St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

2,762 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: 2,762 | Ratings: 9,392
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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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!

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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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Photo of ChiefHouston1
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 11.2 ounce bottle. Pours dark with off white head. Dusky aroma. Slightly sweet flavor of rasins. Yeasty finish. Great mouth feel with slight carbonation.

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Photo of iridius
2.99/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Okay, I've had it but didn't remember much so, alas I had to try it again and pay attention this time. First of all it poured super foamy, probably user error. It smells pleasant, but honestly doesn't have a strong odor, looks darker than I remember. $5 for one 12 Oz bottle was a bit much, but I got 3 others just in case :) Tastes a little too much like tree bark to me. I'm sure there's a fancy way to say that, but I don't know it. Taste is the most important thing to me, so that brings it down overall quite a bit. Sort of seems kike it doesnt want to melt with my tastebids like my favorite beers do, now its tasting a little metallic. Sorry, that's the second super high rated beer this week that I wouldn't buy again, unless of course I forget again.

 765 characters

Photo of FLima
4.54/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

One of the first craft beers I had. I had no idea what to expect on that one, simply it was tagged to check my beer list. I recall it was a shock; it was very much different to main stream and other more regular ales. Back then I had both Abt.12 and Rochefort 10 at the very same day. I recall well, I preferred the former. I would do the same experience this weekend. This one I have been cellaring for 3 years. Now on to the beer.
It poured a hazy brown color with a thick dark beige head with good retention.
Nice aroma with notes of creamy chocolate, prunes, figs, mild vanilla, some banana, cinnamon and red wine (without the alcohol).
Delicious flavor with notes of chocolate mousse, cocoa, lots of spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, white pepper), plums, mint, figs, molasses, grapes, noble hops, pear juice, some banana, candi sugar, raspberries, coconut, blueberries, licorice and black currants. Amazingly no evident booze, just some Brandy flavor. Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness.
Full body with appropriate carbonation of tiny fellows. Neither syrupy nor heavy. Alcohol of 10% abv is superbly well hidden.
I love this beer, utterly satisfying. It is very complex and still the myriad of flavors are subtle enough not to overshadow each other. It does not fell heavy at all; you don’t have to sip very small quantities at a time.
I see this at the same level of the Westvleteren; I still need to drink both with the same aging and at the same time to state which one is better. Recommended.

 1,511 characters

Photo of Kdouble
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap in a tulip glass.

A clear dark color with two fingers of tan colored head. Lots of lacing that stayed through my entire drink.

Smells of caramel and a stronger dark type of sugar. A little spice in there too.

The caramel and sugar on the most prevalent taste with a little vanilla with it.

The feel is rather creamy but still very smooth. Rather sticky at the end of a drink.

Definitely a world class beer and something special.

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Photo of FBarber
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruddy brown color - appears clearish when held to the light. When first poured it looks like cola. Appears brown with large carbonation bubbles. Fizzy carbonation gives rise to a tan colored fizzy head. Head dissipates leaving a thin layer of tan foam on top of the beer.

Smell is very bright. Notes of sweet dried plums, raisins, brown sugar, rich dark malts, and some spice.

Taste is just incredible. Initially there is some sweet plums, prunes, raisins, dark stone fruit and brown sugar. As the flavors linger on the tongue they mellow out into a lovely array of smooth oak, dark fruit and leather and brown sugar.

Feel is spot on for a quad. Fizzy carbonation. Super smooth feel with a strong warming alcohol presence.

Overall a really nice quad. Definitely one of the best examples of the style out there. This beer is best enjoyed with cool ro cold weather to really enjoy that lovely warming feel you get sipping on this beer.

 949 characters

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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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.42 out of 5 based on 9,392 ratings.
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