St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition") | Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition")St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition")
297 Ratings
St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition")St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition")

Brewed by:
Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
From the brewer: The St.Bernardus Abt 12 is recognized as one of the best ales in the World. For the occassion of our 60th Anniversary our Brewmaster Bert Van Hecke created a unique and special variety of the St. Bernardus Abt 12. This 'Special Edition' contains hops from Poperinge: Challenger and Golding, and has been brewed with black, amber, Munich and pale ale malts. Alc. 11% Vol.

Added by Todd on 05-08-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 297 |  Reviews: 235
Photo of Jfendela
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of BeerRay
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Coel
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of valdieuer
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Elut
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Deus1138
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love everything St. Bernadus offers. When I happened to spot this 60th anniversary edition in a new package store near my house, I knew I needed to snatch it up.

This is, without a doubt, the greatest beer I have ever had. The ABT 12 is phenomenal, but somehow, they improved upon it. The head was a little more frothy than usual. The smell is mostly dark fruity sweetness. The taste is more pronounced: raisin, plum, bready yeast, brown sugar, all fighting for dominance. The winner: your mouth.

I'm going to snatch up all of the remaining bottles at the store!

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Photo of RichBeer
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Cdhess
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of kmatlack
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Nerdypunk
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of dherling
4.97/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, glorious. When you try out 350+ beers in 6 months and a beer stands out the way this one did, that's just damn impressive. Poured out a beautiful chocolate brown, with a luxurious creamy tan head. The nose is full of malt, spice, brown sugar, Belgian candi, yeast, some mild fruity esters, and a bit of alcohol. The taste was explosivley well balanced and extremely full bodied. It had butter, hint of cherries, chocolate, cream, toffee, caramel, brown sugar, tart citrus, faint hoppy bitterness, bready malt, toffee malt, plum, anise, light molasses, and brown sugar with a hint of smoke. The alcohol is beautifully blended into the texture of the mouthfeel, warming but not burning. MEdium carbonation, slick to clean mouthfeel, and immensely drinkable for such a huge beer. What apleasure.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.94/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - This is a deep, inviting dark brown in color with an easy head that left some really nice lacing on the inside of my St B chalice.

Smell - This nose is amazingly complex. I'm sure I won't do it justice but I'll give it a go anyway.

The fruits jumped out first so I'll start there. The aroma of fresh dates is so exact that I can almost taste them in my mouth. If you've only had those dates you get at the grocery store in the sealed plastic bags then you don't know what I'm talking about, but fresh dates are loaded with sugar so much so that I use them to make ice cream sauce. This is that smell exactly.

I also get some nice figs, raisins, and mild chewing tobacco. On top of this I sense some wonderful cane sugar and the smallest sense of anise. The spicing is certainly clove with maybe a dash of cinnamon.

The malts have been weathered by the cellaring but they are lightly-toasted and rich with caramel. There are some huge bready notes as well that remind me of a Dunkel Weizen.

Taste - The sugars from the nose explode at the taste and the malt comes through nicely which tells me I didn't over-age this bad boy. They are definitely on the downswing though.

The toastiness is still present and the sugars still carry a good amount of structure. The dark fruits in particular show no signs of waning. There's a candied sweetness that I missed at the nose that lingers forever in the mouth like a long, passionate kiss. I will remember this like my first love.

Mouthfeel - This is full-bodied for sure with some wonderful carbonation that provides an excellent texture to this fine Belgian Ale. The structured sweetness of this ale just makes the salivary glands go crazy. I find myself literally drooling with each sip.

Drinkability - I don't know how this tasted fresh but here after four years in the cellar this is perfect in just about every way. The sugars and fruits just do not quit and the feel in the cheeks is like magic. I would almost swear on a stack of Bibles that this beer isn't 10% ABV. It doesn'feel like it has a drop of alcohol in it. This is an absolute masterpiece.

Note: I bought this in 2006 and cellared it for four years. This seems to be the sweet spot for this ale. Although it will probably cellar well for another two years I would advise drinking now or within the next six months.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.94/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle poured into mini snifter. Beige head, quickly extinguishing. Aroma dominated by dates and figs. Also prominent is the "aroma of age", which I would describe as brandy or port. Captivating. Taste of molasses, brown sugar, candy sugar, fig and port. No alcohol present. Zero, zip. Amazing. Way too easy to drink, dangerously so. If you ever see this anywhere, buy matter the cost.

