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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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8,196 Ratings

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Ratings: 8,196
Reviews: 2,608
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 559
Gots: 1,624 | FT: 48
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.
View: Beers (12) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,196 | Reviews: 2,608
Photo of ncvbc
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep copper amber with a nice creamy head that falls very slowly to a ring. It leaves some lacing down the glass. Great, seductive smell. Grape and bubble gum, candy sugar. Nice bready yeast, lightly toasted scents. Good spice. Taste is also great. Again, some bubble gum and still grape, not as present as the smell. Nice spicy flavors with clove seeming apparent. Mouthfeel is very nice. Creamy, silky, almost perfect aside from a little much of a tingle on the tongue at times. Only a hint of heat at times. Very drinkable beer. In the top ranks for style, with ease.

Photo of Shumista
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into my snifter. I'm not sure why this is listed on here as a quad, it says right on the back of the bottle that Abt 12 is brewed in the Dubbel style...I'm a little bit confused but oh well, I'm not much of a stickler for styles anyways.

A- Abt 12 pours a medium dark brown with a huge 2-3 finger fizzy head. Appears to be highly carbonated.
S- Dark fruit, sweet caramel malts, some spices I can't identify exactly, a little bit of alcohol and maybe even some chocolate if I really think about it.
T- Smooth and mellow, yet big and flavorful. I think that's part of what makes this beer so great. The taste is sweet malts, ripe dark fruits, and some spices.
M- Thick and creamy, highly carbonated. Very little noticeable alcohol presence, even as the beer warms.
D- Goes down smooth and easy.

Photo of theboozecruise
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one from an 11.2 oz. bottle poured into a Chimay goblet.

The beer pours a tootsie-roll brown, with a one-finger creamy head. It took a while to dissipate and left a little lacing. Some creamy residue on the surface of the beer as well. The aroma is malty, a little sweet, hints of spice, and VERY inviting. I can't wait to dive in. The taste is more of the same, very well balanced with a smack of clove and other spice at the beginning and then a malty sweet taste as the beer goes down. Delicious.

This is the best St. Bernardus offering I've had yet... phenomenal.

Photo of MBABJJ
4.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - The frothy head just bursts open right upon pouring. Beautiful brown body. Head hangs out for an impressive duration.

S - Smells mellow and malty. Fruity but more of a jam scent of some sort for all you jelly sniffers out there. Maybe a hint of pine.

T - Holy crap. This is my highest ranked brew so far. Now I know what to expect from the creme de la creme of beer. This is amazingly mellow yet strong. Nutty and caramel and fruit. Just layers of flavor with nothing overwhelming.

M - Hits the outer portion of the tongue with plenty hoppiness all perfectly balanced with the sweet malts.

D - Simply best beer I've had. Makes me want more at end of glass which is what any good beer should leave one yearning for.

Photo of Casey10
4.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a fantastic ale. The St. Bernardus ABT 12 had a 2 finger head when poured into a chalice.

Smell is amazing great hues of oak and raison.

Pours fantastic, looks great, taste is amazing!

This is a great beer.

You can not go wrong with this beer !!!

Photo of spazmonkeyy
4.49/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

again, poured into a chilled mug like I do all my beers. :-)

A--> The color was a brown amber and it accumulated a 2 inch plus head that was a pale tan color. A lot of lace for me; however, my chilled mugs always leave way more lace than a regular glass. also I noticed a lot more of yeast particles in bottom, so I stopped pouring before I reached the very last inch of beer keeping it separate from my mug.

S--> yeasty malt came to me first as well as alcohol. underneath that was a presence of fruits i couldn't really point out per say...probably fig mostly. overall, very delightful and balanced scent!

T--> I tasted mostly yeasty malts like the smell, but the dark (very ripened) fruits came out less upon swallowing...unlike Abt8, which has a far fruitier dominance.

MF--> I thought carbonation was perfect!!! and there's nothing really to complain about. :-)

D--> Among my top 10 ales for having with a book!....a very drinkable and delightfully-balanced beer altogether.

Photo of spointon
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured this one from an 11.2oz skinny brown bottle into my St. Bernardus chalice.

A= This ale poured a cloudy amber/brown color with a 2" light tan head. The head stuck around a while and left a lot of thin lace down the glass.

