1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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 Monsone
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a goblet. Vigourous pour produces big head, 3+ fingers, of creamy foam. Color is a dark garnet. Head slowly dissapates to a thin film with good lacing.

Smell is ripe dark fruit, malty, clove, bready, with an overall alcohol charachter.

Taste is big clove and sweet malt. Definate alcohol presence. There is also some yeast and dark fruit there too. Medium body with decent mothfeel.

Drinkability is good. The big alcohol is balanced by the clove and malt.

Overall a great Quad, worthy of many repeated tries.

Monsone, May 09, 2007
Photo of TexIndy
3.9/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle with a best by date of July 2011 on the bottom of the bottle. Poured into my Delirium Tremens glass and it has a deep mahogany color. It was nearly opaque but could see bits of yeast floating around the edges. It had earth, malty smell with good sweetness and a good hint of the ABV underneath. The taste was really good with a sweet finish. I really like Tripels but am finding that Quads are good for a few drinks then I'm ready to move on. They have great tastes but the alcohol and sweetness get to me before I can finish the glass. I can see why this is highly regarded but, for now at least, it's not one that I want to have again for awhile. Be interesting to try again in a few years and see where my tastes go. A year ago, I could stand IPA's and now I drink several a week. Highly recommend trying but share a friends bottle unless you really like the strong quads. (3.5, RB, ML, O)

TexIndy, May 08, 2007
Photo of aquatonex
3.9/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep mahogany with some lacing, slight creamy head. Smell is heavier in the alcohol dept than I would have expected, along with some yeasts, heavy malts, and slight sweetness. Taste is a good balance, especially given its complexities. Caramel malts up front, some yeasts, and then dark fermented fruit flavors along with the alcohols in the background (but not overwhelming). Considering the ABV and the style, it is very smooth and rather easy to drink, albeit filling.

aquatonex, May 07, 2007
Photo of kimcgolf
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Now this is what we’re talking about!! Pours to a dark orange brown color with a nice off-white head that lingers for the entire glass, and leaves very good lacing. Aroama is a bold mixture of dark fruit (plums, grapes, raisins) and malt, with the scent of alcohol creeping in as it warms. Flavor is predominantly these fruits, with a touch of malty sweetness, offset nicely by just enough alcohol. All of this leads to a long, smooth warm finish.

I purposely took about 45 minutes to drink beer, and must say that this beer was as good, if not better, as it warmed to room temperature as it was early on.

A most excellent beer!!!

kimcgolf, May 05, 2007
Photo of willjschmidt
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into my St. Bernardus goblet. Bottle marked drink by 3/22/2011.

A: A dark brown with a thick off-white head. Excellent lacing remains throughout.

S: Sweet dark malts along with ripe dark fruits as well as the faint hint of spices. The alcohol is also apparent. An excellent beer to smell and soak in the complex aromas.

T: An incredibly complex and smooth beer. Simply delicious. It starts with the sweet dark malts and brown sugar and moves onto the dark ripe fruits. The alcohol is warming in the aftertaste. However, it's not as much as one would expect with the 10.5% ABV.

M: Full bodied, creamy and very smooth.

D: This is definitely a sipper but it's much more drinkable than I thought it would be with the 10.5%. It's smooth with sweet and delicious complex tastes. An incredibly enjoyable drinking experience. I could have drank more, I was disappointed when my glass was empty.

willjschmidt, May 02, 2007
Photo of jim102864
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 750 which suprisingly was a good representation of a quality quad, but I've had better. Poured this St. Bernardus effort into my deep Duvel Tulip glass. Nice, aggressive, and quite foamy head with loads of lace webbing throughout the session. The aroma was boozy, malty and offered up an average nose of candied sugar. I'd like a heartier aroma than this, but still not bad. A certain booziness in the taste with burnt coffee and some candied sugar, otherwise, slightly understated. Mouthfeel becomes more viscous as the liquid warms. Yes, it's a drinkable brew. I'm a fan of St. Bernardus, but I don't think I got a bottle of stuff that was aged enough. A good but not excellent effort.

jim102864, May 01, 2007
Photo of mandarin
4.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a treat this beer was. First quad I've had the opportunity to try. There was a lot going on as far as taste goes. Carmel, berries, sweet, rich, and a little bit of alcohol. Mouthfeel was smooth and top notch. Outstanding brew! I look forward to trying more of this style.

mandarin, Apr 28, 2007
Photo of westweasel
3.83/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle from Schneid - Thanks!

