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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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8,006 Ratings

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Ratings: 8,006
Reviews: 2,568
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 522
Gots: 1,458 | FT: 39
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,006 | Reviews: 2,568 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Translucent ruddy brown body with a filmy head that leaves OK lacing

S- Smells sweet, yeasty and alcoholic

T- Tastes alot like it smells. A full range of malts make a distinct impression on the tongue of chocolate and dark fruits

M- Good medium mouthfeel.

D- The high aloholic content is well balanced and covered by malt aspects and yeast flavors

Photo of coalcracker
4.87/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Fairly dark pour with a decent amount of foamy head that easily laces throughout the tasting.
Smell: Delightful fruity aroma; reminiscent of sweet fruits, some tartness- cherry perhaps? I can tell this is an abbey style ale by the smell alone.
Taste: Fruity and a bit sweet, wonderful complexities here- though no one flavor tends to dominate. Hints of cherry, fig, black licorice. These qualities tend to be more pronounced as the beer warmed.
Mouthfeel: Warming alcohol presence noted, medium-bodied feel- appropriate for the abbey profile.
Drinkability: Based on the taste, I can certainly have more than one; the ABV will certainly limit any ideas of a session though.

Awesome Quad abbey ale! This is a beer that can be appreciated by both beeradvocates and newbies.

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

Reviewed on 6/11/08. Bottle. Pours a murky brown with a super thick tan head. Ah, gorgeous. Aroma of grapes, champagne, raisins, dark fruit. Flavor of sweet dark fruits, Belgian yeast. A well-crafted beer, extremely well-balanced. The palate is superb - creamy, thick mouthfeel, almost as if you were drinking a milkshake. This quad is hard to beat.
9/5/9/5/18 (4.6/5)

Photo of yesyouam
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

St. Bernardus Abt 12 is a cloudy, bubbly, tawny brown ale with many particles in it. It has a huge, fluffy, long-lasting beige head that has particles in it as well. It has an aroma of leather, spice, prune, sherry, hay, barnyard and teriyaki. It has a medium-full, smooth, slick body with a dry, crisp finish. It has a full, complex flavor that's perfectly balanced. It's a little sweet, a little sour and a little bitter. The taste has all of the elements of the aroma plus apples, orange peel, coriander, peach and pear. This is spot on-- love it!
(rated Sep 23, 2008)

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

Poured from 11oz brown bottle into a clear oversized wine glass.

A: Murky brown with soft tan head that is thick, staying, and impressive for 10% ABV leaving spittles of lace

S: Brown sugar, raisins, yeast, and vanilla combine to yield a very earthy aroma of dark bread

T: Flavors of raisin, plum, cinnamon, cherry, and caramel burst with a bit of phenolic alcohol and brown sugar candy sweetness paired with some crisp herbal hops in the finish.

M: Body is surprising light-to-medium with a slightly astringent, dry feel in the finish. Aftertaste is of dark fruit and raisin.

D: An excellent beer with tons to offer including dense dark fruit, brown sugar, and spiced flavors, a nimble feel, and earthy character.

Photo of eRoc
3.9/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark coffee like

S: strong alcohol, light nutty

T: mild amber, light nutty

M: thin lacing, thin texture

D: Definitely smooth, could have a few but wouldn't break the bank on it... I'm glad we just got in on tap though. I think maybe one other bar in this city has it... Louisville that is...

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

A - Sniftered. Pours a deep, deep amber/brown with a nice, consistent 1/2 finger head. Lacing.

S - Belgian sugar, yeast, fruitiness, booze. Quite aromatic. Melted caramel. The bottle describes it as a "delicate bouquet", and I'd be inclined to agree. It's nothing earth-shattering or super complex, but conversely, it smells like a quad is supposed to smell, and has an air of refinement to it that most faux-Belgians just can't mess with.

T - Big time prune and maltiness up front. Lots of boozey notes in the mouth, but surprisngly not as warming as expected. Finishes almost sweet, but a nice dryness comes in at the end to wrap it up. It's just a well-made quad, nothing more, nothing less.

M - Sparkly, but it works with the bigness of everything else. It's rather crisp for everything that's going on.

D - Not supremely drinkable, and still falls behind Westy 12 in my book... but for being available here and at a fairly reasonable price, it's hard to not want to drink it up.

Notes: It's a very good quad. Period.

Photo of magictrokini
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy mahogany pour with a solid off-white head. Yeast, darker fruits, baked apples, sugar, and spice. Subtle, vinuous flavor with figs, anise, and faint cocoa. Some sweet yeast esters and a bit of bubble gum. Very nice.

