St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12
BA SCORE
4.46/5
Outstanding
9,749 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:
#158
Reviews:
2,832
Ratings:
9,749
pDev:
9.19%
Bros Score:
4.48
 
 
Wants:
809
Gots:
2,730
Trade:
47
HISTOGRAM
 
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Ratings: 9,749 |  Reviews: 2,832
Photo of ElGuapo
4.57/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A deep brown cloudy brew with a big tannish foam on top. Aromas of bread, spice, and roasty malts jump out of the glass. A great whiffing beer. Your nose is in sniffing Heaven as it skips through the array of fine aromas.

This is a wonderful beer. Full of flavor and body. The carbonation is at a perfect level. Spices are a vital part of the flavor of this brew. Roasty malts with light flavors of coffee and caramel come out. You will also pick up yeast and breadiness. The alcohol is almost completely invisible to your taste buds. Balance is incredible. It is an absolute work of art.

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Damn fine beer no doubt. Poured a dark red with a huge, pillowy off white head with some fine looking bubbles. The smell was full of raisins, cloves and other sweet fruits, perhaps mellon and just a little hint of alcohol. The taste was syrupy, sweet with notes of cherries rolling off my tongue. The carbonations gave an flavorful sensation on the back of my tongue as the nectar flowed down my throat. Great strong ale that hides the alcohol very well.

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Photo of jeffboo
4.28/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An Abbey ale that keeps on giving until the glass is drained (and even then the thick head sits on the bottom,not wanting to leave). This beer was a pleasant surprise from the rare beer store at realbeer.com. It poured dark brown with a thick tan head that wasn't going anywhere fast. The aromas of banana,brown sugar,rum,ripe plums and spice was nice. It started out whiskeyish with a malty sweet long finish that seemed a little thin at cellar temp but became creamy smooth as it warmed. More notes of raisin bread with an alcoholic toasty/nuttiness in the finish. A great evening sipper.

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Photo of scottum
4.08/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out dark dark brown with a beautiful off white head that never dies. This is one of the most complex brews I've ever tasted. There's a party in my mouth! There is a clovelike taste. Sweet and fruity flavors also override my tastebuds. The alcohol taste is also very much there. If a beer could melt in your mouth this one would. Feels really nice going down. I think this may be a bit too much of a beer for me though. Alas. The flavors are a bit overboard in my opinion. I'd like to taste a bottle of this that has been aged a few years.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.73/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz amber bottle with a blue label and cap. $4.49 per bottle.

Poured a cloudy brown ("iced tea" brown) with thick, rich, light tan foam that left good lace on the glass. The smell was malty and biscuity with the smell of roasted banana. The taste was good, but the flavor of alcohol was very apparent. Very slightly sweet taste of malt with a hint of fruit and some phenols, with a touch of bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel was warming (the alcohol), creamy and smooth, but with an astringent finish. The drinkability was OK, but the alcohol flavor was too prominent.

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Photo of aracauna
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Okay, supposedly this is made to the same recipe at Westvleteren 12, but I'm not seeing it. Huge, meringue head is appropriate to the style. Very sticky and I saw caves forming in the head along the sides of the glass as smaller bubbles became large but were unable to move because of the viscosity of the rest of the foam. The body is a very dark brown, cloudy. The nose is earthy, similar to some of the smells of a vegetable garden towards the end of harvest. The first flavor that hit me was cotton candy but this was while I was getting nothing but foam. It also seemed a little hot then. There's a butteriness to it that blends nicely into the chocolate and toffee malts. Ripe bananas over peaches a bit past their prime meld in nicely as well. Very low bitterness and the alcohol is covered extremely well. There's also a slight vinous character to it and there's something there that reminds me of the homemade wine my church uses for Communion. The mouth feel is very slick and creamy. This beer forces you to drink it slowly whether you want to or not. Since I'm enjoying it, I want to do so.

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Photo of maxpower
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Small 330ml bottle, pours a thick cloudy brownish color with a huge frothy and creamy biege lasting head that leaves clingy sheets of lace in my glass, nice malty and sweet yet spicy aroma. Sweet and fruity malty flavors, nice and smooth creamy soft mouthfeel,full body with a lively carbonation, finishes with a pleasant sweet and spicy aftertaste, alcohol very well hidden, I love this one.

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Photo of Sidabeef7
4.57/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The joyous monk on the label says it all. This is another great from the Belgians. It pours with an opaque, amber appearance that is accompanied by smell of fruit and malt. The Abt 12 goes down very smoothly with tastes of ripe fruit and bread. Let me not forget the alcohol which is apparent on the finish and lets itself be known on the way down. Overall, this is a tasty and complex abbey beer that is much easier to come-by (and cheaper) than Westvleteren or Rochefort.