The appearance was a hazy dark amber with a gigantic three-inch off-white head. This was poured into a large wineglass (closest thing we had to a goblet).

The aroma was caramel, alcohol, and lemons. The taste was similar, with mostly a caramel and a lemon flavor.

The mouthfeel was excellent - nice and full with a smooth finish.

The drinkability was very good. It would not be hard to keep drinking this. I'm guessing this beer would taste even better with age. I would bet that the lemon character would get smoother and rounder over time.

westweasel, Apr 27, 2007
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice dark caramel with a large 3 finger head. Nice and lacey.

Smell: Notes of bananas, fresh toffee, cinnamon, and of course the alcohol.

Taste: Caramelized sugar is the backbone here. The alcohol adds a nice warmth. Mid sip the bananas and toffee come through. It finishes with some spice and cinnamon.

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

Drinkability: The alcohol content will keep this from being a beer I can drink a ton of, but damn this is tasty. Very pleased.

stereosforgeeks, Apr 20, 2007
Photo of cktison
4.88/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown, redish? Foamy, billowing head that remained through tasting after pour from a 22 oz bottle.
S: No beer smell. Fruity, complex, deep. No malt or yeast odors, you could smell it 10 times and pick out 10 new compounds.
T: Fantastic, bready, sugars (brown) and fruits.
M: Smooth, creamy, chewy. Carbonation gives it some air and makes it appear light and east to swallow.
D: excellent. great quadruple, great experience.

cktison, Apr 19, 2007
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a deep brown that looks like a combination of raisins and a deep amber color, 2 finger head that lingers for a while and then dissipates.

Smell - Smells largely of raisins with hints of fig and plum. Other scents include roasted malts with a bit of hops in the background. Predominantly raisin though.

Taste - The number of ingredients allows you to get a different taste ever time you sip, as you can focus on a different ingredient's contribution to the beer. Extremely well balanced, as unless you are looking, you can't really pick out one single ingredient. This beer is much better if you allow it to warm to about 50 degrees to allow all the flavors to develop. High alcohol content with relatively little booze taste.

Feel - Real smooth on the palate, lightly carbonated...enough to give you good head, but little enough to be pretty smooth...If you don't get a ton of head, the beer will be more carbonated, so a good balance is important with this one.

Drinkability - Very tastey and satisfying, but too heavy to enjoy more than one, maybe two.

NittanyBeerFan, Apr 19, 2007
Photo of arizcards
4.88/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a 11.2 oz bottle from AJ's in late October for $4.19. Best before 22 12 10.

Beer poured brown with a nice long lasting off white head. Not quite as good looking as the dubbel. Nose is of bananas, dark fruits, and belgian yeast. Taste is perfect for the style, of dark fruits, candied sugar, chocolate malts, and balanced perfectly by a dry hop. Mouthfeel is full, well carbonated, and perfectly smooth! Drinkability is perfect! The alcohol is perfectly masked. This is a great abbey ale that I will definitely treat myself to in the future! I look forward to the anniversary edition i have sitting on the sidelines!

arizcards, Apr 16, 2007
Photo of Bugsey
4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An amazing beer to savor.
Fantastic complex tastes mix, including: clove, raisin, prunes, and toffee and carmel.
Carbonization is slightly high (higher than the Rochefort 10, for example), but this is refreshing, not bothersome.

Slightly expensive. I think I paid about $16 for a four pack.

Bugsey, Apr 12, 2007
Photo of Nipitato
3.98/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Julio's in Westborough, MA.

A; Dark ruby hue. Opaque. Tan thin long lasting head. Glowing and lively with visible effervescence.

S: Good big malty nose with sweet brown sugar characteristics. Faint clove like phenolic aroma as well. Some fruity plum like notes and a touch of hoppy aroma finish it off.

T: Taste is big and malty sweet, bready. Slight clove taste as well. Some fruity esters detectable. Moderate, gentle hop flavor and bitterness on the back end.

MF: Aggressive carbonation adds to perception of a thick all encompassing mouthfeel. Significant alcohol warmth.

D: Very complex and satisfying. This is a very good beer worthy of its high marks. Good drinkability.

Nipitato, Apr 10, 2007
Photo of tboom29
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my PBR goblet, this was a deep brown/ruby color. Lots of creamy full head and left a decent amount of lacing.

