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: 9,452
Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cola color with thick head and sticky lacing. Smells very nice, getting notes of bread, banana, floral, wheat, and sugary malt. The taste is nice, some spicy notes up front with a good mix of dark fruit and some minor flowery taste and wheat. A lot of malty flavors in this one with a good alcohol bite. Overall a nice beer, a little more on the spicy side for me but a good beer.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.16/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


LOOK: muddy dark brown with a reddish hue. Big white head.
AROMA: spice, yeast, allspice, wine, bread, brown sugar.
TASTE: fruitcake (allspice, cinnamon, raisin, black cherry, bread yeast).
FEEL: chewy, medium carbonation.

Very nice belgian; in league with Rochefort 10, Chimay Blue. Can't believe it took me so long to try this as it is readily available.


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Photo of Franziskaner
4.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Brown in color with excellent clarity. There's a fingernail of brown forming about the size of a quarter in the middle of the chalice. The aroma is of dark caramelized malt, chestnuts, and fig. The taste is full of sweet dark malt, chestnuts, pumpernickel bread, and other sweet bready malt. The mouth is moderately chewy, dry, and warm with alcohol. World class.

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Photo of The_Bujon
4.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Top Notch!

A rich coffee coloured brew, with a really enticing aroma, like a sweet fig heavy marmalade.

The taste is sublime, carries that sweet aroma into the taste buds, and a uber long aftertaste. This hides the 10% abv quite well, and makes it a deadly brew in my opinion.

If I had to criticise this one, it would be the lack of head at slightly chilled temperatures, and the ever so slightly watery feel to it, but I'm picking holes.

A beauty, and worth several boofs! Boof boof boof boof boof!.....Did I mention BOOF?

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Photo of the_awesometeer
3.95/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer is a dark brown with a very slight have. It has good carbonation and a bubbly white head that thinned out. I do get a minor boozey smell. The beer has the aroma of those typical malts found in Belgian style beers as well as dark fruits as well as a caramel like aroma. I can taste the booze more than I can smell it. I get a very strong taste of the dark fruits with a hint of sweetness and roasted malts. A nice feel of carbonation in the mouthfeel a little thin.

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

Pours dark brown, cola like with one finger off white bubbly head.
Aroma has yeast, malt, sweet bread, plums, walnuts.
Taste is yeast, sweet malt, bread, walnuts, a little metallic, good thick mouth feel, peppers in the finish.

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

A - Murky burgundy-brown body, semi-transparent, with a very thin light tan head, which fades quickly out to a thin rim at the glass edge, and mild lacing.

S - Plum, raisins, tea, toffee and dark bread, banana and bubble gum, over a persistent boozy alcohol hit.

T - Follows the nose, opening with bubble gum and banana, moving to baked apple and toffee notes, dark fruits, bread pudding, and a slightly acidic bite, with black tea elements, in the close.

M - Surprisingly supple, a bit of alcohol warmth, some carbonation on the tongue, and a very mild drying in the close. Very easy to drink.

O - This is a beer that deserves all the recognition. Full and tasty, a big beer that does not burden, not even sticky. All that you can hope for from a Quad. Lovely.

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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.

 1,066 characters

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 dadplusbeer
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.

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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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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.42 out of 5 based on 9,452 ratings.
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