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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 kernalklink
3.27/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew poured a nice cloudy brown with big fluffy white head a great lacing. Aromas were of green apple skins, slight cloves and champagne grapes. First sip- big yeastiness and alcohol on the finish with a sour bitterness underlying it all. There is an herbal spiciness which helps mask the obvious alcohol which does a lot to warm the throat. The malts are not too sweet and overpowering but there is an almost lack of true belgian flavor when compared to their other offerings- i was slightly dissapointed; a little flat on the delivery. Ill try this one again sometime soon.

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

Poured into my De Garre snifter from an 11.2 oz bottle

This beer pours a dark brownish ruby with a massive 4 finger head, off white, clingy head. Excellent lacing.

Has a very nice malty smell, that is semi-sweet and is balanced by a slight roasty chocolate aroma. An excellent smell, could be bigger, but very nice.

I have had this once before, and I wasnt too impressed. Upon further review, this is an excellent beer. A nice malty flavor as in the nose, with an unexpected chocolate flavor. However it has a nice yeasty dark fruit flavor that is great. It has a fairly substantial alcohol presence in the aftertaste, but despite being very apparent it is not a bright, harsh flavor; rather it is pleasantly warming.

An excellent beer, lots of flavor without being heavy or out of balance. Perfect drinkability.

Photo of 77suburban
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden brown, slightly reddish. Pours easily into a snifter glass with a perfect two-fingers of lacing which is fairly thick, but not as much so as some.

Smell: I had a hard time pinpointing the aroma. Others have called it clove, and I do detect that. I can also pick up an orange and ginger aroma.

Taste: Slightly syrupy, the clove is there again, sweet - but not overpowering - and malty. This is not the most technical terminology, but I'm reminded of a high quality root beer in that it is sweet and creamy but not overly sweet as to dominate the other flavor subtleties.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, heavier up front but much lighter on the finish.

A good beer to sip throughout the evening. It would go well with a nice piece of quality cheese. A good beer for the wine aficionados to cross over to the world of quality brews.

Photo of Floydster
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 ounce bottle from Beverage Warehouse in Marina del Rey

Poured into a pint glass with an abnormnally thick head

First trappist beer I have ever had and it was a doozy

Nice dark brown color with a nice sharp taste, great belgian quad beer

Could have kept it until 2012 like the bottle said, but could not wait any longer to open it

Try to sip on this one slowly, but ended up drinking it in less than twenty minutes because it was so good

Cannot wait to try this one on tap at the Yard House if I see it again there

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

Murky reddish brown hue. Well retained, thick, light tan head. Yeast derived nuttiness and rustic must at first in aroma, ensued by ripe peach like fruitiness, mellow banana esters and notes of molasses and butter. Hint of pleasantly salty mineraliness is discernible as well. Toffeeish malt and mild banana esters are perceived concomitantly initially in flavor, then are ceded by smooth notes of carob and clove. Malt character is bready sweet, akin to brown sugar dusted crusty whole wheat bread. Understated notes of dark fruit including typical prune like notes uniquely coupled with a citric tartness. Hint of bubblegum esters. Moderately bodied. Once the initially high carbonation diminishes, the mouthfeel is full, smooth and very pleasant. Finishes with light clove and caramel briefly lingering. Abt 12 is a delicious, complex, and supremely drinkable brew. Flavorwise, it's reminescent of their 8, although much more pronounced all around. Highly recommended and worth the cost.

Photo of Jmamay22
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This highly lauded beer pours from a bottle with a blue label featuring an extremely happy monk and is dated 12 07 11.

The quadrupel pours an extremely dark ruby red with a huge three finger head tan colored head. The bubbles rising to the top indicate the head is here to stay.

What a nose on this beer! Smells of sugar and spice and everything nice. I pick up on cloves and Belgian candy sugar sweetness along with some fruity esters, clove and a touch of cinnamon. Hints of dark fruit such as figs and plums. Quite the delight!

The taste is nearly as extraordinary as the smell. Similar taste as it smells with candy sugar mixed with a slight buttery flavor with some hints of the aforementioned fruit. Finishes warm as this quad flexes its muscles showing off some of the alcohol, but it's in check and not at all unreasonable given the style. The progression of flavor seems well thought out and scripted.

Mouthfeel is medium as the carbonation dance over the tongue spreading the flavors enjoyably. Drinkable given the style as each attribute of this quadruple is in check and enjoyable. I will be purchasing this again, but it will be a rare treat as it’s an expensive 11.2 oz.

