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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.

7,572 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,572
Reviews: 2,518
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 452
Gots: 1,179 | FT: 35
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Abt 12 Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,572 | Reviews: 2,518 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of boogyman
4.93/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I never thought I would get the chance to try this beer on tap, but it happened just now at the Tap House in Bellevue, WA.

A- Poured a dark brownish maroon color. About a finger of head in a St. Bernardus goblet. Sticky lace that hung around till I finished.

S- Dark fruits are most definitely apparent. Cherries and plums. Yeast is coming out nicely.

T- Taste is what was from the nose but multiplied many times. Very nice! Cannot taste the alcohol.

M- Smooth but the carbonation bites which was great.

D- If it wasn't for the fact that I already ate food and had a few beers prior, I would have a few of these easily. I know that some may compare this to Westy 12 and when you add in the fact of the elusiveness and rarity of Westy 12, I can see why. This beer is good good good.

boogyman, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Poured a 2 finger course white head that collapses quickly and left spotty lacing at best. Brew itself was a reddish mahogany.

S: Smells like a fresh field full of fruit with Belgian yeast and sugary malts. There's a distinct flavor of grape gummies that I pick up.

T: Starts with subtle sweetness and grapes or red fruit that develops and warms into a thicker version of those same flavors. Finishes a bit alcoholic but not overly so. Very balanced. Finishes sweet and a little tart.

M: Light to medium bodied and rather carbonated. Finishes crisp and even.

D: This one is one you want to last. So complex but with such a light body that I could sip it all night, concentrating on discover each and every ingredient.

SpeedwayJim, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of wl0307
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

BB 08/05/2013, at 10%abv., served cool in Westmalle's broad-rimmed chalice.

A: pours a cloudy dark russet brown hue, coming with a well-lasting creamy beige froth and semi-lively carbonation.
S: upfront are enticing notes of dark candy sugar in interaction with exotic yeasts, almost like Chinese red-bean paste plus jasmine flower, figs and yellow plum preserve, light toasted malts and nuts... all elements are rolled in one. Nice.
T: super delicious estery, malty and candy-ish upfront, showing waves of flavour mixed of toasted malts, sweetened black prunes, red dates, "Siraitia grosvenori", flowery esters, red-bean paste, etc., while a light touch of black sugar, aromatic nuts, and residual hop bitterness make a belated entry in the latter half of tasting... In the finish a sweet herbal edge as of aniseeds lingers, as a belated "re-reminder" of how well yeasts have interacted with hops and candy sugar. The most surprising fact about the drink is how little alc. my palate has come across!
M&D: silky-smooth all way through, the carbonation is tuned to perfection (as far as my palate is concerned) and lifts up the whole body ever so skillfully, while the lack of any sign of alcohol also helps in this regard. The low level of saltiness works so well with the sweet side of overall flavour and the exotic yeastiness is just about moderate - sufficient to make a nice difference... For a Quadrupel, a style that I have only limited experience with, I find this ale one of the most harmoniously balanced, which by implication makes it also the most drinkable nectar for me~~

wl0307, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of bmoney
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 1pt 9.4 fl oz bottle into a tulip.

A- dark reddish brown, frothy head that continues to build. Large flakes of sediment swirling throughout.

S- Clove, Dark fruits and malts. Some raisin.

T/M- Smooth taste. Fruity flavor, raisins, and prunes mostly, very sweet. Vanilla, caramel and malts follow. A blast of spicy alcohol in the finish blends in well.

D- I could really enjoy sipping on this all night.

bmoney, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of wnh
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a goblet.

Pours a rich, sunshine-orange-tinted mahogany with a light, fluffy, light cream colored head, leaving large fluffy patches of lace along the sides of the glass.

Aromas of spiced but sweet dark fruit, damp earth, subdued alcohol, and lightly toasted nuts. Complex and intriguing.
Spiced sweet fruit entry, rich but not cloying, leading to an alcohol-induced warm finish and fade that lingers (and lingers). Lightly carbonated and subtle on the whole, making this high alcohol brew deceptively easy to drink.

wnh, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of spratmi
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a deep dark reddish brown with a thick beige two fingered head that maintained a rich lacing throughout the tasting.
S: Initial notes of sweet malt followed by a complex blend of figs, bananas, cloves and spices, as well as alcohol.
T: Full and complex. Caramel, molasses, bananas, figs, and cloves with a faint hoppy dry finish. Nice alcohol heat.
M: Medium bodied and creamy with good carbonation. Dry on the finish.
D: Excellent for sipping and enjoying at a leisurely pace.

spratmi, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of WYVYRN527
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy brown with a finger thick cream-colored head. Excellent head retention with very fine carbonation. This is what beer would have looked like in the middle ages.

