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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.

7,246 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,246
Reviews: 2,486
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 408
Gots: 1,047 | 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: 7,246 | Reviews: 2,486 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ndolover


4.58/5  rDev +2.5%

a: excellent retention and lacing. The beer has a cola color.

s: Plums, and dark fruit. Alcohol and and malt predominate. almost no hop aroma

m: High in cabonation and a medium to full mouthfeel with alcohol dancing on the tongue.

t: Nice belgian malts. Some dark fruit esters with some spice notes.

d: Wonderful example of the beer...almost scary drinkable with such a high alcohol content. I'm at a loss for words at how wonderful this beer is!

12-28-2007 02:21:37 | More by ndolover
Photo of joepais


4.58/5  rDev +2.5%

750 ml Bottle poured murky brown off white head goes quick to lace. Strong yeasty plum, raison, cherries are some of the aromas that fill my nose. Sweet and malty along with wonderful sweet fruit flavors, that finishes with a light alcohol burn to it. Mouth feel is warm and bubbly. This truly is one of my favorite Quads

12-27-2007 03:00:44 | More by joepais
Photo of mfreire212


3.45/5  rDev -22.8%

I have sampled this beer in the recent past, but didn't review it at the time. So, I decided to try it again for the holidays and pay more attention to it.

A: poured fairly cold (50's) from a standard bottle, into a pint glass. A bit darker then I was expecting, but after the initial surprise, I liked the amber color. The head was average in size and retention, with a slightly off white color.

S: Nice, complex odors as soon as I raised the glass to inspect the color. Sharp at first, followed by a hint of alcohol (which would become even more apparent in a minute). Actually intensified as the beer warmed a bit.

T: Lots of alcohol at first. Almost too much to notice anything else (I guess the proper term is peppery). As that subsided, I detected what reminded me of maybe raisins, or figs. Lingered for quite awhile, too.

M: As stated above, there is a lot going on here. I would describe it as average, once the initial shock wears off. It does have some carryover from one sip to the next (and I recommend sipping).

D: Not bad at all. I can't see having more then one of these per session, unless you were interested in getting hammered. A nice selection to enjoy on a cold night, by the fire.

12-24-2007 18:16:47 | More by mfreire212
Photo of blackie


4.15/5  rDev -7.2%

a: Pours a healthy dirty white head with excellent retention and lacing. The beer is a somewhat hazy deep, stained brown in color.

s: Plummy Belgian malts upfront with a clean, papery hop spice. A range of dried fruits mixes well with the requisite Belgian yeast aromas. Just a touch of ethanol heat.

m: As expected, the carbonation is high and smooth. The body is a very smooth medium.

t: Nice Belgian malt flavors and a great, crisp finish of papery hops. Tasty...very clean, yet flavorful. Flavors include dark fruits and clean, dark Belgian sugars. Some banana in the aftertaste. Gentle bitterness.

d: very drinkable, warms the body

shared a 750 at a family holiday gathering

12-24-2007 01:08:12 | More by blackie
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

St. Bernardus Abt 12 is an absolutely excellent beer in every respect. It possesses a nice appearance and pleasant smell. The taste - that's why we're all here, right? - is fantastic. The alcohol is masked exceptionally well, and you never feel overwhelmed by it. It's an immensely drinkable beer. Only one very minor quibble: it leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste. This, of course, is no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater. On the whole, the Belgians have outdone themselves again with this beer.

12-23-2007 16:32:14 | More by avalon07
Photo of supascape


4.9/5  rDev +9.6%

I first got my hands on this beer at the Brick Store Pub in Decatur, GA., a suburb of Atlanta. I saw a waiter delivering this gem in a rounded chalice to a group of guys. I asked them what they were drinking. They told me that it was the best beer that they had ever tasted and offered to buy me one. They said that I had to experience it. I had one...and another...and another! This brew is exceptional.

The beer was poured straight from the bottle (11.2 oz.) into an authentic St. Bernardus 12 chalice glass. The pub served the beer at 52 degrees F. The head was thick and foamy. The color of the head is khaki. When the head disappears, it leaves almost no lace. The color is deep, rich brown with hints of amber.

The nose is of fruit. Dates, raisins, molasses and a drop of smoke exist. The smell is awesome and reminds me of my great grandfather's pipe tobacco for some reason.

