St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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2,734 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: 2,734 | Ratings: 9,239
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 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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Photo of amaginbeer
4.73/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The has been my go to Belgium beer. It is so complex but refreshing, that it makes you wants to go to the monastery brewery just to see what the process is that makes it so good.

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Photo of 2Cents
4.87/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite beer. to have during Christmas time. I know that the Rochefort 10 is considered superior by many beer geeks, and it's great, but the S.B 12 is over all more satisfying to me. It tastes like a liquid fruitcake, that's not a bad thing! It's not overly sweet or carbonated. The bottle got empty pretty fast, happy holidays!

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Photo of JoLight
4.84/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Frothy, khaki head that retains very well. Lots of bubbles up the side. Copper colored in the light; straight on, the appearance is unfiltered and prune-colored.

Smells of toasted malt. Maybe like a plantain or hard, banana chips. The banana character is the most prominent part of the aroma. Kind of sickeningly sweet.

Taste: Roasted malt. Some kind of berry flavor? Banana chips
[sweetness] on the end. Very smooth.

Medium mouthfeel. Carbonated.

Medium finish.

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Photo of Slack
4.31/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Amber brown in color with a small amount of creamy head and good lacing.

Smell is raisins, booze, sugar, spice, and malt.

Taste is sweet malt, banana, cherry, raisin, yeast, hops, and some tinniness

Mouthful is medium and creamy. Carbonation is medium and the finish is semi dry.

Overall a very enjoyable beer that is well balanced between malt, hop, and yeast. Easily drinkable, fruity, and smooth.

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Photo of joeseppy
4.22/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy caramel pour with scant wispy tannish foam. Aroma is muted for me and I don't have a cold. Perhaps too delicate. Subtle hints of brown sugar and spice. Raisins. Flavour hits the other side of the spectrum vs aroma. Spice drop candy, malt, black fig, dates, raisins, mapley malt o meal, etc...Plenty-O-Carbonation to go around. Residual sugars are bubbled right off the tongue. Medium body. Drinking this while cooking homemade clam chowder and what a companion with the meal. Will buy again. Slainte.

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Photo of puck1225
4.59/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a chalice. Deep rich reddish brown, cloudy with a nice creamy head and good lacing. The smell is very pleasant, rich, sweet and fruity. The taste come out as it warms. Dark fruit tastes of raisins, prunes, and some sweet pear. A truly great beer!

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Photo of Ricelikesbeer
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A classic strong dark- complex, clean and ages beautifully over time. I recently was able to taste a 2010 version which was downright amazing. This review is based on a 2015 bottle, however.

L: dark brown with good clarity, lots of whispy, foamy head. Quite carbonated.

S: Brown sugar, spice, and some bubblegum and feint banana. I pick up some dark malts/ sweetness as well.

T: wonderfully complex and lingering- dark fruit, caramelized sugar, and a really pleasant and unique bubblegum flavor I've always enjoyed. Gotta love that Westy yeast! some boozy alcohol notes as well but nothing hot or cloying.

F: crisp and clean for such a big beer- very drinkable. light/medium body w/ lots of carbonation

O: One of my favorite strong darks and always fun to revisit this one. This beer is up there with any Trappist Strong dark or any trappist beer out there. Highly recommend aging this and doing vertical tastings.

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Photo of curasowa
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy, dark copper color with lots of carbonation and a huge head that fades with spotty lacing.

Aroma: Molasses, dates, raisins, some yeast funk.

Taste: Smooth and creamy, sweet malt, then lots of ripe tree fruit, raisins, then some nice yeast funk on the back end with a lingering, floral finish.

The Rest: Top-notch, world class brew.

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Photo of aleigator
3.71/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an ember-brown color, with a fluffy, big head, collapsing to a spider web lacing.

Smells of warmed walnut shell among molasses and bakers chocolate. The aromas reveal a hot peak within a profound rock sugar coating, getting wrapped up by moldy earth and mellowed toffee. Its nutty qualities are distinguishable in the most pleasant way, featuring a spicy cardamon note, together with freshly cracked walnuts and heated chestnut, blending perfectly into earthy malts.

Has a lower carbonation, while the mouthfeel is surprisingly thin till the finish, in which its rich maltiness unfolds its true potential.

Begins with rock sugar from the very beginning, balanced by dusty earth and walnut. A watery quality evolves, going along with the malts, while the flavors do not change at all until after the swallow. A warming spice punch becomes detectable out of nowhere, while the initial rock sugar quality returns in an alcohol soaked fashion, balanced by bakers chocolate and licorice. Dried orange peel, spruce and clove add depth to rock sugar and molasses, while the beer finishes clean, with a gentle bitterness of matured hops and dough bread.

This one I kept in the cellar for about a year, in hopes of this might be smoothing out a bit. While its maltiness doubtlessly is well accentuated, there is not much going on, apart from an overly pungent, boozy sugar quality. For being recognizably full-bodied, its mouthfeel is a bit too thin for me, especially when compared to a stout in the same abv region. Its finish is highly recommendable though, exhibiting lots of different flavors, mostly evolving from the onnipresent malts or complimenting them, creating a nice, warming depth.

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Photo of Gtwreck45
4.37/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into red wine glass.
L: purple-brown dark body with fluffy lingering 3" off-white head. Looking good so far.
S: raisins and cherries, and of course the Belgian yeast. Not overpowering.
T: some vanilla and toffee flavor from the maltiness balances out the dark fruits that are also present. Quite a balanced quad. I'm a believer.
F: full feeling, maybe a touch syrupy.
O: I can see why this is one of the top quads out there. I was impressed by its balance where I expected to be barraged by dark fruit flavors.

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.42 out of 5 based on 9,239 ratings.
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