St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition") - Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 285 | Reviews: 234 | Display Reviews Only:
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
4.1/5 rDev -6.6%
When I first saw this at the store I didn't believe that its really a different recipe. I figured it was just a way to charge more money by putting the bottle in that tin can and writing a little something on it. After trying this beer 3 times now, I have to say that I was completely wrong.
The beer pours a much clearer and cleaner looking brown than the regular 12. Nothing floating in there and less junk at the bottom of the bottle. The head is huge and offwhite like the regular one. Lots of CO2.
The smell is a little more spicy than the regular and is less sugary. Couldn't tell you what the spices are in this beer but they are there. There is also a bit more alcohol present in the nose than the regular but its still minor. Still plenty of malt smell. Very nice.
The flavor is good and balanced. The spices are strong here and it tastes moderately complex. There is also the usual dark fruits and belgian malt. Its fairly crisp and light in body. A bit more hop presence here than you might think. Not so much in aroma but there is a touch of hop flavor and a noticeable hop bitterness. A slight touch of alcohol burn, but not bad considering 11% abv.
Medium body and very drinkable but it makes me feel guilty tearing through a bottle of something of limited release like this.
02-29-2008 23:02:46 | More by t0rin0
4.15/5 rDev -5.5%
Reviewed from notes. Thanks to Azurelimits for giving me this bottle as a birthday present.
Pours a nice brown-mahogany color with a good creamy head. Nose brings some dark fruits, fig, dates, caramel, and a bit of booze. Taste is quite good with some dark fruits, caramel, alcohol, and brown sugar. Nice, creamy mouthfeel with low levels of carbonation. Drinks quite well. This has aged nicely.
10-20-2010 01:47:20 | More by Thorpe429
4.5/5 rDev +2.5%
A: The beer is hazy very dark mahogany in color and poured with a small off white head that never quite died down, consistently left a thin layer of bubbles on the surface. It also left some lacing running down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong sweet malty aromas in the nose along with notes of dark fruits and yeast.
T: Like the smell, the taste is complex and has flavors of dark fruits and malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and extremely smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The yeast also adds a bit of chewiness.
O: This is a great beer to sip that is very complex and hides its alcohol well. It seems to have become even smoother after several years of aging. The yeast also shines through and the initial pour tastes like what you would expect from the bottom of a bottle of another beer when the yeast particles are poured out.
03-11-2012 00:07:25 | More by metter98
4.58/5 rDev +4.3%
Dark ferric oxide orange mixed with a generous amount of dark cranberry red. A handful of vigorous bubble streams can be seen zipping up to a wonderful looking cap of golden beige colored foam that only a Belgian brewer could create. Persistence, rockiness and loads of lace are all present and accounted for.
Styles don't really matter in the end, but one whiff tells me that Special Edition smells like a BSDA. It's primarily brown malty, with plenty of medium-dark fruit and a perfect amount of clove-like yeasty spiciness. So far, this Rolls Royce of a beer is firing on all cylinders.
Ideally, I would have reviewed the standard St. Bernardus Abt 12 prior to reviewing this 60th Anniversary Special Edition. Since this bottle was getting on in years, I thought it deserved to meet its fate today. Even though I never took the opportunity to drink it fresh, it appears that almost three years in the bottle have been kind to this big ale.
The flavor profile consists of dark caramels dipped in dark chocolate, black licorice, figs and raisins soaked in dark rum, pipe tobacco and a hefty dash of ground clove. The first part of that description almost makes the beer sound like a stout, but it isn't that black malty. It is, however, darker in flavor than the color would suggest.
Warming brings about both increased complexity and increased intensity, which is precisely what one would expect from one of the world's finest. It's hard to believe the ABV is really 11.0% because this beauty drinks like it's several percentage points lower... at least.
The polished gemstone-like hue, the blizzard of yeast and the masterpiece of lace that is currently decorating the goblet give me no choice but to award an appearance score of 5.0. If only the mouthfeel was equally brilliant. On the other hand, the fact that it's just short of medium (for the style and the ABV) only serves to increase ease of drinkability. Yeah, like that was a problem.
This is an outstanding BSDA. It's a shame that 60th anniversaries happen only once, but then lovers of Belgian beer the world over can console themselves with the fact that the standard St. Bernardus Abt 12 isn't going anywhere. If you can still find it, this one is still drinking mighty fine.
