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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.

7,714 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,714
Reviews: 2,533
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 471
Gots: 1,235 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Abt 12 Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,714 | Reviews: 2,533 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MmmIPA
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a Chimay glass.

Dark brown body,white creamy head,mild lacing.Red highlites.Thick patch esp. in the center of my glass.The patch never leaves the glass.

Cherry,berry,raison,fig notes,oak(wood of some type) vanilla and chocolate.

Taste the same as it smells.

Perfect carbonation,very smooth and creamy head and body.Carbonation is almost nonexistent,the mouthful is slick and smooth and just slides down your throat.The abv dont really let itself be seen that much during the glass full.

It was a great beer and next time I need to buy the bigger bottle.It made my girls mom burp and fart. :) All in all its a great beer and the hype lived up to the name.

MmmIPA, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of elmore
4.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a snifter from a 750 ml bottle.

gave it a brisk pour which produced a thick fluffy head that showed great retention and left thick lace down the glass. lots of tiny bubbles.

very complex smell - sweet, malty, slightly boozy.

tastes of brown, sugar, figs, plums, with a little alcohol after taste with an absolutely fantastic creamy yet champagne-like mouthfeel.

very easy to drink despite high alcohol content.

Absolutely wonderful beer. I am a big fan of Belgian ale and this is my favorite so far.

elmore, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of Trueant1
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red/brown color with many yiesties foating around. Good thin head that retains. Great lacing that coats the glass.

Smells of cloves, blegium sugars, dark fruits and alcohol.

Serving this one rather warm....

Tastes of alcohol up front with a thick brown sugary like taste. Almost brandy like.

Mouthfeel really does it for me! So smooth and creamy for the high alcohol taste. To me, this is the real balance and magic of this beer. Probably the reasons for the high ratings. Fine carbonation melts all the strong alcohol and sugars together.

Worth the hype...but Impy stouts are still better than this style to me.

Trueant1, Nov 08, 2007
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark translucent mahogany body that pours with a thick and creamy cream colored head. Head retains well at about 1/2 finger and plenty of lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- This has a big, deep, warm nose. Dark fruits such as raisins and plums arise first accompanied by a Belgian candy sweetness and lots of bready yeast.

T- The initial flavor is dominated by raisins and plums but quite noticeable in the background are Belgian sugars and a solid, sweet, bready yeast backbone. The fruitiness becomes more powerful for the finish, while a phenolic bitterness and hints of spicy yeast arise. What lingers is fruity sweetness wrapped in a warm blanket of alcohol.

M- Low to medium carbonation and big full body. Extraordinarily smooth.

D- This is a very nice quad that, despite the high ABV, I found to be very drinkable. The flavors compliment each other well in this complex brew and it was a real treat to have tried it. Something I will have again.

PittBeerGirl, Nov 07, 2007
Photo of callmemickey
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

[A] Dark ruby-brown with a substantial off-white head that leaves behind wonderful lacing

[A] Complexity is key here... figs, raisins, a hint of softer fruits, a touch of alcohol all accent a lovely herbal-roasted malt presence

[T] The taste certainly follows suit... typical candy sweet belgian fruits with yeast are followed by more mellow raisins and grapes before giving way to the malts and yeast that balance out the flavor and give more subtle earthy tones

[M] Medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.. a nice presence on the palate before subsiding

[D] The complexity is almost too much.. the tongue gets tired after a few and something less alcoholic and less flavor full is needed after 2-3 or these... this is not to say that this is a most magnificent beer!

callmemickey, Nov 03, 2007
Photo of brendan13
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a Chimay goblet a deep, dark brown with a few centimetres of firm beige head.
S - Smell is very dark fruit orientated - raisins, plums, prunes etc.
Belgain yeast spice notes are also present as well as a sweet maltiness.
T - Spice & sugary sweetness are a bit more dominant in the taste but the rich, ripe dark fruits still play their part in the great tasting complexity of this beer. A bit of warming alcohol as well.
M - Smooth & creamy mouthfeel, pretty full bodied. Medium carbonation.
D - Obvioulsy not a session beer and even two in a night would probably be too much. One to slowly sip on over an hour or two.

brendan13, Oct 31, 2007
Photo of snpub540
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a bottle of this with my Dad who also thought that this was an incredible brew. It poured a brownish color that had some crimson highlights. Had a haziness from the yeast. Thick head that left some nice lacing.

