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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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8,013 Ratings

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Ratings: 8,013
Reviews: 2,570
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 522
Gots: 1,465 | 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: 8,013 | Reviews: 2,570 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of AJacob81
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a St Bernardus chalice at Monk's Pub in Chicago. From notes.

A - Dark brown/mahogany, with crimson tinting on the sides. Creamy half-finger head forms and stays in place throughout.

S - Dark fruits, toffee, and a hint of milk chocolate. Supporting turns from black strap molasses and brown sugar. A hint of Belgian shoe leather yeast ties everything together nicely.

T - Everything from the nose, in near-perfect balance. As it warms, coriander and ripe banana and bittersweet chocolate chips emerge alongside, and a slightly funky medicinal vibe develops. Not at all unpleasant though.

M and D - Creamy, almost velvety, medium to thick body. Low carbonation, complulsively drinkable as the ABV is almost completely masked.

Until I get my paws on Westy 12, this is my gold standard quad.

Photo of JizackFH
4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a dark brown color that has some hints of ruby. It has a nice bubbly 2-finger off-white head. The head falls to a nice little ring around the edge.

S - The smell is malty and yeasty. There are some light notes of brown sugar, alcohol, and it is a bit earthy.

T - This tastes of sweet malts and some spices. There is almost no hop presence. It is also bready and there is a mild alcohol taste. Overall it has a nice complex flavor, there are quite a few tastes that I just can't put my finger on.

M - It has a medium body and tingly carbonation. It goes down easy and the finish is quite dry.

D - This has good drinkability. It tastes good and goes down easy. I think this is a really good beer, and I would definitely try this one again.

Photo of djaeon
3.88/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the larger format bottle into a Chimay goblet. $12.99 from South Bay Liquor.

A: Pours a murky brown color, with a good amount of particulate floating around. I don't see that as a bad thing with unfiltered, bottle conditioned beers. Looks like a good unfiltered brown ale. Pours with a moderate off-white head with equally moderate retention. Little lacing.

S: Has a very present malty aroma. I'm also picking up hints of brown sugar. There's also an odd undertone that makes me think of a medicinal peppermint. Thankfully that aroma isn't very strong.

T: It has a moderately sweet, but not overly so, malty flavor, enhanced by hints of syrupy caramelized sugars. It has a very rich flavor, though not overpoweringly so. Thankfully that light medicinal quality I mentioned in the aroma is not present on the palate. Nor is the 10% ABV.

D: This is a very drinkable beer, which is kinda dangerous due to the high ABV. It only has the slightest hint of a bitter aftertaste, which may be the alcohol, but not at all unpleasant. I'd definitely have another!

Photo of THECPJ
3.8/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes 3/3/2011

Appearance: brown with a reddish-orange hue, 2 finger off-white head that fades to a faint partial layer of bubbles, leaves nice lacing down the glass

Smell: dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar, malts, none of which are overpowering

Taste: brown sugar, dark fruits, slight maltiness/breadiness, very sweet, hints of caramel

Mouthfeel: pretty mild carbonation, medium body, smooth

Drinkability: not my personal favorite style of beer, but the 10.5% ABV is hidden well.


Photo of justintcoons
4.46/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an extremely dark brown; almost black with ruby highlights. Explosive fluffy head that leaves excellent lacing. Moderate carbonation.

N: Concord grape, ripe dark fruits, banana, bubblegum, cinnamon, toffee and dark Belgian candy sugar.

T: Complex. Ripe dark fruits (plums, dates, concord grapes), Belgian yeast, banana, bubblegum, medicinal grape, Belgian candy sugar and coriander. Earthy and dry finish with a hint of floral.

M: Light-medium bodied, sudsy, sticky and dry.

D: Dangerously good. The more you drink the easier they get.

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.31/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

tiny bottle (33cl?) into wide chalice. Cannot locate date, looks like label has been through hell.

A- A ruddy brown with a bit of red in the pour, head was larger than expected and took a while to settle. Sandy off-white.

S- Nose is pretty light.. candi sugar/dark fruit and miscellaneous spices. Opens up a bit as it comes closer to room temp.

T- A lot of chocolate and dark fruit. Lots of caramel/toffee and red grape skin. Fleeting taste of ginger has me scratching my head. Sometimes I can't find it, but it crossed my mind a few times while imbibing.

M- No sign of the ABV, very impressive balance.

D- Moderate. This drinks very easy, but I'm not convinced the flavor profile is top-tier- or even at the head of the 2nd-string. It might be sacrilege, but I like some american Quads more than this one. A bit muddled/some confusing flavors keep this one from scoring higher. I liked Westy 12 better, and still can't shake St. Amatus from my mind as the leader of the pack.

Some people say this is one of the best beers in the world. I won't be buying it again, however.

Photo of JesteR14
4.06/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- I love this look. Very dark amber, with a light head. i know im in store for a lot in this beer... GREAT quad color.

S- malty and a smell of roasted nuts. Some sort of fruit making its entrance..

T- Strong and a first impact of boozyness. The sweetness of the fruit comes out in the aftertaste. I believe that tase is an apple/cider type of taste. A great sipping type of flavor i got out of this beer.

M- Highly carbonated. This makes it an exciting and enjoyable experience for your tongue. Its def a sipping beer, but an undeniable great craft beer.

D- Strong beer, but one that lasts as a quality beer. And to a person like me, these are the type of beers that we savor and enjoy with such a high ABV. Cant drink a 6 pack but it is a great brew to sit back and relax with.

