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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.

7,221 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,221
Reviews: 2,483
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 406
Gots: 1,034 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,221 | Reviews: 2,483 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Getinthevan


4.63/5  rDev +3.6%

Picked up a bomber of this for the first time up and yeah this stuff is definitely top notch Belgian Ale.

Appearance is a dark brown, almost black at the top with a Tootsie Roll colored brown touching down at the bottom of the glass with a nice frothy head. Bubbles crumbled quickly leaving a nice lacing around the edges of the glass. Definitely a very thick brew going on here.

Smell was very pleasing. The fine aroma of apples and sweet citrus fruits layered around the rims of the glass along with a nice ale smell. This is a beer to behold.

Taste was beyond awesome. From the moment it hits your lips, the alcohol makes itself aware and leaves a nice, stinging feeling. The flavor itself is a mixture is nice malts and citrus and it goes down very smoothly. Very exceptional.

Mouthfeel was very satisfying. This stuff really is thick, frothy and retains the flavor shortly before swallow. Definitely a great brew.

Drinkability was very top notch. For a bomber, this still will do you in quickly and in a pleasant, happy way. Definitely go grab a bomber of this, your tastebuds will be happy!

06-30-2008 21:45:30 | More by Getinthevan
Photo of jenitivecase


4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

A: Murky deep brown with a really ludicrous, pillowy head that bubbles up quickly but dies down to a reasonable level, leaving behind lots of lacing. Head looks kind of clumpy.

S: Strong malty flavor with a big fruity smell: apples, apricots, dark fruits, maybe a hint of banana. Some woody undertones, as well. Alcohol can also be detected.

T: Wow, this is very intense, yet smooth. The more the beer warms, the more the individual flavors develop into a cohesive whole. Very dark fruity taste, with lots of malt character and lots of complexity. Some smoky, woody overtones help tie it all together. The alcohol percentage is amazingly masked by this flavor.

M: Very smooth and creamy, but the alcohol leaves a slight tingle in the throat as it goes down. Easy to drink.

D: The flavor is really intense, but this beer is incredibly easy to drink nonetheless. I really wish I had another, but alas, my backpack was only so big when I was in Belgium.

Highly enjoyable; an excellent treat to end the day with.

06-30-2008 20:57:58 | More by jenitivecase
Photo of Brianmerrilyn

New York

4.38/5  rDev -2%

750 ml bottle poured into goblet,

A: Brown/black with big tan head with bumpy chunks and a fine lacing.

S: Nose is sweet and with mild fruits(pears/sour grapes) and of course malt.

T: Sweetness fades quickly to spicy yeast and ABV coming in fast and remaining, to my sheer delight.

M: Highly carbonaed and medium thickness.

D: Quite easy to drink beyond the ABV and gets even better with time. I shall keep this in mind for benchmark purposes.

06-27-2008 22:38:02 | More by Brianmerrilyn
Photo of joshwlt


4.3/5  rDev -3.8%

Poured into a goblet it has a solid tanned brown color with a tall frothy tan head that doesn't go down fast and sticks to the glass. Has a pungent smell of licorice, dark fruits such as raisins, and alcohol... the licorice and alcohol combine to have an almost menthol like effect on the nasal passages. Tastes suprisingly subtle yet just as complex when compared to the intense smell. Spice and hops back the malt, dark fruits, and licorice for a balanced flavor and mouthfeel; yet finishes with a silky vanilla taste and feel. Alcohol is not overly present by any means. This is very drinkable and restored my faith in belgian and belgian-style beers, as I was sort of being let down recently. Great beer.

06-27-2008 06:42:31 | More by joshwlt
Photo of Hornet2003

British Columbia (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby, red-brown. Little fizzy resonance.

Smell: Musty, yeasty quad smell. Dark fruit and candy sugar. Figgy and date-y. A little sourness as well.

Taste: Sweet fruit flavour. This is a 1-year old bottle so it is excessively smooth. A little buttery, almost like an English Christmas cake.

Mouthfeel: Wow is this stuff smooth. Very silky and perfect carbonation.

Drinkability: Too much alcohol for drinkability to be too high. The smoothness makes it relatively easy to drink but not too much can be had in a sitting before you're keeled over.

