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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.

7,238 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,238
Reviews: 2,485
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 407
Gots: 1,041 | 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: 7,238 | Reviews: 2,485 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Slatetank


4.7/5  rDev +5.1%

Picked this bottle up at Capone's, decanted the corked and caged brown 750ml into a goblet.
A - A deep caramel brown with a medium tan head that has good retention.

S - Malty w/ a sweet dry scent and supple soft fruit odors.

M - A snap of carbonation w/ a spicy yeast note and slightly dry nutty textures.

T - A great smooth caramel and toasted malt taste combines w/ a candy-like nutty taste. A dry effortless nuance of dates and vanilla flavor that hints at candy sugar. The abv is well masked and the subtle sweetness makes you want to sip at it. The smooth dry malt combines w/ a subtle fusel alcohol tinge as it warms with a fig-like sweetness. The flavor is very subdued, yet well balanced and interesting.

D - An fantastic quad, that is highly drinkable for the 10% that it is. Soft, smooth and light in body, never cloying. Wonderful in every sense, a true taste delight.

09-27-2007 18:08:20 | More by Slatetank
Photo of umustdrink


4.68/5  rDev +4.7%

750 ml. Bottle purchased in March(?)

Served in a giant goblet/margarita glass that I "found" at a Mexican restaurant.

A - Dark brownish color, a deep red when held to light. Small specks of yeast are seen floating about. The head is a fluffy, sort of rocky, light brown with little dark bits in it. Lots of lacing, but not the most I've seen.

S - Smooth bready maltiness with a lighter fruitiness, almost sour. Cherries make up a lot of the fruitiness. Some bittering hops are present, making the beer smell more like a typical American ale rather than a typical Belgian dark. Theres also a very fine hint of alcohol presence.

T/M - The taste starts out with a medium body and some light, simple, malts. Malts are very faintly spiced and very bready. A light carbonation tickles the palate (it feels really fizzy, but nothing like a heavy carbonation fizz). The simple malty taste seems to linger for a while, the first hints of bitterness come in and a sweet fruity flavor quickly follows. The taste really gets going right after swallowing, the fruits become much more defined, amplified: dried cherries, grapes, maybe some berries. Not a very dark fruity taste, but more light and sweet. The (after)taste finally sweetens out a little bit more and a warming alcohol sensation finishes out.

D - Overall it looks good, smells good and tastes amazing. Exceptionally complex taste-wise and moderately complex smell-wise. I will drink more, and so should you.

09-26-2007 04:37:56 | More by umustdrink
Photo of basica


4/5  rDev -10.5%

I was kinda disappointed with this one as I would put it high up; almost there with the Westy's not sure if mine's a bad bottle... I have one more bottle and getting one more from my dutch friend but let's take a look at this one first. It pours out with a huge bubbly head that retains pretty well; color was the typical dark brown as like many dark belgian ales. The smell was yeasty, and alcoholic fruity; somewhat vinous but not as pleasing as I would have liked it to be. I had a sip and it was alcoholic plums or raisins leaving a lot of alcoholic fruitiness on the nose. It was sweet and the yeasty taste was also clear on this one. For some reason this taste reminds me of the Gouden Carolus although I forgot to review it when I tasted it. The after taste was plums, raisins, grapes and was pretty strong and pleasant. This Quad is closed to full body and was clearly rich and almost syrupy. Carbonation was surprisingly high but it was still pretty smooth but drinkability would have dropped due to its high and evident alcohol content. I am pretty disappointed as I put this up close with the Westvleterens but seems like it does not even qualify in my top 10 beers list which I expected it to be in anytime. It is a good beer but unfortunately not great; I would give this review a light pass since I have potentially 2 more bottles to go; let's hope that I am not missing a good bottle here.

