St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12

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7,889 Ratings

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Ratings: 7,889
Reviews: 2,549
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 495
Gots: 1,348 | FT: 34
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: 7,889 | Reviews: 2,549 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of czfreeman
4.88/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Im very excited to be trying this one. beautiful mahogany color, fluffy,creamy head that has long retention. instant huge aromas of dried fruits,roasted malts, caramels, figs,holiday puddings. taste-wow! what a palate overload of fruits,vanilla,caramel.ends with a cloying tart finish,alcohol burn in the throat. its so good, I just want to chug, but will force myself to sip.

Photo of morimech
3.7/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a chalice. It is a dark amber with red highlights. A large, out of control head forms. Good head retention with sticky lacing. After a few minutes the foam transformed back into liquid. The pour wasn't aggresive in the least but it wasn't so bad if I just topped off the glass when it was half full.

The smell is a wonderful mix of dark fruit. Plums, raisins, cherries with a hint of alcohol and sugar.

The flavor is not as big as I expected. It is a sweet, almost sugar sweet. After you get by the sweetness some fruit and spice flavors are apparent. The alcohol is barely noticeable. It feels medium bodied and feels lively in the mouth. Finishes sweet which hampers drinking.

I tried this beer to see what the fuss was all about. Although it is a very good beer I don't think it lived up to my expectations. Just too sweet for my tastes. The cost is a bit prohibitive as well.

Photo of whiplash3825
4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into the included St. Bernardus goblet an almost opaque black with deep plum highlights where the light hits. One-finger head quickly desolves to a thin lingering cap. No lacing.

Ripe plums, raisins, and fig, along with sweet malts and brown sugar. Noticable alcohol.

Wow! Clove-laced ripe fruit and brown-sugar malts perfectly balance (and compliment) the warmth of the alcohol with a surprisingly neutral finish. Slightly metal aftertaste.

Just about perfect mouthfeel and carbonation level. Smooth!

It's kinda scary just how easy this is to drink... I'm doing my best to keep the reins tightened. Also IMO this is much better at the higher end of the suggested serving temp.

Photo of Overlord
3.6/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle. Dark brown with reddish tinges, light brown top and bottom. Two inch white sudsy head. Surprisingly thin mouthfeel.

Somewhat disappointing flavor/aroma. Some sour cherries, plums, a hint of chocolate and a ton of yeast and spices. Also, the acohol is really prevalent. Bother-ingly so. It's a complex brew, but I wouldn't say the disparate elements are in harmony. You have more fun picking out flavors than just sitting back and enjoying it.

Photo of Deus1138
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this a few times, but held off on reviewing it until now.

A: Poured into my St. Bernardus Goblet. Pours a nice brown with a reddish glow. Good amount of head that lasts quite a while.

S: Sweet dark fruits, plum, raisin, a little yeasty. It smells thick.

T: Raisin, plum, brown sugar, very sweet (but not too much sweetness). Lots of alcohol in this one, but it's only slightly noticeable. The malts and sweetness mask nicely. Makes me think of fig newtons. Mmmm...

M: Nice and smooth with just the right amount of zest from the carbonation and alcohol.

D: The greatest beer I've had to date. I love this stuff. If the alcohol wouldn't destroy my life, I'd drink this with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and every snack in between!

If you have not had the pleasure, get this one ASAP!

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

11.2 oz into snifter

A: Dark brown, reddish hue, with two fingers head. Solid lacing all around. A couple big soap bubbles set it off nicely.

S: Raisins, figs, cinnamon, vanilla

T: Plums lead the charge, followed by vanilla, and raisins. Alcohol spice mid- to late palate with fruity esters and some yeast on the finish.

M: Fluffy, briskly carbonated, and chewy.

D: Off da hook.

This beer is awesome.

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

Poured slightly golden hazy from a 11.2 oz bottle. Nice off white head on top with good lacing. Smells are spicy dominated with clove. Tasted so smooth with the spice flavors lingering. I wonder if there is some wheat in this-reminded me of a very mild hefe or wit with a better sweet malt base. Hops are there and give a little citrus but are light. Very enjoyable-very balanced. The alcohol is well hidden-a dangerous tripel as I could sip this all night. Overall, a very subtle beer with a lot of flavors blended together. I'll buy another one and keep it on the shelf for a bit-if I can resist it.

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

11.2-oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Big, frothy tan head, dark brown cloudy in glass.

S = Sweet toffee aroma with hints of yeast.

T = Molasses, honey, bark, roasted malt, a very complex, well balanced beer.

M = Nice medium mouthfeel, good carbonation.

D = Good robust beer, a very approachable Belgian, would be good introduction to Belgian beer for beginners and nice drink for beer geeks, too.

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

Poured from a bottle a dark red-brown with a light head which quickly faded and no lacing at all.

Aroma is sweet and malty with dark ripe fruits.