05-20-2009 20:51:12 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.55/5 rDev +3.6%
Appearance: Pours a rich dark amber color with garnet highlights and a creamy head that pancakes the liquid and leave copious strands of lace
Smell: Dark fruit (fig and dates) with candi sugar and holiday spices
Taste: Opens with an intriguing combination of dry and sweet, somewhat fruitcake like, but complex and woody; after the swallow, the candi sugar kicks in, but the hops keep it in balance; there are some phenols and alcohol that appear from time to time but the impact is neither consistent nor overwhelming
Mouthfeel: Medium to full body; creamy with lots of carbonation; little warmth despite the alcohol
Drinkability: This is one of those supurb Belgians that give the country its well-deserved reputation; with a few years of aging, the rough edges have disappeared and this is a treat to behold
11-22-2008 22:07:55 | More by brentk56
4.45/5 rDev +1.4%
Considering that the regular St. 'B' is my favorite all-time beer, I expect greatness from their 60th anniversary brew. The beer predictibly leap from the bottle with a malty strong brown / ruby hue with more clarity than expected. The eggshell head retention was sprinkled with spices and yeastiness. The aromas and flavors contained every flavor that has ever been present in a beer, but with a strong emphasis on all of the dark, dried, ripened, and dehydrated fruits imaginable. Very fruitcake / rum cake-like. Very spicy and sweet to say the least. Only the intangible 'age and maturity' keep it from perfection. For now, the beer has not melded completely, but it should in a few years. Until then....Happy Birthday St. Bernardus!
09-06-2006 12:49:03 | More by BEERchitect
4.28/5 rDev -2.5%
So here we are my 600th review. It only took 5 days over a year for this one, that is really a lot of reviews, and I will be curious to see how many get turned in the next year, with the cap gone and the new selections flowing like water, I would be surprised if there were not more then that in the next year, So anyway when I was trying to decide what I wanted to use in this milestone spot I say this bottle in the closet and figured somehow this just fit. Poured a deep dark russet brown, with essentially no light shining through, what did come through set off some nice tones of reddish hue in the color. A huge, three inch or more head of tan foam flowed on top and made for a very full bodied look. After this faded and was replaced by tons of sticky lace some carbonation could be seen at the very bottom of the glass trying to make its way up. A fantastic spiced smell overcame you with lots of hints of dark fruits, cherries, dates, and prunes which mixed in with some cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg. A very full aroma was the great lead in to a very full flavor. Much more smooth then the standard, this had a fantastic creamy consistency and a really wide variety of flavors the just loved to dance around and meld together. There was a huge body of prune and cherry flavors that when mixed in with some yeast, gave it a very warming and almost winter like taste. This was just an outstanding late night sipper. Such a complex flavor profile and huge body made this more then a treat and very fitting for the occasion. With more and more beers like this around its no wonder there are limitless options with which to try!! I would highly recommend getting a hand on this one; it is more then worth it.
11-01-2007 01:24:57 | More by mikesgroove
4.33/5 rDev -1.4%
Bottle courtesy of Adrian910ss: Poured a dark brown color ale with a super huge foamy head with perfect retention and lacing. Aroma of spiced cookie dough with some dried fruits. Taste is a mix between cookie dough malt, light toffee, spiced and some dry fruits. Body is full with some great carbonation and alcohol is very well hidden. IMO it is still not as good as Rochefort 10 but I still believe this is one of the top beer of this fine style.
02-21-2007 19:37:25 | More by Phyl21ca
4.3/5 rDev -2.1%
Appearance: Dark, dark brown body with an tall, expansive off-white head.
Smell: The nose is richly malty, reminiscent of a plate of spritzgebäck cookies along with plenty of fruits contained within: raisins, spiced pears, and bananas.
Taste: Dark caramel sweetness with some milk chocolate and cookie dough as well as the fruits carrying over from the aroma. Some alcohol and spice is present in the yeasty, semi-sweet finish. Though light, the hops really do help to taper the sweetness somewhat.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Moderate carbonation. Chewy mouthfeel.
Drinkability: I didn't go into this beer thinking I'd proclaim it far better than the original.
And yet, here we are. When something is so very right, it just needs to be broadcast to a bunch of guys on a beer rating website:
The St. Bernardus Abt 12 "Special Edition" far exceeds its predecessor.
06-03-2007 23:04:31 | More by ChainGangGuy
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
4.2/5 rDev -4.3%
Best by 10/xx/11 on the bottom of the bottle... figured it's still good right? At 11% this is hangin tough i'm sure.
A healthy blast from the cork, some mild oxidized malt aroma creeps out along with the gunsmoke trails. Lovely russet almond shade, constant tan foam across the surface. Wispy lace and sheets form on the glass as it's sipped. Quintessential quad.