The taste is simply outstanding. It is complex with dried fruit. Apricots, raisins and dates, oh my! Wow. This is great. The semi-sweet malt is insane. This is like comfort food...for beer drinkers. The body warms after every sip. Trust me, this is a sipper. The 10.5% ABV says so!

The mouthfeel is fantastic. It is so smooth, creamy and rich. Very high-gravity. Almost like drinking milk. This is no exaggeration. It is that smooth.

Drink during a nice meal. The high ABV will prevent most people from drinking more than two or three per session.

12-20-2007 01:05:38 | More by supascape
Photo of AKBelgianBeast


4.08/5  rDev -8.7%

I feel that this is the saints premier brew. A great example of a quadruple. very strong, and smooth. reminds me of the scaldis slogan. pours dark brown with good head, and good nose. tastes of great dark fruits, and spice. the carbonation is a little higher than i like, but doesnt wreck the brew like it can with some. if you like this brew try urthel samaranth as well, its a little more yeasty and less carbonated.

12-15-2007 04:12:21 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of czfreeman


4.88/5  rDev +9.2%

Im very excited to be trying this one. beautiful mahogany color, fluffy,creamy head that has long retention. instant huge aromas of dried fruits,roasted malts, caramels, figs,holiday puddings. taste-wow! what a palate overload of fruits,vanilla,caramel.ends with a cloying tart finish,alcohol burn in the throat. its so good, I just want to chug, but will force myself to sip.

12-11-2007 06:50:01 | More by czfreeman
Photo of morimech


3.7/5  rDev -17.2%

Poured from the bottle into a chalice. It is a dark amber with red highlights. A large, out of control head forms. Good head retention with sticky lacing. After a few minutes the foam transformed back into liquid. The pour wasn't aggresive in the least but it wasn't so bad if I just topped off the glass when it was half full.

The smell is a wonderful mix of dark fruit. Plums, raisins, cherries with a hint of alcohol and sugar.

The flavor is not as big as I expected. It is a sweet, almost sugar sweet. After you get by the sweetness some fruit and spice flavors are apparent. The alcohol is barely noticeable. It feels medium bodied and feels lively in the mouth. Finishes sweet which hampers drinking.

I tried this beer to see what the fuss was all about. Although it is a very good beer I don't think it lived up to my expectations. Just too sweet for my tastes. The cost is a bit prohibitive as well.

12-09-2007 21:30:09 | More by morimech
Photo of whiplash3825


4.03/5  rDev -9.8%

Poured into the included St. Bernardus goblet an almost opaque black with deep plum highlights where the light hits. One-finger head quickly desolves to a thin lingering cap. No lacing.

Ripe plums, raisins, and fig, along with sweet malts and brown sugar. Noticable alcohol.

Wow! Clove-laced ripe fruit and brown-sugar malts perfectly balance (and compliment) the warmth of the alcohol with a surprisingly neutral finish. Slightly metal aftertaste.

Just about perfect mouthfeel and carbonation level. Smooth!

It's kinda scary just how easy this is to drink... I'm doing my best to keep the reins tightened. Also IMO this is much better at the higher end of the suggested serving temp.

12-05-2007 21:46:16 | More by whiplash3825
Photo of Overlord


3.6/5  rDev -19.5%

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle. Dark brown with reddish tinges, light brown top and bottom. Two inch white sudsy head. Surprisingly thin mouthfeel.

Somewhat disappointing flavor/aroma. Some sour cherries, plums, a hint of chocolate and a ton of yeast and spices. Also, the acohol is really prevalent. Bother-ingly so. It's a complex brew, but I wouldn't say the disparate elements are in harmony. You have more fun picking out flavors than just sitting back and enjoying it.

12-03-2007 08:24:24 | More by Overlord
Photo of Deus1138


5/5  rDev +11.9%

I've had this a few times, but held off on reviewing it until now.

A: Poured into my St. Bernardus Goblet. Pours a nice brown with a reddish glow. Good amount of head that lasts quite a while.

S: Sweet dark fruits, plum, raisin, a little yeasty. It smells thick.

T: Raisin, plum, brown sugar, very sweet (but not too much sweetness). Lots of alcohol in this one, but it's only slightly noticeable. The malts and sweetness mask nicely. Makes me think of fig newtons. Mmmm...

M: Nice and smooth with just the right amount of zest from the carbonation and alcohol.

D: The greatest beer I've had to date. I love this stuff. If the alcohol wouldn't destroy my life, I'd drink this with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and every snack in between!

If you have not had the pleasure, get this one ASAP!

