St. Bernardus Abt 12 | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

BA SCORE
98
world-class
9,502 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
Ratings:
9,502
Reviews:
2,790
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
9.5%
 
 
Wants:
771
Gots:
2,585
For Trade:
51
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,502 |  Reviews: 2,790
Photo of LXIXME
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

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

I used a large wine glass for this, and it displayed the beer really well. Great head retention, dark amber in color. Strong, fruity, yeasty nose. Malts are prominent in the taste; slightly sweet and fruity with a dry red wine finish. Thick and chewy in the mouth, very effervescent. Rich and filling stuff. An impressive beer.

 327 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of zeff80
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours out a brownish/burgandy color with a two-finger head. Left very nice belgian lacing.

S - Smelled of malt, fruit and cloves.

T - It was malty with a dried fruit taste and some spicy bitterness.

M - It is crisp/sharp and medium-bodied.

D - A very good quad. The flavors are amazing.

 294 characters

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of dmorgan310
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

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

750 ml bottle into signature chalice, best before 6/1/2017. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy dark reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, and reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, plum, fig, date, cherry, toast, toffee, brown bread, brown sugar, clove, pepper, light chocolate, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with awesome balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity/spicy yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, date, cherry, toast, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, clove, pepper, light chocolate, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of earthy yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, date, cherry, toast, toffee, brown bread, brown sugar, clove, pepper, light chocolate, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt flavors; with a great crisp malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately crisp, and lightly slick/creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible Quadrupel style. All around fantastic complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. An insanely delicious offering as expected.

 1,615 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -15.2%

Photo of mothman
4.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Tripel Carnielit(sp) Tulip.

Poured a 1/2 finger tan head. Good retention. Really good lace walls. Color is a dark caramel brown.

Aroma: Big grape juice aroma, raisins, grapes, plums, dried cherries. A very intriguing aroma.

Taste: Raisins, cherries, plums, booze. Big malt flavor. A very typical quad, but well done.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, smooth, and just a tad boozy. Leaves a grape juice aftertaste. Full bodied with a high level of carbonation.

Overall, this is a sipper, but I do like it a lot. Not something I would buy a lot of, but every once in a while it would be a nice treat.

 602 characters

Photo of DrBier
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Boone757
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

G: Poured into a Chimay goblet.

A: Dark brown color with a slight haziness to it. Very nice lacing.

S: Plenty of yeast leaving behind spices and lots of dark fruit.

T: Lots of sweet malt backed up by undeniable Belgian yeast; some alcohol is present in the taste.

M: Very smooth and heavy-bodied. Fairly low carbonation.

D: Fairly drinkable; definitely a sipper. Not everything fits together perfectly, but a very good beer.

 430 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.59/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A loud pop upon removing the cork signals a slow gusher that gives me just enough time to begin pouring before the foam escapes the lip of the bottle. It pours with a two finger head of off-white bubbles on top of a clear, reddish brown body. The head settles pretty quickly and leaves thin traces of lace on the glass.

S - A rich aroma of sweet caramel and fruity yeast. Black cherries, figs, sweet chocolate, cloves, and coriander. The fruit notes are full and juicy and work well with the malt.

T - Sugary dark fruit and caramel malt up front. Notes of black cherry, caramel, and toffee. Some spicy notes of clove and cinnamon come out in the middle with milk chocolate malt flavors. Finishes sweet and malty with an emphasis on caramel and dark cherry/plum yeast character. There is just a hint of herbal hop flavor in the finish along with mild bitterness that just barely balances the thick malt. Some darkening of the malt character in the aftertaste with light chocolate and smoke notes.

M - Smooth, moderately thick body, high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - This is a true classic and while there are a great deal of varied flavor elements at work here, the yeast is the real star of the show. The malt provides a background of caramel sweetness on which the yeast displays a profound level of juicy, deep fruit character, balanced by lightly spicy notes. The hops make themselves known but only play a supporting role, though they posses a classic spicy, noble character. This beer is extraordinarily well balanced and despite a high alcohol content, it goes down smooth and shows no boozy harshness. If Rochefort is about malty complexity, then this is about yeasty fruit and sublime balance. It is a wonderful, and rare, experience to have a beer that lives up to its hype and as I sip this I realize that I had gone far too long without popping the cork on an ABT 12.

