfclav
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a chimay goblet

A - pours a very dark caramel colored brown with a nice pillow-like 2 finger head. Active carbonation allows the head to bubble and rise, like a murky swamp, staying for several minutes.

S - a very sweet candi sugar mixed with fresh mixed berries at first whiff. Next smell reveals layers of dark fruits and Belgian yeast and bread. Very intense.

T - very sweet but not cloying first sip has flavors of ripe dark fruits and a slight mix of fresh ripe berries. Mid-palate liquor soaked more complex dark fruits followed by yeast and sweet bread. A touch of alcohol is noted but it's so well disguised it's almost like you're tasting one of those candied impersonations of a liquor. Banana and clove are more noted as the beer reaches room temp.

M - where the beer shines the most, I think. Pretty much perfect in every way. Creamy, full bodied, excellent finish, nice hop and carbonation bite for the style. Malts can hold up in the mouth for hours probably....excellent!

O - my go to quad in terms of availability and overall, this beer is a classic. A must have!

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.65/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bernardus 12

a 4 saddle brown; cloudy if the yeast is released. large foamy head diminishes quickly. persistent ring and some foamy lace.

s 3.5-4 pungently phenolic, yeasty. some band aid, clove, touch of banana.

t 3.5-4 cola nut, moderately sweet, hotly alcoholic. cloves, overripe banana skin.

m 3.5 highly carbonated, as expected. lightish medium body.

o 3.5 great anticipation. modest experience.

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

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A: Dark brown with a reddish hue and a gorgeous tan foam head. Can't see through it.

S: Super dark fruits, cherries, raspberries and the like. Also root beer and a significant malt note. Big time ripe bananas. Amazing smell.

T: Follows the smell to a T with a really nice smooth mouthfeel. Finish that has hints of vanilla beans and a ripe fruit trace.

D: I can't see how anyone could classify this one as not drinkable.

Value: An incredible beer worth pretty much any price.

Photo of raszputini
4.05/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle....Super Belgian Quad. Nice spicy nose that includes belgian sweets, phenols, and belgian yeast. Dark brownish color, pours with highly carbonated but thin head. Spicy and fruity tones accompanied by Belgian yeast and candy sugar. Pretty sweet, even for Belgian. I really enjoyed this and will drink again.

Photo of vfgccp
4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep mahogany amber. Rocky head with a hyper-variable bubble consistency and low lace.

S - Mild, almost wheat-like, malt and a honey scented booze. Just a touch of sweet spice.

T - Crazy profile. Custard, yellow raisins, coriander, pink peppercorn. Fresh plum. Sweet prosecco tones mid profile. Banana and oak on the back end.

M - Well carbonated (our cork hit the ceiling the second we took the cage off). Soft, medium body. Lightly dry finish.

O - A great beer to sip and savor.

Photo of NightINgale
4.41/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml poured into a chalice glass...

A - Cloudy Dark brown body to the beer. Great creamy head, with a very strong retention and some nice attractive lacing. One of the most attractive Belgian beers I've seen!

S - Smells a little boozy at first, although this is not the case as the beer warms up. A great bouquet of dark fruits (figs, prunes, and dates) and roasted malts (with caramel, chocolate and bread notes), with yeast and just a bit of an earthy hoppiness.

T - I feel that trying to describe all the tasting notes of this beer may do the whole experience more harm than good, but nevertheless... You should first get a bursting flavour of dried fruit (most notably, dates), with almost a port-like grape flavour to it. Then comes the sweetness, with an almost chocolatey finish to it. Slightly bitter, a little bready. An outstanding taste all in all!

M - This is an exceptionally smooth quadrupel! Medium-bodied, not at all heavy or hefty. The alcohol can be tasted, but not enough to make it boozy. Moderate sweetness to it, and a very velvety, smooth texture.

D - No doubt, this is a sipper beer, yet the drinkability within one serving is pretty high. Enjoy in moderation, and this will be pretty easy to drink!

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

A big thanks to DmanGTR for sending this in my very first trade! Now consuming it for my one year anniversary on BA!

750 ml bottle poured into a DFH signature glass

A: Pours a ruby/brown color, slightly hazy with one finger of off white head. Great retention, lasting for the entire time I drank this beer. Left some very pretty lacing down the sides.

S: Lots of dark fruits, some cherries, plums, and some bruised apples. Also a little bit of vanilla and a little bit of spice.

T: Nice darker fruit flavor, raisins, a little bit of cherry, some yeast, and a little bit of spice. As it warms an apple flavor develops.

M: Medium bodied, but slightly lighter than expected. Nice carbonation.

O: Really good beer, very impressed. This is my first quad and I think it will be a style that I seek out more. Really easy drinking.

Photo of birderbeerer
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours the color of strong tea with a white, tightly-bubbled, three-finger head. Good lacing.

Rich, yeasty and fruity aroma. Banana bread or apple cake with clove and pepper spice. A fermenty mash of pantry staples.

Taste is rich and complex. Toffee and bread, caramel, raisins, dates, pears, and tea. Creamy, earthy, and rich beer. Delicious.