S: The nose is very complex. Raisins, figs, candi sugar, spice, and caramel overwhelm the senses. Hops are very faint in the backround.

T: This brew has it all. Dried fruits, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, and spice blast the palate, followed by a light fruity character. Hops are still very faint, but the finish is very pleasant and long-lasting. Alcohol is warming upon the swallow.

M: Good mouthfeel. Full-bodied and very rich.

D: Very easy to drink, despite it's alcohol content. Abt 12 is one of the most approachable quads I have come across. This is right up there with Rochefort 10 and Westy 12.

WYVYRN527, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of Mavajo
4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 bottle poured in a glass

A - Deep, cloudy milk-chocolate color. Very smooth pour yielded a one-finger thick tan head. Even after it settles in, you're left with a nice layer of head on top.

S - Great smell - fruity and malty.

T - Phenomenal taste. As to be expected from the smell, fruity and malty. Balanced and complex. Alcohol is well-blended with a warming sensation as it goes down.

M - Extremely smooth with heavy carbonation. Full bodied. Feels great.

D - Immensely drinkable. It just goes down so easily. I think I could drink six of these in less than an hour - if I could afford it! Every sip is a pleasure.

Mavajo, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of loren01
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark reddish color, lots of sediment in the bottom. Good white/ruby head and good lacing
S: Smell is strong and fruity. Smells like apple/pear almost cidery smelling. Slight yeast scent as well
T: Tastes like fresh baked rasin bread or something, yeastiness is very prescent. slight fruity apple/pear flavors however not sour like a cider might taste.
M: Mouthfeel is perfect, rich and creamy.
D: Great beer, I liked this quite a bit..not the best quad i've ever had but very tasty.

loren01, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of ricke
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark reddish brown with a medium-sized tanned head. Great head retention and lots of lacings.

S: The smell is full of fruit esters - blackberries, figs, plums and apples. Very impressive. Sweet dark malts and notes of fudge, grass and yeast.

T: The taste is very balanced and complex. Sweet dark malts and fruity flavors (figs, plums, apples) up front. Caramel, gentle spices, dry wood and a hint of yeast. A hint of chocolate. The finish has a nice bitter twist to it with plenty of malt aromas, lingering fruit esters and warming and well integrated alcohol. A very tasty brew.

M: Medium to full bodied, very smooth texture despite generous amounts of carbonation.

D: This is one of this Belgians that is unbelievably balanced and tasty. Although I've had lots of beers i like better, there's something about a beer like this that makes them come out almost as perfection in a bottle - everything is at its place and I wouldn't want to change a thing.

ricke, Sep 22, 2009
Photo of jera1350
4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Muddled brown color with big tan head that is continuously active from the etching on the glass. Great head retention.

Bready and yeasty scents dominate the nose. Some banana and dark fruit as well.

Big yeasty and bready flavors. Complex with dark fruit like plums, raisin and date. Some noticable alcohol, but it works well. I felt it tasted at its prime around 65 degrees.

Creamy mouthfeel. The head and carbonation massage the pallate. A little more than medium bodied.

Very enjoyable. High quality with lots of character. Not the top of the style but close to it. A must try belgian.

jera1350, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of krunchie
3.68/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Chimay glass at 12C (54F)

A: Matte black with nice red-brown lacing. Lightly beige, fluffy head which disappears quite quickly.

S: Ale yeast, grapes, some alcohol. Quite estery. weak hint of grapefruit and apple. Slightly tart

T: Strong and full. VERY fruity, yeasty taste. Grape, apple and some banana. Hint of alcohol and low hop presence. A bit trappisty if I may say so :) A bit to estery and alcoholic after a couple of sips. I didn't find it well-balanced, it could've been better.