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Photo of jtw5877
4.85/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First of all, WOW. This stuff is excellent. Pours a deep brown hue with a thick light tan head. Strong maltiness, Caramel and biscuity taste. Complex malt profile that becomes more complex as it warms. I am really starting to love Belgian Beers. I'd recommend this one for anybody who needs a change of pace from hoppier beer.

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

Appearance: The glass is rimming with lace, hazed brown colour gives the appearance some depth.

Smell: A spike of clove, layers of ripe fruit and malt sweetness are what the aroma is all about.

Taste: Clove is certain to be the first flavour you taste as it rides the wave of sweetness, big brown sugar flavour with some cake like malty qualities. Some buttery and phenolic flavours shoot to the palate in the middle to make it a bit juicy. Some earth and carob flavours in the mix. Alcohol is a little evident, it hiding under the sweetness right behind the fruity flavour that soon flare into esters and mild solvent flavours. Finishes sweet and warming.

Mouthfeel: Exceedingly smooth with a creamy full body after the smoothness moves through.

Drinkability & Notes: I’d have no problem sipping this all night long. A heavenly abbey ale that goes down as one of the best for me.

Thanks to D & V International for the sample. http://www.specialtybeer.com

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Photo of Bierman9
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My second foray into the St. B's biers... though the label on mine says 10%, not 12. Ahh, whats 2% amongst friends, eh? The 12 has a verrry dark brown color, nearing the point of opaqueness if not already there. Head is tan, very finely-bubbled, creamy, and forms a thin layer over the aforementioned opaque brown liquid. Lacing was just an after-thought, though. Mouthfeel was similar to the Tripel I just imbibed; medium-plus in the body, and it lightly teases the tongue with some fine carbonation. The aroma was not too difficult to discern. Some malt (with a chocolate lean to it?), a suggestion of dark fruit, and perhaps intimations of alcohol. Flavors were hard to pin down, yet I liked them none-the-less! Mild notes of dark fruit; malty sweetness; candi-sugar; a nudge of yeastiness.... and alcohol warmth to boot! Pleasantly pleasing!! Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.5
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5

457

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Photo of RBorsato
4.79/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark brown, murky chocolate color (dark red, burgundy to light) with a big pillowy head. Leaves large sheets of lace. Fruity raisiney aroma and taste. A flavor I can only simply describe as a double dubbel. Faint alcohol aroma and taste which becomes more prominent as it warms. Seems well balanced but hard to tell due to the strength of flavor. Medium-full body despite high carbonation levels so you know this baby is strong.

Label states: "Abbey Ale" & 10% ABV.

[11.3 oz / 33cl bottle]

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Photo of hyuga
4.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy, almost opaque dark brown with the characteristic off-white head of this style. The head stays at a good level. Great aroma! Dark fruits (mostly plum), yeast spiciness, caramelly sweetness, and a good amount of coconut. Alcohol is only very slightly noticeable in the aroma, impressive for a 10% brew. What a taste! This is delicious! It's like doppelbock meets Belgian strong ale. At the front, sweet and spicy with caramel and that special yeast spiciness. Noticeable after that in the middle is a slight coconut character on top of the aforementioned flavors. Dark fruits (raisin, fig, and plum) make up the rest of the full body. Alcohol is not at all detectable in the flavor, but it does eventually show up in another form, numbing your mouth a good deal and making your head spin a bit. Retro-olfaction brings out some bready maltiness. Good amount of carbonation for the mouthfeel; not too much, not too little. I'm definitely reminded of the reasons for this being my favorite beer style. Even the aftertaste leaves you wanting more. This has become one of my favorite beers, #1 or 2 even, if I were to make a list. If you run across this, don't even think of leaving the store without it. It is a bit pricey, but less than a lot of the other Belgians, and definitely worth it. I was informed that this was only recently made available to us here in Arizona. I picked it up in a gift pack. I hope after the gift pack season is over they'll still carry this beer.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My bottle listed alcohol as 10% by volume. Alcohol definitely present in the taste. Quite creamy, large head, remained prominent throughout. Significant lace. Nice, somewhat spicy fragrance and taste. Clearly a very high quality beer. I followed this with a Rochefort 10, which was a quite different (and ultimately more enjoyable) experience! This is like a slightly thinner Westy 12. Not as rich or complex as the Westy, but not far off. Very good, gets better as it warms. Handles the 10% abv quite well. Better than Chimay blue (IMO), and I'll certainly take it over Trios Pistoles. One of the best!

