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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.

7,572 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,572
Reviews: 2,518
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 450
Gots: 1,178 | 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: 7,572 | Reviews: 2,518 | Display Reviews Only:
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With just a decent pour I got an amazing half beer, half head effect. Body is deep brownish black with only hints of light around the edges. Head is a nice staying tan, leaving slight lace as it fades. Nose is a vibrant sense awakening, fruity and floral while being strong and spicey bold. Amazingly silky as it first hits the tongue. Vanilla honey like smooth up front on the tongue with developing spicey wheat notes as the palate lengthens. The finish is a little darker and less balanced then the body pre-emps to. Alchol is well hidden but does warm the belly well. Avery classic brew.

SPLITGRIN, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of TheSarge
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Abt 12 pours to produce a beautiful thick khaki colored head, which sticks around for a while, and eventually forms into clumps the rest of the way through. The body of this brew is a dark caramel color with slight reddish hues.

This gives off aromas of molasses and slight floral fragrances. The taste is astounding. It has a maple and bubble gum characteristic and feels slightly acidy, but not over powering.

TheSarge, Feb 10, 2007
Photo of chrhowe
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the 2nd time I've tried this beer. The first, about a year and a half ago, took me by suprise(due to an immature palate).
However, the second time around is very pleasant and relaxing.
I poored this beer into a new St. Bernardus chalice just shipped in from Merchant du Vin.
The appearance was of dark, thick color. Almost "muddy".
The smell, especially toward the end was mostly carmel.
Taste was exceptional, quite a bit more smooth than what I remembered. For me, its hard to describe further, but I could enjoy it just about everyday if my budget would allow.
Overall, one of my favorites. I'm pretty new the the whole "beer connisuer" thing(sorry if misspelled), but hopefully it will remain toward the top of my list.

chrhowe, Feb 09, 2007
Photo of trevorwideman
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a chalice. Thanks to fisherman34 for this one, I can't get it anywhere around here.

Pours thick and dark, nearly black with a lilac tinge when held to the light. Lots of sediment in there. 1/2 inch head that subsides to a lovely lacing that's just a bit more than average. Intense aromas of ripe dark fruits and strong red wine. There's a healthy malt backbone here that provides a nice caramel sweetness to the deal. Fresh baked banana-walnut bread with melted butter, and so many spices! Coriander, cloves, anise, vanilla bean, and nutmeg to name a few.

Taste is just as gorgeous as the nose, extremely rich and very sippable. The fruit is complimented by all that bready yeast and one can only describe this as drinking liquid dessert, but a dessert that is never too sweet. There is a definite light tartness in the finish to balance things off. Caramel, spices, raisins and other dried fruits all appear, and as this one warms the complexity just grows. This is a superb brew that demands respect in every sip, and I give it that. Thick with malt in the mouth with a carbonation that rather seizes the tongue. This one is extremely sippable, but not chuggable that's forsure. Warms your core on a cold night. Exceptional brew that would only get better if I had one more to cellar.

trevorwideman, Feb 08, 2007
Photo of paleoplant
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great color and look, the nose is pleasant, high carbonation, not overrun with sugars or alcohol. Paired well with bittersweet chocolate and cheese.

Although quadrupel is not my favorite Belgian style this one is solid. It's like a really good vanilla ice-cream; it may not wow you yet you love it.

paleoplant, Feb 06, 2007
Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
3.85/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

had this one again at the beer bistro and had high hope for it due to all the praise it gets.

A: Large 3 finger head very nice; thick dark caramel in colour, Dark opaque body looks very appetizing. Plenty of lace to go round as well.

B: Bananas, fresh toffee, cinnamon, and most prevalent of all the alcohol.

T: Strong alcoholic taste is what hit me off the bat followed by slightly burnt caramel, light maltiness with a surprisingly prevalent hoppy bitterness. The alcoholic taste mellows out as you drink on, phased out by more of the burnt caramel flavour with hints of allspice. Candied sugar with a bit of peppery spice finish this one off.

M: It is very smooth but the taste of the alcohol makes for a few rough patches here and there.

