St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition") - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 286 | Reviews: 234 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by RoyalT:
4.95/5 rDev +12.8%
Appearance - This is a deep, inviting dark brown in color with an easy head that left some really nice lacing on the inside of my St B chalice.
Smell - This nose is amazingly complex. I'm sure I won't do it justice but I'll give it a go anyway.
The fruits jumped out first so I'll start there. The aroma of fresh dates is so exact that I can almost taste them in my mouth. If you've only had those dates you get at the grocery store in the sealed plastic bags then you don't know what I'm talking about, but fresh dates are loaded with sugar so much so that I use them to make ice cream sauce. This is that smell exactly.
I also get some nice figs, raisins, and mild chewing tobacco. On top of this I sense some wonderful cane sugar and the smallest sense of anise. The spicing is certainly clove with maybe a dash of cinnamon.
The malts have been weathered by the cellaring but they are lightly-toasted and rich with caramel. There are some huge bready notes as well that remind me of a Dunkel Weizen.
Taste - The sugars from the nose explode at the taste and the malt comes through nicely which tells me I didn't over-age this bad boy. They are definitely on the downswing though.
The toastiness is still present and the sugars still carry a good amount of structure. The dark fruits in particular show no signs of waning. There's a candied sweetness that I missed at the nose that lingers forever in the mouth like a long, passionate kiss. I will remember this like my first love.
Mouthfeel - This is full-bodied for sure with some wonderful carbonation that provides an excellent texture to this fine Belgian Ale. The structured sweetness of this ale just makes the salivary glands go crazy. I find myself literally drooling with each sip.
Drinkability - I don't know how this tasted fresh but here after four years in the cellar this is perfect in just about every way. The sugars and fruits just do not quit and the feel in the cheeks is like magic. I would almost swear on a stack of Bibles that this beer isn't 10% ABV. It doesn'feel like it has a drop of alcohol in it. This is an absolute masterpiece.
Note: I bought this in 2006 and cellared it for four years. This seems to be the sweet spot for this ale. Although it will probably cellar well for another two years I would advise drinking now or within the next six months.
10-10-2010 01:02:25 | More by RoyalT
More User Reviews:
4.33/5 rDev -1.4%
Had this Xmas eve night,I was at the in laws so I didnt have the proper glassware, poured into a standard pint glass a deep rich amber with deep brownish tint thru out a big fluffy light brown head sat atop.The complexities in the nose were awesome first off a hit of phenolic bubble gum intertwined with some dark fruit and brown sugar notes with a hint of herbalness.As with the nose the complexities abound on the palate not overly phenolic wich is fine with me somewhat yeasty and deeply fruity with sweeter caramel and brown sugar notes the alcohol stays very well restrained with a hint of spiced nuts coming thru as I drank more.I dont drink alot of Belgians but this was the right beer for the right occasion,very nicely done.
12-26-2006 21:16:47 | More by oberon
4.22/5 rDev -3.9%
Cork and caged 750 with a nice description in 3 languages and my favorite drunk monk proudly displayed. Opens with a pop and a lovely rush of smoke.
Appearance is similar to the 12, though seemingly lighter at a deep dark amber. Although this fine beverage may appear at first to be almost black, closer observation under sunlight or in a glass that isnt a 4 inch plus diameter chalice reveals a surprising transparency. Perhaps this is no lighter then the 12, which I always drink in a chalice (for cheap at Maduro). I am just paying more attention to this wonderful creation. Lace is thick, off white and lasting. It coats the glass with each sip and remains on the body appearing like the surface of the moon, potted with meteor craters but otherwise solid.
Aroma is immediately striking with a much appreciated, though faint yeasty sourness that is not found in the 12. Dark fruit character is rich and present but also lighter then the 12. I find a gentle amount of fig or perhaps prune. White raisons play nicely on the olfactory as well. Ever present in the background is a wonderful amount of floral hops, rose?...as well as some very dark, almost German schwartz bierish malts. How enticing.