09-23-2007 17:16:49 | More by basica
Photo of jeffjfindley


3.95/5  rDev -11.6%

Slightly ruddy brown, very murky. Extraordinary carbonation is visible as it appears to be raining upwards around the perimeter of the glass. The head is antique white, and with the delicious appearance of ice cream. Aroma is flowery, powdered sugar and tart berries. Taste starts out very subtle and enticing, slight dark chocolate and fresh fruit note take a turn to sour turn after a couple of seconds. The sourness lingers on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel follows about the same trajectory, beginning supernaturally smooth, ending a little dry and frankly somewhat acidic. This is damn good, I just expected more.

09-20-2007 04:59:39 | More by jeffjfindley
Photo of franksnbeans


4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Pours a dark brown with a ruby hue. Huge cream colored head that dies quick and laces sheets. Smells of brown sugar, dried banana chips, fig and plum. Taste is sweet malt. Plum, spice, again the banana chips, fig and a little caramel. Full in the mouth with a nice tickle on the tongue from carbonation. Sip with pleasure.

09-17-2007 01:15:54 | More by franksnbeans
Photo of ski271


4.47/5  rDev 0%

A: Very dark ruby-brown with a small, light tan, tight head. Good retention. Excellent lacing.
S: Mild and fruity. Some caramel malt sweetness.
T: Funny, first time I had this was right after a Lion Stout without sufficient cleansing my palate between. The result, this beer tasted like grape juice! Bizzare. Having to revisit the beer in disbelief, I found that yes I do get some grape in the flavor, but not like before. Prune, raisin, brown sugar, alcohol. Warming vinous finish.
M: Wonderful! The kind that makes you hold it in your mouth, swirling it around, not wanting to let it go. ‘Luxurious’ I guess is the right word.
D: At first I didn’t think this beer was going to live up to its hype, but the taste and mouthfeel did it for me. I can see why it's considered a world-class beer.

09-16-2007 19:34:54 | More by ski271
Photo of BMoney575


4.33/5  rDev -3.1%

Sampled on 9-12-07
Best before 12-14-11

Pours with an insane, glass-filling off-white head that yields a deep, red/brown liquid. The foam piles like whipped cream on the top.

Smell is very sweet with lots of dark fruits, lightly boozy with a definite roasted character.

Taste is surprisingly malty, roasted, very doppelbock. Tons of dark fruitiness, with a big-time alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel is great, not too thick but super smooth.

Drinkability is good, but the alcohol is intense.

Overall, the standard in quads. Huge flavors and huge alcohol. A unique experience and highly recommended.

09-13-2007 02:14:31 | More by BMoney575
Photo of kernalklink


3.23/5  rDev -27.7%

This brew poured a nice cloudy brown with big fluffy white head a great lacing. Aromas were of green apple skins, slight cloves and champagne grapes. First sip- big yeastiness and alcohol on the finish with a sour bitterness underlying it all. There is an herbal spiciness which helps mask the obvious alcohol which does a lot to warm the throat. The malts are not too sweet and overpowering but there is an almost lack of true belgian flavor when compared to their other offerings- i was slightly dissapointed; a little flat on the delivery. Ill try this one again sometime soon.

09-11-2007 03:22:11 | More by kernalklink
Photo of IPAcraig


4.45/5  rDev -0.4%

Poured into my De Garre snifter from an 11.2 oz bottle

This beer pours a dark brownish ruby with a massive 4 finger head, off white, clingy head. Excellent lacing.

Has a very nice malty smell, that is semi-sweet and is balanced by a slight roasty chocolate aroma. An excellent smell, could be bigger, but very nice.

I have had this once before, and I wasnt too impressed. Upon further review, this is an excellent beer. A nice malty flavor as in the nose, with an unexpected chocolate flavor. However it has a nice yeasty dark fruit flavor that is great. It has a fairly substantial alcohol presence in the aftertaste, but despite being very apparent it is not a bright, harsh flavor; rather it is pleasantly warming.

An excellent beer, lots of flavor without being heavy or out of balance. Perfect drinkability.

09-10-2007 23:50:56 | More by IPAcraig
Photo of 77suburban


4.4/5  rDev -1.6%

Appearance: Golden brown, slightly reddish. Pours easily into a snifter glass with a perfect two-fingers of lacing which is fairly thick, but not as much so as some.

