Total Score: 9.8/10
Holy Mother of St. Bernardus! I’ve finally got my hands on a bottle of St. Bernardus Abt 12. This one comes from the greatest bottleshop in Australia, aka Plonk (in Canberra folks), I asked for it and they got it in (I love those guys!). Well this has been one at the top of my list for ages, isn’t it great when you finally get to topple giants? Anyway without further ado (I hate ado’s) let’s crack open some Abt 12.
Poured from a 750ml bottle into a St. Feuillien chalice as it is the glass that compares most to the one on label, plus how happy does that monk look? I want to look that happy.
A: Cloudy, with yeast particles everywhere, deep ruby ( and I mean really really really deep ruby) body with a 1cm fawn head that stays like a champ. 10/10.
S: First whiff is a combination of dark fruit (plum, fig, date) esters and white wine spirit. Further notes of heavy bread yeast, brown sugar and a hint of peppercorn is revealed afterwards. That touch of wine spirit is the only disturbance to a perfect score. 9/10.
T: One massive dark fruit experience! With added bold characters of brown sugar, rye bread and alcohol warmth at the back. There is a light medicinal hop note providing a hint of bitterness to cut through the sugar, and a slight peppercorn spice plays in to the flavour as well. What’s amazing about this brew is how flavoursome it is at 10% ABV. A buttery diacetyl opens up as the glass warms. Damn these monks in their fancy cassocks can brew! 10/10.
M: Medium bodied with velvety smooth carbonation, it paints a rich tongue-coating tapestry throughout the mouth, mmmm. 10/10.
D: Well the points are flying left right and centre for Abt 12, and so they should be – this is one brilliant Quad. Better than Trappistes Rochefort 10? Yes, this one has a touch more character in the flavour. As Doc (i.e. me, I’m doing a Caesar referring to himself in the third person thing now) always says: “The T in my reviews is king”. Indeed it is with the Abt 12. Let’s talk about the cons of this fine Ale: None. No wait, if you’re the designated driver going to a party and they’re serving bottles of this you might end up driving home drunk, getting caught and having your licence suspended… that is however a very specific and unlikely scenario (err, someone serving Abt 12 at a party that is, not the drink/driving part). 10/10.
Food match: Some Trappist cheeses would go down a treat along with crusty bread.