Overall: I poured out the bottle I had when it was fresh. I just found it too sharp and annoyingly alcoholic. But I find this to be a great improvement. A year of aging really helps this so I'm thinking it only gets better with age.

06-26-2008 04:37:26 | More by Hornet2003
Photo of paco1029384756


4.05/5  rDev -9.4%

Pour is very dark brown with a creamy white head.

Scent is sweet and malty, lots of sugar and prunes, a little woody and some alcohol.

Taste is sweet with tons of dark fruit, malts and sugars. Woody taste lies deep in flavor with even more dark fruits. Noticeable alcohol does not weaken the strong flavors, but balances quite well, very warming.

Mouthfeel is heavy and smooth.

A beast of a beer, strong with great depth and balance.

06-22-2008 23:12:54 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of Greggy


3.78/5  rDev -15.4%

A- Huge thick sedimentation. Nice head that slowly recedes to a cap. Nice dark ruby color.

S- HUGE alcohol wiff on this one that is reminiscent of polyurethane and wood stain. Light smokiness, dark fruit, but overall, alcohol is overpowering.

T- Nice body bit alcohol, choc cherries, light spice, eventually pepper, rum, big!

M- Nice spiciness, decent carb, alcohol extremely cloying.

D- Ok, but alcohol killed it.

06-21-2008 18:25:10 | More by Greggy
Photo of punkindrublic50

New York

4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Originally set up by the monks from the fabled Westvleteren, St. Bernardus does not disappoint in the least. The Abt 12 follows the same basic recipe as the Westy 12 (with different water and yeast of course), and results in a similar complex mixture of raisins, other fruits, nuts and spices. Almost as good as Westvleteren at a fraction of the price and inconvenience, its biggest problem is that its just good enough to make you really long and wish for the good stuff. If at all possible sample it on tap, which is a head and shoulders above the bottled brew.

06-18-2008 22:05:56 | More by punkindrublic50
Photo of usmittymc


4.72/5  rDev +5.6%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Chimay chalice. Bottle dated "best by end 08 09 12".

A: Cloudy mahogany brown with a generous tan head that lasts. Thick lacing.

S: Very complex nose. A lot going on. Berries, alcohol, cocoa, faint citrus.

T: Complex, just like the nose advertises. The berry flavors dominated the palate. The alcohol is present, but not overbearing.

M: Carbonation is high and overall mouthfeel is moderate.

D: My favorite nightcap. At 10%, it does the job perfectly. Not a session beer, by any means.

06-18-2008 03:13:53 | More by usmittymc
Photo of Portertime


3.85/5  rDev -13.9%

Had this one at a tasting at my ABC store in Gainesville. This was a mighty quad with a nice complex nature. Poured a hefty cabernet color with a head from here to next Tuesday. Initial aroma was candied raisins, honey roasted nuts, spices. Taste was thick and chewy with dark fruits, dried apricot, and almost an earthiness like a good bordeaux,and yes I am comparing this beer to a fine wine because it might as well be.

06-17-2008 21:42:57 | More by Portertime
Photo of daythree16


4.18/5  rDev -6.5%

Pours a dark maroon to brown into my goblet with some small floating chunks in the glass. Has a huge 3 finger head that fades into lots of huge soap-like bubbles on the sides with a frothy center. Leaves lots of thick webbing on the glass.

The aroma is of dark fruit, chiefly raisins and plums. Definitely get those easily identifiable spicy/fruity Belgian esters. There is also a bit of earthiness. The taste is very sweet and earthy as well with lots of raisiny goodness coming through. The alcohol is also quite noticeable, as my whole head seems to be warmed with each sip.

The mouthfeel is medium-heavy, really not as heavy as I was expecting. Overall, this is a complex and delicious beer that makes me love Belgian beer even more...if that's possible.

06-17-2008 05:39:54 | More by daythree16
Photo of ElGrecoVerde


4.33/5  rDev -3.1%

Rich red-brown color with a creamy, light amber head. This is what beer should look like. It clings to the glass the whole way through, and the carbonation is very apparent.

Smell is absolutely loaded with aromas. Everything from dark fruits, to nuts, to clove.