M/D: Thick and creamy. The head was really nice, but disappeared too quickly IMHO. It takes a while to drink, and it's meant to be. Pretty good.

krunchie, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of hargettf
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just had this at a tasting with the head brewer. Really great guy. I did not realize that this beer is made with the original Westvletern yeast strain. It is an excpetional beer and the only way to get a beer made with this yeast strain, as westvleteren lost it unfortunately. It is a big beer, made for sipping.

hargettf, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of jdg204
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was looking for a great brew to go with the big OSU-USC game on Saturday night. I looked through the beer fridge and decided that the time had come for my St. Bern Abt 12 from Abe's Cold Beer in Bethlehem.

A: Dark caramel brown hazy color with a creamy head and lots of lacing. Plenty of sediment at the bottom too.

S: Ripe dark fruits, bananas, earthy soil, and alcohol.

T: Starts out with a touch of sweetness and clove which is followed by the more predominant hoppy bitterness and alcoholic warmth. I was expeciting a few more undertone flavors, but solid overall.

M: Medium bodied but light and fizzy on the tongue. Decent aftertaste.

D: Nice autumn sipping beer and one I'm glad I finally got the chance to enjoy. After this and Rochefort 10, I'm pretty sure I'll never enjoy Quads as much as some, but I can still respect a beer with this level of quality. Not an extreme US brew by any means, but a very well rounded classic. Even if you're not a bit Quad fan like me, all beer lovers should try this brew!

jdg204, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of nickd717
3.98/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Whole Foods in Columbus Circle NYC in 2007 (transcribing from RB review).

A - Dark reddish-brown color with an off-white head. Lots of head - if you are a bad pourer then you could have a foam party with this one.

S - Great aroma of sweet malt, abbey ale yeast, candi sugar, and dark fruits.

T - Intense flavor of sweet caramel malt and candi sugar. Also fairly yeasty with a deep fruity quality - plums and raisins mostly - and some grassy hops.

M - Smooth mouthfeel with substantial carbonation that is fairly soft.

D - Decent, but not on the same level as something like Westy 12. This becomes a bit much after awhile.

nickd717, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of rvdoorn
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this beer at the beerfestival in Brussels and many many many times before. The beer was poured into a original Sint Bernardus glass. It pours a nice hazy dark-brown color with a two finger thick head which gradually changed into a nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet caramel, roasted malts, dark fruits (raisin, plum), hints of red fruits and clove

Taste: Very similar to the smell. Clove, roasted malts, brown sugar, full of dark fruits, some alcohol, with a nicely bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: smooth, creamy and full bodied. medium-high carbonation.

Overall: one of the best beers out there. Nothing more, nothing less. Highly recommendable.

rvdoorn, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of mjaskula
4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a large wine glass. Pours a dark amber-brown with a thin tan head that sticks around an leaves some lacing on the glass.

The aroma is sweet with raisin and malt and some alcohol. The taste is sweet dark fruits with some alcohol warmth. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation was moderate and appropriate. Finnish was fairly dry and clean. A great representation of the style.

mjaskula, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of Jwale73
4.13/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz. bottle served at 48 degrees in my new DFH chalice. 22 01 14 indicated on the back label. Poured a hazy plum color with a frothy, three inch, off-white head. Excellent retention - head eventually settles into a dense, half inch cap with thick, delicate strands of lacing revealed as the brew was consumed. The nucleation point in the glass did a great job keeping things moving. Nose was dark fruit (plums, figs, raisins) and slightly vinous on a big malty backbone; maybe a hint of brown sugar, candi sugar and chocolate malt in the mix. Taste consistent with nose; however, a little boozy and some heat at the finish - vinous quality really comes out and lingers at the end. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied, lightly, yet evenly carbonated, with some mild astringency at the finish. Probably one of the most drinkable quads out there. Some alcohol heat, but not overpowering considering the 10.5% abv.

Jwale73, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of PapaEugene
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured into my Rochefort glass. A great dark brown amber color, medium thick foamy head that went into a nice lacing.

S: Raisins, caramel, herbal and some alcohol.

T: Slightly bitter, pleasant alcohols, raisins plums, cinnamon, cloves, caramel and roasted malts.

M: Medium carbonation, creamy and a full body but a fine palette.

D: Bring it on... Too drinkable. Great beer. It's exceptional like rochefort 10 but unique in it's own way.

PapaEugene, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of genek
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've been waiting for sometime to try a trappist style beer and a friend brought this big guy up to ease me into it. Set it on the counter for about an hour to let it come up to temp.