Smell was very vinous. Plums, prunes, raisins, and candy sugar were very present. A very fruity aroma that just entices you to take that first sip.

Taste was much the same as the smell. Prunes and raisins, with a hint of cherries maybe. There also was a hint of vanilla and an earthiness I'm guessing coming from the yeast. Also some esthery flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium and chewy. Alcohol is ver present. This is a definate sipper and I think if I had drank the whole bottle by myself I would have caught a nice buzz. I am definately going to buy some more of these and put them down for some aging.

snpub540, Oct 29, 2007
Photo of RustythePelican
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a St. Bernardus chalice with a substantial head, with coloring of dark brown that morphs to ruby red and violet under the light. This is a beautiful beer, and it announces its presence with a dense aroma of figs, vanilla and plantains (you get the picture - sweet, sweet, sweet).

The taste of Abt 12 was as rich and complex as the scent, but unlike other reviewers, I actually preferred it before it warmed - toward the end of the glass, I found the taste to be overly sweet. My only other "complaint" is the alcohol content; at 10.50%, I was feeling this beer by the end of the glass. Carbonation was tight and dense, perfect for this beer and the style.

In any event, this is a magnificent beer, a worthy centerpiece to St. Bernardous' line of beers. I will certainly seek it out again.

RustythePelican, Oct 29, 2007
Photo of thierrynantes
3.95/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sorry but this following comment is in french :

Appearance : Bière marron-foncée, troublée, peu saturée, mousse beige peu stable.
Smell : Au nez, parfum profond et épicé, caramélisé, nez onctueux et riche de melon très mur et sucré.
Taste and mouthfeel : Saveur vivante et fruitée, assez sucrée, légèrement épicée, corsée mais peu amère.
Drinkability : Bière intéressante au caractère équilibré, mais je préfére la St Sixtus 12.

thierrynantes, Oct 29, 2007
Photo of jasonjlewis
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The head and retention on this beer are spectacular. The head will never die. The color is murky brown.

The smell is of raisin, tofee, caramel, slight chocolate and dried fruit.

The taste is wonderfully complex. Raisin comes out with tofee and caramel with a slight chocolate taste as the beer moves down the tong. Dried fruit notes and vanilla come out as well. Oh my god, this beer just becomes wonderfully cohesive as it warms. It's fucking amazing. Holy shit.

The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and clings well. The beer turns to cream when it hits the palate. As the beer warms, the creaminess comes out more and it's a beergasm. Oh my god. This is one hell of a beer.

I could drink this all day. Man. I think they have this beer in the afterlife, because I couldn't imagine a heaven that didn't have this beer.

jasonjlewis, Oct 22, 2007
Photo of Atlas1
4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My friend gave me this beer (and a few others) as reward for helping him pack up a moving van. Not a bad deal, if you ask me.

Poured into a belgian chalice glass, the Abt 12 is a beautiful dark beer, with hues of mahagony, ruby red, burnt orange, all shining through. It could almost pass for a port or a sherry, were it not for the thick mound of foam on top. A great head that does not fade away. A really pretty beer. The nose is sweet. Candied sugar, date, bananas, fig, malted goodness... it's all in there. The taste follow suit, with a lot of candied sweetness and dark fruit. But there's a nice hop balance here which keeps it from being too sweet. The mouthfeel is full and smooth, almost chewy. Very formidable.

This is a great beer. Sure, at 10.50% ABV, it's a big one, but you should what you're getting yourself into with a quad in the first place. Belgian beer fans will really enjoy this one, and beer beginners would do well to give this a try; it's not the best intro Belgian beer for those not familiar with the styles, but it's well worth trying.

