St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
St. Bernardus Abt 12St. Bernardus Abt 12
9,663 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

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,663 |  Reviews: 2,824
Photo of JamesLeung
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of akttr
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of MarshallBirdhouse
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of joecast
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Murky reddish brown color. An even thin tan head covers the brew. Difficult to notice any carbonation, yet the thin head remains. No lacing. Surprisingly turbid appearance as there is little dark sediment left in the bottle.

All the expected aromas are there. A bit alcoholic, phenolic, yeast, prune and sweet sugar candy. All done incredibly delicately and balanced. A serious sniffer.

This beer definitely needs to warm up to come out of it's shell. Though again here it is delicate and balanced. The considerable alcohol warms on it's way down. Big sweet malt comes in with unorthodox character. In that it's not chocolate, it's not roast, and it's not your generic crystal sweetness. Much more to it than that. The yeast plays a role with it's influence in creating yet another layer.

Amazingly after a whole bottle I still haven't reviewed this beer as thoroughly as I would like. Also amazingly, I Haven't had a quad in ages, or even a bsda. Certainly I enjoy hops to be more dominant, but these complex Belgians have a lot to be desired.

 1,048 characters

Photo of TLA
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of NODAK
4.53/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma here is definitely malty with dark fruit and sweet, but I find there's a distinct liquorice smell in there as well. Also some alcohol.

Pours a medium shade of brown in the glass with a rather large head.

Definitely some molasses, caramel and dark fruit from the onset of the beer. There's also a slight spiciness sitting in the background. Some yeast is perceptible as well, but it's fleeting and not very "center stage". In fact, not all sips even projected a yeastiness to me. Carbonation is surprisingly high for style. There's some brown sugar on the back end of the beer, but what strikes me about this beer is just how smooth it is. Many times, the sweetness and/or roasted qualities of a beer this thick and high in ABV can be astringent on the back and cause some grimacing. Here, it's a bit thinner and comes across as more of a caramelized sugary sweetness that finishes the beer out. The alcohol isn't even noticeable to me. This makes the drinkability higher to me, and makes it even more dangerous.

This is another winner from Saint Bernardus....I can see why this beer is routinely mentioned among the best there is. Scarily drinkable.

 1,158 characters

Photo of aleckpa
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of barflybastard
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Quackus
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of CraigP83
4.34/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Everything about this beer reminds me of raisins, dates, and figs. Even the appearance, poured with a nice head. The 10% ABV is well hidden

139 characters

Photo of Jredner
4.05/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is quite fruity with notes of sfruit piced cake and spices. Dark brown, but very slightly reddish color. Head is two and half fingers, lasting and mostly creamy though there are some bubbles. Fore is again quite fruity with pear, apple, cherry and plum coming out. There is a very bready malt feel to it and some candy sugar sweetness. Almost tastes like a spiced apple liqour. It does lack in some areas. The flavor intensity isn’t quit as strong as I’d like. You can pick out quite a bit, but it doesn’t dazzle the palate as much as some others.

 556 characters

Photo of Jae61
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of keithmurray
4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

beer pours a cloudy, dark, chestnut brown color, some sediment in this, nice fluffy tan head

smell - rum, raisin, plums, brown sugar, cocoa, red wine

taste - red wine, plums, raisins, molasses, cocoa, rum, nutmeg

mouthfeel - higher carbonation, medium to full body, some booze on the finish, but not overpowering, slightly sweet, but this is nice right here, really smooth and creamy

drinkability - the 10.5% abv is barely noticeable, this is a great quad that i'll definetly be drinking again

 497 characters

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

Photo of beerluvr
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out with a white head that settles over hazy reddish-brown liquid. The nose is spicy, with notes of chocolate and light hints of dark fruits & a "horse blanket" aroma. Mouthfeel is effervescent, with notes of nuts, chocolate, fruitiness and a healthy amount of hops. The finish drys out to a perfect balance of hoppiness and malt sweetness...the high alcohol in this beer is hardly noticeable until late finish. A remarkable beer, you find it!

 457 characters

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

9.4 fl oz bottle (1 pint) for $8.99

deep brown with hints of amber in the right light. large white foaming head that dissapates very slowly, about an inch under the head you can see bubbles stream up to continusly feed it. impressive lace when rolling this one around a goblet.

hard to put into words but very apparent. maybe candied plums could be the right adjective ? or even candied mushrooms (if you can imagine such a thing) as there is definitely an "earthy" tone present.

the head provides a nice float and creaminess across the pallette. the alcohol is apparent on the back end (not harshly however). A grain prescense is left on the tongue along with a slight coffee flavor at the very end.

for a beer with the ABV of 10% this is extremely smooth. This may not be the greatest belgian I have tasted but it holds its own as a very solid beer in every single category when you go to tally up your scores. good stuff.