Massive amounts of flavor are present in this brew. It's hard for me to discern them all. Clove is present, but is tamed by creamy fruit flavors, almost like an ice cream float. I know that sounds terrible, but it works so well.

Carbonation is a bit heavy, but works perfectly for this beer.

Highly drinkable. I was craving a rich, Belgian style beer, and this hit the spot.

06-16-2008 13:48:39 | More by ElGrecoVerde
Photo of Jorge


4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

22oz serving

A-- Thick, foamy persistent head; a deep, dark chocolatey brown.

A--Subtle chocolate odor, toasted hops, slightly woody.

T--Biscuity malt w/ late hops typical of the style.

M--Heavy, slightly bitter on the tongue.

D--A tasty, well-balanced, but eminently drinkable beer; while not overpowering in taste or aroma, it is remarkably good.

06-16-2008 01:49:57 | More by Jorge
Photo of animal69


4.68/5  rDev +4.7%

date code 09 10 12, pours a deep mahogany-brown w/ a thick light-tan head which sticks around for a bit leaving a creamy lacing all the way down my snifter, con- the nasty looking chunks floating in my brew despite the careful pour ; a sour smell loaded w/ malt, kinda smells like a malt liqour meets a paisano w/ a caramel dropped in, quite pleasing actually ; can i just use yum to describe this one, a rich, fruity, malty flavor, pils malts, sweet caramels, dark figs, some hops in there as well, freekin awesome ; a dry, full mouthfeel, yet more like a creamy feeling rather than a thick, cloying one, a good amount of co2 prob. helps that ; outstanding drinkability, if you were to tell me it was a 10.5 ABV brew i'd say you were full of s#*t, wow, i think i found my new fav. quad...

06-14-2008 00:22:42 | More by animal69
Photo of EagleTalon


4/5  rDev -10.5%

Tasting notes from 4/10/2008:

Look: Opaque brown color, creamy beige head and Brussels lace

Smell: old hops, alcohol, red wine...also minty?...or was that my upper lip?

Taste: Alcohol sweetness, sweet malt and enough hop bitterness to offer some offset to the sweet. Finishes with alcohol in the nasal passages

Feel: heavy mouthfeel due to high gravity

Drink: A good sipper, not for all occasions though

General Impression: A strong and interesting beer

06-08-2008 19:08:18 | More by EagleTalon
Photo of Matty1918


4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Pours a cloudy brown with excellent lacing.

An excellent aroma. Sweet malts, caramel, vanilla and sweet ripe fruit.

A creamy mouthfeel that hits the tastebuds like caramal then goes towards grapes and the aftertaste is all butterscotch The alcohol is present but not overpowering. Man this is very good. Can't beleive I waited this long to try one.

Ok this is way better than the Rochefort 10 in my humble opinion. An excellent Quad.

06-07-2008 01:39:14 | More by Matty1918
Photo of rudylaw


4.22/5  rDev -5.6%

One of my favorite beers of all-time. Had most recently on tap @ Jak's Tap.

Looks like cola smells like malt balls, butterscotch and fruit. Tastes like heaven.

So much has already been said about this beer that all I can really add is if you have had reservations about ordering this in the past, shame on you. Go for it, price be damned!

The smiley, happy monk is a fortune teller... you will feel like him after your first sip!

06-07-2008 00:24:43 | More by rudylaw
Photo of smitty2717


4.83/5  rDev +8.1%

++++Purchased at Super Cellar Warehouse Liquors in Avon, CT

S- Caramel aromas that light up this Dark belgian abbey Ale.

T- The smell of caramel starts off at the front of your tonguse then changes to vanilla, with hints of a charcoal or black chocolate. Similiar to a brown ale. The flavors dont stop there. Hints of reisins and coffe grounds.

M- silky smooth all the way down. A little fizz up front but the finish is smooth and leaves a milky/ chocolate stout sensation.

D- Pretty high but just one this is a beer to sit and enjoy after a rough day/rainy day!! Desert!!

06-07-2008 00:16:17 | More by smitty2717
Photo of TStandley13


3.48/5  rDev -22.1%

Appearance- Good head retention. Hazy brown color, when held up to the light. Good carbonation with active bubbling throughout entire process.