Atlas1, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of jar2574
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours brown, with an off-white head. Well formed lacing and good head retention. The lacing slides off fairly quickly on the way down.

When you take a wiff, there's a strong scent of berries, bananas and malts.

The taste deserves the slogan, "heavenly nectar within reach." Complex, dark taste. Yeasty, with berries, bananas, malts, and a touch of black liquorice. Even with all those flavors, it's a fairly mellow beer.

Great mouthfeel, plenty to be excited about. You can sense the alcohol, but it's not overwhelming. Overally, I'm really impressed and will be buying this again. It's as good as some of the best trappist brews.

jar2574, Oct 20, 2007
Photo of belgbeerdrinker
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: hazy dark brown color with purple highlights, large tan & foamy head that slowly settles to 3 finger depth, heavy lacing
s: heavy yeasty, sweet biscuit aromas as well as dark cherry sweetness
t: matches all the smells, sweet, sweet dark cherries evident along with creamy malts, as-subtle-as-heavy-can-be alcohol and warmth at the end & cherry taste that lingers
m: creamy to heavy body that finishes crisply with plenty of carbonation, one nice ride from beginning to end
d: excellent beer which i've had previously, more memorable than the 60th anniversary version, & packs a punch i'm happy to take time & again. i do love quadrupels & this one sets the mark.

belgbeerdrinker, Oct 19, 2007
Photo of bunnyhustle
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small little bottle, lots of kick. Poured into oversized wine glass. Pours a deep brown with mahogany highlights. Slightly off white, 1 finger head with excellent retention, leaves decent lace trails. The first smell that hits me is alcohol, then some grapes (almost wine-like) and tart cherries. Overall sour, tangy smell. Tastes of malt, tart fruit (some raisin), and a hint of toasted grain that seems to be present. Warming sensations as it slides down. Moderate to low carbonation leaves a thick, full mouthfeel which wasnt the most appealing. Overall a great beer, 1 is plenty so a 4 on drinkability but well worth experiencing.

bunnyhustle, Oct 18, 2007
Photo of Tolann
3.63/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is not my typical style of beer, but I was looking for something a lil different and after discussing a few options with the very knowledgeable wait staff at Falling Rock this was recommended.

A -Very dark ruby red
S - sweet malty
T - Malty, a lil boozey, caramel. I'm not quite sure how to describe it as like I already mentioned, this is not something I regularly drink and I'm still new to reviewing.
M - Smooth body
D - I was really surprised by this beer. Certainly I was introduced to something good!

Tolann, Oct 18, 2007
Photo of jobyone
4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark redish brown with nice beige head that sticks around. The smell is of over ripe banana. Flavor gets better with nice malt and fruit with definate alcohol. Mouthfeel has lots of body. Very good but not as drinkable as some strong Belgian beers.

jobyone, Oct 16, 2007
Photo of Beerbuddha
4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Apperance- Poured a nice dark brown color with a thick tan head.

Smell- Great smells such as clove, banana, caramel and some mustiness which I find very nice.

Taste- Wonderful fruity taste to it. Nice hints of citrus and yeastiness. Alcohol wasn't overpowering. The malty sweetness is very nice.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall- What can I say other than this beer is incredible. I wish this one was available in New Orleans.

Beerbuddha, Oct 15, 2007
Photo of Kendo
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Got it on tap at Lionheart in Albany, where they serve it in a pint glass (a bargain at $7 for happy hour or if you're in the dart league). . . . Body is murky brown with crimson hues around the edges. A fairly small tannish/ivory head settles on top. Plenty of sheets of lacing on the way down. . . .

S: Ripe apples, brown sugar, bubble gum, raisins, dark fruit and hint of alcohol heat at first. Alcohol becomes much more noticeable as it warms and I get towards the bottom of the glass -- reminds me of rum, actually.

