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St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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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 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
3.71/5  rDev -17%
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
4.26/5  rDev -4.7%
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
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
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
3.8/5  rDev -15%
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
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
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
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
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
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
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
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
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
4.56/5  rDev +2%
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
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
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

Photo of mfreire212
3.45/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have sampled this beer in the recent past, but didn't review it at the time. So, I decided to try it again for the holidays and pay more attention to it.

A: poured fairly cold (50's) from a standard bottle, into a pint glass. A bit darker then I was expecting, but after the initial surprise, I liked the amber color. The head was average in size and retention, with a slightly off white color.

S: Nice, complex odors as soon as I raised the glass to inspect the color. Sharp at first, followed by a hint of alcohol (which would become even more apparent in a minute). Actually intensified as the beer warmed a bit.

T: Lots of alcohol at first. Almost too much to notice anything else (I guess the proper term is peppery). As that subsided, I detected what reminded me of maybe raisins, or figs. Lingered for quite awhile, too.

M: As stated above, there is a lot going on here. I would describe it as average, once the initial shock wears off. It does have some carryover from one sip to the next (and I recommend sipping).

D: Not bad at all. I can't see having more then one of these per session, unless you were interested in getting hammered. A nice selection to enjoy on a cold night, by the fire.

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

a: Pours a healthy dirty white head with excellent retention and lacing. The beer is a somewhat hazy deep, stained brown in color.

s: Plummy Belgian malts upfront with a clean, papery hop spice. A range of dried fruits mixes well with the requisite Belgian yeast aromas. Just a touch of ethanol heat.

m: As expected, the carbonation is high and smooth. The body is a very smooth medium.

t: Nice Belgian malt flavors and a great, crisp finish of papery hops. Tasty...very clean, yet flavorful. Flavors include dark fruits and clean, dark Belgian sugars. Some banana in the aftertaste. Gentle bitterness.

d: very drinkable, warms the body

shared a 750 at a family holiday gathering

Photo of avalon07
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

St. Bernardus Abt 12 is an absolutely excellent beer in every respect. It possesses a nice appearance and pleasant smell. The taste - that's why we're all here, right? - is fantastic. The alcohol is masked exceptionally well, and you never feel overwhelmed by it. It's an immensely drinkable beer. Only one very minor quibble: it leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste. This, of course, is no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater. On the whole, the Belgians have outdone themselves again with this beer.

Photo of supascape
4.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I first got my hands on this beer at the Brick Store Pub in Decatur, GA., a suburb of Atlanta. I saw a waiter delivering this gem in a rounded chalice to a group of guys. I asked them what they were drinking. They told me that it was the best beer that they had ever tasted and offered to buy me one. They said that I had to experience it. I had one...and another...and another! This brew is exceptional.

The beer was poured straight from the bottle (11.2 oz.) into an authentic St. Bernardus 12 chalice glass. The pub served the beer at 52 degrees F. The head was thick and foamy. The color of the head is khaki. When the head disappears, it leaves almost no lace. The color is deep, rich brown with hints of amber.

The nose is of fruit. Dates, raisins, molasses and a drop of smoke exist. The smell is awesome and reminds me of my great grandfather's pipe tobacco for some reason.

The taste is simply outstanding. It is complex with dried fruit. Apricots, raisins and dates, oh my! Wow. This is great. The semi-sweet malt is insane. This is like comfort food...for beer drinkers. The body warms after every sip. Trust me, this is a sipper. The 10.5% ABV says so!

The mouthfeel is fantastic. It is so smooth, creamy and rich. Very high-gravity. Almost like drinking milk. This is no exaggeration. It is that smooth.

Drink during a nice meal. The high ABV will prevent most people from drinking more than two or three per session.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.06/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I feel that this is the saints premier brew. A great example of a quadruple. very strong, and smooth. reminds me of the scaldis slogan. pours dark brown with good head, and good nose. tastes of great dark fruits, and spice. the carbonation is a little higher than i like, but doesnt wreck the brew like it can with some. if you like this brew try urthel samaranth as well, its a little more yeasty and less carbonated.

Photo of czfreeman
4.87/5  rDev +8.9%
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
3.75/5  rDev -16.1%
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
4.02/5  rDev -10.1%
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
4.23/5  rDev -5.4%
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
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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