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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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8,110 Ratings

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Ratings: 8,110
Reviews: 2,590
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 537
Gots: 1,560 | FT: 45
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: 8,110 | Reviews: 2,590 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ruckzuck
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The classic! Like the DFH 60 Minute I reviewed earlier this evening, Abt 12 is one of those beers I used to drink weekly and have taken a break from recently. Getting back into things this evening! Poured into my Chimay chalice.

A - lovely dark brown color with hints of red when held up to light, nice off-white head

S - dark fruit, caramel, spiciness

T - raisons, figs, spicy alcohol taste, a bit of caramel

M - medium bodied, great carbonation

D - well of course this is great! It's Abt 12! I can easily polish off a 750 mL of this provided I'm not too full when I begin. Of course I'll be drinking this again. If you haven't had it yet (and I assume your excuse would be that it's not sold in your area) get on it!

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

hazy reddish brown with a just barely off white head. retention and lace are good as well. nose is of fruit, plum, raisin, malt and faint hop. georgeous. taste is complex and well balanced mix of nose and more. great medium full body that is not nearly as prickly as most of its competitors. i've had this one on tap and in 330ml and 750ml bottles. it never ceases to amaze me. this brewery is one of my favorites, and definitely holds its own against the top dogs. i'll have another!!

Photo of ROMER79
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well if you live anywhere near Philadelphia there is a great little spot in Center City called Jose Pistolas. They have this on tap and it may be a permanent beer there.

It poured a very earthy brown with hints of red swirling throughout. A nice tan/red head that disappears in after a few sips. I have had this in a bottle as well and I feel that if you can get it on tap, especially at a place that has it at the right temp. you can smell the aromas of fruit, caramel, and clove right away as well as the alcohol. In the taste you can pick up raisins, caramel, lemon/citrus, clove, and possibly berries. It is very delicious and refreshing on the way down. When it strikes your palate you can really appreciate the flavors in this beer. It is a tremendous balance of everything. An easy beer to drink not heavy in carbonation and no very filling, just high in alcohol content.

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.64/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Caged and corked bomber. Pours a rich earthy/mahogany brown into my chalice. Light tan head that receded fairly quickly.

Raisins and burnt caramel hit the nose first. Possibly some ripe melon in there too.

Didn't let this one sit out long enough. At (or close to) fridge temperature the flavors and armoa was a good deal muted.

A swirl of my chalice broght things to life, as did the gradual warming up of temperature.

Favors of raisins, caramel, tea leaves, lemon at first. Spicy clove hits towards the finish. There is also some dough there...cake, cookies?

Carbonation is vigorous, which surprised me dispite the quickly dissapating head. Tingly bubbles around the mouth.

Very good one to sit back and sip for the night. There's a reason why this is one of the most popular Belgian Quads.

Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.32/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a hazy mahogany (must have unsettled the yeas in transport, darn) with a tan head that is about an inch thick and slowly falls into a firm sheet covering the top of the beer.
the aroma is very rich and fruity, raisins, hint of clove, bananas and alcohol.
the flavor is light on the palate, fruity, some caramelization, firm bitterness for a belgian, some spiciness, lingering maltiness a graininess like in pilsners.
this is an awesome beer easy drinking and high octane which can be a scary combo.

Photo of jwolfie70
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had via bottle, poured into an oversized wine glass. Pours a dark brown. Smells of fig, sweet molasses, and roasted malt. Taste is sweet, but not cloying. The Belgium gumball tasting yeast is present, but is accompanied by the complex darker sweetness of the roasted malt. A great beer, and a good example of the quad style.

Photo of IBUnit63
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours like a loaf of hearty whole-grain or pumpernickel from a 750 into an Ommegang goblet - head has a meringue-like consistency. Nice, light/moderate carbonation. Essence of pine, nutmeg and sweeter spice flavors with moderate hop presence. This tastes like a quintessential Belgian. Deep, soulful yeast/malt presence with well-balanced sweetness, hop and alcohol presence. As time passes it provides the warming feeling of Thanksgiving dinner with even a hint of sweet potatoes and roasted carrots (I know, now I'm really full of $#!+ - maybe it's the power of suggestion). The carbonation is moderate, inoffensive and pleasant. This is all-encompassing, powerful wonderful stuff. Coats the mouth like a warm, almost-savory dessert and has the warming power of spiked hot chocolate in a ski lodge. For all its power it drinks very easily. Splendid effort.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark burgundy red with a huge foamy, dirty white head that was mostly lasting leaving a sticky lacing.

S: On the nose was some fresh dark fruit (raisins, plums) and some spicy alcohol hints.

T: Big bready palate with a nice sweet roastedness. There is some fresh bananas and very rich chocolate notes rounding out the flavor along with some molasses and alcohol warming. Very fruity with some raisinbread, dark molassess and light chocolate notes.

M: The mouthful is surprising light, and smooth with deep rich chocolate notes lingering on the tongue.

D: Incredible drinkability especially for its abv. Definitly a rich experience and recommend.

