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St. Bernardus Abt 12 - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,543 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,543
Reviews: 2,514
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 446
Gots: 1,166 | FT: 35
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Abt 12 Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,543 | Reviews: 2,514 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

mendvicdog, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of mdfb79
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.

mdfb79, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy medium brown color with a tan head. The head appears very fluffy and soft. The aroma is alcohol, dark fruit, brown sugar, yeast and candi-sugar. The beer smells great. The flavor is a lot of dark fruit (plums and raisins) with some brown sugar, candi-sugar, yeast and alcohol. Medium-thick, very creamy mouthfeel and soft carbonation. This is what a quadrupel is supposed to taste like.

Mora2000, May 27, 2010
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

MarkyMOD, Apr 06, 2012
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.

jwc215, Jun 26, 2006
Photo of beernads
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

beernads, Sep 15, 2012
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev -10.5%

DrunkinYogi, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +11.9%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 26, 2011
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.

smcolw, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An aroma of plum, clove, fruitiness and some sweetness emanates from the glass. Pours with a light brown head, and it is a cloudy amber-brown color. A very thick lasting rocky head tops this beer, it is very well carbonated. Very spicy tasting, accompanied by a certain mustiness. Finishes with a bit of sweetness. The dense rocky head and the Belgian lacing on this beer is quite amazing. Alcohol in the finish, along with a certain astringency. Malty, fruity, caramel notes, and a strong finish of rich fruit (perhaps plum and/or cherry). Quite a complex brew. Very light in body but quite a mouthful that will hit you when you stand up. As it warms up it gets a bit more sweet, more fruity, and it loses a bit of the astringency in the finish. A great example, and a must try for anyone.

Gueuzedude, Oct 27, 2003
Photo of kojevergas
3.6/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Truncated review below. Reviewed side by side with a Rochefort 10 and a Westvleteren 12. I'll come back and give this its own proper review in the future.

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with cage and corked cap served into a Biere de Saint Louis Alsace teku. Expectations are very high; I've had this before and loved it.

Overcarbonated - the cork shot up and hit the ceiling upon opening.

HEAD: No bubble show forms as it's poured. Head is 2 fingers of pale khaki colour. No lacing is left on the sides of the glass.

BODY: Red-brown colour. Murky and muted. Not looking fantastic, but it's more than acceptable for a quad.

Not the rich appearance of superior quads, but appealing.

AROMA: Kind of muted. I have to search for the dark fruits: plum, fig, that's about it. Not finding the prune or the dates of superior quads. Belgian malts. Some biscuity yeast. Raisin. Maybe some cream. Starchier than the Rochefort 10.

A pleasant but reticent aroma of mild strength.

No hop character or alcohol is detectable.

TEXTURE: Smooth and wet, but it has enough slight coarseness to coax out a bit more depth of flavour. I love the creaminess, but it could be more soft. Complements the taste well. Nice presence on the palate. Comfortingly soft. Very approachable.

TASTE: Belgian malts. Biscuity Belgian yeast. Wisps of faint dark fruits - plum, fig, and raisin. It's a teensy bit starchy, which I don't dig. Much more muted and reticent than I remember. It lacks the depth and duration of flavour of Westvleteren 12 and Rochefort 10.

O: Certainly a good quad, but not up to par with the other two in this side-by-side. I do like it, but I'll plan on reviewing it on its own properly.


kojevergas, May 11, 2014
Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -10.5%

XmnwildX12, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

oriolesfan4, Mar 22, 2013
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.

Halcyondays, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of BlackHaddock
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.

BlackHaddock, Apr 06, 2007
Photo of Gavage
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.

Gavage, Dec 15, 2003
Photo of GClarkage
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

08/01/06- Purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle, WA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, not sure from what year. Purchased in September 2005, so probably either 2004 or 2005. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Deep brown in color. A bit of a auburn highlight. Full inch head, very large bubbled and foamy. Excellent chunks and streak of lace left behind. Furious as hell pop from the cork. I thought it was going to explode, it was that loud.

