Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12
9,604 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,604 |  Reviews: 2,809
Photo of blklabel
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of goblue3509
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of wroywel
4/5  rDev -10.3%

4.69/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

St. Bernardus Abt 12

Appearance: This legendary Abbey-brewed quad pours a deep, opaque mahogany, bordering on the color of pipe tobacco. It is crowned with a massive, fluffy, khaki-colored head that overflows out of the glass on even a gentle pour; it is out of the range of measuring with fingers. The retention is astounding, and the lacing is equally as impressive. There is very obviously (and predictably) sediment floating throughout the syrupy liquid, and this makes it an ugly-yet-pretty beer not unlike Heady Topper. This beer has been made this way at St. Bernardus since 1946, and the recipe is presumably older than that, so it is difficult to dock the beer too much for being somewhat unappealing.

Aroma: As expected for a quad, dark fruits (plums, figs, cherries) and candi sugar dominate. Belgian yeast, of course, is also a big presence, which imparts the classic bubblegum, slightly medicinal notes. Alcohol is reasonably prominent, which hits beside with a curious wood character. Lastly, spiciness and indiscriminate fruity esters linger on the nose, along with a sugary sweetness. This smells like a classic and delicious quad.

Taste: Like most beers, this follows the nose pretty well. There are lots of the dark fruits described above, in addition to a nice malty nuttiness that was not detected in the aroma. The cherry notes even have a nice twinge of sourness. The middle of the mouth is sweet and sticky but not overly so, and it is swept aside by a slight hop bitterness and yeasty spiciness, as well as the warmth from the alcohol. The spices and fruit esters, just as predicted by the nose, linger on the tongue. This is a very tasty, and surprisingly drinkable example of a quad. To put the taste in a word: ripe.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium bodied, slick, chalky/yeasty, creamy, and perfectly carbonated are all words that could describe this beer. The alcohol is there, but in a pleasantly warming capacity. The sour cherries and mild hops impart the barest hint of dryness, but they really do not stand a chance to the huge malt bill and complexity of this beer.

Overall: While it does not quite match the complexity and overall drinkability of Rochefort 10, this is still a delicious and widely available example of a Belgian quad. The plus is that this beer is available in larger, more sharable quantities, whereas Rochefort is only found in 11.2 oz bottles. There is really nothing more to say other than this does the quad style damn near to perfection. Nothing more, nothing less. 18.5/20

 2,530 characters

Photo of srgj88
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of PopnLoads
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of Weebay
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of SK360
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of JeffNev
3.75/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of KeyWestGator
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of Hokenfloken
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of BradleyR
3.5/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of RyFikes
3.87/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Dark ruby color. Nearly opaque, but some light gets through. Almost no head.

Smell- Plums and cherries

Taste- Dark fruits, tartness, smokey, slight limey sourness. bourbon oaky after taste.

Mouthfeel- Low carbonation. Heavy on the palate but no stand-out flavor to speak of. The after taste is dominated by alcohol; as if you had just taken a shot of smooth bourbon.

Overall- There just wasn't enough flavor. It smelled a lot sweeter than it tasted and I think it could have used a bit more sweetness to balance the alcohol burn. Still a great beer, true to the style.

 587 characters

Photo of Jayhoop
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of bulldogg915
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Dirtinabottle
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of facundoCNB
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Holy fuck, served in a goblet and filled to the brim for $5?? Thanks!!! A deep brown pour with Slight amount of head. Smells like port wine, caramel, grapes.. Holy crap a big difference from the bottle. Flavor is excellent of course like a port wine slightly carbonated, grapes, caramel, honey, dates, raisins. Full body, low carbonation. Still like a carbonated wine though.

I don't even know. This is a fantastic beer and just a great fucking bargain

Edit fir bottle review:
A4 murky burgundy/brown, finger of head.
S4.5 vinous notes.. Muscat Grapes, Greek olives, oak, caramel..
T4.5 boozy, sweet richness with a lot of port wine qualities.
M4 a bit more carbonated than on tap and a but thinner as well.
O4.5 I had this in the cellar for two years and am planning on buying another couple to open up when my kids turn 21. This is an excellent beer and I'm sure will develop ridiculously over time

 906 characters

Photo of beercanman
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Spiderpig
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Mervjahn
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of ajramirez1
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Long awaited & glad i did since I've discovered my preference of Belgian style beers are high. Beer poured into a tulip glass.

Very good looking quad. Brown murkey look to it, smells okay. Initially tried cold, not to bad. The taste of the beer is quite good but compared to Westy 12 its not there. Beer is very good. Solid Quad.


 334 characters

Photo of Sudsday
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of VFBeerman
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of lketchersid
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of SeaOfShells
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 9,604 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.