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St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

7,994 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,994
Reviews: 2,566
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 516
Gots: 1,444 | FT: 38
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website
Belgium

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: 7,994 | Reviews: 2,566 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of womencantsail
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a cloudy dark mahogany color without much head to speak of.

S: Good but not great aromas of sweet malt, caramel, and yeast. There might be a touch of alcohol as well.

T: I was a bit let down by the aroma, but the flavor does quite well to redeem itself. A slight warming feel of alcohol goes well with some dark fruits and sweet, caramel malt. The yeast is not as quite prominent as many other Belgian beers.

M: Even with the high level of carbonation, the body is still quite full.

D: The alcohol makes itself known more in terms of the subtle warmth it provides the beer but isn't aggressive by any means. The flavors are sweet but balanced and are helped out by the carbonation.

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

I used a large wine glass for this, and it displayed the beer really well. Great head retention, dark amber in color. Strong, fruity, yeasty nose. Malts are prominent in the taste; slightly sweet and fruity with a dry red wine finish. Thick and chewy in the mouth, very effervescent. Rich and filling stuff. An impressive beer.

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

Pours a deep brown with some deep red hue with a big creamy head leaving nice sheets of lace behind,aromas of dark sweet cherries and some smoke along with a some spice very appetizing.Silky smooth mouthfeel, creamy and not to heavy goes down with ease,what can you say complex and great some spiced cherries and spice along with some raisin with a faint smokiness the alcolhol shows itself more as it warms.Just an awesome beer have sampled many times was great to aquire a bottle,worthy of its high marks awesome.

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

Best Before: 12 07 12.

Appearance: Pours a near opaque, dark brown body with a full, cascading, and lasting, ivory-colored head. Sea foam lacing on the way down.

Smell: Aromatic blend of stewed, spiced fruit, liqueur, and chopped up chocolate cookies and candy bars.

Taste: First and foremost, it's fruity, tasting of golden raisins, plum juice, and candied figs. Then you get some maltiness, mainly dark chocolate and nutty caramel. Hit of dark candi sugar. Not really much in the way of hops here. Touch of clove and nutmeg. Sip of creme de cocoa. Maybe a bit of fresh, oily orange zest. Finishes malty, sweet, and rather warming.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Moderately carbonated.

Drinkability: Paired very well with some Pinback mp3's (particularly "Tripoli" and "Seville"). Full of flavor, rich complexities, and yet it's easily accessible and generally readily available from coast to coast. What's not the like? Although, I will say, I dug that 'Special Edition' a bit more. That's just me, though!

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

an outstanding quad, but not perfect. poured into a goblet a nice redish amber color with one of these perfect heads only a belgian can provide. smells sugary, yeasty, fruity, and like something sticky... honey? caramel? molasses? flavor is fruity and malt driven up front, with some slight tart sensations happening in the background, a roasted sweet finish rounds this one off. unmatched in its complexity, this quad goes well with a wide array of food, i had it with a rabbit stew. mouthfeel is bright and bubbly, with a medium body. the 10% abv is well hidden. could drink this all night, but it isnt as good as the la trappe quad

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

330ml bottle. I was weirdly introduced to this offering by an ersatz English football hooligan colleague at an office Friday@4 beerfest a few years ago - who knew?

This beer pours a dark muddy brown colour, with some violently eddying sediment, a slight reddish tint, and two broad fingers of fine foamy pale beige head, which leaves some solid streaks of roaming lace around the glass as it duly recedes.

It smells of mildly sweet caramel malt, dark distinct fruit, a soft yeastiness, and alcohol-soaked demerara sugar. The taste is sweet, dark sugary caramel/toffee malt, a bit of raw cocoa, some ethereal spicing, and subtle, but well balancing earthy, leafy hops. Little to no booze warming, quelle surprise.

The carbonation is there, but quite sedate, the body medium-full in weight, smooth, and clean. It finishes off-dry, but only minimally so - the malt is present and accounted for, but well tempered by an unobtrusive dryness.

A beer with a whole lot going for it, lots to discuss, dissect, yet I find myself just wanting to sit back and sip it, sip it, and...oh shit, there it goes.

