St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

2,773 Reviews
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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Reviews: 2,773 | Ratings: 9,430
Photo of crimsonfloyd
4.04/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown with a few centimeters of head. Thick in the glass with small yeast clots that float near the bottom. Smells faintly of lemon and yeast, but overall doesn't pack much of a punch. Tastes of butterscotch and caramel, with a bit of mint kick at the end. Texture is smooth and syrupy. Overall, enjoyable, but slightly overrated.

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Photo of gregy55902
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent stuff here. Poured very gently so this wouldn't overflow my snifter (I know it is highly carbonated from previous experiences!), and this yielded a very dark beer with carbonation streaming up the side of the glass. Nice 1-finger off-white head that recedes leaving nice bubbles and lacing.

Aroma is a classic combination of dark fruits - plums, figs, dates, cherries. Some dark malts, bready yeast and faint herbal hops in there as well.

Taste follows the nose - very smooth blend of dark fruits and malts. The harder water they used also makes an appearance here. Not mind-blowingly complex, but very good and smooth. Nice dark fruit characteristics and a hint of spice from the yeast.

Feel is smooth, abv is well-hidden. A bit of bite from the carbonation, but it feels lively in the mouth. Coats the tongue with delicious flavors!

Overall it's a very solid, relatively inexpensive, easy to get, yet high-quality authentic belgian quad. It reminds me a lot of the quad I made a few months ago that claimed to clone Westy 12 (got another batch of it in secondary - *rubs hands with glee*). Recommended!

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.76/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a kidney bean color with a solid froth on top of 1/2 finger. 100% opaque. Nice lighting up the sides.

Aromas of molasses, belgian yeast, fig bars and raisin.

Has a lot of complexity, perhaps overshadowed a bit by the booze within. I'm getting figs and viney notes, with firm hits of molasses, some smoked ham, plum, peated malt, and then the booze creeps in and smacks hard, ending on booze drenched grapes and some flecks of citrus.

Feel is hot, with stinging carbonation and a dry dusty finish.

Overall, St. Bernardus' Abt 12 isn't the white pony it's played up to be; rather it's a decent Quad with some interesting qualities going for it (the smoked ham, the peat, the boozy grapes). I can't say I'm a fan, but I can't knock folks who say they are. It's decent.

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Photo of ChiefHouston1
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 11.2 ounce bottle. Pours dark with off white head. Dusky aroma. Slightly sweet flavor of rasins. Yeasty finish. Great mouth feel with slight carbonation.

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Photo of iridius
2.99/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Okay, I've had it but didn't remember much so, alas I had to try it again and pay attention this time. First of all it poured super foamy, probably user error. It smells pleasant, but honestly doesn't have a strong odor, looks darker than I remember. $5 for one 12 Oz bottle was a bit much, but I got 3 others just in case :) Tastes a little too much like tree bark to me. I'm sure there's a fancy way to say that, but I don't know it. Taste is the most important thing to me, so that brings it down overall quite a bit. Sort of seems kike it doesnt want to melt with my tastebids like my favorite beers do, now its tasting a little metallic. Sorry, that's the second super high rated beer this week that I wouldn't buy again, unless of course I forget again.

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Photo of FLima
4.54/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

One of the first craft beers I had. I had no idea what to expect on that one, simply it was tagged to check my beer list. I recall it was a shock; it was very much different to main stream and other more regular ales. Back then I had both Abt.12 and Rochefort 10 at the very same day. I recall well, I preferred the former. I would do the same experience this weekend. This one I have been cellaring for 3 years. Now on to the beer.
It poured a hazy brown color with a thick dark beige head with good retention.
Nice aroma with notes of creamy chocolate, prunes, figs, mild vanilla, some banana, cinnamon and red wine (without the alcohol).
Delicious flavor with notes of chocolate mousse, cocoa, lots of spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves, white pepper), plums, mint, figs, molasses, grapes, noble hops, pear juice, some banana, candi sugar, raspberries, coconut, blueberries, licorice and black currants. Amazingly no evident booze, just some Brandy flavor. Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness.
Full body with appropriate carbonation of tiny fellows. Neither syrupy nor heavy. Alcohol of 10% abv is superbly well hidden.
I love this beer, utterly satisfying. It is very complex and still the myriad of flavors are subtle enough not to overshadow each other. It does not fell heavy at all; you don’t have to sip very small quantities at a time.
I see this at the same level of the Westvleteren; I still need to drink both with the same aging and at the same time to state which one is better. Recommended.

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Photo of Kdouble
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap in a tulip glass.

A clear dark color with two fingers of tan colored head. Lots of lacing that stayed through my entire drink.

Smells of caramel and a stronger dark type of sugar. A little spice in there too.

The caramel and sugar on the most prevalent taste with a little vanilla with it.

