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St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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2,744 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: 2,744 | Ratings: 9,297
Photo of edward_boumil
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Dark brown, with ruby red coloring on the edges. Has a small mocha colored head, leaves a little lace in the glass. Relatively transparent for a dark beer. Lots of carbonation apparent.
S: Very sweet aroma, with a bit of heat from alcohol. More specifically, smells of dark malt, and the aroma is not overtly complex.
T: Malts really come in full force in flavor. Tastes of dark chocolate, though it is milder than a porter or stout. Slightly fruity, typical dark dried fruits of the style. There's fig and raisins. Despite a very robust flavor it is not at all overpowering. Really no alcohol present in the flavor either.
F: Body is full, plenty of carbonate adds some fizz to the mouthfeel. Drinks very smooth, goes back very easy.
O: Pleasantly surprised by this beer. I am a fan of this style but I didn't realize how much til I tried this one. Kicking myself for not trying it sooner.

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Photo of RobinLinde
4.31/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark copper colored body with a foamy light brown head. Not very good retention but lots of lacing.

Smell: Yeast, and dark fruits.

Taste: Prunes, raisins, roasted malt, brown sugar, dark chocolate and coffee.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy, medium carbonation with no bite from the alcohol.

Overall: Smooth and nicely carbonated. A bit heavier than expected, much like a stout.

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

Burgundy with a very small head.

Aroma: banana, clove, sugars, bready yeast.

Flavor: wow, sweet, brown sugar, bubble gum, incredible. Not overpoweringly sweet. Cant taste the alcohol at all.

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Photo of LAp
4.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into two table glasses. Pours a ruby-russet, sufficiently dark with suspended yeast to make the beer translucent only at the edges. A two-finger tan head quickly rises but recedes glacially, with excellent retention and beautiful lacing. Nose is bready yeast, with a strong phenolic component. The palate opens with bread, booze (without the warmth found in, say, a barleywine), and distinct Belgian yeast - congruent with the nose. Deeper flavors are dates and fig. Mouthfeel is heavy and chewy - this beer is a meal in itself. Overall, tremendous. This falls for me, somewhere above the excellent Belgian Quads of the Americas, and below the Westys and Rocheforts of Belgium.

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Photo of commish374
4.94/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tasted at Bierpunt in Hasselt, BE.

LOOK: Pours with two fingers worth of biscuit-colored foam that dissipates into a quarter fingers worth shortly thereafter. Brown in color with an extreme amount of cloudiness. Lacing is thin and moderate.

SMELL: Strong scent of figs and brown sugar deliciously combine with hints of hop and spice.

TASTE: Sweet, followed by spice. The hop and spice saves this beer from being too sweet. Makes me immediately ready to take another sip. More hop and spice in the tastethan in the nose.

FEEL: Smooth, refreshing with just the right amount of alcohol warming.

One of the best Quads I have ever tasted. Thanks to Bram and Maarten for suggestion!!

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.93/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look : Dark brown, almost opaque body, three finger brown-white head.

Smell : Dark fruits, banana, spices, a note of bubblegum, and wheat.

Taste : Same as the above, but more spicy and with a notes of chocolate aND caramel.

Feel : High carbonation, medium-full body, slight alcohol burn.

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

11.2 oz bottle poured into an Oerbier glass. Dated “A 30 10 18.” Sipped on while playing Anticon Presents in the background.

Appearance: Pours a finger of thin, khaki head atop a murky brown body. Leaves a nice sheet of lacing with a persistent cap.

Aroma: Up front perfumey alcohol, peppery yeast, light bubblegum and sweet dried fruits (cherry essence prunes), candi sugar, brown sugar, nice Munich malt finish as a base. Sweet, syrupy and malty.

Taste: Starts with the fruity/candi sugar sweetness and leads into that almost peppery/spicy Trappist yeast character, spicey/perfumey alcohol, finishes on a malty brown sugar finish. Light bitterness.

Mf: Medium warmth (though not boozy) with a prickly carbonation. Body is medium/heavy. For the strength, it drinks too easy.

Overall: Obviously a paragon of the style. Peppery phenolic yeast and rosey alcohol (which I love) supported by a dried fruit sweetness and a sweet, malty backbone. While the St. Bernardus beers are usually sweeter than I like, a great example of the style, complex with a high drinkability.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.71/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Looks brown, almost listless lack of head on the pour. Aroma had lots of dark fruit, tree berries and twigs.

Belgian dark sugar, alcohol heat, plum, raisin, not a massive phenolic yeast bomb thankfully. Carbonation kept it relatively light on its feet. A good sipper. Nutty at times.