Photo of emerge077
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Never reviewed this, huh... that's strange, had it quite a few times over the years.
Must have been too busy enjoying it.

12oz. bottle, BBD: "02 02 17" printed on the back label.
Served in a small snifter glass.

Huge billowing head of tan foam forms after a slow pour, first leaving behind a thin collar, then delicate arcs of lace that slowly settle back into the beer. Swirling the glass quickly rekindles the head for a few moments, but it quickly dissipates again.

Fruity and spicy aromas of fig, plum, sultana, some clove.

Flavors are similar, distinct plum and clove notes, earthy hop with some caramel and raisin in the middle. Finishes dry and fairly smooth and creamy despite the high abv, though its certainly warming. Not overly sweet, moderate carbonation. A benchmark of the style, allowing the trappist yeast to be showcased, not hiding behind a ton of candi sugar and booze like so many other Quads.

Photo of zeff80
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours out a brownish/burgandy color with a two-finger head. Left very nice belgian lacing.

S - Smelled of malt, fruit and cloves.

T - It was malty with a dried fruit taste and some spicy bitterness.

M - It is crisp/sharp and medium-bodied.

D - A very good quad. The flavors are amazing.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.22/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a St. Bernardus chalice.

Pours a very dark brown, with lighter walnut tinges along the edges. The finger-thick head half dies, leaving a lovely creamy remainder that laces very well. The aroma is sweet and tangy, with a nice, effervescent fruitiness dominating. The taste corroborates the nose, with those fruits coming back with a sweet vengeance (those lovely malts!), including a hint of molasses/maple syrup all the way in the back. The body is a heavy medium, but does not sit poorly; rather it stands at attention, saluting, declaring itself, but not overpowering.

Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

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

The Abt 12 pours a dark mahogany body with a reddish cast beneath a creamy head of tan foam that holds exceptionally well and leaves very nice lace about the glass.

The nose is bready and yeasty with a notes of caramel, sweet vanilla, and delicate dark, dried fruit in the background.

The body is medium-full and it's creamy and a touch zesty in the mouth due to its very fine bubbled, somewhat effervescent carbonation.

The flavor is rich and full with sweet, soft dark fruits (plum, raisin); sweet, caramelish malt; and a touch of vanilla. The bitterness is restrained, but it remains balanced, helped in part by a splash of alcohol. It finishes dry with some lingering vanilla, caramel, and almond.

Quite nice!

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

A - A loud pop upon removing the cork signals a slow gusher that gives me just enough time to begin pouring before the foam escapes the lip of the bottle. It pours with a two finger head of off-white bubbles on top of a clear, reddish brown body. The head settles pretty quickly and leaves thin traces of lace on the glass.

S - A rich aroma of sweet caramel and fruity yeast. Black cherries, figs, sweet chocolate, cloves, and coriander. The fruit notes are full and juicy and work well with the malt.

T - Sugary dark fruit and caramel malt up front. Notes of black cherry, caramel, and toffee. Some spicy notes of clove and cinnamon come out in the middle with milk chocolate malt flavors. Finishes sweet and malty with an emphasis on caramel and dark cherry/plum yeast character. There is just a hint of herbal hop flavor in the finish along with mild bitterness that just barely balances the thick malt. Some darkening of the malt character in the aftertaste with light chocolate and smoke notes.

M - Smooth, moderately thick body, high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - This is a true classic and while there are a great deal of varied flavor elements at work here, the yeast is the real star of the show. The malt provides a background of caramel sweetness on which the yeast displays a profound level of juicy, deep fruit character, balanced by lightly spicy notes. The hops make themselves known but only play a supporting role, though they posses a classic spicy, noble character. This beer is extraordinarily well balanced and despite a high alcohol content, it goes down smooth and shows no boozy harshness. If Rochefort is about malty complexity, then this is about yeasty fruit and sublime balance. It is a wonderful, and rare, experience to have a beer that lives up to its hype and as I sip this I realize that I had gone far too long without popping the cork on an ABT 12.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap 1/7/07 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a goblet.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of yeast, roasted malt, chocolate and a touch of dark fruits.