Smell- Average smell. Slight woody/nutty smell, however nothing notable.

Taste- Alcohol, mediocre hoppy/malty taste.

Mouthfeel- Bubbly yet silky, overall good feel.

Drinkability- First one was ok, didn't enjoy the second as much. Alcohol somewhat overbearing.

06-04-2008 19:43:21 | More by TStandley13
Photo of julian


4.35/5  rDev -2.7%

Had this on tap at Brouwer's Cafe in Seattle, WA (Fremont) and drinking it as I type from a bottle.

A: This pours a dark brown and opaque but when held up to light you will notice a deep orange hue. First pour was a nice frothy light tan head with pretty intense lacing down to the last sip.

S: deep malts, slight sweetness, nutty and almost caramely with a faint phenol and alcoholic aroma

T: Medium carbonation, very sweet with a caramel finish. Alcohol content barely noticeable! Deep fruity flavor (fig, what else? maybe plum) but mostly dominated by the heavy malt and spicing.

M: This is a smooth and crisp drink, and only gets smoother. The sweetness lingers and the fruit flavors really linger on your palette after the mouthful. Perhaps a bit too carbonated masking some of the flavor.

Well rounded Quadrupel. Would definitely drink again. I think it's better on tap than from bottle...I remember it as less bubbly.

06-04-2008 03:23:17 | More by julian
Photo of Douglas14


4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Pours out a rich mahogony/ brown color with a very impressive, thick, tan head. The head leaves a lot of lace and keeps a nice layer over the brew. Right away an aroma of fruit and candied sugar fills my nose. With closer scrutiny, beautiful malty scents are easily noticeable, along with a nice biscuit quality. The taste follows the smell; fruity (strongly of cherries and bananas), malty, and earthy...very earthy. The brew has just a touch of hops towards the end. The 12 has a very full body and feels creamy and smooth in the mouth. What a nice and beautiful beer.

06-02-2008 04:17:13 | More by Douglas14
Photo of srandycarter


4.38/5  rDev -2%

A- Over zealous pour yields massive head - looks like the inside of a malt ball. Sticky, clingy, spiderweb like lacing, good head retention. Dark cola body.

S - Clove, sweet malt, butterscotch, something phenol.

T - Refined with brown sugar and nice bite at end.

M - Creamy as all get out, good carb, great coating.

D - One of the best, albeit high on the ABV scale.

06-01-2008 05:41:30 | More by srandycarter
Photo of highvoltage61

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev -7.6%

Was lucky enough to have this on tap at pitcher's pub in cumberland, ri.

served in appropriate st. matou glass

appearance-dark amber color and good head retention.

smell-strong smell of malts, and caramel.

taste-balanced flavor of sweetness and bitter. good hop finish.

drinkability- strong alcohol flavor makes drinking a lot of these difficult. although with the strength of the malts it all balances well.

06-01-2008 02:46:09 | More by highvoltage61
Photo of RomanW70

Rhode Island

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%

Doured Dark Brown with a good head. Aroma of cherries and raisins. Taste similar with a great deal of complexity with notes of dark, fruit, red wine, and funk. Has an excellent mouth feel. Med-high carbonation. Very complex. Strong biitter finish. Excellent Beer

06-01-2008 02:33:37 | More by RomanW70
Photo of PhillyStyle


4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

A: Poured from a 750ml bottle with a cork into a goblet (bottle stated 10%ABV). The beer appeared to be heavily carbonated as I had some trouble pouring it without the head spilling over the top of the glass. The beer appeared to be a Carmel/nutty opaque color with a fairly thick off-white head to it that took its time to dissipate but not too long.

S: It smelled very good. Fruity with some alcohol.

T: The taste is outstanding. It went very well with the BBQ ribs that I cooked for 4 hours over charcoal that I had with them. The taste was sweet, because of the fruit, and it blended well with the alcohol.

M/D: Highly drinkable with a good level of carbonation, not overpowering but enough so that you notice it. Medium body to it, creamy and finished well. This is one that I am going to be consistently buying.

05-27-2008 17:55:58 | More by PhillyStyle
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,221 ratings.