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Photo of garbercury
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Oh boy, this is a doozy of a beer. I am not sure if gets much better than this one...Abt 12 is already on my short list as my all-time fav, so taking it to another level takes a lot, they have.

A--Nice head and retention. Not huge though, but you know its fine.

S--Oak, sweet, molasses, cherry, plums?

T--Great flavor, complex.

M--lets party

D--I wish I could drink this beer every day of the year. This is terrific..

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Photo of EPICAC
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I originally purchased two bottles of the 60th anniversary edition of St Bernardus Abt 12 at Downtown Wine & Spirits in the last few months of 2006. My intention at the time was to have one beer then, and to cellar the other. For whatever reason I ended up leaving both bottles in the cellar. Having both bottles in the cellar made picking out beer number 1000 for my beer list very easy. I had this beer on 8th April 2009. I let it warm to around 50ยบ F before serving in a Westvleteren chalice.

This beer initially pours a mildly hazed, amber color, but becomes much darker and cloudier as the end of the bottle is poured. A half-inch thick, creamy, beige head tops the beer. The head retains well, and leaves generous lace clinging to the side of the glass. Small flecks of yeast on top of the head gives the beer a cinnamon-dusted appearance.

The aroma is malty and complex. The aroma gives away the fact that this beer has been aged. An aroma characteristic of aged Belgian Quads and Strong Dark Ales - somewhere at the intersection of boozy, vinous and buttery - greets the nose first. Notes of toffee, candi sugar are present, but have likely faded. Swirling brings out an acidic, cherry aroma as well as hints of chocolate.

This quad is malty and sweet upfront. A mild, bready sweetness is first evident, followed by sweeter flavors of caramel and candi sugar. Raisin and fig flavors appear towards the center and are followed by a lightly tart, cherry flavor. The cherry malts combined with the alcoholic spice give the beer a boozy, vinous quality that moves into a mildly bitter finish. Ageing, at least as compared to regular St Bernardus Abt 12, seems to have mellowed out the fruit in the center, and brought out tart and boozy characters. This beer is medium-bodied and smooth with moderate carbonation. It's not as thick as most quads. Has this relative thinness always been an aspect of the beer, or is it a consequence of cellaring?

Delicious, smooth and complex. I think ageing does a lot for this style as a whole. Deciding whether to have the next bottle sooner or later will be a tough decision.

 2,122 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best before 02/05/11

Poured into a glass chalice.

Poured a dark caramel-color with a thick, foamy white head that left beautiful rings of lacing along the glass.

The smell is of dark fruitiness (raspberry?) and hints of cocoa. A wondefully complex aroma.

The taste is of sweet, complex maltiness. There's a plethora of tastes that mix well - dark fruits, caramel, chocolate. Hop bitterness is low, but enough to keep the sweetness from being cloying. The alcohol is very well hidden until the second pouring, and even then does not interfere.

The feel is creamy, full-bodied and incredibly smooth. Nothing about it makes it undrinkable...A great one for sipping, especially since it becomes even better as it warms.

And the beer gods rejoiced...

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got a bunch of these bottles a couple years ago. Been drinking one every once in a while. It's 4 years old now and drinking amazing.

Pours a dark hazel brown with a decent head that dissapated to a nice thin layer. Decent lacing.

Aroma of Belgian candy sugar and Belgian yeast. Figs and rasins and brown sugar are also aromas.

Tastes exactly as it smells. It's drinking so smooth right now. Lots of brown sugar and dark fruits.

Mouthfeel is awesome. Perfect carb and soo smooth.

Overall this is drinking amazing right now so if you have one pop it open. I have a couple more left so I can open them a little later. I'll report back here.

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Photo of Angst
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Dark reddish brown with a frothy head.

S: Dark fruits, brown sugar, & raisins

T: Brown sugar, dark fruits, bread, simply outstanding!

M: Perfect carbonation, nice full bodied.

D: For a high ABV, this drinks very nicely!

