St. Bernadus Abt 12


St. Bernardus Abt 12 has a great quote on its website regarding the water in its beer:

“Water, pumped up from a depth of 150 meter is the basis of all St. Bernardus beers. This water is not only the purest but has also a historical background. Scientists have proved that the water that is pumped up now, is originating from rainfall from the time of Jeanne d’Arc.”

How does any brewer compete with that? It’s not exactly Rocky Mountain water, but wow.

How about the beer? Nice. Real nice. It’s a bit darker that I would have expected. Call it carmel, but it’s not a dark beer and is nice and smooth. It’s perfect for a cold winter day. My biggest issues was pouring it. No matter how hard I tried the head on this beer was epic. The taste was extremely rich. It doesn’t taste like chocolate, but it’s all that I could think about while imbibing. If I were to guess fruits, I’d go with raisin, plum and maybe add in some spice and licorice (which I realize are not fruits).

This could be an after dinner drink even. It’s also over 10% alcohol, so you wouldn’t want to drink this in large quantities, either. This is definitely a sharing beer.

Mendelson Rating: 8.5/10

  • I can't say that I have had Apt 12 but I will go buy one just so I can have the quote.

    My favorite beer bottle quote has always been on Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing Co. This is a dark, moderately heavy, bitter Ale; Smooth with a bit. The quote matches its flavor:

    "This is an aggressive beer. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to the safer and more familiar territory – maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it’s made in a little brewery or one that implies that their tasteless, fizzy yellow beer will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad-campaigns make a beer taste better. Perhaps you’re mouthing your words as you read this.”

    Don't you love it! they have a great website as well:

    Thanks for sharing.


    • Awesome.  I’ve always liked that beer, too, but somehow missed the marketing.  That’s classic.  Thanks!

  • Matt Straup

    St. Bernardus Apt 12 is one of my favorite beers. Its one of my favorite winter beers a bit too heavy by my taste to during during the warmer months. Love the website quote… it will make the next time I drink this beer a little more sublime.

    If you like this I would recommend Maredsous 8 and New Belgium's Three Philosopher's as well both in the same flavor vein and very good in their own right

    • I’ve had the 8 (Great), but haven’t had Three Philosopher’s.  Excellent.  Thanks for the tip!

  • Steve

    Great beer! Isn't it Abt 12 though?

  • If you can make it to Belgium, the St. Bernardus brewery has an adorable B&B attached to it and they always keep their mini bars stocked with fresh beer. They will put your right to sleep after spending a day on a bike! Great find. Congratulations.

  • Will S

    Definitely like the 12, but St.B's Prior 8 is my favorite of the two.

  • I do like that one as well

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