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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

7,847 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,847
Reviews: 2,540
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 496
Gots: 1,301 | 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: 7,847 | Reviews: 2,540 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of originalsin
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm staring at a half empty bomber of the stuff and felt like I absolutely had to log on and review this brew.

The cork was a lot easier to jimmy out than some other beers I've struggled with lately. That's certainly a plus. And this god damn crazy monk is giving me the eye and laughing at me for not having a Bernadus chalice like the one he's holding on to. 'It's in the mail, I swear I swear...'

The pour on this one was quite nice. The off white head was one of the most beautiful billowing pieces of art to ever appear atop a beer. Really a spectacular sight. Unfortunately, head retention wasn't that great (and certainly sub-par for a quad, from my humble experience). Lacing, to say the least, was not sub par. My glass now has a ring of head around the beer and some odd shaped continent of head looming in the middle, daring me to drink.

There's a ton of sweet malt on the nose. A little raisin but more grape and most certainly all kinds of apples: Smelling this reminds me of apple picking as a kid with my father and brothers, seeing apples rotting underneath the trees and getting yelled at for picking them up.

This beer tastes great. What else can I say. The sweet malt is ever-present. Raisins, figs, and plums all lay themselves out on the table quite clearly while some spices and coriander try to hide but inevitably come through. There's a bit of an alcohol kick to this one but it doesn't detract from the deliciousness at all.

St. Bernadus abt 12 is a bold beer--medium bodied and intensely sweet at times, the drinkability is really good in spite of the fact that's it's most certainly a sipper. I just don't know if I'll be able to finish the bottle.

Well, cheers--

Photo of Reagan1984
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hats of to csg01752. Craig gave me this beer from a broken pack they had at his store. Tribute to Craig. R.I.P.

I've enjoyed this several times, but never reviewed. Tonight is the time I dedicate to the review of this Belgian classic

Upon opening the bottle, slowly some foam started rising out of the bottle. Poured into my snifter glass and a deep off white head formed and remained for quite some time. When it began to fade lacing was left clinging everywhere. No surprise that the beer is a purple/brown color that is almost opague.

Interesting aroma, I always get dark sweet grapes... Almost like grape jelly. Also some yeast and obviously some sweet malts.

Well, the flavor is as complex as always. Some alcohol, some phenolic flavors and lots of deep dark fruit. I taste the same grape that I smelled. Layers of malt flavors that just keep coming. Some bitterness mixed with the alcohol. The yeast provides some strong flavors and subtle spice as well. Lots going on her.

Thick and creamy mouth feel. A little sharp due to the alcohol, but still smooth in the end.

Quite an enjoyable beer and quite drinkable. But you won't get through many of these in one sitting

Photo of quinlin
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - dark amber reddish color, light tan head that was thin and long lasting

S - fruity, floral, sweet malt, dried fruits, banana

T - again, floral, dried fruits(raisins,dried cherries), complex, strong malts

M - med/high carbonation, med body and smooth going down.

D - allround nice, easy drinking quad

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a decently clear medium brown color with an airy, light beige head. Pretty good retention and excellent lacing.

Sweet malts steal the show in this beer. This is coupled with a dark fruit-bready yeast aroma - think fruitcake.

Sweet and toasty with a lingering carbonation and alcohol induced bitterness on the finish. Yeast adds some nice complexities of figs, raisins and dark bread loaves. Chewy, toffee and nutty even...hell, nearly any beer flavor can be found in this brew besides hoppy or citrus notes. What I like about this beer is that it maintains a sweet malty profile without being syrupy or sticky. Has a mineraly/gypsum flavor in there that helps add some dryness. Very finely crafted beer that is just a treat to sip on and feel fortunate to be able to buy anytime I want.

Photo of PatrickJR
2.93/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Re-review, original posted below.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into red wine glass. Bottle lists the ABV at 10%.

A - Cloudy brown with some orange and amber on the edges. Three fingers of light tan head rise with moderate retention before falling to a persistent 1/8 inch cap. Minimal lacing.

S - Lots of dark fruit in the nose; plums and raisins stand out most with a touch of overripe berries. Vanilla peeks through also atop dark, sweet bread. Rather soft overall and lacks a bit of the punch I would expect, but still lovely.