I also found this out while drinking this beer. St. Bernardus 12 is supposedly the secular knock-off of the famous Westvleteren 12.

Photo of AlienOddity
3.99/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Served ~52F in a Goblet.

Appearance: Dark Brown with slight haze. Thick and aggressive head at pour which dwindles to a granular film; present until finish.

Smell: Sweet caramelized malt with a hint of Concord grape.

Taste: Malt sweetness dominates immediately while the ghost of molasses remains after the swallow. Moments later, hops finally make an appearance. Alcohol very noticeable.

Mouth: Silky smooth and warming while effervescence nibbles at the sides of the tongue

Drinkability: The complexity of this beer sires a longing for the next sip. Once the 750 is drained however, I've had enough. The sweetness has become too much while the alcohol begins to assert its power. Should be enjoyed with food.

An Aside: 'tho I read on this page that this beer is a Quad, the bottle notes that it is "Brewed in the style of a Belgian dubbel".

Photo of gameface23
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an older bottle that I've been saving in my fridge for a year or so. Pours a murky, prune juice brown with bits of sediment floating throughout and a brown head. The smell was of dark fruits and strong notes of brown sugar/molasses. The taste was similar, with a nice mouthfeel. I was expecting more of an alcohol presence, but it was really rounded and smooth. Drinkability was good: I finished the entire 750 mL without any hesitation.

Photo of Gish
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown with a huge tan head which lingers nicely.

S - Dark sweet fruit and rich malt. Excellent.

T - Very complex! A bit vinous with earth malts. Plums/ raisins come through as well as a good bit of warming alcohol. Definitely well balanced, not overly bitter nor sweet.

M - Very carbonated, a full-bodied ale.

D - A bit rich, but still very enjoyable. The 10.5% alcohol is not too obvious.

A beer I've saved for a while, and it was well worth it! Worth a try for anyone that even remotely likes Belgian ales! Don't drink this one cold, the flavors come out a warmer temperature.

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

Appearance - Thick muddy brown with an off-white/tan head thats very dense. Laces well.

Smell - Caramel and bread smells are at the front, and you can faintly smell some kind of sour fruit.

Taste - This is one of the first beers I haven't really been able to pick anything out of the flavors. Some kind of candied sugar flavors are there, and some hint of sour, possibly from fruit. But while there are other flavors, I can't pinpoint anything else. It all kind of muddles together.

Mouthfeel - About where I'd expect. Heavily carbonated with a slightly oily and creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability - Every flavor I have encountered is pleasant, and there is only a slight hint that this is 10.5% Overall very solid, but not spectacular.

Photo of MisterClean
4.95/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Manderes' (Folsom) 1 year anniversary pour. From a METHUSELAH - 6 L bottle baby, ooh yeah!!!

A - Pours a nice auburn brown, with a 2-fingered head, which dissipates real slow.

S - Nice toasted malts, give way to a sourdough scent, backed by belgian candi sugars.

T - Sourdough and belgian candi sugars.

M - Very satisfying and full. Not much hop presence lends to a more malt balanced, and backed beverage.

D - Wasn't too enthused by this one when I saw it was St. Bernardus as I didn't care for their trippel. This one was fantastic. It deserves to be in the top 50.

Photo of dolemite77
4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brownish red, like old red wine... light head that gives way to lacing. Initial taste was overcarbonated, so I let it warm a bit in the goblet. Much better when tasted at cellar temp... aroma is boozy and fruity. Flavors are dried fruits and alcohol. After the beer warmed a bit, the mouthfeel was much better, and the flavors and aromas popped out a bit more. Minimal yeasty flavors, with some earthy notes on the end. Sweetness is about spot on for a dubble/quad.

Photo of bonkers
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass. It pours a deep mahogany with garnett high lights. The head is aboout 2 fingers, white and fluffy. On the nose it is all about dried fruit-dates and figs. There is a slight phenolic scent in there as well. The flavor of this beer is excellent. It has many layers-dried fruit is the main one. Very balanced there are also hints of alcohol and spices. The beer is full bodied and feels creamy in my mouth. The beer is a definite sipper, if you don't the 11% abv will catch you quite fast.

Photo of hoplover82
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow! THis is just outstanding. My friend told me this is one of the few beers he can find nothing wrong with, and now I know why. It was hard not giving this great beer a perfect score.

It pours a murky redish light brown with an off white thick but dissapating head that leaves a mighty fine lace.

The aroma is amazing. Bananas and prunes, and yet so much more that I can't put my finger on.

