Review of St. Bernardus Abt 12

25 Jan
Hi guys.  I have a very special brew to share with you for today’s craft beer review.  It’s the St. Bernardus Abt 12 produced by the Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV located in Watou, Belgium.

This beer really needs no introduction.  It’s obviously well known in the craft beer world and I, unfortunately, have never had it….. and I can’t wait.

The website,, has this description of the Abt 12.

The absolute top quality in the hierarchy of the St. Bernardus beers. It is also the beer with the highest alcohol content (10.50 %).   A dark ivory coloured beer with a high fermentation.  The show piece of the brewery.  Thanks to its soft and unconditionally genuine aroma, the beer can be smoothly tasted.  The Abt has a very fruity flavour.

Let’s do this!!!!

This beverage comes in a 25.4 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 10.5%.

The appearance of the Abt 12 was a cloudy, dark brown to burgundy color.  The collar was tan, very creamy, smooth and soft.  It consisted of small, tight, compact bubbles.  The size was good, the retention time was gratifying and the lacing looked very nice.  Once it settled it left a thin film on top for the remainder of the drink and a small trace of alcohol legs were noticed on the glass when tilted from side to side.

The nose was spectacular.  Tons of dark fruit.  Raisins, plums, dates and figs.  Spicy cloves, light caramel malts and delicate touches of chocolate and licorice.  It had that all too familiar Belgian yeast strain intermingled with a compelling banana bread fragrance.  Awesome.  This aroma wasn’t quite as robust as some of the other Quads that I’ve had, however it was way more balanced and pertinent.  Beautiful.

The taste was…. world class.  All of the proper dark fruits were accounted for.  Raisins, plums, dates and figs, however I also obtained some dark grapes and black cherries.  It had a slight red wine taste as I let the flavor wash over my tongue.  Like the aroma, I found a very inviting characteristic of Belgian yeast and bananas.  Some toasted biscuits and a slight sour dough jolt too.  Some more of that caramel, chocolate and licorice was detected, although it remained quite relaxed throughout the experience I thought.  Toward the end I even started to pick up on some nuttiness and a tad bit of alcohol.  Overall, the taste was very rich, harmonized and very complex.  There was so much going on here that I couldn’t even begin to describe everything.

The mouthfeel was medium to full bodied.  It was very smooth, soft, chewy, dry and creamy with a great amount of carbonation.  A wonderful alcohol warmth was felt at the back of the throat and on down into the belly for the first few sips, but it quickly mellowed and became almost obsolete.  More than enough flavor was left on the palate for me to savor between sips.

Wow!!!  This beer was great.  It’s totally deserving of all the praise that it gets.  I can definitely see why so many people rave over it.  It was outstanding in all categories.  It only got better and more complex with each and every gulp too.  This brew was a pleasure to drink.  Not to mention it was relatively easy to down also.  I would love to be able to find a few more bottles of this.  A couple to drink now and a couple to save for a later date.  One things for sure…. if you haven’t had the opportunity to try the St. Bernardus Abt 12.  Do whatever it takes to seek one out and give it a test drive.  I really doubt that you will be disappointed.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really, really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.75 out of 5
Grade:  A+


Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Country: Belgium, St. Bernardus


2 responses to “Review of St. Bernardus Abt 12

  1. clueless_brewer

    January 25, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Glad you finally got around to this one, mate. Like you said, it truly is “world class”. Simply an amazing brew.


  2. Scott Shrewsberry

    January 25, 2012 at 9:30 pm


    I'll tell ya, I'm so happy that I had the opportunity to try this. I had to drive about 85 miles one way to pick this up. It was the first time that I had ever seen it in a store and it was their only bottle, so I snatched it up pretty darn quick!!!



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