Taste and Mouthfeel: The alcohol presence is noticeable even when very chilled. Oddly, it doesnt grow as the beer warms. Instead, the flavor of dark fruit does. I assume that these are closely connected. Raisons and figs play a large roll but they do not overshadow some fine dark malts. In their own turn, these malts present a smorgasbord of dark malt character, i.e., coffee, toffee, and sweet bread. Yes, on their own, each individual malt characteristic does not stand out, however, together they form a fine base of enjoyment. Yeast seems to play a significant roll in this beer too. Im quite pleased that there are absolutely no banana esters or flavors in this beer despite a rich tropical undercurrent. St. Bernie 60s yeast qualities are much more exotic. I could not ask for a more warming and silky beer. Wet as a hot tub with equally aggressive carbonation, the fiz of this brew matches the steady retention of the lace .it is assertive, yet delicate The complexity of the flavor greatly increases as it warms, and as I said earlier, the booziness subsides somewhat. What a feat!
My love of this beer matches the love that Mr. Darcy had for Elizabeth. (Yes I am drinking this with my girlfriend while watching a chick flick but damn, this beer is so fine that I am able to appreciate a film version of this novel that isnt the splendid BBC production of years past). Cheers to my favorite drunk monk and cheers to this brew, as much a work of art as any portrait in the Tate or creation of a lady from Hampshire.
04-03-2007 00:06:39 | More by DaPeculierDane
4.38/5 rDev -0.2%
A friend, who knows little about beer, found this and bought it for me. I would recommend it highly if you could find it. Poured into a goblet the beer was a hazy brown color with a medium-sized, sticky tan head. It had a bread and dark fruit aroma. I tasted raisins, spice and a yeasty bread. This was a chewy, filling beer. Very enjoyable.
11-06-2008 00:00:28 | More by lordofthewiens
4.22/5 rDev -3.9%
750 ml Belgian beer magnum.
A- Huge three fingers of tight bubbled froth adorns the top of the glass, retention is amazing as it leaves a curtain of lace. Deep brown color lets little light at all.
S- Yeasty, fruity, slightly boozy ... phenolic with a complex malty nose.
T&M- Oh so smooth in a fluffy full body. Luscious maltiness upfront with a touch of sweetness, then comes the phenolics ... herbal and medicinal. Faint hop bitterness and a warming alcohol middle to end. Tropical fruit is held to minimum but some fusel alcohol is also present. Finishes with a bready maltiness and the cornucopia of complexities that some with this beer.
D- No doubt that this is a sipping beer, but an easy one to sip it is. Some goat cheese and roasted red peppers on crustinis went perfect.
09-21-2006 01:30:49 | More by Jason
3.58/5 rDev -18.5%
Served on my Orval glass. Pours a very pretty chestnut color with a good tan head. Clingy. Cherry, fig, candy and alcohol in the nose. Very alcoholic all around. Chocolate covered raisin flavors. Thin. I guess I should go get a couple more bottles for safe keeping. No way this beer is ready to drink.
12-02-2006 18:07:11 | More by tjthresh
4.63/5 rDev +5.5%
"Best before end: see bottle." on the bottom of the bottle: 3/5/11"(!) Commemorative tubular tin to hold the bottle.$11.99 at New Beer in NYC, N.Y.
Typical belgian bomber, caged and corked. Pours the expected murky, ruddy dark brown, lots of bubbles can be seen risning to the top. Dark tan head, doing the world class retention thing, slowly dissolving to a very thick film and leaving more then ample amounts of sheeting and sticky lacing. Nose is of rum, figs, raisins, nutty yeasties. Full flavor, big and bold, heady brew. Lots of roasted dark, toasty malts, dark fruity notes (raisins and figs again) candi sugars, teeth coating Belgian strong/quadrupel goodness. Finish is long and smooth, notes of dark rum, toffee, semi sweet dark chocolate. World class sipper, after dinner with a chocolate dessert, night capper beer. I'd love to have the capability to put one or two of these babies away for a few years.
10-28-2006 18:11:21 | More by Billolick
3.6/5 rDev -18%
This was one of my original craft beer reviews. I need to find this again because I feel like my palate has changed since. I must confess I originally bought this because it came in a cool tin.
From my notes at the time:
Kind of bitter dark beer, sweet but tart. slight almost hoppy taste comes through. it was not a favorite, I definitely need to find this again. (probably worst review ever!)
