St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12
9,762 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: 9,762 |  Reviews: 2,833
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.

 886 characters

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.

 524 characters

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 9,762 ratings