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St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition") - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Not Rated.
St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition")St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition")

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

289 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 289
Reviews: 235
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.43%
Wants: 50
Gots: 25 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

From the brewer: The St.Bernardus Abt 12 is recognized as one of the best ales in the World. For the occassion of our 60th Anniversary our Brewmaster Bert Van Hecke created a unique and special variety of the St. Bernardus Abt 12. This 'Special Edition' contains hops from Poperinge: Challenger and Golding, and has been brewed with black, amber, Munich and pale ale malts. Alc. 11% Vol.

(Beer added by: Todd on 05-08-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 289 | Reviews: 235 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Carpentiere
2.75/5  rDev -37.4%

Photo of Manosbeeroffate
2.95/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

$5.75 up in Belfast, hoping it would be really special, but not the case. Pours a dark golden brown color, head lasts forever. Smells all deeply sweet malt. Tastes way too sweet for me, malt, dried fruit, raisiny, no hops detected. Mouthfeel is quite thin in my opinion. Overall I'm a bit bummed out, was expecting a bit more, but I think Ommegang is a lot better example of a good Belgian.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.15/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 4/20/20007 (750mL bottle, aged 6mo? in fridge, BB03/05/11):

Pours a slightly cloudy amber brown. Huge off-white foamy.head, decent lacing, somewhat diminishing. Dark fruit aroma, not as flowery as most Belgians. Sugary aroma, almost like molasses. Sugar, some alcohol. Decent, not so complex.

Photo of BrewnZ
3.2/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Deep brown, off white head. Seems lighter vs. regular Abt. 12

S: Esters, spicy alcohols, slight malty coco.

M: Medium to thick, with a nice sticky character.

T: Rich malt, spicy yeast character, then alcohols dominate. Not as layered as regular Abt. 12 . . . high expectations not meet. Perhaps same bottle next year?

D: Medium due to higher alcohols. May blossom with more age. Have to say I am a big fan of the regular Abt. 12 and was expecting something that would exceed that beer - it did not happen for me during this tasting.

Photo of PEBKAC
3.25/5  rDev -26%

Photo of drseamus
3.25/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I wish I drank this with a regular Abt 12 to compare. This one pours a cloudy dark red with a very thick tan head. I was apparently careless with the pour because there is a bunch of yeast in suspension and at the bottom. The smell is pretty sweet and malty and has raisins, yeast, and other dark fruits in it. The flavor is very malty and spicy. I get some black pepper in there and the raisins are there too. I don't get any of the hops that should be in there. This has lower drinkability because it is too sweet to drink too much of. I don't think I would drink this again.

Photo of tempest
3.45/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.45/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of charlzm
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled, consumed on 01/02/08. Bottle marked "best before 10/10/11".

Kept it at room temp for four months after purchase. First beer of the new year!

A molasses brown pour yields a large pillowy head that sticks around a long time. Lively carbonation. Aroma is sweet and alcoholic with a nasty metal note: think of scrubbing a stainless steel sink with an SOS pad. Thick in the mouth with caramel flavor, a small bit of sweetness, warm spice and hot pepper and a not-overwhelming astringency. Warming as it goes down. Alcohol flavor well-masked: deadly in an 11% beer! It is substantial, however, and not a gulper.

I think the standard St. Bernardus Abt 12 might be a little tastier than this one. If it weren't for that awful aroma...

Photo of PalaniRajan
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of Ivanthehero
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was really pumped for this one, sadly I wasn't overly impressed. I tried to give it a fair shot, repeatedly tasting and looking for positives, but in the end I did just not like the taste. Its appearance is a lovely dark reddish brown. I smiffed the hell out of this beer looking for something I recognized, but I couldn't pick out much. It smelled promising though. Ok, on the my main beef with the beer. I feel like I am drinking diet quadruple. It starts off spicy with hints of clove, but as it leaves the palate I get the same taste found in the aftertaste of a diet coke. I hate diet coke. I really had high hopes for the 60th anniversary after loving St. Bernie's triple. Oh well, it was a gift and I did get a serious buzz.