01-13-2009 06:07:21 | More by Dantheman4162
3.98/5 rDev -9.3%
Pours reddish brown with lots of tan head which it retains quite well. I'm noticing a fair amount of lacing. It seems pretty clear. Aroma is hops, malt, and the alcohol is quite obvious. Flavor is malty, earthy, hop bitterness is prominant and dominates the finish. Full bodied with noticeable bite from carbonation.
Pretty good beer overall, but the bitterness overwhelms the complexity. Maybe this one will improve with age?
10-20-2006 01:12:59 | More by Dizzy
4.38/5 rDev -0.2%
This beer pours a murky mohogany color with a thick, fluffytan head. The head fades very slowly, leaving a massive curtain of lace.
This beer has a grainy aroma. It also has a subtle spicy aroma. I smell some coriander, and some cloves. It has a citrusy hop aroma to it as well. The alcohol content is very well hidden in the aroma. It has a very slight fig like aroma also.
This beer tastes a lot like it smells. The only difference is that I can taste the alcohol. This beer tastes slightly grainy. It has a spicy flavor as well. It has a decent fig like flavor also.
This beer is very full bodied. It is not overly aggressive. It is well carbonated. The alcohol warms a little as it goes down. It leaves a fig like aftertaste.
This beer would probably not be the best session beer. It is high in alcohol. Also, since it is a limited release, it might be hard to justify drinking bottle after bottle in one sitting.
Overall: I liked this beer. I have liked everything from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV, so I was not surprised. I would and will drink this beer again.
04-26-2007 01:58:24 | More by OStrungT
4.03/5 rDev -8.2%
(Served in a chalice)
A- This beer has a huge creamy head of light tan foam that is 3 times the size of the body even with the most gentle pour. The body is a dark brown the color of shoe polish and has a champagne carbonation of tiny bubbles lined up is strands.
S- This beer has a soft smell of brown malt and light cola with a note of yeasty bread and a hint of hops in the finish. There is a slight soft smell of circus peanuts and white sugar that come through when it is warm.
T- This beer has a nice flavor of brown malt and lightly toasted malt with a spicy finish. There is a light sweetness to the malt with notes of brown sugar and prunes. The finish is mostly spicy and a hint of green bitterness when it is very warm.
M-This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with an alcohol heat that enhances the spicy finish while covering up the green bitterness.
D- This beer has a nice smooth slightly sweet flavor that has some depth and a spicy alcohol heat to cut the sweetness nicely.
03-05-2007 21:05:39 | More by rhoadsrage
4.45/5 rDev +1.4%
I LOVE ST. Bernardus ABT 12 so shelling out the extra bucks to pick up one of these delicious special editions was a no-brainer.
Like the regular edition this pours a dark cherry almost brown with a pinky finger head that cascades the glass. The aroma is of dark cherry, plum and dried apricot but more hop kick that the regular.
The flavor has a cola sweetness to it with subtle vanilla, clove and allspice. Texture is quite creamy. A very full beer that is surprisingly easy drinking for it's high ABV.
I think the original is a shade better but both are phenomenal.
05-02-2008 00:54:33 | More by sloejams
4.5/5 rDev +2.5%
Corked and caged 750 ml bottle sampled with my family on the Labor Day weekend. The beer poured a deep brown color and a nice tan head that hung around for awhile. The aroma was similar to the standard 12 version: malty and sweet with a touch of the high abv. The taste is also similar to the taste of the original 12 but this special edition has more of a hop kick to it up front that gives way to a nice malty backbone that makes for a very smooth beer. Although the body is a bit heavy, it is still a very drinkable beer. My next task will be to try to side by side with the standard 12.
09-05-2006 02:06:37 | More by ggaughan
4.03/5 rDev -8.2%
This has been sitting in my wine rack for about a year or so, and New Year's Eve calls for a bit of the 'out with the old' mentality as well. A good excuse to pop the top off this fancy sleek tin, I suppose...
This beer pours a cloudy brownish-orange, with puffy, creamy off white head, that leaves minor lacing as it recedes. The smell is very sweet malt - molasses, warm spices (ginger, cloves), and a little bit of yeast. The taste is strong on the warming alcohol, dark fruit, cloves, and allspice. The mouthfeel is creamy, mildly carbonated, and masks the heat from the alcohol just enough. This is surprisingly very easy to drink, smooth; an appropriate bottle to share before the Auld Lang Syne renditions kick off...
