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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
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:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 297 |  Reviews: 235
Photo of Sammy
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not cheap and large bottle. Yeasty large foamy head with yeasty aroma. Dark rich coloured body. Taste is very good, sweet spicy, lemon and clealry caramel, bit somehow reminds me of coca cola, when they brewed it properly in Montreal. Smooth and satisfying.

 257 characters

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

this is something very special. i think it came out in 2006, so it has been carefully cellared for some time, and while some say may be past its prime, i think its drinking absolutely beautifully. price tag on the canister says $12.99. i find that remarkable because if that came out today it would be 30 bucks. the value and illusion of value in beer has never been higher, and for an item like this, it would fetch higher returns now. a cool slice of recent beer history. the beer itself is just wonderful. delicate and elaborate and absolutely a special version of the abt 12 we all know and love. the color is reddish hued rust to molasses, its fizzy for its age, and has an elegant cream colored head over an inch tall and never relaxing at all, its already relaxed at that height. the aroma is divine, well matured big caramel malts and that ramadan dried fruit element, dates and figs and raisins, all expertly balanced together. the label says they used some new hops for this recipe, but i get very little from that in nose or taste, i can assume its faded some, but my guess it this was never a very hoppy brew, instead a demonstration of grain forward flavor unrivaled in quality and depth. the mouthfeel makes a huge impression here. its so soft and delicate on the palate, barely medium bodied at this point, but still well carbonated. not punchy aggressive carbonation, but subtle, consistent, and expressive. the tiny bubbles carry tobacco and dried plum notes to the tongue, and that bernardus belgian yeast with its spice and blooming floral uniqueness to the forefront with the grain. down easy, the alcohol is invisible, but this is a beer to savor with friends. it felt right to drink it in a dark cellar on a rainy night. not sure how much of this is still around, but i cant see it improving any from here. if youve got one squirreled, blow the dust off, find some mates, and pour it up. a very special beer, lucky to be a part of this one.

 1,962 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of t0rin0
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I first saw this at the store I didn't believe that its really a different recipe. I figured it was just a way to charge more money by putting the bottle in that tin can and writing a little something on it. After trying this beer 3 times now, I have to say that I was completely wrong.

The beer pours a much clearer and cleaner looking brown than the regular 12. Nothing floating in there and less junk at the bottom of the bottle. The head is huge and offwhite like the regular one. Lots of CO2.

The smell is a little more spicy than the regular and is less sugary. Couldn't tell you what the spices are in this beer but they are there. There is also a bit more alcohol present in the nose than the regular but its still minor. Still plenty of malt smell. Very nice.

The flavor is good and balanced. The spices are strong here and it tastes moderately complex. There is also the usual dark fruits and belgian malt. Its fairly crisp and light in body. A bit more hop presence here than you might think. Not so much in aroma but there is a touch of hop flavor and a noticeable hop bitterness. A slight touch of alcohol burn, but not bad considering 11% abv.

Medium body and very drinkable but it makes me feel guilty tearing through a bottle of something of limited release like this.

 1,294 characters

Photo of metter98
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is hazy very dark mahogany in color and poured with a small off white head that never quite died down, consistently left a thin layer of bubbles on the surface. It also left some lacing running down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong sweet malty aromas in the nose along with notes of dark fruits and yeast.
T: Like the smell, the taste is complex and has flavors of dark fruits and malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and extremely smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The yeast also adds a bit of chewiness.
O: This is a great beer to sip that is very complex and hides its alcohol well. It seems to have become even smoother after several years of aging. The yeast also shines through and the initial pour tastes like what you would expect from the bottom of a bottle of another beer when the yeast particles are poured out.

 889 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.02/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This has been sitting in my wine rack for about a year or so, and New Year's Eve calls for a bit of the 'out with the old' mentality as well. A good excuse to pop the top off this fancy sleek tin, I suppose...

