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St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12

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7,856 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,856
Reviews: 2,541
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 495
Gots: 1,306 | 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: 7,856 | Reviews: 2,541 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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!

Photo of smitty2717
4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

++++Purchased at Super Cellar Warehouse Liquors in Avon, CT

S- Caramel aromas that light up this Dark belgian abbey Ale.

T- The smell of caramel starts off at the front of your tonguse then changes to vanilla, with hints of a charcoal or black chocolate. Similiar to a brown ale. The flavors dont stop there. Hints of reisins and coffe grounds.

M- silky smooth all the way down. A little fizz up front but the finish is smooth and leaves a milky/ chocolate stout sensation.

D- Pretty high but just one this is a beer to sit and enjoy after a rough day/rainy day!! Desert!!

Photo of TStandley13
3.48/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance- Good head retention. Hazy brown color, when held up to the light. Good carbonation with active bubbling throughout entire process.

Smell- Average smell. Slight woody/nutty smell, however nothing notable.

Taste- Alcohol, mediocre hoppy/malty taste.

Mouthfeel- Bubbly yet silky, overall good feel.

Drinkability- First one was ok, didn't enjoy the second as much. Alcohol somewhat overbearing.

Photo of julian
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Brouwer's Cafe in Seattle, WA (Fremont) and drinking it as I type from a bottle.

A: This pours a dark brown and opaque but when held up to light you will notice a deep orange hue. First pour was a nice frothy light tan head with pretty intense lacing down to the last sip.

S: deep malts, slight sweetness, nutty and almost caramely with a faint phenol and alcoholic aroma

T: Medium carbonation, very sweet with a caramel finish. Alcohol content barely noticeable! Deep fruity flavor (fig, what else? maybe plum) but mostly dominated by the heavy malt and spicing.

M: This is a smooth and crisp drink, and only gets smoother. The sweetness lingers and the fruit flavors really linger on your palette after the mouthful. Perhaps a bit too carbonated masking some of the flavor.

Well rounded Quadrupel. Would definitely drink again. I think it's better on tap than from bottle...I remember it as less bubbly.

Photo of Douglas14
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a rich mahogony/ brown color with a very impressive, thick, tan head. The head leaves a lot of lace and keeps a nice layer over the brew. Right away an aroma of fruit and candied sugar fills my nose. With closer scrutiny, beautiful malty scents are easily noticeable, along with a nice biscuit quality. The taste follows the smell; fruity (strongly of cherries and bananas), malty, and earthy...very earthy. The brew has just a touch of hops towards the end. The 12 has a very full body and feels creamy and smooth in the mouth. What a nice and beautiful beer.

Photo of srandycarter
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Over zealous pour yields massive head - looks like the inside of a malt ball. Sticky, clingy, spiderweb like lacing, good head retention. Dark cola body.

S - Clove, sweet malt, butterscotch, something phenol.

T - Refined with brown sugar and nice bite at end.

M - Creamy as all get out, good carb, great coating.

D - One of the best, albeit high on the ABV scale.

Photo of highvoltage61
4.13/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Was lucky enough to have this on tap at pitcher's pub in cumberland, ri.

served in appropriate st. matou glass

appearance-dark amber color and good head retention.

smell-strong smell of malts, and caramel.

taste-balanced flavor of sweetness and bitter. good hop finish.

drinkability- strong alcohol flavor makes drinking a lot of these difficult. although with the strength of the malts it all balances well.

Photo of RomanW70
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Doured Dark Brown with a good head. Aroma of cherries and raisins. Taste similar with a great deal of complexity with notes of dark, fruit, red wine, and funk. Has an excellent mouth feel. Med-high carbonation. Very complex. Strong biitter finish. Excellent Beer

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

A: Poured from a 750ml bottle with a cork into a goblet (bottle stated 10%ABV). The beer appeared to be heavily carbonated as I had some trouble pouring it without the head spilling over the top of the glass. The beer appeared to be a Carmel/nutty opaque color with a fairly thick off-white head to it that took its time to dissipate but not too long.

S: It smelled very good. Fruity with some alcohol.

T: The taste is outstanding. It went very well with the BBQ ribs that I cooked for 4 hours over charcoal that I had with them. The taste was sweet, because of the fruit, and it blended well with the alcohol.

M/D: Highly drinkable with a good level of carbonation, not overpowering but enough so that you notice it. Medium body to it, creamy and finished well. This is one that I am going to be consistently buying.

Photo of champ103
3.23/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Reddish brown color. A white head forms a leaves some lace.
S: Malty and funky with some dried fruit. Typical Belgium sweet yeast.
T: Dried and sweet fruits. Some apple and pair notes. Fairly nondescript taste as far as I a concerned.
M/D: A thin and watery body. Clean and crisp mouthfeel. Overly carbonated for my tastes. The ABV does not show that much, but it is nothing I want to session. It is a little too sweet for my tastes.

