St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

2,778 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: 2,778 | Ratings: 9,455
Photo of Auracom
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yay for drinking quads in a grocery store! On-tap at Whole Foods Lincoln Park in a New Belgium tulip glass on May 17th, 2011.

Been meaning to get to this one for a while.

ABT 12 has a very dark brown color and pours extremely murky. Lots of alcohol feet on the sides. Retention of the thin, off white head is ever-so-slight. Lacing looks rather ominous.

Lots of sweet malt characters in the nose. Candy-apple sweetness, some dark fruit, a little spice, caramel, and a little yeast funk. Taste backs this up strongly. It's far more sweet and not all that bready. Toffee, caramel, less dark fruit. Good balance on the tongue. Nice crispness overall.

Feel isn't hugely thick which matches the drink quite well. Medium body. Good carbonation as often reported. Slight ABV in the taste but none in the nose. Considering the gravity, it's drinkable. Probably quaffable. Okay, Belgians could drink this by the gallon. But I'm not Belgian, so I'll just stick with the single pour for tonight.

I enjoyed it, it was very much what I hoped for and I will revisit. Big props as well for absolute ease in finding this brew basically anywhere craft beer can be found.

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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.

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Photo of vancurly
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Leffe chalice.
Dark reddy brown, with orange edges. Clear, with good bubble beads. Frothy beige head. Clouds up when I swirl the remnants into the glass.
Rich aroma... oaky, malty, estery, doughy/fresh bread. Hint of caramel.
In the mouth, noticable alcohol, big malt, hint of molasses or licorice. Very spicy, nutty.
Very bubbly, explodes in the mouth. Hot with alcohol, and firm with bitterness. All up a bit harsh on the mouth, although it seems to improve when the bottle-bottom yeast is swirled and poured, giving a more creamy expression.
The finish is long, and it's a couple of minutes before I really pick up some delicate hop flavours.

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Photo of steelreign
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My 100th beer karma point.... hmmm what should I say about this that hasn't already been said? Not much, really. I will say I was a little surprised in that this bottle didn't seem as 'ripe' as it could have been. I regret not lettng it age some before trying it. Raisins, hops, cloves, banana aroma and notes... nice balance overall. I can't wait to try Westy 12 after this...

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Photo of stemcell001
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a 750 ml bottle with my wife. Served at cellar temp into goblets.

Nice full dark brown with good head and excellent lacing. Strong notes of raisin and cherry. Very nice taste with strong yeast characteristics. Alcohol very present but subdued by the other flavors. I could have easily managed to drink the entire bottle over the course of the night. This is a wonderful example of a Belgian quad.

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Photo of bigdeuce
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There are so many flavors in this brew it is unreal. Bananas, cardimon, cinamon, dry ripened plums, maybe some cherries. An outstanding beer. Only problem with this one is, it has a very whiskey booziness that is noticeable. I also believe this drinks more like a belgian strong dark than a quad. Other than that, an outstanding brew. Nice lacing down the tulip. Can't drink too many, may put someone into an eternal sleep. Highly recommeded.

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Photo of pdxwhisky
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very Very Nice.

Perfect for style. Wonderful candi sugar notes. Excellent lacing and carbonation.

If only my drinking companions were as able to enjoy it (too complex for them, 2 of 3 left their glasses 1/2 full, oh well).

This might be the Belgian Quad that I use to rate others by.

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Photo of DelMontiac
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very cloudy, red/brown, nice looking 4 finger tan head with bubbles of varied size, some very large. Head retention is good for about half the glass, but never makes a full exit.

S: Sweet maltiness, tart cherries simmering in brandy, sweet pipe tobacco, and ETOH. Like it quite a bit.

T: More of the same maltiness, brandied cherries, sweet mild pipe tobacco, and sometimes flashes of black liqorice. Warming alcohol is balanced with the other flavors - I feel this best attribute, flavorwise. Like how the various flavors hit in stages. Well defined.

M: Quite nice. Carbonation is about right with this one. The ETOH warmth is unobtrusive and pleasant.

D: One small bottle is nice, a 750ml may be better shared - shared 60/40 that is.

Overall: Can always count on Abt 12 to lift your spirit. One of the most enjoyable brews in my area that's easy to find. Cellaring is not necessary, but encouraged.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not sure what the freshness date is on this one. There is a mark at 7, 8 and 9 on the scale along the bottom. There is also a double-label thing going on. The bottle definately got hit with two labels.

It pours a deep murky brown color with a solid 2.5 finger head over top that falls very slowly. The nose is full on raisin and fig character, with a nice spicey character hiding in there as well. The flavor is subdued from the nose a bit. The yeast imparts a creamy character, on top of the sweet raisin and light brown sugar character. Very nice flavor. The feel is moderate, with a light carbonation. I'm finding it to be a sipping beer. Not something I can drink a whole lot of at a time. I like it. Definately not as good as the same beer off tap. I'll re-rate this one when I have it off tap again. Still a nice brew.