T - I'm on my fourth glass of this, the brew is probably 5 degrees shy of room temperature, and I'm just not finding much in flavor. I've given it a fair shot. Early palate yeilds vanilla-laced dark bread with nutty accents. This doesn't last nearly as long as I'd like, and the sweetness is swept away by chalky, medicinal flavors. Dark fruit, specifically raisin, try to break through this phenolic onslaught but it's too little too late. A growing and frankly disgusting bitterness grows late palate while an underlying vinous character makes a cameo. Abt 12 finishes quite bitter and medicinal with a moderate kick of alcohol. Unpleasant aftertaste of crushed aspirin.

M - This is just unacceptable. I've poured the beer harder and harder each glass, and it's still ridiculously carbonated. Doubtless the huge carbonation is muting sweet, bready, fruity flavors and ramping up all the bitterness and phenols. Body is medium bodied at best, more consistent with a dubbel than a quad. The mouthfeel really inhibits this beer from lingering on the palate and brings out its worst while restraining the beauty that the nose would suggest.

D - I really hate to be so harsh on this vaunted beer. I've become a big fan of Belgian and Belgian style stuff in the almost year since I originally reviewed Abt 12, and I hoped to approach it with a more refined and experienced palate and fully enjoy what others often laud. I guess this beer just isn't for me. I'm not even sure if I can get through the last glass or two left in the bottle. Somewhere between the emphasis on the medicinal bitterness (the worst kind of bitterness in a beer, in my opinion) and the absurd carbonation, the brew misses the mark in the worst way. I have no doubt it all (mostly) comes down to the carbonation; the aroma suggests a wonderful beer but it just doesn't deliver. If this is as close as I can get (easily) to Westvleteren 12, I think I can continue my journey with even more happiness than before.

---

Original review from 06.04.08

Poured from 750ml bottle into red wine glass.

A - 4.0 - Hazy brown with 2 finger off-white head. Decent retention, settled to thin collar, expected considering high ABV.

S - 5.0 - Marvelous. A deep foundation of dark freshly baked bread runs underneath. Overtones of brown sugar with some dark fruit, followed by phenols and the obvious alcohol.

T - 4.5 - Starts off with a caramel plus phenol taste followed by a very predominant vinous character. Less like wine and more like actual grape juice. Grapey character dominates mid palate and leads to a sharp yeast component late palate followed by an obvious alcohol burn.

M - 4.0 - Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Would've prefered this slightly heavier and slightly more carbonated.

D - 4.5 -T hough the alcohol is noticable, it's still hidden quite well. Price is the ulimate deterant.

Overall: 4.45; A

Photo of dublife1
4.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What else can be said about one of the best beers in the world IMHO? Beautiful 2 finger head and luscious smells of dark fruits are present. Taste is of raisins, plums and figs and is so ridiculously drinkable. The ABV is hidden so perfectly. This is one of the great ones for sure. I have had this beer so many times and it never, ever gets old! AMAZING!!!

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

opaque brown with a nice tan head.watch the brussels lace!

smells like yeast,hops,cloves, a bit of pepper.tastes like heavenly nectar!

peppery at first. alcohol, yeasty, light hops.

perfect mouthfeel.alcohol effect is warming as hell!

awesome drinkability, even though i know better.

this beer just has the best smell and appearance to me. you cannot go wrong with a st b abt 12!

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: A dark, thick brown color, with no translucence. A thick, creamy head forms from the outset. A very elegant, soft tan head remains, leaving a smattering of lace around the glass.

Smell: Various dark fruits and a little bit of alcohol are noticeable. A nice strong aroma.

Taste: Figs, raisins, and plums are all equally weighted strong flavors. Hints of toffee, red grapes, and various spices also work their way in. After the initial flavor push, the sweetness really kicks in and carries through the slightly alcohol flavored ending. Leaves a sweet residue. Nothing held back here.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation, and there is a creamy and syrupy feel. Even though this is an intense beer, it still retains some lighter qualities.

Drinkability: Definitely a very nice flavor, but a little strong, maybe even a little bit sweet to get through that many. I might have to rotate to something in to complement it.

