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


on tap

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RATINGS: 3809   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.

Sombeast's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Sombeast (151) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 24, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 30, 2006 12/30: Rerated 11.2 oz bottle, BB date 26.08.10. Served in a trappist goblet. Color is a dark amber with a thick one-finger, lumpy tan head that diminishes slowly then constantly replenishes itself. Intense initial aroma of caramel, malts with a subtle fruitiness that quickly disperses. Each swallow results in a thick and foamy mouthfeel that has to be chewed through only to find a delicious coating on the tongue. The flavor is rich, malty and well blended, with a balanced, elegantly bitter finish. A slight warming is evident from the alcohol, which is otherwise hidden. Strong lacing left on the glass. I’m not picking up the broader set of flavors described - could just be me. Bumping up appearance 1 point - a full glass and a single pour makes all the difference.

Paper notes from the Falls Tasting / 2006 YeHA!. Sampled next to the Westy 8 and 12. Minimal head. Clear maple color. Sweet malty start, balanced malt-bitterness in the body. Finish is creamily succulent, and lightly bitter.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Inbreak (2192) - Loddefjord, NORWAY - OCT 25, 2014
Old rating rertated 22.10.2014, 0,33l bottle shared with a colleague @ hotel room in Ulsteinvik:
Nice slightly fizzy mediumlasting head. Aroma is slightly sweet, candied sugar, dried dark fruits, yeast, grass, caramel malts, flowers, alcohol, banana. Taste is slightly harsh boozy, grass, sugar, alcohol, burnt caramel, harsh yeast, almond essence, caramel malts, paper, dried dark fruits. Medium bitterness, slightly dry and harsh mouthfeel. Fair enough.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
mjik83 (169) - - OCT 24, 2014
33cl flesje via Jumbo, Maastricht Alcoholpercentage van 10% Uitgeschonken in Grimbergen glas Uiterlijk: donkerbruin met dikke witte schuimkraag Aroma en smaak: rozijnen, donker fruit, caramel, zoetbitter Conclusie: bekend abdijbier, lekker in de donkere dagen van het jaar, warm ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beerkenstock (49) - - OCT 24, 2014
Drink cool, 10-12°C Eye: Pours a dark brown colour with a slwly dissipating white to beige head. low carbonation though. Nose: dark malts chocolate, sweets. Mouth: reminds me a bit of a straffe hendrik at first. lots of dark chocolate malts, not so much coffee, sweets, dark fruit, sweet but not too much. Palate: chocolate and dark dried fruit. Overall: nice belgian beer but definitely not the most complex.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 19/20
gregorymconway (91) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 22, 2014
750ml bottle from the LCBO. Huge foamy off-white head on top of a deep-dark ruby red/brown brown that’s almost black and opaque. Aromas are really what sets this beer apart as one of the 100 percentile: it has some wine-like qualities, some alcohol is present on the nose, black licorice, cherry, wet wood, plum, cocoa, raisin and some vanilla. It has an elevated alcohol presence, however it is well integrated to seem lesser than what is actually there. It is smooth and almost creamy for it’s full-bodied nature.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
slowrunner77 (5977) - Reno, Nevada, USA - OCT 21, 2014
"one of the better early Belgians. The mouthfeel and flavor would maybe get a higher score, but the yeast takes the carbonation too high for me, and really gives it a flavor common to many Belgians...not a bad thing, but not completely unique either. Good, but a little overrated? 3/09 - had with the Rochefort line-up and while it wasn’t as good in my mind as the 10, it did ok. the abv is more noticeable and takes away from the feel and flavor, compared to the 10-not as smooth and a little more harsh and spicy, but still good. same scores."