T: Taste is very-well balanced with flavors of yeast, chocolate, caramelized malt and dark fruits. No one flavor takes dominance. There is a slight hops bitterness in the background. The high ABV is extremely well-hidden.

M: Very smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Very tasty, goes down ridiculously easy which will make the ABV catch up to you in a hurry. This is a very good beer. At the time that I am writing this review, the beer is #15 on the Best of BA. Believe the hype.

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

Appearance: The glass is rimming with lace, hazed brown colour gives the appearance some depth.

Smell: A spike of clove, layers of ripe fruit and malt sweetness are what the aroma is all about.

Taste: Clove is certain to be the first flavour you taste as it rides the wave of sweetness, big brown sugar flavour with some cake like malty qualities. Some buttery and phenolic flavours shoot to the palate in the middle to make it a bit juicy. Some earth and carob flavours in the mix. Alcohol is a little evident, it hiding under the sweetness right behind the fruity flavour that soon flare into esters and mild solvent flavours. 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. A heavenly abbey ale that goes down as one of the best for me.

Thanks to D & V International for the sample. http://www.specialtybeer.com

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

***Update***
After picking up my first bottle from Vintage Cellar, I called them back due to the fact when I cracked the last bottle it was completely flat without carbonation. So, I called them back and let them now and they shipped out another without a problem, good customer service down there. Appearance: Lucious semi gelatinous tan colored head placed ontop of deep ruby brown cloudy body the lacing is layered in thick patches excellent appearance head is unrelenting lasts great retention. Aroma: Apple, raisin, ginger bread dough, layers of candied sugar plum brandy like tones with the alcohol layers this is excellent. Taste hasn't evolved too much since the last time I tasted but this is most definitely an experience. Mouthfeel: Creamier than before with an even smooth carbonation this one is silky in texture and devine going down.

Appearance: Pours a murky mahogany amber brown tone wih the lightest trickling bubbles of a head thin layer of bubbles on top with absolutely no lacing at all here, on top of that when I popped the cap no air released from the bottle interesting. Aroma: Ambrosia enticing spices, blends of fruit juice, alcohol infused figs, this beer is definitely out there some anise tones with a peppery finish just the most unique smell I have ever come across with all the complexity it still holds the candy like smell of wow, complex. Taste: A warming spiced up alcoholic flavor with trickles of leaves a thick dark roasted malt aftertaste on my tongue this beer is complex creamy flavor hard to describe must be experienced I guess, not sure if I love it but it's good. Mouthfeel: Is think lacking any much carbonation redefines beer I guess but overall an experience to be had, I must find some Westy 12 now but this beer is interesting. Drinkability: Challenging to the senses I am dragging just trying to figure this one out, it goes down incredibly smooth I have no idea what the abv is but I'm sure it's capable of rattling the skull.

Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

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 jlindros
4.78/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Easily one of my top 5 beers of all time, the St Bernardus Abt 12 is what put me on the map for Belgian beers. I drink it on special occasions usually, and its pretty cheap for the amazingness of the beer. And having the availability it has, its awesome. Well, today marks the special occasion of needing some yeast for a homebrew, and I decided to culture the bottled yeast from this awesomeness. This bottle also has been sitting in the cellar for a year or so getting yeasted up to hell. Also, why not drink it. This just happens to be the first time I'm drinking it while sitting in front of a computer and can log it into BA. Anyways, enough with the Stahlin and drink it already.

A: Huge loud pop sound goes the weasel, I mean cork. Steamy mist of Pandora blazes out the top. Pouring into my Corsendonk tulip glass reveals a large 3 finger semi dark head that is pretty thin and full of large bubbles that pop so fast, its down to 2 fingers in a mere 10 seconds! Then leaves an airy pot-marked frothy mess that would make Courtney Love blush!. The light dark colored head is down to a light covering in not time flat! The dark raisin colored brown lets just enough light through to reveal the secret of the Nymph, as well as the huge amounts of yeast and sediment dancing around inside as if they are at the dance, getting prepped to mate soon!