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

The Trappist, In Oakland On Draft.

This is a big bold wonderfull beer. 10.5% ABV so it is a good cold day beer.

This is one of the best beers I have ever had. The Trappist knows how to server beer, so the glass-ware was perfect, and the temp was good.

Appearance: Dark Amber, white head, about 1 inch of head in the Chalice. The head retains for quit a while, but almost no retention.

Nose: Ripe fruit, evedence of raisins, plumbs and figs. some type of spice is evedent but hard to distinguish. Very enjoyable nose, that is complex

Taste: Bold, complex like the nose, fruity but not sweet, or not too sweet. Lots of spice here, raisin and plumb with the sense of cloves.

After taste is slightly alcoholic (dude its 10%) and sweet. That lingers.

THis is an excellent beer with strong cheese or salami!

Overall: If you like big bold ass kickers, this is great.

This beer in in my top 5 of all time.

Photo of KI9A
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark brown, tan, creamy head that hangs around. Nice lace windows.

S: Very fruity. Prunes, raisins.

T: Malty, sweet fruits-pears, raisins, maybe purple grapes. Toffee. Spicy with cloves, corrinder towards the middle. Ends with a nice alocohol burn. Light, but there.

M: Medium, coats mouth in sweetness.

D: Again, these higher ABV beers take a hit here with me. Easy to drink, but, just can't do it without falling down!

Photo of Jeffo
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this at the bottle shop down the road.

From a bottle into a St. Bernardus Chalice.

Note: Part of the Quad Showdown, including Rochefort 10, St. Bernardus 12 and Westvleteren 12, in that order.

APPEARANCE: Pours a 1+ finger medium thick off-white / tan head with good retention. Colour is an opaque auburn or raw umber brown with a decent amount of carbonation evident. Head has good retention and eventually fades to a nice film cap, which remains the entire time, but leaves minimal to no lace down the glass.

SMELL: A very fruity nose of raisins, grapes, plumbs and dates. Lots of dark fruits. A slight hint of spicy cloves, but it's all about the dark fruits here. The nose could be a bit spicier, and perhaps a little bolder as well, but the fruitiness is nice in and of itself.

TASTE: Very bold flavours here. Very fruity as well. Raisins and dark grapes mostly, with some dates and prunes, like the nose advertised. More spices than in the nose, with cloves and coriander evident, along side touches of caramel malt. Some spicy alcohol at the end as well, but very well hidden for the ABV. Aftertaste is fruity, spicy and alcoholic, as is relatively long lasting. A touch of bitter sweetness at the end. Very nice profile and is more impressive than the nose.

PALATE: Medium-thin body and a bit light on the palate. Not quite as creamy as others in the style, but smooth going down with not bite, surprisingly. Finishes slightly mouth coating as well. Fine, but needs to be a little thicker and creamer for top marks here.

OVERALL: A very tasty treat, but the feel kept it back a little bit. A thicker feel would get this one over the hump. As part of the Quad Showdown, this one was comparable to the the Westvleteren 12, but both were well behind the Rochefort 10. Though this is a good beer and I'd definitely have it again, I find it is overrated and, in the end, more hype than substance.

Photo of FleeVT
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml brown dated bottle poured into a Bernardus chalice.

A: A deep hazed brown that leaves no light penetration, topped with cream colored clingy head.

S: Sweet malty goodness. Dark fruits, especially raisin, do well to mask the alcohol.

T/M: Sweet ripe berries and raisins with a spicy backdrop. The alcohol builds up slowly and crescendos with a faint medicinal improve. Nice heavier bodied quad with a surprisingly creamy texture for all the carbonation.

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

750 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip

Deep brownish red body. Initially a massive 3-finger fluffy cream-colored head develops. After a minute or so, it recedes to a thick skim that sticks around til the end of the bottle without so much as a swirl needed. Lacing varies between clumpy, crackly and creamy, although I'd love to see a little more. Looks like the 'big boy' beer that it is.

Wonderfully complex nose. How many fruit smells can possibly fit in one beer? I pick up cherries, raisins, figs, peaches, apples, oranges, plums and grapes. Aside from the fruits, there's plentiful Belgian yeast, cloves plus other spices I can't seem to identify. Maybe a little charred wood in there, too? I spent a good five minutes smelling it over and over before I ever tasted, and I still am not doing it justice. The aromas are dancing around in my mouth and throat. I can already taste it before I even take a sip.