A- Poured easy into a goblet glass and the head crept up on me, bigger bubbles than I expected though still thick like airy egg whites. Colour imitates the bottle to a t dark dark mahogany. Great carbonation to start but it slowed down on me a couple minutes in.

S- Had a cold for a while but this aroma busted through it anyway with some rich heavy scents that hung around, though it's difficult for me to identify them.

T- wonderful combination of bready malty flavours that hit you on the back of the tongue and linger pleasantly. Prunes come out the most for a beer this fruity, dried fruits not cooked in any way, very intense with a little bit of raisiny finish. Nutty, I work at a imported food shop and this beer reminds me of a tomme de savoie with its walnutty style taste all the way through. I'm aware that viscous isn't a taste but all the elements of this beer make me want to say that. Coffee flavours come in the end as well as an odd cocoa bit. I've been told vanilla is present but I'm still working on identifying flavours, I can't pick it up.

M- Sticky, creamy feel that just wont go away, very very nice finish that lasts a while. The only aspect that isn't quite attractive from this beer is the film that hangs around on the roof of your mouth, nowhere else though.

D- I could certainly enjoy this beer for a whole night, I'd rather sip this from a glass than any wine I've tasted. It's heavy and the long finish is great, sipping this beer could take the place of a meal no problem.

Def. happy to have had the opportunity of trying this out, and its a great way to wow someone new to the beer world, this guys got history and all the aspects to back it. All in all, I'm buying this again.

genek, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of bonsreeb85
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - this beers pours a deep brown color(identical to the bottle) and sports a massive 3 finger rocky biege head. B E A uuutiful.

S - dark fruits, apple skin, spicy hops and brown shuga!

T - candy-like sweetness, wow. lots of fruit esters(much like the nose hints at). very malty with a spicy finish. this is one complex and tasty beverage! oh-so-sweet, i can feel the cavaties forming as a savor the flavor. i enjoy every sip, and it only gets better as it warms up(the sign of a good beer no doubt)

MF - lots of lively carbonation on this full bodied beast. very creamy feel, excellent.

D - alcohol is well hidden, this one goes down so easy its criminal. worth every penny!

bonsreeb85, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of ocelot2500
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark brown with a rocky, sticky off white head. Plenty of lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, dark fruits, and spice.

Tastes of big dark fruits up front with some roasted and bread type flavors on the backend. Alcohol is well hidden. Some diacetyl flavors are also evident to back the bread flavors.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy. Has a sweet finish, with the alcohol also warming.

ocelot2500, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of gfreed
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle says this is a dubbel, yet BA says quad. I'm inclined to agree with BA here: the alcohol is high and the effect is profound.

Thin, bubbly head disappears in a flash leaving behind minimal lacing. Color is cloudy iced-tea orange, and the aroma is a pleasant bready-citrusy cloud; if I could bottle it as perfume I'd make a mint at beer tastings. There's a pungent smack of alcohol that at first masks the fruity base of this beer, leaving bread and wheat at the forefront but the aftertaste reveals bananas, oranges, cherries and cloves and a sweetness that lingers for minutes after each swallow. A nicely dense body carries a super-fizzy tang that burns a bit. Drink this one slowly, and not just because of the ABV which sneaks up and hits hard: the flavors that develop long after you've swallowed develop into a wonderful bouquet. A nice treat for me and my wife at the end of our summer vacation.

gfreed, Sep 03, 2009
Photo of notdan
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a bottle of this tonight at Pub Italia here in Ottawa.

Poured into a goblet with a nice thick head, gorgeous dark brown body. Smells like dark fruits with some spice. Tastes amazing; ripe dark fruits... picking up raisin/prune mostly, sweet caramel maltiness, and the classic Belgian yeast in the finish. The mouthfeel was nice and full, although the carbonation was a little high at first. Drinkability was surprising for such a strong beer. Really enjoyed drinking this, wish it was more readily available in Ontario.

notdan, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of capra12
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed solo on 8/21/09,

Appearance: Mohagundy and clear.

Smell: Fresh concord grapes.

Taste: Opens with that classic Belgian yeast. The transition to the middle brings sweet concord grapes and fresh green grapes which carries over into the finish. Just as this finishes there is a slight hoppiness and dry finish leaving a malty, yeast and slightly dry aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation but has a slight coarseness in the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: This definitely a beer I would have again and of course to share with a female who is sure to enjoy it as well.

capra12, Sep 02, 2009
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,572 ratings.