St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

2,762 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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,762 | Ratings: 9,392
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..

 411 characters

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.

 188 characters

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.

 272 characters

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.

 875 characters

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!

 215 characters

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!!!!!!

 473 characters

Photo of Sound_Explorer
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

As a lover of the style this is the benchmark for the style. Still drinkable at 10% this is a perfect dive into heavier Belgian beers. Not heavy on the tongue. Controlled sweetness and alcohol that, again, makes it quite drinkable. Drink it.

 241 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
4.21/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The St. Bernardus Abt 12 is a solid drinkable quad. Not my favorite style....but definitely like this one. It poured a clear (I made sure not to get any sediment in my glass) Deep copper with fizzy white head that did not leave a lace. The scent had hints of apricot and grape. The taste was Belgian in style but was smooth. Fruit certainly present. The Mouthfeel was medium in body with good carbonation. Overall it's definitely worth a try.

 447 characters

Photo of von_kaiser
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

this rating comes from one that dislikes the style all together. struggled putting the bomber down but i do respect what this aims for. sweet-yeast, full bodied, hazy beer that reminds me of banana bread. Cheers!

 215 characters

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

Picked this one on a whim tonight with dinner at Koopers, bro took me out after I bought a used car today, was belgian beer night so it was half off.. they grabbed the wrong beer by accident, grabbed me a silly sour! glad I didn't let them get away with it... had this beer, it was fantastic, gorgeous looking brown head, medium head didn't just disappear, but wasn't around enough to be a bother. Tasted like honey, a tiny amount of grape and a healthy but not overwhelming amount of wheat.... this beer knew how to be just what it needed to be.

 546 characters

Photo of Malt_Man
4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

L) Deep chestnut brown, hazy, bubbly off-white head. Yeast in the bottom.

S) Very fresh fruity tones, a bit yeasty. Not boozy at all considering the ABV.

T) Deep plummy fruit flavours, malty, a bit sweet, just a bit of rum booziness maybe, but very smooth.

F) Very easy drinking, mild carbonation. No real alcohol burn. Fabulous.

O) Very easy drinking, flavours are not complex but very enjoyable. Very very good.

 423 characters

Photo of rypkr
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Heavy pour into a snifter erupted in foam. I'm fearful that this may be infected. Appearance is extremely dark brown with overwhelming froth.

S - jungle juice. Seriously. This smells like plums, and grain alcohol.

T - tons of dark fruit. Plums, figs, grapes, yeasty and malty too. Taste every bit of 10% if not more. No detectable hop presence.

M - very carbonated and filling. No complaints.

O - "Big" is how this is best described. Just a big, big malty quad and I find it delicious.

 495 characters

Photo of mkh012
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle that's been sitting in my wine fridge for a couple months. Poured into a chalice. A dark, murky, port-like red. A decent finger and a half of tan head dissipates quickly. I get cherry, clove, raisins, brown sugar, maybe even a touch of orange on the nose. Complex and, again, somewhat port-like. Rich and bold flavor profile. Effervescent mouthfeel smooths out a bit as it warms. I get clove, medicinal cherry, a nice bready backbone. A little hot from the alcohol. This one will sneak up on you at 10% ABV.

Overall, a classic Quad - certainly one of the best I've had. As far as dark Belgians go, I'd probably reach for Gulden Draak and Rochefort 8 before this. This is just a touch more earthy, medicinal, and dank.

 731 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle $3.99, not a bad price at all. I am not the biggest fan of Trappist beers but I thought I needed to try this since it is so highly regarded. Dark brown color, short head. Aroma is brown sugar, raisins, pretty nice. Flavor is more of the same and the alcohol is very well hidden.

 290 characters

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer a hundred times, but for some reason it took me forever to review. Beautifully bronze color and cloudy with thick head. Aromas of grape, fig, malty sweetness. Tastes of fig, peppery bread, fill bodied, rich, creamy, slightly dry aftertaste. Always a favorite. Always delicious.

 296 characters

Photo of princessbay710
4.69/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Dark dark brown body, beautiful, dense foam. One sip and my head is already feeling like "whoa". Taste is beyond clean, I was actually really scared try this one, thinking it would be a malty overload or something. Highly carbonated. It's hard for me to pin point what exactly I'm tasting, it kind of is lost in the carbonation. Overall something I would drink again.

As posted on the bottle, "Bringing heavenly nectar within reach" Cheers.

 442 characters

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

Poured from a large pint and 6 bottle, have no idea what 17.86.19 is, but it's a date haha. Pours a dark brown beer, really bubbly foamy huge head, lots of carbonation and mini bubbles rising, which settles into a slightly pillowy but very foamy finger in the glass. Lacing is very sporadic. Smell is phenol, astringent, clean, pale, Belgian yeast. Really nice clean but toned down smell, very sophisticated. Taste is a grainy, pale, malty, extremely refreshing gulp. The alcohol doesn't come through in the flavor, but soon enough you can feel it in your face like wine, quite warm and hardy of an ale. Cheersabrewski, it's cool to have one of the more renowned ales of the style as my introduction to Quads. As it warms it takes on an almost wine-like alcoholic taste. Very warm beer.

 786 characters

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.

 907 characters

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.

 396 characters

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.

 195 characters

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.

 705 characters

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!!

 690 characters

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.

 293 characters

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.

 1,094 characters

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.

 379 characters

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.42 out of 5 based on 9,392 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.