Smell: I had a hard time pinpointing the aroma. Others have called it clove, and I do detect that. I can also pick up an orange and ginger aroma.

Taste: Slightly syrupy, the clove is there again, sweet - but not overpowering - and malty. This is not the most technical terminology, but I'm reminded of a high quality root beer in that it is sweet and creamy but not overly sweet as to dominate the other flavor subtleties.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, heavier up front but much lighter on the finish.

A good beer to sip throughout the evening. It would go well with a nice piece of quality cheese. A good beer for the wine aficionados to cross over to the world of quality brews.

09-08-2007 02:27:24 | More by 77suburban
Photo of Floydster


4.53/5  rDev +1.3%

11.2 ounce bottle from Beverage Warehouse in Marina del Rey

Poured into a pint glass with an abnormnally thick head

First trappist beer I have ever had and it was a doozy

Nice dark brown color with a nice sharp taste, great belgian quad beer

Could have kept it until 2012 like the bottle said, but could not wait any longer to open it

Try to sip on this one slowly, but ended up drinking it in less than twenty minutes because it was so good

Cannot wait to try this one on tap at the Yard House if I see it again there

09-04-2007 06:22:33 | More by Floydster
Photo of Maracuja


4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Murky reddish brown hue. Well retained, thick, light tan head. Yeast derived nuttiness and rustic must at first in aroma, ensued by ripe peach like fruitiness, mellow banana esters and notes of molasses and butter. Hint of pleasantly salty mineraliness is discernible as well. Toffeeish malt and mild banana esters are perceived concomitantly initially in flavor, then are ceded by smooth notes of carob and clove. Malt character is bready sweet, akin to brown sugar dusted crusty whole wheat bread. Understated notes of dark fruit including typical prune like notes uniquely coupled with a citric tartness. Hint of bubblegum esters. Moderately bodied. Once the initially high carbonation diminishes, the mouthfeel is full, smooth and very pleasant. Finishes with light clove and caramel briefly lingering. Abt 12 is a delicious, complex, and supremely drinkable brew. Flavorwise, it's reminescent of their 8, although much more pronounced all around. Highly recommended and worth the cost.

09-03-2007 20:21:51 | More by Maracuja
Photo of Jmamay22

New York

4.72/5  rDev +5.6%

This highly lauded beer pours from a bottle with a blue label featuring an extremely happy monk and is dated 12 07 11.

The quadrupel pours an extremely dark ruby red with a huge three finger head tan colored head. The bubbles rising to the top indicate the head is here to stay.

What a nose on this beer! Smells of sugar and spice and everything nice. I pick up on cloves and Belgian candy sugar sweetness along with some fruity esters, clove and a touch of cinnamon. Hints of dark fruit such as figs and plums. Quite the delight!

The taste is nearly as extraordinary as the smell. Similar taste as it smells with candy sugar mixed with a slight buttery flavor with some hints of the aforementioned fruit. Finishes warm as this quad flexes its muscles showing off some of the alcohol, but it's in check and not at all unreasonable given the style. The progression of flavor seems well thought out and scripted.

Mouthfeel is medium as the carbonation dance over the tongue spreading the flavors enjoyably. Drinkable given the style as each attribute of this quadruple is in check and enjoyable. I will be purchasing this again, but it will be a rare treat as it’s an expensive 11.2 oz.

09-03-2007 01:24:30 | More by Jmamay22
Photo of GbVDave


5/5  rDev +11.9%

Poured from a 25.4oz bottle into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a luxurious looking deep cola brown with mahogany highlights. Sitting on top is a light tan head of an incredible creamy consistency.

S: Unbelievable aromas of caramel, figs, rum soaked raisins, cola nut, plums, and lightly roasted malt. So incredibly complex!

T: Sweet caramel malt, cola, coconut, and the aforementioned dark fruits.

M: Smooth, creamy, like drinking velvet wrapped in silk.

D: Truly, the benchmark for the style. This beer is an absolute joy to drink! One of the few beers out there that's deserving of "all 5's".

