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St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12

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6,970 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,970
Reviews: 2,469
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 379
Gots: 920 | FT: 34
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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Ratings: 6,970 | Reviews: 2,469 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of khiasmus

South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- As much head as you could possibly want. If you hard pour it, it pours solid head. A soft pour leaves a couple of fingers that linger and lace beautifully... it looks like whipped cream.

S- Yeast, raisins, strong malt, some slight anise, caramel, honey, alcohol, pepper... one of the most complex noses I can remember. It's wonderful.

T- Initial malts, some yeast, bread and biscuity notes, and strong warming alcohol. Hops in the back come in to balance beautifully. A wonderful taste, but dissappointing after the outrageously good nose.

M- Thick and chewy, low carbonation, a lingering alcohol warmth and slight dryness after the smooth finish.

D- The alcohol especially, and the bready flavor, make for slightly lower drinkability... we split this bottle four ways, and we all had plenty.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2007 01:15:12 | More by khiasmus
Photo of JayQue


4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split a 750 ml bottle with my future son-in-law while watching NASCAR after a huge barbeque dinner and two more reasonable beers. Maybe not a great setting for a quad, but we served it in large wine glasses and sipped it slowly enough to get the temperature up and appreciate the many flavors. Obviously this is a big beer. Huge white head, dark color and strong aroma. Maltiness, sweetness, bitterness, astringency. It is all there.Some alcohol detected in the taste. Tasted some dark fruits as well. Mouthfeel is incredibly rich although a sweet, syrupy aftertaste was enough for me to knock down the drinkability (also figuring the 10% abv).

Definitely worth the experience.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2007 01:42:25 | More by JayQue
Photo of Freshie


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

Not too different from my review from the bottle.

Had on tap at the Publick House in Brookline, MA

Served in a St. Bernardus over-sized wine glass, at a appropriate cool temperature.

Dark brown color with tan, one finger head.

Sweet malty smell with phenol alcohol stinging the nostrils.

The taste was rich and malty, and very smooth. Less of an alcohol burn than from the bottle. smoother and bit creamier in texture.

Went extremely well with my Belgian Stoemp Sauccise.

Serving type: on-tap

05-13-2007 16:23:09 | More by Freshie
Photo of BladeRunner


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

This is the most flavorful beer that I had the pleasure to drink, so far.

Using a Goblet, it pours a nice dark brown, with reddish highlights in the light. It produces a huge foamy head after poured, that settles down to leave behind some great lacing. What a great looking Beer!!!

Smell is just off the wall, hints of sweet fruit and a touch of alcohol.

The taste is really complicated to pin down, there is just too much going on in a good way. It's like drinking a sweet flower of some kind, with that extra little kick of warmness the high alcohol content provides.

It has the perfect amount of carbonation going on, and the high alcohol content really warms up the mouth. It's still a really smooth beer for it's high alcohol content.

Drinkability depends on what your after. No, you can't just chug these beers, just two of them should get you pretty warmed up. I rated it's drinkability high just based on taste. If you have the patience to sip this beer all the way through, then you will have an enjoyable time with this beer.

This is my first Reviewer's Choice Award beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2007 03:04:22 | More by BladeRunner
Photo of DoubleJ


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

Serve at 52-56 degrees F, says the label of the bottle. If it's a Quadrupel that's brewed in Belgium by monks, do what the label says! But now I must wait after pulling it from the fridge to warm it up. Well, time to pop the cap and give it a ride:

Poured into a chalice, it looks like a darker shade of liquid caramel. Has a nice soapy head that eventually dies and morphs into a creamy head (a la nitro stout). Smell is alcoholic, chocolatey, a touch of caramel, peppery fruit juice, and syrupy. Taste is more of the same, but the spice isn't as rough. Some date flavors poke through, but just as the flavors start to get at you, the alcohol pushes it back down. It has a creamy feel that finishes dry with bready flavors, but the latter is incredibly uplifting, pleasuring you palate and brain by making it so easy to take more and more sips.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2007 06:49:00 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of Monsone


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

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a goblet. Vigourous pour produces big head, 3+ fingers, of creamy foam. Color is a dark garnet. Head slowly dissapates to a thin film with good lacing.

Smell is ripe dark fruit, malty, clove, bready, with an overall alcohol charachter.

Taste is big clove and sweet malt. Definate alcohol presence. There is also some yeast and dark fruit there too. Medium body with decent mothfeel.

