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

St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition")St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition")
Liked This Beer
4.39 w/ 295 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.

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Ratings: 295 |  Reviews: 235
Photo of clvand0
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light brown color with an extremely tall head that has nice retention and leaves quite a bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma is malty with plenty of dark fruits and a nice spice character - more spice than the normal version. Plenty of hops in the flavor with lots of raisins and dark malts. Finish is bitter with a very light alcoholic bite. The bitterness lingers on the palate a bit. Pretty nice brew, but I prefer the normal version.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear deep garnet color with tons of bubbles rising to keep the head at least 3” thick in my tulip glass. The bubbles kep rising forever, and show no signs of letting up minutes after the pour.

Aroma: Through the foam, the aroma is already complex. I can definitely get some toasty Munich and Dark Munich aromatics as well as some serious bread and a noticeable floral contribution from the hops. You can pick out just about all of the ingredients already. As the head starts to fall, the aroma takes on a more dessert like impression giving you the aromatics similar to a spice cake or some such.

Taste: The flavor is much more fruity than I suspected from the aroma. There is still a bit of dark fruits like plum and raisin from the dark malts, but there is a truly bold apple thing going on here that I didn’t see coming. The yeast give a defined breadyness to the whole profile and the alcohol is a player in the flavor right up front by giving a spicy edge to the hop character. Late in the finish there is a defined alcoholic warming that sets in and stays with you for a while. The hops are more noticeable in the flavor than as a bittering component. There is a little bit in the bittering, but the balance is provided as much by the roast and alcohol than anything the hops have to offer. Malt is in charge of the balance of the finish.

Opinion: This beer is really similar to the original Abt 12. This is a beer that I partake in on a very regular basis, so I am pretty familiar with it specifically. There is definitely a more noticeable alcoholic presence in this beer as compared to the original version as well, there is a more floral and subtly different hop presence going on. I am really enjoying this beer, and will have to pick up a few more for the ole cellar cause this one will keep. If this was a regular offering, I would likely pick the original over this one, but perhaps that is because I know it better. This beer is equally outstanding, but just slightly different.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Corked and caged 750 that came in a commemerative tin. Purchased at Merchant's in Dearborn and poured into a chalice.

Huge head of light tan that towers over dark amber. Strong retention and thick sheets of intricate lace are left as it goes down.

Smells a lot like the regular Abt 12 but much bolder. Lots of dark fruits with some leafy hops, clove, chalk, and bread. Has that nice holiday fruit cake made from scratch character. Much more spice than the regular. Very nice!!

Everything that is promised in the nose is delivered by the taste. The hop profile is a bit sharper but it doesn't make for an awkward beer. The alcohol is there as a peppery warmth. Spicy and peppery finish that carries some remnants of the malts. Everything is very well integrated.

Full mouth that is smooth and luxurious. If it wasn't for the abv, I could drink a lot of this but I'm still giving it a five for drinkability because this is so complex and well balanced and the other two bottles are only gonna get better with time.

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Photo of TheBungyo
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This pours with a gigantic head atop a burgundy and brown body. The lacing is a masterwork of fine art that looks to be chiseled of liquid ivory and caked around the edges of my La Fin Du Monde glass.I feel as if I learned to read and write so that I might do this beer some justice as it passed before my lips. This is a complex nose. Syrupy dark berries collide with subtle caramel, phenols and maybe some plums. Maybe I didn't study reading and writing hard enough because I have the strange feeling that I'm really not giving this brew it's due. Oh well, I honestly am trying my best believe me!
Man, I can taste syrupy black cherry, rich burnt sugar, dark plums, and what I can only describe as granny smith apple wedges baked and kissed with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. I don't feel like this beer completely meshes but I do feel that a bit of time alone in the dark will work wonders. Don't get me wrong, this is certainly a wonderful beer but it will become even better after a little time. I wish I could afford to buy more than the two others I have hiding away for a better day. I would buy them without even thinking about it.

