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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.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

7,031 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,031
Reviews: 2,470
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 384
Gots: 955 | FT: 36
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)
View: Beers (12) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,031 | Reviews: 2,470 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Contra
Contra

New York

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

I just finished trying the Prior 8, and now it's on to Abt 12. Again, the flavor is quite strong, but it goes with the style. I'm struck by how Abt 12 is not as sweet as other Quads I've tried. Since the sweetness is well balanced with a date-cloves flavor, there is enough to taste something different with each sip. Fantastic appearance, with a solid brown color throughout. Sediment seems to be suspended in the somewhat viscous liquid.

Overall, Abt 12 lived up to my expectations. All that really matter is that it is good. Very good.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2007 03:38:03 | More by Contra
Photo of GPHarris
GPHarris

Alabama

4.13/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i have been cellaring this beer since april 2006.

a - poured a one finger thick off-white and bubbly head into my new free the hops tulip glass (get 'em while they're hot!). body was murky and dark brown with red hints, almost gives it a deep purple hue. it leaves a nice ring of lace throughout.
s - dominant aromas are grapes and dark fruits. in a lot of ways this smells like a dark red wine, unlike any brew i've ever had.
t - begins with sharp dark fruit flavors, grapes and raisins then morphs into a more sweet and malty finish.
m - bubbly and medium mouthfeel. slightly oily and slick.
d - gives off a very warming and pleasant sensation. the alcohol is evident but i am a fan of that in a lot of ways. this is a nice slow sipper, one you can enjoy over an hour or so.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2007 15:31:29 | More by GPHarris
Photo of JustinOSU99
JustinOSU99

Massachusetts

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

A: Dark amber, poured witth a nice 2 inch head that was brownish in color.
S: Had so many different smells that hit the nose nicely. Hints of orange, coffee, caramel, malts,raisins and toffee.
T: One of the best beers I've ever tasted. A nice spicy flavor with hints of maple, chocolate, and toffee. You can taste the alcohol content, but only briefly before it disappears into a wonderful aftertaste of caramel.
M: Feels so silky smooth on the palate. You feel as though you are getting so much flavor and taste in a beer that sits so light in your mouth.
D: Definitely not a session beer. A beer to savor and enjoy once in awhile to remind you why beer is made!

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2007 02:17:52 | More by JustinOSU99
Photo of mjc410
mjc410

Vermont

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

75 cL bottle

The first pour into my 25 cL Chimay goblet raises a thin but fairly solid head, the color of heavily creamed coffee. The body color is a deep brown, tinged with garnet. The lacing is sticky enough to fall slowly in one thick curtain before leaving a line of bubbles on the glass. The aroma is quite typical for a dark, hefty Belgian ale: sweet, with dark fruits, but also hints of cocoa, and to a lesser extent, pipe tobacco. The taste is rich in maltiness and cocoa, but not as sweet as the nose might have indicated. The cocoa bits remind me of just the hints one can pick up in mole, but somewhat more intense. I love chocolate, and love finding it when I've given it up for Lent. There's a nice, strong cherry flavor that really comes through as it warms. Still, the flavor does not seem to be complex, just satisfying. It is clever for hiding its alcohol, though. The mouth is quite heavy, with just enough subtle carbonation to lift the beer partially from the palette. I'm glad I finally sat down and reviewed this after a few previous tries, since I appreciate it even more now.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2007 00:23:47 | More by mjc410
Photo of meadhead
meadhead

Montana

3.93/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich semi-sweet Raisin
Fig Caramel
Smooth Malt warming
Dark Fruit yeast ester
with an astringent alcohol bite

Pours a hazy dark brown
with a nice sustaining
light tan head

Smell is dark fruity yeast-
slight alchohol

Taste is warm and rich
nuanced dark fruit and caramel malt

Mouthfeel
is lively and zinging with a mellow
melting finish

Drinks like a sipping brandy
with the quadrupel-
strong ABV

Quality stuff.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2007 02:49:47 | More by meadhead
Photo of jeffaz02t
jeffaz02t

Arizona

4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with lace that will NOT quit!

S: It has a sweet smell, but also has an alcohol bite. Hints of clove and LOTS of malt.

T: Cloves and malt. The finish is yeasty and sweet, then goes slightly dry. Alcohol is def. there, but does not take away from the taste of the beer.

M: Creamy, full bodied.