12-02-2007 00:41:51 | More by Deus1138
Photo of Boppar

New Hampshire

4.63/5  rDev +3.6%

11.2 oz into snifter

A: Dark brown, reddish hue, with two fingers head. Solid lacing all around. A couple big soap bubbles set it off nicely.

S: Raisins, figs, cinnamon, vanilla

T: Plums lead the charge, followed by vanilla, and raisins. Alcohol spice mid- to late palate with fruity esters and some yeast on the finish.

M: Fluffy, briskly carbonated, and chewy.

D: Off da hook.

This beer is awesome.

11-29-2007 02:55:46 | More by Boppar
Photo of hopsleeroy

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Poured slightly golden hazy from a 11.2 oz bottle. Nice off white head on top with good lacing. Smells are spicy dominated with clove. Tasted so smooth with the spice flavors lingering. I wonder if there is some wheat in this-reminded me of a very mild hefe or wit with a better sweet malt base. Hops are there and give a little citrus but are light. Very enjoyable-very balanced. The alcohol is well hidden-a dangerous tripel as I could sip this all night. Overall, a very subtle beer with a lot of flavors blended together. I'll buy another one and keep it on the shelf for a bit-if I can resist it.

11-28-2007 22:38:09 | More by hopsleeroy
Photo of Traquairlover


4.43/5  rDev -0.9%

11.2-oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Big, frothy tan head, dark brown cloudy in glass.

S = Sweet toffee aroma with hints of yeast.

T = Molasses, honey, bark, roasted malt, a very complex, well balanced beer.

M = Nice medium mouthfeel, good carbonation.

D = Good robust beer, a very approachable Belgian, would be good introduction to Belgian beer for beginners and nice drink for beer geeks, too.

11-27-2007 23:44:24 | More by Traquairlover
Photo of Monkeyknife


4.33/5  rDev -3.1%

Poured from a bottle a dark red-brown with a light head which quickly faded and no lacing at all.

Aroma is sweet and malty with dark ripe fruits.

Taste is very well-balanced with the tart dark fruits working together with the sweet maltiness. The 10.5% alcohol definitely reveals itself in this one but doesn't overpower.

Lighter mouthfeel, drying, with light fizzy carbonation. Alcohol adds a pleasant zip to the tongue. Well done, St. Bernardus.

This is a great beer to sit, relax with and enjoy.

11-27-2007 22:01:41 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of patpbr


4.47/5  rDev 0%

this beer poured dark brown color with a nice head on the pour. not really good with the smell of brews.

nice malt flavors with fruit and vanilla taste

warm and smooth, with a good amount of carbonation

overall just a great beer that makes me want to keep trying the abbey ales

11-27-2007 06:02:24 | More by patpbr
Photo of PBoegel

New York

4.22/5  rDev -5.6%

Corekd and caged 750ml bottle. this beer took some cold abuse the past few days at was intended for consumption on Turkey Day but a myriad of events changed that plan.

The brewers state this is dubbel and after tasting I would agree, this was more or less a dark revved up double versus some Belgian strong dark/quads that I have come across.

Poured a very dark brown to slightly black into a Chimay goblet, with a nice billowy cream white head that kept and had some nice retention.

Aorma profile was light caramelized sugar, dried sweet cherries, citrus zest. No off flavors, some light alcohol present especially in the second pour as it warmed.

Flavor was much the same, some peppery mineral notes accent the sugars and dried fruit characters, some light woodiness as well, very balanced and drinkable, finishes dry.

I think often times people need a beer to WOW them to consider it very good, sometimes it just needs to be without flaws and drinkable. This is a beer worth repeat visits.

11-26-2007 19:37:05 | More by PBoegel
Photo of Beercub


5/5  rDev +11.9%

Quite simply this has become my favorite beer. The appearance is caramel brown, the smell fruity and sweet malty, the taste is incredibly complex yet fuses together into a wonderful impression - raisins, caramel, toffee... The mouthfeel at first seems a little bit over-carbonated, but as it warms and settles, it is simply perfect.

11-26-2007 17:03:09 | More by Beercub
Photo of SudNut


3.25/5  rDev -27.3%

This is only the second Belgian quad I have tried so keep that in mind. However if I could get my hands on a Rochefort 10 everyday I would chose it first. Don't get me wrong this is a great beer and I thoroughly enjoyed the sample. I do think this one could stand at least a year in the cellar just for good measure. Anyways enough with the drunken ramblings, burp!

