St. Bernardus Abt 12
Currently the 29th best beer in the world overall at RateBeer.com, the St. Bernardus Abt 12 is a very interesting Abbey ale. This is another in our father and son Thursday night beer reviews and for this one we used a goblet, as recommended. This is a quadrupel and the bottle is 11.2 oz with a 10.5% ABV. We got a beer temperature of 56 F.
The initial pour gave us an average one inch frothy light brown head that dissipated slowly and laced a good amount in the process. The carbonation is soft and the body color was an opaque brown.
The initial aromas were numerous in sheer quantity: Roasted malts, nutty, light floral, light alcohol, brown sugar, cola, sherry, smoke, spices and dark fruits galore – dates, plums, prunes and raisins. The dark fruits really jump out in the aroma. What’s really surprising is the lack of coffee and chocolate notes that we’ve usually found in these types of beers that tend to dominate the top of the Rate Beer 100.
The tastes echo a lot of the aromas – brown sugar, prominent alcohol, cola, spices, soy sauce, sherry and once again dark fruits galore – dates, plums, prunes, raisins and now some dark cherry. It’s got a terrific, creamy mouthfeel and the body laces a good amount in the glass as the beer level disappears. The spices in the taste are quite nice and bring some pepperiness to the equation. The alcohol isn’t too bold in the smell but is quite noticeable in the taste. The initial flavor notes strike with a moderate sweet, moderate bitter and light saltiness. The finish is long in duration and the finish notes hit with a moderate sweet, heavy bitter, light sour and moderate saltiness. On our malt to hop scale it comes in almost balanced, just ever so slightly on the malty side.
Though it’s a bit too string to be repeatable it’s very drinkable, has a good balance and harmony to it, is memorable and even has a wow factor to it. We could definitely see ourselves buying it again. All told it’s a solid and respectable beer that is very unique and is justifiably the showcase beer in the St. Bernardus lineup. Personally we miss the chocolate and coffee notes of some of the other top strong beers, but for this style, it probably can’t be beat. If you love dark fruits prepare to meet your new favorite beer.
St. Bernardus Abt 12 Rating: 8 out of 10 (?)
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