1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12

Educational use only; do not reuse.

7,994 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,994
Reviews: 2,566
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 516
Gots: 1,445 | FT: 38
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Abt 12 Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,994 | Reviews: 2,566 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dsa7783
4.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is without a doubt the finest St. Bernardus beer that I have yet sampled, and probably one of the best beers in the world, in my opinion... Copped a single, 12 oz bottle from Gary's in Madison... Absolutely incredible pour and appearance with a gigantic foamy, frothy, five-finger head that had incredible staying power and floated aloft a dark-brown, nutty hue... Smell was fresh and intense, with deep caramel and toffee notes... Smell was beyond terfiffic... rich, deep, intense, satisfying, and creamy... replete with candied brown sugars, malts, slight vanilla, and other flavors that are intricate and difficult to describe... a wonderful conglomeration of pure malty goodness that stuck to the mouth long after the first sip... one of the top Belgian beers, for sure... Great creamy and rich mouthfeel... drinkabliity only took a hit because of the hefty 10.5% ABV, which, by the way, is nearly impossible to detect - masked by a interwoven cornucopia of toffee, malts, and fig flavors that pack a punch... Outstanding beer... Definintely recommended...

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

The first thing I noticed when I opened this 750ml bottle was the wonderfully complex smell that wafted up. With a mellow fruity apple scent that is almost indescribable, I could hardly wait to pour this. When I did pour it, an amazingly thick full head was realized. If anyone has ever baked before, it looks exactly like a yeast that is proofed. It is just that thick. It takes awhile before the head settles with broken spotty lacing that runs all the way down the side of the Lindemans Cuvee Rene glass I used. It's best to let this warm up a little if refrigerated. You really don't want to lose any of the flavor I'll be describing.

The liquid itself is an opaque, nearly light proof purplish brown color. It reminds me of an old apple cider I used to drink years ago.

Tastewise, this is as good as it gets for a Belgian ale. Very complex, not overly carbonated, with a light apple flavor that is the perfect balance between sweet and sour. At 11% ABV this will definitely warm you up and take the chill out of your bones on a cold winter's night, yet the alcohol isn't overpowering and barely noticeable. Just how on earth they do that is beyond me.

The mouthfeel is slightly bitter with just a hint of a bite to it.on the tip of your tongue
I can't say enough about this 60th anniversary edition. The Belgian ales are certainly the best in the world and this would rank among the top of those.

Serving type: bottle

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

On tap at District on Townsend in SoMa in San Francisco.

Served in a tulip glass by the waiter. Decent foam head, glass too sort to tell about lacing, aroma of spicy rasisins and wheat, and smooth finish.

I've had this from bottle bfore and, while good, it wasn't nearly this great. Get it on tap if you can!

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

St. Bernardus Abt 12 pours a deep dark brown with a large one inch head. The smell is mild, but very pleasant of fruit like aromas. Fruit and malts are most evident in the taste, but the big wow for this beer is its exceptionally silky and airy smooth mouthfeel. This is just simply a great and fun beer to drink. Part of what makes the drinkability so enjoyable is the pleasant little chest tingle accompanied after every sip.

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

Went to my distributor a few days before Christmas hoping to land a few bottles of Chimay Blue. Just so happened that someone snagged the last of them. The owner suggested this heavenly nectar. Pours a wonderful deep brown, the smell is amazing. I found myself taking a sniff before every sip. The taste just knocked me out. I had never tasted anything like this and I wanted more. Suffice to say, I have 3 packs in my fridge now. An amazing ale that needs to be tried by any Beer lover!!

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

Pours a chestnut brown color with a tight and explosive light tan head that left some nice curtain lacing when it dissipated. The smell is of clove, light banana and bubblegum. Belgian candi sugar moves in bringing some fruity esters with it. Big bold flavor, sweet. The taste hits you with clove and other spice, followed by candi sugar, light roasted malt, and some dark fruit esters. The feel is moderate to well bodied with very fizzy carbonation. Would have given the feel a 5 but the carbonation is a bit much. There is a nice balance between the sweet, spice, and roasted characteristics. Though it does lean on the sweet side. There is a bit of a belly burn due to the 10.5ABV. A very flavorful brew, perhaps a tad to fizzy and sweet. I look forward to cellaring one of these to see if the carbonation settles down.

Photo of GJ40
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one in a Chimay chalice and it impressed from the start. The deep, dark color had a hint of red and contrasted nicely with a perfect head (about an inch). I paused in appreciation for what the Belgians have done for us.