I am as bit disappointed with this beer. It seems a bit reserved and nothing all that special.

Photo of clayrock81
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet glass and received a rootbeerish brown with good carbonation that led to a 1-finger head that left quickly. A rich malt (caramel, bread, chocolate and coffee all come to mind) and citric fruit smell, mainly grapfruit, apparent in the nose w/ minimal spicing. The fruit flavoring is what I noticed most - grape, cherry, sour apple, pear - and then a bready malt sweetness mixed w/ caramel and chocolate. A medium to full body that goes down smooth but not slick and only a tad syrupy, with a slight mix of pepper. The ABV is hidden well here, and this is one of my fave beers. Only the ABV and price keep me from continually downing 4-packs of this stuff.

Photo of Strix
4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Murky brown color with a foamy head.

Smells delicious - a bouquet of sweet fruits.

Very fruity, apples, grape, and bubblegum present in the taste. Other sweet fruits in the mix somewhere, with a warming alcohol finish. Delicious.

Mouthfeel quite nice.

Recommended for sure. Now I know why the monk on the bottle is so happy.

Photo of
3.83/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle

Rich, caramel colored liquid. Lots of orange tones in there as well. Clarity hard to determine, pretty sure it is. Modest, light tan, creamy head.

Scent was full of fruit, raisins and figs. Some toffee. Touch of funk. Herbal notes. Milder than expected.

Taste was sweet, caramel and fruits. Herbal bittering, spicy notes - phenols and cloves. Alcohol, and pretty hot. Candi sugar.

Medium to full body. Creamy. Carbonation seems high compared to initial pour. Sweet, but drying at the finish.

Overall, not something I would want more than one of at a time. Great flavors and very complex.

Photo of fitzy84
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Moan and Dove. The drink settled with a dark, light chocolate head that was pretty thick. Aroma-wise, it was pretty wheaty with mocha complements. Taste-wise there was a great mocha, coffee flavoring wrapped around the bready hints I sensed when I smelled it. The drink was creamy with a low-medium body. Overall, this was wicked good.

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Almost opaque ruby/mahogany color. Light brown to off-white head. Great retention. Leaves tons of lacing along the glass.

Not a huge odor here. Some caramle malts. Slight notes of ripe fruits. Pleasant but not great.

Great taste. Caramel malts with ripe fruits/cherries. Just a little bit of peppery yeast. Nice.

Good mouthfeel, medium body and good carbonation.

Nice drinkability for such high ABV.

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

A - Poured a dark brown color with a tan head that leaves lacing

S - Is of dark fruits with some sweet malt a hint of alcohol

T - Is very good much like the taste dark fruits sweet malt with a touch of alcohol

M - Has a medium body to it with a good level of carbonation to it

D - This is a great beer thats pretty easy to drink I could probably drink too many of these if I didn't pay attention worth finding to try

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

750ml caged ad corked.

A: Super dark brown. Two fingers of white head.

S: Subtle dark fruit kicks it off. Very yeasty. A nice spiciness in the yeast that separates it from other quads.

T: Starts off very sweet with hints of dark fruit with the yeast following it the whole way. The yeast realy does add something to this. Had a westy 12 a few weeks ago and I do notic quite a bit of similarities between the two. This is not quite there but damn good and available in a store...on my continent.

M: nice thick medium body. Really coats the mouth well. Carbonation is really nice for the style. The good Belgians always have the perfect amount of carbonation.

D: Very drinkable. Everything you want in a quad. Could drink the whole bottle my myself with minimal effort.

Photo of Avryle
3.33/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Opaque chocolate brown. One-finger off white head. Spiderweb lacing

S- Malt & spicy yeast

T- Malt and spicy yeast. Minimal spicy yeast finish that disappears quickly. Frankly, I don't think this is that wonderful. Bland and unremarkable. Must just be a bad bottle because what I'm drinking does not belong in the top 100.

M- Medium bodied. Active carbonation.

D- There's a bottle that's aging in the cellar plus I can get this any time. Will try it again and review again later, but this is like drinking malty water.

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

750 ml bottle poured into my St. Bernardus goblet, the Abt 12 is murky cola color with a large, light khaki head that rocky on the slow settle (though not as much as I remember the last few times I've had this, albeit from a tulip) and leaves chucks of foam and heavy lace. The rockiness of the head makes this my all time benchmark for appearance, but the last two bottles (from a 33cl and now this 750ml) I've had in a goblet haven't quite measured up. While this bottle is more of a 4, I've had plenty of these that were a perfect 5, so for the formal review, I've got to go 4.5.