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

Poured from a 25.4oz bottle into two St. Bernardus goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a luxurious looking deep cola brown with mahogany highlights. Sitting on top is a light tan head of an incredible creamy consistency.

S: Unbelievable aromas of caramel, figs, rum soaked raisins, cola nut, plums, and lightly roasted malt. So incredibly complex!

T: Sweet caramel malt, cola, coconut, and the aforementioned dark fruits.

M: Smooth, creamy, like drinking velvet wrapped in silk.

D: Truly, the benchmark for the style. This beer is an absolute joy to drink! One of the few beers out there that's deserving of "all 5's".

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

Finally grabbed a bottle of this... it isn't available in my hometown, but for $2.99 at the Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa? Seemed like an easy purchase for me. A good way to wrap up a weekend.

Bottle best by March 22, 2011.

Pours a deep dark amber color, with a nice large thick head on top.

Aromas are floral, spicy, bread like, and with some oak as well.

Prickly and tart on the tongue with the first sip. A bit spicy, and with a very creamy and fruity backbone. Only the slightest hint of alcohol noticed on the finish. Very complex, full flavored, and tasty.

Mouthfeel is excellent... nice and full. The feel in the mouth is thick, and the flavors really linger in the mouth.

Drinkability is good. This is a potent beer, even though the flavors aren't overly strong. With that said, this is a sipper, and a wonderful one at that.

Photo of jdubjacket
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Served on tap at Brickstore Pub in Decatur, GA.

This was one of the first quads I ever had and it did not disappoint.

Beer pours a beautiful dark brown almost black with a tan head.

Taste is raisins, bread, maybe some candy?

Mouthfeel is chewy - you will actually smack your lips while drinking this.

Overall, this beer is absolutely fantastic. However, it is much better on tap than in the bottle. While still good in the bottle, there's an excess of carbonation that downgrades its drinkability and mouthfeel. Still an excellent brew after a long day.

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

Learning more about Beligum beers.
I just had the quad and dubbel.
I like the dubbel but after this session I think the quad is definitely more complexs. Actually a smoother drink.

Less carbonation

I need a little more time to experince these beers to their fullness.

Photo of Lothore
3.98/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Huge chunky oatmeal colored head that leaves a massive amount of lacing. Very dark brown in color, hard to see through.

S- Sweet apricot aromas folowed by orange mixed with a slight coffee and alcohol tinge in the nose.

T- Taste is very complex; coffee, sweet dark fruits, roasted malts.

M- Mouthfeel is fairly viscous but not very carbonated.

D- This is definitely a sipper. I can't see anyone saying it's very drinkable but the flavor makes me want to come back to it every once in a while.

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

Had this on tap at the Brick Store in Decatur, GA..and they know how to pour a beer..

Poured into a goblet with a nice thick head giving way to luxurious lacing. The smell promises a hint of the alcohol and a smell of light malted smell with raisins and figs and dates maybe...it was good..had this with some blue cheese

The taste was out of this world..slight alcohol taste but it was overpowered by the fruity tastes with a just a hint of smoky wood taste or something in the back..(I'm still learning how to describe tastes)

This was a great beer and I'm so glad I stepped out and ordered it, with the nudging of a great waiter at the Brick Store. This was a wonderful brew

Photo of jfrank85
4.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet deep amber color. Thick lacy off white head that stuck around for a while. Good lacing around the glass and nice retention. Smell was of alcohol mixed with nice touches of toffee and nuts. The 10% is very apparent. Easy to drink even though its high alcohol content. Not too carbonated but not chewy. Great beer, worth the $8.99 spent on a 22oz.

Photo of illidurit
4.78/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An unexpectedly nice pour by an unexpectedly knowledgable bartender results in a nice opaque brown beer topped by an inch of tan foam. The lacing is outrageous and the retention is exceptional.

Aromas of raisin and brandy hit my nose first. Then comes yeast and spice, and ripe dark fruit.

The dark fruits explode in the flavor, coating the tongue with raisin, fig, and plum. The taste elucidates the spicy aroma, uncovering a distinct clove note. Candi sugar and rich caramel. Delicious!

The mouthfeel is so rich and chewy it almost feels like it's not a liquid. Absolutely luxurious. Amazingly smooth and creamy, great carbonation.

