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

235 Reviews
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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Reviews: 235 | Ratings: 295
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...

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Photo of illidurit
3.98/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a wine glass. Dark brown-amber color with a frothy tan head that displays great retention along with some sticky lace. Hazy yeasty body, but still sort of light for the style. Aroma is alcohol soaked dates and raisins. Flavor is fruitcakey, with fig, date, spiced sweetbread, caramel, phenols. Quite sweet but it does a good job of covering the hefty 11% abv. Body and carbonation are excellent and appropriate, which is expected from St Bernardus.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.85/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 10/16/08. Bottle broken out to celebrate the end of my midterms! Pours a murky brown with a nice thick tan head. Aroma of alcohol, apple skins, sweet dark fruits and bready yeast. Flavor of soda, light and dark fruits, and lots of bready yeast. Not as spicy or full of pep as the regular Abt 12, this one is much more mellow (which may be due to the age). It wears as you drink, especially as the beer warms, and gets a little acidic. Good but not "special" and the regular is better.
8/4/8/4/15 (3.9/5)

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was a gift to me from my son about 17 months ago. When I read that it was somewhat hoppier than the regular St. Bernie Abt 12, I decided to let it mellow a bit.

Moderate pour into a goblet yields a lovely rich light-tan head over a dark mahogany body with ruby notes. Head leaves ample lacing. Beautiful beer.

Aroma is warm raisin-bread, rich dark chocolate, malted maltiness, some yeastiness, a hint of grass and a tiny bit of floral hops. Strong and rich. You can smell this beer from two feet away. Mmmm.

Taste follows the smell precisely, though it is not quite as rich or intense.

Mouthfeel is really nice, round and full, with ample, long-lasting fine carbonation.

Exceptionally drinkable. The high ABV is entirely hidden by the intense flavors and rich mouthfeel.

Overall, just as good the regular Abt 12, even with some hop-mellowing age on it. Makes me want to go get some more of the regular stuff.

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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

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

I aged this for a year in my cellar/basement.
It has a very hazy dark amber body with a lot of head at first but went flat a little quicker than expected. Off white head and lace. There are little bits of sediment to the body. It smells sweet and fruity. Good fig and raisin like taste. There are some candy sugar and mild bitter tones. There is some alcohol warmth but it is not bad. I loved this beer and it was worth the wait.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A friend, who knows little about beer, found this and bought it for me. I would recommend it highly if you could find it. Poured into a goblet the beer was a hazy brown color with a medium-sized, sticky tan head. It had a bread and dark fruit aroma. I tasted raisins, spice and a yeasty bread. This was a chewy, filling beer. Very enjoyable.

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

Today is five years to the day as a member of In celebration of this milestone, I proudly unsheath a prized cellar treasure with the sole intent to sip, savor, and enjoy to the fullest.

Served in the brewery's chalice at cellar temperature.

Appearance- With a twist of the cork and a loud *pop*, this dark ruby ale pours elegantly into the glass. The fluffy, light marshmallow head rises three fingers tall and takes its time reducing to a thin, yet puffy mat. The lacing is wonderful, sticking randomly to the inside of the drinking vessel.

Smell- What a completely awesome and unique nose... there's so much going on here, it's hard to distinguish the individual aromas working together. Fudge, dark fruits like figs and dates, toffee, and the Goldings hops all integrate with ease and complexity. It's like nothing I've ever smelled before... worth the hoopla and fuss.

Taste- This beer really runs from one end of the gustatory spectrum to the other, and it carries huge malt and fruit as well as a robust finishing hop bitterness. Balanced and exciting to drink.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- From the *instant* this beer enters the mouth, I was captivated by its smooth, feather-soft texture. It's dreamy and perfect, allowing the complex malts, fruit notes, and yeasty finish to fully intermingle to their potential. What a treat, a world class beer.

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Photo of drpimento
4.52/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fabulous! Lucky to have one of the few left with good friends. Poured with a nice fine head which lasted. Good lace. Nice dark brownish red or reddish brown. I don't CARE!! Complex aroma of malt, caramel, toffee, licorice, herbs, Dark fruit. Endless fantasies. No faults whatsoever. Even good burps. Finish is satisfying yet beguiling. yUMMM!