Ginger snaps, plum, sweet caramel.
Flavor is dry and sweet, fruity and caramelly. Light and easy drinking almost, deceptive for being 11%. Apple butter, toffee, mild bitterness in the back. Multigrain bread notes in the aftertaste. Pleasant and smooth, it melds together well. This is still drinking nicely, I wouldn't cellar it too much longer though.
05-26-2010 04:20:04 | More by emerge077
4.68/5 rDev +6.6%
The St. Bernardus Abt 12 60th Anniversary Edition pours a rich, opulent chestnut color with copious biscuit foam and lace. The retention is formidable.
The nose is utterly plethoric; spicy with nutmeg, clove and coriander, ripe fruits and toasted malts, elusive intimations of ethanol and dry, bittering hops. The taste mirrors the smell but with a myriad of additional complexities, including figs, black cherries, candied walnuts, dulce de leche, tiramisu and bread pudding.
On the lighter side of full-bodied, a velvet mouthfeel gives this beer an impeccable cessation. The drinkability is astounding considering the exorbitant inebriating quality of the ale.
Bravo, St. Bernardus, bravo. Another staggering achievement.
05-25-2007 22:36:42 | More by largadeer
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
4.53/5 rDev +3.2%
Sampled 6-21-2007. Oh my God, what have I DONE!? On a whimsy I pop open the ol' 60th anniversary edition here. As I pull the cork out I think to myself: what the hell am I doing?
Pours a clear dark brown with ruby tints. Minimal head. Nose is very clean and vibrant. I am getting raisins and stronger bananas. Dough is there as well, but it seems to be on the back end. Over continual sniffing, bananas seem to rule the day. Flavor is smooth and beautiful. Sweet of course, but those bananas are right back up at me. Mild wood tones hit me. Yeast doesn't show up until the aftertaste kicks in, in which case you get a thick amount of that. Feel is smooth. biting carbonation. Overall I am going to say this has a perfect level of drinkability. A smooth drinking quad? Who would have thought. Amazing.
12-31-2007 17:09:25 | More by RblWthACoz
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
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
4.47/5 rDev +1.8%
Got this in a trade from Photekut, even though I should have bought this when it was on the shelves in Chicago. Shared with friends after moving (most of our stuff anyway). Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip.
A - Huge three fingers of tan foam that slowly dissipates to a thick soapy cap and leaves tons of intricate lacing. The suspended solids in the brew make it look like someone sprinkled cinnamon on the foam. Coppery brown color that's slightly transparent and reveals some chunks at the bottom of the glass.
S - Caramel apple, raisins, dark fruits, chocolate, Belgian yeast, spices, a touch of anise, candy sugar. It's a wonderful and complex bouquet, but still well within the typical quad realm.
T - Pretty much all the things listed in the aroma, but with a strong emphasis on the apple, and a touch of tobacco. There's a light bitterness in the finish, and an odd touch of sourness that seems to be developing, but isn't intrusive yet.
M - Medium body, with some light alcohol heat, some light residual stickiness after a relatively dry finish. It's a little thinner than I prefer.
D - I split the bottle three ways, but I would have done this one on my own. Not quite as awesome as Rochefort 10, but better than regular St. Bernardus.
09-07-2009 01:04:33 | More by MasterSki
4.6/5 rDev +4.8%
Bottle shared by Huhzubendah - a Zealot of Beer in The Halls of Beerdom. Beerdom looks a lot like boredom. Just saying, I was too poor to buy this while it was on shelves in FL, and regretted it for a long time. This quad rivals almost all other quads out there. I still love Westys and also Struise, this is a great great beer. I can't wait for their 70th anniversary.
Beer is brown and hazy with a decent head that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate.
Bready and estery aroma with a variety of fruits and malt sweetness in there as well. Smells great.
Beer is medium to light in body with an effervescent palate. The beer leads off with some candy sweetness and the midpalate is dominated by the yeast and the esters and the finish is clean and not dry without an aftertaste. Its really drinkable and the mouthfeel is great. I really enjoyed this beer.
St. Bernardus ABT12 is a solid beer and this one is even better. Who knew?