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Photo of ejquin
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Cola bown with a tinge of orange. Thick off white head and good lacing

S: Simlar to the orignal, but maybe a touch sweeter. Phenols with malt backbone. Slight alcohol and a sweetness

T: Burst of hops and phenols up front come close to being overpowering, and then backs off a bit. Malt come through and slight alocoholic tinge, but nowhere near the 11%. Long semi dry finish leaves some hops in your mouth.

M: Heavier than original and less carbonation, but feels perfect.

D: Amazingly drinkable. Could have this all night, and i did.

Ovr: a draft abt 12 is my all time highest score I've given a beer, and this doesn't quite touch that, but I do think it's better than the original in the bottle, and that's saying a lot.

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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 phisig137
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby brown, with some haze, and a massive head that falls very slowly. Tons of lacing is left behind, as well as a thick blanket of foam on top of the glass.

Aroma is quite spicy, and yeasty. Only a hint of alcohol present. If I were blindfolded, I'd think this was a triple, not a quad.

Flavor is quite interesting. All of the flavor and complexity of the original, but with a healthy dose of more hops. Caramel, burnt sugar, and dark fruits are there, but also backed up by a very spicy yeast, and a good handfull of hops. Creamy, heavy mouthfeel, and lingering flavor. Drinkability is high.

Not at all what I expected, being a loyal drinker of the original ABT 12. The hops are a nice addition to this, and I think that it will hold up beautifully over the next 5-10 years.

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Photo of Darkale
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I poured hard to get a head, and quite a head I got -- fully two-thirds of my St. Bernardus chalice (and what on earth would you pour a 60th anniversary beer into BUT a St. Bernardus chalice?) was taken up with that typical, wonderful, Belgian foam.

In appearance, much the same, I thought, to the usual Abt 12; however, I am going by memory here, as I've not had the usual Abt 12 for a couple of weeks.

Marvelous. Creamy. Spicier than the usual. Cinnamon and sweetness, with a lingering almost sour (but quite pleasantly so) taste in the mouth. Horribly drinkable. I keep telling myself that I don't expect to complete the full 750 by myself, and then I keep telling myself that I'm lying.

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Photo of akorsak
4.57/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am drinking from a 750mL bottle in a chimay goblet. The commemorative tin is to my left.

A: This is a dark ale, very hazy and tawny in color (although the haze diminishes the port-like color).

S: The ale has a deep raisiny aroma that betrays hints of the alcohol contained in it. The yeast adds a pleasant fullness that is accentuated by some spices (like cinnamon or cardamom).

T: This is a big chewy beer. The spices are bold and deep, giving the beer a complexity that works on many levels and finishes long on malt and cinnamon. There are chocolate hints that mix with the heady alcohol to provide a sweet nightcap.

Edit to taste: The beer has a strong anise/licorice flavor in each sip.

M: This is a big beer, complex and meaty, with a numbing effect that attacks the tongue.

D: The drinkability is hurt by the 11% abv, but the flavors are complex and delightful.

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

Pours reddish-black with a persistant head of medium-sized bubbles and leaves good lacing. Smells of plums and cinnamon. Tastes mirror the smell, raisins and plums with strong cinnamon aftertaste...from the hops? and a note of cloves. The alcohol is fairly well masked by the strong flavors but comes on in the end. Mouthfeel is actually a bit thinner than I would have expected. Very drinkable, which is dangerous with an 11% abv beer. All in all very good, although I'm not sure its worth the extra price over the regular Abt 12. This one lives up to the great reputation this brewery has & deserves.

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Photo of quasimoto
3.94/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice cloudy mohagany color with very little head.

S - Strong aromas of brown sugar and some chocolate. There is some spicyness in it but nothing extrordinary.

T - Sweet toasty malts are melded with brown sugar. there is little if any hop flavor.

M- Smooth and viscous. There is no carbination bite to speak of so it is very easy on the palette.

