St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

2,756 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: 2,756 | Ratings: 9,349
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'.

 533 characters

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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

L: pours light brown,with a finger if off white head
A: dark fruit juices, Belgium yeast with an overlying sweetness
T: the Belgium yeast pops right away for me. It's very sweet. The dark fruit juices shine.
F: easy drinking, no alcohol presence, light body and smooth

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Photo of Hellabeerguzzler
4.73/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Golden Crust. Couldn't believe it. Used to be hard to find in any container. I loved the bottles but adore the draft!
L: Tranlucent brown with caramel head. Looks beautiful.
S: Bready, some tanginess, maybe some mild spices but not overpowering at all.
T: This was my "5". The aroma combines with the taste to produce a beer that's so thoroughly simple, yet complex at the same time. I enjoyed this beer the first time with a steak, potato, and some fresh-baked bread and I was in heaven 2.0 - It's flavor is a mixture of some natural sweetness from raisins, maybe dates, cinamin, and maybe a touch of clove. It's yeasty malt and just goes does well and given the high ABV, is just delightful.
F: It's not overly effervescent but not flat by any means. It's heavy, yet light, and the only reason I marked it down a half a point is that it is a little hot. No so much that it was unpleasantly so, just that I could feel it.

O: Overall a word-class Belgian beer worthy of recognition. Not so much that anything heavily stands out, but rather that is so good withOUT anything standing out. It's even better with the right food so watch your pairings. Don't go trying to drink this with you sushi or something ridiculous. This is a hearty, delicious meal in bottle as it is and deserves to be paired with a meat and potatoes (or brown rice of pilaf) meal - or if it's not mealtime, stick to the best cheese, quality sourdough breads and pretzels, and maybe some figs or other dried fruits. In other words, don't do anything to wreck your palate because you don't want to miss a single chug of this fine drink to any pickles, citrus, or wasabi.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy and murky reddish brown with a fluffy half finger of off-white foam.

Candied sugar, dark fruit, caramel,, slight mustiness, and toffee sweetness.

Caramel, toffee, candied sugar, yeasty, slight dark fruit notes, and a little bit of a tangy/tart vibe.

Medium-bodied, high carbonation, sweet, slight tartness on the back end, soft carbonation, and smooth.

Overall, a beer very worthy of the hype..

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Photo of BeernOnThe4thOfJuly
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Small, white head. Deep amber color. Nose is bananas, dark fruit and vanilla. Also slightly tangy. Very rich flavor. Sweet and tangy dark fruits. Almost no hop profile. Flat-out delicious.

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Photo of Savan
4.02/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a delightful Duck Pond Bronze colour W/thin lacing of head. My sniffer doesn't pick up anything. Has a flavours of chestnut and wheat bread. Has a interesting finish of tang and.... something? A good once over beer it satisfied me but i likely wouldn't drink again.

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Photo of anon
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bit darker than expected, deep, deep ruby/mohogany hue with light sediment and a two finger, tan, almost mocha coloured head along with some sticky lace.

Smell is malt heavy with some sweetness behind it, along with a big floral hit, dark fruit presence and a hefty dose of hops. Taste is phenomonal and everything you expect from this style. Strong dark fruits up front with plum, fig, raisin, red grapes, peaches, nectarine. Holy candied malt this is a lip smacker. Caramel, butterscotch candy, vanilla, clove, nutmeg, grains, baked bread crust, grape must, straw, banana and hops make for a tasty and complex flavour bomb of a brew. Finishes extremely clean and crisp with the alcohol presence being scarce, making for an easy drink. So glad to have finally tried this and look forward to another bottle in the future. Enjoyed and recommended with a rustic dish.

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Photo of JakeScully
4.91/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Is there a ''best beer in Belgium'' this one is easily my Top 10. What I expect from the quadrupel style, make you feel awesome sipping it then will knock the shit out of you with an ABV at 10%. World-class, santé!

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Photo of LMO1190
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

NIce dark copper color on pour. About 1 finger of head that disappears fast.

Smells like what a quad should. Lot's of dark fruit, plums , bubble gum. very nice.

Taste= very carbonated, plums, very malty. not overly sweet. you can't really taste the booze for being 10 percent.

This beer is a classic for a reason. it is the host HAD QUAD in this site. I personally think I would prefer the Trois Pistoles from Unibroue. But is this is still a superior brew. Cheers!!!!!!

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.42 out of 5 based on 9,349 ratings.
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