St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

7,873 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,873
Reviews: 2,546
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 495
Gots: 1,340 | FT: 34
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website
Belgium

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: 7,873 | Reviews: 2,546 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ThoughtPolice
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at Peabody's - Boone, NC. Cost me 5 bucks. This is a celebration beer cuz I got my first official investment in my nano-brewery from momma. Now to get the loot for my permits and such...

I had no expectations for this beer, because I was totally ignorant of it before buying the bottle.

Appearance:
Very nice. I gave a pour that ended up looking too vigorous, had a 3 finger head (my fault, lol) but ended up settling at a light covering throughout the serving. Nice ruby red color. I like it.

Aroma:
Raisins. Dried fruit in general (I would be more specific but I need to work on the palette understanding a bit). I'm not getting any hops, really, maybe a little floral. Smells like something sweet is coming, but no alcohol bite in the nose.
EDIT: Somehow forgot to mention the strong Belgian yeast FONKIness in there.

Flayvah:
A little spicy, a little alcohol. I just don't have the right words for thisun I don't think. I do, however, like it a lot. Raisins, prunes, dried fruit thing is prominent in the flavor, for sure. Sour apple candy thing is going on, too.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability:
Mouthfeel is medium thick. Alcohol doesn't dominate whatsoever. The flavor sits around for quite a while, which I like. The flavor that dominates the aftertaste and MF is raisins.
Drinkability is pretty damn good, too. The price compensates for it, however.

Overall:
I wish I didn't have to pay for cross-world transportation of this beer, because I'd like to drink it more often.
Maybe I should consider a job in the US congress, they seem do to well, what with all the revolving door and lobbying loot. Then again I'd feel like a douchebag. Maybe I'm being a little too political for a beer review.

Adios, and vote libertarian.

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

11.2 ounce bottle in challice

A: brown with sediment floating around, nice bubbly head.

S: dark candi sugar, dark fruit, earth.

T: spicy, more earthy flavors, nuts and chocolate, warm, the booze plays in the beer, making it a part of the complexity of the flavor profile.

M: thiner than expected, high carbonation. that helps balance out the flavors carbonation plays a major role here.

D: this is one that I can drink all night long but at an extremely slow pace. this is a world class beer I can tell its a bit rough and need some time to mellow out the date on the bottle is 11/18/2013 so I think this one is young depending on how the brewery date its beers. I am going to age one for some time and see what happens it is lacking a bit of balance, I don't think its as rich as rochefort 10.

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

Reviewed from my notes. Abt 12 has a deep plum color. A thin grey head settled to a skim of bubbles. There is lots of bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass. It has a spicy aroma with some lightly sweet malts and a little bit of musty Belgian yeast. There is a purple fruit in there as well, red grapes or plums. It has a good, crisp, complex flavor. I can pick out a graham cracker-like grain quality to it. I can also taste red and white grapes, especially in the finish. There is a small bite of alcohol and floral hops in the aftertaste. Overall, it's a hearty, big flavor. It feels very crisp with lots of carbonation. The coating feels very good; it leaves a lot of malty flavor behind. It's very drinkable. It gets better as it warms up; this is one worth drinking slowly and ordered repeatedly.

Photo of fropones
3.35/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

After openning, the bottle immediately started foaming up and the yeast started spreading all over the bottle. In order to avoid getting it all in my glass I let it sit for a while.

A - Pours a murky brown with a ton of sedimented yeast suspended in the glass.

S - Smells of Belgian yeast, figs, cloves, dark rye bread.

T - Rich, dark malts, plums, figs, the taste of yeast.

M - A little on the light side. Creamy, decent carbonation.

D - This will probably end up a drainpour simply because of how much sediment is in the glass. I can't take a sip without getting a mouthful. Everything I've had in the gift pack from them has had the same problem. I wish they didn't. Perhaps I'll try another one sometime, but probably not soon.

Photo of randawakes
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Was at one point my favorite beer of all time, but make no mistake, its still way up there. Had on tap at Zenos and in bottle several times poured into wine glass.

So many flavors, every sip is different. The beer is complex, pours dark amber brown and a head the height of the liquid. Rum-raisin-plum, citrus, malts, yeasty, tasteful alcohol, herbal, carbonated well. Rich and sugary, excellent warming of the throat.

