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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.

286 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 286
Reviews: 234
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.43%
Wants: 48
Gots: 24 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV visit their website

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition") Alström Bros
Ratings: 286 | Reviews: 234 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BillyB
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.

BillyB, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of Billolick
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.

Billolick, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of neonbrown82
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%

This beer is very good, but I don't think I like it as much as the original. In the side by side tasting, the regular proved to be much smoother and creamier. I'll have to see how this fades after a year or two, when the alcohol burn will also round out a bit as well.

The beer pours to a nice nutty amber brown color. Has a thin off-white head. Light carbonation. Looks almost identical to the regular, though a slight bit more opaque.

The smell is more pronounced than the regular, but the spice profile and alcohol aroma are quite biting. Also smells sweeter and more candied. Also has more of a black anise aroma, which I am not so much a fan of. Smells more like a special Christmas release of the Abt 12.

The taste is very good. I'm assuming at this point that anybody who is interested in this review has at least tried the standard Abt 12. Has more of a Westvleteren-like quality to it than the regular. More sweet and flavorful, more spices. A little bit more of a black anise flavor to it. More banana and clove.

The mouthfeel doesn't quite hold up to the regular, however. It's much more sharp and biting with a stronger bitter hop finish. Not nearly as creamy.

Not quite as drinkable either. For one, it is a whole 1% stronger. For two, it is more biting on the palate.

neonbrown82, Oct 26, 2006
Photo of Dizzy
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?

Dizzy, Oct 20, 2006
Photo of russpowell
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

russpowell, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of jwc215
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...

jwc215, Oct 09, 2006
Photo of Derek
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%

A: Dark reddish brown, tons of fluffy off-white head, great retention, good lace.

S: Floral hops with a little grass & earth (far more hops than the regular 12). Spicy, nut-bread in the background.

T: Dark spicy bread, raisin, sherry, brown sugar; light bitterness. Very warming & more hop flavour (compared to the regular 12 & westy).

M: Moderate to full body is well-attenuated (relatively dry), fairly highly carbonated.

D: Fairly good.

Derek, Oct 08, 2006
Photo of MSchae1017
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%

This beer was tasted in a Chimay goblet from the 750mL bottle.

This beer pours a dark amber almost rusty color with a frothy just off white head that has great retention and nice lacing throughout the entire drinking of the beer. The smell is spice and cidery with some hints of plums and cherrys. The yeast is definetly working in this beer to give it quite the fruity aroma. The taste is very complex. There is the cidery and dark fruit flavor. But also caramel malts and a strong sense of the candi sugar. Additionally the alcohol carries a bite, but its not overwhelming. It will be interesting to age my other bottles of this. the mouthfeel has a full body and wonderful bottle conditioned carbonation. Overall a great beer, one to sip and enjoy.

MSchae1017, Sep 26, 2006
Photo of Jaynuze
4.33/5  rDev -1.4%

Pours a beautiful deep amber/brown with a super thick/creamy head that follows the beer down the glass leaving behind one of the nicest laces I've seen. The head retention, as many have noted, is amazing and I don't believe I have ever tasted a creamier one ... it's thick as whipped cream ... DELICIOUS!
This beer does not have much of a nose at the beginning, guess this is because they don't use aroma hops in the brewing process, but its nose begins to appear with a smoky peat / chocolate aroma as you get further down the glass. You might even be able to sense a few fruity notes as well ... very odd for such a dark beer IMO.
It tastes as creamy and full as it looks. Though very dark, the anniversary tastes smooth with a nice alcohol finish. As you get further down the glass, the dry malty sweetness dulls and provides a very smooth finish.
The mouthfeel is very light .. again, I expected a much more full MF, but still tastes great!
I would highly recommend this beer to Quad fans and to others who've not had the opportunity to taste this style. One of the best Quads I've ever tasted!

Jaynuze, Sep 22, 2006
Photo of Jason
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.

Jason, Sep 21, 2006
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%

Every now and then I splurge on a beer for the cellar. I saw this on a trip to Portland and cleaned the stock off the shelf. After celebrating an occaision with a bottle of this I am happy to have more in the cellar for future years.

A - Impressive show when brought out to the crew in a nicely done blue and gold tin 60th anniversary tin. Pourse a rich ruby brown color. Nice bilowy light tan head with a strong classic lace on the glass.

S - Ripe fruits, rich malty / breadiness and wonderful spice and belgian yeast character.

T - Similar to the smell with a richnous that is at once a surprise given the ABV and a wonderful treat. This is smooth and well put together!

M - Full bodied and a treat to have roll across the tongue.