 1,903 characters

Photo of oberon
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with some deep red hue with a big creamy head leaving nice sheets of lace behind,aromas of dark sweet cherries and some smoke along with a some spice very appetizing.Silky smooth mouthfeel, creamy and not to heavy goes down with ease,what can you say complex and great some spiced cherries and spice along with some raisin with a faint smokiness the alcolhol shows itself more as it warms.Just an awesome beer have sampled many times was great to aquire a bottle,worthy of its high marks awesome.

 515 characters

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

served in proper St. Bernardus snifter :)

Appearance, aroma, taste and mouthfeel are all superb. Yeasty, but not too much. Some spiciness, but again not too much; more than a little fruity. Very complex flavor without a heavy body. My only significant criticism is that it seems a bit too sweet.

Savored slowly... Although the taste changed a bit with changing temperature, there was no overall sizable change in quality: great chilly, at near room temperature, and everywhere in between.

High ABV mostly hidden.

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Photo of jlindros
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Easily one of my top 5 beers of all time, the St Bernardus Abt 12 is what put me on the map for Belgian beers. I drink it on special occasions usually, and its pretty cheap for the amazingness of the beer. And having the availability it has, its awesome. Well, today marks the special occasion of needing some yeast for a homebrew, and I decided to culture the bottled yeast from this awesomeness. This bottle also has been sitting in the cellar for a year or so getting yeasted up to hell. Also, why not drink it. This just happens to be the first time I'm drinking it while sitting in front of a computer and can log it into BA. Anyways, enough with the Stahlin and drink it already.

A: Huge loud pop sound goes the weasel, I mean cork. Steamy mist of Pandora blazes out the top. Pouring into my Corsendonk tulip glass reveals a large 3 finger semi dark head that is pretty thin and full of large bubbles that pop so fast, its down to 2 fingers in a mere 10 seconds! Then leaves an airy pot-marked frothy mess that would make Courtney Love blush!. The light dark colored head is down to a light covering in not time flat! The dark raisin colored brown lets just enough light through to reveal the secret of the Nymph, as well as the huge amounts of yeast and sediment dancing around inside as if they are at the dance, getting prepped to mate soon!

N: Yep, thats the aroma all right! Some dark malts, mostly Belgian style, some raisiny fruit flavors, perhaps some fig aromas as well. Some light nuttiness and perhaps cinnamon tickle the nose. However, a touch of alcohol and sweet dark Belgian candi sugars fill out the back bone of the nose. It's not overpowering either. A slight yeast tones down the final touches, but the delicious raisiny Belgian candi sugar and alcohol really just bring the aromas into so much awesomeness.

T: Tasting such an awesome beer is almost unworthy of.... glug glug glug... mmmppphhfff.... starts right off with more awesome raisiny Belgian candi sugar and some alcohol tastes right off the bat. Who woulda thunk? Delicious Belgian malts sit around the mouth in a nice thick mouth. A very slight Belgian yeast flavor adds some fruitiness as well, more than just the raisin. A slight spice, like cinnamon and some nuttiness cuts through the malt flavors like a raptor's claw through that guys stomach in that movie. I get some deeper fruits as well, perhaps plum or snozzberry. Some thick molasses and more candi sugar come back again towards the finish of the taste. Some alcohol burn and warmth adds a nice touch, which has really kicked into overdrive with the bottle aging

M: Pretty thick and heavy, sweet and syrupy, its almost so thick my tongue is weighing itself down and almost out of my mouth. It's filling up my taste buds so much they can't taste much else after. Then a slight alcohol burn reminds you how heavy the beer is when it comes to abv! Decent carbonation for the bigness of the beer, actually is really high!