Taste is very well-balanced with the tart dark fruits working together with the sweet maltiness. The 10.5% alcohol definitely reveals itself in this one but doesn't overpower.

Lighter mouthfeel, drying, with light fizzy carbonation. Alcohol adds a pleasant zip to the tongue. Well done, St. Bernardus.

This is a great beer to sit, relax with and enjoy.

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

this beer poured dark brown color with a nice head on the pour. not really good with the smell of brews.

nice malt flavors with fruit and vanilla taste

warm and smooth, with a good amount of carbonation

overall just a great beer that makes me want to keep trying the abbey ales

Photo of PBoegel
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corekd and caged 750ml bottle. this beer took some cold abuse the past few days at was intended for consumption on Turkey Day but a myriad of events changed that plan.

The brewers state this is dubbel and after tasting I would agree, this was more or less a dark revved up double versus some Belgian strong dark/quads that I have come across.

Poured a very dark brown to slightly black into a Chimay goblet, with a nice billowy cream white head that kept and had some nice retention.

Aorma profile was light caramelized sugar, dried sweet cherries, citrus zest. No off flavors, some light alcohol present especially in the second pour as it warmed.

Flavor was much the same, some peppery mineral notes accent the sugars and dried fruit characters, some light woodiness as well, very balanced and drinkable, finishes dry.

I think often times people need a beer to WOW them to consider it very good, sometimes it just needs to be without flaws and drinkable. This is a beer worth repeat visits.

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

Quite simply this has become my favorite beer. The appearance is caramel brown, the smell fruity and sweet malty, the taste is incredibly complex yet fuses together into a wonderful impression - raisins, caramel, toffee... The mouthfeel at first seems a little bit over-carbonated, but as it warms and settles, it is simply perfect.

Photo of SudNut
3.25/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is only the second Belgian quad I have tried so keep that in mind. However if I could get my hands on a Rochefort 10 everyday I would chose it first. Don't get me wrong this is a great beer and I thoroughly enjoyed the sample. I do think this one could stand at least a year in the cellar just for good measure. Anyways enough with the drunken ramblings, burp!

This beer pours to a mysterious murky amber brown with a nice two finger head that dissipates to a frothy cover of bubbles over the top and plenty of lacing. The smell is of rasins or plums with a dash of booze, malt is running this show.

Tastes like a malted up plum soaked in booze, mmmm, that’s a good thing. The alcohol takes the back seat to malt up front, and then dark fruity goodness followed by everybody’s friend C2H5OH, lovely!

Mouthfeel is good but a shad light, nice aftertaste. Drinkability just depends on how sloshed you want to get. One is my limit I am just getting too old!


Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep dark brown with minimal tan head. It does leave some lacing as it is consumed.

S: I don't know why the word comes to me, but it smells deep just like it looks. It smells like its going to be full of flavor, but I don't have an experienced nose to know what exactly the aroma is. With that said, I love the smell.

T: I know I sound like a broken record, but deep once again comes to mind. Bold is another great word for this one. Most of the flavor kicks in as after taste, but its a very pleasing strong flavor that once again I cant put my finger on.

M: It is a medium thickness in the mouth with a good level of in mouth carbonation.

D: The excellent but short lived after taste makes me want to go for another sip not quickly. I really enjoyed this one.

I cant put my finger on what the smell or taste of this one is, but I know that both are very enjoyable. St Bernardus' line has yet to disappoint me. Give this one a try!

Photo of skeetermoses
4.05/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a good beer, I was not as impressed as I should have been. I do admit that I did read up on this one before I tried it, I was expecting more from this beer but had the same feeling when I saw the Independence Day Trailer than watched the movie. It was not that disappointing but it was kind of like that, I enjoyed it, although it was not spectacular to the palete.

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

Poured into a sifter.

A - Very deep, roasted brown, like liquid chestnut. Left a minimal head that sat around...not much lacing.

S - Amazing. Like roasted cherries and raisins. The alcohol can be detected here but it's by no means overpowering. Malty profile shines through as well.

T - A very warming and spicy sensation tingles the taste buds instantly. Dates and figs make up the fruity end of the spectrum, while a nice malt backbone gives this hearty brew some significant balance. Again, the alcohol is present but not unnecessarily so. Not too complex, but what is present is phenomenal.

M - Warming, medium bodied brew with nice carbonation and a pleasant aftertaste. I wasn't sure what to expect here, as this was my first quadrupel, but I am quite impressed.

D - I'm not sure I could go through more than a few, the abv is rather high, but were I to make a night of this exquisite delight, it would certainly be a night to remember. Very highly recommended.

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

Pours a deep drown, nearly opaque and with reddish hints when held up to the light. Head is thin and not quite as large as I'd expected, dissipating rather quickly and leaving some lacing. Smell is deep and complex, cloves and pepper; raisin, plum, and currants; a whiff of brandy and a touch of caramel, with yeast and bread mixed in for good measure. Taste is similar, dark fruits and spices leading the charge with rich breadiness underpinning it all. Earthiness and a bit of butter(?) as well, with the alcohol evident in the finish. Mouthfeel is a touch thin and a bit watery, though still good, and drinkability is good. A slight disappointment for me, it's very good but doesn't bowl me over the way I'd hoped it would.