Smell- At first very fruity. Then it turned into a very sweet and caramel scented malt mixture. Kinda like cookie dough, but more like dulce de leche. Seems kinda earthy. Whatever it is, it smells increasingly better as it warms into above room temp. Started out at about 50, and finished it off at about 60-65.

Taste- At first sip it had a somewhat offputting metallic taste. This went away bit by bit as it was consumed. As it warms (key is to drink it at room temp at the coolest) it brings in a really nice ultra sweet candied malt flavor. That mixed with plims, prunes, raisins and figs make it very tastefull. It has a very earthy and irony taste that could be past for metallic, but I think it's more earthy and dirt like. Kinda a newbie to this style...still trying to figure them out.

Mouthfeel- Higher carbonated than I would like, but it calmed down after a good 30 minutes of resting in the chalice.

Drinkability- Probably my top ranked Quad. Was very nice to the tastebuds. What I wouldn't fo for a beer like this on cask. Or at least on tap. Have past it up at the Toronado many times because I knew I had a few bottles at home I was waiting to try. Quality beer for sure. Glad I have a few more smaller bottles to save for later on. Nice to know it can be aged for 15 years according to the script on the back of the bottle. Recommended.

GClarkage, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of imperialking
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

imperialking, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of InspectorBob
4.55/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into my SA glass. A dark brownish color with about two fingers of an off white head that laced my glass throughtout. Tasted to me of dark fruits,raisins/plums. Has nice carbonation with a smooth drinkability with some alcohol on the finish. Overall this is a very good beer. I must try this on draft next time I'm in Olde City....

InspectorBob, May 30, 2010
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.

woodychandler, Dec 15, 2009
Photo of drewone
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

drewone, Sep 15, 2012
Photo of yourefragile
4.4/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Liberty St in Allentown. Served in a goblet.

A: Hazy dark brown color with a nice one finger off white head. Nice retention and some sticky lacing.
S: Very malty, ripe fruit, slight spice, some caramel and cloves and a light alcohol background.
T: Full side of medium bodied, very creamy and smooth with appropriate carbonation. For such a big beer, alcohol has a welcome presence, but is very well hidden, nice warming effect. Strong malty body and follows the nose with a ripe fruit taste and light spiciness. Pleasant sweetness in the finish. Overall, a very nice beer, easy (at least for me) to take this beer for granted and overlook how good it is.

yourefragile, Mar 25, 2008
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.

corby112, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of orangesol
4.15/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Shady McGrady's into a snifter.

A - Pours deep brown with a thick cap of one finger tall white head, dissipating down to a light film, leaving thin webs of lacing down the glass.

S - Very strong smell overall. Hints of sweet malt, dry yeast, strong booze, dark fruits, and a touch of caramel sweetness. The booze is ever present and seems to only get stronger as the beer begins to warm.

T - Now we are talking. Still plenty of warming alcohol but it is tempered with hints of sweet malts, dark fruits, dry Belgian yeast, and some light spice. Finish is a mix of sweetness and warming booze. Very nice beer overall, just a touch too boozy for my liking.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Sweet, boozy, feel with most of it lingering throughout the finish.

D - Pretty good. I like quad's, and this one is no different, but they really wear on me over the course of the glass. The combo of high price, $8 for this snifter...ouch!, and the strong booze really bring the drinkability down.

orangesol, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of weeare138
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a murky dark brown with some glowing red highlights. A thick, soapy fluff of tan head floats on top of the beer. Scattered webs of lacing are left all over the glass.
Smell is of caramel, cocoa, raisins, doughy bread, nuts, brown sugar, nougat, vanilla, and anise.
Taste is even better than the aromas in a solid batch of Belgian goodness that will knock the socks off of any beer lover(or non-beer lover for that matter).
Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, sugary, and full of doughy yeast and rich malt.

weeare138, Feb 17, 2006
St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
99 out of 100 based on 7,543 ratings.