St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

2,770 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: 2,770 | Ratings: 9,427
Photo of Whey2Hoppy
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark caramel colored shade of brown. This one was a gusher, and the bottle exploded everywhere, so there's an enormous amount of head on this pour specifically.

S- Dried fruits, hints of alchohol, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg.

T- Follows the nose, with the sweetness being fairly subdued. Hides the alcohol extremely well, with a good malty backbone to the taste.

F- Medium body, with lots of carbonation as stated in the appearance. YMMV.

O- This beer is definitely one of the better quads out there. Not my favorite, but definitely better than the Rochefort 10 due to less of an alcohol bite masking the flavors.

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

Murky brown pour, still with good clarity under cap; thick tight beige head; long lasting cap; heavy lacing. Dark stone fruit and caramel malt aromas followed by spice and lite clove as liquid warms; add banana and caramel candy nose. Flavors of figs, prunes, caramel malt, chocolate syrup on banana middle; dark cherry cordial yields to lite clove, tobacco and fudge finish. Medium plus mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A world class quad - complex tapestry of fruit/yeast/malt and candy flavors.

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Photo of Marraybay
3.75/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: Dark Amber; Ample off-white head; sediment prominent.

Smell: vinous fruit

Taste: An immediate peaking vinous sweetness from grape.
Maybe some caramel. Finishes with a slight lingering tartness.

Feel: Carbonated; sparkling; syrupy.

Overall: An intensely sweet beer, with a fizzy/sparkingly
backbone. There is tartness pushing against the sweetness,
but I was actually looking for a bit more "bitterness."
A very "festive / celebratory" beer.

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Photo of JordanlikesAles
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One of the great quads. Typical dark fruit aromas & flavors with a big malt presence. Out of the more famous quads, this one seems the harshest with the alcohol more evident in the taste.

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Photo of Ri0
4.26/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured 330ml bottle into chalice. It is a deep, dark amber brown. A thick 2 finger khaki head remains for the entire session and leaves spotty lacing on my glass. The aroma is prominent with dark fruits, yeast, and some all spice baked into bread. Very light toffee and caramel notes. Flavor is big on plum and fig with yeast coming in at the finish. It has a bready sweetness with some allspice or cinnamon along with some toffee flavor. Not any really chocolate like in the Roch 10 I had earlier. Medium feel with prickly carbonation. Easy drinking with some warmth. Very good and I do believe that this should age well.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.19/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: pours light brown,with a finger if off white head
A: dark fruit juices, Belgium yeast with an overlying sweetness
T: the Belgium yeast pops right away for me. It's very sweet. The dark fruit juices shine.
F: easy drinking, no alcohol presence, light body and smooth

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Photo of Hellabeerguzzler
4.73/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Golden Crust. Couldn't believe it. Used to be hard to find in any container. I loved the bottles but adore the draft!
L: Tranlucent brown with caramel head. Looks beautiful.
S: Bready, some tanginess, maybe some mild spices but not overpowering at all.
T: This was my "5". The aroma combines with the taste to produce a beer that's so thoroughly simple, yet complex at the same time. I enjoyed this beer the first time with a steak, potato, and some fresh-baked bread and I was in heaven 2.0 - It's flavor is a mixture of some natural sweetness from raisins, maybe dates, cinamin, and maybe a touch of clove. It's yeasty malt and just goes does well and given the high ABV, is just delightful.
F: It's not overly effervescent but not flat by any means. It's heavy, yet light, and the only reason I marked it down a half a point is that it is a little hot. No so much that it was unpleasantly so, just that I could feel it.

O: Overall a word-class Belgian beer worthy of recognition. Not so much that anything heavily stands out, but rather that is so good withOUT anything standing out. It's even better with the right food so watch your pairings. Don't go trying to drink this with you sushi or something ridiculous. This is a hearty, delicious meal in bottle as it is and deserves to be paired with a meat and potatoes (or brown rice of pilaf) meal - or if it's not mealtime, stick to the best cheese, quality sourdough breads and pretzels, and maybe some figs or other dried fruits. In other words, don't do anything to wreck your palate because you don't want to miss a single chug of this fine drink to any pickles, citrus, or wasabi.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Learning much from the Trappists, St Bernardus produces only a few ales... but probably with an average close to excellent. (I've have 7 of St Bernardus' 11 listed on BA.) Is St. Bernardus the Trappist brewing in commercial form ? Probably yes... but that is why their ales are so good.