D: This is not a session beer. This is a beer I have once in a while to appreciate its goodness. I love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2007 20:53:57 | More by jeffaz02t
Photo of BigJTrucker
BigJTrucker

Oregon

4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a 1pt 9.4oz cork sealed bottle. Pours into my globe glass nice cloudy brown color with a thick creamy head. Smells faintly sour, but tastes wonderful. The alchohol is not noticeable. The first beer i've had of this style, if this is any indication, it definitely wont be the last. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2007 10:11:45 | More by BigJTrucker
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
MuenchenerKindl

Germany

4.13/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle to a large snifter. The liquid is a Carmel light brown with excellent carbonation. The head is a big 3 finger white and billows cloud like, it leave little lace.

The smell is a yeasty caramel washed in alcohol.

the taste follows, add a nice Carmel malt. this beer is quite elegant. I like is very much and I'm not a big Belgian beer drinker.

The mouthfeel is nice, good body and an all around great feel.

The drinkability is high, the beer is very good indeed. Prosit, MK

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2007 05:29:41 | More by MuenchenerKindl
Photo of mmmbeer
mmmbeer

Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slender 33 cL bottle, best by 8/26/2010 - served in a tulip. It pours a dark, sedimented rusty brown with some floaties and medium carbonation leading up to a three finger, fluffy, light tan head. Initially I smell red wine, but it quickly evolves, with notes of apples, pear, coffeecake, and spiced rum, with doughy and almost oaky notes; very nice, but it is not quite as aromatic as I'd like. It is insanely complex on the palate, with cherry, red wine, rum, chocolate, molasses?, carob, caramel, apple, pear, melon rind?, banana?, orange?, currant, blackberry, anise (and maybe other spices). In addition, there are green/leafy, almost piney hops, a mild to medium bitterness, yeast, and an alcohol kick. The medium body is quite carbonated, lightly numbing and drying, with a medium to long finish. Overall a very complex and warming ale with a bit too much yeast due to insufficient decanting, but one well worth sampling again and again

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2007 00:55:02 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of SPLITGRIN
SPLITGRIN

Kentucky

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

With just a decent pour I got an amazing half beer, half head effect. Body is deep brownish black with only hints of light around the edges. Head is a nice staying tan, leaving slight lace as it fades. Nose is a vibrant sense awakening, fruity and floral while being strong and spicey bold. Amazingly silky as it first hits the tongue. Vanilla honey like smooth up front on the tongue with developing spicey wheat notes as the palate lengthens. The finish is a little darker and less balanced then the body pre-emps to. Alchol is well hidden but does warm the belly well. Avery classic brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2007 17:23:15 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of TheSarge
TheSarge

Virginia

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

Abt 12 pours to produce a beautiful thick khaki colored head, which sticks around for a while, and eventually forms into clumps the rest of the way through. The body of this brew is a dark caramel color with slight reddish hues.

This gives off aromas of molasses and slight floral fragrances. The taste is astounding. It has a maple and bubble gum characteristic and feels slightly acidy, but not over powering.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2007 16:45:01 | More by TheSarge
Photo of chrhowe
chrhowe

Oklahoma

4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the 2nd time I've tried this beer. The first, about a year and a half ago, took me by suprise(due to an immature palate).
However, the second time around is very pleasant and relaxing.
I poored this beer into a new St. Bernardus chalice just shipped in from Merchant du Vin.
The appearance was of dark, thick color. Almost "muddy".
The smell, especially toward the end was mostly carmel.
Taste was exceptional, quite a bit more smooth than what I remembered. For me, its hard to describe further, but I could enjoy it just about everyday if my budget would allow.
Overall, one of my favorites. I'm pretty new the the whole "beer connisuer" thing(sorry if misspelled), but hopefully it will remain toward the top of my list.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2007 03:54:01 | More by chrhowe
Photo of trevorwideman
trevorwideman

Manitoba (Canada)

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

330ml bottle poured into a chalice. Thanks to fisherman34 for this one, I can't get it anywhere around here.

Pours thick and dark, nearly black with a lilac tinge when held to the light. Lots of sediment in there. 1/2 inch head that subsides to a lovely lacing that's just a bit more than average. Intense aromas of ripe dark fruits and strong red wine. There's a healthy malt backbone here that provides a nice caramel sweetness to the deal. Fresh baked banana-walnut bread with melted butter, and so many spices! Coriander, cloves, anise, vanilla bean, and nutmeg to name a few.