Photo of csiewert
4.05/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from an 11.2 oz bottle at the Abner pub in Norman, OK.

Pours a creamy nut brown color with a thin layer of off white head with an ok amount of retention and little lacing. The aroma is strong with ripe cherry and prune characteristics. The taste starts with a hint of malt and then bring a strong grape juice flavor. The mouthfeel tingled slightly with carbonation, but finished dry and clean. Overall a good quad... Wish I could try it from the source.

Photo of tbrown4
4.13/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. -> Chimay chalice. Room temperature. 2010-07-10 bottling. Split with my buddy Greg after cutting some bricks for my garden wall.

Been making an effort to fill in my collection with some good quads. Wanted a base line tasting on this one. Here we go!

A - Cloudy brownish ruby red. Foamy off-white head, good heavy lacing. Mild carb stream.

S - Creamy, bready, mildly sweet

T - Sweet toasted bread up front, dry malty middle with a tangy slightly bitter finish.

M - Medium bodied, mild alcohol warmth

O - Very nice easy sipper. Could hang out with a full pour for about 45 minutes. I enjoy this quad quite a bit. Many consider it to be the gold standard, and I agree. Very good representation of the style. Would like to build up a nice collection and eventually do a year to year comparison.

Photo of beerandcycling88
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

A This beer pours out as a nice muddy brown color, with a very thick head, with lots of lacing.

S The nose is very complex and dominated by fruit especially grapes which give it a raisin like smell. In addition there are notes of yeast and malt.

T The taste of this beer is very complex with many flavors I couldn't put a finger on. However there were very strong overtones of rasins, grapes, yeast, alcohol, malt and many different fruity flavors I couldn't identify.

M This beer has a creamy mouthfeel which is a joy to drink.

Overall this is an excellent quad, with exceptionally complex taste, a very nice appearance, an aromatic nose, and a smooth mouthfeel. It is one of my all time favorites, and well worth spending an evening on.

Photo of jbonapar
4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a small bottle purchased in Albany, NY.

As i remembered....Thick off-white head with a nice yeasty sedmaent. The last big of the pour is THICK. Love it. Smell is of strong medicinal sweetness (i know that sounds weird) malty with a touch of peppery spice

Taste: So interesting, dark candy, dark fruit, fruit cake with a slight toasted undertone alcohol is certainly present and adds to the warmth that accompanies the flavor and mouthfeel.

Overall, a fantastic beer. One of my favorite Dark Strong Ales/Quads.

Photo of jman892
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep brown, with an off white, 1 finger head, which fades to a film which lingers

S - Smells strongly of plum, raisin, dark fruit. Somewhat bready

T - Taste is more dark fruit, plum or fig predominately, bready aftertaste, with just a hint of the alcohol. Little bit of caramel creeeps in towards the end

M - Well carbonated, full bodied, and smooth. A great sipper.

O - Great Belgian beer, another of my favorites. Glad this is so easy to come by.

Photo of harrymel
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml, Bb 5/7/14

A: Pours an orange brown ale with excellent clarity. a single finger off-white billowed creamy head halves into a quilt of the same. Loose and broken sheeted lacing.

S: Dark fruits up front. plums, figs, graham, toasted cinnamon, some hints of vanilla and herbed maple deep in there.

T: Raisin, fruits, good complex malts. Maybe slightly oxidized it seems with a hint of carbboard in there. However,alcohol is well hidden, and the beer offers up more than I can articulate. Very nice.

M: Full bodied and silky with lower carb. Very good mouthfeel.

D: This beer is outstanding. I was surprised by the quality provided the volumes they kick out. Very good beer.

Photo of BeerCon5
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby redcolor with a very nice fluffy off-white head.

The scent is of dark fruit, some belgian sugar and yeast, notes of alcohol.

The taste is of dark fruit, toffee, belgian yeast.

Full bodied, smooth and a little sticky, low carbonation.

This is a very flavorful beer, there much to experience. I will definitely have this again.

Photo of bbeane
4.06/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into a DFH laser etched chalice... Starts with a huge head with great retention and lacing. Beer is dark in color, dark ruby when held up to the light. Lots of sediment...

S- Aroma is a pretty weak... has some light fruity yeasty notes, but not that intense. Hint of alcohol

T- Definitely needs to warm before getting the full flavor out of this one. Has a nice fruity flavor, light yeasty flavor, no boozyness

M- Despite the fact that it's a quad, seems to have a very light body with light carbonation

D- Super easy to drink... and was definitely worth $10.50 for a bottle, but not what I had expected in terms of it being so highly looked upon...


Photo of spree92
4.05/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle dated Best Before 08 06 15

A- A dirty brown with a nice head. Lots of sediment rest on the bottom of the glass. Traces of yeast float on the surface. Kinda looks like an apple cider.

S- Strong ripe fruit and that special Belgiam yeast strain.Alcohol is well hidden here.

T- Quite pleasant. The fruity profile is emminent. Acidic and maybe a touch to much carbonation.