The feel is rather creamy but still very smooth. Rather sticky at the end of a drink.

Definitely a world class beer and something special.

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Photo of FBarber
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruddy brown color - appears clearish when held to the light. When first poured it looks like cola. Appears brown with large carbonation bubbles. Fizzy carbonation gives rise to a tan colored fizzy head. Head dissipates leaving a thin layer of tan foam on top of the beer.

Smell is very bright. Notes of sweet dried plums, raisins, brown sugar, rich dark malts, and some spice.

Taste is just incredible. Initially there is some sweet plums, prunes, raisins, dark stone fruit and brown sugar. As the flavors linger on the tongue they mellow out into a lovely array of smooth oak, dark fruit and leather and brown sugar.

Feel is spot on for a quad. Fizzy carbonation. Super smooth feel with a strong warming alcohol presence.

Overall a really nice quad. Definitely one of the best examples of the style out there. This beer is best enjoyed with cool ro cold weather to really enjoy that lovely warming feel you get sipping on this beer.

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Photo of Sabtos
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark reddish-brown, even purple, with a massive, foamy khaki head, settling to uneven mounds. This retains a soft, tan blanket with a purple hue and some soft round hills of lace.

Smell is caramel, toasted malt, light phenolic spicy yeast, grape, pear and even orange zest with walnut.

Taste is grape, strawberry, toasty malt, caramel, graham, fig and plum. Sweet but balanced.

This has a very dry finish, but before it gets there it has a substantial, full-bodied feel and is somewhat wet.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Cola black brown body with splatterings of tan head
Big brown shugar aroma with hints of all things nice spice
Big slightly sweet slightly spiced flavour
Notes of sasparilla
Just so enjoyable

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Photo of archyquaffer
4.53/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A semi-aggressive pour from the magnum bottle into a clear glass chalice produces a short, creamy, tan colored head that recedes but never disappears, leaving attractive rings of lace. The beer is a deep, ruby highlighted brown, with a swirl of carbonation in the center of the glass. I don't think I've experienced a more beautiful lace pattern, with swirls of more viscous foam separating itself from the rest in a spiral pattern like some sort of beery galaxy.

The first thing I get in the aroma is a whiff of pleasant DMS of a subtle vegetal quality. As I taste, and as the beer warms, the malt aromas become more rich, showcasing dark fruit and caramelized sugars. The flavor is rich, fruity and mineral-laden, with notes of plums, dark cherries, plums, black currants, caramel, and subtle hints suggestive of fortified wine. Balancing the fruity and vinous notes is an earthy bitterness that lends to the vinous notes. The ABV is hidden except for some very slight medicinal notes which complement the other flavors nicely.

This beer is living up to my high expectations. I had never seen it around here until recently, when I purchased a bottle for $12.19 (cheap!) at Front St. Market in Butte, Montana. If they have any left, then I know what I'll be drinking at Yuletide- besides my home brew.

4.75 4.75 4.5 4 4.5

Reviewed July 30, 2016

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Photo of Irishjohn77
4.78/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured 11.2 oz. bottle into a tulip glass. Served at 50 degrees.

Look – dark brown opaque. Very little foam
Smell – sweet, almost like candy.
Taste – plum and raisins. Full flavors. Strong but not too much alcohol flavor.
Feel – a little carbonation. Rich and full. A little tingly. Warm like a liqueur.
Overall – a delicious treat. Perfect for sipping and warming up your insides.

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Photo of SargeMcCluck
4.63/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours murky brown with three fingers of violent, tan head. A few distinct, steady streams of carbonation make my tulip look like some kind of forbidden dark mass potion.

The nose gives off a big hit of sweet grape and raisin, balanced by the complexities of spicy peppercorn yeast and malt. The taste follows, adding rich layers of vanilla ice cream, banana chips, fig, cherry, clove, brown sugar and rum. That might sound sickly, but things are incredibly well balanced through what I can only assume is that unique brand of Belgian yeast-witchcraft.

Likewise, the feel is thick, smooth and warm, but avoids heavy cloy-ness with a pleasant buzz of carbonation. Note that this is a true sipper that only improves as it approaches room temperature, so you may find yourself overcome with immense sadness as the last mouthful turns out to be exponentially better than the first. Even my not-big-on-beer wife attests to this fact, and has now put aside her water to lay eyes on my last bottle of La Fin Du Monde. Such is the power of St. Bernardus.

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Photo of GeeL
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There are better Belgian "12's" out there if you can get your hands on them. If not, this is a solid go-to representation of the style. For that, it should get high scores. I gave solid 4's; which is still straight A's. If they experimented within the style a bit, maybe the scores would be higher.

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Photo of Some_guy
4.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is my default go-to malt bomb if it's offered on tap. Strongly prefer draft to bottled where this beer is concerned.