This beer pours a cloudy brownish-orange, with puffy, creamy off white head, that leaves minor lacing as it recedes. The smell is very sweet malt - molasses, warm spices (ginger, cloves), and a little bit of yeast. The taste is strong on the warming alcohol, dark fruit, cloves, and allspice. The mouthfeel is creamy, mildly carbonated, and masks the heat from the alcohol just enough. This is surprisingly very easy to drink, smooth; an appropriate bottle to share before the Auld Lang Syne renditions kick off...

 725 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Considering that the regular St. 'B' is my favorite all-time beer, I expect greatness from their 60th anniversary brew. The beer predictibly leap from the bottle with a malty strong brown / ruby hue with more clarity than expected. The eggshell head retention was sprinkled with spices and yeastiness. The aromas and flavors contained every flavor that has ever been present in a beer, but with a strong emphasis on all of the dark, dried, ripened, and dehydrated fruits imaginable. Very fruitcake / rum cake-like. Very spicy and sweet to say the least. Only the intangible 'age and maturity' keep it from perfection. For now, the beer has not melded completely, but it should in a few years. Until then....Happy Birthday St. Bernardus!

 736 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best by 10/xx/11 on the bottom of the bottle... figured it's still good right? At 11% this is hangin tough i'm sure.

A healthy blast from the cork, some mild oxidized malt aroma creeps out along with the gunsmoke trails. Lovely russet almond shade, constant tan foam across the surface. Wispy lace and sheets form on the glass as it's sipped. Quintessential quad.

Ginger snaps, plum, sweet caramel.

Flavor is dry and sweet, fruity and caramelly. Light and easy drinking almost, deceptive for being 11%. Apple butter, toffee, mild bitterness in the back. Multigrain bread notes in the aftertaste. Pleasant and smooth, it melds together well. This is still drinking nicely, I wouldn't cellar it too much longer though.

 722 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a rich dark amber color with garnet highlights and a creamy head that pancakes the liquid and leave copious strands of lace

Smell: Dark fruit (fig and dates) with candi sugar and holiday spices

Taste: Opens with an intriguing combination of dry and sweet, somewhat fruitcake like, but complex and woody; after the swallow, the candi sugar kicks in, but the hops keep it in balance; there are some phenols and alcohol that appear from time to time but the impact is neither consistent nor overwhelming

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body; creamy with lots of carbonation; little warmth despite the alcohol

Drinkability: This is one of those supurb Belgians that give the country its well-deserved reputation; with a few years of aging, the rough edges have disappeared and this is a treat to behold

 814 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Adrian910ss: Poured a dark brown color ale with a super huge foamy head with perfect retention and lacing. Aroma of spiced cookie dough with some dried fruits. Taste is a mix between cookie dough malt, light toffee, spiced and some dry fruits. Body is full with some great carbonation and alcohol is very well hidden. IMO it is still not as good as Rochefort 10 but I still believe this is one of the top beer of this fine style.

 448 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a cloudy mahogany (dark brown with some subtle hints of red). The beer has a half finger tall light beige head that reduces to a thin layer over the entire surface of the beer, though thicker at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Strong aroma of sweet malts with some hints of caramel, lots of dark fruit, and the definite presence of the yeast.

T: A very complex flavor profile to this beer. It starts out with some very sweet malts showing hints of caramel + toffee, that is followed by lots of dark fruit, and finally the finish is yeasty (like the stuff you normally get at just the bottom of the bottle). There are some hints of spices that are normally associated with the yeast as well which linger.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Very smooth.

O: Really a lot better than the standard St Bernardus 12 (which is a phenomenal beer). Great flavor, wonderfully enticing aroma, and looks great in the glass. It aged really well and I'm glad I had the opportunity to share this one with some friends. Would jump at the chance to have this one again if I came across it.

 1,140 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The St. Bernardus Abt 12 60th Anniversary Edition pours a rich, opulent chestnut color with copious biscuit foam and lace. The retention is formidable.