D: Overall it didn't quite live up to the hype for me but still quite a good beer, I'm willing to give it another go. But don't be put off it is definitely very tasty I just wish there wasn’t such a strong alcoholic presence.

Reinheitsgebot71, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of MCDuhamel
4.78/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I should come clean at the outset and disclose that this is one of my favorite beers. I poured it from an 11.2 oz bottle into a 33cl Westmalle chalice. The bottle spent 24 hours in the fridge, and then 45 minutes at room temperature before I poured it.

A. Pours a very dark ruby, almost brown. Translucent; not quite opaque. Farily large, pillowy head, with large-ish bubbles. The head laces down the chalice as the beer is consumed.

S. The nose is surprisingly restrained, even a bit muted. Light bread and burnt sugar notes. None of the usual phenolic qualities from a Belgian yeast strain. Appropriately for the style, no hops on the nose whatsoever.

T. Carmelized sugar predominates, with a slight boozy warmth. It is definitely a malt-forward beer, but not at all imbalanced. A slight prickle picks up mid way through and yields to a dry finish. Truly outstanding.

M. One might expect a heavy, even viscous beer. Surprise! This is light to medium-light on the tongue.

D. Dangerously drinkable. I feel like I could have several, but that would be quite intemperate given its 10% abv.

Overall. If you have never had a quad, this is the one to try.

MCDuhamel, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of petemoss14
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330cl bottle, freshness date: Oct. 4, 2010.

Pours a deep chestnut with ruby highlights and a medium tan fluffy head that doesn't budge.

Wonderful, estery aroma of dark fruit -- raisins, plums, dark cherry, and a touch of alcohol spice. Port-like. Man, I can't stop sticking my nose into the balloon-like St. Bernardus goblet. And that had hasn't diminished one bit!

ooo-eeee. Delicious! Ripe dark fruit rolls across the tongue. Vinous. Moderate bitterness in a medium dry finish. Nice alcohol warming. Medium to medium-full body with a velvety smoothness.

Wow. Had this beer many times in all its incarnations and always really enjoyed it. But until reviewing it, I hadn't given it much "love" in awhile. Man, this is a great beer. One of my absolute favs. How does it compare to Westy 12, well, I'll save that for another day

petemoss14, Feb 03, 2007
Photo of Enola
3.38/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is better than the Triple but not as good as the 8 in my opinion. The beer is a deep mahogany with a fair head. The smell is of prunes and cherries. The taste is a little sharp for me. There is a alcohol presence in the mouthfeel. The drinkanbility is fair, but not as good as the 8. I will re-try this one in the future but I think the 8 is the brewers best.

Enola, Feb 03, 2007
Photo of vanrassel
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a beer worthy of its lofty reputation, even if it's not one I have fallen in love with.

It poured deep mahogany into my goblet, with a one-finger head that mushroomed over the rim. It left beautiful sheets of lace on the sides. The aroma was a little more one-dimensionally alcoholic than I anticipated, though there were hints of yeast, sugar and dried fruit.

The subtleties absent in the smell emerged in the taste: brown sugar, semi-sweet cocoa, rum, blackcurrants and raisins. It ended dry and roasty with a medium body and creamy mouthfeel.

It may be crass to compare, but I prefer Rochefort 10 and consider it more complex than this beer.

vanrassel, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of joeskirkie
3.95/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slow pour from the 750 mL bottle into my St. Bernardus chalice yields an opaque brown body with amber hints on the edges. The head is thumb width and looks a bubbly biege laced with a white halo on top, it's pretty damn cool.

It's mostly a pleasant yeast aroma, with subtle hints of fruit and raisons if you smell hard enough.

Smooth malts at first, followed quickly by a sweet rasiny flavor which is quickly envolped by a spicy finish, with some sugary sweetness lingering.

If you're a fan of Belgian ales, as I am, you'll really dig this brew. Smooth at first, spicy on the finish, it's a winner. I'm certainly glad I have a big bottle to finish.

joeskirkie, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of dnichols
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark rich amber with an off white head that lingers and clings to the side of the glass as the beer is consumed. It has hints of molasses and raisins and the smooth consistency is spiked with chunks of yeast. The aroma is a bold roasted malty sweetness that pleases without being overpowering. It is lightly carbonated giving it a crispness that dissipates after the beer settles giving the beer a smooth finish.

dnichols, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of wanker
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Incredibly delicious. Quite sweet, not hoppy at all.