Smells fantastic, man do I love the aroma on this one! Sweet and fruity, grapes but not the cured, musty prune like aroma of many quads, nor is it too thick. Just awesome.

Taste is very nice, but not as fruity as the nose, countered by the spiciness of the yeast, a nice, light ruminess from the sugar, and firm, but clean alcohol character with moderate fusels. Yummy, and fairly smooth. I need to have the patience to age this beer for a while, with a couple hundred beers in the cellar, I still can't hold onto these more the a few days!

Mouthfeel is highly carbonated (this ones bottled to last up to 15 years per the label), light in the belly.

Drinkability is very good, damn tasty, highly digestible, and smooth enough that you can easily overindulge. I love it so much, I find myself drinking it to fast that my buzz gets ahead of me, and as much as it pains my palate, having to let it sit before I come back. Luckily, it continues to get tastier as it warms! A true classic, and benchmark for the style.

Photo of nrbw23
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep rich cloudy brown color with a hint of red. I could also see some nice pieces of yeast floating about in this brew. A thick froathy tannish colored head that was huge at first then quickly went away and left a nice amount of lacing down my glass. A ton of tiny little bubble poured up from the bottom of my glass. This brew looks very impressive.

S- A ton of rich malty notes. Could also pick up some darker fruits and just the slightest hint of alcohol.

T- Pretty much follows the nose here. I could also pick up a slight taste of apple or some other fruit. Alcohol is hidden pretty nice and could pick it up near the end.

M- A tremendous amount of carbonation. Medium to heavy in body.

D- A really nice brew. Would drink again. I just can't see me sitting around drinking a lot of these though.

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

A: Dark garnet with a white head and good head retention.

S: I smell some pepper, hint of fig,a little alcohol well balanced.

T: a taste fig, date,fresh ripe plum, the malty,toffee, then it finished with some alcohol warmth, grest balance overall.

M: Creamy and warming, nice body.

D: this beer is great, the revues I read said that this is the closest you can come to westwelderen ABT 12, goosh I can wait to get me a bottle of Westwelderen ABT 12, anyway I am going t stock on this one for now and make sure I age them 3 years or so this is by far the best and well balanced beer I tasted, I love the warmth of alcohol a the body the creaminess, and the plum fig and all... for all of you out there this is perfection ( for my taste of course )

Photo of genog
4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

got to try this one on tap at the map room over the weekend.

Poured into the proper goblet, very nice. Appearance was dark brown with plenty of white fluffy head. Aroma was very full with earthy notes and the dark, rich, sweet candied belgian sugars. Taste is very full with sweetness and dark fruit flavors. Mouth feel was very rich, velvety and warming alcohol presence.

Photo of Phenom
4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me just start out by saying this is a great beer that is absolutely deserving of the high rankings on BA and elsewhere.

A: Pours a dark, nearly opaque reddish brown with a creamy off-white head. The head sticks around for a long time and leaves great lacing on the glass. The beer has a lot of carbonation, so be careful on the pour to avoid a glassful of foam. Carbonation bubbles and suspended yeast particles are visible in the beer.

S: To me aroma is the least impressive aspect of this beer. Smells like a solid Belgian brown, but nothing remarkable.

T: This is simply a delicious beer. Has a great blend of fruity flavors, caramel, malt, dark dried fruits, molasses, and a little spicy bite on the aftertaste that is very excellent. The alcohol is so well hidden or balanced that there is no heat whatsoever.

M: Full bodied, excellent carbonation, not too syrupy or cloying.

D: The most drinkable 10% beer I can imagine. Dangerous

Believe the reviews, give it a try if you have the chance. A quintessential Belgian.

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

750 ml cork-in cage bottle, opened with a hearty PFFT! and periodically poured into a goblet yields a murky honey-brown body with a tint of ruby and plenty of rivulets of active carbonation. The steady streamer feed a cap of soft, grainy, light-tan head that retains nicely and leaves sticky, frothy lacing on the glass.

The aroma of Abt 12 is sweetly floral and fruity with a scent of apple blossoms, bread made from overripe bananas, raisins, prunes, brown sugar, a sniff of allspice, and just a hint of alcohol.

The taste is fruity and complex with tart, juicy notes of both green and ripe cherries, ripe plums, crisp pears, soft banana, dark brown sugar with pumpernickel bread and spicy ginger. The malty, fruity sweetness is cleaned up with a nice dry finish. Slight alcohol warming warns the drinker as to the wallop this wolf in monk's robes is packing. A bit of bubblegum emerges as the drink warms.

Fullish-medium in body with exquisitely fine carbonation. Exceptionally smooth and very drinkable given the potent 10% abv. This is a delicious beer I like better from the 750 ml bottle than from the smaller 330 ml offering. Divine on-tap.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,856 ratings.