S= I found thick aromas of dark ripe fruit, sweet maltiness, yeasty funk, and alcohol.

T= Flavors of sweet malts and fruity yeast dominated this fine brew, but were backed by more complex flavors of (basement) funky yeast, figs, candi sugar, mild buttery notes, and alcohol. The finish remained sweet and the alcohol warmed my throat and chest.

MF= Not as highly carbonated as many Begian ales, but still crisp enough to cleanse the palate well. Medium body.

D= An excellent sipper or nightcap beer. I am impressed by all of the St. Bernardus ales and find this one to be one of their best.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Nona's in SLO and split between wiseman Jorge and myself (Nick). Poured into a Duvel tulip and a Stella goblet.

Appearance: Chunky, opaque, earthy-tree bark color with TONS of carbonation. Bubbles stick to the glass as streams of carbonation rush toward the surface. Massive, loose, soapy khaki-colored head with great retention. No apparent lacing. Jorge gives it a 4; Nick gives it a 4.5.

Smell: Milk chocolate (maybe more of cocoa powder), banana, raisins, sour Belgian yeast, smoke, some spicy notes. Nothing overwhelming. Alcohol is well-masked. We both agreed on the score here.

Taste: Cocoa and figs jump out at us first. Doughy malts, dark currants, cola, spices (cinnamon, black pepper), banana, and alcohol. Aftertaste is surprisingly dry. Jorge gives it a 4; Nick gives it a 4.5.

Mouthfeel: A good amount of sting in this one. Not really fellin it. Carbonation, alcohol and spiciness attack the mouth and throat. Other than that, a very solid body with great warming effect though not much mouth-coating.

Drinkability: This beer is 10.5% and certainly feels like it. I can't ever imagine myself drinking one of these while doing homework. As a matter of fact, I'm doing homework right now... or at least trying too. Coupled with the mouthfeel, this just isn't something that you could sit around drinking for hours.

Wiseman Nick: A- (4.15)
Wiseman Jorge: B+ (3.85)

Photo of Lexluthor33
4.26/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with some reddish hue.Foamy head,vanilla colored milk shake looking lace that lasts the duration of the drink.
The aroma of fruits,malts and ahint of alcohol.
The taste is sweet,cloves,fruits,malts and the obvious alcohol hints as the brew warms.
The feel is full bodied yet smooth and creamy. Some spice touches and well balanced. Good medium carbonation.

Notes: A pleasure to have and taste so much better once it warms to near room temperature.I enjoyed this very much and I look forward to having more.

Photo of abfraser
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark mahogany with a beautiful inch-sized brown/cream carbonated head.

S: Sugary prunes and dark fruit laced with booze. Serious spice. Belgian candi sugar; smells like cotton candy

T: Amazing. Deep dark syrupy fruit. Wonderful spice.

M: Good carbonated mouthfeel, full-bodied.

D: Not drinking too many of these things. Its aweomse, but intense. Couldn't drink more than a bottle of this

An exceptional beer. Amazingly complex and flavor-packed. One of the best I've had.

Photo of 7ways
4.02/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Ruddy Belgian brown with a full inch of cinnamon speckled head.

N- Yeasty. Fig/prune, buttery raisin toast. Sweet alcohol, maybe congac.

T- Like drinking a big spicy raisin. Nice. Also more dark fruit, clove, pepper; minimal candi sugar and fruit cookies on the finish. The alcohol was rather apparent, but warming. On par for the abv.

M- Classic Belgian mouthfeel.

D- Funny, as much as I appreciate what a great beer this is, I'm in no hurry to try it again.

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

Pours a dark mahagony color with a thick & fluffy light tan colored head.

Smells yeasty, bready, sweet caramel, dark fruitiness, raisin, plum, fig, Slightly spicy. Aromas abound!

Where to start on the taste. Sweet candylike flavors, spicy, clove, sugary, bready, caramel sweetness, toffee, raisin, & more. Complex indeed.

Rich, full, smooth, thick, moderate carbonation.

A wonderful Belgian Quad. A wonderful beer judged on any criteria. A must try & a classic.