The Belgians clearly have the quadrupel down pat. Westy 12, Rochy 10 and now Berny 12 (yeah I have pet names for them, so what) have really highlighted the craftsmanship of Belgian ales to me. All unique within the same style, and all basically unparalleled. This is a first rate beer.

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

Deep brown/mahogany... shows glimmers of a faint red through a pretty murky glass... 1/4" off-white head... leaves a great swirl and nice cap... great legs, as well.

Yeasty/bready aroma... molasses and spice... some cinnamon, raisin, dried fig, big and nice... quite toasty with a touch of maple.

Mouthfeel is very good... creamy feel and tickles of carbonation...

Some big sweet notes... fig and turkish apricot... ripe plum and lots of raisiny goodness... very yeasty... awesome malt flavor.

This one is the standard to compare the rest, in my opinion.

Photo of udubdawg
4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

33 cl bottle

I love this beer. It never disappoints, and even as my tastes have changed it remains in my personal top 10. I'm happy to say I've turned some friends onto this beer, but now I've got to protect my stash whenever they're over.

It pours a deep murky brown, though some of the yeast would settle out. The dark tan head is almost an inch and begins to fade immediately, but leaves some pretty lacing over the first half of the glass.

Nose is chock full of malty caramel sweetness, plenty of ripened fruit, clove, and some chocolate and brown sugar along for the ride. Boozy too. Rich, complex, mouth-watering, and I'm considering giving this a "5", but the strength isn't quite there to do so...

...with the taste, however, there is little question to me this is a "5"
Delicious raisin, plum, vanilla, clove, and cookie dough glides across the palate, with a little unexpected but welcome citrus. It's even a little nutty, and there's even a little more alcohol in the flavor than I noted in the aroma. (I'm not complaining!)
A beer to savor...theoretically at least...I myself haven't been too successful at sipping this very slowly.

Carbonation is briefly a bit high, but within a couple minutes this is smooth as silk, with a great full body and warming finish. Overall drinkability is absurd. This isn't sold in Wichita, but it is at the very top of my shopping list whenever I'm in, say, KC.

Photo of OKCNittany
3.65/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy deep brown with a gigantic frothy head that held a while & left big chunks of lacing.

S: Good aroma of fruit, malt, spices, yeast, & plenty I'm not sophisticated enough to identify. Very complex.

T: Spicy - unfortunately including something I don't like - clove maybe? With the fruit & malt flavors, it's not a bad overall taste, but the odd spice kind of ruins it for me.

M: Full body - high carbonation - slight alcohol burn.

D: The alcohol is not hidden as well as I'd like, so it's a sipper for sure. I'm disappointed considering this beer's reputation - it's not bad, but I certainly didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I thought I would. Why do I feel like I need to apologize for not loving this beer?

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

Dark Ruby appearance with a thick, brownish head that lasted until the last drop.
Very aromatic with spice and fruit jumping all over your "nosebuds"
Felt smooth and slick on the tongue and pallet despite its high alcohol content, which made for a very drinkable libation.
Tasted of apricot, peach, and cloves throughout and finished with a hint of vanilla.
Warmed my insides and mellowed my spirit. . . Definitely one of the best beers I've had in a long time.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.48/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was poured from an 11.2 oz/330cl bottle ($6 at Stumptown in Portland, OR). Poured from bottle to goblet - dated 14 12 11.

A: 2-fingers of tight, bubbly ivory-colored head, atop a hazy auburn/brown. As head diminishes, it becomes creamier and thicker, never dropping below a half-finger. Moderate amount of rising, lightly-colored carbonation, rising against a dark background.

S: Sweet fruit rises from this , full of sugars, toffee & yeast.

T: Huge fruit rises, full of molasses and caramel. heavily bittered, sugary finish with loads of spice. Raisins, plums and candy sugar are the prevailing flavors, all delectable and sweet.

M: Fizzy, with fuller carbonation and a heavily spiced chewiness. Seems thick on the tongue, but only due to a long-lasting sweet/spicy full-flavor.

D: Quite a treat - full, rich & enticing. Smooth mouthfeel witha complex sweet/spicy body. A sipper for certain, but one I'd be glad to have often.

Photo of letsgopens
4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Map Room in Chicago, this big quad pours a deep ruby black with a frothy rich white head that holds fairly well and leaves thick walls of lace. One of the best looking Belgian Ales I've seen.