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

On-tap at Peg's Cantina.

A - It pours a rustic cloudy chestnut-brown, with great lacing. Same as the bottle.

S - The aroma is of dark fruit and sweet things. Figs, dates, brown sugar, chicory and prunes, plus cola are the base of the olfactory, coupled with yeasty-estery alcohol.

T - The flavor follows up on the olfactory; impressions of dark and dried fruits, brown sugar, etc. reassert themselves, this time paired with a peppermint, nutmeg and cinnamon spicy essence.

M - Feels pleasantly sharp and sweetly hot, nice.

D - This is as good on tap as in the bottle, albeit slightly different.

Photo of Tone
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, amber color. 1/5 inch head of a white color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of yeast, sweet malt, alcohol, tart malt, and citrus (raspberry?). Fits the style of a Quadruple. Mouth feel is slightly smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of tart malt, sweet malt, yeast, dark citrus, and slight alcohol. Overall, a good aroma, mouth feel, and body.

Photo of alli4051
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint.

A: A dark, hazy, ruby with about two fingers worth of slightly tanned head. Head recedes slowly and leaves some pretty decent lacing.

S: Very robust. Musty and malty with a strong presence of dark fruit.

T: Again, a lot going on. Dark fruits, especially raisins really come out. Malt flavor is faint as is the alcohol, which is surprising considering the 10.5% abv. Black licorice in the finish.

M: Full bodied with some light carbonation and sweet finish. Lingers for a bit, but not too long.

D: The well hidden alcohol leaves the drinkability high. Be careful though, this one could definitely catch up to you fast.

Photo of JohnL9013
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: Oh man, what have I gotten myself into here? Dark hazy brown with a huge head, tons of lacing. Very impressive appearance.

S: Strong smell with malty and caramel elements...my roommate complimented me from across the table and said, "I can smell that from here."

T: This is a BIG beer and yet still very refined, with a complexity and fine balance only the Belgians have! This beer does have a strong bias towards malt (expected) and has a high alcohol content, but there are plenty of other fantastic subtle flavors and my gosh, this beer is just soooo smooth and pleasant. Frankly, you're not going to get any better in this pricerange. It's hard to describe what's going on because as with all good Belgian beers, every sip tastes different. Just a note, if you get any "booziness" at all, you are drinking an example that is too young. Usually with this beer I let them sit on the shelf 6 months or a year or so before drinking just to be safe.

M: Medium-high carbonation (lower than typical Belgians), high alcohol, but still very smooth on the palate. I was very surprised at this particular aspect of the beer.

D: Very drinkable stuff in terms of how easily it goes down, but be prepared to take a break afterwards due to the high ABV.

Exceptional brew from (at the time of this review, my opinion), an underrated brewery. If you like Belgian beer, you are in for a treat.

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

330 mL bottle.

Gusher. Seems every 330 mL bottle I've bought of the Abt 12 has had this happen. I bought a 4-pack this time so it makes me worry about the other three I stowed away for later. Still it was a slow gush and I was able to save pretty much all of it.

Pours a solid brown, slightly reddish color. Thick (obviously) brown head and tons of active carbonation. Mostly clear.

Sweet malt aromas with plenty of caramel and a bit of chocolate present. Lots of spice notes from the Belgian yeast - clove and coriander and a bit of peppercorn. Lighter raisin fruit notes as well, with a very slight alcohol aroma at the end.

Tastes of strong Belgian yeast up front - the clove is very prominent. Moves to a solid caramel and malt flavor midway through. Mostly on the sweet side with a hint of candied sugar towards the end, along with a very biscuit-like malt flavor. A very faint solvent alcohol taste is noticeable in the finish but it is relatively minor.

Nice medium body and a warming, creamy mouthfeel. Not too crisp for all of the active carbonation present.

A great all around beer. Very drinkable, it hides all of the alcohol really well. Plenty of balance and depth that is expected for the style.

Photo of bump8628
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with ruby highlights and a huge matrix of bone-colored bubbles that recede to a tight cream and leave behind lots of stick lacing.

Aroma has soft fruit from the yeast, overtones of heavily caramelized sugars and faint alcohol.