Drinkability is good. The big alcohol is balanced by the clove and malt.

Overall a great Quad, worthy of many repeated tries.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2007 00:17:37 | More by Monsone
Photo of TexIndy


3.9/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle with a best by date of July 2011 on the bottom of the bottle. Poured into my Delirium Tremens glass and it has a deep mahogany color. It was nearly opaque but could see bits of yeast floating around the edges. It had earth, malty smell with good sweetness and a good hint of the ABV underneath. The taste was really good with a sweet finish. I really like Tripels but am finding that Quads are good for a few drinks then I'm ready to move on. They have great tastes but the alcohol and sweetness get to me before I can finish the glass. I can see why this is highly regarded but, for now at least, it's not one that I want to have again for awhile. Be interesting to try again in a few years and see where my tastes go. A year ago, I could stand IPA's and now I drink several a week. Highly recommend trying but share a friends bottle unless you really like the strong quads. (3.5, RB, ML, O)

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2007 02:05:43 | More by TexIndy
Photo of aquatonex

New York

3.9/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep mahogany with some lacing, slight creamy head. Smell is heavier in the alcohol dept than I would have expected, along with some yeasts, heavy malts, and slight sweetness. Taste is a good balance, especially given its complexities. Caramel malts up front, some yeasts, and then dark fermented fruit flavors along with the alcohols in the background (but not overwhelming). Considering the ABV and the style, it is very smooth and rather easy to drink, albeit filling.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2007 03:00:06 | More by aquatonex
Photo of kimcgolf


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

Now this is what we’re talking about!! Pours to a dark orange brown color with a nice off-white head that lingers for the entire glass, and leaves very good lacing. Aroama is a bold mixture of dark fruit (plums, grapes, raisins) and malt, with the scent of alcohol creeping in as it warms. Flavor is predominantly these fruits, with a touch of malty sweetness, offset nicely by just enough alcohol. All of this leads to a long, smooth warm finish.

I purposely took about 45 minutes to drink beer, and must say that this beer was as good, if not better, as it warmed to room temperature as it was early on.

A most excellent beer!!!

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2007 02:40:45 | More by kimcgolf
Photo of willjschmidt


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

Poured from a 330ml bottle into my St. Bernardus goblet. Bottle marked drink by 3/22/2011.

A: A dark brown with a thick off-white head. Excellent lacing remains throughout.

S: Sweet dark malts along with ripe dark fruits as well as the faint hint of spices. The alcohol is also apparent. An excellent beer to smell and soak in the complex aromas.

T: An incredibly complex and smooth beer. Simply delicious. It starts with the sweet dark malts and brown sugar and moves onto the dark ripe fruits. The alcohol is warming in the aftertaste. However, it's not as much as one would expect with the 10.5% ABV.

M: Full bodied, creamy and very smooth.

D: This is definitely a sipper but it's much more drinkable than I thought it would be with the 10.5%. It's smooth with sweet and delicious complex tastes. An incredibly enjoyable drinking experience. I could have drank more, I was disappointed when my glass was empty.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2007 04:38:21 | More by willjschmidt
Photo of jim102864


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

Corked and caged 750 which suprisingly was a good representation of a quality quad, but I've had better. Poured this St. Bernardus effort into my deep Duvel Tulip glass. Nice, aggressive, and quite foamy head with loads of lace webbing throughout the session. The aroma was boozy, malty and offered up an average nose of candied sugar. I'd like a heartier aroma than this, but still not bad. A certain booziness in the taste with burnt coffee and some candied sugar, otherwise, slightly understated. Mouthfeel becomes more viscous as the liquid warms. Yes, it's a drinkable brew. I'm a fan of St. Bernardus, but I don't think I got a bottle of stuff that was aged enough. A good but not excellent effort.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2007 07:55:23 | More by jim102864
Photo of mandarin


4.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a treat this beer was. First quad I've had the opportunity to try. There was a lot going on as far as taste goes. Carmel, berries, sweet, rich, and a little bit of alcohol. Mouthfeel was smooth and top notch. Outstanding brew! I look forward to trying more of this style.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2007 02:17:51 | More by mandarin
Photo of westweasel


3.83/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle from Schneid - Thanks!

The appearance was a hazy dark amber with a gigantic three-inch off-white head. This was poured into a large wineglass (closest thing we had to a goblet).

The aroma was caramel, alcohol, and lemons. The taste was similar, with mostly a caramel and a lemon flavor.

The mouthfeel was excellent - nice and full with a smooth finish.