This is certainly a strong beer. At 10% ABV, it's meant to be savored. I can down lesser beers at a pretty rapid pace (at least the first 2-3) but I've met my match on this one. And who would want to rush it anyway. Well done St Bernardus.

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served into my Chimay chalice...

A- Very dark ruby red/dark mahogony color. huge 2 finger frothy creamy off white head.

S- Sweet malts and a lighty fruity essence.

T- Fuity, rich, and very peppery. Deep and rich, some nutty flavors to round it out.

M- Mouthfeel was smooth and tingly.

D- One of the best beers I have ever had. Period. Perfect balance, amazing complexity, impecible flavors.

Photo of Proteus93
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: A murky, deep walnut - light chestnut brown, with a fabulous creamy head. The lace sticks to the sides of the glass like a champ on this one. Very nice.

S: Deep, malty aromas... touches of fruits. Quite a pleasant, rich scent.

T: Some rich, dark fruits, coupled with the lovely malts. The slightest bit buttery, and tasty.

M + D: A very smooth abbey ale, with a nice, full body. With a bit of a liberal gulp from a goblet, it fills the mouth and goes down with a little added warmth. Quite excellent.

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

I aged mine for like, three years or so. Murky root beer color with a fast fading creamy tan head. Aroma of donuts, gum balls, and damp packed-down dirt (my grandfather dug his own basement beneath his farmhouse). slightly sweet, store-brand generic raisin bran flavor. Medium body with a slightly tannic finish. The aroma improves as it mellows in the glass.

Photo of bobsy
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle conditioned. Pours a beautiful ruby brown, with a generous off-white head, which slowly diminishes to a small creamy foam of microbubbles. The aroma is a strong bouquet of fruit and sweet malts - it smells like you should eat it with a spoon. The flavour is divine, and changes as the drink warms. Raisins and dried figs feature prominently, and every now and then a hint of peach comes through. The sweet malts are present from the start, and become more dominant as time goes by, as does the fruitiness of the yeast. Exceptionally creamy on the palate, and with a warming finish, this makes me glad that this is the first bottle of a case of 24!

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

You know, the last couple times I've had this beer it was on tap and I found it sweet and fruity, but unimpressive. The bottle I had, however, was damn good.

Poured into a red wine glass, its a slightly hazy brown and light tan head. Rich smell of dark fruit malts that gives way to the cherries and blackberries in the flavors that roll over your tongue with a mellow caramel. It finishes with a grassy hops note that stands up to the big malts and adds a wonderful balance. This bottle ran out too quickly.

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

Pours dark and cloudy, heavy yeast content. Very prominent and foamy head. The head settles to about three inches, is very carbonated and sort of looks like root beer head. Very malty and fruity smell. Taste is basically what you would expect, heavy and good yeast/fruit flavor. This is a good Belgium trappist. Each one seems to bring something different to the table. Big fan.

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

I was turned on to this beer just a couple of weeks ago at my next door neighbor's X-mas party. I am an Ale drinker but this was my first taste of a Quadruple Ale. This was absolutely hands down the best tasting beer I have experienced. I have tried 3 or 4 quadruples since and I enjoyed all of them. Today my special order arrived and I am just finishing my first bottle. This will be my reference Beer until I try something better. This has it all. I am not yet qualified to get all fancy with my descriptions but this beer poors great, smells great, is awesome on the front end and even better on the back end. This beer fired me up enough to seek it out and buy about a two month supply and join the beer advocate! I have to start somewhere don't I?

Photo of Mudpuppet
3.75/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to triplecoil for the chance to try this.

A- Poured from a 750 into a Brooklyn wide style Champagne glass. Pours a dark mahogany with about 3-4 inches of head. Clipped the head with a knife like a Belgian bartender and it began to go down.

S- Very light aroma of most dark malts.

T- Starts out strong with malts with light notes of dark fruits. Most of the taste is coppery, metallic though. I enjoy this beer though.

M- Thick and malty. Coats your mouth with medium carbonation.

D- I could drink a few glasses of this. This is a very good quad!

Photo of jenbys2001
4.28/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first high alcohol content beer on tap. Beautiful in a glass, with a thick frothy head. I found it very creamy and delightful to sip. It has more of an alcohol taste but it's very drinkable. I found it a much easier sipping beer than Delirium Tremens (my first high alcohol content beer, period). After two glasses I was glad I drank it at Mr. Dunderbak's so I could wander the mall and sober up a bit.