The alcohol is completely hidden at out-of-the-fridge temperatures, so can easily get ripped on this one. Even as the beer warmed, I hardly noticed the alcohol.

If you don't want to finish a 750ml bottle at one sitting, don't worry -- the carbonation lasts at least 3 days if you stick a cork back in the bottle.

It took a lot of will power for me to stop after a moderate amount. It is so tasty and goes down so easily that I could have easily drunk myself to a brutal hangover.

Run, don't walk, to try this beer today.

wanker, Jan 23, 2007
Photo of Atron67
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

glass- snifter

A- a great brown hue with hints of amber, small bubble tan colored head forming a full 2 inch head on top, leave a sticky residue to the glass

B- a faintly fruity (cherry? hard to tell), raisins and maple present, a strong yeasty smell, enjoyable but wishing for a stronger more intense experience. (intensity has also varied a bit from one bottle to another)

T- a great quadrupel style. full bodied complex, starts and ends very smooth, tastes great very small hint of 10% ABV, warms very well

M- Good strong body, carbonation prominent

D- very good, one of the best, one you savor, multiple things to savor in every sip, warms exceptionally leaves a great lingering taste.

definiitely a top notch beer, the high alcohol content appears as it warms, but adds to the enjoyment of the taste

Atron67, Jan 22, 2007
Photo of guitarmage
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Amazing dark crimson color when held up to the light. Bubbly off white head sticks to the glass, leaves thick lacing. Spectacular.

Smell: Sweet rotten fruit, apple cider vinegar, faint grains and a pleasant yeasty smell. Wild flowers.

Taste: Sweet big malt, maple, apple cider, alcohol warmth is pleasant and cleans up the finish. Prunes.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and full bodied, lightly carbonated, dry.

Drinkability: Delicious, complex and clean, Belgian, leaves you feeling like you had a complete meal. Would've been delicious with some smoked meats, lamb, brisket.

guitarmage, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of Drew966
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

St. Bernardus Abt 12 pours a dark, opaque brown with an off white head from a brown 11.2 ounce bottle. The aroma is fruity at first and bready toward the back. Brown sugar seems very noticeable at first. There is definitely some dark fruits and the alcohol gives a good kick at the end. An icon of the style and readily available, anyone wishing to learn about quads should sample this.

Drew966, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of jjayjaye
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Murky dark copper with a full finger light tan head that fades slowly. Small bubbles; nice draping lace once agitated.

S - Smells of an earthy Belgian with hits of figs, citrus and the alcohol.

T - Mild, well balanced and warm, but I'm not overwhelmed by the 10% ABV.

M - Creamy medium bodied. D - Wonderful, very drinkable.

I'd recommend it.

jjayjaye, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of AaronHomoya
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, brown color with slight orange hues. Great, creamy head. Almost thick-looking and a light tan color. Great retention that lasts the whole glass. Appears to have pretty good carbonation.

Aroma is fruity and a little peppery. Malty with nice Belgian fruitiness.

Taste is a nice, complex fruit and Belgian yeast flavor with a bit of alcohol pepperiness. Slight hint of hops in the finish. Very tasty.

Medium-bodied and slightly syrupy. Smooth drinking and something I'd like a lot of.

AaronHomoya, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of Vancer
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of the big hitters from Belgium, been looking forward to this – and from the pour of things, I won’t be disappointed.

This dark oak liquid of the Gods has a foamy pillow-top of head to spare. Laces everywhere. Superb.

Bourbon cherry malt in the aroma and quaff – but much more deep and intense than most Belgium ales. A big blast of candied fruits just add to the enjoyment. Just a smidgen, a tiny smidge hot with alcohol.

I sip on this critter, but find my hand quickly returns for another. At $3.50 for the 33cl, not overpriced either.

