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St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12
9,625 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: 9,625 |  Reviews: 2,813
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look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted blindly courtesy of Blind BIF #6.

750ml bottle poured into Delirium snifter.

Appearance: Body is solid brown with a reddish tint in the light. Head is massive, 3 fingers, with nice staying power. Head color is a very light tan. Lacing is plentiful. This about nails it in the appearance category.

Smell: Raisins, plum, caramel, alcohol, sugar. A lot going on in here, and smells very nice.

Taste: Plum, alcohol, caramel, and figs intertwine with Belgian yeast esters to tingle the palate. Strong banana flavors in the after taste. As the beer was colder I got a hint of oxidization, which lead me to think there might be a bit of age. As the beer warms that seems to have diminished, so perhaps this is still pretty young but not totally fresh - a year maybe?

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, but quite thin for the style, and highly carbed.

Drinkability: Slow, low to moderate. The flavor is great but there really is a harsh alcohol bite that holds it back from perfection.

Overall: This is an excellent beer. I'll enjoy the bottle throughout the night.

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look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Look: Pours dark brown with ruby highlights. Foamy off white head fades leaving a small 1 finger head, and eventually fades all together. Active carbonation.

Smell: Cherries, dak fruits, molasses, sweet candied sugar, alcohol is present in the nose.

Taste: Sweet dark fruits upfront, slight sour cherry notes, caramel and molasses make an appearance, alcohol is present and warming. Smooth carbonated mouthfeel, finish is sweet and warms all the way down.

Overall: Awesome, everything I look for in a quad. Enjoyed over the course of 40 min, as it warmed fruity tartish notes became more pronounced and the head completely dissipated.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 9,625 ratings
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