St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

BA SCORE
98
world-class
2,770 Reviews
St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Belgium
sintbernardus.be

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,770
Ratings:
9,427
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
9.5%
 
 
Wants:
768
Gots:
2,537
For Trade:
49
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Reviews: 2,770 | Ratings: 9,427
Photo of Bombelsky
4.51/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown and murky. Rocky tan head, not persisting. Fair lacing. Malty, bready notes. Some prunes and caramel. Moderate rich sweetness with some low-moderate bitterness. Medium-full body, creamy and high carbonated. Moderate sweet in aftertaste, alcohol warm finish and that finish is quite heavy.

 300 characters

Photo of jjamadorphd
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

At 10% ABV, what should have tasted boozy was far from it, and making this extras special is that this great brew is my 350th review on Beeradvocate. I'm so glad this one marks this milestone for me...

Picked this up at a bar in Pasadena and I was so happy my son had picked it for me. It showed up as a beautifully dark beer, with frothy head and lacing that stuck to the glass all way down. The smell was fruity, without be a fruit beer, malty without being overpowering, and a light touch of hops just to let you know there was more to this beer once you would bring it to your lips. And at 10%, it did not have that distinctive tang to the nose that comes with the high alcohol content. Mouthfeel was smooth, medium-bodied and dangerously drinkable. Though there was definitely a booziness to the taste, it wasn't overpowering as other high-alcohol beers provide - it was a perfect blend of fruity taste and booze that makes me with now I had had a second one.

As far as German beers go, this might not be the best I've had, but it's pretty damn close.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

11.2 oz. bottle

Pours hazy maroon red with a dense creamy khaki colored foam head. Smells like ripe plums, grapes, banana, apples, pears, black cherry, fig, dates, rich caramel, toffee, molasses, brown sugar, toasted bready malt, some chocolate, spice, with floral earthy herbal grass. Tastes like rich caramel, toffee, molasses, brown sugar, toasted bready malts, chocolate, spice, ripe plums, grapes, banana, apples, pears, black cherry, fig, dates, with floral earthy herbal grass. Feels bubbly and effervescent, creamy and smooth with moderate carbonation. Overall a really nice quadrupel.

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Photo of TheBeerBros
4.76/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Sitting in a hefty brown bottle, we loosened the old fashioned cork, releasing a symphony of rich fermented aromas. The label jumps off the bottle in a bright blue and yellow with the picture of a Belgian fryer raising a glass in approval. On the back, a wonderful description of the St.Benardus Brewery as well as an overview of their traditional brewing process. Sitting by a warm fire, we poured to chilled chalices full of a smooth, weighty, deep amber/brown beer. A nice full head, full of large bubbles releasing more intoxicating aroma of baking bread, malt, and fig. Raising the glass to our nares the intense complexity of the Abt 12 begins to come alive with a bright and grainy scent that filled the olfactory with pleasure. Swigging a mouthful, the tastes of bread pudding, caramel, grains, and a hint of hops rush across the tongue in tidal wave of flavor. As we settle into the beer a pleasant, medium viscosity mouth feel is established, followed by a potent yet refreshing balance of banana, toffee, and dried fruit ester. At 10% ABV, the Abt 12 packs a hearty, warm rush in less than 12oz. Nearing the bottom of the chalice, with plenty of head still chasing the beer down the glass, the taste of black current swirls with a mixture of fresh farmhouse scent, leaving us both satisfied a mildly drunk. It is a fantastic beer for anyone hoping to enjoy an authentic, high quality Belgian beer, that would make an Abbey proud.

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Photo of deg
4.77/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I poured the beer into a glass chalice. The beer is nice and brown. There is a white head which lingers. I can smell something, I'm not sure what. The flavor is complex. Fig, bread, spices. Very smooth and creamy on my tongue.

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Photo of Everydayoff
4.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Cloudy dark burgundy brown in color with thick silky light tan head that withstands with good retention before slowly collapsing to an eternal foamy layer on the surface that doesn’t go anywhere until the last sip and leaving fair amount of lacing patch and spot on the glass-side.

Very inviting and enticing aroma of mellow, yet tart and sharp fruity ester with notes of ripe banana, grape, berry, fig, date, prune, and plum. There are also notes of orange peel, candy sugar, molasses, licorice, spicy alcohol, coriander spice, and peppery while malt is also there so upright with its bread, vanilla cream, caramel, and buttery toffee while hop exhibits with some earthy and herbal touch.

The taste is displayed what reflects in the aroma with all those goodness and tasty flavors ranging from mellow, yet tart and sharp fruity ester with notes of ripe banana, grape, berry, fig, date, prune, and plum, as well as orange peel, candy sugar, molasses, licorice, spicy alcohol, coriander spice, and peppery while malt is also there still so upright with its bread, vanilla cream, caramel, and buttery toffee while hop exhibits with some earthy, herbal, and bitter kick in the finish.

Full body with some bold touch through the palate but it is not that too syrupy or sticky with proper amount of body, carbonation is rather low but it is crisp enough to carry all the things well under the smooth mouthfeel. Finish is very pleasantly dry that will quickly lead to the next instant sip.