M- Heavy, sticky, some bite from carbonation. Taste does linger though.

D- I truly believe that this would be better off in the cellar for a while. Bring it bak out in about a year,should mellow and blend a bit better.

Photo of Fenris244
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been meaning to try this for forever, thanks flying saucer!

Pours brownish red, with a champagne like 2 finger head, large strings of bubbles are easy to see, the head has great retention and eventually forms a thick lace on the surface of the beer.

Weird smell fruity and spicy with notes of apple and a pleasant sweetness is apparent.

Almost a raspberry like flavor, a bit of a sour note and some spiciness again, almost a musty malt background and the finish lingers for a while, very complex beer

Medium in body but has an champagne like quality from the carbonation, the alcohol is nowhere to be seen until you start to feel it. A sipping beer to be sure but damn drinkable

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

Served on-tap at Shady McGrady's into a snifter.

A - Pours deep brown with a thick cap of one finger tall white head, dissipating down to a light film, leaving thin webs of lacing down the glass.

S - Very strong smell overall. Hints of sweet malt, dry yeast, strong booze, dark fruits, and a touch of caramel sweetness. The booze is ever present and seems to only get stronger as the beer begins to warm.

T - Now we are talking. Still plenty of warming alcohol but it is tempered with hints of sweet malts, dark fruits, dry Belgian yeast, and some light spice. Finish is a mix of sweetness and warming booze. Very nice beer overall, just a touch too boozy for my liking.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Sweet, boozy, feel with most of it lingering throughout the finish.

D - Pretty good. I like quad's, and this one is no different, but they really wear on me over the course of the glass. The combo of high price, $8 for this snifter...ouch!, and the strong booze really bring the drinkability down.

Photo of tbeckett
3.93/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From January 16 notes.

A - One finger off white head with lot's of carbonation. Dark brown with red tones. Hazy.

S - Dark fruits and booze dominate.

T - Tons more dark fruit which is quite nice, some slight booze is there too with a nice yeast character. Lacks depth.

M - Great feeling from the carbonation. It's light but intense at the samet ime. Medium to full body.

D - Really high but lacking in flavours I would typically expect from a Quad.

Photo of rsdaugherty
4.27/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap into goblet at Yard House downtown Denver
A - Dark brown with ruby coloring, small off-white head dissipated quickly to a thin layer 3.5
S - Candied fruits and sweet malts with caramel notes 4
T - Well rounded full floral, can really taste both the malt & hops throughout the drink, excellent balance, my lack of sense the high ABV at first fades and becomes more apparent & more floral with warming 4.5
M - Milk mouth feel, nice level of smooth carbonation 4
D - Really nice drinkability for a quad, too bad I'm driving 4.5

Photo of elvisnj
4.82/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the Belgian corked bottle.

Huge head that grows very fast. Careful pour is a must. Nice creamy head hangs around for a while and becomes meringue like.

Color is dark ivory. Looks very nice. Smell is classic Belgian yeast and brown sugar and it smells great. Taste is dark fruits with candy sugar/caramel and sweet malts. Such a great classic quad. I love this beer.

Very creamy and smooth. Barely a hint of alcohol despite its almost 11%. Clean and dry aftertaste. Leaves you wanting more. Did I mention that I love this beer?

A great beer from a great brewer. I also thought I should mention that I really love this beer.

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

APPEARANCE: Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a snifter with a creamy medium-tan head that dissipated slowly with good head lacing that dissipated slowly. There was moderate carbonation in its cloudy very dark brown body.

AROMA: Moderate nutty chocolate with a bit of caramel, a light floral scent, a hint of alcohol, and very light smells of brown sugar, plum and raisin. The entire scent gave off an enticing hint of what was to come.

TASTE: The malt taste was a bit heavier than the aroma had led me to expect: a heavy taste of caramel and nutty chocolate was well balanced with a light floras hops flavor, some light alcohol and light brown sugar, plum, and raisin. Altogether, a very well balanced and pleasantly tasty beer.

MOUTHFEEL: This beer had a medium body with a nice creamy texture. Carbonation was soft and there was no particular aftertaste. The initial flavor was a moderate sweetness. The medium-length finish was also moderately sweet with just a slight hops-induced bitterness. Body lacing was good and the lacing dissipated slowly.

DRINKABILITY: This was a memorable beer that I wouldn't hesitate to drink again, or recommend for a single brew on a special occasion. The taste in particular wowed me and I plan on buying it again.

Photo of Brianjames16
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Gorgeous dark brown with sediment suspended. Head is a two finger creamy white color with tightly packed bubbles.

S- Wonderful balanced aroma of dark fruits, bready malts, figg, raisins and a hint of alcohol in the backround.

T- I remember why this is my favorite every time I go back. Complex balanced taste of fine fruits, yeast, malts and a slight alcohol taste for warmth.

M- Good carbonation with a rich texture that is smooth, balanced and highly complex.

D- If this was all I had to drink for the rest of my life, That'd be fine.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 8,003 ratings.