The nose is utterly plethoric; spicy with nutmeg, clove and coriander, ripe fruits and toasted malts, elusive intimations of ethanol and dry, bittering hops. The taste mirrors the smell but with a myriad of additional complexities, including figs, black cherries, candied walnuts, dulce de leche, tiramisu and bread pudding.

On the lighter side of full-bodied, a velvet mouthfeel gives this beer an impeccable cessation. The drinkability is astounding considering the exorbitant inebriating quality of the ale.

Bravo, St. Bernardus, bravo. Another staggering achievement.

 726 characters

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of oberon
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this Xmas eve night,I was at the in laws so I didnt have the proper glassware, poured into a standard pint glass a deep rich amber with deep brownish tint thru out a big fluffy light brown head sat atop.The complexities in the nose were awesome first off a hit of phenolic bubble gum intertwined with some dark fruit and brown sugar notes with a hint of herbalness.As with the nose the complexities abound on the palate not overly phenolic wich is fine with me somewhat yeasty and deeply fruity with sweeter caramel and brown sugar notes the alcohol stays very well restrained with a hint of spiced nuts coming thru as I drank more.I dont drink alot of Belgians but this was the right beer for the right occasion,very nicely done.

 734 characters

Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Thanks to Azurelimits for giving me this bottle as a birthday present.

Pours a nice brown-mahogany color with a good creamy head. Nose brings some dark fruits, fig, dates, caramel, and a bit of booze. Taste is quite good with some dark fruits, caramel, alcohol, and brown sugar. Nice, creamy mouthfeel with low levels of carbonation. Drinks quite well. This has aged nicely.

 396 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.24/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an efferevescent chestnut with 1" of frothy tan head. Fantastic lacing & head retention is als really good, a peresitent film hugs the orval goblet all the way down

S: Slight hints of choclate, cherry & oak barrels

T: Choclate & oakyness up front. Dryness aserts as it warms along with a slight alcohol warmth. Fruittyness and fruitcake (cherry , vanilla& dates) like notes mingle on the tounge

MF: Medium bodied wth efferevescence that really helps brink out the flavors of this fine beer

Drinks too easy for the abv, but at $13 a bottle this if for special occasions. A pretty good quadrippel, not ready to annoint it a great one. Love the art work on the bottle

 682 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark, dark brown body with an tall, expansive off-white head.

Smell: The nose is richly malty, reminiscent of a plate of spritzgeb├Ąck cookies along with plenty of fruits contained within: raisins, spiced pears, and bananas.

Taste: Dark caramel sweetness with some milk chocolate and cookie dough as well as the fruits carrying over from the aroma. Some alcohol and spice is present in the yeasty, semi-sweet finish. Though light, the hops really do help to taper the sweetness somewhat.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Moderate carbonation. Chewy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I didn't go into this beer thinking I'd proclaim it far better than the original.

And yet, here we are. When something is so very right, it just needs to be broadcast to a bunch of guys on a beer rating website:

The St. Bernardus Abt 12 "Special Edition" far exceeds its predecessor.

 873 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.45/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy copper body. Khaki head. Medium collar.

Smell - Oxidized. Cardboard, not sherry. Fruity malt. A bit of yeast.

Taste - Caramel. Some dark fruits. Oxidation kicks in shortly thereafter. Cardboard that doesn't improve it.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Cardboard. Slick body.

Overall - Just too old. Not even as good as the regular St. Bernardus.

 400 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark ferric oxide orange mixed with a generous amount of dark cranberry red. A handful of vigorous bubble streams can be seen zipping up to a wonderful looking cap of golden beige colored foam that only a Belgian brewer could create. Persistence, rockiness and loads of lace are all present and accounted for.

Styles don't really matter in the end, but one whiff tells me that Special Edition smells like a BSDA. It's primarily brown malty, with plenty of medium-dark fruit and a perfect amount of clove-like yeasty spiciness. So far, this Rolls Royce of a beer is firing on all cylinders.