Photo of tjthresh
3.58/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of ultralarry2006
3.58/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle. Leaves a crazy big and foamy beige head of three-plus fingers, with excellent retention, and it leaves webs of excellent sticky lacing. Body is garnet with nut brown and tobacco highlights. Appearance will be this ale's highpoint.

Smell - horseblanket, and spicy and medicinal alcohol. Not much else - not much malt, and certainly not hops, although not much hops were expected, but much malt was expected, and there is just not a lot of it at all.

Taste - Much like the smell. Horseblanket, with spicy alcohol flooding the tongue. A little bit of maltbread shows up on the tongue, but not much. Mostly, it is just a wash of horseblanket and spicy alcohol. Good, but not great.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, and semi-dry.

Drinkability - this is good, but not great. The high abv naturally holds down sessionability. This is a nice sipper, but something I'd like only occaisionally.

Photo of Dantheman4162
3.6/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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!)

Photo of SilentSabre
3.68/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Delicious, as expected. Poured a murky dark red with a huge, pillowy sand coloured head, inspite of a gentle pour, that lasted throughout the drink. Huge collection of sediment and debris in the bottom of the bottle, which I can't wait to get to! Bottle has the 10th of October, 2011 as a "best before" date, which I have a really hard time believeing that this won't hold up for any longer than that.
While the smell is fruity and sweet as a typical quad should be, there is also a bit of an earthy hop profile here, as well, which I wasn't expecting. The fruity element here is a bit different than the fruity element of most other quads. This seems to be a "cleaner" lighter fruity smell, like a fresh cut red apple, rather than the heavy, almost sickeningly sweet stewed/dark fruit smell that seems to be so common.
Taste, while good, is only a notch or so above average, IMO. Most of the same elements in other quads are present here, as well. Fruit, alcohol, pleasant bitterness, and in that order. Don't get me wrong, this is a really good quad, I just don't think it is that far off from where the original St. Bernadus Abt.12 is, or scores of other good Belgian quads for that matter. I enjoyed it, and I'm glad I have several of these in the cellar, but overall, it isn't exactly "sensational".

Photo of Crosling
3.68/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I compared this next to regular Abt 12. This had more dried cocoa and mocha flavors, more dark malt tones, while the abt 12 was more vinous and loaded with tons of juicy fruit. The regular abt 12 is better, more flavorful and also more aromatic as well. Both are great beers with tremendously well hidden alcohol. I guess I just don’t get this one. It’s still good, just not great.

Photo of cro250klr
3.7/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap, Bernie 12 is stunning. Complex and soft on the palate, the fig, clove, banana and bubble gum flavors are wonderful. The closer to room temperature it gets, the better these flavors meld.
Out of a 750ml bottle, the same. I notice just a hint more carbonation than that of the barreled brew.
With that in mind, when I saw 'Special Edition', I went right for this one. The metal can that the bottle comes in is a nice addition too.
The hour and a half ride back home after the purchase was almost unbearable, I couldn't wait to try this.
The moment arrived, the bottle was uncorked and the pour looked stunning. Dark, dirt brown color with a creamy tan head. The aroma was really nice and now came the first sip. Alas! Much drier than the regular Bernie 12. Mouthfeel is nearly the same, but that finish. I'm not really impressed. If you read the bottle, it says that that two types of hops and four kinds of malts are used for brewing. I can indeed taste the malt and I am getting some of the banana, bubble gum flavors that I like, but something is different. My taste buds are certainly not in sync with the brewers of this beer. I paired the beer with some cheeses that worked well with other Belgian browns but, again, this just is not the same. To me the brewers tried to hard to improve something that didn't need improving. While I'm glad that I can say that I tried this one and, indeed it is a very good beer, I would much prefer an original St. Bernardus 12 over the special edition offering.