This beer pours to a mysterious murky amber brown with a nice two finger head that dissipates to a frothy cover of bubbles over the top and plenty of lacing. The smell is of rasins or plums with a dash of booze, malt is running this show.

Tastes like a malted up plum soaked in booze, mmmm, that’s a good thing. The alcohol takes the back seat to malt up front, and then dark fruity goodness followed by everybody’s friend C2H5OH, lovely!

Mouthfeel is good but a shad light, nice aftertaste. Drinkability just depends on how sloshed you want to get. One is my limit I am just getting too old!


11-26-2007 03:56:36 | More by SudNut
Photo of GatorBeerNerd


4.1/5  rDev -8.3%

A: Deep dark brown with minimal tan head. It does leave some lacing as it is consumed.

S: I don't know why the word comes to me, but it smells deep just like it looks. It smells like its going to be full of flavor, but I don't have an experienced nose to know what exactly the aroma is. With that said, I love the smell.

T: I know I sound like a broken record, but deep once again comes to mind. Bold is another great word for this one. Most of the flavor kicks in as after taste, but its a very pleasing strong flavor that once again I cant put my finger on.

M: It is a medium thickness in the mouth with a good level of in mouth carbonation.

D: The excellent but short lived after taste makes me want to go for another sip not quickly. I really enjoyed this one.

I cant put my finger on what the smell or taste of this one is, but I know that both are very enjoyable. St Bernardus' line has yet to disappoint me. Give this one a try!

11-26-2007 03:39:10 | More by GatorBeerNerd
Photo of skeetermoses


4.05/5  rDev -9.4%

This was a good beer, I was not as impressed as I should have been. I do admit that I did read up on this one before I tried it, I was expecting more from this beer but had the same feeling when I saw the Independence Day Trailer than watched the movie. It was not that disappointing but it was kind of like that, I enjoyed it, although it was not spectacular to the palete.

11-25-2007 08:22:24 | More by skeetermoses
Photo of PhageLab


4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Poured into a sifter.

A - Very deep, roasted brown, like liquid chestnut. Left a minimal head that sat around...not much lacing.

S - Amazing. Like roasted cherries and raisins. The alcohol can be detected here but it's by no means overpowering. Malty profile shines through as well.

T - A very warming and spicy sensation tingles the taste buds instantly. Dates and figs make up the fruity end of the spectrum, while a nice malt backbone gives this hearty brew some significant balance. Again, the alcohol is present but not unnecessarily so. Not too complex, but what is present is phenomenal.

M - Warming, medium bodied brew with nice carbonation and a pleasant aftertaste. I wasn't sure what to expect here, as this was my first quadrupel, but I am quite impressed.

D - I'm not sure I could go through more than a few, the abv is rather high, but were I to make a night of this exquisite delight, it would certainly be a night to remember. Very highly recommended.

11-23-2007 23:55:34 | More by PhageLab
Photo of Mandrake

Nova Scotia (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%

Pours a deep drown, nearly opaque and with reddish hints when held up to the light. Head is thin and not quite as large as I'd expected, dissipating rather quickly and leaving some lacing. Smell is deep and complex, cloves and pepper; raisin, plum, and currants; a whiff of brandy and a touch of caramel, with yeast and bread mixed in for good measure. Taste is similar, dark fruits and spices leading the charge with rich breadiness underpinning it all. Earthiness and a bit of butter(?) as well, with the alcohol evident in the finish. Mouthfeel is a touch thin and a bit watery, though still good, and drinkability is good. A slight disappointment for me, it's very good but doesn't bowl me over the way I'd hoped it would.

11-21-2007 19:30:59 | More by Mandrake
Photo of JBogan


4.4/5  rDev -1.6%

Poured a medium to dark brown with a thick creamy tan head which left a nice amount of lacing.

Smelled a bit like medicine, not what I was expecting. Maybe some plum and then in the background a bit of alcohol.

Taste was better than the smell. Compared to other beers of this type I think this one hid the alcohol content better. A complex brew tasting of plum, raisins, brown sugar, malt ...all blended very well without one dominating over another.

Mouthfeel was good, very creamy but with a little carbonation bite on the tip of the tongue.

Very easy to drink this, even with the alcohol content. Smooth going down, a great beer to share with friends. Of the Belgians of this style I've tried so far, it's my favorite.

11-18-2007 20:27:41 | More by JBogan
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,246 ratings.