The palate is dominated by rum-soaked raisins. It's supported by subtle fruit and spice from the yeast, caramelized sugar, and a warming alcohol that becomes quite apparent as it warms. It becomes a bit one-dimensional at times in favor of the boozy raisins.

All in all, a really nice Abbey Ale. There are others out there that I prefer more, but not many.

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

A: Deep ruby amber. With a fluffy cloud of off white head on top, that really maintains it's structure. This is one fine looking beer.

S: Yeasty, with a little kick from the alcohol. Raisons and strawberries. Bananas and clove.

T: That is a fruit explosion. Sweet, malty, and delicious. Raisons, figs, and maybe a little licorice. As it warms I pig up banana and clove. And not a bit of the alcohol comes through in the taste. Just lovely.

M: Creamy and smooth. Still with quite a bit of carbonation. Luscious.

D: Like the tune from Lionel Richie, All Night Long.

Photo of FreshHawk
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep hazy brown with a red hue. Good sized creamy, and tan head. Good amount of lacing left over.

S - Sweet bready malt paired with dark sugar and molasses. Dark fruit (plum, raisin, date, cherry) and licorice. Also a good amount of spice, specifically clove.

T - Similar to smell, with a lot of dark bready malts and dark sugar along with the above mentioned fruit make up a large amount of the taste. Also the spices (clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, anise) are quite prevalent. Alcohol is quite hidden, although there is a hint of it.

M - Full to medium body with adequate carbonation. Really creamy and smooth.

D - Really nice to sip. Smooth creamy and full, and provides a warming, but not necessarily all from the alcohol. Sweet but not cloying, really complex and a new flavor every sip provides a new mix of flavors.

Notes: Really nice beer with lots of complex flavors. A lot of spice in this beer. Good example of the style and a good example of craft beer in general.

Photo of PsychoJedi
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Really great beer. Very smooth and easy to drink. Nice dark color with a tint of red. Head stays the same in this draft beer. I could drink this beer all day if it didn't cost $10 a glass where I am drinking it at. Would recommend it to anyone. Alcohol is noticeable when drinking it. Try not to drink it too fast!

Verdict: Must drink this beer. Not just try it, but like it and drink more of it. If you do not like it, seek medical help.

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

A. A dark/ inviting belgian

S: Sweet and Fruity. Coffee/ Caramel dominate the olfactory senses. Is it weird to say I enjoy smelling this beer as much as drinking it? I do.

T: An almost perfect balance between sweet/fruity and malts. Full bodied. This beer has a lot of character. It's a real treat.

M: Little carbonation. Very easy to drink. Smooth and soothing on the way down.

D: I could easily drink another bottle of this. Very easy to drink. Could be dangerous if one didn't know their ABV's.

This is one of my favorite quad's. Cheap, uber drinkable. An all around great deal. I can't imagine someone being dissatisfied with this beer.

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

Appearance - very dark, orangish tones, head retention is not amazing.

Smell - sweet candy, sweetness is more apparent - spice is also pretty apparent and citrus...

Taste - a bit thin? Spiciest, there is a tartiness, grape, dark fruity sweetness. is slightly unpleasant for some reason, the thinness of other quads I am tasting.

Overall - not that impressive to be honest, I expected a lot better. Somewhat weak in taste - but well brewed. Essentially I think it should not be tasted next to the Rochefort in my opinion.

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

This is one of my favorite beers. Had it several times but never reviewed it fir some reason. I'm glad I can get this one fairly easily.

Poured into my St. Bernardus Glass, it pours a deep brown with a thin very light tan head that stays pretty much the whole time. No real lacing.

Smells of dark fruits and caramel sweetness

Tastes of dark fruits and dark caramel and burnt sugar. This one tasts newer because it has a little alcohol burn. But if you have ever had one with a little age on it it is amazing.

mouthfeel is typical for the style. Thin and higher carb.

Overall I will drink this many times in the future. It's pretty high ABV to drink several in a row but it is very tasty

Photo of bum732
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish brown, nice bubbly head with great retention. Smells of bready malt, clove like spices, caramel, dark fruits, cinnamon, brown sugar. Tastes of sweet spicy malt with a caramel candy backbone. Good spicy clove and cinnamon. Nice spicy bitterness. Finishes with some alcohol and spiciness, somewhat sweet like with brown sugar. Nice creamy mouthfeel, full bodied.