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

A: This beer poured a straight brown color with a huge head and great lacing.

S: There were a myriad of aromas that were detectable from this brew. Not the least of which were spices, malt, raisins, and bananas. This one kept my nose in the glass the whole time.

T: A very malty brew with a heavy date/raisin taste noticeable.

M: Full mouthfeel - excellent for this beer.

D: This is a very smooth, complex and compelling brew.

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

08/10/08- Purchased at Ledger's in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, both caged and corked. 60th Anniversary beer bottled in 2007 I believe. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep murky prune colored pour. Cork pops with furious vengance. Quite large 2 inch plus head fills the glass. Very large bubbled head that leaves large chunks, streaks and patches of lace behind.

Smell- Very dark fruited. Lots of dates, prunes and figs in the aroma...that with a nice caramel scent.

Taste- Really reminescent of the regualr Abt12. Seems that is has a bit more of an alcohol note in the flavor and also a touch sweeter. The fruits, especially the fig flavor seems a bit more pronounced in this version than the standard.

Mouthfeel- Really highly carbonated. Needed to settle for quite a while befroe I could consume most of it. Sticky sweet in mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Quite nice, just as in the traditional version. Think a may prefer the regualr one a touch better.

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Photo of morebeergood
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I received this as a gift (thanks joshman) for Christmas 2006 and it has been in my beer cellar since. I decided to open it this past Friday 7/18/08. Poured into my St. B chalice. Nice dark brown and amber color. Somewhat slight whispy head, but lots of lacing on the glass. Smell was of hearty vine fruits and winter spices. Taste was top notch, of course, with apple, white pepper, and cinnamon notes all hitting my palate at once. A wonderful combination of flavors. I would have liked to see this beer have a bit more heartiness in the mouthfeel as it is a quad, but this may be due to some aging. There was a lot of floaties at the bottom of the bottle, which always proves to be a distraction. The alcohol is quite noticeable, so this is a nice bottle to enjoy really slowly. It was a pleasure to sip this fine Belgian.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Though the review below mine by CrellMoset appears first, this review is from a bottle about a month before that was happily sitting in my notes.

A: A dark and heavy brown, with reddish highlights, almost clay coloured around the edges. A persistent sandy head leaves a half finger blanket over the brew.

S: Dark fruit and caramel notes. Some tobacco leaf and spicy alcohol in there.

T + M: A wonderfully dry and rich body. It has a flavour reminiscent of 'cigar box' that is rather similar to a Spanish red wine that my wife had recently. A nice blend of sweet, earthy, and spicy.

D: A nice, soft sipper, like the regular release. Wonderfully delightful with a Cordobes sheep milk cheese out on the patio on a 68 degree evening.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at a tasting with fellow BAer proteus93. Purchased from Greenwood Gourmet in Crozet, VA. Poured into an Ommegang chalice.

Appearance: Lighter than I expected - a deep, hearty brown, with a very nice off-white head and loads of sticky lacing. Appropriate for the style, but nothing groundbreaking.

Aroma: Dark malts - toffee, molasses - yeast notes - banana, coriander, cloves - and dark fruit - figs and raisins - abound. A cornucopia of olfactory goodness.

Taste: Not as sweet as one would expect from the nose, and very, very subtle in many ways. The brown sugar malts are still there, yes, but it's much more subdued and in balance with the noble, herbal hop spiciness, the yeasty banana esters, earthy spices, and medicinal phenols, and the other malty fruit-like esters. Very mellow. Definitely a taste to contemplate and tease apart.

Mouthfeel: Spot-on. Overwhelmingly smooth, fluffy, and creamy. I'm running out words to describe these mouthfeels - pillowlicious? Blubbery? Cloudesque? Quintessentially Belgian.

Drinkability: It's good, but not great, and it's subtlety - it may be almost too subtle - and higher alcohol level even than the original Abt. 12 (11% vs. 10.5% abv) makes me dock it a few.

Although it wasn't a vertical tasting, I can say that I remember the original Abt. 12 being a little more full than this beer. That's not to say this one doesn't have a lot of great going on - the aroma for one is wonderful, and there's plenty of good stuff here to sip on. It's just hard to beat a beer as phenomenal as the original, I suppose.