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Photo of marc77
4.57/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Murky reddish brown hue. Well retained, thick, light tan head. Yeast derived nuttiness and rustic must at first in aroma, ensued by ripe peach like fruitiness, mellow banana esters and notes of molasses and butter. Hint of pleasantly salty mineraliness is discernible as well. Toffeeish malt and mild banana esters are perceived concomitantly initially in flavor, then are ceded by smooth notes of carob and clove. Malt character is bready sweet, akin to brown sugar dusted crusty whole wheat bread. Understated notes of dark fruit including typical prune like notes uniquely coupled with a citric tartness. Hint of bubblegum esters. Moderately bodied. Once the initially high carbonation diminishes, the mouthfeel is full, smooth and very pleasant. Finishes with light clove and caramel briefly lingering. Abt 12 is a delicious, complex, and supremely drinkable brew. Flavorwise, it's reminescent of their 8, although much more pronounced all around. Highly recommended and worth the cost.

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Photo of Wildman
4.85/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer poured a dark amber color and formed an off white sudsy head that left circular lace. A good deal of carbonation was present. It had an aroma of malt, caramel and fruit. A flavor of malt, caramel and spicy fruit. A very strong flavor element and finish going on with this beer. A very impressive beer.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.77/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I believe the label reads best by end of 2003 in some other language. ("Tenminste houdbaar tot eind 2003")

Murky looking brown color. A meringue-like thin brown head tops of this beauty and provides a spiderweb-like pattern of lace. Sweet candy, must, yeast and esters of bubblegum and banana present on the nose. This is one tasty beverage. Very slight alcohol on the tongue. Mixed and subtle tones of fruity esters, sweet cotton candy, vanilla and dry wood. Carbonated just right. Glides over the tongue effortlessly. This one is a dandy.

Gotta give props to pbrian for this beer, the last one left from his shipment. What a beer! Thanks.

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

St. Bernardus has been a long time favorite beer and brewery, and is one of only 8 beers from my nearly 6000 sampled life time to get a 5.0 from me. It is a beer that I have a case or two of at all times, and trust me it only improves with age. The beer emerges from the 12 ounce bottle a slightly bemused brown color with a majestic crown of tan to top off the body, the texture is semi creamy, and the lace forms a satin skirt to surround the glass. Nose is sumptuous, nutty sweet, bubble gummy, raisin like, fresh and pleasing to the senses, a most "Sniffable" beer. Front is ambrosial with a nice malt presence, the top is light to medium in its feel to the palate, with the finish congenially dry, magisterially hopped, notably acidic with a pleasant tummy warming sensation to top it all off, a treasure not to be missed if your into "Belgian Ales", and or just like a great beer.

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Photo of mmthompson33
4.92/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer kicks Chimay's ass, but has difficulty in the ring with a Rochefort 10. Taking a drink of this foamy maple-brown Abbey creation is like taking a bite of a caramel covered apple, with a hint of brown sugar added for flavor. The slick salesman monk on the label conveys the beauty of this beer marvelously. Looks and tastes like the beer has not changed or lost a bit of it's originality since it was first brewed. Truly one of the most complex strong belgians out there. St. Bernardus is one hell of a brewery.

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Photo of rastaman
2.73/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

i'll have to be a real bastard here and disagree with everyone, i just thought it was too strong for its own good, the alcohol showed way to much. Quite simplitic for such a malty strong brew, i'm glad i tried it, and i'm sorry for the low rating, but thats just how i felt about it, it was a bit sickly i think.

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Photo of jreitman
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice dark brown/black color. Huge head (which seems to be a trend in the style of beer). Malty, fruity character. Very apparent candy/sugary taste. A very enjoyable and drinkable beer.

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Photo of packetknife
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lots of sediment, thicker pour, nice cloudy color, tan head. A bit spicey with hints of <cough>strawberry</cough>. It's actually quite smooth given the ABV. Hits like a horse.

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Photo of pbrian
4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge head that settles down to a protective pillow over your beer. Malt and dark fruit aromas. Oh so smooth, creamy and full bodied. Hits your mouth spritzy but then slides down your throat in a flash, leaving you with a warm alcohol buzz and a mouth-coating sweetness. Flavors detected are raisons, rum, spicey yeast. The overall profile leaves no doubt about the use of candy sugars. When I came back to the last sip an hour later, the fusel alcohol came out my nose. Great beer to savor, although I thought the sticky sweetness kept it from reaching the stars.

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Photo of Todd
4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured into an appropriate chalice at 't Brugs Beertje in Brugs, Belgium.

Appearance: Dark brown in colour with a sticky creamy off-white head.

Smell: Rich, malty aroma.

Taste: Full-bodied, smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Rich and malty with a semi-grape sweetness that mingles in with some dark ripe fruity esters. The alcohol is very apparent, warming as hell!

Notes: Sheer bliss. Viewed as an abbey beer. According to Daisy (owner of 't Brugs Beertje), this beer follows the same recipe, uses the same water and its hops comes from the same hop regions as Westvleteren. "Abt" means the "highest rank." They also make a "Prior" at about half the strength.

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 9,749 ratings