09-02-2007 19:56:23 | More by GbVDave
Photo of flexabull


4.35/5  rDev -2.7%

Finally grabbed a bottle of this... it isn't available in my hometown, but for $2.99 at the Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa? Seemed like an easy purchase for me. A good way to wrap up a weekend.

Bottle best by March 22, 2011.

Pours a deep dark amber color, with a nice large thick head on top.

Aromas are floral, spicy, bread like, and with some oak as well.

Prickly and tart on the tongue with the first sip. A bit spicy, and with a very creamy and fruity backbone. Only the slightest hint of alcohol noticed on the finish. Very complex, full flavored, and tasty.

Mouthfeel is excellent... nice and full. The feel in the mouth is thick, and the flavors really linger in the mouth.

Drinkability is good. This is a potent beer, even though the flavors aren't overly strong. With that said, this is a sipper, and a wonderful one at that.

08-27-2007 02:32:08 | More by flexabull
Photo of jdubjacket


4.47/5  rDev 0%

Reviewed from notes.

Served on tap at Brickstore Pub in Decatur, GA.

This was one of the first quads I ever had and it did not disappoint.

Beer pours a beautiful dark brown almost black with a tan head.

Taste is raisins, bread, maybe some candy?

Mouthfeel is chewy - you will actually smack your lips while drinking this.

Overall, this beer is absolutely fantastic. However, it is much better on tap than in the bottle. While still good in the bottle, there's an excess of carbonation that downgrades its drinkability and mouthfeel. Still an excellent brew after a long day.

08-26-2007 13:15:46 | More by jdubjacket
Photo of mortarit

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -10.5%

Learning more about Beligum beers.
I just had the quad and dubbel.
I like the dubbel but after this session I think the quad is definitely more complexs. Actually a smoother drink.

Less carbonation

I need a little more time to experince these beers to their fullness.

08-25-2007 18:48:55 | More by mortarit
Photo of Lothore


4/5  rDev -10.5%

A- Huge chunky oatmeal colored head that leaves a massive amount of lacing. Very dark brown in color, hard to see through.

S- Sweet apricot aromas folowed by orange mixed with a slight coffee and alcohol tinge in the nose.

T- Taste is very complex; coffee, sweet dark fruits, roasted malts.

M- Mouthfeel is fairly viscous but not very carbonated.

D- This is definitely a sipper. I can't see anyone saying it's very drinkable but the flavor makes me want to come back to it every once in a while.

08-24-2007 01:38:53 | More by Lothore
Photo of meechum


4.78/5  rDev +6.9%

Had this on tap at the Brick Store in Decatur, GA..and they know how to pour a beer..

Poured into a goblet with a nice thick head giving way to luxurious lacing. The smell promises a hint of the alcohol and a smell of light malted smell with raisins and figs and dates maybe...it was good..had this with some blue cheese

The taste was out of this world..slight alcohol taste but it was overpowered by the fruity tastes with a just a hint of smoky wood taste or something in the back..(I'm still learning how to describe tastes)

This was a great beer and I'm so glad I stepped out and ordered it, with the nudging of a great waiter at the Brick Store. This was a wonderful brew

08-23-2007 03:00:36 | More by meechum
Photo of jfrank85


4.03/5  rDev -9.8%

Poured into a goblet deep amber color. Thick lacy off white head that stuck around for a while. Good lacing around the glass and nice retention. Smell was of alcohol mixed with nice touches of toffee and nuts. The 10% is very apparent. Easy to drink even though its high alcohol content. Not too carbonated but not chewy. Great beer, worth the $8.99 spent on a 22oz.

08-22-2007 18:47:22 | More by jfrank85
Photo of illidurit


4.8/5  rDev +7.4%

An unexpectedly nice pour by an unexpectedly knowledgable bartender results in a nice opaque brown beer topped by an inch of tan foam. The lacing is outrageous and the retention is exceptional.

Aromas of raisin and brandy hit my nose first. Then comes yeast and spice, and ripe dark fruit.