D - Enjoy with friends or by yourself. It drinks so nicely you'll be glad you had it and wish you had more.

barleywinebrewer, Sep 18, 2006
Photo of carln26
3.95/5  rDev -10%

Dark brown with mild mahogany highlights. The beer is very cloudy with a thick fluffy head that settles quickly back into the glass. The aroma has dark caramel, with dark berries, and dates. There seems to be a little spice, and just a little black cherry in the finish. The flavor has dark caramel, dates, black cherry and spice. The spices are very light in the flavor, but linger after the remainder of the flavors fade. The mouth feel is full, and just a touch slick. There is just a mild alcohol feel at the very end of the experience. Nice drinkability. The Abt 12 is one of the few Belgian beers that enjoy as much or more on tap than bottle conditioned. I wish I could get a glass of this from the tap.

carln26, Sep 17, 2006
Photo of assurbanipaul
3.9/5  rDev -11.2%

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.

assurbanipaul, Sep 09, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
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!

BEERchitect, Sep 06, 2006
Photo of Crosling
3.68/5  rDev -16.2%

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.

Crosling, Sep 06, 2006
Photo of ggaughan
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.

ggaughan, Sep 05, 2006
Photo of clvand0
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%

Pours a light brown color with an extremely tall head that has nice retention and leaves quite a bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma is malty with plenty of dark fruits and a nice spice character - more spice than the normal version. Plenty of hops in the flavor with lots of raisins and dark malts. Finish is bitter with a very light alcoholic bite. The bitterness lingers on the palate a bit. Pretty nice brew, but I prefer the normal version.

clvand0, Sep 05, 2006
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%

Appearance: Pours a clear deep garnet color with tons of bubbles rising to keep the head at least 3” thick in my tulip glass. The bubbles kep rising forever, and show no signs of letting up minutes after the pour.

Aroma: Through the foam, the aroma is already complex. I can definitely get some toasty Munich and Dark Munich aromatics as well as some serious bread and a noticeable floral contribution from the hops. You can pick out just about all of the ingredients already. As the head starts to fall, the aroma takes on a more dessert like impression giving you the aromatics similar to a spice cake or some such.

Taste: The flavor is much more fruity than I suspected from the aroma. There is still a bit of dark fruits like plum and raisin from the dark malts, but there is a truly bold apple thing going on here that I didn’t see coming. The yeast give a defined breadyness to the whole profile and the alcohol is a player in the flavor right up front by giving a spicy edge to the hop character. Late in the finish there is a defined alcoholic warming that sets in and stays with you for a while. The hops are more noticeable in the flavor than as a bittering component. There is a little bit in the bittering, but the balance is provided as much by the roast and alcohol than anything the hops have to offer. Malt is in charge of the balance of the finish.

Opinion: This beer is really similar to the original Abt 12. This is a beer that I partake in on a very regular basis, so I am pretty familiar with it specifically. There is definitely a more noticeable alcoholic presence in this beer as compared to the original version as well, there is a more floral and subtly different hop presence going on. I am really enjoying this beer, and will have to pick up a few more for the ole cellar cause this one will keep. If this was a regular offering, I would likely pick the original over this one, but perhaps that is because I know it better. This beer is equally outstanding, but just slightly different.

SkeeterHawk, Sep 04, 2006
Photo of ypsifly
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%

Corked and caged 750 that came in a commemerative tin. Purchased at Merchant's in Dearborn and poured into a chalice.

Huge head of light tan that towers over dark amber. Strong retention and thick sheets of intricate lace are left as it goes down.

Smells a lot like the regular Abt 12 but much bolder. Lots of dark fruits with some leafy hops, clove, chalk, and bread. Has that nice holiday fruit cake made from scratch character. Much more spice than the regular. Very nice!!

Everything that is promised in the nose is delivered by the taste. The hop profile is a bit sharper but it doesn't make for an awkward beer. The alcohol is there as a peppery warmth. Spicy and peppery finish that carries some remnants of the malts. Everything is very well integrated.

