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St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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2,738 Reviews
St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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

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Reviews: 2,738 | Ratings: 9,257
Photo of Sabtos
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark reddish-brown, even purple, with a massive, foamy khaki head, settling to uneven mounds. This retains a soft, tan blanket with a purple hue and some soft round hills of lace.

Smell is caramel, toasted malt, light phenolic spicy yeast, grape, pear and even orange zest with walnut.

Taste is grape, strawberry, toasty malt, caramel, graham, fig and plum. Sweet but balanced.

This has a very dry finish, but before it gets there it has a substantial, full-bodied feel and is somewhat wet.

 498 characters

Photo of EmperorBevis
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Cola black brown body with splatterings of tan head
Big brown shugar aroma with hints of all things nice spice
Big slightly sweet slightly spiced flavour
Notes of sasparilla
Just so enjoyable

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Photo of archyquaffer
4.53/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A semi-aggressive pour from the magnum bottle into a clear glass chalice produces a short, creamy, tan colored head that recedes but never disappears, leaving attractive rings of lace. The beer is a deep, ruby highlighted brown, with a swirl of carbonation in the center of the glass. I don't think I've experienced a more beautiful lace pattern, with swirls of more viscous foam separating itself from the rest in a spiral pattern like some sort of beery galaxy.

The first thing I get in the aroma is a whiff of pleasant DMS of a subtle vegetal quality. As I taste, and as the beer warms, the malt aromas become more rich, showcasing dark fruit and caramelized sugars. The flavor is rich, fruity and mineral-laden, with notes of plums, dark cherries, plums, black currants, caramel, and subtle hints suggestive of fortified wine. Balancing the fruity and vinous notes is an earthy bitterness that lends to the vinous notes. The ABV is hidden except for some very slight medicinal notes which complement the other flavors nicely.

This beer is living up to my high expectations. I had never seen it around here until recently, when I purchased a bottle for $12.19 (cheap!) at Front St. Market in Butte, Montana. If they have any left, then I know what I'll be drinking at Yuletide- besides my home brew.

4.75 4.75 4.5 4 4.5

Reviewed July 30, 2016

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Photo of Irishjohn77
4.78/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured 11.2 oz. bottle into a tulip glass. Served at 50 degrees.

Look – dark brown opaque. Very little foam
Smell – sweet, almost like candy.
Taste – plum and raisins. Full flavors. Strong but not too much alcohol flavor.
Feel – a little carbonation. Rich and full. A little tingly. Warm like a liqueur.
Overall – a delicious treat. Perfect for sipping and warming up your insides.

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Photo of SargeMcCluck
4.63/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours murky brown with three fingers of violent, tan head. A few distinct, steady streams of carbonation make my tulip look like some kind of forbidden dark mass potion.

The nose gives off a big hit of sweet grape and raisin, balanced by the complexities of spicy peppercorn yeast and malt. The taste follows, adding rich layers of vanilla ice cream, banana chips, fig, cherry, clove, brown sugar and rum. That might sound sickly, but things are incredibly well balanced through what I can only assume is that unique brand of Belgian yeast-witchcraft.

Likewise, the feel is thick, smooth and warm, but avoids heavy cloy-ness with a pleasant buzz of carbonation. Note that this is a true sipper that only improves as it approaches room temperature, so you may find yourself overcome with immense sadness as the last mouthful turns out to be exponentially better than the first. Even my not-big-on-beer wife attests to this fact, and has now put aside her water to lay eyes on my last bottle of La Fin Du Monde. Such is the power of St. Bernardus.

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

There are better Belgian "12's" out there if you can get your hands on them. If not, this is a solid go-to representation of the style. For that, it should get high scores. I gave solid 4's; which is still straight A's. If they experimented within the style a bit, maybe the scores would be higher.

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Photo of Some_guy
4.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is my default go-to malt bomb if it's offered on tap. Strongly prefer draft to bottled where this beer is concerned.

Rich, decadent, mysterious and readily available.

Also makes one hell of a ice cream float for dessert.

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Photo of nicola5555
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip.

L: Clear dark mahogany pour with 2 fingers of creamy/foamy tannish head. Spectacular sticky lacing and the head lasts a looong time.

S: Dark sugars.. caramel and plum. Yeast and spice.

