St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12
9,586 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:
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Ratings: 9,586 |  Reviews: 2,806
Photo of dandmc24
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of ZDePaolo
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of BrownNut
4.2/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Smell: As I pour, the smell is straight up yeast. Then bready pastry honey caramel candy fruity. There's so much going on and so nice. Towards the end of the glass we're back to yeast and fruit.

Mouthfeel: More carbonated than I would have expected but not in a bad way.

Taste: Caramel malt, something vaguely fruity. I'm at home in malt country. Surprisingly light. I was expecting heavy and thick and dense flavor. The booze taste that normally distracts me in high ABVs works instead here as part of the harmonious flavor balance. Ingenious!

Aftertaste: It winds up pretty dry on the tongue afterwards, with not a lot sticking around except a faint memory of perfect buttered toast. A bit of top tongue sting. Nice fumes and warmth in the back of the throat to exhale. Very pleasant burps.

Overall: Very good. Balance, quality, harmony. There's an unassuming humility though too. It's not trying to be huge, just to be very well done. There are richer and more more concentrated beers out there flavorwise, but I wouldn't change a thing. What a light and delightful treat when you want something different.

 1,113 characters

Photo of shagal
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of
4/5  rDev -10.3%

You had this beer. Write a review.

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4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

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4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of tfidler
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of sneakybird
4.84/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

"Rich mahogany" sounds to me like either a joke or pretentious, but I can think of nothing better to describe this beer's appearance. A deep and dark brown with a touch of red, lightening slightly at th edges of the glass. A tan finger of head settles quickly to a tin film. Minimal lacing. Raisin and plum and banana on the nose, brown sugar and a little oak rounding it out. A really fantastic aroma.

Tastes of sweet, caramel malt and a lot of dark fruits; raisin, plum, and fig are all there, with some banana for kicks. Balances with a slightly earthy, slightly spicy bitterness. Very smooth with a pleasently prickly carbonation. A nice alcohol warmth is felt all the way down. Finishes sweet and lingering.

Best of the St. Bernardus lineup and an incredible example of the style. The Rochefort 10 edges it out in my book, but that doesn't stop it from being world class.

 878 characters

Photo of NORM4
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of spdyfire83
4.54/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

127th Review
Bottle to Westvletren 12 (small) chalice

From notes. This was beer #1 enjoyed as part of a blind Quad tasting - to warm our palates before the real tasting - in Utrecht (December 2011). Thanks Jeffo and doopiedoopiedoo for the hospitality.

A: Bright mahogany. Single (light tan) fingernail head on Jeffo's pour - I was playing along.

S: All-spice, oak, cinnamon, dark fruit. More spice. Hint of brown sugar, vanilla, and cloves. Smells nice!

T: Deep, dark figs with subtle hint of spice, honey, and vanilla. Well-balanced and nicely done here.

M: Full bodied with smooth carbonation (for the style).

O: This was my second favorite beer of the blind tasting and a solid beer all-around. The balance of spice and dark fruit is exceptional while the ABV is pronounced, but not overbearing. Good job St. Bernardus NV!

 834 characters

Photo of raverjames
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of beast464
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of IPA4LIFE
4.78/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a goblet.

A- Big aggressive fizzy head rises up super fast. It is the most audible head I have ever heard on a pour. Really cool. The head is off-white, and rises up to about two fingers. The head drops quickly and has very little lacing. The color is deep, deep copper brown. Really beautiful.

S- Holy complexity batman! Super deep aroma. Caramel, brown sugar, dark raisins, cinnamon, some oak and booze. Wonderful warm aroma. Really good.

T- Solid. Really solid. Many of the same flavors as the aroma, with an extra level of complexity. Dark raisin, brown sugar, sweet caramel, and awesome oaky notes. Maybe even a little chocolate in there as well? There is also a spicy yeast taste with some clove and a warming boozey sensation at the end.

M- Pretty solid. Really aggressive carbonation. Maybe a bit too much carbonation, but it doesn't really detract too much from the overall experience.

O- Awesome beer. Really phenomenal. I think i still actually like Chimay Blue a tad bit more . . . or maybe not. It is really close. Anyway, this is an awesome beer. Definitely world class. Great all around.

 1,136 characters

Photo of schopenhauerale
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of jskennedy
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of rkasten1
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of BB1313
4.23/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a goblet. Pours a dark chestnut brown, ruby hues, nice fluffy off white head that sticks around and very sticky lacing. Lots of dark fruits and chocolate up front. Flavors are bittersweet, but more on the bitter side. I was expeting more sweetness. I'm picking up more dark fruit like raisins, plums, and a touch of black cherries. The flavors are really put together well, but it does have a pretty bitter finish. Mouthfeel is superior, lots of carbonation; extremely smooth and creamy; perfect. Alcohol is noticeable, but it's not boozy. Pretty easy to drink.

This is an excellent beer and the craft put into brewing this beer is world class, I just find the aromas and flavors to be really good, but not mind blowing. I really prefer Three Philosophers.. blasphemy?

 795 characters

Photo of djre4orm
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Ish1
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of BMoldy
4.29/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33 cl. bottle best before 08/06/16. Served in St. Bernardus chalice.

A: A relatively slow pour yields a dark brown brew that's just a few shades shy of opaque. A stable, 1" chestnut head takes a few minutes to settle and leaves a brush of sparse lacing. Nothing remarkable in my opinion.

S: Damn. Banana phenols sit on top of layers of dark sweet malts and mix with a blend of further fruit and spices. Apples, various stone fruit (namely cherries and plums), and even something more exotic. Melon maybe? Spices are relatively classic: cinnamon, nutmeg and maybe a hint of black pepper. The malt is mainly sweet caramel, but chocolate is also present. Super complex overall and certainly outstanding for the style.

T/M: Blend of syrupy malt and dark fruit is tempered by a surprisingly present bitterness and fine yet active carbonation. Not as impressive as the aroma would suggest. The body is smooth and solid, and the mouthfeel is surprisingly light for the alcohol, the latter being very minimal is both feel and taste. The flavors correspond pretty well to the aroma, except that the fruits are more classic (cherry, plum) and there is almost no spice presence. Finishes long, fruity and sweet.

O: I like this beer, don't get me wrong, but I'll take a Rochefort 10 any day. Sure the aroma on this one is better, but the Rochefort packs more of a punch in terms of flavor. The body feels maybe a little too weak on this one, which is kind of funny since the Rochefort is a bit too heavy for me. Maybe that's what makes Westvleteren is so good. Still worth seeking out though.

 1,584 characters

Photo of mhjets
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Gary79
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of cbgbslev
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of blakelive784
3.95/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pt 9.4 fl oz bottle served in a snifter, reviewed live:

A - Pours a murky brown/copper color with a decently creamy, light tan 3 finger head. Retention is amazing considering the abv.

S - Awesome spicy yeast, pepper, banana, floral notes, clove, caramel, toast, candied sugar, and sweet malt. Moderate strength, and incredibly appealing.

T - Complex spice notes abound- pepper and clove namely. Sweet malt foundation and candied sugar work nicely against biscuity yeast. The yeast is present. The flavors are complex, but a bit too subtle. I wish they were a bit more bold.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and wet. Generally suited to the flavors but could use more body.

D - I'd have it again, though I've had better quads. It hides it's abv well, but I think it's a bit reserved.

 787 characters

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 9,586 ratings
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