Photo of wingman14
3.98/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark misty brown with a big bubbly tan head that sticks around all the way till the last sip. The smell is sweet and yeasty with spices, maybe cinnamon, very complex and interesting. The taste follows suit, complex, big, and good. Starts sweet with the kick of spices followed. Finishes dry with the high ABV being very noticable, but not taking away the flavor. This one has medium body with a good deal of carbonation, but still a smooth body. This is definitely a sipping beer considering the big flavor and high ABV. A beer definitely worth checking out.

Photo of BMan1113VR
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful. Pours dark brownish with a red tinge with a large, creamy, kahki head that stays for the duration. Excellent lacing. Smell is extremely strong, good, but very complex. Aroma has heavy yeast notes, with undertones of pine, chocolate malts, and apple, cinnamon and ginger and many fruits that I cannot put my finger on. Alcohol is appereant in the aroma. Flavor is great and continues on for a long long time. The aftertaste has a hint of sweetened Marmite, which shows the yeast in this beer. Creamy body with lively carbonation and an alcoholic aftertaste, this beverage was a pleasure to drink, and I cannot wait to taste the bottle of Abt 12 SE that I was able to get a hold of!

Photo of iasanlee
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a hazy dark amber brown with 1 finger of quick to disappear head. Very little lacing, but not non-existent.

S- Slightly medicinal. Floral and sweetness of dark sugars. Alcohol is noticable.

T- Sweet nutty malt is first. Cantaloupe is here, and caramelized brown sugar. Rum soaked raisins.

M- Medium to thick in body, with maybe a touch more carbonation than I like.

D- Boozy, but good. I would drink a few if I had no where to drive in the next 12 hours.

Photo of rye726
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brown color with redwood hues. Creamy tan head with good retention and lace.

Dark complex fruits, nuts, bready malts, Belgian yeast and floral earthy hops.

A hugely complex malt presence is balanced by bitter musky hops. Also caramel, butter cocoa, carmelized browns sugar, dark fruits, and nutty bread.

Silky and satisfying body with crisp carbonation.

One of my favorite examples of a true monk ale. Pairs well with most anyhing and can be enjoyed any time of year.

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

Poured a cloudy dark brown color with a light tan head what had uneven bubbles. The head was about two fingers thick and had good retention as well as it lefe lace after every sip.
The aroma was very delicious with a rich dark spicyness that reminded me of a holiday plumb sauce i had once made.
The flavor begins with a rich malt sweetness that is hiding a spicy almost fruity flavor that finishes very dry and clean. This ale is way too drinkable for the alcohol content. Overall an excellent example of the style.

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

This one pours a deep rusty brown, slightly murky, with a thick light tan color head that stays forever. The aroma is very sweet, with a little fruit in the background, but not much noticeable spice. No noticeable hop aroma. The taste is once again very sweet, maybe overly sweet - at least more than I expected. Very earthy with a lot of subtle spices - so subtle that I can't pick out any in particular, but I can definitely tell they are there (strange). It is a full bodied beer, a bit creamy, with a good amount of alcohol warmth coming through as I drink it. Lacing still hanging on the glass long after the beer is gone...

Overall, it was very nice experience. Definitely worth trying.

Photo of younger35
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this 11.2 ounce bottle up at Bottleworks in Seattle. This is my first St. Bernardus brew and I'm excited to try it. Drank from my new Stone India Pale Ale specialty flute. Bottle dated 09 08 12 (assuming best before date).

Appearance- Pours a dark brown amber with a huge 3 finger, super rich and creamy light tan head. Recedes fairly slowly leaving a decent cap and collar that eventually fades away to nothing. A bit of lacing is left at the start but after that, none.
Smell- Loads of dirty spicy yeast that give that familiar Belgium nose. Notes of vanilla and light oak are definitely present. Caramel is lightly sweet in the background along with plenty of alcohol.
Taste- The alcohol is a bit more present than I'm used to in these Trappist brews (not necessarily a bad thing, it's just the first thing I noticed). Plenty of toffee to start and a light vanilla oak add a bit more sweetness. Plums, raisins and figs add a bit of dark fruit. Light bitterness is just enough to cut into some of the sweetness to leave this thing super balanced (what kind of hops do these monks use anyway?). Finishes semi nutty with a light lingering vanilla.
Mouthfeel- Rich and creamy with a very nice full body and really aggressive sharp carbonation.
Drinkability- Pretty damn good brew. For the most part the alcohol is hidden well and it's extremely well balanced. I haven't gotten to try all the Trappist brews yet but this one is on par with the ones I have had. These monks know what they're doing!

Photo of trkerrigan
4.88/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one the best beers I have ever sampled.

Over 10% abv with absolutely no hint of alcohol, mouthfeel is exceptionally smooth. The taste is nothing short of amazing. My palate is way too dumb to even grasp the complexity. For all the adjectives that I could try and conjure up to explain this brew; I know they would just fall short to describe how great this beer really is. The St. Bernardus Abt 12 is a must try period.

Photo of dsa7783
4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
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
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
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
4.23/5  rDev -5.4%
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
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
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
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
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
4.41/5  rDev -1.3%
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
4.73/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 8,110 ratings.