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Photo of Lungman
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Super hyped up beer here. Expecting a mouth oragasim. Looks nice and dark. Smells like toffee, coffee, and vanilla. Super carbonated. I like that, but no so much in this style. I like high carbonation in a saison, but weird here. Abv well hidden. Not to complex. Kinda disappointed. Oh well, back to IPA's.

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Photo of dcook11
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown with ample carbonation and sea foam two finger head. The lacing is very nice as well. The nose is a little weak but detectable are belgian yeast, malt and candied sweetness. The taste is the same as the nose with the abv masked nicely. The mouthfeel is a velvety light to medium body and the drinkability is high.

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Photo of pheggeseth
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Spec's in Houston

A: pours a golden color but settles a slightly cloudy ruby brown, generous two finger head with good retention, nice lacing

S: sour grapes, caramel, acidic alcohol, slight strawberry

T: yeasty caramel with slightly acidic sour grapes again, ripe red fruit towards the end, not as complex as the smell in my opinion, 4.0

M: thick, but not overpowering with a slightly dry finish

D: very good, but there seemed to be something missing that I couldn't quite put my finger on, I aged my bottle about 8 months, maybe more would have been appropriate

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Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep dark brown with minimal tan head. It does leave some lacing as it is consumed.

S: I don't know why the word comes to me, but it smells deep just like it looks. It smells like its going to be full of flavor, but I don't have an experienced nose to know what exactly the aroma is. With that said, I love the smell.

T: I know I sound like a broken record, but deep once again comes to mind. Bold is another great word for this one. Most of the flavor kicks in as after taste, but its a very pleasing strong flavor that once again I cant put my finger on.

M: It is a medium thickness in the mouth with a good level of in mouth carbonation.

D: The excellent but short lived after taste makes me want to go for another sip not quickly. I really enjoyed this one.

I cant put my finger on what the smell or taste of this one is, but I know that both are very enjoyable. St Bernardus' line has yet to disappoint me. Give this one a try!

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish brown color that is almost transparent. Medium off-white head that diminishes rather slowly. Scent is a lot of sweet malts with dark fruits and somewhat of a strong alcohol smell. Very sweet-smelling. This is what is expected from a Belgian quad, and it's quite delightful. Taste is dark fruits with a slight licorice taste. Great Belgian yeast flavors and nice malt flavors. Mouthfeel is a bit more bubbly than I remembered, but feels very nice. Not syrupy at all. Drinkability is fairly high.

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Photo of Prufrock
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle into a Rochefort glass.

murky medium brown. got about a half-inch of off-white head that falls quickly (glass isn't so conducive to anything higher). even so, leaves nice sheets of lacing.

10% abv definitely comes through in the aromas. lots of sweet brown sugar and bready malts as well. fruit aromas in the background, like over-ripe bananas (but in a good way).

alcohol is very well-hidden in the taste; don't really notice until i start feeling it about halfway through the bottle. sugary, doughy malts, fruity esters. buttery, rich mouthfeel with heavy carbonation. incredibly drinkable, great aroma, great taste...mouthfeel is the only weakness for me; a few too many bubbles. fantastic brew from the friendly monk.

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Photo of WMEugene
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark brown/amber color with a thin off-white head and good lacing.

S - Sweet fruits, candy sugar, and yeast. Some caramel as well.

T - Dark fruits, some caramel and candy sugar flavors. Alcohol noticeable as well (though not in a "hot" way). A little on the sour side.

M - Medium bodied, good carbonation. Relatively smooth and drinkable.

O - I enjoyed St. Bernardus Abt 12 and it's a great example of the quad style. I don't think it quite lives up to the hype, but it's enjoyable and relatively decently priced/widely available, so I imagine it'll be a beer that I revisit multiple times in the future. A nice beer to sit back and enjoy.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A frothy and intensely carbonated ivory head erupts from even a slow pour of this chestnut brown quad, giving way to a thick sticky lacing existing throughout the beer.

Aromas of dark fruit such as fig and cherries joins the yeast, sugar, and phenol alcohol follow up. The figs, cherries, and raisins become more pronounced as the temperature increases in the glass.

Again sweet dark fruits and spice dominate the flavor with a slight phenol aftertaste to accompany the roasted malt.

Great drinkability exists in the medium body with generous carbonation and dryness of the beer.

This just keeps getting better as it warms with more character coming through leaving you craving another sip.

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Photo of psuKinger
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the glass-set, poured into said St. Bernardus chalice/snifter.