D - It is very enjoyable. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of gotbeer
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Saw this one, and picked up 2 bottles instantly. The bottle comes in a special tin casing, and the bottle appears similar to the standard Abt. 12. There are some special notations indicating it's not the regular 12.

The appearance is as good as it gets. Dark mahoganey with some red tones as light comes through. An off white head of fine bubbles comes ups aggresively, and as it fades it laces the glass really nicely. Not many beers that look better.

The smell is of raisens, plums, overly ripe fruit, molasses, and these smells become more readily apparent as it warms closer to room temp.

The taste is similiar to the regular Abt. 12, but with some differences. The hops are a little more apparent, as is the heat at the finish of each sip. Aside from that, there are incredible flavors of overly ripe fruit, plums, and incredible comlexity. Each sip brings another facet of this beer's personality out.

The mouthfeel has fine bubbles, and it gets better as the beer gets warmer.

The drinkability of this beer is excellent. I would be happy to have every beer I drink taste as good as this one.

This is just another excellent beer from one of the best breweries in the world. All of their beers I have been lucky enough to have is among the best I have had. I bought 2 bottles of this one with the intention of cellaring one right from the store. After tasting this one fresh- I am really, really looking forward to re-visiting this one in several years. I think it has all the right stuff to just get better with time.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice (a St. Bernadus Chalice) clear deep amber brown with a lightly tan and frothy head which fell rapidly but lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was deeply malty with a strong caramel and an even stronger dark fruit presence. The dark fruits were raisins and prunes coupled with a strong dark candylike aromatic. A lightly phenolic spice character was notable in the aroma.

The flavor was malty, strongly so, with a dark caramel and dark fruit presence that was very strong and complex. The dark fruits were that of raisins and prunes. A bit of chocolate was thrown in for complexity and for good measure, along with a lightly spicy character which added to the beer. Some alcohol presence in the flavor was notable, but did not detract. The flavor has a smidge of earthiness way in the back, but for the most part hops did not play a role except to keep the deeply malty beer from becoming overly sweet.

The finish was dry with lasting impressions of alcohol, malt, and dark fruits long into the aftertaste and beyond. The body was medium full with a moderate carbonation that made the body seem just a smidge less. A nice beer, with a sizeable alcohol warming. Happy 60th!

750 ml corked and bailed bottle. (What in the heck was a piece of plastic doing in this beer, a perfectly round piece the size of a hole punch.)

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I planned on aging this one a little while but since I popped the lid and prompty dropped the bottle from chest height onto my driveway only to have it roll several feet before I caught up with it. Luckily after a few hours it was still OK. Pours reddish-brown with a thick and rocky beige head with great retention. Thick patchy lacing. Rich aroma of roasted malt, spices and dark fruits. Full-bodied with an earthy malt character and fruity, spicy flavors. Alcolhol is evident in the background, as is a touch of hops. The finish is spicy and lasting, and the malty aspect remains well after. Very good.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've waited a long time for this beer, and finally it made it to Ohio. Kind of expensive at $12.99 per 750ml, but I love everything from this brewery...

Dark reddish brown color, slightly murky, with an immense off-white foam. The smell is perfect, malty and bready and yeasty and sweet. Actually it smells so much like Westy 12, I know I couldn't separate them by aroma alone. Taste is almost perfect, actually a little more bitter than the standard ABT 12 I think. Full coating mouthfeel just like the normal ABT 12. Awesome, but so is the $7.99 bottle of normal SBT 12.

Outstanding brewery always.

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

This special anniversary beer poured a clear ruby red color and formed a nice foamy light tan head that left a lactticed pattern of lace as it subsided. A medium amount of carbonation was present. An aroma of malt, plums, raisins and chocolate. The flavor was of malt, chocolate and hinits of plum and candy. It had a medium, smooth/silky body that hinted at the alcohol present in the bittersweet finish. A very fine sipping beer.

