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St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

6,387 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6387
Reviews: 2444
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2001)
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Ratings: 6,387 | Reviews: 2,444 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Knapp85


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

I liked this beer quite a bit but in all honest I must say that the La Trappe and the Rochefort 10 still remain higher on my favorites list. This beer poured out as a medium color of brown, the head was a bit fizzy and doesn't leave behind on the glass. The smell of the beer has a bit of alcohol on the nose followed by the dark fruits and yeast. The taste of the beer is good but I find it less pleasing than the two Quad's I mentioned before. The mouthfeel is medium but remains kind of thin too. Decent amount of carbonation, overall I think this beer is worthy of trying. I would love to do a sampling party of Quad's to see how they hold up against each other.

Just had on tap the other night and it was sensational. Very enjoyable brew. It's right up there with La Trappe, Rochefort, and Achel.

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2011 14:56:35 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215


4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yesterday, I had the pint corked bottle. Today I had the 11.2 oz. bottle.
Poured into chalice.
It poured brown with a thick, creamy two-finger off-white head that after a minute or so went to half the size and remained there - just as a great beer's head should do. Wonderful to look at!
This beer has been reviewed so many times - I just want to say what impressed me the most - the spices and fruitiness was very creamy - some of the wonderful tastes were almost lost in the creaminess. It was a wonderful sipping beer - The alcohol warmed the body at the end - This was a great beer - similar to the trappist ales - but creamier, and with a little bite at the end. I don't know - IMO - that it was an all "5" beer - but, very close - if 4.75's could be given - I would have given it that. It was truly a pleasure.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2006 20:31:36 | More by jwc215
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.45/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown 330ml bottle, best before 12-2011, drank 04-2007.

Poured slowly, oh, so slowly, into Straffe Hendrik chalice. I didn't want any of the sediment to get into the glass, I failed.

Dark aubergine purple in colour, the head vanished to leave a thin ever shrinking layer of bubbles, some of which tried to cling to the side of the glass.

Victoria Plum aroma, with rich fruit cake, not a hint of hops, malts or yeast.

Heavy on the alcohol, plum pudding, Dundee cake with malt bread and rich Christmas spices.

A rich fruity, spicey, sweetness lingers on the palate, too sweet for me.

Good beer, but not in my top 100, not from this tasting anyway, I have one more bottle, i'll allow it to age for a few years and re-visit in 2010, if I can store it that long.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2007 22:44:26 | More by BlackHaddock
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 11:54:55 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek


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

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2003 15:00:26 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

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

Pours a hazy brown color with a thin head that lasted through half of the session. Lacing developed. Aroma was of malt, caramel, yeast, and fruit tones.

This was a full flavored ale, as malt, caramel, and fruit flavors were strong. Smooth creaminess on the tongue when you first sip it, then the carbonation level caused a crisp finish. Medium bodied and alcohol levels were well hidden, making this extremely drinkable. One of the top Belgian ales I have tried.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2003 13:08:15 | More by Gavage
Photo of smcolw


3.53/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy with LOTS of suspended yeast clumps. Some light shines through. Nice head with good lace after each sip.

Earthy and slightly sweet aroma. Low level of Belgian yeast and hop.

Rich and creamy, the alcohol is ever-present. A little oily in the body. The aftertaste reminds me of a swallow of brandy. The flavor has some hard-stone fruit tones, such as plum and cherry.

The story of this beer is the alcohol, which I find distracting. IMHO, the dilemma with Quads is that they are made extreme without placing stronger flavors in the brew (like darker malts or more hops). So, I find these to be a little too one-dimensional.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2009 20:51:02 | More by smcolw
Photo of Halcyondays


4.05/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle,

A: Pours a dark red brown with a full off-white head, quite a gusher at first. Good head retention, limited lacing.

S: A lot of dark fruit and sugar.

T: Sweet malt and candi sugar notes start out. Fig juice, green seedless grapes, and a fair amount of ethanol are in there too. Light coffee note at the end.

M: Sweet start with a dry finish. Very smooth, low carbonation actually in the finished product for the gusher it is.

