Brewed by St. Bernardus Brouwerij
Style: Abt/Quadrupel
Watou, Belgium


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 3769   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.15   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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The St. Bernardus Abt 12 is the pride of our stable, the nec plus ultra of our brewery. Abbey ale brewed in the classic ’Quadrupel’ style of Belgium’s best Abbey Ales. Dark with a full, ivory-colored head. It has a fruity aroma, full of complex flavours and excels because of its long bittersweet finish with a hoppy bite. Worldwide seen as one of the best beers in the world. It’s a very balanced beer, with a full-bodied taste and a perfect equilibrium between malty, bitter, and sweet. One of the original recipes from the days of license-brewing for the Trappist monks of Westvleteren.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
rudolf (2341) - Buffalo, New York, USA - JUN 4, 2006
#900. Grapey ruby/brown body, off white creamy head. Nose is yeasty, plum, some alcohol, spiciness, maybe a little vanilla. Flavor is rich malt, fruit, yeast, plum, raisin, alcohol. Good but it doesn’t live up to the hype..

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
eaglefan538 (2893) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - JUN 2, 2006
UPDATED: JUL 14, 2007 An absolutely enjoyable experience. St. Bernie’s poured a wonderful dark brown color with an enormous head that was well sustained. The lacing and rings of foam left behind (still there when all was gone) was great. The mouthfeel was fuller but not richer than what I remembered for the Roche 10 (and the sedimentation much less). Was nicely carbonated. The aroma was spicey and full of dark fruits. Flavor was plum like and candy-sugared with great spicing and a noticeable, but pleasant touch of alcohol. At almost half the price of Roche 10, this will be my "treat" beer in the future - monks or no monks. Re-rate, 2/07, dropping a few nothces, not as rich in the dark fruit area as I once thought, yeasty spice was the distinguishing feature of this one. At the same 2/07 re-reate, a 1.5yr aged version was a bit too much caramel-like with some teabag flavors, lacking the dark fruit complexity, lacking the spiciness, and lacking the yeastiness. I can’t hold a position that this thing aged better than it was fresh, that’s for sure. No points knocked off my numbers for the aged bottle, but it dropped a few notches here and there based on the retaste. Re-rate, 7/07 in a horizontal alongside Westv 12 and Roche 10, this was right in the middle of both, Roche 10 #1. Appearance solid with a nice frothy head, great retention and lacing. The aroma had some floral notes, faint dark fruits, caramel, grapes, light plums, light cocoa with a bitter bready yeasty finish, some coriander spices also zinging there. Mouthfeel was full with dry bitterness and spicey zing, alcohol well blended into the picture. My second favorite behind Roche 10.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
geekrobot (3) - Colonia, New Jersey, USA - JUN 2, 2006 does not count
Tried this once in a bar in Amsterdam served extremely chilled, and liked it a lot, so brought some back with me to the States. Read the review here, and tried it out closer to room temperature, and it tasted much better. Dark amber/red color, plenty of tan head going on. Tastes malty, with caramel, raisin flavor. Really great, but definitely wait till it warms up a bit. This beer is brewed with a similar formula to the famed Westvleteren 12, which Bernardus used to brew until they lost their contract. Definitely try this out, but listen to the advice of letting it warm up a bit.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
hophead75 (2008) - Largo, Florida, USA - JUN 1, 2006
Pours a deep brown/dar amber with a big, long lasting off white head. Carbonation is high. Aroma: Big, dark fruits- grapes, plums, etc, sweet malt, and some tartness. Taste: big complex flavor and palate, dark fruits, chocolate, lots of tartness to balance, molasses, fizzy, vanilla, with both a semi sweet and tart finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
MrEcted1 (144) - Wheat Ridge, Colorado, USA - JUN 1, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 5, 2006 One of the best Belgian Quads you can get your hands on. Pours a deep mahogony-brownish color with a very impressive head, pour this one carefully. Very complex and full bodied, dark fruits round this beer out very nicely. Brown sugar definitely present along with other complex fruity flavors such as faint esters. HUGE rocky head that will stick around for the entire drink. This is definitely one of my favorite Belgians, but I do find that the beers vary from batch to batch. I have had some that were so-so in both flavor and appearance (such as head retention) and i have had others that were just out of this world! I am reviewing based on the better batches, which is what you will usually get. This beer definitely gets better with each sip. I like to carefully pour the beer into my glass until I get to the last couple ounces. Then I swirl it and pour the remaining couple ounces into an empty glass and enjoy! It gives it a very tasty nutty characteristic that I just can’t get enough of. I HIGHLY recommend this amazing beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ratman197 (9828) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - JUN 1, 2006
11.2 oz bottle poured a cloudyreddish brown with a large rocky amber head. Aromas of dark fruit, spices, brown sugar and a hint of bubblegum. Palate was full bodied and smooth. Flavors of dates, raisins, brown sugar and spices with a sweet lingering finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ElBorracho (472) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 29, 2006
On tap at The Map Room. Pours dark brown with amber hues and an off-white head. Dark fruits such as plums, dates, raisins, etc. Some traces of banana also. Everything just seems to be dialed down. The high ABV shows itself a bit more as it warms.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
mckstud2 (3) - USA - MAY 28, 2006 does not count
Excellent brew and I’m generally not one for darker beers. I would reccomend letting it warm after having it both chilled and room temp.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
MagooinPA (100) - Warminster, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 28, 2006
Had this at Monk’s in Philly in the 11.2 bottle. Monks advertised this as being on draft but didn’t have it other than in the bottle. It was as good as advertised. The waitress advised that I let it sit for 15min and her advice paid off. Very complex beer and no harshness from the high alcohol. One of the best beers I ever had. I wish I could try it from the tap!

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Beaver (1296) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - MAY 28, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 13, 2006 11.2 oz bottle, best before 7/23/10. Pours a reddish brown with a big fizzy head that quickly dissipates.

The aroma is sweet dark fruits, fusel alcohol and some bitterness. It becomes a bit more pleasant as it warms.

The flavor is some sweet and sugary dark fruit with a lot of belly-warming strong alcohol. As it warms, more fruitiness and a slightly bitter, bready yeastiness comes out to balance the alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium with some harsh carbonation.

Overall, a bit of a disappointment. I let this sit for about 15-20 minutes before starting, but it was still a bit harsh at the beginning. As it warmed, it became much better. You can definitely tell all of this breweries’ beers are related. Decent stuff, but not all that in my book.

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