The nose was full of clove. Very malty. Large amount of dark fruit (raisins, plums).

The first thing I tasted was the sweet, clove and fruitiness of the beer. Lots of deep, carmelized malt flavor. Slight alcohol bite as it goes down, but not overpowering. The mouthfeel was fairly full and creamy, and really makes you want to take another sip.

This is an outstanding abbey ale, and a beer to really take your time and savor. I paired this with a baked ziti made w/sausage, mozzarella, and ricotta cheese, and it really stood up well to it. Love this beer.

tboom29, Apr 09, 2007
Photo of patrick16o
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle brought back from Paris in August '06. 23 05 11 (May 23, 2011) is date printed on the bottle, assuming this is the drink by date.

Pours a dark reddish amber hue with orange highlights. The beer is pretty cclear and filled with an endless flow of rising bubbles like a jacuzzi, some sediment floating. The crown is soft and thick. The crown sustains a presence throughout the entire drinking and laces the side of the glass in parts. The aroma starts with a thick bready, yeast-like smell, followed by softer fruity notes banana, cherry, and grape juice, some tart citrus. Its hard for me to describe the taste. It's complex, malty with fruity notes, some cherry, grape juice, raisins, and a definite noticeable trace of alcohol. Mouthfeel is great, the beer spreads nicely over the tongue and just melts into my tastebuds. This is a delicious beer that I'd definitely try again. You really start to feel the alcohol about halfway through the beer. I'm smiling just looking at the monk on the bottle, I want another.

patrick16o, Apr 09, 2007
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.45/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown 330ml bottle, best before 12-2011, drank 04-2007.

Poured slowly, oh, so slowly, into Straffe Hendrik chalice. I didn't want any of the sediment to get into the glass, I failed.

Dark aubergine purple in colour, the head vanished to leave a thin ever shrinking layer of bubbles, some of which tried to cling to the side of the glass.

Victoria Plum aroma, with rich fruit cake, not a hint of hops, malts or yeast.

Heavy on the alcohol, plum pudding, Dundee cake with malt bread and rich Christmas spices.

A rich fruity, spicey, sweetness lingers on the palate, too sweet for me.

Good beer, but not in my top 100, not from this tasting anyway, I have one more bottle, i'll allow it to age for a few years and re-visit in 2010, if I can store it that long.

BlackHaddock, Apr 06, 2007
Photo of david131
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before Oct. 13, 2010. This was the last of a 4 pack I have had for around 8 months now, and I planned on aging it. It just sounded so good and I had to buckle down.

A- Dark brown/ ruby liquid with a large amount of carbonation streams giving way to a 1cm thick white head. Great head retention. A decent amount of floaters too.

S- Very complex. Apple juice is the first thing I notice. Some brown sugar, wood, vanilla, raisin, bread. Can't really get any alcohol here.

T- Wow, this beer never disappoints. There is a strong fruit flavor to this, apples, raisin, and a noticeable grape soda flavor as well. Bready, with some wood and vanilla notes in there as well. Hints of brown sugar too. A little sweet at first and then a little sour.

M- Some great carbonation lightens things up a bit, but does not cause this to feel like foam in the mouth. A little dry, but not anywhere close to being a problem. A great alcohol warming finish on the swallow.

D- This beer is stellar. A great treat, and a great sipper. I feel like this is a brew a lot of non-beer drinkers could appreciate.

david131, Apr 05, 2007
Photo of BretSikkink
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a whole lot to say other than what's already been, great opportunity to have this awesome brew on tap at Max and Joe's tavern in Omaha. Russet brown, minor burgundy highlights. Aroma is all sweet malt, maybe baker's chocolate. The flavor is sweet, powerful malt, notes of cherry, dried grape, possibly currant..dark fruits ester goodness. Big mouth presence, absolutely perfect body, carbonation is just right. The drinkability rating should probably be knocked down just because the warming 10+% does catch up with you, but it's such a small part of the flavor that I can't find it in me drop it more than a half point off perfection. Pick of the litter.

BretSikkink, Apr 04, 2007
Photo of Washburne
4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a semi-opaque, dark brown with a good two or three fingers of foamy head that quickly recedes to a thin covering and leaves plenty of lacing. Apple and pear aromas almost, but not quite, mask the alcohol smell and also come through nicely on the flavour. Medium-bodied, and fairly powerful, but altogether very balanced - every nuance works well together rather than one screaming for attention like with certain big Belgian-style beers. Highly drinkable, despite the 10% alcohol - unless someone else had been taking sips from my bottle, I was very surprised when it was all gone!