12 is so well made and so highly regarded, it doesn't need my review. But even better than Chimay Blue, I can transcend this quad's bubbles to find a truly great ale inside.

Reviewed in Roger Protz' "300 More Beers To Try Before You Die", a sequel to his CAMRA classic. He spends two full pages on the brewery's 3 most popular ales and its relations with the Westvlerten Trappists.
MJ's "Great Beers of Belgium" puts a brewery's beers in perspective to one another and said 12 is "almost ebony in colour, even bigger and more assertive, like a warming coconut brandy."
12 also is reviewed in "The 1001" and deserves to be there.
Truly, one of the great beers of the world.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.24/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy and murky reddish brown with a fluffy half finger of off-white foam.

Candied sugar, dark fruit, caramel,, slight mustiness, and toffee sweetness.

Caramel, toffee, candied sugar, yeasty, slight dark fruit notes, and a little bit of a tangy/tart vibe.

Medium-bodied, high carbonation, sweet, slight tartness on the back end, soft carbonation, and smooth.

Overall, a beer very worthy of the hype..

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Photo of BeernOnThe4thOfJuly
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Small, white head. Deep amber color. Nose is bananas, dark fruit and vanilla. Also slightly tangy. Very rich flavor. Sweet and tangy dark fruits. Almost no hop profile. Flat-out delicious.

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Photo of Savan
4.02/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a delightful Duck Pond Bronze colour W/thin lacing of head. My sniffer doesn't pick up anything. Has a flavours of chestnut and wheat bread. Has a interesting finish of tang and.... something? A good once over beer it satisfied me but i likely wouldn't drink again.

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Photo of anon
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bit darker than expected, deep, deep ruby/mohogany hue with light sediment and a two finger, tan, almost mocha coloured head along with some sticky lace.

Smell is malt heavy with some sweetness behind it, along with a big floral hit, dark fruit presence and a hefty dose of hops. Taste is phenomonal and everything you expect from this style. Strong dark fruits up front with plum, fig, raisin, red grapes, peaches, nectarine. Holy candied malt this is a lip smacker. Caramel, butterscotch candy, vanilla, clove, nutmeg, grains, baked bread crust, grape must, straw, banana and hops make for a tasty and complex flavour bomb of a brew. Finishes extremely clean and crisp with the alcohol presence being scarce, making for an easy drink. So glad to have finally tried this and look forward to another bottle in the future. Enjoyed and recommended with a rustic dish.

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Photo of JakeScully
4.91/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Is there a ''best beer in Belgium'' this one is easily my Top 10. What I expect from the quadrupel style, make you feel awesome sipping it then will knock the shit out of you with an ABV at 10%. World-class, santé!

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Photo of LMO1190
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

NIce dark copper color on pour. About 1 finger of head that disappears fast.

Smells like what a quad should. Lot's of dark fruit, plums , bubble gum. very nice.

Taste= very carbonated, plums, very malty. not overly sweet. you can't really taste the booze for being 10 percent.

This beer is a classic for a reason. it is the host HAD QUAD in this site. I personally think I would prefer the Trois Pistoles from Unibroue. But is this is still a superior brew. Cheers!!!!!!

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Photo of Sound_Explorer
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

As a lover of the style this is the benchmark for the style. Still drinkable at 10% this is a perfect dive into heavier Belgian beers. Not heavy on the tongue. Controlled sweetness and alcohol that, again, makes it quite drinkable. Drink it.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.21/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The St. Bernardus Abt 12 is a solid drinkable quad. Not my favorite style....but definitely like this one. It poured a clear (I made sure not to get any sediment in my glass) Deep copper with fizzy white head that did not leave a lace. The scent had hints of apricot and grape. The taste was Belgian in style but was smooth. Fruit certainly present. The Mouthfeel was medium in body with good carbonation. Overall it's definitely worth a try.