 985 characters

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

Poured from 750ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Very dark brown and sort of amber towards the outskirts of the glass. 3/4 inch head that diminishes fairly quickly into about a 2cm head that never disappears and leaves impressive sticky lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Smells of caramel, toffee, chocolate, brown sugar, and roasted malts. Not real hop scent to speak of.

T: Fairly sweet. Tastes follows smell. Tastes of caramel, toffee and brown sugar. It also tastes quite creamy, and a bit spicy/high acidity. Hardly bitter at all, hops are pretty subdued. Delicious.

M: Medium bodied, not as heavy as one might presume based on appearance. Well carbonated, bubbles are prickly, but the carbonation is not over done.

D: What? This was a 10.5% abv beer? I didn't notice 'til I finished the bottle and stood up. Amazingly drinkable for a 10.5% abv beer.

 866 characters

Photo of danthehopslamman
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of ThreeFishes
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of OKbrew89
4.14/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of smekermann
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of klewis
3.16/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

750 ml bottle

A: Pours a dark reddish-brown with a big foamy head. Leaves gobs of lacing on my goblet.

S: Strong yeasty aromas mixed with dark fruit and cherry. It also reminds me a little of red wine.

T: Taste is salty and metallic with a mild acidity. I detect some citrusy flavors and something else that I can't identify, but the weird salty/acidic flavors are overpowering everything else.

M: Full bodied with a sticky texture.

D: I tried this once before and didn't care for it much, but I bought it again hoping that I got a bad bottle. Nope. I've enjoyed every other Belgian that I've had, so I'm a little perplexed as to why this one tastes so different to me. A positive is that the alcohol is very well hidden, but for the price, I don't think that this is worth buying again.

 803 characters

Photo of ToasterChef
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from my notes. Abt 12 has a deep plum color. A thin grey head settled to a skim of bubbles. There is lots of bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass. It has a spicy aroma with some lightly sweet malts and a little bit of musty Belgian yeast. There is a purple fruit in there as well, red grapes or plums. It has a good, crisp, complex flavor. I can pick out a graham cracker-like grain quality to it. I can also taste red and white grapes, especially in the finish. There is a small bite of alcohol and floral hops in the aftertaste. Overall, it's a hearty, big flavor. It feels very crisp with lots of carbonation. The coating feels very good; it leaves a lot of malty flavor behind. It's very drinkable. It gets better as it warms up; this is one worth drinking slowly and ordered repeatedly.

 806 characters

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

Pours a hazy deep brown color with red highlights and a thick cream colored head that has good retention and lacing into my goblet. Smells of caramel, fresh baked rolls, spices, dark fruits, lemon, and just enough alcohol to remind you it's a big beer. Tastes of sugar and caramel sweetness up front followed by yeasty bread, some clove and other spices, and a finish of figs, raisins, and other dark fruits with just enough alcohol warmth and a slight citrus twist to it. Medium-full in body, smooth with nice effervescent carbonation. Alcohol presence is noticeable, but it is 10% alcohol and it has a very warming feel to it and accompanies the other flavors nicely, completing the balance. A great, very drinkable Quad with great flavor and balance, though just a bit too high in alcohol to be something I'd want to have very often.

 836 characters

Photo of mulder1010
4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 served in a Belle-Vue kriek glass.

A--a dark reddish brown with 2 fingers of head that died quick. Served this at about 60 F. Expected very little head. attractive beer even with little head and no lacing. Good amount of carbonation.

S--slightly spicy. some figs, not as much sugar smell as I expected. Cherries, chocolate, carmel as well I think.

T-- Got the sugar off the bat, still being warm and all. Still quite well carbonated. Got some of the spices and sugar but more toned down.

M-- Well carbonated. Not as heavy as I had kind of feared. Not as heavy as others in this type, possibly needs a little more chill to it. Solid beer though. Not as much candied sugar to it. Much more aggreable to me.

D-- one 750 is enough. Could do 2 smaller ones. not nearly as big as others in this class but still solid. I love the Christmas Ale and like this but I prefer the Christmas just a bit more. Will note that this a review of a warmer beer as it was in a cellar. Very drinkable as the sugars are not as overpowering. Malt is almost at the right touch. the 10% lets you know it is there but nothing that just beats you down. Take your time and enjoy this puppy.

 1,171 characters

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 9,663 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.