The drinkability was very good. It would not be hard to keep drinking this. I'm guessing this beer would taste even better with age. I would bet that the lemon character would get smoother and rounder over time.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2007 02:30:11 | More by westweasel
Photo of stereosforgeeks


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

Appearance: Nice dark caramel with a large 3 finger head. Nice and lacey.

Smell: Notes of bananas, fresh toffee, cinnamon, and of course the alcohol.

Taste: Caramelized sugar is the backbone here. The alcohol adds a nice warmth. Mid sip the bananas and toffee come through. It finishes with some spice and cinnamon.

Mouthfeel: It is very smooth but the taste of the alcohol makes for a few rough patches here and there.

Drinkability: The alcohol content will keep this from being a beer I can drink a ton of, but damn this is tasty. Very pleased.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2007 17:11:10 | More by stereosforgeeks
Photo of cktison


4.88/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown, redish? Foamy, billowing head that remained through tasting after pour from a 22 oz bottle.
S: No beer smell. Fruity, complex, deep. No malt or yeast odors, you could smell it 10 times and pick out 10 new compounds.
T: Fantastic, bready, sugars (brown) and fruits.
M: Smooth, creamy, chewy. Carbonation gives it some air and makes it appear light and east to swallow.
D: excellent. great quadruple, great experience.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2007 15:30:21 | More by cktison
Photo of NittanyBeerFan


4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a deep brown that looks like a combination of raisins and a deep amber color, 2 finger head that lingers for a while and then dissipates.

Smell - Smells largely of raisins with hints of fig and plum. Other scents include roasted malts with a bit of hops in the background. Predominantly raisin though.

Taste - The number of ingredients allows you to get a different taste ever time you sip, as you can focus on a different ingredient's contribution to the beer. Extremely well balanced, as unless you are looking, you can't really pick out one single ingredient. This beer is much better if you allow it to warm to about 50 degrees to allow all the flavors to develop. High alcohol content with relatively little booze taste.

Feel - Real smooth on the palate, lightly carbonated...enough to give you good head, but little enough to be pretty smooth...If you don't get a ton of head, the beer will be more carbonated, so a good balance is important with this one.

Drinkability - Very tastey and satisfying, but too heavy to enjoy more than one, maybe two.

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2007 23:10:50 | More by NittanyBeerFan
Photo of arizcards


4.88/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 11.2 oz bottle from AJ's in late October for $4.19. Best before 22 12 10.

Beer poured brown with a nice long lasting off white head. Not quite as good looking as the dubbel. Nose is of bananas, dark fruits, and belgian yeast. Taste is perfect for the style, of dark fruits, candied sugar, chocolate malts, and balanced perfectly by a dry hop. Mouthfeel is full, well carbonated, and perfectly smooth! Drinkability is perfect! The alcohol is perfectly masked. This is a great abbey ale that I will definitely treat myself to in the future! I look forward to the anniversary edition i have sitting on the sidelines!

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2007 23:54:17 | More by arizcards
Photo of Bugsey

District of Columbia

4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An amazing beer to savor.
Fantastic complex tastes mix, including: clove, raisin, prunes, and toffee and carmel.
Carbonization is slightly high (higher than the Rochefort 10, for example), but this is refreshing, not bothersome.

Slightly expensive. I think I paid about $16 for a four pack.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2007 15:55:05 | More by Bugsey
Photo of Nipitato


3.98/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Julio's in Westborough, MA.

A; Dark ruby hue. Opaque. Tan thin long lasting head. Glowing and lively with visible effervescence.

S: Good big malty nose with sweet brown sugar characteristics. Faint clove like phenolic aroma as well. Some fruity plum like notes and a touch of hoppy aroma finish it off.

T: Taste is big and malty sweet, bready. Slight clove taste as well. Some fruity esters detectable. Moderate, gentle hop flavor and bitterness on the back end.

MF: Aggressive carbonation adds to perception of a thick all encompassing mouthfeel. Significant alcohol warmth.

D: Very complex and satisfying. This is a very good beer worthy of its high marks. Good drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2007 16:56:56 | More by Nipitato
Photo of tboom29


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

Poured into my PBR goblet, this was a deep brown/ruby color. Lots of creamy full head and left a decent amount of lacing.

The nose was full of clove. Very malty. Large amount of dark fruit (raisins, plums).

