I have been drinking St. Bernardus Abt 12 for a couple of years now and it is my favorite beer. This beer was originally a Trappist beer until 1992 when the 7 Trappist monasteries came to the decision that only beer brewed within an actual monastery would receive the official trappistenbier logo. St Bernardus beer basically was commissioned by the monks at St. Sixtus, makers of the world famous Westvleteren beers. It’s said that St. Sixtus now obtains their yeast fresh every year and that St. Bernardus is actually much closer in taste to the way Westvleteren used to be.
After being declassified, the label of the beers was also redone. The man on the bottle is no longer a monk and he now wears a ‘medieval robe’ although the Abt (short for abbot) in the title suggests it is still ‘priestly’. Even though St. Bernardus 12 could have used its kinship to beer nobility to sell itself they earned a reputation all their own and a place among the best in the world. This beer is considered a ‘quad’ which suggests its strength or abv; 6%-dubbel, 9% -tripel and 12%-quad. This abbey ale has a wonderful sweet boozy smell and flavor. This beer has an awesome scent and flavor and is wonderfully malty, complex and balanced. When I breath in the aroma I catch hints of figs, raisins, bread and bakers cocoa.
It has pretty heavy carbonation but it lacks the bite most really carbonated brews have. I could try to break down the taste and scent more myself but I enjoy the almost magical aura of this beer. I want this to just be an awesome beer without having to think about it too much.
This is honestly my favorite beer and the best representation of the quadrupel style. If you find any of the beers brewed by the St. Bernardus brewery and you haven’t tried them I suggest buying them. Although they can be pricey they are still generally cheaper than most of the whales people tend to be in search of these days. Another bonus is that this beer is said to age very well in the right conditions. I brought back a full case of this from Belgium so I should be able to afford putting a few of them aside to find out!