Taste is just as gorgeous as the nose, extremely rich and very sippable. The fruit is complimented by all that bready yeast and one can only describe this as drinking liquid dessert, but a dessert that is never too sweet. There is a definite light tartness in the finish to balance things off. Caramel, spices, raisins and other dried fruits all appear, and as this one warms the complexity just grows. This is a superb brew that demands respect in every sip, and I give it that. Thick with malt in the mouth with a carbonation that rather seizes the tongue. This one is extremely sippable, but not chuggable that's forsure. Warms your core on a cold night. Exceptional brew that would only get better if I had one more to cellar.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2007 03:08:02 | More by trevorwideman
Photo of paleoplant
paleoplant

New York

4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great color and look, the nose is pleasant, high carbonation, not overrun with sugars or alcohol. Paired well with bittersweet chocolate and cheese.

Although quadrupel is not my favorite Belgian style this one is solid. It's like a really good vanilla ice-cream; it may not wow you yet you love it.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2007 04:14:20 | More by paleoplant
Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
Reinheitsgebot71

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

had this one again at the beer bistro and had high hope for it due to all the praise it gets.

A: Large 3 finger head very nice; thick dark caramel in colour, Dark opaque body looks very appetizing. Plenty of lace to go round as well.

B: Bananas, fresh toffee, cinnamon, and most prevalent of all the alcohol.

T: Strong alcoholic taste is what hit me off the bat followed by slightly burnt caramel, light maltiness with a surprisingly prevalent hoppy bitterness. The alcoholic taste mellows out as you drink on, phased out by more of the burnt caramel flavour with hints of allspice. Candied sugar with a bit of peppery spice finish this one off.

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

D: Overall it didn't quite live up to the hype for me but still quite a good beer, I'm willing to give it another go. But don't be put off it is definitely very tasty I just wish there wasn’t such a strong alcoholic presence.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2007 22:58:14 | More by Reinheitsgebot71
Photo of MCDuhamel
MCDuhamel

Ohio

4.78/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I should come clean at the outset and disclose that this is one of my favorite beers. I poured it from an 11.2 oz bottle into a 33cl Westmalle chalice. The bottle spent 24 hours in the fridge, and then 45 minutes at room temperature before I poured it.

A. Pours a very dark ruby, almost brown. Translucent; not quite opaque. Farily large, pillowy head, with large-ish bubbles. The head laces down the chalice as the beer is consumed.

S. The nose is surprisingly restrained, even a bit muted. Light bread and burnt sugar notes. None of the usual phenolic qualities from a Belgian yeast strain. Appropriately for the style, no hops on the nose whatsoever.

T. Carmelized sugar predominates, with a slight boozy warmth. It is definitely a malt-forward beer, but not at all imbalanced. A slight prickle picks up mid way through and yields to a dry finish. Truly outstanding.

M. One might expect a heavy, even viscous beer. Surprise! This is light to medium-light on the tongue.

D. Dangerously drinkable. I feel like I could have several, but that would be quite intemperate given its 10% abv.

Overall. If you have never had a quad, this is the one to try.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2007 21:31:38 | More by MCDuhamel
Photo of petemoss14
petemoss14

Germany

4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330cl bottle, freshness date: Oct. 4, 2010.

Pours a deep chestnut with ruby highlights and a medium tan fluffy head that doesn't budge.

Wonderful, estery aroma of dark fruit -- raisins, plums, dark cherry, and a touch of alcohol spice. Port-like. Man, I can't stop sticking my nose into the balloon-like St. Bernardus goblet. And that had hasn't diminished one bit!

ooo-eeee. Delicious! Ripe dark fruit rolls across the tongue. Vinous. Moderate bitterness in a medium dry finish. Nice alcohol warming. Medium to medium-full body with a velvety smoothness.

Wow. Had this beer many times in all its incarnations and always really enjoyed it. But until reviewing it, I hadn't given it much "love" in awhile. Man, this is a great beer. One of my absolute favs. How does it compare to Westy 12, well, I'll save that for another day

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2007 20:54:20 | More by petemoss14
Photo of Enola
Enola

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is better than the Triple but not as good as the 8 in my opinion. The beer is a deep mahogany with a fair head. The smell is of prunes and cherries. The taste is a little sharp for me. There is a alcohol presence in the mouthfeel. The drinkanbility is fair, but not as good as the 8. I will re-try this one in the future but I think the 8 is the brewers best.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2007 19:52:04 | More by Enola
Photo of vanrassel
vanrassel

Alberta (Canada)

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

This is a beer worthy of its lofty reputation, even if it's not one I have fallen in love with.