01-03-2009 00:53:47 | More by biboergosum
4.83/5 rDev +10%
This bottle is about five years old, and now its supposed to be at its prime. Time for the having!
Looking good. Dark, deep woody brown, thick and hazy as far as I can tell, with a large spongy orange-taupe colored head. Dense bubbly goodness... Not much lace sticks once the head shrinks in size. Aroma is extensive. It seems to go on for exponential miles. There is a whole lot going on here. I don't know where to start. Its hard to begin picking out all the individual scents and flavors because of how they all come together so well. Mmmmm. Everything about this is smooth, bright, malty, velvety, and sweet. Its candy-like, but far from cloying. Full body with a fluffy, satiny, medium feel. The alcohol fits in perfectly with the rest of it, and this certainly does not feel like 11%.
This beer is awesome. If only there were more.
08-24-2011 02:51:02 | More by tastybeer
4.33/5 rDev -1.4%
Nice packaging. Comes in a 60th Anniversary tin and corked an caged 750 bottle. $11.99
Pours thick dark brown with a nice dark head and lots of bubbles rising to the top.
Very big aromas and tastes in this one.
Strong aromas of alcohol(rum,port) and dark fruits such as raisins, plums, figs. Very roasty, toasty aromas of toffee, chocolate. Sweet malt and strong candy sugar.
Mouthfeel is full and sticky. Mouth and throat coating with strong alcohol warmth. Tastes are huge sweet maltiness. Strong candy sugar and rum/port alcohol. Chocolate, toffee, figs. Nutty.
This is just an excellent beer overall.
10-29-2006 14:57:10 | More by BillyB
4.13/5 rDev -5.9%
Not cheap and large bottle. Yeasty large foamy head with yeasty aroma. Dark rich coloured body. Taste is very good, sweet spicy, lemon and clealry caramel, bit somehow reminds me of coca cola, when they brewed it properly in Montreal. Smooth and satisfying.
12-17-2006 00:33:41 | More by Sammy
4.68/5 rDev +6.6%
Came in a beautiful navy blue special edition tin can that is surely a collectors item. This beer actually came to me by accident. I was at my local store picking up some Fantôme and Rogue and the guy at the cash register informed me that they just received shipment of the St. Bernardus Special Edition. My heart almost stopped beating I was so excited.
Popped the cork off of the 750ml bottle and immediately picked up some beautiful aromas in the air. Poured a dark murky brown in color with a beautiful creamy white head. If I could give the appearance a 6, I would! Dark fruits, yeast, bread, pepper and a rum like alcohol aroma are among the many flavors in the nose. This is quite the "sniffing" beer.
The second this brew hit my mouth I instantly fell in love with it. The mouthfeel is extremely smooth and creamy. Words alone cannot describe the taste of this complex beer. Sweet plums and malt dominate the front as the wonderfully integrated hops and warming alcohol bring up the rear.
I cannot say enough about this fantastic brew as it nearly perfect! In my opinion it is even better than the original Abt 12. Props to the guys at Brouwerij St. Bernardus for crafting an excellent beer. Needless to say, I will be stocking up on this brew while I can.
07-21-2006 00:12:11 | More by cjgator3
3.45/5 rDev -21.4%
I like to think I've tried a lot beers and understand most styles pretty well, but I don't get this beer. The drinkability is great and almost unmatched for an 11% beer, it could be half of that that. But the flavor, the most important part of any beer, is surprisingly bland. Yes, it's very drinkable, but the taste is just mellow caramel with a roasted edge and maybe a little date. I'm disappointed
06-23-2007 17:15:18 | More by tempest
4.88/5 rDev +11.2%
Got a bunch of these bottles a couple years ago. Been drinking one every once in a while. It's 4 years old now and drinking amazing.
Pours a dark hazel brown with a decent head that dissapated to a nice thin layer. Decent lacing.
Aroma of Belgian candy sugar and Belgian yeast. Figs and rasins and brown sugar are also aromas.
Tastes exactly as it smells. It's drinking so smooth right now. Lots of brown sugar and dark fruits.
Mouthfeel is awesome. Perfect carb and soo smooth.
