1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

7,856 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,856
Reviews: 2,541
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 495
Gots: 1,305 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Abt 12 Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,856 | Reviews: 2,541 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pmlondrigan
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into an Orval chalice. Puffy off white head, speckly lacing all around. Dark mahogony brown with ruby highlights. Aroma is pure dryed fruits, raisins, prunes, dried cranberry, a little graphey and slightly alcoholic. Flavor is pretty intense. Fruity, juicy, complex rich maltyness, special B pops up, estery goodness. I taste dried fruits, and candy sugar, there is a slight smokyness to this beer. Truly intense. Lots going on. Clean dry finish on the back end. Not cloying at all for such a serious beer. Truly top notch.

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

Poured between three compadres, all in snifters. Nice effervescent head, 2-3 fingers worth, that slowly dissipates into a solid film. Good lacing.

Yellowish-brown is the closest thing I can think of to describe the color. You can almost peek a sneak through. Topped with a crisp white head.

Bananas? I must be crazy, though is the way the malts come off to me. Sweet, malty goodness. Overripe bananas, clove, slight tinge of alcohol, deeply inviting. You can smell it across the room as it invites you a tango meant for two. You devilish beast you...

Again with the bananas! Anyways, smooth malty flavors, banana's, candied walnuts, figs, allspice and nutmeg. Intriguing, as the complexity only increases as it warms. alcohol is definitely present, but that is permissible as the spicy notes are melded into the alcohol notes. All in all an incredibly drinkalbe brew.

As widely available as this beer is, it is hard to believe it is still this dang good. A strong carbonation, smooth on the tongue, and a fun to drink. To help break someone into craft beer, this might be a good candidate.

Photo of Spica66
2.75/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 into tulip with Fr. Ian.

A: Light, root beer-brown with lots of yeast particles. Excellent head formation. The head dissipates to ring of carbonation around the edge of the beer that never goes away through the whole glass. Very tiny bubbles. This beer is a lot lighter in color than the other two Quads we have had.

S: Not really much going on even as it warmed. If anything, I thought it smelled slightly of some sort of chemical, but I could not place it. I expected much more yeast aroma, but it never showed.

T: Bland. Not really anything to report. It was not bad, it just was a very bland tasting beer with a slight sharpness to it.

M: Wonderful balance of body and carbonation the whole glass. I suspect that most people might expect a slightly thicker body on a Quad, but I am not an expert, so I will say that for me it felt fine.

D: With nothing of any strong note to offend and INCREDIBLY WELL HIDDEN 10.5%, drinkability is good.

After having had Westy 12, Rochefort 10 and this beer, my days of buying/trading for Quads is over.

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

Near opaque deep red plum with nectarine highlights. Big mountainous foamy beige head with good retention. Pleanty of organic algae like lacing.

Ripe dark fruits, apples, plum, grapes. Spicy herbal, some candi sugar, some caramel. Fruity yeast esters, apple and pear predominantly.

Tart and fruity. Dark fruits, plums, grapes, apples and pears. Spicy, herbal and balanced. estery, pear and apple. Nice easy bitterness that balanced the abv.

med body with substance, slightly creamy, but not chewy. Great mouthfeel. calmed carbonation.

So drinkable. Complex and tasty. Very well balanced and very well done. A top rated beer for good reason.

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

The beer color is dark red or brown with reddish notes on the edges. Nice soapy head. Not a strong aroma here maybe the beer is too cold. Spices and Fruits, dark fruits. Cloves for the spices. More intense on the taste. Spices typical of belgians beers. Well balanced. Warms due to the alcohol. Complex beer which requires multiple visit to better know her.

Photo of FanofHefe
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Chimay goblet.

A: Dark amber pour, with large head, some minor lacing.

S: Nice aroma of dark, sweet fruit. Very little alcohol.

T: Very smooth in taste. Again dark fruit flavors with some malt backbone and a fruity yeast aftertaste. Very complex, more so than most other Belgians I've tasted.

M: For a high ABV, the alcohol is very well masked; not too much carbonation. This brew is very easy to enjoy.

D: Very drinkable. One of the best belgians I've had. So easy to drink. Highly recommend!

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep copper to brown-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, faint dark fruit, figs and plums. In the taste, dark fruit, fig and raisin, and quite malty. A small alcohol like bite and medium to big bodied mouthfeel, with a small, dry alcohol and small fruitiness in the aftertaste. Light in the nose, nice flavor and hide the alcohol.

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

poured into my Duvel tulip:

A- pours a dark mocha shade with with chunks of sediment floating around and a crown of fluffy off-white head that fades gracefully and leaves wonderful lace behind

S- smells of cherries, plum, apples, raisins, fig, banana bread, and sweet malts

T- an assault of clove, fig, raisin, herbal spices, apples, and other dark fruits with a bready maltiness

M- silky smooth, with just enough carbonation, and a sweet finish that all work together to hide the high abv

D- pretty good, even though it could creep up on you if you're not careful

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

Bottle, 75 cl.
I prefer corks than crown caps.
Poured in two different glasses ( kwak stagecoach and classical trappiste rochefort)

A.:Color: SRM 20 to 24.
Light brown foamy cream on top dispelling slowly.