O: An amazing beer that has held up well. Glad I have a couple more bottles. This was one of the first beers that made me say "Wow!" If you have the opportunity to try one of these do not pass it up!! Great beer!

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Photo of Wasatch
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Been sitting on this one for about a year. Was suppose to have it last Christmas or New Years. Well, today is the day.

Tin Can/Brown Paper Wrapped

Nice loud pop apond opening. Poured into a Delirium Tulip, a nice ruby red/mahongy color, awesome carbonation, huge two-finger creamy light tan head, tons of thick sticky lacing follows and stay with the drink. The nose is malty, slight yeast, dark fruits (figs, raisins, plums), and a nice touch of caramel. The taste is simply amazing, malty, sweet, slight tangyness, dark fruits, and caramel. The alcohol is hidden very very well on this one. Full body, this is a well-rounded/complex brew. Very drinkable, a truely delicious brew, highly recommended.

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Photo of Delerium
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. I swear this is Westvletern12 unaged. In 4-8 years, I bet this will be the best tasting beer on the planet. Take a Westy12. Take this beer. Drink the two side by side. You tell me. Only Thirty Three Thousand of the beers exist, and I am going to buy every bottle I see. I recommend everyone else to do the same, as people around the world will realize in a few years the true value of this beer is yet to be decided. Definetely needs to be cellared a long, long, time, just as a SamiClaus or cUVEE dE eMPEROR NEEDS TO BE. To drink this beer before two years of aging is just a waste. This beer is like the second Coming of Jesus Christ.

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Photo of dauss
4.84/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 750ml caged and corked. From the bottle, it looks like the regular ABT 12 with the exception of the "Special Edition" designation.

Appearance: Dark ruby color with hints of amber. Some yeast floaties, but this bottle is well over 2 years old. A large off tan head forms with excellent retention. Very effervescent with a large amount of bubbles streaming from the glass.

Nose: Beautifully balanced Belgian phenols with notes of raisins, figs, dates, and a nice alcoholic warmth in the end.

Taste: Delicately light sweet malt body with light clove and medicinal phenols, with more raisins and plums. Hop bitterness is nearly gone, but doesn't imbalance the malt sweetness. Dry bready finish with some hint of the high ABV that lurks within.

Mouthfeel: This beer is light and delicate, yet very complex. The sweetness is light, and isn't cloying. The carbonation is high, but it just lends to good degree of creaminess when it hits the palate.

Notes: This beer is excellent. I wish I had some while it was fresh for a comparison, but this beer has aged beautifully. Even at 11%, it is dangerously drinkable.

 1,124 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle purchased from Julio's, Marlboro, MA. Corked and caged, in commemorative tin. Best before 03/05/11.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 1" beige head over the clear reddish amber brew. Head fades at a moderate pace, with goodly amounts of sticky lace. Aroma is richly malty, with some fruitiness and spicing. Taste follows the nose, hearty grains upfront, prickly spices and a peek of fruit, and closes with light bitterness. Warming grows with time, and nary a sight of this 11%abv the label speaks of. Mouthfeel is w-o-w smooth, and drinkability is superb as well. Love the regular version and this one is great too!

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown with a healthy head that sticks around and leaves some spotty lacing. The nose has cloves, banana, raisins, and alcohol as well as sweet malt. The flavor is sublime with cinnamon, dark fruit, banana, dates, and a late hit of hops. Very well integrated. Very creamy and rich mouthfeel, but not cloying at all. Very satifying and unbelievably drinkable despite the high abv.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Recieved this bottle from Matt Capone (of Capone's just outside of Philly). THanks, Matt. It's been sitting in my callar for a while and last week my wife and i were hanging out down there and we just decided to drink it. Bottle foamed up immediately but i had a glass ready. Very bubbly pillowy head on top of a almost neon red body. Spicy malt and fusel alcohol odor. soft hops and cloves on the nose also. smells awesome. Taste...well, this is a great beer, and def. distinct from the regular abt. 12. Belgian malts, presented in a very smooth manner, leading into a softly spiced quality...corianer, cloves. Alcohol evident but only as a reminder that you're drinking a nice big beer. So smooth its like drinking liquid porcelein (sp?). Smooth and clean. a beautiful beer all around.

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition") from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 297 ratings