Overall this is drinking amazing right now so if you have one pop it open. I have a couple more left so I can open them a little later. I'll report back here.
10-19-2010 06:09:42 | More by PeprSprYoFace
3.45/5 rDev -21.4%
750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.
Appearance - Hazy copper body. Khaki head. Medium collar.
Smell - Oxidized. Cardboard, not sherry. Fruity malt. A bit of yeast.
Taste - Caramel. Some dark fruits. Oxidation kicks in shortly thereafter. Cardboard that doesn't improve it.
Mouthfeel - Medium body. Cardboard. Slick body.
Overall - Just too old. Not even as good as the regular St. Bernardus.
08-20-2013 03:18:31 | More by Alieniloquium
4.28/5 rDev -2.5%
Pours an efferevescent chestnut with 1" of frothy tan head. Fantastic lacing & head retention is als really good, a peresitent film hugs the orval goblet all the way down
S: Slight hints of choclate, cherry & oak barrels
T: Choclate & oakyness up front. Dryness aserts as it warms along with a slight alcohol warmth. Fruittyness and fruitcake (cherry , vanilla& dates) like notes mingle on the tounge
MF: Medium bodied wth efferevescence that really helps brink out the flavors of this fine beer
Drinks too easy for the abv, but at $13 a bottle this if for special occasions. A pretty good quadrippel, not ready to annoint it a great one. Love the art work on the bottle
10-16-2006 03:11:34 | More by russpowell
4/5 rDev -8.9%
Originally reviewed November 23, 2006. 750mL Bottle. Aroma is a piquant blossom of oranges and passionfruit, dominated with bold yeast character, lightly phenolic, yet heavy with esters. Some dislike this, but I revel in the bready, moist quality. Murky sauteed apple brown pour, with amber fringes and a bright top of cream, off-white. Flavor has copious brandy alcohols, light pale fruits, particularly in apple, pear and cantelope, with ideals of pineapple and apricot. A touch warm, but not bad, instead bright and refreshing over the deep warm caramels and toasted sweet bread corners, dates and figs, with cinnamon and mulled spices pull through. Pears a plenty and lots mulling sugars in the end. A light crispness of hops wafts across in the end, bringing in some balance to heavy attack of sugar and alcohol. Delicious!
12-19-2006 19:02:59 | More by CharlesDarwin
4.45/5 rDev +1.4%
Stellar Belgian. What struck me right off was the aroma from the bottle. Straight to the nostrils. Poured the brew into a wide mouth glass and watched the thick head climb, then subside at a moderate pace. The taste was very much fruity, plum(ish), maybe a touch of ginger. Cool and crisp, it tingles the palette. The alcohol is a bit surreptitious, you hardly notice it till later. Finishes with a bit of a lingering aftertaste, A touch just to hang around for a while. Well done.
08-08-2010 04:39:08 | More by andrewm190
4.55/5 rDev +3.6%
A deep mahogany brown with a whipped creamy, perfect head. It stays like a shampoo lather on top barely receding and clinging to the sides to leave lovely patterns. Mostly clear with a few chunks of yeast in the glass.
Smell starts out like a cross between burgundy and caramel malt. Sweet and intense fruitiness follows with cocoa and more wine. A hint of clove and Belgian spiciness. The smell is so inviting and complex that you keep sniffing and finding yourself at a loss for all the descriptors.
Taste is much like the nose but better. The raisins and plums come full force and the deep malt breadiness of it all makes it feel like food on a damp cool autumn evening. Nourishing and comforting like a plate of mashed potatoes and gravy. Figs and Fig Newtons add cake like chewiness while the clove and spice of the nose break it up. Light noble hops add just a kiss of bittering balance to a superb malt base. The finish is dry with a choco-malted milk/latte lingering for a bit. Alcohol is lurking somewhere but it never steps forward. Feel is full creamy and harkens back to that plate of mashed. Perfect carbonation is smooth and velvety.
Drinkability is oh so good. You can park your glass right here and enjoy this all night. When you want a Westy 12 but can't pull one out of the cellar here is a choice that will satisfy.
10-30-2009 03:29:41 | More by scootny
St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition") from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
97 out of 100 based on 286 ratings.