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

Just poured this one after having cellared it for about a year. Poured in to two St. Bernardus chalice getting bubbly head into both, not huge, not creamy but nice... Off white head to contract a hazy ruby body with a couple bits floating in it (yeast left over from the bottle).

The Smell was amazing, full of fruit and dark malts a sweet cherry sweet aroma lingered in my noise as i drank this one.

Oh the taste was mind blowing, dried fruits, nuts and oak type spiciness. Oh and ya the alcohol comes through perfectly in the end to tie everything together.

Mouthfeel was nice but i found my bottle to be over carbonated, i had the cork just blow off after the wire came off. I found myself swirling my glass to let some of the CO2 out. Otherwise i was happy with it.

I love how this one aged, mellowed out from the earlier tasting. Would be a daily drinker if i had more, but the normal ABT 12 does the trick, and this one is a great kick in the pants that should be saved and shared all at the same time.

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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 joepais
4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into my St. Bernardus chalice produced a big fluffy tan head that lasted through my whole wonderful experience. Reddish to amber brown body that looked great in the glass

Aromas of roasted malts, spices, dark fruits along with nice bread dough smell

Flavors of dark fruits, malts, spices (pepper), along with an alcohol warmth as it finishes.

Nice rich mouthfeel great carbonation smooth comes to mind

Very drinkable glad I grabbed a few of these to keep for a while

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

Tried side by side with the normal version.

Great appearance, a mahongney ruby color. Lots of floaties. Large light brown head with good retention and lacing. No surprise, the normal version that is 2 years young has better retention. Also, this is slightly darker than the normal version. Very nice looking beer though.

Smells of caramel malts with notes of cherry.

Very rich flavors, a little richer tasting than the normal. Ripe fruits including cherries give way to caramel. Those two flavors pretty much dominate this beer. ALcohol comes thorugh too. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is a little undercarbonated, I guess I should expect thaat from a beer that is two years old.

Great drinkability for a beer this big.

A definite difference from the original. I think I would give the normal version a slight edge, but I would say it's personal preference.
Great drinkability.

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Photo of ccrida
4.79/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into my St. Bernardus goblet, the Special Edition Abt 12 is murky, dark reddish brown with small particles and a light khaki head that leaves heavy lace. For comparison sake, I had the regular Abt 12 right before this, and will note the differences throughout. Appearance wise, this one is redder and murkier (and a year or so older, I understand it was released late 06).

Smells is very nice, but not as pure fresh fruit as the regular, this 60th having more cured fruit, like prunes, and some vanilla as well. While I really love the sweetness of the regular, this one has more depth, and doesn't smell as thick. It also seems smoother.

Taste is very nice, super smooth and rounded, a nice maltiness (special b like raisin), not as spicy as the regular, perhaps because there is less contrast from the sugars. Rummy, with clean alcohol and moderate fusels. While I love the grape taste of the regular, I have to give a nod to the depth of this one...but then again, I've never had the patience to age the regular Abt 12, and really need to! But the bottom line, is this one is awesome! Huge thx to Hojaminbag for hooking it up, with an extra to cellar! One interesting note is that I had the last glass with pot roast, which paired with a quad is pretty much my favorite meal...but this time the pairing detracted from the beer a bit, emphisizing the time I'll just have an Achel with the meal and save the St. Berny for desert!

Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, this pop of the cork on this one almost chipped the texture on my 12 ft ceiling! Lighter bodied and highly digestible as all their brews are, must be that 'artisan' water.

Drinkability is too damn good for an out of production beer that I probably wont be able to get any more of! The alcohol is less obvious and stronger then the regular (and younger) abt 12 I just had. Bottom line, this beer is the shit!

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

I LOVE ST. Bernardus ABT 12 so shelling out the extra bucks to pick up one of these delicious special editions was a no-brainer.

Like the regular edition this pours a dark cherry almost brown with a pinky finger head that cascades the glass. The aroma is of dark cherry, plum and dried apricot but more hop kick that the regular.

The flavor has a cola sweetness to it with subtle vanilla, clove and allspice. Texture is quite creamy. A very full beer that is surprisingly easy drinking for it's high ABV.