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

Poured a medium to dark brown with a thick creamy tan head which left a nice amount of lacing.

Smelled a bit like medicine, not what I was expecting. Maybe some plum and then in the background a bit of alcohol.

Taste was better than the smell. Compared to other beers of this type I think this one hid the alcohol content better. A complex brew tasting of plum, raisins, brown sugar, malt ...all blended very well without one dominating over another.

Mouthfeel was good, very creamy but with a little carbonation bite on the tip of the tongue.

Very easy to drink this, even with the alcohol content. Smooth going down, a great beer to share with friends. Of the Belgians of this style I've tried so far, it's my favorite.

Photo of jneiswender
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this beer at the Brick Store in Decatur Georgia. On Draft and served in the belgian snifter.

Dense thick, eggshell head. Mahogany body. Lacing is absolutely textbook! If you want to know what lacing means, drink this beer.

Smell is not overpowering scent of smoke and sweetness.

The taste is not disappointing. Complex. Smoky, nutty with a candied fruit finish.

I would recommend this to anyone who wants to know what great beer can be like.

Incredibly drinkable for somethings so complex.

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

11.2oz bottle poured into a large wine glass.

A: a slightly hazy, dark brown with 3 finger off-white head that lasts. nice lacing to boot.

S: awesome aroma. sweet with a hint of vanilla. dark fruits/plums

T: raisins, brown sugar, dark fruits and malt

M: creamy full body. a little peppery and dry on the finish

D: very, very nice. a beer to savor not pound

Quads aren't my favorite but this was damn good.

Photo of Stoneman78
4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass
A- Pours a dark red hue with no visibility, head is HUGE- 4 finger's worth of creamy off-white goodness that dissipates to craggy caverns and remain throughout, lacing is phenomenal and long-lasting
S- Nose is mostly floral, wheat, with a nice touch of bubble gum sweetness, some dark fruit and vanilla, belgium candy, slight alcohol, DELICIOUS!
T- Initial taste is characterized by those sweet dark fruits (think raisins), followed by molasses and brown sugar, finishes with subtle bitterness and a slight alcohol warming
M- Medium-bodied ale, smooth to watery texture, lively and biting carbonation
D- This beer completely lives up to its billing and appears to be a prototypical belgian quad, nice complexity and balance will lead to drinking this slowly over time particularly at over 10%, what a super beer to 'level up' on, i look forward to trying the rest of the Bernardus line. . .
Buy again? Probably
Personal score- 90/100

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

I have just found pure heaven in this beer. This beer must have been brewed by the great lord himself. Becuase i have found my heaven in this bottle. It pours a very dark mahogony brown. with a very thick 3 finger cream head. The smell isn't very overpowering, mostly of light malt. But the taste, oh my the taste It is so complex to me I can't fully comprehend it. It's kind of a nutty flavor with the alcohol coming through as the beer warms up. I don't really know how to describe this beer. It was just an amazing experience drinking it. This is by far the best beer I have ever had.

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

A- This beer poured a beautiful medium to dark brown. It was a little lighter toward the bottom of the glass due to the reflection of my stem of my chalice. Head is very soft and 2-3 fingers high. It is like a puffy white cloud. This magnificent head hangs around on the side of the glass and a film on top that never leaves. When I swirl my glass, it leaves a little marshmallow in the middle.

S- The smell is complex. I get cream, vanilla, and brown sugar. Also, I pick up a subtle hop scent. I also pick up figs with a touch of alcohol to complete. The malt smooths everything over and mends all the different aromas.

T- From the tongue, I pick up nuts (pecans?), chocolate, sweet maple syrup, buttery bread with spices and nice malt.

D- Man, what else to say. This definitely ranks up there with the best I have had. Unreal beer. I could have given a *5* I suppose on certain aspects, but I am still in search for the worlds best beer. This beer is so drinkable, its scary. I think I need a second job now just so I can drink more of this stuff. Loved it!

Photo of ndekke39
4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank a bottle of this during a house-warming party. Best-by date says August 26, 2010. This turned out to be an exceptional beer. Poured the color of a cherry cola, with a tall, foamy head and amazing retention. A little bit of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Constant effervescence. Smells and tastes are so complex. Aromas of white wine, concord grapes, apples, dark sugar. Flavors of apples, cherries, brown sugar molasses. And that's barely scratching the surface; there were so many more things that I couldn't identify. Mouthfeel is fizzy with a touch of alcohol bite, but otherwise this beer hides the alcohol quite well. Very drinkable beer - enjoyable for its complexity. I will always remember this beer as an excellent Belgian.

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.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,889 ratings.