Tastes every bit as good as it smells, perhaps even better. I taste pretty much everything I smelled, plus tobacco, leather, bananas, sourdough bread, maybe even apricots and some vague earthiness. I feel like I could have a bottle a week and still keep finding new subtle flavors. It's sweet, it's sour, it's boozy, it's smooth, it's fruity, it's spicy. Great stuff.

Nice feel. Hits the tongue silky smooth, yet froths up and makes the deliciousness rain down all over the tongue, palate, and halfway down the throat (seriously, seems like I can taste it even in my throat). Incredibly long finish, the kind that makes you want to keep chewing and smacking your lips to see what else you can taste even after you've swallowed.

Overall impression: Awesome beer fresh. Very much looking forward to trying this aged.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Deep, lightly hazy dark brown, with a frothy, but surprisingly loose-bubbled head of beige foam. Lacing is excellent though. Shame the head looks so weak. Otherwise very nice.

Very powerful rich, sweet nose, full of dried fruit, vanilla caramel and some spicy alcohol. Very pleasant indeed.

Very smooth and rich palate. Sweet, with lots of malt and a pleasant phenolic alcohol, which stays spicy and warm under everything. Notes of liquorice noticeable. Very smooth and sippable.

All things considered, it's not a huge and boisterous Belgian bomb, but it's tight, accurate and true to style. Very, very easy to drink for what it is. I could drink it all night, which is quite an amazing property for such a strong beer.

Photo of Brenden
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another incredible beer I got in a great trade with BeerLovinGrl...

This one is a deep brown that, when held up to light, had highlights of...lighter brown. I let it sit for a few minutes and when the just off-white head dissipates, it's to about two fingers of tight foam. Lacing is almost relentless. There's no carbonation seen, but it's beautiful nonetheless.
The smell is rich, pure, sweet malt with cloves and some complex fruit notes. There's a noticeable but gentle and unbecoming alcohol notes with some molasses undertones. I also get some honey and a biscuity smell as well.
The taste follows suit almost perfectly. There a slightly more evident note of dark fruits (plum and raisin, most noticeably) and alcohol is very well hidden in flavor while very evident in its immediate warming effect. Otherwise, cloves hit the tongue first with a powerful malt overtone giving way to ripe dark fruits and a gentle peppery bite. There's a nice buttery note and alcohol is most evident in the finish. Brown sugar and molasses add to the complexity.
The body on this one is moderate to full and it's incredibly smooth and creamy. Very nice.
This is a very fine brew and one everyone needs to try. High ABV lowers drinkability just slightly.

Photo of BZero007
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle in to my Chimey Goblet. Pours a very amber brown with lots of clouds spinning in the glass. Sediment floats all around in this brew, just looking at it you know it has allot of flavor to it. The head forms with out even trying and releases a great set of smells that are greatly respected. Lots of dark fruits hit the nose, figs, raisans and others. Dark Alcohol molassas smell aswell hits the nose possibly from the malt. The taste is also very refreashing one thing I noticed of the bat was the beer did not seem 10.5 alc and more of a 5. alc. The flavors in this beer mask the alcohol amount very well but are still present and help lift the flavors. Again dark fruits with molassas and a bit of spice to it. Everything is balanced in this brew exceptionaly well. The flavor is not overly complex were I need to sit, relax, and reflect but one that I can continue to do what im doing and drink. The mouthfeel is very good and the carbonation is perfectly matched. The carbonation lifts the flavors to your pallet with ease and does not dmg your taste buds in anyway. Drinkability is good due to the taste and smoothness this brew carries. The alcohol level is 10.5% and it will sneek up on you. Love this beer and will continue to stock it.

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

Looks like I'm the 1,371st person to review this. I don't know if I can add anything new to the discussion, but I'll try. Abt 12 was poured into my St Bernardus chalice, which seemed the proper thing to do.

A: Deep copper with nice clarity given the bottle conditioning. Carbonation is quite active. Fluffy cream cap has a bit of a reddish tint to it. Head retention is very nice, but very little lace is left behind.