Photo of doucmehu
3.75/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of cabsandking
3.78/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep crimson with a big, bready, off-white, three fingers of head and lots of legs holding it up and leaves ample lacing to the bottom. Big fruity malt nose of cherry, plum and bit orange to pineapple hop ester. Dark roasted malts, cherry wine fruitiness is a bit medicinal like cough syrup, burnt sugar sweetness is cut by a woodsy, nutty malt thats on the dry side and is more perceivable in the finish. Mouthfeel is great; thin, smooth, full bodied and the only place where 11% is perceivable as it spreads a layer of light prickly alcohol just before its gone. Not a big finish, just enough to make to the next sip. I wish this beer had gone further considering its monumental tag.

Photo of srandycarter
3.8/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into the trusty tulip

A - Deep dark brown, off white head. Good lacing.

S - Rich Belgium malt, alcohol.

T - Full malt, alcohol and spices. Finish gives small bite at back of throat.

M - Medium body, carbonation. Pretty simply offered. Expected more nuance.

D - To many others out there. Fun to try, though.

Photo of mrmanning
3.85/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle sample shared with HogtownHarry and Milos, Harry's bottle. This one is a neat blend of the original st berny abt 12, with an interesting american take on the style, which is mostly noticable in the flavour. It pours a deep mahogony/deep brown with a large frothy beige cap, lots of brusells lace. Dark fruit aromas (plum, cherry, fig) with a strong blast of challenger and spices, with some vanilla and rye bread. The flavours are similar in the dark fruit component, and there's a great sipcy floral contingent, but the american hopping doesn't work with these belgian flavours. It creates an almost metallic hop flavour that clashes with the fruit. Still tasty, but not as good as it could be. FInishes with longevity, spicy, tight. Thanks for sharing this treat Harry!

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.85/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 10/16/08. Bottle broken out to celebrate the end of my midterms! Pours a murky brown with a nice thick tan head. Aroma of alcohol, apple skins, sweet dark fruits and bready yeast. Flavor of soda, light and dark fruits, and lots of bready yeast. Not as spicy or full of pep as the regular Abt 12, this one is much more mellow (which may be due to the age). It wears as you drink, especially as the beer warms, and gets a little acidic. Good but not "special" and the regular is better.
8/4/8/4/15 (3.9/5)

Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.9/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: dark ruby color visible on edges, good head retains a bit, some some pockets of carbonation on the sides
s: malty, sweet smell
t: multitude of flavors including: bread, yeast, fruits. spicy, but not too much. nice balance here.
m: creamy, very smooth until end with slight bitterness. decent carbonation
d: so easy to drink at 11% abv, yet a bit disappointing considering the source, reputation & price. had hoped to sit on this one for at least a year & regret not doing so. would enjoy trying again (would never turn away), but if i had a choice of anything i'd likely spend money elsewhere for a top-notch quad.

Photo of assurbanipaul
3.9/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany, not entirely opaque, with a good deal of visible carbonation. Head is about a half-inch thick with large bubbles. Aroma is dry roasted malt with traces of yeast and candy sugar.

Taste is more roasted malt, a dryer-than-cola caramel flavor. Some yeast presence along with some shades of rum-soaked raisins. A hint of chocolate malt and a slight taste of bitter hops, not really enough to identify. No trace of alcoholic flavors.

Mouthfeel is rather light for what it is, making it extremely drinkable. It's been a while since I sampled the regular Abt 12 but I believe this is comparable. Without a side-by-side tasting, I couldn't really notice a difference.

Photo of maggotbrain
3.93/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In my St Bernardus Chalice, the beer is a deep chestnut color with a tannish head. The head dies down to a thin cap that sticks around as I drink.

I can detect raisins sweet alcohol in the odor. It is very similar to the regular abt 12, but maybe with more detectable alcohol.

The taste is rich and sweet, but with more bitter hop flavor than the regular abt 12 and with more of an alcoholic bite. I can taste overripe fruit, raisins, and maybe a hint of tobacco or tea.

The mouthfeel is full and not too thick.

The drinkability of this beer is good, though the alcoholic bite to it takes it down a notch.

Overall, a good beer, though I think I prefer the regular abt 12, since the 11% abv makes this one a tad harsh.

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition") from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
97 out of 100 based on 289 ratings.