The dark fruits explode in the flavor, coating the tongue with raisin, fig, and plum. The taste elucidates the spicy aroma, uncovering a distinct clove note. Candi sugar and rich caramel. Delicious!

The mouthfeel is so rich and chewy it almost feels like it's not a liquid. Absolutely luxurious. Amazingly smooth and creamy, great carbonation.

The Belgians clearly have the quadrupel down pat. Westy 12, Rochy 10 and now Berny 12 (yeah I have pet names for them, so what) have really highlighted the craftsmanship of Belgian ales to me. All unique within the same style, and all basically unparalleled. This is a first rate beer.

08-16-2007 04:59:39 | More by illidurit
Photo of Fugazme


4.78/5  rDev +6.9%

Deep brown/mahogany... shows glimmers of a faint red through a pretty murky glass... 1/4" off-white head... leaves a great swirl and nice cap... great legs, as well.

Yeasty/bready aroma... molasses and spice... some cinnamon, raisin, dried fig, big and nice... quite toasty with a touch of maple.

Mouthfeel is very good... creamy feel and tickles of carbonation...

Some big sweet notes... fig and turkish apricot... ripe plum and lots of raisiny goodness... very yeasty... awesome malt flavor.

This one is the standard to compare the rest, in my opinion.

08-14-2007 17:32:12 | More by Fugazme
Photo of udubdawg


4.88/5  rDev +9.2%

33 cl bottle

I love this beer. It never disappoints, and even as my tastes have changed it remains in my personal top 10. I'm happy to say I've turned some friends onto this beer, but now I've got to protect my stash whenever they're over.

It pours a deep murky brown, though some of the yeast would settle out. The dark tan head is almost an inch and begins to fade immediately, but leaves some pretty lacing over the first half of the glass.

Nose is chock full of malty caramel sweetness, plenty of ripened fruit, clove, and some chocolate and brown sugar along for the ride. Boozy too. Rich, complex, mouth-watering, and I'm considering giving this a "5", but the strength isn't quite there to do so...

...with the taste, however, there is little question to me this is a "5"
Delicious raisin, plum, vanilla, clove, and cookie dough glides across the palate, with a little unexpected but welcome citrus. It's even a little nutty, and there's even a little more alcohol in the flavor than I noted in the aroma. (I'm not complaining!)
A beer to savor...theoretically at least...I myself haven't been too successful at sipping this very slowly.

Carbonation is briefly a bit high, but within a couple minutes this is smooth as silk, with a great full body and warming finish. Overall drinkability is absurd. This isn't sold in Wichita, but it is at the very top of my shopping list whenever I'm in, say, KC.

08-14-2007 03:35:06 | More by udubdawg
Photo of OKCNittany


3.63/5  rDev -18.8%

A: Hazy deep brown with a gigantic frothy head that held a while & left big chunks of lacing.

S: Good aroma of fruit, malt, spices, yeast, & plenty I'm not sophisticated enough to identify. Very complex.

T: Spicy - unfortunately including something I don't like - clove maybe? With the fruit & malt flavors, it's not a bad overall taste, but the odd spice kind of ruins it for me.

M: Full body - high carbonation - slight alcohol burn.

D: The alcohol is not hidden as well as I'd like, so it's a sipper for sure. I'm disappointed considering this beer's reputation - it's not bad, but I certainly didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I thought I would. Why do I feel like I need to apologize for not loving this beer?

08-07-2007 02:49:11 | More by OKCNittany
Photo of shmelke


4.2/5  rDev -6%

Dark Ruby appearance with a thick, brownish head that lasted until the last drop.
Very aromatic with spice and fruit jumping all over your "nosebuds"
Felt smooth and slick on the tongue and pallet despite its high alcohol content, which made for a very drinkable libation.
Tasted of apricot, peach, and cloves throughout and finished with a hint of vanilla.
Warmed my insides and mellowed my spirit. . . Definitely one of the best beers I've had in a long time.

08-06-2007 03:49:57 | More by shmelke
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,238 ratings.