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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.

7,404 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,404
Reviews: 2,500
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 423
Gots: 1,112 | FT: 35
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: 7,404 | Reviews: 2,500 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: deep brown body with hints of amber. HUGE fluffy head. Spiderweb lacing.

s: Sweet floral malt with notes of cherry and apricot.

t: Highly floral malt displays notes of coca-cola, dark fruit, and vanilla. Full flavored and very complex.

m: Very smooth. Creamy.

d: Damn, I could drink that all day every day. Lives up to its rep. An outstanding brew.

BradLikesBrew, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of mcmidc
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This Belgian brew poured a very dark brown caramel color, with a nice milky head that lingers on top. My nose at time of tasting was a bit stuffy but I did distinguish some earthy tones there. My tongue was not stuffy though and wow am I glad for that. The taste was exceptional. There was caramel, fig, dark malts, with some slight alcohol in the background. Medium body, with carbonation up front with an oh so so smooth finish. Absolutely loved it. Instantly one of my favorites.

mcmidc, Jul 18, 2008
Photo of chefnash51
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first experience of this beer was actually on tap. Blew me away. Made me a life time fan.

A - I love this bottle, it just says.. hey I am a delicious Belgian Quad. You won't be disappointed with me.
The beer itself is a dark drown color, sporting a gorgeous thick, lustrous head. I usually pour this into my St. bernardus chalice and admire it for a minute as I let it warm a bit. Beautiful.

S - I can smell the Belgian yeast, figs, plums, caramel..sweet heavenly nectar goodness.

T - So complex. So rich, So good. the alcohol is present, but it adds a nice warming effect. Rich ripe fruits swim threw my mouth.

M - Alive! the bubbles dance on my tongue. This beer has always had a bread like feel to it, full body indeed. I could have this for a meal.

D - To me, the drink ability is high. This beer has always been the beer that whenever I don't know if I feel like a beer.. or I don't know what kind of beer I feel like.. and I have this beer.. I am never let down. the higher alcohol content is the only thing slowing me down.

I have had this beer fresh and with some age on it. The older the better. If you like this one.. Pick up a bunch.. and lay them down. I say at one year, they really start to shine. But now that I have over a case in the cellar.. I should be able to make it past 2 years.

chefnash51, Jul 17, 2008
Photo of tronester
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, cloudy brown, with a big, rocky, off-white head. Smells strongly of alcohol and super ripe bananas. Taste is strongly malt based, oak like flavors, as well as a hint of cider. Just a hint of bitterness and flavor from the hops. Highly carbonated. The yeast flavors imparted by this beer are more neutral than I would have expected for a Belgian Ale, but this does not affect authenticity. Mouthfeel is rich, carbonation levels are high due to bottle conditioning. Drinkability is great, very smooth beer, that while smells greatly of alcohol, hides its 10.5% ABV quite well. Quite an expensive beer, but is a great treat every now and then.

tronester, Jul 17, 2008
Photo of PhxHorn
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium brown cloudy color, with lots of light brown fluffy foam. Smells and tastes of figs, dried fruit, cinnamon, pear, grape, and some other fruits I can't place, but there's lots of them in there. A great blend of aroma and flavor. Nothing overpowers, and the flavors are intriguing enough that I keep drinking more. A helluva beer.

PhxHorn, Jul 14, 2008
Photo of Goliath
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown in color with two fingers of tan head sittong on top.

Dark fruits and banana lead the aroma with a bit of sweet caramel as well. There's also just a nice presence of dark roasted grain and that familiar belgian yeast.

The taste shows an array of dark ripe fruits, banana, yeast, and a lingering alcohol warmth. It's lightly medicinal as well.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and perfectly carbonated.

Drinkability is moderate. Great flavors make for easy consumption, alcohol may limit this beer slightly.

Goliath, Jul 12, 2008
Photo of cdrummer
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark deep chestnut with a thick, creamy and resilient head that remains with lacing.

S: Rich dark fruits and a touch of clove-like spiciness.

T & M: Beautiful, yeasty, fruity creaminess flocks to my palette like the salmon of Capistrano. The medium carbonation carries the spice and complex fruit, and the alcohol warms all the way down.

D: It's a sipping brew, no doubt. Its ridiculous balancing act of flavor and texture make it unmistakably one of the best beers I've ever had.

cdrummer, Jul 08, 2008
Photo of charlzm
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed at Verdugo Bar, 07/05/08.

Dark brown pour into a goblet with deep garnet highlights. A one finger tan head lasts a while and provides impressive lacing.

Soft spicy aroma of cinnamon and fruit.

The palate: the thick bodied beer was served a bit too cold, I think. Dark, sweet malt (almost molasses but not quite that sweet and thick) and an odd metallic tang that disappears as the beer warms. Subtleties emerge as the temperature goes up: spicy yeast, pitted fruit.

A small glass is appropriate for this big beer, which is sippable but fairly heavy.

charlzm, Jul 06, 2008
Photo of Getinthevan
4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Getinthevan, Jun 30, 2008
Photo of jenitivecase
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

jenitivecase, Jun 30, 2008
Photo of Brianmerrilyn
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Brianmerrilyn, Jun 27, 2008
Photo of joshwlt
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

joshwlt, Jun 27, 2008
Photo of Hornet2003
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Hornet2003, Jun 26, 2008
Photo of paco1029384756
4.05/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

paco1029384756, Jun 23, 2008
Photo of Greggy
3.78/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Greggy, Jun 21, 2008
Photo of punkindrublic50
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

punkindrublic50, Jun 18, 2008
Photo of usmittymc
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

usmittymc, Jun 18, 2008
Photo of Portertime
3.85/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Portertime, Jun 17, 2008
Photo of daythree16
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

daythree16, Jun 17, 2008
Photo of ElGrecoVerde
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

ElGrecoVerde, Jun 16, 2008
Photo of Jorge
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Jorge, Jun 16, 2008
Photo of animal69
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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...

animal69, Jun 14, 2008
Photo of EagleTalon
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

EagleTalon, Jun 08, 2008
Photo of Matty1918
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Matty1918, Jun 07, 2008
Photo of rudylaw
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

rudylaw, Jun 07, 2008
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,404 ratings.