Abt 12 Oak Aged
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Abt 12 Oak AgedAbt 12 Oak Aged
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Belgian Quadrupel (Quad)
Ranked #10
Ranked #735
4.37 | pDev: 7.55%
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Abt 12 Oak AgedAbt 12 Oak Aged
Notes: St Bernardus Abt matured for 6 months in Oak Calvados barrels.
Reviews: 68 | Ratings: 241 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of stakem
3.76/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into a matching chalice appears hazy chestnut with minimal head formation.

Aroma of apple and pear. Some sugary date and raison aspect emerges as it breathes.

Taste is apple and pear with faint clove phenolics and slight earthiness. Some herbal bitterness, raisons and neutral alcohol. Molasses with musty oak aftertaste.

Medium in body with light carbonation. Initial impression is that this isnt even barrel aged but luckily more nuance emerges as it warms. The alcohol is hidden very well. Decent but honestly no better than the base beer.

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stakem from Pennsylvania, Dec 29, 2017
Photo of SargeMcCluck
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours dirty, translucent chestnut-brown. Big patch of sediment at the bottom of the bottle; a thin head that dissipates into gloopy bubbles.

Aroma is all grape, dark fruit, vanilla, clove, and sugars mulling in oak. Toward the bottom, the brown-buttery quality of the wood comes to the forefront. The taste follows - subtle oak permeating fruit and yeast. Some of the brighter flavours of the original abt 12 are gone, but the toffee/tobacco finish is a more-than-welcome substitute, shining even at cooler temperatures.

Mouthfeel is smooth, with tickly carbonation. Perhaps more initial alcohol heat than the original, and definitely a drier finish; I can feel this one on the roof of my mouth an hour after finishing. Fine by me.

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Photo of spoony
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a 650 ml bomber to a chalice. Purchased in summer 2015 but I can't find a date on the bottle.

A-A moderately aggressive pour produces a fat finger of pillowy tan head with pretty good retention. The beer beneath is deep amber brown and surprisingly clear for the style (I did get the first pour from a settled bottle, so I suspect I avoided most of the yeast particles). Dare I say it is better looking than the standard Abt 12?

S-The aroma is a lovely mixture of typical Abt 12 flavors with a bit more boozy liquor-like flavor than normal. I pick up grape, prune, leather, light hits of clove and black pepper (even some cinnamon), as well as hints of raspy oak and citrus that I attribute to the barrel. The beer reminds me of fruit cake at times.

T-The taste is similar to the smell, with lots of dark, dried fruits (prune, dates, golden raisin), mild banana yeast notes, hints of liquor, as well as a light, tannic oaky note on the finish.

M-The body is medium in heft and mostly creamy. I could have used a little more heft and creamy carbonation here.

O-This is a great beer, no doubt, but I don't know that I prefer it to the regular Abt 12. I did not pick up a ton of barrel on this older bottle, but the little hints were nice. What I think I lost versus the non-BA version is some of the earthy complexity that makes the original so delicious. This version is more fruity and boozy. Still, it is delicious and I would happily drink more.

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spoony from Colorado, Apr 01, 2017
Photo of rfgetz
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

While definitely very good, still a tick below the standard Abt 12. I do enjoy the oak and calvados notes, but they do just enough to mask some of what I love about the original beer.

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rfgetz from New Jersey, Jan 09, 2017
Photo of ryan1788a5
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750ml poured into a goblet.

A: Deep chestnut brown color. Beige head retains well and leaves a delicate sheet of lacing on the glass.

S: Straight bread pudding and fruitcake. Malt richness plays with all kinds of fruit and spice complexity. Caramel and chocolate caramel chews, molasses, dark rum, brandy, booze soaked raisins, plum, fig, and even some freshly sliced pear. Brown sugar, hints of cinnamon, clove, chestnuts. The barrel threads itself seamlessly between all of this, leaving an impression of vanilla and apple brandy. If this isn't perfection, I don't know what is.

T: Rich malts bring molasses, brown sugar, dark caramel, pinches of cocoa, bread pudding and fruitcake. Lots of fig, booze soaked raisins, plum, pear. Vinous. Apple brandy in a big way, especially as it warms. Spike of clovey phenols. Alcohol is big and warming, though nowhere near hot. Dry oak weaves its way into it all. Vanilla and perhaps even some marshmallow. Drying finish of spice, dried fruits, caramel, and brandy.