I think the original is a shade better but both are phenomenal.

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

thanks to barefootbrewer for the opportunity to try this divine offering.

the beer pours a cloudy brown color with a three finger thick head that left plenty of lacing.

the smell is fruity, banana, dates, bread, spicy, clove, corriander, nutmeg. did i mention complex?

the taste is consistent with the smell, very complex. the alcohol is detectable and delicious.

the mouthfeel is awesome for a quad with just the right amount of carbonation.

this is an awesome beer i could drink every day.

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Photo of Floydster
4.21/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle purchased from Hollingshead in Orange for about sixteen dollars, orginally came in a cool metal tin, split with my girlfriend this afternoon, poured into an oversized wine glass

A-Medium brown with some deep orange highlights, 1 1/4 inch creamy and soapy light tan head, stuck around for close to ten minutes, great retention, awesome lacing

S-Spices, sweet malt, dark fruits, molasses, faint hops, roasted accents, brown sugar, bananas, esters, coriander, oranges, grains, bread, and berries

T-Started off more toasty than the regular version, some biscuit in the middle, finish had some cinnamon and other spices, later on the fruit started to come to the surface and I could taste green apples, plums, ans various berries, the finish had more spices in it than before, by the end I could taste a lot of bread in the middle, lots of brown sugar, some faint hoppiness providing a somewhat dry feel, and a nice caramel aftertaste, this brew is very complex and changes with almost every sip, especially as it warms up, enjoyable overall

M-Sweet, crisp, and dry mouthfeel, medium bodied, tons of carbonation, this one was a gusher, aftertaste lasts almost five minutes on occasion, also spicy feeling at times

D-Would not be able to drink the bottle by myself, smooth as can be for eleven percent though, not heavy on the stomach, alcohol is hidden very well, taste is complex enough to keep coming back

Not much different than the standard ABT 12 but the variations were nice touches, had been sitting in my cellar for a little over six months, exploded everywhere when I popped the cork, wish this was brewed more than one time, hopefully I will get to drink this again, definitely recommended

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4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one has been setting in my cellar for a couple of months and tonight seems as good as any to drink it. An eruption of fat popping bubbles equals a three finger rocky tan head. That fades like big bubble pops and scattered lace. Body is a beautiful ruby blackness that when held to light is an attractive show. nose is full of peppery, vanilla, and rich malt laced with coriander and dark fruit. As the first sip hits the tongue you quickly relize this is a super spice dominent brew. Huge waves of cinnamon, dark malt, peppery biscuit notes and rich dark fruit. This beer does not seem to have the sweetness profile that the original did but it is very good on its own. A true Belgian Abbey ale with hints of a Saison on the spicey side. Well balanced and alchol slides well through this 11% bomb. Mouthfeel is silky and a bit burnt bitter. Exceptional drinkable for its strength. A very good brew.

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Photo of BoitSansSoif
4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured a dark, rich brownish-amber with a little sediment. A very rich beige head crowned it off, and the retention was impressive as it slowly dropped into a patchy thin cap and left beautiful lacing.
S-Succulent spice, rich sweet chocolate, light esters, and raisins.
T-Toasted malts, raisin, spice, warm alcohol throughout with thin hops, and strong alcohol in the finish.
M&D-Excellent balance and harmonious blend of body and flavor with light carbonation. Highly enjoyable, and a perfect smooth, slow sipper.

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Photo of charlzm
3.4/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled, consumed on 01/02/08. Bottle marked "best before 10/10/11".

Kept it at room temp for four months after purchase. First beer of the new year!

A molasses brown pour yields a large pillowy head that sticks around a long time. Lively carbonation. Aroma is sweet and alcoholic with a nasty metal note: think of scrubbing a stainless steel sink with an SOS pad. Thick in the mouth with caramel flavor, a small bit of sweetness, warm spice and hot pepper and a not-overwhelming astringency. Warming as it goes down. Alcohol flavor well-masked: deadly in an 11% beer! It is substantial, however, and not a gulper.

I think the standard St. Bernardus Abt 12 might be a little tastier than this one. If it weren't for that awful aroma...

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition") from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
4.39 out of 5 based on 295 ratings.
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