Ideally, I would have reviewed the standard St. Bernardus Abt 12 prior to reviewing this 60th Anniversary Special Edition. Since this bottle was getting on in years, I thought it deserved to meet its fate today. Even though I never took the opportunity to drink it fresh, it appears that almost three years in the bottle have been kind to this big ale.

The flavor profile consists of dark caramels dipped in dark chocolate, black licorice, figs and raisins soaked in dark rum, pipe tobacco and a hefty dash of ground clove. The first part of that description almost makes the beer sound like a stout, but it isn't that black malty. It is, however, darker in flavor than the color would suggest.

Warming brings about both increased complexity and increased intensity, which is precisely what one would expect from one of the world's finest. It's hard to believe the ABV is really 11.0% because this beauty drinks like it's several percentage points lower... at least.

The polished gemstone-like hue, the blizzard of yeast and the masterpiece of lace that is currently decorating the goblet give me no choice but to award an appearance score of 5.0. If only the mouthfeel was equally brilliant. On the other hand, the fact that it's just short of medium (for the style and the ABV) only serves to increase ease of drinkability. Yeah, like that was a problem.

This is an outstanding BSDA. It's a shame that 60th anniversaries happen only once, but then lovers of Belgian beer the world over can console themselves with the fact that the standard St. Bernardus Abt 12 isn't going anywhere. If you can still find it, this one is still drinking mighty fine.

 2,247 characters

Photo of Jason
4.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml Belgian beer magnum.

A- Huge three fingers of tight bubbled froth adorns the top of the glass, retention is amazing as it leaves a curtain of lace. Deep brown color lets little light at all.

S- Yeasty, fruity, slightly boozy ... phenolic with a complex malty nose.

T&M- Oh so smooth in a fluffy full body. Luscious maltiness upfront with a touch of sweetness, then comes the phenolics ... herbal and medicinal. Faint hop bitterness and a warming alcohol middle to end. Tropical fruit is held to minimum but some fusel alcohol is also present. Finishes with a bready maltiness and the cornucopia of complexities that some with this beer.

D- No doubt that this is a sipping beer, but an easy one to sip it is. Some goat cheese and roasted red peppers on crustinis went perfect.

 794 characters

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So here we are my 600th review. It only took 5 days over a year for this one, that is really a lot of reviews, and I will be curious to see how many get turned in the next year, with the cap gone and the new selections flowing like water, I would be surprised if there were not more then that in the next year, So anyway when I was trying to decide what I wanted to use in this milestone spot I say this bottle in the closet and figured somehow this just fit. Poured a deep dark russet brown, with essentially no light shining through, what did come through set off some nice tones of reddish hue in the color. A huge, three inch or more head of tan foam flowed on top and made for a very full bodied look. After this faded and was replaced by tons of sticky lace some carbonation could be seen at the very bottom of the glass trying to make its way up. A fantastic spiced smell overcame you with lots of hints of dark fruits, cherries, dates, and prunes which mixed in with some cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg. A very full aroma was the great lead in to a very full flavor. Much more smooth then the standard, this had a fantastic creamy consistency and a really wide variety of flavors the just loved to dance around and meld together. There was a huge body of prune and cherry flavors that when mixed in with some yeast, gave it a very warming and almost winter like taste. This was just an outstanding late night sipper. Such a complex flavor profile and huge body made this more then a treat and very fitting for the occasion. With more and more beers like this around its no wonder there are limitless options with which to try!! I would highly recommend getting a hand on this one; it is more then worth it.

 1,714 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I popped a bottle of this and shared it with Matt and his wife tonight.

A: Hazelnut brown with a gigantic tan head that leaves plentiful lacing.

S: Incredibly wonderful scents of Belgian yeast, dark fruits.

T: Again - wonderful. This is a world class quadrupel. A notch above the standard Abt 12. The yeast character/flavor is just outstanding.

M: Coats the palate and leaves a long lingering yeast aftertaste.

D: Second only to Westvleteren 12 as the best Belgian quad I have ever tasted.

 494 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition") from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 297 ratings