S.: intriguing. Caramel, spices and fruit.

T.: caramel and carob "über alles".

M.: this is the horsebattle of SantBernie. The persistence of the fragrances long lasts.

D.: served with lamb ribs stewed in a condensed Lagavullin sauce, genepy and lemon skin.
Not more than 25 - 33 cl. and the joy to feel in heaven.

Photo of Jef59
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to try this on tap at Monk's in Philly.

A - dark creamy chocolate color with a half inch cream colored head and plenty of thick lacing.

S - Bold malts, fruits, and raisins.

T - sweet full bodied malts, wheat, and raisins and some spice offer a bold somewhat vinous beer. Very creamy mouthfeel, and with a abv of 10.5, it is deviantly drinkable.

Extremely delicious!

Photo of arturorg
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served into a Westmalle chalice

A: beautiful brown almost like an ice tea with a 1 inch frothy head beige in color, high carbonation with a bubbly lace.

S: Sweet brown sugar, some grape aroma, alcohol, fruity (banana?), i got an weird faint smell of condensed milk.

T: Sweet bitterness, astringent, warming (not rochefort warming), ripe fruit.

Overall very good beer but not what I expected, will give a try again, felt a little bit flat in flavor.

Photo of sogrady
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An exceptional beer with few flaws.

Body is not stout dark, but brown with a ruby tinge. Nose is alcohol-laden, but not overpoweringly so. Spice and fruit notes, with a medium head. The beer is thick to the point of being creamy, though again not of a stout's viscosity.

The taste, aside from being divine, is fruit notes married to a semi-spiced, malty quad.

Just heavy enough that it's a context sensitive beer, but good enough that i would drink it anywhere at any time. It really is that good.

Photo of Bfarr
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with hints of ruby red with a brown froth with okay retention. Subtle yeast with bright fruit such as plum or cherry. Very sweet fruits up front give way to light hop and bread flavors round it out. Big rum-like finish and warming. Fairly subtle flavors all around. Slightly gritty feel at first eventually more of a light fuzz and syrup.

A very tasty beer that is definitely more on the sweet side. Smooth flavors make for an easy drinking beer that makes me wonder how much aging might affect it. Certainly much to sweet for viewing "Shutter Island", I needed something much darker.

Photo of metter98
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very dark mahogany in color and yeast particles are visible floating in suspension. It poured with a finger high white head and has a light amount of carbonation. It has good head retention properties and a thin layer of bubbles consistently covered the surface.
S: There are aromas of dark fruits, spices and yeast in the nose.
T: The taste is very complex and like the smell it has flavors of dark fruits, spices and yeast along with a slight amount of malty sweetness. There is a slight amount of bitterness from the hops in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some warming sensations from the alcohol.
D: This is a beer that needs to be slowly sipped given its alcohol content. It tastes like it is strong, but the alcohol presence does not detract from the drinkability. For the most part, the alcohol is masked from the taste.

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

So what is this beer? The brewery says its a dubbel, its listed as a quad on this site, and I say its delicious.

Pours a deep and dark chestnut brownish red body with the slightest bit of light being able to make its way through. A massive ecru-colored head, foamy and dense, sits on top like the Kings crown.

Aroma is noticeably sweet at first, as I could smell raisins and grapes before I even put my nose up to the glass. However, as the beer opens up, the fruitiness fades, bringing out more of a spice note and a toasted malt presence.

With a nice big sip, the taste greets your palate with dark fruits and a bit of malt. But with subsequently smaller sips comes more of a spice note, most notably being cloves. The alcohol comes out more as the beer warms, giving it more of a cough syrup type flavor without the harshness that comes with the syrup.

Mouthfeel is much lighter than expected for a 10.5 abv beer, and the carbonation levels gave it a rather bubbly feel compared to other quads. Still it came across as very smooth and warming on a cool early autumn evening.

Overall, this beer is simply world-class. It doesn't receive a lot of hype, but judging by its rank on the Top 100 (currently 10), it's no secret that this is a great beer.

Photo of Apolloster2
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is my first review on BA so I wanted to start off with a great beer, and to be honest, this is one of the best beers I have ever tried. One of the best features I noticed right off the bat is the amazing carbonation. Between that, and the robust flavor it packs in, it really is party for the mouth. For a 10.5% abv beer, it really hides the alcohol well. Great buzz.

Just a fantastic beer - I usually am more of an IPA guy and don't go for Belgians often. But this one you just have to try.

Serving: 25 oz, Corked, caged bottle.

Photo of Vaison
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a Maudite tulip.

1 finger of light amber head and excellent lacing. The color is a dark brown, nearly identical to the color of most brown beer bottles. I really didn't get a good aroma, it seemed pretty bland and it smelled mostly of alcohol I thought. It tasted of dried fruits and a malty finish. ABV is hidden well and carbonation was high but not too much. For a 10.5, this was very easy to drink and went down smoothly.