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
UrbanCaveman (16) - Ohio, USA - OCT 21, 2014
On tap at Beer House in Lombard, IL. A: Arrived in the snifter as a deep, hazy cherrywood hue, with a lovely thick head that fell quickly into a white cap and left crazy lacing on the snifter. S: Malt candy, for lack of a better term. Sweet bready caramel sugars, wreathed through with raisin and plum notes, and something that reminds me of an oaken single malt scotch barrel. T: Oh, that is glorious. Malt candy, indeed - yeasty caramel sweetness right up front, uncut by any hoppy notes. Raisin, plum, cherry, and fig notes writhe through this delicious beer, with some faint woody-oaky echoes. The finish is pure Belgian yeast, with a boozy warmth and some echoes of fruit and sugar. M: Liquid silk, coating and clinging to every surface of mouth and throat, like drinking molten butter with more flavor. O: Just a fantastic and wonderful experience, and a beer I go back to again and again.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Zakoon (60) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - OCT 19, 2014
Draught @ Fermentoren Cph. Pours dark amber/reddish brown with a thick off-white head. Aroma is malty, yeast, herbs, dark fruits and brown sugar. Flavour is sweet, alcohol, dark fruits and caramel. It’s well-balanced. Not too sweet, full bodied, medium carbonation. Finish is light and soft, a little fruity.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
DW78715816 (63) - Kansas, USA - OCT 18, 2014
This beer is an experience. Truly an excellent beer. Beautiful dark brown appearance with a thick foamy head. Incredible malty aroma. Smells a little sweet and citrus as well. Taste is malty, sweet, slight citrus and bitterness. Finishes dry with little after taste. Wonderful and complex. Too much going on for me to properly describe. It is delicious. This is a game changer to my definition of a great beer. Many of my old favorites just don't stand up to this. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
elosop (159) - SWEDEN - OCT 18, 2014
Mörkbrunt med ordentligt skum som dock försvann snabbt. Doftar sött och smaken är oxå mkt söt, lite bränd karamell. Lång eftersmak med maltig sirap. Dracks på fat, kändes lite "flat".

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Alengrin (2110) - BELGIUM - OCT 18, 2014
UPDATED: OCT 19, 2014 Tasted from 33 cl and 75 cl bottles many a time, this is one of the ’leading’ abts of Belgium. Historically, this was the ’commercial’ version of Westvleteren 12, under the brand name of Sint-Sixtus, a cooperation which ended in 1992. Today, Sint-Bernardus Abt, Prior and Pater are still made with the same malts, the same hops and the same yeast as Westvleteren, though clearly the yeast has evolved a bit differently since then. Since Westvleteren has received so much media attention - a consequence of it achieving the highest rating on this very site - this beer is often presented as an easier to obtain alternative, and indeed the similarities are still striking, though I will not go as far as to claim that no differences are discernible. This beer bears a moussy and relatively (even surprisingly) stable, pale beige, sticky head and shows a warm, dark burgundy colour with equal haze. It presents a strong, wonderfully perfumed and therefore very agreeable aroma of great complexity, revealing hints of overripe pears and plums, port wine, marzipan, banana, iron but in a good kind of way, brown sugar, liquorice, chocolate liqueur, fresh orange, brown bread, blue grapes, candied dates, cloves... Taste kicks off with a soft, candyish sweetishness of candied fruits, raisins, pear, candi sugar; fluffy and full mouthfeel, medium, minerally carbonation; in the background, I get a profound, chocolatey and caramelly, smooth maltiness, bready yeast and elegant spicy notes dancing on the tongue. Finishes graciously with a leafy hop bitterness which lingers and perfectly balances out the sweetness, maltiness is also still present as well as a certain yeastiness, everything rounded off with a warming, not too astringent, whisky-like alcohol effect. Though indeed very similar to Westvleteren 12, this is clearly a different beer, which anyone familiar with both should be able to distinguish in a blind tasting session. It has nearly the same amount of complexity and nobility, but the aromas do not match completely, the alcohol in this one is perhaps just a little bit less hidden, the mouthfeel is a little bit more syrupy and there is a little bit less aromatic spiciness to it. I will do a side by side tasting of both soon. In any case: Sint-Bernardus Abt 12 remains one of the great landmarks of Belgian beer culture and a proud classic in its own right, regardless of the historical links with the Sint-Sixtus abbey.

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