11-01-2010 17:04:25 | More by drabmuh
4.5/5 rDev +2.5%
this is something very special. i think it came out in 2006, so it has been carefully cellared for some time, and while some say may be past its prime, i think its drinking absolutely beautifully. price tag on the canister says $12.99. i find that remarkable because if that came out today it would be 30 bucks. the value and illusion of value in beer has never been higher, and for an item like this, it would fetch higher returns now. a cool slice of recent beer history. the beer itself is just wonderful. delicate and elaborate and absolutely a special version of the abt 12 we all know and love. the color is reddish hued rust to molasses, its fizzy for its age, and has an elegant cream colored head over an inch tall and never relaxing at all, its already relaxed at that height. the aroma is divine, well matured big caramel malts and that ramadan dried fruit element, dates and figs and raisins, all expertly balanced together. the label says they used some new hops for this recipe, but i get very little from that in nose or taste, i can assume its faded some, but my guess it this was never a very hoppy brew, instead a demonstration of grain forward flavor unrivaled in quality and depth. the mouthfeel makes a huge impression here. its so soft and delicate on the palate, barely medium bodied at this point, but still well carbonated. not punchy aggressive carbonation, but subtle, consistent, and expressive. the tiny bubbles carry tobacco and dried plum notes to the tongue, and that bernardus belgian yeast with its spice and blooming floral uniqueness to the forefront with the grain. down easy, the alcohol is invisible, but this is a beer to savor with friends. it felt right to drink it in a dark cellar on a rainy night. not sure how much of this is still around, but i cant see it improving any from here. if youve got one squirreled, blow the dust off, find some mates, and pour it up. a very special beer, lucky to be a part of this one.
06-09-2014 22:24:45 | More by StonedTrippin
4.35/5 rDev -0.9%
The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that lasts. The aroma is good. It has a rich, malty scent along with a fruity yeast aroma. It's sweet with crystal and Munich malts. This is a very delicious aroma. The taste is great. It has a very smooth, malty flavor. It boasts of caramel and burnt toffee along with a wonderful Belgian yeast fruitiness. This is a tremendous beer. It hides the 11% well. There is virtually no warming at all. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This may be the best Belgian quad I've ever had. It's complex and flavorful as well as easy drinking; a fine beer for sure.
11-20-2007 00:58:25 | More by WesWes
4.9/5 rDev +11.6%
Best before 02/05/11
Poured into a glass chalice.
Poured a dark caramel-color with a thick, foamy white head that left beautiful rings of lacing along the glass.
The smell is of dark fruitiness (raspberry?) and hints of cocoa. A wondefully complex aroma.
The taste is of sweet, complex maltiness. There's a plethora of tastes that mix well - dark fruits, caramel, chocolate. Hop bitterness is low, but enough to keep the sweetness from being cloying. The alcohol is very well hidden until the second pouring, and even then does not interfere.
The feel is creamy, full-bodied and incredibly smooth. Nothing about it makes it undrinkable...A great one for sipping, especially since it becomes even better as it warms.
And the beer gods rejoiced...
10-09-2006 02:40:24 | More by jwc215
4.53/5 rDev +3.2%
Sampled March 2007
Very well carbonated, pours with an easily four-finger thick, tan colored head that sits atop a burnt amber to dark red colored head. The head forms a rocky surface with lots of sparse lacing on the sides of the glass as it slowly recedes. The aroma is driven by rich caramelized malt notes that mix well with fermentation character; together they lean towards notes of raisins, plum, fresh cut ripe apples, star fruit and even some banana esters that become quite pronounced at times. Spice aromatics are also noticeably with hints of ginger, clove and perhaps a touch of black pepper. I really like the mix of fruit and spice that is found in the nose here. The aroma is quite rich and decadent, in a dessert kind of way. Definitely a beer that I can sit and smell for quite some time, without needing to even taking a sip.
Ultimately though the flavor is where the heart of a beer is. The first sip is a bit drier than the aroma would suggest, but it is still rich and malty with notes reminiscent of caramel coated fruit (though said caramel would have to be made from sweet concentrated fruit). Soft and creamy at times, this beer drinks pretty easily, despite a certain richness. Notes of lightly tart apple, rich plums, raisins and perhaps even a touch of lemon-like notes are the most noticeable fruit flavors. Lots of spicy notes are here as well; touches of vanilla (or is that the creamy mouth feel), clove, ginger, pepper, perhaps a touch of nutmeg, and some dusty grains of paradise notes.
The flavor & texture mix in this beer at times reminds me of some creamy, caramel topped banana dessert. This is a really nice beer, rich, flavorful, with lots of interesting flavors. The texture of this beer is quite compelling; it is rich and creamy, contemplative, yet still not heavy. As the beer warms a touch of warming alcohol becomes noticeable; it combines with the fruit and malt to be reminiscent of rum / brandy.
04-23-2007 04:37:30 | More by Gueuzedude
St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition") from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
97 out of 100 based on 285 ratings.