T/F: Rich malted sugars and caramel vie with the dark fruits on the palate... plums and figs... hints of cherry and vanilla. Mildly spicy. Creamy and smooth on the mouthfeel. Great carbonation. Finish is a little sticky.

O: A world-class Quad for a reason. Outstanding beer and a 'must try'.

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Photo of Bulabeers
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark and murky brown with two fingers of tan head
smell is grapes, cinnamon, prunes, sweet raisins
tastes like cinnamon, grapes, blueberries, and raisins
it is well carbonated
Overall this is a very good quad.

 209 characters

Photo of CanadianBacon
4.37/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This beer looks absolutely fantastic, It pours a deep hazy brown color with 3 fingers of foamy cappacino colored foam. wow The head retention is amazing!

Aroma - up front I get loads of fruit, prune dates fig, some grapes are all in the mix behind that is a roasy nut and caramel aroma, spices. wow just wow

Taste - up front is mostly prune and grape but not as tarty as the aroma, this is followed by a nice roasty malt and some sweet caramel, spices than go on to dominate with almost a peppery effect, and it is finished with almost a crackery yeast character. this is a very neat beer. what a beautiful quad!

Feel - Beautifuly smooth and creamy up front with a slight kick on the tongue it goes down smooth but the alcohol is apparent in the throat with a very similar effect to the wood in barrel aged beers. Very interesting beer this!

Overall - This is the type of beer that makes belgian beer special. The flavors are so wild but come together to create such a beautiful liquid that if I believed in god, I would think he himself made it. This is by far the best quad I've had to date!

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Photo of silverblaze540
4.83/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Rich brown with 1 inch head that dissipates quickly. Very bubbly and completely opaque.

S - Prunes, dried cranberries, and malt. Smells almost like a soda because of the very active carbonation.

T - Mild sweet dark fruit (prunes) front. Alcohol taste in the middle. Malty finish. Very mild bitterness at end.

M - Thick and fairly mouth coating. Lots of burn from the carbonation and alcohol.

O - Fantastic overall. Great smell, look, and taste. I love malty beers. Not as smooth as I was expecting, because the alcohol and the carbonation are very strong, but still great.

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Photo of Uscjojo
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This pours a dark brown with a light tan head.
The smell is yeast, raisins, plums, banana, spices, and figs.
The taste is like raisins, figs, and spicy. There is a good carbonation and slight bitterness in the back palate.
The feel is thick and creamy.
Overall, this is an excellent Quad that I will definitely be buying again.
I give it a 5 for the type of beer it is.

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Photo of Martin194
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Dark brown, kind of reddish when held up to the light; big, white head (made bigger by my poor job pouring it in this case); lots of floaters, some speckling the head

Smell: Cinnamon and spices, a little bit of bubblegum

Taste: Lots of spices, some earthy aftertaste along with a little fruit and hints of bubblegum

Feel: Pretty normal carbonation, feels just right. Leaves a warm, dry feel in the mouth and throat

Overall: A fantastic beer!

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Chestnut brown pour, thick toffee colored creamy head.

S - Bready, yeasty, spice, raisins, clove, banana, dark fruit, and plumbs.

T - Sweet roasted caramel malt, spice, clove, dark fruit, and raisins.

M - Thick and velvety that finishes creamy.

O - Just an outstanding Quad. 'Nuff said.

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Photo of LostDog13
4.66/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has a very fruity aroma, but does not come across overly sweet. It is a heavier, dark Belgian quad with a higher abv. I prefer to drink this slowly in a tulip style glass, and allow the flavors to enhance as the beer warms up. Definitely a beer that is to be enjoyed and appreciated. Dark and creamy beer that is sweet without being too sweet or overwhelming. The high abv is noticeable, but doesn't overpower the wonderful flavors.

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank on draft at Fugas.

A: The body is brown, black opaque with a beige thin head. No retention but some lacing.
S: The aroma is pure yeast. No alcoholic tones nor fruity profiles.
T: The taste is very rich, raisins, blueberries, blackberries and the alcoholic end to it. But very nice!
M: The body is medium to high but the carbonation seems too harsh, probably due to the bad maintenance of the keg.
O: This was drank on draft, and I have never had this beer on bottle. But if it's exactly like this, on terms of quadrupels, Trappistes Rochefort and Westvleteren are much better.

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Photo of davidperez
4.19/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I got this bottle a few weeks ago, and it is only months fresh. Nevertheless I'll have it and compare afterwards with an aged one.