M: Rich malt body. Full and thick, but not too heavy. Lush, chewy, and creamy with perhaps some stickiness that starts to set in before the aggressive and fine carbonation sandblasts it away. Warming alcohol and very mild oak tannins. The barrel allows it to develop a more rich and chewy feel than the regular Abt 12.

O: The barrel aging takes an already stellar and classic brew and elevates it to legendary status. Calvados barrels were the absolute perfect choice here. This may just be the best beer I've ever had in my life up to this point. And I bought it off the shelf at one of the biggest liquors stores in the state, where there was a whole case collecting dust. Wait-in-line and beer geek chic beers are fine, but if that's all you're after and all you care about, then you are an enormous tool. Think for yourself and drink for yourself. That may be the only way you'll ever get to experience these sorts of truly memorable and special drinking experiences, where a beer can completely floor you.

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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts, Jan 08, 2017
Photo of Buck89
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Unclear on the age. Poured into a snifter. A hazy dark copper plum color with a frothy tan head. Nice foamy tracks on the glass. Rick vanilla and oak on the nose, accompanied with raisins, figs and toffee. The first sip brought the raisins, plums, cherries, figs, and oak. Floral esters and hops on the finish. Lively carbonation and full-bodied but not overly sweet. A warm finish. Beautiful beer.

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Buck89 from Tennessee, Jan 01, 2017
Photo of aleigator
3.38/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Has a hazelnut brown color with a froth, white head.

Smells of toasty malts, soaked up by boozy apples, balanced by sweet raisins and rock sugar. Apart from that the nose is pretty muted, not much going on here.

Has a lower carbonation among a spicy, heavier bodied beer, in which the barrel only adds a subtle note to the flavors, while the mouthfeel maintains thin.

Tastes of sugary malts, licorice, dry and boozy apple, which opens up the palate to an even more pronounced sweetness. Brings cloves, cardamom and allspice to the tongue, as well as a watery, thin mouthfeel. Has an even spicier finish, due to the warming barrel, which lends a late apple fruitiness to the taste with a pleasant dryness to it.

The barrel composes a pleasantly distractive fruit dryness, which adds complexity to the otherwise plain and sweet sugary spices of the base beer. Not sure if this is better than the regular version, it may be too different to my palate to compare. Despite the barrel and the higher abv the beer lacks complexity and has an off-putting thin mouthfeel.

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aleigator from Germany, Dec 24, 2016
Photo of jopezu
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark mahogany with a large, fluffy head that hangs around. nose; big oak, fig, raisin, & slight ethanol. taste; caramel malt, candied plum, dates, brown sugar, fig, clove, toffee, oak, belgian yeast, mellowed hops, & a touch of warming ethanol. clove, dates, toffee, & ethanol on the aftertaste. medium carbonation & mouthfeel. quads can be hard to balance because of their high abv, and they usually come out too hot & boozy or lose their dark fruit complexity. this is a great example of the style. fantastic quad!

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jopezu from Georgia, Oct 17, 2016
Photo of darktronica
3.97/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'm a big fan of the regular Abt 12; it was one of the first beers that got me into beer, craft or otherwise, and it's always been an occasional go-to. I also have been a fan of calvados-aged beers I've had in the past. However, I think I'll stick to the regular version here in future, as the combination isn't working for me. The barrel is giving a bit of oak, but its primary contribution is a light tartness, reminiscent of lemon and Granny smiths. What I like about Abt 12 is the unabashed sweetness and malt with Belgian spices, but the oak is pushing it in another direction I'd prefer not to go. Fans of some very different Belgians will find this more to their liking, but for me, it's not an improvement.

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Photo of ccg
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It leaves a light-colored, sudsy head lingering for a long time. If I tilt the glass, the head sticks to the sides. The beer itself is a deep brown with streamers of carbonation visible rising up from the halfway point. It's a good-looking Belgian. The only downside is that the lively carbonation also makes it look a little thin.
The smell has all the bread and brown sugar you would expect. I was also expecting a syrupy, boozy smell from the calvados barrels, but instead, it has a hint of funk. It's a nice bit of unexpected complexity. I generally find that brandy/cognac-barrel-aged beers are syrupy messes, but this promises something different.
I thought the flavor would be at an even higher than the smell, but I can't say that the barrel-aging is really coming through for me. It has a bit more of an alcohol heat and bite than a typical Belgian quad, but I was expected something sweeter and richer. It still has plenty of malty/yeasty goodness, just not quite at the level I was expecting.
Also, I think the carbonation is a bit too high. It feels a bit fizzy and a bit too thin.
Overall, it's a really good Belgian. It just not really a next-level beer compared to the Abt 12 you can easily find year-round.