And the flavor...mmm...it's fruity and balanced well with hops. Yeah, theyr'e there. The reason that I gave a 4.5 for flavor is that the alcohol is quite detectable where I think it could be hidden a little more.

The palate has a nice dry, lasting bitterness. With an alcohol sting.

It's pretty drinkable. I could have one more.

Photo of Vendetta
3.48/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Original Rating Date:
August 9, 2008

Pours dark, deep red with a fizzy, active head. Smells like dark fruit. Tastes of plums, grapes, other dark fruits. Fizzy, malty mouthfeel with a biting alcoholic finish, below average to on my palate. Flavor gets better as it warms and it becomes easier to drink as you get used to the bite. Very complex beer.

Photo of kevd193213
4.76/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 mL bottle with a dark walnut cloudy pour with a nice thick tan head. Aroma of caramel, apples and sugar. Taste of apples, Belgian yeast, spices and caramel malt and very little alcohol despite its almost 11% ABV. Nice lacing, and a great full finish.

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

Appearance: Dark brown, Hazy. Huge off white head that lingers a while. Nice lacing

Smell: Not much getting throught that head. What I can smell is Alcohol. Candi Sugar. No hops. Very much to style.

Taste: Sweet, balanaced. Smokey or roasted flavors in here. Alcoholic Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Light for the ABV. heat from alcohol in the back of the throat

Drinkability: One of the best sipping quadruples around.

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

Poured into a goblet, I had bought a case last winter '07 and this is from that case, a year later.

Pours tawny brown with impressive carbonation leaving a two fingered bronze foamy head that lingers for a good minute and disappears to a 1/8 coating.

First sniff is almost winey, a little fruity and almost overpowering.

First sip tastes nothing like the smell, oh baby baby, it's so smooth and good I go back for a second sip immediatly. Very malty, no noticable hops, sweet and carmelly with depth, amazing mouthfeel, I want to drink it all now but will have some respect and linger. No alcohol up front, but has that nice warming quality that sneaks up on you.

This ale is even better this year, it's so much better than I remembered it. I thought I wouldn't like it this much because I've been enjoying hoppier beers, but WOW...this ale deserves every bit of praise that it gets.

Highly recommended, get a case and drink some and save some...worth every penny of the $$$$

Photo of TMB0424
4.01/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 ML caged-cork bottle. 10% ABV. Poured into a tulip.

This brew pours a delicious looking deep amber brown, with a thick creamy head with excellent retention. Lacing as I drank, simply great looking.

Aroma of smooth malts, a hint of caramel, yeast, with delicate hints of peach and other fruits in the background. Nothing overpowering though.

Good stuff. Extremely smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Taste of peach, apple, hints of banana. Finish is very warming and has a slight spice to it, a perfect offset of the creaminess and fruitiness.

Alcohol content is extremely well hidden, although you know it's there. Quintessential sipping beer.

Definitely highly recommended. It's a beautiful looking brew and the creaminess is simply fantastic.

Photo of bigkahunas4
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip, this guy had a huuuge tan head, around 4 fingers, and the retention on this head is amazing. Body is cola colored. Brew completely coats the sides with a syrupy suddiness. Nose has a ton of dark fruits, with sweet apple and candied sugar.

Flavor was again brought in some of those dark fruit. Also picked up some brown sugar and some wood notes as well. Finish was slightly bitter for a great complimentary balance. Mouthfeel was medium heavy, and quite silky.

Overall a very delicious quad - certainly one of my favorites in the style.

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

Poured into my Chimay Chalice looks opaque red brown with a foamy white head that leaves little lacing as I drink.

Smells of belgium malts and dark pressed fruit. A very complex smell

Sweet to start, with the taste of plums and other dark fruits. Alcohol tasted but not overpowering. An extremely complex tasting beer. Many unidentified flavors, but an out stanting flavor none the less.

Mouth feel is thick and creamy. Very nice and kind of chewy.

A very drinkable beer considering the style and abv.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.36/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 1/18/2006 (25.4oz bottle from Spec's Houston DT):

Pours a huge off-white head, with good lacing. Has a body that is brown-reddish in color. A sweet hoppy aroma, some perfume, and coffee? A light taste, hops, perfume, raisin, coffee, bitter aftertaste.

Photo of corby112
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a nice sized off-white foam head. Hints of chocolate, dark fruit and alcohol in the aroma. Hints of raisin, spices, dark chocolate and alcohol warmth. Surprisingly fruity for a beer this dark. Very well balanced and extremely quaffable.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 8,006 ratings.