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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 4297   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.14/5   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
The St. Bernardus Abt 12 is the pride of our stable, the nec plus ultra of our brewery. Abbey ale brewed in the classic íQuadrupelí style of Belgiumís 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. Itís 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 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
tcfishler (65) - USA - DEC 16, 2006
Dark, dull brown with a large tan head, which is notable for its very fine texture. However, the head is not very sticky. Sweet but fresh nose of fruit (including banana) and spice. Heavy carbonation enlivens the moderately heavy, round mouthfeel. Clove is more apparent on the palate than the nose. Alcohol is there to be sensed but not sharp by any means. Rich but not astoundingly complex.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
RollinHard (1024) - Fort Worth, Texas, USA - DEC 16, 2006
Pours a dark brown with a real fluffy and long lasting head. Aroma of grape honey and bread. Sweet flavors stand out first, with some brown sugar, honey, caramel, milk chocolate, grapes, and plums. Fades to vanilla as I swirl and swallow. Finishes surprisingly dry for such sweetness, and the light hops make their presence known quite wonderfully. The yeast continues to dry things out, but then my mouth tastes like choclate. Hmm! This beer is mildly thick and VERY creamy feeling. NO alcohol presence to be found anywhere in the drinking experience. I should revisit this when Iím not in a smoky bar.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
JoeinDahlem (1452) - Berlin, Berlin, GERMANY - DEC 15, 2006
UPDATED: APR 7, 2008 33 cl bottle at Moeder Lambic after a not-so-hard dayís work. I get cheddar and apples in the aroma--wish I had some sausage. Takes time to contemplate this one. Flavor for me is appleskin, grapeskin, faint malt, tart cider, with moderate layer of bitterness over all. Fruitier than I expected. Finish is dry hops, dark chocolate, faint cider. It was worth the hype for me, and Iím grateful.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
lovemyipas (544) - nw burbs, Illinois, USA - DEC 14, 2006
my 100th! pours a dark apple cider color with a one finger off white head. aroma is bread a lttle alcohol and dark fruit lttle malt and hops as well. nice lacing and medium body. flavor is bread and malt, lttle hops and dark fruit. little alcohol burn going down a lttle in the taste as well but not as much as i thought it would be. lttle sticky, little sweet smell half way down the glass. i guess i went a little different way on my 100th because of availability but it was good!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
VeloVampire (625) - Parkdale, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 13, 2006
330 ml bottle - pours deep brown with some floating sediment and a small but persistent off-white head. Aroma very yeasty/bready, with dark fruit notes and some alcohol. Dark fruits again in the mouth, with aa spicy yeastiness as well, and the warming alcohol, though that is very well-integrated considering the abv%. Soft and delicate, but packed with flavour, a truly, truly outstanding beer. The best Iíve had.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
MarkBarnes (407) - Waterville, New York, USA - DEC 12, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 3, 2011 Dec. 12, 2006; 12 oz. bottle sampled this past weekend at Farm 255, Athens GA. Not being a particular fan of the style, I didnít expect to swoon over this. However, served in a Trappist glass, I must admit that this fascinatingly complex concoction of dark fruit and malty flavors is one of the best brews Iíve yet tried. The 10.5% ABV is remarkably well-hidden. Just need to find a place to obtain it in Central New York State! Addíl comments on Jan. 8, 2007: Even better with the opportunity to sit down and really examine & savor this. Detecting more alcohol this time around (with a fresh palate!); very cidery in appearance when viewed under a strong light. Flavor is so complex . . . exquisite, really. So sorry this isnít the "big" bottle!

Addíl comment June 1, 2008: Had the opportunity to "A-B" this with Rochefort 10 today and, as much as I LOVE the more lively St. Bernardus, the Rochefort edges it in both the flavor & palate categories.

Re-rate on Jan. 3, 2011: I find no flaw in this beer -- and, after having compared it once again with the boozier Rochefort 10 over the holidays, have upgraded it to the top of my all-time list. This could be a "5", but Iím leaving the door slightly ajar in the taste & overall categories, in the unlikely event I encounter something more enjoyable than this heavenly brew.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
colortheorist (12) - Somerville, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 9, 2006
no doubt, itís very good...but from the beers ive had- im a novice- it simply doesnt impress...at least nor enought tp be top 100%. good tho. i paid $5 for the pint.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
lagomswedish (213) - UmeŚ, SWEDEN - DEC 9, 2006
A 33cl bottle served from a fridge at the Bishops Arms in UmeŚ. Drinking this beer has really driven home to me the impact of beer temparature on taste. I thought this bottle was too cold to start with. The head came up very thin and flat (having read that the head on this beer was normally quite impressive). Aroma was initially quite faint, but as the beer warmed it released a powerful nose of spirit-soaked plums, figs, blackberries and salty liquorice. Itís not the most attractive beer in the world - a murky, muddy brown. Itís the palate that lifts this beer - soft and light. Nothing sticks out and everything fits. Thereís no huge yeast character but more malt than most quads Iíve tried. The beauty of the 12 lies in its ability to hide its 10.5% of alcohol so cleverly youíd never know it was there. In this respect itís the best Iíve so far tasted. But is it one of the best? On this occcasion Iíd have to say no. By the end of the glass, as it warmed gently in my hands, it was beginning to stir, as though it had something else to tell me but weíd both run out of time. So some another time it will be. At home where I can enjoy it at the right temperature and maybe unlock the full greatness of this beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
jainsv (113) - USA - DEC 9, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 19, 2007 A red-brown color with creamy head. Lots of flavor in the aroma, mostly fruits and some malt. Similar taste as well, an excellent beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Rune (11120) - TromsÝ, NORWAY - DEC 9, 2006
330ml bottle served in an original Watou glass in perfect temperature at Duvel Cafe in Stockholm. Hazy, ruby brown body under a low-level head. Aromatic and fruity. Explosion of dark fruit sweetness in flavour. Slightly yeasty towards the end. A spicy and full bodied beverage with well masked alcohol (02.12.2006).

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