The aroma has a strong yeasty quality with some dark and red fruits. Malty and fruity. Very prominent.

Very flavorfully complex. Again malt and fruit: citrus, apple, black cherry, date, fig. Some light buttered toast. A bit of starchy hops and some booze. Awesomely complex. Highly comparable to the Westy 12.

Smooth and velvety on the tongue. Moderate carbonation and a clean very warm finish. The booze peaks in at the end. Probably the second best quad in the world.

Photo of maltysfalcon
4.87/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What can you say about this beer except "Terrific". It pours medium brown with moderate head. Floral and nutty on the nose, it has aromas of fruitcake and dates. Full bodied, balanced alcohol reveal a complex-tasting beer that is well refined and drinks easy. Vinous in texture and flavor, this beer delivers excellent flavor and mouthfeel. One of my favorites.

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

Poured into a tulip glass. Dark brown with auburn hues, nice tan head with great retention and lacing.

Aroma of holiday fruitcake, dark rum and spice. Very nice. Tastes of ripe dark fruits, roasted dark malts and alcohol. Complex and magnificent.

Big bodied and very smooth in the mouth. Probably the first quad I've tried and I'm very impressed with it. I will work on this one for a while savoring every sip.

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

Aroma - First I recognize malt with a light fig note. Also a slight caramel aroma as well as something I cannot smell, but not quite identify. There are no hops evident in the aroma
The beer pours well and has a nice rich head, but the bubbles are large and loose. The collapse to a very nice layer on the surface of the beer that stays with it the entire glass
Very noticeable alcohol flavor. Also taste the malt and figs evident in the aroma. Very little bitterness. Slight notes of both caramel and prunes. Also notice some phenolic character. After taste is very pleasant and leaves a nice sweetness on the palate.
Very smooth for the high carbonation. The alcohol warmth is quite nice.
Overall this is the best Belgian beer I've had to date, of any style. Very drinkable even with the alcohol strength. Wouldn't want to have more than one or two, I'd be wasted. The aftertaste is reminiscent of fig newton filling. Combined with the malt sweetness, it just tastes nice.

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

11.2 fl oz brown bottle; served in a goblet.
Best before end: 26.04.12.

Thickly-tinted oak with a two-tone of maple. Creamy, finger's-length off-white foam with tremendous retention. Walls of intricate lacing with admirable strength.

Rich, caramel, milk chocolate, and toffee. VInous, aged fruit: grape, plum, cherry. A balance of sweet, richness and a delicate tartness melded by a cutting, warm alcohol whaff.

Rich and sweet toffee and caramel with a distinct toasted breadiness; notes of warm diacetyl. Reserved notes of fig, date, and plum with just a bit of lemon. Balanced spice of clove; even corriander. The alcohol presence is bold in the finish, like a cognac.

Medium to full in body; creamy, almost airy on the palate. Smooth for such bold flavors.

A bold flavored, well balanced Quadrupel. Understandably a classic, but go easy as this monk packs a punch.

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

I have to say that I am in love with this beer. I had a 25 oz bottle of it at the Blind Tiger in Greenwich Village this past weekend for the shockingly reasonable price of eleven bucks! From there, I was able to get a four pack of it in 11 oz bottles for $14 in Brooklyn. I wish I would have got a case since I am now home:(

A--I poured into my Corsendonk glass and it has dark brown hue with a full creamy head..beautiful..what a sight to behold.

S--The aroma says, "I am a delightful Belgian Quad of the highest quality...drink me" You can smell tones of caramel, chocolate, figs and cherries in the aroma.

Taste--Oh man. I have never had the pleasure of the Westvytaren experience but if it is better than the St. Bernardus Abt, I need to get me some of that. This beer is pure ectasy, smooth and the type of flavor that makes it very hard for me to drink even the best of the rest, seriously. Some of my favorites of the past just simply are not worthy now. This beer has done real damage to my beer psyche.

Mouthfeel--Silky. Just like silk in the mouth. Did I mention how much I love this beer?

Drinkability--I feel selfish and gluttenous to say that I have had several of these in recent days. I seem to be growing an addiction to the beer. Not an alcoholic type of addiction, more like a love affair that is newly blossomed. This is not for the light of heart mind you, this will put a major wallop on you if you are not careful. It is hard to be careful.

I did not give it a 5 because I want to be careful not to do that until I am certain I find the perfect beer. However, this is pretty damn close to being the one.

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