St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12
BA SCORE
96.2%
Liked This Beer
4.46 w/ 9,562 ratings
St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Belgium
sintbernardus.be

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#147
Reviews:
2,803
Ratings:
9,562
Liked:
9,201
Avg:
4.46/5
pDev:
9.19%
Alströms:
4.48
 
 
Wants:
780
Gots:
2,624
Trade:
50
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Ratings: 9,562 |  Reviews: 2,803
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Photo of SheHatesMe
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have tried them all...Quads, Trippels, Strong Darks, yadda-yadda-yadda. I will save you a lot of time & effort: If you EVER get the chance to order Abt 12 on Tap...Please don't pass up the opportunity.

>Beautiful, consistent ebony color.
>Aroma is a blast of malty, yeasty anticipation.
>Head is ample, creamy & butternut in color.
>Mouthfeel is soft, yet full & even.
>Flavor is a symphony of malt, fruit, spices. Hints of caramel, fig, over-ripened banana swirl & dance upon the palate. Hopps are present & well-mannered. Alcohol is lurking, somewhere, but never, ever obvious. "Complex" is an understatement.
>Overall, drinking this Belgian Quad is a completely preposterous experience. A privilege.

Abt 12 in the bottle is malty Belgian Perfection. Abt 12 on Tap is better. Yeah...That may sound implausible, but it's not. Hold it. Savor it. Understand that it's your lucky day.

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Photo of Chrysostom
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

God has a Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God the Son, the Son of God, and is fully God himself. He is God manifest in the flesh. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...there was a man, John, who came to preach the Word.

Now, the Beergod has a son, St Bernardus (Abt 12). St Bernardus is the Son of the Beergod, and in him the fullness of the Beergodhead dwells bodily. He is Beergod manifest in the glass. God created the Beergod, and St Bernardus was in the beginning with the Beergod, and St Bernardus is the Beergod...there is a man, by the name of Chrysostom, who came to preach the Word.

"When the Beergod became flesh, after dinner, he likewise took a bottle of St Bernardus and poured it, saying, This is my blood of the Brew Covenant, which is poured out for many for the inebriation of souls."

St Bernardus is the best beer in the world. Chimay is magnificently superb: it is a signal beer. Other beers: excellent. But St Bernardus Abbot 12 is the Beergod incarnate, made in to a liquid in a glass by some not-monk-monks, to dwell amongst and be drunk by men.

The only thing I have a question on is "appearance"... It's hard to pour, and if poured poorly, will get a bunch of the black yeast-floaties in it, which are unappetizing. If poured poorly, it's a 4.75 on appearance. If poured correctly, it's a 7 out of 5.

Presentation: 750mL, corked and caged. Absolutely awesome label of a jolly, tipsy monk (they changed the colours of his robes when St Bernardus became "not Trappist" about 20 years ago, so he's not a member of any identifiable order now... he used to be in Trappist habit) with ruddy cheeks, making the Priest's sign of benediction with one hand, and toasting your health with an overflowing goblet of St Bernardus in the other. Is there any better way to do so?

A: Poured in to Chimay chalice. A cloudy dark brown, like clean mud made from good earth, which appears black from many angles. Light will show through edges when held directly to a source of light, but the heart is impenetrably opaque, much as the complexity of this beer itself is. On a proper, smooth pour, one finger of thick, creamy, pillowy head, overflowing the rim, is left, which recedes slowly to a thin layer on the face of the beer. It laces the glass in an almost-solid sheet of foam. Don't judge a book by its cover? You can judge this beer by the label, and the pour.

"It looks like what a quad should look like."

S: Surprisingly subdued for such a big beer. There are strong notes of brown malt (think Samuel Smith's Nut Brown) and Belgian yeast, with a mild alcohol character. However, the malt smells -thick-: there is no other way that comes to mind to describe it. There are hints of molasses, brown sugar, grape, prune, date, fig, and other dark fruit, as is par for the course, although the fruit character is much more mild when compared to such a beer as Westmalle Dubbel. The smell becomes more pronounced as it warms. I'm surprised I can smell so little - I'm more-than-likely halfway-ill, so that's probably dulling my olfaction.

"It smells like what a quad should smell like."

T: Much as the smell, but bigger, bolder, and not subdued. Incredibly complex interplay of malt, a dominant grape-like flavour, sugar, the slightest spiciness, and Arabian dried dates. There is no perceptible alcohol character in the flavor. There is a mild sweetness without cloyingness as it hits the tongue. There is a carbonic astringency on the finish, whether from the subdued hops or carbonation, I don't know. It finishes surprisingly cleanly for such a thick, full, malty libation.

"It tastes like what beer should taste like."

M: Highly-carbonated, but blends well with everything else. Causes the flavours to explode on the palate, and contributes to a dry and lingering clean finish. There is a tingle that is left for a moment after the beer has gone, probably due to carbonation. Does not coat the mouth like many malt-bombs that are more familiar, such as double IPAs. Absolutely perfect.

D: Extremely high. A clean beer with complexities begging for another sip, and a completely-hidden, occulted 10% ABV. I could drink 4 or 5 fifths of this, but the drunkenness would have affected my tastebuds to the point that it would be a waste of money; anything more than 2 fifths of this, and you're not getting the full taste - switch to something else.

I gave the smell of this, and appearance, a 4.75 to start, for what reason I don't know, maybe comparison to the Platonic Form of "beer" existing in the Third Realm. However, on this earth, I think it unlikely this beer can be surpassed, and know that it has not yet been surpassed.

It was $11.99 for a fifth, but, like Macallan 25 (which is generally in the ~$750 for a fifth), if this was $50+ a fifth, it would still be worth it to taste, even if too expensive to drink regularly.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.53/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle split with my girlfriend at Giacomo Hotel in Niagara Falls, NY. Great memories associated with this one as we consumed it during our one-year anniversary trip.

Pours a hazy beautiful brown. Decent sized head. Some sediment is suspended in the glass.

Lots of fruit, bready, biscuity malt in the taste. Some hop bitterness that almost gives it a nice grassy flavor. Strong Belgian yeast flavors as well. Seems to be spiced- possibly with cloves? I'm not sure, but I like it.

Full bodied mouthfeel, well carbonated.

One of the best Belgian beers on the market in the US. A true classic. I will always hold this beer dear in my heart due to the memories associated with drinking it.

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 96.2% out of 100 with 9,562 ratings
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