S: I think I could smell this beer from a mile away. As it exited the bottle, I was greeted by a rush of dried fruits. Raisins, prunes, currants and raspberries all came through. All that fruit mixes with a heavy dose of alcohol to to create a very vinous overall aroma. There's a bit of pepper and clove in the back that helps keep things balanced.

T: Very wine like. The dark fruits and alcohol make this drink like a fine red. If it weren't for the carbonation tingling on my tongue, I could almost be convinced this wasn't beer. Hop flavor is very low, as the fruit and alcohol take center stage. Finishes dry and tart, with a heavy warmth going down.

M: The body on this feels lighter than the beer's strength made me think it would be. It's somewhat syrupy, but not overly so. Carbonation feels just right.

D: This is one fine beer. I was through my little bottle in what felt like no time. I'm really happy I finally tried Abt 12.

Photo of Buschyfor3
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into the appropriate St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Pours a murky, rusty brown body with a thin, creamy beige head; head is only about a cm thick and quickly dissipates to a ring of lacing. Body is not quite opaque to light, as there are faint, dark amber highlights that appear near the bottom of the chalice. A lot of sediment in the body - remnants of the yeast, I presume. Good lacing throughout the glass.

S: Wow! First note reminds me a lot of brandy - sweet and with a nice, spicy alcohol punch. Plenty of dark fruits - prunes and raisins. A good dose of Belgian spiciness as well. Then there is the obvious alcohol note underneath the fruity sweetness and it carries a noticeable spicy quality. Malts come in the back door and add layers of complexities to the sweet aroma of this quad - honey, a light, fresh biscuit aroma round out the nose.

T: Ridiculously complex and enjoyable. Where to start? Dark fruits up front with an initial wave of sweetness: raisins, prune juice, plums, very sugary up front. Caramel sweetness follows the fruit. The alcohol peaks here with a spicy, peppery and slightly medicinal/band-aid taste which quickly disappears beneath the encroaching malts. Mid sip the malts come into the dance as a fresh, doughy biscuit flavors melds with a hint of fresh clover honey. Then a slightly drier, grainy wheat flavor arises and carries a nutty, buttery taste well into the finish.

M: Medium carbonation provides enough of a refreshing tingle to lend a textured edge to this quad; otherwise, the mouthfeel is smooth and velvety delivering its complexities to the palate in a slick, pleasing experience.

D: High ABV, but this beer's complex demeanor makes for quite the enjoyable experience. It begs for each quaff, just for the opportunity to discover another nuance of flavor across the palate. Decadent, sweet, delicious. I would say it is one of the more drinkable higher gravity ales that I have had to this point, even if the booze hits you fairly noticeable heat towards the end of the bottle.

This is my first Belgian quad and it is a beauty. I don't have access to Westy 12, but I can get the Abt 12 easily and for a reasonable price, and this is a gem. Complex, delicious and seductively powerful. Definitely deserving of one of the best ratings on BA.

Photo of katan
3.68/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz into a pint

A- Pours a dark hazy red to brown color. Very thick looking - lots of floaties. Head formation is very vigorous and mocha in color. Well retained - hanging around at 2cm

S- At earthy, yeasty, and sweet nose. Almost like bread. Some phenolic undertones in there as well.

T - Starts off with some sweetness, malt forward biting. Strong yeast notes build mid-stream - edgy. Finishes with a sour bite with a balancing sweetness. A bready aftertaste sits on the tongue.

M - Biting carbonation - certainly a quad. Very think from all the sugars and other unfermentables.

D - Moderate to low drinkability. Sweetness is palette wearing and the high carbonation is very filling. And watch out after drinking a few of these.

An okay beer - guess I've come to the conclusion that quads aren't my beer.

Photo of ericduran
3.63/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had this beer several times before out of the bottle and loved it, but off the tap is a different story. Had it at Tapwerks in Oklahoma City.

A - Good. It looks the same as out of the bottle. I don't see the point in elaborating since if you're reading this you probably know what it looks like out of the bottle.

