St. Bernardus Abt 12

Quadrupel Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV


St. Bernardus Abt 12, a Quadrupel by Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

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St. Bernardus Abt 12 is a Quadrupel brewed by Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV, and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a snifter from a bottle.


The ale pours an opaque chestnut brown with no light showing through. It’s topped by a thick cap of frothy tan-colored foam that shows good retention. A smattering of residue and a thin soapy collar rings the glass during consumption.


Its aroma is sugary sweet with a scent of raisin and fig. A touch of cherry appears as the beer warms.


The palate has a slightly earthy draw with flavors of pumpernickel and tea. The taste sweetens rapidly with brown sugar, prune, and transitions to notes of pear and apple. Its dry finish is spiced with clove, coriander, and pepper. A bready base of rye and pumpernickel tie the palate together.


Its feel is creamy on the draw that becomes lively on the tongue with its effervescence. Its body is medium-full with moderately-high carbonation. Finishes somewhat warm and dry from the alcohol.


The St. Bernardus Abt 12 is an excellent representation of a Quad. The head retention is fine but could be better. Its aroma is pleasant and its feel is superb. But it’s the palate that’s the real star. Besides being so flavorful and complex, what’s particularly impressive about this brew is how it’s easily quaffed. It’s a ten-percenter but its alcohol is masked quite well. This Quad drinks lighter than it is and it’s surprising how quickly this boozy treat disappears. Nothing new to those who have been enjoying this Quad for years.

Have You Tried St. Bernardus Abt 12?

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About the Quadrupel

The Belgian Quadrupel or simply Quad is a name given to the strongest of the Trappist and Abbey ales. La Trappe pioneered the Quad while a nearly identical brew, the Abt, was crafted by Westvleteren and that beer would become St. Bernardus. Its color ranges from a garnet to brown and its aroma and palate are rich with sweet malt, fruity esters, and moderately spicy phenols. Its bitterness is typically mild at best and instead, the focus is on its malt character and strong alcohol. Comparatively, the Quadrupel is stronger and more intensely flavored than the Dubbel and Tripel.