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ccg from District of Columbia, Oct 01, 2016
Photo of delta490
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It's a murky brown, with a persistent thin disc of off-white head that leaves Pollock-esque bits of small sticky lacing. The aroma is Abt 12 turned up to 11 and with some extra bass. Dark fruits and darker sugars with just a little bit of vanilla. And somehow it's not cloying. The taste is like the aroma with an extra quality that is hard to describe. Umami, maybe. But not meaty. The body isn't to heavy or slick, but it is almost entirely smooth with just a little carbonation.

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delta490 from Virginia, Sep 30, 2016
Photo of BuccoFan
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love the standard ABT 12, bought this in 2015 and let it age, but probably should have had it sooner. A year of aging substantially diminishes the oak, which is still present a year later, but very feint. Again, I love the standard, but if I get another bottle of the oak aged, I'll drink it far more quickly.

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BuccoFan from District of Columbia, Sep 06, 2016
Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a brownish copper body with one-finger head that left this tiny lace ring around glass whole time. Wonderful aroma of apples, vinous grapes, oak, booze, figs, prunes, raisins, yeast, bread & candi sugar. Smooth, fuller body with a woody aspect that helps smooth it out and there's a boozy, vinous & grape aspect on top of dark fruits and slight candi sugar/yeast notes. Prefer the original a tad more as the calvados barrels and extra abv seem to slightly obscure the sweetness of dark fruits and give the beer a slightly heated rather than clean finish but still a must try.

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clayrock81 from Florida, Aug 29, 2016
Photo of stortore
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into a chalice.

Pours a dark ruby color, cloudy, with a one and a half inch head on a fairly hard pour, lots of foamy lacing. Looks great. Smell is plums, brandy, apples, oak, purple grapes, dates, raisins, some malt. They each stand out, a great aroma. The taste also starts with plums, then malt, apples, brandy, figs, raisins, caramel, oak, some vanilla, purple grapes. a light, general spiciness. The flavor is no less outstanding than the nose. Smooth, creamy, a solid, full body, well carbonated.

Excellent. The brandy barrels give this a unique flavor, but don't overwhelm the terrific base quad that we all love. So many distinct flavors and aromas. You can still find this, mostly because such excellence doesn't come cheap, but it's well worth it.

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stortore from Illinois, Aug 20, 2016
Photo of polloenfuego
4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow. I am not sure I can add much more to the fray than that. This beer has an excellent appearance with barely a thumb's worth of head and and an amazing ruby brown color. The nose on this beer is all Calvados barrel up front, followed by dark fruits and nice Belgian yeasts. Taste is amazing. I am not sure where to begin, but lets start with that rich brandy flavor, along with all the traditional flavors of an ABT 12, dark fruits, yeasts, and candi. Feel is medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. All in all a damn tasty beer, one of the best I have had in the last year.

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polloenfuego from Ontario (Canada), Aug 14, 2016
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: black body with large khaki head. Lots of staying power on the head and lots of lacing left on the glass.

Smell: Belgian candied sugar, dark fruit malts, black licorice, and earthy oak barrel.

Taste: Moderate sweetness balanced with earthy oak barrel. Dark fruits, chocolates, Belgian candied sugar, with spicy and fruity yeast. Nice oak finish that lasts for a long time. Lots of deep oak character from the barrel aging process of this beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Not boozy at all. Very nice feel; your typical Belgian feel with a light silkiness from barrel aging.

Overall: An outstanding oaked quad. It is exactly as expected... ABT 12 with a nice oak barrel accent.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.57/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer was packaged in a traditional wire caged bomber, and the cork came off with a loud pop. It's been a while since I have had the regular version of St. Bernardus Abt 12 (a shame I know), but based on my recollection of it, this version looked a little lighter, and formed a larger head. The head stayed around for a long while too. The aroma was sweet, showing off the brandy casks that this beer was aged in. There were notes of apple, pear, toffee, and honey on the nose. The taste was much lighter than the standard version of the beer, as the aging seemed to have suppressed the dark fruits that are so prominent in the initial brew, and replaced them with vinous and berry flavors. There was some vanilla and brown sugar in the flavor too, but not as prominent as I have found in bourbon barrel aged beers. The body of the beer was very silky and airy, and the finish very smooth. This was quite easy to drink considering the high ABV, complex aging process, and rich history.