One of the better quads I've had, I get this one, its not all dark fruit bitterness.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from cork and cage bottle into tulip glass. It pours a deep, ruby red-amber with a thick, foamy light tan head and lacing that dissipated rather quickly. It smells of prune, raisin, yeast, bready malt, and lots of spice. This is a complex, delicious quad with flavors of cola, raisin, chocolate, molasses, and roasted malt. The is a slight bitterness at the finish. The different tastes blend beautifully. This ale is medium-bodied and well carbonated. You can taste the 10% ABV but there really isn't a strong burn, which makes the ale quite drinkable, either on its own or pared with a fine meal. Overall, this is a fantastic quad; one of the best I've ever tasted. It deserves its excellent rating.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.59/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

All-around fantastic stuff. Pours a clear garnet with lasting, clingy finger of foam - it's purty. Aromas of yeast, bread, candi sugar, dark fruits abound. Flavor is similar with raisins and prunes in the foreground and mild spice and yeasty esters behind. While slightly sweet, it's never cloying. Very balanced brew and finishes quite clean.

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

O: Raisins. Plums. Caramelized brown sugar. Dried dates. Cinnamon. Subdued cloves and white pepper.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
T: Dark fruit bomb. Raisins. Caramel. Roasted malts. White pepper.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
M: Medium-bodied with lively carbonation. Rich thick creamy mouthfeel. Dry finish for the style.
O: Using Rochefort as the (0,0,0,0) for Quadrupels: Abt 12 is +10 for raisin / dark fruit flavor, +4 for caramel, -5 for creamy mouthfeel, and -8 for booze-burn. Not bad at all for just 2 EUR.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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Photo of Zet
4.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Full mohagony colour with a thin but steady head of foam. Smell of raisins, berries, white wine and yeast, though the smell takes some warming up to really show itself. Full taste of dark fruits, sherry and rum. Nicely balanced. Smooth and warming, a very nice and complex beer.

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Photo of ljdrinksbeer
4.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

best by 14 11 18.

into snifter at about 54 degrees

Foamy head goes away quickly, deep brown/ amber color

Smells sweet but not cloying, nice fruit and malt balance.

Taste is incredible, complex , slightly spicy, rich

feel is surprisingly light but it's not really a bad thing just didn't see it coming

Love this beer. 2nd time having it and its better than I remembered.

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Photo of janubio
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark brown colour, with a two fingers off white head that fades leaving a ring and a great lace. Smell of dark fruits, raisins, prunes, spices. Medium to full body,, good carbonartion, thick palate. Taste of prunes, figs, raisins, spices, cinnamon, chocolate. Supposedly, they use the original Westvleteren yeast.and they have the recipe, since Westvletern was made at this abbey long ago. Just as good or almost as Westvleteren, and cheaper.

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.31/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Deep opaque brown with a nice head...small bubbles and medium lacing. Nose has burnt sugars, slightly roasty malts, and some earthy musty character. Flavor is date syrup, cola, and some roasty notes. Mouthfeel is a bit too fizzy for the style. Overall, a great beer.

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Photo of Benjo87
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look - dark brown in a glass with a 2 finger dissipating head.

Smell - dark fruits, yeasty breadiness, slight alcohol.

Taste - my favourite abbaye/ Trappist beer. It's so incredibly well balanced. I have a hard time describing Belgian beers, but in my opinion, it's heads above Rochefort 10, and on par with Westvleteren 12. Alcohol is so well have hidden. Every sip leaves me commenting on how damn good it is.

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Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.59/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer, not quite sure its as good as the Rochefort but its still an excellent beer, i actually preferred the christmas version and the oak aged bernadus was superb, but this is still a great quad.

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Photo of DevWand
4.03/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

99+ score... Really? I mean it's good, and I could see the score being justified (back in 2000/2001), but with all of the stellar beer currently on the market; personally, I think this one's a tad bit over- hyped.

I''d describe the beer as a (complex) fruity Belgium style beer. And by complex I mean there's an abundance of competing flavors which overlap one another (personally I enjoy a beer where a few flavors make their presence known, and a certain flavor has a chance to stand out amongst the others).

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Photo of Biggtriksta
4.29/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Solid Belgian Quad here. In comparison to some of the Rochefort beers (especially 10), I don't think it holds up quite as well, but it is rightfully within that discussion of which Quad is the best in the world. Notes of fig, plum, molasses, and vanilla. Classic within the style and highly recommended. It helps that is pretty readily available.