There are lots of thing going on and changing all along the tasting, from smooth to a bit sharp, from simply tasty to sheer complexity, and from good to truly great. This one is surely a must try, alcohol is well concealed too.

 1,754 characters

Photo of sinclairbeergarden
4.54/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

amazingly refreshing quad... really loving this.

L- dark chocolate. deep, dark, beautiful

S- yeast, bread

T- bready, yeast, molasses, sarsaparilla

F- rich, lively carbonation

O- def deserving of the "world class" rating.. really really impressed.. and at 10% this is really easy drinking

 293 characters

Photo of Hyptochrons
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

nice looking brew, solid lacing. notes of sweet bread, caramel, toffee, blackberries, cherry, rock candy, plums, hint of spice, booze on finish. feel is light-meduim bodied, quite a bit of carbonation.

 201 characters

Photo of TerryMills
4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a chocolate color that has red tint when held up to the light , 1 finger cream head..

Smell is big yeast with some sweet fig/ dark over ripe fruit notes..

Taste is very sweet,carmel,yeast, over ripe fruit but with a bit of booze .

Feel is a bit thin and fizzy with some carbonation and booze burn .

Overall this is a really good beer I would drink again on occasion.

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Photo of Jliscin
4.63/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A nice dark colored beer with a decent head on it, it has a nice subtle fruity smell to it. It has a very smooth taste to it that goes right down it contains strong fruit notes with malted taste. An extremely good tasting beer

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Photo of HipCzech
4.43/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 1 pint 9.4 fl oz bottle ("23.03.20") poured into a Spiegelau beer tulip.

Appearance: Hazy brown with compact head of off white foam, streaky lacing and nice whisps of foam that stick to the surface.

Smell: Banana bread, Belgian yeast and alcohol.

Taste: Rich roasted malt, warm spice (clove), lean dark fruit (more grape than raisin) and caramel, brown sugar. Definite alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel: Medium body; crisp and lively carbonation.

Overall: Fantastic balance; restrained malt and fruit interplay with unabashed alcoholic notes.

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Photo of car2052
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from small bottle to wine glass.

A: Deep Garnet. Very effervescent pour. 2 finger tan head. Sticks around.
S: Little metallic. Wine like grape scent. Brown Bread. Banana.
T: Dark fruit sweetness up front, with a alcoholic zing at the end. Very malty. Lot of fruit flavor.
M: Full. Sticky sweet.
O: Full bodied, full flavored quad. Very nice dark fruits.

 362 characters

Photo of matcris
4.93/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A very hazy/yeasty brown/cola with a couple fingers of tan foamy head that slowly recede to a thin layer. I can't quite see the carbonation in this dim light but I can see lots of floaties. The aroma is overall very sweet and there is lots of dark dried fruit and an alcohol hit that together reminds me of rum raisin ice cream, without the ice cream part. In the flavor, quite sweet but there is a red wine like bitterness that keeps that sweetness in check. Lots of dark dried raisins, figs, plums, and prunes. A very Alka-Seltzer like carbonation, tight. Very dry but a little sticky on the lips, and medium full bodied. Quite an enjoyable experience. Won't be my last.

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Photo of Czequershuus
3.57/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a slightly muddy brown-black with a large head. The aroma is full of fig chocolate. plum, date, green apple, and custard. The flavor is dominated by fig and date notes, with cocoa powder, fudge, very sweet caramel, toffee, and butterscotch. The mouthfeel is very rich and sticky. Overall I know this is a classic, but I just cannot get behind it. While I love big, bold, sweet beers, this one is somehow too sweet - like there is never enough booziness to balance of the sweet. I have loved other Quads, but this one just really escapes me.

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Photo of Brewfocker80
4.94/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass
A-pours a ruby brown with good head and lots of carbonation bubbles
S-smells of maltiness and fruit
M-full body with great carbonation
T-Fruity, peppery with strong figs and raisins
O-one of my favorite quads so far. This beer is better than the Rochefort 10 in my opinion.

 320 characters

Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This quad pours a nice dark chocolate cover with a huge 3 finger head and tons of sticky lacing when sipped. It smells of yeast and sweet malts. The first sip surprises: its not as tart/sweet as other quads out there (Sam Adams quad and Ommegang's Three Philosophers both empasize fruit), with a heavier emphasis on roasted malts with a slightly bitter finish. Dark chocolate malt flavor, with some nice caramel, molasses, nuttiness and plummy sweetness and breadiness from the yeast. The carbonation is high, but not as high as some other quads I have had, and the ale is rich and creamy. This is delicious, and at $11.99 for a big boy bottle, well worth the buy. There is a reason St Bernardus is considered one of the best beer-makers in the world. This one didn't blow my mind, but it was fulfilling, potable and enjoyable. If I had the patience to age my beers a little, I wonder how that might change the character. I'm told it gets better with age.