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

This is everything I look for in a beer... good color, pleasant aroma, high ABV, and damn tasty! They really got the flavor right on this one. Sweet and malty w/ slight fruity overtones just to the point of hiding the high alcohol content but not so much as to overpower the beer. They even did a good job on the labeling. I love the image of the happy drunk monk. If I were a beer-brewing monk, that's just how I'd picture myself after taking down a couple goblets of this 10% beast!

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

A: Dark in color. Not quite black, but close. Beautiful.
S: Smells sweet and full of yeast and dark fruits.
T: This beer tastes fantastic. Almost perfect for the style. Tastes of dried dark fruits (raisins and plums maybe?) with a creamy aftertaste. It may have tasted even better as it approached room temperature!
M: Medium-full body. Just enough carbonation. Very smooth.
D: The 10.50% ABV is well-hidden. Although I prefer to sip on this beer as to enjoy it for longer, one could easily drink a few of these in a night.

This continues to be one of my favorite beers and I seem to enjoy it more each time. A job well done, Belgian monks!

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

Drinking on tap. Hazey black/brown color. Nice head and lacing. Great carbonation. Not to bubbley, but masks the alcohol well. Tastes of dark stone fruits, plums, and cherries. A little rum like. A slight stickyness on the finish. I love this beer. Can't drink a ton of them, but a delicious sipping beer.

Photo of cetherid
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


almost like root beer. a nice dark brown color with a thick foamy off-white head.


The first thing I get is a nice malt smell. a little raisins smell to it as well. not as good as Rochefort 10 smells.


Taste is of sweet malts. a very slight dark fruit taste. a slight bite of alcohol towards the end.


medium to full bodied beer. a good amount of carbonation. a nice little tingle on the tongue from the carbonation and alcohol


very good drinkability. could easily down a large bottle of this stuff, even with the high alcohol content. I think it would be even better aged. this beer is readily available by me which is great. a little pricey, but definitely worth it. one of the best beers I've had, but still below Rochefort 10.

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

Reviewing this from my notes on 8/25, poured into my tulip glass.

A- Very big, slightly offwhite head. Takes a long time to settle and leaves plenty of lacing all down the sides of the glass. Beer appears as a chestnut color, or a dark brewed iced tea.

S- Smells like lots of quads do, fruity, tingling alcohol in the nostrils, and hints of raisins.

T- A good bit of what it smells like, but more complex. The fruit aspect is there as I taste berries at first. Then it transitions to apple, raisins, and then the last taste is bananas. At the same time it has the bread and yeasty feel to it. The alcohol warms as the taste leaves when the beer goes down. It's almost as if this would be the equivalent to a beer fruit punch. Delicious.

M- Incredibly smooth, and very warming with the alcohol. As above in the taste description it has the bready feel, and also chewy. This beer invites you to swirl it around in your mouth to hit every taste bud. Deffinitely savour this one.

D- Maybe its just me but Quads like this one are too damn appealing. So much taste and flavor, such a good mouthfeel for such a high abv. I have to give it a 4.5 because if you drink two of these you'll get a buzz.

Notes: I've been dying to try this one, and held off till my birthday to open it. What a treat! I happened to try 5 diff beers in all that day, this one came in 2nd, a close 2nd though. I tried this with a piece of birthday cake and it went perfectly with that. IMO a dessert beer for sure.

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

A nice addition to an otherwise boring day...

An aggressive pour leads to a nice tan head that subsides to around a quarter of an inch. Appearance is dark brown. Smells of roasted malt and you can pick up the higher ABV on the nose. Tastes great, huge and malty, with a minute alcohol burn.

Drinkability does not suffer at all with the big ABV.

I would recommend this to anyone.

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

A bottle late night split with sourbatchkid.

A- three big fingers of fluffy tan head from a hard pour that settles slowly to bunch of sticky lace and a floating raft of soapy suds on top. Deep chestnut brown in color with burnt orange glow at the edges when held to the light.

S- spiced fruit cake and yeasty dark bread. Sweet malts and brown sugar. Some booze and a lite must.

T- rich sweet malts with light brown sugar and some dark breads. Cloves and cinnamon with some orange peel and plums. There is some fusal alcohol that kicks the spice down a bit and brings out some more sweetness.

M- luscious mouthfeel with a fuller body and carb that work well with each other. Some significant heat and belly warming for this brew.

D- great quad, truly a stand out for the style. The fact that its so easy to find and cheap just makes me even happier. Doesn't make the beer any better but I get to drink it more often.

Photo of wolf323i
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured on draft with a good bit of off white head. Overall appearance is excellent. Served in a tulip a nice dark brown that you can get just the smallest amount of light through.

Not completely overwhelmed by the nose hear. Hits all the notes though. Ie. spice, alcohol, and Belgian yeast.

Amazing flavor and not my favorite style. Smooth velvety feel with a decent bit of sweetness a good strong bit of alcohol on the nose and a clean finish.

A truly word class beer.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,856 ratings.