Rich, decadent, mysterious and readily available.

Also makes one hell of a ice cream float for dessert.

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Photo of nicola5555
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


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Photo of EMV
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip.

L: Clear dark mahogany pour with 2 fingers of creamy/foamy tannish head. Spectacular sticky lacing and the head lasts a looong time.

S: Dark sugars.. caramel and plum. Yeast and spice.

T/F: Rich malted sugars and caramel vie with the dark fruits on the palate... plums and figs... hints of cherry and vanilla. Mildly spicy. Creamy and smooth on the mouthfeel. Great carbonation. Finish is a little sticky.

O: A world-class Quad for a reason. Outstanding beer and a 'must try'.

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Photo of Bulabeers
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark and murky brown with two fingers of tan head
smell is grapes, cinnamon, prunes, sweet raisins
tastes like cinnamon, grapes, blueberries, and raisins
it is well carbonated
Overall this is a very good quad.

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Photo of CanadianBacon
4.37/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This beer looks absolutely fantastic, It pours a deep hazy brown color with 3 fingers of foamy cappacino colored foam. wow The head retention is amazing!

Aroma - up front I get loads of fruit, prune dates fig, some grapes are all in the mix behind that is a roasy nut and caramel aroma, spices. wow just wow

Taste - up front is mostly prune and grape but not as tarty as the aroma, this is followed by a nice roasty malt and some sweet caramel, spices than go on to dominate with almost a peppery effect, and it is finished with almost a crackery yeast character. this is a very neat beer. what a beautiful quad!

Feel - Beautifuly smooth and creamy up front with a slight kick on the tongue it goes down smooth but the alcohol is apparent in the throat with a very similar effect to the wood in barrel aged beers. Very interesting beer this!

Overall - This is the type of beer that makes belgian beer special. The flavors are so wild but come together to create such a beautiful liquid that if I believed in god, I would think he himself made it. This is by far the best quad I've had to date!

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Photo of silverblaze540
4.83/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Rich brown with 1 inch head that dissipates quickly. Very bubbly and completely opaque.

S - Prunes, dried cranberries, and malt. Smells almost like a soda because of the very active carbonation.

T - Mild sweet dark fruit (prunes) front. Alcohol taste in the middle. Malty finish. Very mild bitterness at end.

M - Thick and fairly mouth coating. Lots of burn from the carbonation and alcohol.

O - Fantastic overall. Great smell, look, and taste. I love malty beers. Not as smooth as I was expecting, because the alcohol and the carbonation are very strong, but still great.

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Photo of Uscjojo
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This pours a dark brown with a light tan head.
The smell is yeast, raisins, plums, banana, spices, and figs.
The taste is like raisins, figs, and spicy. There is a good carbonation and slight bitterness in the back palate.
The feel is thick and creamy.
Overall, this is an excellent Quad that I will definitely be buying again.
I give it a 5 for the type of beer it is.

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Photo of Martin194
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Dark brown, kind of reddish when held up to the light; big, white head (made bigger by my poor job pouring it in this case); lots of floaters, some speckling the head

Smell: Cinnamon and spices, a little bit of bubblegum

Taste: Lots of spices, some earthy aftertaste along with a little fruit and hints of bubblegum

Feel: Pretty normal carbonation, feels just right. Leaves a warm, dry feel in the mouth and throat

Overall: A fantastic beer!

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Chestnut brown pour, thick toffee colored creamy head.

S - Bready, yeasty, spice, raisins, clove, banana, dark fruit, and plumbs.

T - Sweet roasted caramel malt, spice, clove, dark fruit, and raisins.

M - Thick and velvety that finishes creamy.

O - Just an outstanding Quad. 'Nuff said.

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Photo of LostDog13
4.66/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has a very fruity aroma, but does not come across overly sweet. It is a heavier, dark Belgian quad with a higher abv. I prefer to drink this slowly in a tulip style glass, and allow the flavors to enhance as the beer warms up. Definitely a beer that is to be enjoyed and appreciated. Dark and creamy beer that is sweet without being too sweet or overwhelming. The high abv is noticeable, but doesn't overpower the wonderful flavors.

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank on draft at Fugas.

A: The body is brown, black opaque with a beige thin head. No retention but some lacing.
S: The aroma is pure yeast. No alcoholic tones nor fruity profiles.
T: The taste is very rich, raisins, blueberries, blackberries and the alcoholic end to it. But very nice!
M: The body is medium to high but the carbonation seems too harsh, probably due to the bad maintenance of the keg.
O: This was drank on draft, and I have never had this beer on bottle. But if it's exactly like this, on terms of quadrupels, Trappistes Rochefort and Westvleteren are much better.

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.42 out of 5 based on 9,430 ratings.
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