Vancer, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of CharlieMopps
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy brown with burgundy hues, nearly three fingers of head with good retention. An appealing sight to behold.

S: Smells of Belgian candy sugar, a light floral presence underneath, and enticing malty notes with a hint of some sort of fruit, spice.

T: Enters with a malt sweetness across the palate (delicious!) segueing into a slight bitterness, then to a dry finish that lingers ever so delicately. A spicy tinge in the middle makes for an array of great tastes.

M: Excellent carbonation, flavor presence, and finish. A crispness is present that makes it absolutely delightful.

D: Great complexity and balance. The mouthfeel is near perfect, and it also speaks for the satisfying start to the smooth finish of this beer. Watch the well-masked abv, this stuff owns.

CharlieMopps, Jan 10, 2007
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap 1/7/07 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a goblet.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of yeast, roasted malt, chocolate and a touch of dark fruits.

T: Taste is very-well balanced with flavors of yeast, chocolate, caramelized malt and dark fruits. No one flavor takes dominance. There is a slight hops bitterness in the background. The high ABV is extremely well-hidden.

M: Very smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Very tasty, goes down ridiculously easy which will make the ABV catch up to you in a hurry. This is a very good beer. At the time that I am writing this review, the beer is #15 on the Best of BA. Believe the hype.

TheManiacalOne, Jan 08, 2007
Photo of edchicma
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cherry, but with a minimal head, Smell is great, a combination of cherry, molasses and hops. Taste is not as great, but still way above average...cherreis, molasses and a wine-like quality are present. Mouthfeel is smooth, yet with a dry finish. Drinkabilty is likewise smooth, with a medium body.

edchicma, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Used a snifter glass for this one. Poured a smokey looking amber with an overall rust tinge. Big head, rocky, foams up past the rim but doesn't drop over. Very nice looking.
Smell of soft fruit; over ripe banana, raisin, plum and touch of passion fruit. The malts give a sweetness to the nose, a bit sticky. I love it.
Taste; mostly earthy flavors. Dark plum, soft wood and leather. As strange as that sounds, it is wonderful. The alcohol is nicely hidden.
Very good feel to it, makes drinking it very easy. Perhaps a bit rich to power down two of these (bombers), but one is a treat.

Mebuzzard, Jan 06, 2007
Photo of roblowther
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml corked bottle. Pours dark, coffee brown with a lively, rocky tan head. Smell was a bit odd, maybe just this bottle b/c I got a whiff of vinegar at first. Dissipated quickly though, and the aroma was then black cherries and chocolate. Taste is chocolate, caramel, plums at first, then that sour black cherry at the back of the tongue. Finishes crisply with a toffee-like aftertaste. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, silky and downright wonderful. The drinkability is up in the dangerous range, as the 10% abv is hidden well. The silky mouthfeel and the crisp finish combine for a beer you could definitely drink a LOT of. This is just one fantastic beer. Hands down. Wow.

roblowther, Jan 06, 2007
Photo of Phatz
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is my #700 review. 7 is thought to be a sacred saintly blessed or lucky number. This beer deserves an 00 hundred behind that 7 as it is divine!

Allowed to warm significantly and served this time in my Tulip Glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark opaque mahogany color with a huge tan head that simply refuses to recede and plastering lace that coats the entire glass.

Smell: Very vinous. Dark purple grape, port, fig smoky caramel, a touch of something pleasantly medicinal like a lozenge with the yeast character, bread, cocoa, plum and booze. OH HELL YEAH! this beer is a sniffer for sure.

Taste: This is certainly a display of character depth in beer wow. Chocolaty, bready malt with licorice vanilla rum, then grapes and a buttery phenol flavor as well. Suggestions of nuts and toasted brown sugar fish off followed by a boozy vanilla aftertaste that sticks with me long after the beer gone from my mouth.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally smooth and just barely chewy with a creamy full body that is well … magnificent in the mouth.

Drinkability: Though it goes down with remarkable ease the last thing I want to do is drink this all night. I think I'd like to go to bed now my day cannot get better =)

Hope this is helpful.

Phatz, Jan 05, 2007
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,572 ratings.