F: Finishes with a slight sweetness but seems to dry off pretty well considering all the age its had. A slight alcohol warmth and sting singes for a bit, then disappears enough to let you get more of the raisin, cinnamon, candi sugar, molasses, and delicious other flavors. Perhaps if anything, the aging has formed a little too much carbonation. I get some earthy flavors as well, on the finish mostly, I think a product of the yeast turning the Belgian candi sugar into the ginourmous alcohol.

 3,469 characters

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

The Abt 12 pours a dark mahogany body with a reddish cast beneath a creamy head of tan foam that holds exceptionally well and leaves very nice lace about the glass.

The nose is bready and yeasty with a notes of caramel, sweet vanilla, and delicate dark, dried fruit in the background.

The body is medium-full and it's creamy and a touch zesty in the mouth due to its very fine bubbled, somewhat effervescent carbonation.

The flavor is rich and full with sweet, soft dark fruits (plum, raisin); sweet, caramelish malt; and a touch of vanilla. The bitterness is restrained, but it remains balanced, helped in part by a splash of alcohol. It finishes dry with some lingering vanilla, caramel, and almond.

Quite nice!

 725 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap 1/7/07 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a goblet.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of yeast, roasted malt, chocolate and a touch of dark fruits.

T: Taste is very-well balanced with flavors of yeast, chocolate, caramelized malt and dark fruits. No one flavor takes dominance. There is a slight hops bitterness in the background. The high ABV is extremely well-hidden.

M: Very smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Very tasty, goes down ridiculously easy which will make the ABV catch up to you in a hurry. This is a very good beer. At the time that I am writing this review, the beer is #15 on the Best of BA. Believe the hype.

 778 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before 08-09-16

A: Pours a cloudy mahogany to dark brown in color with ruby highlights and a huge two finger tall beige head. The head has great retention continuing to be over a finger tall for a long time and never completely going away. Significant lacing is observed.

S: The smell is of sweet malts, Belgian yeast, and dark fruits - black cherry, date, plum, and raisin. There are subtle hints of spices and caramel/toffee/molasses.

T: Lots of dark fruits - date, plum, raisin, and black cherry - upfront with the malt body and sweetness. That is followed by the candi sugar and a caramel/toffee flavor. The finish of the beer has some spices/pepper, hints of noble hops, and just the most subtle hint of alcohol heat.

M: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Slight dryness in the finish.

O: A wonderful beer with a very nice complexity of flavor and balance. I shouldn't be surprised as I have been impressed with every beer I have had from St. Bernardus. Another one of those beers that I continue to drink and appreciate over many years. The alcohol is well hidden considering the ABV but this is a sipping beer.

 1,145 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

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

Photo of mactrail
3.83/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber and well carbonated. Rich but only slightly sweet. Complex rhythm of flavors as you'd hope from a good Belgian ale. Honeyed taste with nutty flavors. Interesting bitter twang adds to the long aftertaste. Raising, caramel, bitter chocolate.

Great dessert beer. Rich and perks up the taste buds.

 305 characters

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

First had: on tap at Eulogy, Philly, PA

Most enthusiasts know and love this beer, as do I. Many said enthusiasts also prefer this beer to such heavy hitters as Rochefort 10 and Westvleteren 12. Well, it's certainly more obtainable than the latter, and cheaper than the former, but as far as being better, I supposed that's a matter of personal taste.

Pours--preferably into a chalice, and more preferably into a signature chalice--a deep carameled mahogany color with a firm, creamy half inch of ivory head that retains through the session, and leaves beautiful lacing. When you see a beer presented like this, it's just...this is what beer is supposed to look like. This is craftmanship. Aroma is rich with dark sugars, dark fruits, and spicy Belgian yeast. Taste of toasted bread, with lots of brown sugar up front, along with dark dried fruits--raisins, figs, plums--caramel, tobacco, almond, subtle hop spiciness, and an ubiquitous alcohol bite. Not heavy, but full-bodied, and highly drinkable.

 1,001 characters

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.42 out of 5 based on 9,502 ratings.
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