T: Pretty similar to the nose -- dark berries, ripe fruit, dried fruit (esp. raisins) and bubble gum at first, then alcohol warmth at the end of the sip and down the gulley. There is a lingering dry bitterness on the back and sides of the tongue, however, which nicely offsets the malty sweet stuff. As it warms the alcohol becomes even hotter -- the taste reminds me of rum-soaked raisins or port wine.

M: Heavy in body, but with a good spritzy dry finish which, topped off with the alcohol heat, makes it seem a tad bit lighter in the mouth.

D: Very good for the ABV strength, but the alcohol pops up and reminds you to slow down a little.

Notes: I almost gave it a 5 in smell, but left it at 4.5 b/c of the alcohol as it warms. . . . Glad to find this on tap, and now I'm looking forward to the 60th Anniversary Edition I've had in the cellar since January. . . .

Kendo, Oct 15, 2007
Photo of DavidEddie
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle with 27 07 11 printed on the back label.
Poured a murky brown into my new St. Bernardus chalice.
Smells of rum-like alcohol, bread/yellow cake, raisins and other dark fruits.
Tastes just like it smells with some caramel and dark cherries in there as well. Nice alcohol warming as it goes down.
Mouth feel has a creamy smooth texture, good carbonation. Very clean finish. Flavors seem to disappear quick, wanting me to take another sip. I like it!
This was my first Quad (and review) and I plan on seeking out more of this style. I found it very enjoyable on a cool autumn night. A 750 ml would be no problem in one sitting. Recommended!

DavidEddie, Oct 14, 2007
Photo of jmalex
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my first experiences with Belgian beer and definitely my first Quadruppel. I've gone back several times since and get to again today on a beautiful NFL Sunday.

APPEARANCE: Poured slowly into my Trois Pistoles chalice being careful to leave as much sediment as I could. Despite the slow pour, the head is magnificently one finger high and just a few shades darker than white. It's very small bubbled and constantly being refreshed. The beer itself is a dark brown - almost purplish. As I drink, lacing is in sheets. Someone explain to me how this could be any better.

SMELL: The smell is much more fruity and estery than it is yeasty. Citrus, raisin, and dark fruits are quite prominent. As it warms, it becomes much more bready and some darker caramel and plum flavors come out more. Alcohol is well hidden though present.

TASTE: The flavor is bready, spicy, and fruity, though much less so on the fruit than was present in the aroma. The flavors meld so well and are just seamless that individual flavor components are difficult to isolate and describe. Alcohol presence is significant and adds but at the same time detracts from the flavor. A bit is ok, but there's a bit more than that. Overall, fantastic complexity, but a bit hot.

MOUTHFEEL: The body is medium full and very smooth. Carbonation is actually subdued but very fine.

DRINKABILITY: Despite the heat from the alcohol, this goes down way easier than it should. It could have been harsh, but instead it's velvety smooth even though you know you're drinking a heavy hitter. For style, it's nearly perfect.

I'll keep coming back to St. B especially since it's so easily available. This is a quad that stands up to and surpasses some of the finest Trappist ales.

jmalex, Oct 07, 2007
Photo of redneckchugger
3.88/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured frowm a 12 oz bottle into my chimay chalice.
lucious brown color, inch of velvet soft head that doesn't leave, some lacing.
smells of yeast, figs,fresh bread, alcohol, but far less then i'd expect from a beer of this abv.
first sip is sublime, yeast, bread, figs, huge malt, a touch of hops in the back but i have to look for it, this beer is amazing. figs and bread come out as it warms.
mouth feel is equally good, not thick , not thin, perfect texture.
easily the best belgian i have ever had, better than westy 12 imo. i i'd give the drinkability a 5 but its 10% and this beer deserves to be savored s-l-o-w-l-y
Edit, i'm full of shit This beer is Not better than Westy 12 , its good but not better. This is why i hate to read my early reviews, i was just so green.Here my impression of it now.
Nice head in the duvel tulip, more lacing than I would expect.
Nice nose, big hit of plummy sweetness, and a darker breadiness in the back. I get a bit of yeast as well, and a cloying sweetness that bothers me.
The palate is an attack of candi sugar and Belgian yeast. A lot of fig, and plum and bread as well but that sweetness is not really my thing. Also i am getting a lot of bannana esque esters that clash with the other flavors.
All in all this is a decent beer, but i am really upset that i thought it beat out westy 12.

redneckchugger, Oct 06, 2007
Photo of northernbrews
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had a mini quad tasting with HellsBells24 in April 07. Had this one first.