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Photo of Manosbeeroffate
2.96/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

$5.75 up in Belfast, hoping it would be really special, but not the case. Pours a dark golden brown color, head lasts forever. Smells all deeply sweet malt. Tastes way too sweet for me, malt, dried fruit, raisiny, no hops detected. Mouthfeel is quite thin in my opinion. Overall I'm a bit bummed out, was expecting a bit more, but I think Ommegang is a lot better example of a good Belgian.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The 60th Anniversary version of the Abt 12 came in a bottle that displayed very similar packaging to the “ordinary” Abt 12. The main difference being that the darker shade on blue on the shield, and the words special edition printed above this. The beer poured contemplatively translucent brown into the St. Bernardus chalice, with a well proportioned beige head that left a solid wall of lacing all around. The aroma of the beer surprised me in its hop intensity. The floral and earthy hop varieties seemed to have been used in sufficient quantities to overcome the hefty grain bill. Behind the hops were the sweet smells of saffron, cherry, and red delicious apple reassuring that this was indeed a Quadrupel. At the first sip, the beer just exploded onto the palette with a complex mixture of a multitude of flavors. So much was going on here; it was a little difficult to pinpoint what was the most dominant impression. Perhaps it was the deeply embedded raisin sweetness up front, or it may have been the citric sourness aided by the carbonation tingling my cheeks, or could it be that earthy hop kick felt at the back of the tongue, or was it the lingering black pepper taste left in the throat until the next sip entered it. Wow, this was such a complicated flavor profile that somehow still remained so cohesive. Missing from any of this was the 11 percent alcohol. The body also didn’t feel anywhere near the heft of such a strong beer. If this beer was so good at such a young age, I can’t imagine what a mind blowing experience this is going to become in 10 years.

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

Cork self-disgorged after uncaging and a slight twist, with a loud pop and a controlled interseption.
Pours dark brown, cloudy, with an off white , thick head.
Lush, tropical aromatics underneath rummy caramel.
Pineapple, apple, pear, light chocolate, vanilla.
As the brew warms some light fudge comes through with more dark rum notes and citrus. Some residual brown sugar in the finish.
Medium mouthfeel, mildly sticky and silky.
Pallet is thoroughly delicious and inviting.
Complex and fruity with raisins and bubblegum.
Caramel with dark fruits and more rum.
Finishes mildly warming and a slight vinious note.

A very promising brew for cellaring, but exeptional young.
A huge thank you to BA Delirium for sharing this treat!

Edit 8/29/06
Sampled side by side with the Abt 12 on tap.
Abt 12 is less carbonated, darker, sweeter, and far less complex.
Would have to sample a 750 of each for a fair comparison, but the 60th blows away the draft Abt 12 hans down.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Came in a beautiful navy blue special edition tin can that is surely a collectors item. This beer actually came to me by accident. I was at my local store picking up some Fantôme and Rogue and the guy at the cash register informed me that they just received shipment of the St. Bernardus Special Edition. My heart almost stopped beating I was so excited.

Popped the cork off of the 750ml bottle and immediately picked up some beautiful aromas in the air. Poured a dark murky brown in color with a beautiful creamy white head. If I could give the appearance a 6, I would! Dark fruits, yeast, bread, pepper and a rum like alcohol aroma are among the many flavors in the nose. This is quite the "sniffing" beer.

The second this brew hit my mouth I instantly fell in love with it. The mouthfeel is extremely smooth and creamy. Words alone cannot describe the taste of this complex beer. Sweet plums and malt dominate the front as the wonderfully integrated hops and warming alcohol bring up the rear.

I cannot say enough about this fantastic brew as it nearly perfect! In my opinion it is even better than the original Abt 12. Props to the guys at Brouwerij St. Bernardus for crafting an excellent beer. Needless to say, I will be stocking up on this brew while I can.

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition") from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Beer rating: 94.2% out of 100 with 295 ratings
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