A really solid beer, lots of great layers and bold flavors working together in harmony. Best quad i've had so far, definitely a sipper and definitely for dessert.

Photo of joshstevens87
4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served in a snifter
A-pours a blackish brown with an inch or so of a light tan head
S-really fruit nose a nice blend of light and dark fruit (apples, banana, pear, raisin, fig)a nice background scent of yeast with a bit of alcohol
T-a nice fruit with a lighter varieties mention above a bit more prevelant definately taste alot lighter colored than it appears theres also a good amount of yeast present with a nice warming alcohol finish which is not as well hidden as other quads
M-medium body and highly carbonated giving it a crisp and refrshing feel but just a bit overly carbonated
D-very drinkable a solid taste but with a high abv definately a beer you could have around three of but not really to enjoy all night unless total intoxication and dropping alot of change is your goal

Photo of GLM0011
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The quad from St. Bernardus. Little bottles poured into a tulip glass.A sipper slowly enjoyed. Smooth,smooth beer.One of the smoothest out there. Alcohol hides very well. I enjoy this one as it gets warmer. Great beer to have with friends. I dont drink this alone.Sociable beer. High drinkability and always enjoyed with good music.Thanx St. Bernardus.

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

Pours a mahogany color with a creamy white head that falls to a galactic looking cream web on brown. Like granma's doiley on the dining room table.
Smells of over ripe apples, Allspice, and booze soaked Roman Meal bread.
Taste follows the nose exactly but has that hot characteristic that I have come to enjoy.
Prickly carbonation moves this along, doesn't seem to want to linger but leaves you eagerly raising the glass for the next sip.
This beer could get away from you and give you one of those hangovers you deem well worth the headache.
One of my favorites.

Photo of mdfb79
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - Pours a darker brown color with 2 fingers of an off white foam with decent retention and moderate carbonation.

s - Smells of yeast, some sweet fruits and malts, maybe a little alcohol.

t - Tastes of sweet malts, some apples/fruit, bread, yeast, and a tiny bit of alcohol which becomes more apparent in the aftertaste.

m - I would say a medium body that is smooth and not very carbonated.

d - Overall I thought this was a very good Belgian quad. It smelled and tasted great, and was a very nice, smooth balance between sweeter malts and bread/yeast. Would love to have this again, the only thing aganist it might be that the 10.5% ABV will limit the amount you'd have in one night.

Photo of tigg924
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1 inch head, cloudy, brownish/red in color, high carbonation

Smell: apple, fig, and brown sugar

Taste: candied apple, Belgian spices, fig, alcohol, and brown sugar

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, crisp, sweet with an alcohol burn, medium/light bodied.

Drinkability: An excellent and refreshing beer that I could have several of. My favorite from the brewery is still the six though. I do like the apple/brown sugar taste.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a St. Bernardus chalice.

Pours a very dark brown, with lighter walnut tinges along the edges. The finger-thick head half dies, leaving a lovely creamy remainder that laces very well. The aroma is sweet and tangy, with a nice, effervescent fruitiness dominating. The taste corroborates the nose, with those fruits coming back with a sweet vengeance (those lovely malts!), including a hint of molasses/maple syrup all the way in the back. The body is a heavy medium, but does not sit poorly; rather it stands at attention, saluting, declaring itself, but not overpowering.

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

Yeah...this could be a benchmark for Belgian strong dark - quad beers. Absolutely lovely fresh or aged up to 7 or more years. Beautifully balanced malt body of rich dark fruit, raisins, toffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate all blended together where none stands out overwhelmingly. Big alcohol but not hot. Great with soups. meat or rich vegie dishes, deserts. I've had this in Belgium, in various states, on tap, in small, big, and very big bottles. This is a great beer to serve fresh or after years of aging. I should add that while my rating across the board indicates 5.0, I can't add my own specific point rating, say, 4.6 for mouthfeel. There's a few beers I might want to rate higher, but this is definitely in the running for a dessert island beer. Exceptional!

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,873 ratings.