The first thing I tasted was the sweet, clove and fruitiness of the beer. Lots of deep, carmelized malt flavor. Slight alcohol bite as it goes down, but not overpowering. The mouthfeel was fairly full and creamy, and really makes you want to take another sip.

This is an outstanding abbey ale, and a beer to really take your time and savor. I paired this with a baked ziti made w/sausage, mozzarella, and ricotta cheese, and it really stood up well to it. Love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2007 21:35:46 | More by tboom29
Photo of patrick16o


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

330ml bottle brought back from Paris in August '06. 23 05 11 (May 23, 2011) is date printed on the bottle, assuming this is the drink by date.

Pours a dark reddish amber hue with orange highlights. The beer is pretty cclear and filled with an endless flow of rising bubbles like a jacuzzi, some sediment floating. The crown is soft and thick. The crown sustains a presence throughout the entire drinking and laces the side of the glass in parts. The aroma starts with a thick bready, yeast-like smell, followed by softer fruity notes banana, cherry, and grape juice, some tart citrus. Its hard for me to describe the taste. It's complex, malty with fruity notes, some cherry, grape juice, raisins, and a definite noticeable trace of alcohol. Mouthfeel is great, the beer spreads nicely over the tongue and just melts into my tastebuds. This is a delicious beer that I'd definitely try again. You really start to feel the alcohol about halfway through the beer. I'm smiling just looking at the monk on the bottle, I want another.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2007 02:05:12 | More by patrick16o
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.45/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown 330ml bottle, best before 12-2011, drank 04-2007.

Poured slowly, oh, so slowly, into Straffe Hendrik chalice. I didn't want any of the sediment to get into the glass, I failed.

Dark aubergine purple in colour, the head vanished to leave a thin ever shrinking layer of bubbles, some of which tried to cling to the side of the glass.

Victoria Plum aroma, with rich fruit cake, not a hint of hops, malts or yeast.

Heavy on the alcohol, plum pudding, Dundee cake with malt bread and rich Christmas spices.

A rich fruity, spicey, sweetness lingers on the palate, too sweet for me.

Good beer, but not in my top 100, not from this tasting anyway, I have one more bottle, i'll allow it to age for a few years and re-visit in 2010, if I can store it that long.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2007 22:44:26 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of david131


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

Best before Oct. 13, 2010. This was the last of a 4 pack I have had for around 8 months now, and I planned on aging it. It just sounded so good and I had to buckle down.

A- Dark brown/ ruby liquid with a large amount of carbonation streams giving way to a 1cm thick white head. Great head retention. A decent amount of floaters too.

S- Very complex. Apple juice is the first thing I notice. Some brown sugar, wood, vanilla, raisin, bread. Can't really get any alcohol here.

T- Wow, this beer never disappoints. There is a strong fruit flavor to this, apples, raisin, and a noticeable grape soda flavor as well. Bready, with some wood and vanilla notes in there as well. Hints of brown sugar too. A little sweet at first and then a little sour.

M- Some great carbonation lightens things up a bit, but does not cause this to feel like foam in the mouth. A little dry, but not anywhere close to being a problem. A great alcohol warming finish on the swallow.

D- This beer is stellar. A great treat, and a great sipper. I feel like this is a brew a lot of non-beer drinkers could appreciate.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2007 01:11:19 | More by david131
Photo of BretSikkink


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

Not a whole lot to say other than what's already been, great opportunity to have this awesome brew on tap at Max and Joe's tavern in Omaha. Russet brown, minor burgundy highlights. Aroma is all sweet malt, maybe baker's chocolate. The flavor is sweet, powerful malt, notes of cherry, dried grape, possibly currant..dark fruits ester goodness. Big mouth presence, absolutely perfect body, carbonation is just right. The drinkability rating should probably be knocked down just because the warming 10+% does catch up with you, but it's such a small part of the flavor that I can't find it in me drop it more than a half point off perfection. Pick of the litter.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2007 00:28:26 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of Washburne


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

Pours a semi-opaque, dark brown with a good two or three fingers of foamy head that quickly recedes to a thin covering and leaves plenty of lacing. Apple and pear aromas almost, but not quite, mask the alcohol smell and also come through nicely on the flavour. Medium-bodied, and fairly powerful, but altogether very balanced - every nuance works well together rather than one screaming for attention like with certain big Belgian-style beers. Highly drinkable, despite the 10% alcohol - unless someone else had been taking sips from my bottle, I was very surprised when it was all gone!

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2007 00:46:50 | More by Washburne
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 6,970 ratings.