Served in a Chimay chalice, it pours a very dark brown with a two-finger head, of a light brown, with some retention.

The bouquet is very sweet.
Aromas of toffee, brown sugar, slight hint of vanilla, cinnamon, a little booze, prune and raisins.

The taste is quite intriguing.
It starts with a nice balance and notes of prunes, raisins and cherry. Short after, phenols, a medicine-like flavor arises, and the malty backbone enters mildly as well. Clove is definitely present all throughout the flavor, and so is the alcohol, which gives a bit of a wine-like taste to the beer.
The aftertaste is long and predominantly sweet, it lingers very pleasantly. Medium to full body, very smooth. Superb balance.

I'm eager to taste how this beer ages. As of now, the phenols and the alcohol are very high.
Excellent beer notwithstanding.

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Photo of OlaB
4.68/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: gives a nice dark brown color, nice creamy top that disolves rapid

S: Dark dried fruits like prunes,dates and figes,spices,burned sugar, some small hint of chocolate,

T&F: Sweet malts in the start, the dark fruits comes more in the middle,and that taste is staying in the finishing, not much bitterness in the finishing, but more of a sweet and warm aftertaste that last for good period of time. Very good rounded taste on this beer the taste is just amazing.everything I feel is done right with balancing the flavours, the high alchol is very little noticable in this beer

O: Nothing more to say than this is one of the best quadruples that is . A true enjoyment to drink this beer. Absolutelly delicious.An amazing beer

 729 characters

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

Appearance: Dark amber/light chestnut body; medium frothy off-white head, long lasting, excellent lacing when poured into a Chimay chalice.

Smell: dried fruit; alcohol; light hops; smells great

Taste: sweet, wine-like flavors dominate right off the bat; follows through without a lot of change; finishes semi-sweet; delicious

Mouthfeel: creamy with a lot of carbonation

Remarks: very good Quad overall; I'll definitely buy again.

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Photo of Whey2Hoppy
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark caramel colored shade of brown. This one was a gusher, and the bottle exploded everywhere, so there's an enormous amount of head on this pour specifically.

S- Dried fruits, hints of alchohol, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg.

T- Follows the nose, with the sweetness being fairly subdued. Hides the alcohol extremely well, with a good malty backbone to the taste.

F- Medium body, with lots of carbonation as stated in the appearance. YMMV.

O- This beer is definitely one of the better quads out there. Not my favorite, but definitely better than the Rochefort 10 due to less of an alcohol bite masking the flavors.

 626 characters

Photo of DoctorZombies
4.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Murky brown pour, still with good clarity under cap; thick tight beige head; long lasting cap; heavy lacing. Dark stone fruit and caramel malt aromas followed by spice and lite clove as liquid warms; add banana and caramel candy nose. Flavors of figs, prunes, caramel malt, chocolate syrup on banana middle; dark cherry cordial yields to lite clove, tobacco and fudge finish. Medium plus mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A world class quad - complex tapestry of fruit/yeast/malt and candy flavors.

 498 characters

Photo of Marraybay
3.75/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: Dark Amber; Ample off-white head; sediment prominent.

Smell: vinous fruit

Taste: An immediate peaking vinous sweetness from grape.
Maybe some caramel. Finishes with a slight lingering tartness.

Feel: Carbonated; sparkling; syrupy.

Overall: An intensely sweet beer, with a fizzy/sparkingly
backbone. There is tartness pushing against the sweetness,
but I was actually looking for a bit more "bitterness."
A very "festive / celebratory" beer.

 455 characters

Photo of JordanlikesAles
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One of the great quads. Typical dark fruit aromas & flavors with a big malt presence. Out of the more famous quads, this one seems the harshest with the alcohol more evident in the taste.

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Photo of Ri0
4.26/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured 330ml bottle into chalice. It is a deep, dark amber brown. A thick 2 finger khaki head remains for the entire session and leaves spotty lacing on my glass. The aroma is prominent with dark fruits, yeast, and some all spice baked into bread. Very light toffee and caramel notes. Flavor is big on plum and fig with yeast coming in at the finish. It has a bready sweetness with some allspice or cinnamon along with some toffee flavor. Not any really chocolate like in the Roch 10 I had earlier. Medium feel with prickly carbonation. Easy drinking with some warmth. Very good and I do believe that this should age well.

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.42 out of 5 based on 9,257 ratings.
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