St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

9,482 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

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Ratings: 9,482 |  Reviews: 2,785
Photo of averydylan
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

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4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of KTien
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of ssjkyle
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of rickyleepotts
3.15/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer uses the same recipe as the Westvleteren, and is apparently made by the same people. Or should I say… the same monks. From what I hear, the Westvleteren is only available at the abbey. Well, we just ordered two bottles on eBay. The beer is on the list. We will drink one and cellar the other for a later date. Anyway, Sheryl went to the store earlier tonight and grabbed a bottle of the St. Bernardus Abt 12. I had this beer once… on draft at a bar in Chicago. I might have been drunk that night… but I don’t remember this beer being that impressive. But tonight I am focused and ready to give this quad a go. Time to stop talking and start drinking!

In the Glass: I don’t remember this beer being so dark. It pours a dark brown, almost like liquid chocolate in the glass. When pouring I poured for a head, and a head it has. It’s thick, tan, and leaves a nice healthy lace on the site of the glass. This beer has a lot of expectations, so I am excited to see what she tastes like.

Nose: There is a LOT going on in the nose. It has subtle sweetness with some earthy dirt notes peaking through. It smells like a typical quad, but I haven’t had a lot of quads so I am not an expert by any means. I can’t get over how earthy this smells after a second sniff.

Flavor: The flavor is pretty complex. Now, I will warn you… it won’t knock you off your chair. I mean, it’s 10.5%… so it might, but the flavor won’t. It has a very smooth flavor and you would never know it had that much alcohol. The earthy overtones continue on the palate, and the sweetness peaks through at the end. It sticks around into the aftertaste, but isn’t a barleywine sort of sweet.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is nice. It isn’t very carbonated, and goes down smooth. I wonder if this beer tastes better in Belgium. Maybe I will order one when we are in Belgium this fall. Man, imagine the beers we will drink. Anyway, the mouthfeel is nothing short of nice, and while this isn’t the best beer I have had, I find it hard to believe that the BeerAdvocate “bros” gave this a 100. On that scale, an 85 would make more sense.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is subtly sweet, but the sweetness doesn’t last for long. It quickly fades and leaves the palate begging for more. As much as this beer doesn’t impress, it does leave for an enjoyable beer that you could easily chug. With the complexity of the nose and the different flavors across the palate, I could see a typical beer drinker not liking this. But thinking about the history of the beer, and what this beer is modeled after, it’s hard not to appreciate it.

This is my second time trying this, and before we started drinking we ordered two bottles of the Westvleteren. Apparently this is impossible to get, but we got two bottles for $60. They are on the way! I will be excited to compare the two. I am sure the Westvleteren tastes better at the monastery, but still. The beer is good, but it’s not great. I would have a hard time rating this anything higher than a 3. Sorry guys, but the beer is just OK. Not worth the hype. It seems to be readily available, too.

I wonder what cheese would go with this beer…

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5/5  rDev +13.1%

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4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

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4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

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4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

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5/5  rDev +13.1%

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4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

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4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

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5/5  rDev +13.1%

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5/5  rDev +13.1%

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5/5  rDev +13.1%

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4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

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3.75/5  rDev -15.2%

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5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Keginator70
4.63/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this fine quaff many times and it has never disappointed. This time however I started off with my bomber which is about a year old at a warmer 62-64 degrees. Went with a very bold pour to release some of gas/carbination into a St B Chalis. Let's rock?

Oh yeah! The head and aroma are all there but break down a little quicker into the magic. The first two step sips are perfection. The slight sweet candy malt, moderate dry fruit and hop just what I was hoping for in depth of flavor. Perfect. The alcohol is warm, compliments but does not over power even on a warm day. Hard to find in such a strong brew.

Had to semi gulp/chug the remainder (come on most of have done it) before it got too warm but then two bottles split among friends solves this dilemma.

Still a killer, one of the best beers I have ever had, any style, any season.

Hard to believe Westy 12 would dominate in a blind taste test but I would love to eat my words. Anyone want to shut me up? Please?

 981 characters

Photo of rumorsofsurf
4/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of yas
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of wells9uk
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of lbeech
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of RichardMNixon
4.68/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

7-month old 11.2 oz. bottle (since bottling, no cellaring at home) poured into a narrow chalice.
A: Ruby-red body, opaque except at the bottom. Not hazy, just a very deep, beautiful color. Finger and a half of head at first, falling down to a centimeter with very good retention - beer never showed through the head during a ~20 minute drink. Not much lacing, but I have trouble faulting a beer for something so minor. Plus less lacing means less beer on the glass and more in your mouth.
S: Cherries and lemongrass the whole way through. Not overpowering, just nice. Could have been a stronger bouquet though.
T: Cherries and lemon again leading into a very pure, malty, "ale" taste, which I really appreciated.
M: Butter.
O: Just an all-around great beer, go drink one if you haven't.

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.42 out of 5 based on 9,482 ratings.
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