Photo of bonbini26
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: The glass is rimming with lace, small head hazed brown color, very complex and deep

Smell: Ripe fruits, plum come to mind, with malty sweetness and clove

Taste: Clove is certain to be the first flavor you taste as it rides the wave of sweetness, big brown sugar with some cake like malty qualities. S Alcohol is a little evident, it hiding under the sweetness right behind the fruity notes that soon flare into esters and mild flabors. Finishes sweet and warming.

Mouthfeel: Exceedingly smooth with a creamy full body after the smoothness moves through.

Drinkability & Notes: I'd have no problem sipping this all night long. Probably my 2nd favorite quad to Roc. 10

Photo of wescj
4.23/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet.

A-Pours a thick, dark caramel. Light tan one-inch head which slowly dissipates, leaving a moderate lace.

S- Earthy, with the sweetness of ripe fruits and sugar. Slight presence of alcohol.

T- Citrus fruits first, then hints of spice. Also, a sort of candied sweetness.

M- Carbonated, but also very smooth. A large and fuzzy presence over the palate that is very pleasing.

D- Delicious and easygoing. I could have several of these, but the high ABV leaves me content after one.

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

Pours reddish brown with an off white head which doesn't last too long.
Shot of phenols on the nose, followed by ripe dark fruits, some cake-like malt, and some alcohol. Chocolate sneaks in as I let the beer warm.
Sweetened fruit and chocolate up front, a medicinal element linked with a bit of alcohol. Chocolate notes in the deliciously long finish and just a touch of hop bitterness.
Exceptional mouthfeel, a lingering carbonation on the tongue lasts for an amazing amount of time. As the beer warms the carbonation is still present, but the overall mouthfeel becomes a lot softer on the tongue.
I'm noticing the alcohol as I drink this. The beer goes down easily, but I doubt I could have more than one of these at a time, because of the abv and the richness of the brew.
The more I drink this, the better it gets. A really great beer.

Photo of jeffmonarch
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle in a goblet.

A - Muddy brown color with a thin tan head.

S - Strong alcohol and sweet fruit smells.

T - Just as the smell, this is definitely strong. Burn through the finish and some sweetness. Maybe fig?

M - Medium/light bodied with good carbonation.

D - Good beer.

Photo of drpimento
4.23/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an overcarbonated bottle with a big, thick, creamy, textured head that lasts and lasts. Very malty, estery, fragrant, and volatile nose. Mouth filling body with just the right amount of carbonation. Not too sweet with a very complex taste. Goes down satisfyingly. Finish is medium. Lots of lace on the glass. Dark brown, copper color. Not as complex as the SE, but stands as a classic on its own.

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

Thin, active, and quickly dissipating head over an opaque, dark burgundy body.

Nose is cherries, cranberries, raisins, and other dark fruit; spices too: primarily cloves, with some nutmeg. Unmistakable sweet Belgian yeast. A very fresh and exceptional smell.

Tangy and tart taste! Starts with a honey sweetness and finishes with heavy spices: cloves, some nutmeg and maybe even a little cinnamon.

Heavily carbonated. A very nice mouthfeel.

The sweetness blends beautifully with the carbonation, creating a very crisp taste.

The alcohol is well hidden although the price is a practical factor in drinkability.

Photo of erikm25
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a thick caramel brown with tints of fluorescent purple. Sits in the glass a rich dark ruby brown that actually glows. Poured aggressively to reveal a two fingered rich almond sugar head. The head appears so rich and delicious you could pass it off as dessert. A mural of lacing all around the glass. Frame it and put it in the Louvre.

S: The sweetness of dark fruits soaked in rum and plush candy licorice is immediate. Toasted ripe grapes mashed together with sweet apples, dipped in chocolate, and then scorched with peppered flames. Sugar malts with hints of plum and the slightest outline of alcohol to finish it off. I smelled this one repeatedly.

T: If you could candy coat the ripest fruits with the finest wine, cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate, peppermint, nutmeg, and endless spices then you would be just hitting the tip of the iceberg in describing this flavor. Smoked, candied, flowered, malted, roasted, and smooth. This swirls and bleeds all sorts of interesting tastes.

M: Chewy and full bodied. Like cemented molasses yet it goes down smoothly and delicately. To top it off a warm alcohol pulse at the end.

D: I am still very new to this genre of beer but to say the least I was impressed. You would hope your last MRE in late 2012 would taste this good. For now, throw on your favorite music and enjoy. This could easily become one of my favorite beers.