D: Very drinkable for it's strength; this is a good beer. Is it top 25 for me? No, but it's a brew I'd drink any time.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2008 04:28:40 | More by Halcyondays
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2011 04:09:02 | More by mactrail
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

Serving type: on-tap

11-28-2011 15:40:57 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of barleywinefiend


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

A: Poured a deep brownish purple color with a nice tannish cap and a good cap, with some lacing

S: Big grapes, juicy purple grapes, some light fig, dates, plums with fresh red apples, candy

T: Wow, nice sweet upfront with huge amount of grapes, plums, light fig, dtes and prunes and a dash of raisins but the grape juice goodness is so nice. Lots of candy sugar and some fresh apples are hanging out as well

M: Medium mouthfeel, but a big body which is sweet and rich. Fantastic

O: Hands down, one of the best, if not the best I have tried. World class.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2012 15:36:49 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of tempest


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

You know, the last couple times I've had this beer it was on tap and I found it sweet and fruity, but unimpressive. The bottle I had, however, was damn good.

Poured into a red wine glass, its a slightly hazy brown and light tan head. Rich smell of dark fruit malts that gives way to the cherries and blackberries in the flavors that roll over your tongue with a mellow caramel. It finishes with a grassy hops note that stands up to the big malts and adds a wonderful balance. This bottle ran out too quickly.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2008 21:27:45 | More by tempest
Photo of mdfb79

New York

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

a - Pours a darker brown color with 2 fingers of an off white foam with decent retention and moderate carbonation.

s - Smells of yeast, some sweet fruits and malts, maybe a little alcohol.

t - Tastes of sweet malts, some apples/fruit, bread, yeast, and a tiny bit of alcohol which becomes more apparent in the aftertaste.

m - I would say a medium body that is smooth and not very carbonated.

d - Overall I thought this was a very good Belgian quad. It smelled and tasted great, and was a very nice, smooth balance between sweeter malts and bread/yeast. Would love to have this again, the only thing aganist it might be that the 10.5% ABV will limit the amount you'd have in one night.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2010 02:40:08 | More by mdfb79
Photo of akorsak


4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am drinking from a 750mL bottle in a Watou chalice.

Appearance: This is a dark ale, very hazy and ruby in color (when held up to light). There is also a nice smattering of yeast particles, as I did not filter the last few ounces.

Smell: A very heady smell, I can detect the high alcohol content. I also can clearly smell the malts used in the brew, imparting a wonderful scent that I just can't place.

Taste: Wow! The taste is incredible. I think that I detect some raisiny tastes that mix well with the malts and alcohol. A truly divine brew.

Mouthfeel: The high alcohol sterilizes the mouth a bit. There is a nice mixture of flavors that sit nicely on the palate.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. It fits nicely into the quad family, not too malty but not too high in alcohol taste.

I highly recommend this beer, especially from the 750mL corked and caged bottles (nice screen printing on the bottles too) and it sits firmly in my top five beers list.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2005 03:53:22 | More by akorsak
Photo of Rifugium


4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First had: on tap at Eulogy, Philly, PA

Most enthusiasts know and love this beer, as do I. Many said enthusiasts also prefer this beer to such heavy hitters as Rochefort 10 and Westvleteren 12. Well, it's certainly more obtainable than the latter, and cheaper than the former, but as far as being better, I supposed that's a matter of personal taste.

Pours--preferably into a chalice, and more preferably into a signature chalice--a deep carameled mahogany color with a firm, creamy half inch of ivory head that retains through the session, and leaves beautiful lacing. When you see a beer presented like this, it's just...this is what beer is supposed to look like. This is craftmanship. Aroma is rich with dark sugars, dark fruits, and spicy Belgian yeast. Taste of toasted bread, with lots of brown sugar up front, along with dark dried fruits--raisins, figs, plums--caramel, tobacco, almond, subtle hop spiciness, and an ubiquitous alcohol bite. Not heavy, but full-bodied, and highly drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

06-23-2011 14:17:22 | More by Rifugium
Photo of Billolick

New York

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

on tap, (gotta love the Blind Tiger!) This gem poured dark brown, and murky. minimal head, but leaves well developed lacing. Multiple layers of flavor going on here, fruity, malty, yeasty. complex and intriguing, warrming but not overpowering in strength, body or flavor. the genius here is that its so drinkable. seek out savor and enjoy.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2004 01:48:29 | More by Billolick
Photo of rhoadsrage


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

(Served in a tulip glass)

A-This beer had a nice dark brown body with a creamy tan head. It had good lacing with each sip.