Photo of LairdChisholm
4.87/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an opaque chestnut brown color with a one finger tan head that has excellent retention and leaves some great lacing.

S - Smells like ripe apple cider. Very very nice and it stays like this throughout the whole drink. There are maybe some notes of sour grapes and slight caramel but this is really good.

T - Follows the nose almost completely. Sour apples and grapes create a great balance. There is some slight caramel notes mixed along with underlying yeast tones. Incredible.

M - Manages to be slight and bubbly at the beginning and sticky at the end so the taste lingers. Amazing.

D - At 10.5 ABV this is still real easy to drink. but something stops you because you want to savor it. Go out and buy this now.

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

330ml bottle

A- Dark brown, with reddish hints if seen through light. Not big but nicely persistent head. A lot of lacing is left on the glass

S- The aroma is mainly malt, with dark fruit and nut to back up. Not as strong as i expected

T- The beer is overall sweet, with the malts filling the mouth and giving some sort of a buttery feel. Behind the malts there's more sweetness from soft fruits, but a nut like flavour brings some balance and a more complex feel. Suprisingly, the aftertaste is drier with a hint of bitterness to make up for the otherwise excessive sweetness. Very good

M- A creamy and very good mouthfeel that really fills the palate, being smooth at the same time. I don't feel totally right about this though. When still a bit cold the carbonation is high and burns a bit on the palate, preventing flavours from spreading out fully; once warmed carbonation is no longer to be felt but the buttery feel gets too dominant and leaves the tongue covered with a pastry feel

D- Despite some small mouthfeel issues the drinkability is still very good. Alcohol is perfectly hidden and the beer goes down smooth despite its complexity

Photo of veinless
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky dark brown, with a reddish/maroon tint and a very cloudy body. Head is two fingers and moderately fine, with a nice assortment of bubble sizing. Thick cotton candy center of the head is awesome. Leaves not too much lacing and dissipates to leave a thin layer on top.

Smell is oh so complex, with lemon, cherry, bread, and red winy smell that is intoxicating. Nose is a bit funky in the middle and the yeast is palpable.

Taste hits you with a unique buttery start, which then moves into a medley of fruits and malts. Citrus zest takes a backseat to dark fruit (including some cherries and figs) and belgian yeast, which tastes of coriander. A bit of booze comes in near the end, and the warmth it provides is nothing but beneficial, with no unpleasant alcohol taste at all.

Mouthfeel is truly phenomenal. The texture is perfectly creamy and whipped, the body is as full as it gets, and the combination of the cooling start and warming finish makes this an easy five. Drinkability is great, regardless of the 10.5% abv (which makes this beer that much more admirable). Goes down easy, has every flavor you could ask for without any of them in excess or shortage. I can't get over the fantastic contrast between refreshing and warming in each individual sip. This beer is a work of art. Can get a bit strong on the back end of each sip, but that's just nitpicking. This beer is special.

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

A - Pours a rich burgandy/mahogany color with a very large head that leaves a ton of thick, creamy lacing.

S - Very nutty smell. Good sweet malt adds to the smell of the grains and yeast.

T - The taste reminds me of a good jar of preserves, some nice dark fruitiness. The malt adds a bit of rich caramel to the overall taste.

M - A light syrupiness to the mouthfeel, alcohol is hidden very, very well. No burn at all actually.

D - Incredibly drinkable. In fact, it may be the best quality of this beer. I really enjoy how easy this is to go down.

Overall - I thought it was just a solid beer. I didn't find it to be spectacular, but I think it captures the essence of the style and is just a remarkably good and drinkable beer. One interesting thing, I found the first few drinks to be a lot better than the rest, it was if the palate "adjusted" to the overall complexities of this beer

Photo of dnolan36
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 11.2oz bottle into chalice

Nice dark hazy brown color with a quick dissipating head with decent lacing.

Strong dark fruit aroma with a sweet malt scent.

Slight spicy taste with a hit of cocoa and more dark fruits. Maybe figs or plums. Also a nice hint of alcohol.

Very full mouthfeel with some chewyness.

Very drinkable for a 10.50% alcohol quad. This beer is definitely world class and would highly recommend it.

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

11.2oz brown bottle
10% abv

St. Bernardus Abt 12 was dark brown in color (hazy red brown when held to a light). It had a beige head with great retention and lots of lacing. The smell was dark fruit, dark malt, and yeast. The taste was dried fruit, yeast,some dark malt and alcohol. The finish was long, dry, a bit fruity, malty, and warming. The mouthfeel was good with a medium-full body and high carbonation. The drinkability was good. This is a good Belgian Ale and worth a try.

Photo of dizknee24
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I heard about this and finally had the chance to pick one or two up. Very hazy and a light head in my chalice. Tastes was exceptional as any good quad, it has very sweet aroma.
I would definitely buy this again next time i go to the store. I advise you to do the same.

Photo of eric5bellies
4.82/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my St Bernardus chalice.

A - Pour a dark Mahogany colour with an Ivory head that outlast the beer and laces the glass.

S - Aromas of caramel and sweet malts.

T - Nice buttery flavours of dark fruits and a little hp present. Lots of dark stewed fruit and well balanced sweetness. It's divine really.

M - Medium to full body with perfect carbonation

D - It's not surprising Westvleteren saw fit to give St Bernardus the brewing rights to their beer because this is an absolute treasure that I rate on just blow the West 12 itself.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 8,013 ratings.