S - This was a huge, bad difference. Very strong phenolic smell that other reviewers are calling 'rasin cola' that I couldn't place. I gave it to my friend with quite a sensitive sniffer who hit it dead on - urinal cake. Blegggh. Yuck! Ptooey. Gross. Well that ruined it for me. Yeah, this beer really needs time to age. Why can't they let the kegs age too before shipping them out? Oh well, too bad for them...they are wasting all their hard work! I will only take this beer in the bottle from now on.

T - The actual taste was good. Tastes like it does out of the bottle. Maybe a bit *fresher* but for this kind of beer that's not better, just different. Depends on what you like.

M - Similar to out of the bottle but the carbination was a lot mellower. Meh. Has that same weird texture that manages to be both thin and syrupy at the same time as other heavy belgians.

D - I finished the glass no problems, putting the thoughts of urinal cakes out of my mind. It's still a good beer, just give it time to grow up guys! It's a stinky child.

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

Served into a Chimay chalice from a bottle

A: Dark in color with a sticky one and a half inch head. Poured carefully which kept most of the yeast in the bottle.

S: Lots of dark fruit and a bit of spice on the nose. It smells like raisins or maybe prunes.

T: The taste is a lot like the smell. I get a mainly dark fruit and spices. A bit of pepper too with a bit of warming alcohol. It is sweet, but not too sweet. A very delicious quad.

M: A full mouthfeel that I find somewhat lush. It has the right amount of carbination for the style; a little prickly but not overwhelming.

D: I really enjoy this beer and find it to be very drinkable. It is definately a sipper at nearly 11% abv, but I would not put it past me to have two in a sitting.

Notes: I recently had this on tap and found I preferred it from the bottle. From the tap the alcohol seemed to be more assertive. This is quickly becoming my go-to beer when I am in the mood for a big Belgian.

Photo of Vengeance526
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a deep brown color with a creamy brown head and a good bit of lacing.

Smells of rich dark fruit and cloves.

Taste starts off with strong notes of dark fruit and spices. Hints of vanilla and brown sugar make an appearance along with just a light touch of alcohol in the finish.

Full bodied, maybe a little more carbonation than I would like to see.

This is about as drinkable as it can get at 10.5%. A slight burn in the finish is the only indication I found of a high ABV, it is really masked quite nicely.

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

Poured from a 750ml into a St. Bernardus chalice.

Pours a dark brown with a light brown head that is very creamy. Good lacing and lasting power of the head.

Aroma of dark fruits, malts. Some dark wood aroma in there.

Taste is of dark fruits [raisins, plums], malt, vanilla, baked apples. Has a sweetness to it and quite complex.

Mouthfeel is medium+ bodied and quite cleansing.

Overall, just an amazing brew. Very complex and soothing. Hides the alcohol very well. Glad I've got some more in storage.

Photo of jwhawkins81
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The back label of the 330 ml bottle says the beer is best by 26-08-13.

Aroma - Dark fruits like cherries and raisins.

Appearance - Poured a dark red and produced a nice light tan head.

Taste - A hint of spice near the beginning giving way to a malty sweet profile hiding just the smallest amount of discernible alcohol. Even as this beer warms the flavor profile stays pretty consistent.

Mouthfeel - A medium body carried by a ton of carbonation. A really good mouthfeel.

Drinkability - Amazingly drinkable for 10.5%. The spice really helps from being overwhelmed by the sweetness.

Photo of Maction
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: In a St. Bernardus chalice, it shows a pale burgundy with brown undertones. A hearty 3" head collapses to a compact disk, leaving thick lace down the side of the glass.

S: A complex aroma, cherries, hard candy, traces of clove.

T: It just tastes so good, with flavors of brandy and candy, but it's not namby-pamby. There's a smoothness balanced by a slight alcohol tinge. Then there's the tart and acidic flavor that my wife identifies as grape Kool-Aid.

M: It feels dense, but not viscous, and the carbonation keeps things moving on your palate.

D: This beer is so delicious that it's hard to drink slowly. Even though I know it's 10% ABV, it's hard not to rush through one of these and order another.

Notes: My wife's favorite beer of all times. Her question: "how could you not love it?" I love the monk on the bottle. He seems to be simultaneously absolving you from your sins while leading you into temptation.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,847 ratings.