S- Notes of dark malt and raisins with some sweetness and caramel notes.

T- The taste of dark sweet malt was very complex. flavors of prune brown sugar, caramel and some nice faint alcohol warmth at the finish. As it warmed it gave more depth with some cidery and vinous notes also.

M- Medium-light mouthfeel with a medium alcohol warmth. No astringency or fizz.

D-Wow. This beer is bold and complex in flavor but nice and light in mouthfeel. The alcohol warmth is not overpowering and really balances the complexity of the malts. I will take another.

Serving type: on-tap

10-12-2005 23:51:40 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of lacqueredmouse


4.2/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Deep, lightly hazy dark brown, with a frothy, but surprisingly loose-bubbled head of beige foam. Lacing is excellent though. Shame the head looks so weak. Otherwise very nice.

Very powerful rich, sweet nose, full of dried fruit, vanilla caramel and some spicy alcohol. Very pleasant indeed.

Very smooth and rich palate. Sweet, with lots of malt and a pleasant phenolic alcohol, which stays spicy and warm under everything. Notes of liquorice noticeable. Very smooth and sippable.

All things considered, it's not a huge and boisterous Belgian bomb, but it's tight, accurate and true to style. Very, very easy to drink for what it is. I could drink it all night, which is quite an amazing property for such a strong beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2009 02:59:30 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

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

Pours with a three-finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Cloudy brown/amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is raisin/caramel. Starts sweet has a raisin/caramel flavor, mellow finish; better as it warms, hints of alcohol. Part of a gift 4-pak that was $17.00 from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, ME. Best before date of Aug 13, 2014 - I couldn't wait!

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2010 23:18:59 | More by jdhilt
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

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2003 15:48:07 | More by Jason
Photo of Zorro


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

Pours a hazy deep walnut brown brew.

Smell is sweet and strongly fruity, with a distinct molasses and apple cider smell. Plenty of spice in the smell too.

Taste is sweet with lots of fruit and spice, and mild bitterness. Flavors of apples, peaches, plums, brown sugar, coriander, and nutmeg.

Mouthfeel is perfect and super creamy.

Super drinkable, at $5 a bottle it could get to be an expensive habit.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2004 22:23:07 | More by Zorro
Photo of Wasatch


4.83/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dated 19 01 11

Poured into a Unibroue Chalice, a clear dark golden/amber color, nice carbonation, nice 1.5 finger creamy tan head which hangs around for quite sometime, tons of sticky lacing around with some foamy puddles. The nose is sweet malty, with nice scents of grapes, raisins, figs, and prunes. The taste is pretty carbonated, sweet/malty, slightly tart/tangy, nice dry finish. The alcohol is hidden very well. Medium body, a nice complex brew. Very drinkable, a truly awesome beer. Glad it is more readily available, than say a Westy 12.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2006 19:33:34 | More by Wasatch
Photo of corby112


4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a nice sized off-white foam head. Hints of chocolate, dark fruit and alcohol in the aroma. Hints of raisin, spices, dark chocolate and alcohol warmth. Surprisingly fruity for a beer this dark. Very well balanced and extremely quaffable.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2008 05:47:48 | More by corby112
Photo of ppoitras


4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle from pentathlete as part of the OneBox BIF. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1 3/4" light tan head above the clear reddish burgundy brew. Pillowy head lasts and lasts, with heavy airy lacing. Aroma is sweet dark fruit and spices coupling with the malty sweetness. Taste is really exactly as the nose indicated, with a warming alcohol close. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is nice, although the sweetness and alcohol starts to limit sessions. very nice brew, for sure.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2006 01:26:04 | More by ppoitras
Photo of woodychandler


4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A half finger's worth of light-tan head with decent retention. Color was a deep brown with ruby highlights. Nose was dried dark fruits (prunes, raisins, blackberries). Mouthfeel was full with some heat and a fruity sweetness. Finish was juicy, sweet, raisiny. Why did I let The Chauffeur talk me into this? Too good to be true.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2009 23:21:16 | More by woodychandler
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 6,387 ratings.