Washburne, Mar 31, 2007
Photo of kpantz
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Executive Summary: Having this one to celebrate a new job offer. Mmmm....proh-moh-shun... Drinking this just makes me feel more important already. Fantastic nose, palate, mouthfeel. Exemplary Belgian ale. If you haven't had this, change that. Now. Thank me later.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown/molasses color into my tulip. Huge, fluffy coffee ice cream head. Lacing is FILTHY.

Smell: Belgian yeast is the predominant odor. Bananas and bubblegum, apples and alchohol. A bit of citrus in the nose as well. Some bready malt character, too.

Taste: Belgian abbey ale at its finest. Big yeasty notes surrounded by fruit - grapes and figs come to mind. Noble hops are apparent as well. Just a wonderful flavor experience.

Mouthfeel: Substantial thickness without being too viscous. Low and very smooth carbonation is just perfect for allowing all the flavors to come out here.

Drinkability: Dangerously drinkable for something over 10%. What's interesting is that the alcohol is very present in both the nose and the mouth, yet it doesn't hinder drinkability in the least.

kpantz, Mar 28, 2007
Photo of kajerm
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Corked 750 with a shitfaced-grinning monk holding a chalice of beer against a blue background.

Explodes out of the bottle with a furious off-white head that quickly recedes, leaving a half-finger ring with a shitton of lacing. The beer is dark brown to black and barely admits light.

The aroma is estery and phenolic, with mixed malts and lots of yeasty banana notes. It smells extremely, extremely Belgian.

Turbocharged, jet-fuel alcoholic flavor, but balanced in a way that only a Belgian quad can manage. The spicy notes, fruity esters, and malts just complement the alcoholic warmth perfectly. Strong Belgian yeast on the finish. Good shit.

The mouthfeel is heavy and creamy on the palate, with a lot more carbonation than I was expecting, but it's not bad. After a minute or two the carbonation settles down and the beer is silky smooth-- really stunning.. As for drinkability, it's smooth as hell for the maltiness and ABV, but seriously, I dare you to try shotgunning one of these.

On second though, no I don't. This beer is too good to waste.

kajerm, Mar 24, 2007
Photo of kelticblood
4.13/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Brandy snifter. The head was soapy and off-white and didn't have a long life. The color is a dark brown. Spotty traces of lacing are present. Very complex aroma with all sorts of stuff going on there including, hints of raisins, very sweet malts, hops, figs,and prunes. Evenly carbonated fizzy mouthfeel thats balanced with hops,bitterness, and malt. Alcohol is not well-hidden and easily noticed. Very sweet with a dry lingering bitterness. Full-bodied with a creamy texture. I'm going to let the rest warm up to room temperature see if any new flavors show themselves. As it warms I notice a strong Alcohol aroma and more Phenolic notes appear. The warmer it gets the more of the ABV is noticed and is really strong on the taste. All carbonation is gone and gives it the look of basically Brandy. Overall really good. It is worth trying again, but is not very drinkable due to the high ABV. I think one of these will be just fine for any session. Thanks Mitch for the fine offering.

kelticblood, Mar 23, 2007
Photo of wcudwight
3.95/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Dark pour with some yeast floating around. Huge tan head that stays for hours. Lace covers the entire glass. Atractive.
Smell is full of candy like sweetness and dark fruits. Think candied grapes. It's a very powerful and pleasent aroma.
Lot's of sweet malts in the flavor with a nice herby mixture with some dark fruits. Plums, prunes, raisins, and grapes. Lot's of depth and lot's of balance. This beer makes no attempt to hide the alcohol.
Full, thick, creamy, smooth mouthfeel. With some significant alcohol warming.
This beer is best if you have several hours to devote to it. Attractive, exquisit, with unmatched depth willing to bring you lot's of pleasure; but also high maintenance.

wcudwight, Mar 22, 2007
Photo of stig
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured a thin but creamy head with nice lacing. Dark brown with tan head. smell is exceptional,sweet dark ripe fruits with some alcohol. First taste was everything I love about Belgians, Full, fruity, raisins and plums, slight alcohol burn. Delicious! One of the best I've Quads I've tried.

stig, Mar 20, 2007
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,714 ratings.