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rajendra82 from Georgia, Jul 16, 2016
Photo of Damian
4.32/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 1pt 9.4 fl. oz. corked and caged bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
Best before end: 16.02.19
Served in a St. Bernardus goblet

The somewhat thinner bodied, honey brown liquid was capped by a surprisingly small, creamy, ecru colored crown. Excellent retention. The head fell to a thin but resilient cap that lasted for most of the session. Spotty lacing trickled along the glass.

The nose was fantastic. Quite sweet and moderately spicy with loads of rich caramel and dark fruit notes. Plums, raisins and figs came through strongest. There were some apple and pear notes as well. Yeasty and spicy. Loads of Belgian yeast character. Clove and baking spices were apparent. A sweet, grape-y, wine-like quality was also noticeable. Perhaps this was from the Calvados barrels.

Flavor wise, the beer was also very solid. It was sweet yet also a bit sharp and boozy right off the bat. Rich and malty. Bready. Quite fruity. Again, plums and raisins came to mind. Lots of Belgian yeast character. Spice notes appeared in the center. Clove came through strongest. Baking spices were also noticeable. The beer turned somewhat oaky and dry on the back end. Not sweet and smooth like the barrel notes in the aroma. The finish was somewhat bitter and contained loads of oaky tannins and a big, boozy kick. As the beer sat, the alcohol mellowed a bit.

The mouthfeel was spot-on for a Trappist ale. Medium bodied for the style. Super fluffy and puffy. The liquid contained an ultra fine yet aggressive effervescence that frothed up nicely on the palate. As the beer sat, the carbonation settled a bit.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 Oak Aged ale is an interesting take on a classic Belgian Quad. While this beer is quite similar to the original version, yet significantly pricier at $30 a bottle, it was still definitely worth trying.

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Damian from Massachusetts, Jul 13, 2016
Photo of avalon07
4.51/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark brown color and a cloudy, thick consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, off white head that lasted an average amount of time. Below average lacing.

S: A subtle, but enticing aroma of dark fruit, yeast, malt, and spices. Quite complex.

T: Tasted of some raisins, dates, a little bit of caramel, chocolate, Belgian yeast, the advertised oak (especially in the finish), candi sugar, a little malt, and light hops as well. An incredibly complex and big flavor. Not surprisingly, it tastes like the original Abt 12 (but with oak), but this isn't a bad thing.

F: A highly carbonated beer with a lively finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Not that I expected otherwise, but this was an exceptionally well made and drinkable beer. Definitely expensive, but worthwhile.

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avalon07 from South Carolina, Jul 12, 2016
Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The original Abt 12 is one of my first craft beer loves. So I was very excited to try it with some oak age to it. Of course it is delicious, but ultimately not as good as the standard. I suppose it's hard to improve upon something that is already complex and level 5 delicious. That all being said, this is still a fantastic beer, and if it weren't almost $30/bottle I'd gladly pick it up again.

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Photo of ajm5108
3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour is classic deep brown with silky, fluffy head. Aroma is a tad piqued with phenol & yeast, but there are some delicious notes of apple & toffee from the Calvados barrel. Flavor was a surprisingly soft to me, & it features a little astringent phenol streak that isn't in the standard Abt 12. I think it is elicited by the barrel aging, which also brings out a delicate apple brandy note, but perhaps not enough to compensate for the additional hard liquor notes. There is a hint of that dark fruit / rum cake beauty of the original, but it is a little too buried. A good beer for sure, but inferior to the standard.

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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania, Jun 10, 2016
Photo of MrDell
4.99/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


St. Bernardus Abt 12 Oak Aged
Quadrupel - 11% - 750ml bottle - Bottled 13.02.15 (1 year and 4 months old)

Information on bottle:
St.Bernardus Abt 12 is Brouwerij St.Bernardus’ flagship and is considered as one of the best beers in the world. The Abt 12 is brewed following the original recipe from 1946.