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Photo of von_kaiser
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

this rating comes from one that dislikes the style all together. struggled putting the bomber down but i do respect what this aims for. sweet-yeast, full bodied, hazy beer that reminds me of banana bread. Cheers!

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Photo of hdofu
4.91/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Picked this one on a whim tonight with dinner at Koopers, bro took me out after I bought a used car today, was belgian beer night so it was half off.. they grabbed the wrong beer by accident, grabbed me a silly sour! glad I didn't let them get away with it... had this beer, it was fantastic, gorgeous looking brown head, medium head didn't just disappear, but wasn't around enough to be a bother. Tasted like honey, a tiny amount of grape and a healthy but not overwhelming amount of wheat.... this beer knew how to be just what it needed to be.

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Photo of Malt_Man
4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

L) Deep chestnut brown, hazy, bubbly off-white head. Yeast in the bottom.

S) Very fresh fruity tones, a bit yeasty. Not boozy at all considering the ABV.

T) Deep plummy fruit flavours, malty, a bit sweet, just a bit of rum booziness maybe, but very smooth.

F) Very easy drinking, mild carbonation. No real alcohol burn. Fabulous.

O) Very easy drinking, flavours are not complex but very enjoyable. Very very good.

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Photo of rypkr
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Heavy pour into a snifter erupted in foam. I'm fearful that this may be infected. Appearance is extremely dark brown with overwhelming froth.

S - jungle juice. Seriously. This smells like plums, and grain alcohol.

T - tons of dark fruit. Plums, figs, grapes, yeasty and malty too. Taste every bit of 10% if not more. No detectable hop presence.

M - very carbonated and filling. No complaints.

O - "Big" is how this is best described. Just a big, big malty quad and I find it delicious.

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Photo of mkh012
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle that's been sitting in my wine fridge for a couple months. Poured into a chalice. A dark, murky, port-like red. A decent finger and a half of tan head dissipates quickly. I get cherry, clove, raisins, brown sugar, maybe even a touch of orange on the nose. Complex and, again, somewhat port-like. Rich and bold flavor profile. Effervescent mouthfeel smooths out a bit as it warms. I get clove, medicinal cherry, a nice bready backbone. A little hot from the alcohol. This one will sneak up on you at 10% ABV.

Overall, a classic Quad - certainly one of the best I've had. As far as dark Belgians go, I'd probably reach for Gulden Draak and Rochefort 8 before this. This is just a touch more earthy, medicinal, and dank.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.11/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle $3.99, not a bad price at all. I am not the biggest fan of Trappist beers but I thought I needed to try this since it is so highly regarded. Dark brown color, short head. Aroma is brown sugar, raisins, pretty nice. Flavor is more of the same and the alcohol is very well hidden.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer a hundred times, but for some reason it took me forever to review. Beautifully bronze color and cloudy with thick head. Aromas of grape, fig, malty sweetness. Tastes of fig, peppery bread, fill bodied, rich, creamy, slightly dry aftertaste. Always a favorite. Always delicious.

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Photo of princessbay710
4.69/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Dark dark brown body, beautiful, dense foam. One sip and my head is already feeling like "whoa". Taste is beyond clean, I was actually really scared try this one, thinking it would be a malty overload or something. Highly carbonated. It's hard for me to pin point what exactly I'm tasting, it kind of is lost in the carbonation. Overall something I would drink again.

As posted on the bottle, "Bringing heavenly nectar within reach" Cheers.

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Photo of HotDogBikeRide
4.31/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a large pint and 6 bottle, have no idea what 17.86.19 is, but it's a date haha. Pours a dark brown beer, really bubbly foamy huge head, lots of carbonation and mini bubbles rising, which settles into a slightly pillowy but very foamy finger in the glass. Lacing is very sporadic. Smell is phenol, astringent, clean, pale, Belgian yeast. Really nice clean but toned down smell, very sophisticated. Taste is a grainy, pale, malty, extremely refreshing gulp. The alcohol doesn't come through in the flavor, but soon enough you can feel it in your face like wine, quite warm and hardy of an ale. Cheersabrewski, it's cool to have one of the more renowned ales of the style as my introduction to Quads. As it warms it takes on an almost wine-like alcoholic taste. Very warm beer.

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.42 out of 5 based on 9,427 ratings.
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