A: Pours a murky medium-brown/caramel color, with a thick 1+ finger's worth off-white head on top, with big "pancake batter"-like bubbles towards the middle of the glass, near where I poured.

S: Yeasty candied sugars and a touch of dates on the nose.

T: Bitter-sweet dark chocolate, figs, and dates, all artfully balanced. The dark chocolate arrives first and probably stands most prominently. There is just a touch of yeasty breadiness near the finish that works nicely within the confines of its role here. Perhaps some of the "bitterness" is hops-related? Far from overpowering, I'm not sure if it's related to a roastiness of the barley, a particular fermentable added, or the presence of hops, but it's there, and helps make this a truly "well balanced" belgian dark.

M: Initially hefty and bubbly with great carbonation that wisks away nicely.

D/O: A tasty treat. My only complaint in terms of drinkability would be that, as I worked through the glass, a bit of a "black licorice" taste started to shine through. I like black licorice, but I just thought it was "odd" and didn't quite work here. Still enjoyable, overall, though. Certainly repeatable.

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Photo of craftaholic
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- A cloudy caramel color with a light creamy tan head. Very little retention.

Nose- What a bouquet in the nose. Banana and bubblegum yeast notes and lovely candied dark fruit aromas abound.

Taste- The aromas were spot on with the forefront of this brew. The yeast greets the palate and from there comes a multitude of flavors. Crisp apple and grape flavors have a refreshing balance with the bready yeast. From there the beer gets a little richer with fig and date notes and a honey sweetness that masks the alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel- Light and sudsy with a buttery consistency. Smooth and the body intensifies as it sits in your glass.

Drinkability- Dangerous. With a 10% abv this drinks closer to a 7%, quaff with care.

Overall- I wasn't blown away with the legacy this beer has but I definitely enjoyed it!

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Photo of von_kaiser
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

this rating comes from one that dislikes the style all together. struggled putting the bomber down but i do respect what this aims for. sweet-yeast, full bodied, hazy beer that reminds me of banana bread. Cheers!

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Photo of hwwty4
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an 11.2oz bottle into my Chimay chalice. This beer pours a raisin brown with a 2 inch head that leaves just minimal lacing. The aroma is dark fruit with prunes, raisins, and brown sugar. The flavor follows suits with raisin and dates in the forefront with brown sugar, barley, and just a bit of cherry. Also there is just a hint of spiciness to it, probably from the Belgian yeast strains. The 10.5% alcohol really comes through, especially as it warms. The mouthfeel is full and leaves a nice boozy sensation on the palate. The colder this beer is, the less drinkable it is. As it warms, it really shows its true colors. It becomes a very drinkable quad, but it's still a bit on the boozy side for me.

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Photo of Quaffer
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

25.4 oz bottle, caged and corked. Picked this up in Dallas. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: A very deep amber-brown. Quite a bit darker than I was expecting. A heavy bead could be seen when enough light was put behind the glass to actually see through it. Absolutely wonderful, dense, thick head. It stuck to the side of the glass like glue and seemed to not dissipate at all, probably due to the large amount of bubbles feeding it from below. Aesthetically speaking, this beer was perfection in a glass.

Smell: The aroma was comprised of a rich maltiness that was pierced by sharp fruit and spicy yeast. Alcohol spice and some dark fruit lay underneath. Quite a bit of depth, but not heavy smelling at all.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth upfront and gained more of a velvety texture as it moved back in the mouth. Medium-bodied.

Taste: A nice, dark maltiness was prominent upfront, having a lightly caramel, but more cocoa-like, character to it. The yeast rose up strong in the middle. On the finish, the yeast was joined by spicy alcohol and a sharp fruitiness. This beer became almost sour on the finish. The aftertaste provided a reprise of the chocolate-like malt that was present at the start.

This was a good, solid beer. Not a mind-blowing experience, but very enjoyable.

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

12oz bottle $3.99, not a bad price at all. I am not the biggest fan of Trappist beers but I thought I needed to try this since it is so highly regarded. Dark brown color, short head. Aroma is brown sugar, raisins, pretty nice. Flavor is more of the same and the alcohol is very well hidden.

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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 DenverHopHead
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a caged and corked 25.4 oz bottle into a tulip.
Appearance - brown, but a crimson hue against the light. Cloudy, but some carbonation apparent against the sides. Foamy tan head that recedes to a medium layer. Lacing is minimal.
Smell - sweet dark fruit; hints of toffee and caramel.
Taste - flavorful assortment of dark and stone fruit accompanied by a smooth and warming alcohol.
Feel - full bodied, creamy yet carbonated mouthfeel. The complexity of this beer grows as it finishes with a bitterness and a quiet and easy to drink alcohol burn!
Overall - aging another bottle with high expectations!

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.42 out of 5 based on 9,455 ratings.
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