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Photo of c_tails
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured from 12 oz bottle

smell - yeasty, dark dried fruits, malt, booze at the end

taste - rich, dark dried fruits like raisins, a slight hint of cola, yeasty and earthy. Slight sweetness, i found the alcohol to be fairly pronounced at the end.

i was surprised that by the mouthfeel - to me its more medium, felt slightly thinner than i expected. lots of carbonation. this is so often compared to Rochefort 10 and i find that beer to have a much heavier mouth coating...i think i prefer that over this but this is still an epic beer that i would happily drink again. it seemed to lack a little of the extra complexity that i was expecting given my experience with trappist quads.

 687 characters

Photo of anteatr23
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours brown tinted carbonated heavily, smells boozey and earthy, yeasty. Taste is light and sweet, berries, Belgian yeast, alcohol is only present on the aftertaste. Otherwise very hidden ABV and very easy to drink. This bottle was in the back of my fridge for two years and it was quite a surprise given my lack of familiarity with quads. Enjoyed it.

 355 characters

Photo of Drvitlkeyustolit80
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had 5/27/13 at The Yard House in Boston. It's a quintessential quadruple, straight from Belgium. Very rich and flavorful, and supposedly its the same recipe as Westvleteren 12. Although I think westy is much better all around.

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Photo of breezyday
4.88/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is my go to beer when it comes to having a great Quad (Belgium/Americans are getting there). It has a delicious faint sweet dark roasted malty taste with huge smells and flavors of fig, prunes and malt. The feel in your mouth is also very distinct as it is smooth, but thicker than most any American attempt at Quads w/ the craft beer industry boom in the United States. It is an exceptional beer with a hearty beef, chicken, pork and potatoes meal. This beer actually has more subtle dark fruit, malt and light spice flavors tastes and aromas appear as it warms from the refrigerator. Thus, it actually tastes even better then when you first start drinking it. I highly recommend this beer to Americans who want to know what a quality 'Quadruple' beer is all about. I also recommend if you are a Costco member to look for it. In the Dallas, Texas area this beer is $2 cheaper than any store I have found it stocked. In other words, this beer is a bargain at Costco...and actually anywhere you can find it is a great Belgium Trappist beer that is hard to match and compare when coming to taste, texture, smell and overall pleasure. Enjoy... prost!

 1,171 characters

Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle poured into Sam Adams pint glass.

Pours a deep, rich brown with two puffy fingers of tan head that leaves a thick horizon of rocky lace as it recedes.

Smells of caramel tarts, fig, raisins, toasted brown sugar, preserved peaches, spiced rum, candied nuts and dried vanilla.

Tastes of toffee pudding, chocolate ice cream, pecan pie, raisins soaked in spiced rum, candied walnut, browning banana and more oaken vanilla notes.

Feels big and creamy. Full bodied with smooth, but active carbonation. Finishes off-dry.

Verdict: Vigorously recommended. Incredibly good.

 580 characters

Photo of Radcpa
4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Nice appearance with too much head. Pleasant to aroma. Too much carbonation for me but it should just set for a couple of minutes to let is breath. other than that is is pretty good

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Photo of crimsonfloyd
4.04/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown with a few centimeters of head. Thick in the glass with small yeast clots that float near the bottom. Smells faintly of lemon and yeast, but overall doesn't pack much of a punch. Tastes of butterscotch and caramel, with a bit of mint kick at the end. Texture is smooth and syrupy. Overall, enjoyable, but slightly overrated.

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Photo of gregy55902
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent stuff here. Poured very gently so this wouldn't overflow my snifter (I know it is highly carbonated from previous experiences!), and this yielded a very dark beer with carbonation streaming up the side of the glass. Nice 1-finger off-white head that recedes leaving nice bubbles and lacing.

Aroma is a classic combination of dark fruits - plums, figs, dates, cherries. Some dark malts, bready yeast and faint herbal hops in there as well.

Taste follows the nose - very smooth blend of dark fruits and malts. The harder water they used also makes an appearance here. Not mind-blowingly complex, but very good and smooth. Nice dark fruit characteristics and a hint of spice from the yeast.

Feel is smooth, abv is well-hidden. A bit of bite from the carbonation, but it feels lively in the mouth. Coats the tongue with delicious flavors!

Overall it's a very solid, relatively inexpensive, easy to get, yet high-quality authentic belgian quad. It reminds me a lot of the quad I made a few months ago that claimed to clone Westy 12 (got another batch of it in secondary - *rubs hands with glee*). Recommended!

 1,120 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.76/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a kidney bean color with a solid froth on top of 1/2 finger. 100% opaque. Nice lighting up the sides.

Aromas of molasses, belgian yeast, fig bars and raisin.

Has a lot of complexity, perhaps overshadowed a bit by the booze within. I'm getting figs and viney notes, with firm hits of molasses, some smoked ham, plum, peated malt, and then the booze creeps in and smacks hard, ending on booze drenched grapes and some flecks of citrus.

Feel is hot, with stinging carbonation and a dry dusty finish.

Overall, St. Bernardus' Abt 12 isn't the white pony it's played up to be; rather it's a decent Quad with some interesting qualities going for it (the smoked ham, the peat, the boozy grapes). I can't say I'm a fan, but I can't knock folks who say they are. It's decent.

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.42 out of 5 based on 9,427 ratings.
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