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St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12
BA SCORE
4.46/5
Outstanding
9,626 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#149
Reviews:
2,814
Ratings:
9,626
pDev:
9.19%
Bros Score:
4.48
 
 
Wants:
792
Gots:
2,652
Trade:
47
HISTOGRAM
 
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Ratings: 9,626 |  Reviews: 2,814
Photo of Sammy
4.2/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Carbonation stung my tongue yet I loved it. Beyond anything I have ever drunk of any refreshment. Like cold spring water on a hot day.
Beautiful dark unique color with some doughy pieces. Complex wonderful taste of nuts, sweet malt, spices, dark fruit, cream.

Had another bottle 21 months later, wonderful finish spicey finish. Nice head and lace. The taste depends on where you put it on the tongue. Satisfying.

6.5 years later and good complexity, still aggressive carbonation.
7.3 years later and just yeasty and sweetish.

 527 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.4/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: very thick and foamy head. Amber color.

S: grape and dark fruit. Sweet

T: sweet toffee and dark fruit taste. Chocolate and caramel notes.

M: moderate carbonation. Thick and oily.

O: too fruity for my taste but seems to be on par for a quad. Had to search for the beer taste in this one. Probably won't be going back to this one.

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Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark brown color with a big 3 inch light brown head that fades to a thin cap. Broken rings of lace mark the glass on the drink down. There is some sediment floating around in the beer. Smells of dark fruits, some malty bread, and spices. Taste is very much like the smell with the dark ripe fruits, bready malts, spices (clove/cinnamon), and some yeast flavors. There is a good level of carbonation in this one with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. This makes the beer very smooth and easy to drink. Overall, this is a very good quad with a very nice smell and taste. Definitely deserves its spot in the top 5 of the style.

 632 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.32/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

an outstanding quad, but not perfect. poured into a goblet a nice redish amber color with one of these perfect heads only a belgian can provide. smells sugary, yeasty, fruity, and like something sticky... honey? caramel? molasses? flavor is fruity and malt driven up front, with some slight tart sensations happening in the background, a roasted sweet finish rounds this one off. unmatched in its complexity, this quad goes well with a wide array of food, i had it with a rabbit stew. mouthfeel is bright and bubbly, with a medium body. the 10% abv is well hidden. could drink this all night, but it isnt as good as the la trappe quad

 634 characters

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of kjkinsey
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of Knapp85
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I liked this beer quite a bit but in all honest I must say that the La Trappe and the Rochefort 10 still remain higher on my favorites list. This beer poured out as a medium color of brown, the head was a bit fizzy and doesn't leave behind on the glass. The smell of the beer has a bit of alcohol on the nose followed by the dark fruits and yeast. The taste of the beer is good but I find it less pleasing than the two Quad's I mentioned before. The mouthfeel is medium but remains kind of thin too. Decent amount of carbonation, overall I think this beer is worthy of trying. I would love to do a sampling party of Quad's to see how they hold up against each other.

Just had on tap the other night and it was sensational. Very enjoyable brew. It's right up there with La Trappe, Rochefort, and Achel.

 802 characters

Photo of nmann08
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of t0rin0
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a very close 2nd to the Val-Dieu Grand Cru as far as quadrupels that I've tried go. Its a treat every time I've had it.

The beer pours a dark brown, darker than most of the quadrupels that I've had. Hazy and there are noticeable chunks of yeast floating around in there. Thats the only negative on the appearace. The head is rather tall and fluffy and tan. Lots of carbonation.

The smell is of yeast and malt. Not real complex, actually very simple. That yeast and the dark malts are both very strong. This is a very aromatic beer. A bit sweeter and richer than the 60th anniversary version. There is a little alcohol smell at warmer temps but its not distracting in the least. Can't detect a lot of spices unless I'm confusing them with the yeast in the beer.

The taste is sweet with some bitterness. The yeast chunks floating around probably contribute to this. Some dark fruit flavors come out with a small hint of roasted malt (very small hint). Sugary for sure but can't tell if thats candi sugar or just a lot of malt.

Its too bad that these bottles are so small because this is something I'd like to drink by the pint.

 1,143 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of metter98
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very dark mahogany in color and yeast particles are visible floating in suspension. It poured with a finger high white head and has a light amount of carbonation. It has good head retention properties and a thin layer of bubbles consistently covered the surface.
S: There are aromas of dark fruits, spices and yeast in the nose.
T: The taste is very complex and like the smell it has flavors of dark fruits, spices and yeast along with a slight amount of malty sweetness. There is a slight amount of bitterness from the hops in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some warming sensations from the alcohol.
D: This is a beer that needs to be slowly sipped given its alcohol content. It tastes like it is strong, but the alcohol presence does not detract from the drinkability. For the most part, the alcohol is masked from the taste.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

With ultimate succulent sweetness, robust wine-like tartness, and a gauntlet of flavors that reach the taste buds from multiple angles and with an array of characteristics, this is an epic beer for the ages!

Delivered in a wide lipped, oversized bulb of a wine glass, adorned with the brewery's logo, this is the glass that deserves the beverage. The russet brown beer with burgundy hues carries a mild haze with a deep sheen. Tightly knit head character gives early impressions of thick blanket, yet late impressions are of a rich espresso-like creme. Fantastic retention and a generous allocation of sticky lace leaves intricate lacing patterns on the glass. A most inviting beer.

Rich berry-like aromas are tart, savory, and vibrant. Backed by the succulent sweet notion of cotton candy, caramelized sugars, vinous wine-like character, orange peel, corriander, and grape, this classy ale courts the nose with pin-point seductive response.