This bottle of St.Bernardus Abt 12 Oak Aged is brewed with that same original recipe and then matured for 6 months in Oak Calvados barrels before it is bottle conditioned. This maturation on oak barrels gives the beer a deeper and richer taste. 11 % Alc. vol.

Appearance: Colour and overall appearance is the same as abt 12 but perhaps slightly murkier.

Aroma: WOW! Loads of oak and strong brandy flavours on the nose. Smells very strong, alcohol wise and has absolutely huge hits of dark fruit, brandy and oak. Really different to standard format here.

Taste: So much going on all the through here, it’s difficult to describe but here goes -oak tannins hit me first, along with dark sugared fruits, then I've got malt, dark fruit, apples, brandy, port, the St. Bernardus yeast is in there, sherry, there’s licquorice, there’s loads of warming boozey flavours, there’s toffee, black treacle and Christmas pudding and a whole host of others. There are so many flavours in fact that one discovers something new with every sip. As I’m trying to document one taste, its already twisted itself into something else. Truely amazing.

Mouthfeel: Quite different to the standard Abt. 12 here as well, if my memory serves me correctly, it’s drier and not as creamy, also less carbonation than I remember, that could be down to the age though.

Overall: After watching reviews of this beer, I'm surprised at just how different it is to the standard ABT. 12. Was wondering if I would notice any difference, truth is i wouldn't know this is Abt 12 had it been a blind test. It actually reminds me of Cuveé Van De Keizer Blue in many ways - I wonder if that is down to the age as the last bottle of the Cuveé Van De Keizer that I had was also from 2014. I paid a very reasonable £14 for this from a mail order place in England, 6 months ago and after having tried it, I wish I bought more as they are saying it will only ever be brewed the once. I think that the reason this beer is so good is down to three thing: 1. Quite obviously due to the time it spent in oak Calvados barrels 2. It’s age and 3. These beers always see to hold up better in the larger, 750ml bottle. It will be inserting to see how my St. Bernardus Christmas Ale 750 ml bottles are doing in a few years time…

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MrDell from Switzerland, Jun 04, 2016
Photo of Dope
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I think it says 13.11.19 on the cap, November 11th, 2019? I assume a "best by" date so this is probably ~5 months old.

A: Very dark brown pour with an enormous airy and frothy light brown head. Head retention and lacing are both minimal.

S: Sweet, both from the brandy and from the base beer. Lots of dark fruits, apples and raisins and hints of fig. Nice brown sugar too.

T: Tons of great apple brandy up front. Behind it is a bunch of raisins and sweetbread malt. The combination is excellent. Finish is quite earthy and a little spiced. A bit of alcohol harshness in the aftertaste, mainly notice it on my breath oddly enough. Especially between sips.

M: Medium-heavy bodied. Smooth and sweet.

O: Hmph. The apple brandy aging adds a nice element to the beer but is strong enough to cover up some of the base beer. This is both good and bad I suppose, it gives it a unique flavor but squashes some of the complexity. Tough to rate as a result. Definitely worth trying, hard to find good apple brandy quads (if any) and this is top-notch. Price point is a bit outrageous however.

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Dope from Massachusetts, Jun 04, 2016
Photo of neurobot01
4.36/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml c&c bottle into a Duvel tulip at cellar temp.

Look: beautiful reddish brown with an awesome thick fluffy head that leaves a great sheet of lace.

Smell: spiced bread, grape must, chocolate oranges, apples, mild alcohol.

Taste: classic Abt 12 profile, plus grape jam, grapeskin. Unfortunately, I think the barreling added a sort of harsh/bitter note in addition to the positive elements.

Feel: light and fluffy; seems a bit rougher than regular Abt 12.

Overall: I love Abt 12, and brandy-barrel-aged beers, but in this case I think the whole is less than the sum of the parts. Glad to have tried it, but will be perfectly content with regular Abt 12 from now on.

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neurobot01 from California, May 09, 2016
Photo of RickyS
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Superb mahogany with creamy yet fluid head with good retention. The aroma is incredibly rich! Caramel, dates, oak vanilla, walnut or sunflower seeds, a little bit of alcohol. The taste is also sweet on the same notes but is well balanced with a "woody" character, like almonds in the finish. Very good beer!

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RickyS from Germany, Apr 26, 2016
Abt 12 Oak Aged from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 241 ratings