It poured deep mahogany into my goblet, with a one-finger head that mushroomed over the rim. It left beautiful sheets of lace on the sides. The aroma was a little more one-dimensionally alcoholic than I anticipated, though there were hints of yeast, sugar and dried fruit.

The subtleties absent in the smell emerged in the taste: brown sugar, semi-sweet cocoa, rum, blackcurrants and raisins. It ended dry and roasty with a medium body and creamy mouthfeel.

It may be crass to compare, but I prefer Rochefort 10 and consider it more complex than this beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2007 18:25:24 | More by vanrassel
Photo of joeskirkie
joeskirkie

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slow pour from the 750 mL bottle into my St. Bernardus chalice yields an opaque brown body with amber hints on the edges. The head is thumb width and looks a bubbly biege laced with a white halo on top, it's pretty damn cool.

It's mostly a pleasant yeast aroma, with subtle hints of fruit and raisons if you smell hard enough.

Smooth malts at first, followed quickly by a sweet rasiny flavor which is quickly envolped by a spicy finish, with some sugary sweetness lingering.

If you're a fan of Belgian ales, as I am, you'll really dig this brew. Smooth at first, spicy on the finish, it's a winner. I'm certainly glad I have a big bottle to finish.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2007 20:09:00 | More by joeskirkie
Photo of dnichols
dnichols

Washington

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

Pours a dark rich amber with an off white head that lingers and clings to the side of the glass as the beer is consumed. It has hints of molasses and raisins and the smooth consistency is spiked with chunks of yeast. The aroma is a bold roasted malty sweetness that pleases without being overpowering. It is lightly carbonated giving it a crispness that dissipates after the beer settles giving the beer a smooth finish.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2007 06:31:12 | More by dnichols
Photo of wanker
wanker

Texas

4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Incredibly delicious. Quite sweet, not hoppy at all.

The alcohol is completely hidden at out-of-the-fridge temperatures, so can easily get ripped on this one. Even as the beer warmed, I hardly noticed the alcohol.

If you don't want to finish a 750ml bottle at one sitting, don't worry -- the carbonation lasts at least 3 days if you stick a cork back in the bottle.

It took a lot of will power for me to stop after a moderate amount. It is so tasty and goes down so easily that I could have easily drunk myself to a brutal hangover.

Run, don't walk, to try this beer today.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2007 19:44:37 | More by wanker
Photo of Atron67
Atron67

Wisconsin

4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

glass- snifter

A- a great brown hue with hints of amber, small bubble tan colored head forming a full 2 inch head on top, leave a sticky residue to the glass

B- a faintly fruity (cherry? hard to tell), raisins and maple present, a strong yeasty smell, enjoyable but wishing for a stronger more intense experience. (intensity has also varied a bit from one bottle to another)

T- a great quadrupel style. full bodied complex, starts and ends very smooth, tastes great very small hint of 10% ABV, warms very well

M- Good strong body, carbonation prominent

D- very good, one of the best, one you savor, multiple things to savor in every sip, warms exceptionally leaves a great lingering taste.

definiitely a top notch beer, the high alcohol content appears as it warms, but adds to the enjoyment of the taste

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2007 00:37:59 | More by Atron67
Photo of guitarmage
guitarmage

Oregon

4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Amazing dark crimson color when held up to the light. Bubbly off white head sticks to the glass, leaves thick lacing. Spectacular.

Smell: Sweet rotten fruit, apple cider vinegar, faint grains and a pleasant yeasty smell. Wild flowers.

Taste: Sweet big malt, maple, apple cider, alcohol warmth is pleasant and cleans up the finish. Prunes.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and full bodied, lightly carbonated, dry.

Drinkability: Delicious, complex and clean, Belgian, leaves you feeling like you had a complete meal. Would've been delicious with some smoked meats, lamb, brisket.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2007 05:47:43 | More by guitarmage
Photo of Drew966
Drew966

Florida

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

St. Bernardus Abt 12 pours a dark, opaque brown with an off white head from a brown 11.2 ounce bottle. The aroma is fruity at first and bready toward the back. Brown sugar seems very noticeable at first. There is definitely some dark fruits and the alcohol gives a good kick at the end. An icon of the style and readily available, anyone wishing to learn about quads should sample this.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2007 03:41:46 | More by Drew966
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,031 ratings.