Full mouth that is smooth and luxurious. If it wasn't for the abv, I could drink a lot of this but I'm still giving it a five for drinkability because this is so complex and well balanced and the other two bottles are only gonna get better with time.

ypsifly, Sep 03, 2006
Photo of TheBungyo
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%

This pours with a gigantic head atop a burgundy and brown body. The lacing is a masterwork of fine art that looks to be chiseled of liquid ivory and caked around the edges of my La Fin Du Monde glass.I feel as if I learned to read and write so that I might do this beer some justice as it passed before my lips. This is a complex nose. Syrupy dark berries collide with subtle caramel, phenols and maybe some plums. Maybe I didn't study reading and writing hard enough because I have the strange feeling that I'm really not giving this brew it's due. Oh well, I honestly am trying my best believe me!
Man, I can taste syrupy black cherry, rich burnt sugar, dark plums, and what I can only describe as granny smith apple wedges baked and kissed with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. I don't feel like this beer completely meshes but I do feel that a bit of time alone in the dark will work wonders. Don't get me wrong, this is certainly a wonderful beer but it will become even better after a little time. I wish I could afford to buy more than the two others I have hiding away for a better day. I would buy them without even thinking about it.

TheBungyo, Sep 02, 2006
Photo of ejquin
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%

A: Cola bown with a tinge of orange. Thick off white head and good lacing

S: Simlar to the orignal, but maybe a touch sweeter. Phenols with malt backbone. Slight alcohol and a sweetness

T: Burst of hops and phenols up front come close to being overpowering, and then backs off a bit. Malt come through and slight alocoholic tinge, but nowhere near the 11%. Long semi dry finish leaves some hops in your mouth.

M: Heavier than original and less carbonation, but feels perfect.

D: Amazingly drinkable. Could have this all night, and i did.

Ovr: a draft abt 12 is my all time highest score I've given a beer, and this doesn't quite touch that, but I do think it's better than the original in the bottle, and that's saying a lot.

ejquin, Aug 27, 2006
Photo of Delerium
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%

I love this beer. I swear this is Westvletern12 unaged. In 4-8 years, I bet this will be the best tasting beer on the planet. Take a Westy12. Take this beer. Drink the two side by side. You tell me. Only Thirty Three Thousand of the beers exist, and I am going to buy every bottle I see. I recommend everyone else to do the same, as people around the world will realize in a few years the true value of this beer is yet to be decided. Definetely needs to be cellared a long, long, time, just as a SamiClaus or cUVEE dE eMPEROR NEEDS TO BE. To drink this beer before two years of aging is just a waste. This beer is like the second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Delerium, Aug 27, 2006
Photo of phisig137
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%

Pours a dark ruby brown, with some haze, and a massive head that falls very slowly. Tons of lacing is left behind, as well as a thick blanket of foam on top of the glass.

Aroma is quite spicy, and yeasty. Only a hint of alcohol present. If I were blindfolded, I'd think this was a triple, not a quad.

Flavor is quite interesting. All of the flavor and complexity of the original, but with a healthy dose of more hops. Caramel, burnt sugar, and dark fruits are there, but also backed up by a very spicy yeast, and a good handfull of hops. Creamy, heavy mouthfeel, and lingering flavor. Drinkability is high.

Not at all what I expected, being a loyal drinker of the original ABT 12. The hops are a nice addition to this, and I think that it will hold up beautifully over the next 5-10 years.

phisig137, Aug 25, 2006
Photo of Darkale
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%

I poured hard to get a head, and quite a head I got -- fully two-thirds of my St. Bernardus chalice (and what on earth would you pour a 60th anniversary beer into BUT a St. Bernardus chalice?) was taken up with that typical, wonderful, Belgian foam.

In appearance, much the same, I thought, to the usual Abt 12; however, I am going by memory here, as I've not had the usual Abt 12 for a couple of weeks.

Marvelous. Creamy. Spicier than the usual. Cinnamon and sweetness, with a lingering almost sour (but quite pleasantly so) taste in the mouth. Horribly drinkable. I keep telling myself that I don't expect to complete the full 750 by myself, and then I keep telling myself that I'm lying.

Darkale, Aug 24, 2006
Photo of akorsak
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%

I am drinking from a 750mL bottle in a chimay goblet. The commemorative tin is to my left.

A: This is a dark ale, very hazy and tawny in color (although the haze diminishes the port-like color).

S: The ale has a deep raisiny aroma that betrays hints of the alcohol contained in it. The yeast adds a pleasant fullness that is accentuated by some spices (like cinnamon or cardamom).

T: This is a big chewy beer. The spices are bold and deep, giving the beer a complexity that works on many levels and finishes long on malt and cinnamon. There are chocolate hints that mix with the heady alcohol to provide a sweet nightcap.

Edit to taste: The beer has a strong anise/licorice flavor in each sip.

M: This is a big beer, complex and meaty, with a numbing effect that attacks the tongue.

D: The drinkability is hurt by the 11% abv, but the flavors are complex and delightful.

akorsak, Aug 23, 2006
St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition") from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
97 out of 100 based on 286 ratings.