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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.

7,028 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,028
Reviews: 2,470
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 383
Gots: 953 | FT: 36
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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,028 | Reviews: 2,470 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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

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

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
Photo of GJ40

North Carolina

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

I poured this one in a Chimay chalice and it impressed from the start. The deep, dark color had a hint of red and contrasted nicely with a perfect head (about an inch). I paused in appreciation for what the Belgians have done for us.

This is certainly a strong beer. At 10% ABV, it's meant to be savored. I can down lesser beers at a pretty rapid pace (at least the first 2-3) but I've met my match on this one. And who would want to rush it anyway. Well done St Bernardus.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2008 12:54:12 | More by GJ40
Photo of DavidSeanNJ

New Jersey

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

Served into my Chimay chalice...

A- Very dark ruby red/dark mahogony color. huge 2 finger frothy creamy off white head.

S- Sweet malts and a lighty fruity essence.

T- Fuity, rich, and very peppery. Deep and rich, some nutty flavors to round it out.

M- Mouthfeel was smooth and tingly.

D- One of the best beers I have ever had. Period. Perfect balance, amazing complexity, impecible flavors.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2008 15:54:44 | More by DavidSeanNJ
Photo of Proteus93


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

A: A murky, deep walnut - light chestnut brown, with a fabulous creamy head. The lace sticks to the sides of the glass like a champ on this one. Very nice.

S: Deep, malty aromas... touches of fruits. Quite a pleasant, rich scent.

T: Some rich, dark fruits, coupled with the lovely malts. The slightest bit buttery, and tasty.

M + D: A very smooth abbey ale, with a nice, full body. With a bit of a liberal gulp from a goblet, it fills the mouth and goes down with a little added warmth. Quite excellent.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2008 02:15:13 | More by Proteus93
Photo of dedrinker


3.7/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I aged mine for like, three years or so. Murky root beer color with a fast fading creamy tan head. Aroma of donuts, gum balls, and damp packed-down dirt (my grandfather dug his own basement beneath his farmhouse). slightly sweet, store-brand generic raisin bran flavor. Medium body with a slightly tannic finish. The aroma improves as it mellows in the glass.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2008 04:42:16 | More by dedrinker
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

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

Bottle conditioned. Pours a beautiful ruby brown, with a generous off-white head, which slowly diminishes to a small creamy foam of microbubbles. The aroma is a strong bouquet of fruit and sweet malts - it smells like you should eat it with a spoon. The flavour is divine, and changes as the drink warms. Raisins and dried figs feature prominently, and every now and then a hint of peach comes through. The sweet malts are present from the start, and become more dominant as time goes by, as does the fruitiness of the yeast. Exceptionally creamy on the palate, and with a warming finish, this makes me glad that this is the first bottle of a case of 24!

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2008 19:56:42 | More by bobsy
Photo of tempest


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

You know, the last couple times I've had this beer it was on tap and I found it sweet and fruity, but unimpressive. The bottle I had, however, was damn good.

Poured into a red wine glass, its a slightly hazy brown and light tan head. Rich smell of dark fruit malts that gives way to the cherries and blackberries in the flavors that roll over your tongue with a mellow caramel. It finishes with a grassy hops note that stands up to the big malts and adds a wonderful balance. This bottle ran out too quickly.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2008 21:27:45 | More by tempest
Photo of RedBeerHead


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

Pours dark and cloudy, heavy yeast content. Very prominent and foamy head. The head settles to about three inches, is very carbonated and sort of looks like root beer head. Very malty and fruity smell. Taste is basically what you would expect, heavy and good yeast/fruit flavor. This is a good Belgium trappist. Each one seems to bring something different to the table. Big fan.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2008 23:34:33 | More by RedBeerHead
Photo of wyattgene


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

I was turned on to this beer just a couple of weeks ago at my next door neighbor's X-mas party. I am an Ale drinker but this was my first taste of a Quadruple Ale. This was absolutely hands down the best tasting beer I have experienced. I have tried 3 or 4 quadruples since and I enjoyed all of them. Today my special order arrived and I am just finishing my first bottle. This will be my reference Beer until I try something better. This has it all. I am not yet qualified to get all fancy with my descriptions but this beer poors great, smells great, is awesome on the front end and even better on the back end. This beer fired me up enough to seek it out and buy about a two month supply and join the beer advocate! I have to start somewhere don't I?

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2008 03:47:23 | More by wyattgene
Photo of Mudpuppet


3.75/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to triplecoil for the chance to try this.

A- Poured from a 750 into a Brooklyn wide style Champagne glass. Pours a dark mahogany with about 3-4 inches of head. Clipped the head with a knife like a Belgian bartender and it began to go down.

S- Very light aroma of most dark malts.

T- Starts out strong with malts with light notes of dark fruits. Most of the taste is coppery, metallic though. I enjoy this beer though.

M- Thick and malty. Coats your mouth with medium carbonation.

D- I could drink a few glasses of this. This is a very good quad!

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 23:15:09 | More by Mudpuppet
Photo of jenbys2001


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

This was my first high alcohol content beer on tap. Beautiful in a glass, with a thick frothy head. I found it very creamy and delightful to sip. It has more of an alcohol taste but it's very drinkable. I found it a much easier sipping beer than Delirium Tremens (my first high alcohol content beer, period). After two glasses I was glad I drank it at Mr. Dunderbak's so I could wander the mall and sober up a bit.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2008 03:01:30 | More by jenbys2001
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,028 ratings.