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Photo of Myotus
4.37/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured at 52°F from an 11.2oz bottle (best by 10Oct18) into a chalice. Consumed on 09Jan16.
LOOK: Pours with a fingers worth of khaki foam that dissipates into a quarter fingers worth after 1 minute and 45 seconds. Brown in color with an extreme amount of cloudiness. There is a plethora of small, yeast particles that are floating through the beer. I should have poured gently. Oops. A moderate amount of medium-sized rising bubbles remain once the foam head settles. Lacing is thin and moderate.
SMELL: Strong aromas of figs, plums, and brown sugar deliciously combine with mild aromas of toast and bananas and subtle clove and earthy hop aromas. The 10% alcohol can barely be detected.
TASTE: The first flavors to strike the palate are of strong brown sugar quickly followed by strong fig and plum flavors. Strong clove flavors enter next along with subtle flavors of toast. Subtle flavors of banana, earthy hops, and hints of alcohol debut lastly as all previous flavors persist, except for toast, which grow slightly stronger.
FEEL: Full-bodied and highly carbonated carbonated. Goes down somewhat rough. Finishes with a strong dryness. A mild and welcoming alcohol warmth can be felt as it goes down the throat.
NOTE: An exceptional beer, to say the least. The clove flavors were more perceived in taste than their aromas, which did somewhat bother me. The aroma was extremely sweet and nearly unbalanced, which I loved.

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Photo of Danny_Brewstein
4.78/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Purchased from a local bottle shop.
Decent head retention and nice lacing down my glass.
Aroma of caramel, dried fruit, and a hint of malt. Slight hint of diacetyl, but I think it works with this beer.
Taste is sweet and matches the aroma.
Awesome beer< should have picked one of these up sooner.

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Photo of vainosuomi
4.62/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color, cloudy with lots of sediment, and a big, tan head. Smell is fruity, with clove, yeast, and sweet malts. Taste features sweet, toasty malts, along with plum (and banana?) fruitiness, caramel, yeast, a little bit of spicy hops, and mild alcohol. Smooth, medium to heavy bodied, warm from the alcohol, and decently carbonated. A great, very well balanced beer.

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Photo of constantine_272
4.64/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big fluffy light tan head over a dark brown. Lots of yeast sediment at the bottom. Sweet earthy prune on both nose with a manure light herbal pine note. Taste a lot of dark rich composte and earth with a rich oakiness and a big meaty dark mushroom. The beer starts off sweet and thick like molasses but quickly is overpowered by the aforementioned worthiness mixed with a rich prune taste. The beer finishes exceptionally well balanced with a sharp tingly and tangy crisp finish. A honey and maple sweetness finishes ling and only slightly dry. This beer is exceptionally well balanced almost completely hiding the alcohol. Overall, this is an exceptional quad. Not quite sure how I've never had this before; there will surely be more.

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Photo of theamericanpsycho79
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Once again, folks, I am gonna review this one as I am having it for the first time. I love belgian ales, they are my special occasion beer, hands down. My favorite currently is Rochefort 10. I heard good things about this one, I am giving it a try.

Look: Pours frothy and dark brown with minimal head into its own St. Bernardus Watou glass. Looks similar to Rochefort 10 minus the chunks of yeasties.

Smell: I sense the alcohol almost immediately. This smells similar to Rochefort, also. I am getting the dark fruit hints here and there. Not a lot of it, as the alcohol is dominant.

Taste: Heavy carbonation, tongue numbing but welcoming. Surprisingly smooth in flavor, tiny bitterness, followed by a little spiciness, tiny bit of dark fruits on the back of the palette that hits the back of the throat. Very nice quad presence.

Feel: heavy carbonation that surprisingly goes away fast, strong alcohol presence but surprisingly smooth with that being said.

Overall: A really good quad, but not my favorite. I still give it to Rochefort 10 for my favorite ale. Rochefort delivers so much complexity I love in a quad, all the hints of raisin, plums, alcohol presence and deliciousness. I won't say this is a bad ale at all, same ballpark as Rochefort 10 but I still say Rochefort 10 is a better ale for me.

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Photo of KonigObHops
4.79/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer poured from the bottle a dark copper color with a beige head that was two finger widths thick. Very nice Belgian lacing.

The sweet aroma had the smell of some nice hops and some citrus (orange?).

The initial taste is sweet, but not overpowering. The middle is exceptionally well balanced. It continues to be sweet with some slight fruity taste. At the end you get some of the alcohol on the tongue, but not as much as you would expect from a beer with 10% abv. It finishes by warming on the tongue.

The mouthfeel is basically perfect. Good carbonation, light, but full bodied.

Overall, this is a near perfect Belgian Abbey. One of the best examples of one of my favorite styles.

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.42 out of 5 based on 9,297 ratings.
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