Flavors are much more concentrated than the somewhat tame nose suggests. Richly underplayed malts give a nondescript sweetness to the beer that when combined with alcohol delivers a deceptively light powdered sugar sweetness, slight chocolate, brown sugar, and elegant strength. Yeasty esters of grape, plumb, cherry, dates, figs, licorice, and apples all feed into the fruity complexities. Spicy notes replace hop bitterness with mellow white and black peppercorns, light smoke, and alspice with alcohol. Vibrant and bright, but not without the needed aged notes to suggest maturity, this fresh version satisfies just fine.

Rich and succulent, the first sips give a medium creamy notion but a dense weight to the tengemental senses before making a procession across mid palate and marching toward sweet warmth, semi-sweet finish, and a sultry aftertaste of fruit, alcohol, and whimsy sweetness.

This is a masterfully crafted ale that seduces the seneses with each and every sip. Keeping stride with the Westvleterens and Rocheforts, this beer plays no such second fiddel.

 2,019 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle. I was weirdly introduced to this offering by an ersatz English football hooligan colleague at an office [email protected] beerfest a few years ago - who knew?

This beer pours a dark muddy brown colour, with some violently eddying sediment, a slight reddish tint, and two broad fingers of fine foamy pale beige head, which leaves some solid streaks of roaming lace around the glass as it duly recedes.

It smells of mildly sweet caramel malt, dark distinct fruit, a soft yeastiness, and alcohol-soaked demerara sugar. The taste is sweet, dark sugary caramel/toffee malt, a bit of raw cocoa, some ethereal spicing, and subtle, but well balancing earthy, leafy hops. Little to no booze warming, quelle surprise.

The carbonation is there, but quite sedate, the body medium-full in weight, smooth, and clean. It finishes off-dry, but only minimally so - the malt is present and accounted for, but well tempered by an unobtrusive dryness.

A beer with a whole lot going for it, lots to discuss, dissect, yet I find myself just wanting to sit back and sip it, sip it, and...oh shit, there it goes.

 1,099 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.6/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Truncated review below. Reviewed side by side with a Rochefort 10 and a Westvleteren 12. I'll come back and give this its own proper review in the future.

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with cage and corked cap served into a Biere de Saint Louis Alsace teku. Expectations are very high; I've had this before and loved it.

Overcarbonated - the cork shot up and hit the ceiling upon opening.

HEAD: No bubble show forms as it's poured. Head is 2 fingers of pale khaki colour. No lacing is left on the sides of the glass.

BODY: Red-brown colour. Murky and muted. Not looking fantastic, but it's more than acceptable for a quad.

Not the rich appearance of superior quads, but appealing.

AROMA: Kind of muted. I have to search for the dark fruits: plum, fig, that's about it. Not finding the prune or the dates of superior quads. Belgian malts. Some biscuity yeast. Raisin. Maybe some cream. Starchier than the Rochefort 10.

A pleasant but reticent aroma of mild strength.

No hop character or alcohol is detectable.

TEXTURE: Smooth and wet, but it has enough slight coarseness to coax out a bit more depth of flavour. I love the creaminess, but it could be more soft. Complements the taste well. Nice presence on the palate. Comfortingly soft. Very approachable.

TASTE: Belgian malts. Biscuity Belgian yeast. Wisps of faint dark fruits - plum, fig, and raisin. It's a teensy bit starchy, which I don't dig. Much more muted and reticent than I remember. It lacks the depth and duration of flavour of Westvleteren 12 and Rochefort 10.

O: Certainly a good quad, but not up to par with the other two in this side-by-side. I do like it, but I'll plan on reviewing it on its own properly.

B

 1,700 characters

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of emerge077
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Never reviewed this, huh... that's strange, had it quite a few times over the years. Must have been too busy enjoying it.

12oz. bottle, BBD: "02 02 17" printed on the back label.
Served in a small snifter glass.

Huge billowing head of tan foam forms after a slow pour, first leaving behind a thin collar, then delicate arcs of lace that slowly settle back into the beer. Swirling the glass quickly rekindles the head for a few moments, but it quickly dissipates again.

Fruity and spicy aromas of fig, plum, sultana, some clove.

Flavors are similar, distinct plum and clove notes, earthy hop with some caramel and raisin in the middle. Finishes dry and fairly smooth and creamy despite the high abv, though its certainly warming. Not overly sweet, moderate carbonation. A benchmark of the style, allowing the trappist yeast to be showcased, not hiding behind a ton of candi sugar and booze like so many other Quads.

 922 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of brentk56
4.53/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark caramel brown hazy color with a creamy head and lots of lacing

Smell: Ripe dark fruits and bananas; brown sugar and alcohol

Taste: Starts out somewhat sweet and clove-like and is followed by a bit of hoppy bitterness and alcoholic warmth; some chocolate and cherry flavors, mid-palate; bitter rum raisin finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but light and fizzy on the tongue

Drinkability: A wonderful sipper by the fire

 444 characters

Photo of oline73
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a mildly cloudy reddish amber with a finger of fluffy off white head. Great retention and nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet with Begian spice. Some dark fruit and mild brown sugar. Some warm alcohol.

Taste: Super smooth and complex. Belgian spice is dominant, but not too overpowering. A mild sweetness with some dark fruit. The finish has the spice notes along with some warm alcohol and a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very smooth carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: Really great beer. Unbelievably smooth in the smell and the taste. Not anything comes to mind that I would want to change.

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 9,626 ratings
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