N: Yep, thats the aroma all right! Some dark malts, mostly Belgian style, some raisiny fruit flavors, perhaps some fig aromas as well. Some light nuttiness and perhaps cinnamon tickle the nose. However, a touch of alcohol and sweet dark Belgian candi sugars fill out the back bone of the nose. It's not overpowering either. A slight yeast tones down the final touches, but the delicious raisiny Belgian candi sugar and alcohol really just bring the aromas into so much awesomeness.

T: Tasting such an awesome beer is almost unworthy of.... glug glug glug... mmmppphhfff.... starts right off with more awesome raisiny Belgian candi sugar and some alcohol tastes right off the bat. Who woulda thunk? Delicious Belgian malts sit around the mouth in a nice thick mouth. A very slight Belgian yeast flavor adds some fruitiness as well, more than just the raisin. A slight spice, like cinnamon and some nuttiness cuts through the malt flavors like a raptor's claw through that guys stomach in that movie. I get some deeper fruits as well, perhaps plum or snozzberry. Some thick molasses and more candi sugar come back again towards the finish of the taste. Some alcohol burn and warmth adds a nice touch, which has really kicked into overdrive with the bottle aging

M: Pretty thick and heavy, sweet and syrupy, its almost so thick my tongue is weighing itself down and almost out of my mouth. It's filling up my taste buds so much they can't taste much else after. Then a slight alcohol burn reminds you how heavy the beer is when it comes to abv! Decent carbonation for the bigness of the beer, actually is really high!

F: Finishes with a slight sweetness but seems to dry off pretty well considering all the age its had. A slight alcohol warmth and sting singes for a bit, then disappears enough to let you get more of the raisin, cinnamon, candi sugar, molasses, and delicious other flavors. Perhaps if anything, the aging has formed a little too much carbonation. I get some earthy flavors as well, on the finish mostly, I think a product of the yeast turning the Belgian candi sugar into the ginourmous alcohol.

Photo of Slatetank
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this bottle up at Capone's, decanted the corked and caged brown 750ml into a goblet.
A - A deep caramel brown with a medium tan head that has good retention.

S - Malty w/ a sweet dry scent and supple soft fruit odors.

M - A snap of carbonation w/ a spicy yeast note and slightly dry nutty textures.

T - A great smooth caramel and toasted malt taste combines w/ a candy-like nutty taste. A dry effortless nuance of dates and vanilla flavor that hints at candy sugar. The abv is well masked and the subtle sweetness makes you want to sip at it. The smooth dry malt combines w/ a subtle fusel alcohol tinge as it warms with a fig-like sweetness. The flavor is very subdued, yet well balanced and interesting.

D - An fantastic quad, that is highly drinkable for the 10% that it is. Soft, smooth and light in body, never cloying. Wonderful in every sense, a true taste delight.

Photo of oline73
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a mildly cloudy reddish amber with a finger of fluffy off white head. Great retention and nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet with Begian spice. Some dark fruit and mild brown sugar. Some warm alcohol.

Taste: Super smooth and complex. Belgian spice is dominant, but not too overpowering. A mild sweetness with some dark fruit. The finish has the spice notes along with some warm alcohol and a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very smooth carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: Really great beer. Unbelievably smooth in the smell and the taste. Not anything comes to mind that I would want to change.

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of russpowell
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Date of 26 08 10. Pours burgundy/chestnut (a hazy red when held to the light) with 2+ fingers of pillowy tan colored head. Great lacing & head retention

S: Fruitty & bready with hints of chocolate

T: Fruitty, cakey with hints of plum liquor up front. Raisins & chocolate follow. Oaky dryness, leather and a hint of fruitcake settle in as this warms. Earthy grainyness and hops are there as well. Cinamon, apple pie, warming boozeyness. a tinge of tobacco, figs, dates, bitterness & dryness all show up in the finish. Super complex & satisfying

MF: Medium/heavy bodied, vinous & slightly carbonated

Drinks too easy. I believe this would shine with beef or Christmas pudding. At $3 for a 300ml bottle, a steal!

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of mactrail
3.85/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber and well carbonated. Rich but only slightly sweet. Complex rhythm of flavors as you'd hope from a good Belgian ale. Honeyed taste with nutty flavors. Interesting bitter twang adds to the long aftertaste. Raising, caramel, bitter chocolate.

Great dessert beer. Rich and perks up the taste buds.

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