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

11.2 oz bottle ...ballooned red wine glass

Eyes: Deep mahogany, bright. Tiny bubbles. Head leaves unfortunately and unexpectedly.

Nose: Raisins, caramel malts, perhaps caramelized...Spicy yeast....some alcohol

Tongue: Sweet malt, chocolately notes/subtle nuttiness...drying finish on some swallows, but not all ? Full flavored Ale Def alcohol hotness as it warms up..started around 60'F to begin with. Very, very, very subtle autolysis, also can be perceived as the yeast bite.

Texture: Some chewiness..medium body helps hide some of that 10%

Overall experience: It commands a higher price and with good reason. This was a nice treat.

Photo of MTNboy
3.83/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- A dark red/brown body that formed just under a finger of head in my glass. As I drank the wonderful lace followed all the way to the bottom of the glass.

Smell- Sort of rich and complex but very alcohol filled.

Taste- The taste was not as strong on the alcohol as one would have expected but there is a little alcohol bite. It has some dry fruit and sugar tones that are dominant in the taste. Some mild hops finish this beer's flavor off nicely.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and smooth.

Drinkability- Easy to drink, sip and unwind to.

Photo of Lupe
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy brown in color with lighter rusty hues. Impressive big and fluffy off-white head, which settles to a thin sheet and leaves lots of sticky lace. A few swirls brings the head back up.

Rich malty aroma. Very fruity with spicy clove and dark bread. Banana, plum, and dried fruit are all present. Very nice.

Starts with spicy clove before the sweetness hits. Lots of brown sugar with dark fruit and bready malts. Nice and juicy with grape and banana. A touch of butter shows up as well. Alcohol is barely noticeable, hiding under the sweetness and fruit, and slowly builds a nice warming sensation. Finishes sweet before turning dry.

Medium-full in body, smooth and creamy. I’d have no problem sipping this all night long - goes down way too easily. Excellent.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Out of an 11.2 ounce bottle.

Pours a murky ruby brown. Mild nose with slight yeast tones. Touch of grapefruit scents. Flavor seems dominated by the alcohol. A bit of brown sugar sweetness. Basically I feel like this is a bucket of overdone sweetness. Feel is so-so. Carbonation seems to high and I feel it interferes with the flavor. Drinkability has to stay at 4. It just seems too much. I tried the Prior 8 right before this and found I liked it much better. I will concede that I may have gotten a weak bottle and I will plan to try it again in the future.

Photo of stemcell001
4.1/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a 750 ml bottle with my wife. Served at cellar temp into goblets.

Nice full dark brown with good head and excellent lacing. Strong notes of raisin and cherry. Very nice taste with strong yeast characteristics. Alcohol very present but subdued by the other flavors. I could have easily managed to drink the entire bottle over the course of the night. This is a wonderful example of a Belgian quad.

Photo of sloejams
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an extraordinary beer that I turn to time and time again.

It pours a dark cherry almost brown with a pinky finger head that cascades the glass. The aroma is of dark cherry, plum and dried apricot. The flavor has a cola sweetness to it with subtle vanilla, clove and allspice. Texture is quite creamy. A very full beer that is surprisingly easy drinking for it's high ABV.

Photo of Kjos29
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1. Appearance is quit simply thick, creamy, and dark brown texture.
2.Smelled fresh with an aroma of some sort of cream flavor.
3.Little tiny dancing elves throwing taste explosion crystals on your tongue!
4.Same as above although the alcohol amount hides very well so be careful drink two of these in a few minutes at 10.50 ABV and wowie.
5.It goes down smooth but is very very filling hard to imagine drinking more then a few not just because of the alcohol, but the richness of it.
Overall one of the best damn beers i've ever tasted.

Photo of ndolover
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a: excellent retention and lacing. The beer has a cola color.

s: Plums, and dark fruit. Alcohol and and malt predominate. almost no hop aroma

m: High in cabonation and a medium to full mouthfeel with alcohol dancing on the tongue.

t: Nice belgian malts. Some dark fruit esters with some spice notes.

d: Wonderful example of the beer...almost scary drinkable with such a high alcohol content. I'm at a loss for words at how wonderful this beer is!

Photo of joepais
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml Bottle poured murky brown off white head goes quick to lace. Strong yeasty plum, raison, cherries are some of the aromas that fill my nose. Sweet and malty along with wonderful sweet fruit flavors, that finishes with a light alcohol burn to it. Mouth feel is warm and bubbly. This truly is one of my favorite Quads

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,994 ratings.