“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 excells because of its long bittersweet finish with a hoppy bite. (10,0% ABV) 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.”
Uncaged, uncorked then carefully poured in to a Trappist tulip. We’re met with a brilliant mahogany hue that’s covered by a cappuccino head that swells to two fingers before settling to a sheet. Good retention with a healthy lace sticking to the glass.
The nose matches perfectly to this cool, dark afternoon with a rich chocolate malt backing. It’s structured beautifully with caramel and toffee pudding, dark fruits, sultana and a lovely plummy tartness. Lighter notes of sour dough, bubblegum, banana and clove tie it all together magnificently. Superb, really hitting that traditional Belgian quadrupel note well.
The mouth feel is nicely balanced between the chewy texture and the lifted Co2. A slight alcohol warmth is evident but it’s well dispersed around the mouth. A pleasant quaffer for 10% ABV.
Fantastic flavour profile – it initiates with sweet fruity esters against that delicious back drop of dark fruits and earthy fig. A nice warmth backs it up as the yeasty phenols kick in with banana, clove and bready sour dough midway. The booze raises its form slightly as spicy pepper and a delicate aniseed note delivers a warming finish that provides a dry, somewhat herbal, sweet and sticky taste on the rear.
Quite an impressive drop. As we mentioned earlier she goes down very well on a cool, dark afternoon/night. Definitely improves as it warms as well. Another fine offering from this world class Belgian brewery.