Photo of Domingo
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sometimes the big Belgians can be a bit too much for me, but when they're done well they can be pretty amazing. This one is one of my favorites!
Pours a cloudy deep brown leather color with a moderately rocky head.
Smells like dried fruits, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, and brandy.
Up front, this starts off sweet and chocolate laced. In the middle it rounds out and picks up a lot of dried fruit and yeasty peppery spice. Burnt sugar and rum come out a little, too. The finish actually has some European hop accents to keep it clean. There's a little bit of booze to it, but it actually holds everything together for the texture.
I typically split a bottle of this size and strength, but there's no reason someone couldn't finish this one alone. It's good enough where you'd certainly want to.
Not my absolutely favorite from the genre, but it's really good. Since the style is a little loosely defined - this of this as a really strong dubbel with many of the same flavors.

Photo of PerzentRizen
4.77/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is a beer that will definately convert you to Belgian Ale. I cannot believe how juicy and malty this amazing beer is. This is the kind of beer that will definately expand your palate and your insatiable craving for better and better beers.

I poured this beer into a St Bernardus Watou trappist ale glass - wow was I lucky to get ahold of this glass in Cincinnatti - thank you Giri from Dorothy Lane in Springboro. The head rose quickly and stayed around a half inch throughout the session. I poured this one at around 48 degrees and decided to let it warm to keep the carbonation in a little - based on much appreciated reviews.

The aroma is of big vinous fruit and medicine - but in a good way. It has an almost indescribable frothy, malty, sour aroma that seems to change as you inhale.

The taste confirms the complexity. I am completely overwhelmed by the fruit flavor, the malty juiciness, and the alcohol is only observable by the fact that I am getting more and more giddy as I drink it. It has a very zen like quality that seems to very much calm me as I enjoy it.

The mouthfeel is huge. I cannot believe a beer with such vivacious carbonation could be so creamy and malty. It's like a lamic in carbonation and a scotch ale in maltiness with a Belgian big beer character that seems to say, "you are one lucky individual."

This beer looses a bit in drinkability - not because you don't want to drink six of these, but because 1) It has 10% ABV and 2)It's around 9 bucks per 11.2 ounce bottle (but oh so worth it). I think I will pick up around 20 of these next trip to Florida.

Photo of tedsox31
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap last night at the Chicago Alehouse for only $5.25. Not bad considering you'll pay 11 plus tax for a bottle of it. This poured a dark brown with a big white creamy head that stuck around and left lace trailing down the side of the goblet.

Smells of dark fruits, Belgian sugar, maybe some molasses and malts, and a hint of alcohol.

The taste is sweet and smooth. I can pick up all the flavors that I detected from the smell. There is not much of an alcoholic taste at all, and a load of flavors.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Not much carbonation at all, and it just goes down very easily.

A dangerously drinkable beer, given the high ABV. I had two of them and it was very delicious. Just make sure you space them out over the course of an evening!

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

On tap at the Yard-House in Irvine, california. Pours dark brown, deep reddish amber with small white head. Slight aroma of hops with powerful sense of spice and alcohol. Flavor of spice, pepper and sweet plums. Finishes with a slight ting of alcohol. Very enjoyable!

Photo of pershan
4.07/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured a cloudy copper-brown with very little head into a chalice. I detected a slightly sweet/candy/bubble gum aroma - definitely a Belgian brew. The sweet component also dominated over the malt in the initial swig, with licorice, fennel, Belgian candy sugar, and, of course, big-time alcoholic esters. A very complex and hefty brew - I enjoyed it immensely.

Photo of erratic
3.75/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured on tap at Stardust in Orlando. Impressed by its opaque clouded brown appearance. Only light that clearly gets through is at the edges where it shines rusty red. The smell is the best part. Roasted malts, yeast, chocolate, dark fruits. The taste wore a little on me. Too burnt. The taste also included some rum-like alcohol, dark fruit, and yeast, but the burnt malts were overwhelming. Mouthfell was medium/full bodied. Nice balance of carbonation and thickness. Drinkability suffers from excessive burnt flavors. I really expected more balance from such a lauded belgian. High alcohol really hit home, too. Not sure I'll try this one again, at least not at the price they ask!

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 8,196 ratings.