Picked up this 12 oz bottle at Champanes in Warren MI.

Appearance: Pours a nice and clear brown color with a 1 finger tan head. There is a little bit of lacing on my snifter.

Aroma: Starts with some nice malts and a slight alcohol burn. This is followed by dark fruits, figs, roasted malts, and slight cherry. The aroma on this was a little more pronounced than the Westy12 and less than the Rochefort 10. Very nice and inviting.

Taste: The tastes are similar to the aroma, but not a noticable. Cherry and dark fruits from the start followed by warming alcohol and some spicy hops.

Mouthfeel: The dark fruit and malt flavors hang for a bit. This is pretty creamy.

Drinkability: This goes down too smooth for 10%. A 4 pack of this would be no problem, but splitting this bottle is nice.

Overall. This finished behind the Rochefort 10 and Westy 12 in this tasting and slightly above the Chimay Blue. I aged a 750ml of this for a few years and it was incredible. It was probably all 5's or damn close if I rated it. The 750s are quite a bit better than the 12 oz bottles IMO. In other tastings, this finished ahead of the Rochefort 10, but not this time. Truely a world-class beer (as were the others). Definitely pick some up....and age a few.

northernbrews, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of twi1609372
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

WOW This was reccomended to me by the bartender at yard hose, and i;n glad i accepted. this was a great beer. full flavor and body, but not overpowering or overlingering on the palete. this is a drinking beer, this is not mich ultra or coors ligh where downing a pitcher in under 5 mins is condsidered enjoyment, ie to get a ton of alcohol in your system. this beer though is unique with it's 10.5% alcohol, you dont need to down massive quantities to feel relaxed, this isnt a football party beer, it's a beer to grab after a long days work and let yourself unwind and relax.

twi1609372, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of HoustonTX
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has some of the craziest carbonation/head swelling I've ever seen. A sickly untamed head off-white in color with crystal infused flakes. It grew quickly from about a half inch, to well over two. The carbonation pressing upwards maintained and multiplied the head at the same time. Definitely the most out of control head I've seen, especially since I poured it way under the suggested temperature limit. Anyways onto the body. Dark ruby in color with about a 35% visibility rate.

Aromas of figs, prunes, raisins, a hint of menthol, alcohol, and a sweet succulent herbal note. All pressed against an extremely potent malt influx.

Loads of complexity from the initial sip. Sweet and yeasty upfront with a Belgian candied sugar edge. Sweet notes include, cherries, green grapes, peeled raisins, candied sugar, and hollowed out honey combs. Malt balances presents itself midway through the sip. Combined with the yeast complexity, the malt provides a dry earthy tantalizing flavor that rounds out, and invites you to take another sip. Sweet, juicy, succulent, and complex.

Surprisingly perfect mouthfeel for this style. Although it may just be a bit too thin. Still feels right though, and definitely helps the drinkability.

A masterfully crafted Quad, and one of the more complex beers I've tasted to date. A solid testament of why Belgians have the best beers in the world.


HoustonTX, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of sfoley333
4.88/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from11.2fl oz bottle into orval goblet.
Poured a ruby dark brown color with a lacy thick head. The aroma is filled with esters of prune and raisin with a little carmalized sugars in the backgrounds. Taste is prune, toffee, and raisins with a big malt body that is chewy but creamy. The alcohol is present but still well masked for being 10%. Perfect beer for afterdinner or with a nice cheese.

sfoley333, Oct 04, 2007
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,714 ratings.